Tech News Feed

Twitch CEO says DJs will have to share what they earn on the website with music labels

Engadget - Thu, 2024-04-11 02:02

In an interview with the channel TweakMusicTips, Twitch CEO Dan Clancy said that DJ streamers on the platform will have to share their revenue with music labels. As posted by Zach Bussey on X (formerly Twitter), Clancy said that Twitch is working on a "structure," wherein DJs and the platform "are gonna have to share money with the labels." He said he's already talked to some DJs about it. The DJs, of course, realized that they'd rather not share what they earn. But Clancy said that Twitch will pay part of what the labels are owed, while the DJs hand over a portion of their revenue. 

Clancy's statement was part of his response to the host's question about the copyright situation of music streamers on the platform. The CEO replied that Twitch has been talking to music labels about it in hopes of finding a stable solution so that DJ streamers don't get hit with DMCA takedown requests. He also said that the website has a "pretty good thing" going on with labels right now — a "thing" that involves Twitch paying them money, apparently — but it's not a sustainable long-term solution. Plus, the labels are only OK with that deal at the moment because they know Twitch is working on another solution that will make them (more) money. 

Clancy also clarified that live streams and videos on demand have different sets of rules for playing copyrighted music, and the latter is definitely a problem. That's why he suggests that DJs should mute pre-recorded videos on their own, because Twitch's system doesn't always detect copyrighted songs to mute them. The CEO said Twitch is close to signing the deal with labels, but it's unclear how the Amazon subsidiary intends to monitor live music streams and if it already has the technology to do so. 

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/twitch-ceo-says-djs-will-have-to-share-what-they-earn-on-the-website-with-music-labels-060210010.html?src=rss

Saudi Arabia 'Forced To Scale Back' Plans For Desert Megacity

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: It was billed as a glass-walled city of the future, an ambitious centerpiece of the economic plan backed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to transition Saudi Arabia away from oil dependency. Now, however, plans for the mirror-clad desert metropolis called the Line have been scaled down and the project, which was envisaged to stretch 105 miles (170km) is expected to reach just a mile and a half by 2030. Dreamed up as a linear city that would eventually be home to about 9 million people on a footprint of just 13 sq miles, the Line is part of a wider Neom project. Now at least one contractor has begun dismissing workers. The scaling down of Prince Mohammed's most grandiose project was reported by Bloomberg, which said it had seen documents relating to the project.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Overwatch 2 introduces harsher punishments for players who leave mid-match

Engadget - Wed, 2024-04-10 22:30

Blizzard is taking mid-match leaves on Overwatch 2 more seriously and is implementing harsher punishments when Season 10 arrives. People playing Unranked games won't be able to join a queue for five minutes after leaving two of their last 20 games. And if they leave at least 10 out of the last 20, they'll be suspended for 48 hours. Players probably want to be even more careful when it comes to leaving Competitive games, though, because doing so 10 times out of 20 will get them banned for the rest of the season. In its announcement, Blizzard said that while it's aware not everyone abandons a game on purpose, these changes "should help curb those players who deliberately choose to leave a match." 

A table listing penalties for leaving Overwatch 2 matches.Blizzard

The developer is also making it easier for groups of friends to play together in Competitive mode, no matter their rank, by introducing "wide groups." A wide group is defined by having players from a wide range of ranks, from Diamond to tiers up to five Skill Divisions lower. Blizzard admits that opting for the new queue option will mean longer wait times, since it has to pair a wide group with another wide group with similar ranks in order to be fair. But it's hoping that the new feature will eliminate the need to use an alt account when playing with friends. 

