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Roku Removes Dedicated QAnon Channel That Launched Last Month

Wed, 2020-06-03 11:00
Streaming platform Roku has removed a channel dedicated to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement after facing criticism for letting it slip through its review and moderation processes last month. The Verge reports: The show, called "Q Channel - QAnon Channel," was hosted by popular QAnon supporter Dave Hayes and advertised as a "opinion based shows for getting the truth out, as we know it, about the Qanon movement." A Roku spokesperson tells The Verge, "The channel is no longer on our platform." But the company would not elaborate on why it allowed the show to launch last month. Roku is best known as a streaming set-top box maker that also produces interface software for smart TVs. In addition to supporting other streaming services, Roku also allows anyone to create a channel that shows up on its platform as if it were any other legitimate source -- like Hulu, Netflix, or scores of verified news channels. That's what Hayes, who goes by the online handle "Praying Medic," did after he began advertising the launch of his dedicated QAnon opinion show in late May. MediaMatters reports the channel was live for nearly two weeks, promoting prominent QAnon voices and the movement's regular slate of rampant misinformation, conspiracy theories, and other false and manipulated news reports. Hayes also said he would be bringing the channel to other streaming platforms, too. Last week, Google removed three apps related to the QAnon conspiracy theory movement from the Play Store.

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Categories: Technology

The 50 Years of Crowd Control Research Police Are Ignoring

Wed, 2020-06-03 08:00
Thelasko shares an excerpt from FiveThirtyEight: Researchers have spent 50 years studying the way crowds of protesters and crowds of police behave -- and what happens when the two interact. One thing they will tell you is that when the police respond by escalating force -- wearing riot gear from the start, or using tear gas on protesters -- it doesn't work. In fact, disproportionate police force is one of the things that can make a peaceful protest not so peaceful. But if we know that (and have known that for decades), why are police still doing it? There's 50 years of research on violence at protests, dating back to the three federal commissions formed between 1967 and 1970. All three concluded that when police escalate force -- using weapons, tear gas, mass arrests and other tools to make protesters do what the police want -- those efforts can often go wrong, creating the very violence that force was meant to prevent. For example, the Kerner Commission, which was formed in 1967 to specifically investigate urban riots, found that police action was pivotal in starting half of the 24 riots the commission studied in detail. It recommended that police eliminate "abrasive policing tactics" and that cities establish fair ways to address complaints against police. Experts say the following decades of research have turned up similar findings. Escalating force by police leads to more violence, not less. It tends to create feedback loops, where protesters escalate against police, police escalate even further, and both sides become increasingly angry and afraid. Anne Nassauer, a professor of sociology at Freie Universitat in Berlin, has studied how the Berlin Police Department handles protests and soccer matches. She found that one key element is transparent communication -- something Nassauer said helps increase trust and diffuse potentially tense moments. The Berlin police employs people specifically to make announcements in these situations, using different speakers, with local accents or different languages, for things like information about what police are doing, and another speaker for commands. Either way, the messages are delivered in a calm, measured voice. Communication is also a cornerstone of what police know as "the Madison Model," created by former Madison, Wisconsin, chief of police David Couper. His strategy for dealing with protesters was to send officers out to talk with demonstrators, engage, ask them why protests are made, listen to their concerns and, above all, empathize. The report notes that many police departments in the U.S. did try different strategies in the 1980s and 1990s, but they ultimately ended up responding with force anyway. "The 'negotiated management' model of protest policing called for officers to meet with protesters in advance to plan events together to specify the times, locations and activities that would happen, even when that included mass arrests," reports FiveThirtyEight. "But the era of negotiated management basically fell apart after the World Trade Organization protests in Seattle in 1999, when protesters blocked streets, broke windows and successfully shut down the WTO meeting and stalled trade talks. When protesters violated the negotiated terms, police responded with tear gas and rubber bullets and took away the wrong lessons, [said Edward Maguire, a professor of criminology and criminal justice at Arizona State University]. 'What a lot of people took from that in policing is, we can't trust these people. We need to be smarter and overwhelm them to nip these things in the bud," he said. 'We sort of went backwards.'"

