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next-20210413: linux-next

Latest Linux Kernel - 53 min 4 sec ago
Version:next-20210413 (linux-next) Released:2021-04-13
Categories: FLOSS

Brazil coronavirus: Inside the crisis

BBC World - 1 hour 17 min ago
Research suggests more than half of patients being treated in intensive care last month were under 40.
Categories: News

Saving the kelp forest that stars in My Octopus Teacher

BBC Tech - Mon, 2021-04-12 16:07
The makers of the Bafta-winning documentary want to preserve the underwater ecosystem it features.
Categories: Tech

Saving the kelp forest that stars in My Octopus Teacher

BBC World - Mon, 2021-04-12 16:07
The makers of the Bafta-winning documentary want to preserve the underwater ecosystem it features.
Categories: News

New wooden satellite is part advertising, part student project

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 15:49

Enlarge (credit: WISA WOODSAT)

Late last year, we were extremely skeptical of reports regarding a plan for wooden satellites that seemed confused about what could be gained from using the natural material. But a wooden satellite looks like it might get to orbit later this year, via a project we can fully endorse. It's a bit of silly advertising by a plywood manufacturer that will ensure that a student project gets sent to space.

The project, based in Finland, is called the WISA WOODSAT, and it has taken a bit of an indirect route to orbit. The design is based on cubesat format called Kitsat, which is intended for student projects. If the goal is simply to expose students to what it takes to make a compact satellite (the design is a 10 cm/side cube), the satellite can be built using cheap, easy-to-obtain hardware. But it can also be made using space-rated materials and sent to orbit.

The WOODSAT started out as more of the former, with students around the country contributing different parts to a cubesat that was then taken aloft by a balloon. But now, with an opportunity to go to orbit, another version is getting an upgrade to survive the harsh environment.

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Categories: Tech

Report: Apple plans Apple TV/HomePod and iPad/HomePod hybrid products

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 15:22

Enlarge / RIP HomePod, 2021. (credit: Jeff Dunn)

Apple is working on multiple new products to replace the recently discontinued HomePod and to bring Siri and Apple services into living rooms, according to a new report from Bloomberg's Debby Wu and Mark Gurman.

One of those products would be a device that combines the TV streaming box and gaming features of the Apple TV 4K with a HomePod-like smart speaker, as well as a camera.

The device would allow users to stream TV shows, videos, music, and films using the same apps that are already available on the Apple TV. It would also act as a Siri-enabled smart speaker, and it would enable video conferencing on the connected TV.

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Categories: Tech

Free Software Foundation and RMS issue statements on Stallman’s return

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 14:59

Enlarge / RMS at LibrePlanet 2019, approximately six months before his resignation from the FSF's Board of Directors. (credit: Ruben Rodriguez)

The Free Software Foundation's board of directors issued a statement today regarding the controversial return of Richard M. Stallman (RMS) to its ranks, alongside a statement of Stallman's own.

The controversy in brief

RMS has never been known for personal tact or diplomacy, but his 2019 decision to defend MIT computer science Professor Marvin Minsky was the beam which broke the camel's back. Minsky was a sometime associate of notorious pedophile and trafficker Jeffrey Epstein; Epstein survivor Virginia Giuffre stated under deposition that she had been directed to sleep with Minsky when she was 17.

In the attempt to defend Minsky, RMS declared it "morally absurd" to call statutory rape "rape," and he spun an elaborate scenario regarding the likelihood that Giuffre—whom RMS had never met—would have "appeared entirely willing" to Minsky.

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Categories: Tech

It’s too late for vaccines to save Michigan, CDC director explains

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 13:01

Enlarge / Rochelle Walensky, director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), adjusts her protective mask during a Senate Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee hearing in Washington, DC. (credit: Getty | Bloomberg)

Highly effective COVID-19 vaccines are simply too slow to stop surges like the one underway in Michigan, Rochelle Walensky, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said Monday.

