Linux fréttir

Oracle exhumes ‘Older, Still Useful Content’ penned by Solaris and SPARC veterans

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 05:58
Posts look to have evaporated along with employee privileges

Oracle has done something a little odd: exhuming ancient blog posts about Solaris and SPARC by former Sun luminaries that have moved on to other things.…

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Google allows 15 more nations to offer gambling in the Play store

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 05:01
India gets special attention with new rules for apps that tie loyalty and prize draws to payments

Google has added 15 more countries to its list of nations in which it will allow gambling apps that allow users to play with real money.…

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Carmakers Face $61 Billion Sales Hit From Pandemic Chip Shortage

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: When the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami ravaged Japan in 2011, ocean water flooded factories owned byRenesas Electronics Corp.Production at the swamped facilities ground to a halt -- a major hit for Renesas, of course, but also a devastating blow to the Japanese car industry, which depended on Renesas for semiconductors. Lacking chips for everything from transmissions to touchscreens, Honda, Nissan, and Toyota were forced to shut down or slow output for months. As the perils of just-in-time manufacturing and the dangers of relying on a single supplier for key components became obvious, automakers vowed to steer clear of similar snafus in the future. Yet a decade later, the global auto industry finds itself in an almost identical predicament. The catalyst for the breakdown this time is a slower-moving natural disaster: the coronavirus pandemic, which has disrupted the supply chain for makers of the electronics that are the brains of modern cars. That left automakers -- which have long eschewed maintaining costly inventories of parts -- scrambling to secure those components when sales rebounded. The shortage could lead to more than $14 billion in lost revenue in the first quarter and some $61 billion for the year, advisory firm AlixPartners predicts. The industry is "wedded to 'lean manufacturing,'" says Tor Hough, founder of Elm Analytics, an industry consultant near Detroit. "They have gotten in this mode of just managing for next week or next month."

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Biden administration pauses ban on Chinese tech companies suspected of military entanglements

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 02:57
Top telcos still designated as stooges, but they've perked up a bit

The US Department of the Treasury has announced a revision to the ban on trading in companies suspected of having ties to China’s military.…

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The Highest Resolution Photos Ever Taken of Snowflakes

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 02:10
Photographer and scientist Nathan Myhrvold has developed a camera that captures snowflakes at a microscopic level never seen before. Smithsonian Magazine reports: Myhrvold, who holds a PhD in theoretical mathematics and physics from Princeton University and served as the Chief Technology Officer at Microsoft for 14 years, leaned on his background as a scientist to create the camera. He also tapped into his experience as a photographer, most notably as the founder of Modernist Cuisine, a food innovation lab known for its high-resolution photographs of various food stuffs published into a five-volume book of photography of the same name that focuses on the art and science of cooking. Myhrvold first got the idea to photograph snowflakes 15 years ago after meeting Kenneth Libbrecht, a California Institute of Technology professor who happened to be studying the physics of snowflakes. In simple terms, the system Myhrvold developed is comprised of one part microscope and one part camera, but with a number of parts that work in tandem to complete the arduous task of capturing an image of a snowflake, a subject that's not only miniscule (most snowflakes measure less than a half-inch in diameter) but also quick to melt. In fact, a snowflake's tendency to disintegrate was one of the biggest challenges Myhrvold had to overcome with this project. His solution: equipping his 50-pound camera system with a thermoelectric cooling system, a carbon fiber frame and LED lights, which give off less heat than standard lights. Every single part of his Frankenstein-esque device, which stands at about five feet in height off the ground when placed on a table, was built using materials that are less likely to cause melting or sublimation of the subject matter. Myhrvold also had to figure out how to physically capture a snowflake. (It's not quite as simple as hoping that the perfect snowflake just so happens to fall into your mittened hand.) He quickly learned that catching them on a glass microscope slide wouldn't work; glass is a known insulator. But an artificial sapphire slide, made of the same crystal material as one would find in a high-end watch, had a lower thermal conductivity ratio than glass, making it the perfect material to gather specimens. [...] Once safely on the slide, he focuses his microscope to take the photograph, changing the exposure one micron at a time. (For reference, the width of a human hair measures approximately 70 microns.) On average, Myhrvold photographs each snowflake more than 100 times, or as many times as he can before the snowflake starts to melt. Using specialized computer software, Myhrvold combines multiple photographs of a single specimen to create the final photograph. "That photo [is usually the result of] 100 photographs put together using computer software," he says. "You have to take many photos in order to get a high enough resolution, because many photos put together allows you to have enough depth of field to see an entire snowflake very sharply."

