Linux fréttir

PC Shipments On The Decline

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 17:30
Mobile seems to be taking its toll on the old PC. From a report: For the first time since 2010, personal computing device shipments will drop below 400 million in 2020, according to a new forecast. Shipments of the devices, including PCs and tablets, is projected to decline 2% a year until 2023, according to the forecast by the International Data Corporation (IDC). The reality is that consumers have become more used to computing on-the-fly, thanks to portable and mobile devices. The forecast reflects some of this, with convertible PCs and detachable tablets expected to grow slightly.

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New Simjacker Attack Exploited In the Wild To Track Users For At Least Two Years

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 16:50
Security researchers have disclosed today a major SMS-based attack method being abused in the real world by a surveillance vendor to track and monitor individuals. An anonymous reader shares a report: "We are quite confident that this exploit has been developed by a specific private company that works with governments to monitor individuals," security researchers from AdaptiveMobile Security said in a report. "We believe this vulnerability has been exploited for at least the last 2 years by a highly sophisticated threat actor in multiple countries, primarily for the purposes of surveillance." The attack, named Simjacker, works by attackers sending SMS messages to victims' phones. The SMS messages contain STK instructions that are run by a victim's SIM card to gather location data and the IMEI code, which is then sent through an SMS message to a logging system. Researchers said they've seen Simjacker being abused to track hundreds of victims for two years, yet it is unclear if the victims are criminals tracked by law enforcement, or dissidents tracked by oppressive regimes. Over one billion smartphone users use SIM cards deemed vulnerable to this attack.

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145 Executives Demand Senate Action on Gun Violence

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 16:12
In a direct and urgent call to address gun violence in America, the chief executives of some of the nation's best-known companies sent a letter to Senate leaders on Thursday, urging an expansion of background checks to all firearms sales and stronger "red flag" laws. From a report: "Doing nothing about America's gun violence crisis is simply unacceptable and it is time to stand with the American public on gun safety," the heads of 145 companies, including Levi Strauss, Twitter and Uber, say in the letter [PDF], which was shared with The New York Times. The letter -- which urges the Republican-controlled Senate to enact bills already introduced in the Democrat-led House of Representatives -- is the most concerted effort by the business community to enter the gun debate, one of the most polarizing issues in the nation and one that was long considered off limits. The debate and the decision to sign -- or not sign -- are a case study in how chief executives must weigh their own views and the political risks to their businesses. Missing from the list, however, are some of America's biggest financial and technology companies, including Apple, Facebook, Google, JPMorgan Chase and Wells Fargo.

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Brit MPs: Our policies are crap and the political process is in tatters, but it's Twitter's fault, OK?

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 16:00
Thanks to social media, that's at least more transparent now...

Some 42 per cent of Brit MPs reckon social media has damaged their policy-making processes, which is in turn having a negative affect on members of the public.…

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Cloud Foundry has got its Red Hat on, hip, hip, hip, hooray: IBM demos CF running on OpenShift

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 15:30
Will it be enough to boost Big Blue's cloud?

CF Summit IBM has demonstrated Cloud Foundry running on Red Hat OpenShift, a Kubernetes (K8s) container platform, at an event in the Netherlands.…

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Government Orders Google: Let Employees Speak Out

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 15:30
Federal regulators have ordered Google to assure employees they are allowed to speak out on political and workplace issues [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], WSJ reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter, as part of a settlement of formal complaints that the search giant punishes those who do just that. From a report: The move from the National Labor Relations Board offers Google an escape hatch from a thorny issue that has roiled the business in recent years. Though Google executives have long bragged about having a workplace culture designed to encourage open debate, current and former employees across the political spectrum have complained that they were retaliated against for raising concerns about equality and freedom of speech. The NLRB's settlement comes in response to a pair of complaints about Google's reaction to workplace dissent. The settlement orders Google to inform current employees that they are free to speak to the media -- without having to ask Google higher-ups for permission -- on topics such as workplace diversity and compensation, regardless of whether Google views such topics as inappropriate for the workplace.

