Twitter pulls conspiracist's verified badge after celebrity outrage

Twitter’s stricter approach to verification isn’t just taking checkmarks away from the leaders of racist groups. The social network has pulled the verified badge from conspiracy peddler Liz Conkin after Chrissy Teigen and her husband John Legend reac…

Source: Engadget – Twitter pulls conspiracist’s verified badge after celebrity outrage

Ask Slashdot: Has Technology Created A Monster?

Stack Overflow co-founder Jeff Atwood posted a worried blog post on New Year’s Eve.
Remember in 2011 when Marc Andreeseen said that “Software is eating the world?” That used to sound all hip and cool and inspirational, like “Wow! We software developers really are making a difference in the world!” and now for the life of me I can’t read it as anything other than an ominous warning that we just weren’t smart enough to translate properly at the time… What do you do when you wake up one day and software has kind of eaten the world, and it is no longer clear if software is in fact an unambiguously good thing, like we thought, like everyone told us… like we wanted it to be?
Slashdot reader theodp adds:
“The year 2018 is the 200th anniversary of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein,” provocatively notes Dr. Ainissa Ramirez, “in which a scientist neglects to ask about the consequences of his creation. I suspect (and hope) that there will be much debate on the impact of technology on our lives in the numerous lectures and events scheduled this year. It is a long-overdue discussion because scientists sometimes get so excited about their innovations that they forget to ask, ‘Am I building a monster?’ This anniversary offers a pause to see if society likes where it is headed.”
That quote is from a “predictions for 2018” article on the Mach technology site (hosted by NBC News) in which Dr. Moshe Y. Vardi, a Professor of Computer Science at Rice University, also sees a looming debate. He remembers how Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan referred to tech’s CEO’s as “our country’s real overlords” and described them as “moral Martians who operate on some weird new postmodern ethical wavelength.”

Keep reading for some even more dire predictions…

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Ask Slashdot: Has Technology Created A Monster?

FDA approves first shock wave device made to heal wounds

Using “acoustic shock waves” to promote healing isn’t just for Overwatch, as Sanuwave has obtained FDA approval for its Dermapace System (Pulsed Acoustic Cellular Expression = PACE). Its approval is specifically to help heal foot ulcers in diabetic p…

Source: Engadget – FDA approves first shock wave device made to heal wounds

See a Random Slashdot Story from 2017

An anonymous reader writes:
Happy New Year, Slashdot! To say goodbye to 2017, I’ve created a web page that displays random Slashdot stories from the year gone by. It chooses a page from over 6,600 different URLs — every story that Slashdot ran in 2017. And every time you reload this page, it pulls up a different story from 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – See a Random Slashdot Story from 2017

Trivia hit HQ arrives on Android in time for New Year's Eve event

Intermedia Labs’ live trivia game HQ has launched a little earlier than expected — and just in time to mark the end of the year, too. Anyone willing and able to download an early access app can see whether or not the formerly iOS-only title lives up…

Source: Engadget – Trivia hit HQ arrives on Android in time for New Year’s Eve event

WhatsApp Rings in the New Year with a Global Outage

WhatsApp went down in several parts of the world today including parts of Europe, Asia, and South America. The crowdsourced website DownDetector found the largest concentration of outages in portions of England, Germany, and virtually all of the Netherlands, as well as parts of Italy, Spain, and central Europe. Outages were also reported in many major cities around the world, from Rio de Janeiro, Kuala Lumpur, and Tel Aviv to Dubai, Mumbai, and Toronto… “WhatsApp users around the world experienced a brief outage today that has now been resolved. We apologize for the inconvenience,” a WhatsApp spokesperson told VentureBeat in an email.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – WhatsApp Rings in the New Year with a Global Outage

Apple's iPhones Were the Best-Selling Tech Product of 2017

An anonymous reader quotes USA Today:
Once again, the iPhone was the best-selling tech product of 2017, selling more units than the No. 2 through No. 5 products combined. According to Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, who compiled the chart for USA TODAY, Apple will sell 223 million iPhones in 2017, up from 211 million phones the previous year… Apple took a risk in introducing three new iPhones for 2017…but all in all, Apple sold more iPhones total, although fewer than the peak year of 2015, when it moved 230 million units. (That was the year of the iPhone 6…)
The global market share for smartphones is dominated by Google’s Android system, which owns 85%, compared to 15% for Apple’s iOS, according to researcher IDC. But the iPhone is the most popular smartphone brand, having opened a huge gap compared to No. 2 Samsung’s Galaxy phones at 33 million. However Samsung, which has a broader portfolio of phones, sells more overall. Indeed, in 2016, Samsung shipped over 320 million phones, most lower-priced phones sold outside the United States, like the J3, On8 and A9 lines.
Apple’s strong performance through September earned CEO Tim Cook a $9.3 million bonus on top of his $3.06 million salary — plus vesting of $89.2 million more in Apple stock. Here’s the complete list of the five best-selling tech products of 2017:

