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'Code Switch' From NPR Is Apple's Podcast of the Year

Slashdot - 1 hour 19 min ago
Apple has picked "Code Switch" as the best audio show of the year, marking the first time the company has recognized a single podcast in this way. Engadget reports: Code Switch is NPR's weekly discussion on race. While the series has been on the air for the better part of seven years, it became significantly more popular over the summer as people across the US took to protest the death of George Floyd and other instances of racial injustice. As in past years, the company also shared a selection of the most popular audio shows people listened to through Apple Podcasts. Few surprises here as old favorites like Stuff You Should Know, This American Life and The Daily came out as the most popular shows in the US. When it comes to shows new to 2020, Unlocking Us, Nice White Parents and CounterClock made the top three for the year. Apple's editorial team had their say as well. They picked California Love, Canary by the Washington Post and Dying for Sex as their favorites of 2020. If you're looking for something new to listen to, all three lists are a good place to start.

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Categories: Technology

Hector Martin Promises To Bring Linux To the M1 Chip

Slashdot - 1 hour 59 min ago
Joe2020 writes: Famous developer Hector Martin who put Linux on the PS4 now wants to port Linux to the new Apple M1, and he wants to do it with the help of crowdfunding by making it his full-time job. One can find his official pledge for support here. "Since these devices are brand new and bespoke silicon, porting Linux to run on them is a huge undertaking. Well beyond a hobby project, it is a full-time job," the developer explains. "The goal is to bring Linux support on Apple Silicon macs to the point where it is not merely a tech demo, but is actually an OS you would want to use on a daily driver device. To do this, there is a huge amount of work to be done. Running Linux on things is easy, but making it work well is hard. Drivers need to be written for all devices. The driver for the completely custom Apple GPU is the most complicated component, which is necessary to have a good desktop experience. Power management needs to work well too, for your battery life to be reasonable," the dev explains. Martin says he hopes to have enough donations to purchase the new Apple Silicon-powered devices and hire other people to help with the job. Slashdot reader NoMoreACs also shared the news via Mac Rumors.

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Categories: Technology

HPE to move HQ from Silicon Valley to Texas, says Lone Star State is 'attractive' for recruitment, retaining staff

The Register - 2 hours 17 min ago
Houston, we had a problem... in San Jose

HPE on Tuesday announced plans to relocate its corporate headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas.…

Categories: Technology

Tesla Whistleblower Martin Tripp Ordered To Pay $400,000 To Settle Hacking Case

Slashdot - 2 hours 39 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Martin Tripp, the former Tesla worker who has been embroiled in a bitter legal battle with CEO Elon Musk for over two years, was ordered to pay his former employer $400,000 after admitting to leaking confidential information to a reporter. The settlement is intended to bring an end to one of the more sordid stories at Tesla, in which Tripp, a former process technician, locked horns with the billionaire CEO over allegations that Tesla was wasting a "jaw-dropping" amount of raw material as it ramped up production of the Model 3 sedan. Musk later accused Tripp of "sabotage" and personally ordered investigators to hack Tripp's phone and spy on his messages. Tesla even misled local police about a potential mass shooting by Tripp at the company's Nevada factory. But in the end, Tripp came out on the losing side. The payment is part of a proposed settlement to a lawsuit filed by Tesla in 2018 alleging that Tripp hacked the electric car company's system and transferred "gigabytes" of data to third parties. As part of the agreement, Tripp admitted to violating laws related to trade secrets and computer crimes when he told a Business Insider reporter that Tesla was wasting a significant amount of raw materials during production of its Model 3. Tripp also agreed to pay $25,000 to Tesla for continuing to reveal information about the company, despite being ordered to stop by a judge.

