Apache Spark is a distributed computing system. It consists of a master and one or more slaves, where the master distributes the work among the slaves, thus giving the ability to use our many computers to work on one task. One could guess that this is indeed a powerful tool where tasks need large computations to complete, but can be split into smaller chunks of steps that can be pushed to the slaves to work on. Once our cluster is up and running, we can write programs to run on it in Python, Java, and Scala.
Source: LXer – How to install spark on RHEL 8
We’ll soon finally see the midsize electric crossover Cadillac previewed way back in January 2019. Cadillac president Steve Carlisle has revealed that the company will unveil the crossover, its first all-electric vehicle, in April at the National Aut…
Source: Engadget – Cadillac will unveil its first all-electric vehicle in April
Issues with Fedora’s 32-bit ARM Xfce desktop spin will no longer be treated as a release blocker for the Linux distribution but instead the Fedora Workstation for 64-bit ARM (AArch64) will be considered a blocking issue…
Source: Phoronix – Fedora’s 32-bit ARM Xfce Image Demoted While Fedora Workstation AArch64 Gets Promoted
Lee “Faker” Sang-hyeok has been an esports superstar and key member of the T1 League of Legends team since 2013, and a new three-year contract with the squad adds “part owner” to his title. As first reported by ESPN, while the talented mid laner has…
Source: Engadget – Now ‘League of Legends’ star Faker is a part-owner of his esports team
For this article, we’re looking at a different take on cowsay. It goes by the name xcowsay. This program displays a cute graphical cow and speech bubble. The program was first started over 12 years ago, but it’s still under active development, with a new release published only last week.
Source: LXer – Linux Candy: xcowsay – displays a cow on your desktop with message
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A vending machine for powerful opioids has opened in Canada as part of a project to help fight the Canadian city’s overdose crisis. The MySafe project, which resembles a cash machine, gives addicts access to a prescribed amount of medical quality hydromorphone, a drug about twice as powerful as heroin. Don Durban, a social worker from Vancouver, is one of 14 opioid addicts using the MySafe vending machine. After being prescribed opioid-based painkillers in the early 2000s, the father of two developed an addiction and now feels unable to cope without a daily dose of hydromorphone.
Unlike most addicts, Durban, 66, does not have to break the law by sourcing his fix through drug dealers. Instead he is prescribed Dilaudid — the brand name for hydromorphone — and, for the past couple of weeks, has been able to collect his pills from a vending machine near his home in Eastside, a rundown neighborhood with a large homeless community. “This is a godsend,” he told the Guardian during one of his visits to the machine. After verifying his identity with a biometric fingerprint scan, the machine dispensed Durban with three pills for each of his four daily visits, in line with his prescription. “It means I don’t have to go and buy iffy dope,” he said. “I have a clean supply. I don’t have to deal with other people so much. You’re treated like an adult, not some kind of demonic dope fiend. We’re just people with mental health issues.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – World’s First Opioid Vending Machine Opens In Vancouver
For fans of Star Wars: The Clone Wars, the wait is almost over. The next big Disney+ exclusive is this animated series, which is kicking off its seventh season after several years on the shelf. Meanwhile, AMC brings back The Walking Dead as well as t…
Source: Engadget – What’s on TV this week: ‘Star Wars: The Clone Wars’
While Vim is fast and efficient, by default, it is but a mere text editor. At least, that’s what it would be without plugins, which build upon Vim and add extra features to make it so much more than just a window for typing text. With the right mix of plugins, you can take control of your life and forge your own unique Vim experience. You can customize your theme, and you can add syntax highlighting, code linting, version trackers, and much much more.read more
Source: LXer – How to install Vim plugins
The Epic Games Store’s freebies can be hit or miss, but this is one you might want to consider if you’re a stealth action fan. Epic is making Ubisoft’s Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate available for free between February 20th and February 27th. It’s a 2…
Source: Engadget – ‘Assassin’s Creed: Syndicate’ will be free on Epic’s game store this week
Pier 1 Imports filed for bankruptcy Monday (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source), “a victim of changing consumer tastes and an unforgiving retail environment,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “Unlike many other retailers that have sought bankruptcy in recent years, the publicly traded Pier 1 — with assets of $426.6 million and listed total debt of $258.3 million — isn’t weighed down with debt from an ill-timed leveraged buyout. Rather the company’s struggles can be traced to increasing competition from online players, mass merchants and off-price retailers, such as Wayfair, TJX, HomeGoods, Bed Bath & Beyond, Cost Plus World Market and Amazon.” From the report: Those rivals have increasingly moved into selling home furnishings and merchandise that were once virtually the exclusive domain of Pier 1, according to Hart Posen, a professor of management at the University of Wisconsin. “You’d see something in someone’s house — a wicker-rattan chair or an elephant-themed umbrella holder — and know it came from Pier 1,” Mr. Posen said. “You could buy it at Pier 1 or nowhere, but that’s just not the case anymore.”
