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Recent Changes in Internet Traffic

Wed, 2020-03-18 18:20
Louis Poinsignon of Cloudflare, sharing findings in a blog post: As the COVID-19 emergency continues and an increasing number of cities and countries are establishing quarantines or cordons sanitaire, the Internet has become, for many, the primary method to keep in touch with their friends and families. And it's a vital motor of the global economy as many companies have employees who are now working from home. Traffic towards video conferencing, streaming services and news, e-commerce websites has surged. We've seen growth in traffic from residential broadband networks, and a slowing of traffic from businesses and universities. The Cloudflare team is fully operational and the Network Operating Center (NOC) is watching the changing traffic patterns in the more than 200 cities in which we operate hardware. Big changes in Internet traffic aren't unusual. They often occur around large sporting events like the Olympics or World Cup, cultural events like the Eurovision Song Contest and even during Ramadan at the breaking of the fast each day. The Internet was built to cope with an ever changing environment. In fact, it was literally created, tested, debugged and designed to deal with changing load patterns. Over the last few weeks, the Cloudflare Network team has noticed some new patterns and we wanted to share a few of them with you.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Google Pauses Chrome and Chrome OS Releases Due To Coronavirus Outbreak

Wed, 2020-03-18 17:35
Google said today it is pausing upcoming Chrome and Chrome OS releases due to the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak. From a report: The company cited "adjusted work schedules" as the primary reason for the delay, as most of its engineers are now working from home. The company published an official statement today after ZDNet reached out for comment last night, when Google failed to release Chrome v81. YouTube videos, tweets, and blog posts announcing the new Chrome release were posted online yesterday -- most likely scheduled days or weeks in advance. However, the actual Chrome v81 release never made it to users' devices, and the same videos, tweets, and blog posts were removed shortly after Google's PR realized their mistake.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Purism Librem Mini is a Tiny Linux Desktop

Wed, 2020-03-18 16:54
Today, we get another diminutive desktop option, but this one is designed for Linux and privacy. From a report: Yes, Purism is finally launching a tiny desktop, and it will come pre-installed with the Debian-based PureOS. Called "Librem Mini," the cute bugger has 4 USB-A ports on the front, along with a 3.5mm audio jack, and the power button. On the rear, there are two more USB-A ports, a single USB-C port, Ethernet, HDMI, DisplayPort, and the power port. "Announcing the Purism Librem Mini. Our small form-factor mini-PC that puts freedom, privacy and security first. We're really excited about the Librem Mini, it's a device our community have wanted and we've wanted to offer for some time. The Librem Mini is accessible, small, light and powerful featuring a new 8th gen quad core i7 processor, up to 64 GB of fast DDR4 memory and 4k 60 fps video playback. It's a desktop for your home or oïfce, a media center for your entertainment, or an expandable home server for your files and applications," says Purism.

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Hospital Workers Make Masks From Office Supplies Amid US Shortage

Wed, 2020-03-18 16:15
Hospital workers in Washington state have been making protective medical gear out of office supplies and other run-of-the-mill materials as they deal with a severe shortage of equipment needed to care for patients who may have Covid-19. From a report: Among the supplies coming in handy: clear vinyl sheets. "We are very close to being out of face shields," said Becca Bartles, executive director of infection prevention at Providence St. Joseph Health, a 51-hospital system. "Masks, we're probably a couple of days away" from running out, she said. To buy time, Providence infection control and quality experts designed prototype face-shields with off-the-shelf materials: marine-grade vinyl, industrial tape, foam and elastic. Monday night they bought supplies at craft stores and Home Depot. On Tuesday, about 20 administrative staff members at the health system's corporate headquarters volunteered to work an assembly line in a large conference room, putting together 500 home-spun face shields that were going to a hospital in Seattle that night.

