Linux fréttir

Study Finds Nearly 400 Medical Devices, Procedures and Practices That Are Ineffective

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-06-14 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: A recent study has unearthed nearly 400 established treatments, devices and procedures that are no better than previous or lesser alternatives. [This is referred to as a "medical reversal" in the medical industry.] The findings are based on more than 15 years of randomized controlled trials, a type of research that aims to reduce bias when testing new treatments. Across 3,000 articles in three leading medical journals from the UK and the US, the authors found 396 reversals. While these were found in every medical discipline, cardiovascular disease was by far the most commonly represented category, at 20 percent; it was followed by preventative medicine and critical care. Taken together, it appears that medication was the most common reversal at 33 percent; procedures came in second at 20 percent, and vitamins and supplements came in third at 13 percent. This line-up is unsurprising given the history of medical reversals that we do know about. In the late 20th century, for instance, sudden cardiac death was deemed a "world wide public health problem." Most cases were thought to arise from an irregular heart rhythm, and so a new generation of antiarrhythmic drugs were developed. "In the late 1980s, the Cardiac Antiarrhythmic Suppression Trial (CAST) was conducted to assess the safety of what was then commonplace. Interestingly, recruitment for the trial was hindered by physicians who refused to let patients undergo randomization with a 50 percent chance of not receiving these medications." In the end, however, the randomized trial found that the medication was even more deadly than a placebo. While not all of these medical reversals are deadly, they are all, by definition, useless expenses. The research has been published in the journal eLife.

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AMD Is Working On a Monster 64-Core Threadripper CPU, Landing As Early As Q4 2019

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-06-14 02:10
AMD is preparing a monstrous 64-core/128-thread Threadripper CPU for launch in Q4 2019. "AMD's largest HEDT processor right now is the W2990X which tops out at 32-cores," reports Wccftech. "This is nothing to sneeze at and is already the highest core HEDT part around but because the world can't get enough of these yummy cores, AMD is planning to launch a 64-core version in Q4 2019." From the report: The platform is called X599 right now although I am told AMD is considering changing the name to avoid confusion with Intel. This is not really surprising since both Intel and AMD HEDT platforms have the same nomenclature and it can get really confusing. I am also told that they they plan to retain the "99" suffix. AMD is planning to launch the 64-core Threadripper part and the corresponding platform in Q4 2019. In fact, that is when you can expect these motherboards to start popping up from various AIBs. Now my source did not mention a new socket, so as far as I know, this should be socket compatible with the existing TR4 motherboards and only a bios update should be needed if you already own one. What I don't know right now is whether this is a 14nm part or a 7nm part. Conventional wisdom would dictate that this is a 14nm part trickling down from their server space, but who knows, maybe the company will surprise all of us? This is pretty exciting news, because knowing AMD, the 64-core Threadripper CPU will probably be priced in the $2500 to $3000 range, making it one of the most affordable workstation processors around with this many threads.

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SwiftUI and Catalyst: Apple Executes Its Invisible Transition Strategy

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-06-14 01:30
Catalyst is Apple's framework that enables developers to easily bring existing iOS apps to the Mac, while SwiftUI is a new, Swift-based technology that makes it easy for developers to create one app that runs on all of Apple's platforms. Jason Snell from Macworld highlights the slow, invisible transition of these new technologies. From the report: Catalyst, which arrives this fall, will allow developers who are well-versed in the vagaries of writing iOS apps to use those skills to write Mac apps. This will most commonly take the form of bringing iPad apps to the Mac, with additions to make them feel more like native Mac apps, but it's more than that -- it provides iOS developers with a familiar set of tools and access to an entirely new platform, and it makes the target for professional apps across Apple's platforms broader by including both the iPad and the Mac. iOS apps are currently built to run on devices running Apple-designed ARM processors, and if the rumors are true, that's another transition waiting to happen. But given that all Mac and iOS developers are already using Apple's Xcode tools to develop their apps, I suspect that the pieces have been put in place for a fairly simple transition to a new processor architecture. And then there's SwiftUI, which may be a harder concept for regular users to grasp, but it's a huge step on Apple's part. This is Apple's ultimate long game -- an entirely new way to design and build apps across all of Apple's platforms, based on the Swift language (introduced five years ago as yet another part of Apple's long game). In the shorter term, iOS app developers will be able to reach to the Mac via Catalyst. But in the longer term, Apple is creating a new, unified development approach to all of Apple's devices, based in Swift and SwiftUI. Viewed from this perspective, Catalyst feels more like a transitional technology than the future of Apple's platforms. But we're talking about the long game here. Transitional technologies are all a part of the long game. Catalyst will bring those apps to the Mac. iOS and Mac developers will pick up Swift and SwiftUI. Mac apps can integrate iOS stuff via Catalyst. iOS apps can integrate Mac stuff for use on the Mac. And all developers can begin experimenting with SwiftUI, building new interfaces and replacing old ones in a gradual process. "And then we'll turn around sometime in the 2020s and realize that all of this talk of UIKit and AppKit and Catalyst is behind us, and that our apps are written in Swift with interfaces created using SwiftUI," Snell writes in closing. "It will have all changed due to Apple's slow and steady pace of iterative, continuous improvement. The long game never stops, and it can be hard to see that you're even in it."

