Computers & Linux News

SoundCloud Announces Layoffs of 'Up To 20%' of Global Workforce

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 06:00
SoundCloud CEO Michael Weissman told employees in an email that the company "will be making reductions to our global team that will impact up to 20% of our company." "Making changes that affect people is incredibly hard. But it is one that is necessary given the challenging economic climate and financial market headwinds," he added. "Today's change positions SoundCloud for the long run and puts us on a path to sustained profitability. We have already begun to make prudent financial decisions across the company and that now extends to a reduction to our team." Billboard reports: In a statement, a rep for SoundCloud confirmed that the company "announced an approximate 20% reduction of its global workforce due to a significant company transformation and the challenging economic and financial environment." "During this difficult time," the rep added, "we are focused on providing the support and resources to those transitioning while reinforcing our commitment to executing our mission to lead what's next in music." Back in 2017, the company cut around 40% of its workforce, which then-CEO Alex Ljung said was necessary for the company to "control" its "independent future." Billboard notes that SoundCloud has moved towards profitability in the five years since. "The company obtained a $170 million infusion led by The Raine Group and Temasek and a $75 million investment from Pandora parent SiriusXM." This led to SoundCloud announcing its first profitable quarter in 2020. Earlier this year, the company said its annual revenue run rate was around $300 million.

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'The Sandman' Review: Netflix's Dark Fantasy Is a Dream Come True - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 03:03
This long-awaited TV adaptation of Neil Gaiman's iconic comic is a worthy translation.

HBO Max, Discovery+ To Merge Into Single Streaming Platform Starting In Summer 2023

SlashDot - Fri, 2022-08-05 03:00
Warner Bros announced that HBO Max and Discovery+ will launch in the U.S. as a single service in the summer of 2023. Variety reports: "At the end of the day, putting all the content together was the only way we saw to make this a viable business," [said JB Perrette, CEO and president of global streaming and interactive for Warner Bros. Discovery, on the company's Q2 earnings call]. Bringing HBO Max and Discovery+ together is aimed at cutting churn so "there's something for everyone in the household," he said. WBD did not announce what the new brand name for the merged service will be, nor did execs discuss pricing for the unified streamer. Warner Bros. Discovery is initially focused on the ad-supported and ad-free versions of the combined HBO Max-Discovery+, Perrette said, but is also "exploring how to reach customers in the free, ad-supported space" with content that is totally different from what's on the premium VOD services. HBO may or may not be part of the name of the unified direct-to-consumer WBD platform; Perrette said the company is doing research on consumer perception of the HBO Max name. But, HBO will continue to be a major brand: "HBO will always be the beacon and the ultimate brand that stands for television quality," he said on the call. The merged HBO Max-Discovery+ will combine the best elements of both services, said Perrette. He said HBO Max has had "performance and customer" issues but offers a rich set of features; Discovery+ has more limited features but provides a more robust underlying delivery capability. The media company plans to take the unified HBO Max-Discovery+ platform to Latin America following the summer 2023 rollout in the United States, adds Variety. Europe will see it in early 2024; Asia Pacific in mid-2024; and additional markets in fall 2024.

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Verizon Joins T-Mobile in Layoffs As Wireless Players Feel the Pressure - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2022-08-05 00:03
America's two largest wireless providers are the latest companies that have reduced staff.

