Tech News Feed

Apple research gives a peek at its self-driving car plans

Engadget - Wed, 2017-11-22 07:01
Apply, which has been famously tight-lipped on its self-driving vehicle research, has posted what looks like its first public research on the subject, notes Reuters. The paper is listed on the public site Arxiv, often used by researchers to get preli...

CNET Holiday Buyer's Guide Live: Join us Monday at 10 a.m. PT/1 p.m. ET - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2017-11-22 07:00
Stream along with CNET on Cyber Monday for great deals and answers to your burning holiday shopping questions.

Black Hole Pretenders May Be Superfast-Spinning Pulsars

Scientifc America - Wed, 2017-11-22 07:00
Unraveling the murky origins of these cosmic imposters could lead to breakthroughs in understanding the lives and deaths of stars

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

Puppy-Dog Eyes May Have Evolved in Stages

Scientifc America - Wed, 2017-11-22 06:45
Dingoes’ brief glances may have been a stepping-stone to Fido’s longer loving stares

-- Read more on ScientificAmerican.com

UK data watchdog opens its own investigation into Uber hack

Engadget - Wed, 2017-11-22 06:10
After reports emerged yesterday that Uber had suffered a massive data breach, the UK's Information Commissioner's Office (ICO) has said it has "huge concerns" and has confirmed it has launched its own investigation into company's decision to cover it...

The Morning After: Wednesday, November 22nd 2017

Engadget - Wed, 2017-11-22 06:00
Hey, good morning! The plan for the end of net neutrality is coming. We'll hear all the details later today, but let us distract you with cigar-shaped asteroids, and ooh, Animal Crossing on your smartphone.

Russia Detects a Significant Radiation Spike In Mountains Close To Soviet-Era Nuclear Plant

SlashDot - Wed, 2017-11-22 05:00
According to a report via The New York Times, Russia said that it had detected a significant radiation spike in the Ural Mountains, close to a sprawling Soviet-era nuclear plant still remembered as the site of an accident 60 years ago. Russia did however reject suggestions that it was the source of a radioactive cloud that hovered over Europe. From the report: The location of the spike -- in the Chelyabinsk region near the border with Kazakhstan -- has been identified by French and German nuclear safety institutions as a potential source for a concentration of a radioactive isotope called ruthenium 106 detected in the air in late September above several European countries. But nuclear energy authorities in Moscow insisted Monday that still-higher levels of atmospheric contamination had been detected outside Russia, in southeastern Europe. Reports of the elevated radiation levels over Western Europe raised alarms, but nuclear safety authorities in France and Germany said there was no threat to human health or to the environment -- an assurance repeated on Tuesday by Moscow. The Russian state weather service Roshydromet said it had found what the Russian news media described as "extremely high pollution" at two monitoring facilities within a 62-mile radius of the Mayak nuclear reprocessing and isotope production plant. A weather station in the town of Argayash recorded ruthenium 106 levels that were 986 times higher than a month earlier, the state weather agency said. A second station at Novogorny detected levels 440 times higher. Ruthenium 106, which does not occur naturally and has a half-life of about a year, is used for medical purposes. For weeks, Russian officials had denied the French and German accusations. Citing the results of its own air monitoring on European territory, Moscow pointed to high radiation levels over Romania, Italy and Ukraine, insisting that there had been only a negligible presence of ruthenium 106 on Russian territory. On Tuesday, even after the Russian agency acknowledged the radiation spike in the Urals, Maxim Yakovenko, the head of Roshydromet, said in a statement that higher levels of contamination had been detected in Romania than in Russia. "The published data is not sufficient to establish the location of the pollution source," he said. The authorities at Mayak denied in a news release on Tuesday that the plant had contributed to the increased levels of ruthenium 106 and insisted that there was no threat to human beings.

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Belgium moves to ban 'Star Wars Battlefront 2'-style loot boxes

Engadget - Wed, 2017-11-22 04:40
We learned last week that Belgium's gambling authority was investigating loot crates in Star Wars Battlefront II over concerns that they constitute gambling. Now, the decision is in, and the answer is a resounding yes, according to Dutch-language pub...

ProtonMail will use encryption to lock down your contacts list

Engadget - Wed, 2017-11-22 03:23
About a year and a half ago, ProtonMail opened up its previously invite-only beta encrypted email service to the public, along with a couple of mobile apps. A couple of months ago, ProtonMail created a free tier for its VPN service, too. Now the comp...

Google voice recognition could transcribe doctor visits

Engadget - Wed, 2017-11-22 02:02
Doctors work long hours, and a disturbingly large part of that is documenting patient visits -- one study indicates that they spend 6 hours of an 11-hour day making sure their records are up to snuff. But how do you streamline that work without hiri...

