Wednesday 27 December 2017

Neil deGrasse Tyson Offers His Uniquely Humorous Perspective on the Pentagon’s UFO Video

Astrophysicist and author Neil deGrasse Tyson gives his perspective on the UFO video released by the Department of Defense...(Read...)

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UFO Existence 'Proven Beyond Reasonable Doubt', Says Former Head of Pentagon Alien Program

An anonymous reader shares a Newsweek report: The existence of UFOs had been "proved beyond reasonable doubt," according the head of the secret Pentagon program that analyzed the mysterious aircrafts. In an interview with British broadsheet The Telegraph published on Saturday, Luis Elizondo told the newspaper of the sightings, "In my opinion, if this was a court of law, we have reached the point of 'beyond reasonable doubt.'" "I hate to use the term UFO but that's what we're looking at," he added. "I think it's pretty clear this is not us, and it's not anyone else, so no one has to ask questions where they're from." Elizondo led the U.S. Defense Department's Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, investigating evidence of UFOs and alien life, from 2007 to 2012, when it was shuttered. Its existence was first reported by The New York Times this month.
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Monday 25 December 2017

Santa Facts

We've gotten him up to 20% milk and cookies through an aggressive public campaign, but that seems to be his dietary limit. Anything above that and he starts developing nutritional deficiencies.

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Netflix Now Supports HDR on Windows 10, but You'll Need an Intel or NVIDIA GPU

Netflix has announced the addition of High Dynamic Range (HDR) support on Windows 10 for both the Edge browser and Netflix app. You'll need Intel's 7th-generation or higher processors, and Intel's integrated GPU or an NVIDIA 1050 or higher. AMD GPUs (or even CPUs) are currently unsupported. Both Intel and NVIDIA developed GPUs that use 10 bits-per-channel for each of the RGB colors, increasing the color space that can be represented. With this new hardware available in consumer PCs, Netflix and Microsoft partnered together to put the software pieces in place. Microsoft added the necessary OS and browser changes in their Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, and our engineers integrated against those APIs to complete the video player work. Discussion

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Sunday 24 December 2017

211° - Rasoir Philips QP6510/30 OneBlade Pro avec sabot réglable 12 hauteurs de coupe

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Friday 22 December 2017

Bitcoin's Rise May Reflect a Monumental Transfer of Trust From Human Institutions Backed By Gov't To Systems Reliant on Well-Tested Code, Says Tim Wu

Tim Wu, a law professor at Columbia, writing for the New York Times: Yet as Bitcoin continues to grow, there's reason to think something deeper and more important is going on. Bitcoin's rise may reflect, for better or worse, a monumental transfer of social trust: away from human institutions backed by government and to systems reliant on well-tested computer code. It is a trend that transcends finance: In our fear of human error, we are putting an increasingly deep faith in technology (Editor's note: the link may be paywalled). What gives the Bitcoin bubble significance is that, like '90s tech, it is part of something much larger than itself. More and more we are losing faith in humans and depending instead on machines. The transformation is more obvious outside of finance. We trust in computers to fly airplanes, help surgeons cut into our bodies and simplify daily tasks, like finding our way home. In this respect, finance is actually behind: Where we no longer feel we can trust people, we let computer code take over. Bitcoin is part of this trend. It was, after all, a carnival of human errors and misfeasance that inspired the invention of Bitcoin in 2009, namely, the financial crisis. Banks backed by economically powerful nations had been the symbol of financial trustworthiness, the gold standard in the post-gold era. But they revealed themselves as reckless, drunk on other people's money, holding extraordinarily complex assets premised on a web of promises that were often mutually incompatible. To a computer programmer, the financial system still looks a lot like untested code with weak debugging that puts way too much faith in the idea that humans will behave properly. As with any bad software, it can be expected to crash when conditions change.
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ReMarkable tablet review: The high price of getting that paper feeling

Thursday 21 December 2017

Unix sockets come to Windows

Support for the unix socket has existed both in BSD and Linux for the longest time, but, not on Windows. On Windows, there were some alternatives for local IPC, such as named pipes. But, calling conventions are different between the named pipes and sockets, making writing low-maintenance cross-platform applications difficult. For example, one such place where these two constructs differ (other than the API) is terminating the connection. BSD Socket API provides a bidirectional close semantics using 'shutdown'. There is no direct equivalent of that in named pipes. Such differences make it difficult to port unix socket applications from Linux to Windows and vice versa; up until now! Build 17063 brings native support for the unix socket to Windows. Starting this build, two Win32 processes can use the AF_UNIX address family over Winsock API (which is very similar to the BSD socket API) to communicate with each other. Currently, the support only exists for the stream (SOCK_STREAM) socket type, which is a connection-oriented protocol for one-to-one communication. Support for the datagram (SOCK_DGRAM) can be considered in future depending on the adoption, feedback and scenarios. Another step to make Windows friendlier to UNIX/Linux users and developers.

