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AT&T's CEO Predicts That Millions More Will Cut the Cord

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 22:28
TV cord-cutting is picking up steam, and AT&T's CEO predicts there's a long way to go before it stops. From a report: On an earnings call Thursday, AT&T Chief Executive Officer John Stankey said "we're probably going to see a little bit of a plateauing" when the number of homes subscribing to pay TV hits 55 million to 60 million. Most of those homes will include sports fans, he said. It's a stark outlook for an industry that's already suffered a long subscriber exodus. There were about 91 million pay-TV subscribers at the end of 2019, including some 8 million who signed up to online-TV bundles like Hulu and YouTube TV. About 3.5 million people cut the cord in the first half of the year, according to Bloomberg Intelligence. While AT&T, Comcast, Charter and other TV providers are focusing their businesses on delivering internet service, owners of cable channels are especially vulnerable. That's because more cord-cutting means lower subscriber fees, a key revenue stream. Stankey added that AT&T is focusing on growing its new online streaming service, HBO Max, to prepare for the future. AT&T said Thursday that it shed another 590,000 TV subscribers last quarter. With customer losses mounting, AT&T has been looking to sell the majority of its satellite-TV business, DirecTV.

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FDA Approves Gilead's Remdesivir as Coronavirus Treatment

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 21:45
The Food and Drug Administration on Thursday approved Gilead Sciences' antiviral drug remdesivir as a treatment for the coronavirus. From a report: In May, the FDA granted the drug an emergency use authorization, allowing hospitals and doctors to use the drug on patients hospitalized with the disease even though the drug has not been formally approved by the agency. The intravenous drug has helped shorten the recovery time of some hospitalized Covid-19 patients. It was one of the drugs used to treat President Donald Trump, who tested positive for the virus earlier this month. Earlier in the year, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's leading infectious disease expert, said the drug would set "a new standard of care" for Covid-19 patients. The drug will be used for Covid-19 patients requiring hospitalization, Gilead said. Remdesivir is now the first and only fully approved treatment in the U.S. for Covid-19, which has infected more than 41.3 million and killed more than 1 million, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University.

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Ubuntu Linux 20.10 'Groovy Gorilla' is Here With Renewed Raspberry Pi Focus

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 21:05
An anonymous reader shares a report: As stated earlier, new Ubuntu versions come April and October, and wouldn't you know it, we are at the end of the latter. With Halloween a bit more than a week away, Canonical today releases Ubuntu 20.10. Ubuntu's version numbering scheme is based on year (YY), a period, and the month (MM). For instance, the previous stable version was released this past April and it is numbered as 20.04. In addition, Canonical (the operating system's owner) assigns names -- sequentially and alphabetically. The alphanumeric code name is always based on two words starting with the same sequential letter -- an adjective followed by an animal name. The aforementioned 20.04 is named "Focal Fossa." This time, the operating system will be called Ubuntu 20.10 "Groovy Gorilla." This new version of the desktop operating system is loaded with fixes, new features, and a renewed focus on the now-iconic Raspberry Pi. Yes, folks, with a compatible Pi (models with 4GB or 8GB of RAM), you can now have the full Ubuntu desktop experience. More about the new features here.

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Love Minecraft: Java? You'll have to learn to love your Microsoft account as well – it will be required next year

The Register - Thu, 2020-10-22 20:28
Mojang bows to the inevita... oh, look – a free cape!

With the inevitability of death and taxes, Microsoft-owned Mojang is to require players have a Microsoft account for all its games, including the Java Edition of Minecraft.…

Categories: Technology

EU Sanctions Russia Over 2015 German Parliament Hack

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 20:25
The European Union has imposed sanctions today against Russia for its involvement in the 2015 German Parliament (Bundestag) hack. From a report: Sanctions were levied against the GRU (Russian Main Intelligence Directorate), a military intelligence agency part of the Russian Army, and two of its officers. The two GRU officers were identified as Dmitry Badin and Igor Kostyukov. EU officials said Badin was part of a team of Russian military intelligence officers who hacked the Bundestag IT network between April and May 2015. "This cyber-attack targeted the parliament's information system and affected its operation for several days," the EU said today. "A significant amount of data was stolen and the email accounts of several MPs as well as of Chancellor Angela Merkel were affected." Kostyukov was sanctioned for his role as First Deputy Head of the GRU. EU officials said Kostyukov commands the 85th Main Centre for Special Services (GTsSS), also known as Military Unit 26165, but more commonly known in the cyber-security industry under the hacker codenames of APT28, Fancy Bear, Sofacy, or Strontium.

