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European Commission outlines appeal against Apple's €13bn tax ruling

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 18:53
iGiant says case alleging state aid from Ireland was 'catgorically annulled'

Last year Apple won a long-fought legal battle against the European Commission, which argued it had received unlawful state aid from Ireland that allowed it to swerve nearly €13bn in back taxes.…

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Xiaomi Sues US Seeking To Reverse Investment Ban

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 18:43
AmiMoJo shares a report: Xiaomi has sued the U.S. Defense and Treasury departments, challenging a blacklisting that blocks American investors from buying the Chinese smartphone giant's securities. The lawsuit came after the Defense Department determined earlier this month that China's biggest smartphone maker was affiliated with the People's Liberation Army. Beijing-based Xiaomi called the blacklisting "unconstitutional" and seeks a court ruling to reverse the designation, which was made in the waning days of the Trump administration. "Xiaomi faces imminent, severe, and irreparable harm if the Designation remains in place and the restrictions take effect," the company said in the filing in the U.S. district court of Columbia. The lawsuit also named Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin and Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen as defendants. Under former President Donald Trump, the U.S. had targeted scores of Chinese tech companies citing national security. Huawei Technologies, one of the biggest rivals to Xiaomi in smartphone market, was cut off from its key suppliers as a result of a series of restrictions imposed by the former administration.

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Google Snags Ford Cloud Partnership in Coup Over Microsoft

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 18:06
Google signed a six-year deal with Ford Motor that will bring Android technology to the automaker's cars and cloud services to its factory floor, in a triumph for the internet giant over rival Microsoft. From a report: Google Cloud Platform will be Ford's "preferred cloud provider" and the partners will form an innovation team called Team Upshift to jointly work on future projects, the companies said Monday in a statement. Ford dashboard infotainment screens will be powered by an Android operating system starting in 2023 and the automaker will adopt Google's artificial intelligence and data-analytics technology. The companies did not disclose the value of their deal, but Google will receive revenue from cloud services as well as a Google apps and services licensing fee for every Ford and Lincoln vehicle sold starting in 2023. Thomas Kurian, chief executive officer of Google Cloud, is trying to sell the Alphabet company's computing and storage services through broad strategic partnerships. Fresh off a multiyear alliance with Deutsche Bank announced in December, Google has snagged Ford, a longtime Microsoft client. Google will need to continue accumulating these types of customer wins to catch cloud market leaders Amazon.com and Microsoft.

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Chrome 89 beta: Google presses on with 'advanced hardware interactions' that Mozilla, Apple see as harmful

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 17:54
Adding Serial API, Web NFC support, richer human interface device support

Google has released a beta of Chrome 89, adding further hardware interaction APIs even though Mozilla and Apple consider many of these features harmful, as well as introducing a desktop-sharing API for Windows and Chrome OS.…

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Robinhood Raises Another $2.4 Billion as Broker App Deals With Retail Trading Frenzy

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 17:30
As it sits amid the recent extreme bouts of market volatility, discount online brokerage Robinhood has been able to raise another $2.4 billion from investors, the company said Monday. From a report: That brings to $3.4 billion that the firm has been able to raise since last Thursday, a total that exceeds the amount it has raised in its entire history. "This funding is a strong sign of confidence from investors and will help us build for the future and continue to serve people through the exponential growth we've seen this year," the company said in a statement. The startup started easing trading restrictions on Monday, raising its trading limit on GameStop to four shares from a single share.

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25 years of NDMP: Is that an anniversary or a life sentence?

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 17:00
Learn how to escape your NAS backup pain – simply tune in this month

Webcast If managing data is part of your world, some things never change. There’s always more information coming at you, automation trumps good intentions, and the network data management protocol (NDMP) seem to have been designed to make your life … difficult.…

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Amazon Says Government Demands For User Data Spiked By 800% in 2020

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 16:45
New transparency figures released by Amazon show the company responded to a record number of government data demands in the last six months of 2020. From a report: The new figures land in the company's bi-annual transparency report published to Amazon's website over the weekend. Amazon said it processed 27,664 government demands for user data in the last six months of 2020, up from 3,222 data demands in the first six months of the year, an increase of close to 800%. That user data includes shopping searches and data from its Echo, Fire, and Ring devices. The new report presents the data differently from previous transparency disclosures. Amazon now breaks down the top requesting countries. U.S. authorities historically made up the bulk of the overall data demands Amazon receives, but this latest report shows Germany with 42% of all requests, followed by Spain with 18%, and Italy and the U.S. with 11% share each. But the report also removes the breakdown by legal process, and now only differentiates between the requests it gets for user's content and for non-content. Amazon said it handed over user content data in 52 cases. For its Amazon Web Services cloud business, which it reports separately, Amazon said it processed 523 data demands, with 75% of all requests made by U.S. authorities, and Amazon turned over user's content in 15 cases.

