Computers & Linux News

Best Internet Deals for March 2024 - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2024-03-03 11:30
Get fast speeds for a low price, plus discounts, gift cards and more from the top internet providers. Here are the best internet deals available now.

Linux Foundation Launches Open Source Fraud Prevention Solutions, Supported By Gates Foundation

SlashDot - Sun, 2024-03-03 10:34
This week Linux Foundation Charities launched "a groundbreaking open source software solution for real-time fraud prevention" named Tazama — "with support from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation." They're calling it "the first-ever open source platform dedicated to enhancing fraud management in digital payments." Until now, the financial industry has grappled with proprietary and often costly solutions that have limited access and adaptability for many, especially in developing economies. This challenge is underscored by the Global Anti-Scam Alliance, which reported that nearly $1 trillion was lost to online fraud in 2022. Tazama challenges this status quo by providing a powerful, scalable, and cost-effective alternative that democratizes access to advanced financial monitoring tools that can help combat fraud... The solution's architecture emphasizes data sovereignty, privacy, and transparency, aligning with the priorities of governments worldwide. Hosted by LF Charities, which will support the operation and function of the project, Tazama showcases the scalability and robustness of open source solutions, particularly in critical infrastructure like national payment switches. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, described their reaction as "excited to see an open source solution that not only enhances financial security but also provides a platform for our community to actively contribute to a project with broad societal impacts." And the announcement also includes a comment from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation's deputy director for payment systems. "This pioneering open source platform helps address critical challenges like fraud detection and compliance and paves the way for innovative, inclusive financial solutions that serve everyone, especially those in low-income countries. "The launch of Tazama signifies another stride towards securing and democratizing digital financial services."

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Best Internet Providers in Abilene, Texas - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2024-03-03 09:00
Broadband in the Storybook Capital of America definitely has a story to tell. Abilene has plenty of providers, lightning-fast speeds and cheap prices.

Final Fantasy VII Rebirth: 5 Things to Know Before Starting the Game - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2024-03-03 08:00
Want to play the sequel to Final Fantasy VII Remake? Check out these tips.

'The Regime': How to Watch the HBO Series From Anywhere - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2024-03-03 08:00
If you love Kate Winslet or political dramedies, you'll want to stream this new series.

Did Remote Working Doom a San Francisco Macy's?

SlashDot - Sun, 2024-03-03 07:34
"These days in San Francisco, every major business closure triggers a rush to assign blame," argues the San Francisco Standard: When Macy's announced this week that it would shutter its flagship store in Union Square, it unleashed a wave of mourning and recriminations... Mayor London Breed and other local pols like state Sen. Scott Wiener tried to allay fears that Macy's was leaving because of crime, noting the planned closure is one of 150 nationwide. But in a tough election year, it seems few had the appetite to listen to her call for nuance... The unavoidable truth is the pandemic hollowed out downtown San Francisco's offices and led to an exodus of tech staffers who preferred remote work. It meant the loss of thousands of people who had reason to regularly stroll by Macy's and so many other corporate retailers. Meanwhile, everybody else had even less reason to go shopping in an urban core. Why bother dressing up and schlepping downtown when you could get the same layaway deals online...? [R]etail has been recovering. But it should be no surprise that the recovery has happened largely in suburban markets, which have not experienced a mass exit of workers... Elsewhere, the reality is simple: Malls and department stores have been dying for the last decade, struggling to attract young people and redevelop growing vacant space into desirable uses. Although Macy's is a legacy name, industry reports show it has been in a real doom loop of its own making. Everyone is angry about retail "shrinkage," an industry term for losses in inventory due to external theft, employee theft and mismanagement. However, reporting by CNBC and others has demonstrated that while corporate retailers may be seeing a bump in retail shrink, it is a smaller factor than other operational missteps. Industry experts suggest that "shrink" can be an excuse for poor inventory management and staffing issues, and brands like Lowe's, Foot Locker and Walgreens are now downplaying organized theft as a primary cause of revenue loss. The reality is that a swath of American retail chains have needed to downsize to remain profitable... [R]eactionary cries for police crackdowns on petty theft and homelessness miss how similar retail shutdowns are happening in cities with tougher crime laws and less visible poverty. Consider that Macy's has already conducted layoffs and cut employee benefits to remain afloat, triggering a worker strike in 2022. Then there's Macy's faltering credit card revenue, which the company said accounted for nearly triple the revenue loss as retail shrink. While The Standard has reported on Macy's workers blaming theft for the closure, my own visit to Macy's on Tuesday and conversations with longtime sales associates in multiple departments suggested that low staffing, an aging clientele and dips in seasonal shopping have greatly affected business... Turns out, "scary people stealing things" is a boogeyman that feels more tangible than the obscure machinations of a faltering corporation. The San Francsico Standard itself was funded in part by billionaire venture capitalist Michael Moritz of Sequoia Capital...

