- Type A Blood Converted To Universal Donor Blood With Help From Bacterial Enzyme
- AMD Unveils Zen 2 CPU Architecture, Navi GPU Architecture and a Slew of Products
- Steven Spielberg Is Writing a Horror Series That You Can Only Watch At Night
- Facebook Turned Off Search Features Used To Catch War Criminals, Child Predators, And Other Bad Actors
- Kim Dotcom In Final Bid To Halt Extradition
- Google Maps Will Tell You If Your Taxi Driver Is Veering Off Course To Rack Up a Higher Fare
- Supreme Court To Consider Racial Discrimination Case Against Comcast
- US Customs and Border Protection Says Traveler Photos and License Plate Images Stolen In Data Breach
- Huawei is Reportedly Asking App Developers To Publish on its AppGallery
- World's Largest Plant Survey Reveals Alarming Extinction Rate
- Audi Recalls Its First Electric Car for Battery Fire Risk
- NASA is Sending an Atomic Clock Into Deep Space
- Some Big Tech Firms Cut Employees' Access To Huawei, Muddying 5G Rollout
- Scottish Power To Build Vast Battery To Improve Wind Energy Supply
- Top Voting Machine Maker Reverses Position on Election Security, Promises Paper Ballots
- Opera, Brave, Vivaldi To Ignore Chrome's Anti-Ad-Blocker Changes, Despite Shared Codebase
- G20 Agrees To Push Ahead With Digital Tax
- Salesforce Bets on Big Data With $15.3 Billion Tableau Buy
- Disney's Video Streaming Service Hotstar Halts Support for Safari Browser
- Project Scarlett is the Next Xbox Console, Launching in Holiday 2020
- Interviews: For the 25th Birthday of FreeDOS, Ask Its Founder A Question
- A 'Premium' Firefox Is Coming This Fall
Type A Blood Converted To Universal Donor Blood With Help From Bacterial Enzyme
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Magazine:
For a transfusion to be successful, the patient and donor blood types must be compatible. Now, researchers analyzing bacteria in the human gut have discovered that microbes there produce two enzymes that can convert the common type A into a more universally accepted type. If the process pans out, blood specialists suggest it could revolutionize blood donation and transfusion. To up the supply of universal blood, scientists have tried transforming the second most common blood, type A, by removing its "A-defining" antigens. But they've met with limited success, as the known enzymes that can strip the red blood cell of the offending sugars aren't efficient enough to do the job economically.
After 4 years of trying to improve on those enzymes, a team led by Stephen Withers, a chemical biologist at the University of British Columbia (UBC) in Vancouver, Canada, decided to look for a better one among human gut bacteria. Some of these microbes latch onto the gut wall, where they "eat" the sugar-protein combos called mucins that line it. Mucins' sugars are similar to the type-defining ones on red blood cells. So UBC postdoc Peter Rahfeld collected a human stool sample and isolated its DNA, which in theory would include genes that encode the bacterial enzymes that digest mucins. Chopping this DNA up and loading different pieces into copies of the commonly used lab bacterium Escherichia coli, the researchers monitored whether any of the microbes subsequently produced proteins with the ability to remove A-defining sugars. At first, they didn't see anything promising. But when they tested two of the resulting enzymes at once -- adding them to substances that would glow if the sugars were removed -- the sugars came right off. The enzymes also worked their magic in human blood. Tiny amounts added to a unit of type A blood could get rid of the offending sugars, they found. The findings have been
reported today in the journal Nature Microbiology.