Read the full article here by OSNews

Monday 18 December 2017

Firefox is on a slippery slope

For a long time, it was just setting the default search provider to Google in exchange for a beefy stipend. Later, paid links in your new tab page were added. Then, a proprietary service, Pocket, was bundled into the browser - not as an addon, but a hardcoded feature. In the past few days, we’ve discovered an advertisement in the form of browser extension was sideloaded into user browsers. Whoever is leading these decisions at Mozilla needs to be stopped. Mozilla garnered a lot of fully deserved goodwill with the most recent Firefox release, and here they are, jeopardising all that hard work. People expect this kind of nonsense from Google, Apple, or Microsoft - not Mozilla. Is it unfair to judge Mozilla much more harshly than those others? Perhaps, but that's a consequence of appealing to more demanding users when it comes to privacy and open source.

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Can Intel's 'Management Engine' Be Repurposed?

Long-time Slashdot reader iamacat writes: Not a day goes by without a story about another Intel Management Engine vulnerability. What I get is that a lot of consumer PCs can access network and run x86 code on top of UNIX-like OS such as Minix even when powered off. This sounds pretty useful for tasks such as running an occasional use Plex server. Like I can have a box that draws very little power when idle. But when an incoming connection is detected, it can power itself and the media drive on and serve the requested content. The original submission ends with an interesting question. "if Intel ME is so insecure, how do I exploit it for practically useful purposes?"
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LEGO animation: from Blender to Unreal Engine

Sunday 17 December 2017

Google’s AIY Vision Kit Augments Pi With Vision Processor

Adventure Time open-world game comes to consoles and PC next year

Microsoft Considers Adding Python As an Official Scripting Language in Excel

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft is considering adding Python as one of the official Excel scripting languages, according to a topic on Excel's feedback hub opened last month. Since it was opened, the topic has become the most voted feature request, double the votes of the second-ranked proposition. "Let us do scripting with Python! Yay! Not only as an alternative to VBA, but also as an alternative to field functions (=SUM(A1:A2))," the feature request reads, as opened by one of Microsoft's users. The OS maker responded yesterday by putting up a survey to gather more information and how users would like to use Python inside Excel. If approved, Excel users would be able to use Python scripts to interact with Excel documents, their data, and some of Excel's core functions, similar to how Excel currently supports VBA scripts. Python is one of the most versatile programming languages available today. It is also insanely popular with developers. It ranks second on the PYPL programming languages ranking, third in the RedMonk Programming Language Rankings, and fourth in the TIOBE index.
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Thursday 14 December 2017

‘PUBG’ rival ‘Fortnite’ adds 50 v. 50 team deathmatch

Fortnite: Battle Royale may have caught some flak from the makers of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds, but that didn't stop it from becoming an instant hit. To build on that success (and steal some of PUBG's thunder, ahead of its arrival on Xbox One), the free-to-play title is adding an insane new game mode. Instead of a 100 player free-for-all, it will be two squads of 50 scrapping it out till one team is left standing. The free mode is available until December 17th on PS4, Xbox One, PC, and Mac.

The game continues to amass fans as well. Epic Games latest numbers reveal Battle Royale has added 20 million additional players since October, bringing its grand total to 30 million. As long as it doesn't alienate any more (14-year-old) gamers with lawsuits, its star could keep rising -- even as the battle royale field gets a little more crowded with upcoming The Darwin Project.

Read the full article here by Engadget

France To Ban Mobile Phones In Schools

The French government is planning to ban students from using mobile phones in the country's primary, junior and middle schools. While children will be permitted to bring their phones to school, they will not be allowed to get them out at any time until they leave, even during breaks. The Guardian reports: Jean-Michel Blanquer, the French education minister, said the measure would come into effect from the start of the next school year in September 2018. It will apply to all pupils from the time they start school at age of six -- up to about 15 when they start secondary school. Blanquer said some education establishments already prohibited pupils from using their mobiles. "Sometimes you need a mobile for teaching reasons [...] for urgent situations, but their use has to be somehow controlled," he told RTL radio. The minister said the ban was also a "public health message to families," adding: "It's good that children are not too often, or even at all, in front of a screen before the age of seven." The French headteachers' union was skeptical that the ban could be enforced.
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Wednesday 13 December 2017

The new ‘Portal’ game is a ‘Bridge Constructor’ spin-off

Fans have been waiting with little hope for a third entry in the beloved Portal franchise since the second game came out in 2011. It seems Valve has answered their prayers -- kind of. Instead of another first-person teleporting puzzle adventure, the next Portal-branded title is a standalone spin-off of the popular Bridge Constructor game. If a marriage of both those franchises is up your alley, snag it for desktop or mobile on December 20th.

