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Microsoft's System Center successor edges closer to Hawaii 1-0

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:27am
Project Honolulu gets a second Tech Preview

Microsoft has offered Windows admins a second look at Project Honolulu, its web-based System Center successor.…

Apple to devs: Code for the iPhone X or nothing from April onwards

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 8:01am
It's therefore safe to assume the notch is not going away any time soon

The Apple rumour mill has buzzed with speculation that less-than-completely-astounding sales of Cupertino's latest iPhone, the X, mean it might not be long for this world.…

If this laptop is so portable, where's the keyboard, huh? HUH?

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 7:04am
Un-hinged user needed some basic education

On-Call  Welcome again to On-Call, in which The Register tries to liven up Fridays with reader-contributed stories of tech support traumas.…

Microsoft Launches LinkedIn-Powered Resume Assistant For Office 365 Subscribers

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 7:00am
Microsoft and LinkedIn have launched their Resume Assistant, a Word-integrated tool that aims to help you write your resume by suggesting work experience descriptions pulled from similar LinkedIn profiles and requirements from real job postings. "The feature is available to Microsoft Office 365 subscribers, but one does not need a LinkedIn account to use it," reports Quartz. From the report: What's more, when you're done, Resume Assistant promises to "surface relevant job opportunities for you directly within Microsoft Word." The tool is the newest product to come out of Microsoft's takeover of LinkedIn, the high price of which raised more questions than it answered. Industry analysts speculated that Microsoft might have more up its sleeve than just trying to snag more users -- offering companies an entire hiring, learning, and training package, perhaps.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Astro-boffinry world rocked to its very core: Shock as Andromeda found to be not much bigger than Milky Way

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 6:11am
Everything we knew was a lie

The Andromeda galaxy is actually roughly the same size as the Milky Way, and may not engulf our galaxy when it is expected to collide in about four billion years time, according to new research.…

If you don't like what IBM is pitching, blame Watson: It's generating sales 'solutions' now

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 5:02am
'Cognitive solutioning' kicks in when you ask Big Blue to solve tricky problems

Exclusive  IBM is not just telling the world it needs "cognitive" computing: the company has bet the future of its own services business on Watson-branded services.…

If IBM craters, blame Watson: It's writing RFP responses now

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 5:02am
If whatever you ask IBM to do isn't easy, 'cognitive solutioning' will sort you out

Exclusive  IBM is not just telling the world it needs "cognitive" computing: the company has bet the future of its own services business on Watson-branded services.…

Ubuntu wants to slurp PCs' vital statistics – even location – with new desktop installs

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 4:02am
Data harvest notice will be checked by default

Poll  Desktop computers powered by future versions of Ubuntu GNU/Linux may collect information on the PCs – unless users opt out.…

Household Products Now Rival Cars As a Source of Air Pollution, Say Scientists

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 3:30am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Household cleaners, paints and perfumes have become substantial sources of urban air pollution as strict controls on vehicles have reduced road traffic emissions, scientists say. Researchers in the US looked at levels of synthetic "volatile organic compounds", or VOCs, in roadside air in Los Angeles and found that as much came from industrial and household products refined from petroleum as from vehicle exhaust pipes. The compounds are an important contributor to air pollution because when they waft into the atmosphere, they react with other chemicals to produce harmful ozone or fine particulate matter known as PM2.5. Ground level ozone can trigger breathing problems by making the airways constrict, while fine airborne particles drive heart and lung disease. Writing in the journal Science, De Gouw and others report that the amount of VOCs emitted from household and industrial products is two to three times higher than official US estimates suggest. The result is surprising since only about 5% of raw oil is turned into chemicals for consumer products, with 95% ending up as fuel.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russians behind bars in US after nicking $300m+ in credit-card hacks

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 2:54am
Pair partly responsible for largest bank-card theft ring in American history

Two Russian criminals have been sent down in America after pleading guilty to helping run the largest credit-card hacking scam in US history.…

Techno-senator tells Tinder to hook up its app with better security

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 2:03am
Swipe-a-shag tool gets the dreaded sternly-worded-letter treatment from Wyden

Cyber-senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) is asking execs from the parent company of Tinder to please use protection when spreading the love around.…

