Geek

Juice introduces limitless battery icon customization to jailbroken iPhones

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 08:00

Juice is a new jailbreak tweak that promises extensive Status Bar battery icon customization, and it looks amazing at first glance.
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George Laurer, Co-Inventor of the Barcode, Dies At 94

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 08:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: George Laurer, the U.S. engineer who helped develop the barcode, has died at the age of 94. Barcodes, which are made up of black stripes of varying thickness and a 12-digit number, help identify products and transformed the world of retail. They are now found on products all over the world. The idea was pioneered by a fellow IBM employee, but it was not until Laurer developed a scanner that could read codes digitally that it took off. Laurer died last Thursday at his home in Wendell, North Carolina, and his funeral was held on Monday. It was while working as an electrical engineer with IBM that George Laurer fully developed the Universal Product Code (UPC), or barcode. He developed a scanner that could read codes digitally. He also used stripes rather than circles that were not practical to print. The UPC went on to revolutionize "virtually every industry in the world", IBM said in a tribute on its website.

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How to remove episodes from your Up Next queue in the TV app

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 07:30

Removed episode from Up Next on Apple TV

Do you have too many shows in your Up Next queue that you’ll never watch? Here’s how to remove episodes from Up Next in the TV app.
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Apple Pro Display XDR with nano-texture glass requires special cleaning cloth

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 07:06

Pro Display XDR

The nano-etched version of Apple’s Pro Display XDR requires a special cleaning cloth that only comes from Apple, according to a newly-published Apple support document. ... Read the rest of this post here "Apple Pro Display XDR with nano-texture glass...
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New to iPhone? How to set up and use iCloud Tabs in Safari

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 07:00

Safari Open Tabs Mac

Pick up right where you leave off on the web. You can share your open Safari tabs through iCloud and access them on any device, here’s now.
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The Pirate Bay Is Trialing High-Quality Video Streaming Links

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 05:00
The Pirate Bay may be about to fully launch a brand new feature that will let you stream videos in your browser. TorrentFreak reports: As the image below shows, in addition to the familiar magnet and trusted uploader icons displayed alongside video and TV show releases, the site also features a small orange 'B' graphic. In some cases (but currently not all), pressing these buttons when they appear next to a video release diverts users to a new platform called BayStream. Here, the chosen content can be streamed directly in the browser using a YouTube-style player interface. Loading times appear swift when the content is actually available and as the screenshot below shows, the material appears to be sourced, at least in some cases, from torrent releases. The new feature appears to be in its early stages of development and in tests doesn't always perform as planned. In particular, accessing the 'B' links using various Pirate Bay 'proxy' sites can cause them to break with various errors. Nevertheless, when things go to plan (usually when selecting more popular content) the system appears effective. [...] The big question, perhaps, is whether this is a Pirate Bay-operated platform or one run by outsiders. The familiar 'Kopimi' logo at the bottom suggests that it could be someone who supports the 'pirate' movement but anyone can use the image freely, so that's not the best pointer.

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Mac Pro: Memory specifications and how to install more RAM

9to5Mac - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 03:01

The 2019 Mac Pro features a user-accessible modular design, and customers can easily upgrade RAM, MPX Modules, PCIe cards, and more. Read on for how to check on the memory specs required for the Mac Pro, and a step-by-step walkthrough on how to install more RAM.

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Gamma-Ray Laser Moves a Step Closer To Reality

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 02:00
A physicist at the University of California, Riverside, has performed calculations showing hollow spherical bubbles filled with a gas of positronium atoms are stable in liquid helium. The calculations take scientists a step closer to realizing a gamma-ray laser, which may have applications in medical imaging, spacecraft propulsion, and cancer treatment. Phys.Org reports: Extremely short-lived and only briefly stable, positronium is a hydrogen-like atom and a mixture of matter and antimatter -- specifically, bound states of electrons and their antiparticles called positrons. To create a gamma-ray laser beam, positronium needs to be in a state called a Bose-Einstein condensate -- a collection of positronium atoms in the same quantum state, allowing for more interactions and gamma radiation. Such a condensate is the key ingredient of a gamma-ray laser. "My calculations show that a bubble in liquid helium containing a million atoms of positronium would have a number density six times that of ordinary air and would exist as a matter-antimatter Bose-Einstein condensate," said Allen Mills, a professor in the Department of Physics and Astronomy and sole author of the study that appears today in Physical Review A. [...] Mills, who directs the Positron Laboratory at UC Riverside, said the lab is configuring an antimatter beam in a quest to produce the exotic bubbles in liquid helium that Mills' calculations predict. Such bubbles could serve as a source of positronium Bose-Einstein condensates.

