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Microsoft co-founder's remote vehicles find a legendary WWII ship

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 21:35
The USS Indianapolis played an important role in WWII history, including the delivery of parts for the atomic bombs that would eventually drop on Japan. However, it met a grim fate: not only did a Japanese submarine sink it near the end of the war, b...
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Ask Slashdot: How Can You Teach Programming To Schoolchildren?

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 20:34
Slashdot reader SPopulisQR writes: A new school year is approaching and I wanted to ask what are appropriate programming languages for children of various ages. Specifically, 1) what coding languages should be considered, and 2) are there are any self-guided coding websites that can be used by children to learn coding using guidance and help online? Let's say the ages are 8 and 12. I know there's lots of opinions about CS education (and about whether or not laptops increase test scores). So leave your own best thoughts in the comments. How can you teach programming to schoolchildren?

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ICE insists it doesn’t use Stingrays to track undocumented immigrants

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 20:07
In a letter (PDF), the acting director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said that the agency doesn't use its Stingray mobile call-intercepting devices while enforcing immigration laws. It does deploy them when pursuing criminal suspec...
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Prisma hopes to market its AI photo filtering tech

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 18:36
Prisma's machine learning photography app may not be as hot as it was in 2016, but that doesn't mean it's going away. If the developer has its way, you'll see its technology in many places before long. The company tells The Verge that it's shifting i...
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Alleged Yahoo Hacker Will Be Extradited To The US

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 18:34
An anonymous reader quotes the AP: A Canadian man accused in a massive hack of Yahoo emails agreed Friday to forgo his extradition hearing and go face the charges in the United States. Karim Baratov was arrested in Hamilton, Ontario, in March under the Extradition Act after U.S. authorities indicted him and three others, including two alleged officers of Russia's Federal Security Service. They are accused of computer hacking, economic espionage and other crimes. An extradition hearing for the 22-year-old Baratov had been scheduled for early September, but he signed documents before a Canadian judge Friday agreeing to waive it. His lawyer, Amedeo DiCarlo, said that does not amount to an admission of guilt... U.S. law enforcement officials call Baratov a "hacker-for-hire" paid by members of the Federal Security Service, or FSB, considered the successor to the KGB of the former Soviet Union. Yahoo also believes that attack -- which breached at least 500 million Yahoo accounts in 2014 -- was perpetrated by "a state-sponsored actor." The CBC reports that Baratov lives alone in a large, new house in an expensive subdivision. "His parents either bought him the house," one neighbor told the CBC, "or he's getting money somewhere else, because he doesn't seem to work all day; he just drives up and down the street." The CBC also reports that Baratov's Facebook page links to a Russian-language site "which claims to offer a number of services, including servers for rent in Russia, protection from distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks, and domain names in China."

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50,000 Users Test New Anti-Censorship Tool TapDance

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 17:34
The CBC reports: What if circumventing censorship didn't rely on some app or service provider that would eventually get blocked but was built into the very core of the internet itself? What if the routers and servers that underpin the internet -- infrastructure so important that it would be impractical to block -- could also double as one big anti-censorship tool...? After six years in development, three research groups have joined forces to conduct real-world tests. An anonymous reader writes: Earlier this week, Professor Eric Wustrow, from the University of Colorado at Boulder, presented An ISP-Scale Deployment of TapDance at the USENIX Workshop on Free and Open Communications on the Internet. TapDance is an anti-censorship, circumvention application based on "refraction networking" (formerly known as "decoy routing") that has been the subject of academic research for several years. Now, with integration with Psiphon, 50,000 users, a deployment that spans two ISPs, and an open source release, it seems to have graduated to the real world. "In the long run, we absolutely do want to see refraction networking deployed at as many ISPs that are as deep in the network as possible," one of the paper's authors told the CBC. "We would love to be so deeply embedded in the core of the network that to block this tool of free communication would be cost-prohibitive for censors."

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Microsoft reveals every game enhanced for Xbox One X

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 17:08
Microsoft has dribbled out details of Xbox One X visual upgrades over the past couple of months, but now it's laying all its cards on the table. The company's Larry "Major Nelson" Hryb has posted a list of all the games currently slated to get some k...
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Bug In Lowe's Site Sold Goods For Free. Couple Arrested For Exploiting It

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 16:34
An anonymous reader writes: A couple from the Brick Township in New Jersey stands accused of using a flaw in the Lowes online portal to receive goods for free at their home. According to the Ocean County Prosecutor's Office, the couple tried to steal goods worth $258,068.01, but only managed to receive approximately $12,971.23 worth of merchandise. Officers executing a search warrant said the residence resembled "more of a warehouse than a home." Investigators said they recovered enough merchandise to fill an 18-foot trailer. Most items were in their original packaging and still had their price tags. Police say one of the suspects posted ads for some of the stolen goods on a Facebook group used to buy and sell used objects. The suspect was selling most of the items at half the price offered on the Lowes website. Authorities did not provide in-depth technical details but revealed the flaw resided in the site's gift card module. One of the suspects' lawyer argued that his client didn't have the skills to penetrate the security on the web site of a Fortune 500 company -- and insisted instead that his client just had a really special knack for finding good deals.