Apple iPhones: 223 million Samsung Galaxy S8 and Note 8 smartphones: 33 million Amazon Echo Dot connected speakers: 24 million Apple Watch: 20 million Nintendo Switch video game console: 15 million

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Apple’s iPhones Were the Best-Selling Tech Product of 2017

The Pixelbook Is Being Used to Test Google's Fuchsia OS

New documentation pertaining to Fuschia suggests that Google’s upcoming OS, designed to run across a wide array of devices, will support higher-end laptops such as the Pixel, which has recently been listed as a “targeted” device. While the project is open source and subject to public inspection, nobody seems to know what it will really look like or how it will perform.

Does this prove the Fuchsia will someday replace Chrome OS? Definitely not. However, it does mean that Google wants to make sure the OS works on high-end laptops, like the Pixelbook. Will Fuchsia end up as a stable operating system that runs across a wide array of computers/tablets/phones, or simply a Google pet project that is eventually abandoned? Only time will tell.


Source: [H]ardOCP – The Pixelbook Is Being Used to Test Google’s Fuchsia OS

China halts production of 553 car models over fuel efficiency

The new year is proving to be a headache for some car makers in China. As of January 1st, the country has suspended production of 553 car models that didn’t meet its fuel efficiency standards. Some of these come from partnerships with foreign heavy…

Source: Engadget – China halts production of 553 car models over fuel efficiency

Research Proves Switching to the Shorter Line Almost Always Backfires

When you’re in a grocery line that seems to be going nowhere, you shouldn’t make the switch to another queue. Unless that cashier just opened up next to you with no waiting, researchers say skipping from one line to another is actually counterproductive.

Read more…

Source: LifeHacker – Research Proves Switching to the Shorter Line Almost Always Backfires

EFF Applauds 'Massive Change' to HTTPS

“The movement to encrypt the web reached milestone after milestone in 2017,” writes the EFF, adding that “the web is in the middle of a massive change from non-secure HTTP to the more secure, encrypted HTTPS protocol.”
In February, the scales tipped. For the first time, approximately half of Internet traffic was protected by HTTPS. Now, as 2017 comes to a close, an average of 66% of page loads are encrypted, and Chrome shows even higher numbers. At the beginning of the year, Let’s Encrypt had issued about 28 million certificates. In June, it surpassed 100 million certificates. Now, Let’s Encrypt’s total issuance volume has exceeded 177 million certificates…

Browsers have been pushing the movement to encrypt the web further, too. Early this year, Chrome and Firefox started showing users “Not secure” warnings when HTTP websites asked them to submit password or credit card information. In October, Chrome expanded the warning to cover all input fields, as well as all pages viewed in Incognito mode. Chrome has eventual plans to show a “Not secure” warning for all HTTP pages… The next big step in encrypting the web is ensuring that most websites default to HTTPS without ever sending people to the HTTP version of their site. The technology to do this is called HTTP Strict Transport Security (HSTS), and is being more widely adopted. Notably, the registrar for the .gov TLD announced that all new .gov domains would be set up with HSTS automatically…
The Certification Authority Authorization (CAA) standard became mandatory for all CAs to implement this year… [And] there’s plenty to look forward to in 2018. In a significant improvement to the TLS ecosystem, for example, Chrome plans to require Certificate Transparency starting next April.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – EFF Applauds ‘Massive Change’ to HTTPS

The Xbook One X: An Xbox One X Laptop

Hacker and prototyper Edward Zarick has turned Microsoft’s Xbox One X console into a portable gaming laptop. The variant doesn’t come cheap at $2,495, but it appears to work as advertised. Unfortunately, owners will still require an outlet to power the device.

Today, I am posting up my version of the Xbox One X…the Xbook One X! Yes, that’s right, another gaming laptop! This is an actual Xbox One X that has been modified and put into a custom housing that gives it much more portability than a standard Xbox. This system houses an Xbox One X, a ViewSonic 21.5″ 1080p Full HD screen, and built-in audio and keyboard.


Source: [H]ardOCP – The Xbook One X: An Xbox One X Laptop

Microsoft Says It's Time to Kill Off the Password

Microsoft’s solution to the password? You. In what is probably a veiled attempt at drumming up interest for Windows Hello, its facial, fingerprint, and iris-scanning system, the company is touting the superiority of biometrics over strings of typed text for security.

But Windows Hello isn’t infallible, at least on older versions of the OS. Last week, German security firm SYSS discovered they could trick its facial recognition tech using a printed headshot. The other big company pushing the virtues of biometric authentication is, of course, Apple. Despite several examples of its Face ID system being tricked by photos and users’ relatives, the system is still expected to arrive in the company’s other devices next year.


Source: [H]ardOCP – Microsoft Says It’s Time to Kill Off the Password