By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department
An anonymous reader shares a report: Latest registration figures released by Verisign, an internet network company that oversees some domain name endings, seem to indicate that after a rocky few years, new gTLDs may finally be finding their niche in the marketplace. 2019 could be the year of the obscure domain name. Registrations for new gTLDs rose by nearly 11 per cent in the last year, compared to an average 3.5 per cent increase across the entire domain landscape, according to Verisign. One in five domain name registrations in the last year were on new gTLDs.
"The numbers are picking up as well as the usage," says Thomas Keller of 1&1 IONOS, a German web hosting company. In part that's down to saturation in more traditional domain name endings like dot-com, and country code TLDs (such as .uk, .tk and .cn). It's difficult to get good, precise and short dot-com domain names now, but hyper-specific and new gTLDs still have plenty of choice. Around ten per cent of new URLs registered through 1&1 IONOS were for new gTLds, Keller says.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
In an official statement Thursday, Intel called out Qualcomm for allegedly continuing to pursue its use of patent lawsuits and threatening lawsuits against its own customers and competitors even as multiple antitrust agencies have found Qualcomm to be violating competition laws with these tactics. From a report: The statement from Steven Rodgers, Intel EVP and general counsel, said that despite Qualcomm being fined by multiple governments around the world over its abuse of patents against other companies, the company continues the same aggressive legal strategy against its partners and competitors. This, Intel said, will only lead to higher prices for consumers and less innovation.
According to Intel, Qualcomm's goal is not to vindicate its IP rights, but to drive competition out of the market completely. Intel pointed out that Qualcomm has been fined almost a billion dollars in China, $850 million in Korea, $1.2 billion in the European Union and $773 million in Taiwan over the companyâ(TM)s anti-competitive practices. Intel also encouraged everyone to pay attention to FTC's lawsuit against Qualcomm in the United States. The FTC will begin its opening arguments in court on January 4. Intel, who is a competitor of Qualcomm in the wireless modem space, said that it hopes the actions taken by global authorities against Qualcomm will preserve competition in the 5G market.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's dirty-dealings department
Fascinating article on The Verge on the many ways Amazon Marketplace, the ecommerce giant's the company's third-party platform, sellers sabotage each other and defraud customers, and how Amazon is run its own government, so to speak -- with its own rules that its suppliers have no choice but to follow. And, of course, sellers have little choice but to continue with Amazon. The story starts with this anecdote: framing a seller for false advertising by buying fake five-star reviews for their products. Select excerpts from the report: For sellers, Amazon is a quasi-state. They rely on its infrastructure -- its warehouses, shipping network, financial systems, and portal to millions of customers -- and pay taxes in the form of fees. They also live in terror of its rules, which often change and are harshly enforced. A cryptic email like the one Plansky received can send a seller's business into bankruptcy, with few avenues for appeal. Sellers are more worried about a case being opened on Amazon than in actual court, says Dave Bryant, an Amazon seller and blogger. Amazon's judgment is swifter and less predictable, and now that the company controls nearly half of the online retail market in the US, its rulings can instantly determine the success or failure of your business, he says. "Amazon is the judge, the jury, and the executioner."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's open-the-floodgates department
"At midnight on New Year's Eve, all works first published in the United States in 1923 will enter the public domain," reports Smithsonian Magazine. "It has been 21 years since the last mass expiration of copyright in the U.S. "After January 1, any record label can issue a dubstep version of the 1923 hit 'Yes! We Have No Bananas,' any middle school can produce Theodore Pratt's stage adaptation of The Picture of Dorian Gray, and any historian can publish Winston Churchill's The World Crisis with her own extensive annotations." From the report: "The public domain has been frozen in time for 20 years, and we're reaching the 20-year thaw," says Jennifer Jenkins, director of Duke Law School's Center for the Study of the Public Domain. The release is unprecedented, and its impact on culture and creativity could be huge. We have never seen such a mass entry into the public domain in the digital age. The last one -- in 1998, when 1922 slipped its copyright bond -- predated Google. "We have shortchanged a generation," said Brewster Kahle, founder of the Internet Archive. "The 20th century is largely missing from the internet."
