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Source for technology related news with a heavy slant towards Linux and Open Source issues.

MLB Teams Explore Using Cameras To Detect Maskless Fans at Games  

The baseball season has started with eerily empty stadiums, but some teams are exploring high-tech ways to verify that people in the stands are taking health precautions, a possible step toward bringing fans back. From a report: Several Major League Baseball teams have held talks with a California startup called Airspace Systems that develops technology to detect whether people are wearing face masks, the league and the company said. The discussions focus on implementing the systems into cameras

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2020-08-11 18:45:00

Qualcomm Wins US Antitrust Lawsuit Appeal Over Chip Licensing  

A U.S. appeals court on Tuesday reversed a lower court ruling against chip supplier Qualcomm in an antitrust lawsuit brought by the Federal Trade Commission. From a report: The United States Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals also vacated an injunction that would have required Qualcomm to change its intellectual property licensing practices. The decision amounted to a near complete victory for the San Diego company, the largest supplier of chips for mobile phones and also a key generator of wireless

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2020-08-11 18:04:00

Zoom Sued By Consumer Group For Misrepresenting Its Encryption Protections  

A consumer advocacy group is suing Zoom and seeking millions of dollars in damages, accusing the company of misleading its users about the strength of its encryption protections. From a report: The nonprofit group Consumer Watchdog is also accusing the videoconferencing company of deceiving users about the extent of its links with China and the fact that some calls between people in North America were routed through servers in China. That raises the danger Beijing could steal or demand access to

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2020-08-11 17:25:00

Ask Slashdot: Is it Time To Call Time on Time Zones?  

An anonymous reader shares a report [may be paywalled]: Anyone who has struggled to schedule a conference call across multiple time zones should pity the poor residents of Indiana. For decades, the Midwestern US state has been in flux over whether to observe Central or Eastern time. Some counties even switched time zones twice in as many years during the mid-2000s. This situation must be particularly baffling to the people of India and China, whose countries span thousands of miles yet obey a si

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2020-08-11 16:45:00

New Zealand Reinstates Coronavirus Restrictions After First Locally-Transmitted Case in 102 Days  

schwit1 shares a report: New Zealand has reintroduced coronavirus restrictions in parts of the country after new locally transmitted cases broke the 102-day streak the country had gone without recording a local infection. New Zealand's Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern confirmed four new locally transmitted coronavirus cases on Tuesday night, and announced that New Zealand's most populous city, Auckland, will temporarily see level three restrictions introduced for three days starting from midday on

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2020-08-11 16:05:00

Parallels Desktop 16 Supports macOS Big Sur and Smoother PC 3D Graphics  

As Apple's Mac computers begin their two-year transition from Intel- to Apple-developed CPUs later this year, one feature that's going away is Boot Camp -- the Mac's ability to boot directly into Windows and run PC apps natively. But Corel's Parallels Desktop will still be there to let Mac users run Windows, and in this year's version 16, it will thankfully be faster, more compatible, and easier to use than ever. From a report: Like Parallels Desktop 15, version 16 is an emulator that allows use

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2020-08-11 15:26:00

Mozilla Lays Off 250 Employees While it Refocuses on Commercial Products  

The Mozilla Corporation announced today it was laying off approximately 250 staff members in a move to shore up the organization's financial future. From a report: The layoffs were publicly announced in a blog post today. Employees were notified hours before, earlier this morning, via an email sent by Mitchell Baker, Mozilla Corporation CEO and Mozilla Foundation Chairwoman. Baker's message cited the organization's need to adapt its finances to a post-COVID-19 world and re-focus the organization

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2020-08-11 14:45:00

Android is Becoming a Worldwide Earthquake Detection Network  

Google is creating a worldwide, Android phone-powered earthquake alert system. The first part of that system is rolling out today. If you opt in, the accelerometer in your Android phone will become one data point for an algorithm designed to detect earthquakes. Eventually, that system will automatically send warnings to people who could be impacted. From a report: It's a feature made possible through Google's strengths: the staggering numbers of Android phones around the world and clever use of

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2020-08-11 14:05:00

Belarus Has Shut Down the Internet Amid a Controversial Election  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: Internet connectivity and cellular service in Belarus have been down since Sunday evening, after sporadic outages early that morning and throughout the day. The connectivity blackout, which also includes landline phones, appears to be a government-imposed outage that comes amid widespread protests and increasing social unrest over Belarus' presidential election Sunday. The ongoing shutdown has further roiled the country of about 9.5 million people,

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2020-08-11 13:00:00

What Mars Would Look Like If Its Surface Was Covered With Water  

schwit1 writes: A new map shows what the red planet would look like if 71 percent of its surface area was covered with water -- around the same proportion as Earth. The results are spectacular: it shows two distinct landmasses forming, each of which would seem to form continents. While the left side shows a dramatic, mountainous terrain that includes Olympus Mons, the right side seems to offer more flatlands that include planes like Terra Sabaea. The map was created by Aaditya Raj Bhattarai,

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2020-08-11 10:00:00

Planet Ceres Is An 'Ocean World' With Sea Water Beneath Surface, Mission Finds  

The dwarf planet Ceres -- long believed to be a barren space rock -- is an ocean world with reservoirs of sea water beneath its surface, the results of a major exploration mission showed on Monday. The Guardian reports: Ceres is the largest object in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and has its own gravity, enabling the Nasa Dawn spacecraft to capture high-resolution images of its surface. Now a team of scientists from the United States and Europe have analyzed images relayed from the

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2020-08-11 07:00:00

People Typically Experience Shifting Mental Disorders Over Their Lifespan, Study Finds  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from PsyPost: New research based on four decades of longitudinal data indicates that it is rare for a person to receive and keep a single mental disorder diagnosis. Rather, experiencing different successive mental disorders appears to be the norm. The findings, published in JAMA Open, suggest that psychiatrists and other mental health professionals should move toward adopting a life-course perspective on mental disorders. The researchers examined data from

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2020-08-11 03:30:00

AT&T To Lay Off 600 At HBO and Warner Bros. After Revenue Decline  

AT&T's WarnerMedia division is planning to lay off hundreds of employees in AT&T's latest cost-cutting move. Ars Technica reports: "Warner Bros. is expected to commence layoffs of around 650 people starting Monday, according to people familiar with the matter, while HBO is seen shedding between 150 and 175 staffers. A WarnerMedia spokesman declined to comment," Variety reported yesterday. The numbers quoted in Variety may be a bit too high. A source with knowledge of the AT&T layoffs

