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'Extreme and Unusual' Climate Trends Continue After Record 2016

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 6:40pm
From a report on BBC: In the atmosphere, the seas and around the poles, climate change is reaching disturbing new levels across the Earth. That's according to a detailed global analysis from the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). It says that 2016 was not only the warmest year on record, but it saw atmospheric CO2 rise to a new high, while Arctic sea ice recorded a new winter low. The "extreme and unusual" conditions have continued in 2017, it says. Reports earlier this year from major scientific bodies - including the UK's Met Office, Nasa and NOAA -- indicated that 2016 was the warmest year on record. The WMO's State of the Global Climate 2016 report builds on this research with information from 80 national weather services to provide a deeper and more complete picture of the year's climate data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AC3 Codec Coming For Fedora 26

Phoronix - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 6:00pm
Fedora Workstation 26 will be receiving official AC3 codec support...

Cord-Cutting Isn't Nearly as Significant as Cable Providers Make It Out To Be

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 6:00pm
From a report on CNBC: Despite legacy media's anxieties about cord-cutting, data suggest that the phenomenon isn't nearly as significant as cable providers make it out to be. In its 11th annual "Digital Democracy Survey," Deloitte found that the percentage of American households that subscribe to paid television services has remained relatively stable since 2012, even as adoption of streaming services has accelerated. In its survey of 2,131 consumers, Deloitte said two-thirds of respondents reported they have kept their TV subscriptions because they're bundled with their internet plan. Kevin Westcott, vice chairman and U.S. media and entertainment leader at Deloitte, told CNBC that bundling seems to be a huge deterrent for cord cutting.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Softcat purrs as customers buy early to dodge Microsoft hikes

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 5:35pm
Price rises were a nightmare, right? Not for everyone!

Microsoft UK price rises that kicked in at the start of this year weren't bad news for everyone in the country – IT reseller Softcat saw software sales swell as customers purchased licences early to avoid the hefty hike.…

Google Contemplating Removing Chrome 'Close Other Tabs' and 'Close Tabs to the Right' Options

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 5:20pm
An anonymous reader shares a report: Chrome engineers are planning to remove two options from Chrome that allow users to quickly close a large number of tabs with just a few clicks. The options, named "Close other tabs" and "Close tabs to the right" reside in the menu that appears when a user right-clicks on a Chrome tab. According to an issue on the Chromium project spotted yesterday by a Reddit user, Google engineers planned to remove to menu options for many years even before opening the Chromium issue, dated itself to July 31, 2015. After several years of inactivity and no decision, things started to move again in September 2016, when usage statistics confirmed that Chrome users rarely used the two options they initially wanted to remove. Seeing no new discussions past this point, Chromium engineers assigned the issue in February, meaning engineers are getting ready to remove the two menu options it in future Chromium builds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

With Skype, Microsoft's messaging strategy looks coherent at last (almost)

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 5:05pm
It'll probably change next week

Analysis  In 2015 we compared, after many years' experience, Microsoft strategy to "a heavily armed octopus trying to shoot itself in the head". But relatively speaking, there's one product category where its hard work is beginning to appear coherent – at least compared to the competition.…

Firefox for Linux is Now Netflix Compatible

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 4:40pm
Brian Fagioli, writing for BetaNews: For a while, Netflix was not available for traditional Linux-based operating systems, meaning users were unable to enjoy the popular streaming service without booting into Windows. This was due to the company's reliance on Microsoft Silverlight. Since then, Netflix adopted HTML5, and it made Google Chrome and Chromium for Linux capable of playing the videos. Unfortunately, Firefox -- the open source browser choice for many Linux users -- was not compatible. Today this changes, however, as Mozilla's offering is now compatible with Netflix!

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bloke, 48, accused of whaling two US tech leviathans out of $100m

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 4:13pm
Lithuanian cuffed and charged

Evaldas Rimasauskas, a 48-year-old Lithuanian man, has been charged with defrauding two major US-based internet companies for more than $100m through whaling attacks.…

This Week's Mesa 17.1-dev + Linux 4.11 Radeon Performance vs. NVIDIA

Phoronix - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 4:10pm
Given all the recent performance work that's landed recently in Mesa Git for Mesa 17.1 plus the Linux 4.11 kernel continuing to mature, in this article are some fresh benchmarks of a few Radeon GPUs with Mesa 17.1-dev + Linux 4.11 as of this week compared to some GeForce graphics cards with the latest NVIDIA proprietary driver.

