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Funding Goal
For 6-month period:
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What do you consider to be the biggest technological advancement for electrical components?

  • Light bulbs
  • Vacuum tubes
  • Crystal oscillators
  • Transistors
  • Integrated Circuits
  • EEPROMs
  • LEDs
  • Other (Specify)

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:66 | Votes:205

posted by mrpg on Thursday December 13, @04:38AM   Printer-friendly
from the I-knew-it dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

People who are grieving a major loss, such as the death of a spouse or a child, use different coping mechanisms to carry on with their lives. Psychologists have been able to track different approaches, which can reflect different clinical outcomes. One approach that is not usually successful is avoidant grief, a state in which people suffering from grief show marked, effortful, repeated, and often unsuccessful attempts to stop themselves from thinking about their loss. While researchers have shown that avoidant grievers consciously monitor their external environment in order to avoid reminders of their loss, no one has yet been able to show whether these grievers also monitor their mental state unconsciously, trying to block any thoughts of loss from rising to their conscious state.

A new collaborative study between Columbia Engineering and Columbia University Irving Medical Center published online December 7 in SCAN: Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience demonstrates that avoidant grievers do unconsciously monitor and block the contents of their mind-wandering, a discovery that could lead to more effective psychiatric treatment for bereaved people. The researchers, who studied 29 bereaved subjects, are the first to show how this unconscious thought suppression occurs. They tracked ongoing processes of mental control as loss-related thoughts came in and out of conscious awareness during a 10-minute period of mind-wandering.

Source: Editing consciousness: How bereaved people control their thoughts without knowing it


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday December 13, @03:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the DRM:-is-it-worth-it? dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Just Cause 4 Cracked a Day After Release - But it Gets Worse - TorrentFreak

The much-anticipated action-adventure game Just Cause 4 was released on December 4, protected by Denuvo. On December 5, cracking group CPY posted the game online, Denuvo defeated. While this is yet another hammer blow to the anti-tamper system, the game is currently 'enjoying' a review average of just 5/10 on Steam, which could exacerbate the problems.

[...] This long-anticipated AAA action-adventure title is the follow-up to Just Cause 3, which was also protected by Denuvo. That game was released in December 2015 but wasn’t cracked until the end of February 2017.

Compare that with Just Cause 4. The game was released on December 4, 2018 then cracked and leaked online December 5, 2018. Just Cause 3 and Just Cause 4 were both defeated by cracking group CPY, who are clearly getting very familiar with Denuvo’s technology.

[...] While having the game appear online the day after release is bad enough, another problem is raising its head. According to numerous reviewers on Steam, the game is only worthy of a ‘thumbs down’ based on complaints about graphics, gameplay, and numerous other issues.

Related: Hitman 2’s Denuvo Protection Cracked Three Days Before Launch


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Thursday December 13, @01:25AM   Printer-friendly
from the classic-rot26-security dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Cryptography failure leads to easy hacking for PlayStation Classic

Plug-and-play hardware lacks even basic functional security for crucial bootrom.

In the days since the PlayStation Classic's official release, hackers have already made great progress in loading other PlayStation games (and even non-PlayStation software) onto the plug-and-play device. What's more, it seems some sloppy cryptography work on Sony's part is key to unlocking the device for other uses.

Console hackers yifanlu and madmonkey1907 were among those who were able to dump the PlayStation Classic's code via the system's UART serial port in the days after its release. From there, as yifanlu laid out on Twitter, the hackers found that the most sensitive parts of the system are signed and encrypted solely using a key that's embedded on the device itself, rather than with the aid of a private key held exclusively by Sony. In essence, Sony distributed the PlayStation Classic with the key to its own software lock hidden in the device itself.

takyon: PlayStation Classic is an ARM-based video game console that ships with the ability to play 20 preloaded games made for the original PlayStation console (released in 1994). Sony will not add additional games, but since the console uses the free and open source PCSX emulator and can be easily hacked, adding new content shouldn't be a problem.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday December 12, @11:26PM   Printer-friendly
from the ferment-and-squirt dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

The company is set to debut its HomeBrew system at CES 2019. It's a capsule-based beer-making machine that relies on automation and fermentation algorithms, and is completely self-cleaning, so it's a seriously fuss-free way of brewing your own beer. Depending on the beer type (there are five: American IPA, American Pale Ale, English Stout, Witbier and Czech Pilsner), the system can produce up to five liters of beer in about two weeks -- you can check on its status at any time using the companion app for iOS and Android.

