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Funding Goal
For 6-month period:
2020-01-01 to 2020-06-30
(All amounts are estimated)
Base Goal:
$3500.00

Currently:
$1611.69
46.0%

Covers transactions:
2020-01-01 00:00:00 ..
2020-04-04 05:49:45 UTC
(SPIDs: [1207..1266])
Last Update:
2020-04-04 13:11:33 UTC
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Comments:88 | Votes:138

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @11:42PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the do-you-want-to-play-a-game? dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Longtime followers of [Ken Shirriff’s] work are accustomed to say asking “Where does he get such wonderful toys?”. This time around he’s laid bare the guidance computer from a Titan missile. To be specific, this is the computer that would have been found in the Titan II, an intercontinental ballistic missile that you may remember as a key part of the plot of the classic film WarGames. Yeah, those siloed nukes.

But it’s not the logic that’s mind-blowing, it’s the memory. Those dark rectangles on almost every board in the image at the top of the article are impressively-dense patches of magnetic core memory. That fanout is one of two core memory modules that are found in this computer. With twelve plates per module (each hosting two bits) plus a parity bit on an additional plate, words were composed of 25-bits and the computer’s two memory modules could store a total of 16k words.

Inside a Titan missile guidance computer

I've been studying the guidance computer from a Titan II nuclear missile. This compact computer was used in the 1970s to guide a Titan II nuclear missile towards its target or send a Titan IIIC rocket into the proper orbit. The computer worked in conjunction with an Inertial Measurement Unit (IMU), a system of gyroscopes and accelerometers that tracked the rocket's position and velocity.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 25, @09:50PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the pretty-in-pink dept.

Hubble Space Telescope snaps dazzling pink cloud to learn more about big baby stars:

Say hello to the Hubble Space Telescope's view of LHA 120-N 150. It's a cloud of dust and gas surrounded by stars, and it calls the suburbs of the Tarantula Nebula its home. The nebula is known as a hot spot for star formation, and this particular region is helping astronomers learn more about how massive stars are created.

The cloud appears in pink in the processed image above (more on how Hubble colors come about). Young stars sparkle all around it. Hubble is a joint project between NASA and the European Space Agency.

Massive stars are exactly what they sound like: absolute stellar units. "Theoretical models of the formation of massive stars suggest that they should form within clusters of stars; but observations indicate that up to ten percent of them also formed in isolation," the ESA said in a release Wednesday. Astronomers are trying to figure out if these isolated stars were born alone or if they just left home at an early age, and they're now scrutinizing LHA 120-N 150 to see if they can spot the difference between baby stars and dust clumps within the cloud.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @07:57PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the now-we-can-read-the-fine-print dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Imagine shrinking a microscope, integrating it with a chip and using it to observe inside living cells in real time. Wouldn't it be great if this tiny microscope could also be incorporated into electronic gadgets, in the same way that smartphone cameras are today? What if doctors manage to use such a tool for diagnosis in remote areas without the need for large, heavy and sensitive analysis devices? The EU-funded ChipScope project has made significant progress towards achieving these objectives.

Researchers involved with the EU-funded ChipScope project are now developing a novel strategy to enhance optical microscopy. A news item on the project website states: "In classical optical microscopy, the analyzed sample area is illuminated simultaneously, collecting the light which is scattered from each point with an area-selective detector, e.g. the human eye or the sensor of a camera. In the Chipscope idea instead, a structured light source with tiny, individually addressable elements is utilized."

The same news item notes that "the specimen is located on top of this light source, in close vicinity. Whenever single emitters are activated, the light propagation depends on the spatial structure of the sample, very similar to what is known as shadow imaging in the macroscopic world." An image is created when "the overall amount of light which is transmitted through the sample region is sensed by a detector, activating one light element at a time and thereby scanning across the sample space. If the light elements have sizes in the nanometer regime and the sample is in close contact to them, the optical near field is of relevance and super resolution imaging may become possible with a chip-based setup."

[...] The ChipScope (Overcoming the Limits of Diffraction with Superresolution Lighting on a Chip) project will end in December 2020. Project partners have already developed a prototype of the proposed microscope and hope to present a more powerful version with higher resolution by the end of the project.

Original Source


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday March 25, @06:05PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the all-your-user-agent-are-belong-to-us dept.