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How Energy Star Appliances Can Save You Money on Utility Bills - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2024-03-03 05:55
Learn what the Energy Star logo actually means.

Best Phone Under $200: New Top Pick Checks All the Boxes - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2024-03-03 05:30
The newest winner is one of the most functional phones we've used for under $200.

Rust Survey Finds Linux and VS Code Users, More WebAssembly Targeting

SlashDot - Sun, 2024-03-03 03:34
Rust's official survey team released results from their 8th annual survey "focused on gathering insights and feedback from Rust users". In terms of operating systems used by Rustaceans, the situation is very similar to the results from 2022, with Linux being the most popular choice of Rust users [69.7%], followed by macOS [33.5%] and Windows [31.9%], which have a very similar share of usage. Rust programmers target a diverse set of platforms with their Rust programs, even though the most popular target by far is still a Linux machine [85.4%]. We can see a slight uptick in users targeting WebAssembly [27.1%], embedded and mobile platforms, which speaks to the versatility of Rust. We cannot of course forget the favourite topic of many programmers: which IDE (developer environment) do they use. Visual Studio Code still seems to be the most popular option [61.7%], with RustRover (which was released last year) also gaining some traction [16.4%]. The site ITPro spoke to James Governor, co-founder of the developer-focused analyst firm RedMonk, who said Rust's usage is "steadily increasing", pointing to its adoption among hyperscalers and cloud companies and in new infrastructure projects. "Rust is not crossing over yet as a general-purpose programming language, as Python did when it overtook Java, but it's seeing steady growth in adoption, which we expect to continue. It seems like a sustainable success story at this point." But InfoWorld writes that "while the use of Rust language by professional programmers continues to grow, Rust users expressed concerns about the language becoming too complex and the low level of Rust usage in the tech industry." Among the 9,374 respondents who shared their main worries for the future of Rust, 43% were most concerned about Rust becoming too complex, a five percentage point increase from 2022; 42% were most concerned about low usage of Rust in the tech industry; and 32% were most concerned about Rust developers and maintainers not being properly supported, a six percentage point increase from 2022. Further, the percentage of respondents who were not at all concerned about the future of Rust fell, from 30% in 2022 to 18% in 2023.

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Japan's Moon Lander Survived a 354-Hour Lunar Night. Now It Faces a Second One

SlashDot - Sun, 2024-03-03 00:04
It completed the most precise landing ever on the moon — albeit upside-down. And then it faced a "lunar night" lasting about two weeks where temperatures drop to -270 degrees Fahrenheit, reports the Times of India. But then, "Despite not being designed for the extreme temperatures, SLIM surprised scientists by coming back to life after the two-week-long lunar night." More from Space.com: The lander woke up on February 26 during extremely hot temperatures of 212 Fahrenheit (100 Celsius) in its region and has been making contact here and there with Earth in the days since. Most recently, SLIM attempted observations with its multiband spectroscopic camera, but "it did not work properly," JAXA officials wrote. "This seems to be due to the effects of overnight," the update continued, referring to the frigid two-week-long lunar night that SLIM experienced before the sun shone near Shioli crater again. "But we will continue to investigate based on the data we have obtained for the next opportunity...." "We received so much support for our operations after the lunar night," the agency posted on social media — adding "thank you!" The Times of India reports that "JAXA officially announced SLIM's return to a dormant state on March 1, sharing an image of the lunar surface captured by the probe." Above the photo, JAXA posted this hopeful message. "Although the probability of a failure increases with the repeated severe temperature cycles, SLIM operation will attempt to resume when the sun rises (late March). #GoodAfterMoon." And Space.com notes that "Despite all, SLIM has met both main and extended mission objectives: Landing precisely on the moon, deploying two tiny rovers and conducting science with its navigation camera and its spectroscopic camera, particularly searching for signs of olivine on the surface." Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo for sharing the news.

