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'The Unwillingness To Foresee The Future'

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 6:40pm
An anonymous reader shares a few excerpts from Ben Thompson's analysis: Back in 2006, when the iPhone was a mere rumor, Palm CEO Ed Colligan was asked if he was worried: "We've learned and struggled for a few years here figuring out how to make a decent phone," he said. "PC guys are not going to just figure this out. They're not going to just walk in." What if Steve Jobs' company did bring an iPod phone to market? Well, it would probably use WiFi technology and could be distributed through the Apple stores and not the carriers like Verizon or Cingular, Colligan theorized." I was reminded of this quote after Amazon announced an agreement to buy Whole Foods for $13.7 billion; after all, it was only two years ago that Whole Foods founder and CEO John Mackey predicted that groceries would be Amazon's Waterloo. And while Colligan's prediction was far worse -- Apple simply left Palm in the dust, unable to compete -- it is Mackey who has to call Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Napoleon of this little morality play, boss. The similarities go deeper, though: both Colligan and Mackey made the same analytical mistakes: they mis-understood their opponents' goals, strategies, and tactics.

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Offensive Trademarks Must Be Allowed, Rules Supreme Court

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 6:01pm
In a ruling that could have broad impact on how the First Amendment is applied in other trademark cases in future, the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday threw out a federal prohibition on disparaging trademarks as a constitutional violation in a ruling involving a band called The Slants. From a report: The opinion in Matal v. Tam means that Simon Tam, lead singer of an Asian-American rock band called "The Slants," will be able to trademark the name of his band. It's also relevant for a high-profile case involving the Washington Redskins, who were involved in litigation and at risk of being stripped of their trademark. The court unanimously held that a law on the books holding that a trademark can't "disparage... or bring... into contemp[t] or disrepute" any "persons, living or dead," violates the First Amendment. Tam headed to federal court years ago after he was unable to obtain a trademark. In 2015, the US Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit ruled in Tam's favor, finding that the so-called "disparagement clause" of trademark law was unconstitutional.

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Intel Quietly Discontinues Galileo, Joule, and Edison Development Boards

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 5:20pm
Intel is discontinuing its Galileo, Joule, and Edison lineups of development boards. The chip-maker quietly made the announcement last week. From company's announcement: Intel Corporation will discontinue manufacturing and selling all skus of the Intel Galileo development board. Shipment of all Intel Galileo product skus ordered before the last order date will continue to be available from Intel until December 16, 2017. [...] Intel will discontinue manufacturing and selling all skus of the Intel Joule Compute Modules and Developer Kits (known as Intel 500 Series compute modules in People's Republic of China). Shipment of all Intel Joule products skus ordered before the last order date will continue to be available from Intel until December 16, 2017. Last time orders (LTO) for any Intel Joule products must be placed with Intel by September 16, 2017. [...] Intel will discontinue manufacturing and selling all skus of the Intel Edison compute modules and developer kits. Shipment of all Intel Edison product skus ordered before the last order date will continue to be available from Intel until December 16, 2017. Last time orders (LTO) for any Intel Edison products must be placed with Intel by September 16, 2017. All orders placed with Intel for Intel Edison products are non-cancelable and non-returnable after September 16, 2017. The company hasn't shared any explanation for why it is discontinuing the aforementioned development boards. Intel launched the Galileo, an Arduino-compatible mini computer in 2013, the Edison in 2014, and the Joule last year. The company touted the Joule as its "most powerful dev kit." You can find the announcement posts here.

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GSoC Work On Nouveau Instruction Scheduling Advances

Phoronix - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 5:00pm
Student open-source developer Boyan Ding has been working this summer on an instruction scheduler for the Nouveau driver in order to achieve greater performance with more efficient shader code...

Using Texts as Lures, Government Spyware Targets Mexican Journalists and Their Families

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 4:40pm
Mexico's most prominent human rights lawyers, journalists and anti-corruption activists have been targeted by advanced spyware sold to the Mexican government on the condition that it be used only to investigate criminals and terrorists, reports the New York Times. From the report: The targets include lawyers looking into the mass disappearance of 43 students (alternative source), a highly respected academic who helped write anti-corruption legislation, two of Mexico's most influential journalists and an American representing victims of sexual abuse by the police. The spying even swept up family members, including a teenage boy. Since 2011, at least three Mexican federal agencies have purchased about $80 million worth of spyware created by an Israeli cyberarms manufacturer. The software, known as Pegasus, infiltrates smartphones to monitor every detail of a person's cellular life -- calls, texts, email, contacts and calendars. It can even use the microphone and camera on phones for surveillance, turning a target's smartphone into a personal bug.

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Venture capital biz hires former EMC CEO

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 4:01pm
'Can we Tucci this startup? Well Big Joe, can we?'

Former EMC grand fromage Joe Tucci has walked into a special advisor role at venture cap outfit 83North.…

Microsoft, Accenture Team Up On Blockchain-based Digital ID Network

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 4:00pm
Accenture and Microsoft are teaming up to build a digital ID network using blockchain technology, as part of a United Nations-supported project to provide legal identification to 1.1 billion people worldwide with no official documents. From a report: The companies unveiled a prototype of the network on Monday at the UN headquarters in New York during the second summit of ID2020, a public-private consortium promoting the UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goal of providing legal identity for everyone on the planet. The project aims to help individuals such as refugees prove who they are in order to gain access to basic services such as education and healthcare. Blockchain, first developed as a public ledger of all transactions in the digital currency bitcoin, is increasingly being used to securely track data in other fields.

