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Are Nanosheet Transistor the Next (and Maybe Last) Step in Moore's Law?

Sat, 2019-08-03 14:34
An anonymous reader quotes IEEE Spectrum: Making smaller, better transistors for microprocessors is getting more and more difficult, not to mention fantastically expensive. Only Intel, Samsung, and Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. (TSMC) are equipped to operate at this frontier of miniaturization. They are all manufacturing integrated circuits at the equivalent of what is called the 7-nanometer node... Right now, 7 nm is the cutting edge, but Samsung and TSMC announced in April that they were beginning the move to the next node, 5 nm. Samsung had some additional news: It has decided that the kind of transistor the industry had been using for nearly a decade has run its course. For the following node, 3 nm, which should begin limited manufacture around 2020, it is working on a completely new design. That transistor design goes by a variety of names -- gate-all-around, multibridge channel, nanobeam -- but in research circles we've been calling it the nanosheet. The name isn't very important. What is important is that this design isn't just the next transistor for logic chips; it might be the last. There will surely be variations on the theme, but from here on, it's probably all about nanosheets.... All in all, stacking nanosheets appears to be the best way possible to construct future transistors. Chipmakers are already confident enough in the technology to put it on their road maps for the very near future. And with the integration of high-mobility semiconductor materials, nanosheet transistors could well carry us as far into the future as anyone can now foresee.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Lawsuit Filed Against GitHub In Wake of Capital One Data Breach

Sat, 2019-08-03 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: Capital One and GitHub have been hit with a class-action lawsuit over the recent data breach that resulted in the data of over 100 million Capital One customers being exposed. The law firm Tycko & Zavareei LLP filed the lawsuit on Thursday, arguing that GitHub and Capital One demonstrated negligence in their response to the breach. The firm filed the class-action complaint on behalf of those impacted by the breach, alleging that both companies failed to protect customer data. Personal information for tens of millions of customers was exposed after a firewall misconfiguration in an Amazon cloud storage service used by Capital One was exploited. The breach exposed around 140,000 Social Security numbers and 80,000 bank account numbers, along with the credit card applications of millions in both the U.S. and Canada. The individual who allegedly perpetrated the data breach, Seattle-based software engineer Paige Thompson, was arrested earlier this week. Thompson, a former Amazon employee, allegedly accessed the data in March and posted about her theft of the information on GitHub in April, according to the complaint. Another GitHub user notified Capital One, which subsequently notified the FBI. The law firm also alleged that computer logs "demonstrate that Capital One knew or should have known" about the data breach when it occurred in March, and criticized Capital One for not taking action to respond to the breach until last month.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Facebook To Add Its Name To Instagram, WhatsApp

Sat, 2019-08-03 10:00
According to The Information, Facebook is planning to add its name to both Instagram and WhatsApp. "The social network will rebrand the apps to 'Instagram from Facebook' and 'WhatsApp from Facebook,'" the report says, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report: Employees for the apps were recently notified about the changes, which come as antitrust regulators are examining Facebook's acquisitions of both apps. The app rebranding is a major departure for Facebook, which until recently had allowed the apps to operate and be branded independently. The distance has helped both apps avoid being tarnished by the privacy scandals that have hurt Facebook. The move to add Facebook's name to the apps has been met with surprise and confusion internally, reflecting the autonomy that the units have operated under. But Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has also been frustrated that Facebook doesn't get more credit for the growth of Instagram and WhatsApp. Associating those apps with Facebook could improve the overall companies' brand with consumers. The 'from Facebook' branding will be visible inside the apps -- users will see it when they log on, for instance -- and elsewhere, such as in app stores. The report also mentioned that Facebook is bringing employees responsible for Instagram's messaging feature called Direct into the team behind Facebook's standalone Messenger app.