Source: https://www.engadget.com/2018/12/11/lgs-homebrew-craft-beer-system-ces-2019/


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @08:32PM   Printer-friendly

Digital preservationist, David Rosenthal, has a blog post discussing his recent Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) talk about distributed ledger technology. CNI is a joint initiative of the Association of Research Libraries (ARL) and EDUCAUSE to promote the use of digital information technologies to advance scholarship and education. The discrepancy between the available capacity in transactions per second and what is actually needed, plus the excessive power consumption, suggests that many attempted uses for distributed ledgers are inappropriate and counterproductive.

I gave a talk at the Fall CNI meeting entitled Blockchain: What's Not To Like? The abstract was:

We're in a period when blockchain or "Distributed Ledger Technology" is the Solution to Everything™, so it is inevitable that it will be proposed as the solution to the problems of academic communication and digital preservation. These proposals typically assume, despite the evidence, that real-world blockchain implementations actually deliver the theoretical attributes of decentralization, immutability, anonymity, security, scalability, sustainability, lack of trust, etc. The proposers appear to believe that Satoshi Nakamoto revealed the infallible Bitcoin protocol to the world on golden tablets; they typically don't appreciate or cite the nearly three decades of research and implementation that led up to it. This talk will discuss the mis-match between theory and practice in blockchain technology, and how it applies to various proposed applications of interest to the CNI audience.

Below the fold, an edited text of the talk with links to the sources, and much additional material. The colored boxes contain quotations that were on the slides but weren't spoken.

Earlier on SN:
BitCoin's Record Drop may have Started Scaring Miners Away
Cryptocurrency Miners Are Building Their Own Electricity Infrastructure


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday December 12, @06:55PM   Printer-friendly
from the too-agile-for-safety dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Uber allegedly ignored safety warnings before self-driving fatality

Just days after Uber announced its plans to resume testing of its self-driving taxis, new information reveals that a whistleblower had made the company aware of the technology's safety failures before the incident in Arizona last March, which saw a pedestrian struck and killed by one of Uber's vehicles, and which led to the suspension of all testing activity.

According to The Information, Robbie Miller, a manager in the testing-operations group, sent a cautionary email to a number of Uber's executive and lawyers, warning that the vehicles were "routinely in accidents resulting in damage. This is usually the result of poor behavior of the operator or the AV technology."

It appears the email was prompted by an incident in Pittsburgh, where just a few days before Miller sent the message an Uber prototype swerved completely off the road and onto the sidewalk, where it continued to drive. According to Miller's email, the episode was "essentially ignored" for days, until Miller raised it with other managers. He also noted that towards the end of 2017, it took two weeks for engineers to investigate the logs of a separate Arizona incident, in which an Uber vehicle almost collided with another car.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Wednesday December 12, @03:56PM   Printer-friendly
from the social-servers dept.

Submitted via IRC for SoyCow1984

Google+ bug exposes non-public profile data for 52 million users

Two months after disclosing an error that exposed the private profile data of almost 500,000 Google+ users, Google on Monday revealed a new leak that affects more than 52 million people. The programming interface bug allowed developers to access names, ages, email addresses, occupations, and a wealth of other personal details even when they were set to be nonpublic.

The bug was introduced in a release that went live at an undisclosed date in November and was fixed a week later, Google officials said in a blog post. During the time the bug was active, developers of apps that requested permission to view profile information that a user had added to their Google+ profile received permission to view profile information about that user even when the details were set to not-public. What's more, apps with access to users' Google+ profile data had permission to access non-public profile data that other Google+ users shared with the consenting user. In all, the post said, 52.5 million users are affected.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @02:14PM   Printer-friendly
from the LMGTFY dept.

Google's Sundar Pichai was grilled on privacy, data collection, and China during congressional hearing

Google's CEO testified before the House Judiciary Committee on Tuesday where lawmakers grilled him on a wide range of issues, including potential political bias on its platforms, its plans for a censored search app in China and its privacy practices.

This is the first time Pichai has appeared before Congress since Google declined to send him or Alphabet CEO Larry Page to a hearing on foreign election meddling earlier this year. That slight sparked anger among senators who portrayed Google as trying to skirt scrutiny.

[...] Tuesday's hearing was titled "Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use, and Filtering Practices" and many representatives posed questions on whether or not Google's search results were biased against conservative points of view.