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2020-08-11 02:02:00

Tim Cook Hits Billionaire Status With Apple Nearing $2 Trillion  

Apple CEO Tim Cook's personal net worth has recently crossed the $1 billion mark as the company nears a $2 trillion market value, reports Bloomberg. From the report: It was valued at about $350 billion when Jobs died. Cook, meantime, has joined one of the most elite clubs for CEOs who didn't actually found the companies they run: his net worth has eclipsed $1 billion, according to calculations by the Bloomberg Billionaires Index. Cook's net worth estimate is based on an analysis of regulatory fi

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2020-08-11 01:25:00

Google Maps Is Coming To Apple Watch, Adding CarPlay Dashboard Support  

Today, Google announced that Google Maps for iOS will be adding both an Apple Watch app and support for CarPlay Dashboard, increasing the likelihood that Apple users will reconsider Google's potential contribution to their walks and rides. VentureBeat reports: Google Maps for Apple Watch appears to be a very stripped-down version of the iPhone app, offering users step-by-step directions and estimated arrival times -- but only for destinations already stored within the app or shared from the conn

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2020-08-11 00:45:00

EPA To Rescind Methane Regulations For Oil and Gas  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will sign and issue new rules this week that will get rid of certain methane gas emission requirements for oil and gas producers, The Wall Street Journal reported Monday. Unidentified administration officials told the newspaper that the new rules will include getting rid of requirements for producers to have systems and processes to find methane leaks. They will also end EPA oversight of smog and emissio

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2020-08-11 00:02:00

Disney Removes Fox From TV Studios, Revives Touchstone  

Disney is rebranding its TV studios to remove the Fox name from two of them. From The Hollywood Reporter: Nearly a year and a half after acquiring 20th Century Fox Television and Fox 21 TV Studios, Disney is changing the former to simply 20th Television, while the latter will become Touchstone Television. Additionally, ABC Studios and its subsidiary ABC Signature Studios are folding into one unit that will now be called ABC Signature. The full integration of the Disney Television Studios rebrand

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2020-08-10 23:20:00

California Judge Orders Uber and Lyft To Classify Drivers As Employees  

A California judge ruled that Uber and Lyft must classify their drivers as employees in a stunning preliminary injunction issued Monday afternoon. The Verge reports: The injunction is stayed for 10 days, however, giving Uber and Lyft an opportunity to appeal the decision. Uber said it planned to file an immediate emergency appeal to block the ruling from going into effect. [...] Drivers' groups hailed the ruling as forward progress in their fight to upend Uber and Lyft. "Today's ruling affirms w

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2020-08-10 22:40:00

Leaked Documents Reveal What TikTok Shares With Authorities In the US  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Intercept: Documents published in the BlueLeaks trove, which was hacked by someone claiming a connection to Anonymous and published by the transparency collective Distributed Denial of Secrets, show the information that TikTok shared with U.S. law enforcement in dozens of cases. Experts familiar with law enforcement requests say that what TikTok collects and hands over is not significantly more than what companies like Amazon, Facebook, or Google regu

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2020-08-10 22:02:00

Amazon Ties Video Games Deeper Into Prime Subscription Program  

Amazon is making it easier for Prime subscribers to play games, the latest effort to extend the appeal of a loyalty program designed to keep shoppers engaged. From a report: The world's largest e-commerce company on Monday gave its more than 150 million Prime members access to free video-game content, eliminating a step that required them to link their Amazon account with one on Twitch, the company's live-streaming subsidiary. The service, once known as Prime Twitch, is now called Prime Gaming a

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2020-08-10 21:24:00

Google Rival's Study Urges Letting Mobile Users Pick Search Defaults  

Google could lose 20% of the mobile search market that it dominates if more users had the option to choose their default search provider via a preference menu, privacy-focused search engine DuckDuckGo argues in new research. From a report: This study fleshes out that idea and gives DuckDuckGo ammunition it can give authorities investigating Google for anticompetitive practices in the U.S., the U.K. and Australia. Google developed the Android operating system, which is used by roughly 80 percent

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2020-08-10 20:44:00

AI Invents New 'Recipes' For Potential COVID-19 Drugs  

sciencehabit writes: As scientists uncover drugs that can treat coronavirus infections, demand will almost certainly outstrip supplies -- as is already happening with the antiviral remdesivir. To prevent shortages, researchers have come up with a new way to design synthetic routes to drugs now being tested in some COVID-19 clinical trials, using artificial intelligence (AI) software. The AI-planned new recipes -- for 11 medicines so far -- could help manufacturers produce medications whose synth

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2020-08-10 20:07:00

Google Gives Android TV Developers Instant Apps, Speech-to-Text, and Predictive Typing  

An anonymous reader shares a report: Even before the pandemic, the battle to own your living room was reaching a boiling point. Now the big screen is bigger than ever as 2020 accelerates the streaming wars and raises the smart TV platform stakes. Naturally, Google is making every effort to avoid being left behind. Today the company gave Android TV developers new tools, including Google Play Instant, the Play Store in the emulator, PIN code purchases, Gboard TV, auto low latency mode, and leanbac

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2020-08-10 19:35:00

Russian Watchdog Says Apple Abused Mobile App Market Dominance  

Russian competition watchdog FAS on Monday said that Apple has abused its dominant position in the mobile apps market through its App Store for iOS devices and will issue an order demanding that the company resolve regulations breaches. From a report: An Apple spokesman said the company plans to appeal against the FAS ruling. The Russian ruling comes against the backdrop of European Commission investigations into Apple and the App Store's rules, including requirements that app developers use its

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2020-08-10 18:47:00

Global Coronavirus Cases Hit 20 Million  

Global coronavirus cases pushed past 20 million on Monday, according to a Reuters tally, with the United States, Brazil and India accounting for more than half of all known infections. From a report: The respiratory disease has infected at least four times the average number of people struck down with severe influenza illnesses annually, according to the World Health Organization. The death toll from COVID-19, meanwhile, at more than 728,000 has outpaced the upper range of annual deaths from the