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The Resurrection Of Cray And AMD In A Trifurcating HPC Space

The Next Platform - Thu, 2020-10-22 19:55

Success in any endeavor is not just about having the right idea, but having that idea at the right time and then executing well against that plan. …

The Resurrection Of Cray And AMD In A Trifurcating HPC Space was written by Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Next Platform.

Categories: Technology

WHO To Grant Wikipedia Free Use of Its Published Material To Combat Covid Misinformation

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 19:45
As part of efforts to stop the spread of false information about the coronavirus pandemic, Wikipedia and the World Health Organization announced a collaboration on Thursday: The health agency will grant the online encyclopedia free use of its published information, graphics and videos. The collaboration is the first between Wikipedia and a health agency. From a report: "We all consult just a few apps in our daily life, and this puts W.H.O. content right there in your language, in your town, in a way that relates to your geography," said Andrew Pattison, a digital content manager for the health agency who helped negotiate the contract. "Getting good content out quickly disarms the misinformation." Since its start in 2001, Wikipedia has become one of the world's 10 most consulted sites; it is frequently viewed for health information. The agreement puts much of the W.H.O.'s material into the Wikimedia "commons," meaning it can be reproduced or retranslated anywhere, without the need to seek permission -- as long as the material is identified as coming from the W.H.O. and a link to the original is included. "Equitable access to trusted health information is critical to keeping people safe and informed," said Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.'s director general. His agency translates its work into six official languages, which do not include, for example, Hindi, Bengali, German or Portuguese, so billions of people cannot read its documents in their native or even second language. Wikipedia articles, by contrast, are translated into about 175 languages. The first W.H.O. items used under the agreement are its "Mythbusters" infographics, which debunk more than two dozen false notions about Covid-19. Future additions could include, for example, treatment guidelines for doctors, said Ryan Merkley, chief of staff at the Wikimedia Foundation, which produces Wikipedia. If the arrangement works out, it could be extended to counter misinformation regarding AIDS, Ebola, influenza, polio and dozens of other diseases, Mr. Merkley said, "But this was something that just had to happen now." Eventually, live links will be established that would, for example, update global case and death numbers on Wikipedia as soon as the W.H.O. posts them, Mr. Pattison said.

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Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” Arrives With Linux 5.8, GNOME 3.38, Raspberry Pi 4 Support

Linux Journal - Thu, 2020-10-22 19:21
Article Images Image Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” Arrives With Linux 5.8, GNOME 3.38, Raspberry Pi 4 Support

Just two days ago, Ubuntu marked the 16th anniversary of its first ever release, Ubuntu 4.10 “Warty Warthog,” which showed Linux could be a more user friendly operating system.

Back to now, after the six months of development cycle and the release of the current long-term Ubuntu 20.04 “Focal Fossa,” Canonical has announced a new version called Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” along with its seven official flavor: Kubuntu, Lubuntu, Ubuntu MATE, Ubuntu Kylin, Xubuntu, Ubuntu Budgie, and Ubuntu Studio.

Ubuntu 20.10 is a short term or non-LTS release, which means it will be supported for 9 months until July 2021. Though v20.10 does not seem a major release, it does come with a lot of exciting and new features. So, let’s see what Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla” has to offer:

New Features in Ubuntu 20.10 “Groovy Gorilla”

Groovy Gorilla

Ubuntu desktop for Raspberry Pi 4

Starting with one of the most important enhancements, Ubuntu 20.10 has become the first Ubuntu release to feature desktop images for the Raspberry Pi 4. Yes, you can now download and run Ubuntu 20.10 desktop on your Raspberry Pi models with at least 4GB of RAM.

Even both Server and Desktop images also support the new Raspberry Pi Compute Module 4. The 20.10 images may still boot on earlier models, but new Desktop images only built for the arm64 architecture and officially only support the Pi 4 variant with 4GB or 8GB RAM.

Linux Kernel 5.8

Linux Kernel 5.8

Upgrading the previous Linux kernel 5.4, the latest Ubuntu 20.10 ships the new Linux kernel 5.8, which is dubbed “the biggest release of all time” by Linus Torvalds as it contains the highest number of over 17595 commits.

So it’s obvious that Linux 5.8 brings numerous updates, new features, and hardware support. For instance, Kernel Event Notification Mechanism, Intel Tiger Lake Thunderbolt support, extended IPv6 Multi-Protocol Label Switching (MPLS) support, Inline Encryption hardware support, Thunderbolt support for Intel Tiger Lake and non-x86 systems, and initial support for booting POWER10 processors.