Dr. Walensky’s explanation during the White House COVID-19 press briefing comes amid mounting requests and calls for federal authorities to flood Michigan with vaccine supply. The state has seen a 400 percent spike in cases since March 5, when state officials eased restrictions on residential gatherings and occupancy limits for bars, restaurants, venues, and stores. Since then, the highly transmissible B.1.1.7 coronavirus variant has also increased in prevalence. Now, the state’s seven-day average for new daily cases is over 7,377, and hospitals are filling up.

On March 30, when the surge was already in full swing, Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer appealed to the White House for additional vaccine shipments. However, the White House declined, opting to stick to its largely population-based strategy for dolling out vaccine supply to each state and jurisdiction.

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Categories: Tech

Sponsored Post: ASUS’s Z590 Buying Guide

Anandtech - Mon, 2021-04-12 12:45

ASUS’ Z590 motherboards are among the best that you can buy for 11th Gen Intel CPUs. Here’s an overview of what makes them special, as well as who each of the motherboards are best for.

Categories: Tech

Microsoft acquires Nuance—makers of Dragon speech rec—for $16 billion

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 12:42

Enlarge / In this 2011 photo, Dr. Michael A. Lee uses Dragon Medical voice-recognition software to enter his notes after seeing a patient. (credit: David Ryan via Getty Images)

Earlier today, Microsoft announced its plans to purchase Nuance for $56 per share—23 percent above Nuance's closing price last Friday. The deal adds up to a $16 billion cash outlay and a total valuation for Nuance of about $19.7 billion, including that company's assumed debt.

Who is Nuance?

In this 2006 photo, Rollie Berg—who has extremely limited use of his hands due to multiple sclerosis—uses Dragon NaturallySpeaking 8 to interact directly with his PC. (credit: Joey McLeister via Getty Images)

Nuance is a well-known player in the field of natural language recognition. The company's technology is the core of Apple's Siri personal assistant. Nuance also sells well-known personal speech-recognition software Dragon NaturallySpeaking, which is invaluable to many people with a wide range of physical disabilities.

Dragon NaturallySpeaking, originally released in 1997, was one of the first commercially available continuous dictation products—meaning software that did not require the user to pause briefly between words. In 2000, Dragon Systems was acquired by ScanSoft, which acquired Nuance Communications in 2005 and rebranded itself as Nuance.

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Categories: Tech

Charter must pay $19 million for tricking customers into switching ISPs

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 12:25

Enlarge / Pinocchio. (credit: Getty Images | malerapaso)

A judge has ordered Charter Communications to pay $19.2 million to Windstream for lying to customers in order to trick them into switching from Windstream to Charter's Spectrum Internet service. Charter also faces a $5,279 penalty for shutting off service to hundreds of Windstream's resale customers.

When Windstream filed for bankruptcy in early 2019, Charter began a "literally false and intentionally misleading advertising campaign intended to create the impression, using mailings designed to seem as if they were coming from the Debtors [Windstream], that the Debtors were going out of business," said an order issued Thursday by Judge Robert Drain of US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York.

Charter's goal with the mailings "was to induce the Debtors' customers to terminate their contracts and switch to Charter by sending them literally false and intentionally misleading information about the Debtors' bankruptcy cases and financial wherewithal," the ruling said. Charter premised its ad campaign "on false assertions regarding the Debtors' bankruptcy cases," the ruling said.

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Categories: Tech

Archaeologists find “lost golden city” buried under sand for 3,400 years

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 12:06

Enlarge / Egyptian archaeologists have discovered a 3400-year-old city just outside Luxor, dating back to the reign of Amenhotop III, grandfather to King Tut. (credit: Zahi Hawass)

A team of Egyptian archaeologists has unearthed what some describe as an industrial royal metropolis just north of modern-day Luxor, which incorporates what was once the ancient Egyptian city of Thebes (aka Waset). The archaeologists dubbed the site "the lost golden city of Luxor," and they believe it may have been devoted to manufacturing decorative artifacts, furniture, and pottery, among other items.

