Linux fréttir

China orders its telcos to rip and replace US chips with homegrown silicon by 2027

TheRegister - 6 hours 23 min ago
There's no Huawei we saw that coming

Years after Uncle Sam ordered US telecommunications providers to rip and replace Huawei kit from their networks, Beijing is telling telcos in China to strip out American-made chips.…

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75% of enterprise coders will use AI helpers by 2028. We didn't say productively

TheRegister - 8 hours 59 min ago
Dev teams must beware inflated expectations of tech leadership, Gartner warns

Global tech research company Gartner estimates that by 2028, 75 percent of enterprise software engineers will use AI code assistants, up from less than 10 percent in early 2023.…

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Loongson CPU that performs like 2020 Core i3 makes its way to Chinese mini PCs

TheRegister - 11 hours 59 min ago
Slow but bona fide made in China

Loongson's current-generation 3A6000 processor, one of the fastest designed and made in China for consumers, is now available in a line of mini PCs.…

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House Votes To Extend -- and Expand -- a Major US Spy Program

Slashdot - 15 hours 59 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: A controversial US wiretap program days from expiration cleared a major hurdle on its way to being reauthorized. After months of delays, false starts, and interventions by lawmakers working to preserve and expand the US intelligence community's spy powers, the House of Representatives voted on Friday to extend Section 702 (PDF) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) for two years. Legislation extending the program -- controversial for being abused by the government -- passed in the House in a 273-147 vote. The Senate has yet to pass its own bill. Section 702 permits the US government to wiretap communications between Americans and foreigners overseas. Hundreds of millions of calls, texts, and emails are intercepted by government spies each with the "compelled assistance" of US communications providers. The government may strictly target foreigners believed to possess "foreign intelligence information," but it also eavesdrops on the conversations of an untold number of Americans each year. (The government claims it is impossible to determine how many Americans get swept up by the program.) The government argues that Americans are not themselves being targeted and thus the wiretaps are legal. Nevertheless, their calls, texts, and emails may be stored by the government for years, and can later be accessed by law enforcement without a judge's permission. The House bill also dramatically expands the statutory definition for communication service providers, something FISA experts, including Marc Zwillinger -- one of the few people to advise the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court (FISC) -- have publicly warned against. The FBI's track record of abusing the program kicked off a rare detente last fall between progressive Democrats and pro-Trump Republicans -- both bothered equally by the FBI's targeting of activists, journalists, anda sitting member of Congress. But in a major victory for the Biden administration, House members voted down an amendment earlier in the day that would've imposed new warrant requirements on federal agencies accessing Americans' 702 data. The warrant amendment was passed earlier this year by the House Judiciary Committee, whose long-held jurisdiction over FISA has been challenged by friends of the intelligence community. Analysis by the Brennan Center this week found that 80 percent of the base text of the FISA reauthorization bill had been authored by intelligence committee members.

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Calpine's California Battery Plant Is Among World's Largest

Slashdot - 17 hours 9 min ago
Calpine's billion-dolllar Nova Power Bank near Los Angeles will be among the largest in the world when it comes online later this year. According to Reuters, the plant is built on the site of a failed gas-fired power plant and "will be able to power about 680,000 homes for up to four hours when charged." From the report: The 680-megawatt lithium-ion battery bank is big even for California, which boasts about 55% of the nation's power storage capacity, according to data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration. Calpine will bring online 620 MW of the bank in two phases this year starting in the summer and open the remaining 60 MW in 2025. [...] Calpine, best known in the state for its fleet of gas plants, has about 2,000 MW of battery capacity under development. California was a pioneer in mandating that its utilities begin procuring energy storage more than a decade ago. The state is expected to need about 50 gigawatts of battery storage to meet its 2045 goal of getting all of its power from carbon-free sources, up from about 7 GW today.

