Science & Tech News

Women Interviewing For Tech Jobs Actually Did Worse When Their Voices Were Masked As Men's

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 2:00pm
Kristen V. Brown, reporting for Fusion:It is well-trod territory at this point that biases against women's technological abilities hold women in technology back. Study after study has shown bias persists at every point of the employment process. So the start-up interviewing.io decided to try and do something about it. It masked women's voices to sound like men's and vice versa during online interviews to see if interviewers would like them better. It was inspired to do the experiment because it was seeing some alarming data. Interviewing.io is a platform that allows people to practice technical interviewing anonymously and, hopefully, get a job in the process. After amassing data from thousands of technical interviews, the company noticed a troubling trend, writes founder Aline Lerner in a blog post: "Men were getting advanced to the next round 1.4 times more often than women. Interviewee technical score wasn't faring that well either -- men on the platform had an average technical score of 3 out of 4, as compared to a 2.5 out of 4 for women."

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Netherlands Gets First Nationwide 'Internet of Things'

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 1:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: The Netherlands has become the first country in the world to implement a nationwide long-range (LoRa) network for the Internet of Things, says Dutch telecoms group KPN on Thursday. "As from today the KPN LoRa network is available throughout The Netherlands," KPN said in a statement. Phys.Org reports: "The rollout of a low data rate (LoRa) mobile communications network is critical to connect objects as many may not be able to link up with home or work Wi-Fi networks to gain Internet access. The LoRa network is complementary to KPN's networks for the 2G, 3G and 4G phones. KPN has already reached deals to connect some 1.5 million objects, a number which should steadily grow now that the LoRa network is available across the country. Tests are being carried out at the Schiphol airport in Amsterdam -- one of Europe's busiest air hubs -- for baggage handling. Meanwhile in the Utrecht rail station an experiment is under way to allow LoRa to monitor rail switches."

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Ask Slashdot: What's Your Preferred Media Streaming Device?

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 12:40pm
New submitter bkr1_2k writes: Way back when, I had a PC dedicated as a media server using MythTV. That died and I didn't bother building a new one. Consumer electronics caught up and I recently bought an Apple TV (3rd Generation) to use for streaming my media library. I am, unsurprisingly, finding flaws with it. I'm looking for alternative devices that allow me to stream from my media server directly, without the need for a middleman app like iTunes for the Apple TV. I don't need a ton of streaming services (we have Netflix and Amazon Prime but don't use anything else). I primarily want to use this for streaming my own music and movie libraries over my home network, preferably with a user interface that lets me browse those in a fashion that doesn't force me to scroll through my whole library to get to the title that starts with the letter "Z" (A very poor design choice in the Apple TV). Nor do I want any voice controls since they all suck, in my experience. I would prefer an 'open' device that I can update at will with add-ons, but it's not a requirement. What are the current options out there? Roku, Apple TV, Chromecast. Anything else that might fit my needs better? Last week, we asked a similar question: "What's your preferred music streaming service?"

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Dell Stops Selling Android Tablets

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 12:00pm
Dell is discontinuing its Venue line of Android tablets. Furthermore, the company says it will also stop issuing software updates to its existing Android tablets. The move comes as Dell wants to shift its focus on Windows 2-in-1 devices. As for the other reason, the American company adds that Android market is "oversaturated" and is experiencing "declining demand from consumers." Other Android devices from the company were discontinued some time ago. The company will honor after sales support for people who have purchased Venue Android tablets until the warranty and service contracts expire.

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Elizabeth Warren Says Apple, Amazon and Google Are Trying To 'Lock Out' Competition

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 11:20am
Elizabeth Warren, an American academic and member of the Democratic Party, believes that Google, Apple, and Amazon are trying to use their size to "snuff out competition." In a speech about the perils of "consolidation and concentration" throughout the economy, the Massachusetts senator singled out the three of tech's biggest players. From a report:Warren had different beefs with Google, Apple and Amazon, but the common thread was that she accused each one of using its powerful platform to "lock out smaller guys and newer guys," including some that compete with Google, Apple and Amazon. Google, she said, uses "its dominant search engine to harm rivals of its Google Plus user review feature;" Apple "has placed conditions on its rivals that make it difficult for them to offer competitive streaming services" that compete with Apple Music; and Amazon "uses its position as the dominant bookseller to steer consumers to books published by Amazon to the detriment of other publishers.""Google, Apple and Amazon have created disruptive technologies that changed the world, and ... they deserve to be highly profitable and successful," Warren said. "But the opportunity to compete must remain open for new entrants and smaller competitors that want their chance to change the world again."