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Satellites Reveal 'Hot Lightning' Strikes Are Most Likely To Start Wildfires

Sat, 2019-08-03 07:00
Scientists are using new satellite sensor data, combined with info from the terrestrial U.S. National Lightning Detection Network, to help identify the most dangerous lightning strikes. They found that "hot lightning" is the most dangerous as it can ignite wildfires, damage electrical equipment, and even kill people. Slashdot reader Wave723 shares a report from IEEE Spectrum: With new tools, researchers can now distinguish the most damaging lightning strikes from the many millions of others that occur every year. Already, the U.S. National Lightning Detection Network keeps a record of virtually all lightning that strikes the ground anywhere in the United States. That network is maintained by Helsinki-based Vaisala, which built it 30 years ago and sells the data to the National Weather Service and to utilities, airports, seaports, mines, and sporting arenas. Vaisala operates a global lightning detection network, as well. But the company hasn't been able to make one specific measurement that could provide clues as to how dangerous a given strike is likely to be -- until now. Before the end of this year, Vaisala will debut a beta product that will make this valuable measurement available to clients for the first time. The product (which is now running but is not yet commercially available) combines data from its terrestrial U.S. and global lightning detection networks with new information from a pair of optical sensors, known as Geostationary Lightning Mappers (GLMs). The sensors are currently orbiting Earth aboard two weather satellites that belong to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). The company's goal is to use all of this data to detect the presence of a single phenomenon: something called a continuing current, which is thought to occur in about 11 percent of lightning strikes. Lightning that harbors a continuing current is more likely to start fires and damage homes or equipment. Such "hot lightning," as it's called, can be spotted by the Geostationary Lightning Mappers, which detect rapid changes in brightness in the 777.4-nanometer (near infrared) band associated with lightning.

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Scientists Top List of Most Trusted Professionals In US

Sat, 2019-08-03 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Scientists have topped a survey of trusted professions, with adults in the U.S. more confident that they act in the public's best interests than employees from any other line of work studied. The survey found that confidence in scientists has risen markedly since 2016 and more than half of American adults believe the specialists should be actively involved in policy decisions surrounding scientific matters. The upswing in public trust, a rise of 10 percentage points since 2016, led to 86% of U.S. adults expressing at least a "fair amount" of confidence that scientists put the public interest first. The trust rating placed scientists above politicians, the military, business leaders, school principals and journalists. Trust in non-scientific professions has remained largely stable since 2016 with school heads on 77%, religious leaders on 57%, journalists on 47%, business leaders on 46% and politicians earning the lowest mark at 35%, the survey by the Pew Research Center in Washington DC found.

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Study Finds Living Near Trees, Not Just Green Space, Improves Wellbeing

Sat, 2019-08-03 02:03
According to a new study published in the journal JAMA Network Open, living in neighborhoods with leafy trees is linked to higher levels of wellness. The study found that not all green spaces are created equal, as leafy trees promote higher levels of wellness than abundant green space. CityLab reports: [The researchers] describe a large-scale longitudinal study featuring 46,786 mostly older residents of three Australian urban areas. The subjects were initially interviewed between 2006 and 2009; follow-up reports were taken between 2012 and 2015. At both points, participants were asked to rate their overall health, and noted whether they have ever been diagnosed with, or treated for, anxiety or depression. In addition, they completed a 10-item questionnaire designed to measure their risk of psychological distress. Among other items, they noted how often in recent weeks they had felt "hopeless, rigid, or fidgety," "so sad that nothing could cheer you up," or "worthless." Researchers compared the participants' answers to the natural features of the "mesh block" where their home is located (a geographical unit containing 30 to 60 dwellings). Using satellite imagery, the team calculated both the percentage of total green space and "separate green space types, including tree canopy, grass, or other low-lying vegetation." After taking into account such variables as the participants' age, gender, education, and household income, the researchers were able to confirm the results of previous studies, finding that "total green space appeared to be associated with lower odds of incident psychological distress." More intriguingly, they also found that exposure to low-lying vegetation was not consistently associated with any particular health outcome. Exposure to grass was, surprisingly, associated with higher odds of psychological distress. The wellness-boosting feature, then, appears to be the trees. The researchers report that living in areas where 30 percent or more of the outdoor space is dominated by tree canopy was associated with 31 percent lower odds of psychological distress, compared to people living in areas with 0 to 9 percent tree canopy. "Similar results were found for self-related fair to poor general health," with tree-rich residents reporting better health overall, the researchers write.

