New MacBook Pro Has Already Outsold All Other Laptops This Year

Slashdot - Thu, 10/11/2016 - 12:45am
New submitter TheFakeTimCook writes: An article on MacRumors has revealed that Apple's latest MacBook Pro has already outsold all competing laptops this year, according to new data shared by research firm Slice Intelligence: "Slice Intelligence says the new MacBook Pro accumulated more revenue from online orders during its first five days of availability than the Microsoft Surface Book, ASUS Chromebook Flip, Dell Inspiron 2-in-1, and Lenovo Yoga 900, based on e-receipt data from 12,979 online shoppers in the United States. The new MacBook Pro generated over seven times the revenue that the 12-inch MacBook did over its first five days of availability, according to Slice Intelligence. If accurate, that means it took the new MacBook Pro just five days to accumulate 78% of all the revenue generated by the 12-inch MacBook since its April 2015 launch. The data follows Apple marketing chief Phil Schiller's claim the new MacBook Pro had received more online orders than any previous MacBook Pro as of November 2. Apple has also reportedly told its overseas manufacturers to expect strong MacBook Pro shipments to last until at least the end of 2016. Slice Intelligence extracts detailed information from hundreds of millions of aggregated and anonymized e-receipts."

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Categories: Science

Donald Trump Won Because of Facebook

Slashdot - Thu, 10/11/2016 - 12:05am
Max Read makes his case via New York Magazine for how Facebook was the reason for Donald Trump's surprise victory on November 8th. Though, to be fair, "Facebook" is called out specifically due to its large online presence, but in reality all the "large and influential boards and social-media platforms where Americans now congregate to discuss politics" are to blame. The main reason why has to do with Facebook's "inability (or refusal) to address the problem of hoax or fake news" that is spread rampantly and effortlessly across the platform: Fake news is not a problem unique to Facebook, but Facebook's enormous audience, and the mechanisms of distribution on which the site relies -- i.e., the emotionally charged activity of sharing, and the show-me-more-like-this feedback loop of the news feed algorithm -- makes it the only site to support a genuinely lucrative market in which shady publishers arbitrage traffic by enticing people off of Facebook and onto ad-festooned websites, using stories that are alternately made up, incorrect, exaggerated beyond all relationship to truth, or all three. Many got hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of shares, likes, and comments; enough people clicked through to the posts to generate significant profits for their creators. The valiant efforts of Snopes and other debunking organizations were insufficient; Facebook's labyrinthine sharing and privacy settings mean that fact-checks get lost in the shuffle. Often, no one would even need to click on and read the story for the headline itself to become a widely distributed talking point, repeated elsewhere online, or, sometimes, in real life. When roughly 170 million people in North America use Facebook every day and nearly forty-four percent of all adults in the U.S. say they get news from Facebook, the spread of "fake news" is all the more detrimental. The problem is that Facebook seems "insecure about its power, unsure of its purpose, and unclear about what its responsibilities really are." Earlier this year, Facebook acted on what was right and wrong by censoring the iconic "napalm girl" photograph, later issuing a statement saying "These are difficult decisions and we don't always get it right." Of course, lies and exaggerations have always been central to real political campaigns; Facebook has simply made them easier to spread, and discovered that it suffers no particular market punishment for doing so -- humans seem to have a strong bias toward news that confirms their beliefs, and environments where those beliefs are unlikely to be challenged.

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Categories: Science

The golden drool: Study finds treasure trove of info in saliva of foraging bears

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 11:28pm
The rivers and streams of Alaska are littered in the summer and fall with carcasses of tens of thousands of salmon that not only provide a smorgasbord for hungry brown bears but are also the newest database in the arsenal of wildlife biologists.
Categories: Science

Accelerating cancer research with deep learning

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 11:28pm
Despite steady progress in detection and treatment in recent decades, cancer remains the second leading cause of death in the United States, cutting short the lives of approximately 500,000 people each year. A research team has focused on creating software that can quickly identify valuable information in cancer reports, an ability that would not only save time and worker hours but also potentially reveal overlooked avenues in cancer research.
Categories: Science

Game theory shows how tragedies of the commons might be averted

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 11:26pm
Lake Lanier in Georgia is the primary water reservoir serving suburban and metropolitan Atlanta. When the lake's water level drops below a certain point, calls go out for water conservation and news reports show images of the red mud shoreline. In some affected counties, water restrictions are imposed. The combination of usage restrictions and changes in precipitation eventually averts the crisis. But, when the crisis ends, water usage rebounds -- until the next shortage.
Categories: Science

Samsung's Latest Patent Is a Foldable Phone

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 11:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: A recent patent application (PDF) shows that Samsung has ambitious ideas for future phone-design experimentation, although the South Korean manufacturer may have second thoughts about bendy phones after recent battery explosions and recalls. In April, Samsung was reported to have filed a patent with the Korean Intellectual Property Office for a foldable smartphone. The application was picked up by Dutch website Galaxy Club. The document shows a narrow Samsung device with a screen that bends and folds like an old-school flip phone handset. The device is described as something that can be "folded or unfolded semi automatically." The patent also referred to a "secondary" display, which is supposed to activate when you fold the device, according to International Business Times UK.

