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Disney CEO Bob Iger Resigns From Apple Board As Companies Come Into Conflict On Streaming

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 01:20
Disney CEO Bob Iger has resigned from Apple's board of directors, Apple said in an SEC filing on Friday. CNBC reports: Disney is launching streaming video service Disney+ on Nov. 12, which will compete with Apple's Apple TV+ service, scheduled to become available on Nov. 1. Iger resigned on Sept. 10, the day Apple announced the price and release date for its streaming service. The two streaming services will increasingly come into conflict in the future as both compete for original content. Iger was personal friends with late Apple cofounder Steve Jobs. Disney bought Jobs' other company, Pixar, in 2006, and Jobs was on Disney's board until his death in 2011. Jobs asked Iger to take his place on the Apple board when he died, according to Fortune, and Iger joined the board that year. Iger was the chair of Apple's corporate governance committee and on Apple's compensation board, according to the company's proxy filing earlier this year. Disney and Apple have had a close corporate relationship over the years. Disney was one of the first major companies to develop apps for iPhones and iPads, and shortly after Iger took over as Disney CEO in 2005, he appeared on stage with Jobs to announce ABC content for iTunes. Disney has announced that it will distribute its streaming service on Apple's platforms. "It has been an extraordinary privilege to have served on the Apple board for 8 years, and I have the utmost respect for Tim Cook, his team at Apple, and for my fellow board members," Iger said in a statement. "Apple is one of the world's most admired companies, known for the quality and integrity of its products and its people, and I am forever grateful to have served as a member of the company's board." Apple said in a statement, "Bob has been an exemplary board member for nearly eight years, and for as long as he has led Disney he has been one of Apple's most trusted business partners. He is a dedicated, visionary CEO and a role model for an entire generation of business leaders. More than anything, Bob is our friend. He leads with his heart and he has always been generous with his time and advice. While we will greatly miss his contributions as a board member, we respect his decision and we have every expectation that our relationship with both Bob and Disney will continue far into the future."

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Ask Slashdot: Why Isn't Geothermal Energy Getting As Much Attention As Solar and Wind?

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 01:00
mrwireless writes: YouTube channel Real Engineering has posted a great video on the potential (and downsides) of geothermal power. I think it would be great to discuss this video on Slashdot, since in discussions about climate change, geothermal rarely comes up as a viable alternative. The video mentions things like:- Could power our needs twice over- New technology makes it possible in more locations- Works night and day - Could be cost competitive (according to an MIT study) - Workers from the oil drilling industry could find new jobs in this sector So: why isn't geo-thermal energy getting as much attention as solar and wind?

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MIT boffins turn black up to 11 with carbon nanotubes that absorb 99.96% of light

TheRegister - Sat, 2019-09-14 00:34
It's like, how much more black could this be and the answer is none. None more black

Carbon nanotubes have peculiar properties. Not only do they have the highest strength-to-weight ratio of any known substance they can also absorb the most light, making them the blackest material yet.…

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Alabama Tracking Students' Locations To Penalize Them For Leaving Games Early

Slashdot - Sat, 2019-09-14 00:20
The University of Alabama is taking an extraordinary, Orwellian step to reward students who attend games -- and stay until the fourth quarter -- by using location-tracking technology from students' phones to see who skips out and who stays. If students stay until the fourth quarter, they will be rewarded with improved access to tickets to the SEC championship game and to the College Football Playoff semifinals and championship game, which Alabama is trying to reach for the fifth consecutive season. The New York Times reports: Greg Byrne, Alabama's athletic director, said privacy concerns rarely came up when the program was being discussed with other departments and student groups. Students who download the Tide Loyalty Points app will be tracked only inside the stadium, he said, and they can close the app -- or delete it -- once they leave the stadium. "If anybody has a phone, unless you're in airplane mode or have it off, the cellular companies know where you are," he said. The creator of the app, FanMaker, runs apps for 40 colleges, including Clemson, Louisiana State and Southern California, which typically reward fans with gifts like T-shirts. The app it created for Alabama is the only one that tracks the locations of its students. That Alabama would want it is an example of how even a powerhouse program like the Crimson Tide is not sheltered from college football's decline in attendance, which sank to a 22-year low last season. The Tide Loyalty Points program works like this: Students, who typically pay about $10 for home tickets, download the app and earn 100 points for attending a home game and an additional 250 for staying until the fourth quarter. Those points augment ones they garner mostly from progress they have made toward their degrees -- 100 points per credit hour. (A regular load would be 15 credits per semester, or 1,500 points.) Adam Schwartz, a lawyer for the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a privacy watchdog, said it was "very alarming" that a public university -- an arm of the government -- was tracking its students' whereabouts. "Why should packing the stadium in the fourth quarter be the last time the government wants to know where students are?" Schwartz said, adding that it was "inappropriate" to offer an incentive for students to give up their privacy. "A public university is a teacher, telling students what is proper in a democratic society."

