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Earth

SpaceX Successfully Lands Its Rocket On A Floating Drone Ship Again (theverge.com) 44

Early Friday morning, SpaceX successfully landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea for the second time. The company has recovered the post-launch vehicle a total of three times, two of which involved the rocket landing on a floating drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Before the launch, the landing was deemed unlikely as the rocket would be "subject to extreme velocities and re-entry heating" in its attempt to launch a Japanese communications satellite into a geostationary transfer orbit high above Earth. Elon Musk tweeted: "Rocket reentry is a lot faster and hotter than last time, so odds of making it are maybe even, but we should learn a lot either way." As a result of the successful mission, Musk followed up with, "May need to increase size of rocket storage hangar." The first successful launch was in December, when the rocket landed at a ground-based spaceport in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The second landing occurred in April on a floating drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean.
Power

Finger-Tracking Tech Turns Your Arm Into A Touchpad (gizmag.com) 11

New submitter Keys of Cars quotes a report from Gizmag: Smartwatches may be handy, but their tiny touchscreens can easily be obscured by your fingers as you're using them on the device. As a result, we've seen various attempts to move the control surface. One of the latest, Carnegie Mellon University's SkinTrack system, moves it onto your hand and lower arm. The strap of the smartwatch features multiple electrodes, which detects a ring that is worn on your "control finger" (on your non smartwatch-wearing arm) that emits a high-frequency electrical signal. When your finger, specifically the ring, approaches and/or touches the arm with the watch, the high-frequency electrical signal is propagated through the skin. It will work even if your skin is covered with clothing! The system is reportedly 99% accurate, and can locate touches with a mean error of 7.6mm. SkinTrack was used to control games, scroll through lists, zoom in and out of maps, draw pictures, and operate an onscreen number pad.
Crime

Meet The Company That Poached The FBI's Entire Silk Road Investigation Team (dailydot.com) 65

Patrick O'Neill quotes a report from The Daily Dot: The FBI team that brought down Silk Road has a new home. After headline-grabbing investigations, arrests, and prosecutions on some of America's highest-profile cybercriminals, five of U.S. law enforcement's most prized cybercrime aces have all left government service for greener pastures -- a titan consulting firm called Berkeley Research Group (BRG). BRG's newly hired gang of five includes former federal prosecutor Thomas Brown, as well as former FBI agents Christopher Tarbell, Thomas Kiernan, and Ilhwan Yum -- names that punctuated many of the biggest cybercrime stories of the last decade including Silk Road, LulzSec, Liberty Reserve, as well as the hacks of Citibank, PNC Bank, and the Rove Digital botnet; and the prosecution of Samarth Agrawal for stealing crucial code for high-frequency trading from the multinational, multibillion dollar bank Societe Generale. "Private industry provides a lot of opportunity," NYPD intelligence chief Thomas Galati told Congress earlier this year. "So I think the best people out there are working for private companies, and not for the government."
Businesses

Tesla Plans To Produce 500,000 Electric Cars In 2018, 1 Million In 2020 (reuters.com) 40

"Tesla Motors Inc said it was stepping up production plans for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market sedan and would build a total of 500,000 all-electric vehicles in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, but warned that spending will ramp up in tandem," reports Reuters. Tesla said capital spending would rise about 50% more than originally planned this year, to around $2.25 billion. Producing 500,000 vehicles in 2018 will be no easy task, especially considering the company is only on track to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 electric vehicles this year. In addition to producing 500,000 electric vehicles in 2018, Elon Musk also said the company expects to produce nearly 1 million vehicles in 2020. These are certainly ambitious goals, even for a company that had the 'biggest one-week launch of any product ever.'
Iphone

LAPD Hacked An iPhone 5s Before The FBI Hacked San Bernardino Terrorist's iPhone 5c (latimes.com) 22

According to recently released court papers, Los Angeles police investigators found a way to break into a locked iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, the slain wife of "The Shield" actor Michael Jace. The detectives were able to bypass the security at around the same time period the FBI was demanding Apple unlock the iPhone 5c belonging to San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. LAPD detective Connie Zych wrote on March 18, the department found a "forensic cellphone expert" who could "override the locked iPhone function," according to the search warrant. There's no mention of how the LAPD broke into the iPhone or what OS the iPhone was running (Note: iOS 8, which features improved encryption and security features, came out months after the killing). The information stored on the iPhone should help in the criminal case against Jace's husband, who is charged with the May 19, 2014, killing.
Microsoft