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Alphabet Overtakes Apple To Become Most Cash-Rich Company

Sat, 2019-08-03 01:25
According to The Financial Times, Google's parent company Alphabet has overtaken Apple to become the most cash-rich company in the world. As of the second quarter of this year, Alphabet holds $117 billion in liquid reserves, compared to $102 billion net of debt, for Apple. The Verge reports: Despite the obvious benefits of hoarding so much cash, earning the title of "Cash Kings" might not give much cause for celebration. As the FT notes, such a conspicuous display of wealth could increase pressure from shareholders who'd like to see the company spend more of its money on share buybacks or dividends, and could lead to increased scrutiny from regulators concerned with Google's dominance. Google and its parent company have been hit with around $9.05 billion in antitrust fines by the EU in the past two years, and the company is also facing heavy scrutiny by U..S lawmakers.

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Impossible Foods Gets FDA Approval To Sell Fake Meat In Grocery Stores

Sat, 2019-08-03 00:45
Impossible Foods has been granted approval by the FDA to sell its plant-based meat in U.S. grocery stores this fall. "After expressing some initial doubts, the agency formally ruled that soy leghemoglobin -- the additive in Impossible Burgers that gives it a meat-like flavor and makes it 'bleed' -- is safe for consumers to eat," reports Engadget. "If no objections are raised, the FDA rule change becomes effective on September 4th." From the report: Currently, consumers can only purchase Impossible Foods' fake meat at the many restaurants it has partnerships with -- including Burger King, Qdoba and Claim Jumper. Bringing Impossible Burgers to supermarket aisles will be sure to increase its mainstream relevance and expose it to a wide market. It also ensures that Impossible Foods keeps up with its competitor Beyond Meat, which already sells its products in grocery stores. High demand this summer even lead to Beyond Meat's product being out of stock at select Whole Foods store. Impossible Foods faced shortages of its own this year, and has since doubled employment at its Oakland facility and teamed up with a food production company, OSI Group, to increase supplies. The company also recently inked a deal with Burger King to bring the meatless patties to every restaurant in the country.

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NYT Publishes Anti-Google Rant, Doesn't Mention Author Is Facebook Board Member

Sat, 2019-08-03 00:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: The New York Times published an anti-Google screed by billionaire Peter Thiel last night but failed to mention a fun fact that readers might find relevant: Thiel sits on the board of Facebook, one of Google's largest competitors. Thiel first blasted Google as "treasonous" last month, saying that the FBI and CIA should investigate the company for working with the Chinese government. The tech investor even asked if Google had been infiltrated by Chinese spies, a highly inflammatory charge that he didn't substantiate. Thiel has now followed up his anti-Google remarks in a new piece for the Times praising President Donald Trump and railing against "globalization." Thiel's central argument is that anyone helping China to develop artificial intelligence technologies is assisting China's military because, he says, all AI should be seen first and foremost as having military applications: "A.I. is a military technology. Forget the sci-fi fantasy; what is powerful about actually existing A.I. is its application to relatively mundane tasks like computer vision and data analysis. Though less uncanny than Frankenstein's monster, these tools are nevertheless valuable to any army -- to gain an intelligence advantage, for example, or to penetrate defenses in the relatively new theater of cyberwarfare, where we are already living amid the equivalent of a multinational shooting war." Thiel, who in 2017 sold the majority of his Facebook shares but remains on its board of directors, goes on to characterize Google as "naive" for opening an AI lab in China while deciding to not renew a contract for its work on Project Maven, a U.S. military initiative for which the company was developing an AI system to analyze drone footage, following employee backlash. Thiel also acknowledges that AI can be used for civilian purposes, but he claims that it doesn't matter. He calls Google's actions "shocking": "A.I.'s military power is the simple reason that the recent behavior of America's leading software company, Google -- starting an A.I. lab in China while ending an A.I. contract with the Pentagon -- is shocking. As President Barack Obama's defense secretary Ash Carter pointed out last month, 'If you're working in China, you don't know whether you're working on a project for the military or not.'" He continues: "How can Google use the rhetoric of 'borderless' benefits to justify working with the country whose 'Great Firewall' has imposed a border on the internet itself? This way of thinking works only inside Google's cosseted Northern California campus, quite distinct from the world outside. The Silicon Valley attitude sometimes called 'cosmopolitanism' is probably better understood as an extreme strain of parochialism, that of fortunate enclaves isolated from the problems of other places -- and incurious about them." At the end of the op-ed, where it says "Peter Thiel is an entrepreneur and investor," would be a great place to note that Peter Thiel is also on the board of Facebook.

