Game dev suffers broken teeth, skull fracture after trying to film arrest

Policy - Posted On:2018-08-17 02:29:58 Source: arstechnica

A longtime video game developer was arrested at a South Carolina gas station on Wednesday afternoon after suffering significant injuries as the result of a tackle by a police officer. The arrest followed the woman's attempt to film officers arresting fellow shoppers at a QuikTrip store in Rock Hill. Soon afterward, both sides of the arrest told vastly different stories of what exactly happened.

Former Disney, Turbine, and Ubisoft developer Patricia Pizer posted images from her hospital stay on Thursday morning on her Facebook page. A text post attached to the images, apparently written by Pizer's husband, included the following list of injuries that she sustained following her altercation with police: "Broken teeth (five that we know of), dislocated shoulder, several lacerations, bruised hip, fracture of the skull, concussion."

The news of Pizer's arrest and injuries quickly spread throughout the game development community, with industry peers such as Brenda Romero (Wizardry) and Robin Hunicke (Journey) sharing Pizer's text and video updates (along with a link to a GoFundMe fundraiser to cover her medical bills). Pizer's game-industry credits include Creative Director for Asheron's Call 2, Senior Designer for Disney's Club Penguin series, and Senior Design Analyst for MMOs such as The Matrix Online and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.

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Game dev tackled, arrested by police after filming gas station arrest

Policy - Posted On:2018-08-17 02:14:58 Source: arstechnica

A longtime video game developer was arrested at a South Carolina gas station on Wednesday afternoon after suffering significant injuries as the result of a tackle by a police officer. The arrest followed the woman's attempt to film officers arresting fellow shoppers at a QuikTrip store in Rock Hill. Soon afterward, both sides of the arrest told vastly different stories of what exactly happened.

Former Disney, Turbine, and Ubisoft developer Patricia Pizer posted images from her hospital stay on Thursday morning on her Facebook page. A text post attached to the images, apparently written by Pizer's husband, included the following list of injuries that she sustained following her altercation with police: "Broken teeth (five that we know of), dislocated shoulder, several lacerations, bruised hip, fracture of the skull, concussion."

The news of Pizer's arrest and injuries quickly spread throughout the game development community, with industry peers such as Brenda Romero (Wizardry) and Robin Hunicke (Journey) sharing Pizer's text and video updates (along with a link to a GoFundMe fundraiser to cover her medical bills). Pizer's game-industry credits include Creative Director for Asheron's Call 2, Senior Designer for Disney's Club Penguin series, and Senior Design Analyst for MMOs such as The Matrix Online and Uru: Ages Beyond Myst.

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US Bosses Now Earn 312 Times the Average Worker's Wage, Figures Show

news - Posted On:2018-08-16 23:44:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The chief executives of America's top 350 companies earned 312 times more than their workers on average last year, according to a new report published Thursday by the Economic Policy Institute. The rise came after the bosses of America's largest companies got an average pay rise of 17.6% in 2017, taking home an average of $18.9m in compensation while their employees' wages stalled, rising just 0.3% over the year. The pay gap has risen dramatically, with some fluctuations, since the 1990s. In 1965 the ratio of CEO to worker pay was 20 to one; that figure had risen to 58 to one by in 1989 and peaked in 2000 when CEOs earned 344 times the wage of their average worker. CEO pay dipped in the early 2000s and during the last recession, but has been rising rapidly since 2009. Chief executives are even leaving the 0.1% in the dust. The bosses of large firms now earn 5.5 times as much as the average earner in the top 0.1%. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Amazon In Running To Acquire Landmark Movie Chain

entertainment - Posted On:2018-08-16 22:14:58 Source: slashdot

According to Bloomberg, Amazon is in the running to acquire Landmark Theaters, a chain focused on independent and foreign films with more than 50 theaters in 27 markets, including high-profile locations in New York, Philadelphia, Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Francisco. From the report: Landmark's theaters are known for art-house fare, and some high-end locations include coffee bars or lounges, setting them apart from the typical movie experience. "This is probably a move to get broader distribution of film content," said Leo Kulp, an analyst with RBC Capital Markets LLC. "Netflix had been discussed as a potential buyer of Landmark for a similar reason." The possible move was viewed positively by investors, who saw it as a sign that Amazon wasn't looking to disrupt moviegoing and was supportive of the theatrical experience, Kulp said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Man Who Jailbreaks Teslas

