Geeky Stuff

CDC Says Fully Vaccinated People Don't Need To Wear Face Masks Indoors or Outdoors in Most Settings

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 20:46
Fully vaccinated people no longer need to wear a face mask or stay 6 feet away from others in most settings, whether outdoors or indoors, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said in updated public health guidance released Thursday. From a report: There are a handful of instances where people will still need to wear masks -- in a health-care setting, at a business that requires them -- even if they've had their final vaccine dose two or more weeks ago, CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky told reporters at a press briefing. Fully vaccinated people will still need to wear masks on airplanes, buses, trains and other public transportation, she said. "Anyone who is fully vaccinated can participate in indoor and outdoor activities, large or small, without wearing a mask or physical distancing," Walensky said. "If you are fully vaccinated, you can start doing the things that you had stopped doing because of the pandemic. We have all longed for this moment, when we can get back to some sense of normalcy." Walensky said unvaccinated people should still continue to wear masks, adding they remain at risk of mild or severe illness, death and risk spreading the disease to others. People with compromised immune systems should speak with their doctor before giving up their masks, she said. She added there is always a chance the CDC could change its guidance again if the pandemic worsens or additional variants emerge.

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A Podcast App is Exposing Subscribers-only Shows

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 20:10
The beauty and misery of private RSS feeds. An anonymous reader shares a report: There's only supposed to be one way to hear exclusive podcast content from sports host Scott Wetzel: by paying $5 a month to subscribe to his Patreon. But the show's also been available on a smaller podcasting app for free. In fact, leaked podcast feeds from dozens of subscription-only shows, including Wetzel's and The Last Podcast On The Left, are available to stream through Castbox, a smaller app for both iOS and Android, just by searching for them. Two people in the podcast space tell me they've reached out to Castbox multiple times, only for the company to remove a show and then have it pop up again, an infuriating cycle for someone trying to charge for their content. "It's a little bit like playing whack-a-mole with them," says one source, who asked to remain anonymous because of their ongoing work in the space. Podcast subscriptions have existed for years, but they've gained wider attention this past month. Apple, which makes the dominant podcasting app, introduced in-app subscriptions with a button that lets people directly subscribe to a show from the app. Spotify announced its own subscription product, too, but with caveats -- the main one being there's no actual in-app button.

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System76 Unveils Open Source 'Launch Configurable Keyboard' for Linux, Windows, and macOS

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 19:27
System76 today unveiled its newest product -- the "Launch Configurable Keyboard." It is a mechanical keyboard made in the USA with a focus on open source. The Launch has both open source firmware and hardware. Even the configuration software -- which runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS -- is open source. From a report: "With a wide swath of customization options, the Launch is flexible to a variety of needs and use cases. The keyboard's thoughtful design keeps everything within reach, vastly reducing awkward hand contortions. Launch comes with additional keycaps and a convenient keycap puller, meaning one can swap keys based on personal workflow preferences to maximize efficiency. Launch also features a novel split Space Bar, which allows the user to swap out one Space Bar keycap for Shift, Backspace, or Function to reduce hand fatigue while typing. Launch uses only three keycap sizes to vastly expand configuration options," says System76. The keyboard, which has a removable USB-C cable for connectivity, is priced at $285.

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Climate Change Is Making Big Problems Bigger

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 18:42
New data compiled by the E.P.A. shows how global warming is making life harder for Americans in myriad ways that threaten their health, safety and homes. From a report: Wildfires are bigger, and starting earlier in the year. Heat waves are more frequent. Seas are warmer, and flooding is more common. The air is getting hotter. Even ragweed pollen season is beginning sooner. Climate change is already happening around the United States, the Environmental Protection Agency said on Wednesday. And in many cases, that change is speeding up. The freshly compiled data, the federal government's most comprehensive and up-to-date information yet, shows that a warming world is making life harder for Americans, in ways that threaten their health and safety, homes and communities. And it comes as the Biden administration is trying to propel aggressive action at home and abroad to cut the pollution that is raising global temperatures. "There is no small town, big city or rural community that is unaffected by the climate crisis," Michael S. Regan, the E.P.A. administrator, said on Wednesday. "Americans are seeing and feeling the impacts up close, with increasing regularity." The data released Wednesday came after a four-year gap. Until 2016, the E.P.A. regularly updated its climate indicators. But under President Donald J. Trump, who repeatedly questioned whether the planet was warming, the data was frozen in time. It was available on the agency's website but was not kept current. The Biden administration revived the effort this year and added some new measures, pulling information from government agencies, universities and other sources. The E.P.A. used 54 separate indicators which, taken together, paint a grim picture.

