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YouTube Bans Sky News Australia for One Week Over Misinformation

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 12:34
"YouTube has barred Sky News Australia from uploading new content for a week, saying it had breached rules on spreading Covid-19 misinformation," writes the BBC. Long-time Slashdot reader Hope Thelps shares their report: YouTube issued a "strike" under its three-strike policy, the last of which means permanent removal. It did not point to specific items but said it opposed material that "could cause real-world harm". The TV channel's digital editor said the decision was a disturbing attack on the ability to think freely. Sky News Australia is owned by a subsidiary of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp and has 1.85 million YouTube subscribers. The ban could affect its revenue stream from Google. A YouTube statement said it had "clear and established Covid-19 medical misinformation policies based on local and global health authority guidance". A spokesperson told the Guardian it "did not allow content that denies the existence of Covid-19" or which encouraged people "to use hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin to treat or prevent the virus". Neither has been proven to be effective against Covid.

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Amazon Now Employs Almost 1 Million People in the US - or 1 in Every 169 Workers

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 11:34
"Amazon now employs almost 1 million people in the U.S. — or 1 in every 169 workers," reports NBC News: Amazon has revealed for the first time the number of people it employs in the U.S., putting the figure at 950,000, according to the e-commerce giant's quarterly earnings call on Thursday. While the headcount was boosted by an additional 64,000 people hired in the second quarter, it does not include the thousands of contractors such as drivers whom Amazon depends on to run its Amazon Prime delivery operations... Globally, the company employs 1.3 million people. It is the second largest employer in the U.S., behind Walmart, which currently employees nearly 1.6 million people in the U.S. As of June, the national private sector workforce is roughly 161 million people, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That means about 1 out of every 169 people in the country's workforce works for Amazon, while about 1 out of every 100 people in the U.S. workforce is employed by Walmart. The article also notes that since 2018 Amazon has been paying a $15-an-hour minimum for all employees — more than double the current U.S. minimum wage of $7.25 an hour

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Remote Work Without VPN Patches? Govt Security Agencies Reveal Most Exploited Vulnerabilities

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 10:34
Slashdot reader storagedude quotes eSecurityPlanet : The FBI and the U.S. Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) joined counterparts in the UK and Australia Wednesday to announce the top 30 vulnerabilities exploited since the start of the pandemic. The list, a joint effort with the Australian Cyber Security Centre (ACSC) and the UK's National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), details vulnerabilities — primarily Common Vulnerabilities and Exposures (CVEs) — "routinely exploited by malicious cyber actors in 2020 and those being widely exploited thus far in 2021." Many of the vulnerabilities are known ones for which patches exist, so they can typically be easily fixed. The agencies also recommended a centralized patch management system to prevent such oversights going forward. Most of the vulnerabilities targeted in 2020 were disclosed during the last two years. "Cyber actor exploitation of more recently disclosed software flaws in 2020 probably stems, in part, from the expansion of remote work options amid the COVID-19 pandemic," said a CISA statement. "The rapid shift and increased use of remote work options, such as virtual private networks (VPNs) and cloud-based environments, likely placed additional burden on cyber defenders struggling to maintain and keep pace with routine software patching." The vulnerabilities include a number of well publicized ones from major vendors like Citrix, Microsoft, Fortinet, VMware and others, so a good portion of the blame can be placed on those who just aren't being vigilant with patching.

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Jodie Whittaker and Showrunner Chris Chibnall To Leave 'Doctor Who'

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 09:34
Slashdot reader Dave Knott quotes the BBC's Doctor Who site: Having been in charge of the TARDIS since filming for the Thirteenth Doctor began in 2017, Showrunner Chris Chibnall and the Thirteenth Doctor, Jodie Whittaker, have confirmed they will be moving on from the most famous police box on Earth. With a six-part Event Serial announced for the autumn, and two Specials already planned for 2022, BBC One has now asked for an additional final feature length adventure for the Thirteenth Doctor, to form a trio of Specials for 2022, before the Doctor regenerates once more.

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New program helps regional journalists develop digital skillsNew program helps regional journalists develop digital skills

GoogleBlog - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 06:53

Today, we’re pleased to announce an initiative that helps support regional news publishers by providing vital digital skills training and new opportunities for young journalists.