AMD Unveils Zen 2 CPU Architecture, Navi GPU Architecture and a Slew of Products
AMD let loose today with a number of high profile launches at the E3 2019 Expo in Los Angeles, CA. The company disclosed its full Zen 2 Ryzen 3000 series microarchitecture, which AMD claims offers an IPC uplift of 15% generation over generation, thanks to better branch prediction, higher integer throughput, and reduced effective latency to memory. Zen 2 also significantly beefs up floating point throughput with double the FP performance of the previous generation. AMD also announced a 16-core/32-thread variant, dubbed Ryzen 3950X, that drops at $750 -- a full $950 cheaper than a similar spec 16-core Intel Core i9-9960X. On the graphics side, AMD's RDNA architecture in Navi will power the company's new Radeon RX 5700 series, which is said to offer competitive performance to NVIDIA's GeForce RTX 2070 and 2060 series. The Navi-based GPU at the heart of the upcoming Radeon RX 5700 series is manufactured on TSMC's 7nm process node and features GDDR6 memory, along with PCI Express 4.0 interface support. Versus AMD's previous generation GCN (Graphics Core Next) architecture, RDNA delivers more than 50% better performance-per-watt and 25% better overall performance. Greater than 50% of that improvement comes from architecture optimizations according to AMD; the GPU also gets a boost from its 7nm process and frequency gains. Radeon RX 5700 and 5700 XT cards will be available in market on July 7th, along with AMD Ryzen 3000 chips, but pricing hasn't been established yet for the Radeon GPUs.
Steven Spielberg Is Writing a Horror Series That You Can Only Watch At Night
Spielberg's After Dark horror series
will only be able to be streamed when it's dark outside. It'll be available exclusively on Quibi (short for "Quick Bites"), a new streaming platform dedicated to short-form video, created by former Disney executive Jeffrey Katzenberg and former HP CEO Meg Whitman. Variety reports:
Spielberg had an unusual request however: He wanted viewers to only be able to watch the program after midnight. Given that phones can track where it is at the moment -- and keep tabs on when the sun rises and sets in its area -- Katzenberg and Whitman challenged their engineers to come up with an idea for how to view the show when it's spooky out. The result: A clock will appear on phones, ticking down until sun sets in wherever that user is, until it's completely gone. Then the clock starts ticking again to when the sun comes back up -- and the show will disappear until the next night. According to the report, Quibi is planning for an April 2020 launch, and is "hoping to trigger a 'third generation of film narrative,' following movies and TV."
"At launch, Quibi will offer a two-week free trial period, and have eight 'super premium' productions (which Katzenberg still called 'movies') ready to view," reports Variety. "After that, there will be 26 more 'lighthouse' (read: signature projects) productions that will roll out, every other Monday, for the first year."
Facebook Turned Off Search Features Used To Catch War Criminals, Child Predators, And Other Bad Actors
The human rights and war crimes community is up in arms over Facebook's
decision to turn off a set of advanced features in its graph search product, which is "a way to receive an answer to a specific query on Facebook, such as 'people in Nebraska who like Metallica,'" reports BuzzFeed News. "Using graph search, it's possible to find public -- and only public -- content that's not easily accessed via keyword search." The decision, which was not announced publicly, was likely made in an effort to limit data scandals and improve privacy. From the report:
When Mark Zuckerberg personally introduced graph search in early 2013, he billed it as equal in importance to Facebook's News Feed and profile timeline. On launch day, the company also published a post offering journalists tips on how to use graph search. Over the years, graph search became a valuable tool for investigators, police officers, and journalists. At the same time, social media became a key source for uncovering war crimes, disinformation campaigns, child exploitation, and other crimes and abuses.
The move raised even more concern in the human rights and investigative journalism communities because Facebook appeared to thwart attempts to find workarounds. Henk van Ess, an investigator and trainer who works with Bellingcat, operates a tool that uses graph search to enable powerful searches of public content. After Facebook turned off some searches, he was able to find workarounds -- until the company blocked them. "I patched my tools 5 times and each time, after 2 hrs, the tools were crippled by FB," he wrote in a Twitter direct message. "Other toolmakers experienced the same." Van Ess now requires people to request permission from him to use his tool; he says he's been flooded with requests from people pursuing investigations "involving human rights abuses, war crimes, terrorism, extremism, white collar crime ... corruption, disinformation campaigns, environmental crimes, cybercrime -- the list just keeps on going." A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to BuzzFeed News: "The vast majority of people on Facebook search using keywords, a factor which led us to pause some aspects of graph search and focus more on improving keyword search. We are working closely with researchers to make sure they have the tools they need to use our platform."
