Linux fréttir

Apple faces app store payments fight in Arizona, Throttlegate suit in Portugal

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 19:04
Beachheads open up on both sides of the Atlantic

Apple is facing a fresh round of battles on both sides of the Atlantic over its App Store and iPhone policies.…

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How Microsoft Plans To Give Virtual Reality Apps a Big Boost

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 18:42
The market for virtual and augmented reality products has developed slower than expected, but Microsoft is seeking to accelerate the sector by making it much easier for people to connect from different locations and with different kinds of devices. From a report: The ultimate goal of the new effort, dubbed Microsoft Mesh, is to allow, for example, a person in an office in New York using Facebook's Oculus VR headset to collaborate with a person in Seattle using Microsoft's HoloLens 2 glasses. Using Mesh-compatible hardware and software, the two people would be able to see virtual representations of each other appearing in their offices, talking and moving in real time as if they were present. And both would be able to see a common view of virtual charts or digital objects projected before them that they could change or manipulate. At least that's the vision that Microsoft demonstrated for the first time in public at its Ignite conference on Tuesday. Ultimately, Mesh could be used to connect users on a variety of VR gadgets, PC and Mac computers, and smartphones. But getting all the various hardware makers to agree to use Microsoft's standards may not be as easy as the company hopes. And while Microsoft's HoloLens and popular collaboration software like Teams and Office will be compatible with Mesh, other software developers also may be wary of depending on the company for such critical functionality. "This has been the dream for mixed reality, the idea from the very beginning," Alex Kipman, a Microsoft technical fellow working on the project, explained at the demonstration. "You can actually feel like you're in the same place with someone sharing content or you can teleport from different mixed reality devices and be present with people even when you're not physically together."

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Microsoft's Dream of Decentralized IDs Enters the Real World

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 18:02
For years, tech companies have touted blockchain technology as a means to develop identity systems that are secure and decentralized. The goal is to build a platform that could store information about official data without holding the actual documents or details themselves. Instead of just storing a scan of your birth certificate, for example, a decentralized ID platform might store a validated token that confirms the information in it. Then when you get carded at a bar or need proof of citizenship, you could share those pre-verified credentials instead of the actual document or data. Microsoft has been one of the leaders of this pack -- and is now detailing tangible progress toward its vision of a decentralized digital ID. From a report: At its Ignite conference today, Microsoft announced that it will launch a public preview of its "Azure Active Directory verifiable credentials" this spring. Think of the platform as a digital wallet like Apple Pay or Google Pay, but for identifiers rather than credit cards. Microsoft is starting with things like university transcripts, diplomas, and professional credentials, letting you add them to its Microsoft Authenticator app along with two-factor codes. It's already testing the platform at Keio University in Tokyo, with the government of Flanders in Belgium, and with the United Kingdom's National Health Service. "If you have a decentralized identifier I can verify, say, where you went to school and I don't need you to send me all of the information," says Joy Chik, corporate vice president for Microsoft's cloud and enterprise identity division. "All I need is to get that digital credential and because it's already been verified I can trust it." Microsoft will release a software development kit in the coming weeks that organizations can use to start building applications that issue and request credentials. And long-term the company says it hopes the system could be used around the world for everything from renting an apartment to establishing identity for refugees who are struggling without documents -- a dream of virtually all decentralized identification efforts. In the NHS pilot, for example, healthcare providers can request access to professional certifications from existing NHS health care workers, who can in turn choose to allow that access, streamlining a process for transferring to another facility that previously required a much more involved back and forth. Under Microsoft's set-up, you can also revoke access to your credentials if the recipient no longer needs access.

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SmartThings Starts Saying Goodbye To Its Hardware

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 17:25
Stacey Higginbotham: If you own a 2013 SmartThings hub (that's the original) or a SmartThings Link for the Nvidia Shield TV, your hardware will stop working on June 30 of this year. The device depreciation is part of the announced exodus from manufacturing and supporting its own hardware and the Groovy IDE that Samsung Smartthings announced last summer. SmartThings has set up a support page for customers still using those devices to help those users transition to newer hubs. That transition will also include a discount for users of the affected devices if they want to purchase the latest Aeotec version of the SmartThings hub. If you're still using either of the older devices you should expect an email that will provide a discount code to buy the Aeotec hub through TheSmartestHouse.com. That discount will be available until April 15.

