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Facebook's Own Research Shows Instagram Is Harmful To Teens, Report Says

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 22:02
In studies conducted over the past three years, Facebook researchers have found that Instagram is "harmful for a sizable percentage" of young users, particularly teenage girls, reported The Wall Street Journal on Tuesday. CNET reports: Research presented in 2019 reportedly found that Instagram makes body image issue worse for one in three teen girls. Teens also said Instagram increased rates of anxiety and depression, reported the Journal, citing internal company documents. On Tuesday, Instagram, which is owned by Facebook, said it stands by its research to understand young people's experiences on the app. "The question on many people's minds is if social media is good or bad for people," wrote Karina Newton, head of public policy at Instagram, in a blog post. "The research on this is mixed; it can be both. At Instagram, we look at the benefits and the risks of what we do." Newton added that Instagram has done "extensive work around bullying, suicide and self-injury, and eating disorders" to make the app a safe place for everyone. The company is also focused on addressing negative social comparison and body image, said Newton, and is developing ways to "jump in if we see people dwelling on certain types of content." The Instagram research is part of a "trove of internal communications" reviewed by the Journal. On Monday, the Journal reported that Facebook exempted millions of high-profile users, including celebrities and politicians, from some or all of its community standards as part of a program called XCheck. A Facebook spokesman said the program was meant to give certain Facebook pages a "second layer of review to make sure we've applied our policies correctly."

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UK gives military's frikkin' laser cannon project a second roll of the dice

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 21:36
First try had a habit of melting its mirrors, apparently

DSEI 2021 The UK has awarded contracts for laser cannons to be fitted to tanks and warships, a mere five years after first bounding into the field of directed energy weapons.…

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Michelin's Airless Passenger Car Tires Get Their First Public Outing

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 21:25
New Atlas reports the latest development with Michelin's airless tire technology, which has been in the works for almost two decades. An anonymous Slashdot reader shares an excerpt from the report: The advantages are pretty clear: firstly, you can never be brought to a stop by a puncture or blowout -- Michelin says about 200 million tires every year hit scrapyards early thanks to these. Secondly, you don't have to look after your tire pressures; that doesn't just save you time, it also eliminates all early wear caused by underinflation. Their internal spokes are hugely tunable to meet desired performance characteristics. You can individually tune their stiffness under acceleration, braking, cornering and bump handling forces. The bump handling characteristics can even be tuned to eliminate the need for separate suspension in some types of vehicles. You can poke holes right through the tread to let water escape, potentially creating much better resistance to aquaplaning. They take less raw material and less energy to make, making them better for the environment, and Michelin has estimated they'll last up to three times as long as a regular ol' hoop. They have obviously not been easy to commercialize, though; 16 years and counting is a long and difficult birth for a product people are clearly interested in. The Tweel, which replaces the entire wheel assembly, has been available for some time for various off-road vehicles, but it's still yet to make it to the road. Michelin has teamed up with GM to design and start selling an airless tire for street use on passenger cars. Called Uptis, this product is a full-wheel solution requiring specialized rims. Michelin says it will withstand much greater impacts than a regular tire and wheel, and will have a "dramatically" longer lifespan, while adding no extra rolling resistance, not feeling any different to the driver and adding only around seven percent to the weight of the wheel -- less than existing run-flat tires do. GM will begin offering Uptis as an option on certain models "as early as 2024," and the partnership is working with US state governments on regulatory approvals for street use, as well as with the federal government. At IAA Munich recently, the Uptis airless tire got its first public outing, in which "certain lucky members of the public" had a chance to ride in a Mini Electric kitted out with a set. By all reports, the experience was about as exciting as driving on a regular set of tires -- i.e. not very interesting at all. They felt no different. But that's kind of the point here, Michelin is hoping to bring in a new and improved technology with zero change in the user experience. Hence this awkward interview with "Automotive lifestyle YouTuber Mr JWW" (James Walker).

