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Aujourd’hui — 16 juin 2021Slashdot

Apple CEO Criticizes European Law That Would Break App Store Hold

16 juin 2021 à 19:17
Apple CEO Tim Cook said that he believes a proposed European law known as DMA would "not be in the best interest of users," signaling the iPhone maker's opposition to European legislation that would force it to allow users to install software outside of Apple's App Store. From a report: "I look at the tech regulation that's being discussed, I think there are good parts of it. And I think there are parts of it that are not in the best interests of the user," Cook said on Wednesday through videoconference at the Viva Tech conference in France. The European Union proposed two laws regulating big tech companies, the Digital Services Act and the Digital Markets Act, earlier this year. The DSA focuses on the online ad industry, but the DMA focuses on companies with large numbers of customers -- like Apple, Google and Amazon -- and sets rules requiring them to open up their platforms to competitors. One of Cook's issues with the law is that it would force Apple to permit sideloading apps on the iPhone, which is manually installing software from the internet or a file instead of through an app store. Currently, Apple's App Store is the only way to install apps on an iPhone, which has made it the focus of lawsuits and regulators around the world. Apple has claimed that its control over the App Store ensures high-quality apps and helps prevent malware. Cook noted that the iPhone's market share in France is only 23% and said that permitting sideloading on iPhones would damage both the privacy and security of users, citing increased malware on Android phones versus iPhones. Google's Android allows sideloading. "If you take an example of where I don't think it's in the best interest, that the current DMA language that is being discussed, would force sideloading on the iPhone," Cook said. "And so this would be an alternate way of getting apps onto the iPhone, as we look at that, that would destroy the security of the iPhone."

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What Lies Beneath Jupiter's Pretty Clouds

16 juin 2021 à 18:40
For something that was to have been done and thrown away three years ago, NASA's Juno spacecraft has a busy schedule ahead exploring Jupiter and its big moons. From a report: The spacecraft entered orbit around Jupiter on July 4, 2016, and has survived bombardment from intense radiation at the largest of the solar system's planets. It is now finishing its primary mission, but NASA has granted it a four-year extension and 42 more orbits. Last week, it zipped past Ganymede, Jupiter's largest moon. "Basically, we designed and built an armored tank," said Scott J. Bolton of the Southwest Research Institute in San Antonio, who is the mission's principal investigator. "And it's worked." Jupiter is essentially a big ball of mostly hydrogen, but it has turned out to be a pretty complicated ball. The mission's discoveries include lightning higher up than thought possible, rings of stable storms at the north and south poles, and winds extending so deep into the interior that they might push around the planet's magnetic fields. "I think this has been a revelation," said David J. Stevenson, a professor of planetary science at the California Institute of Technology and a co-investigator on the mission. Juno's highly elliptical path, pitched up at almost a 90-degree angle to the orbits of Jupiter's moons, passes over the planet's north and south poles. On each orbit, Juno swoops in, reaching a top speed of 130,000 miles per hour as it passes within a few thousand miles of Jupiter's clouds.

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Google To Open First Retail Store Steps Away From Apple in NYC

16 juin 2021 à 18:16
Google will open its first retail store in New York City, highlighting the internet giant's effort to promote its consumer hardware devices. From a report: The store, in Manhattan's trendy Chelsea neighborhood, will open to the public Thursday, the Mountain View, California-based company said Wednesday in a blog post. The shop, which is a block away from rival Apple's 14th Street store, occupies part of the first floor of Google's New York offices. Alphabet's Google began experimenting with pop-up stores in 2016, the same year it debuted its Pixel smartphone and Nest smart home speaker. In the years since, the company has introduced a plethora of hardware devices and hosted subsequent pop-ups to learn more about what consumers expect from a retail store, said Jason Rosenthal, Google's vice president of direct channels and membership. "It's like walking into a dream," Ivy Ross, vice president of design, user experience and research for design and services, said during a virtual tour. "I hope customers feel the same way. I want them to be happy and inspired, like I am being in here."

