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Google TUGS Nexus 7-INCHER from its online store

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 5:45pm
Just as well, perhaps, after Lollipop lick froze some older tabs

Fandroids may be mourning the sudden death of Google's Nexus 7 slab, after the world's largest ad broker yanked the device from its online shopfront over the weekend.…

A Guide To the 5 Cybersecurity Bills Now Before Congress

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 5:41pm
blottsie writes: At press time, the House had passed two cybersecurity bills, one Senate bill had been passed out of committee and reported to the full chamber for a final vote, and a third House bill and a second Senate bill were awaiting review by the appropriate committee. The two House bills that passed earlier this week will be combined and sent to the Senate, but the Senate won't take up them up directly; instead, it will vote on its own two bills. It's complicated, so here's a quick breakdown of the key details.

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Astroboffins mine data in pursuit of lonely, homeless RUNAWAY GALAXIES

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 4:47pm
Stellar systems exiled from Main Street

Astronomers have observed 11 runaway galaxies wandering aimlessly around in spaaace.…

Giant Survival Ball Will Help Explorer Survive a Year On an Iceberg

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 4:40pm
HughPickens.com writes: Ben Yeager reports in Outside Magazine that Italian explorer Alex Bellini plans to travel to Greenland's west coast, pick an iceberg, and live on it for a year as it melts out in the Atlantic. It's a precarious idea. Bellini will be completely isolated, and his adopted dwelling is liable to roll or fall apart at any moment, thrusting him into the icy sea or crushing him under hundreds of tons of ice. His solution: an indestructible survival capsule built by an aeronautics company that specializes in tsunami-proof escape pods. "I knew since the beginning I needed to minimize the risk. An iceberg can flip over, and those events can be catastrophic." Bellini plans to use a lightweight, indestructible floating capsules, or "personal safety systems" made from aircraft-grade aluminum in what's called a continuous monocoque structure, an interlocking frame of aluminum spars that evenly distribute force, underneath a brightly painted and highly visible aluminum shell. The inner frame can be stationary or mounted on roller balls so it rotates, allowing the passengers to remain upright at all times. Aeronautical engineer Julian Sharpe, founder of Survival Capsule, got the idea for his capsules after the 2004 Indonesian tsunami. He believes fewer people would have died had some sort of escape pod existed. Sharpe hopes the products will be universal—in schools, retirement homes, and private residences, anywhere there is severe weather. The product appeals to Bellini because it's strong enough to survive a storm at sea or getting crushed between two icebergs. Bellini will spend almost all of his time in the capsule with the hatch closed, which will pose major challenges because he'll have to stay active without venturing out onto a slippery, unstable iceberg. If it flips, he'll have no time to react. "Any step away from [the iceberg] will be in unknown territory," says Bellini. "You want to stretch your body. But then you risk your life."

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Turning a Smartphone Display Into a Biometric Scanner

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 3:36pm
New submitter jan_jes writes: Recent mobile phones integrate fingerprint scanners to authenticate users biometrically and replace passwords, making authentication more convenient. Researchers at Yahoo Labs have created a new technology called "Bodyprint," which turns your smartphone's touchscreen display into a biometric scanner. It allows the touch sensor to scan users' body parts (PDF) such as ears, fingers, fists, and palms by pressing them against the display. Bodyprint implements the four-eye principle for locking sensitive documents — accessing the document can require the presence of two or more people involved with the project. Another application is authenticating a user to answer a call by scanning their ear pressed against the phone.

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GCC 5.2 Will Come In Two To Three Months

Phoronix - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 2:30pm
GCC 5 was formally released this week with under their new versioning scheme the initial stable release being GCC 5.1. GCC 6.0 is now in development as the next major release due out in about one year's time while the next GCC 5 point release will be GCC 5.2...

Microsoft Increases Android Patent Licensing Reach

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 2:29pm
BrianFagioli writes: Microsoft may not be winning in the mobile arena, but they're still making tons of money from those who are. Patent licensing agreements net the company billions each year from device makers like Samsung, Foxconn, and ZTE. Now, Microsoft has added another company to that list: Qisda Corp. They make a number of Android and Chrome-based devices under the Qisda brand and the BenQ brand, and now Microsoft will be making money off those, too.

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AMD FP3 Motherboard Ported To Coreboot

Phoronix - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 1:51pm
Another AMD motherboard has been ported to work under Coreboot...

Yahoo<i>!</i> Mail<i>!</i> goes<i>!</i> titsup<i>!</i> in<i>!</i> Blighty<i>!</i> due<i>!</i> to<i>!</i> mystery<i>!</i> error<i>!</i>

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 1:44pm
Purple Palace fails to explain what's gone wrong ...

Updated  Yahoo!'s email service tumbled off the interwebs in the past hour when it began spewing out a "temporary error" message to an unknown number of users in the UK.…

7.8 Earthquake Rocks Nepal, Hundreds Dead

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 1:25pm
An anonymous reader writes: Nepal was struck by an earthquake of magnitude 7.8 today, with an epicenter 80 km east of the country's second biggest city, Pokhara. Its effects were also strongly felt in the capital, Kathmandu. Casualty reports conflict, but authorities have indicated at least 500 are dead and many more are feared to be trapped. Nepal has declared a state of emergency for the affected areas, and asked for international humanitarian assistance. India and Pakistan have both offered help. Some Indian cities were affected by the earthquake as well, and there are reports of avalanches on Mt. Everest, which has many climbers at any given time.

