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Alphabet's Project Taara Laser Tech Beamed 700TB of Data Across Nearly 5km

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-09-16 14:05
An anonymous reader shares a report: In January, Google's parent company, Alphabet, shut down Project Loon, an initiative exploring using stratospheric helium balloons to distribute wireless internet (an attempt to use solar-powered drones folded in 2017). However, some technology developed as a part of the Loon project remained in development, specifically the Free Space Optical Communications (FSOC) links that were originally meant to connect the high flying balloons -- and now that technology is actively in use providing a high-speed broadband link for people in Africa. Sort of like fiber optic cables without the cable, FSOC can create a 20Gbps+ broadband link from two points that have a clear line of sight, and Alphabet's moonshot lab X has built up Project Taara to give it a shot. They started by setting up links in India a few years ago as well as a few pilots in Kenya, and today X revealed what it has achieved by using its wireless optical link to connect service across the Congo River from Brazzaville in the Republic of Congo and Kinshasa in the Democratic Republic of Congo. In 20 days, Project Taara lead Baris Erkmen says the link transmitted nearly 700TB of data, augmenting fiber connections used by local telecom partner Econet and its subsidiaries.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

If it were possible to evade facial-recognition systems using just subtle makeup, it might look something like this

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 13:47
Interested in poking away at machine-learning models? This academic study could be a good start

Makeup carefully applied to the forehead, cheeks, and nose may help you evade facial recognition systems, judging from these computer scientists' experimental work.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

What have the Romans ever done for us? In ServiceNow's new Rome release, replaced intranets, for one

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 13:01
Adds Teams integration for new ‘Employee Centre’, automated automation for service desk

ServiceNow has loosed the new "Rome" release of its SaaS workflow platform on a waiting world.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Walmart To Begin Driverless Deliveries With Ford and Argo AI

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-09-16 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Our streets might not be overflowing with robotaxis as we were promised circa 2017, but here and there, AV companies are beginning commercial deployments. Argo AI, the AV startup heavily backed by Ford, Volkswagen, and others, is one of those companies. On Wednesday, Argo, Ford, and Walmart revealed that they will be working together to roll out last-mile deliveries from the retail giant's stores in Austin, Texas; Miami, Florida; and Washington, DC. "Our focus on the testing and development of self-driving technology that operates in urban areas where customer demand is high really comes to life with this collaboration," said Bryan Salesky, founder and CEO of Argo AI. "Working together with Walmart and Ford across three markets, we're showing the potential for autonomous vehicle delivery services at scale." "Argo and Ford are aggressively preparing for large-scale autonomous vehicle operations across a broad footprint of US cities," said Scott Griffith, the CEO of Ford Autonomous Vehicles and Mobility Businesses. "Pairing Walmart's retail and e-commerce leadership with Argo and Ford's self-driving operations across these multiple cities marks a significant step toward scaling a commercial goods delivery service that will ultimately power first-to-scale business efficiencies and enable a great consumer experience." Argo AI and Ford have been testing their AV systems in Miami and DC since 2018 and began testing in Austin the following year. The trio says that the first autonomous deliveries to Walmart customers will begin later this year. Around the same time, Ford and Argo will start deploying passenger-carrying robotaxis in Austin and Miami.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Computer and data scientists should be as highly regarded as 'warriors' says top UK cybergeneral

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 12:14
Translation: Skills shortage here!

DSEI 2021 Military computer scientists ought to be treated with the same regard as pilots and warship captains, the head of the Army's cyber command has said.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

UK funds hydrogen-powered cargo submarine to torpedo maritime emissions by 2050

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 11:28
Green machine will also suck up microplastics between Glasgow and Belfast

A hydrogen-powered cargo-carrying submarine has received taxpayer funding as part of the UK government's goal to slash maritime emissions by 2050.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Technology doesn’t widen the education divide. People do that

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 10:45
And no, we don’t want a generation of early-years coders

Register Debate Welcome to the latest Register Debate in which writers discuss technology topics, and you – the reader – choose the winning argument. The format is simple: we propose a motion, the arguments for the motion will run this Monday and Wednesday, and the arguments against on Tuesday and Thursday. During the week you can cast your vote on which side you support using the poll embedded below, choosing whether you're in favour or against the motion. The final score will be announced on Friday, revealing whether the for or against argument was most popular. It's up to our writers to convince you to vote for their side.

