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Heat Waves Grip 3 Continents as Climate Change Warms Earth

Slashdot - 6 orë 15 min më parë
An anonymous reader shares a report: Punishing heat waves gripped three continents on Tuesday, breaking records in cities around the Northern Hemisphere less than two weeks after the Earth recorded what scientists said were likely its hottest days in modern history. Firefighters in Greece scrambled to put out wildfires, as parched conditions raised the risk of more blazes throughout Europe. Beijing logged another day of 95-degree heat, and people in Hangzhou, another Chinese city, compared the choking conditions to a sauna. From the Middle East to the American Southwest, delivery drivers, airport workers and construction crews labored under blistering skies. Those who could stay indoors did. The temperatures, afflicting so much of the world all at once, were a withering reminder that climate change is a global crisis, driven by human-made forces: the emissions of heat-trapping gases, mainly caused by the burning of fossil fuels. John Kerry, the U.S. special envoy for climate change, sought to coordinate some of the global response with the Chinese premier in Beijing, as a heat wave clutched a huge swath of China. "The world really is looking to us for that leadership, particularly on the climate issue," Mr. Kerry told Chinese officials. "Climate, as you know, is a global issue, not a bilateral issue. It's a threat to all of humankind." The planet has warmed about 2 degrees Fahrenheit since the 19th century and will continue to grow hotter until humans essentially stop burning coal, oil and gas, scientists say. The warmer temperatures contribute to extreme weather events and help make periods of extreme heat more frequent, longer and more intense. Also affecting this year's conditions is the return of El Nino, a cyclical weather pattern that, depending on the sea surface temperature and the pressure of the air above it, can originate in the Pacific and have wide-ranging effects on weather around the world.

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Microplastics Discovered In Human Penises For the First Time

Slashdot - 11 orë 6 min më parë
An anonymous reader writes: Scientists have found microplastics in human penises for the first time, as concerns over the tiny particles' proliferation and potential health effects mount. Seven different kinds of microplastics were found in four out of five samples of penis tissue taken from five different men as part of a study published in IJIR: Your Sexual Medicine Journal on Wednesday. Microplastics are polymer fragments that can range from less than 0.2 inch (5 millimeters) down to 1/25,000th of an inch (1 micrometer). Anything smaller is a nanoplastic that must be measured in billionths of a meter. They form when larger plastics break down, either by chemically degrading or physically wearing down into smaller pieces. Some minuscule particles can invade individual cells and tissues in major organs, experts say, and evidence is mounting that they are increasingly present in our bodies. Study lead author Ranjith Ramasamy, an expert in reproductive urology who conducted the research while working at the University of Miami, told CNN that he used a previous study that found evidence of microplastics in the human heart as a basis for his research. Ramasamy said he wasn't surprised to find microplastics in the penis, as it is a "very vascular organ," like the heart.

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Mageia 2024-0229: flatpak Security Advisory Updates

LinuxSecurity.com - 11 orë 48 min më parë
A malicious or compromised Flatpak app could execute arbitrary code outside its sandbox. References: - https://bugs.mageia.org/show_bug.cgi?id=33119

Mageia 2024-0228: python-scikit-learn Security Advisory Updates

LinuxSecurity.com - 11 orë 48 min më parë
A sensitive data leakage vulnerability was identified in scikit-learn's TfidfVectorizer, specifically in versions up to and including 1.4.1.post1, which was fixed in version 1.5.0. The vulnerability arises from the unexpected storage of all tokens present in the training data within the `stop_words_` attribute, rather than only storing the subset

Fedora 40: composer 2024-9ed24c98cd Security Advisory Updates

LinuxSecurity.com - 12 orë 29 min më parë
Version 2.7.7 2024-06-10 Security: Fixed command injection via malicious git branch name (GHSA-47f6-5gq3-vx9c / CVE-2024-35241) Security: Fixed multiple command injections via malicious git/hg branch names (GHSA-v9qv-c7wm-wgmf / CVE-2024-35242)

Pornhub To Block Five More States Over Age Verification Laws

Slashdot - 13 orë 21 min më parë
Pornhub plans to block access to its website in Indiana, Idaho, Kansas, Kentucky, and Nebraska in response to age verification laws designed to prevent children from accessing adult websites. From a report: The website has now cut off access in more than half a dozen states in protest of similar age verification laws that have quickly spread across conservative-leaning US states. Indiana, Idaho, and Kansas will lose access on June 27th, according to alerts on Pornhub's website that were seen by local news sources and Reddit users; Kentucky will lose access on July 10th, according to Kentucky Public Radio.

