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28/05/2022 11:11:14  

Northwestern University engineers have developed the smallest-ever remote-controlled walking robot -- and it comes in the form of a tiny, adorable peekytoe crab. From the report: Just a half-millimeter wide, the tiny crabs can bend, twist, crawl, walk, turn and even jump. The researchers also developed millimeter-sized robots resembling inchworms, crickets and beetles. Although the research is exploratory at this point, the researchers believe their technology might bring the field closer to realizing micro-sized robots that can perform practical tasks inside tightly confined spaces. Smaller than a flea, the crab is not powered by complex hardware, hydraulics or electricity. Instead, its power lies within the elastic resilience of its body. To construct the robot, the researchers used a shape-memory alloy material that transforms to its "remembered" shape when heated. In this case, the researchers used a scanned laser beam to rapidly heat the robot at different targeted locations across its body. A thin coating of glass elastically returns that corresponding part of structure to its deformed shape upon cooling. As the robot changes from one phase to another -- deformed to remembered shape and back again -- it creates locomotion. Not only does the laser remotely control the robot to activate it, the laser scanning direction also determines the robot's walking direction. Scanning from left to right, for example, causes the robot to move from right to left. The research was published in the journal Science Robotics.

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28/05/2022 08:11:09  

Scientists from the University of Michigan have "fabricated a nanoparticle to deliver an inhibitor to brain tumor in mouse models, where the drug successfully turned on the immune system to eliminate the cancer," reports ScienceDaily. "The process also triggered immune memory so that a reintroduced tumor was eliminated -- a sign that this potential new approach could not only treat brain tumors but prevent or delay recurrences." From the report: The small molecule inhibitor AMD3100 was developed to block the action of CXCR12, a cytokine released by the glioma cells that builds up a shield around the immune system, preventing it from firing up against the invading tumor. Researchers showed in mouse models of glioma that AMD3100 prevented CXCR12 from binding with immune-suppressive myeloid cells. By disarming these cells, the immune system remains intact and can attack the tumor cells. But AMD3100 was having trouble getting to the tumor. The drug did not travel well through the bloodstream, and it did not pass the blood brain barrier, a key issue with getting drugs into the brain. The Castro-Lowenstein lab collaborated with Joerg Lahann, Ph.D., Wolfgang Pauli Collegiate Professor of Chemical Engineering at the U-M College of Engineering, to create protein-based nanoparticles to encapsulate the inhibitor, in the hopes of helping it pass through the bloodstream. Castro also connected with Anuska V. Andjelkovic, M.D., Ph.D., professor of pathology and research professor of neurosurgery at Michigan Medicine, whose research focuses on the blood brain barrier. They noted that glioma tumors create abnormal blood vessels, interfering with normal blood flow. The researchers injected AMD3100-loaded nanoparticles into mice with gliomas. The nanoparticles contained a peptide on the surface that binds to a protein found mostly on the brain tumor cells. As the nanoparticles traveled through the bloodstream toward the tumor, they released AMD3100, which restored the integrity of the blood vessels. The nanoparticles could then reach their target, where they released the drug, thus blocking the entry of the immune-suppressive myeloid cells into the tumor mass. This allowed the immune cells to kill the tumor and delay its progression. [...] Among the mice whose tumors were eliminated, the researchers then reintroduced the tumor, simulating a recurrence. Without any additional therapy, 60% of mice remained cancer-free. The research has been published in the journal ACS Nano.

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28/05/2022 06:11:13  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Airbus is launching a U.K.-based facility focused on hydrogen technologies, a move which represents the firm's latest attempt to support the design of its next generation of aircraft. In a statement Wednesday, Airbus said the Zero Emission Development Centre in Filton, Bristol, had already begun working on the development of the tech. One of the site's main goals will center around work on what Airbus called a "cost-competitive cryogenic fuel system" that its ZEROe aircraft will need. Details of three zero-emission, "hybrid-hydrogen" concept planes under the ZEROe moniker were released back in Sept. 2020. Airbus has said it wants to develop "zero-emission commercial aircraft" by the year 2035. The ZEDC in the U.K. will join other similar sites in Spain, Germany and France. "All Airbus ZEDCs are expected to be fully operational and ready for ground testing with the first fully functional cryogenic hydrogen tank during 2023, and with flight testing starting in 2026," the company said.