Categories: Linux fréttir

UK Cabinet Office calls off its search for a 'partner' in Whitehall SaaS ERP migration

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 10:00
'This is not the outcome you were hoping for,' bidders told

The UK's Cabinet Office has cancelled a procurement to move a group of central government departments off Oracle's wares to Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) ERP systems.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Ransomware Encrypts South Africa's Entire Department of Justice Network

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-09-16 10:00
The justice ministry of the South African government is working on restoring its operations after a recent ransomware attack encrypted all its systems, making all electronic services unavailable both internally and to the public. As a consequence of the attack, the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development said that child maintenance payments are now on hold until systems are back online. BleepingComputer reports: The incident happened on September 6 and the department activated the contingency plan for such events to ensure the continuation of some activity in the country. Last week, [Steve Mahlangu, spokesperson for the Department of Justice and Constitutional Development] said that court sittings continued after a switch into manual mode for recording the hearings. A manual process has also been adopted for issuing various legal documents. However, the ransomware attack impacted monthly child maintenance payments, which have been delayed until the systems are restored. The department is still in the process of returning to regular operations but it is cannot say when the activity will become normal again. Part of this effort was setting up a new email system, to which some staff has already migrated. Coupled with the long time needed for network restoration, this is a sign that the hackers did not get paid. It is unclear who is behind this attack. Many ransomware gangs also steal data before encrypting it, to force the victim into paying the ransom under the pressure of a public leak. Mahlangu said last week that the Department's IT experts have found "no indication of data compromise." Until now, the attack has not been claimed by any of the gangs with a data leak site.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Turing Award winner Barbara Liskov on CLU and why programming is still cool

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 09:15
Error handling and encapsulation remain the name of the game

Interview It has been 13 years since Barbara Liskov won a Turing Award for her contributions to practical and theoretical foundations of programming language and system design, and these days the creator of the CLU programming language continues to work on some interesting problems.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

De-identify, re-identify: Anonymised data's dirty little secret

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 08:28
Jeffrey Singh, stamp-collecting bachelor (35) of Milwaukee, Wisconsin – is that you?

Feature Publishing data of all kinds offers big benefits for government, academic, and business users. Regulators demand that we make that data anonymous to deliver its benefits while protecting personal privacy. But what happens when people read between the lines?…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Myanmar junta demanded telcos activate phone interception tools – and we refused, says Telenor

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 07:57
Norwegian carrier insists it's quitting Asian nation to defend human rights – but the buyer it lined up is accused of shady dealings

Norwegian mobile carrier Telenor has revealed one reason it is quitting Myanmar is that the nation's ruling junta wanted it to intercept calls carried on its network.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