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2020-08-10 18:06:00

Amazon and Mall Operator Look at Turning Sears, J.C. Penney Stores Into Fulfillment Centers  

The largest mall owner in the U.S. has been in talks with, the company many retailers denounce as the mall industry's biggest disrupter, to take over space left by ailing department stores. From a report: Simon Property Group has been exploring with Amazon the possibility of turning some of the property owner's anchor department stores into Amazon distribution hubs, according to people familiar with the matter. Amazon typically uses these warehouses to store everything from books and

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2020-08-10 17:26:00

Kuo: iPhone Shipments Could Decline Up To 30% If Apple Forced To Remove WeChat From Worldwide App Store  

An anonymous reader shares a report: In a worst-case scenario, Apple's annual iPhone shipments could decline by 25-30% if it is forced to remove WeChat from its App Stores around the world, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo viewed by MacRumors. The removal could occur due to a recent executive order aiming to ban U.S. transactions with WeChat and its parent company Tencent. Kuo lays out optimistic and pessimistic scenarios depending on whether Apple is only required to r

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2020-08-10 16:45:00

PDF Still Unfit for Human Consumption, 20 Years Later  

Research spanning 20 years proves PDFs are problematic for online reading. Yet they're still prevalent and users continue to get lost in them. They're unpleasant to read and navigate and remain unfit for digital-content display. From a report: [...] Burying information in PDFs means that most people won't read it. Participants in several of our recent usability studies on corporate websites and intranets did not appreciate PDFs and skipped right over them. They complained woefully whenever they

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2020-08-10 16:05:00

Pen Test Partners: Boeing 747s Receive Critical Software Updates Over 3.5" Floppy Disks  

Boeing 747-400s still use floppy disks for loading critical navigation databases, Pen Test Partners has revealed to the infosec community after poking about one of the recently abandoned aircraft. From a report: The eye-catching factoid emerged during a DEF CON video interview of PTP's Alex Lomas, where the man himself gave a walkthrough of a 747-400, its avionics bay and the flight deck. Although airliners are not normally available to curious infosec researchers, a certain UK-based Big Airline

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2020-08-10 15:25:00

Apple Is Fighting Trademark for Prepear's Pear-Shaped Logo  

In a legal filing, says Apple: Consumers encountering Applicant's Mark are likely to associate the mark with Apple. Applicant's Mark consists of a minimalistic fruit design with a right-angled leaf, which readily calls to mind Apple's famous Apple Logo and creates a similar commercial impression, as shown in the following side-by-side comparison. John Gruber, writing at DaringFireball: Here's the comparison. I could actually see this being a reasonable objection if Prepear were selling computers

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2020-08-10 14:48:00

Uber CEO Calls For 'Benefits Funds' for Gig Workers  

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Monday said its drivers should get the "best of both worlds" -- benefits and work flexibility. In an op-ed published in The New York Times, Khosrowshahi proposed that lawmakers require gig economy companies to create benefits funds, which would "give workers cash that they can use for the benefits they want, like health insurance or paid time off." From a report: "Our current employment system is outdated and unfair. It forces every worker to choose between being an

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2020-08-10 14:03:00

For Space Junk Cleanup, DragRacer Satellite Will Test 'Terminator Tape' This Fall  

schwit1 quotes An experimental mission to test tether-based orbital debris cleanup methods with "Terminator Tape" is slated to launch this fall to test the deorbit performance of two satellites. The Millennium Space Systems mission, called DragRacer, involves two small satellites that are set to launch simultaneously to low Earth orbit (LEO) to measure how fast satellites fall out of space. The goal, the company said, is to study technologies for removing space debris from orbit.

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2020-08-10 11:34:00

Should the U.K. Government Form a Coalition to Buy ARM?  

With SoftBank's Masayoshi Son trying to sell ARM, a columnist for the Observer newspaper has a suggestion for the U.K. government (and specifically Brexit Tories), calling the Cambridge-based company "a kind of public-interest commercial company: licensing state-of-the art instruction sets that can be implemented in silicon architecture by everyone. It was in nobody's pocket." Its business, as its chief founder, Tudor Brown, acknowledges, relied on it never betraying its neutrality... A futur

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2020-08-10 07:34:00

Richard Stallman Discusses Privacy Risks of Bitcoin, Suggests 'Something Much Better'  

Richard Stallman gave a new interview to the site Cointelegraph, which asked him his feelings about cryptocurrencies. "I'm not against them," Stallman answers "I'm not campaigning to eliminate them, I just don't particularly want to use them." Cointelegraph then asks Stallman how he feels about tests underway for the Chinese government's own central bank digital currency: Richard Stallman: "Digital payment systems are fundamentally dangerous if they are not engineered to ensure privacy.

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2020-08-10 03:34:00

New Free Software Foundation Video Mocks Proprietary Remote-Learning Software  

"Computer user freedom is a matter of justice," argues a new video released Friday by the Free Software Foundation: The University of Costumed Heroes is an animated video telling the story of a group of heroes falling prey to the powers of proprietary software in education. The university board acquires cutting-edge remote learning software that enables them to continue their operations online, but -- [SPOILER ALERT] -- it may sow the seeds of their downfall. This video is the second in a

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2020-08-10 00:34:00

Some Cities are Combining Basic Incomes with Local Currenices  

Bloomberg looks at some interesting local currency programs that have been implemented around the world. And in at least one case money "is literally being made from trees" — the wooden dollars being printed in a small city in the northwest U.S. and distributed to the needy in monthly stipends. "We preach localism and investing in our local community," says mayor Wayne Fournier, "and the idea with this scheme is that we'll stand together as a community and provide relief to individuals

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2020-08-09 22:58:00

WSJ: Qualcomm Asks US Government to Let it Sell Chips to Huawei  

"The Wall Street Journal said it had obtained a Qualcomm presentation lobbying the U.S. government to remove restrictions and let it sell Snapdragon processors to Huawei," reports Engadget: The ban won't prevent Huawei from obtaining necessary parts and could just drive "billions of dollars" of U.S. sales to foreign chip makers like MediaTek and Samsung, Qualcomm reportedly said — lifting the chip ban would theoretically help American companies stay competitive. There could be a "ra

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2020-08-09 21:44:00

Linus Torvalds: Linux 5.8 "One of our Biggest Releases of All Time"  

