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Cryptocurrency Miners Force Changes to Free Tiers at Docker

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 21:34
From today's edition of Mike Melanson's "This Week in Programming" column: This week, Docker announced some changes to Docker Hub Autobuilds — the primary one of interest being that autobuilds would no longer be available to free tier users — and much of the internet let out a collective groan to the tune of "this is why we can't have nice things...!" "As many of you are aware, it has been a difficult period for companies offering free cloud compute," wrote Shaun Mulligan, principal product manager at Docker in the company's blog post, citing an article that explores how crypto-mining gangs are running amok on free cloud computing platforms. Mulligan goes on to explain that Docker has "seen a massive growth in the number of bad actors," noting that it not only costs them money, but also degrades performance for their paying customers. And so, after seven years of free access to their autobuild feature, wherein even all of you non-paying Docker users could set up continuous integration for your containerized projects, gratis, the end is nigh. Like, really, really nigh, as in next week — June 18. While Docker offered that they already tried to correct the issue by removing around 10,000 accounts, they say that the miners returned the next week in droves, and so they "made the hard choice to remove Autobuilds...." For its part, Docker has tried to again stave off the criticism, offering users a discount on subscriptions, and offering members of its open source program the ability to continue to use autobuilds for free... Docker says they've also changed Autobuild "to take advantage of BuildKit by default for improved build performance," increased the number of parallel builds for subscribers, and increased the build instance types, "so you get a beefier machine to build on!" While the changes were apparently inspired by their struggles with cryptocurrency miners, "All of these improvements should see a faster and more stable build experience with lower queue times..." "We really appreciate your support and the community's understanding as the whole industry battles against these abusive few."

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Rainbow Six Siege announces crossplay plans

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 21:31

The ever-popular Rainbow Six Siege will get crossplay support, Ubisoft has announced, though PlayStation and Xbox platforms will have to wait some time.

Crossplay and cross-progression between PC, Stadia and Luna will arrive on 30th June, Ubisoft said tonight during its E3 Ubisoft Forward presentation.

PlayStation and Xbox crossplay will arrive later, in "early 2022". At that point, cross-progression between all platforms will then be possible.

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Categories: Video Games

Adorable, avian-themed skateboarding game SkateBird gets August release date

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 20:35

If you've ever wished there was just a little bit more bird in your skateboarding, the adorable, avian-themed SkateBird has you covered - and developer Glass Bottom Games has now confirmed it'll be grinding onto Xbox, Switch, Amazon Luna, and PC on 12th August.

In SkateBird, players take on the role of a "chill little skateboarding bird" whose human friend is never home to play, thanks to their job. Luckily, the bird is an enterprising sort and, to help pass the time, has constructed a miniature skating paradise in the form of a homemade skatepark.

Here, players can trick and grind, completing missions and skating their best skate to unlock new bird-sized courses, attract a loyal bird following, and somehow fix their human friend's life.

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Categories: Video Games

Nearly $1 Billion in Funding Restored for California Bullet Train

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 20:34
Back in 2009, then-governor of California Arnold Schwarzenegger requested $4.7 billion in federal stimulus money to help build an 800-mile bullet train system from San Diego to San Francisco. "We're traveling on our trains at the same speed as 100 years ago," the governor said. "That is inexcusable. America must catch up." Nearly 12 years later, "a $929-million federal grant for the California bullet train project was restored Thursday," reports the Los Angeles Times, "reversing a decision by the Trump administration to terminate the funding." But their story (shared by Slashdot reader schwit1) notes this grant has a very long history: The grant was originally made in 2010 after other states backed out of high-speed rail projects and declined to take the federal support. The California project already had won another $2.5-billion grant from the Obama administration's stimulus program, known as the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act. The Trump action to take back the money was highly controversial, and federal grant experts said such terminations were rare in cases that did not involve fraud but were merely behind schedule. Ronald Batory, then chief of the Federal Railroad Administration, cited California's multiple failures to forecast accurate schedules, among other problems, in taking the action. Along with House Republicans from California, Trump officials were highly critical of the California project, with former Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao calling it a "bait and switch" on promises made to taxpayers. Chao and Trump had issued an even bigger threat, to claw back the much larger $2.5-billion grant that had already been spent. Despite such rhetoric, the Trump administration never made an attempt to get back the funds. The $929 million is part of a planned $22.8-billion effort aimed at building a 171-mile partial operating system between Bakersfield and Merced [part of the route between San Francisco and Los Angeles], as well as completing environmental planning and making some high-speed rail investments in Southern California and the Bay Area. In a statement, America's Federal Rail Agency said the settlement "reflects the federal government's ongoing partnership in the development of high-speed rail." And they called their restoration of funding "an important step in advancing an economically transformational project in California." The Times adds that "Some bullet train advocates believe $10 billion or more from the state and federal government could be added to the project, allowing an expansion of the current construction. But even that much money would not close a roughly $80-billion shortfall needed to connect Los Angeles to San Francisco."

