Linux fréttir

Watch live today: How to make your voice heard – and keep your staff safe from hackers

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 06:00
From thwarting phishing to boosting infosec awareness, we've got it covered

Webcast Security professionals like you have a tough job.…

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Cloud, internet biz will take a Yellowhammer to the head in 'worst case' no-deal Brexit

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 05:02
UK govt releases contingency doc and everything thing is [fine/a living nightmare] (delete as appropriate)

Analysis Cloud providers, social media platforms, and e-commerce companies are going to be hit hard in the event of a no-deal Brexit, according to official UK government correspondence.…

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First water world exoplanet spotted, and thankfully no sign of Kevin Costner, rejoice!

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 04:59
Red Dwarf solar system too far away for a jaunt on Starbug

Scientists have detected water vapor wafting from the atmosphere of an exoplanet orbiting around its star within the habitable zone for the first time, according to a paper published in Nature Astronomy.…

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No Bones About It: People Recognize Objects By Visualizing Their 'Skeletons'

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 03:30
An anonymous reader shares a report from Scientific American: Humans effortlessly know that a tree is a tree and a dog is a dog no matter the size, color or angle at which they're viewed. In fact, identifying such visual elements is one of the earliest tasks children learn. But researchers have struggled to determine how the brain does this simple evaluation. As deep-learning systems have come to master this ability, scientists have started to ask whether computers analyze data -- and particularly images -- similarly to the human brain. "The way that the human mind, the human visual system, understands shape is a mystery that has baffled people for many generations, partly because it is so intuitive and yet it's very difficult to program" says Jacob Feldman, a psychology professor at Rutgers University. A paper published in Scientific Reports in June comparing various object recognition models came to the conclusion that people do not evaluate an object like a computer processing pixels, but based on an imagined internal skeleton. In the study, researchers from Emory University, led by associate professor of psychology Stella Lourenco, wanted to know if people judged object similarity based on the objects' skeletons -- an invisible axis below the surface that runs through the middle of the object's shape. The scientists generated 150 unique three-dimensional shapes built around 30 different skeletons and asked participants to determine whether or not two of the objects were the same. Sure enough, the more similar the skeletons were, the more likely participants were to label the objects as the same. The researchers also compared how well other models, such as neural networks (artificial intelligence-based systems) and pixel-based evaluations of the objects, predicted people's decisions. While the other models matched performance on the task relatively well, the skeletal model always won. On the Rumsfeld Epistemological Scale, AI programers trying to duplicate the functions of the human mind are still dealing with some high-level known-unknowns, and maybe even a few unknown-unknowns.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Most Android Flashlight Apps Request An Absurd Number of Permissions

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 02:20
Out of 937 flashlight apps on the Play Store, Avast Security Evangelist Luis Corrons found that the vast majority requested a large number of permissions, with the average being of 25 permissions per app. ZDNet reports: "There might be variables average users are not aware of and that are needed for these apps to work, but if 408 of the apps need just 10 permissions or less, which seems fairly reasonable, how come there are 262 apps that require 50 permissions or more," Corrons said in a report published this week. The Avast researcher said he found 77 flashlight apps that requested more than 50 permissions, which is about a third of the total number of permissions the Android OS supports. The champions were two apps that requested 77 permissions, followed by another three, which requested 76. But while Corrons said that some apps appeared to justify some of the permissions they asked for, these were only an exception to the rule.

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Two Mathematicians Solve Old Math Riddle, Possibly the Meaning of Life

