subskrybent kanałów informacyjnych

Twitter Teases Hiding 'Likes' and 'Retweets' Counts, Color-Coded Replies in Biggest Set of Changes To Its Social Media Service Since it Launched in 2006

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 19:30
Twitter is teasing some of the biggest changes to its social media service since it first launched in 2006, aiming to make good on the company's promise to promote "healthy conversation." From a report: The company is also introducing new features to enhance pictures and video on the app in an effort to encourage users to make more use of the cameras on their smartphones, a move that adds features similar to those found on the apps of some of its main competition: Instagram and Snapchat. "We've really intentionally tried to make the images and footage that are captured on the ground at an event look different than other images and videos that you might attach to a tweet," said Keith Coleman, Twitter's head of consumer product. On Tuesday, the company offered the public its first look at a new prototype for the Twitter app, which the company is calling "twttr" in a nod to CEO and co-founder Jack Dorsey's first tweet, that includes a variety of changes to how Twitter looks and operates, centered on a new format for conversations and color-coded replies. The prototype also removes the engagement counts showing the number of retweets or "likes" a tweet receives. This change is designed to make Twitter a little friendlier.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

America's Latest Effort To Thwart the Growth of China's Huawei is Playing Out Beneath the World's Oceans

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 18:50
A new front has opened in the battle between the U.S. and China over control of global networks that deliver the internet. This one is beneath the ocean. [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; syndicated source.] From a report: While the U.S. wages a high-profile campaign to exclude China's Huawei from next-generation mobile networks over fears of espionage, the company is embedding itself into undersea cable networks that ferry nearly all of the world's internet data. About 380 active submarine cables -- bundles of fiber-optic lines that travel oceans on the seabed -- carry about 95% of intercontinental voice and data traffic, making them critical for the economies and national security of most countries. Current and former security officials in the U.S. and allied governments now worry that these cables are increasingly vulnerable to espionage or attack and say the involvement of Huawei potentially enhances China's capabilities. Huawei denies any threat. The U.S. hasn't publicly provided evidence of its claims that Huawei technology poses a cybersecurity risk. Its efforts to persuade other countries to sideline the company's communication technology have been met with skepticism by some. Huawei Marine Networks, majority owned by the Chinese telecom giant, completed a 3,750-mile cable between Brazil and Cameroon in September. It recently started work on a 7,500-mile cable connecting Europe, Asia and Africa and is finishing up links across the Gulf of California in Mexico. Altogether, the company has worked on some 90 projects to build or upgrade seabed fiber-optic links, gaining fast on the three U.S., European and Japanese firms that dominate the industry. These officials say the company's knowledge of and access to undersea cables could allow China to attach devices that divert or monitor data traffic -- or, in a conflict, to sever links to entire nations.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook is Down

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 18:20
Facebook, the world's largest social networking website, is down for many, users say. Third-party web monitoring tool DownDetector corroborates the claim, adding that more than 11,000 people have reported issues with accessing Facebook in the last 30 minutes or so. Facebook's outage means social buttons and other Facebook functionalities that are embedded all over the web are also facing issue. Update: Instagram appears to be down, too, for some users. Update 2: In a statement, a Facebook spokesperson said, "We're aware that some people are currently having trouble accessing the Facebook family of apps. We're working to resolve the issue as soon as possible."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

ICANN Chair Elections Test Its Institutional Integrity

CircleID - Śro, 2019-03-13 18:05

The ICANN Board will soon be considering candidates for election to the position of ICANN Chairperson and Vice Chair, which compels me to remind both the Board and the ICANN community of the fact that one of the members pursuing the Chairmanship is the subject of an on-going Australian Freedom of Information Act, which was initiated by the irregularities that brought about this individuals dismissal from the .au Domain Administration. In pursuit of bringing the facts of the matter to light for all concerned, following receipt of the initial declination to release the requested information, on 07 March 2019 the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner has "...concluded that aspects of the Department's decision to refuse access to the documents requested are incorrect. Consequently, [the Information Commissioner has] invited the Department to issue a revised decision pursuant to [section] 55G of the FOI Act or final submissions if it disagrees with [the Information Commissioner's] view by 14 March 2019."