Kim Dotcom In Final Bid To Halt Extradition
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC:
Controversial internet entrepreneur Kim Dotcom has begun a final appeal to halt his extradition from New Zealand to the U.S. on copyright-related charges. The FBI claims Mr Dotcom's Megaupload site earned millions of dollars by facilitating illegal file-sharing. But his lawyers told New Zealand's Supreme Court on Monday it was never meant to encourage copyright breaches. Mr Dotcom, who denies the charges, could face a lengthy jail term in the U.S. if extradited and found guilty.
Mathias Ortmann, Bram van der Kolk and Finn Batatom -- all former Megaupload executives -- stand accused of the same charges, which include conspiracy to commit racketeering, copyright infringement, money laundering and wire fraud. The US Department of Justice has been trying to extradite the men since 2012, and in 2015 a New Zealand district court said it would permit the move. The defendants have since lodged unsuccessful appeals at the High Court and Court of Appeal, leading to a final push this week at the Supreme Court. "In 2005 I created a website that allowed people to upload files to the cloud. At the time only small files could be attached to emails. Megaupload allowed users to email a link to a file. That's it," Dotcom
wrote on Twitter yesterday. "In 2019 the NZ Supreme Court decides if I should be extradited for this 'crime.'"
Google Maps Will Tell You If Your Taxi Driver Is Veering Off Course To Rack Up a Higher Fare
Google Maps is rolling out a new feature that
will tell you if your taxi driver goes off-route in an attempt to rack up a higher fare. Sure, you could always use Google Maps to pick the shortest route possible, but the newest feature does the work for you. BGR reports:
The feature is especially useful in cities you don't know, but also at home, allowing you to get live updates on your route. Google Maps will send an alert to your phone every time you're off-route by 500 meters, xda-developers explains. Moreover, your route will not be rerouted automatically, which is what happens when deviating from your route while using Google Maps for regular navigation. That's because the feature will help you stick to your chosen route rather than continuously adapting it.
Once you start receiving the alerts, you should notify the driver that you're aware of the changes he or she made, and ask to revert to the shortest route possible. It's unlikely they'll try to cheat again once it's clear you're keeping tabs on the journey. And don't believe them when they say that traffic is the reason for the detour unless you can verify it with Google Maps, which should give you an idea of what traffic to expect on your route. It's unclear whether the feature will be available in other markets or when it'll launch. You'll want to be on the lookout for new Maps buttons that says Stay safer and Get off-route alerts in the navigation menu to take advantage of it.
Supreme Court To Consider Racial Discrimination Case Against Comcast
The Supreme Court will consider whether a black television producer can pursue racial discrimination claims against Comcast for
declining to carry his programming channels on its cable system
(Warning: source paywalled; alternative source). The Wall Street Journal reports:
The Comcast case stems from the cable operator's decision not to carry Pets.TV, Recipes.TV and other channels from Entertainment Studios Networks Inc. The Los Angeles company is solely owned by Byron Allen, who gained celebrity as co-host of "Real People," a 1980s reality show. Comcast has carried channels owned mostly or substantially by African-Americans, such as Magic Johnson's Aspire and Sean "Diddy" Combs's music channel, Revolt TV, as well as Black Entertainment Television, whose African-American founder, Robert Johnson, sold to Viacom in 2001.
