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Fixing an upside-down USB plug: a case of supporting the insupportable

TheRegister - 1 hour 28 min ago
Support chap braved fire and a mile-long run, only to find Windows 95 was the final hurdle

Welcome yet again to On-Call, The Register’s Friday festival of futility in which readers share their stories of being asked to fix foul-ups inflicted by fools.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Pfizer Pays Almost $120 Million For App That Detects COVID From a Cough

Slashdot - 1 hour 32 min ago
Pharma giant Pfizer has shelled out nearly $120 million to acquire a small Australian company claiming to have developed a smartphone app that can accurately diagnose COVID-19 by analyzing the sound of a cough. New Atlas reports: For around a decade small Australian digital healthcare company ResApp has been working on developing an algorithm that can diagnose respiratory illnesses by simply studying the sound of a patient's cough. Initially the system was trained to diagnose pneumonia, but by 2019 the researchers had shown the technology could effectively distinguish asthma, croup and bronchiolitis. When the pandemic struck in 2020 the team unsurprisingly quickly pivoted to incorporate COVID-19 diagnoses into its cough-recognition technology. By early 2022 the first data from a pilot trial testing the COVID algorithm revealed impressively good results. The trial found the system could accurately detect 92% of positive COVID cases solely from the sound of a cough. The system also recorded 80% specificity, meaning only two out of every 10 people screened received false positive results. Soon after ResApp revealed these results pharma giant Pfizer began circling, initially offering around $65 million for the technology. Now, in a formal acquisition announcement, a deal has been finalized for Pfizer to buy ResApp for a massive $116 million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft warns of North Korean crew posing as LinkedIn recruiters

TheRegister - 2 hours 39 min ago
State-sponsored ZINC allegedly passes on malware-laden open source apps

Microsoft has claimed a North Korean crew poses as LinkedIn recruiters to distribute poisoned versions of open source software packages.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Digital Ocean won't let new customers create resources in four DCs, won't say why

TheRegister - 3 hours 31 min ago
Can't even spin up the compute necessary to reply

Digital Ocean has cloud capacity issues and won't say what the problem is.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Software Robots Are Gaining Ground In White-Collar Office World

Slashdot - 5 hours 2 min ago
"First they came for factory jobs. Then they showed up in service industries. Now, machines are making inroads into the kind of white-collar office work once thought to be the exclusive preserve of humans," write Alexandre Tanzi and Reade Pickert via Bloomberg. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the report: It's not just corporate giants, capable of spending millions of dollars to develop their own technologies, that are getting in on the act. One feature of the new automation wave is that companies like Kizen have popped up to make it affordable even for smaller firms. Based in Austin, Texas, Kizen markets an automated assistant called Zoe, which can perform tasks for sales teams like carrying out initial research and qualifying leads. Launched a year ago, it's already sold more than 400,000 licenses. "Our smallest customer pays us $10 a month and our largest customer pays us $9.5 million a year,'' says John Winner, Kizen's chief executive officer. There are plenty of other ambitious companies cashing in on the trend, and posting steep increases in revenue -- like UiPath Inc., a favorite of star investment manager Cathie Wood, as well as Appian Corp. and EngageSmart Inc. Alongside the growth of AI and what economists call "robotic process automation" -- essentially, when software performs certain tasks previously done by humans -- old-school automation is still going strong too. The number of robots sold in North America hit a new record in the first quarter of 2022, according to the Association for Advancing Automation. The World Economic Forum predicts that by 2025, machines will be working as many hours as humans. What all of this innovation means for the world's workers is one of the key open questions in economics. The upbeat view says it's tasks that get automated, not entire jobs -- and if the mundane ones can be handled by computers or robots, that should free up employees for more challenging and satisfying work. The downside risk: occupations from sales reps to administrative support, could begin to disappear -- without leaving obvious alternatives for the people who earned a living from them. That adds another employment threat for white-collar workers who may already be vulnerable right now to an economic downturn, largely because so many got hired in the boom of the past couple of years. KC Harvey Environmental, a consultancy based in Bozeman, Montana that works with businesses and governments on environmental issues, is one of Kizen's clients. It uses the software to automate document control -- for example, archiving and delivering new contracts to the right places and people. "A new project probably took our accounting group and project management team a day," says Rio Franzman, KC Harvey's chief operating officer. "This now probably streamlines it down to about an hour." The firm employs about 100 people and "we didn't lose any'' as a result of automation, he says. "What it did allow is for the reallocation of time and resources to more meaningful tasks." KC Harvey is now working with Kizen to bring AI into its marketing, too, with a partly automated newsletter among other projects. Some of the biggest firms at the forefront of automation also say they've been able to do it without cutting jobs. Engineering giant Siemens AG says it's automated all kinds of production and back-office tasks at its innovative plant in Amberg, Germany, where it makes industrial computers, while keeping staffing steady at around 1,350 employees over several decades. The firm has developed a technology known as "digital twinning," which builds virtual versions of everything from specific products to administrative processes. Managers can then run simulations and stress-tests to see how things can be made better. "We're not going to automate people out of the process," says Barbara Humpton, CEO of Siemens USA. "By optimizing automation systems, and by using digital tools and AI, workers have increased productivity at Amberg by more than 1,000%." [...] Whatever the outcome, it's unlikely to allay the deep unease that the idea of automation triggers among workers who feel their jobs are vulnerable. With the rise of AI, that group increasingly includes white-collar employees.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Stop us if you've heard this one before: Exchange Server zero-day being actively exploited

