‘Don’t Even Try Paying With Cash in China’

“It’s hard for those of us who live outside of China to grasp how paying for everything has gone digital in the country,” writes the New York Times, introducing a Q&A with technology reporter Ray Zhong (who used to live in Beijing): Most businesses there, from the fanciest hotels to roadside fruit stands, display a QR code — a type …

Moderna On Track to Report COVID-19 Vaccine Late-Stage Trial Data in November

This week Moderna “said it is on track to report early data from a late-stage trial of its experimental COVID-19 vaccine next month, reports Reuters, “offering the clearest timeline yet for when the world will know whether it is effective.” The company, one of the front-runners in the global race to produce vaccines to protect against COVID-19, said an independent …

After 3-Year Hiatus, ‘Pyston’ Runtime Returns to Make Python Code Faster

“Development of Pyston, a variant of the Python runtime that uses just-in-time compilation to speed up the execution of Python programs, is back on again,” reports InfoWorld — after a hiatus that began in 2017: Picking up where Dropbox left off, a new development team has released Pyston 2.0. Pyston provides what is ultimately intended to be a drop-in replacement …

New Chinese Laptop Appears With 14nm Loongsoon Quad-Core 3A4000 CPU

“BDY electronics, a Chinese laptop manufacturer, has unveiled an all-new 13.3-inch laptop sporting Longsoon’s new Dragon Core 3A4000 quad-core 14nm CPU,” reports Tom’s Hardware: The biggest feature of this laptop is the CPU, featuring Longsoon’s latest 14nm quad-core 3A4000 CPU. Longsoon claims the CPU is 100% faster than the previous generation 3A3000 and is comparable in performance to AMD’s “Excavator” …

Scientists Discover New Molecule, Possible Basis For Life, on Saturn’s Moon Titan

CNN reports: Saturn’s largest moon, Titan, is the only moon in our solar system that has a thick atmosphere. It’s four times denser than Earth’s. And now, scientists have discovered a molecule in it that has never been found in any other atmosphere. The particle is called cyclopropenylidene, or C3H2, and it’s made of carbon and hydrogen. This simple carbon-based …

Sean Connery Dies at Age 90. Remembered as ‘The Best of Many’ James Bonds

In 1962 Sean Connery became the first actor to appear in movies as secret agent James Bond, and according to long-time Slashdot reader schwit1 was “The best of the many Bonds, by far.” An anonymous reader writes: Connery influenced the character deeply. The Huffington Post once wrote that James Bond wasn’t Scottish until Sean Connery played the role. Ian Fleming …

Software Freedom Conservancy: Microsoft Should Resign from RIAA Over Youtube-DL Takedown Demand

“We believe that youtube-dl has substantial non-infringing uses,” argues the non-profit Software Freedom Conservancy. But while that software faces a DMCA takedown notice from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), GitHub’s owner Microsoft is also a paying member of the RIAA. The Software Freedom Conservancy argues that this leaves Microsoft “stuck between their industry association’s abuses of the law …

Therapy Patients Blackmailed For Cash After Clinic Data Breach

“Many patients of a large psychotherapy clinic in Finland have been contacted individually by a blackmailer, after their data was stolen,” reports the BBC: The data appears to have included personal identification records and notes about what was discussed in therapy sessions. Vastaamo is a nationwide practice with about 20 branches and thousands of patients. The clinic has advised those …

While Europe Accounts for 46% of COVID-19 Cases, Taiwan Goes 200 Days Without a Local Infection

Europe “now accounts for 46% of global coronavirus cases,” reports ABC News, “and nearly a third of total related deaths.” Dr. Jean-Francois Delfraissy, a senior French physician and the president of the scientific council that reports to the government, warned that the country has “lost control of the epidemic,” after health authorities reported more than 52,000 new cases. He said …

Amazon Now Has More Than 1 Million Employees

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CBS News: Amazon.com said it now has about 1 million employees after hiring 250,000 workers in the third quarter, part of a growth spurt driven by booming ecommerce sales during the coronavirus pandemic and a milestone for a company founded in 1995 by Jeff Bezos as an online bookseller. Despite its rapid ascent, …