The company is also adding new features designed to help prevent abuse and harassment in-game. People will soon be able to add up to 10 players in their "Avoid as Teammate" list instead of just three. It's also making it easy to report disruptive behavior by updating its reporting interface. Finally, Blizzard is blocking a player's access to text or voice chat in their matches if they were found to have engaged in abusive behavior and have broken the company's code of conduct. They can only get those privileges back if they spend time playing Overwatch 2 in their best behavior.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/overwatch-2-introduces-harsher-punishments-for-players-who-leave-mid-match-021319507.html?src=rss

Microsoft Employees Exposed Internal Passwords In Security Lapse

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 22:02
Zack Whittaker and Carly Page report via TechCrunch: Microsoft has resolved a security lapse that exposed internal company files and credentials to the open internet. Security researchers Can Yoleri, Murat Ozfidan and Egemen Kochisarli with SOCRadar, a cybersecurity company that helps organizations find security weaknesses, discovered an open and public storage server hosted on Microsoft's Azure cloud service that was storing internal information relating to Microsoft's Bing search engine. The Azure storage server housed code, scripts and configuration files containing passwords, keys and credentials used by the Microsoft employees for accessing other internal databases and systems. But the storage server itself was not protected with a password and could be accessed by anyone on the internet. Yoleri told TechCrunch that the exposed data could potentially help malicious actors identify or access other places where Microsoft stores its internal files. Identifying those storage locations "could result in more significant data leaks and possibly compromise the services in use," Yoleri said. The researchers notified Microsoft of the security lapse on February 6, and Microsoft secured the spilling files on March 5. It's not known for how long the cloud server was exposed to the internet, or if anyone other than SOCRadar discovered the exposed data inside.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

VMS Software Prunes OpenVMS Hobbyist Program

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 21:45
Liam Proven reports via The Register: Bad news for those who want to play with OpenVMS in non-production use. Older versions are disappearing, and the terms are getting much more restrictive. The corporation behind the continued development of OpenVMS, VMS Software, Inc. -- or VSI to its friends, if it has any left after this -- has announced the latest Updates to the Community Program. The news does not look good: you can't get the Alpha and Itanium versions any more, only a limited x86-64 edition. OpenVMS is one of the granddaddies of big serious OSes. A direct descendant of the OSes that inspired DOS, CP/M, OS/2, and Windows, as well as the native OS of the hardware on which Unix first went 32-bit, VMS has been around for nearly half a century. For decades, its various owners have offered various flavors of "hobbyist program" under which you could get licenses to install and run it for free, as long as it wasn't in production use. Since Compaq acquired DEC, then HP acquired Compaq, its prospects looked checkered. HP officially killed it off in 2013, then in 2014 granted it a reprieve and sold it off instead. New owner VSI ported it to x86-64, releasing that new version 9.2 in 2022. Around this time last year, we covered VSI adding AMD support and opening a hobbyist program of its own. It seems from the latest announcement that it has been disappointed by the reception: "Despite our initial aspirations for robust community engagement, the reality has fallen short of our expectations. The level of participation in activities such as contributing open source software, creating wiki articles, and providing assistance on forums has not matched the scale of the program. As a result, we find ourselves at a crossroads, compelled to reassess and recalibrate our approach." Although HPE stopped offering hobbyist licenses for the original VAX versions of OpenVMS in 2020, VSI continued to maintain OpenVMS 8 (in other words, the Alpha and Itanium editions) while it worked on version 9 for x86-64. VSI even offered a Student Edition, which included a freeware Alpha emulator and a copy of OpenVMS 8.4 to run inside it. Those licenses run out in 2025, and they won't be renewed. If you have vintage DEC Alpha or HP Integrity boxes with Itanic chips, you won't be able to get a legal licensed copy of OpenVMS for them, or renew the license of any existing installations -- unless you pay, of course. There will still be a Community license edition, but from now on it's x86-64 only. Although OpenVMS 9 mainly targets hypervisors anyway, it does support bare-metal operations on a single model of HPE server, the ProLiant DL380 Gen10. If you have one of them to play with -- well, tough. Now Community users only get a VM image, supplied as a VMWare .vmdk file. It contains a ready-to-go "OpenVMS system disk with OpenVMS, compilers and development tools installed." Its license runs for a year, after which you will get a fresh copy. This means you won't be able to configure your own system and keep it alive -- you'll have to recreate it, from scratch, annually. The only alternative for those with older systems is to apply to be an OpenVMS Ambassador.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UK To Deploy Facial Recognition For Shoplifting Crackdown

