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posted by martyb on Wednesday September 12 2018, @06:54PM   Printer-friendly
from the Get-a-Load-of-EU dept.

European Parliament backs copyright changes

Controversial new copyright laws have been approved by members of the European Parliament. The legislation had been changed since July when the first version of the copyright directive was voted down. Critics say it remains problematic. Many musicians and creators claim the reforms are necessary to fairly compensate artists. But opponents fear that the plans could destroy user-generated content, memes and parodies.

Are EU citizens ready for the link tax and upload filter?

Also at Polygon.

[Ed addition] Since this story was submitted, Ars Technica posted a story that delves into some of the implications of the new legislation; What's in the sweeping copyright bill just passed by the European Parliament:

The legislation makes online platforms like Google and Facebook directly liable for content uploaded by their users and mandates greater "cooperation" with copyright holders to police the uploading of infringing works. It also gives news publishers a new, special right to restrict how their stories are featured by news aggregators such as Google News. And it creates a new right for sports teams that could limit the ability of fans to share images and videos online.

Today's vote was not the end of Europe's copyright fight. Under the European Union's convoluted process for approving legislation, the proposal will now become the subject of a three-way negotiation involving the European Parliament, the Council of the Europe Union (representing national governments), and the European Commission (the EU's executive branch). If those three bodies agree to a final directive, then it will be sent to each of the 28 EU member countries (or more likely 27 thanks to Brexit) for implementation in national laws.

That means that European voters who are concerned—or excited—about this legislation still have a few more months to contact their representatives, both within their national governments and in the European Parliament.

[...] The legislation avoids mentioning any specific technological approach to policing online infringement, allowing supporters to plausibly claim that this is not a filtering mandate. Yet it seems pretty clear what this will mean in practice. Big content producers want to see YouTube beef up its Content ID filtering technology—and for other online platforms to adopt similar strategies. Shifting liability for infringement from users to the platforms themselves will give content companies a lot of leverage to get what they want here.

[...] Balancing fairness to content creators against fairness to users is inherently tricky. Rather than trying to address the issue directly, the European Parliament is simply pushing the issue down to the national level, letting governments in Germany, France, Poland, and other European governments figure out the messy details.

[...] In addition to approving new rights for news publishers, the legislation also narrowly approved a new copyright for the organizers of sports teams. Copyright law already gives teams the ability to sell television rights for their games, but fans have traditionally been free to take pictures or personal videos and share them online. The new legislation could give sports teams ownership of all images and video from their games, regardless of who took them and how they are shared.

Antiterrorist Censorship: The EU Commission Wants to Kill the Decentralized Internet

This morning, as everybody was looking at the Copyright Directive adoption, the EU Commission released a proposal for a Regulation on the censorship of terrorist propaganda.

This proposal would impose new obligations to hosting service providers, including the removal in less than an hour of the reported content. This proposal trivializes police and private censorship as well as the circumvention of justice. Automated filters, which play a crucial role in the debate for the Copyright Directive, are being held as a key component for the censorship in the digital era.

I thought this article from The Register was interesting; making out that the opposition to Article 13 is dominated by astroturfing led principally by Google.

Article 13 pits Big Tech and bots against European creatives by Andrew Orlowski

Today's vote on Article 13 of the EU Directive on Copyright in the Digital Single Market in European Parliament has turned into a knife-edge referendum on whether European institutions can deal with Californian exceptionalism.

[...] The tweaks to copyright liability in Article 13 before MEPs this week have narrowed after months of horsetrading in Brussels – and they don't name names, but they're really about one company and the unique legal benefits it enjoys. That company is Google, and the perks arise from the special conditions attached to UGC [User Generated Comments] that YouTube hosts, which were originally designed for services such as cloud storage.

[...] The battle of Article 13 is remarkable for revealing two things: the extent of US technology lobbying networks in Europe, and the use of tools of automated consensus generation [...] Around 60,000 emails were received by each MEP in the build up to the June vote, while Twitter engagement appeared to be high. [...] But "What looked like grassroots movement from the outside was in fact a classic form of astroturfing – designed to create the appearance of a popular movement," [German daily Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung's Volker] Reick said.

Previously: How The EU May Be About To Kill The Public Domain: Copyright Filters Takedown Beethoven


Original Submission #1   Original Submission #2Original Submission #3

posted by martyb on Sunday August 26 2018, @08:35PM   Printer-friendly

Mass Shooting at Video Game Tournament in Jacksonville Leaves Multiple Dead:

Multiple people were killed in a mass shooting during a video game tournament at a shopping and dining complex in downtown Jacksonville, Florida, the Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said Sunday afternoon. Preliminary reports say four people were killed of the 11 people who were shot at the Jacksonville Landing, according to a law enforcement official briefed on the incident.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said on Twitter there were "multiple" fatalities and "many" transported to hospitals. One suspect was dead at the scene, the Sheriff's Office said, and it was not known if there was another suspect.

