SlashDot

Subscribe to SlashDot feed SlashDot
News for nerds, stuff that matters
Updated: 39 min 10 sec ago

'Meme Stock' AMTD Digital Just Surpassed Goldman Sachs With a 22,000% Gain

Wed, 2022-08-03 16:05
The world, apparently, has a new financial giant. From a report: AMTD Digital, a Hong Kong-based company that listed in New York less than three weeks ago, has surged so much that its market value hit more than $310 billion as of Tuesday's close. That means the firm -- which develops digital businesses, including financial services -- is worth more than Bank of America, Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs Group, despite reporting just $25 million in revenue for the year ended April 2021. At least on paper, that makes it the third-biggest financial company in the world, trailing just JPMorgan Chase and Berkshire Hathaway. While those firms have a long list of shareholders, AMTD Digital has a convoluted ownership structure that ultimately leads to one key name: Calvin Choi, an ex-UBS Group AG banker, who's currently fighting an industry ban in Hong Kong for failing to disclose conflicts of interest.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

World of Warcraft Mobile Game Reportedly Cancelled by Blizzard After Finance Dispute

Wed, 2022-08-03 15:25
A World of Warcraft mobile game has reportedly been quietly canceled due to financing disputes. From a report: According to Bloomberg, the upcoming smartphone game had been in development for three years but has now been canceled due to a dispute between Activision Blizzard and NetEase. "The two companies disagreed over terms and ultimately called a halt to the project, which had been kept under wraps," said a source close to the deal. The project, referred to as "Neptune" by those working on it, was said to be a Warcraft spin-off, set during a different period to World of Warcraft. It's unknown whether it would have directly tied into either Warcraft, Warcraft II, or Warcraft III. The good news is that it's not Warcraft Arclight Rumble -- the upcoming mobile "tower offense" game due to release later this year. As far back as February this year, Activision Blizzard revealed that it was working on multiple mobile Warcraft titles, and this was thought to be one of the big reasons behind Microsoft's acquisition of the company for a reported $69 million earlier this year. Now, it looks as though those mobile games may be up in the air -- after all, the extent of Activision Blizzard's working relationship with NetEase following this high-profile cancellation is uncertain. Another of Activision Blizzard's mobile games, a Pokemon Go-style AR game, was also canceled.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spain Puts Limits on Air Conditioning and Heating To Save Energy

Wed, 2022-08-03 14:45
Spain has announced new energy-saving measures, including limits on air conditioning and heating temperatures in public and large commercial buildings, as it becomes the latest European country to seek to reduce its energy consumption and its dependence on Russian oil and gas. From a report: Under a decree that comes into effect in seven days' time and applies to public buildings, shopping centres, cinemas, theatres, rail stations and airports, heating should not be set above 19C (66.2F) and air conditioning should not be set below 27C (80.6F). Doors will need to be closed so as not to waste energy, and lights in shop windows must be switched off after 10pm. The premises in question will be required to display signs or screens that explain the energy-saving initiatives. Although Spain is not as dependent on Russian energy supplies as many other EU countries, it has agreed to a 7-8% reduction in gas use. The measures, which were published in Tuesday's edition of the official state gazette, will remain in force until November 2023. "[This] lays out a series of measures to save energy and use it more efficiently, which are urgent and necessary when it comes to reducing energy consumption in general, and reducing our dependence on energy outside the Spanish economy," the decree said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Having Rich Childhood Friends is Linked To a Higher Salary as an Adult