Hieroglyphic inscriptions found on clay caps of wine vessels at the site date the city to the reign of the 18th-dynasty pharaoh Amenhotep III (1386-1353 BCE), whose generally peaceful tenure was marked by an especially prosperous era, with Egypt at the peak of its international power. (Mud bricks at the site were also marked with Amenhotep III's cartouche.) There are more surviving statues of Amenhotep III than any other pharaoh. He was buried in the Valley of the Kings, and his mummy was discovered in 1889. Analysis revealed that Amenhotep III died between 40 and 50 years of age, and he likely suffered from various ailments in his later years (most notably arthritis, obesity, and painful abscesses in his teeth).

The pharaoh's eldest son and heir, Thutmose, died young, so the throne passed to his second son, Amenhotep IV, who soon changed his name to Akhenaten. (His queen was Nefertiti, and his son, who would eventually assume the throne, was the famous boy-king, Tutankhamun.) Akhenaten rejected the traditional polytheistic religion, dominated by the worship of Amun, and decided to start his own religion. He worshipped Aten instead (hence the name change) and would eventually try to suppress the worship of Amun entirely.

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Categories: Tech

How long can Epic afford to throw money at the Epic Games Store?

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 11:33

Enlarge / Free for you, not so free for Epic... (credit: Epic Games)

The bitter court fight between Apple and Epic is primarily focused on the mobile-gaming landscape and Apple's iron-fisted control of the iOS App Store. But recent court filings in that case have also given the public a rare glimpse into just how much money Epic is throwing at the Epic Games Store as it struggles to make a dent in the PC marketplace.

The raw numbers, as reported in a "Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law" document Apple filed last week, show massive incurred and projected losses for Epic's game download hub, which launched in late 2018. Documents and testimony from Epic itself show a $181 million loss for the store in 2019 and projected losses of $273 million in 2020 and $139 million in 2021.

You might think Epic is incurring those losses because it only takes a 12 percent cut of third-party game revenues, compared to the industry-standard 30 percent cut on other digital storefronts. On the contrary, though—in its own court filings, Epic says that 12 percent revenue chunk has been "sufficient to cover its costs of distribution and allow for further innovation and investment in EGS."

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Categories: Tech

Sponsored Post: StarWind Harness the Power of SSD for its All-Flash Hyperconverged Appliance (HCA)

Anandtech - Mon, 2021-04-12 11:00

StarWind has developed a 2-node hyperconverged infrastructure perfectly designed to fit the needs and budgets of ROBO, SMB, and Edge IT environments.

Categories: Tech

Google is killing the Google Shopping app

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 10:02

(credit: Google)

RIP to the Google Shopping app. XDA spotted a hidden closing message in the app on Thursday, and late Friday, Google confirmed to 9to5Google that the Shopping app is on the way out. Here's the company's statement:

Within the next few weeks, we’ll no longer be supporting the Shopping app. All of the functionality the app offered users is available on the Shopping tab. We’ll continue building features within the Shopping tab and other Google surfaces, including the Google app, that make it easy for people to discover and shop for the products they love.

The Google Shopping app launched only 19 months ago, when it took over for another Google shopping shutdown, Google Express. The Google Shopping service has been a rough proposition for users—starting in 2012, it has been nothing but an ad vector that exclusively showed "paid listings" and no organic results whatsoever. This made some sense as a service that showed advertisements in little embedded boxes in Google.com search results, but it was unclear why a user would download an app that exclusively shows ads.

Google kills product

View more stories In April 2020, Google Shopping gave up on the "paid listings only" policy and started listing anyone that signed up on the "Google Merchant Center." The Merchant Center has retailers generate and send Google a product data feed, which is used for the search results. This means Google Shopping still isn't a spider-driven search engine the way Google Search is. Google Search does it best to find, catalog, and index the world's data, while Google Shopping doesn't go out of its way to index the web; it only cares about businesses that send it data feeds. This can lead to woefully inadequate listings for some searches, especially for companies Google doesn't like. For instance, a search for "Amazon Echo" will never list an Amazon.com result in the Shopping search results (Amazon is welcome to buy an ad, though).

