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Slashdot 09/25/2020 07:12
A giant Gundam in Japan's Port of Yokohama is now able to "pick up its legs to walk, bend its knees, turn its head, and contort its fingers to mime hand signals," reports Popular Mechanics. The 60-foot robot is the largest in the world. From the report: Inspired by the fictional Japanese robot of the same name -- which has appeared in over 50 TV series and movies since 1979, as well as many manga comics and video games -- this Gundam features a staggering 24 degrees of freedom. People in Japan have caught and shared a few glimpses of the engineering marvel. Considering the Gundam weighs about 25 tons, it's pretty insane to watch it raise both arms in the air and pick itself back up after kneeling. Those efficiencies are thanks to precise en.
Slashdot 09/25/2020 03:27
Rose Pastore reporting via Gizmodo: A new way of producing powerful X-ray beams -- the brightest on Earth -- is now making it possible to create 3D images of matter at astounding resolutions. This "Extremely Brilliant Source" officially opened last month at the European Synchrotron Radiation Facility in France, and scientists are already using it to study the coronavirus behind covid-19. These X-ray beams will image the interiors of fossils, brains, batteries, and countless other interesting items down to the atomic scale, revealing unprecedented information and supercharging scientific research. A typical medical X-ray, like you would get for a broken bone, can show doctors details about your particular fracture and the tissue around it. X.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 23:57
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Speaking to Congress today, the former Facebook manager first tasked with making the company make money did not mince words about his role. He told lawmakers that the company "took a page from Big Tobacco's playbook, working to make our offering addictive at the outset" and arguing that his former employer has been hugely detrimental to society. His analogy continued: "Tobacco companies initially just sought to make nicotine more potent. But eventually that wasn't enough to grow the business as fast as they wanted. And so they added sugar and menthol to cigarettes so you could hold the smoke in your lungs for longer periods. At Facebook, we added status updates, photo tagging, and likes.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 22:22
Saad Bhamla, an undergraduate in Mumbai, India, has invented a do-it-yourself hearing aid made from inexpensive, easy-to-find parts. "At bulk rates, Bhamla says, it would cost just under $1 to make," reports Science Magazine. "But anyone with the freely available blueprints and a soldering iron can make their own for not much more -- maybe $15 or $20, Bhamla says." From the report: Inspired by his grandparents and a hearing-impaired colleague -- who is the first author on the new paper -- Bhamla and his team set out to develop a cheap hearing aid built with off-the-shelf parts. They soldered a microphone onto a small circuit board to capture nearby sound and added an amplifier and a frequency filter to specifically increase the volume of hi.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 22:22
The supermassive black hole at the center of the M87 galaxy has a shadow crescent that moves, like a dancer in the dark. From a report: Over a year ago, scientists unleashed something incredible on the world: the first photo of a black hole ever taken. By putting together radio astronomy observations made with dishes across four continents, the collaboration known as the Event Horizon Telescope managed to peer 53 million light-years away and look at a supermassive black hole, which is 6.5 million times the mass of the sun and sits at the center of the galaxy Messier 87 (M87). The fiery historic image showed off a bright crescent of ultra-hot gas and debris orbiting the black hole's event horizon, the pitch-black central point-of-no-return t.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 20:46
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 3090, which just launched this morning, is the single most powerful graphics card money can buy currently (almost). It sits at the top of NVIDIA's product stack, and according to the company, it enables new experiences like smooth 8K gaming and seamless processing of massive content creation workloads, thanks in part to its 24GB of on-board GDDR6X memory. A graphics card like the GeForce RTX 3090 isn't for everyone, however. Though its asking price is about a $1,000 lower than its previous-gen, Turing-based Titan RTX counterpart, it is still out of reach for most gamers. That said, content creation and workstation rendering professionals can more easily justify its cost. In performance testing fresh off
Slashdot 09/24/2020 20:46
Facebook has settled a class action lawsuit that claimed the company collected and stored facial templates for its users between June 7, 2011, and Aug. 19, 2020, when the settlement was approved. "Individuals could be eligible for cash payouts of $200 to $400," reports Patch. From the report: In 2015, lawsuits were filed against Facebook over its use of "face tagging" feature. Plaintiffs claimed that Facebook was collecting biometric information ("face prints") without getting proper consent required by the Illinois Biometric Information Privacy Act. Facebook disputed the allegations. Earlier this year, U.S. District Judge James Donato gave preliminary approval to a $650 million settlement, out of which class members can claim money. Facebo.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 20:46
Amazon appears to be making good on its effort to keep tightening privacy for its Alexa-powered devices, even after the hot-button issue has cooled down this year. From a report: The most notable change is a new option to automatically delete your voice recordings immediately after they are processed by Alexa. A written transcript of these recordings will still be available for 30 days but can be deleted anytime you want. This feature, which is available starting Thursday, builds on Amazon's other auto-delete functions, which let a customer delete Alexa voice recordings on a rolling three-month or 18-month basis. Both those options were announced at Amazon's launch event last year. at Slashdot.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 19:11
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Nikkei Asian Review: The debate on universal basic income has gained momentum in South Korea, as the coronavirus outbreak and the country's growing income divide force a rethink on social safety nets. The concept was thrust into the spotlight in the country when Gyeonggi Province Gov. Lee Jae-myung proposed a basic income of 500,000 won ($430) a year per person this year. He aims to gradually expand the figure until it reaches 500,000 won a month -- roughly the equivalent of South Korea's social welfare payments. An annual $430 payout means the program will cost $21.3 billion a year, which likely can be funded through budgetary adjustments. But a monthly $430 will cost $256 billion, which is over hal.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 19:11
