'Cyber Terrorist' Teen Who Hacked CIA Director John Brennan Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

A British teenager who gained notoriety for hacking a number of high profile United States government employees including former CIA director John Brennan and former director of intelligence James Clapper was sentenced Friday to two years in prison.

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Source: Gizmodo – ‘Cyber Terrorist’ Teen Who Hacked CIA Director John Brennan Sentenced to 2 Years in Prison

Doctors Tried To Lower $148K Cancer Drug Cost; Makers Tripled Its Price

Slashdot reader Applehu Akbar writes: Imbruvica, a compound that treats white blood cell cancers, has until now been a bargain at $148,000 per year. Until now, doctors have been able to optimize dosage for each patient by prescribing up to four small-dose pills of it per day. But after results from a recent small pilot trial indicated that smaller doses would for most patients work as well as the large ones, its manufacturer, Janssen and Pharmacyclics, has decided on the basis of the doctors’ interest in smaller dosages to reprice all sizes of the drug to the price of the largest size. This has the effect of tripling the price for patients, and doctors have now put off any plans for further testing of lower dosages.
The researchers are retaliating by urging clinical investigators to test whether the expensive pill could be safely given every other day — and by calling on America’s public health regulators to investigate the drug’s pricing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Doctors Tried To Lower 8K Cancer Drug Cost; Makers Tripled Its Price

Recommended Reading: Tesla and Waymo's self-driving data quests


How Tesla and Waymo are tackling a major problem for self-driving cars: Data
Sean O’Kane,
The Verge

In order for cars to drive themselves, the vehicles and their systems require loads of data. And gathering those details are one of the main goals…

Source: Engadget – Recommended Reading: Tesla and Waymo’s self-driving data quests

Learn Basic Javascript For Free With This Google App

If you want to learn how to code, there are a ton of resources out there to help you learn how. Websites like Codecademy, Udacity, and Khan Academy can help you kick the tires a little bit and see if coding is for you. This week, a group from Google launched another option, a mobile app called Grasshopper that can…

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Source: LifeHacker – Learn Basic Javascript For Free With This Google App

Hilton Panama's Alienware Room for Game-Crazy Travelers

Dell has partnered with The Hilton in Panama to create a special den for PC gamers vacationing or doing business in the Central American country: room 2425 has been outfitted with a plethora of Alienware-branded products, including a PC, laptop, and lighting system. There is even a 65-inch 4K OLED TV, Oculus Rift, and gaming simulator chair with NASA technologies.



Apart from all the gaming goodness, the room, in fact, has two king beds along with other luxurious amenities to make the stay as comfortable as possible. The bathroom and shower sections also have visible influences of the Alienware theme all around. If you are already a big fan, Hilton Panama is opening the Alienware Room April 19 onward for $349 per night.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Hilton Panama’s Alienware Room for Game-Crazy Travelers

Google's Chief Futurist: Basic Income Will Spread Worldwide by the 2030s

Google’s Director of Engineering, Ray Kurzweil, is a futurist who is famed for his wild predictions: one of his latest is that universal basic income will be ubiquitous in as little as two decades based on advances in artificial intelligence. The idea is that AI will be distributing UBI to humans based on algorithms.



Kurzweil thinks AI will pass the Turing Test easily within our lifetime and can be described as a technology optimist. Kurzweil has been pretty vocal that AI will not displace humans but enhance us. Perhaps he believes a UBI would do the same and empower human beings to find meaning outside of work and how income is paired to work up till now.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Google’s Chief Futurist: Basic Income Will Spread Worldwide by the 2030s

Lyft Announces It Will Make All Rides Carbon Neutral

Lyft announced it will spend millions of dollars to make all its rides carbon neutral. An anonymous reader quotes CNN Money:
The San Francisco-based ride-hailing company announced Thursday that it will pay for a range of environmentally beneficial projects to compensate for the emissions from the millions of car journeys it provides every week. The tactic, known as carbon offsets, is a way for Lyft to do something about climate change without changing its business model. Lyft will fund initiatives including forestry projects, renewable energy ventures and capturing emissions from landfills. The efforts will put Lyft among the 10 largest voluntary offset programs in the world, according to 3Degrees, the renewable energy company Lyft is partnering with to find suitable projects… Lyft will track how many miles its drivers cover — and the make and model of their vehicles — to calculate exactly how many emissions it must offset. The company will not limit itself just to the carbon footprint from when passengers are in Lyft vehicles, but will also include the mileage its drivers rack up on their way to pick people up.