The suit, filed under Reconstruction-era law affording "the same right" to contract "as is enjoyed by white citizens," alleges, however, that Comcast discriminated against "100% African American" owned media such as Entertainment Studios. A federal appeals court in San Francisco allowed the suit to proceed. "If discriminatory intent plays any role in a defendant's decision not to contract with a plaintiff, even if it is merely one factor and not the sole cause of the decision, then that plaintiff has not enjoyed the same right as a white citizen," Judge Milan Smith wrote for the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. Comcast denies the allegations and says it was concerned the Entertainment Studios programming wouldn't draw enough of an audience to justify allotting it bandwidth. The cable operator argues that federal law requires the plaintiff to show that he or she would have gotten the contract absent racial bias.
US Customs and Border Protection Says Traveler Photos and License Plate Images Stolen In Data Breach
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch:
U.S. Customs and Border Protection has confirmed a data breach has exposed the photos of travelers and vehicles traveling in and out of the United States. The photos were stolen from a subcontractor's network through a "malicious cyberattack," a CBP spokesperson told TechCrunch in an email. "CBP learned that a subcontractor, in violation of CBP policies and without CBP's authorization or knowledge, had transferred copies of license plate images and traveler images collected by CBP to the subcontractor's company network," said an agency statement. "Initial information indicates that the subcontractor violated mandatory security and privacy protocols outlined in their contract," the statement read. he agency first learned of the breach on May 31. When asked, a spokesperson for CBP didn't say how many photos were taken in the breach or if U.S. citizens were affected. The agency also didn't name the subcontractor. The database that the agency maintains includes traveler images, as well as passport and visa photos. Congress has been notified and the CBP said it is "closely monitoring" CBP-related work by the subcontractor.
Huawei is Reportedly Asking App Developers To Publish on its AppGallery
Huawei is reportedly inviting Google Play Store developers to
publish apps for the Huawei EMUI AppGallery, a month after it was reported that future Android handsets from the Chinese group
won't support Google Play Store. From a report:
An anonymous developer on Monday showed the email to XDA Developers, with Huawei apparently sending out invitations to join AppGallery and saying it has 270 million monthly active users across 350 million phones, and a community of 560,000 developers. "In order to guarantee a smooth usage of your app for our users, Huawei is committed to provide you with full support, to help you publish your app into AppGallery," the emailed invitation reportedly says. It also offers access to join the Huawei Developer portal for free, XDA Developers reported.
World's Largest Plant Survey Reveals Alarming Extinction Rate
The world's seed-bearing plants have been disappearing at a rate of nearly 3 species a year since 1900 -- which is
up to 500 times higher than would be expected as a result of natural forces alone, according to the
largest survey yet of plant extinctions. From a report:
The project looked at more than 330,000 species and found that plants on islands and in the tropics were the most likely to be declared extinct. Trees, shrubs and other woody perennials had the highest probability of disappearing regardless of where they were located. The results were published on 10 June in Nature Ecology & Evolution. The study provides valuable hard evidence that will help with conservation efforts, says Stuart Pimm, a conservation scientist at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina. The survey included more plant species by an order of magnitude than any other study, he says. "Its results are enormously significant."
The work stems from a database compiled by botanist Rafael Govaerts at the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, in London. Govaerts started the database in 1988 to track the status of every known plant species. As part of that project, he mined the scientific literature and created a list of seed-bearing plant species that were ruled extinct, and noted which species scientists had deemed to be extinct but were later rediscovered. In 2015, Govaerts teamed up with plant evolutionary biologist Aelys Humphreys at Stockholm University in Sweden and others to analyse the data. They compared extinction rates across different regions and characteristics such as whether the plants were annuals that regrow from seed each year or perennials that endure year after year. The researchers found that about 1,234 species had been reported extinct since the publication of Carl Linnaeus's compendium of plant species, Species Plantarum, in 1753. But more than half of those species were either rediscovered or reclassified as another living species, meaning 571 are still presumed extinct.
A map of plant extinctions produced by the team shows that flora in areas of high biodiversity and burgeoning human populations, such as Madagascar, the Brazilian rainforests, India and South Africa, are most at risk. Humphreys says that the rates of extinction in the tropics is beyond what researchers expect, even when they account for the increased diversity of species in those habitats. And islands are particularly sensitive because they are likely to contain species found nowhere else in the world and are especially susceptible to environmental changes, says Humphreys.
