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A New AMD Licensing Deal Could Create More x86 Rivals For Intel
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 06:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-arch-enemies department:
angry tapir quotes a report from PCWorld: AMD has announced a plan to license the design of its top-of-the-line server processor to a newly formed Chinese company, creating a brand-new rival for Intel. AMD is licensing its x86 processor and system-on-chip technology to a company called THATIC (Tianjin Haiguang Advanced Technology Investment Co. Ltd.), a joint venture between AMD and a consortium of public and private Chinese companies. AMD is providing all the technology needed for THATIC to make a server chip, including the CPUs, interconnects and controllers. THATIC will be able to make variants of the x86 chips for different types of servers. AMD is much smaller than Intel, and licensing offers it an easy way to expand the installed base of AMD technology. The resource-strapped company will also generate licensing revenue in the process, said Jim McGregor, principal analyst at Tirias Research.

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Elon Musk Plans To Solve Traffic Congestion With Self-Driving Buses
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's stop-and-go department:
An anonymous reader writes: Elon Musk believes self-driving buses are the answer to solving traffic congestion and mass transit in densely populated cities. Musk has teased the idea while at a transportation conference in Norway, according to Bloomberg. "We have an idea for something which is not exactly a bus but would solve the density problem for inner city situations." he said. "Autonomous vehicles are key... I don't want to talk too much about it. I have to be careful what I say." Elon Musk released the Model X last year with semi-autonomous Autopilot mode, and most recently, announced the "budget-friendly" Model 3 with similar autonomous functionality. There's no question autonomous vehicles are the future. "I very much agree with solving the high-density transport problem," Musk said in Norway. "There's a new type of car or vehicle that would be great for that and that'll actually take people to their final destination and not just the bus stop." The Hyperloop is another example of Elon's vision to revolutionize transportation.

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Google Search Will Soon Include Live TV Listings
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's coming-soon-to-a-theater-near-you department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google announced users will soon see live TV listings within their search results. Fortune writes, "Pretty soon, you will be able to Google the name of a television show or movie and see live air times for that content within the search results." The announcement was made at the National Association of Broadcasters conference. "What we're seeing is that more and more, viewers are turning to their phones to find out what to watch, where to watch it and when it's available -- in fact, searches for TV shows and films on mobile have grown more than 55% in the past year alone," Google said in a blog post announcing the new feature. Google Search users will have the option of clicking an "edit provider" link that will allow them to enter their specific cable provider when they search for the name of a TV show or movie. There's no specific date for when the feature will be launching, just that it will be launching "soon."

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Solar Impulse 2 Takes Off From Hawaii To California With No Fuel
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 03:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's soak-up-the-sun department:
An anonymous reader writes: After stalling on the island of Oahu for almost 10 months, the Solar Impulse 2 continues its journey to fly across the world with no fuel. Today, it took off from Hawaii to California piloted by Swiss explorer and psychiatrist Bertrand Piccard. Since the plane travels at about the same speed as a car, it'll take 62 hours to complete the flight across the Pacific to the San Francisco Bay area, some 2,500 miles (4,000 kilometers) away. The pilots and team call this test "the moment of truth," as they've experienced weather delays slowing down the progress. It was originally scheduled to land in Abu Dhabi, where it started its journey in March 2015, by the end of last summer. The plane had to be grounded for nine months while the batteries were being fixed. Now the Solar Impulse 2 has new batteries, a new cooling system that can be manually operated by the pilot, and $20 million in fresh funding to keep the mission up and running, according to CNN.

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RIP Prince, A Legendary Musician With A Complicated Internet History
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 03:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's RIP department:
alphadogg writes: Reflecting on the popular musician's uneasy relationship with the Internet and social media upon the 57-year-old surprising death. In 2010, Prince "famously shuttered his LotusFlow3r.com website," proclaiming that "The Internet is completely over... All these computers and digital gadgets are no good. They just fill your head with numbers and that can't be good for you." In 2014, The Guardian ran a story titled "Prince quits the Internet," after the singer deleted his social media accounts. He filed a lawsuit against his fans, which was later dropped, for sharing bootlegged copies of his music online. He even banned fans from taking smartphone photos at his concerts in 2013. Prince did seem to open up to the Internet to some degree in the past couple years. Prince's HTNRUN album was posted on Jay Z's Tidal music site last year. In Silicon Valley, Prince is being remembered as a social innovator and a passionate advocate for Black youth," inspiring YesWeCode, Van Jones' initiative to teach 100,000 low-income kids to write code, and hackathons across the country to expose kids in underserved communities to computer science. Bob Brown from Networkworld writes, "News of Prince's death Thursday briefly crashed the TMZ news site. From there, fans flocked to the Internet and social media to mourn this music star who did his darnedest to stay off the grid." RIP Prince.

