From Software Developer To CEO: Red Hat's Matt Hicks On His Journey To the Top
ZDNet's Stephanie Condon
spoke with Red Hat's new CEO, Matt Hicks, a veteran of the company that's been working there for over 14 years. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from their discussion:
Matt Hicks, Red Hat's new CEO, doesn't have the background of your typical chief executive. He studied computer hardware engineering in college. He began his career as an IT consultant at IBM. His on-the-ground experience, however, is one of his core assets as the company's new leader, Hicks says. "The markets are changing really quickly," he tells ZDNet. "And just having that intuition -- of where hardware is going, having spent time in the field with what enterprise IT shops struggle with and what they do well, and then having a lot of years in Red Hat engineering -- I know that's intuition that I'll lean on... Around that, there's a really good team at Red Hat, and I get to lean on their expertise of how to best deliver, but that I love having that core intuition."
Hicks believes his core knowledge helps him to guide the company's strategic bets. While his experience is an asset, Hicks says it's not a given that a good developer will make a good leader. You also need to know how to communicate your ideas persuasively. "You can't just be the best coder in the room," he says. "Especially in STEM and engineering, the softer skills of learning how to present, learning how to influence a group and show up really well in a leadership presentation or at a conference -- they really start to define people's careers."
Hicks says that focus on influence is an important part of his role now that he didn't relish earlier in his career. "I think a lot of people don't love that," he says. "And yet, you can be the best engineer on the planet and work hard, but if you can't be heard, if you can't influence, it's harder to deliver on those opportunities." Hicks embraced the art of persuasion to advance his career. And as an open-source developer, he learned to embrace enterprise products to advance Red Hat's mission. He joined Red Hat just a few years after Paul Cormier -- then Red Hat's VP of engineering, and later Hicks' predecessor as CEO -- moved the company from its early distribution, Red Hat Linux, to Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). It was a move that not everyone liked. [...] "As he settles into his new role as CEO, the main challenge ahead of Hicks will be picking the right industries and partners to pursue at the edge," writes Condon. "Red Hat is already working at the edge, in a range of different industries. It's working with General Motors on Ultifi, GM's end-to-end software platform, and it's partnering with ABB, one of the world's leading manufacturing automation companies. It's also working with Verizon on hybrid mobile edge computing. Even so, the opportunity is vast. Red Hat expects to see around $250 billion in spending at the edge by 2025."
"There'll be a tremendous growth of applications that are written to be able to deliver to that," Hicks says. "And so our goals in the short term are to pick the industries and build impactful partnerships in those industries -- because it's newer, and it's evolving."
US Attorneys General Will Take Legal Action Against Telecom Providers Enabling Robocalls
The Attorneys General of all 50 states have
joined forces in hopes of
giving teeth to the seemingly never-ending fight against robocalls. Engadget reports:
North Carolina AG Josh Stein, Indiana AG Todd Rokita and Ohio AG Dave Yost are leading the formation of the new Anti-Robocall Litigation Task Force. In Stein's announcement, he said the group will focus on taking legal action against telecoms, particularly gateway providers, allowing or turning a blind eye to foreign robocalls made to US numbers. He explained that gateway providers routing foreign phone calls into the US telephone network have the responsibility under the law to ensure the traffic they're bringing in is legal. Stein said that they mostly aren't taking any action to keep robocalls out of the US phone network, though, and they're even intentionally allowing robocall traffic through in return for steady revenue in many cases.
Stein said in a statement: "We're... going to take action against phone companies that violate state and federal laws. I'm proud to create this nationwide task force to hold companies accountable when they turn a blind eye to the robocallers they're letting on to their networks so they can make more money. I've already brought one pathbreaking lawsuit against an out-of-state gateway provider, and I won't hesitate to take legal action against others who break our laws and bombard North Carolinians with these harmful, unlawful calls."
