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Updated: 12 min 27 sec ago

Ask Slashdot: Cheap and Fun Audio Hacks?

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 9:40pm
An anonymous reader writes: A few years back I discovered that even a person of limited soldering skills can create a nifty surround-sound system with the magic of a passive matrix decoder system; the results pleased me and continue to, It's certainly not a big and fancy surround system, but I recommend it highly as a project with a high ratio of satisfaction to effort. (Here's one of the many, many tutorials out there on doing it yourself; it's not the long-forgotten one I actually used, but I like this one better.) I like listening to recorded music sometimes just to hear how a particular playback system sounds, not just to hear the music "as intended." I'd like to find some more audio hacks and tricks like this that are cheap, easy, and fun. Bonus points if they can be done with the assistance of a couple of smart children, without boring them too much. I have access to Goodwill and other thrift stores that are usually overflowing with cheap-and-cheerful gear, to match my toy budget. What mods or fixes would be fun to implement? Are there brands or models of turntable I should look for as the easiest with which to tinker? Are there cool easy-entry projects akin to that surround sound system that I could use to improve my radio reception? I'm not sure what's out there, but I'd like to get some cool use out of the closet-and-a-half I've got filled with speakers and other gear that I can't quite bear to toss, since "it still works."

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Google Claims a TOS Violation On RouteBuilder For Using the Map API

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 8:36pm
New submitter acm writes: RouteBuilder has been using the Google Maps API to help people share their routes (bicycling, hiking, etc) for a decade. Last week, Google sent an email demanding Routebuilder stop using the API: "In particular,your application violates clause 10.4(c), which does not allow developers to create a wrapper — an application that re-implements or duplicates the Google Maps website or mobile app, or any of the Google Maps APIs." Why did it take the Google Maps Team 10 years to decide they don't want pedometer-type sites to use their API?

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GM's New Bug Bounty Program Lacks One Thing: A Bounty

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 7:22pm
chicksdaddy writes with this news: General Motors (GM) has become the latest "old economy" firm to launch a program to entice white hat hackers and other experts to delve into the inner workings of its products in search of security flaws, The Security Ledger reports. "The company launched a bug bounty on January 5th on the web site of Hackerone (https://hackerone.com/gm), a firm that manages bounty programs on top of other firms, promising "eternal glory" to security experts who relay information on "security vulnerabilities of General Motors products and services." Despite a $47 billion market capitalization, however, GM is not offering monetary rewards – at least not yet. A page on Hackerone detailing how vulnerability reporters will be thanked reads "Be the first to receive eternal glory," but does not spell out exactly what rewards are proffered. Judging from the description of the program, the "prize" for reporting a vulnerability to GM appears to be a promise by GM not to sue you for finding it." However, the article notes that the program has garnered praise from security researchers Chris Valasek and Charlie Miller, monetary reward or not.

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Why James Hansen Is Wrong About Nuclear Power

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 6:03pm
mdsolar writes: Climatologist James Hansen argued last month, "Nuclear power paves the only viable path forward on climate change." He is wrong. As the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA) and International Energy Agency (IEA) explained in a major report last year, in the best-case scenario, nuclear power can play a modest, but important, role in avoiding catastrophic global warming if it can solve its various nagging problems — particularly high construction cost — without sacrificing safety. Hansen and a handful of other climate scientists I also greatly respect — Ken Caldeira, Tom Wigley, and Kerry Emanuel — present a mostly handwaving argument in which new nuclear power achieves and sustains an unprecedented growth rate for decades. The one quantitative "illustrative scenario" they propose — "a total requirement of 115 reactors per year to 2050 to entirely decarbonise the global electricity system" — is far beyond what the world ever sustained during the nuclear heyday of the 1970s, and far beyond what the overwhelming majority of energy experts, including those sympathetic to the industry, think is plausible.

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Sony Attempts To Trademark "Let's Play"

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 4:50pm
An anonymous reader writes: Why is it that kids these days spend days upon days watching people play video games on Youtube and Twitch when they could spend those days playing games themselves? While we may never find out why, Let's Plays are an established part of today's gaming ecosystem, and the publishers want their piece of the pie. Nintendo lost love by forcefully taking the proceeds from ad revenue on Youtube for its videos, but Sony... never settling for second-best... has recently filed to trademark the phrase. I don't know what's more surprising: Sony's audacity to grab a phrase with recorded usage as far back as 2007... or that EA didn't think of it first.

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Crypto Guru David Chaum's Private Communications Network Comes With a Backdoor

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 3:33pm
An anonymous reader writes: David Chaum, father of many encryption protocols, has revealed a new anonymity network concept called PrivaTegrity. Chaum, on who's work the Onion protocol was based, created a new encryption protocol that works as fast as I2P and the Onion-Tor combo, but also has better encryption. The only downside, according to an interview, is that he built a backdoor into the darn thing, just to please governments. He says that he's not going to use the backdoor unless to unmask crime on the Dark Web. Here's the research paper (if you can understand anything of it).

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FTC Fines Software Vendor Over False Data Encryption Claims

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 2:24pm
An anonymous reader writes: The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has fined a software vendor for lying about its product's encryption capabilities, despite being publicly warned by US Computer Emergency Readiness Team (CERT) not to do so. The software vendor is Henry Schein, who deliberately ignored CERT and FTC warnings and continued to sell its CRM for dentists, even if it knew it did not comply with HIPAA rules. The vendor got "only" a $250,000 fine.

