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Allstate insurance adds iCracked to SquareTrade in bid to offer one-stop shop for tech support/repair

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 09:35

Nationwide insurance company Allstate has bought smartphone and tablet repair service iCracked. It already owned SquareTrade, which offers both gadget insurance and tech support …

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Nvidia CEO Foresees a Great Year for PC Gaming Laptops

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 09:15
Nvidia has predicted that the year ahead would be a good one for the company, with demand for laptop gaming gear remaining strong. From a report: Looking forward, Huang said it would be a big year for gaming laptops, as Nvidia knows that more than 40 Turing-based gaming laptops (based on the GeForce RTX 2060) are poised to launch during the year. Those laptops use mid-range RTX cards based on graphics processing units (GPUs) using Nvidia's new Turing architecture -- the GeForce RTX graphics cards that can do real-time ray tracing -- that are battery efficient. Huang acknowledged that visibility is limited. I asked him if cloud gaming would be a disruptive force during the year. But he noted that Nvidia had been providing its own cloud gaming solution, GeForce Now, with relatively little impact on the market for three years. So he said it remains to be seen if cloud gaming and the "Netflix of games" would make an impact on the market. In the meantime, he said that gaming laptops would launch.

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Apple removed five minerals suppliers in 2018 for failing to pass human rights audits

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 09:13

Apple’s latest Conflict Minerals Report reveals that it removed five mineral smelters and refiners for failing to meet the company’s human rights standards.

In 2018, Apple directed its suppliers to remove from its supply chain five smelters and refiners not willing to participate in, or complete, a Third Party Audit or that did not otherwise meet Apple’s requirements on the responsible sourcing of minerals …

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How to manage bookmarks in Safari on iOS and Mac

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:30

Safari Bookmarks on Mac

Bookmarking your favorite websites in Safari on your iPhone, iPad, and Mac is handy for accessing the pages you need with a tap. But bookmarks can also quickly get out of control. You can organize your bookmarks in folders, rearrange...
Categories: Geek

Samsung opening Apple Store-like retail outlets in New York, LA and Houston

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:22

Samsung has announced plans to open three US retail stores, in New York, Los Angeles and Houston.

From the company’s description, it sounds like Samsung has modelled them on Apple Stores

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Facebook Settlement With FTC Could Run Into the Billions

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 08:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Facebook and the Federal Trade Commission are discussing a settlement over privacy violations that could amount to a record, multibillion-dollar fine, according to three people with knowledge of the talks. The company and the F.T.C.'s consumer protection and enforcement staff have been in negotiations over a financial penalty for claims that Facebook violated a 2011 privacy consent decree with the agency, said the people, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is private. In 2011, Facebook promised a series of measures to protect user privacy after an investigation found it had harmed consumers with its handling of user data. The current talks have not yet reached the F.T.C.'s five commissioners for a vote and it is unclear how close the two sides are to wrapping up the nearly 11-month investigation. The commissioners met in mid-December and were updated by staff members that they had at that point found considerable evidence of violations of the 2011 consent decree. The FTC investigation into Facebook began after it was reported that the information of 87 million users had been harvested by a British political consulting firm, Cambridge Analytica, without their permission. The agency could seek up to $41,000 for each violation found.

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Wrongful death lawsuit brought against Apple after fire allegedly caused by iPad

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 07:42

A wrongful death lawsuit has been filed against Apple in New Jersey after a man died in an apartment fire which allegedly began when his iPad burst into flames.

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White House declares ‘national emergency’ using a (bad) screen-grab from Apple’s Notes app

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 07:04

The Internet responded with a mixture of incredulity and amusement after White House press secretary Sarah Sanders announced a ‘national emergency’ in the form of a screen-grab from Apple’s iOS Notes app …

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Again, Apple extends its ‘limited time’ iPhone trade-in offer for at least another month

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 05:25

Just like we saw happen last month, Apple has extended the final date of its iPhone trade-in promotion. We can tell this from the small print on the Apple.com/cn homepage. Yesterday, it said that the deadline for iPhone XS/XR boosted trade-in was February 17. Now, it says the offer continues until March 25.

This likely signals yet another extension to the ‘limited time’ promotion worldwide. Still, outside of the US, customers can only benefit from the additional trade-in value at an Apple retail store.

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Sketchy Chinese social media report claims red iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max launching soon

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 05:08

A Chinese media report on the social media site Weibo, via iGeneration, claims that Apple will expand the iPhone XS lineup to include a new red color option later this month. Presumably branded as PRODUCT(RED), it would join the red iPhone XR that Apple has sold since launch.