Coupled with this notice from the Office of the Australian Information Commissioner is the fact that there is also an on-going police investigation into this matter, which in fact was the catalyst for the initiation of the Freedom of Information Act request in the first place.

Recently, I brought the ICANN Board's attention to something that the Board Governance Chair had been derelict in his duties, i.e., vetting all Board members through background checks, in the same manner as all Nominating Committee Board appointees, to ensure that the ICANN Board meets basic governance standards. To Chairman Chalaby's credit, the Board took swift action to ensure those Board members who had not been, were indeed properly vetted within the very week of that ICANN meeting.

In the same way — to protect the institution of ICANN — to ensure that ICANN is kept separate and apart from what may or may not prove to be a serious, avoidable, self-inflicted wound for an institution that so many have tirelessly dedicated countless hours and effort to establish — I call on the Chair and ICANN Board to ensure that no candidate who may be standing under a cloud of any type be considered for the highest position and authority within ICANN.

As we move forward to when the ICANN Board will vote on the next Board Chair and Vice Chair, I urge the members of the Board to respect the importance of having the utmost integrity within itself, and to respect the fact that the impact of any shadow — no matter how large or small — will impact the larger volunteer community that is ICANN.

Thus, for all candidates for Vice Chair and Chair, I ask that the Board ensure such individuals are held to the highest standards of integrity; anything less is unacceptable if ICANN is to be a true steward of the Internet. In today's world, perceptions matter.

When one is a leader at the Board level within ICANN, it is not only that the ICANN Community must have their faith and trust in our leaders be returned, but that trust must be validated. Any deleterious halo effect has a decidedly negative reflection on all of the hundreds of volunteers, and ultimately on the organization as a whole.

So I caution the Board that a mistake made here will dramatically harm the global perception of our (ICANN's) institutional integrity.

Written by Ronald N. Andruff, President & CEO, dotSport LLC

Follow CircleID on Twitter

More under: ICANN, Internet Governance, Policy & Regulation

Tim Berners-Lee Talks About India's Recent Push To Data Localization, Proposed Compromise of End-to-End Encryption, and Frequent Internet Shutdowns

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 17:51
On the occasion of the web's 30th anniversary, its creator, Tim Berners-Lee, has given some interviews and shared his thoughts on some challenges that the web faces today. He spoke with Medianama, an Indian outlet, on some of the relatively unique challenges that the government over there has been pushing lately. Some of these challenges include government's push to have Silicon Valley companies store data of Indians in India itself; a nudge to WhatsApp to put an end to its encryption (On a side note: The Australian government recently passed a law to do this exact thing); and frequent shutdowns in the nation. On data localisation and data as a national resource : That's one of the things that the Web Foundation has always been concerned about: the balkanisation of the Internet. If you want to balkanise it, that's a pretty darn effective way of doing it. If you say that Indian people's data can't be stored outside India, that means that when you start a social network which will be accessed by people all over the world, that means that you will have to start 152 different companies all over the world. It's a barrier to entry. Facebook can do that. Google can do that. When an Indian company does it, and you'll end up with an Indian company that serves only Indian users. When people go abroad, they won't be able to keep track of their friends at home. The whole wonderful open web of knowledge, academic and political discussions would be divided into country groups and cultural groups, so there will be a massive loss of richness to the web.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

HP Recalls More Laptops For 'Fire and Burn Hazards'

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 17:06
The US Product and Safety Commission just announced HP's "battery safety" recall of about 78,500 laptops for what the UPSC calls "fire and burn hazards." From a report: HP initiated the recall in January 2018, and expanded it in January 2019, but the news hadn't widely circulated because of the US government shutdown -- the UPSC finally posted the news to its site on Tuesday with the explanation "NOTE: This recall expansion was previously announced independently on January 17, 2019 by the firm due to US government furlough." This is part of a continuing series of battery recalls from HP. The January 28 recall was for about 51,000 models, but 41,000 were recalled in June 2016 and 100,000 in January 2017, bringing the total for the past 2.5 years to almost a quarter of a million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Quietly Adds DuckDuckGo as a Search Engine Option for Chrome Users in About 60 Markets

