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India floats superior ship-management software as a route to regional relevance

The Register - Wed, 2020-10-21 06:02
If ever there was a job for Docker and containers, this is it

India has set itself a new challenge to develop locally-made software that manages shipping – of actual ships, not code - as a way to enhance its regional influence.…

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Dell aims to become APEX creditor under new ITaaS plan

The Register - Wed, 2020-10-21 05:02
Promises one portal to drive cloud and on-prem workloads, with built-in kit-and-code-mart

Dell has announced a new IT as-a-service (ITaaS) experience called “Project APEX” that it says unifies and simplifies the process of paying-as-you-go for enterprise tech.…

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Offices Resort To Sensors In Futile Attempts To Keep Workers Apart

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-10-21 04:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Millions of workers in recent months have returned to offices outfitted with new pandemic protocols meant to keep them healthy and safe. But temperature checks and plexiglass barriers between desks can't prevent one of the most dangerous workplace behaviors for the spread of Covid-19 -- the irresistible desire to mingle. "If you have people coming into the office, it's very rare for them consistently to be six feet apart," said Kanav Dhir, the head of product at VergeSense, a company that has 30,000 object-recognition sensors deployed in office buildings around the world tracking worker whereabouts. Since the worldwide coronavirus outbreak, the company has found that 60% of interactions among North American workers violate the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's six-foot distancing guidelines, as do an even higher share in Asia, where offices usually are smaller. [...] For those employers pushing ahead with a return to the office, sensors that measure room occupancy are proving to be a necessity, said Doug Stewart, co-head of digital buildings at the technology unit Cushman & Wakefield, which manages about 785-million-square feet of commercial space in North and South America. Most offices are already fitted with sensors of some kind, even if it's just a badging system or security cameras. Those lagging on such capabilities are now scrambling to add more, he said. The systems were used before the pandemic to jam as many people together in the most cost-effective way, not limit workplace crowding or keep employees away from each other, Stewart said. With that in mind, companies can analyze the data all they want, but changing human behavior -- we're social creatures, after all -- is harder, he said. Understanding worker habits is more useful if you have a way to nudge them into new patterns. Since the pandemic began, Radiant RFID LLC has sold 10,000 wristbands that vibrate when co-workers are too close to each other. The technology was originally designed to warn workers away from dangerous machinery, not other people. So far, the wristbands are responsible for reducing unsafe contacts by about 65%, said Kenneth Ratton, chief executive of the company, which makes radio-communication devices. At this point, the data on more than 3 billion encounters shows the average worker has had about 300 interactions closer than six feet lasting 10 minutes or more. Nadia Diwas is using another kind of technology: a wireless key fob she carries in her pocket made by her employer, Semtech Corp., which tracks her movements and interactions -- making it useful for contact tracing if someone gets sick, which is as important as warning people they are too close. The technology originally was developed by Semtech to help devices such as thermostats communicate on the so-called internet of things.

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Qualcomm and India’s top telco strike 5G pact, hit 1Gbps in trials

The Register - Wed, 2020-10-21 03:58
This goes some way towards explaining the 5G network kit Jio suddenly announced it had built and would sell

Qualcomm and India’s top telco, Jio, have teamed on 5G networking kit.…

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OpenStack haven OpenDev yanks Gerrit code review tool after admin account compromised for two weeks

The Register - Wed, 2020-10-21 03:08
Source warehouse asks users to verify recent project commits to ensure they’re not malicious

OpenDev.org, which hosts the official OpenStack source code, on Tuesday tore down its Gerrit deployment after realizing it had been secretly hacked two weeks ago.…

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'Hands-On With Amazon's Luna Game Streaming Service'

