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Oracle's Plans for Java in 2024

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 16:34
"Oracle's plans to evolve Java in 2024 involve OpenJDK projects," writes InfoWorld, citing a recent video by Oracle Java developer relations representative Nicolai Parlog. (Though many improvements may not be usable until 2025 or later...) - For Project Babylon, Parlog cited plans for code reflection, expanding the reflection API, and allowing transformation of Java code inside a method. The goal is to allow developers to write Java code that libraries then can interpret as a mathematical function, for example. The Babylon team in coming weeks plans to publish work on use cases such as auto-differentiating, C# LINQ emulation, and GPU programming. - In Project Leyden, which is aimed at improving startup times, plans for 2024 involve refining the concept of condensers and working toward the production-readiness of prototype condensers. - In Project Amber, current features in preview include string templates, a simplified main method, and statements before this() and super(). "I expect all three to finalize in 2024," said Parlog. Under exploration are capabilities such as primitive types in patterns and with expressions. - In Project Valhalla, work will focus on value classes and objects, which provide class instances that have only final instance fields and lack object identity [to] significantly reduce the run time overhead of boxed Integer, Double, and Byte objects... - In Project Lilliput, aimed at downsizing Java object headers in the HotSpot JVM and reducing Java's memory footprint, work now centers on polishing a fast-locking scheme. - Project Panama, for interconnecting JVM and native C code, "has three irons in the fire," Parlog said.

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'Massive Amounts' of Carbon Sequestered for Centuries Released By Clearing Indonesia's Peatland

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 13:34
"Indonesia has been clearing tens of thousands of acres of densely vegetated peatland for farming, releasing massive amounts of carbon that had been sequestered below for centuries," reports the Washington Post, "and destroying one of the Earth's most effective means of storing greenhouse gases." The country is home to as much as half of the planet's tropical peatland, a unique ecosystem that scientists say is vital to averting the worst results of climate change. Government leaders have made halting efforts to protect peatlands over the last two decades, but three years ago, when the pandemic disrupted food supply chains, officials launched an ambitious land-clearance operation in a push to expand the cultivation of crops and cut Indonesia's reliance on expensive imports. By transforming 2,000 to 4,000 square miles of what environmental groups say is predominantly peatland into fields of rice, corn and cassava, the government projects that it will achieve self-sufficiency in food... But disrupting the peatlands comes with devastating, likely irreversible costs for the climate, say environmental experts and activists. "To restore these vast areas of peat forest being destroyed will take years and huge investments in labor and funds," said David Taylor, a professor of tropical environmental change at the National University of Singapore who has researched peatlands in Asia and Africa. To do it on the timeline that global leaders have set for the world to achieve net-zero emissions? "Near impossible," Taylor said... While peatlands make up just 3 percent of the Earth's land, they store twice as much carbon as all the world's forests combined, according to the United Nations. When peatlands are drained, layers of aged biomass that are exposed to oxygen-rich air decay at an accelerated rate, releasing carbon from bygone eras into the atmosphere. Even worse, when the weather turns hot, unprotected peat dries out, becoming combustible. Already, environmental activists and villagers in Kalimantan, the Indonesian portion of the island of Borneo, say peatlands cleared by the government are fueling more-intense wildfires... Left intact, peatlands are naturally protected against fire. Once degraded, however, they produce infernos that are notoriously difficult to put out because they can travel underground, feeding on dried biomass yards below the surface. Tropical peatlands are also threatened by development in Peru and Africa's Congo Basin, according to the article. But they add that there's something especially ironic about Indonesia's government project. "Research shows that tropical peatlands tend to be too acidic to grow crops. "Indonesian environmental groups, including Pantau Gambut and WALHI, said they have documented widespread crop failures in areas targeted by the government's project. Rice planted in some peat-rich areas has had less than a third of the yield of rice planted in mineral soil, according to the groups' analysis."