Memorial Hospital in Jacksonville, Florida is treating at least three patients that were involved in the gaming shooting incident, Hospital spokesman Pete Moberg tells CNN. All of the patients are in stable condition, Moberg says.

Live Updates: Shooting at Madden tournament in Jacksonville.

The shooting occurred at the Jacksonville Landing complex during a qualifying event for the Madden 19 Tournament at the GLHF Game Bar, according to the Twitter [feed] of CompLexity Gaming, one of the gaming teams.

Also at: NY Daily News and Fox News.


Original Submission

posted by takyon on Sunday August 12 2018, @06:55AM   Printer-friendly
from the solar-powered dept.

Previously: NASA's Parker Solar Probe Set to Launch Next Week on its Journey to the Sun

Let's try this again. The Parker Solar Probe is set for launch on Sunday, aboard a Delta IV Heavy:

Parker Solar Probe (previously Solar Probe, Solar Probe Plus, or Solar Probe+, abbreviated PSP) is a planned NASA robotic spacecraft to probe the outer corona of the Sun. It will approach to within 8.86 solar radii (6.2 million kilometers or 3.85 million miles) from the "surface" (photosphere) of the Sun and will travel, at closest approach, as much as 700,000 km/h (430,000 mph).

It's the first NASA spacecraft named after a living person (Eugene Parker).

NASA Live:

NASA's Parker Solar Probe is set to launch tonight, Sunday, Aug. 12 at 3:31 a.m. Eastern. The launch window is 60 minutes. Watch NASA TV live beginning at 3 a.m. Parker Solar Probe will launch aboard a Delta IV-Heavy rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida. The spacecraft, about the size of a small car, will travel directly into the Sun's atmosphere about 4 million miles from our star's surface, facing heat and radiation like no spacecraft before it.

NASA stream on YouTube. NASA TV page. NYT and Florida Today.

You may also want to check out the Perseids meteor shower this weekend.

posted by martyb on Wednesday July 18 2018, @01:29PM   Printer-friendly
from the will-there-be-a-kaboom? dept.

[Update 2: Successful mission! Successful separation, clean booster and escape capsule landing.

Mission launch time:  11:11AM EDT (15:11 UTC)
Max ascent velocity:  2,236 mph
max capsule apogee:   389,846ft (119km)
Mission elapsed time: 11m17s

Overheard on the live feed that max G forces for the escape capsule was: 10G.]

[Update 1: there was a brief hold of approximately 10 minutes; countdown has resumed.]

Watch Live: Blue Origin Subjects its Rocket to High-Altitude Escape Test:

As it continues to progress toward human flights, Blue Origin will perform another potentially dangerous, uncrewed test today of its New Shepard rocket and spacecraft. Although it has not yet provided details, the company says it will fly "a high altitude escape motor test—pushing the rocket to its limits." The test is scheduled to begin at 11 am EDT (15:00 UTC) [corrected times] at the company's West Texas launch site.

This is the ninth test of the reusable New Shepard system, and the third in which it has included commercial payloads on it short suborbital flights. This time, the company is also flying a suite of materials from Blue Origin employees as a part of its internal “Fly My Stuff” program. (It's unclear at this point exactly how "abort test" and "payload" fit together in the same mission—presumably the high altitude abort will be followed by the New Shepard spacecraft pressing to orbit, but we're not exactly sure. Blue Origin will have more details about exactly what's going on when its webcast starts.)

This is not the first high-energy test of New Shepard. In October, 2016, the company conducted a lower altitude in-flight escape test when engineers intentionally triggered the spacecraft's launch abort system at about 45 seconds after launch, and an altitude of 16,000 feet. Such systems are designed to fire quickly and separate the crew capsule from the booster during an emergency.

Live feed on YouTube should start approximately 20 minutes before the 11:00 EDT (15:00 UTC) launch.

Note: it appears the launch may have originally been scheduled at 14:00 UTC but now appears to be scheduled for 15:00 UTC.

See also: spaceflightnow and space.com (which still has the original launch time).


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Friday June 29 2018, @09:34AM   Printer-friendly
from the Fill-'er-up! dept.

