By BeauHD from Slashdot's intentional-errors department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Thurrott: Microsoft started testing a new Microsoft Edge browser based on Chromium a little while ago. The company has been releasing new canary and dev builds for the browser over the last few weeks, and the preview is actually really great. But if you watch YouTube quite a lot, you will face a new problem on the new Edge. It turns out, Google has randomly disabled the modern YouTube experience for users of the new Microsoft Edge. Users are now redirected to the old YouTube experience, which lacks the modern design as well as the dark theme for YouTube, as first spotted by Gustave Monce. And when you try to manually access the new YouTube from youtube.com/new, YouTube simply asks users to download Google Chrome, stating that the Edge browser isn't supported. Ironically, the same page states "We support the latest versions of Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari, and Edge." The change affects the latest versions of Microsoft Edge Canary and Dev channels. It is worth noting that the classic Microsoft Edge based on EdgeHTML continues to work fine with the modern YouTube experience.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's next-gen-charging department
Samsung on Tuesday announced the launch of two new chips that it says will support secure, fast-charging USB-C power delivery controllers. "One of them, the SE8A, is what the company calls the industry's first solution that combines a power delivery controller and Secure Element in a single chip, offering new protections like security key storage," reports BGR. "Another result of the development of these new power delivery controllers is that Samsung's power chargers will now be able to support up to a 100W capacity: A 10x improvement over the 10W of a general smartphone charger." From the report: Samsung said the MM101 supports a symmetric encryption algorithm called the Advanced Encryption Standard that enables product authentication and includes moisture sensing capabilities to ensure safer charging conditions. The SE8A supports USB Type-C Authentication, the certificate-based authentication program for USB-C chargers and devices. "With enhanced security," Samsung explained in the announcement, "the SE8A opens possibilities for new kinds of content and services that may be exclusive to a certain brand, location or event."
Today's announcement is also significant because Samsung says the new power delivery controllers meet the most recent USB specs for fast-charging which addresses things like compatibility and efficiency challenges across mobile devices and other electronics. Those challenges can have effects like causing a device to, for example, charge slower than usual in addition to compromising the battery's life cycle.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's chase-for-cold-fusion department
According to a peer-reviewed paper revealed this week, Google is continuing its experiments into the controversial science of cold fusion -- the theory that nuclear fusion, the process that powers the Sun, can produce energy in a table-top experiment at room temperature. While Google's recent project found no evidence that cold fusion is possible, it did make some advances in measurement and materials-science techniques that the researchers say could benefit energy research. "The team also hopes that its work will inspire others to revisit cold-fusion experiments, even if the phenomenon still fails to materialize," reports Nature. From the report: The Google team explored three experimental set-ups that have been proposed to generate cold fusion -- two involving palladium and hydrogen, and one involving metallic powders and hydrogen. None foundï evidence of fusion. The results have been published across 12 papers over the past 2 years: 9 in peer-reviewed journals and 3ï on the arXiv preprint server.
In March 1989, two U.S.-based chemists Stanley Pons and Martin Fleischmann announced that they had seen excess heat and fusion-reaction products -- signs of nuclear fusion -- when they ran a current across two palladium plates in water laden with deuterium, a heavy isotope of hydrogen. Others quickly pointed out errors in their experimental procedure. Since then, two U.S. Department of Energy reviews have found no evidence of the phenomenon . But cold fusion -- now commonly referred to as low-energy nuclear reactions -- has retained a persistent following that continues to claim evidence of success. Google's $10-million project aimed to test the cold-fusion claims rigorously in a field that lacked credible scientific data, says Matthew Trevithick, a research program manager at Google. Another goal was also to push methods in challenging experimental conditions. But, he adds: "The fact that the pay-out could be huge is definitely a component of our interest.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hands-off-my-data department
Three iTunes customers have filed a lawsuit against Apple accusing the company of sending personal user data to third parties to boost its revenues. "It is alleged that Apple is selling, renting or disclosing full names, addresses, genres of music and specific titles of songs purchased on the iTunes Store app on iPhones without consent or notification," reports CNET. From the report: According to documents filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of California on Friday, Apple does this "to supplement its revenues and enhance the formidability of its brand in the eyes of mobile application developers," the lawsuit alleges. "None of the information pertaining to the music you purchase on your iPhone stays on your iPhone," the lawsuit further alleges. "While Apple profits handsomely from its unauthorized sale, rental, transmission and/or disclosure of its customers' Personal Listening Information, it does so at the expense of its customers' privacy and statutory rights."