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Huawei CEO Offers To License 5G Tech To American Companies In Peace Offer To Trump

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 23:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Huawei's chief executive has proposed selling its current 5G know-how to a Western firm as a way to address security concerns voiced by the U.S. and others about its business. Ren Zhengfei said the buyer would be free to "change the software code." That would allow any flaws or supposed backdoors to be addressed without Huawei's involvement. Huawei has repeatedly denied claims that it would help the Chinese government spy on or disrupt other countries' telecoms systems, and says it is a private enterprise owned by its workers. Huawei's founder Ren Zhengfei made the proposal in interviews with the Economist and the New York Times. It would include ongoing access to the firm's existing 5G patents, licenses, code, technical blueprints and production engineering knowledge. "[Huawei is] open to sharing our 5G technologies and techniques with U.S. companies, so that they can build up their own 5G industry," the NYT quoted Ren as saying. "This would create a balanced situation between China, the U.S. and Europe." Speaking to the Economist he added: "A balanced distribution of interests is conducive to Huawei's survival." A spokesman for Huawei has confirmed the quotes are accurate and the idea represents a "genuine proposal." South Korea's Samsung and China's ZTE are other alternatives. "Huawei misunderstands the underlying problem," Hosuk Lee-Makiyama, from the European Centre for International Political Economy, told the BBC. "The issue is not the trustworthiness of Huawei as a vendor but the legal obligations that the Chinese government imposes on it. "China's National Intelligence Law requires Chinese businesses and citizens to surrender any data or 'communication tools' they may have access to, under strict punitive sanctions," said Lee-Makiyama. "Any equipment or software that Huawei licenses to an U.S. entity would still fall under this obligation, and there is no way that the licensing entity or the intelligence agencies could scrutinize millions of lines of code for potential backdoors."

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Giant Entercom Radio Network Gets Ransomwared

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 23:00
Newer Guy writes: Entercom Communications, one of the USA's largest radio broadcasting companies, has been hit with a ransomware-like incident. It apparently came in from a computer in the programming department and has taken out the company's email system and servers. All their radio stations across the country have been affected. The ransomware people demanded half a million dollars to restore things; Entercom refused to pay.

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iPhone 11 Lineup Said To Include Two-Way Charging Hardware, But Software Disabled

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 22:20
According to leaker and former Apple blogger Sonny Dickson, the iPhone 11 lineup includes the necessary hardware for a two-way charging feature that was widely rumored for the devices, but Apple has disabled the feature on the software end. MacRumors reports: For months ahead of their unveiling, the latest iPhones were rumored to feature a Qi-based device-to-device charging feature, allowing for an Apple Watch, AirPods, and other accessories to charge on the back of the iPhones. The feature was expected to be similar to Wireless PowerShare on Samsung's Galaxy S10. The centered Apple logo on the iPhone 11 models was even believed to be partly intended to help customers know where to place their AirPods, Apple Watch, or other accessories to charge on the back of the iPhone. Just hours before Apple's event this week, however, noted analyst Ming-Chi Kuo and Bloomberg's Mark Gurman said the feature appeared to have been canceled. In a note seen by MacRumors, Kuo said the feature was possibly abandoned because "the charging efficiency may not meet Apple's requirements." Teardowns of the iPhone 11 models will soon confirm whether the two-way charging hardware is in fact present in the devices. Deliveries to customers and in-store availability will begin Friday, September 20.

