Tech News Feed

Rolls-Royce expects remote-controlled cargo ships by 2020

Engadget - 1 hour 49 min ago
Rolls-Royce isn't limiting its robotic transportation plans to luxury cars. The British transportation firm has outlined a strategy for deploying remote-controlled and autonomous cargo vessels. It's working on virtual decks where land-based crews cou...

Drivers Prefer Autonomous Cars That Don't Kill Them

SlashDot - 2 hours 13 min ago
"A new study shows that most people prefer that self-driving cars be programmed to save the most people in the event of an accident, even if it kills the driver," reports Information Week. "Unless they are the drivers." Slashdot reader MojoKid quotes an article from Hot Hardware about the new study, which was published by Science magazine. So if there is just one passenger aboard a car, and the lives of 10 pedestrians are at stake, the survey participants were perfectly fine with a self-driving car "killing" its passenger to save many more lives in return. But on the flip side, these same participants said that if they were shopping for a car to purchase or were a passenger, they would prefer to be within a vehicle that would protect their lives by any means necessary. Participants also balked at the notion of the government stepping in to regulate the "morality brain" of self-driving cars. The article warns about a future where "a harsh AI reality may whittle the worth of our very existence down to simple, unemotional percentages in a computer's brain." MIT's Media Lab is now letting users judge for themselves, in a free online game called "Moral Machine" simulating the difficult decisions that might someday have to be made by an autonomous self-driving car.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Rihanna to drop Sledgehammer: New 'Star Trek' single releasing Monday - CNET

CNET News - 3 hours 11 sec ago
Pop star Rihanna has teased the upcoming release of her single Sledgehammer, written for the soundtrack of upcoming film "Star Trek Beyond."

Wisconsin's sentencing algorithm faces a court battle

Engadget - 3 hours 32 min ago
Many people are nervous about the prospect of using algorithms to predict crime, and a legal battle in Wisconsin is illustrating why. The state's Supreme Court is close to ruling on an appeal from Eric Loomis, who claims that the justice system reli...

Religious Hacker Defaces 111 Escort Sites

SlashDot - 4 hours 15 min ago
An anonymous reader shares this article from Softpedia: A religiously-motivated Moroccan hacker has defaced 111 different web sites promoting escort services since last summer as part of an ongoing protest against the industry. "In January, the hacker defaced 79 escort websites," writes Softpedia. "His actions didn't go unnoticed, and on some online forums where escorts and webmasters of these websites met, his name was brought up in discussions and used to drive each other in implementing better Web security. While some webmasters did their job, some didn't. During the past days, the hacker has been busy defacing a new set of escort websites... Most of these websites bare ElSurveillance's defacement message even today... Most of the websites are from the UK." His newest round of attacks replace the sites with a pro-Palestine message and a quote from the quran, though in January Softpedia reported the attacker was also stealing data from some of the sites about their users' accounts.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Killing Off Surface 3 by December

PCMag News - 4 hours 57 min ago
We don't yet know if Microsoft is planning to replace it with, oh, a Surface 4.

Amazon said to be plan another brand blitz for Dash buttons - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 4 min ago
Dozens of new brands will be added to the lineup of tiny widgets, which people can click to purchase household goods through the internet retail giant, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Google reportedly ships its first non-Nexus phone this year

Engadget - 5 hours 5 min ago
You might not have to wait long to see whether or not rumors of Google having more say over phone designs are true. Sources speaking to the Telegraph claim that Google will release a smartphone with tighter controls over "design, manufacturing and...