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FBI Paid More Than $1 Million For San Bernardino 'Hack'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 02:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's right-tool-for-the-job department:
An anonymous reader writes: FBI Director James Comey has indicated the bureau paid more than $1 million for the method used to hack into the iPhone 5c belonging to one of the San Bernadino shooters. How did he allude to it? He said the FBI paid more money than he would make in the time left as FBI director. He makes just under $200,000 a year based on public files and has over seven years left on his term. "How much did you pay for this software?" Comey was asked. "A lot," he said. "More -- let's see. More than I will make in the remainder of this job, which is seven years and four months, for sure," Comey said. "And so it's a -- but it was in my view, worth it, because it's a tool that helps us with a 5c running iOS 9, which is a bit of a corner case, increasingly as the devices develop and move on to the 6 and 6s and whatnot and iOS's change, but I think it's very, very important that we get into that device." Comey said.

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Is the $400 Billion F-35's 'Brain' Broken?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 02:02 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's bizarre department:
Zachary Cohen, reporting for CNN News: Almost 2,500 of the world's most advanced warplanes, with a total price tag of $400 billion, and they may not have a "brain" in the bunch? That's the fear of federal watchdogs who say problems with the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter's complex logistics software system could lead to a grounding of the entire fleet, not to mention future cost increases and schedule delays. Documenting risks to the F-35's Autonomic Logistics Information System, which Department of Defense officials have described as the "brains" of the fifth-generation fighter, an April 14 Government Accountability Office report says a failure "could take the entire fleet offline," (PDF) in part, due to the lack of a backup system. The report also outlines concerns related to the lack of testing done to ensure the software will work properly by the time the Air Force plans to declare its version of the aircraft ready for deployment this August and the Navy reaches that milestone in 2018. The Marine Corps declared the first squadron of its F-35 variant ready for combat in July 2015, with the intention of upgrading and resolving the software issues before its first planned deployment in 2017.

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Ubuntu 16.04 LTS Available To Download; Mozilla To Offer 0-Day Firefox Releases Via Snaps
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 12:42 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's firefox-becomes-default department:
Reader prisoninmate writes: The latest, and hopefully, the greatest version of Ubuntu is now available to download. On the sidelines, Mozilla today announced the availability of future releases of its popular Firefox web browser in the snap package format for Ubuntu 16.04 LTS. Earlier today, Canonical unleashed the final release of the highly anticipated Ubuntu 16.04 LTS (Xenial Xerus) operating system, bringing users a great set of new features and improvements. Also today, it looks like Canonical has renewed its partnership with Mozilla to offer Firefox as the default web browser on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS and upcoming releases of the Linux kernel-based operating systems. As part of the new partnership, Mozilla is committed to distributing future versions of Firefox as a snap package. Having Firefox distributed in the snap format means that you'll have 0-day releases in Ubuntu 16.04. Yes, just like Windows and Mac OS X, users are enjoying their 0-day releases of Mozilla Firefox and don't have to wait for package maintainers of a particular GNU/Linux distribution to update the software in the main repositories. For Mozilla, having Firefox as a snap package means that they'll be able to continually optimize it for Ubuntu.

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VC, Entrepreneur Says Basic Income Would Work Even If 90% People 'Smoked Pot' and Didn't Work
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 12:42 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's dude-has-a-point department:
An anonymous reader cites a story on TI: The chief complaint people lodge at universal basic income -- a form of income distribution that gives people money to cover basic needs regardless of whether they work or not -- is that it'll make them lazy. Sam Altman doesn't buy it. In a recent episode of the Freakonomics podcast, entitled "Is the World Ready for a Guaranteed Basic Income?" Altman argued basic income could support huge amounts of productivity loss and still carry the economy on its shoulders. "Maybe 90% of people will go smoke pot and play video games, but if 10% of the people go create incredible new products and services and new wealth, that's still a huge net-win," Altman says. "And the American puritanical ideal that hard work for its own sake is valuable -- period -- and that you can't question that, I think that's just wrong." [...] The complaint Altman addressed on the Freakonomics podcast is a common one. Study after study, however, has shown that giving people extra money makes them feel financially secure. That security ends up leading to empowerment, not de-motivation.