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French Court Issues Damages Award For Violation of GPL

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 22:04
Some news from "Copyleft Currents", the blog of open-source/IP lawyer Heather Meeker: On February 14, 2024, the Court of Appeal of Paris issued an order stating that Orange, a major French telecom provider, had infringed the copyight of Entr'Ouvert's Lasso software and violated the GPL. They ordered Orange to pay €500,000 in compensatory damages and €150,000 for moral damages. This case has been ongoing for many years. Entr'ouvert is the publisher of Lasso, a reference library for the Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML) protocol, an open standard for identity providers to authenticate users and pass authentication tokens to online services. This is the open protocol that enables single sign-on (SSO). The Lasso product is dual licensed by Entr'Ouvert under GPL or commercial licenses. In 2005, Orange won a contract with the French Agency for the Development of Electronic Administration to develop parts of the service-public.fr portal, which allows users to interact online with the government for administrative procedures. Orange used the Lasso software in the solution, but did not pass on the rights to its modifications free of charge under GPL, or make the source code to its modifications available. Entr'Ouvert sued Orange in 2010, and the case wended its way through the courts, turning on, among other things, issues of proof of Entr'Ouvert 's copyright interest in the software, and whether the case properly sounded in breach of contract or copyright infringement... The compensatory damages were based on both lost profits of the plaintiff and disgorgement of profits of Orange. Moral damages compensate the plaintiff for harm to reputation or other non-monetary injury. Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo for sharing the article.

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Boeing Now Also Ordered to Fix Anti-Ice System on 737 Max, 787 Jets

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 19:20
America's Federal Aviation administration "will require a fix for a new 737 MAX design problem discovered by Boeing that, although it's a remote possibility, could theoretically disable the jet's engine anti-ice system," reports the Seattle Times: A different flaw in the MAX's engine anti-ice system design drew scrutiny in January and forced the company to drop a request for an exemption from key safety regulations. And now, it's not just the MAX with an engine anti-ice system problem. Airlines have reported a separate issue with a similar system on Boeing's 787 Dreamliner that has caused what the FAA calls "relatively minor" damage to the engine inlets on some two dozen of these widebody jets in service. Though the FAA considers neither problem to be an immediate risk to flight safety, in February it issued separate notices of two proposed airworthiness directives to require the fix for the engine anti-ice system on the MAX and to lay out inspection and repair procedures for that system on the 787, pending a redesign that provides a permanent fix... When there is an immediate safety risk, the FAA issues a more urgent emergency directive that must be acted upon before further flight. Jets are grounded until it's dealt with. That's not the case with these two proposed airworthiness directives. Indicating that the risk is considered slight, both of the proposed directives will be open for public comments until April. Only after that will action be mandated... On the MAX, the proposed FAA directive states that Boeing identified a potential single point of failure when it reviewed the internal design of the unit that provides a backup power supply to aircraft systems if the primary electrical system fails. Such a failure could potentially result in the loss of the anti-ice systems on both engines, with no indication or warning that would alert the pilots, the FAA directive states... In November 2022, Boeing sent a service bulletin alerting airlines and describing the required fix, which the FAA will now mandate... Unlike this MAX issue, the fault discovered on the 787 Dreamliner has resulted in actual damage to engines on passenger aircraft. The FAA airworthiness directive on the 787 states that "damage was found during overhaul on multiple inlets around the Engine Anti-Ice duct within the inlet aft compartment." Rather than a production issue, it was a matter of the seals being insufficiently durable. Even when the plane was flying in dry air and the anti-ice system was not switched on, the seal degradation led to hot air leaking into the inlet compartment, "exposing inlet components to high temperatures," the FAA states. Boeing said this resulted in "thermal damage and discoloration to a limited area of the surrounding composite and metallic structure inside the inlet...." The FAA's proposed airworthiness directive warns that heat damage to the inlet structure could lead to "reduced structural strength and departure of the inlet from the airplane." "Departure of the inlet" is a bland way of describing the front of the pod around the engine fan detaching, potentially striking the jet's wing, tail or fuselage. Such disintegration could result in "subsequent loss of continued safe flight and landing or injury to occupants," the airworthiness directive states... "A separate question is how this flaw with the 787 anti-ice duct seals and the single point of failure in the backup power supply on the MAX slipped through the FAA's original certification of these aircraft." Business Insider also reports that Boeing "is holding off on a planned expansion of production for its 737 Max planes after an Alaska Airlines flight lost a chunk of the plane while airborne in January."

