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iTunes Expected To Be Retired After Over 18 Years

Fri, 2019-05-31 22:50
While it was initially reported that iTunes would live on in macOS 10.15, it now looks like the app will be retired, over 18 years after it was introduced by the late Steve Jobs at Macworld on January 9, 2001. MacRumors reports: Apple will be replacing iTunes with standalone Music, TV, and Podcasts apps in the next major version of macOS, expected to be unveiled at WWDC 2019 next week, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman: "iTunes has been the way Apple users listen to music, watch movies and TV shows, hear podcasts, and manage their devices for almost two decades. This year, Apple is finally ready to move into a new era. The company is launching a trio of new apps for the Mac -- Music, TV, and Podcasts -- to replace iTunes. That matches Apple's media app strategy on iPhones and iPads. Without iTunes, customers can manage their Apple gadgets through the Music app." This information lines up with a recent report from 9to5Mac's Guilherme Rambo, who claimed that iTunes will be renamed to "Music" on the Mac. In other words, iTunes is going away and will be replaced by the new Music app, which is expected to become the new utility for syncing and managing Apple devices.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Space Firm Founded By Paul Allen Closing Operations, Report Says

Fri, 2019-05-31 22:10
Stratolaunch Systems Corporation, the space company founded by late Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen, is closing operations, cutting short ambitious plans to challenge traditional aerospace companies in a new "space race," Reuters reported Friday, citing four people familiar with the matter. From the report: The company, a unit of Allen's privately held investment vehicle Vulcan, had been developing a portfolio of launch vehicles including the world's largest airplane by wingspan to launch satellites and eventually humans into space. Allen, who founded Seattle-based Stratolaunch in 2011, died at age 65 last October. [...] Stratolaunch aimed to launch Northrop's small-payload Pegasus from Stratolaunch's carrier plane in 2020.

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New York Schools Will Test Facial Recognition On Students Despite Objections From State

Fri, 2019-05-31 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed News: A New York school district will move forward with its facial recognition pilot program next week, despite an explicit order from the New York State Education Department that it wait until a standard for data privacy and security for all state educational agencies is finalized. On Friday, the Lockport school district said it was "confident" that the data collection policy for its facial recognition system was sound enough that it could begin testing it on campuses June 3. "[State Education Department] representatives previously communicated to the District their recommendation that the System not become operational until the dialogue between the District and SED with regard to student data security and privacy is complete," the statement, sent by district director of technology Robert LiPuma to BuzzFeed News, said. "However, the District's Initial Implementation Phase of the System (which will commence June 3, 2019 and continue through August 31, 2019) will not include any student data being entered into the System database or generated by the System." Reached by phone, JP O'Hare, a representative of the New York State Education Department, would not say whether the department knew Lockport planned to go ahead with its facial recognition test in spite of the department's request for a delay. Lockport said that its facial recognition system should not be a privacy concern because it "does not compile information on and track the movements of all District students, staff and visitors." Instead, the system is "limited to identifying whether an individual whose photograph has been entered into the System database is on District property (i.e., is visible on one of the District's security cameras)." But it also said the individuals who may be entered into the database included those who are prohibited from being on District property, "such as suspended students or staff."

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Apple Poised To Bring Mac and iPad Closer Than Ever

Fri, 2019-05-31 20:50
It's pretty much a given that next week's Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will bring new versions of MacOS and iOS. The real question is just how much convergence there will be between the 2 operating systems. From a report: The Mac remains popular even as the bulk of Apple's business is now selling phones and tablets, both of which have been increasing in computing power. Apple has long said it doesn't plan to merge its mobile and computer operating systems, but the two have been moving closer together recently. Apple offered a "sneak peek" last year at its multiyear effort (known internally as Marzipan) to allow programs written for iOS devices like the iPad to run on Macs with minimal changes. Last year, the company said it was testing the technology first with its own apps, like Stocks and Voice Memos, and would offer other developers a chance to adapt their apps over time. Developers are champing at the bit for their taste of Marzipan, and WWDC could offer them a way in. Apple is likely to preview upgrades to its TV and watch operating systems and perhaps give a few more details on some of its new services, such as Arcade, a subscription iOS game service due out this fall.

