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Microsoft Employees Can Now Work In Treehouses

Slashdot - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 09:34
Microsoft's campus now features three outdoor treehouses for its employees. An anonymous reader quotes CNBC: More than 12 feet off the ground, the treehouses feature charred-wood walls, skylights, at least one gas fireplace, Wi-Fi and hidden electrical outlets. Employees can even grab a bite at an outdoor extension of the indoor cafeteria. The "more Hobbit than HQ" treehouses are designed by Pete Nelson of the TV show "Treehouse Masters" and are part of Microsoft's growing "outdoor districts..." The company touts the professional benefits of working in nature -- greater creativity, focus and happiness -- but honestly, the treehouses are just plain cool. Microsoft touts a Harvard physician who believes nature "stimulates reward neurons in your brain. It turns off the stress response, which means you have lower cortisol levels, lower heart rate and blood pressure, and improved immune response." There's a short video on the "Working at Microsoft" channel on YouTube, but I'm curious what Slashdot readers think about working outdoors. Or, in a tree...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Understanding the difference between the IMF and World Bank - CNBC

Business News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 09:13


Understanding the difference between the IMF and World Bank
The annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank are underway as policymakers from around the world gather in Washington. Both the IMF and the World Bank were conceived at the United Nations' Bretton Woods Conference in ...
Global Finance Leaders Warn Against ComplacencyU.S. News & World Report
Close gender gap to reduce inequality: IMFThe Hindu
IMF warns of vulnerabilities in financial marketJakarta Post

all 48 news articles »

Alex Gardega, Artist Behind 'Pissing Pug,' Killed By Train On Upper East Side: Report - Patch.com

Business News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 08:37


Alex Gardega, Artist Behind 'Pissing Pug,' Killed By Train On Upper East Side: Report
Gardega was struck and killed by a train at the 77th Street subway station on the Upper East Side Thursday. By Feroze Dhanoa (Patch National Staff) - Updated Oct 14, 2017 12:36 pm ET. 0. Alex Gardega, Artist Behind 'Pissing Pug,' Killed By Train On ...
'Pissing Pug' Artist Hit And Killed By Upper East Side 6 TrainGothamist
Man fatally struck by 6 train was artist who placed urinating dog statue near 'Fearless Girl' artNew York Daily News

all 7 news articles »

Dutch Police Build a Pokemon Go-Style App For Hunting Wanted Criminals

Slashdot - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 08:34
"How can the police induce citizens to help investigate crime? By trying to make it 'cool' and turning it into a game that awards points for hits," reports CSO. mrwireless writes: Through their 'police of the future' innovation initiative, and inspired by Pokemon Go, the Dutch police are building an app where you can score points by photographing the license plates of stolen cars. When a car is reported stolen the app will notify people in the neighbourhood, and then the game is on! Privacy activists are worried this creates a whole new relationship with the police, as a deputization of citizens blurs boundaries, and institutionalizes 'coveillance' -- citizens spying on citizens. It could be a slippery slope to situations that more resemble the Stasi regime's, which famously used this form of neighborly surveillance as its preferred method of control. CSO cites Spiegel Online's description of the unofficial 189,000 Stasi informants as "totally normal citizens of East Germany who betrayed others: neighbors reporting on neighbors, schoolchildren informing on classmates, university students passing along information on other students, managers spying on employees and Communist bosses denouncing party members." The Dutch police are also building another app that allows citizens to search for missing persons.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Zappos offers to help cover funeral costs of every Las Vegas victim - KMOV.com

Business News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 07:35


Zappos offers to help cover funeral costs of every Las Vegas victim
Sonny Melton, right, was among those who were shot and killed in Las Vegas on Sunday night on October 1, 2017. His wife, Heather Melton (left), an orthopedic surgeon at Innovative Orthopedics survived the shooting.
Zappos Matching up to $1M for Las Vegas Shooting Victims and Familieswnep.com
Zappos, many others working toward $1M match for victims' familiesLas Vegas Sun
Support for Las Vegas Victims | Zappos.comZappos.com

all 35 news articles »

Toshiba's Fast-Charging Battery Could Triple the Range of Electric Vehicles

Slashdot - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 07:34
Big Hairy Ian quotes New Atlas: A key focus of electric vehicle (EV) makers is maximizing the range users can get from each charge, and for that reason new battery technologies are poised to play a huge part in driving their adoption. Toshiba has developed a new fast-charging battery it claims could allow EVs to travel three times as far as they do now, and then be fully recharged again in a matter of minutes. Toshiba's SCiB (Super Charge ion Battery) has been around in various forms since 2007, with its chief claim to fame an ability to charge to 90 percent of capacity in just five minutes. It also boasts a life-span of 10 years and high levels of safety, and has found its way into a number of notable EVs, including Mitsubishi's i MiEV and Honda's Fit EV. The current SCiB uses lithium titanium oxide as its anode, but Toshiba says it has now come up with a better way of doing things. The next-generation SCiB uses a new material for the anode called titanium niobium oxide, which Toshiba was able to arrange into a crystal structure that can store lithium ions more efficiently. So much so, that the energy density has been doubled. Toshiba calls the battery "a game changing advance that will make a significant difference to the range and performance of EV," and hopes to put it "into practical application" in 2019.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tesla Just Fired Hundreds Of Workers

