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Robinhood Will Start Testing Crypto Wallets Next Month

Slashdot - 20 orë 54 min më parë
Robinhood plans to start a cryptocurrency wallet next month, the company announced on Wednesday. Engadget reports: The tool will allow you to send and receive digital currencies, as well as trade them and move them off the app. If you want to take part in the test, you'll need to join a waitlist. Robinhood plans to trial the feature with a small number of users first before expanding availability to more people gradually. The company told The Verge it expects everyone will have access to their own wallet sometime in 2022. In the meantime, you can see progress on the wallet by following Robinhood's Twitter account and blog. The company promised to share whatever feedback early users provide on the product with the community. Initially, the wallet will support Bitcoin, Ethereum and even Dogecoin. The wallet will use a custodial system, which means Robinhood will manage the keys you need to unlock it. That said, you'll have the option to move your cryptocurrencies to other platforms should you so choose.

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The Fed Is Evaluating Whether To Launch a Digital Currency and In What Form

Slashdot - 21 orë 34 min më parë
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: The Federal Reserve is pushing ahead with its study into whether to implement its own digital currency and will be releasing a paper on the issue shortly, Chairman Jerome Powell said Wednesday. No decision has been made on the matter yet, he added, and said the Fed does not feel pressured to do something quickly as other nations move forward with their own projects. "I think it's important that we get to a place where we can make an informed decision about this and do so expeditiously," Powell said at his post-meeting news conference. "I don't think we're behind. I think it's more important to do this right than to do it fast." Powell added that the Fed is "working proactively to evaluate whether to issue a CBDC, and if so in what form." The Boston Fed has taken point on the project, joining with MIT in an initiative on whether the central bank should establish its own digital coin targeted at making the payments system more effective. Fed Governor Lael Brainard has been a strong advocate of the effort, though several other officials, including Vice Chair for Supervision Randal Quarles, have cast doubts. Advocates such as Brainard say a central bank digital currency's benefits include getting payments quickly to people in times of crisis and also providing services to the unbanked. "We think it's really important that the central bank maintain a stable currency and payments system for the public's benefit. That's one of our jobs," he said. He noted the "transformational innovation" in the area of digital payments and said the Fed is continuing to do work on the matter, including its own FedNow system expected to go online in 2023. The test for a CBDC, he said, is "are there clear and tangible benefits that outweigh any costs and risks." Some concerns even have been raised that if the Fed does not act more aggressively, the dollar's position as the global reserve currency could be challenged. Powell noted the dollar's position in the world and said the Fed is "in a good place" to make a decision on whether to implement its own digital currency. He expressed some concern about the regulatory landscape and said the Fed likely will need congressional permission should it decide to proceed. "Where the public's money is concerned, we need to make sure that appropriate regulatory protections are in place, and today there really are not in some cases," Powell said.

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Apple CEO Tim Cook in Leaked Memo: 'We Are Doing Everything in Our Power' To Identify Leakers

Slashdot - 22 orë 12 min më parë
Apple CEO Tim Cook has warned employees about leaking company information. Cook's memo: Dear Team, It was great to connect with you at the global employee meeting on Friday. There was much to celebrate, from our remarkable new product line-up to our values driven work around climate change, racial equity, and privacy. It was a good opportunity to reflect on our many accomplishments and to have a discussion about what's been on your mind. I'm writing today because I've heard from so many of you were incredibly frustrated to see the contents of the meeting leak to reporters. This comes after a product launch in which most of the details of our announcements were also leaked to the press. I want you to know that I share your frustration. These opportunities to connect as a team are really important. But they only work if we can trust that the content will stay within Apple. I want to reassure you that we are doing everything in our power to identify those who leaked. As you know, we do not tolerate disclosures of confidential information, whether it's product IP or the details of a confidential meeting. We know that the leakers constitute a small number of people. We also know that people who leak confidential information do not belong here. As we look forward, I want to thank you for all you've done to make our products a reality and all you will do to get them into customers' hands. Yesterday we released iOS 15, iPadOS 15, and watchOS 8, and Friday marks the moment when we share some of our incredible new products with the world. There's nothing better than that. We'll continue to measure our contributions in the lives we change, the connections we foster, and the work we do to leave the world a better place.