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Categories: Technology

A Second, Mysterious Monolith Appears In Romania

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 23:40
Joe2020 shares a report with the caption, "Yeah, this happened." NPR reports: Less than two weeks after authorities stumbled across a mysterious metal object standing freely in the Utah desert -- and just days after it disappeared -- a similar monolith has been reported nearly halfway around the world. Residents in the Romanian city of Piatra Neamt say they have found another odd item that could have been ripped from the set of 2001: A Space Odyssey. The local newspaper reports that the monolith, like the one discovered in Utah, is about 10 to 12 feet tall and apparently composed entirely of a dimly reflective metal. It was reportedly found standing on the Batca Doamnei plateau, near an archaeological site overlooking the city. Jurnal FM, a local radio station, recorded video of the purported object, revealing an eye-aching sheen and looped markings along its surface. Andrei Carabelea, mayor of Piatra Neamt, appears to be taking the news in stride. "There is no reason to panic for those who think there is still life in the universe," Carabelea quipped, according to a translation by The Independent. "My guess is that some alien, cheeky and terrible teenagers left home with their parents' UFO and started planting metal monoliths around the world. First in Utah and then at Piatra Neamt," he added. "I am honored that they chose our city." According to The New York Times, an adventure photographer said he spotted four men dismantling the structure. The Bureau of Land Management denied moving the structure.

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Categories: Technology

Salesforce to buy Slack for $28bn in cash, shares – and vows to make it the new face of Customer 360

The Register - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 23:25
_If shareholders like the somewhat small-ish premium offered_

Salesforce has signed a definitive agreement to buy Slack for $27.7bn in cash and stock, and plans to make the collaboration tool the interface for Salesforce Customer 360, the system it sells to create a single customer ID and profiles.…

Categories: Technology

HPE Says It's Relocating HQ To Houston From San Jose

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 23:00
Hewlett Packard Enterprise is the latest tech company to shift its focus away from Silicon Valley, announcing Tuesday that it will relocate its headquarters from San Jose, California, to Houston, Texas. CNBC reports: "HPE's largest U.S. employment hub, Houston is an attractive market to recruit and retain future diverse talent, and is where the company is currently constructing a state-of-the-art new campus," the company said in its fourth quarter earnings release. It's unclear how many employees the move will affect, though the company said no layoffs will be with the move. HPE will keep the San Jose campus, and will consolidate some of its Bay Area sites there, it said. For its fourth quarter, the company reported: Revenue: $7.21 billion vs $6.88 billion expected, according to a consensus estimate from Refinitiv. Earnings: $0.37 per share (adjusted), compared with $0.34 expected, as per Refinitiv. The company also raised guidance for the 2021 fiscal year. Shares were little changed in after hours trading.

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Debenhams website not working after Christmas sale launched

Braintree and Witham Times - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 22:45
Debenhams website is not working for some users across the UK as the store struggles to cope with demand for its Christmas sale.
Categories: Local News

Amazon To Roll Out Tools To Monitor Factory Workers and Machines

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 22:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Amazon is rolling out cheap new tools that will allow factories everywhere to monitor their workers and machines, as the tech giant looks to boost its presence in the industrial sector. Launched by Amazon's cloud arm AWS, the new machine-learning-based services include hardware to monitor the health of heavy machinery and computer vision capable of detecting whether workers are complying with social distancing. Amazon said it had created a two-inch, low-cost sensor -- Monitron -- that can be attached to equipment to monitor abnormal vibrations or temperatures and predict future faults. AWS Panorama, meanwhile, is a service that uses computer vision to analyze footage gathered by cameras within facilities, automatically detecting safety and compliance issues such as workers not wearing PPE or vehicles being driven in unauthorized areas. Amazon said it had installed 1,000 Monitron sensors at its fulfillment centers near the German city of Monchengladbach, where they are used to monitor conveyor belts handling packages. If successful, said analyst Brent Thill from Jefferies, the move would help Amazon cement its position as the dominant player in cloud computing, in the face of growing competition from Microsoft's Azure and Google Cloud as well as a prolonged run of slowed segment growth. "This idea of predictive analytics can go beyond a factory floor," Mr. Thill said. "It can go into a car, on to a bridge, or on to an oil rig. It can cross fertilize a lot of different industries." The new services, announced on Tuesday during the company's annual cloud computing conference, represent a step up in the tech giant's efforts to gather and crunch real-world data in areas it currently feels are underserved. "If you look at manufacturing and industrial generally, it's a space that has seen some innovations, but there's a lot of pieces that haven't been digitized and modernized," said Matt Garman, AWS's head of sales and marketing, speaking to the FT.

