Helicopter Crashes Into Field Killing 13 People On The Ground

A freak helicopter crash in Mexico killed 13 people Friday after they sought safety in a field following a 7.2 earthquake. The Associated Press reports a military helicopter surveying the damage from the earthquake crashed into a field of people who set up camp to avoid being inside should the shaking restart. Overall…

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Source: Gizmodo – Helicopter Crashes Into Field Killing 13 People On The Ground

The Next Power Rangers Series Is Adapting Super Sentai's Own Homage to… Power Rangers?

In the 25 years since Power Rangers first began, it’s only skipped adapting the current Super Sentai series three times. Now, for its 2019 season, Power Rangers is going back and bringing one of them to western audiences: Tokumei Sentai Go-Busters.

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Source: Gizmodo – The Next Power Rangers Series Is Adapting Super Sentai’s Own Homage to… Power Rangers?

Facebook Ordered to Stop Collecting User Data by Belgian Court

A Belgian court has ruled that Facebook must stop tracking its citizens on third-party sites and delete all data it illegally acquired. Otherwise, the company will be fined 250,000 ($312,000) euros a day. An investigation by Belgium’s Privacy Commission had determined that Facebook was following users around the web with the help of cookies and social plug-ins.



Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy for EMEA, said the company was disappointed with the verdict and intended to appeal: “The cookies and pixels we use are industry standard technologies and enable hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow their businesses and reach customers across the EU.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Facebook Ordered to Stop Collecting User Data by Belgian Court

LinkedIn Users Will Soon Know What Jobs Pay Before Applying for Them

LinkedIn just introduced a way to help its members avoid going through the interview process for jobs with salaries that do not meet their expectations. From a report: The professional network announced the rollout of Salary Insights, which will add estimated or expected salary ranges to open roles, getting the numbers either through salary ranges provided by employers or estimated ranges from data submitted by members. The feature will launch “in the coming weeks.” Salary Insights marks the next step after LinkedIn Salary, which the professional network launched in November 2016 to provide its users with information on salaries, bonuses and equity data for specific job titles, as well as factors that impact those salaries, including experience, industry, company size, location and education level.

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Source: Slashdot – LinkedIn Users Will Soon Know What Jobs Pay Before Applying for Them

White House Says It Will Get Right On That 130-Plus Staff With Only Partial Security Clearances Thing

After reports hit the news that over 130 of the more-or-less-randomly-promoted angry teens in the White House were working without full security clearances as of November, including top aides with access to highly classified intel like Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s administration says it will overhaul…

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Source: Gizmodo – White House Says It Will Get Right On That 130-Plus Staff With Only Partial Security Clearances Thing

System Shock Remake Development Halted

Nightdive Studios is taking a temporary break from developing System Shock. According to CEO Stephen Kick, things have gotten “out of control” because the team decided to make “a completely new game” instead of a simple remake, ballooning the budget in the process.



I have put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision. We are taking a break, but NOT ending the project. Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – System Shock Remake Development Halted

Physicists Create New Form of Light

MIT and Harvard University researchers have figured out a way to make photons interact with one another, resulting in “a completely new kind of photonic matter.” Normally, photons just pass each other by, but they can apparently bind together under certain conditions. This could be a potential step toward quantum computation.



“Photons can travel very fast over long distances, and people have been using light to transmit information, such as in optical fibers,” Vuletic says. “If photons can influence one another, then if you can entangle these photons, and we’ve done that, you can use them to distribute quantum information in an interesting and useful way.”

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Physicists Create New Form of Light

YouTube Red is Having an Identity Crisis

During an onstage conversation at Recode’s Code Media this week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki called YouTube Red a music streaming service — first time any executive from the company has referred to YouTube Red as foremost a music service. From a report: This differs from comments that other YouTube executives have made in the past, including YouTube’s head of global content Susanne Daniels, who last year described YouTube Red as a premium subscription streaming service that offers Hollywood-quality shows and movies. Launched in October 2015, YouTube Red has always been positioned by YouTube as three services in one: It offers ad-free access to all of YouTube; it’s a music streaming service that also gives access to Google Play Music; and it’s consistently releasing original movies and TV shows, starring Hollywood talent and homegrown stars that users already subscribe to. Two years later, this has created somewhat of an identity crisis for the streaming service. As Wojcicki said in her interview, she sees YouTube Red as a music service. And she does not expect to spend billions of dollars on content to effectively compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others.

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Source: Slashdot – YouTube Red is Having an Identity Crisis

New Steam Game Promises a Bitcoin to the First Person Who Beats It

The developers of Montecrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, a puzzle game that launches February 20, says that they will award one bitcoin to the first person who manages to beat the game by solving its 24 puzzles. Some believe that this may be a scam to drive sales, however.