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FedEx's Secretive Police Force Is Helping Cops Build An AI Car Surveillance Network

Slashdot - 15 orë 21 min më parë
Twenty years ago, FedEx established its own police force. Now it's working with local police to build out an AI car surveillance network. From a report: Forbes has learned the shipping and business services company is using AI tools made by Flock Safety, a $4 billion car surveillance startup, to monitor its distribution and cargo facilities across the United States. As part of the deal, FedEx is providing its Flock video surveillance feeds to law enforcement, an arrangement that Flock has with at least five multi-billion dollar private companies. But publicly available documents reveal that some local police departments are also sharing their Flock feeds with FedEx -- a rare instance of a private company availing itself of a police surveillance apparatus. To civil rights activists, such close collaboration has the potential to dramatically expand Flock's car surveillance network, which already spans 4,000 cities across over 40 states and some 40,000 cameras that track vehicles by license plate, make, model, color and other identifying characteristics, like dents or bumper stickers. Lisa Femia, staff attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, said because private entities aren't subject to the same transparency laws as police, this sort of arrangement could "[leave] the public in the dark, while at the same time expanding a sort of mass surveillance network."

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Plan for New Accounting Rules on Software Costs Moves Forward

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 11:50md
U.S. companies may need to report cash amounts tied to their software expenditures, more of which would be moved off corporate balance sheets under a forthcoming proposal to update decades-old accounting rules. From a report: The Financial Accounting Standards Board voted Tuesday, 7-0, to propose requiring companies to report cash amounts tied to their software costs and help them determine when to expense or capitalize costs. The proposal is a scaled-back version of rule-making around these expenses. The standard setter wants to require U.S. public and private companies to provide a line item in their cash-flow statement to account for cash spending on software. Rules around software costs have gone largely unchanged since the 1980s and 1990s. The proposal would cover use of software ranging from enterprise resource planning systems to hosting services and mobile banking applications, meaning it applies to almost every company. It would exclude development of software licensed to customers. Under the plan, companies would no longer have to evaluate the stage of their software project to determine whether to expense the costs on the income statement or to capitalize, or delay fully recognizing them, on the balance sheet. Companies are now required to expense their software costs as incurred on the income statement during the initial planning and post-implementation stages. When building the programs or applications, companies have to capitalize eligible costs. These current requirements involve significant judgment for companies, creating higher compliance costs. Instead, companies would only have to determine when to begin capitalizing software costs based on executives' signoff for a project and the likelihood that the project will be completed and the software will carry out its intended use.

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EU Chat Control Law Proposes Scanning Your Messages - Even Encrypted Ones

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 10:40md
The European Union is getting closer to passing new rules that would mandate the bulk scanning of digital messages -- including encrypted ones. On Thursday, EU governments will adopt a position on the proposed legislation, which is aimed at detecting child sexual abuse material (CSAM). The vote will determine whether the proposal has enough support to move forward in the EU's law-making process. From a report: The law, first introduced in 2022, would implement an "upload moderation" system that scans all your digital messages, including shared images, videos, and links. Each service required to install this "vetted" monitoring technology must also ask permission to scan your messages. If you don't agree, you won't be able to share images or URLs. As if this doesn't seem wild enough, the proposed legislation appears to endorse and reject end-to-end encryption at the same time. At first, it highlights how end-to-end encryption "is a necessary means of protecting fundamental rights" but then goes on to say that encrypted messaging services could "inadvertently become secure zones where child sexual abuse material can be shared or disseminated."

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Debian LTS: DLA-3838-1: composer Security Advisory Updates

LinuxSecurity.com - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 9:56md
It was discovered that there were a number of command-line injection vulnerabilities in Composer, a popular dependency manager for PHP. The 'install', 'status', 'reinstall' and 'remove' functionality had

Debian LTS: DLA-3837-1: libndp Security Advisory Updates

LinuxSecurity.com - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 8:53md
It was discovered that there was a buffer overflow vulnerability in libndp, a library for implementing IPv6's "Neighbor Discovery Protocol" (NDP) and is used by Network Manager and other networking tools.

