news aggregator

74% of Netflix Subscribers Would Rather Cancel Their Subscription Than See Ads

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 3:45pm
An anonymous reader writes: AllFlicks conducted a survey of more than 1,200 people on Reddit, asking them a series of questions regarding ads on Netflix. "Would you rather pay more for Netflix or see advertisements while you stream?" they asked. Of more than 1,200 respondents, an incredible 90% said they'd prefer a price hike to ads. "The sweet spot appears to be $1-2 [more], which 57% of respondents chose as their upper bound. A further 22% said they could go as high as $2-3 more, and less than a quarter were willing to go higher." The next question they asked: "If Netflix started showing ads, would you cancel your subscription?" Nearly 74% said they'd be done with Netflix if ads debuted on the service. AllFlicks writes, "Netflix's users are sending the service a pretty clear message: if the service starts selling ads, customers would consider leaving." In early May, CordCutting.com crunched some numbers and found that each Netflix subscriber saves themselves about 158.5 hours of commercials per year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Elon Musk's Open Source OpenAI: We're Working On a Robot For Your Household Chores

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 3:05pm
An anonymous reader writes from a report via ZDNet: OpenAI, the artificial-intelligence non-profit backed by Elon Musk, Amazon Web Services, and others, is working on creating a physical robot that performs household chores. In a blog post Monday, OpenAI leaders said they don't want to manufacture the robot itself, but "enable a physical robot [...] to perform basic housework." The company says it is "inspired" by DeepMind's work in the deep learning and reinforcement learning field of AI, as displayed by its AlphaGo victory over human Go masters. OpenAI says it wants to "train an agent capable enough to solve any game," noting that significant advances in AI will be required in order for that to happen. In May, the company released a public beta of a new Open Source gym for computer programmers working on AI. They also have plans to build an agent that can understand natural language and seek clarification when following instructions to complete a task. OpenAI plans to build new algorithms that can advance this field. Finally, OpenAI wants to measure its progress across games, robotics, and language-based tasks, which is where OpenAI's Gym Beta will come into play.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

180 Artists, Labels Including Taylor Swift Take On YouTube, Join Copyright Plea

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 2:24pm
Chloe Melas, reporting for CNN: Taylor Swift, U2, Kings of Leon and Paul McCartney are some of the 180 recording artists and labels petitioning Congress to reform the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (D.M.C.A.) In an open letter to Congress, they write that the current online copyright law has allowed YouTube and other sites to "generate huge profits by creating ease of use for consumers to carry almost every recorded song in history in their pocket via a smartphone, while songwriters' and artists' earnings continue to diminish." The letter, which is being published in The Hill and Politico this week, goes on to call for "sensible reform." "We ask you to enact sensible reform that balances the interests of creators with the interests of the companies who exploit music for their financial enrichment. It's only then that consumers will truly benefit." YouTube's parent company, Google, declined to comment Tuesday, but in a statement in April said, "Any claim that the DMCA safe harbors are responsible for a 'value gap' for music on YouTube is simply false." This comes days after musician Trent Reznor said YouTube is built on the back of stolen content.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

PayPal Dumped Cloud Company After It Refused To Monitor Customers' Files

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 1:40pm
German Dropbox rival Seafile claims PayPal dropped it as a customer after it refused to comply with the payment services company's demand to spy on its users' data. In a blog post, the company informed its customers that they can no longer pay for the service using PayPal -- the only payment method that Seafile currently relies on. CEO Silja Jackson told Fortune, "We're looking into alternative payment services, but currently we're running a cloud service and not getting paid." Founded in 2009, Seafile has over 250,000 users, many in universities. The service offers an open-source file-synchronization system that organizations can install on their own servers -- for a fee, if they want enterprise features -- and last October the firm decided to also start offering a paid version that's hosted on Seafile's German servers, for individuals and small businesses.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Microsoft: Nearly One In Three Azure Virtual Machines Now Are Running Linux

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 1:00pm
Mary Jo Foley, reporting for ZDNet: Microsoft's self-professed Linux love is helping the company in the cloud. During his keynote at DockerCon 2016 in Seattle today, Azure Chief Technology Officer Mark Russinovich showed off some of the new and upcoming ways Microsoft is adding more container support to its cloud and server products. He also revealed a couple of new interesting datapoints. In the past year, Russinovich said, Microsoft has gone from one in four of its Azure virtual machines running Linux to nearly one in three. The other two-thirds of Azure customers are running Windows Server in their virtual machines. Russinovich showed off the promised Windows Server support that officials said would be coming at some point to the company's Azure Container Service (ACS). Microsoft made Azure Container Service generally available in April 2016, but for Linux containers only. Last year, company execs said Microsoft also would bring Windows Server support to ACS.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Apple Unlikely to Make Big Changes for Next iPhone

