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Federal Court: The Fourth Amendment Does Not Protect Your Home Computer

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 2:00pm
An anonymous reader writes: The EFF reports that a federal court in Virginia today ruled that a criminal defendant has no "reasonable expectation of privacy" in his personal computer (PDF), located inside his home. The court says the federal government does not need a warrant to hack into an individual's computer. EFF reports: "The implications for the decision, if upheld, are staggering: law enforcement would be free to remotely search and seize information from your computer, without a warrant, without probable cause, or without any suspicion at all. To say the least, the decision is bad news for privacy. But it's also incorrect as a matter of law, and we expect there is little chance it would hold up on appeal. (It also was not the central component of the judge's decision, which also diminishes the likelihood that it will become reliable precedent.) But the decision underscores a broader trend in these cases: courts across the country, faced with unfamiliar technology and unsympathetic defendants, are issuing decisions that threaten everyone's rights.

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Boston Dynamics' SpotMini Is All Electric, Agile, and Has A Capable Face-Arm

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 1:20pm
An anonymous reader writes: Boston Dynamics has shown the world their "fun-sizeified version of their Spot quadruped," the SpotMini robot. It's a quiet, all electric machine that features a googley-eyed face-arm. IEEE Spectrum notes some observations made from watching their YouTube video. First of all, the SpotMini appears to be waterproof and doesn't rely on hydraulics like the other more powerful robots of theirs. The SpotMini is likely operated by a human, and is not autonomous, though the self-righting could be an autonomous behavior. The video appears to show two separate versions of the SpotMini: an undressed and dressed variant (it's hard to tell if the "dressed" variant features differing components/abilities). There is a MultiSense S7 video camera on the front, some other camera-based vision system on the front, a butt-mounted Velodyne VLP-16 system, and what may be a small camera on the face-arm's mouth. One particularly noteworthy observation is that during much of the video, the SpotMini is traversing through a house. In other Boston Dynamics demo videos, the robots are outside. The author of the report says, "[...] it wouldn't surprise me if we're looking at an attempt to make an (relatively) affordable robot that can do practical things for people who aren't in the military."

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Crispr Wins Key Approval to Fight Cancer in Human Trials

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:40pm
Tom Randall, reporting for Bloomberg Technology:An experimental cancer treatment that alters the DNA of patients has won a key approval to proceed with its first human tests using the controversial gene-altering tool known as Crispr. Scientists from the University of Pennsylvania want to edit the immune systems of 18 patients to target cancer cells more effectively. The experiment, backed by internet billionaire Sean Parker, won approval from the Recombinant DNA Advisory Committee (RAC), a federal ethics panel set up at the National Institutes of Health 40 years ago to review controversial experiments that change the human genome. The trial still needs final approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The experiment targets difficult-to-treat cases of multiple myeloma, sarcoma, and melanoma. The scientists will remove blood samples from patients and alter their T-cells -- central to human immune response -- to more effectively target and pursue cancer. The T cells will then be infused back into patients and studied for the safety and effectiveness of the technique.STAT News has an article in which it discusses the probable consequences of altering the DNA of a cancer patient.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Comodo Attempting to Register 'Let's Encrypt' Trademarks, And That's Not Right

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 12:00pm
Let's Encrypt is a nonprofit aimed at encrypting the entire web. It provides free certificates, and its service is backed by EFF, Mozilla, Cisco, Akamai and others. Despite it being around for years, security firm Comodo, which as of 2015, was the largest issuer of SSL certificates with a 33.6% market share on 6.6% of all web domains, last year in October filed for the trademark Let's Encrypt. The team at Let's Encrypt wrote in a blog post today that they have asked Comodo to abandon its "Let's Encrypt" applications, directly but it has refused to do so. The blog post adds: We've forged relationships with millions of websites and users under the name Let's Encrypt, furthering our mission to make encryption free, easy, and accessible to everyone. We've also worked hard to build our unique identity within the community and to make that identity a reliable indicator of quality. We take it very seriously when we see the potential for our users to be confused, or worse, the potential for a third party to damage the trust our users have placed in us by intentionally creating such confusion. By attempting to register trademarks for our name, Comodo is actively attempting to do just that. Update: 06/23 22:25 GMT by M :Comodo CEO has addressed the issue on company's forum (screenshot).

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Get a job: Hi-Rez Studios is hiring an experienced Concept Artist

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:50am

The Tribes: Ascend and Smite developer seeks an experienced concept artist to take a senior position at Hi-Rez Studios' Alpharetta, Georgia HQ to work on "exciting new game projects." ...

