Linux fréttir

With Live Sports Gone, Announcer Offers Play by Play of the Everyday

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 22:10
The narration begins customarily, with the play-by-play announcer enthusiastically welcoming his audience live to a competition unfolding on the screen. But this is no ordinary competition. From a report: "It's the final of the two lonely blokes in a park contest," the announcer, Nick Heath, begins, setting the scene of two men idly kicking a ball in a park. When one of the men clips the ball and sends it rolling in the opposite direction, Mr. Heath observes: "Oh, that was absolutely terrible. It's what we've come to expect really from these two." He finishes the video with "Looking forward to the third- and fourth-place playoff later." Without live sports to cover because of the coronavirus outbreak, Mr. Heath, a freelance rugby commentator, has turned to covering everyday life in London. His 20- to 30-second videos capture people in his neighborhood doing mundane tasks, like shoppers at a market ("Regional Qualifiers Market Bartering") or people pushing strollers ("International 4x4 Pushchair Formation Final. Live.") Marked with the hashtag #LifeCommentary, the clips have become a fun social media distraction for his more than 70,000 followers on Twitter. The clips blend irreverence and a sense of the absurd with a veneer of straight narration reminiscent of Monty Python's "Upper Class Twit of the Year" competition. Fans have found the videos wildly amusing thanks to Mr. Heath's over-the-top rapid delivery.

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Hospitals Turn To Crowdsourcing and 3D Printing Amid Equipment Shortages

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 21:40
With medical supplies strained by the coronavirus outbreak, health care professionals and technologists are coming together online to crowdsource repairs and supplies of critical hospital equipment. From a report: Doctors, hospital technicians and 3D-printing specialists are also using Google Docs, WhatsApp groups and online databases to trade tips for building, fixing and modifying machines like ventilators to help treat the rising number of patients with COVID-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The efforts come as supply shortages loom in one of the biggest challenges for health care systems around the world. "We have millions of health care workers around this country who are prepared to do battle against this virus, but I am concerned there are a couple of areas of supplies they need to fight that virus as effectively as possible," Dr. Peter Slavin, president of Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston, told NBC News, noting that protective equipment, including surgical masks and eye protection, was in particularly short supply. "We wouldn't want to send soldiers to war without helmets and armor," he said. "We don't want to do the same with our health care workers." The American Hospital Association says COVID-19 could require the hospitalization of 4.8 million patients, 960,000 of whom would need ventilators. As the demand for the equipment surges, making timely repairs will be critical to saving lives. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio warned Friday that the city could run out of basic medical supplies in as little as two weeks. 3D printing, a relatively new and niche technology that can create everything from houses to tiny and complex structures from raw materials, has remained mostly on the fringes of the manufacturing and health care sectors. But the coronavirus has suddenly made it a crucial resource. On Thursday, Slavin called on people with 3D printers to help make protective masks for hospital staff.

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UK Coronavirus: Boris Johnson Announces Strict Lockdown Across Country

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 21:10
UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced strict measures to combat the spread of the coronavirus. He says a "huge national effort" has been needed to halt the spread, adding: "there will come a moment when no health service in the world could possibly cope because there won't be enough ventilators, enough intensive care beds, enough doctors and nurses." Non-essential businesses will be closed and citizens are being ordered to stay in their homes. They can only leave for the following "very limited purposes": shopping for basic necessities; one form of exercise a day alone or with members of your household; any medical need, to provide care or to help a vulnerable person; and/or traveling to and from work, but only where this is absolutely necessary and cannot be done from home. "That's all -- these are the only reasons you should leave your home," says Johnson. "You should not be meeting friends. If your friends ask you to meet, you should say No. You should not be meeting family members who do not live in your home. You should not be going shopping except for essentials like food and medicine -- and you should do this as little as you can. And use food delivery services where you can." The police will be able to take action through fines and dispersing gatherings. The lockdown restrictions will be looked at again in three weeks to determine if they'll be relaxed or not. You can read the full text of Boris Johnson's address to the nation here.

