Linux fréttir

Shazam! Two world-record lightning events recognised

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-02-01 07:58
One streaked across 750km of sky, the other set a duration record

The World Meteorological Organization, the United Nations' weather watching agency, has certified two new world records for lightning.…

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DARPA's ROCKn Program Aims To Make Optical Atomic Clocks Portable

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-02-01 07:00
DARPA has announced a new initiative called the Robust Optical Clock Network (ROCkN) program, which will look to develop a practical, super-accurate optical atomic clock that is robust and small enough to fit inside a military aircraft, warship, or field vehicle. New Atlas reports: Ignoring a lot of technical details, a conventional atomic clock works by using a beam of microwaves to measure the frequency of the target atoms, but by replacing the microwaves with light, the accuracy is boosted by a factor of 100. In fact, such optical clocks are so accurate that the most advanced wouldn't gain or lose a second through the entire lifespan of the universe. Such optical atomic clocks have been built, but they're still huge, delicate, room-filling machines that aren't practical for military application. The goal of DARPA's ROCKn program is to study the basic physics of the principle behind the optical clock and find a way to make optical atomic clocks with low size, weight, and power (SWaP). Not only that, they will be more precise and accurate than current state-of-the-art atomic clocks. To do this, ROCKn will first look to produce a robust, high-precision small portable optical clock that can maintain picosecond accuracy for 100 seconds at a time. This clock would be small enough to install in a fighter jet or satellite and tough enough to withstand the temperatures, acceleration, and vibrational noise of such an environment. The second stage will aim to create a larger transportable version that can be used in a Navy ship or field unit that is accurate to a nanosecond for up to 30 days without an outside GPS signal.

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BlackBerry offloads its 'legacy' patents – some of the stuff that made its phones hum

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-02-01 06:44
$600M sale to new owner created and funded just to handle mobile, networking, and messaging IP

BlackBerry, once a byword for the world's most ubiquitous mobile messaging devices, has decided the tech that propelled it to the top of the charts is now a non-core legacy asset and disposed of it for $600 million.…

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Attack on Titan: Four Japanese Manga publishers sue Cloudflare

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-02-01 05:15
Allege content delivery network enables piracy

Four major Manga publishers are set to sue internet-grooming firm Cloudflare, on grounds its content delivery network facilitates piracy of their wares.…

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Academic Journal Claims It Fingerprints PDFs For 'Ransomware,' Not Surveillance

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-02-01 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: One of the world's largest publishers of academic papers said it adds a unique fingerprint to every PDF users download in an attempt to prevent ransomware, not to prevent piracy. Elsevier defended the practice after an independent researcher discovered the existence of the unique fingerprints and shared their findings on Twitter last week. "The identifier in the PDF helps to prevent cybersecurity risks to our systems and to those of our customers -- there is no metadata, PII [Personal Identifying Information] or personal data captured by these," an Elsevier spokesperson said in an email to Motherboard. "Fingerprinting in PDFs allows us to identify potential sources of threats so we can inform our customers for them to act upon. This approach is commonly used across the academic publishing industry." When asked what risks he was referring to, the spokesperson sent a list of links to news articles about ransomware. However, Elsevier has a long history of pursuing people who pirate or share its paywalled academic articles. [...] It's unclear exactly how fingerprinting every PDF downloaded could actually prevent ransomware. Jonny Saunders, a neuroscience PhD candidate at University of Oregon, who discovered the practice, said he believes Elsevier is trying to surveil its users and prevent people from sharing research without paying the company. "The subtext there is pretty loud to me," Saunders told Motherboard in an online chat. "Those breaches/ransoms are really a pretext for saying 'universities need to lock down accounts so people can't skim PDFs. When you have stuff that you don't want other people to give away for free, you want some way of finding out who is giving it away, right?" "Saying that the unique identifiers *themselves* don't contain PII is a semantic dodge: the way identifiers like these work is to be able to match them later with other identifying information stored at the time of download like browser fingerprint, institutional credentials, etc," Saunders added. "Justifying them as a tool to protect against ransomware is a straightforward admission that these codes are intended to identify the downloader: how would they help if not by identifying the compromised account or system?"