From Software Developer To CEO: Red Hat's Matt Hicks On His Journey To the Top

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 23:30
ZDNet's Stephanie Condon spoke with Red Hat's new CEO, Matt Hicks, a veteran of the company that's been working there for over 14 years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from their discussion: Matt Hicks, Red Hat's new CEO, doesn't have the background of your typical chief executive. He studied computer hardware engineering in college. He began his career as an IT consultant at IBM. His on-the-ground experience, however, is one of his core assets as the company's new leader, Hicks says. "The markets are changing really quickly," he tells ZDNet. "And just having that intuition -- of where hardware is going, having spent time in the field with what enterprise IT shops struggle with and what they do well, and then having a lot of years in Red Hat engineering -- I know that's intuition that I'll lean on... Around that, there's a really good team at Red Hat, and I get to lean on their expertise of how to best deliver, but that I love having that core intuition." Hicks believes his core knowledge helps him to guide the company's strategic bets. While his experience is an asset, Hicks says it's not a given that a good developer will make a good leader. You also need to know how to communicate your ideas persuasively. "You can't just be the best coder in the room," he says. "Especially in STEM and engineering, the softer skills of learning how to present, learning how to influence a group and show up really well in a leadership presentation or at a conference -- they really start to define people's careers." Hicks says that focus on influence is an important part of his role now that he didn't relish earlier in his career. "I think a lot of people don't love that," he says. "And yet, you can be the best engineer on the planet and work hard, but if you can't be heard, if you can't influence, it's harder to deliver on those opportunities." Hicks embraced the art of persuasion to advance his career. And as an open-source developer, he learned to embrace enterprise products to advance Red Hat's mission. He joined Red Hat just a few years after Paul Cormier -- then Red Hat's VP of engineering, and later Hicks' predecessor as CEO -- moved the company from its early distribution, Red Hat Linux, to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It was a move that not everyone liked. [...] "As he settles into his new role as CEO, the main challenge ahead of Hicks will be picking the right industries and partners to pursue at the edge," writes Condon. "Red Hat is already working at the edge, in a range of different industries. It's working with General Motors on Ultifi, GM's end-to-end software platform, and it's partnering with ABB, one of the world's leading manufacturing automation companies. It's also working with Verizon on hybrid mobile edge computing. Even so, the opportunity is vast. Red Hat expects to see around $250 billion in spending at the edge by 2025." "There'll be a tremendous growth of applications that are written to be able to deliver to that," Hicks says. "And so our goals in the short term are to pick the industries and build impactful partnerships in those industries -- because it's newer, and it's evolving."

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Even Beyond the Disease, COVID Has Impacted Our Heart Health - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 23:00
Many Americans have experienced a heart-related issue since the pandemic started.

US Attorneys General Will Take Legal Action Against Telecom Providers Enabling Robocalls

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 22:02
The Attorneys General of all 50 states have joined forces in hopes of giving teeth to the seemingly never-ending fight against robocalls. Engadget reports: North Carolina AG Josh Stein, Indiana AG Todd Rokita and Ohio AG Dave Yost are leading the formation of the new Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. In Stein's announcement, he said the group will focus on taking legal action against telecoms, particularly gateway providers, allowing or turning a blind eye to foreign robocalls made to US numbers. He explained that gateway providers routing foreign phone calls into the US telephone network have the responsibility under the law to ensure the traffic they're bringing in is legal. Stein said that they mostly aren't taking any action to keep robocalls out of the US phone network, though, and they're even intentionally allowing robocall traffic through in return for steady revenue in many cases. Stein said in a statement: "We're... going to take action against phone companies that violate state and federal laws. I'm proud to create this nationwide task force to hold companies accountable when they turn a blind eye to the robocallers they're letting on to their networks so they can make more money. I've already brought one pathbreaking lawsuit against an out-of-state gateway provider, and I won't hesitate to take legal action against others who break our laws and bombard North Carolinians with these harmful, unlawful calls."

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Apple Might Remove the Headphone Jack From Its Next Entry-Level iPad

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 21:25
Apple's upcoming entry-level iPad is rumored to cut the 3.5mm headphone jack, joining the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and the entire iPhone lineup. The Verge reports: MySmartPrice says the CAD renders are sourced from a case maker working on accessories for what will be the 10th-generation iPad. It's a substantial redesign from the classic iPad design that has been left largely untouched for years; Apple increased the display size slightly in 2017 and has made other internal hardware upgrades, but the overall look has remained consistent. It appears that's about to change, with the new iPad sharing the same flat-sides aesthetic as recent iPhones, iPads, the 14-inch / 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 2022 MacBook Air. Both 9to5Mac and MacRumors reported on the renders. But as always, treat these easily faked images with a healthy amount of skepticism. The home button remains present, which means so do the sizable bezels above and below the display. MySmartPrice reports that the screen should be larger than the current 10.2-inch model, and there's a redesigned camera on the iPad's back reminiscent of the module from the iPhone X. The revamped iPad has a USB-C port, which would complete the transition for Apple's tablet line. These renders also include quad speakers, and that's where I get somewhat doubtful of what we're seeing: only the iPad Pro is currently outfitted with four speakers, so if this pans out, the base-level iPad would be leapfrogging both the iPad Air and Mini in the audio department. That strikes me as unlikely, but it could also serve as Apple's justification for nixing the headphone jack from a product used in many classrooms and other scenarios where support for affordable wired headphones has been meaningful.

