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Updated: 8 min 7 sec ago

Apple Introduces New File System AFPS With Tons Of 'Solid' Features

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 2:00pm
On the sidelines of its Worldwide Developer's Conference, Apple also quietly unveiled a new file system dubbed APFS (Apple File System). Here's how the company describes it: HFS+ and its predecessor HFS are more than 30 years old. These file systems were developed in an era of floppy disks and spinning hard drives, where file sizes were calculated in kilobytes or megabytes. Today, solid-state drives store millions of files, accounting for gigabytes or terabytes of data. There is now also a greater importance placed on keeping sensitive information secure and safe from prying eyes. A new file system is needed to meet the current needs of Apple products, and support new technologies for decades to come.Ars Technica dived into the documentation to find that APFS comes with a range of "solid" features including support for 64-bit inode numbering, and improved granularity of object time-stamping. "APFS supports nanosecond time stamp granularity rather than the 1-second time stamp granularity in HFS+." It also supports copy-on-write metadata scheme which aims to ensure that file system commits and writes to the file system journal stay in sync even if "something happens during the write -- like if the system loses power." The new file system offers an improvement over Apple's previous full-disk encryption File Vault application. It also features Snapshots (that lets you throw off a read-only instant of a file system at any given point in time), and Clones. According to the documentation, APFS can create file or directory clones -- and like a proper next-generation file system, it does so instantly, rather than having to wait for data to be copied. From the report: Also interesting is the concept of "space sharing," where multiple volumes can be created out of the same chunk of underlying physical space. This sounds on first glance a lot like enterprise-style thin provisioning, where you can do things like create four 1TB volumes on a single 1TB disk, and each volume grows as space is added to it. You can add physical storage to keep up with the volume's growth without having to resize the logical volume.As the documentation notes, things are in early stage, so it might take a while before AFPS becomes available to general users.

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Assange: Wikileaks Will Publish 'Enough Evidence' To Indict Hillary Clinton

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 1:00pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via RT: Julian Assange says Wikileaks will have "a very big year" as it will publish enough new information about Hillary Clinton to indict her. In an ITV interview about the Democratic presidential candidate, Assange said, "We have emails relating to Hillary Clinton which are pending publication." As it stands, about 32,000 emails from Clinton's private server have been leaked by Wikileaks. Assange has yet to comment on how many new emails will be released or when they will be published. While he thinks there will be enough to indict Clinton, he doesn't think it will happen under Attorney General Loretta Lynch. He does think "the FBI can push for concessions from the new Clinton government in exchange for its lack of indictment." Specifically, Assange revealed the leaked emails show that she overrode the Pentagon's reluctance to overthrow sovereign Libyan leader Muammar Gaddafi in 2011, and that "they predicted the post-war outcome would be what it is, which is ISIS taking over the country." Clinton's email controversy came to light in 2013 after a hacker named Guccifer breached her personal server.

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Repurposing Drugs To Tackle Cancer

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 10:00am
sackvillian writes: Many Slashdotters are aware of the infamous thalidomide birth defect crisis. What might come as a surprise is the incredible success that thalidomide and some analogs have recently found as treatments for cancer, ulcers, lupus, and more. In fact, thanks in part to their success, there's a growing research movement that's attempting to treat cancer with other existing drugs that are commonly used for totally unrelated conditions. Drugs as common as aspirin, which is in the early stages of a clinical trial that will involve over 10,000 cancer patients, are being used. As described in the article written by The Guardian, at least one major international collaboration has taken this approach: The Repurposing Drugs in Oncology (ReDO) project. However, as most of the drugs are long since off-patent, researchers are having to be creative in obtaining funding for their work. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden unveiled a public database for clinical data on cancer that aims to help researchers and doctors better tailor new treatments to individuals.

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Alienware Launches Laptop With QHD OLED Display After 20 Years of Business

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 7:00am
MojoKid writes from a report via HotHardware: Dell's Alienware 13 gaming notebook has been popular among gamers and power users that want a little more horsepower in a relatively light 4.5 pound 13-inch machine. However, over the past couple of years, Alienware hasn't changed-up the design much -- until today that is. [In celebration of its 20th anniversary], the company is officially making the OLED display equipped Alienware 13 available today, which they debuted back in January at CES. Initial testing and review impressions show that, as expected, the OLED display sure is gorgeous. The OLED display of the Alienware 13 is also representative of a full revamp (except for the skins), including a 6th generation Intel Skylake Core series processor and an NVMe Solid State Drive. The real kicker, however, is that Alienware's 13.3-inch QHD (2560X1440) OLED display offers great saturation and contrast with an extremely crisp 1ms pixel response time that delivers beautiful image quality, whether working in content creation, or in fast-moving action while gaming. Viewing angles with the display are also superior to high-end IPS panels including Dell's own XPS 15 with its near bezel-less Infinity Edge panel. At E3 2016, AMD announced the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460, which will join the RX 480 in the company's Polaris family.

