YouTube 'Shorts' Reportedly Launching This Year To Counter TikTok Slashdotby BeauHD on youtube at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 12:34 pm)

According to The Information, the YouTube app will soon be home to a new "Shorts" format that will counter TikTok. 9to5Google reports: Shorts will be brief videos available in a new feed. On the creation front, these videos can use YouTube's existing catalog of licensed music as a background soundtrack. YouTube reportedly plans to launch Shorts by the end of this year. Today's article describes the YouTube Shorts effort as the "most serious effort yet by a Silicon Valley tech company to combat the rise of TikTok." It speculates that YouTube will be able to leverage its existing stable of creators to generate the new type of content. By making Shorts available inside the YouTube apps, Google is guaranteeing a built-in audience. This is similar to how YouTube rolled out a Stories format to compete with Snapchat and Instagram. Used by channels to make shorter update-like content, it lives alongside full videos in the Subscriptions tab. Unlike videos, these Stories are limited to a certain subscriber count, with that possibly applying to the initial launch of Shorts.

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Evidence of Ancient Rainforests Found In Antarctica Slashdotby BeauHD on earth at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 9:34 am)

mi writes: Researchers have discovered evidence that Antarctica supported a swampy rainforest as "recently" as 90 million years ago, according to a new study. "Even during months of darkness, swampy temperate rainforests were able to grow close to the South Pole, revealing an even warmer climate than we expected," said Tina van de Flierdt, study co-author and professor in the Imperial College London's Department of Earth Science and Engineering. The researchers took CT scans of a slice of the seafloor near the Pine Island and Thwaites glaciers. They revealed pristine samples of forest soil, pollen, spores and even root systems so well preserved that they could identify cell structures. The researchers say that the warming effect caused by higher carbon dioxide levels created the right conditions for a rainforest environment. "The average daytime temperature was 53 degrees Fahrenheit," reports CNN. "River and swamp temperatures were likely around 68 degrees Fahrenheit. And the Antarctic summer temperature was likely around 66 degrees Fahrenheit. They estimate rainfall reached about 97 inches per year -- about the same as Wales today."

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Comic for April 01, 2020 Dilbert Daily Strip(cached at April 2, 2020, 7:31 am)

Dilbert readers - Please visit Dilbert.com to read this feature. Due to changes with our feeds, we are now making this RSS feed a link to Dilbert.com.
California Governor Says 'We Need More Googles' As Company Offers Free Wi-Fi and Chr Slashdotby BeauHD on google at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 6:04 am)

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Google will offer 100,000 free Wi-Fi hotspots and will donate 4,000 Chromebooks to students across the state of California, governor Gavin Newsom said during a news conference Wednesday. The internet access points are supposed to help improve broadband internet in rural households across the state where internet access is either limited or very slow. Students will get access to the free Wi-Fi for a minimum of three months.There are still many parts of the state that do not have access to high-speed internet, however. "This was a substantial enhancement that came just at the right time," Newsom said. "We need more Googles," he added. The latest move comes as Newsom announced that California schools will remain closed for the remainder of the school year with many classes switching to online learning.

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New X-Ray Technique Images Soft-Tissue Tumors Clearer Than MRI Slashdotby BeauHD on medicine at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 5:04 am)

Researchers at Tohoku University have developed a new method of adapting X-ray to image soft tissue, "so that its higher resolution can reveal tumors or other problems earlier than other techniques," reports New Atlas. From the report: Elastography is a field of medical imaging that focuses on the stiffness or softness of tissues. Shear waves are sent through the body, and then an imaging technology like ultrasound or MRI is used to watch how they spread. The waves move through stiff tissue faster than they do through soft tissue, and since tumors, lesions and hardened arteries are all stiffer than surrounding tissue, the technique can highlight these signs of disease. X-rays usually work on a different mechanism, but recent research has suggested that they could be applied to elastography too. And if they were, the resulting images would be much higher resolution, able to spot things on the scale of microns instead of millimeters. And now, X-ray elastography has moved from principle to practice. The Tohoku team has taken the first images using the technique, and shown that it is able to identify the stiffness of different materials. The researchers imaged a polyacrylamide gel, with some samples containing harder particles of zirconium dioxide. Vibrations were then sent through these samples while X-ray images were taken. And sure enough, the X-ray elastography method was able to spot these tiny intruders. After showing that the concept does work, the researchers say that the next steps are to create 3D images, and eventually develop x-ray elastography equipment for medical diagnoses. The research was published in the journal Applied Physics Express.

