By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
The companies behind the movies "Singularity," "Once Upon a Time in
Venice," "Mechanic: Resurrection," "The Hitman's Bodyguard," "I Feel Pretty," "Boyka: Undisputed" and "Hunter Killer," accuse the alleged operators of YIFYMovies.is and YTS.am of inducing and contributing to massive piracy. From a report: "Plaintiffs bring this action to stop the massive piracy of their motion pictures brought on by websites under the collective names YIFY and YTS and their users," it reads. The case was filed last month but has thus far remained under the radar. The names of the alleged site operators are not known. They are referred to as Doe 1 and Doe 2 respectively. "Defendants DOE 1 and DOE 2 cause harm to Plaintiffs' business within this District by diverting customers in this District to unauthorized Internet based content distribution services through, at least, the websites yifymovies.is and yts.ag."
Both sites operate differently. YTS.ag, which now uses the YTS.am domain name, is a torrent site and by far the most popular of the two. YIFYMovies.is, on the other hand, allows users to stream content directly on the site. The movie companies accuse both site operators of intentional inducement of copyright infringement as well as contributory copyright infringement.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's rivalry-intensifies department
While Intel is expected to detail its upcoming 10nm processor, Ice Lake, during its Tuesday keynote here at Computex, the company is already making one bold claim -- that Ice Lake's integrated Gen11 graphics engine is on par or better than AMD's current Ryzen 7 graphics. From a report: It's a bold claim, and one that Ryan Shrout, a former journalist and now the chief performance strategist for Intel, said that Intel doesn't make lightly. "I don't think we can overstate how important this is for us, to make this claim and this statement about the one area that people railed on us for in the mobile space," Shrout said shortly before Computex began. Though Intel actually supplies the largest number of integrated graphics chipsets in the PC space, it does so on the strength of its CPU performance (and also thanks to strong relationships with laptop makers). Historically, AMD has leveraged its Radeon "Vega" GPUs to attract buyers seeking a more powerful integrated graphics solution. But what Intel is trying to do now, with its Xe discrete graphics on the horizon, is let its GPUs stand on their own merits. Referencing a series of benchmarks and games from the 3DMark Sky Diver test to Fortnite to Overwatch, Intel claims performance that's 3 to 15 percent faster than the Ryzen 7. Intel's argument is based on a comparison of a U-series Ice Lake part at 25 watts, versus a Ryzen 7 3700U, also at 25 watts.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
The University of Illinois' Gies College of Business has become the latest school to announce that it is getting out of the full-time, on-campus MBA market. From a report: Instead, Gies will focus more aggressively on its online MBA option, the $22,000 iMBA, which has seen big growth since being launched in 2015. Why is Gies giving up on its full-time MBA? For one thing, the school admits it is losing money on the program. While it may surprise many observers given how high tuition rates are for MBA programs, many of these programs are actually loss leaders or "show" programs to get a U.S. News ranking. Secondly, applications to most MBA programs have been declining for years, evidence that there is less interest in the degree.
Just look at the numbers at the University of Illinois' full-time MBA, ranked in the top 50 by U.S. News. Applications to Gies' full-time program fell to 290 this year from 386 in 2016. The school actually enrolled fewer than 50 full-time students in each of the past three years. Even when apps were nearly 100 higher in 2016, Gies was only able to enroll a class of 47 students. There are a surprising number of schools in this same predicament. They have sub-optimally sized programs that cannot support the expenses required to deliver a quality program. And that is why we have seen a number of schools drop out of the full-time MBA market. The list includes the University of Iowa, Wake Forest University, Thunderbird School of Global Management, Virginia Tech, and Simmons College.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
For nearly three weeks, Baltimore has struggled with a cyberattack by digital extortionists that has frozen thousands of computers, shut down email and disrupted real estate sales, water bills, health alerts and many other services. From a report: But here is what frustrated city employees and residents do not know: A key component of the malware that cybercriminals used in the attack was developed at taxpayer expense a short drive down the Baltimore-Washington Parkway at the National Security Agency, according to security experts briefed on the case. Since 2017, when the N.S.A. lost control of the tool, EternalBlue, it has been picked up by state hackers in North Korea, Russia and, more recently, China, to cut a path of destruction around the world, leaving billions of dollars in damage. But over the past year, the cyberweapon has boomeranged back and is now showing up in the N.S.A.'s own backyard. It is not just in Baltimore. Security experts say EternalBlue attacks have reached a high, and cybercriminals are zeroing in on vulnerable American towns and cities, from Pennsylvania to Texas, paralyzing local governments and driving up costs.
