Computers & Linux News

Best Places to Buy Tires for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-12 07:00
Here are the best places to buy tires near you. You can choose from the best selection, online ordering and even retailers that will install your tires at your home.

Best Mattress for Stomach Sleepers 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-12 07:00
Get great sleep all night with these top-rated brands for belly sleepers.

Best Car Buffer for 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-12 07:00
We took a look at popular dual-action and orbital polishers to find the best car buffer for anyone.

Anne Heche 'Not Expected to Survive' Following Car Wreck - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-12 06:39
The 53-year-old Emmy-winning actor suffered a "severe brain injury" after crashing her car into a house.

Notorious Movies and TV Shows That Have Never Been Released

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-12 06:00
From "Batgirl" to "Star Wars Detours" to "Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay," the Hollywood Reporter highlights twelve infamous films and series that made headlines for being canceled -- and are not available anywhere. From the report: The vast majority of axed Hollywood projects are run-of-the-mill concepts that simply didn't work out or eventually find their way online. That's not the case with these titles. The below roundup of films and TV series features projects you cannot see anywhere that have achieved a level of notoriety -- either due to their scandalous content or because fans desperately want to see them (or both). The list includes: 1. Batgirl 2. Ultimate Slip 'N Slide 3. Tremors (2018 TV Pilot) 4. Star Wars: Detours 5. Seriously, Dude, I'm Gay 6. My Best Friend's Birthday 7. 100 Years 8. Uncle Tom's Fairytales 9. Bloodmoon (Game of Thrones Prequel) 10. The Original Game of Thrones Pilot 11. Our Little Genius 12. The Day the Clown Cried Some of the canceled shows were yanked for "creative reasons" or the potential to ruin a company's brand; others were given no reasoning whatsoever, leaving it up to speculation. Under each show included on the list is an explanation of events that help to explain why it's one of the "most legendary of the unseen." You can view the full article here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17-Year-Old Designs Electric Motor Without Rare-Earth Magnets

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-12 03:00
"A 17-year-old [named Robert Sansone] created a prototype of a novel synchronous reluctance motor that has greater rotational force -- or torque -- and efficiency than existing ones," writes Slashdot reader hesdeadjim99 from a report via Smithsonian Magazine. "The prototype was made from 3-D printed plastic, copper wires and a steel rotor and tested using a variety of meters to measure power and a laser tachometer to determine the motor's rotational speed. His work earned him first prize, and $75,000 in winnings, at this year's Regeneron International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), the largest international high school STEM competition." From the report: The less sustainable permanent magnet motors use materials such as neodymium, samarium and dysprosium, which are in high demand because theyâ(TM)re used in many different products, including headphones and earbuds, explains Heath Hofmann, a professor of electrical and computer engineering at the University of Michigan. Hofmann has worked extensively on electric vehicles, including consulting with Tesla to develop the control algorithms for its propulsion drive. [...] Synchronous reluctance motors donâ(TM)t use magnets. Instead, a steel rotor with air gaps cut into it aligns itself with the rotating magnetic field. Reluctance, or the magnetism of a material, is key to this process. As the rotor spins along with the rotating magnetic field, torque is produced. More torque is produced when the saliency ratio, or difference in magnetism between materials (in this case, the steel and the non-magnetic air gaps), is greater. Instead of using air gaps, Sansone thought he could incorporate another magnetic field into a motor. This would increase this saliency ratio and, in turn, produce more torque. His design has other components, but he canâ(TM)t disclose any more details because he hopes to patent the technology in the future. [...] It took several prototypes before he could test his design. [...] Sansone tested his motor for torque and efficiency, and then reconfigured it to run as a more traditional synchronous reluctance motor for comparison. He found that his novel design exhibited 39 percent greater torque and 31 percent greater efficiency at 300 revolutions per minute (RPM). At 750 RPM, it performed at 37 percent greater efficiency. He couldnâ(TM)t test his prototype at higher revolutions per minute because the plastic pieces would overheat -- a lesson he learned the hard way when one of the prototypes melted on his desk, he tells Top of the Class, a podcast produced by Crimson Education. In comparison, Teslaâ(TM)s Model S motor can reach up to 18,000 RPM, explained the companyâ(TM)s principal motor designer Konstantinos Laskaris in a 2016 interview with Christian Ruoff of the electric vehicles magazine Charged. Sansone validated his results in a second experiment, in which he âoeisolated the theoretical principle under which the novel design creates magnetic saliency,â per his project presentation. Essentially, this experiment eliminated all other variables, and confirmed that the improvements in torque and efficiency were correlated with the greater saliency ratio of his design. [...] Sansone is now working on calculations and 3-D modeling for version 16 of his motor, which he plans to build out of sturdier materials so he can test it at higher revolutions per minute. If his motor continues to perform with high speed and efficiency, he says heâ(TM)ll move forward with the patenting process.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

