By BeauHD from Slashdot's it's-about-time department
China has announced an array of punishments that could restrict companies' access to borrowing and state-funding support over intellectual-property theft. The news comes after the G20 Summit in Argentina, where the Trump Administration agreed to hold off on tariff action for at least 90 days as they negotiate to resolve specific U.S. complaints. Bloomberg reports: China set out a total of 38 different punishments to be applied to IP violations, starting this month. The document, dated Nov. 21, was released Tuesday by the National Development and Reform Commission and signed by various government bodies, including the central bank and supreme court. China says violators would be banned from issuing bonds or other financing tools, and participating in government procurement. They would also be restricted from accessing government financial support, foreign trade, registering companies, auctioning land or trading properties. In addition, violators will be recorded on a list, and financial institutions will refer to that when lending or granting access to foreign exchange. Names will be posted on a government website. "This is an unprecedented regulation on IP violation in terms of the scope of the ministries and severity of the punishment," said Xu Xinming, a researcher at the Center for Intellectual Property Studies at China University of Political Science and Law. The newly announced punishments are "a security net of IP protection" targeting repeat offenders and other individuals who aren't in compliance with the law, he said.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ready-or-not-here-they-come department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MacRumors: Streaming TV services offered by companies like Hulu and AT&T are testing the waters for a new type of advertising called "pause ads." The idea behind pause ads is that instead of facing forced commercial breaks at specified interludes, users would be more accepting of ads that play when they choose to pause a show for a bit while they do something else. Hulu says it plans to launch pause ads in 2019, but not much else was given in the way of details regarding which of its numerous streaming plans will include the new type of commercial. The plan likely to see pause ads is Hulu With Limited Commercials, which interjects a few ads throughout a show's runtime, similar to live TV, but again this hasn't been confirmed.
AT&T cited similar interest in pause ads, stating that it also plans to launch technology in 2019 that plays a video when a user pauses a TV show. For both companies, it's unclear exactly how long these ads will run for, and if you'll be able to immediately cancel them out by simply hitting the play button and resuming your TV show. According to Hulu vice president and head of advertising platforms Jeremy Helfand, pause ads will not be home to longform advertisements, but will instead focus on commercials where advertisers "have seconds" to deliver a message effectively. Over the next three years, Hulu expects "more than half" of its advertising revenue to come from these so-called non-disruptive experiences.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department
Kubernetes has become the most popular cloud container orchestration system by far, so it was only a matter of time until its first major security hole was discovered. And the bug, CVE-2018-1002105, aka the Kubernetes privilege escalation flaw, is a doozy. It's a CVSS 9.8 critical security hole. From a report: With a specially crafted network request, any user can establish a connection through the Kubernetes application programming interface (API) server to a backend server. Once established, an attacker can send arbitrary requests over the network connection directly to that backend. Adding insult to injury, these requests are authenticated with the Kubernetes API server's Transport Layer Security (TLS) credentials. Can you say root? I knew you could. Worse still, "In default configurations, all users (authenticated and unauthenticated) are allowed to perform discovery API calls that allow this escalation." So, yes, anyone who knows about this hole can take command of your Kubernetes cluster.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's growing-competition department
Nearly 30 years after Microsoft Office came on the scene, it's in the DNA of just about every productivity app. Even if you use Google's G Suite or Apple's iWork, you're still following the Microsoft model. But that way of thinking about work has gotten a little dusty, and new apps offering a different approach to getting things done are popping up by the day. GeekWire:
There's a new war on over the way we work, and the old "office suite" is being reinvented around rapid-fire discussion threads, quick sharing and light, simple interfaces where all the work happens inside a single window. In recent years, the buzzwords in tech have been "AI" and "mobile." Today, you can add "collaboration" to that list -- these days, everybody wants to build Slack-like communication into their apps.