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The Dark Side of Dark Mode

Fri, 2019-05-31 20:10
Apple, which has already introduced "dark mode" in macOS, is widely expected to replicate this in its mobile operating system iOS this year. The move comes as a number of technology companies introduce dark mode in their apps and operating systems. But is it something everyone wants? TidBITS: When text is white on a black background as it would be in Dark Mode, the whiteness of the lines lightens the edges of each line broadly on both sides, blurring the edge. If the thin lines of the text are black and the background is white, however, white from both sides washes over the entire line, lightening it evenly, so the edges aren't blurred. Blur is a bad thing because of how the human eye relies primarily on contrast when extracting detail from an image. In "Reality and Digital Pictures" (12 December 2005), Charles wrote: The eye does not see light per se, it sees changes in light -- contrast. If two objects do not contrast with one another, to the eye they meld into one. This fact makes controlling the contrast of adjacent details to be paramount in importance. He was focused on issues revolving around photographs, but contrast has been shown to be paramount in numerous studies of textual legibility as well. Of course, contrast goes in both directions -- black on white and white on black both have high contrast. In the scientific literature, black on white is called "positive polarity," whereas white on black is called "negative polarity." Numerous studies over decades of research have found that positive polarity displays provide improved performance in a variety of areas. [...] Taptagaporn and Saito (1990, 1993) tracked changes in pupil size for different illumination levels as well as for the viewing of different visual targets, such as a cathode ray tube (CRT) display, script and keyboard. They found less visual fatigue as measured by the frequency of changes in pupil size when working was accomplished with a positive than with a negative polarity display. Likewise, Saito, Taptagaporn, and Salvendy (1993) found faster lens accommodation and thus faster focusing of the eye with positive than with negative polarity displays. To summarize, a dark-on-light display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and it results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort. The benefits apply to both the young and the old, as that paper concludes: In an ageing society, age-related vision changes need to be considered when designing digital displays. Visual acuity testing and a proofreading task revealed a positive polarity advantage for younger and older adults. Dark characters on light background lead to better legibility and are strongly recommended independent of observer's age.

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'Robots' Are Not 'Coming For Your Job' -- Management Is

Fri, 2019-05-31 19:30
merbs writes: If the robots are simply "coming," if they just show up and relieve a helpless lot of humans of their livelihoods, then no one is to blame for this techno-elemental phenomenon, and little is to be done about it beyond bracing for impact. Not the executives swayed by consulting firms who insist the future is in AI customer service bots, or the managers who see an opportunity to improve profit margins by adopting automated kiosks that edge out cashiers, or the shipping conglomerate bosses who decide to replace dockworkers with a fleet of automated trucks. These individuals may feel as if they have no choice, with shareholders and boards and bosses of their own to answer to, and an economic system that incentivizes the making of these decisions -- and sometimes the technology will perform obviously superior work to the human -- but they are exactly that: decisions, made by people, to call in or build the job-threatening robots. Pretending otherwise, that robots in every use case are inevitable, is the very worst form of technological determinism, and leads to a dearth in critical thinking about when and how automation *is* best implemented. Because even the most ardent robot lovers will agree, there are plenty of cases of badly deployed automation; systems that make our lives worse and more inefficient, and that kill jobs en route to worse outcomes. And such automated regression is often implemented under the logic of 'robots are coming,' so better hop aboard. We will be able to make better decisions about embracing effective automation if we understand that, in practice, 'the robots are coming for our jobs' usually means something more like 'a CEO wants to cut his operating budget by 15 percent and was just pitched on enterprise software that promises to do the work currently done by thirty employees in accounts payable.'

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Hulu Has 82M Viewers, and Most of Them Are Seeing Ads

Fri, 2019-05-31 18:50
Hulu has broken out some new total audience figures and revealed just how many of those total viewers are watching the company's ad-supported streaming service. From a report: Peter Naylor, senior vice president and head of advertising sales at Hulu, said that his company counts 82 million overall viewers, and added that nearly 70% of those viewers are on Hulu's $5.99-per-month ad-supported plan. According to Variety, that works out to 58 million, or an average of 2.9 viewers per Hulu account. Naylor's comments add some context for figures that Hulu disclosed earlier this month. The company said it now has more than 28 million total customers (26.8 million paid subscribers and 1.3 million promotional accounts). The company also said that its ad-supported audience grew by 43% year over year and that total ad-supported hours watched on Hulu increased by 82% year over year.