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Taiwan scores Google’s first hardware engineering lab outside the US of A

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 01:30
Job ads call for silicon designers, ASIC engineers, display wonks and folks to build data centre and home kit

Google has picked Taiwan as the location of its first hardware engineering facility outside the USA.…

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Google Deletes Nearly 100,000 Negative Reviews of Robinhood App

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 01:30
According to The Verge, Google has removed nearly 100,000 negative reviews of the Robinhood app from the Google Play Store. From the report: After some disgruntled Robinhood users organized campaigns to give the app a one-star review on Google's Play Store and Apple's App Store -- and succeeded in review-bombing it all the way down to a one-star rating -- the company has now deleted enough reviews to bring it back up to nearly four stars. Robinhood came under intense scrutiny on Thursday, after the stock trading app announced it would block purchases of GameStop, AMC, and other stocks made popular by the r/WallStreetBets subreddit, and some users have already replaced their deleted one-star reviews with new ones to make their anger heard. It's not outside Google's purview to delete these posts. Google's policies explicitly prohibit reviews intended to manipulate an app's rating, and the company says it has a system that "combines human intelligence with machine learning to detect and enforce policy violations in ratings and reviews." Google says it specifically took action on reviews that it felt confident violated those policies, the company tells The Verge. Google says companies do not have the ability to delete reviews themselves. On Apple's App Store, Robinhood has a 4.7 rating, and we didn't see any reviews newer than Wednesday.

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Apple Adds 'BlastDoor' To Secure iOS From Zero-Click Attacks

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 00:50
wiredmikey shares a report from SecurityWeek.com: Apple has quietly added several anti-exploit mitigations into iOS in what appears to be a specific response to zero-click iMessage attacks observed in the wild. The new mitigations were discovered by Samuel Grob, a Google Project Zero security researcher, [with the first big addition being] a new, tightly sandboxed "BlastDoor" service that is now responsible for the parsing of untrusted data in iMessages. With iOS 14, Grob discovered that Apple shipped a significant refactoring of iMessage processing, and made all four parts of an attack much harder to succeed. Apple added logic into iOS 14 to specifically detect [shared cache region] attacks and new techniques to limit an attacker's ability to retry exploits or brute force Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR). "Overall, these changes are probably very close to the best that could've been done given the need for backwards compatibility, and they should have a significant impact on the security of iMessage and the platform as a whole," the Google researcher added.

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State Reps Try To Ban Comcast Data Cap and Price Hikes Until Pandemic Is Over

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In response to Comcast imposing a data cap on Massachusetts residents, state lawmakers have proposed a ban on data caps, new fees, and price increases on home-Internet services for the duration of the pandemic. The legislation was filed on Tuesday this week by Democratic state representatives Andy Vargas and Dave Rogers. Vargas called the bill a "response to Comcast Internet data cap plans," while Rogers said the goal is "to push back at Comcast and any other service providers who try to raise prices or fees during a pandemic." Verizon FiOS and RCN also provide Internet service in Massachusetts but do not impose data caps. Vargas and Rogers previously led a group of 71 Massachusetts lawmakers who urged Comcast to halt enforcement of its 1.2TB monthly data cap, arguing that the cap hurts low-income people and is unnecessary because of Comcast's robust network capacity. While Comcast already enforced the data cap in 27 states for several years, the cable company brought the cap to the rest of its territory -- an additional 12 states including Massachusetts and the District of Columbia -- this month. Comcast is easing-in enforcement so that the first overage charges for newly capped customers will be assessed for data usage in the April 2021 billing period. The Massachusetts House has a 128-30 Democratic majority. Besides Vargas and Rogers, the bill so far has 21 cosponsors, most of whom just signed on today.

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Nvidia accused of cheating in big-data performance test by benchmark's umpires: Workloads 'tweaked' to beat rivals in TPCx-BB

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-01-28 23:57
GPU giant says it'll play ball soon

Nvidia has been accused of cheating in a big-data performance benchmark, and thus unfairly coming out on top, by the very umpires of the test.…

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Coinbase Settles On Direct Listing To Go Public