For notes and docs, there's Quip, Notejoy, Slite, Zenkit, Notion and Agenda. For spreadsheets, there's Bellevue, Wash.-based Smartsheet, as well as Airtable, Coda and, although it's a very different take on the spreadsheet, Trello. The list goes on seemingly ad infinitum, largely thanks to the relative ease with which developers can launch software in the cloud. "Work has totally changed," said Aaron Levie, the co-founder and CEO of Box, the online storage company that is building its strategy around unifying data and messaging from a dizzying mix of cloud apps. "Employees were lucky to have two, three, five modern applications in the 90s. Now they have almost unlimited ways of being productive."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's spoiler-alert department
Ammalgam writes from a report via Business Insider: A credible business school professor who correctly predicted that Amazon would buy Whole Foods now says an AWS spinoff is inevitable. Marketing guru Scott Galloway said Monday at Business Insider's IGNITION conference. The move will also help the company placate regulators who are starting to scrutinize its anticompetitive practices, said Scott Galloway, a professor at New York University's Stern School of Business. After the e-commerce giant spins it off, Amazon Web Services (AWS) "will be one of 10 most valuable companies in the world," he said. "The question then becomes, what happens to the old retail-side of Amazon," Galloway added.
Amazon will decide to split off AWS, because it makes a lot of sense and market forces will dictate it, Galloway said. Cloud computing is one of the most important trends taking place in the technology industry, but there's no simple way for investors to profit off it. The three biggest cloud services -- AWS, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud -- are all part of much bigger companies whose results only partially reflect their cloud businesses. As the biggest of the bunch, AWS would be a natural to become its own standalone business, he said. And it could be a huge windfall for Amazon shareholders. Depending on how it would be valued and the multiple to earnings that the market would assign to it, AWS by itself could be see a valuation of anywhere from $70 billion to $600 billion, he said. What do you think? Is this possible?Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's poor-responses department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Last Friday, Marriott sent out millions of emails warning of a massive data breach -- some 500 million guest reservations had been stolen from its Starwood database. One problem: the email sender's domain didn't look like it came from Marriott at all. Marriott sent its notification email from "email-marriott.com," which is registered to a third party firm, CSC, on behalf of the hotel chain giant. But there was little else to suggest the email was at all legitimate -- the domain doesn't load or have an identifying HTTPS certificate. In fact, there's no easy way to check that the domain is real, except a buried note on Marriott's data breach notification site that confirms the domain as legitimate. But what makes matters worse is that the email is easily spoofable. Many others have sounded the alarm on Marriott's lackluster data breach response. Security expert Troy Hunt, who founded data breach notification site Have I Been Pwned, posted a long tweet thread on the hotel chain giant's use of the problematic domain. As it happens, the domain dates back at least to the start of this year when Marriott used the domain to ask its users to update their passwords. Williams isn't the only one who's resorted to defending Marriott customers from cybercriminals. Nick Carr, who works at security giant FireEye, registered the similarly named "email-mariott.com" on the day of the Marriott breach. "Please watch where you click," he wrote on the site. "Hopefully this is one less site used to confuse victims." Had Marriott just sent the email from its own domain, it wouldn't be an issue.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's medical-progress department
Google's DeepMind is using an AI program, called AlphaFold, to predict the 3D shapes of proteins, the fundamental molecules of life. "DeepMind set its sights on protein folding after its AlphaGo program famously beat Lee Sedol, a champion Go player, in 2016," reports The Guardian. The company says "It's never been about cracking Go or Atari, it's about developing algorithms for problems exactly like protein folding." From the report: DeepMind entered AlphaFold into the Critical Assessment of Structure Prediction (CASP) competition, a biannual protein-folding olympics that attracts research groups from around the world. The aim of the competition is to predict the structures of proteins from lists of their amino acids which are sent to teams every few days over several months. The structures of these proteins have recently been cracked by laborious and costly traditional methods, but not made public. The team that submits the most accurate predictions wins. On its first foray into the competition, AlphaFold topped a table of 98 entrants, predicting the most accurate structure for 25 out of 43 proteins, compared with three out of 43 for the second placed team in the same category.