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Photo Shows Japan's Moon Lander Arrived Upside-Down

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 09:59
"A photo of Japan's robotic moon lander shows that though the spacecraft did make the quarter-million-mile journey to the lunar surface, it landed upside down..." reports Mashable. Because of the lander's now-apparent inverted position, its solar panels weren't oriented correctly to generate power, according to the space agency. The team elected to conserve power by shutting down the spacecraft about 2.5 hours after landing. What's perhaps as surprising as the photo of the lander is how it was taken. Two small rovers separated from the crewless mothership just prior to touchdown. It was one of these baseball-sized robots that was able to snap the image of the spacecraft with its head in the moondust. The rover, built with the help of Japanese toy maker Takara Tomy, is a sphere that splits in half to expose a pair of cameras that point front and back. The two hemispheres also become the rover wheels. "The company is perhaps most famous for originally creating the Transformers, the alien robots that can disguise themselves as machines," said Elizabeth Tasker, who provided commentary on the moon landing in English on Jan. 20. The space agency still isn't entirely sure what went wrong. At about 55 yards above the ground, the spacecraft performed an obstacle avoidance maneuver, part of the pinpoint-landing demonstration. Just prior to this step, one of the two main engines stopped thrusting, throwing the lander's orientation off. JAXA is continuing to investigate what caused the engine problem... Despite the fact that the spacecraft is now sleeping, the SLIM team hasn't lost hope for a recovery. With solar panels facing west, the lander still has a chance of catching some rays and generating power. If the angle of sunlight changes, SLIM could still be awakened, mission officials said. That would have to happen soon, though. Night will fall on the moon on Feb. 1, bringing about freezing temperatures. The spacecraft was not built to withstand those conditions. NASA's Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter spacecraft has now passed over the landing site at an altitude of about 50 miles (80 km) — and snapped their own photograph which they say shows "the slight change in reflectance around the lander due to engine exhaust sweeping the surface."

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18-Year-Old Cleared After Encrypted Snapchat Joke Led To F-18s and Arrest

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 05:59
Slashdot reader Bruce66423 shared this report from the BBC: A Spanish court has cleared a British man of public disorder, after he joked to friends about blowing up a flight from London Gatwick to Menorca. Aditya Verma admitted he told friends in July 2022: "On my way to blow up the plane. I'm a member of the Taliban." But he said he had made the joke in a private Snapchat group and never intended to "cause public distress"... The message he sent to friends, before boarding the plane, went on to be picked up by UK security services. They then flagged it to Spanish authorities while the easyJet plane was still in the air. Two Spanish F-18 fighter jets were sent to flank the aircraft. One followed the plane until it landed at Menorca, where the plane was searched. Mr Verma, who was 18 at the time, was arrested and held in a Spanish police cell for two days. He was later released on bail... If he had been found guilty, the university student faced a fine of up to €22,500 (£19,300 or $20,967) and a further €95,000 (£81,204 or $103,200) in expenses to cover the cost of the jets being scrambled. But how did his message first get from the encrypted app to the UK security services? One theory, raised in the trial, was that it could have been intercepted via Gatwick's Wi-Fi network. But a spokesperson for the airport told BBC News that its network "does not have that capability"... A spokesperson for Snapchat said the social media platform would not "comment on what's happened in this individual case". richi (Slashdot reader #74,551) thinks it's obvious what happened: SnapChat's own web site says they scan messages for threats and passes them on to the authorities. ("We also work to proactively escalate to law enforcement any content appearing to involve imminent threats to life, such as...bomb threats...." "In the case of emergency disclosure requests from law enforcement, our 24/7 team usually responds within 30 minutes."

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Remembering Unix Desktops - and What We Can Learn From Them

