Linux fréttir

US Announces Plans To Withdraw From 144-Year-Old Postal Treaty

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 13:00
JoeyRox writes: The Trump Administration announced today that it's intending to withdraw from the Universal Postal Union, an international postage rate system overseen by the United Nations. "The decision was borne out of frustration with discounts imposed by the Universal Postal Union (UPU) that allow China and some other nations to ship products into the U.S. at cheaper rates than American companies receive to ship domestically," reports The Hill. "The administration argues the system undercuts U.S. manufacturers and allows China to flood the market with cheap goods." The U.S. is hoping to renegotiate the rates, known as terminal dues, but was frustrated with opposition from other nations in the UPU. According to the report, "The withdrawal would not take effect for one year, allowing the U.S. some time to broker a new deal." "The 144-year-old UPU sets fees that postal services charge to deliver mail and packages from foreign carriers," reports The Hill. "For decades, developing nations have been allowed to pay lower rates than wealthier nations. China has fallen under the developing nation category, a designation the U.S. says it no longer deserves because of its booming economy." The Trump administration wants to move to a system of "self-declared rates" that would allow the U.S. Postal Service to set its own prices for shipping international packages of all sizes. As it stands, the P.O. is only allowed to use self-declared rates on packages exceeding 4.4 pounds.

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Android creator Andy Rubin's firm might think its phone is Essential, but 30% of staff are not

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 12:10
Promises 'truly game changing consumer product'... Please, not the Clippy mobe

The phone startup founded by Andy Rubin – creator of WebTV, the Sidekick and Android – has reportedly laid off 30 per cent of its staff. Essential is still in the game, but only just.…

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SCISYS sidesteps Brexit: Proposes Irish listing to keep EU space work rolling in

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 11:32
Irish eyes won't be smiling that much – operations and taxes are staying in Blighty

As the wailing and gnashing of teeth over what will become of the UK space industry in a post-Brexit world continues, British firms are sidestepping the flapping of politicians and making their own plans.…

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Ding ding! Round Two: Second annual review for transatlantic data flow deal Privacy Shield

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 11:04
Talks to cover oversight, enforcement, US surveillance

The deal governing transatlantic data flows – branded not fit for purpose by privacy watchdogs – enters its second annual review today.…

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UK defence secretary ponders £50m hit to terminate Capita recruiting contract

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 10:17
Army short of 5,000 grunts, MPs warned

The UK Ministry of Defence could terminate Capita's disastrous military IT contract following confirmation that the Recruiting Partnering Project (RPP) was 90 per cent below recruiting targets for calendar Q1.…

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Scientists Discover Weird Sounds In Antarctic Ice Shelf

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 10:00
pgmrdlm shares a report from USA Today: Using special instruments, scientists have discovered weird sounds at the bottom of the world. The noise is actually vibrating ice, caused by the wind blowing across snow dunes, according to a new study. It's kind of like you're blowing a flute, constantly, on the ice shelf," study lead author Julien Chaput, a geophysicist and mathematician at Colorado State University, said in a statement. Another scientist, glaciologist Douglas MacAyeal of the University of Chicago, likened the sounds to the buzz of thousands of cicadas. The sounds are too low in frequency to be heard by human ears unless sped up by the monitoring equipment. The scientists originally buried 34 seismic sensors under the snow on Antarctica's Ross Ice Shelf to study the continent's ice shelves -- not to record the sounds they heard. "Studying the vibrations of an ice shelf's insulating snow jacket could give scientists a sense of how it is responding to changing climate conditions," reports USA Today. "Changes to the ice shelf's 'seismic hum' could also indicate whether cracks in the ice are forming that might indicate whether the ice shelf is susceptible to breaking up."

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Microsoft points to a golden future where you can make Windows 10 your own

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 09:48
Or at least uninstall some of the bits you really don't want

Microsoft has announced that its customers will finally be able to remove more of the cruft that arrives with a Windows 10 installation. In 2019.…

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Arm cozies up to Intel for second time in a week – this time to borrow tools from Yocto Project for Mbed Linux

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 08:58
Aww, ain't that sweet

Earlier this week, Arm drew Intel into its warm embrace when Chipzilla joined its Pelion IoT platform. The Softbank-owned design house has said it's now preparing to release a Linux-based OS, taking advantage of the Intel-backed Yocto Project tools.…

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UK Home Office admits £200m Emergency Services Network savings 'delayed'

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 08:15
Oh, and the £1.1bn Airwave extension hasn't yet been triggered

The fine minds behind Britain's bungled Emergency Services Network comms system have admitted that its projected £200m savings might not kick in until 2020.…

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NASA Astronaut Details Fall To Earth After Failed Soyuz Launch

