Computers & Linux News

Red Hat and IBM Jointly File Another Amicus Brief In Google v. Oracle, Arguing APIs Are Not Copyrightable

SlashDot - 2 hours 14 min ago
Monday Red Hat and IBM jointly filed their own amicus brief with the U.S. Supreme Court in the "Google vs. Oracle" case, arguing that APIs cannot be copyrighted. "That simple, yet powerful principle has been a cornerstone of technological and economic growth for over sixty years. When published (as has been common industry practice for over three decades) or lawfully reverse engineered, they have spurred innovation through competition, increased productivity and economic efficiency, and connected the world in a way that has benefited commercial enterprises and consumers alike." An anonymous reader quotes Red Hat's announcement of the brief: "The Federal Circuit's unduly narrow construction of 17 U.S.C. 102(b) is harmful to progress, competition, and innovation in the field of software development," Red Hat stated in the brief. "IBM and Red Hat urge the Court to reverse the decision below on the basis that 17 U.S.C. 102(b) excludes software interfaces from copyright protection...." The lower court incorrectly extended copyright protection to software interfaces. If left uncorrected, the lower court rulings could harm software compatibility and interoperability and have a chilling effect on the innovation represented by the open source community... Red Hat's significant involvement with Java development over the last 20 years has included extensive contributions to OpenJDK, an open source implementation of the Java platform, and the development of Red Hat Middleware, a suite of Java-based middleware solutions to build, integrate, automate and deploy enterprise applications. As an open source leader, Red Hat has a stake in the consistent and correct determination of the scope of copyright protection that applies to interfaces of computer programs, including the Java platform interface at stake in this case. Open source software development relies on the availability of and unencumbered access to software interfaces, including products that are compatible with or interoperate with other computer products, platforms, and services...

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The first 2020 Chevy C8 Corvette just sold for $3 million at Barrett-Jackson - Roadshow

CNET News - 3 hours 15 min ago
All proceeds will go to the Detroit Children's Fund, a non-profit focused on bettering the schools of Detroit.

Slate Announces List of The 30 Most Evil Tech Companies

SlashDot - 3 hours 43 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes Slate: Separating out the meaningful threats from the noise is hard. Is Facebook really the danger to democracy it looks like? Is Uber really worse than the system it replaced? Isn't Amazon's same-day delivery worth it? Which harms are real and which are hypothetical? Has the techlash gotten it right? And which of these companies is really the worst? Which ones might be, well, evil? We don't mean evil in the mustache-twirling, burn-the-world-from-a-secret-lair sense -- well, we mostly don't mean that -- but rather in the way Googlers once swore to avoid mission drift, respect their users, and spurn short-term profiteering, even though the company now regularly faces scandals in which it has violated its users' or workers' trust. We mean ills that outweigh conveniences. We mean temptations and poison pills and unanticipated outcomes. Slate sent ballots to "a wide range of journalists, scholars, advocates, and others who have been thinking critically about technology for years," and reported that while America's big tech companies topped the list, "our respondents are deeply concerned about foreign companies dabbling in surveillance and A.I., as well as the domestic gunners that power the data-broker business." But while there were some disagreements, Palantir still rose to #4 on the list because "almost everyone distrusts Peter Thiel." Interestingly, their list ranks SpaceX at #17 (for potentially disrupting astronomy by clogging the sky with satellites) and ranks Tesla at #14 for "its troubled record of worker safety and its dubious claims that it will soon offer 'full self-driving' to customers who have already paid $7,000 for the promised add-on... Our respondents say the very real social good that Tesla has done by creating safe, zero-emission vehicles does not justify misdeeds, like apparent 'stealth recalls' of defects that appear to violate safety laws or the 19 unresolved Clean Air Act violations at its paint shop." Slate's article includes its comprehensive list of the 30 most dangerous tech companies. But here's the top 10: Amazon Facebook Alphabet Palantir Technologies Uber Apple Microsoft Twitter ByteDance Exxon MobilThere's also lots of familiar names higher up on the list, including both 8chan (#20) and Cloudflare (#21). 23andMe came in at #18, while Huawei was #11. Netflix does not appear anywhere on the list, but Disney ranks #15. And Oracle was #19. "It takes a lot to make me feel like Google is being victimized by a bully," wrote Cory Doctorow, "but Oracle managed it."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook axes pages that supported Robert Hyde, figure in impeachment probe - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 7 min ago
Facebook said it didn't get the info it sought from the page owners after it found the pages were "misleading people by concealing who controls them."

