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posted by Fnord666 on Thursday January 11 2018, @11:44PM   Printer-friendly
from the when-the-lights-are-on dept.

At the Consumer Electronics Show, AMD confirmed details about products coming out in 2018:

  1. Ryzen 3 Mobile APUs: January 9th
  2. Ryzen Desktop APUs: February 12th
  3. Second Generation Ryzen Desktop Processors: April.
  4. Ryzen Pro Mobile APUs: Q2 2018
  5. Second Generation Threadripper Processors: 2H 2018
  6. Second Generation Ryzen Pro Desktop Processors: 2H 2018

The second generation "Zen+" products use a "12nm" process. Zen 2 and Zen 3 will use a "7nm" and "7nm+" process and will be out around 2019-2020.

Two cheaper Ryzen-based mobile APUs have been released. The Ryzen 3 2300U has 4 cores, 4 threads, and the Ryzen 3 2200U has 2 cores, 4 threads, making it the first dual-core part in the entire Ryzen product line. All of the Ryzen mobile parts have a 15 W TDP so far.

AMD has also lowered the suggested pricing for many of its Ryzen CPUs. For example, $299 for Ryzen 7 1700 from $329. The Threadripper Ryzen TR 1900X is down to $449 from $549.

Intel has officially launched five new Kaby Lake CPUs with AMD Radeon Vega graphics and 4 GB of High Bandwidth Memory. Each CPU also includes Intel's HD 630 GT2 integrated graphics, which is expected to be used for lower power video encode/decode tasks.

Previously: AMD Launches First Two Ryzen Mobile APUs With Vega Graphics
Intel Core i7-8809G with Radeon Graphics and High Bandwidth Memory: Details Leaked

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Thursday January 11 2018, @10:11PM   Printer-friendly
from the what's-the-catch dept.

Walmart is boosting minimum pay across all of its stores and handing out bonuses. The CEO says that it's thanks to tax reform:

Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is boosting its starting hourly wage to $11 and delivering bonuses to employees, capitalizing on the U.S. tax overhaul to stay competitive in a tightening labor market.

The increase takes effect next month and will cost $300 million on top of wage hikes that were already planned, the world's largest retailer said Thursday. The one-time bonus of up to $1,000 is based on seniority and will amount to an additional $400 million. The company is also expanding its maternity and parental leave policy and adding an adoption benefit.

"Tax reform gives us the opportunity to be more competitive globally and to accelerate plans for the U.S.," Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon said in the statement.

The move comes three years after Wal-Mart last announced it was raising wages, spending $1 billion in 2015 to lift starting hourly pay to $9 and then to $10 for most workers the following year. The increase cut into profit and was criticized by some longer-tenured employees as unfair to them. Since then, many states have enacted minimum wage laws, meaning that a "sizable group" of its 4,700 U.S. stores already pay $11 an hour, according to spokesman Kory Lundberg.

Walmart is expanding a "Scan & Go" program from 50 to 150 stores. "Scan & Go" would allow customers to use a smartphone app to scan items and then walk out of the store with them. Kroger is experimenting with a similar "Scan, Bag, Go" program. These are seen as a response to Amazon, which has been trialing delivery of fresh foods and same-day deliveries. Amazon revealed an "Amazon Go" concept brick-and-mortar store in 2016, with no cashiers in sight.

Maybe Walmart's big plan is to give better pay to a dwindling amount of employees.

CEO letter to employees. Also at CNBC and USA Today.

Related: Walmart Wants to Deliver Groceries Directly Into Your Fridge
Walmart to Deploy Shelf-Scanning Robots at 50 Stores
Walmart is Raising Prices Online to Increase in-Store Traffic

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:06PM   Printer-friendly
from the reboots-are-like-getting-new-shoes dept.

We recently received notifications that Linode, our hosting provider, will be performing "Emergency Security Maintenance" as a result of the recently Disclosed Meltdown and Spectre security issues.

So far, we have been informed of maintenance windows for two of our servers: magnesium and fluorine.

There is a two hour window for these reboots starting on Friday January 12th at 10:00AM UTC. Reboots should take on the order of about 10 minutes per server.

The reboot of magnesium should cause no service disruption as it is one of our redundant front-end servers. The same cannot be said for fluorine as TheMightyBuzzard so succinctly summed it up: "slashd and site payments won't work while fluorine's down".

We have not yet received any information as to when our other systems will be rebooted -- we will keep you advised as we learn more.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Thursday January 11 2018, @08:38PM   Printer-friendly
from the clarifying-things dept.

