Linux fréttir

Russian Military Moves Closer To Replacing Windows With Astra Linux

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Russian authorities have moved closer to implementing their plan of replacing the Windows OS on military systems with a locally-developed operating system named Astra Linux. Last month, the Russian Federal Service for Technical and Export Control (FSTEC) granted Astra Linux the security clearance of "special importance," which means the OS can now be used to handle Russian government information of the highest degree of secrecy. Until now, the Russian government had only used special versions of Windows that had been modified, checked, and approved for use by the FSB. Astra Linux is a Debian derivative developed by Russian company RusBITech since 2008, the report says. "RusBITech initially developed the OS for use in the Russian private market, but the company also expanded into the local government sector, where it became very popular with military contractors."

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James Webb Space Telescope Emerges Successfully From Final Thermal Vacuum Test

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 10:00
NASA's James Webb Space Telescope has successfully cleared its final thermal vacuum test meant to ensure that its hardware will function electronically in the vacuum of space, and withstand the extreme temperature variations it will encounter on its mission. Phys.Org reports: One half of the Webb observatory, known as the "spacecraft element," completed this testing at the facilities of Northrop Grumman, the mission's lead industrial partner, in Los Angeles. The other half of Webb, which consists of the telescope and science instruments, has already successfully completed its thermal vacuum testing at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston prior to delivery at Northrop Grumman last year. In the most recent major environmental test, technicians and engineers locked the Webb spacecraft element inside a special thermal vacuum chamber. The testing team drained the atmosphere from the room to replicate the vacuum of space, and exposed the Webb spacecraft element to a wide range of hot and cold temperatures, spanning from minus 235 degrees Fahrenheit (minus 148 degrees Celsius) to a sweltering 215 degrees Fahrenheit (102 degrees Celsius). This variation of temperatures ensures the spacecraft will survive the extreme conditions it will actually experience in space. "The next steps will be to join both halves of Webb to form the fully assembled observatory and complete a final round of deployments, testing and evaluation prior to launch," the report adds. "A full deployment of the spacecraft element will verify that Webb is ready to proceed to the launch site."

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Justice Department Is Preparing Antitrust Investigation of Google

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 06:04
According to The New York Times, the Justice Department is exploring whether to open a case against Google for potential antitrust violations (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) relating to search and its other businesses, "putting renewed scrutiny on the company amid a growing chorus of criticism about the power of Big Tech." From the report: An investigation into how Google arranges search results could revive a case closed in 2013 by another government agency, the Federal Trade Commission. The five F.T.C. commissioners voted unanimously at the time against bringing charges against the company. Google agreed to make some changes to search practices tied to advertising. But this year, with a new antitrust task force announced in February, the trade commission renewed its interest in Google. In recent weeks, the commission referred complaints about the company to the Justice Department, which also oversees antitrust regulations, according to two people familiar with the actions. The commission has also told companies and others with complaints against Google to take them to the Justice Department. The task force had been looking into Google's advertising practices and influence in the online advertising industry, according to two of the people. One of the people said the agency was also looking into its search practices. Most of Google's revenue comes from advertisements tied to its search results. If the Justice Department opens a formal investigation, it will be its first major antitrust case against a big tech company during the Trump administration. Google, Facebook and Amazon have come under intense bipartisan criticism, and calls to break up the firms have become a talking point in the race for the 2020 Democratic presidential nomination.

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Use of Male Mice Skews Drug Research Against Women, Study Finds

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The male mind is rational and orderly while the female one is complicated and hormonal. It is a stereotype that has skewed decades of neuroscience research towards using almost exclusively male mice and other laboratory animals, according to a new study. Scientists have typically justified excluding female animals from experiments -- even when studying conditions that are more likely to affect women -- on the basis that fluctuating hormones would render the results uninterpretable. However, according to Rebecca Shansky, a neuroscientist at Northeastern University, in Boston, it is entirely unjustified by scientific evidence, which shows that, if anything, the hormones and behavior of male rodents are less stable than those of females. Shansky is calling for stricter requirements to include animals of both sexes in research, saying the failure to do so has led to the development of drugs that work less well in women. One example that the report mentions is with the sleeping drug Ambien, which had been tested in male animals and then men in clinical trials. It "was later shown to be far more potent in women because it was metabolized more slowly in the female body," the report says. "Across all drugs, women tended to suffer more adverse side effects and overdoses."