OpenAI Co-Founder Ilya Sutskever Launches Venture For Safe Superintelligence

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 8:23md
Ilya Sutskever, co-founder of OpenAI who recently left the startup, has launched a new venture called Safe Superintelligence Inc., aiming to create a powerful AI system within a pure research organization. Sutskever has made AI safety the top priority for his new company. Safe Superintelligence has two more co-founders: investor and former Apple AI lead Daniel Gross, and Daniel Levy, known for training large AI models at OpenAI. From a report: Researchers and intellectuals have contemplated making AI systems safer for decades, but deep engineering around these problems has been in short supply. The current state of the art is to use both humans and AI to steer the software in a direction aligned with humanity's best interests. Exactly how one would stop an AI system from running amok remains a largely philosophical exercise. Sutskever says that he's spent years contemplating the safety problems and that he already has a few approaches in mind. But Safe Superintelligence isn't yet discussing specifics. "At the most basic level, safe superintelligence should have the property that it will not harm humanity at a large scale," Sutskever says. "After this, we can say we would like it to be a force for good. We would like to be operating on top of some key values. Some of the values we were thinking about are maybe the values that have been so successful in the past few hundred years that underpin liberal democracies, like liberty, democracy, freedom." Sutskever says that the large language models that have dominated AI will play an important role within Safe Superintelligence but that it's aiming for something far more powerful. With current systems, he says, "you talk to it, you have a conversation, and you're done." The system he wants to pursue would be more general-purpose and expansive in its abilities. "You're talking about a giant super data center that's autonomously developing technology. That's crazy, right? It's the safety of that that we want to contribute to."

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Senate Passes Bill To Support Advanced Nuclear Energy Deployment

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 8:03md
The U.S. Senate has passed a bill to accelerate the deployment of nuclear energy capacity, including by speeding permitting and creating new incentives for advanced nuclear reactor technologies. From a report: Expanding nuclear power has broad bipartisan support, with Democrats seeing it as critical to decarbonizing the power sector to fight climate change and Republicans viewing it as a way to ensure reliable electricity supply and create jobs. A version of the bill had already passed in the House of Representatives and it will now go to President Joe Biden for a signature to become law. It passed the Senate 88-2 votes. "In a major victory for our climate and American energy security, the U.S. Senate has passed the ADVANCE Act with overwhelming, bipartisan support," said Senator Tom Carper, a Democrat, who is Chairman of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee. "Today, we sent the ADVANCE Act to the president's desk because Congress worked together to recognize the importance of nuclear energy to America's future and got the job done," said Republican Shelley Moore Capito, a ranking member of the committee.

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Officials Query if Any Deaths Directly Linked To UK Hospital Hack

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 7:00md
Officials are asking if this month's UK hospital hack resulted in fatalities. From a report: As the fallout from a cyberattack affecting hospitals in London enters its third week, doctors have been asked to report any deaths or other serious harms directly linked to the incident. On June 3, a group of ransomware hackers compromised a lab services provider, Synnovis, and locked down the company's systems, triggering major disruptions at hospitals and clinics in South East London. In the first week, doctors delayed 800 planned operations and 700 outpatient appointments and resorted to handwritten records, while a hospital solicited blood from its own clinical workers after the hack. Some of the worst interruptions have been resolved, but many services still haven't been restored. [...] But amid the recovery, health officials last week circulated a so-called "harms monitoring" form to doctors and clinicians, asking them to record the human toll of the cyberattack. The form, which I have seen, seeks to categorize the damage through a series of questions ranging from minor to major, including "patient died as a DIRECT result of the incident."

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Britain's Universities in Existential Crisis?

