Linux fréttir

A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 19:05
For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake. From a report: The death of free will began with thousands of finger taps. In 1964, two German scientists monitored the electrical activity of a dozen people's brains. Each day for several months, volunteers came into the scientists' lab at the University of Freiburg to get wires fixed to their scalp from a showerhead-like contraption overhead. The participants sat in a chair, tucked neatly in a metal tollbooth, with only one task: to flex a finger on their right hand at whatever irregular intervals pleased them, over and over, up to 500 times a visit. The purpose of this experiment was to search for signals in the participants' brains that preceded each finger tap. At the time, researchers knew how to measure brain activity that occurred in response to events out in the world -- when a person hears a song, for instance, or looks at a photograph -- but no one had figured out how to isolate the signs of someone's brain actually initiating an action The experiment's results came in squiggly, dotted lines, a representation of changing brain waves. In the milliseconds leading up to the finger taps, the lines showed an almost undetectably faint uptick: a wave that rose for about a second, like a drumroll of firing neurons, then ended in an abrupt crash. This flurry of neuronal activity, which the scientists called the Bereitschaftspotential, or readiness potential, was like a gift of infinitesimal time travel. For the first time, they could see the brain readying itself to create a voluntary movement. This momentous discovery was the beginning of a lot of trouble in neuroscience. Twenty years later, the American physiologist Benjamin Libet used the Bereitschaftspotential to make the case not only that the brain shows signs of a decision before a person acts, but that, incredibly, the brain's wheels start turning before the person even consciously intends to do something. Suddenly, people's choices -- even a basic finger tap -- appeared to be determined by something outside of their own perceived volition.

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Court Rules That 'Scraping' Public Website Data Isn't Hacking

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 18:47
Scraping public data from a website doesn't constitute "hacking," according to a new court ruling that could dramatically limit abuse of the United States' primary hacking law. From a report: The ruling comes after a lengthy battle between data analytics firm HiQ Labs and Microsoft owned LinkedIn, which have been at each other's throats for several years over HiQ Labs' practice of scraping the business social networking website's public-facing data, then selling it (fused with other datasets) to a laundry list of employers. In the ruling by The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court shot down LinkedIn's claim that access to this public data violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In its declaration, the court ruled that to violate the CFAA, somebody would need to actually "circumvent [a] computer's generally applicable rules regarding access permissions, such as username and password requirements," meaning it's not really hacking if you're not bypassing some kind of meaningful authorization system.

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GameStop Closing 200 Stores Following Another Quarter of Dismal Sales

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 18:07
GameStop will close as many 200 stores before the end of 2019 following another quarter of sharply declining sales and a $32 million loss, the company stated. From a report: In a statement yesterday, the company's chief financial officer attributed the drop in sales to trends "consistent with what we have historically observed towards the end of a hardware cycle." That said, it's yet another quarter with a double-digit decline, down 14.3 percent over the same one last year. For the quarter ending March 2019, GameStop reported a 13.3 sales decline and the company's stock price plunged 40 percent in one day, recovering only slightly since then. James Bell, GameStop's chief financial officer, told investors that the closures will affect between 180 and 200 "underperforming" stores between now and the end of 2019. The company's most recent annual report listed 5,830 locations worldwide, with more than 4,000 of them in the United States and Canada. In yesterday's earnings call, Bell said that the vast majority -- 95 percent -- of stores were profitable. But more closures, in larger numbers than today's news, are expected over the next one to two years, he added.

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Google Chrome Now Lets You Send Webpages To Other Devices

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 17:28
Google is starting to make its Chrome 77 browser update available to Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android this week. While there are many visual changes to Chrome this time, Google is introducing a new send webpage to devices feature. From a report: You can right-click on a link and a new context menu will appear that simply lets you send links to other devices where you use Chrome. If you're using Chrome on iOS you'll need to have the app open and a small prompt will appear to accept the sent tab. The feature has started showing up on Windows, Android, and iOS versions of Chrome, but it doesn't appear to be enabled in the macOS variant just yet. Chrome has long supported the ability to browse your open and recent tabs across multiple devices, but this send to device feature just makes things a little quicker if you're moving from browsing on a PC or laptop to a phone or vice versa.