Apple Might Remove the Headphone Jack From Its Next Entry-Level iPad
Apple's upcoming entry-level iPad is
rumored to cut the 3.5mm headphone jack, joining the iPad Pro, iPad Air, iPad Mini, and the entire iPhone lineup. The Verge reports:
MySmartPrice says the CAD renders are sourced from a case maker working on accessories for what will be the 10th-generation iPad. It's a substantial redesign from the classic iPad design that has been left largely untouched for years; Apple increased the display size slightly in 2017 and has made other internal hardware upgrades, but the overall look has remained consistent. It appears that's about to change, with the new iPad sharing the same flat-sides aesthetic as recent iPhones, iPads, the 14-inch / 16-inch MacBook Pro, and 2022 MacBook Air. Both 9to5Mac and MacRumors reported on the renders. But as always, treat these easily faked images with a healthy amount of skepticism.
The home button remains present, which means so do the sizable bezels above and below the display. MySmartPrice reports that the screen should be larger than the current 10.2-inch model, and there's a redesigned camera on the iPad's back reminiscent of the module from the iPhone X. The revamped iPad has a USB-C port, which would complete the transition for Apple's tablet line. These renders also include quad speakers, and that's where I get somewhat doubtful of what we're seeing: only the iPad Pro is currently outfitted with four speakers, so if this pans out, the base-level iPad would be leapfrogging both the iPad Air and Mini in the audio department. That strikes me as unlikely, but it could also serve as Apple's justification for nixing the headphone jack from a product used in many classrooms and other scenarios where support for affordable wired headphones has been meaningful.
Crunchyroll Closes Deal To Acquire Anime Superstore Right Stuf
Crunchyroll announced that it's
acquired Right Stuf, one of the world's leading online anime superstores. "Expanding Crunchyroll's eCommerce offerings, the acquisition aims to serve anime fans and collectors an even wider array of merchandise for online purchase including manga, home video, figures, games, music and everything in between," writes the company in a post. From the report:
Founded in 1987, Right Stuf is a leading consumer source for anime pop culture merchandise online. By visiting its eCommerce portal, enthusiasts and collectors can find thousands of products, including Blu-rays, manga books, music, figurines, collectables, and more. Right Stuf also offers licensed anime home video products through its own label.
"For 35 years, Right Stuf's mission has been to connect anime fans with the products they love," said Shawne Kleckner, CEO of Right Stuf. "Joining forces with Crunchyroll allows us to accelerate and scale this effort more than ever before. There has never been a more exciting time to be an anime fan than today!" Kleckner and the Right Stuf team will join Crunchyroll's Emerging Businesses organization, led by Terry Li. Sony
acquired Crunchyroll for $1.175 billion from AT&T, in a deal that closed in August 2021.
Record Labels' War On ISPs and Piracy Nets Multiple Settlements With Charter
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica:
Charter Communications has agreed to settle piracy lawsuits filed by the major record labels, which accused the cable Internet provider of failing to terminate the accounts of subscribers who illegally download copyrighted songs. Sony, Universal, Warner, and their various subsidiaries sued Charter in US District Court in Colorado in March 2019 in a suit that claimed the ISP helps subscribers pirate music by selling packages with higher Internet speeds. They filed another lawsuit against Charter in the same court in August 2021.
Both cases were settled. The record labels and Charter told the court of their settlements on Tuesday in filings (PDF) that said (PDF), "The Parties hereby notify the Court that they have resolved the above-captioned action." Upon the settlements, the court vacated the pending trials and asked the parties to submit dismissal papers within 28 days. Charter subsidiary Bright House Networks also settled (PDF) a similar lawsuit in US District Court for the Middle District of Florida this week. The record labels' case in Florida was settled one day before a scheduled trial, as TorrentFreak reported Tuesday. The case was dismissed with prejudice (PDF) after the settlement.
