By msmash from Slashdot's escalating-tensions department
The Trump administration added five Chinese entities to a United States blacklist on Friday, further restricting China's access to American technology and stoking already high tensions as President Trump and President Xi Jinping of China prepare to meet in Japan next week. From a report: The Commerce Department announced that it would add four Chinese companies and one Chinese institute to an "entity list," saying they posed risks to American national security or foreign policy interests [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. The move essentially bars the entities, which include one of China's leading supercomputer makers, Sugon, and a number of its subsidiaries set up to design microchips, from buying American technology and components without a waiver from the United States government.
The move could all but cripple these Chinese businesses, which rely on American chips and other technology to manufacture advanced electronics. Those added to the entity list also include Higon, Chengdu Haiguang Integrated Circuit, Chengdu Haiguang Microelectronics Technology, and Wuxi Jiangnan Institute of Computing Technology, which lead China's development of high performance computing, some of which is used in military applications like simulating nuclear explosions, the Commerce Department said. Each of the aforementioned companies does businesses under a variety of other names.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
Aerospace firms are joining forces to tackle their industry's growing contribution to greenhouse gas emissions, with electric engines seen as one solution. But will this be enough to offset the growing demand for air travel? From a report: This week's Paris Airshow saw the launch of the world's first commercial all-electric passenger aircraft -- albeit in prototype form. Israeli firm Eviation says the craft -- called Alice -- will carry nine passengers for up to 650 miles (1,040km) at 10,000ft (3,000m) at 276mph (440km/h). It is expected to enter service in 2022. Alice is an unconventional-looking craft: powered by three rear-facing pusher-propellers, one in the tail and two counter-rotating props at the wingtips to counter the effects of drag. It also has a flat lower fuselage to aid lift.
[...] Eviation has already received its first orders. US regional airline Cape Air, which operates a fleet of 90 aircraft, has agreed to buy a "double-digit" number of the aircraft. The firm is using Siemens and magniX to provide the electric motors, and magniX chief executive Roei Ganzarski says that with two billion air tickets sold each year for flights of under 500 miles, the business potential for small electric passenger aircraft is clear. Crucially, electricity is much cheaper than conventional fuel. A small aircraft, like a turbo-prop Cessna Caravan, will use $400 on conventional fuel for a 100-mile flight, says Mr Ganzarski. But with electricity "it'll be between $8-$12, which means much lower costs per flight-hour".Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fake-it-till-you-make-it department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Google's ubiquitous internet platform shapes what's real and what isn't for more than two billion monthly users. Yet Google Maps is overrun with millions of false business addresses and fake names, according to advertisers, search experts and current and former Google employees. The ruse lures the unsuspecting to what appear to be Google-suggested local businesses, a costly and dangerous deception. Once considered a sleepy, low-margin business by the company and known mostly for giving travel directions, Google Maps in recent months has packed more ads onto its search queries. It is central to Google parent Alphabet's hope to recharge a cresting digital-advertising operation.
Often, Google Maps yields mirages, visible in local business searches of U.S. cities, including Mountain View, Calif., Google's hometown. Of a dozen addresses for personal-injury attorneys on Google Maps during a recent search, only one office was real. A Viennese patisserie was among the businesses at addresses purported to house lawyers. The fakes vanished after inquiries to Google from The Wall Street Journal. The false listings benefit businesses seeking more customer calls by sprinkling made-up branches in various corners of a city. In other cases, as Ms. Carter discovered, calls to listed phone numbers connect to unscrupulous competitors, a misdirection forbidden by Google rules but sporadically policed by the company. Hundreds of thousands of false listings sprout on Google Maps each month, according to experts. Google says it catches many others before they appear. According to the report, Google Maps is estimated to carry "roughly 11 million falsely listed businesses on any given day," and a majority of the listings "aren't located at their pushpins."