The N.S.A. connection to the attacks on American cities has not been previously reported, in part because the agency has refused to discuss or even acknowledge the loss of its cyberweapon, dumped online in April 2017 by a still-unidentified group calling itself the Shadow Brokers. Years later, the agency and the Federal Bureau of Investigation still do not know whether the Shadow Brokers are foreign spies or disgruntled insiders.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's back-at-you department
Google CEO Sundar Pichai recently said that "privacy cannot be a luxury good offered only to people who can afford to buy premium products and services," a comment that some viewed as a dig at Apple. Well, Apple's software chief, Craig Federighi, says he doesn't "buy into" the criticism that Apple is turning privacy into a luxury good. From a report: Apple wants to sell products to "everyone we possibly could," Federighi said, adding that Apple's products are "certainly not just a luxury." [...] Federighi said it's "gratifying" to see other companies discussing privacy, but that it'll take more than "a couple of months and a couple of press releases" to change these companies' business practices, which rely on data collection. Federighi didn't name Google specifically, but likewise, it's pretty clear which company he's referring to.
In the interview, Federighi also addressed two other criticisms of Apple's privacy stance: that it shouldn't be storing Chinese' users iCloud data in China, where the country could spy on it; and that its choice not to collect much user data has made it fall behind when it comes to develop AI features, like Siri. On China, Federighi suggests that storing data within the country isn't as big of a risk for Apple as it would be for other companies, because of "all of our data minimization techniques." Between encrypting data and collecting a small amount of data in the first place, Federighi says there's not much to access on its Chinese iCloud servers, and that anyone who does gain access wouldn't be able to do much with that information. Federighi also says he sees the choice between collecting data and building powerful new AI features as a "false trade off."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
China's ByteDance, owner of the popular TikTok streaming app, is taking a step into hardware to develop its own smartphone [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], Financial Times reported Monday, citing two people familiar with the project. From a report: ByteDance, whose $75bn valuation ranks it as one of the world's biggest start-ups, plans to launch a phone preloaded with its own apps -- which include newsfeeds, short video platforms and games -- in a bid to further spread its reach. The move comes as Chinese tech companies, spooked by the fallout from US bans on exports to Huawei, are ramping up their self-reliance. ByteDance is one of the few tech companies from China to boast a large user base outside its home market, including in India and the US.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
An anonymous reader shares a report: Amazon and Walmart's problems in India look set to continue after Narendra Modi, the biggest force to embrace the country's politics in decades, led his Hindu nationalist Bharatiya Janata Party to a historic landslide re-election last week, reaffirming his popularity in the eyes of the world's largest democracy. The re-election, which gives Modi's government another five years in power, will in many ways chart the path of India's burgeoning startup ecosystem, as well as the local play of Silicon Valley companies that have grown increasingly wary of recent policy changes.
