Slashdot

Subscribe to Slashdot feed Slashdot
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 1 hour 1 min ago

Berlin's Popular Shopping Streets Will Go Car-Free

Fri, 2019-08-09 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CityLab: Berlin is finally getting a fuller taste of the car-free trend that's taking hold in other European cities. This summer, the German capital has announced plans to pedestrianize some vital central streets starting in October. One experiment will ban cars from the main section of Friedrichstrasse, a long, store-filled thoroughfare that, before World War II, was considered the city's main shopping street. Another will test daily closures on Tauentzienstrasse, another key retail street, with a view toward going permanently car-free in 2020. Since reunification, Friedrichstrasse has almost regained its pre-war reputation as a primary shopping destination, and it's worth watching to see if that actually happens when its department stores and boutiques are accessible only by foot, bike and public transit. Tauentzienstrasse, meanwhile, is one of western Berlin's main competitors to Friedrichstrasse -- a broad boulevard that's home to continental Europe's largest department store. At Tauentzienstrasse, the street is wide enough for a more radical makeover. If it's fully closed for good, it could accommodate cafes and what Germans call "lying meadows" -- lawns intended for lounging and sunbathing -- in its median. Such changes probably make as much sense commercially as they do environmentally. While some stores may worry that restricted vehicle access could deter shoppers, in the age of online shopping, it pays to make the location of your store pleasant enough to lure people who simply want to hang out. There are efforts to go even further by banning cars in inner Berlin by 2030, after an interim congestion charge. CityLab also notes that this Saturday a group of activists who favor a city-wide car ban "are planning a demonstration intended to temporarily shut down Western Berlin's Sonnenallee, a long avenue bisecting the fast-gentrifying working-class district of Neukolln." The demonstration is hoping to pressure policymakers to free the space from private cars, as traffic can be deafeningly loud.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

US Holds Off On Huawei Licenses As China Halts Crop-Buying

Fri, 2019-08-09 02:02
After China said it was halting purchases of U.S. farming goods earlier this week, the White House retaliated by postponing a decision about licenses for U.S. companies to restart business with Huawei. "Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department has vetted the applications to resume sales, said last week he's received 50 requests and that a decision on them was pending," reports Bloomberg. "American businesses require a special license to supply goods to Huawei after the U.S. added the Chinese telecommunications giant to a trade blacklist in May over national-security concerns." From the report: President Donald Trump said in late June after agreeing to a now-broken trade truce with Chinese President Xi Jinping in Japan that some restrictions on Huawei would be loosened. But that promise was contingent upon China beefing up its purchases from American farmers, which Trump has complained the country has failed to do. In the past week tensions have escalated further as Trump said he would impose a 10% tariff on $300 billion of Chinese imports as of Sept. 1 and his Treasury Department formally labeled China a currency manipulator. Still, Trump said last week there were no plans to reverse the decision he made in Japan to allow more sales by U.S. suppliers of non-sensitive products to Huawei. He said the issue of Huawei is not related to the trade talks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Trump Asks Social Media Companies To Develop Pre-Crime Algorithms

Fri, 2019-08-09 01:25
AmiMoJo shares a report from The Verge: After two recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, President Trump said his administration would ask social media companies to develop tools that could detect potential mass shooters. While delivering a speech on the recent violence, Trump said "we must do a better job of identifying and acting on early warning signs," and he suggested social media companies could develop new ways of catching "red flags." While the president did not specify what those "tools" might look like, Trump seemed to be suggesting that companies could use predictive software to single out potential shooters based on their activity on a platform. Crucially, this would mean taking action before a person commits violent crimes. Data-mining tools are in wide use, but creating a detection system for violence would inevitably raise a host of privacy and accountability issues.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Uber Posts $5.2 Billion Loss and Slowest Ever Growth Rate