Wed, 2022-08-03 14:02
Children who grow up in low-income households but who make friends that come from higher-income homes are more likely to have higher salaries in adulthood than those who have fewer such friends. From a report: "There's been a lot of speculation... that the individual's access to social capital, their social networks and the community they live in might matter a lot for a child's chance to rise out of poverty," says Raj Chetty at Harvard University. To find out if that holds up, he and his colleagues analysed anonymised Facebook data belonging to 72.2 million people in the US between the ages of 25 and 44, accounting for 84 per cent of the age group's US population. It is relatively nationally representative of that age group, he says. The team used a machine-learning algorithm to determine each person's socio-economic status (SES), combining data such as the median income of people who live in the same region, the person's age and sex and the value of their phone model as a proxy for individual income. The median household income was found to be close to $58,000. The researchers then split the individuals into two groups: those who were below the median SES and those who were above. If people made friends randomly, you would expect half of each person's friends to be in each income group. But instead, for people below the median SES, only 38 per cent of their friends were above the median SES. Meanwhile, 70.6 per cent of the friends of people above the median SES were also a part of the same group.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ask Slashdot: Movies, Shows and Books From This Year That You Really Enjoyed?

Wed, 2022-08-03 13:00
An anonymous reader writes: Haven't seen recommendation threads on Slashdot of late. Was curious what my fellow readers have watched and read this year that you enjoyed?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

India To Order Use of Cleaner Fuels Under Push for Net-Zero

Wed, 2022-08-03 12:40
India plans to order consumers to use cleaner fuels and aims to establish a carbon market under legislation to bolster the country's push to hit net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2070. From a report: The world's third-biggest emitter will seek to mandate the use of a minimum share of non-fossil fuel sources including biomass, ethanol, green hydrogen and ammonia, both for power generation or as a feedstock for manufacturing, according to a document introduced in Parliament on Wednesday. New laws would also penalize industrial operations, vehicles, ships and large buildings for not meeting energy consumption standards. Changes to the Energy Conservation (Amendment) Bill have a "special focus on the promotion of new and renewable energy" and the country's so-called National Hydrogen Mission, a strategy aimed at establishing India as a key global hub for development of the nascent zero-emissions fuel, according to the legislation. The proposed policy changes come as India chases Prime Minister Narendra Modi's target to cut 1 billion tons of carbon emissions by the end of this decade, and to reach to net-zero by 2070. They also coincide with the country's pledge to cut emissions by 45% from 2005 levels and use non-fossil fuel sources to power half its installed generation capacity by the end of this decade.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Meet Meets Duo Meet, With Meet in Duo But Duo Isn't Going Into Meet

Wed, 2022-08-03 12:05
In June, Google announced that it's bringing the features of Meet into the Duo app -- and that transformation begins today. Google isn't technically getting rid of either app; Duo's getting rebranded as Meet with the features from both apps, and Meet's staying Meet. From a report: Yes, it sounds pretty confusing, but by the end of this process, there will be just two apps: "Meet Original" (the standard Meet app that will eventually get phased out) and the new Meet that combines both Meet and Duo. The combined app will let you conduct both group and one-on-one calls as well as hold meetings.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Biden Adviser Tim Wu To Leave After Shaping Antitrust Policy

Wed, 2022-08-03 11:22
White House adviser Tim Wu, who worked to shape the Biden administration's agenda to increase economic competition, is set to leave his position in the coming months, Bloomberg News reported Wednesday, citing people familiar with the move. From a report: Wu is expected to return to antitrust law at Columbia Law School after serving as special assistant to the president for technology and competition policy since March 2021. He was the key architect behind President Joe Biden's executive order to bolster competition last year, which included 72 initiatives by more than a dozen federal agencies. The administration focused on improving competition within industries including technology, health care and agriculture.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

India Withdraws Personal Data Protection Bill That Alarmed Tech Giants

Wed, 2022-08-03 10:43
The Indian government is withdrawing its long-awaited Personal Data Protection Bill that drew scrutiny from several privacy advocates and tech giants who feared the legislation could restrict how they managed sensitive information while giving government broad powers to access it. From a report: The move comes as a surprise as lawmakers had indicated recently that the bill, unveiled in 2019, could see the "light of the day" soon. New Delhi received dozen of amendments and recommendations from a Joint Committee of Parliament that "identified many issues that were relevant but beyond the scope of a modern digital privacy law," said India's Junior IT Minister Rajeev Chandrasekhar. The government will now work on a "comprehensive legal framework" and present a new bill, he added. The Personal Data Protection Bill sought to empower Indian citizens with rights relating to their data. India, the world's second largest internet market, has seen an explosion of personal data in the past decade as hundreds of citizens came online for the first time and started consuming scores of apps. But there has been uncertainty on how much power the individuals, private companies and government agencies have over it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Podcast Guests Are Paying Up To $50,000 To Appear on Popular Shows

