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Consumer Groups Want To Tax Facebook To Save Journalism

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 14:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: How to fund ethical journalism in the Facebook era is the multi-billion dollar question of the hour, and a technology-focused consumer group by the name of Free Press believes it has a solution. The group has unveiled a new proposal that suggests taxing all online targeted advertising, then using that money to fund the nation's struggling news empires, big and small. The program would apply a 2 percent tax on companies generating more than $200 million in annual targeted-ad revenues, then use that money to create a "Public Interest Media Endowment." The $2 billion collected annually would then be managed by the government itself, or an outside, existing institution such as the Corporation for Public Broadcasting. Such a tax would most obviously apply to both social media giants, but also the giant telecom monopolies increasingly trying to elbow their way into the online ad space. This endowment, in turn, would help fund local journalism, investigative reporting, media literacy, noncommercial social networks, civic-technology projects, and "news and information for underserved communities," suggests the group. "The problem for journalism is that Facebook and Google control nearly 70 percent of this marketplace," Free Press Director Tim Karr told Motherboard via email. "And neither are news organizations. In fact, only one of the top ten digital advertisers in the U.S. (Verizon Media Group/Oath) is in the news business (HuffPost, Techcrunch), and then only partially so."

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Huawei Says It Has a Backup OS In Case It's Cut Off From Android

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 11:00
Huawei has built its own operating system for phones, tablets and computers in case tensions between Huawei and the U.S. escalate even further than they already are. "The OS has been rumored for years, but Huawei confirmed its viability with the South China Morning Post, saying it could be used if the company were cut off from Android or Windows," reports Engadget. "It's seen as a last resort, but given the current discord between the U.S. and Huawei, it's not entirely surprising that the company has a plan B." From the report: Huawei began building the OS in 2012, after the U.S. banned Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE from using American products and services. This was reportedly seen as a way to prepare for "worst-case scenarios." Now, with Huawei suing the U.S. government and the U.S. saying it might punish Germany if the country works with Huawei on its 5G networks, those worst-case scenarios might not be too far-fetched. At the moment, this doesn't change much. Android and Windows are still the company's first-choice. "We fully support our partners' operating systems -- we love them and our customers love them," a company spokesperson told South China Morning Post. Still, given the state of the U.S.-Huawei relationship, this contingency plan could be significant.

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Google Is Shutting Down Its Emmy Award-Winning VR Film Studio

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 08:00
Google is shutting down its Spotlight Stories immersive entertainment unit, according to an email sent out by Spotlight Stories executive producer Karen Dufilho Wednesday evening. "Google Spotlight Stories is shutting its doors after over six years of making stories and putting them on phones, on screens, in VR, and anywhere else we could get away with it," Dufilho said in her email sent to supporters of the studio. Variety reports: Spotlight Stories originally began as a group within Motorola, tasked with exploring the future of storytelling for mobile devices. The group then became part of Google's Advanced Technologies and Products (ATAP) group, and went on to produce a number of 360-degree videos and VR experiences with creators like Glen Keane, Justin Lin, Jorge Gutierrez and Aardman Animation, the makers of "Wallace and Gromit." "Pearl," a Spotlight Story from Patrick Osborne, the director of Disney's Oscar-nominated short film "Feast," was nominated for an Academy Award, and won a Creative Arts Emmy for Outstanding Innovation in Interactive Programming in 2017. Most recently, Spotlight Stories released "Age of Sail," an animated short film directed by Oscar-winning animator John Kahrs. Google is said to have invested significant amounts of money into Spotlight Stories over the years, without giving the group a mandate to monetize their works. However, while Spotlight Stories films pushed the medium forward, the group didn't necessarily improve the fortunes of Google's VR efforts, with the company struggling to find an audience for its Daydream VR headset. A Google spokesperson said in a statement to Variety: "Since its inception, Spotlight Stories strove to re-imagine VR storytelling. From ambitious shorts like 'Son of Jaguar,' 'Sonaria' and 'Back to The Moon' to critical acclaim for 'Pearl' (Emmy winner and first-ever VR film nominated for an Oscar) the Spotlight Stories team left a lasting impact on immersive storytelling. We are proud of the work the team has done over the years." A source with knowledge of the situation told Variety that staffers were given a chance to look for new positions within the company. Most artists who had been working on projects for Spotlight Stories were thought to be contractors on a by-project basis.