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Incoming... Trump! Notebook makers ramp production to avoid next tidal wave of US trade tariffs

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 17:00
Manufacturing rises by double digits ahead of December D-Day

Notebook original design manufacturers ramped production in Q2 as the big brands upped their orders to swerve a US imposed trade tariff that, from December, will directly hit mobile PCs exported from China to America.…

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SpaceX Confirms It's Almost Ready To Test Its Orbital Starship

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 16:48
SpaceX isn't wasting much time now that Starhopper has completed its hover test. The company has filed an FCC communication permissions request that, as Elon Musk confirmed, prepares for test-flying the "orbit-class" Starship. From a report: The vehicle will fly much higher than its stubby predecessor, reaching an altitude of 12.5 miles before it comes back to the same landing pad used during earlier tests. It's not a true orbital test, then, but it's clearly much closer to SpaceX's goals. The FCC filing came days after word from Business Insider (later verified) that the FAA was effectively granting SpaceX permission to expand its Boca Chica launch facility for the sake of Starship launches. The company also hasn't tried to hide its construction work on the orbit-quality vehicle, and Musk has alluded to a September 28th update event that could show off the completed spacecraft. It's poised to launch sometime in October, possibly as soon as the 13th.

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California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 16:08
California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. From a report: The bill passed in a 29 to 11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, endorsed the bill this month and is expected to sign it after it goes through the State Assembly, in what is expected to be a formality. Under the measure, which would go into effect Jan. 1, workers must be designated as employees instead of contractors if a company exerts control over how they perform their tasks or if their work is part of a company's regular business. The bill may influence other states. A coalition of labor groups is pushing similar legislation in New York, and bills in Washington State and Oregon that were similar to California's but failed to advance could see renewed momentum. New York City passed a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers last year but did not try to classify them as employees. In California, the legislation will affect at least one million workers who have been on the receiving end of a decades-long trend of outsourcing and franchising work, making employer-worker relationships more arm's-length. Many people have been pushed into contractor status with no access to basic protections like a minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Ride-hailing drivers, food-delivery couriers, janitors, nail salon workers, construction workers and franchise owners could now all be reclassified as employees.

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Infosec prophet Bruce Schneier (peace be upon him) is only as famous as <i>half</i> of Salt-N-Pepa

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 16:07
Totally sane John McAfee up there with Walder Frey, says cybersecurity celeb list

Despite billing himself as "the world's most famous hacker", Kevin Mitnick isn't the infosec personality your grandma is most interested in learning more about.…

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Apple Just Turned Its Extended Warranty For iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch Into a Monthly Subscription

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 15:28
An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple's extended warranty, AppleCare+, has always covered iOS and Apple Watch devices for a total of two years. But after its iPhone 11 event, the company quietly introduced a new option that basically turns AppleCare+ into a full-on monthly subscription, allowing consumers to continue paying beyond the regular coverage period and keep going for as long as Apple is able to service their product. The change was spotted by 9to5Mac. Apple had already offered monthly installments for AppleCare+, but that was only an alternative to paying a lump sum for the same two-year coverage total. And it seems Apple has now eliminated this payment option. With the new approach, Apple uses the pretty clear wording of "pay monthly until canceled." As 9to5Mac notes, you'd end up paying more through the monthly option for the standard 24 months of coverage than if you just opted to buy that length of time outright. The new subscription is really best for people who plan to hold on to their gadgets for several years.

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UK children's charity: Social media firms rubbish at stopping grooming. Time for a mandatory... AI

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 15:20
Self-regulation has failed, says NSPCC

The National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) is calling on the British government to force social media companies to use AI to detect suspicious grooming behaviour.…

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Google To Run DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) Experiment in Chrome

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 14:45
Google has announced plans to test the new DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol inside Google Chrome starting with v78, scheduled for release in late October this year. From a report: The DNS-over-HTTPS protocol works by sending DNS requests to special DoH-compatible DNS resolvers. The benefit comes from the fact that DNS requests are sent via port 443, as encrypted HTTPS traffic, rather than cleartext, via port 53. This hides DoH requests in the unending stream of HTTPS traffic that moves across the web at any moment of the day and prevents third-party observers from tracking users' browsing histories by recording and looking at their unencrypted DNS data. The news that Google is looking into testing DoH in Chrome comes just as Mozilla announced plans over the weekend to gradually enable DoH by default for a small subset of users in the US later this month.