Wed, 2022-08-03 10:03
People will confess all sorts of things to podcasters, from their unpopular political beliefs or embarrassing romantic mishaps to their worst fears. But there's one revelation certain guests will never disclose -- namely, that they're paying thousands of dollars just to be interviewed on the show. From a report: Welcome to the golden era of pay-for-play podcasting, when guests pay handsomely to be interviewed for an entire episode. In exchange, the host gets some revenue, fills out the programming calendar, and might bag a future advertiser. Determining exactly how widespread the practice is can be tricky. Disclosures, if included at all, might last only a few fleeting seconds in an hourlong interview, and various hosts use different language to describe the nature of such relationships. What percentage of shows accepts payment in exchange for airtime is also difficult to say. According to nearly a dozen interviews with industry sources, it appears the practice is particularly popular among podcasts in the wellness, cryptocurrency, and business arenas. In an age when social media influencers routinely get paid for mentioning a brand in an Instagram post or YouTube video, this marriage of convenience shouldn't come as a complete shock. Still, not everyone thinks it's a good idea. "As someone who's making money for that type of advertorial content, it should be disclosed," says Craig Delsack, a New York-based media lawyer. "It's just good practice and builds trust with the podcaster. It can't be the Wild West." US regulators also agree that consumers might be misled when they don't know a media mention only occurred in exchange for compensation. Even so, the phenomenon appears to be thriving in podcasting. Online platform Guestio has raised more than $1 million to build a marketplace devoted entirely to brokering paid guest appearances. On Guestio, the flow of money sometimes reverses direction, and a podcaster provides payment to land a particularly coveted guest such as boxer Manny Pacquiao, who charges $15,000 for an appearance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

TSMC Warns Taiwan-China War Would Make Everybody Losers

Wed, 2022-08-03 09:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: If China were to invade Taiwan, the most-advanced chip factory in the world would be rendered "not operable," TSMC Chair Mark Liu said in an English-language interview with CNN this week. In the undated interview, Liu said that if Taiwan were invaded by China, the chipmaker's plant would not be able to operate because it relies on global supply chains. "Nobody can control TSMC by force. If you take a military force or invasion, you will render TSMC factory not operable," Liu said. "Because this is such a sophisticated manufacturing facility, it depends on real-time connection with the outside world, with Europe, with Japan, with U.S., from materials to chemicals to spare parts to engineering software and diagnosis." The remarks were aired as tensions between China and Taiwan have escalated in recent days as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visits the island. "The war brings no winners, everybody's losers," Liu said. Liu compared a potential conflict in Taiwan to Russia's invasion of Ukraine, saying that while the two conflicts are very different, the economic impact to other countries would be similar. He encouraged political leaders to try to avoid war. "Ukraine war is not good for any of the sides, it's lose-lose-lose scenarios," Liu said. Liu said an invasion of the territory would cause economic turmoil for China, Taiwan and Western countries. He said that TSMC sells chips to consumer-facing Chinese companies that need the company's services and the supply of advanced computer chips. "How can we avoid war? How can we ensure that the engine of the world economy continues humming, and let's have a fair competition," Liu said. Further reading: US To Stop TSMC, Intel From Adding Advanced Chip Fabs In China

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A Handful of States Are Driving Nearly All US Electric Car Adoption