At stake is also the future of India's internet, the second largest in the world. With more than 550 million internet users, the nation has emerged as one of the last great growth markets for Silicon Valley companies. Google, Facebook, and Amazon count India as one of their largest and fastest growing markets. And until late 2016, they enjoyed great dynamics with the Indian government. But in recent years, New Delhi has ordered more internet shutdowns than ever before and puzzled many over crackdowns on sometimes legitimate websites. To top that, the government recently proposed a law that would require any intermediary -- telecom operators, messaging apps, and social media services among others -- with more than 5 million users to introduce a number of changes to how they operate in the nation. Reuters adds: After Modi's win, about a dozen officials of foreign companies in India and their advisers told Reuters they hoped he would ease his stance and dilute some of the policies. Other investors hope the government will avoid sudden policy changes on investment and regulation that catch them off guard and prove very costly, urging instead industry-wide consultation that permits time to prepare.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's increasing-pressure department
AMD CEO Lisa Su today unveiled news about its chips and graphics processors that will increase pressure on competitors Intel and Nvidia, both in terms of pricing and performance. From a report: All new third-generation Ryzen CPUs, the first with 7-nanometer desktop chips, will go on sale on July 7. The showstopper of Su's keynote was the announcement of AMD's 12-core, 24-thread Ryzen 9 3900x chip, the flagship of its third-generation Ryzen family. It will retail starting at $499, half the price of Intel's competing Core i9 9920X chipset, which is priced at $1,189 and up. The 3900x has 4.6 Ghz boost speed and 70 MB of total cache and uses 105 watts of thermal design power (versus the i9 9920x's 165 watts), making it more efficient. AMD says that in a Blender demo against Intel i9-9920x, the 3900x finished about 18 percent more quickly. Starting prices for other chips in the family are $199 for the 6-core, 12-thread 3600; $329 for the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 3700x (with 4.4 Ghz boost, 36 MB of total cache and a 65 watt TDP); and $399 for the 8-core, 16-thread Ryzen 3800X (4.5 Ghz, 32MB cache, 105w).Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's more-casualties department
Restricted access to US technology is shaping up to have a big impact on Huawei. Now some Chinese software developers are wondering if the ongoing trade dispute between the US and China might soon affect them. From a report: It all revolves around US-based GitHub, the world's largest code hosting platform. Countless open source code projects are based on GitHub, allowing people from around the world to view and collaborate on projects. And as of last year, GitHub is now owned by Microsoft. The fears started when GitHub's export control rules caught the attention of China's developer community. It says that content developed on GitHub needs to comply with US export laws, including the Export Administration Regulations (EAR), the same regulations used to restrict exports to Huawei and affiliated companies.
"For developers, source code is a very important resource," said Liu Chen, director of operations for Open Source China (OSChina), which calls itself the largest open source community in China. Fears about losing access to GitHub might be overblown. Apache Software Foundation (ASF), another US-based organization that offers open source software, published an announcement on Wednesday saying that open source software and collaboration on open source code are not subject to the EAR. Nevertheless, the export control rules seen on GitHub mean some in the community remain concerned. The mere prospect of losing access to such an important aspect of their work is alarming.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
Nvidia today unveiled the tech behind new RTX Studio laptops, which can provide desktop-level computing performance for laptop users. From a report: Aimed at creators, the machines are targeted at independent artists who are fueling growing fields like social media, digital advertising, and 3D development. Nvidia says these laptops can deliver up to seven times the performance of a MacBook Pro. The 17 new laptop models from seven manufacturers, powered by a range of Nvidia GeForce and Quadro RTX graphics processing units (GPUs). The ultra-long battery life and stability when using newly developed Nvidia Studio Drivers.
