Linux fréttir

James Webb Space Telescope Will 'Absolutely' Not Launch In March

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-06-11 07:00
The James Webb Space Telescope, NASA's follow-on instrument to the wildly successful Hubble Space Telescope, will not meet its current schedule of launching in March 2021, according to the chief of NASA's science programs. Ars Technica reports: "We will not launch in March," said Thomas Zurbuchen, the space agency's associate administrator for science. "Absolutely we will not launch in March. That is not in the cards right now. That's not because they did anything wrong. It's not anyone's fault or mismanagement." Zurbuchen made these comments at a virtual meeting of the National Academies' Space Studies Board. He said the telescope was already cutting it close on its schedule before the COVID-19 pandemic struck the agency and that the virus had led to additional lost work time. "This team has stayed on its toes and pushed this telescope forward at the maximum speed possible," he said. "But we've lost time. Instead of two shifts fully staffed, we could not do that for all the reasons that we talk about. Not everybody was available. There were positive cases here and there. And so, perhaps, we had only one shift." NASA and the telescope's prime contractor, Northrop Grumman, are evaluating the schedule going forward. This will include an estimate of when operations can completely return to normal -- Zurbuchen said telescope preparation and testing activities are nearing full staffing again -- and set a new date for a launch. This schedule review should conclude in July. "I'm very optimistic about this thing getting off the launch pad in 2021," Zurbuchen said. "Of course, there is still a lot of mountain to climb."

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Two COVID tests, five-day quarantine, limited expense account abuse opportunities: Taiwan sets new rules for business travel

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-06-11 05:03
Visits to your favorite electronics supplier are not going to be fast or fun

Taiwan has floated new rules for business travel that will make rapid dashes to chat with your preferred electronics suppliers even less fun.…

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Tencent floats bug bounties for its cloudy Linux and IoT OSes

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-06-11 04:05
CentOS-based code should already be pretty-well explored, but Chinese test isn’t exactly trusted right now ...

Tencent has announced a bug bounty program for its operating systems.…

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Some States Have Embraced Online Voting. It's a Huge Risk.

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-06-11 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Politico: On Sunday, researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and the University of Michigan revealed numerous security flaws in the product that West Virginia and Delaware are using, saying it "represents a severe risk to election security and could allow attackers to alter election results without detection." In fact, it may be a decade or more before the U.S. can safely entrust the internet with the selection of its lawmakers and presidents, according to some experts. Still, a handful of states are pushing ahead, with the encouragement of one politically connected tech entrepreneur -- and the tempting logic of the question, "If we can bank online, why can't we vote the same way?" These are the problems with that logic: 1) Elections are different. Lots of people bank, shop and socialize online -- putting their money and personal details at potential risk of theft or other exploitation. But elections are unique for two reasons: They are anonymous and irreversible. Aside from party caucuses and conventions, virtually all U.S. elections use secret ballots and polling places designed for privacy. That protects people from being blackmailed or bribed to vote a certain way -- but it also means that, barring an advance in the technology, voters have no way to verify that their ballots were correctly counted or challenge the results. That's far different from a consumer's ability to contest a fraudulent credit card purchase, which depends on their financial institution linking their activity to their identity. 2) The internet is a dangerous place. Even if it were possible to require electronic ballots to travel through servers only in the U.S., no method exists to ensure security at every server along the way. It would be like trusting FedEx to deliver a package that had to pass through warehouses with unlocked doors, open windows and no security cameras. The most effective way to protect data along these digital paths is "end-to-end" encryption [...] Researchers have not figured out how to use end-to-end encryption in internet voting. 3) People's devices may already be compromised. It's hard enough to protect a ballot as it transits the internet, but what really keeps experts up at night is the thought of average Americans using their computers or phones to cast that ballot in the first place. Internet-connected devices are riddled with malware, nefarious code that can silently manipulate its host machine for myriad purposes. [...] Importantly, election officials cannot peer into their voters' devices and definitively sweep them for malware. And without a secure device, end-to-end encryption is useless, because malware could just subvert the encryption process. 4) Hackers have lots of potential targets. What could an attacker do? "There are literally hundreds of different threats," said Joe Kiniry, chief scientist of the election tech firm Free & Fair. Among the options: Attacking the ballot; Attacking the election website; Tampering with ballots in transit; Bogging down the election with bad data; and/or The insider threat involving a "bad" employee tampering with an election from the inside. 5) Audits have faulted the major internet voting vendors' security. Virtually every audit of an internet voting system has revealed serious, widespread security vulnerabilities, although the ease with which a hacker could exploit them varies. 6) Internet voting advocates disagree. Election officials who embrace internet voting deny the risks are as serious as the experts say. 7) What it would take to make internet voting secure. Secure internet voting depends on two major advances: technology that allows voters' computers and phones to demonstrate that they are malware-free, and end-to-end encryption to protect ballots in transit. [...] Solving these problems would require expensive, long-term collaboration between virtually every big-name hardware- and software-maker, Kiniry said. Note: Each point listed above has been abbreviated for brevity. You can read the full article here.

