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Oakland Bans Leaf Blowers, Trimmers and Other Lawn Equipment That Rely on Combustion Engines

Slashdot - 1 hour 37 min ago
Oakland has banned the use of leaf blowers, trimmers and other lawn equipment that rely on combustion engines, citing health and climate change concerns. From a report: The city says that the "significant health hazards" to users and residents from the discharge of particle matter and carbon monoxide lead to the decision, as well as unwanted noise pollution. The city recommends using electric or non-motorized options. The ban is included for commercial landscaping or gardening services as well as private usage.

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AdGuard names 6,000+ web trackers that use CNAME chicanery: Feel free to feed them into your browser's filter

The Register - 1 hour 38 min ago
Assuming your content blocker can scrutinize DNS

AdGuard on Thursday published a list of more than 6,000 CNAME-based trackers so they can be incorporated into content-blocking filters.…

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After Third Large Quake Near New Zealand, Tsunami Warning Issued; Tsunami Watch in Hawaii

Slashdot - 2 hours 17 min ago
A major magnitude 8.0 earthquake struck roughly 600 miles northeast of New Zealand on Thursday afternoon, triggering concerns of a potentially damaging tsunami. From a report: It's the third major earthquake in less than eight hours on the Kermadec Fault, which passes east of New Zealand. A magnitude 7.3 hit near New Zealand early on Thursday, followed by a 7.4 about 560 miles to the north a few hours later. Tsunami waves of 10 feet or greater are possible in the Kermadec Islands, with 3 to 9 foot waves in French Polynesia. American Samoa, the Cook Islands , Fiji, New Zealand and the Pitcairn Islands can expect water levels fluctuating by up to three feet. A tsunami warning was issued for American Samoa as well. A tsunami warning is in effect for New Zealand. The country's National Emergency Management Agency tweeted "TSUNAMI WARNING issued following Kermadecs earthquake." DW adds: The Pacific Tsunami Warning Center (PTWC) had withdrawn an earlier tsunami warning after the first quake, saying the threat had passed, but authorities renewed the warning following the second and third quake. There were no immediate reports of serious damage or casualties.

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Three Top Russian Cybercrime Forums Hacked

Slashdot - 2 hours 52 min ago
tsu doh nimh shares a report: Over the past few weeks, three of the longest running and most venerated Russian-language online forums serving thousands of experienced cybercriminals have been hacked. In two of the intrusions, the attackers made off with the forums' user databases, including email and Internet addresses and hashed passwords. Members of all three forums are worried the incidents could serve as a virtual Rosetta Stone for connecting the real-life identities of the same users across multiple crime forums. On Tuesday, someone dumped thousands of usernames, email addresses and obfuscated passwords on the dark web apparently pilfered from Mazafaka (a.k.a. "Maza," "MFclub"), an exclusive crime forum that has for more than a decade played host to some of the most experienced and infamous Russian cyberthieves. At the top of a 35-page PDF leaked online is a private encryption key allegedly used by Maza administrators. The database also includes ICQ numbers for many users. ICQ, also known as "I seek you," was an instant message platform trusted by countless early denizens of these older crime forums before its use fell out of fashion in favor of more private networks, such as Jabber and Telegram. This is notable because ICQ numbers tied to specific accounts often are a reliable data point that security researchers can use to connect multiple accounts to the same user across many forums and different nicknames over time. Cyber intelligence firm Intel 471 assesses that the leaked Maza database is legitimate.

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Chrome Switches Its Release Cycle for First Time in a Decade

Slashdot - 3 hours 33 min ago
Google Chrome releases will soon arrive more frequently than ever. From a report:In an announcement today, Google said it is updating the Chrome release schedule for the first time in over a decade. For a cool 10+ years now, Chrome stable releases have shipped every 6 weeks with new features, security fixes, etc. With improvements to testing and release processes, Google has realized that it can shorten the release cycle and will do so in Q3 of this year. Starting with Chrome 94, Google will move to a 4-week milestone release cycle. Freaked out at the possibility that Google might break features, remove things you like, or cause other issues with so many releases? Don't worry, Google is also introducing an Extended Stable release that will see milestone updates every 8 weeks. Now, it will still get updates every 2 weeks to address "important issues," but none of the new features or all security fixes that the 4-week milestones see will be included.

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Prime suspect: Amazon India apologises for offensive scenes in political thriller

The Register - 3 hours 40 min ago
Charges filed against head of content as cast and crew apply for 'anticipatory bail'

Amazon Prime India has issued a rare-for-Big-Tech apology for material deemed offensive in Bezos's streaming arm's political thriller, Tandav and legal writs fly.…

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The Future Of Infrastructure Is Fluid

The Next Platform - 4 hours 8 min ago

Flexibility is a kind of strength. It is just more subtle than brute force. …

The Future Of Infrastructure Is Fluid was written by Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Next Platform.