Chrome Phasing out Support for User Agent

Google announced its decision to drop support for the User-Agent string in its Chrome browser. Instead, Chrome will offer a new API called Client Hints that will give the user greater control over which information is shared with websites.

[...] When Netscape came out,[...] it adopted the User-Agent string and added additional details such as the operating system, language, etc. These details helped websites to deliver the right content for the user, though in reality, the primary use case for the User-Agent string became browser sniffing.

[...] Browser sniffing continued to play a significant part in determining the browser capabilities for many years, which led to an unfortunate side effect where smaller browser vendors had to mimic popular User-Agents to display the correct website - as many companies only supported the major User-Agent types.

With JavaScript popularity rising, most developers have started using libraries such as Modernizer, which detects the specific capabilities of the browser, as this provides much more accurate results.

As a result, the most significant usage for the User-Agent remained within the advertising industry, where companies used it to 'fingerprint' users, a practice that many privacy advocates found to be problematic - mainly as most users had limited options to disable/mask those details.

If advertisers (other than Google) are unable to fingerprint our browsers we might be condemned to having fewer ads on our web pages to watch.

[A more in-depth article is available on ZDNet; the entire Client Hints proposal is available on GitHub. This is subject to modification — but it has been under development since at least January of 2019 — so don't wait for it to get formally adopted if you have any issues with it; get your feedback in soon.-Ed.]


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Wednesday March 25, @04:14PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the peek-a-boo dept.

New telescope design could capture distant celestial objects with unprecedented detail:

Researchers have designed a new camera that could allow hypertelescopes to image multiple stars at once. The enhanced telescope design holds the potential to obtain extremely high-resolution images of objects outside our solar system, such as planets, pulsars, globular clusters and distant galaxies.

"A multi-field hypertelescope could, in principle, capture a highly detailed image of a star, possibly also showing its planets and even the details of the planets' surfaces," said Antoine Labeyrie, emeritus professor at the Collège de France and Observatoire de la Cote d'Azur, who pioneered the hypertelescope design. "It could allow planets outside of our solar system to be seen with enough detail that spectroscopy could be used to search for evidence of photosynthetic life."

In The Optical Society's (OSA) journal Optics Letters, Labeyrie and a multi-institutional group of researchers report optical modeling results that verify that their multi-field design can substantially extend the narrow field-of-view coverage of hypertelescopes developed to date.

Large optical telescopes use a concave mirror to focus light from celestial sources. Although larger mirrors can produce more detailed pictures because of their reduced diffractive spreading of the light beam, there is a limit to how large these mirrors can be made. Hypertelescopes are designed to overcome this size limitation by using large arrays of mirrors, which can be spaced widely apart.

Researchers have previously experimented with relatively small prototype hypertelescope designs, and a full-size version is currently under construction in the French Alps. In the new work, researchers used computer models to create a design that would give hypertelescopes a much larger field of view. This design could be implemented on Earth, in a crater of the moon or even on an extremely large scale in space.

Building a hypertelescope in space, for example, would require a large flotilla of small mirrors spaced out to form a very large concave mirror. The large mirror focuses light from a star or other celestial object onto a separate spaceship carrying a camera and other necessary optical components.

"The multi-field design is a rather modest addition to the optical system of a hypertelescope, but should greatly enhance its capabilities," said Labeyrie. "A final version deployed in space could have a diameter tens of times larger than the Earth and could be used to reveal details of extremely small objects such as the Crab pulsar, a neutron star believed to be only 20 kilometers in size."

[...] Incorporating the multi-field addition into hypertelescope prototypes would require developing new components, including adaptive optics components to correct residual optical imperfections in the off-axis design. The researchers are also continuing to develop alignment techniques and control software so that the new camera can be used with the prototype in the Alps. They have also developed a similar design for a moon-based version.

Supersharp images from new VLT adaptive optics

More information: Zongliang Xie et al, Hypertelescope with multiplexed fields of view, Optics Letters (2020). DOI: 10.1364/OL.385953

Journal information: Optics Letters Provided by The Optical Society


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday March 25, @02:25PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

The simple codebreaking game Mastermind turns 50 this year. Vice goes into some background regarding the now classical game and its heyday.