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Why Do Americans Work So Much?

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 1:23pm
HughPickens.com writes Rebecca Rosen has an interesting essay at The Atlantic on economist John Maynard Keynes' prediction in 1930 that with increased productivity, over the next 100 years the economy would become so productive that people would barely need to work at all. For a while, it looked like Keynes was right: In 1930 the average workweek was 47 hours. By 1970 it had fallen to slightly less than 39. But then something changed. Instead of continuing to decline, the duration of the workweek stayed put; it's hovered just below 40 hours for nearly five decades. According to Rosen there would be no mystery in this if Keynes had been wrong about the economy's increasing productivity, which he thought would lead to a standard of living "between four and eight times as high as it is today." Keynes got that right: Technology has made the economy massively more productive. Now a new paper Benjamin Friedman says that "the U.S. economy is right on track to reach Keynes's eight-fold multiple" by 2029—100 years after the last data Keynes would have had. But according to Friedman, the key reason that Keynes prediction failed to come true is that Keynes failed to allow for the changing distribution of wealth.

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OCZ RevoDrive 400 NVMe SSD Unveiled With Nearly 2.7GB/Sec Tested Throughput

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 10:12am
MojoKid writes: Solid State Drive technology continues to make strides in performance, reliability and cost. At the CES 2016 show there were a number of storage manufacturers on hand showing off their latest grear, though not many made quite the splash that Toshiba's OCZ Technology group made with the annoucement of their new RevoDrive 400 NVMe PCI Express SSD. OCZ is tapping on Toshiba's NVMe controller technology to deliver serious bandwidth in this consumer-targeted M.2 gumstick style drive that also comes with a X4 PCI Express card adapater. The drive boasts specs conservatively at 2.4GB/sec for reads and 1.6GB/sec for writes in peak sequential transfer bandwidth. IOPs are rated at 210K and 140K for writes respectively. In the demo ATTO test they were running, the RevoDrive 400 actually peaks at 2.69GB/sec for reads and also hits every bit of that 1.6GB/sec write spec for large sequential transfers.

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After Two Fixes, OAuth Standard Deemed Secure

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 6:50am
An anonymous reader writes: OAuth 2.0 is one of the most used single sign-on systems on the web: it is used by Facebook, Google, Microsoft, GitHub and other big Internet companies. A group of researchers from University of Trier, Germany, have performed the first formal security analysis of the OAuth 2.0 standard, and have discovered two previously unknown attacks that could be mounted to break authorization and authentication in OAuth. However, says the article, "[w]ith these problems solved, the researchers ultimately concluded that OAuth 2.0 is secure enough to provide both authorization and authentication -- if implemented correctly."

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Apple Purchases Software Company To Read Users' Expressions

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 3:31am
An anonymous reader writes: Apple's first disclosed acquisition of 2016 is software company Emotient, which specializes in reading users' expressions while they operate computers. Emotient uses AI software to break down micro-emotions shown on each face in a video frame and quantify it into three indicators: is the subject paying attention to the advertising, are they emotionally engaged, and are they showing a positive or negative emotion? The faces are pixelated to provide user anonymity without sacrificing the expression.

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Forbes Asks Readers To Disable Adblock, Serves Up Malvertising

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 12:35am
Deathlizard writes with a report at Engadget that when this year's "Forbes 30 Under 30" list came out , "it featured a prominent security researcher. Other researchers were pleased to see one of their own getting positive attention, and visited the site in droves to view the list. On arrival, like a growing number of websites, Forbes asked readers to turn off ad blockers in order to view the article. After doing so, visitors were immediately served with pop-under malware, primed to infect their computers, and likely silently steal passwords, personal data and banking information."

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Forbes Asks Redears To Disable Adblock, Serves Up Malvertising

Sun, 10/01/2016 - 12:35am
Deathlizard writes with a report at Engadget that when this year's "Forbes 30 Under 30" list came out , "it featured a prominent security researcher. Other researchers were pleased to see one of their own getting positive attention, and visited the site in droves to view the list. On arrival, like a growing number of websites, Forbes asked readers to turn off ad blockers in order to view the article. After doing so, visitors were immediately served with pop-under malware, primed to infect their computers, and likely silently steal passwords, personal data and banking information."

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How We Know North Korea Didn't Detonate a Hydrogen Bomb

Sat, 09/01/2016 - 11:02pm
StartsWithABang writes: The news has been aflame with reports that North Korea detonated a hydrogen bomb on January 6th, greatly expanding its nuclear capabilities with their fourth nuclear test and the potential to carry out a devastating strike against either South Korea or, if they're more ambitious, the United States. The physics of what a nuclear explosion actually does and how that signal propagates through the air, oceans and ground, however, can tell us whether this was truly a nuclear detonation at all, and if so, whether it was fusion or fission. From all the data we've collected, this appears to be nothing new: just a run-of-the-mill fission bomb, with the rest being a sensationalized claim. (Related: Yesterday's post about how seismic data also points to a conventional nuke, rather than an H-bomb.)

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