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Colonial Pipeline Paid Hackers Nearly $5 Million in Ransom

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 18:02
Colonial Pipeline paid nearly $5 million to Eastern European hackers on Friday, contradicting reports earlier this week that the company had no intention of paying an extortion fee to help restore the country's largest fuel pipeline, Bloomberg reported Thursday, citing two people familiar with the transaction. From the report: The company paid the hefty ransom in untraceable cryptocurrency within hours after the attack, underscoring the immense pressure faced by the Georgia-based operator to get gasoline and jet fuel flowing again to major cities along the Eastern Seaboard, those people said. Once they received the payment, the hackers provided the operator with a decrypting tool to restore its disabled computer network. The tool was so slow that the company continued using its own backups to help restore the system, one of the people familiar with the company's efforts said.

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WeWork CEO Says Least Engaged Employees Enjoy Working From Home

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 17:23
The CEO of WeWork thinks there is an easy way for companies to spot their most engaged employees: They're the ones who want to come back to the office. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sandeep Mathrani said, "Those who are uberly engaged with the company want to go to the office two-thirds of the time, at least. Those who are least engaged are very comfortable working from home. [...] People are happier when they come to work. The bigger issue is do you come to work five days a week or do you come to work three days a week? That's the bigger issue. There's no issue of not coming to a common place."

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Michigan GOP Lawmaker Floats Bill To Register and Fine 'Fact Checkers'

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 16:43
A Michigan lawmaker who's been at the center of efforts to question the 2020 election introduced a bill Tuesday that would require "fact checkers" to register with the state. From a report: Rep. Matt Maddock, R-Milford, wrote the legislation, which was co-sponsored by eight other Republican House members, about five months after Maddock floated the idea of licensing fact checkers on Twitter. The "Fact Checker Registration Act" defines a fact checker as someone who publishes in print or online in Michigan, is paid by a fact-checking organization and is a member of the International Fact Check Network. The network is a reference to the Poynter Institute's International Fact-Checking Network, a unit launched by the journalism group in 2015 to train and develop best practices in fact checking, Maddock said. The bill requires qualifying fact checkers to file proof of a $1 million fidelity bond with the Secretary of State's office, which will be tasked with developing the "form and manner of registration and filing." An "affected person" could bring a civil action in any county district court to claim the bond for "any wrongful conduct that is a violation of the laws of this state." The bond could be forfeited at the discretion of the judge for "demonstrable harm" stemming from something a fact checker wrote, Maddock wrote. Fact checkers found to be in violation of the registry requirements could be fined $1,000 per day of violation.

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South Korea Unveils $450 Billion Push for Global Chipmaking Crown

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 16:02
South Korea unveiled ambitious plans to spend roughly $450 billion to build the world's biggest chipmaking base over the next decade, joining China and the U.S. in a global race to dominate the key technology. From a report: Samsung Electronics and SK Hynix will lead more than 510 trillion won of investment in semiconductor research and production in the years to 2030 under a national blueprint devised by President Moon Jae-in's administration. They'll be among 153 companies fueling the decade-long push, intended to safeguard the nation's most economically crucial industry. Moon got a briefing from chip executives on the initiative Thursday during a visit to the country's most advanced chip factory, a Samsung plant south of Seoul. Samsung is boosting its spending by 30% to $151 billion through 2030 while Hynix is committing $97 billion to expansion at existing facilities in addition to its $106 billion plan for four new plants in Yongin, co-Chief Executive Officer Park Jung-ho said during the event. "Major global competitors are pressing ahead with massive investment to be the first to take the future market," Moon said in a speech. "Our companies have been taking risks and innovating as well and have completed preparations for tumultuous times."

