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Star Labs Shares More Details on Its Upcoming StarFighter 4K Linux Laptop - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 1:00md
UK-based Linux hardware vendor Star Labs took to Twitter to share more details on its upcoming Linux laptop called StarFighter, which looks to the company's first notebook to feature a 4K display.

An All-Electric Passenger Plane Completed Its First Test Flight

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 9:00pd
A prototype all-electric passenger plane took off for the first time yesterday in a test flight that marks a significant milestone for carbon pollution-free aviation. The Verge reports: The nine-passenger commuter aircraft called Alice took off at 7:10AM yesterday from Washington state's Grant County International Airport. Alice is ahead of much of the pack when it comes to all-electric aircraft under development. It could become the "first all-new, all-electric commercial airplane" if the Federal Aviation Administration certifies it to carry passengers, The Seattle Times reports. Alice's maker, Washington state-based company Eviation, is targeting commuter and cargo flights between 150 and 250 miles. That's like flying from New York City to Boston or from Los Angeles to Las Vegas. Yesterday's test flight lasted just eight minutes, though, with the aircraft reaching an altitude of 3,500 feet. The purpose of the flight was to gather data to improve the design of the plane, which still has a long way to go before it can take off with passengers on board. Alice will eventually come in three configurations: a nine-passenger commuter plane, a six-passenger luxury plane, and an e-cargo version. The limited size has to do with battery capacity.

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Scientists Create AI-Powered Laser Turret That Kills Cockroaches

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 5:30pd
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Everyone wants to be able to just zap a bug and have it go away. But now, thanks to a recent development from Ildar Rakhmatulin, a research associate at Heriot-Watt University interested in machine learning and engineering, this dream is now a reality. In the study -- which was conducted last year but published in Oriental Insects last week -- Rakhmatulin and his co-authors used a laser insect control device automated with machine vision to perform a series of experiments on domiciliary cockroaches. They were able to not only detect cockroaches at high accuracy but also neutralize and deter individual insects at a distance up to 1.2 meters. This is a follow-up of sorts to earlier projects, in which he used a Raspberry Pi and lasers to zap mosquitoes. However, for this project, Rakhmatulin used a different kind of computer which allowed for more precision in detecting the bug. "I started using a Jetson Nano that allowed me to use deep learning technologies with higher accuracy to detect an object," Rakhmatulin explained. The Jetson Nano is a small computer that can run machine learning algorithms. The computer processes a digital signal from two cameras to determine the cockroach's position. It transmits that information to a galvanometer (a machine that measures electric current), which changes the direction of the laser to shoot the target. According to the paper, Rakhmatulin tried this configuration at different power levels for the laser. At a lower power level, he found that he could influence the behavior of roaches by simply triggering their flight response with a laser; this way, they could potentially be trained to not shelter in a particular dark area. At a higher power level, the cockroaches were effectively "neutralized," in the paper's language -- in other words, killed. "I use very cheap hardware and cheap technology and it's open source," Rakhmatulin said. "All sources are uploaded in my GitHub and see how to do it and use it. If it can damage cockroaches, it can also damage other pests in agriculture." It's not quite ready for household use though. "It's not recommended because it's a little dangerous," Rakhmatulin said. "Lasers can damage not only cockroaches but your eyes." You can view a video of the device in action here.

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Bipedal Robot Sets Guinness World Record For Robotic 100-Meter Sprint

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 4:02pd
A droid named Cassie has set a Guinness World Record for the 100-meter dash by a bipedal robot, "an impressive demonstration of robotics and engineering," reports New Atlas. From the report: Cassie is the brainchild of Agility Robotics, a spin-off company from Oregon State University, and was introduced in 2017 as a type of developmental platform for robotics research. And Cassie has continued to come along in leaps and bounds since then, in 2021 demonstrating some impressive progress by completing a 5-km (3.1-mile) jog in just over 53 minutes. This achievement involved the use of machine learning algorithms to equip the robot with an ability to run, overcoming its unique biomechanics and knees that bend like an ostrich to remain upright. With this capability, Cassie joined a group of running bipedal robots that include the Atlas humanoid robot from Boston Dynamics and Mabel, billed as the world's fastest knee-equipped bipedal robot. But in optimizing Cassie for the 100-meter sprint, the researchers had to head back to the drawing board. The team spent a week fast-tracking Cassie through a year's worth of simulated training designed to determine the most effective gait. But it wasn't simply a matter of speed. For the Guinness World Record to stand, Cassie had to start in a standing pose, and then return to that pose after crossing the finish line rather than simply tumble over. This meant Cassie had to use two neural networks, one for running fast and one for standing still, and gracefully transition between the two. Ultimately, Cassie completed the 100-meter sprint in 24.73 seconds, establishing a Guinness World Record for a bipedal robot. This is a great deal slower than the sub-10-second times run by the world's best sprinters, but the researchers believe progress will only accelerate from here. You can watch Cassie's record-setting dash here.

