'PUBG' tests a replay feature as it creeps toward v1.0

Now that PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has launched in Early Access on Xbox One, its next milestone is an official retail release out of beta on the PC. That’s expected to happen next week, but players who can’t wait have a few new tweaks to try out…

Source: Engadget – ‘PUBG’ tests a replay feature as it creeps toward v1.0

Researchers use sperm to deliver cancer drugs to tumors

Chemotherapy has a lot of terrible side effects and that’s partly because the drugs being used to fight cancer also attack healthy cells. Figuring out a way to deliver drugs to tumors without affecting healthy tissue is a challenge and a problem that…

Source: Engadget – Researchers use sperm to deliver cancer drugs to tumors

The Science That's Never Been Cited

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Nature: One widely repeated estimate, reported in a controversial article in Science in 1990, suggests that more than half of all academic articles remain uncited five years after their publication. Scientists genuinely fret about this issue, says Jevin West, an information scientist at the University of Washington in Seattle who studies large-scale patterns in research literature. After all, citations are widely recognized as a standard measure of academic influence: a marker that work not only has been read, but also has proved useful to later studies. Researchers worry that high rates of uncitedness point to a heap of useless or irrelevant research. In reality, uncited research isn’t always useless. What’s more, there isn’t really that much of it, says Vincent Lariviere, an information scientist at the University of Montreal in Canada.

To get a better handle on this dark and forgotten corner of published research, Nature dug into the figures to find out how many papers actually do go uncited (explore the full data set and methods). It is impossible to know for sure, because citation databases are incomplete. But it’s clear that, at least for the core group of 12,000 or so journals in the Web of Science — a large database owned by Clarivate Analytics in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania — zero-citation papers are much less prevalent than is widely believed. Web of Science records suggest that fewer than 10% of scientific articles are likely to remain uncited. But the true figure is probably even lower, because large numbers of papers that the database records as uncited have actually been cited somewhere by someone. “The new figures […] suggest that in most disciplines, the proportion of papers attracting zero citations levels off between five and ten year after publication, although the proportion is different in each discipline,” the report adds. “Of all biomedical-sciences papers published in 2006, just 4% are uncited today; in chemistry, that number is 8% and in physics, it is closer to 11%. In engineering and technology, the uncitedness rate of the 2006 cohort of Web of Science-indexed papers is 24%, much higher than in the natural sciences.”

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Source: Slashdot – The Science That’s Never Been Cited

'Jacobs letter' unsealed, accuses Uber of spying, hacking

Waymo’s lawsuit against Uber for allegedly stealing technology for self-driving cars hasn’t gone to trial yet, because the judge received a letter from the Department of Justice suggesting Uber withheld crucial evidence. That letter, with some redact…

Source: Engadget – ‘Jacobs letter’ unsealed, accuses Uber of spying, hacking

'L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files' is available now for HTC Vive

We were excited to hear that 2011 detective simulator L.A. Noire was headed to modern consoles and the HTC Vive for some VR action. The title received some visual upgrades, too, making the jump to PS4, Xbox One and the Switch a bit more graphically a…

Source: Engadget – ‘L.A. Noire: The VR Case Files’ is available now for HTC Vive

New letter: Top Uber officials engaged in illegal wiretapping, shady spycraft

Enlarge (credit: Adam Berry / Getty Images News)

The highly-anticipated demand letter written on behalf of a former Uber employee, which has become central to the unfolding drama that is the Waymo v. Uber trade secrets lawsuit, was publicly released on Friday afternoon.

As previewed in earlier court hearings, the “Jacobs Letter” outlines in detailed terms the questionable and possibly illegal behavior that former Uber security official Richard Jacobs and his former colleagues engaged in during his 11-month tenure at the company.

This letter, which was only recently shared with lawyers involved in the lawsuit and the judge overseeing the case, ultimately led to federal prosecutors opening a criminal investigation into Uber, which is still ongoing.

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Source: Ars Technica – New letter: Top Uber officials engaged in illegal wiretapping, shady spycraft

Mozilla Slipped a 'Mr. Robot'-Promo Plugin Into Firefox and Users Are Pissed

MarcAuslander shares a report from Gizmodo: Mozilla sneaked a browser plugin that promotes Mr. Robot into Firefox — and managed to piss off a bunch of its privacy-conscious users in the process. The extension, called Looking Glass, is intended to promote an augmented reality game to “further your immersion into the Mr. Robot universe,” according to Mozilla. It was automatically added to Firefox users’ browsers this week with no explanation except the cryptic message, “MY REALITY IS JUST DIFFERENT THAN YOURS,” prompting users to worry on Reddit that they’d been hit with spyware. Without an explanation included with the extension, users were left digging around in the code for Looking Glass to find answers. Looking Glass was updated for some users today with a description that explains the connection to Mr. Robot and lets users know that the extension won’t activate without explicit opt-in. Mozilla justified its decision to include the extension because Mr. Robot promotes user privacy. “The Mr. Robot series centers around the theme of online privacy and security,” the company said in an explanation of the mysterious extension. “One of the 10 guiding principles of Mozilla’s mission is that individuals’ security and privacy on the internet are fundamental and must not be treated as optional. The more people know about what information they are sharing online, the more they can protect their privacy.”

