Linux fréttir

Apple, Spotify Discuss Siri Truce, as Antitrust Battle Looms

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 22:10
Apple and Spotify are in talks about potentially enabling Siri to play songs, albums, and playlists from the leading subscription music service. The Verge: A new report from The Information confirms that Spotify would be taking advantage of new capabilities that Apple is introducing in iOS 13 and iPadOS 13, which allow other apps to be on equal footing with Apple Music when making music requests through the company's Siri voice assistant. If Spotify takes advantage of the new tools, you'll be able to play music without having to open the app on your iPhone or iPad. The integration could be a sign of progress between two companies that have butted heads to a more heated degree than ever before over the last year. In March, Spotify filed an antitrust complaint with the EU that accused Apple of disadvantaging third-party services that compete with its own apps. Among other gripes (such as Apple's subscription tax), Spotify pointed to hands-free Siri compatibility as one convenient feature that Apple was reserving for its own Apple Music service. Further reading: Apple Says Spotify Wants 'the Benefits of a Free App Without Being Free'; and Apple Cites Irrelevant Spotify Subscription Stats In New Antitrust Defense.

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Intel: Listen up, you NUC-leheads! Mini PCs and compute sticks just got a major security fix

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 21:59
Chipzilla patches firmware, drivers, SDKs

Hot on the heels of Patch Tuesday fixes from Microsoft, Apple, Adobe, and SAP, Intel has dropped its monthly security bundle to address a series of seven CVE-listed vulnerabilities in its firmware and software.…

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AI Researchers Launch SuperGLUE, a Rigorous Benchmark For Language Understanding

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 21:22
Facebook AI Research, together with Google's DeepMind, University of Washington, and New York University, today introduced SuperGLUE, a series of benchmark tasks to measure the performance of modern, high performance language-understanding AI. From a report: SuperGLUE was made on the premise that deep learning models for conversational AI have "hit a ceiling" and need greater challenges. It uses Google's BERT as a model performance baseline. Considered state of the art in many regards in 2018, BERT's performance has been surpassed by a number of models this year such as Microsoft's MT-DNN, Google's XLNet, and Facebook's RoBERTa, all of which were are based in part on BERT and achieve performance above a human baseline average. SuperGLUE is preceded by the General Language Understanding Evaluation (GLUE) benchmark for language understanding in April 2018 by researchers from NYU, University of Washington, and DeepMind. SuperGLUE is designed to be more complicated than GLUE tasks, and to encourage the building of models capable of grasping more complex or nuanced language.

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Chin up, CapitalOne: You may not have been the suspected hacker's only victim. Feds fear 30-plus organizations hit

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 21:06
Prosecutors file papers to keep Paige Thompson behind bars while awaiting trial

The ex-Amazon software engineer accused of stealing the personal information of 106 million people from Capital One's cloud-hosted databases may have hacked dozens of other organizations.…

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Google Workers Demand Company Not Work With Border Agencies

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 20:43
Some Google employees have called on the company to publicly promise not to work with U.S. immigration authorities, which they said are abusing human rights. From a report: U.S. Customs and Border Protection recently said it was looking for proposals from companies to supply it with cloud-computing services. Google is a leading cloud provider. Activists and politicians have accused the agency of human rights abuses along the border with Mexico. The agency has separated children from their families, and is detaining migrants for indefinite periods of time. The Google workers, who said Wednesday they have a petition with 70 employee signatures, want the company to commit to not bidding on the contract, as well as to refuse to work on projects for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

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WeWork IPO Reveals It Lost $1.9 Billion Last Year, and Is Losing About $5,200 Per Customer

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 20:03
WeWork, the office-sharing, kegger-hosting phenomenon that has redefined the modern workspace, is also raising the bar for how much money a startup can lose and still be considered a buzzy investment. From a report: WeWork's corporate parent, the We Company, which released its IPO documents on Wednesday, loses roughly $5,197 per customer who inhabits its office space per year. That's considerably more than newly public companies like Uber or Beyond Meat are losing on their growing customer bases. WeWork, which says in the offering document that its corporate mission is no less than to "to elevate the world's consciousness," is on track to lose $2.7 billion this year from its operations, up from nearly $1.7 billion last year. The company's revenue in the first six months of the year nearly doubled from last year's first half, to $1.5 billion. The company said its losses rose just 10% from a year ago, but that includes a $470 million non-operating, and likely non-recurring, gain. Exclude that, and losses from the We Company, which says it will trade under the ticker symbol "WE," rose 60%. "If you work at WeWork, drive home with Uber, and then order food by DoorDash, you're engaging with three companies that are projected to lose about $13 billion this year," tweeted Derek Thompson, a staff writer at The Atlantic. Further reading: WeWork Files For IPO After Losing $1.9 Billion Last Year.

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WeWork filed its IPO homework. So we had a look at its small print and... yowser. What has El Reg got itself into?