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Early Meme Site YTMND Has Been Resurrected With the Help of Fans Slashdotby BeauHD on internet at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 4:04 am)

The popular early internet meme machine YTMND.com is back online after shutting down last May due to declining ad revenue and the site creator's ill health. Motherboard reports: Launched in 2001, YTMND was one of the early internet's first sources of viral content. Users could attach a gif, often animated but not always, to a piece of looping sound. Users could vote on these animations, share, or remix them. Its death was sad, a piece of early internet, gone forever. But over the last year, [the site's creator Max Goldberg] said fans helped him test the new site, find bugs, and pushed him for regular updates. Goldberg said he rebuilt the site from the ground up, which is why it took the better part of a year. One of the biggest challenges was converting everything away from Flash, which Adobe is finally retiring this year. "That means YTMNDs play more reliably (and work on mobile phones!) and will also be future-compatible," Goldberg said. "The new player was written in a way that makes archiving a YTMND significantly easier, which opens up a lot of possibilities. I've also removed all social media and advertising from the site." He also replaced all the hardware that was running the site.

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Slack Launches Call Integrations For Microsoft Teams, Zoom, and More Slashdotby BeauHD on software at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 3:34 am)

Slack is launching a new app to integrate Microsoft Teams calling features into its chat app today. "Slack is also launching VoIP phone integration with Zoom, Cisco Jabber, RingCentral, and Dialpad," reports The Verge. "This will allow Slack users to use these VoIP calling providers to call phone numbers directly within the Slack interface." From the report: Slack users will be able to set Microsoft Teams Calls as the default calling provider and get to see who's already on a call and when it kicked off before joining a meeting. Event reminders from the Outlook Slack app will also support the ability to join Microsoft Teams calls direct from Slack. The new calling features will be available for all Slack users today, and you can already enable the new Microsoft Teams app in Slack from the company's website.

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Teardown of Huawei Flagship Phone Finds US Parts Despite Blacklisting Slashdotby BeauHD on cellphones at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 3:06 am)

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Huawei is still using components made by U.S. companies in its newest flagship smartphone, a Financial Times teardown has found, despite the U.S. all but blacklisting the Chinese telecoms equipment manufacturer. The teardown was done by XYZone, a Shenzhen-based company that disassembles smartphones and identifies the suppliers of their components. The biggest surprise was that some parts from U.S. companies were still ending up in the newest Huawei smartphone, despite the U.S. all but banning its companies from selling to the Chinese tech company. The P40's radio-frequency front-end modules were, according to XYZone's teardown analysis, produced by Qualcomm, Skyworks, and Qorvo, three U.S. chip companies. RF front-end modules are critical parts of the phone that are attached to the antennas and required to make calls and connect to the Internet. The Qualcomm component is covered by a license from the U.S. Commerce Department, according to a person familiar with the company. [...] The "Entity List" designation means that U.S. companies have to apply for a license to export any U.S.-origin technologies to Huawei. The U.S. government has granted a "temporary general license" to its companies, allowing them to sell to Huawei to service existing products -- helping clients such as telecoms carriers that may need to replace parts of their wireless equipment. But the general license does not cover sales for the purpose of making new products, such as the P40 smartphone. For that, companies must seek individual licenses, and the Department of Commerce has not said which ones it has granted them to. A spokesperson for Huawei said the company has "always complied with any export control regulations of various countries, including the United States" and that "all the product materials are obtained legally from our global partners, and we insist on working with our partners to provide consumers with high quality products and services." Also missing from the P40 are parts from U.S. chipmaker Micron. "Micron made the storage devices called NAND flash memory chips for some batches of last year's P30 smartphone, and South Korea's Samsung made the same chips for other batches," reports Ars. "The FT's copy of this year's P40 Pro appears to have only Samsung NAND flash memory chips."

