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The 'World's Safest' Bike Helmet Has A Built-in Airbag

Slashdot - Sun, 2019-09-15 13:34
H&âOEouml;vding spent four years developing their next-generation bicycle helmet, the Metro reports: Easier to use, adjustable and enabled with Bluetooth technology, the helmet, according to H&âOEouml;vding 's CEO Frederik Carling, is the world's safest. Donning advanced airbag tech and functions such as the ability to contact next-of-kin in the event of an accident, Frederik and the team spent years surveying people to make the kit as bespoke, safe and desirable as possible. Fredrik says: "Our surveys of cyclists in seven major European cities show that 70% would cycle more if they felt safer. We have focused on this and want to contribute to greater safety." New features include the new patented airbag, along with an upgraded battery that can last for up to 15 hours. An iOS and Android compatible app allows the company to gather data relating to where urban cyclists experience the most accidents. The result? Data that can be used to argue for more cycling infrastructure and, of course, tech that saves more lives... When the design-savvy headgear is activated, it registers movements 200 times a second and in the event of an accident, is inflated in 0.1 seconds to enclose the head and hold the cyclist's neck in place. 185,000 cyclists currently use it, with over 4,000 saying that it had made a significant difference during close calls. In addition to all its safety features, Carling hopes that his helmet can be used to help the environment in the long run. "Cycling may be the answer to many of the challenges relating to the environment, congestion in cities and health, and we want to take cyclist protection to the next level," he says.

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Wake me up before you Gogo ... so I can jump out: Kenyan MP takes on aeroplane flatulence

TheRegister - Sun, 2019-09-15 12:01
Further investigation suggests she may actually have a point

While Kenyan politicians discussed possible amendments to safety protocols on commercial flights this week, one delivered an impassioned plea.…

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Released from Prison, Spammer Who Stole 17.5 Million Passwords Apologizes and Reforms

Slashdot - Sun, 2019-09-15 11:34
An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: Kyle Milliken, a 29-year-old Arkansas man, was released last week from a federal work camp. He served 17 months for hacking into the servers of several companies and stealing their user databases. Some of the victims included Disqus, from where he stole 17.5 million user records, Kickstarter, from where he took 5.2 million records, and Imgur, with 1.7 million records. For years, Milliken and his partners operated by using the credentials stolen from other companies to break into more lucrative accounts on other services. If users had reused their passwords, Milliken would access their email inboxes, Facebook, Twitter, or Myspace accounts, and post spam promoting various products and services. From 2010 to 2014, Milliken and his colleagues operated a successful spam campaign using this simple scheme, making more than $1.4 million in profits, and living the high life. Authorities eventually caught up with the hacker. He was arrested in 2014, and collaborated with authorities for the next years, until last year, when it leaked that he was collaborating with authorities and was blackballed on the cybercrime underground.... In an interview with ZDNet last week, Milliken said he's planning to go back to school and then start a career in cyber-security... [H]e publicly apologized to the Kickstarter CEO on Twitter. "I've had a lot of time to reflect and see things from a different perspective," Milliken told ZDNet. "When you're hacking or have an objective to dump a database, you don't think about who's on the other end. There's a lot of talented people, a ton of work, and even more money that goes into creating a company... there's a bit of remorse for putting these people through cyber hell." He also has a message for internet uesrs: stop reusing your passwords. And he also suggests enabling two-factor authentication. "I honestly think that the big three email providers (Microsoft, Yahoo, Google) added this feature because of me."

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Would Consumers Be Safer With a National Data Broker Registry?

Slashdot - Sun, 2019-09-15 07:34
"A comprehensive national privacy law cannot be developed overnight..." argues the chief "data ethics officer" for Acxiom, a database marketing company, in a New York Times op-ed: Still, people deserve to know who is collecting data about them, why it's being collected and the types of companies with which the data is being shared. They should also have assurances that companies collecting data have adequate measures in place to ensure security and confidentiality. That's why, until we have a national privacy law, we should pursue a national data broker registry to help consumers discover this information -- and learn the difference between good data actors and bad ones. People who today use Facebook, Google, Amazon and Apple understand that these companies collect their data in an effort to improve their experience and to generate revenue by selling advertising. But there is less awareness of companies -- generally referred to as data brokers -- that collect, source and otherwise license information about consumers who are not their customers. The growing commercial use of data is outpacing the public's understanding.... Data-driven marketing helps businesses reduce wasteful ad spending and helps fund free or low-cost consumer products and services on the internet, including free search, email and social media platforms, as well as customized content. In many cases, it also funds the press and other channels of expression. Our business is underpinned by policies on comprehensive data governance, in an effort to ensure that data use is transparent, fair and just, that there are benefits for both businesses and consumers. We help marketers follow the golden rule of business -- "Know Your Customer" -- so that they can deliver a better experience. Unfortunately, the irresponsible actions of some individuals and organizations have cast a shadow over our industry. They violate consumers' privacy, profit from stolen data and commit fraud. Increasing transparency -- initially through a data broker registry and ultimately through a robust and balanced national privacy law -- would help reduce the conflation of legitimate, regulated entities with unethical companies and criminals.