Wed, 2022-08-03 06:00
Using monthly vehicle registration data, Axios is tracking the transition to electric vehicles in the United States. What they found is that a handful of states are driving nearly all the country's electric car adoption. From the report: California -- no surprise -- leads the U.S. in electric vehicle ownership, accounting for 39% of all EVs registered nationwide. Look more closely at the numbers, however, and it turns out EVs represent less than 2% of all vehicles on the road in the Golden State. [...] 4.6% of the new vehicles registered in the U.S. this past May were electric, according to the [S&P Global Mobility's] most recent data. That's more than double EVs' share of monthly registrations in May 2021 (1.9%). EVs still account for only about 0.6% of all registered vehicles in the U.S. Take California's EVs away, and it's just 0.4%. As of April 1, Florida has the second-highest share of the country's EVs, at 6.7%. Then comes Texas (5.4%), Washington (4.4%), and New York (3.6%). Yet, EVs account for only 1% or less of all vehicles within each of these states. Besides California, the states or areas with the highest share of EVs within their own borders: Hawaii (1.3%), and the District of Columbia (1.2%). "Tesla's brand loyalty more than doubled in the month of May and was higher than any brand in the industry, including Toyota and Ford," S&P Global Mobility analyst Tom Libby tells Axios, noting that the Ford Mustang Mach-E, Hyundai Ioniq 5 and Kia EV6 are growing in popularity. "We're just seeing the tip of the iceberg in terms of what's coming," says Libby.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dark Matter From 12 Billion Years Ago Detected For the First Time

Wed, 2022-08-03 03:00
Scientists have discovered dark matter around galaxies that existed about 12 billion years ago, the earliest detection yet of this mysterious substance that dominates the universe. Space.com reports: The findings, achieved by a collaboration led by researchers from Japan's Nagoya University, suggest that dark matter in the early universe is less 'clumpy' than predicted by many current cosmological models. If further work confirms this theory, it could change scientists' understanding of how galaxies evolve and suggest that the fundamental rules governing the cosmos could have been different when the 13.7 billion-year-old universe was just 1.7 billion years old. The key to mapping dark matter in the very early universe the cosmic microwave background (CMB), a sort of fossil radiation left over from the Big Bang that is distributed throughout the entire cosmos. [...] The team combined lensing distortions of a large sample of ancient galaxies with those of the CMB to detect dark matter dating back to when the universe was just 1.7 billion years old. And this ancient dark matter paints a very different cosmic picture. "For the first time, we were measuring dark matter from almost the earliest moments of the universe," [University of Tokyo assistant professor Yuichi Harikane said in the statement]. "12 billion years ago, things were very different. You see more galaxies that are in the process of formation than at the present; the first galaxy clusters are starting to form as well." These clusters can be comprised of between 100 and 1,000 galaxies bound to large amounts of dark matter by gravity. "Our finding is still uncertain," Harikane said. "But if it is true, it would suggest that the entire model is flawed as you go further back in time. This is exciting because if the result holds after the uncertainties are reduced, it could suggest an improvement of the model that may provide insight into the nature of dark matter itself." The team will continue to collect data to assess whether the Lambda-CDM model conforms to observations of dark matter in the early universe or if the assumptions behind the model need to be revised.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

In DNA, Scientists Find Solution To Building Superconductor That Could Transform Technology

Tue, 2022-08-02 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Scientists at the University of Virginia School of Medicine and their collaborators have used DNA to overcome a nearly insurmountable obstacle to engineer materials that would revolutionize electronics. One possible outcome of such engineered materials could be superconductors, which have zero electrical resistance, allowing electrons to flow unimpeded. That means that they don't lose energy and don't create heat, unlike current means of electrical transmission. Development of a superconductor that could be used widely at room temperature -- instead of at extremely high or low temperatures, as is now possible -- could lead to hyper-fast computers, shrink the size of electronic devices, allow high-speed trains to float on magnets and slash energy use, among other benefits. One such superconductor was first proposed more than 50 years ago by Stanford physicist William A. Little. [...] One possible way to realize Little's idea for a superconductor is to modify lattices of carbon nanotubes, hollow cylinders of carbon so tiny they must be measured in nanometers -- billionths of a meter. But there was a huge challenge: controlling chemical reactions along the nanotubes so that the lattice could be assembled as precisely as needed and function as intended. [Edward H. Egelman, Ph.D., of UVA's Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Genetics] and his collaborators found an answer in the very building blocks of life. They took DNA, the genetic material that tells living cells how to operate, and used it to guide a chemical reaction that would overcome the great barrier to Little's superconductor. In short, they used chemistry to perform astonishingly precise structural engineering -- construction at the level of individual molecules. The result was a lattice of carbon nanotubes assembled as needed for Little's room-temperature superconductor. [...] The lattice they built has not been tested for superconductivity, for now, but it offers proof of principle and has great potential for the future, the researchers say. The findings have been published in the journal Science.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MicroStrategy Reports $1 Billion Loss, CEO Steps Down To Focus On Bitcoin

