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ITER: 'Where the Sun Will Be Re-Born on Earth'

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 15:34
Long-time Slashdot reader rinka shares an article about "the place where the Sun will be re-born on Earth": The world's best scientists are trying to create a 'miniature Sun' on Earth to tap its fusion energy, costing over €20 billion... [G]lobally ITER is the most expensive science project on Earth ever to be undertaken in the 21st century. The total weight of the ITER reactor will be about 28,000 tonnes... Being made collaboratively by USA, Russia, South Korea, China, Japan, European Union and India as equal partners or participating in this mega effort are countries that together hold 50% of the world's population accounting for about 85% of the global GDP... Dr Mark Henderson, a scientist at ITER, said, "This place to me is the coolest place on Earth, because here in the near future we will have a little Sun on Earth and it will be a 150 million degrees Celsius so it will be the hottest place on Earth, ten times hotter than our Sun...." The project is a herculean effort and operations are expected to start by 2025. Later a full scale electricity generating unit called the DEMO reactor is scheduled to be completed by 2040... On being asked how much carbon dioxide the main culprit for global warming would be released from the ITER project Dr Luce quips "only the carbon dioxide the scientists exhale". The radioactive substances generated from reactions would be the sort that can die off in a hundred years. Its ultimate goal is to create "an unlimited supply of clean energy."

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2019 Hugo Award Winners Include a Fan Fiction Site and 'Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse'

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 14:34
DevNull127 writes: The 77th World Science Fiction Convention announced the winners of the 2019 Hugo Awards at a ceremony Sunday night. Here's some of the highlights. At least two of these stories can be read (for free) online: BEST NOVELETTE: "If at First You Don't Succeed, Try, Try Again," by Zen Cho. The entire text is availabe online in the B&N Sci-Fi and Fantasy Blog, where it was published in November of 2018. BEST SHORT STORY: "A Witch's Guide to Escape: A Practical Compendium of Portal Fantasies," by Alix E. Harrow. The complete text is available online, published in Apex Magazine in February 2018. BEST NOVEL: The Calculating Stars, which presents an alternate history in which a meteor "decimates the U.S. government and paves the way for a climate cataclysm that will eventually render the earth inhospitable to humanity. This looming threat calls for a radically accelerated timeline in the earth's efforts to colonize space..." BEST NOVELLA: Artificial Condition: The Murderbot Diaries #2. ("it has only vague memories of the massacre that spawned that title, and it wants to know more...") BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The Daily Dot reports that there was also one very unusual winner: Archive of Our Own (AO3), the fan-run, nonprofit website that's home to more than 5 million transformative works like fanfiction, fanart, and podfics, won one of science fiction's most prestigious awards at Worldcon Sunday night. The website (which is part of the Organization of Transformative Works) won the Hugo for best related works, a widespread category that sometimes encompasses making-of books, pieces of criticism, and biographies. Fellow nominees included a book on Ursula K. Le Guin's writing, a Hugo Award retrospective, a website that campaigned to sponsor Worldcon memberships for Mexican creators, and Lindsay Ellis' video series on The Hobbit... The very existence of AO3's nomination was a way of legitimizing fanfiction as a form of expression. But its win validates it even further, particularly in the science-fiction and fantasy community...

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Unc0ver v3.5.6 adds support for remounting and rootFS restore for A12(X) devices on iOS 12.1.3-12.4

iDownloadBlog - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 14:16

Pwn20wnd updated the unc0ver jailbreak to version 3.5.6 on Saturday with support for RootFS Restore and remounting on A12(X) devices running iOS 12.1.3-12.4.
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Facebook Awards $100,000 Prize For New Code Isolation Technique

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 13:34
ZDNet reports: Facebook has awarded a $100,000 prize to a team of academics from Germany for developing a new code isolation technique that can be used to safeguard sensitive data while it's being processed inside a computer. The award is named the Internet Defense Prize, and is a $100,000 cash reward that Facebook has been giving out yearly since 2014 to the most innovative research presented at USENIX, a leading security conference that takes place every year in mid-August in the US. An anonymous reader writes: The new technique is called ERIM and leverages Intel's memory protection keys (MPKs) and binary code inspection to achieve both hardware and software-based in-process data isolation. The novelty of ERIM is that it has an near-zero performance overhead (compared to other techniques that induce a big performance dip), can be applied with little effort to new and existing applications, doesn't require compiler changes, and can run on a stock Linux kernel.

