By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department
Microsoft is unveiling a number of new features for its upcoming Edge Chromium browser today. From a report: The first big addition is a new "IE Mode" for Edge that will allow businesses to load old sites directly in the new Edge Chromium browser, using the Internet Explorer rendering engine. Microsoft is building IE directly into Edge for this purpose, so businesses aren't forced to directly use IE for ancient internal sites. "What we're going to do is make this totally seamless," explains Microsoft's Joe Belfiore, in an interview with The Verge. Currently, the existing version of Edge will open Internet Explorer 11 on Windows 10, which has a separate interface, favorites, and doesn't work well on modern websites. This new IE mode literally loads the content within Edge, so you'd never be able to tell the difference, apart from a small IE logo on the tab that indicates that this mode has been enabled.
This new IE mode is designed exclusively for businesses, and Belfiore admits it's a big pitch to get them to use Edge Chromium instead of a combination of Chrome and Internet Explorer. "We've got a browser for you that updates regularly that will go on Windows 7 and the Mac that handles things like IT customization of the New Tab page and Microsoft Search, and IE built-in," says Belfiore. Microsoft is also allowing businesses to customize the New Tab page for Edge Chromium. This will involve a custom company logo, the option to load some sites into the top tabs, and integration with Microsoft Search and Office 365.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's growing-tension department
For the first time, Israel has used brute military force to respond to a Hamas cyberattack, three years after NATO proclaimed "cyber" an official battlefield in modern warfare. From a report: The "bomb-back" response took place on Saturday when Israel Defense Forces (IDF) launched an air strike against a building in the Gaza Strip. They claimed it housed Hamas cyber operatives, which had been engaging in a cyberattack against Israel's "cyberspace." "We were ahead of them all the time," said Brigadier General D., the head of the IDF's cyber defense division. "The moment they tried to do something, they failed." Israeli officials did not disclose any details about the Hamas cyberattack; however, they said they first stopped the attack online, and only then responded with an air strike. "After dealing with the cyber dimension, the Air Force dealt with it in the physical dimension," said IDF spokesperson, Brig. Gen. Ronen Manlis. "At this point in time, Hamas has no cyber operational capabilities."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's good-intentions department
"Facebook knew there was a problem when a string of people used the platform to publicly broadcast their suicides in real time," reports Business Insider, raising questions about what the company has done since:
Facebook has a suicide-monitoring tool that uses machine learning to identify posts that may indicate someone is at risk of killing themselves. The tool was involved in sending emergency responders to locations more than 3,500 times as of last fall. A Harvard psychiatrist is worried the tool could worsen health problems by homing in on the wrong people or escalating mental-health crises... "We as the public are partaking in this grand experiment, but we don't know if it's useful or not," Harvard psychiatrist and tech consultant John Torous told Business Insider last week....
Without public information on the tool, Torous said big questions about Facebook's suicide-monitoring tool are impossible to answer... "It's one thing for an academic or a company to say this will or won't work. But you're not seeing any on-the-ground peer-reviewed evidence," Torous said. "It's concerning. It kind of has that Theranos feel...." Because of privacy issues, emergency responders can't tell Facebook what happened at the scene of a potential suicide, said Antigone Davis, Facebook's global head of safety. In other words, emergency responders can't tell Facebook if they reached the scene too late to stop a death, showed up to the wrong place, or arrived only to learn there was no real problem.
< article continued at Slashdot's good-intentions department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's fourth-time's-a-charm department
The International Space Station tweeted Sunday that a SpaceX Dragon cargo craft was expected to arrive early Monday morning. "Get up early and catch live coverage of the rendezvous and capture on nasa.gov/live beginning at 5:30 a.m. EDT."
