Tech News

Australia Demands Apology From China After Fake Image of Soldier Posted On Social Media

technology - Posted On:2020-11-30 18:29:59 Source: slashdot

hackingbear writes: Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison demanded an apology after a senior Chinese official posted a "fake image" of an Australian soldier holding a knife with blood on it to the throat of an Afghan child, calling it "truly repugnant" and demanding it be taken down. The Australian government has asked Twitter to remove the image, posted on Monday by China's foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on his official Twitter account, Morrison said. "It is utterly outrageous and cannot be justified on any basis," Morrison said. "The Chinese government should be utterly ashamed of this post. It diminishes them in the world's eyes." The image is actually an art work, originally posted on Weibo by online artist Wuhe Qilin, based on the recently uncovered war crimes committed by Australian special forces in the Afghan War. On Friday, Australia has told 13 special forces soldiers they face dismissal in relation to an independent report on alleged unlawful killings in Afghanistan, the head of the country's army said on Friday. "It is the Australian government who should feel ashamed for their soldiers killing innocent Afghan civilians," said Hua Chunying, China's foreign ministry spokeswoman, when asked about Morrison's comments. Wuhe Qilin praised Zhao's re-posting [translation: "Deputy Zhao's strong. Go for it!"] of his work. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Nikola Stock Plunges As Company Cancels Badger Pickup Truck

technology - Posted On:2020-11-30 17:14:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Things keep going downhill for aspiring hydrogen truck-maker Nikola. Nikola's stock plunged on Monday morning as the company announced that a previously announced deal with General Motors was not going to close. Instead, the two companies signed a "non-binding memorandum of understanding" related to the use of GM's hydrogen fuel cell technology in Nikola's future semi trucks. GM will not take a stake in Nikola as originally planned. Nikola's stock is down 26 percent as I write this on Monday morning. The stock is down 58 percent since September 8, the day Nikola originally announced the GM deal. The news means that Nikola is canceling the Badger, a planned pickup truck that critics have long derided as vaporware. Under Nikola's September deal with GM, GM was supposed to design and build the Badger on a cost-plus basis. The deal would have enabled Nikola to sell a pickup truck it didn't otherwise have the capacity to manufacture. But it was hard to see how Nikola was going to make a profit selling what would have essentially been a re-badged GM product. Moreover, it wasn't clear that Nikola had enough cash to finance the development of the Badger alongside the company's semi trucks and a planned network of hydrogen fueling stations. With the hype around Nikola cooling, Nikola may not be able to raise the necessary cash from Wall Street. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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From Thailand To Indonesia, Taxes Tighten for Digital Businesses

technology - Posted On:2020-11-30 15:59:59 Source: slashdot

Governments across the Association of Southeast Asian Nations are moving to impose more taxes on digital companies, stirring unease among multinational internet businesses that have boomed amid the coronavirus pandemic. From a report: From Thailand to Indonesia, new levies have kicked in or are being introduced. They threaten to chip away at the earnings of technology companies that are reaping benefits from the rise of digitalization among the region's 650 million people. The measures are part of global moves by governments to try to bring more of the borderless digital economy into the tax net, responding to scrutiny of whether often footloose tech companies are paying appropriate dues on their earnings. Tech companies have already been the target of digital service tax nets that have progressively tightened in several European countries. Authorities in France this week started sending payment requests to U.S. technology groups for a new digital services tax, the Financial Times reported. The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is trying to address the issue at a multilateral level with efforts to reform international taxation rules, governing how multinational businesses pay taxes in the countries where their consumers or users are. Tax experts say corporate income tax liability is normally assessed where a company has its physical presence but not in overseas markets. That has led to a perception of an uneven playing field, with local providers of digital services being taxed by their governments while foreign competitors escape the net. While the OECD works to hammer out an international digital taxation framework through negotiations with over 130 countries, several in Asia have moved ahead to implement their own rules. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook Buys Customer-Service Software Maker Kustomer For About $1 Billion