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 01:40
pgmrdlm shares a report from Live Science: In Douglas Adams' sci-fi series "The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy," a pair of programmers task the galaxy's largest supercomputer with answering the ultimate question of the meaning of life, the universe and everything. After 7.5 million years of processing, the computer reaches an answer: 42. Only then do the programmers realize that nobody knew the question the program was meant to answer. Now, in this week's most satisfying example of life reflecting art, a pair of mathematicians have used a global network of 500,000 computers to solve a centuries-old math puzzle that just happens to involve that most crucial number: 42. The question, which goes back to at least 1955 and may have been pondered by Greek thinkers as early as the third century AD, asks, "How can you express every number between 1 and 100 as the sum of three cubes?" Or, put algebraically, how do you solve x^3 + y^3 + z^3 = k, where k equals any whole number from 1 to 100? This deceptively simple stumper is known as a Diophantine equation, named for the ancient mathematician Diophantus of Alexandria, who proposed a similar set of problems about 1,800 years ago. Modern mathematicians who revisited the puzzle in the 1950s quickly found solutions when k equals many of the smaller numbers, but a few particularly stubborn integers soon emerged. The two trickiest numbers, which still had outstanding solutions by the beginning of 2019, were 33 and -- you guessed it -- 42. Using a computer algorithm to look for solutions to the Diophantine equation with x, y and z values that included every number between positive and negative 99 quadrillion, mathematician Andrew Booker, of the University of Bristol in England, found the solution to 33 after several weeks of computing time. Since his search turned up no solutions for 42, Booker enlisted the help of Massachusetts Institute of Technology mathematician Andrew Sutherland, who helped him book some time with a worldwide computer network called Charity Engine. "Using this crowdsourced supercomputer and 1 million hours of processing time, Booker and Sutherland finally found an answer to the Diophantine equation where k equals 42," reports Live Science. The answer: (-80538738812075974)^3 + (80435758145817515)^3 + (12602123297335631)^3 = 42.

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Taylor Swift Reportedly Threatened To Sue Microsoft Over Racist Twitter Bot

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 01:00
When an artificially intelligent chatbot that used Twitter to learn how to talk unsurprisingly turned into a bigot bot, Taylor Swift reportedly threatened legal action because the bot's name was Tay. Microsoft would probably rather forget the experiment where Twitter trolls took advantage of the chatbot's programming and taught it to be racist in 2016, but a new book is sharing unreleased details that show Microsoft had more to worry about than just the bot's racist remarks. Digital Trends reports: Tay was a social media chatbot geared toward teens first launched in China before adapting the three-letter moniker when moving to the U.S. The bot, however, was programmed to learn how to talk based on Twitter conversations. In less than a day, the automatic responses the chatbot tweeted had Tay siding with Hitler, promoting genocide, and just generally hating everybody. Microsoft immediately removed the account and apologized. When the bot was reprogrammed, Tay was relaunched as Zo. But in the book Tools and Weapons by Microsoft president Brad Smith and Carol Ann Browne, Microsoft's communications director, the executives have finally revealed why -- another Tay, Taylor Swift. According to The Guardian, the singer's lawyer threatened legal action over the chatbot's name before the bot broke bad. The singer claimed the name violated both federal and state laws. Rather than get in a legal battle with the singer, Smith writes, the company instead started considering new names.

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Mike drop, DXC-ya later! Lawrie immediately ejects as CEO from IT outsourcing giant

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-09-12 00:29
Board member Salvino to lead CSC-HPE-Enterprise-Services mutant starting Thursday

Beleaguered IT outsourcing specialist DXC will open business Thursday minus the only CEO it has, to date, ever known, as Mike Lawrie is stepping down effective immediately.…

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It's Not 'X', It's 'Cross' -- the PlayStation Joypad Revelation That's Caused an Outrage

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-09-12 00:20
An anonymous reader shares a report: A fortnight ago, Twitter user @drip133 asked a seemingly innocent question above a photo of the joypad: "Do you say 'x' or 'cross' button?" There were hundreds of contradictory responses, which became increasingly furious as the week wore on. Some insisted that because the other buttons are named after shapes -- Triangle, Square and Circle -- logically, the "X" button must be called "Cross"; others pointed out that as 'X' was the common usage, this was the only acceptable pronunciation. [...] Then, in a shock move, Sony itself became involved. On 5 September, the official Twitter feed of PlayStation UK stated: "Triangle. Circle. Cross. Square. If Cross is called X (it's not), then what are you calling Circle?" The scrap is a rare event in the world of video games as console manufacturers usually name buttons after numbers, unambiguous letters of the alphabet or colours. The groundbreaking Nintendo Entertainment System pad, for example, went with A, B, while the SNES added X and Y (a configuration also used by Sega and Microsoft), and in this context, it's clear that "X" is X. Years ago, in an interview with the now defunct video game website 1UP, Sony designer Teiyu Goto explained how the buttons came to be named: "We wanted something simple to remember, which is why we went with icons or symbols, and I came up with the triangle-circle-X-square combination immediately afterward. I gave each symbol a meaning and a colour. The triangle refers to viewpoint; I had it represent one's head or direction and made it green. Square refers to a piece of paper; I had it represent menus or documents and made it pink. The circle and X represent 'yes' or 'no' decision-making and I made them red and blue respectively." Sadly, this doesn't really help because in the quote he has characterised the "X" button with an "X" symbol and who knows whether that was actually him or the journalist who wrote the piece.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Oracle's Mark Hurd hits pause as co-CEO, says he needs time to deal with health issues