[...] Another topic that came up multiple times was Google's plan to launch a censored search engine in China. The Intercept first reported details of the project over the summer, which would block search results for queries that the Chinese government deemed sensitive, like "human rights" and "student protest" and link users' searches to their personal phone numbers. [...] "Right now, we have no plans to launch search in China," Pichai answered, adding that access to information is "an important human right."

Also at Bloomberg and The Hill.

See also: Sundar Pichai had to explain to Congress why Googling 'idiot' turns up pictures of Trump
Google CEO admits company must better address the spread of conspiracy theories on YouTube
Alex Jones, Roger Stone crash Google CEO hearing
Monopoly man watches disapprovingly as Congress yells at Google's CEO

Previously: Google Plans to Launch Censored Search Engine in China, Leaked Documents Reveal
Uproar at Google after News of Censored China Search App Breaks
"Senior Google Scientist" Resigns over Chinese Search Engine Censorship Project
Google Suppresses Internal Memo About China Censorship; Eric Schmidt Predicts Internet Split
Leaked Transcript Contradicts Google's Denials About Censored Chinese Search Engine
Senators Demand Answers About Google+ Breach; Project Dragonfly Undermines Google's Neutrality


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @12:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the Third-Verse-Same-As-The-First dept.

https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-politics-46509288

"Prime Minister Theresa May has called off Tuesday's crucial vote on her Brexit deal so she can go back to Brussels and ask for changes to it.

"As it stands the deal 'would be rejected by a significant margin' if MPs voted on it, she admitted."

The biggest stumbling block appears to be the issue between Ireland and Northern Ireland. In particular, what the borders will look like in terms of what people and goods will need to do or not do in order to cross it.


Original Submission

posted by mrpg on Wednesday December 12, @11:00AM   Printer-friendly
from the I-believe-you dept.

Audit: No Chinese surveillance implants in Supermicro boards found

In a letter to customers issued December 11, Supermicro President and CEO Charles Liang and other top executives announced that an audit conducted by an outside investigating team had found no evidence of any malicious hardware incorporated into motherboards currently or previously manufactured by the company. The letter is the latest rebuttal to Bloomberg reports in October that claimed tiny chips that provided a backdoor for China's intelligence agencies had been integrated into boards provided to major Internet and cloud providers—a report also refuted by the companies the report claimed were targeted.

"After a thorough examination and a range of functional tests, the investigative firm found absolutely no evidence of malicious hardware on our motherboards," the letter signed by Liang, Supermicro Senior Vice President and Chief Compliance Officer David Weigland, and Senior VP and Chief Product Officer Raju Penumatcha stated.

Searching for site:soylentnews.org supermicro on Google brought up a Supermicro ad linking the CEO letter, with the link entitled "Supermicro Independent Testing | No Malicious Hardware‎". Do you believe them?

Previously: Chinese Spy Chips Allegedly Inserted Into Amazon, Apple, etc. Datacenters by Super Micro
Bloomberg Stands by Chinese Chip Story as Apple, Amazon Ratchet up Denials
Bloomberg Claims That a Major U.S. Telecom Operated a Server Backdoored by a Hidden Chip

Related: Apple Deleted Server Supplier After Finding Infected Firmware in Servers
Firmware Vulnerabilities in Supermicro Systems
Supermicro Announces Suspension of Trading of Common Stock on Nasdaq and its Intention to Appeal


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @09:32AM   Printer-friendly
from the orbital-maneuvers dept.

Russia Wants to Extend U.S. Space Partnership. Or It Could Turn to China.

The American incentives for engaging with Russia in space in the 1990s — political goals like the employment of idle rocket scientists to prevent missile proliferation — have mostly disappeared with the resumption of tensions. The Trump administration has already proposed that by 2025 the United States should stop supporting the International Space Station that is the principal joint project today. A final decision is up to Congress. The American role might be shifted to a commercial footing thereafter.

[...] [It] is unclear how much longer the post-Soviet era of space cooperation between the United States and Russia can last in the more hostile environment now surrounding relations. In the interview, [Dmitri O. Rogozin, the director of Russia's space agency,] said Russia wanted to carry on joint flights with the United States and its allies, despite the tensions over election interference, wars in Syria and Ukraine, and the chemical weapons poisoning of a former double agent in Britain.

[...] Analysts say Moscow has a strong incentive to maintain the joint program: a decided lack of money to pursue a lunar station on its own. Russia's budget for its space program is something less than one-10th what the United States spends on NASA. [...] Russia's preference is to press on with a space program entwined with the United States', on either the lunar program or another venture, Mr. Rogozin said. But if talks fail, Russia can turn to China or India for partnership. There might then be two stations circling the Earth or the moon, one led by the United States the other a Russian-Chinese enterprise. Mr. Rogozin even floated the idea of a "BRIC station," the acronym for the developing economies of Brazil, Russia, India and China.