Submitted via IRC for FatPhil

Good news out of the Ninth Circuit: the federal court of appeals heeded EFF's advice and rejected an attempt by Oracle to hold a company criminally liable for accessing Oracle's website in a manner it didn't like. The court ruled back in 2012 that merely violating a website's terms of use is not a crime under the federal computer crime statute, the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. But some companies, like Oracle, turned to state computer crime statutes—in this case, California and Nevada—to enforce their computer use preferences.

This decision shores up the good precedent from 2012 and makes clear—if it wasn't clear already—that violating a corporate computer use policy is not a crime.


Original Submission

posted by CoolHand on Thursday January 11 2018, @07:05PM   Printer-friendly
from the Barcelona_uber_Munich dept.

The City of Barcelona kicks out Microsoft in favor of Linux and open source. The Barcelona city administration will migrate its existing systems from Microsoft and proprietary software to Linux and Free and Open Source Software. First the user applications will be upgraded to FOSS. Once all proprietary applications are removed, the proprietary operating systems will be removed. Around 70% of the software budget will be invested in FOSS with the goal being to help local talent through regional small and medium-sized businesses. Additionally, 65 developers will be brought in and kept in-house to work on custom packages and other customization needs.

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:24PM   Printer-friendly
from the did-we-say-that? dept.

Last month we covered the story of the Long Island Iced Tea Company rebranding itself as Long Blockchain as part of a broader shift in corporate strategy. The company's stock price tripled over night.

On Friday, we got the first concrete details of the company's new blockchain strategy. Long Blockchain planned to raise up to $8.4 million with a stock offering and then use some of the money to buy 1,000 Antminer S9 bitcoin mining machines. The machines would be "installed in a world-class third-party data center experienced in cryptocurrency mining and located in a Nordic country."

But today Long Blockchain announced it was scrapping the stock offering. The company says that it's still planning to buy bitcoin-mining hardware. However, Long Blockchain says that it "can make no assurances that it will be able to finance the purchase of the mining equipment."


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:52PM   Printer-friendly
from the it's-a-bit-unlocked dept.

Samsung says it will be unlocking the FM chips in its future smartphones:

Samsung and NextRadio on Wednesday announced the handset-maker will begin shipping phones in the US and Canada with the FM radio chip unlocked. Currently, Samsung was shipping some devices with the FM radio access unlocked, while others (often dependent upon carrier whims) had a locked FM radio chip.

An unlocked FM radio chip in a smartphone not only provides free access to local radio stations, but also, in emergency situations, access to important information.

What is NextRadio?

Emmis Communications is an American media conglomerate based in Indianapolis, Indiana. The company owns radio stations and magazines in the United States and Slovakia.

[...] The NextRadio smartphone app was developed by Emmis, with support from the National Association of Broadcasters, to take advantage of mobile devices with activated internal FM receivers. NextRadio allows users of select FM-enabled smartphones to listen to live broadcast FM radio while receiving supplemental data such as album art, program information, and metadata over the internet. Launched in August 2013 through a radio industry agreement with Sprint Corporation, the app is available preloaded on select devices it is also available for download in the Google Play Store.

Do you need to use their app to access the FM chip? The press release says:

Market leaders like Samsung are taking the step of unlocking the FM Chip, which will allow Samsung users to connect directly with the NextRadio app, listen to their favorite local stations, and use less battery and less data than streaming radio apps.

Take "unlocked" with a grain of salt.

Previously: FCC Chairman Encourages Activation of FM Chips in Smartphones
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai Calls on Apple to Activate Imaginary FM Chips

Related: Smartphone with FM Radio Tells Your Position
Developers Working to Get FM Radio Function Enabled in BQ Ubuntu Phones
Norway to Become 1st Country to Switch Off FM Radio

Original Submission

posted by takyon on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:19PM   Printer-friendly
from the taking-our-poles dept.

The Sapphire Gentleman's Club has rented an artist's robot strippers to draw some of the attention and press surrounding the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas:

The robots were as advertised: They gyrated on a stripper pole to music from 50 Cent and Pharrell, with dollar bills scattered on the stage and the floor. A half-dozen human dancers, most of whom were dressed in tight, shiny robot costumes, repeatedly took pics in front of their metallic colleagues. (The woman greeting guests as I walked in told me that I missed a skit where the human dancers unveiled the robot dancers to "Star Wars" music, and then joked about them stealing their jobs.)

The robots look nothing like actual humans, thank God. They had CCTV security cameras for faces, and you could see their metal interiors and wires as they moved up and down the pole. (They were, however, wearing high heels.)

And unlike many of the big tech gimmicks you'll hear about this week from CES, the robot pole-dancers aren't courtesy of a massive multi-billion dollar corporation. They're the work of an artist named Giles Walker, a 50-year-old Brit who describes himself as a scrap metal artist with a passion for building animatronic robots. One of his other projects, The Last Supper, features 13 robots interacting around a table.