technology - Posted On:2020-11-30 12:45:00 Source: slashdot

Facebook has acquired Kustomer, a New York-based software company that helps businesses manage customer conversations from multiple services on one dashboard. From a report: The social media giant made the deal to bolster its nascent messaging business, which is expanding to include customer-service products that help companies interact with people via chat apps, like WhatsApp and Messenger. "Any business knows that when the phone rings, they need to answer it. Increasingly, texts and messages have become just as important as that phone call -- and businesses need to adapt," Facebook executives wrote in a blog post. Kustomer also offers automated tools so companies can handle easier customer requests using bots. The deal values Kustomer at a little over $1 billion, WSJ reported. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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FCC Chairman Ajit Pai Will Step Down on January 20

technology - Posted On:2020-11-30 11:45:01 Source: slashdot

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has announced plans to depart the commission when President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on January 20th. Pai has served on the FCC since 2012. From a report: "It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years," Pai said in a statement. "To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America." Pai was appointed chairman in 2017 and served for the duration of the Trump administration, overseeing an unusually active period in federal telecom policy. He began his term with the controversial decision to roll back Title II classification, undoing the net neutrality rules put in place under President Obama. More recently, Pai oversaw the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint, which he called "a unique opportunity to speed up the deployment of 5G throughout the United States." Pai also implemented new measures to fight robocalls and established a national suicide prevention hotline number. Pai's tenure coincided with a significant shift in Republican telecom policy, with Republican commissioners like Brendan Carr advocating for a more aggressive FCC role to regulating social media platforms. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Are Tech Workers Fleeing the San Francisco Bay Area?

it - Posted On:2020-11-30 07:44:57 Source: slashdot

NBC News reports: Many urban centers have seen residents move out in large numbers since the start of stay-at-home orders in March, but the shift has been especially dramatic for San Francisco, a city that was already experiencing rapid change because of the tech industry. Software engineers, CEOs and venture capitalists have chosen to jump from the Bay Area to places such as Denver, Miami and Austin, Texas, citing housing costs, California's relatively high income tax and the Bay Area's general resistance to rapid growth and change. The scale of the departures is visible in vacant high-end apartments, moth-balled offices and quieter streets in neighborhoods popular with tech workers. And while no one is exactly celebrating, especially as Covid-19 has devastated the incomes of many people, some residents were ready to take a break from the rich.... Rents may have fallen 20 percent or more from a year ago, but they're still high by national standards, and many artists left the city a long time ago. Although some companies such as Pinterest have canceled leases, Google is expanding its offices in San Francisco, a sign of the tech industry's attachment to the city despite the local hostility and the predictions of a permanent work-from-home culture... Tracy Rosenberg, executive director of Media Alliance, a San Francisco nonprofit that is often critical of the power of tech companies, said she wonders whether tech workers will want to return to a place where they've received a mixed welcome. "The level of tech blowback in San Francisco and the Bay Area was going up in intensity," she said. "I think there'll be sort of a reluctance to come back and face that, because that was reaching a level that was hard to live with — when you are the cause of all social problems, in the eyes of a significant part of the population, at least." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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How Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max Experienced a Near-Crash The Day Before 2018's Fatal Crash