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 6:00md
Britain's university sector, a key contributor to the country's economy and global standing, is facing an unprecedented crisis that threatens its very existence, according to an analysis by Glen O'Hara, a professor of modern and contemporary history at Oxford Brookes University. Despite collectively generating over $61.1 billion in annual income and $28 billion in export earnings, universities across the UK are grappling with declining funding, widespread cuts, and internal divisions. The sector's annual losses stand at $2.55 billion, with one in four universities in the red. Job cuts have become a daily occurrence, with institutions such as Coventry, Goldsmith's, Kent, and Lincoln slashing staff numbers. The downsizing is primarily occurring through retirements and voluntary severance schemes, but the long-term outlook remains bleak. Experts cited in an analysis by Prospect magazine warn that without fundamental re-engineering and strategic direction, the sector risks a gradual decline, with some universities potentially facing bankruptcy. The government's focus on the "culture wars" has further divided the public from their local campuses, while the real crisis lies in the finance and organization of the sector. The frozen tuition fees for home students, coupled with unpredictable inflation, have left universities struggling to cover costs. Attempts to offset losses by recruiting more students in cheaper-to-teach subjects and attracting international students have reached their limits, with the latter now in decline. As the next government grapples with this crisis, stopgap measures such as small funding injections, slight fee increases, and encouraging university mergers may provide temporary relief.

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next-20240619: linux-next

Kernel Linux - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 5:23md
Version:next-20240619 (linux-next) Released:2024-06-19

Former Cisco CEO: Nvidia's AI Dominance Mirrors Cisco's Internet Boom, But Market Dynamics Differ

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 5:00md
Nvidia has become the U.S.'s most valuable listed company, riding the wave of the AI revolution that brings back memories of one from earlier this century. The last time a big provider of computing infrastructure was the most valuable U.S. company was in March 2000, when networking-equipment company Cisco took that spot at the height of the dot-com boom. Former Cisco CEO John Chambers, who led the company during the dot-com boom, said the implications of AI are larger than the internet and cloud computing combined, but the dynamics differ. "The implications in terms of the size of the market opportunity is that of the internet and cloud computing combined," he told WSJ. "The speed of change is different, the size of the market is different, the stage when the most valuable company was reached is different." The story adds: Chambers said [Nvidia CEO] Huang was working from a different playbook than Cisco but was facing some similar challenges. Nvidia has a dominant market share, much like Cisco did with its products as the internet grew, and is also fending off rising competition. Also like Nvidia, Cisco benefited from investments before the industry became profitable. "We were absolutely in the right spot at the right time, and we knew it, and we went for it," Chambers said.

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Security Bug Allows Anyone To Spoof Microsoft Employee Emails

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 4:00md
A researcher has found a bug that allows anyone to impersonate Microsoft corporate email accounts, making phishing attempts look credible and more likely to trick their targets. From a report: As of this writing, the bug has not been patched. To demonstrate the bug, the researcher sent an email to TechCrunch that looked like it was sent from Microsoft's account security team. Last week, Vsevolod Kokorin, also known online as Slonser, wrote on X (formerly Twitter) that he found the email-spoofing bug and reported it to Microsoft, but the company dismissed his report after saying it couldn't reproduce his findings. This prompted Kokorin to publicize the bug on X, without providing technical details that would help others exploit it.

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China's DeepSeek Coder Becomes First Open-Source Coding Model To Beat GPT-4 Turbo

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 3:00md
Shubham Sharma reports via VentureBeat: Chinese AI startup DeepSeek, which previously made headlines with a ChatGPT competitor trained on 2 trillion English and Chinese tokens, has announced the release of DeepSeek Coder V2, an open-source mixture of experts (MoE) code language model. Built upon DeepSeek-V2, an MoE model that debuted last month, DeepSeek Coder V2 excels at both coding and math tasks. It supports more than 300 programming languages and outperforms state-of-the-art closed-source models, including GPT-4 Turbo, Claude 3 Opus and Gemini 1.5 Pro. The company claims this is the first time an open model has achieved this feat, sitting way ahead of Llama 3-70B and other models in the category. It also notes that DeepSeek Coder V2 maintains comparable performance in terms of general reasoning and language capabilities. Founded last year with a mission to "unravel the mystery of AGI with curiosity," DeepSeek has been a notable Chinese player in the AI race, joining the likes of Qwen, 01.AI and Baidu. In fact, within a year of its launch, the company has already open-sourced a bunch of models, including the DeepSeek Coder family. The original DeepSeek Coder, with up to 33 billion parameters, did decently on benchmarks with capabilities like project-level code completion and infilling, but only supported 86 programming languages and a context window of 16K. The new V2 offering builds on that work, expanding language support to 338 and context window to 128K -- enabling it to handle more complex and extensive coding tasks. When tested on MBPP+, HumanEval, and Aider benchmarks, designed to evaluate code generation, editing and problem-solving capabilities of LLMs, DeepSeek Coder V2 scored 76.2, 90.2, and 73.7, respectively -- sitting ahead of most closed and open-source models, including GPT-4 Turbo, Claude 3 Opus, Gemini 1.5 Pro, Codestral and Llama-3 70B. Similar performance was seen across benchmarks designed to assess the model's mathematical capabilities (MATH and GSM8K). The only model that managed to outperform DeepSeek's offering across multiple benchmarks was GPT-4o, which obtained marginally higher scores in HumanEval, LiveCode Bench, MATH and GSM8K. [...] As of now, DeepSeek Coder V2 is being offered under a MIT license, which allows for both research and unrestricted commercial use. Users can download both 16B and 236B sizes in instruct and base avatars via Hugging Face. Alternatively, the company is also providing access to the models via API through its platform under a pay-as-you-go model. For those who want to test out the capabilities of the models first, the company is offering the option to interact. with Deepseek Coder V2 via chatbot.