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There and back again: NASA's mobile launcher returns to testing after ducking out for Dorian

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 15:00
Trials might be done before SpaceX's Starship hop

NASA's enormous mobile launcher is back at Pad 39B after worried engineers stashed it in the cavernous Vehicle Assembly Building (VAB) to ride out Hurricane Dorian.…

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Amazon Will Let Anyone Answer Your Alexa Questions Now

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 14:52
The next time you ask a question to Amazon's Alexa voice assistant, the answer might come from another Alexa user. From a report: Starting today, Amazon is publicly launching a program called Alexa Answers, which lets anyone field questions asked by users for which Alexa doesn't already have a response -- ones such as: What states surround Illinois? What's the proper amount of sleep? How many instruments does Stevie Wonder play? How much is in a handle of alcohol? From then on, when people ask a question, Alexa will speak an answer generated through Alexa Answers, noting that the information is "according to an Amazon customer." The program launched in a private, invite-only beta for thousands of customers last year after a period of internal testing. Even with that limited group, Amazon says it's already logged hundreds of thousands of responses, which Alexa has served millions of times. Those numbers will likely shoot upwards now that anyone in the United States can participate. "Our North Star, our overall vision, is we'd love it if Alexa can answer any question people ask her, no matter what the language, where they are, what the device," says Bill Barton, Amazon's vice president of Alexa Information. "We're focused on Alexa as an objective, factual information source with this particular effort."

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Watchdog: Hush-hush UK.gov blew £97m on Brexit wonks from six of the usual suspects

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 14:30
Deloitte, PA Consulting, PwC et al making a killing from crisis

"Excessive secrecy" surrounds departmental spending on Brexit consultants, though 96 per cent of the £97m spaffed to date has gone to just six firms, according to the UK government's spending watchdog.…

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Drivers? Never Heard of Them, Says Uber

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 14:11
California lawmakers passed a landmark bill on Wednesday that threatens to reshape how companies like Uber and Lyft do business. The legislation, known as Assembly Bill 5 (AB5), was passed in the state Assembly and now heads to Democratic California Gov. Gavin Newsom's desk. From a report: Uber and Lyft maintain that AB5 won't immediately change independent contractors into employees. Tony West, Uber's chief legal officer, said on a call with reporters that the bill builds on legal tests already established in California around how drivers should be classified. West said drivers may not necessarily fall under the new rules laid out in AB5. "Under that three-part test, arguably the highest bar is that a company must prove that contractors are doing work 'outside the usual course' of its business," West said. "Several previous rulings have found that drivers' work is outside the usual course of Uber's business, which is serving as a technology platform for several different types of digital marketplaces." West said Uber intends to follow AB5 should it be put into law next year, but that it will continue to try to prove that it doesn't fall under its legal framework. "Uber is no stranger to legal battles, that's for sure," West said. "We operate in a very regulated environment, and we recognize that there will be legal challenges on all fronts much of the time."

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Not so G.fast: Hybrid fibre 'under review' as Openreach remembers it's all about FTTP now

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 13:00
BT clears throat, gestures wildly at its new full-fibre targets

BT's Openreach is pausing its hybrid G.fast fibre investment as it mulls the product's future in light of its recent conversion to full fibre.…

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McDonald's Is To Replace Human Workers With Voice-Based Tech In US Drive-Throughs

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: McDonald's is to replace human servers with voice-based technology in its U.S. drive-throughs. The fast-food chain hopes the AI technology will make the ordering process more efficient. McDonald's is implementing the technology with the help of start-up Apprente, which it acquired this week. The move comes amid concern about workers whose jobs may become obsolete as a result of automation and new technologies. McDonald's plans to expand its newly formed McD Tech team by hiring more engineers and data scientists. The report notes that the company recently "invested in technology that could automatically alter individual drive-through menu panels, depending on factors such as the weather, for example automatically suggesting McFlurry ice cream on hot days or telling customers which items were already proving popular at that particular restaurant that day."

