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Verizon Lays Off More Yahoo/AOL Employees

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 05:00
Verizon is laying off 150 U.S. staffers this week across multiple teams in the organization. CNN reports: Verizon Media employs around 10,500 people [across media brands that include Yahoo, AOL, TechCrunch and HuffPost], so these cuts will amount to 1.4% of its work force. It's unclear which brands will be affected. In January, Verizon Media laid off roughly 800 employees, or about 7% of its staff at the time, as the division's revenues failed to meet expectations. A spokesperson for Verizon Media confirmed the layoffs to CNN Business. "Our goal is to create the best experiences for our consumers and the best platforms for our customers. Today we are investing in premium content, connections and commerce experiences that connect people to their passions and continue to align our resources to opportunities where we feel we can differentiate ourselves and scale faster," the spokesperson said in a statement.

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Opera launches its ‘Opera GX’ gaming browser for macOS

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 03:30

Opera today is officially releasing is Opera GX gaming browser for macOS for early access users. The Opera GX gaming browser is described as a complement for gamers, designed to allow games to run with as much graphics power as possible.

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Mac Pro: How to install more storage or another GPU with an MPX module

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 03:01

The 2019 Mac Pro features a modular design that makes it easy to upgrade or swap out components like graphics cards and storage. Follow along for how to install more storage or another GPU with an MPX module.

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'Monster' Black Hole Announced Last Week Is Nothing Special

Slashdot - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 02:00
The Bad Astronomer writes: Last week, scientists announced the discovery of a stellar-mass black hole with 70 times the Sun's mass, far heftier than theory predicts they can get. Within days, though, four separate papers have come out casting extreme doubt on the claim. They show that the data wasn't processed correctly, and that the black hole is closer to Earth than first assumed, which changes the calculations and makes it a more normal 5 - 20 solar mass object.

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Apple hopes its first store in Kawasaki will become a place for family learning

9to5Mac - Thu, 12/12/2019 - 00:43

Lead image via Gizmodo.

Apple’s 2019 wouldn’t be complete without the promised opening of one more retail store in Japan — Apple Kawasaki. Six-color mosaic decorations wrapping the store’s windows have been cleared away, offering a glimpse inside the space that customers in Japan have excitedly waited for.

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Low-Risk Ultrasound Procedure Destroys 80 Percent of Prostate Cancers In One-Year Study

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 22:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from SlashGear: A new treatment shows promise for revolutionizing prostate cancer treatment, offering a minimally-invasive and relatively low-risk alternative to traditional surgeries and radiotherapies. Called TULSA, this method uses sound waves to eliminate the diseased tissue in the prostate, leaving the rest of the healthy tissues behind. According to the researchers, patients treated with this method experience "minimal side effects." The transurethral ultrasound ablation (TULSA) method uses an MRI to guide the procedure, which involves inserting a rod through the urethra into the prostate, where it uses heat via sound waves to destroy the cancerous tissues. Unlike the surgery typically used to treat this condition, TULSA is minimally invasive and can be performed as an outpatient procedure. Using guided and controlled sound waves, doctors are able to preserve the nerves near the prostate while eliminating the diseased tissues using a total of 10 elements located on the insertable rod. A software algorithm is part of the system -- it controls the strength, direction, and shape of the ultrasound beam, though doctors watch carefully using the MRI in real-time. A new study involving 115 men found that the average treatment time for this procedure is a bit less than an hour. The researchers found that 80-percent of patients experienced elimination of "clinically significant" cancer and that 72 of the men had no signs of cancer after the first year. As well, incontinence was a very rare side effect of the procedure, which also had low instances of impotence.

