Geek News

  • : preg_replace(): The /e modifier is deprecated, use preg_replace_callback instead in /home/dorksville/dorksville.net/includes/unicode.inc on line 345.
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Salesforce bins all Android phones bar Nexii and Galaxies

El Reg - Thu, 2016-07-14 11:21
Also cancels support for Nexus Tabs, old iOS devices in future apps

Cloud darling Salesforce is upsetting end users by giving its Salesforce1 supported devices list a number-one haircut.…

Categories: Geek News

Ask Slashdot: Why Don't Graphics Cards For VR Use Real-Time Motion Compensation?

Slashdot - Thu, 2016-07-14 09:30
dryriver writes: Graphics cards manufacturers like Nvidia and AMD have gone to great pains recently to point out that in order to experience virtual reality with a VR headset properly, you need a GPU capable of pushing at least a steady 90 FPS per eye, or a total of at least 180 FPS for both eyes, and at high resolutions to boot. This of course requires the purchase of the latest, greatest high-end GPUs made by these manufacturers, alongside the money you are already plonking down for your new VR headset, and a good, fast gaming-class PC. This raises an interesting question: virtually every LCD/LED TV manufactured in the last 5 or 6 years has a 'Real-Time Motion Compensation' feature built in. This is the not-so-new-at-all technique of taking, say, a football match broadcast live at 30 FPS or Hz, and algorithmically generating extra in-between frames in real time, thus giving you a hyper-smooth 200-400 FPS/Hz image on the TV set with no visible stutter or strobing whatsoever. This technology is not new. It is cheap enough to include in virtually every TV set at every price level (thus the hardware that performs the real-time motion compensating cannot cost more than a few dollars total). And the technique should, in theory, work just fine with the output of a GPU trying to drive a VR headset. Now suppose you have an entry level or mid-range GPU capable of pushing only 40-60 FPS in a VR application (or a measly 20-30 FPS per eye, making for a truly terrible VR experience). You could, in theory, add some cheap motion compensation circuitry to that GPU and get 100-200 FPS or more per eye. Heck, you might even be able to program a few GPU cores to run the motion compensation as a real-time GPU shader as the rest of the GPU is rendering a game or VR experience. So my question: Why don't GPUs for VR use real-time motion compensation techniques to increase the FPS pushed into the VR headset? Would this not make far more financial sense for the average VR user than having to buy a monstrously powerful GPU to experience VR at all?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Parents Upset After Their Boy Was 'Knocked Down and Run Over' By A Security Robot

Slashdot - Thu, 2016-07-14 08:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via KGO-TV: PSA: Beware of dangerous security robots at the Stanford Shopping Center! After a young boy was "knocked down and run over" by one of the Stanford Shopping Center security robots, the boy's parents want to help prevent others from getting hurt. KGO-TV reports: "They said the machine is dangerous and fear another child will get hurt. Stanford Shopping Center's security robot stands 5' tall and weighs 300 pounds. It amuses shoppers of all ages, but last Thursday, 16-month-old Harwin Cheng had a frightening collision with the robot. 'The robot hit my son's head and he fell down facing down on the floor and the robot did not stop and it kept moving forward,' Harwin's mom Tiffany Teng said. Harwin's parents say the robot ran over his right foot, causing it to swell, but luckily the child didn't suffer any broken bones. Harwin also got a scrape on his leg from the incident." Teng said, "He was crying like crazy and he never cries. He seldom cries." They are concerned as to why the robot didn't detect Harwin. "Garage doors nowadays, we're just in a day in age where everything has some sort of a sensor," shopper Ashle Gerrard said. "Maybe they have to work out the sensors more. Maybe it stopped detecting or it could be buggy or something," shopper Ankur Sharma said. The parents said a security guard told them another child was hurt from the same robot just days before. They're hoping their story will help other parents be more careful the next time they're at the Stanford Shopping Center. The robots are designed by Knightscope and come equipped with self-navigation, infra-red cameras and microphones that can detect breaking glass to support security services.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

US Judge Throws Out Cell Phone 'Stingray' Evidence For The First Time

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 23:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects' cell phones into revealing their locations. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis' rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment. Stingrays, also known as "cell site simulators," mimic cell phone towers in order to force cell phones in the area to transmit "pings" back to the devices, enabling law enforcement to track a suspect's phone and pinpoint its location. The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis' apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search. The ruling marked the first time a federal judge had suppressed evidence obtained using a stingray, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which like other privacy advocacy groups has criticized law enforcement's use of such devices. "Absent a search warrant, the government may not turn a citizen's cell phone into a tracking device," Pauley wrote. FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin suggests in a report via Motherboard that decrypting encrypted data fundamentally alters it, therefore contaminating it as forensic evidence.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Smartphones aren't tiny PCs, but that's how we use them in the West

