Computers & Linux News

NASA Begins Cosmic Tomato Experiments on ISS - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 15:14
Slowly but surely, the agency is gathering ingredients for DIY space cuisine.

PCI Standards Group Deflects, Assigns Blame for Melting GPU Power Connectors

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 15:01
An anonymous reader shares a report: Nvidia's new RTX 4090 and 4080 GPUs both use a new connector called 12VHPWR to deliver power as a way to satisfy ever-more power-hungry graphics cards without needing to set aside the physical space required for three or four 8-pin power connectors. But that power connector and its specifications weren't created by Nvidia alone -- to ensure interoperability, the spec was developed jointly by the PCI Express Special Interest Group (PCI-SIG), a body that includes Nvidia, AMD, Intel, Arm, IBM, Qualcomm, and others. But the overheating and melting issues experienced by some RTX 4090 owners recently have apparently prompted the PCI-SIG to clarify exactly which parts of the spec it is and is not responsible for. In a statement reported by Tom's Hardware, the group sent its members a reminder that they, not the PCI-SIG, were responsible for safety testing products using connector specs like 12VHPWR. "Members are reminded that PCI-SIG specifications provide necessary technical information for interoperability and do not attempt to address proper design, manufacturing methods, materials, safety testing, safety tolerances, or workmanship," the statement reads. "When implementing a PCI-SIG specification, Members are responsible for the design, manufacturing, and testing, including safety testing, of their products."

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Google Shuts Down Duplex on the Web, Its Attempt To Bring AI Smarts To Retail Sites and More

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 14:20
Google is shutting down Duplex on the Web, its AI-powered set of services that navigated sites to simplify the process of ordering food, purchasing movie tickets and more. From a report: According to a note on a Google support page, Google on the Web and any automation features enabled by it will no longer be supported as of this month. Google introduced Duplex on the Web, an outgrowth of its call-automating Duplex technology, during its 2019 Google I/O developer conference. To start, it was focused on a couple of narrow use cases, including opening a movie theater chain's website to fill out all of the necessary information on a user's behalf -- pausing to prompt for choices like seats. But Duplex on the Web later expanded to passwords, helping users automatically change passwords exposed in a data breach, as well as assisted checkout for ecommerce retailers, flight check-in for airline sites and automatic discount finding. The promise of Duplex on the Web was that you'd be able to issue Google Assistant a command like "Book me a car from Hertz" and have Duplex pull up the relevant web page and automatically fill in details like your name, car preferences, trip dates, payment information (using information from Gmail and Chrome autofill), and more.

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In a Storeroom Cupboard, Scientists Uncover Lizard Fossil That Rewrites History - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 14:00
An ancestor to modern snakes and lizards found lurking in London's Natural History Museum.

Best MacBook Air M2 Charger: Which One Should I Get? - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 14:00
Need help deciding between Apple's three MacBook Air M2 chargers? Look no further.

US Army Planned To Pay Streamers Millions To Reach Gen-Z Through Call of Duty

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 13:42
The U.S. Army allocated millions of dollars to sponsor a wide range of esports tournaments, individual high profile Call of Duty streamers, and Twitch events in the last year to specifically grow its audience with Gen-Z viewers, and especially women and Black and Hispanic people, according to internal Army documents obtained by Motherboard. From the report: In many cases the sponsorships ultimately did not happen -- the Army ordered a stop of all spending with Call of Duty's publisher Activision after the company faced a wave of sexual harrassment complaints. But the documents provide much greater insight into the Army's goals and intentions behind its planned integrations with Call of Duty and other massive entertainment franchises. "Audience: Gen-Z Prospects (A18-24)," one section of the documents read. "Focus on the growth of females, Black & Hispanics." Motherboard obtained the documents through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). A table included in the documents lists the funds the Army planned to spend on various platforms, events, and streamers. At the top, is Twitch and its HBCU [Historically Black Colleges and Universities] Showdown. Previous seasons of this esports league had players compete in Madden and NBA games. The Army planned to spend $1 million on sponsoring the event. The documents show that the U.S. military considered gaming and, in particular, Call of Duty, as a potentially useful branding and recruiting tool.