< article continued at Slashdot's fake-it-till-you-make-it department
>Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's worst-winter-on-record department
Beekeepers across the U.S. lost four in 10 of their honeybee colonies over the past year, as the worst winter on record for tracked bee populations raised fresh concerns over the plight of the crucial pollinators. The Guardian reports: Over the past winter, 37% of honeybee colonies were lost to beekeepers, the worst winter decline recorded in the 13-year history of a nationwide survey aimed at charting bees' fortunes. Overall, 40% of colonies died off over the entire year to April, which is above the 38% average since the survey began. Researchers said the numbers were concerning given the intensive efforts to stem the loss of honeybees, which pollinate an estimated $15 billion in U.S. crops each year, enabling the farming of foods including apples, melons, cherries, almonds and blueberries. The latest survey included data from 4,700 beekeepers from all 50 states, capturing about 12% of the U.S.'s estimated 2.69 million managed colonies. Researchers behind the survey say it's in line with findings from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, which keeps data on the remaining colonies.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's everyone-is-doing-it department
U.S. live video streaming company YouNow on Wednesday filed with the SEC a public offering circular to distribute its own digital currency called Props. Reuters reports: The company said it does not intend to raise funds or sell the tokens at the public offering. Props is an open-source project built to reward application users and content creators with a financial stake in the network they contribute to. YouNow, with 47 million registered users, started the Props project in 2017. Instead of being sold, Props tokens can only be earned by app developers, users, and validators that will contribute to the Props network. YouNow, which created the first app in the Props network called the Props live video app, intends to distribute a significant portion of its own tokens to millions of its users. Props tokens under this offering will be issued on a continuous basis.
YouNow's offering will be done through the SEC's Regulation A+ exemption, according to YouNow's filing, which is available on the SEC website. Under the terms of the offering, a total of 178 million tokens will be distributed. The Regulation A+ exemption enables small companies to offer and sell securities to U.S. investors via two tiers, either for $20 million or $50 million, each over a 12-month period. Like an initial public offering, Reg A+ allows companies to offer shares to the general public and not just accredited investors. In its filing, YouNow said it is creating consumer-facing digital media apps called Props Apps, which will operate as traditional applications that may be downloaded and accessed by users in a manner similar to any regular apps.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's struggles-of-work-life-balance department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Last month, as Americans tuned in to the final episode of "Game of Thrones," Japan was indulging in its own television fantasy world. In this one, a woman dares to leave work at 6 p.m. sharp. The determination of Yui Higashiyama, a 30-something project manager who wants nothing more than to get out of the office and into her favorite bar for happy hour, rocks the fictional web design firm where she works. A conniving supervisor and overachieving co-workers try to foil her plans. When her team faces a seemingly impossible deadline in Episode 9, she puts aside her steely commitment to work-life balance, dramatically declaring, "I will work overtime!" Ms. Higashiyama is the protagonist of "I Will Not Work Overtime, Period!" -- a modest television hit in Japan that has struck a chord in a country with a dangerously intense, at times deadly, national work ethic (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source).
It has prompted workers to talk about their own difficulties in finding work-life balance, even as Japan's major corporations and government officials have increasingly encouraged them to ease off. In April, just in time for the debut of the TV show, a new law took effect limiting overtime to no more than 45 hours a month and 360 hours per year, barring special circumstances. And Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has promoted a program it calls Premium Fridays, asking employers to let employees leave a few hours early on the last Friday of every month. On the show, the enlightened chief executive at Ms. Higashiyama's company encourages workers to leave the office on time. What holds her co-workers back are employees and supervisors who simply cannot stop themselves -- a feeling familiar to fans of the show.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's pushing-back-against-data-localization-rules department
PolygamousRanchKid shares a report from Reuters: The United States has told India it is considering caps on H-1B work visas for nations that force foreign companies to store data locally, three sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters, widening the two countries' row over tariffs and trade. India, which has upset companies such as Mastercard and irked the U.S. government with stringent new rules on data storage, is the largest recipient of these temporary visas, most of them to workers at big Indian technology firms.
