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Updated: 1 hour 39 min ago

Anti-Vaxxer Arrested As Samoa Executes Mass-Vaccination Campaign To Stop Measles Outbreak

2 hours 39 min ago
Koreantoast writes: The Samoan government arrested a prominent local anti-vaxxer who was attempting to disrupt a mass vaccination campaign to stop an ongoing measles epidemic. Edwin Tamasese was arrested and charged with incitement, facing up to two years in prison after attempting to dissuade people from participating in the mass vaccination campaign and encouraging unproven "alternative treatments" such as Vitamin C supplements and papaya leaf extract. The small island nation of Samoa is currently battling a measles epidemic with over 2,000 infected and at least 63 confirmed deaths, mostly young children. Immunization rates dropped below 30% in the prior year following a medical scandal in 2018 when two nurses administering the MMR (measles, mumps, rubella) vaccination incorrectly mixed muscle relaxant with the doses instead of water, resulting in two infant deaths. The nurses attempted to cover up their mistake and blame the vaccine, but they were caught, charged with manslaughter, and sentenced to five years in prison. Unfortunately, the damage was done, and anti-vaxxers exploited the tragedy to scare parents away from immunizing their children, leading to the current crisis. Last month, the Pacific island nation declared a state of emergency while it finalized plans for a compulsory measles vaccination program. According to new data from the World Health Organization, measles infected nearly 10 million people in 2018 and killed 140,000, mostly children, as the number of cases around the world surged once again.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Qualcomm To Offer GPU Driver Updates On Google Play Store For Some Snapdragon Chips

3 hours 19 min ago
MojoKid writes: At its Snapdragon Summit in Maui, Hawaii this week, Qualcomm unveiled the new Snapdragon 865 Mobile Platform, which enable next year's flagship 5G Android phones with more performance, a stronger Tensor-based AI processor and a very interesting new forthcoming feature not yet offered for any smartphone platform to date. The company announced that it will eventually start delivering driver updates for its Adreno GPU engines on board the Snapdragon 865 as downloadable packages via the Google Play Store. This is big news for smartphones, as GPU drivers are rarely updated out of band, if ever, and typically have to wait for the next major Android release. And even then, many OEMs don't bother putting in the effort to ensure that mobile GPUs are running the most current graphics drivers from Qualcomm. The process, which would have to be pre-qualified by major OEMs as well, will be akin to what the PC GPU 3D graphics driver ecosystem has been benefiting from for a long time, for maximum performance and compatibility. Unfortunately, at least currently, GPU driver update support is limited to only the Adreno 650 core on board the new Snapdragon 865, which currently supports updating drivers in this fashion. Here's hoping this program is met with success and Qualcomm will begin to enable the feature for legacy and new midrange Snapdragon platforms as well.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Deepfake Porn Is Evolving To Give People Total Control Over Women's Bodies

3 hours 59 min ago
samleecole shares a report from Motherboard: A lineup of female celebrities stand in front of you. Their faces move, smile, and blink as you move around them. They're fully nude, hairless, waiting for you to decide what you'll do to them as you peruse a menu of sex positions. This isn't just another deepfake porn video, or the kind of interactive, 3D-generated porn Motherboard reported on last month, but a hybrid of both which gives people even more control of women's virtual bodies. This new type of nonconsensual porn uses custom 3D models that can be articulated and animated, which are then made to look exactly like specific celebrities with deepfaked faces. Until recently, deepfake porn consisted of taking the face of a person -- usually a celebrity, almost always a woman -- and swapping it on to the face of an adult performer in an existing porn video. With this method, a user can make a 3D avatar with a generic face, capture footage of it performing any kind of sexual act, then run that video through an algorithm that swaps the generic face with a real person's.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Social Media Platforms Leave 95 Percent of Reported Fake Accounts Up, Study Finds

4 hours 39 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The report comes this week from researchers with the NATO Strategic Communication Centre of Excellence (StratCom). Through the four-month period between May and August of this year, the research team conducted an experiment to see just how easy it is to buy your way into a network of fake accounts and how hard it is to get social media platforms to do anything about it. The research team spent about $332 to purchase engagement on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube, the report (PDF) explains. That sum bought 3,520 comments, 25,750 likes, 20,000 views, and 5,100 followers. They then used those interactions to work backward to about 19,000 inauthentic accounts that were used for social media manipulation purposes. About a month after buying all that engagement, the research team looked at the status of all those fake accounts and found that about 80 percent were still active. So they reported a sample selection of those accounts to the platforms as fraudulent. Then came the most damning statistic: three weeks after being reported as fake, 95 percent of the fake accounts were still active. "Based on this experiment and several other studies we have conducted over the last two years, we assess that Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube are still failing to adequately counter inauthentic behavior on their platforms," the researchers concluded. "Self-regulation is not working."