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Microsoft unveils 'Minecraft' edition Xbox One S

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 15:40
How devoted are you to Minecraft? Devoted enough that you want your console to be a living, breathing representation of the construction game? If so, you're in luck. Microsoft has unveiled a limited edition Minecraft Xbox One S that drapes the entire...
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FBI Accepts New Evidence in 46-Year-Old D.B. Cooper Case

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 15:34
An anonymous reader quotes the Daily Mail: The FBI is looking at an 'odd bit of buried foam' as possible evidence in the cold case investigation into criminal mastermind D.B. Cooper, according to private investigators. The potential evidence was handed over to authorities last week by the team of sleuths who believe the foam made up a part of Cooper's parachute backpack, the New York Daily News reports. Cooper, one of the 20th century's most compelling masterminds, hijacked a Boeing 727 at Seattle-Tacoma airport in 1971 and held its crew and passengers hostage with a bomb. Once his demand of $200,000 cash -- the equivalent of $1,213,226 today -- was reached and transferred onto the plane, Cooper had the crew take off before he parachuted out over the dense Pacific Northwest woods and disappeared. The discovery of the foam comes just weeks after the FBI uncovered what is believed to be part of Cooper's parachute strap, which private investigators claim could lead authorities to his stolen fortune. In addition, the FBI also received three 'unknown' pieces of fabric that were found close to where the alleged parachute strap was located. The 40-member cold case team is being overseen by a former FBI supervisor. At one point they essentially crowdsourced the investigation by requesting help from the general public, and the team now says they've found a credible source -- providing information substantiated by FBI field notes -- which has led them to this new evidence.

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Xbox One X will launch with a limited Project Scorpio Edition

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 15:30
The rumors were true. Microsoft is marking the launch of the Xbox One X by starting pre-orders for a limited Project Scorpio Edition for the console. It'll cost the same $499 as the standard model, but this is more than a rehash of the Day One system...
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Build your own dinosaur park in 'Jurassic World Evolution'

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 14:53
Did you watch Jurassic World and think that the chaos could have been avoided with better park design? You're going to get a chance to prove your theory. Elite: Dangerous developer Frontier has taken the wraps off of Jurassic World Evolution, which w...
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Red Hat Gives Ceylon To The Eclipse Foundation

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 14:34
An anonymous reader writes: Some media outlets called Ceylon an attempted "Java killer" when Gavin King first unveiled his secret two-year development project in 2011. In 2013 Red Hat finally released version 1.0 of the modern, modular statically-typed programming language for the Java and JavaScript virtual machines. After another four years, "Ceylon has a small but very active and enthusiastic community of developers and users, and indeed is the fruit of the hard work of a large number of contributors over the years," says a project proposal page at Eclipse.org seeking "to further grow our community... a key strategy to achieve that would be to move Ceylon from Red Hat to a vendor-neutral foundation." That project has now been approved, and the "Eclipse Ceylon" project has been created. It includes the Ceylon distribution and its SDK, plus the Java2Ceylon converter and the Ceylon Herd project's server (and related services) for Ceylon module sharing. There's also three IDEs (and their code-formatting and functionality-sharing modules). Back in 2011 InfoWorld predicted that instead of becoming a Java killer, "it is more likely Ceylon will join a growing list of new languages resting atop the JVM, while the Java language and platform will continue on as staples of enterprise computing."

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Samsung's Gear VR app provides help to the visually impaired

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 14:03
Samsung isn't just using VR headsets as a means of boosting phone sales. The company's C-Lab has launched Relumino, a Gear VR app that uses augmented reality to compensate for vision problems. It can magnify the picture or adjust the contrast of wh...
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'Wing Commander' Music Composer Runs Kickstarter Campaign

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 13:34
DMJC writes: George Oldziey, the music composer from Wing Commander 3 and 4, is running a Kickstarter campaign to re-orchestrate the music from the venerable series. The Kickstarter is in its final week and has approximately $2000 left to go before it reaches it's goal. Oldziey shares some history on his web site: In 2014 I launched a Kickstarter campaign to document the music I created for the Wing Commander games in the way I had originally imagined it: for full orchestra and chorus. 588 generous supporters helped me reach my goal! In late 2014 I traveled to Bratislava, Slovakia, where the 95-piece Slovak National Symphony Orchestra and the 40-voice Lucina Chorus recorded this music under my supervision. But last November -- and again in June -- Oldziey unsuccessfully tried raising funds on Kickstarter to record more of his Wing Commander music with a full orchestra. So this month's campaign sets a more modest goal of raising $15,000 "as a foundation and springboard from which to build with a more open ended crowdfunding campaign." It'll fund the creation of digital MIDI tracks for the new orchestral music plus a recording of the "jazzy bar music" from Wing Commander 3 (which will both be released as digital downloads and on CD). "Future campaign(s) will tackle the goal of getting a live orchestra to record everything..." Oldziey writes, adding this campaign "builds an exciting foundation to build on -- with some cool music to enjoy in the mean time!" Two people have already pledged $600 to claim one of five high-end premiums in which George composes one minute of unique music just for them, and two more pledged $300 to attend the "jazzy bar music" recording session in Austin, Texas.