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Categories: Science

New promise for immunotherapy as HIV treatment

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 11:16pm
Immunotherapy has revolutionized treatment options in oncology, neurology, and many infectious diseases and now there is fresh hope that the same method could be used to treat or even functionally cure HIV, according to new research.
Categories: Science

Power outage in the brain may be source of Alzheimer's

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 10:51pm
In a new study, researchers investigate the role of mitochondria in Alzheimer's disease pathology. Mitochondria act as energy centers for cells and are of central importance in health and disease. The study builds on earlier work suggesting gene mutations affecting mitochondrial function may be critical in the development of the disease.
Categories: Science

Slashdot Asks: Should The US Abolish The Electoral College?

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 10:40pm
Last night as votes were still being counted, statistician and editor-in-chief for FiveThirtyEight Nate Silver pointed out that while Donald Trump has been elected president of the United States, "it's possible, perhaps even likely, that [Hillary Clinton] will eventually win the popular vote as more votes come in from California." We now know that she has indeed won the popular vote by a slim margin. American journalist Carl Bialik adds via Silver's blog: Hillary Clinton could still conceivably win the election -- or she could lose the national popular vote. But since both outcomes look unlikely, we should start preparing ourselves for the possibility of the second split between the national popular vote and the electoral vote in the last five presidential elections. A coalition of 11 sates with 165 electoral votes between them has agreed to an interstate compact that, once signed by states with a combined 270 or more electoral votes, would bind their electors to vote for the winner of the national popular vote -- in effect ending the Electoral College. New York just joined this week. It wasn't enough to affect this election, but maybe today's result will spur more states to join. The results of this election echo the 2000 results, where Democrat Al Gore narrowly won the popular vote, but George W. Bush won the White House. It brings into question whether or not the Electoral College should be abolished in favor of the popular vote. As a refresher, the Electoral College is comprised of electors that cast their votes for president. Each state has a set number of electors that is based on the state's population -- the candidate who wins the state's popular vote gets those electors. Technically, on Election Day, the American people are electing the electors who elect the president. The New York Times has a lengthy article describing how the Electoral College works, which you can view here.

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Categories: Science

America’s Brief Role as a Climate Leader Is Probably Over

Wired News - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 10:21pm
While America was watching Donald Trump sweep the polls, climate representatives from over 200 countries were watching America's commitments to international climate goals blow away. The post America's Brief Role as a Climate Leader Is Probably Over appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Google Safe Browsing Adds 'Repeat Offender' Category

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 10:00pm
An anonymous reader writes: Google's Safe Browsing service will now brand sites which fall victim to malware repeatedly as "repeat offenders." When a site is identified as serving malware -- which usually occurs via an SQL injection attack or through auction-driven network advertising -- Google adds a "This site will harm your computer" tag to domain entries in its search results, and serves further warnings by way of interstitial pages. From today, sites which continue to succumb to attackers will not be permitted to resubmit their domain for consideration via Search Console for thirty days -- enough time to do significant SEO damage. That period does not include additional time for Google to respond to submissions about repaired sites and to remove the warnings.

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Categories: Science

Trump’s Win Signals Open Season for Russia’s Political Hackers

Wired News - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 9:24pm
After their success in the US election, the Kremlin's hackers are setting their sights on other political processes around the world. The post Trump's Win Signals Open Season for Russia's Political Hackers appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Open Source Pioneer Munich Debates Report That Suggests Abandoning Linux for Windows 10

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 9:20pm
As an open-source software pioneer, Munich spent years moving away from Windows, but now politicians are debating a report that suggests the city could eventually abandon Linux. A report on TechRepublic adds: If the authority ruling Germany's third largest city backs proposals to make Windows 10 and Microsoft Office available across the council, it would be a significant step away from open-source software for an organization once seen as its champion. Over a nine-year period starting in 2004, the council moved about 15,000 staff from using Windows and Office to LiMux -- a custom version of the Ubuntu desktop OS -- and other open source software. At the time, Munich was one of the largest organizations to reject Windows, and Microsoft took the city's leaving so seriously that then CEO Steve Ballmer flew to Munich to meet the mayor. Now a report commissioned by current mayor Dieter Reiter to help determine the future of IT at the council has outlined a project to make Windows 10 and Microsoft Office available to all departments, and give staff the choice about whether to use Windows or LiMux.

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Categories: Science

General Motors To Lay Off 2,000 Workers at Two US Plants

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 8:40pm
General Motors plans to lay off 2,000 employees at two U.S. auto plants in early 2017, the automaker said on Wednesday. From a Reuters report:GM said it will furlough the employees when it cuts the third shift at its Lordstown, Ohio and Lansing, Michigan plants in mid-January. The Lordstown plant builds the compact Chevrolet Cruze, whose U.S. sales through October were down 20 percent. The Lansing Grand River plant builds the Cadillac ATS and CTS, whose sales were down 17 percent through October.An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a Washington Examiner report, "Trump has already criticized General Motors for reports that it would shift some production to Mexico, a plan that the company hasn't confirmed and didn't allude to Wednesday. The incoming Republican president also has said that he would impose a 35 percent tariff on the products of former U.S. subsidiaries that moved out of the country. When Ford announced the opening of a new factory in Mexico earlier this year, Trump called it an "absolute disgrace" and pledged to tax its imports to the U.S."