Microsoft's New Windows Terminal Preview Offers a Retro CRT Screen Effect

SlashDot - 4 hours 43 min ago
"The release of the Windows Terminal preview v0.8 has arrived!" announces a post on Microsoft's Command Line blog: Search functionality has been added to the Terminal! The default key binding to invoke the search dropdown is {"command": "find", "keys": ["ctrl+shift+f"]}. Feel free to customize this key binding in your profiles.json if you prefer different key presses! The dropdown allows you to search up and down through the buffer as well as with letter case matching. You can search through multiple tabs, reports the Verge -- and those tabs can also be resized "so you can fit more tabs into View." But they also note that Microsoft added some interesting retro-style CRT effects: If you're old enough to be a fan of CRT monitors then this one is for you. A new experimental feature will be enabled that includes the classic scan lines that you might have seen before the world switched to flat monitors and LCD technology. To enable it just add the following code snippet to any of your profiles: "experimental.retroTerminalEffect": true

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Exploit Fully Breaks SHA-1, Lowers the Attack Bar

SlashDot - 5 hours 43 min ago
ThreatPost reported on some big research last week: A proof-of-concept attack has been pioneered that "fully and practically" breaks the Secure Hash Algorithm 1 (SHA-1) code-signing encryption, used by legacy computers to sign the certificates that authenticate software downloads and prevent man-in-the-middle tampering. The exploit was developed by Gaëtan Leurent and Thomas Peyrin, academic researchers at Inria France and Nanyang Technological University/Temasek Laboratories in Singapore. They noted that because the attack is much less complex and cheaper than previous PoCs, it places such attacks within the reach of ordinary attackers with ordinary resources. "This work shows once and for all that SHA-1 should not be used in any security protocol where some kind of collision resistance is to be expected from the hash function," the researchers wrote. "Continued usage of SHA-1 for certificates or for authentication of handshake messages in TLS or SSH is dangerous, and there is a concrete risk of abuse by a well-motivated adversary. SHA-1 has been broken since 2004, but it is still used in many security systems; we strongly advise users to remove SHA-1 support to avoid downgrade attacks." Given the footprint of SHA-1, Leurent and Peyrin said that users of GnuPG, OpenSSL and Git could be in immediate danger. Long-time Slashdot reader shanen writes, "I guess the main lesson is that you can never be too sure how long any form of security will remain secure."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Boeing shares epic view from Starliner crew capsule on its way to orbit - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 29 min ago
The new spacecraft didn't quite make it to the International Space Station, but it was still a fantastic journey.

Facial Recognition Database With 3 Billion Scraped Images 'Might End Privacy as We Know It'

SlashDot - 6 hours 40 min ago
One police detective bragged that photos "could be covertly taken with a telephoto lens" then input into Clearview AI's database of more than three billion scraped images to immediately identify suspects. Long-time Slashdot reader v3rgEz writes: For the past year, government transparency non-profits and Open the Government have been digging into how local police departments around the country use facial recognition. The New York Times reports on their latest discovery: That a Peter Thiel-backed startup Clearview has scraped Facebook, Venmo, and dozens of other social media sites to create a massive, unregulated tool for law enforcement to track where you were, who you were with, and more, all with just a photo. Read the Clearview docs yourself and file a request in your town to see if your police department is using it. The Times describes Clearview as "the secretive company that might end privacy as we know it," with one of the company's early investors telling the newspaper that because information technology keeps getting more powerful, he's concluded that "there's never going to be privacy." He also expresses his belief that technology can't be banned, then acknowledges "Sure, that might lead to a dystopian future or something, but you can't ban it."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Major Breakthrough In Quantum Computing Shows That MIP* = RE

