Linux fréttir

Russia To Upgrade Homegrown Encyclopedia After Putin Pans Wikipedia

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 19:25
Russia is to set up a new online site for its national encyclopedia after President Vladimir Putin said Wikipedia was unreliable and should be replaced. From a report: The move will ensure people can find "reliable information that is constantly updated on the basis of scientifically verified sources of knowledge," a government resolution said. Putin last month proposed replacing the crowd-sourced online encyclopedia Wikipedia with an electronic version of the Great Russian Encyclopaedia - the successor to the Soviet Union's main encyclopedia. "This, at any rate, would be reliable information offered in a modern form," Putin said then. Further reading: Putin Signs Law Making Russian Apps Mandatory On Smartphones, Computers.

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Facebook Gives Workers a Chatbot to Appease That Prying Uncle

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 18:45
Some Facebook employees recently told their managers that they were concerned about answering difficult questions about their workplace from friends and family over the holidays. What if Mom or Dad accused the social network of destroying democracy? Or what if they said Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, was collecting their online data at the expense of privacy? So just before Thanksgiving, Facebook rolled out something to help its workers: a chatbot that would teach them official company answers for dealing with such thorny questions. From a report: If a relative asked how Facebook handled hate speech, for example, the chatbot -- which is a simple piece of software that uses artificial intelligence to carry on a conversation -- would instruct the employee to answer with these points: Facebook consults with experts on the matter. It has hired more moderators to police its content. It is working on A.I. to spot hate speech. Regulation is important for addressing the issue. It would also suggest citing statistics from a Facebook report about how the company enforces its standards. The answers were put together by Facebook's public relations department, parroting what company executives have publicly said. And the chatbot has a name: the "Liam Bot." (The provenance of the name is unclear.)

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Google Photos Adds a Chat Feature To Its App

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 18:05
Google is rolling out a way to directly message photos and chat with another user or users within the Google Photos app. From a report: The addition will allow users to quickly and easily share those one-off photos or videos with another person, instead of taking additional steps to build a shared album. The feature itself is simple to use. After selecting a photo and tapping share, you can now choose a new option "Send in Google Photos." You can then tap on the icon of your most frequent contacts or search for a user by name, phone number of email. The recipient will need a Google account to receive the photos, however, because they'll need to sign-in to view the conversation. That may limit the feature to some extent, as not everyone is a Google user. But with now a billion some Google Photos users out there, it's likely that more of the people you want to share will have an account, rather than not.

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Cracks in the Greenland Ice Sheet Are Producing Massive Waterfalls, Raising Scientists' Concerns For Sea Level Rise

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 17:25
At its peak, one meltwater lake drained the equivalent of an Olympic-size swimming pool every three seconds. From a report: A cerulean lake consisting of glacial meltwater on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet, located about 18 miles from where the Store Glacier meets the sea in west Greenland, briefly became one of the world's tallest waterfalls during the course of five hours in July 2018. The waterfall, like many others on the ice sheet's surface, was triggered by cracks in the ice sheet. In the case of this one meltwater lake that scientists closely observed in July 2018, the water cascaded more than 3,200 feet to the underbelly of the glacier, where the ice meets bedrock. There, the water can help lubricate the base of the ice sheet, helping the ice move faster toward the sea. The observations of scientists, armed with aerial drones and other high-tech equipment, of the partial lake drainage that resulted could help researchers better understand how surface melting of the ice sheet could affect its melt rate, and improve global sea level rise projections. Scientists are keenly interested in how meltwater on the surface of the Greenland ice sheet -- the largest contributor to global sea level rise -- acts to speed up the movement of ice toward the sea by lubricating the underside of the ice surface. The new study, published Monday in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, suggests that scientists are underestimating the number of melt ponds that partially, and rapidly, drain into the ice sheet each year. This means tweaks may be needed to the computer models used to predict sea level rise from Greenland.

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EU wouldn't! Uncle Sam brandishes 'up to 100%' tariffs over France's Digital Services Tax

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 17:16
China is so last year. America (tech giants) first

The spectre of warehouses full of cheese, champagne and handbags looms over whomever wins the UK's December General Election and has to oversee the country's own upcoming Digital Services Tax, come April 2020.…

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Den Automation Raised Millions To 'Reinvent' the Light Switch. Now It's Lights Out For Startup

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 16:45
Den Automation, the once-promising UK smart home startup that raised nearly $5.8 million via equity crowdfunding and boasted former Amstrad chief Bob Watkins as CEO, has agreed to go into liquidation, The Register reported Tuesday. From the report: Documents seen by this publication show Wilkin Chapman Business Solutions Limited has been appointed as liquidators, with Ian Michael Rose and Karen Tracey Potts the named practitioners. UK law prioritizes creditors according to a set order. Liquidators take precedence and shareholders get the leftover scraps. It's therefore extremely unlikely that any of the 1,104 investors who backed the company on Seedrs will see much -- or any -- of a return on their investment. Den Automation was founded in 2014 by Yasser Khattak, a 17-year-old wunderkind from Maidstone, Kent, who came up with the idea for the business while studying for his A Levels. Khattak subsequently dropped out to focus on the business full time. The concept behind Den Automation was simple. It built "smart" light switches and wall sockets that were visually indistinguishable from their "dumb" equivalents and could be installed by a layman, rather than a trained electrician.