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India's Chandrayaan-2 Spacecraft Enters the Moon's Orbit

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 12:34
Long-time Slashdot reader William Robinson writes: An unmanned spacecraft, Chandrayaan 2, India launched last month has begun orbiting the moon before it lands on the far side to search for water. The spacecraft is in orbit of 114 km x 18072 km and will continue circling the moon in a tighter orbit until reaching a distance of about 100 km x 30 km from the moon's surface. "The lander will then separate from the orbiter and use rocket fuel to brake as it attempts to land in the south polar region of the moon on Sept. 7 -- an area where no moon landing has been attempted before," reports CTV News. The mission is carrying a total of 14 payloads -- 13 Indian and one passive payload from NASA -- with special focus of the orbiter on mapping craters in the polar region, besides checking for water again. Space.com shares the first photo of the moon snapped by the spacecraft on Wednesday, noting that "If the lander safely touches down, India will become the fourth country to complete that feat, after the Soviet Union, the U.S. and China. "The lander and rover would operate for one lunar day but are not designed to withstand the frigid lunar nights."

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Daily Deals: Weekend Edition

iDownloadBlog - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 12:31

Welcome to our Daily Deals column, where we round up the best tech deals from around the web. Here you'll find discounts on everything from Apple products to accessories, video games and much more. But you better hurry, these prices won't be around forever!
Categories: Geek

Three Smart Ovens Turned On Overnight, Then Preheated To 400 Degrees

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 11:34
AmiMoJo quote the Verge: At least three smart June Ovens have turned on in the middle of the night and heated up to 400 degrees Fahrenheit or higher. The ovens' owners aren't sure why this happened, and June tells The Verge that user error is at fault... The June Oven debuted in 2015 as a $1,495 countertop oven that uses a camera and computer vision to identify food that's been placed inside. The company raised nearly $30 million in funding and released its second-generation version in 2018 for $599. It's billed as "seven appliances in one": an air fryer, dehydrator, slow cooker, broiler, toaster, warming drawer, and convection countertop oven. It also pairs with an app that allows people to choose their temperature and cooking settings, as well as live stream their food as it cooks thanks to the built-in camera. The company is planning an update that'll hopefully remedy the situation and prevent it from happening again, but that change isn't coming until next month.

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Poll: Would you be willing to sacrifice sound quality for a cheaper HomePod?

9to5Mac - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 10:48

Earlier this week, Bloomberg published a breakdown of the new hardware likely coming from Apple over the next year. One detail in the report was that Apple is apparently planning a lower-cost HomePod. Would you be willing to sacrifice sound quality in order to get a cheaper HomePod? more…

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Why Are 'Supply Chain Attacks' on Open Source Libraries Getting Worse?

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 10:34
"A rash of supply chain attacks hitting open source software over the past year shows few signs of abating, following the discovery this week of two separate backdoors slipped into a dozen libraries downloaded by hundreds of thousands of server administrators," reports Ars Technica: The compromises of Webmin and the RubyGems libraries are only the latest supply chain attacks to hit open source software. Most people don't think twice about installing software or updates from the official site of a known developer. As developers continue to make software and websites harder to exploit, black hats over the past few years have increasingly exploited this trust to spread malicious wares by poisoning code at its source... To be fair, closed-source software also falls prey to supply-side attacks -- as evidenced by those that hit computer maker ASUS on two occasions, the malicious update to tax-accounting software M.E.Doc that seeded the NotPetya outbreak of 2017, and another backdoor that infected users of the CCleaner hard drive utility that same year. But the low-hanging fruit for supply chain attacks seems to be open source projects, in part because many don't make multi-factor authentication and code signing mandatory among its large base of contributors. "The recent discoveries make it clear that these issues are becoming more frequent and that the security ecosystem around package publication and management isn't improving fast enough," Atredis Partners Vice President of Research and Development HD Moore told Ars. "The scary part is that each of these instances likely resulted in even more developer accounts being compromised (through captured passwords, authorization tokens, API keys, and SSH keys). The attackers likely have enough credentials at hand to do this again, repeatedly, until all credentials are reset and appropriate MFA and signing is put in place."

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Trump orders companies to ‘start looking for an alternative to China,’ AAPL falls over 4%

9to5Mac - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 10:02

President Trump sent a series of tweets on Friday afternoon addressing the relationship between the United States and China. The president ordered that U.S. companies “immediately start looking for an alternative to China,” which sent Apple stock down by over 4 percent.

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Netflix testing new ‘Collections’ feature on iOS to highlight content curated by humans

9to5Mac - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 09:03

Netflix is testing a new feature on iOS called “Collections” that highlights content curated by humans. This is different than many of the current recommendation features offered in the Netflix app, which are primarily based on algorithms.

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Apple @ Work: Did web apps allow the Mac to flourish in the enterprise?

