Technology News

Ask Slashdot: Hungry Students, How Common?

(One hour ago)
Gud (78635) points to this story in the Washington Post about students having trouble with paying for both food and school. "I recall a number of these experiences from my time as grad student. I remember choosing between eating, living in bad neighborhoods, putting gas in the car, etc. Me and my fellow students still refer to ourselves as the 'starving grad students.' Today we laugh about these experiences because we all got good jobs that lifted us out of poverty, but not everyone is that fortunate. I wonder how many students are having hard time concentrating on their studies due to worrying where the next meal comes from. In the article I found the attitude of collage admins to the idea of meal plan point sharing, telling as how little they care about anything else but soak students & parents for fees and pester them later on with requests for donations. Last year I did the college tour for my first child, after reading the article, some of the comments I heard on that tour started making more sense. Like 'During exams you go to the dining hall in the morning, eat and study all day for one swipe' or 'One student is doing study on what happens when you live only on Ramen noodles!' How common is 'food insecurity in college or high school'? What tricks can you share with current students?" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SpaceX Launches Load to ISS, Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Over Water

(One hour ago)
mosb1000 (710161) writes "SpaceX is reporting that they've successfully landed the first stage of their CRS3 Falcon 9 rocket over the Atlantic Ocean today. This is potentially a huge milestone for low-cost space flight." In another win for the company, as the L.A. Times reports, SpaceX also has launched a re-supply mission to the ISS. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Feedback Loop: E3 expectations, first MP3 player and password managers!

(One hour ago)
Welcome to Feedback Loop, a weekly roundup of the most interesting discussions happening within the Engadget community. There's so much technology to talk about and so little time to enjoy it, but you have a lot of great ideas and opinions that need...

Google's New Camera App Simulates Shallow Depth of Field

(2 hours ago)
New submitter katiewilliam (3621675) writes with a story at Hardware Zone about a new feature that Google's working on for Android phones' built-in cameras: the illusion of shallow depth of field in phone snapshots, which typically err on the side of too much in focus, rather than too little. Exerpting: "The Google Research Blog [note: here's a direct link] revealed that there's quite a fair bit of algorithms running to achieve this effect; to put it in a nutshell, computer vision algorithms create a 3D model of the world based on the shots you have taken, and estimate the depth to every point in the scene." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bitcoin Core Developers Weigh in on Side Chain Proposal (Danny Bradbury/CoinDesk)

(3 hours ago)
Danny Bradbury / CoinDesk:Bitcoin Core Developers Weigh in on Side Chain Proposal  —  These days, everyone wants to add new features to the bitcoin block chain, but now one team thinks that it's found a way to do it responsibly - by creating “side chains” that can interact with bitcoin.  —  The process, known as ‘two-way pegging’, has some hefty backing.

Rufus Cuff wants to dominate the wearable market and your forearm

(3 hours ago)
We told you to put on your disappointment pants for the Galaxy Gear 2, but for the Rufus Cuff we suggest rolling up your absurdity sleeves. Seriously, given its three-inch screen you might just have to. This wearable boasts a built-in mic, a camera,...

Beer Price Crisis On the Horizon

(4 hours ago)
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The aficionados of beer and distilled spirits could be in for a major price-shock, if proposals by the Food and Drug Administration come to pass. Currently, breweries are allowed to sell unprocessed brewing by-products to feed farm animals. Farmers prize the nutritious, low-cost feed. But, new rules proposed by the FDA could force brewers to implement costly processing facilities or dump the by-products as waste. As one brewer put it, "Beer prices would go up for everybody to cover the cost of the equipment and installation."" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Trends email alerts will guarantee you never miss another cat meme

(4 hours ago)
You can always swing by Google Trends if you want to gauge the popularity of a given search, but visiting that website every time can be a hassle. Thankfully, there's now an easier way: Google has added a subscription option that sends email...