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Coronavirus: Expert panel to assess face mask use by public BBC News | Science/Nature | UK Edition(cached at April 2, 2020, 2:30 am)

Experts are set to assess the value of face masks in helping slow the spread of coronavirus.
Opera To Support Sites Using the<nobr> <wbr></nobr>.Crypto Top-Level Domain Slashdotby BeauHD on opera at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 2:04 am)

Opera has updated its lightweight browser for Android so that it can access unofficial .crypto domains, primarily to exchange cryptocurrency. The Register reports: Support for .crypto in Opera will "bring the blockchain-browsing experience to a new level," the Norwegian software maker gushed on Monday. Crucially, dot-crypto simply doesn't exist in the global domain name system, and is not recognized by DNS overseer ICANN nor the world's DNS resolvers. It is a renegade generic top-level domain masterminded by Unstoppable Domains. By using a domain, such as sendmemoneee.crypto, linked to a blockchain, sending and receiving cryptocurrency becomes much easier as you only need to recall a domain name (ending in .crypto) rather than a long wallet ID. In its effort to carve a niche in the browser market, Opera has been embracing cryptocurrency. Back in December 2018, it added a built-in crypto wallet to its Android browser and then later to its desktop browser. It then extended that to allow for purchases with cryptocurrency. As such, adding a simple addressing system makes sense. It is also a vote of confidence in Unstoppable Domains and Ethereum's alternate root approach.

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Hospitals Tell Doctors They'll Be Fired If They Speak Out About Lack of Gear Slashdotby BeauHD on medicine at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 1:34 am)

schwit1 shares a report from Bloomberg, commenting: "And the claim that this is about protecting 'patient privacy' is b***shit." From the report: Ming Lin, an emergency room physician in Washington state, said he was told Friday he was out of a job because he'd given an interview to a newspaper about a Facebook post detailing what he believed to be inadequate protective equipment and testing. In Chicago, a nurse was fired after emailing colleagues that she wanted to wear a more protective mask while on duty. In New York, the NYU Langone Health system has warned employees they could be terminated if they talk to the media without authorization." Doctors are a famously independent profession, where individual medical judgment on what's best for the patient is prized over administrative dictates. That's reared its head during the Covid-19 outbreak, with many physicians, nurses and other health-care workers taking to social media to express deep concerns about the lack of protective gear or much-needed patient-care equipment like respirators. Some posts have gone viral and are being shared hundreds of thousands of times, often tagged with #GetMePPE. Privacy laws prohibit disclosing specific patient information, but they don't bar discussing general working conditions. The report notes that not all hospitals are blocking staff from talking to the press. "New York's Mount Sinai has been scheduling media interviews for nurses, physicians and trainees to help the public understand the severity of the crisis," reports Bloomberg. "The University of California San Francisco Medical Center has gotten hundreds of such calls and encouraged workers to talk to reporters."

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Microsoft President Calls Washington State's New Facial Recognition Law 'a Significa Slashdotby msmash on privacy at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 1:04 am)

Microsoft President Brad Smith took a break from responding to the COVID-19 outbreak this week to praise Washington state's landmark facial recognition regulations. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Tuesday that establishes rules specifically governing facial recognition software. From a report: Smith called the law an "early and important model" and "a significant breakthrough" in a blog post published Tuesday. Some cities have enacted their own facial recognition rules, but Washington is the first to establish statewide regulations. "This balanced approach ensures that facial recognition can be used as a tool to protect the public, but only in ways that respect fundamental rights and serve the public interest," Smith said. The new law requires public agencies to regularly report on their use of facial recognition technology and test the software for fairness and accuracy. Law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before using facial recognition software in investigations unless there is an emergency. The bill also establishes a task force to study the use of facial recognition by government agencies. Under the bill, public entities using facial recognition software to make decisions that produce "legal effects" must ensure a human reviews the results. That category includes decisions that could affect a person's job, financial services, housing, insurance, and education.

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T-Mobile Officially Completes Merger With Sprint, CEO John Legere Steps Down Slashdotby BeauHD on business at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at April 2, 2020, 12:04 am)

An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: After months of regulatory maneuvering, T-Mobile and Sprint officially completed their $26 billion merger today. The new combined parent company is called T-Mobile and will now trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TMUS with Sprint no longer trading on the NYSE. For consumers, it will seemingly take a little time before the effects of the transition are meaningfully felt. T-Mobile did not comment on the future of the Sprint brand in today's announcement, but they have previously promised that subscribers will have access to "the same or better rate plans" for three years as part of the deal. Alongside news of the merger being finalized, T-Mobile shared that its CEO transition is taking place early. John Legere was supposed to stay on until the end of April, but Mike Sievert has been appointed CEO a month early, effective immediately. Sievert was previously T-Mobile's COO. Legere is still on the company's board of directors, but he'll be stepping down at the end of his term through June.

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