No details on any of the settlements were given in the documents notifying the courts. A three-week jury trial in one of the Colorado cases was scheduled to begin in June 2023 but is no longer needed. The question for Internet users is whether the settlements mean that Charter will be more aggressive in terminating subscribers who illegally download copyrighted material. Charter declined to comment today when we asked if it agreed to increase account terminations of subscribers accused of piracy. "Even if the settlements have no specific provision on terminating subscribers, Charter presumably has to pay the record labels to settle the claims," adds Ars' Jon Brodkin. "That could make the country's second-biggest ISP more likely to terminate subscribers accused of piracy in order to prevent future lawsuits."
Tutanota Cries Antitrust Foul Over Microsoft Teams Blocking Sign-Ups For Its Email Users
Microsoft is being called out for
blocking users of the end-to-end encrypted email service Tutanota from registering an account with its cloud-based collaboration platform, Teams, if they try to do that using a Tutanota email address. TechCrunch reports:
The problem, which has been going on unrectified for some time -- with an initial complaint raised with Microsoft support back in January 2021 -- appears to have arisen because it treats Tutanota as a corporate email, rather than what it actually is (and has always been), an email service. This misclassification means that when a Tutanota email user tries to use this email address to register an account with Teams they get a classic "computer says no' response -- with the interface blocking the registration and suggesting the person "contact your admin or try a different email."
"When the first Tutanota user registered a Teams account, they were assigned the domain. That's why now everyone who logs in with Tutanota address should report to their 'admin' (see screenshot)," explains a spokeswoman for Tutanota when asked why they think this is happening. To get past this denial -- and register a Teams account -- the Tutanota user has to enter a non-Tutanota email. (Such as, for example, a Microsoft email address.)
To get past this denial -- and register a Teams account -- the Tutanota user has to enter a non-Tutanota email. (Such as, for example, a Microsoft email address.) In a blog post detailing the saga, Tutanota co-founder, Matthias Pfau, dubs Microsoft's behavior a "severe anti-competitive practice." "Politicians on both sides of the Atlantic are discussing stronger antitrust legislation to regulate Big Tech. These laws are badly needed as the example of Microsoft blocking Tutanota users from registering a Teams account demonstrates," he writes. "The problem: Big Tech companies have the market power to harm smaller competitors with some very easy steps like refusing smaller companies' customers from using their own services." "This is just one example of how Microsoft can and does abuse its dominant market position to harm competitors, which in turn also harms consumers," he adds. [...]
"As earlier discussed, we are unable to make your domain a public domain. The domain has already been used for Microsoft Teams. If teams have been used with a specific domain, it can't work as a vanity/public domain," runs another of Microsoft's support's shrugging-off responses. Tutanota kept on trying to press for a reason why Microsoft could not reclassify the domain for weeks -- but just hit the same brick wall denial. Hence it's going public with its complaint now. "The conversation went back and forth for at lest six weeks until we finally gave up -- due to the repeated response that they would not change this," the spokeswoman added. In an update, a Microsoft spokesperson said: "We are currently looking into the issue raised by Tutanota."
Visa, Mastercard Suspend Payment For Ad Purchases On PornHub and MindGeek
Visa and Mastercard said Thursday card payments for
advertising on Pornhub and its parent company MindGeek would be suspended after a lawsuit
stoked controversy over whether the payments giants could be facilitating child pornography. CNBC reports:
A federal judge in California on Friday denied Visa's motion to dismiss a lawsuit by a woman who accuses the payment processor of knowingly facilitating the distribution of child pornography on Pornhub and other sites operated by parent company MindGeek. Visa CEO and Chairman Al Kelly said in a statement Thursday that he strongly disagrees with this court and is confident in his position. "Visa condemns sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, and child sexual abuse," Kelly said. "It is illegal, and Visa does not permit the use of our network for illegal activity. Our rules explicitly and unequivocally prohibit the use of our products to pay for content that depicts nonconsensual sexual behavior or child sexual abuse. We are vigilant in our efforts to deter this, and other illegal activity on our network."