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Microsoft Debuts Surface Duo 2 Dual-Screen Android Phone With Larger Displays and 5G

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 11:25md
At Microsoft's Surface event today, the company announced its Surface Duo 2 dual-screen Android smartphone, featuring a trio of new cameras, a faster processor, larger displays, and support for 5G. The company also unveiled a successor to the Surface Book line of laptops, the Surface Laptop Studio, as well as the Surface Pro 8. From a report: The first-generation of the Duo made a splash thanks to its unique design. While the original Duo had no exterior screen at all, the Duo 2 now has a sliver of screen called the Glance Bar that peeks out from where its displays come together and provides you with the time and notifications when the Duo is closed. Microsoft has seemingly addressed a number of the original Duo's shortcomings with its Duo 2. One of the biggest issues with the first-generation version was its lack of any truly capable camera. [...] This time around, Microsoft has outfitted the Surface Duo 2 with a trio of external cameras. Like Apple's iPhone and Samsung's Galaxy line of smartphones, the Duo 2 gets a wide-angle camera, an ultra-wide angle camera, and a telephoto camera. There's also a dedicated night photography mode, 2x optical zoom with the telephoto lens, and the ability to record 4K video at 60 frames per second. As for the occasionally sluggish performance, the Duo 2 should have that sorted out. This time around, Microsoft has dropped Qualcomm's latest Snapdragon 888 processor into the Duo 2, which means the phone should run as smoothly and quickly as any of the leading smartphones on the market. What's more, the Duo 2 gets 8GB of RAM and 128GB, 256GB, or 512GB of storage. On top of that, the Surface Duo 2 gets 5G connectivity, something that was conspicuously absent from the first-generation Duo. The Duo 2 also gets two larger displays this time around. Rather than two 5.1-inch panels, the Duo 2 gets two 5.3-inch screens that open up to an 8.3-inch display that you can use to move your apps across or as a single canvas for more expansive apps. [...] The gist of the Surface Duo 2 is that two screens are better than one. To that end, Microsoft has combined two panels with a hinge to make an Android-powered device that lets you not only use both displays at the same time, but also seamlessly move apps and content between them. That capability will cost you a pricey $1,499 when the Duo 2 hits store shelves. It's available for pre-order today.

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Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer To Step Down

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 10:34md
Facebook Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer, a 13-year veteran who oversees the social network's work in artificial intelligence, virtual reality and the blockchain, will step down next year. From a report: Another longtime Facebook executive, Andrew Bosworth, will take over as CTO, according to an internal message on Wednesday from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg. Schroepfer's move marks the most significant departure from the company in years and follows the recent exits of several other top executives. Known as "Schrep," Schroepfer joined Facebook in 2008 and has been CTO since 2013, reporting to Zuckerberg. He sits atop many of Facebook's most ambitious organizations -- including groups that the social network is depending on for future growth -- such as engineering, infrastructure, augmented reality and VR, and the blockchain and finance unit. His desk sits next to Zuckerberg's and operating chief Sheryl Sandberg's at Facebook headquarters.

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YouTube Tests Video Downloads for Your Desktop Browser

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 10:05md
YouTube is testing an official way to download videos on your desktop web browser. From a report: If you want to see if you're eligible for the test, which runs through October 19th, check out YouTube's experimental features page, which lists tests available for Premium subscribers. If you're opted-in and on a supported browser ("the latest versions of Chrome, Edge, or Opera," according to Google), when you're watching a video, you should see an option to download the video under the player. When you click it, YouTube will download the video, which you can then watch from the Downloads section that's accessible from the hamburger menu on the left side of the screen.

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Google Finally Shifting To 'Upstream First' Linux Kernel Approach For Android Features

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 9:47md
Phoronix reports: Google's Android had been notorious for all of its downstream patches carried by the mobile operating system as well as various vendor/device kernel trees while in recent years more of that code has been upstreamed. Google has also been shifting to the Android Generic Kernel Image (GKI) as the basis for all their product kernels to further reduce the fragmentation. Looking ahead, Google is now talking of an "upstream first" approach for pushing new kernel features into mainline Linux before deploying them on Android. Google's Todd Kjos talked today during Linux Plumbers Conference (LPC2021) around their Generic Kernel Image initiative. With Android 12 and their Linux 5.10 based GKI image they have further cut down the fragmentation to the extent that it's "nearly eliminated." With the Android 12 GKI, most of the vendor/OEM kernel features have now either been upstreamed into the Linux kernel, isolated to vendor modules/hooks, or merged into the Android Common Kernel. They are making good progress on the GKI front and also ensuring vendors adapt to the new approach to cut down on the kernel mess. But perhaps most exciting is their outlook for 2023 to 2024 for further reducing technical debt. They are going to pursue an "upstream first development model for new features" in making sure new code first lands into the mainline Linux kernel rather than aiming straight for lodging within the Android source tree.