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28/05/2022 03:11:07  

RED filed a lawsuit yesterday suing (PDF) Nikon for infringing on its video compression patents. PetaPixel reports: The lawsuit was filed in a southern California federal court today and asserts that the Japanese camera manufacturer and its United States subsidiaries have illegally infringed on seven patents that deal specifically with "a video camera that can be configured to highly compress video data in a visually lossless manner." In the filing, RED notes a type of compression that it says it has patented and is in use by Nikon in the Z9: "The camera can be configured to transform blue and red image data in a manner that enhances the compressibility of the data. The data can then be compressed and stored in this form. This allows a user to reconstruct the red and blue data to obtain the original raw data for a modified version of the original raw data that is visually lossless when demosaiced. Additionally, the data can be processed so the green image elements are demosaiced first, and then the red and blue elements are reconstructed based on values of the demosaiced green image elements." This compression comes thanks to a partnership with intoPIX's TicoRAW which was announced last December. [...] The TicoRAW feature has been in the news for months, but RED was likely waiting for it to be implemented into a competitor's camera before filing a lawsuit. RED's lawsuit says Nikon's infringement on its patent was "willful" and claims Nikon would have known about RED's patents. [...] RED then cites multiple lawsuits it has filed against Kinefinity, Sony, and Nokia over the years. RED is seeking damages or royalties for the infringement as well as an injunction to ban Nikon from further infringing.

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28/05/2022 03:11:07  

Substack stopped fundraising efforts for a round of $75 million to $100 million, the New York Times reported Thursday. Axios reports: The round could have valued the newsletter publication platform between $750 million and $1 billion. But the abandoned plans come amid the market's cooling and layoffs among other tech firms. NYT reported that Substack told investors its 2021 revenue was about $9 million. That means its potential valuation of $1 billion would have been 100x its revenue. Substack touted in November that it has more than 1 million paid subscriptions and that its top 10 writers collectively generate $20 million in annual revenue. But only a fraction of that contributes to Substack's bottom line.

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28/05/2022 02:11:15  

"Quanta not patching vulnerable baseboard management controllers leaves data centers vulnerable," writes long-time Slashdot reader couchslug. "Pantsdown was disclosed in 2019..." Ars Technica reports: In January 2019, a researcher disclosed a devastating vulnerability in one of the most powerful and sensitive devices embedded into modern servers and workstations. With a severity rating of 9.8 out of 10, the vulnerability affected a wide range of baseboard management controllers (BMC) made by multiple manufacturers. These tiny computers soldered into the motherboard of servers allow cloud centers, and sometimes their customers, to streamline the remote management of vast fleets of computers. They enable administrators to remotely reinstall OSes, install and uninstall apps, and control just about every other aspect of the system -- even when it's turned off. Pantsdown, as the researcher dubbed the threat, allowed anyone who already had some access to the server an extraordinary opportunity. Exploiting the arbitrary read/write flaw, the hacker could become a super admin who persistently had the highest level of control for an entire data center. Over the next few months, multiple BMC vendors issued patches and advisories that told customers why patching the vulnerability was critical. Now, researchers from security firm Eclypsium reported a disturbing finding: for reasons that remain unanswered, a widely used BMC from data center solutions provider Quanta Cloud Technology, better known as QCT, remained unpatched against the vulnerability as recently as last month. As if QCT's inaction wasn't enough, the company's current posture also remains baffling. After Eclypsium privately reported its findings to QCT, the solutions company responded that it had finally fixed the vulnerability. But rather than publish an advisory and make a patch public -- as just about every company does when fixing a critical vulnerability -- it told Eclypsium it was providing updates privately on a customer-by-customer basis. As this post was about to go live, "CVE-2019-6260," the industry's designation to track the vulnerability, didn't appear on QCT's website. [...] "[T]hese types of attacks have remained possible on BMCs that were using firmware QCT provided as recently as last month," writes Ars' Dan Goodin in closing. "QCT's decision not to publish a patched version of its firmware or even an advisory, coupled with the radio silence with reporters asking legitimate questions, should be a red flag. Data centers or data center customers working with this company's BMCs should verify their firmware's integrity or contact QCT's support team for more information."