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 12:20pm
The next iPhone isn't going to look much different from the last year's iPhone 6s, or 2014's iPhone 6. According to a WSJ report (paywalled; alternate source), Apple will release two new iPhone models with screen sizes 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch, and both the models will look pretty much similar to the last two year's models. There won't be any 3.5mm headphone port in the new iPhone, though, the report adds. The Cupertino-based company plans to introduce major design changes in its next iPhone, using OLED display and eliminating the home button to use the display for fingerprint scanning. From the report: For years, Apple Chief Design Officer Jony Ive has expressed a desire for the iPhone to appear like a single sheet of glass, according to people familiar with the matter. The current design ideas for the 2017 iPhones are expected to push the handsets in that direction by eliminating much of the bezel around the display, with the OLED screen.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Fedora 24 Featuring GNOME 3.20, Tons Of Improvements Released

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:40am
After several delays, the Fedora Project on Tuesday released Fedora 24 (download link), the latest version of its Linux-based operating system. Fedora 24 brings with it a number of interesting features and changes, including the GNOME 3.20 desktop environment. The latest version of GNOME comes with media-player controls in the notification panel, and improved search feature in the Files application. New GNOME will also let you easily upgrade to Fedora 25, by simply using its Software application. There's also improved font-rendering. Among other things Fedora 24 has an upgraded version of glibc, or GNU C Library, which comes with improved performance and bug fixes across the entire operating system. You can learn more about the features at TechRepublic..

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

New FAA Rules Allow US Companies To Fly Drones Without a Pilot's License

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 11:00am
On Tuesday, the Obama administration announced new rules for commercial drones. It states that drone pilots can now fly without waiting to get permission from the government. Previously, commercial operators were required to apply for a waiver from the FAA to operate small drones for commercial purposes. According to the new regulation, a drone must weigh less than 25kg, and it must fly under 400 feet (122m) and at a maximum speed of 161km per hour. DJI spokesman Adam Lisberg said: This is a major development for the future of drones in America. It means that businesses and farmers and government agencies and academic researchers can put drones to work without having to get an airplane pilot's license or follow other onerous rules. Those were pretty high barriers to entry. Part 107 is a vote of confidence from the FAA that drones can be safely integrated into the national airspace, and that a wider adoption of drones for all sorts of non-recreational uses will bring real benefits to America.More coverage on The Verge, and Reuters.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Instagram Hits 500 Million Users

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 10:20am
Instagram announced on Tuesday that it has reached 500 million monthly users. The Facebook-owned photo sharing service also said that 300 million users check the service everyday. To recall, Instagram had hit 400M users about nine months ago. From a Time report: "It's a big milestone for us because we set to create a community, not just a photo-sharing app," Instagram co-founder and CEO Kevin Systrom tells TIME in an exclusive interview. "One of the things we said early on is that everyone can create a photo-sharing app, but not everyone can build a community that lasts. And [these 500 million users] are not in silos. They are all interacting with each other. It's a global community, with over 80% of those people outside of the United States."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Google Is Finally Making Two-Step Verification Less Annoying

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 9:40am
Google, which first introduced two-factor authentication about five years ago, is now making it a little easier to utilize this security measure. Instead of users having to manually enter a code that they received in a text message, they will now see a prompt message that only requires them to tap on the phone to approve login requests. The feature will be available on Android as well as iOS soon. The Guardian reports: You do have to turn this service on even if you already use two-step. To turn it on you need to first login to Google and then go to My Account > Sign-in & security > Signing in to Google > 2-step Verification. There you will have options to turn on two-step verification, add Google prompt as an extra form of authentication or replace your existing two-step method. Google isn't the first to use notifications as a method of login verification, both Twitter and Facebook allow users to confirm logins using notifications from their respective smartphone apps. But even they require entering the app, viewing the alert and tapping confirm. Google's one-tap confirm is much faster.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Fujitsu Picks 64-Bit ARM For Post-K Supercomputer

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 9:00am
An anonymous reader writes: At the International Supercomputing Conference 2016 in Frankfurt, Germany, Fujitsu revealed its Post-K machine will run on ARMv8 architecture. The Post-K machine is supposed to have 100 times more application performance than the K Supercomputer -- which would make it a 1,000 PFLOPS beast -- and is due to go live in 2020. The K machine is the fifth fastest known super in the world, it crunches 10.5 PFLOPS, needs 12MW of power, and is built out of 705,000 Sparc64 VIIIfx cores.InfoWorld has more details.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Invoking Orlando, Senate Republicans Set Up Vote To Expand FBI Spying