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HPE planning to turn balancing on-premises and cloud environments into point-and-click adventures

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 16:26
Firm touts self-service portal GreenLake Central in Munich

The cost and plate-spinning skills of managing multi-vendor public cloud services and an on-premises environment are enough to test the nerves of any IT manager. HPE reckons it has hit upon a solution – though it has some obvious limitations.…

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Mozilla Removes Avast and AVG Extensions From Add-on Portal Over Snooping Claims

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 16:05
Mozilla today removed four Firefox extensions made by Avast and its subsidiary AVG after receiving credible reports that the extensions were harvesting user data and browsing histories. From a report: The four extensions are Avast Online Security, AVG Online Security, Avast SafePrice, and AVG SafePrice. The first two are extensions that show warnings when navigating to known malicious or suspicious sites, while the last two are extensions for online shoppers, showing price comparisons, deals, and available coupons. Mozilla removed the four extensions from its add-ons portal after receiving a report from Wladimir Palant, the creator of the AdBlock Plus ad-blocking extension. Palant analyzed the Avast Online Security and AVG Online Security extensions in late October and found that the two were collecting much more data than they needed to work -- including detailed user browsing history, a practice prohibited by both Mozilla and Google.

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elementary OS 5.1 'Hera' Linux Distro is Here

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 15:37
An anonymous reader shares a report: elementary OS has long been viewed by many as the future of Linux on the PC thanks to its beautiful desktop environment and overall polished experience. Development of the Ubuntu-based operating system has been frustratingly slow, however. This shouldn't be surprising, really, as the team of developers is rather small, and its resources are likely much less than those of larger distributions such as the IBM-backed Fedora or Canonical's Ubuntu. And that is what makes elementary OS so remarkable -- its developers can make magic on a smaller budget. Today, the latest version of the operating system is released. Code-named "Hera," elementary OS 5.1 is now available for download. Support for Flatpak is now baked in -- this is significant, as the developers explain it is "the first non-deb packaging format we've supported out of the box." The Linux kernel now sits at a very modern 5.0. One of the most important aspects of elementary OS, the AppCenter, is now an insane 10 times faster than its predecessor.

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Firefox 71 Arrives With Better Lockwise and Tracker Blocking, Picture-in-Picture on Windows

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 14:40
Mozilla today released Firefox 71 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. Firefox 71 includes Lockwise password manager improvements, Enhanced Tracking Protection tweaks, and Picture-in-Picture video on Windows.

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Den Automation raised millions to 'reinvent' the light switch. Now it's lights out for startup

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 14:37
From 'boy genius' to 'oh boy'

Exclusive Den Automation, the once-promising UK smart home startup that raised nearly £4.5m via equity crowdfunding and boasted former Amstrad chief Bob Watkins as CEO, has agreed to go into liquidation, The Register can report.…

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People Worldwide Have Received More Than 26 Billion Spam Calls This Year

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 14:05
Do you feel you have been receiving more spam calls of late? You are probably not wrong -- or alone. From a report: The volume of spam calls has grown by 18% globally this year, according to Truecaller. In its annual report published Tuesday, the Stockholm-based firm said users worldwide received 26 billion spam calls between January and October this year -- up from 17.7 billion during the same period last year. The United States remains the eighth most spammed country, where the volume of robocalls increased by 35% this year. In a separate report earlier this year, Truecaller estimated that 43 million Americans were scammed last year and lost about $10.5 billion. The growth is despite the efforts local carriers and authorities have made in the country. Brazil again topped the list for the most spammed country. The culprit behind the increasingly growing spam calls in the country are its own telecom operators and internet service providers. Truecaller said that in the last 12 months, calls from the operators have increased from 32% to 48%. [...] One of the takeaways from the report is just how complex it is to understand the nature of these spam calls. There is no common thread -- or culprit -- behind these calls. In some markets, such as South Africa (ranked sixth in the report), spammers are mostly making fraudulent tech support calls and conducting job offer scams. Peru, ranked second, and Indonesia, ranked third, have seen spam calls explode in the nation. In Peru, users received more than 30 spam calls in the month. Most of these calls were made by financial services that are looking to upsell credit cards and loans.