Categories: Gaming News

Video: How Blizzard designed StarCraft II to be an eSport

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:35am

At GDC 2011 Blizzard's Dustin Browder takes the stage to deconstruct the design of Starcraft II and examine how its competitive multiplayer was tuned to serve the needs of a global eSports community. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Facebook Offers Political Bias Training In Wake Of Trending Controversy

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:20am
Michael Nunez, reporting for Gizmodo:Facebook is adding political scenarios to its orientation training following concerns, first reported by Gizmodo, that workers were suppressing conservative topics in its Trending news section. Sheryl Sandberg, Facebook's chief operating officer, announced the change during an interview with conservative leader Arthur Brooks, president of the prominent conservative think tank the American Enterprise Institute. Brooks also attended a private meeting between Facebook executives and prominent conservative leaders following the controversy. "We had an ex-contractor on that team who accused us of liberal bias," Sandberg said during the interview. "Frankly, it rang true to some people because there is concern that Silicon Valley companies have a liberal bias. We did a thorough investigation, and we didn't find a liberal bias."

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Hubble spots a new long-lived storm raging on Neptune

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:17am
Neptune is known for its Great Dark Spot, but a new blemish appeared last summer and has been roiling ever since
Categories: Science & Tech News

Museum accepts collection of artifacts from Oregon Trail dev MECC

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 11:02am

New York's Strong Museum of Play has accepted a collection of software, photographs, documents and other artifacts documenting the life and death of the Minnesota Educational Computing Corporation. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Volkswagen To Pay $10.2 Billion In Emissions Lawsuit

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:40am
Reader Khashishi writes: Slashdot has been following the story of Volkswagen manipulating diesel emissions tests for some time now. The control software contained algorithms which reduced emissions during testing but not during normal driving. Well, now Volkswagen has agreed to pay $10.2 billion (alternate source: BBC) to settle the case, according to Associated Press. This is higher than the $430 million damages estimated in this story. It appears that vehicle owners will have the choice of fixing their cars or selling them back. Most of the money will go towards fixing the cars, buying them back, and compensating owners.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Report: China is now the global leader in video game revenues

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:37am

Heads up, game devs: China's booming games market has now overtaken the U.S. (at least, in market research firm Newzoo's estimation) to become the world's biggest source of video game revenue. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Save the driver or pedestrian? Such robot car dilemmas are folly

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:00am
Should autonomous cars sacrifice those inside to save more lives outside in a crash? That is a misleadingly simple dilemma, warns Hal Hodson
Categories: Science & Tech News

Google Launches Android Programming Course For Absolute Beginners

Slashdot Updates - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 10:00am
If you're on the fence on whether or not should you spring for learning how to code, Google is willing to offer a helping hand. The company has partnered with Udacity to offer a "nanodegree" class designed for people with no programming experience at all. The program costs $199 per month. ZDNet reports:The course material, developed by Google, is hosted on learning platform Udacity and builds on earlier programs such as the Android Nanodegree for Beginners. The basics course takes around four weeks if the student commits six hours a week and upon completion they'll have created two basic apps built in Android Studio."Google, in partnership with Udacity, is making Android development accessible and understandable to everyone, so that regardless of your background, you can learn to build apps that improve the lives of people around you," Google announced on its developer blog.

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Categories: Science & Tech News

Don't Miss: Why I trust Valve's judgment on seasonal sales

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 9:51am

In this timeless blog, Defender's Quest dev Lars Doucet analyzes what Valve's Steam Sales get right: "The games you see on your front page now depend mostly on you. And that's as it should be." ...

Categories: Gaming News

Obituary: Othello creator Goro Hasegawa

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 9:33am

News is circulating this morning that Goro Hasegawa, widely credited as the inventor of the board game Othello, passed away this week in Japan at the age of 83. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Stop vets offering homeopathy – placebo doesn’t work for pets

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 9:17am
Homeopathy has no effect beyond placebo and is pointless in animal medicine, so let's end its use by those vets who still offer it, says Danny Chambers
Categories: Science & Tech News

The Disco Generator: Procedural level generation in All Walls Must Fall

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:35am

Isaac Ashdown, former senior programmer at Yager, offers a detailed rundown of the procedurally-generated discotheque levels in the upcoming game from his new studio, Inbetweengames. ...

Categories: Gaming News

Elderly monkeys choose to have fewer friends – just like us

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 8:00am
As we age, we choose to spend less time socialising, and only with our favourite people. Now we know that elderly Barbary macaques do the same – but why?
Categories: Science & Tech News

IKEA of energy delivers clean, green solar power-plant in a box

New Scientist - Breaking news - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:53am
A start-up offering flat-packed solar generators is hoping to give a boost to poor villages off the grid
Categories: Science & Tech News

Smithsonian to document evolution of game industry with Video Game Pioneers Archive

Gamasutra - News - Thu, 06/23/2016 - 7:48am

"The Video Game Pioneers Archive will allow the Smithsonian and like-minded organizations to capture the history of this technical and creative industry." ...

Categories: Gaming News
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