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Teen Makes His Own AirPods For $4

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 02:10
samleecole writes: Apple's AirPods are a tragedy. Ecologically, socially, economically -- they're a capitalist disaster. The opposite of AirPods, then, is this extremely punk pair of DIY wireless earbuds that someone on Reddit hacked together using an old pair of wired Apple headphones and some hot glue. "I started this project roughly two months ago when my friend got a new pair of AirPods for his birthday and I thought to myself, 'that's quite a lot of money for something I can make at home,'" Sam Cashbook, who is 15, told Motherboard in a Reddit message. Cashook started watching videos of people making their own AirPods, but mostly found people chopping the wires off of Apple headphones as a joke. He decided to take his own approach. He bought a hands-free bone conduction headset from eBay, and took apart the casing to reveal the electronics. Then, he desoldered the wires from the original speaker in the headset, and connected his old Apple earbud speaker to the headset's printed circuit board. Maybe a little uglier, but the headphones work well, he said. The set has buttons for power, pausing music, volume controls and skipping tracks, and the battery is rechargeable.

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Ask Slashdot: Why Is 3D Technology Stagnating So Badly?

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 01:30
dryriver writes: If you had asked someone doing 3D graphics seriously back in 2000 what 3D technology will look like two decades away in 2019, they might have said: "Most internet websites will have realtime 3D content embedded or will be completely in 3D. 3D Games will look as good as movies or reality. Everyone will have a cheap handheld 3D scanner to capture 3D models with. High-end VR headsets, gloves, bodysuits and haptics devices will be sold in electronics stores. Still and video cameras will be able to capture true holographic 3D images and video of the real world. TVs and broadcast TV content will be in holographic 3D. 3D stuff you create on a PC will be realtime -- no more waiting for images to slowly render thanks to really advanced new 3D hardware. 3D content creation software will be incredibly advanced and fast to work with in 2019. Many new types of 3D input devices will be available that make working in 3D a snap." Except of course that that in the real 2019, none of this has come true at all, and the entire 3D field has been stagnating very, very badly since around 2010. It almost seems like a small army of 3D technology geniuses pushed and pushed 3D software and hardware hard during the 80s, 90s, 2000s, then retired or dropped off the face of the earth completely around 10 years ago. Why is this? Are consumers only interested in Facebook, YouTube, cartoony PlayStation graphics and smartphones anymore? Are we never going to see another major 3D technology innovation push again?

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Facebook Reportedly Thinks There's No 'Expectation of Privacy' On Social Media

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 00:50
Facebook wants to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal by arguing that it didn't violate users' privacy rights because there's no expectation of privacy when using social media. CNET reports: "There is no invasion of privacy at all, because there is no privacy," Facebook counsel Orin Snyder said during a pretrial hearing to dismiss a lawsuit stemming from the Cambridge Analytica scandal, according to Law 360. The company reportedly didn't deny that third parties accessed users' data, but it instead told U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria that there's no "reasonable expectation of privacy" on Facebook or any other social media site. Chhabria appears set on letting at least some of the lawsuit continue, saying in an order before the hearing (PDF) that the plaintiffs should expect the court to accept their argument that private information was disclosed without express consent.