Google and Facebook May Be Suppressing 'Extremist' Speech With Copyright Scanners

SlashDot - 5 hours 13 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes this article from The Verge: The systems that automatically enforce copyright laws on the internet may be expanding to block unfavorable speech. Reuters reports that Facebook, Google, and other companies are exploring automated removal of extremist content, and could be repurposing copyright takedown methods to identify and suppress it. It's unclear where the lines have been drawn, but the systems are likely targeted at radical messages on social networks from enemies of European powers and the United States. Leaders in the US and Europe have increasingly decried radical extremism on the internet and have attempted to enlist internet companies in a fight to suppress it. Many of those companies have been receptive to the idea and already have procedures to block violent and hateful content. Neither Facebook and Google would confirm automation of these efforts to Reuters, which relied on two anonymous sources who are "familiar with the process"... The secret identification and automated blocking of extremist speech would raise new, serious questions about the cooperation of private corporations with censorious governmental interests. Reuters calls it "a major step forward for internet companies that are eager to eradicate violent propaganda from their sites and are under pressure to do so from governments around the world as attacks by extremists proliferate, from Syria to Belgium and the United States." They also report that the move follows pressure from an anti-extremism group "founded by, among others, Frances Townsend, who advised former president George W. Bush on homeland security, and Mark Wallace, who was deputy campaign manager for the Bush 2004 re-election campaign."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Is The Future Of Television Watching on Fast-Forward?

SlashDot - 6 hours 12 min ago
The average American watches three hours of TV each day, and researchers have found that most people already prefer listening to accelerated speech. "After watching accelerated video on my computer for a few months, live television began to seem excruciatingly slow..." writes the Washington Post's Jeff Guo. "Movie theaters feel suffocating. I need to be able to fast-forward and rewind and accelerate and slow down, to be able to parcel my attention where it's needed..." Slashdot reader HughPickens.com distills some interesting points from Guo's article: You can play DVDs and iTunes purchases at whatever tempo you like, and a Google engineer has written a popular Chrome extension that accelerates most other Web videos, including on Netflix, Vimeo and Amazon Prime. Over 100,000 people have downloaded that plug-in, and the reviews are ecstatic. "Oh my God! I regret all the wasted time I've lived before finding this gem!!" one user wrote. According to Guo speeding up video is more than an efficiency hack. "I quickly discovered that acceleration makes viewing more pleasurable. "Modern Family" played at twice the speed is far funnier -- the jokes come faster and they seem to hit harder. I get less frustrated at shows that want to waste my time with filler plots or gratuitous violence. The faster pace makes it easier to appreciate the flow of the plot and the structure of the scenes." Guo writes that "I've come to believe this is the future of how we will appreciate television and movies. We will interrogate videos in new ways using our powers of time manipulation... we will all be watching on our own terms." Will this eventually become much more common? How many Slashdot readers are already watching speeded-up videos?

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

See the unusual way cancer cells spread

Engadget - 6 hours 37 min ago
In many ways, the biggest problem with fighting cancer is containing it: you may kill the main tumor site, but there's a real chance that it'll spread and reemerge as a threat. At last, though, scientists have a better understanding of how that migr...

Destiny Starts Waving Goodbye to Gamers on Legacy Consoles

PCMag News - 6 hours 58 min ago
if you're still playing Destiny on an Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3, life is about to get more complicated.

As It Searches For Suspects, The FBI May Be Looking At You

SlashDot - 7 hours 17 min ago
schwit1 quotes the MIT Technology Review: The FBI has access to nearly 412 million photos in its facial recognition system—perhaps including the one on your driver's license. But according to a new government watchdog report, the bureau doesn't know how error-prone the system is, or whether it enhances or hinders investigations. Since 2011, the bureau has quietly been using this system to compare new images, such as those taken from surveillance cameras, against a large set of photos to look for a match. That set of existing images is not limited to the FBI's own database, which includes some 30 million photos. The bureau also has access to face recognition systems used by law enforcement agencies in 16 different states, and it can tap into databases from the Department of State and the Department of Defense. And it is in negotiations with 18 other states to be able to search their databases, too... Adding to the privacy concerns is another finding in the GAO report: that the FBI has not properly determined how often its system makes errors and has not "taken steps to determine whether face recognition systems used by external partners, such as states and federal agencies, are sufficiently accurate" to support investigations.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

South Korea hopes traffic signs will cut phone distractions

Engadget - 8 hours 14 min ago
Cities have tried a number of exotic solutions to get phone-toting pedestrians to focus on where they're going (or at least, out of the way). However, Seoul thinks there's a simpler answer: traffic signs. The South Korean capital is testing signs t...