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 8:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: U.S. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set up a vote late on Monday to expand the FBI's authority to use a secretive surveillance order without a warrant to include email metadata and some browsing history information. The move, made via an amendment to a criminal justice appropriations bill, is an effort by Senate Republicans to respond to last week's mass shooting in an Orlando nightclub after a series of measures to restrict guns offered by both parties failed on Monday. Privacy advocates denounced the effort, saying it seeks to exploit a mass shooting in order to expand the government's digital spying powers. The amendment would broaden the FBI's authority to use so-called National Security Letters to include electronic communications transaction records such as time stamps of emails and the emails' senders and recipients. NSLs do not require a warrant and are almost always accompanied by a gag order preventing the service provider from sharing the request with a targeted user. The amendment filed Monday would also make permanent a provision of the USA Patriot Act that allows the intelligence community to conduct surveillance on "lone wolf" suspects who do not have confirmed ties to a foreign terrorist group. A vote is expected no later than Wednesday, McConnell's office said. Last week, FBI Director James Comey said he is "highly confident that [the Orlando shooter] was radicalized at least in part through the internet."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Google To Offer Better Medical Advice When You Search Your Symptoms

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 5:00am
An anonymous reader writes from a report via CNBC: Google said Monday that it will be improving its catalog of searched Googled health symptoms by adding information on related health conditions that have been vetted by the Mayo Clinic and Harvard Medical School. For example, if you type "headache on one side," Google will offer up a list of associated conditions like "migraine," "common cold" or "tension headache." When it comes to general searches like "headache," the company will also give an overview description along with information on self-treatment options or symptoms that warrant a doctor's visit. In Google's official blog post, the company said roughly 1 percent of the searches on Google, which equates to millions of searches, are related to symptoms users are researching. However, search results can be confusing, and result in "unnecessary anxiety and stress," Google said. It plans to use its Knowledge Graph feature, which contains high-quality medical information collected from doctors, to enhance search results.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Ultra-Thin Solar Cells Can Be Bent Around A Pencil

SlashDot - Tue, 06/21/2016 - 2:00am
angry tapir quotes a report from Computerworld: Scientists in South Korea have developed solar cells thin enough they can be bent around a pencil. The cells could help usher in the use of solar energy in small portable gadgets where space is at a premium. The cells are fabricated onto a flexible substrate that is just a micrometer thick -- one-half to one-quarter the thickness of other "thin" solar cells and hundreds of times thinner than conventional cells. [The team at the Gwangju Institute of Science and Technology in South Korea managed to reduce the thickness by directly attaching the cells to the substrate without the use of an adhesive. They were stamped onto the substrate and then cold welded, a process that binds two materials together through pressure, not heat. The scientists tested the cells and discovered they can almost be folded in half -- wrapped around a radius as small as 1.4 millimeters. A paper describing the work was published on Monday in Applied Physics Letters, a journal of the American Institute of Physics.]

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Bigger Isn't Better As Mega-Ships Get Too Big and Too Risky

SlashDot - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 10:30pm
HughPickens.com writes: Alan Minter writes at Bloomberg that between 1955 and 1975, the average volume of a container ship doubled -- and then doubled again over each of the next two decades. The logic behind building such giants was once unimpeachable: Globalization seemed like an unstoppable force, and those who could exploit economies of scale could reap outsized profits. But it is looking more and more like the economies of scale for mega-ships are not worth the risk. The quarter-mile-long Benjamin Franklin recently became the largest cargo ship ever to dock at a U.S. port and five more mega-vessels are supposed to follow. But today's largest container vessels can cost $200 million and carry many thousands of containers -- potentially creating $1 billion in concentrated, floating risk that can only dock at a handful of the world's biggest ports. Mega-ships make prime targets for cyberattacks and terrorism, suffer from a dearth of qualified personnel to operate them, and are subject to huge insurance premiums. But the biggest costs associated with these floating behemoths are on land -- at the ports that are scrambling to accommodate them. New cranes, taller bridges, environmentally perilous dredging, and even wholesale reconfiguration of container yards are just some of the costly disruptions that might be needed to receive a Benjamin Franklin and service it efficiently. Under such circumstances, you'd think that ship owners would start to steer clear of big boats. But, fearful of falling behind the competition and hoping to put smaller operators out of business, they're actually doing the opposite. Global capacity will increase by 4.5 percent this year. "Sooner or later, even the biggest operators will have to accept that the era of super-sized shipping has begun to list," concludes Minter. "With global growth and trade still sluggish, and the benefits of sailing and docking big boats diminishing with each new generation, ship owners are belatedly realizing that bigger isn't better."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Russian Bill Requires Encryption Backdoors In All Messenger Apps

