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Google sinks cash into more submarine cables, plans more data centres

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 22:04
South America, Europe and Asia get pipes, DCs for Finland, Honkers and Hollywood

Google has made more investments in submarine cables, sinking money into three due to come online in 2019.…

Lawsuit Filed By 22 State Attorneys General Seeks To Block Net Neutrality Repeal

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: A lawsuit filed today by the attorneys general of 22 states seeks to block the Federal Communications Commission's recent controversial vote to repeal Obama era Net Neutrality regulations. The filing is led by New York State Attorney General Schneiderman, who called rollback a potential "disaster for New York consumers and businesses, and for everyone who cares about a free and open internet." The letter, which was filed in the United States District Court of Appeals in Washington, is cosigned by AGs from California, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Iowa, Kentucky, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Minnesota, Mississippi, New Mexico, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, Washington and Washington DC. "An open internet -- and the free exchange of ideas it allows -- is critical to our democratic process," Schneiderman added in an accompanying statement. "The repeal of net neutrality would turn internet service providers into gatekeepers -- allowing them to put profits over consumers while controlling what we see, what we do, and what we say online."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

GNOME Devs to Users: Desktop Icons Are Moving to GNOME Shell with GNOME 3.28

LXer - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:58
There appears to be a lot of fuss lately about the removal of an option from the GNOME desktop environment that allows users to display icons on their desktops.

Today in bullsh*t AI PR: Computers learn to read as well as humans (no)

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 20:25
Nice tech, but shame on Microsoft, Alibaba's spinners

Analysis Researchers from Microsoft and Chinese cyber-souk Alibaba separately claimed this week that their artificially intelligent software is as good as, if not better than, humans at understanding the written word.…

BIND comes apart thanks to ancient denial-of-service vuln

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:57
No active exploits, but crashes are happening in the wild

Back in 2000, a bug crept into the Internet Systems Corporation's BIND server, and it lay unnoticed until now.…

New Study Claims That the 'Black Death' Was Spread By Humans, Not Rats

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:45
dryriver shares a report from BBC: Rats were not to blame for the spread of plague during the Black Death, according to a study. The rodents and their fleas were thought to have spread a series of outbreaks in 14th-19th Century Europe. But a team from the universities of Oslo and Ferrara now says the first, the Black Death, can be "largely ascribed to human fleas and body lice." The study, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, uses records of its pattern and scale. The Black Death claimed an estimated 25 million lives, more than a third of Europe's population, between 1347 and 1351. "We have good mortality data from outbreaks in nine cities in Europe," Prof Nils Stenseth, from the University of Oslo, told BBC News. "So we could construct models of the disease dynamics [there]." He and his colleagues then simulated disease outbreaks in each of these cities, creating three models where the disease was spread by: rats, airborne transmission, and fleas and lice that live on humans and their clothes. In seven out of the nine cities studied, the "human parasite model" was a much better match for the pattern of the outbreak. It mirrored how quickly it spread and how many people it affected. "The conclusion was very clear," said Prof Stenseth. "The lice model fits best. It would be unlikely to spread as fast as it did if it was transmitted by rats. It would have to go through this extra loop of the rats, rather than being spread from person to person." Plague is still endemic in some countries of Asia, Africa and the Americas, where it persists in "reservoirs" of infected rodents. According to the World Health Organization, from 2010 to 2015 there were 3,248 cases reported worldwide, including 584 deaths. And, in 2001, a study that decoded the plague genome used a bacterium that had come from a vet in the U.S. who had died in 1992 after a plague-infested cat sneezed on him as he had been trying to rescue it from underneath a house.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How To Create A Bootable Zorin OS USB Drive

LXer - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 19:44
This is a step by step guide to creating a bootable Zorin OS USB drive. It includes everything from listing the different versions, navigating the site, downloading the Etcher software tool and booting into Zorin.

What do Cali, New York, Hawaii, Maine and 18 other US states have in common? Fighting the FCC on net neutrality

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:54
Attorneys General go to court to rescue internet protections

Twenty-two US State Attorneys General filed a lawsuit on Tuesday to undo the Federal Communications Commission's rejection of net neutrality in America.…

Many Enterprise Mobile Devices Will Never Be Patched Against Meltdown, Spectre

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:50
Mark Wilson shares a report from BetaNews: The Meltdown and Spectre bugs have been in the headlines for a couple of weeks now, but it seems the patches are not being installed on handsets. Analysis of more than 100,000 enterprise mobile devices shows that just a tiny percentage of them have been protected against the vulnerabilities -- and some simply may never be protected. Security firm Bridgeway found that just 4 percent of corporate phones and tablets in the UK have been patched against Spectre and Meltdown. Perhaps more worryingly, however, its research also found that nearly a quarter of enterprise mobile devices will never receive a patch because of their age. Organizations are advised to check for the availability of patches for their devices, and to install them as soon as possible. Older devices that will never be patched -- older than Marshmallow, for example -- should be replaced to ensure security, says Bridgeway.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How to Install and Use iostat on Ubuntu 16.04 LTS

LXer - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:29
iostat also known as input/output statistics is a popular Linux system monitoring tool that can be used to collect statistics of input and output devices. It allows users to identify performance issues of local disk, remote disk and system information. In this tutorial, we will learn how to install and use iostat on Ubuntu 16.04.

