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Massive Undersea Walls Could Stop Glaciers From Melting, Scientists Say

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNN: Building walls on the seafloor could prevent glaciers from melting and sea levels rising due to global warming, scientists say. Barriers of sand and rock positioned at the base of glaciers would stop ice sheets sliding and collapsing, and prevent warm water from eroding the ice from beneath, according to research published this week in the Cryosphere journal, from the European Geosciences Union. The audacious idea centers on the construction of "extremely simple structures, merely piles of aggregate on the ocean floor, although more advanced structures could certainly be explored in the future," said the report's authors, Michael Wolovick, a researcher at the department of geosciences at Princeton University, and John Moore, professor of climate change at the University of Lapland in Finland. Using computer models to gauge the probable impact of walls on erosion of the Thwaites glacier in Antarctica, one of the world's largest, Wolovick and Moore hoped to test the efficiency of "a locally targeted intervention." They claimed the simplest designs would allow direct comparison with existing engineering projects. "The easiest design that we considered would be comparable to the largest civil engineering projects that humanity has ever attempted," they said. "An ice sheet intervention today would be at the edge of human capabilities." For example, building four isolated walls would require between 0.1 and 1.5 cubic km of material. "That is comparable to the 0.1 km3 that was used to create Palm Jumeirah in Dubai ($12 billion)...(and) the 0.3 km3 that was used to create Hong Kong International Airport ($20 billion)," the report said. The authors say there's only a 30% probability of success due to the harsh environment, but did mention that the scientific community could work on a plan that was both achievable and had a high probability of success.

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Deepin Linux: As Gorgeous As It Is User-Friendly

LXer - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 20:48
For the longest time, Deepin Linux was based on Ubuntu. But with the release of 15.7, that all changed. Now, Deepin’s foundation is Debian, but the desktop is still that beautiful Deepin Desktop. And when I say it’s beautiful, it truly is one of the most gorgeous desktop environments you’ll find on any operating system.

Southern California Sees Its Longest Streak of Bad Air In Decades

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 20:05
According to state monitoring data, Southern California violated federal smog standards for 87 consecutive days -- the longest stretch of bad air in at least 20 years. "The streak is the latest sign that Souther California's battle against smog is faltering after decades of dramatic improvement," reports San Francisco Chronicle. From the report: The ozone pollution spell began June 19 and continued through July and August, with every day exceeding the federal health standard of 70 parts per billion somewhere across Los Angeles, Orange, Riverside and San Bernardino counties. It didn't relent until Sept. 14, when air pollution dipped to "moderate" levels within federal limits for ozone, the lung-damaging gas in smog that triggers asthma and other respiratory illnesses. It's not unusual for Southern California summers to go weeks without a break in the smog, especially in inland communities that have long suffered the nation's worst ozone levels. But environmentalists and health experts say the persistence of dirty air this year is a troubling sign that demands action. Regulators blame the dip in air quality in recent years on hotter weather and stronger, more persistent inversion layers that trap smog near the ground.

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Amazon Is Making It Easier To Set Up New IoT Gadgets

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 19:25
At an event yesterday where the company unveiled a range of new Echo smart speakers and other Alexa-enabled devices, the company announced a new way to easily set up internet of things (IoT) devices. The Verge reports: Called Wi-Fi Simple Setup, the system will use Amazon's Wi-Fi Lockers to store your Wi-Fi credentials and share them with compatible smart home devices. Amazon is debuting this tech with TP-Link and Eero, with the idea that customers can reuse network credentials in order to set up new devices. This means devices will connect on their own instead of you having to manually set up each smart product. According to Amazon, it's as easy as plugging in a Wi-Fi Simple Setup-enabled device. The device will automatically look for the Wi-Fi Simple Setup Network and connect once it receives encrypted credentials. Amazon says the process should take no longer than 30 seconds. The ecommerce company also announced a "plug-and-play smart home kit called Alexa Connect Kit. "It starts with a module that has Bluetooth LE and Wi-Fi and a real-time OS that companies can put in their products in order to make them smart," reports The Verge.

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Rugged, Linux-ready transportation PC has four SIM slots

LXer - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:53
Nexcom’s Apollo Lake based “VTC 6220-BK” in-vehicle PC features triple displays, 2x SATA bays, 3x GbE with optional PoE, Ublox GPS, and 4x mini-PCIe or M.2 slots paired with SIM slots. Intel-based in-vehicle computers have been around for a while — here’s a Linux-friendly Kontron model from 2004 -– but over the last year or […]

US cities react in fury to FCC's $2bn break for 5G telcos: We'll be picking up the tab, say officials

TheRegister - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:11
Federal price cap will undercut existing agreements, says just about every big city in America

A plan to impose a federal price cap and one-size-fits-all model for the rollout of next-generation mobile networks has been met with fury by US cities.…