Heartbleed Used To Bypass 2-Factor Authentication, Hijack User Sessions

(5 hours ago)
wiredmikey (1824622) writes "Security nightmares sparked by the Heartbleed OpenSSL vulnerability continue. According to Mandiant, now a unit of FireEye, an attacker was able to leverage the Heartbleed vulnerability against the VPN appliance of a customer and hijack multiple active user sessions. The attack bypassed both the organization's multifactor authentication and the VPN client software used to validate that systems connecting to the VPN were owned by the organization and running specific security software. "Specifically, the attacker repeatedly sent malformed heartbeat requests to the HTTPS web server running on the VPN device, which was compiled with a vulnerable version of OpenSSL, to obtain active session tokens for currently authenticated users," Mandiant's Christopher Glyer explained. "With an active session token, the attacker successfully hijacked multiple active user sessions and convinced the VPN concentrator that he/she was legitimately authenticated." After connecting to the VPN, the attacker attempted to move laterally and escalate his/her privileges within the victim organization, Mandiant said." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What Does the Recent Tech Stock Downturn Mean? The Truth Is Nobody Knows. (Kara Swisher/Re/code)

(5 hours ago)
Kara Swisher / Re/code:What Does the Recent Tech Stock Downturn Mean?  The Truth Is Nobody Knows.  —  In his new book on high-frequency trading, “Flash Boys,” Michael Lewis opens with the very simple premise he gleaned from watching the stock market crash in October of 1987:  —  “If you ever needed proof …

Play: The frantic, fun and infuriating Trials Fusion

(5 hours ago)
Some games are so challenging, frustrating and physically draining that your controller could easily explode against the nearest wall at any second. Trials Fusion is one of those games: A repetitive, soul-destroying platformer that'll have you...

OnePlus One phone and its swappable covers leak out in new pictures

(6 hours ago)
Former Oppo exec Pete Lau announced his plans to make "the perfect smartphone" a few months ago, and now the OnePlus One is almost here. Its launch is scheduled for April 23rd, but Android Authority points out these pictures posted on a forum that...

Russia Writes Off 90 Percent of North Korea Debt

(6 hours ago)
jones_supa (887896) writes "In Russia, the State Duma (lower house) on Friday ratified a 2012 agreement to write off the bulk of North Korea's debt. It said the total debt stood at $10.96 billion as of Sept. 17, 2012. Russia sees this lucrative in advancing the plans to build a gas pipe and railroad through North to South Korea. The rest of the debt, $1.09 billion, would be redeemed during the next 20 years, to be paid in equal installments every six months. The outstanding debt owed by North Korea will be managed by Russia's state development bank, Vnesheconombank. Moscow has been trying to diversify its energy sales to Asia away from Europe, which, in its turn, wants to cut its dependence on oil and gas from the erstwhile Cold War foe. Russia's state-owned top natural producer Gazprom is dreaming shipping 10 billion cubic meters of gas annually through the Koreas. Russia has written off debts to a number of impoverished Soviet-era allies, including Cuba. North Korea's struggling communist economy is just 2 percent of the size of neighboring South's." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Design Flaw That Almost Wiped Out an NYC Skyscraper

(7 hours ago)
Hugh Pickens DOT Com (2995471) writes "Joel Werner writes in Slate that when Citicorp Center was built in 1977 it was, at 59 stories, the seventh-tallest building in the world but no one figured out until after it was built that although the chief structural engineer, William LeMessurier, had properly accounted for perpendicular winds, the building was particularly vulnerable to quartering winds — in part due to cost-saving changes made to the original plan by the contractor. "According to LeMessurier, in 1978 an undergraduate architecture student contacted him with a bold claim about LeMessurier's building: that Citicorp Center could blow over in the wind," writes Werner. "LeMessurier realized that a major storm could cause a blackout and render the tuned mass damper inoperable. Without the tuned mass damper, LeMessurier calculated that a storm powerful enough to take out the building hit New York every 16 years." In other words, for every year Citicorp Center was standing, there was about a 1-in-16 chance that it would collapse." (Read on for more.) Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nike Denies FuelBand Shutdown, but Layoffs Could Reveal New Cracks in Wearables Market (James Temple/Re/code)

(7 hours ago)
James Temple / Re/code:Nike Denies FuelBand Shutdown, but Layoffs Could Reveal New Cracks in Wearables Market  —  Nike confirmed a “small number” of layoffs in its digital sports division, but attempted to tamp down a CNET report late Friday that said the company was shuttering the hardware side of its FuelBand team.

AllCast's screen-mirroring magic arrives on Amazon's Fire TV App Store

(7 hours ago)
Been putting off sideloading AllCast's SDK to your brand new Amazon Fire TV? Well, friend, your procrastination has paid off. Now, all you have to do to install the casting and screen-mirroring app is download it straight from the Amazon App Store....