technology - Posted On:2020-11-29 17:44:59 Source: slashdot

ABC News tells the story of Indonesia-based budget airline Lion Air, which had ordered over 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8s at a cost of $22 billion — and what happened on a flight the day before a fatal crash on October 29th, 2018: [A]fter its first flight in May 2017, the 737 MAX 8 went 17 months without incident. Then, on Oct. 28, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 from Bali to Jakarta experienced an in-flight emergency as the plane suddenly began to nosedive after take-off. "All of us were screaming like we are in a roller coaster," said Rakhmat Robbi, a passenger on the flight. "To be honest, I [was] think[ing] it's almost like my last flight and this is my last day." The aircraft nosedived four times as the pilots struggled to regain control, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC). A third pilot who just happened to be in the cockpit was able to help the two pilots resolve the situation and the plane landed safely in Jakarta. However, according to the NTSC, the crew left incomplete notes about the details of the emergency. "The pilot reported that he had a problem with the speed and altitude indicated on [the] captain's side," said Capt. Nurcahyo Utomo, senior safety investigator of the NTSC. Nurcahyo said the captain failed to mention the plane's trim system had suddenly activated, causing it to repeatedly nose dive. "The pilots were able to control it," said aviation attorney Steven Marks. "They knew they had a problem. But they didn't understand exactly what the nature of the problem was." Early the next morning, on Oct. 29, 2018, the same plane departed from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. Just 13 minutes after takeoff, Lion Air Flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea. Authorities launched a search and rescue mission immediately, but all 189 people on board died. The flight data recorder from Lion Air 610 revealed that the plane had gone out of control — it had moved up and down over 24 times before it finally dove into the sea at full speed. "I never knew... any case of the [sic] aircraft that fly down and up and up and down like this," Nurcahyo said. "I knew that the pilot was fighting with the plane." Nurcahyo said the NTSC asked Boeing about the kind of system on the 737 MAX that could have caused it to behave in such a manner. He said investigators were surprised to learn that Boeing had installed a flight control software program that could force the plane into a dive without the pilots' knowledge... MCAS was accidentally triggered on both Lion Air flights because a defective angle of attack (AOA) sensor had transmitted incorrect information about the position of the plane's nose. Although there are two AOA sensors on the 737 MAX, MCAS was only connected to one of them. "It's a lack of redundancy that appears to me to be unacceptable in airplane design," said aviation journalist Christine Negroni, author of the book "The Crash Detectives..." Boeing later told the pilots union of American Airlines it hadn't revealed the existence of MCAS in the 737 flight manual "on the grounds that it didn't want to inundate pilots with unnecessary information," according to the article. ABC also points out that a later investigation by the U.S. Congress "uncovered internal Boeing emails that showed some employees had raised concerns about the 737 MAX while it was still in development, and that they had questioned the safety culture of the company as well." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Lion Air's Boeing 737 Max Experienced a Near-Crash The Day Before 2018's Fatal Crash

technology - Posted On:2020-11-29 17:14:59 Source: slashdot

ABC News tells the story of Indonesia-based budget airline Lion Air, which had ordered over 200 Boeing 737 MAX 8s at a cost of $22 billion — and what happened on a flight the day before a fatal crash on October 29th, 2018: [A]fter its first flight in May 2017, the 737 MAX 8 went 17 months without incident. Then, on Oct. 28, 2018, Lion Air Flight 610 from Bali to Jakarta experienced an in-flight emergency as the plane suddenly began to nosedive after take-off. "All of us were screaming like we are in a roller coaster," said Rakhmat Robbi, a passenger on the flight. "To be honest, I [was] think[ing] it's almost like my last flight and this is my last day." The aircraft nosedived four times as the pilots struggled to regain control, according to Indonesia's National Transportation Safety Committee (NTSC). A third pilot who just happened to be in the cockpit was able to help the two pilots resolve the situation and the plane landed safely in Jakarta. However, according to the NTSC, the crew left incomplete notes about the details of the emergency. "The pilot reported that he had a problem with the speed and altitude indicated on [the] captain's side," said Capt. Nurcahyo Utomo, senior safety investigator of the NTSC. Nurcahyo said the captain failed to mention the plane's trim system had suddenly activated, causing it to repeatedly nose dive. "The pilots were able to control it," said aviation attorney Steven Marks. "They knew they had a problem. But they didn't understand exactly what the nature of the problem was." Early the next morning, on Oct. 29, 2018, the same plane departed from Jakarta to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia. Just 13 minutes after takeoff, Lion Air Flight 610 plummeted into the Java Sea. Authorities launched a search and rescue mission immediately, but all 189 people on board died. The flight data recorder from Lion Air 610 revealed that the plane had gone out of control — it had moved up and down over 24 times before it finally dove into the sea at full speed. "I never knew... any case of the [sic] aircraft that fly down and up and up and down like this," Nurcahyo said. "I knew that the pilot was fighting with the plane." Nurcahyo said the NTSC asked Boeing about the kind of system on the 737 MAX that could have caused it to behave in such a manner. He said investigators were surprised to learn that Boeing had installed a flight control software program that could force the plane into a dive without the pilots' knowledge... MCAS was accidentally triggered on both Lion Air flights because a defective angle of attack (AOA) sensor had transmitted incorrect information about the position of the plane's nose. Although there are two AOA sensors on the 737 MAX, MCAS was only connected to one of them. "It's a lack of redundancy that appears to me to be unacceptable in airplane design," said aviation journalist Christine Negroni, author of the book "The Crash Detectives..." Boeing later told the pilots union of American Airlines it hadn't revealed the existence of MCAS in the 737 flight manual "on the grounds that it didn't want to inundate pilots with unnecessary information," according to the article. ABC also points out that a later investigation by the U.S. Congress "uncovered internal Boeing emails that showed some employees had raised concerns about the 737 MAX while it was still in development, and that they had questioned the safety culture of the company as well." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Will Tesla Update Bring Remote Access To Car Cameras?

