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New 16-Inch MacBook Pro With M1 Max to Feature 'High Power Mode' for Intensive Workloads

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 11:00
The new 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max Apple Silicon chip will feature a new High Power Mode for intensive, sustained workloads, according to Apple. MacRumors reports: This new setting is the opposite of "Low Power Mode," which aims to decrease system performance to prolong battery life. The new mode will only be available on the 16-inch MacBook Pro with the M1 Max chip, not the 14-inch model or models with the M1 Pro. Text within the macOS Monterey beta reads, "Your Mac will optimize performance to better support resource-intensive tasks. This may result in louder fan noise." The new mode is not likely to be used in typical work cases, but instead when users may be rendering larger files or graphically intensive tasks that require an added boost of performance. The new 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pros both include improved thermal architecture, but Apple says the new and improved fans are not likely to be used by most users in day-to-day use.

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Judging by the way your face lit up, my inbox just got more attractive

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 10:16
A message for you, (on your) rudie

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  "You've got mail!" announces a voice on the tram.…

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How to keep a support contract: Make the user think they solved the problem

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 08:45
Look what you found! Aren't you clever!

On Call  Let us take a little trip back to the days before the PC, when terminals ruled supreme, to find that the more things change the more they stay the same. Welcome to On Call.…

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Apple kicked an M1-shaped hole in Intel's quarter

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 08:26
Chipzilla braces for a China-gaming-ban-shaped hole in future results, predicts more product delays

Intel has blamed Apple's switch to its own M1 silicon in Macs for a dip in sales at its client computing group, and foreshadowed future unpleasantness caused by supply chain issues and China's recent internet crackdowns.…

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Meet Starlab: Private Space Station Planned To Fly In 2027

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 08:00
Nanoracks, Voyager Space and Lockheed Martin announced today (Oct. 21) that they plan to get a free-flying private space station up and running in low Earth orbit (LEO) by 2027. Space.com reports: The outpost, called Starlab, is envisioned to be a tourist destination as well as a research and manufacturing hub that helps foster the growth of an off-Earth economy. "To meet U.S. government, international space agency and commercial needs in space, these industry leaders will develop Starlab specifically to enable the growing space economy and meet pent-up customer demand for space services such as materials research, plant growth and astronaut activity," the three companies said in a press release. The four-person Starlab station will be lofted in a single launch, which is expected to take place in 2027. The outpost will feature a habitat module with 12,000 cubic feet (340 cubic meters) of internal volume, a power and propulsion element, a laboratory setup and a large external robotic arm to service payloads and cargo, according to Nanoracks' Starlab page. For comparison, the International Space Station (ISS) has 32,333 cubic feet (916 cubic meters) of internal volume, which is equivalent to that of a Boeing 747 jet.

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How your phone, laptop, or watch can be tracked by their Bluetooth transmissions

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 07:50
Unique fingerprints lurk in radio signals more often than not, it seems

Over the past few years, mobile devices have become increasingly chatty over the Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) protocol and this turns out to be a somewhat significant privacy risk.…

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YouTubers fell for shady 'sponsors' who seized, then sold, accounts

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 07:28
Vid-slingers had been asking how this happened for years, even while their channels were spruiking dodgy crypto

After years of complaints from YouTubers, Google has pinpointed the root cause of a series of account hijackings: software sponsorship deals that delivered malware.…

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Alibaba Cloud drops all-in-one client device, on-prem cloud-native DB

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 05:32
Claims shared memory speed breakthrough in new server, plans to enter South Korea and Thailand, and more

Announcements were coming thick and fast at Alibaba Cloud's annual APSARA conference, where the Middle Kingdom's biggest cloud unleashed an all-in-one client device, plenty of upgrades to its cloud services, and an uncanny weather predictor.…

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Trump's TRUTH Social May Violate Terms of Open-Source Code It's Built On