Experian: Nearly a fifth of Americans who use Netflix or Hulu don't subscribe to cable TV (Karl Bode/DSLreports)

(8 hours ago)
Karl Bode / DSLreports:Experian: Nearly a fifth of Americans who use Netflix or Hulu don't subscribe to cable TV  —  Cord Cutting on The Rise, Especially Among the Young  —  Cord cutting is on the rise, according to a new study by Experian Marketing Services.  According to the report, the number of cord cutters …

Declassified Papers Hint US Uranium May Have Ended Up In Israeli Arms

(8 hours ago)
Lasrick (2629253) writes "Victor Gilinsky and Roger J. Mattson update their story on the NUMEC affair to take into account the recent release of hundreds of classified documents that shed additional light on the story. In the 1960s, the Nuclear Materials and Equipment Corporation (NUMEC) was found to be missing about a 100 pounds of bomb-grade uranium. Based on available evidence, Gilinsky and Mattson are convinced that the material ended up in Israel nuclear bombs. The newly release documents add more to the story, and Gilinsky and Mattson are calling on President Obama to declassify the remainder of the file." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

EFF and Sunlight Foundation come together to build Contact-Congress

(9 hours ago)
If you've never contacted your congress person then you might not realize how difficult our politicians have made it to get a hold of them. There are 535 members of the House and Senate all whom have some arcane contact form on their websites that...

For $20, Build a VR Headset For Your Smartphone

(9 hours ago)
An anonymous reader writes "Not everyone can drop a few hundred dollars on a VR headset, but that doesn't mean they can't experience VR! For those with the time and a bit of handiwork skill, this DIY guide from guest writer Ohaple will show you how to make a smartphone-based VR headset for as little as $20. Along the way, you'll learn the hardware and software basics of a VR headset." This project screams for a ready-made commercial version; does anyone know of existing purpose-built headgear? As one of the comments on the linked tutorial says, Poppy seems close, but lacks an LED for tracking. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Neil Young's music-player Kickstarter closes at $6.2 million (Sam Machkovech/Ars Technica)

(10 hours ago)
Sam Machkovech / Ars Technica:Neil Young's music-player Kickstarter closes at $6.2 million  —  Neil Young's trek into high-end gadgetry didn't just stop with launching and promoting the PonoPlayer.  He also apparently installed lasers in his fingers so that he could sign his own limited edition series of the product.

Microsoft Plans $1 Billion Server Farm In Iowa

(12 hours ago)
1sockchuck (826398) writes "Microsoft will invest $1.1 billion to build a massive new server farm in Iowa, not far from an existing data center in West Des Moines. The 1.2 million square foot campus will be one of the biggest in the history of the data center industry. It further enhances Iowa's status as the data center capital of the Midwest, with Google and Facebook also operating huge server farms in the state." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft brings $1.13 billion data center to Iowa (Rod Boshart/Quad City Times)

(12 hours ago)
Rod Boshart / Quad City Times:Microsoft brings $1.13 billion data center to Iowa  —  DES MOINES — Central Iowa is emerging as an economic magnet for high-tech data centers, state and local leaders declared Friday after plans were unveiled for global computer giant Microsoft to phase in a $1.13 billion regional data center over the next four to five years.

Irish school children are building worlds for the Oculus Rift

(13 hours ago)
If games, wildlife documentaries and virtual strolls in the park aren't enough to validate virtual reality for you, try this one: educational motivation. School children in Ireland have been using a open source version of Second Life to learn coding,...

DARPA Developing the Ultimate Auto-Pilot Software

(15 hours ago)
coondoggie (973519) writes "Call it the ultimate auto-pilot — an automated system that can help take care of all phases of aircraft flight-even perhaps helping pilots overcome system failures in-flight. The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) will in May detail a new program called Aircrew Labor In-Cockpit Automation System (ALIAS) that would build upon what the agency called the considerable advances that have been made in aircraft automation systems over the past 50 years, as well as the advances made in remotely piloted aircraft automation, to help reduce pilot workload, augment mission performance and improve aircraft safety." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How carriers' greed for additional revenue streams almost sabotaged the smartphone kill switch (Issie Lapowsky/Wired)

(16 hours ago)
Issie Lapowsky / Wired:How carriers' greed for additional revenue streams almost sabotaged the smartphone kill switch  —  How Greed Almost Sabotaged the Smartphone Kill Switch  —  About one third of robberies in major cities across the country involve the theft of a mobile phone, according to the Federal Communications Commission.