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EU Proposes Rules Making It Easier To Sue Drone Makers, AI Systems

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 3:25pd
The European Commission on Wednesday proposed rules making it easier for individuals and companies to sue makers of drones, robots and other products equipped with artificial intelligence software for compensation for harm caused by them. Reuters reports: The AI Liability Directive aims to address the increasing use of AI-enabled products and services and the patchwork of national rules across the 27-country European Union. Under the draft rules, victims can seek compensation for harm to their life, property, health and privacy due to the fault or omission of a provider, developer or user of AI technology, or for discrimination in a recruitment process using AI. The rules lighten the burden of proof on victims with a "presumption of causality", which means victims only need to show that a manufacturer or user's failure to comply with certain requirements caused the harm and then link this to the AI technology in their lawsuit. Under a "right of access to evidence," victims can ask a court to order companies and suppliers to provide information about high-risk AI systems so that they can identify the liable person and the fault that caused the damage. The Commission also announced an update to the Product Liability Directive that means manufacturers will be liable for all unsafe products, tangible and intangible, including software and digital services, and also after the products are sold. Users can sue for compensation when software updates render their smart-home products unsafe or when manufacturers fail to fix cybersecurity gaps. Those with unsafe non-EU products will be able to sue the manufacturer's EU representative for compensation. The AI Liability Directive will need to be agreed with EU countries and EU lawmakers before it can become law.

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Kindle Scribe Brings Writing To Amazon's Popular E-Reader

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 2:45pd
[T]he Scribe brings something altogether new to the line: writing. For the first time since the first Kindle was introduced in late-2007, Amazon's added the ability to write on-device with a stylus. TechCrunch reports: Amazon's entry in the space has a 10.2-inch screen and a design partially reminiscent of the premium Kindle Oasis, include a large side bezel (no page turn buttons, unfortunately) you can hold onto while reading. It has a battery the company rates at "weeks," keeping in line with its fellow readers. At 433 grams, it's (predictably) the heaviest Kindle, which could put a bit of a crimp in those bedtime reading marathons. The device ships with its own stylus, which magnetically snaps on the side -- similar to what you see on a lot of tablets. The stylus doesn't requiring charging, and instead relies on EMR (electro-magnetic resistance) -- that means, among other things, that other styli will likely work with the Scribe, though the company cautions against that (naturally), stating that their own is tuned specifically for work on the Kindle. A more premium model will also be made available with a built-in button for quick actions. These styli allow for a variety of different line styles, though the tips are permanent, so that's happening through the on-board software accessible via a software toolbar. The company says it specifically designed the display/stylus combo to mimic the feel of a pen on paper. [...] Strangely, handwriting recognition will be missing at launch, though the feature is almost certainly on the company's roadmap. It will, however, have a newly Streamlined software offering, allowing files to be shared off the device through the Kindle app, a web browser or email. The company also says it has updated the notoriously outdated Send to Kindle feature to help remove some of the friction from the process. Meanwhile, a deal with Microsoft will bring Word functionality to the product at some point early next year. [...] Preorders for the $340 device start today, with shipping expected before the holidays (think November). Amazon announced more than ten new products at their event, including four new Echo devices, a new TV, and sleep tracker. CNBC highlights the biggest announcements in their report.