To build AlphaFold, DeepMind trained a neural network on thousands of known proteins until it could predict 3D structures from amino acids alone. Given a new protein to work on, AlphaFold uses the neural network to predict the distances between pairs of amino acids, and the angles between the chemical bonds that connect them. In a second step, AlphaFold tweaks the draft structure to find the most energy-efficient arrangement. The program took a fortnight to predict its first protein structures, but now rattles them out in a couple of hours.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rough-year department
UK academic publisher Springer Nature has filed a complaint against Sci-Hub, a site that provides open access to scientific research papers. "The Moscow City Court was told that Sci-Hub is infringing the company's copyrights and should, therefore, be subjected to blocking," reports TorrentFreak. "Listing 'bulletproof' hosting company Quasi Networks and U.S.-based CloudFlare as facilitating access to the site, Springer Nature complained that three specific works were being made available illegally by Sci-Hub." From the report: As the above table obtained from the Court shows, the research papers cover topics of interest to the medical community in the spheres of heart and brain health -- Effect of glucose-lowering therapies on heart failure, Nitric oxide signaling in cardiovascular health and disease, and Lactate in the brain: from metabolic end-product to signaling molecule. These would ordinarily sit behind paywalls but thanks to Sci-Hub, their contents are available for everyone to absorb for free. It's a situation that's unacceptable to Springer Nature and the Moscow City Court was sympathetic to the company's complaints. As a result, several Sci-Hub and Library Genesis domains (gen.lib.rus.ec, www.libgen.io, scihub.unblocked.gdn, lgmag.org, libgen.unblocked.gdn, sci-hub.tw and libgen.io) are now being rendered inaccessible by Russian Internet Service Providers.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department
Microsoft is throwing in the towel with Edge and is building a new web browser for Windows 10, this time powered by Chromium, news blog Windows Central reported Monday. From the report: Microsoft's Edge web browser has seen little success since its debut on Windows 10 back in 2015. Built from the ground up with a new rendering engine known as EdgeHTML, Microsoft Edge was designed to be fast, lightweight, and secure, but launched with a plethora of issues which resulted in users rejecting it early on. Edge has since struggled to gain any traction, thanks to its continued instability and lack of mindshare, from users and web developers.
Because of this, I'm told that Microsoft is throwing in the towel with EdgeHTML and is instead building a new web browser powered by Chromium, a rendering engine first popularized by Google's Chrome browser. Codenamed Anaheim, this new web browser for Windows 10 will replace Edge as the default browser on the platform. It's unknown at this time if Anaheim will use the Edge brand or a new brand, or if the user interface between Edge and Anaheim is different. One thing is for sure, however; EdgeHTML in Windows 10's default browser is dead.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Last Friday, Madrid's tough new vehicle emissions controls went into effect, resulting in a drop in traffic by nearly 32 percent in some parts of the city, reports El Pais. The new rules impose strict restrictions on which vehicles can enter an area of just under two square miles in the city's downtown. The plan, known as Madrid Central, is an attempt to lower the city's nitrogen dioxide levels, which have exceeded European limits since 2010 and are thought to cause around 3,000 premature deaths per year, according to one study.
The exact drop in traffic varied between different areas in the zone. One area, San Bernardo, saw a modest reduction of just over 5 percent, while Gran Via saw the highest reduction of 31.8 percent. Although Reuters reports that traffic continues to be heavy around the perimeter of the zone, El Pais claims that even there, traffic levels were down by between 1 and 2 percent. The lack of congestion also had benefits for public transport, with bus speeds on one highway increasing by 14 percent. "Petrol and diesel cars registered before 2000 and 2006, respectively, will be restricted, while hybrid vehicles will be allowed to enter the area and park for a maximum of two hours," reports The Verge. "However, residents living in the controlled areas will not be affected by the ban. Petrol and diesel taxis will continued to be allowed in the area until 2022. Electric cars, which produce no emissions, driven by non-residents will also be allowed to freely enter the area."Read Replies (0)