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Ten Drones Attack Saudi Arabia's Oil and Gas Facilities

Slashdot - Sun, 2019-09-15 03:34
"Saudi Arabia has cut oil and gas production following drone attacks on two major oil facilities run by state-owned company Aramco..." reports the BBC. "TV footage showed a huge blaze at Abqaiq, site of Aramco's largest oil processing plant [the world's biggest oil producer], while a second drone attack started fires in the Khurais oilfield." The Iran-aligned Houthi movement (fighting the Western-backed military coalition supporting Yemen's government) has claimed credit for the attacks. Slashdot reader dryriver shared this report from the BBC: Energy Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Salman said the strikes had reduced crude oil production by 5.7m barrels a day -- about half the kingdom's output. A Yemeni Houthi rebel spokesman said it had deployed 10 drones in the attacks... In a statement carried by the Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Prince Abdulaziz said the attacks "resulted in a temporary suspension of production at Abqaiq and Khurais plants". He said that part of the reduction would be compensated for by drawing on Aramco's oil stocks. The situation was under control at both facilities, Aramco CEO Amin Nasser said, adding that no casualties had been reported in the attacks. The BBC also notes that Saudi Arabia produces 10% of the world's crude oil, adding that "cutting this in half could have a significant effect on the oil price come Monday when markets open."

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2019's 'Ig Nobel' Prizes Honor Strange, Unusual, and Hilarious Research

Slashdot - Sun, 2019-09-15 01:34
CNN reports: Pizza might protect against cancer, why wombats poop in cubes and a diaper changing machine that can be used on human babies -- these are just some of the research and inventions awarded at this year's Ig Nobel Prizes, a spoof of the actual Nobel Prize awards. The Ig Nobels are "intended to celebrate the unusual, honor the imaginative -- and spur people's interest in science, medicine, and technology," according to its website. Even if the science does sound, well, hilarious. Organized by the magazine Annals of Improbable Research, the awards have been going on for 29 years, always celebrated in September with a gala held at Harvard University. Winners accept their prizes from "genuinely bemused genuine Nobel Laureates," the website reads. Long-time Slashdot reader LifesABeach shared a link to that wacky two-hour prize ceremony on YouTube. You can also read the list of 2019's winners on the official web site. And today, most of this year's Ig Nobel winners also gave free public talks at MIT.

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Was Advertising in Open Source Software a Useful Experiment?

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 23:44
"Given how dependent we've become upon open source software, one would think that we would have a bevy of options for supporting the developers who write the code, but we don't..." writes InfoWorld's Matt Asay, in an essay defending Feross Aboukhadijeh for experimenting with ads in his open source JavaScript style guide library. "We have some inchoate business and funding models that serve open source companies and open source developers more or less well, and too often less. What we need is more people like Aboukhadijeh earnestly experimenting with ways to make things better, more companies like Tidelift introducing novel ways to fund developers, and more organizations recognizing their own self-interest in employing or otherwise paying the developers who build the software they rely on... [U]ltimately, we need more experimentation, and less criticism." What about donations? As Aboukhadijeh has noted, "Lots of maintainers struggle to reach a barely livable wage via donations...." Linux Foundation Chris Aniszczyk has derisively described the approach [and] goes on to put the onus for paying developers on those companies that most benefit from their work: "[A] big part of innovation comes from developers working at organizations adopting open source software at scale and using it in interesting ways. It's these organizations that should be tasked to sustain open source software versus individuals, especially since they depend on open source software to survive as a business." Aniszczyk isn't talking about mega-corps throwing money at mega-tip jars. Rather, he's talking about the big beneficiaries employing the developers who build the projects upon which they depend. It's a great idea, and one that has borne fruit in the Linux community and currently in the Kubernetes world. However it's done, there's an underlying principle that is critical to all of this: We need more experimentation. The first requirement for ensuring open source sustainability is to allow and encourage experimentation. Concerned at his (and other open source developers') inability to make a comfortable living writing popular open source software, Standard co-founder Aboukhadijeh decided to experiment with an ad-supported model...