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Medical Company Threatens To Sue Volunteers That 3D-Printed Valves for Life-Saving Coronavirus Treatments

Wed, 2020-03-18 15:29
A medical device manufacturer has threatened to sue a group of volunteers in Italy that 3D printed a valve used for life-saving coronavirus treatments. From a report: The valve typically costs about $11,000 from the medical device manufacturer, but the volunteers were able to print replicas for about $1. A hospital in Italy was in need of the valves after running out while treating patients for COVID-19. The hospital's usual supplier said they could not make the valves in time to treat the patients. That launched a search for a way to 3D print a replica part, and Cristian Fracassi and Alessandro Ramaioli, who work at Italian startup Isinnova, offered their company's printer for the job. However, when the pair asked the manufacturer of the valves for blueprints they could use to print replicas, the company declined and threatened to sue for patent infringement. Fracassi and Ramaioli moved ahead anyway by measuring the valves and 3D printing three different versions of them.

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Pixar CG Pioneers Pat Hanrahan and Edwin Catmull Share $1M Turing Award

Wed, 2020-03-18 14:41
The 2019 Turing Award, one of the highest honors in computing, was today awarded to Pat Hanrahan and Ed Catmull, founding members of Pixar who helped shape the future of computer graphics. From a report: The two will share a $1M prize and, of course, the satisfaction of receiving this prestigious award for doing something they clearly love. The award has recently been given to such luminaries as Tim Berners-Lee, cryptographer Martin Hellman, and last year AI pioneers Yoshua Bengio, Geoffrey Hinton, and Yann LeCun. Catmull was at Pixar for more than 30 years, appointed its president from the very beginning as a LucasFilm animation studio bought and repurposed by Steve Jobs. Hanrahan was an early hire, and between them the two would have had enormous effects on the world of CG, even if they hadn't built the poster child for the technology. TechCrunch spoke with Catmull and Hanrahan about the origins of the field and their early work in it that the Association for Computing Machinery chose to recognize this year. "When I started out, graphics didn't really exist," Hanrahan recalled. "I sort of discovered graphics in grad school, but there were no professors, no classes, it wasn't even in the computer sciences, really."

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Apple Announces a New iPad Pro and Signals the End is Coming For Laptops

Wed, 2020-03-18 14:00
Despite COVID-19 forcing Apple to close down all retail stores outside of China indefinitely, the company just announced a new 11- and 12.9-inch iPad Pro (starting at $799 and $949, respectively). From a report: Last refreshed in 2018, the new iPad Pros come with a faster A12Z Bionic chip equipped with an 8-core CPU and GPU, a new ultra-wide camera and a "LiDAR scanner" for AR. However, the most surprising (or not surprising) announcement is a new Magic Keyboard accessory with a trackpad (which starts at $249). Simply put: Apple just turned the iPad Pro into a laptop. The gap between an iPad Pro and Microsoft's Surface Pro is now narrower than ever before. This could mean the beginning of the end for MacBooks. There's lots to unpack about the new iPad Pros. Apple is saying the A12Z Bionic chip has an 8-core CPU and 8-core GPU, but stopped short of saying how much faster it is compared to the A12 Bionic in the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. Apple only says the gigabit-class LTE is 60 percent faster and the battery life is still the same 10 hours. The cameras on the back look like the iPhone 11 Pro's triple-camera setup at first glance. But they're not. First, the ultra-wide camera is 10 megapixels versus 12 megapixels on the iPhone 11 and 11 Pro. And second, the third lens isn't a telephoto lens, but a "LiDAR Scanner" which Apple says improves AR applications. The LiDAR Scanner "measures the distance to surrounding objects up to 5 meters away, works both indoors and outdoors, and operates at the photon level at nano-second speeds."

