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After a $14-Billion Upgrade, New Orleans' Levees Are Sinking

Slashdot - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 10:00
An anonymous reader shares a report: The $14 billion network of levees and floodwalls that was built to protect greater New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was a seemingly invincible bulwark against flooding. But now, 11 months after the Army Corps of Engineers completed one of the largest public works projects in world history, the agency says the system will stop providing adequate protection in as little as four years because of rising sea levels and shrinking levees. The growing vulnerability of the New Orleans area is forcing the Army Corps to begin assessing repair work, including raising hundreds of miles of levees and floodwalls that form a meandering earth and concrete fortress around the city and its adjacent suburbs. "These systems that maybe were protecting us before are no longer going to be able to protect us without adjustments," said Emily Vuxton, policy director of the Coalition to Restore Coastal Louisiana, an environmental group. She said repair costs could be "hundreds of millions" of dollars, with 75% paid by federal taxpayers. "I think this work is necessary. We have to protect the population of New Orleans," Vuxton said. The protection system was built over a decade and finished last May when the Army Corps completed a final component that involves pumps.

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How to sign out of all devices on Netflix at once

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 09:00

Netflix Account Settings on the Web

If you forget to log out of your Netflix account another device, you can fix that easily. Here’s how to sign out of all devices on Netflix.
Categories: Geek

Doctors Used HIV To Develop Cure For 'Bubble Boy' Disease

Slashdot - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 09:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: U.S. scientists say they used HIV to make a gene therapy that cured eight infants of severe combined immunodeficiency, or "bubble boy" disease. The babies, born with little to no immune protection, now have fully functional immune systems. Untreated babies with this disorder have to live in completely sterile conditions and tend to die as infants. The gene therapy involved collecting the babies' bone marrow and correcting the genetic defect in their DNA soon after their birth. The "correct" gene -- used to fix the defect -- was inserted into an altered version of one of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Researchers said most of the babies were discharged from the hospital within one month. Dr Ewilina Mamcarz of St Jude, an author of the study, said in a statement: "These patients are toddlers now, who are responding to vaccinations and have immune systems to make all immune cells they need for protection from infections as they explore the world and live normal lives. This is a first for patients with SCID-X1 (the most common type of SCID)." The study was published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

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Snapper 2 augments your iPhone’s screenshot-centric capabilities

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:30

Snapper 2 provides jailbreakers with all the screenshot-centric features that you wish Apple would provide you with out of the box.
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Princeton IoT Inspector lets you see what your smart home devices are up to

9to5Mac - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:21

Smart home devices are potentially one of the bigger security threats since there is no easy way to check what they are up to on your network. That’s a problem Princeton University has set out to solve, with the Princeton IoT Inspector.

It works on HomeKit and non-HomeKit devices alike …

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7ower cures your nostalgia for the iOS 7-esque power down menu

iDownloadBlog - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 08:00

Those feeling an ounce of nostalgia for iOS 7's classic power down menu can get it back on jailbroken iOS 11 and 12 devices with this new jailbreak tweak.
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Foxconn insists still committed to 13,000 Wisconsin jobs; created just 178 last year

9to5Mac - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 07:12

Foxconn has insisted that it remains committed to creating 13,000 Wisconsin jobs, even though the state’s new governor said yesterday that the deal ‘is no longer in play’ and needs to be renegotiated …

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BlackBerry Messenger To Shut Down In May

Slashdot - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 06:00
The consumer version of Blackberry Messenger is shutting down May 31. CNET reports: Emtek, the company BlackBerry partnered with in 2016 to run the consumer version of the messaging app, said in a blog post Thursday that the technology industry is "very fluid" and despite "substantial efforts," users have moved on to other platforms. "We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date," Emtek said. Mark Wilson, BlackBerry's chief marketing officer, said that though the company is disappointed, BBM users won't be without a secure messaging platform. They can now go to the Google Play store to download BBMe, the enterprise version of the app that BlackBerry continues to run. The app will be free the first year. Then a 6-month subscription will cost $2.49. BlackBerry is working on an iOS app.

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How to change your Facebook password on iPhone

9to5Mac - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 03:00

Want to know how to quickly change your Facebook password on iPhone? Read on below for how to do it in three easy steps.

