Linux fréttir

MoviePass Worked Out Great

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 18:03
Matt Levine, writing for Bloomberg: Is there a Harvard Business School case study of MoviePass yet? I feel like there are a lot of lessons to be learned from the MoviePass story, but maybe that's wrong. Maybe all of the lessons are just "if you do the opposite of normal business things, it will work, but only for a while." Maybe business school students should actively avoid learning that lesson. Anyway Jason Guerrasio has a big story on the rise and fall of MoviePass at Business Insider today. The basics of the story -- MoviePass was a business that charged people $9.95 a month to see unlimited movies in theaters, and then paid the theaters full price for the tickets, losing money on each transaction and eventually falling into a huge and comical financial hole -- were familiar to me, and probably to you, and it's not like we didn't already know it was weird. But I learned a lot from this article about how weird it was. For instance, under founder Stacy Spikes, MoviePass charged $50 a month for its service, but couldn't get enough subscribers to break even. Then it was acquired by Helios & Matheson Analytics, whose chief executive officer, Ted Farnsworth, came up with the idea of charging much less: "Why Farnsworth settled on $10 is unclear. Several people told me he wanted a price that would grab headlines. ... But in July 2017, the MoviePass board agreed to the deal. And on August 15, the price drop went into effect. Thanks to word-of-mouth buzz and press attention, within two days subscriptions jumped from about 20,000 to 100,000. MoviePass had transformed from a scrappy startup trying to keep the lights on to a disrupter in the making." What an amazing sentence. It went from being "a scrappy startup trying to keep the lights on" (bad) to a buzzy "disrupter in the making" (good) by giving up on trying to keep the lights on. The trick is not to make enough money to cover your costs; it's to stop trying. Losing a lot of money is better than losing a little money; it has more panache, attracts more attention, certainly gives you that attractive hockey-stick user growth. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure twenty pounds ought and six, result misery. Annual income twenty pounds, annual expenditure three hundred million pounds, result unicorn.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

A Quarter of Humanity Faces Looming Water Crises

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 17:25
Countries that are home to one-fourth of Earth's population face an increasingly urgent risk: The prospect of running out of water. From a report: From India to Iran to Botswana, 17 countries around the world are currently under extremely high water stress, meaning they are using almost all the water they have, according to new World Resources Institute data published Tuesday. Many are arid countries to begin with; some are squandering what water they have. Several are relying too heavily on groundwater, which instead they should be replenishing and saving for times of drought. In those countries are several big, thirsty cities that have faced acute shortages recently, including Sao Paulo, Brazil; Chennai, India; and Cape Town, which in 2018 narrowly beat what it called Day Zero -- the day when all its dams would be dry. Climate change heightens the risk. As rainfall becomes more erratic, the water supply becomes less reliable. At the same time, as the days grow hotter, more water evaporates from reservoirs just as demand for water increases. Water-stressed places are sometimes cursed by two extremes. Sao Paulo was ravaged by floods a year after its taps nearly ran dry. Chennai suffered fatal floods four years ago, and now its reservoirs are almost empty

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Relax, satellite hacking is unlikely to lead to Earth-blinding Kessler effect – at least not yet

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 16:59
But this hardware is surprisingly easy to hack, block and control

Bsides LV A satellite-killing debris field encircling the Earth isn't coming any time soon, but hackers working from Earth could help severely damage the planet's orbital traffic.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony To Require Loot Box Odds Disclosure

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 16:45
All three major console manufacturers -- Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony -- have agreed to require games with paid loot boxes to include the chances of winning randomized in-game items from them, the Entertainment Software Association announced Wednesday. From a report: Michael Warnecke, the ESA's chief counsel of tech policy, made the announcement during a workshop on loot boxes hosted by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. "I'm pleased to announce this morning that Microsoft, Nintendo, and Sony have indicated to ESA a commitment to new platform policies with respect to the use of paid loot boxes in games that are developed for their platforms," Warnecke said. "Specifically, this would apply to new games and game updates that add loot box features, and it would require the disclosure of the relative rarity or probabilities of obtaining randomized virtual items in games that are available on their platforms." Warnecke said that in addition to the major console manufacturers, "many of the leading video game publishers" who are members of the ESA, the trade body that represents the gaming industry, will "implement a similar approach."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

British Airways Cancels Over 100 Flights After Computer Systems Fail

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 16:03
British Airways canceled more than 100 flights Wednesday after the airline's computer systems crashed. From a report: The cancellations hit thousands of travelers using London's Heathrow and Gatwick airports. Another 300 flights faced delays of up to an hour, according to the airline's website. British Airways, which is owned by International Airlines Group (ICAGY), said its check-in and flight start systems suffered a partial crash, and that it was using "backup manual systems to keep our flights operating." A spokesperson for the airline said it would allow customers on canceled flights to rebook for between August 8 and August 13. British Airways did not say what caused the computer outage.

