Maker Ben Saks of KinetiGear is crowdfunding BoXZY , a desktop fabricator bringing micromanufacturing to the masses. Users can shape wood, plastics, and many metals using most commercial CAM programs. Read the rest
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols, writing for ZDNet: Matthew Garrett, the well-known Linux and security developer who works for Google, explained recently that, "Intel chipsets for some years have included a Management Engine [ME], a small microprocessor that runs independently of the main CPU and operating system. Various pieces of software run on the ME, ranging from code to handle media DRM to an implementation of a TPM. AMT [Active Management Technology] is another piece of software running on the ME." At a presentation at Embedded Linux Conference Europe, Ronald Minnich, a Google software engineer reported that systems using Intel chips that have AMT, are running MINIX. So, what's it doing in Intel chips? A lot. These processors are running a closed-source variation of the open-source MINIX 3. We don't know exactly what version or how it's been modified since we don't have the source code. In addition, thanks to Minnich and his fellow researchers' work, MINIX is running on three separate x86 cores on modern chips. There, it's running: TCP/IP networking stacks (4 and 6), file systems, drivers (disk, net, USB, mouse), web servers. MINIX also has access to your passwords. It can also reimage your computer's firmware even if it's powered off. Let me repeat that. If your computer is "off" but still plugged in, MINIX can still potentially change your computer's fundamental settings. And, for even more fun, it "can implement self-modifying code that can persist across power cycles." So, if an exploit happens here, even if you unplug your server in one last desperate attempt to save it, the attack will still be there waiting for you when you plug it back in. How? MINIX can do all this because it runs at a fundamentally lower level. According to Minnich, "there are big giant holes that people can drive exploits through." He continued, "Are you scared yet? If you're not scared yet, maybe I didn't explain it very well, because I sure am scared." Also read: Andrew S. Tanenbaum's (a professor of Computer Science at Vrije Universiteit) open letter to Intel. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The Last Jedi helmer Rian Johnson has signed on to write and direct a new trilogy within the Star Wars universe, Disney announced today . There aren't any details to share about the new project yet, but the company explicitly noted that it'll feature new characters and be completely separate from the Skywalker saga. If anything, the new spin-off trilogy is a sign that the company was pleased with his work on The Last Jedi , which hits theaters on December 5th. "We all loved working with Rian on The Last Jedi , " Kathleen Kennedy, president of Lucasfilm, said in a statement. "He's a creative force, and watching him craft The Last Jedi from start to finish was one of the great joys of my career. Rian will do amazing things with the blank canvas of this new trilogy." Source: Disney
We've heard of many different uses for AI within the medical field , including for prediction of heart attacks and detection of Alzheimer's . Now, it looks as though machine intelligence could be applied to early detection of cancer as well. A group of Japanese researchers has figured out a way to use AI to spot colorectal cancer tumors before they become malignant, according to Inverse . The team compiled a database of over 30, 000 images of pre-cancerous and cancerous cells in order to help the AI detect the difference between the two. After the machine learning process had taken place, they fed it an image of a colorectal polyp that had its magnification increased by a factor of 500. The program was able to determine within a second whether that specific polyp was cancerous. Dr. Yuichi Mora from Showa University made a presentation about these results this week at the United European Gastroenterology Conference in Barcelona. He cited the AI's detection accuracy at 86 percent, which is impressive. This is specifically important for colorectal cancer; it's highly treatable in early stages, but detection often comes very late, after the cancer cells have spread into the bloodstream. The cancer originates as benign polyps in the rectum and colon that turn into malignant tumors. This AI could help detect colorectal cancer early, ensuring that the cancer is treatable for more people. Source: Inverse , PubMed
New submitter mrcoder83 shares a report from Futurism: Engineers from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have been able to create a stable plasma ring without a container. According to the Caltech press release, it's "essentially capturing lightning in a bottle, but without the bottle." This remarkable feat was achieved using only a stream of water and a crystal plate, made from either quartz and lithium niobate. The union of these tools induced a type of contact electrification known as the triboelectric effect. The researchers blasted the crystal plate with an 85-micron-diameter jet of water (narrower than a human hair) from a specially designed nozzle. The water hit the crystal plate with a pressure of 632.7 kilograms of force per centimeter (9, 000 pounds per square inch), generating an impact velocity of around 305 meters per second (1, 000 feet per second) -- as fast as a bullet from a handgun. Plasma was formed as a result of the creation of an electric charge when the water hit the crystal surface. The flow of electrons from the point of contact ionizes the molecules and atoms in the gas area surrounding the water's surface, forming a donut-shaped glowing plasma that's dozens of microns in diameter. Caltech posted a video of the plasma ring on their YouTube channel. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Lovesense -- the company that made the Bluetooth-enabled vibrating buttplugs that could be detected and hacked remotely and settled a class-lawsuit over collecting vibrator users' personal information for $3.75M -- has told users of its Lovesense Remote vibrator app not to worry about the "minor bug" that causes it to record the audio of their sex sessions. (more…)