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BMW, Intel, Mobileye Partner On Self-Driving Cars, 'Turning Point For Automotive Industry': Reports

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:40am
BMW, Intel, and Mobileye NV are working to develop autonomous-car technology, reports Bloomberg, citing multiple sources. Senior executives from each company will hold an event on Friday to discuss the driverless-vehicle initiative, the report adds. From the article:Jerusalem-based Mobileye has been an early leader in providing cameras, software and other components that allow vehicles to see the world around them. BMW has been a client of Mobileye, along with General Motors Co. and Tesla Motors Inc. As automakers and their suppliers race to create systems to replace human drivers, most companies are betting on some form of artificial intelligence, which requires powerful processing.Reuters, citing one source, reports the same thing. The announcement will be a "turning point for the automotive industry," Amnon Shashua, the chairman and co-founder of Mobileye.

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Roller-coasting birds soar for months and may snooze while aloft

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:00am
With help from mid-ocean air currents, frigatebirds can stay airborne for up to 63 days – and it seems they’re able to snooze while soaring
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Gene editing could destroy herpes viruses living inside you

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:00am
The CRISPR technique is a new weapon against dormant herpes viruses in the body, which cause cold sores and can be implicated in blindness and cancer
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Google Is Adding a VR Shell To Chrome To Let You Browse the Entire Web In VR

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 10:00am
An anonymous reader writes: While it's possible to create and view specially built virtual reality 'WebVR' websites through today's browsers, traversing the web in VR means taking your VR headset on and off as you come across VR websites and non-VR websites. Google is working to fix this by adding a 'VR Shell' to the Chrome browser that will render non-VR websites in a virtual environment, and allow seamless transitioning from them to WebVR sites. Recent developer builds of Chrome on Android reveal both the WebVR API and VR Shell directly integrated into the browser. The company is also working on adding support for headsets like the Oculus Rift and HTC Vive on desktop.

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Spotify Says Apple Won't Approve New Version Of Its App Because It Doesn't Want Competition For Apple Music

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 9:20am
According to a report on Recode, Apple has rejected an update to Spotify's iOS app, and that this has caused a "grave harm to Spotify and its customers." The Swedish-based music company competes with Apple's Music streaming app and service. In a letter to Apple's top lawyer, Spotify says that Apple turned down a version of the app citing "business model rules" and demanded that Spotify uses Apple's billing system if it wants to acquire new customers and sell subscriptions. From the report:The letter, sent by Spotify general counsel Horacio Gutierrez to Apple general counsel Bruce Sewell on May 26, suggests that Spotify intends to use the standoff as ammunition in its fight over Apple's rules governing subscription services that use its App store. "This latest episode raises serious concerns under both U.S. and EU competition law," Gutierrez wrote. "It continues a troubling pattern of behavior by Apple to exclude and diminish the competitiveness of Spotify on iOS and as a rival to Apple Music, particularly when seen against the backdrop of Apple's previous anticompetitive conduct aimed at Spotify ... we cannot stand by as Apple uses the App Store approval process as a weapon to harm competitors."

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Google Reveals What N In Android N Stands For -- Nougat

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 8:44am
We finally know what N in Android N stands for: Nougat. Google made the announcement on Thursday. The Android maker always names smartphone operating system updates after candies and other sweet treats. The past few versions, for instances, are named Marshmallow, Eclair, Lollipop, and Marshmallow. Naming aside, Android N brings with it a range of interesting features such as multi-window support, better battery efficiency, and the ability to reply to messages straight from the notification. Enthusiasts who own a Nexus 6 or a newer Nexus device, can give a whirl to the preview of Android N on their device. The final version of Android N will be made available later this year.

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IMAX Will Build You a Home Theater -- Starting at $400K

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 8:00am
An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: If you have about $400K to spare, IMAX's Private Theatre division will now build an IMAX cinema setup in your own home. The entry-level IMAX Private Theatre is the "Palais," which starts at about $400,000 for a screening room with up to 18 seats. For your money you get dual 4K 2D/3D projectors, a proprietary IMAX sound system, and a media playback system that supports everything you might want to throw at it (TV, games, Blu-ray, etc.) No word on the exact specifications of the projectors, but they're probably not IMAX-with-laser. Screen size will vary depending on the setup, but generally they will be 3 metres (10ft) tall or more. Stepping up to the "Platinum" IMAX home theatre for about $1 million gets you a much larger screening room with space for up to 40 people.

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NRA Complaint Takes Down 38,000 Websites

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 7:20am
Sarah Jeong, reporting for Motherboard:38,000 websites hosted by the automated publishing service Surge went down today, after the National Rifle Association sent a legal notice over a parody website created by the Yes Men. A few days ago, the Yes Men released the parody video, "Share the Safety" -- announcing a supposed NRA program to deliver firearms into the hands of those too impoverished to afford guns. The opening frame of the video says "Paid for in part by the National Rifle Association of America with additional support from Smith & Wesson Holding Corporation." "Systemic poverty and dumb laws keep the urban poor unable to acquire life-saving firearms," says the video, which is available on YouTube. "That's why we at the NRA are teaming up with Smith & Wesson to share the safety.â The YouTube description includes a link to the "official" website, ShareTheSafety.org.