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Ask Slashdot: Budget-Friendly Webcam Without a Cloud Service?

Fri, 2019-08-02 23:20
simpz writes: Does anyone know of a fairly inexpensive webcam that doesn't depend on a cloud service? A few years ago, you could buy a cheap webcam (with the usual pan/tilt and IR) for about $50 that was fully manageable from a web browser. Nowadays the web interfaces are limited in functionality (or non-existent), or you need a phone app that doesn't work well (maybe only working through a cloud service). I've even seen a few cheap ones that still need ActiveX to view the video in a web browser, really people! I'd like to avoid a cloud service for privacy and to allow this to operate on the LAN with no internet connection present. Even a webcam where you can disable the cloud connection outbound would be fine and allow you to use it fully locally. I guess the issue is this has become a niche thing that the ease of a cloud service connection probably wins for most people, and other considerations don't really matter to them. I had a brief look at a Raspberry Pi solution, but didn't see anything like a small webcam form factor (with pan/tilt etc). Alternatively, are there any third-party firmwares for commercial webcams (sort of a OpenWRT-, DD-WRT-, or LineageOS-style project for webcams) that could provide direct local access only via a web browser (and things like RTSP)?

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Comcast's 'Unlimited' Mobile Plan Now Costs $20 Extra For HD Video

Fri, 2019-08-02 23:00
Xfinity Mobile's unlimited data plans now cost an extra $20 a month if you want to watch HD video. They cost $45 per line per month, but video streams are generally limited to 480p resolution. "Comcast yesterday announced a new $20-per-month HD Pass 'for an upgrade to HD video resolution on Unlimited lines (720p on phone and 1080p on tablets),'" reports Ars Technica. "That raises the monthly price to $65." From the report: Xfinity Mobile does offer cheaper options with HD video if you don't need unlimited data. Comcast said it now allows HD streaming on its limited plans, which cost $12 a month for 1GB, $30 for 3GB, and $60 for 10GB. Comcast charges $12 for each additional gigabyte if you go over your limit. Comcast also now offers a "Data Saver" feature to limited-plan customers, which turns off HD streaming in order to reduce data usage. The new $20 HD pass doesn't lift the 1.5Mbps cap for unlimited customers who use more than 20GB, but Comcast says buying the pass does let users "access faster speeds when the network is congested, such as during concerts and sporting events." Basically, this means unlimited customers who pay $20 extra and use less than 20GB a month will get HD video and will not get slower speeds than limited-plan customers during network congestion. The various speed restrictions do not apply when your phone is connected to a Comcast Wi-Fi hotspot. There are millions of those around the country, and Xfinity Mobile phones can automatically connect to them when in range.

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GermanWiper Ransomware Hits Germany Hard, Destroys Files, Asks For Ransom

Fri, 2019-08-02 22:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: For the past week, a new ransomware strain has been wreaking havoc across Germany. Named GermanWiper, this ransomware doesn't encrypt files but instead it rewrites their content with zeroes, permanently destroying users' data. As a result, any users who get infected by this ransomware should be aware that paying the ransom demand will not help them recover their files. Unless users had created offline backups of their data, their files are most likely gone for good. For now, the only good news is that this ransomware appears to be limited to spreading in German-speaking countries only, and with a focus on Germany primarily. According to German security researcher Marius Genheimer and CERT-Bund, Germany's Computer Emergency Response Team, the GermanWiper ransomware is currently being distributed via malicious email spam (malspam) campaigns. These emails claim to be job applications from a person named "Lena Kretschmer." A CV is attached as a ZIP file to these emails, and contains a LNK shortcut file. The LNK file is boobytrapped and will install the GermanWiper ransomware. When users run this file, the ransomware will rewrite the content of various local files with the 0x00 (zero character), and append a new extension to all files. This extension has a format of five random alpha-numerical characters, such as .08kJA, .AVco3, .OQn1B, .rjzR8, etc.. After it "encrypts" all targeted files, GermanWiper will open the ransom note (an HTML file) inside the user's default browser. The ransom note looks like the one below. A video of the infection process is also available here. Victims are given seven days to pay the ransom demand. It is important to remember that paying the ransom note won't help users recover their files.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Walmart Could Be Looking To Rival Facebook's Libra With a USD-Pegged Stablecoin Issuance, Patent Filing Shows