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28/05/2022 01:11:12  

Broadcom has signaled its $61 billion acquisition of VMware will involve a "rapid transition from perpetual licenses to subscriptions." The Register reports: That's according to Tom Krause, president of the Broadcom Software Group, on Thursday's Broadcom earnings call. He was asked how the semiconductor giant plans to deliver on its guidance that VMware will add approximately $8.5 billion of pro forma EBITDA to Broadcom within three years of the deal closing -- significant growth given VMware currently produces about $4.7 billion. And subscriptions was the answer. Krause also repeatedly said Broadcom intends to invest in VMware's key product portfolio and is pleased to be acquiring a sales organization and channel relationships that give it reach Broadcom does not currently enjoy. [...] Krause and Broadcom CEO Hock Tan both said Broadcom plans to nurture VMware's 300,000-plus customer base. The move to subscription-based licensing will apparently happen over the course of the next few years. [...] VMware may also experience slower growth in the short term due to the licensing shift. Krause said Broadcom is willing to live with lower margins for VMware than it expects from CA and Symantec, with R&D to benefit as a result. The software boss pledged ongoing investment and innovation for VMware's core infrastructure products, naming vSphere, VSAN, vRealize and NSX as the subjects of ongoing love and attention

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28/05/2022 01:11:12  

An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from an opinion piece, written by Macworld's Michael Simon: Apple killed its Touch Bar on the 14-inch and 16-inch MacBook Pro last year, but PC makers seem determined to prove the company wrong. First Dell introduced the XPS 13 Plus which sports a "new capacitive touch experience that allows you to switch between media and function keys easily." The laptop is available for purchase but back-ordered for weeks, and there haven't been any reviews so we don't know for sure how it will be received, but Dell's touch bar concept seems even less useful than Apple's: the buttons are static, they merely float above the actual keyboard, and they don't appear to add any functionality. Then Dell added a touch bar to the trackpad on the Latitude 9330. [...] Now there's a new PC touch bar, this time on the Voyager a1600, Corsair's first-ever gaming laptop. Corsair hasn't named or even officially announced the new feature -- it only appeared as a sneak peek -- but the company told The Verge that the strip features "10 easy-access customizable S-key shortcut buttons." [...] Corsair's Touch Bar doesn't replace the row of function keys but it is in an odd location -- on the hinge below the display. Even in pictures, it looks incredibly uncomfortable to reach. According to renders, you can still access the Touch Bar when the laptop is closed, which seems like an accident waiting to happen (not to mention a battery drain). But the biggest question I have is: why? No one shed a tear for the Touch Bar when it was killed. While it has its merits, it was never a proper pro-level feature and the implementation didn't evolve past the original idea. It was too skinny, lacked tactile feedback, required constant scrolling, and didn't actually save time. It looked nice, but even Apple didn't seem to know what to do with it. The MacBook Pro Touch Bar was one of Apple's most polarizing features and it never really caught on with developers. Maybe a niche use like gaming or video conferencing will have better results, but ultimately the Touch Bar, Apple's or otherwise, is a failed concept that should stay in the past.

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28/05/2022 00:11:10  

New submitter Grokew writes: "GoodWill ransomware group propagates very unusual demands in exchange for the decryption key," reports CloudSEK. "The Robin Hood-like group is forcing its victims to donate to the poor and provides financial assistance to the patients in need." ["Once infected, the GoodWill ransomware worm encrypts documents, photos, videos, databases, and other important files and renders them inaccessible without the decryption key," reports CloudSEK.] In order for the victims to obtain the decryption keys, they must provide proof of donating to the homeless, sharing a meal with the less fortunate, and pay a debt of someone who can't afford it. [The decryption kit includes the main decryption tool, password file and a video tutorial on how to recover all important files. It's only given to infected users after the three activities are verified by the ransomware operators, who appear to be operating out of India.]