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Microsoft Store spills Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Xbox Game Pass

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 19:57

The E3 leaks keep on coming: this time it's Yakuza: Like a Dragon for Xbox Game Pass.

Confirmation comes from a snapshot of Yakuza: Like a Dragon's listing on the Brazilian Microsoft Store. There was mention of "included with Game Pass" for accompanying content. It looks like this reference to Game Pass was swiftly removed, but not before Twitter user @pedroxbz noticed.

Ryu Ga Gotoku Studio's Yakuza: Like a Dragon launched in Japan for PlayStation 4 in January 2020, before coming out internationally in November that year on multiple platforms. It was a launch title for Xbox Series X and S. It came out on PlayStation 5 four months later, in March.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft's GitHub Releases 'Visual Studio Code' Extension Allowing Editing Without Cloning Repositories

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 19:34
A new extension for Microsoft's code-editing tool, Visual Studio Code, "allows you to open, edit, and commit back to source-control repos without having to clone them on your local machine," explains a new video. A Microsoft blog post calls it "a new experience that we've been building in partnership with our friends at GitHub to enable working with source code repositories quickly and safely inside VS Code." In VS Code, we've offered integrated support for Git from the very beginning, and we've been supporting many other source control management (SCM) providers through extensions. This has allowed developers to clone and work with repositories directly within VS Code. However, a large part of what developers do every day involves reading other people's code: reviewing pull requests, browsing open-source repositories, experimenting with new technologies or projects, inspecting upstream dependencies to debug applications, etc. What all of these have in common is that as a first step, you usually clone the repository locally and then open the code in your favorite code editor (which we hope is VS Code!). Yet, cloning a repository takes time, may lead you to review an outdated version of the repo if you forget to pull, and can sometimes be a security risk if you're unfamiliar with the code. The new Remote Repositories extension, published by GitHub, makes the experience of opening source code repositories in VS Code instant and safe. With this, you can quickly browse, search, edit, and commit to any remote GitHub repository (and soon, Azure Repos) directly from within VS Code, no clone necessary! You can work on as many repos as you like without having to save any source code on your machine. Remote Repositories saves you time and local disk space and empowers you to stay entirely within VS Code for all your source control tasks.

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E3 2021: Ubisoft E3 2021

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 19:18

Join us live from 8pm BST.

Categories: Video Games

Gibson email reveals Rocksmith+ ahead of Ubisoft E3 show

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 18:42

UPDATE: Ubisoft has announced Rocksmith+ during its Ubisoft Forward event.

It's due out later this year. The debut trailer is below:

You can register for the PC closed beta over on the official website.

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Categories: Video Games

McDonalds Faces Potential Class Action Lawsuit Over Automated Drive-Thru

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 18:34
McDonald's equiped 10 of its restaurants in Chicago with automated speech-recognition for their drive-through windows. Now they're facing a potential class-action lawsuit. Long-time Slashdot reader KindMind shares this report from the Register: McDonald's has been accused of illegally collecting and processing customers' voice recordings without their consent in the U.S. state of Illinois... The state has some of the strictest data privacy laws; its Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA) states: "No private entity may collect, capture, purchase, receive through trade, or otherwise obtain a person's or a customer's biometric identifier or biometric information." unless it receives written consent. Shannon Carpenter, a resident of Illinois, sued [PDF] McDonald's in April on behalf of himself and all other affected state residents. He claimed the fast-chow biz has broken BIPA by not obtaining written consent from its customers to collect and process their voice data, nor has it explained in its privacy policy how or if the data is stored or deleted. His lawsuit also stated that McDonald's has been experimenting with AI software taking orders at its drive thrus since last year. "Plaintiff, like the other class members, to this day does not know the whereabouts of his voiceprint biometrics which defendant obtained," Carpenter's lawsuit stated. Under the BIPA, people can receive up to $5,000 in damages from private entities for each violation committed "intentionally or recklessly," or $1,000 if each violation was from negligence instead. The suit also claimed the machine-learning software built by McD Tech Labs doesn't just transcribe speech into text, it processes audio samples to glean all sorts of personal information to predict a customer's "age, gender, accent, nationality, and national origin."