Australia won't prescribe its national broadband network a high-fibre diet

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:21
Nobody gets 100 Mbps, so nobody buys 100 Mbps, so nobody needs 100 Mbps. QED

Australia's federal government yesterday tabled its response to recommendations put by the parliamentary committee on the National Broadband Network, and has mostly rejected its recommendations.…

Google Home and Chromecast Could Be Overloading Your Home Wi-Fi

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 18:10
Google Cast products could be to blame for your wonky internet connection. According to TP-Link, "The Cast feature normally sends packets of information at regular intervals to keep a live connection with products like Google Home," reports The Verge. "However, if the device is awakened from a 'sleep' mode, it will sometimes send a burst of information at once, which can overwhelm a router. The longer a Cast device has been in 'sleep' mode, the more information it might send at once." The engineer says that could exceed over 100,000 packets, an amount that "may eventually cause some of [the] router's primary features to shut down -- including wireless connectivity." TP-Link has reportedly fixed the issue in its C1200 router, but a broader fix from Google's end has not been found.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hospital injects $60,000 into crims' coffers to cure malware infection

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:48
Medics say they couldn't wait for backups to be pulled as ransomware ransacked kit

A US hospital paid extortionists roughly $60,000 to end a ransomware outbreak that forced staff to use pencil-and-paper records.…

Lyft Says Nearly 250K of Its Passengers Ditched a Personal Car In 2017

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Lyft has a new report out detailing its "economic impact" for 2017, and the document includes a lot of stats on its performance throughout the year. The ride-hailing provider claims 375.5 million rides for the year, which is 130 percent growth measured year-over-year. It served 23 million different passengers, itself a 92 percent YoY increase, and had 1.4 million drivers on the platform -- 100 percent growth vs. its total for 2016. Lyft is making some especially strong claims regarding its impact on car ownership trends: In 2017 alone, it said that almost a quarter of a million passengers on its platform dropped owning a personal vehicle, due to the availability of ridesharing specifically. Fifty percent of its users also report driving their own car less because of Lyft's service, and a quarter of those on the platform say they don't feel personal vehicle ownership is that important anymore. The ride-hailing company also found attitudes generally favorable towards self-driving vehicles and their use: 83 percent of Lyft passengers surveyed by the company said they'd be open to hailing and riding in a self-driving vehicle once they're available.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

4 artificial intelligence trends to watch

LXer - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:15
2018 is the year AI talk turns into action

Achieving Inbox Zero

Linux Journal - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:13

See how Google Inbox helps Shawn reach his quest for "inbox zero". more>>

Oracle says SPARCv9 has Spectre CPU bug, patches coming soon

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 17:11
Big Red finally delivers patches for its x86 boxes – and 230-plus other problems

Oracle has told users of its SPARC-powered platforms that they have the Spectre processor design flaw.…

China Builds 'World's Biggest Air Purifier' That Actually Works

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:50
The South China Morning Post shares an update on the status of an experimental tower in northern China, dubbed the world's biggest air purifier by its operators. According to the scientist leading the project, the tower -- which stands over 328 feet (100 meters) tall -- has brought a noticeable improvement in air quality. From the report: The head of the research, Cao Junji, said improvements in air quality had been observed over an area of 10 square kilometers (3.86 square miles) in the city over the past few months and the tower has managed to produce more than 10 million cubic meters (353 million cubic feet) of clean air a day since its launch. Cao added that on severely polluted days the tower was able to reduce smog close to moderate levels. The system works through greenhouses covering about half the size of a soccer field around the base of the tower. Polluted air is sucked into the glasshouses and heated up by solar energy. The hot air then rises through the tower and passes through multiple layers of cleaning filters. The average reduction in PM2.5 -- the fine particles in smog deemed most harmful to health -- fell 15 per cent during heavy pollution. Cao said the results were preliminary because the experiment is still ongoing. The team plans to release more detailed data in March with a full scientific assessment of the facility's overall performance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US senators vow to filibuster FBI, er, NSA's domestic, errr, foreign mass spying program

TheRegister - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:40
Who's up for warrantless surveillance?

Updated A number of US senators from both sides of the aisle have said they will filibuster an effort to approve the continuation of a controversial American government spying program.…

Bitcoin Plunges Below $12,000 To Six-Week Low Over Crackdown Fears

Slashdot - Tue, 01/16/2018 - 16:10
Bitcoin plunged to a six-week low Tuesday after comments from South Korea's finance minister renewed worries about a crackdown in one of the largest markets for digital currency trading. In a radio program interview, South Korean Finance Minister Kim Dong-yeon said that "the shutdown of virtual currency exchanges is still one of the options" the government has. CNBC reports: Bitcoin dropped more than 17 percent to a low of $11,182.71 on Tuesday, falling below $12,000 for the first time since December 5, according to CoinDesk. CoinDesk's bitcoin price index tracks prices from cryptocurrency exchanges Bitstamp, Coinbase, itBit and Bitfinex. As of 12:13 p.m. ET, bitcoin was trading more than 13 percent lower at $11,759.73 a coin, according to CoinDesk. Trading in South Korean won accounted for about 4 percent of bitcoin trading volume, according to CryptoCompare. U.S. dollar-bitcoin trading had the largest share at 40 percent, the website showed. Other major digital currencies including ethereum and ripple also fell significantly. According to CoinMarketCap data, ethereum was trading at $1,051.83, down more than 20 percent in the last 24 hours, before lifting slightly to $1,117.72. Ripple fell almost 27 percent to $1.33 a token before recovering slightly to $1.36.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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