Meta Cuts Funding for US News Publishers

Engadget writes that “After Meta’s revenue shrank for the first time in its history, the company has reportedly told publishers it will no longer pay for content to run in Facebook’s News Tab, according to Axios.”

Axios notes it’s the end of three-year deals Facebook brokers in 2019 with news publishers.
At the time, the company was ramping up its investment in news and hired journalists to help direct publisher traffic to its new tab for news. The deals were worth roughly $105 million in the U.S., sources told Axios. In addition to that, the company spent around $90 million on news videos for the company’s video tab called “Watch.”

“A lot has changed since we signed deals three years ago to test bringing additional news links to Facebook News in the U.S. Most people do not come to Facebook for news, and as a business it doesn’t make sense to over-invest in areas that don’t align with user preferences,” a Facebook spokesperson told Axios.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Meta Cuts Funding for US News Publishers

Minecraft/Amazon App Store Review

This all started a few years ago when Amazon decided to drop support and stop updating the Minecraft app. Unfortunately they decided to do this years after they had been selling it so their policy prevents them from giving refunds a year later.
This didn’t keep me from trying and after the first costumer request I got a standard reply:

Amazon Reply to first costumer support request.

Not happy with their reply I decided to go ahead reply back, but that reply fell on deaf ears and I didn’t hear back from them:

Thanks for the feedback but I would like to point out:

1. The app received updates until version 1.17 which means I was already over the one year mark when amazon decided to stop.

2. Updates are available and have been getting updates constantly.

3. Minecraft is owned and developed by Mojang, which is owned by Microsoft which means the amazon app dev team doesn’t have anything to do with it

4. You keep selling the app with no mention of this issue and the app keeps getting updates but only for amazon devices:

I doubt the amazon app store devs have a say in any of this since this was a corporate decision please find out who it is responsible for it. Also I would like to point out I am documenting all this with intent to use it for online reviews and articles since it will be my only alternative since I wont be getting my $6.99 back then my goal will be to keep amazon from stealing $6.99 from other customers.


Of course I decided to follow through and started by trying to write a review in the minecraft app amazon page. But due to the review been about the “seller” which is amazon, Amazon decided to deny the review so I was unable to post it:

Amazon made sure that I couldn’t grab my review back, when I go to resubmit I only get a new blank review page so all the information I have type on the first ticket and on the reviews keeps disappearing. So that brings me to today where I am writing this article on a website outside of amazon’s reach to warn anyone that thinks buying from amazon app is a good idea. At any point they could decide to drop support, stop updates, or make the amazon app store version exclusive to their amazon devices. (What they have done with Minecraft which still gets updates on their devices).

Overall I only had good experiences with amazon’s costumer support for physical products. But seems that digital products are a completely different ball game and dealing with amazon costumer support left a bad taste and plenty to be desired.
The moral of the story is that if the app is available anywhere else, avoid the amazon app store at all cost.

Tony Hawk Makes Surprise Appearance For Tony Hawk's Pro Skater Cover Band

I had no idea there was a cover band specialising in Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater soundtracks. I’m happy enough today knowing such a thing exists, but even happier knowing that they had a show on the weekend blow up because the man himself was there and joined them on stage for a couple of tracks.

Read more…

Source: Kotaku – Tony Hawk Makes Surprise Appearance For Tony Hawk’s Pro Skater Cover Band

MIT Engineers Develop Stickers That Can See Inside the Body

Live and high-resolution images of a patient’s internal organs are already possible with ultrasound imaging technology. But currently the technology “requires bulky and specialized equipment available only in hospitals and doctor’s offices,” explains an annoncement from MIT.

Now a new design by MIT engineers “might make the technology as wearable and accessible as buying Band-Aids at the pharmacy.”
In a paper appearing today in Science, the engineers present the design for a new ultrasound sticker — a stamp-sized device that sticks to skin and can provide continuous ultrasound imaging of internal organs for 48 hours.

The researchers applied the stickers to volunteers and showed the devices produced live, high-resolution images of major blood vessels and deeper organs such as the heart, lungs, and stomach. The stickers maintained a strong adhesion and captured changes in underlying organs as volunteers performed various activities, including sitting, standing, jogging, and biking….
From the stickers’ images, the team was able to observe the changing diameter of major blood vessels when seated versus standing. The stickers also captured details of deeper organs, such as how the heart changes shape as it exerts during exercise. The researchers were also able to watch the stomach distend, then shrink back as volunteers drank then later passed juice out of their system. And as some volunteers lifted weights, the team could detect bright patterns in underlying muscles, signaling temporary microdamage.