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 23:30
In a blog post today, Coinbase announced that its public debut will be a direct listing instead of a traditional IPO. From the announcement: Coinbase Global, Inc. today announced its intent to become a publicly-traded company pursuant to a proposed direct listing of its Class A common stock. Such proposed listing is expected to be pursuant to a registration statement on Form S-1 with the Securities and Exchange Commission (the "SEC"). Coinbase Global, Inc. previously announced on December 17, 2020 that it had confidentially submitted a draft registration statement on Form S-1 with the SEC. The Form S-1 is expected to become effective after the SEC completes its review process, subject to market and other conditions. This announcement does not constitute an offer to sell or the solicitation of an offer to buy any securities. Any offers, solicitations or offers to buy, or any sales of securities will be made in accordance with the registration requirements of the Securities Act of 1933, as amended (the "Securities Act"). This announcement is being issued in accordance with Rule 135 under the Securities Act. "Coinbase's public listing has been hotly anticipated as a potential tipping point for the cryptocurrency industry to go mainstream," reports Axios. "The direct listing route -- which allows existing shareholders to sell their stock into the market while the company doesn't raise new funds -- has been slowly gaining more traction with Palantir and Asana as the latest to go that direction."

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GM Will Sell Only Zero-Emission Vehicles By 2035

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 22:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: General Motors said Thursday it would phase out petroleum-powered cars and trucks and sell only vehicles that have zero tailpipe emissions by 2035, a seismic shift by one of the world's largest automakers that makes billions of dollars today from gas-guzzling pickup trucks and sport-utility vehicles. The announcement could put pressure on automakers around the world to make similar commitments. G.M. said that its decision to switch to electric cars was part of a broader plan to become carbon neutral by 2040. Its announcement came a day after Mr. Biden signed an executive order to step up the fight against climate change, including a directive for the federal government to electrify its large vehicle fleet. "General Motors is joining governments and companies around the globe working to establish a safer, greener and better world," Mary T. Barra, G.M.'s chairman and chief executive, said in a statement. "We encourage others to follow suit and make a significant impact on our industry and on the economy as a whole." G.M. said it would increase the use of renewable energy, and would eliminate or offset emissions from its factories, buildings, vehicles and other sources. The company plans to spend $27 billion over the next five years to introduce 30 electric vehicles, including an electric Hummer pickup truck that it expects to start delivering to customers later this year. The company said it was working with the Environmental Defense Fund to build charging stations for electric cars and to convince drivers to switch to electric cars.

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Robinhood Will Allow 'Limited Buys' of Stocks Like GameStop, Starting Friday

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 21:55
After removing GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry, and Nokia from its platform, getting slapped with a class-action lawsuit, and flooded with 1-star reviews on the Google Play Store, Robinhood is starting to have a change of heart. The trading platform announced that, beginning Friday, it will allow "limited buys" on restricted stocks, like GameStop, AMC, and others. The Verge reports: "Starting tomorrow, we plan to allow limited buys of these securities," the company said in a blog post. "We'll continue to monitor the situation and may make adjustments as needed." In its statement, Robinhood emphasized that the decision to halt purchases was made because of internal risk to the company, not as a response to outside pressure from other financial actors. "As a brokerage firm, we have many financial requirements, including SEC net capital obligations and clearinghouse deposits. Some of these requirements fluctuate based on volatility in the markets and can be substantial in the current environment," the post argues. "To be clear, this was a risk-management decision, and was not made on the direction of the market makers we route to."

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Robinhood plays Sheriff of Nottingham as it pauses GameStop, AMC, BlackBerry etc stock sales, gets sued

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-01-28 21:52
He steals from the rich, and gives to the... wait, which side is the poor side now?

The populist online investor uprising to punish Wall Street traders by propping up shorted stocks hit a wall on Thursday when retail brokerage firm Robinhood announced that customers could, for now, sell but not buy eight turbulent securities.…

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Microsoft Backs Direct Air Capture Player Climeworks

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 21:30
Microsoft this morning disclosed investments in more climate-related companies as part of efforts to make good on its year-old pledge to become "carbon negative" by 2030. From a report: One company the tech behemoth is staking is Climeworks, a firm looking to scale up deployment of direct air capture technology that removes CO2 already in the atmosphere. The size of the investment was not disclosed. Microsoft also revealed that it's a customer of the Swiss firm. "Through Microsoft's purchase of negative emissions from Climeworks, we will permanently remove 1,400 metric tons of carbon," Lucas Joppa, Microsoft's top environmental official, said in a blog post. It's part of a growing move by deep-pocketed companies and investors to back the fledgling direct air capture sector -- and pay them for carbon removal. The volumes currently being removed are a tiny drop in the bucket, but DAC could be among the technologies that eventually join the list of meaningful tools against warming. Another firm, Carbon Engineering, counts backers including Bill Gates, Chevron and Occidental Petroleum. Climeworks' other investors and customers include e-commerce heavyweight Shopify.