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TESS Discovers Its First Earth-Sized Planet

Slashdot - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 03:00
Iwastheone shares a report from MIT News: NASA's Transiting Exoplanet Survey Satellite, TESS, has discovered its first Earth-sized exoplanet. The planet, named HD 21749c, is the smallest world outside our solar system that TESS has identified yet. In a paper published today in the journal Astrophysical Journal Letters, an MIT-led team of astronomers reports that the new planet orbits the star HD 21749 -- a very nearby star, just 52 light years from Earth. The star also hosts a second planet -- HD 21749b -- a warm "sub-Neptune" with a longer, 36-day orbit, which the team reported previously and now details further in the current paper. The new Earth-sized planet is likely a rocky though uninhabitable world, as it circles its star in just 7.8 days -- a relatively tight orbit that would generate surface temperatures on the planet of up to 800 degrees Fahrenheit. The discovery of this Earth-sized world is nevertheless exciting, as it demonstrates TESS' ability to pick out small planets around nearby stars. In the near future, the TESS team expects the probe should reveal even colder planets, with conditions more suitable for hosting life. Slashdot reader RockDoctor shares a link to the paper at Arxiv, adding: The 'b' object in the system (the largest perturbation on the star's light) is estimated at 2.61*Radius_earth, and 22.7*Mass_earth for a surface gravity of 3.332*littleG_Earth. If it has a "surface" in any recognizable sense rather than gradual transitions between gas mixtures, liquid mixtures, and the digested remains of any "metals" (lithium or higher, as the astronomers say). The 'c' object is more poorly constrained. The authors give a radius (0.892*Radius_earth, derived from the depth of the eclipses), but only put an upper limit on the mass at The TESS mission has a Science Requirement "of providing 50 transiting planets smaller than 4*Radius_earth with measured masses," and the 'b' planet fits that criterion, but the 'c' planet does not, yet, have a well-enough constrained mass. Keep on catching planets!

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Source Code of Iranian Cyber-Espionage Tools Leaked on Telegram

Slashdot - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 01:30
In an incident reminiscent of the Shadow Brokers leak that exposed the NSA's hacking tools, someone has now published similar hacking tools belonging to one of Iran's elite cyber-espionage units, known as APT34, Oilrig, or HelixKitten. From a report: The hacking tools are nowhere near as sophisticated as the NSA tools leaked in 2017, but they are dangerous nevertheless. The tools have been leaked since mid-March on a Telegram channel by an individual using the Lab Dookhtegan pseudonym. Besides hacking tools, Dookhtegan also published what appears to be data from some of APT34's hacked victims, mostly comprising of username and password combos that appear to have been collected through phishing pages. ZDNet was previously aware of some of these tools and victim data after this reporter received a tip in mid-March. In a Twitter DM, a Twitter user shared some of the same files that were discovered today on Telegram, and we believe that this Twitter user is the Telegram Lab Dookhtegan persona.

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20190418

Baker-Watts - Fri, 04/19/2019 - 01:05
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Global Attention Span Is Narrowing and Trends Don't Last As Long, Study Reveals

Slashdot - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: It's just as you suspected; the information age has changed the general attention span. A recently published study from researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing due to the amount of information that is presented to the public. Released on Monday in the scientific journal Nature Communications, the study shows people now have more things to focus on -- but often focus on things for short periods of time. The researchers studied several modes of media attention, gathered from several different sources, including (but not limited to): the past 40 years in movie ticket sales; Google books for 100 years; and more modernly, 2013 to 2016 Twitter data; 2010 to 2018 Google Trends; 2010 to 2015 Reddit trends; and 2012 to 2017 Wikipedia attention time. The researchers then created a mathematical model to predict three factors: the "hotness" of the topic, its progression throughout time in the public sphere and the desire for a new topic, said Dr Philipp Hovel, an applied mathematics professor of University College Cork in Ireland. The empirical data found periods where topics would sharply capture widespread attention and promptly lose it just as quickly, except in the cases of publications like Wikipedia and scientific journals. For example, a 2013 Twitter global trend would last for an average of 17.5 hours, contrasted with a 2016 Twitter trend, which would last for only 11.9 hours.

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Bose rolling out AirPlay 2 support to three of its smart speakers and sound bars

9to5Mac - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 23:27

Bose this week quietly announced that it has released AirPlay 2 functionality to its line of smart speakers. This includes its Home Speaker 500 and two different Soundbar models, while SoundTouch speakers are still playing the waiting game.

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BlackBerry Messenger shutting down next month

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:26

BlackBerry announced on Thursday that it will be closing its once-popular messaging platform next month. The company says the consumer-side of the BBM service will officially shut down on May 31st, but it plans to keep the enterprise version online for the foreseeable future, and it will be opening that up to all users.
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Apple holds environment-focused event at Apple Park with Jaden, Will, and Jada Smith

9to5Mac - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:26

Apple held an event at its Apple Park headquarters today with Will Smith, Jaden Smith, and Jada Pinkett Smith. The conversation was moderated by Apple’s VP of environment, policy, and social initiatives.