If you only know Mastermind as a well-worn and underplayed fixture of living room closets and nursing home common areas, you may have no idea just how big this thing was in its early years. Invented in 1970, Mastermind would sell 30 million copies before that decade was up, and boast a national championship at the Playboy Club, a fan in Muhammed Ali, official use by the Australian military for training, and 80% ownership amongst the population of Denmark. "I never thought a game would be invented again," marvelled the manager of a Missouri toy store in 1977. "A real classic like Monopoly."

[...] If you don't know Mastermind at all, i.e. you never lived in Denmark, it's played over a board with a codemaker who creates a sequence of four different colored pegs, and a codebreaker who must replicate that exact pattern within a certain number of tries. With each guess, the codemaker can only advise whether the codebreaker has placed a peg in its correct position, or a peg that is in the sequence but incorrectly placed. According to the game's creators, an answer in five tries is "better than average"; two or fewer is pure luck. In 1978, a British teenager, John Searjeant, dominated the Mastermind World Championship by solving a code with just three guesses in 19 seconds. (In second place was Cindy Forth, 18, of Canada; she remembers being awarded a trophy and copies of Mastermind.)

Mordechai Meirowitz, an Israeli telephone technician, developed Mastermind in 1970 from an existing game of apocryphal origin, Bulls and Cows, which used numbers instead of colored pegs. Nobody, by the way, knows where Bulls and Cows came from. Computer scientists who adapted the first known versions in the 1960s variously remembered the game to me as one hundred and one thousand years old. Whatever its age, it's clear nobody ever did as well out of Bulls and Cows as Meirowitz, who retired from game development and lived comfortably off royalties not long after selling the Mastermind prototype to Invicta, a British plastics firm expanding from industrial parts and window shutters into games and toys.

The story relates a couple of tales of intrigue related to the game.

Pertaining to the models whose photos appear on the cover of the game:

While Bill Woodward continued to pose for the covers of successive editions of Mastermind, Cecilia Masters had no further involvement, though not for lack of interest on her part. After the photo shoot, Masters did not hear from Invicta, but did happen to run into one of the agents who had selected her. He promised to contact her, but again, Masters heard nothing. "I started to notice my flatmate always ran to the post box every morning before me," she remembers. "I found out later she was destroying letters from the studio."

Masters' flatmate, a fellow computer science student, was with her when she was approached for the photo shoot, and Masters thinks her flatmate may have been upset that she was not chosen instead. "She said she was curious [about] the results of the photo shoot and once she opened and destroyed the first letter to me, she had no choice but to keep on destroying all further correspondence."

Further on, the story proceeds to recount tales of "spy vs spy" where a computer version of the game (called MOO) was hacked:

King also wrote in what was then a new feature for computer games: a league table, or leaderboard, on which players could record their score. "For the first few days people vied with one another to get higher on the league table," he says. "People were clearly getting better and better, and then someone was at the top of the league table with an impossibly ridiculous average."

It was a new kind of security vulnerability against which the operating systems of the day had no inherent defense. If a MOO player was allowed to update one of King's files—specifically, entering their name and score in the league table—they could, in theory, just as easily input a fake score, delete another user's score or even change the source code itself.

King's hackers would come clean, but every time King tried to fix the vulnerability, he'd be hacked again. "This was a very friendly 'war,'" he clarifies. "No trying to say 'I'm better than you are,' no oneupmanship. Everyone was cooperating [to improve the system.]"

[...] Nonetheless, King, distracted by his PhD, fell behind the hackers' efforts, prompting an intervention by the attention of Cambridge's then-informal computer security group, who told King that the problems he was dealing with in MOO were "going to be very important in the future." If allowing a user to update a MOO league table with their own score opened the door for them to make unwanted changes, the same thing could happen to a bank allowing a customer to make remote electronic withdrawals. Both, as King explains, are just users making changes to someone else's file.

Previously:
Magic the Gathering: The World's Most Complex Game (2019)
Essen 2017: Best Board Games from the Biggest Board Game Convention (2017)
Google DeepMind's AlphaGo Beats "Go" Champion Using Neural Networks (2016)
Ancient Board Game Found in Looted China Tomb (2015)


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday March 25, @12:30PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the And-a-cast-of-thousands... dept.

