Sorry, you need to enable JavaScript to visit this website.

Feed aggregator

Amazon S3-izure cause: Half the web vanished because an AWS bod fat-fingered a command

El Reg - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 6:59pm
Basically, Team Bezos pulled a GitLab

Amazon has provided the postmortem for Tuesday's AWS S3 meltdown, shedding light on what caused one of its largest cloud facilities to bring a chunk of the web down.…

An Incorrect Command Entered By Employee Triggered Disruptions To S3 Storage Service, Knocking Down Dozens of Websites, Amazon Says

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 6:46pm
Amazon is apologizing for the disruptions to its S3 storage service that knocked down and -- in some cases affected -- dozens of websites earlier this week. The company also outlined what caused the issue -- the event was triggered by human error. The company said an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. "Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended," the company said in a press statement Thursday. It adds: The servers that were inadvertently removed supported two other S3 subsystems. One of these subsystems, the index subsystem, manages the metadata and location information of all S3 objects in the region. This subsystem is necessary to serve all GET, LIST, PUT, and DELETE requests. The second subsystem, the placement subsystem, manages allocation of new storage and requires the index subsystem to be functioning properly to correctly operate. The placement subsystem is used during PUT requests to allocate storage for new objects. Removing a significant portion of the capacity caused each of these systems to require a full restart. While these subsystems were being restarted, S3 was unable to service requests. Other AWS services in the US-EAST-1 Region that rely on S3 for storage, including the S3 console, Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (EC2) new instance launches, Amazon Elastic Block Store (EBS) volumes (when data was needed from a S3 snapshot), and AWS Lambda were also impacted while the S3 APIs were unavailable.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NVIDIA Signed Firmware Published For Pascal GP102/GP104/GP106/GP107

Phoronix - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 6:05pm
Yesterday I wrote about initial Nouveau open-source acceleration for GeForce GTX 1050/1060/1070/1080 GPUs and now the signed firmware images needed for pairing with that code are readily available...

Skin deep? Robots To Wear Real Human Tissue

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 6:01pm
Scientists are already growing muscles, bones, and mini-organs in the lab. But these tissues are generally small and simple. That's why two scientists from Oxford University are proposing that we use humanoid robots to grow engineered tissues instead. From a report: Robots dressed in human flesh would benefit people who need tissue transplants, Oxford University researchers have said this week. At present human cells are grown in stationary environments, but moving humanoids could help them develop in a far more healthier way. Robots could "wear" tissue grafts before transplantation, researchers Pierre-Alexis Mouthuy and Andrew Carr propose in the latest issue of Science Robotics. Today sheets of cells are grown in stagnant tanks, but these "fail to mimic the real mechanical environment for cells," say the scientists. The resulting tissues aren't used to moving, stretching and straining, which make them problematic for use by patients.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chevrolet To Offer Unlimited Data Plan With Cars

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 5:21pm
Chevrolet has become the first carmaker to offer an unlimited data plan with its cars. From a report on BBC: The deal, for a 4G LTE data plan, applies to cars sold in the US from 3 March and will cost $20 a month. It is being offered with the help of US carrier OnStar and will see vehicles fitted with a wi-fi hotspot that connects to the web via LTE. Chevrolet said it was offering the deal because in-car data use had grown so fast. Figures gathered by Chevrolet suggest the amount of data used via wi-fi in its cars jumped by 200% last year. In 2016, it said, Chevrolet in-car hotspots had handled about four million gigabytes of data. The LTE-based hotspots are available across the entire range of vehicles made by Chevrolet.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Razer Is Planning Better Laptop Support On Linux

Phoronix - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 5:09pm
Razer co-founder and CEO Min-Liang Tan has shared plans to improve their Linux support, at least when it comes to their Blade laptops...

'Robots Won't Just Take Our Jobs -- They'll Make the Rich Even Richer'

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 4:41pm
Robotics and artificial intelligence will continue to improve -- but without political change such as a tax, the outcome will range from bad to apocalyptic, writes technology and politics journalist Ben Tarnoff, citing experts and studies, for The Guardian. From the article, shared by six anonymous readers: Despite a steady stream of alarming headlines about clever computers gobbling up our jobs, the economic data suggests that automation isn't happening on a large scale. The bad news is that if it does, it will produce a level of inequality that will make present-day America look like an egalitarian utopia by comparison. The real threat posed by robots isn't that they will become evil and kill us all, which is what keeps Elon Musk up at night -- it's that they will amplify economic disparities to such an extreme that life will become, quite literally, unlivable for the vast majority. A robot tax may or may not be a useful policy tool for averting this scenario. But it's a good starting point for an important conversation. Mass automation presents a serious political problem -- one that demands a serious political solution. Automation isn't new. In the late 16th century, an English inventor developed a knitting machine known as the stocking frame. By hand, workers averaged 100 stitches per minute; with the stocking frame, they averaged 1,000. This is the basic pattern, repeated through centuries: as technology improves, it reduces the amount of labor required to produce a certain number of goods. So far, however, this phenomenon hasn't produced extreme unemployment. That's because automation can create jobs as well as destroy them. What's different this time is the possibility that technology will become so sophisticated that there won't be anything left for humans to do. What if your ATM could not only give you a hundred bucks, but sell you an adjustable-rate mortgage?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Europe's data protection rules set a high bar for consent – and UK ICO welcomes your thoughts