But Teslarati reports that there's also good news about its booster rocket:
SpaceX has safely returned Falcon 9 booster B1056 to port and lifted the rocket ashore after successfully supporting Cargo Dragon's 18th mission to the International Space Station. B1056's safe return is by no means a surprise, but it is still a relief after mild issues caused Falcon Heavy center core B1055 to topple over just a few weeks prior. SpaceX's robotic "Octagrabber" was visibly attached to newest Falcon 9 booster, taking advantage of compatibility not available to the Falcon Heavy core. According to NASA and SpaceX, the booster's recovery was weighing on the minds of both stakeholders thanks to interest in reusing B1056 on future Cargo Dragon launches....
SpaceX VP of Flight Reliability Hans Koenigsmann noted that SpaceX is moving to a concept of operations where booster recovery is just as important and just as necessary as any other technical aspect of launch. In other words, when SpaceX drone ship Of Course I Still Love You suffered a rare hardware failure that hobbled its redundant power supplies, NASA had no qualms with the company's decision to scrub the launch attempt. In fact, confirming educated speculation previously published on Teslarati, NASA had a "vested interest" in the successful recovery of B1056. According to NASA ISS manager Kenny Todd's comments, NASA unequivocally wants SpaceX to fly its next Cargo Dragon mission -- CRS-18, NET mid-July -- on the newly flight-proven booster. NASA is even open to flying on B1056 for a third time on CRS-19, pending the condition and availability of the booster.
< article continued at Slashdot's fourth-time's-a-charm department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's plane-truth department
"When Boeing began delivering its 737 Max to customers in 2017, the company believed that a key cockpit warning light was a standard feature in all of the new jets. But months after the planes were flying, company engineers realized that the warning light worked only on planes whose customers had bought a different, optional indicator," reports the New York Times.
"In essence, that meant a safety feature that Boeing thought was standard was actually a premium add-on.... Because only 20 percent of customers had purchased the optional indicator, the warning light was not working on most of Boeing's new jets."
An anonymous reader quotes their report:
After discovering the lapse in 2017, Boeing performed an internal review and determined that the lack of a working warning light "did not adversely impact airplane safety or operation," it said in its statement. As a result, Boeing said it did not inform airlines or the Federal Aviation Administration about the mistake for a year. Only after the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 last October did Boeing discuss the matter with the F.A.A. The company then conducted another review and again found the missing alert did not pose a safety threat, and told the F.A.A. as much...
Boeing detailed its initial confusion about the warning light in a statement released on Sunday, adding new details to what was already known about the flawed design and introduction of the 737 Max, its best-selling jetliner. The initial lack of knowledge about the feature's functionality, along with the delayed disclosure, add to the concern about Boeing's management of the Max's design... This light could have provided critical information to the pilots on two flights that crashed shortly after takeoff in recent months.
Boeing also apparently told pilots in one meeting that their alert would work on the ground before takeoff, so pilots would have time to abort the takeoff, according to the Times.
< article continued at Slashdot's plane-truth department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's buyers-beware department
dryriver asks a philosophical question:
The producer of a tech product -- thanks to internet data mining -- may know all sorts of things about me, the buyer of a product. Gender, age, income level, education level, profession, geolocation, what I read online, who my social media friends are, what interests me intellectually, which way I swing politically, and more. For a few dollars spent, I am no "mystery" to the producer of this tech product.
But if I were to ask the producer of the product simple questions like "How much did the GPU component in this laptop you are selling me cost you?" or "What portion of the final asking price of this product is profit that goes to you?" I likely wouldn't get an answer. Information asymmetry is at play now -- the producing party in the buying transaction knows far, far more about me than I can possibly know about the producing party. And unlike the producing party, I cannot simply open my wallet and purchase "data mined information" about the producing party. Company secrets are company secrets. The "info buying" works in one direction only.
Is it a good thing for consumers that this "information asymmetry" exists in the first place? That pretty much any tech producer can learn about me with a few bucks spent, but I cannot get simple information like "How much did the Nvidia 1060 Mobile GPU in this 1,200 Dollar notebook cost the producer"?