A Washington-based industry source aware of India-U.S. negotiations also said the United States was deliberating capping the number of H-1B visas in response to global data storage rules. The move, however, was not solely targeted at India, the source said. Most affected by any such caps would be India's more than $150 billion IT sector, including Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys Ltd, which uses H-1B visas to fly engineers and developers to service clients in the United States, its biggest market. Major Silicon Valley tech companies also hire workers using the visas. Since last year, the Trump administration has been upset that U.S. companies such as Mastercard and Visa suffer due to regulations in several countries that it says are protectionist and increasingly require companies to store more data locally. India last year mandated foreign firms to store their payments data 'only in India' for supervision, and New Delhi is working on a broad data protection law that would impose strict rules for local processing of data it considers sensitive. Senior Indian government officials were briefed last week on a U.S. plan to cap H-1B visas issued each year to Indians at between 10% and 15% of the annual quota. Currently, there is no country-specific limit on the 85,000 H-1B work visas granted each year, and an estimated 70% go to Indians.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-shiny department
"Signify, the company formerly known as Philips Lighting that produces Hue-branded smart lights, has announced a new range of internet-transmitting Li-Fi lights called Truelifi," reports The Verge. The lights are capable of transmitting data to devices at speeds of up to 150 Mbps using light waves, rather than the radio signals used by 4G or Wi-Fi. The technology, which can be retrofitted into existing lighting, "can also be used to wirelessly connect two fixed points with data speeds of up to 250 Mbps." From the report: Li-Fi technology has been around for years but so far it's failed to take off. Most internet-connected devices like laptops and smartphones need an external adapter to receive data over Li-Fi, and even then the signal can be blocked when the receiver is in shadow. Signify says you'll need to plug a USB access key into a laptop to receive a Li-Fi signal from its Truelifi products. In the right circumstances, however, Li-Fi's use of light rather than radio signals to transmit data has its advantages. For example, it can be used in areas where there might be a lot of radio frequency interference, or in places like hospitals where RF could interfere with sensitive machines. While Li-Fi signals can be easily blocked, this disadvantage can be a boon to security applications since you have a lot more control over where the network spreads.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's results-of-an-unregulated-market department
lazarus writes: As part of the investigation being done by Ernst & Young into the mismanagement of client's cash and cryptocurrency at Quadriga Fintech Solutions Corp they have found that the late founder and CEO Gerald Cotten transferred client's cryptocurrency to personal accounts on rival exchanges and heavily traded on them. "Competitor exchanges received multiple forms of cryptocurrencies from Quadriga wallets from 2016 through 2019 -- 9,450 Bitcoin, 387,738 Ethereum and 239,020 Litecoin," reports the Financial Post. "Quadriga's cryptocurrency reserves were 'adversely affected' by trading losses and incremental fees charged by other exchanges, the report said." "The late CEO also created accounts under aliases where 'unsupported deposits' were used to trade within the platform, resulting in inflated revenue figures, artificial trades with users and ultimately the withdrawal of cryptocurrency, the report said. And 'substantial funds' were transferred to Cotten personally and other related parties." The report also paints a picture of an organization that was run by a single person from his laptop with no oversight, segregation of duties and responsibilities, and no internal controls.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department
mrspoonsi shares a report from the Guardian: Facebook usage has plummeted over the last year, according to data seen by the Guardian, though the company says usage by other measures continues to grow. Since April 2018, the first full month after news of the Cambridge Analytica scandal broke in the Observer, actions on Facebook such as likes, shares and posts have dropped by almost 20%, according to the business analytics firm Mixpanel. Taking that month as a baseline, total actions fell by more that 10% within a month, recovered a bit over the summer and then fell again over the autumn and winter of 2018, except for a brief rally over the period of the U.S. midterm elections.
The decline coincided with a series of data, privacy and hate speech scandals. In September the company discovered a breach affecting 50 million accounts, in November it admitted that an executive hired a PR firm to attack the philanthropist George Soros, and it has been repeatedly criticized for allowing its platform to be used to fuel ethnic cleansing in Myanmar. "On top of that, Facebook has continued to lose younger users, who are spreading their time and attention across other social platforms and digital activities," eMarketer said.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's left-wide-open department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A MongoDB database was left open on the internet without a password, and by doing so, exposed the personal details and prescription information for more than 78,000 U.S. patients. The database contained information on 391,649 prescriptions for a drug named Vascepa; used for lowering triglycerides (fats) in adults that are on a low-fat and low-cholesterol diet. Additionally, the database also contained the collective information of over 78,000 patients who were prescribed Vascepa in the past. Leaked information included patient data such as full names, addresses, cell phone numbers, and email addresses, but also prescription info such as prescribing doctor, pharmacy information, NPI number (National Provider Identifier), NABP E-Profile Number (National Association of Boards of Pharmacy), and more. According to vpnMentor, the company that left the database open may have violated HIPAA, and may be in line for a hefty fine for failing to encrypt the patient data it had stored on the database server, a HIPAA golden rule," the report adds. "However, Dissent, the administrator of DataBreaches.net, a website dedicated to tracking data breaches and HIPAA violations, told ZDNet that just because a system stores medical information, it doesn't mean it's necessarily covered by HIPAA. Until the database owner is found, no other conclusions can be drawn."Read Replies (0)