Duane Harrison

Duane Harrison

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Following 13
UK
European Commission sysadmin offers us tales of Euro-dunderheadsOn-Call Welcome again to On-Call, The Register’s weekly reader-contributed tales of facepalm-worthy failures in the field of tech support.This week, meet “Pete”, who shared three stories from his time working at the European Commission (EC).His first tale concerned a scientific advisor to one of the EC’s general directorates, a role that you’d think would require someone pretty brainy.Yet said advisor came to Pete to complaining that his conferencing app wasn’t working.“If you guys come over you will probably see what's wrong,” the user told Pete, who did his duty and trekked to the other end of the building to find a PC with half a dozen windows all running the same conferencing app.
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Google and researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, teamed up to study how Google accounts become compromised, shedding light on how the company finds new ways to fight back.“The lifecycle of hijacking begins with password theft,” Google security engineer Grzegorz Milka said at the Enigma cybersecurity conference in Santa Clara, California, on Wednesday.Hackers use several techniques to gather passwords, including scraping them from data breaches or collecting them with keyloggers, malware, and phishing schemes, Milka explained.In research conducted between May 2016 and May 2017, the company found 67 million valid Google account credentials on black markets.Ideally, users would enable two-factor authentication on their accounts to protect themselves against password theft.But not enough users choose to do so—Google estimates that less than 10 percent of its active users have two-factor authentication enabled.
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Hori's Onyx PS4 controller is the first wireless third-party controller for the console, which means that other manufacturers will finally be able to match the functionality of Sony's own-branded gamepads.Competition is never a bad thing, and third-party controllers are no exception.They keep console manufacturers like Sony on their toes, and gamers ultimately get to benefit.We've been impressed with alternatives to the DualShock 4 in the past such as Razer's Raiju but up until now they've all been wired, making them suitable for only a small subset of the console's complete audience.The arrival of the Onyx changes this, and means you'll finally be able to get an alternative controller without having to put up with reduced functionality.Design wise, the controller is much more similar to the Xbox One's controller design than the DualShock 4.
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This week the folks behind CarbonROM revealed they’d ported Pixel 2’s best feature to other devices.This is a big deal for those that desperately wanted the Pixel 2, but haven’t yet made the jump from their slightly older smartphone.Why move when you can get the features for free?Users can get the Google Pixel 2 ambient music recognition feature – app – whatever you’d like to call it – on a variety of other phones, very soon.Users will need to root their device to make this happen, and they have to be willing to use a rather excellent AOSP-based ROM.That’s Android Open Source Project, for those uninitiated, and it means it’s Android without the Google – unless you want the Google, that is to say.
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The tablets market is dying.Many big brands have already canceled their tablets manufacturing.But when you need a full-featured laptop, dock the keyboard and use it in this way.Chuwi is among them, undoubtedly.Its products are considered to be the best alternatives to the top brands.It’s a great tablet PC offered at only $195.99 (if using the coupon with a code of HNYear274).
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New Zealand Football said it is investigating a potential hack of its official website after a fake news article popped up "announcing" the resignation of its CEO.On Friday (12 January), the article with the headline, "Andy Martin resigns as CEO" appeared on the All Whites' official website claiming his resignation was effective immediately.Martin has been in the role since February 2014.The article claimed NZF would be looking to "fill the vacancy immediately with a worldwide search."It also claimed that Martin wished to "tell those who had doubts about his leadership skills to 'try and do a better job yourselves.'"The article was immediately taken down from the website and NZ Football took to social media to clarify that news of his resignation is not true.
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T-Mobile has decided to start the year off with a buy one, get one promotion on a lot of high-end smartphones.This includes a bunch of different Android phones and most recent iPhones, which is surprising because iPhones aren’t the focus of promotions too terribly often.Things get even more tempting when you realize that one of these offers applies to the iPhone X as well.Yes, even though the iPhone X is only a few months old, we’re seeing T-Mobile offer a fairly significant discount when you buy two at a time.This BOGO offer is multi-tiered and ultimately dependent on what you want.The buy one, get one free deal applies to a wide range of handsets: iPhone 7 and 7 Plus, iPhone 8 (64GB), Galaxy S8, LG G6, V20, V30, and V30+.
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After entering the truly wireless earbuds market with the WF-1000X last year, Sony is back again with a new pair designed for active folks.The new WF-SP700N earbuds feature digital noise cancellation and are IPX4-rated for splash and sweat resistance.Sony is promising strong bass performance and says the battery lasts three hours — plenty of time for a run or gym visit.The included “one-touch open” case holds two additional charges for a total of 9 hours before you need to recharge everything.The earbuds cost $179.99 and will ship this spring.Sony says Google Assistant integration will be added in a future firmware update.