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settlement.js not found: JavaScript package biz NPM scraps talks, fights union-busting claims

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-06-14 01:11
CEO speaks to The Reg as we dig into labor complaints, future of npm CLI

Special report JavaScript package registry and aspiring enterprise service NPM Inc is planning to fight union-busting complaints brought to America's labor watchdog by fired staffers, rather than settle the claims.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Credit Scores Based On AI and Your Social Media Profile Could Usher In New Way For Banks To Discriminate

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-06-14 00:50
Credit scores have a long history of prejudice. "Most changes in how credit scores are calculated over the years -- including the shift from human assessment to computer calculations, and most recently to artificial intelligence -- have come out of a desire to make the scores more equitable, but credit companies have failed to remove bias, on the basis of race or gender, for example, from their system," writes Rose Eveleth via Motherboard. While credit companies have tried to reduce bias with machine learning and "alternative credit," which uses data like your sexual orientation or political beliefs that isn't normally included in a credit score to try and get a sense for how trustworthy someone might be, Eveleth says that "introducing this 'non-traditional' information to credit scores runs the risk of making them even more biased than they already are, eroding nearly 150 years of effort to eliminate unfairness in the system." From the report: Biases in AI can affect not just individuals with credit scores, but those without any credit at all as non-traditional data points are used to try and invite new creditors in. There is still a whole swath of people in the United States known as the "unbanked" or "credit invisibles." They have too little credit history to generate a traditional credit score, which makes it challenging for them to get loans, apartments, and sometimes even jobs. According to a 2015 Consumer Financial Protection Bureau study, 45 million Americans fall into the category of credit invisible or unscoreable -- that's almost 20 percent of the adult population. And here again we can see a racial divide: 27 percent of Black and Hispanic adults are credit invisible or unscoreable (PDF), compared to just 16 percent of white adults. To bring these "invisible" consumers into the credit score fold, companies have proposed alternative credit. FICO recently released FICO XD, which includes payment data from TV or cable accounts, utilities, cell phones, and landlines. Other companies have proposed social media posts, job history, educational history, and even restaurant reviews or business check-ins. Lenders say that alternative data is a benefit to those who have been discriminated against and excluded from banking. No credit? Bad credit? That doesn't mean you're not trustworthy, they say, and we can mine your alternative data and give you a loan anyway. But critics say that alternative data looks a lot like old-school surveillance. Letting a company have access to everything from your phone records to your search history means giving up all kinds of sensitive data in the name of credit. Experts worry that the push to use alternative data might lead, once again, to a situation similar to the subprime mortgage crisis if marginalized communities are offered predatory loans that wind up tanking their credit scores and economic stability.

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LG's 5G Phones in Doubt as Chip Deal With Qualcomm Set To Expire

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-06-14 00:10
Sales of LG's new 5G smartphone looked uncertain this week after the firm said it was unable to narrow differences with Qualcomm to renew a chip license deal that is due to expire this month. From a report: In a U.S. court filing late on Tuesday, the South Korean firm opposed Qualcomm's efforts to put a sweeping U.S. antitrust decision against it on hold, arguing setting the ruling aside could force it into signing another unfair deal. "If Qualcomm does not participate in negotiations with LGE in accordance with the Court's Order, LGE will have no option but to conclude license and chipset supply agreements once again on Qualcomm's terms," LG's filing in the federal court in San Jose, California said. The lack of clarity over a new license deal raises concerns over the rollout of LG's newly launched 5G smartphones, crucial for the loss-making handset maker to boost flagging smartphone sales and catch up with Samsung.

