Linux fréttir

Report: US Halts Huawei's Suppliers, Including Intel, in Last Blow to China's 5G

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 23:59
"The Trump administration notified Huawei suppliers, including chipmaker Intel, that it is revoking certain licenses to sell to the Chinese company and intends to reject dozens of other applications," Reuters reports, citing sources familiar with the matter: One of the sources said eight licenses were yanked from four companies. Japanese flash memory chip maker Kioxia Corp had at least one license revoked, two of the sources said. The company, formerly known as Toshiba Memory Corp, could not immediately be reached for comment... Companies that received the "intent to deny" notices have 20 days to respond, and the Commerce Department has 45 days to advise the companies of any change in a decision or it then becomes final. Companies would then have another 45 days to appeal... Before the latest action, some 150 licenses were pending for $120 billion worth of goods and technology, which had been held up because various U.S. agencies could not agree on whether they should be granted, a person familiar with the matter said. Another $280 billion of licenses for goods and technology for Huawei still have not been dealt with, the source said, but now face a higher likelihood of denial... The United States made the latest decisions during a half dozen meetings starting on Jan. 4 with senior officials from the departments of Commerce, State, Defense and Energy, the source said. The officials developed detailed guidance with regard to which technologies were capable of 5G, and then applied that standard, the person said. By doing that, the officials denied the vast majority of the roughly 150 disputed applications, and revoked the eight licenses to make those consistent with the new denials, the source said.

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Florida's Whistleblower Covid-19 Data Manager Arrested Today

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 22:59
The state of Florida's former Covid-19 data manager was apparently arrested today. After her firing in May of 2020, Rebekah Jones had become a critic of the state's publicly-available information, even setting up her own online dashboard of Covid-19 case data. The state suspected her of being the person who'd illegally accessed the state's emergency alert health system in December to urge Health Department employees to speak up about the coronavirus, and state police obtained a warrant for a raid on her home during which they'd seized her computers and cellphones. Jones later called the raid a "sham" to retaliate against her for not altering the state's COVID-19 data. This weekend on Twitter, Jones emphasized that the police found zero evidence during their raid to connect her to that message. She also argues that the newer allegation "was issued the day after a Tallahassee judge told police that if they're not investigating a crime, they had to return my equipment." During that raid "police did find documents I received/downloaded from sources in the state, or something of that nature..." Jones posted Saturday. "[I]t isn't clear at this point what exactly they're saying I had that I shouldn't have had, but an agent confirmed it has nothing to do with the subject of the warrant." The Tampa Bay Times reports: Jones announced Saturday on Twitter that she learned of the warrant and plans to turn herself in on Sunday. The Florida Department of Law Enforcement confirmed there is a warrant for Jones' arrest but said it cannot disclose what charges she faces until she is in custody. Agency spokesman Gretl Plessinger said in an email to the Tampa Bay Times that "agents have been working with her attorney to have her turn herself in..." Jones said she and her attorney were not told what she's being prosecuted for, just that she faces one criminal charge... "The agent told my lawyer there would be only one charge," Jones tweeted on Saturday, "but emphasized that speaking out or going to the media may result in police 'stacking' additional charges."

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Is There a Tech Worker 'Exodus' From the San Francisco Bay Area?