GNOME 3.38 Desktop Environment

Gnome 3.38 Desktop Environment

Another key change that Ubuntu 20.10 includes is the latest version of GNOME desktop environment, which enhances the visual appearance, performance, and user experience of Ubuntu.

One of my favorite features that GNOME 3.38 introduces is a much-needed separate “Restart” button in the System menu.

Among other enhancements, GNOME 3.38 also includes:

  • Better multi-monitor support
  • Revamped GNOME Screenshot app
  • Customizable App Grid with no “Frequent Apps” tab
  • Battery percentage indicator
  • New Welcome Tour app written in Rust
  • Core GNOME apps improvements
Share Wi-Fi hotspot Via QR Code

If you’re the person who wants to share the system’s Internet with other devices wirelessly, this feature of sharing Wi-Fi hotspot through QR code will definitely please you.

Thanks to GNOME 3.38, you can now turn your Linux system into a portable Wi-Fi hotspot by sharing QR code with the devices like laptops, tablets, and mobiles.

Add events in GNOME Calendar app

Forget to remember the events? A pre-installed GNOME Calendar app now lets you add new events (birthday, meetings, reminders, releases), which displays in the message tray. Instead of adding new events manually, you can also sync your events from Google, Microsoft, or Nextcloud calendars after adding online accounts from the settings.

Active Directory Support

In the Ubiquity installer, Ubuntu 20.10 has also added an optional feature to enable Active Directory (AD) integration. If you check the option, you’ll be directed to configure the AD by giving information about the domain, administrator, and password.

Tools and Software upgrade

Ubuntu 20.10 also features the updated tools, software, and subsystems to their new versions. This includes:

  • glibc 2.32, GCC 10, LLVM 11
  • OpenJDK 11
  • rustc 1.41
  • Python 3.8.6, Ruby 2.7.0, PHP 7.4.9
  • perl 5.30
  • golang 1.13
  • Firefox 81
  • LibreOffice 7.0.2
  • Thunderbird 78.3.2
  • BlueZ 5.55
  • NetworkManager 1.26.2
Other enhancements to Ubuntu 20.10:
  • Nftables replaces iptables as default backend for the firewall
  • Better support for fingerprint login
  • Cloud images with KVM kernels boot without an initramfs by default
  • Snap pre-seeding optimizations for boot time improvements

A full release notes of Ubuntu 20.10 is also available to read right from here.

How To Download Or Upgrade To Ubuntu 20.10

If you’re looking for a fresh installation of Ubuntu 20.10, download the ISO image available for several platforms such as Desktop, Server, Cloud, and IoT.

But if you’re already using the previous version of Ubuntu, you can also easily upgrade your system to the Ubuntu 20.10. For upgrading, you must be using Ubuntu 20.04 LTS as you cannot directly reach 20.10 from 19.10, 19.04, 18.10, 18.04, 17.04, or 16.04. You should first hop on to v20.04 and then to the latest v20.10.

As Ubuntu 20.10 is a non-LTS version and by design, Ubuntu only notifies a new LTS release, you need to upgrade manually by either choosing a GUI method using the built-in Software Updater tool or a command line method using the terminal.

For command line method, open terminal and run the following commands:

sudo apt update && sudo apt upgrade

sudo do-release-upgrade -d -m desktop

Or else, if you’re not a terminal-centric person, here’s an official upgrade guide using a GUI Software Updater.

Enjoy Groovy Gorilla!

Ubuntu Groovy Gorilla GNOME GNOME 3.0 Raspberry Pi kernel
Categories: Technology

Boeing puts Loyal Wingman robot fighter jet through its paces... on the ground

The Register - Thu, 2020-10-22 19:09
I feel the need, the need for 16mph taxiing in safety

Rise of the Machines  Boeing has successfully taxied its Loyal Wingman robot fighter jet around an airfield, a key milestone for the aircraft to operate fully autonomously.…

Categories: Technology

Firefox 'Site Isolation' Feature Enters User Testing, Expected Next Year

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 19:07
An anonymous reader shares a report: Site Isolation is a modern browser security feature that works by separating each web page and web iframes in their own operating system process in order to prevent sites from tampering or stealing with each other's data. The feature was first deployed with Google Chrome in mid-2018, with the release of Chrome 67. Although initially, Site Isolation was meant to be deployed as a general improvement to Chrome's security posture, the feature came just in time to serve as a protective measure against the Spectre vulnerability impacting modern CPUs. Seeing the feature's success, Mozilla also announced plans to support it with the Firefox browser in February 2019, as part of an internal project codenamed Fission. For both Google and Mozilla, implementing Site Isolation was a time-consuming operation, requiring engineers to re-write large chunks of their browsers' internal architecture. The process took about two years for both Google and Mozilla. While Site Isolation is now a stable feature inside Chrome, this work is now nearing its completion inside Firefox. According to an update to the Project Fission wiki page, Site Isolation can now be enabled inside versions of Firefox Nightly, the Firefox version where new features are tested.