This week saw the release Linux 5.8, which Linus Torvalds called "one of our biggest releases of all time," reports TechRepublic: The new version of the Linux kernel brings a number of updates to Linux 5.7 spanning security, core components, drivers, memory management, networking and improvements to the kernel's design, amongst others. This includes updates for Microsoft's Hyper-V virtualization platform, Intel Tiger Lake Thunderbolt support, improvements to Microsoft's exFAT file system, and s

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2020-08-09 20:50:00

Researcher Breakthrough Turns Carbon Dioxide Into Ethanol  

Slashdot reader Third Position quotes CleanTechnica: According to a press release from Argonne National Laboratory, researchers at the lab, working with partners at Northern Illinois University, have discovered a new electrocatalyst that converts carbon dioxide and water into ethanol with very high energy efficiency, high selectivity for the desired final product, and low cost. Ethanol is a particularly desirable commodity because it is an ingredient in nearly all U.S. gasoline and is widely us

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2020-08-09 19:39:00

Could Twitter Outbid Microsoft for TikTok?  

An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: Twitter has approached TikTok's Chinese owner ByteDance to express interest in acquiring the U.S. operations of the video-sharing app, two people familiar with the matter told Reuters, as experts raised doubts over Twitter's ability to put together financing for a potential deal. It is far from certain that Twitter would be able to outbid Microsoft and complete such a transformative deal in the 45 days that U.S. President Donald Trump has given ByteDance

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2020-08-09 19:04:00

Cringely Predicts the U.S. Can't Stop WeChat  

An anonymous reader quotes long-time technology pundit Robert Cringely: Forty-five days from now, we're told, President Trump will shut down TikTok and WeChat. TikTok, maybe, but WeChat? Impossible... Trump has a chance of taking down TikTok, the short form video sharing site, because that service is dependent on advertising. He can force the app out of U.S. app stores (though not out of foreign ones) and he can cut off the flow of ad dollars... at least those dollars that flow through Amer

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2020-08-09 18:34:00

Settlement for Google+ Breach Offers Class Members Up to $12 Each  

"Anyone in the United States who held a Google Plus account between January 1, 2015 and April 2, 2019, and believes they were impacted by a security flaw that Google disclosed in 2018 can now register for a payout from a class action settlement..." reports the Verge. "Each class action member is eligible for a payout of up to $12 after attorney fees and other costs are accounted for, although this could vary depending on the number of people who submit a claim." Although it's reached a se

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2020-08-09 17:34:00

New Zealand Marks 100 Days of No Covid-19 Community Spread  

Axios reports: New Zealand has now gone 100 days with no detected community spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Health confirmed in an emailed statement Sunday afternoon local time... Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has been widely praised for her leadership that saw New Zealand lock down hard for several weeks before all domestic restrictions were lifted in June... New Zealand has 23 active coronavirus cases. All are NZ residents newly returned from abroad, who are staying in managed isolati

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2020-08-09 17:04:00

1.5% of All Americans Have Been Infected With Coronavirus - 5 Million Cases  

Confirmed coronavirus cases in the U.S. hit 5 million on Sunday, reports the Associated Press, "by far the highest of any country..." "The failure of the most powerful nation in the world to contain the scourge has been met with astonishment and alarm in Europe." Perhaps nowhere outside the U.S. is America's bungled virus response viewed with more consternation than in Italy, which was ground zero of Europe's epidemic. Italians were unprepared when the outbreak exploded in February, and the

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2020-08-09 16:34:00

Penguin Poop Seen From Space Leads To Discovery of New Colonies  

Satellite-mapping technology "that detects stains on the ice from penguin droppings" has revealed there are more Emperor colonies than previously known in fast-warming Antarctica, reports Bloomberg: Eleven new colonies of the species were found, taking the census to 61 across the polar continent, according to a study by scientists at the British Antarctic Survey published Wednesday. The scientists used images from Europe's Copernicus Sentinel-2 mission to locate the flightless birds. "This is an

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2020-08-09 15:34:00

Researcher Discovers New 'HTTP Request Smuggling Attack' Variants  

Some scary new variants of "HTTP request smuggling" have been discovered by Amit Klein, VP of security research at SafeBreach, reports Security Week: Specifically, an HTTP request smuggling attack, which can be launched remotely over the internet, can allow a hacker to bypass security controls, gain access to sensitive data, and compromise other users of the targeted app. While the attack method has been known for more than a decade, it still hasn't been fully mitigated. Klein has managed to id

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2020-08-09 14:34:00

Countering Google, Microsoft Promises Its Own Open Source Service Mesh for the CNCF  

"As controversy rages over the governance of Google's Istio service mesh, Microsoft has seen an opportunity to offer a simple and truly open alternative," reports InfoWorld: Microsoft has announced that it will release its own open source service mesh — called Open Service Mesh (OSM) — and transfer it to the Cloud Native Computing Foundation (CNCF) as soon as possible. This sets the Redmond-based company apart from its cloud rival Google, which recently announced that its own Istio

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2020-08-09 13:34:00

Will We Someday Write Code Just By Describing It?  

Using millions of programs in online repositories, Intel, Georgia Tech, and MIT researchers created a tool called MISIM (Machine Inferred code Similarity) with a database of code scored by the similarity of its outcomes to suggest alternatives (and corrections) to programmers. The hope is "to aid developers with nitty-gritty choices like 'what is the most efficient way to use this API' or 'how can I correctly validate this input',"Ryan Marcus, scientist at Intel Labs, told ZDNet. "This shoul

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2020-08-09 10:34:00

The Workforce Is About to Change Dramatically  

"For the first time ever, the world's largest companies are telling hundreds of thousands of workers to stay away from the office for a full year, or longer," notes the Atlantic. "If, in five years, these edicts have no lingering effects on office culture, that would be awfully strange..." Ambitious engineers, media makers, marketers, PR people, and others may be more inclined to strike out on their own, in part because they will, at some point, look around at their living room and realiz

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2020-08-09 07:34:00

Ask Slashdot: How Should College Students Approach This Academic Year?  