DOE Digs Up Molten Salt Nuclear Reactor Tech, Los Alamos To Lead the Way Back

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-12 03:00
After more than 50 years, molten salt nuclear reactors might be making a comeback. The US Department of Energy (DoE) has tapped Los Alamos National Laboratory (LANL) to lead a $9.25 million study into the structural properties and materials necessary to build them at scale. The Register reports: "The US needs projects like this one to advance nuclear technologies and help us achieve the Biden-Harris administration's goals of clean energy by 2035 and a net-zero economy by 2050," said Asmeret Asefaw Berhe, director of the office of science, in a statement. The study, conducted as part of the Scientific Discovery though Advanced Computing (SciDAC) program, seeks to gain a better understanding of the relationship between corrosion and irradiation effects at the atomic scale in metals exposed to molten salt reactors through simulation. This isn't the first time the DoE has explored this reactor tech. In the middle of last century, Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) took the lessons learned from the Aircraft Reactor experiment to build a functional nuclear aircraft power source and began construction of a molten salt test reactor. The experiments, conducted between 1957 and 1969, utilized a mixture of lithium, beryllium, zirconium, and uranium fluoride salts. Cooling was also achieved using a fluoride salt mixture, but it lacked the uranium and zirconium found in the fuel. The experiments proved promising, as molten salt reactors were generally smaller and considered safer compared to the pressurized water reactors still used today. But both proved too heavy for powered flight or materials design. Because cooling was achieved by circulating molten salt through a heat exchanger as opposed to water, the risk of a steam explosion is effectively nonexistent. However, as the Oak Ridge National Laboratory found during the Molten Salt Reactor Experiment, fluoride salts are incredibly corrosive and required hardened materials to safely contain them. "ORNL's Molten Salt Reactor Experiment utilized specialized materials fabricated from Hastelloy-N -- a nickel-molybdenum alloy developed by the lab with a high resistance to corrosion even at high temperatures," adds the reports. "The research program announced this week will revisit the material choices and examine a variety of metals using higher-performance compute resources to simulate how they'll perform at scale in these reactors."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung Leader Jay Y. Lee Granted Presidential Pardon - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-12 00:04
Largely symbolic move will allow the de facto leader to take control of the conglomerate.

A New Study Overturns 100-Year-Old Understanding of Color Perception

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A new study corrects an important error in the 3D mathematical space developed by the Nobel Prize-winning physicist Erwin Schrodinger and others, and used by scientists and industry for more than 100 years to describe how your eye distinguishes one color from another. The research has the potential to boost scientific data visualizations, improve TVs and recalibrate the textile and paint industries. [...] "Our original idea was to develop algorithms to automatically improve color maps for data visualization, to make them easier to understand and interpret," [said Roxana Bujack, a computer scientist with a background in mathematics who creates scientific visualizations at Los Alamos National Laboratory and lead author of the paper]. So the team was surprised when they discovered they were the first to determine that the longstanding application of Riemannian geometry, which allows generalizing straight lines to curved surfaces, didn't work. To create industry standards, a precise mathematical model of perceived color space is needed. First attempts used Euclidean spaces -- the familiar geometry taught in many high schools; more advanced models used Riemannian geometry. The models plot red, green and blue in the 3D space. Those are the colors registered most strongly by light-detecting cones on our retinas, and -- not surprisingly -- the colors that blend to create all the images on your RGB computer screen. In the study, which blends psychology, biology and mathematics, Bujack and her colleagues discovered that using Riemannian geometry overestimates the perception of large color differences. That's because people perceive a big difference in color to be less than the sum you would get if you added up small differences in color that lie between two widely separated shades. Riemannian geometry cannot account for this effect. "We didn't expect this, and we don't know the exact geometry of this new color space yet," Bujack said. "We might be able to think of it normally but with an added dampening or weighing function that pulls long distances in, making them shorter. But we can't prove it yet." The findings appear in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Science.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Raspberry Pi-Powered Anti-Tracking Tool Checks If You're Being Followed