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Edward Snowden Granted Permanent Residency In Russia

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 18:28
Fugitive US whistleblower Edward Snowden has been granted permanent residency in Russia, his lawyer said on Thursday. wiredmikey writes: Snowden, the former US intelligence contractor who revealed in 2013 that the US government was spying on its citizens, has been living in exile in Russia since the revelations. The 37-year-old has said he would like to return to the United States. His lawyer Anatoly Kucherena told AFP on Thursday that his residency permit was extended and is now indefinite, a situation made possible by recent changes to Russia's immigration law. Kucherena said the application was filed in April but the process was delayed by the coronavirus pandemic. Snowden is wanted in the United States on espionage charges after he leaked information showing that agents from the National Security Agency (NSA) were collecting telephone records of millions of US citizens. When asked whether Snowden planned to apply for Russian citizenship, Kucherena said: "He will make the decision himself." Kucherena said it was "natural" that Snowden wanted to return to the United States but will only do so when the case against him is closed.

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Slow and steady progress in Microsoft's latest diversity report, though most execs still pale and male

The Register - Thu, 2020-10-22 18:01
US lawmakers can look away now. Actually, don't

Amid grumbling from lawmakers, Microsoft has pushed out a fresh diversity report, sprinkling the odd "must try harder" among the corporate back slappery.…

Categories: Technology

How a Secretive Phone Company Helped the Crime World Go Dark

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 17:50
Reader jkoebler writes: This is an in-depth, narrative investigation into Phantom Secure, a privacy-focused phone company that started selling locally to models and other VIPs, before eventually becoming a preferred network for serious, organized crime. One of Phantom's clients was the Sinaloa Cartel, according to a text message Phantom's owner Vincent Ramos sent to an associate included in court records. The story follows how Phantom got set up, how it took over the world, and eventually how it got taken down by the FBI. It is the result of more than two years of reporting involving sources from the law enforcement, organized crime, and cybersecurity worlds. It features daring escapes from Las Vegas hotels, undercover agents, and a silver-plated AK-47 emblazoned with the Louis Vuitton logo.

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Out to launch: Huawei rolls out speedy charging Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro flagships

The Register - Thu, 2020-10-22 17:23
Mate 40 family could be the company’s ‘last hurrah’ in smartphones outside China - analyst

Beleaguered mobile biz Huawei’s Consumer Business Group has rolled out its newest flagship devices: the Mate 40 and Mate 40 Pro.…

Categories: Technology

YouTube Is So Flooded With Political Ads It Can't Place Them All

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 17:12
Less than two weeks before the U.S. election, some political campaigns are dealing with an unexpected obstacle on YouTube, the internet's largest video site: There isn't enough space to run their ads. From a report: Campaigns have flooded YouTube with commercials in search of voters they may not be reaching on television. Yet despite its nearly endless supply of video clips, YouTube has been struggling to place these ads in front of the desired audience. The site has a particular shortage of ad slots in critical swing states, causing prices to double in some instances. This makes political ads more lucrative for Google, which owns YouTube. The company saw advertising revenue dip earlier this year and is set to announce its quarterly earnings next week. The situation has sent smaller campaigns scrambling to find advertising opportunities elsewhere. "There's a crunch," said Cat Stern, media director for Lockwood Strategy Lab, a digital campaign agency focused on Democratic candidates and progressive advocacy organizations. "All political advertisers are buying in the same states, to similar audiences." She equated the commercial spree to the online spending binge during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. Viewership has shot up on YouTube during the pandemic. While commercial advertising remains anemic, there has been a glut of political ads. Many political ad buyers are interested in YouTube's limited amount of commercials that viewers can't skip through. They're also vying for ads that YouTube sells based on reservations, which can be purchased in advance, like television slots, and run against YouTube's most popular videos. "The reserves tend to be gobbled up by well-funded campaigns," said Reid Vineis, vice president of digital at Majority Strategies, a Republican political ad firm. He has seen prices for some of these ads double in recent weeks. That has forced some campaigns, particularly small ones, to look at alternative digital video outlets such as Hulu and Roku.

