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Submission + - Apple's sales fall across iPhone, iPad, and Mac (theverge.com)

kennethnmiller1 writes: Apple just released its Q3 2016 financials, and the data shows device sales across all three of Apple's main product categories falling over the past year. iPhone sales saw the steepest decline year over year (though the release of the iPhone SE in March saw sales jump significantly in the second quarter). Overall, iPhone growth has stalled, though it's certainly possible things will pick up when theiPhone 7 is released later this year.

The iPad was the only product category that saw a decline from 2014 on, though that's no surprise. However, Apple still hasn't released data on theApple Watch or Apple TV, two devices bundled under the "Other products" umbrella that will become increasingly important in years ahead.



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Submission + - Martian gullies not formed by water flow

An anonymous reader writes: Spectroscopy of many of the gullies on Mars strongly suggests that water had nothing to do with their formation, even though these gullies resemble closely similar gullies on Earth that were carved by flowing water..

Color coding in light blue corresponds to surface composition of unaltered mafic material, of volcanic origin. Mafic material from the crater rim is carved and transported downslope along the gully channels. No hydrated minerals are observed within the gullies, in the data from CRISM, indicating limited interaction or no interaction of the mafic material with liquid water. These findings and related observations at about 100 other gully sites on Mars suggest that a mechanism not requiring liquid water may be responsible for carving these gullies on Mars. (Gullies on Mars are a different type of feature than seasonal dark streaks called recurring slope lineae or RSL; water in the form of hydrated salt has been identified at RSL sites.) [emphasis mine]

In other words, these gullies were formed by flowing lava, not water. Considering Mars’s lower gravity, one third that of Earth’s, we should not be surprised if lava is capable of doing things there that it is not generally capable of doing on Earth. In fact, we should remind ourselves constantly that Mars is an alien planet, and that conditions there are different enough to make any predictions based on our knowledge of Earth very unreliable.

Submission + - Nintendo Suffers 90% Drop in Third-Party Support 1

SlappingOysters writes: Despite the success of Pokémon Go, not everything is going well in the Mushroom Kingdom. Just released figures show a dramatic decline in the amount of third-party support for Nintendo's Wii U console when compared to its five predecessors. It's a timely update on Nintendo's current place in the console market, given the gaming world is expecting an official reveal of its next console — the NX — any day now. The NX is due for release in March 2017.

Submission + - Russia accused of hacking Democratic website in 2nd major attack against party (washingtontimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Individuals who donated to the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee last month may have been inadvertently hacked by a Russian espionage group, a U.S.-based cybersecurity firm said Friday.
Separate from the high-profile intrusion that preceded WikiLeaks’ publication last week of thousands of internal emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee, hackers reportedly targeted not just top party officials, but anyone who attempted to contribute to the DCCC, the official campaign arm of House Democrats.
By compromising the DCCC’s official website, hackers redirected would-be donors to a malicious domain outside of the party’s control, according to researchers at FireEye, a federally-certified threat analysis company investigating the attack.

Submission + - EOMA68 Earth-friendly Modular computing campaign hits $50k (crowdsupply.com) 3

lkcl writes: The EOMA68 Crowd-funding campaign launched last month and has just reached $50,000 and so far has 541 backers with 28 days still to go. EOMA68 and its creator have featured regularly on slashdot over the past five years: a live-streamed video from Hope2016 explains what it's about, and there is a huge range of discussions and articles online. The real burning question is: if a single Software Libre Engineer can teach themselves PCB design and bring modular computing to people on the budget available from a single company, why are there not already a huge number of companies doing modular upgradeable hardware?

Submission + - Hackers successfully cyber-attacked Vietnam's two largest airports and airline (washingtontimes.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The attacks — attributed to a Chinese hacking group known as 1937CN — ultimately failed to cause any significant security issues or air traffic control problems, Vice Minister of Transport Nguyen Nhat told local media.
Nonetheless, the individuals briefly hijacked flight information screens and sound systems inside Noi Bai and Tan Son Nhat airports in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, respectively.
“All internet systems have been switched off so we had to do everything by hand,” an airline attendant at Tan Son Nhat told Vietnam’s Tuou Tre News.
At a third hub, Da Nang International, computer systems experienced repeated glitches, according to the news site. Instead of departure and arrival details, the airports’ flight screens and speakers broadcast what local media described as anti-Vietnamese and Philippines slogans, in turn prompting authorities to shut down both systems.