9to5Mac - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 09:00

Apple products used to be something IT departments hated to deploy, but that mindset has certainly shifted in recent years. A lot has changed to get us to this point, but one thing was the key enabler to Apple’s growth in the enterprise: web applications. Now, you are probably thinking, why have web apps led to Apple’s growth in the enterprise? Your natural thought process would be that if an organization runs a lot of web applications, they’d want to deploy the cheapest hardware possible. They’d likely be looking at Chromebooks or inexpensive PC laptops. On the other hand, as technology has become more personal, employees have started to demand the tools they feel comfortable with. Thanks to Apple’s strong presence on mobile (iPad and iPhone), users want that same simplicity on their desktop workstations. So why have web applications enabled the adoption of macOS in the enterprise? Let’s look at the factors for how web apps on the Mac led to its enterprise growth. more…

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Type Loop, Emoji Key, Danger Notes, and other apps to check out this weekend

iDownloadBlog - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 09:00

Apps of the week

In this episode of our Apps of the Week roundup, we have a text animator, an emoji finder, and a notes app that promises to help you fight writer's block. And as always, we've selected two great games for you to check out.
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Quantum Radar Has Been Demonstrated For the First Time

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 09:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Shabir Barzanjeh at the Institute of Science and Technology Austria and a few colleagues have used entangled microwaves to create the world's first quantum radar. Their device, which can detect objects at a distance using only a few photons, raises the prospect of stealthy radar systems that emit little detectable electromagnetic radiation. The device is simple in essence. The researchers create pairs of entangled microwave photons using a superconducting device called a Josephson parametric converter. They beam the first photon, called the signal photon, toward the object of interest and listen for the reflection. In the meantime, they store the second photon, called the idler photon. When the reflection arrives, it interferes with this idler photon, creating a signature that reveals how far the signal photon has traveled. Voila -- quantum radar! The researchers go on to compare their quantum radar with conventional systems operating with similarly low numbers of photons and say it significantly outperforms them, albeit only over relatively short distances. That's interesting work revealing the significant potential of quantum radar and a first application of microwave-based entanglement. But it also shows the potential application of quantum illumination more generally. A big advantage is the low levels of electromagnetic radiation required. Then there is the obvious application as a stealthy radar that is difficult for adversaries to detect over background noise. The researchers say it could be useful for short-range low-power radar for security applications in closed and populated environments. The researchers detail their findings in a paper on arXiv.org.

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Disney+ to support 4K quality, 4 simultaneous streams for $7 per month

9to5Mac - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 08:09

Ahead of its launch this November, we continue to learn more about Disney+. This week, Disney again showcased its upcoming streaming service at the D23 Expo in California, offering new details on what exactly the $6.99 per month price tag will get you.

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Amazon Joins Walmart In Saying Tesla Solar Panels Caught Fire

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 06:00
Earlier today, it was reported that Tesla is working to resolve the lawsuit Walmart filed against the company earlier this week over defective solar panels. However, this story is far from over as Amazon has chimed in by saying it too has seen its Tesla solar panels catch fire. Bloomberg reports: On Friday, Amazon.com Inc. said a June 2018 blaze on the roof of one of its warehouses in Redlands, California, involved a solar panel system that Tesla's SolarCity division had installed. The Seattle-based retail giant said by email that it has since taken steps to protect its facilities and has no plans to install more Tesla systems. Tesla didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but said earlier on Friday that it had discovered flaws in a part that the company had used in some of its systems. The part known as a "connector," manufactured by Amphenol Corp., led to "failures and disconnections at a higher rate than our standards allow," Tesla said in an emailed statement. The company has worked to replace it.

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Netflix Tests 'Collections' That Are Curated By Humans Instead of Algorithms

Slashdot - Sat, 08/24/2019 - 03:00
Netflix is testing an all-new recommendation system called "Collections" that relies on humans instead of neural networks. TechCrunch reports: While Netflix today already offers thematic suggestions of things to watch, based on your Netflix viewing history, Collections aren't only based on themes. According to Netflix, the titles are curated by experts on the company's creative teams, and are organized into these collections based on similar factors -- like genre, tone, story line and character traits. This human-led curation is different from how Netflix typically makes its recommendations. The streaming service is famous for its advanced categorization system, where there are hundreds of niche categories that go beyond broad groupings like "Action," "Drama," "Sci-Fi," "Romance" and the like. These narrower subcategories allow the streamer to make more specific and targeted recommendations. Netflix also tracks titles that are popular and trending across its service, so you can check in on what everyone else is watching, as well. The feature is currently in testing on iOS devices and can be found at the top right of the app's homepage, if you've been opted in to the test.

