Computers & Linux News

Hereditary director Ari Aster's Midsommar reviews are in: 'Terrorizing' - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 23:36
What's that sound? Cries of fear. Echoing across the internet.

Ireland To Ban New Petrol, Diesel Vehicles By 2030

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The Irish government plans to ban the sale of new petrol and diesel vehicles by 2030, as part of a major strategy to protect the environment. The aim is to ensure that all new cars and vans on Irish roads in 11 years' time are electric vehicles. The proposed legislation was among 180 measures in the government's Climate Action Plan, published on Monday. The document also includes a target to implement an EU-wide ban on non-recyclable plastic by 2030. Unveiling the plan on Monday, the Environment Minister Richard Bruton said Ireland was "currently 85% dependent on fossil fuels." Mr Bruton said the plan was a roadmap to achieving existing 2030 emissions targets and would put Ireland "on a trajectory to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050." The hope is that by the time the petrol and diesel vehicle ban is introduced in 2030 there will be 950,000 electric vehicles on Irish roads. The government is set to invest in a "nationwide" charging network to power the new vehicles. By 2025, at least one recharging point will be required at new non-residential buildings with more than 10 parking spaces. The government also said it would stop granting National Car Test (NCT) certificates to fossil fuel cars by 2045. "The compulsory inspection program is carried out every year on vehicles that are more than 10 years old," reports the BBC.

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Bernie Sanders Supports Video Game Workers Unions

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 22:02
U.S. Senator and presidential candidate Bernie Sanders has taken to Twitter to announce his support for video game workers unions. "In his message, Sanders gives shout-outs to IATSE (the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees) and Game Workers Unite, two organizations that have been working to help game creators organize," reports VentureBeat. "He also links to a June 11 Time story about the epidemic of worker burn out occurring in the industry." From the report: Video games make a ton of money, including $43 billion in revenue in 2018 in the U.S. (as Sanders also points out). But the people making games are often overworked and suspect to "crunch," mandatory (and sometimes unpaid) overtime. Recently, stories of unhealthy crunch cultures have surrounded giant game makers like Rockstar and Electronic Arts. Other employees suffer mass layoffs, like at Activision Blizzard earlier this year, even when their companies are big or even record profits. Some studios shut down completely.

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Secretive Magic Leap Says Ex-Engineer Copied Headset For China

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 21:25
Magic Leap, a secretive U.S. startup that makes a $2,295 augmented-reality headset, filed a lawsuit Monday accusing one of its former engineers of stealing its technology to create his own AR device for China. Bloomberg reports: In a lawsuit filed Monday, Magic Leap alleges that Chi Xu, who left in 2016, exploited its confidential information to "quickly develop a prototype of lightweight, ergonomically designed, mixed reality glasses for use with smart phones and other devices that are strikingly similar" to the Florida-based startup's designs. The lawsuit marks the latest accusation from an American firm of intellectual property theft by Chinese companies, a perennial sore point that's helped escalate tensions between the world's two largest economies. With more than $2 billion in financing, Magic Leap is one of the better-funded startups delving into so-called augmented or mixed reality, a technology that gives users the illusion that fantastical, three-dimensional digital objects exist in the physical world. Xu, who founded Beijing-based Hangzhou Tairuo Technology Co., also known as Nreal, unveiled his own augmented reality glasses at a major Las Vegas trade show in January, touting them as lighter than the Magic Leap One, Forbes has reported. Magic Leap released its headset last August after seven years of secretive work and more than $2 billion of investment. The startup alleges that Xu plotted during his roughly 13 months working there to launch his own competing company in China and "neglected his work duties" to acquire proprietary information. Xu is accused in the suit of breach of contract, fraud and unfair competition.

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Facebook's Calibra Is a Secret Weapon For Monetizing Its New Cryptocurrency