El Reg - Wed, 2016-07-13 16:29
In China, they get it, QR codes are like money and mobile payments are everywhere

On a recent trip to Shanghai, I saw a person in front of me in a supermarket queue present their mobile phone when asked for payment. The clerk quickly pointed the laser scanner at the phone - blip!- the sale completed. But not thanks to NFC.…

Categories: Geek News

Sega Saturn's DRM Cracked Almost 23 Years After Launch

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 10:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Gamasutra: The Sega Saturn's DRM has finally been cracked after it hit store shelves nearly 23 years ago in November 1994. Engineer James Laird-Wah first set forth to break through the console's copy protection in an attempt to harness its chiptune capabilities. Laird-Wah has, however, developed a way to run games and other software from a USB stick in the process. Since disc drive failure is a common fault with the game console, his method circumvents the disc drive altogether, instead reworking the Video CD Slot so it can take games stored on a USB stick and run them directly through the Saturn's CD Block. "This is now at the point where, not only can it boot and run games, I've finished just recently putting in audio support, so it can play audio tracks," explained Laird-Wah, speaking to YouTuber debuglive. "For the time being, I possess the only Saturn in the world that's capable of writing files to a USB stick. There's actually, for developers of home-brew, the ability to read and write files on the USB stick that's attached to the device.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Vulnerability Exploitable Via Printer Protocols Affects All Windows Versions

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 09:30
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: "Microsoft patched today a critical security vulnerability in the Print Spooler service that allows attackers to take over devices," reports Softpedia. "The vulnerability affects all Windows versions ever released. [Security firm Vectra discovered the vulnerability (CVE-2016-3238), which Microsoft fixed in MS16-087.] At its core, the issue resides in how Windows handles printer driver installations and how end users connect to printers. By default, in corporate networks, network admins allow printers to deliver the necessary drivers to workstations connected to the network. These drivers are silently installed without any user interaction and run under the SYSTEM user, with all the available privileges." An attacker can hack printers and replace these files with his own. The vulnerability is exploitable from both the local network, but also from the internet, thanks to protocols like Internet Printing Protocol or the webPointNPrint. The exploit can be delivered via ads or JavaScript code inside a compromised website. The vulnerability is actually an OS design issue and affects all Windows versions ever released. Microsoft also announced today plans to make its recently renamed Windows 10 Enterprise product available as a subscription for $7 per user per month, or $84 per year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

FBI Has Collected 430,000 Iris Scans In 'Pilot Program'

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 08:50
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Verge: The Verge has obtained documents that reveal the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department has been collecting iris data from at least 200,000 arrestees over the last two and a half years. The department was collecting an average of 189 iris scans each day in the early months of 2016. The activity is part of a larger pilot program organized by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. "Since its launch in 2013, the program has stockpiled iris scans from 434,000 arrestees, an FBI spokesperson confirmed," reports The Verge. Through information-sharing agreements with various other agencies across the country, the new national biometric database stretches the traditional boundaries of a pilot program, and just barely stays out of reach of privacy mandates. The Verge reports: "A 2013 memo signed by representatives from the FBI and California Department of Justice summarizes responsibilities. At that time, according to the memo, the FBI had more than 30,000 images but did not have a way to search through them. The length of the California program was to be kept at one year, and reassessed after, but the documents show the partnership has been renewed every year since. The FBI would not comment on numbers from any particular source. However, 'operations reports' obtained by The Verge through the California Public Records Act requests the catalogue of the program's progress and suggest the state has been a major asset in the construction of the database. A document dated February of this year lists more than a quarter of a million 'enrollments' in the database from the California Department of Justice. In both 2014 and 2015, according to the document, more than 100,000 records were added to the system. Those scans are sent to the FBI by the California Justice Department, which in turn receives them from three counties: Los Angeles, San Bernardino, and Riverside. Despite its relatively small population, the documents show San Bernardino County made more than 190,000 enrollments alone since 2014, far outpacing Los Angeles and Riverside counties." The pilot program has no privacy impact assessment "because the pilot was conducted with very limited participation for a limited period of time in order to evaluate iris technology," an FBI representative told The Verge. The vast majority of the 430,000 enrollments were added after that determination was made. The bureau is reportedly in the process of creating a privacy impact assessment but there's no word as to when that will be complete. In June, the Government Accountability Office published a report that says the FBI has access to hundreds of millions of photos.

