Linux fréttir

NHS websites will no longer burn up your mobile data allowance, say Brit telcos

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 16:17
Coronavirus advice to become free to view even if you're out of credit

Britain's mobile networks are to offer free access to online NHS pages about the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus, the UK government has declared.…

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Firefox To Remove Support For the FTP Protocol

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 16:10
Mozilla has announced plans to remove support for the FTP protocol from Firefox. Going forward, users won't be able to download files via the FTP protocol and view the content of FTP links/folders inside the Firefox browser. From a report: "We're doing this for security reasons," said Michal Novotny, a software engineer at the Mozilla Corporation, the company behind the Firefox browser. "FTP is an insecure protocol and there are no reasons to prefer it over HTTPS for downloading resources," he said. "Also, a part of the FTP code is very old, unsafe and hard to maintain and we found a lot of security bugs in it in the past." Novotny says Mozilla plans to disable support for the FTP protocol with the release of Firefox 77, scheduled for release in June this year.

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On iPad Getting a Trackpad

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 15:35
Apple on Wednesday announced the Magic Keyboard, featuring a trackpad, that will work with newly unveiled iPad Pro models and some previous generation iPads. Is this the "convergence" everyone had been waiting for? A "2 in 1" or a tablet or a toaster-refrigerator? Did Apple capitulate? Some context on the evolution of devices, from Steven Sinofsky, former President of the Windows Division at Microsoft. He writes: Hardware evolves just like software but we don't often see it the same way. We're used to talking about the cycle software bundling and unbundling, but hardware does the same thing. Every new generation of hardware begins this cycle anew. Certainly we're used to hardware adding ports or absorbing new technologies over time. Where things get really interesting with hardware is when a new "form" is introduced, often the first step is jettisoning many features from the leader. With the introduction of a form, the debate immediately begins over whether the new form can take over or whether it is a substitute for the old one. Tech dialog is rather divisive over these questions (dodged by marketing). "It can never work" or "It will eventually work." The industry works hard to create these dividing lines. The way it does this is first because usually there are new manufacturers that make the new form. Second, pundits attach labels to form factors and begin a process of very specific definitions (dimensions, peripherals.) The first one of these transitions I remember is the introduction of portable computers. Out of the gate, these were way less powerful than "PCs." The debate over whether a portable can "replace" a "PC" was in full force. Quickly the form factor of portable evolved and with that came all sorts of labels: luggable, portable, notebook, desktop, sub-notebook, and so on. This continued all the way until the introduction of "ultra-books." If you're a maker these labels are annoying at best. (1987) Quite often these are marketing at work -- manufacturers looking to differentiate an otherwise commodity product create a new name for the old thing done slightly differently. Under the hood, however, the forms are evolving. In fact the way they are evolving is often surprising. The evolution of new forms almost always follows the surprising pattern of *adding back* all those things from the old form factor. So all those portables, added more floppies, hard disks, then expansion through ports/docks, and then ultimately CPUs as powerful as desktop. Then we wake up one day and look at the "new" form and realize it seems to have morphed into the old form, capabilities and all. All along the way, the new form is editing, innovating, and reimagining how those old things should be expressed in the new one. These innovations can change software or hardware. But this is where hardware devices like USB come from -- the needs of the new form dictate new types of hardware even if it solves the same problem again. The evolution of PCs to become Servers offers an interesting arc. PCs were literally created to be smaller and less complex computers. They eliminated all the complexity of mainframes at every level while making computing accessible and cheap. When first PCs began to do server tasks, they did those in an entirely different way than mainframes that were servers of the day. They used commodity desktop PCs -- literally the same as a desktop running in an office. That was the big advantage -- cheap, ubiquitous, open! Mainframe people balked at this crazy notion. It was an obvious moment of "that is a toy." Then the age of client server computing was before us, starting in the late 1990s. But what followed was a classic case of convergent evolution. PC Servers started to add attributes of mainframes. At first this seemed totally crazy -- redundant power supplies, RAID, multi processors, etc. THAT was crazy stuff for those $1M mainframes. Pretty soon at h/w level telling a PC Server from a MF became a vocabulary exercise. And here we are today where server to stripped the very elements rooted in PC (like monitors and keyboards!) Guess what? That's a mainframe! On Twitter, this would be: "Mainframe, you've invented a mainframe. Except, the operating system and software platform is entirely different. The evolution was not a copy, but a useful convergence done through an early series of steps copying followed by distinct and innovative approaches that created a new value ... a new form factor. So here we are today with an iPad that has a trackpad. Many are chuckling at the capitulation that the iPad was never a real computer and finally Apple admitted it. Laptop, Apple has invented the laptop. This was always going to happen. From the earliest days there were keyboard cases that turned iPads into "laptops" (w/o trackpads) and these could be thought of as experiments copying the past. It took time (too much?) to invent the expression of the old in the new. The PC server everyone uses in the cloud today is no mainframe. It is vastly cheaper, more accessible, more scaleable, runs different software (yes people will fight me on these in some way, but the pedantic argument isn't the point). Adding a trackpad to iPad was done in a way that reimagined not just the idea of a pointer, but in the entire package -- hardware and software. That's what makes this interesting. To think of it as capitulation would be to do so independent of how computing has evolved over decades.

