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17/09/2019 22:14:50  

Amazon Music HD is a new tier of Amazon's music service that offers lossless versions of audio files for streaming or downloading at a price that aggressively undercuts Tidal, the main competition for this kind of audio. "Amazon will charge $14.99 a month for the HD tier, or $12.99 if you're an Amazon Prime customer," reports The Verge. "Tidal's Hi-Fi plan costs $19.99 monthly." From the report: Amazon says it has a catalog of over 50 million songs that it calls "High Definition," which is the term it's applying to songs with CD-quality bit depth of 16 bits and a 44.1kHz sample rate. It also has "millions" (read: less than 10 million, more than one million) of songs it's calling "Ultra HD," which translates to 24-bit with sample rates that range from 44.1kHz up to 192kHz. Amazon Music HD will deliver them all in the lossless FLAC file format, instead of the MQA format that Tidal uses. Amazon's VP of Music, Steve Boom, tells me that Amazon chose the HD and UltraHD terminology because it found it was more comprehensible to a mass audience than the current terminology for audio quality. And "mass audience" is exactly what Amazon is going for; it doesn't want Amazon Music HD to be a niche player like Tidal and other lossless music platforms like HDtracks or Qobuz. Boom says that "It's a pretty big deal that one of the big three global streaming services is doing this -- we're the first one." In response to today's news, Rock legend Neil Young said (with no hyperbole whatsoever): "Earth will be changed forever when Amazon introduces high quality streaming to the masses. This will be the biggest thing to happen in music since the introduction of digital audio 40 years ago."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

17/09/2019 18:15:04  

Jacobs Develops Wireless Portable HD Camera System for NASA
17/09/2019 14:11:40  

The company is the first of the "big three" streaming services to offer CD-quality audio.
24/08/2019 15:19:26  

"A rash of supply chain attacks hitting open source software over the past year shows few signs of abating, following the discovery this week of two separate backdoors slipped into a dozen libraries downloaded by hundreds of thousands of server administrators," reports Ars Technica: The compromises of Webmin and the RubyGems libraries are only the latest supply chain attacks to hit open source software. Most people don't think twice about installing software or updates from the official site of a known developer. As developers continue to make software and websites harder to exploit, black hats over the past few years have increasingly exploited this trust to spread malicious wares by poisoning code at its source... To be fair, closed-source software also falls prey to supply-side attacks -- as evidenced by those that hit computer maker ASUS on two occasions, the malicious update to tax-accounting software M.E.Doc that seeded the NotPetya outbreak of 2017, and another backdoor that infected users of the CCleaner hard drive utility that same year. But the low-hanging fruit for supply chain attacks seems to be open source projects, in part because many don't make multi-factor authentication and code signing mandatory among its large base of contributors. "The recent discoveries make it clear that these issues are becoming more frequent and that the security ecosystem around package publication and management isn't improving fast enough," Atredis Partners Vice President of Research and Development HD Moore told Ars. "The scary part is that each of these instances likely resulted in even more developer accounts being compromised (through captured passwords, authorization tokens, API keys, and SSH keys). The attackers likely have enough credentials at hand to do this again, repeatedly, until all credentials are reset and appropriate MFA and signing is put in place."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

15/08/2019 22:19:06  

An anonymous reader shares a report: James Wright had never worried about staying under his data cap. Then he bought a 4K TV set and started binge-watching Netflix in ultra-high definition. The picture quality was impressive, but it gobbled up so much bandwidth that his internet service provider, Comcast, warned that he had exceeded his monthly data limit and would need to pay more. "The first month I blew through the cap like it was nothing," said Wright, 50, who lives with his wife in Memphis, Tenn. With a 4K TV, he said, "It's not as hard to go through as you'd think." All that bingeing and ultra-HD video can carry a high price tag. As online viewing grows, more subscribers are having to pay up for faster speeds. Even then, they can run into data limits and overage fees. Some opt for an unlimited plan that can double the average $52-a-month internet bill. Wright is what the cable industry calls a power user -- someone who chews through 1 terabyte of data or more each month. Though still rare, the number of power users has doubled in the past year as more families stream TV shows, movies and video games online. They should continue to grow as new video services from Disney, AT&T, Apple and NBCUniversal arrive in coming months. In the first quarter of this year, about 4% of internet subscribers consumed at least 1 terabyte of data -- the limit imposed by companies such as Comcast, AT&T and Cox. That's up from 2% a year ago, according to OpenVault, which tracks internet data usage among cable subscribers in the United States and Europe. "The percentage of subscribers exceeding this level will continue to grow rapidly," OpenVault founder Mark Trudeau said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

10/08/2019 15:19:33  

Not telling your child that this hereditary condition is in the family can be devastating later on

On a lazy Sunday morning in May last year, Isobel Lloyd was at her boyfriend’s house, having coffee with his mum. The conversation had worked around to Lloyd’s grandma – her mother’s mother – who’d died in her 50s, when Lloyd was very young. Lloyd’s only memories of her had been hospice visits where her grandma lay bedbound, unable to talk or swallow, with no control over how her body moved. Lloyd had forgotten the name of her grandma’s disease, hadn’t thought about it in years. Like most 20-year-olds, she was future-focused – a student from Yorkshire, keen on her studies, in love with her boyfriend of four years.

Sitting in his family kitchen, they began reeling off degenerative diseases. Motor neurone. Multiple sclerosis. Parkinson’s. Alzheimer’s. Then finally Huntington’s disease (HD). In a flash of recognition, Lloyd knew that was the one her grandma had. “It just clicked,” she says. “I Googled it on my phone – and that’s when I read that it was genetic. My mum had a 50% risk of getting it – and if she did, I had a 50% risk, too.”

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02/08/2019 23:18:38  

Xfinity Mobile's unlimited data plans now cost an extra $20 a month if you want to watch HD video. They cost $45 per line per month, but video streams are generally limited to 480p resolution. "Comcast yesterday announced a new $20-per-month HD Pass 'for an upgrade to HD video resolution on Unlimited lines (720p on phone and 1080p on tablets),'" reports Ars Technica. "That raises the monthly price to $65." From the report: Xfinity Mobile does offer cheaper options with HD video if you don't need unlimited data. Comcast said it now allows HD streaming on its limited plans, which cost $12 a month for 1GB, $30 for 3GB, and $60 for 10GB. Comcast charges $12 for each additional gigabyte if you go over your limit. Comcast also now offers a "Data Saver" feature to limited-plan customers, which turns off HD streaming in order to reduce data usage. The new $20 HD pass doesn't lift the 1.5Mbps cap for unlimited customers who use more than 20GB, but Comcast says buying the pass does let users "access faster speeds when the network is congested, such as during concerts and sporting events." Basically, this means unlimited customers who pay $20 extra and use less than 20GB a month will get HD video and will not get slower speeds than limited-plan customers during network congestion. The various speed restrictions do not apply when your phone is connected to a Comcast Wi-Fi hotspot. There are millions of those around the country, and Xfinity Mobile phones can automatically connect to them when in range.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.