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The North Face Used Wikipedia To Climb To the Top of Google Search Results

Fri, 2019-05-31 18:10
An anonymous reader shares a report: When you first start planning a big trip, step one will likely happen at the Google search bar. Step two might be clicking onto the images of your target destination. The North Face, in a campaign with agency Leo Burnett Tailor Made, took advantage of this consumer behavior to keep its name top of mind with travelers considering an adventure sports excursion. The brand and agency took pictures of athletes wearing the brand while trekking to famous locations around the world, including Brazil's Guarita State Park and Farol do Mampimptuba, Cuillin in Scotland and Peru's Huayna Picchu. They then updated the Wikipedia images in the articles for those locations so that now, the brand would appear in the top of Google image search results when consumers researched any of those locations -- all done for a budget of zero dollars. "Our mission is to expand our frontiers so that our consumers can overcome their limits. With the 'Top of Images' project, we achieved our positioning and placed our products in a fully contextualized manner as items that go hand in hand with these destinations," explained Fabricio Luzzi, CEO of The North Face Brazil in a statement. According to the agency, the biggest obstacle of the campaign was updating the photos without attracting attention of Wikipedia moderators to sustain the brand's presence for as long as possible, as site editors could change them at any time. The "hack" worked, at least for a while, evident in a quick Google search of some of the places mentioned in the campaign's case study video. Further reading: Wikimedia is not pleased.

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New York Tenants Fight as Landlords Embrace Facial Recognition Cameras

Fri, 2019-05-31 18:00
Tenants in a New York City apartment complex are fighting their landlord's effort to install a facial recognition system to access parts of the buildings, calling it an affront to their privacy rights. From a report: The row, which the tenants believe could become an important test case, comes as concern about the spread of facial recognition systems has grown across the US and globally, with law enforcement agencies increasingly relying on the tool. San Francisco this month became the first US city to ban city police and government agencies from using it. Private firms are also increasingly keen on the technology. At Atlantic Plaza Towers in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn, the landlord, Nelson Management Group, is moving to install a new system to control entry into the buildings. It would use facial recognition to open the front door for recognized tenants rather than traditional keys or electronic key fobs. More than 130 tenants have, however, filed a formal complaint with the state seeking to block the application. "We do not want to be tagged like animals," said Icemae Downes, who has lived at Atlantic Plaza Towers since it opened 51 years ago. "We are not animals. We should be able to freely come in and out of our development without you tracking every movement." Some residents also fear the move reflects the spreading pressures of gentrification further into the east of Brooklyn, and a desire to attract white, higher-income residents in the buildings, whose tenants are mostly black. They say there is already a culture of surveillance and that if they are suspected of breaking one of the building's rules, they might find an image of themselves pushed under their doors.

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Google Threatens To Delist Chrome Extensions Installed by Deceptive Tactics

Fri, 2019-05-31 16:50
Google is cracking down again on deceptive Chrome extension installation practices. The browser maker listed new rules yesterday that extension developers must follow, or face the possibility of having their extension removed from the official Chrome Web Store. From a report: These new rules come after last year Google banned the installation of Chrome extensions via third-party sites (called inline installs) and limited the installation process to users visiting the extension's official Chrome Web Store page only. [...] But yesterday, Google announced plans to remove all Chrome extensions that abuse the following tactics to trick users towards pressing the "Add to Chrome" button: 1. Extensions that lack a clear "disclosure" that explains to users what they can expect by installing the Chrome extension. 2. Extensions that use misleading disclosures or explanations for the extension's purpose. 3. Hiding disclosure texts (extension's purpose) in large blocks of text, down the page, or using text and fonts that make the disclosure unreadable. 4. Using misleading interactive elements (such as buttons or forms) that trick the user into believing they're taking an action, but unknown to them, they are actually installing a Chrome extension. [...]

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Fake LinkedIn Profiles Are Impossible To Detect

Fri, 2019-05-31 16:10
From a report: Don't trust everything you see on LinkedIn. We created a fake LinkedIn profile with a fake job at a real company. Our fake profile garnered the attention of a Google recruiter and gained over 170 connections and 100 skill endorsements. Everyone is talking about fake accounts on Facebook and fake followers on Twitter. LinkedIn hasn't been part of the conversation, but Microsoft's social network also has a big problem. We created a fake profile and connected it to a real company. Sadly, it isn't hard. LinkedIn doesn't ask for any proof or confirmation of anything. Instead, LinkedIn runs on a sort of honor system. You can say you work for a large company and give yourself an impressive job title. It worked for us. Our fake profile (John) "works for HP" as an Innovation Technologist. You may think that's a job title we made up on the spot, but it's a real position we found in HP's job listings. We also gave John previous jobs at Exabeam and Salesforce to round out his resume. You might imagine that HP or someone else would notice and stop us. But that's not how it works. LinkedIn doesn't notify companies about new employee profiles. We didn't steal anyone's identity or even use a real photo for our fake profile. See that photo of John? That's not a stock photo of a real person. Instead, the image came from thispersondoesnotexist.com. Simply put, it's a fake photo of a non-existent person generated by a computer algorithm.