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Microsoft Teams Passes 44 Million Daily Active Users, Thanks in Part To Coronavirus

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 14:56
Microsoft Teams, which launched worldwide in March 2017, passed 32 million daily active users (DAUs) this month. From a report: A week later, thanks in part to COVID-19, usage had spiked to 44 million DAUs. That's up from 20 million daily active users in November, a 60-110% jump in just four months. Microsoft used the product's three-year anniversary to share the new figures and announce new Teams features targeting "underserved professionals, including firstline and health care workers." Teams is the company's Office 365 chat-based collaboration tool that competes with Slack (12 million DAUs as of October), Facebook's Workplace (3 million paid users as of October), and Google's Hangouts Chat (no user number shared). It's also Microsoft's fastest-growing business app ever. But the company has been criticized for how it calculates its DAU figure, so today it shared its methodology.

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Education tech supplier RM smacked by UK schools closure

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 14:34
How do you model for 'closed' indefinitely?

As the UK's parents prepare to take kids to school for the last time tomorrow, education tech supplier RM told the London Stock Exchange it anticipates a "material impact on trading".…

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Netflix Urged To Slow Down Streaming To Stop the Internet From Breaking

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 14:00
The European Union is urging Netflix and other streaming platforms to stop showing video in high definition to prevent the internet from breaking under the strain of unprecedented usage due to the coronavirus pandemic. From a report: With so many countries on forced lockdowns to fight the spread of the virus, hundreds of millions working from home and even more children out of school, EU officials are concerned about the huge strain on internet bandwidth. European Commissioner Thierry Breton, who is responsible for the EU internal market covering more than 450 million people, tweeted Wednesday evening that he had spoken with Netflix CEO Reed Hastings. Breton called on people and companies to "#SwitchtoStandard definition when HD is not necessary" in order to secure internet access for all. "Commissioner Breton is right to highlight the importance of ensuring that the internet continues to run smoothly during this critical time," the Netflix spokesperson said. "We've been focused on network efficiency for many years, including providing our open connect service for free to telecommunications companies."