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 03:44
"As important as its historically underhanded business dealings were for its success, Microsoft didn't have to cheat to win," argues a new article in the Register. "The Unix companies were doing a great job of killing themselves off." You see, while there were many attempts to create software development standards for Unix, they were too general to do much good — for example Portable Operating System Interface (POSIX) — or they became mired in the business consortium fights between the Open Systems Foundation and Unix International, which became known as the Unix wars. While the Unix companies were busy ripping each other to shreds, Microsoft was smiling all the way to the bank. The core problem was that the Unix companies couldn't settle on software standards. Independent Software Vendors (ISV) had to write applications for each Unix platform. Each of these had only a minute desktop market share. It simply made no business sense for programmers to write one version of an application for SCO OpenDesktop (also known as OpenDeathtrap), another for NeXTStep, and still another one for SunOS. Does that sound familiar? That kind of thing is still a problem for the Linux desktop, and it's why I'm a big fan of Linux containerized desktop applications, such as Red Hat's Flatpak and Canonical's Snap. By the time the two sides finally made peace by joining forces in The Open Group in 1996, it was too late. Unix was crowded out on the conventional desktop, and the workstation became pretty much a Sun Microsystems-only play. Linux's GPL license created an "enforced" consortia that allowed it to take over, according to the article — and with Linus Torvalds as Linux's single leader, "it avoided the old Unix trap of in-fighting... I've been to many Linux Plumbers meetings. There, I've seen him and the top Linux kernel developers work with each other without any drama. Today's Linux is a group effort... The Linux distributors and developers have learned their Unix history lessons. They've realized that it takes more than open source; it takes open standards and consensus to make a successful desktop operating system. And the article also points out that one of those early Unix desktops "is still alive, well, and running in about one in four desktops." That operating system, of course, is macOS X, the direct descendent of NeXT's NeXTSTEP. You could argue that macOS, based on the multi-threaded, multi-processing microkernel operating system Mach, BSD Unix, and the open source Darwin, is the most successful of all Unix operating systems.

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Famed Financial Analyst's Final Forecast? 'The Dollar is Finished' as World Reserve Currency

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 02:59
An anonymous reader shared this report from the The New York Times: Over his 54 years as a financial analyst, Richard X. Bove perfected the art of grabbing attention... American Banker once called him "the country's most quotable bank analyst." Last week, a few hours after completing a spot on Bloomberg television, the 83-year-old announced his retirement. He took that weekend off — and then jumped right back in. In an interview with The New York Times, Mr. Bove (pronounced "boe-VAY"), who goes by Dick, shared a dire outlook on the U.S. economy and his former profession. "The dollar is finished as the world's reserve currency," Mr. Bove said matter-of-factly, perched in an armchair outside his home office just north of Tampa, from which he predicted that China will overtake the U.S. economy. No other analysts will say the same because they are, as he put it, "monks praying to money," unwilling to speak out on the mainstream financial system that employs them... As he spoke, a technician was trying to restore his home internet after his final employer, the boutique brokerage Odeon Capital, pulled the plug on his last day... He sees the offshoring of American manufacturing as the ultimate threat to the financial sector and the dollar, because "the people making the goods elsewhere are getting greater and greater control of the means of production and therefore greater and greater control of the world economy and therefore greater and greater control of money." The article notes that Bove was once called "The Loneliest Analyst." "One way that's still true is that he endorses cryptocurrency — an area that few other financial analysts will touch — which he sees as a natural beneficiary of the decline of the dollar."

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Did a Lake on Mars Once Contain Life?

Slashdot - Sun, 2024-01-28 01:05
UPI reports: New research published Friday offers hope that the sediment samples picked up by the Mars rover Perseverance could reveal traces of life — if it ever existed on the Red Planet. The rover already has confirmed an ancient lake on Mars. The new research published in Science Advances shows the Jezero Crater, where Perseverance verified lake sediments, is theorized to have been filled with water that deposited layers of sediments on the crater floor. "The delta deposits in Jezero Crater contain sedimentary records of potentially habitable conditions on Mars," the research article's abstract stated. "NASA's Perseverance rover is exploring the Jezero western delta with a suite of instruments that include the RIMFAX ground penetrating radar, which provides continuous subsurface images that probe up to 20 meters below the rover." The research by UCLA and the University of Oslo shows the lake subsequently shrank and the sediments carried by a river formed a large delta... [R]adar images revealed sediments shaped like lake deposits on Earth. Their existence was confirmed by the new research.

