Linux fréttir

Microsoft among software titans under spotlight for restrictive licensing

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 15:00
US campaign group forms as customers complain of lock-in, unclear terms, problems using wares in cloud

Campaign group the Coalition for Fair Software Licensing (CFSL) has launched in the US to tackle the "restrictive terms" and anticompetitive business practices that "lock-in" customers and "impedes" a move to the cloud.…

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Apple Removes Russia's Largest Social Network From the App Store

Slashdot - Wed, 2022-09-28 14:40
Apple has removed the iOS apps belonging to VK, the technology conglomerate behind Russia's version of Facebook called VKontakte, from its App Store globally. From a report: In a translated statement on its website, VK said that its apps "are blocked by Apple" but that it will "continue to develop and support iOS applications." In response to an inquiry by The Verge, Apple spokesperson Adam Dema confirmed that VK's apps have been removed and its developer accounts shut down. "These apps are being distributed by developers majority-owned or majority-controlled by one or more parties sanctioned by the UK government," Dema said in a statement. "In order to comply with these sanctions, Apple terminated the developer accounts associated with these apps, and the apps cannot be downloaded from any App Store, regardless of location. Users who have already downloaded these apps may continue to use them."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Those screws on the Apple Watch Ultra are a red herring

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 14:30
Thinking about shelling out $800? If you break it you're 'screwed'

The Apple Watch Ultra was announced this month with a ruggedized design, new button(!), and a focus on outdoorsy types, but now that the repairability fans at iFixit have their hands on it, they're only concerned about one thing – screws.…

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Late but lustrous, a fresh remix of Ubuntu emerges

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 14:00
UbuntuDDE 22.04 is colorful, and with slightly less Chinese flavor than Ubuntu Kylin

The team behind the unofficial Ubuntu remix with the Deepin desktop has rolled out an updated version based on the current Ubuntu long-term support release.…

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Alzheimer's Drug Slows Cognitive Decline in Key Study

Slashdot - Wed, 2022-09-28 14:00
The pharmaceutical companies Biogen and Eisai said this week that a drug they are developing for Alzheimer's disease had slowed the rate of cognitive decline in a large late-stage clinical trial. From a report: The strong results boost the drug's chances of winning approval and offer renewed hope for a class of Alzheimer's drugs that have repeatedly failed or generated mixed results. The positive data also offer Biogen a second chance after the company's disastrous rollout of another Alzheimer's drug, Aduhelm. That medication won regulatory approval last year despite little evidence that it could slow cognitive decline, received only sharply limited coverage by Medicare and has proved to be a commercial failure. The results appear stronger for the new medication, lecanemab. Cognitive decline in the group of volunteers who received lecanemab was reduced by 27 percent compared with the group who received a placebo in the clinical trial, which enrolled nearly 1,800 participants with mild cognitive impairment or mild Alzheimer's disease, the companies said. The trial of lecanemab, which is administered via intravenous infusion, was the largest to date to test whether clearing the brain of plaques formed by the accumulation of a protein called amyloid could slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Aduhelm is designed to work in a similar way.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Chipmakers still shoveling cash into new fabs as demand slows

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 13:30
Worldwide investment set to grow 9% to new high of $99b

Investment in semiconductor fab equipment is set to grow 9 percent to a new global high of $99 billion by the end of 2022 as the industry continues to boost capacity despite the worsening global economic outlook.…

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Ever suspected bankers could just use WhatsApp comms? $1.8b says you're right

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 13:00
Thought shadow IT and BYOD at your office was bad? Try enforcing workplace device policies on hedge fund traders

Ever given a colleague a quick Signal call so you can sidestep a monitored workplace app? Well, we'd hope you're not in a highly regulated industry like staff at eleven of the world's most powerful financial firms, who yesterday were fined nearly $2 billion for off-channel comms.…

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Better Than JPEG? Researcher Discovers That Stable Diffusion Can Compress Images

Slashdot - Wed, 2022-09-28 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Last week, Swiss software engineer Matthias Buhlmann discovered that the popular image synthesis model Stable Diffusion could compress existing bitmapped images with fewer visual artifacts than JPEG or WebP at high compression ratios, though there are significant caveats. Stable Diffusion is an AI image synthesis model that typically generates images based on text descriptions (called "prompts"). The AI model learned this ability by studying millions of images pulled from the Internet. During the training process, the model makes statistical associations between images and related words, making a much smaller representation of key information about each image and storing them as "weights," which are mathematical values that represent what the AI image model knows, so to speak. When Stable Diffusion analyzes and "compresses" images into weight form, they reside in what researchers call "latent space," which is a way of saying that they exist as a sort of fuzzy potential that can be realized into images once they're decoded. With Stable Diffusion 1.4, the weights file is roughly 4GB, but it represents knowledge about hundreds of millions of images. While most people use Stable Diffusion with text prompts, Buhlmann cut out the text encoder and instead forced his images through Stable Diffusion's image encoder process, which takes a low-precision 512x512 image and turns it into a higher-precision 64x64 latent space representation. At this point, the image exists at a much smaller data size than the original, but it can still be expanded (decoded) back into a 512x512 image with fairly good results. While running tests, Buhlmann found that images compressed with Stable Diffusion looked subjectively better at higher compression ratios (smaller file size) than JPEG or WebP. In one example, he shows a photo of a candy shop that is compressed down to 5.68KB using JPEG, 5.71KB using WebP, and 4.98KB using Stable Diffusion. The Stable Diffusion image appears to have more resolved details and fewer obvious compression artifacts than those compressed in the other formats. Buhlmann's method currently comes with significant limitations, however: It's not good with faces or text, and in some cases, it can actually hallucinate detailed features in the decoded image that were not present in the source image. (You probably don't want your image compressor inventing details in an image that don't exist.) Also, decoding requires the 4GB Stable Diffusion weights file and extra decoding time. Buhlmann's code and technical details about his findings can be found on Google Colab and Towards AI.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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How one Ukrainian software maker planned for survival as invaders approached