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Categories: Technology

Walmart Employees Are Out To Show Its Anti-Shoplifting AI Doesn't Work

Wed, 2020-06-03 04:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: In January, my coworker received a peculiar email. The message, which she forwarded to me, was from a handful of corporate Walmart employees calling themselves the "Concerned Home Office Associates." (Walmart's headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas, is often referred to as the Home Office.) While it's not unusual for journalists to receive anonymous tips, they don't usually come with their own slickly produced videos. The employees said they were "past their breaking point" with Everseen, a small artificial intelligence firm based in Cork, Ireland, whose technology Walmart began using in 2017. Walmart uses Everseen in thousands of stores to prevent shoplifting at registers and self-checkout kiosks. But the workers claimed it misidentified innocuous behavior as theft and often failed to stop actual instances of stealing. They told WIRED they were dismayed that their employer -- one of the largest retailers in the world -- was relying on AI they believed was flawed. One worker said that the technology was sometimes even referred to internally as "NeverSeen" because of its frequent mistakes. WIRED granted the employees anonymity because they are not authorized to speak to the press. The workers said they had been upset about Walmart's use of Everseen for years and claimed colleagues had raised concerns about the technology to managers but were rebuked. They decided to speak to the press, they said, after a June 2019 Business Insider article reported Walmart's partnership with Everseen publicly for the first time. The story described how Everseen uses AI to analyze footage from surveillance cameras installed in the ceiling and can detect issues in real time, such as when a customer places an item in their bag without scanning it. When the system spots something, it automatically alerts store associates. A video from the Concerned Home Office Associates "purports to show Everseen's technology failing to flag items not being scanned in three different Walmart stores," adds the report. "Set to cheery elevator music, it begins with a person using self-checkout to buy two jumbo packages of Reese's White Peanut Butter Cups. Because the packages are stacked on top of each other, only one is scanned, but both are successfully placed in the bagging area without issue." "The same person then grabs two gallons of milk by their handles and moves them across the scanner with one hand. Only one is rung up, but both are put in the bagging area. They then put their own cell phone on top of the machine, and an alert pops up saying they need to wait for assistance -- a false positive."

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Apple Warns Looters With Stolen iPhones: You Are Being Tracked

Wed, 2020-06-03 02:25
Following the rioting and looting from the death of George Floyd, Apple has a message for those who power on a stolen iPhone: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted." Forbes reports: Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a message to his employees as those protests escalated, saying that "there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions. To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism." Cook went on to say that "at Apple, our mission has and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We've always drawn strength from our diversity, welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world, and strived to build an Apple that is inclusive of everyone." These words were being digested as the tech giant made the decision to close the majority of its U.S. stores for the safety of those staff and its customers, stores that had only just reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown. Apple has unsurprisingly become a favored target of looters, given the likely spoils on offer, and the decision was taken to remove stock from shop floors and shutter locations. It has long been known that Apple operates some form of proximity software that disables a device when it is taken illegally from a store. Until now, though, little had been seen of that technology in action. Well, thanks to social media, we can now see the message that greets a looter powering up their new device: "This device has been disabled and is being tracked," it says. "Local authorities will be alerted."

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Google Faces $5 Billion Lawsuit In US For Tracking 'Private' Internet Use

Wed, 2020-06-03 01:45
Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in "private" mode. Reuters reports: The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet unit of collecting information about what people view online and where they do their browsing, despite using what Google calls Incognito mode. The complaint said Google surreptitiously collects data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads. This helps the Mountain View, California-based company learn details about users' friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the "most intimate and potentially embarrassing things" they search for online, the complaint said. Google "cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone," the complaint said. The complaint said the proposed class likely includes "millions" of Google users who since June 1, 2016 browsed the internet in "private" mode. It seeks damages per user of $5,000 or three times actual damages, whichever is greater, for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

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A Look At AI Benchmarking For Mobile Devices In a Rapidly Evolving Ecosystem

Wed, 2020-06-03 01:02
MojoKid writes: AI and Machine Learning performance benchmarks have been well explored in the data center, but are fairly new and unestablished for edge devices like smartphones. While AI implementations on phones are typically limited to inferencing tasks like speech-to-text transcription and camera image optimization, there are real-world neural network models employed on mobile devices and accelerated by their dedicated processing engines. A deep dive look at HotHardware of three popular AI benchmarking apps for Android shows that not all platforms are created equal, but also that performance results can vary wildly, depending on the app used for benchmarking. Generally speaking, it all hinges on what neural networks (NNs) the benchmarks are testing and what precision is being tested and weighted. Most mobile apps that currently employ some level of AI make use of INT8 (quantized). While INT8 offers less precision than FP16 (Floating Point), it's also more power-efficient and offers enough precision for most consumer applications. Typically, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 powered devices offer the best INT8 performance, while Huawei's Kirin 990 in the P40 Pro 5G offers superior FP16 performance. Since INT8 precision for NN processing is more common in today's mobile apps, it could be said that Qualcomm has the upper hand, but the landscape in this area is ever-evolving to be sure.

