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Verizon worker strike now in its third week

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 10:41pm
Disgruntled staff still holding out as stoppage drags on

Last month, Verizon staff along with the Communication Workers of America (CWA) decided to go on strike as union and the US telco failed to agree on a new contract.…

76% Of Netflix Subscribers Think Netflix Can Replace Traditional TV

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 10:09pm
An anonymous reader writes: It turns out plenty of people think Netflix is ready to replace their traditional TV. According to a survey on AllFlicks (Editor's note: the site is Netflix focused, so it's not really a neutral audience), 75.6 percent of Netflix subscribers said that the on-demand movies and TV shows streaming service has grown good enough to replace whatever the traditional TV has to offer. The participants, however, also noted that the streaming service still can't replace live sports coverage or the experience of the movie theater. In some other news, Netflix knows which picture and video you're likely to click.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber Plans To Kill Surge Pricing With Machine Learning

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 9:33pm
An anonymous reader writes: Surge pricing is a familiar term for any regular Uber rider -- or driver. It's when you call an Uber, and the price of a ride is two, three, or four times more as a result of greater demand brought on by a sporting event or weather event nearby. For riders, it's an annoyance, but for drivers, it's a perk as it usually results in more pocket change. Inside Uber, surge pricing is considered a market failure, and a problem to be solved. "That's where machine learning comes in. That's where the next generation comes in," says Jeff Schneider, engineering lead at Uber Advanced Technologies Center. "Because now we can look at all this data, and we can start to make predictions." Everyone knows that when a Beyonce concert ends, for example, there's going to be a lot of demand for Uber drivers. Schneider explains, "[What's harder] is to find those Tuesday nights when it's not even raining and for some reason there's demand -- and to know that's coming. That's machine learning." With enough of the right data inputs, computer algorithms can do the research that Uber drivers already do -- only better, "so the surge pricing never even has to happen," Schneider says.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook bungs 10-year-old kid $10k to not 'eliminate' Justin Bieber

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 8:50pm
Finnish lad earns serious pocket money from Instagram flaw discovery

The record for the youngest security researcher getting paid by Facebook’s bug bounty scheme has been smashed by Jani, a 10-year-old Finnish lad who found a major flaw in Instagram.…

Snowden: 'Governments Can Reduce Our Dignity To That Of Tagged Animals'

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 8:50pm
An anonymous reader writes: NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden writes a report on The Guardian explaining why leaking information about wrongdoing is a vital act of resistance. "One of the challenges of being a whistleblower is living with the knowledge that people continue to sit, just as you did, at those desks, in that unit, throughout the agency; who see what you saw and comply in silence, without resistance or complaint," Snowden writes. "They learn to live not just with untruths but with unnecessary untruths, dangerous untruths, corrosive untruths. It is a double tragedy: what begins as a survival strategy ends with the compromise of the human being it sought to preserve and the diminishing of the democracy meant to justify the sacrifice." He goes on to explain the importance and significance of leaks, how not all leaks are alike, nor are their makers, and how our connected devices come into play in the post-9/11 period. Snowden writes, "By preying on the modern necessity to stay connected, governments can reduce our dignity to something like that of tagged animals, the primary difference being that we paid for the tags and they are in our pockets."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A Small Group of Journalists Control and Decide What Should Trend On Facebook

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 8:06pm
An anonymous reader writes: According to five former members of Facebook's trending news team, "news curators" as they're known internally, Zuckerberg and company take a downright dim view of the media industry and its talent. In interviews with Gizmodo, these former curators described grueling work conditions, humiliating treatment, and a secretive, imperious culture in which they were treated as disposable outsiders. After doing a tour in Facebook's news trenches, almost all of them came to believe that they were there not to work, but to serve as training modules for Facebook's algorithm." "We choose what's trending," said one former news curator. From personal experience I can share a similar incident. An Indian outlet extensively wrote about flaws in Facebook's Free Basics. Few days later, "Ban [that outlet's name]" was trending on Facebook. Clicking on it, for the first few hours, literally didn't return any relevant result, as nobody was talking about it, and no media outlet had written about it. It was after more than a day or so after this fabricated item kept trending that some other outlets started to write about it. (That's common in the media industry: writing about trending topics.) In the past, we've also seen Facebook employees ask whether the company should do anything to stop Donald Trump from becoming the president.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

More Details About The Vulkano Library, Rust + Vulkan

Phoronix - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 7:59pm
As covered back in March, Vulkano is a library pairing Rust with the Vulkan API for taking advantage of the Rust programming language's feature set while utilizing this new high-performance graphics API from the Khronos Group...

