Tech Today w/ Ken May

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The Tesla Model S P90D set the standard for mass production cars with an official 0-60 mile an hour time of 2.7 seconds. Now Tesla’s keeping it 100, with the Tesla Model S P100D. It’ll do 0-60 in 2.5 seconds with a heavy foot, and with a light one it’ll do over 300 miles on a charge. Read more…

An anonymous reader writes from a report via WinBeta: A new report from scientists Mark Ziemann, Yotam Eren, and Assam El-Osta says that 20% of scientific papers on genes contain gene name conversion errors caused by Excel. In the scientific article, titled “Gene name errors are widespread in the scientific literature, ” article’s abstract section, the scientists explain: “The spreadsheet software Microsoft Excel, when used with default settings, is known to convert gene names to dates and floating-point numbers. A programmatic scan of leading genomics journals reveals that approximately one-fifth of papers with supplementary Excel gene lists contain erroneous gene name conversions.” It’s easy to see why Excel might have problems with certain gene names when you see the “gene symbols” that the scientists use as examples: “For example, gene symbols such as SEPT2 (Septin 2) and MARCH1 [Membrane-Associated Ring Finger (C3HC4) 1, E3 Ubiquitin Protein Ligase] are converted by default to ‘2-Sep’ and ‘1-Mar’, respectively. Furthermore, RIKEN identifiers were described to be automatically converted to floating point numbers (i.e. from accession ‘2310009E13’ to ‘2.31E+13’). Since that report, we have uncovered further instances where gene symbols were converted to dates in supplementary data of recently published papers (e.g. ‘SEPT2’ converted to ‘2006/09/02’). This suggests that gene name errors continue to be a problem in supplementary files accompanying articles. Inadvertent gene symbol conversion is problematic because these supplementary files are an important resource in the genomics community that are frequently reused. Our aim here is to raise awareness of the problem.” You can view the scientific paper in its entirety here. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

What HDR Is, and Why It’s the Future of Television

Posted by kenmay on August - 23 - 2016

TV manufacturers always look for the next leap in picture quality that will make watching TV feel like you’re looking through a crystal-clear window. HDR is the latest trend in display technology and it’s here to stay. Here’s everything you need to know about how it works, and why you may want to consider it when you buy your next TV. Read more…

According to city government officials in Puerto Princesa City , Philippines, a local fisher just dropped off this monster of a pearl to a local tourism office. If legit, it would far surpass the current Guinness record holder, the Pearl of Lao Tzu, at a comparatively measly 14 pounds, which also came from the Philippines. Read more…

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Softpedia: A Wi-Fi router manufactured and sold only in China can easily run for the title of “most insecure router ever made.” The BHU router, whose name translates to “Tiger Will Power, ” has a long list of security problems that include: four authentication bypass flaws (one of which is just hilarious); a built-in backdoor root account that gets created on every boot-up sequence; the fact that it opens the SSH port for external connections after every boot (somebody has to use that root backdoor account right?); a built-in proxy server that re-routes all traffic; an ad injection system that adds adverts to all the sites you visit; and a backup JS file embedded in the router firmware if the ad script fails to load from its server. For techies, there’s a long technical write-up, which gets funnier and scarier at the same time as you read through it. “An attacker authenticating on the router can use a hardcoded session ID (SID) value of 700000000000000 to gain admin privileges, ” reports Softpedia. “If he misspells the SID and drops a zero, that’s no problem. The BHU router will accept any value and still grant the user admin rights.” Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NVIDIA’s made-for-autonomous-cars CPU is freaking powerful