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Senators Introduce COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Privacy Bill

Wed, 2020-06-03 00:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: A group of U.S. senators on Monday introduced a bill to regulate contact-tracing apps, aiming to protect user privacy as technology is used to track the spread of the novel coronavirus. The proposal is called the Exposure Notification Privacy Act and seeks to ensure that people couldn't be forced to use the technology. It also would make sure that the data isn't used for advertising or commercial purposes and that people can delete their data. The bill seeks to require that notification systems only rely on "an authorized diagnosis" that came from medical organization. "Public health needs to be in charge of any notification system so we protect people's privacy and help them know when there is a warning that they might have been exposed to COVID-19," Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington and one of the bill's sponsors, said in a comment provided to CNET. Cantwell's co-sponsor on the bill is Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, also has given her support. "We need to regulate apps that provide COVID-19 exposure notification to protect a user's privacy, prevent data misuse and preserve our civil rights -- and this bill offers a roadmap for doing all three," Public Knowledge Policy Counsel Sara Collins said in a statement. "The bill marks a valuable first step in the long road ahead to protecting Americans' data."

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Instagram Users Flood the App With Millions of Blackout Tuesday Posts

Tue, 2020-06-02 23:40
Instagram users are flooding the platform with black squares in support of black victims of police violence as part of a Blackout Tuesday protest. CNBC reports: As of 11:45 a.m. ET, more than 14.6 million Instagram posts used the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday. Searches for "blackout tuesday image" and "blackout image" surged 400% Tuesday morning, according to Google Trends. The idea of an online movement was announced last week, when music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang called on members of the music industry to pause business on Tuesday and take a stand against racism. "We will not continue to conduct business as usual without regard for Black lives," the founders wrote. Platforms, such as Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music, joined the movement and are using their apps to promote black artists. Additionally, media company ViacomCBS, which owns MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Pop, VH1, TV Land, among others, also joined this call to action. On Monday, the company's networks all went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time that an officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee on Floyd's neck. The movement has since spread to brands, organizations and individuals, who are using Instagram to post only a black square Tuesday to show a virtual moment of silence. Others are choosing to continue posting, but will only amplify voices of the black community.

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Rust Enters 'Top 20' Popularity Rankings For the First Time

Tue, 2020-06-02 23:02
Programming language Rust has entered the top 20 of the Tiobe popularity index for the first time, but it's still five spots behind systems programming rival Go. ZDNet reports: There's growing interest in the use of memory-safe Rust for systems programming to build major platforms, in particular at Microsoft, which is exploring it for Windows and Azure with the goal of wiping out memory bugs in code written in C and C++. Amazon Web Services is also using Rust for performance-sensitive components in Lambda, EC2, and S3. Rust has seen its ranking rise considerably on Tiobe, from 38 last year to 20 today. Tiobe's index is based on searches for a language on major search engines, so it doesn't mean more people are using Rust, but it shows that more developers are searching for information about the language. Rust was voted for the fifth year straight the most loved programming language by developers in Stack Overflow's 2020 survey. This year, 86% of developers said they are keen to use Rust, but just 5% actually use it for programming. On the other hand, it could become more widely used thanks to Microsoft's public preview of its Rust library for the Windows Runtime (WinRT), which makes it easier for developers to write Windows, cross-platform apps and drivers in Rust.

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Lawsuit Says Trump's Social Media Crackdown Violates Free Speech

Tue, 2020-06-02 22:25
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: President Trump's crackdown on social media companies faced a new legal challenge on Tuesday, as a technology policy organization claimed in a lawsuit that he violated the companies' right to free speech with his executive order aimed at curtailing their legal protections. The nonprofit Center for Democracy and Technology says in the suit that Mr. Trump's attempt to unwind a federal law that grants social media companies discretion over the content they allow on their platforms was retaliatory and would have a chilling effect on the companies. The lawsuit -- filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia -- is indicative of the pushback that the president is likely to face as he escalates his fight with social media companies, which he has accused of bias against conservative voices. It asks the court to invalidate the executive order. [...] "President Trump -- by publicly attacking Twitter and issuing the order -- sought to chill future online speech by other speakers," its filing said. The center added, "The order clouds the legal landscape in which the hosts of third-party content operate and puts them all on notice that content moderation decisions with which the government disagrees could produce penalties and retributive actions, including stripping them of Section 230's protections."