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UK Publishes 10-Year Plan To Become 'AI Superpower,' Seeking To Rival US and China

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 8:45md
New submitter iarlakd writes: The U.K. government on Wednesday released its 10-year plan to make the country a global "artificial intelligence superpower," seeking to rival the likes of the U.S. and China. The so-called "National Artificial Intelligence Strategy" is designed to boost the use of AI among the nation's businesses, attract international investment into British AI companies and develop the next generation of homegrown tech talent. "Today we're laying the foundations for the next ten years' growth with a strategy to help us seize the potential of artificial intelligence and play a leading role in shaping the way the world governs it," Chris Philp, a minister of the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport, said in a statement. The National AI Strategy includes a number of programs, reports and initiatives. Among them, a new National AI Research and Innovation program will be launched as part of an effort to improve coordination and collaboration between the country's researchers. Elsewhere, another program will specifically aim to support AI development outside London and Southeast England, where much of the nation's AI efforts are currently concentrated.

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Let's Encrypt's Root Certificate is About To Expire, and It Might Break Your Devices

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 8:05md
One of the largest providers of HTTPS certificates, Let's Encrypt, will stop using an older root certificate next week -- meaning you might need to upgrade your devices to prevent them from breaking. From a report: Let's Encrypt, a free-to-use nonprofit, issues certificates that encrypt the connections between your devices and the wider internet, ensuring that nobody can intercept and steal your data in transit. Millions of websites alone rely on Let's Encrypt. But, as warned by security researcher Scott Helme, the root certificate that Let's Encrypt currently uses -- the IdentTrust DST Root CA X3 -- will expire on September 30. After this, computers, devices and web clients -- such as browsers -- will no longer trust certificates that have been issued by this certificate authority. For the overwhelming majority of website users, there is nothing to worry about and September 30 will be business as usual. Older devices, however, could run into some trouble, much like they did when the AddTrust External CA Root expired back in May. Stripe, Red Hat and Roku all suffered outages as a result.

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Apple Bans Fortnite Until Appeals Are Exhausted in Legal Fight

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 7:25md
Apple plans to keep Fortnite off of its App Store until appeals are exhausted in its legal battle with Epic Games, the maker of the popular battle-royale game. From a report: Apple sent a letter to Epic Tuesday saying that it "will not consider any further requests for reinstatement until the district court's judgment becomes final and nonappealable." The letter, sent to Epic's lawyers from a firm representing Apple, was published on Twitter by Epic Chief Executive Officer Tim Sweeney. That process could take five years, he said. Epic sued Apple in August 2020 after the iPhone-maker removed Fortnite from its App Store, citing a workaround that circumvented Apple's commission on purchases.

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Lithuania Says Throw Away Chinese Phones Due To Censorship Concerns

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 6:45md
Lithuania's Defense Ministry recommended that consumers avoid buying Chinese mobile phones and advised people to throw away the ones they have now after a government report found the devices had built-in censorship capabilities. From a report: Flagship phones sold in Europe by China's smartphone giant Xiaomi have a built-in ability to detect and censor terms such as "Free Tibet", "Long live Taiwan independence" or "democracy movement", Lithuania's state-run cybersecurity body said on Tuesday. The capability in Xiaomi's Mi 10T 5G phone software had been turned off for the "European Union region", but can be turned on remotely at any time, the Defence Ministry's National Cyber Security Centre said in the report. "Our recommendation is to not buy new Chinese phones, and to get rid of those already purchased as fast as reasonably possible," Defence Deputy Minister Margiris Abukevicius told reporters in introducing the report.

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Surface Laptop Studio is Microsoft's New Powerful Flagship Laptop

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 6:08md
Microsoft is announcing the Surface Laptop Studio today, a successor to the Surface Book line of powerful laptops. It presents a total redesign for Microsoft's flagship laptop, ditching the removable display in favor of one that pulls forward to transform from laptop into tablet (or what Microsoft calls studio mode). From a report: "Surface Laptop Studio is the most powerful Surface we've ever built," says Pete Kyriacou, vice president of devices at Microsoft. "It is the culmination of years of Surface innovation -- on hinges, display, silicon, and more -- and brings the best of the Surface heritage together in one powerhouse device." The most immediate and obvious change to this Surface Book successor is the display and hinge. The 14.4-inch PixelSense Flow display (2400 x 1600) supports up to 120Hz and Dolby Vision. Microsoft is using a new flexible Dynamic Woven Hinge, which it says is durable and allows this laptop to transition between modes much like the larger Surface Studio. The Surface Laptop Studio supports three modes: laptop, stage, and studio. The laptop mode arranges the display just like a regular laptop, with a full keyboard and a new touchpad with haptics. The stage mode is where things get interesting, as you can pull the display forward to an angle that's designed for gaming, streaming, or presenting. This will cover the keyboard, and the angle is more suited toward watching Netflix or playing games, touching the display, or using the new Surface Slim Pen 2 for digital inking.

