Linux fréttir

Alphabet's Loon Launches Its Balloon-Powered Kenyan Internet Service

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 14:43
Alphabet's Loon has officially begun operating its commercial internet service in Kenya. This is the first large-scale commercial offering that makes use of Loon's high-altitude balloons, which essentially work as cell service towers that drift on currents in the Earth's upper atmosphere. From a report: Loon's Kenyan service is offered in partnership with local telecom provider Telkom Kenya, and provides cellular service through their network to an area covering roughly 50,000 square kilometres (31,000 square miles) that normally hasn't had reliable service due to the difficulty of setting up ground infrastructure in the mountainous terrain. Loon has been working towards deploying its first commercial service deployment in Kenya since it announced the signed deal in 2019, but the company says that the mission has taken on even greater significance and importance since the onset of COVID-19, which has meant that reliable connectivity, especially in light of the restrictions upon travel that the epidemic has placed, making the ability to remotely contact doctors, family members and others all the more important.

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We'll pay £400k for a depth charge-proof robot submarine, says UK's Ministry of Defence

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 14:15
British military continues push for new autonomous tech

Britain's Ministry of Defence is offering a £400,000 pot of cash to anyone who can develop an autonomous submarine capable of withstanding naval depth charges.…

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Big Tech Faceoff With China Risks Sparking Exodus From Hong Kong

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 14:03
Facebook, Google and Twitter -- all of which are blocked in the mainland -- are now headed toward a showdown with China that could end up making Hong Kong feel more like Beijing. From a report: Hours after Hong Kong announced sweeping new powers to police the internet on Monday night, those companies plus the likes of Microsoft and Zoom all suspended requests for data from the Hong Kong government. ByteDance's TikTok, which has Chinese owners, announced it would pull its viral video app from the territory's mobile stores in the coming days. Their dilemma is stark: Bend to the law and infuriate Western nations increasingly at odds with China over political freedoms, or simply refuse and depart like Google did in China a decade ago over some of the very same issues. Much like that seismic event shook the mainland in 2010, Big Tech's reaction now could have a much wider impact on Hong Kongâ(TM)s future as a financial hub. "Google is pretty important to people here, and if that's cut off then it's really extremely serious," said Richard Harris, a former director at Citi Private Bank who now runs Port Shelter Investment Management in Hong Kong. "In Hong Kong we don't know where the boundaries are, and that's threatening to a lot of business people." Over the past week, Hong Kong authorities have begun explaining how they'll enforce a law that officials in Beijing called a ""sword of Damocles" hanging over China's most strident critics. The legislation, which sparked the threat of sanctions from the Trump administration and outrage elsewhere, has had a chilling effect on pro-democracy protesters who demonstrated for months last year while also raising fresh questions for businesses.

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Grappling with mixed infra, container security, service meshes? Our DevOps conf has practical help for you

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 14:00
Grab your virtual tickets now for Continuous Lifecycle Online

Event Depending on where you are, life is slowly returning to normal-ish. Yet it's going to be a while before bringing people physically together again is a good idea.…

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That's infotainment, that's infotainment: Android Automotive OS goes virtual with new reference platform

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 13:30
The screech of brakes and lamplights blinking... Google and pals tackle heterogeneous hardware subsystems

Google, chipmaker Qualcomm and transportation tech firm OpenSynergy have teamed up to create a reference platform for virtualising Android Auto, Google's in-dash info app that mirrors 'droid devices.…

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US Online Grocery Sales Hit Record $7.2 Billion In June

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Despite the slow reopening of the U.S. economy over the past several weeks, online grocery shopping is continuing to reach ever-higher numbers as Americans seem to be in no rush to return to the store. According to new research released today by Brick Meets Click and Mercatus, U.S. online grocery sales hit a record $7.2 billion in June, up 9% over May, as 45.6 million households turned to online grocery pickup and delivery services for a larger portion of their grocery needs. This figure is higher than the $4 billion seen in March 2020, when the U.S. first went under coronavirus lockdowns. Since then, online grocery sales have been growing quickly -- jumping to $5.3 billion in April, then $6.6 billion in May, as more consumers shifted their shopping to online services, grocery included. The customer base for online grocery also grew from 39.5 million monthly actives in March to now 45.6 million as of June, the report found. Remarkably, only 16.1 million customers were using online grocery as of August 2019, totaling then just $1.2 million in sales. The growth can be attributed to a large influx of new online grocery customers, as well as more frequent orders. "In addition, more retailers, including independents, have added capacity for online order fulfillment amid the coronavirus pandemic to meet consumers' changing needs," the report adds. "This has also resulted in an increase in sales as more customers are able to shop online and get a time slot for delivery or pickup."