TheRegister - 5 hours 29 min ago
Remember this next time Microsoft talks about how seriously it takes security

Security researchers have warned a zero-day flaw in Microsoft’s Exchange server is being actively exploited.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

FDA Approves ALS Drug Whose Study Was Partly Funded By Ice Bucket Challenge

Slashdot - 6 hours 30 min ago
A new treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, has been approved by the US Food and Drug Administration. CNN reports: The FDA announced approval of Relyvrio, developed by Amylyx Pharmaceuticals, on Thursday. The oral medication works as a standalone therapy or when added to other treatments, according to the company, and it has been shown to slow disease progression. Patients and some advocacy groups had urged the FDA to approve the drug, as there are limited treatments available for ALS, and the agency granted priority review in December. In November, Amylyx submitted a drug application to the FDA for the medication, then called AMX0035, as an oral ALS treatment, seeking approval based on a Phase 2 trial that included 137 people with ALS who received either the drug or a placebo for 24 weeks. The study was funded in part by a grant from the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, the viral social media campaign that started in 2014 involving people dumping buckets of ice water over themselves to raise awareness and money around ALS. The trial also showed that the drug was generally well-tolerated, but there was a greater frequency of gastrointestinal events in the group getting the medication. Amylyx is now continuing to study its safety and efficacy in a Phase 3 trial. In March, the Peripheral and Central Nervous System Drugs Advisory Committee voted 6-4 that a single Phase 2 trial did not establish the conclusion that the drug is effective in treating ALS. One key difference between the FDA advisory committee's March and September meetings is that in the later meeting, Amylyx indicated that if the drug was approved but its Phase 3 trial results fail to confirm the drug's benefits, the company would consider withdrawing the drug from the market, Lynch said. She added, however, that the company didn't say specifically what it would view as a failure. "So at the vote, the advisory committee members switched, and most of them said, 'Yes, we are now convinced that this product should be approved.' And when they were asked why they changed their minds, some of them said, 'Well, the company said they would withdraw,'" she said. "And they were also convinced by patients' testimonies that they very much want to try this drug." But overall, the FDA's approval was based on Phase 2 trial data, which, Lynch said, may send a message to other pharmaceutical companies that they don't need robust Phase 3 trial data to get products on the market. Although people with ALS want access to this promising drug, there are concerns that such a message could open the door more broadly to the approval of medications that have not been proved to work, says Holly Fernandez Lynch, an assistant professor of medical ethics and health policy at the University of Pennsylvania. "The FDA could later withdraw those products if needed, she said, but doing so without voluntary company agreement is 'a huge pain' and often requires a very lengthy process," reports CNN.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Europe Braces For Mobile Network Blackouts