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 16:22
An anonymous reader shares a report: In an update to the chromium engine, which underpins Google's popular Chrome browser, the search giant has quietly updated the lists of default search engines it offers per market -- expanding the choice of search product users can pick from in markets around the world. Most notably it's expanded search engine lists to include pro-privacy rivals in more than 60 markets globally. The changes, which appear to have been pushed out with the Chromium 73 stable release yesterday, come at a time when Google is facing rising privacy and antitrust scrutiny and accusations of market distorting behavior at home and abroad.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Now Lets You Stream PC Games To an Xbox One and Use a Controller

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 15:50
Microsoft is now letting Xbox One owners stream their PC games to the console and use a controller to play them. From a report: A newly updated app, Wireless Display app, from Microsoft enables the support so you can play Steam games or other titles directly on an Xbox One. You can use a regular Xbox controller to control the remote PC, enabling game play or even the ability to use an Xbox for presentations. Microsoft's Wireless Display app uses Miracast to create a connection between a PC and the Xbox One, and you can cast to the Xbox using the winkey + P combination. There are different latency modes for gaming and watching videos from a remote PC, and the app is ideal if you want to project a stream or video onto the Xbox. You won't be able to stream protected content like Netflix, though.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Alphabet's AI-Powered Chrome Extension Hides Toxic Comments

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 14:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: Alphabet offshoot Jigsaw is launching a Chrome extension designed to help moderate toxic comments on social media. The new open-source tool, dubbed "Tune," builds on the machine learning smarts introduced in Jigsaw's "Perspective" tech to help sites like Facebook and Twitter set the "volume" of abusive comments. Using "filter mix" controls, users can either turn toxic comments off altogether (what's known as "zen mode") or show selective types of posts containing attacks, insults, or profanity. Tune also works with Reddit, YouTube and Disqus. Jigsaw admits that Tune is still an experiment, meaning it may not spot all forms of toxicity or could hide non-offensive comments. "We're constantly working to improve the underlying technology, and users can easily give feedback right in the tool to help us improve our algorithms," C.J. Adams, Jigsaw product manager, wrote in a blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Spotify Files Complaint Against Apple With the European Commission Over 30% Tax and Restrictive Rules

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 11:36
Spotify today filed a complaint with EU antitrust regulators against Apple, saying the iPhone maker unfairly limits rivals to its own Apple Music streaming service. Spotify CEO Daniel Ek writes in a blog post: In recent years, Apple has introduced rules to the App Store that purposely limit choice and stifle innovation at the expense of the user experience -- essentially acting as both a player and referee to deliberately disadvantage other app developers. After trying unsuccessfully to resolve the issues directly with Apple, we're now requesting that the EC take action to ensure fair competition. Apple operates a platform that, for over a billion people around the world, is the gateway to the internet. Apple is both the owner of the iOS platform and the App Store -- and a competitor to services like Spotify. In theory, this is fine. But in Apple's case, they continue to give themselves an unfair advantage at every turn. To illustrate what I mean, let me share a few examples. Apple requires that Spotify and other digital services pay a 30% tax on purchases made through Apple's payment system, including upgrading from our Free to our Premium service. If we pay this tax, it would force us to artificially inflate the price of our Premium membership well above the price of Apple Music. And to keep our price competitive for our customers, that isn't something we can do. As an alternative, if we choose not to use Apple's payment system, forgoing the charge, Apple then applies a series of technical and experience-limiting restrictions on Spotify. For example, they limit our communication with our customers -- including our outreach beyond the app. In some cases, we aren't even allowed to send emails to our customers who use Apple. Apple also routinely blocks our experience-enhancing upgrades. Over time, this has included locking Spotify and other competitors out of Apple services such as Siri, HomePod, and Apple Watch. We aren't seeking special treatment. We simply want the same treatment as numerous other apps on the App Store, like Uber or Deliveroo, who aren't subject to the Apple tax and therefore don't have the same restrictions.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Scientists Reawaken Cells From a 28,000-Year-Old Mammoth