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Greenland's Ice Sheet Melting Seven Times Faster Than In 1990s

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Greenland's ice sheet is melting much faster than previously thought, threatening hundreds of millions of people with inundation and bringing some of the irreversible impacts of the climate emergency much closer. Ice is being lost from Greenland seven times faster than it was in the 1990s, and the scale and speed of ice loss is much higher than was predicted in the comprehensive studies of global climate science by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, according to data. That means sea level rises are likely to reach 67cm by 2100, about 7cm more than the IPCC's main prediction. Such a rate of rise will put 400 million people at risk of flooding every year, instead of the 360 million predicted by the IPCC, by the end of the century. Greenland has lost 3.8 trillion tons of ice since 1992, and the rate of ice loss has risen from 33 billion tons a year in the 1990s to 254 billion tons a year in the past decade. Greenland's ice contributes directly to sea level rises as it melts because it rests on a large land mass, unlike the floating sea ice that makes up much of the rest of the Arctic ice cap. About half of the ice loss from Greenland was from melting driven by air surface temperatures, which have risen much faster in the Arctic than the global average, and the rest was from the speeding up of the flow of ice into the sea from glaciers, driven by the warming ocean. The scale and speed of the ice loss surprised the team of 96 polar scientists behind the findings, published on Tuesday in the journal Nature. The Ice Sheet Mass Balance Inter-comparison Exercise comprised 26 separate surveys of Greenland from 1992 to 2018, with data from 11 different satellites and comparisons of volume, flow and gravity compiled by experts from the UK, Nasa in the US, and the European Space Agency.

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Researchers Report Breakthrough In 'Distributed Deep Learning'

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 21:30
Using a divide-and-conquer approach that leverages the power of compressed sensing, computer scientists from Rice University and Amazon have shown they can slash the amount of time and computational resources it takes to train computers for product search and similar "extreme classification problems" like speech translation and answering general questions. Tech Xplore reports: In tests on an Amazon search dataset that included some 70 million queries and more than 49 million products, Shrivastava, Medini and colleagues showed their approach of using "merged-average classifiers via hashing," (MACH) required a fraction of the training resources of some state-of-the-art commercial systems. "Our training times are about 7-10 times faster, and our memory footprints are 2-4 times smaller than the best baseline performances of previously reported large-scale, distributed deep-learning systems," said Shrivastava, an assistant professor of computer science at Rice. Medini, a Ph.D. student at Rice, said product search is challenging, in part, because of the sheer number of products. "There are about 1 million English words, for example, but there are easily more than 100 million products online." MACH takes a very different approach [than current training algorithms]. Shrivastava describes it with a thought experiment randomly dividing the 100 million products into three classes, which take the form of buckets. "I'm mixing, let's say, iPhones with chargers and T-shirts all in the same bucket," he said. "It's a drastic reduction from 100 million to three." In the thought experiment, the 100 million products are randomly sorted into three buckets in two different worlds, which means that products can wind up in different buckets in each world. A classifier is trained to assign searches to the buckets rather than the products inside them, meaning the classifier only needs to map a search to one of three classes of product. [...] In their experiments with Amazon's training database, Shrivastava, Medini and colleagues randomly divided the 49 million products into 10,000 classes, or buckets, and repeated the process 32 times. That reduced the number of parameters in the model from around 100 billion to 6.4 billion. And training the model took less time and less memory than some of the best reported training times on models with comparable parameters, including Google's Sparsely-Gated Mixture-of-Experts (MoE) model, Medini said. He said MACH's most significant feature is that it requires no communication between parallel processors. In the thought experiment, that is what's represented by the separate, independent worlds. The research will be presented this week at the 2019 Conference on Neural Information Processing Systems (NeurIPS 2019) in Vancouver.

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Drafts for Mac adds actions support for deep integration with other apps and services

9to5Mac - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 21:16

Drafts is a powerful app available for Mac, iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch, focused on allowing you to quickly capture, share, and create text. Today, Drafts for Mac has been updated with support for actions, allowing it to integrate closely with an array of third-party applications.