Yay! It's International Patch Your Scary OpenSSL Bugs Day!

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 7:53pm
Two innocent programming blunders breed high-risk flaw

Six security patches – two of them high severity – have been released today for OpenSSL 1.0.1 and 1.0.2.…

Initial Planning For Ubuntu 16.10 Today At UOS

Phoronix - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 7:45pm
Beyond the announcement that Ubuntu 16.10 won't ship with Mir and Unity 8 by default, many other items were discussed for the Ubuntu 16.10 release due out in October...

Should You Pay Sales Tax on Internet Purchases? South Dakota Law Could Be The Test

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 7:35pm
An anonymous reader shares a PCWorld report: A new South Dakota law may end up determining whether most U.S. residents are required to pay sales taxes on their Internet purchases. The South Dakota law, passed by the Legislature there in March, requires many out-of-state online and catalog retailers to collect the state's sales tax from customers. The law is shaping up to be a legal test case challenging a 25-year-old U.S. Supreme Court ruling that prohibits states from levying sales taxes on remote purchases. Unless courts overturn the South Dakota law, it will embolden other states to pass similar Internet sales tax rules, critics said. The law could "set the course for enormous tax and administrative burdens on businesses across the country," Steve DelBianco, executive director of e-commerce trade group NetChoice, said in a statement. If dozens of states adopt Internet sales taxes, online sellers could face audits and changing tax rules in thousands of taxing jurisdictions nationwide. Even with software that could make tax calculations easier, that would be a burden, NetChoice says. And online shoppers could end up paying up to 10 percent more for many products.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sat TV biz Dish: I'm not an authorized iPhone repairer ... but $20 is $20

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 7:04pm
Budget telly outlet finds a second job to feed the kids

Satellite TV service Dish has announced plans to moonlight as an unauthorized iPhone repair service.…

Prince Quietly Helped Launch a Coding Program For Inner City Youth

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 6:55pm
An anonymous reader writes: Though many would say Prince changed the world through his music, the artist also took a hands-on approach to changing the world beyond music. The global superstar was the inspiration behind YesWeCode, an Oakland nonprofit, which works to help young people from minority backgrounds enter the tech world. The idea for the program came from a conversation between Prince and his friend Van Jones, who heads Rebuild the Dream charity, following the 2012 shooting of teenager Travoyn Martin. "Prince said, 'A black kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a thug. A white kid wearing a hoodie might be seen as a Silicon Valley genius. Let's teach the black kids how to be like Mark Zuckerberg.'" Jones told CNN. The program is aiming to teach 100,000 low-income non-white teenagers how to write code, and was launched at the 20th Anniversary Essence Festival in New Orleans in 2014.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Biotech Company To Attempt Revitalizing Nervous Systems of Brain-Dead Patients

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 6:15pm
Sarah Knapton, writing for The Telegraph: A groundbreaking trial to see if it is possible to regenerate the brains of dead people, has won approval from health watchdogs. A biotech company called BioQuark in the U.S. has been granted ethical permission to recruit 20 patients who have been declared clinically dead from a traumatic brain injury, to test whether parts of their central nervous system can be brought back to life. Scientists will use a combination of therapies, which include injecting the brain with stem cells and a cocktail of peptides, as well as deploying lasers and nerve stimulation techniques which have been shown to bring patients out of comas. The trial participants will have been certified dead and only kept alive through life support. They will be monitored for several months using brain imaging equipment to look for signs of regeneration, particularly in the upper spinal cord -- the lowest region of the brain stem which controls independent breathing and heartbeat.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

IBM's FlashSystem looks flashy enough, but peek under the hood...

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 6:00pm
Old tech, new tricks. Hey, if it works, why not?