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 12:30
Set priorities, expect confusion, keep emergency instructions simple – that's just for starters

At the start of the year, when it looked likely that Russia would invade Ukraine, Kyiv-based MacPaw began making a plan for operating during wartime.…

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Russia's Facebook-like VK removed from Apple App Store

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 11:34
Apps still available on Google Play, digital ministry says it's investigating

Russian social media provider VK Company Ltd has confirmed its apps were removed from Apple's App Store.…

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Post-Brexit 'science superpower' UK still hasn't appointed a science minister

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 10:28
And if and when it does, role lacks Cabinet position, complain Lords

The UK's position in science and innovation is under threat from a lack of government focus and financial investment according to a House of Lords committee.…

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Small Dongle Brings the HDD Clicking Back To SSDs In Retro PCs

Slashdot - Wed, 2022-09-28 10:00
Longtime Slashdot reader root_42 writes: Remember the clicking sounds of spinning hard disks? One "problem" with retro computing is that we replace those disks with compact flash, SD cards or even SSDs. Those do not make any noises that you can hear under usual circumstances, which is partly nice because the computer becomes quieter, but also irritating because sometimes you can't tell if the computer has crashed or is still working. This little device fixes that issue! It's called the HDD Clicker and it's a very unique little gadget. "An ATtiny and a few support components ride on a small PCB along with a piezoelectric speaker," describes Hackaday. "The dongle connects to the hard drive activity light, which triggers a series of clicks from the speaker that sound remarkably like a hard drive heading seeking tracks." A demo of the device can be viewed at 7:09, with a full defragmentation at 13:11.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Intel has a secret club in the cloud for devs to try out new chips – and you ain't in it

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 09:41
Beta trial for select, chosen customers – gee, so generous and open

Intel has announced the Intel Developer Cloud, a platform intended to make it easier for commercial customers to get early access to yet-to-be-released technologies.…

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Is it time to retire C and C++ for Rust in new programs?

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 08:30
Mark Russinovich, Microsoft Azure CTO, thinks so

Column We all know that the Rust language has become much more popular. By Slashdata's count, Rust users have nearly tripled in the past 24 months.…

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Here's how crooks will use deepfakes to scam your biz

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 07:24
Need deepfake tools? GitHub's got 'em

All of the materials and tools needed to make deepfake videos – from source code to publicly available images and account authentication bypass services – are readily available and up for sale on the public internet and underground forums. …

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Germany To Keep 2 of Its 3 Nuclear Plants Running Into April

Slashdot - Wed, 2022-09-28 07:00
Germany's government plans to keep two of the country's three remaining nuclear power plants running until mid-April to help prevent a potential winter energy shortage, the economy and energy minister said Tuesday. The Associated Press reports: The announcement by Economy and Energy Minister Robert Habeck means the government has officially, albeit temporarily, reversed Germany's long-held plan to shut shut down its nuclear plants by the end of the year. Habeck said the decision to keep operating the two plants in southern Germany -- Isar 2 in Bavaria and Neckarwestheim north of Stuttgart -- into next year a "necessary" step to avoid potential power grid shortages in the region. Officials still plan to close down Germany's third remaining nuclear plant, Emsland in the northern German state of Lower Saxony, at the end of the year as planned. Habeck said officials announced the decision Tuesday in light of stress test data from France's nuclear providers that indicated grid shortages could be more severe than expected this winter. Like other European countries, Germany is scrambling to ensure the lights stay on and homes stay warm this winter despite the reduction in natural gas flows from Russia amid the war in Ukraine. "The situation in France is not good and has developed much worse than was actually forecasted in the last few weeks," Habeck said. "As the minister responsible for energy security I have to say: Unless this development is reversed, we will leave Isar 2 and Neckarwestheim on the grid in the first quarter of 2023."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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India reportedly asks smartphone makers to add local satnav silicon

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 06:58
Manufacturers allegedly told to connect to NavIC by 2023, which did not make them happy at all

India's Ministry of Electronics and IT has clarified that, while the world's second-most populous nation does want smartphone makers to include hardware to connect to its Navigation with Indian Constellation (NavIC) satnav system, it is in no rush to make it happen.…

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Save the whales – with, uh, artificial intelligence?

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 06:33
When a Klingon Bird-of-Prey just won't cut it

Bright yellow buoys running AI software have been deployed in an attempt to deter cargo ships from running over nearby whales.…

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IBM updates desktop mainframe emulator

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 06:03
For just $5,500 and the cost of a quad-core x86 box, z/OS 16 for test and dev on the desktop can be yours

IBM has updated its mainframe emulators to bring them into line with its recently released Z16 machines and operating system.…

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Ford buys into Middle Kingdom market with China EV subsidiary

TheRegister - Wed, 2022-09-28 05:24
As Intel expands its collaboration with Chinese car-maker Geely

US automotive giant Ford Motor Company has announced the launch of a subsidiary that will focus on developing smart electric vehicles and driver assist technology for the Chinese market. …

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