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UAE To Build Artificial Mountain To Improve Rainfall

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 2:10am
An anonymous reader writes: The United Arab Emirates is in the early stages of developing an artificial mountain that would force air upwards and create clouds that could produce additional rainfall. While the Middle East and Africa continues to get hotter, researchers are further motivated and more desperate for solutions to maximize rainfall. "Building a mountain is not a simple thing," said NCAR scientist and lead researcher Roelof Bruintjes. "We are still busy finalizing assimilation, so we are doing a spread of all kinds of heights, widths and locations [as we simultaneously] look at the local climatology." The specific location has yet to be decided on as the team is still testing out different sites across the UAE. "If [the project] is too expensive for [the government], logically the project won't go through, but this gives them an idea of what kind of alternatives there are for the long-term future." Bruintjes said. "If it goes through, the second phase would be to go to an engineering company and decide whether it is possible or not."

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Kim Jong-Un Bans All Weddings, Funerals And Freedom Of Movement In North Korea

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 1:27am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Independent: Weddings and funerals have been banned and Pyongyang is in lockdown as preparations for a once-in-a-generation party congress get underway in North Korea. The ruling Worker's Party of Korea, headed by the country's leader, Kim Jong-un, is due to stage the first gathering of its kind for 36 years on Friday. Free movement in and out of the capital has also been forbidden and there has been an increase in inspections and property searches, according to Daily NK, which claims to have sources in the country. The temporary measures are said to be an attempt to minimize the risk of "mishaps" at the event, according to Cheong Joon-hee, a spokesman at South Korea's Unification Ministry. Meanwhile, North Korea has been conducting missile tests left and right, many of which have failed miserably.

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LG's New Fingerprint Sensor Doesn't Need A Button

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 12:44am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Mashable: LG Innotek has developed a fingerprint sensor that's placed under a glass surface instead of in a physical button, the company announced Sunday. The new sensor could lead to smartphones that you can unlock by placing your finger on the phone screen. The LG-owned electronics parts manufacturer achieved this by cutting out a 0.01-inch thick slot in the lower part of a smartphone's cover glass, and then inserting a very thin fingerprint sensor into it. In other words, the sensor is still under the cover glass, but the slot moves the sensor close enough to the surface to read a fingerprint. That way, the sensor is protected from water and scratches, and can be installed anywhere under the phone's glass surface.

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China Probes Baidu Over False Medical Ads After Student Dies

Tue, 03/05/2016 - 12:01am
hackingbear writes: China's Internet regulator said on Monday it will send a team to investigate Baidu Inc over the death of a university student who used the Chinese search engine to look for treatment for his rare cancer, and to find an experimental treatment offered by the Second Hospital of Beijing Armed Police Corps, which eventually proved ineffective. Before dying, Wei accused Baidu online of promoting false medical information, as well as the hospital for misleading advertising in claiming a high success rate for the treatment, state radio said. The post attracted a large public outcry. Baidu says around one quarter of its revenues come from medical and health-care advertisers.

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Self-Driving Features Could Lead To More Sex In Moving Cars, Expert Warns

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 11:18pm
An anonymous reader writes: According to CBC.ca, "At least one expert is anticipating that, as the so-called 'smart' cars get smarter, there will eventually be an increase in an unusual form of distracted driving: hanky-panky behind the wheel." Barrie Kirk of the Canadian Automated Vehicles Centre of Excellence said, "I am predicting that, once computers are doing the driving, there will be a lot more sex in cars. That's one of several things people will do which will inhibit their ability to respond quickly when the computer says to the human, 'Take over.'" Federal officials, who have been tasked with building a regulatory framework to govern driverless cars, highlighted their concerns in briefing notes compiled for Transport Minister Marc Garneau. "Drivers tend to overestimate the performance of automation and will naturally turn their focus away from the road when they turn on their auto-pilot," said the note. The Tesla autopilot feature has been receiving the most criticism as there have been many videos posted online showing Tesla drivers engaged in questionable practices, including reading a newspaper or brushing their teeth.