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-10-21 03:02
Last month, Amazon announced a gaming platform called Luna that lets users play games via the cloud. The company is rolling out early access today, starting with a library of 50 games and support for Mac, PC, Fire TV, and iOS devices. The Verge's Chaim Gartenberg shares what it's like so far and how it compares to other streaming services out there like Microsoft xCloud and Google Stadia. Here's an excerpt from his report: The biggest question for Luna -- like any cloud gaming service -- is performance. For cloud gaming to work well, companies like Amazon need to rapidly deliver compressed video frames that respond to your button presses even if internet bandwidth dips and even if your house isn't located right next to an Amazon server farm. Amazon recommends a minimum connection speed of 10 Mbps for Luna, but your home's internal network also matters. We tested Luna on a variety of devices in two different Verge editors' homes across two different coasts with a variety of internet speeds and connection types. So far, 10 Mbps doesn't seem like nearly enough. We found that we needed a connection of at least 25 Mbps in order to have a consistently playable stream, with more bandwidth obviously being better. My colleague Sean Hollister limited his router to 10 Mbps, 15 Mbps, and 20 Mbps, but he'd still get stretches of choppy video. The best performance (of course) came from a PC with a wired Ethernet connection and controller, with no other family members streaming video in the house. Playing Bloodstained: Ritual of the Night on that solid of a connection was virtually indistinguishable from the game running natively. (Switching back and forth, you can tell it takes oh-so-slightly longer to swing a sword, but it felt perfectly playable.) Admittedly, there are few benefits to actually using Luna to stream the game on a capable PC. On the other hand, Metro: Exodus, one of the most graphically intensive games available to stream, looked and played decidedly worse streamed to a web browser than it does on a capable gaming PC. Honestly, it doesn't look great in either Luna or Stadia, but at least Stadia could keep up with a mouse and keyboard. Luna's mouse was extremely laggy. Using wireless connections introduces a lot more variables into Luna's performance. If you have a steady, strong Wi-Fi connection, Luna works pretty well, with little to no lag, smooth HD video, and responsive enough gameplay to enjoy even fast-paced platformers like Sonic Mania on an iPhone with a paired Bluetooth controller. But when Luna has a bad connection, it's rough. For some reason, Amazon doesn't seem to degrade the quality of video streaming when connection speeds are bad; it just tries to power on through by dropping frames until speeds pick up. I also ran into issues where audio started to lag behind what was otherwise smooth gameplay, presumably due to a sluggish connection. Right now, it seems that Luna's performance is almost entirely dependent on having good internet. Further reading: iOS Web App, Game Library, and App Functionality

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GM To Invest More Than $2 Billion In US Manufacturing To Increase Electric Vehicle Production

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-10-21 02:25
General Motors is investing about $2.2 billion in its U.S. manufacturing operations, largely to increase production of electric vehicles, the company announced Tuesday. CNBC reports: The investment is the latest for the Detroit automaker as it pivots toward EVs under GM CEO Mary Barra's "triple zero" vision of zero crashes, zero emissions and zero congestion -- an overarching goal for the company. Since March 2019, GM has committed to invest more than $4.5 billion in three U.S. manufacturing sites to prepare for EV-related production. The company has previously said it plans to release at least 20 new electric vehicles globally by 2023, including the upcoming GMC Hummer EV, which will be unveiled Tuesday night. The $2.2 billion in new investments will occur in the coming years, according to the company. Roughly $2 billion of that money will go toward a plant in Spring Hill, Tennessee, for production of future electric vehicles, including the recently unveiled Cadillac Lyriq crossover. Renovation work at the facility, which will be GM's third in the U.S. to produce EVs, will begin immediately, according to the automaker. In connection with the announcement, GM will eventually move production of the GMC Acadia from the Tennessee plant to a facility in mid-Michigan. The company said it will invest more than $100 million at the Lansing Delta Township plant for assembly of the next-generation Acadia crossover at an undisclosed time. Separately from EVs, GM on Tuesday also announced new investments of roughly $53.3 million at four plants in Michigan to increase production of its heavy-duty pickup trucks, self-driving Cruise AV test vehicles and 10-speed transmissions.

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FYI: NASA appears to have scooped dirt from an asteroid 200 million miles away and plans to bring it back home

The Register - Wed, 2020-10-21 02:10
Would be nice if civilization could hold out for 2023 to see its return

A NASA probe has just now collected material from the surface of asteroid Bennu, some 200 million miles (322 million km) from Earth.…

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Microsoft Releases Chromium-Based Edge Preview For Linux

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-10-21 01:45
Last month, Microsoft officials said they'd release a preview of the new Chromium-based Edge browser for Linux some time in October. On October 20, Microsoft made good on the promise, making available the Edge Dev Channel build for Linux. ZDNet reports: The new release supports Ubuntu, Debian, Fedora and openSUSE Linux distributions. Microsoft is planning to release weekly builds, like it does with the Dev Channel builds for other platforms. To get started, users can download and install a .deb or .rpm package directly from the Edge Insider site, which will configure a system to get future automatic updates. Or users can install Edge from Microsoft's Linux Software Repository. More detailed instructions are available on Microsoft's Chredge-on-Linux blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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FCC To Delay $9 Billion Rural Broadband Push To Fix Data Flaws