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Trump Administration Drops Plans For Mandatory Face Scans of Citizens

Fri, 2019-12-06 23:30
schwit1 shares a report from U.S. News & World Report: The Department of Homeland Security is dropping plans to propose a regulation requiring all travelers -- including U.S. citizens -- to have their photos taken and faces scanned by facial recognition technology when entering and exiting the country, according to multiple reports. The proposed rule was slated to be issued in July of next year and would be part of a larger effort by U.S. Customs and Border Protection to better track those who enter and exit the country. Privacy advocates pointed to a June data breach as one of the reasons that the agency should not collect the information. DHS last summer acknowledged a cyberattack against a contractor that exposed the photos and license plates of nearly 100,000 people traveling in and out of the country at a border crossing.

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FTC Finds Cambridge Analytica Deceived Facebook Users

Fri, 2019-12-06 22:50
The Federal Trade Commission said on Friday that they had found Cambridge Analytica deceived consumers about the collection of Facebook data for voter profiling and targeting. "The [FTC] also found that Cambridge Analytica engaged in deceptive practices relating to its participation in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework -- a pact on the cross-border transfer of personal data," adds Reuters. From the report: The agency order prohibits Cambridge Analytica from misrepresenting the extent to which it protects the privacy and confidentiality of personal information. It also stops the consulting firm from participating in the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield framework and other similar regulatory organizations. The impact of the agency order is not immediately clear as the consulting firm is no longer in business. The order comes after Facebook agreed in July to pay a record-breaking $5 billion fine to the FTC, in order to resolve a government probe into its privacy practices. The government agency continues to pursue a separate antitrust investigation of the company.

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Apple May Use Carbon-Free Aluminum In New iPhones

Fri, 2019-12-06 22:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Apple is taking delivery this month of the first batch of carbon-free aluminum produced by a Montreal-based venture, helping move the iPhone maker closer to its greenhouse-gas reduction goal. Elysis, a joint venture between Rio Tinto Group and Alcoa Corp. backed by Apple, uses new technology that emits pure oxygen when producing aluminum. Apple has said in an environment report that 80% of its emissions from an iPhone 8 came during the production phase. The metal is also used in iPads, Macs and Apple watches. Rio's commercial network is handling the first delivery to Apple, a Rio spokesman said in an email. The metal being shipped to Apple was produced at the Alcoa Technical Center in Pittsburgh. "This first sale is tangible evidence of our revolutionary work to transform and disrupt the conventional smelting process by making a process that is both more efficient and more sustainable," Benjamin Kahrs, an Alcoa executive vice president and Chief Innovation Officer, said in a statement.

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European Plan To Tackle Space Debris? Hug it Out

Fri, 2019-12-06 21:30
The European Space Agency is working to tackle the issue of space debris with the technological version of a big hug. From a report: It hopes to be able to use tentacle-like mechanical arms to embrace a dead satellite and remove it from orbit. Other options considered include casting a net over the object, using a single robotic arm or firing a harpoon. At Esa's ministerial council last month, the agency allocated $450 million to space safety programmes, some of which will go towards a mission aimed at removing defunct satellites from orbit. The head of Esa's space debris office, Holger Krag, said work on developing the mission would start now with the aim of designing something that could be used again. "The goal is to make these removal actions happen more frequently, and therefore they need to be cheap," he said. "The technology that we will most likely use now is actually consisting of some sort of arms, like tentacles, that embrace the object because you can capture the object before you touch it."

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EU Study Shows Online Piracy is Complex and Not Easy To Grasp

Fri, 2019-12-06 20:50
The European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) has released a new study which suggests that piracy is dropping in Europe. While the research is limited to site-based piracy, it has some interesting findings. Countries with a lower average income per person visit pirate sites more often, for example. In addition, the study shows that awareness of legal options doesn't always decrease piracy.