Kelly said the court decision created uncertainty about the role of TrafficJunky, MindGeek's advertising arm, and accordingly, the company will suspend its Visa acceptance privileges until further notice. During this suspension, Visa cards will not be able to be used to purchase advertising on any sites, including Pornhub or other MindGeek-affiliated sites, Kelly said. "It is Visa's policy to follow the law of every country in which we do business. We do not make moral judgments on legal purchases made by consumers, and we respect the rightful role of lawmakers to make decisions about what is legal and what is not," Kelly said. "Visa can be used only at MindGeek studio sites that feature adult professional actors in legal adult entertainment."
Separately, Mastercard told CNBC it's directing financial institutions to suspend acceptance of its products at TrafficJunky following the court ruling. "New facts from last week's court ruling made us aware of advertising revenue outside of our view that appears to provide Pornhub with indirect funding," a statement from Mastercard said. "This step will further enforce our December 2020 decision to terminate the use of our products on that site." At that time, Visa also suspended sites that contained user-generated content and acceptance on those sites has not been reinstated.
The Founder of GeoCities On What Killed the 'Old Internet'
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo, written by Jody Serrano:
In the early aughts, my wheezing dialup connection often operated as if it were perpetually out of breath. Thus, unlike my childhood friends, it was near to impossible for me to watch videos, TV shows, or listen to music. Far from feeling limited, I felt like I was lucky, for I had access to an encyclopedia of lovingly curated pages about anything I wanted to know -- which in those days was anime -- the majority of which was conveniently located on GeoCities. For all the zoomers scrunching up their brows, here's a primer. Back in the 1990s, before the birth of modern web hosting household names like GoDaddy and WP Engine, it wasn't exactly easy or cheap to publish a personal website. This all changed when GeoCities came on the scene in 1994.
The company gave anyone their own little space of the web if they wanted it, providing users with roughly 2 MB of space for free to create a website on any topic they wished. Millions took GeoCities up on its offer, creating their own homemade websites with web counters, flashing text, floating banners, auto-playing sound files, and Comic Sans. Unlike today's Wild Wild Internet, websites on GeoCities were organized into virtual neighborhoods, or communities, built around themes. "HotSprings" was dedicated to health and fitness, while "Area 51" was for sci-fi and fantasy nerds. There was a bottom-up focus on users and the content they created, a mirror of what the public internet was like in its infancy. Overall, at least 38 million webpages were built on GeoCities. At one point, it was the third most-visited domain online. Yahoo acquired GeoCities in 1999 for $3.6 billion. The company lived on for a decade more until Yahoo shut it down in 2009, deleting millions of sites.
Nearly two decades have passed since GeoCities, founded by David Bohnett, made its debut, and there is no doubt that the internet is a very different place than it was then. No longer filled with webpages on random subjects made by passionate folks, it now feels like we live in a cyberspace dominated by skyscrapers -- named Facebook, Google, Amazon, Twitter, and so on -- instead of neighborhoods. [...] We can, however, ask GeoCities' founder what he thinks of the internet of today, subsumed by social media networks, hate speech, and more corporate than ever. Bohnett now focuses on funding entrepreneurs through Baroda Ventures, an early-stage tech fund he founded, and on philanthropy with the David Bohnett Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to social justice and social activism that he chairs. Right off the bat, Bohnett says something that strikes me. It may, in fact, be the sentence that summarizes the key distinction between the internet of the '90s-early 2000s and the internet we have today. "GeoCities was not about self-promotion," Bohnett told Gizmodo in an interview. "It was about sharing your interest and your knowledge." When asked to share his thoughts on the internet of today, Bohnett said: "... The heart of GeoCities was sharing your knowledge and passions about subjects with other people. It really wasn't about what you had to eat and where you've traveled. [...] It wasn't anything about your face." He added: "So, what has surprised me is how far away we've gotten from that original intent and how difficult it is [now]. It's so fractured these days for people to find individual communities. [...] I've been surprised at sort of the evolution away from self-generated content and more toward centralized programing and more toward sort of the self-promotion that we've seen on Facebook and Instagram and TikTok."
