Computers & Linux News

Huawei Signs Maps Deal With TomTom

SlashDot - 29 min 16 sec ago
Dutch navigation and digital mapping company TomTom said on Friday it had closed a deal with China's Huawei Technologies for the use of its maps and services in smartphone apps. From a report: The deal with TomTom means that the Chinese telecoms and technology giant can now use the Dutch company's maps, traffic information and navigation software to develop apps for its smartphones, according to a Reuters report. A TomTom spokesman said the deal had been closed some time ago but had not been made public by the company and he declined to provide further details, according to the Reuters report. China's largest smartphone vendor has been forced to develop its own operating systems (OS) for both smartphones and computers after being added to a US blacklist in May on national security grounds, barring it from buying US-origin technology and blocking access to widely used apps such as Google Maps in Huawei's new devices.

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Google Doodle spotlights Martin Luther King Jr.'s message of unity - CNET

CNET News - 56 min 30 sec ago
Doodle honors the slain civil rights leader on national holiday observing his birthday.

Google's Sundar Pichai Doesn't Want You To Be Clear-Eyed About AI's Dangers

SlashDot - 1 hour 11 min ago
Alphabet and Google CEO, Sundar Pichai, is the latest tech giant kingpin to make a public call for AI to be regulated while simultaneously encouraging lawmakers towards a dilute enabling framework that does not put any hard limits on what can be done with AI technologies. From a report: In an op-ed published in today's Financial Times, Pichai makes a headline-grabbing call for artificial intelligence to be regulated. But his pitch injects a suggestive undercurrent that puffs up the risk for humanity of not letting technologists get on with business as usual and apply AI at population-scale -- with the Google chief claiming: "AI has the potential to improve billions of lives, and the biggest risk may be failing to do so" -- thereby seeking to frame 'no hard limits' as actually the safest option for humanity. Simultaneously the pitch downplays any negatives that might cloud the greater good that Pichai implies AI will unlock -- presenting "potential negative consequences" as simply the inevitable and necessary price of technological progress. It's all about managing the level of risk, is the leading suggestion, rather than questioning outright whether the use of a hugely risk-laden technology such as facial recognition should actually be viable in a democratic society.

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HP Remotely Disables a Customer's Printer Until He Joins Company's Monthly Subscription Service

SlashDot - 1 hour 56 min ago
A Twitter user's complaint last week in which he produces photo evidence of HP warning him that his ink cartridges would be disabled until he starts paying for HP Instant Ink monthly subscription service has gone viral on the social media. Ryan Sullivan, the user who made the complaint, said he only discovered the warning after cancelling a random HP subscription -- which charged him $4.99 a month -- after "over a year" of the billing cycle. "Cartridge cannot be used until printer is enrolled in HP Instant Ink," Sullivan was informed by an error message.

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Apple CEO Calls For Global Corporate Tax System Overhaul

SlashDot - 2 hours 34 min ago
Everyone knows that the global corporate tax system needs to be overhauled, Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook said on Monday, backing changes to global rules that are currently under consideration. From a report: The growth of internet giants such as Apple has pushed international tax rules to the limit, prompting the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) to pursue global reforms over where multinational firms should be taxed. The reforms being examined center around the booking of profits by multinational firms in low-tax countries such as Ireland where they have bases -- and where Cook was speaking on Monday -- rather than where most of their customers are. "I think logically everybody knows it needs to be rehauled, I would certainly be the last person to say that the current system or the past system was the perfect system. I'm hopeful and optimistic that they (the OECD) will find something," Cook said. "It's very complex to know how to tax a multinational... We desperately want it to be fair," the Apple CEO added after receiving an inaugural award from the Irish state agency responsible for attracting foreign companies recognizing the contribution of multinationals in the country.

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Craig Wright Doesn't Have Keys To $8 Billion of Bitcoin

SlashDot - 3 hours 13 min ago
An anonymous reader shares a report: Craig Wright's lawyer confirmed to Decrypt late last week that Wright does not possess -- nor even claim to possess -- the private keys that can be used to spend $8 billion of Bitcoin that Satoshi Nakamoto mined in Bitcoin's early days. Wright filed a statement in the Southern District of Florida late Tuesday asserting that he had received information to unlock an encrypted file of thousands of public Bitcoin addresses that he claims to own. Wright had previously said, under oath, that an "encrypted file" exists, containing both the list of public addresses and private keys. Many took that to mean that when a courier arrived Tuesday with a file, that at last Wright had received the private keys. But his lawyer said today that that was not the case. "The file that he's received did not include private keys," Andres Rivero, partner at Rivero Mestre law firm, told Decrypt. However, Wright still expects that he will receive the keys at a later date. Rivero said the keys may come either whole or split into parts, but declined to discuss further the particulars around who has the keys and when they might arrive.

