Linux fréttir

Capita CEO and CFO take 'voluntary' pay cut of 25% amid coronavirus outbreak

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 10:00
Exec raises spectre of other cost-cutting activities but doesn't yet mention redundancies

Capita's CEO, Jon Lewis, and his chief bean counter are taking a "voluntary" pay cut of 25 per cent for six months from 1 April in and among other "difficult decisions" the business says it will be forced to make during the COVID-19 pandemic.…

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HP Teases 'Next Gen' VR Headset Made With Microsoft and Valve's Help

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 10:00
HP is teasing a Reverb G2 VR headset developed in tandem with Microsoft and Valve that should be "more immersive, comfortable and compatible" than previous-generation hardware. Engadget reports: The first Reverb wasn't a revolution in design, but it did stand out with a sharp 2,160 x 2,160 pixels per eye. It won't be surprising if HP pursues bragging rights once again, especially when its Twitter teaser claims the new Reverb is the "next benchmark" in VR gear. We wouldn't count on Valve dramatically influencing the design given that the Index remains its pride and joy, though. The new Reverb may be more gamer-friendly, but this is still likely to be aimed as much at professionals as it is enthusiasts.

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The shelves may be empty, but the disk is full: Not even Linux can resist the bork at times

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 09:17
Walmart Canada takes a break from slinging ads

Bork!Bork!Bork! In today's edition of sickly signage, we have a prime example of transatlantic bork from one of Canada's finest retailers.…

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Make haste slowly when deploying tools to cope with global coronavirus pandemic

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 08:45
Step one: Check if you really need new tools. If yes, prioritise and take small steps. And don't assume users are in great shape to learn new tricks

IT projects with vast resources and years of planning all too often result in horrendous messes or failures. So what to do if you need to stand something up in a hurry to give your business extra capability or resilience during the coronavirus pandemic? Or if the boss likes the idea of the many free offers for collaborationware that have recently hit the market?…

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India’s peak IT body tells outsourcers to check contract cancellation fine print while COVID-19 reigns

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 07:57
In case force majeure means they can't deliver. And right now some haven't delivered detailed continuity plans

India’s peak body for the IT and business process outsourcing industries – NASSCOM - has advised its members to read the fine print in their services contracts so they understand the implications of a long lockdown that leaves them unable to deliver services.…

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Damn you, coronavirus. Damn you, now you've gone too far: James Webb Space Telescope, Moon mission work paused

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 07:07
Including effort to land first woman on the lunar surface

NASA has temporarily suspended operations for its James Webb Space Telescope – and halted testing of its Space Launch System, a rocket due to send astronauts to the Moon by 2024 – amid the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic.…

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Star Wars: Tatooine Was Likely Orbiting In the Same Plane As Its Twin Suns

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 07:00
The Bad Astronomer writes: A new study of very young binary stars shows that exoplanets orbiting them (circumbinary planets) will orbit in the same plane as the stars if the two stars are relatively close together. If the stars are farther apart, the planets may have a perpendicular (polar) orbit around them. This study looked at the protoplanetary disks of dust and gas around binaries to draw this conclusion. Extrapolating to fiction, this means Tatooine in Star Wars was coplanar with its host stars.

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Dell files to trademark 'Podference' – presumably the mutant offspring of COVID-19 and a virtual conference?

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 06:01
We're guessing May's virtual Dell World conference is no mere webinar

In an interesting IP rights grab Dell has filed to trademark the word “Podference”.…

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Crack Police squad seeks help to flush out Australian toilet paper thieves

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 05:03
What a pair of asswipes – they even pulled a knife at a supermarket

Police in the Australian State of New South Wales have published an image of two men they say conducted a series of brazen toilet paper robberies and called for community assistance to flush them out.…

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Economic Shutdown Is Estimated To Save 600,000 American Lives

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: President Donald Trump is considering easing health directives that prevent the spread of the coronavirus in an attempt to contain economic fallout. A new analysis suggests that those measures are helping to save hundreds of thousands of lives. Economists led by Northwestern University's Martin Eichenbaum wrote that keeping social-distancing measures in place before the number of new virus cases declines -- in other words, before a peak in the infection rate -- could limit infections and prevent as many as 600,000 additional U.S. deaths. While the economic damage is deeper when optimal health measures are taken, a recession is unavoidable even without them, as infected people would stay at home to recover and millions die, the report shows. Under a worst-case scenario, with stores remaining open and no social isolation policies, as many as 215 million Americans could become infected and 2.2 million could die from the spread of the virus, the economists' data shows. That's based on an estimate from German Chancellor Angela Merkel that up to 70% of that country's population could become infected without a vaccine. It also matches the worst-case global estimate from Harvard University epidemiology professor Marc Lipsitch.