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 04:30
ISayWeOnlyToBePolite writes: The new social network founded by former President Trump may violate the terms of use of the software on which it is based. On Wednesday night, after Trump revealed the TRUTH social app, Twitter users began to note that the network appeared to be based on an open-source social networking software called Mastodon, which allows people to modify the underlying code so long as they abide by its license. But the Trump network appears to have taken the publicly available code for the website while violating the terms that make it free to use. Mastodon founder Eugen Rochko told TPM in an email that TRUTH appeared to violate the terms of use that the software sets forth: making the source code available, and having a copy of the general product license available to users. "I do intend to seek legal counsel on the situation though," Rochko told TPM, while declining to discuss any specific legal action he may be contemplating. "Compliance with our AGPLv3 license is very important to me as that is the sole basis upon which I and other developers are willing to give away years of work for free," Rochko added. The AGPL license mandates that software developed for free -- like Mastodon -- remain publicly available after its been modified. Under the license, TRUTH needs to share any modifications to Mastodon's code. The requirement allows developers to remain aware of how the software is being used so long as its run on public servers, continuing the chain by which different open-source developers continue to work on and further modify code that's been created. Former President Trump announced plans to launch the social media platform yesterday, saying his goal is to rival the tech companies that have denied him the megaphone that was paramount to his rise. TRUTH social will be open to "invited users" for a beta launch in November, with plans for it to launch publicly beginning early next year. With that said, the "invite only" system has already run into some problems, according to Slashdot reader slack_justyb. Some users were able to sign up to create accounts using a publicly available link, allowing them to generate their own handles, like @donaldtrump.

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Vinyl Is Selling So Well That It's Getting Hard To Sell Vinyl

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 03:10
"Vinyl was nearly at death's door not that long ago. After CDs came out, the predictions of vinyl's demise were an every day occurrence," writes Slashdot reader smooth wombat. "And for a time it looked like the vinyl record, something which had been around since the 1930s, would meet its end as so many other yesteryear products have. Except the COVID-19 pandemic changed all that. Now, with the sudden resurgence and demand for vinyl records, the few remaining manufacturers are struggling to meet the growing demand." The New York Times reports: In the first six months of this year, 17 million vinyl records were sold in the United States, generating $467 million in retail revenue (PDF), nearly double the amount from the same period in 2020, according to the Recording Industry Association of America. Sixteen million CDs were also sold in the first half of 2021, worth just $205 million. Physical recordings are now just a sliver of the overall music business -- streaming is 84 percent of domestic revenue -- but they can be a strong indication of fan loyalty, and stars like Taylor Swift and Olivia Rodrigo make vinyl an important part of their marketing. Yet there are worrying signs that the vinyl bonanza has exceeded the industrial capacity needed to sustain it. Production logjams and a reliance on balky, decades-old pressing machines have led to what executives say are unprecedented delays. A couple of years ago, a new record could be turned around in a few months; now it can take up to a year, wreaking havoc on artists' release plans. Music and manufacturing experts cite a variety of factors behind the holdup. The pandemic shut down many plants for a time, and problems in the global supply chain have slowed the movement of everything from cardboard and polyvinyl chloride -- the "vinyl" that records (and plumbing pipes) are made from -- to finished albums. In early 2020, a fire destroyed one of only two plants in the world that made lacquer discs, an essential part of the record-making process. But the bigger issue may be simple supply and demand. Consumption of vinyl LPs has grown much faster than the industry's ability to make records. The business relies on an aging infrastructure of pressing machines, most of which date to the 1970s or earlier and can be costly to maintain. New machines came along only in recent years, and can cost up to $300,000 each. There's a backlog of orders for those, too.