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FedEx is Ending Ground-Delivery Contract With Amazon

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 15:21
FedEx said Wednesday it will end its ground-delivery contract with Amazon and won't renew it at the end of the month. From the report: "This change is consistent with our strategy to focus on the broader e-commerce market, which the recent announcements related to our FedEx Ground network have us positioned extraordinarily well to do," a FedEx spokesperson said. Shares of FedEx and Amazon were down at least 1% in premarket trading. Amazon was not immediately available to comment. FedEx announced in June that it is ending its express U.S. shipping contract, which only affected air services. At the time, FedEx said it was a "strategic decision" that would not affect its other contracts with Amazon. At the time, FedEx said less than 1.3% of total revenue was attributable to Amazon during the 12-month period ended Dec. 31.

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US court nixes Google's $5.5m court payoff over Safari Workaround – no one affected saw cash

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 15:15
Case settlement to be reheard for fresh decision

An American appeals court has nixed one of Google's original legal settlements over its infamous privacy-busting Safari Workaround.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft Contractors Are Listening To Some Skype Calls

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 14:42
Contractors working for Microsoft are listening to personal conversations of Skype users conducted through the app's translation service, according to a cache of internal documents, screenshots, and audio recordings obtained by Motherboard. From a report: Although Skype's website says that the company may analyze audio of phone calls that a user wants to translate in order to improve the chat platform's services, it does not say some of this analysis will be done by humans. The Skype audio obtained by Motherboard includes conversations from people talking intimately to loved ones, some chatting about personal issues such as their weight loss, and others seemingly discussing relationship problems. Other files obtained by Motherboard show that Microsoft contractors are also listening to voice commands that users speak to Cortana, the company's voice assistant.

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Rocket Lab CEO tucks into hat as company shares plans to reuse Electron first stage

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 14:14
The Register talks to Peter Beck about parachutes, elephants and helicopters

Interview After SpaceX and Roscosmos announced plans to move into the burgeoning small satellite market, Rocket Lab upped the ante with details on how it would be making its own launcher, Electron, reusable.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft's MSDN Magazine is Ending Its Run After More Than Three Decades

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 14:01
After more than three decades of publishing editorial content and providing technical guidance to the Microsoft developer community, MSDN Magazine will publish its last issue in November. From a report: Microsoft Developer Network (MSDN) was launched in 1992 to manage the relationship of the company with the developer ecosystem. MSDN Magazine originally started as two separate magazines -- Microsoft Systems Journal (MSJ) and Microsoft Internet Developer (MIND) -- which consolidated into MSDN Magazine in March 2000. The monthly magazine is available as a print magazine in the United States and online in several languages. While the March 2000 issue was entirely devoted to Windows, the MSDN Magazine has gone through its evolution over the years as Microsoft products and services expanded exponentially.

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Chrome fans get that syncing feeling again as Google moves to bolster browser protections

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 13:22
Want the Advanced Protection Program? You're going to have to sign in. Soz

Google has extended its Advanced Protection Program to include users signed into Chrome.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

July Was the Hottest Month On Record, Global Data Shows

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 13:00
European climate researchers said Monday that last month was the hottest July -- and thus the hottest month -- ever recorded (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), slightly eclipsing the previous record-holder, July 2016. "While July is usually the warmest month of the year for the globe, according to our data it also was the warmest month recorded globally, by a very small margin," Jean-Noel Thepaut, head of the Copernicus Climate Change Service, said in a statement. The New York Times reports: The service, part of an intergovernmental organization supported by European countries, said the global average temperature last month was about 0.07 degree Fahrenheit (0.04 Celsius) hotter than July 2016. The researchers noted that their finding was based on analysis of only one of several data sets compiled by agencies around the world. The climate service noted some regional temperature differences in July. Western Europe was above average, in part because of a heat wave that occurred during the last week of the month and set temperature records in Germany, the Netherlands and elsewhere. A rapid analysis released last week found that climate change made the heat wave more likely. "The highest above-average conditions were recorded across Alaska, Greenland and large swathes of Siberia," the report adds. "Large parts of Africa and Australia were warmer than normal, as was much of Central Asia. Cooler than average temperatures prevailed in Eastern Europe, much of Asia, the Northern Plains and Pacific Northwest of the United States and over large parts of Western Canada."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Brit couch potatoes increasingly switching off telly boxes in favour of YouTube and Netflix