technology - Posted On:2020-11-29 10:44:56 Source: slashdot

"Tesla's Sentry Mode is about to bring things to a whole new level by enabling Tesla owners to remotely see what their cars can see through Autopilot cameras," claims Electrek — citing a Twitter user named green "who has been revealing new Tesla features found in software updates." "It's not certain when the live camera update would arrive, provided it's not scrapped," writes Engadget, adding "Elon Musk has been teasing a 'hot' holiday software release, but 'green' warned that it might not make that release..." Some background from Electrek: For a while now, Tesla has been talking about better integrating its Tesla Sentry Mode feature into its mobile app. Sentry Mode is an integrated surveillance system inside Tesla's vehicles using the Autopilot cameras around the car and it has been changing the game when it comes to vandalizing parked cars. On several occasions, Sentry Mode videos went viral, and the vandals turned themselves in after online pressure. In other cases, video evidence helped police identify and find the vandals. The feature was built on top of "TeslaCam," a previously released integrated dashcam system with similar capability as Sentry mode, but used when someone is inside the car. TeslaCam helped several Tesla owners with insurance claims by proving that they weren't at fault in some accidents captured by the integrated dashcam system. In order to activate the TeslaCam and Sentry Mode features, owners have to plug a storage device, thumb drive, or SSD inside their Tesla and activate the features in the settings... Tesla owners can already have an extensive look at the status of their vehicles, including the doors open or close, same for windows, charge port, and more. Now they are going to be able to see around their vehicles even if no Sentry Mode event has been activated. That's only if the update is actually released. How do Slashdot's readers feel about the possibility of this feature? Does the world change when Tesla owners can remotely access their cars' cameras? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Conspiracy Theorists Who'd First Popularized QAnon Now Accused of Financial Motives

