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The First Draft of the SN manifesto is available

There seem to be more new Sci-Fi shows coming out now than ever. Tell me, Soylent, which is the best?

  • Zoo
  • Humans
  • Killjoys
  • Dark Matter
  • Sense 8
  • The Whispers
  • Other Space
  • Have I told you about how I don't own a TV, yet?

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:76 | Votes:213

posted by janrinok on Monday August 03, @06:16AM   Printer-friendly
from the theory-meet-the-real-world dept.

Address exhaustion is finally about to make us all take IPv6 seriously.

I know the theory; heck, I've even taught the theory in networking courses. What I would like to find - and haven't - is a source of practical information for introducing IPv6 into a network. How should the firewall be set up? What does Apache need, to make a website IPv6 accessible? What about HTTPS? SSH? DNS? What are the security gotchas? Hands-on, practical stuff.

I've looked around for online courses - I've even completed one. Unfortunately, the information was pathetic; I'm not sure I actually learned anything useful. There must be good sources out there. Any Soylentils have recommendations?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday August 03, @04:43AM   Printer-friendly
from the nonplussed dept.

A sigh of relief has been heard across the Internet as behemoth Google has finally relented in it's ever intruding necessity to have a Google+ account from every service and function from signing up for Gmail to posting comments on YouTube.

From Slate to The Verge and everywhere in between there is dancing in the streets as Google finally got the, not today Google, I don't want Plus. Plus will not be going away, it will become it's own property, left to stand on it's own, and unhooked from every Google service under the sun.

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posted by takyon on Monday August 03, @04:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the coutsourcing dept.

In Dongguan City, located in the central Guangdong province of China, a technology company has set up a factory run almost exclusively by robots, and the results are fascinating.

The Changying Precision Technology Company factory in Dongguan has automated production lines that use robotic arms to produce parts for cell phones. The factory also has automated machining equipment, autonomous transport trucks, and other automated equipment in the warehouse.

There are still people working at the factory, though. Three workers check and monitor each production line and there are other employees who monitor a computer control system. Previously, there were 650 employees at the factory. With the new robots, there's now only 60. Luo Weiqiang, general manager of the company, told the People's Daily that the number of employees could drop to 20 in the future.

The robots have produced almost three times as many pieces as were produced before. According to the People's Daily, production per person has increased from 8,000 pieces to 21,000 pieces. That's a 162.5% increase.
The growth of robotics in the area's factories comes amidst a particularly harsh climate around factory worker conditions, highlighted by strikes in the area. One can only wonder whether automation will add fuel to the fire or quell some of the unrest.

Is eliminating the work force the best way to solve labor unrest?

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posted by CoolHand on Monday August 03, @01:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the bleeding-hearts-and-artists-making-a-stand dept.

Silicon Valley is dictating the way we live through design. From smartphones to dating websites, we increasingly experience the world and basic human connection through platforms and devices Silicon Valley created for us. It is the artist’s job to turn a critical eye on the world we live in. At the Rhizome event, it seemed like the artists were deeply troubled by the ways in which technology is limiting our ability to see that world.

There is the common refrain that everyone’s eyeballs are glued to their smartphones, even while walking into traffic, but this is a deeper concern, that the way we are designing technology is taking away the best parts of our humanity. On Facebook, you must “like” everything. On Vine, things must be interesting in 7 seconds or less. On Google, you must optimize or you will disappear.
Technologists tend to think about their creations in terms of code and efficiency, whereas artists excel at helping us see the humanity in the machine, pinpointing moments of beauty, ugliness and truth in the way we live. We need artists to help save us from the ‘fitter, happier, more productive’ world that Silicon Valley is creating, a world that doesn’t seem to be making us all as happy as it promised. The Rhizome experiment is just the start of getting technologists to think more deliberately about the world they are making the rest of us live in.

Are technologists dehumanizing the world?

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday August 03, @12:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the hot-stuff dept.

According to The Tech Report NVIDIA is recalling some Shield tablets due to a battery fire risk:

Some Nvidia Shield Tablets built between July 2014 and July 2015 could pose a fire risk. The batteries in the affected tablets can apparently overheat to dangerous levels. As a result, the company has issued a recall notice. The recall applies only to tablets that show a battery model of Y01 on the About Tablet screen in the Settings application.