Microsoft No Longer Allows Admins To Block Windows Store Access In Windows 10 Pro (zdnet.com) 215

If you're an administrator, you will no longer be able to block Windows 10 Pro users on your watch from accessing the Windows Store. Mary Jo Foley reports for ZDNet: Up until a month ago, admins could use Group Policy to shut off employees' access to Windows Store if they were running Windows 10 Pro. Controlling this access is a requirement for some businesses. But last month, Microsoft changed that option, claiming that Store access was required for all versions of Windows 10 except Enterprise and Education "by design." Admins still can use AppLocker or Group Policy to block access to the Windows Store if their employees (or students) are running Enterprise or Education.
Businesses

SAP Partners With Apple To Expand iOS In The Enterprise (techcrunch.com) 16

SAP has announced a partnership with Apple to bring iOS to SAP's enterprise customers. Steve Lucas, president for SAP's Digital Enterprise Platform, says SAP is firmly an enterprise company which has built a cloud platform to access all the software it has developed -- ERP product, SuccessFactors or Concur. With the new deal, Apple hopes to take a bite out of Microsoft's territory by selling hardware to companies who traditionally shop for PCs. In an effort to push iOS to its customers, SAP has announced a new set of apps for the iPhone and iPad that take advantage of data stored in SAP tools. They're providing an iOS SDK for its in-memory database product, SAP HANA, to allow organizations to build their own customized apps using the data stored in HANA. SAP is also offering SAP Academy for iOS as a way for SAP programmers to learn to use the HANA iOS SDK. The deal between Apple and SAP echoes the deal from a couple years ago between Apple and IBM.
The Almighty Buck

As Robots Eat Our Jobs, Fed Should 'Drop the Money From Helicopters,' Says Bill Gross (janus.com) 200

As technology continues to change the world -- and kill many jobs -- it may soon change the very nature of what is considered work, said Bill Gross, a renowned American financial manager in his recently released investment outlook. Gross says that in a year or so we will need to start guaranteeing income for everyone. Gross, added that the current crop of national leaders is hopelessly behind the curve, leaving it to central bankers to fix the mess. "Our economy has changed, but voters and their elected representatives don't seem to know what's really wrong," he writes. "They shout: (1) build a wall, (2) balance the budget, (3) foot the bill for college, or (4) make free trade less free. "That will fix it" they discordantly proclaim, and after November's election some unlucky soul may do one or more of the above in an effort to make things better. Similar battles are being fought everywhere." The Sydney Morning Herald reports: Central bank "helicopter money" will avoid a long recession that looms as millions of millennials face losing their jobs to robot technology, Gross says. In news that is sure to depress anyone under the age of 30, Gross says that while presidential hopefuls in the US spout mantras about how they are going to spur growth, none are addressing the reality of the future: that robots and technology are going to render "millions" of jobs redundant. "Virtually every industry in existence is likely to become less labour-intensive in future years as new technology is assimilated into existing business models," Gross writes. Transport is a visible example of this transition and millions of truck and taxi drivers will be out of a job in the next 10 to 15 years due to driverless vehicles, he says. "We should spend money where it's needed most -- our collapsing infrastructure for instance, health care for an aging generation and perhaps on a revolutionary new idea called UBI -- Universal Basic Income."
Open Source

Unity 8 And Snaps Are Conquering The Ubuntu Desktop After Ubuntu 16.10 (softpedia.com) 41

prisoninmate writes: Today is the last day of the Ubuntu Online Summit 2016, and the Ubuntu developers discussed the future of the Ubuntu Desktop for Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and beyond. It looks like Snaps (Snappy) and Unity 8 with Mir are slowly conquering the Ubuntu Desktop, at least according to Canonical's Will Cooke, Ubuntu Desktop Manager. Work has already begun on pushing these new and modern technologies to the Ubuntu Desktop, as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has just received support for installing Snaps from the Ubuntu Snappy Store. Canonical's Will Cooke has mentioned the fact that the Unity 7 desktop enters its twilight years, which means that it gets fewer features and it's being reduced to only critical and OEM work. This is because Unity 8 desktop is getting all the attention now, and it will become the default desktop session somewhere after Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak).
Government