Tue, 2022-08-02 21:25
MicroStrategy co-founder Michael Saylor gave up his chief executive officer title and said he'll focus more on Bitcoin after the enterprise-software maker reported a loss of more than $1 billion related to the second-quarter plunge in the price of the cryptocurrency. Bloomberg reports: Saylor, who founded the Tysons Corner, Virginia-based company in 1989, will continue to serve as executive chairman as retains its Bitcoin buying strategy. MicroStrategy President Phong Le will take on the chief executive role. The company also filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission to register 450,000 shares. MicroStrategy took a $917.8 million impairment charge related to the decline in the value of the Bitcoin it holds. Bitcoin tumbled 59% in the quarter, and traded about 45% lower than the price at the end of the year-earlier period. Revenue dropped to $122.1 million. Analysts polled by Bloomberg expected revenue of $123.25 million in the second quarter. Net quarterly loss of $1.062 billion compared with a loss of $299.3 million in the same quarter of last year. The quarterly loss is almost exactly twice the company's revenue in the last 12 months. As of June 30, the carrying value of the company's 129,699 Bitcoins was $1.988 billion, the company said, reflecting the cumulative impairment loss of $1.989 billion. The cumulative amount is now more than Bitcoin on the company's balance sheet. "MicroStrategy's original strategy and consulting business needs full-time attention," said Henry Elder, head of decentralized finance at Wave Financial. "Now Michael can focus on what he does best, promoting Bitcoin. And the company can focus on making more money to buy more Bitcoin. They are basically doubling down."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Raspberry Pi 4 Expands 3D Potential With Vulkan Update

Tue, 2022-08-02 20:45
The Raspberry Pi 4 has hit a major graphics milestone, adding support for a more modern Vulkan 3D APIa. Ars Technica reports: Raspberry Pi CEO Eben Upton announced the Pi 4's Vulkan 1.2 conformance on Monday. Support isn't available yet in downloadable Pi-friendly operating systems but should be coming soon. For most people using their Pi as a server, a DIY controller, or a light desktop, Vulkan 1.2 conformance won't be noticeable. Desktop graphics on the standard Raspberry Pi OS are powered by OpenGL, the older graphics API that Vulkan is meant to replace. There is one group that benefits, says Upton: games and other 3D Android applications. Android uses Vulkan as its low-overhead graphics API. As with most Raspberry Pi advancements, there could be unforeseen opportunities unleashed by this seemingly tiny change. Vulkan 1.2 support gives developers the same 3D-graphics interface (if not anywhere near the same power) as 2019 NVIDIA graphics cards, 2020 Intel chips with integrated graphics, and dozens of other devices. With a Vulkan 1.0 driver installed, developer Iago Toral was able in 2020 to get the original Quake trilogy mostly running on a Pi 4, with not-too-shabby frame rates.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Gamers Are Spending a Lot Less On Video Games