PCWorld reports that this affect 88,000 tablets.

Further coverage at Ars Technica.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @10:41PM   Printer-friendly
from the and-now-for-something-completely-different dept.

Spotted on HackerNews is a link to the story of I, Libertine, a book which made the New York Times Bestseller List despite its non-existence following a hoax co-ordinated by Jean "Shep" Shepherd in the 1950's.'s the thing: in Shep's time, despite its name, the criteria for making the list involved more than just book sales. It included customer requests for and questions about books to book sellers. So if a retailer had a stack of a particular book that wasn't selling, he could gin up enough queries about it to get the title included on the best seller list, which then made people go out and buy it.

Shep saw through this hypocrisy and ranted about it at length one night. In a burst of inspiration, he speculated that if enough people requested the same title of a book that didn't actually exist, it could indeed make the coveted New York Times Best Seller List.
  by early summer 1956, the book that didn't exist made The New York Times Best Seller List ... and kept inching upward on it. One literary gossip columnist even wrote in a leading newspaper, "Had a delightful lunch the other day with Frederick R. Ewing and his charming wife, Marjorie."

And the whole time this was going on, Shep and his Night People listeners were laughing themselves silly. There was never any secret to it; it was a hoax openly discussed and pulled off right on the public airwaves.

Original HackerNews discussion thread.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @09:10PM   Printer-friendly
from the caveat-emptor dept.

Detekt is a free tool that scans your computer for traces of known surveillance spyware used by governments to target and monitor human rights defenders and journalists around the world. By alerting them to the fact that they are being spied on, they will have the opportunity to take precautions.

It was developed by security researchers and has been used to assist in Citizen Lab's investigations into government use of spyware against human rights defenders, journalists and activists as well as by security trainers to educate on the nature of targeted surveillance.

Amnesty International is partnering with Privacy International, Digitale Gesellschaft and the Electronic Frontier Foundation to release Detekt to the public for the first time."

The Windows version can be downloaded here; other than source code there doesn't seem to be a Linux or iOS specific version. More general information is here.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @07:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the is-that-wind-power? dept.

Japanese researchers have developed an air-powered surgical assist robot that can change a camera view inside a patient’s body with a mere nod by a surgeon.

Emaro is the first pneumatically driven robot in the world that can control an endoscope, a tube-like camera used to see inside the body, to assist surgeons in operations, according to the researchers from Tokyo Institute of Technology and Tokyo Medical and Dental University.

Emaro consists of a compressor, a control panel and a column that supports an arm that works the endoscope. The surgeon can control its movements in hands-free fashion while working forceps manipulators inside the body and viewing the Emaro camera feed on a large monitor.

Because it's powered by compressed air, the Emaro endoscope can move smoothly and precisely, and the researchers said it can improve the safety of surgery with laparoscopes, a type of endoscope. Laparoscopic surgeries involve the insertion of long fiber-optic tubes through small incisions in the abdomen. Such minimally invasive operations leave smaller scars and can promote better recovery.

The Emaro scope can move along four axes—back and fourth, side to side, up and down and rotational.

At a demo at Tokyo Institute of Technology on Friday, a researcher put on a surgical cap fitted with a gyroscope over the forehead. When he moved his head, the machine would move the endoscope, including the camera and light at its tip. He also used foot switches to send directional controls to the device, and to put it into manual control mode.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @06:48PM   Printer-friendly
from the the-robots-will-remember... dept.

The Hitchbot, a hitchhiking robot which was planned to tour the US has apparently failed to make it out of Philadelphia.

When hitchBOT the hitchhiking robot started his journey in Boston two weeks ago he wanted to see the entire country. Unfortunately, he never made it out of the Northeast. The researchers who built hitchBOT announced today that they need to stop the experiment because hitchBOT was vandalized in Philadelphia.
The goal of the hitchhiking trip was to see how humans would interact with hitchBOT. And apparently the answer was "not well." HitchBOT has been around the world, including trips across the entirety of Canada and Germany without major incident. But America is clearly a hard land for our robot brothers and sisters.

Previous SN article.

Originally spotted at io9.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @05:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the not-the-first-and-not-the-last dept.

Ars has a story about a man in Kentucky who took skeet shooting to a new level, being arrested after shooting down a drone that he says was hovering over his property. While this is not the first time this has happened, this seems to be the first time someone was arrested for doing it.