Slashdot - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 06:34
An anonymous reader quotes the Bay Area Newsgroup: Tesla fired hundreds of workers this week, including engineers, managers and factory workers, even as the company struggles to expand its manufacturing and product line... The company said this week's dismissals were the result of a company-wide annual review, and insisted they were not layoffs. Some workers received promotions and bonuses, and the company expects to hire for the "vast majority" of new vacancies, a spokesman said. "As with any company, especially one of over 33,000 employees, performance reviews also occasionally result in employee departures," a spokesman said. "Tesla is continuing to grow and hire new employees around the world." "Tesla has a hearing before the National Labor Relations Board in November for charges that company supervisors and security guards harassed workers distributing union literature," reports the Bay Area Newsgroup, adding that "Openly pro-union workers were among those fired this week. Some believe they were targeted." Tesla denies this, and says that they've generally boosted morale this week -- by rewarding higher-performing employees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

PayPal's Market Value Eclipses AmEx, Nears Morgan Stanley, Goldman - Wall Street Journal

Business News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 05:22

Wall Street Journal

PayPal's Market Value Eclipses AmEx, Nears Morgan Stanley, Goldman
Wall Street Journal
PayPal Holdings Inc. PYPL -0.29% vaulted over American Express Co. AXP 1.36% in terms of market value this week, punctuating a rally that has pushed up the payments company's shares by nearly 75% since the start of 2017. The San Jose, Calif.-based ...
Wealthfront Inc. Acquires 6829 Shares of PayPal Holdings, Inc. (NASDAQ:PYPL)The Ledger Gazette

all 59 news articles »

Russia Reportedly Used Pokemon Go In an Effort To Inflame Racial Tensions

Slashdot - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 05:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Russia's far-ranging campaign to promote dissension in the United States reportedly included an effort to weaponize Pokemon Go. CNN reported that in July 2016, a Tumblr page linked to Russia's now-notorious Internet Research Agency promoted a contest encouraging people sympathetic to the Black Lives Matter movement to play the game near famous sites of police brutality. Players were told to change their characters' names to the victims of those incidents -- an apparent effort to inflame racial tensions. The Tumblr page was linked to Do Not Shoot Us, a multi-platform campaign designed to mimic aspects of Black Lives Matter. (As CNN notes, the name plays on "hands up, don't shoot," one of the movement's slogans.) Do Not Shoot Us included a website, donotshoot.us, along with related pages on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube. The Facebook page was one of 470 pages that were removed after the company determined that it was linked to Russian groups attempting to interfere in US politics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Retire Smarter: Big Social Security Changes For 2018 And FTG Portfolio Supplements - Seeking Alpha

Business News - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 04:01

Seeking Alpha

Retire Smarter: Big Social Security Changes For 2018 And FTG Portfolio Supplements
Seeking Alpha
We'll take a look at how some of these changes affect retirement planning using a dividend growth approach like the Fill-The-Gap Portfolio. Subscribers to "Retirement: One Dividend At A Time" got an early look at this material via free instant text ...
2 percent federal retirement COLA set for JanuaryWashington Post
Social Security: 3 Smart Ways to Get More BenefitsMotley Fool
Gotcha! Social Security Benefits Rising 2% In 2018, But Most Retirees Won't See Extra CashForbes
TIME -InvestmentNews -Madison.com -The Mercury News
all 145 news articles »

Google Slashes Prices of Its USB-C Headphone Dongle Following Minor Outrage

Slashdot - Sat, 10/14/2017 - 02:00
At its hardware event last week, Google unveiled its two new flagship smartphones: the Pixel 2 and Pixel 2 XL. While these devices feature high-end specifications and the latest version of Android, they both lack headphone jacks, upsetting many consumers who still rely heavily on wired headphones. To add insult to injury, Google announced a USB-C adapter for a whopping price of $20 -- that's $11 more than Apple's Lightning to 3.5mm adapter. This resulted in some minor outrage and caused Google to rethink its decision(s). As reported by 9to5Google, Google decided to slash the price of the dongle by over 50%. It is now priced at a more reasonable $9.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microwave Tech Could Produce 40TB Hard Drives In the Near Future