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Amazon Blames Social Media for Struggle With Fake Reviews

16 juin 2021 à 16:28
Amazon has blamed social media companies for its failure to remove fake reviews from its website, arguing that "bad actors" turn to social networks to buy and sell fake product reviews outside the reach of its own technology. From a report: The company says it removed more than 200m suspected fake reviews before they were seen by customers in 2020 alone, but nonetheless has faced continued criticism for the enormous scale of fake and misleading reviews that make it on to its store. This year a Which? investigation found companies claiming to be able to guarantee "Amazon's Choice" status on products -- an algorithmically assigned badge of quality that can push products to the top of search results -- within two weeks, and others claiming to have armies of reviewers numbering in the hundreds of thousands. Amazon says the blame for those organisations should lie with social media companies, who it says are slow to act when warned that fake reviews are being solicited on their platforms.

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Apple Struggles in Push To Make Healthcare Its Greatest Legacy

16 juin 2021 à 14:50
Apple Chief Executive Tim Cook has said the company's greatest contribution to mankind will be in health. So far, some Apple initiatives aimed at broadly disrupting the healthcare sector have struggled to gain traction, according to people familiar with them and documents reviewed by The Wall Street Journal. From the report: Apple has envisioned an audacious plan for healthcare, offering its own primary-care medical service with Apple-employed doctors at its own clinics, according to people familiar with the plan and documents. To test that and other bold healthcare ideas, it took over clinics that catered to its employees and built a team with scores of clinicians, engineers, product designers and others. Today those ambitions, which aren't widely known, have largely stalled as Apple has shifted the focus of its health unit to something it knows well: Selling devices, specifically the Apple Watch, according to people familiar with its strategy. The new primary-care service hasn't gotten off the ground, people familiar with it say. A digital health app launched quietly this year has struggled to keep users engaged, say people familiar with the app and the documents seen by the Journal. Some employees have raised questions internally about the integrity of health data coming from the company's clinics that has been used to support product development, according to people familiar with their concerns and the documents.

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Microsoft is Bringing Next-Gen Xbox Games To the Xbox One With xCloud

16 juin 2021 à 12:50
Microsoft will let Xbox One owners play next-gen Xbox games through its xCloud service. The news was buried in a blog post recapping Microsoft's Xbox + Bethesda showcase, with the company confirming plans to leverage Xbox Cloud Gaming (xCloud) for Xbox One consoles. That means the 2013 hardware will be able to play Xbox Series X exclusive games from 2021 -- extending the lifecycle of what would normally soon be obsolete boxes. From a report: "For the millions of people who play on Xbox One consoles today, we are looking forward to sharing more about how we will bring many of these next-gen games, such as Microsoft Flight Simulator, to your console through Xbox Cloud Gaming, just like we do with mobile devices, tablets, and browsers," says Will Tuttle, editor in chief of Microsoft's Xbox Wire. Until now, Microsoft had only described xCloud on consoles as a way for players to "try [games] before you download," but it's clear the company sees the service as offering much more. Microsoft originally announced Microsoft Flight Simulator as an Xbox One title, before quietly removing references to the Xbox One launch in December. Microsoft recently confirmed Flight Simulator will now launch on Xbox Series X / S consoles on July 27th.

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Payments Giant Stripe Saw Major Uptake of Staff Offer To Move With 10% Pay Cut

16 juin 2021 à 08:41
Stripe saw "major uptake" of the unusual offer it made to staff during the pandemic: Leave high-cost cities like New York and San Francisco and take a $20,000 bonus to boot. The catch? Workers had to consent to a 10% cut to their base compensation. From a report: "We saw pretty major uptake," John Collison, Stripe's co-founder and president, said Tuesday on Bloomberg Television. "There were a lot of people where they took advantage of all the remote working that was going on last year to be able to move to be closer to their families, to somewhere they wanted to move previously." Stripe -- dually headquartered in Dublin and San Francisco -- has long been considered a leader among Silicon Valley firms in its embrace of remote work. It began hiring engineers who work from home as early as 2013 and six years later opened a fully remote engineering hub. "We have not come to our ultimate stance or ultimate decision of what the exact mix of in-office versus remote will be," Collison said. "Everyone has been working remotely during a pandemic but I think that's going to be very different from the steady state of working remotely."

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Amazon is Blocking Google's FLoC

16 juin 2021 à 04:40
Amazon is blocking Google's controversial cookieless tracking and targeting method. From a report: Most of Amazon's properties including Amazon.com, WholeFoods.com and Zappos.com are preventing Google's tracking system FLoC -- or Federated Learning of Cohorts -- from gathering valuable data reflecting the products people research in Amazon's vast e-commerce universe, according to website code analyzed by Digiday and three technology experts who helped Digiday review the code. As Google's system gathers data about people's web travels to inform how it categorizes them, Amazon's under-the-radar move could not only be a significant blow to Google's mission to guide the future of digital ad tracking after cookies die -- it could give Amazon a leg up in its own efforts to sell advertising across what's left of the open web.