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Trump Administration Escalates Global Fight Over Taxing Tech

Tue, 2020-06-02 21:45
The U.S. investigation targets nine countries, plus the European Union, that have adopted or are considering new taxes that would hit American companies like Google and Amazon. From a report: The Trump administration said on Tuesday that it would open an investigation into taxes on digital commerce that have been adopted or proposed in nine countries and the European Union, escalating a global battle that will affect where big American tech companies like Facebook and Amazon pay taxes. The administration's move could ultimately lead to American tariffs on imports from Brazil, Britain, India and a host of other countries, heightening the chances of another global trade dispute that results in retaliatory taxes on U.S. goods. The investigation, which will be conducted by the United States Trade Representative, could also complicate global negotiations that have been underway for more than a year and are aimed at reaching a multinational consensus on how to tax internet commerce that crosses borders. At issue are efforts spreading across Europe and beyond to impose so-called digital services taxes on economic activity generated online. Those taxes deviate from many traditional international tax regimes by affecting revenues earned by a company where they are generated -- regardless of whether the company has a physical presence there. For example, India imposed a 2 percent tax in April on online sales of goods and services to people in India by large foreign firms. The European Union has revived its push for a similar tax as a way to help fund response measures to the coronavirus.

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Zuckerberg Defends Hands-Off Approach To Trump's Posts

Tue, 2020-06-02 21:05
In a call with Facebook employees, who have protested the inaction on Mr. Trump's messages, Mr. Zuckerberg said his decision was "pretty thorough." From a report: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, on Tuesday stood firmly behind his decision to not do anything about President Trump's inflammatory posts on the social network, saying that he had made a "tough decision" but that it "was pretty thorough." In a question-and-answer session with employees conducted over video chat software, Mr. Zuckerberg sought to justify his position on Mr. Trump's messages, which has led to fierce internal dissent. The meeting, which had been scheduled for Thursday, was moved up to Tuesday after hundreds of employees protested the inaction by staging a virtual "walkout" of sorts on Monday. Facebook's principles and policies around free speech "show that the right action where we are right now is to leave this up," Mr. Zuckerberg said on the call, the audio of which was heard by The New York Times. He added that though he knew many people would be upset with the company, a review of its policies backed up his decision. "I knew that I would have to separate out my personal opinion," he said. "Knowing that when we made this decision we made, it was going to lead to a lot of people upset inside the company, and the media criticism we were going to get."

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China Delayed Releasing Coronavirus Info, Frustrating WHO

Tue, 2020-06-02 20:25
schwit1 shares a report: Throughout January, the World Health Organization publicly praised China for what it called a speedy response to the new coronavirus. It repeatedly thanked the Chinese government for sharing the genetic map of the virus "immediately," and said its work and commitment to transparency were "very impressive, and beyond words." But behind the scenes, it was a much different story, one of significant delays by China and considerable frustration among WHO officials over not getting the information they needed to fight the spread of the deadly virus, The Associated Press has found. Despite the plaudits, China in fact sat on releasing the genetic map, or genome, of the virus for more than a week after three different government labs had fully decoded the information. Tight controls on information and competition within the Chinese public health system were to blame, according to dozens of interviews and internal documents. Chinese government labs only released the genome after another lab published it ahead of authorities on a virologist website on Jan. 11. Even then, China stalled for at least two weeks more on providing WHO with detailed data on patients and cases, according to recordings of internal meetings held by the U.N. health agency through January -- all at a time when the outbreak arguably might have been dramatically slowed.

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Covid-19 Is History's Biggest Translation Challenge