NASA Confirms Thousands of Massive, Ancient Volcanic Eruptions On Mars

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-09-16 07:00
Scientists found evidence that a region of northern Mars called Arabia Terra experienced thousands of "super eruptions," the biggest volcanic eruptions known, over a 500-million-year period. NASA reports the findings in a post: Some volcanoes can produce eruptions so powerful they release oceans of dust and toxic gases into the air, blocking out sunlight and changing a planet's climate for decades. By studying the topography and mineral composition of a portion of the Arabia Terra region in northern Mars, scientists recently found evidence for thousands of such eruptions, or "super eruptions," which are the most violent volcanic explosions known. Spewing water vapor, carbon dioxide, and sulfur dioxide into the air, these explosions tore through the Martian surface over a 500-million-year period about 4 billion years ago. Scientists reported this estimate in a paper published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters in July 2021. "Each one of these eruptions would have had a significant climate impact -- maybe the released gas made the atmosphere thicker or blocked the Sun and made the atmosphere colder," said Patrick Whelley, a geologist at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland, who led the Arabia Terra analysis. "Modelers of the Martian climate will have some work to do to try to understand the impact of the volcanoes." [...] One remaining question is how a planet can have only one type of volcano littering a region. On Earth volcanoes capable of super eruptions -- the most recent erupted 76,000 years ago in Sumatra, Indonesia -- are dispersed around the globe and exist in the same areas as other volcano types. Mars, too, has many other types of volcanoes, including the biggest volcano in the solar system called Olympus Mons. Olympus Mons is 100 times larger by volume than Earth's largest volcano of Mauna Loa in Hawaii, and is known as a "shield volcano," which drains lava down a gently sloping mountain. Arabia Terra so far has the only evidence of explosive volcanoes on Mars. It's possible that super-eruptive volcanoes were concentrated in regions on Earth but have been eroded physically and chemically or moved around the globe as continents shifted due to plate tectonics. These types of explosive volcanoes also could exist in regions of Jupiter's moon Io or could have been clustered on Venus. Whatever the case may be, Richardson hopes Arabia Terra will teach scientists something new about geological processes that help shape planets and moons.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

Oracle sets its own JDK free, sort of, for a while

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 06:57
Welcome to the No-Fee Terms and Conditions, which makes the Java dev kit a bit more appealing

Analysis Oracle this week made Oracle JDK "available for free," for personal, commercial and production use, including quarterly security updates, for a limited time.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

It's time to delete that hunter2 password from your Microsoft account, says IT giant

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 05:58
And go passwordless, use auth app, keys, Windows Hello, or codes to login

From this week, Microsoft won't require you, or your password manager, to come up with strings of letters, numbers, and special characters forming a silly sentence or a reconfiguration of an ex’s name and birthday to access the Windows giant's services.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

India changes telco tax laws to help carriers avoid hitting the wall

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 05:33
Moratorium offered to ease burden of $22B debts

India has re-written some of its telecommunications laws to make foreign investment easier and reduce enormous retrospective tax bills that threatened to send some carriers to the wall.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Travis CI Flaw Exposed Secrets of Thousands of Open Source Projects

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-09-16 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Travis CI is a popular software-testing tool due to its seamless integration with GitHub and Bitbucket. As the makers of the tool explain: "When you run a build, Travis CI clones your GitHub repository into a brand-new virtual environment and carries out a series of tasks to build and test your code. If one or more of those tasks fail, the build is considered broken. If none of the tasks fail, the build is considered passed and Travis CI can deploy your code to a web server or application host." But this month, researcher Felix Lange found a security vulnerability that caused Travis CI to include secure environment variables of all public open source repositories that use Travis CI into pull request builds. Environment variables can include sensitive secrets like signing keys, access credentials, and API tokens. If these variables are exposed, attackers can abuse the secrets to obtain lateral movement into the networks of thousands of organizations. Tracked as CVE-2021-41077, the bug is present in Travis CI's activation process and impacts certain builds created between September 3 and September 10. As a part of this activation process, developers are supposed to add a ".travis.yml" file to their open source project repository. This file tells Travis CI what to do and may contain encrypted secrets. Another place encrypted secrets may be defined is Travis' web UI. But, these secrets are not meant to be exposed. In fact, Travis CI's docs have always stated, "Encrypted environment variables are not available to pull requests from forks due to the security risk of exposing such information to unknown code." Ideally, Travis is expected to run in a manner that prevents public access to any secret environment variables specified. [...] This vulnerability caused these sorts of secrets to be unexpectedly exposed to just about anyone forking a public repository and printing files during a build process. Fortunately, the issue didn't last too long -- around eight days, thanks to Lange and other researchers who notified the company of the bug on September 7. But out of caution, all projects relying on Travis CI are advised to rotate their secrets. The presence and relatively quick patching of the flaw aside, Travis CI's concise security bulletin and overall handling of the coordinated disclosure process has infuriated the developer community. In a long Twitter thread, Peter Szilagyi details the arduous process that his group endured as it waited for Travis CI to take action and release a brief security bulletin on an obscure webpage. "After 3 days of pressure from multiple projects, [Travis CI] silently patched the issue on the 10th. No analysis, no security report, no post mortem, not warning any of their users that their secrets might have been stolen," tweeted Szilagyi. After Szilagyi and Lange asked GitHub to ban Travis CI over its poor security posture and vulnerability disclosure processes, an advisory showed up. "Finally, after multiple ultimatums from multiple projects, [they] posted this lame-ass post hidden deep where nobody will read it... Not even a single 'thank you.' [No] acknowledgment of responsible disclosure. Not even admitting the gravity of it all," said Szilagyi, while referring to the security bulletin -- and especially its abridged version, which included barely any details. Szilagyi was joined by several members of the community in criticizing the bulletin. Boston-based web developer Jake Jarvis called the disclosure an "insanely embarrassing 'security bulletin.'" "Travis CI implemented a series of security patches starting on Sept 3rd that resolves this issue," concluded Mendy on behalf of the Travis CI team. "As a reminder, cycling your secrets is something that all users should do on a regular basis. If you are unsure how to do this, please contact Support."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