Tue, 2022-08-02 20:02
US consumer spending on video game products has fallen by $1.78 billion in Q2, according to market research firm NPD. Overall, spending in video gaming in the US totaled $12.35 billion in the recent quarter, down 13 percent year over year. The Verge reports: The findings follow both Microsoft and Sony reporting revenue declines in gaming as the pandemic growth slows. [...] While overall spending on gaming has clearly declined across the industry in Q2, subscription content "was the only segment to post positive gains," according to NPD. That growth is despite Sony launching its revamped PlayStation Plus subscriptions at the end of the quarter. Hardware unit sales were led by Nintendo Switch in the second quarter, according to NPD, with the PS5 generating the highest dollar sales. Despite the declines in spending amid high rates of inflation and following a big period of growth "consumer spending continues to trend above pre-pandemic levels," says Mat Piscatella, games industry analyst at NPD. "However, unpredictable and quickly changing conditions may continue to impact the market in unexpected ways in the coming quarters."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

WhatsApp Boss Says No To AI Filters Policing Encrypted Chat

Tue, 2022-08-02 19:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: The head of WhatsApp will not compromise the security of its messenger service to bend to the UK government's efforts to scan private conversations. Will Cathcart, who has been at parent company Meta for more than 12 years and head of WhatsApp since 2019, told the BBC that the popular communications service wouldn't downgrade or bypass its end-to-end encryption (EE2E) just for British snoops, saying it would be "foolish" to do so and that WhatsApp needs to offer a consistent set of standards around the globe. "If we had to lower security for the world, to accommodate the requirement in one country, that ... would be very foolish for us to accept, making our product less desirable to 98 percent of our users because of the requirements from 2 percent," Cathcart told the broadcaster. "What's being proposed is that we -- either directly or indirectly through software -- read everyone's messages. I don't think people want that." Strong EE2E ensures that only the intended sender and receiver of a message can read it, and not even the provider of the communications channel nor anyone eavesdropping on the encrypted chatter. The UK government is proposing that app builders add an automated AI-powered scanner in the pipeline -- ideally in the client app -- to detect and report illegal content, in this case child sex abuse material (CSAM). The upside is that at least messages are encrypted as usual when transmitted: the software on your phone, say, studies the material, and continues on as normal if the data is deemed CSAM-free. One downside is that any false positives mean people's private communications get flagged up and potentially analyzed by law enforcement or a government agent. Another downside is that the definition of what is filtered may gradually change over time, and before you know it: everyone's conversations are being automatically screened for things politicians have decided are verboten. And another downside is that client-side AI models that don't produce a lot of false positives are likely to be easily defeated, and are mainly good for catching well-known, unaltered CSAM examples.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Big Tech Should Share Europe Network Costs, France, Italy and Spain Say

Tue, 2022-08-02 18:40
France, Italy and Spain are stepping up pressure on the European Commission to come up with legislation that ensures Big Tech firms partly finance telecoms infrastructure in the bloc, a document showed on Monday. This was the first time the three governments have expressed their joint position on the issue. Reuters reports: EU regulators said in May they were analyzing the question of whether tech giants Alphabet's Google, Meta and Netflix should shoulder some of the costs of upgrading telecoms networks. In a joint paper, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, the three governments said the six largest content providers accounted for 55% of internet traffic. "This generates specific costs for European telecom operators in terms of capacity, at a time they are already hugely investing in the most costly parts of the networks with 5G and Fiber-To-The-Home," the document said. It urged that European telecom networks and large online content providers pay fair shares of network costs. "We call for a legislative proposal ... ensuring all market players contribute to digital infrastructure costs," the document said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Logitech Will Launch a Handheld Cloud Gaming Device In 2022

Tue, 2022-08-02 18:02
Today, the long-running PC and gaming accessory maker Logitech announced plans to launch its own cloud gaming handheld device. Android Authority reports: Logitech stated it will partner on the software side with China-based Tencent Games for the new device. It is also working with Microsoft's Xbox Cloud Gaming and Nvidia's GeForce Now cloud gaming services so that its device should support hundreds of high-end PC and console games out of the box. It's possible that other cloud gaming services like Google's Stadia and Amazon's Luna could support the device as well, but no concrete details on that just yet. No other details have been revealed, but there is a web page Logitech set up where you can enter your email to receive further updates.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Pages