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In India, Engineers and MBAs Are Turning To Manual Labor To Survive the Economic Crash

Slashdot.org - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 10:31
As India's economy reels in the aftermath of one of the world's strictest lockdowns, a rural employment program has emerged as a lifeline for some of the tens of millions left jobless. From a report: The government program -- which aims to guarantee 100 days of unskilled work in rural areas -- was intended to combat poverty and reduce the volatility of agricultural wages. Now it is a potent symbol of how the middle-class dreams of millions of Indians are unraveling. The program is serving as a last resort for university graduates as well as former white-collar workers who find themselves with no other safety net. More than 17 million new entrants applied to access the program from April through mid-September. Nearly 60 million households participated during that time -- higher than the total for all of last year and the most in the program's 14-year history. The need is dire. India's economic output shrank by 24 percent in the three months to June compared to the same period last year, worse than any other major economy. During the nationwide lockdown, more than 120 million jobs were lost, most of them in the country's vast informal sector. Many of those workers have returned to work out of sheer necessity, often scraping by on far lower wages.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Epic, Spotify, Tinder-Parent Firm Match, Tile and More Form Coalition To Take on Apple's App Store Rules

Slashdot.org - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 09:48
More than a dozen app makers and other companies have joined together to form the Coalition for App Fairness, a nonprofit group that's taking aim at Apple and its App Store rules. Among the founding members are Spotify, Epic Games, ProtonMail, and Match Group, all of which have been vocal critics of the fees Apple charges developers. From a report: "As enforcers, regulators, and legislators around the world investigate Apple for its anti-competitive behavior, The Coalition for App Fairness will be the voice of app and game developers in the effort to protect consumer choice and create a level playing field for all," said Horacio Gutierrez, head of global affairs at Spotify, in a release on Thursday. The coalition comes as Apple is locked in a public battle with Fortnite developer Epic Games. Fortnite was kicked off both the Apple App Store and the Google Play Store in August after Epic attempted to bypass the 30% fee Apple and Google charge developers. Epic countered by filing lawsuits against both companies. Apple earlier this month raised the stakes further by requesting monetary damages if it convinces a judge that it was within its rights to kick Fortnite off its more than 1.5 billion active iPhones and iPads.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft To Release a Non-Subscription Office Suite in 2021

Slashdot.org - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 09:09
In a blog post announcing the next version of its Exchange Server, Microsoft has slipped in a single line that's bound to make those who hate paying subscription fees for Office apps happy. From a report: "Microsoft Office will also see a new perpetual release for both Windows and Mac, in the second half of 2021," the tech giant's Exchange team wrote, confirming that a new version of Office you can purchase with a one-time payment is coming next year. The company has been pushing Microsoft 365 for years now as the main way to get its Office apps. This subscription-based version of its suite gives you access to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook and other apps for a monthly payment. While you can use some of those apps for free online with a Microsoft account, you won't be able to install them on your PC like you'd be able to if you pay for a subscription. Further reading: Microsoft Really Doesn't Want You To Buy Office 2019.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Helping Googlers tackle student loan debtHelping Googlers tackle student loan debt

GoogleBlog - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 08:00

Today, we’re introducing a student loan repayment program for all Googlers in the U.S. Starting in 2021, Google will match up to $2,500 per Googler per year in student loan payments to help them pay off their student loans faster, allowing them to save money to use in other ways, whether it’s purchasing a new home, starting a family, or investing in a 401(k). We plan to expand the program globally over time.


Though student loan debt is an issue globally, Americans in particular face an enormous student loan deficit—$1.5 trillion dollars, twice what it was a decade ago. This burden disproportionately affects women and communities of color: For example, on average Black college graduates have $25,000 more in student debt than white graduates four years after completing a bachelor's degree. 


Lack of financial resources should not prevent someone from accessing the opportunities that come with education. For a long time, we’ve worked to increase access to education and help people get the skills they need to advance their careers and attain economic stability to better support themselves and their families. In July, we announced a new suite of Google Career Certificates that will help Americans get qualifications in high-paying high-growth job fields—no college degree required. Google will also consider the new career certificates as the equivalent of a four-year degree for entry-level related roles. Within Google, we've long focused on helping employees pay instruction costs for job-related and personal learning through education reimbursement. We’ve also been working with our vendor and staffing partners in the U.S. to provide a base level of educational benefits to those working on Google-related projects beginning in 2021.


Change starts at home. We’re hoping this student loan repayment program gives our workforce some relief from student loans and helps them build more financial stability over the long term. And we’ll keep looking for more ways to increase access to education and opportunity for everyone.