This is AUKUS for China – US, UK, Australia reveal defence tech-sharing pact

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 03:27
Will build nuke-powered subs together and share cyber, AI, quantum and mysterious 'undersea capabilities' tech

Australia, the United States of America, and the United Kingdom have signed a new defence and technology-sharing pact.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Physicists Make Square Droplets and Liquid Lattices

Slashdot - Thu, 2021-09-16 02:10
Aalto University reports via Phys.Org: When two substances are brought together, they will eventually settle into a steady state called thermodynamic equilibrium; examples include oil floating on top of water and milk mixing uniformly into coffee. Researchers at Aalto University in Finland wanted to disrupt this sort of state to see what happens -- and whether they can control the outcome. In their work, the team used combinations of oils with different dielectric constants and conductivities. They then subjected the liquids to an electric field. "When we turn on an electric field over the mixture, electrical charge accumulates at the interface between the oils. This charge density shears the interface out of thermodynamic equilibrium and into interesting formations," explains Dr. Nikos Kyriakopoulos, one of the authors of the paper. As well as being disrupted by the electric field, the liquids were confined into a thin, nearly two-dimensional sheet. This combination led to the oils reshaping into various completely unexpected droplets and patterns. The droplets in the experiment could be made into squares and hexagons with straight sides, which is almost impossible in nature, where small bubbles and droplets tend to form spheres. The two liquids could be also made to form into interconnected lattices: grid patterns that occur regularly in solid materials but are unheard of in liquid mixtures. The liquids can even be coaxed into forming a torus, a donut shape, which was stable and held its shape while the field was applied -- unlike in nature, as liquids have a strong tendency to collapse in and fill the hole at the center. The liquids can also form filaments that roll and rotate around an axis. One of the exciting results of this work is the ability to create temporary structures with a controlled and well-defined size which can be turned on and off with voltage, an area that the researchers are interested in exploring further for creating voltage-controlled optical devices. Another potential outcome is the ability to create interacting populations of rolling microfilaments and microdroplets that, at some elementary level, mimic the dynamics and collective behavior of microorganisms like bacteria and microalgae that propel themselves using completely different mechanisms. The research has been published in the journal Science Advances.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Linux fréttir

SpaceX successfully sends four amateurs into orbit for three-day tour

TheRegister - Thu, 2021-09-16 01:40
Vision from window seats didn't stream, everything else worked

SpaceX has successfully launched its first all-civilian crew into space.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

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