“With imaging, we might be able to capture the moment in a workout before overuse, and stop before muscles become sore,” says Chen. “We do not know when that moment might be yet, but now we can provide imaging data that experts can interpret.”

They’re already envisioning other possibilities:
If the devices can be made to operate wirelessly — a goal the team is currently working toward — the ultrasound stickers could be made into wearable imaging products that patients could take home from a doctor’s office or even buy at a pharmacy. “We envision a few patches adhered to different locations on the body, and the patches would communicate with your cellphone, where AI algorithms would analyze the images on demand,” says the study’s senior author, Xuanhe Zhao, professor of mechanical engineering and civil and environmental engineering at MIT.

“We believe we’ve opened a new era of wearable imaging: With a few patches on your body, you could see your internal organs.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – MIT Engineers Develop Stickers That Can See Inside the Body

Linus Torvalds Releases Linux 5.19 – From an Apple Silicon MacBook

“Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.19 as stable for the newest version of the Linux kernel…” reports Phoronix.

But they also note that on the Linux kernel mailing list, “Torvalds went on to write about his Arm-based MacBook [running an AArch64 Apple M1 SoC]… now under Linux thanks to the work of the Asahi Linux project.”

Torvalds wrote:

[T]he most interesting part here is that I did the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It’s something I’ve been waiting for for a _loong_ time, and it’s finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team. We’ve had arm64 hardware around running Linux for a long time, but none of it has really been usable as a development platform until now.

It’s the third time I’m using Apple hardware for Linux development — I did it many years ago for powerpc development on a ppc970 machine. And then a decade+ ago when the Macbook Air was the only real thin-and-lite around. And now as an arm64 platform.

Not that I’ve used it for any real work, I literally have only been doing test builds and boots and now the actual release tagging. But I’m trying to make sure that the next time I travel, I can travel with this as a laptop and finally dogfooding the arm64 side too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Linus Torvalds Releases Linux 5.19 – From an Apple Silicon MacBook

The 5.19 kernel is out

Linus has released the 5.19 kernel.

On a personal note, the most interesting part here is that I did
the release (and am writing this) on an arm64 laptop. It’s
something I’ve been waiting for for a _loong_ time, and it’s
finally reality, thanks to the Asahi team. We’ve had arm64 hardware
around running Linux for a long time, but none of it has really
been usable as a development platform until now.

He also notes that the next kernel is likely to be 6.0.

Significant features in 5.19 include
Arm Scalable
Matrix Extension
a number of io_uring improvements,
BIG TCP support,
numerous random-number
generator improvements
support for AMD’s Secure
Nested Paging
and Intel’s Trusted
Domain Extensions
support for the Loongson “LoongArch” CPU architecture,
a new proactive
reclaim mechanism
and more. See the LWN merge-window summaries
(part 1,
part 2) and the KernelNewbies 5.19 page
for more information.

Source: – The 5.19 kernel is out

Cellular service is coming to New York's subway tunnels, but it's going to take a while

Cellular service is coming to New York’s subway tunnels. This week, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority announced it was embarking on a 10-year project to wire all 418 miles of underground track underneath the city with wireless connectivity. Transit Wireless will build the necessary infrastructure and foot the resulting $600 million bill as part of an ongoing public-private between the two organizations.

If the name sounds familiar, it’s because Transit Wireless operates the MTA’s existing underground WiFi network. It’s also a subsidiary of BAI Communications, a company that has completed similar projects in Toronto, Hong Kong and other parts of the world. The agreement will also see Transit Wireless wire all of the MTA’s 191 aboveground stations and 21 Staten Island Railway stations with WiFi. The good news for New Yorkers and visitors is that work on the project won’t lead to additional subway service interruptions.

According to The New York Times, Transit Wireless plans to pay for the project through data collection and fiber-optic cable leases to carriers. The company will begin revenue sharing with the MTA once it recoups its initial investment. At first, the agency can look forward to a 20 percent cut before that amount increases to 40 percent in the 15th year after Transit Wireless earns its money back.