Walker says he got the idea for pole-dancing robots more than seven years ago, when he noticed the rise of CCTV cameras being used as a way to surveil people in Britain for safety purposes, what he called "mechanical Peeping Toms." He was inspired by the idea of voyeurism, or watching others for pleasure, and decided to try and turn the cameras into something sexy on their own.

Walker goes on to express concerns about the eventual rise of sex robots, and describes himself as a "robot pimp".

Video (1m0s).

Also at CNBC and Vice.

Source: [H]ardOCP: Robot Strippers Return at CES 2018 (Submitted via IRC for TheMightyBuzzard)

Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:53PM   Printer-friendly
from the or-is-it-inter-galactic-wifi? dept.

Fast radio bursts (FRBs) may be caused by neutron stars (pulsars) experiencing unusual conditions, such as proximity to a black hole or a highly magnetized wind nebula:

The first FRB was discovered in 2007, in archived data from the Parkes Radio Telescope in Australia. Astronomers were searching for new examples of magnetised neutron stars called pulsars, but found a new phenomenon - a radio burst from 2001. Since then, 18 FRBs - also referred to as "flashes" or "sizzles" - have been found in total.

The mystery surrounding their nature has spawned a variety of different possible explanations, from black holes to extra-terrestrial intelligence.

Only one of these sources of radio energy has erupted more than once - a so-called burster catalogued as FRB 121102. This FRB has sent out around 150 flashes since its discovery in 2012.

Now, in the journal Nature [DOI: 10.1038/nature25149] [DX], a team of scientists explains how the emission might come from a neutron star, perhaps one near a black hole or one embedded in a nebula.

Previously: More Fast Radio Bursts Detected from Same Location
15 Fast Radio Bursts Detected From Distant Galaxy

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @11:20AM   Printer-friendly
from the telemetry-for-the-masses-r-us dept.

An interesting read for web developers: how hard is to (not) add malware to your site? David Gilbertson tried to answer this question for node.js and npm but the approach is potent for other package-dependency hells as well.

The malicious code itself is very simple
Of course, when I first wrote this code, back in 2015, it was of no use at all sitting on my computer. I needed to get it out into the world. Out into your site.
XSS is too small scale, and really well protected against.

Chrome Extensions are too locked down.

Lucky for me, we live in an age where people install npm packages like they’re popping pain killers.
People love pretty colours — it’s what separates us from dogs — so I wrote a package that lets you log to the console in a any colour. (sic)

I was excited at this point — I had a compelling package — but I didn’t want to wait around while people slowly discovered it and spread the word. So I set about making PRs to existing packages that added my colourful package to their dependencies.

I’ve now made several hundred PRs (various user accounts, no, none of them as “David Gilbertson”) to various frontend packages and their dependencies. “Hey, I’ve fixed issue x and also added some logging.”

Look ma, I’m contributing to open source!

There are a lot of sensible people out there that tell me they don’t want a new dependency, but that was to be expected, it’s a numbers game.

Of course it's all fiction written with a spicy pinch of nastiness but the described attack vectors seem all too real. What's your take on the matter? How do you hold the line there with all the dependencies which inevitably come (sooner or later) to a "professional" web site?

Or you can discuss it from user perspective. Have you tried Noscript with PayPal, Amazon, eBay etc. ?

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @09:47AM   Printer-friendly
from the My-button-is-bigger-than-your-button dept.

International Business Times reports: of the biggest challenges Nasa has faced in recent years is not in terms of technological development, but rather dealing with the orders of politicians and flat budgets. This major shift in focus of the human spaceflight programme is happening for the third time in as many government changes.

"We're always asked to change directions every time we get a new president, and that just causes you to do negative work, work that doesn't matter," Scott Kelly, the astronaut who spent nearly a year in space aboard the International Space Station (ISS), told the Post. "I just hope someday we'll have a president that will say, 'You know what, we'll just leave Nasa on the course they are on, and see what Nasa can achieve if we untie their hands,'" he added.

The space agency's change in direction has upset many in the space community, said Scott Hubbard, former director of the Nasa Ames Research Center. "Please don't push the reset button again, because you're just going to waste billions of dollars of previous investment," he said he heard people say.

Maybe NASA should plan an array of projects with less than 4 year "point of no return" dates? Then, when directed to change course, change to the closest plan matching the new course and actually get it done. If politicians want longer projects, they need to start guaranteeing the funding to complete them, and accepting realistic estimates about actual time and cost to deliver instead of demanding short schedule bargain budget promises before signing off.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @08:14AM   Printer-friendly
from the A-stitch-in-time-saves-nine dept.

The BBC reports that the Information Commissioner’s Office has fined a company, “Carphone Warehouse”, (a retailer of cell phones) £400,000 (about $540,000 dollars) over “systemic failures” which allowed hackers to gain access “to personal data of more than three million customers and 1,000 employees.”