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Scientists Discover First Nitrogen-Fixing Organelle

Slashdot - 17 hours 49 min ago
In two recent papers, an international team of scientists describes the first known nitrogen-fixing organelle within a eukaryotic cell, which the researchers are calling a nitroplast. Phys.Org reports: The discovery of the organelle involved a bit of luck and decades of work. In 1998, Jonathan Zehr, a UC Santa Cruz distinguished professor of marine sciences, found a short DNA sequence of what appeared to be from an unknown nitrogen-fixing cyanobacterium in Pacific Ocean seawater. Zehr and colleagues spent years studying the mystery organism, which they called UCYN-A. At the same time, Kyoko Hagino, a paleontologist at Kochi University in Japan, was painstakingly trying to culture a marine alga. It turned out to be the host organism for UCYN-A. It took her over 300 sampling expeditions and more than a decade, but Hagino eventually successfully grew the alga in culture, allowing other researchers to begin studying UCYN-A and its marine alga host together in the lab. For years, the scientists considered UCYN-A an endosymbiont that was closely associated with an alga. But the two recent papers suggest that UCYN-A has co-evolved with its host past symbiosis and now fits criteria for an organelle. In a paper published in Cell in March 2024, Zehr and colleagues from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Institut de Ciencies del Mar in Barcelona and the University of Rhode Island show that the size ratio between UCYN-A and their algal hosts is similar across different species of the marine haptophyte algae Braarudosphaera bigelowii. The researchers use a model to demonstrate that the growth of the host cell and UCYN-A are controlled by the exchange of nutrients. Their metabolisms are linked. This synchronization in growth rates led the researchers to call UCYN-A "organelle-like." "That's exactly what happens with organelles," said Zehr. "If you look at the mitochondria and the chloroplast, it's the same thing: they scale with the cell." But the scientists did not confidently call UCYN-A an organelle until confirming other lines of evidence. In the cover article of the journal Science, published today, Zehr, Coale, Kendra Turk-Kubo and Wing Kwan Esther Mak from UC Santa Cruz, and collaborators from the University of California, San Francisco, the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, National Taiwan Ocean University, and Kochi University in Japan show that UCYN-A imports proteins from its host cells. "That's one of the hallmarks of something moving from an endosymbiont to an organelle," said Zehr. "They start throwing away pieces of DNA, and their genomes get smaller and smaller, and they start depending on the mother cell for those gene products -- or the protein itself -- to be transported into the cell." Coale worked on the proteomics for the study. He compared the proteins found within isolated UCYN-A with those found in the entire algal host cell. He found that the host cell makes proteins and labels them with a specific amino acid sequence, which tells the cell to send them to the nitroplast. The nitroplast then imports the proteins and uses them. Coale identified the function of some of the proteins, and they fill gaps in certain pathways within UCYN-A. "It's kind of like this magical jigsaw puzzle that actually fits together and works," said Zehr. In the same paper, researchers from UCSF show that UCYN-A replicates in synchrony with the alga cell and is inherited like other organelles.

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96% of US Hospital Websites Share Visitor Info With Meta, Google, Data Brokers

Slashdot - 18 hours 29 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Hospitals -- despite being places where people implicitly expect to have their personal details kept private -- frequently use tracking technologies on their websites to share user information with Google, Meta, data brokers, and other third parties, according to research published today. Academics at the University of Pennsylvania analyzed a nationally representative sample of 100 non-federal acute care hospitals -- essentially traditional hospitals with emergency departments -- and their findings were that 96 percent of their websites transmitted user data to third parties. Additionally, not all of these websites even had a privacy policy. And of the 71 percent that did, 56 percent disclosed specific third-party companies that could receive user information. The researchers' latest work builds on a study they published a year ago of 3,747 US non-federal hospital websites. That found 98.6 percent tracked and transferred visitors' data to large tech and social media companies, advertising firms, and data brokers. To find the trackers on websites, the team checked out each hospitals' homepage on January 26 using webXray, an open source tool that detects third-party HTTP requests and matches them to the organizations receiving the data. They also recorded the number of third-party cookies per page. One name in particular stood out, in terms of who was receiving website visitors' information. "In every study we've done, in any part of the health system, Google, whose parent company is Alphabet, is on nearly every page, including hospitals," [Dr Ari Friedman, an assistant professor of emergency medicine at the University of Pennsylvania] observed. "From there, it declines," he continued. "Meta was on a little over half of hospital webpages, and the Meta Pixel is notable because it seems to be one of the grabbier entities out there in terms of tracking." Both Meta and Google's tracking technologies have been the subject of criminal complaints and lawsuits over the years -- as have some healthcare companies that shared data with these and other advertisers. In addition, between 20 and 30 percent of the hospitals share data with Adobe, Friedman noted. "Everybody knows Adobe for PDFs. My understanding is they also have a tracking division within their ad division." Others include telecom and digital marketing companies like The Trade Desk and Verizon, plus tech giants Oracle, Microsoft, and Amazon, according to Friedman. Then there's also analytics firms including Hotjar and data brokers such as Acxiom. "And two thirds of hospital websites had some kind of data transfer to a third-party domain that we couldn't even identify," he added. Of the 71 hospital website privacy policies that the team found, 69 addressed the types of user information that was collected. The most common were IP addresses (80 percent), web browser name and version (75 percent), pages visited on the website (73 percent), and the website from which the user arrived (73 percent). Only 56 percent of these policies identified the third-party companies receiving user information. In lieu of any federal data privacy law in the U.S., Friedman recommends users protect their personal information via the browser-based tools Ghostery and Privacy Badger, which identify and block transfers to third-party domains.