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Amazon Faces $350K Fine For Shipping 'Amazing Liquid Fire'

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 3:30am
An anonymous reader writes: The FAA has ruled that Amazon will face a $350,000 fine for shipping a one-gallon container of "Amazing Liquid Fire" by air. The corrosive drain cleaner was sent by air from Louisville, Kentucky, to Boulder, Colorado, on October 15, 2014. The container leaked during transit and nine UPS employees came into contact with the chemical, which caused a "burning sensation on their skin" that had to be treated with a chemical wash. According to Computerworld, "The FAA ruled the shipment wasn't packaged properly, wasn't accompanied by a declaration of dangerous goods, and was not properly marked or labeled as a hazardous package. It also said Amazon didn't provide emergency response information with the package and had not provided hazardous material training to employees who handled the package." The FAA said in a statement, "Amazon has a history of violating the Hazardous Materials Regulations." They apparently violated the rules 24 other times.

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New Device Sold On The Dark Web Can Clone Up To 15 Contactless Cards Per Second

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 1:50am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: "A criminal group going under the name of The CC Buddies is selling a hi-tech device on the Dark Web that's capable of copying details from contactless debit cards if held as close as eight centimeters away from a victim's card," reports Softpedia. The device, named Contactless Infusion X5, is extremely dangerous because it can copy up to 15 bank cards per second, something that may come in handy if a crook is going through a crowd at a concert or through a crowded subway cart. The device can collect data such as the card's number and expiration date. If the debit card's RFID chip stores information such as the card holder's name, home address, and a mini statement, X5 can steal that data as well. The X5 is sold on the Dark Web for only 1.2 Bitcoin (~$825), and its creators say that each buyer will receive the X5 device, a USB cable for charging and data transfers, and 20 blank plastic cards.

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First SpaceX Missions To Mars: 'Dangerous and Probably People Will Die'

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 1:10am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: As we get close to the end of September, when Elon Musk has promised to lay bare his plans for colonizing Mars at an international space conference, it seems like the ambitious founder of SpaceX can hardly contain his excitement. In an interview with The Washington Post, Musk gushed, "I'm so tempted to talk more about the details of it. But I have to restrain myself." SpaceX fandom has speculated for years about details of Musk's ideas, which include the Mars Colonial Transporter concept. The Transporter likely consists of a large first stage rocket and an upper stage spacecraft meant to deliver hundreds of people to the surface of Mars during the late 2020s and 2030s. Unlike NASA, which relies on public money and is therefore risk averse when it comes to "loss of crew" requirements for human missions into space, SpaceX appears to be willing to take some risks with the unprecedented exploration to Mars. Those first explorers would understand the perils, just as the pioneers who explored the New World or the poles of Earth did. "Hopefully there's enough people who are like that who are willing to go build the foundation, at great risk, for a Martian city," Musk told Washington Post. "It's dangerous and probably people will die -- and they'll know that." Eventually it will be safe to go to Mars, Musk said, and living there will be comfortable. But this is many years into the future, he acknowledged.

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Scientists Amplify Light Using Sound On a Silicon Chip

Tue, 14/06/2016 - 12:30am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Yale scientists have found a way to greatly boost the intensity of light waves on a silicon microchip using the power of sound. Writing in the journal Nature Photonics, a team led by Peter Rakich describes a new waveguide system that harnesses the ability to precisely control the interaction of light and sound waves. "Silicon is the basis for practically all microchip technologies," said Rakich, who is an assistant professor of applied physics and physics at Yale. "The ability to combine both light and sound in silicon permits us to control and process information in new ways that weren't otherwise possible." Rakich said combining the two capabilities "is like giving a UPS driver an amphibious vehicle -- you can find a much more efficient route for delivery when traveling by land or water." "Figuring out how to shape this interaction without losing amplification was the real challenge," said Eric Kittlaus, a graduate student in Rakich's lab and the study's first author. "With precise control over the light-sound interaction, we will be able to create devices with immediate practical uses, including new types of lasers." The researchers said there are commercial applications for the technology in a number of areas, including fiber-optic communications and signal processing. The system is part of a larger body of research the Rakich lab has conducted for the past five years, focused on designing new microchip technologies for light.