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Alex Jones Files For Personal Bankruptcy - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 13:13
The conspiracy theorist has been ordered to pay $1.5 billion in damages to Sandy Hook families.

The 15 Best RPGs on Nintendo Switch - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 13:00
Our picks for the best role-playing games on Nintendo's system.

Using Rust at a Startup: A Cautionary Tale

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 13:00
"Rust is awesome, for certain things. But think twice before picking it up for a startup that needs to move fast," Matt Welsh, co-founder and chief executive of and former Google engineering director, writes in a blog post. From the post: I hesitated writing this post, because I don't want to start, or get into, a holy war over programming languages. (Just to get the flame bait out of the way, Visual Basic is the best language ever!) But I've had a number of people ask me about my experience with Rust and whether they should pick up Rust for their projects. So, I'd like to share some of the pros and cons that I see of using Rust in a startup setting, where moving fast and scaling teams is really important. Right up front, I should say that Rust is very good at what it's designed to do, and if your project needs the specific benefits of Rust (a systems language with high performance, super strong typing, no need for garbage collection, etc.) then Rust is a great choice. But I think that Rust is often used in situations where it's not a great fit, and teams pay the price of Rust's complexity and overhead without getting much benefit. My primary experience from Rust comes from working with it for a little more than 2 years at a previous startup. This project was a cloud-based SaaS product that is, more-or-less, a conventional CRUD app: it is a set of microservices that provide a REST and gRPC API endpoint in front of a database, as well as some other back-end microservices (themselves implemented in a combination of Rust and Python). Rust was used primarily because a couple of the founders of the company were Rust experts. Over time, we grew the team considerably (increasing the engineering headcount by nearly 10x), and the size and complexity of the codebase grew considerably as well. As the team and codebase grew, I felt that, over time, we were paying an increasingly heavy tax for continuing to use Rust. Development was sometimes sluggish, launching new features took longer than I would have expected, and the team was feeling a real productivity hit from that early decision to use Rust. Rewriting the code in another language would have, in the long run, made development much more nimble and sped up delivery time, but finding the time for the major rewrite work would have been exceedingly difficult. So we were kind of stuck with Rust unless we decided to bite the bullet and rewrite a large amount of the code. Rust is supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread, so why was it not working so well for us? [...] Despite being some of the smartest and most experienced developers I had worked with, many people on the team (myself included) struggled to understand the canonical ways to do certain things in Rust, how to grok the often arcane error messages from the compiler, or how to understand how key libraries worked (more on this below). We started having weekly "learn Rust" sessions for the team to help share knowledge and expertise. This was all a significant drain on the team's productivity and morale as everyone felt the slow rate of development. As a comparison point of what it looks like to adopt a new language on a software team, one of my teams at Google was one of the first to switch entirely from C++ to Go, and it took no more than about two weeks before the entire 15-odd-person team was quite comfortably coding in Go for the first time.

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IBM and Maersk Abandon Ship on TradeLens Logistics Blockchain

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 12:23
Maersk and IBM will wind down their shipping blockchain TradeLens by early 2023, ending the pair's five-year project to improve global trade by connecting supply chains on a permissioned blockchain. From a report: TradeLens emerged during the "enterprise blockchain" era of 2018 as a high-flying effort to make inter-corporate trade more efficient. Open to shipping and freight operators, its members could validate the transaction of goods as recorded on a transparent digital ledger. The idea was to save its member-shipping companies money by connecting their world. But the network was only as strong as its participants; despite some early wins, TradeLens ultimately failed to catch on with a critical mass of its target industry. "TradeLens has not reached the level of commercial viability necessary to continue work and meet the financial expectations as an independent business," Maersk Head of Business Platforms Rotem Hershko said in a statement.