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The World's First Village of Affordable 3D-Printed Homes Is Now Complete

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 21:10
MikeChino shares a report from Dwell: In Tabasco, Mexico, a family living below the poverty line recently visited their future home: a 3D-printed, 500-square foot structure with two bedrooms, one bath, a wraparound cement patio, and an awning over the front porch. It's one of two fully furnished homes -- printed in about 24 hours and finished by local nonprofit ECHALE -- that will soon make up a larger community of 50 dwellings with green spaces, parks, amenities, and basic utilities. Tabasco is a seismic zone, so the homes were engineered beyond standard safety requirements -- and they'll endure for generations. "Icon's printer, called the Vulcan II, isn't the first designed to build an entire house," notes Fast Company. "But the new Mexican neighborhood, which will have 50 of the homes, will be the first community to use this type of technology at scale." New Story, the nonprofit leading the project, has posted a video about the homes on their YouTube channel.

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Apple faces backlash for using the DMCA to take down tweet containing iPhone encryption key

9to5Mac - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 20:53

Apple is facing backlash for using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) to remove a tweet that contained an iPhone encryption key. Motherboard reports that Apple filed the DMCA request yesterday, but then retracted it today.

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Genetic Database That Identified Golden State Killer Acquired By Crime Scene DNA Company

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 20:50
"The crime scene DNA sequencing company Verogen announced yesterday that they've acquired the genomics database and website GEDmatch," reports The Verge. "GEDmatch was primarily used by genealogists until 2018, when police, the FBI, and a forensic genealogist identified the suspected Golden State Killer by tying crime scene DNA to relatives who had uploaded their genetic information to the site. Since then, the platform has helped identify around 70 people accused of violent crimes." From the report: The acquisition makes the relationship between the company and law enforcement explicit, but raises uncomfortable questions for users and experts about data privacy and the future direction of the platform. In response to privacy concerns, the company changed its terms and conditions last spring to only allow law enforcement access to data if users actively opted in. But until now, interaction with law enforcement was still a secondary function to the platform. The announcement took many in the genetics and genealogy community by surprise, and many genealogists are leaving the platform. "There have simply been too many changes, all of them in the direction of making their data the product rather than the website a service," said lawyer and genealogist Judy Russell in an email to The Verge. GEDmatch users were prompted to accept new terms and conditions indicating the platform's new ownership, and could either agree and enter the site, or remove their data from the platform. Verogen will still allow users to keep their data from any use by law enforcement, CEO Brett Williams told BuzzFeed News, maintaining the opt-in approach. "It will be interesting to see in the future if the new owners will implement policy changes that will increase the number of individuals available for law enforcement searching," says James Hazel, postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Genetic Privacy and Identity in Community Settings at Vanderbilt University. The report notes, however, that "opt-in is not a foolproof system for data protection." Last month, a Florida detective announced at a police convention that he had obtained a warrant to penetrate GEDmatch and search its full database of nearly one million users.

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Facebook, Google Drop Out of Top 10 'Best Places To Work' List

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 20:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Big tech companies like Facebook and Alphabet's Google, long seen as some of the world's most desirable workplaces offering countless perks and employee benefits, are losing some of their shine. The Silicon Valley companies dropped out of the Top 10 "best places to work" in the U.S., according to Glassdoor's annual rankings released Tuesday. HubSpot, a cloud-computing software company, grabbed the No. 1 ranking while tech firms DocuSign and Ultimate Software were three and eight, respectively. Facebook, which has been rated as the "best place to work" three times in the past 10 years, was ranked 23rd. It's the social-media company's lowest position since it first made the list in 2011 as the top-rated workplace. Facebook, based in Menlo Park, California, was ranked seventh last year. Google, voted "best place to work" in 2015 and a Top-10 finisher the previous eight years, came in at No. 11 on Glassdoor's list. Apple, once a consistent Top-25 finisher, was ranked 84th. Amazon, which has never been known for a positive internal culture, failed to make the list for the 12th straight year. Microsoft was one of the lone big technology companies to jump in the rankings. The Redmond, Washington-based software company moved to No. 21 from 34 a year ago. A few technology companies made the list for the first time, including SurveyMonkey at No. 33, Dell at No. 67 and Slack at No. 69. Here are the ten "best places to work" in 2020 in the U.S., according to Glassdoor: 1. HubSpot 2. Bain & Co. 3. DocuSign 4. In-N-Out Burger 5. Sammons Financial Group 6. Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 7. Intuitive Surgical 8. Ultimate Software 9. VIPKid 10. Southwest Airlines

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Apple TV Channels lets you choose what you want to watch, here’s every option

9to5Mac - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 20:05

Apple TV Channels is a feature in Apple’s TV app that allows you subscribe to streaming services directly in the TV app. This comes with several benefits, such as billing through Apple and the ability to easily drop and add subscriptions.