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Steam Link Anywhere Will Let You Stream Your PC's Games On the Go

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 06:30
Valve is expanding its Steam Link game-streaming feature in a big way with Steam Link Anywhere, a new service that will allow you to stream your Steam games from your computer to anywhere in the world through Steam Link hardware or the Steam Link app. From a report: Steam Link Anywhere is an extension of Steam Link that will enable users to connect to their PCs and play games from anywhere (thus the name), rather than being limited to a local network. It's compatible with both the Steam Link hardware and app, and will be rolled out automatically (and freely) to everyone who owns the hardware with beta firmware installed, the Android app beta, or the Raspberry Pi app. You'll also need to be enrolled in the Steam client beta, and have the latest version installed. Assuming you've got all that covered, you'll see an "Other Computer" option on the screen when searching for computers to connect to via Steam Link. Select that, follow the instructions, and you'll be set. Valve didn't provide specific network requirements but said you'll need "a high upload speed from your computer and strong network connection to your Steam Link device" in order to use it.

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Proposal For United Nations To Study Climate-Cooling Technologies Rejected

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 04:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A push to launch a high-level study of potentially risky technological fixes to curb climate change was abandoned on Thursday at a U.N. environmental conference in Nairobi, as countries including the United States raised objections. "Geoengineering" technologies, which are gaining prominence as international efforts to curb climate-changing emissions fall short, aim to pull carbon out of the atmosphere or block some of the sun's warmth to cool the Earth. They could help fend off some of the worst impacts of runaway climate change, including worsening storms and heatwaves, backers say. But opponents argue the emerging technologies pose huge potential risks to people and nature, and could undermine efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, not least because many are backed by fossil-fuel interests. Observers at the U.N. Environment Assembly in Nairobi said the Swiss-backed proposal was rejected in part because it called for a "precautionary principle" approach to geoengineering the climate. That principle says great care must be taken in starting activities that have unclear risks for human health or the environment. The United States, Saudi Arabia and Brazil were among the strongest opponents of the proposal, with Japan also expressing reservations.

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Origami-inspired Robot Gripper Grasps Objects Up To 120 Times Its Weight

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 03:15
An anonymous reader shares a report: Robotic hands have a tough time getting a grip on pliable objects, but it's not for lack of trying -- most make do with rigid pincers that aren't designed for precision grasping. Fortunately, if a newly published paper is any indication, more versatile systems are on the horizon. In it, researchers at MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) and Harvard describe a novel gripper design that's capable of lifting items in a range of weights, shapes, and sizes. The team's hollow, cone-shaped gripper comprises three parts -- a 3D-printed, 16-piece silicone rubber skeleton with a gripper-to-mount connector encased by an airtight skin -- that together collapse in on objects as opposed to clutching them. It was inspired by the "magic ball," an origami design that's folded from a rectangular piece of paper pre-creased with a repeating, offset pattern that reversibly changes between a spherical and cylindrical shape. The gripper is powered by a pneumatic vacuum and covered by either a 27-inch latex rubber balloon or a TPU-coated nylon fabric sheet, depending on the configuration. The researchers tested three: one with a self-folded fabric skin skeleton, a second with a rubber-molded skeleton, and a third with a tougher rubber skeleton. [...] In one experiment where the team mounted the gripper on a robot to test its strength, it managed to lift and grasp objects -- 12 food items, 19 different bottles and cups, and 14 miscellaneous items, some weighing over four pounds -- that were 70 percent of its diameter and up to 120 times its weight without damaging them. It currently works best with cylindrical objects like bottles and cans, according to Shuguang Li, a joint postdoctoral student at MIT CSAIL and Harvard's John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS), which makes it a natural fit for factory production lines.