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Greenpeace Leaks Big Part Of Secret TTIP Documents

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 10:35pm
An anonymous reader writes: The environmental group Greenpeace has obtained 248 pages of classified documents from the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) trade talks. The group warns EU standards on the environment and public health risk being undermined by compromises with the US, specifically that US corporations may erode Europe's consumer protections. The TTIP would "harmonize regulations across a huge range of business sectors, providing a boost to exporters on both sides of the Atlantic," writes the BBC. After the Greenpeace leak was published, EU Trade Commissioner Cecilia Malmstroem said in her blog, "I am simply not in the business of lowering standards." Meanwhile, Greenpeace EU director Jorgo Riss said, "These leaked documents confirm what we have been saying for a long time: TTIP would put corporations at the center of policy-making, to the detriment of environment and public health." You can be the judge for yourself. The leaked documents are available for download here.

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Climate-Exodus Expected In The Middle East And North Africa

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 9:53pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Researchers of the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry and the Cyprus Institute in Nicosia have calculated that the Middle East and North Africa could become so hot that human habitability is compromised. The goal of limiting global warming to less than two degrees Celsius, agreed at the recent UN climate summit in Paris, will not be sufficient to prevent this scenario. The result is deeply alarming: Even if Earth's temperature were to increase on average only by two degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial times, the temperature in summer in these regions will increase more than twofold. This means that during hot days temperatures south of the Mediterranean will reach around 46 degrees Celsius (approximately 114 degrees Fahrenheit) by mid-century. Such extremely hot days will occur five times more often than was the case at the turn of the millennium. In combination with increasing air pollution by windblown desert dust, the environmental conditions could become intolerable and may force people to migrate.

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20-Yr-Old Compaq Laptop Is Still Crucial to Maintaining McLaren's Multi-Million Dollar Cars

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 9:10pm
An anonymous reader writes: It may come as a surprise to many, but the 20-year-old Compaq LTE 5280 still plays a vital role in maintaining multi-million dollar McLaren F1s. Jalopnik recently visited McLaren's Special Operations workshop where it found several of Compaq's old laptops serving their masters. Why do they rely on these dated computers, you ask? A McLaren Special Operations staff explains, "The reason we need those specific Compaq laptops is that they run a bespoke CA card which is installed into them. The CA card is an interface between the laptop software (which is DOS based) and the car. We are currently working on a new interface which will be compatible with modern laptops as the old Compaqs are getting less and less reliable and harder to find." For those wondering, the Compaq LTE 5280 comes with a 120MHz Intel Pentium processor, up to "80MB" of RAM, and up to 1.2GB of HDD.

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Samsung, Nvidia End Their Patent Lawsuits

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 8:40pm
Reader itwbennett writes: In September 2014, Nvidia sued both Samsung and Qualcomm, asking for shipments of Galaxy phones and tablets with graphics processors from Qualcomm, ARM and Imagination Technologies to be blocked. Samsung fired back, suing Nvidia for patent infringement, and for supposedly false claims by Nvidia that its Tegra K1 was the world's fastest mobile processor. Now, in an agreement announced today, Nvidia and Samsung have agreed to 'settle all outstanding IP litigation'. Under the agreement, the companies will license 'a small number' of patents to each other, though they said there's no broad cross-license agreement. There's also no financial payment. And no mention was made of Qualcomm.

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Without Encryption, Everything Stops, Says Snowden

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 8:10pm
An anonymous reader writes about Snowden's appearance on a debate with CNN's Fareed Zakaria: Edward Snowden defended the importance of encryption, calling it the "backbone of computer security." He said, "Encryption saves lives. Encryption protects property. Without it, our economy stops. Our government stops. Everything stops. Our intelligence agencies say computer security is a bigger problem than terrorism, than crime, than anything else," he noted. "[...] Lawful access to any device or communication cannot be provided to anybody without fatally compromising the security of everybody."

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Gas Delivery Startups Want to Fill Up Your Car Anywhere, But It Might Not Be Legal

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 7:30pm
Eric Newcomer, reporting for Bloomberg: A new crop of startups are trying to make gas stations obsolete. Tap an app, and they'll bring the gas to you, filling up your car while you're at work or at home. Filld, WeFuel, Yoshi, Purple and Booster Fuels have started operating in a few cities including San Francisco, Los Angeles, Palo Alto, Nashville, Tennessee, and Atlanta, Georgia. But officials in some of those cities say that driving around in a pickup truck with hundreds of gallons of gasoline might not be safe. "It is not permitted," said Lt. Jonathan Baxter, a spokesman for the San Francisco fire department, adding that if San Francisco residents see any companies fueling vehicles in the city, they should call the fire department. "We haven't talked to them. I don't know about that. It's news to me," said Nick Alexander, co-founder of Yoshi. "You can never ask for permission because no one will give it," said Chris Aubuchon, the chief executive officer at Filld. The Los Angeles Fire Department said it's drafting a policy around gasoline delivery. "Our current fire code does not allow this process; however, we are exploring a way this could be allowed with some restrictions," said Capt. Daniel Curry, a spokesman for the city's fire department.