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Magic Leap, a Startup That Has Raised Over $2.3 Billion, Has Sold Just 6,000 Units of Its $2,300 VR Headset -- Far Below 1 Million Units Its CEO Initially Hoped

Fri, 2019-12-06 19:48
Magic Leap just announced that they're in the midst of closing a Series E round of funding, but it sounds like they're going to have to clinch that investment with some pretty troubling sales numbers for their only device on the market. From a report: The Information is reporting [paywalled] that Magic Leap managed to sell just 6,000 units of its $2,300 Magic Leap One headset in its first six months on sale, a figure made worse by CEO Rony Abovitz's internal claims that he wanted the startup to sell at least one million units of the device in the first year, a goal the report states he was later convinced to rethink -- Abovitz later projected the company would sell 100,000 units in the first year. The report adds that Magic Leap's second-generation VR headset is "years away from launch" and the startup recently laid off dozens of employees. Magic Leaps counts Google, VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, Alibaba, Qualcomm, AT&T, Japan's NTT Docomo, and the government of Saudi Arabia among its investors. Further reading: Magic Leap Finally Demoed Its Headset And It Is 'Disappointing'; Magic Leap is a Tragic Heap, Says Oculus Cofounder; Oculus CTO Carmack Downplays Consumer AR, Calls Magic Leap Overhyped; and The Magic Leap Con.

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Keep Your IoT Devices on a Separate Network, FBI Says

Fri, 2019-12-06 19:30
The FBI says owners of IoT (Internet of Things) devices should isolate this equipment on a separate WiFi network, different from the one they're using for their primary devices, such as laptops, desktops, or smartphones. From a report: "Your fridge and your laptop should not be on the same network," the FBI's Portland office said in a weekly tech advice column. "Keep your most private, sensitive data on a separate system from your other IoT devices," it added. The same advice -- to keep devices on a separate WiFi network or LAN -- has been shared in the past by multiple IT and security experts. The reasoning behind it is simple. By keeping all the IoT equipment on a separate network, any compromise of a "smart" device will not grant an attacker a direct route to a user's primary devices -- where most of their data is stored. Jumping across the two networks would require considerable effort from the attacker. However, placing primary devices and IoT devices on separate networks might not sound that easy for non-technical users. The simplest way is to use two routers. Further reading: Now Even the FBI is Warning About Your Smart TV's Security.

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NFL Turns To Amazon For Help Addressing Player Injuries

Fri, 2019-12-06 18:50
After signing a pact with the Seattle Seahawks last week, Amazon Web Service announced a much larger deal with the NFL to use its technology to address concussions and other devastating injuries. From a report: AWS will provide artificial intelligence and machine learning tools to the NFL with the hope that eventually, the league will be able to predict the risk of player injuries, it announced on Thursday. Amazon Rekognition, Amazon ML Solutions Lab and Amazon SageMaker will be used by the NFL's data scientists, developers and doctors to develop a platform called "Digital Athlete." With "Digital Athlete," the league can create a simulated model of an NFL player and run it through an endless number of game scenarios to gain a better understanding of what situations lead to injury. The league's doctors will also use other data like equipment choice, playing surface, play type, environmental factors, aggregated and anonymized player injury information and player position to better understand how to treat or rehabilitate injuries.

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GM And LG Chem Plan $2.3 Billion Electric Battery Venture In Ohio

Fri, 2019-12-06 18:10
General Motors and LG Chemical plan to make battery cells for electric-powered vehicles, unveiling a joint venture that they expect to create more than 1,100 jobs in northeast Ohio. The companies say they'll invest up to $2.3 billion in the venture. From a report: The project is centered around Lordstown, Ohio, where GM shuttered a plant last March that had produced the Chevrolet Cruze. The new plant in the Lordstown area will make battery cells for GM's upcoming all-electric vehicles, from a Cadillac sedan to a new electric truck that's slated for release in late 2021. GM recently sold its idled Cruze plant to a company called Lordstown Motors, which plans to produce electric pickup trucks at the facility, as member station WCBE reported. The new venture will pair GM's manufacturing know-how with LG Chem's battery-cell technology, says GM Chairman and CEO Mary Barra. Construction on the facility will begin in the summer of 2020, the companies say.