Tue, 2020-06-02 19:45
Services like Google Translate support only 100 languages, give or take. What about the thousands of other languages -- spoken by people just as vulnerable to this crisis? From a report: If we want to avoid a pandemic spreading to all the humans in the world, this information also has to reach all the humans of the world -- and that means translating Covid PSAs into as many languages as possible, in ways that are accurate and culturally appropriate. It's easy to overlook how important language is for health if you're on the English-speaking internet, where "is this headache actually something to worry about?" is only a quick Wikipedia article or WebMD search away. For over half of the world's population, people can't expect to Google their symptoms, nor even necessarily get a pamphlet from their doctor explaining their diagnosis, because it's not available in a language they can understand. [...] In a pandemic, the challenge isn't just translating one or a handful of primary languages in a single region -- it's on a scale of perhaps thousands of languages, at least 1,000 to 2,000 of the 7,000-plus languages that exist in the world today, according to the pooled estimates of the experts I spoke with, all of whom emphasized that this number was very uncertain but definitely the largest number they'd ever faced at once. Machine translation might be able to help in some circumstances, but it needs to be approached with caution. [...] That's not to say that machine translation isn't helpful for some tasks, where getting the gist quickly is more important than the nuanced translations humans excel at, such as quickly sorting and triaging requests for help as they come in or keeping an eye on whether a new misconception is bubbling up. But humans need to be kept in the loop, and both human and machine language expertise needs to be invested in during calmer times so that it can be used effectively in a crisis. The bigger issue with machine translation is that it's not even an option for many of the languages involved. Translators Without Borders is translating Covid information into 89 languages, responding to specific requests of on-the-ground organizations, and 25 of them (about a third) aren't in Google Translate at all. Machine translation disproportionately works for languages with lots of resources, with things like news sites and dictionaries that can be used as training data. Sometimes, like with French and Spanish, the well-resourced languages of former colonial powers also work as lingua francas for translation purposes. In other cases, there's a mismatch between what's easy to translate by machine versus what's useful to TWB: The group has been fielding lots of requests for Covid info in Kanuri, Dari, and Tigrinya, none of which are in Google Translate, but hasn't seen any for Dutch or Hebrew (which are in Google Translate but don't need TWB's help -- they have national governments already producing their own materials). Google Translate supports 109 languages, Bing Translate has 71, and even Wikipedia exists in only 309 languages -- figures that pale in comparison to the 500-plus languages on the list from the Endangered Languages Project, all human-created resources.

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India Plans $6.6 Billion in Incentives To Woo Smartphone Makers

Tue, 2020-06-02 19:05
India is offering financial incentives and plug-and-play facilities with an outlay of about 500 billion rupees ($6.6 billion) to attract investments from global companies in the manufacture of mobile phones and related components. From a report: The government will initially target five global suppliers and extend a financial incentive of as much as 6% on incremental sales of goods made in the country for a period of five years, according to the ministry for electronics and information technology. An incentive of 25% on capital expenditure will be provided for production of electronic components, semiconductors and other parts. Electronic manufacturing clusters with ready-to-use facilities will be offered. The move has the potential to make India as global hub for mobile phone manufacturing and make it the largest exported item out of India while generate half a million jobs, Ravi Shankar Prasad, minister for electronics and information technology, said at a press conference in New Delhi Tuesday.

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HBO Max Won't Hit AT&T Data Caps, But Netflix and Disney Plus Will

Tue, 2020-06-02 18:26
HBO Max, AT&T's big bet on the future of streaming, will be excused from AT&T's mobile data caps, while competing services like Netflix and Disney Plus will use up your data. From a report: That's the follow-up from a Vergecast conversation with Tony Goncalves, the AT&T executive in charge of HBO Max. Asked whether HBO Max would hit the cap, Goncalves said his team "had the conversation" but didn't have the answer. AT&T later confirmed to The Verge that HBO Max will be excused from the company's traditional data caps and the soft data caps on unlimited plans. According to an AT&T executive familiar with the matter, HBO Max is using AT&T's "sponsored data" system, which technically allows any company to pay to excuse its services from data caps. But since AT&T owns HBO Max, it's just paying itself: the data fee shows up on the HBO Max books as an expense and on the AT&T Mobility books as revenue. For AT&T as a whole, it zeroes out. Compare that to a competitor like Netflix, which could theoretically pay AT&T for sponsored data, but it would be a pure cost.

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Hackers Plan To Use Stolen Cryptocurrency Exchange Data for SIM Swapping

Tue, 2020-06-02 17:50
Hackers who obtained personal data on users of Canadian cryptocurrency exchange Coinsquare say they plan to use the information to perform so-called SIM swapping attacks, according to one of the hackers. Motherboard: The news shows hackers' continued interest in trying to leverage security issues with telecom-based forms of authentication. In a SIM swapping attack, a hacker takes control of a target's phone number, which then gives them the ability to request password resets for some websites or a victim's two-factor authentication code. Often, SIM swappers will use these techniques to steal cryptocurrency. The breach also signals the continued risk of insider access, with Coinsquare telling Motherboard a former employee was responsible for stealing the data. "The original intent was to sell it [the data] but we figured we would make more money by SIM swapping the accounts," a pseudonymous hacker who provided the Coinsquare data to Motherboard said in an online chat.