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Categories: Technology

AWS boss calls for racial justice, slams enterprise rivals, unveils a raft of real and promised services

The Register - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 22:31
And we're only on week one of December's re:invent conference

re:Invent  Amazon Web Services CEO Andy Jassy opened the rent-a-processor biz's re:Invent conference on Tuesday by touching on cheerful topics like disease and death.…

Categories: Technology

Google Maps Takes on Facebook With Launch of Its Own News Feed

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 22:00
People are getting frustrated that Stories are everywhere now, but Google Maps is keeping it old school. From a report: Instead of adding tiny circles to the top of the app's screen, Google Maps is introducing its own news feed. Technically, Google calls its new feature the "Community Feed," as it includes posts from a local area. However, it's organized as any other news feed would be -- a vertically scrollable feed with posts you can "Like" by tapping on a little thumbs up icon. The feed, which is found with the Explore tab of the Google Maps app, is designed to make it easier to find the most recent news, updates, and recommendations from trusted local sources. This includes posts business owners create using Google My Business to alert customers to new deals, menu updates, and other offers. At launch, Google says the focus will be on highlighting posts from food and drink businesses. For years, businesses have been able to make these sorts of posts using Google's tools. But previously, users would have to specifically tap to follow the business's profile in order to receive their updates. Now, these same sort of posts will be surfaced to even those Google Maps users who didn't take the additional step of following a particular business. This increased exposure has impacted the posts' views, Google says. In early tests of Community Feed ahead of its public launch, Google found that businesses' posts saw more than double the number of views than before the feed existed. Further reading: Google Maps Has Introduced So Many New Features and Design Changes in Recent Months That Getting Directions On It is Becoming an Increasingly Challenging Task (2018).

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Categories: Technology

Ever had a bogus call from someone claiming to be the IRS? A tax scam ringleader just got sent down for 20 years

The Register - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 21:28
Hitesh Patel also faces $9m payback for defrauding thousands of US citizens

The man who headed an international criminal call center racket that conned Americans into handing over tens of millions of dollars in the belief they were being chased for money by the US government has been jailed for 20 years.…

Categories: Technology

Salesforce Buys Slack in a $27.7B Megadeal

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 21:12
Salesforce, the CRM powerhouse that recently surpassed $20 billion in annual revenue, announced today it is wading deeper into enterprise social by acquiring Slack in a $27.7 billion megadeal. From a report: Salesforce co-founder and CEO Marc Benioff didn't mince words on his latest purchase. "This is a match made in heaven. Together, Salesforce and Slack will shape the future of enterprise software and transform the way everyone works in the all-digital, work-from-anywhere world," Benioff said in a statement. Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield was no less effusive than his future boss. "As software plays a more and more critical role in the performance of every organization, we share a vision of reduced complexity, increased power and flexibility, and ultimately a greater degree of alignment and organizational agility. Personally, I believe this is the most strategic combination in the history of software, and I can't wait to get going," Butterfield said in a statement.

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Categories: Technology

Amazon Is Laying the Groundwork for Its Own Quantum Computer

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 20:54
Amazon is laying the groundwork for a quantum computer, deepening efforts to harness technology that can crunch in seconds vast amounts of data that take even the most powerful supercomputers hours or days to process. From a report: Amazon has been hiring for a Quantum Hardware Team within its Amazon Web Services Center for Quantum Computing, according to internal job postings and information on LinkedIn. Marc Runyan, a former engineer with NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, lists his title on the professional social network as senior quantum research scientist at Amazon and describes his role as "helping to design and build a quantum computer for Amazon Web Services." [...] Among Amazon's recent hires are research scientists focusing on designing a new superconducting quantum device as well as device fabrication. Developing its own quantum computer would let Amazon more closely mirror the approach taken by its major cloud rivals. International Business Machines first made a quantum computer available to the public in 2016 and has rolled out regular upgrades.

