Linux fréttir

Google lashes out at DoJ, Oracle as it asks US Supremes to sniff Java suit one last time

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 15:26
It's like reinventing the steering wheel... so they say

Google has hit back at US president Donald Trump in the never-ending legal spat over its use of Oracle's Java code in the Android mobile operating system, urging the US Supreme Court to judicially review an appeal court's 2016 ruling against it.…

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Facing Unbearable Heat, Qatar Has Begun To Air-Condition the Outdoors

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-10-18 14:50
It was 116 degrees Fahrenheit in the shade outside the new Al Janoub soccer stadium, and the air felt to air-conditioning expert Saud Ghani as if God had pointed "a giant hair dryer" at Qatar. From a report: Yet inside the open-air stadium, a cool breeze was blowing. Beneath each of the 40,000 seats, small grates adorned with Arabic-style patterns were pushing out cool air at ankle level. And since cool air sinks, waves of it rolled gently down to the grassy playing field. Vents the size of soccer balls fed more cold air onto the field. Ghani, an engineering professor at Qatar University, designed the system at Al Janoub, one of eight stadiums that the tiny but fabulously rich Qatar must get in shape for the 2022 World Cup. His breakthrough realization was that he had to cool only people, not the upper reaches of the stadium -- a graceful structure designed by the famed Zaha Hadid Architects and inspired by traditional boats known as dhows. "I don't need to cool the birds," Ghani said. Qatar, the world's leading exporter of liquefied natural gas, may be able to cool its stadiums, but it cannot cool the entire country. Fears that the hundreds of thousands of soccer fans might wilt or even die while shuttling between stadiums and metros and hotels in the unforgiving summer heat prompted the decision to delay the World Cup by five months. It is now scheduled for November, during Qatar's milder winter. The change in the World Cup date is a symptom of a larger problem -- climate change. Already one of the hottest places on Earth, Qatar has seen average temperatures rise more than 2 degrees Celsius (3.6 F) above preindustrial times, the current international goal for limiting the damage of global warming. The 2015 Paris climate summit said it would be better to keep temperatures "well below" that, ideally to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 F). [...] To survive the summer heat, Qatar not only air-conditions its soccer stadiums, but also the outdoors -- in markets, along sidewalks, even at outdoor malls so people can window shop with a cool breeze. "If you turn off air conditioners, it will be unbearable. You cannot function effectively," says Yousef al-Horr, founder of the Gulf Organization for Research and Development. Yet outdoor air conditioning is part of a vicious cycle. Carbon emissions create global warming, which creates the desire for air conditioning, which creates the need for burning fuels that emit more carbon dioxide. In Qatar, total cooling capacity is expected to nearly double from 2016 to 2030, according to the International District Cooling & Heating Conference. And it's going to get hotter.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Like Visual Studio Code and your data lives in SQL Server? Microsoft has something for you

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 14:46
SQL Object Explorer, SQLCMD and more IntelliCode arrive for VS Code

Microsoft's determination to foist on the world ever more ways of connecting to SQL Server has continued unabated with a major update of the mssql extension for the ubiquitous Visual Studio Code.…

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Most U.S. Dairy Cows Are Descended From Just 2 Bulls. That's Not Good

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-10-18 14:13
Chad Dechow, a geneticist at Pennsylvania State University who studies dairy cows, is explaining how all of America's cows ended up so similar to each other. From a report: He brings up a website on his computer. "This is the company Select Sires," he says. It's one of just a few companies in the United States that sells semen from bulls for the purpose of artificially inseminating dairy cows. Dechow chooses the lineup of Holstein bulls. This is the breed that dominates the dairy business. They're the black-and-white animals that give a lot of milk. Dairy farmers can go to this online catalog and pick a bull, and the company will ship doses of semen to impregnate their cows. "There's one bull -- we figure he has well over a quarter-million daughters," Dechow says. The companies rank their bulls based on how much milk their daughters have produced. Dechow picks one from the top of the list, a bull named Frazzled. "His daughters are predicted to produce 2,150 pounds more milk than daughters of the average bull," he says, reading from the website. Farmers like to buy semen from top-ranked bulls, and the companies keep breeding even better bulls, mating their top performers with the most productive cows. "They keep selecting the same families over and over again," Dechow says. A few years ago, Dechow and some of his colleagues at Penn State made a discovery that shocked a lot of people. All the Holstein bulls that farmers were using could trace their lineage back to one of just two male ancestors. "Everything goes back to two bulls born in the 1950s and 1960s," he says. "Their names were Round Oak Rag Apple Elevation and Pawnee Farm Arlinda Chief." This doesn't mean that the bulls in the catalog are genetically identical. They still had lots of different mothers, as well as grandmothers. But it does show that this system of large-scale artificial insemination, with farmers repeatedly picking top-rated bulls, has made cows more genetically similar. Meanwhile, genetic traits that existed in Holstein cows a generation ago have disappeared.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Yahoo<i>!</i> Groups' closure and a tale of Oftel: Die-hard users 'informally' included telcos