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Microsoft Teams usage jumps to 32, no, 44 million as Windows-slinger platform slides onto home workers' PCs

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 13:16
UK's National Health Service given free access during the crisis

Updated Keeping fingers crossed that its Slack-for-suits platform, Teams, would survive the week, Microsoft today confirmed a slew of a new toys for its corporate collaboration baby.…

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Geek Squad's In-Home Agents Fear Spreading Coronavirus To the Elderly

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Employees for Best Buy-owned Geek Squad who visit people's homes to install electronics are fearful that they may get sick or help spread the coronavirus as they are told to keep working during the pandemic. Many Geek Squad employees told Motherboard that their customers are most at risk of having a severe case of Covid-19, because many of them are elderly or have underlying health conditions. The news comes after Motherboard reported how Best Buy was running at "full capacity," allowing hundreds of customers in stores at once and leading multiple employees to believe Best Buy saw a business opportunity in staying open during a time of crisis. After publication, Best Buy announced it would shorten opening hours and limit the number of customers allowed inside stores. In-house agents are tasked with setting up and repairing Best Buy customers' electronics in their homes. That might include installing a doorbell, television set, kitchen appliance, or setting up their computer or home router, for example. "They're expected to be in people's homes where there are no personal boundaries, no social distancing, touching of product, etc," one current Geek Squad employee told Motherboard. "They have compared their employees to 'essential workers' [...] such as gas stations, hospitals, grocery stores." An internal Best Buy email sent to agents and obtained by Motherboard reflected this, saying "The work we do is considered essential to our client's and customer's [sic] needs and we are being asked to continue to serve our clients in their homes." Elderly people who cannot install technology themselves may wish to have such a service during the looming quarantine period in the U.S. But multiple Geek Squad employees Motherboard spoke to highlighted how they may be putting clients at risk because in-house agents cater heavily to retirement communities and senior citizens in general. Best Buy says if a customer is showing symptoms while an agent is in their home, the agent is allowed to cancel the current appointment. Agents can also ask in a pre-visit call if anyone in the household is experiencing symptoms. But as for the first point, "you'd already be at the potential risk of exposure!" one agent said. Another internal message said that customers no longer need to sign for completion of a visit, so as to minimize contact between clients and Best Buy employees' phones.

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7 years after hooking up, SAP gets much, much cosier with Ariba's supply chain and procure-to-pay software

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 12:30
ERP giant targets unified master data management and data model

Nearly eight years after buying Ariba, SAP is integrating the UI, data management and analytics across its business applications and procurement software.…

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Oh-so-generous ransomware crooks vow to hold back from health organisations during COVID-19 crisis

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 11:47
Don't take their word for it. Governments need to up their security game, says security firm

Updated Ransomware operators of DoppelPaymer and Maze malware stated that they will not target medical organisations during the current pandemic.…

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Gods of cloud smiled on Chinese server makers in Q4, as mainframe punters chucked a big bone at IBM

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 10:45
Oh to be at the mercy of tech buyers at AWS, Microsoft, Facebook, Google, Tencent, Alibaba... we could go on

It was a pleasing end to 2019 for server makers, a community whose sales ledgers list from feast to famine depending on the whims of cloud builders' data centre centre expansion activities in any given quarter.…

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Look ma, no Intel Management Engine, ish: Purism lifts lid on the Librem Mini, a privacy-focused micro PC

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 10:00
Aimed at Facebook-eschewing free software types

Purism has dropped the veil on the latest computer in its privacy-focused lineup – a small form-factor PC designed for space-conscious free software enthusiasts.…

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Code.org: 'Our Team Will Teach Your Children At Home While School Is Closed'

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 10:00
theodp writes: In a Medium post, tech-backed Code.org explains how it will be supporting our community during school closures, which includes "a major investment in online education without an in-person instructor" and other offerings. From the signup form for Code Break: "With schools closed and tens of millions of students at home, Code.org is launching Code Break -- a live weekly webcast where our team will teach your children [K-12 computer science] at home while school is closed, and a weekly challenge to engage students of all abilities, even those without computers. [...] Computer science is foundational to all fields of study, but since many schools don't offer it yet, this could be a unique chance to support your child in a fun new learning opportunity." Interestingly, Code.org will be competing with its own corporate donors for homebound kids' attention. Microsoft is offering limited-time free Minecraft: Education Edition licenses as its way "to help teachers and students stay connected to the classroom" during school closures. And Google has come up with a curated list of distance learning resources for schools affected by COVID-19 (think Google Hangouts and Chromebooks), as has Facebook for Education ("If school is closed, Messenger Kids is a way to continue the social interactions the students might have at school"). Amazon is also pitching CS study for homebound kids: "As classrooms across the U.S. experience educational disruption during the pandemic, Amazon Future Engineer will initially provide free access to our sponsored computer science courses in the United States [thru Aug. 31]. These courses are for independent learners from 6th to 12th grade, or teachers who are teaching remotely to this age group."

