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Industry & Technology

Report: Google is buying innovative camera startup Lytro for $40 million

Ars Technica - 48 min ago


A report from TechCrunch claims that Google is going to buy the camera company Lytro for "around 40 million dollars." Lytro is best known for creating an innovative "Light field camera," but the company has lately pivoted to professional camera technology for filmmaking and capturing VR video.

You might remember the first Lytro camera, which came in a crazy "tube" form factor with a lens at one end and a 1.5-inch touchscreen on the other. The tube was full of lenses and a special "Light Field Sensor" that would capture images as light-field data rather than a grid of pixels. The benefit was that you could just take a picture without worrying about the focus, and you could later selectively focus the image however you wanted. The downside is that you needed a much denser CMOS sensor to capture a high megapixel image. In 2012, when the camera came out, Lytro could compute all this light-field data down to only a 1MP image.

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Facebook insider reveals data security concerns to MPs

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 27 sec ago
Sandy Parakilas tells MPs the site did not have adequate ways of detecting data misuse by app developers.

AMD has fixes coming for its 13 chip vulnerabilities - CNET - News - 1 hour 8 min ago
The chipmaker says the patches will arrive within a few weeks and AMD device owners shouldn’t worry about the reported flaws.

Dodge Viper plant to house historic vehicle collection, meeting space - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 10 min ago
The Conner Avenue Assembly Plant has been dormant since the Viper ceased production last year, but it won't stay that way for long as nearly 100,000 square-feet of the plant have been set aside as a private museum and corporate meeting facility.

Aston Martin returns to F1, plans "core" mid-engine production car in 2021 - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 11 min ago
A partnership with Red Bull Racing means the Aston Martin name will appear on an F1 car for the first time in 59 years... and that's just the beginning of the automaker's plans.

Should you be paranoid around Amazon's Alexa? - CNET - News - 1 hour 16 min ago
9 questions you've had about Alexa but were too afraid to ask.

Unreal Engine + $150,000 GPU = Amazing, real-time raytraced Star Wars

Ars Technica - 1 hour 17 min ago

SAN FRANCISCO—In the computer graphics community this week, companies from Nvidia to Microsoft have been stressing just how important real-time raytracing will be to making games look more movie-like in the near future. Epic Games used a striking demo at a Game Developers Conference keynote presentation this morning to show just how much better raytracing can make real-time, interactive graphics look with top-of-the-line hardware right now.

The Star Wars "Reflections" demo, made with the cooperation of Industrial Light and Magic, showed two extremely realistic-looking and talkative Stormtroopers clamming up in an elevator when the shiny Captain Phasma pops in. Running on what Epic still refers to as “experimental code” (planned to be introduced to Unreal Engine for production later this year) the raytracing in the demo allows background elements like the guns and the opening elevator doors to reflect accurately off Phasma’s mirror-like armor in real time. These are the kinds of effects that Epic CTO Kim Libreri highlights they’ve “never been able to do before [with rasterized graphics].”

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Facebook Privacy Settings: A Complete Guide to Making Your Account More Secure

Wired - 1 hour 27 min ago
Despite the repeated privacy lapses, Facebook offers a fairly robust set of tools to control who knows what about you.

Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg mercilessly mocked by Stephen Colbert - CNET - News - 1 hour 29 min ago
Commentary: Cambridge Analytica doesn't escape the late-night host's scorn either, as Colbert can't help marveling at the mess.

2 + 2 = 4, er, 4.1, no, 4.3... Nvidia's Titan V GPUs spit out 'wrong answers' in scientific simulations

The Register - 1 hour 34 min ago
Fine for gaming, not so much for modeling, it is claimed

Nvidia’s flagship Titan V graphics cards may have hardware gremlins causing them to spit out different answers to repeated complex calculations under certain conditions, according to computer scientists.…

NASA astronaut afraid of heights, goes to ISS anyway - CNET - News - 1 hour 36 min ago
NASA's Drew Feustel admits to a fear that would prevent most people from becoming an astronaut.