FCC Angers Cities, Towns With $2 Billion Giveaway To Wireless Carriers

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 18:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Communications Commission's plan for spurring 5G wireless deployment will prevent city and town governments from charging carriers about $2 billion worth of fees. The FCC proposal, to be voted on at its meeting on September 26, limits the amount that local governments may charge carriers for placing 5G equipment such as small cells on poles, traffic lights, and other government property in public rights-of-way. The proposal, which is supported by the FCC's Republican majority, would also force cities and towns to act on carrier applications within 60 or 90 days. The FCC says this will spur more deployment of small cells, which "have antennas often no larger than a small backpack." But the commission's proposal doesn't require carriers to build in areas where they wouldn't have done so anyway. The FCC plan proposes up-front application fees of $100 for each small cell and annual fees of up to $270 per small cell. The FCC says this is a "reasonable approximation of [localities'] costs for processing applications and for managing deployments in the rights-of-way." Cities that charge more than that would likely face litigation from carriers and would have to prove that the fees are a reasonable approximation of all costs and "non-discriminatory." But, according to Philadelphia, those proposed fees "are simply de minimis when measured against the costs that the City incurs to approve, support, and maintain the many small cell and distributed antenna system (DAS) installations in its public rights-of-way." Philadelphia said it "has already established a fee structure and online application process to apply for small cell deployment that has served the needs of its citizens without prohibiting or creating barriers to entry for infrastructure investment." The city has also negotiated license agreements for small cell installations with Verizon, AT&T, and other carriers. In addition to Philadelphia, the Rural County Represenatives of California (RCRC), a group representing 35 rural California counties, also objects to the FCC plan. They told the FCC that its "proposed recurring fee structure is an unreasonable overreach that will harm local policy innovation." "That is why many local governments have worked to negotiate fair agreements with wireless providers, which may exceed that number or provide additional benefits to the community," the RCRC wrote. "The FCC's decision to prohibit municipalities' ability to require 'in-kind' conditions on installation agreements is in direct conflict with the FCC's stated intent of this Order and further constrains local governments in deploying wireless services to historically underserved areas."

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iPhone XS Teardown Shows Few Changes Aside From the Battery

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:20
iFixit tore apart Apple's iPhone XS and iPhone XS Max, revealing very similar insides to last year's iPhone X. Engadget reports the findings: One of the most interesting features is the battery on the XS. The iPhone XS sports a slightly downgraded battery from the iPhone X, a 10.13 Wh battery (2,659 mAh at 3.81 V) versus 10.35 Wh (2716 mAh at 3.81 V). But a new configuration might more than make up for it: Apple is using a brand-new L-shaped single-cell battery instead of two separate batteries. However, the XS Max still sports two batteries. Some other tweaks include a new, Apple-branded power management chip and a new antenna line on the bottom of the phone. The camera bump is also slightly taller, meaning your iPhone X case might not fit on your XS, if you plan on upgrading. The Verge also notes that "there's no evidence that the teardown team could find of any improved water or dust resistance, despite the improved IP68 ratings on the iPhone XS and XS Max."

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Fat chance: Cholesterol leads boffins to discover world's oldest animal fossil – 558m years old

TheRegister - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 17:06
We've all got a little, er, Richardinsonia in our animal family tree, it appears

Video A fossil of the earliest known animal on Earth has been discovered in cliffs along the White Sea on the northwest coast of Russia.…

FOSS Project Spotlight: Nitrux, a Linux Distribution with a Focus on AppImages and Atomic Upgrades

LXer - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 16:59
Nitrux is a Linux distribution with a focus on portable, application formatslike AppImages. Nitrux uses KDE Plasma 5 and KDE Applications, and it also usesour in-house software suite Nomad Desktop.

Telltale Games Hit With Major Layoffs As Part of a 'Majority Studio Closure'

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 16:40
Telltale Games, the video game developer behind The Walking Dead, The Wolf Among Us, and Batman: The Enemy Within, laid off a large number of its staff today. According to The Verge, "the company will retain a small team of 25." From the report: "Today Telltale Games made the difficult decision to begin a majority studio closure following a year marked by insurmountable challenges," the company said in a statement. "A majority of the company's employees were dismissed earlier this morning." The remaining employees will stay on "to fulfill the company's obligations to its board and partners," according to Telltale. Staff were informed of the layoffs today and were given roughly 30 minutes to leave the building, according to one source. Telltale had previously announced a second season of The Wolf Among Us and a game based off of Netflix's wildly popular show Stranger Things. The company has not yet commented on the status of those projects, though the outcome seems dire. On Twitter, one former lead writer wrote, "I'm so sad we won't be able to show you all Wolf." The layoffs come a few months after revelations that Telltale was a studio mired in toxic management that included employees being subjected to constant overwork. Once an industry darling that worked on iconic brands like Game of Thrones and Minecraft, Telltale quickly spiraled.

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Google Employees Discussed Tweaking Search Results To Counter Trump's Travel Ban

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 16:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed how they could tweak the company's search-related functions (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails. The email traffic, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows that employees proposed ways to "leverage" search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be "islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms 'Islam', 'Muslim', 'Iran', etc." and "prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms `Mexico', `Hispanic', `Latino', etc." The email chain, while sprinkled with cautionary notes about engaging in political activity, suggests employees considered ways to harness the company's vast influence on the internet in response to the travel ban. Google said none of the ideas discussed were implemented. "These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented," a company spokeswoman said in a statement. "Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology -- not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump's executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies."