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 07:00
After surviving an aborted launch to the ISS, NASA astronaut Nick Hague details his fall to Earth and shares what it was like inside the capsule. CNET reports: In his first interviews since surviving the largely uncontrolled "ballistic descent" back to Earth that followed, Hague told reporters on Tuesday that the launch felt normal for the first two minutes but that it became clear "something was wrong pretty quick." "Your training really takes over," Hague said, adding that he and [Russian Cosmonaut Aleksey Ovchinin] had practiced what to do in case of just such a launch-abort scenario. Hague also credited years of flight training, going back to his days as a U.S. Air Force pilot. The escape procedure has been compared to being launched sideways out of a shotgun -- but while the shotgun is rocketing upward. Hague described the side-to-side shaking inside the capsule as "fairly aggressive but fleeting." "I expected my first trip to space to be memorable," he said. "I didn't expect it to be quite this memorable." Because of the combination of rocket-fueled ascent and the sudden sideways escape maneuver, the crew experienced a higher level of g-forces than during a normal flight. Once the Soyuz reached the top of its arc and began to descend, Hague said, what followed was really the same as a normal Soyuz landing, but with one major difference: The pair couldn't be certain where they were. "My eyes were looking out the window trying to gauge where we were going to land." Luckily, the capsule deployed its parachutes and landed on smooth, flat terrain where Hague and Ovchinin were met by rescue helicopters and whisked off for medical evaluations.

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Come on, Cisco bug-hunters: No terrifying critical vulns? Are you saving for Halloween?

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 06:53
(It's good news, really)

Good news, Cisco admins: there are no bugs rated “critical” in this week's batch of security patches – but there are seven that copped a “high” rating, and four of those are remotely exploitable.…

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Enterprise Java caretakers float new rules of engagement for future feature updates

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 05:56
Eclipse Foundation seeks to replace the Java Community Process for Jakarta EE

The Eclipse Foundation, saddled with oversight of Java EE last year after Oracle washed its hands of the thankless business of community governance, wants to revise the process by which enterprise Java – rechristened Jakarta EE when Oracle declined to grant use of its Java trademark – gets improved.…

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Chinese biz baron wants to shove his artificial moon where the sun doesn't shine – literally

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 05:12
Man-made satellite to eliminate need for street lamps

Video A Chinese businessman has announced plans to light Chengdu at night by launching an artificial "moon" to direct the out-of-sight Sun's rays down onto the city's streets.…

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The Future of the Cloud Depends On Magnetic Tape

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Although the century-old technology has disappeared from most people's daily view, magnetic tape lives on as the preferred medium for safely archiving critical cloud data in case, say, a software bug deletes thousands of Gmail messages, or a natural disaster wipes out some hard drives. The world's electronic financial, health, and scientific records, collected on state-of-the-art cloud servers belonging to Amazon.com, Microsoft, Google, and others, are also typically recorded on tape around the same time they are created. Usually the companies keep one copy of each tape on-site, in a massive vault, and send a second copy to somebody like Iron Mountain. Unfortunately for the big tech companies, the number of tape manufacturers has shrunk over the past three years from six to just two -- Sony and Fujifilm -- and each seems to think that's still one too many. The Japanese companies have said the tape business is a mere rounding error as far as they're concerned, but each has spent millions of dollars arguing before the U.S. International Trade Commission to try to ban the other from importing tapes to America. [...] The tech industry worries that if Sony or Fujifilm knocks the other out of the U.S., the winner will hike prices, meaning higher costs for the big cloud providers; for old-line storage makers, including IBM, HPE, and Quantum; and, ultimately, for all those companies' customers. [...] Although Sony and Fujifilm have each assured the trade commission that they could fill the gap if their rival's products were shut out of the U.S., the need for storage continues to grow well beyond old conceptions. Construction is slated to begin as soon as next year on the Square Kilometer Array, a radio telescope with thousands of antennas in South Africa and Australia meant to detect signals emitted more than 13 billion years ago. It's been estimated the project could generate an exabyte (1 billion gigabytes) of raw data every day, the equivalent of 300 times the material in the U.S. Library of Congress and a huge storage headache all by itself.

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Chinese City 'Plans To Launch Artificial Moon To Replace Streetlights'

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 02:10
The south-western Chinese city of Chengdu is planning to launch an illumination satellite in 2020 that is "designed to complement the moon at night," though it would be eight times as bright. "The 'dusk-like glow' of the satellite would be able to light an area with a diameter of 10-80km, while the precise illumination range could be controlled within tens of meters -- enabling it to replace streetlights," reports The Guardian. From the report: The vision was shared by Wu Chunfeng, the chairman of the private space contractor Chengdu Aerospace Science and Technology Microelectronics System Research Institute Co (Casc), at a national mass innovation and entrepreneurship event held in Chengdu last week. Wu reportedly said testing had begun on the satellite years ago and the technology had now evolved enough to allow for launch in 2020. It is not clear whether the plan has the backing of the city of Chengdu or the Chinese government, though Casc is the main contractor for the Chinese space program. The People's Daily was quick to reassure those concerned about the fake moon's impact on night-time wildlife. It cited Kang Weimin, director of the Institute of Optics, School of Aerospace, Harbin Institute of Technology, who "explained that the light of the satellite is similar to a dusk-like glow, so it should not affect animals' routines."