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Manchester, UK seeks IT-slinger: £235m for number-plate-and-fines system to clean up vehicle emissions

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 12:45
Contract could be repurposed kit and services to support 'other uses' besides clean air...

The transport authority for Greater Manchester in northeast England is seeking an IT systems maker to help build a clean air zone scheme and fine drivers of prohibited vehicles in a deal which could be worth up to £235m.…

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Microsoft? AWS? Nein und nein. Deutsche Bank signs up with Google Cloud for its latest crack at digital transformation

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 12:00
5 months after request for proposal, Satya and Jeff left to languish on sidelines

Deutsche Bank has snubbed the world's two biggest purveyors of clouds to name Google Cloud in a deal that the German giant said "is as much a revenue story as it is about costs".…

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Psst: Want to know who else has their snout in the Copernicus trough? (spoiler: it's not the UK)

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 11:20
Plus: SpaceX launches another GPS satellite, the next Mission Extension Vehicle arrives in French Guiana and.... come ON, Tim!

In Brief Rubbing salt into wounded British pride over a lack of prime contracts, Thales Alenia Space trumpeted its ESA awards last week.…

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Social media giants move to defy Hong Kong's new national security law

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 10:45
Plus: US govt says it's 'looking at' banning Chinese social media apps, including TikTok

Social media businesses are making moves to block Hong Kong authorities from accessing their user data, days after Beijing imposed a new national security law on the territory.…

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Microsoft to take a break from Edge releases: Hits pause button to align with Chromium

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 10:00
Plus: A release candidate for Azure DevOps, Pylance gallops into VS Code and hairdressing in Teams

In Brief Microsoft's browser gang at Edge has said it will take a breather in order to "stay aligned with Chromium Project's release schedule."…

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Hackers Are Exploiting a 5-Alarm Bug In Networking Equipment

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 10:00
Andy Greenberg writes via Wired: Late last week, government agencies, including the United States Computer Emergency Readiness Team and Cyber Command, sounded the alarm about a particularly nasty vulnerability in a line of BIG-IP products sold by F5. The agencies recommended security professionals immediately implement a patch to protect the devices from hacking techniques that could fully take control of the networking equipment, offering access to all the traffic they touch and a foothold for deeper exploitation of any corporate network that uses them. Now some security companies say they're already seeing the F5 vulnerability being exploited in the wildâ"and they caution that any organization that didn't patch its F5 equipment over the weekend is already too late. The F5 vulnerability, first discovered and disclosed to F5 by cybersecurity firm Positive Technologies, affects a series of so-called BIG-IP devices that act as load balancers within large enterprise networks, distributing traffic to different servers that host applications or websites. Positive Technologies found a so-called directory traversal bug in the web-based management interface for those BIG-IP devices, allowing anyone who can connect to them to access information they're not intended to. That vulnerability was exacerbated by another bug that allows an attacker to run a "shell" on the devices that essentially lets a hacker run any code on them that they choose. The result is that anyone who can find an internet-exposed, unpatched BIG-IP device can intercept and mess with any of the traffic it touches. Hackers could, for instance, intercept and redirect transactions made through a bank's website, or steal users' credentials. They could also use the hacked device as a hop point to try to compromise other devices on the network. Since BIG-IP devices have the ability to decrypt traffic bound for web servers, an attacker could even use the bug to steal the encryption keys that guarantee the security of an organization's HTTPS traffic with users, warns Kevin Gennuso, a cybersecurity practitioner for a major American retailer. While only a small minority of F5 BIG-IP devices are directly exploitable, Positive Technologies says that still includes 8,000 devices worldwide. "About 40 percent of those are in the U.S., along with 16 percent in China and single-digit percentages in other countries around the globe," reports Wired. "Owners of those devices have had since June 30, when F5 first revealed the bug along with its patch, to update," adds Wired. "But many may not have immediately realized the seriousness of the vulnerability. Others may have been hesitant to take their load balancing equipment offline to implement an untested patch, points out Gennuso, for fear that critical services might go down, which would further delay a fix."