Since that article was published new information has been published that indicates that this guy was a better shot than he said he was. The second article points out:

[In 1946], the Supreme Court decided in a case known as United States v. Causby that that a farmer in North Carolina could assert property rights up to 83 feet in the air. In that case, American military aircraft were flying above his farm, disturbing his sleep and his chickens. As such, the court found he was owed compensation.

However, the same decision also specifically mentioned a "minimum safe altitude of flight" at 500 feet—leaving the zone between 83 feet and 500 feet as a legal grey area.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found an update to this story, however:.

The pilot of the drone shot down Sunday evening over a Kentucky property has now come forward with video provided to Ars, seemingly showing that the drone wasn't nearly as close as the property owner made it out to be. However, the federal legal standard for how far into the air a person's private property extends remains in dispute.

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @04:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the always-validate-the-input dept.

Vulnerability Lab founder Benjamin Kunz Mejri says he's found a security bug in Apple's Mac and iOS app stores that could be exploited to inject malicious JavaScript code into victims' web browsers. Mejri reported the "application-side input validation web vulnerability" to Apple in early June, and went public with details of the flaw on Monday this week after conversations with Apple's security team petered out.

"After we received no serious reply, we released the data," Mejri told El Reg in an email. Apple did not respond to a request for comment, and it's not clear if the vulnerability has been addressed.

In a nutshell, the bug works like this: you change the name of your iThing to include JavaScript code, then download or purchase an app from either the Mac or iTunes stores. Apple's systems generate an invoice, and email it to you and make a copy available online from your store account. That JavaScript code stashed in your device name will be embedded in the invoice, so opening it in a browser will execute it, allowing it to attempt to do bad things like hijack your Apple account. Sellers and Apple staff viewing a copy of the invoice will also get attacked.

As far as we can tell, the trick is to change the name of someone's iPhone, iPad or iPod to something containing evil code without them realizing the alteration, and then wait for them to make a purchase to trigger the script. It is a reminder that even well-paid and highly educated Apple engineers forget to validate their input data: the JavaScript should have been stripped out.

"Successful exploitation of the vulnerability results in session hijacking, persistent phishing attacks, persistent redirect to external sources, and persistent manipulation of affected or connected service module context," he added.

A video showing how to exploit the hole can be seen here. Not allowing others to access your device would seem to be a simple cure.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @02:47PM   Printer-friendly
from the hot-news-for-surfers dept.

"A device on the mast of a ship analysing the surface of the sea could perhaps give a minute's warning that a rogue wave is developing," said Professor Nail Akhmediev, leader of the research at the Research School of Physics and Engineering.

"Even seconds could be enough to save lives."

Rogue ocean waves develop apparently out of nowhere over the course of about a minute and grow to as much as 40 metres in height before disappearing as quickly as they appeared. Ships unlucky enough to be where rogue waves appear can capsize or be seriously damaged, as happened in the Mediterranean Sea to the Cypriot ship Louis Majesty, which was struck by a rogue wave in 2010 that left two passengers dead and fourteen injured.

The research by Professor Akhmediev and the team at the ANU Research School of Physics and Engineering, Dr Adrian Ankiewich and PhD student Amdad Chowdury, is published in Proceedings of Royal Society A. Professor Akhmediev said that there are about 10 rogue waves in the world's oceans at any moment. "Data from buoys and satellites around the world is already being collected and analysed. Combined with observations of the surrounding ocean from the ship this would give enough information to predict rogue waves," said Professor Akhmediev.

The theory may also explain freak waves that wash away people from beaches, as the rogue waves can sometimes transform into travelling waves known as solitons, that travel through the ocean like mini-tsunamis until they hit the coastline.

Professor Akhmediev's theory also applies to other chaotic phenomena such as light travelling in optical fibres, atoms trapped in a Bose-Einstein condensate and the ionosphere in the upper atmosphere. The rogue wave is a special solution of the non-linear Schrodinger equation which is localised in time and space. The solutions were derived by adding terms to cover dispersion to the non-linear Schrodinger equation, forming the Hirota equations.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @01:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the no-easy-ride dept.