The feature first launched back in April, and Apple has been adding new services on a regular basis since then.

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Ask Slashdot: Will We Ever Be Able To Make Our Own Computer Hardware At Home?

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 19:50
dryriver writes: The sheer extent of the data privacy catastrophe happening -- everything software/hardware potentially spies on us, and we don't get to see what is in the source code or circuit diagrams -- got me thinking about an intriguing possibility. Will it ever be possible to design and manufacture your own CPU, GPU, ASIC or RAM chip right in your own home? 3D printers already allow 3D objects to be printed at home that would previously have required an injection molding machine. Inkjet printers can do high DPI color printouts at home that would previously have required a printing press. Could this ever happen for making computer hardware? A compact home machine that can print out DIY electronic circuits right in your home or garage? Could this machine look a bit like a large inkjet printer, where you load the electronics equivalent of "premium glossy photo paper" into the printer, and out comes a printed, etched, or otherwise created integrated circuit that just needs some electricity to start working? If such a machine or "electronics printer" is technically feasible, would the powers that be ever allow us to own one?

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Netflix Ordered To Stop Poaching Fox Employees

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 19:10
A court on Tuesday issued an injunction barring Netflix from poaching employees from Fox and confirming the validity of fixed-term employment agreements. Variety reports: The ruling marks a hard-fought victory for Fox -- now owned by Disney -- which set out three years ago to stop Netflix from raiding its employees. Netflix had sought to invalidate Fox's fixed-term employment contracts, arguing that they locked employees into jobs they no longer wanted. Had Netflix prevailed, it would have upended a standard industry practice and given employees greater leverage in negotiations with their employers. Santa Monica Superior Court Judge Marc Gross issued a tentative ruling on Nov. 25 indicating how he was likely to rule in the case. He affirmed the conclusions of the tentative opinion and made addition points in his final ruling on Tuesday. Netflix has indicated it is likely to appeal. Netflix said: "As Judge Gross ruled, Fox failed to prove it was hurt in any way when two executives decided to exercise their right to go to Netflix. Fox's illegal contracts force employees to remain trapped in jobs they no longer wish to do and at salaries far below market rate. We will continue to fight to make sure that people who work in the entertainment industry have the same rights as virtually every other Californian and can make their own choices about where they work."

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If Logged Into Facebook, Oculus VR Data Will Now Be Used For Ads

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 18:30
"Facebook will now use information about your Oculus activity, like which apps you use, to help provide [...] more relevant content, including ads" -- assuming you've connected your Oculus ID to your Facebook account. UploadVR reports: The company is updating its privacy policy and rolling out new social VR features backed by your "Facebook identity" with the intention of "clarifying how Oculus data is shared with Facebook to inform ads when you log into Facebook on Oculus." "These changes won't affect third-party apps and games, and they won't affect your on-device data," according to the company. For years now, buyers of Facebook VR headsets needed an Oculus ID to operate the system that could be optionally connected to your "Facebook identity" -- in other words, you could connect the two accounts. More recently, to access certain features like concerts in Venues, Facebook started requiring the use of the Facebook account. According to the company's terms, this account "must ... use the same name that you use in everyday life." With this most recent change "If you choose not to log into Facebook on Oculus, we won't share data with Facebook to allow third parties to target advertisements to you based on your use of the Oculus Platform," according to Facebook. But denying that connection may also make it difficult to connect with others using virtual reality on Oculus systems. [...] Facebook suggests that for those who log into the account it will target "relevant content" based around "Oculus activity" including "which apps you use" with examples given including "Oculus Events you might like to attend or ads for VR apps available on the Oculus Store." The company says this "won't affect your on-device data" which, based on our previous reporting, Facebook says is the location where "3D maps of your environment" are kept. "We don't collect and store images or 3D maps of your environment on our servers today -- images are not stored anywhere, and 3D maps are stored locally on the headset [for Quest] and on your local PC, where you have access to delete it [for Rift S]," a Facebook representative originally wrote in an email. Facebook also says the changes "won't affect third-party apps and games" and "if you choose not to log into Facebook on Oculus, we won't share data with Facebook to allow third parties to target advertisements to you based on your use of the Oculus Platform."