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Tonight's Asteroid Will Pass So Close To Earth, Home Telescopes Can See It

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 22:34
80 minutes from now, an asteroid will pass so close to earth that home astronomers will be able to see it, writes Salon. Slashdot reader PolygamousRanchKid shares their report: Experts say the asteroid, known as Asteroid 2000 QW7, will miss our planet by about 3 million miles -- around 14 times the distance between the Earth and the moon. And while that distance is astonishingly close on an astronomical scale, it does not suggest that the asteroid is going to hit Earth -- although it has a small chance to strike our planet in the future. The closeness of its pass on Saturday will allow astronomers to hone their measurements of its trajectory, allowing for more accurate calculations of its strike probability in the future. Gianluca Masi, Scientific Director at The Virtual Telescope, told Salon in a statement that amateur astronomers can view its fly-by, which is at 7:54 pm on the East Coast, but will have to have a telescope with a diameter of at least 250 millimeters. [Heres' the telescope-positioning coordinates.] Masi said a smaller telescope might work if combined with a sensitive imaging device that can also record its apparent motion across the stars... NASA released a statement this week to the public to emphasize it is not a threat, noting that it is actually one of two asteroids to pass Earth this weekend. The second asteroid, asteroid 2010 C01, is estimated to be 120 to 260 meters in size (400 to 850 feet). The first asteroid's diamter is between 300 and 600 meters -- so up to 1968 feet, or a little more than one-third of a mile.

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Java EE 'Goes All In' on Open Source with Jakarta EE 8

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 21:34
An anonymous reader quotes ZDNet: While Sun open-sourced some of Java as long ago as November 2006, actually using Java in an open-source way was... troublesome. Just ask Google about Android and Java. But for Java in the enterprise things have changed. On September 10, The Eclipse Foundation announced the full open-source release of the Jakarta EE 8 Full Platform and Web Profile specifications and related Technology Compatibility Kits (TCKs). This comes after Oracle let go of most of Java Enterprise Edition's (JEE) intellectual property. Oracle retains Java's trademarks though -- thus Java EE's naming convention has been changed to Jakarta EE. But for practical programming and production purposes Jakarta EE 8 is the next generation of enterprise Java.... Jakarta EE 8 also includes the same APIs and Javadoc using the same programming model Java developers have always used. The Jakarta EE 8 TCKs are based on and fully compatible with Java EE 8 TCKs. All of this means enterprise customers will be able to migrate to Jakarta EE 8 without any changes to Java EE 8 applications. Eclipse hasn't been doing this in a vacuum. Fujitsu, IBM, Oracle, Payara, Red Hat, Tomitribe, and other members of what was once the Java community have been working on Jakarta EE... All of the Jakarta EE Working Group vendors intend to certify their Java EE 8 compatible implementations as Jakarta EE 8 compatible. In other words, Jakarta is the future for Java EE. Oracle is now working on delivering a Java EE 8 and Jakarta EE 8 compatible implementation of their WebLogic Server. The Eclipse Foundation says Jakarta EE 8's release "provides a new baseline for the evolution and innovation of enterprise Java technologies under an open, vendor-neutral, community-driven process."

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Richard Stallman Challenges 'Misleading' Coverage of His Comments on Marvin Minsky

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 20:35
Richard Stallman posted a new update today on his personal site. "I want to respond to the misleading media coverage of messages I posted about Marvin Minsky's association with Jeffrey Epstein." The coverage totally mischaracterised my statements. Headlines say that I defended Epstein. Nothing could be further from the truth. I've called him a "serial rapist", and said he deserved to be imprisoned. But many people now believe I defended him -- and other inaccurate claims -- and feel a real hurt because of what they believe I said. I'm sorry for that hurt. I wish I could have prevented the misunderstanding. On MIT's internal Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) listerv, Stallman had seen the description of a protest of Marvin Minsky which said Minsky was "accused of assaulting" one of Epstein's victims. Stallman argued that "the most plausible scenario" is that "she presented herself to him as entirely willing" -- even if she was coerced by Epstein into doing so -- whereas the phrase "assaulting" implies the use of force or violence, faciliating what he calls "accusation inflation... Whatever conduct you want to criticize, you should describe it with a specific term that avoids moral vagueness about the nature of the criticism." An angry MIT alumni who was forwarded the email then "started emailing reporters -- local and national, news sites, newspapers, radio stations" -- and then not receiving quick enough responses, published it herself in a Medium essay titled "Remove Richard Stallman. And everyone else horrible in tech." And then leaked the whole thread to Vice.