Having looked in the last few days at the problems of insurance and Uber drivers, the City of Toronto will file the paperwork to take another legal crack atshutting down Uber, but it hasn't decided whether it will actually follow through. The previous attempt failed. Lawyer Matthew Cornett confirmed Friday the city will serve a notice of appeal Tuesday to challenge Judge Sean Dunphy's Superior Court ruling.

"This will preserve our right to appeal (within the 30 day-limit)," Cornett said.

Last month, Dunphy denied the city's application for an injunction against the ridesharing company, ruling Uber isn't operating a taxi cab or limousine service. A lawyer for the city had argued Uber should fall under the same licensing requirements that govern taxi brokerages because "if it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then you should call it a duck." Dunphy disagreed.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday August 02, @12:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the stars-in-its-eyes dept.

In 1995, a new solar observatory was launched. A joint project of ESA and NASA, the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory – SOHO – has been sending home images of our dynamic sun ever since. SOHO was planned to open up a new era of solar observations, dramatically extending our understanding of the star we live with. . . and it delivered.

But no one could have predicted SOHO's other observational triumph: In the last two decades, SOHO has become the greatest comet finder of all time. In August 2015, SOHO is expected to discover its 3000th comet. Prior to the SOHO launch, only a dozen or so comets had ever even been discovered from space, and some 900 had been discovered from the ground since 1761.

"SOHO has a view of about 12 and a half million miles beyond the sun>," said Joe Gurman, the mission scientist for SOHO at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. "So we expected it might from time to time see a bright comet near the sun. But nobody dreamed we'd approach 200 a year."

More than just a celebrated bright vision in the night sky, comets can tell scientists a great deal about the place and time where they originated. Comets are essentially a clump of frozen gases mixed with dust. They are often pristine relics that can hold clues about the very formation of our solar system. On the other hand, if they have made previous trips around the sun, they can hold information about the distant reaches of the solar system through which they've traveled. We have a variety of tools to determine what comets are made of from afar. One is to watch how material evaporates off its surface when it comes close to the sun, and here's where SOHO can provide remarkable information.

SOHO is unique in that it is able to spot comets that skim extremely close to the sun, known as sungrazers. One of SOHO's instruments, called a coronagraph, specifically blocks out the bright light of the sun to examine its atmosphere – which is a billion times fainter than the star itself. To this day, SOHO is one of our best sources for views of the giant explosions regularly produced by the sun called coronal mass ejections, or CMEs, which can hurl a million tons of solar particles off into space. This field of view is large enough to see a sungrazing comet as it sling shots around the sun.

Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Sunday August 02, @10:59AM   Printer-friendly
from the carbon-queen?-more-like-awesomeness-queen dept.

ArsTechnica interviewed Millie Dresselhaus, professor emeritus at MIT:

Millie Dresselhaus, Institute Professor at MIT (and the first woman ever so honored). The occasion was her receiving the IEEE Medal of Honor (again, the first female recipient), but a look at her Wikipedia biography shows that awards are nothing new for Dresselhaus. Highlights of a long list include the National Medal of Science and the Presidential Medal of Freedom, and her Kavli Prize in Nanoscience was the only Kavli awarded to a single recipient, an indication of how pioneering her research has been.

She also has administrative chops. She headed the Department of Energy's Office of Science, was president of the American Physical Society and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and held the post of treasurer at the National Academies of Science.
Ars: Your thesis advisor didn't think that women should be doing science. Why stick with science despite that level of discouragement?

Dresselhaus: Encouragement is always useful, but it's not necessarily the rate-limiting step. Luckily for me, Sputnik came along, and there was funding available for basic science research. My advisor wasn't so happy with me, but I could just work for myself. My thesis was very, very cheap. There was all this surplus equipment that was left from World War II that was lying in a bin someplace, and you could pick it up, renovate it at almost zero cost. So that was my thesis.

Ars: So you adopted the hardware to your needs?

Dresselhaus: Yeah, pretty much, and I built a few other things for myself. Which helped me learn how to build things, design something. This is valuable experience. Maybe if I had more spoon-feeding like we do today, I wouldn't have benefited as much. On the other hand, people think that they wouldn't survive if they didn't have a great deal of support. And maybe that's necessary today. Science is moving so fast, and you can't linger too much.

Very cool that she got started recycling surplus equipment for her thesis.

Original Submission

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