Bohnett went on to say that he thinks it's important to remember that "the pace of innovation on the internet continues to accelerate, meaning we're not near done. In the early days when you had dial up and it was the desktop, how could you possibly envision an Uber?"
"We're still in that trajectory where there's going to be various technologies and ways of communicating with each other, [as well as] wearable devices, blockchain technology, virtual reality, that will be as astounding as Uber seemed in the early days of GeoCities," added Bohnett. "I'm very, very excited about the future, which is why I continue to invest in early-stage startups because as I say, the pace of innovation accelerates and builds on top of itself. It's so exciting to see where we might go."
Philippines Legislator Offers Up Bill That Would Criminalize 'Ghosting'
An anonymous reader shares a report:
Real problems are what legislators are supposed to be solving. The Philippines has plenty of those, ranging from (government-endorsed) extrajudicial killings of drug dealers and drug users to abuses of state power to silence journalists to the actual murders of human rights activists. But legislators with their own axes to grind will always find ways to hone this edge, even if it means subjecting themselves to international ridicule. Enter Representative Arnolfo "Arnie" Teves, Jr. The rep has introduced a bill that would criminalize the act of "ghosting." For those unfamiliar with internet slang, it may appear Teves is trying to criminalize the act of being a ghost. (Webster's Ye Olde English Dictionary, perhaps.) But ghosts actually engage in "haunting," which is not the same thing as "ghosting." Ghosting is something else. Ghosting is disengaging from a relationship (short-term or long-term) by ignoring all calls, IMs, text messages, emails, etc. from a paramour until the problem ultimately solves itself. If one interested person can't get a response from a disinterested person, sooner or later the interested person stops trying.
Equifax Issued Wrong Credit Scores For Millions of Consumers
Credit giant Equifax
sent lenders incorrect credit scores for millions of consumers this spring, in a technology snafu with major real-world impact. From a report:
In certain cases the errors were significant enough -- the differential was at least 25 points for around 300,000 consumers -- that some would-be borrowers may have been wrongfully denied credit, the company said in a statement. The problem occurred because of a "coding issue" when making a change to one of Equifax's servers, according to the company, which said the issue "was in place over a period of a few weeks [and] resulted in the potential miscalculation" of credit scores. While Equifax did not specify dates or figures, a June 1 alert from housing agency Freddie Mac to its clients said Equifax told the agency that about 12% of all credit scores released from March 17 to April 6 may be have been incorrect. Equifax wrote that "there was no shift in the vast majority of scores" and that "credit reports were not affected." But the company declined to comment to CNN Business about how people can learn whether they were among those whose credit scores were incorrectly reported -- and what recourse they may have if they were issued loans at a higher rate or denied a loan outright because of the snafu.
US Officials Declare Monkeypox a Public Health Emergency
The Biden administration
declared monkeypox a public health emergency on Thursday as cases topped 6,600 nationwide. From a report:
The declaration could facilitate access to emergency funds, allow health agencies to collect more data about cases and vaccinations, accelerate vaccine distribution and make it easier for doctors to prescribe treatment. "We're prepared to take our response to the next level in addressing this virus and we urge every American to take monkeypox seriously and to take responsibility to help us tackle this virus," Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra said in a Thursday briefing about the emergency declaration. A quarter of U.S. cases are in New York state, which declared a state of emergency last week. California and Illinois followed suit with emergency declarations Monday.