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Toyota Is Losing the Electric Car Race, So It Pretends Hybrids Are Better

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 02:30
Ben Jervey from DeSmogBlog writes about how Toyota is "using questionable logic" to claim hybrid vehicles are superior than electric vehicles, when in reality it's only saying that because it decided years ago to invest in gasoline-electric hybrids and fuel cells in the long term instead of battery production. This decision is now coming back to haunt them. From the report: There are at least 12 car companies currently selling an all-electric vehicle in the United States, and Toyota isn't one of them. Despite admitting recently that the Tesla Model 3 alone is responsible for half of Toyota's customer defections in North America -- as Prius drivers transition to all-electric -- the company has been an outspoken laggard in the race to electrification. Now, the company is using questionable logic to attempt to justify its inaction on electrification, claiming that its limited battery capacity better serves the planet by producing gasoline-electric hybrids. For years, Toyota leadership has shunned investment in all-electric cars, laying out a more conservative strategy to "electrify" its fleet -- essentially doubling down on hybrids and plug-in hybrids -- as a bridge to a future generation of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles. As Tesla, Nissan, and GM have led the technological shift to fully battery electric vehicles, Toyota has publicly bashed the prospects of all-electric fleets. (See, for instance, the swipe the company took at plug-in vehicles in this recent Toyota Corolla Hybrid commercial.) Last week, at the Geneva Auto Show, a Toyota executive provided a curious explanation for the company's refusal to launch a single battery electric vehicle. As Car and Driver reported, Toyota claims that it is limited by battery production capacity and that "Toyota is able to produce enough batteries for 28,000 electric vehicles each year -- or for 1.5 million hybrid cars." In other words, because Toyota has neglected to invest in battery production, it can only produce enough batteries for a trivial number of all-electric vehicles. Due to this self-inflicted capacity shortage, the company is forced to choose between manufacturing 1.5 million hybrids or 28,000 electric cars. Using what Car and Driver called "fuzzy math," the company tried to justify the strategy to forgo electric vehicles (EVs) on environmental grounds. As Toyota explained it, "selling 1.5 million hybrid cars reduces carbon emissions by a third more than selling 28,000 EVs." As for the "fuzzy math," Toyota's calculation "seems to assume that for every hybrid sold, a fully gasoline-powered car would be taken off the road," writes Jervey. "In reality, many Toyota hybrid buyers are replacing a Toyota hybrid. And, based on Toyota's own revelation that they are losing Prius drivers to Tesla, it stands to reason that many Toyota hybrid drivers would jump at the opportunity to transition to an all-electric Toyota."

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Kids Have 'Math Anxiety' Thanks To Parents and Teachers, Report Finds

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 01:50
A new report out of the University of Cambridge studied the experiences of a total of 2,700 primary and secondary students in the UK and Italy and found that primary and secondary school girls had higher levels of both math anxiety and general anxiety than boys. "The study also focuses on how parents and teachers shape math performance and attitudes, perhaps without even realizing it," adds Motherboard. "In the same way that anxious parents can shape their children's anxiety, math-anxious mentors can shape how kids view their own math anxiety." From the report: The new study builds on previous research by highlighting the importance of teachers and parents' own math anxieties impacting students. Most students that the researchers talked to said that their anxiousness started when the math topics became more challenging, and they felt like they couldn't do them. Another reason the students' said they were struggling was because multiple teachers were teaching them math, and it became confusing across teaching styles. "Importantly -- and surprisingly -- this new research suggests that the majority of students experiencing maths anxiety have normal to high maths ability," Josh Hillman, Director of Education at the Nuffield Foundation, said in a press release. Several of the excerpts of the interviews conducted by researchers with math-anxious kids are heartbreaking: Many described feelings that they knew the answers but panicked, or tried to battle through initial confusion. One child, around 9 or 10 years old, said: "Once, I think it was the first day and he picked on me, and I just kind of burst into tears because everybody was staring at me and I didn't know the answer. Well I probably knew it but I hadn't thought it through." Another described doing a fractions test: "It means like enormously [nervous], and enormously means like massively... I felt very unwell and I was really scared and because my table's in the corner, I kind of just like tried to not be in the lesson."

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You Will Soon Be Able To Pay Your Subway Fare With Your Face in China

Slashdot - Pią, 2019-03-15 00:30
China has led the world in adoption of smartphone-based mobile payments to the point where the central bank had to remind merchants not to discriminate against cash. The next phase of development may be to pay with your face. South Morning China Post: In Shenzhen, the local subway operator is testing various advanced technologies backed by the ultra-fast 5G network, including facial-recognition ticketing. At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters can scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts. Currently in a trial mode, the facial-recognition ticketing service could in future help improve the efficiency of handling the up to 5 million rides per day on the city's subway network. Shenzhen Metro did not elaborate when it will roll out the facial payment service. The introduction of facial recognition-and-payment services to the public transit system marks another step by China toward integrating facial recognition and other artificial intelligence-based technology into everyday life in the world's most populous nation. Consumers can already pay for fried chicken at KFC in China with its "Smile to Pay" facial recognition system, first introduced at an outlet in Hangzhou in January 2017.