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Back in the 90s, companies tried making virtual reality a thing, most notably Nintendo, whose Virtual Boy was so distasteful that it caused people to abandon the entire category for the next 20 years.But then in 2016, headsets from Oculus and HTC/Vive showed that the VR experiences people had been writing about in scifi books for years were finally within our reach.That brings us to now, at CES 2018, where Vive is taking the next step forward in VR with the new Vive Pro head-mounted display and Vive Wireless Adaptor.The biggest improvement on the new Vive Pro is new AMOED display sporting a combined resolution of 2880 x 1600, which is 78 per cent denser than what you get on the current Vive.Additionally, the Vive Pro will also now feature built-in headphones with their own dedicated amp, dual mics, and a redesigned headstrap for more comfortable marathon VR sessions.Vive is even adding a second front-facing camera to the Pro, so that developers can better integrate AR features into the headset's range of functions.
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Analysis Nothing expresses Silicon Valley's cynicism about privacy like its fondness for rewarding its friends from privacy class-action settlements – while class members get nothing.Now the US Supreme Court has been invited to consider whether such settlements are fair.Any leftover money would go to charity.Google was the first to pioneer a new use for this.At the very least, it gave the impression that the watchdogs were compromised."Quite a racket, these class actions: Uninjured plaintiffs + a defendant anxious to settle = millions in attorneys' fees and donations to activist groups (which in turn = more litigation)," snarked one legal blog.
China
A rugged Hisense smartphone dubbed Hisense P9 has been certified by Chinese electronics certification agency TENAA, hinting at a possible release at the CES 2018.The device much like other rugged smartphones is made entirely of a steel frame with some screws on the sides coupled with rubberized edges which obviously protects it against drops and absorb shocks.According to TENAA’s listing, the Hisense P9 will feature a 5.5” AMOLED screen with a 1080p resolution with the standard 16:9 aspect ratio.Under its hood is an unidentified Octa-core CPU clocked at 1.9GHz, while RAM and inbuilt storage are listed at 6GB and 64/128GB respectively.The device will also support memory expansion up to 128GB via microSD slot.Surprisingly, the Hisense P9 also wants you to have some good times wherever you are, and so it has been fitted with dual 12MP rear cameras and a 16MP front-facing camera.
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Carbon nanotubes bound for electronics not only need to be as clean as possible to maximize their utility in next-generation nanoscale devices, but contact effects may limit how small a nano device can be, according to researchers at the Energy Safety Research Institute (ESRI) at Swansea University in collaboration with researchers at Rice University.ESRI Director Andrew Barron, also a professor at Rice University in the USA, and his team have figured out how to get nanotubes clean enough to obtain reproducible electronic measurements and in the process not only explained why the electrical properties of nanotubes have historically been so difficult to measure consistently, but have shown that there may be a limit to how "nano" future electronic devices can be using carbon nanotubes.But conductivity measurements of nanotubes over the years have been anything but consistent."We are interested in the creation of nanotube based conductors, and while people have been able to make wires their conduction has not met expectations.They discovered that hard-to-remove contaminants -- leftover iron catalyst, carbon and water -- could easily skew the results of conductivity tests.They tested individual nanotubes the same way one would test any electrical conductor: By touching them with two probes to see how much current passes through the material from one tip to the other.
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The Federal Communications Commission voted to repeal net neutrality rules on December 14, but the FCC is still making edits to the repeal order and hasn't released the final version."The goal is to release it as soon as possible," an FCC spokesperson told Ars today.The time is used by FCC staff and the chairman's office to fix any mistakes or omissions and to respond to concerns raised by commissioners.Since net neutrality supporters will file lawsuits in an attempt to overturn the repeal, the final edits could also help Pai's office make the repeal order more legally defensible."It's certainly possible that this document will have more significant changes from the circulated draft stage than we've seen in other Pai orders," Policy Director Matt Wood of advocacy group Free Press told Ars."Free Press and others pointed out not just scores of substantive flaws in the commission's arguments, but a number of procedural errors and notice fouls that frankly cannot be fixed with a post-vote band-aid.
UK
If you’ve taken a peek at the news anytime in the past 12 months, then there’s a good chance you’re having a hard time falling asleep every night.Counting sheep is apparently one way to drift off, but a trippy drone’s-eye view of dogs herding and corralling sheep might be even more effective.The individual sheep in these massive herds appear to be zig-zagging left and right as they’re coerced to move from one hillside paddock to another in Rangitikei, New Zealand.But watching the entire herd move is like watching a giant flock of birds take to the skies, as the movements appear both chaotic and perfectly in sync at the same time.