Audi Recalls Its First Electric Car for Battery Fire Risk
Volkswagen AG luxury brand Audi is recalling its first all-electric vehicle due to the risk of a battery fire. From a report:
The company issued a voluntary recall of approximately 540 E-Tron SUV models sold in the U.S. because of a risk that moisture can seep into the battery cell through a wiring harness glitch, spokesman Mark Dahncke said. The company isn't aware of any fires or injuries because of the flaw, which affects a total of 1,644 models, he said. The E-Tron, which went on sale in the U.S. in April, is Audi's first fully-electric car and one in a wave of contenders from traditional automakers looking to challenge Tesla's dominance of the segment. While electric vehicles are no more prone to accidents or fires than gasoline-powered cars -- and might be less so, according the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration -- the lithium-ion battery technology that powers them is still evolving, and there is no consensus on safe system design.
NASA is Sending an Atomic Clock Into Deep Space
An anonymous reader shares a report:
On Saturday, June 22, SpaceX plans to launch its Falcon Heavy Rocket out of the Kennedy Space Center in Cape Canaveral, Florida. The reusable craft is coming off two successful flights; its maiden launch in early 2018 and a satellite delivery trip in April 2019. For its third adventure, the Falcon Heavy will ferry a trove of precious cargo up into space. Around two dozen satellites are going along for the ride this time. But the rocket's most interesting passenger has to be the Orbital Test Bed satellite. Its main payload is an experimental, toaster-sized gizmo called the Deep Space Atomic Clock (DSAC). If the thing works properly, future missions to Mars, Jupiter and beyond could become a whole lot easier -- and less expensive.
Some Big Tech Firms Cut Employees' Access To Huawei, Muddying 5G Rollout
Some of the world's biggest tech companies have told their employees to
stop talking about technology and technical standards with counterparts at Huawei in response to the recent U.S. blacklisting of the Chinese tech firm,
Reuters reported Monday, citing people familiar with the matter. From a report:
Chipmakers Intel and Qualcomm, mobile research firm InterDigital and South Korean carrier LG Uplus have restricted employees from informal conversations with Huawei, the world's largest telecommunications equipment maker, the sources said. Such discussions are a routine part of international meetings where engineers gather to set technical standards for communications technologies, including the next generation of mobile networks known as 5G.
The U.S. Department of Commerce has not banned contact between companies and Huawei. On May 16, the agency put Huawei on a blacklist, barring it from doing business with U.S. companies without government approval, then a few days later it authorized U.S. companies to interact with Huawei in standards bodies through August "as necessary for the development of 5G standards." The Commerce Department reiterated that position on Friday in response to a question from Reuters.
Scottish Power To Build Vast Battery To Improve Wind Energy Supply
Scottish Power is to undertake the most ambitious battery power project in Europe in an attempt to unlock the potential of the UK's wind and solar farms. From a report:
The company will connect an industrial-scale battery, the size of half a football pitch, to the Whitelee onshore windfarm early next year to capture more power from its 215 turbines. The first major onshore wind power storage project will lead the way for a string of similar projects across at least six of Scottish Power's largest renewable energy sites over the following 18 months. It claims the 50MW battery systems promise a "significant step" on the road towards renewable energy, providing baseload, or continuous electricity supply, for the UK energy system. The battery has more than double the power capacity of any existing battery in the UK. It would take an hour to fully charge and could release enough electricity over an hour to fully charge 806 Nissan Leaf vehicles over a total of 182,000 miles, according to a spokesman for Scottish Power.