technology - Posted On:2018-08-16 21:29:59 Source: slashdot

harrymcc writes: Normally, a totaled Tesla is worth so little that they sell for peanuts at salvage auctions. But Berkeley, California engineer Phil Sadow buys trashed Tesla cars and gets them up and running again -- a feat which has required him to figure out how to root their software so he can run diagnostics normally unavailable to a tinkerer such as himself. Over at Fast Company, Daniel Terdiman tells the story of Sadow's work, which Tesla is apparently nonplussed about but has not tried to prevent. Slashdot reader Ingineerix also submitted the story, sharing an excerpt from the report: In a cramped warehouse in an industrial neighborhood in Berkeley, California, a Tesla Model 3 is ready to go. It's powered up, its display screen is on, and it's pumping out data. But there are some strange error messages. For one, the passenger door window is uncalibrated. For another, the autopilot electronic control unit is missing. These would be troubling signals for most Tesla owners. For Phil Sadow, though, they make perfect sense. After all, his Model 3 is lacking some very important components: its windows, its wheels, and the entire body frame. For the last three years, Sadow, a 49-year-old electrical engineer who also goes by the moniker Ingineer, has been rebuilding and selling salvaged Teslas. He's also taught a global community of fellow enthusiasts to do the same, charging an hourly rate as a consultant on other tinkerers' repair projects. All told, he says, he's rebuilt -- or helped other people rebuild -- almost 400 vehicles over the last three years. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Nintendo's Switch Has Been Hiding a Buried 'VR Mode' For Over a Year

games - Posted On:2018-08-16 20:59:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Hackers have uncovered and tested a screen-splitting "VR Mode" that has been buried in the Switch's system-level firmware for over a year. The discovery suggests that Nintendo at least toyed with the idea that the tablet system could serve as a stereoscopic display for a virtual reality headset. Switch hackers first discovered and documented references to a "VrMode" in the Switch OS' Applet Manager services back in December when analyzing the June 2017 release of version 3.0.0 of the system's firmware. But the community doesn't seem to have done much testing of the internal functions "IsVrModeEnabled" and "SetVrModeEnabled" at the time. That changed shortly after Switch modder OatmealDome publicly noted one of the VR functions earlier this month, rhetorically asking, "has anyone actually tried calling it?" Fellow hacker random0666 responded with a short Twitter video (and an even shorter followup) showing the results of an extremely simple homebrew testing app that activates the system's VrMode functions. As you can see in those video links, using those functions to enable the Switch's VR mode splits the screen vertically into two identical half-sized images, in much the way other VR displays split an LCD screen to create a stereoscopic 3D effect. System-level UI elements appear on both sides of the screen when the mode is enabled, and the French text shown in the test can be roughly translated to "Please move the console away from your face and click the close button." The location of the functions in the Switch firmware suggest they're part of Nintendo's own Switch code and not generic functions included in other Nvidia Tegra-based hardware. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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New Iron Fist Season 2 trailer renews our hope for the Netflix series

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2018-08-16 20:14:59 Source: arstechnica

You’d be forgiven for losing track of so many Marvel’s Defenders series and characters on Netflix over the past few years—particularly if you let its weakest standalone series, Iron Fist, fall through your viewing queue. But thanks to the new trailer for Iron Fist’s second season, which arrived on Thursday, we may have good reason to get excited when this Defender returns to Netflix on September 7.

(Mild spoilers for IF S1 and Defenders below.)

