Kobo Customers Losing Books From Their Libraries After Software Upgrade

Reader Robotech_Master writes: After a recent Kobo software upgrade, a number of Kobo customers have reported losing e-books from their libraries -- notably, e-books that had been transferred to Kobo from their Sony Reader libraries when Sony left the consumer e-book business. One customer reported missing 460 e-books, and the only way to get them back in her library would be to search and re-add them one at a time! Customers who downloaded their e-books and illegally broke the DRM don't have this problem, of course.From the report: A Kobo representative actually chimed in on the thread, telling MobileRead users that they were following the thread and trying to fix the glitches that had been caused by the recent software changes and restore customers' e-books. It's good that they're paying attention, and that's definitely better than my first go-round with Barnes and Noble support over my own missing e-book. Hopefully they'll get it sorted out soon. That being said, this drives home yet again the point that publisher-imposed DRM has made and is making continued maintenance of e-book libraries from commercial providers a big old mess. About the only way you can be sure you can retain the e-books you pay for is to outright break the law and crack the DRM in order to be able to back them up against your company going out of business and losing the purchases you paid for. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

This Laser Printer Creates High-Res Color Images Without a Single Drop of Ink

Anyone with a color printer knows that selling replacement ink cartridges is the quickest way to become a millionaire. But what if your printer never needed a single drop of ink to produce color images at impossibly high resolutions? A new laser printer can already do that by etching microscopic patterns onto sheets… Read more...

Unknown Language Discovered in Malaysia

Researchers have cataloged close to 7, 000 distinct human languages on Earth, per Linguistic Society of America's latest count. That may seem like a pretty exhaustive list, but it hasn't stopped anthropologists and linguists from continuing to encounter new languages, like one recently discovered in a village in the northern part of the Malay Peninsula. From a report: According to a press release, researchers from Lund University in Sweden discovered the language during a project called Tongues of the Semang. The documentation effort in villages of the ethnic Semang people was intended to collect data on their languages, which belong to an Austoasiatic language family called Aslian. While researchers were studying a language called Jahai in one village, they came to understand that not everyone there was speaking it. "We realized that a large part of the village spoke a different language. They used words, phonemes and grammatical structures that are not used in Jahai, " says Joanne Yager, lead author of the study, which was published in the journal Linguist Typology. "Some of these words suggested a link with other Aslian languages spoken far away in other parts of the Malay Peninsula." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Why Paper Jams Persist

A trivial problem reveals the limits of technology. Fascinating story from The New Yorker: Unsurprisingly, the engineers who specialize in paper jams see them differently. Engineers tend to work in narrow subspecialties, but solving a jam requires knowledge of physics, chemistry, mechanical engineering, computer programming, and interface design. "It's the ultimate challenge, " Ruiz said. "I wouldn't characterize it as annoying, " Vicki Warner, who leads a team of printer engineers at Xerox, said of discovering a new kind of paper jam. "I would characterize it as almost exciting." When she graduated from the Rochester Institute of Technology, in 2006, her friends took jobs in trendy fields, such as automotive design. During her interview at Xerox, however, another engineer showed her the inside of a printing press. All Xerox printers look basically the same: a million-dollar printing press is like an office copier, but twenty-four feet long and eight feet high. Warner watched as the heavy, pale-gray double doors swung open to reveal a steampunk wonderland of gears, wheels, conveyor belts, and circuit boards. As in an office copier, green plastic handles offer access to the "paper path" -- the winding route, from "feeder" to "stacker, " along which sheets of paper are shocked and soaked, curled and decurled, vacuumed and superheated. "Printers are essentially paper torture chambers, " Warner said, smiling behind her glasses. "I thought, This is the coolest thing I've ever seen." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple’s iOS 12 strategy: Take more time to squash the bugs

Enlarge / The new 10.5-inch iPad Pro. (credit: Andrew Cunningham) Apple has new features planned for its big, new iOS update—but not as many as you may expect. According to a Bloomberg report , the next sweeping iOS update, codenamed "Peace" and likely to be called iOS 12, will include a number of app redesigns, the expansion of Animoji into Facetime, and other changes but not some of the biggest rumored changes such as redesigned home screens for iPhone and iPad. Instead of filling iOS 12 with a bevy of new features, Apple is reportedly changing strategies to allow developers more time to perfect the new features to ensure reliability. The biggest change planned for iOS 12, slated for release this fall, is a universal app system that would allow one app to work across iPhones, iPads, and Mac computers. Currently, users have to download separate iOS and macOS apps to use the same programs across their mobile devices and desktops or laptops. Along with this change, Apple could bring some mobile-specific apps to macOS, like the Home app that controls HomeKit-enabled smart home devices. Animojis will find another home in Facetime when iOS 12 is released. Apple is reportedly working on increasing the number of AR characters available and allowing users to don them during live Facetime video chats. A new iPad is reportedly in the works that has Apple's FaceID camera, which would allow it to support Animojis as well (Animojis are only currently available on the iPhone X , which has the new FaceID camera). Also planned for the new software update are a revamped stock-trading app and Do Not Disturb feature, an updated search view that leans more heavily on Siri, a new interface for importing photos onto an iPad, and multiplayer augmented reality gameplay. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Verizon is finally killing Compuserve Forums