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Samsung Is Working On 'Perfect Full-Screen' Devices With Selfie Cameras Under the Display

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 23:50
According to a report from Yonhap News Agency, Samsung's vice president of its display R&D group, Yang Byung-duk, said the company is working on making the entire front of its phones a screen, with no need for bezels or a camera cutout of any kind. He said that "though it wouldn't be possible to make (a full-screen smartphone) in the next 1-2 years, the technology can move forward to the point where the camera hole will be invisible, while not affecting the camera's function in any way." The Verge reports: The comments come less than a month after Samsung announced its latest flagship, the Galaxy S10, which is the company's first phone to have a "hole-punch" cut out from its display for the selfie camera. Yang called the S10's Infinity-O display a "milestone" for the company, but suggested that Samsung eventually plans to place the selfie camera under the display itself, removing the need for any cut out or pop-up mechanism.

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Musician Creates a Million-Hour Song Based On the Number Pi

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 23:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Now, for Pi Day (March 14), music software programmer Canton Becker has crafted a million-hour song based on Pi that unfolds generatively on a virtual tape deck. Titled "Shepard's Pi," the song combines two of Becker's favorite infinities: Pi, and an auditory illusion called a Shepard tone, which he describes as an "unsettling sonic illusion of a pitch that climbs or descends forever, never reaching a top or a bottom." Found at PiSongs.com, users can tune into "Shepard's Pi" in real time with a custom virtual tape deck. The track itself evolves moment to moment, but the synthesized and sampled tones will be familiar to anyone who has ever listened to the electronic music of Kraftwerk, Tangerine Dream, Aphex Twin, and Global Communication. Far from being a mere gimmick, it is a highly evocative and transporting piece of electronic music, alternately ambient, glitchy, and interestingly rhythmic. The 58,999 GB MP3 file needed to be distributed via a webpage or app, so Becker "started hacking away at the basic algorithm in the programming languages PHP and Javascript," reports Motherboard. "In between coding marathons, Becker composed and recorded the loops and samples that would form the basis of the song. He experimented with sounds that would work well together regardless of being stacked one upon the other." "When users hit 'play' on the virtual tape deck, the algorithm actually 'performs' the piece," the report says. "This way, the 114-year song can fit in just one gigabyte of space, which is mostly comprised of the digits of Pi. The virtual tape deck was also a solution to a built-in quirk of browsers such as Chrome, Safari, and Firefox -- users must click on a webpage to trigger a sound." From start to finish, the song lasts 999,999 hours, "a limitation imposed by only considering the first one billion digits of Pi."

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NVIDIA Launches New $219 Turing-Powered GeForce GTX 1660

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 22:30
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA took the wraps off yet another lower cost Turing-based graphics card today, dubbed the GeForce GTX 1660. For a $219 MSRP, the card offers a cut-down NVIDIA TU116 GPU comprised of 1408 CUDA cores with a 1785MHz boost clock and 6GB of GDDR6 RAM with 192.1GB/s of bandwidth. Generally speaking, the new GeForce GTX 1660 is 15% to 30% faster than NVIDIA's previous generation GeForce GTX 1060 but doesn't support new ray tracing and DLSS features that the majority of NVIDIA's new Turing cards support. Performance-wise, GeForce GTX 1660 is generally faster than an AMD Radeon RX 590 overall. Boards from various OEM partners should be in the channel for purchase this week.