Anyone have an answer? Leave your own thoughts in the comments. Is this information asymmetry between producers and consumers good?Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Fire-fix department
An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
"Mozilla on Sunday began distributing new Firefox updates to fix a problem that broke extensions for many browser users on Friday," reports CNET:
Mozilla had released an update Saturday, but Sunday's fix should help more people who were still affected. "There are some issues we're still working on, but we wanted to get this release out and get your add-ons back up & running before Monday," Mozilla said in a tweet Sunday...
"No active steps need to be taken to make add-ons work again. In particular, please do not delete and/or reinstall any add-ons as an attempt to fix the issue," Kev Needham, Mozilla's product manager for add-ons, said in a blog post about the problem.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's achievement-unlocked department
Days after Mortal Kombat was inducted into the World Videogame Hall of Fame, multiple sources at its creator (Warner Bros Interactive studio NetherRealm) are alleging a toxic workplace with 100-hour workweeks, Variety reports, citing seven current and former full-time employees and contractors:
Reports of low pay and the crunch of extreme overtime as workers tried to finish the game on time initially surfaced about NetherRealm Studios on social media earlier in April, but those issues appear to be symptomatic of a long-term poisonous work culture at the studio, according to seven people who spoke to Variety -- five of whom asked that their names not be used for fear of reprisals... The common thread among all the sources was that they said they felt the pressure to work long hours came with the threat of being replaced or denied a chance at a more... One current employee said that he and others at the studio have been working 60 to 70 hours per week, seven days a week since January. While he said various factors are to blame for the crunch, such as poor communication and mismanagement, he cited a January marketing event for "Mortal Kombat 11," called MK Day, which put the studio behind significantly...
< article continued at Slashdot's achievement-unlocked department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's loves-me-not department
This week Facebook announced a new feature that let's you tell the service that you have a "secret crush" on up to nine Facebook friends, reports the Bay Area News Group:
Facebook will send you a notification if a person has added you as one of their secret crushes. However, you don't get to know who that person is unless you happened to have put them on your crush list. At that point, Facebook -- because it really does know everything about everything you do at all times -- will then match you together and reveal your crushed to one another. You also have to be signed up for a Facebook Dating profile in order to get the crush notifications....
Facebook Dating and Secret Crush won't be available in America until later this year. But if you live in Canada, Mexico, Argentina or 16 other countries... well, you can let the crushing begin now.
The Guardian describes it as "harking back to Facebook's humble beginnings as a tool for ranking strangers' attractiveness... Or you could always, you know, try telling them in person." And other sites also gave the feature a negative review. BGR says Facebook's new feature "isn't cute, it's creepy," adding "it would be foolish to trust the company with even more sensitive data about yourself."
But the harshest response came from Mashable, which writes that "the whole point of a secret crush is obviously to keep it a secret. The term really could not be clearer." They call Facebook's proposed solution "truly, madly, deeply sad... We as a society rely on tech for so much, but we shouldn't rely on it for declarations of love. We have to be braver than that."
Or, in the words of one Twitter user, "this is dumb as shit just tell them you like them cowards."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's more-meat department
"As Africans get richer, they will eat more meat and live longer, healthier lives," writes the Economist.
PolygamousRanchKid shares their report:
In the decade to 2017 global meat consumption rose by an average of 1.9% a year and fresh dairy consumption by 2.1% -- both about twice as fast as population growth. Almost four-fifths of all agricultural land is dedicated to feeding livestock, if you count not just pasture but also cropland used to grow animal feed... It is largely through eating more pork and dairy that Chinese diets have come to resemble Western ones, rich in protein and fat. And it is mostly because their diets have altered that Chinese people have changed shape. The average 12-year-old urban boy was nine centimetres taller in 2010 than in 1985, the average girl seven centimetres taller. Boys in particular have also grown fatter...