Cadillac releases native Spotify app for 2018 models - CNET - News - 1 hour 37 min ago
Cadillac has announced it's collaborated on its first native streaming app with the world's most popular music service Spotify

Missing hot mantle plume detected beneath Yellowstone

Ars Technica - 1 hour 42 min ago

Enlarge / Artist Paintpots, Yellowstone National Park. Brought to you by hot rock almost 3,000 kilometers down? (credit: Scott K. Johnson)

It’s no secret that family trips to Yellowstone National Park are likely to involve arguments in the back seat, but you may not know that (adult) scientists find plenty to argue about there, as well.

Yellowstone is actually just the present manifestation of a family of volcanic events going back almost 20 million years. The textbook explanation for this is that Yellowstone sits atop an example of a “mantle hot spot”—a deep plume of hot rock that rises to the surface of a tectonic plate, periodically punching a line of eruptions as the plate moves. But some scientists have proposed more complex scenarios in recent years.

For example, a study we covered just a few months ago concluded that a region of hotter, shallow mantle pulled in from beneath the Pacific by the tectonic collision with North America could explain Yellowstone and other volcanic features in Western North America.

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Mark Zuckerberg to respond to Cambridge Analytica scandal - CNET - News - 1 hour 51 min ago
There's been mounting pressure on Facebook's CEO to speak up amid allegations that data from millions of people on the platform was misused.

How to set up a smart garden - CNET - News - 1 hour 54 min ago
Use technology to make growing your own veggies easier.

2018 Audi R8 V10 RWS: A perfect companion - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 1 min ago
Does rear-wheel drive make the R8 RWS the ultimate fast Audi?

Seagate's HAMR to drop in 2020: Multi-actuator disk drives on the way

The Register - 2 hours 5 min ago
Fast and slow high-cap disk lines coming

In 2020 Seagate will introduce its first multi-actuator disk drives using Heat-Assisted Magnetic Recording (HAMR) tech with 20TB capacities.…

New antiphishing features come to Google G Suite - CNET - News - 2 hours 10 min ago
Updates will expand Google Cloud customers’ control over security.

DHS election cybersecurity aid draws less than half the states - CNET - News - 2 hours 14 min ago
The Department of Homeland Security wants to make sure your votes aren't hacked in future elections. Not every state is interested in its help.

US officials: Kaspersky “Slingshot” report burned anti-terror operation

Ars Technica - 2 hours 15 min ago

Enlarge / US Navy SEALs conducting special reconnaissance of Al Qaeda operations in Afghanistan in 2002. JSOC added malware to Special Operations units' bag of tricks, and it may have been exposed by Kaspersky. (credit: Department of Defense)

A malware campaign discovered by researchers for Kaspersky Lab this month was in fact a US military operation, according to a report by CyberScoop's Chris Bing and Patrick Howell O'Neill. Unnamed US intelligence officials told CyberScoop that Kaspersky's report had exposed a long-running Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) operation targeting the Islamic State and Al Qaeda.

The malware used in the campaign, according to the officials, was used to target computers in Internet cafés where it was believed individuals associated with the Islamic State and Al Qaeda would communicate with their organizations' leadership. Kaspersky's report showed Slingshot had targeted computers in countries where ISIS, Al Qaeda, and other radical Islamic terrorist groups have a presence or recruit: Afghanistan, Yemen, Iraq, Jordan, Turkey, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, Kenya, Tanzania, and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

The publication of the report, the officials contended, likely caused JSOC to abandon the operation and may have put the lives of soldiers fighting ISIS and Al Qaeda in danger. One former intelligence official told CyberScoop that it was standard operating procedure "to kill it all with fire once you get caught... It happens sometimes and we’re accustomed to dealing with it. But it still sucks. I can tell you this didn’t help anyone."

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