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Essential Products, Startup From Android Creator Andy Rubin, Lays Off 30 Percent of Staff

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 01:30
Essential Products, a startup founded in 2015 by Android creator Andy Rubin, was started to create a smartphone with high-end design features that wasn't associated with a particular operating-system maker. Unfortunately, reaching that goal has been harder than anticipated as the company has laid off about 30 percent of its staff. Fortune reports: Cuts were particularly deep in hardware and marketing. The company's website indicates it has about 120 employees. A company spokesperson didn't confirm the extent of layoffs, but said that the decision was difficult for the firm to make and, "We are confident that our sharpened product focus will help us deliver a truly game changing consumer product." The firm was Rubin's first startup after leaving Google in 2014, which had acquired his co-founded firm, Android, in 2005. Essential's first phone came out in August 2017, a few weeks later than initially promised. It received mixed reviews, with most critics citing its lower quality and missing features relative to competing smartphones, such as a lack of waterproofing and poor resiliency to damage. The company dropped the price from an initial $699 within weeks to $499, and offered it on Black Monday in November 2017 for $399.

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Decoding the Google Titan, Titan, and Titan M – that last one is the Pixel 3's security chip

TheRegister - Thu, 2018-10-18 01:18
Chocolate Factory opens lid, just a little, on secure boot and crypto phone coprocessor

People in the Googleplex need to talk to each other more: the Chocolate Factory has launched a third product with “Titan” in its name, and it's only related to one of the other two bits of kit.…

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Trivial Authentication Bypass In Libssh Leaves Servers Wide Open

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 00:50
Ars Technica reports of "a four-year-old bug in the Secure Shell implementation known as libssh that makes it trivial for just about anyone to gain unfettered administrative control of a vulnerable server." It's not clear how many sites or devices may be vulnerable since neither the widely used OpenSSH nor Github's implementation of libssh was affected. From the report: The vulnerability, which was introduced in libssh version 0.6 released in 2014, makes it possible to log in by presenting a server with a SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_SUCCESS message rather than the SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_REQUEST message the server was expecting, according to an advisory published Tuesday. Exploits are the hacking equivalent of a Jedi mind trick, in which an adversary uses the Force to influence or confuse weaker-minded opponents. The last time the world saw an authentication-bypass bug with such serious consequences and requiring so little effort was 11 months ago, when Apple's macOS let people log in as admin without entering a password. On the brighter side, there were no immediate signs of any big-name sites being bitten by the bug, which is indexed as CVE-2018-10933. While Github uses libssh, the site officials said on Twitter that "GitHub.com and GitHub Enterprise are unaffected by CVE-2018-10933 due to how we use the library." In a follow-up tweet, GitHub security officials said they use a customized version of libssh that implements an authentication mechanism separate from the one provided by the library. Out of an abundance of caution, GitHub has installed a patch released with Tuesday's advisory. Another limitation: only vulnerable versions of libssh running in server mode are vulnerable, while the client mode is unaffected. Peter Winter-Smith, a researcher at security firm NCC who discovered the bug and privately reported it to libssh developers, told Ars the vulnerability is the result of libssh using the same machine state to authenticate clients and servers. Because exploits involve behavior that's safe in the client but unsafe in the server context, only servers are affected.

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Researchers 3D Print Custom-Sized Lithium-Ion Batteries

Slashdot - Thu, 2018-10-18 00:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: [N]ew research published in ACS Applied Energy Materials shows that it's possible to 3D-print lithium-ion batteries into whatever shape you need. The problem that has stood in the way of 3D-printed lithium-ion batteries (at least, until now) is that the polymers traditionally used in this kind of printing aren't ionic conductors. The goal was to find a way to print custom-sized lithium-ion batteries in a cost-effective way using a regular, widely available 3D printer. In order to make the batteries conductive, the team led by Christopher Reyes and Benjamin Wiley infused the polylactic acid (PLA) usually used in 3D printing with an electrolyte solution. The researchers also incorporated graphene and carbon nanotubes into the design of the case to help increase conductivity. After these design modifications, the team was able to 3D print an LED bracelet, complete with a custom-sized lithium-ion battery. The battery was only able to power the bracelet for about 60 seconds, but the researchers have ideas for how to improve the capacity. For those interested, Engadget has a short video on the subject.

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Ask Slashdot: Should Open-Source Developer Teams Hire Professional UI/UX Designers?

Slashdot - Wed, 2018-10-17 23:30
OpenSourceAllTheWay writes: There are many fantastic open-source tools out there for everything from scanning documents to making interactive music to creating 3D assets for games. Many of these tools have an Achilles heel though -- while the code quality is great and the tool is fully functional, the user interface (UI) and user experience (UX) are typically significantly inferior to what you get in competing commercial tools. In an nutshell, with open source, the code is great, the tool is free, there is no DRM/activation/telemetry bullshit involved in using the tool, but you very often get a weak UI/UX with the tool that -- unfortunately -- ultimately makes the tool far less of a joy to use daily than should be the case. A prime example would be the FOSS 3D tool Blender, which is great technically, but ultimately flops on its face because of a poorly designed UI that is a decade behind commercial 3D software. So here is the question: should open-source developer teams for larger FOSS projects include a professional UI/UX designer who does the UI for the project? There are many FOSS tools that would greatly benefit from a UI re-designed by a professional UI/UX designer.

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