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Hacker Group Behind Colonial Pipeline Attack Claims It Has Three New Victims

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 15:00
PolygamousRanchKid shares a report from CNBC: The hacker group DarkSide claimed on Wednesday to have attacked three more companies, despite the global outcry over its attack on Colonial Pipeline this week, which has caused shortages of gasoline and panic buying on the East Coast of the U.S. Over the past 24 hours, the group posted the names of three new companies on its site on the dark web, called DarkSide Leaks. The information posted to the site includes summaries of what the hackers appear to have stolen but do not appear to contain raw data. DarkSide is a criminal gang, and its claims should be treated as potentially misleading. The posting indicates that the hacker collective is not backing down in the face of an FBI investigation and denunciations of the attack from the Biden administration. It also signals that the group intends to carry out more ransom attacks on companies, even after it posted a cryptic message earlier this week indicating regret about the impact of the Colonial Pipeline hack and pledging to introduce "moderation" to "avoid social consequences in the future." One of the companies is based in the United States, one is in Brazil and the third is in Scotland. None of them appear to engage in critical infrastructure. Each company appears to be small enough that a crippling hack would otherwise fly under the radar if the hackers hadn't received worldwide notoriety by crippling gasoline supplies in the United States. In a separate report from The Associated Press, the East Coast pipeline company was found to have "atrocious" information management practices and "a patchwork of poorly connected and secured systems," according to an outside audit from three years ago. Slashdot reader wiredmikey shares an excerpt from the report: "We found glaring deficiencies and big problems," said Robert F. Smallwood, whose consulting firm delivered an 89-page report in January 2018 after a six-month audit. "I mean an eighth-grader could have hacked into that system." Colonial said it initiated the restart of pipeline operations on Wednesday afternoon and that it would take several days for supply delivery to return to normal.

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GTA 5 Graphics Are Now Being Boosted By Advanced AI At Intel

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 12:00
Researchers at Intel Labs have applied machine learning techniques to GTA 5 to make it look incredibly realistic. Gizmodo reports: [I]nstead of training a neural network on famous masterpieces, the researchers at Intel Labs relied on the Cityscapes Dataset, a collection of images of a German city's urban center captured by a car's built-in camera, for training. When a different artistic style is applied to footage using machine learning techniques, the results are often temporally unstable, which means that frame by frame there are weird artifacts jumping around, appearing and reappearing, that diminish how real the results look. With this new approach, the rendered effects exhibit none of those telltale artifacts, because in addition to processing the footage rendered by Grand Theft Auto V's game engine, the neural network also uses other rendered data the game's engine has access to, like the depth of objects in a scene, and information about how the lighting is being processed and rendered. That's a gross simplification -- you can read a more in-depth explanation of the research here -- but the results are remarkably photorealistic. The surface of the road is smoothed out, highlights on vehicles look more pronounced, and the surrounding hills in several clips look more lush and alive with vegetation. What's even more impressive is that the researchers think, with the right hardware and further optimization, the gameplay footage could be enhanced by their convolutional network at "interactive rates" -- another way to say in real-time -- when baked into a video game's rendering engine.

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First Fully Civilian Flight To Space Station Moves Forward With NASA Contract

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 09:00
NASA and Houston-based Axiom Space have signed a "mission order" setting the stage for four civilians to visit the International Space Station early next year, the first fully commercial flight to the orbiting lab complex, agency managers said Monday. CBS News reports: Axiom's "AX-1" mission and an upcoming charity-driven flight to low-Earth orbit, both aboard SpaceX Crew Dragon capsules, represent "a renaissance in U.S. human spaceflight," said Phil McAlister, NASA's director of commercial spaceflight development. "I think that's the perfect word for what we're experiencing," he said of the growing commercial space market, which includes the anticipated certification of Boeing's CST-100 Starliner and upcoming sub-orbital flights by Blue Origin and Virgin Galactic. "This is a real inflection point, I think, with human spaceflight." Axiom Space, led by Mike Suffredini, NASA's former space station program manager, announced last year that it plans to launch a four-man crew to the space station aboard a SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule. The launch is currently targeted for a January timeframe. Axiom Vice President Mike Lopez-Alegria, a former NASA astronaut and space station commander, will serve as commander of the AX-1 mission, which is expected to last about 10 days. Joining him will be Larry Connor, an American entrepreneur, Canadian investor and philanthropist Mark Pathy and Israeli investor Eytan Stibbe, a former fighter pilot. Lopez-Alegria on Monday told reporters that the crew will participate in centrifuge training and flights to simulate weightlessness starting next week, followed by a camping trip to Alaska in July for "bonding and leadership training." Lopez-Alegria and Connor, the mission pilot, will begin SpaceX flight training shortly thereafter before the entire crew begins space station familiarization at the Johnson Space Center in October. [...] Axiom is not paying list price for the AX-1 mission, in part because planning began before the new price guidelines were determined and because the company will be providing services to NASA that the agency would otherwise have to pay for. The mission order announced Monday covers just $1.69 million. Additional agreements remain to be negotiated.