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Arm fires the head of its Chinese unit – but Arm China says Allen Wu still works there

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-06-11 02:58
Alleged conflicts of interest surround trans-continental boardroom battle

Chip designer Arm is fighting for control of its Chinese joint venture after a series of contradictory statements about the removal of the unit's chief exec.…

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IBM blames ‘external' network provider, incorrect routing, traffic flood for its two-hour cloud outage

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-06-11 02:14
No data loss or attack detected. But aren't hyperscale clouds supposed to be more resilient than this?

IBM has blamed a third party for yesterday’s hours-long outage of its entire cloud. And while it says no data loss or attack was detected, it's still not a good look: major clouds are supposed to be more resilient than this.…

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Developer Warns VR Headset Damaged Eyesight

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-06-11 02:02
Software developer Danny Bittman tweeted about how he's convinced that his eyesight was damaged from wearing a VR headset for hours a day. The BBC reports: Danny Bittman, who has worked as a virtual reality developer for four years, suggested it could have affected his eyesight. "Just had my first eye doctor visit in three years. Now I'm very worried about my future VR use. I have a new eye convergence problem that acts like dyslexia. The doc, a headset owner, is convinced my VR use caused this. He said "these glasses we usually prescribe to 40-year-olds," he tweeted. He went on to describe the problem: "My eyes jump when I read things like a screen or books. I've always had a small level of this but it's greatly intensified now. It's also linked to headaches and vertigo." He said that the issue was about "prolonged use," and admitted that he could spend up to six hours a day wearing a headset, split into 30-minute sessions. Ceri Smith-Jaynes, from the Association of Optometrists, told the BBC: "We currently do not have any reliable evidence that VR headsets cause permanent deterioration in eyesight in children or adults. There have been some studies looking into the effects of short-term use of VR headsets only; these did not reveal a deterioration in eyesight. "However, some people do suffer from temporary symptoms such as nausea, dry, irritable eyes, headache or eyestrain." But she did have some advice about usage: "If you spend all day in VR without a break, you'll need time to readjust to the light and the different visual environment of the real world. I would suggest taking a five-to-ten minute break each hour, using that time to move about, blink and look out of a window, or take a short walk.

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Count how many times the Feds checked Chinese telcos in America weren't spying. Only one hand needed

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-06-11 01:28
Meanwhile, Zoom axes account used to mark the Tiananmen Square massacre

US government agencies were taken to task in a Senate report this week over decades of failing to keep tabs on the American operations of Chinese telcos.…

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The 'Useless' Perspective That Transformed Mathematics

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-06-11 01:25
Representation theory was initially dismissed. Today, it's central to much of mathematics. From a report: When representation theory emerged in the late 19th century, many mathematicians questioned its worth. In 1897, the English mathematician William Burnside wrote that he doubted that this unorthodox perspective would yield any new results at all. "Basically what [Burnside was] saying is that representation theory is useless," said Geordie Williamson of the University of Sydney in a 2015 lecture. More than a century since its debut, representation theory has served as a key ingredient in many of the most important discoveries in mathematics. Yet its usefulness is still hard to perceive at first. "It doesn't seem immediately clear that this is a reasonable thing to study," said Emily Norton of the Technical University of Kaiserslautern in Germany. Representation theory is a way of taking complicated objects and "representing" them with simpler objects. The complicated objects are often collections of mathematical objects -- like numbers or symmetries -- that stand in a particular structured relationship with each other. These collections are called groups. The simpler objects are arrays of numbers called matrices, the core element of linear algebra. While groups are abstract and often difficult to get a handle on, matrices and linear algebra are elementary. "Mathematicians basically know everything there is to know about matrices. It's one of the few subjects of math that's thoroughly well understood," said Jared Weinstein of Boston University.