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Watch Microsoft's Gamescom event at 3PM Eastern

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:46
Germany's Gamescom expo may not capture as many eyeballs as E3 does, but it's still crucial to the gaming industry. The event offers a better look at the titles and hardware that you first saw at E3, not to mention plenty of its own surprises. It's a...
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Researchers Win $100,000 For New Spear-Phishing Detection Method

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 12:34
An anonymous reader writes: Facebook has awarded this year's Internet Defense Prize worth $100,000 to a team of researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, who came up with a new method of detecting spear-phishing attacks in closely monitored enterprise networks. The team created a detection system -- called DAS (Directed Anomaly Scoring) -- that identifies uncommon patterns in emails communications. They trained DAS by having it analyze 370 million emails from one single large enterprise with thousands of employees, sent between March 2013 and January 2017. "Out of 19 spearphishing attacks, our detector failed to detect 2 attacks," the research team said. "Our detector [also] achieved an average false positive rate of 0.004%," researchers added, pointing out that this is almost 200 times better than previous research. Honorable mentions went two other projects, one for using existing static analysis techniques to find a large number of vulnerabilities in Linux kernel drivers, and another for preventing specific classes of vulnerabilities in low-level code.

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Jonathan Coulton's New Dystopian Album Becomes a Graphic Novel

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 11:34
An anonymous reader brings news about one of Slashdot's long-time favorite musicians: In April, musician Jonathan Coulton released Solid State, a sci-fi concept album that represented a significant departure -- both from Coulton's wry, bright, tuneful back catalog and from any conventional understanding of what a sci-fi concept album sounds like... On first listen, with its shout-outs to futurist Ray Kurzweil, comment-section trolls, thinkpiece-gluts, and hack memes, Solid State seems a caustic critique of the internet -- which would be, as Coulton notes, "a little-off brand for me." Spend a bit more time with it, however, and its muted, melancholy songs reveal their true target: the toxic culture of glibness and hot takes that's leaching from the internet into every aspect of our lives. The album features multiple perspectives and timelines, but its soundscape is allusive and impressionistic, resisting strict narrative. For that, Coulton turned to writer Matt Fraction and artist Albert Monteys, who with Coulton's input have taken some of the album's words, images and thematic preoccupations and crafted a graphic novel set largely in a future that will seem familiar to any reader of science fiction: a corporate-owned dystopia where humans have become dutiful, unthinking, unfeeling worker bees attending to menial tasks amid a culture engineered to keep them unthinking and unfeeling...These three creators believe that the roots of this dystopic future are all around us, but we're collectively choosing to ignore them in precisely the same way we blithely click past online Terms and Conditions agreements without bothering to read them. The official music video for one of the songs takes the form of a text adventure.

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The best ice cream maker

Engadget - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 11:30
By Marguerite Preston and Lesley Stockton This post was done in partnership with The Sweethome, a buyer's guide to the best homewares. When readers choose to buy The Sweethome's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions...
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A Global Fish War is Coming, Warns US Coast Guard

Slashdot - Sun, 08/20/2017 - 10:29
schwit1 shares an article from the U.S. Naval Institute's Proceedings magazine. It includes this warning from the Coast Guard's chief of fisheries law enforcement: Nearly two decades into the 21st Century, it has become clear the world has limited resources and the last area of expansion is the oceans. Battles over politics and ideologies may be supplanted by fights over resources as nations struggle for economic and food security. These new conflicts already have begun -- over fish... In 1996, Canada and Spain almost went to war over the Greenland turbot. Canada seized Spanish vessels it felt were fishing illegally, but Spain did not have the same interpretation of the law and sent gunboats to escort its ships. In 1999, a U.S. Coast Guard cutter intercepted a Russian trawler fishing in the U.S. exclusive economic zone. The lone cutter was promptly surrounded by 19 Russian trawlers. Fortunately, the Russian Border Guard and the Coast Guard drew on an existing relationship and were able to defuse the situation... Japan protested 230 fishing vessels escorted by seven China Coast Guard ships entering the waters of the disputed Senkaku Islands. Incidents in the South China Sea between the Indonesian Navy and Chinese fishing vessels and China Coast Guard have escalated to arrests, ramming, and warning shots leading experts to suggest only navies and use of force can stop the IUU fishing... The United States needs to show it is serious about protecting sustainable fisheries and international rule of law. It needs a fleet that not only will provide a multilateral cooperation platform, but also take action against vessels and fleets that are unwilling to cooperate... If cooperation cannot be achieved, the United States should prepare for a global fish war. When I read "fish war," I was imagining it more like this.

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