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Techie collective to whip together official WHO-backed COVID-19 app within a week to meet 'urgent, global need'

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 21:07
But will it be any better than the up-and-running WhatsApp effort?

The World Health Organization is working on an open-source app for Android, iOS and the web "to help contain and mitigate COVID-19". Anyone interested is invited to pitch in.…

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Traffic and Pollution Plummet as US Cities Shut Down for Coronavirus

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 20:45
In cities across the United States, traffic on roads and highways has fallen dramatically over the past week as the coronavirus outbreak forces people to stay at home and everyday life grinds to a halt. Pollution has dropped too. From a report: A satellite that detects emissions in the atmosphere linked to cars and trucks shows huge declines in pollution over major metropolitan areas, including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Chicago and Atlanta. In Los Angeles, as businesses and schools have closed this month and drivers have stayed off the roads, air pollution has declined and traffic jams have all but vanished. Preliminary data from the European Space Agency's Sentinel-5P satellite show that atmospheric levels of nitrogen dioxide, which are influenced in large part by car and truck emissions, were considerably lower over Los Angeles in the first two weeks of March compared to the same period last year. Air pollution from vehicles has likewise plummeted in the Seattle area, which had one of the earliest recognized coronavirus outbreaks in the country. Traffic patterns there changed drastically before most other cities. [...] In New York City, residents are less dependent on car travel than in other metro areas, but vehicle traffic has still seen a steep drop-off in recent days as office buildings, schools and restaurants have shut down. On Wednesday afternoon, rush-hour traffic moved 36 percent faster than normal as the roads cleared out, according to data from INRIX.

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It's 2020 and hackers are still hijacking Windows PCs by exploiting font parser security holes. No patch, either

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 20:27
Spreading in the wild, no vaccine, people told to distance themselves from dodgy sources... sounds familiar

Hackers are commandeering victims' Windows PCs by exploiting at least one remote-code-execution flaw in the Adobe Type Manager Library included with the Microsoft operating system. No patches are available right now.…

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Fossil Hunters Find Evidence of 555 Million-Year-Old Human Relative

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 20:05
It might not show much of a family resemblance but fossil hunters say a newly discovered creature, that looks like a teardrop-shaped jellybean and is about half the size of a grain of rice, is an early relative of humans and a vast array of other animals. From a report: The team discovered the fossils in rocks in the outback of South Australia that are thought to be at least 555 million years old. The researchers say the diminutive creatures are one of the earliest examples of a bilateral organism -- animals with features including a front and a back, a plane of symmetry that results in a left and a right side, and often a gut that opens at each end. Humans, pigs, spiders and butterflies are all bilaterians, but creatures such as jellyfish are not. Dr Scott Evans, of the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History and a co-author of the research, said: "The major finding of the paper is that this is possibly the oldest bilaterian yet recognised in the fossil record. "Because humans are bilaterians, we can say that this was a very early relative and possibly one of the first on the diverse bilaterian tree of life." Writing in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Scott and colleagues in the US and Australia report how they made their discovery in sandstone at sites including fossil-rich Nilpena. They say careful analysis ruled out the possibility that the fossils were actually formed by the action of currents or from microbial mats. The animal has been named Ikaria wariootia in reference to an Indigenous term for Wilpena Pound, a nearby landmark, and the Warioota Creek that is close to the sites of the find.