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Source: Slashdot – Mozilla Slipped a ‘Mr. Robot’-Promo Plugin Into Firefox and Users Are Pissed

Google Is Shutting Down Project Tango

Google announced that it is ending support for Project Tango, the company’s first attempt to bring a solid augmented-reality experience to the average user. The project used an array of cameras and sensors to accurately map 3D areas, causing the devices support Tango to be relatively large and expensive. Android Police reports: The first Tango device put into production was the “Peanut” phone, which was given to early access partners in 2014. Then came the “Yellowstone” 7-inch tablet, which was initially sold for $1,024 before a massive price drop to $512. The only other devices with Project Tango were the Lenovo Phab2 Pro, which wasn’t a very good phone to start off with, and the ZenFone AR. This move isn’t entirely surprising, now that Google is working on a software-only solution called ARCore. Not only is ARCore similar to Tango in functionality, but it doesn’t require specialized hardware like Tango does.

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Source: Slashdot – Google Is Shutting Down Project Tango

Google Inbox will remind you to unsubscribe from unread promo emails

Google has made email a much less tedious, junky affair for a lot of us, and it’s about to take another step to helping us clean out our inboxes. According to a report over at Android Police, users of Google’s Inbox app will start seeing new tips tha…

Source: Engadget – Google Inbox will remind you to unsubscribe from unread promo emails

California Warns People to Limit Exposure to Cellphones 

Since the earliest days of mobile phones, a small but steady contingent of environmental activists, conspiracy-inclined folks, and some scientists have warned about the hidden damage they could be causing to our bodies, due to the radio frequency energy cellphones use to communicate with cell towers. They fear that…

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Source: Gizmodo – California Warns People to Limit Exposure to Cellphones 

Former Employee Accused Uber of Hacking and Surveillance

In a damning letter released today, a former Uber employee, Richard Jacobs, claims that the company engaged in several illegal practices, including hacking, trade secret theft, and surveillance—all in an effort to emerge at the top of the competitive ride-hailing market.

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Source: Gizmodo – Former Employee Accused Uber of Hacking and Surveillance

Facebook Admits that Some Social Media Use Can Be Harmful

In a new installment of its “Hard Questions” series, Facebook acknowledged on Friday that social media can have negative effects on people, depending on how they use it. From a report: This might be the first public acknowledgment from the company that its product — and category in general — can have detrimental effects on people. Facebook is also addressing the topic shortly after two former executives publicly criticized the company for what they described as exploiting human psychology. Passive use of social media — reading information without interacting with others — makes people feel worse. Clicking on more links or “liking” more posts than the average user also leads to worse mental health, according to one study.

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Source: Slashdot – Facebook Admits that Some Social Media Use Can Be Harmful

Set sail with your pals in a new ‘Adventure Time’ game

A new Adventure Time game is in the works and it features some maritime fun, a nameable boat and pirates. Adventure Time: Pirates of the Enchiridion begins with a flooded Land of Ooo and Adventure Time characters have to set off to figure out what’s…

Source: Engadget – Set sail with your pals in a new ‘Adventure Time’ game

Coinbase Wants Wall Street To Resolve Its Bitcoin Trust Issues

In an effort to use digital money to reinvent finance, cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase is trying to legitimize itself by convincing big money managers to trust it enough to trade on its exchange. They need to “reassure regulators that bitcoin isn’t a silk road for hackers, money launderers and tax evaders,” reports Bloomberg. From the report: Despite the table tennis, Coinbase shows glimmers of maturity. More than 10 million customers have used the company since it began, though it recently quit updating the tally on its website. About $57 billion of digital currency has traded on the exchange so far this year. It doubled its staff in that time and expects to do so again in 2018. Ultimately, Coinbase plans to go public. The firm said it’s prevailed against security threats, helping it avoid the fate of Mt. Gox, the world’s biggest bitcoin exchange before shutting its doors in 2014 after $480 million of customer funds went bye-bye. Coinbase stores 98 percent of users’ digital currencies in offline safe-deposit boxes. The remaining 2 percent, which is vulnerable because it’s online, is covered by insurance. The company holds more than $10 billion in digital assets. Developing ties with banks is one of the biggest challenges. Coinbase doesn’t publicly disclose its banking relationships, but a person familiar with the matter said the company is partnering with Cross River Bank, Metropolitan Bank and Silvergate Bank in the U.S.