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WhatsApp Blocked in Brazil for 72 Hours Over Data Dispute

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 6:49pm
An anonymous reader cites an article on TechCrunch: WhatsApp, Facebook's messaging service that recently rolled out end-to-end encryption to its users, will be blocked in Brazil for 72 hours, starting this afternoon. A Brazilian judge ordered telecom providers in the country to block WhatsApp today in a dispute over access to encrypted data. Judge Marcel Montalvao has ordered WhatsApp to turn over chat records related to a drug investigation, but WhatsApp has argued that it cannot access the chats in an unencrypted form and therefore cannot provide the required records to the court. [...] This isn't Montalvao's first clash with WhatsApp, which boasts more than 100 million Brazilian users. The judge ordered the arrest of Facebook's vice president for Latin America, Diego Dzodan, in March. Facebook has said that WhatsApp operates with relative independence and that Dzodan has no control over WhatsApp data.American lawyer and journalist Glenn Greenwald said: "WhatsApp shut down again in Brazil as of 1 pm ET today: used by 100m people, 91% of those online: all from 1 judge."

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Chrome Overtakes Internet Explorer For Most Popular Desktop Browser

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 6:10pm
Google Chrome is now the most widely used desktop browser. According to the latest figures from marketing and research firm Net Applications (which looked into data from over 40,000 websites), in April, Chrome captured 41.66 percent of the market, surpassing Internet Explorer which now sits at 41.35 percent. Brad Sams writes:This growth by Chrome should not be too surprising as Microsoft has left Internet Explorer behind for Edge but unfortunately, the Edge browser available to the vast majority of Windows 10 users is a sub-par experience as it lacks basic features like extensions. This is a big milestone for Google as their browser faced and uphill battle against Internet Explorer when it was introduced back in 2008.Also read: Windows Desktop Market Share Drops Below 90%

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Audiophile Torrent Site What.CD Fully Pwnable Thanks To Wrecked RNG

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 5:30pm
Reader mask.of.sanity writes: Users of popular audiophile torrent site What.CD can make themselves administrators to completely compromise the private music site and bypass its notorious download ratio limits thanks to the use of the mt_rand function for password resets, a researcher has found. From the report (edited and condensed):What.CD is the world's most popular high quality music private torrent site that requires its users to pass an interview testing their knowledge of audio matters before they are granted an account. Users must maintain a high upload to download ratio to continue to download from the site. [...] "I reported it a year ago, and they acknowledged it but said 'don't worry about it,'" said New-Zealand-based independent security researcher who goes by the alias ss23.

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With AI Getting Better at Cognitive Abilities, Humans Will Have Even Fewer Jobs

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 4:50pm
An anonymous reader writes: It is no secret that machines have come to largely replace physical labor, and computers surpass human beings in processing data. But in the future, the development of artificial intelligence may render humans obsolete even in the realm of emotional intelligence (warning: annoying popup adverts), according to Yuval Harari, a renowned professor of history. Harari said:AI today is able to diagnose your personality and emotional state by looking at your face and recognizing tiny muscle movements. It can tell whether you are tired, excited, angry, joyful, in love ... it can tell these things even though AI itself doesn't feel anger or love. In the future, therefore, AI could drive humans out of the job market and make many humans completely useless, from an economic perspective in areas where human interaction was previously considered crucial. Humans only have two basic abilities -- physical and cognitive. When machines replaced us in physical abilities, we moved on to jobs that require cognitive abilities. ... If AI becomes better than us in that, there is no third field humans can move to.