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But the emerging technology is starting to make waves in the mainstream, and for good reason; it's incredible.To misquote Thomas Aquinas: “For those who have tried VR, no explanation is necessary, for those who have not, none will suffice”.More recently, the technology has made some significant bounds forward and with releases of high-end headsets like the HTC Vive and Oculus Rift, and cheap, accessible headsets that use smartphones as the screen like Samsung’s GearVR and Google Cardboard.But the main thing that’s going to make a difference for mainstream adoption is going to be good content, and this is where 2017 really started making a difference.To be fair to the developers, they are starting from scratch on a totally new format, so VR experiences not being as good as AAA video games or Hollywood blockbusters really isn’t surprising, but if you’re going to fork out the hundreds that a top-of-the-range headset costs, you really want content that makes the investment worth it.That’s already three things on the wish fulfillment tick list ticked off so we’re off to a good start.
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Porsche’s big Tesla rival is expected to come in three flavors, with insiders suggesting the Mission E sedan will run up to 670 horsepower as it tries to eat into Model S sales.First shown off as a prototype in late 2015, a wildly positive reception for the curvaceous electric four-door prompted Porsche to give the production version the green-light only a few months later.Automobile had a chance to take a Mission E prototype to the track, but more interesting are the details shared from the pits.That covers everything from what configurations the EV is expected to be offered in, through to how Porsche will make sure brand purists aren’t turned off.The most affordable, expected to be priced somewhere between $75k and $80k, will have in the ballpark of 300 kW or 402 horsepower, with all-wheel drive as standard.Finally, the top-spec car is expected to land with around 500 kW, or 670 horsepower.
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The feud between Amazon and Google continues today with the early removal of YouTube from the Fire TV – a move Google had said wouldn’t take place until January 1, 2018.But as a number of Fire TV owners have now noticed, launching the YouTube app today informs you that you can choose to watch “YouTube and millions of other websites” by using a web browser.The disagreements between the companies that led to this consumer-unfriendly stance go back several years.Google hasn’t been happy about Amazon’s anti-competitive nature when it comes to allowing rivals to sell their own hardware items – like smart speakers and media players – on Amazon.com.The retailer has long refused to stock devices that competed with its own, including Apple TV, Chromecast, Google Home, and others in an effort to promote its products like the Echo and Fire TV.However, Amazon and Apple recently negotiated an agreement that brought the Apple TV back to Amazon, and Amazon’s Prime Video app to Apple TV.
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BEDFORD, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–December 28, 2017–Augmenix, Inc. a medical technology company that develops, manufactures, and sells proprietary absorbable hydrogels that separate and protect organs at risk during prostate radiotherapy, today announced that it will present at the 36th Annual J.P. Morgan Healthcare Conference at the Westin St. Francis Hotel in San Francisco on Tuesday, January 9, 2018.John Pedersen, President and Chief Executive Officer, is scheduled to present at 3:30 p.m. PST.Augmenix, Inc. is a privately held company based in the Boston area focused on the development and commercialization of radiation oncology products using its proprietary hydrogel technology.The company was founded by Incept LLC in 2008 and is funded by several leading venture capital groups.More information about Augmenix can be found at http://www.Augmenix.com.
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Just when you thought Samsung has the Galaxy Note 7 fiasco well behind it, another battery-related problem pops up.And unsurprisingly, it affects its successor.Users, mostly concentrated in the US, are reporting that their Galaxy Note 8 phablets have stopped charging and won’t even start up after it has been fully drained.And while Samsung seems to be replacing practically bricked devices, the randomness of the problem, not to mention Samsung’s silence, is making owners anxious and apprehensive.It’s not unusual for batteries to be completely depleted.Sometimes it’s unavoidable, when you have no means to give your phone a few minutes of life through a power bank or, better yet, a wall socket.
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The technique will help improve the current understanding of the atomic structures of dopants in semiconductors correlated with their electrical activity and thus help support the development of new manufacturing processes for high-performance devices.Using a combination of spectro-photoelectron holography, electrical property measurements, and first-principles dynamics simulations, the 3D atomic structures of dopant impurities in a semiconductor crystal were successfully revealed.However, despite various successful developments, the achievable maximum concentration of active dopants remains limited.In this study, Kazuo Tsutsui at Tokyo Tech and colleagues involving researchers at JASRI, Osaka University, Nagoya Institute of Technology, and Nara Institute of Science and Technology developed spectro-photoelectron holography using SPring-8, and leveraged the capabilities of photoelectron holography in determining the concentrations of dopants at different sites, based on the peak intensities of the photoelectron spectrum, and classified electrically active / inactive atomic sites.In this approach, soft X-ray excitation of the core level electrons leads to the emission of photoelectrons from various atoms, whose waves are then scattered by the surrounding atoms.The obtained results fully demonstrated the power of the proposed method and allowed confirmation of several previous results.
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