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Utilitarian, long-bodied Nokia 5.3 has budget basic specs - but it does cost £150

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 09:15
No NFC, but it's great for productivity

Review Nokia has traditionally been typified by utilitarian phones* that get the job done — from the legendary Communicator series to the indestructible 3310.…

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Mind the airgap: Why nothing focuses the mind like a bit of tech antiquing

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 08:30
Slower than an iPhone, faster than a 2019 MacBook Air: It's an iBook that's over a decade old

Column The modern always-on workplace isn't designed for everyone. And that's why a search for a coping strategy for dyspraxia* took me to eBay, where I bought an archaic Apple iBook for the princely sum of £40 (excluding shipping).…

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University ordered to stop running women-only job ads

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 07:14
Experiment to diversify academic workforce falls foul of human-rights watchdog

Eindhoven University of Technology has been told to stop posting women-only job ads as part of a push to diversify its academic workforce.…

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Moon's Metal-Rich Craters Challenge Popular Theories About Its Origin

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 07:00
schwit1 shares a report from UPI: The most popular theory of the moon's origins contends the satellite was formed when a Mars-sized object collided with Earth, vaporizing large portions of Earth's upper crust. While Earth's upper crust is poor in metals, new research -- published Wednesday in the journal Earth and Planetary Science Letters -- suggests the moon's subsurface is surprisingly metal-rich, undermining the satellite's proposed origin story. Authors of the new study suggest planetary scientists consider alternative theories for the moon's formation. It's possible the collision that forged the moon was more violent than scientists thought, gouging out even deeper portions of Earth's crust and mantle. It's also possible the moon experienced an unusual cool-down process, post-collision -- a process that left the moon with large concentrations of metal.

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Hundreds of forgotten corners of mega-corp websites fall into the hands of spammers and malware slingers

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-07-07 06:35
DNS entries left pointing to Azure-hosted server names snatched by miscreants for mischief

More than 240 website subdomains belonging to organizations large and small, including household names, were hijacked to redirect netizens to malware, X-rated material, online gambling, and other unexpected content.…

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Giant Flywheel Project In Scotland Could Prevent UK Blackouts

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A giant flywheel in north-east Scotland could soon help to prevent blackouts across Britain by mimicking the effect of a power station but without using fossil fuels. The trailblazing project near Keith in Moray, thought to cost about 25 million British pounds, will not generate electricity or produce carbon emissions -- but it could help keep the lights on by stabilizing the energy grid's electrical frequency. The Norwegian energy company Statkraft hopes that from next winter the new flywheel, designed by a division of General Electric, will be able to mimic the spinning turbines of a traditional power station, which have helped to balance the grid's frequency at about 50 hertz for decades. Currently, the National Grid Electricity System Operator (ESO) is forced to shut down windfarms and run gas power stations even when there is more than enough renewable energy to meet Britain's electricity demand, in order to keep the grid's frequency steady. By simulating the spinning metal mass of a power station turbine without producing emissions, Statkraft should be able to help ESO rely less on fossil fuels and use renewable energy more. This is the first time a project of this kind will be used anywhere in the world and ESO believes it could be a "huge step forward" in running a zero-carbon electricity grid.

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Microsoft's Next Xbox Series X Game Showcase Coming July 23

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 01:30
Microsoft will be holding its next Xbox Games Showcase on July 23, the company announced today. Ars Technica reports: Unlike Microsoft's May promotional event, which focused on third-party launch titles for the upcoming console, the July 23 event is expected to discuss first-party exclusives from Microsoft's own Xbox Game Studios. That likely includes new footage of Halo Infinite, which saw a new teaser trailer a few weeks ago. That lineup of first-party studios now includes Psychonauts 2 developer Double Fine, which Microsoft acquired in June, and The Outer Worlds developer Obsidian Entertainment, which Microsoft acquired last November.

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New H.266 VCC Codec Up To 50% More Efficient Than Previous Standard

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-07-07 00:50
The Fraunhofer Heinrich Hertz Institute on Tuesday announced the H.266 Versatile Video Coding codec, which will power more data-efficient video capture and transmission on future iPhones. AppleInsider reports: Apple adopted the predecessor to the new codec, H.265/HEVC, in iOS 11. The updated video codec, which was developed after years of research and standardization, will bring a number of tangible benefits to future iPhone users. In its announcement, the Fraunhofer HHI said that H.266 will reduce data requirements by around 50% thanks to improved compression. With the previous HEVC codec, it took about 10GB of data to transmit a 90-minute ultra-high definition (UHD) video. H.266 can do that with 5GB. The codec, as detailed in a 500-page specification, was designed from the ground up for use with 4K and 8K streaming. It'll allow users to store more high-definition video and reduce the amount of data on cellular networks.

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