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New FCC Rules Could Ban WiFi Router Firmware Modification

slashdot.org Site Updates - 48 min 9 sec ago
An anonymous reader writes: Hackaday reports that the FCC is introducing new rules which ban firmware modifications for the radio systems in WiFi routers and other wireless devices operating in the 5 GHz range. The vast majority of routers are manufactured as System on Chip devices, with the radio module and CPU integrated in a single package. The new rules have the potential to effectively ban the installation of proven Open Source firmware on any WiFi router. ThinkPenguin, the EFF, FSF, Software Freedom Law Center, Software Freedom Conservancy, OpenWRT, LibreCMC, Qualcomm, and others have created the SaveWiFi campaign, providing instructions on how to submit a formal complaint to the FCC regarding this proposed rule. The comment period is closing on September 8, 2015. Leave a comment for the FCC.

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Categories: Geek News

Return of the Pocket PC: Acer shows off Jade Primo PC Phone

TheRegister Site Updates - 1 hour 16 min ago
Cause if you get it wrong, you'll get it right next time (next time)

IFA 2015 Acer will release the "Jade Primo" PC Phone later this year, running Windows and taking advantage of Microsoft's Continuum feature to behave like a PC when connected to an external display, keyboard and mouse.…

Categories: Geek News

Self-Driving Golf Carts May Pave the Way For Autonomous Cars

slashdot.org Site Updates - 1 hour 29 min ago
itwbennett writes: Researchers from MIT and Singaporean universities are experimenting with self-driving golf carts that use less (and relatively cheap) gear than self-driving vehicles while relying on computation-efficient algorithms. In addition to a webcam, each cart is equipped with four single-beam LIDAR (light detection and ranging) sensors from German maker Sick that have a field of view of about 270 degrees. Two of the sensors were mounted in the cart's front and used for determining its position and obstacle detection. The other two were cheaper, shorter-range sensors and were mounted on the back corners of the cart to scan for obstacles behind and on either side of it. The cost of the sensors was still high (on the order of $30,000) but that's less than solutions used in more sophisticated robotic vehicles. (Google has used $80,000 Velodyne LIDARs on its earlier self-driving cars.) A YouTube video shows the carts traveling the winding paths of a public garden in Singapore at a leisurely 24 kilometers per hour — slow enough for the computers to process all the obstacles (mainly pedestrians and animals). The researchers envision the self-driving vehicles being used in a shared transportation system, as rental bicycles are used in many cities.

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Categories: Geek News

Mate S: Huawei 'beats' Apple to force-touch phone launch

TheRegister Site Updates - 1 hour 31 min ago
Knuckle gestures and mini scales also on the way... just not yet

IFA2015 Apple introduced “force touch” in its MacBook earlier this year, and it is expected to appear on iPhones very soon. But Huawei has stolen some of Apple’s thunder by announcing a flagship with the variable pressure feature at Berlin’s IFA consumer show today.…

Categories: Geek News

Trio of 'nauts thunder towards International Space Station

TheRegister Site Updates - 1 hour 54 min ago
Soyuz soars heavenwards from Baikonur Cosmodrome

The Kazakh Space Agency's Aidyn Aimbetov, European Space Agency (ESA) astronaut Andreas Mogensen, and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Volkov are en route to the International Space Station following their successful dispatch heavenwards from Baikonur Cosmodrome earlier today.…

Categories: Geek News

Machine Learning Could Solve Economists' Math Problem

slashdot.org Site Updates - 2 hours 2 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Noah Smith argues that the field of economics frequently uses math in an unhealthy way. He says many economists don't use math as a tool to describe reality, but rather as an abstract foundation for whatever theory they've come up with. A possible solution to this, he says, is machine learning: "In other words, econ is now a rogue branch of applied math. Developed without access to good data, it evolved different scientific values and conventions. But this is changing fast, as information technology and the computer revolution have furnished economists with mountains of data. As a result, empirical analysis is coming to dominate econ. ... [Two economists pushing this change] stated that machine learning techniques emphasized causality less than traditional economic statistical techniques, or what's usually known as econometrics. In other words, machine learning is more about forecasting than about understanding the effects of policy. That would make the techniques less interesting to many economists, who are usually more concerned about giving policy recommendations than in making forecasts."

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Categories: Geek News

French hacker besmuts road sign right under Les Plods' noses

TheRegister Site Updates - 2 hours 23 min ago
'Cyberpoetry' moans at Dominique Strauss-Kahn's acquittal on pimping charges

Vid A hacker defaced an electronic parking sign with a "poem" of vulgarities to protest against the acquittal of Dominique Strauss-Kahn on pimping charges, right under the noses of the Gendarmerie Nationale.…

Categories: Geek News

NHS to go paperless by 2020. No, really, it will, says gros fromage

TheRegister Site Updates - 2 hours 52 min ago
Dead tree goalposts are noiselessly, virtually moved once again

Once again the NHS has unveiled grand plans to become paperless, with NHS England's national director for patients and information Tim Kelsey this time naming 2020 as the momentous date.…

Categories: Geek News

Wikipedia Blocks Hundreds of Accounts Doing Paid Editing

slashdot.org Site Updates - 2 hours 56 min ago
jan_jes writes: After weeks of investigation, Wikipedia has blocked 381 user accounts for "black hat" editing. The reason for the ban is that the accounts were engaged in undisclosed paid advocacy — the practice of accepting or charging money to promote external interests on Wikipedia without revealing their affiliation, in violation of Wikimedia's Terms of Use. In addition to blocking the 381 "sockpuppet" account, the editors deleted 210 articles created by these accounts.

