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NewsBot

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  1. Amendments have been passed by the Bulgarian Parliament requiring all software written for the government to be open source and developed in a public repository, making custom software procured by the government accessible to everyone. Article 58 of the Electronic Governance Act states that administrative authorities must include the following requirements: "When the subject of the contract includes the development of computer programs, computer programs must meet the criteria for open-source software; all copyright and related rights on the relevant computer programs, their source code,
  2. Freedom of Expression on the Internet is taken for granted by many of us. Around the world, headlines are heralding the fact that the UN has passed a resolution which reaffirms Internet Access as a human right and condemns any country which blocks certain parts of the Internet for any reason. The non-binding resolution reaffirms each country’s commitment to “Address security concerns on the Internet in accordance with their obligations to protect freedom of expression, privacy and other human rights online.” While over 70 countries supported this resolution on the “promotion, protection, and e
  3. AMD and Intel released the first 64-bit CPUs for consumers back in 2003 and 2004. Now, more than a decade later, Linux distributions are looking at winding down support for 32-bit hardware. Google already took this leap back in 2015, dumping 32-bit versions of Chrome for Linux. Ubuntu’s Dimitri John Ledkov put forth a proposal to wind down 32-bit support on the Ubuntu mailing list recently. Hardware that can’t run 64-bit software is becoming much less common, while creating 32-bit images, testing them, and supporting them takes time and effort. (On Linux, the “i386” architecture is t
  4. People may joke that others spend too much time on the internet, but this intricate series of tubes has become an important part of everyday life—so much so that it’s become a human rights violation to take it away. That’s according to the United Nations Human Rights Council, which passed a non-binding resolution in June that condemns countries that intentionally take away or disrupt its citizens’ internet access. The resolution was passed last Friday, but was opposed by countries including Russia, China, Saudi Arabia, South Africa, and India. The issue was with the passage that “con
  5. Microsoft just released yet another Win10 upgrade nag system, disguised as a "Recommended" patch for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows 8.1 systems. According to the KB 3173040 article, if you have Windows set to automatically install updates, and have the Windows Update "Check for updates but let me choose whether to download and install them" box checked, your machine will suddenly sprout a full-screen purple message that says: View the full article
  6. It has been six months since the company formerly known as Dice (DHI Group) sold off Slashdot Media—the business unit that runs Slashdot and SourceForge—to BIZX, LLC, a San Diego-based digital media company. Since then, the new management has been moving to erase some of the mistakes made under the previous regime—mistakes that led to the site becoming a bit of a pariah among open source and free software developers. In an e-mail to Ars, Logan Abbott—the new president of Slashdot and SourceForge—said, "SourceForge was in the media a lot last year due to several transgressions, which we ha
  7. Microsoft has released a new update rollup for Windows 7 users that brings an important pack of improvements to computers still running this OS version - according to third-party stats, Windows 7 continues to be used on some 45 percent of the PCs out there. The June 2016 update rollup for Windows 7 SP1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 includes fixes and performance improvements, so it doesn’t bring any new security patches. These continue to be part of the Patch Tuesday rollout taking place on the second Tuesday of each month. Microsoft announced in May this year that it would start rollin
  8. If you’ve ever tested your internet speeds, you’ve probably used Ookla’s Speed Test or maybe even Netflix’s new Fast.com. There’s also a good chance that you’ve simply Google searched “speed test” to get you to one of those websites. In hopes to court users away from Ookla and Netflix, it looks like Google is building its own internet speed test tool right into search results. First uncovered by Dr. Pete Meyers on Twitter, the speed test function can simply be activated by searching “check internet speed.” As you can see in the screenshot below, the test takes less than 30 seconds and is