Submission + - .onion Debian services now available

alfino writes: Long-time Debian System Administrator Peter "weasel" Palfrader announced today that a number of Debian services / web sites are now also available via Tor .onion domains.

Yay for privacy. We don't care about where you come from, and now you don't even have to tell anyone that you're using Debian.

The archive at ftp.debian.org is already in the list. Support for more redundant Debian archive access is expected to come When It's Ready.

Submission + - Linux and Systemd

Ragingguppy writes: Recently Debian, Ubuntu, and many other distributions have moved over to systemD. Much to the dismay of their users. Lennart Poettering has gone on to blame Linus for all the negative comments that he has had. Personally, I don't think the ugliness of the current situation is Lennart's fault. Sure Systemd, is missing some things that will clearly make it as good as SystemV Init. For most use's it's good enough provided that its configured properly. The blame I'm sending out to has to be put on the square shoulders of the distribution makers. Pottering in my oppinion has been a lightning rod for the bad decisions made by the distro writers. Perhaps I can float an idea here. Perhaps the distribution maintainers weren't ready for systemd, and, as a result, systemd has taken most of the flack for this. Perhaps systemD is not mature enough to take on such an important responsibility in the Linux ecosystem. Perhaps the distribution developers don't have enough of a grasp to utilize systemd to its fullest potential. Perhaps there is a serious lack of good documentation for systemd. After looking at the problem for several weeks I feel that all of these suggestions are true.

I certainly see it. Last night, for instance, I installed Debian Jessie on my old laptop. One that ran Debian Wheazy for a few years. After the distro was installed I was unable to install any other packages. Apt-get failed to connect to the mirror I had just installed the OS from. Now is that an issue with systemd or is that an issue with the package manager?

The is some serious issues going on in Linux these days. It's preventing me and I suspect other people from getting their work done. Distro writers need to start to understand that people actually use their distro's to get real work done. Publishing what is supposed to be a full release when that release doesn't at least work as good as its predecessor is not acceptable on so many levels. This what many of us got with Microsoft many years ago that made us want to switch to Linux in the first place.

Recently I saw a video on youtube of Linus talk at Debconf. He complained that he had to fight at every single version of the Linux kernel that it is unacceptable to break user space. That's the only rule with the kernel he said. Well in Debian, Devuan, Arch and Ubuntu at least user space is definitely broken. Is that Linus's fault or is it the distro's fault.

The laptop that I am trying to run these distro's on is a Acer 5552 laptop with a Tripple core AMD processor and an ATI Radeon chipset. I bought it in 2009. So yes it's a little older but in my opinion Linux should work on it without a problem. At least Linux used to work on it before Debian Jessie and the latest barrage of changes that have been made to the echo system. This is forcing me to have to go on a long exhaustive search for a distro that actually works because Debian is not working right now. I've been trying to find one without systemd, since I know the older init system and I am not familiar enough with systemd to work with it. Also in a previous project I tried to configure systemD to start a shell script after all the other processes were started. I failed. I had to employ Devuan instead. Because systemd just wan't cooperating.

So this is my a humble request to the Linux community. Please bring sanity back to the Linux ecosystem. You're really making it so that I can't get my work done. I depend on your projects. But the latest versions of Debian, Ubuntu, and other systems really have created a serious problem.

Submission + - Our Election Systems must be secured (schneier.com)

Okian Warrior writes: Bruce Schneier notes that state actors are hacking our political system computers, intending to influence the results. For example, US intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the release of DNC E-mails before the party convention, and Wikileaks is promising more leaked dirt on Hillary Clinton. He points out, quite rightly, that the US needs to secure its electronic voting machines, and we need to do it in a hurry lest outside interests hack the results. From the article:

Over the years, more and more states have moved to electronic voting machines and have flirted with Internet voting. These systems are insecure and vulnerable to attack.