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W3C Recommends WebAssembly To Push the Limits For Speed, Efficiency and Responsiveness

Fri, 2019-12-06 17:30
The WebAssembly Working Group has published today the three WebAssembly specifications as W3C Recommendations, marking the arrival of a new language for the Web which allows code to run in the browser. From a report: WebAssembly Core Specification defines a low-level virtual machine which closely mimicks the functionality of many microprocessors upon which it is run. Either through Just-In-Time compilation or interpretation, the WebAssembly engine can perform at nearly the speed of code compiled for a native platform. A .wasm resource is analogous to a Java .class file in that it contains static data and code segments which operate over that static data. Unlike Java, WebAssembly is typically produced as a compilation target from other programming languages like C/C++ and Rust. WebAssembly Web API defines a Promise-based interface for requesting and executing a .wasm resource. The structure of a .wasm resource is optimized to allow execution to begin before the entire resource has been retrieved, which further enhances responsiveness of WebAssembly applications. WebAssembly JavaScript Interface provides a JavaScript API for invoking and passing parameters to WebAssembly functions. In Web browsers, WebAssembly's interactions with the host environment are all managed through JavaScript, which means that WebAssembly relies on JavaScript's highly-engineered security model.

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Bernie Sanders Unveils $150 Billion Plan To Expand High-Speed Internet Access

Fri, 2019-12-06 16:52
On Friday, Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT) announced a new plan aimed at expanding broadband internet access across the country and dismantling what he referred to as "internet and cable monopolies." From a report: In his sweeping "High-Speed Internet for All" proposal, Sanders calls for broadband to be considered a public utility, much like electricity, and calls access "a basic human right." The plan would provide $150 billion in grants and technical assistance to states and communities for the purpose of building out their own "democratically controlled, co-operative, or open access broadband networks." As part of the new plan, Sanders defines "broadband" as 100 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up, which is significantly higher than the Federal Communications Commission standard of 25 Mbps down and 3 Mbps up. If elected president, Sanders said he would also work to restore net neutrality and ban internet and cable companies from instituting data caps and throttling consumer access to the internet.

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Keybase Moves To Stop Onslaught of Spammers on Encrypted Message Platform

Fri, 2019-12-06 16:10
From a report: Keybase started off as co-founder and developer Max Krohn's "hobby project" -- a way for people to share PGP keys with a simple username-based lookup. Then Chris Coyne (who also was cofounder of OkCupid and SparkNotes) got involved and along came $10.8 million in funding from a group of investors led by Andreesen Horowitz. And then things got increasingly more complicated. Keybase aims to make public-key encryption accessible to everyone, for everything from messaging to file sharing to throwing a few crypto-coins someone's way. But because of that level of accessibility, Keybase faces a very OkCupid kind of problem: after drawing in people interested in easy public-key crypto-based communications and then drawing in blockchain lovers with its partnership with (and funding from) Stellar.org, Keybase has also drawn in spammers and scammers. And that has brought a host of alerts and messages that have made what was once a fairly clear communications channel into one clogged with unwanted alerts, messages, and other unpleasantry -- raising a chorus of complaints in Keybase's open chat channel. It turns out there's a reason spell check keeps wanting to tell me that Keybase should be spelled "debase." Keybase's leadership is promising to do something to fix the spam problem -- or at least make it easier to report and block abusers. In a blog post, Krohn and Coynes wrote, "To be clear, the current spam volume isn't dire, YET. Keybase still works great. But we should act quickly." But the measures promised by Keybase won't completely eliminate the issue. And Keybase execs have no interest in getting involved with additional steps that they see as censorship. "Keybase is a private company and we do retain our rights to kick people out," the co-founders said in the blog post. "That hammer will not be used because someone is mostly disliked, as long as they're playing nicely on Keybase."