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The Coder and the Dictator

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 19:26
An anonymous reader writes: If you are a cryptocurrency enthusiast living in a brutal dictatorship, and you use cryptocurrency as a way to evade the restrictions and bad economic policies of that dictatorship, and one day the brutal dictator comes to you and asks you to design a cryptocurrency for him, do you think that designing that cryptocurrency for him will usher in a new era of freedom and wise economic policies? Or, you know, not? The answer is "not," of course, but I appreciated the naive idealism of Gabriel Jimenez, the designer of Venezuela's Petro cryptocurrency, in this story by Nathaniel Popper and Ana Vanessa Herrero. From the report: Mr. Jimenez was just 27, ran a tiny start-up, and had spent years protesting the dictator. Mr. Maduro had not just mismanaged his country into financial crisis -- he had detained, tortured and murdered those who challenged his power. But whatever Mr. Jimenez felt about the regime, he felt just as strongly about the potential of cryptocurrency. When the Maduro administration approached him about creating a digital coin, Mr. Jimenez saw an opportunity to change his country from within. If a national cryptocurrency was done right, Mr. Jimenez believed, he could give the government what it wanted -- a way to fight hyperinflation -- while also stealthily introducing technology that would give Venezuelans a measure of freedom from a government that dictated every detail of daily life. His friends and family warned him that working with the regime could only end badly. It ended badly.

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Analyst calls it: This is the 'biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market'

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 19:19
'We expect to see the supply side change dramatically over the next year or so'

February 2020 saw "the biggest fall ever in the history of the worldwide smartphone market" as sales tumbled 38 per cent year-on-year, according to researchers at Strategy Analytics.…

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Microsoft Says Hackers Are Attacking Windows Users With a New Unpatched Bug

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 18:46
Microsoft says attackers are exploiting a previously undisclosed security vulnerability found in all supported versions of Windows, including Windows 10. From a report: But the software giant said there is currently no patch for the vulnerability. The security flaw, which Microsoft deems "critical" -- its highest severity rating -- is found in how Windows handles and renders fonts, according to the advisory posted Monday. The bug can be exploited by tricking a victim into opening a malicious document. Once the document is opened -- or viewed in Windows Preview -- an attacker can remotely run malware, such as ransomware, on a vulnerable device. The advisory said that Microsoft was aware of hackers launching "limited, targeted attacks," but did not say who was launching the attacks or at what scale.

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After 450 years, the tiny feudal Channel island of Sark will finally earn the right to exist on the internet with a domain

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 18:21
We talk to the guy who spent 20 years trying to make it happen

The island of Sark, a United Kingdom royal fiefdom located in the Channel Islands and measuring just two square miles (517 hectares), has succeeded in its 20-year quest to be officially recognized by the International Standards Organization (ISO).…

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Hacker Selling Data of 538 Million Weibo Users

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 18:06
The personal details of more than 538 million users of Chinese social network Weibo are currently available for sale online, according to ads seen by ZDNet and corroborating reports from Chinese media. From the report: In ads posted on the dark web and other places, a hacker claims to have breached Weibo in mid-2019 and obtained a dump of the company's user database. The database allegedly contains the details for 538 million Weibo users. Personal details include the likes of real names, site usernames, gender, location, and -- for 172 million users -- phone numbers. Passwords were not included, which explains why the hacker is selling the Weibo data for only $250.

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IBM fires up the big iron, Facebook hands out masks, Cisco splashes cash, and CDC gets an Azure-powered bot

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 17:29
Everybody chill, Big Tech's got this

Roundup Welcome to the first in what we at The Register fervently hope will be a short-lived series: it's time for a tech COVID-19 roundup.…

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India Launches WhatsApp Chatbot To Create Awareness About Coronavirus

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 17:25
India is turning to WhatsApp, the most popular app in the country, to create awareness about the coronavirus pandemic and has urged social media services to tackle the spread of misinformation on their platforms. From a report: Narendra Modi, India's Prime Minister, said on Saturday that citizens in the country can text a WhatsApp bot -- called MyGov Corona Helpdesk -- to get instant authoritative answers to their coronavirus queries such as the symptoms of the viral disease and how they could seek help. An individual is required to text +919013151515 to connect to the bot. The bot was built by Mumbai-based firm Haptik Technologies, which local telecom giant Reliance Jio acquired last year, and the information is being provided by the nation's Ministry of Health.

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With its stores outside China shuttered, Apple ditches two-mobes-per-customer limit for online shoppers

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 16:48
Who wants 999 iPhones?