First reported by Bloomberg, the plaintiffs -- Leigh Wheaton from Rhode Island, and Jill Paul and Trevor Paul from Michigan -- allege third parties then use this data to append several more categories, including age, gender, income, educational background and marital status. This "enhanced" data is then allegedly sold on to other third parties, the lawsuit says. The plaintiffs are representing other iTunes customers in their respective states, seeking $250 for Rhode Island class-action members under the Video, Audio, And Publication Rentals Privacy Act and $5,000 for Michigan class-action members under the Preservation of Personal Privacy Act.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's global-data-traffic department
While the United States is banning the use of Huawei equipment from its fifth-generation infrastructure, the Chinese telecommunications company is working to expand its share in the undersea cable market, which is dominated by the U.S., Europe and Japan. Nikkei Asian Review reports: About a decade ago, Huawei entered the business by setting up a joint venture with British company Global Marine Systems. It expanded its presence by laying short links in regions like Southeast Asia and the Russian Far East. But last September, Huawei surprised industry executives in Japan, the U.S. and Europe by completing a 6,000 km trans-Atlantic cable linking Brazil with Cameroon. This showed Huawei has acquired advanced capabilities, even though it is still far behind the established players in terms of experience and cable volume.
During the 2015-2020 period, Huawei is expected to complete 20 new cables -- mostly short ones of less than 1,000 km. Even when these are finished, Huawei's market share will be less than 10%. Over the long term, however, the company could emerge as a player to be reckoned with. Huawei is estimated to be involved in around 30 undersea cable projects at the moment. It also reportedly has a hand in about 60 projects to enhance cable landing stations to boost transmission capacity. The reality is, even if the U.S. succeeds in shutting out Huawei from 5G networks in major countries, the Chinese company could still thwart American efforts to maintain leadership in handling global data traffic. The report goes on to say that the U.S., Japan and Australia are working to address this potential threat. "Steps they are considering include banning Huawei from laying cables connected to one of the three countries, and urging other governments to prevent the company from getting involved in the construction of any major cables Informed sources."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Twitch-killer department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: YouTube Gaming is more or less shutting down this week. Google launched the standalone YouTube gaming vertical almost four years ago as a response to Amazon's purchase of Twitch, and on May 30, Google will shut down the standalone YouTube Gaming app and the standalone gaming.youtube.com website. The plan to shut down the gaming portal was announced in September, with a report from The Verge saying the site was dying because it simply wasn't popular. YouTube serves more than 50 billion hours of gaming content a year, but people just aren't viewing those hours through the gaming-specific site and apps. "A support page does detail some of the changes users will have to deal with, like the merging of YouTube Gaming and normal YouTube subscriptions," the report adds. "Users will also lose their list of followed games, which isn't supported on YouTube."
"Google is directing former YouTube Gaming users to a gaming sub-page on YouTube.com, which has some of the YouTube Gaming features intact, like the top live games list. On the Web, the gaming section is at YouTube.com/gaming, and you can find it in the regular YouTube app by tapping on 'trending' and then 'gaming.' Just like the standalone site, though, a normal person would be hard-pressed to discover these special interfaces."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's big-shark,-small-shark department
Two months ago, Amazon halted orders from thousands of suppliers with no explanation. Panic ensued -- until the orders quietly resumed weeks later, with Amazon suggesting the pause was part of a campaign to weed out counterfeit products. Suppliers breathed a sigh of relief. Now a larger, more permanent purge is coming that will upend the relationship between the world's largest online retailer and many of its long-time vendors, Bloomberg reported Tuesday. From the report: In the next few months, bulk orders will dry up for thousands of mostly smaller suppliers, according to three people familiar with the plan. Amazon's aim is to cut costs and focus wholesale purchasing on major brands like Procter & Gamble, Sony and Lego, the people said. That will ensure the company has adequate supplies of must-have merchandise and help it compete with the likes of Walmart, Target and Best Buy. The mom-and-pops that have long relied on Amazon for a steady stream of orders will have to learn a new way of doing business on the web store. Rather than selling in bulk directly to Amazon, they'll need to win sales one shopper at a time. It's one of the biggest shifts in Amazon's e-commerce strategy since it opened the site to independent sellers almost 20 years ago.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's elephant-in-the-room department
This week, AI experts, politicians, and CEOs will gather to ask an important question: Can the United States, China, or anyone else agree on how artificial intelligence should be used and controlled? From a report: The World Economic Forum, the international organization that brings together the world's rich and powerful to discuss global issues at Davos each year, will host the event in San Francisco. The WEF will also announce the creation of an "AI Council" designed to find common ground on policy between nations that increasingly seem at odds over the power and the potential of AI and other emerging technologies.
The issue is of paramount importance given the current geopolitical winds. AI is widely viewed as critical to national competitiveness and geopolitical advantage. The effort to find common ground is also important considering the way technology is driving a wedge between countries, especially the United States and its big economic rival, China. "Many see AI through the lens of economic and geopolitical competition," says Michael Sellitto, deputy director of the Stanford Institute for Human-Centered AI. "[They] tend to create barriers that preserve their perceived strategic advantages, in access to data or research, for example."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's for-what-it-is-worth department
Asus always likes to use its hometown trade show of Computex, which also happens to be the world's biggest computer hardware event, to show off a wide and occasionally wild lineup of new products. And it's really outdone itself this time -- the headline announcement is one of the most decadent laptops ever created. From a report: The ZenBook Pro Duo has not one, but two 4K screens. (At least if you're counting horizontal pixels.) There's a 15-inch 16:9 OLED panel where you'd normally find the display on a laptop, then a 32:9 IPS "ScreenPad Plus" screen directly above the keyboard that's the same width and half the height. It's as if Asus looked at the MacBook Pro Touch Bar and thought "what if that, but with 32 times as many pixels?"