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 21:35
The New York Times reports on an "exodus" of tech workers from the San Francisco Bay Area, where "Rent was astronomical. Taxes were high. Your neighbors didn't like you" — and your commute could be over an hour. The biggest tech companies aren't going anywhere, and tech stocks are still soaring... But the migration from the Bay Area appears real. Residential rents in San Francisco are down 27% from a year ago, and the office vacancy rate has spiked to 16.7%, a number not seen in a decade. Though prices had dropped only slightly, Zillow reported more homes for sale in San Francisco than a year ago. For more than a month last year, 90% of the searches involving San Francisco on moveBuddha were for people moving out... There are 33,000 members in the Facebook group Leaving California and 51,000 in its sister group, Life After California. People post pictures of moving trucks and links to Zillow listings in new cities. They've apparently scattered across the country — even to tropical islands like Puerto Rico and Costa Rica They fled to more affordable places like Georgia. They fled to states without income taxes like Texas and Florida... The No. 1 pick for people leaving San Francisco is Austin, Texas, with other winners including Seattle, New York and Chicago, according to moveBuddha, a site that compiles data on moving. Some cities have set up recruiting programs to lure them to new homes. The Times also notes "there is a very vocal Miami faction, led by a few venture capital influencers, trying to tweet the city's startup world into existence," as other cities begin to realize that "the talent and money of newly remote tech workers are up for grabs." Topeka, Kansas, started Choose Topeka, which will reimburse new workers $10,000 for the first year of rent or $15,000 if they buy a home. Tulsa, Oklahoma, will pay you $10,000 to move there. The nation of Estonia has a new residency program just for digital nomads. A program in Savannah, Georgia, will reimburse remote workers $2,000 for the move there, and the city has created various social activities to introduce the newcomers to one another and to locals... But the article also points out that "More money was made faster in the Bay Area by fewer people than at any other time in American history," and speculates on what long-time residents may be thinking: People who distrusted the young newcomers from the start will say this change is a good thing. Hasn't this steep growth in wealth and population in a tiny geography always seemed unsustainable? These tech workers came like a whirlwind. Virtually every community from San Jose in the south to Marin County in the north has fought the rise of new housing for the arrivals of the last decade. Maybe spreading the tech talent around America is smart. Locals have also seen this play before. Moving trucks come to take a generation of tech ambition away, and a few years later moving trucks return with new dreamers and new ambitions.

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Anti-Mask Protesters Proudly Filmed Their Confrontation With a Grocery Store's Manager

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 20:34
Nine days ago America set a record: nearly 290,000 new Covid-19 cases within 24 hours. according to figures from Johns Hopkins University. Four days later, anti-mask protesters in Oregon filmed their confrontation with employees at a Trader Joe's grocery store who wouldn't let them enter the store unless they were wearing a mask. Their 8-minute video has since been viewed over 325,000 times. The Oregonian newspaper reports: As other masked customers enter the store, the manager repeats that the protesters are welcome to shop too, as long as they wear masks. He says he is more than willing to talk to the group but isn't interested in debating policy. Trader Joe's nationwide policy requires customers to wear masks in stores. "We're not demonstrating, we're buying groceries," a protester says. "That's why I'm here." The manager says he is enforcing the store's mask mandate. "It's not a law. You cannot enforce non-law," a protester says. "You cannot deny somebody the right to commerce." The store manager appears to offer to shop for the protesters and bring out what they want. Amid growing shouting, a woman says: "I need to buy groceries. I don't know what I want until I go in and see it. The Civil Rights Act protects me to go in and shop like everybody else." Legal experts have told USA Today that the 1964 Civil Rights Act does not give people the right to shop without a mask. The manager patiently explains to the protesters that "The difference you guys are trying to make isn't going to made with us. It can made with your government." But soon one protester starts amplifying their voice with a bullhorn, while another continues filming the grocery store's employees — zooming in on their name tags — and threatening, "I'm sorry that you're not going to be able to let anyone else in, because we're standing here." Another protester says "Right, that's pretty much the only resolution. It's either we get to shop, like free American citizens, right? Without being forced into wearing this mask, right...?" They don't appear to follow through on their threat to blockade entry into the store, but the manager continues talking to them throughout the video. And at one point he says calmly that "It's disheartening that we can't have any conversations any more... It's really disheartening. "It's disheartening that people can't just talk to one another."

