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News for nerds, stuff that matters

Last feed update: Sunday June 24th, 2018 01:45:58 PM
8 Months After a Surge of Complaints, Apple Announces a Repair Program For Its Flawed MacBooks and MacBook Pros Sunday June 24th, 2018 02:00:00 PM
Casey Johnston, writing for The Outline: At long last, Apple admitted to its customers that its MacBook and MacBook Pro keyboard designs are so flawed and prone to sticking or dead keys, as originally reported by The Outline in October, and that it will cover the cost of repairs beyond the products' normal warranty. The admission comes after the company has been hit with no fewer than three class action lawsuits concerning the computers and their ultra-thin butterfly-switch keyboards. While the repair and replacement ...

eBay and Amazon Delist Faulty Carbon Monoxide Alarms Sunday June 24th, 2018 11:34:00 AM
An anonymous reader quotes the Guardian: Dozens of potentially deadly carbon monoxide alarms have been removed from sale by Amazon and eBay after a Which? investigation found some of them would not have protected their buyers. The consumer group tested four alarms that were on sale on both sites -- including an Amazon bestseller -- and found that they consistently failed to sound when the gas was present.... It said one of the alarms -- the Topolek GEHS007AW CO alarm (£14.99) -- was listed as a bestseller ...

NYT: 'Firefox Is Back. It's Time to Give It a Try.' Sunday June 24th, 2018 07:34:00 AM
Another high-profile endorsement for Firefox -- this time from the lead consumer technology writer for The New York Times. (Alternate link here). The web has reached a new low. It has become an annoying, often toxic and occasionally unsafe place to hang out. More important, it has become an unfair trade: You give up your privacy online, and what you get in return are somewhat convenient services and hyper-targeted ads. That's why it may be time to try a different browser. Remember Firefox...? About two years ...

How Should Open Source Development Be Subsidized? Sunday June 24th, 2018 03:34:00 AM
"Open source maintainers are exhausted and rarely paid," writes TechCrunch's editorial manager. "A new generation wants to change the economics." An anonymous reader quotes their report: [Patreon] is increasingly being used by notable open source contributors as a way to connect with fans and sustain their work... For those who hit it big, the revenues can be outsized. Evan You, who created the popular JavaScript frontend library Vue.js, has reached $15,206 in monthly earnings ($182,472 a year) from 231 patrons... ...

George Lucas's Terrible Idea for Star Wars Episodes 7-9 Sunday June 24th, 2018 01:36:00 AM
In an interview with James Cameron, George Lucas reveals what he'd planed for the final three Star Wars films: "[The next three 'Star Wars' films] were going to get into a microbiotic world," he told Cameron. "There's this world of creatures that operate differently than we do. I call them the Whills. And the Whills are the ones who actually control the universe. They feed off the Force...." In terms of his storytelling, Lucas regarded individuals as "vehicles for the Whills to travel around in... And the conduit ...

Can Two Injections of Tuberculosis Vaccine Cure Diabetes? Saturday June 23rd, 2018 11:37:00 PM
An anonymous reader quotes Fortune: The causes of Type 1 diabetes can be significantly reversed over several years with just two injections of a common tuberculosis vaccine injected a few weeks apart, researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital announced Thursday in a paper published in the journal Nature. Researchers found a substantial reduction in the blood-sugar marker HbA1c that is used to diagnose diabetes. All subjects with diabetes who received the vaccine had a 10% reduction after three years and ...

Tesla Autopilot Safety Defeat Device Gets a Cease-and-Desist From NHTSA Saturday June 23rd, 2018 10:41:00 PM
schwit1 writes: The National Highway Traffic Safety Association (NHTSA) is cracking down on a device that was designed to trick Tesla's semi-autonomous Autopilot feature into thinking a driver is paying attention, in order to extend the amount of time that it will operate without anyone touching the steering wheel. NHTSA announced on Tuesday that it has sent a cease and desist letter to the makers of Autopilot Buddy, and has given the company until June 29 to end sales and distribution of the $199 product. ...

Can NASA Protect Earth from Catastrophic Asteroid Collisions? Saturday June 23rd, 2018 09:45:00 PM
An anonymous reader quotes Qz: NASA is not going to be able to find all the asteroids big enough to cause serious devastation on Earth by 2020 -- or even 2033. Also: For a hypothetical attempt to send a spacecraft to divert an seriously dangerous incoming asteroid, we'll need a ten year heads-up to build it and get it to the asteroid. The good news? They're working on it. "If a real threat does arise, we are prepared to pull together the information about what options might work and provide that information ...

America's 'CyberWar' With Foreign Governments Could Get More Aggressive Saturday June 23rd, 2018 08:37:00 PM
America's Department of Defense "has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign states that sponsor malicious hacking groups," reports the New York Times. Long-time Slashdot reader TheSauce shares their report: In the spring, as the Pentagon elevated the command's status, it opened the door to nearly daily raids on foreign networks, seeking ...

Should Professional Sports Switch To Robot Referees? Saturday June 23rd, 2018 07:34:00 PM
Long-time Slashdot reader Esther Schindler writes: Everyone who watches sports spends some amount of time yelling at the umpire or sports referee. For the past few years we've also been shouting, "Replace that ump with a robot!" But is it technically feasible? Is the current level of AI and robotics tech up to the job? This article starts with the assumption that someone seriously wants to create a robot umpire or sports referee and then evaluates whether it possible to build an accurate and trustworthy augmented ...











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