GitLab Plans To Delete Dormant Projects in Free Accounts
GitLab plans to
automatically delete projects if they've been inactive for a year and are owned by users of its free tier, The Register reported Thursday. From the report:
The Register has learned that such projects account for up to a quarter of GitLab's hosting costs, and that the auto-deletion of projects could save the cloudy coding collaboration service up to $1 million a year. The policy has therefore been suggested to help GitLab's finances remain sustainable. People with knowledge of the situation, who requested anonymity as they are not authorized to discuss it with the media, told The Register the policy is scheduled to come into force in September 2022. GitLab is aware of the potential for angry opposition to the plan, and will therefore give users weeks or months of warning before deleting their work. A single comment, commit, or new issue posted to a project during a 12-month period will be sufficient to keep the project alive. The Register understands some in the wider GitLab community worry that the policy could see projects disappear before users have the chance to archive code on which they rely. As many open-source projects are widely used, it is feared that the decision could have considerable negative impact.
Record Amount of Seaweed Chokes Caribbean Beaches and Shoreline
A record amount of seaweed is smothering Caribbean coasts from Puerto Rico to Barbados as tons of brown algae kill wildlife, choke the tourism industry and release toxic gases. More than 24 million tons of sargassum blanketed the Atlantic in June, up from 18.8 million tons in May, according to a monthly report published by the University of South Florida's Optical Oceanography Lab, which noted it as "a new historical record." July saw no decrease of algae in the Caribbean Sea, said Chuanmin Hu, an optical oceanography professor who helps produce the reports. "I was scared," he recalled feeling when he saw the historic number for June. He noted that it was 20% higher than the previous record set in May 2018. Hu compiled additional data for the Associated Press that showed sargassum levels for the eastern Caribbean at a near record high this year, second only to those reported in July 2018. Levels in the northern Caribbean are at their third-highest, following July 2018 and July 2021, he said.
Solana Hack Blamed on Slope Mobile Wallet Exploit
Thousands of Solana users collectively lost about $4.5 million worth of SOL and other tokens from Tuesday night into early Wednesday, and now there's a likely explanation for why: it's being blamed on
a private key exploit tied to mobile software wallet Slope. From a report:
On Wednesday afternoon, the official Solana Status Twitter account shared preliminary findings through collaboration between developers and security auditors, and said that "it appears affected addresses were at one point created, imported, or used in Slope mobile wallet applications."
"This exploit was isolated to one wallet on Solana, and hardware wallets used by Slope remain secure," the thread continues. "While the details of exactly how this occurred are still under investigation, but private key information was inadvertently transmitted to an application monitoring service." "There is no evidence the Solana protocol or its cryptography was compromised," the account added. Some Phantom wallets were also drained of their SOL and tokens in the attack, however it appears that those wallets' holders had previously interacted with a Slope wallet. "Phantom has reason to believe that the reported exploits are due to complications related to importing accounts to and from Slope," the Phantom team tweeted today.
Starbucks To Unveil Its Web3-Based Rewards Program Next Month
unveil its web3 initiative, which includes coffee-themed NFTs, at next month's Investor Day event. From a report:
The company earlier this year announced its plans to enter the web3 space, noting its NFTs wouldn't just serve as digital collectibles, but would provide their owners with access to exclusive content and other perks. At the time, Starbucks was light on details as to what its debut set of NFTs would look like, specific features they'd provide or even what blockchain it was building on. It said the plan was likely to be multichain or chain-agnostic, hinting at plans that weren't yet finalized. Overall, the coffee retailer kept its web3 news fairly high level, explaining simply that it believed digital collectibles could create an accretive business adjust to its stores and that more would be revealed later in 2022.
Meta is Expanding NFT Support on Instagram To 100 Countries
Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced today that the company is
beginning its international expansion of NFT support on Instagram. The expansion follows the social network's initial NFT test launch in May. With this expansion, users and businesses in more than 100 countries in Africa, Asia-Pacific, the Middle East and the Americas will now be able to share their NFTs on Instagram. Prior to the expansion, the support was only available to select creators in the United States. From a report:
The company also announced today that Coinbase Wallet and Dapper Wallet are now accepted as a third-party wallet compatible for use. Instagram is also expanding its supported blockchains to include Flow. Instagram's NFT functionality allows users to connect a digital wallet, share NFTs and automatically tag both a creator and collector for attribution. You can share NFTs in your main Instagram Feed, Stories or in messages. Once you post a digital collectible, it will have a shimmer effect and can display public information, such as a description of the NFT. In order to post a digital collectible on Instagram, you need to connect your digital wallet to Instagram. As of today, Instagram supports connections with third-party wallets including Rainbow, MetaMask, Trust Wallet and Coinbase Wallet, with Dapper Wallet coming soon. Supported blockchains include Ethereum, Polygon and Flow. The social network notes that there are no fees associated with posting or sharing a digital collectible on Instagram.