The shift from pork to beef in the world's most populous country is bad news for the environment. Because pigs require no pasture, and are efficient at converting feed into flesh, pork is among the greenest of meats. Cattle are usually much less efficient, although they can be farmed in different ways. And because cows are ruminants, they belch methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. A study of American farm data in 2014 estimated that, calorie for calorie, beef production requires three times as much animal feed as pork production and produces almost five times as much greenhouse gases. Other estimates suggest it uses two and a half times as much water...
< article continued at Slashdot's more-meat department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's meaty-investments department
"Investors have a big appetite for fake meat," writes the Associated Press.
The shares of Beyond Meat, the purveyor of plant-based burgers and sausages, more than doubled Thursday in its Nasdaq debut. It's the first pure-play maker of vegan "meat" to go public, according to Renaissance Capital, which researches and tracks IPOs. Beyond Meat raised about $240 million selling 9.6 million shares at $25 each. Those shares rose 163 percent to close at $65.75.
The 10-year-old company has attracted celebrity investors like Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates and actor Leonardo DiCaprio and buzz for placing its products in burger joints like Carl's Jr. It sells to 30,000 grocery stores, restaurants and schools in the U.S., Canada, Italy, the United Kingdom and Israel... Still, Beyond Meat has never made an annual profit, losing $30 million last year. It's also facing serious competition from other "new meat" companies like Impossible Foods and traditional players like Tyson Foods Inc. Tyson recently sold a stake in Beyond Meat because it plans to develop its own alternative meat.
The IPO comes amid growing consumer interest in plant-based foods for their presumed health and environmental benefits. U.S. sales of plant-based meats jumped 42 percent between March 2016 and March 2019 to a total of $888 million, according to Nielsen. Traditional meat sales rose 1 percent to $85 billion in that same time frame. The trend is a global one. U.K. sales of meat alternatives jumped 18 percent over the last year, while sales of traditional meat and poultry slid 2 percent... The company says a plant-based burger takes 99 percent less water and 93 percent less land to produce than a beef burger, and generates 90 percent fewer greenhouse gas emissions.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's (F)ear-(U)ncertainty-(D)oubt department
Long-time Slashdot reader chicksdaddy writes:
Some of the world's leading cybersecurity experts have come together to counter electronics and technology industry efforts to paint proposed right to repair laws in 20 states as a cyber security risk.
The experts have launched securepairs.org, a group that is galvanizing information security industry support for right to repair laws that are being debated in state capitols.
Among the experts who are stepping forward is a who's who of the information security space, including cryptography experts Bruce Schneier of IBM and Harvard University and Jon Callas of ACLU, secure coding gurus Gary McGraw of Cigital and Chris Wysopal of Veracode, bug bounty pioneer Katie Moussouris of Luta Security, hardware hackers Joe Grand (aka KingPin) and Billy Rios of Whitescope, nmap creator Gordon "Fyodor" Lyon, Johannes Ullrich of SANS Internet Storm Center and Dan Geer, the CISO of In-Q-Tel. Together, they are calling out electronics and technology industry efforts to keep replacement parts, documentation and diagnostic tools for digital devices secret in the name of cyber security.
"False and misleading information about the cyber risks of repair is being directed at state legislators who are considering right to repair laws," said Paul Roberts, the founder of securepairs.org and Editor in Chief at The Security Ledger, an independent cyber security blog. "Securepairs.org is a voice of reason that will provide policy makers with accurate information about the security problems plaguing connected devices. We will make the case that right to repair laws will bring about a more secure, not less secure future."
"As cyber security professionals, we have a responsibility to provide accurate information and reliable advice to lawmakers who are considering Right to Repair laws," said Joe Grand of Grand Idea Studio, a hardware hacker and embedded systems security expert.
< article continued at Slashdot's (F)ear-(U)ncertainty-(D)oubt department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's threat-vectors department
Dan Drollette calls our attention to America's Strategic National Stockpile for Biodefense, "a little-publicized $7 billion federal agency...key to defending the country from a biological attack."
"Its operators have to prepare for the unthinkable, such as what to do if 100,000 cases of some new disease with pandemic potential appears -- what global health officials have sometimes dubbed 'Disease X.'"