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China Plans To Reach Mars by 2020 and Eventually Build a Moon Base
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 11:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's major-plans department:
Rebecca Harrington, writing for Tech Insider: China has plans to orbit the moon, land people on it, and eventually settle a moon colony. But that's just part of the nation's vision for space exploration: China intends to get a spacecraft to Mars by 2020. "Our long-term goal is to explore, land, and settle [on the moon]," Wu Weiren, chief designer of China's moon and Mars missions, told the BBC. "We want a manned lunar landing to stay for longer periods and establish a research base." Weiren didn't specify when the country plans to accomplish these goals, but he did say they will "check out" the far side of the moon before attempting to land astronauts there. This mission already has concrete plans. He also said China wants to reach Mars by 2020, and implied that the country has finally settled on a mission to send a rover to the Red Planet. "We will orbit Mars, land and deploy a rover -- all in one mission," Weiren told the BBC.

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Slashdot Asks: Is the Golden Era of Video-Game Console Sales Over?
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 11:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's do-we-need-video-game-consoles-anymore? department:
Microsoft announced on Wednesday that it has stopped producing Xbox 360, a gaming console it launched in 2005. According to estimations, the company sold more than 85 million Xbox 360 units worldwide. Quartz has an insightful story today, in which it compares the shipment numbers of Xbox One and the PlayStation 4, the current generation consoles, to conclude that the "golden era" of video-game console sales is over. According to estimations, citing data provided by Nintendo, CNET, GameSpot, and Giant Bomb, the crown for the most popular gaming console goes to the Sony PlayStation 2 (2000) with 155.1 million inventories shipped. Sony PlayStation (1994) saw the movement of 102.49 million units, whereas 101.63 million Nintendo Wii inventories were dispatched. In comparison, Sony has sold 35.9 million units of PlayStation 4 so far, and Microsoft has sold roughly 10 million Xbox One units. From Quartz's report: It does seem, to some degree, that the golden age of home video-game consoles may be over. The previous generation of consoles was the last generation that didn't have to contend for users' time with mobile games. And you could make a strong case that a large portion of the casual gaming audience that Nintendo attracted for the Wii was almost entirely wiped out by mobile gaming. After all, the Wii was released in 2006 -- a year before the iPhone launched. Nintendo's next console, the Wii U, has been the company's worst-selling of all time. The average consumer may now feel more inclined to just pick up their phone and play Candy Crush or Temple Run than to get up and swing a controller around. The home console's saving grace could well be virtual reality. Just about every major tech and video-games company is working on a VR headset -- apart from Nintendo, it seems -- and early reviews of Facebook's Oculus Rift and HTC's Vive headsets have reduced non-gamers to tears. None of the top 10 most popular games consoles of all time have been released in the last 10 years, and VR may well be what turns the slowing console market back around.What's your take on this?

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In a First, Judge Throws Out Evidence Obtained from FBI Malware
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's smells-fishy department:
An anonymous reader cites an article on Motherboard: For the first time, a judge has thrown out evidence obtained via a piece of FBI malware. The move comes from a cased affected by the FBI's seizure of a dark web child pornography site in February 2015, and the subsequent deployment of a network investigative technique (NIT) -- the agency's term for a hacking tool -- in order to identify the site's visitors. "Based on the foregoing analysis, the Court concludes that the NIT warrant was issued without jurisdiction and thus was void ab initio," Judge William G. Young of the District of Massachusetts writes in an order. "It follows that the resulting search was conducted as though there were no warrant at all. Since warrantless searches are presumptively unreasonable, and the good-faith exception is inapplicable, the evidence must be excluded," it continues. Young's order came in response to a motion to suppress from the lawyers of Alex Levin, who was arrested as part of the investigation into the child pornography site Playpen. After seizing the site, the FBI ran Playpen from a government facility from February 20 to March 4, 2015, and used a NIT to obtain over a thousand IP addresses for US-based users of the site, and at least 3000 for users abroad, according to Motherboard's investigations.