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Podcasters Are Buying Millions of Listeners Through Mobile-Game Ads

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 2:02pd
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Podcasters are always hunting for new, flashy places to promote their shows, ranging from billboards to floats in parades to airplane banners. Some networks, though, have uncovered a less-glamorous, yet highly effective way to gain millions of bankable listeners: loading up mobile games with a particular kind of ad. Each time a player taps on one of these fleeting in-game ads -- and wins some virtual loot for doing so -- a podcast episode begins downloading on their device. The podcast company, in turn, can claim the gamer as a new listener to its program and add another coveted download to its overall tally. The practice allows networks to amass downloads quickly by tapping into a wellspring of hyperactive video-game users. But it also calls into question who a legitimate podcast listener is and what length of time should be required to count as a download. Podcasts typically rely on downloads as the primary metric for ad sales. When an individual taps on an in-app play button on their mobile device, an entire episode begins downloading so they can listen to it even in the absence of a good internet connection -- say, on an airplane or in the subway. An episode's ads are inserted at that moment of download, meaning that even if a consumer only listens to 10 minutes of a 30-minute show, the mid-roll ad at the 15-minute mark is often ready to be heard -- not to mention, counted by the sales team. To date, the podcast industry has said next to nothing about its embrace of this video-game strategy. "Not all impressions are created equal," said Larry Chiagouris, a marketing professor at Pace University. "I'm not saying [this tactic is] not ethical or illegal, but it raises issues. If someone is trying to play a game and that's the purpose of this interaction, they may just be eager to play the game and are not that interested in the information being shared."

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DocuSign Cuts Workforce By 9% As Part of Restructuring Plan

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 1:20pd
DocuSign will lay off 9% of its workforce as part of a major restructuring plan, the company announced Wednesday. The decision comes a week after former Google executive, Allan Thygesen, was named the new CEO, and three months after the software maker lost more than 60% of its value year to date. CNBC reports: The plan is designed to support the company's growth and profitability objectives and improve its operating margin. As of January, DocuSign had 7,461 employees, and it said the restructuring plan will largely be complete by the end of fiscal year 2023. It expects to incur charges between $30 million and $40 million, largely in the third and fourth quarter of fiscal 2023, as part of the changes. The electronic signature software maker enjoyed a wave of greater interest among investors during the Covid pandemic as consumers and corporate workers became more reliant on digital ways to sign documents. But the interest has died down, and shares have fallen 65% so far this year.

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Fast Company Hackers Sent Out Obscene Push Notifications To Apple News Users

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 12:40pd
Hackers infiltrated Fast Company's push notifications to send out racial slurs on Tuesday night. They also stole a database that includes employees' emails, password hashes for some of them and unpublished drafts, among other information. Customer records are safe, though, most likely because they're kept in a separate database. Engadget reports: In a statement, Fast Company has told Engadget that its Apple News account was hacked and was used to send "obscene and racist" push notifications." It added that the breach was related to another hack that happened on Sunday afternoon and that it has gone as far as shutting down the whole domain for now. [...] Apple has addressed the situation in tweet, confirming that the website has been hacked and that it has suspended Fast Company's account. At the moment, Fast Company's website loads a "404 Not Found" page. Before it was taken down, though, the bad actors managed to post a message detailing how they were able to infiltrate the publication, along with a link to a forum where stolen databases are made available for other users. They said that Fast Company had a default password for WordPress that was much too easy to crack and used it for a bunch of accounts, including one for an administrator. From there, they were able to grab authentication tokens, Apple News API keys, among other access information. The authentication keys, in turn, gave them the power to grab the names, email addresses and IPs of a bunch of employees. In a statement, Fast Company said: "Fast Company's content management system account was hacked on Tuesday evening. As a result, two obscene and racist push notifications were sent to our followers in Apple News about a minute apart. The messages are vile and are not in line with the content and ethos of Fast Company. We are investigating the situation and have shut down until the situation has been resolved. Tuesday's hack follows an apparently related hack of that occurred on Sunday afternoon, when similar language appeared on the site's home page and other pages. We shut down the site that afternoon and restored it about two hours later. Fast Company regrets that such abhorrent language appeared on our platforms and in Apple News, and we apologize to anyone who saw it before it was taken down."