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Microsoft emits more Win 11 fixes for AMD speed issues and death by PowerShell bug

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 03:05
Names November as the month for Win 10 H2 update – then reveals major new feature won’t arrive on time

Microsoft has released a build of Windows 11 that it claims addresses performance problems the new OS imposed on some systems.…

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Steak Knife Made From Hardened Wood Is Three Times Sharper Than Steel

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 02:30
Scientists have used a new form of hardened wood to create a steak knife that is nearly three times sharper than a stainless steel dinner table knife. It can even be washed in the dishwasher! New Atlas reports: This hardy new form of wood is the handiwork of scientists at the University of Maryland, who set out to supercharge the material's natural strength, which lies in the cellulose packed inside. Cellulose is the primary component of wood, accounting for 40 to 50 percent of the material, and itself has a higher strength-to-density ratio than many engineered materials, including ceramics, metals and polymers. But the remainder of wood, made up of the binding materials hemicellulose and lignin, dilutes its overall strength and limits its applications. The authors of the study set out remove these weaker parts of the wood while preserving the cellulose structures. "It's a two-step process," says senior author Teng Li. "In the first step, we partially delignify wood. Typically, wood is very rigid, but after removal of the lignin, it becomes soft, flexible, and somewhat squishy. In the second step, we do a hot press by applying pressure and heat to the chemically processed wood to densify and remove the water." The hardened wood was then carved into a knife and coated in mineral oil, which counters the natural tendency of cellulose to absorb water, extending the lifespan of the material, preserving the blade's sharpness and making it dishwasher safe. According to the team, the hard wood knife is almost three times sharper than a stainless steel dinner table knife and is 23 times times harder than natural wood. It was used to cut through a medium-well done steak with ease. The team was also able to produce nails using the new hard wood. Not only were they rust-resistant but they were just as sharp as regular steel nails. The research was published in the journal Matter.

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GPSD Bug Will Switch Your Time-Keeping Systems To March 2002 This Weekend, Unless You Update

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 01:50
"Apparently a bug in GPSD, the daemon responsible for deriving time from the GPS system, is going to trigger on October 24, 2021, jumping the time back to March of 2002," writes Slashdot reader suutar. "There's a fix that's been committed since August, but of course not everything is up to date." ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols writes: This will be ugly. Or, as Stephen Williams, who uncovered the bug put it, "I have a feeling that there will be some 'interesting moments' in the early morning when a bunch of the world's stratum 1 NTP servers using GPSD take the long strange trip back to 2002." GPSD maintainer Gary E. Miller has acknowledged the problem, and a fix has been made to the code. To be exact, the fix is in August 2021's GPSD 3.23 release. So, what's the problem if the fix is already in? Well, there are two problems. First, it won't be backported to previous releases. If you're still using an older version, you may be out of luck. Second, as Miller observed, not all distros "pick up GPSD updates or upstream their patches. [This] is a very sore spot with me." So, just because your operating system is up to date does not mean that it will have the necessary GPSD fix. Miller suggests that you check it and do it yourself: "I [am] gonna fall back on Greg K_H's dictum: All users must update." Oh, wondering what the mysterious root cause of all this commotion GPS Week Rollover? It's a legacy GPS problem. The GPS signal GPS week number uses a 10-bit code with a maximum value of 1,023. This means every 19.7 years; the GPS week number rolls over to zero. Or, as Miller noted, "This code is a 1024 week time warp waiting to happen." So, check your systems now for this problem. And, if, like most of us, you're relying on someone upstream from you for the correct time, check with them to make sure they've taken care of this forthcoming trouble.

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PS3 Emulator Will Now Boot Every Game Ever Released On the Console

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 01:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Kotaku, written by Luke Plunkett: RPCS3, an emulator I've been writing about since 2016, but which first began in 2011, has come along way since it made its first tentative steps towards making PS3 games playable on a PC. From those humble beginnings, the team behind it have just announced a huge milestone: everything ever released on the PS3 will now boot up. Earlier today the RPCS3 team tweeted: "We're delighted to announce that RPCS3 now has a total of ZERO games in the Nothing status! This means that all known games and applications at least boot on the emulator, with no on-going regressions that prevent games from booting. We look forward to emptying out Loadable too!" There have been over 6,000 games and programs tracked over the emulator's lifespan, so to get every single one of them to some degree of booting up is an incredible achievement. It's important to note, though, that of the emulator's five tiers of playability, only one -- "Playable" -- is worth your time. The others are saddled with huge numbers of glitches, performance issues, or simply the fact they refuse to load past the title screens. [...] As of today, 63.53% of PS3 games are "playable" on the emulator, which means 36.47% are not; still a hugely impressive number, but just something to bear in mind!

