Linux fréttir

Anglian Water fishes for on-trend laundry list – including low-code work – in £24m trawl

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 11:45
Citizen app, reporting for duty

UK utility Anglian Water has declared itself in the market for suppliers to help with DevOps, Agile, and big data "transformations", reciting a laundry list of requirements that is as remarkable for its sheer exhaustiveness as it is for swallowing the buzzword dictionary.…

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Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Apple Urged to Stop Advertising to Minors

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-09-21 11:34
The BBC reports: Tech firms have been urged to stop advertising to under-18s in an open letter signed by Members of Parliament, academics and children's-rights advocates. Behavioural advertising not only undermines privacy but puts "susceptible" youngsters under unfair marketing pressure, the letter says. It is addressed to Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Microsoft. In a separate move Google-owned YouTube is accused of unlawfully mining data from five million under-13s in the UK... "The fact that ad-tech companies hold 72 million data points on a child by the time they turn 13 shows the extent of disregard for these laws, and the extraordinary surveillance to which children are subjected," the letter reads.

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Tesla wins defamation counterclaim against Gigafactory whistleblower

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 11:00
Tripp's off the hook for Tesla's supposed $167.37m market cap damages, though

Tesla has successfully torpedoed a countersuit brought against it by a former employee accused of stealing confidential internal info from the luxury electric carmaker.…

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Coding unit tests is boring. Wouldn't it be cool if an AI could do it for you? That's where Diffblue comes in

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 10:15
A big time saver – but 'we can't tell if the current logic that you have in the code is correct or not.' Oh

Oxford-based Diffblue has claimed its AI will automate one of the most important but tedious tasks in software development: writing unit tests.…

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Ready to slip into your suitca... or not: Logitech wheels out new 'travel-sized' version of MX Master 3

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 09:30
Optimistically aimed at airport-bound folk

It’s not exactly the best time to launch a travel mouse, is it? Nobody’s going anywhere, except perhaps to the shops. Oblivious to this fact is Swiss peripherals Logitech, which today introduced smaller flavours of its MX Master 3 mouse for both PC and Mac, dubbed MX Anywhere 3.…

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WFH is the new religion – but blind faith isn’t enough to keep your infrastructure secure

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 09:00
Tune in online this week and we'll show you ten things you can do better right now

Webcast If working from home is the new orthodoxy, isn’t it time we started laying down some rules about how to do this securely?…

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Google Returns to Using Humans (Instead of AI) to Moderate Content on YouTube

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-09-21 08:34
"Google is bringing back human moderators to oversee YouTube content, taking over from automated systems that were given more responsibilities at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic," reports Digital Trends: YouTube revealed in late August that in the three months prior, 11.4 million videos have been removed from the platform for violating its Community Guidelines. This is the highest number of videos taken down from YouTube over a three-month period since the service was launched in 2005, and it was attributed to the higher reliance on A.I. as the pandemic prevented human reviewers from going to work. YouTube admitted, however, that some of the videos would have been erroneously removed... Mashable reports: According to the Financial Times, YouTube reversed content moderation decisions on 160,000 videos. Usually, YouTube reverses its rulings on less than 25 percent of appeals; under AI moderation, half of the total number of appeals were successful... Now, the company is able to reassign some of that work back to humans who can make more nuanced decisions.

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Ports in a storm: The Matebook 14 won't set your world on fire, but it's still a half-decent laptop

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 08:30
Why is it that ultrabook-makers can't give us more places to stick our USBs?

Review September didn’t bring any new Huawei phones, but it did manage to push out a crop of new laptops, including an updated Matebook 14 2020. This machine could be described as a humble mid-ranger, but that would largely be missing the point.…

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Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of 'Advanced Night Repair' skin cream helping NASA to commercialise space

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 08:01
Estée Lauder’s pricey goop gets seat on next ISS resupply mission as Japanese companies pledge zero-G cosmetics

Space. The final frontier. These are the voyages of "Advanced Night Repair" skin serum and the suitable-for-zero-G “CosmoSkin” cosmetics-in-space project.…

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We don't need maintenance this often, surely? Pull it. Oh dear, the system's down

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 07:15
You've been visited by the Don Corleone of code

Who, Me? It is Monday, and time to stare glumly at the week of patching that lies ahead. Pause a while before hitting that update button with a cautionary tale from Who, Me? about support contracts and a naughty, naughty programmer.…

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US Cybersecurity agency issues super-rare Emergency Directive to patch Windows Server flaw ASAP

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 05:56
Government sysadmins given weekend to fix ZeroLogon elevation of privilege bug, rest of us given stern warning

The US Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) has taken the unusual step of issuing an emergency directive that gives US government agencies a four-day deadline to implement a Windows Server patch.…

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From Climate Change to the Dangers of Smoking: How Powerful Interests 'Made Us Doubt Everything'