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California Loses Up To $1 Billion In Crops Each Year Because of Air Pollution, Study Finds

Wed, 2020-03-18 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Table grapes -- the kind for snacking -- were the most vulnerable among seven crops badly affected by smog, including: wine grapes, strawberries, walnuts, peaches, nectarines, and hay. The crops lost between 2 to 22 percent of their yields as a result of smog. The results show that dirty air comes at a significant economic cost to California, which raked in $50 billion for its agriculture in 2018. Grapes, the hardest hit by pollution, bring in the most money for the state after dairy. Every American's diet could be affected since California produces the most agriculture in the U.S. and supplies two-thirds of the country's fruit and nuts. Some are still losing up to 15 percent of their yields today, the researchers from the University of California at Irvine found in their paper published today in Nature Food. There is some good news -- the state's efforts to limit pollution over the years did seem to boost the perennial crops -- indicating that future efforts to limit pollution can make a difference. Smog, or ground-level ozone pollution, creeps into the pores of the plants and essentially burns the cells that are trying to photosynthesize, Davis explained to The Verge. This type of pollution wreaks more havoc on plants than all other types of air pollutants combined, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. It's created when emissions from tailpipes and factories go through a chemical reaction under sunlight. California has some of the worst smog in the nation and is home to 10 of the 25 most polluted cities in the U.S., according to the American Lung Association's annual report. The scientists predict, however, that taking action on climate change will benefit crops -- since curbing pollution from tailpipes cuts down both greenhouse gases and air pollution. Plus, higher temperatures speed up the chemical reactions that create smog.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Facebook Bug Caused Legitimate News Articles About the Coronavirus To Be Marked As Spam

Wed, 2020-03-18 11:30
McGruber shares a report from Business Insider: Facebook is blocking users from posting some legitimate news articles about the coronavirus in what appears to be a bug in its spam filters. On Tuesday, multiple Facebook users reported on Twitter that they found themselves unable to post articles from certain news outlets including Business Insider, BuzzFeed, The Atlantic, and the Times of Israel. It's not clear exactly what has gone wrong, and Facebook did not respond to a request for comment. Alex Stamos, an outspoken former Facebook security exec, speculated that it might be caused by Facebook's shift to automated software after it sent its human content moderators home. "It looks like an anti-spam rule at FB is going haywire," he wrote on Twitter. "Facebook sent home content moderators yesterday, who generally can't [work from home] due to privacy commitments the company has made. We might be seeing the start of the machine learning going nuts with less human oversight. In a tweet, VP of Integrity Guy Rosen said: "We're on this -- this is a bug in an anti-spam system, unrelated to any changes in our content moderator workforce. We're in the process of fixing and bringing all these posts back."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Sonic The Hedgehog Surpasses Detective Pikachu To Become Highest-Grossing Video Game Movie

Wed, 2020-03-18 10:00
Sonic the Hedgehog's latest weekend total allowed it to surpass Detective Pikachu and become the highest-grossing video game movie ever in the US. TheRichest reports: Sonic has now amassed $145.8 million domestically, while Detective Pikachu managed $144.1 million by the end of its run. Sonic has definitely taken a hit as it only brought in $2.58 million last weekend to limp past Detective Pikachu's record. As for the worldwide record, it seems as if that will belong to Detective Piakchu for the foreseeable future. That's the one element of Sonic's success that has been affected by the worldwide pandemic we are in the midst of. The movie's release has been delayed in China and as it stands as brought in $306.5 million worldwide. That's a long way off the $433 million record set by Detective Pikachu.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Rocket Lab Gets NASA Certification For Official Smallsat Launches

Wed, 2020-03-18 07:00
Rocket Lab's Electron launch vehicle has received Category 1 certification from NASA, meaning it is authorized for use on more important missions, opening up a whole new revenue stream for the growing launch provider. TechCrunch reports: The certification was largely based on the success of "This One's for Pickering" in late 2018, the company's fourth commercial launch, which took a batch of NASA cubesats into orbit as part of the ELaNa-19 mission. This experimental mission was undertaken as part of NASA's Venture Class Launch Services initiative to test out newer and smaller launch vehicles using non-critical payloads. Certification categories go from 1-3, from "high risk" to "low risk," based largely on successful launches, which as you might imagine is something of a catch-22: You need the launches to get the certification, but you need the certification to get the launches. Fortunately, one can break the cycle with non-essential missions like small experimental satellites -- which is sort of the purpose of the VCLS program. Category 2 certification is in process, but is of course even more stringent and requires six consecutive successful missions with the same rocket configuration. Rocket Lab has 10 in a row at present, but there's likely a lot of paperwork involved as well.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Coronavirus Cases Now Reported In All 50 States

