Tech News Feed

The Morning After: The iPhone SE returns

Engadget - 42 min 20 sec ago
Some of you might be enjoying the day off, but for others it's just another Monday. Over the weekend, you might have missed out on the fact that Apple's last small iPhone has made a reappearance with a clearance price tag, and Baywatch is back -- on...

Drone giant DJI will take a huge loss due to employee fraud

Engadget - 1 hour 29 min ago
The world's largest drone-maker, DJI, has reported that it will take a loss of up to a billion yuan ($150 million) due to employee fraud, according to Bloomberg and other sources. The company said that it fired multiple employees who apparently infla...

Paris Will Make Public Transportation Free for Kids

SlashDot - 2 hours 1 min ago
In a plan to help families and reduce car usage, anyone under 11 years old will be able to ride metro and buses for free, as will people with disabilities under 20. From a report: Starting in September, Paris is making all public transit free for people under 11, including non-nationals. Preteens aren't the only ones getting a bonus, either. All people with disabilities will get free public transit until the age of 20, while high school students between the ages of 14 and 18 will be entitled to a 50 percent tariff reduction. To make transit access for this group even easier, any 14- to 18-year-olds who buy a travel pass will also get a free bikeshare account as well. The plans, which apply across the Greater Paris region and cost an estimated $17 million a year, are part of a staggered plan to make things cheaper for people with mobility challenges. Already last spring, the region introduced a (means-tested) scheme by which adults with disabilities and all people over 65 got a free annual travel pass if they were on a low-to-medium income. This new plan to extend cheap or no fares toward younger people should make the public transit system more widely accessible and prove to be a happy cost-saver for families.

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German climate proposals could put an end to no-limit Autobahns

Engadget - 3 hours 35 min ago
Germany's Autobahns are legendary for segments with no speed limits, but you might have to wave goodbye to those unfettered driving experiences. Reuters has obtained draft proposals from a transport committee that would cap speeds at 130km/h (about...

FMV game 'Telling Lies' to include stars from 'X-Men' and 'Westworld'

Engadget - 5 hours 48 min ago
The sequel to the hit indie game Her Story will have a relatively star-studded cast. Creator Sam Barlow and Annapurna Interactive have revealed the main cast for Telling Lies, and you might just recognize some of them even if they aren't mega-stars....

Bug Bounties Aren't Silver Bullet for Better Security

SlashDot - 7 hours 1 min ago
Many organizations may find they're better off hiring pen testers and in-house security researchers directly than running bug bounty programs, according to new MIT research. From a report: The New Solutions for Cybersecurity paper features a surprising analysis of bug bounty programs in the chapter, Fixing a Hole: The Labor Market for Bugs. It studied 61 HackerOne bounty programs over 23 months -- including those run for Twitter, Coinbase, Square and other big names -- and one Facebook program over 45 months. It claimed that, contrary to industry hype, organizations running these programs don't benefit from a large pool of white hats probing their products. Instead, an elite few produce the biggest volume and highest quality of bug reports across multiple products, earning the biggest slice of available rewards. It's also claimed that even these elite "top 1%" ethical hackers can't make a decent wage by Western standards.

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'Fortnite' Ice Storm event blankets the map in snow

Engadget - Sun, 2019-01-20 23:14
Fortnite has had its share of map-changing events, but its latest might be the most conspicuous to date. Epic kicked off its Ice Storm event on January 19th through an in-game spectacle where the mysterious ice sphere (added with the recent 7.20 pat...

Chevy made a full-size Silverado truck out of Lego bricks

Engadget - Sun, 2019-01-20 21:41
Hey, Bugatti, you're not the only one who can fashion a full-size car out of toy bricks as a publicity stunt. Chevy has enlisted the help of students from Oxford Community School and Ralph Waldo Emerson Elementary to create a one-for-one rendition o...

Total Lunar Eclipse Set To Wow Star Gazers, Clear Skies Willing

SlashDot - Sun, 2019-01-20 21:30
Astronomy buffs across the United States have been promised all the makings of a spectacular total lunar eclipse on Sunday except one -- clear skies. From a report: Star gazers from Los Angeles to New York will keep their eyes on the sky for the eclipse, known as a super blood wolf moon, expected to appear at 11:41 p.m. EST. Although it is a total eclipse, the moon will never go completely dark but rather take on a coppery red glow -- called a blood moon. It is also a full moon that is especially close to Earth, called a supermoon. And since it appears in January, when wolves howled in hunger outside villages, it has earned the name wolf moon, according to The Farmers Almanac. But no matter how perfectly the stars align for this stellar event, the thrill or disappointment of the evening really depends on one thing: the weather.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez drops in on Twitch stream, says Nintendo 64 is the best console - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2019-01-20 20:49
Aaron Sorkin told democrats like AOC to stop acting like "young people", so she went on a Donkey Kong livestream and talked about Pokemon Snap and why the N64 is the best console.

Netflix renews 'The Kominsky Method' after Golden Globe wins

Engadget - Sun, 2019-01-20 20:08
Netflix isn't shy about its pursuit of critical glory. The streaming giant has renewed The Kominsky Method for a second season just a couple of weeks after it won two Golden Globe awards for best actor in a musical or comedy (Michael Douglas) and be...

MIDI Association Announces MIDI 2.0 Prototyping

SlashDot - Sun, 2019-01-20 20:00
MIDI was introduced at the 1983 NAMM show as a means to connect various electronic instruments together. Since then, our favorite five-pin DIN has been stuffed into Radio Shack keyboards, MPCs, synths, eurorack modules, and DAWs. The standard basically hasn't changed. Now, ahead of the 2019 NAMM show, the MIDI Manufacturers Association (MMA) in conjunction with AMEI, Japan's MIDI Association, are announcing MIDI 2.0. From a report: The new features include, "auto-configuration, new DAW/web integrations, extended resolution, increased expressiveness, and tighter timing." It will retain backwards-compatibility with MIDI 1.0 devices. The new initiative, like the release of the first MIDI spec, is a joint venture between manufacturers of musical instruments. The company lineup on this press release is as follows: Ableton/Cycling '74, Art+Logic, Bome Software, Google, imitone, Native Instruments, Roland, ROLI, Steinberg, TouchKeys, and Yamaha.