Introducing the Digital News Academy

The Digital News Academy is a new program created by Google and News Corp Australia that will provide training in the latest digital skills to 750 local and regional news professionals from a range of outlets across the country, including Australian Community Media and several others.

The program, run over three years, will provide comprehensive tuition in skills including digital journalism, video and audio production, data journalism, audience measurement, reader revenue, digital business models and marketing. 

In addition to enabling crucial digital capabilities, the Digital News Academy will also create opportunities for young journalists, funding 60 new 12-month journalism traineeships in regional Australia over the next three years. 

This is a significant investment in training and skills for local news in Australia, and builds on the work we’ve been doing for years in support of regional publishers. We’ve long partnered with the news industry in Australia, and this new initiative will benefit and support hundreds of journalists from across the Australian news industry.


What our partners are saying

News Corp Australasia’s executive chairman Michael Miller said the academy would provide essential skills at a crucial time for news media professionals.“The future of commercial news organisations rests on their ability to create and publish journalism that serves audiences in tangible, valuable ways and is consumed how and where those audiences choose,” Mr Miller said. “This task is the foundation mission as news organisations large and small develop business models built on high value journalism. I thank Google for working with News Corp Australia in establishing the academy and it’s further acknowledgment of journalism’s value and importance.”

Australian Community Media, Australia’s largest rural and regional publisher, will be a major participant in the program, receiving both training and trainees. “ACM is delighted to be involved in this initiative. The ongoing training and upskilling of our editorial teams to meet the ever changing demands on our consumers is a key priority for our business. This is evidenced by the recent appointment of Saffron Howden in the role of Editorial Training Manager. With Saffron's experience, and the global expertise brought together in this program, this bi-partisan initiative will be fantastic for ACM editorial staff and the strength of regional journalism more broadly,” says Tony Kendall, CEO of Australian Community Media.  

The Digital News Academy will launch in early 2022. 


Categories: Technology

UK Pharmaceutical Firm Fined For Hiking Drug Price 6,000%

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 06:34
Slashdot reader Bruce66423 shares a report from the Guardian: The UK's competition watchdog has imposed fines of more than £100m on the pharmaceutical company Advanz and its former private equity owners after it was found to have inflated the price of its thyroid tablets by up to 6,000%. An investigation by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) found that the private-equity backed pharmaceutical company charged "excessive and unfair prices" for liothyronine tablets, which are used to treat thyroid hormone deficiency. Advanz took advantage of limited competition in the market from 2007 to bring in sustained price hikes for the drug, often used by patients with depression and fatigue, of more than 6,000% in the space of 10 years, according to the investigation. The CMA said that between 2007 and 2017, the price paid by the National Health Service for liothyronine tablets rose from £4.46 to £258.19, a rise of almost 6,000%, while production costs remained broadly stable... Dr Andrea Coscelli, the CMA's chief executive, said: "Advanz's decision to ratchet up the price of liothyronine tablets and impose excessive and unfair prices for over eight years came at a huge cost to the NHS, and ultimately to UK taxpayers. "But that wasn't all. It also meant that people dealing with depression and extreme fatigue, as a result of their thyroid conditions, were told they could not continue to receive the most effective treatment for them due its increased price."

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Is Remote Work Forcing Smaller Cities to Compete With Big Tech Salaries?

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 04:34
Remote working seems like a boon to smaller cities, Reuters reports: About 30 per cent of remote workers plan on moving, according to two recent surveys: an April poll of 1,000 tech workers by nonprofit One America Works and a June survey of 1,006 national remote workers for MakeMyMove, focused on intentions for the next 18 months... [T]he numbers mean a lot for some towns and cities that have seen "brain drains" to larger metropolitan areas, said Prithwiraj Choudhury, associate professor at the Harvard Business School. But smaller cities are now also competing with big-tech recruiters, reports the Wall Street Journal: Some of the biggest names in tech aren't just allowing existing workers to relocate out of the Bay Area, they are also starting to hire in places they hadn't often recruited from before. The result is the most geographically distributed tech labor market to date. That's leading to above-market rates for workers in smaller hubs, forcing local companies to raise wages to keep up with the cost of living and fend off deeper-pocketed rivals from California.