Mr. Rogozin in November ordered the Russian Academy of Sciences to study the prospects for a solo Russian program to build a habitable base on the surface of the moon. Ivan M. Moiseyev, the director of the Institute of Space Policy in Moscow, said in a telephone interview that any proposal for a lone Russian lunar station was fantastical, given the budget constraints. "The technical capability exists, but the finances don't."

The U.S. and NASA could develop stronger partnerships with the European Space Agency, Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency, and Indian Space Research Organisation instead.

Previously:

Related: Price War Between SpaceX and Russia


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @07:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the fun-with-elves dept.

Mall of America debuts helpful holographic elf for the holidays

How would you keep a shopping mall lively in an era when more and more people are buying their holiday gifts online? The Mall of America has a one-word answer: holograms. It's partnering with mixed reality firm VNTANA on what's billed as the "first-ever" holographic shopping concierge. Visit the mega-mall's Holiday Cottage throughout the season and you can speak to Ellie the elf (no, really, that's her name) for help tracking down top gifts. Ask about how to find an Xbox One for the kids, for instance, and Ellie will point you to the Microsoft Store.

The hologram isn't mind-blowing by itself (it's more like those Pepper's Ghost musician holograms than a true 3D image), but it's helped by a VNTANA platform that can tie a chatbot to a digital model. And no, you won't have to shout over the mall traffic -- there's a handheld microphone to take your voice requests.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @06:18AM   Printer-friendly
from the sueden-outbreak-of-common-sense? dept.

Comcast rejected by small town—residents vote for municipal fiber instead

A small Massachusetts town has rejected an offer from Comcast and instead plans to build a municipal fiber broadband network. Comcast offered to bring cable Internet to up to 96 percent of households in Charlemont in exchange for the town paying $462,123 plus interest toward infrastructure costs over 15 years. But Charlemont residents rejected the Comcast offer in a vote at a special town meeting Thursday.

"The Comcast proposal would have saved the town about $1 million, but it would not be a town-owned broadband network," the Greenfield Recorder reported Friday. "The defeated measure means that Charlemont will likely go forward with a $1.4 million municipal town network, as was approved by annual town meeting voters in 2015." About 160 residents voted, with 56 percent rejecting the Comcast offer, according to news reports.

Charlemont has about 1,300 residents and covers about 26 square miles in northwest Massachusetts. Town officials estimate that building a municipal fiber network reaching 100 percent of homes would cost $1,466,972 plus interest over 20 years. An increase in property taxes would cover the construction cost. But the town would also bring in revenue from selling broadband service and potentially break even, making the project less expensive than Comcast's offer. "With 59 percent of households taking broadband service, the tax hike would be 29 cents [per $1,000 of assessed home value], similar to that for Comcast," a Recorder article last month said. "But if 72 percent or more of households subscribe to the municipal-owned network, there is no tax impact, because subscriber fees would pay for it."


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @04:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the This-is-why-my-tribe-is-correct dept.

From Scientific American

Science literacy is important, but without the parallel trait of "science curiosity," it can lead us astray

What intellectual capacities—or if one prefers, cognitive virtues—should the citizens of a modern democratic society possess? For decades, one dominant answer has been the knowledge and reasoning abilities associated with science literacy. Scientific evidence is indispensable for effective policymaking. And for a self-governing society to reap the benefits of policy-relevant science, its citizens must be able to recognize the best available evidence and its implications for collective action.

This account definitely isn’t wrong. But the emerging science of science communication, which uses scientific methods to understand how people come to know what’s known by science, suggests that it is incomplete.

Indeed, it’s dangerously incomplete. Unless accompanied by another science-reasoning trait, the capacities associated with science literacy can actually impede public recognition of the best available evidence and deepen pernicious forms of cultural polarization.

The supplemental trait needed to make science literacy supportive rather than corrosive of enlightened self-government is science curiosity.

Simply put, as ordinary members of the public acquire more scientific knowledge and become more adept at scientific reasoning, they don’t converge on the best evidence relating to controversial policy-relevant facts. Instead they become even more culturally polarized.

This is one of the most robust findings associated with the science of science communication. It is a relationship observed, for example, in public perceptions of myriad societal risk sources—not just climate change but also nuclear power, gun control and fracking, among others.

