By BeauHD from Slashdot's because-that's-what-we-all-asked-for-right department
According to supply chain blog Macotakara, the new iPad Pro models that will be introduced later this year will be slimmer, feature Face ID, and have no headphone jacks. 9to5Mac reports the details: First off, the report offers additional details on the 2018 iPad Pro dimensions. The 10.5-inch model is said to come in at 247.5mm (H) x 178.7mm (W) x 6mm (T), compared to the current dimensions of 250.6mm x 174.1mm x 6.1 mm. Meanwhile, the 12.9-inch iPad Pro is said to stack up at 280mm (H) x 215mm (W) x 6.4mm (T), which compares to the current-generation model at 305.7 x 220.6 x 6.9 mm. With these dimensions, it seems that Apple is focused more on reducing the overall footprint of the 12.9-inch model, fitting the same size display into a considerably smaller body. The report goes on to explain that Apple is likely to ditch the headphone jack with this year's iPad Pro models, a move the company first made with the iPhone 7. While Apple includes a Lightning to 3.5mm headphone adapter to ease the blow for iPhone users, it will not do the same for iPad Pro users, according to today's report.
Today's report corroborates that this year's iPad Pro models will feature Face ID, but it notes that there is no support for landscape Face ID as earlier reports had indicated. This presents an interesting problem for the iPad Pro, which is used commonly in landscape mode with accessories such as the Smart Keyboard. Macotakara notes, however, that Apple is moving the Smart Connector on this year's models to "the lower rear side -- close to the Lightning connector." What exactly this means is unclear, but the report explains that "the next iPad Pro Smart Keyboard may be changed to vertical position specifications." This is seemingly implying that the iPad Pro would dock vertically into the Smart Keyboard, but how that would work is vague at the moment.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hide-and-seek department
Scientists have discovered a new shape called the scutoid (SCOO-toid) while studying epithelial cells, the building blocks of embryos that eventually end up forming our skin and lining our organs and blood vessels. The new "twisted prism" shape is "extremely efficient at keeping cells tightly-packed and organized in the literal twists and turns of development," reports Gizmodo. From the report: As embryos grow, their tissues curve and bend as they start to form into organs. Scientists thought the cells could stay tightly packed if they were bottle- or column-shaped, but computer modeling suggested that a more complex shape would be more likely. First, a computer model set out to predict which cell shapes would be most efficient at staying in contact with one another in both flat or curved layers. That shape ended up being prism-like, with six sides one end, five on the other, and a strange triangular face on one of the long edges of the prism. Using microscopy and computer imaging, the team confirmed that cells found in fruit fly salivary glands and cells in zebrafish were indeed scutoid-shaped. As noted in their paper published Friday in Nature Communications, the researchers believe these scutoid-shaped cells exist in any curved sheet of epithelial cells -- even in humans.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's stop-drop-and-roll department
"Autodesk has published a support document announcing that it is stopping development of its Alias and VRED vertical market packages, and that older versions will not work on Mojave due to Apple's OpenGL deprecation," writes Stephen Silver for Apple Insider. Alias is software predominantly used in automotive design and industrial design, while VRED is 3D visualization software. From the report: According to a note posted on Autodesk's support website, while older Alias versions can run on High Sierra or earlier, "no versions of VRED will run on that operating system due to the OpenGL deprecation." The change, according to the Autodesk note, "allows Autodesk development teams to focus on bringing innovations to market faster, and allows for more frequent software updates." "In the end, the entire Alias and VRED community will benefit from this streamlined approach," wrote the company.
This follows the announcement by Apple in June at WWDC that Mojave will require graphics hardware to support Metal, and that active development has ceased for OpenGL and OpenCL on the Mac. It isn't clear why Autodesk made the declaration that OpenGL's deprecation was responsible for the applications not working in Mojave. Deprecation does not mean removed, and the existing OpenGL implementation in High Sierra remains in Mojave. The move at present does not appear to affect the core AutoDesk product.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's not-so-secret-after-all department
TechCrunch's Lucas Matney describes the Lumin operating system that will power Magic Leap's upcoming Magic Leap One mixed reality headset: Alright, first, this is what the Magic Leap One home screen will apparently look like, it's worth noting that it appears that Magic Leap will have some of its own stock apps on the device, which was completely expected but they haven't discussed much about. Also worth noting is that Magic Leap's operating system by and large looks like most other operating systems, they seem to be well aware that flat interfaces are way easier to navigate so you're not going to be engaging with 3D assets just for the sake of doing so. The company seems to be distinguishing between two basic app types for developers: immersive apps and landscape apps. Landscape apps like what you see in the image above, appear to be Magic Leap's version of 2D where interfaces are mostly flat but have some depth and live inside a box called a prism that fits spatially into your environment. It seems that you'll be able to have several of these running simultaneously. Immersive apps, on the other hand, like the game title, Dr. Grordbort -- which Magic Leap has been teasing for years -- respond to the geometry of the space that you are in and is thus called an immersive app.