According to the BBC: “The Information Commissioner, Elizabeth Denham, said: ‘A company as large, well-resourced, and established as Carphone Warehouse, should have been actively assessing its data security systems, and ensuring systems were robust and not vulnerable to such attacks.’ “

Should the U.S. Government enact fines and other measures against companies that fail to implement “rudimentary, commonplace measures" for security?

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @06:41AM   Printer-friendly
from the UPS-is-not-just-a-package-company dept.

Major power outage hits CES, a consumer electronics show

Power in the North and Central halls of the Las Vegas Convention Center, which hosts CES annually, was out for nearly two hours on Wednesday. First reports of the power outage began hitting Twitter from convention goers starting around 11:14AM PT, and was slowly restored shortly after 1:00PM PT. Security evacuated most visitors from the affected halls during that time.

"A preliminary assessment indicates that condensation from heavy rainfall caused a flashover on one of the facility's transformers," reads a statement from the CTA, the organization that puts on CES. "We are grateful to NV Energy for their swift assistance, to our customers and their clients for their patience and to the staff for ensuring the safety and security of all attendees and exhibitors."

Post anything about CES below, if you can spare the electrons.

Also at Tom's Guide.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @05:08AM   Printer-friendly
from the fast-enough-for-government-work dept.

The Buffalo News reports progress on the West Valley Demonstration Project. After years of converting liquid nuclear waste to glass, the buildings are now being taken down, very carefully.

West Valley was the nation’s only commercial nuclear reprocessing plant. The waste was created when the site was operated by Nuclear Fuel Services between 1966 and 1972.

[...] The building where the most highly radioactive materials at the West Valley Demonstration Project were once handled is being torn down.

The vitrification plant is where 600,000 gallons of liquid nuclear waste were turned into glass cylinders in the late 1990s and early 2000s. The cylinders were then packaged in fives and welded into steel canisters before being stored under 21-inch thick concrete casks and relocated to another spot on site.

In mid-September, contractors started peeling away the outside of the steel and sheet metal exterior of the building and the roof. That work wrapped up in early November, said West Valley officials.

“The (contractor) is making great progress with the safe completion of the first phase of this facility’s demolition,” said Bryan Bower, project director for the U.S. Department of Energy. “This accomplishment allows our team to continue its work in the completion of site demolition activities.”

The linked article includes several photos, inside and outside the plant.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @03:35AM   Printer-friendly
from the What-is-a-'pylon'? dept.

It seems that yet another connected car concept is being announced at CES, the Autoextremist offers a reality check,

...the fact remains that when CES keeps allowing blatant celebrations of vaporware to happen on a consistent basis, the credibility of the show is more than a little suspect. The latest evidence, or more specifically the latest outrage unleashed on the landscape? Byton, which is the brand name of Future Mobility Corporation of Nanjing, China. “The name ‘Byton’ comes from 'bytes on wheels' so it somehow reflects our idea to make a computer on four wheels.
The best part of this glorious charade? The company has raised $250 million so far. Yes, you read that correctly, $250 million. That's it. Do you know what $250 million will get you toward the development of a new car? A lot of nothin'.

For anyone that likes daydreaming, the Byton company vision statement can be found at

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Thursday January 11 2018, @02:02AM   Printer-friendly
from the no-comment dept.

The Trump administration has waived part of the punishment for five megabanks whose affiliates were convicted and fined for manipulating global interest rates. One of the Trump administration waivers was granted to Deutsche Bank — which is owed at least $130 million by President Donald Trump and his business empire, and has also been fined for its role in a Russian money laundering scheme.

The waivers were issued in a little-noticed announcement published in the Federal Register during the Christmas holiday week. They come less than two years after then-candidate Trump promised “I'm not going to let Wall Street get away with murder.”

Original Submission

posted by cmn32480 on Thursday January 11 2018, @12:29AM   Printer-friendly
from the shocking-turn-of-events dept.

Solar roads have plenty of potential problems, such as damage and snow, but theft? Apparently that's a concern, too. China's Qilu Evening News reported that thieves carved out a small (5.9in by 73in) portion of an experimental road in Jinan on January 2nd, a mere five days after its December 28th debut. While it's tempting to suggest this was an accident, officials said the missing segment was "neatly cut," and didn't appear to have come loose on its own.

The segment has since been repaired. An investigation is ongoing, but there aren't any identified culprits as of this writing.


Previously: Solar Generating Roads
Solar Roadway not Quite so Practical
SolaRoad Cycle Path Electricity Yield Exceeds Expectations
World's First Solar Panel Road Opens in Normandy Village
Georgia Tests New Solar Road

Original Submission