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Can NASA Return Mars Samples to Earth? New Audit Raises Doubts

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 17:47
Space.com writes that NASA's plan to return samples from Mars to the earth "is facing major challenges, according to a new report. "Design, cost and scheduling are all significant obstacles, an audit report of NASA's Mars Sample Return (MSR) Program by the agency's Office of Inspector General (OIG) finds..." It involves landing on Mars to collect samples taken by the Perseverance rover and launching those samples to rendezvous with an orbiter, which will haul them to Earth. Perseverance is already on Mars, snagging and storing samples. But the program still needs to build a Sample Retrieval Lander and an Earth Return Orbiter, the latter being developed and funded by the European Space Agency. The Mars Sample Return program is one of the most technically complex, operationally demanding and ambitious robotic science missions ever undertaken by NASA, according to the OIG report. The report notes design, architecture and schedule issues with the Capture Containment and Return System. These design issues resulted in adding about $200 million to the budget and one year of lost schedule... There is concern that, due to the number and significance of cost increase indicators so far, the $7.4 billion estimate is "premature and may be insufficient," the report finds. Now, the complexity... could drive costs to between $8 billion to $11 billion, the OIG report notes, citing a September 2023 Independent Review Board report. Notably, a July 2020 estimate listed costs of $2.5 to $3 billion. These new figures indicate significant financial challenges and uncertainties... Issues include inflation, supply chain problems and increases in funding requests for specific program components.

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Samsung Galaxy S23 Deals: Get Up to $1,000 Off With Trade-In Offers - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2024-03-02 17:30
Though there aren't a lot of direct discounts on the S23 models, you will find quite a few excellent trade-in offers.

Microsoft Begins Adding 'Copilot' Icon to Windows 11 Taskbars

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 16:47
Microsoft is "delighted to introduce some useful new features" for its "Copilot Preview for Windows 11," according to a recent blog post. TechRepublic adds that "most features will be enabled by default... rolling out from today until April 2024." Windows 11 users will be able to change system settings through prompts typed directly into Copilot in Windows, currently accessible in the Copilot Preview via an icon on the taskbar, or by pressing Windows + C. Microsoft Copilot will be able to perform the following actions: - Turn on/off battery saver. - Show device information. - Show system information. - Show battery information. - Open storage page. - Launch Live Captions. - Launch Narrator. - Launch Screen Magnifier. - Open Voice Access page. - Open Text size page. - Open contrast themes page. - Launch Voice input. - Show available Wi-Fi network. - Display IP Address. - Show Available Storage. The new third-party app integrations for Copilot will give Windows 11 users new ways to interact with various applications. For example, making business lunch reservations through OpenTable... Other new AI features for Windows 11 rolling out today include a new, AI-powered Generative Erase tool, which sounds reminiscent of Google's Magic Eraser tool for Google Photos. Generative Erase allows users to remove unwanted objects or artifacts from their photos in the Photos app. Likewise, Microsoft's video editing tool Clipchamp is receiving a Silence Removal tool, which functions much as the name implies  — it allows users to remove gaps in conversation or audio from a video clip. Voice access is another focal point of Microsoft's latest Windows 11 update, detailed in a separate blog post by Windows Commercial Product Marketing Manager Harjit Dhaliwal. Users can now use voice controls to navigate between multiple displays, aided by number and grid overlays that provide easy switching between screens. A Copilot icon has already started appearing in the taskbar of some Windows systems. If you Google "microsoft installs copilot preview windows," Google adds these helpful suggestions. People also ask: Why is Copilot preview on my computer? How do I get rid of Copilot preview on Windows 10? "Apparently there was some sort of update..." writes one Windows users. "Anyway, there is a logo at the bottom of the screen that is distracting and I'd like to get rid of it." Lifehacker has already published an article titled "How to Hide (or Disable) Copilot in Windows 11." "Artificial intelligence is feeling harder and harder to avoid," it begins, "but you still have options."