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Adobe Firefly Used Thousands of Midjourney Images In Training Its 'Ethical AI' Model

Slashdot - 19 hours 9 min ago
According to Bloomberg, Adobe used images from its competitor Midjourney to train its own artificial intelligence image generator, Firefly -- contradicting the "commercially safe" ethical standards the company promotes. Tom's Guide reports: The startup has never declared the source of its training data but many suspect it is from images it scraped from the internet without licensing. Adobe says only about 5% of the millions of images used to train Firefly fell into this category and all of them were part of the Adobe Stock library, which meant they'd been through a "rigorous moderation process." When Adobe first launched Firefly it offered an indemnity against copyright theft claims for its enterprise customers as a way to convince them it was safe. Adobe also sold Firefly as the safe alternative to the likes of Midjourney and DALL-E as all the data had been licensed and cleared for use in training the model. Not all artists were that keen at the time and felt they were coerced into agreeing to let their work be used by the creative tech giant -- but the sense was any image made with Firefly was safe to use without risk of being sued for copyright theft. Despite the revelation some of the images came from potentially less reputable sources, Adobe says all of the non-human pictures are still safe. A spokesperson told Bloomberg: "Every image submitted to Adobe Stock, including a very small subset of images generated with AI, goes through a rigorous moderation process to ensure it does not include IP, trademarks, recognizable characters or logos, or reference artists' names." The company seems to be taking a slightly more rigorous step with its plans to build an AI video generator. Rumors suggest it is paying artists per minute for video clips.

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Huawei Building Vast Chip Equipment R&D Center In Shanghai

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 23:40
AmiMoJo writes: Huawei Technologies is building a massive semiconductor equipment research and development center in Shanghai as the Chinese tech titan continues to beef up its chip supply chain to counter a U.S. crackdown. The centre's mission includes building lithography machines, vital equipment for producing cutting-edge chips. To staff the new center, Huawei is offering salary packages worth up to twice as much as local chipmakers, industry executives and sources briefed on the matter told Nikkei Asia. The company has already hired numerous engineers who have worked with top global chip tool builders like Applied Materials, Lam Research, KLA and ASML, they said, adding that chip industry veterans with more than 15 years of experience at leading chipmakers like TSMC, Intel and Micron are also among recent and potential hires. The report says Huawei is investing about 12 billion yuan ($1.66 billion) for this R&D chip plant, making it one of Shanghai's top projects for 2024. Working for the company is no easy task, says one chip engineering: "Working with them is brutal. It's not 996 -- meaning working from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m., six days a week. ... It will literally be 007 -- from midnight to midnight, seven days a week. No days off at all. The contract will be for three years, [but] the majority of people can't survive till renewal."