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'Email Is Making Us Miserable'

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 16:45
Cal Newport, writing for New Yorker: A study, published in 2019, looked at long-term trends in the health of a group of nearly five thousand Swedish workers. They found that repeated exposure to "high information and communication technology demands" (translation: a need to be constantly connected) were associated with "suboptimal" health outcomes. This trend persisted even after they adjusted the statistics for potential complicating factors such as age, sex, socioeconomic status, health behavior, body-mass index, job strain, and social support. Of course, we don't really need data to capture something that so many of us feel intuitively. I recently surveyed the readers of my blog about e-mail. "It's slow and very frustrating. . . . I often feel like email is impersonal and a waste of time," one respondent said. "I'm frazzled -- just keeping up," another admitted. Some went further. "I feel an almost uncontrollable need to stop what I'm doing to check email," one person reported. "It makes me very depressed, anxious and frustrated." When employees are miserable, they perform worse. They're also more likely, as the French labor minister warned, to burn out, leading to increased health-care costs and expensive employee turnover. A Harvard Business School professor found that giving a group of management consultants predictable time off from e-mail increased the percentage of them who planned to stay at the firm "for the long term" from forty per cent to fifty-eight per cent. E-mail's power to makes us unhappy also has more philosophical implications. There are two hundred and thirty million knowledge workers in the world, which includes, according to the Federal Reserve, more than a third of the U.S. workforce. If this massive population is being made miserable by a slavish devotion to in-boxes and chat channels, then this adds up to a whole lot of global miserableness! From a utilitarian perspective, this level of suffering cannot be ignored -- especially if there is something that we might be able to do to alleviate it. Given these stakes, it's all the more surprising that we spend so little time trying to understand the source of this discontent. Many in the business community tend to dismiss the psychological toll from e-mail as an incidental side effect caused by bad in-box habits or a weak constitution. I've come to believe, however, that much deeper forces are at play in generating our mismatch with this tool, including some that get at the very core of what drives us as humans.

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Excel-lent: Microsoft debuts low-code Power Fx language... but it is not really new

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 16:30
Citizen development platform where everything looks like Excel

Ignite Microsoft today introduced Power Fx, a low-code language for its Power Platform, but it is not altogether new, being extracted from the existing formula language for what the company calls canvas apps.…

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User Says Apple Disabled His iCloud, App Store, and Apple ID Accounts After Payment To Apple Card Failed

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 16:02
Dustin Curtis, writing on his blog: About ten days ago, when I went to update a few apps in the App Store on my Mac, I was met with a curious error: "Your account has been disabled in the App Store and iTunes." The internet is filled with stories from people whose Google accounts were locked for unexplained reasons, causing them to lose all of their data, including years of email, so I was somewhat concerned. But I'd never heard of similar cases involving Apple's services, and I wouldn't expect such behavior from a customer-focused company like Apple, so I figured it was a glitch and made a mental note to try again later. The next day, Music.app stopped working: "You cannot login because your account has been locked." Now I was genuinely worried. I checked my phone and neither the App Store nor Apple Music would work there, either. A few minutes later, Calendar popped up an error â" it had stopped syncing. I immediately tried to call Apple Support from my Mac, but Apple's Handoff feature had been disabled as well. The first person I spoke to at Apple spent a while researching the issue and then told me there was nothing she could do but escalate the issue, and that I should expect a call "hopefully" within the next day. I asked what the problem might be, and she seemed as confused as I was. Although some Apple services were still working, like iMessage (thank God) and Photos, I was terrified that more services would suddenly become inaccessible or that I would lose the considerable amount of data I have stored in iCloud. A couple of days later, I became impatient and contacted Apple Support again. This time, the representative mumbled something about Apple Card before saying that he also had no power to help me. Apple ID was a different department, he said, and they could only be contacted by email. He emailed them. I continued to wait. The next time I tried to use my Apple Card, it was declined. Strange. I checked the Wallet app, and the balance was below the limit. I remembered the Apple support representative mumbling about Apple Card, so I did some digging through my email to see if I could find a connection. As it turns out, my bank account number changed in January, causing Apple Card autopay to fail. Then the Apple Store made a charge on the card. Less than fifteen days after that, my App Store, iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple ID accounts had all been disabled by Apple Card. Tim Sweeney, CEO of Epic Games, which is fighting a legal battle with Apple, offered some commentary on this: "It's terrifying how much leverage Apple has over consumers and developers by integrating everything, locking us all in, and exerting total control. Normal companies respect the natural boundaries that exist between platforms and services. Apple does not! For Apple, every choke point they create is both a profit center and a lever to exert control. After blocking Fortnite updates from over a billion iOS users, Apple threatened to block Sign in With Apple -- which they forced us to adopt -- affecting Fortnite players on 7 platforms."