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Darkened SpaceX Satellites Can Still Disrupt Astronomy, New Research Suggests

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 19:34
"SpaceX's attempt to reduce the reflectivity of Starlink satellites is working, but not to the degree required by astronomers," reports Gizmodo: Starlink satellites with an anti-reflective coating are half as bright as the standard version, according to research published in The Astrophysical Journal. It's an improvement, but still not good enough, according to the team, led by astronomer Takashi Horiuchi from the National Astronomical Observatory in Japan. These "DarkSats," as they're called, also continue to cause problems at other wavelengths of light [and] were included in a batch of satellites launched by SpaceX on January 7, 2020. The new study aimed to evaluate the effectiveness of that dark coating... The scientists found that the "albedo of DarkSat is about a half of that of STARLINK-1113," as they wrote in their paper. That's a decent improvement in the visual spectrum, but still not great. What's more, problems persist at other wavelengths. "The darkening paint on DarkSat certainly halves reflection of sunlight compared to the ordinary Starlink satellites, but [the constellation's] negative impact on astronomical observations still remains," Horiuchi told Physics World. He said the mitigating effect is "good in the UV/optical region" of the spectrum, but "the black coating raises the surface temperature of DarkSat and affects intermediate infrared observations." A third version of Starlink is supposed to be even dimmer. Called "VisorSats," they feature a sun visor that will "dim the satellites once they reach their operational altitude," according to Sky and Telescope. SpaceX launched some VisorSats last year, but the degree to which their albedo is lessened compared to the original version is still not known, or if these versions will exhibit elevated surface temperatures. Horiuchi told Physics World that SpaceX should seriously consider lifting the altitude of the Starlink constellation to further reduce the brightness of these objects. . The article ends with a quote from an astronomer at Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics and an expert on satellites. He'd told Gizmodo's reporter back in January of 2020 that "SpaceX is making a good-faith effort to fix the problem," and that he believes the company "can get the satellites fainter than what the naked eye can see."

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Signal Back After 24 Hours of Outages Caused by Surging Traffic

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 18:34
"After experiencing technical difficulties Friday, the Signal messaging app appears to be back up and running," reports the Verge: The company tweeted Saturday night that it was "back," although added that some users may still see error messages in their chats. The company didn't explain what caused the outage. For users still seeing error messages in their chats — which the company said was a "side effect" of the outage that began around 11:30AM ET Friday — Signal tweeted that those messages do not affect security, rather that you may have missed a message from another user. This will be fixed in the next app updates, the company said... During the outage, the Signal tweeted that it was "working as quickly as possible to bring additional capacity online to handle peak traffic levels." A headline at Android Authority suggests a theory about what caused the outage: "Mass exodus from WhatsApp causes Signal servers to buckle under pressure." "Although we aren't certain why this specific outage occurred," they write, "Signal has made it clear that it is seeing a huge influx of new users. The surge in adoption is due in no small part to people running away from WhatsApp after that Facebook-owned service updated its privacy policy."

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Estimated Cost of Poor Software Quality in the U.S. in 2020: $2.1 Trillion

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 17:40
TechRepublic shares a remarkable calculation by the not-for-profit IT leadership group the Consortium for Information and Software Security: CISQ's 2020 report, The Cost of Poor Software Quality in the U.S., looked at the financial impact of software projects that went awry or otherwise ended up leaving companies with a larger bill by creating additional headaches for them. According to the consortium, unsuccessful IT projects alone cost U.S. companies $260 billion in 2020, while software problems in legacy systems cost businesses $520 billion and software failures in operational systems left a dent of $1.56 trillion in corporate coffers. As a result, the total cost of poor software quality in the U.S. amounted to approximately $2.08 trillion in 2020, CISQ said. Comparing this to the total U.S. IT and software wage base of $1.4 trillion, the company said the figures "underscored the magnitude of the negative economic impact of poor software quality."

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Online Misinformation Dropped Dramatically After Twitter Banned Trump

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 17:04
The Washington Post reports: Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively. The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter... The findings, from Jan. 9 through Friday, highlight how falsehoods flow across social media sites — reinforcing and amplifying each other — and offer an early indication of how concerted actions against misinformation can make a difference. Kate Starbird, disinformation researcher at the University of Washington, also warned the Post that "What happens in the long term is still up in the air."