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:45
Earlier today, Facebook announced its cryptocurrency "Libra" and the nonprofit association that will oversee it. "But behind Facebook's ambitions to create a quasi-nation state ruled by mostly corporate interests is a secret weapon, one the company hopes it can use to create another platform used by billions of people -- and generate enormous new revenue streams along the way," reports The Verge. "It's called Calibra, and it's a new subsidiary of Facebook the company is launching to build financial services and software on top of the Libra blockchain." From the report: At first blush, Calibra resembles a fairly standard payments company -- but its tight integration with Facebook's enormous user base could give it a significant advantage over any rivals. Thanks to its proximity to the technical development of Libra, and its ability to leverage WhatsApp, Messenger, and Instagram, Calibra could very well become Facebook's next big thing. Calibra's immediate goal is to develop and launch its own digital cryptocurrency wallet, and integrate that wallet into other Facebook products. The company will become a member of the nonprofit Libra Association and have equal voting power the other partners as Facebook's official representative, which include Uber, Lyft, eBay, and PayPal, along with several other tech companies, financial service providers, venture capitalists, and fellow nonprofits. That way, Facebook can say it does not solely control the currency or the network by itself. It also gets the benefit of having twice the representation as other companies, at least for now. Libra is the technology that underpins the network. But when it launches, Calibra will likely be how most people interact with the currency until competing wallets arise. In fact, it will likely be the first cryptocurrency wallet that hundreds of millions of people will have access to, by nature of being bundled with Facebook's massive ecosystem. With billions of users potentially interacting with Calibra, it will instantaneously have many hundreds of times the user base of the world's most popular existing wallets from Coinbase and others. Kevin Weil, vice president of product at Calibra, says the primary business model isn't to make money off ads targeted using your purchase history or to charge people for using the Calibra app. The real goal, Weil says, is to boost adoption to the point where Libra can have a vibrant financial services economy built on top of it, not just by Facebook but by any other company in the world. Weil says Libra becoming successful will have all sorts of positive ripple effects for all participants. "You suddenly have billions of new consumers for any online service. Businesses today that operate in cash only, if they have access to a digital currency they have access to advertising platforms, including Facebook," he says. "There are meaningful side effects on Facebook's business if Libra is successful."

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Adam Sandler's Murder Mystery is Netflix's biggest weekend film ever - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:32
The Sandler- and Jennifer Aniston-starring comedy has been a big success, Netflix tells us.

Astronomers just observed two galaxies merging, 13 billion years ago - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:32
It's thought to be the earliest known example of merging galaxies yet discovered.

Magic Leap accuses ex-employee of stealing AR technology for Chinese company - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:26
Former software engineer's new company used confidential information to create competing AR glasses in just two years, the startup alleges in a lawsuit.

Defying expectations, Boeing wins interest for 737 Max at Paris Air Show - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:17
The Max family is still grounded following two deadly crashes, but the parent of British Airways says it'll consider buying 200 737 aircraft

China has over 100 more supercomputers than the US, Top500 says - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:07
But the two most powerful supercomputers are in the US.

Engineers Boost Output of Solar Desalination System By 50 Percent

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 20:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Researchers in Rice's Laboratory for Nanophotonics (LANP) this week showed they could boost the efficiency of their solar-powered desalination system by more than 50% simply by adding inexpensive plastic lenses to concentrate sunlight into "hot spots." The results are available online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. "The typical way to boost performance in solar-driven systems is to add solar concentrators and bring in more light," said Pratiksha Dongare, a graduate student in applied physics at Rice's Brown School of Engineering and co-lead author of the paper. "The big difference here is that we're using the same amount of light. We've shown it's possible to inexpensively redistribute that power and dramatically increase the rate of purified water production." In conventional membrane distillation, hot, salty water is flowed across one side of a sheetlike membrane while cool, filtered water flows across the other. The temperature difference creates a difference in vapor pressure that drives water vapor from the heated side through the membrane toward the cooler, lower-pressure side. Scaling up the technology is difficult because the temperature difference across the membrane -- and the resulting output of clean water -- decreases as the size of the membrane increases. Rice's "nanophotonics-enabled solar membrane distillation" (NESMD) technology addresses this by using light-absorbing nanoparticles to turn the membrane itself into a solar-driven heating element. Dongare and colleagues, including study co-lead author Alessandro Alabastri, coat the top layer of their membranes with low-cost, commercially available nanoparticles that are designed to convert more than 80% of sunlight energy into heat. The solar-driven nanoparticle heating reduces production costs, and Rice engineers are working to scale up the technology for applications in remote areas that have no access to electricity.

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Samsung eyes Galaxy Note 10 launch on Aug. 7 in New York - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 19:46
The next Unpacked event will take place at the Barclays Center, the same venue as last year’s Note 9 launch, people familiar with the plans tell CNET.

