By msmash from Slashdot's processor-war department
At its Data-Centric Innovation Day, Intel today announced its Cascade Lake line of Xeon Scalable data center processors. From a report: The second-generation lineup of Xeon Scalable processors comes in 53 flavors that span up to 56 cores and 12 memory channels per chip, but as a reminder that Intel company is briskly expanding beyond "just" processors, the company also announced the final arrival of its Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs along with a range of new data center SSDs, Ethernet controllers, 10nm Agilex FPGAs, and Xeon D processors. This broad spectrum of products leverages Intel's overwhelming presence in the data center, it currently occupies ~95% of the worlds server sockets, as a springboard to chew into other markets, including its new assault on the memory space with the Optane DC Persistent Memory DIMMs. The long-awaited DIMMs open a new market for Intel and have the potential to disrupt the entire memory hierarchy, but also serve as a potentially key component that can help the company fend off AMD's coming 7nm EPYC Rome processors.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's duh department
Apple has released the fifth-generation iPad Mini. So, of course, the repair experts at iFixit needed to tear it apart. From a report: The new 7.9 inch tablet, launched two weeks ago, sticks to its roots as a revamp of the iPad Mini 4, according to iFixit's teardown published Tuesday. One notable change is the battery connector design, which could prevent people trying to fix a device from accidentally killing the backlight during a repair, according to iFixit. The iFixit team calls this tweak "nifty!"
iFixit also noted that both the screen and battery are difficult to remove. The removal of the display, in particular, if not done carefully, could compromise the Touch ID technology. "Battery and screen replacements are the two most common repairs, and the iPad Mini makes both unnecessarily difficult," iFixit said. "The battery lacks pull-to-remove adhesive tabs, and the display requires a tricky removal of the home button if you want to keep Touch ID after your repair."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's show-me-the-money department
Proposals to change recommendations and curb conspiracies on YouTube were sacrificed for engagement, Bloomberg reported Monday, citing Google employees. From the report: In recent years, scores of people inside YouTube and Google, its owner, raised concerns about the mass of false, incendiary and toxic content that the world's largest video site surfaced and spread. One employee wanted to flag troubling videos, which fell just short of the hate speech rules, and stop recommending them to viewers. Another wanted to track these videos in a spreadsheet to chart their popularity. A third, fretful of the spread of "alt-right" video bloggers, created an internal vertical that showed just how popular they were. Each time they got the same basic response: Don't rock the boat.
The company spent years chasing one business goal above others: "Engagement," a measure of the views, time spent and interactions with online videos. Conversations with over twenty people who work at, or recently left, YouTube reveal a corporate leadership unable or unwilling to act on these internal alarms for fear of throttling engagement. Wojcicki would "never put her fingers on the scale," said one person who worked for her. "Her view was, 'My job is to run the company, not deal with this.'"Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's further-expansion department
Twelve years after its inception, Readdle is finally venturing beyond Apple's ecosystem with the launch today of its Spark email app for Android. This comes on the heels of Google killing its own popular Inbox email app. From a report: Spark's Android app -- like its iOS and macOS incarnations -- includes three key selling points: It is free for individual users, does not serve ads, and offers a host of features aimed at power users. Plus, it supports all major email providers, including Google, Microsoft, Yahoo, and Apple. Spark for Android, like the now defunct Inbox app, sorts emails -- prioritizing more important messages to help you reach "inbox zero." It offers options to snooze an email and to schedule when an email should go out. You can also pin emails so that it is easier to find them later and get reminders to follow up on previous conversations. Advanced search functionality lets you use conversational keywords to find things like that PDF file your boss sent last week. So how exactly does the Ukrainian-headquartered company make money? Readdle offers a paid version of Spark that is aimed at small to medium-sized teams and enterprises.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department
Air passengers at a growing number of U.S. airports will no longer need to remove electronics, liquids, and other items from their carry-on luggage at security checkpoints as the Transportation Security Administration rolls out new technology. From a report: The TSA took a major step in a broader plan to revamp its overall screening process with faster, more advanced technology when it signed a contract Thursday for hundreds of new carry-on baggage screening machines, Administrator David Pekoske said on a press call Friday. The agency has tested the new technology at more than a dozen airports since 2017, along with the relaxed protocols that allow passengers to leave items such as laptops and toiletries inside their luggage. The rollout of the computed tomography, or CT, machines will begin this summer, Pekoske said. The $97 million contract will buy 300 machines, but the list of airports receiving them has yet to be made final, Pekoske said. The technology creates 3-D images of bags' contents and will eventually be able to detect items automatically that the TSA now asks passengers to remove, he said.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Brian Fagioli, reporting for BetaNews: Today should be happy times for the Linux Mint community, as we finally learn some new details about the upcoming version 19.2! It will be based on Ubuntu 18.04 and once again feature three desktop environments -- Xfce, Mate, and Cinnamon. We even found out the code name for Linux Mint 19.2 -- "Tina." And yet, it is hard to celebrate. Why? Because the developers seem to be depressed and defeated. They even appear to be a bit disenchanted with Free Software development overall. Clement Lefebvre, leader of the Linux Mint project, shared a very lengthy blog post today, and it really made me sad.