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Maine Lawmakers Pass Bill To Prevent ISPs From Selling Browsing Data Without Consent

Fri, 2019-05-31 15:30
Maine lawmakers have passed a bill that will prevent internet providers from selling consumers' private internet data to advertisers. From a report: The state's senate unanimously passed the bill 35-0 on Thursday following an earlier vote by state representatives 96-45 in favor of the bill. The bill, if signed into law by state governor Janet Mills, will force the national and smaller regional internet providers operating in the state to first obtain permission from residents before their data can be sold or passed on to advertisers or other third parties. Maine has about 1.3 million residents. The Republican-controlled Federal Communications Commission voted in 2017 to allow internet providers to sell customers' private and personal internet data and browsing histories -- including which websites a user visits and for how long -- to advertisers for the biggest buck. Congress later passed the measure into law.

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BlackBerry Messenger Shuts Down For Good Today

Fri, 2019-05-31 15:06
Today, Emtek pulls the plug on BlackBerry Messenger. From a report: The company announced last month that it would shut down the consumer service, which has been steadily losing users and failing to attract new ones. As a consolation for diehard fans, BlackBerry opened BBM Enterprise, its enterprise-grade encrypted Messenger (BBMe), for personal use. That's available on Android, iOS, Windows and Mac. Three years ago, the company set out to reinvigorate BBM consumer service, but those efforts fell flat. "We poured our hearts into making this a reality, and we are proud of what we have built to date," BlackBerry wrote on its blog. "The technology industry however, is very fluid, and in spite of our substantial efforts, users have moved on to other platforms, while new users proved difficult to sign on."

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Following US Huawei Ban, China Threatens Own Blacklist For Foreign Firms

Fri, 2019-05-31 14:00
Odds of the U.S. and China cooling off their trade war further diminished on Friday after the world's most populous nation said it would create a list of "unreliable" foreign firms of its own. From a report: Gao Feng, a spokesman of China's commerce ministry, said today that the nation will create an "entity list" that will include, in part, foreign companies that have stopped or curtailed their businesses with Chinese firms. "Foreign enterprises, organizations or individuals that do not comply with market rules, deviate from a contract's spirit or impose blockades or stop supplies to Chinese enterprises for non-commercial purposes, and seriously damage the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese enterprises, will be included on a list of 'unreliable entities,'" he was quoted as saying by state-owned local media. The retaliation comes weeks after the U.S. Commerce Department enlisted Huawei and 68 affiliates in an entity list over national security concerns, thereby requiring American companies to take approval from the government before conducting business with Chinese firms.

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California Approves Wide Power Outages To Prevent Wildfires

Fri, 2019-05-31 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: California regulators on Thursday approved allowing utilities to cut off electricity to possibly hundreds of thousands of customers to avoid catastrophic wildfires like the one sparked by power lines last year that killed 85 people and largely destroyed the city of Paradise. Utilities' liability can reach billions of dollars, and after several years of devastating wildfires, they asked regulators to allow them to pull the plug when fire risk is extremely high. That's mainly during periods of excessive winds and low humidity when vegetation is dried out and can easily ignite. The California Public Utilities Commission gave the green light but said utilities must do a better job educating and notifying the public, particularly those with disabilities and others who are vulnerable, and ramp up preventive efforts, such as clearing brush and installing fire-resistant poles. The plans could inconvenience hundreds of thousands of customers while endangering some who depend on electricity to keep them alive. The precautionary outages could mean multiday blackouts for cities as large as San Francisco and San Jose, Northern California's major power provider warned in a recent filing with the utilities commission.

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NSF Greenlights $1.1 Million Remake of Microsoft's 2016 'Code Trip' PBS Show

Fri, 2019-05-31 10:00
theodp writes: It's not just Hollywood that's running out of new story ideas. Fueled by a $1.1 million NSF award, PBS stalwart Roadtrip Nation is casting Computer Science Roadtrip (apply by June 14, kids!), which will send three young adults interested in computer science on a road trip across the country in a green RV to meet inspiring professionals working with cutting-edge technology. "This trip is about highlighting exciting careers connected to computer science and innovation," explains Roadtrip Nation, which just a few years back partnered with Microsoft on The Code Trip Roadtrip, which also sent three young people on a road trip across the country in a green RV to interview inspiring professionals (including Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes) and "inform others of the many career routes one can take with a computer science background."