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Why the Music Industry Doesn't Hate YouTube Any More

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 17:34
Today is Record Store Day, an annual event celebrating the culture of independently-owned record stores. And music industry players have said they actually got more money from the sale of vinyl records than they do from YouTube. But is that changing? The New York Times reports those figures are from a time when YouTube was only selling ads on (or beside) music videos and then sharing that cash with the record labels and performs: Fast forward to last week, when YouTube disclosed that it paid music companies, musicians and songwriters more than $4 billion in the prior year. That came from advertising money and something that the industry has wanted forever and is now getting — a cut of YouTube's surprisingly large subscription business. (YouTube subscriptions include an ad-free version of the site and a Spotify-like service to watch music videos without any ads.) The significance of YouTube's dollar figure is that it's not far from the $5 billion that the streaming king Spotify pays to music industry participants from a portion of its subscriptions. (A reminder: The industry mostly loves Spotify's money, but some musicians ïsay that they're shortchanged by the payouts.) Subscriptions will always be a hobby for YouTube, but the numbers show that even a side gig for the company can be huge. And it has bought peace by raining some of those riches on those behind the music. Record labels and other industry powers "still don't looooove YouTube," Lucas Shaw, a Bloomberg News reporter, wrote this week. "But they don't hate it anymore." The YouTube turnabout may also show that complaining works. The music industry has a fairly successful track record of picking a public enemy No. 1 — Pandora for awhile, Spotify, YouTube, and more recently apps like TikTok and Twitch — and publicly browbeating it or playing one rich company against another to get more money or something else they wanted. While the article cites concerns that YouTube is still paying too little (and failing to stop piracy), "just maybe, YouTube has shown that it's possible for digital companies to both upend an industry and make it stronger."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

US Launches Task Force To Open Government Data For AI Research

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 16:34
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: The Biden administration launched an initiative Thursday aiming to make more government data available to artificial intelligence researchers, part of a broader push to keep the U.S. on the cutting edge of the crucial new technology. The National Artificial Intelligence Research Resource Task Force, a group of 12 members from academia, government, and industry led by officials from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy and the National Science Foundation, will draft a strategy for potentially giving researchers access to stores of data about Americans, from demographics to health and driving habits. They would also look to make available computing power to analyze the data, with the goal of allowing access to researchers across the country. The task force, which Congress mandated in the National Artificial Intelligence Initiative Act of 2020, is part of an effort across the government to ensure the U.S. remains at the vanguard of technological advancements. Many researchers, particularly in academia, simply don't have access to these computational resources and data, and this is hampering innovation. One example: The Transportation Department has access to a set of data gathered from vehicle sensors about how people drive, said Erwin Gianchandani, senior adviser at the National Science Foundation and co-chairman of the new AI task force. "Because you have very sensitive data about individuals, there are challenges in being able to make that data available to the broader research community," he said. On the other hand, if researchers could get access, they could develop innovations designed to make driving safer. Census data, medical records, and other data sets could also potentially be made available for research by both private companies and academic institutions, officials said. They said the task force will evaluate how to make such data available while protecting Americans' privacy and addressing other ethical concerns.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Another Ubisoft leak reveals Far Cry 6 DLC

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 16:06

UPDATE: Ubisoft has confirmed today's Far Cry 6 DLC leak.

The trailer, below, shows that the DLC lets you play as Vaas, Pagan Min and Joseph Seed - villains from previous Far Cry games. The trailer is below:

ORIGINAL STORY: Ubisoft has suffered another leak for one of its games, this time DLC for the upcoming Far Cry 6.

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Categories: Video Games

How an Army of Goats Could Help Prevent California Wildfires

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VICE News: California has unleashed an army of goats to munch away at overgrown brush and grass throughout the state in hopes of reducing the risk of wildfires this summer. State agencies have deployed the animals to roam, eat, and wipe out highly flammable vegetation. Recently, in an area near Lake Oroville in Northern California, between 350 and 400 goats cleared nearly five acres of land. And on Sunday, 1,500 goats are scheduled to begin clearing 34 more acres in the area -- by eating everything from invasive species to poison oak to thistle. The animals have also been contracted out to different cities around the state concerned about wildfires, including Anaheim, Oakland, and Los Angeles. The initiative is part of the state's "Fuel Load Management Plan," started in 2012, which is aimed at reducing large patches of overgrowth throughout the state -- a major source of fuel to wildfire spread. Originally, the state used boots-on-the-ground crews of people armed with chainsaws and wood chippers to clear brush. But California has decided that in some areas, it's goats, not humans, that can help the most. "They eat everything," Kryssy Mache, an environmental scientist at the California Department of Water Resources, told VICE News. And they can also reach up to five feet in the air to nibble tree branches. "It's just another cool concept that we're using. It's not just humans going out and making the difference -- we can also use goats." But the goats are usually just Phase One. In the fall, human crews will come in and trim up area that goats cleared to ensure it remains less vulnerable to fire, according to the DWR.

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Looks like Back 4 Blood hits Xbox Game Pass day one

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 14:41

Back 4 Blood looks set for Xbox Game Pass day one.