Moving beyond apps, the company also had a good deal to share about how you interact with what's happening in the headset. Magic Leap will have a companion smartphone app that you can type into, you can connect a bluetooth keyboard and there will also be an onscreen keyboard with dictation capabilities. One of the big highlights of Magic Leap tech is that you'll be able to share perspectives of these apps in a multi-player experience which we now know is called "casting," apps that utilize these feature will just have a button that you can press to share an experience with a contact.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rained-out department
At the company's second quarter 2018 financial results conference call, Intel chief engineering officer Venkata Renduchintala said the "Cannon Lake" 10mn processors won't appear in products until the 2019 holiday season. "The systems on shelves that we expect in holiday 2019 will be client systems, with data center products to follow shortly after," Renduchintala said. Interim CEO Robert Swan went on to tout the company's "very good lineup" of 14nm products. Digital Trends reports: "Recall that 10nm strives for a very aggressive density improvement target beyond 14nm, almost 2.7x scaling," Renduchintala said during the call. "And really, the challenges that we're facing on 10nm is delivering on all the revolutionary modules that ultimately deliver on that program." Although he acknowledged that pushing back 10nm presents a "risk and a degree of delay" in the company's road map, Intel is quite pleased with the "resiliency" of its 14nm roadmap. He said the company delivered an excess of 70 percent performance improvement over the last few years. Meanwhile, Intel's 10nm process should be in an ideal state to mass produce chips towards the end of 2019.
Intel's Cannon Lake chip is essentially a shrink of its seventh-generation "Kaby Lake" processor design. Given the previous launch window, the resulting chips presumably fell under the company's eighth-generation banner despite the older design. But with mass production pushed back to late 2019, the 10nm chips will fall under Intel's ninth-generation umbrella along with CPUs based on its upcoming "Ice Lake" design. Intel claims that its 10nm chips will provide 25 percent increased performance over their 14nm counterparts. Even more, they will supposedly consume 50 percent less power than their 14nm counterparts.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's elbow-grease-required department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: In a scrapyard in Massachusetts, the YouTuber known as Rich Rebuilds runs a pair of jumper cables from a broken down Tesla Model S to a deep cycle battery. "We may hear some clicks," he says, as he prepares to connect the second lead. "We may hear some buzzing. The car may explode. I don't know what's gonna happen." As a self-described "Doctor Frankenstein of Teslas," this is Rich Benoit's modus operandi. On YouTube, he's chronicled his journey to learn how the cars' internal systems work -- and how to repair them after floods, fires and wrecks. In a new Motherboard documentary, Benoit shows us the scrapyards where he scavenges Tesla parts, the basement where he categorizes them, and an auto body shop that lets him use its equipment. He shows us deep under the hood, where he wrestles with the motors, high-powered batteries and tangles of electronics and cables that make Teslas tick. Since his first Tesla restoration -- he's now working on a second -- Rich has become a point-person in the Tesla repair community. He runs a Facebook group for people who want to sell and trade parts and has helped other enthusiasts across the country and as far away as Norway, Germany and South Africa. Tesla told Motherboard that it will inspect salvaged vehicles to assess which repairs are needed, but there would be a fee. The company says customers are free to do whatever they want with their cars, including repair them. However, Massachusetts, because of their "Right to Repair" initiative, is the only state where Tesla owners can register to access repair manuals, service documents, wiring diagrams, and part information. According to Electrek, President Jon McNeil says the automaker is working on opening the program.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's domestic-surveillance department
The Boston Globe reports of a previously undisclosed program, called "Quiet Skies," that targets travelers who "are not under investigation by any agency and are not in the Terrorist Screening Data Base." The insights come from a TSA bulletin in March that describes the program's goal as thwarting threats to commercial aircraft "posed by unknown or partially known terrorists. The program "gives the agency broad discretion over which air travelers to focus on and how closely they are tracked," reports The Boston Globe. From the report: But some air marshals, in interviews and internal communications shared with the Globe, say the program has them tasked with shadowing travelers who appear to pose no real threat -- a businesswoman who happened to have traveled through a Mideast hot spot, in one case; a Southwest Airlines flight attendant, in another; a fellow federal law enforcement officer, in a third. It is a time-consuming and costly assignment, they say, which saps their ability to do more vital law enforcement work. TSA officials, in a written statement to the Globe, broadly defended the agency's efforts to deter potential acts of terror. But the agency declined to discuss whether Quiet Skies has intercepted any threats, or even to confirm that the program exists.