The MTA isn’t the only transit agency working to provide cellular service to its riders. Last year, Transport for London said the Underground would get full mobile access by 2024. Other cities such as Seoul and Paris have had similar systems in place for years.

Source: Engadget – Cellular service is coming to New York’s subway tunnels, but it’s going to take a while

Nichelle Nichols, Who Played Uhura In 'Star Trek' Franchise, Dies At 89

A sad announcement was posted online today, reports CNN:
“Last night, my mother, Nichelle Nichols, succumbed to natural causes and passed away. Her light however, like the ancient galaxies now being seen for the first time, will remain for us and future generations to enjoy, learn from, and draw inspiration,” Johnson said in a statement shared to Nichols’ official site on Sunday. “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.”

Nichols died from natural causes, he said…

George Takei, who portrayed the USS Enterprise’s helmsman Hikaru Sulu, posted a touching tribute to his co-star.
“I shall have more to say about the trailblazing, incomparable Nichelle Nichols, who shared the bridge with us as Lt. Uhura of the USS Enterprise, and who passed today at age 89,” wrote Takei on Twitter. “For today, my heart is heavy, my eyes shining like the stars you now rest among, my dearest friend.”
“We lived long and prospered together,” he added with a photo of the pair making the iconic Vulcan salute.
It was Nichols herself who came up with the name “Uhura” for her character, she revealed years in a 2010 interview. After the series Nichols authored the science fiction novels Saturn’s Child and Saturna’s Quest, as well as a memoir titled Beyond Uhura — Star Trek and Other Memories.

But Nichols also served on the board of directors of the National Space Society (a charity advocating for space advocacy) — and maintained ties to other real-world space agencies. “Nichols was always interested in space travel,” according to a NASA web page. “She flew aboard the C-141 Astronomy Observatory, which analyzed the atmospheres of Mars and Saturn on an eight hour, high altitude mission.” But in addition, “From the late 1970’s until the late 1980’s, NASA employed Nichelle Nichols to recruit new astronaut candidates” (including Dr. Sally Ride).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Nichelle Nichols, Who Played Uhura In ‘Star Trek’ Franchise, Dies At 89

Linux 5.19 Released – Linus Torvalds Released It From An Apple Silicon MacBook

Linus Torvalds just released Linux 5.19 as stable for the newest version of the Linux kernel. He also mentioned this is the first time he released the new Linux kernel from an ARM64 laptop in the form of an Apple MacBook running an AArch64 Apple M1 SoC…

Source: Phoronix – Linux 5.19 Released – Linus Torvalds Released It From An Apple Silicon MacBook

US Air Force Grounds Most of Its F-35 Fighter Jets Over Ejection Seat Concerns

The F-35 stealth-combat aircraft is the “crown jewel” of America’s Air Force fight fleet, according to the defense news site Task & Purpose.

But Friday they were all grounded — “sidelined for an indeterminate amount of time as the service inspects most of its F-35 fighter jet ejection seats for faulty launch cartridges, service officials said…”

The news marks the latest difficult headline for the beleaguered fighter, which U.S. military officials have placed at the forefront of their airpower strategy despite a long list of maintenance issues. Air Combat Command, the Air Force command which oversees the bulk of the service’s fighter fleet, made the decision to ground its F-35s on Friday after other units of the Air Force and Navy grounded many of their aircraft due to concerns over faulty parts which could prevent the pilot ejection seat from launching out of the cockpit in an emergency. Air Combat Command spokesperson Alexi Worley said that the command started a 90-day inspection period of all cartridges on its F-35 ejection seats on July 19.

“Out of an abundance of caution, ACC units will execute a stand-down on July 29 to expedite the inspection process,” Worley said. “Based on data gathered from those inspections, ACC will make a determination to resume operations.”

Worley later added that the stand-down “will continue through the weekend, and a determination to safely resume normal operations is expected to be made early next week, pending analysis of the inspection data.”

Many jet aircraft in the U.S. military are equipped with ejection seats made by the company Martin-Baker, which notified the Navy about potential defects earlier this month, according to Breaking Defense, which first reported the F-35 grounding story on Friday. The problem part is the cartridge actuated device, an explosive cartridge that helps launch the ejection seat out of an aircraft. Martin-Baker identified certain production lots of cartridge actuated devices as being defective and in need of replacement, the Air Force told Breaking Defense.