FDA To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco (cnn.com) 239

An anonymous reader writes: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been all the rage lately, as many claim they are healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since they are so relatively new to the market, the government hasn't been able to effectively study them and determine whether or not they should be regulated like traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco -- until now. The FDA has released their final rule Thursday, broadening the definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, premium cigars, little cigars and other products. "Going forward, the FDA will be able to review new tobacco products not yet on the market, help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made, and communicate the potential risks of tobacco products," the agency said. The new rule will go into effect immediately. According to CDC data from 2014, e-cigarette use among adults has gone up about 12.6%. People under the age of 18 will no longer be able to buy these products with the new regulations, and the products will be required to be sold in child-resistant packaging. In addition, the government will now be able to have a say in what goes into the products. Previously, there was no law mandating that manufacturers tell you what you are inhaling when trying their products.
Apple

Cupertino's Mayor: Apple 'Abuses Us' By Not Paying Taxes (theguardian.com) 238

An anonymous reader shares a report on The Guardian: Apple pays a 2.3% effective tax rate on its $181bn in cash held offshore, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a not-for-profit research group focusing on tax policy. Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that Apple would owe $59.2bn in U.S. taxes if the money weren't funneled into offshore shell accounts. Criticism over the company's offshore tax schemes has become more pointed in recent months, both locally in Cupertino and from Apple's own staff. At a recent Cupertino city council meeting, some residents protested about a lack of funding for public projects, Barry Chang, Mayor of Cupertino said: "They ball up the paper and throw it, and they say 'You're making all the wrong decisions'," Chang said. "In the meantime, Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They're making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won't. They abuse us."
IT

Snapchat Sued For Facilitating 107 MPH Car Crash (patch.com) 421

An anonymous reader writes: A Georgia couple is suing Snapchat, a popular instant messaging and photo sharing app, after a car accident last year seriously injured the husband, leaving him permanently brain damaged. According to media reports, Wentworth Maynard, the victim, was driving in a 55-mile-per-hour zone when 18-year-old Christal McGee crashed into him traveling at 107 miles per hour. McGee, according to lawsuits, was attempting to use Snapchat's "speed filter" -- a feature that overlays the speed one is traveling on a picture. "Snapchat's speed filter facilitated McGee's excessive speeding," reads the lawsuit. "McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by the means of a Snapchat 'trophy.'"
Microsoft

Windows 10 Now Runs On 300M Active Devices; Upgrade To Cost $119 After July 29 177

On Thursday (May 5), Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices, up from 270 million monthly active devices as of March 30. The feat comes nine months after Microsoft released Windows 10, the latest version of its desktop operating system, after offering it for months to developers. The company also announced today that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows 8) users with a valid license wouldn't be eligible for the free upgrade starting July 29. After July 29th, Microsoft says, users will be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119.

Windows 10 offers a range of interesting features including virtual digital assistant Cortana. While these features and a substantial boost to performance and speeds could be a big reason for the fast adoption of Windows 10, it's also no secret that Microsoft continues to push Windows 10 update to computers ... sometimes even when users don't want that.
Bug

'Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously' (vellumatlanta.com) 298

Vellum's James has written about his ordeal with Apple Music which many people can relate to. Apple Music, the Cupertino-based giant's online music streaming service, deleted 122GB of music files that James had stored on his computer. He writes: What Amber (supposed Apple Support representative) explained was exactly what I'd feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users' computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize -- which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself -- it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted. This isn't the first time Apple Music has deleted a user's locally stored music files. Long-time Apple watcher Jim Dalrymple canceled his subscription last year and called Apple Music a "nightmare" after the service allegedly deleted over 4,700 of his previously bought songs. At the time, he wrote: At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me -- Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I've spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none.Incidentally, Apple Music is rumoured for a reboot at the company's developer conference in June. It's not clear if fixing the aforementioned glitch is among Apple's imminent agenda.
Bitcoin

Bitcoin 'Creator' Reneges On Promise To Provide More Proof, Says He's Sorry (bbc.com) 123

Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto -- the creator of bitcoin -- has backtracked on a pledge to provide more proof of his earlier claims. Wright says that he lacks the courage to face allegations. On May 1, Wright claimed that he was the creator of bitcoin, offering digital signature, signed using a private key that was thought to be held by Nakamoto. We later learned that the "proof" Wright offered was simply copied from an older transaction. At the time, Wright assured that he will be moving early bitcoins as "extraordinary evidence". On Thursday, Wright wrote in a blog post that he is "sorry," and that he cannot do this. He writes: I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I'm sorry.
Security

Medical Equipment Crashes During Heart Procedure Because Of Antivirus Scan (softpedia.com) 246