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 11:00
Cells from a woolly mammoth that died more than 28,000 years ago have been partially reactivated inside of mouse egg cells, according to a study published Monday in Scientific Reports. "The achievement shows that biological activity can be induced in the cells of long-dead creatures, but that does not mean that scientists will be resurrecting extinct animals like mammoths any time soon," reports Motherboard. From the report: A team led by Kazuo Yamagata, a biologist at Kindai University in Japan, extracted cells from the remains of "Yuka," a young female mammoth discovered in 2010 on the coast of the Dmitry Laptev Strait in the Russian Far East. Yuka was entombed in permafrost, a frozen ground layer that can often keep the skin, fur, brains, and other softer tissues of dead animals intact. Because Yuka is in particularly great condition, Yamagata's team was able to extract 88 nucleus-like structures from her preserved muscle tissues. The mammoth cells were implanted into mouse oocytes, which are ovarian cells involved in embryonic development. The researchers also implanted elephant cells into mouse eggs to provide a control sample. Once the cell nuclei were incubated, they seemed to reawaken -- but only slightly. The cells did not divide, but completed some steps that precede cell division. For instance, the mammoth nuclei performed a process called "spindle assembly," which ensures that chromosomes are correctly attached to microscopic spindle structures before a parent cell breaks into two daughter cells. The fact that Yuka's cells were able to spring back into partial action is both an exciting and challenging development for scientists interested in cloning extinct animals. On one hand, some degree of cellular reactivation is clearly possible. But Yuka is also an exceptionally pristine specimen, and even her cells were not able to complete cell division -- a major hurdle that scientists must clear to accomplish de-extinction.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Radioactive Particles From Huge Solar Storm Found In Greenland

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 08:00
Traces of an enormous solar storm that battered the atmosphere and showered Earth in radioactive particles more than 2,500 years ago have been discovered under the Greenland ice sheet. The Guardian reports: Scientists studying ice nearly half a kilometer beneath the surface found a band of radioactive elements unleashed by a storm that struck the planet in 660BC. It was at least 10 times more powerful than any recorded by instruments set up to detect such events in the past 70 years, and as strong as the most intense known solar storm, which hit Earth in AD775. The discovery means that the worst-case scenarios used in risk planning for serious space weather events underestimate how powerful solar storms can be. Raimund Muscheler, a professor of quaternary sciences at Lund University in Sweden, and his team analyzed two ice cores drilled from the Greenland ice sheet and found that both contained spikes in isotopes of beryllium and chlorine that date back to about 660BC. The material appears to be the radioactive remnants of a solar storm that battered the atmosphere. The scientists calculate that the storm sent at least 10 billion protons per square centimeter into the atmosphere. "A solar proton event of such magnitude occurring in modern times could result in severe disruption of satellite-based technologies, high frequency radio communication and space-based navigation systems," they write in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

You May Have Forgotten Foursquare, But It Didn't Forget You

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 04:30
nj_peeps shares an excerpt from a report via Wired: [Foursquare cofounder Dennis Crowley says the company is working on a new game.] Think Candyland, but instead of fantasy locations like Lollipop Woods, the game's virtual board includes place categories associated with New York City neighborhoods. There's a Midtown Bar, a Downtown Movie Theatre, Brooklyn Coffeeshop, Uptown Park, and so on. As in Candyland, you move your game piece forward by drawing cards. But in Crowley's version, the cards are the habits and locations of real people whose data has been turned into literal pawns in the game. Foursquare knows where their phones are in real time, because it powers many widely used apps, from Twitter and Uber to TripAdvisor and AccuWeather. These people aren't playing Crowley's game, but their real-world movements animate it: If one of them goes into a bar in midtown, for example, the person playing the game would get a Midtown Bar card. Ask someone about Foursquare and they'll probably think of the once-hyped social media company, known for gamifying mobile check-ins and giving recommendations. But the Foursquare of today is a location-data giant. During an interview with NBC in November, the company's CEO, Jeff Glueck, said that only Facebook and Google rival Foursquare in terms of location-data precision. You might think you don't use Foursquare, but chances are you do. Foursquare's technology powers the geofilters in Snapchat, tagged tweets on Twitter; it's in Uber, Apple Maps, Airbnb, WeChat, and Samsung phones, to name a few.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

4G Mobile Trials Have Begun in Cuba - What Is Their 3/4/5G Strategy?