We're introducing a student loan repayment program for all Googlers in the U.S. starting in 2021, with plans to expand globally.
Categories: Technology

3D Printing Inside the Body Could Patch Stomach Ulcers

Slashdot.org - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 08:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Scientific American: Stomach ulcers and other gastric wounds afflict one in eight people worldwide, but common conventional therapies have drawbacks. Now scientists aim to treat such problems by exploring a new frontier in 3-D printing: depositing living cells directly inside the human body. [...] In their effort to treat stomach lesions less invasively, scientists in China wanted to develop a miniature bioprinting robot that could enter the human body with relative ease. The researchers used existing techniques for creating dexterous electronic devices, such as mechanical bees and cockroach-inspired robots, says the study's senior author Tao Xu, a bioengineer at Tsinghua University in Beijing. The resulting micro robot is just 30 millimeters wide -- less than half the width of a credit card -- and can fold to a length of 43 millimeters. Once inside a patient's body, it unfolds to become 59 millimeters long and can start bioprinting. "The team has constructed clever mechanisms that make the system compact when entering the body yet unfurl to provide a large working area once past the tight constrictions at entry," says David Hoelzle, a mechanical engineer at the Ohio State University, who did not take part in the study. In their experiments, the researchers in China fitted the micro robot onto an endoscope (a long tube that can be inserted through bodily openings) and successfully snaked it through a curved pipe into a transparent plastic model of a stomach. There, they used it to print gels loaded with human stomach lining and stomach muscle cells (which were grown in culture by a commercial laboratory) onto a lab dish. The printed cells remained viable and steadily proliferated over the course of 10 days. "This study is the first attempt to combine micro robots and bioprinting together," Xu says. The study has been published in the journal Biofabrication.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Travel digitally with Google on World Tourism DayTravel digitally with Google on World Tourism Day

GoogleBlog - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 06:00

September 27 is World Tourism Day - a time to celebrate tourism's ability to promote meaningful exchanges between people around the world, have fun, recall how travel helps us all recharge – and make a real difference by supporting livelihoods and protecting our heritage. 

This year may have changed our ability to travel across the globe, but our desire to experience new cultures, see far-off places or discover hidden gems in our own backyard has not diminished, and we agree with our partner, the World Tourism Organization (UNWTO), that “we stay home today so we can travel tomorrow”.

Today, Google Arts & Culture has brought together a new collection to help anyone choose their perfect virtual travel with thousands of museums and cultural destinations to explore. And with the help of our partner CyArk, we've launched on Google Search 37 cultural heritage sites from across the world in Augmented Reality (AR). Hop from your couch and search on your mobile phone to bring the Moai statues of Ahu Ature Huki, Rapa Nui (Easter Island), the Brandenburg Gate in Germany, or the Maya pyramid of Chichén Itzá, Mexico right into your living room.

You can read more about what it takes for CyArk to capture just one site in "Documenting the Thomas Jefferson Memorial" and discover how this work helps global conservation efforts communicate the impacts of climate change to iconic places like Rapa Nui.

Continue your journey on Google Arts & Culture

There are plenty more sites to visit virtually: let Google Arts & Culture be your guide to discover some of the world’s most amazing destinations, from the Wonders of Mexico, the USAFrance and many more to some amazing city breaksaction-packed adventures and paradise escapes.

Let your favorite creator take you on a tour

Finally, travel like a local, and explore Andalucia with YouTube creator Kikillo, join a virtual walk around Milan with Instagram creator Federica di Nardo, or listen to the sounds of Florence with The Whispering Traveller.

All this, and more than 10,000 destinations and 2,000 collections are ready to be explored on Google Arts & Culture at g.co/culturaltravel. And if Augmented Reality really has you hooked, make sure to check out a few other cool things including Dinosaurs, the Skeletal System and Apollo 11 by looking them up in Google Search.To celebrate the United Nations' World Tourism Day we invite users to explore travel highlights from across the globe in Search and Google Arts & Culture
Categories: Technology

Quick tip: Display banner/message before OpenSSH authentication

nixCraft - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 05:16

Want to display a message or banner before OpenSSH (SSHD server) authentication? Try this simple tip to show the banner or ASCII logo on your Linux or Unix system.

The post Quick tip: Display banner/message before OpenSSH authentication appeared first on nixCraft.

Chitin Could Be Used To Build Tools and Habitats On Mars, Study Finds

Slashdot.org - Thu, 09/24/2020 - 05:00
A team of scientists from the Singapore University of Technology and Design discovered that, using simple chemistry, the organic polymer chitin -- contained in the exoskeletons of insects and crustaceans -- can easily be transformed into a viable building material for basic tools and habitats. The findings have been published in the journal PLOS ONE. Ars Technica reports: "The technology was originally developed to create circular ecosystems in urban environments," said co-author Javier Fernandez. "But due to its efficiency, it is also the most efficient and scalable method to produce materials in a closed artificial ecosystem in the extremely scarce environment of a lifeless planet or satellite." [T]he authors of the current paper point out that most terrestrial manufacturing strategies that could fit the bill typically require specialized equipment and a hefty amount of energy. However, "Nature presents successful strategies of life adapting to harsh environments," the authors wrote. "In biological organisms, rigid structures are formed by integrating inorganic filler proceed from the environment at a low energy cost (e.g., calcium carbonate) and incorporated into an organic matrix (e.g., chitin) produced at a relatively high metabolic cost." Fernandez and his colleagues maintain that chitin is likely to be part of any planned artificial ecosystem because it is so plentiful in nature. It's the primary component of fish scales and fungal cell walls, for example, as well as the exoskeletons of crustaceans and insects. In fact, insects have already been targeted as a key source of protein for a possible Martian base. And since the chitin component of insects has limited nutritional value for humans, extracting it to make building materials "does not hamper or compete with the food supply," the authors wrote. "Rather, it is a byproduct of it."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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