House Lawmakers Demand End To Warrantless Collection of Americans' Data

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 19:20
Two House lawmakers are pushing an amendment that would effectively defund a massive data collection program run by the National Security Agency unless the government promises to not intentionally collect data of Americans. TechCrunch reports: The bipartisan amendment -- just 15 lines in length -- would compel the government to not knowingly collect communications -- like emails, messages and browsing data -- on Americans without a warrant. Reps. Justin Amash (R-MI, 3rd) and Zoe Lofgren (D-CA, 19th) have already garnered the support from some of the largest civil liberties and rights groups, including the ACLU, the EFF, FreedomWorks, New America and the Sunlight Foundation. Under the current statute, the NSA can use its Section 702 powers to collect and store the communications of foreign targets located outside the U.S. by tapping into the fiber cables owned and run by U.S. telecom giants. But this massive data collection effort also inadvertently vacuums up Americans' data, who are typically protected from unwarranted searches under the Fourth Amendment. The government has consistently denied to release the number of how many Americans are caught up in the NSA's data collection. For the 2018 calendar year, the government said it made more than 9,600 warrantless searches of Americans' communications, up 28% year-over-year.

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US lawmaker wants Facebook to halt its Libra cryptocurrency project - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 19:11
Lawmakers still have a lot of questions about Facebook's cryptocurrency plans.

Google Explains How It Licenses Song Lyrics For Search, Will Add Attribution

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 18:40
Over the weekend, Google Search was caught allegedly copying song lyrics from In response, Google published a long explanation of how lyrics in Search work and said that they will add attribution to note which third-party service is supplying the lyrics. 9to5Google reports: When you look up a song in Search, Google often returns a YouTube video with the Knowledge Panel featuring lyrics, links to streaming services, and other artist/album/release/genre info. A query that explicitly asks for "lyrics" will display the full text as the first item at the top of The Wall Street Journal over the weekend reported on an accusation that Search was taking content from Genius. According to Google today, it does "not crawl or scrape websites to source these lyrics." When available, Google will pay music publishers for the right to display lyrics. However, in most cases, publishers do not have digital transcripts, with the search engine instead turning to third-party "lyrics content providers." Google today reiterated that it's asking partners to "investigate the issue," with the third-party -- and not Google directly -- likely at fault for scraping Genius content. Meanwhile, Knowledge Panels in Search will soon gain attribution to note who is supplying digital lyrics text. "Google today reiterated that it's asking partners to 'investigate the issue,' with the third-party -- and not Google directly -- likely at fault for scraping Genius content," Google said in a blog post. "Meanwhile, Knowledge Panels in Search will soon gain attribution to note who is supplying digital lyrics text."

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This photo from Greenland says everything about climate change - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 18:35
It's home to the second biggest chunk of ice in the world, but right now it looks more like a water park.

Microsoft patent app could see the Surface Pen double as an earbud - CNET

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 18:23
The company envisioned a flexible stylus with input buttons for controlling audio and digital presentations.

YouTuber Simone Giertz Transformed a Tesla Model 3 Into a Pickup Truck

SlashDot - Tue, 2019-06-18 18:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Simone Giertz was tired of waiting for Elon Musk to unveil his new Tesla pickup truck, so she decided to make one herself. The popular YouTuber and self-described "queen of shitty robots" transformed a Model 3 into an honest-to-god pickup truck, which she dubs "Truckla" -- and naturally you can watch all the cutting and welding (and cursing) on her YouTube channel. There's even a fake truck commercial to go along with it. Giertz spent over a year planning and designing before launching into the arduous task of turning her Model 3 into a pickup truck. And she recruited a ragtag team of mechanics and DIY car modifiers to tackle the project: Marcos Ramirez, a Bay Area maker, mechanic and artist; Boston-based Richard Benoit, whose YouTube channel Rich Rebuilds is largely dedicated to the modification of pre-owned Tesla models; and German designer and YouTuber Laura Kampf. Giertz's truck looks exactly like what it is: a Model 3 with the top part of the back half removed. As such, it blurs the line between sedan and pickup, which used to be a popular design style in the 1970s and 80s, until consumers decided that bigger is better. Think Chevy El Camino, or Ford Ranchero. But Giertz smartly added some standard truck accoutrements, like a lumber rack with Hella lights attached to the front, so that it wouldn't look out of place among the Rams and Silverados of the world. It wasn't a project without its obstacles. After stripping the backseat and the trunk of its many parts, the Model 3 refused to start. Ramirez explained that the car was reporting "all of its many faults" to Tesla headquarters via cell connection, or essentially "snitching" on the YouTubers who were trying to modify it. They also ran into problems after cutting through the first beam when the metal started to buckle slightly. Luckily they were able to reinforce the steel and keep going.

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2020 BMW 8 Series Gran Coupe adds a usable second row - Roadshow

CNET News - Tue, 2019-06-18 18:01
It'll be available in both I6 and V8 flavors, and it'll be out before the end of the year.