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 23:00
Western Digital has announced a potential game changer that promises to expand the limits of traditional HDDs to up to 40TBs using a microwave-based write head, and the company says it will be able to the public in 2019. Gizmodo reports: Western Digital's new approach, microwave-assisted magnetic recording (MAMR), can utilize the company's existing production chain to cram a lot more storage onto a 3.5-inch disk. In a technical overview, Western Digital says it has managed to overcome the biggest issue with traditional HDD drive storage -- the size of the write head. These days, an average hard drive maxes out in the 10-14TB range. But by integrating a new write head, "a spin torque oscillator," microwaves can create the energy levels necessary for copying data within a lower magnetic field than was ever previously possible. There's a more thorough white paper for those who want to dive in. According to Western Digital, MAMR has "the capability to extend areal density gains up to 4 Terabits per square inch." By the year 2025, it hopes to be packing 40TBs into the same size drive it offers today.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Magic Mushrooms 'Reboot' Brain In Depressed People, Study Suggests

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 19:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Magic mushrooms may effectively "reset" the activity of key brain circuits known to play a role in depression, the latest study to highlight the therapeutic benefits of psychedelics suggests. Psychedelics have shown promising results in the treatment of depression and addictions in a number of clinical trials over the last decade. Imperial College London researchers used psilocybin -- the psychoactive compound that occurs naturally in magic mushrooms -- to treat a small number of patients with depression, monitoring their brain function, before and after. Images of patients' brains revealed changes in brain activity that were associated with marked and lasting reductions in depressive symptoms and participants in the trial reported benefits lasting up to five weeks after treatment. Dr Robin Carhart-Harris, head of psychedelic research at Imperial, who led the study, said: "We have shown for the first time clear changes in brain activity in depressed people treated with psilocybin after failing to respond to conventional treatments. Several of our patients described feeling 'reset' after the treatment and often used computer analogies. For example, one said he felt like his brain had been 'defragged' like a computer hard drive, and another said he felt 'rebooted.' Psilocybin may be giving these individuals the temporary 'kick start' they need to break out of their depressive states and these imaging results do tentatively support a 'reset' analogy. Similar brain effects to these have been seen with electroconvulsive therapy." The study has been published in Scientific Reports.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Latest iOS Update Shows Apple Can Use Software To Break Phones Repaired By Independent Shops

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 18:05
The latest version of iOS fixes several bugs, including one that caused a loss of touch functionality on a small subset of phones that had been repaired with certain third-party screens and had been updated to iOS 11. "Addresses an issue where touch input was unresponsive on some iPhone 6S displays because they were not serviced with genuine Apple parts," the update reads. "Note: Non-genuine replacement displays may have compromised visual quality and may fail to work correctly. Apple-certified screen repairs are performed by trusted experts who use genuine Apple parts. See support.apple.com for more information." Jason Koebler writes via Motherboard: "This is a reminder that Apple seems to have the ability to push out software updates that can kill hardware and replacement parts it did not sell iPhone customers itself, and that it can fix those same issues remotely." From the report: So let's consider what actually happened here. iPhones that had been repaired and were in perfect working order suddenly stopped working after Apple updated its software. Apple was then able to fix the problem remotely. Apple then put out a warning blaming the parts that were used to do the repair. Poof -- phone doesn't work. Poof -- phone works again. In this case, not all phones that used third party parts were affected, and there's no reason to think that, in this case, Apple broke these particular phones on purpose. But there is currently nothing stopping the company from using software to control unauthorized repair: For instance, you cannot replace the home button on an iPhone 7 without Apple's proprietary "Horizon Machine" that re-syncs a new home button with the repaired phone. This software update is concerning because it not only undermines the reputation of independent repair among Apple customers, but because it shows that phones that don't use "genuine" parts could potentially one day be bricked remotely.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Over 500 Million PCs Are Secretly Mining Cryptocurrency, Researchers Reveal

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 17:25
Ad blocking firm AdGuard has found that over 500 million people are inadvertently mining cryptocurrencies through their computers after visiting websites that are running background mining software. The company found 220 popular websites with an aggregated audience of half a billion people use so-called crypto-mining scripts when a user opens their main page. Newsweek reports: The mining tool works by hijacking a computer's central processing unit (CPU), commonly referred to as "the brains" of a computer. Using part of a computer's CPU to mine bitcoin effects the machine's overall performance and will slow it down by using up processing power. The researchers found that bitcoin browser mining is mostly found on websites "with a shady reputation" due to the trouble such sites have with earning revenue through advertising. However, in the future it could become a legitimate and ethical way of making money if the website requests the permission of the visitor first. "220 sites may not seem like a lot," the researchers wrote in a blogpost detailing their discovery. "But CoinHive was launched less than one month ago on September 14. The growth has been extremely rapid: from nearly zero to .22 percent of Alexa's top 100,000 websites. "This analysis well illustrates the whole web, so it's safe to say that one of every forty websites currently mines cryptocurrency (namely Monero) in the browsers their users employ."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ford offers free repairs to address Explorer exhaust gas concerns - USA TODAY