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Dutch Hacker Says He Logged Into President Trump's Twitter Account

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 16:38
An anonymous reader shares a report: The researcher, Victor Gevers, had access to Trump's personal messages, could post tweets in his name and change his profile. Gevers took screenshots when he had access to Trump's account. These screenshots were shared with de Volkskrant by the monthly opinion magazine Vrij Nederland. Dutch security experts find Gevers' claim credible. The Dutchman alerted Trump and American government services to the security leak. After a few days, he was contacted by the American Secret Service in the Netherlands. This agency is also responsible for the security of the American President and took the report seriously, as evidenced by correspondence seen by de Volkskrant. Meanwhile Trump's account has been made more secure. This is not the first time that Dutch hackers succeeded in taking over Donald Trump's Twitter account. The first time was four years ago, just before the 2016 elections, when three hackers jointly managed to retrieve Trump's password and access his account. That someone has now succeeded again, is remarkable. During the previous presidential elections Russian hackers attempted to influence the elections on a large scale. Subsequently, social media have taken various steps to prevent manipulation. The password was "maga2020!"

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Like a good defragging? The latest Dev Channel Windows 10 might be for you

The Register - Thu, 2020-10-22 16:19
For everyone else there are splash screens, fixes and iffy anti-malware

Fresh from nudging the October 2020 Update out of the door, Microsoft has emitted an update to next year's Windows 10 in the form of a fresh Insider Dev Channel build.…

Categories: Technology

Huawei Announces Last Major Phone Before US Ban Forces Rethink

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 15:56
Huawei introduced the Mate 40 smartphone series on Thursday, potentially its last major release powered by its self-designed Kirin chips. From a report: China's biggest tech company by sales has been stockpiling chips to get its signature device out in time to compete with Apple's iPhone 12 over the holidays. Huawei will have to overhaul its smartphone lineup after Trump administration sanctions that took effect in September curtailed its ability to design and manufacture advanced in-house chips by cutting it off from the likes of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. The company's consumer devices group, led by Richard Yu, was already prevented from shipping handsets with the full Google-augmented Android experience. But that didn't stop it from surpassing Samsung Electronics to become the world's best-selling smartphone maker in the summer, largely on the strength of growing domestic sales. Without a contractor to produce its own chips or the ability to buy processors from a supplier like Qualcomm, prognostications for the division's future are less rosy. The 6.5-inch Mate 40 and 6.76-inch Mate 40 Pro feature the 5nm Kirin 9000 processor, second to Apple's A14 chip to offer that advanced manufacturing node in consumer devices. The system-on-chip contains 15.3 billion transistors, including eight CPU cores maxing out at a speed of 3.13GHz and 24 GPU cores that Huawei claims give it 52% faster graphics than Qualcomm's best offering. Both devices have sloping glass sides and in-display fingerprint sensors. The new rear "Space Ring" design accommodating Huawei's multi-camera system is reminiscent of the control wheel of iPods of yesteryear. It plays host to a 50-megapixel main camera accompanied by zoom and ultrawide lenses.

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French IT outsourcer Sopra Steria hit by 'cyberattack', Ryuk ransomware suspected

The Register - Thu, 2020-10-22 15:37
You know, the firm that runs half of NHS Business Services

French-headquartered IT outsourcer Sopra Steria has been struck by a “cyberattack,” reportedly linked to the Ryuk ransomware gang.…

Categories: Technology

Senate Republicans Vote To Subpoena Facebook and Twitter CEOs About Alleged Censorship

Slashdot - Thu, 2020-10-22 15:02
Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee voted to authorize subpoenas for Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey to testify about their handling of a recent unverified New York Post article about former Vice President Joe Biden's son. From a report: Twelve Republicans on the committee voted to authorize the subpoenas and ten Democrats sat out the markup in a protest of the session's earlier vote on the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. Zuckerberg and Dorsey are already set to testify before the Senate Commerce Committee next week alongside Google CEO Sundar Pichai about alleged bias and privacy matters. The Judiciary Committee voted to compel the Facebook and Twitter CEOs to testify about their "suppression and/or censorship" of two recent New York Post articles involving unverified allegations about emails supposedly taken from a computer belonging to the Democratic presidential nominee's son, Hunter Biden. The initial story alleged the younger Biden attempted to introduce a top executive at a Ukraine company he worked for to his father while he was serving as VP. The Democratic nominee has called the story a "smear." Facebook and Twitter took very different approaches to moderating the article, which contained unredacted email addresses in documents included in the story.

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