El Reg - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 4:30pm
Regulator publishes draft guidance, opens consultation

The UK Information Commissioner's Office has published draft guidance for data controllers on what it's actually going to mean for users to consent to their data being collected and shared under the European Union's looming General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).…

The trouble with business executives…

El Reg - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 4:02pm
IT-business misalignment woes

When IT teams and their colleagues within the business get along, life is good for everyone.…

Fed Up Indian IT Professionals Want To Be Able To Leave Their Jobs Sooner

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 4:01pm
An anonymous reader shares a report: India's major IT firms have long required their employees to give a three-month, "non-negotiable" notice before leaving the company, but they could be soon forced to change that. Fed-up IT professionals from across India have reached out to the government, complaining that it is "unrealistic" for anyone to plan that far ahead. Over 28,000 professionals have signed a petition, addressed to the ministry of labor, to take immediate action on the matter. Part of the problem is that many companies are unwilling to wait for three months to have a person join them, many cited in the report say. Some of India's top IT firms including Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, Tech Mahindra, HCL, Accenture and IBM impose the three-month notice period policy on their employees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Laid-Off IT Workers Worry US Is Losing Tech Jobs To Outsourcing

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 3:21pm
An anonymous reader shares a CIO article: Sixty-three-year-old Bob Zhang is worried about the future of tech jobs in the U.S. Will the high-paying positions be a thing of the past? Zhang thinks it's already starting to happen. He's one of 79 IT workers from the University of California, San Francisco, who've been laid off. Tuesday was their last day on the job. To replace them, the school is outsourcing some of their work to an Indian firm. "Usually, they outsource the low-paying jobs," he said at a gathering outside a school building. "But now they use H-1B (visa) and use foreign workers to replace the high-paying jobs. This trend is dangerous." It was a sentiment shared among the laid-off IT workers, who've tried to push the school to save their positions, to no avail. Now they fear other publicly-funded universities will take the same approach, and replace U.S. employees with foreign workers. "Once you send out the manufacturing jobs, once you send out the service jobs, once you send out the research jobs, what's left? There's nothing left," said Tan, who's 55 and now looking for a new job. Kurt Ho, another laid-off worker, said he was paid an annual salary of about US$110,000, but the new workers replacing his position will fraction that amount. "In two years, I could be at another company, and I could be facing the same thing," he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

SAP eyes up BT's biz ahead of £550m EE integration

El Reg - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 3:00pm
Incumbent Oracle: 'We'll aggressively compete too. It's what we do'

Software biz SAP is eyeing up BT's business following its acquisition of the firm's existing customer EE for £12.5bn last year, with the former state monopoly having already set aside £550m for integration costs.…

A Norwegian Website Is Making Readers Pass a Quiz Before Commenting

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 2:41pm
Joseph Lichterman, writing for Nieman Lab: Two weeks ago, NRKbeta, the tech vertical of the Norwegian public broadcaster NRK, published an explainer about a proposed new digital surveillance law in the country. Digital security is a controversial topic, and the conversation around security issues can become heated. But the conversation in the comments of the article was respectful and productive: Commenters shared links to books and other research, asked clarifying questions, and offered constructive feedback. The team at NRKbeta attributes the civil tenor of its comments to a feature it introduced last month. On some stories, potential commenters are now required to answer three basic multiple-choice questions about the article before they're allowed to post a comment. The goal is to ensure that the commenters have actually read the story before they discuss it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Confirmed: Facebook shifts away from AI… and like a miracle, the bots start working

El Reg - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 2:09pm
When Machines Won’t Learn

Facebook has revamped its Messenger bot platform that allows businesses to engage with the app's massive audience. The story is a lesson for anyone looking for practical applications of the AI and machine learning hype.…

Netflix Uses AI in Its New Codec To Compress Video Scene By Scene

Slashdot - Thu, 02/03/2017 - 2:01pm
An anonymous reader shares a Quartz report: Annoying pauses in your streaming movies are going to become less common, thanks to a new trick Netflix is rolling out. It's using artificial intelligence techniques to analyze each shot in a video and compress it without affecting the image quality, thus reducing the amount of data it uses. The new encoding method is aimed at the growing contingent of viewers in emerging economies who watch video on phones and tablets. "We're allergic to rebuffering," said Todd Yellin, a vice president of innovation at Netflix. "No one wants to be interrupted in the middle of Bojack Horseman or Stranger Things." Yellin hopes the new system, called Dynamic Optimizer, will keep those Netflix binges free of interruption when it's introduced sometime in the next "couple of months." He was demonstrating the system's results at "Netflix House," a mansion in the hills overlooking Barcelona that the company has outfitted for the Mobile World Congress trade show. In one case, the image quality from a 555 kilobits per second (kbps) stream looked identical to one on a data link with half the bandwidth.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.