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Inside DJI's 'Robomasters' Robotics Competition

11:03
pacopico writes: Every year, DJI hosts a robotics competition called Robomasters. It draws in hundreds of engineering students from around the world for two weeks of all out robotics mayhem. The students build and then control robotic vehicles that blast away at each other with rubber bullets, while drones strafe from overhead. Bloomberg Businessweek did a short documentary on the competition and everything that goes with it, including a reality TV show, an anime series, and final battle atte...

Asteroid Strikes 'Increase Threefold Over Last 300 Million Years,' Survey Finds

8:14
According to a survey of asteroid craters at least 6.2 miles wide, the number of asteroids slamming into Earth has nearly tripled since the dinosaurs first roamed. "Researchers worked out the rate of asteroid strikes on the moon and the Earth and found that in the past 290 million years the number of collisions had increased dramatically," reports The Guardian. "Before that time, the planet suffered an asteroid strike about once every 3 million years, but since then the rate has risen to once...

Researchers Created Artificial Cells That Can Communicate With Each Other

4:55
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Friedrich Simmel and Aurore Dupin, researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), have for the first time created artificial cell assemblies that can communicate with each other. The cells, separated by fatty membranes, exchange small chemical signaling molecules to trigger more complex reactions, such as the production of RNA and other proteins. Scientists around the world are working on creating artificial, cell-like systems that ...

Google Faces Renewed Protests and Criticism Over China Search Project

3:48
On Friday, a coalition of Chinese, Tibetan, Uighur, and human rights groups organized demonstrations outside Google's offices in the U.S., U.K., Canada, India, Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Sweden, Switzerland, and Denmark, protesting the company's plan to launch a censored version of its search engine in China. The Intercept reports: Google designed the Chinese search engine, code-named Dragonfly, to blacklist information about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, in accordan...

Firmware Vulnerability In Popular Wi-Fi Chipset Affects Laptops, Smartphones, Routers, Gaming Devices

3:14
Embedi security researcher Denis Selianin has discovered a vulnerability affecting the firmware of a popular Wi-Fi chipset deployed in a wide range of devices, such as laptops, smartphones, gaming rigs, routers, and Internet of Things (IoT) devices. According to Selianin, the vulnerability impacts ThreadX, a real-time operating system that is used as firmware for billions of devices. ZDNet reports: In a report published today, Selianin described how someone could exploit the ThreadX firmware ...

Identical Twins Test 5 DNA Ancestry Kits, Get Different Results On Each

2:41
Freshly Exhumed writes: Uh-oh, something is not right with the results of most popular DNA ancestry kits, as a pair of identical twins have found. Charlsie Agro and her twin sister, Carly, bought home kits from AncestryDNA, MyHeritage, 23andMe, FamilyTreeDNA and Living DNA, and mailed samples of their DNA to each company for analysis. Despite having virtually identical DNA, the twins did not receive matching results from any of the companies. "The fact that they present different results for ...

Giving Algorithms a Sense of Uncertainty Could Make Them More Ethical

2:08
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: Algorithms are increasingly being used to make ethical decisions. They are built to pursue a single mathematical goal, such as maximizing the number of soldiers' lives saved or minimizing the number of civilian deaths. When you start dealing with multiple, often competing, objectives or try to account for intangibles like "freedom" and "well-being," a satisfactory mathematical solution doesn't always exist. "We as humans want mul...

Microsoft Suggests Windows 10 Mobile Users Switch To iOS or Android As Support Winds Down

1:35
Windows 10 Mobile devices will be officially unsupported starting on December 10, 2019. As a result, Microsoft is recommending users move to an Android or iOS device instead. Mac Rumors reports: Microsoft made the recommendation in a Windows 10 Mobile support document (via Thurrott) explaining its plans to stop offering security updates and patches for Windows 10 Mobile: "With the Windows 10 Mobile OS end of support, we recommend that customers move to a supported Android or iOS device. Micro...

Tesla Is Cutting 7 Percent of Its Workforce To Reduce Model 3 Price

0:28
Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced today that the company would cut 7% of its workforce in order to cut costs as the company prepares to ramp up production and boost margins as they get closer to releasing the long-awaited $35,000 version of the Model 3. CNBC reports: Musk says Tesla faces "an extremely difficult challenge" in making their products a competitive alternative to traditional vehicles, adding that he expects Q4 profit to come in significantly lower than Q3. Five experts weigh in on wh...

Russian Hackers Allegedly Attempted To Breach the DNC After the 2018 Midterms

23:49
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fortune: Russian hackers attempted to breach Democratic National Committee email addresses in a spear-phishing campaign just after the 2018 midterms, according to a DNC court document filed Thursday night. "The content of these emails and their timestamps were consistent with a spear-phishing campaign that leading cybersecurity experts have tied to Russian intelligence," reads the complaint. "Therefore, it is probable that Russian intelligence again at...

The Government's Secret UFO Program Funded Research on Wormholes and Extra Dimensions

23:16
Documents released by the Department of Defense reveal some of what its infamous Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program was working on. From a report: The Department of Defense funded research on wormholes, invisibility cloaking, and "the manipulation of extra dimensions" under its shadowy Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program, first described in 2017 by the New York Times and the Washington Post. On Wednesday, the Defense Intelligence Agency released a list of 38 researc...

Cassette Album Sales in the US Grew By 23% in 2018

22:42
An anonymous reader shares a report: Thanks to such acts as Britney Spears, Twenty One Pilots and Guns N' Roses, along with soundtracks from the Guardians of the Galaxy franchise -- which boasts the year's top two sellers -- and Netflix's Stranger Things series, cassette tape album sales in the U.S. grew by 23 percent in 2018. According to Nielsen Music, cassette album sales climbed from 178,000 in 2017 to 219,000 copies in 2018. While that's a small number compared to the overall album marke...

Europe's Controversial 'Link Tax' in Doubt After Member States Rebel

22:08
Copyright activists just scored a major victory in the ongoing fight over the European Union's new copyright rules. An upcoming summit to advance the EU's copyright directive has been canceled, as member states objected to the incoming rules as too restrictive to online creators. From a report: The EU's forthcoming copyright rules had drawn attention from activists for two measures, designated as Article 11 and Article 13, that would give publishers rights over snippets of news content shared...

US Regulators Have Met To Discuss Imposing a Record-Setting Fine Against Facebook For Some of Its Privacy Violations: Report

21:35
U.S. regulators have met to discuss imposing a record-setting fine against Facebook for violating a legally binding agreement with the government to protect the privacy of its users' personal data, The Washington Post reported Friday [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], citing three people familiar with the deliberations. From the report: The fine under consideration at the Federal Trade Commission, a privacy and security watchdog that began probing Facebook last ye...

Firefox To Remove UI Dark Pattern From Screenshot Tool After Months of Complaints

21:00
After months of user complaints, Mozilla will remove a misleading "dark pattern" from its page screenshot utility. From a report: The problematic feature is the "Save" button that appears when Firefox users take a screenshot. The issue is that the Save button doesn't save the screenshot to the PC, as most users would naturally expect, but uploads the image to a Mozilla server. This is both a privacy violation, as some users don't appreciate being tricked into uploading sensitive images saved ...
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