“While the aircraft are flyable, I don’t think too many pilots would be willing to fly knowing they may not be able [to] eject,” Michael Cisek, a senior associate at the aviation consulting firm AeroDynamic Advisory, told Breaking Defense….
America’s allies may also be affected by the issue. On Wednesday, Breaking Defense reported that the Navy had informed foreign military sales customers about the issue and was working with them to resolve it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – US Air Force Grounds Most of Its F-35 Fighter Jets Over Ejection Seat Concerns

Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols has died

Actress Nichelle Nichols, best known for her role as Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: The Original Series, has died. Nichols’ son Kyle Johnson shared the news on Sunday. “I regret to inform you that a great light in the firmament no longer shines for us as it has for so many years,” he wrote on Instagram. “Hers was a life well lived and as such a model for us all.” Nichols was 89 when she passed away on Saturday, July 30th of natural causes.

To say Nichols was a trailblazer would be an understatement. She broke into Hollywood at a time when the opportunities for Black women were few and far between. In interviews years after The Original Series ended, Nichols said she had considered quitting the show during its first season to pursue a career on Broadway but had a change of heart after meeting Martin Luther King Jr. King, as a fan of the show and someone who saw Nichols as a role model, was apparently horrified to find out she wanted to leave and convinced her to stay with it. 

Beyond starring in The Original Series and its film sequels as well as making memorable appearances in shows like Heroes and Futurama, Nichols spent decades working with NASA to help the space agency diversify its talent pool. She also famously attended the christening of the Space Shuttle Enterprise in 1976 alongside Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry and much of the cast of The Original Series. In 2015, she also flew aboard NASA’s SOFIA telescope during an eight-hour flight where the observatory studied Mars and Saturn. She will be missed.

Source: Engadget – Star Trek actress Nichelle Nichols has died

Kicinski: TLS 1.3 Rx improvements in Linux 5.20

Jakub Kicinski provides
an overview
of some changes to the in-kernel TLS implementation coming
in the next development cycle:

The first implementation of kTLS was designed in the good old days
of TLS 1.2. When TLS 1.3 came into the picture the interest in kTLS
had slightly diminished and the implementation, although
functional, was rather simple and did not retain all the
benefits. This post covers developments in the Linux 5.20
implementation of TLS which claws back the performance lost moving
to TLS 1.3.

Source: – Kicinski: TLS 1.3 Rx improvements in Linux 5.20

Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols dead at 89

Nichelle  Nichols made TV history with her portrayal of Nyota Uhura in <em>Star Trek: the Original Series</em>.

Nichelle Nichols made TV history with her portrayal of Nyota Uhura in Star Trek: the Original Series. (credit: CBS)

Actress Nichelle Nichols—who made history with her portrayal of Nyota Uhura on Star Trek: The Original Series—died Saturday, July 30, at the age of 89. Her son Kyle Johnson announced Nichols’ passing on her official Instagram account, saying his mother had died of natural causes. Deadline Hollywood confirmed her passing with Gilbert Bell, her talent manager and business partner of 15 years. Nichols suffered a mild stroke in 2015 and was diagnosed with dementia in 2018. She rarely appeared in public after that.

(Last year we wrote about Woman in Motion, a new documentary about Nichols and her recruitment work for NASA, directed by Todd Thompson (streaming on Paramount+). Much of the following is adapted from that text.) 

Nichols started her career as a dancer and singer. She had wanted to become the first Black ballerina, and by age 14 landed her first gig at the Sherman Hotel in Chicago. She subsequently toured the US, Canada, and Europe with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton before settling in Los Angeles in 1960 to pursue acting.

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Source: Ars Technica – Star Trek icon Nichelle Nichols dead at 89

Prey's Dan Trachtenberg Goes Into the Making of Its New Old Predator

Over the various Predator films, comics, games, fans have met numerous iterations of the camouflaged alien hunter, and each of them have been formidable, bloody threats in their own ways. The upcoming Prey, which releases next week, winds back the clock to 1719 in the Comanche Nation, and its Predator stands as the…

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – Prey’s Dan Trachtenberg Goes Into the Making of Its New Old Predator