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 21:25
Bruce66423 shares a report from The Guardian, with the caption: "The UK is hyperventilating about stories of shoplifting; though standing outside a shop and watching as a guy calmly gets off his bike, parks it, walks in and walks out with a pack of beer and cycles off -- and then seeing staff members rushing out -- was striking. So now it's throwing technical solutions at the problem..." From the report: The government is investing more than 55 million pounds in expanding facial recognition systems -- including vans that will scan crowded high streets -- as part of a renewed crackdown on shoplifting. The scheme was announced alongside plans for tougher punishments for serial or abusive shoplifters in England and Wales, including being forced to wear a tag to ensure they do not revisit the scene of their crime, under a new standalone criminal offense of assaulting a retail worker. The new law, under which perpetrators could be sent to prison for up to six months and receive unlimited fines, will be introduced via an amendment to the criminal justice bill that is working its way through parliament. The change could happen as early as the summer. The government said it would invest 55.5 million pounds over the next four years. The plan includes 4 million pounds for mobile units that can be deployed on high streets using live facial recognition in crowded areas to identify people wanted by the police -- including repeat shoplifters. "This Orwellian tech has no place in Britain," said Silkie Carlo, director of civil liberties at campaign group Big Brother Watch. "Criminals should be brought to justice, but papering over the cracks of broken policing with Orwellian tech is not the solution. It is completely absurd to inflict mass surveillance on the general public under the premise of fighting theft while police are failing to even turn up to 40% of violent shoplifting incidents or to properly investigate many more serious crimes."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Starting Today, ISPs Must Display Labels With Price, Speeds, and Data Caps

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 20:45
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Starting today, home Internet and mobile broadband providers in the US are required to display consumer labels with information on prices, speeds, and data allowances. "Today's nationwide launch of the Broadband Consumer Labels means internet service providers are now required to display consumer-friendly labels at the point of sale," the Federal Communications Commission said (PDF). "Labels are required for all standalone home or fixed Internet service or mobile broadband plans. Providers must display the label -- not simply an icon or link to the label -- in close proximity to an associated plan's advertisement." The labels are required now for providers with at least 100,000 subscribers, while ISPs with fewer customers have until October 10, 2024, to comply. "If a provider is not displaying their labels or has posted inaccurate information about its fees or service plans, consumers can file a complaint with the FCC Consumer Complaint Center," an agency webpage says. The October 10 date will also bring an additional requirement that providers "make the labels machine-readable to enable third parties to more easily collect and aggregate data for the purpose of creating comparison-shopping tools for consumers," the FCC said. The FCC issued a consumer advisory telling broadband users what to look for in the labels. Labels should include the monthly price, state whether it is an introductory rate, the amount of time that an introductory rate applies, and the price after any introductory rate expires. The labels must include any additional monthly charges, one-time fees, early termination fees, and taxes. Speed information should include typical download speed, upload speed, and latency. For data caps, the labels should state how much data is included with the monthly price and how much consumers have to pay for additional usage. Labels should also include links to information on discounts and service bundles, network management practices, and privacy policies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google's AI Photo Editing Tools Are Expanding To a Lot More Phones

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 20:02
Starting May 15th, almost all Google Photos users will be able to access the AI photo editing features previously limited to Pixel owners and Google One subscribers. All you'll need is a device with at least a 64-bit chip, 4GB of RAM, and either iOS 15 or Android 8.0. The Verge reports: Magic Editor is Google's generative AI photo editing tool, and it debuted as one of the headline AI features on the Pixel 8 and 8 Pro. Those kinds of features typically remain exclusive to new Pixels for six months after launch, and right on time, Google's bringing it to previous Pixel phones. But it's not stopping there; any Google Photos user with an Android or iOS device that meets the minimum requirements will be able to use it without a Google One subscription -- you'll just be limited to 10 saved edits per month. Pixel owners and paid subscribers, however, will get unlimited use. Older features like Photo Unblur and Magic Eraser -- which used to be available only to Pixel owners and certain Google One subscribers -- will be free for all Photos users. Google has a full list of these features on its Photos community site, and it includes things like editing portrait mode blur and lighting effects (useful, but not the cutting-edge stuff, for better or worse). Other generative AI features that launched with the Pixel 8 series, like Best Take and Audio Magic Eraser, are remaining exclusive to those newest Pixels, at least for now.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Biden Considering Request To Drop Assange Charges