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Ransomware attack takes out UK Research and Innovation's Brussels networking office

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 16:24
'Sensitive' personal data not accessed – so what about names and contact deets?

UK Research and Innovation, the British government's science and research organisation, has temporarily turned off a couple of its web-facing services after an apparent ransomware attack.…

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As Google Eyes Australia Exit, Microsoft Talks Bing With Prime Minister

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 16:16
Software giant Microsoft is confident its search product Bing can fill the gap in Australia if Google pulls its search over required payments to media outlets, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said on Monday. From a report: Australia has introduced laws that would force internet giant Google and social media heavyweight Facebook Inc to negotiate payments to domestic media outlets whose content links drive traffic to their platforms. However, the Big Tech firms have called the laws unworkable and said last month they would withdraw key services from Australia if the regulations went ahead. Those services include Google's search engine, which has 94% of the country's search market, according to industry data. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has since spoken with Morrison about the new rules, the tech company told Reuters, and on Monday, Morrison said the software company was ready to grow the presence of its search tool Bing, the distant No. 2 player.

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Bork to school: Apple kit management service Jamf pulls a sickie for IT crews trying to get pupils on iPads

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 15:28
VPP service TITSUP* at eu-central-1

While UK parents looked forward to weeks more of home education for their poppets, iDevice management service Jamf School has taken a tumble for some users.…

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Elon Musk Grills Robinhood CEO Over GameStop Trading Freeze: 'The People Demand Answers'

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 15:25
Elon Musk had just wrapped up a wide-ranging 90-minute interview on the audio chat app Clubhouse early on Monday, when he threw the hosts a curveball. "Do you want to hear the real story from Vlad [from] Robinhood about what happened on the Street with GameStop?" Musk asked. He advised the moderators to click on Robinhood CEO Vladimir Tenev so he could talk. From a report: That's when Musk launched into a torrent of questions, a CEO-to-CEO showdown over why the popular trading app had halted trading on the market's hottest stocks at one point last week. "Spill the beans, man," Musk said to Tenev, whom the Tesla CEO introduced as "Vlad the stock impaler." "What happened last week? Why couldn't people buy the GameStop shares? The people demand answers, and they want to know the truth." Musk, who has come under fire for quality control issues, business missteps and personal behaviors, asked Tenev what caused him to halt trades on GameStop and other heavily shorted stocks last week. Were more powerful entities, such as regulators, depriving smaller retail investors of a potential payday at the expense of shadowy hedge funds? Was Robinhood partner Citadel Securities responsible for the trading halt? "Is anyone holding you hostage right now?" Musk asked. [...] "If you had no choice, that's understandable, but then we got to find out why you have no choice," Musk said. "And who are these people that are saying you have no choice?" In response, Tenev suggested more transparency was needed in the formulas used by financial institutions to calculate these requirements. He emphasized how Robinhood was able to raise more than $1 billion in capital in 24 hours to reopen on Monday. Tenev would not commit to imposing no restrictions on the stocks.

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Twitter Blocks Numerous High-Profile Accounts in India Following Government's 'Legal demand'

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 14:53
Twitter blocked access to dozens of accounts in India, including some that belonged to high-profile individuals, on Monday to comply with a "legal demand," prompting confusion and anger among users who are seeking an explanation for this action. From a report: Among those whose accounts have been withheld in India include Caravan, a news outlet that conducts investigative journalism, political commentator Sanjukta Basu, activist Hansraj Meena, actor Sushant Singh, and Shashi Shekhar Vempati, chief executive of state-run brodcasting agency Prasar Bharti. Accounts of at least two politicians with Aam Aadmi Party -- Preeti Sharma Menon and Jarnail Singh -- that governs the National Capital Territory of Delhi have also been withheld. At least two popular accounts linked with ongoing protests by farmers -- Kisan Ekta Morcha and Tractor2Twitr -- in India have also been restricted. Citing a government source, AFP journalist Bhuvan Bagga reported earlier today that India's Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology directed Twitter to block around 250 tweets and accounts that were using a hashtag to make what it alleged were false, intimidatory and provocative tweets over the weekend. He adds: "Incitement to genocide is a grave threat to public order and therefore the Ministry of Electronics and IT (MEITY) ordered for blocking of these Twitter accounts and Tweets under Section 69A of the Information Technology Act." A person familiar with the matter corroborated this claim to TechCrunch.