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Home Equity Loan Rates for December 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 12:07
A home equity loan can give you a lump sum of cash at a low interest rate, but you must use your home as collateral to secure the loan.

Get Little Tikes Toys and Play Sets for Up to 58% Off Today at Amazon - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:46
If you're holiday shopping for young children, you won't want to miss these deals.

Smartphones Wiped 97% of Compact Digital Camera Market

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:40
Japanese camera manufacturers are bidding farewell to a once-major component of their operations, with Panasonic Holdings and Nikon suspending development of entry-level point-and-shoot cameras under their flagship brands. From a report: The companies will instead focus resources on pricier mirrorless models going forward, aiming to navigate a market upended by smartphones. Casual photographers flocked to compact digital cameras in the mid- to late 1990s, embracing their affordability and portability compared with single-lens reflex cameras. Global shipments reached 110 million units in 2008, according to the Camera & Imaging Products Association (CIPA). But as the iPhone and other camera-equipped smartphones won general consumers over, the camera industry fell off a cliff. Global shipments of compact digital cameras plunged 97% from the 2008 level to just 3.01 million units in 2021. Panasonic has been scaling back its model offerings in Lumix compact digital cameras, which debuted in 2001 and enjoyed high spots in domestic rankings at one point. The company has not released any new product for the price range below 50,000 yen ($370 at current rates) or so since 2019 and has no plans to develop a low-priced model going forward. "We've halted developing any new models that can be replaced by a smartphone," a spokesperson said. Panasonic will continue production of current offerings. But its focus going forward will be on developing high-end mirrorless cameras for photography enthusiasts and professionals. Nikon has suspended development of new compact models in its Coolpix line. It now offers just two models with high-powered lenses but it is "closely monitoring market trends" to determine production volumes going forward, according to an official. Nikon has also withdrawn from development of SLR cameras to specialize in upmarket mirrorless single-lens models. These companies are following in rivals' footsteps. Fujifilm has discontinued production of its FinePix compact cameras and will develop only the X100V series and other pricier models.

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Compare Current Refinance Rates in December 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:37
Reducing your mortgage payments is one of the key benefits of refinancing with a new home loan.

Watch Serbia vs. Switzerland World Cup 2022 Match From Anywhere - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:30
Serbia and Switzerland can each advance with a win on Friday in the final game of Group G.

Watch Brazil vs. Cameroon World Cup 2022 Match From Anywhere - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:30
Brazil has already qualified for the round of 16, and Cameroon can still advance with a win on Friday.

Best Internet Promotions of December 2022 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:06
Tis the season for gift cards. Here are the best gift cards and other freebies you can get with your internet service in December.

Pentagon Debuts Its New Stealth Bomber, the B-21 Raider

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-12-02 11:06
America's newest nuclear stealth bomber is making its public debut after years of secret development and as part of the Pentagon's answer to rising concerns over a future conflict with China. From a report: The B-21 Raider is the first new American bomber aircraft in more than 30 years. Almost every aspect of the program is classified. Ahead of its unveiling Friday at an Air Force facility in Palmdale, California, only artists' renderings of the warplane have been released. Those few images reveal that the Raider resembles the black nuclear stealth bomber it will eventually replace, the B-2 Spirit. The bomber is part of the Pentagon's efforts to modernize all three legs of its nuclear triad, which includes silo-launched nuclear ballistic missiles and submarine-launched warheads, as it shifts from the counterterrorism campaigns of recent decades to meet China's rapid military modernization. China is on track to have 1,500 nuclear weapons by 2035, and its gains in hypersonics, cyber warfare, space capabilities and other areas present "the most consequential and systemic challenge to U.S. national security and the free and open international system," the Pentagon said this week in its annual China report.

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Apple's iPhone Emergency SOS Helps Locate Stranded Man in Alaska - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-12-02 10:59
Rescuers were able to find the stranded man after he activated the new feature.