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27/05/2022 23:11:13  

In response to pesticides, many cockroach females have lost their taste for sweet stuff, which changes how they make the next generation of insects. From a report: When a male cockroach wants to mate with a female cockroach very much, he will scoot his butt toward her, open his wings and offer her a homemade meal -- sugars and fats squished out of his tergal gland. As the lovely lady nibbles, the male locks onto her with one penis while another penis delivers a sperm package. If everything goes smoothly, a roach's romp can last around 90 minutes. But increasingly, cockroach coitus is going really, weirdly wrong, and is contributing to roach populations in some places that are more difficult to vanquish with conventional pesticides. Back in 1993, scientists working at North Carolina State University discovered a trait in the German cockroach, a species that inhabits every continent except Antarctica. Specifically, these new cockroaches seemed to have no affection for a form of sugar called glucose, which was strange because -- as anyone who has ever battled against a cockroach infestation knows -- cockroaches normally cannot get enough of the sweet stuff. So, where did these new, health-conscious cockroaches come from? It seems we created them by accident, after decades of trying to kill their ancestors with sweet powders and liquids laced with poison. The cockroaches that craved sweets ate the poison and died, while cockroaches less keen on glucose avoided the death traps and survived long enough to breed, thus passing that trait down to the next cockroach generation. "When we think of evolution, we usually imagine wild animals, but actually, it's also happening with small animals living in our kitchens," said Ayako Wada-Katsumata, an entomologist at North Carolina State University. Dr. Wada-Katsumata and her colleagues have just introduced yet another wrinkle to the cockroach's story: According to a study published this month in the journal Communications Biology, the same trait that might help a female cockroach avoid sweet-tasting poison baits also makes her less likely to stick around and mate with normal cockroach males. This is because cockroach saliva is capable of rapidly breaking down complex sugars, like those found in the male's courtship offering, and turning them into simple sugars, such as glucose. So when one of these glucose-averse females takes a bite of the male's nuptial gift, it literally turns bitter in her mouth, and she bolts before he can complete the double barrel lock-and-pop maneuver. "Great!" you may be thinking. "The fewer cockroach hookups, the fewer infestations we'll have." Not so fast, said the researchers. "As to how this will affect the population, it's really complicated," said Dr. Wada-Katsumata. That's because, despite the hang-ups, glucose-averse cockroaches still find ways to do the deed.

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27/05/2022 23:11:12  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The IndyCar racing series is switching to an entirely renewable fuel next year. On Friday, ahead of Sunday's Indianapolis 500 race, IndyCar announced that starting next year, the race cars will be powered by a new, second-generation renewable ethanol race fuel developed by Shell. The manufacturing process for IndyCar's ethanol will be slightly less exotic than that seen in the low-carbon fuel that Formula 1 is considering for 2026. Rather than carbon capture and electrolysis, Shell will use sugarcane waste and other renewable feedstocks, which are hydrolyzed and fermented at a plant in Brazil operated by Raizen (Shell is a co-owner). Shell says that the switch "enables at least" 60 percent less carbon dioxide emissions than fossil fuel gasoline, although IndyCar currently runs on an E85 blend of gasoline rather than 100 percent fossil fuel or the 100 percent methanol that powered the sport for so many years. [...] Among other changes to help green the sport is the installation of a 150 kW DC fast charger at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway. And the roughly 5,000 tires that Firestone will transport to the track by Sunday will be hauled there from the tire maker's central Indiana warehouse by one of Penske's electric Freightliner eCascadia trucks.

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27/05/2022 22:11:12  

Elon Musk has announced that Starlink, the satellite internet service launched by SpaceX, has been approved in Nigeria and Mozambique. From a report: This news is coming three days after Musk answered a tweet about the service launch in Africa. "Yes, first countries in Africa to be announced coming soon," he tweeted. "Starlink will serve everywhere on Earth that we're legally allowed to serve."