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All three of the Insiders on Arm64 can now muck about with Windows Subsystem for Linux 2

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 12:00
New shiny for Fast Ringers. Oh, and Cortana

Microsoft has updated the Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 to support Arm64 devices for the wafer-thin slice of Windows Insiders using the things.…

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Waity K8-y no more Pivotal: We'll unhook Application Service from VMware

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 11:00
Multicloud, Spring framework, and how K8s will become a universal API for infrastructure

Interview Pivotal's current alpha release of the Pivotal Application Service (PAS) for Kubernetes has a dependency on VMware, but that will be removed in the final release, senior veep of products Ian Andrews told The Reg.…

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Vulture Central team welcomed to our new nest by crashed Ubuntu that's 3 years out of date

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 10:00
What Mark Shuttleworth would have wanted?

As eagle-eyed readers may have noted, Vulture Central UK is on the move. Our migratory path has led us to London's Grays Inn Road and, well, you can see what was waiting for us.…

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Water Found On a Potentially Life-Friendly Alien Planet

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 10:00
Data from the Hubble Space Telescope have revealed water vapor in the atmosphere of an Earth-size planet. "Although this exoplanet orbits a star that is smaller than our sun, it falls within what's known as the star's habitable zone, the range of orbital distances where it would be warm enough for liquid water to exist on a planet's surface," reports National Geographic. From the report: The discovery, announced this week in two independent studies, comes from years of observations of the exoplanet K2-18b, a super-Earth that's about 111 light-years from our solar system. Discovered in 2015 by NASA's Kepler spacecraft, K2-18b is very unlike our home world: It's more than eight times the mass of Earth, which means it's either an icy giant like Neptune or a rocky world with a thick, hydrogen-rich atmosphere. K2-18b's orbit also takes it seven times closer to its star than Earth gets to the sun. But because it circles a type of dim red star known as an M dwarf, that orbit places it in the star's potentially life-friendly zone. Crude models predict that K2-18b's effective temperature falls somewhere between -100 and 116 degrees Fahrenheit, and if it is about as reflective as Earth, its equilibrium temperature would be roughly the same as our home planet's. "This is the only planet right now that we know outside the solar system that has the correct temperature to support water, it has an atmosphere, and it has water in it -- making this planet the best candidate for habitability that we know right now," University College London astronomer Angelos Tsiaras, a coauthor of one of the two studies, said during a press conference.

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Mystery database left open turns out to be massive Groupon fraud ticket fraud ring

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 09:10
Yes, turns out people still use this voucher biz – who knew?

We have a new twist on the "researchers find unprotected public-facing cloud-hosted database" story, as one recently uncovered archive turned out to be at the heart of a years-long fraud operation.…

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MPs would love to hear all about how UK.gov plans to ratchet R&D spend to 3% of GDP

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 08:15
Go on, we're listening

The House of Commons' Science and Technology Committee has called on UK government to publish its long-overdue plans for upping investment in research and development.…

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Astronomers Have Spotted An Interstellar Comet Flying Toward Earth

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 07:00
A comet first spotted by a Ukrainian amateur astronomer looks to be just the second known object to visit our cosmic neighborhood from beyond the solar system. What could be an even bigger deal is the fact that this one was discovered as it's still approaching us. CNET reports: The comet was found by Gennady Borisov of Crimea on Aug. 30, and went by the temporary name GB00234 until very recently. After being watched by several other observatories over the past few weeks, it was given the official name of C/2019 Q4 (Borisov) by the Minor Planet Center on Wednesday. From the start, the orbit of the comet seemed unusual: It appeared to follow a so-called hyperbolic trajectory, which means it does not orbit the sun and probably originates from far beyond our solar system. This comet is still inbound, and will not reach perihelion (its closest pass by the sun) until Dec. 10. Hopefully that will give scientists ample time to study it, a luxury we didn't have with Oumuamua. And no, there doesn't appear to be any risk that the comet will collide with Earth.

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China's cloud market jumps 58%: OK Alibaba, you've lost your Ma but you're still leading

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 06:58
Plus: Baidu's 92% growth closes gap on AWS

Despite all the talk among Western tech vendors of an economic slowdown in the Middle Kingdon, spending on cloud infrastructure services in China is comfortably outpacing that of the global average.…

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