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Satellite 'Megaconstellations' May Jeopardize Recovery of Ozone Hole

Slashdot - Mër, 19/06/2024 - 12:00md
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: When old satellites fall into Earth's atmosphere and burn up, they leave behind tiny particles of aluminum oxide, which eat away at Earth's protective ozone layer. A new study finds that these oxides have increased 8-fold between 2016 and 2022 and will continue to accumulate as the number of low-Earth-orbit satellites skyrockets. The 1987 Montreal Protocol successfully regulated ozone-damaging CFCs to protect the ozone layer, shrinking the ozone hole over Antarctica with recovery expected within fifty years. But the unanticipated growth of aluminum oxides may push pause on the ozone success story in decades to come. Of the 8,100 objects in low Earth orbit, 6,000 are Starlink satellites launched in the last few years. Demand for global internet coverage is driving a rapid ramp up of launches of small communication satellite swarms. SpaceX is the frontrunner in this enterprise, with permission to launch another 12,000 Starlink satellites and as many as 42,000 planned. Amazon and other companies around the globe are also planning constellations ranging from 3,000 to 13,000 satellites, the authors of the study said. Internet satellites in low Earth orbit are short-lived, at about five years. Companies must then launch replacement satellites to maintain internet service, continuing a cycle of planned obsolescence and unplanned pollution. Aluminum oxides spark chemical reactions that destroy stratospheric ozone, which protects Earth from harmful UV radiation. The oxides don't react chemically with ozone molecules, instead triggering destructive reactions between ozone and chlorine that deplete the ozone layer. Because aluminum oxides are not consumed by these chemical reactions, they can continue to destroy molecule after molecule of ozone for decades as they drift down through the stratosphere. Yet little attention has yet been paid to pollutants formed when satellites fall into the upper atmosphere and burn. Earlier studies of satellite pollution largely focused on the consequences of propelling a launch vehicle into space, such as the release of rocket fuel. The new study, by a research team from the University of Southern California Viterbi School of Engineering, is the first realistic estimate of the extent of this long-lived pollution in the upper atmosphere, the authors said. [...] In 2022, reentering satellites increased aluminum in the atmosphere by 29.5% over natural levels, the researchers found. The modeling showed that a typical 250-kilogram (550-pound) satellite with 30% of its mass being aluminum will generate about 30 kilograms (66 pounds) of aluminum oxide nanoparticles (1-100 nanometers in size) during its reentry plunge. Most of these particles are created in the mesosphere, 50-85 kilometers (30-50 miles) above Earth's surface. The team then calculated that based on particle size, it would take up to 30 years for the aluminum oxides to drift down to stratospheric altitudes, where 90% of Earth's ozone is located. The researchers estimated that by the time the currently planned satellite constellations are complete, every year, 912 metric tons of aluminum (1,005 U.S. tons) will fall to Earth. That will release around 360 metric tons (397 U.S. tons) of aluminum oxides per year to the atmosphere, an increase of 646% over natural levels. The study is published in the journal Geophysical Research Letters.

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