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Kentucky gov: Violent video games, not guns, to blame for Florida school massacre

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 10:11pm
First Amendment bad, Second Amendment good?

The governor of the US state of Kentucky, Matt Bevin, has blamed violent video games for the Florida high-school shooting that left 17 people dead this week.…

Judge Won't Let FCC's Net Neutrality Repeal Stop Lawsuit Alleging Charter Throttled Netflix

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 10:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hollywood Reporter: [I]n the first significant decision referring to the repeal [of net neutrality] since FCC chairman Ajit Pai got his way, a New York judge on Friday ruled that the rescinding of net neutrality rules wasn't relevant to an ongoing lawsuit against Charter Communications. New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed the lawsuit almost exactly a year ago today. It's alleged that Charter's Spectrum-TWC service promised internet speeds it knew it couldn't deliver and that Spectrum-TWC also misled subscribers by promising reliable access to Netflix, online content and online games. According to the complaint, the ISP intentionally failed to deliver reliable service in a bid to extract fees from backbone and content providers. When Netflix wouldn't pay, this "resulted in subscribers getting poorer quality streams during the very hours when they were most likely to access Netflix," and after Netflix agreed to pay demands, service "improved dramatically." This arguably is the kind of thing that net neutrality was supposed to prevent. And Charter itself pointed to the net neutrality repeal in a bid to block Schneiderman's claims that Charter had engaged in false advertising and deceptive business practices. New York Supreme Court Justice O. Peter Sherwood isn't sold. He writes in an opinion that the FCC's order "which promulgates a new deregulatory policy effectively undoing network neutrality, includes no language purporting to create, extend or modify the preemptive reach of the Transparency Rule," referring to how ISPs have to disclose "actual network performance." And although Charter attempted to argue that the FCC clarified its intent to stop state and local governments from imposing disclosure obligations on broadband providers that were inconsistent with FCC's rules, Sherwood notes other language from the "Restoring Internet Freedom Order" how states will "continue to play their vital role in protecting consumers from fraud, enforcing fair business practices... and generally responding to consumer inquiries and complaints."

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Scientists Are Failing To Replicate AI Studies

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 9:22pm
The booming field of artificial intelligence (AI) is grappling with a replication crisis, much like the ones that have afflicted psychology, medicine, and other fields over the past decade. From a report: AI researchers have found it difficult to reproduce many key results, and that is leading to a new conscientiousness about research methods and publication protocols. "I think people outside the field might assume that because we have code, reproducibility is kind of guaranteed," says Nicolas Rougier, a computational neuroscientist at France's National Institute for Research in Computer Science and Automation in Bordeaux. "Far from it." Last week, at a meeting of the Association for the Advancement of Artificial Intelligence (AAAI) in New Orleans, Louisiana, reproducibility was on the agenda, with some teams diagnosing the problem -- and one laying out tools to mitigate it.

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A computer file system shouldn't lose data, right? Tell that to Apple

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:58pm
Alarm raised over APFS sparse disk images tossing documents into the void

Apple's recently revised file system, APFS, may lose data under specific circumstances, a maker of macOS backup software is warning.…

Facebook Must Stop Tracking Belgian Users, Court Rules

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:40pm
Facebook must stop tracking Belgian users' surfing outside the social network and delete data it's already gathered, or it will face fines of 250,000 ($312,000) euros a day, a Belgian court ruled. From a report: Facebook "doesn't sufficiently inform" clients about the data it gathers on their broader web use, nor does it explain what it does with the information or say how long it stores it, the Brussels Court of First Instance said in a statement. The social network is coming under increasing fire in Europe, with a high-profile German antitrust probe examining whether it unfairly compels users to sign up to restrictive privacy terms. Belgium's data-protection regulators have targeted the company since at least 2015 when a court ordered it to stop storing non-users' personal data.

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Golang 1.10 Offers Many Smaller Changes, Restores NetBSD Support

Phoronix - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:24pm
Not only is there a new Rust release this week but the Google developers have put out the Go 1.10 update...