  9. A few weeks ago we wrote about how Cable One CEO Thomas Might recently crowed that his company had implemented a system that managed to deliver worse customer service to customers with low credit scores. According to Might, the company had developed a "very rigorous FICI credit scoring process" on its video customers since 2013 that involves somehow flagging the accounts so that company support representatives don't spend as much time on support with those users as they otherwise would. "We don't turn people away," Might said, but he added that the cable company's support staff isn't goin
  10. A new program unveiled in Germany promises full, end-to-end encryption for emails sent by even the most technophobic internet users. Deutsche Telekom and the Fraunhofer research institute collaborated on the software. German telecommunications giant Deutsche Telekom unveiled on Wednesday a new internet security project it has developed with the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology (SIT). The new program, available for Windows, is called Volksverschlüsselung, or "people's encryption." The program will allow a user's computer to send encrypted email with minimal set-
  11. Products from Symantec that are supposed to protect users have made them much more open to attack, according to Google. Researcher Tavis Ormandy has spotted numerous vulnerabilities in 25 Norton and Symantec products that are "as bad as it gets," he says. "Just emailing a file to a victim or sending them a link to an exploit is enough to trigger it -- the victim does not need to open the file or interact with it in any way." Symantec has already published fixes for the exploits, so users would do well to install them immediately. Google's Project Zero team searches for "zero-day" code fla
  12. One week after a federal court upheld the Federal Communications Commission’s landmark net neutrality policy, emboldened FCC officials are moving to advance an ambitious set of reforms that are already generating static from the broadband industry and its political allies. The decade-long battle over net neutrality, the principle that all content on the internet should be equally accessible to consumers, is not over. Industry giant AT&T has said it plans to join an appeal of the DC Circuit’s decision to the Supreme Court, and net neutrality foes in Congress continue to pursue their re
  13. In its early days as a streaming service, Netflix wasn’t just the biggest and best company on the block – it was the only one. In those heady days, Netflix was able to charge low subscription rates and still provide a catalog that included just about everything. As we’ve seen, that’s been changing. With new competition from companies like Hulu and Amazon, Netflix has seen streaming deals get pricier and customers get antsier. For a few years now, Netflix’s catalog has been shrinking while its prices have been rising. So where’s a streaming company to find new profits in a tight marke
  14. Internet startup culture has evolved and matured over the past five years, and there’s no better example of this than the RISE conference happening this week in Hong Kong. Whereas Silicon Valley was once the sole hub of internet innovation, startups here hail from Bangalore, Singapore, and other cities. The macho bravado many associate with the culture has even dampened somewhat—34% of attendees are women. As startup culture has gone global and transcended stereotypes, though, one of its defining traits has stuck around. Startup jargon is alive and well, and it seems to be getting worse.
  15. Intel Corp. attacked the European Commission for being unfair in a probe that led to a record 1.06 billion-euro ($1.2 billion) fine. The key issue in the investigation was loyalty rebates to lower retail prices, Daniel Beard, a lawyer for Intel, told the European Union’s Court of Justice in Luxembourg on Tuesday. But the European Commission failed to analyze “all relevant circumstances” to see if the rebates shut out rivals, he said. The world’s biggest chipmaker is making a final attempt to overturn the penalty doled out in 2009 for unfairly squeezing out Advanced Micro Devices Inc
  16. After six years of litigation, Sony is now agreeing to pay the price for its 2010 firmware update that removed support for the Linux operating system in the PlayStation 3. Sony and lawyers representing as many as 10 million console owners reached the deal on Friday. Under the terms of the accord, (PDF) which has not been approved by a California federal judge yet, gamers are eligible to receive $55 if they used Linux on the console. The proposed settlement, which will be vetted by a judge next month, also provides $9 to each console owner that bought a PS3 based on Sony's claims about "Ot
  17. Another day, another rumor that Apple is going to ditch the headphone jack on the next iPhone in favor of sending out audio over Lightning. Or another phone beats Apple to the punch by ditching the headphone jack in favor of passing out audio over USB-C. What exciting times for phones! We’re so out of ideas that actively making them s***tier and more user-hostile is the only innovation left. Look, I know you’re going to tell me that the traditional TRS headphone jack is a billion years old and prone to failure and that life is about progress and whatever else you need to repeat deliriousl