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Online Coding School Treehouse Lays Off Most of Its Staff

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 20:45
Treehouse, which launched in Portland a decade ago in an ambitious effort to teach software development online, plans to lay off most of its staff by the end of the month. Oregon Live reports: CEO Ryan Carson didn't answer emailed questions about the cutbacks, but said in a brief reply Tuesday that "we are going to continue to serve our students and customers." Carson, who moved to Connecticut last month, said Treehouse is no longer based in Portland and that its remaining staff now works remotely. In an announcement sent last week over the company's internal Slack messaging channel, later viewed by The Oregonian/OregonLive, Treehouse notified employees that their jobs and benefits would end on Sept. 30, without severance. "A small team will be remaining, along with Ryan, to continue to support students," the company wrote to staff. Workers later posted an online spreadsheet with the names of 41 employees looking for new jobs. Treehouse has a geographically distributed workforce and the company's employees live in cities across the country. Treehouse attracted national attention in 2013 and 2015 with two unorthodox management strategies: The company eliminated all layers of management and it moved to a 32-hour-work week. Neither experiment worked. [...] It's not clear what triggered this week's cutbacks. Online education has been booming during the pandemic.

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Apple debuts iPhone 13 with 1TB option, two iPad models, Series 7 Watch

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 20:35
Come for superlatives and executive enthusiasm, stay for the photographic enhancements

Apple on Tuesday announced iPhone 13, a "new iPad" and iPad mini, and Watch Series 7 at its "California streaming" event, held virtually again this year to avoid going viral in the wrong way.…

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Apple Watch Series 7 Delivers Larger Screens and More Durability

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 20:02
Earlier today at Apple's iPhone 13 launch event, Apple introduced the Apple Watch Series 7 with a new, more seamless design with larger 41mm and 45mm cases that include larger, brighter and more durable screens. There's also a variety of new colors to choose from. Engadget reports: The update takes advantage of the bigger displays, with more information and new watch faces like Contour, Modular Duo and World Timer. As for durability? Series 7 is the first Apple Watch with a dust resistance rating (IP6X), making it better-suited to mountain climbing or the beach. The screen itself is more crack-resistant thanks to a thicker new geometry, and you'll still get swim-friendly WR50 (that is, 50-meter) water resistance. You won't confuse this with a rugged watch, but you might not panic quite so much after a fall. The updates aren't quite so aggressive under the hood. You can anticipate 33 percent faster charging and fall detection during workouts. Most of the updates come through watchOS 8, which now includes detection of cycling workouts, better tracking for e-bikes and help if you fall off. You'll also get a full swipe-based keyboard, support for more workouts (Pilates and Tai Chi) and respiratory rate tracking while you sleep. Apple Watch Series 7 will arrive sometime this fall starting at $399. The Apple Watch SE and Watch Series 3 will hang around at respective prices of $299 and $199, and you can expect refreshed Nike and Hermes variants for the Series 7.

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Krita art app users targeted by ransomware posing as paid 'collaboration' opportunities

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 19:27
Artists advised to delete emails asking them to download 'media bundle'

Krita, an open-source cross-platform digital painting application, has become the latest victim of ransomware – but rather than being attacked directly, its name is being used to spread malware among users via emails offering advertising revenue.…

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AMD Radeon Software Can Overclock Your Ryzen CPU Now, Too

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 19:25
An anonymous reader quotes a report from PCWorld: The latest version of Radeon Software adds an unusual (and welcome) new twist: The ability to automatically overclock your Ryzen processor if you're rocking an all-AMD gaming desktop. Yes, your GPU software can speed up your CPU now, too -- and it can do it all with a single click. [...] The addition of Ryzen auto-overclocking in Radeon Software 21.9.1 continues the theme, and might just allow you to ditch AMD's separate Ryzen Master tool if you're running a Team Red graphics card. They'll need to be newer hardware, though, as the feature currently only supports AMD's latest Ryzen 5000 CPUs and Radeon RX 6000 GPUs. AMD's blog describes how to use the new tool: "To access this easy-to-use feature, open up Radeon Software using the hotkey 'ALT' + 'R', navigate to the 'Performance' tab found at the top of the window, and select 'Tuning' in the sub tab directly below it. If you have the latest generation of AMD Ryzen and Radeon product installed on your system, a 'Tuning Control' section should appear for your system, allowing you to select 'Auto Overclock' to increase performance on both your processor and graphics card. We also have a new tuning section for CPUs, allowing you to overclock just your CPU. When the feature is selected, the system will ask for a restart and once you are back in Windows, you will be good to go!" "Radeon Software 21.9.1 also adds official Windows 11 support and the ability for Radeon RX 5000-series GPUs to tap into Smart Access Memory," adds PCWorld. "AMD also took the time to tout FidelityFX Super Resolution's rapid uptake. The DLSS rival is now supported in 27 games, with Arkane's awesome-looking Deathloop set to launch this week with native FSR support in place." You can download these new drivers here.