Mueller bombshell: 13 Russian 'troll factory' staffers charged with allegedly meddling in US presidential election

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:03pm
Ruskies stole citizen IDs to spread discord – indictment

Robert Mueller, the special prosecutor investigating foreign agents tampering with the 2016 US presidential election, has criminally charged 13 Russian nationals with conspiring against the United States.…

Ask Slashdot: Could Linux Ever Become Fully Compatible With Windows and Mac Software?

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:00pm
dryriver writes: Linux has been around for a long time now. A lot of work has gone into it; it has evolved nicely and it dominates in the server space. Computer literate people with some tech skills also like to use it as their desktop OS. It's free and open source. It's not vendor-locked, full of crapware or tied to any walled garden. It's fast and efficient. But most "everyday computer users" or "casual computer buyers" still feel they have to choose either a Windows PC or an Apple device as the platform they will do their computing on. This binary choice exists largely because of very specific commercial list of programs and games available for these OSs that is not available for Linux. Here is the question: Could Linux ever be made to become fully compatible with all Windows and Mac software? What I mean is a Linux distro that lets you successfully install/run/play just about anything significant that says "for Windows 10" or "for OSX" under Linux, without any sort of configuring or crazy emulation orgies being needed? Macs and PCs run on the exact same Intel/AMD/Nvidia hardware as Linux. Same mobos, same CPUs and GPUs, same RAM and storage devices. Could Linux ever be made to behave sufficiently like those two OSs so that a computer buyer could "go Linux" without any negative consequences like not being able to run essential Windows/Mac software at all? Or is Linux being able to behave like Windows and OSX simply not technically doable because Windows and OSX are just too damn complex to mimic successfully?

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Wine 3.2 Released With HID Gamepad Support, D3D Multi-Sample Textures

Phoronix - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 7:50pm
The latest bi-weekly Wine development release is now available...

Initial Intel Icelake Support Lands In Mesa OpenGL Driver, Vulkan Support Started

Phoronix - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 7:34pm
A few days back I reported on Intel Icelake patches for the i965 Mesa driver in bringing up the OpenGL support now that several kernel patch series have been published for enabling these "Gen 11" graphics within the Direct Rendering Manager driver. This Icelake support has been quick to materialize even with Cannonlake hardware not yet being available...

A Hacker Has Wiped a Spyware Company's Servers -- Again

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 7:21pm
Last year, a vigilante hacker broke into the servers of a company that sells spyware to everyday consumers and wiped their servers, deleting photos captured from monitored devices. A year later, the hacker has done it again. Motherboard: Thursday, the hacker said he started wiping some cloud servers that belong to Retina-X Studios, a Florida-based company that sells spyware products targeted at parents and employers, but that are also used by people to spy on their partners without their consent. Retina-X was one of two companies that were breached last year in a series of hacks that exposed the fact that many otherwise ordinary people surreptitiously install spyware on their partners' and children's phones in order to spy on them. This software has been called "stalkerware" by some.

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US Charges Russian Social Media Trolls Over Election Tampering

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 6:41pm
The US Justice Department has filed charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian groups for interfering with the 2016 presidential election. From a report: In an indictment [PDF] released on Friday, the Justice Department called out the Internet Research Agency, a notorious group behind the Russian propaganda effort across social media. Employees for the agency created troll accounts and used bots to prop up arguments and sow political chaos during the 2016 presidential campaign. Facebook, Twitter and Google have struggled to deal with fake news, trolling campaigns and bots on their platforms, facing the scorn of Capitol Hill over their mishandlings. The indictment lists 13 Russian nationals tied to the effort.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

LunarG's Vulkan Layer Factory Aims To Make Writing Vulkan Layers Easier

Phoronix - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 6:15pm
Introduced as part of LunarG's recent Vulkan SDK update is the VLF, the Vulkan Layer Factory...