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Amazon Interested In Buying Boost From T-Mobile and Sprint, Says Report

Fri, 2019-05-31 07:00
Amazon is reportedly interested in buying prepaid cellphone wireless service Boost Mobile from U.S. carriers T-Mobile and Sprint. "Amazon is considering buying Boost mainly for an attached wholesale deal that would allow the buyer to use T-Mobile's wireless network for at least six years," reports Reuters, citing two sources familiar with the matter. "Amazon would also be interested in any wireless spectrum that could be divested." From the report: It was not immediately clear why the U.S. online retail giant and cloud services provider would want the wireless network and spectrum. T-Mobile and Sprint have offered concessions, including selling Boost, to reduce their market share in the prepaid wireless business and gain regulatory approval for their planned $26 billion merger. The U.S. Justice Department would need to scrutinize the buyer of a divested asset to ensure it will stay viable and preserve competition. The carriers are also considering divesting wireless spectrum, or airwaves that carry data, in order to push the merger through.

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Heavily Processed Food Like Ready Meals and Ice Cream Linked To Early Death

Fri, 2019-05-31 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: People who eat large amounts of heavily processed foods, from breakfast cereals and ready meals to muffins and ice-cream, have a greater risk of heart attack, stroke and early death, according to two major studies. In the French NutriSante study, researchers at the University of Paris gathered details on the diets and health of more than 105,000 people. Over five years of follow-up, those who consumed the most "ultra-processed" food were most at risk of stroke, heart attack and other cardiovascular problems. When the amount of ultra-processed food in the diet rose 10 percentage points, for example from 10% to 20%, the risk of the diseases rose 12%. The study, published in the British Medical Journal, does not prove that ultra-processed foods cause disease. Nor does the effect appear particularly large, even in the most enthusiastic junk food consumers. The results suggest that 277 cases of cardiovascular disease would arise each year in 100,000 heavy consumers of ultra-processed foods, versus 242 cases in the same number of low consumers. For the second study, also in the BMJ, a team at the University of Navarra in Pamplona monitored the eating habits and health of nearly 20,000 Spanish graduates from 1999 to 2014. Over the course of the study, 335 participants died. Once factors such as age, sex, body mass index and whether or not people smoked were taken into account, the trend was clear. The top quarter consumers of ultra-processed foods -- who had more than four servings a day -- were 62% more likely to have died than those in the bottom quarter, who ate less than two portions a day. For each additional serving, the risk of death rose 18%.

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The Small Macedonian Town That Runs Hundreds of Fake US Politics Websites

Fri, 2019-05-31 02:10
dryriver writes: BBC Future has the story of "Tamara" (not her real name) who used to be paid 24 euros a day to rewrite U.S. news stories for a slew of "fake news" U.S. politics websites targeted at American news readers but run out of Velev, Macedonia. Basically, Tamara's handler "Marco" would send her eight real U.S. politics news stories via email every morning, asking Tamara to rewrite them with very extreme political views and slants injected into them. Tamara was often tasked with writing horrible things about Muslims for example, making up heinous crimes they had committed in various places, and injecting those made-up falsehoods into otherwise legit-looking news articles. The rewritten articles, which were engineered to trigger strong reactions in readers, went on Facebook -- where Marco had over 2,000,000 likes -- and on a number of "American looking" fake news websites also run by Marco out of Macedonia. On a good day, Marco would earn up to 2,000 euros a day from Google ad revenues for his fake news U.S. politics websites. Tamara, who was only paid 3 euros per article she rewrote, muses in the BBC Future article about how stupid people must be to eat up the falsehoods that she, Marco and others put online everyday. She characterizes the content of the rewritten articles as "insultingly ridiculous" and "obviously fake," but many American news readers apparently ate them up and frequently believed what they read.

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Dell Begins Pre-Installing Linux On Range of Precision Laptops

Fri, 2019-05-31 01:30
"While Linux-preloaded laptops have been available for years from smaller companies, and have represented a fraction of their own sales with the much-admired XPS 13 developer model, Dell now offers a range of Precision models pre-installed with Ubuntu Linux," writes Slashdot reader Freshly Exhumed. Phoronix reports: At the start of May Dell announced an Ubuntu Linux option for their entry-level ~$700 Precision laptop while now they are closing out May by offering up Ubuntu 18.04 LTS on their higher-tier Precision laptop models. Ubuntu Linux has landed for the rest of Dell's current generation Precision mobile workstation line-up with support for the Precision 5540, 7540, and 7740. The Precision 5540 offers options of Xeon E or 9th Gen Core CPUs with up to 64GB of RAM and options for a NVIDIA Quadro T2000. The Precision 7540/7740 meanwhile are more powerful mobile workstations with supporting up to 128GB of ECC RAM and latest generation processors. The Precision 7740 model can also accomodate NVIDIA Quadro RTX 5000 series graphics. Additional details can be found via this blog post by Dell's Barton George.

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