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 23:51
Also-CEO Safra Catz will take over share his responsibilities with some guy who co-founded the biz

On Wednesday, Oracle said co-CEO Mark Hurd will take a leave of absence to deal with undisclosed health issues, an announcement that coincided with the publication of the tech titan's fiscal 2020 Q1 numbers.…

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Objects Can Now Change Colors Like a Chameleon

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 23:40
The color-changing capabilities of chameleons have long bewildered willing observers. While humans can't yet camouflage much beyond a green outfit to match grass, inanimate objects are another story. From a report: A team from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) has brought us closer to this chameleon reality, by way of a new system that uses reprogrammable ink to let objects change colors when exposed to ultraviolet (UV) and visible light sources. Dubbed "PhotoChromeleon," the system uses a mix of photochromic dyes that can be sprayed or painted onto the surface of any object to change its color -- a fully reversible process that can be repeated infinitely. PhotoChromeleon can be used to customize anything from a phone case to a car, or shoes that need an update. The color remains, even when used in natural environments. "This special type of dye could enable a whole myriad of customization options that could improve manufacturing efficiency and reduce overall waste," says CSAIL postdoc Yuhua Jin, the lead author on a new paper about the project. "Users could personalize their belongings and appearance on a daily basis, without the need to buy the same object multiple times in different colors and styles." PhotoChromeleon builds off of the team's previous system, "ColorMod," which uses a 3-D printer to fabricate items that can change their color. Frustrated by some of the limitations of this project, such as small color scheme and low-resolution results, the team decided to investigate potential updates. With ColorMod, each pixel on an object needed to be printed, so the resolution of each tiny little square was somewhat grainy. As far as colors, each pixel of the object could only have two states: transparent and its own color. So, a blue dye could only go from blue to transparent when activated, and a yellow dye could only show yellow. But with PhotoChromeleon's ink, you can create anything from a zebra pattern to a sweeping landscape to multicolored fire flames, with a larger host of colors.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Trump Calls On FDA To Ban All Flavored Vapes After Mystery Lung Illness

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 23:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: In a surprise meeting on Wednesday, President Donald Trump pushed to ban all non-tobacco-flavored e-cigarettes from the market. Trump discussed the proposal during a meeting at the White House after discussing the move with advisers like Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar and acting Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Norman Sharpless, Bloomberg reported. "Not only is it a problem overall, but really specifically with respect for children," Trump told reporters. He continued, "We may very well have to do something very, very strong about it." Secretary Azar said the FDA would soon issue regulatory guidance to remove flavored vaping products from the market. The secretary cited statistics showing five million children using e-cigarettes of some kind, a number he found "alarming." In December, the US Surgeon General declared underage vaping "an epidemic," laying the groundwork for future regulatory action. Last week, federal officials announced that over 450 people across the country had grown sick with deadly lung illnesses that have been linked to e-cigarette use.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Do you want fr-AI-s with that appy-meal? McDonald's gobbles machine-learning biz for space-age Drive Thrus

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 22:36
AI'm Lovin' It

McDonald’s has wolfed down Apprente, an AI startup focused on voice recognition.…

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Open-Source Database Scylla Gains DynamoDB Compatibility

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 22:20
urdak writes: Four years ago, ScyllaDB introduced Scylla -- a new open-source NoSQL database, compatible with the popular Cassandra but 10 times faster. Today, the project announced support for the DynamoDB API as well. This will allow applications that use Amazon's DynamoDB to be migrated to other public or private clouds -- running on Scylla instead of DynamoDB. Beyond the added choice, large users may also see their cloud bills drastically reduced by moving to Scylla: ScyllaDB reported in the past that the total cost of running Scylla is only one seventh the cost of DynamoDB.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Apple's iPhone 11 Pro Is Triggering 'Fear of Holes' Or Trypophobia In Some