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US Warns EU Against Anti-American Tech Policy

16 juin 2021 à 02:03
The US has warned the EU against pursuing "protectionist" technology policies that exclusively target American companies, ahead of Joe Biden's first presidential visit to Brussels. From a report: The National Security Council, an arm of the White House, wrote last week to complain about the tone of recent comments about the EU's flagship tech regulation, as debates are about to begin in the European parliament. "We are particularly concerned about recent comments by the European Parliament rapporteur for the Digital Markets Act, Andreas Schwab, who suggested the DMA should unquestionably target only the five biggest US firms," said the email, seen by the Financial Times and dated June 9. It added: "Comments and approaches such as this make regulatory co-operation between the US and Europe extremely difficult and send a message that the [European] Commission is not interested in engaging with the United States in good faith to address these common challenges in a way that serves our shared interests. Protectionist measures could disadvantage European citizens and hold back innovation in member-state economies. Such policies will also hinder our ability to work together to harmonize our regulatory systems," it said. The note was sent by the NSC to staff at the EU's delegation in the US capital, according to several people familiar with it, as part of routine communications between Washington and Brussels. It comes at a time when both the US and EU are keen to rebuild a relationship that was marred by acrimony during Donald Trump's presidency. On Tuesday Biden will attend an EU-US summit in Brussels to discuss trade, tech, and China.

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Southwest Airlines Cancels 500 Flights After Computer Glitch Grounds Fleet

16 juin 2021 à 00:12
Southwest Airlines said on Tuesday it canceled about 500 flights and delayed hundreds of others after it was forced to temporarily halt operations over a computer issue -- the second time in 24 hours it had been forced to stop flights. From a report: The Federal Aviation Administration said it had issued a temporary nationwide groundstop at the request of Southwest Airlines to resolve a computer reservation issue. The groundstop lasted about 45 minutes, and ended at 2:30 p.m. EDT (1830 GMT), it said. Southwest said its operations were returning to normal. The issue was the result of "intermittent performance issues with our network connectivity." Southwest delayed nearly 1,300 flights on Tuesday, or 37% of its flights, according to flight tracker FlightAware.

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Razer Returns With the 'Most Powerful 14-inch Gaming Laptop' at E3

16 juin 2021 à 00:06
CNET News : We'll let Razer have its 5 minutes of E3 glory for the "world's fastest 14-inch gaming laptop," the Razer Blade 14. Razer's simply the first to announce one this size with an AMD Ryzen 9 5900HX -- also Razer's first AMD CPU in the Blade line -- and an Nvidia GeForce RTX 3080 crammed inside. But a svelte, small, no-compromise (well, minimal compromise) gaming laptop from Razer is always welcome. Along with the laptop, the company launched a new wall charger, based on Gallium Nitride rather than silicon, its USB-C 130W GaN Charger. No weird names for that one. The last 14-inch Razer Blade debuted in 2017, and it makes sense that Razer would revive it for the 14-inch laptop renaissance that began around 2020. The 2021 Blade 14, as you'd expect, looks like a somewhat shrunken version of the 15-inch, though it's roughly the same thickness as the 15-inch at 16.8mm. There will be three models of the Blade 14 at launch. All use the Ryzen 9 5900HX, with the same 1TB SSD, 16GB RAM and 720p webcam, as well as Razer's THX Spatial Audio, HDMI 2.1 and other ports and so on. The entry-level $1,800 model incorporates a 144Hz 1080p screen and an RTX 3060 GPU; for $2,200 you upgrade to an RTX 3070 with a 165Hz 1440p display, and $2,800 bumps that to an RTX 3080. The SSD is upgradable but the RAM is soldered to the motherboard, which is kind of a bummer. The screens support FreeSync Premium adaptive refresh through G-Sync compability mode. Razer rates the battery life at up to 12 hours, though it's likely in the ballpark of 10 hours based on what we've seen elsewhere. As you'd expect, the RTX 3080 isn't being pushed to the max in this system; the GPU power draw can range anywhere from 80 to 150 watts, and Razer takes the middle road at 100 watts. In comparison, the hefty 15-inch Asus ROG Strix Scar we're testing pulls down 130 watts.