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Honda Unveils First Hybrid Motor Without Heavy Rare Earth Metals

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 08:05
An anonymous reader writes: Honda has unveiled its new hybrid motor this week that doesn't use heavy rare earth metals like dysprosium and terbium -- though it still does contain neodymium. The motor was co-developed alongside Daido Steel and will use their magnets in replace of the rare earth metals because they cost 10 percent less and weigh 8 percent less. Honda is the first automaker to develop a hybrid motor that doesn't use heavy rare earth metals. The company says the new engines will reduce its reliance on the metals that are primarily supplied by China. They're expected to make their debut in the compact Freed minivan this fall, a vehicle that is already on the road in Asia.

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IBM caps '20 years' of deep MS love with Surface deal

El Reg - Wed, 2016-07-13 03:02
As Seattle surfaces surface as a service service. Serious....

IBM has become the latest sometime hardware giant to agree to push software giant Microsoft’s client hardware - years after selling off its own client devices business.…

Categories: Geek News

Microsoft Announces Surface as a Service, Windows 10 Enterprise E3 for $7 Per User Per Month

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 02:00
Mary Jo Foley, reporting for ZDNet: Microsoft plans to make its recently renamed Windows 10 Enterprise product available as a subscription for $7 per user per month, or $84 per year. Microsoft took the wraps off the pricing of one of the two renamed versions of Windows 10 Enterprise at the company's Worldwide Partner Conference in Toronto on July 12. Windows 10 Enterprise E3 is the name of the lower-end of two different versions of Windows 10 Enterprise. Windows 10 Enterprise E5 is the new name of the Windows 10 Enterprise version that also will include Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection, a new Microsoft service for detecting and responding to attacks. Microsoft announced the renaming of Windows 10 Enterprise last week, and said the E3 and E5 versions will also be available as part of "Secure Productive Enterprise" bundles.Microsoft also announced a subscription service for Surface tablet. The company says that its Cloud Solution Providers and Surface Authorized Distributors can now sell Surface as a Service.

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PC Shipments Return To Growth In the US

Slashdot - Wed, 2016-07-13 00:40
PC shipments are seeing a welcome growth in the United States. The industry, which has seen a continual decline in the sales in the past few consecutive quarters, is now seemingly gaining some momentum in the United States, according to independent findings by marketing research firms IDC and Gartner. According to IDC, the PC shipments have increased by 4.9%, whereas Gartner says it has observed a 1.4% growth. From a report on The Verge: The estimates differ because Gartner does not count Chromebooks as part of its figures, while IDC cites Google's laptops as a key reason for US growth. [...] Worldwide, PC shipments are still on a decline. Gartner estimates a 5.2 percent drop, and IDC calculates around a 4.5 percent decrease in shipments. Microsoft's free Windows 10 upgrade comes to an end on July 29th, and IDC believes it may prompt some PC users into buying new machines. Gartner also forecasts a Windows 10 hardware refresh for businesses, that it expects to see "more toward the end of 2016 to the beginning of 2017."

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Google To Train 2 Million Indian Android Developers

Slashdot - Tue, 2016-07-12 13:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: Google has announced its new "Android Fundamentals" training program, which aims to train and certify up to two million Android developers in India. The course, soon to be available online and at schools country-wide, is focused on training, testing, and certifying Android developers to prepare students for careers using Android technology. Google is currently working to update the skills of its existing trainers to prepare them to teach the Fundamentals course, as well as updating course materials to provide students a solid foundation in Android development. The new program works with Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'Skill India' initiative, launched in 2015 with the intent of training 400 million Indian citizens with new vocational skills by 2022. Caesar Sengupta, VP Product Management for Google, said that while India is forecasted to have the largest developer population in the world by 2018, with almost four million developers, only a quarter of them are currently building for mobile.

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Seagate Fires 6,500, Or 14% of Workforce, Stock Soars

Slashdot - Tue, 2016-07-12 11:25
turkeydance quotes a report from Zero Hedge: [Seagate] announced today an additional restructuring plan for continued consolidation of its global footprint across Asia, EMEA and the Americas. The plan includes reducing the Company's global headcount by approximately 6,500 employees, or 14% of its global headcount by the end of fiscal year 2017. The total pretax charges for the plan will be approximately $164 million in fiscal year 2017. The restructuring activities and global footprint consolidation underway should enable the Company to be operating within its targeted Non-GAAP product gross margin range of 27-32% by the December 2016 quarter. "Computer-memory specialist Seagate announced that its Q4 revenue would be $2.65 billion, beating expectations of $2.34 billion, and up from the $2.3 billion guidance given previously," reports Zero Hedge. "The company also reported gross margin of 25% and non-GAAP gross margin of approximately 25.8% for the fiscal fourth quarter 2016, up from the previous 23% forecast. Good news, and the stock is up 12% after hours as a result."