technology - Posted On:2020-11-28 23:44:58 Source: slashdot

QAnon "was first championed by a handful of people who worked together to stir discussion of the 'Q' posts, eventually pushing the theory on to bigger platforms and gaining followers — a strategy that proved to be the key to Qanon's spread and the originators' financial gain..." reports NBC News, in an article shared by long-time Slashdot reader AmiMoJo . "NBC News has found that the theory can be traced back to three people who sparked some of the first conversation about Qanon and, in doing so, attracted followers who they then asked to help fund Qanon 'research.'" In November 2017, a small-time YouTube video creator and two moderators of the 4chan website, one of the most extreme message boards on the internet, banded together and plucked out of obscurity an anonymous and cryptic post from the many conspiracy theories that populated the website's message board. Over the next several months, they would create videos, a Reddit community, a business and an entire mythology based off the 4chan posts of "Q," the pseudonym of a person claiming to be a high-ranking military officer. The theory they espoused would become Qanon, and it would eventually make its way from those message boards to national media stories and the rallies of President Donald Trump. Now, the people behind that effort are at the center of a fractious debate among conspiracy enthusiasts, some of whom believe the three people who first popularized the Qanon theory are promoting it in order to make a living. Others suggest that these original followers actually wrote Q's mysterious posts... Qanon was just another unremarkable part of the "anon" genre until November 2017, when two moderators of the 4chan board where Q posted predictions, who went by the usernames Pamphlet Anon [real name: Coleman Rogers] and BaruchtheScribe, reached out to Tracy Diaz, according to Diaz's blogs and YouTube videos. BaruchtheScribe, in reality a self-identified web programmer from South Africa named Paul Furber, confirmed that account to NBC News. "A bunch of us decided that the message needed to go wider so we contacted Youtubers who had been commenting on the Q drops," Furber said in an email... As Diaz tells it in a blog post detailing her role in the early days of Qanon, she banded together with the two moderators. Their goal, according to Diaz, was to build a following for Qanon — which would mean bigger followings for them as well... Diaz followed with dozens more Q-themed videos, each containing a call for viewers to donate through links to her Patreon and PayPal accounts. Diaz's YouTube channel now boasts more than 90,000 subscribers and her videos have been watched over 8 million times. More than 97,000 people follow her on Twitter. Diaz, who emerged from bankruptcy in 2009, says in her YouTube videos that she now relies on donations from patrons funding her YouTube "research" as her sole source of income. Diaz declined to comment on this story. "Because I cover Q, I got an audience," Diaz acknowledged in a video that NBC News reviewed last week before she deleted it. To reach a more mainstream audience (older people and "normies," who on their own would have trouble navigating the fringe message boards), Diaz said in her blog post she recommended they move to the more user-friendly Reddit. Archives listing the three as the original posters and moderators show they created a new Reddit community... Their move to Reddit was key to Qanon's eventual spread. There, they were able to tap into a larger audience of conspiracy theorists, and drive discussion with their analysis of each Q post. From there, Qanon crept to Facebook where it found a new, older audience via dozens of public and private groups... As Qanon picked up steam, growing skepticism over the motives of Diaz, Rogers, and the other early Qanon supporters led some in the internet's conspiracy circles to turn their paranoia on the group. Recently, some Qanon followers have accused Diaz and Rogers of profiting from the movement by soliciting donations from their followers. Other pro-Trump online groups have questioned the roles that Diaz and Rogers have played in promoting Q, pointing to a series of slip-ups that they say show Rogers and Diaz may have been involved in the theory from the start. Those accusations have led Diaz and Rogers to both deny that they are Q and say they don't know who Q is. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Raspberry Pi Used To Hack Tesla Model X SUV Key Fob

technology - Posted On:2020-11-28 18:44:59 Source: slashdot

Pig Hogger (Slashdot reader #10,379) writes: According to this Tom's Hardware story, a Belgian PhD student managed to wrest full control of a Tesla Model X SUV, by way of hijacking the Bluetooth keyfob and reprogramming it, using a Raspberry Pi. Tesla has since issued a software update to protect against that kind of attack Since the attack is done via Bluetooth, control could be gained wirelessly from 5 meters away. According to the article this is the third time the same student "has managed to exploit the key fob and gain access to the car. Previously he was able to clone the fob..." Computer Weekly also got an interesting quote from a senior security consultant at the electronic design automation company Synopsys, who argues that the research "demonstrates the impacts of security requirements and security features not having proper validation." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook Removes Temporary Algorithm Change That Had Blocked Misinformation

