Ampere Altra is the First 80-core ARM-based Server Processor

Ampere has unveiled the industry’s first 80-core ARM-based 64-bit server processor today in a bid to outdo Intel and Advanced Micro Devices in datacenter chips. From a report: Ampere announced today that it has begun providing samples of the Ampere Altra processor for modern cloud and edge computing datacenters. The Ampere Altra processor runs on 210 watts and is targeted at such server applications as data analytics, artificial intelligence, database, storage, telco stacks, edge computing, web hosting, and cloud-native applications. Intel dominates about 95.5% of the server chip market with its x86-based processors, and AMD has the rest. But Ampere is targeting power-efficient, high-performance, and high-memory capacity features. Renee James, former president of Intel and CEO of Ampere, said in an interview with VentureBeat that the chip is faster than a 64-core AMD Epyc processor and Intel’s 28-core high-end Xeon “Cascade Lake” chip.

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Almost Half of Mobile Malware Are Hidden Apps

Certain apps are hiding themselves and stealing resources and data from mobile devices, according to a new report by security firm McAfee. From a report: This is a growing threat comprising almost half of all malicious mobile malware, and a 30% increase from 2018, said Raj Samani, chief scientist and McAfee fellow, who authored the Q1 2020 McAfee Mobile Threat Report. “This shows where the focus from criminals [is] on the mobile platform, which is in stark contrast to non-mobile malware,” Samani said. A new malware family called LeifAccess or Shopper is taking advantage of the accessibility features in Android to create accounts, download apps, and post reviews, according to the report. LeifAccess, “is a broad campaign [and] is using alternate methods to achieve installation but thereafter trying to achieve legitimacy to the user with fake warnings,” Samani said. For example, LeifAccess does not create an icon or shortcut, “so it’s not immediately obvious that the app is installed … but for some of the hidden apps within the report, malicious mobile attacks will even masquerade as a legitimate app,” he said.

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Reddit Has Become the Gospel of Personal Finance

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: If you look beyond the memes, cat videos, and quirky acronyms (TIL, OP, ELI5) you’ll find a treasure trove of resources that will help you quickly get acquainted with the topics that have long eluded you. For me, even though I worked on Wall Street for nearly 15 years, Reddit is the first place I turn when I have a question about money. To me, here’s what makes good financial advice: objectivity, accuracy, and relatability. With an alien mascot named Snoo, an impossibly sprawling site structure, and user anonymity, Reddit may seem like an unlikely place for the serious business of money. But in fact, it has each of these qualities in spades.

According to Amazon’s Alexa, Reddit is the sixth most popular site in the US; the site reported 430 million active users at the end of 2019. Reddit is organized into niche communities (known as subreddits that begin with “r/”) with their own guidelines, norms, and moderators covering both mainstream (r/kpop) and obscure (r/namenerds for new parents seeking inspiration) topics. Because users self-select to be active in these communities, Redditors are known to be passionate and have been described as “offbeat, quirky, and anti-establishment.” All these qualities make it a great place for conversations about money. Consider the subreddit Frugal Living (r/Frugal), which shows what allows Reddit to offer better financial advice than many of those other sites: the Redditor community. Frugal Living’s mission statement is to “understand the resources that we have, and [how to spend] them wisely and deliberately” and this subreddit contains actionable tips on eking out that last bit of toothpaste, warnings that Amazon Day is pure marketing, and why you shouldn’t pay for scientific journals. These posts offer encouragement, collaboration, and a relatability that’s hard to find in the traditional financial press, no matter your financial situation. […] One final word of warning: no matter whether financial advice comes from the front page of the internet or the front page of the Wall Street Journal, it’s incumbent upon the buyer to scrutinize the details, lead with skepticism, and, when appropriate, consult with professionals. Some of the communities that might help you get started, as mentioned in the article, include: Personal Finance, Frugal Living, Investing, Financial Independence / Retire Early, and Stocks.

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New Zealand Birds Show Humanlike Ability To Make Predictions

sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: Whether it’s calculating your risk of catching the new coronavirus or gauging the chance of rain on your upcoming beach vacation, you use a mix of statistical, physical, and social information to make a decision. So do New Zealand parrots known as keas, scientists report today. It’s the first time this cognitive ability has been demonstrated outside of apes, and it may have implications for understanding how intelligence evolved. […] The findings indicate that keas, like humans, have something known as “domain general intelligence” — the mental ability to integrate several kinds of information, the researchers argue. That’s despite the fact that birds and humans last shared a common ancestor some 312 million years ago and have markedly different brain anatomies. Previously, cognitive researchers have argued that domain general intelligence requires language. The findings have been published in the journal Nature Communications.