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Joaquin Phoenix honors Heath Ledger in touching SAG Awards speech for Joker - CNET

CNET News - 3 hours 38 min ago
During his acceptance speech, Phoenix pays tribute to the former Joker actor.

Google CEO Sundar Pichai: We must be 'clear-eyed' about how AI could go wrong - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 4 min ago
The chief executive of Alphabet calls for regulation of artificial intelligence as his own company delves deeper into developing new technologies.

Star Trek: Picard is a mirror to our modern dystopia - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 16 min ago
From the rise of artificial intelligence to the questioning of authority, Picard tackles the big questions we're asking today.

2020 Genesis G70: Model overview, pricing, tech and specs - Roadshow

CNET News - 4 hours 16 min ago
Our 2019 Car of the Year keeps its value and performance proposition strong for 2020.

The smart glasses that could be ready for my eyes - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 16 min ago
I got a peek at North Focals 2.0, and they could be closer to regular glasses than anything I've seen before.

Best food delivery service: DoorDash, Grubhub, Uber Eats and more compared - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 16 min ago
Staying in? Use your phone to order delivery from a nearby restaurant with one of these apps.

Why This Time The New Browser Wars Are Different

SlashDot - 5 hours 42 min ago
The Verge argues that the browser wars "are back, but it's different this time." The mobile web is broken and unfettered tracking and data sharing have made visiting websites feel toxic, but since the ecosystem of websites and ad companies can't fix it through collective action, it falls on browser makers to use technological innovations to limit that surveillance, however each company that makes a browser is taking a different approach to creating those innovations, and everybody distrusts everybody else to act in the best interest of the web instead of the best interest of their employers' profits... I've been avoiding getting into the precise details of the proposals out there to fix the tracking problem because things are changing so quickly across so many different tracks... Until then, know that there are two important things to know. First: there are new browser technologies and limits coming that could radically change how ads work and could make it easier for you to protect your privacy no matter what browser you use. Since this is the web, it'll take time, but everybody seems committed. Second: the way many of us think about a Browser War is in terms of marketshare -- and that is the wrong metric this time. There is a browser war, but it won't be won or lost based on who can convince the most people to switch to their browser. Because most people can't or won't switch on the platform that matters: mobile. In 2020, the desktop is a minor skirmish compared to browsers on phones. On phones, many people aren't really free to choose their browser. That's literally true on the iPhone, which Apple locks down so apps can only use its web rendering technology. And it's for-intents-and-purposes true on Android, where the vast majority of browsers just use Chromium. Yes, there is an Android browser ballot happening in Europe, but it's much too early to know what its effects will be.... The new Browser Wars aren't about who makes the fastest or best browser, they're about whose services you want and whose data policies you trust.

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Netflix to stream Studio Ghibli films... but with one catch - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 53 min ago
Over the next three months, Netflix subscribers in select countries will be able to watch acclaimed classics including Spirited Away and Howl's Castle.

Best live TV streaming services for cord-cutters in 2020 - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 16 min ago
Sling TV, YouTube TV, Hulu with Live TV and others let you ditch your cable company but keep the live channels and DVR. Here's how they stack up.