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Crunchyroll Closes Deal To Acquire Anime Superstore Right Stuf

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 20:45
Crunchyroll announced that it's acquired Right Stuf, one of the world's leading online anime superstores. "Expanding Crunchyroll's eCommerce offerings, the acquisition aims to serve anime fans and collectors an even wider array of merchandise for online purchase including manga, home video, figures, games, music and everything in between," writes the company in a post. From the report: Founded in 1987, Right Stuf is a leading consumer source for anime pop culture merchandise online. By visiting its eCommerce portal, enthusiasts and collectors can find thousands of products, including Blu-rays, manga books, music, figurines, collectables, and more. Right Stuf also offers licensed anime home video products through its own label. "For 35 years, Right Stuf's mission has been to connect anime fans with the products they love," said Shawne Kleckner, CEO of Right Stuf. "Joining forces with Crunchyroll allows us to accelerate and scale this effort more than ever before. There has never been a more exciting time to be an anime fan than today!" Kleckner and the Right Stuf team will join Crunchyroll's Emerging Businesses organization, led by Terry Li. Sony acquired Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion from AT&T, in a deal that closed in August 2021.

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Record Labels' War On ISPs and Piracy Nets Multiple Settlements With Charter

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 20:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Charter Communications has agreed to settle piracy lawsuits filed by the major record labels, which accused the cable Internet provider of failing to terminate the accounts of subscribers who illegally download copyrighted songs. Sony, Universal, Warner, and their various subsidiaries sued Charter in US District Court in Colorado in March 2019 in a suit that claimed the ISP helps subscribers pirate music by selling packages with higher Internet speeds. They filed another lawsuit against Charter in the same court in August 2021. Both cases were settled. The record labels and Charter told the court of their settlements on Tuesday in filings (PDF) that said (PDF), "The Parties hereby notify the Court that they have resolved the above-captioned action." Upon the settlements, the court vacated the pending trials and asked the parties to submit dismissal papers within 28 days. Charter subsidiary Bright House Networks also settled (PDF) a similar lawsuit in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida this week. The record labels' case in Florida was settled one day before a scheduled trial, as TorrentFreak reported Tuesday. The case was dismissed with prejudice (PDF) after the settlement. No details on any of the settlements were given in the documents notifying the courts. A three-week jury trial in one of the Colorado cases was scheduled to begin in June 2023 but is no longer needed. The question for Internet users is whether the settlements mean that Charter will be more aggressive in terminating subscribers who illegally download copyrighted material. Charter declined to comment today when we asked if it agreed to increase account terminations of subscribers accused of piracy. "Even if the settlements have no specific provision on terminating subscribers, Charter presumably has to pay the record labels to settle the claims," adds Ars' Jon Brodkin. "That could make the country's second-biggest ISP more likely to terminate subscribers accused of piracy in order to prevent future lawsuits."

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Google Adds Bolded Results to Quoted Searches - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 19:47
Putting search terms in double quotes will be more visible in Search.

