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Industry & Technology

Google's robo-CTRL-ALT-DEL failed, hung networks and Compute Engine for 90 minutes

The Register - 1 hour 40 min ago
And then along came a good old flesh and blood human!

Chalk up another one for good old humans: Google's admitted that an automation failure was the root cause of a 93-minute outage of its Compute Engine in the us-central1 and europe-west3 zones of its cloud on January 18th, 2018.…

Arista <i>almost</i> done with Cisco workarounds as revenue and profit soar

The Register - 3 hours 48 min ago
Borg attack repelled, Microsoft and cloud are now Prime Directive (and cash source)

Customer certification delays resulting from its ongoing patent lawsuit brought by Cisco have delayed some of its revenue, but upstart Arista Networks still turned in a tidy result for Q4 2017 and for the full year.…

Win bitcoin for buying juice? Only in Australia - CNET

cNET.com - News - 3 hours 55 min ago
Australian juice company Boost is giving away four bitcoins -- one a week, for four weeks -- to those that buy some juice and enter a code in the Boost app.

Large Capacity Air Fry Toaster Oven Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET

cNET.com - Reviews - 4 hours 11 min ago
Black & Decker breaks new ground with its first toaster oven that also air-fries food.

Crims pull another SWIFT-ie, Indian bank stung for nearly US$2m

The Register - 4 hours 13 min ago
City Union Bank now reckons it has ‘adequate enhanced security’

A year after the SWIFT international bank transfer system enhanced its security, another breach has emerged: an Indian bank has confirmed that criminals gained access to its systems and made transfers totalling US$1.8 million.…

Australia's new insta-pay scheme has insta-lookup of any user's phone number

The Register - 4 hours 30 min ago
PayID operator says it's a feature that sends money to the right person. It's a bug that harvests data, say others

Updated The brand-new app implementing Australia’s New Payment Platform (NPP) system has a user enumeration flaw, but the organisation responsible for it considers it to be a feature.…

Daimler included emissions-cheating software on diesels, German magazine says

Ars Technica - 6 hours 7 min ago

Enlarge / (Photo by TF-Images/TF-Images via Getty Images) (credit: getty images)

US investigators are looking into whether Mercedes parent company Daimler used illegal software to cheat emissions tests on diesel vehicles in the US, according to German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, whose report was picked up by Reuters. Though the investigation itself is not new—it was reported as early as April 2016 that the Department of Justice was looking into Daimler's actions around emissions testing its diesel vehicles—the new reports of emissions-cheating software draw parallels to Volkswagen's notorious emissions scandal.

The German paper allegedly saw documents indicating that one software function on Daimler diesel vehicles turned off the car's emissions control system after driving just 26 km (16 miles). Another program apparently "allowed the emissions cleaning system to recognize whether the car was being tested based on speed or acceleration patterns," according to Reuters.

Software that turns an emissions control system on and off depending on whether the car is being tested in a lab or not is called a "defeat device," and unless the automaker gets explicit permission to have one, a defeat device's inclusion in an auto system is illegal in the US. In 2015, Volkswagen Group was discovered to have hid defeat device software on its VW, Audi, and Porsche diesels. The automaker has since spent billions of dollars in buying back vehicles that were emitting up to 40 times the allowable amount of nitrogen oxide (NOx).

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

nbn™'s HFC fix will see connections tested from March to July 2018

The Register - February 18, 2018 - 11:50pm
Writes to residents to announce on-site inspection

nbn™, the company building and operating Australia's national broadband network (NBN), has advised households connected to its hybrid fibre-coax network to expect a visit between March 7th 2018 and July 27th 2018.…

Rocket League is becoming a real-life Hot Wheels set - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 11:07pm
The set, which is at New York Toy Fair, will let you play soccer with these Battle-Cars.

Magical interactive Harry Potter wands swing into Toy Fair - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 10:41pm
Unleash your inner wizard with these Wizard Training Wands from Jakks Pacific that use motion sensors to track your movements.

Facebook proved popular with Russian election trolls - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 10:03pm
Social network singled out in indictment charging 13 Russians with interfering with the US election.

Can Samsung still claim to be ahead of Apple? - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 9:00pm
Commentary: Samsung keeps insisting that Apple is always behind. With the release of the Galaxy S9, how true might that be?