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's A-for-effort department
In September, a nonprofit deployed a multimillion-dollar floating structure designed to corral plastic debris littering the Pacific Ocean. But, according to CBS News, the 2,000-foot-long structure hasn't picked up any plastic waste. Slashdot reader pgmrdlm shares the report: A floating device sent to corral a swirling island of trash in the Pacific Ocean between California and Hawaii has not swept up any plastic waste. But the young innovator behind the project said Monday that a fix was in the works. Boyan Slat, 24, who launched the Pacific Ocean cleanup project, said the speed of the solar-powered barrier isn't allowing it to hold on to the plastic it catches. The plastic barrier with a tapered 10-foot-deep screen is intended to act like a coastline, trapping some of the 1.8 trillion pieces of plastic that scientists estimate are swirling in the patch, while allowing marine life to safely swim beneath it. The garbage patch isn't an island and it's even difficult to see with the naked eye, "60 Minutes" reported in September -- it's a vast soup of floating debris, much of it tiny and below the surface.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's future-of-transportation department
Last night, Elon Musk unveiled his vision of a high-speed tunnel system he believes could ease congestion and revolutionize how millions of commuters get around cities. CNBC reports: Musk, who founded the Boring Co. two years ago after complaining that traffic in Los Angeles was driving him "nuts," says the demonstration tunnel cost approximately $10 million to complete. Engineers and workers have been boring the 1.14-mile-long tunnel underneath one of the main streets in Hawthorne, California. One end of the tunnel starts in a parking lot owned by Musk's Space X. The other end of the demonstration tunnel is in a neighborhood about a mile away in Hawthorne.
Tuesday afternoon, the Boring Co. gave reporters demonstration rides through the tunnel in modified Tesla Model X SUVs, going between 40 and 50 miles per hour. Engineers have attached deployable alignment wheels to the two front wheels of the Model X. Those alignment wheels stick out to the side of the main wheels and act as a bumper along the track walls inside the tunnel, keeping the Model X on course and preventing the vehicle from running into the side walls of the tunnel. While the Boring Co.'s first tunnel may be complete, it is far from being finished. The surfaces are bumpy and have yet to be smoothed out. As a result, the demonstration ride, for now, is rough and passengers in the Model X definitely feel the alignment wheels bumping into the track walls to keep the SUV on course.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's software-fixes department
Apple released a tiny update to iOS this week designed to avoid a sales ban in China. iOS version 12.1.2 contains software changes exclusive to China that are designed to circumvent Apple's patent dispute with Qualcomm, which won an initial sales ban over claims that Apple violated a pair of its patents. The Verge reports: The update changes the animation for when an app is forced to close, according to MacRumors, seemingly avoiding a Qualcomm patent around app management. Previously a closed app would slide off the top of the screen, but it now shrinks and disappears into the middle of the screen. Last month, Qualcomm won a court injunction that banned Apple from selling iPhone models including the 6S, 6S Plus, 7, 7 Plus, 8, 8 Plus, and X. iOS 12.1.2 The patents related to how software resizes pictures and manages applications. This fix appears to change application management, but it's currently unclear what, if anything, has changed about the process of resizing pictures.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's left-out-in-the-cold department
DarkRookie2 shares a report from Ars Technica: Many users of Logitech's Harmony Hub smart home hub and remote were recently met with a nasty surprise. The device's latest firmware update, version 4.15.206, reportedly cuts off local access for Harmony Hubs. As a result, many users who created home automation and smart home systems using third-party APIs haven't been able to control many, and in some cases, all of their connected IoT devices. Logitech began pushing out firmware update 4.15.206 last week, its release notes stating that it addresses security and bug fixes. Users immediately flocked to Logitech's community forms to complain once they realized the systems they built up to control their smart home devices essentially became unresponsive. Users with Homeseer and Home Assistant APIs have reported parts of their systems broken, preventing them from controlling things like smart TVs, sound systems, and more using the Harmony Hub and its remote. In a statement to Ars, a Logitech representative confirmed that local access was removed in the latest Harmony Hub firmware update for security reasons: "The XMPP interface was used as part of the setup process and was pointed out as an insecure communication. We removed that interface as part of an effort to make to improve the Hub security. That interface was never designed to be used by third parties. The reason for the firmware update was to make the Harmony Hub more secure, therefore we do not have an official downgrade option. We recommend that users do not try to prevent the automatic firmware update process. We update the firmware as security issues are discovered, so users preventing the automatic firmware update process would not benefit from these future fixes."Read Replies (0)