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Facebook-Backed Diem Abandons Swiss License Application, Will Move To the US

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 07:30
Facebook-backed digital currency project Diem -- formerly known as Libra -- said Wednesday it has withdrawn its application for a Swiss payment license and will instead shift its operations to the United States. From a report: The Diem Association, which oversees development of the Diem digital currency, had been pursuing a payment system license with Switzerland's FINMA watchdog. Diem has now dropped plans to secure Swiss regulatory approval, while its U.S. subsidiary has partnered with Silvergate, a California state-chartered bank, to issue the token. "While our plans take the project fully within the US regulatory perimeter and no longer require a license from FINMA, the project has benefited greatly from the intensive licensing process in Switzerland and the constructive feedback from FINMA and more than two dozen other regulatory authorities from around the world convened by FINMA to consider the project," Stuart Levy, Diem's CEO, said in a statement. Diem said it plans to move its operational headquarters from Geneva to Washington, D.C., where its U.S. unit is based.

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Neural Implant Lets Paralyzed Person Type By Imagining Writing

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: This week, the academic community provided a rather impressive example of the promise of neural implants. Using an implant, a paralyzed individual managed to type out roughly 90 characters per minute simply by imagining that he was writing those characters out by hand. Somewhere in our writing thought process, we form the intention of using a specific character, and using an implant to track this intention could potentially work. Unfortunately, the process is not especially well understood. Downstream of that intention, a decision is transmitted to the motor cortex, where it's translated into actions. Again, there's an intent stage, where the motor cortex determines it will form the letter (by typing or writing, for example), which is then translated into the specific muscle motions required to perform the action. These processes are much better understood, and they're what the research team targeted for their new work. Specifically, the researchers placed two implants in the premotor cortex of a paralyzed person. This area is thought to be involved in forming the intentions to perform movements. Catching these intentions is much more likely to produce a clear signal than catching the movements themselves, which are likely to be complex (any movement involves multiple muscles) and depend on context (where your hand is relative to the page you're writing on, etc.). With the implants in the right place, the researchers asked the participant to imagine writing letters on a page and recorded the neural activity as he did so. Altogether, there were roughly 200 electrodes in the participant's premotor cortex. Not all of them were informative for letter-writing. But for those that were, the authors performed a principal component analysis, which identified the features of the neural recordings that differed the most when various letters were imagined. Converting these recordings into a two-dimensional plot, it was obvious that the activity seen when writing a single character always clustered together. And physically similar characters -- p and b, for example, or h, n, and r -- formed clusters near each other. (The researchers also asked the participant to do punctuation marks like a comma and question mark and used a > to indicate a space and a tilde for a period.) Overall, the researchers found they could decipher the appropriate character with an accuracy of a bit over 94 percent, but the system required a relatively slow analysis after the neural data was recorded. To get things working in real time, the researchers trained a recurrent neural network to estimate the probability of a signal corresponding to each letter. Despite working with a relatively small amount of data (only 242 sentences' worth of characters), the system worked remarkably well. The lag between the thought and a character appearing on screen was only about half a second, and the participant was able to produce about 90 characters per minute, easily topping the previous record for implant-driven typing, which was about 25 characters per minute. The raw error rate was only about 5 percent, and applying a system like a typing autocorrect could drop the error rate down to only 1 percent. The tests were all done with prepared sentences. Once the system was validated, however, the researchers asked the participant to type out free-form answers to questions. Here, the speed went down a bit (to 75 characters a minute) and errors went up to 2 percent after autocorrection, but the system still worked. The findings have been published in the journal Nature.