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 13:39
Ofcom: Ahem. Just check our website

The tossing away of user-generated content on Yahoo!'s long-running Groups site on Wednesday was not just bad news for all the hardcore users who are about to lose all their precious things stored there. Many were quick to point at telcos, who were using Yahoo! Groups to manage phone number assignments.…

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Soup up your serverless smarts with our practical hands-on workshops: Sign up now and we'll see you next month

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 13:00
Serverless Computing London takes you deep into Lambda, Azure, and more

Event If you’re looking for a thorough grounding in serverless computing, or just want to kick your existing experiments into a higher gear, why not join our workshop day at Serverless Computing London next month.…

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Physicists Propose Listening For Dark Matter With Plasma-Based 'Axion Radio'

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-10-18 13:00
Physicists at Stockholm University and the Max Planck Institute of Physics have proposed a novel design for an "axion radio" that employs cold plasmas (gases or liquids of charged particles) to "listen" for dark matter. Their paper has been published in the journal Physical Review Letters. Ars Technica reports: "Finding the axion is a bit like tuning a radio: you have to tune your antenna until you pick up the right frequency," said co-author Alexander Millar, a postdoc at Stockholm University. "Rather than music, experimentalists would be rewarded with 'hearing' the dark matter that the Earth is traveling through." [...] According to quantum mechanics, particles can exhibit wavelike behavior as well as particle characteristics. So an axion would behave more like a wave (or wave packet) than a particle, and the size of the wave packets is inversely proportional to their mass. That means these very light particles don't necessarily need to be tiny. The downside is that they interact even more weakly with regular matter than [weakly interacting massive particles], or WIMPS, so they cannot be produced in large colliders -- one current method for detecting WIMPs. Physicists don't know what the axion's mass might be, so there's a broad parameter space in which to search, and no single instrument can cover all of it, according to co-author Matthew Lawson, also a postdoc at Stockholm University. That's why physicists have been developing all kinds of smaller experiments for detecting axions, from atomic clocks and resonating bars, to shining lasers at walls on the off-chance a bit of dark matter seeps through the other side. Yet most instruments to date are capable of detecting axions only within a very limited mass range. [...] Lawson et al. have come up with an innovative design for a tunable plasma-based haloscope. Their proposed instrument exploits the fact that axions inside a strong magnetic field will generate their own small electric field. This in turn drives oscillations in the plasma, amplifying the signal. [...] At the moment, Lawson et al.'s design is theoretical, but several experimental groups are actively working on building prototypes. "The fact that the experimental community has latched onto this idea so quickly is very exciting and promising for building a full-scale experiment," said Millar.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Junior minister says gov.UK considering using facial recognition to verify age for p0rn-watchers

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 11:57
Yes, you read that right. Plus they spent £2.2m on failed AV policy

The UK government could use facial recognition to verify age "so long as there is an appropriate concern for privacy," junior minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Matt Warman has said.…

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How does £36m sound, mon CHERI? UK.gov pumps cash into Arm security research

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 11:23
That's 'Capability Hardware Enhanced RISC Instructions'

University of Cambridge researchers have been tossed £36m from the UK government to support their work with Arm to strengthen security by improving memory protection.…

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Orange you happy to be a customer? Spammy sextortion malware only targeted French ISP

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 10:48
Briefly had screen recording feature too

Sextortion is bad. Malware is bad. Spam is bad. Unhappily for a French ISP's users, online crooks combined all three in a hideous attempt to extort cash with custom malware that records their on-screen doings, according to infosec researchers.…

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Sod 3G, that can go, but don't rush to turn off 2G, UK still needs it – report

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 10:14
Used by the elderly in M2M connections and eCall services

In the dash to move everything to next-generation services, mobile operators mustn't be too hasty to switch off 2G, a report by industry bodies has warned.…

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Rocket Lab Launches Highest Mission Yet To Put Astro Digital Satellite In Orbit

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-10-18 10:00
XXongo writes: Sometimes it seems that all the space news focuses on SpaceX, but another private rocket company, Rocket Lab, is also making history with their bargain-basement space launcher, the Electron. The Electron booster just completed its seventh launch, this time carrying a satellite to the highest orbit yet, 1000 km. The launch carried the Astro Digital "Corvus" satellite. At $5.7 million per launch, the company is the first of many space start-ups competing for the small-satellite launch business, a market too small to be of interest to the major launch companies like SpaceX and United Launch Alliance. To lower costs further, Rocket Lab has announced its intention to make their booster reusable -- with plans to capture Electron's first stage in mid-air by helicopter.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Yay, Intel chip shortages should be over soon! Nope. Strap in, at least another quarter or two to go, say PC execs

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 09:38
Chipzilla's keeping mum ...

