By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-is-better-than-one department
T-Mobile has entered into a $3.5 billion multi-year agreement with Nokia to build out its 5G network. Nokia will supply T-Mobile with its end-to-end 5G technology, software, and services, including commercial AirScale radio platforms and cloud-native core, AirFrame hardware, CloudBand software, SON, and 5G Acceleration Services," reports PhoneDog. From the report: Nokia will help T-Mobile build a nationwide 5G network that'll use both 600MHz and 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum that'll be compliant with 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards. T-Mobile has said that it'll deploy its 5G coverage in 30 cities in 2018, including New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The carrier's first 5G-capable smartphones are expected to arrive in early 2019. The T-Mobile announcement can be viewed here.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's dead-in-the-water department
Uber is shuttering its self-driving unit, reports TechCrunch. The company will reportedly stop development of self-driving trucks and instead focus its efforts on self-driving cars. "We recently took the important step of returning to public roads in Pittsburgh, and as we look to continue that momentum, we believe having our entire team's energy and expertise focused on this effort is the best path forward," Eric Meyhofer, head of Uber Advanced Technologies Group, said in an emailed statement. From the report: Uber Freight, a business unit that helps truck drivers connect with shipping companies, is unaffected by this decision. "Rather than having two groups working side by side, focused on different vehicle platforms, I want us instead collaborating as one team, according to an email reviewed by TechCrunch that was sent by Meyhofer to employees. "I know we're all super proud of what the Trucks team has accomplished, and we continue to see the incredible promise of self-driving technology applied to moving freight across the country. But we believe delivering on self-driving for passenger applications first, and then bringing it to freight applications down the line, is the best path forward. For now, we need the focus of one team, with one clear objective." The company will pivot employees focused on self-driving trucks to other work that revolves around self-driving technology.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ctrl-+-z department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Twenty states announced Monday that they plan to ask a federal judge in Seattle to immediately issue a temporary restraining order against Defense Distributed, a Texas-based group that has already begun making 3D-printer gun files available on its DEFCAD website after a recent legal settlement with the US State Department. "After almost 18 months I was skeptical that there was anything else that this administration would do that would truly shock me, but they have," Washington Attorney General Bill Ferguson told reporters assembled in Olympia and by phone. "Frankly, it is terrifying... We think that it is important to put a stop to this right away and make it as difficult as humanly possible to access this information." The new lawsuit, which Ferguson explained will be filed "within hours," comes just one day after Defense Distributed voluntarily agreed to block IP addresses from Pennsylvania after that state's attorney general filed a similar motion in federal court there. "Pennsylvania is still suing and we are still responding," Defense Distributed's founder, Cody Wilson, told Ars. Preemptively on Sunday, Defense Distributed sued the attorney general of New Jersey and the city attorney of Los Angeles to stop those lawsuits, largely on First Amendment grounds.
In this new 20-state initiative, the Washington attorney general argued that the State Department settlement violated the Administrative Procedure Act and also infringed upon states' Tenth Amendment right to regulate firearms within their own states. Ferguson pointed out, for example, people convicted of domestic abuse are flagged when they attempt to legally buy a gun. Allowing anyone to download and manufacture their own gun circumvents that process, he said. But Wilson told Ars it may be too late, as the files went up last Friday evening -- days before he said he would resume publishing them on August 1.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department
An anonymous reader shares a report: In 1913 on the outskirts of Cairo, an inventor from Philadelphia named Frank Shuman built the world's first solar thermal power station, using the abundant Egyptian sunshine to pump 6,000 gallons of water a minute from the Nile to irrigate a nearby cotton field. World War I and the discovery of cheap oil derailed Shuman's dream of replicating his "sun power plant" on a grand scale and eventually producing enough energy to challenge the world's dependence on coal. More than a century later, that vision has been resurrected. The world's largest solar park, the $2.8-billion Benban complex, is set to open next year 400 miles south of Cairo in Egypt's Western Desert. It will single-handedly put Egypt on the clean energy map. That is no small feat for a country that's been hobbled by its longtime addiction to cheap, state-subsidized fossil fuels and currently gets more than 90% of its electricity from oil and natural gas. [...] The Benban complex, which will be operated by major energy companies from around the world, is expected to generate as much as 1.8 gigawatts of electricity, or enough to power hundreds of thousands of homes and businesses. It will consist of 30 separate solar plants, the first of which began running in December, and employ 4,000 workers.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's gaming-the-system department
NPR has an interesting story, full of anecdotes, that looks into several growing marketplaces where reviews for Amazon products are bought and paid for. From the story: "Our approximation is that less than 1 percent of reviews are inauthentic," says Sharon Chiarella, vice president of community shopping at Amazon. She adds that "sometimes individual products have more suspicious activity." [...] Chiarella says the lawsuits give the company the opportunity to subpoena bad actors to get data from them. "That allows us to identify more bad actors and spider out from there and train our algorithms," she says. But this has led to a sort of digital cat-and-mouse game. As Amazon and its algorithms get better at hunting them down, paid reviewers employ their own evasive maneuvers. Travis, the teenage paid reviewer, explained his process. He's a member of several online channels where Amazon sellers congregate, hawking Ethernet cables, flashlights, protein powder, fanny packs -- any number of small items for which they want favorable reviews. If something catches Travis' attention, he approaches the seller and they negotiate terms. Once he buys the product and leaves a five-star review, the seller will refund his purchase, often adding a few dollars "commission" for his trouble. He says he earns around $200 a month this way. The sellers provide detailed instructions, to avoid being detected by Amazon's algorithms, Travis says. For example, he says, "Order here at the Amazon link. Don't clip any coupons or promo codes. [Wait 4 to 5 days] after receiving [the item]." This last instruction is especially important, Travis adds. "If you review too soon after receiving it'll look pretty suspicious."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