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27/05/2022 21:11:12  

Inside of hard disk drives are platters which hold all your data; these are all manufactured by one company in Japan called Showa Denko which has announced it expects to "realize near-line HDD having storage capacity of more than 30TB" by the end of 2023. From a report: Deciphering that statement, we'd assume it will provide platters with a storage capacity of more than 3TB, sometime in 2023, to partners such as Toshiba, Seagate and Western Digital, who will then produce the hard disk drives, targeting hyperscalers and data centers operators. We'd expect some of them to end up in NAS and 3.5-inch external hard drives, but that won't be the main target markets, as performance is likely to be optimized for nearline usage. Showa Denko has now started shipment of the platters that will go into new 26TB Ultrastar DC HC670 UltraSMR hard disk drives announced by Western Digital only a few days ago. A 2.6TB platter -- which uses energy-assisted magnetic recording and shingled magnetic recording -- also marks an important milestone as it hits the symbolic 1TB/in^2 density. Showa Denko's announcement comes as a surprise as Toshiba recently suggested 30TB drives (rather than higher capacities) would not come until 2024. A 30TB model would comprise of 11 platters with 2.73TB capacities each, a slight improvement on the 2.6TB capacity that are on the way. Given the fact that 26TB HDDs have now been announced in the first half of 2022, there's a remote chance that we could see 30TB drives before the end of the year or (as the saying goes), depending on market conditions.

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27/05/2022 21:11:11  

Some academic researchers in Russia are quietly working to prevent colleagues who have supported their country's invasion of Ukraine from being elected to the Russian Academy of Sciences this month. From a report: If they succeed, they will deny those who back the war a prized credential that confers prestige in Russian institutions of higher learning. Their campaign could also show that some acts of protest remain possible despite a government crackdown on dissent. The Russian Academy of Sciences is a nonprofit network of research institutes in a variety of disciplines across the Russian Federation. It has just under 1,900 members in Russia and nearly 450 nonvoting foreign members. The academy elects new members every three years. The upcoming poll, starting on Monday, is for 309 seats, including 92 for senior academicians and 217 for corresponding members. The competition is steep: More than 1,700 candidates have applied. This month, a group of Russian researchers started circulating a list of dozens of candidates who have publicly supported Russia's invasion of Ukraine by signing pro-war declarations or letters their universities or institutions released or by making such statements themselves. Hundreds of high-ranking officials at Russian universities, most of whom were administrators rather than prominent scientists, also signed a letter in support of the war in March. But many academic researchers have taken an antiwar stance. More than 8,000 Russian scientists and science journalists have signed an open letter opposing the invasion since it was first published in February. Three academic researchers -- who were not identified because they risk job loss, imprisonment and their safety by publicly opposing the war -- said in interviews that they helped create the list of those who supported the war to prevent them from being elected to the academy.

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27/05/2022 20:11:09  

Russia's communications regulator Roskomnadzor said on Friday it had opened administrative cases against Alphabet's Google and six other foreign technology companies for alleged violations of personal data legislation. From a report: Moscow has clashed with Big Tech over content, censorship, data and local representation in a simmering dispute that has erupted into a full-on information battle since Russia sent tens of thousands of troops into Ukraine on Feb. 24. Russia fined Google 3 million roubles ($46,540) last year for not storing the personal data of Russian users in databases on Russian territory, and on Friday said it had opened a new case over what it called Google's repeated failure to comply with Russian legislation.

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27/05/2022 19:11:11  

A top Federal Reserve official gave a stark warning to House lawmakers on Thursday: Move too slow in issuing a central bank digital currency and the dollar's global dominance could eventually be in jeopardy. From a report: "We shouldn't take the dollar's global status as the dominant payment currency for granted," Lael Brainard, the Fed's vice chair, said at a congressional hearing on central bank digital currencies (CBDCs). "If major foreign jurisdictions move to the issuance of their own digital currencies, it's important to think about whether the United States would continue to have the same kind of dominance without also issuing. I would hate for Congress to decide five years from now: 'You, Federal Reserve, you need to catch up. China's out there. The [European Central Bank] is out there.'" The Fed just wrapped a public comment period on its highly-anticipated report laying out the pros and cons of developing its own CBDC. This came amid the explosion in popularity of stablecoins, which aim to tie their value to a fiat currency (like the U.S. dollar).

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27/05/2022 19:11:10  

An anonymous reader shares a report: With the 2020 release of the Xbox Series X and PlayStation 5, we've started to see the era of console games that finally make full use of TVs capable of 4K resolutions (i.e., "Ultra HD" 3840Ã--2160 pixels) that have become increasingly popular in the marketplace. Now, though, at least one TV manufacturer is already planning to support 8K-capable consoles (i.e., 7680Ã--4320 resolution) that it thinks could launch in the next year or two. Polish gaming site PPL reports on a recent public presentation by Chinese TV and electronics maker TCL. Tucked away in a slide during that presentation is a road map for what TCL sees as "Gen 9.5" consoles coming in 2023 or '24. Those supposed consoles -- which the slide dubs the PS5 Pro and "New Xbox Series S/X" -- will be capable of pushing output at 8K resolution and up to 120 frames per second, according to TCL's slide.