At Long Last, Mathematical Proof That Black Holes Are Stable
reporting for Quanta Magazine:
In 1963, the mathematician Roy Kerr found a solution to Einstein's equations that precisely described the space-time outside what we now call a rotating black hole. (The term wouldn't be coined for a few more years.) In the nearly six decades since his achievement, researchers have tried to show that these so-called Kerr black holes are stable. What that means, explained Jeremie Szeftel, a mathematician at Sorbonne University, "is that if I start with something that looks like a Kerr black hole and give it a little bump" -- by throwing some gravitational waves at it, for instance -- "what you expect, far into the future, is that everything will settle down, and it will once again look exactly like a Kerr solution." The opposite situation -- a mathematical instability -- "would have posed a deep conundrum to theoretical physicists and would have suggested the need to modify, at some fundamental level, Einstein's theory of gravitation," said Thibault Damour, a physicist at the Institute of Advanced Scientific Studies in France.
In a 912-page paper posted online on May 30, Szeftel, Elena Giorgi of Columbia University and Sergiu Klainerman of Princeton University have proved that slowly rotating Kerr black holes are indeed stable. The work is the product of a multiyear effort. The entire proof -- consisting of the new work, an 800-page paper by Klainerman and Szeftel from 2021, plus three background papers that established various mathematical tools -- totals roughly 2,100 pages in all. The new result "does indeed constitute a milestone in the mathematical development of general relativity," said Demetrios Christodoulou, a mathematician at the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology Zurich. Shing-Tung Yau, an emeritus professor at Harvard University who recently moved to Tsinghua University, was similarly laudatory, calling the proof "the first major breakthrough" in this area of general relativity since the early 1990s. "It is a very tough problem," he said. He did stress, however, that the new paper has not yet undergone peer review. But he called the 2021 paper, which has been approved for publication, both "complete and exciting."
Samsung Workers in Vietnam Bear Brunt of Slowdown in Global Demand for Electronics
Samsung has scaled back production at its massive smartphone plant in Vietnam, employees say, as retailers and warehouses grapple with rising inventory amid a global fall in consumer spending. From
America's largest warehouse market is full and major U.S. retailers such as Best Buy and Target warn of slowing sales as shoppers tighten their belts after early COVID-era spending binges. The effect is acutely felt in Vietnam's northern province of Thai Nguyen, one of Samsung's two mobile manufacturing bases in the country where the world's largest smartphone vendor churns out half of its phone output, according to the Vietnam government.
Samsung, which shipped around 270 million smartphones in 2021, says the campus has the capacity to make around 100 million devices a year, according to its website. "We are going to work just three days per week, some lines are adjusting to a four-day workweek instead of six before, and of course no overtime is needed," Pham Thi Thuong, a 28-year-old worker at the plant told Reuters. "Business activities were even more robust during this time last year when the COVID-19 outbreak was at its peak. It's so tepid now."