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Choosing to Skip the Upgrade and Care for the Gadget You've Got
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 10:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's to-upgrade-or-not department:
The New York Times has run a piece on its "Tech Fix" section, in which it argues, citing a user's experience, why skipping an upgrade might not be a bad idea, and how you could hold on to your existing device for a little longer. The story revolves around Vincent Lai, who dug up a Palm Treo, a smartphone that was disconnected last decade, and found that with little tweaks, the phone still had some life in it. From the article: Mr. Lai's behavior might be extreme, but his experience with the Palm Treo illustrates there is another way: If you simply put some maintenance into electronics as you would a car, you can stay happy with your gadgets for years. It is part of a movement of anti-consumerism, or the notion of cherishing what you have rather than incessantly buying new stuff. Signs of this philosophy are spreading: Industry data suggests that consumers are waiting longer to upgrade to new phones than they have in the past. [...] When smartphones and tablets were fairly sluggish and limited in abilities compared with computers, there was a compelling reason to buy a new mobile device every few years. But now the mobile gadgets have become so fast and capable that you can easily keep them much longer. "A five-year-old computer is still completely fine now," Mr. Wiens said. "We're starting to hit that same plateau with phones now."The article also shares some tips such as clearing up storage and getting your device's battery replaced -- which costs roughly $20 to $40 -- that can help you get the max out of your phone and tablet. There's one more aspect, which the aforementioned article doesn't talk about. If you have an old iDevice -- iPhone or iPad -- upgrading to the latest available version of the operating system could substantially slow it up. Not upgrading, however, exposes your device to a range of security attacks. It's a tough choice.

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Microsoft Translator App For Android Can Now Translate Text In a Photo
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 08:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's sounds-super-cool department:
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has updated its Translator app for Android to add the ability to recognize the text inside a photo. The photo, Microsoft explains, can be something that you have clicked on your phone as well as an image stored on your phone or cloud. "With this new feature in the Translator app for Android, you can translate pictures instantly from your phone, with the translation appearing in an overlay above the existing text. If you see a sign, menu, flyers, etc. you can point your phone's camera at it, and you won't have any confusion about what you're looking at. You can also translate saved images such as pictures from emails, the Internet and social media," the company wrote in a blog post. The new feature supports simplified Chinese, traditional Chinese, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Swedish, and Turkish. Additionally, the new update adds 34 languages to the list of available downloaded language packs for use when you're not connected to the Internet.

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Google's Ray Kurzweil Wants To Live Forever, and He Thinks It Includes Nanobots
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 08:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's achieving-immortality-101 department:
Reader Esther Schindler writes: Whatever else he is (author, computer scientist, inventor, futurist, Google employee), Ray Kurzweil is undeniably fascinating, with intriguing predictions about the future -- some of which might be accurate. In an interview, he discusses life extension and technology, as well as how he thinks they'll be connected. "When people talk about the future of technology, especially artificial intelligence, they very often have the common dystopian Hollywood-movie model of us versus the machines. My view is that we will use these tools as we've used all other tools -- to broaden our reach. And in this case, we'll be extending the most important attribute we have, which is our intelligence." Part of what I like is that he sees ways to use technology for good and not for evil. "By the 2030s we will have nanobots that can go into a brain non-invasively through the capillaries, connect to our neocortex and basically connect it to a synthetic neocortex that works the same way in the cloud. So we'll have an additional neocortex, just like we developed an additional neocortex 2 million years ago, and we'll use it just as we used the frontal cortex: to add additional levels of abstraction. We'll create more profound forms of communication than we're familiar with today, more profound music and funnier jokes. We'll be funnier. We'll be sexier. We'll be more adept at expressing loving sentiments."Kurzweil also thinks his diet can help him live forever. Kurzweil claims that he spends "a few thousand dollars per day" (or roughly a million dollar a year) on diet pills and eating right. According to a Financial Times report from last year, Kurzweil's breakfast includes:Berries (85 calories for a cup), Dark chocolate infused with espresso (170 calories for an ounce), Smoked salmon and mackerel (100 calories for a 3-ounce serving), Vanilla soy milk (100 calories for a cup)
< article continued at Slashdot's achieving-immortality-101 department >

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Global Warming Has Made the Weather Better For Most In US -- For Now
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 08:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's the-other-side-of-the-coin department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on LA Times: Since Americans first heard the term global warming in the 1970s, the weather has actually improved for most people living in the U.S.. But it won't always be that way, according to a new study. Research shows Americans typically -- and perhaps unsurprisingly -- like warmer winters and dislike hot, humid summers. And they reveal their weather preferences by moving to areas with conditions they like best. A new study in the journal Nature has found that 80% of the U.S. population lives in counties experiencing more pleasant weather than they did 40 years ago. "Virtually all Americans are now experiencing the much milder winters that they typically prefer, and these mild winters have not been offset by markedly more uncomfortable summers or other negative changes," writes Patrick Egan, a political scientist at New York University, and Megan Mullin, professor of environmental politics at Duke University. However, if greenhouse gas emissions continue unchecked, 88% of the current population will live in areas where the weather is less pleasant than it was before. The paper does not predict how changing weather patterns will influence migration patterns over the coming century.