Fri, 2019-08-02 22:05
Retail giant Walmart could be working on issuing a fiat-backed digital currency, similar to Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency, according to a new patent filing. From a report: The filing, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) on Thursday, outlines a method for "generating one digital currency unit by tying the one digital currency unit to a regular currency," meaning a fiat-pegged stablecoin. The blockchain-based digital currency "may be pegged to the US dollar," the filing adds, and maybe available for use "only at selected retailors or partners." It could also provide households with low income that find banking costly with a choice to "handle wealth at an institution that can supply the majority of their day-to-day financial and product needs," according to the filing.

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US Cities Are Helping People Buy Amazon Surveillance Cameras Using Taxpayer Money

Fri, 2019-08-02 21:25
popcornfan679 writes: The Ring doorbell surveillance camera sits squarely in the center of a Tiffany-blue online flyer, which provides details about a "Security Product Subsidy Event" in Arcadia, California. "Big Sale," the advertisement says, in citrus-colored script. "$100 off." "HELP STOP CRIME BEFORE IT HAPPENS," the ad continues. This isn't an ad from Best Buy or an electronics store. It's an ad from the Arcadia city government. The local city government is selling discounted surveillance cameras directly to its residents, and the "discount" is subsidized by the city. In other words, taxpayer money is being paid to Ring, Amazon's home surveillance company, in exchange for hundreds of surveillance cameras. Cities and towns around the country are paying Ring up to $100,000 to subsidize the purchase of the company's surveillance cameras for private residents. For every dollar committed by a city per these agreements, Ring will match it. This motivates cities to pledge tens of thousands of dollars to a tech giant that is building a private, nationwide surveillance network -- which Amazon is using, in part, to secure the packages it delivers. A typical discount program will last several weeks, or until a certain number of residents take advantage of the program. Motherboard has identified 14 American cities that have these discount programs as well as one city in the United Kingdom. However, there are probably more cities that have offered similar discount programs. Motherboard has reported that Ring courts local governments and police departments around the country to advertise, distribute, and use its products.

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Facebook Insists No Security 'Backdoor' Is Planned for WhatsApp

Fri, 2019-08-02 20:45
An anonymous reader shares a report: Billions of people use the messaging tool WhatsApp, which added end-to-end encryption for every form of communication available on its platform back in 2016. This ensures that conversations between users and their contacts -- whether they occur via text or voice calls -- are private, inaccessible even to the company itself. But several recent posts published to Forbes' blogging platform call WhatsApp's future security into question. The posts, which were written by contributor Kalev Leetaru, allege that Facebook, WhatsApp's parent company, plans to detect abuse by implementing a feature to scan messages directly on people's phones before they are encrypted. The posts gained significant attention: A blog post by technologist Bruce Schneier rehashing one of the Forbes posts has the headline "Facebook Plans on Backdooring WhatsApp." It is a claim Facebook unequivocally denies. "We haven't added a backdoor to WhatsApp," Will Cathcart, WhatsApp's vice president of product management, wrote in a statement. "To be crystal clear, we have not done this, have zero plans to do so, and if we ever did, it would be quite obvious and detectable that we had done it. We understand the serious concerns this type of approach would raise, which is why we are opposed to it."