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 12:44
But still care about catching bent cops

People in the UK are gawping at their gogglebox an average of three hours and 12 minutes per day – 49 minutes less than in 2012 – thanks to online streaming, according to a report from Ofcom.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Thunderbolts and lightning very, very frightening as loo shatters, embedding porcelain shards in wall

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 11:20
Septic tank struck, methane build-up makes toilet explode

A lightning strike to a septic tank blew up a Florida couple's toilet over the weekend, sending shards of porcelain and who-knows-what into the bathroom wall.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Neuroscientist used brainhack. It's super effective! Oh, and disturbingly easy

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 10:04
Larry Niven's wireheads aren't far off

Bsides Las Vegas In one of the most disturbing talks in all 10 years of Bsides Las Vegas, neuroscientists have warned that not only is hacking the brain possible right now, but it's also a lot easier than you may think.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Tardigrades Are Now On the Moon Thanks To a Crashed Israeli Spacecraft

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 10:00
Tardigrades, the microsopic water-dwelling animals that can survive almost any environment, may be on the moon thanks to an Israeli spacecraft called Beresheet. The spacecraft was carrying thousands of dehydrated tardigrades (among other cargo) when it crashed due to glitches with the landing process. CNET reports: The Israeli spacecraft was transporting Arch Mission's first lunar library, a digital archive holding the equivalent of 30 million pages of information. It also carried human DNA samples and thousands of dehydrated tardigrades. It's unknown how much of the cargo actually ended up on the moon's surface following the crash. Based on Arch Mission's analysis of the spacecraft's path as well as the makeup of the lunar library itself, Arch Mission Foundation founder Nova Spivack told Wired on Monday that he's confident the library, a "DVD-sized object made of thin sheets of nickel," survived the crash mostly intact. That doesn't mean the DNA or water bears are in good shape. "About the tardigrades in the Lunar Library: Some are sealed in epoxy with 100 million human, plant and microorganism cells," Spivack tweeted Tuesday. "Some are encapsulated onto the sticky side of a 1cm square piece of Kapton tape that is sealed inside the disc stack. They cannot reproduce on the moon." Even though the dehydrated tardigrades can't spring to life on the moon, they could theoretically be gathered, revived and studied to teach us about their time there. "It is not likely that cells can survive on the moon without a lot more protection from radiation," Spivack added. "However the human cells, plant cells and micro organisms we sent could be recovered, studied and their DNA extracted -- perhaps to be cloned and regenerated, far in the future."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Off somewhere nice on holibobs? Not if you're flying British Airways: IT 'systems issue' smacks UK airports once again

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 08:59
It's just not summer without a TITSUP delaying travel, is it?

It's not the summer holidays without an IT cock-up causing a major delay at UK airports, once again courtesy of British Airways.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

More Linux than Windows: El Reg takes Docker Desktop for WSL 2 preview out for a spin

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 08:06
Some gripes at this stage, but the potential is there

Hands On Container wunderkind Docker has released a preview of Docker Desktop for Windows Subsystem for Linux 2.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

SpaceX Successfully Launches Twice-Flown Falcon 9, Catches Fairing At Sea

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-07 07:00
SpaceX successfully launched a Falcon 9 first-stage that had previously served two missions in July and November of 2018, today carrying its final payload, the AMOS-17 satellite for Spacecomm. "SpaceX had configured the Falcon 9 in its 'expendable mode' for this mission, which means it made use of all available fuel on board to carry the 14,000+ lb satellite to orbit, without enough left over to come back in a controlled descent and landing," reports TechCrunch. From the report: The multi-purpose geostationary communications satellite, which will provide mobile, streaming and video connectivity across parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Europe, reached geostationary transfer orbit and then reached its target orbit and deployed as planned. SpaceX also recovered at least the fairing used to protect the cargo as it ascends to space tonight -- it managed to catch one half in a giant net strung across support structures on 'Ms. Tree,' a ship operated by SpaceX specifically for this purpose. The other half fell into the ocean, and SpaceX will try to collect that half as well, using a second ship it has for that purpose. Elon Musk tweeted a video of SpaceX's droneship catching the fairing.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Bulging batteries and a borked Wi-Fi driver. So, how's that Surface slab working out for you?

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-07 06:48
Reg reader finds a use for the new London store while others struggle with wireless

Microsoft seems unable to catch a break with its Surface slab-tops: a firmware update appears to have broken Wi-Fi for some users, while bulging batteries cause grief for others.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

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