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Another High-Flying, Heavily Funded AR Startup Is Shutting Down

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 21:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Daqri, which built enterprise-grade AR headsets, has shuttered its HQ, laid off many of its employees and is selling off assets ahead of a shutdown, former employees and sources close to the company tell TechCrunch. In an email obtained by TechCrunch, the nearly 10-year-old company told its customers that it was pursuing an asset sale and was shutting down its cloud and smart-glasses hardware platforms by the end of September. Daqri faced substantial challenges from competing headset makers, including Magic Leap and Microsoft, which were backed by more expansive war chests and institutional partnerships. While the headset company struggled to compete for enterprise customers, Daqri benefited from investor excitement surrounding the broader space. That is, until the investment climate for AR startups cooled. Daqri was, at one point, speaking with a large private-equity firm about financing ahead of a potential IPO, but as the technical realities facing other AR companies came to light, the firm backed out and the deal crumbled, we are told. The report notes that Osterhout Design Group and Meta, an AR headset startup that raised $73 million from VCs, both sold their assets earlier this year.

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OK, peons, we'll obey the law and let you talk about politics and pay packets, says Google

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-09-13 21:18
Reaches agreement with US government over Labor rights

Google has agreed to settle two complaints filed with the National Labor Relations Board by former employees who claim the company fired them from engaging in lawfully protected workplace speech.…

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Discord is Axing its Nitro Games Catalog Since Almost Nobody Plays Them

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 21:00
Almost a year ago, Discord launched its own games store and overhauled the Nitro subscription service to offer access to a library of games in addition to other chat and server related perks. From a report: The app's store has gone through several changes over the year, with games ultimately being sold directly through developers' Discord servers instead of the original dedicated portal. However, the library of games Nitro subscribers get access to is getting axed, and its because almost nobody actually played them, per Discord. "We learned a lot from all of you over the last year. Through your valuable feedback, it became clear that while we and some of you love these games, the truth is the vast majority of Nitro subscribers didn't play them," said the company in a blog post today. "So, after careful consideration, we won't be hitting Continue when these contracts come up for renewal. The removal affects users who are registered for the $9.99 per month (or the $99.99 annual) Nitro subscription, who will no longer be able to play the almost 100-strong catalog of games -- seen on the left image -- from October 15, 2019. To those who may have been caught off guard by the announcement and want to cancel Nitro, Discord is also offering refunds on the subscription.

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Malwarebytes back to square one as appeals court rules blocking rival antivirus maker isn't on

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-09-13 20:44
Section 230 has legal eagles split over censorship

Malwarebytes will have to head back to court to justify a decision to block its rival’s antivirus services after an appeals court threw out the security shop's legal justification.…

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Whole Foods To Cut Health-Care Benefits For 1,900 Part-Time Employees Starting Next Year

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 20:20
Amazon-owned Whole Foods will be withdrawing medical benefits for hundreds of its part-time workers starting Jan. 1, 2020, the company said Thursday. From a report: In the past, employees needed to work at least 20 hours a week to buy into the health-care plan. Now they will need to work at least 30 hours. Less than 2% of its workforce, or 1,900 employees, will no longer be eligible for medical coverage, under the new policy, the company said. "In order to better meet the needs of our business and create a more equitable and efficient scheduling model, we are moving to a single-tier part-time structure," a company spokesperson said in an email. "We are providing Team Members with resources to find alternative healthcare coverage options, or to explore full-time, healthcare-eligible positions starting at 30 hours per week. All Whole Foods Market Team Members continue to receive employment benefits including a 20% in-store discount."

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MoviePass Will Shut Down For Good on September 14

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 19:30
MoviePass announced on Friday it's shutting down the discount ticketing service on Sept. 14. From a report: MoviePass parent company Helios and Matheson Analytics notified subscribers that it plans to close down the service because its "efforts to recapitalize MoviePass have not been successful to date." It has formed a strategic review committee, made up of the company's independent directors, that's reviewing "strategic and financial alternatives" for the company. Among the options it's considering are a sale of the company in its entirety, a sale of the company's assets, including MoviePass, Moviefone and MoviePass Films, as well as the possibility of a reorganization of the company.

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Congress Is Investigating Apple's Repair Monopoly

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 19:10
The United States House of Representatives' Judiciary Committee is launching an antitrust investigation into Apple and its anti-competitive behavior. From a report: Part of the investigation will focus on Apple's repair monopoly, which for years has given the company control over the useful life of its products. In a letter to Apple, the committee asked Apple to turn over all internal communications from 14 top executives at the company -- including CEO Tim Cook -- relating to "Apple's restrictions on third-party repairs," among dozens of other topics. In particular, the committee wants information about: "Apple's restrictions on third-party repairs, including but not limited to any rules with which Apple Authorized Service Providers (AASPs) must comply, such as rules restricting or prohibiting AASPs from making any specific repairs." "Apple's decision in December 2017 to offer iPhone battery replacements at a discounted price, or the actual or projected effects of this decision, including but not limited to, effects on iPhone sales." "Apple's decision to introduce the 'Independent Repair Provider Program,' including but not limited to, decisions covering which specific repair parts Apple will make available through the program and at what price." "Apple's decision in 2018 to enter into an agreement with Amazon to sell Apple products on Amazon and to limit the resellers that can sell Apple products on Amazon."