Maybe the eds or someone already have something planned for the anniversary of MDC's death, or maybe the Coronavirus pandemic has overshadowed everything. I checked the subs queue and didn't see anything about MDC.

I'm sorry I don't have anything proper to submit, just a link to last year's article:
Michael David Crawford Passes Away.

His wish was not to be forgotten to be remembered through his works.

FWIW, I'm not the same AC who submitted that one; just a long-time /. & SN reader who was sincerely saddened by the news of MDC's death.

[Ed. addition follows. --martyb]

As a token of respect and thanks for his active participation on SoylentNews, staff updated our Subscribe page to facilitate making a site subscription in his memory. From Meta: Site News: Holiday Weekend, Staffing, Outage, Finances, Submissions, and Moderations (emphasis added):

When you subscribe, some of the site limits are relaxed and you get a shiny star next to any comments you post. For the humble, you can turn that star's display off in your preferences.

If you wish to help out, click on Subscribe and select whether you want the subscription to start/extend your own subscription or you wish to make a gift subscription. If it is a gift subscription, specify the UID for the recipient. The default of UID==6 is that of Michael Casadevall (another nick NCommander used when setting up the site) or you may replace the UID with 2339 in memory of Michael David Crawford, or any other UID that you want.

Penultimately, select a subscription duration and amount (the suggested amount is a minimum; any in excess of that is greatly appreciated), and click on the Continue button. NOTE: Javascript needs to have been enabled for the following step to work. Lastly, choose your payment method of either Paypal or Stripe, fill in the requested details, and submit.

As I have mentioned before, this site has real expenses with server hosting fees, domain name registration, paying for a CPA to file our taxes, and the like. Those who support us financially help "keep the lights on." Thank You!

Many years ago I came upon a definition that I believe embodies how MDC lived his life: "Honest is the absence of the intent to deceive." He set a very high bar that, though I try, do not know that I will be able to maintain the openness that I saw him exhibit.

Lastly, I find it timely that a fortune I saw on our site this morning seems apropos to his life:

So live that you wouldn't be ashamed to sell the family parrot to the town gossip.

He may not have been faultless (who is?), but I am sure he would have no fears about what might be revealed by selling "the family parrot."

Previously:
Meta: Site News: Holiday Weekend, Staffing, Outage, Finances, Submissions, and Moderations
'This is how expensive it is to attempt suicide': Patient's bill goes viral
MDC Fortunes
Michael David Crawford Passes Away
Depression Strongly Correlated with Taking Three or More Common Drugs Simultaneously


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @10:37AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the another-day-another-hack dept.

Here's the Netflix account compromise Bugcrowd doesn't want you to know about [Updated]:

Updated 3/23/2020: A Netflix spokeswoman said that the dismissal of this bug report on the grounds it was out-of-scope was a mistake on the part of the company. The company has since confirmed the validity of the report and began rolling out a fix on Friday. The spokeswoman said that the researcher will receive a bounty, although she didn't say how much it will be. What follows is the original Ars report:

A Netflix security weakness that allows unauthorized access to user accounts over local networks is out of the scope of the company's bug bounty program, the researcher who reported the threat said. Despite dismissing the report, the Bugcrowd vulnerability reporting service is trying to prevent public disclosure of the weakness.

The researcher's proof-of-concept exploit uses a classic man-in-the-middle attack to steal a Netflix session cookie. These browser cookies are the equivalent of a wristband that music venues use so paying customers aren't charged an entrance fee a second time. Possession of a valid session cookie is all that's required to access a target's Netflix account.

Varun Kakumani, the security researcher who discovered the weakness and privately reported it through Bugcrowd, said the attack is possible because of two things: (1) the continued use of clear-text HTTP connections rather than encrypted HTTPS connections by some Netflix subdomains and (2) the failure of Netflix to equip the session cookie with a secure flag, which prevents transmission over unencrypted connections.

The omissions are surprising to find in a major Web service in 2020. In the years following the 2013 revelations of indiscriminate spying by the National Security Agency, these services almost universally adopted the use of HTTPS across all subdomains. The protocol provides end-to-end encryption between websites and end users. Netflix didn't respond to a message seeking comment for this post. Without an explanation from the company, it's not clear if the use of plaintext connections is an oversight or done purposely to provide various capabilities.