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Apple's making some announcements! Quick, lay off 435 Uber workers

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 14:34
Engineers nervously check their personal ride-sharing ratings

A number of Uber employees found their rating a little lower than they thought as the company laid off 435 staffers this week.…

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Amazon Probed by US Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 14:05
A team of FTC investigators has begun interviewing small businesses that sell products on Amazon to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition. From a report: Several attorneys and at least one economist have been conducting interviews that typically last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to three merchants. All were asked what percentage of revenue their businesses derive from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart and EBay, suggesting regulators are skeptical about Amazon's claims that shoppers and suppliers have real alternatives to the Seattle-based company. One merchant, Jaivin Karnani, said he was surprised the FTC returned his call the very next day. The interviews indicate the agency is in the early stages of a sweeping probe to learn how Amazon works, spot practices that break the law and identify markets dominated by the company. The length of the interviews and the manpower devoted to examining Amazon point to a serious inquiry rather than investigators merely responding to complaints and going through the motions, antitrust experts say.

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Why would anyone need Cloud Foundry when we have Kubernetes? Um, 'cos K8s is really hard!

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 13:45
At least that's what the org would have you believe

CF Summit "The Kubernetes community is reaching out and asking for our help on the developer experience," claimed Cloud Foundry exec director Abby Kearns at the outfit's Netherlands-based Euro Summit.…

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UK ISPs must block access to Nintendo Switch piracy sites, High Court rules

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 13:00
Ahoy me maties, now we must find another mast to climb

The UK's largest internet service providers must block access to websites that enable people to pirate Nintendo Switch games, the High Court has ruled.…

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Comcast Sues Maine To Stop Law Requiring Sale of Individual TV Channels

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-09-11 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Comcast and several TV network owners have sued the state of Maine to stop a law that requires cable companies to offer a la carte access to TV channels. The complaint in U.S. District Court in Maine was filed Friday by Comcast, Comcast subsidiary NBCUniversal, A&E Television Networks, C-Span, CBS Corp., Discovery, Disney, Fox Cable Network Services, New England Sports Network, and Viacom. The companies claim the Maine law -- titled "An Act To Expand Options for Consumers of Cable Television in Purchasing Individual Channels and Programs" -- is preempted by the First Amendment and federal law. The Maine law is scheduled to take effect on September 19 and says that "a cable system operator shall offer subscribers the option of purchasing access to cable channels, or programs on cable channels, individually." The lawsuit seeks an injunction to prevent the law from being enforced. "I submitted this bill on behalf of Maine's hundreds of thousands of cable television subscribers," Representative Jeffrey Evangelos, an independent, said in testimony when the bill was being debated in March. "For far too long, consumers have been forced to purchase cable TV packages which include dozens of channels the consumer has no interest in watching." But the current system involving service tiers and bundling "reflect[s] the exercise of First Amendment rights -- both by the programmers who decide how to license their programming to cable operators, and by the cable operators who decide how to provide that programming to the public," the industry lawsuit said. The lawsuit also says that "an array of federal statutory provisions precludes Maine from dictating how cable programming is presented to consumers." The state law "is expressly preempted by several provisions of the Communications Act," including a section that "prohibits state and local authorities from regulating the 'provision or content of cable services, except as expressly provided in' Title VI of the Communications Act," the lawsuit said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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WD you like to purchase an NVMe-oF startup? Kazan! Western Dig just did

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 12:27
Storage types pretty excited about getting at arrays over Ethernet via NVMe-oF

Western Digital has swallowed Kazan Networks to get a taste of its sweet NVMe over Fabrics Ethernet connectivity kit.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Fairphone 3 stripped to the modular essentials: Glue? What glue?

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 11:52
Take note, mobe makers

Amsterdam-based Fairphone describes its devices as sustainable. iFixit took its selection of tools to one and found that, hey, you can make phones that are at once not rubbish and also repairable.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

A peeling solution to pothole has split the community... Yeah, they stuck a banana tree in it

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 11:16
It's ripe up your street

In the UK, there are a number of things you can do about potholes: a) report it to the council; b) call the local newspaper, which will photograph you squatting angrily by the hole while you squawk "it's an accident waiting to happen!"; or c) nothing.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Care for a Flutter? Google emits fresh version of all-things-app-platform, plus a tart-up for Dart

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-09-11 10:25
iOS 13, macOS Catalina and calling C code in Mountain View's bundle of joy

Flutter, Google's crack at a platform for mobile, desktop and web apps, has hit version 1.9 as the company targets Apple's upcoming iOS 13 and macOS Catalina. Its Dart language also got a tickle.…

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