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All-new iPad Mini Announced With 5G, USB-C, and Larger 8.3-inch Display

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 18:45
Apple has announced its all-new iPad Mini. It features a new enclosure with narrower bezels and rounded corners. From a report: The big news is that it's larger than the iPad Mini 5 with an 8.3-inch display (up from its predecessor's 7.9-inch panel), making the device even more viable as a driver for multitasking or schoolwork. Apple says the screen can reach 500 nits of brightness. The iPad Mini is currently Apple's smallest tablet, even with the bump in size. Apple was rumored to have been considering a Mini LED display on the new iPad, similar to that of its largest iPad Pro. Those appear to have missed the mark; the new Mini sports a regular Liquid Retina display. The new iPad Mini is up for preorder today and will be available next week starting at $499.

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iPhone 13 Pro and Pro Max Announced With High Refresh Rate 120Hz Displays

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 18:28
Apple has officially announced the high-end part of the iPhone 13 lineup: the iPhone 13 Pro and 13 Pro Max. It's got a faster A15 Bionic chip, three all-new cameras, and an improved display with up to a 120Hz ProMotion high refresh rate display that can go as bright as 1,000 nits. The iPhone 13 Pro will start at $999, while the iPhone 13 Pro Max will start at $1099. Both will be available to order on Friday, shipping on September 24th. From a report: The OLED screens on both models are the same sizes as last year at 6.1 and 6.7 inches but with slightly smaller notches that should allow for more space in the iOS status bar. Apple says the phones have an all-new three-camera system. The ultrawide should offer better low-light photography, and the telephoto now goes up to 3x zoom, enabling 6x optical zoom across the three cameras. All three cameras now have night mode, and there's a new macro mode for photographing subjects at just 2cm.

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Jekyll in hiding? Maintainer claimed engine behind GitHub Pages was 'RIP' since 2018, but development continues

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 18:15
Maybe it's just feature-complete

The open-source Jekyll project, used by GitHub for its Pages feature, was declared frozen and "in permanent hiatus" earlier this year by one of its core maintainers.…

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Boffins say Martian colonists could pee in buckets, give blood if they want shelter

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 17:33
In terms of building materials, Mars has nothing to offer but blood, soil, sweat and tears. And urine. Lots of urine

A group of boffins from the University of Manchester have proposed an innovative if unexpected way of creating structures for any future Mars colony: mixing the bodily fluids of the first colonists with Martian soil to create super-strength concrete.…

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TikTok Faces EU Data Probes Into Children's Safety, China Link

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 17:25
TikTok faces two investigations by the Irish data watchdog following intense scrutiny for months over concerns that children's data isn't safe on the platform. From a report: Ireland's Data Protection Commission, said on Tuesday it opened two "own volition" investigations into ByteDance's TikTok amid worries about the way it handles its users' data. The Irish regulator became TikTok's lead European Union data protection authority in December. The first probe will look into TikTok's processing of data by its underage users and whether it's in line with the EU's strict protection rules. The second follows concerns expressed by the Irish privacy chief, Helen Dixon, that some EU user data could be accessed by "maintenance and AI engineers in China."

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China Uses Anti-fraud App To Track Access To Overseas Financial News Sites

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 16:47
Chinese police are using a new anti-fraud app installed on more than 200m mobile phones to identify and question people who have viewed overseas financial news sites, according to individuals summoned by the authorities. From a report: The app was launched in March by the public security ministry's National Anti-Fraud Center and blocks suspicious phone calls and reports malware. Police said it was needed to combat a surge in fraud, often perpetrated by overseas operations managed by Chinese and Taiwanese nationals. The ministry recommended that the app was downloaded but numerous local government agencies made it mandatory for their employees and individuals with whom they work, such as students and tenants. One Shanghai-based user told the Financial Times he was contacted by police after accessing a US financial news service. He was also asked whether he had contacts abroad and regularly visited overseas websites. The user, who asked not to be identified, said police seemed genuinely concerned about foreign scams. "But the questions they raised about whether I have contacted foreigners made me feel like they don't want me accessing foreign websites," he added. "I deleted the app after the meeting."