Long-time Slashdot reader goombah99 wonders how college students should approach this next academic year. First, should defer their next academic year? Even universities opening their dorms are still limiting their dining facilities to take-out box lunches and offering most of their classes online. (Though some give students a choice of online or in-person classes). Yet despite the new rules, "Some universities are sticky about deferrals, requiring medical excuses, or else re-application for m

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2020-08-09 04:34:00

China Is Now Blocking All Encrypted HTTPS Traffic That Uses TLS 1.3 and ESNI  

China's Great Firewall "is now blocking HTTPS connections set up via the new TLS 1.3 encryption protocol and which use ESNI (Encrypted Server Name Indication)," reports ZDNet: The block has been in place for more than a week, according to a joint report authored by three organizations tracking Chinese censorship — iYouPort, the University of Maryland, and the Great Firewall Report. ZDNet also confirmed the report's findings with two additional sources — namely members of a U.S. te

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2020-08-09 01:34:00

'5G Just Got Weird'  

SuperKendall (Slashdot reader #25,149) shared this review of the recent 5G standards codified by the 3rd Generation Partnership Project (3GPP) in Release 16 (finalized on July 3). "5G just got weird," writes IEEE Spectrum: 4G and other earlier generations of cellular focused on just that: cellular. But when 3GPP members started gathering to hammer out what 5G could be, there was interest in developing a wireless system that could do more than connect phones... One of the flashiest things in

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2020-08-08 23:34:00

Could Spacecraft of the Future Be Powered By 'Lattice Confinement' Nuclear Fusion?  

schwit1 writes: Researchers at NASA's Glenn Research Center have now demonstrated a method of inducing nuclear fusion without building a massive stellarator or tokamak. In fact, all they needed was a bit of metal, some hydrogen, and an electron accelerator. The team believes that their method, called lattice confinement fusion, could be a potential new power source for deep space missions. They have published their results in two papers in Physical Review C... "What we did was not cold fusion,

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2020-08-08 22:34:00

NASA Ditching 'Insensitive' Nicknames for Cosmic Objects  

NASA is "reconsidering how we talk about space," reports CNET: NASA gave two examples of cosmic objects it'll no longer use nicknames for. Planetary nebula NGC 2392 has been called the "Eskimo Nebula." "'Eskimo' is widely viewed as a colonial term with a racist history, imposed on the indigenous people of Arctic regions," NASA explained. NASA already added a note to a 2008 image release showing NGC 2392 that explains the decision to retire the nickname. The agency will also use only the off

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2020-08-08 21:34:00

Bill Gates Weighs In on US Pandemic Response, Encryption, and Grilling Tech Executives  

Bill Gates gave a wide-ranging new interview to Wired's Steven Levy (also republished at Ars Technica.) The interview's first question: as a man who'd been warning about a pandemic for years, are you disappointed with the response of the United States? Bill Gates: Yeah. There's three time periods, all of which have disappointments. There is 2015 until this particular pandemic hit. If we had built up the diagnostic, therapeutic, and vaccine platforms, and if we'd done the simulations to under

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2020-08-08 20:34:00

'Zombie Cicadas' Are Under the Influence of a Psychedelic, Mind-controlling Fungus  

Slashdot reader quonset shares CNN's report on "zombie cicadas" under the influence of "a psychedelic fungus" called Massospora containing the chemicals found in hallucinogenic mushrooms (citing a new study published in PLOS Pathogens). After infecting its host, the fungus results in "a disturbing display of B-horror movie proportions," West Virginia University said in a press release. First Massospora spores eat away at the cicada's genitals, butt, and abdomen. They are then replaced with fung

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2020-08-08 19:34:00

Millions of Android Phones At Risk Due to 'Achilles' Flaw in Qualcomm Chips  

"Researchers have found that Qualcomm's Snapdragon chip, one of the most widely used in Android phones, has hundreds of bits of vulnerable code that leaves millions of Android users at risk," reports Gizmodo: To back up a bit, Qualcomm is a major chip supplier to several well-known tech companies. In 2019, its Snapdragon series of processors could be found on nearly 40% of all Android smartphones, including high-profile flagship phones from Google, Samsung, Xiaomi, LG, and OnePlus. Researchers

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2020-08-08 18:34:00

Is the US about to Split the Internet?  

The BBC reports: U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says he wants a "clean" internet. What he means by that is he wants to remove Chinese influence, and Chinese companies, from the internet in the U.S. But critics believe this will bolster a worrying movement towards the breaking up of the global internet. The so called "splinternet" is generally used when talking about China, and more recently Russia. The idea is that there's nothing inherent or pre-ordained about the internet being g

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2020-08-08 17:34:00

Researchers Build a Low-Power Radar on a CMOS ChIp  

The international R&D hub Imec has made a millimetre-wave motion detection radar integrated in a standard 28nm CMOS chip, reports Electronics Weekly, adding that it consumes just 62 mW,"making the sensor integrable into small, battery-powered devices..." The radar operates in the frequency band around 60 GHz, a license-free ISM band that can be used for new IoT applications for industrial and medical purposes... "Being extremely compact and energy efficient, the 60 GHz radar system can be

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2020-08-08 16:34:00

How an Automated Mistake by Apple Killed All of a Mac Developer's Apps  

Long-time Slashdot reader philml writes: Popular Mac developer Charlie Monroe woke up to find that none of his users could run his software. Instead, Mac OS was giving a message saying that it "will damage your computer". Monroe described the ensuing hassle in a blog post titled "A day without business." In a later update he added that Apple "has called and apologized for the complications. The issue was caused by my account being erroneously flagged by automated processes." But 9 to 5 Ma

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2020-08-08 15:34:00

Study: Saving Pandas Led To the Downfall of Other Animals  

UPI reports: Efforts to save the giant panda from extinction have come at the expense of other large mammals, a new study released Monday by the science journal Nature Ecology and Evolution said... Since the giant panda reserves were set up in China during the 1960s, leopards have disappeared from 81% of reserves, snow leopards from 38%, wolves from 77% and Asian wild dogs from 95%. Researchers found with the dwindling numbers of leopards and wolves, deer and livestock have mostly roamed fr

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2020-08-08 14:34:00

CNO Neutrinos From the Sun Are Finally Detected  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from SyFy: For the first time, scientists have detected neutrinos coming from the Sun's core that got their start via the CNO process, an until-now theorized type of stellar nuclear fusion. [...] The Borexino neutrino observatory is 1400 meters under the rock below the Gran Sasso mountain in Italy. It has an 8.5 meter wide nylon balloon filled with 280 tons of pseudocumene, surrounded by a tank of water, surrounded by over 2200 very sensitive photon detectors.

