Linux fréttir

What do we want? A proper review of IR35! When do we want it? Last year! Bunch of IT contractors protest outside UK Parliament

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 13:10
Letter delivered to chancellor demanding tax reform be halted

Sign-waving contractors and freelancers accumulated outside the Houses of Parliament in London's Westminster yesterday morning to protest against the UK government's controversial IR35 tax reforms.…

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Steam: Virtual Reality's Biggest-Ever Jump In Users Happened Last Month

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Valve's gaming marketplace Steam includes an opt-in hardware survey feature, and the results are published as percentages of surveyed users on a monthly basis. You'll find all kinds of data about Steam-connected computers every month, and this includes operating systems, video cards, VR systems, and more. In the latter case, that figure is counted out of all Steam users -- as opposed to a less-helpful stat like "70 percent of VR fans prefer Product A, 30 percent Product B." We were intrigued (but not surprised) to see a jump in connected VR devices for the reported month of December 2019. That's the holiday season, after all, and it's reasonable to expect Santa's deliveries of headsets to affect data. What surprised us was the continued growth of that metric through the following month -- and a statistically significant one, at that. The latest survey, taken during January 2020, says that 1.31 percent of all surveyed Steam users own a VR system, up from 1.09 percent the month prior. By pure percentage points, this is the largest one-month jump in pure percentage since Valve began tracking VR use in 2016 -- by a long shot. (For perspective, the same survey indicated that 0.9 percent of Steam computers run on Linux, while 3.0 percent use MacOS or OSX.) Based on Valve's conservative January 2019 estimate of 90 million "monthly active users," Ars Technica estimates there are "1.17 million PC-VR users connecting to Steam." "Drawing an exponential trend line of Steam's MAU between August 2017 and January 2019 would get us closer to a count of 1.6 million active VR hardware owners on Steam, and that doesn't include any estimate of Steam-ignorant Oculus users. However you slice it, the juiciest detail can't be argued: a 20.2% jump within a major PC-VR ecosystem in 30 days."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Oracle tells Supremes: Fair use? Pah! There's nothing fair about 'Google's copying'

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 12:32
Should they be allowed to grab our stuff just cos it's 'popular' and it works?

Not to be outdone by Google in ominous warnings over the future of software, Oracle has declared to American Supreme Court justices that no company would make an "enormous investment" like it did in Java SE if rivals get a free pass to copy code simply because it is "popular" and "functional".…

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A dirty dozen of Bluetooth bugs threaten to reboot, freeze, or hack your trendy gizmos from close range

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 12:00
Over the air? More like over the aarrrggghhh

A trio of boffins at Singapore University this week disclosed 12 security vulnerabilities affecting the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) SDKs offered by seven system-on-a-chip (SoC) vendors.…

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Honeycomb CTO Charity Majors to deliver keynote at our fabulous Continuous Lifecycle London conference

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 11:15
Plus: Clock is ticking on early-bird ticket offer

Event We’re thrilled to announce that Charity Majors will be delivering a keynote at our Continuous Lifecycle London conference this May.…

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Best buds? Apple must be fuming: Samsung's wireless earphones boast 11 hours of listening on a single charge

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 10:45
That's enough time for all Nickelback's albums in one sitting!

Samsung Unwrapped wasn't all shiny flagships and foldable phones – the South Korean tech giant also tore the wrapping paper off its latest wireless earbuds.…

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The virus curing the mobile industry's chronic addiction... and sparking an impressive algorithmic price experiment

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 10:00
I'll miss the MWC muggers, not the marketeers

Column One of the biggest experiments in algorithmic price management is currently underway, as the GSMA, the mobile industry's lobby body, has scrapped this year’s Mobile World Congress gabfest.…

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Apple's Mac Computers Now Outpace Windows In Malware

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 10:00
According to cybersecurity software company Malwarebytes' latest State of Malware report, the amount of malware on Macs is outpacing PCs for the first time ever. Recode reports: Windows machines still dominate the market share and tend to have more security vulnerabilities, which has for years made them the bigger and easier target for hackers. But as Apple's computers have grown in popularity, hackers appear to be focusing more of their attention on the versions of macOS that power them. Malwarebytes said there was a 400 percent increase in threats on Mac devices from 2018 to 2019, and found an average of 11 threats per Mac devices, which about twice the 5.8 average on Windows. Now, this isn't quite as bad as it may appear. First of all, as Malwarebytes notes, the increase in threats could be attributable to an increase in Mac devices running its software. That makes the per-device statistic a better barometer. In 2018, there were 4.8 threats per Mac device, which means the per-device number has more than doubled. That's not great, but it's not as bad as that 400 percent increase. Also, the report says, the types of threats differ between operating systems. While Windows devices were more prone to "traditional"; malware, the top 10 Mac threats were adware and what are known as "potentially unwanted programs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Register Lecture: Rage against the machine-taught bad actors

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 09:15
Bots are getting themselves in trouble – who gets the blame?