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Apple's Stock iOS Apps Land On App Store, Hints That It Could Allow People To Get Rid Of Them

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 11:50pm
For years, people have expressed their desire to be able to remove apps such as Mail, Stocks, Compass, Calculator, Watch, and Weather among others that come preinstalled on their iPhone and iPad. Apple is finally making it possible, it appears. TechCrunch reports: Apple quietly published these apps to its iTunes website today (some are live now), but has not yet officially announced the change on stage at WWDC. Product Hunt spotted the Mail app in iTunes thanks to a tweet from Owen Williams, leading to speculation that Apple's other apps will be made available through the App Store, as well. As it turned out, they were.This was a big issue especially for those users who go for the 16GB variant of the iPhone or iPad, as it has limited storage capacity, and these apps would eat up a significant part of it. The company had previously commented on the issue, noting that these apps work in conjunction with the core of the operating system, so uncoupling them wasn't so easy. Update: 06/14 04:56 GMT by M : It is certainly happening.

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Nikola Motor Receives Over 7,000 Preorders Worth Over $2.3 Billion For Its Electric Truck

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 11:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Last month, Nikola Motor unveiled the design of its first product -- an electric truck with a natural gas range extender called 'Nikola One.' The 'Nikola One' comes equipped with a massive 320 kWh battery pack that the company hopes can allow it to travel up to 1,200 miles with the natural gas range extender. Today, the company announced it has received over 7,000 pre-orders with deposits for the electric truck since its unveiling. CEO Trevor Milton says the pre-orders are worth over $2.3 billion. Milton said in a press release this morning: "Our technology is 10-15 years ahead of any other OEM in fuel efficiencies, MPG and emissions. We are the only OEM to have a near zero emission truck and still outperform diesel trucks running at 80,000 pounds. To have over 7,000 reservations totaling more than 2.3 billion dollars, with five months remaining until our unveiling ceremony, is unprecedented." Some other features of the truck include: 6x6 100% electric drive, zero idle, many times cleaner than diesel engines, half the fuel cost per mile compared to diesel, 3,700 FT. LBS Torque, 2,000 horsepower, one million miles fuel free, regenerative braking, and never plug-in feature as the turbine charges the batteries automatically while driving. This may sound familiar as the Tesla Model 3 received over 115,000 preorders worth $115 million in just 24 hours after its unveiling.

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Instagram Competitor Storehouse Is Shutting Down

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 10:50pm
Nate Swanner, reporting for The Next Web: Storehouse, which was always a stylistic amalgam of VSCO and Instagram, is shutting down. In an email to users, Storehouse notes it will officially shutdown July 15. CEO Mark Kawano said that while he is proud of what was created, it never quite found its place. Storehouse is giving everyone until July 14 to download an archive of their images from the service. The app will be pulled from circulation at that time.

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FBI Director Comey: 'Highly Confident' Orlando Shooter Radicalized Through Internet

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 10:30pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via CBS News: FBI Director James Comey echoed President Obama's statement that he does not think the Orlando shooting was a plot directed from outside of the U.S. "So far, we see no indication that this was a plot directed from outside the United States and we see no indication that he was part of any kind of network," Comey told reporters. The intelligence community, Comey said, is "highly confident that this killer was radicalized at least in part through the internet." CBS News reports: "The FBI first became aware of the shooter, Omar Mateen, in May 2013 when he was working as a contract security guard and he made statements that were 'inflammatory and contradictory,' Comey said. Mateen told his co-workers at the time that he had family connections to al Qaeda and that he was a member of Hezbollah. Comey pointed out that Hezbollah, based in Lebanon, is a 'bitter enemy' of the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) to which he pledged loyalty in 911 calls as the attack unfolded early Sunday morning." According to CNN, at least 50 people were killed inside Pulse, a gay nightclub, marking the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.

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Programmer Automates His Job For 6 Years, Gets Fired, Realizes He Has Forgotten How To Code

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 9:50pm
An anonymous reader writes: A user on Reddit forum who goes by the alias FiletOfFish1066 (referred to as Mr. Fish hereafter) has been let go by his company after it was discovered that Mr. Fish hadn't actually done anything for six years. Umm, well he did something, but nothing new and productive, his Bay Area-based firm says, which paid him $95,000 (avg) each of these years. When he first got his software testing quality assurance job, he spent eight months automating all of the programming tasks. With all of his tasks fully automated by a computer, he was able to literally sit back and do whatever he wanted. Mr. Fish is pretty despondent in tone after he posted about getting fired from his job. He's upset because he has completely forgotten how to code, having relegated all that work to the computer, and now possesses no marketable skills. But, he also is not stressed financially, having saved up $200,000 during his 6-year long "career."