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Whoa, bot wars: As cybercrooks add more AI to their arsenal, the goodies will have to too

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-09-13 18:40
The future is automated, says Trend Micro bod

Infosec techies should prepare to both fend off AI attacks and welcome the technology into their armoury of tools, reckons Trend Micro's director of cybercrime research.…

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Consumer ransomware insurance? You could be painting a target on us all for avaricious crims

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-09-13 18:03
D'ya hear that, cybercrooks? $50k up for grabs.

Fire, theft, flood – and now cyber attack. Customers of a Californian biz offering payouts of up to $50,000 in case your cat videos get Wannacry’d but experts worry it could make the problem worse.…

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Google To Pay $1 Billion in France To Settle Fiscal Fraud Probe

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 17:21
Google agreed to pay close to 1 billion euros ($1.10 billion) to French authorities to settle a fiscal fraud probe that began four years ago in a deal that may create a legal precedent for other large tech companies present in the country. From a report: French investigators have been seeking to establish whether Google, whose European headquarters are based in Dublin, failed to pay its dues to the state by avoiding to declare parts of its activities in the country. The settlement comprises a fine of 500 million euros and additional taxes of 465 million euros, Google said in a statement. Google, part of Alphabet, pays little tax in most European countries because it reports almost all sales in Ireland. This is possible thanks to a loophole in international tax law but it hinges on staff in Dublin concluding all sales contracts.

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T-Mobile Has a Secret Setting To Protect Your Account From Hackers That it Refuses To Talk About

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 16:41
T-Mobile has a feature that gives its customers more protection from hackers trying to steal their phone number, but you probably don't know it exists because the company doesn't advertise it publicly and won't even talk about it. From a report: It's called "NOPORT" and, in theory, it makes it a bit harder for criminals to hijack phone numbers with an attack known as "SIM swapping," a type of social engineering that is increasingly being used to steal people's phone numbers. SIM swapping attackers usually trick wireless providers into giving them control of a target's phone number by impersonating the victim with a company's customer support representatives -- usually on a phone call. T-Mobile's NOPORT feature makes this harder by requiring customers to physically come to a store and present a photo ID in order to request their number to be ported out to a different carrier or a new SIM card. In theory, this should make it impossible for someone to do a SIM swap (also known as SIM hijacking or port-out scam) over the phone. But it's unclear whether all T-Mobile customers can have NOPORT or how effective it really is. T-Mobile doesn't even inform customers that it exists. I learned about it from a tipster, and then confirmed that it is indeed real. I was able to activate the feature on my own T-Mobile account by calling customer service and asking for it to be put on the account, but the company has declined to answer specific questions about the feature.

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Tut – you wait a lifetime for an interstellar object and then two come at once

TheRegister - Fri, 2019-09-13 16:15
Boffins spot a possible follow up to 'Oumuamua

ESA scientists are studying an object that has all the hallmarks of being another entity from outside our Solar System, making it the second to be spotted after 2017's cigar-shaped interstellar comet.…

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Twitter's Stenciled San Francisco Street Tweets Illegal Graffiti, City Says

Slashdot - Fri, 2019-09-13 16:01
For the better part of a year, Twitter has been trying to rebrand itself as a safe place for healthy conversations -- rather than a social network rife with bullying and racism. But its latest advertising campaign, one that involves stenciling city sidewalks with users' tweets, might brand the site as a scofflaw instead. From a report: Earlier this week, Twitter users started posting pictures of the stencils popping up around the downtown corridor, part of the campaign running in San Francisco and New York through early October. Some were strategically placed. "Twitter is like running up the down escalator," said one, neatly sprayed in front of an escalator leading to a BART station. "Twitter is garbage and I am a raccoon," said another near a trash can. Apt or not, the stencils, created using a spray-paint-like chalk, are illegal, according to Rachel Gordon, spokeswoman for the Department of Public Works. "That's not the use of the sidewalks," she said. "We can go and document them. If they don't remove them immediately, we'll send a crew to remove them and charge them."

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