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'Lost Continent' Rises Again With New Expedition

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 6:05pm
Tens of millions of years after it disappeared under the waters of the Pacific Ocean, scientists have completed the first explorations of what some scientists are calling a hidden continent. From a report: During a two-month ocean voyage this summer, a team of more than 30 scientists from 12 countries explored the submerged landmass of Zealandia on an advanced research vessel and collected samples from the seabed. Scientists were able to drill into the ocean floor at depths of more than 4,000 feet, collecting more than 8,000 feet of sediment cores that provides a window into 70 million years of geologic history, reports Georgie Burgess for ABC News. More than 8,000 fossils from hundreds of species were also collected in the drilling, giving scientists a glimpse at terrestrial life that lived tens of millions of years ago in the area. "The discovery of microscopic shells of organisms that lived in warm shallow seas, and of spores and pollen from land plants, reveal that the geography and climate of Zealandia were dramatically different in the past," expedition leader Gerald Dickens said in a statement. While more than 90 percent of Zealandia is now submerged under more than a kilometer (two-thirds of a mile) of water, when it was above the surface, it likely provided a path that many land animals and plants could have used to spread across the South Pacific, notes Naaman Zhou of the Guardian.

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Scale slaps hybrid cloud in hyper-converged kit

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 5:46pm
On-premises to Google Cloud platform 2-way interchange speedway

Scale Computing has replicated its HC3 hyper-converged platform in Google's cloud and provided app and data interchange between the on-premises and public cloud worlds in its very own data fabric.…

Benchmarks Show Firefox 57 Quantum Doing Well, But Chrome Largely Winning

Phoronix - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 5:44pm
With the hype this week around Firefox Quantum Beta with its user-interface refinements and more noticeably the performance improvements, I decided to run some benchmarks on my end with a variety of tests comparing Firefox 52 ESR, Firefox 56 stable, Firefox 57 Quantum beta, and Chrome 60. Here are those web browser benchmark results from the Linux x86-64 desktop.

Not Many People Are Buying Andy Rubin's iPhone-Killer Essential Phone, It Seems

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 5:25pm
An anonymous reader shares a report: Essential Products has sold an estimated 5,000 phones through Sprint since the gadget made its big retail debut in the United States earlier this month, according to estimates from BayStreet Research. That figure would put Essential, whose maker became a unicorn without shipping handset, well below market heavyweights like Apple and Samsung, which typically sell tens of millions of phones per quarter in the United States. BayStreet tracks shipments of phones and other devices across the United States. Essential representatives didn't respond to requests for comment on the BayStreet estimates. BayStreet also clarified that its 5,000 figure is an estimate of Essential's sell-through (when a customer buys a product from a retailer) rather than its sell-in (when a retailer buys something from a manufacturer). Sprint is the exclusive carrier for the phone; most phones in the United States are sold through carriers. However, Essential also offers an unlocked version of its gadget. Essential, the first major startup from Android founder Andy Rubin's venture capital firm Playground, currently sells the $699 Android-powered Essential Phone through Sprint and promises to release the Essential Home smart-home hub later this year. Essential was named as one of FierceWireless' top 15 startups to watch in 2017.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

BlackBerry reveals slim profits as Dolby-isation of brand marches on

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 5:03pm
Announces licensing scheme for smartphone features

Freed of making phones, BlackBerry continues to "Dolby-ise" its brand, and again recorded a slim profit for the most recent financial quarter.…

Moscow Deploys Facial Recognition to Spy on Citizens in Streets

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 4:45pm
Moscow is adding facial-recognition technology to its network of 170,000 surveillance cameras across the city in a move to identify criminals and boost security. From a report: Since 2012, CCTV recordings have been held for five days after they're captured, with about 20 million hours of video stored at any one time. "We soon found it impossible to process such volumes of data by police officers alone," said Artem Ermolaev, head of the department of information technology in Moscow. "We needed an artificial intelligence to help find what we are looking for." Moscow says the city's centralized surveillance network is the world's largest of its kind. The U.K. is one of the most notorious for its use of CCTV cameras but precise figures are difficult to obtain. However, a 2013 report by the British Security Industry Association estimated there were as many as 70,000 cameras operated by the government across the nation.

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EU tells Facebook and Twitter: Obey us or we'll start regulating

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 4:34pm
Another day, another shot fired at American e-megacorps

The EU Commission has fired a shot across Facebook and Twitter's bows, having issued a proclamation decreeing that "social media platforms" must do more to remove "illegal content inciting hatred, violence and terrorism online".…

System76 Puts Pop!_OS Into Beta

Phoronix - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 4:24pm
System76 is today announcing the beta release of their Ubuntu-derived Pop!_OS Linux operating system...