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Microsoft Announces Xbox Live For Any iOS Or Android Game

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 21:50
Microsoft is bringing its Xbox Live network to iOS and Android devices. "The software giant is launching a new cross-platform mobile software development kit (SDK) for game developers to bring Xbox Live functionality to games that run on iOS and Android," reports The Verge. "Xbox Live features like achievements, Gamerscore, hero stats, friend lists, clubs, and even some family settings will all be available on iOS and Android." From the report: It's all part of a bigger push from Microsoft to make its Xbox games and services available across multiple platforms. Game developers will be able to pick and choose parts of Xbox Live to integrate into their games, and it will all be enabled through a single sign-in to a Microsoft Account. Microsoft is using its identity network to support login, privacy, online safety, and child accounts. Microsoft wants game developers to take a similar Minecraft approach and bring Xbox Live to more mobile games. Some iOS and Android games already have Xbox Live Achievements, but they're only enabled in titles from Microsoft Studios at the moment and this new SDK will open up Xbox Live functionality to many more games. If you were hoping to see Xbox Live on Nintendo Switch then you might have to wait a little longer. "Our goal is to really unite the 2 billion gamers of the world and we're big fans of our Xbox Live community, but we don't have any specific announcements as it relates to Switch today," reveals Choudhry. Xbox Live on PlayStation 4 also looks unlikely, but Microsoft is open to the idea if Sony is willing to allow it. "If you've watched us for the past few years, we've taken a very inclusive approach," says Choudhry. "Phil [Spencer] has been very proactive on issues like crossplay, cross-progression, and uniting gamer networks, and we're willing to partner with the industry as much as we possibly can."

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Boeing 737 Max Crashes 'Linked' By Satellite Track Data, FAA Says

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 21:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on March 13, citing new data that showed a possible link between the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight and the crash of a Lion Air flight off the coast of Indonesia last October. In an interview with NPR's David Greene this morning, acting FAA Director Dan Ewell said that "newly refined satellite data" from a flight telemetry system had led the agency to make the move. Both Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (ET302) and Lion Air Flight 610 (JT610) were recently acquired 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and both were lost with all aboard just minutes after take-off. According to the emergency order issued by the FAA, "new information from the wreckage concerning the aircraft's configuration just after takeoff that, taken together with newly refined data from satellite-based tracking of the aircraft's flight path, indicates some similarities between the ET302 JT610 accidents that warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed." The source of the data in question is a combination of telemetry feeds from the flights' Automatic Dependent Surveillance(ADS) system. Introduced in the US in 2001 and more widely worldwide in the wake of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 in 2014, Europe has required most aircraft to carry the UHF-band ADS-Broadcast (ADS-B) system since 2017, and the FAA has mandated ADS-B for most aircraft by 2020. While ADS-B data was initially meant to be picked up by other aircraft and ground stations, it is also tracked by satellites. Other, less-granular telemetry data sent in the subscription-based ADS-addressed/Contract (ADS-A/ADS-C) format, the Future Air Navigation System(FANS), and the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) are also picked up by satellite.

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The Hottest Chat App for Teens is Google Docs

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 20:30
An anonymous reader shares a report: As more and more laptops find their way into middle and high schools, educators are using Google Docs to do collaborative exercises and help students follow along with the lesson plan. The students, however, are using it to organize running conversations behind teachers' backs. Teens told me they use Google Docs to chat just about any time they need to put their phone away but know their friends will be on computers. Sometimes they'll use the service's live chat function, which doesn't open by default, and which many teachers don't even know exists. Or, they'll take advantage of the fact that Google allows users to highlight certain phrases or words, then comment on them via a pop-up box on the right side: They'll clone a teacher's shared Google document, then chat in the comments, so it appears to the causal viewer that they're just making notes on the lesson plan. If a teacher approaches to take a closer look, they can click the "Resolve" button and the entire thread will disappear. If the project isn't a collaborative one, kids will just create a shared document where they'll chat line by line in what looks like a paragraph of text. "People will just make a new page and talk in different fonts so you know who is who," Skyler said. "I had one really good friend and we were in different homerooms. So, we'd email each other a doc and would just chat about whatever was going on." At the end of class, they just delete a doc or resolve all the comments. Rarely does anyone save them the way previous generations may have stored away paper notes from friends.

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A Worry For Some Pilots: Their Hands-On Flying Skills Are Lacking

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 19:48
An anonymous reader shares a report: Pilots now spend more time learning automated systems than practicing hands-on flying, so newer pilots are less comfortable with taking manual control when the computer steers them wrong, according to interviews with a dozen pilots and pilot instructors at major airlines and aviation universities around the world. "The automation in the aircraft, whether it's a Boeing or an Airbus, has lulled us into a sense of security and safety," said Kevin Hiatt, a former Delta Air Lines pilot who later ran flight safety for JetBlue. Pilots now rely on autopilot so often, "they become a systems operator rather than a stick-and-rudder pilot." As a result, he said, "they may not exactly know or recognize quickly enough what is happening to the aircraft, and by the time they figure it out, it may be too late." [...] While automation has contributed to the airline industry's stellar safety record in recent years, it has also been a factor in many of the crashes that have still occurred around the world. A 2011 study by a federal task force found that in about 60 percent of 46 recent accidents, pilots had trouble manually flying the plane or handling the automated controls. Complicated automation systems can also confuse pilots and potentially cause them to take action they shouldn't, pilots said.