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TurboTax and H&R Block Want 'Permission to Blab Your Money Secrets'

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 15:34
Americans filing their taxes could face privacy threats, reports the Washington Post: "We just need your OK on a couple of things," TurboTax says as you prepare your tax return. Alarm bells should be ringing in your head at the innocuous tone. This is where America's most popular tax-prep website asks you to sign away the ironclad privacy protections of your tax return, including the details of your income, home mortgage and student loan payments. With your permission to blab your money secrets, the company earns extra income from showing you advertisements for the next three years for things like credit cards and mortgage offers targeted to your financial situation. You have the legal right to say no when TurboTax asks for your permission to "share your data" or use your tax information to "improve your experience...." The article complains that granting permission allows TurboTax to share details with "sibling" companies "such as your salary, the amount of your tax refund, whether you received a tax break for student loans and the day you printed your tax return..." "You'll see that permission request once near the beginning of the tax prep process. If you skip it then, you'll see the same screen again near the end. You'll have to say yes or no..." This is part of the corporate arms race for your personal data. Everyone including the grocery store, your apps and the manufacturer of your car are gobbling information to profit from details of your life. With TurboTax, though, you have the power to refuse to participate... TurboTax and the online tax prep service from H&R Block have been asking every year to blab your tax return. We've cautioned you about it for each of the past two tax filing seasons. (I focused only on TurboTax this year.)

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Helix Mattresses Review 2024: A Bed for Every Body and Sleeping Position - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2024-03-02 15:00
There are comfortable hybrid mattresses in multiple firmness levels so you can find your perfect match.

New Study Shows Like-Charged Particles Attract or Repel in Solution

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 14:34
You know how like-charged objects repel — and do so regardless of the sign of their electrical charge? Maybe not always, according to new research published in Nature. "We demonstrate experimentally that the solvent plays a hitherto unforeseen but crucial role in interparticle interactions," they write. But more importantly, "interactions in the fluid phase can break charge-reversal symmetry. We show that in aqueous solution, negatively charged particles can attract at long range while positively charged particles repel. [In solvents like alcohols "that exhibit an inversion of the net molecular dipole at an interface"], positively charged particles may attract whereas negatives repel. The observations hold across a wide variety of surface chemistries: from inorganic silica and polymeric particles to polyelectrolyte- and polypeptide-coated surfaces in aqueous solution. A theory of interparticle interactions that invokes solvent structuring at an interface captures the observations. Our study establishes a nanoscopic interfacial mechanism by which solvent molecules may give rise to a strong and long-ranged force in solution, with immediate ramifications for a range of particulate and molecular processes across length scales such as self-assembly, gelation and crystallization, biomolecular condensation, coacervation, and phase segregation. The delicate interplay of interactions between objects in the fluid phase influences the behaviour, organization and properties of systems from nanometric to more macroscopic size and length scales and thus underpins a wealth of natural phenomena... Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader Greymane for sharing the article.

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Two New 'Star Wars' Movies Will Begin Filming

SlashDot - Sat, 2024-03-02 13:34
"The Mandalorian & Grogu and Daisy Ridley's untitled Star Wars movie have received working titles ahead of their respective production starts," reports CBR: According to The Cosmic Circus, The Mandalorian and Grogu will be filmed under the working title "Thunder Alley", while Ridley's Star Wars movie will be known as "New Jedi Order..." The Mandalorian & Grogu will be the first Star Wars movie to enter production since 2019's The Rise of Skywalker, the ninth and final installment in The Skywalker Saga... [In Ridley's untitled Star Wars movie], Ridley will reprise her role from the Star Wars sequel trilogy as Rey, with the new movie set to follow the fan-favorite Jedi as she rebuilds the Jedi Order roughly 15 years after the events of The Rise of Skywalker... Other Star Wars movies in the works include James Mangold's upcoming feature about the origins of The Force, set during the Dawn of the Jedi era; and Dave Filoni's feature-length film set in the New Republic era that will conclude post-Return of the Jedi storylines that began in The Mandalorian, The Book of Boba Fett, Ahsoka and the upcoming Skeleton Crew. "California's Film Commission announced in a news release Monday that Lucasfilm's upcoming feature film The Mandalorian & Grogu will be produced entirely in the state," reports the Press Democrat, "one of 15 movie productions coming to fruition thanks to California's Film and TV Tax Credit Program." Based on the popular Disney+ series and directed by "The Mandalorian" creator Jon Favreau, "The Mandalorian & Grogu" is set to be the first film in the franchise's 46-year history to be shot entirely in the state and the biggest blockbuster in the history of the commission's tax credit program, bringing approximately $166 million to the state's economy through wages and expenditures, the release said. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the film will get $21.8 million in tax credits. The Mandalorian & Grogu, which is due to begin filming later this year and is currently expected to be released sometime in 2026, will continue the story of the titular lone bounty hunter and his alien baby companion that began in the three-season series, Lucasfilm announced last month.

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