Apple's New Spaceship Campus Has One Flaw -- and It Hurts

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 6:02pm
Mark Bergen, writing for Bloomberg: The centerpiece of Apple's new headquarters is a massive, ring-shaped office overflowing with panes of glass, a testament to the company's famed design-obsessed aesthetic. There's been one hiccup since it opened last year: Apple employees keep smacking into the glass. Surrounding the Cupertino, California-based building are 45-foot tall curved panels of safety glass. Inside are work spaces, dubbed "pods," also made with a lot of glass. Apple staff are often glued to the iPhones they helped popularize. That's resulted in repeated cases of distracted employees walking into the panes, according to people familiar with the incidents. Some staff started to stick Post-It notes on the glass doors to mark their presence. However, the notes were removed because they detracted from the building's design, the people said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Intel Hit With More Than 30 Lawsuits Over Security Flaws

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 5:20pm
Intel said on Friday shareholders and customers had filed 32 class action lawsuits against the company in connection with recently-disclosed security flaws in its microchips. From a report: Most of the lawsuits -- 30 -- are customer class action cases that claim that users were harmed by Intel's "actions and/or omissions" related to the flaws, which could allow hackers to steal data from computers. Intel said in a regulatory filing it was not able to estimate the potential losses that may arise out of the lawsuits. Security researchers at the start of January publicized two flaws, dubbed Spectre and Meltdown, that affected nearly every modern computing device containing chips from Intel, Advanced Micro Devices and ARM.

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Facebook told to stop stalking Belgians or face fines of €250k – a day

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 4:59pm
Second privacy ruling to go against Zuck and co in a week

Facebook has been told to stop tracking Belgian citizens' online habits, and to delete all the data it holds on them, or it could be fined up to €100m.…

Concussions Can Be Detected With New Blood Test Approved by FDA.

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 4:44pm
The Food and Drug Administration this week approved a long-awaited blood test to detect concussions in people and more quickly identify those with possible brain injuries [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. From a report: The test, called the Banyan Brain Trauma Indicator, is also expected to reduce the number of people exposed to radiation through CT scans, or computed tomography scans, that detect brain tissue damage or intracranial lesions. If the blood test is adopted widely, it could eliminate the need for CT scans in at least a third of those with suspected brain injuries, the agency predicted. Concussion-related brain damage has become a particularly worrisome public health issue in many sports, especially football, affecting the ranks of professional athletes on down to the young children in Pop Warner leagues. Those concerns have escalated so far that it has led to a decline in children participating in tackle sports.

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Atari Is Jumping on the Crypto Bandwagon

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 4:04pm
Atari has announced plans to create a company token and potentially develop cryptocurrency-based casino platforms. The company, commonly associated with arcade classics such as Asteroids, Pac-Man, Space Invaders, and Pong, seems to believe new life can be breathed into the casino industry through cryptocurrency. From a report: "Blockchain technology is poised to take a very important place in our environment and to transform, if not revolutionize, the current economic ecosystem, especially in the areas of the video game industry and online transactions," Atari Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Frederic Chesnais said in the statement. "Our aim is to take strategic positions with a limited cash risk, in order to best create value with the assets and the Atari brand."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Qualcomm rejects Valentine's Day takeover love-in with Broadcom

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 4:03pm
Cheapo merger terms wouldn't get past regulator, it says

Fresh from telling us all how its “highly qualified” board would see off a hostile takeover from Broadcom, chip biz Qualcomm is now getting around the table with its buyout-happy rival.…

AI is Being Used To Raise Better Pigs in China

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 3:25pm
Alibaba's Cloud Unit has signed an agreement on with the Tequ Group, a Chinese food-and-agriculture conglomerate that raises about 10 million pigs each year, to deploy facial and voice recognition on Tequ's pig farms. From a report: According to an Alibaba representative, the company will offer software to Tequ that it will deploy on its farms with its own hardware. Using image recognition, the software will identify each pig based on a mark placed on its body. This corresponds with a file for each pig kept in a database, which records and tracks characteristics such as the pig's breed type, age, and weight. The software can monitor changes in the level of a pig's physical activity to assess its level of fitness. In addition, it can monitor the sounds on the farm -- picking up a pig's cough, for example, to assess whether or not the pig is sick and at risk of spreading a disease. The software will also draw from its data to assess which pigs are most capable of giving birth to healthy offspring. Tequ's CIO stressed that taking care of pigs is no easy task for large pig farms. "If you have 10 million pigs, relying on manpower is already not enough," he said, according to a report by local publication Tianxia Wangshang, adding that it's impossible to manually count each pig given how many are born every day.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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