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Fractured Forests Are Endangering Wildlife, Scientists Find

Fri, 2019-12-06 15:30
The world's forests are being carved into pieces. In tropical regions, animals are likely to pay a heavy price. From a report: Around the world, humans are fracturing vast forests. Highways snake through the Amazon's rain forests, and Indonesia plans an ambitious transportation grid in Borneo, through some of the largest untouched expanses of tropical forests. If you were to parachute at random into any of the planet's forests, you'd probably land a mile or less from its edge, according to a recent study. Conservation biologists have intensely debated the dangers that the fracturing of woodlands poses to animals. While many studies have shown that extinctions are more common in fragmented environments, others haven't documented much effect. A study published on Thursday may help resolve what has been a strident debate, showing why many species are vulnerable to the fragmenting of forests while others are not. Animals in places with a long history of disturbances are relatively resilient, the researchers found. Species that have existed in stable habitats for thousands of years are far more sensitive. "They are taking a new approach on a global scale," said Anna Hargreaves, an evolutionary ecologist at McGill University in Montreal, said of the scientists. "I find it compelling." The first hints of this risk to biodiversity came in the 1960s, when researchers found that bigger islands tended to host more species than smaller ones. Ecologists began to think of forests as islands, too: When a logging company splits what had been continuous belt of trees, two smaller islands may be formed, each of which might support fewer species than the undisturbed tract had.

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Scientists Fed an Ancient Earth Organism Space Metals. It Started 'Dancing'

Fri, 2019-12-06 14:50
Scientists have discovered that a single-celled organism, a descendant of some of the earliest living creatures on Earth, is able to colonize a meteorite, growing and synthesizing nutrients. From a report: Their experiment, published on Monday in the journal Scientific Reports, may give us a way to look for the signatures of past life on other planets. "This process was very enigmatic and exciting, how the chemical energy of a stone fragment can be transformed into the biochemical energy of a living entity," said Tetyana Milojevic, the first author of the study. "To find an answer to understand this process, I think it's a great moment." Living on a space rock is just one more oddball accolade that the species, Metallosphaera sedula, can add to its growing list. First isolated from a volcanic field in Italy in 1989, the microbe is considered an extremophile because it prefers to live in conditions that would be uninhabitable to most other organisms. Such organisms are helpful for probing the early history of Earth, with its harsh and inhospitable environments, as well as the possibilities for life in the universe.

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Netflix Is Spending $420 Million on Indian Content, CEO Says

Fri, 2019-12-06 14:14
Netflix is plowing 30 billion rupees ($420 million) this year and next to produce more local content in India, one of the biggest and most-crowded markets for the worldâ(TM)s largest paid streaming-service provider. From a report: "You'll start to see a lot of stuff hit the screen, big investment," Chief Executive Officer Reed Hastings said at an event in New Delhi on Friday. "We're really trying to invest in that becoming more Indian in the content offering." The Los Gatos, California-based company is jostling with other giants such as Walt Disney Co.-owned Hotstar and Amazon.com Prime for a slice of the growing market as more Indians use smartphones to view videos. The companies are offering relatively cheaper packages to lure paying subscribers in a country used to free YouTube offerings. Hastings has said Netflix's goal is to attract 100 million customers in India -- almost 25 times its estimated subscriber base there as of this year. The world's second-most populous country is a priority for company, which is effectively blocked in China. Disney's Hotstar, which is already the leader in India, will get a boost soon when the entertainment giant eventually introduces Disney+, a new streaming service it started last month in some markets.

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142,000 People, Mostly Children, Died From Measles In 2018

Fri, 2019-12-06 13:00
dryriver shares a report from the BBC: More than 140,000 people died from measles last year as the number of cases around the world surged once again, official estimates suggest. Most of the lives cut short were children aged under five. The situation has been described by health experts as staggering, an outrage, a tragedy and easily preventable with vaccines. Huge progress has been made since the year 2000, but there is concern that incidence of measles is now edging up. In 2018, the U.K. - along with Albania, the Czech Republic and Greece, lost their measles elimination status. And 2019 could be even worse. The U.S. is reporting its highest number of cases for 25 years, while there are large outbreaks in the Democratic Republic of Congo, Madagascar and Ukraine. The Pacific nation of Samoa has declared a state of emergency and unvaccinated families are hanging red flags outside their homes to help medical teams find them. [...] What is going on? In short, not enough children are being vaccinated. In order to stop measles spreading, 95% of children need to get the two doses of the vaccine. But the figures have been stubbornly stuck for years at around 86% for the first jab, and 69% for the second. The biggest problem is access to vaccines, particular in poor countries.

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