SlashDot - 7 hours 43 min ago
Slashdot reader JoshuaZ writes: In a major breakthrough in quantum computing it was shown that MIP* equals RE. MIP* is the set of problems that can be efficiently demonstrated to a classical computer interacting with multiple quantum computers with any amount of shared entanglement between the quantum computers. RE is the set of problems which are recursive; this is essentially all problems which can be computed. This result comes through years of deep development of understanding interactive protocols, where one entity, a verifier, has much less computing power than another set of entities, provers, who wish to convince the verifier of the truth of a claim. In 1990, a major result was that a classical computer with a polynomial amount of time could be convince of any claim in PSPACE by interacting with an arbitrarily powerful classical computer. Here PSPACE is the set of problems solvable by a classical computer with a polynomial amount of space. Subsequent results showed that if one allowed a verifier able to interact with multiple provers, the verifier could be convinced of a solution of any problem in NEXPTIME, a class conjectured to be much larger than PSPACE. For a while, it was believed that in the quantum case, the set of problems might actually be smaller, since multiple quantum computers might be able to use their shared entangled qubits to "cheat" the verifier. However, this has turned out not just to not be the case, but the exact opposite: MIP* is not only large, it is about as large as a computable class can naturally be. This result while a very big deal from a theoretical standpoint is unlikely to have any immediate applications since it supposes quantum computers with arbitrarily large amounts of computational power and infinite amounts of entanglement. The paper in question is a 165 tour de force which includes incidentally showing that the The Connes embedding conjecture, a 50 year old major conjecture from the theory of operator algebras, is false.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Clearview app lets strangers find your name, info with snap of a photo, report says - CNET

CNET News - 7 hours 51 min ago
It may not be long before you'll have to forget about walking down the street anonymously, says a New York Times report.

Best wireless earbuds and headphones for making calls - CNET

CNET News - 8 hours 10 min ago
Looking for a wireless headphone that's great for voice calling? Here are our current top picks.

Tuxedo's New Manjaro Linux Laptops Will Include Massive Customization

SlashDot - 8 hours 43 min ago
Tuxedo Computers "has teamed up with Manjaro to tease not one, not two, but several" Linux laptops, Forbes reports: The Tuxedo Computers InfinityBook Pro 15...can be loaded with up to 64GB of RAM, a 10th-generation Intel Core i7 CPU, and as high as a 2TB Samsung EVO Plus NVMe drive. You can also purchase up to a 5-year warranty, and user-installed upgrades will not void the warranty... Manjaro Lead Project Developer Philip Müller also teased a forthcoming AMD Ryzen laptop [on Forbes' "Linux For Everyone" podcast]. "Yes, we are currently evaluating which models we want to use because the industry is screaming for that," Müller says. "In the upcoming weeks we might get some of those for internal testing. Once they're certified and the drivers are ready, we'll see when we can launch those." Müller also tells me they're prepping what he describes as a "Dell XPS 13 killer." "It's 10th-generation Intel based, we will have it in 14-inch with a 180-degree lid, so you can lay it flat on your desk if you like," he says. The Manjaro/Tuxedo Computers partnership will also offer some intense customization options, Forbes adds. "Want your company logo laser-etched on the lid? OK. Want to swap out the Manjaro logo with your logo on the Super key? Sure, no problem. Want to show off your knowledge of fictional alien races? Why not get a 100% Klingon keyboard?"

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Why Did Red Hat Drop Its Support for Docker's Runtime Engine?

SlashDot - 9 hours 43 min ago
"I've grown quite fond of the docker container runtime. It's easy to install and use, and many of the technologies I write about depend upon this software," writes TechRepublic/Linux.com contributor Jack Wallen. "But Red Hat has other plans." The company decided -- seemingly out of the blue -- to drop support for the docker runtime engine. In place of docker came Podman. When trying to ascertain why Red Hat split with Docker, nothing came clear. Sure, I could easily draw the conclusion that Red Hat had grown tired of the security issues surrounding Docker and wanted to take matters in their own hands. There was also Red Hat's issue with "no big fat daemons." If that's the case, how do they justify their stance on systemd? Here's where my tinfoil hat comes into play. Understand this is pure conjecture here and I have zero facts to back these claims up... Red Hat is now owned by IBM. IBM was desperate to gain serious traction within the cloud. To do that, IBM needed Red Hat, so they purchased the company. Next, IBM had to score a bit of vendor lock-in. Using a tool like docker wouldn't give them that lock-in. However, if Red Hat developed and depended on their own container runtime, vendor lock-in was attainable.... Red Hat has jettisoned a mature, known commodity for a less-mature, relatively unknown piece of software -- without offering justification for the migration.... Until Red Hat offers up a sound justification for migrating from the docker container engine to Podman, there's going to be a lot of people sporting tinfoil hats. It comes with the territory of an always-connected world. And if it does turn out to be an IBM grab for vendor lock-in, there'll be a lot of admins migrating away from RHEL/CentOS to the likes of Ubuntu Server, SUSE/openSUSE, Debian, and more. Red Hat's product manager of containers later touted Podman's ability to deploy containers without root access privileges in an interview with eWeek. "We felt the sum total of its features, as well as the project's performance, security and stability, made it reasonable to move to 1.0. Since Podman is set to be the default container engine for the single-node use case in Red Hat Enterprise Linux 8, we wanted to make some pledges about its supportability." And a Red Hat spokesperson also shared their position with The New Stack. "We saw our customer base wanting the container runtime lifecycle baked-in to the OS or in delivered tandem with OpenShift."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A Broken Computer System Is Costing F-35 Maintainers 45,000 Hours a Year