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 19:56
Authentic tech company vibes, right down to billions in losses and admission it 'may never be profitable'

Comment WeWork, the office rental upstart that poses as some kind of tech startup incubation facility, has submitted the paperwork for its stock-market debut in the US – and its filings warn the biz “may never be profitable.”…

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The Video Game Industry Claims Its Products Avoid Politics, But That's a Lie.

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 19:23
Josh Tucker, writing for The Outline: Retired Lieutenant Colonel Oliver North was a Marine platoon commander in Vietnam, a U.S. Senate candidate, and eventually, a National Rifle Association president. At the National Security Council under Ronald Reagan, he helped manage a number of violent imperial operations, including the U.S. invasion of Grenada. Due to televised hearings in the Summer of 1987 where he gave horrifying testimony about the things that he and the United States government had allegedly done, he is probably best known for his role in the Iran-Contra scandal. Alternatively, you might instead recognize North as a minor character from Call of Duty: Black Ops II. In the game, he makes an appearance, service ribbons and all, to talk a retired Alex Mason -- the game's protagonist -- into joining a covert mission in Angola. The cameo was accompanied by North's role as an advisor and pitchman for the 2012 title. It was very bizarre, and, according to the developers, not at all political. In an interview with Treyarch head Mark Lamia, Kotaku's Stephen Totilo asked if the studio had expected the controversy around using North as a consultant. "We're not trying to make a political statement with our game," Lamia responded. "We're trying to make a piece of art and entertainment." This answer would be farcical under any circumstances, but to be clear, Black Ops II was already a jingoistic first-person shooter in a series full of dubious storylines and straight-up propaganda. Its writer and director, Dave Anthony, would later go on to a fellowship at D.C.'s Atlantic Council, advising on "The Future of Unknown Conflict." Regardless, Lamia felt comfortable insisting on record that there was nothing political about getting the Iran-Contra fall guy to shill for its game. In the time since, this brazen corporate line has become the standard for blockbuster games, including the upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare. "Are games political?" continues to be exhaustingly rehashed, because game companies continue to sell an apolitical delusion.

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Mind your MANRS: Internet Society names and shames network operators that bungle their routing security

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 19:22
Peer-to-peer networks meet peer pressure

The Internet Society has stepped up its long-running effort to improve routing security with a new online stats engine.…

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Dropbox Engineer Explains Why the Company Stopped Sharing Code Between iOS and Android And Started Using Native Languages on Each Platform

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 18:43
Eyal Guthmann, a software engineer at cloud storage service Dropbox, writes: Until very recently, Dropbox had a technical strategy on mobile of sharing code between iOS and Android via C++. The idea behind this strategy was simple -- write the code once in C++ instead of twice in Java and Objective C. We adopted this C++ strategy back in 2013, when our mobile engineering team was relatively small and needed to support a fast growing mobile roadmap. We needed to find a way to leverage this small team to quickly ship lots of code on both Android and iOS. We have now completely backed off from this strategy in favor of using each platforms' native languages (primarily Swift and Kotlin, which didn't exist when we started out). This decision was due to the (not so) hidden cost associated with code sharing. Here are some of the things we learned as a company on what it costs to effectively share code. And they all stem from the same basic issue: By writing code in a non-standard fashion, we took on overhead that we would have not had to worry about had we stayed with the widely used platform defaults. This overhead ended up being more expensive than just writing the code twice.

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The Arrogance of the Anthropocene

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 18:02
EmagGeek writes: Peter Brannen has an interesting, if humbling take on the anthropocentric view of geology currently held by many scientists and governments, and the staggeringly arrogant assignment to humanity of its own epoch, despite all of human civilization fitting within a time period, on a geologic timescale, equivalent to that of the exposure time on a high speed camera. The idea of the Anthropocene is an interesting thought experiment. For those invested in the stratigraphic arcana of this infinitesimal moment in time, it serves as a useful catalog of our junk. But it can also serve to inflate humanity's legacy on an ever-churning planet that will quickly destroy -- or conceal forever -- even our most awesome creations. The article also ponders what will become of human civilization, and whether there will be any trace of it remaining when the (likely nonhuman) archaeologists of 100 million years from now go looking for new historical discoveries. An interesting read, for sure.

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Capital One Hacker Stole 'Terabytes' of Data From More Than 30 Companies, Court Docs Reveal

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 17:23
Paige A. Thompson, the hacker accused of breaching US bank Capital One, is also believed to have stolen data from more than 30 other companies, US prosecutors said in new court documents filed today and obtained by ZDNet. From the report: "The government's investigation over the last two weeks has revealed that Thompson's theft of Capital One's data was only one part of her criminal conduct," US officials said in a memorandum for extending Thompson's detention period. "The servers seized from Thompson's bedroom during the search of Thompson's residence, include not only data stolen from Capital One, but also multiple terabytes of data stolen by Thompson from more than 30 other companies, educational institutions, and other entities." US prosecutors said the "data varies significantly in both type and amount," but, based on currently available information, "much of the data appears not to be data containing personal identifying information."