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Beyond JAMstack: Next.js creator on hybrid rendering, TypeScript and Visual Studio Code

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 09:15
Guillermo Rauch: 'One of the biggest performance issues that we see today is to do with advertising'

Interview Guillermo Rauch, creator of the Next.js framework for building React applications, spoke to The Register about the just-released Next.js 9.3 and its hybrid approach to web application development.…

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NASA to launch 247 petabytes of data into AWS – but forgot about eye-watering cloudy egress costs before lift-off

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 08:29
Audit finds error could mean less data flows to boffins unless agency ponies up for downloads

NASA needs 215 more petabytes of storage by the year 2025, and expects Amazon Web Services to provide the bulk of that capacity. However, the space agency didn’t realize this would cost it plenty in cloud egress charges. As in, it will have to pay as scientists download its data.…

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Out with the old and in with the new as Java 14 arrives, bringing with it first Project Panama enhancements

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 07:56
After all, if the Supreme Court rules the right way, this could be a bonanza

Oracle this week released JDK 14, its reference implementation of the Java 14 specification. Java, Big Red claims, continues to be the most preferred programming language among software developers.…

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Are machine-learning-based automation tools good enough for storage management and other areas of IT? Let us know

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 07:00
A match made in heaven or hell?

Reader survey We hear a lot these days about IT automation. Yet whether it's labelled intelligent infrastructure, AIOps, self-driving IT, or even private cloud, the aim is the same.…

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Can Astronauts Use GPS To Navigate On the Moon?

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-03-19 07:00
schwit1 shares a report from IEEE Spectrum: Here on Earth, our lives have been transformed by the Global Positioning System, fleets of satellites operated by the United States and other countries that are used in myriad ways to help people navigate. Down here, GPS is capable of pinpointing locations with accuracy measured in centimeters. Could it help astronauts on lunar voyages? Kar-Ming Cheung and Charles Lee of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in California did the math, and concluded that the answer is yes: Signals from existing global navigation satellites near the Earth could be used to guide astronauts in lunar orbit, 385,000 km away. The researchers presented their newest findings at the IEEE Aerospace Conference in Montana this month. Cheung and Lee plotted the orbits of navigation satellites from the United States's Global Positioning System and two of its counterparts, Europe's Galileo and Russia's GLONASS system -- 81 satellites in all. Most of them have directional antennas transmitting toward Earth's surface, but their signals also radiate into space. Those signals, say the researchers, are strong enough to be read by spacecraft with fairly compact receivers near the moon. Cheung, Lee and their team calculated that a spacecraft in lunar orbit would be able to "see" between five and 13 satellites' signals at any given time -- enough to accurately determine its position in space to within 200 to 300 meters. In computer simulations, they were able to implement various methods for improving the accuracy substantially from there.

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Atlassian finally unleashes free Jira tier – nearly six months late yet just in time for coronavirus crunch

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 06:03
Still, could be worse, Bono might starting singing about COVID-19. Oh

Kindly old Atlassian is making cloud-based versions of Jira Software, Confluence, Jira Service Desk, and Jira Core free for teams of up to ten people.…

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Remember that blurry first-ever photo of a black hole? Turns out snaps like that can tell us a lot about these matter-gobbling voids

TheRegister - Thu, 2020-03-19 05:12
Watch how layers of photon rings reveal things like spin and mass

Vid Scientists may be able to calculate a black hole’s mass and rotation from photographs alone one day, according to research published in Science Advances.…

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