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Security bods boost Apple iPhone hardware attack research with iTimed toolkit

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 16:45
'The first complete infrastructure to enable general-purpose hardware security experiments on the Apple iPhone SoCs,' they claim

A trio of researchers at North Carolina State University (NC State) have released what they describe as a "novel research toolkit" for Apple's iDevices - and to prove its functionality, have disclosed side-channel attacks against the company's A10 Fusion system-on-chip.…

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India and Singapore To Link Their Payments Systems

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 16:05
India and Singapore are working to link their digital payments systems to enable "instant, low-cost fund transfers," in a major push to disrupt the cross-border transactions between the two nations that amounts to over $1 billion each year. From a report: The project to link India's Unified Payments Interface (UPI) and Singapore's PayNow is targeted for operationalization by July 2022, both nation's central banks said on Tuesday. Users on either of the systems will be able to make transactions to one another without having to sign up to the second platform, the banks added.

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US Air Force puts Godzilla in charge of autonomous warfare effort with Project Kaiju

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 16:01
Pulls Mothra, Mecha Rodan, King Ghidorah, Kumonga, and even King Kong along for the $150m ride

The United States Airforce (USAF) has unveiled Project Kaiju, a $150m (£108m) effort to build "cognitive electronic warfare" systems capable of operating entirely autonomously – to be run under Godzilla's watchful eye.…

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South Korea's Antitrust Regulator Fines Google $177 Million for Abusing Mobile Market Dominance

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 15:38
South Korea's competition regulator on Tuesday announced it will fine Google 207.4 billion Korean won ($176.9 million) for allegedly using its dominant market position in the mobile operating system space to stifle competition. From a report: Google's Android operating system currently holds the lion's share of the smartphone market, ahead of Apple's iOS platform. The U.S. tech giant allegedly used its market position to block smartphone makers like Samsung from using operating systems developed by rivals, according to the Korea Fair Trade Commission. Yonhap News added that the regulator, which published its decision in Korean, said the tech giant required smartphone makers to agree to an "anti-fragmentation agreement (AFA)" when signing key contracts with Google over app store licenses and early access to the operating system. That agreement prevented device makers from installing modified versions of the Android operating system, known as "Android forks," on their handsets, Yonhap reported. The regulator alleged that Google's practice stifled innovation in the development of new operating systems for smartphones, the news site added. The KFTC has asked the tech giant to stop forcing companies to sign AFAs and ordered it to take corrective steps, according to Yonhap.

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Brits open doors for tech-enabled fraudsters because they 'don't want to seem rude'

TheRegister - Tue, 2021-09-14 15:15
Impersonation scams and smishing rocket, say UK Finance and Which?

Brits are too polite to tell phone scammers to "get stuffed", "take a hike" or "sling yer 'ook" when they impersonate so-called "trusted organisations" such as banks.…

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Intel Is Reducing Server Chip Pricing in Attempt To Stem the AMD Tide

Slashdot - Tue, 2021-09-14 14:46
Intel has pivoted on its server strategy in order to fight a supply-constrained AMD, reports DigiTimes. It's reportedly flooding the market with chips at discount pricing, rather than sticking to MSRP. From a report: While some reports point toward a relative normalization on AMD's CPU supply, AMD has two distinct disadvantages when compared to Intel: It has fewer revenue sources than its much bigger CPU rival, and AMD doesn't own the factories that produce its market-turning Zen chips. Intel, on the other hand, can leverage its vertical integration (meaning that development and manufacturing takes place in an almost entirely Intel-owned and managed supply chain), as well as its massive revenue advantage, to play with final client pricing. In other words, Intel pull a lot more levers to increase demand and (Intel hopes) attract would-be AMD clients back into the Intel fold. AMD has seemingly been making strides in server market penetration. As seen in renowned system distributor Puget Systems' statistics, AMD has risen from a 5% share in systems sold since June 2020, up to a dominating 60% as of June 2021. However, unserved demand means that companies looking to invest in their server infrastructure or who aim to deploy AMD chips in any major way sometimes can't wait for the chips to become available. And Intel is smartly making it more attractive for those companies to go back to the Intel fold, or to skip AMD in the first place.

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