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 21:25
Matt Edmondson, a hacker and digital forensics expert, built a Raspberry Pi-powered anti-tracking tool that "scans for nearby devices and alerts you if the same phone is detected multiple times within the past 20 minutes," reports Wired. The device, which can be carried around or placed in a car, consists of parts that cost around $200 in total. From the report: The homemade system works by scanning for wireless devices around it and then checking its logs to see whether they also were present within the past 20 minutes. It was designed to be used while people are on the move rather than sitting in, say, a coffee shop, where it would pick up too many false readings. The anti-tracking tool, which can sit inside a shoebox-sized case, is made up of a few components. A Raspberry Pi 3 runs its software, a Wi-Fi card looks for nearby devices, a small waterproof case protects it, and a portable charger powers the system. A touchscreen shows the alerts the device produces. Each alert may be a sign that you are being tailed. The device runs Kismet, which is a wireless network detector, and is able to detect smartphones and tablets around it that are looking for Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connections. The phones we use are constantly looking for wireless networks around them, including networks they've connected to before as well as new networks. Edmondson says Kismet makes a record of the first time it sees a device and then the most recent time it was detected. But to make the anti-tracking system work, he had to write code in Python to create lists of what Kismet detects over time. There are lists for devices spotted in the past five to 10 minutes, 10 to 15 minutes, and 15 to 20 minutes. If a device appears twice, an alert flashes up on the screen. The system can show a phone's MAC address, although this is not much use if it's been randomized. It can also record the names of Wi-Fi networks that devices around it are looking for -- a phone that's trying to connect to a Wi-Fi network called Langley may give some clues about its owner. "If you have a device on you, I should see it," he says. In an example, he showed WIRED that a device was looking for a network called SAMSUNGSMART. To stop the system from detecting your own phone or those of other people traveling with you, it has an "ignore" list. By tapping one of the device's onscreen buttons, it's possible to "ignore everything that it has already seen." Edmondson says that in the future, the device could be modified to send a text alert instead of showing them on the screen. He is also interested in adding the capability to detect tire-pressure monitoring systems that could show recurring nearby vehicles. A GPS unit could also be added so you can see where you were when you were being tracked, he says. [...] Edmondson has no plans to make the device into a commercial product, but he says the design could easily be copied and reused by anyone with some technical knowledge. Many of the parts involved are easy to obtain or may be lying around the homes of people in tech communities. For those interested, Edmondson open-sourced its underlying code and plans to present the research project at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas this week.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Searches For Games May Give a New Result: Launch it on Cloud Gaming - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 20:58
So seamless, you're surprised it wasn't tested sooner for faster access to cloud gaming.

Meta Injecting Code Into Websites Visited By Its Users To Track Them, Research Says

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 20:45
Meta, the owner of Facebook and Instagram, has been rewriting websites its users visit, letting the company follow them across the web after they click links in its apps, according to new research from an ex-Google engineer. The Guardian reports: The two apps have been taking advantage of the fact that users who click on links are taken to webpages in an "in-app browser," controlled by Facebook or Instagram, rather than sent to the user's web browser of choice, such as Safari or Firefox. "The Instagram app injects their tracking code into every website shown, including when clicking on ads, enabling them [to] monitor all user interactions, like every button and link tapped, text selections, screenshots, as well as any form inputs, like passwords, addresses and credit card numbers," says Felix Krause, a privacy researcher who founded an app development tool acquired by Google in 2017. Krause discovered the code injection by building a tool that could list all the extra commands added to a website by the browser. For normal browsers, and most apps, the tool detects no changes, but for Facebook and Instagram it finds up to 18 lines of code added by the app. Those lines of code appear to scan for a particular cross-platform tracking kit and, if not installed, instead call the Meta Pixel, a tracking tool that allows the company to follow a user around the web and build an accurate profile of their interests. The company does not disclose to the user that it is rewriting webpages in this way. No such code is added to the in-app browser of WhatsApp, according to Krause's research. [...] It is unclear when Facebook began injecting code to track users after clicking links. "We intentionally developed this code to honor people's [Ask to track] choices on our platforms," a Meta spokesperson told The Guardian in a statement. "The code allows us to aggregate user data before using it for targeted advertising or measurement purposes. We do not add any pixels. Code is injected so that we can aggregate conversion events from pixels." They added: "For purchases made through the in-app browser, we seek user consent to save payment information for the purposes of autofill."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Best Netflix Documentaries You Should Totally Watch - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 20:41
Netflix's documentaries might be the best part of the service.