"Essentially you can hack any Netflix account [of] whoever is on the same Wi-Fi network," Kakumani told me. "Old-school MITM attack."


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @08:45AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the simulating-a-brain dept.

Intel's Neuromorphic Chip Scales Up (and It Smells)

Neuromorphic chips attempt to directly mimic the behavior of the human brain. Intel, which introduced its Loihi neuromorphic chip in 2017, has just announced that Loihi has been scaled up into a system that simulates over 100 million neurons. Furthermore, it announced that the chip smells. (That is to say: it's able to smell. To a nose, it probably just smells like a computer chip.)

Loihi is Intel's fifth-generation neuromorphic chip. It packs 128 cores – each of which has a built-in learning module – and a total of around 131,000 computational "neurons" that communicate with one another, allowing the chip to understand stimuli. The new system, Pohoiki Springs, contains over 100 million of those computational neurons. It consists of 768 Loihi chips, mounted on Intel Nahuku boards in a chassis that Intel describes as "the size of five standard servers," and a row of Arria10 FPGA boards. By contrast, Kapoho Bay, Intel's smallest neuromorphic device, consists of just two Loihi chips with 262,000 neurons.

"Pohoiki Springs scales up our Loihi neuromorphic research chip by more than 750 times, while operating at a power level of under 500 watts," said Mike Davies, director of Intel's Neuromorphic Computing Lab. "The system enables our research partners to explore ways to accelerate workloads that run slowly today on conventional architectures, including high-performance computing systems."

Also at The Next Platform, EE Times, and Wccftech.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @06:53AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the is-fake-meat-just-feet? dept.

Impossible CEO says it can make a meat 'unlike anything that you've had before'

Plant-based meat products are bigger than ever, with the fast-food industry, grocery stores, and upscale restaurants coming on board. A recent Nielsen report found that plant-based meat alternative purchases went up 279.8 percent last week after Americans were instructed to stay home during the novel coronavirus pandemic.

Impossible Foods, a company that develops plant-based meat products, says its mission is to someday replace the incumbent meat industry entirely, stating that, from a mission standpoint, a sale only has value if it comes at the expense of the sale of an animal-derived product.

But what if plant-based meat wasn't just a substitute for an already-existing marketplace, and instead, it started to make meat that has never existed?

On this week's Vergecast podcast, Impossible Foods CEO Patrick Brown talks to Verge editor-in-chief Nilay Patel about how this impossible meat could be a possibility in the future, even if it doesn't make sense for the company right now.

https://dilbert.com/strip/1992-04-08

Previously: Impossible Burger Lands in Some California Grocery Stores
Burger King Grilled by Vegan Over Impossible Burger "Meat Contamination"

Related: 'Soylent' Dawkins? Atheist Mulls 'Taboo Against Cannibalism' Ending as Lab-Grown Meat Improves
Meatless "Beyond Burgers" Come to Fast Food Restaurants
Swedish Behavioral Scientist Suggests Eating Humans to 'Save the Planet'
Discriminating Diets Of Meat-Eating Dinosaurs
Meat Industry PR Campaign Bashes Plant-Based Meat Alternatives
Unilever Pushing for Plant-Based Meat
Judge Serves Up Sizzling Rebuke of Arkansas' Anti-Veggie-Meat Labeling Law


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @05:01AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the space-is-becoming-a-crowded-place dept.

SpaceX gets FCC license for 1 million satellite-broadband user terminals

SpaceX has received government approval to deploy up to 1 million user terminals in the United States for its Starlink satellite-broadband constellation.

SpaceX asked the Federal Communications Commission for the license in February 2019, and the FCC announced its approval in a public notice last week. The FCC approval is for "a blanket license for the operation of up to 1,000,000 fixed earth stations that will communicate with [SpaceX's] non-geostationary orbit satellite system." The license is good for 15 years.

[...] One million terminals would only cover a fraction of US homes, but SpaceX isn't necessarily looking to sign up huge portions of the US population. Musk said at the conference that Starlink will likely serve the "3 or 4 percent hardest-to-reach customers for telcos" and "people who simply have no connectivity right now, or the connectivity is really bad." Starlink won't have lots of customers in big cities like LA "because the bandwidth per cell is simply not high enough," he said.