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Neural Implant Lets Paralyzed Person Type By Imaging Writing

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 05:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: This week, the academic community provided a rather impressive example of the promise of neural implants. Using an implant, a paralyzed individual managed to type out roughly 90 characters per minute simply by imagining that he was writing those characters out by hand. Somewhere in our writing thought process, we form the intention of using a specific character, and using an implant to track this intention could potentially work. Unfortunately, the process is not especially well understood. Downstream of that intention, a decision is transmitted to the motor cortex, where it's translated into actions. Again, there's an intent stage, where the motor cortex determines it will form the letter (by typing or writing, for example), which is then translated into the specific muscle motions required to perform the action. These processes are much better understood, and they're what the research team targeted for their new work. Specifically, the researchers placed two implants in the premotor cortex of a paralyzed person. This area is thought to be involved in forming the intentions to perform movements. Catching these intentions is much more likely to produce a clear signal than catching the movements themselves, which are likely to be complex (any movement involves multiple muscles) and depend on context (where your hand is relative to the page you're writing on, etc.). With the implants in the right place, the researchers asked the participant to imagine writing letters on a page and recorded the neural activity as he did so. Altogether, there were roughly 200 electrodes in the participant's premotor cortex. Not all of them were informative for letter-writing. But for those that were, the authors performed a principal component analysis, which identified the features of the neural recordings that differed the most when various letters were imagined. Converting these recordings into a two-dimensional plot, it was obvious that the activity seen when writing a single character always clustered together. And physically similar characters -- p and b, for example, or h, n, and r -- formed clusters near each other. (The researchers also asked the participant to do punctuation marks like a comma and question mark and used a > to indicate a space and a tilde for a period.) Overall, the researchers found they could decipher the appropriate character with an accuracy of a bit over 94 percent, but the system required a relatively slow analysis after the neural data was recorded. To get things working in real time, the researchers trained a recurrent neural network to estimate the probability of a signal corresponding to each letter. Despite working with a relatively small amount of data (only 242 sentences' worth of characters), the system worked remarkably well. The lag between the thought and a character appearing on screen was only about half a second, and the participant was able to produce about 90 characters per minute, easily topping the previous record for implant-driven typing, which was about 25 characters per minute. The raw error rate was only about 5 percent, and applying a system like a typing autocorrect could drop the error rate down to only 1 percent. The tests were all done with prepared sentences. Once the system was validated, however, the researchers asked the participant to type out free-form answers to questions. Here, the speed went down a bit (to 75 characters a minute) and errors went up to 2 percent after autocorrection, but the system still worked. The findings have been published in the journal Nature.

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GasBuddy Tops Apple App Store Amid Gas Shortages From Colonial Pipeline Shutdown

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 02:50
GasBuddy, an app that helps users find and save money on gas, topped the Apple App Store on Wednesday, as some consumers across the East Coast continue to struggle to find fuel after a cyberattack on Colonial Pipeline. CNBC reports: The company's pipeline has served as a vital link between the Gulf Coast refiners and the Eastern Seaboard, but the company had to take its entire system offline Friday after it fell victim to a ransomware attack. Much of the system is still offline. Now, consumers are flocking to grab gas before tanks run out. Sixty-five percent of stations in North Carolina are out of fuel, according to data from GasBuddy. In South Carolina and Georgia, 43% of stations are without fuel, and 44% of stations are dry in Virginia, according to AAA. Gas prices have also surged because of the supply issues and fear of shortages. On average, Americans are paying $3.008 for a gallon of gas, up from $2.985 on Tuesday and $2.927 one week ago, AAA said earlier this week. This has all led consumers to seek gas stations that have supply and potentially cheaper prices. That's where GasBuddy comes in.

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Apple-Epic Judge Hints at Compromise in Feud Over App Store

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 02:10
The judge overseeing the high-stakes trial between Epic Games and Apple hinted at a compromise that turns on the iPhone maker allowing developers to inform users through their mobile apps that they can buy virtual goods on the web at a cheaper cost. From a report: U.S. District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers appeared to be looking for middle ground while hearing from economists called by both companies as expert witnesses in a case that threatens to upend the multibillion-dollar marketplace for apps that run on mobile phones around the world. The judge questioned Apple's App Store rule that blocks developers from including a link or other information in their apps to steer users away from the store to buy virtual goods elsewhere online at a discounted rate. The anti-steering policy is at the heart of Epic's argument that Apple maintains a near-monopoly and juices profits by barring developers from offering alternative payment options in their apps. "What's so bad about it anyway, for consumers to have choice?" Gonzalez Rogers asked Richard Schmalensee, an economist and Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor, who was testifying Wednesday as an expert witness for Apple in the second week of trial in Oakland, California. Her question drew pushback from Schmalensee, who noted that the U.S. Supreme Court, in a 2018 ruling, threw out a lawsuit that accused American Express of thwarting competition by prohibiting merchants from steering customers to cards with lower fees. "If the app vendor can say, if you press this button you can buy this for less, that means the App Store can't collect its commission," Schmalensee said. That amounts to "undercutting" Apple's App Store sales, he said. Gonzalez Rogers said she didn't think the situations were "factually the same."