Fri, 2019-08-09 00:45
For the second quarter, Uber reported its largest-ever loss, totaling $5.2 billion, and its slowest-even revenue growth. "The double whammy immediately renewed questions about the prospects for the company, the world's biggest ride-hailing business," reports The New York Times. From the report: For the second quarter, Uber said it lost $5.2 billion, the largest loss since it began disclosing limited financial data in 2017. A majority of that -- about $3.9 billion -- was caused by stock-based compensation that Uber paid its employees after its I.P.O. Excluding that one-time expense, Uber lost $1.3 billion, or nearly twice the $878 million that it lost a year earlier. Revenue grew to $3.1 billion, up 14 percent from a year ago, the slowest quarterly growth rate the company has ever disclosed. "We think that 2019 will be our peak investment year," Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber's chief executive, said in an interview, noting that he expected losses to decline over the next two years. "We want to make sure that the kind of growth we have is healthy growth." He added that there were other positives. Uber's bookings -- the money it gets from rides and deliveries before paying commissions to drivers -- rose 31 percent from a year ago. The company also added customers, totaling more than 100 million monthly active riders for the first time. The report notes that it wasn't all bad. The company's food delivery business, Uber Eats, "more than doubled its number of monthly customers," and Uber's price war with Lyft has subsided, "which could lead to more revenue," reports The New York Times.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Verizon: 5G Speeds On Low-Spectrum Bands Will Be More Like 'Good 4G'

Fri, 2019-08-09 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: 5G won't be much different from 4G outside dense urban areas, a Verizon executive said yesterday. The massive hype around 5G has focused on speed improvements expected on millimeter-wave spectrum, which wasn't previously used on mobile broadband networks. But 5G on lower-spectrum bands will be like "good 4G," Verizon Consumer Group CEO Ronan Dunne said at Oppenheimer's annual Technology, Internet & Communications Conference (webcast link). "While we can deploy and we will deploy a 5G nationwide offering, the lower down the spectrum tiers you go, the more that will approximate to a good 4G service," Dunne said. "The truth is, we have a very good 4G LTE service in parts of the US where our competitors don't. So if someone else is rushing to bring out 5G nationwide, it may be because they don't have credible 4G LTE coverage in those areas to start with." Dunne noted yesterday that the amount of spectrum in each band will play a huge role in determining the speeds available over 5G. The more spectrum you have, "the more of the features and capabilities of 5G that you can enable," Dunne said yesterday. He continued: "We want to have both a coverage strategy and a capability strategy, and a very large majority of the volume of data that we carry on our networks goes to large, dense urban environments. From a population point of view, [big cities have] significantly less than half of customers, but from a data traffic point of view, it's significantly more than half. When it comes to the ability to use 5G as a significant capacity enhancement, there's more of an opportunity to leverage that in urban areas."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Critical US Election Systems Have Been Left Exposed Online

Thu, 2019-08-08 23:20
Jason Koebler shares a report from Motherboard: For years, U.S. election officials and voting machine vendors have insisted that critical election systems are never connected to the internet and therefore can't be hacked. But a group of election security experts have found what they believe to be nearly three dozen backend election systems in 10 states connected to the internet over the last year, including some in critical swing states. These include systems in nine Wisconsin counties, in four Michigan counties, and in seven Florida counties -- all states that are perennial battlegrounds in presidential elections. Some of the systems have been online for a year and possibly longer. Some of them disappeared from the internet after the researchers notified an information-sharing group for election officials last year. But at least 19 of the systems, including one in Florida's Miami-Dade County, were still connected to the internet this week, the researchers told Motherboard. "We ... discovered that at least some jurisdictions were not aware that their systems were online," said Kevin Skoglund, an independent security consultant who conducted the research with nine others, all of them long-time security professionals and academics with expertise in election security. "In some cases, [the vendor was] in charge [of installing the systems] and there was no oversight. Election officials were publicly saying that their systems were never connected to the internet because they didn't know differently."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Red Hat Joins the RISC-V Foundation

Thu, 2019-08-08 22:40
Red Hat has joined the RISC-V Foundation to help foster this open-source processor ISA. Phoronix reports: While we're still likely years away from seeing any serious RISC-V powered servers at least that can deliver meaningful performance, Red Hat has been active in promoting RISC-V as an open-source processor instruction set architecture and one of the most promising libre architectures we have seen over the years. Red Hat developers have already helped in working on Fedora's RISC-V support and now the IBM-owned company is helping out more and showing their commitment by joining the RISC-V Foundation. Red Hat joins the likes of Google, NVIDIA, Qualcomm, SiFive, Western Digital, IBM, and Samsung as among the many RISC-V members.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft Removes Office 2019 From Its Home Use Program Benefits