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The 'Amazon Effect' Is Flooding a Struggling Recycling System With Cardboard

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The rise in curbside cardboard waste coming from packaging is "the Amazon effect," says David Biderman, the executive director of the Solid Waste Association of North America, an industry group. It peaks around the holidays -- particularly as online shopping has only gotten more popular. Last year, Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day for Amazon in the history of the company. The trend extends beyond the holidays: U.S. Postal Service deliveries have doubled to 6.2 billion in 2018, from 3.1 billion in 2009. As Americans have gotten more enthusiastic about online shopping, China -- which once welcomed almost half the world's recyclables -- has gotten more stringent about what it will accept. Starting in January 2018, China stopped accepting shipments of cardboard that are contaminated with more than 0.5 percent of other materials. All those packages, along with the stricter rules on recycling, mean more cardboard in the trash -- especially during the holiday shopping season. Republic Services, a US waste hauler that operates in 42 states, expects each household to dispose of 25 percent more trash, or about 1,000 extra pounds, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day. But thanks to China's new policies, there will be less money to be made recycling. "To use the word bluntly: that's a crisis, an economic crisis in the viability of recycling in the U.S.," Richard Coupland, vice president of municipal sales at Republic Services, tells The Verge. Republic Services has seen about a 5 percent increase in the overall volume of cardboard it has picked up and resold for recycling over roughly the past seven years. But some locations have seen more dramatic increases. Coupland says that about 25 to 30 percent of the materials picked up by a recycling truck are too contaminated to go anywhere but a landfill or incinerator. Meanwhile, there's been a more than 50 percent decline in the price of recovered cardboard in the U.S. since China's decision. "Coupland believes there's actually been as much as an 80 to 100 percent devaluation in some markets," reports The Verge. "That's a big reason why cities across the country are scaling back or completely dumping their recycling programs."

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AWS has new tool for those leaky S3 buckets so, yeah, you might need to reconfigure a few things

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 12:44
Security a popular topic at Las Vegas event

re:Invent At its re:Invent event under way in Las Vegas, Amazon Web Services (AWS) dropped the veil on a new tool to help customers to avoid spewing data stored on its S3 (Simple Storage) service to world+dog.…

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It's Hipp to be square: What happened when SQLite creator met GitHub

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 12:13
The 'Hub is not really about Git any more, says Fossil architect

The mind behind the SQLite open-source database and Fossil SCM bug-tracking system had a lot to say about his recent meeting with the GitHub team.…

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Register Lecture: Can portable atomic clocks end UK dependence on GPS?

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 11:04
New decade, independent geo-time keeping

The US-based GPS, a network of more than 30 satellites, is used by millions of phones, handsets and other devices in this country, for satellite mapping, navigation and communications technology.…

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UK parcel-tosser Yodel plugs tracking app's random yaps about where on map to snap up strangers' tat

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 10:02
Shipped from expensive shop X? In the shed, you say? Researcher spots badness

Parcel wrangler Yodel has corked up a security hole in which random user data leaked to people using its Android app.…

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DHS Wants Airport Face Recognition Scans To Include US Citizens

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-12-03 10:00
The Department of Homeland Security wants to expand facial recognition scans in the airport to also include citizens, which had previously been exempt from the mandatory checks. TechCrunch reports: In a filing, the department has proposed that all travelers, and not just foreign nationals or visitors, will have to complete a facial recognition check before they are allowed to enter the U.S., but also to leave the country. Facial recognition for departing flights has increased in recent years as part of Homeland Security's efforts to catch visitors and travelers who overstay their visas. The department, whose responsibility is to protect the border and control immigration, has a deadline of 2021 to roll out facial recognition scanners to the largest 20 airports in the United States, despite facing a rash of technical challenges. But although there may not always be a clear way to opt-out of facial recognition at the airport, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents -- also known as green card holders -- have been exempt from these checks, the existing rules say. Now, the proposed rule change to include citizens has drawn ire from one of the largest civil liberties groups in the country. "Time and again, the government told the public and members of Congress that U.S. citizens would not be required to submit to this intrusive surveillance technology as a condition of traveling," said Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union. "This new notice suggests that the government is reneging on what was already an insufficient promise," he said. "Travelers, including U.S. citizens, should not have to submit to invasive biometric scans simply as a condition of exercising their constitutional right to travel. The government's insistence on hurtling forward with a large-scale deployment of this powerful surveillance technology raises profound privacy concerns," he said.

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Astronauts brave razor sharp edges and fiddly pipes to bring joy to boffins

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 09:00
Fixing the unfixable – AMS-02 gets a new pump

The European Space Agency (ESA) and NASA astronauts have concluded the third, and arguably most challenging, of the four spacewalks required to replace the cooling system of the International Space Station's (ISS) Alpha Magnetic Spectrometer (AMS)…

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Internet Society says opportunity to sell .org to private equity biz for $1.14bn came out of the blue. Wow, really?

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-12-03 08:01
Anger rises over ten-figure sale of registry

Analysis The price tag for one of the internet’s largest and most important domain-name registries has finally been revealed: $1.135bn.…

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