gollum123 writes: Tech workers are the envy of labor market -- they earn some of the highest starting salaries and often command top-notch benefits. But money doesn't always buy satisfaction. Entrepreneur reports that tech workers in major American cities earn an average of $135,000 and yet, a survey of 6,000 tech workers conducted by workplace app Blind and reported by Quartz found that over 60 percent feel they aren't being paid enough. The survey also breaks down how tech workers feel about their pay by company. The five tech companies with the highest percentage of employees who felt they were underpaid shared one important characteristic: They were all founded before 1998. Cisco, Intel, Expedia, VMware and Microsoft employees were the most likely to say that they did not make enough money. Cisco had the highest percentage of dissatisfied employees, with 80 percent telling Blind that they did not feel adequately compensated. Facebook employees, on the other hand, were the most like to say that they are overpaid, with 13.8 percent saying that they felt their employer was overly generous.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
The race is on to become the go-to destination for cryptocurrency companies that are looking for shelter from regulatory uncertainty in the United States and Asia, the New York Times reports. From the report: In Malta, the government passed three laws on July 4 so companies can easily issue new cryptocurrencies and trade existing ones. In Bermuda this year, the legislature passed a law that lets start-ups doing initial coin offerings apply to the minister of finance for speedy approval. "We are 65,000 people, and 20 square miles, but we have a very advanced economy," the premier of Bermuda, E. David Burt, said in an interview at a cryptocurrency conference in May in New York, where he was trying to pitch companies on the island's charms. "We want to position Bermuda as the incubator for this industry." The competition for cryptocurrency companies is part of a broader rush by governments to figure out how to approach a new industry that took on outsize prominence over the last year. Becoming a crypto center has many potential upsides, including jobs and tax revenue. But the drive to be a crypto nexus also comes with significant risk. Hackings and scams have followed the industry everywhere it has gone. They have been aided by the underlying technology introduced by Bitcoin, known as the blockchain, which was built to make it possible to send money without requiring approval from government agencies or existing financial institutions.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's for-the-future department
The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), which funds a range of blue-sky research efforts relevant to the US military, last year launched a $1.5 billion, five-year program known as the Electronics Resurgence Initiative (ERI) to support work on advances in chip technology. It has now unveiled the first set of research teams selected to explore unproven but potentially powerful approaches that could revolutionize US chip development and manufacturing. From a report: The ERI's budget represents around a fourfold increase in DARPA's typical annual spending on hardware. Initial projects reflect the initiative's three broad areas of focus: chip design, architecture, and materials and integration. One project aims to radically reduce the time it takes to create a new chip design, from years or months to just a day, by automating the process with machine learning and other tools so that even relatively inexperienced users can create high-quality designs. "No one yet knows how to get a new chip design completed in 24 hours safely without human intervention," says Andrew Kahng of the University of California, San Diego, who's leading one of the teams involved. "This is a fundamentally new approach we're developing." William Chappell, the head of the DARPA office that manages the ERI program, said, "We're trying to engineer the craft brewing revolution in electronics." The agency hopes that the automated design tools will inspire smaller companies without the resources of giant chip makers, just as specialized brewers in the US have innovated alongside the beer industry's giants.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's regulatory-roads department
Okian Warrior shares a report from Science Magazine: Hopes for an easier regulatory road for genetic engineering in European agriculture were dashed by the Court of Justice of the European Union. In a closely watched decision, the court ruled that plants created with new gene-editing techniques that don't involve transferring genes between organisms -- such as CRISPR -- must go through the same lengthy approval process as traditional transgenic plants. Many researchers had argued that regulators should take a lighter touch when evaluating products created with the new technologies, but environmental groups and their allies successfully argued that they should be subject to the same EU rules that apply to other genetically modified organisms.
The case focused on crops that have been made resistant to herbicides without transferring genes from other species. The French government had passed a law exempting these new gene-edited crops from regulation under the European Union's directive on genetically modified organisms (GMOs), which requires an assessment of risks to health and the environment, as well as labeling, tracking, and monitoring of the products. Confederation Paysanne, a French union in Bagnolet representing small farms, and eight other groups, sued and charged that the plants modified with gene-editing techniques should be regulated under the GMO directive, because they could cause significant harm. The court decided that gene-editing techniques are covered by the GMO directive because they "alter the genetic material of an organism in a way that does not occur naturally." (The court exempted conventional mutagenesis -- the unnatural use of chemicals or radiation to create mutations for plant breeding -- because it has "a long safety record.") It also said the new gene-editing techniques have risks that could be similar to those of transgenic engineering.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's just-keep-swimming department
According to two complementary studies, sperm change their cargo as they travel the reproductive tract, which can have consequences on the viability of future offspring. Smithsonian reports: The legacy of a dad's behavior can even live on in his child if his epigenetic elements enter an embryo. For instance, mice born to fathers that experience stress can inherit the behavioral consequences of traumatic memories. Additionally, mouse dads with less-than-desirable diets can pass a wonky metabolism onto their kids. Upasna Sharma and Colin Conine, both working under Oliver Rando, a professor of biochemistry at the University of Massachusetts Medical School, were some of the researchers to report such findings in 2016. In their work, Sharma and Conine noted that, in mice, while immature testicular sperm contain DNA identical to that of mature sperm, immature sperm relay different epigenetic information. It turns out that sperm small RNAs undergo post-testes turnover, picking up intel on the father's physical health (or lack thereof) after they're manufactured, but before they exit the body. However, the exact pit stop at which these additional small RNAs hitch a ride remained unknown.
< article continued at Slashdot's just-keep-swimming department
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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)