The game costs $1.99 and a single Bitcoin is currently worth a little over $9,800, so it’s possible that one lucky user stands to make a bunch of cash. We’ve reached out to Steam to ask whether games on their platforms are allowed to offer monetary rewards to customers. From what we can see on Steam’s submissions guidelines, they can.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – New Steam Game Promises a Bitcoin to the First Person Who Beats It

Learning To Program Is Getting Harder

theodp writes: While Google suggests that parents and educators are to blame for why kids can’t code, Allen Downey, Professor at Olin College argues that learning to program is getting harder . Downey writes: The fundamental problem is that the barrier between using a computer and programming a computer is getting higher. When I got a Commodore 64 (in 1982, I think) this barrier was non-existent. When you turned on the computer, it loaded and ran a software development environment (SDE). In order to do anything, you had to type at least one line of code, even if all it did was another program (like Archon). Since then, three changes have made it incrementally harder for users to become programmers: 1. Computer retailers stopped installing development environments by default. As a result, anyone learning to program has to start by installing an SDE — and that’s a bigger barrier than you might expect. Many users have never installed anything, don’t know how to, or might not be allowed to. Installing software is easier now than it used to be, but it is still error prone and can be frustrating. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn’t have to learn system administration first. 2. User interfaces shifted from command-line interfaces (CLIs) to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). GUIs are generally easier to use, but they hide information from users about what’s really happening. When users really don’t need to know, hiding information can be a good thing. The problem is that GUIs hide a lot of information programmers need to know. So when a user decides to become a programmer, they are suddenly confronted with all the information that’s been hidden from them. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn’t have to learn operating system concepts first. 3. Cloud computing has taken information hiding to a whole new level. People using web applications often have only a vague idea of where their data is stored and what applications they can use to access it. Many users, especially on mobile devices, don’t distinguish between operating systems, applications, web browsers, and web applications. When they upload and download data, they are often confused about where is it coming from and where it is going. When they install something, they are often confused about what is being installed where. For someone who grew up with a Commodore 64, learning to program was hard enough. For someone growing up with a cloud-connected mobile device, it is much harder. theodp continues: So, with the Feds budgeting $200 million a year for K-12 CS at the behest of U.S. tech leaders, can’t the tech giants at least put a BASIC on every phone/tablet/laptop for kids?

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Source: Slashdot – Learning To Program Is Getting Harder

Labor board says Google legally fired diversity memo writer

James Damore may claim Google was wrong to fire him over his memo criticizing the company’s diversity culture, but a federal government overseer begs to differ. The National Labor Relations Board has published a January memo recommending a dismissal…

Source: Engadget – Labor board says Google legally fired diversity memo writer

Bloke Sues Microsoft: Give Me $600M, or My Copy of Windows 7 Back

Frank Dickman, of Albuquerque, New Mexico, is suing Microsoft and Satya Nadella for $6bn after his Asus laptop automatically updated from Windows 7 to Windows 10 and “became non-functional.” Redmond has 30 days to respond with a digital download and activation code that will allow him to downgrade his machine.



His lawsuit gives Redmond 30 days to give him the software or pay more than a half a billion in damages from a default judgment. “The only sensible remedy is for Microsoft Corporation to supply the OEM version of its operating system by download from its website and confirmed by the key code which came with the computer,” Dickman’s filing read.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Bloke Sues Microsoft: Give Me 0M, or My Copy of Windows 7 Back

YouTubers Survive Break-In by Armed, Deranged Fan

YouTubers Gavin Free and Meg Turney became victims of a home invasion last month when Christopher Giles, a “single, lonely, and disturbed” fan, broke into their residence early AM. Giles, who was reportedly infatuated with Turney, failed to locate the couple and was later found dead in his car after an exchange with police. Thanks Exavior.



Giles’ cellphone contained evidence including “more than 1000 notes” about Free and Turney. The incident illustrates the escalation of invasive and often violent interactions between prominent online gaming personalities and their audience, which has also seen multiple ‘swatting’ incidents occurring in 2017 among the gaming community.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – YouTubers Survive Break-In by Armed, Deranged Fan

Intel Ice Lake Laptop Chip Leak Hints at Big Graphics Bump

Leaked SiSoftware Sandra benchmarks suggest that Intel’s upcoming Ice Lake-U CPUs will offer much better integrated graphics performance for laptops: Kaby Lake-U chips offered a 300 MHz base clock (and 1.1 GHz boost), but Ice Lake-U doubles that with a 600 MHz base clock. These will also support 6GB of shared memory and feature 768kB of L2 cache.



Will that be enough to help Intel stave off competition from AMD, which already offers a number of Ryzen Mobile processors with integrated Radeon Vega graphics? That remains to be seen. But Intel did recently hire AMD’s former GPU chief in order to beef up its own discrete graphics technology, so it looks like the company is looking to stay competitive in the GPU space.

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Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel Ice Lake Laptop Chip Leak Hints at Big Graphics Bump

New Scanning Technique Reveals Secrets Behind Great Paintings

Researchers in the US have used a new scanning technique to discover a painting underneath one of Pablo Picasso’s great works of art, the Crouching Woman (La Misereuse Accroupie). From a report: Underneath the oil painting is a landscape of Barcelona which, it turns out, Picasso used as the basis of his masterpiece. The new x-ray fluorescence system is cheaper than alternative art scanning systems — and it is portable, making it available to any gallery that wants it. Details were revealed at the American Association for the Advancement for Science in Austin, Texas. The Crouching Woman is a painting from Picasso’s blue period. What is remarkable is that the landscape painting beneath — probably by a student artist — is turned 90 degrees. The contour of the hills in the background becomes the crouching woman’s back. She takes on the shape and form of the Catalan countryside. Kenneth Brummel, a curator at the Art Gallery of Ontario in Toronto, said that he was “excited” when he first learned what lay underneath the Crouching Woman. “It helps to date the painting and it also helps to determine where the painting was made,” he told BBC News. “But it also gives a sense of the artists with whom the painter was engaging. And these insights help us ask new, more interesting and scientifically more accurate questions regarding an artist, their process and how they arrived at the forms that we see on the surface of a painting.”

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Source: Slashdot – New Scanning Technique Reveals Secrets Behind Great Paintings