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 19:20
President Joe Biden said he is "considering" a request from Australia to drop the prosecution of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange. The BBC reports: The country's parliament recently passed a measure -- backed by PM Anthony Albanese -- calling for the return of Mr Assange to his native Australia. The US wants to extradite the 52-year-old from the UK on criminal charges over the leaking of military records. Mr Assange denies the charges, saying the leaks were an act of journalism. The president was asked about Australia's request on Wednesday and said: "We're considering it." Mr Assange, 52, is fighting extradition in the UK courts. The extradition was put on hold in March after London's High Court said the United States must provide assurances he would not face the death penalty. The High Court is due to evaluate any responses from the US authorities at the end of May. The measure passed the Australian parliament in February. Mr Albanese told MPs: "People will have a range of views about Mr Assange's conduct... But regardless of where people stand, this thing cannot just go on and on and on indefinitely."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Bill Would Force AI Companies To Reveal Use of Copyrighted Art

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 18:41
A bill introduced in the US Congress on Tuesday intends to force AI companies to reveal the copyrighted material they use to make their generative AI models. From a report: The legislation adds to a growing number of attempts from lawmakers, news outlets and artists to establish how AI firms use creative works like songs, visual art, books and movies to train their software-and whether those companies are illegally building their tools off copyrighted content. The California Democratic congressman Adam Schiff introduced the bill, the Generative AI Copyright Disclosure Act, which would require that AI companies submit any copyrighted works in their training datasets to the Register of Copyrights before releasing new generative AI systems, which create text, images, music or video in response to users' prompts. The bill would need companies to file such documents at least 30 days before publicly debuting their AI tools, or face a financial penalty. Such datasets encompass billions of lines of text and images or millions of hours of music and movies. "AI has the disruptive potential of changing our economy, our political system, and our day-to-day lives. We must balance the immense potential of AI with the crucial need for ethical guidelines and protections," Schiff said in a statement. Whether major AI companies worth billions have made illegal use of copyrighted works is increasingly the source of litigation and government investigation. Schiff's bill would not ban AI from training on copyrighted material, but would put a sizable onus on companies to list the massive swath of works that they use to build tools like ChatGPT -- data that is usually kept private.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The hidden role of the Milky Way in ancient Egyptian mythology

Science Daily Astronomy - Wed, 2024-04-10 18:11
Astrophysicists shed light on the relationship between the Milky Way and the Egyptian sky-goddess Nut. The paper draws on ancient Egyptian texts and simulations to argue that the Milky Way might have shone a spotlight, as it were, on Nut's role as the sky. It proposes that in winter, the Milky Way highlighted Nut's outstretched arms, while in summer, it traced her backbone across the heavens.

What a Portable Power Station Taught Me About My Energy Use - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2024-04-10 18:00
There's more to keeping your essentials on in a blackout than just how much a big battery holds.

Viber's New AI Feature Summarizes Busy Group Chats You'll Never Read - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2024-04-10 18:00
The feature intends to condense your group chat catchup, because you probably don't want to scroll through it all.

MPA Has Big Plans To Crack Down on Movie Piracy Again

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 18:00
The Motion Picture Association is going off on piracy again. During CinemaCon in Las Vegas, MPA CEO Charles Rivkin announced that the organization plans on working with Congress to pass rules blocking websites with pirated content. The Verge: The MPA is a trade association representing Hollywood studios, including Paramount, Sony, Universal, and Disney (it's also behind the ratings board that gives you an R if you say curse words too often). It has long lobbied for anti-piracy laws, but it seems the battle is heating up again. In his speech on Tuesday, Rivkin highlights what a major problem piracy in the US has become, saying it costs "hundreds of thousands of jobs" and "more than one billion in theatrical ticket sales." It's true: piracy has gone up in recent years. A report from piracy data analytics company Muso revealed that video piracy websites around the globe received 141 billion visits in 2023, making for a 12 percent increase when compared to 2019. The US and India made up most of these visits. But at the same time, the price to subscribe to a streaming service is higher than ever, and so is the cost of a movie ticket. The solution to stopping piracy, at least in Rivkin's eyes, is to prevent users from accessing piracy websites altogether.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