Slashdot - 7 hours 7 min ago
Once unthinkable, mobile phones could go dark around Europe this winter if power cuts or energy rationing knocks out parts of the mobile networks across the region. Reuters reports: Russia's decision to halt gas supplies via Europe's key supply route in the wake of the Ukraine conflict has increased the chances of power shortages. In France, the situation is made worse by several nuclear power plants shutting down for maintenance. Telecoms industry officials say they fear a severe winter will put Europe's telecoms infrastructure to the test, forcing companies and governments to try to mitigate the impact. Currently there are not enough back-up systems in many European countries to handle widespread power cuts, four telecoms executives said, raising the prospect of mobile phone outages. European Union countries, including France, Sweden and Germany, are trying to ensure communications can continue even if power cuts end up exhausting back-up batteries installed on the thousands of cellular antennas spread across their territory. Europe has nearly half a million telecom towers and most of them have battery backups that last around 30 minutes to run the mobile antennas. [...] Telecom gear makers Nokia and Ericsson are working with mobile operators to mitigate the impact of a power shortage. The European telecom operators must review their networks to reduce extra power usage and modernize their equipment by using more power efficient radio designs, the four telecom executives said. To save power, telecom companies are using software to optimize traffic flow, make towers "sleep" when not in use and switch off different spectrum bands. The telecom operators are also working with national governments to check if plans are in place to maintain critical services. In Germany, Deutsche Telekom has 33,000 mobile radio sites (towers) and its mobile emergency power systems can only support a small number of them at the same time, a company spokesperson said. Deutsche Telekom will use mobile emergency power systems which mainly rely on diesel in the event of prolonged power failures, it said. France has about 62,000 mobile towers, and the industry will not be able to equip all antennas with new batteries, the FFT's president Liza Bellulo said. Accustomed to uninterrupted power supply for decades, European countries usually do not have generators backing up power for longer durations.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Ex-eBay execs jailed for cyberstalking web critics

TheRegister - 7 hours 34 min ago
Still to come: Civil RICO lawsuit against eBay and former top brass

Two now-former eBay executives who pleaded guilty to cyberstalking charges this year have been sent down and fined tens of thousands of dollars.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Neil Gaiman, Cory Doctorow And Other Authors Publish Open Letter Protesting Publishers' Lawsuit Against Internet Archive Library

Slashdot - 7 hours 47 min ago
A group of authors, including Neil Gaiman, Naomi Klein, and Cory Doctorow, "are lending their names to an open letter protesting publishers' lawsuit against the Internet Archive Library, characterizing it as one of a number of efforts to curb libraries' lending of ebooks." From the report: A group of publishers sued the Internet Archive in 2020, claiming that its open library violates copyright by producing "mirror image copies of millions of unaltered in-copyright works for which it has no rights" and then distributes them "in their entirety for reading purposes to the public for free, including voluminous numbers of books that are commercially available." They also contend that the archive's scanning undercuts the market for e-books. The Internet Archive says that its lending of the scanned books is akin to a traditional library. In its response to the publishers' lawsuit, it warns of the ramifications of the litigation and claims that publishers "would like to force libraries and their patrons into a world in which books can only be accessed, never owned, and in which availability is subject to the rightsholders' whim." "Libraries are a fundamental collective good. We, the undersigned authors, are disheartened by the recent attacks against libraries being made in our name by trade associations such as the American Association of Publishers and the Publishers Association: undermining the traditional rights of libraries to own and preserve books, intimidating libraries with lawsuits, and smearing librarians," the letter states. The letter also calls for enshrining "the right of libraries to permanently own and preserve books, and to purchase these permanent copies on reasonable terms, regardless of format," and condemns the characterization of library advocates as "mouthpieces" for big tech. "We fear a future where libraries are reduced to a sort of Netflix or Spotify for books, from which publishers demand exorbitant licensing fees in perpetuity while unaccountable vendors force the spread of disinformation and hate for profit," the letter states. The American Association of Publishers' general counsel Terrence Hart issued a statement responding to the claim that the lawsuit is an attack on libraries. He said, "That authors and publishers support libraries is not in dispute and most certainly not at issue in the infringement case against the Internet Archive, which is not a library. "On the contrary, the Internet Archive operates an unlicensed digital copying and distribution business that copies millions of literary works without permission and gives them away for free. This activity is unprecedented and outside any reasonable interpretation of the copyright law that grants to authors the decision as to whether, when, through whom, and on what terms to distribute their works to the public." He added, "If the rights holder chooses to permit the copying of print books into e-books, that is a choice they are empowered to make as to their own works. The Internet Archive robs authors and publishers of that choice."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

OK, Google: Why are you still pointing women at fake abortion clinics?