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Amazon offers free ad-supported music to US Alexa users

iDownloadBlog - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 21:07

Amazon on Thursday announced that customers in the U.S. are now able to listen to streaming music for free via Alexa. The service is of course support by ads, and is extremely curated, but you won't need a membership with Amazon Prime or its Music Unlimited plan—just an Alexa-enabled device.
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Amazon Will No Longer Sell Chinese Goods In China

Slashdot - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 20:50
Amazon announced today that it will close its marketplace in China in the coming months, meaning Amazon customers in the country will no longer be able to buy goods from Chinese merchants. "Amazon did not explain why it was withdrawing its marketplace service, saying only it will instead focus on selling goods shipped from other countries into China," reports CNN. From the report: "We are notifying sellers we will no longer operate a marketplace on Amazon.cn, and we will no longer be providing seller services on Amazon.cn effective July 18," the company said in a statement. Amazon's platform competes for Chinese sellers with Tmall, owned by the country's e-commerce leader Alibaba. Users logging onto Amazon's Chinese site after July 18 will see products sold from its global store, the company said. "Over the past few years, we have been evolving our China online retail business to increasingly emphasize cross-border sales, and in return we've seen very strong response from Chinese customers," Amazon said. It will retain its other operations in China, such as cloud computing services. It will also continue to sell its Kindle e-readers and content in the country. "Amazon's commitment to China remains strong. We have built a solid foundation here in a number of successful businesses and we will continue to invest and grow in China," the company added.

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Why Juul and Republican Lawmakers Want To Raise the Minimum Vaping Age To 21

Slashdot - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 20:10
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell announced a new bill today that would block all tobacco and vape purchases for Americans under 21 years old, citing widespread public health risks. Surprisingly, vaping companies don't appear to be too concerned, as Juul's CEO Kevin Burns issued this statement supporting the measure: "JUUL Labs is committed to eliminating combustible cigarettes, the number one cause of preventable death in the world and to accomplish that goal, we must restrict youth usage of vapor products. Tobacco 21 laws fight one of the largest contributors to this problem -- sharing by legal-age peers -- and they have been shown to dramatically reduce youth usage rates." The Verge says it all has to do with Big Vape's image: Over the past year, Juul has come under the FDA's fire for its massive popularity among young people. So supporting a higher minimum age could help its image and take some of the regulatory pressure off. From an industry perspective, the move is fairly low risk since the product is already embedded in the population, and people under age 21 may already be addicted, says Kathleen Hoke, a law professor at the University of Maryland. "We can change this age to 21 but we're going to have to work extraordinarily hard at the state and local level to actually get cigarettes or vape products or chew out of the hands of the 18 to 20 year olds," she says. [T]he bill's success will depend on how it's crafted. Rob Crane, professor of family medicine at The Ohio State University and president of the Preventing Tobacco Addiction Foundation, is skeptical that it will really hold tobacco retailers responsible for selling to people who are underage. From the more than 450 cities and counties that have passed Tobacco 21 laws, "what we have found that does work is when you make local health departments under civil law do the enforcement," he says. "For a rogue retailer that keeps on selling, there's a risk of license suspension." But if the law winds up penalizing convenience store clerks who sell vapes and tobacco products to kids, the retailer who's profiting gets off scot-free, he says. In the end, Crane is skeptical of the motivations behind the bill, no matter what form it takes. "This is all a PR move to keep Juul out of the hot seat from the FDA."

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The Source Code For All Infocom Text Adventure Classics Has Been Released

Slashdot - Thu, 04/18/2019 - 19:30
You can now download the source code of every Infocom text adventure game, thanks to archivist Jason Scott who uploaded the code to GitHub. "There are numerous repositories under the name historicalsource, each for a different game," reports Ars Technica. "Titles include, but are not limited to, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, Planetfall, Shogun, and several Zork games -- plus some more unusual inclusions like an incomplete version of Hitchhiker's sequel The Restaurant at the End of the Universe, Infocom samplers, and an unreleased adaptation of James Cameron's The Abyss." From the report: The code was uploaded by Jason Scott, an archivist who is the proprietor of textfiles.com. His website describes itself as "a glimpse into the history of writers and artists bound by the 128 characters that the American Standard Code for Information Interchange (ASCII) allowed them" -- in particular those of the 1980s. He announced the GitHub uploads on Twitter earlier this week. The games were written in the LISP-esque "Zork Implementation Language," or ZIL, which you could be forgiven for not being intimately familiar with already. Fortunately, Scott also tweeted a link to a helpful manual for the language on archive.org. Gamasutra, which first reported the news, notes that Activision still owns the rights to Infocom games and could request a takedown if it wanted.

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