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Tech Stocks Hit New Records as Tech Layoffs Rise Amid AI Hiring Sprees

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 23:45
An anonymous Slashdot reader shared this report from CNBC: The S&P 500 is trading at a record and the Nasdaq is at its highest in two years. Alphabet shares reached a new pinnacle on Thursday, as did Meta and Microsoft, which ran past $3 trillion in market cap. Don't tell that to the bosses. While Wall Street cheers on Silicon Valley, tech companies are downsizing at an accelerating clip. So far in January, some 23,670 workers have been laid off from 85 tech companies, according to the website Layoffs.fyi. That's the most since March, when almost 38,000 people in the industry were shown the exits. Activity picked up this week with SAP announcing job changes or layoffs for 8,000 employees and Microsoft cutting 1,900 positions in its gaming division. Additionally, high-valued fintech startup Brex laid off 20% of its staff and eBay slashed 1,000 jobs, or 9% of its full-time workforce... Earlier in the month, Google confirmed that it cut several hundred jobs across the company, and Amazon has eliminated hundreds of positions spanning its Prime Video, MGM Studios, Twitch and Audible divisions. Unity said it's cutting about 25% of its staff, and Discord, which offers a popular messaging service used by gamers, is shedding 17% of its workforce... Investors lauded the cost-cutting measures that companies put in place last year in response to rising inflation, interest rates hikes, recession concerns and a brutal market downturn in 2022. Even with an improving economic outlook, the thriftiness continues. Layoffs peaked in January of last year, when 277 technology companies cut almost 90,000 jobs, as the tech industry was forced to reckon with the end of a more than decade-long bull market. Most of the rightsizing efforts took place in the first quarter of 2023, and the number of cuts proceeded to decline each month through September, before ticking up toward the end of the year. One explanation for the January surge as companies budget for the year ahead: They've learned they can do more with less... Nigel Vaz, CEO of consulting firm Publicis Sapient, told CNBC that some companies are probably looking at the boon that Meta and Salesforce got after their hefty cost-cutting measures last year... At the large publicly traded companies, there's an "intense focus" on profitability, margins and cost cutting, said Tim Herbert, chief research officer at CompTIA, which tracks trends across the tech sector. CNBC emphasizes that layoff numbers are much lower than last year, according to the CEO of the company that owns the tech-recruiting site Dice — and that the layoffs aren't limited to the tech industry. But the article also argues that "AI demand is so great that some tech companies are cutting headcount in parts of the business to invest more heavily in developing AI products." (SAP specifically said its restructuring aimed to boost "focus on key strategic growth areas, in particular Business AI.") And elsewhere CNBC writes that "As tech firms prioritize investments into artificial intelligence and go on a hiring spree, other segments are likely to see layoffs continue into 2024, according to industry experts."

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How You Can Charge Your EV If You Don't Own a House

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 22:34
"According to one study, homeowners are three times more likely than renters to own an electric vehicle," writes the Washington Post. But others still have options: Drivers who park on the street have found novel ways to charge their vehicles, using extension cords running over the sidewalk or even into the branches of a nearby tree... [S]ome municipalities explicitly allow over-the-sidewalk charging as part of a broader strategy to cut transportation emissions... In some areas, homeowners can also hire an electrician to run power under the sidewalk to a curbside charging port. But homeowners should check local rules and permitting requirements for curbside charging. In some highly EV-friendly cities, local governments will cover the costs. In Seattle, a pilot program is installing faster curbside charging to residents who opt in to the program... If home charging simply isn't an option, some drivers rely on public charging — either using workplace chargers or charging occasionally on DC fast chargers, which can bring an EV battery from 0 to 80 percent in around 20 minutes. The problem is that public charging is more expensive than charging at home — although in most places, still less expensive than gas... For drivers who have access to Tesla superchargers, public charging might still be a solid option — but for non-Tesla drivers, it's still a challenge. Many fast chargers can be broken for days or weeks on end, or can be crowded with other drivers. The popular charging app PlugShare can help EV owners find available charging ports, but relying on public fast charging can quickly become a pain for drivers used to quickly filling up on gas. In those situations, a plug-in hybrid or regular hybrid car might be a better option. And beyond that, "experts say that there are a key few steps that renters or condo owners can take to access charging," according to the article: The first is looking up local "right-to-charge" laws — regulations that require homeowners' associations or landlords to allow residents to install Level 1 or Level 2 charging. Ten states have "right-to-charge" laws on the books. In California and Colorado, for example, renters or homeowners have the right to install charging at their private parking space or, in some cases, in a public area at their apartment building. Other states, including Florida, Hawaii and New Jersey, have similar but limited laws. Residents can also reach out to landlords or property owners directly and make the case for installing charging infrastructure. All of this "puts a fair amount of onus on the driver," said Ben Prochazka, the executive director of the Electrification Coalition. But, he added, many EV advocacy groups are working on changing building codes in cities and states so that all multifamily homes with parking have to be "EV-ready." Ingrid Malmgren, policy director at the EV advocacy group Plug In America, tells the newspaper that "communities all over the country are coming up with creative solutions. And it's just going to get easier and easier."