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Child Porn Is Being Hidden on Legal Commercial Websites
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 07:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's watch-out department:
People who visit porn websites or search for adult pornography on the Web are facing the risk of being arrested for accessing child abuse images. The Internet Watch Foundation is warning that vicious minds are increasingly hiding criminal content on legal commercial websites, according to a report on The Guardian. The IWF found 743 websites in 2015, compared with 353 in 2013, in which child sexual abuse content was hosted on legal porn websites, and could be accessed if a special link was requested. From the report: "It has really started to become an accepted practice for the commercial side of the paedophilic community because this obfuscation technique is more effective at keeping its content live for longer," said Fred Langford, chief executive of the UK charity. Last year, the IWF found that 21% of the webpages containing illegal images and videos were commercial and those seeking to profit from the abuse were increasingly disguising it behind legal content, usually adult pornography. Langford said the trend raised the risk that people searching for adult pornography could unwittingly access child abuse images on disguised websites.

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Opera Adds Free VPN-Client With Unlimited Usage To Its Desktop Browser
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 07:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's who-doesn't-like-free-VPN-service department:
On Thursday, Opera announced that it is adding a free built-in virtual private network (VPN) client to its desktop browser. The feature, which isn't available on other popular Web browsers, will allow users to hide their IP address, unblock firewalls and access region-locked content. It will also help users protect their personal information on public Wi-Fi networks as it offers 256-bit encryption. "Everyone deserves to be private online if they want to be," Krystian Kolondra, SVP at Opera told Slashdot in a statement. "By adding a free, unlimited VPN directly into the browser, no additional download or extensions from an unknown third-party provider are necessary." The move comes a year after Opera acquired North American VPN company SurfEasy. Unlike Chrome and Firefox, which require you to use an additional third-party tool (such as an extension), Opera's VPN offering is baked in the browser. What's more, it is free and offers unlimited usage. The feature is available on Opera's Mac, Windows, and Linux clients.

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Lian-Li's Adjustable Motorized Standing Desk Is Also a High-End PC Chassis
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 05:42 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-in-one department:
MojoKid quotes a report from HotHardware: It looks as though Lian-Li took the term desktop computer a bit too literally with its new DK-04 system, which is literally a desk that doubles as an enclosure for your PC components. The DK-04 has a clean, industrial design and even has an electrically actuated height adjustment system that than can raise the desktop from a height of 30.7 inches to 46 inches at the touch of a button. The desk itself is made out of aluminum, while the desk surface is made of tempered glass so that you can get work done on top of it and admire your PC components at the same time. Speaking of which, the DK-04 supports up to 10 HDD/SDD bays and both micro-ATX and ATX motherboards. And if you're thinking about throwing in some monster graphics cards into the mix, the DK-04 will support cards up to 320mm in length. Cool air is pulled in via four front-mounted 120mm fans and hot air is exhausted via another four 120mm fans that are mounted at the back of the desk. Liquid cooling is also supported.

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Changes Are Coming To the EU's Cookie Directive, But It's Not Going Away
Posted by News Fetcher on April 21 '16 at 05:42 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's who-stole-the-cookie-from-the-cookie-jar department:
An anonymous reader writes: The European Commission is listening to suggestions regarding EU laws on privacy and electronic communications (e-Privacy), among which is also the EU Cookie Directive that has made the lives of EU Internet users a living hell. The EU Commission has started an open consultation on this topic and is inviting users and businesses to provide their opinion. From the consultation's text, which is nothing more than a survey, one could argue that the EU isn't intent on removing the directive at all, but only making small adjustments. In its current implementation, most companies ask users if they're OK with storing cookies on their PCs and then collecting their data. One of the questions the Commission asked and is currently looking for an answer is whether companies should be allowed to deny users access to a website if they don't want to accept using cookies. The EU wants Internet companies to build alternative (usable) websites for people that don't want to use cookies at all, and so respect their decision for privacy.

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