SpaceX's main Starlink constellation competitor is running out of money

OneWeb, the only pressing competitor facing SpaceX's Starlink satellite internet constellation, has reportedly begun to consider filing for bankruptcy shortly before the London-based company completed its third dedicated launch.

Following the completion of its first full 34-satellite launch with a Russian Soyuz rocket on February 7th, OneWeb managed to complete a second launch on March 22nd just a few days after Bloomberg revealed its bankruptcy concerns. OneWeb now has 74 ~150-kg (330 lb) satellites in orbit – roughly 11% of its initial 650-satellite constellation. Like SpaceX, OneWeb's goal is to manufacture and launch an unprecedented number of high-performance small satellites for a per-spacecraft cost that would have previously been inconceivable.

[...] Requiring numerous revolutions in satellite manufacturing, antenna production, and launch vehicle affordability, as well as a vast and complex network of ground terminals, numerous companies have tried and failed to rise to the challenge over the decades. Original Globalstar, Teledesic, and Iridium constellations all raised more than $10 billion in the 1990s under the promise of blanketing the Earth with internet from space. All wound up bankrupt at one point or another.

See also: The true impact of SpaceX's Starlink constellation on astronomy is coming into focus

Previously:
SpaceX Seeks Approval for 1 Million Starlink Ground Stations, Faces Pentagon Audit
SpaceX and OneWeb Clash Over Proposed Satellite Constellation Orbits
OneWeb Joins the Satellite Internet Gold Rush this Week
OneWeb Launches its First Large Batch of Broadband Satellites, Plans March Launch and April Break
How Does Starlink Work Anyway?


Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday March 25, @03:07AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Bummer-of-a-birthmark,-Hal dept.

Windows code-execution zeroday is under active exploit, Microsoft warns:

Attackers are actively exploiting a Windows zero-day vulnerability that can execute malicious code on fully updated systems, Microsoft warned on Monday.

The font-parsing remote code-execution vulnerability is being used in "limited targeted attacks," the software maker said in an advisory published on Monday morning. The security flaw exists in the Adobe Type Manager Library, a Windows DLL file that a wide variety of apps use to manage and render fonts available from Adobe Systems. The vulnerability consists of two code-execution flaws that can be triggered by the improper handling of maliciously crafted master fonts in the Adobe Type 1 Postscript format. Attackers can exploit them by convincing a target to open a booby-trapped document or viewing it in the Windows preview pane.

"Microsoft is aware of limited, targeted attacks that attempt to leverage this vulnerability," Monday's advisory warned. Elsewhere the advisory said: "For systems running supported versions of Windows 10 a successful attack could only result in code execution within an AppContainer sandbox context with limited privileges and capabilities."

Until a patch becomes available, Microsoft is suggesting users use one or more of the following workarounds:

  • Disabling the Preview Pane and Details Pane in Windows Explorer
  • Disabling the WebClient service
  • Rename ATMFD.DLL, or alternatively, disable the file from the registry

[...] Monday's advisory provides detailed instructions for both turning on and turning off all three workarounds. Enhanced Security Configuration, which is on by default on Windows Servers, doesn't mitigate the vulnerability, the advisory added.

[...] The phrase "limited targeted attacks" is frequently shorthand for exploits carried out by hackers carrying out espionage operations on behalf of governments. These types of attacks are usually limited to a small number of targets—in some cases, fewer than a dozen—who work in a specific environment that's of interest to the government sponsoring the hackers.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday March 25, @01:15AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the too-expensive dept.

Reports: Google, LG, don't want Qualcomm's super-expensive Snapdragon 865:

Qualcomm really threw a wrench into the flagship SoC market for 2020 with the Snapdragon 865. The new chip was a big departure from previous years thanks to Qualcomm's aggressive push for 5G, which comes with design requirements that make phones bigger, hotter, and more expensive than previous years. While we've already seen Samsung and many Chinese OEMs step up with 865-powered super-flagships that are more expensive than ever, for some OEMs, it seems like the cost is just too high. A pair of recent reports indicated that both Google and LG are skipping out on the Snapdragon 865 this year, opting instead for a cheaper chip.