SlashDot - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 8:30pm
Patrick O'Neill quotes a report from The Daily Dot: A new bill in the Russian Duma, the country's lower legislative house, proposes to make cryptographic backdoors mandatory in all messaging apps in the country so the Federal Security Service -- the successor to the KGB -- can obtain special access to all communications within the country. [Apps like WhatsApp, Viber, and Telegram, all of which offer varying levels of encrypted security for messages, are specifically targeted in the "anti-terrorism" bill, according to the Russian-language media. Fines for the offending companies could reach 1 million rubles or about $15,000.] Russian Senator Elena Mizulina argued that the new bill ought to become law because, she said, teens are brainwashed in closed groups on the internet to murder police officers, a practice protected by encryption. Mizulina then went further. "Maybe we should revisit the idea of pre-filtering [messages]," she said. "We cannot look silently on this."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

New York Senate Passes Bill That Bans Short-Term Apartment Listings On Airbnb

SlashDot - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 7:50pm
An anonymous reader writes: The New York Senate passed a bill on Friday that makes it illegal to advertise entire unoccupied apartments for short-term rentals on Airbnb. The bill is headed to New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's desk for him to either veto or sign into law. The Verge reports: "The bill prohibits online apartment listings that last under 30 days and run up against the city's multiple dwelling law, which is designed to stop apartment buyers from renting out the entire space and basically turning their units into Airbnb hotels. First-time offenders would be fined $1,000, but a third infraction would be much costlier at $7,500. 'Let's be clear: this is a bad proposal that will make it harder for thousands of New Yorkers to pay the bills,' an Airbnb spokesperson told Tech Crunch. 'Dozens of governments around the world have demonstrated that there is a sensible way to regulate home sharing and we hope New York will follow their lead and protect the middle class.'" One of the bill's sponsors, State Assemblywoman Linda Rosenthal, disagrees and claims that it targets "people or companies with multiple listings. There are so many units held by commercial operators, not individual tenants. They are bad actors who horde multiple units, driving up the cost of housing around them and across the city." She went on to say, "You should know who your neighbor is and what happens when people rent out their apartments on Airbnb is you get strangers," said told the New York Post. "Every night there could be a different person sleeping in the next apartment and it shatters that sense of community in the building. It also can be dangerous."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Smartphone Users Are Paying For Their Own Surveillance

SlashDot - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 7:10pm
Nicola Hahn writes: While top secret NSA documents continue to trickle into the public sphere, tech industry leaders have endeavored to reassure anxious users by extolling the benefits of strong encryption. Rising demand among users for better privacy protection signifies a growth market for the titans of Silicon Valley -- this results in a tendency to frame the issue of cybersecurity in terms of the latest mobile device. Yet whistleblowers from our intelligence services offer dire warnings that contrast sharply with feel good corporate talking points. Edward Snowden, for example, noted that under mass surveillance we're essentially "tagged animals" who pay for our own tags. There's an argument to be made that the vast majority of network-connected gadgets enable monitoring far more than they protect individual liberty. In some instances, the most secure option is to opt out.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Red Hat Launches Ansible-Native Container Workflow Project

SlashDot - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 6:30pm
Orome1 quotes a report from Help Net Security: Red Hat launched Ansible Container under the Ansible project, which provides a simple, powerful, and agent-less open source IT automation framework. Available now as a technology preview, Ansible Container allows for the complete creation of Docker-formatted Linux containers within Ansible Playbooks, eliminating the need to use external tools like Dockerfile or docker-compose. Ansible's modular code base, combined with ease of contribution, and a community of contributors in GitHub, enables the powerful IT automation platform to manage today's infrastructure, but also adapt to new IT needs and DevOps workflows. Help Net Security reports: "The automated container creation and deployment offered by Ansible factor into Red Hat's existing container infrastructure stack, which now includes: A stable, container-centric operating system in Red Hat Enterprise Linux Atomic Host; An enterprise-grade, Kubernetes- and Docker-native container application platform through Red Hat OpenShift and the recently announced next-generation OpenShift Online public cloud service; Infrastructure management, automation and monitoring across hybrid environments with Red Hat CloudForms, Red Hat insights, Red Hat Satellite and Ansible Tower by Red Hat; Massively-scalable private and hybrid cloud architecture for large-scale container deployment through Red Hat OpenStack Platform and Red Hat Cloud Suite, which also includes Red Hat OpenShift."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News

Citing Attack, GoToMyPC Resets All Passwords

SlashDot - Mon, 06/20/2016 - 5:50pm
Security reporter Brian Krebs writes:GoToMyPC, a service that helps people access and control their computers remotely over the Internet, is forcing all users to change their passwords, citing a spike in attacks that target people who re-use passwords across multiple sites. Owned by Santa Clara, Calif. based networking giant Citrix, GoToMyPC is a popular software-as-a-service product that lets users access and control their PC or Mac from anywhere in the world. On June 19, the company posted a status update and began notifying users that a system-wide password update was underway.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geek News
Syndicate content