Lyft co-founder John Zimmer believes that within their first year they’ll offset over a million metric tons of carbon — “equivalent to planting tens of millions of trees or taking hundreds of thousands of cars off the road.”

Zimmer told CNN that “With great scale comes great responsibility.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Lyft Announces It Will Make All Rides Carbon Neutral

AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Stack Gets Updated With More Extensions, Optimizations & Fixes

AMD developers maintaining their official Vulkan cross-platform driver code have pushed their end-of-week updates to their external source repositories for those wanting to build the AMDVLK driver on Linux from source…

Source: Phoronix – AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Stack Gets Updated With More Extensions, Optimizations & Fixes

Flickr Has Been Purchased by SmugMug

Independent photo-sharing website and image-hosting service SmugMug is the proud new owner of Flickr. According to CEO Don MacAskill, the website had been long neglected by its previous proprietor, Yahoo, and his goal is to revitalize its community of amateur and professional photographers.



The surprise deal ends months of uncertainty for Flickr, whose fate had been up in the air since last year when Yahoo was bought by Verizon for $4.5 billion and joined with AOL in Verizon’s Oath subsidiary. Oath has started to weed out some of its assets after merging AOL and Yahoo. Earlier this month, Oath sold Polyvore, the e-commerce company it acquired under Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Flickr Has Been Purchased by SmugMug

AI Will Wipe Out Half the Banking Jobs in a Decade, Experts Say

Despite the investments required for supercomputers and hardware upgrades, senior banking executives seem adamant on transitioning to artificial intelligence-based services, signaling the potential loss of numerous jobs that include automated customer support, fraud detection, and predictive analysis.



Speaking to an audience last year in Frankfurt, Germany, Deutsche Bank CEO John Cryan predicted a “bonfire” of industry jobs as automation moves forward. “In our bank we have people doing work like robots,” he said. “Tomorrow we will have robots behaving like people. It doesn’t matter if we as a bank will participate in these changes or not, it is going to happen.”

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – AI Will Wipe Out Half the Banking Jobs in a Decade, Experts Say

Can Tesla's Batteries Power Puerto Rico?

An anonymous reader quotes Electrek:
Almost 1 million ratepayers of the Puerto Rican Electric Power Authority on the island of Puerto Rico were reportedly without power Wednesday during an island-wide blackout. But a few hundred locations with Tesla Energy storage systems were able to keep the lights on, according to CEO Elon Musk… Some of those locations include very critical services. For example, Tesla deployed a series of Powerpack systems on the Puerto Rican islands of Vieques and Culebra for a sanitary sewer treatment plant, the Arcadia water pumping station, the Ciudad Dorada elderly community, the Susan Centeno hospital, and the Boys and Girls Club of Vieques. Furthermore, the automaker’s energy division also deployed a solar+battery system at a hospital in Puerto Rico…
It was also reported that the Puerto Rican government was considering Tesla’s plan for a series of microgrids to help bring back power on a larger scale. The government has confirmed that they “presented several projects in remote areas that would allow entire communities to be more independent” and they also “presented a proposal to the Authority for Public-Private Partnerships for the deployment of a large-scale battery system designed to help stabilize the entire Puerto Rico electricity network.”

The proposal, involving de-centralized local solar farms, “should prove more resilient to natural disaster,” Electrek reported earlier, adding ” and of course, it would be a lot cleaner than their currently mostly fossil fuel-based power generation.” Already Tesla batteries are “live and delivering power” at 662 locations, Elon Musk tweeted Wednesday.

Meanwhile, CNN reports that one Puerto Rico resident spent three weeks building his own solar power system using $7,500 in parts — which will ultimately prove cheaper than the $350 a month he was spending to run a gas generator (and waiting as long as six hours in the long gas lines).
They’re not revealing his name “because he’s concerned someone may try to steal his new system.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Can Tesla’s Batteries Power Puerto Rico?