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Two years later, SK Hynix's £2.2bn EUV DRAM factory is ready to go

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 14:51
It started building M16 when 'overall semiconductor memory was amid downturn'

Two years after breaking ground, Korean memory giant SK Hynix has finished work on its ₩3.5 trillion (£2.2bn) DRAM factory, known as M16, located in the northwestern city of Incheon.…

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Internet Disrupted in Myanmar Amid Apparent Military Uprising

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 14:00
Network data from the NetBlocks Internet Observatory indicate the onset of widespread internet disruptions in Myanmar on Sunday 31 January 2021 (UTC) amid reports of a military uprising and the detention of political leaders including Aung San Suu Kyi. From a report: The telecommunication disruptions beginning approximately 3:00 a.m. Monday morning local time have significant subnational impact including the capital and are likely to limit coverage of events as they take place. Continuing disconnections have been monitored with national connectivity falling initially to 75% and subsequently 50% of ordinary levels by 8:00 a.m. local time. Technical data show cuts affecting multiple network operators including state-owned Myanma Posts and Telecommunications (MPT) and international operator Telenor, with preliminary findings indicating a centrally ordered mechanism of disruption targeting cellular and some fixed-line services, progressing over time as operators comply.

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NASA to have another go at firing Space Launch System engines because just over a minute of data won't cut it

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 13:56
Chance of Moon landing in 2024 ever slimmer if test flight this year is delayed

Hopes of a launch of NASA's Space Launch System (SLS) in 2021 have been dealt a further blow by an admission that a second Green Run hot fire test is required for the SLS core stage.…

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Microsoft's Extensible Storage Engine (JET Blue) source code arrives on GitHub – sadly comments not included

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 13:04
One-way traffic at the moment... and don't mention Access

Microsoft has made the source code for its Extensible Storage Engine (aka JET Blue) available on GitHub.…

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£30m in contracts awarded in Post Office's £357m ATM overhaul

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 12:22
New network will have 600 fewer cash machines

The UK Post Office has awarded two contracts worth a total of £30m for a banking network and ATMs system in a procurement expected to be worth £357m once all contracts are awarded.…

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The good optics of silicon photonics: Light sailing serenely down a fibre

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 11:46
15 years in the making. Out of the labs and into the real world: The 100Gbps Internet connection

Why on earth would Cisco want to push fibre to your desk?…

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New Study: A Zero-Emissions America is Now Pretty Cheap

Slashdot - Mon, 2021-02-01 11:34
"Until recently, it was unclear whether variable renewable energy, nuclear, or fossil fuel with carbon capture and storage would become the main form of generation in a decarbonized electricity system," argues a recently-published analysis titled Carbon-Neutral Pathways for the United States. "The cost decline of variable renewable energy over the last few years, however, has definitively changed the situation." Ars Technica reports: In many areas of the United States, installing a wind or solar farm is now cheaper than simply buying fuel for an existing fossil fuel-based generator. And that's dramatically changing the electricity market in the U.S. and requiring a lot of people to update prior predictions. That has motivated a group of researchers to take a new look at the costs and challenges of getting the entire U.S. to carbon neutrality. By building a model of the energy market for the entire U.S., the researchers explored what it will take to get the country to the point where its energy use has no net emissions in 2050 — and they even looked at a scenario where emissions are negative. They found that, as you'd expect, the costs drop dramatically — to less than 1 percent of the GDP, even before counting the costs avoided by preventing the worst impacts of climate change. And, as an added bonus, we would pay less for our power... The researchers estimate that the net cost of the transformation will be a total of $145 billion by 2050, which works out to be less than one-half percent of the GDP that year. That figure does include the increased savings from electrical heating and vehicles, which offset some of their costs. But it doesn't include the reduced costs from climate change or lower health care spending due to reduced fossil fuel use. These savings will be substantial, and they will almost certainly go well beyond offsetting the cost. Due to the reduced cost of renewable generation, the authors project that we'll spend less for electricity overall, as well... Part of the reason it is so cheap is because reaching the goal doesn't require replacing viable hardware. All of the things that need to be taken out of service, from coal-fired generators to gas hot-water heaters, have finite lifetimes. The researchers calculate that simply replacing everything with renewables or high-efficiency electric versions will manage the transition in sufficient time... The scenarios with additional constraints produce some odd results as well. The only scenario in which nuclear power makes economic sense is the one in which land use is limited.

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'It's dead, Jim': Torvalds marks Intel Itanium processors as orphaned in Linux kernel

TheRegister - Mon, 2021-02-01 11:14
Itanic sinks further beneath the waves

The Linux kernel will no longer support Intel Itanium processors following a decision by Linus Torvalds to merge a patch marking the architecture as orphaned.…

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