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New York Times outlays seven-figure sum for 1,900 lines of JavaScript – yes, we mean Wordle

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-02-01 02:58
Developer overwhelmed by game's runaway success, doesn't oppose future paywall

Viral online puzzle game Wordle has been acquired by The New York Times Company (NYTCo), publisher of The New York Times.…

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SiC move: STMicroelectronics banks on bringing power electronics material in house as electric cars rev up

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-02-01 01:26
Supply chain management is back at the forefront

Unnerved by a pre-pandemic electronics materials shortage, STMicroelectronics took the decision to start bringing its supply chain for silicon carbide in house, from substrates to end products.…

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World's Fastest Gaming Monitor Hits 500 Hz Refresh Rate

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-02-01 01:25
According to Chinese news outlet Sina, BOE has made breakthroughs in monitor technology and has built the world's first 500 Hz gaming monitor. Tom's Hardware reports: The monitor features a 27-inch, Full HD panel equipped with a high-mobility oxide backplane which is how BOE achieved the blisteringly high refresh rate, with a response time of just 1ms. BOE has ample experience with oxide semiconductor display technology. For example, the company's 500 Hz monitor is significantly faster than the fastest gaming monitors on the market today, from the likes of Asus, Alienware, and Acer, which "only" top out at 360 Hz. Other attributes include accurate 8-bit output and support for an 8-lane eDP signal. Remember that BOE's monitor is a prototype designed for demonstration purposes only. BOE has not stated if it will be making a 500 Hz gaming panel for the mass market anytime soon, so we could be waiting a long until an official monitor arrives in the hands of gamers.

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Website Fined By German Court For Leaking Visitor's IP Address Via Google Fonts

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-02-01 00:45
Earlier this month, a German court fined an unidentified website $110 for violating EU privacy law by importing a Google-hosted web font. The Register reports: The decision, by Landgericht Munchen's third civil chamber in Munich, found that the website, by including Google-Fonts-hosted font on its pages, passed the unidentified plaintiff's IP address to Google without authorization and without a legitimate reason for doing so. And that violates Europe's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). That is to say, when the plaintiff visited the website, the page made the user's browser fetch a font from Google Fonts to use for some text, and this disclosed the netizen's IP address to the US internet giant. This kind of hot-linking is normal with Google Fonts; the issue here is that the visitor apparently didn't give permission for their IP address to be shared. The website could have avoided this drama by self-hosting the font, if possible. The decision says IP addresses represent personal data because it's theoretically possible to identify the person associated with an IP address, and that it's irrelevant whether the website or Google has actually done so. The ruling directs the website to stop providing IP addresses to Google and threatens the site operator with a fine of 250,000 euros for each violation, or up to six months in prison, for continued improper use of Google Fonts. Google Fonts is widely deployed -- the Google Fonts API is used by about 50m websites. The API allows websites to style text with Google Fonts stored on remote servers -- Google's or a CDN's -- that get fetched as the page loads. Google Fonts can be self-hosted to avoid running afoul of EU rules and the ruling explicitly cites this possibility to assert that relying on Google-hosted Google Fonts is not defensible under the law.

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Comcast restores broadband in Oakland after cables 'peppered' with holes from drive-by shooting

TheRegister - Tue, 2022-02-01 00:22
Bullet-proof hosting? Can't help you there. Will you settle for rapid repairs?

Comcast Xfinity technicians have restored service to customers in Oakland, California, after the cableco's cables were pierced by gunfire early Sunday morning.…

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Amazon Warehouse Manager Pleads Guilty To Stealing $273K of Computer Parts

Slashdot - Tue, 2022-02-01 00:02
A Charlotte, North Carolina man has pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud after stealing and reselling merchandise from an Amazon warehouse, the Department of Justice said in a news release. The Verge reports: Between June 2020 and September 2021, Douglas Wright, Jr., an operations manager at Amazon's Charlotte warehouse, allegedly stole products with a total value of more than $273,000, using his access to get computer parts like internal hard drives and processors, according to the DOJ. Wright said in court on Friday that he shipped the products to his home, then sold them to a computer wholesale company in California. He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. A sentencing date has not been set.