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Tesla Joins 4-Digit Club, Share Price Cracks $1,000

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-06-11 00:45
Tesla has become the world's most valuable automaker -- surpassing Toyota -- as its stock pushes to a new high at $1,000 a share. Slashdot reader 140Mandak262Jamuna writes: Tesla is in a tear lately, after better than expected sales report from China. Elon Musk himself tweeted, during the trading session too, that it was overvalued at $760. The speculation seems to be centered on the idea that Tesla is going to join S&P500 by eking out a token profit this quarter. Most people think it is due to some sort of short squeeze or something. But Tesla has sold convertible bonds maturing in 2021, 2022 and 2025 at an average price of $330. 15 million shares. Experienced folks like Ihor of S3 partners or Reflex Research estimate about 12 million of these shares have been shorted to "book profits." The idea is to borrow shares and sell them at $800 or $900 now, and keep paying the borrow fee for a couple of years. When the bond matures, you get the shares for $330, or cash for the difference between market price at that time and $330. At that point the short can cover the position with cash or stock. If the stock is below $330 at that time, they are guaranteed to get $330! So it is a no-loss strategy, this accounts for 12 million shares most likely. Total short position in Tesla is just 16 million, just 4 million shares, or 4 billion by today's prices. It is big, but not big enough to squeeze, and there is plenty of shares available to borrow. So it is not short squeeze causing this. Many engineers and teardown experts are saying Tesla has a phenomenal lead in battery technology and design. Seems to be falling short on manufacturing, paint, and assembly. But overall product is so superior it is overcoming the short falls in these areas. Traditional auto makers saw battery as the fuel tank. Nothing much can be done to improve the fuel tank, so nothing much can be done to improve the battery they seem to have thought. But assembling 8,000 cells and maintaining charge balance and voltages and currents on them is a very tricky thing and people who outsourced this part of EV wrote themselves out of the script in the EV play.

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Amazon Pauses Police Use of Facial Recognition Tech For a Year

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-06-11 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Amazon on Wednesday said it was implementing a one-year moratorium on police use of its facial recognition software, reversing its long-time support of selling the technology to law enforcement. Civil liberties activists have voiced concern that facial recognition could lead to unjust arrests during demonstrations against police brutality, racial injustice and the death of George Floyd. Critics also have questioned the software's accuracy, pointing to a past study showing Amazon's "Rekognition" service struggled to identify the gender of individuals with darker skin tones. Amazon has taken issue with that research. The company, which sells cloud computing technology via its Amazon Web Services division, said in a statement it has pushed for regulations to ensure the software was used ethically. "We hope this one-year moratorium might give Congress enough time to implement appropriate rules, and we stand ready to help if requested," Amazon said. The company said it would continue to permit use of its technology by customers Thorn and Marinus Analytics to help law enforcement find human trafficking victims. The decision follows IBM's announcement earlier this week that it was getting out of the facial recognition business entirely. It's also urging Congress to enact reforms to advance racial justice and combat systemic racism.

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California bigwigs rule Uber, Lyft dial-a-ride drivers are employees, not contractors

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-06-10 23:59
Good news: You may get basic rights. Bad news: No one is hailing cabs

The California Public Utilities Commission, which regulates private transport companies including Uber and Lyft, has ruled that the two upstarts' drivers should be recognized as employees instead of contractors.…

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New Twitter Feature Nags You For Sharing Articles Without Opening Them

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-06-10 23:20
If you try to tweet the link to an article you haven't opened, Twitter may suggest that you read it before posting. It's all part of a new feature the company is rolling out in an effort to "help promote informed discussion." Business Insider reports: "Sharing an article can spark conversation, so you may want to read it before you Tweet it," the announcement reads. It's one of the latest measures Twitter has taken in recent months to more actively steer discourse on the app. It's not clear whether Twitter plans any wider rollout for its prompt urging people to read articles before sharing them. In other Twitter-related news, the company is also rolling out its version of Snapchat/Instagram-style stories. "Fleets," as they're called, just became available in India and is gradually rolling out around the world; after initially launching in Brazil.

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Another month, another way to smash Intel's SGX security. Let's take a closer look at these latest holes... which aren't actually too scary

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-06-10 23:04
Plus: 10nm five-core 3GHz Lakefield system-on-chips announced

Analysis Intel's Software Guard Extensions, known as SGX among friends, consist of a set of instructions for running a secure enclave inside an encrypted memory partition using certain Intel microprocessors.…

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Babylon Health Data Breach Allowed Users To View Other Patients' Video Consultations

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-06-10 22:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Babylon Health has acknowledged that its GP video appointment app has suffered a data breach. The firm was alerted to the problem after one of its users discovered he had been given access to dozens of video recordings of other patients' consultations. A follow-up check by Babylon revealed a small number of further UK users could also see others' sessions. The firm said it had since fixed the issue and notified regulators. Babylon allows its members to speak to a doctor, therapist or other health specialist via a smartphone video call and, when appropriate, sends an electronic prescription to a nearby pharmacy. It has more than 2.3 million registered users in the UK. "On the afternoon of Tuesday June 9 we identified and resolved an issue within two hours whereby one patient accessed the introduction of another patient's consultation recording," it said in statement. "Our investigation showed that three patients, who had booked and had appointments today, were incorrectly presented with, but did not view, recordings of other patients' consultations through a subsection of the user's profile within the Babylon app."