Tutanota Cries Antitrust Foul Over Microsoft Teams Blocking Sign-Ups For Its Email Users

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 19:20
Microsoft is being called out for blocking users of the end-to-end encrypted email service Tutanota from registering an account with its cloud-based collaboration platform, Teams, if they try to do that using a Tutanota email address. TechCrunch reports: The problem, which has been going on unrectified for some time -- with an initial complaint raised with Microsoft support back in January 2021 -- appears to have arisen because it treats Tutanota as a corporate email, rather than what it actually is (and has always been), an email service. This misclassification means that when a Tutanota email user tries to use this email address to register an account with Teams they get a classic "computer says no' response -- with the interface blocking the registration and suggesting the person "contact your admin or try a different email." "When the first Tutanota user registered a Teams account, they were assigned the domain. That's why now everyone who logs in with Tutanota address should report to their 'admin' (see screenshot)," explains a spokeswoman for Tutanota when asked why they think this is happening. To get past this denial -- and register a Teams account -- the Tutanota user has to enter a non-Tutanota email. (Such as, for example, a Microsoft email address.) To get past this denial -- and register a Teams account -- the Tutanota user has to enter a non-Tutanota email. (Such as, for example, a Microsoft email address.) In a blog post detailing the saga, Tutanota co-founder, Matthias Pfau, dubs Microsoft's behavior a "severe anti-competitive practice." "Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are discussing stronger antitrust legislation to regulate Big Tech. These laws are badly needed as the example of Microsoft blocking Tutanota users from registering a Teams account demonstrates," he writes. "The problem: Big Tech companies have the market power to harm smaller competitors with some very easy steps like refusing smaller companies' customers from using their own services." "This is just one example of how Microsoft can and does abuse its dominant market position to harm competitors, which in turn also harms consumers," he adds. [...] "As earlier discussed, we are unable to make your domain a public domain. The domain has already been used for Microsoft Teams. If teams have been used with a specific domain, it can't work as a vanity/public domain," runs another of Microsoft's support's shrugging-off responses. Tutanota kept on trying to press for a reason why Microsoft could not reclassify the domain for weeks -- but just hit the same brick wall denial. Hence it's going public with its complaint now. "The conversation went back and forth for at lest six weeks until we finally gave up -- due to the repeated response that they would not change this," the spokeswoman added. In an update, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "We are currently looking into the issue raised by Tutanota."

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Xenoblade Chronicles 3 DLC Guide: Expansion Pass Price, New Content and More - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 19:00
Here's everything you need to know about Xenoblade Chronicles 3's DLC pass.

Visa, Mastercard Suspend Payment For Ad Purchases On PornHub and MindGeek

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 18:40
Visa and Mastercard said Thursday card payments for advertising on Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek would be suspended after a lawsuit stoked controversy over whether the payments giants could be facilitating child pornography. CNBC reports: A federal judge in California on Friday denied Visa's motion to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman who accuses the payment processor of knowingly facilitating the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub and other sites operated by parent company MindGeek. Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly said in a statement Thursday that he strongly disagrees with this court and is confident in his position. "Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse," Kelly said. "It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity. Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter this, and other illegal activity on our network." Kelly said the court decision created uncertainty about the role of TrafficJunky, MindGeek's advertising arm, and accordingly, the company will suspend its Visa acceptance privileges until further notice. During this suspension, Visa cards will not be able to be used to purchase advertising on any sites, including Pornhub or other MindGeek-affiliated sites, Kelly said. "It is Visa's policy to follow the law of every country in which we do business. We do not make moral judgments on legal purchases made by consumers, and we respect the rightful role of lawmakers to make decisions about what is legal and what is not," Kelly said. "Visa can be used only at MindGeek studio sites that feature adult professional actors in legal adult entertainment." Separately, Mastercard told CNBC it's directing financial institutions to suspend acceptance of its products at TrafficJunky following the court ruling. "New facts from last week's court ruling made us aware of advertising revenue outside of our view that appears to provide Pornhub with indirect funding," a statement from Mastercard said. "This step will further enforce our December 2020 decision to terminate the use of our products on that site." At that time, Visa also suspended sites that contained user-generated content and acceptance on those sites has not been reinstated.

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Twitter says Elon Musk's claims are 'factually inaccurate' - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 18:20
The social media company shares its response to allegations Musk made in a countersuit.

Clubhouse Will Let You Create Your Own Curated House - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 18:18
The beta is available, but you'll need to fill out the sign-up form to get access to it and have your "house" approved.