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8-Character Windows NTLM Passwords Can Be Cracked In Under 2.5 Hours

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 05:00
HashCat, an open-source password recovery tool, can now crack an eight-character Windows NTLM password hash in less than 2.5 hours. "Current password cracking benchmarks show that the minimum eight character password, no matter how complex, can be cracked in less than 2.5 hours" using a hardware rig that utilizes eight Nvidia GTX 2080Ti GPUs, explained a hacker who goes by the pseudonym Tinker on Twitter in a DM conversation with The Register. "The eight character password is dead." From the report: It's dead at least in the context of hacking attacks on organizations that rely on Windows and Active Directory. NTLM is an old Microsoft authentication protocol that has since been replaced with Kerberos. According to Tinker, it's still used for storing Windows passwords locally or in the NTDS.dit file in Active Directory Domain Controllers. It's dead at least in the context of hacking attacks on organizations that rely on Windows and Active Directory. NTLM is an old Microsoft authentication protocol that has since been replaced with Kerberos. According to Tinker, it's still used for storing Windows passwords locally or in the NTDS.dit file in Active Directory Domain Controllers. Tinker estimates that buying the GPU power described would require about $10,000; others have claimed the necessary computer power to crack an eight-character NTLM password hash can be rented in Amazon's cloud for just $25. NIST's latest guidelines say passwords should be at least eight characters long. Some online service providers don't even demand that much. When security researcher Troy Hunt examined the minimum password lengths at various websites last year, he found that while Google, Microsoft and Yahoo set the bar at eight, Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter only required six. Tinker said the eight character password was used as a benchmark because it's what many organizations recommend as the minimum password length and many corporate IT policies reflect that guidance. So how long is long enough to sleep soundly until the next technical advance changes everything? Tinker recommends a random five-word passphrase, something along the lines of the four-word example popularized by online comic XKCD, "correcthorsebatterystaple." That or whatever maximum length random password via a password management app, with two-factor authentication enabled in either case.

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What are iOS devices?

9to5Mac - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 03:00

Do you keep hearing about iOS devices, but you’re not exactly sure what that means? Follow along as we break down what iOS devices are as well as a bit more background on iOS.

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James Cameron's Alita: Battle Angel Released After Sixteen Years

Slashdot - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 02:00
Slashdot reader Drakster writes: Hollywood producer and writer James Cameron, who is best known for his first two Terminator films, Titanic, Avatar, and Aliens, has released his most recent film this week, Alita: Battle Angel, to mostly mixed to positive reviews. First announced in 2003, based on Yukito Kishiro's Gunnm manga series, it was stuck in development for several years, finally starting production in 2008. Slashdot last discussed this fifteen years ago, so now that it's finally here. For those who have seen it, what did you think? Met or surpassed your expectations, or not worth the wait?

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20190214

Baker-Watts - Fri, 02/15/2019 - 00:00
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Renewables Will Be World's Main Power Source By 2040, Says BP

Slashdot - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: In a not-too-distant future, renewable energy becomes the world's biggest source of power generation. A quarter of the distances that humans travel by vehicle will be in electric cars. U.S. dominance in the oil market begins to wane, and OPEC's influence is resurgent, as crude demand finally peaks. That is the vision laid out by British oil and gas giant BP on Thursday in its latest Annual Energy Outlook. The closely followed report lays out a vision through 2040 for Earth's energy future, provided government policy, technology and consumer preferences evolve in line with recent trends. BP forecasts that the world's energy demand will grow by a third through 2040, driven by rising consumption in China, India and other parts of Asia. About 75 percent of that increase will come from the need to power industry and buildings. At the same time, energy demand will continue to grow in the transportation sector, but that growth will slow sharply as vehicles become more efficient and more consumers opt for electric cars. But despite the increase in supply, BP thinks two-thirds of the world's population will still live in places with relatively low energy consumption per head. The takeaway: The world will need to generate more energy. The report says natural gas consumption will grow by 50 percent over the next 20 years, increasing in virtually every corner of the globe. "Throughout most of that time, the world will continue to consume more oil year after year, until demand ultimately peaks around 108 million barrels per day in the 2030s," reports CNBC. "This year, OPEC expects global oil demand to reach 100 million bpd." Meanwhile, coal consumption is forecasted to flatline, as China and developed countries quit the fossil fuel in favor of cleaner-burning and renewable energy sources. "However, BP sees India and other Asian nations burning more coal to meet surging power demand as the nations become more prosperous," reports CNBC.

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Common Weed Killer Glyphosate Increases Risk of Cancer By 41 Percent, Study Says

Slashdot - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 21:00
A broad new scientific analysis of the cancer-causing potential of glyphosate herbicides, the most widely used weedkilling products in the world, has found that people with high exposures to the popular pesticides have a 41% increased risk of developing a type of cancer called non-Hodgkin lymphoma. The Guardian reports: The evidence "supports a compelling link" between exposures to glyphosate-based herbicides and increased risk for non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), the authors concluded, though they said the specific numerical risk estimates should be interpreted with caution. Monsanto maintains there is no legitimate scientific research showing a definitive association between glyphosate and NHL or any type of cancer. Company officials say the EPA's finding that glyphosate is "not likely" to cause cancer is backed by hundreds of studies finding no such connection. But the new analysis could potentially complicate Monsanto's defense of its top-selling herbicide. Three of the study authors were tapped by the EPA as board members for a 2016 scientific advisory panel on glyphosate. The new paper was published by the journal Mutation Research /Reviews in Mutation Research, whose editor in chief is EPA scientist David DeMarini. [...] The study authors said their new meta-analysis evaluated all published human studies, including a 2018 updated government-funded study known as the Agricultural Health Study (AHS). Monsanto has cited the updated AHS study as proving that there is no tie between glyphosate and NHL. In conducting the new meta-analysis, the researchers said they focused on the highest exposed group in each study because those individuals would be most likely to have an elevated risk if in fact glyphosate herbicides cause NHL.