Top Voting Machine Maker Reverses Position on Election Security, Promises Paper Ballots
Election Systems & Software has championed electronic voting machines in the US. Now it has
had a change of heart about the need for paper records of votes. From a report:
TechCrunch understands the decision was made around the time that four senior Democratic lawmakers demanded to know why ES&S, and two other major voting machine makers, were still selling decade-old machines known to contain security flaws. ES&S chief executive Tom Burt's op-ed said voting machines "must have physical paper records of votes" to prevent mistakes or tampering that could lead to improperly cast votes. Sen. Ron Wyden introduced a bill a year ago that would mandate voter-verified paper ballots for all election machines. The chief executive also called on Congress to pass legislation mandating a stronger election machine testing program. Burt's remarks are a sharp turnaround from the company's position just a year ago, in which the election systems maker drew ire from the security community for denouncing vulnerabilities found by hackers at the annual Defcon conference.
Opera, Brave, Vivaldi To Ignore Chrome's Anti-Ad-Blocker Changes, Despite Shared Codebase
Despite sharing a common Chromium codebase, browser makers like Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi
don't have plans on crippling support for ad blocker extensions in their products -- as Google is currently
planning on doing within Chrome. From a report:
The three browsers makers have confirmed to ZDNet, or in public comments, of not intending to support a change to the extensions system that Google plans to add to Chromium, the open-source browser project on which Chrome, Brave, Opera, and Vivaldi are all based on.
G20 Agrees To Push Ahead With Digital Tax
Group of 20 finance ministers agreed over the weekend to
compile common rules to close loopholes used by global tech giants such as Facebook to reduce their corporate taxes, a copy of the bloc's draft communique obtained by
Reuters showed. From the report:
Facebook, Google, Amazon, and other large technology firms face criticism for cutting their tax bills by booking profits in low-tax countries regardless of the location of the end customer. Such practices are seen by many as unfair. The new rules would mean higher tax burdens for large multinational firms but would also make it harder for countries like Ireland to attract foreign direct investment with the promise of ultra-low corporate tax rates. "We welcome the recent progress on addressing the tax challenges arising from digitization and endorse the ambitious program that consists of a two-pillar approach," the draft communique said. "We will redouble our efforts for a consensus-based solution with a final report by 2020." Britain and France have been among the most vocal proponents of proposals to tax big tech companies that focus on making it more difficult to shift profits to low-tax jurisdictions, and to introduce a minimum corporate tax.
Salesforce Bets on Big Data With $15.3 Billion Tableau Buy
Salesforce on Monday
decided to buy big data firm Tableau Software for $15.3 billion, marking the biggest acquisition in the company's history as it looks to offer more data insights to its clients. From a report:
Seattle-based Tableau has more than 86,000 customers, including tech heavyweights such as Verizon and Netflix. As part of the all-stock deal, Tableau shareholders will get 1.103 Salesforce shares, valuing the offer at $177.88 per share, representing a premium of 42% to Tableau's Friday closing price. Salesforce's deal comes days after Alphabet's Google big-data analytics company Looker for $2.6 billion and surpasses the $5.9 billion that the cloud-based software company paid to buy U.S. software maker MuleSoft in 2018.
Disney's Video Streaming Service Hotstar Halts Support for Safari Browser
Hotstar, India's largest video streaming service with more than 300 million users,
disabled support for Apple's Safari web browser last week to mitigate a security flaw that allowed unauthorized usage of its platform,
TechCrunch reports, citing sources. From the report:
As users began to complain about not being able to use Hotstar on Safari, the company's official support account asserted that "technical limitations" on Apple's part were the bottleneck. "These limitations have been from Safari; there is very little we can do on this," the account tweeted Friday evening. Sources at Hotstar told TechCrunch that this was not an accurate description of the event. Instead, company's engineers had identified a security hole that was being exploited by unauthorized users to access and distribute Hotstar's content -- including the premium catalog. Hotstar, which assumes the global record for
most concurrent views on a live event, is operated by Star India, a media conglomerate in India that was
part of 20th Century Fox that Disney acquired earlier this year.