The Laptops that meet the highest qualifications for creative capabilities will be badged RTX Studio. That will help creators to easily identify the right hardware to meet their demands. These Quadro and GeForce RTX-based laptops are purpose-built for GPU-accelerated content creation. The laptops feature the new Quadro RTX 5000 mobile GPU and GeForce RTX 2080, 2070 and 2060 GPUs. Quadro RTX 5000-based laptops are the world's first with 16GB of graphics memory, enabling advanced multi-app creative workflows and use of large 3D models that previously were not possible while on the go, Nvidia said. [...] RTX Studio laptops will be available starting in June from top computer makers, including Acer, Asus, Dell, Gigabyte, HP, MSI, and Razer. Pricing starts at $1,600 and will vary based on partner designs, features, and region.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's rocket-chips department
NASA will etch your name onto a silicon chip that will be carried to Mars by a rover in 2020:
An anonymous reader quotes the Verge:
The rover's primary mission is to get us closer to answering that fundamental question: did Mars ever host alien life? The robot is equipped with tools and instruments that will help scientists figure out if the planet may have hosted life in the past. On top of that, the rover will also be drilling and collecting samples of Martian dirt. It'll then leave those samples on the ground, where they could potentially be picked up someday by another spacecraft and brought back to Earth. And while the Mars 2020 rover is doing all of this, your name could be along for the ride.
If you send in your name sometime before September 30th, NASA engineers at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory will etch it onto a silicon chip with an electron beam, and then the rover will carry it on its journey. The names are going to be pretty teeny, though -- about one-thousandth the width of a human hair. That's small enough so that more than a million names can be included on a single chip as big as a dime -- but big enough for any Martian microbes to read (only kidding... Martians can't read).Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's swiping-right department
JustAnotherOldGuy shared this story from Reuters:
Early last year, Grindr LLC's Chinese owner gave some Beijing-based engineers access to personal information of millions of Americans such as private messages and HIV status, according to eight former employees, prompting U.S. officials to ask it to sell the dating app for the gay community.
Engadget explains what the concerns were about Grindr's owner, Beijing Kunlun:
Reuters sources have claimed that Beijing Kunlun triggered alarms after it gave engineers in Beijing access to Grindr's database for several months. While there wasn't evidence that the company misused the data, the tipsters believe the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) was worried that the Chinese government could comb the database to find info on US intelligence and military personnel.
Engadget says the confrontation "reflects the U.S. government's increasingly strict approach to Chinese companies -- it doesn't want even the slightest risk of China's having access to private information."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's missing-payments department
"Some student loan borrowers are packing their bags and fleeing from the U.S. to other countries, where the cost of living is often lower and debt collectors wield less power over them," reports CNBC:
Chad Haag considered living in a cave to escape his student debt. He had a friend doing it. But after some plotting, he settled on what he considered a less risky plan. This year, he relocated to a jungle in India. "I've put America behind me," Haag, 29, said. Today he lives in a concrete house in the village of Uchakkada for $50 a month. His backyard is filled with coconut trees and chickens. "I saw four elephants just yesterday," he said, adding that he hopes never to set foot in a Walmart again. More than 9,000 miles away from Colorado, Haag said, his student loans don't feel real anymore. "It's kind of like, if a tree falls in the woods and no one hears it, does it really exist?" he said...
Although there is no national data on how many people have left the United States because of student debt, borrowers tell their stories of doing so in Facebook groups and Reddit channels and how-to advice is offered on personal finance websites. "It may be an issue we see an uptick in if the trends keep up," said Barmak Nassirian, director of federal relations at the American Association of State Colleges and Universities.... Struggling borrowers should enter into one of the government's income-based repayment plans instead, in which their monthly bill will be capped at a portion of their income, he said. Some payments wind up being as little as $0 a month.
But the fact that people are taking this drastic measure should bring scrutiny to the larger student loan system, said Alan Collinge, founder of Student Loan Justice. "Any rational person who learns that people are fleeing the country as a result of their student loan debt will conclude that something has gone horribly awry with this lending system," Collinge said.
< article continued at Slashdot's missing-payments department
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By EditorDavid from Slashdot's joyless-joysticks department
Saturday the World Health Organization officially adopted the latest update to its International Classification of Diseases (ICD) -- and added "gaming disorder" to its list of modern diseases.
It's in a list of harmful behaviors which also includes too much use of "the internet, computers, smartphones."