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Tesla To Announce Battery-Based Energy Storage For Homes

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 12:23pm
Okian Warrior writes: Billionaire Elon Musk will announce next week that Tesla will begin offering battery-based energy storage for residential and commercial customers. The batteries power up overnight when energy companies typically charge less for electricity, then are used during the day to power a home. In a pilot project, Tesla has already begun offering home batteries to SolarCity (SCTY) customers, a solar power company for which Musk serves as chairman. Currently 330 U.S. households are running on Tesla's batteries in California. The batteries start at about $13,000, though California's Pacific Gas and Electric Co. (PCG) offers customers a 50% rebate. The batteries are three-feet high by 2.5-feet wide, and need to be installed at least a foot and a half off the ground. They can be controlled with a Web app and a smartphone app.

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Business plans, good ideas, and 8 other myths about startups – by Indiegogo's CEO

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 12:00pm
Slava Rubin explains what you really need to know

"We have the ability to be an entrepreneur beaten out of us," explained the CEO of funding site Indiegogo Slava Rubin, in front of a big picture of a kettle.…

Hubble hits 25th anniversary IN SPAAACE – time for telescope to come home

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 11:00am
A quarter century of observing the universe

Pics  On 24 April, 1990, the space shuttle Discovery lifted off from Kennedy Space Centre in Florida carrying a very special cargo: 24,490lbs (11,110kg) of advanced optics, electronics, and antennas that made up the Hubble Space Telescope.…

<i>Avengers: Age of Ultron</i> – blisteringly big banter, brawls and brio

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 10:00am
Time to Marvel as director Joss Whedon delivers pure entertainment

Film Review  Marvel’s Avengers franchise is such a massive, behemoth of a marketing machine, such a merchandise-heavy, almost decade-long suction of talent, time and money that I want to hate it. I want to say, why don’t we spend all that money on independent films? Original stories? Something new, for God’s sake! But there’s just no denying the fact that nine films later (if one counts the standalone Iron Mans, Thors and Captain Americas) it’s still a whole lot of cinema fun.…

Mystery of the Coldest Spot In the CMB Solved

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 9:22am
StartsWithABang writes: The cosmic microwave background is a thing of beauty, as not only does its uniform, cold temperature reveal a hot, dense past that began with the hot Big Bang, but its fluctuations reveal a pattern of overdensities and underdensities in the very early stages of the Universe. It's fluctuations just like these that give rise to the stars, galaxies, groups and clusters that exist today, as well as the voids in the vast cosmic web. But effects at the surface of last scattering are not the only ones that affect the CMB's temperature; if we want to make sure we've got an accurate map of what the Universe was born with, we have to take everything into account, including the effects of matter as it gravitationally grows and shrinks. As we do exactly this, we find ourselves discovering the causes behind the biggest anomalies in the sky, and it turns out that the standard cosmological model can explain it all.

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<i>Memory Man</i>, <i>The Lady from Zagreb</i> and <i>Blood on Snow</i>

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 9:00am
A trio of crime thrillers to chill you on the beach

Page File  El Reg bookworm Mark Diston takes a look at the new releases in crime fiction with the latest from David Baldacci that introduces a new character series. Philip Kerr wheels outs Bernie Gunther for another wartime adventure and we've some Scandi noir from Jo Nesbo.

Synths you've been gone: Vintage tech rules at Musikmesse 2015

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 8:00am
Crowdfunded classic reissues and more

+Vids  The trend of re-releasing or updating classic synths, which we saw at NAMM in January, continued apace at the biggest musical instrument fair in the world in Frankfurt last week. But for once there was a strong British presence, with innovative new products, as well.…

Stuff your RFID card, just let me through the damn door!

El Reg - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 7:00am
Otherwise I might go 'full Clarkson'

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  "Never heard of them."…

Pirate Bay Blockade Censors CloudFlare Customers

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 6:29am
An anonymous reader writes: The blockade of the Pirate Bay by UK ISPs is causing trouble for CloudFlare customers. Several websites have been inadvertently blocked by Sky because a Pirate Bay proxy is hosted behind the same IP-addresses. In a response, CloudFlare threatened to disconnect the proxy site from its network. Like any form of censorship web blockades can sometime lead to overblocking, targeting perfectly legitimate websites by mistake. This is also happening in the UK where Sky's blocking technology is inadvertently blocking sites that have nothing to do with piracy.

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Microsoft Opens Vulnerability Bounty Program For Spartan Browser

Slashdot - Sat, 25/04/2015 - 3:27am
jones_supa writes: As it did in the past when it tried to make Internet Explorer more secure, Microsoft has launched a new bug bounty program for Spartan browser, the default application of Windows 10 for surfing the information highway. A typical remote code execution flaw can bring between $1,500 and $15,000, and for the top payment you also need to provide a functioning exploit. The company says that it could pay even more than that, if you convince the jury on the entry quality and complexity. Sandbox escape vulnerabilities with Enhanced Protected Mode enabled, important or higher severity vulnerabilities in Spartan or its engine, and ASLR info disclosure vulnerabilities are also eligible. If you want to accept the challenge, Microsoft provides more information on how to participate.

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