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Sony Announces Plan To Publish PlayStation Games On Non-PS Consoles

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 21:00
Sony has announced plans to launch PlayStation games on "additional console platforms beyond PlayStation platforms as early as 2021." The first announced series for the change is Sony's long-running baseball sim series MLB The Show. Ars Technica reports: The gazillion-dollar question, of course, is which other console platforms we might expect the series to launch on. Neither Sony nor MLB had any answers to that question as of press time. Sony also didn't hint to doing the same thing for any other current PlayStation-exclusive series. Since the series began life in 1998 on PlayStation 1, simply titled MLB '98, Sony's baseball games have launched exclusively on PlayStation platforms -- and, in fact, they've launched on every PlayStation-branded device. While other multi-platform baseball sim series have fallen by the wayside in the years since, most recently 2K Sports' MLB 2K13, Sony's PlayStation-exclusive take on the American pastime has persisted as an annual release. "Sony" at large has published games on non-PlayStation consoles in recent years, mostly in the form of Sony Music Entertainment's UNTIES entertainment publishing group. But those games are rarely marked with "Sony" or "PlayStation" branding, let alone temporary exclusivity on PlayStation platforms. Today's news marks the first time a series from Sony Interactive Entertainment with loud ties to the PlayStation brand has been announced for other competing consoles. There are still way more questions than answers: "Might Sony go so far as to launch MLB The Show on Xbox, thus creating a tangled love triangle of who publishes on whose consoles? Or will this become a bizarre move on Sony's part to support Google Stadia, even though Sony has its own complicated sometimes-streaming subscription service? And either way, how far might Sony and the MLB milk this cloud of mystery, assuming that 'as early as 2021' could mean one, two, or even 4,000 years later?"

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Nikon Is Killing Its Authorized Repair Program

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 20:30
According to iFixit, Nikon is ending its authorized repair program next year, "likely leaving more than a dozen repair shops without access to official parts and tools, and cutting the number of places you can get your camera fixed with official parts from more than a dozen independent shops to two facilities at the ends of the U.S." From the report: That means that Nikon's roughly 15 remaining Authorized Repair Station members are about to become non-authorized repair shops. Since Nikon decided to stop selling genuine parts to non-authorized shops back in 2012, it's unlikely those stores will continue to have access to the specialty components, tools, software, manuals, and model training Nikon previously provided. But Nikon hasn't clarified this, so repair shops have been left in the dark. In a letter obtained by iFixit, Nikon USA told its roughly 15 remaining Authorized Repair Station members in early November that it would not renew their agreements after March 31, 2020. The letter notes that "The climate in which we do business has evolved, and Nikon Inc. must do the same." And so, Nikon writes, it must "change the manner in which we make product service available to our end user customers." [...] In a statement, Nikon confirmed the termination of Authorized Repair Stations contracts after March 2020. Authorized service, Nikon stated, will be provided at its Melville, NY and Los Angeles, Calif. facilities. "We remain committed to providing the best product support and repair services to our customers," Nikon stated. Nikon did not answer our questions about the former authorized shops' access to parts or other official services.

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Vietnam's Richest Man Bets $2 Billion To Sell Cars To Americans

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: The billionaire behind six-month-old Vietnamese auto startup VinFast plans a feat even Toyota and Hyundai couldn't pull off during their early days: sell a car in the U.S. Pham Nhat Vuong, the Southeast Asian country's richest man and now in charge of the new automaker, is so intent on exporting electric vehicles to the lucrative American market in 2021 that he's plowing as much as $2 billion of his own fortune to reach that goal. His cash would account for half the capital investment of VinFast, which began delivering cars to Vietnamese consumers with BMW-licensed engines earlier this year and aims to expand into electric vehicles. "Our ultimate goal is to create an international brand," the 51-year-old tycoon said in an interview at the Hanoi headquarters of the car company's parent Vingroup JSC, which Vuong founded and holds the title of chairman. "It will be a very difficult road and we will have to put in a lot of effort. But there's only one road ahead." [...] The tycoon, whose net worth is $9.1 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, is undaunted. He sold some of his shares in Vingroup last year and plans to sell as much as 10% more to raise funds for the ambitious project. He owns 49% of VinFast, while the parent, Vingroup, holds 51%. [...] VinFast's first EV won't roll off its assembly line until late next year, but Vuong said he plans to export those vehicles to the U.S., Europe and Russia in 2021. VinFast, which operates a 335-hectare factory in the northern port city of Haiphong, is selling its first line of vehicles -- a hatchback, sedan and SUV -- at below cost. The hatchback retails for the equivalent of $17,000, while the four-cylinder sedan goes for $47,400 and its SUV is offered at $60,400. The company targets production of as many as 500,000 vehicles a year by 2025.