  18. Scanning, sharing and creating files just got easier thanks to a handful of new Dropbox features. During a press event in San Francisco, the file-hosting and cloud-service company announced several additions to its software platform, particularly with its mobile app for Apple iOS. The most notable update includes document scanning through the Dropbox app, and the ability to create Microsoft Office documents directly from the app with a front-and-center "plus" button. "For individuals, we're simplifying workflows," Dropbox vice president of product and design Todd Jackson said. "For t
  19. Before Microsoft Windows 10, users could customize all the systems sounds to be anything they wanted. Unfortunately, for reasons unbeknownst to the rest of us, Microsoft decided that certain sounds were off limits for customization in Windows 10. For example, you can't change sounds in the control panel for logon, logoff, and shutdown. But you don't have to let Microsoft get away with that, as long as you don't mind an excursion deep into the Windows 10 Registry file. Standard disclaimer: The Windows Registry file is vital to the operation of the Windows operating system. Incorrectly edit
  20. Publishers would love internet users to decide that, actually, they don't need to install an ad-blocker on their browser of choice. But a new report from research firm eMarketer suggested on Tuesday that there's no such hope on the horizon. U.S. internet users running ad blockers will grow this year to 69.8 million, or 26.3% of web users in the U.S., from 51.9 million, or 20%, last year, eMarketer said. In 2017, ad-blocking web surfers in the U.S. will total 86.6 million, or 32%. Desktop and laptop computers are still far more popular for ad-blocking than smartphones, the report foun
  21. Using two-step authentication, normally a code from an app or texted to you, is a crucial, but highly irritating, part of logging into all manner of things. From banking, Facebook, Twitter, Apple and Yahoo to World of Warcraft, Steam and Xbox Live, two-step authentication is seen as the way to make our insecure username and password system slightly safer. Most rely on typing in a freshly generated six or eight-digit code after having logged in with a username and password. Now Google is attempting to make the whole process less irritating and much faster, using a push notificati
  22. While some of Microsoft's older game titles, such as Age of Empires II HD (a 2013 update of a 1999 game) are found on Valve's Steam platform, its latest high-profile titles, such as Forza 6 Apex and Quantum Break, are exclusive to the Windows Store. But this is going to change, with Microsoft planning to release more titles on the popular store. Phil Spencer, head of the Xbox team at Microsoft, was talking on Giant Bomb's E3 stream, via GameSpot. When it comes to PC gaming, the Windows Store is very much an also-ran, with Steam the dominant force. As Spencer noted, "I don't think Valve's
  23. Microsoft will end the free upgrade to Windows 10 offer that’s available for Windows 7 and 8.1 users on July 29, which means that those who can benefit from this promo have less than 50 days to do it. Redmond launched its new operating system last year on July 29 and decided to offer it free of charge to those who were running Windows 7 and 8.1, giving them one full year to upgrade without paying a single cent. For those who are still unsure whether this comes with a catch, here’s the thing. You can upgrade to Windows 10 any time by July 29, 2016, and the operating system will be ava
  24. Ubuntu's "snappy" new way of packaging applications is no longer exclusive to Ubuntu. Canonical today is announcing that snapd, the tool that allows snap packages to be installed on Ubuntu, has been ported to other Linux distributions including Debian, Arch, Fedora, and Gentoo, among others. If you have no idea what the above paragraph means, here's a summary. Traditionally, applications for Ubuntu and similar distributions are packaged in the deb (short for Debian) format. These packages consist of the application a user wants to install, and they can also install other things that the p
  25. A federal court upheld net-neutrality regulations designed to ensure an open internet, handing a victory to the Obama administration and a defeat to telephone and cable providers. The Washington-based U.S. Court of Appeals Tuesday acted after a decade of debate over web access that pitted Silicon Valley against companies that provide internet access to homes and businesses. The court likened internet service providers to utilities, saying they “act as neutral, indiscriminate platforms for transmission of speech.” The ruling is a triumph for the Federal Communications Commission’s Dem
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