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Twitter's Algorithm Favors the Political Right, Study Finds

Slashdot - Mon, 2022-01-31 23:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Conversation: Twitter has on various occasions been accused of political bias, with politicians or commentators alleging Twitter's algorithm amplifies their opponents' voices, or silences their own. In this climate, Twitter commissioned a study to understand whether their algorithm may be biased towards a certain political ideology. While Twitter publicized the findings of the research in 2021, the study has now been published in the peer-reviewed journal PNAS. The study looked at a sample of 4% of all Twitter users who had been exposed to the algorithm (46,470,596 unique users). It also included a control group of 11,617,373 users who had never received any automatically recommended tweets in their feeds. This wasn't a manual study, whereby, say, the researchers recruited volunteers and asked them questions about their experiences. It wouldn't have been possible to study such a large number of users that way. Instead, a computer model allowed the researchers to generate their findings. [...] The researchers found that in six out of the seven countries (Germany was the exception), the algorithm significantly favored the amplification of tweets from politically right-leaning sources. Overall, the amplification trend wasn't significant among individual politicians from specific parties, but was when they were taken together as a group. The starkest contrasts were seen in Canada (the Liberals' tweets were amplified 43%, versus those of the Conservatives at 167%) and the UK (Labour's tweets were amplified 112%, while the Conservatives' were amplified at 176%). In acknowledgement of the fact that tweets from elected officials represent only a small portion of political content on Twitter, the researchers also looked at whether the algorithm disproportionately amplifies news content from any particular point on the ideological spectrum. To this end, they measured the algorithmic amplification of 6.2 million political news articles shared in the US. To determine the political leaning of the news source, they used two independently curated media bias-rating datasets. Similar to the results in the first part of the study, the authors found that content from right-wing media outlets is amplified more than that from outlets at other points on the ideological spectrum. This part of the study also found far-left-leaning and far-right-leaning outlets were not significantly amplified compared with politically moderate outlets. The authors of the study point out that the algorithms "might be influenced by the way different political groups operate," notes The Conversation. "So for example, some political groups might be deploying better tactics and strategies to amplify their content on Twitter."

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8 In 10 App Developers Back Measure To Rein In Google and Apple, Poll Finds

Slashdot - Mon, 2022-01-31 22:40
Eighty-four percent of app developers support an antitrust bill aimed at curtailing the market power of Apple's and Google's app stores, according to a poll (PDF) from the Coalition for App Fairness released Monday. The Hill reports: The industry group for app developers is pushing Congress to pass the Open App Markets Act, a bipartisan Senate bill that would block app stores from favoring their own in-house apps in searches, requiring developers to use their payment systems and preventing users from downloading apps from third-party stores. Developers surveyed by the group complained about exorbitant fees charged by the largest app stores -- Apple charges a 30 percent commission on app store sales for large developers -- and expressed how they'd experienced difficulty getting their apps featured or accepted by app stores. Just 13 percent of app developers surveyed oppose the bill. [...] The poll, conducted by ClearPath Strategies, surveyed 190 app developers in 11 states between December 2021 and January 2022. The margin of error is plus or minus 7.11 percentage points. "The evidence is clear -- app developers want the Open App Markets Act to pass so that they can have the opportunity to compete in a fair digital marketplace," Meghan DiMuzio, executive director of the Coalition for App Fairness, said in a statement. "For too long, developers have been harmed by gatekeepers' monopolistic practices, and consumers have suffered from less choice and innovation."

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The New York Times Purchases Wordle

Slashdot - Mon, 2022-01-31 22:02
The New York Times says it has purchased the viral word-guessing game Wordle for "an undisclosed price in the low seven figures." The newspaper says it'll remain "free to play for new and existing players, and no changes will be made to its gameplay." From the report: Josh Wardle, a software engineer in Brooklyn, created the game as a gift for his partner. It was released to the public in October, and it exploded in popularity in a matter of months. Ninety people played the game on Nov. 1, Mr. Wardle said. Nearly two months later, 300,000 people played it. To play the game, people are required to guess a predetermined five-letter word in six tries. The yellow and green squares indicate that the Wordle player has guessed a correct letter, or a combined correct letter and placement. The buzz around the game can be attributed to the spoiler-free scoring grid that allows players to share their Wordle wins across social media, group chats and more. The game's creator, Josh Wardle, announced the sale in a tweet, writing: "If you've followed along with the story of Wordle, you'll know that NYT games play a big part in its origins and so this step feels very natural to me." He adds: "I've long admired the NYT's approach to their games and the respect with which they treat their players. Their values are aligned with mine on these matters and I'm thrilled that they will be stewards of the game moving forward."