Canalys Channels Forum There's still no light at the end of the tunnel for PC makers as Intel's CPU constraint – a problem that showed up in anger 13 months ago – is on course to continue for another couple of quarters.…

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Microsoft Surface Pro X: Windows on Arm usable at long last – but, boy, are you gonna pay for it

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 09:00
Up to £1,700 for something that won't outperform its cheaper Pro 7 stablemate

Hands On The Register dropped into Microsoft's flagship London store to rake a talon over the company's latest Surface gizmos and cop an eyeful of hardware head honcho Panos Panay fondling the Neo and Duo.…

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I discovered the world's last video rental kiosk and it would make a great spaceship

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 08:18
It's cool to be retro

Something for the Weekend, Sir? I wish to be recycled.…

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A History of (Computer) Violence: Wait. Before you whack it again, try caressing the mouse

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 07:02
Ever been tempted to administer a jolly good thrashing to Windows?

On Call Join us in celebrating another week on Earth with a dive into the bulging bag of Register reader tales of user misadventures, misunderstandings and mindless violence in our regular On Call feature.…

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Mars InSight's 'Mole' Is Moving Again

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-10-18 07:00
Iwastheone shares a report from NASA: NASA's InSight spacecraft has used its robotic arm to help its heat probe, known as "the mole," dig nearly 2 centimeters (3/4 of an inch) over the past week. While modest, the movement is significant: Designed to dig as much as 16 feet (5 meters) underground to gauge the heat escaping from the planet's interior, the mole has only managed to partially bury itself since it started hammering in February 2019. The recent movement is the result of a new strategy, arrived at after extensive testing on Earth, which found that unexpectedly strong soil is holding up the mole's progress. The mole needs friction from surrounding soil in order to move: Without it, recoil from its self-hammering action will cause it to simply bounce in place. Pressing the scoop on InSight's robotic arm against the mole, a new technique called "pinning," appears to provide the probe with the friction it needs to continue digging. Since Oct. 8, 2019, the mole has hammered 220 times over three separate occasions. Images sent down from the spacecraft's cameras have shown the mole gradually progressing into the ground. It will take more time -- and hammering -- for the team to see how far the mole can go. Engineers continue to test what would happen if the mole were to sink beneath the reach of the robotic arm. If it stops making progress, they might scrape soil on top of the mole, adding mass to resist the mole's recoil. If no other options exist, they would consider pressing the scoop down directly on the top of the mole while trying to avoid the sensitive tether there; the tether provides power to and relays data from the instrument.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Infrastructure as Code could be game-changing for your business: Learn more with Google Cloud

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 06:00
Tune in online, join us with a panel of experts

Webcast Finding and retaining the best developers is always a tall order. It’s no surprise that smart organisations strive to make the most of their workers’ valuable time, as barrages of projects compete for their attention.…

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Google slings websites into Chrome's solitary confinement on Android to thwart Spectre-style data snooping

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-10-18 04:53
Ignore the overhead, enjoy Site Isolation – a defense against side-channel attacks

Last year, Google deployed Site Isolation in desktop versions of its Chrome browser as a defense against CPU side-channel attacks like Spectre. The technique renders websites in separate processes to prevent one from interfering with or snooping on another, augmenting browser sandboxing defenses.…

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New Bill Promises an End To Our Privacy Nightmare, Jail Time To CEOs Who Lie

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-10-18 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden has unveiled updated privacy legislation he says will finally bring accountability to corporations that play fast and loose with your private data. Dubbed the Mind Your Own Business Act, the bill promises consumers the ability to opt out of data collection and sale with a single click. It also demands that corporations be transparent as to how consumer data is collected, used, and who it's sold to, while imposing harsh fines and prison sentences upon corporations and executives that misuse consumer data and lie about it. Wyden's bill authorizes the FTC to impose fines of up to 4 percent of annual revenues on companies that fail to protect consumer data. The bill also proposes 10-20 year prison sentences for senior executives who knowingly lie to the FTC. Companies whose executives are convicted will pay a tax based on the salary they paid to the officials who lied, Wyden's office told Motherboard. The Mind Your Own Business Act also mandates the creation of a national Do Not Track system that gives consumers the ability to quickly and easily opt out of the collection and sale of their private data without having to dig through confusing corporate websites. The bill also restricts companies looking to make privacy a luxury option. Wyden's proposal would also require that corporations give consumers an easy way to review all of the data a company has about them and correct inaccuracies. Giants like Facebook would also be required to analyze any algorithms that process consumer data -- to more closely examine their impact on accuracy, fairness, bias, discrimination, privacy, and security.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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