Hopes for a more compelling Iron Fist took a while to come to fruition: sometime through the first Defenders season, when Danny "Iron Fist" Rand (Finn Jones) received a verbal beatdown from Luke Cage ("You had power the day you were born"). That potential was fulfilled when Rand guested in Luke Cage's second season. This downright likable two-episode arc delivered what was arguably missing from his series' first season: a sense of deeper personal growth, even as he overcame tremendous physical odds to become the Iron Fist.

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MoviePass Is Limiting Selection To 'Up To Six Films' a Day

entertainment - Posted On:2018-08-16 20:14:59 Source: slashdot

MoviePass is changing things up once again. In an email, CEO Mitch Lowe outlined the latest updates to the once-unlimited subscription plan. Most notable among the changes is the limiting of selection to "up to six films to choose from daily, including a selection of major studio first-run films and independent releases." TechCrunch reports: On top of that, there may be further limitations on showtime availability for the selected titles, based on "the popularity of those films on the app that particular day." The company has already begun limiting access to specific films, starting with a barring of major blockbusters and moving toward limiting selection generally. Now users can go to the "This Week's Movies" page to see what's available. Right now, there's a semi-consistent, rotating selection. Which movies are chosen and when will likely be at least partially dependent on deals struck between MoviePass and studios/distributors. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Mozilla Removes 23 Firefox Add-Ons That Snooped on Users

Security - Posted On:2018-08-16 19:29:59 Source: bleepingcomputer

Mozilla removed today 23 Firefox add-ons that snooped on users and sent data to remote servers, a Mozilla engineer has told Bleeping Computer today. [...]

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Kroger Launches Autonomous Grocery Delivery Service In Arizona

technology - Posted On:2018-08-16 19:29:59 Source: slashdot

Residents of Scottsdale, Arizona will be able to receive autonomous grocery deliveries from Kroger-owned Fry's Food Stores. The technology required to make this all possible is supplied by Nuro, a self-driving vehicle startup founded by two veterans of Google's self-driving car project. Ars Technica reports: Kroger says that deliveries will have a flat $5.95 delivery fee, and customers can schedule same-day or next-day deliveries. Initially, the deliveries will be made by Nuro's fleet of modified Toyota Priuses with a safety driver behind the wheel. But Kroger expects to start using Nuro's production model -- which doesn't even have space for a driver -- this fall. That vehicle, known as the R1, is significantly smaller and lighter than a conventional passenger car. When we talked to Nuro cofounder Dave Ferguson back in May, he argued that the R1's design had significant safety benefits. A smaller, lighter vehicle would do less damage if it ever ran into something. The vehicle's maximum speed of 25 miles per hour also makes serious injuries less likely. And the fact that the car is dramatically narrower than a traditional car gives it significant safety benefits, Ferguson argued. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google Employees Protest Secret Work On Censored Search Engine For China

technology - Posted On:2018-08-16 18:44:59 Source: slashdot

According to The New York Times, "Hundreds of Google employees, upset at the company's decision to secretly build a censored version of its search engine for China, have signed a letter demanding more transparency to understand the ethical consequences of their work (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source)." In the letter, the employees wrote that the project and Google's apparent willingness to abide by China's censorship requirements "raise urgent moral and ethical issues." They added, "Currently we do not have the information required to make ethically-informed decisions about our work, our projects, and our employment." From the report: The letter is circulating on Google's internal communication systems and is signed by about 1,000 employees, according to two people familiar with the document, who were not authorized to speak publicly. The letter also called on Google to allow employees to participate in ethical reviews of the company's products, to appoint external representatives to ensure transparency and to publish an ethical assessment of controversial projects. The document referred to the situation as a "code yellow," a process used in engineering to address critical problems that impact several teams. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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DoorDash raises another $250M, nearly triples valuation to $4B

Fundings & Exits - Posted On:2018-08-16 18:15:01 Source: techcrunch

Food delivery startup DoorDash announced this afternoon that it has raised $250 million, just five months since the company announced a $535 million round. Why raise more money so soon? CEO Tony Xu told Axios that he wasn’t actively looking for additional investment, but was open to investor interest because it could help the company expand […]