Electronics-Recycling Innovator Faces Prison For Extending Computers' Lives

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 2:03am
schwit1 shares a report from Los Angeles Times: Prosecutors said 33-year-old [Eric Lundgren, an electronic-waste recycling innovator] ripped off Microsoft by manufacturing 28,000 counterfeit discs with the company's Windows operating system on them. He was convicted of conspiracy and copyright infringement, which brought a 15-month prison sentence and a $50,000 fine. In a rare move though, a federal appeals court has granted an emergency stay of the sentence, giving Lundgren another chance to make his argument that the whole thing was a misunderstanding. Lundgren does not deny that he made the discs or that he hoped to sell them. But he says this was no profit-making scheme. By his account, he just wanted to make it easier to extend the usefulness of secondhand computers -- keeping more of them out of the trash. The case centers on "restore discs," which can be used only on computers that already have the licensed Windows software and can be downloaded free from the computer's manufacturer, in this case Dell. The discs are routinely provided to buyers of new computers to enable them to reinstall their operating systems if the computers' hardware fails or must be wiped clean. But they often are lost by the time used computers find their way to a refurbisher. Lundgren said he thought electronics companies wanted the reuse of computers to be difficult so that people would buy new ones. He thought that producing and selling restore discs to computer refurbishers -- saving them the hassle of downloading the software and burning new discs -- would encourage more secondhand sales. In his view, the new owners were entitled to the software, and this just made it easier. The government, and Microsoft, did not see it that way. Federal prosecutors in Florida obtained a 21-count indictment against Lundgren and his business partner, and Microsoft filed a letter seeking $420,000 in restitution for lost sales. Lundgren claims that the assistant U.S. attorney on the case told him, "Microsoft wants your head on a platter and I'm going to give it to them."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Is Under Investigation Over $3.9 Billion Media Deal

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 1:25am
According to a report in The New York Times (Warning: source may be paywalled), Ajit Pai and the FCC approved a set of rules in 2017 to allow television broadcasters to increase the number of stations they own. Weeks after the rules were approved, Sinclair Broadcasting announced a $3.9 billion deal to buy Tribune Media. PC Gamer reports: The deal was made possible by the new set of rules, which subsequently raised some eyebrows. Notably, the FCC's inspector general is reportedly investigating if Pai and his aides abused their position by pushing for the rule changes that would make the deal possible, and timing them to benefit Sinclair. The extent of the investigation is not clear, nor is how long it will take. However, it does bring up the question of whether Pai had coordinated with Sinclair, and it could force him to publicly address the topic, which he hasn't really done up to this point. Legislators first pushed for an investigation into this matter last November. At the time, a spokesman for the FCC representing Pai called the allegations "baseless" and alluded to it being a partisan play by those who oppose the chairman. "For many years, Chairman Pai has called on the FCC to update its media ownership regulations," the FCC spokesman said. "The chairman is sticking to his long-held views, and given the strong case for modernizing these rules, it's not surprising that those who disagree with him would prefer to do whatever they can to distract from the merits of his proposals."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Oh sh-itcoin! Crypto-dosh swap-shop Coinbase empties punters' bank accounts

El Reg - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 12:55am
Says sorry for 'poor experience', vows to pay back missing cash

Digital currency exchange Coinbase said it inadvertently charged punters for transactions they never made, effectively draining money from their bank accounts. It has promised to refund the money taken.…

Bloomberg Starts Tracking Tesla Model 3 Production

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 12:45am
WindBourne writes: Tesla is producing their Model 3, but is apparently tired of answering critics about production. So, they quit telling. Now, Bloomberg has an active tracker that shows the total production and deliveries, along with the production per week, which is probably more important. In fact, they are now up to 1,025 Model 3s per week, and it is apparent that Tesla is growing by leaps and bounds on this as parts of the manufacturing line are converted to full robotics. Bloomberg reportedly tracks Tesla's production via Vehicle Identification Numbers (VINs), which are unique strings of digits displayed on every new car sold in the U.S., along with "data from official U.S. government resources, social media reports, and direct communication with Tesla owners." While the company is now building approximately 1,025 Model 3 vehicles a week, Bloomberg estimates that Tesla has manufactured a total of 7,438 Model 3s so far.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pro-Gun Russian Bots Flood Twitter After Parkland Shooting