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2020-08-08 13:00:00

Atlassian Tells Employees They Can Work From Home Forever  

Software company Atlassian is telling employees that they don't have to return to its offices, unless they want to use them. CNBC reports: "We will seek out amazing, diverse talent unbounded by the physical footprint of our offices," the company said in an internal blog post published on Wednesday. "We will continue to compete for talent in the global hubs, and we will be able to create opportunities for those in places we would have previously not been able to reach." Atlassian's products help

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2020-08-08 10:00:00

Last Fall a Drone Swarm Surveilled America's Largest Nuclear Reactor -- Twice  

America's Nuclear Regulatory Commission honored a document request from a UFO group — which has inadvertently revealed a very real incident last fall at America's largest nuclear reactor in Arizona, reports Forbes: Documents gained under the Freedom of Information Act show how a number of small drones flew around a restricted area at Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant on two successive nights last September. Security forces watched, but were apparently helpless to act as the drones carried

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2020-08-08 07:00:00

Facebook Removes QAnon Conspiracy Group With 200,000 Members  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: Facebook has deleted a large group dedicated to sharing and discussing QAnon conspiracy theories. QAnon is a wide-ranging, unfounded conspiracy theory that a "deep state" network of powerful government, business and media figures are waging a secret war against Donald Trump. A Facebook spokeswoman said the group was removed for "repeatedly posting content that violated our policies." The deleted Facebook group, called Official Q/Qanon, had nearly

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2020-08-08 03:30:00

Microsoft Signals Renewed Interest In Windows With Latest Reshuffle  

Microsoft is making some significant changes to the way it runs its Windows organization this week, signaling a renewed focus on the operating system that made its name. The Verge reports: The software giant placed Surface chief Panos Panay in charge of Windows earlier this year, and is now reshuffling parts of that team. It follows Microsoft's decision to slice Windows into two parts more than two years ago after the departure of former Windows chief Terry Myerson. Microsoft moved core Windows

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2020-08-08 02:02:00

Coronavirus Clobbers Uber, Leading To $1.8 Billion Quarterly Loss  

In the second quarter of 2020, Uber announced that its ride-hailing business plunged by 75 percent compared with a year earlier -- from $12.2 billion to $3 billion. "That was offset somewhat by rapid growth in Uber's delivery business," reports Ars Technica. "Delivery bookings more than doubled from $3.4 billion to $7 billion." From the report: The company lost $1.8 billion in the second quarter on a GAAP basis. Ignoring one-time charges, Uber has been losing around $1 billion per quarter for th

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2020-08-08 01:25:00

Microsoft Accuses Apple of Treating Gaming Apps Differently  

Hour after Apple explained why Microsoft's xCloud wouldn't be coming to iOS, Microsoft shot back and accused the company of "consistently treating gaming apps differently." AppleInsider reports: On Wednesday, Microsoft ended its xCloud TestFlight program on iOS and said that the service would not be arriving on iPhone and iPad. In a statement on Thursday, Apple explained that it bars apps which rely on cloud streaming, per its App Store guidelines. Microsoft shot back at the Cupertino tech giant

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2020-08-08 00:45:00

Trump Blew Up More Than Just TikTok and WeChat  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: U.S. President Donald Trump's decision to ban dealings with ByteDance, owner of video-sharing sensation TikTok, appears to codify what his administration has already been warning. A second edict targeting messaging app WeChat and its parent, Tencent, seems weirdly overdue. The executive orders issued by the White House go beyond stopping average Americans from becoming unwitting spies for the Communist Party through their postings and data. The

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2020-08-08 00:03:00

Firefox Gets Fix For Evil Cursor Attack  

Firefox has fixed a bug that was being exploited in the wild by tech support scammers to create artificial mouse cursors and prevent users from easily leaving malicious sites. From a report: The bug was discovered being abused online by UK cyber-security firm Sophos and reported to Mozilla earlier this year. A bugfix was provided and has been live in Firefox since version 79.0, released last week. he bug is a classic "evil cursor" attack and works because modern browsers allow site owners to mod

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2020-08-07 23:25:00

Google Sets Timeline For Deprecating 'Classic' Google Sites  

Google has announced that its structured wiki- and webpage-creation tool "Google Sites," which it launched in 2008 after acquiring JotSpot, will be shutting down in 2021. 9to5Google reports: This morning an email was dispatched to "active" users of classic Sites detailing its retirement, which will take place over the next year. The email, which had the subject line "Migrate your classic sites to new Google Sites," headlined that the service will be fully shut down on September 1, 2021. To begin

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2020-08-07 22:45:00

Toshiba Formally and Finally Exits Laptop Business  

The Register reports that Toshiba has transferred its remaining shares of Dynabook to Sharp, thus ending the company's time as a PC vendor. From the report: [...] As the 2000s rolled along Toshiba devices became bland in comparison to the always-impressive ThinkPad and the MacBook Air, while Dell and HP also improved. Toshiba also never really tried to capture consumers' imaginations, which didn't help growth. As the PC market contracted and Lenovo, Dell and HP came to dominate PC sales in the 2

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2020-08-07 22:02:00

Government's PACER Fees Are Too High, Federal Circuit Says  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg Law: The U.S. government charges too much for access to an electronic database of federal court records, the Federal Circuit ruled in a decision curbing a revenue stream the court system uses to help fund other programs. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit affirmed a lower court's decision that the government was not authorized under federal law to spend $192 million in Public Access to Court Records system fees on court technology

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2020-08-07 21:25:00

A Private Equity Firm Bought Ancestry, and Its Trove of DNA, for $4.7B  

The genealogy company Ancestry has been acquired by investment firm Blackstone for $4.7 billion, changing ownership of the company and its trove of user-submitted DNA from a set of investment firms to another private equity firm. From a report: The announcement was made in a press release published earlier this week by Blackstone, which shared it had "reached a definitive agreement to acquire Ancestry from Silver Lake, GIC, Spectrum Equity, Permira, and other equity holders for a total enterpris

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2020-08-07 20:41:00

Why We Have a 'TikTok Problem'  