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's either-or department
Barack Obama said this month that AI research is accelerating, making it harder to find jobs for everybody, and concluding "we're going to have to consider new ways of thinking about these problems, like a universal income."
But a Financial Times columnist adds that "an intriguing debate has broken out over how to look after disadvantaged workers both now and in this robot future. Should everyone be given free money? Or should everyone receive the guarantee of a decently-paid job?" An anonymous reader quotes some of the highlights:
Psychologists have found that we like and benefit from feeling in control. That is a mark in favour of a universal basic income: being unconditional, it is likely to enhance our feelings of control. The money would be ours, by right, to do with as we wish. A job guarantee might work the other way: it makes money conditional on punching the clock. On the other hand (again!), we like to keep busy. Harvard researchers Matthew Killingsworth and Daniel Gilbert (UK) (US) have found that "a wandering mind is an unhappy mind". And social contact is generally good for our wellbeing. Maybe guaranteed jobs would help keep us active and socially connected.
The truth is, we don't really know... It is good to see that the more thoughtful advocates of either policy -- or both policies simultaneously -- are asking for large-scale trials to learn more.
He titled the column "The secret to happiness after the robot takeover." But what say Slashdot readers?
Is it better to be given a basic income -- or a guaranteed job?Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's speaking-of-downvoting department
"Facebook executives said on Wednesday its profit margins would plummet for several years due to the cost of improving privacy safeguards and slowing usage in its top advertising markets," reports Reuters, adding that the news "wiped over $120 billion off the company's share price." One millennial options trader lost $180,000 overnight.
And meanwhile CNBC reports that Facebook insiders "sold more stock than usual in the second quarter," the vast majority sold by Mark Zuckerberg, leaving some experts with mixed opinions.
To be clear, insiders sold in compliance with what's known as Securities and Exchange Commission Rule 10b5-1, a preapproved selling mechanism that is completely legal. And there is no evidence to suggest they were acting on inside information about the disastrous quarter that sent Facebook's stock down nearly 20 percent Thursday. However, their timing happened to be pretty good....
"You have something that's an outlier here," said James Cox, professor at Duke University School of Law. "It happened to be a very bad quarter that they had -- it doesn't wear well."
Friday Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg were sued "in what could be the first of many lawsuits over a disappointing earnings announcement by the social media company that wiped out about $120 billion of shareholder wealth."
The complaint filed by shareholder James Kacouris in Manhattan federal court accused Facebook, Zuckerberg and Chief Financial Officer David Wehner of making misleading statements about or failing to disclose slowing revenue growth, falling operating margins, and declines in active users.
Kacouris said the marketplace was "shocked" when "the truth" began to emerge on Wednesday from the Menlo Park, California-based company. He said the 19 percent plunge in Facebook shares the next day stemmed from federal securities law violations by the defendants. The lawsuit seeks class-action status and unspecified damages. A Facebook spokeswoman declined to comment.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's used-and-new department
An anonymous reader quotes CNN:
Amazon topped $2 billion in quarterly profit for the first time in its history, an impressive run fueled by continued growth in Prime subscriptions, cloud computing and its nascent advertising business. Amazon said Thursday that it earned $2.5 billion in profit for the three months ending in June, a staggering jump from the $197 million it posted in the same period last year. It marked the third consecutive quarter that Amazon has topped $1 billion in profit, a remarkable feat for a company once known for investing so much in its business that it often lost money. "The profitability trajectory appears to be accelerating quicker than expected," Daniel Ives, an analyst with GBH Insights, wrote in an investor note Thursday. Ives called this a "potential game changer" as Amazon continues to invest heavily in fulfillment centers, new stores and pricey content deals....
Earlier this month, Amazon's market value topped $900 billion for the first time, putting it on the cusp of eclipsing Apple as the world's most valuable company.
Amazon's cloud computing business, Amazon Web Services, had $6 billion in sales, while Amazon's $119-a-year "Prime" service for faster shipping now has more than 100 million users.
Qwartz says the results -- which are over 12 times more than Amazon earned in the same quarter a year ago -- prove that Amazon "can make loads of money when it actually feels like it."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's money-its-a-gas department
Slate asks why more businesses are refusing cash -- and investigates the downside. An anonymous reader quotes their report:
Stores are eliminating cash registers and coin rolls in pursuit of what they say is a safer, more streamlined payment process -- and one that most of their customers want to use anyway. At Dos Toros, co-founder Leo Kremer said that more than half of the shop's customers used cash when its first location opened in Manhattan in 2009. By the beginning of this year, that number had fallen to just 15 percent. At that point, the various hassles of dealing with cash -- employee training, banking fees, armored-truck pickups, and the occasional robbery -- outweighed the cost of credit card fees on those transactions. The shift wound up being more or less revenue-neutral, Kremer said, but saved a lot of time and trouble. Dos Toros' New York locations have been fully cash-free since the winter.... "After talking to the team and absorbing the flow at the register, we felt like almost everyone who used cash had a card. It just hasn't been an issue...."