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Hier — 15 juin 2021Slashdot

The Android Messages App Now Offers End-To-End Encryption

15 juin 2021 à 23:04
Along with a string of new features across several areas of Android, Google is at last turning on end-to-end encryption (E2EE) for everyone in the Messages app. Beta testers have been able to use E2EE messaging since November. From a report: E2EE in Messages is only available in one-on-one conversations for the time being, not group chats. Both participants need to have RCS chat features enabled to use it. You'll know if a message you're about to send will be encrypted if you see a lock icon on the send button.

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'Cyberpunk 2077' Returning To PlayStation Network on June 21

15 juin 2021 à 22:00
Sony will allow "Cyberpunk 2077" to be sold on its online PlayStation store starting June 21, the game's creators at CD Projekt Red said today. From a report: Sales of the buggy would-be blockbuster have been hit hard since Sony delisted the game shortly after its launch. Many fans had high hopes that the game would meet the level of quality of CDPR's last adventure, "The Witcher 3." A reappearance may signal the game is in a viable condition to play.

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Senate Confirms Progressive Tech Critic Lina Khan To Become an FTC Commissioner

15 juin 2021 à 21:00
The Senate confirmed President Joe Biden's nominee to the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan, the young progressive who helped launch a reckoning amongst antitrust scholars and enforcers, in a 69-28 vote. From a report: At 32, Khan will become the youngest commissioner ever confirmed to the agency. Her confirmation also signals a bipartisan desire to impose more regulations on Big Tech companies like Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet and Apple. Khan received the support of several Republicans, including Commerce Committee Ranking Member Roger Wicker, R-Miss., who participated in her confirmation hearing. Still, others like Sen. Mike Lee, R-Utah, the top Republican on the Senate Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust, opposed her confirmation. Lee has tended to be cautious about certain types of regulation despite concerns about tech companies' influence and previously expressed apprehension about Khan's experience. Khan became a well-known figure in antitrust circles after writing "Amazon's Antitrust Paradox" for the Yale Law Review in 2017, while a student at the university. The paper made the case for using a different framework for evaluating competitive harm than the popular consumer welfare standard. That standard essentially says that antitrust law violations can be determined based on harm to consumers, which is often measured based on prices. But Khan argued that standard could miss significant competitive harm in the modern economy, such as predatory pricing that lowers consumer prices in the short term but allows a company that can afford it to quickly gain market share. She also argued that both owning and selling on a marketplace, like Amazon does, could allow a business to exploit information across their ecosystem to undercut the competition.

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Tech Talent Migrates To Collaboration Startups as Hybrid Work Comes Into Its Own

15 juin 2021 à 20:05
Executives at some of the world's largest technology firms are leaving prime jobs to join startups that build communications and collaboration tools, a market expected to skyrocket as more businesses settle into hybrid work arrangements. From a report: Raymond Endres, Facebook's former top engineer for its Messenger app, left the company last month to oversee technology at Airtable, which makes cloud-based spreadsheet collaboration software. His initial focus will be on prepping the San Francisco-based startup to meet an expected surge in enterprise demand. That means ramping up investing in new product features and infrastructure in the year ahead, while tripling the size of his engineering team to roughly 300 workers, he said. [...] Sarah Cannon, a partner at Index Ventures, said she knows of at least a dozen recent communication and collaboration startups founded or led by former top people at big tech firms. Many high-level developers and engineers have been building these kinds of apps inside large companies for years, she said, and Covid-19's impact on conventional workplaces is now prompting them to strike out on their own. On the funding side, she said, investors have grown less skeptical of productivity, communications and collaboration tools, which many companies in the past were reluctant to adopt at scale. Spending in the global collaboration and enterprise social software market is forecast to reach $4.5 billion this year, a 17.1% increase from 2020, according to the latest forecast by information-technology research and consulting firm Gartner Inc. It expects to see double-digit gains into 2022. As the pandemic wanes, an estimated 60% of global companies are developing a permanent hybrid workplace model, Gartner has said, where most employees come into the office no more than three days a week. Gartner estimates that more than 1.1 billion workers around the world worked remotely last year, up from 350 million in 2019.