The emergence of online operators such as Wayfair have rendered the backdrop for traditional chains all the more difficult, according to Oppenheimer & Co. analyst Brian Nagel. But there were also missteps that led Pier 1 to bankruptcy. The company was late to embrace e-commerce and was forced to build an online business from virtually nothing, said Mr. Nagel. Along the way, it had to absorb the costs of building distribution centers and other infrastructure, while also adjusting to the tighter margins from online sales. “When the company finally made its move online, it did so in a way that cannibalized the volumes and profitability of its physical stores,” said Mr. Nagel. The Fort Worth, Texas-based company tried to revitalize the business with a program dubbed “Pier 1 2021: A New Day,” but that effort failed.
“The bankruptcy filing comes after the chain made it through the critical holiday shopping season,” adds The Wall Street Journal. “In early January, Pier 1 said it planned to close nearly half of its nearly 940 stores and a number of distribution centers. It had already hired a liquidation company to help close the locations. Pier 1 said it intends to use the bankruptcy process to complete closure of some 450 stores, including closing all of its locations in Canada.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Pier 1 Files For Bankruptcy, Warns of Dangers In Handful of Online Vendors Dominating Retail Sales
Firewalls are great but they’re ineffective if something goes wrong with them. The /etc/hosts.allow and /etc/hosts.deny files are the second line of defense against intruders.
Source: LXer – Give your Linux system’s firewall a security boost
Brian Krebs sheds light upon a new email-based extortion scheme targeting website owners serving banner ads through Google’s AdSense program. “In this scam, the fraudsters demand bitcoin in exchange for a promise not to flood the publisher’s ads with so much bot and junk traffic that Google’s automated anti-fraud systems suspend the user’s AdSense account for suspicious traffic,” writes Krebs. From his report: Earlier this month, KrebsOnSecurity heard from a reader who maintains several sites that receive a fair amount of traffic. The message this reader shared began by quoting from an automated email Google’s systems might send if they detect your site is seeking to benefit from automated clicks. The message goes on to warn that while the targeted site’s ad revenue will be briefly increased, “AdSense traffic assessment algorithms will detect very fast such a web traffic pattern as fraudulent.”
The message demands $5,000 worth of bitcoin to forestall the attack. In this scam, the extortionists are likely betting that some publishers may see paying up as a cheaper alternative to having their main source of advertising revenue evaporate. The reader who shared this email said while he considered the message likely to be a baseless threat, a review of his recent AdSense traffic statistics showed that detections in his “AdSense invalid traffic report” from the past month had increased substantially. “We hear a lot about the potential for sabotage, it’s extremely rare in practice, and we have built some safeguards in place to prevent sabotage from succeeding,” Google said in a statement. “For example, we have detection mechanisms in place to proactively detect potential sabotage and take it into account in our enforcement systems.”
“We have a help center on our website with tips for AdSense publishers on sabotage,” the statement continues. “There’s also a form we provide for publishers to contact us if they believe they are the victims of sabotage. We encourage publishers to disengage from any communication or further action with parties that signal that they will drive invalid traffic to their web properties. If there are concerns about invalid traffic, they should communicate that to us, and our Ad Traffic Quality team will monitor and evaluate their accounts as needed.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – New Email-Based Extortion Scheme Targets Website Owners Serving Ads Via Google AdSense
On Monday, the U.S. flew in more than 300 Americans after they spent almost two weeks stuck on the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which had seen hundreds of its passengers test positive for COVID-19, the official name for the coronavirus. However, among the people that came back to the U.S. were 14 passengers that…
Source: Gizmodo – With the Arrival of Infected Cruise Ship Passengers, U.S. Practically Doubles Its Cases of Coronavirus
From TikTok to FaceApp, it can be hard to tell when an app has nefarious intentions hidden behind its useful or buzzworthy features. The same goes for ToTok. The New York Times reported in December that the app is being used by the government of the…
Source: Engadget – Google pulls alleged UAE spying app ToTok from the Play Store, again
Ali Raza from InsideBitcoins discusses the expected Bitcoin Halving in May 2020, and the impact it will have on the market valuation. From the report: The next Bitcoin Halving will take place on May 20th 2020. It will be the third time, that the block reward of the most known blockchain will be halved. As a consequence, miners will earn 50 percent less BTC for every generated block. Experts are expecting, that this development could change the value of bitcoin. In the past, each of these events boosted the bitcoins market valuation by more than a thousand percent. Because of this development, the awareness of cryptocurrencies has grown. Still, not a lot of people are talking about BTC and the upcoming halving.