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‘Contagion,’ Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 Thriller, Is Climbing Up the Charts

One of the hottest movies in the Warner Bros. library is a nine-year-old drama that kills off Gwyneth Paltrow in its first 15 minutes. From a report: Fears of the coronavirus have prompted movie fans to re-examine Steven Soderbergh’s star-studded 2011 thriller, “Contagion,” a fictional account of a pandemic that kills 26 million people worldwide. According to Warner Bros., the film was listed as No. 270 among its catalog titles at the end of December. Since the start of 2020, it has jumped to second, bested only by Harry Potter movies. “Contagion” is also trending on Amazon Prime Video and has flirted with the iTunes top 10. Barry Jenkins, the writer and director of “Moonlight,” the best picture winner at the 2017 Oscars, was one of the people who found himself interested in the film in recent days. He said he had watched “Contagion” with his girlfriend, Lulu Wang, the writer and director of the acclaimed 2020 indie hit “The Farewell,” while on location in Atlanta — the city, he was quick to point out, where the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has its headquarters. The two film aficionados bought a download of “Contagion” from Comcast’s Xfinity on-demand service. “I paid $12.99 to watch a 10-year-old movie,” Mr. Jenkins said. “I’ve never done that before.”

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Simple Systems Have Less Downtime

Greg Kogan, writes in a blog post: The Maersk Triple-E Class container ship is 1,300 feet long, carries over 18,000 containers across 11,000 miles between Europe and Asia, and… Its entire crew can fit inside a passenger van. As a former naval architect and a current marketing consultant to startups, I found that the same principle that lets a 13-person crew navigate the world’s largest container ship to a port halfway around the world without breaking down also applies to startups working towards aggressive growth goals: Simple systems have less downtime.

Ships contain simple systems that are easy to operate and easy to understand, which makes them easy to fix, which means they have less downtime. An important quality, considering that “downtime” for a ship could mean being stranded thousands of miles from help. Take the ship’s steering system, for instance. The rudder is pushed left or right by metal rods. Those rods are moved by hydraulic pressure. That pressure is controlled by a hydraulic pump. That pump is controlled by an electronic signal from the wheelhouse. That signal is controlled by the autopilot. It doesn’t require a rocket scientist or a naval architect to find the cause of and solution to any problem.

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Uber Drivers’ Self-Employed Status ‘Fictitious’, France Rules

France’s top court ruling opens the way for Uber drivers to be reclassified as employees, the country’s highest court ruled on Wednesday, the latest in a wave of rulings globally to grant more rights to gig workers. From a report: The Cour de Cassation in Paris said Uber drivers can’t build a clientele, don’t set rates or decide on terms and conditions, itineraries are imposed and destinations unknown to them. The top court said the fact that Uber “unilaterally determines its terms and rules” are all indications that drivers are more like employees of the company than self-employed. “The existence of a relationship of subordination between the company Uber and the driver when connecting to the digital platform” makes the “driver’s self-employed status merely fictitious,” the Cour de Cassation wrote.

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How do you keep an AI’s behavior from becoming predictable?

The Facebook app displayed on the screen of an iPhone.

Enlarge / The Facebook app displayed on the screen of an iPhone. (credit: Fabian Sommer | picture alliance | Getty Images)

A lot of neural networks are black boxes. We know they can successfully categorize things—images with cats, X-rays with cancer, and so on—but for many of them, we can’t understand what they use to reach that conclusion. But that doesn’t mean that people can’t infer the rules they use to fit things into different categories. And that creates a problem for companies like Facebook, which hopes to use AI to get rid of accounts that abuse its terms of service.

Most spammers and scammers create accounts in bulk, and they can easily look for differences between the ones that get banned and the ones that slip under the radar. Those differences can allow them to evade automated algorithms by structuring new accounts to avoid the features that trigger bans. The end result is an arms race between algorithms and spammers and scammers who try to guess their rules.

Facebook thinks it has found a way to avoid getting involved in this arms race while still using automated tools to police its users, and this week, it decided to tell the press about it. The result was an interesting window into how to keep AI-based moderation useful in the face of adversarial behavior, an approach that could be applicable well beyond Facebook.

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Biz & IT – Ars Technica

Apple Now Lets Apps Send Ads in Push Notifications

Apple will now allow push notifications to be used for advertising, so long as users agree to receive the ads first. From a report: Apple updated its App Store guidelines today with a change to its traditionally strict restrictions around push notifications. Apple has long banned apps from using notifications for “advertising, promotions, or direct marketing purposes,” but that changes today. Apps can now send marketing notifications when “customers have explicitly opted in to receive them.” Users must also be able to opt out of receiving the ads.

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Ask Slashdot: What Features Would Your Ideal Telework Systems Incorporate?

couchslug writes: Physical commuting has a horrific and enormously expensive carbon footprint. It’s costly in lives (auto and other transportation accidents, pollution) and wasted time (billions of hours every year) better spent doing something else. What software and hardware features would your ideal telework systems incorporate to minimize physical interaction? How can we use technology to avoid costly, wasteful and sometimes dangerous meatspace gatherings? What don’t you like about existing options? I’d like to add that telecommuting is becoming a popular option for businesses trying to protect their workers amid the coronavirus outbreak. Earlier this week, Cisco said it saw traffic for its Webex remote meeting software in Asian countries increase by 400 percent since the outbreak began, and free signup rates in impacted countries have increased 700 percent or more.

Do you have a favorite remote work software? Let us know what you like/dislike about it below.

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