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Simons says don't push us: FTC boss warns regulator could totally break up big tech companies if it wanted

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 17:00
Spoiler alert: It won't

The boss of the Federal Trade Commission, Joe Simons, said yesterday that his agency could split up big technology companies if other solutions or remedies did not work.…

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Major Breach Found in Biometrics System Used By Banks, UK Police and Defence Firms

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 16:42
The fingerprints of over 1 million people, as well as facial recognition information, unencrypted usernames and passwords, and personal information of employees, was discovered on a publicly accessible database for a company used by the likes of the UK Metropolitan police, defence contractors and banks, The Guardian reported Wednesday. From the report: Suprema is the security company responsible for the web-based Biostar 2 biometrics lock system that allows centralised control for access to secure facilities like warehouses or office buildings. Biostar 2 uses fingerprints and facial recognition as part of its means of identifying people attempting to gain access to buildings. Last month, Suprema announced its Biostar 2 platform was integrated into another access control system -- AEOS. AEOS is used by 5,700 organisations in 83 countries, including governments, banks and the UK Metropolitan police. The Israeli security researchers Noam Rotem and Ran Locar working with vpnmentor, a service that reviews virtual private network services, have been running a side project to scans ports looking for familiar IP blocks, and then use these blocks to find holes in companies' systems that could potentially lead to data breaches. In a search last week, the researchers found Biostar 2's database was unprotected and mostly unencrypted. They were able to search the database by manipulating the URL search criteria in Elasticsearch to gain access to data.

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Six-day cruise lies ahead for India's Chandrayaan-2 probe before the real lunar shenanigans begin

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 16:17
A few weeks until 'soft landing' achievement unlocked (maybe)

India's Chandrayaan-2 probe is on its way to the Moon after completing a final orbit-raising firing of its engine overnight.…

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Huawei Technicians Helped African Governments Spy on Political Opponents

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 16:02
phalse phace writes: A WSJ investigation appears to have uncovered multiple instances where the African governments in Uganda and Zambia, with the help of Huawei technicians, used Huawei's communications equipment to spy on and censor political opponents and its citizens. From the report, writes phalse phace: Huawei Technologies dominates African markets, where it has sold security tools that governments use for digital surveillance and censorship. But Huawei employees have provided other services, not disclosed publicly. Technicians from the Chinese powerhouse have, in at least two cases, personally helped African governments spy on their political opponents, including intercepting their encrypted communications and social media, and using cell data to track their whereabouts, according to senior security officials working directly with the Huawei employees in these countries. It should be noted that while the findings "show how Huawei employees have used the company's technology and other companies' products to support the domestic spying of those governments," the investigation didn't turn up evidence of spying by or on behalf of Beijing in Africa. Nor did it find that Huawei executives in China knew of, directed or approved the activities described. It also didn't find that there was something particular about the technology in Huawei's network that made such activities possible. Details of the operations, however, offer evidence that Huawei employees played a direct role in government efforts to intercept the private communications of opponents.

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Microsoft slathers Visual Studio 2019 with extra Docker love, triggers Hot Reload in Preview 2

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 15:23
.NET Core 3.0 Preview 8 – ready for production if you're feeling lucky?

Microsoft continued battering developers with toys as it emitted fresh previews of Visual Studio 2019 and .NET Core 3.…

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Russia's Mail.Ru Eyes Pre-installing Software on Huawei Devices

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 15:22
An anonymous reader shares a report: Russian internet group Mail.Ru is in talks with China's Huawei about the possibility of having its software pre-installed on the Chinese tech giant's devices, Mail.Ru told Reuters. Mail.Ru owns Russian social networks Vkontakte and Odnoklassniki. It is developing several messenger services and has an email and browser service.

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While US ban hit Huawei and inventory overload clipped Apple, Samsung quietly stole smartphone market share back in Q2

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-08-14 14:42
The chaebol tightens its vice-like grip on Europe

Samsung exploited Apple's iPhone channel inventory glut and the continued political campaign against Huawei to sell more than 18.3 million smartphones into European retailers and distributors in Q2.…

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Xiaomi Tops the World's Second Largest Smartphone Market For Eighth Straight Quarter

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-08-14 14:41
Xiaomi has now been India's top smartphone seller for eight straight quarters, becoming a constant headache for Samsung in the world's second largest smartphone market as sales have slowed pretty much everywhere else in the world. From a report: The Chinese electronics giant shipped 10.4 million handsets in the quarter that ended in June, commanding 28.3% of the market, research firm IDC reported Tuesday. Its closest rival, Samsung -- which once held the top spot in India -- shipped 9.3 million handsets in the nation during the same period, settling for a 25.3% market share. Overall, 36.9 million handsets were shipped in India during the second quarter of this year, up 9.9% from the same period last year, IDC reported. This was the highest volume of handsets ever shipped in India for Q2, the research firm said. As smartphone shipments slow or decline in most of the world, India has emerged as an outlier that continues to show strong momentum as tens of millions of people purchase their first handset in the country each quarter.

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