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Categories: Science

Doctor Strange Has Us Totally Entranced

Wired News - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 8:30pm
This week on WIRED's culture podcast we're talking about Marvel's Sorcerer Supreme and the election's most-biting late-night moments. The post Doctor Strange Has Us Totally Entranced appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Donald Trump Wins US Presidency

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 8:01pm
It's official: Donald Trump has won the 2016 presidential election. Slashdot reader Xenographic writes: Google's map of results is now calling the race for Donald J. Trump. This is something that Nate Silver jokingly predicted back on May 10th when he wrote "Reminder: Cubs will win the World Series and, in exchange, President Trump will be elected 8 days later." The House and Senate are also under Republican control. In other news, the Canadian immigration site has crashed under heavy load.This is how The New York Times, America's top newspaper reported the news:The surprise outcome, defying late polls that showed Hillary Clinton with a modest but persistent edge, threatened convulsions throughout the country and the world, where skeptics had watched with alarm as Mr. Trump's unvarnished overtures to disillusioned voters took hold. The triumph for Mr. Trump, 70, a real estate developer-turned-reality television star with no government experience, was a powerful rejection of the establishment forces that had assembled against him, from the world of business to government, and the consensus they had forged on everything from trade to immigration. The results amounted to a repudiation, not only of Mrs. Clinton, but of President Obama, whose legacy is suddenly imperiled. And it was a decisive demonstration of power by a largely overlooked coalition of mostly blue-collar white and working-class voters who felt that the promise of the United States had slipped their grasp amid decades of globalization and multiculturalism. Update: The New Yorker's Editor-in-Chief David Remnick, described the Election outcome as "an American tragedy." The New York Times columnist Paul Krugman said, "Trump will bring global recession." BBC has an article on how the media worldwide has described Trump's victory. The Guardian captured the thoughts of world leaders on the matter. Hillary Clinton addressed the nation this morning and told her supporters that they all should keep an open mind and give Trump the chance to lead. Editor's note: this story has been updated with more details, and also moved to the top of the front page because of its importance.

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Categories: Science

IBM's Project Intu brings Watson's Capabilities To Any Device

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 8:00pm
IBM has launched a new system-agnostic platform called Project Intu with which it aims to bring "embodied cognition" to a range of devices. From a report on SiliconAngle: In IBM's parlance, "cognitive computing" refers to machine learning. The idea behind Project Intu is that developers will be able to use the platform to embed the various machine learning functions offered by IBM's Watson service into various applications and devices, and make them work across a wide spectrum of form factors. So, for example, developers will be able to use Project Intu's capabilities to embed machine learning capabilities into pretty much any kind of device, from avatars to drones to robots and just about any other kind of Internet of Things' device. As a result, these devices will be able to "interact more naturally" with users via a range of emotions and behaviors, leading to more meaningful and immersive experiences for users, IBM said. What's more, because Project Intu is system-agnostic, developers can use it to build cognitive experiences on a wide range of operating systems, be it Raspberry PI, MacOS, Windows or Linux. Project Intu is still an experimental platform, and it can be accessed via the Watson Developer Cloud, the Intu Gateway and also on GitHub.

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Categories: Science

Microsoft is Adding a Virtual Trackpad To Windows 10

Slashdot - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 7:20pm
Microsoft announced the availability of Windows 10 build 14965 to Windows Insiders. Among other noticeable inclusions, the new build comes with a virtual trackpad for users with a touch-capable Windows 10 machine. The Verge adds: Microsoft describes the feature as a way to control external monitors with a tablet and no mouse. It's designed to sit in the taskbar, if selected, and provide a virtual trackpad on the screen that can be used to control the mouse and right-click or left-click options. You can now enable a touchpad icon in the notification area, and you can tweak the trackpad gestures in the main Windows 10 settings panel. It's an interesting addition that will be welcomed by Windows 10 tablets users that aren't using a keyboard or trackpad, or those who connect tablets up to second displays regularly.Microsoft reporter Tom Warren has made a short video to demonstrate the feature.

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Categories: Science

Researchers show how a targeted drug overcomes suppressive immune cells

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 7:07pm
An experimental drug currently in clinical trials can reverse the effects of troublesome cells that prevent the body’s immune system from attacking tumors, research shows.
Categories: Science

Regular intake of sugary beverages, but not diet soda, is associated with prediabetes

Science Daily - Wed, 09/11/2016 - 7:07pm
Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages, but not diet soda, is associated with increased risk of prediabetes and increased insulin resistance, an epidemiological analysis of data from 1,685 adult Americans finds.
Categories: Science