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-10-21 01:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg Law: The Federal Communications Commission is poised to delay $9 billion in rural 5G subsidies for 18 to 24 months so it can fix mapping flaws that bar the agency from determining which areas need the service. The holdup is the most recent delay in the FCC's nine-year effort to pay wireless carriers to expand service to remote areas that otherwise are too unprofitable to serve. The FCC scrapped a similar subsidy effort last year, after it found carriers' maps exaggerated existing coverage areas, meaning locations that needed the subsidies wouldn't have gotten them. The commission plans to vote Oct. 27 on an order that would create the new $9 billion effort to replace the program it scrapped. Under the order, however, the agency would wait to award funds until it evaluates new data it's collecting on rural service locations. The replacement 5G program would distribute twice as many funds as its predecessor. As in the earlier effort, the subsidies would come from the agency's Universal Service Fund, which is raised from monthly fees on consumers' phone bills. It will likely take until at least mid-2022 for the FCC to collect the data, putting the commission on track to start awarding the funding to carriers later that year. That timeline assumes Congress appropriates the $65 million needed to fund the initiative next year, though there is bipartisan support to do so.

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Top tip, everyone: Chinese hackers are hitting these 25 vulns, so make sure you patch them ASAP, says NSA

The Register - Wed, 2020-10-21 00:40
Plus this Chrome one being exploited in the wild, we note

The NSA has blown the lid off 25 computer security vulnerabilities Chinese government hackers are using to break into networks, steal data, and so on. The US super-spies said they went public with their list to help IT staff prioritize bug fixing. That is to say: if you're unsure of which patches to apply, do these first.…

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NASA's OSIRIS-REX Makes Historic Touchdown On Asteroid Bennu To Collect Rock Samples

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-10-21 00:20
NASA's Origins Spectral Interpretation Resource Identification Security Regolith Explorer (OSIRIS-REx) sample return spacecraft has successfully touched the asteroid Bennu and collected a 2-oz sample of its surface. New Atlas reports: Launched atop an Atlas/Centaur booster from Space Launch Complex 41 at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on September 8, 2016 at 7:05 pm EDT, the robotic OSIRIS-REx probe spent four years matching orbits to rendezvous with Bennu before making a detailed survey of the body's surface to find a safe area of scientific interest. Because Bennu is 205 million miles (330 million km) from Earth, it takes a radio signal 18 minutes to reach the spacecraft from mission control, so today's Touch-And-Go (TAG) maneuver was carried out under completely autonomous control by the onboard computer, relying on updated instructions from NASA engineers. During the approach, the robotic arm called the Touch-And-Go Sample Acquisition Mechanism (TAGSAM) was deployed with its disk-shaped sample collection head forward and the solar panels angled back to avoid accidental contact with the asteroid. The spacecraft then slowly approached the 26-ft (8-m) diameter "Nightingale" landing site from its normal orbit altitude of 2,500 ft (770 m) using its Natural Feature Tracking system to make a safe approach and then pull back from Bennu before a collision could occur. When the arm made contact with the asteroid surface for about 15 seconds, a blast of nitrogen gas dislodged a small, carbon-rich sample of pebbles and soil, which were collected by the sampler head and then stowed. If it turns out that insufficient material is recovered, the spacecraft will try again at a different area in January 2021. Otherwise, the current sample will be placed in a return capsule and in March 2021, OSIRIS-REx will depart from Bennu and begin its journey back to Earth. The sample return capsule will separate from the mothership in September 2023, reenter the Earth's atmosphere to land at the Utah Test and Training Range for collection and be transferred to NASA's Johnson Space Flight Center in Houston for storage and distribution to select research teams.

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What does everyone make of today's Google antitrust action? Only the stock market is happy with the status quo

The Register - Tue, 2020-10-20 23:45
Some state AGs feel US govt lawsuit is limited, tech groups worry about implications

Analysis  The US government finally unveiled its antitrust case against Google on Tuesday, accusing the tech giant of abusing its monopoly of the search and search ad market to keep out competition.…

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'It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown' Won't Air On Broadcast TV This Year

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-10-20 23:40
"It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown" will no longer air on broadcast TV this year, but it can be streamed on Apple+. This marks the first time since 1965 that the Peanuts special won't air on TV. People.com reports: Instead of airing on broadcast television, the Peanuts animated classics will be streaming on AppleTV+ as part of an expanded partnership with WildBrain, Peanuts Worldwide and Lee Mendelson Film Productions, according to a press release. It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown, A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas will be offered on the streaming platform for free for certain dates this fall and winter. Great Pumpkin will be available for free on the streamer from October 30 to November 1, the Thanksgiving special from November 25 to 27, and the Christmas special from December 11 to 13. But it's not just the iconic holiday specials that are moving to AppleTV+. Original Peanuts programming surrounding Mother's Day, Earth Day, New Year's Eve and back-to-school season will also be produced by WildBrain to air on AppleTV+. Included in the programming will be The Snoopy Show and season 2 of Snoopy in Space.