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Google Fiber Touts 20Gbps Download Speed In Test, Promises Eventual 100Gbps

Slashdot - Enj, 29/09/2022 - 12:02pd
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Google Fiber is touting a test that delivered 20Gbps download speeds to a house in Kansas City, calling it a milestone on the path to offering 100Gbps symmetrical Internet. The company said it will also offer new multi-gigabit tiers in the near future. "We used to get asked, 'who needs a gig?' Today it's no longer a question," Google Fiber CEO Dinni Jain wrote in a blog post yesterday. "Every major provider in the US seems to have now gotten the gigabit memo, and it's only going up from there -- some providers are already offering 2, 5, 8, even 10 Gig products." The Alphabet division recently began selling 2Gbps download speeds with 1Gbps uploads for $100, alongside its longstanding offer of symmetrical 1Gbps speeds for $70 a month. "In the coming months, we'll have announcements to dramatically expand our multi-gigabit tiers. These will be critical milestones on our journey to 100 Gig symmetrical Internet," Jain wrote. Google Fiber is "closer than you might think" to that goal, Jain wrote. "This month, we took our testing out of the lab and into the home, starting with our first trusted tester, Nick Saporito, the Head of Commercial Strategy for GFiber." Jain provided a screenshot from a test at Saporito's home in Kansas City showing 20.2Gbps download speeds. [...] The screenshot doesn't show upload speeds. The municipal broadband provider EPB in Chattanooga, Tennessee, recently launched a symmetrical 25Gbps service, notes Ars, but its costs "$1,500 per month for residential customers and $12,500 a month for business customers."

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NFT Trading Volumes Collapse 97% From January Peak

Slashdot - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 11:21md
Trading volumes in nonfungible tokens -- digital art and collectibles recorded on blockchains -- have tumbled 97% from a record high in January this year. From a report: They slid to just $466 million in September from $17 billion at the start of 2022, according to data from Dune Analytics. The fading NFT mania is part of a wider, $2 trillion wipeout in the crypto sector as rapidly tightening monetary policy starves speculative assets of investment flows.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

North Korea Launches Mass Covid-19 Vaccination Campaign

Slashdot - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 10:41md
North Korea has begun a mass Covid-19 vaccination campaign in its border areas, according to South Korea's spy agency, becoming one of the world's final countries to embark on such a national rollout. From a report: North Korea and Eritrea, in east Africa, were the only remaining countries that hadn't started widespread vaccination distribution, the World Health Organization has said. After rejecting millions of doses from other countries last year, North Korea admitted to its first nationwide Covid-19 outbreak in May and declared victory in August. Then, earlier this month, leader Kim Jong Un said Covid-19 vaccines would be distributed starting in November. He cited findings from the country's antiepidemic experts that North Koreans who contracted Covid-19 in May and June would experience a decline in their antibody response starting in October. During a Wednesday briefing to South Korean lawmakers, Seoul's spy agency said North Korea had begun distributing vaccines, though it didn't specify in which border areas. The lawmakers who were briefed didn't say where the vaccines had come from or when they were first distributed. Repeated lockdowns suggest North Korea hasn't eradicated the virus, the spy agency told lawmakers. Considering some recent resumption of flights and train operations between China and North Korea, it is most likely that China is supplying the vaccines, said Hong Min, of the Seoul-based Korea Institute for National Unification, a government-funded think tank.

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Adobe Outlines Figma Feature Ideas, Commits to Keeping Free Tier

Slashdot - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 10:00md
Adobe plans to add technology from its creative software portfolio to Figma without tweaking pricing or simplicity after its acquisition, seeking to ease concerns among loyal users that the deal may significantly change the design app. From a report: Photo, video and illustration editing will likely be implemented into the software design app after the acquisition closes, as well as the ability to link projects from Adobe products such as Photoshop or Premiere, Adobe Chief Product Officer Scott Belsky said in an interview. The company is conscious that Figma customers appreciate its simplicity, and any updates will avoid clogging up the way users maneuver around the app, he said. Figma's pricing model will remain "freemium," Belsky said -- meaning that a basic tier will always be accessible without cost. "We don't want to fix something that's working really well."

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next-20220928: linux-next

Kernel Linux - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 9:22md
Version:next-20220928 (linux-next) Released:2022-09-28

Wall Street Hit With $2 Billion of Fines in WhatsApp Probe

Slashdot - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 9:22md
US regulators reached settlements with a dozen banks in a sprawling probe into how global financial firms failed to monitor employees' communications on unauthorized messaging apps, bringing total penalties in the matter to more than $2 billion. From a report: The Securities and Exchange Commission announced $1.1 billion in fines and the Commodity Futures Trading Commission disclosed $710 million in penalties in separate statements Tuesday. Those levies -- against firms including Bank of America, Citigroup and Goldman Sachs Group -- combined with JPMorgan Chase's $200 million in fines from December, bring the total to $2.01 billion, making them the biggest penalties ever against US banks for record-keeping lapses. "Finance, ultimately, depends on trust. By failing to honor their record-keeping and books-and-records obligations, the market participants we have charged today have failed to maintain that trust," SEC Chair Gary Gensler said in the agency's statement. "As technology changes, it's even more important that registrants appropriately conduct their communications about business matters within only official channels, and they must maintain and preserve those communications."