[Update (06:00 EDT / 10:00 UTC): Launch was a success. Dragon module separated cleanly and is on route to the ISS.]

CRS-15 Mission Overview (PDF)

SpaceX is targeting Friday, June 29 for an instantaneous launch of its fifteenth Commercial Resupply Services mission (CRS-15) at 5:42 a.m. EDT, or 9:42 UTC, from Space Launch Complex 40 (SLC-40) at Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, Florida. Dragon will separate from Falcon 9's second stage about nine minutes and thirty seconds after liftoff and attach to the space station on Monday, July 2. An instantaneous backup launch opportunity is available on Sunday, July 1 at 4:54 a.m. EDT, or 8:54 UTC.

Both Falcon 9 and the Dragon spacecraft for the CRS-15 mission are flight-proven. Falcon 9's first stage previously supported the TESS mission in April 2018, and Dragon previously supported the CRS-9 mission in July 2016. SpaceX will not attempt to recover Falcon 9's first stage after launch.

Follow along on the YouTube Live Stream.

SpaceX will fly the Falcon 9 Block 4 for the last time on its June 29, 2018 launch of cargo to the ISS:

Because SpaceX has no plans to fly Friday's booster again, it will be expended into the ocean. However, the rocket's second stage will make a much longer "coast" in space before de-orbiting after four revolutions around Earth. This is likely another test of the second-stage engine's ability to fire after a longer period of dormancy in space.

CRS-15 will deliver 2,697 kg of cargo, including ECOSTRESS and other equipment and experiments:

The equipment launching to the space station inside the Dragon's trunk includes a spare Canadian-built latching end effector for the research lab's robotic arm, plus a 1,213-pound (550-kilogram) instrument developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory to be mounted outside the station's Japanese Kibo lab module to measure the temperature of plants from space.

The cargo will include CIMON, a "robot crew member":

The robot's name is CIMON — for Crew Interactive Mobile Companion — and it looks a bit like a volleyball with a computer screen on one side. The screen displays a simplified cartoon face that the bot will use to interact with the humans on the ISS. And to maneuver around, CIMON is equipped with 14 internal fans that propel the white ball, by sucking in the station's air and expelling it to move in whatever direction it needs. That means CIMON can "float" throughout the station, zooming up to astronauts that call its name and nodding in response to questions.

Airbus developed CIMON for Germany's national space agency, and the goal is to see whether intelligent bots can cooperate with astronauts to simplify work life in space. CIMON's already been tested out on a parabolic flight — an airplane that flies a special trajectory to create brief moments of weightlessness. And CIMON has trained a few times on Earth with German astronaut Alexander Gerst, who is already on board the ISS. So the bot's microphones and cameras are specially tuned to recognize his voice and face. However, CIMON's makers say the bot's voice-controlled AI capabilities, provided by IBM, allow the companion to interact with any astronaut that calls its name.


Original Submission

posted by chromas on Thursday June 21 2018, @04:01PM   Printer-friendly
from the what-color-is-his-parachute? dept.

Intel CEO, Brian Krzanich, has resigned because of a "a violation of Intel's non-fraternisation policy". The BBC reports:

Chipmaker Intel has announced that its chief executive, Brian Krzanich, is stepping down with immediate effect because of "a violation of Intel's non-fraternisation policy".

[...] Intel said an inquiry had revealed that Mr Krzanich had had a consensual relationship with an Intel employee, which was against company rules.

His successor has been named as Robert Swan, currently the company's chief financial officer.

The company said the relevant policy applied to all managers.

"Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company's code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr Krzanich's resignation."

The Register reports:

Intel chief exec Brian Krzanich has quit after his "consensual relationship" with an employee came to light.

Staff flings are frowned upon in US corporate tech world, and against Intel company policy. In a statement within the past hour, the chip maker said:

Intel was recently informed that Mr. Krzanich had a past consensual relationship with an Intel employee. An ongoing investigation by internal and external counsel has confirmed a violation of Intel's non-fraternization policy, which applies to all managers. Given the expectation that all employees will respect Intel's values and adhere to the company's code of conduct, the board has accepted Mr. Krzanich's resignation.

Krzanich – who has two daughters with wife Brandee – will be replaced by interim CEO Bob Swan, who is otherwise the chief financial officer and an exec veep.

"The board believes strongly in Intel's strategy and we are confident in Bob Swan's ability to lead the company as we conduct a robust search for our next CEO," said Intel chairman Andy Bryant in a statement.

Also at c|net and Intel.

How will this affect Intel's competitive efforts with respect to AMD, ARM, and Nvidia?


Original Submission