Thu, 2019-08-08 22:02
Microsoft has quietly made a change to its Home Use Program (HUP) for its Software Assurance business customers. From a report: As some had expected when the company began revamping the HUP benefit earlier this year, Microsoft is dropping the ability to buy the non-subscription version of Office for a steeply discounted price. Microsoft instead is offering HUP customers the ability to buy Office 365 Home or Personal at a discount for home use. In an updated Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) document about the program, Microsoft now notes: "Microsoft is updating the Home Use Program to offer discounts on the latest and most up to date products such as Office 365, which is always up to date with premium versions of Office apps across all your devices. Office Professional Plus 2019 and Office Home and Business 2019 are no longer available as Home Use Program offers."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

$10.7 Billion Broadcom-Symantec Enterprise Deal Creates Software Titan

Thu, 2019-08-08 21:25
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CRN: Broadcom has agreed to purchase Symantec's enterprise business in a massive $10.7 billion deal that will break up the world's largest pure-play cybersecurity vendor. The San Jose, Calif.-based semiconductor manufacturer said the monster acquisition is expected to drive $2 billion of revenue and $1.3 billion of EBITDA (earning before interest, taxation, depreciation, and amortization), as well as upwards of $1 billion of cost synergies in the year following close. The Symantec name will be sold to Broadcom as part of the transaction. The deal will bring Symantec's $2.5 billion enterprise unit together with the software capabilities inherited last year through its $19 billion acquisition of CA Technologies. Symantec's enterprise business includes its traditional strength around anti-virus and endpoint protection as well as the cloud security capabilities inherited through the 2016 acquisition of Blue Coat Systems. "Meanwhile, Symantec's consumer business -- which includes its legacy Norton anti-virus capabilities as well as its more recent acquisition of LifeLock -- will become a standalone company," the report adds. "Interim Symantec President and CEO Rick Hill said the remaining consumer business contributed 90 percent of the company's total operating income, and the company expects to be able to continue to grow revenue for its Norton LifeLock business in the mid-single digits going forward."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Climate Crisis May Be Increasing Jet Stream Turbulence, Study Finds

Thu, 2019-08-08 20:45
The climate crisis could be making transatlantic flights more bumpy, according to research into the impact of global heating on the jet stream. From a report: Jet streams are powerful currents of air at the altitudes which planes fly. They result from the air temperature gradient between the poles and the tropics, and reach speeds of up to 250mph (400kmph). They also sometimes meander. Researchers say previous studies of the speed and location of the fastest part of the north Atlantic jet stream have found only small changes over time, although there are signs it is slowly shifting northward. Experts say the lack of dramatic alterations is because climate change produces competing effects at different altitudes. The latest study, however, took a different approach. "Just because the speed isn't changing, doesn't mean the jet stream isn't changing in other ways," said Prof Paul Williams of the University of Reading, the lead author of the research. His study, published in the journal Nature, looked at the change in wind speed with height, known as vertical shear. "The higher up you go, the windier it gets," he said. Using three different datasets based on satellite observations, the team say they identified a 15% increase in vertical shear between 1979 and 2017, consistent with what would be expected from climate change. "The winds and the temperatures are in a certain kind of balance in the atmosphere," said Williams. "The consequence is that it is impossible to change the temperature patterns without having an effect on the wind patterns."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Facebook Loses Facial Recognition Technology Appeal, Must Face Class Action

Thu, 2019-08-08 19:40
In a landmark decision, the Ninth Circuit today ruled that Facebook must face a class action suit claiming that its facial recognition practices violated an Illinois biometric privacy law. From a report: A federal appeals court on Thursday rejected Facebook's effort to undo a class action lawsuit claiming that it illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent. The 3-0 decision from the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco exposes Facebook to billions of dollars in potential damages to the Illinois users who brought the case. It came as the social media company faces broad criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices. Last month, Facebook agreed to pay a record $5 billion fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe. "This biometric data is so sensitive that if it is compromised, there is simply no recourse," Shawn Williams, a lawyer for plaintiffs in the class action, said in an interview. "It's not like a Social security card or credit card number where you can change the number. You can't change your face."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Amazon Requests FAA Approval of Delivery-Drone Plans