Redditor JohnTLH spotted the news in the YouTube description for the upcoming Back 4 Blood PvP video reveal, which is set for 10pm UK time on Sunday 13th June.

That reveal follows Microsoft's E3 press conference, which kicks off at 6pm the same day. I suspect the announcement will be made - officially! - during Microsoft's press conference.

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Categories: Video Games

Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order's free upgrade available to disc owners who have a discless next-gen console

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 14:18

EA is making the free digital upgrade for Star Wars Jedi: Fallen Order available to disc owners who now have a discless next-gen console.

If you have a physical copy of Respawn's action game on PlayStation 4 or Xbox One and have a discless PlayStation 5 or Xbox Series S, you can still get the upgrade free if you contact EA support and provide proof of purchase, EA said in an FAQ.

Here are the steps:

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Categories: Video Games

Nintendo's official website reveals Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope for Switch

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 13:46

UPDATE: As expected, Ubisoft has announced Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope during its E3 show.

The debut trailer is below:

ORIGINAL STORY: Nintendo's official website has revealed a brand new Switch game: Mario + Rabbids Sparks of Hope.

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Categories: Video Games

Jim Ryan cites "important trade-offs" in explaining PS5's lack of support for old PlayStation games

Eurogamer - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 13:17

PlayStation boss Jim Ryan has insisted he doesn't hate old games while responding to controversial comments he made in 2017, and explained the PS5's lack of support for PlayStation's entire back catalogue of games.

Speaking in the latest Axios Gaming newsletter, Ryan was asked about a 2017 interview with Time in which he recalled seeing different versions of Gran Turismo running side-by-side on PSone, PS2, PS3 and PS4.

"The PS1 and the PS2 games, they looked ancient, like why would anybody play this?" he said at the time.

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Categories: Video Games

Mouse Sperm Thrived Despite Six Years of Exposure To Space Radiation

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 12:00
In the longest biological experiment on the International Space Station yet, freeze-dried mouse sperm remained viable after nearly six years in space. Exposure to space radiation didn't seem to harm the sperm's DNA or the cells' ability to produce healthy "space pups," researchers report in Science Advances. Science News reports: That may be good news for future spacefarers. Scientists have worried that chronic exposure to space radiation might not only put astronauts at risk for cancer and other diseases, but also create mutations in their DNA that could be passed down to future generations. The new results hint that deep-space travelers could safely bear children. Studying how space radiation affects reproduction is tricky. Instruments on Earth can't perfectly mimic space radiation, and the ISS lacks freezers for long-term cell storage. So biologist Teruhiko Wakayama of the University of Yamanashi in Kofu, Japan and colleagues freeze-dried sperm, allowing it to be stored at room temperature. The team then sent sperm from 12 mice to the space station, while keeping other sperm from the same mice on the ground. After returning the sperm cells to Earth, rehydrating them and injecting them into fresh mouse eggs, the team transferred those embryos to female mice. About 240 healthy space pups were born from sperm kept on the ISS for nearly three years; about 170 others were born from sperm kept on the space station for nearly six years. Genetic analyses revealed no differences between these space pups and mice born from sperm stored on the ground. Space pups that mated as adults had healthy children and grandchildren.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Potential Sites For UK's First Prototype Fusion Power Plant Identified

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 09:00
A total of 15 potential sites are in the running to host the UK's first prototype fusion power plant. The BBC reports: Fusion is seen as a potential source of almost limitless clean energy but is currently only used in experiments. An open call for sites was made last year and nominations closed at the end of March this year. Following checks for compliance with key entry criteria the UK Atomic Energy Agency (UKAEA) has published a long list of possible locations. The sites, from north to south, with nominating body, are: Dounreay, East Airdrie, Poneil, Ardeer, Chapelcross, Moorside, Bay Fusion, Goole, West Burton, Ratcliffe on Soar, Pembroke, Severn Edge, Aberthaw, Bridgwater Bay, and Bradwell (Essex). The UKAEA said that acceptance of the sites did not indicate that they were "preferred or desired" or that it believed they were "in all cases, possible." It stressed it was simply that the procedural entry criteria had been met and assessment had now begun. It said a shortlisting process would take place in the autumn with a final site decision likely by the end of next year. UKAEA is hoping to have such a plant operating in the early 2040s, with an initial concept design ready by 2024."

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New York State Low-Cost Broadband Law Blocked by US Judge

Slashdot - Sat, 12/06/2021 - 07:00
A federal judge granted a preliminary order blocking New York state from enforcing a law that requires internet service providers to offer high-speed broadband service to low-income customers at a discount. From a report: U.S. District Judge Denis Hurley in Central Islip, New York, sided with telecom industry groups representing AT&T and Verizon, which sued to block the law. The legislation was enacted in April as part of the state's 2022 budget.

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