Microsoft Confirms Surface Book 2 Can't Stay Charged During Gaming Sessions

SlashDot - Wed, 2017-11-22 02:00
The Verge mentioned in their review that the Surface Book 2's power supply can't charge the battery fast enough to prevent it from draining in some cases. Microsoft has since confirmed that "in some intense, prolonged gaming scenarios with Power Mode Slider set to 'best performance' the battery may discharge while connected to the power supply." Engadget reports: To let you choose between performance and battery life, the Surface Book has a range of power settings. If you're doing video editing or other GPU intensive tasks, you can crank it up to "best performance" to activate the NVIDIA GPU and get more speed. Battery drain is normally not an issue with graphics apps because the chip only kicks in when needed. You'll also need the "best performance" setting for GPU-intensive games, as they'll slow down or drop frames otherwise. The problem is that select titles like Destiny 2 use the NVIDIA chip nearly continuously, pulling up to 70 watts of power on top of the 35 watt CPU. Unfortunately, the Surface Book comes with a 102-watt charger, and only about 95 watts of that reaches the device, the Verge points out. Microsoft says that the power management system will prevent the battery from draining completely, even during intense gaming, but it would certainly mess up your Destiny 2 session. It also notes that the machine is intended for designers, developers and engineers, with the subtext that it's not exactly marketed as a gaming rig.

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Reddit sees red over proposed net neutrality changes - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2017-11-22 01:55
The "front page of the internet" has lit up in red, with sub-reddits devoted to everything from books to NASCAR all protesting net neutrality.

'The Big Sick' arrives on Amazon Prime - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2017-11-22 00:00
The critically acclaimed film starring Kumail Nanjiani comes to Amazon's streaming video service.

Live-action Pokémon movie lands its lead actor

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-21 23:51
We're one step closer to finding out what a live-action Pokémon film looks like. Legendary Pictures has already nabbed writers for its Detective Pikachu movie (in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy scribe Nicole Perlman and Gravity Falls penm...

Video game makers' 'predatory behavior' in lawmaker's sights - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2017-11-21 23:41
Hawaiian representative likens Star Wars Battlefront II to an "online casino" for kids.

Google Shopping is becoming a lot like browsing on Amazon

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-21 22:49
Google Shopping is getting some new tricks ahead of the busiest retail season of the year. Specifically, when you're looking for a coffee grinder or pair of headphones, now Google will populate search results with buying guides from editorial publica...

How the Sugar Industry Tried To Hide Health Effects of Its Product 50 Years Ago

SlashDot - Tue, 2017-11-21 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: About 50 years ago, the sugar industry stopped funding research that began to show something they wanted to hide: that eating lots of sugar is linked to heart disease. A new study exposes the sugar industry's decades-old effort to stifle that critical research. Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, recently analyzed historical documents regarding a rat study called Project 259 that was launched in 1968. The study was funded by a sugar industry trade group called the International Sugar Research Foundation, or ISRF, and conducted by W. F. R. Pover at the University of Birmingham. When the preliminary findings from that study began to show that eating lots of sugar might be associated with heart disease, and even bladder cancer, the ISRF pulled the plug on the research. Without additional funding, the study was terminated and the results were never published, according to a study published today in PLOS Biology. The study in question investigated the relationship between sugars and certain blood fats called triglycerides, which increase the risk of heart disease. The preliminary results from the research, called Project 259, suggested that rats on a high-sugar diet, instead of a starch diet, had higher levels of triglycerides. The rats that ate lots of sugar also had higher levels of an enzyme called beta-glucuronidase in their urine, which at the time was thought to be potentially linked to bladder cancer, says study co-author Cristin Kearns, an assistant professor at the UCSF School of Dentistry.

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Dark streaks on Mars may not be caused by flowing water

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-21 22:02
In 2015, scientists analyzing mysterious dark streaks on the surface of Mars found evidence that they were formed by liquid water -- an exciting discovery that meant microbial life might be supported on the planet. But new findings published this wee...

FTC may investigate TripAdvisor over deleted posts, but it isn't yet

Engadget - Tue, 2017-11-21 21:26
Earlier this month, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported that TripAdvisor had deleted multiple posts from users warning others about incidents of assault and rape that had taken place at a certain resorts in Mexico. Since then, the journal says th...

$31 Million In Tokens Stolen From Dollar-Pegged Cryptocurrency Tether

SlashDot - Tue, 2017-11-21 21:10
Mark Wilson shares a report from BetaNews: All eyes may be on the meteoric rise of Bitcoin at the moment, but it's far from being the only cryptocurrency on the block. Startup Tether issued a critical announcement after it was discovered that "malicious action by an external attacker" had led to the theft of nearly $31 million worth of tokens. Tether is a dollar-pegged cryptocurrency formerly known as Realcoin, and it says that $30,950,010 was stolen from a treasury wallet. The company says it is doing what it can to ensure exchanges do not process these tokens, including temporarily suspending its backend wallet service. Tether knows the address used by the attacker to make the theft, but is not aware of either who the attacker is, or how the attack took place. The company is releasing a new version of its Omni Core software client in what it says is "effectively a temporary hard fork to the Omni Layer."

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