Compuserve's sprawling, paleolithic forums were acquired along with Compuserve itself by AOL in 1998, and their fossil remains were augmented, year after year, decade after decade, by die-hard users who continued to participate there. (more…)

Apple signs ‘Battlestar Galactica’ developer for new space drama

Apple has ordered yet another TV series to add to its growing list of star-backed original productions. The company signed network sci-fi luminary Ronald D. Moore, veteran of several Star Trek series and developer of the Battlestar Galactica reboot, to create a completely new space drama. The show will explore what would have happened if the space race between the United States, Soviet Russia and the rest of the world hadn't ended. Fargo co-executive producers Matt Wolpert and Ben Nedivi will join Moore on the project, which does not yet have a title. It's the third series ordered by Apple's worldwide video programming division, which is headed by former Sony execs Jamie Erlicht & Zack Van Amburg. The tech giant had previously hired Steven Spielberg to produce a new version of the old Amazing Stories anthology series, as well as buying a TV drama created by and starring Jennifer Aniston and Reese Witherspoon. There's no news on when Moore's show will be released, but his experience is reason enough to get excited. He started as a writer and eventual producer on Star Trek: The Next Generation before moving on to Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and a stint on Star Trek: Voyager . He became a showrunner on HBO's Carnivale before developing the rebooted Battlestar Galactica and later Starz's Outlander series adapting the books of the same name. Moore also co-developed Amazon's upcoming sci-fi anthology series, Philip K. Dick's Electric Dreams. Source: Deadline

65% of Washington DC’s Outdoor Surveillance Cameras Infiltrated by Romanian Hackers

An anonymous reader quotes The Hill: Two Romanian hackers stand accused of hacking more than 100 outdoor police security cameras in the D.C. area during the days leading up to President Trump's inauguration, according to a court document obtained by CNN. According to an affidavit from Secret Service agent James Graham, Mihai Alexandru Isvanca and Eveline Cismaru are accused of hacking and disabling 123 out of 187 of the city's cameras between Jan. 12 and Jan. 15... Isvanca and Cismaru are also accused in the affidavit of spreading ransomware. In a possibly-related story, the Washington Post reports: Five Romanian hackers were arrested over the past week as part of an international investigation into computer ransomware, officials in the United States and Europe said Wednesday. In six houses across Romania, law enforcement operatives from Romania, Britain, the United States and the Netherlands seized hard drives, laptops, external storage devices and documents related to malicious software called CTB-Locker or Critroini. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Why are these children "sieg heiling" the American flag?

In this 1915 photo, the children appear to be raising their arms in a siege heil salute of the American flag. Actually, this gesture was part of the Pledge of Allegiance ritual for decades. Then, um, Hitler happened. From Smithsonian : Originally known as the Bellamy Salute, the gesture came to be in the 1890s, when the Pledge of Allegiance was written by Francis J. Bellamy. The Christian socialist minister was recruited to write a patriotic pledge to the American flag as part of magazine mogul Daniel Sharp Ford’s quest to get the flag into public schools. At the time... Bellamy and his boss both agreed that the Civil War had divided American loyalties and that the flag might be able to bridge those gaps. His campaign centered around the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’ arrival in the new world. He published his new Pledge as part of a unified Columbus Day ceremony program in September 1892 in the pages of the Youth’s Companion, a popular children’s magazine with a circulation of 500,000. “At a signal from the Principal,” Bellamy wrote, “the pupils, in ordered ranks, hands to the side, face the Flag. Another signal is given; every pupil gives the flag the military salute—right hand lifted, palm downward, to a line with the forehead and close to it. Standing thus, all repeat together, slowly, 'I pledge allegiance to my Flag…'” Then in the 1930s, Hitler reportedly saw Italian Fascists doing a similar gesture, likely based on an ancient Roman custom, and adopted it for the Nazi party.

Hackers Manage To Run Linux On a Nintendo Switch

Romain Dillet reports via TechCrunch: Hacker group fail0verflow shared a photo of a Nintendo Switch running Debian, a distribution of Linux. The group claims that Nintendo can't fix the vulnerability with future firmware patches. According to fail0verflow, there's a flaw in the boot ROM in Nvidia's Tegra X1 system-on-a-chip. When your console starts, it reads and executes a piece of code stored in a read-only memory (hence the name ROM). This code contains instructions about the booting process. It means that the boot ROM is stored on the chip when Nvidia manufactures it and it can't be altered in any way after that. Even if Nintendo issues a software update, this software update won't affect the boot ROM. And as the console loads the boot ROM immediately after pressing the power button, there's no way to bypass it. The only way to fix it would be to manufacture new Nvidia Tegra X1 chips. So it's possible that Nintendo asks Nvidia to fix the issue so that new consoles don't have this vulnerability. Read more of this story at Slashdot.