Tech firms have a history of getting in legal hot water over antitrust issues – being probed or dragged through the courts for collusion or for acting anti-competitively.…

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Will Police Scotland use real-time discrimination-happy face-recog tech? Senior cop tells us: We won't... for now

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 08:11
After panel urges halt to live matching, top brass says it would only be 'used in an intelligence-led, targeted way'

A Scottish Parliamentary panel has urged police to not invest in live facial-recognition technology, and the plod seem to agree.…

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Live webcast today: Secure your apps using DevSecOps and advice from Veracode

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 07:00
Infosec biz offers to guide you, step-by-step, in eliminating vulnerabilities

Webcast Cyber-attacks have more than doubled in the past 12 months. Whoever you work for, your organisation is now being probed more than once every minute.…

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Understanding the Impact of Satellite Constellations On Astronomy

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 07:00
jrepin writes: In June 2019, the International Astronomical Union expressed concern about the negative impact that the planned mega-constellations of communication satellites may have on astronomical observations and on the pristine appearance of the night sky when observed from a dark region. Now IAU presents a summary of the current understanding of the impact of these satellite constellations, and considers the consequences of satellite constellations worrisome. They will have a negative impact on the progress of ground-based astronomy, radio, optical and infrared, and will require diverting human and financial resources from basic research to studying and implementing mitigating measures. The IAU notes that currently there are no internationally agreed rules or guidelines on the brightness of orbiting manmade objects. Given the increasing relevancy of the topic, the IAU "will regularly present its findings at the meetings of the UN Committee for Peaceful Uses of Outer Space (COPUOS), bringing the attention of the world Government representatives to the threats posed by any new space initiative on astronomy and science in general."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Internet’s safe-keepers forced to postpone crucial DNSSEC root key signing ceremony – no, not a hacker attack, but because they can't open a safe

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 06:09
Online security process stalled by offline security screw-up

The organization that keeps the internet running behind-the-scenes was forced to delay an important update to the global network – because it was locked out of one of its own safes.…

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By 2050, the US Will Lose $83 Billion a Year Because of All the Nature We've Destroyed

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fast Company: The world economy depends on nature, from coral reefs that protect coastal cities from flooding to insects that pollinate crops. But by the middle of the century, the loss of key "ecosystem services" could cost the world $479 billion each year. The U.S. will lose more than any other country, with an $83 billion loss to the GDP per year by 2050. That's a conservative estimate. The projection comes from a report, called Global Futures, from World Wildlife Fund, which looked at only six of the services that nature provides and how those might change because of the impacts of climate breakdown, lost wildlife habitat, and other human-caused destruction of nature. (Many other services will also be impacted but can't currently be accurately modeled; the study also doesn't take into account the possibility of tipping points that lead to sudden, catastrophic losses of natural services.) By 2050, if the world continues on its current path, the global economy could lose $327 billion a year as we lose natural coastal protection from coral reefs, mangrove forests, and other natural systems. Another $128 billion could be lost annually from forests and peatlands that store carbon. Agriculture could lose $15 billion from lost pollinators and $19 billion from reduced water availability. Food costs are likely to go up, threatening food security in some regions. "In the U.S., the biggest losses will come from lost coastal protection and losses in marine fisheries," adds Fast Company. "Because of the size of the U.S. economy, it will lose most in absolute terms. But developing countries will be hit hardest in terms of the percentage of GDP lost; Madagascar tops that list, followed by Togo, Vietnam, and Mozambique." If the world is able to radically change course and protect areas most critical for biodiversity and ecosystem services, the global annual GDP could, instead, grow $11 billion by 2050.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Ever dream of being an astronaut? Now’s your chance. NASA wants new people for the Moon and Mars

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 02:38
You'll need a STEM degree and the ability to be a steely-eyed rocket person

You knew this day would come, and hopefully you’ve made some smart choices along the way, because it is time to apply to become an astronaut. Yes, a real-life astronaut.…

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People Born Blind Are Mysteriously Protected From Schizophrenia