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IBM Fired as Many as 100,000 in Recent Years, Lawsuit Shows

Fri, 2019-08-02 20:05
International Business Machines (IBM) has fired as many as 100,000 employees in the last few years in an effort to boost its appeal to millennials and make it appear to be as "cool" and "trendy" as Amazon and Google, according to a deposition from a former vice president in an ongoing age discrimination lawsuit. From a report: The technology company is facing several lawsuits accusing it of firing older workers, including a class-action case in Manhattan and individual civil suits filed in California, Pennsylvania and Texas last year. "We have reinvented IBM in the past five years to target higher value opportunities for our clients," IBM said in a statement. "The company hires 50,000 employees each year." Big Blue has struggled with almost seven straight years of shrinking revenue. In the last decade, the company has fired thousands of people in the U.S., Canada and other high-wage jurisdictions in an effort to cut costs and retool its workforce after coming late to the cloud-computing and mobile-tech revolutions. The number of IBM employees has fallen to its lowest point in six years, with 350,600 global workers at the end of 2018 -- a 19% reduction since 2013.

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Pentagon Testing Mass Surveillance Balloons Across the US

Fri, 2019-08-02 19:25
The US military is conducting wide-area surveillance tests across six midwest states using experimental high-altitude balloons, documents filed with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) reveal. From a report: Up to 25 unmanned solar-powered balloons are being launched from rural South Dakota and drifting 250 miles through an area spanning portions of Minnesota, Iowa, Wisconsin and Missouri, before concluding in central Illinois. Traveling in the stratosphere at altitudes of up to 65,000ft, the balloons are intended to "provide a persistent surveillance system to locate and deter narcotic trafficking and homeland security threats," according to a filing made on behalf of the Sierra Nevada Corporation, an aerospace and defense company. The balloons are carrying hi-tech radars designed to simultaneously track many individual vehicles day or night, through any kind of weather. The tests, which have not previously been reported, received an FCC license to operate from mid-July until September, following similar flights licensed last year.

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Electric Scooters Aren't Quite as Climate-Friendly as We Thought

Fri, 2019-08-02 18:46
Electric scooter companies like to tout their green credentials, frequently reminding riders that every two-wheeled trip they take can help reduce carbon emissions and fight climate change -- but the truth is much more complicated. From a report: A new study from North Carolina State University found that shared e-scooters may be more environmentally friendly than most cars, but they can be less green than several other options, including bicycles, walking, and certain modes of public transportation. Riders tend to think they're making the right move by hopping on a scooter that's electric and thus carbon-free. But what they don't see are all of the emissions that are produced by the manufacturing, transportation, maintenance, and upkeep of dockless scooters. If you only think about the segment of the life cycle you can see, which would be standing on the scooter where there's no tailpipe, it's easy to make that assumption," said Jeremiah Johnson, corresponding author of the study and an associate professor of civil, construction and environmental engineering at NC State. "But if you take a step back, you can see all the other things that are a bit hidden in the process."

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Google Opens Auction For Default Android Search Engine in Europe

Fri, 2019-08-02 18:05
Google has opened up an auction to allow alternative search engines to become the default providers on mobile devices in Europe. From a report: Beginning in early 2020, anyone setting up a new Android device in the European Economic Area (EEA) will see a choice screen, where they will be asked to select which search engine they wish to use as a default. Four options (Qwant, Ecosia, Google, Yahoo) will be available, including Google, and these will vary from country to country, depending on which companies apply for inclusion. The move comes a year after Google was hit with a record $5 billion fine by EU antitrust regulators for the way it bundled its services on Android, with claims that Google forced manufacturers to preinstall certain Google apps to gain access to others.

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Google's New Automated Voice Service Lets You Silently Share Information With Emergency Operators

Fri, 2019-08-02 17:50
Google is working to make it easier for callers to share details with 911 responders in the event of an emergency. From a report: In a blog post this week, the tech giant announced a feature heading to select Android devices that will allow users to provide information about the assistance they require -- and their location -- to operators silently. Google says the feature will become available in the U.S. in the coming months starting with Pixel smartphones via the Phone app. "A quick, informative conversation with an operator during an emergency call is critical, but in some cases, people are unable to verbally communicate, whether they're injured, in a dangerous situation or have a speech impairment," wrote product manager Paul Dunlop. "We've been collecting feedback from public safety organizations, including the National Emergency Number Association, to make this feature as helpful as possible."

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