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: The device in question is Merge Hemo, a complex medical equipment used to supervise heart catheterization procedures, during which doctors insert a catheter inside blood veins and arteries in order to diagnose various types of heart diseases. According to one such report filed by Merge Healthcare in February, Merge Hemo suffered a mysterious crash right in the middle of a heart procedure when the screen went black and doctors had to reboot their computer. Merge investigated the issue and later reported to the FDA that the problem occurred because of the antivirus software running on the doctors' computer. The antivirus was configured to scan for viruses every hour, and the scan started right in the middle of the procedure. Merge says the antivirus froze access to crucial data acquired during the heart catheterization. Unable to access real-time data, the app crashed spectacularly.
Earth

Scientists Grow Two-Week-Old Human Embryos In Lab For The First Time (reuters.com) 132

An anonymous reader writes: According to Reuters, "Using a culture method previously tested to grow mouse embryos outside of a mother, the teams were able to conduct almost hour by hour observations of human embryo development to see how they develop and organize themselves up to day 13."

Brave new world, here we come
From the report: "The work, covered in two studies published on Wednesday in the journal Nature and Nature Cell Biology, showed how the cells that will eventually form the human body self-organize into the basic structure of a post-implantation human embryo. As well as advancing human biology expertise, the knowledge gained from studying these developments should help to improve in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments and further progress in the field of regenerative medicine, the researchers said. But the research also raises the issue of an international law banning scientists from developing human embryos beyond 14 days, and suggests this limit may have to be reviewed. 'Longer cultures could provide absolutely critical information for basic human biology,' said researcher Zernicka-Goetz. 'But this would of course raise the next question - of where we should put the next limit.'"
Star Wars Prequels

Star Wars Buttons And Lights You May Have Missed (vice.com) 119

tedlistens writes: At Motherboard, Alex Pasternack writes: "Star Wars is set in a world of wildly advanced technology. But take a good look at the machinery of Star Wars, and you may be surprised to see how wonderfully analog it all is -- buttons! levers! vector graphics! Yes, there are hyperdrives and lightsabers and hologram Princess Leias and droids that know six million languages (including the language of moisture vaporators, along with various etiquette and diplomatic protocols useful across the galaxy). But it's also a world where sometimes you have to hit a robot to get it to work, like an old dashboard radio, a place where the supercomputers are operated manually and where buttons and control panels and screens seem far removed from our own galaxy: tactile, lo-fi, and elegantly simple." May the 4th be with you.
Crime

Hacker Guccifer Claims He Easily and Repeatedly Broke Into Hillary Clinton's Email Server (foxnews.com) 390

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fox News: The infamous Romanian hacker known as "Guccifer," speaking exclusively with Fox News, claimed he easily -- and repeatedly -- breached former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal email server in early 2013. In the process of mining data from the Blumenthal account, Lazar said he came across evidence that others were on the Clinton server. "As far as I remember, yes, there were up to 10, like, IPs from other parts of the world," he said. From the report: "'For me, it was easy ... easy for me, for everybody,' Marcel Lehel Lazar, who goes by the moniker 'Guccifer,' told Fox News from a Virginia jail where he is being held. Fox News could not independently confirm Lazar's claims. The 44-year-old Lazar said he first compromised Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account, in March 2013, and used that as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. He said he accessed Clintonâ(TM)s server 'like twice,' though he described the contents as 'not interest[ing]' to him at the time." Guccifer was sent to prison last month, which is when his potential role in the Clinton email investigation became apparent.
Open Source

DuckDuckGo Is Giving Away $225,000 To Support Open Source Projects (businessinsider.com) 57

An anonymous reader writes: Google Search competitor DuckDuckGo announced it will be giving away a total of $225,000 to support nine open source projects, each project will receive $25,000. DuckDuckGo said it performed 3 billion searches in 2015. It differs from many other search engines as it offers private, anonymous internet search. It doesn't gather information about you to sell ads to marketeers, like Google. Instead, it shows generic ads as it's part of the Microsoft/Bing/Yahoo ad network. It also has revenue-sharing agreements with certain companies in the Linux Open Source worlds, and makes money from select affiliate links. The $225,000 DuckDuckGo is giving away is chump change compared to the $100 million Google gives away in grants ever year. However, for the select projects, it should still be very beneficial. Last year, DuckDuckGo gave away a total of $125,000 to open source projects, so it's nice to see them donate an extra $100,000 to a good cause.

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