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2 kool 4 komputing: Teens' interest in GCSE course totally bombs

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 3:32pm
Concern teachers can't handle tougher syllabus

The number of pupils signing up for GCSE computing has plateaued just years after the qualification was introduced, raising concerns that not enough is being done to help teachers with more difficult courses.…

Linux 4.12-rc6 Released A Day Late, Final Possibly In Two Weeks

Phoronix - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 3:21pm
Due to Linus Torvalds' travels, he's released the 4.12-rc6 kernel off of his weekly Sunday release cadence...

198 Million Americans Hit By 'Largest Ever' Voter Records Leak

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 3:21pm
Political data gathered on more than 198 million US citizens was exposed this month after a marketing firm contracted by the Republican National Committee stored internal documents on a publicly accessible Amazon server, reports say. From a ZDNet article: It's believed to be the largest ever known exposure of voter information to date. The various databases containing 198 million records on American voters from all political parties were found stored on an open Amazon S3 storage server owned by a Republican data analytics firm, Deep Root Analytics. UpGuard cyber risk analyst Chris Vickery, who found the exposed server, verified the data. Through his responsible disclosure, the server was secured late last week, and prior to publication. This leak shines a spotlight on the Republicans' multi-million dollar effort to better target potential voters by utilizing big data. The move largely a response to the successes of the Barack Obama campaign in 2008, thought to have been the first data-driven campaign. Further reading: Republican Data-Mining Firm Exposed Personal Information for Virtually Every American Voter - The Intercept; The RNC Files: Inside the Largest US Voter Data Leak - Upguard; Data on 198M voters exposed by GOP contractor Data On 198M Voters Exposed By GOP Contractor - The Hill.

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Pure suggests dishing out intelligence to dumb storage shelves

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 3:02pm
Toshiba thinking 200 layers of 3D NAND

Update  At Pure's Accelerate conference last week, the company talked about distributing intelligence to its NVMe fabric-accessed storage shelves.…

Amazon Plans Cuts to Shed Whole Foods' Pricey Image

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 2:40pm
When Amazon completes its acquisition of Whole Foods Market, Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos will try to keep the grocer's reputation for premium fresh foods while cutting prices to shed its "Whole Paycheck" image. From a report: Amazon expects to reduce headcount and change inventory to lower prices and make Whole Foods competitive with Wal-Mart Stores and other big-box retailers, according to a person with knowledge of the company's grocery plans. That included potentially using technology to eliminate cashiers. Amazon, known for its competitive prices, is trying to attract more low- and middle-income shoppers with its grocery push. The Seattle-based company already offers discounted Amazon Prime memberships for people receiving government assistance and is part of a pilot program to deliver groceries to food-stamp recipients.

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Microsoft's new Surface laptop defeats teardown – with glue

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 2:01pm
Put down the screwdriver... we're going to need a knife

It appears as if Microsoft has been following the Apple playbook in creating another laptop whose components you can never replace.…

As AI Explodes, Investors Pour Big Bucks Into Startups

Slashdot - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 2:00pm
Investment in AI startups is on a tear as venture capitalists and corporate investors scramble to stake out a leadership position in what could be the driving trend in technology for decades to come. From a report: The financial interest in AI, machine learning and related technologies is hardly new. CB Insights has tracked some $18.4 billion invested in 2,541 AI-related startups since 2012. But the trend is only accelerating. In the latest MoneyTree report from PricewaterhouseCoopers and CB Insights, which showed otherwise mostly stagnant startup funding, AI and machine learning companies shined, reaching an eight-quarter high of $820 million invested in 90 companies. A flurry of significant investments in a number of AI-related companies this past week underscored the point. On Wednesday alone, for instance, AI-powered analytics software provider CognitiveScale raised a $15 million round, voice AI startup Snips raised $13 million and, to top it off, machine learning consultancy Element AI got an unusually large $102 million early-stage investment just eight months after the company was launched. Then on Thursday and Friday, two other AI-powered companies, Conviva and Codota, announced fundings too.

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KDE Brooklyn Chat Bridge Sees Its First Release

Phoronix - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 1:45pm
Brooklyn is a new project within the KDE camp that's being developed this summer via Google Summer of Code...

AMDGPU-PRO 17.10-429170 vs. Linux 4.12 + Mesa 17.2-dev: Open-Source Continues Strong

Phoronix - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 1:33pm
Last week AMD released an updated AMDGPU-PRO hybrid driver with performance fixes so I've now carried out a fresh comparison of this updated 17.10-429170 driver compared to the latest open-source stack of Mesa 17.2-dev Git plus the Linux 4.12 development kernel.

Fancy buying our aircraft carrier satnav, Raytheon asks UK

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 1:11pm
System might only be fitted to HMS Prince of Wales – reports

American defence firm Raytheon has said it is in talks with the Ministry of Defence to put the US Navy’s “satnav for F-35s” system onto new British carrier HMS Prince of Wales.…

Intel Core X-Series Lifts, Linux Benchmarks Forthcoming

Phoronix - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 1:00pm
Last month at Computex Intel announced the Core-X series with up to 18 core configurations. The first of these new processors are preparing to ship and the embargo has just lifted concerning reviews and performance details...

Putting (machine) learning and (artificial) intelligence to work

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 12:57pm
If you don’t, the competition will

MCubed  Blue sky thinking is great, but if you’re interested in what machine learning and AI means for your business right now, you should really join us at MCubed London in October.…

Hotheaded Brussels civil servants issued with cool warning: Leak

El Reg - Mon, 19/06/2017 - 12:38pm
Brexit? No, no... it's baking! Put away the booze, biz-suit

If he listened to the latest advice from HR types working for the European Commission, Brexit secretary David Davis may today be sat in a darkened room, dressed in cabana wear, as talks with the EU’s chief negotiator begin.…

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