Thu, 2019-08-08 19:25
Amazon has grand plans to deliver packages to its customers via autonomous drones but first it needs to get clearance. The company has requested that federal regulators excuse it from following some current rules of flight, according to the Federal Aviation Administration. From a report: The agency on Thursday published in the Federal Register a petition from Amazon that would allow the company to operate "a delivery system that will get packages to customers in 30 minutes or less using UAS" -- an acronym for unmanned aerial systems, better known as drones. Amazon is requesting permission to use its custom MK27 drone for deliveries before the FAA grants the aircraft a certificate of airworthiness, and an exemption from drone-specific rules, including a requirement that they only be operated when an operator can see it. The company also requested to be excused from complying with aviation regulations more commonly associated with planes, such as requirements that pilots fly above certain heights, carry extra fuel, and fly with documentation including maintenance logs aboard the aircraft. The petition says delivery drones will fly autonomously, or without human input, but that there will be one operator for each drone in the sky at any time.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Panono Makes Decision To Hold Its Camera Customers Hostage Behind a Paywall

Thu, 2019-08-08 18:45
John Aldred, writing for DIYPhotography: We all know the risks when we back a crowdfunding campaign. Although the risk is typically that the project will fail, the company goes bust, never delivers on the products and all the backers are out of pocket. What backers don't expect is that a successful campaign backed based on set terms suddenly decides to start charging extra for part of that service way down the line. Panono launched on Indiegogo way back in 2013. It's a "Panoramic Ball Camera" offering 360-degree views with a whopping 108-megapixels. Even today, that's mighty impressive. You need to utilise their cloud service for processing the images, which was included in the purchase price of the camera. Now, they've decided to start charging for it. The campaign raised over $1.25 million with a goal of $900,000, and even had the support of former Leica CEO, Ralf Coenen. Bringing things to the current day, an email was sent out to Panono users stating that the previously free service was, from September 1st, 2019, going to cost $0.88 per image to process and stitch using their cloud platform.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Can Britain's Top Bookseller Save Barnes & Noble?

Thu, 2019-08-08 18:05
James Daunt fought Amazon and rescued the country's biggest bookstore chain. Now comes Chapter 2. From a report: Barnes & Noble has been sliding toward oblivion for years. Nearly 400 stores have closed since 1997 â" there are 627 now operating â" and $1 billion in market value has evaporated in the last five years. This week, Elliott Advisors, the private equity firm that owns Waterstones, closed its deal to buy Barnes & Noble for $683 million. James Daunt -- who in 2011 began to run Waterstones, Britain's largest bookstore chain, when it was on the verge of bankruptcy and steered it out of a death spiral -- will move to New York City this month and serve as the new chief executive. He has said little about his plans, but his playbook at Waterstones offers clues about what's coming. His guiding assumption is that the only point of a bookstore is to provide a rich experience in contrast to a quick online transaction. And for now, the experience at Barnes & Noble isn't good enough. "Frankly, at the moment you want to love Barnes & Noble, but when you leave the store you feel mildly betrayed," Mr. Daunt said over lunch at a Japanese restaurant near his office in Piccadilly Circus. "Not massively, but mildly. It's a bit ugly -- there's piles of crap around the place. It all feels a bit unloved, the booksellers look a bit miserable, it's all a bit run down. "And every year, fewer people come in, or people come in less often. That has to turn around. Otherwise ..." The changes have filled Waterstones' 289 shops, mostly in Britain, with books that customers actually want to buy, as opposed to the ones that publishers are eager to sell. And store managers have been given plenty of leeway to transform their shops into places that feel personally curated and decidedly uncorporate.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Apple Is Locking Batteries To Specific iPhones, a Nightmare for DIY Repair

Thu, 2019-08-08 17:23
A longtime nightmare scenario for independent iPhone repair companies has come true: Apple has tied batteries to specific iPhones, meaning that only it has the ability to perform an authorized battery replacement on the newest versions of iPhones, two independent experiments have found. From a report: Battery replacements are among the most common repairs done by Apple and by independent repair companies. This is because lithium ion batteries eventually lose their ability to hold a charge, which will eventually make the phone unusable. Replacing the battery greatly extends the life of the phone: Apple CEO Tim Cook acknowledged earlier this year that battery replacements are resulting in fewer people buying new iPhones, which has affected Apple's bottom line. It's concerning on many levels, then, that on the iPhone XS, XS Plus, and XR, that any battery swap not performed by Apple will result in the phone's settings saying that the new battery needs "Service." An iPhone will still turn on and function with an aftermarket battery, but several important features are unavailable, and the iPhone warns users that they should seek service, presumably from an Apple Store.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Kazakhstan Halts Introduction of Internet Surveillance System