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Intel preps export-friendly lower-power Gaudi 3 AI chips for China

TheRegister - Fri, 2024-04-12 23:27
Beijing will be thrilled by this nerfed silicon

Intel is set to launch two China-exclusive models of its Gaudi 3 AI accelerator, and they'll be substantially crippled to fit in with US sanctions.…

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Google Threatens To Cut Off News After California Proposes Paying Media Outlets

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 23:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Google says it will start removing links to California news websites in a "short term test for a small percentage of California users." The move is in response to the pending California Journalism Preservation Act (CJPA), which would require Google to pay a fee for linking Californians to news articles. "If passed, CJPA may result in significant changes to the services we can offer Californians and the traffic we can provide to California publishers," Jaffer Zaidi, Google VP of global news partnerships, wrote in a blog post announcing the decision. "The testing process involves removing links to California news websites, potentially covered by CJPA, to measure the impact of the legislation on our product experience." Zaidi adds that Google will also pause "further investments in the California news ecosystem," referring to initiatives like Google News Showcase, product and licensing programs for news organizations, and the Google News Initiative. A study (PDF) conducted in 2023 estimates that Google would owe U.S. publishers around $10 to 12 billion annually if the Journalism Competition and Preservation Act, a national bill, is passed.

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Zero-day exploited right now in Palo Alto Networks' GlobalProtect gateways

TheRegister - Fri, 2024-04-12 22:43
Out of the PAN-OS and into the firewall, a Python backdoor this way comes

Palo Alto Networks on Friday issued a critical alert for an under-attack vulnerability in the PAN-OS software used in its firewall-slash-VPN products.…

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China Tells Telecom Carriers To Phase Out Foreign Chips in Blow To Intel, AMD

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 22:20
China's push to replace foreign technology is now focused on cutting American chip makers out of the country's telecoms systems. From a report: Officials earlier this year directed the nation's largest telecom carriers to phase out foreign processors that are core to their networks by 2027, a move that would hit American chip giants Intel and Advanced Micro Devices, people familiar with the matter said. The deadline given by China's Ministry of Industry and Information Technology aims to accelerate efforts by Beijing to halt the use of such core chips in its telecom infrastructure. The regulator ordered state-owned mobile operators to inspect their networks for the prevalence of non-Chinese semiconductors and draft timelines to replace them, the people said. In the past, efforts to get the industry to wean itself off foreign semiconductors have been hindered by the lack of good domestically made chips. Chinese telecom carriers' procurements show they are switching more to domestic alternatives, a move made possible in part because local chips' quality has improved and their performance has become more stable, the people said. Such an effort will hit Intel and AMD the hardest, they said. The two chip makers have in recent years provided the bulk of the core processors used in networking equipment in China and the world.

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Intel Axes 13th Gen Core i5, i7, i9 K-series CPUs

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 21:42
Tom's Hardware: Intel is discontinuing its boxed overclockable Core i5, i7, and i9 Raptor Lake CPUs. Every K-series chip in the lineup will be discontinued on May 24th, 2024, after which vendors will no longer be able to purchase them. Intel's product change document states that the last product discontinuance order date and non-cancelable/non-returnable cut-off points will start on May 24th, 2024, and final shipments will end on June 28th, 2024. We don't expect 13th Gen K-series CPU supply to evaporate instantly but expect availability to gradually dissipate, along with price increases as vendors move to sell off all remaining overclockable Raptor Lake CPU inventory. That said, most 12th-Gen Alder Lake CPUs are still priced very competitively, even to this day, so we could potentially see the same behavior with these discontinued Raptor Lake CPUs (until stock inevitably runs out).

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Your Anonymous OpenTable Reviews Will Soon Display Your First Name

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 21:01
OpenTable's restaurant pages still feature a lot of reviews left by anonymous diners at the moment, but that will not be the case starting next month. From a report: The online restaurant reservation service is changing its policy around reviews so that they're not as anonymous -- and it's even applying the new rule retroactively. As BleepingComputer reports, it told users in an email that starting on May 22, it "will begin displaying diner first names and profile photos on all diner reviews." Further, "this update will also apply to past reviews." "We've heard from you, our diners, that trust and transparency are important when looking at reviews," the company also said in its letter, insinuating that it's changing the way reviews work based on user feedback. As BleepingComputer says, it'll be easy to match a bad review with customer reservation records based on the user's first name and when the post was made. While that's not nearly as bad as Glassdoor publishing people's names alongside their employer reviews without consent, it could still be very uncomfortable for people who wanted to talk about bad experiences without the fear of not being welcomed back into a particular establishment.