But it would be hard to find anyone more gung-ho about the abolition of cash than credit card companies. Last summer, for example, Visa announced a $10,000 reward to 50 businesses that would give up cash entirely. "What concerns me about a cashless future is how much it benefits Wall Street," Stacy Mitchell, co-director of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, wrote to me in an email. "They can charge swipe fees of two to three percent not because that's what the service actually costs, but because they have monopoly power."
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's too-darn-hot department
"It's so hot, even parts of the Arctic are on fire," reports Vox, citing wildfires in Sweden, while Greece "has declared a state of emergency as raging forest fires have killed at least 81 people and injured more than 190."
But heat-related disasters are happening around the world. In Japan 86 people have been killed by heatstroke, while another 23,000 people have been hospitalized -- about half of them over the age of 65 -- in a heat wave forecast to continue for another two weeks. "Japan hit 106 degrees on Monday, its hottest temperature ever," reports the Associated Press, adding that "So far this month, at least 118 of these all-time heat records have been set or tied across the globe." An anonymous reader quotes their report.
"We now have very strong evidence that global warming has already put a thumb on the scales, upping the odds of extremes like severe heat and heavy rainfall," Stanford University climate scientist Noah Diffenbaugh said. "We find that global warming has increased the odds of record-setting hot events over more than 80 percent of the planet, and has increased the odds of record-setting wet events at around half of the planet..."
"The world is becoming warmer and so heat waves like this are becoming more common," said Friederike Otto, deputy director of the Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford.
"Death Valley, California, has set three consecutive daily record-high temperatures of 127 degrees," reports the Washington Post, adding that "Sometimes, like right now in the Western U.S., it's too hot for airplanes to fly" because of heat-related changes in air density at high-altitude airports. In Europe, nuclear power plants in Finland, Sweden, and German were forced to cut electricity production because high temperatures heated the seawater needed to cool reactors.
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's not-so-instant-messages department
"The UK parliament has provided another telling glimpse behind the curtain of Facebook's unregulated ad platform by publishing data on scores of pro-Brexit adverts..." reports TechCrunch, adding that the 2016 ads "were run prior to Facebook having any disclosure rules for political ads. So there was no way for anyone other than each target recipient to know a particular ad existed or who it was being targeted at." An anonymous reader quotes their report:
The targeting of the ads was carried out on Facebook's platform by AggregateIQ, a Canadian data firm that has been linked to Cambridge Analytica/SCL... [I]t's not clear how many ad impressions they racked up in all. But total impressions look very sizable. While some of what runs to many thousands of distinctly targeted ads which AIQ distributed via Facebook's platform are listed as only garnering between 0-999 impressions apiece, according to Facebook's data, others racked up far more views. Commonly listed ranges include 50,000 to 99,999 and 100,000 to 199,999 -- with even higher ranges like 2M-4.9M and 5M-9.9M also listed....
The publication of the Brexit ads is, above all, a reminder that online political advertising has been allowed to be a blackhole -- and at times a cesspit -- because cash-rich entities have been able to unaccountably exploit the obscurity of Facebook's systemically dark ad targeting tools for their own ends, and operate in a darkness where only Facebook had oversight (and wasn't exercising any), leaving the public no right of objection let alone reply, despite it being people's lives that are indelibly affected by political outcomes.... The company has been making some voluntary changes to offer a degree of political ad disclosure, as it seeks to stave off regulatory rule. Whether its changes -- which at best offer partial visibility -- will go far enough remains to be seen.
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's spirt-of-America department
An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
Massachusetts plans to protect net neutrality by naming and shaming internet service providers that don't adhere to open internet principles. Lawmakers in the state Senate have proposed a bill (S2160) that would create an "internet service provider registry" to track whether broadband and wireless providers adhere to policies that keep the internet open and neutral.
In the wake of the FCC's repeal of net neutrality, more than half the states in the union are considering their own, state-level net neutrality rules. Some states are tackling the problem with legislation (California, Oregon, Washington), while others (like Montana) are signing executive orders banning state agencies from doing business with ISPs that behave anti-competitively... when the FCC repealed net neutrality, it included a provision attempting to "pre-empt" (read: ban) states from protecting consumers. As a result, large ISPs have threatened to sue any states that stand up for consumer welfare, and at least one ISP (Charter Spectrum) has tried to use the repeal to wiggle out of state lawsuits for terrible broadband. Charter's efforts on that front have failed, and the the FCC's authority to tell states what to do has been highly contested.
Still, Massachusetts thought it might be a better idea to try and publicly shame ISPs into behaving.Read Replies (0)