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Categories: Geek News

User Friendly the Comic Strip - The Daily Static

Userfriendly Site Updates - 3 hours 8 min ago
User Friendly the Comic Strip
Categories: Geek Humour

Look over here! SAP unveils big data HANA update

TheRegister Site Updates - 3 hours 16 min ago
Please buy our in-memory databases, says German ERP peddler

Teutonic enterprise resource planning provider SAP has unveiled a cloudy HANA big data update, in an effort to drum up more interest in its in-memory databases.…

Categories: Geek News

The 100GB PHONE! Well, it has shades of Chrome, so not quite

TheRegister Site Updates - 3 hours 34 min ago
Not using that bit of data, then dump it into online storage

A motley crew of ex-google engineers is crowdfunding the “Robin” smartphone, which claims a whopping 100GB of storage.…

Categories: Geek News

Cartoon For Sep 02, 2015

Userfriendly Site Updates - 3 hours 40 min ago
Cartoon for Today, Sep 02, 2015
Categories: Geek Humour

Jeff Bezos trousers $8m Florida rocket sweetener package

TheRegister Site Updates - 3 hours 49 min ago
Cash lures Blue Origin to Sunshine State

Amazon supremo Jeff Bezos' space tentacle Blue Origin has been offered another eight million reasons to operate in Florida, in the form of a suitcase full of cash for the mysterious "Project Panther".…

Categories: Geek News

Soyuz Heads To Space Station With New Crew

slashdot.org Site Updates - 3 hours 50 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Last night, a Soyuz rocket blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan to deliver three astronauts to the International Space Station. Russia's Sergey Volkov, Denmark's Andreas Mogensen, and Kazakhstan's Aidyn Aimbetov reached orbit without incident, and they'll dock with the ISS in the wee hours of Friday morning. Mogensen and Aimbetov will only stay until 11 September, at which point they and Expedition 44 commander Gennady Padalka will undock and return to Earth. (Here's a neat time-lapse of changing a Soyuz craft's parking space at the ISS.) Padalka was in charge for the current expedition, but he'll be passing command of Expedition 45 to NASA's Scott Kelly. Kelly and Oleg Kornienko will soon reach the halfway point of their one-year mission at the space station. It's worth noting that this was the 500th rocket launch from the Gagarin launchpad at Baikonur.

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Categories: Geek News

Xiaomi aims to knock Apple off its branch with move into computers

TheRegister Site Updates - 4 hours 11 min ago
Latent luxury Linux laptop targets financially fit fruity firm's finest

Rising Dragon Xiaomi is reported to be revving up the tanks to park on Apple’s lawn with the launch of a laptop.…

Categories: Geek News

Shifu Banking Trojan Has an Antivirus Feature To Keep Other Malware At Bay

slashdot.org Site Updates - 4 hours 33 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Shifu is a banking trojan that's currently attacking 14 Japanese banks. Once it has infected a victim's machine, it will install a special module that keeps other banking-related trojans at bay. If this module sees suspicious, malware-looking content (unsigned executables) from unsecure HTTP connections, it tries to stop them. If it fails, it renames them to "infected.exx" and sends them to its C&C server. If the file is designed to autorun, Shifu will spoof an operating system "Out of memory" message.

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Categories: Geek News

Viral virus bunfight: Dr Web tested rivals like Kaspersky Lab

TheRegister Site Updates - 4 hours 36 min ago
But they didn't deliberately try and trip up rivals with false positives

Russian anti-malware firm Dr.Web tested rivals to see if they blindly accepted malware reports shared through cross-industry intelligence systems like Kaspersky Lab, according to investigative reporter Brian Krebs. However, Dr.Web stopped short of using services such as VirusTotal to trip up rivals, the focus of fiercely contested allegations against Kaspersky Lab.…

Categories: Geek News

West's only rare earth mine closes. Yet Chinese monopoly fears are baseless

TheRegister Site Updates - 4 hours 53 min ago
Strong-arm attempt? Whatever

Worstall on Wednesday As El Reg's dodgy metals dealer it's incumbent upon me to tell you all that Molycorp has just closed Mountain Pass, the western hemisphere's only rare earth mine. This will, of course, mean disaster because we've suddenly no source of those lovely minerals with which to build all sorts of exciting gadgetry.…

Categories: Geek News

How Autonomous Cars' Safety Features Clash With Normal Driving

slashdot.org Site Updates - 5 hours 14 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Google's autonomous cars have a very good safety record so far — the accidents they've been involved in weren't the software's fault. But that doesn't mean the cars are blending seamlessly into traffic. A NY Times article explains how doing the safest thing sometimes means doing something entirely unexpected to real, human drivers — which itself can lead to dangerous situations. "One Google car, in a test in 2009, couldn't get through a four-way stop because its sensors kept waiting for other (human) drivers to stop completely and let it go. The human drivers kept inching forward, looking for the advantage — paralyzing Google's robot." There are also situations in which the software's behavior may be so incomprehensible to human passengers that they end up turning it off. "In one maneuver, it swerved sharply in a residential neighborhood to avoid a car that was poorly parked, so much so that the Google sensors couldn't tell if it might pull into traffic."

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Categories: Geek News
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