From the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists:
[O]ne of the most surprising features about the stockpile is that in all likelihood, it is probably incomplete. The reason for this is that although the stockpile includes what are presumed to be the best medical countermeasures for a broad range of potential biothreats -- we don't know the exact inventory because the identity of the contents are closely held -- there is an even broader range of potential biothreat agents that an adversary could use in an attack. And stockpiling countermeasures for every conceivable individual agent is currently not feasible because countermeasures for some biothreat agents do not even exist yet -- and even if they did, the continuous maintenance of copious countermeasures may not be logistically or financially feasible. There is also the possibility that an adversary could select or engineer an agent that is simply resistant to all-known medications.
< article continued at Slashdot's threat-vectors department
>Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's charges-about-charging department
"A new report by Which?, an advocacy group in the United Kingdom, found that Apple and HTC both overstate battery life on smartphones, sometimes 'significantly'..." reports Hot Hardware.
"In stark contrast, Nokia, Samsung, and Sony all underestimate or are conservative about battery life with the phones that were tested, based on the organization's methods."
"Which? tested nine iPhone models and found that all of them fell short of Apple's battery time claims. In fact, Apple stated that its batteries lasted between 18 percent and 51 percent longer than the Which? results," Which? said. The biggest discrepancy belonged to the iPhone XR, one of Apple's newest generation handsets... Apple claims that the iPhone XR has a talk time of up to 25 hours. However, Which? found that the battery lasted for 16 hours and 32 minutes during its own talk time tests. Apple's rated metric is 51 percent higher...
It seems clear that Which? is using a different method of testing than the manufacturers, but the disparity does not always work against the phone makers. For example, Which? found that Sony's devices lasted 21 percent longer than the manufacturer's own talk time battery life claims.
HTC cited "differences in setup and testing environments" that could explain "some variation," according to the article, and Apple also said they stand behind their battery life claims.
Apple says that the iPhone "is engineered to intelligently manage power usage to maximize battery life. Our testing methodology reflects that intelligence."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's antiretroviral-drugs department
The Guardian reports:
An end to the Aids epidemic could be in sight after a landmark study found men whose HIV infection was fully suppressed by antiretroviral drugs had no chance of infecting their partner. The success of the medicine means that if everyone with HIV were fully treated, there would be no further infections...
"It's brilliant -- fantastic. This very much puts this issue to bed," said Prof Alison Rodger from University College London, the co-leader of the paper published in the Lancet medical journal.... Dr Michael Brady, the medical director at the Terrence Higgins Trust, said: "It is impossible to overstate the importance of these findings.
"The Partner study has given us the confidence to say, without doubt, that people living with HIV who are on effective treatment cannot pass the virus on to their sexual partners. This has incredible impact on the lives of people living with HIV and is a powerful message to address HIV-related stigma."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's SFW-becomes-NSFW department
Long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo quotes the Verge:
Verizon is seeking a buyer for Tumblr, the blogging platform it acquired along with other Yahoo assets in 2017... The platform hosts 465.4 million blogs and 172 billion posts, according to its about page... On Thursday evening, Pornhub VP Corey Price claimed in a statement to BuzzFeed News that his company is "extremely interested" in buying Tumblr and "very much looking forward to one day restoring it to its former glory with NSFW content..."
Price is referring to a major change implemented late last year, when Tumblr took the controversial step of banning porn on its platform. The company has been using AI to detect and automatically block images and videos that contain certain adult content. Existing posts containing porn were made private and are no longer publicly accessible.
Both Fortune and TechCrunch warned the acquisition might actually have bad consequences for adult content producers, since PornHub's owner MindGeek has been accused of ignoring piracy on its streaming sites, "a significant factor in the deflation of salaries for performers in the industry."
In a thread on Twitter, Engadget's senior news editor added "I guess the good news is that things PornHub announces as a publicity stunt don't usually happen, so..."Read Replies (0)