For Google's next flagship smartphone, the Pixel 5, a few signs have popped up indicating it won't use the Snapdragon 865. Pixel phones always pop up in the Android code repository with fishy codenames before release, and in January, XDA Developers spotted three devices codenamed "Sunfish," "Redfin," and "Bramble." A recent teardown of the Google camera app gave us definitions for each of these codenames. "Sunfish" was labeled as "photo_pixel_2020_midrange_config," aka the Pixel 4a, while Bramble and Redfin were labeled "photo_pixel_2020_config," which should be the Pixel 5 and Pixel 5 XL.

As reported by XDA in January, the Pixel 5 and 5 XL don't actually use Qualcomm's flagship Snapdragon 865. In the Android code base, both are running the Snapdragon 765G, a chip that's one step down from the 865 in Qualcomm's lineup. There isn't actually a Snapdragon 865 Google phone in the Android repository.

Korean site Naver reports that LG is taking a similar approach to its 2020 flagship, the LG G9 ThinQ: instead of shipping the 865, the company is also opting for the cheaper 765G. HMD did the same thing recently with the launch of the Nokia 8.3.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Tuesday March 24, @11:23PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the you-do-not-own-your-cloud-computer dept.

'Azure appears to be full': UK punters complain of capacity issues on Microsoft's cloud:

Customers of Microsoft's Azure cloud are reporting capacity issues such as the inability to create resources and associated reliability issues.

Outage-tracking website Down Detector shows quite a few reports about UK Azure issues today, yet the official Azure Status page is all green ticks. The inability to provision resources does not count as an outage as such – though it is more than an annoyance since it is not always feasible to create the resource in an alternative Azure region. Some types of resource have to be same region in order to work correctly without a lot of reconfiguration.

Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD), a handy solution for remote workers, is one example. One user complained on Twitter that "Azure seems to be full" when trying to allocate a VM for WVD, though it appears to be a test deployment (if the name WVD-TEST-0 is anything to go by). The error reads "Allocation failed. We do not have sufficient capacity for the requested VM size in this region." The region is UK South.

[...] Note that Azure is a huge service and it would be wrong to give disproportionate weight to a small number of reports. Most of Azure seems to be working fine. That said, capacity in the UK regions was showing signs of stress even before the current crisis, so it is not surprising that issues are occurring now.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Tuesday March 24, @09:33PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the partly-sunny-with-hybrid-clouds dept.

No Culture Clash in the Marriage of IBM and Red Hat

How is the marriage between IBM and Red Hat going?

The view from the executive boardroom is good. IBM was recently able to report an uptick in income after five quarters of falling revenues, partly because of income produced by its new red-headed open source partner.

[ . . . . ] Further evidence that the suits at the top are happy came with the recent announcement that next month when Ginni Rometty steps down as IBM's president and CEO Jim Whitehurst will be taking a seat at the big kids' table as IBM's president while remaining as Red Hat's CEO.

From the start, IBM said it would leave Red Hat alone and that the new buy would operate as an independent company. [ . . . . ] "I don't have a $34 billion death wish," Rometty added. "I didn't buy them to destroy them."

[ . . . . ] "but IBM has also been a huge proponent of open source. [IBM] obviously has both open and proprietary-based solutions, but they've been a big sponsor of Linux and the Linux Foundation, and they've been involved in communities like Kubernetes. I think IBM doesn't get enough credit sometimes for what they've done for open source." [ . . . . ] it's doubtful Linux would be the dominant force in data centers it has become if it were not for IBM's $1 billion investment in the operating system's development in 2001. It's also true that over the years IBM has been a contributor to important open source projects [ . . . ]

[ . . . . ] It was Red Hat's cloud expertise that first prompted IBM to consider its $34 billion investment in Red Hat. According to IBM, many of its enterprise customers have yet to utilize public clouds and are reluctant to give up their own on-premises data centers, often because they're still dependent on large monolithic applications that weren't designed for cloud-native infrastructures. Others are in highly regulated businesses with requirements to keep customer data on-prem.

IBM has been advocating hybrid cloud as a way for companies to keep much of their compute on-prem while harnessing the advantages offered by public clouds for some workloads. As it happens, Red Hat practically wrote the book on hybrid cloud, and is responsible for much of the technology – like OpenStack and OpenShift – that makes it possible.

"Hybrid cloud is something that Red Hat's been a strong proponent of," said Fernandes.

How important is Red Hat perceived to be for non data center applications?


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