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Are Tech Companies Ducking Responsibility For The Need to De-Platform?

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 16:34
Long-time technology reporter/commentator Kara Swisher weighs in on the de-platforming of U.S. president Trump, arguing Trump "was only following the rules set for him and it was entirely the fault of the tech companies for giving him the kind of latitude that allowed him to go that far." Like a parent who gives a child endless bowls of sugar and then wonders why their kid is batshit crazy, tech has pretended to be obtuse to the consequences of their products and the choices that have been made about them. For years I have written that these companies have turned themselves into the digital arms dealers of the Internet age, amplifying and weaponizing everything. They might have cleaned up the Trump mess, but they also made the Trump mess possible by architecting systems that thrive on enragement. Most of all, they have tried to duck responsibility. I have always been amazed by Facebook CEO and founder Mark Zuckerberg's statement that he did not want to be an "arbiter of the truth." My question for him: Why then did he build a platform that requires it? Even more importantly, we must examine the power that these companies wield and how to deal with that going forward... [W]hile justifiably putting a sock in Trump's toxic pie-hole, they also showed how swiftly they could end whole businesses, as was the case with the right-fave social media platform Parler.... [T]here is nothing that Parler was doing that companies like Facebook were not guilty of too and in larger measure and for a very long time. While I would not go as far as calling the company a scapegoat, as it did allow its system to be used in dangerous ways, it certainly got a lion's share of the hurt that rained down on tech and that others probably deserved even more. This brings us to the issue at hand: Power. Tech companies have too much of it, but it should be looked at through the lens of market concentration that results in the dampening of innovation needed to inevitably upend the leaders. Such a situation demands substantive and bipartisan action to deal with each company differently and with different remedies, which include fines, enforcement of existing laws, new regulation and, yes, antitrust action. That has already started, which is good, as has a series of dopey attempts to repeal Section 230, which provides broad immunity to digital platforms. What it needs is reform...

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A 'Debilitating' Shortage of Computer Chips is Closing Auto Factories Worldwide

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 15:34
"American automakers are asking the U.S. government to help solve a debilitating shortage of computer chips that is closing auto factories worldwide and could restrict production until the fall," reports Bloomberg: The American Automotive Policy Council — a lobbying organization for General Motors Co., Ford Motor Co. and the U.S. operations of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV — is agitating with the U.S. Commerce Department and the incoming administration of President-elect Joe Biden to press Asian semiconductor makers to reallocate output away from consumer electronics and build essential chips for cars. "We have requested that the U.S. government help us find a solution to the problem because it will diminish our production and have a negative impact on the U.S. economy until it's resolved," Matt Blunt, president of the AAPC, said in an interview Friday. "We are not primarily concerned with where blame may lie for this global shortage, if it lies anywhere, but we just want a solution. And the solution is more automobile-sector semiconductors." The shortage forced Ford to shut a sport-utility vehicle factory in Kentucky this week, and it is closing a small-car plant in Germany for a month. Fiat Chrysler has had to temporarily stop output at plants in Mexico and Canada. More production is expected to be idled in the coming weeks.

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Jamie Zawinski Calls Cinnamon Screensaver Lock-Bypass Bug 'Unconscionable'