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Europe's Space Industry Is Working On Reusable Rockets With Environmentally-Friendly Fuel

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 19:44
schwit1 shared this article from Space.com (which includes a really cool video): The European launch provider Arianespace -- best known as the manufacturer of the heavy-lift Ariane 5 and the future Ariane 6 -- has a plan to make its future rockets more competitive in a tight launch industry. As you might guess from looking at the U.S. company SpaceX's reusable Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy rockets, reusability is what Arianespace wants to do as well. Back in February, ArianeGroup and CNES (the French space agency) signed a memorandum of understanding for a new "acceleration platform" that will work to develop new launchers, including reusable ones. The platform, called ArianeWorks, unites teams under one roof and provides all the ingredients possible for innovation: "a highly flexible environment, open to new players and internationally," according to a press release from the time. The interim results are coming soon: two low-cost demonstrators [named "Themis" and "Frog"] that will examine how to recover the first stage of a rocket launching to space.... CNES and ArianeSpace are also working together to make an engine called Prometheus, which uses oxygen and methane as its propellant and can be adapted for multiple rocket platforms. Methane and oxygen produce products that are more environmentally friendly than many other rocket fuels. Themis will use the Prometheus engine for its landings, which means that the rocket demonstrator will not only be reusable, but also less harsh on the environment during launch and landing.

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Are Plant-Based Meat Alternatives Really Healthier Than Meat?

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 18:34
Plant-based/meat-free entrees are coming to major fast-food chains including White Castle, KFC, Del Taco, the Cheesecake Factory, and Subway. There's just one problem, argues an opinion piece by a certified nutritionist at NBC News: "these offerings aren't actually any healthier." The Impossible Whopper, for instance, not only has comparable caloric and fat levels as its meat-based counterpart, but it has more salt per serving; the Del Taco options are comparable. White Castle's Impossible Slider has more calories, more fat and more sodium than the meaty original (before you add cheese to either). In fact, when you start to compare all of these offerings to their meat-based counterparts, you realize it's the same story no matter what brands you're talking about -- you might possibly save a few calories or carbs, but you'll probably get way more salt. Switching from meat-based fast foods to meat-free, then, isn't likely to help your health. The article acknowledges that plant-based burgers may also be better for the environment, since 14.5% of all global greenhouse gas emissions are estimated to be coming from livestock. (And it also acknowledges plant-based substitutes may be better than red meat for people fighting heart disease or type 2 diabetes.) In addition, both the Beyond Burger and the Impossible Burger do have zero cholesterol -- while a high-cholesterol diet could lead to heart attacks and strokes. But "If eating more realistic fake meat was about health, the offerings would be far lower in salt content, contain fewer calories and have a bit less dietary fat. None of them do..."

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Kickstarter Accused of 'Union-Busting' After Firing Three Employees

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 17:34
The BBC reports that Kickstarter has been accused of "union-busting" after firing three employees: Taylor Moore, the company's head of comedy and podcasts, tweeted that he and another employee were fired on Thursday, while tech and design lead Clarissa Redwine was fired last week. All three were heavily involved in the formation of a Kickstarter union this year, Mr Moore added. Kickstarter confirmed the employees were fired, but denied that it was because of their union activity. Mr Moore tweeted that he had worked at the company for six years. He said that when Kickstarter fired him they "offered me no real reasons, but one month's severance for signing an NDA" -- a non-disclosure agreement. "I will not be signing it... The union busting campaign that Kickstarter management is engaging in is illegal and wrong," he added.

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Transgenic Mosquitoes Transferred Their Genes Into a Natural Population

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 16:34
Long-time Slashdot reader cccc828 shares a Nature article "about genetically modified mosquitoes that were supposed to reduce the mosquito population. However, instead of dying, some survived, spreading the new genes." In an attempt to control the mosquito-borne diseases yellow fever, dengue, chikungunya, and Zika fevers, a strain of transgenically modified Aedes aegypti mosquitoes containing a dominant lethal gene has been developed by a commercial company, Oxitec Ltd... Approximately 450 thousand males of this strain were released each week for 27 months in Jacobina, Bahia, Brazil... Genetic sampling from the target population six, 12, and 27-30 months after releases commenced provides clear evidence that portions of the transgenic strain genome have been incorporated into the target population. Evidently, rare viable hybrid offspring between the release strain and the Jacobina population are sufficiently robust to be able to reproduce in nature... It is unclear how this may affect disease transmission or affect other efforts to control these dangerous vectors. These results highlight the importance of having in place a genetic monitoring program during such releases to detect un-anticipated outcomes.