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Surface Pro 8 is a Media-Centric 13-inch Tablet With a 120Hz Dolby Vision Display

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 5:25md
Microsoft has unveiled the Surface Pro 8. Engadget: Microsoft's new Surface Pro 8 tablet can actually go toe-to-toe with most ultraportables. It features a 13-inch PixelSense screen, a significant upgrade from the previous 12.3-inch display. Even better, it's one of the first non-gaming notebooks we've seen that supports a 120Hz refresh rate, which makes scrolling through web pages and jotting down notes a lot smoother. And of course, it's built with Windows 11 in mind. Together with some of Intel's latest 11th-gen processors, as well as long-awaited support for Thunderbolt 4, the Surface Pro 8 could tempt over potential buyers who were turned off by the limitations of previous models. Thankfully, the Surface Pro 8 finally supports Thunderbolt 4 on its two USB-C ports. That means you'll be able to connect fast external hard drives, several 4K external monitors or even an external GPU. As for other updates, the rear camera is now 10MP instead of 8MP, and it also supports 4K video. The front-facing camera is still 5MP with 1080p video, but it should offer better low-light performance.

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No More Apologies: Inside Facebook's Push To Defend Its Image

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 4:44md
Mark Zuckerberg, the chief executive, has signed off on an effort to show users pro-Facebook stories and to distance himself from scandals. From a report: Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's chief executive, signed off last month on a new initiative code-named Project Amplify. The effort, which was hatched at an internal meeting in January, had a specific purpose: to use Facebook's News Feed, the site's most important digital real estate, to show people positive stories about the social network. The idea was that pushing pro-Facebook news items -- some of them written by the company -- would improve its image in the eyes of its users, three people with knowledge of the effort said. But the move was sensitive because Facebook had not previously positioned the News Feed as a place where it burnished its own reputation. Several executives at the meeting were shocked by the proposal, one attendee said. Project Amplify punctuated a series of decisions that Facebook has made this year to aggressively reshape its image. Since that January meeting, the company has begun a multipronged effort to change its narrative by distancing Mr. Zuckerberg from scandals, reducing outsiders' access to internal data, burying a potentially negative report about its content and increasing its own advertising to showcase its brand. [...] So Facebook executives, concluding that their methods had done little to quell criticism or win supporters, decided early this year to go on the offensive, said six current and former employees, who declined to be identified for fear of reprisal. "They're realizing that no one else is going to come to their defense, so they need to do it and say it themselves," said Katie Harbath, a former Facebook public policy director. The changes have involved Facebook executives from its marketing, communications, policy and integrity teams. Alex Schultz, a 14-year company veteran who was named chief marketing officer last year, has also been influential in the image reshaping effort, said five people who worked with him. But at least one of the decisions was driven by Mr. Zuckerberg, and all were approved by him, three of the people said.

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Catalogue of Errors Led To $1.36 Billion of State Pension Underpayments

Slashdot - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 4:05md
Repeated human errors made for years were to blame for a scandal which led to more than 1bn pound of state pensions not being paid, a report has concluded. BBC: The National Audit Office (NAO) said 134,000 pensioners, mostly women, were underpaid pensions because outdated computer systems led to mistakes. Among them was 74-year-old Irene Wise, who said women like her were "short-changed" for years. The government said everyone would receive what they were owed. However, the report raises huge questions for the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) over the way the state pension system functions and the mistakes that led to such a massive shortfall in payments. Reacting to the report, Meg Hillier, who chairs the Public Accounts Committee, said: "This is not the first widespread error we have seen in the DWP in recent years. Correcting these errors comes at great cost to the taxpayer. "The DWP must provide urgent redress to those affected and take real action to prevent similar errors in future." The problem relates to the "old" state pension system where married women who had a poor pension in their own right could claim a 60% basic state pension based on their husband's record of contributions. A review is taking place to trace those affected by systemic failures to award these pension rises, stretching back to 1985. But only some women are being fully paid. Others will only be able to claim for 12 months of missed payments. The DWP is expecting to pay the affected pensioners it can trace a total of 1.05bn pound, at an average of 8,900 pound per pensioner affected. That exercise will cost the taxpayer 25m pound in staff costs and will not be completed until the end of 2023. An estimated 40,000 affected women have already died.

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Canonical gives administrators the chance to drag their feet a bit more on Ubuntu upgrades>

LinuxSecurity.com - Mër, 22/09/2021 - 1:51md
There's good news for admins looking nervously at their aging Ubuntu boxes - a few more years of support is now on offer as Canonical brings 14.04 and 16.04 LTS into the 10-year fold.