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 11:34
Legendary programmer Jamie Zawinski has worked on everything from the earliest releases of the Netscape Navigator browser to XEmacs, Mozilla, and, of course, the XScreenSaver project. Now Slashdot reader e432776 writes: JWZ continues to track issues with screensavers on Linux (since 2004!), and discusses a new bug in cinnamon-screensaver. Long-standing topics like X11, developer interaction, and code licensing all feature. Solutions to these long-standing issues remain elusive. Jamie titled his blog post "I told you so, 2021 edition": You will recall that in 2004 , which is now seventeen years ago, I wrote a document explaining why I made the design trade-offs that I did in XScreenSaver, and in that document I predicted this exact bug as my example of, "this is what will happen if you don't do it this way." And they went and made that happen. Repeatedly. Every time this bug is re-introduced, someone pipes up and says something like, "So what, it was a bug, they've fixed it." That's really missing the point. The point is not that such a bug existed, but that such a bug was even possible. The real bug here is that the design of the system even permits this class of bug. It is unconscionable that someone designing a critical piece of security infrastructure would design the system in such a way that it does not fail safe . Especially when I have given them nearly 30 years of prior art demonstrating how to do it right, and a two-decades-old document clearly explaining What Not To Do that coincidentally used this very bug as its illustrative strawman! These bugs are a shameful embarrassment of design -- as opposed to merely bad code... ZDNet reports that Linux Mint has issued a patch for Cinnamon that fixes the screensaver bug. But HotHardware notes that it was discovered when "one Dad let the kids play with the keyboard. This button-mashing actually crashed the machine's screensaver by sheer luck, allowing them onto the desktop, ultimately leading to the discovery of a high priority security vulnerability for the Linux Mint team." But that's not the only thing bothering Jamie Zawinski: Just to add insult to injury, it has recently come to my attention that not only are Gnome-screensaver, Mint-screensaver and Cinnamon-screensaver buggy and insecure dumpster fires, but they are also in violation of my license and infringing my copyright. XScreenSaver was released under the BSD license, one of the oldest and most permissive of the free software licenses. It turns out, the Gnome-screensaver authors copied large parts of XScreenSaver into their program, removed the BSD license and slapped a GPL license on my code instead -- and also removed my name. Rude... Mint-screensaver and Cinnamon-screensaver, being forks and descendants of Gnome-screensaver, have inherited this license violation and continue to perpetuate it. Every Linux distro is shipping this copyright- and license-infringing code. I eagerly await hearing how they're going to make this right.

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Facebook tells Portugese court that a biz called Oink And Stuff makes profile-harvesting browser extensions

TheRegister - Sun, 2021-01-17 08:42
Not a machine-generated headline, we swear

Facebook and its Irish subsidiary on Thursday announced the filing of a lawsuit in Portugal against two people for allegedly scraping Facebook profile data and other browser info using malicious Chrome extensions.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

41% of IT Leaders Believe AI Will Take Their Jobs By 2030

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 08:34
Dallas, TX-based cloud security firm Trend Micro interviewed 500 IT directors and managers, CIOs and CTOs — and discovered that over two-fifths of them believe they'll be replaced by AI by 2030. ZDNet reports: Only 9% of respondents were confident that AI would definitely not replace their job within the next decade. In fact, nearly a third (32%) said they thought the technology would eventually work to completely automate all cybersecurity, with little need for human intervention. Almost one in five (19%) believe that attackers using AI to enhance their arsenal will be commonplace by 2025. Around a quarter (24%) of IT leaders polled also claimed that by 2030, data access will be tied to biometric or DNA data, making unauthorised access impossible. In the shorter term, respondents also predicted the following outcomes would happen by 2025. They predict that most organisations will have significantly reduced investment in property as remote working becomes the norm (22%) Nationwide 5G will have entirely transformed network and security infrastructure (21%), and security will be self-managing and automated using AI (15%). However, attackers using AI to enhance their arsenal will be commonplace (19%)

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How Tim Berners-Lee Will Fix the Internet