In addition, this same pattern—the greater the proficiency, the more acute the polarization—characterizes multiple forms of reasoning essential to science comprehension: polarization increases in tandem not only with science literacy but also with numeracy (an ability to reason well with quantitative information) and with actively open-minded thinking—a tendency to revise one’s beliefs in light of new evidence.

The same goes for cognitive reflection. The Cognitive Reflection Test (CRT) measures how much people rely on two forms of information processing: “fast,” preconscious, emotion-driven forms of reasoning, often called “System 1”; or a conscious, deliberate, analytical, “slow” form, designated “System 2.”

[...] But given what positions on climate change have now come to signify about one’s group allegiances, adopting the “wrong” position in interactions with her peers could rupture bonds on which she depends heavily for emotional and material well-being. Under these pathological conditions, she will predictably use her reasoning not to discern the truth but to form and persist in beliefs characteristic of her group, a tendency known as “identity-protective cognition.”

[...] Conceptually, curiosity has properties directly opposed to those of identity-protective cognition. Whereas the latter evinces a hardened resistance to exploring evidence that could challenge one’s existing views, the former consists of a hunger for the unexpected, driven by the anticipated pleasure of surprise. In that state, the defensive sentries of existing opinion have necessarily been made to stand down. One could reasonably expect, then, that those disposed toward science curiosity would be more open-minded and as a result less polarized along cultural lines.

This is exactly what we see when we test this conjecture empirically. In general population surveys, diverse citizens who score high on the Science Curiosity Scale (SCS) are less divided than are their low-scoring peers.

[...] The findings on science curiosity also have implications for the practice of science communication. Merely imparting information is unlikely to be effective—and could even backfire—in a society that has failed to inculcate curiosity in its citizens and that doesn’t engage curiosity when communicating policy-relevant science.


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday December 12, @03:04AM   Printer-friendly
from the communications-issues dept.

Michael Kovrig, former Canadian diplomat, reportedly arrested in China

A former Canadian diplomat has reportedly been arrested in China. The International Crisis Group said Tuesday it's aware of reports that its North East Asia senior adviser Michael Kovrig has been detained.

The Brussels-based non-governmental organization said in a statement it's doing everything possible to obtain additional information about Kovrig's whereabouts and that it will work to ensure his prompt release.

The Globe and Mail in Toronto and the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported the arrest, citing unnamed sources.

Reports of Kovrig's detention come after China warned Canada of consequences for its recent arrest of Huawei executive Meng Wanzhou at Vancouver's airport. It's unclear if there's any link between the cases.

Some Chinese companies ban iPhones, require Huawei after CFO's arrest: report

Some Chinese companies are banning iPhones and requiring that their employees use Huawei products following the arrest of Huawei's chief financial officer, according to a new Yahoo News report. Meng Wanzhou, the CFO of Chinese telecom giant Huawei, was arrested by Canadian authorities last Saturday at the request of the U.S. after allegedly violating trade sanctions against Iran. Chinese officials have strongly protested Meng's detention.

Now, Chinese companies are promoting Huawei and barring Apple, an American company. Menpad, an LCD display maker and Huawei supplier, on Monday said it will punish employees who buy iPhones with a fine equivalent to the American smartphone's market price, the South China Morning Post reported. It also vowed that the company will no longer buy American products, including office supplies and computers, and will offer a 15 percent subsidy for employees who are buying Huawei phones, according to the Post.

Japan's top three telcos to exclude Huawei, ZTE network equipment: Kyodo

Japan's big three telecom operators plan not to use current equipment and upcoming fifth-generation (5G) gear from China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd and ZTE Corp, Kyodo News reported on Monday.

The news, for which Kyodo did not cite sources, comes at a time of heightened scrutiny of Chinese tech firms by Washington and some prominent allies over ties to the Chinese government, driven by concerns they could be used by Beijing for spying. Last week sources told Reuters that Japan planned to ban government purchases of equipment from Huawei and ZTE to ensure strength in its defences against intelligence leaks and cyber attacks.

See also: How Meng Wanzhou's Arrest Might Backfire

Previously: Canada Arrests Huawei's Global Chief Financial Officer in Vancouver
Arrest of Huawei Executive Causing Discontent Among Chinese Elites

Related: New Law Bans U.S. Government from Buying Equipment from Chinese Telecom Giants ZTE and Huawei
Australia Bans China's Huawei (and maybe ZTE) from 5G Mobile Network Project
Washington Asks Allies to Drop Huawei


Original Submission