Unlike the Touch Bar, though, the ScreenPad Plus doesn't take anything away from the ZenBook Pro Duo, except presumably battery life. Asus still included a full-sized keyboard with a function row, including an escape key, and the trackpad is located directly to the right. The design is very reminiscent of Asus' Zephryus slimline gaming laptops -- you even still get the light-up etching that lets you use the trackpad as a numpad. [...] Asus has built some software for the ScreenPad Plus that makes it more of a secondary control panel, but you can also use it as a full-on monitor, or even two if you want to split it into two smaller 16:9 1080p windows. [...] No word on pricing yet.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Few home-grown Google products have been as successful as Chrome. Launched in 2008, it has more than 63% of the market and about 70% on desktop computers, according to StatCounter data. Mozilla's Firefox is far behind, while Apple's Safari is the default browser for iPhones. Microsoft's Internet Explorer and Edge browsers are punchlines. From a report: Google won by offering consumers a fast, customizable browser for free, while embracing open web standards. Now that Chrome is the clear leader, it controls how the standards are set. That's sparking concern Google is using the browser and its Chromium open-source underpinnings to elbow out online competitors and tilt entire industries in its favor. Most major browsers are now built on the Chromium software code base that Google maintains. Opera, an indie browser that's been used by techies for years, swapped its code base for Chromium in 2013. Even Microsoft is making the switch this year. That creates a snowball effect, where fewer web developers build for niche browsers, leading those browsers to switch over to Chromium to avoid getting left behind.
This leaves Chrome's competitors relying on Google employees who do most of the work to keep Chromium software code up to date. Chromium is open source, so anyone can suggest changes to it, but the majority of programmers who approve contributions are Google employees, and any major disagreements get settled by a small circle of senior Google employees. Chrome is so ascendant these days that web developers often don't bother to test their sites on competing browsers. Google services including YouTube, Docs and Gmail sometimes don't work as well on rival browsers, sending frustrated users to Chrome. Instead of just another ship slicing through the sea of the web, Chrome is becoming the ocean.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's not-my-problem department
Malaysia will return 450 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste to the countries that shipped it, in a refusal to become a dumping ground for the world's trash. From a report: Nine shipping containers at Port Klang, west of Kuala Lumpur, on Tuesday were found to contain mislabeled plastic and non-recyclable waste, including a mixture of household and e-waste. Yeo Bee Yin, minister of energy, science, technology, environment and climate change, said the plastic was shipped from the US, the UK, Australia, Japan, China, Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Singapore. Five containers of waste were returned to Spain last month.
On April 24, Malaysia launched a joint task force to crack down on the growing problem of illegal plastic waste imports. The authorities have since carried out 10 operations. Last year, China banned plastic waste imports as part of an initiative to clean up its environment. That move caused a ripple effect through global supply chains, as middlemen sought new destinations for their trash, including Malaysia. A recent Greenpeace report found that during the first seven months of 2018, plastic waste exported from the US to Malaysia more than doubled compared to the previous year.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
Amidst an escalating trade war and political tensions with the US, Beijing officials have decided to develop a custom operating system that will replace the Windows OS on computers used by the Chinese military. From a report: The decision, while not made official through the government's normal press channels, was reported earlier this month by Canada-based military magazine Kanwa Asian Defence. Per the magazine, Chinese military officials won't be jumping ship from Windows to Linux but will develop a custom OS. Thanks to the Snowden, Shadow Brokers, and Vault7 leaks, Beijing officials are well aware of the US' hefty arsenal of hacking tools, available for anything from smart TVs to Linux servers, and from routers to common desktop operating systems, such as Windows and Mac. Since these leaks have revealed that the US can hack into almost anything, the Chinese government's plan is to adopt a "security by obscurity" approach and run a custom operating system that will make it harder for foreign threat actors -- mainly the US -- to spy on Chinese military operations.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's growing-problem department
In all likelihood, the enduring physical legacy of China's internet boom will not be the glass-and-steel office complexes or the fancy apartments for tech elites. It will be the plastic. From a report: The astronomical growth of food delivery apps in China is flooding the country with takeout containers, utensils and bags. And the country's patchy recycling system isn't keeping up. The vast majority of this plastic ends up discarded, buried or burned with the rest of the trash, researchers and recyclers say. Scientists estimate that the online takeout business in China was responsible for 1.6 million tons of packaging waste in 2017, a ninefold jump from two years before. That includes 1.2 million tons of plastic containers, 175,000 tons of disposable chopsticks, 164,000 tons of plastic bags and 44,000 tons of plastic spoons.
Put together, it is more than the amount of residential and commercial trash of all kinds disposed of each year by the city of Philadelphia. The total for 2018 grew to an estimated two million tons. People in China still generate less plastic waste, per capita, than Americans. But researchers estimate that nearly three-quarters of China's plastic waste ends up in inadequately managed landfills or out in the open, where it can easily make its way into the sea. More plastic enters the world's oceans from China than from any other country. Plastic can take centuries to break down undersea.Read Replies (0)