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Google Struggles To Justify Why It's Restricting Ad Blockers In Chrome

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-06-01 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vice News: Google has found itself under fire for plans to limit the effectiveness of popular ad blocking extensions in Chrome. While Google says the changes are necessary to protect the "user experience" and improve extension security, developers and consumer advocates say the company's real motive is money and control. In the wake of ongoing backlash to the proposal, Chrome software security engineer Chris Palmer took to Twitter this week to claim the move was intended to help improve the end-user browsing experience, and paid enterprise users would be exempt from the changes. Chrome security leader Justin Schuh also said the changes were driven by privacy and security concerns. Adblock developers, however, aren't buying it. uBlock Origin developer Raymond Hill, for example, argued this week that if user experience was the goal, there were other solutions that wouldn't hamstring existing extensions. "Web pages load slow because of bloat, not because of the blocking ability of the webRequest API -- at least for well crafted extensions," Hill said. Hill said that Google's motivation here had little to do with the end user experience, and far more to do with protecting advertising revenues from the rising popularity of adblock extensions. The team behind the EFF's Privacy Badger ad-blocking extension also spoke out against the changes. "Google's claim that these new limitations are needed to improve performance is at odds with the state of the internet," the organization said. "Sites today are bloated with trackers that consume data and slow down the user experience. Tracker blockers have improved the performance and user experience of many sites and the user experience. Why not let independent developers innovate where the Chrome team isn't?"

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DigitalOcean drowned my startup! 'We lost everything, our servers, and one year of database backups' says biz boss

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-05-31 23:56
Server hoster apologizes, undoes system slaying after washing away AI org

Nicolas Beauvais, the CTO of a two-person AI startup called Raisup, raised a ruckus on Twitter on Friday to revive his company and it worked.…

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Microsoft Warns 1 Million Computers Are Still Vulnerable To Major Windows Security Exploit

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 23:30
Earlier this month, Microsoft revealed a major Windows security vulnerability that could see a widespread "wormable" attack that spreads from one vulnerable computer to the next. "While Microsoft has released patches for Windows systems, even for older server and Windows XP machines, recent reports have revealed there are at least 1 million systems connected to the internet that can be attacked," reports The Verge. "Microsoft is confident that an exploit exists for this vulnerability," warns Simon Pope, director of incident response at Microsoft's Security Response Center (MSRC). "It's been only two weeks since the fix was released and there has been no sign of a worm yet. This does not mean that we're out of the woods." From the report: Pope notes that it was nearly two months after the release of patches for the previous EternalBlue exploit when WannaCry attacks began, and despite having 60 days to patch systems, a lot of machines were still infected. The EternalBlue exploit was leaked publicly, allowing hackers to create malware freely. This new BlueKeep flaw hasn't yet been publicly disclosed, but that doesn't mean there won't be malware. "It is possible that we won't see this vulnerability incorporated into malware," says Pope. "But that's not the way to bet."

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iTunes Expected To Be Retired After Over 18 Years

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 22:50
While it was initially reported that iTunes would live on in macOS 10.15, it now looks like the app will be retired, over 18 years after it was introduced by the late Steve Jobs at Macworld on January 9, 2001. MacRumors reports: Apple will be replacing iTunes with standalone Music, TV, and Podcasts apps in the next major version of macOS, expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2019 next week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman: "iTunes has been the way Apple users listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, hear podcasts, and manage their devices for almost two decades. This year, Apple is finally ready to move into a new era. The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac -- Music, TV, and Podcasts -- to replace iTunes. That matches Apple's media app strategy on iPhones and iPads. Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple gadgets through the Music app." This information lines up with a recent report from 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo, who claimed that iTunes will be renamed to "Music" on the Mac. In other words, iTunes is going away and will be replaced by the new Music app, which is expected to become the new utility for syncing and managing Apple devices.

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Space Firm Founded By Paul Allen Closing Operations, Report Says

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 22:10
Stratolaunch Systems Corporation, the space company founded by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is closing operations, cutting short ambitious plans to challenge traditional aerospace companies in a new "space race," Reuters reported Friday, citing four people familiar with the matter. From the report: The company, a unit of Allen's privately held investment vehicle Vulcan, had been developing a portfolio of launch vehicles including the world's largest airplane by wingspan to launch satellites and eventually humans into space. Allen, who founded Seattle-based Stratolaunch in 2011, died at age 65 last October. [...] Stratolaunch aimed to launch Northrop's small-payload Pegasus from Stratolaunch's carrier plane in 2020.