He wrote, "For a team to work, developers need to feel like heroes. They want the same things as users, they are users, they were 'only' users to start with. At some stage they decide to get involved and they start investing time, efforts and emotions into improving our project. What they're looking for the most is support and happiness. They need feedback and information to understand bugs or feature requests and when they're done implementing something, they need to feel like heroes, they literally do, that's part of the reason they're here really." Upon publication of the article, Jason Hicks, Muffin maintainer and member of the Linux Mint team, corroborated the claims made by others.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's leading-the-way department
The Norwegian Road Federation (NRF) said on Monday that almost 60 percent of all new cars sold in the country last month were fully electric, "a global record as the country seeks to end fossil-fueled vehicles sales by 2025," reports Reuters. From the report: Exempting battery engines from taxes imposed on diesel and petrol cars has upended Norway's auto market, elevating brands like Tesla and Nissan, with its Leaf model, while hurting sales of Toyota, Daimler and others. In 2018, Norway's fully electric car sales rose to a record 31.2 percent market share from 20.8 percent in 2017, far ahead of any other nation, and buyers had to wait as producers struggled to keep up with demand.
The surge of electric cars to a 58.4 percent market share in March came as Tesla ramped up delivery of its mid-sized Model 3, which retails from 442,000 crowns ($51,400), while Audi began deliveries of its 652,000-crowns e-tron sports utility vehicle. The sales figures consolidate Norway's global lead in electric car sales per capita, part of an attempt by Western Europe's biggest producer of oil and gas to transform to a greener economy.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's gotta-love-science department
According to a new study published in the journal Acta Tropica, listening to electronic music -- specifically dubstep, produced by U.S. artist Skrillex -- could protect against mosquito bites. The BBC reports: Sound is "crucial for reproduction, survival, and population maintenance of many animals," says a team of international scientists specializing in mosquitoes and the diseases they carry. They subjected adults of the species Aedes aegypti, known as the yellow fever mosquito, to electronic music to see whether it could work as a repellent. Scary Monsters And Nice Sprites, a track by Skrillex which features on his Grammy-award winning album of the same name, was chosen because of its mix of very high and very low frequencies.
"In insects, low-frequency vibrations facilitate sexual interactions, whereas noise disrupts the perception of signals from conspecifics [members of the same species] and hosts," the scientists said. Female adult mosquitoes were "entertained" by the track and attacked hosts later and less often than those in a dubstep-free environment. Scientists said "the occurrence of blood feeding activity was lower when music was being played." The scientists also found that mosquitoes exposed to the song had sex "far less often" than mosquitoes without music. "The observation that such music can delay host attack, reduce blood feeding, and disrupt mating provides new avenues for the development of music-based personal protective and control measures against Aedes-borne diseases."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBC.ca: Canada is, on average, experiencing warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world, with Northern Canada heating up at almost three times the global average, according to a new government report. Entitled "Canada's Changing Climate Report (CCCR)," the study was commissioned by the Environment and Climate Change Department and was slated to be released officially on Tuesday. That release date was moved up to Monday after CBC published its story about the leaked report.
The leaked copy of the report says that since 1948, Canada's annual average temperature over land has warmed 1.7 C, with higher rates seen in the North, the Prairies and northern British Columbia. In Northern Canada, the annual average temperature has increased by 2.3 C. According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), since 1948, global average temperatures have increased by about 0.8 C. Along with these temperature increases, the CCCR says Canada is experiencing increases in precipitation (particularly in winter), "extreme fire weather" and water supply shortages in summer, and a heightened risk of coastal flooding. The document says that while warming in Canada has been the result of both human activity and natural variations in the climate, "the human factor is dominant," especially emissions of greenhouse gases.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's better-safe-than-sorry department
Taiwan is blocking video streaming services of Chinese tech giants Baidu and Tencent Holdings, citing national security and propaganda concerns ahead of a presidential election next year. "Chiu Chui-Cheng, deputy minister of Taiwan's Mainland Affairs Council, [said] that Taiwan is likely to ban Baidu's popular iQiyi platform, and block Tencent's plan to bring its streaming service to the island later this year," Nikkei Asian Review reports. From the report: "We are concerned that streaming media services that have close ties with Beijing could have cultural and political influences in Taiwan... and even affect Taiwan's elections," Chiu said. "If Tencent's streaming video service is trying to enter the Taiwanese market, it's very likely that it's a part of Beijing's propaganda campaign," he said. "What if the company inserts some content that Beijing hopes to advertise? What if it implements messages linked to the Communist Party or its army? We should treat this seriously and carefully at a national security level."