Hands-on with Ubuntu Touch 14.04: Coming along, but miles to go (Andrew Cunningham/Ars Technica)

(17 hours ago)
Andrew Cunningham / Ars Technica:Hands-on with Ubuntu Touch 14.04: Coming along, but miles to go  —  We install it so you don't have to.  Seriously, you probably shouldn't.  —  The last time we installed Ubuntu Touch on anything was about a year ago, shortly after the release of Ubuntu 13.04.

Toshiba's U3 MicroSD cards are fast enough to handle 4K video, still tiny and easy to lose (Les Shu/Digital Trends)

(18 hours ago)
Les Shu / Digital Trends:Toshiba's U3 MicroSD cards are fast enough to handle 4K video, still tiny and easy to lose  —  MicroSD cards have become so ubiquitous that even some digital cameras are now using it.  That's fine and dandy if speed isn't a concern, but if you're snapping lots of photos and you need your camera to keep up …

SpaceX Lands Launches Load to ISS, Successfully Tests Falcon 9 Over Water

(18 hours ago)
mosb1000 (710161) writes "SpaceX is reporting that they've successfully landed the first stage of their CRS3 Falcon 9 rocket over the Atlantic Ocean today. This is potentially a huge milestone for low-cost space flight." In another win for the company, as the L.A. Times reports, SpaceX also has launched a re-supply mission to the ISS. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook courts advertisers to target likely World Cup viewers, a first for a TV event (Cotton Delo/AdAge)

(18 hours ago)
Cotton Delo / AdAge:Facebook courts advertisers to target likely World Cup viewers, a first for a TV event  —  Facebook to Sell Huge Audience of World Cup Fans to Advertisers  —  Test Could Be Extended to Other TV Events Like the Super Bowl  —  How Advertising Performs in a Social Media World

Welcome to the spectrum-dome: FCC lays groundwork for its controversial incentive auction (Kevin Fitchard/Gigaom)

(19 hours ago)
Kevin Fitchard / Gigaom:Welcome to the spectrum-dome: FCC lays groundwork for its controversial incentive auction  —  This spring is shaping up to be a very contentious season for almost everyone that has a stake in the country's wireless airwaves.  The Federal Communications Commission on Friday released …

Sam Altman and Marissa Mayer co-hosting Obama fundraiser for DNC at Y Combinator HQ on May 8 (Carla Marinucci/SFGate)

(20 hours ago)
Carla Marinucci / SFGate:Sam Altman and Marissa Mayer co-hosting Obama fundraiser for DNC at Y Combinator HQ on May 8  —  New!  Obama to hit Y Combinator headquarters in Mt. View on May 8  —  President Obama will hit the Mt. View headquarters of Y Combinator, the hot Silicon Valley start-up funder and incubator …

Daily Roundup: Xperia Z2 review, Oculus VR lets a terminal patient travel and more!

(20 hours ago)
You might say the day is never really done in consumer technology news. Your workday, however, hopefully draws to a close at some point. This is the Daily Roundup on Engadget, a quick peek back at the top headlines for the past 24 hours -- all...

Bookies Predict the Future of Tech

(21 hours ago)
First time accepted submitter machineghost (622031) writes "It's one thing to make predictions about the future of tech; that happens all the time on Slashdot. But it's quite a different thing to put money on the line to back up those predictions, which is exactly what this British bookie has done. Think you know whether Google Glass will beat the iPhone, or whether we'll be ready to go to Mars and back by 2020? Now's your chance to capitalize on those predictions!" Or you could, y'know, invest money in at least some of them, and thereby increase their chances of succeeding. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Beats Bites the Bullet, and Starts Selling Subscriptions From Apple's App (Peter Kafka/Re/code)

(22 hours ago)
Peter Kafka / Re/code:Beats Bites the Bullet, and Starts Selling Subscriptions From Apple's App  —  Apple has a crazily powerful digital store, used by hundreds of millions of customers.  But if you want to sell something there it will cost you: In almost every case, Apple keeps 30 percent of the purchase price on whatever its users buy.

Nike reportedly killing the Fuelband to focus on fitness software

(22 hours ago)
Just days after Nike announced the launch of its Fuel Lab location in San Francisco to enhance partnerships with other digital services for athletes, there's a report that it's fired much of the team behind its FuelBand wristwear. CNET reports that,...

Hackers Use Heartbleed Bug to Attack 'Major Corporation'

(22 hours ago)
Hackers took advantage of the Heartbleed vulnerability to break into a major corporation’s network, less than a day after the bug was brought to the public’s attention, security experts told The New York Times.Officials with Mandiant, an Alexandria, Va.