technology - Posted On:2020-11-28 15:00:00 Source: slashdot

Facebook's employees and executives "are battling over how to reduce misinformation and hate speech without hurting the company's bottom line," reports the New York Times, after employees had spotted false and misleading election-related misinformation going viral on the site. The solution? Make temporary changes to the controversial algorithm "which helps determine what more than two billion people see every day" by highlighting "big, mainstream publishers like CNN, The New York Times and NPR, while posts from highly engaged hyperpartisan pages, such as Breitbart and Occupy Democrats, became less visible, the employees said." The Wrap reports: Zuckerberg's decision came after Facebook employees, seeing President Trump claim the election was rigged against him, "proposed an emergency change" to make "authoritative news" more prominent. It's unclear how long the changes were in place for, but they appear to have ended. Facebook vice president Guy Rosen told the Times "there has never been a plan to make these permanent...." Since making the changes a few weeks ago, some Facebook employees have pushed for the "nicer" News Feed to become permanent, the report added. The New York Times argues the incident "illustrates a central tension that some inside Facebook are feeling acutely these days: that the company's aspirations of improving the world are often at odds with its desire for dominance.... "Even as Election Day and its aftermath have passed with few incidents, some disillusioned employees have quit, saying they could no longer stomach working for a company whose products they considered harmful." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook's Libra Currency To Launch Next Year in Limited Format

technology - Posted On:2020-11-28 00:14:58 Source: slashdot

The long-awaited Facebook-led digital currency Libra is preparing to launch as early as January, Financial Times reported Friday, citing three people involved in the initiative, but in an even more limited format than its already downgraded vision. From a report [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]: The 27-strong Libra Association said in April that it had planned to launch digital versions of several currencies, plus a "digital composite" of all of its coins. This followed concerns from regulators over its initial plan to create one synthetic coin backed by a basket of currencies. However, the association would now initially just launch a single coin backed one-for-one by the dollar, one of the people said. The other currencies and the composite would be rolled out at a later point, the person added. Libra's exact launch date would depend on when the project receives approval to operate as a payments service from the Swiss Financial Market Supervisory Authority, but could come as early as January, the three people said. Finma said it would not comment on Libra's application, which was initiated in May. First launched in June 2019, the scaling down of Libra's vision comes as it has received a sceptical reception from global regulators, who have warned that it could threaten monetary stability and become a hotbed for money laundering. While the restricted scope may appease wary regulators, critics have complained that a move to single-currency coins could hit users looking to convert currencies with additional costs, undermining its ambition to enable greater financial inclusion. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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FCC Maintains Ban on Mobile Phone Voice Calls During Flights

technology - Posted On:2020-11-27 21:44:58 Source: slashdot

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a proposal to allow in-flight voice calls via mobile phones, ending its examination of an idea that evoked fears of air rage from passengers trapped beside jabbering seat mates. From a report: The idea drew "strong opposition" from pilots and flight attendants, the agency said Friday in a four-paragraph order. The FCC in 2013 proposed allowing mobile telephone conversations above 10,000 feet, adopting practices followed in Europe and elsewhere, where in-flight voice calling is more common. But the proposal led to strong and immediate pushback, with travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others saying they were troubled by the idea of passengers talking on phones in flight. One group raised "the potential for air rage if passengers are using their cell phone." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Pushed by Pandemic, Amazon Goes on a Hiring Spree Without Equal

technology - Posted On:2020-11-27 18:44:59 Source: slashdot

Amazon has embarked on an extraordinary hiring binge this year, vacuuming up an average of 1,400 new workers a day and solidifying its power as online shopping becomes more entrenched in the coronavirus pandemic. From a report: The hiring has taken place at Amazon's headquarters in Seattle, at its hundreds of warehouses in rural communities and suburbs, and in countries such as India and Italy. Amazon added 427,300 employees between January and October, pushing its work force to more than 1.2 million people globally, up more than 50 percent from a year ago. Its number of workers now approaches the entire population of Dallas. The spree has accelerated since the onset of the pandemic, which has turbocharged Amazon's business and made it a winner of the crisis. Starting in July, the company brought on about 350,000 employees, or 2,800 a day. Most have been warehouse workers, but Amazon has also hired software engineers and hardware specialists to power enterprises such as cloud computing, streaming entertainment and devices, which have boomed in the pandemic. The scale of hiring is even larger than it may seem because the numbers do not account for employee churn, nor do they include the 100,000 temporary workers who have been recruited for the holiday shopping season. They also do not include what internal documents show as roughly 500,000 delivery drivers, who are contractors and not direct Amazon employees. Such rapid growth is unrivaled in the history of corporate America. It far outstrips the 230,000 employees that Walmart, the largest private employer with more than 2.2 million workers, added in a single year two decades ago. The closest comparisons are the hiring that entire industries carried out in wartime, such as shipbuilding during the early years of World War II or home building after soldiers returned, economists and corporate historians said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Microsoft's 'Project Latte' Aims To Bring Android Apps To Windows 10