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Categories: Tech

NVIDIA Unveils Grace: A High-Performance Arm Server CPU For Use In Big AI Systems

Anandtech - Mon, 2021-04-12 09:20

Kicking off another busy Spring GPU Technology Conference for NVIDIA, this morning the graphics and accelerator designer is announcing that they are going to once again design their own Arm-based CPU. Dubbed Grace – after Grace Hopper, the computer programming pioneer and US Navy rear admiral – the CPU is NVIDIA’s latest stab at more fully vertically integrating their hardware stack by being able to offer a high-performance CPU alongside their regular GPU wares. According to NVIDIA, the chip is being designed specifically for large-scale neural network workloads, and is expected to become available in NVIDIA products in 2023.

Categories: Tech

Six decades after Gagarin, nostalgia—and not much else—fuels Russia in space

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 07:59

Sixty years ago today, a single Soviet man climbed into a small spherical capsule at a secretive spaceport in modern-day Kazakhstan. A Vostok-K rocket sent the capsule, carrying Yuri Gagarin, into low orbit with an apogee of 327 km.

Gagarin would make one pass around the Earth before his spacecraft reentered the planet's atmosphere, enduring forces above 8 g. Because the Vostok capsule had no means of making a soft landing, Gagarin was ejected at 7 km above the ground and landed about 10 minutes later under his parachute. The flight lasted just 108 minutes, but Gagarin's legacy would be eternal.

Amid the Cold War between the United States and Soviet Union, the Soviets had struck a tremendous blow with this flight. Although the mission was used for propaganda purposes, in later remarks, Gagarin expressed a peaceful sentiment since repeated by subsequent generations of astronauts. "Looking at the Earth from afar, you realize it is too small for conflict and just big enough for cooperation," he said.

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Categories: Tech

France bans air travel that could be done by train in under 2.5 hours

ARS Technica - Mon, 2021-04-12 07:45

Enlarge / A Train á Grand Vitesse. (credit: Michael Dunning/Getty Images)

On Sunday, the French National Assembly voted to ban some short-haul flights in favor of train travel. If the measure is formally approved, it would mean the end to domestic flights on routes where the journey could also be completed by train in 2.5 hours or less.

It's the kind of news that will have some cheering in delight as one of the world's richest nations makes a strong statement about the need to cut carbon emissions. However, there will probably be less impact than you might first expect. For one thing, connecting flights won't be affected, so international travelers won't have to worry about having to navigate the train system from Charles De Gaulle International airport.

In fact, French lawmakers are only proposing to cancel five routes in total. Yes, just five: Paris Orly to Bordeaux, Paris Orly to Lyon, Paris Orly to Nantes, Paris Orly to Rennes, and Lyon to Marseille. And while France has a high-speed train network that we in America can only look at with envy, the French government is just as happy to provide state support for its airlines as trains—last week it announced it would invest $4.8 billion (€4 billion) in Air France to help that airline as it weathers the pandemic.

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Categories: Tech

Minneapolis: Daunte Wright killing by police sparks unrest

BBC World - Mon, 2021-04-12 06:19
There was unrest near Minneapolis after police fatally shoot a black man in a traffic stop.
Categories: News

The NVIDIA GTC 2021 Keynote Live Blog (Starts at 8:30am PT/15:30 UTC)

Anandtech - Mon, 2021-04-12 06:00

Join us at 8:30am PT for our coverage of NVIDIA’s annual GPU Technology Conference keynote address. The traditional kick-off to the show – be it physical or virtual – NVIDIA’s annual spring keynote is showcase for NVIDIA’s vision for the next 12 to 24 months across all of their segments, from graphics to AI to automotive. Along with slew of product announcements, the presentation, delivered by CEO (and lovely kitchen owner) Jensen Huang always contains a few surprises.

Due to the coronavirus, this year’s show is once again virtual. However, with a full year to prepare for it, NVIDIA is delivering a much more traditional event. This includes the keynote itself, which although pre-recorded, is being broadcast as one continuous presentation rather than uploaded and unlocked as multiple segments all at once. Big topics of conversation this year will include graphics, networking, automotive, and AI, especially as NVIDIA’s now a year into shipping its flagship A100 accelerator. And though A100 isn’t due for a replacement this year, we may get some insight into how NVIDIA intends to continue to fend off AMD and Intel, both of whom have server GPU and AI plans that are finally starting to come together.

Categories: Tech
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