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At Its Heart, IBM Remains A Systems Company

The Next Platform - Tue, 2020-10-20 23:23

We have argued, even a decade and a half before The Next Platform was founded, that no one would ever move all of their IT infrastructure to a utility, what we now call a public cloud. …

At Its Heart, IBM Remains A Systems Company was written by Timothy Prickett Morgan at The Next Platform.

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Adblockers Installed 300,000 Times Are Malicious and Should Be Removed Now

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-10-20 23:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Adblocking extensions with more than 300,000 active users have been surreptitiously uploading user browsing data and tampering with users' social media accounts thanks to malware its new owner introduced a few weeks ago, according to technical analyses and posts on Github. Hugo Xu, developer of the Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender extensions, said 17 days ago that he no longer had the time to maintain the project and had sold the rights to the versions available in Google's Chrome Web Store. Xu told me that Nano Adblocker and Nano Defender, which often are installed together, have about 300,000 installations total. Four days ago, Raymond Hill, maker of the uBlock Origin extension upon which Nano Adblocker is based, revealed that the new developers had rolled out updates that added malicious code. The first thing Hill noticed the new extension doing was checking if the user had opened the developer console. If it was opened, the extension sent a file titled "report" to a server at https://def.dev-nano.com/. "In simple words, the extension remotely checks whether you are using the extension dev tools -- which is what you would do if you wanted to find out what the extension is doing," he wrote. The most obvious change end users noticed was that infected browsers were automatically issuing likes for large numbers of Instagram posts, with no input from users. Cyril Gorlla, an artificial intelligence and machine learning researcher at the University of California in San Diego, told me that his browser liked more than 200 images from an Instagram account that didn't follow anyone. The screenshot to the right shows some of the photos involved.

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Microsoft takes Kubernetes right to the edge with release of Akri for IoT devices

The Register - Tue, 2020-10-20 22:39
Beware Greeks bearing gifts

Microsoft's born-again love of open source continued today with the sharing of Akri, a project simplifying the use of network edge devices with Kubernetes.…

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Google Locks In Search Monopoly With $1 Billion To Carriers

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-10-20 22:28
Google doled out more than $1 billion last year to U.S. mobile carriers to distribute its search engine, according to the landmark antitrust lawsuit from the Justice Department. From a report: The DOJ suit, filed Tuesday, details several methods Google uses to make its search the default service on browsers, smartphones and other devices. That includes deals with Apple and Android manufacturers such as Samsung Electronics. Google also cut hefty revenue sharing agreements with major mobile carriers to box out competing search engines and browsers, the Justice Department said. In exchange for placing Google search as the default on phones, carriers received a portion of search advertising revenue. "If a carrier or manufacturer does not renew its revenue sharing agreement with Google, the distributor loses out on revenue share not only for new mobile devices but also for the phones and tablets previously sold and in the hands of consumers," the Justice Department said in the suit. "This provision is punitive to the carrier or manufacturer and helps to ensure that carriers and manufacturers will not stray from Google."

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Backblaze Hard Drive Stats Q3 2020

Slashdot - Tue, 2020-10-20 21:50
Backblaze's Q3 2020 hard drive stats: As of September 30, 2020, Backblaze had 153,727 spinning hard drives in our cloud storage ecosystem spread across four data centers. Of that number, there were 2,780 boot drives and 150,947 data drives. This review looks at the Q3 2020 and lifetime hard drive failure rates of the data drive models currently in operation in our data centers and provides a handful of insights and observations along the way. [...] There are several models with zero drive failures in the quarter. That's great, but when we dig in a little we get different stories for each of the drives. The 18TB Seagate model (ST18000NM000J) has 300 drive days and they've been in service for about 12 days. There were no out of the box failures which is a good start, but that's all you can say. The 16TB Seagate model (ST16000NM001G) has 5,428 drive days which is low, but they've been around for nearly 10 months on average. Still, I wouldn't try to draw any conclusions yet, but a quarter or two more like this and we might have something to say. The 4TB Toshiba model (MD04ABA400V) has only 9,108 drive days, but they have been putting up zeros for seven quarters straight. That has to count for something. The 14TB Seagate model (ST14000NM001G) has 21,120 drive days with 2,400 drives, but they have only been operational for less than one month. Next quarter will give us a better picture. The 4TB HGST (model: HMS5C4040ALE640) has 274,923 drive days with no failures this quarter.

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VMware patches, among other things, ESXi flaw that can be abused by miscreants on the network to hijack hosts

The Register - Tue, 2020-10-20 21:14
Adobe issues out-of-band patches, too, for Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, After Effects, etc

Sysadmins responsible for VMware deployments should test and apply the latest security updates for the software.…

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