Wed, 2020-03-18 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The coronavirus has now been identified in all 50 U.S. states, and more than 100 deaths in the country have been linked to the illness. Those known deaths, all from the past three weeks, come as the number of diagnoses has surged into the thousands as the virus has spread and as testing has expanded significantly. On Tuesday evening, West Virginia became the 50th state to report its first case. As of Tuesday evening, at least 5,587 people across every state, plus Washington, D.C., and three U.S. territories, have tested positive for coronavirus, according to a New York Times database, and at least 101 patients with the virus have died. Several hundred new cases are now being identified each day, including about 700 on both Saturday and Sunday and nearly 900 on Monday. The pace of diagnosis is expected to quicken as the virus spreads and testing becomes more widely available. More state and private labs have started running tests for the coronavirus in recent days, increasing the capacity to identify new patients after weeks of delays and test kit shortages. For comparison, a total of 70 cases were reported in the U.S. at the start of the month. "Since then, new cases have poured in, including more than 200 announced on Monday in New York State alone," the report adds. "More than 2,200 cases have been announced nationwide since Friday morning, and the virus is now spreading in parts of the country where it had not been identified as recently as a week ago."

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Fox Buys Free Ad-Supported Streaming Service Tubi For $440 Million

Wed, 2020-03-18 01:25
Tubi, a leader in the fast-growing free ad-supported streaming category, is being purchased by Fox for about $440 million. It's paying for the acquisition using cash from the sale of a minority stake in Roku. Deadline reports: Tubi brings Fox an expanded consumer offering with a sizable, younger-skewing and directly connected user base that spends over 160 million hours per month watching content on the service. Tubi is available on more than 25 digital platforms in the U.S. with some 20,000 titles and 56,000 hours of film and episodic television programming from over 250 content partners. Fox plans to continue to run Tubi as an independent service and said it will evaluate opportunities to expand its offering -- not through original content but in a "more cost-effective manner by leveraging our expertise in national and local news and sports programming." Tubi founder and CEO Farhad Massoudi will continue to lead the service. "Tubi will immediately expand our direct-to-consumer audience and capabilities and will provide our advertising partners with more opportunities to reach audiences at scale. Importantly, coupled with the combined power of Fox's existing networks, Tubi provides a substantial base from which we will drive long-term growth in the direct-to-consumer arena," said Fox CEO Lachlan Murdoch.

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TikTok 'Tried To Filter Out Videos From Ugly, Poor Or Disabled Users'

Wed, 2020-03-18 00:45
TikTok moderators were told to suppress videos from users who appeared too ugly, poor or disabled, as part of the company's efforts to curate an aspirational air in the videos it promotes, according to new documents published by the Intercept. From a report: The documents detail how moderators for the social video app were instructed to select content for the influential "For You" feed, an algorithmic timeline that is most users' first port of call when they open the app. As a result, being selected for For You can drive huge numbers of views to a given video, but the selection criteria have always remained a secret, with little understanding as to the amount of automation involved. TikTok's moderators were instructed to exclude videos from the For You feed if they failed on any one of a number of categories, the documents show. Users with an "abnormal body shape (not limited to: dwarf, acromegaly)," who are "chubby ... obese or too thin" or who have "ugly facial looks or facial deformities" should be removed, one document says, since "if the character's appearance is not good, the video will be much less attractive, not worthing [sic] to be recommended to new users." Similarly, the documents show, videos were to be removed from the feed if "the shooting environment is shabby and dilapidated," since "this kind of environment is ... less fancy and appealing." A TikTok spokesperson said the goal was to prevent bullying on the platform, tying the document to a report from December that showed that the company was suppressing vulnerable users' videos in a misguided effort to prevent them from becoming the centre of attention that could turn sour. The categories of video suppressed in the latest document are far broader than those revealed in December, however, nor is any mention of bullying, a discrepancy the company attributes to a local interpretation of the wider policy. The documents also "show the extent of TikTok's former rules requiring moderators to enforce Chinese foreign policy overseas," the report adds. "The site published the company's livestreaming policies, which instruct moderators to take down 'controversial content' that promotes Taiwanese independence or is 'uglification' of history, such as the Tiananmen Square 'incidents.'"