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Hacker Takes Over Oculus CEO's Twitter Account, Announces New CEO

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:40am
Another day, another high-profile becoming victim of a hack attack. Somebody managed to find a way into Oculus CEO Brendan Iribe's Twitter account late Wednesday. The hacker, who appears to be a user who goes by the alias "lid" on Twitter changed Iribe's bio and cover photo, and made a couple of interesting "announcements" -- including him becoming the new CEO of Facebook-owned virtual reality company. TechCrunch reports:This is just the latest in a string of tech CEO's having their Twitter accounts compromised, this attack does not appear to be from the same hacker group responsible for the hacks on the accounts of Travis Kalanick, Sundar Pichai, Mark Zuckerberg and Dick Costolo. Late Wednesday night, Iribe's Twitter bio temporarily read, "hey its @Lid ... im not testing ya security im just havin a laugh." The hacker told me in a Twitter DM that he accessed the password via last month's MySpace breach, he also said that he also would've managed to access Iribe's email account had he not had two-factor authentication enabled.

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Massive stunning aurora glows over Jupiter’s north pole

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:00am
The Hubble Space Telescope has captured a glowing ultraviolet aurora at Jupiter, just in time for the arrival of NASA's Juno probe
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Spanish Authorities Raid Google Offices Over Tax

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 6:00am
An anonymous reader shares a Reuters report:Spanish officials raided Google's Madrid offices on Thursday in a probe related to its payment of taxes, a person familiar with the matter said, barely a month after the internet company had its headquarters in France searched on suspicion of tax evasion. A spokeswoman for Google said in a brief statement the company complied with fiscal legislation in Spain just as it did in all countries where it operated. The company was working with authorities to answer all questions, the spokeswoman added. Google is under pressure across Europe from politicians and the public upset at how multinationals exploit their presence around the world to minimize their tax bills.

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US Efforts To Regulate Encryption Have Been Flawed, Government Report Finds

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 5:00am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Guardian: U.S. Republican congressional staff said in a report released Wednesday that previous efforts to regulate privacy technology were flawed and that lawmakers need to learn more about technology before trying to regulate it. The 25-page white paper is entitled Going Dark, Going Forward: A Primer on the Encryption Debate and it does not provide any solution to the encryption fight. However, it is notable for its criticism of other lawmakers who have tried to legislate their way out of the encryption debate. It also sets a new starting point for Congress as it mulls whether to legislate on encryption during the Clinton or Trump administration. "Lawmakers need to develop a far deeper understanding of this complex issue before they attempt a legislative fix," the committee staff wrote in their report. The committee calls for more dialogue on the topic and for more interviews with experts, even though they claim to have already held more than 100 such briefings, some of which are classified. The report says in the first line that public interest in encryption has surged once it was revealed that terrorists behind the Paris and San Bernardino attacks "used encrypted communications to evade detection." Congressman Ted Lieu is pushing the federal government to treat ransomware attacks on medical facilities as data breaches and require notifications of patients.

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Watch a Cygnus spacecraft burn up as it re-enters the atmosphere

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 2:39am
Researchers chased an uncrewed Cygnus spacecraft in an aeroplane in order to watch its fiery re-entry and destruction. The view was spectacular
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Congressman Wants Ransomware Attacks To Trigger Breach Notifications

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 2:00am
Trailrunner7 quotes a report from On the Wire: A powerful California congressman is pushing the federal government to treat ransomware attacks on medical facilities as data breaches and require notifications of patients. The pressure is coming from Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.) and follows comments from officials at the Department of Health and Human Services about the department's plan to issue guidance to health care organizations about ransomware attacks. The Office for Civil Rights section of HHS, which has responsibility for health information privacy, will provide guidance on how to handle ransomware attacks, and Lieu is eager to ensure that the guidance specifically addresses how ransomware attacks relate to data breach regulations. "I welcome the news of HHS providing guidance to health providers on a matter that threatens so many hospital IT systems. However, we need to make clear that ransomware is not the same as conventional breaches. The threat to patients from ransomware is typically due to the denial of access to their medical records and medical services. Not only could this be a threat to privacy, but it could result in medical complications and deaths if hospitals can't access patient information," Lieu said in a statement. He sent a letter to the deputy director for health information privacy in the Office of Civil Rights at HHS, Deven McGraw, asking him to instruct health organizations and providers to notify patients of an attack if it results in a denial of access to a medical record or a loss of functionality thats necessary to provide patient care. In the past, Lieu has called for a full congressional investigation into the aforementioned widespread flaw in global phone networks that allows hackers to track anyone's location and spy on their phone calls and text messages. He was also one of the first lawmakers to publicly express his pro-encryption view after a federal judge ordered Apple to help the FBI break into the San Bernardino shooter's iPhone, saying it effectively "forces private-sector companies like Apple to be used as an arm of law enforcement."

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Wonder what your plants are ‘saying’? Device lets you listen in

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/30/2016 - 1:00am
A small device lets researchers, farmers and amateur plant lovers listen in to electrical changes inside their plants – Penny Sarchet tried it out
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