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DARPA Is Building a $10 Million, Open Source, Secure Voting System

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 19:02
samleecole writes: For years security professionals and election integrity activists have been pushing voting machine vendors to build more secure and verifiable election systems, so voters and candidates can be assured election outcomes haven't been manipulated. Now they might finally get this thanks to a new $10 million contract the Defense Department's Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) has launched to design and build a secure voting system that it hopes will be impervious to hacking. The first-of-its-kind system will be designed by an Oregon-based firm called Galois, a longtime government contractor with experience in designing secure and verifiable systems. The system will use fully open source voting software, instead of the closed, proprietary software currently used in the vast majority of voting machines, which no one outside of voting machine testing labs can examine. More importantly, it will be built on secure open source hardware, made from special secure designs and techniques developed over the last year as part of a special program at DARPA. The voting system will also be designed to create fully verifiable and transparent results so that voters don't have to blindly trust that the machines and election officials delivered correct results.

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Mercury -- Not Venus -- is the Closest Planet To Earth on Average, New Research Finds

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 18:20
That's the finding presented by a team of scientists who have published their results this week in an article in the magazine Physics Today. From a report: They explain that our methods of calculating which planet is "the closest" oversimplifies the matter. But that's not all. "Further, Mercury is the closest neighbor, on average, to each of the other seven planets in the solar system," they write. Wait -- what? Our misconceptions about how close the planets are to one another comes from the way we usually estimate the distances to other planets. Normally, we calculate the average distance from the planet to the Sun. The Earth's average distance is 1 astronomical unit (AU), while Venus' is around 0.72 AU. If you subtract one from the other, you calculate the average distance from Earth to Venus as 0.28 AU, the smallest distance for any pair of planets. But a trio of researchers realized that this isn't an accurate way to calculate the distances to planets. After all, Earth spends just as much time on the opposite side of its orbit from Venus, placing it 1.72 AU away. One must instead average the distance between every point along one planet's orbit and every point along the other planet's orbit. The researchers ran a simulation based on two assumptions: that the planets' orbits were approximately circular, and that their orbits weren't at an angle relative to one another.

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Facebook Apologizes for Outages, Says It Has Resolved 'Server Configuration' Error That Led To Access Problems

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 17:48
Facebook is sorry: The social media giant apologized for the technical errors that left many users globally unable to access apps for Facebook, Instagram, Messenger and WhatsApp starting Wednesday and stretching into Thursday, and said it's fixed the glitch. From a report: About 24 hours after users began reporting problems with Facebook, Instagram and other apps, Facebook announced Thursday -- on Twitter -- that it had resolved them and that its systems are "recovering." "Yesterday, as a result of a server configuration change, many people had trouble accessing our apps and services. We've now resolved the issues and our systems are recovering," the company said in a tweet. "We're very sorry for the inconvenience and appreciate everyone's patience."

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Quantum Computer Not Ready To Break Public Key Encryption For At Least 10 Years, Some Experts Say

Slashdot - Czw, 2019-03-14 17:05
physburn writes: The Register has spoken to some experts to get a better understanding of the risk quantum computers present to the existing encryption systems we have today. Richard Evers, cryptographer for a Canadian security biz called Kryptera, argues that media coverage and corporate pronouncements about quantum computing have left people with the impression that current encryption algorithms will soon become obsolete. But they will not be ready for at least 10 years, he said. As an example, Evers points to remarks made by Arvind Krishna, director of IBM research, at The Churchill Club in San Francisco last May, that those interested in protecting data for at least ten years "should probably seriously consider whether they should start moving to alternate encryption techniques now." In a post Evers penned recently with his business partner Alastair Sweeny, he contends, "The hard truth is that widespread beliefs about security and encryption may prove to be based on fantasy rather than fact." And the reason for this, he suggests, is the desire for funding and fame.

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