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27/05/2022 18:11:11  

Officials from the Group of Seven wealthy nations announced Friday that they will aim to largely end greenhouse gas emissions from their power sectors by 2035, making it highly unlikely that those countries will burn coal for electricity beyond that date. From a report: Ministers from the G-7 countries meeting in Berlin also announced a target to have a "highly decarbonized road sector by 2030," meaning that electric vehicles would dominate new car sales by the end of the decade. And in a move aimed at ending the recurring conflict between rich and poor nations during international climate talks, the G-7 recognized for the first time the need to provide developing countries with additional financial aid to cope with the loss and damage caused by global warming. The agreements, which will be put to leaders next month at the G-7 summit in Elmau, Germany, were largely welcomed by climate activists. "The 2035 target for power sector decarbonisation is a real breakthrough. In practice, this means countries need to phase out coal by 2030 at the latest," said Luca Bergamaschi, director of Rome-based campaign group ECCO.

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27/05/2022 17:11:10  

Starlink has been authorized to provide satellite internet services in the Philippines, paving the way for the SpaceX unit's expansion to Southeast Asia. From a report: The Philippine National Telecommunications Commission said it approved Starlink's registration as a value-added service provider, according to a statement Friday. This would allow Starlink to directly access satellite systems, and to build and operate broadband facilities. The Philippines will be the first country in Southeast Asia to offer Starlink's high speed, low latency satellite internet service, the NTC said.

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27/05/2022 17:11:09  

Meta Platforms built its industry-leading virtual reality headset by infringing Immersion's patents, the smaller company alleged in a lawsuit. From a report: The Meta Quest 2, which dominates the market, infringes six patents covering haptic technology, Immersion said in a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Waco, Texas. In video game systems and controllers, haptics allow users to experience vibrations that mimic real-life forces -- such as blocking a punch in a virtual boxing game. Meta Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg has committed to spending $10 billion a year to bring to life his vision of a virtual reality-enabled metaverse. Sales of Meta Quest 2 hit 8.7 million units in 2021, twice as much as in the prior year, and the company owns 80% of the market.

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27/05/2022 16:11:07  

Coordinated industry lobbying is overwhelming the scattered efforts of consumer groups and privacy-minded lawmakers. From a report: In late 2019, Utah state senator Kirk Cullimore got a phone call from one of his constituents, a lawyer who represented technology companies in California. "He said, 'I think the businesses I represent would like to have some bright lines about what they can do in Utah,'" Cullimore told The Markup. At the time, tech companies in California were struggling with how they could comply with a new state law that gave individual Californians control over the data that corporations routinely gather and sell about their online activities. The lawyer, whom Cullimore and his office wouldn't identify, recounted how burdensome his corporate clients found the rules, Cullimore remembered, and suggested that Utah proactively pass its own, business-friendly consumer privacy law. "He said, 'I want to make this easy so consumers can make use of their rights and the compliance is also easy for companies.' He actually sent me some suggested language [for a bill] that was not very complex," Cullimore told The Markup. "I introduced the bill as that." What followed over the next two years was a multipronged influence campaign straight out of a playbook Big Tech is deploying around the country in response to consumer privacy legislation. It's common for industries to lobby lawmakers on issues affecting their business. But there is a massive disparity in the state-by-state battle over privacy legislation between well-funded, well-organized tech lobbyists and their opposition of relatively scattered consumer advocates and privacy-minded politicians, The Markup has found. During the 2021 and 2022 Utah legislative sessions -- when Cullimore's bill made its way through the legislature -- Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google, and Microsoft collectively registered 23 active lobbyists in the state, according to their lobbying disclosures. Thirteen of those lobbyists had never previously registered to work in the state, and some of them were influential in shaping Cullimore's legislation.