technology - Posted On:2020-11-27 17:14:59 Source: slashdot

Windows Central reports: Microsoft is working on a software solution that would allow app developers to bring their Android apps to Windows 10 with little to no code changes by packaging them as an MSIX and allowing developers to submit them to the Microsoft Store. According to sources familiar with the matter, the project is codenamed 'Latte' and I'm told it could show up as soon as next year. The company has toyed with the idea of bringing Android apps to Windows 10 before via a project codenamed Astoria that never saw the light of day. Project Latte aims to deliver a similar product, and is likely powered by the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL.) Microsoft will need to provide its own Android subsystem for Android apps to actually run, however. Microsoft has announced that WSL will soon get support for GUI Linux applications, as well as GPU acceleration which should aid the performance of apps running through WSL. It's unlikely that Project Latte will include support for Play Services, as Google doesn't allow Play Services to be installed on anything other than native Android devices and Chrome OS. This means that apps which require Play Services APIs will need to be updated to remove those dependencies before they can be submitted on Windows 10. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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'Tokenized': Inside Black Workers' Struggles at the King of Crypto Start-Ups

technology - Posted On:2020-11-27 12:15:00 Source: slashdot

Nathaniel Popper, reporting for The New York Times: One by one, they left. Some quit. Others were fired. All were Black. The 15 people worked at Coinbase, the most valuable U.S. cryptocurrency start-up, where they represented roughly three-quarters of the Black employees at the 600-person company. Before leaving in late 2018 and early 2019, at least 11 of them informed the human resources department or their managers about what they said was racist or discriminatory treatment, five people with knowledge of the situation said. One of the employees was Alysa Butler, 25, who worked in recruiting. During her time at Coinbase, she said, she told her manager several times about how he and others excluded her from meetings and conversations, making her feel invisible. "Most people of color working in tech know that there's a diversity problem," said Ms. Butler, who resigned in April 2019. "But I've never experienced anything like Coinbase." In Silicon Valley, where entrepreneurs and investors often preach high-minded missions and style themselves as management gurus, Coinbase has held itself up as a model. Since the start-up was founded in 2012, Brian Armstrong, the chief executive, has assembled memos and blog posts about how he built the $8 billion company's culture with distinct hiring and training practices. That has won him acclaim among influential venture capitalists and executives. But according to 23 current and former Coinbase employees, five of whom spoke on the record, as well as internal documents and recordings of conversations, the start-up has long struggled with its management of Black employees. One Black employee said her manager suggested in front of colleagues that she was dealing drugs and carrying a gun, trading on racist stereotypes. Another said a co-worker at a recruiting meeting broadly described Black employees as less capable. Still another said managers spoke down to her and her Black colleagues, adding that they were passed over for promotions in favor of less experienced white employees. The accumulation of incidents, they said, led to the wave of departures. On Wednesday, before publication of this article, Emilie Choi, Coinbase's chief operating officer, wrote an email to employees to preemptively question the article's accuracy and said, "We know the story will recount episodes that will be difficult for employees to read." The company posted the email to its public blog. "As Brian shared with the ColorBlock ERG this morning, we don't care what The New York Times thinks. " Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Dyson Pledges New Investment Into AI, Robotics and Batteries