As Apple stores outside of Mainland China remain stubbornly closed, the firm has dropped the two-iPhone limit on its website, allowing customers to (theoretically) spend millions on shiny new mobes.…

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Microsoft Pauses Edge Releases Amid Coronavirus Outbreak

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 16:44
Microsoft has announced that it is pausing the rollout of Edge v81, citing the ongoing "global circumstances" surrounding the coronavirus outbreak. From a report: New Edge releases (or any other kind of software updates) usually entail security reviews and compatibility testing to ensure operating systems and internal web applications don't break. Due to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak, most system administrators are most likely busy handling the security of employees working from home and taking care of their families in these tough times. Microsoft said it does not want to put an extra strain on system administrators and other IT staff personnel by releasing a new Edge version at this particular time. Redmond's decision comes days after Google announced a similar measure for Chrome v81, postponing the v81 release indefinitely.

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Pro Drivers Are Competing With Gamers After F1 and NASCAR Canceled Races

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 16:05
For many, the cancellation of major sporting events was the moment that made the coronavirus pandemic feel real for the first time. But while fans of baseball, basketball, soccer are left wondering when they'll see players back in action, racing fans don't have to wait -- because many of their favorite drivers are already competing in online sim racing competitions that were spun up in the days since the first real world races were canceled. From a report: The first few of these substitute sim races, held last weekend, were successful in ways that surprised even the organizers. Now, many of the people who put them on have spent the intervening week trying to figure out how to use that momentum to fill the gap left by real world racing, as fans around the world hole up at home in a collective attempt to slow the spread of a global virus. It likely won't be that difficult, though. The success of these first few replacement races was a testament to how far sim racing has come during the rise of esports, but it also sheds light on a truth that a lot of motorsports fans have become familiar with: that a new age of competitive, virtual motorsports is already upon us.

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Britain's courts lurch towards Skype and conference calls for trials as COVID-19 distancing kicks in

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 16:04
Coronavirus forces judges to join the 21st century more or less overnight

Britain's courts have declared they will start holding trials and hearings through video calling – although they appear rather ill-equipped for doing so.…

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As We Remain at Home Due To Coronavirus, We're All in Desperate Need of Distraction -- a New Movie or Video Game Would Help

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-03-23 15:25
The ongoing coronavirus crisis has thrown the release schedule of cultural products into chaos, as now is an exceptionally bad time to drop anything that isn't a government check for lost wages. Jeremy Gordon, writing for The Outline: Our cultural producers -- movie studios, publishing houses, television networks, and so forth -- must decide whether to go ahead with previously made plans, or wait until all of this is over. The new Fast and Furious movie, for example, has been pushed back from its May 2020 release date to April 2021, in hopes that mass gatherings will be back on the table by then (maybe!) and we'll all be in a better mood to watch some big cars go boom. But as more people are driven inside for the time being, it's also true that everyone is looking for something to do at home. As a result, unconventional solutions have emerged: Last week, Universal Pictures announced it'll make several of its current film releases available to stream on-demand at home, as movie theaters around the world are being closed. Beginning Friday, movies like The Invisible Man, Emma, and The Hunt will be rentable for $19.99 apiece, with Trolls: World Tour set for a similar release. Emma and The Invisible Man were finished products already in theaters, so Universal just had to skip the typical waiting period between when a movie is released, and when it's available for purchase. But there are so many more finished products waiting to be released in the coming weeks, which publishers may now consider delaying until a time when everyone can go back outside. While they may be reticent to promote anything in the current climate, I would submit an opposite suggestion: Release that shit. While everyone is sitting at home stewing in anxiety, people have never been more desperate for distraction. We have all become a captive audience with the free time to give that show or game a try.

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I/O, I/O, no work from home for show: Google will not hold 2020 event 'in any capacity'

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-03-23 15:24
Developers advised to check blogs and forums for product news

Google has announced that its I/O 2020 event, normally used for announcements relating to Android and other products, has been cancelled completely.…

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