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Categories: Technology

Microsoft Will Remove User Names from 'Productivity Score' Feature After Privacy Backlash

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 20:10
Microsoft says it will make changes in its new Productivity Score feature, including removing the ability for companies to see data about individual users, to address concerns from privacy experts that the tech giant had effectively rolled out a new tool for snooping on workers. From a report: "Going forward, the communications, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork, and mobility measures in Productivity Score will only aggregate data at the organization level -- providing a clear measure of organization-level adoption of key features," wrote Jared Spataro, Microsoft 365 corporate vice president, in a post this morning. "No one in the organization will be able to use Productivity Score to access data about how an individual user is using apps and services in Microsoft 365." The company rolled out its new "Productivity Score" feature as part of Microsoft 365 in late October. It gives companies data to understand how workers are using and adopting different forms of technology. It made headlines over the past week as reports surfaced that the tool lets managers see individual user data by default. As originally rolled out, Productivity Score turned Microsoft 365 into a "full-fledged workplace surveillance tool," wrote Wolfie Christl of the independent Cracked Labs digital research institute in Vienna, Austria. "Employers/managers can analyze employee activities at the individual level (!), for example, the number of days an employee has been sending emails, using the chat, using 'mentions' in emails etc."

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Categories: Technology

'We've heard the feedback...' Microsoft 365 axes per-user productivity monitoring after privacy backlash

The Register - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 19:57
Redmond whips out usernames, says it will focus on customer orgs, not staffers

If you heard a strange noise coming from Redmond today, it was the sound of some rapid back-pedaling regarding the Productivity Score feature in its Microsoft 365 cloud platform.…

Categories: Technology

NVIDIA Launches GeForce RTX 3060 Ti, Sets a New Gaming Performance Bar At $399

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 19:32
MojoKid writes: NVIDIA expanded its line-up of Ampere-based graphics cards today with a new lower cost GeForce RTX 3060 Ti. As its name suggests, the new $399 NVIDIA GPU supplants the previous-gen GeForce RTX 2060 / RTX 2060 Super, and slots in just behind the recently-released GeForce RTX 3070. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti features 128 CUDA cores per SM, for a total of 4,864, 4 Third-Gen Tensor cores per SM (152 total), and 38 Second-Gen RT cores. The GPU has a typical boost clock of 1,665MHz and it is linked to 8GB of standard GDDR6 memory (not the GDDR6X of the RTX 3080/3090) via a 256-bit memory interface that offers up to 448GB/s of peak bandwidth. In terms of overall performance, the RTX 3060 Ti lands in the neighborhood of the GeForce RTX 2080 Super, and well ahead of cards like AMD's Radeon RX 5700 XT. The GeForce RTX 3060 Ti's 8GB frame buffer may give some users pause, but for 1080p and 1440p gaming, it shouldn't be a problem for the overwhelming majority of titles. It's also par for the course in this $399 price band. Cards are reported to be shipping in retail tomorrow.

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Categories: Technology

Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico Collapses as Engineers Feared

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 18:50
weiserfireman writes: The worst fears of engineers has happened. The massive Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico collapsed in on itself overnight. The catastrophic failure had been predicted by engineers after the telescope suffered two major cable malfunctions over the last couple of months, risking the integrity of the observatory's entire structure. Pictures of Arecibo surfaced online this morning, revealing that the massive 900-ton platform that is normally suspended above the observatory was no longer there. The National Science Foundation, which oversees Arecibo, confirmed to The Verge that the platform did come crashing down onto the telescope's giant 1,000-foot-wide dish. No injuries have been reported, according to the agency. "NSF is working with stakeholders to assess the situation," the agency tweeted. "Our top priority is maintaining safety. NSF will release more details when they are confirmed."

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Categories: Technology

China's Chang'e-5 lands on the Moon to scratch surface

The Register - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 18:30
Mission aims to bring home 2kg of stones and soil from up to 2m down

China's Chang'e-5 probe has successfully landed on the Moon following its separation and descent from a spacecraft in lunar orbit.…

Categories: Technology

Google Launches Android Enterprise Essentials Aimed at SMBs

Slashdot - Tue, 01/12/2020 - 18:17
Google said it is launching Android Enterprise Essentials, a mobile device management service for small enterprises. From a report: Based on the Android Enterprise Recommended program, Google's Android Enterprise Essentials is a pared down version with default features and smaller budgets. Google is trying to address the reality that smaller organizations are often targeted by cybercriminals. Features include: Requiring a lock screen and encryption on devices to prevent unauthorized access to company data. Enforcing mandatory malware protection with an always-on Google Play Protect. The ability to wipe all company data from a device. The core security features are applied automatically without the need to configure devices.

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