TheRegister - 8 hours 21 min ago
And no, the tiny fine print in search results doesn't cut it

Google is still effectively directing women seeking abortions to anti-abortion centers that masquerade as legit abortion clinics.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

MGM Paid Problem Gambler To Not Report Online Glitches

Slashdot - 8 hours 30 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Associated Press: A New York City man is suing an Atlantic City casino, its parent company and its online betting partner, alleging he was repeatedly disconnected while gambling online, and was given payments to prevent him from reporting the malfunctions to New Jersey gambling regulators during a nine-month span in which he wagered over $29 million. Sam Antar says he is a compulsive gambler -- a fact he says was well-known to defendants in the case including the Borgata casino, MGM Resorts International, and its online partner Entain. In a lawsuit filed Wednesday in state Superior Court in Middlesex County, Antar accuses the defendants of fraud, racketeering and other transgressions. His lawsuit asserts that he experienced thousands of disconnections from the online platforms, often when he had a winning hand that was then wiped out. His lawyer, Christopher Gramiccioni, said Antar experienced a disconnection rate approaching 50% during the nine months covered by the lawsuit. He added Antar, 46, had lost "easily hundreds of thousands of dollars" during that time. "It's one thing if you have technical issues intermittently," said Gramiccioni, a former Monmouth County prosecutor. "It is quite another when you have them 50% of the time. The casino did not take corrective action as required. They kept doubling down and giving him $30,000 a month, feeding him extra money to try to avoid scrutiny by the regulatory agencies." In his lawsuit, Antar claims he alerted numerous employees and officials with the gambling companies to the fact that there was a serious, recurring problem with disconnections, but that they knowingly kept malfunctioning games available to the public because they were too profitable to take down. He says his complaints were made to local supervisors and VIP hosts, an online complaint portal, and even to the president of the casino and the CEO of its parent company. He also claims the companies paid him near-daily bonuses totaling $30,000 a month to keep him playing and to entice him not to report problems with the games to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. [...] Antar said employees acknowledged problems with the system were affecting other customers as well. In a July 17, 2019 text and email conversation, Antar quotes one as telling him "other players are not getting anywhere near what you are getting" in terms of compensation for being kicked offline while gambling. "In 2013, Sam Antar was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison for taking $225,000 in a fraudulent investment scheme" to feed his compulsive gambling habit, notes the report.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

NSA Employee Leaked Classified Cyber Intel, Charged With Espionage

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-29 23:20
A former National Security Agency employee was arrested on Wednesday for spying on the U.S. government on behalf of a foreign government. Nextgov reports: Jareh Sebastian Dalke, 30, was arrested in Denver, Colorado after allegedly committing three separate violations of the Espionage Act. Law enforcement allege that the violations were committed between August and September of 2022, after he worked as a information systems security designer at the agency earlier that summer. Dalke allegedly used an encrypted email account to leak sensitive and classified documents he obtained while working at the NSA to an individual who claimed to have worked for a foreign government. The individual who received the documents was later revealed to be an undercover FBI agent. Dalke was arrested in September upon arriving at the location where he and the undercover agent agreed to exchange documentation for $85,000 in compensation. "Dalke told that individual that he had taken highly sensitive information relating to foreign targeting of U.S. systems, and information on U.S. cyber operations, among other topics," the press release from the Department of Justice reads. "To prove he had access to sensitive information, Dalke transmitted excerpts of three classified documents to the undercover FBI agent. Each excerpt contained classification markings." "Should Dalke be found guilty, his sentence could include the dealth penalty or any term of years up to life imprisonment," notes the report.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

How CIA betrayed informants with shoddy front websites built for covert comms

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-29 23:03
Top tip, don't give your secret login box the HTML form type 'password'

For almost a decade, the US Central Intelligence Agency communicated with informants abroad using a network of websites with hidden communications capabilities.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Apple M1 Linux GPU DRM Driver Now Running GNOME, Various Apps

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-29 22:40
Developer Asahi Lina with the Asahi Linux project was successfully able to get GNOME running on the Apple M1, including "Firefox with YouTube video playback, the game Neverball, various KDE applications, and more," reports Phoronix. From the report: This is some great progress especially with the driver being written in Rust -- the first within the Direct Rendering Manager subsystem -- and lots of work there with the Rust infrastructure in early form. It won't be until at least Linux 6.2 before this driver could be mainlined while we'll see how quickly it tries to go mainline before it can commit to a stable user-space interface. At the moment there is also a significant driver "hack" involved but will hopefully be sorted out soon. Over in user-space, the AGX Gallium3D driver continues being worked on for OpenGL support with hopes of having OpenGL 2.1 completed by year's end. Obviously it will be longer before seeing the Apple graphics suitable for modern gaming with Vulkan, etc but progress is being made across the board in reverse-engineered, open-source Apple Silicon support under Linux. You can watch a video of the driver working here.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