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FDA Approves First Generic Version of EpiPen

science - Posted On:2018-08-16 18:14:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved the first generic version of the EpiPen and EpiPen Jr auto injector for the emergency treatment of allergic reactions. The approval is part of the FDA's "longstanding commitment" to providing access to low-cost generic alternatives, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said in a statement. It is unclear how much the generic product -- manufactured by Teva Pharmaceuticals -- will cost. In August 2016, Mylan Pharmaceuticals was criticized for raising the price of a two-pack of EpiPens to $600. The price of two EpiPens was about $100 in 2009. The brand name version is by far the most popular epinephrine auto-injector on the market. "This approval means patients living with severe allergies who require constant access to life-saving epinephrine should have a lower-cost option, as well as another approved product to help protect against potential drug shortages," said FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a statement. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Coinhive Raking In Over $250,000 per Month From In-Browser Cryptomining

Security - Posted On:2018-08-16 17:59:59 Source: bleepingcomputer

A research paper published at the start of the month estimates that Coinhive, a service for in-browser cryptocurrency mining, often abused by cyber-criminals, is making around a quarter of a million US dollars per month in mined Monero. [...]

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Polls show little support for Trump’s Space Force

Policy - Posted On:2018-08-16 17:59:59 Source: arstechnica

President Donald Trump's enthusiasm for a new military branch focused on space is apparently not widely shared. Two polls released today show that a majority—and in one poll, a plurality—of respondents said that the Space Force is a bad idea.

The Trump administration plans to cleave Space Force from the Air Force and have it largely in place by 2020. The first step would be to create US Space Command—a joint command within the Pentagon similar to the Joint Special Operations Command and US Cyber Command that would oversee space operations of all the services—by the end of 2018. The Pentagon will also create a Space Development Agency that will pull military space research, development, and procurement out of the Defense Department's current acquisition system. The agency's goal would be accelerating the development of new space stuff.

The Space Force plan has been widely derided, though some members of Congress have previously voiced support for creating a space-focused branch. Concerns about anti-satellite technology being developed by Russia and China—and the perception that the Air Force is not focused enough on the space portion of its mission, which is under the Air Force Space Command—have driven some support for creation of a separate force. There have been similar discussions about creating a US cyber force as well, though those discussions have gotten significant pushback from the service branches.

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Polls: America is “meh” about Space Force

Policy - Posted On:2018-08-16 17:44:59 Source: arstechnica

President Donald Trump's enthusiasm for a new military branch focused on space is apparently not widely shared. Two polls released today show that a majority—and in one poll, a plurality—of respondents said that the Space Force is a bad idea.

The Trump administration plans to cleave Space Force from the Air Force and have it largely in place by 2020. The first step would be to create US Space Command—a joint command within the Pentagon similar to the Joint Special Operations Command and US Cyber Command that would oversee space operations of all the services—by the end of 2018. The Pentagon will also create a Space Development Agency that will pull military space research, development, and procurement out of the Defense Department's current acquisition system. The agency's goal would be accelerating the development of new space stuff.

The Space Force plan has been widely derided, though some members of Congress have previously voiced support for creating a space-focused branch. Concerns about anti-satellite technology being developed by Russia and China—and the perception that the Air Force is not focused enough on the space portion of its mission, which is under the Air Force Space Command—have driven some support for creation of a separate force. There have been similar discussions about creating a US cyber force as well, though those discussions have gotten significant pushback from the service branches.