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Google One VPN axed for everyone but Pixel loyalists ... for now

TheRegister - Fri, 2024-04-12 20:21
Another one bytes the dust

In an incredibly rare move, Google is killing off one of its online services – this time, VPN for Google One.…

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Adobe Is Buying Videos for $3 Per Minute To Build AI Model

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 20:21
Adobe has begun to procure videos to build its AI text-to-video generator, trying to catch up to competitors after OpenAI demonstrated a similar technology. From a report: The software company is offering its network of photographers and artists $120 to submit videos of people engaged in everyday actions such as walking or expressing emotions including joy and anger, according to documents seen by Bloomberg. The goal is to source assets for artificial intelligence training, the company wrote. Over the past year, Adobe has focused on adding generative AI features to its portfolio of software for creative professionals, including Photoshop and Illustrator. [...] Adobe is requesting more than 100 short clips of people engaged in actions and showing emotions as well as simple anatomy shots of feet, hands or eyes. The company also wants video of people "interacting with objects" such as smartphones or fitness equipment. It cautions against providing copyrighted material, nudity or other "offensive content." Pay for the submission works out, on average, to about $2.62 per minute of submitted video, although it could be as much as about $7.25 per minute.

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Many AI Products Still Rely on Humans To Fill the Performance Gaps

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 19:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: Recent headlines have made clear: If AI is doing an impressively good job at a human task, there's a good chance that the task is actually being done by a human. When George Carlin's estate sued the creators of a podcast who said they used AI to create a standup routine in the late comedian's style, the podcasters claimed that the script had actually been generated by a human named Chad. (The two sides recently settled the suit.) A company making AI-powered voice interfaces for fast-food drive-thrus can only complete 30% of jobs without the help of a human reviewing its work. Amazon is dropping its automated "Just Walk Out" checkout systems from new stores -- a system that relied on far more human verification than it was hoping for. We've seen this before -- though it may already be lost to Silicon Valley's pathologically short memory. Back in 2015, AI chatbots were the hot thing. Tech giants and startups alike pitched them as always-available, always-chipper, always-reliable assistants. One startup, x.ai, advertised an AI assistant who could read your emails and schedule your meetings. Another, GoButler, offered to book your flights or order your fries through a delivery app. Facebook also tested a do-anything concierge service called M, which could answer seemingly any question, do almost any task, and draw you pictures on demand. But for all of those services, the "AI assistant" was often just a person. Back in 2016, I wrote a story about this and interviewed workers whose job it was to be the human hiding behind the bot, making sure the bot never made a mistake or spoke nonsense.

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Apple's failure to duck UK antitrust probe could bring £785M windfall for devs

TheRegister - Fri, 2024-04-12 19:30
That 30% app tax may turn out to be a hefty liability

Apple's attempt to get the UK Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) to toss a lawsuit over its 30 percent App Store tax has failed, meaning the iMaker could eventually be forced to fork over £785 million ($980 million) in compensation to developers.…

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Apple Loses Bid To Throw Out UK Lawsuit Over App Store Fees

Slashdot - Fri, 2024-04-12 19:01
Apple on Friday lost a bid to throw out a mass lawsuit valued at just under $1 billion, brought in London on behalf of more than 1,500 app developers over its App Store fees. Reuters: The case, worth up to 785 million pounds ($979 million) and one of several faced by the U.S. tech giant in the United Kingdom, alleges Apple charged third-party developers unfair commissions of up to 30% on purchases of apps or other content. Sean Ennis, a competition law professor and economist, is spearheading the case which was filed at the Competition Appeal Tribunal (CAT) last year. His lawyers say Apple has abused its dominant position in the market for the distribution of apps on iPhones and other Apple devices and are seeking damages for UK-based developers. Apple, however, says 85% of developers on its App Store do not pay any commission at all.

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