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AOC, Ted Cruz Slam Robinhood for Freezing Some Trades Amid GameStop Volatility

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 20:57
With Reddit's interest in sending some stocks soaring showing no sign of slowing down, the trading app Robinhood started restricting some transactions Thursday morning. Reddit wasn't happy -- and neither are some lawmakers. From a report:The incident apparently struck an unusual bipartisan chord, with Texas Republican Ted Cruz throwing his weight behind progressive Democrats who called out the company. Rep. Rashida Tlaib called Robinhood's decision "beyond absurd" and suggested that the House Financial Services Committee hold a hearing on what she deemed "market manipulation" from the personal finance startup. "They're blocking the ability to trade to protect Wall St. hedge funds, stealing millions of dollars from their users to protect people who've used the stock market as a casino for decades," Tlaib said. Her colleague Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez -- a member of that committee -- chimed in with support for a hearing on Robinhood, calling the situation an "unacceptable" step to prevent retail investors from trading. Seeing Cruz and Ocasio-Cortez line up on anything right now is unusual, to put it mildly. Silicon Valley Rep. Ro Khanna also flagged Robinhood's decision to stop some trades, slamming the startup for freezing out small investors while powerful hedge funds scramble to get control of the situation.

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Apple's Tim Cook Criticizes Social Media Practices, Intensifying Facebook Conflict

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 20:10
Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook on Thursday criticized polarization and misinformation on social media, intensifying a conflict between the iPhone maker and Facebook. From a report: In remarks delivered at the Computers, Privacy and Data Protection conference, Cook critiqued apps that he argued collect too much personal information and prioritize "conspiracy theories and violent incitement simply because of their high rates of engagement." "At a moment of rampant disinformation and conspiracy theories juiced by algorithms, we can no longer turn a blind eye to a theory of technology that says all engagement is good engagement -- the longer the better -- and all with the goal of collecting as much data as possible," Cook said. He did not name Facebook, but the two companies have been in a high-profile dispute. Apple is preparing to implement privacy notifications that many in the digital advertising industry believe will cause some users to decline to allow the use of ad-targeting tools. Facebook has accused Apple of anticompetitive conduct because Apple has a growing catalog of paid apps and its own digital advertising business. Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Wednesday said Apple has "every incentive to use their dominant platform position to interfere with how our apps and other apps work." Cook on Thursday criticized social media practices that he said undermine public trust in vaccines and encourage users to join extremist groups.

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New Spotify Patent Involves Monitoring Users' Speech To Recommend Music

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 19:25
Spotify has been granted a patent with technology that aims to use recordings of users' speech and background noise to determine what kind of music to curate and recommend to them. The company filed for the patent in 2018; it was approved on January 12, 2021. From a report: The patent outlines potential uses of technology that involves the extraction of "intonation, stress, rhythm, and the likes of units of speech" from the user's voice. The tech could also use speech recognition to identify metadata points such as emotional state, gender, age, accent, and even environment -- i.e., whether someone is alone, or with other people -- based on audio recording.

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Tesla's New Cars Can Run The Witcher 3 on Their 10-Teraflop Gaming Rigs

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-01-28 18:44
Tesla has unveiled refreshed versions of its Model X and Model S cars, revealing that both are equipped with gaming hardware supporting "up to 10 teraflops of processing power." This theoretically puts a car within the ballpark of a new generation console. From a report: The Tesla models, priced in excess of $80,000 and shipping in March, are fitted with hardware to power Tesla Arcade, an in-car gaming system that is already available in current Tesla models. The difference is that previous models are only able to run less demanding games such as Cuphead and Cat Quest, while the promotional materials for the new Tesla models show The Witcher 3 displayed on the 17" central console. This suggests a significant step up for the car's gaming potential. Specifics on how powerful the car's gaming rig is isn't easy to tell, as the quoted "up to 10 teraflops of processing power" can't be directly translated to the power of a PS5, which is capable of 10.28 teraflops. The accompanying components must also be taken into account, and Tesla has offered no details on the full specs of the hardware. It's unclear if Nvidia or AMD GPUs are being used, or if it all comes from Tesla's own system-on-a-chip. And while The Witcher 3 is an impressive game by... err... car standards, it's very much a last-gen experience now. Theoretically, though, the system in the new Teslas is capable of strong gaming performance.

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Perl-clutching hijackers appear to have seized control of 33-year-old programming language's .com domain

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-01-28 18:22
Got a few (thousand) dollars to spare?

Unless the venerable language has finally breathed its last – which is more than a little unlikely – the Perl.com domain was hijacked yesterday.…

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