Facebook Rolls Out News Feed Change That Blocks Watchdogs from Gathering Data

Slashdot - Mar, 21/09/2021 - 6:42md
Facebook has begun rolling out an update that is interfering with watchdogs monitoring the platform. From a report: The Markup has found evidence that Facebook is adding changes to its website code that foils automated data collection of news feed posts -- a technique that groups like NYU's Ad Observatory, The Markup, and other researchers and journalists use to audit what's happening on the platform on a large scale. The changes, which attach junk code to HTML features meant to improve accessibility for visually impaired users, also impact browser-based ad blocking services on the platform. The new code risks damaging the user experience for people who are visually impaired, a group that has struggled to use the platform in the past. The updates add superfluous text to news feed posts in the form of ARIA tags, an element of HTML code that is not rendered visually by a standard web browser but is used by screen reader software to map the structure and read aloud the contents of a page. Such code is also used by organizations like NYU's Ad Observatory to identify sponsored posts on the platform and weed them out for further scrutiny. Facebook did not respond to a request for comment before press time. Following the changes, the Citizen Browser project experienced a drop in data collection rates from early September, prompting the investigation that uncovered these changes to the code. At around the same time, users of certain ad blockers noticed a decrease in their effectiveness.

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Googlers Protest Removal of Russian App as Bend To Government

Slashdot - Mar, 21/09/2021 - 6:02md
Google employees have joined the slew of politicians and activists blasting the internet giant for pulling a voting app from Russia's opposition leader, a move critics say showed the company was caving in to the Kremlin. From a report: Staff members complained over the weekend about the Google's decision in internal forums and on memegen, a messaging board that has served as a breeding ground for protests within the company. Images circulating inside Google, which were viewed by Bloomberg News, spoofed its corporate creed about prioritizing users. One picture depicts a man reading a magazine below the slogan, "Putin the user first." These internal frustrations are the latest in a series of blows to Alphabet's Google operations in Russia, where the company is facing increased political pressure, fines and aggressive demands to police its influential internet services. So far, Google has decided those pressures are still worth operating in the multibillion dollar advertising market. Google and Apple on Friday removed a smart-voting app from Alexey Navalny, an imprisoned critic of Russian president Vladimir Putin. Google made the decision to remove the app from its online store in Russia after officials threatened to imprison local employees, according to a person close to the company.

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Leaked Apple Training Videos Show How the iPhone-Maker Undermines Third-Party Repair

Slashdot - Mar, 21/09/2021 - 5:22md
em1ly shares a report from Motherboard, which obtained leaked training videos Apple made for its authorized repair partners, showing how the company trains repair technicians to undermine third party companies and talk customers into buying more expensive first party repairs. From the report: "I cracked the glass on my phone and I'm comparing costs. How much for just that part?" One man acting the part of the customer asks in one of the videos. "I can show you the cost for just the part before we begin," another man, playing the part of repair technician says. "Whoa," the customer says, holding out his hands. "That's way more than the shop down the street. Why is it so expensive here?" "This quote's for a genuine Apple part," the technician says. "What do you mean by genuine?" the customer asks, his hands making scare quotes. "I'd like to save some money. Aren't they really the same part?" After this, the technician launches into an explanation of why it's best for people to replace broken iPhone parts with genuine Apple products. "A genuine Apple part has to pass AppleCare engineering criteria," the technician says, explaining that a screen from Apple will be tested as if it had just come off the factory floor. "With a genuine Apple display, all the features you've come to rely on behave seamlessly...that's not the case with third party displays." Six of the eight videos are dedicated to training repair techs on how to deal with customers worried about the huge costs of repairing an Apple device. One three-minute video is dedicated to helping customers understand why a genuine Apple screen is often better than one from a third party.

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Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 Each Get a Decade of Support from Canonical

Slashdot - Mar, 21/09/2021 - 4:44md
Canonical has announced that it is extending the life of Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 to a decade. BetaNews: In other words, Ubuntu 14.04 and 16.04 are getting longer Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) periods as Canonical pushes back their End of Life (EoL) dates. The former will now get security updates until 2024, while the latter will receive them until 2026. "This lifecycle extension enables organizations to balance their infrastructure upgrade costs, by giving them additional time to implement their upgrade plan. The prolonged Extended Security Maintenance (ESM) phase of Ubuntu 14.04 LTS and 16.04 LTS enables a secure and low-maintenance infrastructure with security updates and kernel livepatches provided by Canonical. The announcement represents a significant opportunity for the organizations currently implementing their transition to new applications and technologies," says Canonical.

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