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'AI is not the cause, it’s an accelerant ... the pace of change is challenging' Eggheads give Congress deepfakes straight dope

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-06-13 23:44
People will share anything scandalous, duh – El Reg might well be Exhibit A

Analysis The US House of Reps' Intelligence Committee on Thursday held its first hearing into computer-fabricated videos dubbed deepfakes, quizzing experts from across worlds of AI, social policy, and law.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

'Medicine Needs To Embrace Open Source'

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 23:30
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols from ZDNet argues that "the expensive and abusive pharmaceutical industry needs to open up to improve everyone's health." An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report: Now, I know little about creating and testing drugs. Here's what I do know: Open source and data produces better results than proprietary methods. In technology, the field I know best, almost every company -- including open source poster-child enemy Microsoft -- has embraced open source. Why? Because it works better than the short-sighted proprietary approaches. It's not just programming that benefits from open source. Cars now run Linux under the hood. Energy and electricity transmission managers are moving to open source. Most of the movies you love are made with open-source programs. Heck, even contract law is going open source. I'm far from the only one to conclude that open-source methods are needed to break what amounts to broken pharmaceutical research methodology and drug price gouging. Open Source Pharma, an organization devoted to building on existing initiatives to develop an alternative, comprehensive, open-source pharmaceutical system, is leading the way. Dr. Manica Balasegaram, executive director for the Access Campaign of Medecins Sans Frontieres, aka Doctors Without Borders, explained: "There is something rotten in the kingdom of biomedical R&D... That the system is inefficient is probably difficult to dispute. It works in silos, encourages a protectionist, proprietary approach, promotes duplication, multiplies failure, is costly, and importantly, is directed at markets and not at public health needs. The consequences are fatal." Open source can revolutionize our hunt for better, more affordable medicine. It has everywhere else. It can in medicine, too. "We need to fundamentally let go of thinking that there is only one possible business model," says Balasegaram. "We need alternatives. Open source R&D is the key." Since the biomedical field is dominated by big companies with an iron grip on IP, Balasegaram admitted: "Promoting the concept of sharing will be tough. Sharing, however, is a difficult and somewhat scary idea to promote. It sounds suspiciously 'radical.' However, when one takes into account that this has been done in other areas, we need to rethink our reservations."

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Huawei Started Serving Ads On Phone Lock Screens Without Asking Users' Permission

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 22:50
Huawei is reportedly displaying advertisements on the lock screen of its smartphones, seemingly without warning or any sort of announcement. Huawei says that it's doing no such thing. "The ads are not initiated by Huawei. We encourage individuals to check app settings, or follow publicly available directions on how to remove lock screen ads," Huawei said in a statement to Digital Trends. From the report: According to Huawei, the ads are stemming from some third-party services or apps, and not from Huawei itself. For comparison, Huawei pointed to a similar issue that affected Samsung phones about a year ago. That said, it doesn't seem to add up -- after all, the ads are being placed in Huawei's Magazine cycle of wallpapers, and it seems highly coincidental that a number of Huawei users would all experience the same issue on the same day without users of other phones running into the same problem. A number of users on Reddit reported finding advertisements on their lock screen. One user, who goes by the username Quacksnooze, posted a screenshot of a Booking.com ad that suddenly appeared on their phone. Other users reported getting ads as well. According to the Reddit thread, four images related to Booking.com were added to the Huawei phone's wallpaper rotation, meaning that they would start showing up as wallpapers like any other image. The images could be manually deleted, but it's possible more could be added in the future. You can also get around the issue by not using Huawei's Magazine lock screen wallpaper, but that's a bit of a frustrating solution.