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New York Schools Will Test Facial Recognition On Students Despite Objections From State

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed News: A New York school district will move forward with its facial recognition pilot program next week, despite an explicit order from the New York State Education Department that it wait until a standard for data privacy and security for all state educational agencies is finalized. On Friday, the Lockport school district said it was "confident" that the data collection policy for its facial recognition system was sound enough that it could begin testing it on campuses June 3. "[State Education Department] representatives previously communicated to the District their recommendation that the System not become operational until the dialogue between the District and SED with regard to student data security and privacy is complete," the statement, sent by district director of technology Robert LiPuma to BuzzFeed News, said. "However, the District's Initial Implementation Phase of the System (which will commence June 3, 2019 and continue through August 31, 2019) will not include any student data being entered into the System database or generated by the System." Reached by phone, JP O'Hare, a representative of the New York State Education Department, would not say whether the department knew Lockport planned to go ahead with its facial recognition test in spite of the department's request for a delay. Lockport said that its facial recognition system should not be a privacy concern because it "does not compile information on and track the movements of all District students, staff and visitors." Instead, the system is "limited to identifying whether an individual whose photograph has been entered into the System database is on District property (i.e., is visible on one of the District's security cameras)." But it also said the individuals who may be entered into the database included those who are prohibited from being on District property, "such as suspended students or staff."

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Wow, talk about a Maine-wave: US state says ISPs need permission to flog netizens' personal data

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-05-31 21:10
What a radical idea

Maine is about to become the latest US state to – and get this – mandate that ISPs obtain subscribers' permission before selling their data to advertisers.…

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Apple Poised To Bring Mac and iPad Closer Than Ever

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 20:50
It's pretty much a given that next week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will bring new versions of MacOS and iOS. The real question is just how much convergence there will be between the 2 operating systems. From a report: The Mac remains popular even as the bulk of Apple's business is now selling phones and tablets, both of which have been increasing in computing power. Apple has long said it doesn't plan to merge its mobile and computer operating systems, but the two have been moving closer together recently. Apple offered a "sneak peek" last year at its multiyear effort (known internally as Marzipan) to allow programs written for iOS devices like the iPad to run on Macs with minimal changes. Last year, the company said it was testing the technology first with its own apps, like Stocks and Voice Memos, and would offer other developers a chance to adapt their apps over time. Developers are champing at the bit for their taste of Marzipan, and WWDC could offer them a way in. Apple is likely to preview upgrades to its TV and watch operating systems and perhaps give a few more details on some of its new services, such as Arcade, a subscription iOS game service due out this fall.

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The Dark Side of Dark Mode

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 20:10
Apple, which has already introduced "dark mode" in macOS, is widely expected to replicate this in its mobile operating system iOS this year. The move comes as a number of technology companies introduce dark mode in their apps and operating systems. But is it something everyone wants? TidBITS: When text is white on a black background as it would be in Dark Mode, the whiteness of the lines lightens the edges of each line broadly on both sides, blurring the edge. If the thin lines of the text are black and the background is white, however, white from both sides washes over the entire line, lightening it evenly, so the edges aren't blurred. Blur is a bad thing because of how the human eye relies primarily on contrast when extracting detail from an image. In "Reality and Digital Pictures" (12 December 2005), Charles wrote: The eye does not see light per se, it sees changes in light -- contrast. If two objects do not contrast with one another, to the eye they meld into one. This fact makes controlling the contrast of adjacent details to be paramount in importance. He was focused on issues revolving around photographs, but contrast has been shown to be paramount in numerous studies of textual legibility as well. Of course, contrast goes in both directions -- black on white and white on black both have high contrast. In the scientific literature, black on white is called "positive polarity," whereas white on black is called "negative polarity." Numerous studies over decades of research have found that positive polarity displays provide improved performance in a variety of areas. [...] Taptagaporn and Saito (1990, 1993) tracked changes in pupil size for different illumination levels as well as for the viewing of different visual targets, such as a cathode ray tube (CRT) display, script and keyboard. They found less visual fatigue as measured by the frequency of changes in pupil size when working was accomplished with a positive than with a negative polarity display. Likewise, Saito, Taptagaporn, and Salvendy (1993) found faster lens accommodation and thus faster focusing of the eye with positive than with negative polarity displays. To summarize, a dark-on-light display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and it results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort. The benefits apply to both the young and the old, as that paper concludes: In an ageing society, age-related vision changes need to be considered when designing digital displays. Visual acuity testing and a proofreading task revealed a positive polarity advantage for younger and older adults. Dark characters on light background lead to better legibility and are strongly recommended independent of observer's age.