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Windows 11 Screenshots Leak, Show New Start Menu and More

15 juin 2021 à 19:00
Screenshots of Microsoft's upcoming Windows 11 operating system have appeared online today. Originally published at Chinese site Baidu, the screenshots show off the new Windows 11 user interface and Start menu. The UI changes look very similar to what was originally found in Windows 10X before Microsoft canceled that project in favor of Windows 11. From a report: App icons are now centered on the taskbar, with a new Start button and menu. The Start menu is a simplified version of what currently exists in Windows 10, without Live Tiles. It includes pinned apps and the ability to quickly shut down or restart Windows 11 devices. The operating system is identified as Windows 11 Pro in screenshots, and we can confirm they are genuine. Microsoft has been dropping hints that it's ready to launch Windows 11. The software giant is holding a special Windows event to reveal its next OS on June 24th. The event starts at 11AM ET, and the event invite includes a window that creates a shadow with an outline that looks like the number 11.

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Apple-Google Mobile 'Duopoly' Faces UK Antitrust Scrutiny

15 juin 2021 à 18:05
Google and Apple face a sweeping probe into the "duopoly" power of their mobile ecosystems, in the U.K. antitrust watchdog's latest attack on Silicon Valley. From a report: The increasingly tech-focused Competition and Markets Authority opened a 12-month market study into broad aspects of the iOS and Android systems, saying it feared the companies' dominance is stifling competition. The investigation adds to the regulator's separate investigations into both tech giants. "Our ongoing work into big tech has already uncovered some worrying trends and we know consumers and businesses could be harmed if they go unchecked," CMA Chief Executive Officer Andrea Coscelli said in a statement. The CMA uses market studies to gather information before upgrading investigations. The mobile review comes as the U.K. watchdog seeks to move to the forefront of tech regulation after emerging from the shadow of European Union regulators at the end of the Brexit transition. The authority is preparing to set up a tech-focused unit and has warned that the largest companies will face extra scrutiny of everything from mergers to monopoly behavior.

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Web Inventor Berners-Lee To Auction Original Code as NFT

15 juin 2021 à 17:14
Sir Tim Berners-Lee is auctioning his original source code for the web in the form of a "non-fungible token," as digital collectibles continue to fetch millions of dollars despite the recent sell-off in cryptocurrencies. From a report: The auction at Sotheby's will be the first time that Berners-Lee has been able to raise money directly from one of the greatest inventions of the modern era, with the proceeds benefiting initiatives that he and his wife Rosemary support. "The idea is somebody might like a digitally signed version of the code, a bit like plenty of people have asked for physically autographed copies of the book," Berners-Lee said. Auctioneers hope that the one-of-a-kind digital artefact will ignite interest in NFTs beyond their mainstay of artworks, games and sports memorabilia. Investment in NFTs has waned since March's record-breaking $69.3m sale of Beeple's "Everydays: The First 5000 Days." In an interview with the Financial Times, Berners-Lee, 66, said the auction was an "opportunity to look backâ...â30 years on from the initial code, which was very, very simple, to the state [of the web] now, which has some wonderfully simple aspects to it but also has a lot of issues of various sorts." Unlike the founders of Google, Facebook and Amazon, who gained enormous riches through the web, Berners-Lee is no billionaire. The source code behind the world wide web and its first browser, which were conceived and coded by Berners-Lee between 1989 and 1991, was never patented. Instead, it was released for free into the public domain by Cern, the particle physics laboratory in Switzerland where the British scientist worked at the time. The move enabled widespread uptake of a technology now used by more than 4bn people every day. But for potential archivists and collectors, it also complicated the idea of authenticating Berners-Lee's original work.

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Irreversible Warming Tipping Point May Have Been Triggered: Arctic Mission Chief

15 juin 2021 à 16:01
The tipping point for irreversible global warming may have already been triggered, the scientist who led the biggest expedition to the Arctic warned Tuesday. AFP: "The disappearance of summer sea ice in the Arctic is one of the first landmines in this minefield, one of the tipping points that we set off first when we push warming too far," said Dr Markus Rex. "And one can essentially ask if we haven't already stepped on this mine and already set off the beginning of the explosion." Dr Rex led the world's biggest mission to the North Pole, an expedition involving 300 scientists from 20 countries. The expedition returned to Germany in October after 389 days drifting through the North Pole, bringing home devastating proof of a dying Arctic Ocean and warnings of ice-free summers in just decades. The $170 million expedition also brought back 150 terabytes of data and more than 1,000 ice samples.

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