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 02:10
Motherboard reports on the possible explanations for why people born blind are protected from schizophrenia: Over the past 60-some years, scientists around the world have been writing about this mystery. They've analyzed past studies, combed the wards of psychiatric hospitals, and looked through agencies that treat blind people, trying to find a case. As time goes on, larger data sets have emerged: In 2018, a study led by a researcher named Vera Morgan at the University of Western Australia looked at nearly half a million children born between 1980 and 2001 and strengthened this negative association. Pollak, a psychiatrist and researcher at King's College London, remembered checking in the mental health facility where he works after learning about it; he too was unable to find a single patient with congenital blindness who had schizophrenia. These findings suggest that something about congenital blindness may protect a person from schizophrenia. This is especially surprising, since congenital blindness often results from infections, brain trauma, or genetic mutation -- all factors that are independently associated with greater risk of psychotic disorders. More strangely, vision loss at other periods of life is associated with higher risks of schizophrenia and psychotic symptoms. Even in healthy people, blocking vision for just a few days can bring about hallucinations. And the connections between vision abnormalities and schizophrenia have become more deeply established in recent years -- visual abnormalities are being found before a person has any psychotic symptoms, sometimes predicting who will develop schizophrenia. But the whispered-about fact persists: Being born blind, and perhaps specific types of congenital blindness, shield from the very disorders vision loss can encourage later in life. A myriad of theories exist as to why -- from the blind brain's neuroplasticity to how vision plays an important role in building our model of the world (and what happens when that process goes wrong). Select researchers believe that the ties between vision and psychotic symptoms indicate there's something new to learn here. Could it be that within this narrowly-defined phenomenon there are clues for what causes schizophrenia, how to predict who will develop it, and potentially how to treat it?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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AI Shortcuts Speed Up Science Simulations By Billions of Times

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 01:30
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: Modeling immensely complex natural phenomena such as how subatomic particles interact or how atmospheric haze affects climate can take thousands of hours on even the fastest supercomputers. Emulators, algorithms that quickly approximate these detailed simulations, offer a shortcut. Now, work posted online shows how artificial intelligence can produce accurate emulators that can accelerate simulations across all of science by billions of times. The new system automatically creates emulators that work better and faster than those designed and trained by hand. And they could be used to improve the models they mimic and help scientists make the most of their time at experimental facilities.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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California Introduces Law To Stop Delivery Apps Screwing Over Restaurants

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 00:45
On Tuesday, California State Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego) introduced legislation to protect restaurants from being exploited by food delivery platforms that add restaurants without permission and withhold customer data. Motherboard reports: For years now, companies such as DoorDash, GrubHub, Postmates, and Uber Eats have engaged in shady practices to add more restaurants to their platforms, extract more fees from restaurants and customers, and defeat rival platforms. One consequence of this arrangement is that delivery apps do not share information with restaurants about where customers are located or how to get their feedback. According to a press release about the proposed legislation, this means restaurants have little control over the customer experience and the data may even be used by platforms to drive customers to so-called "host kitchens" that they operate. Assembly Bill 2149 (the Fair Food Delivery Act) would require platforms to not only share customer information with restaurants but reach an agreement with restaurants before adding them onto the food delivery app. The hope with AB 2149 is that by giving restaurants the ability to opt-out of being added to the platforms (or get the customer data if they opt-in), there will be less of this exploitative extraction directed at restaurants. As for protecting workers from exploitation, Gonzalez also introduced bill AB 5, which went into effect this year and promises to reclassify gig workers (including delivery drivers) as employees owed a minimum wage, benefits, and dignity that these platforms deny them.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Cisco: We warned months ago our sales would be a bit glum, we did not disappoint, and don't expect changes soon. PS: We axed Cisco Live Oz

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-02-13 00:18
The aristocrats! The aristocrats!

As feared, Cisco saw its sales slip slightly from last quarter as customers held off on buying new network and comms gear.…

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WHO Has Finally Named the New Coronavirus

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-02-13 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: The UN health agency on Tuesday announced that "COVID-19" will be the official name of the deadly virus from China, saying the disease represented a "very grave threat" for the world but there was a "realistic chance" of stopping it. "We now have a name for the disease and it's COVID-19," World Health Organization chief Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus told reporters in Geneva. Tedros said that "co" stands for "corona", "vi" for "virus" and "d" for "disease", while "19" was for the year, as the outbreak was first identified on 31 December. Tedros said the name had been chosen to avoid references to a specific geographical location, animal species or group of people in line with international recommendations for naming aimed at preventing stigmatization. WHO had earlier given the virus the temporary name of "2019-nCoV acute respiratory disease" and China's National Health Commission this week said it was temporarily calling it "novel coronavirus pneumonia" or NCP. Under a set of guidelines issued in 2015, WHO advises against using place names such as Ebola and Zika -- where those diseases were first identified and which are now inevitably linked to them in the public mind. More general names such as "Middle East Respiratory Syndrome" or "Spanish flu" are also now avoided as they can stigmatize entire regions or ethnic groups. WHO also notes that using animal species in the name can create confusion, such as in 2009 when H1N1 was popularly referred to as "swine flu." This had a major impact on the pork industry even though the disease was being spread by people rather than pigs.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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