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Most Life on Earth Will Be Killed by Lack of Oxygen in a Billion Years

Slashdot - 4 hours 12 min ago
One billion years from now, Earth's atmosphere will contain very little oxygen, making it uninhabitable for complex aerobic life. From a report: Today, oxygen makes up around 21 per cent of Earth's atmosphere. Its oxygen-rich nature is ideal for large and complex organisms, like humans, that require the gas to survive. But early in Earth's history, oxygen levels were much lower -- and they are likely to be low again in the distant future. Kazumi Ozaki at Toho University in Funabashi, Japan, and Chris Reinhard at the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta modelled Earth's climatic, biological and geological systems to predict how atmospheric conditions on Earth will change. The researchers say that Earth's atmosphere will maintain high levels of oxygen for the next billion years before dramatically returning to low levels reminiscent of those that existed prior to what is known as the Great Oxidation Event of about 2.4 billion years ago. "We find that the Earth's oxygenated atmosphere will not be a permanent feature," says Ozaki. One central reason for the shift is that, as our sun ages, it will become hotter and release more energy. The researchers calculate that this will lead to a decrease in the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere as CO2 absorbs heat and then breaks down. Ozaki and Reinhard estimate that in a billion years, carbon dioxide levels will become so low that photosynthesising organisms -- including plants -- will be unable to survive and produce oxygen. The mass extinction of these photosynthetic organisms will be the primary cause of the huge reduction in oxygen. "The drop in oxygen is very, very extreme -- we're talking around a million times less oxygen than there is today," says Reinhard.

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Hot DRAM: Shortage of memory chips will continue this year, says Micron

The Register - 4 hours 29 min ago
Good news for memory makers, not such great news for wider tech world

US memory maker Micron Technology expects the chronic shortage of DRAM in the market to continue throughout this year, according to senior veep and CFO David Zinsner.…

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EU Sets 2030 Target To Produce Cutting-Edge Semiconductors

Slashdot - 4 hours 52 min ago
The European Union is planning to produce its own advanced semiconductors by 2030, part of the bloc's plans to reduce "high-risk dependencies" on technology companies in the U.S. and Asia. From a report: Officials want to ensure that at least 20% of the world's cutting-edge semiconductors by value are produced in Europe by the end of the decade, according to a draft document obtained by Bloomberg. The document, which could still change, is due to be presented next week by the European Commission, the bloc's executive body. The EU has discussed potentially establishing a new foundry as part of a plan to boost semiconductor production in Europe, Bloomberg has reported previously. The EU wants to manufacture chips faster than the most efficient 5nm semiconductors made by industry leaders Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. and Samsung Electronics. "A reduction in critical dependencies will enable the EU to become digitally sovereign and better able to assert European interests," the EU said in the document, which said its approach would seek to support "the open nature of the Internet." The so-called Digital Compass plan outlines the bloc's digital goals for the next decade. As part of that, it also aims to deploy 10,000 climate-neutral facilities to guarantee businesses have rapid access to data services, develop a computer with quantum acceleration by 2025 and cover populated areas in Europe with 5G by 2030. In addition, the EU said over the next decade it wants to double the number of unicorns, or companies with a valuation above $1 billion, by improving access to financing.

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US consumer protection bureau goes after tech support scammers' alleged payments processor

The Register - 5 hours 23 min ago
Hit the organ-grinder, not just the monkey

US payments processing biz Brightspeed Solutions and its founder have been accused of handling $63m on behalf of tech support scammers who preyed on the elderly and less technically adept while posing as reps of Microsoft and Symantec.…

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Senators Call on FCC To Quadruple Base High-Speed Internet Speeds

Slashdot - 5 hours 34 min ago
The federal government's definition of high-speed broadband has remained stagnant over the last six years, sitting at 25Mbps down and 3Mbps up since 2015. But faced with pandemic-fueled network loads and a new push for infrastructure spending, lawmakers are getting ready to upgrade that definition. In a letter to government leaders Thursday, a bipartisan group of senators called for a quadrupling of base high-speed broadband delivery speeds making 100Mbps down and 100Mbps up the new base for high-speed broadband. From a report: "Going forward, we should make every effort to spend limited federal dollars on broadband networks capable of providing sufficient download and upload speeds and quality," Sens. Michael Bennet (D-CO), Joe Manchin (D-WV), Angus King (I-ME), and Rob Portman (R-OH) wrote to the FCC and other agencies. "There is no reason federal funding to rural areas should not support the type of speeds used by households in typical well-served urban and suburban areas." The letter calls on the FCC and other agencies to change their definitions of "high speed broadband" to anything above 100Mbps down and 100Mbps up -- a shift that would prohibit the FCC from identifying an area as being served with broadband unless it met those speed criteria. It's a complete change of pace from the FCC under former Chairman Ajit Pai's leadership, which established the previous 25 / 3Mbps standard.