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Source: Slashdot – Coinbase Wants Wall Street To Resolve Its Bitcoin Trust Issues

An Anonymous Bitcoin Millionaire Is Donating Their Fortune to Charities and It Seems Legit

‘Tis the season for giving, and one Bitcoin investor claims to be giving away the majority of their cryptocurrency holdings after experiencing an incredible year. The unnamed donor has set up a fund to hand out $86 million worth of Bitcoin to various charities, and they’ve already started listing the donations and…

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Source: Gizmodo – An Anonymous Bitcoin Millionaire Is Donating Their Fortune to Charities and It Seems Legit

Google Chrome beta delivers mute tool for autoplay videos

Months ago, a blog post by the good developers of Chrome let its users know that come January, users would be free of audio from autoplaying videos. As far as we know, those upgrades is still on track to arrive in early 2018 for all users, but you ca…

Source: Engadget – Google Chrome beta delivers mute tool for autoplay videos

ISPs Won't Promise To Treat All Traffic Equally After Net Neutrality

An anonymous reader writes: The FCC voted to put an end to net neutrality, giving internet providers free rein to deliver service at their own discretion. There’s really only one condition here: internet providers will have to disclose their policies regarding “network management practices, performance, and commercial terms.” So if ISPs want to block websites, throttle your connection, or charge certain websites more, they’ll have to admit it. We’re still too far out to know exactly what disclosures all the big ISPs are going to make — the rules (or lack thereof) don’t actually go into effect for another few months — but many internet providers have been making statements throughout the year about their stance on net neutrality, which ought to give some idea of where they’ll land. We reached out to 10 big or notable ISPs to see what their stances are on three core tenets of net neutrality: no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization. Not all of them answered, and the answers we did get are complicated. [The Verge reached out to Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, Sprint, Charter (Spectrum), Cox, Altice USA (Optimum and SuddenLink), and Google Fi and Google Fiber.]

Many ISPs say they support some or all of these core rules, but there’s a big caveat there: for six of the past seven years, there have been net neutrality rules in place at the FCC. That means all of the companies we checked with have had to abide by the no blocking, no throttling, and no paid prioritization rules. It means that they can say, and be mostly correct in saying, that they’ve long followed those rules. But it is, on some level, because they’ve had to. What actually matters is which policies ISPs say they’ll keep in the future, and few are making commitments about that. In fact, all of the companies we contacted (with the exception of Google) have supported the FCC’s plan to remove the current net neutrality rules. None of the ISPs we contacted will make a commitment — or even a comment — on paid fast lanes and prioritization. And this is really where we expect to see problems: ISPs likely won’t go out and block large swaths of the web, but they may start to give subtle advantages to their own content and the content of their partners, slowly shaping who wins and loses online. Comcast: Comcast says it currently doesn’t block, throttle content, or offer paid fast lanes, but hasn’t committed to not doing so in the future. AT&T: AT&T has committed to not blocking or throttling websites in the future. However, its stance around fast lanes is unclear. Verizon: Verizon indicates that, at least in the immediate future, it will not block legal content. As for throttling and fast lanes, the company has no stance, and even seems to be excited to use the absence of rules to its advantage. T-Mobile: T-Mobile makes no commitments to not throttle content or offer paid fast lanes and is unclear on its commitment to not blocking sites and services. It’s already involved in programs that advantage some services over others. Sprint: Sprint makes no commitments on net neutrality, but suggests it doesn’t have plans to offer a service that would block sites. Charter (Spectrum): Charter doesn’t make any guarantees, but the company indicates that it’s currently committed to not blocking or throttling customers. Cox: Cox says it won’t block or throttle content, even without net neutrality. It won’t make commitments on zero-rating or paid fast lanes. Altice USA (Optimum and SuddenLink): Altice doesn’t currently block or throttle and suggests it will keep those policies, though without an explicit commitment. The company doesn’t comment on prioritizing one service over another. Google Fi and Google Fiber: Google doesn’t make any promises regarding throttling and paid prioritization. However, it is the only company to state that it believes paid prioritization would be harmful.

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Source: Slashdot – ISPs Won’t Promise To Treat All Traffic Equally After Net Neutrality