CircleID - Śro, 2019-03-13 04:01

Early 4G speed test (Source)During the first month of 3G mobile service, Cuban Internet use increased substantially. At the end of January, ETECSA had 5.4 million mobile users, 35% of which use the Internet and they are adding 5,000 new data customers per day. According to Eliecer Samada, head of ETECSA's wireless access group, the company is now at 160% of the expected capacity.

As a result of that unexpected demand and damage due to the tornado that hit Havana in January, both data and phone service have been slow and unreliable.

To alleviate these problems, ETECSA announced last week that they were accelerating 4G mobile trials along the north coast from Mariel through Havana to Varadero. That is a distance of about 100 miles with 44 4G base stations. The trial will be open to about 10,000 high-volume users who have 4G-compatible phones and have been using at least 2.5 GB of 3G mobile data per month in that area. (ETECSA reports that 7% of 3G network users account for 52% of the traffic).

Andy García ran a speed test using his neighbor's account and recorded a download speed of 5.52 Mbps, upload speed of 1.18 Mbps and a 24.17 ms latency, but a few days later, he observed slower rates and Armando Camacho recently recently reported a speed of 3.2 Mbps download and 5.8 Mbps upload and he has posted the locations of 21 base stations in Havana. We can't draw conclusions about the post-trial speeds from a few tests, but they will surely be faster than current 3G speeds and considerably slower than the US LTE speeds reported last month by Tom's Guide.

Current US 4G speeds (Source)ETECSA expects this trial to divert enough traffic to improve 3G and voice service. If that is the case, it seems the current congestion is at the base stations rather than in backhaul from them. Regardless, I expect that backhaul capacity from faster 4G base stations will constrain 4G rollout in this and other regions.

I don't know what ETECSA's mobile deployment strategy is — what the balance will be between 3 and 4G capacity and pricing — but I have suggested that they will gain trained, demanding users if they focus on bringing the cost down as quickly as possible. That would argue for cheap or even free 3G service.

The average price of 1 GB of mobile data in Cuba is higher than that in 184 of 230 nations. (The price in ten of the 28 Caribbean nations is higher than in Cuba and India is the lowest-price nation). The source does not indicate the speeds of these services and it would be interesting to see them normalized for per-capita income as an indication of affordability, but there seems to be room for price cutting in Cuba.

Regardless of the deployment and pricing of 3 and 4G mobile Internet access in Cuba, both should be regarded as stopgap measures and plans should be made for 5G deployment.

Written by Larry Press, Professor of Information Systems at California State University

Follow CircleID on Twitter

More under: Access Providers, Mobile Internet, Wireless

Scientists Have Discovered a Shape That Blocks All Sound

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 03:10
Scientists have developed an "acoustic meta-material" that can catch certain frequencies passing through the air and reflect them back toward their source. When a loudspeaker was placed into one end of a PVC pipe with a 3D-printed ring of the metamaterial, the ring "cut 94% of the sound blasting from the speaker, enough to make it inaudible to the human ear," reports Fast Company. From the report: Typical acoustic paneling works differently, absorbing sound and turning the vibrations into heat. But what's particularly trippy is that this muffler is completely open. Air and light can travel through it -- just sound cannot. The implications for architecture and interior design are remarkable, because these metamaterials could be applied to the built environment in many different ways. For instance, they could be stacked to build soundproof yet transparent walls. Cubicles will never be the same. The researchers also believe that HVAC systems could be fitted with these silencers, and drones could have their turbines muted with such rings. Even in MRI machines, which can be harrowingly loud for patients trapped in a small space, could be quieted. There's really no limit to the possibilities, but it does sound like these silencers will need to be tailored to circumstance. "The idea is that we can now mathematically design an object that can blocks the sounds of anything," says Boston University professor Xin Zhang, in a press release. You can see a demo of the noise cancellation device here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google's New Voice Recognition System Works Instantly and Offline (If You Have a Pixel)