SlashDot - 10 hours 43 min ago
schwit1 shared this report from the defense news site Task & Purpose: The computer-based logistics system of the F-35 stealth fighter jet made by Lockheed Martin, which has been plagued by delays, will be replaced by another network made by the same company, a Pentagon official said on Tuesday. The Autonomic Logistics Information System (ALIS) was designed to underpin the F-35 fleet's daily operations, ranging from mission planning and flight scheduling to repairs and scheduled maintenance, as well as the tracking and ordering of parts... ALIS was blamed for delaying aircraft maintenance, one of the very things it was meant to facilitate. "One Air Force unit estimated that it spent the equivalent of more than 45,000 hours per year performing additional tasks and manual workarounds because ALIS was not functioning as needed," the GAO said in a November report.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Is Also Launching a New $1 Billion 'Climate Innovation Fund'

SlashDot - 11 hours 43 min ago
As part of Microsoft's effort to reduce more atmospheric carbon than it emits, the company has announced a $1 billion "Climate Innovation Fund," reports GeekWire: Microsoft said the new fund will leverage its balance sheet to loan money and take equity stakes in ventures to encourage the development of new environmental innovations. The money will be invested over the next four years. The company cited four criteria for investments, including sustainability initiatives, market impact, technological advances, and climate equity, addressing the tendency of climate change to disproportionately hurt people in developing countries. "We deeply understand this is just a fraction of what is needed to solve this problem," said Amy Hood, the company's chief financial officer, outlining the plan at the event Thursday morning.... Microsoft said it is signing the United Nations' 1.5-degree Business Ambition Pledge, and said it will publicly track its progress in an annual Environmental Sustainability Report. The article notes that Bill Gates "reviewed Microsoft's new initiative but wasn't involved in its creation." Gates has his own $1 billion Breakthrough Energy Ventures fund and has meanwhile also invested in mini nuclear reactors to address climate change. And this spring he'll release a book titled "How to Avoid a Climate Disaster: The Solutions We Have and the Breakthroughs We Need."

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Boeing Discovers Issue With 737 Max Flight Computers

SlashDot - 13 hours 13 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Boeing's troubled 737 Max has run into a new glitch. During a recent technical review involving the Max, Boeing observed an issue with the plane's flight computers, according to a source familiar with the matter. The source said the issue is not related to the software revisions Boeing made to address the cause of two fatal crashes that killed 346 people, and would not occur during flight. The Max has been grounded since March following the second of those crashes. The computer issue was observed when booting up the computers on a Max and involves the so-called software power up monitoring function, which checks for anomalies when turning on the computers. It's similar to the steps any computer might make when first turned on. The source said the process of turning on the computers is performed when the plane is on the ground, rather than in flight. The source said the test was intended to find any issues like this one and that Boeing would fix the problem.

Share on Google+

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chonky cats beware: There's a new cat fitness tracker in town - CNET

CNET News - 15 hours 17 min ago
The PurrSong Pendant is a tiny device that measures your cat's activity and sleep.

2021 Genesis GV80 driven, GMC Yukon revealed and more: Roadshow's week in review - Roadshow

CNET News - 15 hours 17 min ago
Here's a look at our most important stories for the week ending Jan. 18.

9 great reads from CNET this week - CNET

CNET News - 15 hours 17 min ago
What tech terrifies the Picard cast, just who is eating the Impossible Burger and why even sex toys are vulnerable to hackers.

Pages