'Antarctica Is Crumbling at Its Edges': NASA Study Reveals Decades of Ice Loss - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 20:25
"It's unlikely Antarctica can grow back to its pre-2000 extent by the end of this century," researchers say.

Critical Infrastructure Attacks Remain a Major Threat, Top Security Writer Warns - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 20:02
Last year's ransomware attack on Colonial Pipeline could have been prevented, Kim Zetter says.

Researchers Find Vulnerability In Software Underlying Discord, Microsoft Teams, and Other Apps

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 20:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A group of security researchers found a series of vulnerabilities in the software underlying popular apps like Discord, Microsoft Teams, Spotify and many others, which are used by tens of millions of people all over the world. At the Black Hat cybersecurity conference in Las Vegas on Thursday, the researchers presented their findings, detailing how they could have hacked people who use Discord, Microsoft Teams, and the chat app Element by exploiting the software underlying all of them: Electron, which is a framework built on the open source Chromium and the cross-platform javascript environment Node JS. In all these cases, the researchers submitted vulnerabilities to Electron to get them fixed, which earned them more than $10,000 in rewards. The bugs were fixed before the researchers published their research. Aaditya Purani, one of the researchers who found these vulnerabilities, said that "regular users should know that the Electron apps are not the same as their day-to-day browsers," meaning they are potentially more vulnerable. In the case of Discord, the bug Purani and his colleagues found only required them to send a malicious link to a video. With Microsoft Teams, the bug they found could be exploited by inviting a victim to a meeting. In both cases, if the targets clicked on these links, hackers would have been able to take control of their computers, Purani explained in the talk. For him, one of the main takeaways of their research is that Electron is risky precisely because users are very likely to click on links shared in Discord or Microsoft Teams.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IKEA Customers Will Soon Get To Fast-Charge Their EVs While Shopping - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 19:26
IKEA stores in 18 states will get EV chargers that rival the speeds of Tesla's Supercharger stations.

Meta's Flailing Portal Repurposed As a Wireless Portable Monitor

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-11 19:20
On Wednesday, Meta announced that the Portal Plus Gen 2 and Portal Go now support Duet Display, an app that can turn a display into a secondary monitor for Macs and PCs. Ars Technica reports: The Portal Plus is the same size as some of the best portable monitors, so it makes sense to repurpose it for that function. Because it's built for video image quality, it has a decent resolution for a portable display -- 2160x1440. Duet Display doesn't require a display to be connected to a computer via a cable, so specific Portals are now portable wireless monitors, too. At a time when webcams are integrated into many laptops, and USB webcams are easier to find again, many consumers don't need a display dedicated primarily to web calls. But an extra monitor? That's more widely appealing. With the addition of Duet Display, Portal owners have further reason to think about their Portal when they're not on a video call. Meta also gave all Portals with a touchscreen -- namely, the Portal Go, Portal Plus, Portal, and Portal Mini -- a Meta Portal Companion app for macOS. The app enables screen sharing during video calls and provides quick access to video call features, like mute and link sharing in Zoom, Workplace, and BlueJeans.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

CDC Tweaks, Loosens and Reaffirms Its COVID Guidance - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-11 18:45
The CDC makes slight changes to its recommendations, continuing to emphasize community levels and moving toward a new way of handling COVID-19.