Enlarge (credit: Microsoft ) Fancy Bear, the advanced hacking group researchers say is tied to the Russian government, is actively exploiting a newly revived technique that gives attackers a stealthy means of infecting computers using Microsoft Office documents, security researchers said this week. Fancy Bear is one of two Russian-sponsored hacking outfits researchers say breached Democratic National Committee networks ahead of last year's presidential election. The group was recently caught sending a Word document that abuses a feature known as Dynamic Data Exchange. DDE allows a file to execute code stored in another file and allows applications to send updates as new data becomes available. In a blog post published Tuesday , Trend Micro researchers said Fancy Bear was sending a document titled IsisAttackInNewYork.docx that abused the DDE feature. Once opened, the file connects to a control server to download a first-stage of piece of malware called Seduploader and installs it on a target's computer. DDE's potential as an infection technique has been known for years, but a post published last month by security firm SensePost has revived interest in it. The post showed how DDE could be abused to install malware using Word files that went undetected by anti-virus programs. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments
LG only just brought its 55-inch 1080p OLED to a $3, 500 price that's within the limits of mainstream credit cards, and it's already back with something better. The curved 4K OLED TV we saw at CES is about to go on sale in Korea, and will arrive soon everywhere else, meaning well-heeled buyers don't have to choose between Ultra HD resolution and the sweet black levels offered by this newer display technology. We don't have an official US price for the TV yet, but HDGuru's usually reliable retail sources say the 77-inch model (there's also a 65-inch version in) will arrive for about $7, 000 next month. In Korea it's priced at about 12, 000, 000 won ($11, 738), however US prices are usually much lower. LG exec Hyun-hwoi Ha isn't mincing words either, calling the new display "the pinnacle of technological achievement" and saying the tech will overcome LCDs in sales in just a few years. Can OLED pull off what plasma couldn't ? LG is betting it will -- meanwhile Samsung seems convinced that OLED isn't quite ready for prime time. Filed under: Displays , Home Entertainment , HD , LG Comments Source: LG Newsroom
There's just four days left to vote for the winner of the 23rd Annual Interactive Fiction Competition. An anonymous reader writes: This year's contest set a record, drawing 79 new text adventures -- 36% more entries than the previous year's 58. All of this year's games are available online, furthering the competition's goal of "making them freely available in order to encourage the creation, play, and discussion of interactive fiction." (And they're also available in a 236-megabyte .zip archive.) Each game's developer is competing for $4, 800 in cash prizes, to be shared among everyone who finishes in the top two-thirds (including a $247 prize to the first-place winner). Authors of the top-rated games will also get to choose from a 38-prize pool (which includes another $200 cash prize donated by Asymmetric Publications, as well as a "well-loved" used Wii console). But the most important thing is there's a bunch of fun new text adventures to play. Reviews are already appearing online, lovingly collected by the Interactive Fiction Wiki. And one game designer even livestreamed their text adventure-playing on Twitch. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An anti-piracy alliance supported by many major US and UK movie studios, broadcasters and content providers has dealt a blow to the third-party Kodi addon scene after it successfully forced a number of popular piracy-linked streaming tools offline. In what appears to be a coordinated crackdown, developers including jsergio123 and The_Alpha , who are responsible for the development and hosting of addons like urlresolver, metahandler, Bennu, DeathStreams and Sportie, confirmed that they will no longer maintain their Kodi creations and have immediately shut them down. The action comes after The_Alpha reportedly received a hand delivered letter to their UK home : "This letter is addressed to you by companies of the six-major United States film studios represented by the Motion Picture Association (MPA), namely Columbia Pictures Industries, Inc., Disney Enterprises, Inc., Paramount Pictures Corporation, Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation, Universal City Studios LLLP and Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., Netflix, Inc. and Amazon Studios LLC (represented by MPA via the Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment (ACE)), Sky UK Limited, and The Football Association Premier League Limited, " the opening paragraph reads. The letter identifies the developer as the creator of third-party software that provides "unlawful access to protected copyright works, including works owned by, or exclusively licensed to, the Content Companies" and notes their additional involvement in the upkeep of the Colossus repository, an online collection of various streaming Kodi addons. With Colossus gone, a popular TV show and movie streaming tool called Covenant is also currently unavailable. It's scared a number of related addon developers, with Ares Wizard, another popular host, reportedly deciding to throw in the towel. The crackdown suggests the MPA/MPAA-led Alliance for Creativity and Entertainment has a thorough understanding of how owners of so-called "Kodi boxes" are able to stream TV shows and films illegally. While Colossus merely hosts the tools, urlresolver and metahandler did much of the heavy lifting for streamers. Their job was to scrape video hosting sites for relevant streaming links and serve them up for tools like Covenant inside Kodi. Streamers will find it very difficult to find working video streams of their favorite content without them, but they could reappear via a new host in the future. Sorry to say but I am stopping all development of the urlresolver, metahandler, and my other addons. I am not responsible for covenant and bennu but colossus has agreed to delete the repo too. — jsergio123 (@jsergio123) November 15, 2017 As pre-loaded Kodi boxes have surged in popularity in the past year, many of the most popular piracy-linked addons have targeted by rightsholders. In June, US satellite broadcaster Dish Network issued a lawsuit that targeted the TVAddons repository and forced streaming tools ZemTV and Phoenix offline. The action will be bad news for Kodi, the the company behind the popular media center. Despite attempts to distance itself from piracy, it often finds itself implicated in news reports that focus on actions taken against infringing third-party addons. Via: TorrentFreak , TVAddons