Sgt. Star Wants You: Inside the Army's Multimillion-Dollar Chatbot

(22 hours ago)
If you've ever wondered what mysteries lurk behind the friendly but stern visage of the U.S. Army's official chatbot, Sgt. Star, today is your lucky day. The Electronic Frontier Foundation has learned everything there is to know about this semi-intelligent living FAQ.Sgt.

Exclusive: Nike fires majority of FuelBand team, will stop making wearable hardware (Nick Statt/CNET)

(22 hours ago)
Nick Statt / CNET:Exclusive: Nike fires majority of FuelBand team, will stop making wearable hardware  —  The sportswear company has decided that only software has a future in the company's technology vision.  That means cutting the FuelBand, and those who helped make it.

Hide your stash, heat-seeking drones are helping thugs hijack UK weed crops

(22 hours ago)
Criminals are dicks. That much we all know is true. But now these dicks are using heat-sensing drones to pull off "sophisticated" heists of weed farms (yes, that weed) in the United Kingdom, as local paper Halesowen News discovered. Consider this...

Minerva CEO Details His High-Tech Plan To Disrupt Universities

(22 hours ago)
waderoush (1271548) writes "In April 2012, former Snapfish CEO Ben Nelson provoked both praise and skepticism by announcing that he'd raised $25 million from venture firm Benchmark to start the Minerva Project, a new kind of university where students will live together but all class seminars will take place over a Google Hangouts-style video conferencing system. Two years later, there are answers – or the beginnings of answers – to many of the questions observers have raised about the project, on everything from the way the seminars will be organized to how much tuition the San Francisco-based university will charge and how it's gaining accreditation. And in an interview published today, Nelson share more details about how Minerva plans to use technology to improve teaching quality. 'If a student wants football and Greek life and not doing any work for class, they have every single Ivy League university to choose from,' Nelson says. 'That is not what we provide. Similarly, there are faculty who want to do research and get in front of a lecture hall and regurgitate the same lecture they've been giving for 20 years. We have a different model,' based on extensive faculty review of video recordings of the seminars, to make sure students are picking up key concepts. Last month Minerva admitted 45 students to its founding class, and in September it expects to welcome 19 of them to its Nob Hill residence hall." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Peoria Mayor Sends Police To Track Down Twitter Parodist

(22 hours ago)
New submitter rotorbudd (1242864) writes with an article at Reason about Jim Ardis, mayor of Peoria, Illinois, who ordered police to track down whoever was responsible for a parody Twitter account mocking him."Guess the good Mayor has never heard of the Streisand Effect. 'The original Twitter account had a total of 50 followers. The new account has over 200.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple reaching out to developers who didn't win WWDC lottery, offering chance to buy unclaimed tickets (Mike Beasley/9to5Mac)

(23 hours ago)
Mike Beasley / 9to5Mac:Apple reaching out to developers who didn't win WWDC lottery, offering chance to buy unclaimed tickets  —  If you didn't get a chance to buy a WWDC ticket in the lottery last week, you might just get another chance soon.  Developers who won were given until April 14 to buy a slot at the conference …

Facebook not currently using location data from Nearby Friends for ads, will in the future (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

(23 hours ago)
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:Facebook not currently using location data from Nearby Friends for ads, will in the future  —  Facebook ‘Nearby Friends’ Will Track Your Location History To Target You With Ads  —  Facebook says it's not using its new Nearby Friends feature to target ads yet, but after I asked why it's tracking …

Labels claim Pandora owes money for streaming old songs, probably won't get it

(23 hours ago)
Pandora can't catch a break, it seems. Just weeks after the streaming radio service escaped paying higher royalties to songwriters, record companies and musicians have sued it in a New York court for allegedly violating state copyright laws by...

California Utility May Replace IT Workers with H-1B Workers

(2 days ago)
dcblogs writes: "Southern California Edison is preparing to offshore IT jobs, the second major U.S. utility in the last year to do so. It will be cutting its staff, but it hasn't said by how much. The utility is using at least two offshore outsourcing firms, according to government records. SCE's management culture may be particularly primed for firing its IT workers. Following a workplace shooting in SCE's IT offices in 2011, the utility conducted an independent audit of its organizational and management culture. One observation in this report, which was completed a year later, was that 'employees perceive managers to be more concerned about how they 'look' from above, and less concerned about how they are viewed by their subordinates. This fosters an unhealthy culture and climate by sending a message to employees that it is more important to focus on how things look from the top than how they actually are down below.'" Read more of this story at Slashdot.
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