technology - Posted On:2020-11-27 09:14:58 Source: slashdot

Dyson will invest an additional 2.75bn pound ($3.67 billion) on developing technologies and products over the next five years [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], as the appliances brand pushes deeper into areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics and energy storage. From a report: The company founded by billionaire James Dyson and famous for its vacuum cleaners said it intended to double its portfolio of products by 2025 and enter new fields, taking it "beyond the home" for the first time. Although it did not provide any breakdown of the investments, they will be focused in Singapore, where the group controversially decided to move its headquarters last year, as well as the UK and the Philippines. The announcement comes more than a year after Dyson abandoned its ambitious plans to manufacture an electric vehicle from scratch in the Asian city-state. Sir James had hoped that the EV project would redefine his business but, after spending hundreds of millions of pounds, concluded that it was too expensive to compete against established carmakers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Patients of a Vermont Hospital Are Left 'in the Dark' After a Cyberattack

technology - Posted On:2020-11-27 04:14:58 Source: slashdot

A wave of damaging attacks on hospitals upended the lives of patients with cancer and other ailments. From a report: At lunchtime on Oct. 28, Colleen Cargill was in the cancer center at the University of Vermont Medical Center, preparing patients for their chemotherapy infusions. A new patient will sometimes be teary and frightened, but the nurses try to make it welcoming, offering trail mix and a warm blanket, a seat with a view of a garden. Then they work with extreme precision: checking platelet and white blood cell counts, measuring each dosage to a milligram per square foot of body area, before settling the person into a port and hooking them up to an IV. That day, though, Ms. Cargill did a double-take: When she tried to log in to her work station, it booted her out. Then it happened again. She turned to the system of pneumatic tubes used to transport lab work. What she saw there was a red caution symbol, a circle with a cross. She walked to the backup computer. It was down, too. "I wasn't panicky," she said, "and then I noticed my cordless phone didn't work." That was, she said, the beginning of the worst 10 days of her career. Cyberattacks on America's health systems have become their own kind of pandemic over the past year as Russian cybercriminals have shut down clinical trials and treatment studies for the coronavirus vaccine and cut off hospitals' access to patient records, demanding multimillion-dollar ransoms for their return. Complicating the response, President Trump last week fired Christopher Krebs, the director of CISA, the cybersecurity agency responsible for defending critical systems, including hospitals and elections, against cyberattacks, after Mr. Krebs disputed Mr. Trump's baseless claims of voter fraud. The attacks have largely unfolded in private, as hospitals scramble to restore their systems -- or to quietly pay the ransom -- without releasing information that could compromise an F.B.I. investigation. [...] The latest wave of attacks, which hit about a dozen hospitals in the United States, was believed to have been conducted by a particularly powerful group of Russian-speaking hackers that deployed ransomware via TrickBot, a vast network of infected computers used for cyberattacks, according to security researchers who are tracking the attacks. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Amazon Workers To Stage Coordinated Black Friday Protests in 15 Countries

technology - Posted On:2020-11-26 21:14:59 Source: slashdot

On Friday, Amazon warehouse workers and social and environmental justice activists around the world will stage a series of coordinated protests, strikes, and actions to demand the online retailer respect workers' rights to participate in union activity, stop circumventing tax laws, and commit to higher environmental standards, according to the event's organizers. From a report: The day of action, which is being called #MakeAmazonPay, coincides with Black Friday, one of Amazon's biggest sales events of the year and the start of its peak season, when warehouse worker injuries are highest and workloads for warehouse workers and delivery drivers skyrocket. On Friday, protest actions will take place across Amazon's supply chain in Brazil, Mexico, the United States, the United Kingdom, Spain, France, Belgium, Germany, Luxembourg, Italy, Poland, India, Bangladesh, the Philippines, and Australia. As many as 3,000 workers will strike at six Amazon facilities in Germany. Garment workers in Bangladesh who manufacture clothes sold by Amazon will also protest. Trade union members and environmental groups, including the climate-focused Extinction Rebellion, will demonstrate outside Amazon's European headquarters in Luxembourg. In the Philippines, contracted Amazon Ring call center workers, who face 'subhuman' conditions according to a recent Financial Times article, will hold a virtual action. At Amazon's Seattle and Northern Virginia headquarters, community activists from social justice organizations, including Justice for Muslims Collective and La ColectiVA, will hold their own protests. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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