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Apple Introduces Swift Playgrounds App To Teach Kids To Code

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 9:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: At their Worldwide Developers Conference in San Francisco today, Apple CEO Tim Cook said, "We believe coding should be a required language in all schools." To help achieve this goal, Apple introduced Swift Playgrounds, a new app that is meant to teach kids basic coding skills in Apple's chosen language. It teaches concepts like loops and conditionals, and uses an animated character tasked with performing simple challenges in a digital maze to help make learning fun. The app also offers suggested coding languages and will be completely free. Tim Cook described it as "a powerful new way for kids to learn to code," and went on to compare writing code to basic literacy. "I wish Swift Playgrounds was around when I was first learning to code," said Apple's senior vice president of Software Engineering Craig Federighi. "Swift Playgrounds is the only app of its kind that is both easy enough for students and beginners, yet powerful enough to write real code. It's an innovative way to bring real coding concepts to life and empower the next generation with the skills they need to express their creativity." Apple announced a host of new features and improvements made to iOS and Mac OS X. Not only did they announce that OS X will now be called macOS, but the first version update will be called macOS Sierra. One of the biggest new features of the new OS is support for Siri.

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AMD Announces Radeon RX 470, RX 460 Graphics Cards

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 8:30pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via GameSpot: At E3 2016, AMD has announced the Radeon RX 470 and RX 460. They will join the RX 480 in the company's Polaris family. Both GPUs will be VR-capable, whereas the RX 480 is made for 1440p gaming. AMD says the RX 470 will focus on delivering a "refined, power-efficient HD gaming" experience, and that the RX 460 will offer a "cool and efficient solution for the ultimate e-sports gaming experience." The RX 480 will be priced starting at $200 for the 4GB variant, with the other two cards most likely priced lower. The company did also announce that the chips are extremely thin, offering a very low Z-height, and will fit into thin and light gaming notebooks. They support a wide variety of features that include DX12, HDR, HDMI 2.0b, DisplayPort 1.3/1.4, and H.265 encoding/decoding. AMD claims the RX 480 card outperforms $500 graphics cards in VR. The RX 470 and RX 460 have yet to have official release dates. However, the RX 480 is scheduled to launch on June 29. In April, AMD announced a plan to license the design of its top-of-the-line server processor to a newly formed Chinese company, creating a brand-new rival for Intel.

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Apple Announces iOS 10, watchOS 3, and new features for tvOS

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 7:45pm
Also at its annual developer conference, Apple announced major updates to its other platforms: Apple TV, iPhone and iPad, and Apple Watch. Starting with the Apple TV, the company announced that tvOS is getting a new feature called Live-Tune-In which uses Siri to allow users to simply state aloud what channel they want to watch. The company also announced a feature called Single sign-on, a cable networks feature which will let users sign-in to all their Apple TV accounts more efficiently and easily. There's a new TV Remote app for iPhone as well. watchOS 3 comes with a range of new capabilities as well. Most importantly, it offers much faster app performance, thanks to something Apple calls Instant Launch. It does the job seven times faster than its counterpart in watchOS 2. The Verge reports about other changes: The updated interface includes Control Center, which is accessed via a swipe up from the bottom of the display. The side button has been remapped to launch the dock of recent and running apps instead of the contacts menu. Apple has also added a few new watch faces, including a Minnie Mouse version and new one that more prominently shows activity progress. Watch faces can be changed by swiping across the display. The Reminders and Find Friends apps have been redesigned, and third party apps can also now run in the dock area. The new Scribble feature lets you draw letters on the screen to type out words. It's similar to a feature recently announced for Android Wear.Coming to iPhone and iPad, they will be getting iOS 10 update later this year. One of its coolest feature lets one automatically download apps across all your devices. Apple has also improved its Continuity effort, allowing users to utilize Universal Clipboard. "Basically, snippets of text, hyperlinks, and the like that you copy on one iOS or macOS device will be available on all the others." There is another new feature called Raise to Wake, which wakes up your iPhone when it is lifted. 3D Touch feature has received some improvements, too. Siri now offers more contextual feedback, and it is likely to get even better as Apple has provided developers with SDK for Siri for the first time. The Verge reports: It makes intelligent suggestions based on your current location, calendar availability, contact information, recent addresses, and more. It's Siri growing more and more into the role of an AI or a bot. And yes, it's based on deep learning just like Google's rival system is.Apple Music has been redesigned from scratch, and Apple Maps and Messages are getting some nifty features, and they are also being opened to developers.