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More Than Half of All News Consumption On Facebook In America Is About the Coronavirus, Report Finds

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 02:10
The coronavirus has revived Facebook as a dominant news hub. According to an internal report by The New York Times, more than half of all news consumption on Facebook in America is about the virus. "Overall U.S. traffic from Facebook to other websites also increased by more than 50 percent last week from the week before, 'almost entirely' owing to intense interest in the virus," adds The New York Times. From the report: The report, which was posted to Facebook's internal network by Ranjan Subramanian, a data scientist at the company, was a lengthy analysis of what it called an "unprecedented increase in the consumption of news articles on Facebook" over the past several weeks. According to the report, more than 90 percent of the clicks to coronavirus content came from "Power News Consumers" and "Power News Discussers" -- Facebook's terms for users who read and comment on news stories much more frequently than the average user. The company is now considering several options for targeting those people with higher-quality information to make sure it is "being spread downstream." The report shows that Facebook is closely monitoring people's news habits during a critical period and actively trying to steer them toward authoritative sources in what amounts to a global, real-time experiment in news distribution. At times, Facebook itself seemed unsure which news sources users would turn to in a crisis, with Mr. Subramanian noting that "fortunately" many people were clicking on links from publishers that the company considers high-quality.

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Facebook Lowers Video Quality In Latin America, Following Europe

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 01:54
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Facebook will lower video streaming quality on its platform and on Instagram in Latin America, replicating measures adopted in Europe, to ease network congestion in a region that is starting to feel the grip of the coronavirus. On Sunday, the world's largest social network followed the steps of Netflix, Alphabet's YouTube, Amazon and Walt Disney in response to a call by the European Union to stave off internet gridlock as thousands of people work from home due to the coronavirus outbreak. Brazilian streaming platform GloboPlay, owned by the country's largest TV channel, announced that video streaming in 4K and Full High Definition would be temporarily suspended as of Monday to preserve Brazil's internet infrastructure and allow more people to access its contents. Asked about future plans to lower streaming quality in Brazil, like it did in Europe, Netflix said it "will continue to work with internet service providers and governments all over the world and will apply these changes in other places if necessary." Local telecoms regulator Anatel has signed a commitment pact with carriers and other providers to keep Brazilians connected during the coronavirus outbreak, creating a crisis committee to coordinate actions and monitor data traffic and the network capacity.

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SpaceX Gets FCC License For 1 Million Satellite-Broadband User Terminals

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 01:30
SpaceX has received government approval to deploy up to 1 million user terminals in the United States for its Starlink satellite-broadband constellation. Ars Technica reports: SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission for the license in February 2019, and the FCC announced its approval in a public notice last week. The FCC approval is for "a blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with [SpaceX's] non-geostationary orbit satellite system." The license is good for 15 years. As SpaceX's application said, the earth stations are "user terminals [that] employ advanced phased-array beam-forming and digital-processing technologies to make highly efficient use of Ku-band spectrum resources by supporting highly directive, steered antenna beams that track the system's low-Earth orbit satellites." One million terminals would only cover a fraction of U.S. homes, but SpaceX isn't necessarily looking to sign up huge portions of the U.S. population. Musk said at the conference that Starlink will likely serve the "3 or 4 percent hardest-to-reach customers for telcos" and "people who simply have no connectivity right now, or the connectivity is really bad." Starlink won't have lots of customers in big cities like LA "because the bandwidth per cell is simply not high enough," he said.

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Elite Hackers Target WHO As Coronavirus Cyberattacks Spike

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 00:50
According to Reuters, elite hackers tried to break into the World Health Organization earlier this month. While the effort was unsuccessful, the agency said there's been a more than two-fold increase in cyberattacks as they battle to contain the coronavirus. From the report: The attempted break-in at the WHO was first flagged to Reuters by Alexander Urbelis, a cybersecurity expert and attorney with the New York-based Blackstone Law Group, which tracks suspicious internet domain registration activity. Urbelis said he picked up on the activity around March 13, when a group of hackers he'd been following activated a malicious site mimicking the WHO's internal email system. "I realized quite quickly that this was a live attack on the World Health Organization in the midst of a pandemic," he said. Urbelis said he didn't know who was responsible, but two other sources briefed on the matter said they suspected an advanced group of hackers known as DarkHotel, which has been conducting cyber-espionage operations since at least 2007. When asked by Reuters about the incident, the WHO's Security Officer Flavio Aggio confirmed that the site spotted by Urbelis had been used in an attempt to steal passwords from multiple agency staffers. Cybersecurity firms including Romania's Bitdefender and Moscow-based Kaspersky said they have traced many of DarkHotel's operations to East Asia - an area that has been particularly affected by the coronavirus. Specific targets have included government employees and business executives in places such as China, North Korea, Japan, and the United States. Costin Raiu, head of global research and analysis at Kaspersky, could not confirm that DarkHotel was responsible for the WHO attack but said the same malicious web infrastructure had also been used to target other healthcare and humanitarian organizations in recent weeks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Taiwan collars coronavirus quarantine scofflaws with smartphone geo-fences. So, which nation will be next?