Alexander Nix, the former boss of Cambridge Analytica, has been banned from serving as a company director for seven years over "potentially unethical" behavior linked to his position at the center of a global scandal. The Guardian reports: The Insolvency Service said Nix had allowed companies to offer potentially unethical services, including "bribery or honey-trap stings, voter disengagement campaigns, obtaining information to discredit political opponents and spreading information anonymously in political campaigns." Nix did not dispute that he caused or permitted Cambridge Analytica's parent company SCL Elections to offer such services, behavior "demonstrating a lack of commercial probity," according to the Insolvency Service. The Old Et.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 17:36
dkatana writes: The GSMA and Fira Barcelona announced today that next year's MWC Barcelona won't take place at the usual dates (early March). It has been postponed to late June to minimize the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic. That has been a shock to Barcelona, as MWC is the most profitable event in the city. The biggest technology show brings over 500 million euro to the region's economy. GSMA CEO John Hoffman commented that "MWC is more than just an event. It's an experience that brings the whole industry together and provides a platform to unlock the power of connectivity so that people, industry, and society thrive.". at Slashdot.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 17:36
Ring's latest home security camera is an autonomous drone, called the Always Home Cam, that can fly around inside your home to give you a perspective of any room you want when you're not home. "Once it's done flying, the Always Home Cam returns to its dock to charge its battery," reports The Verge. "It is expected to cost $249.99 when it starts shipping next year." From the report: Jamie Siminoff, Ring's founder and "chief inventor," says the idea behind the Always Home Cam is to provide multiple viewpoints throughout the home without requiring the use of multiple cameras. In an interview ahead of the announcement, he said the company has spent the past two years on focused development of the device, and that it is an "obvious product that
Slashdot 09/24/2020 16:01
Last week, voters and election administrators who emailed Leanne Jackson, the clerk of rural Hamilton County in central Texas, received bureaucratic-looking replies. "Re: official precinct results," one subject line read. The text supplied passwords for an attached file. But Jackson didn't send the messages. From a report: Instead, they came from Sri Lankan and Congolese email addresses, and they cleverly hid malicious software inside a Microsoft Word attachment. By the time Jackson learned about the forgery, it was too late. Hackers continued to fire off look-alike replies. Jackson's three-person office, already grappling with the coronavirus pandemic, ground to a near standstill. "I've only sent three emails today, and they were emails I
Slashdot 09/24/2020 14:26
The European Commission will team up with the European Blockchain Partnership (EBP) to launch a new regulatory sandbox focused on cryptocurrencies and blockchain by 2022, according to an announcement published today. From a report: The commission is the executive branch of the European Union and the initiative is part of its newly adopted Digital Finance Package that aims to provide greater clarity for cryptocurrency companies. "By making rules safer and more digital friendly for consumers, the Commission aims to boost responsible innovation in the EU's financial sector, especially for highly innovative digital start-ups, while mitigating any potential risks related to investor protection, money laundering and cyber-crime," the commission s.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 14:26
The European Union is weighing legislation that could force Apple to open iPhone payment technology to competitors. From a report: The potential rules would grant other payment services a right of access to infrastructure such as near-field communication technology embedded in smartphones, the European Commission said Thursday. While the EU didn't explicitly name Apple, it said the "most commonly reported issue" related to mobile device manufacturers restricting third-party access to NFC chips. The components handle wireless signals that allow users to pay via their smartphones or watches at store terminals. At present, iPhone and Apple Watch users can only make NFC payments using Apple Pay. Banks and other competitors have said they want t.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 14:26
Google is rethinking its long-term work options for employees, as most of them say they don't want to come back to the office full-time. From a report: Sixty-two percent of Google employees want to return to their offices at some point, but not every day, according to a recent survey of employee office preferences the company released this week. So Google is working on "hybrid" models, including rearranging its offices and figuring out more long-term remote work options, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview with Time magazine on Wednesday. "I see the future as being more flexible," Pichai said in the interview. "We firmly believe that in-person, being together, having a sense of community is super important when you have to solve.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 12:50
As India's economy reels in the aftermath of one of the world's strictest lockdowns, a rural employment program has emerged as a lifeline for some of the tens of millions left jobless. From a report: The government program -- which aims to guarantee 100 days of unskilled work in rural areas -- was intended to combat poverty and reduce the volatility of agricultural wages. Now it is a potent symbol of how the middle-class dreams of millions of Indians are unraveling. The program is serving as a last resort for university graduates as well as former white-collar workers who find themselves with no other safety net. More than 17 million new entrants applied to access the program from April through mid-September. Nearly 60 million households pa.
Slashdot 09/24/2020 12:50
At an event hosted by Slush, the Spotify CEO said: "I will devote 1 billion euro of my personal resources to enable the ecosystem of builders to achieve [the] European dream over the next decade." From a report: "I will do so by funding so-called moonshots focusing on the deep technology necessary to make a significant positive dent, and work with scientists, investors, and governments to do so," he added. The pledge came after Ek explained his desire to see more big European companies, saying "Europe needs to raise its ambition." When questioned on which areas he'll be investing in, Ek highlighted health care, education, machine learning, biotechnology, material sciences and energy. "The types of moonshots that I'm talking about, at least
Slashdot 09/24/2020 11:12
In a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange Server, Microsoft has slipped in a single line that's bound to make those who hate paying subscription fees for Office apps happy. From a report: "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," the tech giant's Exchange team wrote, confirming that a new version of Office you can purchase with a one-time payment is coming next year. The company has been pushing Microsoft 365 for years now as the main way to get its Office apps. This subscription-based version of its suite gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps for a monthly payment. While you can use some of those apps for free online with a M.

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