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 02:30
Google's latest speech recognition works entirely offline, eliminating the delay that many other voice assistants have to return your query. "The delay occurs because your voice, or some data derived from it anyway, has to travel from your phone to the servers of whoever operates the service, where it is analyzed and sent back a short time later," reports TechCrunch. "This can take anywhere from a handful of milliseconds to multiple entire seconds (what a nightmare!), or longer if your packets get lost in the ether." The only major downside with Google's new system is its limited availability. As of right now, it's only available to people with a Pixel smartphone. From the report: Why not just do the voice recognition on the device? There's nothing these companies would like more, but turning voice into text on the order of milliseconds takes quite a bit of computing power. It's not just about hearing a sound and writing a word -- understanding what someone is saying word by word involves a whole lot of context about language and intention. Your phone could do it, for sure, but it wouldn't be much faster than sending it off to the cloud, and it would eat up your battery. But steady advancements in the field have made it plausible to do so, and Google's latest product makes it available to anyone with a Pixel. Google's work on the topic, documented in a paper here, built on previous advances to create a model small and efficient enough to fit on a phone (it's 80 megabytes, if you're curious), but capable of hearing and transcribing speech as you say it. No need to wait until you've finished a sentence to think whether you meant "their" or "there" -- it figures it out on the fly. So what's the catch? Well, it only works in Gboard, Google's keyboard app, and it only works on Pixels, and it only works in American English. So in a way this is just kind of a stress test for the real thing. "Given the trends in the industry, with the convergence of specialized hardware and algorithmic improvements, we are hopeful that the techniques presented here can soon be adopted in more languages and across broader domains of application," writes Google in their blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Brings DirectX 12 To Windows 7

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 01:50
Microsoft has announced a form of DirectX 12 that will support Windows 7. "Now before you get too excited, this is currently only enabled for World of Warcraft; and indeed it's not slated to be a general-purpose solution like DX12 on Win10," reports AnandTech. "Instead, Microsoft has stated that they are working with a few other developers to bring their DX12 games/backends to Windows 7 as well. As a consumer it's great to see them supporting their product ten years after it launched, but with the entire OS being put out to pasture in nine months, it seems like an odd time to be dedicating resources to bringing it new features." From the report: For some background, Microsoft's latest DirectX API was created to remove some of the CPU bottlenecks for gaming by allowing for developers to use low-level programming conventions to shift some of the pressure points away from the CPU. This was a response to single-threaded CPU performance plateauing, making complex graphical workloads increasingly CPU-bounded. There's many advantages to using this API over traditional DX11, especially for threading and draw calls. But, Microsoft made the decision long ago to only support DirectX 12 on Windows 10, with its WDDM 2.0 driver stack. Today's announcement is a pretty big surprise on a number of levels. If Microsoft had wanted to back-port DX12 to Windows 7, you would have thought they'd have done it before Windows 7 entered its long-term servicing state. As it is, even free security patches for Windows 7 are set to end on January 14, 2020, which is well under a year away, and the company is actively trying to migrate users to Windows 10 to avoid having a huge swath of machines sitting in an unpatched state. In fact, they are about to add a pop-up notification to Windows 7 to let users know that they are running out of support very soon. So adding a big feature like DX12 now not only risks undermining their own efforts to migrate people away from Windows 7, but also adding a new feature well after Windows 7 entered long-term support. It's just bizarre.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Windows Brings DirectX 12 To Windows 7

