JG0LD writes: Microsoft announced today that it has added support for the Intel-backed Clear Linux distribution in instances for its Azure public cloud platform. It’s the latest in a lengthy string of Linux distributions to become available on the company’s Azure cloud.
linzeal writes: Investigators are examining how money may have moved from the Kremlin to covertly help Trump win, the two sources said. One of the allegations involves whether a system for routinely paying thousands of Russian-American pensioners may have been used to pay some email hackers in the United States or to supply money to intermediaries who would then pay the hackers, the two sources said.
baalcat writes: A new study in Neuroscience News sheds light on how we learn to pay attention in order to make the most of our life experiences.
"The Wizard of Oz told Dorothy to “pay no attention to that man behind the curtain” in an effort to distract her, but a new Princeton University study sheds light on how people learn and make decisions in real-world situations.
The findings could eventually contribute to improved teaching and learning and the treatment of mental and addiction disorders in which people’s perspectives are dysfunctional or fractured."
randomErr writes: 5.7 million adults in the United States have heart failure each year with about 41 million worldwide. Currently treatment involves surgically implanting a mechanical pump, called a ventricular assist device (VAD), into the heart.The VAD helps maintains the heart's function. But patients with VADs are at high risk for getting blood clots and having a stroke. Researchers at Harvard University and Boston Children's Hospital have created a soft robotic sleeve that doesn't have to be implanted. The robotic sleeve slips around the outside of the heart, squeezing it in sync with their natural rhythm..
dryriver writes: The BBC reports: About 13 million pages of declassified documents from the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) have been released online. The records include UFO sightings and psychic experiments from the Stargate programme, which has long been of interest to conspiracy theorists. The move came after lengthy efforts from freedom of information advocates and a lawsuit against the CIA. Among the more unusual records are documents from the Stargate Project, which dealt with psychic powers and extrasensory perception. Those include records of testing on celebrity psychic Uri Geller in 1973, when he was already a well-established performer. Memos detail how Mr Geller was able to partly replicate pictures drawn in another room with varying — but sometimes precise — accuracy, leading the researchers to write that he "demonstrated his paranormal perceptual ability in a convincing and unambiguous manner".
Mark Wilson writes: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has set out its plans for the first 100 days under Trump, during which time it says it will continue to fight for the rights of internet and technology users.
The digital rights group has already drawn up a wishlist for covering its privacy and security dreams for 2017, but the 100-day plan sees the EFF setting out its agenda for the first few months under Trump. Having claimed that "our civil liberties need an independent defense force" and that "free speech and the rights to privacy, transparency, and innovation won’t survive on their own", EFF is prepared to go to court — again — to hold the new administration to account when necessary.
The group plans to continue its fight against "wrongful surveillance and censorship orders", and says that it will make full use of Freedom of Information Act requests to "force transparency on our secretive government". This is something that will be happening right from the get-go: "we intend to wield this tool from the earliest days of Trump's presidency".
BrianFagioli writes: If you are a fan of KDE, I hope you are aware of Netrunner Desktop. If not, please know that it is one of he most polished Linux distributions available. If you haven't tried it, you definitely should — it is a wonderful "out of the box" experience. It is a great choice for those looking to switch from Windows too.
Today, the operating system reaches version 17.01. Code-named "Baryon," it is based on the upcoming Debian 9 "Stretch." Users can choose to either run the OS as a stable release or opt for a more bleeding-edge rolling release.
Dave Murphy, executive director of Food Democracy Now!, joins us this week to explain the finding of this new report on the worlds most-used herbicide (more commonly known by its retail brand: Roundup). As happened in past decades with the alcohol and tobacco industries, theres compelling evidence that profits have taken a priority over consumer safety — and as public health concerns are being raised, Big Ag is circling its wagons and attacking the questioners rather than embracing open scrutiny.
DeviceGuru writes: HackerBoards has just published its annual New Year's round-up of Linux- and Android-friendly single board computers. This time around, there are 90 boards in the list, all of which are briefly profiled with links to their sources. There's also a big Google Docs spreadsheet that compares the key specs of all 90 boards, which range in price from $5 to $199 for their lowest cost models. "Community backed, open spec single board computers running Linux and Android... play a key role in developing the Internet of Things devices that will increasingly dominate our technology economy in the coming years," says the post.
schwit1 writes: In a few days, scandal-prone Günther Oettinger will stop being Europe’s top internet policy maker – he’s being promoted to oversee the EU budget.
But before leaving, the outgoing Digital Commissioner submitted dangerous plans that undermine two core foundations of the internet: Links and file uploads. While Oettinger is going away, his lobby-dictated proposals are here to stay.
These proposals are pandering to the demands of some news publishers to charge search engines and social networks for sending traffic their way (yes, you read that right), as well as the music industry’s wish to be propped up in its negotiations with YouTube.
Here’s what may otherwise become illegal:
01 Sharing what happened 20 years ago
02 Tweeting a creative news headline
03 Posting a blog post to social media
04 Pinning a photo to an online shopping list
05 A search engine indexing the web for you
06 A portfolio hosting site not monitoring your uploads
07 Github allowing unmonitored commits
08 Wikipedia ACCEPTING unmonitored uploads
09 Training your own artificial intelligence
Despite all the new restrictions on hyperlinks and uploads, sites like MegaUpload, which was famously shut down by US authorities for allegedly systematically infringing copyright, would not be affected.
That’s proof: This law is not aimed at sites that actually play fast and loose with copyright – it’s meant to get social networks and search engines to fork over money to struggling European cultural industries.
The IoT OS landscape today looks very fragmented. There is clearly no market leader and despite all the marketing buzz we hear, it's still incredibly early days. Can Google do to the IoT with Android Things what it did to mobile, where it's dominance is now very close to 90%? I believe so, and if that is to happen, this launch of Android Things is exactly how they would go about it.
Of course a java based OS which can kill processes at any time can never be used for mission critical systems, but for consumer IoT stuff — like anything in your house with a plug — the path to adding a touchscreen and an internet connection just became a heck of a lot clearer. How long before some equivalent to the $5 Raspberry Pi zero can run Android?
mmell writes: The U.S. military is spending millions on an advanced implant that would allow a human brain to communicate directly with computers. If they succeed, cyborgs will be a reality. The goal of the proposed implant is to "open the channel between the human brain and modern electronics" according to DARPA's program manager.
Ordinarily, such a headline might be considered the usual sensationalist reporting and a batch of sci-fi . . . except that this says DARPA is involved. I can remember when internetworking computers was a radical concept until DARPA came up with some serious sci-fi style communications protocols to make it all work. With only sixty-two million budgeted (so far), we can only hope that it'll be a while before they succeed — but then again, this is DARPA we're talking about.
JustAnotherOldGuy writes: Abbott Labs, a global healthcare company, is laying off about 180 IT employees after signing an agreement with Wipro, a major India-based IT services firm, to take over some IT services. The workers are expecting to train their replacements, possibly workers on H-1B and other temporary visas. The IT employees at Abbott are distraught, said one IT worker who spoke on condition of anonymity. "Everybody is under tremendous pressure," the worker said, noting that colleagues are are depressed, angry and worried about losing homes and paying medical expenses. Job ads are being posted inside the company to fill IT jobs, and each ad points out that an H-1B worker may be hired for the position. "It looks like most of the jobs will go to India," the anonymous IT employee said.