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SAP tells investors it plans to make €5bn RISE up into its clouds with lift and shift push

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 15:32
You may be interested in tech, but backers want to know about revenue 'multipliers'

SAP aims to convert €5bn in revenue from support and software licences into cloud subscriptions over the next five years, according to the German software giant's CFO.…

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Disney CEO Suggests There's No 'Going Back' To Pre-COVID Film Releases

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 15:25
As Disney prepares to release "Raya and the Last Dragon" in theaters and as a premium on-demand title this Friday, CEO Bob Chapek says that he thinks the experimentation his studio and others in Hollywood are doing with releasing movies during the pandemic will permanently change the movie business. From a report "The consumer is probably more impatient than they've ever been before," Chapek said during a Q&A at the Morgan Stanley Technology, Media and Telecommunications Conference, "particularly since now they've had the luxury of an entire year of getting titles at home pretty much when they want them. So, I'm not sure there's going back. But we certainly don't want to do anything like cut the legs off a theatrical exhibition run." Disney previously released its remake of "Mulan," initially a March 2020 theatrical release, as a premium title for $29.99 for Disney+ subscribers while Pixar's "Soul" went from being a theatrical June 2020 release to a Christmas Day release on Disney+ at no extra cost. [...] Disney has yet to show an exact number of days it would like to shorten the theatrical window to, but Chapek's remarks suggest that the hybrid release strategy Disney is using for "Raya" may be a model it continues to explore while it waits for the box office to return to normal. Once it does, Disney has a very good reason not to leave movie theaters behind, as the studio grossed a record $11.1 billion worldwide in 2019 off of films like "Avengers: Endgame," "Frozen II," and a CGI remake of "The Lion King." "This is a fluid situation and it's fluid for two reasons: The short term impact of COVID on the number of screens open and on consumers' willingness to go back, but also the fundamental changes of consumer behavior, which might be more profound," Chapek said. "We are watching very carefully... to see how long term those preferences are going to shift. and that's why we talk about flexibility so often."

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Microsoft's New Intelligent Speakers Deliver Its Promised Meeting Room of the Future

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 14:52
Microsoft demonstrated prototype hardware a few years ago that promised meeting rooms of the future with automatic speaker identification, transcription, and even translation. Microsoft now claims it's delivering this for real with new Intelligent Speakers, small puck-like devices that can identify up to 10 different voices in a Microsoft Teams meeting. From a report: These speakers will automatically generate a transcript during a meeting, with individual identification of those speaking. They will also help remote attendees follow along and see who's talking in a meeting. Microsoft has teamed up with Yealink and Epos to create the hardware, and it even supports translation if you want to follow a meeting in a different language.

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Reasons to be appy: Huawei flashes figures for its App Gallery platform

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 14:45
Ok, so you have 2.7 million developers.... one for every phone you might sell in 2025?

Huawei's sales and shipments may be shrinking like a snowball in the Sahara, but armed with App Gallery platform stats, it is trying to put on a brave public showing.…

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China Will Dominate AI Unless US Invests More, Commission Warns

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 14:03
The U.S., which once had a dominant head start in artificial intelligence, now has just a few years' lead on China and risks being overtaken unless government steps in, according to a new report to Congress and the White House. From a report: Former Google CEO Eric Schmidt, who chaired the committee that issued the report, tells Axios that the U.S. risks dire consequences if it fails to both invest in key technologies and fully integrate AI into the military. The National Security Commission on Artificial Intelligence approved its 750-page report on Monday, following a 2-year effort. Schmidt chaired the 15-member commission, which also included Oracle's Safra Catz, Microsoft's Eric Horvitz and Amazon's Andy Jassy. On both the economic and military fronts, the biggest risk comes from China. "China possesses the might, talent, and ambition to surpass the United States as the world's leader in AI in the next decade if current trends do not change," the report states. And It's not just AI technology that the U.S. needs to maintain a lead in. The report mentions a number of key technologies, including quantum computing, robotics, 3D printing and 5G. "We don't have to go to war with China," Schmidt said. "We don't have to have a cold war. We do need to be competitive."