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Surveillance Company Says It's Deploying 'Coronavirus-Detecting' Cameras In US

Wed, 2020-03-18 00:02
An Austin, Texas based technology company is launching "artificially intelligent thermal cameras" that it claims will be able to detect fevers in people, and in turn send an alert that they may be carrying the coronavirus. Motherboard reports: Athena Security is pitching the product to be used in grocery stores, hospitals, and voting locations. It claims to be deploying the product at several customer locations over the coming weeks, including government agencies, airports, and large Fortune 500 companies. "Our Fever Detection COVID19 Screening System is now a part of our platform along with our gun detection system which connects directly to your current security camera system to deliver fast, accurate threat detection," Athena's website reads. Athena previously sold software that it claims can detect guns and knives in video feeds and then send alerts to an app or security system. "The AI detects it, and it says I have a 99.5 degrees temperature. It notices that I have a fever, and that I am infected," an Athena employee says during a video demonstration of the product. "Since higher temperature is one of the first symptoms, these cameras can be life-saving" warning the person that they could have the virus and encouraging that person to take serious steps to self-quarantine," the representative added in an email, suggesting that the company could deploy them at polling locations. "Although many voters today are bound to get it, steps in the coming weeks could prevent them from spreading the bug to loved ones and strangers alike." The representative claimed that the software is accurate within half a degree and that it detects a dozen different parts on the body. They added the system has "no facial recognition, no personal tracking."

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ReMarkable's Redesigned E-Paper Tablet Is More Powerful and More Papery

Tue, 2020-03-17 23:20
An anonymous reader shares a report from TechCrunch, written by Devin Coldewey: It's no secret I'm a fan of the reMarkable, a tablet with a paper-like display that's focused on text and sketching rather than rich media and games. The sequel to the original, announced today, looks to make a good thing even better. Designed for the creation and consumption of monochromatic content like long documents, e-books, notes and sketches, the reMarkable set itself apart as a more minimalist alternative (or complement) to the likes of the iPad or Surface. The device was crowdfunded and has sold more than 100,000 units; meanwhile, the company has grown and attracted a $15 million A round. One sees in retrospect that the money helped launch this successor. The most obvious change is to the design. It has a bold asymmetrical look with a chrome band along the left side, indicating the tablet's main use as an alternative to a paper notebook: Hold it with your left hand and write with your right. Sorry, lefties. The new tablet is just 4.7 mm (0.19 in) thick, thinner than the iPad Pro and Sony's competing Digital Paper tablets, both of which are 5.9 mm. Let's be honest -- at these levels of thinness it's getting hard to tell the difference, but it's an accomplishment nevertheless. [...] The software running on the reMarkable has received several major updates since the product made its debut, adding things like handwriting recognition, a new interface, better performance and so on. But one of the most requested features is finally coming with the new device: saving articles from the web. The company is claiming a 3x boost to battery life, using the same 3,000 mAh battery, based on performance improvements throughout and a more efficient (but more powerful) dual-core ARM processor. That means two weeks of use and 90 days of standby. This is welcome news, because frankly the battery life and power management on the last one were not great. The reMarkable 2 will sell for $399 if you pre-order, and comes with a Marker and a folio case.

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