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Third Tesla Crashes Amid Report of SEC Investigation

Slashdot - Tue, 2016-07-12 10:45
An anonymous reader writes: Tesla hasn't had the best month so far as not one, not two, but a total of three crashes have been reported with the car's Autopilot self-driving system engaged at the time -- two of which resulted in fatalities. In addition, The Wall Street Journal is reporting today that the Securities and Exchange Commission is investigating whether Tesla violated securities law by failing to disclose more quickly a fatal accident in Florida in May involving a Tesla Model S that was in self-driving mode. The SEC didn't comment on the report, and Tesla issued a statement saying it has "not received any communication from the SEC regarding this issue." As for the Autopilot crash that was reported today, the driver said he activated Autopilot mode at the beginning of his trip. Tesla is looking into the crash and has yet to confirm whether or not Autopilot was a factor. Tesla CEO Elon Musk teased a "Top Secret Tesla Masterplan, Part 2" via Twitter that he is "Hoping to publish later this week."

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PC Gaming Is Still Way Too Hard

Slashdot - Tue, 2016-07-12 06:00
Motherboard has an article in which it argues that PC gaming is still way too hard. The author of the article claims that for one to build a gaming PC, they need an "unreasonable" amount of disposable income, and also have an unreasonable amount of time to "research, shop around, and assemble parts" for their computer. The author adds that a person looking into making one such gear also needs to always have to keep investing time and money in as long as they want to stay at the cutting edge or recommended specifications range for new PC games. The author has shared the experience he had building his own gaming PC. An excerpt from it: The process of physically building a PC is filled with little frustrations, and mistakes can be costly and time consuming. I have big, dumb, sausage fingers, so mounting the motherboard into the case, and screwing in nine (!) tiny screws to keep it in place in a cramped space, in weird angles, where dropping the screwdriver can easily break something expensive -- it's just not what I'd call "consumer-friendly." This is why people buy from Apple. It designs everything from the trackpad to the box the computer comes in, which unfolds neatly to reveal everything you need. Apple reduces friction to the point where even my mom could upgrade the RAM on her iMac, and it can do this because it controls everything that goes in that box.That's accurate. But it also means -- at least as of today -- that the current Apple computer -- MacBook Air, MacBook, iMac, Mac Mini you purchase packs in at least three-year-old components.

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<i>Pokemon Go</i> oh no no no, we're not reading your email, says gamemaker

El Reg - Tue, 2016-07-12 05:09
God-mode access token found in wildly popular app

Final update This was a developing story: read through to the updates for the full scoop.

Categories: Geek News

Qualcomm's New Snapdragon 821 Is 10 Percent Faster Than the 820

Slashdot - Tue, 2016-07-12 02:00
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Verge: Qualcomm has announced a new flagship mobile processor called the Snapdragon 821. The 821 is a slight update to the Snapdragon 820 that debuted in smartphones earlier this year and promises modest performance gains. The 820 has been found in virtually every high-end Android smartphone this year, including Samsung's Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge, the HTC 10, the LG G5, the OnePlus 3, and the Xiaomi Mi5. In our experience, we've found it to be quite a capable chip, with great performance and efficient power utilization. It's a far cry from last year's Snapdragon 810, which was plagued with performance and thermal issues. Qualcomm says the Snapdragon 821 builds upon the 820's features, but provides a 10 percent performance increase. Its quad-core CPU runs at 2.4GHz.AnandTech has more details.

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Galaxy S7 Active can't swim, claims site. But it can, vendor retorts

El Reg - Mon, 2016-07-11 18:28
Consumer Reports says phone more aqua-phobic than billed

Samsung is defending its latest line of Galaxy S7 phones after a report questioned the water-resistance claims made by one model of the handset.…

Categories: Geek News

Hostess Saves Twinkies By Automating, Fires 94% Of Their Workforce

Slashdot - Mon, 2016-07-11 03:35
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: Where Twinkie once employed 22,000 workers in more than 40 bakeries, their workforce is now down to just 1,170, reports the Washington Post, relying mostly on robotic arms and other forms of automation. "This 500-person plant produces more than 1 million Twinkies a day, 400 million a year. That's 80% of Hostess' total output -- output that under the old regime required 14 plants and 9,000 employees." "We like to think of ourselves as a billion-dollar startup," Hostess chief executive Bill Toler said Tuesday, announcing that Hostess Brands, which had twice filed for bankruptcy, now plans to become a publicly-listed company valued at $2.3 billion.

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