But while computer security experts like me have sounded the alarm for many years, states have largely ignored the threat, and the machine manufacturers have thrown up enough obfuscating babble that election officials are largely mollified.

We no longer have time for that. We must ignore the machine manufacturers' spurious claims of security, create tiger teams to test the machines' and systems' resistance to attack, drastically increase their cyber-defenses and take them offline if we can't guarantee their security online.


Submission + - World's Largest Solar Power Plant Planned For Chernobyl Nuclear Wasteland (electrek.co)

An anonymous reader writes: Chernobyl, the world's most famous and hazardous nuclear meltdown, is being considered for the world's largest solar power plant. Even though nearly 1,600 square miles of land around Chernobyl has radiation levels too high for human health, Ukraine's ecology minister has said in a recent interview that two U.S. investment firms and four Canadian energy companies have expressed interest in Chernobyl's solar potential. Electrek reports: "According to PVTech, the Ukrainian government is pushing for a 6 month construction cycle. Deploying this amount of solar power within such a time frame would involve significant resources being deployed. The proposed 1GW solar plant, if built today, would be the world’s largest. There are several plans for 1GW solar plants in development (Egypt, India, UAE, China, etc) – but none of them have been completed yet. One financial benefit of the site is that transmission lines for Chernobyl’s 4GW nuclear reactor are still in place. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development has stated they would be interested in participating in the project, 'so long as there are viable investment proposals and all other environmental matters and risks can be addressed to the bank’s satisfaction.'"

Submission + - Snowden Questions WikiLeaks' Methods (pcworld.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Former U.S. National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, has censured WikiLeaks’ release of information without proper curation. On Thursday, Snowden, who has embarrassed the U.S. government with revelations of widespread NSA surveillance, said that WikiLeaks was mistaken in not at least modestly curating the information it releases. “Democratizing information has never been more vital, and @Wikileaks has helped. But their hostility to even modest curation is a mistake,” Snowden said in a tweet. WikiLeaks shot back at Snowden that “opportunism won’t earn you a pardon from Clinton [and] curation is not censorship of ruling party cash flows.” The whistleblowing site appeared to defend itself earlier on Thursday while referring to its “accuracy policy.” In a Twitter message it said that it does “not tamper with the evidentiary value of important historical archives.”

Submission + - Malvertising Campaign Infected Thousands of Users per Day for More than a Year (softpedia.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Since the summer of 2015, users that surfed 113 major, legitimate websites were subjected to one of the most advanced malvertising campaign ever discovered, with signs that this might have actually be happening since 2013.

Infecting a whopping 22 advertising platforms, the criminal gang behind this campaign used complicated traffic filtering systems to select users ripe for infection, usually with banking trojans. The campaign constantly pulled between 1 and 5 million users per day, infecting thousands, and netting the crooks millions each month.

The malicious ads, according to this list, were shown on sites like The New York Times, Le Figaro, The Verge, PCMag, IBTimes, ArsTechnica, Daily Mail, Telegraaf, La Gazetta dello Sport, CBS Sports, Top Gear, Urban Dictionary, Playboy, Answers.com, Sky.com, and more.

Submission + - A Look Inside Tesla's $5 Billion Gigafactory (cnet.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A joint effort between Tesla and Panasonic, the Gigafactory is a $5 billion project that will create the world's premier battery manufacturing facility. The Gigafactory will not only be physically larger than any other cell-packing plant on the planet, it'll produce more batteries than the entire industry did back in 2013. That's a lot of batteries, enough to meet Tesla's 500,000-per-year manufacturing goals — and potentially even more. When completed, the factory will cover five million square feet of the desert floor just outside of Reno, Nevada. Right now, the uncompleted but already-operational factory sits on 800,000 square feet. Over the next four years the building will grow and grow again, swelling to its full size while production dials up simultaneously. The roof will be covered in solar panels, with the goal of producing enough electricity to power the entire thing. Tesla is already assembling Powerwall units here, but the first Model 3 battery packs are expected to roll off the line by the middle of next year. From there, Tesla will have to scale quickly to meet the company's Model 3 production goals for 2018. And, once the company does, the cost savings will begin.

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