Project Scarlett is the Next Xbox Console, Launching in Holiday 2020
Project Scarlett is the
next Microsoft video game console. Phil Spencer, executive vice president of gaming at the company, announced the hardware during Microsoft's E3 2019 press briefing. From a report:
"The console should be optimized for one thing and one thing only," said Spencer, "gaming." Spencer explained the console has been developed by the team responsible for the Xbox One X. A promotional video featuring various Xbox employees promised variable refresh rates, real-time ray tracing, 8K resolution and frame rates up to 120 frames per second, and a new SSD that has upwards of 40 times better performance over the current generation. The tech at the heart of the console -- which Microsoft said is four times as powerful as the Xbox One X -- will be a custom chip based on AMD's Zen 2 and Navi technology.
Interviews: For the 25th Birthday of FreeDOS, Ask Its Founder A Question
FreeDOS was originally created in response to Microsoft's announcement that after Windows 95,
DOS would no longer be developed as a standalone operating system, according to Computerworld's 2016 interview with FreeDOS's founder and project coordinator, Jim Hall. "I packaged my own extended DOS utilities, as did others," he
explains on the FreeDOS web site, "and we found other public domain or open source programs that replaced other DOS commands."
But that was back in 1994, when Jim Hall was still a college student. He went on to spend 11 years as a CIO in local government and the public sector, and served a year on the GNOME Foundation's board of directors. Now it's been 25 years, and as a prominent free software advocate, Hall contacted Slashdot to remind us that the FreeDOS Project "will turn 25 years old on June 29, 2019. This is a huge milestone for any open source software project, and especially for an open source DOS project."
So in honor of FreeDOS's 25th birthday, he's agreed to answer the 10 best questions submitted by Slashdot readers. Leave your questions in the comments. (Ask as many questions as you'd like, but please, one per comment.) We'll pick the very best questions and forward them along for answers.
What else has Jim been up to? "I've decided I want to focus on coaching, advising, and mentoring IT Leaders," explains his page on the FreeDOS site. "I am starting an IT Executive Consulting practice, IT Mentor Group LLC, to help IT Leaders with strategic planning and organizational turnarounds. I am really excited for this new opportunity. It's not every day that you start your own business!"
Jim Hall is also Slashdot reader #2,985...
"Jim isn't rich or famous," wrote RobLimo back in 2000, "just an old-fashioned open source contributor who helped start a humble but useful project back in 1994 and still works on it as much as he can." At this URL you can read the
questions he was asked by Slashdot users in 2000 -- and
the answers he gave, just six years into the FreeDOS project.
Then leave your own best questions in the comments below -- one question per comment -- and we'll send them along to Jim to answer for the 25th anniversary of FreeDOS.
A 'Premium' Firefox Is Coming This Fall
An anonymous reader quotes I Programmer:
In an interview by Jan Vollmer for the German online magazine site t3n, Mozilla CEO Chris Beard has confirmed plans to launch Firefox Premium later this year. Answering Vollmer's questions about how Mozilla is currently monetized Beard answered:
We are working on three sources of income and we want to rebalance them: We have Search, but we also make content. We have a company called Pocket that discovers and curates content. There is also sponsored content. This is the content business. And the third one we are working on and developing as we think about products and services are premium levels for some of these offerings. You can imagine something like a secure storage solution.
Prompted to say more about a premium offer, he continued:
We also tested VPN. We can tell if you're on a public Wi-Fi network and want to do online banking and say, "Wow, you really should use VPN." You can imagine we'll offer a solution that gives us all a certain amount of free VPN Bandwidth and then offer a premium level over a monthly subscription. We want to add more subscription services to our mix and focus more on the relationship with the user to become more resilient in business issues.
Later in the interview, when asked when the subscription services might start Beard tries to be reassuring, saying:
So, what we want to clarify is that there is no plan to charge money for things that are now free. So we will roll out a subscription service and offer a premium level. And the plan is to introduce the first one this year, towards fall. We aim for October.