Thu, 2019-08-08 16:40
Kazakhstan has halted the implementation of an internet surveillance system criticized by lawyers as illegal, with the government describing its initial rollout as a test. From a report: Mobile phone operators in the oil-rich Central Asian nation's capital, Nur-Sultan, had asked customers to install an encryption certificate on their devices or risk losing internet access. State security officials said its goal was to protect Kazakh users from "hacker attacks, online fraud and other kinds of cyber threats." The certificate allowed users' traffic to be intercepted by the government, circumventing encryption used by email and messaging applications. Several Kazakh lawyers said this week they had sued the country's three mobile operators, arguing that restricting internet access to those who refused to install the certificate would be illegal. But late on Tuesday, Kazakhstan's State Security Committee said in a statement that the certificate rollout was simply a test which has now been completed. Users can remove the certificate and use internet as usual, it said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

AMD Lands Google, Twitter as Customers With Newest Server Chip

Thu, 2019-08-08 16:02
Advanced Micro Devices on Wednesday released the second generation of its processor chip for data centers and said that it had landed Alphabet's Google and Twitter as customers. From a report: AMD competes against Intel to supply chips for data centers that power internet-based services. Both firms have come to rely on data center chips for growth because personal computer sales have stagnated as users shifted to mobile devices. AMD's newest generation of server chip, called EPYC, uses a new chip-making technology from its contract manufacturers that helps the chips have better performance while consuming less power. Intel, which makes chips in its own factories instead of relying on contractors, is behind schedule delivering chips made with its own newer manufacturing process. It plans to release them next year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

WordPress Team Working on Daring Plan To Forcibly Update Old Websites

Thu, 2019-08-08 15:24
The developers behind the WordPress open-source content management system (CMS) are working on a plan to forcibly auto-update older versions of the CMS to more recent releases. From a report: The goal of this plan is to improve the security of the WordPress ecosystem, and the internet as a whole, since WordPress installations account for more than 34% of all internet websites. Officially supported versions include only the last six WordPress major releases, which currently are all the versions between v4.7 and v5.2. The plan is to slowly auto-update old WordPress sites, starting with v3.7, to the current mimum supported version, which is the v4.7 release. The WordPress team said it plans to monitor this tiered forced auto-update process for errors and site breakage. If there's something massively wrong, then auto-update can be stopped altogether. If only a few individual sites break, than those site will be rolled back to their previous versions and the owner will be notified via email.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Google Attempts To Solve Podcasting's Discovery Problem By Embedding Playable Episodes in Search

Thu, 2019-08-08 14:43
From a report: Looking for a specific podcast has always been a straightforward process: Plug in the title or the host's name in an app store or search engine and you're golden. But when you're not sure what you're looking for or just want to peruse your options based on a topic, you've had to rely on articles with roundups of different shows, random Twitter recommendations, or bounce from platform to platform with your query. Sites like Listen Notes and Audiosear.ch (until it shut down in 2017), among many other startups determined to crack podcast discovery, were created to solve this problem by aspiring to be the Google for podcasts. But now Google wants to be the Google for podcasts. Starting today, the company announced that it's updating its search function to include playable episodes within the search results around a topic. So if you're looking for "podcasts about grilling" or "knitting podcasts," results will surface with relevant episodes "based on Google's understanding of what's being talked about on a podcast," according to a Google blog post, "so you can find even more relevant information about a topic in audio form."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Linux Journal Ceases Publication

Thu, 2019-08-08 14:00
Not too long after Linus Torvalds wrote his own Unix kernel, which he called Linux, in the summer of 1991, a magazine was founded by enthusiasts to focus on the operating system. For nearly three decades Linux Journal has been an authority magazine on all things Linux, but it is now shuttering doors, it said late Wednesday. The announcement comes about two years after the periodical said it would cease to exist, but it was able to find some backing -- from Privacy Internet Access group -- to resume operations later on. The team said on Wednesday that all staff members had been laid off and the company was left with no operating funds to continue in any capacity. It remains committed to keeping the website afloat for another few weeks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Pages