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 05:34
"Sir Tim Berners-Lee, the British computer scientist who was knighted for inventing the internet navigation system known as the World Wide Web, wants to re-make cyberspace once again," reports Reuters: With a new startup called Inrupt, Berners-Lee aims to fix some of the problems that have handicapped the so-called open web in an age of huge, closed platforms such as Facebook. Building on ideas developed by an open-source software project called Solid, Inrupt promises a web where people can use a single sign-on for any service and personal data is stored in "pods," or personal online data stores, controlled by the user. "People are fed up with the lack of controls, the silos," said Berners-Lee, co-founder and chief technology officer of Inrupt, in an interview at the Reuters Next conference... John Bruce, a veteran technology executive who is CEO of Inrupt, said the company had signed up Britain's National Health Service, the BBC and the government of Flanders in Belgium as pilot customers, and hoped to announce many more by April... A key aim for Inrupt is to get software developers to write programs for the platform. Inrupt, like the original web, is at its core mostly a set of protocols for how machines talk to one another, meaning that specific applications bring it to life. "The use cases are so broad, it's like a do-over for the web," Berners-Lee said. In a video interview, Berners-Lee tells Reuters that what people are worried about isn't privacy per se but "the lack of empowerment" — for example, to collaborate with people. And then he acknowledges that the worldwide web does suffer from limited access control. "I wanted it to be a collaborative space, but in a way that was naive, because collaborative spaces you need to be private. You need to start off with just a limited sharing, and then you allow the sharing to increase." Social networks provided some features like a unique login and identity. But unfortunately, then "The large social networks will tend to get larger" — and ultimately without a single global signon, users then become trapped in separate silos.

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After 2 Years on Mars, NASA's Digger Declared Dead

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 03:45
"NASA declared the Mars digger dead Thursday after failing to burrow deep into the red planet to take its temperature," reports the Associated Press: Scientists in Germany spent two years trying to get their heat probe, dubbed the mole, to drill into the Martian crust. But the 16-inch-long (40-centimeter) device that is part of NASA's InSight lander couldn't gain enough friction in the red dirt. It was supposed to bury 16 feet (5 meters) into Mars, but only drilled down a couple of feet (about a half meter). Following one last unsuccessful attempt to hammer itself down over the weekend with 500 strokes, the team called it quits. "We've given it everything we've got, but Mars and our heroic mole remain incompatible," said the German Space Agency's Tilman Spohn, the lead scientist for the experiment... InSight's French seismometer, meanwhile, has recorded nearly 500 Marsquakes, while the lander's weather station is providing daily reports.

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'Major Component Malfunction' Ends SLS Rocket Test Early. NASA Considers New Timeline

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 02:05
"NASA's rocket charged with taking the agency back to the moon fired its four main engines Saturday afternoon, but the test in Mississippi was cut short after a malfunction caused an automatic abort," reports Florida Today... "We did get an MCF on engine four," a control room member said less than a minute into the test fire, using an initialism that stands for "major component malfunction...." The engines fired for 12 more seconds after the exchange before an automatic shutdown was called. The test was meant to last eight minutes — the full duration needed for the booster during its Artemis program liftoff — but only ran less than two minutes. Prime contractor Boeing previously said the test would need to run at least 250 seconds, or more than four minutes, for teams to gather enough data to move forward with transport to Kennedy Space Center and launch sometime before the end of the year. An exact plan moving forward, which could mean a second test and delay before transport to Florida, had not yet been released by Saturday evening. Or, as the Guardian reports, "It was unclear whether Boeing and Nasa would have to repeat the test, a prospect that could push the debut launch into 2022." In a press conference tonight, a NASA official specifically addressed the question of whether or not a launch this year was still feasible. "I think it's still too early to tell. I think as we figure out what went wrong, we're going to know what the future holds. And right now we just don't know... "Not everything went according to script today, but we got a lot of great data, a lot of great information. I have absolutely total confidence in the team to figure out what the anomaly was, figure out how to fix it, and then get after it again... Depending on what we learn, we might not have to do it again." They added that there was no sign of engine damage, and emphasized to reporters another way to view the significance of this afternoon's event. "A rocket capable of taking humans to the moon, was firing, all four engines at the same time." And they also stressed that this afternoon's result was not a failure -- but a test. "When you test, you learn things..." "We're going to make adjustments, and we're going to fly to the moon. That's what the Artemis program is all about, that's what NASA is all about, and that's what America is all about. We didn't get everything we wanted, and yeah, we're going to have to make adjustments. But this was a test, and this is why we test. "If you're expecting perfection on a first test, then you've never tested before." "The date is set," NASA had tweeted Friday, thanking its partners Boeing Space and Aerojet Rocketdyne for Saturday's "hot fire" test of the SLS's core stage. "One of NASA's main goals for 2021 is to launch Artemis I, an uncrewed moon mission meant to show the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket can safely send humans to our lunar neighbor," reported CNET. "But first, NASA plans to make some noise with a fiery SLS test on Saturday." Below is the original report that schwit1 had shared from Space.com: It's a critical test for NASA and the final step in the agency's "Green Run" series of tests to ensure the SLS rocket is ready for its first launch... In the upcoming hot-fire engine test, engineers will load the Boeing-built SLS core booster with over 700,000 gallons of cryogenic (that's really cold) propellant into the rocket's fuel tanks and light all four of its RS-25 engines at once. The engines will fire for 485 seconds (a little over 8 minutes) and generate a whopping 1.6 million pounds of thrust throughout the test... Following the success of this hot fire test and subsequent uncrewed missions to the moon, "the next key step in returning astronauts to the moon and eventually going on to Mars," Jeff Zotti, the RS-25 program director at Aerojet Rocketdyne said during the news conference. NASA's SLS program manager John Honeycutt agreed. "This powerful rocket is going to put us in a position to be ready to support the agency in the country's deep space mission to the moon and beyond," he said.