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Twitter: Don't panic, but we may have leaked your DMs to rando devs

TheRegister - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 15:45
Internet outrage mobile insists year-long API bug would have been super-hard to exploit

Twitter is in full damage control mode after disclosing that it may have inappropriately exposed some unlucky twits' private tweets and direct messages to strangers.…

Divers Are Attempting To Regrow Great Barrier Reef With Electricity

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 15:20
A trial is underway to restore damaged coral on the Great Barrier Reef using electricity. From a report: The reef has been severely assaulted in recent years by cyclones and back-to-back heatwaves. Nathan Cook at conservation group Reef Ecologic and his colleagues are attempting to regrow surviving coral fragments on steel frames. The frames are placed on damaged parts of the reef and stimulated with electricity to accelerate the coral's growth. Electrified metal frames have previously been used to encourage coral growth on reefs in South-East Asia, the Caribbean and the Indian Ocean. They have been shown to attract mineral deposits that help corals grow 3 to 4 times faster than normal. The technique is being trialed at a section of the reef 100 kilometres north of Cairns that was badly affected by the 2016 and 2017 mass coral bleaching events. Some coral is starting to grow back naturally, but it will take at least a decade for even the fastest-growing species to fully recover.

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How to Check Ubuntu Hardware Info

LXer - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 15:05
Every computer has a lot of hardware components. They are from different vendors and they have many important information associated with them. If you run into any problems with any of these hardware components, then this information is crucial to solve them. In this article, I will show you how to check for hardware info on Ubuntu.

Couldn't give a fsck about patching? Well, that's your WordPress website pwned, then

TheRegister - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 14:50
Fiends use vulns to lure victims into tech support scams

Website admins are urged to update their WordPress installations as soon as possible to the latest version following a rash of attacks exploiting known vulnerabilities in the web publishing software.…

Huawei Trolls Apple By Giving Battery Packs To People Waiting in Line For the iPhone XS

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 14:42
Huawei, which recently surpassed Apple to become the world's second largest smartphone player, can't stop taking shots at the iPhone maker. From a report: After the iPhone XS was unveiled with little new, Huawei tweeted "Thank you for letting us be the real hero of the year," a tease for their upcoming Mate 20 Pro unveiling next month. Now Huawei's taking another shot -- by handing out battery packs to people waiting in line for the iPhone XS and XS Max in Singapore. The packaging says "You'll need it", which is actually a valid boast: Anandtech found that Huawei's P20 and P20 Pro had better battery life than the iPhone 8 and X.

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Magic Leap is Pushing To Land a Contract With US Army To Build AR Devices For Soldiers To Use On Combat Missions, Documents Reveal

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 14:00
Magic Leap, a US-based startup valued at north of $6 billion and which counts Google, Alibaba, Warner Bros, AT&T, and several top Silicon Valley venture capital firms as its investors, is pushing to land a contract with the U.S. Army to build augmented-reality devices for soldiers to use on combat missions, Bloomberg reported Friday, citing government documents and interviews with people familiar with the process. From the report: The contract, which could eventually lead to the military purchasing over 100,000 headsets as part of a program whose total cost could exceed $500 million, is intended to "increase lethality by enhancing the ability to detect, decide and engage before the enemy," according to an Army description of the program. A large government contract could alter the course of the highest-profile startup working on augmented reality, at a time when prospects to produce a consumer device remain uncertain. Building tools to make soldiers more deadly is a far cry from the nascent consumer market for augmented reality. But the army's program has also drawn interest from Microsoft, whose HoloLens is Magic Leap's main rival. The commercial-grade versions of both devices still face significant technological hurdles, and its not clear the companies can fulfil the army's technical requirements. If recent history is any guide, a large military contract is also sure to be controversial within the companies. Last month, Magic Leap unveiled its much-hyped AR device to the press and select developers.

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Buried in the hype, one little detail: Amazon's Alexa-on-a-chip could steal smart home market

TheRegister - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 13:37
But then again, it doesn't actually exist, so...

Analysis Amid the enormous bundle of digital-assistant devices and technology Amazon super-hyped this week, one particular component has the potential to change the future of the smart home market.…

Twitter Notifies Developers About API Bug That Shared DMs With Wrong Developers

Slashdot - Fri, 09/21/2018 - 13:25
Twitter has started notifying developers today about an API bug that accidentally shared direct messages (private messages) or protected tweets from a Twitter business account with other developers. From a report: According to a support page published today, Twitter said the bug only manifested for Twitter business accounts where the account owner used the Account Activity API (AAAPI) to allow other developers access to that account's data. Because of the bug, the AAAPI sent DMs and protected tweets to the wrong person instead of the authorized developer. Twitter said it discovered the bug on September 10, and fixed it the same day. They also said the bug was active between May 2017 and September 2018, for almost 16 months. The bug represents a serious privacy issue, especially for Twitter business accounts that use DMs to handle customer complaints that in some cases may include private user information.

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