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27/05/2022 15:11:09  

We all need great internet service, but it doesn't happen by accident. From a report: Let's talk about internet policy! In Canada! Wheee! I'm serious that there are useful lessons from a saga over home internet service in Canada. What has been a promising, albeit imperfect, system that increased choices and improved internet service for Canadians is poised to fall apart. Barring a last-minute government intervention today or Friday, many smaller internet providers in Canada are likely to significantly increase their prices and lose customers or shut down. The dream of more competition leading to better internet service for Canadians is on life support. What's happening in Canada reveals why we need smart internet policy to be paired with strong government oversight to have better and more affordable internet for all -- and it shows what happens when we lose that. The U.S. has botched it for years, and that's one reason America's internet service stinks. Canada may be a real-world experiment in what happens when muddled government regulation undermines internet policy that has mostly been effective. Bear with me for a lesson in Canada's home internet service. The bottom line is that Canadians have something that is relatively novel to Americans: Many people have options to pick a home internet provider that they don't hate. That's because in Canada -- similar to many countries including Britain, Australia and Japan -- the companies that own internet pipelines are required to rent access to businesses that then sell internet service to homes. Regulators keep a close watch to make sure those rental costs and terms are fair.

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27/05/2022 14:11:13  

In January, Sony bought Bungie for $3.5 billion, giving the company one of the most popular first-person shooter games to compete with Microsoft and the various game studios it owns. Now, according to Forbes, Sony "has a whole plan to integrate Bungie's live service-building philosophies into its other teams that are making games [...]." From the report: Bungie enjoys one of the major live service successes in the current era, 7, going on 8 years of Destiny as a hyper-engaging franchises, and Sony believes the lessons they've learned can translate into other places. Twelve other places, to be specific. Sony is apparently about to announce a massive slate of live service offerings to join its traditional single player fare. While high profile AAA Sony games like God of War and Horizon Forbidden West sell well and are praised by fans and critics, they are not ongoing revenue streams like live service games can be. For Sony, they feel like they're missing a rather large boat. The plan here is to ramp up to have 3 live service games by FY2022, 6 by FY2023, 10 by FY2025 and 12 by FY2025. Currently, the only game they even consider a live service title in their lineup as The Show 22. So uh, 12 by 2025? That seems... ambitious, even with Bungie on board to help.

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27/05/2022 11:11:23  

Mike Bouma writes: Despite being expensive and having been sold out for quite some time at the main Amiga Dealers, two days after Linus Torvalds' release of Linux 5.18, Christian "xeno74" Zigotzky made the latest PPC kernel available for the AmigaOne X1000/X5000. Here and here are some screenshots. Linux PPC performs well on AmigaOne computers. For example, here is a 5-year-old YouTube AmigaOne X5000 demonstration video.

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27/05/2022 08:11:18  

Humble Bee Bio is on a mission to create a biodegradable alternative to plastics by synthesizing the biology of bees. TechCrunch reports: While the New Zealand-based company is still at an early stage -- it's about halfway through its proof of concept -- if Humble Bee is successful, its bioplastics are likely to make it into the sustainable textiles industry. Humble Bee, which just raised $3.2 million (NZD $5 million) in convertible notes as part of its Series A, has been studying the Australian masked bee, a type of solitary bee that doesn't make honey, but does make a nesting material for laying larvae in, which has many plastic-like properties. "It's resistant to acids and bases. It's hydrophobic, it's waterproof, it's flame retardant, it's stable up to 240 degrees Celsius," Ryan Graves, Humble Bee's chief technology officer, told TechCrunch. "The idea is, how do we recreate this?" The team is using a synthetic biology approach that involves going into the bee's genetic code and identifying the genes and proteins responsible for the nesting material. Humble Bee has extracted the code and is trying to recreate it in the laboratory. Next, the company will attempt to synthesize plastic-like materials, focusing on four different types of biomaterials that can be turned into fibers and finishing for fabrics. Humble Bee is aiming for anywhere from March to June 2023 to prove out the concept, at which point the team hopes to scale production using industrial-scale fermentation. "There's a degree of exploration still to go on," said Graves, "The processes are time-intensive and they are challenging. Getting going from code to protein is usually a 12-month process, and then we need to scale it up to get hundreds of grams of the stuff out."

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