As the trailer illustrates, the game packs in the endearingly wild physics of Bridge Constructor with the titular teleporting ovals of Portal. Sure, it's not the Portal 3 everyone really wants, but it's probably the closest we'll get since Valve doesn't really make games anymore (they handed this one off to studios Headup and ClockStone Software).

Bridge Constructor Portal will cost $10 for the PC, MacOS and Linux versions and $5 for the iOS and Android apps, all of which come out December 20th. Console editions will follow in early 2018.

Via: Ars Technica

Source: 'Bridge Constructor Portal' trailer (YouTube)

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'Black Mirror' season four hits Netflix on December 29th

After months of hype, Netflix has finally set a release date for the fourth season of Black Mirror. A trailer for Charlie Brooker's technology-gone-wrong anthology has revealed that the six new episodes will premiere on December 29th. You already have an inkling of what to expect through previous trailers: "Arkangel" (directed by Jodie Foster) shows the perils of overprotective parenting, "Crocodile" explores recovering memories from a car crash and "USS Callister" reflects a Star Trek gone horribly wrong. Other episodes include "Hang the DJ" (about a system that finds love matches), "Black Museum" (a museum of terrifying tech) and "Metalhead" (a terrifying robotic hound, from the sounds of it).

The fourth season appears to be an even darker turn for Black Mirror, but the themes are as consistent ever. The show isn't so much a condemnation of tech (Brooker is nothing if not tech-savvy) as it is an exploration of where tech might go and its possible repercussions. It'll certainly give you something to think about while you're on your end-of-year break.

Source: Netflix (YouTube)

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60 percent of organizations aren't ready for GDPR

With the deadline of May 2018 looming closer, a new survey shows 60 percent of respondents in the EU and 50 percent in the US say they face some serious challenges in being GDPR compliant. The study by data protection specialist Varonis polled 500 cyber security professionals in organizations with over 1000 employees in the UK, Germany, France and the US and finds more than half (57 percent) of professionals are concerned about compliance with the standard. 38 percent of respondents report that their organizations do not view compliance with GDPR by the deadline as a priority. 74 percent believe… [Continue Reading]

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Thursday 7 December 2017

Chrome for business isolates websites for added security

Google handed more security controls to G Suite admins in July, now it's bolstering its browser's defenses for business users too. Today's Chrome 63 rollout brings with it site isolation, Transport Layer Security (TLS) 1.3 for Gmail, and granular settings for extensions.

Last year, Microsoft claimed that Edge leapfrogged rivals in terms of protections by adding Virtualization Based Security (VBS) -- which basically keeps the browser within a virtual "PC" and separate from other processes, among them the Windows 10 kernel. Google, on the other hand, is sticking with its sandbox tech.

With site isolation, Chrome can now render content for open websites in an individual process that is kept separate from other pages. If you don't want a blanket approach, you can create a preset list of sites you want to isolate instead -- Google suggests using it for your company intranet. The cost of the extra layer of protection is 10 to 20 percent increased memory usage.

Google's browser already lets all-powerful admins blacklist specific extensions. Chrome 63 takes things a step further by allowing IT admins to restrict access to extensions based on the permissions required (like the use of webcam or microphone).

Chrome's latest version also heralds the arrival of TLS 1.3 for Gmail: a protocol for secure communications on the internet. Google claims the previous version, standardized in 2008, is in need of an overhaul. And TLS 1.3 makes for a faster and more secure experience, with plans to bring it to the entire web in 2018. Google is recommending admins check its feedback forum to ensure your system is interoperable with it.

Looking ahead, there's news that the next update (Chrome 64) will include support for the NTLMv2 authentication protocol, which is already the default in the Windows browser. It will become the default NTLM protocol in Chrome 65.

Source: Google

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Monday 4 December 2017

Volunteers Around the World Build Surveillance-Free Cellular Network Called 'Sopranica'