JS package catalog npm frees its team software for open source devs

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 4:00pm
With commercial success, npm can afford to be magnanimous

npm Inc, the company behind the Node.js package manager and command-line utility known by the same three letters, on Wednesday plans to make its developer collaboration tool known as Orgs free for open source projects.…

Performance Bugs, 'the Dark Matter of Programming Bugs', Are Out There Lurking and Unseen

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 4:00pm
Several Slashdot readers have shared an article by programmer Nicholas Chapman, who talks about a class of bugs that he calls "performance bugs". From the article: A performance bug is when the code computes the correct result, but runs slower than it should due to a programming mistake. The nefarious thing about performance bugs is that the user may never know they are there -- the program appears to work correctly, carrying out the correct operations, showing the right thing on the screen or printing the right text. It just does it a bit more slowly than it should have. It takes an experienced programmer, with a reasonably accurate mental model of the problem and the correct solution, to know how fast the operation should have been performed, and hence if the program is running slower than it should be. I started documenting a few of the performance bugs I came across a few months ago, for example (on some platforms) the insert method of std::map is roughly 7 times slower than it should be, std::map::count() is about twice as slow as it should be, std::map::find() is 15% slower than it should be, aligned malloc is a lot slower than it should be in VS2015.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GNOME 3.24 Released With Night Light Mode, Maps Navigation & More

Phoronix - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 3:55pm
Matthias Clasen has just announced the official release of GNOME 3.24, codenamed Portland...

Gift cards or the iPhone gets it: Hackers threaten Apple with millions of remote wipes

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 3:26pm
'Turkish crime family' says Bitcoin's also OK

Hackers who claim to have gained access to over 300 million iCloud and Apple email accounts are threatening to wipe user data unless Apple pays a ransom.…

No, We Probably Don't Live in a Computer Simulation, Says Physicist

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 3:20pm
Science doesn't have all the answers. There are plenty of things it may never prove, like whether there's a God. Or whether we're living in a computer simulation, something proposed by Swedish philosopher Nick Bostrom. From an article on Gizmodo: This kind of thinking made at least one person angry, theoretical physicist and science writer Sabine Hossenfelder from the Frankfurt Institute for Advanced Studies in Germany. Last week, she took to her blog Backreactions to vent. It's not the statement "we're living in a simulation" that upsets Hossenfelder. It's the fact that philosophers are making assertions that, if true, should most certainly manifest themselves in our laws of physics. "I'm not saying it's impossible," Hossenfelder told Gizmodo. "But I want to see some backup for this claim." Backup to prove such a claim would require a lot of work and a lot of math, enough to solve some of the most complex problems in theoretical physics.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Feral Now Formally Providing Free Linux Games To Mesa Developers

Phoronix - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 3:17pm
Similar to Valve offering their collection of games to Mesa developers (as well as Ubuntu/Debian developers), Feral Interactive is now offering their Linux game collection for free to Mesa developers...

Patents Are A Big Part Of Why We Can't Own Nice Things

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 2:40pm
An anonymous reader shares an EFF article: Today, the Supreme Court heard arguments in a case that could allow companies to keep a dead hand of control over their products, even after you buy them. The case, Impression Products v. Lexmark International, is on appeal from the Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, who last year affirmed its own precedent allowing patent holders to restrict how consumers can use the products they buy. That decision, and the precedent it relied on, departs from long established legal rules that safeguard consumers and enable innovation. When you buy something physical -- a toaster, a book, or a printer, for example -- you expect to be free to use it as you see fit: to adapt it to suit your needs, fix it when it breaks, re-use it, lend it, sell it, or give it away when you're done with it. Your freedom to do those things is a necessary aspect of your ownership of those objects. If you can't do them, because the seller or manufacturer has imposed restrictions or limitations on your use of the product, then you don't really own them. Traditionally, the law safeguards these freedoms by discouraging sellers from imposing certain conditions or restrictions on the sale of goods and property, and limiting the circumstances in which those restrictions may be imposed by contract. But some companies are relentless in their quest to circumvent and undermine these protections. They want to control what end users of their products can do with the stuff they ostensibly own, by attaching restrictions and conditions on purchasers, locking down their products, and locking you (along with competitors and researchers) out. If they can do that through patent law, rather than ordinary contract, it would mean they could evade legal limits on contracts, and that any one using a product in violation of those restrictions (whether a consumer or competitor) could face harsh penalties for patent infringement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Can we learn to love AI and sex robots?

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 2:06pm
Reg lecture explores what turning on a machine really means

If you've wondered how AI and robotics are going to interact with and affect human sexuality – indeed humans full stop – you should really join us on 19 April for our next Register Lecture.…

Amazon To Expand Counterfeit Removal Program in Overture To Sellers

Slashdot - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 2:00pm is expanding a program to remove counterfeit goods from its website this spring as part of a broader push to assure brand owners that the online retailer is an ally rather than a threat. From a report: As early as next month, any brand can register its logo and intellectual property with Amazon so the e-commerce company can take down listings and potentially seller accounts when counterfeits are flagged, Peter Faricy, vice president of Amazon Marketplace, said in an interview on Monday. The so-called brand registry, which had been in a test phase, will be widely available for free in North America, Faricy said ahead of his presentation at the Shoptalk commerce conference in Las Vegas.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Calling your redundancy programme Baccarat? Immense Bummer, Management

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 1:48pm
That's cold, IBM

Word reaches us of Project Baccarat*, IBM’s latest redundancy programme for staffers in the Infrastructure Services Delivery division.…

Metasploit upgraded to sniff out IoT weakspots in corporate networks

El Reg - Wed, 22/03/2017 - 1:36pm
Radio frequency testing probes for foreign bodies

Rapid7 has upgraded its popular Metasploit pen-testing tool to help IT security teams and consultants probe for IoT-related weaknesses in corporate environments.…

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