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Valve's Gabe Newell Teases Console-Related Plans For Steam Games

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 01:30
Gabe Newell, the co-founder and president of Valve, has hinted that the company could bring Steam games to consoles during a recent question and answer session. TechRadar reports: The session took place at Sancta Maria College in Auckland, New Zealand, and a student's question and Newell's answer were recorded and uploaded to Reddit by user Odysseic (via VGC). When asked "will Steam be porting any games to console, or will it just stay on PC?", Newell somewhat hesitantly replies "You will get a better idea of that by the end of this year," adding, "and it won't be the answer you expect. You'll say, "Ah-ha! Now I get what he was talking about.'" Newell's comments are, of course, pretty vague and have caused a great deal of speculation. The most common interpretation of his words is that Valve could be planning to bring its own games, currently available on Steam, to consoles in the future. Valve games have previously been ported to consoles so this is perfectly possible.

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Researchers Have Developed a Way To Wirelessly Charge Vehicles On the Road

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 00:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Jalopnik: [R]esearchers at Cornell University, led by Associate Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering Khurram Afridi, have developed technology that would allow vehicles to be charged on the road while in motion. It would essentially turn U.S. roadways into wireless chargers. Afrindi says he has been working on the tech for the last seven years. Here's how it would work, according to Afrindi via Business Insider: "'Highways would have a charging lane, sort of like a high occupancy lane,' Afridi told Insider. 'If you were running out of battery you would move into the charging lane. It would be able to identify which car went into the lane and it would later send you a bill.' The science behind Afridi's project goes back over 100 years to Nikola Tesla, the inventor who used alternating electric fields to power lights without plugging them in. Afridi's technology would embed special metal plates in the road that are connected to a powerline and a high frequency inverter. The plates will create alternating electric fields that attract and repel a pair of matching plates attached to the bottom of the EV.No need to worry about stopping to charge unless you're down for the night. They have run into a problem, however. They can't seem to find the parts that can handle the high levels of power needed to charge vehicles enough while they are in motion. It would have to be a material that's not only weatherproof but able to withstand high voltage and heat from the passing vehicles."

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Bill To Ban TikTok On US Government Devices Passes Committee

Slashdot - Thu, 13/05/2021 - 00:10
The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee unanimously passed a bill that would ban U.S. federal workers from downloading the popular app TikTok onto U.S. government devices, Senator Josh Hawley, a bill sponsor, said in a press statement on Wednesday. Reuters reports: The U.S. Senate unanimously approved a similar measure in August 2020. Representative Ken Buck has introduced a similar bill in the House. The app, which is popular with teens eager to show off dance moves, has come under fire in the United States because of concerns over its Chinese owner, ByteDance. TikTok has sought to distance itself from Beijing with mixed success. Hawley called the company "an immediate security threat." "This should not be a partisan issue and I'm glad to see my colleagues in the Senate act together to address Beijing's covert data collection campaign," Hawley said in a statement after the vote.

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Colonial Announces Pipeline Restart After Being Shut Down For Five Days Due To Cyberattack

Slashdot - Wed, 12/05/2021 - 23:50
Colonial Pipeline, operator of the largest U.S. fuel pipeline, said Wednesday it is restarting operations after being shut down for five days due to a cyberattack. NBC News reports: The company shut down its entire operation Friday after its financial computer networks were infected by a Russia-tied hacker gang known as DarkSide, fearing that the hackers could spread to its industrial operations as well. The shutdown led to widespread gasoline shortages and caused temporary price spikes. "Colonial Pipeline initiated the restart of pipeline operations today at approximately 5 p.m. ET," the company said in a statement on its website. "Following this restart, it will take several days for the product delivery supply chain to return to normal."

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