Slashdot - Fri, 16/02/2018 - 12:03am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Wired: In the wake of Wednesday's Parkland, Florida school shooting, which resulted in 17 deaths, troll and bot-tracking sites reported an immediate uptick in related tweets from political propaganda bots and Russia-linked Twitter accounts. Hamilton 68, a website created by Alliance for Securing Democracy, tracks Twitter activity from accounts it has identified as linked to Russian influence campaigns. On RoBhat Labs' Botcheck.me, a website created by two Berkeley students to track 1500 political propaganda bots, all of the top two-word phrases used in the last 24 hours -- excluding President Trump's name -- are related to the tragedy: School shooting, gun control, high school, Florida school. The top hashtags from the last 24 hours include Parkland, guncontrol, and guncontrolnow. While RoBhat Labs tracks general political bots, Hamilton 68 focuses specifically on those linked to the Russian government. According to the group's data, the top link shared by Russia-linked accounts in the last 48 hours is a 2014 Politifact article that looks critically at a statistic cited by pro-gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety. Twitter accounts tracked by the group have used the old link to try to debunk today's stats about the frequency of school shootings. Another top link shared by the network covers the "deranged" Instagram account of the shooter, showing images of him holding guns and knives, wearing army hats, and a screenshot of a Google search of the phrase "Allahu Akbar." Characterizing shooters as deranged lone wolves with potential terrorist connections is a popular strategy of pro-gun groups because of the implication that new gun laws could not have prevented their actions. Meanwhile, some accounts with large bot followings are already spreading misinformation about the shooter's ties to far-left group Antifa, even though the Associated Press reported that he was a member of a local white nationalist group. The Twitter account Education4Libs, which RoBhat Labs shows is one among the top accounts tweeted at by bots, is among the prominent disseminators of that idea.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FCC inspector general sticks corruption probe into chairman Ajit Pai amid $4bn media merger

El Reg - Thu, 15/02/2018 - 11:59pm
Fine line between free market and favors for pals

Analysis  The chairman of America's broadband watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) – is under investigation by the regulator's inspector general following a series of decisions that appear to favor one of the country's largest media owners.…

Google To Kill Off 'View Image' Button In Search

Slashdot - Thu, 15/02/2018 - 11:20pm
Google is removing the "view image" button that appeared when you clicked on a picture, which allowed you to open the image alone. The provision to remove the button is part of a deal Google has made with stock-photo agency Getty to end their legal battle. The Register reported last week that the two companies announced a partnership that "will allow Google to continue carrying Getty-owned photographs in its image and web search results." The Verge reports: The change is essentially meant to frustrate users. Google has long been under fire from photographers and publishers who felt that image search allowed people to steal their pictures, and the removal of the view image button is one of many changes being made in response. The intention seems to be either stopping people from taking an image altogether or driving them through to the website where the image is found, so that the website can serve ads and get revenue and so people are more likely to see any associated copyright information. That's great news for publishers, but it's an annoying additional step for someone trying to find a picture. Now you'll have to wait for a website to load and then scroll through it to find the image. Websites sometimes disable the ability to right click, too, which would make it even harder for someone to grab a photo they're looking for. In addition to removing the "view image" button, Google has also removed the "search by image" button that appeared when you opened up a photo, too. This change isn't quite as big, however. You'll still be able to do a reverse image search by dragging the image to the search bar, and Google will still display related images when you click on a search result. The button may have been used by people to find un-watermarked versions of images they were interested in, which is likely part of why Google pulled it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Former ICE top lawyer raided US govt database to steal aliens' identities

El Reg - Thu, 15/02/2018 - 11:19pm
While kicking folks out of 'Murica, Raphael A. Sanchez committed fraud in their names

Yet again an insider has been caught misusing a workplace computer system to conduct identity theft and fraud.…

Fedora Might Begin Having A Release Manager

Phoronix - Thu, 15/02/2018 - 11:01pm
Fedora developers are now discussing the possibility of naming a release manager each development cycle as a person in charge of wrangling together each release and seeing that the "Rawhide" development state is kept in better condition. Who knows, this also might actually help Fedora's longtime trouble of delivering releases on time...
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