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UK Online Safety Bill Threatens Security, WhatsApp Chief Warns

Slashdot - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 8:40md
The head of WhatsApp has warned UK ministers that moves to undermine encryption in a relaunched online safety bill would threaten the security of the government's own communications and embolden authoritarian regimes. From a report: In an interview with the Financial Times, Will Cathcart, who runs the Meta-owned messaging app, insisted that alternative techniques were available to protect children using WhatsApp, without having to abandon the underlying security technology that safeguards its more than 2bn users. The UK's bill, which the government argues will make the internet safer, has become a focus of global debate over whether companies such as Google, Meta and Twitter should be forced to proactively scan and remove harmful content on their networks. Tech companies claim it is not technically possible for encrypted messaging apps to scan for material such as child pornography without undermining the security of the entire network, which prevents anyone -- including platform operators -- from reading users' messages. Cathcart said the UK's ultimate position on the issue would have a global impact. "If the UK decides that it is OK for a government to get rid of encryption, there are governments all around the world that will do exactly the same thing, where liberal democracy is not as strong, where there are different concerns that really implicate deep-seated human rights," he said, citing Hong Kong as a potential example.

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For China's Auto Market, Electric Isn't the Future. It's the Present.

Slashdot - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 8:01md
More electric cars will be sold in China this year than in the rest of the world combined, as its domestic market accelerates ahead of the global competition. From a report: This year, a quarter of all new cars purchased in China will be an all-electric vehicle or a plug-in hybrid. By some estimates, more than 300 Chinese companies are making E.V.s, ranging from discount offerings below $5,000 to high-end models that rival Tesla and German automakers. There are roughly four million charging units in the country, double the number from a year ago, with more coming. While other E.V. markets are still heavily dependent on subsidies and financial incentives, China has entered a new phase: Consumers are weighing the features and prices of electric vehicles against gas-powered cars without much consideration of state support. The United States is far behind. This year, the country passed a key threshold of E.V.s accounting for 5 percent of new car sales. China passed that level in 2018. Even new U.S. incentives have raised questions about how effective they will be in addressing mitigating factors for electric cars, such as long wait lists, limited supplies and high prices. The U.S. Inflation Reduction Act, passed last month, included a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles with conditions on where the cars are manufactured and where batteries are sourced. Automakers complained that the credit did not apply to many current E.V. models, and that the sourcing requirements could increase the cost of building an E.V. It took China more than a decade of subsidies, long-term investments and infrastructure spending to lay the foundation for its electric vehicle market to start standing on its own. Tu Le, a managing director of the Beijing-based consultancy Sino Auto Insights, said competition and dynamism were now driving the Chinese market, not government subsidies. "We have reached a point in China where we're competing on price. We're competing on features. So it's not a subsidy thing," Mr. Le said. "The market is taking over."

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5.19.12: stable

Kernel Linux - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 11:32pd
Version:5.19.12 (stable) Released:2022-09-28 Source:linux-5.19.12.tar.xz PGP Signature:linux-5.19.12.tar.sign Patch:full (incremental) ChangeLog:ChangeLog-5.19.12

5.15.71: longterm

Kernel Linux - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 11:12pd
Version:5.15.71 (longterm) Released:2022-09-28 Source:linux-5.15.71.tar.xz PGP Signature:linux-5.15.71.tar.sign Patch:full (incremental) ChangeLog:ChangeLog-5.15.71

5.10.146: longterm

Kernel Linux - Mër, 28/09/2022 - 11:10pd
Version:5.10.146 (longterm) Released:2022-09-28 Source:linux-5.10.146.tar.xz PGP Signature:linux-5.10.146.tar.sign Patch:full (incremental) ChangeLog:ChangeLog-5.10.146


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