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Robert Cringley Predicted 'The Death of IT' in 2020. Was He Right?

Slashdot - Sun, 2021-01-17 00:34
Yesterday long-time tech pundit Robert Cringley reviewed the predictions he'd made at the beginning of last year. "Having done this for over 20 years, historically I'm correct abut 70 percent of the time, but this year could be a disappointment given that I'm pretty sure I didn't predict 370,000 deaths and an economy in free-fall. "We'll just have to see whether I was vague enough to get a couple right." Here's some of the highlights: I predicted that IBM would dump a big division and essentially remake itself as Red Hat, its Linux company. Well yes and no. IBM did announce a major restructuring, spinning-off Global Technology Services just as I predicted (score one for me) but it has all happened slowly because everything slows down during a pandemic. The resulting company won't be called Red Hat (yet), but the rest of it was correct so I'm going to claim this one, not that anybody cares about IBM anymore... I predicted that working from home would accelerate a trend I identified as the end of IT, by which I meant the kind of business IT provided and maintained by kids from that office in the basement. By working from home, we'd all become our own IT guys and that would lead to acceleration in the transition of certain technologies, especially SD-WAN and Secure Access Service Edge (SASE)... "That's the end-game if there is one — everything in the cloud with your device strictly for input and output, painting screens compressed with HTML5. It's the end of IT because your device will no longer contain anything, so it can be simply replaced via Amazon if it is damaged or lost, with the IT kid in the white shirt becoming an Uber driver (if any of those survive)." It was a no-brainer, really, and I was correct: Internet-connected hardware sales surged, SASE took over whether you even knew it or not, and hardly any working from home was enabled by technology owned by the business, itself. It's key here that the operant term for working from home became "Zooming" — a third-party public brand built solely in the cloud. Finally, I predicted that COVID-19 would accelerate the demise of not just traditional IT, but also IT contractors, because the more things that could be done in the cloud the less people would be required to do them. So what actually happened? Well I was right about the trend but wrong about the extent. IT consulting dropped in 2020 by about 19 percent, from $160 billion to $140 billion. That's a huge impact, but I said "kill" and 19 percent isn't even close to dead. So I was wrong.