UN Elects First Female Tech Agency Secretary-General

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-29 22:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Doreen Bogdan-Martin has become the first woman to be elected as secretary-general of the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). The ITU is the main technology agency within the UN. Originally founded in 1865 to manage the first international telegraph networks, the ITU now has an important role in facilitating the use of radio, satellite and the internet. Ms Bogdan-Martin beat her Russian rival Rashid Ismailov by 139 votes to 25. The American will succeed Houlin Zhao, who has been in the role since 2014, when her term begins on January 1, 2023. She will be taking the reins of the oldest UN agency, which is responsible for many facets of international communications. These include assigning satellite orbits globally, co-ordinating technical standards, and improving infrastructure in the developing world. There had been concerns ahead of the election because Ms Bogdan-Martin's opponent had previously called for international regulation of the internet. In her previous role as director of the ITU's Telecommunication Development bureau, Ms Bogdan-Martin's remit included job creation, digital skills development, diversity, and gender equality. Her candidacy for the top job was endorsed by US President Joe Biden, who said she had the "integrity, experience, and vision necessary to transform the digital landscape." "She understands the importance of connecting every school to the internet and making sure every student can access virtual learning, providing women and girls the digital tools they need to succeed, and extending the benefits of online health and educational resources," he said in a statement. "Whether it's today's children or our children's children, we need to provide them with a strong and stable foundation for growth," Ms Bogdan-Martin said following her win. "The world is facing significant challenges -- escalating conflicts, a climate crisis, food security, gender inequalities, and 2.7 billion people with no access to the internet."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Pentagon is far too tight with its security bug bounties

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-29 21:27
But overpriced, useless fighter jets? That's something we can get behind

Discovering and reporting critical security flaws that could allow foreign spies to steal sensitive US government data or launch cyberattacks via the Department of Defense's IT systems doesn't carry a high reward.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Ex-eBay Execs Heading To Prison For Harassing Couple Behind Newsletter

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-29 21:22
Two former eBay security executives were sentenced to prison on Thursday for carrying out a campaign to harass and intimidate a Massachusetts couple through threats and disturbing home deliveries after their online newsletter drew the ire of the company's then-CEO. From a report: Jim Baugh and David Harville were sentenced to 57 and 24 months in prison, respectively, for their roles in an extensive harassment campaign that involved sending the couple cockroaches, a funeral wreath and a bloody Halloween pig mask. U.S. District Judge Patti Saris, who imposed the sentenced during hearings in Boston, called it a "hard-to-imagine" scheme fueled by a "toxic culture" at the Silicon Valley e-commerce company. "It was extreme and outrageous," Saris said. She ordered Baugh, eBay's former senior director of safety and security, and Harville, its former director of global resiliency, to also pay fines of $40,000 and $20,000, respectively, after pleading guilty to cyberstalking-related charges.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Physician Burnout Has Reached Distressing Levels, New Research Finds

Slashdot - Thu, 2022-09-29 20:41
Ten years of data from a nationwide survey of physicians confirm another trend that's worsened through the pandemic: Burnout rates among doctors in the United States, which were already high a decade ago, have risen to alarming levels. From a report: Results released this month and published in Mayo Clinic Proceedings, a peer-reviewed journal, show that 63 percent of physicians surveyed reported at least one symptom of burnout at the end of 2021 and the beginning of 2022, an increase from 44 percent in 2017 and 46 percent in 2011. Only 30 percent felt satisfied with their work-life balance, compared with 43 percent five years earlier. "This is the biggest increase of emotional exhaustion that I've ever seen, anywhere in the literature," said Bryan Sexton, the director of Duke University's Center for Healthcare Safety and Quality, who was not involved in the survey efforts. The most recent numbers also compare starkly with data from 2020, when the survey was run during the early stages of the pandemic. Then, 38 percent of doctors surveyed reported one or more symptoms of burnout while 46 percent were satisfied with their work-life balance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Scientists, why not simply invent a working fusion plant using $50m from Uncle Sam

TheRegister - Thu, 2022-09-29 20:26
You even have until the end of the 2030s to get it done

The US Department of Energy has announced plans to award up to $50 million in funds to private businesses to develop a working fusion pilot plant (FPP) by the 2030s. …

Categories: Linux fréttir

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