The official said that Beijing has stepped up its "cultural infiltration" into Taiwan after Chinese President Xi Jinping used a speech in January to push for an accelerated reunification process. Taiwan does not allow any Chinese Netflix-like streaming services to operate locally, but search engine giant Baidu has been operating in Taiwan through an agent, OTT Entertainment, after Taipei blocked the platform in November 2016. The company's data shows iQiyi's Taiwan site -- one of the most popular video streaming platforms on the island, has 2 million active daily users.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's steady-as-she-goes department
At SUSECon in Nashville, Tennessee, European Linux power SUSE CEO Nils Brauckmann said his company would soon be the largest independent Linux company. "That's because, of course, IBM is acquiring Red Hat," reports ZDNet.
"But, simultaneously, SUSE has continued to grow for seven-straight years." From the report: Brauckmann said, "We believe that makes our status as a truly independent open source company more important than ever. Our genuinely open-source solutions, flexible business practices, lack of enforced vendor lock-in, and exceptional service are more critical to customer and partner organizations, and our independence coincides with our single-minded focus on delivering what is best for them." Practically speaking, SUSE has been growing by focusing on delivering high-quality Linux and open-source programs and services to enterprise customers. Looking ahead Brauckmann said, "SUSE is better positioned to bring more innovation to customers and partners faster through both organic growth and acquisitions, keeping us on track to provide them with the open solutions that keep them ahead with their own customers in their own markets. We continue to adapt so our customers and partners can succeed."
Last year SUSE's revenue grew by 15 percent in fiscal year 2018, and the business is about to surpass the $400 million revenue mark for the first time. SUSE, which sees not quite half of its business in Europe, is also seeing revenue growth around the world. North America, for example, now accounts for almost 40 percent of SUSE's revenues. The company is also expanding. SUSE added more than 300 employees in the last 12 months. For the most part this has been in engineering followed by sales and services. SUSE staff is now approaching 1,750 globally and its plans on continuing to hire aggressively.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's green-lit department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The FTC can punish U.S. companies for unfair or deceptive practices. But in regard to net neutrality, this simply means that ISPs must disclose any behavior that would have violated the old net neutrality rules. "Under Section 5 of the FTC Act, we may prosecute unfair or deceptive acts or practices... Simply stated, we have a strong interest in ensuring that companies stand by their promises to consumers," FTC Chairman Joseph Simons said. The FTC would review whether ISPs keep their promises just as it reviews whether other companies keep their promises. "We would review ISPs' activities in the same way," Simons said. "For example, we could take action against ISPs if they block applications without adequately disclosing those practices or mislead consumers about what applications they block or how."
How would the FTC handle throttling of websites or online services? Simons explained: "To determine whether particular instances of throttling are deceptive, we would first evaluate what claims an ISP made to consumers about their services and how those claims are supported. We would look closely at any relevant research and evaluate the study's design, scope, and results and consider how a study relates to a particular claim. To evaluate whether a practice was unfair, we would consider whether the alleged throttling had countervailing benefits and whether there were reasonable steps consumers could have taken to avoid it. We would also consider consumer injury, the number of consumers affected, and the need to prevent future misconduct."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's where-things-are-going department
An anonymous reader shared a report: It took quite some time for Windows 10 to overtake Windows 7, but it finally did it in December 2018, at least according to NetMarketShare's figures. In February however, Windows 10 actually lost share, while Windows 7 gained some, narrowing the gap between the two operating systems once more. In March though, roles were reversed, as Windows 10 made some big gains, and Windows 7 lost a sizable chunk of its share. In the month just gone, NetMarketShare shows Windows 10 going from 40.30 percent to 43.62 percent, a big gain of 3.32 percentage points. There is currently a gap of 7.11 percentage points between Windows 10 and Windows 7.Read Replies (0)