Companies Are Once Again Storing Data On Tape, Just in Case

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 4:05pm
An anonymous reader shares a report: To stay up to date in the battle against hackers, some companies are turning to a 1950s technology. Storing data on tape seems impossibly inconvenient in an age of easy-access cloud computing. But that is the big security advantage of this vintage technology, since hackers have no way to get at the information. The federal government, financial-services firms, health insurers and other regulated industries still keep tape as a backup to digital records. Now a range of other companies are returning to tape as hackers get smarter about penetrating defenses -- and do much more damage when they do get in. Rob Pritchard, founder of the Cyber Security Expert consulting firm and associate fellow at the Royal United Services Institute think tank, has noticed the steady resurgence of tape as part of best-practice backup strategies. "Companies of all sizes must be able to restore data quickly if needed," he says, "but also have a robust, slower-time, recovery mechanism should the worst happen." Mr. Pritchard, who works with a range of organizations to improve corporate cybersecurity practices, says: "A good backup strategy will have multiple layers. Cloud and online services have their place, but can be compromised."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cloudera serves up 'secret sauce' for unified data management

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 4:02pm
CTO: Engineers spend half their time on this, customers need educating on the ingredient list

Cloudera has become the latest company to offer up a set of tools to unify data management, with its SDX framework, which it describes as the platform's "secret sauce".…

Apple and SK Hynix agree Toshiba terms: Bain to grab chip arm

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 3:25pm
Looks like WDC is scuppered apart from legal blocks

+Comment  Big flash chip buyer Apple and Korean flash fabber SK Hynix have agreed terms and committed to their Bain-led consortium's buy of Toshiba's flash chip interests.…

Business hunches are so 1977. Proper data's a lot more grown-up

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 3:22pm
Fighting the instinct vs analytics wars

Sponsored  In business, should you trust your gut, or go by the numbers? Business mythology and Hollywood favour the gut. Both cite stories about maverick geniuses that ignored everyone’s advice and won big.…

5,000 People Are Working On Amazon's Digital Assistant Alexa

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 3:20pm
Amazon said this week at an event unveiling the next generation Echo device that it has the equivalent of a small town of people -- more than 5,000 -- working on the company's digital assistant, Alexa. From a report: And Amazon's not even at full capacity when it comes to Alexa. The company's job site shows close to 1,100 open positions on a variety of Alexa-focused teams. Voice-activated assistants appear to be the Next Big Thing in the tech world, and Amazon is competing with a who's who of tech giants, including Apple, Microsoft, Google and more. Interestingly, Amazon and Microsoft recently formed a pact that will see the two company's digital assistants gain the ability to talk to one another.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tintri wheels out T1000 ROBO flash array to terminate disk ones

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 3:06pm
Preconfigured single SKU box to skewer ROBO sales

Skynet's T-1000 is an advanced cyborg assassin prototype with a liquid molecular brain inside a mimetic poly-alloy body. Tintri's T1000 is a storage array for small and medium-sized businesses. Ho hum. Let's talk about the latter.…

Amadeus booking software outages smack airports across world

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 2:46pm
Firm won't explain network failure

Final update  A network failure affecting the Amadeus online booking platform is continuing to delay check-ins for passengers around the world, although the firm won't disclose the cause.…

Refresh Is Sacred

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 2:40pm
Several Slashdot readers share a blog post: There are two kinds of client applications: The first kind has a "refresh" or "reload" button to make sure your app's in sync with its server's view of the world. The second kind is broken. Of late, I have to deal regularly with several apps, notably including an emailer and car-sharing service, that lack such a button. I can imagine why -- a customer focused product manager said "Steve Jobs taught us that fewer controls are better and we should just take care of making sure we're in sync with the cloud. So lose the button. Except, it doesn't work. Apparently nobody in the world is smart enough to arrange flawlessly reliable hands-off client/cloud synchronization. There are times when you just know that what you're seeing on the screen is wrong and if the stupid app would just assume everything it knows is wrong and ask for a brain transplant from its server, things would be OK.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Airlines Suffer Worldwide Delays After Global Booking System Fails

Slashdot - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 2:00pm
rastos1 writes: Airlines worldwide were forced to delay flights Thursday as a global flight-bookings system operated by Amadeus IT Group SA suffered what the company called a "network issue." Major carriers including British Airways, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Cathay Pacific Airways and Qantas Airways were among those reportedly impacted by the outage. Singapore's Changi airport said via Twitter that a technical issue affecting some operators was delaying the check-in process, with boarding passes having to be issued manually. "Amadeus confirms that, during the morning, we experienced a network issue that caused disruption to some of our systems," the Madrid-based company said in a statement. Technical teams took immediate action to identify the cause of the issue and services are "gradually being restored," it said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

HPE confirms Belfast-based 3PAR engineering office to close

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 1:53pm
No, we're not switching focus to Nimble, spokesman says

Hewlett Packard Enterprise is to shutter its 3PAR engineering office in Belfast, Northern Ireland, but the firm emphasised the move does not mean it is shifting focus from 3PAR to Nimble storage.…

Microsoft's Open-Source / Linux Announcements So Far In 2017

Phoronix - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 1:47pm
We are just hitting the end of Q3, but already this calendar year Microsoft has continued their trend of the past few years of engaging with open-source and Linux in different aspects...

Patch alert! Easy-to-exploit flaw in Linux kernel rated 'high risk'

El Reg - Thu, 28/09/2017 - 1:24pm
Urgent security triage needed

A flaw has been found in the way the Linux kernel loads ELF files.…

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