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Disney Demos 'HoloTile Floor' with Possible Applications in Shared Virtual Reality

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 21:25
In the last 90 seconds of a recent Disney Parks video, there's a demonstration of a new technology called a HoloTile floor. Disney research fellow/R&D "imagineerer" Lanny Smoot specifies that "we don't know yet where it will be used" — though noting multiple people could walk in place during a shared virtual reality experience. It's an "omnidirectional floor" which can "automatically do whatever it needs to" so those walkers stay in the same place. "Imagine a number of people being in a room, being able to be somewhere else collaboratively and moving around, doing sightseeing." Video also shows objects gliding smoothly along its surface, with its direction apparently controlled remotely by hand motions ("like telekinesis," as one design blog describes it). Smooth says in the video "There are just so many applications for this type of technology." But IGN believes that it "just may be a game changer for VR and could bring us ever closer to experiencing the Holodeck from Star Trek." For those Star Trek fans out there, this sounds a lot like the promise of the Holodeck, a smallish-room that could virtually take our favorite crews wherever they wanted for some fun and relaxation between missions when it wasn't malfunctioning and trying to murder them... The applications of the HoloTile floor also extend beyond virtual reality, as Disney notes "The HoloTile floor can also be an insert in a theatrical stage, allowing performers to move and dance in new ways, or stage props and structures to move around or appear to set themselves up."

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Exercising 25 Minutes a Week Increases Brain Volume - and May Slow Memory Decline

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 19:34
"Exercising for 25 minutes a week, or less than four minutes a day, could help to bulk up our brains," reports the Washington Post, "and improve our ability to think as we grow older." A new study, which involved scanning the brains of more than 10,000 healthy men and women from ages 18 to 97, found that those who walked, swam, cycled or otherwise worked out moderately for 25 minutes a week had bigger brains than those who didn't, whatever their ages. Bigger brains typically mean healthier brains. The differences were most pronounced in parts of the brain involved with thinking and memory, which often shrink as we age, contributing to risks for cognitive decline and dementia... The results have practical implications, too, about which types of exercise seem best for our brain health and how little of that exercise we may really need. The article notes that the researchers used AI to assess brain scans from 10,125 "mostly healthy adults of all ages who'd come to the university medical center for diagnostic tests... A clear pattern quickly emerged." Men and women, of any age, who exercised for at least 25 minutes a week showed mostly greater brain volume than those who didn't. The differences weren't huge but were significant, said Cyrus A. Raji, an associate professor of radiology and neurology at Washington University in St. Louis, who led the new study, especially when the researchers looked deeper inside the organ. There, they found that exercisers possessed greater volume in every type of brain tissue, including gray matter, made up of neurons, and white matter, the brain's wiring infrastructure, which supports and connects the thinking cells. More granularly, the exercisers tended to have a larger hippocampus, a portion of the brain essential for memory and thinking. It usually shrinks and shrivels as we age, affecting our ability to reason and recall. They also showed larger frontal, parietal and occipital lobes, which, together, signal a healthy, robust brain... Exactly how exercise might be altering brains is impossible to say from this study. But Raji and his colleagues believe exercise reduces inflammation in the brain and also encourages the release of various neurochemicals that promote the creation of new brain cells and blood vessels. In effect, exercise seems to help build and bank a "structural brain reserve," he said, a buffer of extra cells and matter that could protect us somewhat from the otherwise inevitable decline in brain size and function that occurs as we age. Our brains may still shrink and sputter over the years. But, if we exercise, this slow fall starts from a higher baseline...