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How Orkney Leads the Way For Sustainable Energy

SlashDot - Sun, 2019-01-20 18:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: It seems the stuff of fantasy. Giant ships sail the seas burning fuel that has been extracted from water using energy provided by the winds, waves and tides. A dramatic but implausible notion, surely. Yet this grand green vision could soon be realised thanks to a remarkable technological transformation that is now under way in Orkney. Perched 10 miles beyond the northern edge of the British mainland, this archipelago of around 20 populated islands -- as well as a smattering of uninhabited reefs and islets -- has become the centre of a revolution in the way electricity is generated. Orkney was once utterly dependent on power that was produced by burning coal and gas on the Scottish mainland and then transmitted through an undersea cable. Today the islands are so festooned with wind turbines, they cannot find enough uses for the emission-free power they create on their own. Community-owned wind turbines generate power for local villages; islanders drive nonpolluting cars that run on electricity; devices that can turn the energy of the waves and the tides into electricity are being tested in the islands' waters and seabed; and -- in the near future -- car and passenger ferries here will be fuelled not by diesel but by hydrogen, created from water that has been electrolysed using power from Orkney's wind, wave and tide generators.

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Ducati confirms plans for an electric motorcycle

Engadget - Sun, 2019-01-20 18:32
Ducati has hinted at a desire to make electric motorcycles before, but it's committing in a more substantial way. Company chief Claudio Domenicali told guests at a Spanish event that the "future is electric" and the company was "not far from startin...

GoFundMe launches its own campaign for government shutdown relief - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2019-01-20 18:08
And in a day, it's already two-thirds of the way to its fundraising goal of $75,000.

A Poker-Playing Robot Goes To Work for the Pentagon

SlashDot - Sun, 2019-01-20 18:00
In 2017, a poker bot called Libratus made headlines when it roundly defeated four top human players at no-limit Texas Hold 'Em. Now, Libratus' technology is being adapted to take on opponents of a different kind -- in service of the US military. From a report: Libratus -- Latin for balanced -- was created by researchers from Carnegie Mellon University to test ideas for automated decision making based on game theory. Early last year, the professor who led the project, Tuomas Sandholm, founded a startup called Strategy Robot to adapt his lab's game-playing technology for government use, such as in war games and simulations used to explore military strategy and planning. Late in August, public records show, the company received a two-year contract of up to $10 million with the US Army. It is described as "in support of" a Pentagon agency called the Defense Innovation Unit, created in 2015 to woo Silicon Valley and speed US military adoption of new technology. [...] Sandholm declines to discuss specifics of Strategy Robot's projects, which include at least one other government contract. He says it can tackle simulations that involve making decisions in a simulated physical space, such as where to place military units. The Defense Innovation Unit declined to comment on the project, and the Army did not respond to requests for comment. Libratus' poker technique suggests Strategy Robot might deliver military personnel some surprising recommendations. Pro players who took on the bot found that it flipped unnervingly between tame and hyperaggressive tactics, all the while relentlessly notching up wins as it calculated paths to victory.

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The Economics of Streaming is Making Songs Shorter

SlashDot - Sun, 2019-01-20 17:33
Popular music is shrinking. From 2013 to 2018, the average song on the Billboard Hot 100 fell from 3 minutes and 50 seconds to about 3 minutes and 30 seconds. From a report: Six percent of hit songs were 2 minutes 30 seconds or shorter in 2018, up from just 1% five years before. Take Kendrick Lamar. One of the world's most popular musicians right now. The average track length on Lamar's breakout 2013 album good kid, m.A.A.d city is 5 minutes 37 seconds. All are 3 minutes 30 seconds or longer. On Lamar's most recent album DAMN., the average song is 3 minutes and 57 seconds. DAMN. won the Pulitzer Prize for music, going to show that this trend isn't necessarily lowering the quality of music. It's not just Lamar. The trend can be seen in albums of music's biggest stars, like the rapper and singer Drake, perhaps pop music's most dominant force.

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Uber is hiring robotics teams to work on bikes and scooters

Engadget - Sun, 2019-01-20 17:01
Uber is only gradually resuming its self-driving car program, but it's already thinking about expanding that technology to its two-wheeled services. The Telegraph has discovered that Uber is hiring for a "micromobility robotics" team that would brin...

Popular WordPress Plugin WPML Hacked By Angry Former Employee

SlashDot - Sun, 2019-01-20 17:00
A very popular WordPress plugin was hacked over the weekend after a hacker defaced its website and sent a mass message to all its customers revealing the existence of supposed unpatched security holes. From a report: In a follow-up mass email, the plugin's developers blamed the hack on a former employee, who also defaced their website. The plugin in question is WPML (or WP MultiLingual), the most popular WordPress plugin for translating and serving WordPress sites in multiple languages. According to its website, WPML has over 600,000 paying customers and is one of the very few WordPress plugins that is so reputable that it doesn't need to advertise itself with a free version on the official plugins repository. But on Saturday, ET timezone, the plugin faced its first major security incident since its launch in 2007. The attacker, which the WPML team claims is a former employee, sent out a mass email to all the plugin's customers.

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Facebook is adding petitions to your news feed - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2019-01-20 16:14
"Community Actions" will start rolling out to users in the US on Monday.