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-09-21 05:19
BBC News reports: In 1991, the trade body that represents electrical companies in the U.S., the Edison Electric Institute, created a campaign called the Information Council for the Environment which aimed to "Reposition global warming as theory (not fact)". Some details of the campaign were leaked to the New York Times. "They ran advertising campaigns designed to undermine public support, cherry picking the data to say, 'Well if the world is warming up, why is Kentucky getting colder?' They asked rhetorical questions designed to create confusion, to create doubt," argued Naomi Oreskes, professor of the history of science at Harvard University and co-author of Merchants of Doubt. But back in the 1990 there were many campaigns like this... Most of the organisations opposing or denying climate change science were right-wing think tanks, who tended to be passionately anti-regulation. These groups made convenient allies for the oil industry, as they would argue against action on climate change on ideological grounds. Jerry Taylor spent 23 years with the Cato Institute — one of those right wing think tanks — latterly as vice president. Before he left in 2014, he would regularly appear on TV and radio, insisting that the science of climate change was uncertain and there was no need to act. Now, he realises his arguments were based on a misinterpretation of the science, and he regrets the impact he's had on the debate. Harvard historian Naomi Oreskes discovered leading climate-change skeptics had also been prominent skeptics on the dangers of cigarette smoking. "That was a Eureka moment," Oreskes tells BBC News. "We realised this was not a scientific debate." Decades before the energy industry tried to undermine the case for climate change, tobacco companies had used the same techniques to challenge the emerging links between smoking and lung cancer in the 1950s... As a later document by tobacco company Brown and Williamson summarised the approach: "Doubt is our product, since it is the best means of competing with the 'body of fact' that exists in the minds of the general public." Naomi Oreskes says this understanding of the power of doubt is vital. "They realise they can't win this battle by making a false claim that sooner or later would be exposed. But if they can create doubt, that would be sufficient — because if people are confused about the issue, there's a good chance they'll just keep smoking...." Academics like David Michaels, author of The Triumph of Doubt, fear the use of uncertainty in the past to confuse the public and undermine science has contributed to a dangerous erosion of trust in facts and experts across the globe today, far beyond climate science or the dangers of tobacco. He cites public attitudes to modern issues like the safety of 5G, vaccinations — and coronavirus. "By cynically manipulating and distorting scientific evidence, the manufacturers of doubt have seeded in much of the public a cynicism about science, making it far more difficult to convince people that science provides useful — in some cases, vitally important — information. "There is no question that this distrust of science and scientists is making it more difficult to stem the coronavirus pandemic."

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Dying software forces changes to VMware’s vSphere Clients

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 04:27
Imminent demise of IE 11 and Angular JS means upgrades are incoming

VMware is about to make some changes to its vSphere clients and users are going to have to make jump through some upgrade hoops to remain in complete control of their VMs.…

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With New Security and Free Internet Issues, What Did the TikTok Deal Really Achieve?

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-09-21 02:19
Though the U.S. government averted a shutdown of TikTok through a new Oracle/Walmart partnership, that leaves much bigger questions unresolved. The biggest issue may be that banning apps "defeats the original intent of the internet," argues the New York TImes. "And that was to create a global communications network, unrestrained by national borders." "The vision for a single, interconnected network around the globe is long gone," Jason Healey, a senior research scholar at Columbia University's School for International and Public Affairs and an expert on cyber conflict. "All we can do now is try to steer toward optimal fragmentation." But the Times also asks whether the TikTok agreement fails even at its original goal of protecting the app from foreign influence: The code and algorithms are the magic sauce that Beijing now says, citing its own national security concerns, may not be exported to to a foreign adversary... Microsoft's bid went further: It would have owned the source code and algorithms from the first day of the acquisition, and over the course of a year moved their development entirely to the United States, with engineers vetted for "insider threats." So far, at least, Oracle has not declared how it would handle that issue. Nor did President Trump in his announcement of the deal. Until they do, it will be impossible to know if Mr. Trump has achieved his objective: preventing Chinese engineers, perhaps under the influence of the state, from manipulating the code in ways that could censor, or manipulate, what American users see. Other questions also remain, including America's larger policy towards other apps like Telegram made by foreign countries. Even Amy Zegart, a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution and Stanford's Freeman-Spogli Institute, complains to the Times that "bashing TikTok is not a China strategy. China has a multi-prong strategy to win the tech race. It invests in American technology, steals intellectual property and now develops its own technology that is coming into the U.S... And yet we think we can counter this by banning an app. The forest is on fire, and we are spraying a garden hose on a bush." And another article in the Times argues that the TikTok agreement doesn't even eliminate Chinese ownership of the app: Under the initial terms, ByteDance still controls 80 percent of TikTok Global, two people with knowledge of the situation have said, though details may change. ByteDance's chief executive, Zhang Yiming, will also be on the company's board of directors, said a third person. And the government did not provide specifics about how the deal would answer its security concerns about TikTok... A news release published by Walmart on Saturday on its website — then edited later — captured the chaos. "This unique technology eliminates the risk of foreign governments spying on American users or trying to influence them with disinformation," the company said. "Ekejechb ecehggedkrrnikldebgtkjkddhfdenbhbkuk."