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'Robots' Are Not 'Coming For Your Job' -- Management Is

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 19:30
merbs writes: If the robots are simply "coming," if they just show up and relieve a helpless lot of humans of their livelihoods, then no one is to blame for this techno-elemental phenomenon, and little is to be done about it beyond bracing for impact. Not the executives swayed by consulting firms who insist the future is in AI customer service bots, or the managers who see an opportunity to improve profit margins by adopting automated kiosks that edge out cashiers, or the shipping conglomerate bosses who decide to replace dockworkers with a fleet of automated trucks. These individuals may feel as if they have no choice, with shareholders and boards and bosses of their own to answer to, and an economic system that incentivizes the making of these decisions -- and sometimes the technology will perform obviously superior work to the human -- but they are exactly that: decisions, made by people, to call in or build the job-threatening robots. Pretending otherwise, that robots in every use case are inevitable, is the very worst form of technological determinism, and leads to a dearth in critical thinking about when and how automation *is* best implemented. Because even the most ardent robot lovers will agree, there are plenty of cases of badly deployed automation; systems that make our lives worse and more inefficient, and that kill jobs en route to worse outcomes. And such automated regression is often implemented under the logic of 'robots are coming,' so better hop aboard. We will be able to make better decisions about embracing effective automation if we understand that, in practice, 'the robots are coming for our jobs' usually means something more like 'a CEO wants to cut his operating budget by 15 percent and was just pitched on enterprise software that promises to do the work currently done by thirty employees in accounts payable.'

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Microsoft doles out PowerShell 7 preview. It works. People like it. We can't find a reason to be sarcastic about it

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-05-31 19:25
Popular admin tool shifts to .Net Core 3.0 amid talk of future features

Microsoft on Thursday released a preview version of PowerShell 7, its command-line shell and scripting language for administrators. The software was once was limited to Windows but opened up to Linux (including arm64) and macOS three years ago.…

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Oh, the massive sky dong? Contrails from 'standard' F-35 training, US Air Force insists

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-05-31 19:00
Nothing to see here pervs – it is all in your mind

Attempts by the US Air Force to keep up with its Navy pilot rivals in the fine art of contrail cock drawing is nothing of the sort, according to service flacks.…

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Hulu Has 82M Viewers, and Most of Them Are Seeing Ads

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-05-31 18:50
Hulu has broken out some new total audience figures and revealed just how many of those total viewers are watching the company's ad-supported streaming service. From a report: Peter Naylor, senior vice president and head of advertising sales at Hulu, said that his company counts 82 million overall viewers, and added that nearly 70% of those viewers are on Hulu's $5.99-per-month ad-supported plan. According to Variety, that works out to 58 million, or an average of 2.9 viewers per Hulu account. Naylor's comments add some context for figures that Hulu disclosed earlier this month. The company said it now has more than 28 million total customers (26.8 million paid subscribers and 1.3 million promotional accounts). The company also said that its ad-supported audience grew by 43% year over year and that total ad-supported hours watched on Hulu increased by 82% year over year.

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