Residential solar is cheap, but can it get cheaper? Paths to $0.05 per kWh

Ars Technica - February 18, 2018 - 8:45pm

Tesla smooth black glass solar roof tiles. (credit: Tesla)

The price of solar panels has fallen far and fast. But the Energy Department (DOE) wants to bring those costs down even further, especially for residential homes. After all, studies have shown that if every inch of useable rooftop in the US had solar panels on it, the panels could provide about 40% of the nation's power demand. Right now, the DOE's goal is residential solar that costs 5¢ per kilowatt hour by 2030.

In a new report from the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), researchers mapped out some possible pathways to that goal. Notably, the biggest barriers to cost reduction appear to be the stubborn "soft costs" of solar installation. Those soft costs include supply chain costs, labor costs, and sales and marketing costs that aren't related to the physical production of solar cells at a factory.

NREL wrote: "Because the 2030 target likely will not be achieved under business-as-usual trends, we examine two key market segments that demonstrate significant opportunities for cost savings and market growth: installing PV at the time of roof replacement and installing PV as part of the new home construction process."

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Jaguar Land Rover Activity Key wearable sales are hot - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 7:00pm
Shoppers are ponying up for this Fitbit-like RF-based wearable tech in surprising numbers.

Why Microsoft should scrap Bing and call it Microsoft Search - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 6:00pm
Commentary: Recently, Microsoft began to feature its own name on Bing Translator. Perhaps it's time for the Bing brand to be retired.

Ford GT sale puts John Cena in a legal cage match - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 6:00pm
It's now up to the courts to decide whether wrestling star John Cena can sell his new Ford GT supercar for a healthy profit.

Dodge Demon hits 203 mph in about a minute - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 6:00pm
You'll need to do a couple things to make your own Demon capable of that speed, though.

Project Loon team gave Puerto Rico connectivity—and assembled a helicopter

Ars Technica - February 18, 2018 - 5:00pm

Slide from Juan Ramirez Lugo at AAAS 2018 (credit: Nathan Mattise)

AUSTIN, Texas—"So this happened—this is September 2017," Juan Ramírez Lugo, president of the AAAS Caribbean division, tells the audience at the 2018 American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Conference. The slide that soon greets the room depicts an almost surreal reality: the available power (or lack thereof) on the island of Puerto Rico in the immediate aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

"The island went dark; the Virgin Islands basically disappeared off the map. This blew my mind to not have my cell phone in this day and age," Ramírez Lugo continues. "The routine eventually became get up in the morning, then try to check the news and Status.pr to see how much service has returned to normal."

Ramírez Lugo cited estimates that the cost of Hurricane Maria's damage will total 34.1 percent of Puerto Rico's GDP, so calling the storm devastating almost seems like an understatement. The routine Ramírez Lugo shared highlighted another crucial (re)building block for disaster recovery, one that's now joined general infrastructure and health needs: connectivity. With the vast amount of electrical grid and ground towers damaged, FEMA estimates put cell service availability at a mere 60 percent an entire month after the storm.

Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google's firing of James Damore was legal, labor board says - CNET

cNET.com - News - February 18, 2018 - 4:55pm
The US National Labor Relations Board says Google fired the author of a controversial diversity memo not to silence a dissenter, but over "unprotected discriminatory statements."

Poop Talk docu-comedy flings open bathroom doors, dives into stinky humanity

Ars Technica - February 18, 2018 - 4:00pm

 Poop Talk, loaded with renowned comedians. (credit: Copyright 2017 Comedy Dynamics and Party of Seven Entertainment)

For some, a 75-minute film of famous and talented comedians letting rip a steady stream of explicit jokes and messy misadventures involving fecal matter is an easy sell. Sign me up. For others, some pushing and straining may be needed to get them to plop down and watch.

Those hesitant viewers are just the ones the film’s creators are hoping to bag.

With the funny and sometimes cringe-inducing docu-comedy Poop Talk, comedians try—and do—use humor and tales of their deeply personal bodily functions to squeeze out the humanity of it all. The ultimate goal, its creators told Ars, is to flush the stigma associated with the stinky act—not to mention a whole host of gastrointestinal disorders.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments


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