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  • Microsoft Quietly Cuts Off Windows 7 Support For Older Intel Computers
    by msmash on June 25, 2018 at 6:00 am

    An anonymous reader shares a report: If your PC doesn't run Streaming Single Instructions Multiple Data (SIMD) Extensions 2, you apparently won't be getting any more Win7 patches. At least, that's what I infer from some clandestine Knowledge Base documentation changes made in the past few days. Even though Microsoft says it's supporting Win7 until January 14, 2020, if you have an older machine -- including any Pentium III -- you've been blocked, and there's nothing you can do about it. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • India Eyeing a New Monster 100GW Solar-Capacity Goal
    by msmash on June 25, 2018 at 2:30 am

    AmiMoJo writes: In a confirmed report India's energy minister suggested that the country is considering issuing a tender for 100 gigawatts of solar energy, which may be tied to solar panel-manufacturing buildout. In 2015, India set a goal to reach 100GW of solar capacity as part of its larger aim of 175GW of renewable energy in general by 2022. This latest 100GW tender would be for a 2030 or 2035 target. The existing goal is ambitious, so a stretch goal further into the future is even more so. The country's current total solar capacity is just 24.4GW, (for context, as of this month the US has about 55.9GW of installed solar capacity total) but it's growing quickly. Utility-scale solar capacity grew by 72 percent in the previous year. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Changes in WebAssembly Could Render Meltdown and Spectre Browser Patches Useless
    by msmash on June 25, 2018 at 12:35 am

    Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for BleepingComputer: Upcoming additions to the WebAssembly standard may render useless some of the mitigations put up at the browser level against Meltdown and Spectre attacks, according to John Bergbom, a security researcher at Forcepoint. WebAssembly (WA or Wasm) is a new technology that shipped last year and is currently supported within all major browsers, such as Chrome, Edge, Firefox, and Safari. The technology is a compact binary language that a browser will convert into machine code and run it directly on the CPU. Browser makers created WebAssembly to improve the speed of delivery and performance of JavaScript code, but as a side effect, they also created a way for developers to port code from other high-level languages (such as C, C++, and others) into Wasm, and then run it inside a browser. All in all, the WebAssembly standard is viewed as a success in the web dev community, and there've been praises for it all around. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • WHO Gaming Disorder Listing a 'Moral Panic', Say Experts
    by msmash on June 24, 2018 at 11:00 pm

    The decision to class gaming addiction as a mental health disorder was "premature" and based on a "moral panic," experts have said. From a report: The World Health Organization included "gaming disorder" in the latest version of its disease classification manual. But biological psychology lecturer Dr Peter Etchells said the move risked "pathologising" a behaviour that was harmless for most people. The WHO said it had reviewed available evidence before including it. It added that the views reflected a "consensus of experts from different disciplines and geographical regions" and defined addiction as a pattern of persistent gaming behaviour so severe it "takes precedence over other life interests." Speaking at the Science Media Centre in London, experts said that while the decision was well intentioned, there was a lack of good quality scientific evidence about how to properly diagnose video game addiction. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Think Your Body Is Infested With Insects? You're Not Alone.
    by msmash on June 24, 2018 at 10:00 pm

    Erika Engelhaupt, National Geographic: A few years ago, a man began telling his family members a horrifying tale: There are bugs living inside him. [...] He shows the classic signs of what scientists call delusory parasitosis, or Ekbom syndrome, an unwavering but incorrect belief that the patient's body has been infested with something. For years, entomologists have insisted that these delusions aren't as rare as psychiatrists and the public may think. And now, a study by the Mayo Clinic suggests they're right. The first population-based study of the condition's prevalence suggests that about 27 out of a hundred thousand Americans a year have delusions of an infestation. That would mean around 89,000 people in the U.S. right now are plagued by the condition. For many sufferers of such delusions, the infestation takes the form of insects or mites, usually tiny and often described as biting or crawling on the skin. Others report feeling worms or leeches or some kind of unknown parasite. Many of the afflicted turn up, eventually, in an entomologist's office. And as the entomologists tell them, only two kinds of arthropods actually infest humans: lice and a mite that causes scabies. Both are easy to identify and cause characteristic symptoms. Bedbugs or fleas might infest a house, but they don't actually live on or inside the human body; they just feed on us and leave. Likewise, there are mites that live on our skin, especially the face, but they're a normal part of everyone's body, much like the bacteria living in our guts. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Japanese Writing After Murakami
    by msmash on June 24, 2018 at 9:00 pm

    Roland Kelts, writing for The Times Literary Supplement: At fifty-one, Hideo Furukawa is among the generation of Japanese writers I'll call "A. M.," for "After Murakami." Haruki Murakami is Japan's most internationally renowned living author. His work has been translated into over fifty languages, his books sell in the millions, and there is annual speculation about his winning the Nobel Prize. Over four decades, he has become one of the most famous living Japanese people on the planet. It's impossible to overestimate the depth of his influence on contemporary Japanese literature and culture, but it is possible to characterize it. The American poet Louise Gluck once said that younger writers couldn't appreciate the shadow cast over her generation by T. S. Eliot. Murakami in Japan is something like that. Yet unlike Eliot in English-speaking nations, Murakami in Japan has been a liberator, casting rays of light instead of a pall, breathing gusts of fresh air into Japan's literary landscape. Now on the verge of seventy, he generates little of Harold Bloom's "anxiety of influence" among his younger peers. For them he has opened three key doors: to licentious play with the Japanese language; to the binary worlds of life in today's Japanese culture, a hybrid of East and West; and to a mode of personal behaviour -- cool, disciplined, solitary -- in stark contrast to the cliques and clubs of Japan's past literati. Japan's current literary and cultural scene takes in "light novels," brisk narratives that lean heavily on sentimentality and romance and often feature visuals drawn from manga-style aesthetics, and dystopian post-apocalyptic stories of intimate violence, such as Natsuo Kirino's suspense thrillers, Out and Grotesque. Post-Fukushima narratives in film and fiction explore a Japan whose tightly managed surfaces disfigure the animal spirits of its citizens; and many of the strongest voices and characters in this recent trend have been female. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

  • Google is Adding Anti-Tampering DRM To Android Apps in the Play Store
    by msmash on June 24, 2018 at 8:01 pm

    Google has introduced a small change to Play Store apps that could significantly protect several Android users. From a report: Earlier this week, Google quietly rolled out a feature that adds a string of metadata to all APK files (that's the file type for Android apps) when they are signed by the developer. You can't install an application that hasn't been signed during its final build, so that means that all apps built using the latest APK Signature Scheme will have a nice little chunk of DRM built into them. And eventually, your phone will run a version of Android that won't be able to install apps without it. Read more of this story at Slashdot. […]

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