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August, 2018

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‘Gold Standard’ State Net Neutrality Bill Approved By California Assembly

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: California’s state Assembly yesterday approved a strict net neutrality bill despite opposition from the telecom industry. California’s Senate already approved an earlier version of the bill in May. But some minor changes were made in the Assembly, so the Senate must vote on the bill again today before going into recess. If the Senate approves, California Governor Jerry Brown would have until September 30 to sign the bill into law. The bill would prohibit Internet service providers from blocking or throttling lawful traffic, and from requiring fees from websites or online services to deliver or prioritize their traffic to consumers. The bill also imposes limits on data cap exemptions (so-called “zero-rating”) and says that ISPs may not attempt to evade net neutrality protections by slowing down traffic at network interconnection points. Yesterday’s Assembly vote was 61-18. All 55 Democratic members of the Assembly and six Republicans voted for the bill. All 18 votes against it came from Republicans. “ISPs have tried hard to gut and kill this bill, pouring money and robocalls into California,” Electronic Frontier Foundation Policy Analyst Katharine Trendacosta said. “California could pass a gold standard net neutrality bill, providing a template for states going forward. California can prove that ISP money can’t defeat real people’s voices.”

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Source:: Slashdot

DraftKings rides to court, asks to unmask 10 DDoS suspects

Fantasy sports outfit looks to hunt down group that bombarded its site

A US sports gaming company is asking permission to unmask 10 people it believes were behind a massive DDoS attack on its website earlier this month.…

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Source:: Register

Uber, Lyft reportedly skimp on background checks – CNET

The companies use a budget background-check service, Download.com says. …read more

Source:: CNet

Wanted: Robot life coach (no, really)

The unique job is a hint of what’s to come as robots increasingly join us in the human world …read more

Source:: ZDNet

Lenovo’s Yoga Book C930 Laptop Swaps the Keyboard For an E Ink Display

Lenovo has launched a laptop with an e-ink display in place of a normal keyboard. An anonymous reader writes: The Yoga Book C930 laptop follows in the footsteps of the Yoga Book A12, the convertible that was all the rage at IFA back in 2016. That device swapped the standard keyboard for a touchscreen, so the surface could double as a drawing pad. It wasn’t particularly conducive for typing, but it certainly was innovative. The C930 takes things even further, swapping the Halo keyboard for E Ink. It’s an interesting application for the technology, which has largely been relegated to the world of e-readers. The secondary display serves the same function as on the A12, doing triple duty as a keyboard, notepad and e-reader. The C930 will be available in October, starting at $1,000.

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Source:: Slashdot

Motorola One and One Power look like iPhone X copycats, but cost much less – CNET

Plus, they run Android One and will get Android 9 Pie soon after their release. …read more

Source:: CNet

This Venus flytrap-like robot mouth could help military retrieve drones fast – CNET

It’s designed to make capturing drones of all sizes much easier. …read more

Source:: CNet

Startups Ditching Silicon Valley For New Cities

The rising cost of living in Silicon Valley is pushing startups out, the Economist reports, and re-focusing innovation in new cities around the country [Editor’s note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From the story: More Americans are leaving the Valley than moving to it. In 2017 several counties in the area saw their largest combined domestic outward migrations in around a decade. In a recent survey by the Bay Area Council, a think-tank, 46% of Bay Area residents said they planned to leave in “the next few years,” up from 34% in 2016. This is not just a case of people of more modest means being pushed out by carpet-bagging techies. At this year’s “FOO camp,” a freewheeling annual gathering of hackers and others, a session called “Should I/you leave the Bay Area?” saw a strong turnout. Participants shared their gripes about the high cost of living, bad traffic and a “toxic” culture obsessed with money.

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Source:: Slashdot

Walmart.com won’t sell certain items if you live too far away, report says – CNET

The retail giant is telling customers items are out of stock to avoid expensive shipping costs, according to The Wall Street Journal. …read more

Source:: CNet

Optimizing Screen Time To Heart Beats

Microchip

Kids spend too much time in front of a screen these days. They also won’t get off my lawn, and music today is just a bunch of static. They don’t respect their elders, either. While kids today are terrible, we can fix that first problem — sitting in front of a screen all day. For his Hackaday Prize entry, [Donovan] has created a device that optimizes screen time to reduce sensory overload. It’s the Optimote, the combination of a remote control and biofeedback.

The idea behind the Optimote is to actually to reduce stimulation when watching something on a screen. For many people, including people on the autism spectrum, watching TV or YouTube videos can often result in debilitating sensory overload. You can’t relax in this state, you can’t learn, and you certainly can’t get any entertainment value out of the glowing rectangle in front of your face.

The Optimote uses a pulse sensor, an Arduino, an incredible break-away cable that seems to be missing from any other wearable device like this, and a software stack that interacts with VLC. During periods of high pulse rate, the video skips to low-intensity footage. There’s a ‘calm’ mode that puts media volume and tempo in sync with heart rate. The ‘thrill’ mode plays an eerie scene looping with the Jaws theme.

So far, the prototype is a success, and [Donovan] is looking forward to large-scale user experience testing to determine how effective and enjoyable this technology can become.

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Source:: Hackaday

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