The last halving took place in July 2016, where BTC was worth USD 600. Looking back, we can say that this last halving was the start of the great bull run of 2017. In that bull run BTCs price exploded and marked a new all-time high at USD 19,783,06. So, should investors buy bitcoin in 2020? According to us, the most interesting development regarding the upcoming halving will be the development of the bitcoin price. If the halving will have the same impact as in the past, we may see a new all-time high in 2021. It’s even possible that bitcoin could hit a new all-time high at 10 times its current valuation.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – The Countdown To Bitcoin Halving 2020 Begins
The Q4OS team has kicked off the development of the next major release of their Debian-based distribution, Q4OS 4.0, and announced the availability of the first pre-release version for public testing.
Source: LXer – Q4OS 4.0 “Gemini” Enters Development Based on Debian GNU/Linux 11 “Bullseye”
As convenient as modern cellphones are, there’s a certain charm to spinning an old-fashioned rotary dial to make a call — and now, there’s a cellphone that caters to that nostalgia. Brookhaven National Lab engineer Justine Haupt has developed a rot…
Source: Engadget – You can make your own rotary cellphone
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: YouTuber JerryRigEverything regularly does destructive durability tests on phones, partly by attacking a device with a set of Mohs picks. These pointy metal tools that are calibrated to the Mohs scale of mineral hardness allow a user to determine the hardness of a surface by doing a scratch test. You start with the softest pick and work your way up the set until you find something that can scratch the surface you’re testing. A modern smartphone with Corning’s Gorilla Glass scratches at level 6 on the Mohs hardness scale. The Galaxy Z Flip features a first-of-its-kind flexible glass cover that Samsung calls “Ultra-Thin Glass.” Until now, foldables have had to suffer through life with plastic display covers, which scratch easily, don’t provide much protection, and just like a resistive touchscreen, feel bad to swipe around on, thanks to the squishy pliability of the display. With this new invention of flexible glass, the Z Flip promised a return to a hard, smooth, scratch-resistant display surface.
So how did the Z Flip fare against JerryRigEverything’s Mohs picks? It scratches at level 2, the same level as the plastic-covered Galaxy Fold and Moto Razr. You can actually leave marks on the surface with a fingernail! This is not what Samsung was promising. Samsung sent The Verge a response to the video, reiterating that the display is actually “glass.” “Galaxy Z Flip features an Infinity Flex Display with Samsung’s Ultra Thin Glass (UTG) to deliver a sleek, premium look and offer an immersive viewing experience,” Samsung told the site. “Samsung’s first-of-its-kind UTG technology is different from other Galaxy flagship devices. While the display does bend, it should be handled with care. Also, Galaxy Z Flip has a protective layer on top of the UTG similar to Galaxy Fold.” In Samsung’s official Z Flip videos, the company shows a plastic “protective layer” going on top of the glass display. But as Ars Technica notes, this layer is not removable and JerryRigEverything’s video shows that the underlying “glass” layer doesn’t provide protection from punctures, either.
With that said, “One Twitter user cracked their Galaxy Z Flip on the first fold, possibly due to cold weather,” reports Ars. “So we know it can shatter, at least.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Samsung’s ‘Ultra Thin Glass’ On Galaxy Z Flip Is Basically Just Plastic
For the longest time, Sony has run its own official messageboard, a place where PlayStation owners could get together, hang out, ague pointlessly and, most importantly, troubleshoot. But on February 27, that board will be shutting down.
Source: Kotaku – The PlayStation Forums Are Closing Down