More Books Than Ever Targeted For Bans

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 17:20
An anonymous reader writes: More books were called to be banned in 2023 across US schools and libraries than any other year on record, according to a new report from the American Library Association (ALA). Building on a surge that started in 2021, some 4,240 unique book titles were challenged last year -- a 65% increase from 2022, and the highest figure documented in over 20 years of tracking. Although the number of affected titles has grown dramatically, as groups increasingly target multiple books at once, overall censorship demands dropped slightly, down 2% to 1,247. Literature concerning race and gender was particularly contested, with autobiographical graphic novel Gender Queer named the most challenged library book of the year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

You can grab the Nothing Phone 2 for $74 off right now

Engadget - Wed, 2024-04-10 17:05

Amazon has the Nothing Phone 2 on sale for the first time since its launch. The offbeat mainstream smartphone alternative is $74 off its usual price. The deal includes the version with 12GB of RAM and 256GB of storage, and it’s ready for activation on T-Mobile or AT&T.

The Nothing Phone 2 has an unusual design, with a transparent back revealing an eye-pleasing arrangement of its internal hardware. The aesthetic is a throwback to tech from the late 1990s and early 2000s, like Apple’s iMac G3 and Nintendo’s Game Boy Color. Meanwhile, the Glyph Interface on the phone’s back uses LED strips to show customizable lights and patterns for your notifications. It’s a charming package that stands out in a sea of smartphone sameness.

Engadget’s Sam Rutherford reviewed the phone in 2023, and he noted its eye-catching hardware design and Monochrome UI in its software. Nothing isn’t marketing its phone based on record-breaking specs, but the startup still made a phone that “never felt slow” while being “well-equipped with handy features like reverse wireless charging.”

The phone runs on Nothing OS 2 (currently, it’s on 2.5.3) on top of Android 14. It has a 6.7-inch OLED display, a 4,700mAh battery and a pair of 50MP rear cameras (main and ultra-wide).

However, note that the phone is only compatible with AT&T and T-Mobile’s networks in the US — not Verizon, Sprint, Cricket or other CDMA-based carriers. Nothing only brought its handsets (officially) to America with the current generation of hardware, so perhaps future models will offer broader stateside carrier support.

Follow @EngadgetDeals on Twitter and subscribe to the Engadget Deals newsletter for the latest tech deals and buying advice.

This article originally appeared on Engadget at https://www.engadget.com/you-can-grab-the-nothing-phone-2-for-74-off-right-now-210527323.html?src=rss

Broadband 'Nutrition Labels' Could Make It Easier to Shop for Internet Service - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2024-04-10 16:50
No more hunting around for simple information like price, speeds and a customer service number. The FCC's labels aren't perfect yet, but you can help.

Auto Insurance Prices Have Gone Nuts

SlashDot - Wed, 2024-04-10 16:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: It's getting to be a bit much. Auto insurance prices have surged over the last couple years. March consumer inflation out Wednesday shows them up 22% compared to last year. Since the end of 2019 -- just before Covid hit -- they're up 45%. Why? That's where things get complicated. In a prophylactic press release released Wednesday morning, an insurance industry trade group cited "greatly increased the cost of repairing and replacing cars" due to inflation. As anyone who has shopped for a new or used car over the last couple years can tell you, costs have gone up. That goes for the costs of replacing minor parts like bumpers or mirrors as well. Insurers lost a lot of money on those replacement costs in 2021 and 2022, and are now trying to make that money back by raising rates a lot. Then there's also the the objectively atrocious driving record of Americans. Even before the pandemic, Americans were awful drivers compared to other high income countries, with auto death rates the highest among peer nations. High accident rates are reflected in higher costs of insurance. And of course there's also the old-fashioned profit motive. Insurers are trying to make money and raising rates is the way to do it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wrap Belt Heating Pad - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2024-04-10 16:29
Auto shut off & massage.

Cordless Push Mower - CNET

CNET News - Wed, 2024-04-10 16:09
Brushless w/ 4.0Ah battery & charger.

Pages