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Amazon staffers took bribes, manipulated marketplace, leaked data including search algorithms – DoJ claims

TheRegister - Mon, 2020-09-21 02:13
Banned merchants restored, rivals’ stores binned, cash sent around town in an Uber, it is alleged

US prosecutors claim six people bribed corrupt Amazon insiders to rig the the web giant's Marketplace in their favor and leak terabytes of data including some search algorithms.…

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Could Open Source Licensing Stop Big Pharma Profiteering On Taxpayer-Funded Covid-19 Vaccines?

Slashdot - Mon, 2020-09-21 00:05
Two professors at the University of Massachusetts have co-authored a new essay explaining how open source licensing "could keep Big Pharma from making huge profits off taxpayer-funded research" in the international, multi-billion-dollar race for a Covid-19 vaccine: The invention of the "General Public License," sometimes referred to as a viral or reciprocal license, meant that should an improvement be made, the new software version automatically inherits the same license as its parent. We believe that in a time of a global pandemic, a safe and effective COVID-19 vaccine should be licensed with General Public License-like properties... Fortunately, some pharmaceutical companies, national governments, nonprofits like the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and international organizations like the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives — which supports vaccine development — are putting policies in place that embrace openness and sharing rather than intellectual property protection. Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Initiatives officials have stated that all of their funding agreements require that "appropriate vaccines are first available to populations when and where they are needed to end an outbreak or curtail an epidemic, regardless of ability to pay." That's an important start. However, when there is a safe, effective COVID-19 vaccine, the U.S. and other national governments need to create contractual agreements with firms that provide fair and reasonable funding to cover their costs or even some reasonable profit margin while still mandating the open sharing of the processes for vaccine production, quality assurance and rapid global distribution.

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Tencent in talks for 'longterm solution' to WeChat mess as injunction keeps the app alive

TheRegister - Sun, 2020-09-20 23:30
Ban on app ruled a restriction on free speech

Tencent-owned messaging-and-more app WeChat has evaded the USA’s ban on its presence in app stores and on the internet - for now - after the United States District Court granted a preliminary injunction against the Executive Order that branded the service a national security risk.…

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Bill Gates vs. Steve Jobs: the Books They Recommended

Slashdot - Sun, 2020-09-20 22:52
Slashdot has featured "the 61 books Elon Musk has recommended on Twitter" as well as the 41 books Mark Zuckerberg recommended on Facebook. Both lists were compiled by a slick web site (with Amazon referrer codes) called "Most Recommended Books." But they've also created pages showing books recommended by over 400 other public figures — incuding Bill Gates and the late Steve Jobs — which provide surprisingly revealing glimpses into the minds of two very different men. Here's some of the highlights...

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Browser Extension uMatrix Ends Active Development

Slashdot - Sun, 2020-09-20 21:40
Slashdot reader Hmmmmmm quotes Ghacks: Raymond Hill, known online as gorhill, has set the status of the uMatrix GitHub repository to archived; this means that it is read-only at the time and that no updates will become available. The uMatrix extension is available for several browsers including Firefox, Google Chrome, and most Firefox and Chromium-based browsers. It is a privacy and security extensions for advanced users that provides firewall-like capabilities when it is installed... Hill suggests that developers could fork the extension to continue development under a new name. There is also the chance that Hill might resume development in the future but there is no guarantee that this is going to happen. For now, uMatrix is no longer in active development.

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Maybe CS Class Isn't the Best Way To Expose Most Kids To CS

Slashdot - Sun, 2020-09-20 20:42
Long-time Slashdot reader theodp writes: "If we want all students to learn computer science (CS for All), we have to go to where the students are," writes University of Michigan Grand Valley State University CS Professor Mark Guzdial. "Unfortunately, that's not computer science class. In most US states, less than 5% of high school students take a course in computer science. "Programming is applicable and useful in many domains today, so one answer is to use programming in science, mathematics, social studies, and other non-CS classes. We take programming to where the students are, and hope to increase their interest and knowledge about CS." America's National Science Foundation (NSF) was intrigued enough by this idea to fund Creating Adoptable Computing Education Integrated into Social Studies Classes, a three-year project created by Guzdial and his fellow history professor Tamara Shreiner, which "aims to provide more students computing education by integrating programming activities into social studies classes and to use the computing to enhance students' data literacy." Along the same lines, the NSF has also greenlighted Northwestern University's CS professor Marcelo Worsley's Computational Thinking and Physical Computing in Physical Education for this fall, which will bring computer science to K-5 gym classes. While the tech giants have lobbied for billions in spending on "rigorous" K-12 CS courses, could it be that the best "CS class" for most K-12 students is no CS class?

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