An anonymous reader shares an analysis: As national security expert Lucas Kunce notes, Facebook is in fact the reason we have a TikTok problem to begin with. When Twitter launched a TikTok-like product Vine years before, Facebook actively killed the product by refusing to let Vine access its APIs on the same terms other corporations got. Mark Zuckerberg personally made the call to shut off access to Vine, and Twitter eventually shut the product down. Then, Facebook allowed TikTok to advertise ma

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2020-08-07 20:06:00

At Talkspace, Startup Culture Collides With Mental Health Concerns  

The therapy-by-text company Talkspace -- which has raised more than $100 million from investors -- made burner phones available for fake reviews and doesn't adequately respect client privacy, former employees say. From a report: The app launched in 2014 to positive press but lukewarm customer reviews, with ratings of about three stars out of five on both the Google and Apple app stores, according to a Times analysis. Users complained about glitchy software and unresponsive therapists. In 2015 an

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2020-08-07 19:24:00

Gates Foundation Teams Up With Vaccine Maker To Produce $3 Covid-19 Shots  

The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation said it is backing the world's largest vaccine maker, Serum Institute of India, to churn out 100 million doses of coronavirus vaccine for poorer countries and price them at less than $3. From a report: The move comes as governments around the world, including the U.S. and U.K., strike vaccine production deals with the manufacturers of a handful of promising, late-stage vaccine development projects. The Gates Foundation as well as Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance

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2020-08-07 18:43:00

Massive Hack Hits Reddit  

A massive attack has hit Reddit today after at least tens of Reddit channels (subreddits) have been hacked and defaced to show messages in support of Donald Trump's reelection campaign, ZDNet reports. From the report: The hacks are still ongoing at the time of writing, but we were told Reddit's security team is aware of the issue and has already begun restoring defaced channels. A partial list of impacted channels (subreddits) is available below, according to ZDNet's research: r/NFL, r/49ers, r/

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2020-08-07 18:04:00

US Government Contractor Embedded Software in Apps To Track Phones  

A small U.S. company with ties to the U.S. defense and intelligence communities has embedded its software in numerous mobile apps, allowing it to track the movements of hundreds of millions of mobile phones world-wide, The Wall Street Journal reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter and documents it reviewed. From the report: Anomaly Six, a Virginia-based company founded by two U.S. military veterans with a background in intelligence, said in marketing material it is able to draw

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2020-08-07 17:25:00

YouTube Will Stop Emailing Subscribers About New Videos Next Week  

A lot happens on YouTube, and the Google video site has for ages emailed subscribers that opted into alerts about new uploads and livestreams. YouTube is getting rid of these emails next week as very few people opened alerts about new videos from their inbox. From a report: The rationale is "less than 0.1% of these emails are opened," the company said. Messages about your "account, mandatory service announcements, etc." remain, with Google hoping that the broader change today will help "you more

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2020-08-07 16:45:00

To Head Off Regulators, Google Makes Certain Words Taboo  

As Google faces at least four major antitrust investigations on two continents, internal documents obtained by The Markup show its parent company, Alphabet, has been preparing for this moment for years, telling employees across the massive enterprise that certain language is off limits in all written communications, no matter how casual. From a report: The taboo words include "market," "barriers to entry," and "network effects," which is when products such as social networks become more valuable

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2020-08-07 16:04:00

Canada's Last Fully Intact Arctic Ice Shelf Collapses  

Iwastheone shares a report: The last fully intact ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed, losing more than 40% of its area in just two days at the end of July, researchers said on Thursday. The Milne Ice Shelf is at the fringe of Ellesmere Island, in the sparsely populated northern Canadian territory of Nunavut. "Above normal air temperatures, offshore winds and open water in front of the ice shelf are all part of the recipe for ice shelf break up," the Canadian Ice Service said on Twitt

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2020-08-07 15:21:00

Security Researcher Troy Hunt is Open Sourcing the Have I Been Pwned Code Base  

Security researcher Troy Hunt: Let me just cut straight to it: I'm going to open source the Have I Been Pwned code base. The decision has been a while coming and it took a failed M&A process to get here, but the code will be turned over to the public for the betterment of the project and frankly, for the betterment of everyone who uses it. Let me explain why and how. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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2020-08-07 14:42:00

Facebook Criticizes Apple's App Store Policies, Launches Gaming App on iOS Without Games  

Facebook has joined Microsoft in condemning Apple's App Store policies, after the company was forced to remove the games feature from its Facebook Gaming app, which launches today on iOS. From a report: In a statement, Facebook said it has had its Gaming app rejected multiple times by Apple in recent months, but Apple cited its App Store guidelines to justify the rejections, claiming the primary purpose of the Facebook Gaming app is to play games. Facebook says it shared usage data with Apple fr

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2020-08-07 14:00:00

Facebook Will Let Employees Work From Home Until July 2021  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Facebook is extending its work from home policy until July of next year, becoming the latest tech giant to commit to letting staff work remotely in response to the coronavirus pandemic. "Based on guidance from health and government experts, as well as decisions drawn from our internal discussions about these matters, we are allowing employees to continue voluntarily working from home until July 2021," said Nneka Norville, a Facebook spokesperson, on

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2020-08-07 13:00:00

Frances E. Allen, the First Woman To Win the Turing Award, Dies At 88  

Frances "Fran" Allen, a pioneer in the world of computing, the first female IBM Fellow and the first woman to win the Turing Award, died on August 4, 2020, the day of her 88th birthday. IBM writes in a blog post remembering Allen: As a pioneer in compiler organization and optimization algorithms, Fran made seminal contributions to the world of computing. Her work on inter-procedural analysis and automatic parallelization continues to be on the leading edge of compiler research. She successfully

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2020-08-07 10:00:00

Scientists Spot Space Junk With Lasers In Broad Daylight  

Researchers from the Institute for Space Research at the Austrian Academy of Sciences have developed a technique in which lasers can measure the position of space debris during daylight conditions. Details of this unprecedented achievement were published in Nature Communications. Gizmodo reports: Prior to this, lasers could only detect space junk during twilight, as ground stations enter into darkness and objects near the horizon remain illuminated by the Sun's rays. This small window of opportu