Tencent Seeks Bigger Stake in 'Assassin's Creed' Maker Ubisoft
plans to raise its stake in French video game group Ubisoft Entertainment as the Chinese gaming giant pivots to the global gaming market,
Reuters reported Thursday, citing four sources with direct knowledge of the matter. From the report:
China's largest social network and gaming firm, which bought a 5% stake in Ubisoft in 2018, has reached out to the French firm's founding Guillemot family and expressed interest in increasing its stake in the firm, the sources said. It is not clear how much more Tencent wants to own in Ubisoft, valued at $5.3 billion, but Tencent aims to become the single largest shareholder of the French company with an additional stake purchase, two of the sources said, speaking on condition of anonymity. Tencent is hoping to buy a part of the additional stake in Ubisoft, the maker of the blockbuster "Assassin's Creed" video game franchise, from the Guillemot family, which owns 15% of the firm, three of the sources said. Tencent could offer up to 100 euros ($101.84) per share to acquire the additional stake, two of the sources with knowledge of the internal discussions, said. It paid 66 euros per share for the 5% stake in 2018.
Microsoft Justifies Activision Blizzard's $69 Billion Acquisition By Telling Regulator Call of Duty Publisher Doesn't Release 'Unique' Games
Microsoft has recently tried to justify its $68.7 billion acquisition of Activision Blizzard by telling regulators that the deal with the Call of Duty publisher will not negatively impact the market and other platforms because it
does not release "unique" or "must have" games. From a report:
In a document presented to the New Zealand Business Acquisitions and Authorisations Commerce Commission, Microsoft claimed that no Activision Blizzard game has "unique" characteristics, so its rivals would do well without Activision Blizzard titles and would be able to compete in the gaming market. "With respect to Activision Blizzard video games, there is nothing unique about the video games developed and published by Activision Blizzard that is a "must have" for rival PC and console video game distributors that could give rise to a foreclosure concern," the company said.
GM Is Doubling the Size of Its Super Cruise Network In the US, Canada
General Motors' Super Cruise advanced driver assistance network
will soon double in size to 400,000 miles across the U.S. and Canada by the end of the year. Engadget reports:
The Super Cruise system -- and its successor, Ultra Cruise -- relies on a mix of high-fidelity LiDAR maps, GPS, and onboard visual and radar sensors to know where the vehicle is on the road. So far, those maps, which dictate where features like Hands-Free Driving can operate, have only included major, divided highways like interstates with the big median barriers. Smaller, undivided public highways -- aka State Routes -- were not included, in part because of the added ADAS challenges presented by oncoming traffic, until now.
"This expansion will enable Super Cruise to work on some additional divided highways, but the big news is this the bulk of the expansion will allow Super Cruise to operate on non-divided highways," David Craig, GM's Chief of Maps, said during Tuesday's call. "These non-divided highways are typically the state and federal highways... that connect the smaller cities and townships across the US and Canada." These will include Route 66, the Pacific Coast Highway (aka CA Route 1), the Overseas Highway (aka US Route 1) and the Trans-Canada Highway. "if you look at I-35 which is the interstate that runs North and South up the middle of the United States, and look to the West, you will see that the Super Cruise coverage currently is just the major interstates, which is fairly sparse," Craig continued. "But in the expansion, you can see that it's just a spiderweb of roads covering the entire area. All the little townships are going to be connected now." The company said that every new Super Cruise-enabled GM vehicle will be equipped with the full 400,000-mile capabilities, as will 2021 and 2022 GM vehicles outfitted with the VIP (Vehicle Intelligence Platform) architecture. Vehicles with Super Cruise but without VIP will receive a smaller update.
'CSS Crimes' Turn Social Media Posts Into Games
Alexis Ong writes via The Verge:
It is a truth universally acknowledged that if you build something on the internet, people will find ways to creatively break it. This is exactly what happened with cohost, a new social media platform that allows posts with CSS. Digging through the #interactables hashtag on cohost reveals a bounty of clickable, CSS-enabled experiments that go far beyond GIFs -- there's a WarioWare mug-catching game, an interactive Habbo tribute, magnetic fridge poetry, this absolutely bananas cog machine, and even a "playable" Game Boy Color (which was, at one point, used for a "GIF plays Pokemon" event). Yes, there's also Doom. The cohost team embraced the madness. It was the beginning of a creative avalanche that simply isn't possible on other social media sites -- a phenomenon that the cohost community has since dubbed "CSS crimes."