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Scientists Discover Three Potentially Habitable Planets

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 4:00pm
Scientists have discovered three Earth-sized planets that look ideally suited to search for signs of life beyond our solar system. A team of astronomers from MIT and the University of Liege detected three planets orbiting an ultracool dwarf star -- just 40 light years from Earth using a prototype telescope called TRAPPIST which is capable of looking at 60 nearby ultracool stars. NPR reports: The closest planet to the star orbits in about one and a half Earth days. From the planet's surface, the star would look like a reddish ball fixed to one spot in the sky. Scientists don't yet know the mass of the planets or what they're made of. Astronomers have discovered more than a thousand planets outside our solar system, but it's still rare to find ones that look promising in terms of habitability."These planets are Earth-sized, they are temperate -- we can't rule out the fact that they are habitable -- and they are well-suited for atmospheric studies," says Julien de Wit, a researcher at MIT.

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Datto Launches Datto Drive For SMBs; Offers 1TB at $10 a Month For Unlimited Users

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 3:30pm
Austin McChord, Datto's founder writes: In the era of nearly free cloud storage why on earth am I paying $15 a month per user (for Dropbox and Box). This seems absurd. As the founder of a cloud storage company I thought we could fix this. We combined OwnCloud which is an enterprise level open source file sync and share solution with our skills in infrastructure. Today we are launching Datto Drive, a file sync and share service for businesses that costs just $10 a month for unlimited users and 1TB of combined storage. To get started we are giving the first year away free for the first million businesses that sign up. One thing I'm worried about is whether this service will exist for more than a couple of years. We've seen plenty of startups offer us interesting services at great prices over the past few years, but many of them disappear. Tech Republic has more information about the aforementioned service. Update: 05/02 17:09 GMT by M : Reader torrija points us to a service called HubiC which offers 10TB for 5 euro a month. He adds that the feature is limited to one user, though.

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Ubuntu Quietly Raises Install Image Size to 2GB

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 3:00pm
Joey-Elijah Sneddon, reporting for OMGUbuntu: You can expect to see a larger Ubuntu desktop installation image by the time the Yakkety Yak yips out. Developers are currently debating the exact size limits that official flavours will adhere to, with some favouring a 2GB hard limit while others are looking to go full-DVD size at 4.7GB+. Canonical's Steven Langasek explains the plans for Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak: "I've finally gone ahead and bumped the limit on Ubuntu desktop images to 2GB for a minimally-sized USB stick; this gives us a new limit that I think we will care about, while also leaving us headroom so we're not constantly fighting it back down to the line." The Ubuntu ISO is supposed to be around the 1GB mark but has creeped past this in recent releases. The current Ubuntu 16.04 LTS desktop .iso is 1.4GB.

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Craig Wright Claims He's Satoshi Nakamoto, the Creator Of Bitcoin

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 2:00pm
Australian entrepreneur Craig Wright has put an end to the years-long speculation about the creator of Bitcoin. In an interview with the BBC, The Economist (may have a paywall), and GQ, Wright claimed that he is indeed the person who developed the concepts on which Bitcoin cryptocurrency is built. According to the BBC, Mr. Wright provided "technical proof to back up his claim using coins known to be owned by Bitcoin's creator." Wright writes in a blog post: [A]fter many years, and having experienced the ebb and flow of life those years have brought, I think I am finally at peace with what he meant. If I sign Craig Wright, it is not the same as if I sign Craig Wright, Satoshi[...] Since those early days, after distancing myself from the public persona that was Satoshi, I have poured every measure of myself into research. I have been silent, but I have not been absent. I have been engaged with an exceptional group and look forward to sharing our remarkable work when they are ready. Satoshi is dead. But this is only the beginning. According to Wright's website, he is a "computer scientist, businessman and inventor" born in Brisbane, Australia, in October 1970. Some have questioned the authenticity and relevance of the "technical proof" Wright has provided. Nik Cubrilovic, an Australian former hacker and leading internet security blogger, wrote, "I don't believe for a second Wright is Satoshi. I know two people who worked with Wright, characterized him as crazy and schemer/charlatan." Michele Spagnuolo, Information Security Engineer at Google added, "He's not Satoshi. He just reused a signed message (of a Sartre text) by Satoshi with block 9 key as 'proof.'"

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Marketers Hunger For Data From Wearables

Mon, 02/05/2016 - 1:10pm
An anonymous reader writes:Marketers would love to access information about your daily routines and your precise location, both data sets that would be trivially easy to extract from wearable devices. Those were the two most-requested items in a new survey of marketers, according to a new article at ReadWrite.com. "In the future the data procured from smartwatches might be much more valuable than what is currently available from laptop and mobile users," reports David Curry, raising the possibility that stores might someday use your past Google searches to alert you when they're selling a cheaper product.

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