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It's the Hottest Job Market in 20 Years for Tech Workers

Slashdot.org - Sun, 08/01/2021 - 02:34
Tribune News Services says we're now experiencing the "hottest job market for tech workers since dot-com era" There's an air of desperation among tech employers this summer. Software talent, it seems, is in such high demand that companies are morphing how they hire. And workers are the ones with the power. Good and experienced tech workers are being treated like local celebrities — hounded by recruiters, courted by managers and bestowed a bevy of options before choosing their next boss... The demand has been attributed to all sorts of things. During the pandemic, businesses that had been slow to adopt enterprise software began rapidly catching up. A tidal wave of productivity software, conferencing and collaboration tools, and e-commerce tech flooded the world. The same was true for consumer tech, with video game development, entertainment tech and social platforms booming. Many of these jobs are going unfilled, as competition for new hires ramps up. Simultaneously, remote work became the status quo in the tech industry. Suddenly, software talent could pick and choose from a massive pool of job opportunities... To win a bid on a quality engineer, companies are offering things like flexible hours, sign-on bonuses and permanent remote work, the last of which has become a requirement for much of the workforce. Dice, a website and staffing firm that focuses on tech talent, published a report in June that found only 17% of technologists wanted to work in an office full time, while 59% wanted remote and hybrid approaches.

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In Hawaii, Robot Dogs Join the Police Force

Slashdot.org - Sat, 07/31/2021 - 22:34
"If you're homeless and looking for temporary shelter in Hawaii's capital, expect a visit from a robotic police dog that will scan your eye to make sure you don't have a fever," reports the Associated Press: That's just one of the ways public safety agencies are starting to use Spot, the best-known of a new commercial category of robots that trot around with animal-like agility. The handful of police officials experimenting with the four-legged machines say they're just another tool, like existing drones and simple wheeled robots, to keep emergency responders out of harm's way as they scout for dangers. But privacy watchdogs â" the human kind â" warn that police are secretly rushing to buy the robots without setting safeguards against aggressive, invasive or dehumanizing uses. In Honolulu, the police department spent about $150,000 in federal pandemic relief money to buy their Spot from robotics firm Boston Dynamics for use at a government-run tent city near the airport. "Because these people are houseless it's considered OK to do that," said Jongwook Kim, legal director at the American Civil Liberties Union of Hawaii. "At some point it will come out again for some different use after the pandemic is over." Acting Lt. Joseph O'Neal of the Honolulu Police Department's community outreach unit defended the robot's use in a media demonstration earlier this year. He said it has protected officers, shelter staff and residents by scanning body temperatures between meal times at a shelter where homeless people could quarantine and get tested for COVID-19. The robot is also used to remotely interview individuals who have tested positive. "We have not had a single person out there that said, 'That's scary, that's worrisome,'" O'Neal said. "We don't just walk around and arbitrarily scan people."

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Chinese Hackers Used Mesh of Home Routers To Disguise Attacks

Slashdot.org - Sat, 07/31/2021 - 20:34
An anonymous reader quotes The Record: A Chinese cyber-espionage group known as APT31 (or Zirconium) has been seen hijacking home routers to form a proxy mesh around its server infrastructure in order to relay and disguise the origins of their attacks. In a security alert, the French National Cybersecurity Agency, also known as ANSSI (Agence Nationale de la Sécurité des Systèmes d'Information), published a list of 161 IP addresses that have been hijacked by APT31 in recent attacks against French organizations. French officials said that APT31's proxy botnet was used to perform both reconnaissance operations against their targets, but also to carry out the attacks themselves. The attacks started at the beginning of 2021 and are still ongoing... The Record understands that APT31 used proxy meshes made of home routers as a way to scan the internet and then launch and disguise its attacks against Exchange email servers earlier this year; however, the technique was also used for other operations as well.

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Distribution Release: 4MLinux 37.0

DistroWatch.com - Sat, 07/31/2021 - 20:04
Zbigniew Konojacki has announced the release of 4MLinux 37.0, the new stable build of the project's minimalist distribution for desktops and servers. Its "four Ms" represent maintenance (as a system rescue live CD), multimedia (for playing video DVDs and other multimedia files), mini-server (using the inetd daemon) and....
Categories: Linux

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