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 21:40
dryriver shares a report from the BBC: People with a fear of small holes have claimed the design of Apple's iPhone 11 Pro is triggering their phobia. At its unveiling on Tuesday, many found their attention drawn to its "ultra-wide" rear camera, with three high-powered lenses packed closely together. The lenses sit alongside the handset's torch and "audio zoom" microphone. And hundreds of smartphone users now claim the new design has triggered their "trypophobia," an aversion to the sight of clusters of small holes. The term "trypophobia" was first coined in 2005 in online forum Reddit and it has since become widely talked about on social media. American Horror Story actress Sarah Paulson and model Kendall Jenner are among those who say they have the condition. Vision scientist Dr Geoff Cole, at the University of Essex, was part of the first full scientific study of trypophobia, working with his colleague, Prof Arnold Wilkins. "We have all got it, it's just a matter of degree," Dr Cole told BBC News earlier this year. The response to seeing small holes can be very extreme, their study suggests. Dr Cole and Prof Wilkins reported testimonies from some people who vomited and others who said they could not go to work for several days. "It can be quite disabling," Prof Wilkins added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Australian House Committee To Look Into Age Verification For Porn

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 21:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Australia is once again deciding to follow in the tracks of the United Kingdom, with the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Social Policy and Legal Affairs to look into age verification for online pornography and online wagering. The matter was referred to the committee by the Minister for Families and Social Services, Senator Anne Ruston and Minister for Communications, Cyber Safety, and the Arts, Paul Fletcher. The terms of reference for the inquiry state that it will be looking into age verification under the auspices of protecting children online. The committee will look into "the potential benefits of further online age verification requirements, including to protect children from potential harm, and business and non-government organizations from reputation, operational and legal risks," the terms state. Potential risks and unintended consequences for age verification will be looked into as well, the terms state, including privacy breaches, freedom of expression, false assurance, and whether adults are pushing into "unregulated/illegal environments or to other legal forms of these activities." The committee will also examine the economic impact of age verification, and the impact on "eSafety resourcing, education, and messaging." The UK's age verification system for online pornography became mandatory on July 15.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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After Payroll Provider Collapses, Banks Drain Employee Accounts

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 20:25
dcblogs writes: MyPayRollHR, a payroll processing provider with about 4,000 small to mid-sized business customers, suddenly closed late last week. In response, the banking system went haywire and began taking funds from employees at many of these firms. Previously deposited pay was removed from their personal banking accounts, or 'reversed.' Not once, but twice and there are reports that these withdrawals happened continuously. The checking account of one employee of an animal rescue facility was pinged for nearly $1 million. Her account shows a negative $999,193.75.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Breaking, literally: Microsoft's fix for CPU-hogging Windows bug wrecks desktop search

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 20:17
One step forward, er, one step back. Nobody gets too far like that

Microsoft's build 18362.356 (KB4515384​​​​​) for its Windows 10 May 2019 Update (version 1903) rolled out on Tuesday with security improvements for Internet Explorer, Microsoft Edge, networking tech and input devices – and a CPU usage fix that, for some, has broken desktop search.…

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Expert Predicts 25% of Colleges Will 'Fail' in the Next 20 Years

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 19:45
For the first time in 185 years, there will be no fall semester at Green Mountain College in western Vermont. The college, which closed this year, isn't alone: Southern Vermont College, the College of St. Joseph, and Atlantic Union College, among others, have shuttered their doors, too. The schools fell victim to trends in higher education -- trends that lead one expert to believe that more schools will soon follow. From a report, shared by a reader: "I think 25% of schools will fail in the next two decades," said Michael Horn, who studies education at Harvard University. "They're going to close, they're going to merge, some will declare some form of bankruptcy to reinvent themselves. It's going to be brutal across American higher education." Part of the problem, Horn explained, is that families had fewer kids after the 2008 recession, meaning that there will be fewer high school graduates and fewer college students. "Fundamentally, these schools' business models are just breaking at the seams," he said. That's what happened to Green Mountain College. When Robert Allen became president of the school in 2016, he realized "very quickly" that the school had a problem. "I'm a mathematician by training, a financial person," he said. "And I realized that we were going to come up short." The main problem was shrinking enrollment. By last year, just 427 students remained on campus, leaving the school broke. "At Green Mountain College this past year, we didn't have one full paid student," Allen said, adding, "Our published tuition was $36,500, and the average student paid just a little over $12,000." Unable to find a school with which to merge, Allen announced in January that the school's 184th graduation would be its last. "I've had a long professional career, not all of it in education, and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Allen said. "As you can imagine, many parents were really angry."

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The gig (economy) is up: New California law upgrades Lyft, Uber, other app serfs to staff

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 19:28
Rules may blow up bug bounty upstarts, too

Analysis The California Senate has passed a new gig-economy law that will force app companies like Uber and Lyft to treat their workers as employees, rather than independent contractors.…

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