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 01:50
Microsoft has announced a form of DirectX 12 that will support Windows 7. "Now before you get too excited, this is currently only enabled for World of Warcraft; and indeed it's not slated to be a general-purpose solution like DX12 on Win10," reports AnandTech. "Instead, Microsoft has stated that they are working with a few other developers to bring their DX12 games/backends to Windows 7 as well. As a consumer it's great to see them supporting their product ten years after it launched, but with the entire OS being put out to pasture in nine months, it seems like an odd time to be dedicating resources to bringing it new features." From the report: For some background, Microsoft's latest DirectX API was created to remove some of the CPU bottlenecks for gaming by allowing for developers to use low-level programming conventions to shift some of the pressure points away from the CPU. This was a response to single-threaded CPU performance plateauing, making complex graphical workloads increasingly CPU-bounded. There's many advantages to using this API over traditional DX11, especially for threading and draw calls. But, Microsoft made the decision long ago to only support DirectX 12 on Windows 10, with its WDDM 2.0 driver stack. Today's announcement is a pretty big surprise on a number of levels. If Microsoft had wanted to back-port DX12 to Windows 7, you would have thought they'd have done it before Windows 7 entered its long-term servicing state. As it is, even free security patches for Windows 7 are set to end on January 14, 2020, which is well under a year away, and the company is actively trying to migrate users to Windows 10 to avoid having a huge swath of machines sitting in an unpatched state. In fact, they are about to add a pop-up notification to Windows 7 to let users know that they are running out of support very soon. So adding a big feature like DX12 now not only risks undermining their own efforts to migrate people away from Windows 7, but also adding a new feature well after Windows 7 entered long-term support. It's just bizarre.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Chrome 73 Arrives With Support For Hardware Media Keys, PWAs and Dark Mode On Mac

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 01:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today launched Chrome 73 for Windows, Mac, and Linux. The release includes support for hardware media keys, PWAs and dark mode on Mac, and the usual slew of developer features. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome's built-in updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome. Chrome 73 supports Progressive Web Apps (PWAs) on macOS. These apps install and behave like native apps (they don't show the address bar or tabs). Google killed off Chrome apps last year and has been focusing on PWAs ever since. Adding Mac support means Chrome now supports PWAs on all desktop and mobile platforms: Windows, Mac, Linux, Chrome OS, Android, and iOS. Chrome now also supports dark mode on Apple's macOS; dark mode for Windows is on the way, the team promises. The VentureBeat report includes a long list of developer features included in this release, as well as all the security fixes found by external researchers. Chrome 73 implements a total of 60 security fixes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook's Cryptocurrency Could Be a $19 Billion Revenue Opportunity, Barclays Says

Slashdot - Śro, 2019-03-13 00:30
Barclays internet analyst Ross Sandler says the new cryptocurrency that Facebook is working on could be part of a multibillion-dollar revenue opportunity. "Sandler forecasted as much as $19 billion in additional revenue by 2021 from 'Facebook Coin,'" reports CNBC. "Conservatively, the firm sees a base-case of an incremental $3 billion in revenue from a successful cryptocurrency implementation. 'Merely establishing this revenue stream starts to change the story for Facebook shares in our view,' Sandler said." From the report: Facebook is reportedly developing a cryptocurrency for global payments that will be tied to the value of traditional currencies and available to use through its messenger "WhatsApp," according to Bloomberg and The New York Times. Facebook has not publicly commented on the reports. Price volatility has been one major roadblock to bitcoin's widespread adoption as an everyday payment option. But Facebook's digital currency, a "stable coin," would likely be less attractive to speculators because of its fixed price tied to a currency like the U.S. dollar. "Any attempt to build out revenue streams outside of advertising, especially those that don't abuse user privacy are likely to be well-received by Facebook's shareholders," Sandler said. Barclays based its Facebook revenue estimates off of Google's digital distribution service, which is also the official app store for Android's operating system. "Google Play," as it's called, generates $6 in "net" revenue per user now. Facebook could see a "similar cadence," across its nearly 3 billion users in 2021. A Facebook virtual currency would allow for more premium content to find its way back to Facebook, Sandler said, as companies re-establish themselves on the social network as a strategic partner.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Subskrybuj zawartość