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Report explores how retailers are pushing back against ‘elite’ credit cards like Apple Card

9to5Mac - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:32

Bloomberg has published an interesting look at how retailers are partially footing the bill for lucrative rewards cards like Apple Card. Specifically, Apple Card is designated as an “elite” card, which means retailers have to pay higher interchange fees when someone uses it.

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Chrome Now Warns You When Your Password Has Been Stolen

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 19:10
Google is rolling out Chrome 79, and it includes a number of password protection improvements. The Verge reports: The biggest addition is that Chrome will now warn you when your password has been stolen as part of a data breach. Google has been warning about reused passwords in a separate browser extension or in its password checkup tool, but the company is now baking this directly into Chrome to provide warnings as you log in to sites on the web. You can control this new functionality in the sync settings in Chrome, and Google is using strongly hashed and encrypted copies of passwords to match them using multiple layers of encryption. This allows Google to securely match passwords using a technique called private set intersection with blinding. Alongside password warnings, Google is also improving its phishing protection with a real-time option. Google has been using a list of phishing sites that updates every 30 minutes, but the company found that fraudsters have been quickly switching domains or hiding from Google's crawlers. This new real-time protection should generate warnings for 30 percent more cases of phishing.

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Tim Cook talks Apple innovation, supply chain diversity, and more in new interview

9to5Mac - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 18:53

Apple CEO Tim Cook has spent the last several days in Japan, visiting Apple Stores, suppliers, and App Store developers. While in Tokyo, Cook sat down with Nikkei Asian Review to talk about Apple’s supplier mix, its health initiatives, and more.

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Facebook Fired a Contractor Who Was Paid Thousands In Bribes To Reactivate Banned Ad Accounts

Slashdot - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 18:30
BuzzFeed News has found that a Facebook contractor was paid thousands of dollars in bribes by a shady affiliate marketer to reactivate ad accounts that had been banned due to policy violations. From the report: A company spokesperson confirmed that an unnamed worker was fired after inquiries from BuzzFeed News sparked an internal investigation. The person in question was based in the company's Austin office, according to information obtained by BuzzFeed News. The individual was paid to reactivate ad accounts connected to Ads Inc., a San Diego-based marketing firm BuzzFeed News previously revealed was running a sophisticated Facebook scam that involved placing more than $50 million in ads that typically made false claims about celebrities. The ads were part of a scheme that tricked consumers into signing up for an expensive monthly subscription for a product that was initially marketed as a free trial. Ads Inc. announced it was shutting down in October as a result of the BuzzFeed News investigation. Chat messages obtained by BuzzFeed News, as well as information from former Ads Inc. employees, show how former Ads Inc. CEO Asher Burke and the Facebook insider conspired to reactivate banned ad accounts, further exposing Facebook users to scams by pitching dubious products. A former Ads Inc. employee told BuzzFeed the company had more than one person inside Facebook who would turn ads back on for a fee. "To be honest there were a few people that would flip ads back on," they told BuzzFeed News. They said that the Facebook mole (or moles) wouldn't receive their money if the reactivated ads didn't run for at least two days. Facebook declined to comment on whether it suspects others helped reactivate ads but said its investigation is ongoing. "This behavior is absolutely prohibited under our policies and the individual is no longer working with Facebook," a Facebook spokesperson said in an emailed statement. "We're continuing to investigate the allegations and will take any further necessary action."

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watchOS 6.1.1 available for download

iDownloadBlog - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 18:05

watchOS 6

The latest update to the Apple Watch is available for download through the Apple Watch iPhone app.
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iDB Holiday Gift Guide: great gift ideas for your parents

iDownloadBlog - Tue, 12/10/2019 - 18:01

Continuing with our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide, here is our thoughtful roundup of great gift ideas for your parents.
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