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Russia drags NASA: Enjoy your expensive SpaceX capsule, our Soyuz is the cheap Kalashnikov of rockets

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-06-10 22:13
Looks like the space race between Washington DC and Moscow is back on

The big cheese at Roscosmos has claimed a launch to the International Space Station using good ol’ fashioned Russian Soyuz rockets still costs less than SpaceX’s offering.…

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Cox Readies a Re-entry Into Mobile

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-06-10 22:02
Mike Dano, reporting for Light Reading: Cox Communications -- one of the nation's largest cable providers -- is preparing to launch a mobile service, according to several sources familiar with the company's plans. However, the details of Cox's mobile strategy, including when it might launch and which wireless network provider it might partner with, are still unclear. AT&T executives have publicly indicated that the carrier is looking to sign MVNO partnerships with cable operators, and the sources said the two pursued MVNO talks earlier this year, but it's not clear whether the companies consummated the deal. It's noteworthy that Cox is preparing to re-enter the mobile industry by offering cellphones and wireless services to its broadband cable customers. The action would put Cox alongside fellow cable companies Altice USA, Comcast and Charter Communications, which have all also launched mobile services to their broadband customers. Comcast's Xfinity Mobile and Charter's Spectrum Mobile piggyback on Verizon's wireless network. Altice Mobile runs on T-Mobile's network. A Cox representative confirmed the company is interested in entering the mobile industry. "We believe the market is becoming more attractive for us to enter the wireless space and we are exploring it more aggressively now, but have not announced any specific plans," company spokesperson Todd Smith wrote in response to questions from Light Reading. "We have not entered into any MVNO agreements yet."

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Illegal Netflix, Amazon Streamers Cut Off After European Arrests

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-06-10 21:25
European police busted an illegal streaming ring that provided service to 2 million people and was so sophisticated that it had its own customer-service team. From a report: The criminal network operated for over five years and offered more than 40,000 channels, movies, documentaries and other content, according to European police coordination agency Europol. The scale of the operation shows how the big streaming platforms still struggle to deal with content theft as criminals find new ways to hack their anti-piracy systems. The group offered a technical assistance service and high standards of quality control, earning an estimated 15 million euros ($17 million) through PayPal payments, bank transfers and cryptocurrencies, the agency said. The threat to legal streaming may grow if Netflix, Walt Disney Co. and others gradually raise prices in coming years to capitalize on their fast-growing subscriber bases and viewers seek out cheaper, illegal alternatives.

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Zoom Closes Account of US-Based Chinese Activist After Tiananment Event

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-06-10 20:45
The U.S. video-conferencing company Zoom closed the account of a group of prominent U.S.-based Chinese activists after they held a Zoom event commemorating the 31st anniversary of the June 4 Tiananmen Square Massacre, Axios has learned. From the report: Zhou Fengsuo, founder of the U.S. nonprofit Humanitarian China and former student leader of the 1989 Tiananmen protests, organized the May 31 event held through a paid Zoom account associated with Humanitarian China. About 250 people attended the event. Speakers included mothers of students killed during the 1989 crackdown, organizers of Hong Kong's Tiananmen candlelight vigil, and others. On June 7th, the Zoom account displayed a message that it had been shut down, in a screenshot viewed by Axios. Zhou has not been able to access the account since then, and Zoom has not responded to his emails, he told Axios. A second Zoom account belonging to a pro-democracy activist, Lee Cheuk Yan, a former Hong Kong politician and pro-democracy activist, was also closed in late May. Lee has also received no response from Zoom. "We are outraged by this act from Zoom, a U.S company," Zhou and other organizers told Axios in a statement. "As the most commercially popular meeting software worldwide, Zoom is essential as an unbanned outreach to Chinese audiences remembering and commemorating Tiananmen Massacre during the coronavirus pandemic."

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Remember that backdoor in Juniper gear? Congress sure does – even if networking biz wishes it would all go away

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-06-10 20:40
US lawmakers demand answers in quest against Feds-only access points

A backdoor in Juniper's networking gear could provide key evidence in the case against government-mandated Feds-only access – yet the manufacturer has failed to produce a report on the matter, prompting US lawmakers to take action.…

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