Storage Architect  This week IBM announced three new flash products, two of which are based on existing technology.…

Extreme photo-bombing: Bad ImageMagick bug puts countless websites at risk of hijacking

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 5:35pm
Apply mitigations now – poisoned selfies are in the wild

A wildly popular software tool used by websites to process people's photos can be exploited to execute malicious code on servers and leak server-side files.…

Samsung Smart Home Flaws Let Hackers Pick Connected Doors From Anywhere In the World

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 5:30pm
Researchers have discovered flaws in Samsung's Smart Home automation system, which if exploited, allows them to carry a range of remote attacks. These attacks include digitally picking connected door locks from anywhere in the world. The flaws have been documented by researchers from the University of Michigan ahead of the 2016 IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy. "All of the above attacks expose a household to significant harm -- break-ins, theft, misinformation, and vandalism," the researchers wrote in a paper. "The attack vectors are not specific to a particular device and are broadly applicable." Dan Goodin, reports for Ars Technica: Other attacks included a malicious app that was able to obtain the PIN code to a smart lock and send it in a text message to attackers, disable a preprogrammed vacation mode setting, and issue a fake fire alarm. The one posing the biggest threat was the remote lock-picking attack, which the researchers referred to as a "backdoor pin code injection attack." It exploited vulnerabilities in an existing app in the SmartThings app store that gives an attacker sustained and largely surreptitious access to users' homes. The attack worked by obtaining the OAuth token that the app and SmartThings platform relied on to authenticate legitimate users. The only interaction it required was for targeted users to click on an attacker-supplied HTTPS link that looked much like this one that led to the authentic SmartThings login page. The user would then enter the username and password. A flaw in the app allowed the link to redirect the credentials away from the SmartThings page to an attacker-controlled address. From then on, the attackers had the same remote access over the lock that users had.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NVIDIA Linux Developers Don't Sound Too Happy About The ChromeOS Driver Approach

Phoronix - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 5:03pm
The discussion over NVIDIA's patches to Wayland has fired back up this week with NVIDIA and upstream Wayland developers seeing different views on the matter. In the latest email exchanges, a comparison to ChromeOS was brought up...

Iranian cyberspy phishing rod pulled from the waters and exposed

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 4:56pm
Infy becomes infamous

Security researchers have lifted the lid on a decade long cyber-espionage campaign.…

Taking a 'Gap Year' Before College Is a British Tradition That's Becoming a Big Trend In The US

Slashdot - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 4:50pm
An anonymous user cites an article on Quartz: Today, many U.S. universities not only allow admitted students to take a year off before beginning their studies, but encourage it. In 2000, Harvard's admissions officers co-authored an article titled "Time Out or Burn Out for the Next Generation," in which they suggest admitted students combat the mounting pressures of secondary and post-secondary education (and modern life in general) by taking a year off. [...] The term "gap year" caught on in the US about a decade ago, when Prince William and Prince Harry took planned time off before entering university in the UK, according to Holly Bull, president of an independent agency called Interim Programs that helps US pre-college students plan their time off. Bull's father founded the agency in 1980 to promote the concept. "I've basically watched the trend grow from its inception in the U.S.," she says. "And while I wouldn't call it mainstream now, we've seen a lot of growth." This growth has led to a burgeoning "gap year" planning services industry, populated by an increasing number of consulting agencies such as Bull's. The American Gap Association (AGA), founded in 2012, oversees this industry, acting as a kind of accreditation agency. Based on the programs it reviews, the AGA estimates that between 30,000 and 40,000 students annually take a planned "gap year" in the U.S., and that the number of students doing this has grown by between 20% and 30% each year since 2006."The growing popularity of gap years speaks to a larger conversation in the US about what direction education is heading and how we help young people become thoughtful, caring citizens," Joe O'Shea, president of the AGA, says.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

EMC makes a LEAP forward with Virtustream and more

El Reg - Tue, 03/05/2016 - 4:26pm
Announcement overload? Oh, you'll love it just as much as Big Mickey Dell

EMC World  The first day of EMC World in Las Vegas caused announcement overload, with the Unity array top of the list, closely followed by a Virtustream storage cloud and more.…

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