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This is Online Learning's Moment. For Universities, It's a Total Mess

Tue, 2020-06-02 17:19
Universities are struggling with online learning. And with social distancing here for some time, there are no easy solutions. From a report: As thousands of students logged into their university's systems at the same time, poor connections and technical problems were the norm -- and for the most part, teachers were left alone to troubleshoot issues, fix poor audio and video quality, and follow up with students individually to make sure they could access any missed content. With no end to the pandemic in sight, virtual classes are here to stay. They solve the problem of packed lecture halls and hallways that aren't designed for social distancing -- and are also far cheaper to run. But not many people want to pay almost $12,500 a year for the privilege of attending Zoom calls. Many UK universities are bracing for a gaping hole in their budgets as they expect fewer students to turn up in the autumn. A survey found that one in five people were willing to delay their undergraduate degrees if universities were not operating as normal due to the coronavirus pandemic. With 120,000 fewer students starting in September, UK universities could face a $950 million loss of income in tuition fees. The University of Manchester, which has announced plans to keep lectures online-only in the autumn term, is already preparing for the worst. On April 23, vice-chancellor Dame Nancy Rothwell told staff that redundancies and pay cuts may be necessary if 80 per cent of students from outside the EU and 20 per cent of UK and EU students decided to stay defer or drop out. In the worst-case scenario, the university could lose up to $338 in a single year -- a 15 to 25 per cent deficit. Unlike schools, universities are privately-run institutions free to develop their own roadmaps for getting out of lockdown. The University of Cambridge has become the first university in the country to say it will offer courses online for the entire 2020-21 academic year. With social distancing measures likely to stay in place for the foreseeable future, other universities are expected to follow suit with a "blended" mix of online lecturers and small group teaching -- for seminars, practical and laboratory work, and supervisions -- on campus. Start and break times will be staggered to avoid overcrowding and universities will redesign study areas and cafeterias to make them "Covid secure." But that will only work if universities can be dragged out of their traditional format and forced to use technology that works.

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Firefox 77 Arrives With Faster JavaScript Debugging and Optional Permissions

Tue, 2020-06-02 16:30
An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla today launched Firefox 77 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. Firefox 77 includes faster JavaScript debugging, optional permissions for extensions, and Pocket recommendations in the U.K. You can download Firefox 77 for desktop now from Firefox.com, and all existing users should be able to upgrade to it automatically. According to Mozilla, Firefox has about 250 million active users, making it a major platform for web developers to consider. [...] Other than Pocket recommendations arriving in the U.K. (they've been in Canada, Germany, and the U.S. since April 2018), this is primarily a developer release. Firefox's Debugger is now better at handling large web apps with all their bundling, live reloading, and dependencies. Mozilla is promising performance improvements that speed up pausing and stepping, as well as cutting down on memory usage over time. Source maps should also see performance boosts -- some inline source maps load 10 times faster -- and improved reliability for many configurations. The debugger will now also respect the currently selected stack when stepping, which is useful when youâ(TM)ve stepped into a function call or paused in a library method further down in the stack.

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DOD's Third Attempt To Implement IPv6 Isn't Going Well

Tue, 2020-06-02 15:48
The US Department of Defense is woefully behind on its plan to upgrade its IT infrastructure to support the newer IPv6 protocol, according to a government report published on Monday. From a report: This current effort is the third time the DOD attempts to upgrade its infrastructure to support IPv6 over in the past 17 years. The first two attempts took place in 2003 and 2010, respectively. The 2003 effort was abandoned with the DOD citing security risks and a lack of personnel trained in IPv6, while the second attempt was also abandoned, similarly on the grounds that IPv6 was not yet secure enough for the DOD's sensitive networks. On Monday, the Government Accountability Office (GAO), the auditing agency of the US government, said that the DOD's third attempt isn't doing any better either. GAO officials said the DOD failed to follow four basic requirements that were set out by the White House Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in 2006. The four requirements were part of an OMB guideline sent to all federal agencies detailing the proper procedure for upgrading networks from IPv4 to IPv6. "For its current [third] initiative, DOD has not completed three of four longstanding OMB requirements," GAO auditors said in a report published on Monday.

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