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Twitter's Relationship With Third-Party Apps is Messy -- But It's Not Over

technology - Posted On:2018-08-16 17:29:59 Source: slashdot

It's a day that developers of some of the most high-profile Twitter third-party apps have dreaded, though it's one they've long-known was coming: Twitter is finally shutting off some of the developer tools that popular apps like Tweetbot and Twitterific have heavily relied on. From a report: With the change, many third-party Twitter apps will lose some functionality, like the ability to instantly refresh users' Twitter feeds and send push notifications. It won't make these apps unusable -- in some cases the apps' users may not even immediately notice the changes -- but it's a drastic enough change that developers have mounted a public campaign against the decision. Now, Twitter is finally weighing in on the changes, after months of publicly declining to comment on the state of third-party Twitter clients. The verdict, unsurprisingly, is complicated. The company is adamant that its goal isn't to single out these developers. The company is retiring these APIs out of necessity, it says, as it's no longer feasible to support them."We are sunsetting very old, legacy software that we don't have an ability to keep supporting for practical reasons," says Ian Caims, group product manager at Twitter. At the same time, though, the company has also made a conscious decision not to create new APIs with the same functionality. Here's how Twitter's senior director of product management Rob Johnson explains the move: "It is now time to make the hard decision to end support for these legacy APIs -- acknowledging that some aspects of these apps would be degraded as a result. Today, we are facing technical and business constraints we can't ignore. The User Streams and Site Streams APIs that serve core functions of many of these clients have been in a 'beta' state for more than 9 years, and are built on a technology stack we no longer support. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The nightmarishly complex wheat genome finally yields to scientists

Science - Posted On:2018-08-16 17:15:00 Source: arstechnica

Bread, like wine, is pivotal in Judeo-Christian rituals. Both products exemplify the use of human ingenuity to re-create what nature provides, and the fermentation they both require must have seemed nothing less than magical to ancient minds. When toasted, rubbed with garlic and tomato, doused with olive oil and sprinkled with salt like the Catalans do, there are few things more delicious than bread.

Wheat is the most widely cultivated crop on the planet, accounting for about a fifth of all calories consumed by humans and more protein than any other food source. Although we have relied on bread wheat so heavily and for so long (14,000 years-ish), an understanding of its genetics has been a challenge. Its genome has been hard to solve because it is ridiculously complex. The genome is huge, about five times larger than ours. It's hexaploid, meaning it has six copies of each of its chromosomes. More than 85 percent of the genetic sequences among these three sets of chromosome pairs are repetitive DNA, and they are quite similar to each other, making it difficult to tease out which sequences reside where.

The genomes of rice and corn—two other staple grain crops—were solved in 2002 and 2009, respectively. In 2005, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium determined to get a reference genome of the bread wheat cultivar Chinese Spring. Thirteen years later, the consortium has finally succeeded.

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Give us this day our daily bread… wheat genome

Science - Posted On:2018-08-16 17:00:00 Source: arstechnica

Bread, like wine, is pivotal in Judeo-Christian rituals. Both products exemplify the use of human ingenuity to re-create what nature provides, and the fermentation they both require must have seemed nothing less than magical to ancient minds. When toasted, rubbed with garlic and tomato, doused with olive oil and sprinkled with salt like the Catalans do, there are few things more delicious.

Wheat is the most widely cultivated crop on the planet, accounting for about a fifth of all calories consumed by humans and more protein than any other food source. Although we have relied on bread wheat so heavily and for so long (14,000 years-ish), an understanding of its genetics has been a challenge. Is genome has been hard to solve because it is ridiculously complex. It is huge, about five times larger than ours. It is hexaploid, meaning it has six copies of each of its chromosomes. More than 85 percent of the genetic sequences among these three sets of chromosome pairs are repetitive DNA, and they are quite similar to each other, making it difficult to tease out which sequences reside where.

The genomes of rice and corn—two other staple grain crops—were solved in 2002 and 2009, respectively. In 2005, the International Wheat Genome Sequencing Consortium determined to get a reference genome of the bread wheat cultivar Chinese Spring. Thirteen years later, the consoritum has finally succeeded.

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Autonomous retail startup Inokyo’s first store feels like stealing

Apps - Posted On:2018-08-16 16:45:00 Source: techcrunch

Inokyo wants to be the indie Amazon Go. It’s just launched its prototype cashierless autonomous retail store. Cameras track what you grab from shelves, and with a single QR scan of its app on your way in and out of the store, you’re charged for what you got. Inokyo‘s first store is now open on […]

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