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Two Penetration Testers Arrested For Attempted Burglary

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 15:34
Somewhere along the North Raccoon River in Adel, Iowa -- population 3,682 -- two men were arrested for trying to break into the county courthouse. And then things got weird, the Des Moines Register reports: The men, outfitted with numerous burglary tools, told authorities they were on contract to test out the courthouse alarm system's viability and to gauge law enforcement's response time, an alleged contract that Dallas County officials said they had no knowledge of, according to a criminal complaint. Authorities later found out the state court administration did, in fact, hire the men to attempt "unauthorized access" to court records "through various means" in order to check for potential security vulnerabilities of Iowa's electronic court records, according to Iowa Judicial Branch officials. But, the state court administration "did not intend, or anticipate, those efforts to include the forced entry into a building," a Wednesday news release from the Iowa Judicial Branch read. Evidently, the courthouse's security system did its job. The alarm system was triggered by the two men whom law enforcement found walking around the courthouse's third floor at about 12:30 a.m. Wednesday, court records show. Justin Wynn, of Naples, Florida, and Gary Demercurio, 43, of Seattle, Washington, were both charged with third-degree burglary and possession of burglary tools. Their bond has been set at $50,000. "Our employees work diligently to ensure our engagements are conducted with utmost integrity and in alignment with the objectives of our client," their employer, the cybersecurity company Coalfire, told the Inquirer. When they contacted county sheriff Chad Leonard, he would only say that "It's a strange case. We're still investigating this thing."

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Google Unveils Code Completion Powered by Machine Learning in Dart SDK

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 14:34
Google's previewing something new in the SDK for their Dart programming language: machine learning-powered automatic code completion. ZDNet reports: ML Complete works with the editor to offer developers completions as they type their code. It's also meant to help developers quickly explore lists of completions that are likely to be what they want next, rather than having to sort through options alphabetically. "With code completions, developers can both avoid misspellings and explore APIs by typing the beginning of expected symbols and choosing from the offered completions," explains Google project manager Michael Thomsen in his article, 'Announcing Dart 2.5: Supercharged development'. Google's take on AI-powered code completion for Dart relies on a model trained on a large body of Dart code on GitHub. The model is powered by Google's TensorFlow Lite deep-learning framework and can predict what developers will type next as they're editing code. ML Complete is built into the Dart analyzer, meaning the preview is available in "Dart-enabled editors" including Android Studio, IntelliJ, and VS Code.

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Magnetic cockroaches, dirty money, wombat poo and posties' balls: It's the Ig Nobels 2019

TheRegister - Sat, 2019-09-14 13:00
This year's theme was 'habits' and they were baaaaad

The Annals of Improbable Research held its annual award-giving ceremony – the Ig Nobel Prize – on Thursday night at Harvard's Sanders Theatre, and the entries were as worthy as ever.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

France Took One Look At Facebook's Cryptocurrency and Said, 'Hell, Non'

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Facebook's plan to revolutionize the global economy with its version of bitcoin hit another snag this week when the French finance minister said the country would block the Libra cryptocurrency if it launches as planned in 2020. Libra, which is scheduled to launch in the second half of next year, is designed to be a fast and easy way for people to transfer money around the world, using the company's Messenger and WhatsApp services. Bruno Le Maire, speaking at a cryptocurrency conference organized by the Organization for Economic Development (OECD) on Thursday, didn't mince words when it came to the threat posed by Libra to the stability of the French economy by undermining the influence of the euro. "The monetary sovereignty of countries is at stake [from] possible privatization of money by a sole actor with more than 2 billion users on the planet," he said. Le Maire said that during times of economic crisis, citizens may abandon national currencies in favor of Libra, making it very difficult for governments to manage the economy. "All these concerns around Libra are serious. So I want to say this with a lot of clarity: In these conditions, we cannot authorize the development of Libra on European soil," Le Maire added.

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Time for another cuppa then? Tea-drinkers have better brains, say boffins with even better brains

TheRegister - Sat, 2019-09-14 12:00
Mine's a pint of oolong, please, love

Researchers from the National University of Singapore have found that drinking tea regularly really is good for you, especially your brain. They say they have also discovered why.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

700km on a single charge: Mercedes says it's in it for the long run

TheRegister - Sat, 2019-09-14 11:00
Star-spangled luxury EV trips the light fantastic

In the same week that the motoring industry discovered the Tesla Model 3 was the UK's third most popular car purchase, Mercedes-Benz unveiled an electric supercar at the Frankfurt Motor Show with high expectations, and probably no little relief.…

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