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2020-08-07 07:00:00

Germany Plans To Dim Lights At Night To Save Insects  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from MSN: In a draft law seen by AFP, the country's environment ministry has drawn up a number of new measures to protect insects, ranging from partially outlawing spotlights to increased protection of natural habitats. "Insects play an important role in the ecosystem...but in Germany, their numbers and their diversity has severely declined in recent years," reads the draft law, for which the ministry hopes to get cabinet approval by October. The changes put f

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2020-08-07 03:30:00

TikTok Ban: Trump Will Prohibit Transactions With ByteDance Beginning September 20  

According to The Verge, "President Trump has signed a new executive order which will block all transactions with Bytedance, TikTok's parent corporation, in an effort to 'address the national emergency with respect to the information and communication technology supply chain.'" From the report: The move comes after months of escalating tensions, which saw Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and others at the White House warn that TikTok presented a national security threat because of its Chinese owner

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2020-08-07 01:57:00

Lawmakers Ask California DMV How It Makes $50 Million a Year Selling Drivers' Data  

Following a report revealing the California DMV was making $50 million annually from selling drivers' information, a group of nearly a dozen lawmakers on Wednesday wrote a letter looking for answers. Motherboard reports: "What information is being sold, to whom it is sold, and what guardrails are associated with the sale remain unclear," the letter, signed by congress members including Ted Lieu, Barbara Lee, and Mike Thompson, as well as California Assembly members Kevin Mullin and Mark Stone, r

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2020-08-07 01:25:00

Apple Confirms Cloud Gaming Services Like xCloud and Stadia Violate App Store Guidelines  

Apple won't allow Microsoft xCloud or Google Stadia on iOS because of strict App Store guidelines that make cloud services effectively impossible to operate on the iPhone. In a statement to Business Insider, Apple finally came out and explained why these cloud services cannot exist on its platform. The Verge reports: The primary reason: they offer access to apps Apple can't individually review. Here's the official Apple statement: "The App Store was created to be a safe and trusted place for cus

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2020-08-07 00:45:00

FCC Lowers Some Prison Phone Rates After Blaming States For High Prices  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission today voted unanimously to lower the prices inmates pay for phone calls from prisons and jails, but the organization reiterated its position that state governments must take action to lower prices on the majority of inmate calls. Today's action is a proposal to "substantially reduce [the FCC's] interstate rate caps -- currently $0.21 per minute for debit and prepaid calls and $0.25 per minute for collect

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2020-08-07 00:02:00

Facebook Removes Trump Post For the First Time  

AmiMoJo shares a report from The Guardian: Facebook has removed a post from Donald Trump's page for spreading false information about the coronavirus, a first for the social media company that has been harshly criticized for repeatedly allowing the president to break its content rules. The post included video of Trump falsely asserting that children were "almost immune from Covid-19" during an appearance on Fox News. There is evidence to suggest that children who contract Covid-19 generally expe

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2020-08-06 23:20:00

US Senate Votes To Ban TikTok App On Government Devices  

The U.S. Senate on Thursday unanimously voted to ban federal employees from using TikTok on government-issued devices. Reuters reports: The app has come under fire from U.S. lawmakers and the Trump administration over national security concerns because China's ByteDance owns the technology. The company currently faces a deadline of Sept. 15 to either sell its U.S. operations to Microsoft Corp or face an outright ban. "I'm encouraged by the bipartisan support we have seen in this body to hold the

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2020-08-06 23:00:00

Twitter Says Security Flaw May Have Exposed Android Users' Direct Messages  

Twitter on Wednesday disclosed a new security vulnerability that may have exposed the direct messages of users who access the service using Android devices. CNBC reports: Specifically, the vulnerability could have exposed the private data of Twitter users running devices with Android OS versions 8 and 9, the company said. "This vulnerability could allow an attacker, through a malicious app installed on your device, to access private Twitter data on your device (like Direct Messages) by working a

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2020-08-06 22:40:00

T-Mobile Passes AT&T To Become Second Biggest US Carrier  

In T-Mobile's Q2 2020 earnings call today, the company says that it has surpassed AT&T in total branded customer count to become the second biggest carrier in the U.S., trailing only Verizon. PhoneDog reports: In Q2 2020, [which is the first quarter that includes Sprint following the merger of the two carriers] T-Mobile added 1.245 million customers, giving it a total subscriber count of 98.3 million. To compare, AT&T finished Q2 2020 with 93 million postpaid and prepaid customers. T

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2020-08-06 22:03:00

Social Movements Are Pushing Google Sheets To the Breaking Point  

In the past decade, Google's suite of collaborative tools has steadily gained prominence in social movements and other forms of widespread collaboration. From a report: It was used to organize Occupy Wall Street movements in 2011, disseminate resources for protesting after the U.S. election in 2016, and assemble response to the California wildfires in 2017. During 2020, these tools have earned a reputation as "the social media of the resistance;" they have played a key role in the formation of p

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2020-08-06 21:25:00

What Travel Will Look Like After Coronavirus  

When will we be traveling again in large numbers? And what will travel be like in the future? The first question depends on a medical solution to the coronavirus pandemic. The second is best answered with experience. From a report: I asked eight travel pioneers for predictions on what the future of travel will be -- current and former chairmen and chief executives of travel companies and a former secretary of transportation. All have experience from past crises and recoveries. Most foresee a las

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2020-08-06 20:44:00

The Next Step In SSD Evolution: NVMe Zoned Namespaces Explained  

FallOutBoyTonto writes: In June we saw an update to the NVMe standard. The update defines a software interface to assist in actually reading and writing to the drives in a way to which SSDs and NAND flash actually works. Instead of emulating the traditional block device model that SSDs inherited from hard drives and earlier storage technologies, the new NVMe Zoned Namespaces optional feature allows SSDs to implement a different storage abstraction over flash memory. This is quite similar to the

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2020-08-06 20:02:00

Massive 20GB Intel IP Data Breach Floods the Internet, Mentions Backdoors  

FallOutBoyTonto writes: A leaker today posted on Twitter a link to a file sharing service that contains what an anonymous source claims is a portion of Intel's crown jewels: A 20GB folder of confidential Intel intellectual property. The leaker dubbed the release the "Intel exconfidential Lake Platform Release ;)" The folder has been posted by an anonymous source that claims more is coming soon, and while we don't know the exact specifics of the folder's contents, we have verified that it does ex

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2020-08-06 19:23:00

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