New C++ Features Voted In By C++17 Standards Committee

SlashDot - 8 hours 15 min ago
New submitter lefticus writes: The upcoming C++17 standard has reached Committee Draft stage, having been voted on in the standards committee meeting in Oulu, Finland this Saturday. This makes C++17 now feature complete, with many new interesting features such as if initializers and structured bindings having been voted in at this meeting. An [audio] interview with the C++ committee chair, Herb Sutter, about the status of C++17 has also been posted.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A New 'Quake' Episode Appears 20 Years Later

SlashDot - 9 hours 16 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes this report from Motherboard: The months leading up to this year's phenomenal reboot of Doom were stuffed with all kinds of fun developments surrounding the original series, whether it was mods that let you play as Duke Nukem or whole new levels from famed designer John Romero. There's now a new Quake game in the works, and already it appears to be enjoying a similar renaissance. Yesterday MachineGames, the studio behind Wolfenstein: The New Order, released an entirely new episode for the original Quake in celebration of its 20-year anniversary, and you can play it entirely for free.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chrome exploit makes life easier for video pirates

Engadget - 9 hours 45 min ago
Media giants insist on copy protection systems in browsers to prevent bootleggers from copying video streams, but these anti-piracy measures aren't foolproof. Security researchers have found a flaw in Chrome (and any Chromium-based browser) that cir...

Kanye West begs to be sued for new naked celebrities video - CNET

CNET News - 10 hours 17 min ago
Technically Incorrect: On Twitter, West hopes that Donald Trump, Chris Brown, George W. Bush or anyone depicted naked in his new "Future" video" will sue him. The memes flow.

'Linux vs Windows' Challenge: Phoronix Tests Popular Games

SlashDot - 10 hours 17 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Michael Larabel at Phoronix has combined their new results from intensive Linux/Windows performance testing for popular games on Intel, AMD, and NVIDIA graphics cards, and at different resolutions. "This makes it easy to see the Linux vs. Windows performance overall or for games where the Linux ports are simply rubbish and performing like crap compared to the native Windows game." The games tested included Xonotic, Tomb Raider, Grid Autosport, Dota 2, Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, F1 2015, and Company of Heroes 2 -- and the results were surprising. Xonotic v0.8 outperformed Windows with a NVIDIA card, but "The poor Xonotic performance on Linux with the Intel driver was one of the biggest surprises from yesterday's article. It's not anything we've seen with the other drivers." And while testing on the Source 2 engine revealed that Valve's Dota 2 "is a quality Linux port," most of the other results were disappointing -- regardless of the graphics card and driver. "Tomb Raider on Linux performs much worse than the Windows build regardless of your driver/graphics card... Shadow of Mordor's relative Linux performance is more decent than many other Linux games albeit still isn't running at the same speeds as the Windows games..." The article concludes with a note of optimism. "Hopefully in due time with the next generation of games making use of Vulkan...we'll see better performance relative to Windows." Have Slashdot readers seen any performance issues while playing games on Linux?

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Remember When You Could Call the Time?

SlashDot - 11 hours 17 min ago
An article on The Atlantic this week takes a stroll down the memory lane. It talks about phone services that people could call for knowing the time. The service, according to the article, was quite popular in 1980s. But many of them don't exist now. For instance, Verizon discontinued the line -- as well as its telephone weather service -- in 2011. But what's fascinating is that some of these services still exist, and are getting more traction than many of us would've imagined. From the article:"We get 3 million calls per year!" said Demetrios Matsakis, the chief scientist for time services at the Naval Observatory. "And there's an interesting sociology to it. They don't call as much on the weekend, and the absolute minimum time they call is Christmas. On big holidays, people don't care about the time. But we get a big flood of calls when we switch to Daylight [saving] time and back." As it turns out, people have been telephoning the time for generations. In the beginning, a telephone-based time service must have seemed like a natural extension of telegraph-based timekeeping -- but it would have been radical in its own way, too, because it represented a key shift to an on-demand service. In the 19th century, big railroad companies had used the telegraph to transmit the time to major railway stations. By the early 20th century, people could simply pick up the telephone and ask a human operator for the time.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pages