As UK Police Deploy Facial Recognition, Questions Raised About False Positives

SlashDot - 9 hours 42 min ago
"When British police used facial recognition cameras to monitor crowds arriving for a soccer match in Wales, some fans protested by covering their faces," reports the Associated Press. "In a sign of the technology's divisiveness, even the head of a neighboring police force said he opposed it." The South Wales police deployed vans equipped with the technology outside Cardiff stadium this week as part of a long-running trial in which officers scanned people in real time and detained anyone blacklisted from attending for past misbehavior... The real-time surveillance being tested in Britain is among the more aggressive uses of facial recognition in Western democracies and raises questions about how the technology will enter people's daily lives. Authorities and companies are eager to use it, but activists warn it threatens human rights.... If the system flags up someone passing by, officers stop that person to investigate further, according to the force's website. Rights groups say this kind of monitoring raises worries about privacy, consent, algorithmic accuracy, and questions about about how faces are added to watchlists... The North Wales police commissioner, Arfon Jones, said using facial recognition to take pictures of soccer fans was a "fishing expedition." He also raised concerns about false positives.... "In laboratory conditions it's really effective," said University of Essex professor Pete Fussey. He monitored the London police trials, which also used NEC's system, and found a different outcome on the streets. He co-authored a report last year that said only eight of its 42 matches were correct. The London program has since been suspended. "The police tended to trust the algorithm most of the time, so if they trust the computational decision-making yet that decision-making is wrong, that raises all sorts of questions" about the accountability of the machine, he said. The article reports that 19,000 faces were scanned at a Spice Girls concert in May, and identified 15 people on a watchlist. Six of them were arrested. Nine others had been identified incorrectly.

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Incredible images show huge dust storm blanketing Australian towns - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-01-19 22:36
An immense wave of red dust engulfed regional Australian towns, turning day to night almost instantly.

Opera Accused of Offering Predatory Loans Through Android apps

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-01-19 22:34
"It's no secret that Opera isn't doing so well in the era of Chrome dominance," reports Android Police. "According to a report published by Hindenburg Research, the company's losses in browser revenue have apparently led it to create multiple loan apps with short payment windows and interest rates of ~365-876%, which are in violation of new Play Store rules Google enacted last year." The apps are aimed at India, Kenya and Nigeria, reports Engadget: The apps would claim to offer maximum annual percentage rate (APR) of 33 percent or less, but the actual rates were much higher, climbing to 438 percent in the case of OPesa. And while they publicly offered reasonable loan terms of 91 to 365 days, the real length was no more than 29 days (for OKash) and more often 15 days -- well under Google's 60-day minimum. The conditions only got worse for borrowers who missed their payments. Falling short by just a day could raise the APR as high as 876 percent. Also, the apps reportedly scraped phone contacts to harass family, friends and others with calls and texts in hopes this would pressure customers into paying up. These same notices often threatened legal action. Android Police points out that Opera became a public company in mid-2017, shortly after it was purchased by a China-based investor group. But since then, "Opera's market share has continued to fall, due to the increasing dominance of Chrome."

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China's coronavirus outbreak: Everything we know about the deadly new virus - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-01-19 20:47
A novel virus has infected almost 200 people and caused three deaths. Here's everything we know about the mysterious new disease.

Do Engineering Managers Need To Be 'Technical'?

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-01-19 20:04
Will Larson has been an engineering leader at Digg, Uber, and Stripe, and last May published the book An Elegant Puzzle: Systems of Engineering Management. Recently he wrote a thoughtful essay asking, "Do engineering managers need to be technical?" exploring the industry's current thinking and arriving at a surprisingly thoughtful conclusion: Around 2010, with Google ascendant, product managers were finding more and more doors closed to them if they didn't have a computer science degree. If this policy worked for Google, it would work at least as well for your virality-driven, mobile-first social network for cats... [N]ow the vast majority of engineering managers come from software-engineering backgrounds. This is true both at the market-elected collection of technology companies known as FANG (Facebook, Amazon, Netflix, Google) and at the latest crop of technology IPOs, like Fastly, Lyft, and Slack. While engineering management has not prioritized its own measurement, there is evidence that expert leadership works in some fields... If this is the case, modern technology companies are already well along the right path. This is where the story gets a bit odd. If we know that managers with technical skills outperform others, and we're already hiring managers with backgrounds as software engineers, why are we still worrying whether they're technical? If these folks have proven themselves as practitioners within their fields, what is there left to debate? This is an awkward inconsistency. The most likely explanation is that "being technical" has lost whatever definition it once had... It's uncomfortable to recognize that a distinction I relied upon so heavily for so long no longer means anything to me, but comfort has never been a good reason to get into management. With the term "not technical" unusable, I instead focus on the details. Is there a kind of technology that a given person is not familiar with? Were they uncomfortable, or did they lack confidence when describing a solution? Would I care about them knowing this detail if I didn't personally know it? Given their role in and relation to the project, was the project's success dependent on them knowing these details...? Looking forward to the next 30 years of management trends, only a few things seem certain: Managers should be technical, and the definition of technical will continue to change.

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