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Apple Pay continues NYC rollout with support at Penn Station, more stations coming this month

9to5Mac - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 18:00

New York City’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced today that it is continuing the expansion of its OMNY tap-and-ride payment platform. OMNY supports contactless cards, as well as mobile payment platforms like Apple Pay, and it’s now available at Penn Station.

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Twitter now supports uploading Live Photos as GIFs

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 18:00

Twitter announces support for the iOS Live Photos feature, sharing the content as a GIF on the platform.
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Maze Ransomware Was Behind Pensacola 'Cyber Event,' Florida Officials Say

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 17:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: An email sent by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to all Florida county commissioners indicated that the ransomware that struck the city of Pensacola on December 7 was the same malware used in an attack against the private security firm Allied Universal, according to a report by the Pensacola News Journal. That malware has been identified elsewhere as Maze, a form of ransomware that has also been distributed via spam email campaigns in Italy. Bleeping Computer's Lawrence Abrams reported in November that the Maze operators had contacted him after the Allied Universal attack, claiming to have stolen files from the company before encrypting them on the victims' computers. After Allied apparently missed the deadline for payment of the ransom on the files, the ransomware operators published 700 megabytes of files from Allied and demanded 300 Bitcoins (approximately $2.3 million) to decrypt the network. The Maze operators told Abrams that they always steal victims' files to use as further leverage to get them to pay: "It is just a logic. If we disclose it who will believe us? It is not in our interest, it will be silly to disclose as we gain nothing from it. We also delete data because it is not really interesting. We are neither espionage group nor any other type of APT, the data is not interesting for us." "The use of the data to blackmail the victim, and in Allied's case, the threat to use Allied's certificates and domain name to spam customers with additional ransomware attacks, is something new," writes Sean Gallagher. "This is the first time this has ever happened, as far as we know," said Brett Callow, a spokesperson for the antivirus software vendor Emisoft. "Ransomware groups usually encrypt, not steal. We expect data exfiltration to become more and more commonplace. Whether Pensacola's data was exfiltrated, I obviously can't say."

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iDB Holiday Gift Guide: great gift ideas for kids

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 17:44

This next segment in our 2019 Holiday Gift Guide offers smart and thoughtful gift ideas for kids.
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Apple took down a tweet with an iPhone encryption key using the DMCA

iDownloadBlog - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 17:18

Apple used the DMCA to get a tweet that included an iPhone encryption key taken off of Twitter recently.
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Microsoft is About To Start Aggressively Advertising Windows 10 To Windows 7 Stragglers

Slashdot - Wed, 12/11/2019 - 17:10
Mark Wycislik-Wilson, writing for BetaNews: Having already started to notify Windows 7 hangers on that support is due to come to an end, Microsoft is now ready to get a little more aggressive. If you haven't moved on from Windows 7, soon you will see full-screen notifications warning you that "your Windows 7 PC is out of support." The messages are due to be displayed from the day after support ends. So when January 15 rolls around, anyone who has doggedly stuck with Windows 7 will find that they not only have no support and no security updates, but also that they are pestered by an invasive message delivered by a program called EOSnotify.exe.

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