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'Major update': Microsoft snips the life support lines for its Delve mobile apps

The Register - 6 hours 1 min ago
Come to Outlook Mobile. The water's lovely

Microsoft issued a reminder during its Ignite shindig this week that for every shiny new service it launches, it nudges an older one aside once the lustre has worn off.…

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Apple Faces EU Antitrust Charge on Spotify Complaint

Slashdot - 6 hours 12 min ago
Apple could face an EU antitrust charge sheet in the coming weeks following a 2019 complaint by music streaming service Spotify, Reuters reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report: The charge could force changes to Apple's lucrative business model, they said. The European Commission could send the statement of objections setting out suspected violations of the bloc's antitrust rules to Apple before the summer, one of the people said. The case is one of four opened by the EU competition enforcer into Apple in June last year. The EU charge sheet usually indicates whether a fine is merited and what companies have to do to halt anti-competitive practices.

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African Researchers Use Gene Editing and Other Tools To Breed Heartier Livestock

Slashdot - 6 hours 47 min ago
wooloohoo shares a report: Livestock researchers in Africa are looking to genome editing and other new technologies to identify genes that could help them tame the spread of a parasite that spreads sleeping sickness in animals and humans. In addition to work aimed at eradicating African trypanosomiasis, scientists at the International Livestock Research Institute (ILRI) in Nairobi are using gene editing to introduce such desirable traits as heat tolerance and disease resistance into cattle and chickens, said Prof. Steve Kemp, program leader in livestock genetics at ILRI. However, he said the effort is still at the preliminary research stage. African animal trypanosomiasis is a parasitic disease that causes serious livestock losses due to anemia and lower reproduction rates, according to the Center for Food Security and Public Health. Losses in cattle are especially prominent, though other animals, including dogs, can also be affected. Untreated cases can be fatal, and the mortality rate is high in some outbreaks. "Eradicating African animal trypanosomiasis is extremely important as we estimate that Africa loses US$1 billion annually due to human and livestock diseases," Kemp said. The people keeping livestock have experienced huge losses due to animal diseases, said Abdikadir Mohamed, chief executive officer of the Kenya Livestock Marketing Council (KLMC). "This leads to people getting poorer. Some sickly animals are rejected during market days, yet they come from far to sell the livestock. There is also a security threat as herders go back with their livestock. We need to stop these persistent diseases by available technologies."

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Blizzard brain: Snowflake doubles revenue. Market takes a look, goes slushy

The Register - 6 hours 48 min ago
High-growth hungry investors worrying you? Try hyperscalers!

Snowflake has more than doubled its annual revenue in the last year but investors seem unimpressed with the $33bn IPO company's efforts.…

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UK Competition Watchdog Investigates Apple's App Store

Slashdot - 7 hours 34 min ago
U.K. authorities have launched an investigation into Apple's App Store over concerns it has a dominant role that stifles competition and hurts consumers. From a report: The Competition and Markets Authority said Thursday it was looking into "suspected breaches of competition law" by Apple. The announcement adds to regulatory scrutiny of the iPhone maker's app distribution platform, which is also the subject of three antitrust probes by the European Union's executive Commission. Apple said the App Store is "a safe and trusted place for customers" and a "great business opportunity for developers." The investigation was triggered in part by complaints from app developers that Apple will only let them distribute their apps to iPhone and iPad users through the App Store. The developers also complained that the company requires any purchases of apps, add-ons or upgrades to be made through its Apple Pay system, which charges up to 30% commission. "Millions of us use apps every day to check the weather, play a game or order a takeaway," Andrea Coscelli, the authority's CEO, said in a statement. "So, complaints that Apple is using its market position to set terms which are unfair or may restrict competition and choice -- potentially causing customers to lose out when buying and using apps -- warrant careful scrutiny." The watchdog said it would consider whether Apple has a "dominant position" in app distribution for Apple devices in the U.K., and, if it does, whether the company "imposes unfair or anti-competitive terms on developers" that results in less choice or higher prices for consumers buying apps and extra.

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The world's first Apple Silicon iMac is actually a Mac Mini

The Register - 7 hours 37 min ago
Bit of a pain switching the thing on, but you can't have everything

Unwilling to wait the few months until the launch of the first Apple Silicon iMac, a popular retro computing vlogger has retrofitted a 2011 27-inch model with the innards of the latest M1 Mac Mini. And it worked. Sort of.…

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ConocoPhillips Sparks Tooling For Seismic HPC, Cloud, AI/ML

The Next Platform - 7 hours 44 min ago

Seismic processing and analysis at scale take scalable HPC resources but also need an analytics backend that can scale with massive datasets. …

ConocoPhillips Sparks Tooling For Seismic HPC, Cloud, AI/ML was written by Nicole Hemsoth at The Next Platform.

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Ever wondered why the big beasts in software all suddenly slapped an 'I heart open-source' badge on?

The Register - 8 hours 21 min ago
Red Hat's State of Enterprise Open Source might have an answer

A shift within the enterprise to open source is gathering pace due less to total cost of ownership and more to innovations around infrastructure and container technologies, according to a new report.…

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