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Intel R&D spending surges after years of neglect as Gelsinger pledges to make Chipzilla great again

TheRegister - Mon, 2022-01-31 21:49
A timeline of the x86 giant's stumbles – and commitments for the future

Analysis Intel is cranking up its research spending to fix past mistakes, catch up with and overtake the competition, and build a foundation to grow in future.…

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BlackBerry Sells Mobile and Messaging Patents For $600 Million

Slashdot - Mon, 2022-01-31 21:23
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: BlackBerry is adding another sad chapter to the downfall of its smartphone business. Today the company announced a sale of its prized patent portfolio for $600 million. The buyer is "Catapult IP Innovations Inc.," a new company BlackBerry describes as "a special purpose vehicle formed to acquire the BlackBerry patent assets." BlackBerry says the patents are for "mobile devices, messaging and wireless networking." These are going to be the patents surrounding BlackBerry's phones, QWERTY keyboards, and BlackBerry Messenger (BBM). BlackBerry most recently weaponized these patents against Facebook Messenger in 2018, which covered ideas like muting a message thread and displaying notifications as a numeric icon badge. BlackBerry -- back when it was called RIM -- was a veteran of the original smartphone patent wars, though, and went after companies like Handspring and Good Technology in the early 2000s. If the name "Catapult IP Innovations" didn't give it away, weaponizing BlackBerry's patents is the most obvious outcome of this deal. According to the press release, Catapult's funding for the $600 million deal is just a $450 million loan, which will immediately be given to BlackBerry in cash. The remaining $150 million is a promissory note with the first payment due in three years. That means Catapult is now a new company with a huge amount of debt, no products, and no cash flow. Assuming the plan isn't to instantly go bankrupt, Catapult needs to start monetizing BlackBerry's patents somehow, which presumably means suing everyone it believes is in violation of its newly acquired assets.

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Website fined by German court for leaking visitor's IP address via Google Fonts

TheRegister - Mon, 2022-01-31 20:40
Now that's egg on your typeface

Earlier this month, a German court fined an unidentified website €100 ($110, £84) for violating EU privacy law by importing a Google-hosted web font.…

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Sony Buys 'Destiny' Game Developer Bungie for $3.6 Billion

Slashdot - Mon, 2022-01-31 19:09
Sony Group is purchasing Bungie, the U.S. video game developer behind the popular Destiny franchise, for $3.6 billion to bolster its stable of game-making studios. From a report: The deal announced on Monday is the third significant video-game acquisition announced this month, following Microsoft's purchase of Activision Blizzard for $69 billion two weeks ago and Take Two Interactive snagging mobile game leader Zynga on Jan. 10. Buying Bungie will give Sony one of the most popular first-person shooter games to compete with the massive Call of Duty series, which Sony's main rival now owns through Activision.

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There's a new Chipzilla in town: Samsung topples Intel to become largest chip maker

TheRegister - Mon, 2022-01-31 18:59
Semiconductor shortage helps cause reshuffle at the top

The semiconductor shortage helped smartphone and memory chips in 2021, and Samsung toppled Intel to become the world's largest chip company, according to Counterpoint Research.…

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Governors Asked To Sign Compact Committing To K-12 CS Expansion

Slashdot - Mon, 2022-01-31 18:04
theodp writes: At the 2022 Winter meeting of the National Governors Association (NGA), Arkansas Governor and NGA Chair ASA Hutchinson called on attendees to rally together to advance K-12 computer science education across the country. The pitch was part of Hutchinson's year-long CS evangelism initiative, which the NGA notes enjoys the support of Amazon, Google, and Microsoft. In video from the event, Hutchinson gives kudos to tech-bankrolled Code.org for pushing the national expansion of K-12 CS, and calls on 35 of his fellow Governors to join their 15 peers who are already members of the Code.org-led advocacy group Govs for CS. In closing, Hutchinson informs the Governors they'll be asked to sign a compact committing to expanding access to CS education in their states (to be unveiled at NGA's Summer meeting), and plays a short video that challenges the audience with a question: "Will it be American students who learn to code," Hutchinson asks, "or will industry be required to go overseas to find the talent that we need here in the United States of America?"

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