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US consumer watchdog starts sniffing around tech giants' use of your spending data

The Register - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 00:46
Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, PayPal, Square under investigation

America's Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) said on Thursday it is probing some of the biggest names in the electronic payments industry, requesting detailed information from them on how they collect and use people's spending data.…

Categories: Technology

Wireless Carriers Just Can't Quit the Free-Phone Offers

Slashdot - Fri, 22/10/2021 - 00:30
Just when some wireless carriers were trying to move away from phone giveways, T-Mobile upped the ante on Thursday with a deal offering new customers as much as $1,000 if they switch. From a report: The second-largest U.S. wireless carrier said that starting Friday consumers who bring a bill from their current provider to a T-Mobile store can get a prepaid debit card for any remaining amount owed on their phone, up to $1,000. Rivals AT&T and Verizon reported stronger-than-expected subscriber gains this week after using phone giveaways to help prime the pump in the third quarter.

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AMD and Microsoft Issue Fixes For Ryzen CPU Slowdowns On Windows 11

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 23:50
AMD and Microsoft have issued patches to address the slowdowns reported with Ryzen processors when Windows 11 launched. Engadget reports: The latest chipset driver (version 3.10.08.506) should take care of the UEFI CPPC2 issue, which in some cases didn't "preferentially schedule threads on a processor's fastest core," AMD said. That could have slowed down apps that are sensitive to CPU thread performance. AMD noted that the problem was likely more noticeable in more powerful processors with more than eight cores and 65W or higher Thermal Design Power (TDP). Meanwhile, Microsoft is rolling out a software update tackling a bug that increased L3 cache latency. The issue impacted apps that need quick memory access, which in turn caused CPUs to slow down by up to 15 percent. The patch, Windows 11 update KB5006746, will be available starting today, but at the time of writing, a page containing instructions for installing it isn't yet live. You should be able to install it via Windows Update too.

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We're closing the gap with Arm and x86, claims SiFive: New RISC-V CPU core for PCs, servers, mobile incoming

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 23:15
As it appears Intel's attempt to gobble the upstart collapses

SiFive reckons its fastest RISC-V processor core yet is closing the gap on being a mainstream computing alternative to x86 and Arm.…

Categories: Technology

Paintmakers Are Running Out of the Color Blue

Slashdot - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 23:09
Dutch paint maker Akzo is running out of ingredients to make some shades of blue, the latest fallout from the global supply-chain disruptions that are spreading across manufacturers. From a report: "There is one basic color tint that is extremely difficult to get," Chief Executive Officer Thierry Vanlancker said in an interview Wednesday after publishing third-quarter earnings. "It's creating complete chaos." In addition to the bluish hue, Akzo Nobel is having trouble sourcing the tinplate used to make metal cans, forcing the Amsterdam-based company to ship empty pots from one country to another for filling. It also called a force majeure on deliveries of some exterior wall paints because an additive needed to make them waterproof is unavailable. The supply-chain snarls that have sown disarray across industries are raising prices and creating shortages of some basic household products. Paint makers, which typically rely on hundreds of additives and chemicals, have warned for months of higher costs and logistical issues. Akzo Nobel earlier Wednesday said the spiraling costs and materials shortages will last through the middle of next year.

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Unvaccinated and working at Apple? Prepare for COVID-19 testing 'every time' you step in the office

The Register - Thu, 21/10/2021 - 22:39
Tell us you've been jabbed or...

Apple will require unvaccinated workers to get tested for COVID-19 every time they come into the office for work, starting from November 1.…

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