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Ask Slashdot: Could Android and iOS Become Popular Desktop Operating Systems?

Slashdot - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 20:20
dryriver writes: For many older people, you use Windows, macOS, or Linux on the desktop, and Android or iOS on mobile devices. Nobody is screaming for an Android desktop PC or an iOS 17.3-inch laptop computer. But what about younger generations growing up, from a very young age, glued to devices with these two mobile operating systems running on it? Will they want to use Windows, macOS, or Linux just like us old farts when they grow older, or will they want their favorite mobile operating systems running -- in a beefed up and more robust form -- on desktop and laptop computers which they use for school, college, and/or work as well? Since we are on this topic -- could Android or iOS one day become reasonably usable desktop operating systems from an architectural standpoint? And could Google and Apple already be planning for an "Android and iOS on the desktop" computing future, without telling anyone about it publicly?

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Year-Over-Year Smartwatch Sales Jumped By 61% In the US Last Year

Slashdot - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:40
New research from The NPD Group reveals that the smartwatch market overall is growing at an impressive rate and that the Apple Watch remains the best-selling wearable on the market. "Specifically, year-over-year smartwatch unit sales in the U.S. jumped by 61% while revenue jumped by 51%," reports BGR. "As for specific revenue figures, the report relays that smartwatch revenue from November of 2017 through November of 2018 checked in at $5 billion. One particularly interesting data point is that 88% of all smartwatch sales can be attributed to Apple, Samsung, and Fitbit." From the report: "Over the last 18 months smartwatch sales gained strong momentum, proving the naysayers, who didn't think the category could achieve mainstream acceptance, had potentially judged too soon," NPD analyst Weston Henderek said in a press release. "The ability to be truly connected via built-in LTE without the need to have a smartphone nearby proved to be a tipping point for consumers, as they now recognize the value in being able to complete a wide range of tasks on the device including receiving notifications, messaging, accessing smart home controls, and more." Indeed, Apple executives have pointed to the inclusion of LTE connectivity on the Apple Watch Series 3 as a huge selling point. Notably, Apple Watch sales during the 2017 holiday quarter were record-breaking. More recently, Tim Cook said that revenue from Apple wearables line jumped by 50% "thanks to strong sales of both Apple Watch and AirPods."

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Insurance Giant Allstate Buys Independent Phone Repair Company, Joins Right To Repair Movement

Slashdot - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 19:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Allstate, one of the largest insurance companies in the United States, just made a curious purchase. Through its subsidiary SquareTrade, the insurance giant bought iCracked, one of the largest independent smartphone repair companies in the country. The acquisition means that Allstate has become one of the most powerful proponents of right to repair legislation in the United States. According to Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Repair.org, which is pushing for the legislation, the company has already loaned a lobbyist to the effort in New Hampshire. This is potentially big news for the right to repair movement, which is trying to get laws passed in 15 states this year that would make it easier for independent repair professionals to get repair tools and parts for consumer electronics. Thus far, it's been largely a grassroots effort from organizations like Repair.org and iFixit. Companies such as Apple, John Deere, Facebook, Microsoft, and trade organizations that represent huge tech companies have used their considerable political power to lobby against these bills. But Allstate's purchase of iCracked is a potential gamechanger. iCracked is a giant chain that does a lot of third party repairs. A change in the laws would benefit it, and now Allstate, as much as the average consumer. "iCracked has been a major supporter of right to repair, and we really appreciate their valuable contribution to the fight for freedom," Kyle Wiens, CEO of iFixit, told Motherboard in an email. "I'm optimistic that this partnership will elevate the visibility of the work that we're doing together." "SquareTrade continues to work with manufacturers as well as the independent repair community," Jason Siciliano, VP and Global Creative Director of SquareTrade told me in an email. "As this issue evolves, we will maintain good relationships and continue to listen to the key players on all sides of the debate and will work towards sensible solutions whether they are led by the industry or regulators."

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As everyone waits for an edit button, Dorsey says Twitter is considering a ‘clarify’ feature for tweets

9to5Mac - Thu, 02/14/2019 - 18:39

In an interview with Joe Rogan recently, Jack Dorsey said Twitter is considering on an edit system where you would be able to see the original and edited version of a tweet. Speaking at a Goldman Sachs event today, Dorsey also floated the idea of a “clarify” feature.

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