Despite opposition from trade groups, which reportedly pointed to contradictory research on the subject and touted some of the virtues of video games, the latest ICD was officially approved at the 72nd World Health Assembly.... It's described as "a pattern of persistent or recurrent gaming behavior, which may be online or offline, manifested by impaired control over gaming, increasing priority given to gaming to the extent that gaming takes precedence over other life interests and daily activities and continuation or escalation of gaming despite the occurrence of negative consequences."
The issue of gaming addiction isn't new: The American Psychiatric Association still has it listed as up for discussion (PDF) in the latest version of its diagnostic bible, the DSM-5.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's places-using-Python department
"Learn to build quantum algorithms from the ground up with a quantum computer simulated in your browser," suggests a new online course.
"The very concept of a quantum computer can be daunting, let alone programming it, but Microsoft thinks it can offer a helping hand," reports Engadget:
Microsoft is partnering with Alphabet's X and Brilliant on an online curriculum for quantum computing. The course starts with basic concepts and gradually introduces you to Microsoft's Q# language, teaching you how to write 'simple' quantum algorithms before moving on to truly complicated scenarios. You can handle everything on the web (including quantum circuit puzzles), and there's a simulator to verify that you're on the right track.
The course "features Q# programming exercises with Python as the host language," explains Microsoft's press release.
The course's web page promises that by the end of the course, "you'll know your way around the world of quantum information, have experimented with the ins and outs of quantum circuits, and have written your first 100 lines of quantum code -- while remaining blissfully ignorant about detailed quantum physics."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's where-we're-going-we-don't-need-roads department
An anonymous reader writes:
The SFGate site reports that Elon Musk engaged in a "bizarre Twitter fight" after someone suggested underground tunnels were better for trains than cars. "Opposite is true," Musk argued. "You can have 100's of layers of tunnels, but only one layer on surface (to first approximation), therefore trains should be on surface, cars below." Underground, he noted later, "you can have as many lanes as you want going in any direction."
San Francisco transit authorities then pointed out that their high-capacity BART trains carry 28,000 people every hour through a tube under the San Francisco Bay, adding "That's nearly twice as much as cars over the bay."
This being Twitter, BART "was attacked by a number of Musk fans and other BART critics, and was forced to defend everything from the odor on cars to the amount of public money the agency receives."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's boring-stories department
An anonymous reader quotes Business Insider:
Shortly after news broke that Elon Musk's Boring Company landed its first tunnel-building project in Las Vegas, it released a video of two Teslas racing in its tunnel near Los Angeles -- one using the roads, and the other using a Boring Company tunnel. The Tesla in the tunnel took one minute and 36 seconds to get to the destination, reaching 127 mph, the video, posted early Friday, showed. The car using the roads arrived in four minutes and 45 seconds, after getting stuck at a red light. The video revealed that the Boring Company had done away with a key element of the tunnel's original design: rails that guide the car.
The video revealed that a key element of the design of the Boring Company's 1.14-mile test tunnel in Hawthorne had changed. This demonstration of the tunnel differed from earlier ones in which cars were whisked along on rails. Replying to a tweet asking whether there were no more rails and the car was driving on Autopilot, Tesla's semi-autonomous driver-assist system, Musk said, "Pretty much." When asked why the original rail system had been abandoned, Musk added, "This is simple and just works."
The automotive site Jalopnik complains this misses the dream of a vacuum-based hyperloop system transporting speedy proprietary vehicles on frictionless electrified skates:
Yes, for those keeping score, in a mere two years we've gone from a futuristic vision of electric skates zooming around a variety of vehicles in a network of underground tunnels to -- and I cannot stress this enough -- a very small, paved tunnel that can fit one (1) car.
The video's marketing conceit is that the car in the tunnel beats a car trying to go the same distance on roads. You'll never believe this, but the car that has a dedicated right of way wins... To recap: Musk's company spent two years developing a very narrow car tunnel.Read Replies (0)