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Privacy Policies Are Essentially Impossible To Understand, Study Finds

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 22:10
The data market has become the engine of the internet, and privacy policies we agree to but don't fully understand help fuel it. From a report: To see exactly how inscrutable they have become, I analyzed the length and readability of privacy policies from nearly 150 popular websites and apps. Facebook's privacy policy, for example, takes around 18 minutes to read in its entirety -- slightly above average for the policies I tested. Then I tested how easy it was to understand each policy using the Lexile test developed by the education company Metametrics. The test measures a text's complexity based on factors like sentence length and the difficulty of vocabulary. To be successful in college, people need to understand texts with a score of 1300. People in the professions, like doctors and lawyers, should be able to understand materials with scores of 1440, while ninth graders should understand texts that score above 1050 to be on track for college or a career by the time they graduate. Many privacy policies exceed these standards. [...] The vast majority of these privacy policies exceed the college reading level. And according to the most recent literacy survey conducted by the National Center for Education Statistics, over half of Americans may struggle to comprehend dense, lengthy texts. That means a significant chunk of the data collection economy is based on consenting to complicated documents that many Americans can't understand. [...] Airbnb's privacy policy, on the other hand, is particularly inscrutable. It's full of long, jargon-laden sentences that obscure Airbnb's data practices and provides cover to use data in expansive ways. Things weren't always this bad. Google's privacy policy evolved over two decades -- along with its increasingly complicated data collection practices -- from a two-minute read in 1999 to a peak of 30 minutes by 2018.

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Yubico YubiKey lets you be me: Security blunder sparks recall of govt-friendly auth tokens

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-06-13 21:57
For FIPS sake!

Yubico is recalling one of its YubiKey lines after the authentication dongles were found to have a security weakness.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Google Made a Video Game That Lets You Build Video Games

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 21:30
Game Builder is a new video game from Google that allows you to create simple Minecraft-style games for yourself and others to play through. "The game lets you drag and drop characters and scenery into an empty sandbox to construct your world, then use preset commands to string together how things interact," reports The Verge. "It's free to play and available on both Windows and macOS." From the report: The game comes from Area 120, Google's incubator for experimental projects (some of which have quickly disappeared, others of which have made their way into other Google products). Game Builder has actually been available through Steam since November 1st last year (it already has 190 reviews, with a "every positive" score), but Google only publicized it today, which is certain to get a lot more people playing. Game Builder has a co-op mode, so multiple people can build a game together at once. You can also share your creations and browse through the games made by others. The interaction system works with "if this then that" logic, and players can craft their own interactions with JavaScript if they're familiar with it.

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Anyone else find it weird that the bloke tasked with probing tech giants for antitrust abuses used to, um, work for the same tech giants?

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-06-13 21:29
No, of course not. It's all perfectly fine

Comment The man responsible for heading up any potentially US government antitrust probes into tech giants like Apple and Google used to work for... Apple and Google.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Lawsuits Claim Amazon's Alexa Voice Assistant Illegally Records Children Without Consent

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 20:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Seattle Times: A lawsuit filed in Seattle alleges Amazon is recording children who use its Alexa devices without their consent, in violation of laws governing recordings in at least eight states, including Washington. "Alexa routinely records and voiceprints millions of children without their consent or the consent of their parents," according to a complaint filed on behalf of a 10-year-old Massachusetts girl on Tuesday in federal court in Seattle. Another nearly identical suit was filed the same day in California Superior Court in Los Angeles, on behalf of an 8-year-old boy. The federal complaint, which seeks class-action status, describes Amazon's practice of saving "a permanent recording of the user's voice" and contrasts that with other makers of voice-controlled computing devices that delete recordings after storing them for a short time or not at all. The complaint notes that Alexa devices record and transmit any speech captured after a "wake word" activates the device, regardless of the speaker and whether that person purchased the device or installed the associated app. It says the Alexa system is capable of identifying individual speakers based on their voices and Amazon could choose to inform users who had not previously consented that they were being recorded and ask for consent. It could also deactivate permanent recording for users who had not consented. "But Alexa does not do this," the lawsuit claims. "At no point does Amazon warn unregistered users that it is creating persistent voice recordings of their Alexa interactions, let alone obtain their consent to do so." The lawsuit goes on to say that Amazon's failure to obtain consent violates the laws of Florida, Illinois, Michigan, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania and Washington, which require consent of all parties to a recording, regardless of age. "The proposed class only includes minors in those states "who have used Alexa in their home and have therefore been recorded by Amazon, without consent,'" reports The Seattle Times. "The suit asks a judge to certify the class action and rule that Amazon violated state laws; require it to delete all recordings of class members; and prevent further recording without prior consent. It seeks damages to be determined at trial."