Posted by kenmay on August - 23 - 2016

NVIDIA debuted its Drive PX2 in-car supercomputer at CES in January, and now the company is showing off the Parker system on a chip powering it. The 256-core processor boasts up to 1.5 teraflops of juice for “deep learning-based self-driving AI cockpit systems, ” according to a post on NVIDIA’s blog . That’s in addition to 24 trillion deep learning operations per second it can churn out, too. For a perhaps more familiar touchpoint, NVIDIA says that Parker can also decode and encode 4K video streams running at 60FPS — no easy feat on its own. However, Parker is significantly less beefy than NVIDIA’s other deep learning initiative, the DGX-1 for Elon Musk’s OpenAI, which can hit 170 teraflops of performance. This platform still sounds more than capable of running high-end digital dashboards and keeping your future autonomous car shiny side up without a problem, regardless. On that front, NVIDIA says that in addition to the previously-announced partnership with Volvo (which puts Drive PX2 into the CX90), there are currently “80 carmakers, tier 1 suppliers and university research centers” using Drive PX2 at the moment. For the rest of the nitty-gritty details, be sure to hit the source link below. Source: NVIDIA

Just because the US Attorney General isn’t bringing charges over Hillary Clinton’s private email server doesn’t mean that it’s all over — far from it. FBI investigators have unearthed 14, 900 more files (email and documents) on the server, or almost 50 percent more than Clinton’s lawyers originally turned over to the State Department. Just what’s in those documents isn’t clear, although they come from a disc the FBI obtained that includes email and attachments sent directly to or from the former Secretary of State. Clinton’s attorneys had initially turned over ‘just’ 30, 000 messages that they considered work-related, although the FBI didn’t find signs that she or her staff had deleted anything in a bid to hide it. Whatever the contents, Clinton will face added pressure. A judge in a lawsuit over public records has tossed the State Department’s proposed plans to release documents starting October 14th, and is pushing for an earlier release. That won’t happen too much sooner if the judge is successful (the Department will only have to present a revised plan on September 22nd), but it’ll be enough to shake up the government’s disclosure strategy. Source: Washington Post

The Ray Bradbury Theater was a far out 1980s television series with each episode written by Bradbury himself. With 65 suspenseful (and sometimes terrifying) episodes of dark science fiction/fantasy, The Ray Bradbury Theater shined the freaky flame of The Twilight Zone and The Outer Limits down the shadowy path of The X-Files and Stranger Things. And now you can watch all the episodes free on YouTube ! Below are two to get you started: Marionettes, Inc. and The Playground:

The unveiling of the Nougat statue. After a lengthy Developer Preview program starting in March, the final version of Android 7.0 (codenamed “Nougat”) is finally launching today. The OS update will slowly begin to rollout to devices over the next few weeks. This year, Google is adding even more form factors to the world’s most popular operating system. After tackling watches, phones, tablets, TVs, and cars, Nougat brings platform improvements aimed at virtual reality headsets and—with some help from Chrome OS—also targets laptops and desktops. For Android’s primary platform (still phones and tablets), there’s a myriad of improvements. Nougat brings a new multitasking split screen mode, a redesigned notification panel, an adjustable UI scale, and fresh emoji. Nougat also sports numerous under-the-hood improvements, like changes to the Android Runtime, updates to the battery saving “Doze” mode, and developer goodies like Vulkan and Java 8 support. As usual, we’ll be covering Google’s Android package as a whole without worrying about what technically counts as part of the “OS” versus an app in the Play Store. Android is a platform not just for third-parties, but for Google as well, so we’re diving into everything that typically ships on a new Android smartphone. Read 154 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Long-time Slashdot reader theodp notes a pilot program for improving computer science education which includes financial aid for students at four code bootcamps: In this week’s Hack Education Weekly News, Audrey Watters writes, “The US Department of Education has selected eight higher ed institutions and eight ‘non-traditional providers’ that will work as partners to pilot the DoE’s new EQUIP experiment, meaning that students will be able to receive federal financial aid for coding bootcamps, MOOCs, and the like… “Good thing there haven’t been any problems with for-profit higher ed and exploitation of financial aid, otherwise this would all seem like a terrible idea.” The original submission has more details on the participants (including the four code bootcamps). Ultimately the program involves pairing “non-traditional” providers with higher education institutions — and then monitoring their results with a third-party “quality assurance entity” — to improve the ways we measure a school’s performance, but also testing new ways to fund training for computer careers. (I’m curious how Slashdot’s readers feel about government loans for attendees at code bootcamps…) Read more of this story at Slashdot.