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Android Ransomware Hits Smart TVs

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 6:55pm
Reader Trailrunner7 writes: Security researchers have discovered a variant of the FLocker Android ransomware that not only infects mobile devices, but also can infect smart TVs running certain versions of the operating system. FLocker ransomware has been active for more than a year now, and it is many ways a typical piece of mobile ransomware. It is designed to scare victims into paying a ransom -- $200 in this case -- by locking the infected device and throwing up a screen that accuses the victim of some fictitious crime. The ransomware doesn't appear to encrypt files on an infected device, but it locks the screen so the user can't open any other apps or take any other actions until paying the ransom. Researchers at Trend Micro said they have seen various versions of FLocker over the last year and the activity level of the ransomware has varied. The newest version of the malware, however, includes the ability to infect art TVs, many of which run Android.

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Apple Announces Its New Desktop OS macOS Sierra Featuring Siri, Apple Pay

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 6:15pm
After playing with the names of cats and a few California landmarks, Apple at WWDC 2016 announced that its desktop operating system will now be called macOS -- and its first version update is macOS Sierra. It comes with a range of new features including Siri, the digital voice assistant. The move comes roughly a year and a half after Microsoft brought its Cortana virtual assistant to desktop platform Windows 10. Sierra also supports Apple Pay payment service via Safari web browser. Ars Technica reports about some other features of macOS Sierra: Universal Clipboard answers a longstanding complaint of Mac and iOS users -- copying and pasting now works automatically between an iOS device and a desktop Mac device. iCloud now plays an expanded sync role, too, letting you move files and folders from Mac to Mac or from Mac to iOS. Another new feature called Optimized Storage can sweep through old documents and files and push them to iCloud, clearing up local disk space for other uses. It also can automatically dump your trash, clear your web history, and do some other behind the scenes sweeps. Tabs are coming to more and more applications. Federighi said that Apple wants tabs on all multi-window applications, and says that tabs can be flipped on without developer modification. Update: 06/13 18:55 GMT by M : macOS Sierra won't support many Mac models from 2007, 2008, and 2009. Find more information here.

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Older Android Wear Watches Will Miss Out On the v2.0 Update

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 5:35pm
An anonymous reader writes: Google hasn't officially made any announcements about what watch hardware will receive the Android Wear 2.0 update when it's released later this year, but it looks like at least a few of the first-generation watches will be missing out. LG says it has no plans to update the original LG G Watch, and now Motorola says it plans to drop support for the original Moto 360. Given Samsung's disinterest in continuing on with new Android Wear hardware, the future doesn't look rosy for the Samsung Gear Live, either. This news comes just two years after Android Wear and many of these watches were originally introduced.

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Microsoft Announces Xbox One S, Project Scorpio Gaming Consoles

Mon, 13/06/2016 - 5:15pm
Details of Microsoft's rumored new console have dropped ahead of the company's conference at E3 tradeshow Monday. It appears the long-anticipated smaller and more powerful variant of company's current console is real. According to a leaked press render, Microsoft will be announcing the Xbox One S (where S stands for Slim) at the gaming event. The Xbox One S will be 40 percent smaller than the Xbox One, and pack in more powerful processing and graphics muscle. According to the render, the Xbox One S will come with a 2TB hard drive, and feature support for 4K video playback and High Dynamic Range. According to separate reports, the Xbox One S is likely to be priced at $399 for the 2TB variant. Update: 06/13 16:58 GMT by M : Microsoft has officially taken the wraps off the product. It will be available for purchase starting August. AnandTech has more details.Also at its event, Microsoft announced Xbox Play Anywhere. The Verge reports: It lets you buy participating cross-platform games once, and own them on both platforms. If you buy a game on Xbox One it will simply appear in your Windows 10 library, and vice versa, and your saved games, achievements, and other information will carry over between the two versions.Microsoft also unveiled "Project Scorpio", a high-powered Xbox One launching next year that is capable of supporting 4K content as well as virtual reality headsets. "We are creating more choice in your gaming experience than ever before," said Xbox chief Phil Spencer to open Microsoft's E3 conference. No word on its pricing yet.

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