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Alabama woman says ‘no doubt’ Apple Watch atrial fibrillation detection saved her life

9to5Mac - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 23:49

Apple Watch Series 4 has been on the market for less than a year and it’s already been credited with saving dozens of lives around the world. Anne Rowe of Fairhope, Alabama —  joins the growing group of watch wearers who could have faced life-threatening medical conditions without the Apple Watch.

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Complex Quantum Teleportation Achieved For the First Time

Slashdot - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Researchers from the Austrian Academy of Sciences and the University of Vienna have experimentally demonstrated what was previously only a theoretical possibility. Together with quantum physicists from the University of Science and Technology of China, they have succeeded in teleporting complex high-dimensional quantum states. The research teams report this international first in the journal Physical Review Letters. In their study, the researchers teleported the quantum state of one photon (light particle) to another distant one. Previously, only two-level states ("qubits") had been transmitted, i.e., information with values "0" or "1". However, the scientists succeeded in teleporting a three-level state, a so-called "qutrit." In quantum physics, unlike in classical computer science, "0" and "1" are not an 'either/or' -- both simultaneously, or anything in between, is also possible. The Austrian-Chinese team has now demonstrated this in practice with a third possibility "2". The quantum state to be teleported is encoded in the possible paths a photon can take. One can picture these paths as three optical fibers. Most interestingly, in quantum physics a single photon can also be located in all three optical fibers at the same time. To teleport this three-dimensional quantum state, the researchers used a new experimental method. The core of quantum teleportation is the so-called Bell measurement. It is based on a multiport beam splitter, which directs photons through several inputs and outputs and connects all optical fibers together. In addition, the scientists used auxiliary photons -- these are also sent into the multiple beam splitter and can interfere with the other photons. Through clever selection of certain interference patterns, the quantum information can be transferred to another photon far from the input photon, without the two ever physically interacting. The experimental concept is not limited to three dimensions, but can in principle be extended to any number of dimensions, as Erhard emphasizes.

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Seattle Has Figured Out How To End the War On Drugs

Slashdot - Fri, 08/23/2019 - 22:10
Nicholas Kristof writes in an opinion piece for The New York Times about Seattle's "bold approach to narcotics that should be a model for America." Instead of being prosecuted for being caught with small amounts of drugs, that person is steered toward social services to get help. "In effect, Seattle is decriminalizing the use of hard drugs," writes Kristof. "It is relying less on the criminal justice toolbox to deal with hard drugs and more on the public health toolbox." From the report: This model is becoming the consensus preference among public health experts in the U.S. and abroad. Still, it shocks many Americans to see no criminal penalty for using drugs illegally, so it takes courage and vision to adopt this approach: a partial retreat in the war on drugs coupled with a stepped-up campaign against addiction. The number of opioid users has surged, and more Americans now die each year from overdoses than perished in the Vietnam, Afghan and Iraq wars combined. And that doesn't account for the way drug addiction has ripped apart families and stunted children's futures. More than two million children in America live with a parent suffering from an illicit-drug dependency. So Seattle is undertaking what feels like the beginning of a historic course correction, with other cities discussing how to follow. This could be far more consequential than the legalization of pot: By some estimates, nearly half of Americans have a family member or close friend enmeshed in addiction, and if the experiment in Seattle succeeds, we'll have a chance to rescue America from our own failed policies. Decriminalization is unfolding here in part because of Dan Satterberg, the prosecuting attorney for King County, which includes Seattle. It's also arguably underway because of what happened to his little sister, Shelley Kay Satterberg. At the age of 14, Shelley ran away from home because her parents wouldn't let her go to a concert on a school night. It was a rebellion that proved devastating. She was away for several months, was gang-raped by two men, was introduced to hard drugs and began to self-medicate with those drugs to deal with the trauma of rape. Dan told me that he was angry at Shelley -- angry that she had made terrible choices, angry that she had hurt their parents. But over time he also concluded that his own approach of prosecuting drug users accomplished little, except that it isolated them from the family and friends who offered the best support system to escape addiction. The report mentions a program called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD) that appears to be working. It was started in 2011 by Satterberg and others and has spread across the country, with 59 localities now offering LEAD initiatives or rolling them out. "The idea is that instead of simply arresting drug users for narcotics or prostitution, police officers watch for those who are nonviolent and want help, and divert them to social service programs and intensive case management," writes Kristof. One 2017 peer-reviewed study found that drug users assigned to the program "were 58 percent less likely to be rearrested, compared with a control group." It also found that "participants were almost twice as likely to have housing as they had been before entering LEAD, and 46 percent more likely to be employed or getting job training." And while it costs about $350 per month per participant to provide case managers, it is still cheaper than jail, courts and costs associated with homelessness.

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