DragonFlyBSD 5.2, TrueOS 18.03, FreeBSD 11.1, Ubuntu 16.04/18.04 & Clear Linux Tests

This week I posted some benchmarks looking at the Meltdown mitigation impact on BSD vs. Linux as well as some tests of DragonFly’s stabilized HAMMER2 while for your viewing pleasure this weekend are a variety of general BSD vs. Linux benchmarks while using the newly-released DragonFlyBSD 5.2, TrueOS 18.03, FreeBSD 11.1, Ubuntu 16.04 LTS, Ubuntu 18.04, and Intel’s Clear Linux.

Source: Phoronix – DragonFlyBSD 5.2, TrueOS 18.03, FreeBSD 11.1, Ubuntu 16.04/18.04 & Clear Linux Tests

Microsoft Releases Windows Defender Browser Extension for Chrome

Microsoft is bringing Windows Defender to Google Chrome with an all-new extension that aims to protect users from phishing, malicious software, and other online threats. Some are claiming that it sends your entire web browsing history to Microsoft, however.



If you click a malicious link in an email or navigate to a site designed to trick you into disclosing financial, personal or other sensitive information, or a website that hosts malware, Windows Defender Browser Protection will check it against a constantly updated list of malicious URLs known to Microsoft.

Discussion

Source: [H]ardOCP – Microsoft Releases Windows Defender Browser Extension for Chrome

Microsoft’s Xbox One Family To Soon Gain 120Hz Display Support

Microsoft’s Xbox One Family To Soon Gain 120Hz Display Support
Microsoft is getting set for E3 to kick off this summer and ahead of that event, Microsoft is adding some new features to the Xbox One. Microsoft says that some of these features build on other items it added last month and will roll out in the coming weeks. The big new addition will be support for 120Hz displays. This builds on the support

Source: Hot Hardware – Microsoft’s Xbox One Family To Soon Gain 120Hz Display Support

Benedict Cumberbatch Shared His Star Trek Secrets With Stephen Hawking

When Benedict Cumberbatch appeared as the antagonist of Star Trek Into Darkness, the identity of the character he was playing was kept very secret, to the point that JJ Abrams straight-up lied about it. But apparently Cumberbatch spilled the beans to one special person.

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Source: Gizmodo – Benedict Cumberbatch Shared His Star Trek Secrets With Stephen Hawking

EGLStreams XWayland Code Revised Ahead Of X.Org Server 1.20

It’s still not clear if the EGLStreams XWayland support will be merged for xorg-server 1.20 but at least the patches were revised this week, making it possible to merge them into this next X.Org Server release for allowing the NVIDIA proprietary driver to work with XWayland…

Source: Phoronix – EGLStreams XWayland Code Revised Ahead Of X.Org Server 1.20

Wells Fargo Agrees to $1 Billion Fine Over Home and Auto Loan Abuses

Wells Fargo got hit with a $1 billion fine Friday — the largest ever issued by America’s consumer protection agency. An anonymous reader quotes Reuters:
Taken together, the mortgage and auto programs ensnared more than 600,000 customers and will require nearly $300 million in refunds, the bank has said. The programs allowed Wells Fargo to earn fees from unneeded car insurance and penalties on mortgage paperwork that the bank had botched. For homebuyers, Wells Fargo promised to “rate lock” or freeze the interest rate for borrowers who got their mortgage paperwork finished within a few weeks. When that deadline slipped and it was the bank’s fault, Wells Fargo could blame the customer. The penalty for late mortgage paperwork often topped $1000, according to a borrower lawsuit…
Drivers stung by insurance fees were wrongly pushed into policies that they did not need… Insurers working for Wells Fargo pushed policies onto more than 500,000 customers who already had coverage, the bank has said.
The penalty comes 18 months after Wells Fargo “admitted it opened sham accounts for customers — a practice that likely ensnared millions…
Wells Fargo agreed to the new $1 billion fine “without admitting or denying wrongdoing.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Wells Fargo Agrees to Billion Fine Over Home and Auto Loan Abuses