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Facebook won't nuke deepfakes? OK, let's tear up those precious legal protections from user-posted content, then

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-06-13 20:32
Lawmakers threaten to rewrite rules that shield sites from netizens' dodgy uploads

US lawmakers have warned they may revisit American tech corporations' blanket legal protections – specifically, the ones that shield internet giants from the fallout of user-posted content – in order to tackle the rise of deepfakes.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Dark Horse Cryptocurrency Spikes 60% After Surprise Google Shout-Out

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 20:10
A little-known cryptocurrency spiked more than 60% after Google gave the project a surprise shout-out in an equally-unexpected blog post on how to use Ethereum and Google Cloud to build hybrid blockchain applications. From a report: That cryptocurrency, Chainlink (LINK), enjoyed a parabolic swing that launched its price as high as $2.00 on Binance. Just hours earlier, LINK had traded below $1.10. The Chainlink cryptocurrency spiked after Google showed how developers could use LINK to allow their Ethereum smart contracts to communicate with Google Cloud. As of the time of writing, the Chainlink cryptocurrency was priced at $1.86 on Binance, which translates into a 24-hour gain of 62%. That gives LINK a $619 million market cap, rocketing it to the 23rd spot in the market cap rankings and vaulting it past better-known crypto assets including Zcash and Dogecoin.

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Lessons From 5 Years of Free Cybersecurity For At-Risk Groups

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 19:31
Cloudflare's Project Galileo, which offers free high-tier DDoS protection service to journalists, dissidents, civil liberties groups and other at-risk groups, turned 5 years old this week. From a report: The project currently serves over 600 accounts. An LGBT protection group in the Middle East, for example, does important work on a shoestring budget and cannot possibly afford to block the outsized number of attacks it could face from governments and even citizens. Project Galileo isn't the only commercial cybersecurity service offered to at-risk groups, but it is one of the first and the most successful. "Project Galileo originally started from a failure to live up to what was originally our mission to make a better internet," Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince told Codebook. Further reading: Cloudflare's Five-Year Project to Protect Nonprofits Online (Wired).

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Hacking these medical pumps is as easy as copying a booby-trapped file over the network

TheRegister - Thu, 2019-06-13 19:22
Uncle Sam sounds alarm after Windows CE SMB left wide open on hospital equipment

Two security vulnerabilities in medical workstations can exploited by scumbags to hijack the devices and connected infusion pumps, potentially causing harm to patients, the US government revealed today.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Yubico To Replace Vulnerable YubiKey FIPS Security Keys

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 18:50
Yubico said today it plans to replace certain hardware security keys because of a firmware flaw that reduces the randomness of cryptographic keys generated by its devices. From a report: Affected products include models part of the YubiKey FIPS Series, a line of YubiKey authentication keys certified for use on US government networks (and others) according to the US government's Federal Information Processing Standards (FIPS). According to a Yubico security advisory published today, YubiKey FIPS Series devices that run firmware version 4.4.2 and 4.4.4 contain a bug that keeps "some predictable content" inside the device's data buffer after the power-up operation. This "predictable content" will influence the randomness of cryptographic keys generated on the device for a short period after the boot-up, until the "predictable content" is all used up, and true random data is present in the buffer. This means that for a short period after booting up YubiKey FIPS Series devices with the affected 4.4.2 and 4.4.4 versions will generate keys that can be either recovered partially, or in full, depending on the cryptographic algorithm the key is working with for a particular authentication operation.

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System76's Supercharged Linux-powered Gazelle Laptop is Finally Available

Slashdot - Thu, 2019-06-13 18:10
The System76 Gazelle laptop is finally available. From a report: What makes this laptop so special (besides its pre-installed Linux-based operating System), is its impressive specifications. You see, System76 has supercharged it with a 9th generation Intel Core i7 Processor (9750H) and NVIDIA GTX 16-Series Graphics. It even has something the pricey MacBook Pro doesn't -- the ability to be configure with up to 64GB. Yeah, Apple's laptop can only have a maximum of 32GB. The Gazelle can be configured with additional top specs, such as an NVMe SSD up to 2TB. Actually, it can accommodate two such drives, so you can theoretically have 4TB of speedy storage. You can opt for either a 15 or 17-inch display, both of which have a 1080p resolution. Regardless of screen size, you get a full keyboard too, meaning it has a number pad on the right. It ships with Ubuntu or Pop!_OS pre-installed and starts at $1099.

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