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 17:05


Ford offers free repairs to address Explorer exhaust gas concerns
Ford says it wants to offer peace of mind to owners of more than 1.35 million Explorer SUVs concerned about exhaust fumes, so the Dearborn automaker will inspect and repair the vehicles, if necessary, for free. Elizabeth Weigandt, Ford's safety ...
Ford offers repairs to prevent exhaust leaks in 1.4 million ExplorersReuters
Ford offers repairs to address Explorer exhaust gas concernsABC News
Ford Offers Free Exhaust-Fume Inspections on Explorer SUVsWall Street Journal
The Detroit News -WLNS
all 9 news articles »

Samsung Electronics CEO Resigns Over 'Unprecedented Crisis'

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 17:05
According to BBC, Samsung Electronics chief executive Kwon Oh-hyun has resigned, saying the company is in an "unprecedented crisis." It's the latest management upheaval at the firm after the heir of the entire Samsung Group was imprisoned for corruption in August. From the report: Mr Kwon is one of three co-chief executives of Samsung Electronics. His resignation comes on the same day the firm forecast record quarterly profits, citing higher memory chip prices. Mr Kwon said he had been thinking about his departure "for quite some time" and could "no longer put it off." "As we are confronted with unprecedented crisis inside out, I believe that time has now come for the company [to] start anew, with a new spirit and young leadership to better respond to challenges arising from the rapidly changing IT industry," he said in a statement. He will remain on the board of Samsung Electronics until March 2018.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Steve Wozniak Announces Tech Education Platform 'Woz U'

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 16:45
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder who changed the world alongside Steve Jobs, has today announced the launch of Woz U. According to the release, Woz U will start as an online learning platform focused on both students and companies that will eventually hire those students. Woz U is based out of Arizona, and hopes to launch physical locations for learning in more than 30 cities across the globe. At launch, the curriculum will center around computer support specialists and software developers, with courses on data science, mobile applications and cybersecurity coming in the future. Alongside the education platform, Woz U will also offer platforms for tech companies to recruit, train and retain their workforce through on-site customized programs and subscription-based curricula. There also will be a platform for K-12 students, which will be distributed to school districts, that will offer STEAM programs to identify talent and nudge those individuals into a tech-based career. And if that weren't enough, Woz U will eventually introduce an accelerator program "to identify and develop elite tech talent." Woz U also has an app on the App Store that will help people understand which field of tech they're best suited for, so they can set up their curriculum accordingly. Pricing has yet to be announced.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple To Ditch Touch ID Altogether For All of Next Year's iPhones

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 16:05
Earlier this week, a report said that Apple is planning to equip next year's iPad Pro with the hardware necessary for Face ID. Now, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, it appears the company is taking that one step further with its 2018 iPhones. All of the iPhones Apple plans to produce next year will reportedly abandon the Touch ID fingerprint sensor in favor of facial recognition. Mac Rumors reports: According to Kuo, Apple will embrace Face ID as its authentication method for a competitive advantage over Android smartphones. Kuo has previously said that it could take years for Android smartphone manufacturers to produce technology that can match the TrueDepth camera and the Face ID feature coming in the iPhone X. Face ID, says Kuo, will continue to be a major selling point of the new iPhone models in 2018, with Apple planning to capitalize on its lead in 3D sensing design and production. Kuo's prediction suggests that all upcoming 2018 iPhones will feature a full-screen design with minimal bezels like the iPhone X, meaning no additional models with the iPhone 8/iPhone 8 Plus design would be produced. That would spell the end of the line for Touch ID in the iPhone, which has been available as a biometric authentication option since 2013.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Flight 666 to HEL took off one last time this Friday the 13th - Washington Post

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 16:01

Washington Post

Flight 666 to HEL took off one last time this Friday the 13th
Washington Post
Just after the 13th hour on Friday, Oct. 13, Flight 666 took off for HEL — the International Air Transport Association code for Helsinki-Vantaa Airport in Finland — for one last time. The Finnair flight departed Copenhagen, and landed safely roughly ...
Twitter turns over 'handles' of 201 Russia-linked accountsMiami Herald
Flight 666 just made its last trip to HEL on Friday the 13thUSA TODAY
Finnair Flight 666 Just Made Its Final Trip To Helsinki, Finland, On Friday The 13th, & It's The End Of An EraBustle
CNET -WTSP 10 News -ABC Online -Elite Daily
all 84 news articles »
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