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Online Far-Right Movements Fracture, as 'Gullible' QAnon Supporters Criticized

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-16 23:34
"Online far-right movements are splintering," argues NBC News: Users on forums that openly helped coordinate the Jan. 6 riot and called for insurrection...have become increasingly agitated with QAnon supporters, who are largely still in denial that President Donald Trump will no longer be in the Oval Office after Jan. 20... [QAnon adherents] have identified Inauguration Day as a last stand, and falsely think he will force a 10-day, countrywide blackout that ends in the mass execution of his political enemies and a second Trump term... According to researchers who study the real-life effects of the QAnon movement, the false belief in a secret plan for Jan. 20 is irking militant pro-Trump and anti-government groups, who believe the magical thinking is counterproductive to future insurrections... While several specific doomsdays have passed without any prophecies coming true, experts who study QAnon believe another failed prophecy on Inauguration Day could further decimate the movement. Fredrick Brennan, who created the website 8chan where "Q" posts and has spent the last two years attempting to have the site removed from the internet for its ties to white supremacist terror attacks, said he believes reality may devastate the movement on Inauguration Day. "This week has been hugely demoralizing so far and that will be the final straw," he said. "Even though Q is at the moment based on Donald Trump, it is certainly possible for a significant faction to rise up that believes he was in the deep state all along and foiled the plan." The fracture is "apparent on viral TikToks and Facebook posts," reports NBC News, with one TikTok post mocking "the number of the gullible people who are still out there saying Q is going to run to the rescue."

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Apple Suspended Social Media Platform Wimkin From Its App Store

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-16 22:34
Apple "suspended" the social media platform Wimkin from its App Store, the Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday, "part of a widening crackdown by tech companies on potentially dangerous content during the presidential transition." Long-time Slashdot reader phalse phace shares their report: Mr. Sheppard said the takedowns on the platform, which has 300,000 users and mimics some of the functions of Facebook, pales in comparison to content removals by much larger competitors. "I can't fault them for looking at it," Mr. Sheppard said of Apple. "I just wish they would give us a chance..." Mr. Sheppard said his team is installing additional security measures, including tools that automatically flag keywords such as "murder" and "killing." Apple's App Review Board said in a message to Mr. Sheppard Tuesday that his proposals to limit further harmful content failed to satisfy its rules... Mr. Sheppard said Thursday night that he was in contact with Apple officials on possible ways to meet the tech company's standards and eventually return to the App Store... Representatives of the Google Play app store also sent Mr. Sheppard a warning of potential removal Thursday morning, giving him 24 hours to implement new policies, according to a copy of their correspondence reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. Google didn't respond to requests for comment. The site has just five moderators in total, Sheppard tells the Journal. "We're not out there to fact-check. We're out there to keep people safe

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Watch NASA Test-Fire Its SLS Mega-Rocket Engines

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-16 21:20
"The date is set," NASA tweeted yesterday, thanking its partners Boeing Space and Aerojet Rocketdyne for Saturday's "hot fire" test of the SLS's core stage. "One of NASA's main goals for 2021 is to launch Artemis I, an uncrewed moon mission meant to show the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System rocket can safely send humans to our lunar neighbor," reports CNET. "But first, NASA plans to make some noise with a fiery SLS test on Saturday." Live coverage of the event begins at 1:20 p.m. PT on NASA TV, reports Digital Trends, noting that NASA is targeting a two-hour window for the actual SLS rocket test starting 40 minutes later at 2 p.m. PT. schwit1 shares this report from Space.com: It's a critical test for NASA and the final step in the agency's "Green Run" series of tests to ensure the SLS rocket is ready for its first launch... In the upcoming hot-fire engine test, engineers will load the Boeing-built SLS core booster with over 700,000 gallons of cryogenic (that's really cold) propellant into the rocket's fuel tanks and light all four of its RS-25 engines at once. The engines will fire for 485 seconds (a little over 8 minutes) and generate a whopping 1.6 million pounds of thrust throughout the test... Following the success of this hot fire test and subsequent uncrewed missions to the moon, "the next key step in returning astronauts to the moon and eventually going on to Mars," Jeff Zotti, the RS-25 program director at Aerojet Rocketdyne said during the news conference. NASA's SLS program manager John Honeycutt agreed. "This powerful rocket is going to put us in a position to be ready to support the agency in the country's deep space mission to the moon and beyond," he said.

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