TheRegister - Tue, 2020-03-24 00:33
Just don't let your battery die or you'll have to explain it to the police

Taiwan, in an effort to limit the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus, has implemented a geo-fence using people's mobile phones.…

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If Robots Steal So Many Jobs, Why Aren't They Saving Us Now?

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-03-24 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: Modern capitalism has never seen anything quite like the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. In a matter of months, the deadly contagious bug has spread around the world, hobbling any economy in its path. [...] This economic catastrophe is blowing up the myth of the worker robot and AI takeover. We've been led to believe that a new wave of automation is here, made possible by smarter AI and more sophisticated robots. San Francisco has even considered a tax on robots -- replace a human with a machine, and pay a price. The problem will get so bad, argue folks like former presidential candidate Andrew Yang, we'll need a universal basic income to support our displaced human workers. Yet our economy still craters without human workers, because the machines are far, far away from matching our intelligence and dexterity. You're more likely to have a machine automate part of your job, not destroy your job entirely. Moving from typewriters to word processors made workers more efficient. Increasingly sophisticated and sensitive robotic arms can now work side-by-side on assembly lines with people without flinging our puny bodies across the room, doing the heavy lifting and leaving the fine manipulation of parts to us. The machines have their strengths -- literally in this case -- and the humans have theirs. While robots can do the labor we don't want to do or can't do, such as lifting car doors on an assembly line, they're not very good at problem-solving. "Think about how you would pick up a piece of paper that's lying flat on a table. You can't grip it like you would an apple -- you have to either pinch it to get it to lift off the surface, or drag it to hang over the edge of the table," writes Matt Simon via Wired. "As a kid, you learn to do that through trial and error, whereas you'd have to program a robot with explicit instructions to do the same." In closing, Simon writes: "Overestimating robots and AI underestimates the very people who can save us from this pandemic: Doctors, nurses, and other health workers, who will likely never be replaced by machines outright. They're just too beautifully human for that."

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Some Amazon Prime Deliveries May Take a Month As Demand Surges

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 23:30
As the coronavirus has forced millions of families into lockdown, demand for Amazon's delivery service has surged. To help the company deal with rising demand, Amazon has prioritized several categories of essential items, including baby products, health items, and pet supplies. The results of that policy can now be seen on Amazon's website: numerous items now take weeks to ship. That's true even if you're a subscriber to Amazon Prime, which is supposed to provide two-day shipping. Ars Technica reports: An Amazon spokesperson confirmed to Recode that these delivery dates weren't a technology glitch -- Amazon has chosen to de-prioritize these items in the face of surging demand for more time-sensitive items. "To serve our customers in need while also helping to ensure the safety of our associates, we've changed our logistics, transportation, supply chain, purchasing, and third-party seller processes to prioritize stocking and delivering items that are a higher priority for our customers," an Amazon spokesperson wrote. At the same time, Amazon is taking steps to increase its shipping capacity. As we reported last week, the online retailer announced that it was seeking to hire 100,000 additional workers to help cope with rising demand and was raising its minimum pay from $15 to $17 per hour. On Saturday, Amazon announced it was boosting overtime pay for hourly workers. Through May 9, workers will get double their usual pay when they work more than 40 hours, up from the 1.5 times the company usually pays for overtime hours.

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There Is a Racial Divide In Speech-Recognition Systems, Researchers Say

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 22:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Speech recognition systems from five of the world's biggest tech companies -- Amazon, Apple, Google, IBM and Microsoft -- make far fewer errors with users who are white than with users who are black, according to a study published Monday in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The systems misidentified words about 19 percent of the time with white people. With black people, mistakes jumped to 35 percent. About 2 percent of audio snippets from white people were considered unreadable by these systems, according to the study, which was conducted by researchers at Stanford University. That rose to 20 percent with black people. The study, which took an unusually comprehensive approach to measuring bias in speech recognition systems, offers another cautionary sign for A.I. technologies rapidly moving into everyday life. The Stanford study indicated that leading speech recognition systems could be flawed because companies are training the technology on data that is not as diverse as it could be -- learning their task mostly from white people, and relatively few black people. [...] The best performing system, from Microsoft, misidentified about 15 percent of words from white people and 27 percent from black people. Apple's system, the lowest performer, failed 23 percent of the time with whites and 45 percent of the time with black people.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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UK enters almost-lockdown: Brits urged to keep calm and carry on – as long as it doesn't involve leaving the house

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 22:27
Use delivery services, PM urges, electronics shops shuttered amid coronavirus pandemic

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson tonight ordered Brits to stay at home for the next three weeks, at least, to thwart the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.…

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Freed from the office, home workers roam sunlit uplands of IPv6... 2 metres apart

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 22:20
Clouds, silver linings etc.

The long-awaited IPv6 train may finally be pulling into the station as Google reported a spike in usage.…

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