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Microsoft previews Windows Server 2022: Someone took a spanner to core plumbing features

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 14:00
New Windows Server ahoy - but the company would rather talk about Azure

Ignite Microsoft has released a preview of Windows Server 2022, with "secured core", improved Windows Containers, and MsQuic protocol support in the kernel.…

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Homo sapiens: Hey you, Neanderthals! Neanderthals: We heard that

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 13:15
Neanderthal ear scans support idea they could hear us and had a 'type of human language'

Computerised tomography scans and auditory bioengineering models of fossilised Neanderthals ears suggest our closest extinct cousins had a hearing range necessary to process human speech.…

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All 270 US Apple Stores Are Open For the First Time Since March 2020

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from 9to5Mac: Every Apple Store in the United States is open for the first time in nearly a year. It was 353 days ago -- March 13, 2020 -- that Apple closed all of its retail stores outside of Greater China. While some Apple Stores offer in-store shopping appointments and others can accept Express pickup of online orders only, all 270 US locations are now open in some capacity as of March 1, 2021. Apple Stores in Texas around Houston, Dallas, and San Antonio were the last to reopen today. In addition to reopening every store, Apple is also starting to offer in-store shopping at more US locations again after months of operation as Express storefronts. Around two dozen stores in California, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, and Utah reintroduced shopping sessions today. That's on top of almost 50 locations last week, more than 40 the week before, and dozens in early February. Today's milestone doesn't mean we're out of the woods yet. All Apple Stores still enforce health and safety guidelines that include reduced occupancy and a mask requirement. Apple continuously evaluates local COVID-19 conditions, and it's highly possible that some stores could temporarily close or return to Express operations in the future. Outside of the US, just over a dozen Apple Stores remain closed in France and Brazil. Apple Stores in Mexico reopen March 2.

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That's a bit harsh: Lenovo adds 2 new toughened boxen to ThinkEdge edge computing line

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 12:16
Feeds growing market for edge kit with gear rated for temps below freezing

Lenovo has updated its edge computing hardware portfolio, adding two rugged compact machines to its ThinkEdge line-up.…

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The Great Borkish Breakfast: I'll have a cup of tea, a sausage roll and a side of bork, please

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 11:25
Microsoft's OS might be time-expired, but the pastry is, well, far too edible

Bork!Bork!Bork! While the French may project their borkage as art onto the wall of a Lyon tunnel, Brits seem to prefer theirs glaring down balefully from a screen in a sausage roll emporium in Yately.…

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Linux Mint emits fix for memory-gobbling Cinnamon – and future version may insist on some updates

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 10:30
It's your computer, not ours – but we may go ahead and update it for you, says team

The Linux Mint team has introduced a fix for a memory leak it does not fully understand: restarting the Cinnamon desktop.…

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Google Finance Adds Crypto Data Tab For Bitcoin, Ether, Litecoin and Bitcoin Cash

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-03-02 10:00
Google Finance now has a dedicated "crypto" field for bitcoin, ether, litecoin and bitcoin cash. CoinDesk reports: Right at the top of the page, where users can "compare markets," crypto is listed among the five default markets, which also includes U.S., Europe, Asia and "Currencies." At the moment, it appears Google Finance only tracks a limited number of cryptocurrencies. Bitcoin, ethereum, litecoin and bitcoin cash are displayed by default when clicking the crypto tab. A search for Cardano's ADA, Polkadot's DOT, Stellar's XLM tokens return no results -- for either the protocol or the token's ticker. XRP returned a result for the Ripple XRP Liquid Index, which trades on Nasdaq.

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Gootkit malware crew using SEO to get pwned websites in front of unwitting marks

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-03-02 09:30
And they're getting into the ransomware game too, warns Sophos

Gootkit financial malware has been resurrected to fling ransomware payloads at unwitting marks, according to Sophos.…

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