The Founder of GeoCities On What Killed the 'Old Internet'

SlashDot - Thu, 2022-08-04 18:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo, written by Jody Serrano: In the early aughts, my wheezing dialup connection often operated as if it were perpetually out of breath. Thus, unlike my childhood friends, it was near to impossible for me to watch videos, TV shows, or listen to music. Far from feeling limited, I felt like I was lucky, for I had access to an encyclopedia of lovingly curated pages about anything I wanted to know -- which in those days was anime -- the majority of which was conveniently located on GeoCities. For all the zoomers scrunching up their brows, here's a primer. Back in the 1990s, before the birth of modern web hosting household names like GoDaddy and WP Engine, it wasn't exactly easy or cheap to publish a personal website. This all changed when GeoCities came on the scene in 1994. The company gave anyone their own little space of the web if they wanted it, providing users with roughly 2 MB of space for free to create a website on any topic they wished. Millions took GeoCities up on its offer, creating their own homemade websites with web counters, flashing text, floating banners, auto-playing sound files, and Comic Sans. Unlike today's Wild Wild Internet, websites on GeoCities were organized into virtual neighborhoods, or communities, built around themes. "HotSprings" was dedicated to health and fitness, while "Area 51" was for sci-fi and fantasy nerds. There was a bottom-up focus on users and the content they created, a mirror of what the public internet was like in its infancy. Overall, at least 38 million webpages were built on GeoCities. At one point, it was the third most-visited domain online. Yahoo acquired GeoCities in 1999 for $3.6 billion. The company lived on for a decade more until Yahoo shut it down in 2009, deleting millions of sites. Nearly two decades have passed since GeoCities, founded by David Bohnett, made its debut, and there is no doubt that the internet is a very different place than it was then. No longer filled with webpages on random subjects made by passionate folks, it now feels like we live in a cyberspace dominated by skyscrapers -- named Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and so on -- instead of neighborhoods. [...] We can, however, ask GeoCities' founder what he thinks of the internet of today, subsumed by social media networks, hate speech, and more corporate than ever. Bohnett now focuses on funding entrepreneurs through Baroda Ventures, an early-stage tech fund he founded, and on philanthropy with the David Bohnett Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to social justice and social activism that he chairs. Right off the bat, Bohnett says something that strikes me. It may, in fact, be the sentence that summarizes the key distinction between the internet of the '90s-early 2000s and the internet we have today. "GeoCities was not about self-promotion," Bohnett told Gizmodo in an interview. "It was about sharing your interest and your knowledge." When asked to share his thoughts on the internet of today, Bohnett said: "... The heart of GeoCities was sharing your knowledge and passions about subjects with other people. It really wasn't about what you had to eat and where you've traveled. [...] It wasn't anything about your face." He added: "So, what has surprised me is how far away we've gotten from that original intent and how difficult it is [now]. It's so fractured these days for people to find individual communities. [...] I've been surprised at sort of the evolution away from self-generated content and more toward centralized programing and more toward sort of the self-promotion that we've seen on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok." Bohnett went on to say that he thinks it's important to remember that "the pace of innovation on the internet continues to accelerate, meaning we're not near done. In the early days when you had dial up and it was the desktop, how could you possibly envision an Uber?" "We're still in that trajectory where there's going to be various technologies and ways of communicating with each other, [as well as] wearable devices, blockchain technology, virtual reality, that will be as astounding as Uber seemed in the early days of GeoCities," added Bohnett. "I'm very, very excited about the future, which is why I continue to invest in early-stage startups because as I say, the pace of innovation accelerates and builds on top of itself. It's so exciting to see where we might go."

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Samsung Galaxy Z Fold 4 and Z Flip 4: Apparent Leak Suggests Price Hike - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 18:00
Widespread foldable adoption will be difficult at high prices.

AT&T Set to Bring HBO Max Back to Wireless Plans - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 17:57
When, however, is still not clear.

The 'Barbie' Movie Starring Margot Robbie: What to Know - CNET

CNET News - Thu, 2022-08-04 17:48
Lace up your skates and let's get into it.