dmoberhaus writes: Motherboard's Daniel Oberhaus spoke to Denver Gingerich, the programmer behind Sopranica, a DIY, community-oriented cell phone network. "Sopranica is a project intended to replace all aspects of the existing cell phone network with their freedom-respecting equivalents," says Gingerich. "Taking out all the basement firmware on the cellphone, the towers that track your location, the payment methods that track who you are and who owns the number, and replacing it so we can have the same functionality without having to give up all the privacy that we have to give up right now. At a high level, it's about running community networks instead of having companies control the cell towers that we connect to." Motherboard interviews Gingerich and shows you how to use the network to avoid cell surveillance. According to Motherboard, all you need to do to join Sopranica is "create a free and anonymous Jabber ID, which is like an email address." Jabber is slang for a secure instant messaging protocol called XMPP that let's you communicate over voice and text from an anonymous phone number. "Next, you need to install a Jabber app on your phone," reports Motherboard. "You'll also need to install a Session Initiation Protocol (SIP) app, which allows your phone to make calls and send texts over the internet instead of the regular cellular network." Lastly, you need to get your phone number, which you can do by navigating to Sopranica's JMP website. (JMP is the code, which was published by Gingerich in January, and "first part of Sopranica.") "These phone numbers are generated by Sopranica's Voice Over IP (VOIP) provider which provides talk and text services over the internet. Click whichever number you want to be your new number on the Sopranica network and enter your Jabber ID. A confirmation code should be sent to your phone and will appear in your Jabber app." As for how JMP protects against surveillance, Gingerich says, "If you're communicating with someone using your JMP number, your cell carrier doesn't actually know what your JMP number is because that's going over data and it's encrypted. So they don't know that that communication is happening."
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Dell Begins Offering Laptops With Intel's 'Management Engine' Disabled

An anonymous reader quotes Linux computer vendor System76 announced this week that it will roll out a firmware update to disable Intel Management Engine on laptops sold in the past few years. Purism will also disable Intel Management Engine on computers it sells moving forward. Those two computer companies are pretty small players in the multi-billion dollar PC industry. But it turns out one of the world's largest PC companies is also offering customers the option of buying a computer with Intel Management Engine disabled. At least three Dell computers can be configured with an "Intel vPro -- ME Inoperable, Custom Order" option, although you'll have to pay a little extra for those configurations... While Intel doesn't officially provide an option to disable its Management Engine, independent security researchers have discovered methods for doing that and we're starting to see PC makers make use of those methods. The option appears to be available on most of Dell's Latitude laptops (from the 12- to 15-inch screens), including the 7480, 5480, and 5580 and the Latitude 14 5000 Series (as well as several "Rugged" and "Rugged Extreme" models). Dell is charging anywhere from $20.92 to $40 to disable Intel's Management Engine.
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Friday 1 December 2017

Google Will Block Third-Party Software From Injecting Code Into Chrome

Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Google has laid out a plan for blocking third-party applications from injecting code into the Chrome browser. The most impacted by this change are antivirus and other security products that often inject code into the user's local browser process to intercept and scan for malware, phishing pages, and other threats. Google says these changes will take place in three main phases over the next 14 months. Phase 1: In April 2018, Chrome 66 will begin showing affected users a warning after a crash, alerting them that other software is injecting code into Chrome and guiding them to update or remove that software. Phase 2: In July 2018, Chrome 68 will begin blocking third-party software from injecting into Chrome processes. If this blocking prevents Chrome from starting, Chrome will restart and allow the injection, but also show a warning that guides the user to remove the software. Phase 3: In January 2019, Chrome 72 will remove this accommodation and always block code injection.
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Fernando Alonso is the first F1 driver with an eSports team

You've seen basketball and soccer (aka football) teams dive into eSports, and now it's the turn for individual Formula One drivers to get in on the action. McLaren Honda driver Fernando Alonso has launched an eSports team in partnership with Logitech, with Alonso serving as a team principal. The FA Racing G2 Logitech G team -- yes, it's a mouthful -- will compete in a slew of games across multiple platforms, and has already enlisted F1 eSports league finalist Cem Bolukbasi.

The team creation came shortly after McLaren appointed Rudy van Buren as an official sim driver following a "World's Fastest Gamer" competition. McLaren is also the first racing team with its own eSports director.

Alonso explained the move as a logical extension. Each F1 driver is a "gamer at heart," he said, and virtual racing opens doors for a younger audience that might not get a chance to race in the real world. There's also the simple matter of marketing: virtual racing serves as a promotional tool that can get fans excited and might even lead to some taking up motorsport as a career.

The next question is whether or not other teams follow suit. The jury's still out on whether or not eSports teams ultimately help, but it's hard to see other F1 drivers and teams sitting by the wayside. If there's even a hint of success, don't be surprised if a large chunk of F1 eventually fields eSports outfits.

Via: Reuters

Source: G2 eSports (Twitter)

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Google’s New Files Go App: Everything You Need to Know

Running With Epilepsy

Katie Cooke is a 20-year-old competitive runner from Dublin. Due to an aggressive form of epilepsy, she experiences up to 14 seizures a day. Despite her condition, Cooke hasn’t let anything stand in the way of her love for running. With the help of her neurologist, who doubles as her running partner, Cooke is never steered off course. With each seizure, she is able to bounce back and keep on going...(Read...)

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