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Companies Once Focused On Mining Cryptocurrency Pivot To Generative AI

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 18:34
"Companies that once serviced the boom in cryptocurrency mining are pivoting to take advantage of the latest data gold rush," reports the Guardian. Canadian company Hive Blockchain changed its name in July to Hive Digital Technologies and announced it was pivoting to AI. "Hive has been a pioneering force in the cryptocurrency mining sector since 2017. The adoption of a new name signals a significant strategic shift to harness the potential of GPU Cloud compute technology, a vital tool in the world of AI, machine learning and advanced data analysis, allowing us to expand our revenue channels with our Nvidia GPU fleet," the company said in its announcement at the time. The company's executive chairman, Frank Holmes, told Guardian Australia the transition required a lot of work. "Moving from mining Ethereum to hosting GPU cloud services involves buying powerful new servers for our GPUs, upgrading networking equipment and moving to higher tier data centres," he said. "The only commonality is that GPUs are the workhorses in both cases. GPU cloud requires higher end supporting hardware and a more secure, faster data centre environment. There's a steep learning curve in the GPU cloud business, but our team is adapting well and learning fast." For others, like Iris Energy, a datacentre company operating out of Canada and Texas, and co-founded by Australian Daniel Roberts, it has been the plan all along. Iris did not require any changes to the way the company operated when the AI boom came along, Roberts told Guardian Australia. "Our strategy really has been about bootstrapping the datacentre platform with bitcoin mining, and then just preserve optionality on the whole digital world. The distinction with us and crypto-miners is we're not really miners, we're datacentre people." The company still trumpets its bitcoin mining capability but in the most recent results Iris said it was well positioned for "power dense computing" with 100% renewable energy. Roberts said it wasn't an either-or situation between bitcoin mining and AI. "I think when you look at bitcoin versus AI, the market will just reach equilibrium based on the market-based demands for each product," he said... Holmes said Hive also saw the two industries operating in parallel. "We love the bitcoin mining business, but its revenue is rather unpredictable. GPU cloud services should complement it well," he said. Thanks to long-time Slashdot reader mspohr for sharing the article.

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Climate Change Cripples Panama Canal. Fixing it Could Take Years

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 17:34
"Parched conditions have crippled a waterway that handles $270 billion a year in global trade," reports Bloomberg. "And there are no easy solutions. "The Panama Canal Authority is weighing potential fixes that include an artificial lake to pump water into the canal and cloud seeding to boost rainfall, but both options would take years to implement, if they're even feasible. " With water levels languishing at six feet (1.8 meters) below normal, the canal authority capped the number of vessels that can cross. The limits imposed late last year were the strictest since 1989... Some shippers are paying millions of dollars to jump the growing queue, while others are taking longer, costlier routes around Africa or South America. The constraints have since eased slightly due to a rainier-than-expected November, but at 24 ships a day, the maximum is still well below the pre-drought daily capacity of about 38. As the dry season takes hold, the bottleneck is poised to worsen again... The canal's travails reflect how climate change is altering global trade flows. Drought created chokepoints last year on the Mississippi River in the US and the Rhine in Europe. In the UK, rising sea levels are elevating the risk of flooding along the Thames. Melting ice is creating new shipping routes in the Arctic. Under normal circumstances, the Panama Canal handles about 3% of global maritime trade volumes and 46% of containers moving from Northeast Asia to the US East Coast... In the long term, the primary solution to chronic water shortages will be to dam up the Indio River and then drill a tunnel through a mountain to pipe fresh water 8 kilometers (5 miles) into Lake Gatún, the canal's main reservoir. The project, along with additional conservation measures, will cost about $2 billion, Erick Córdoba, the manager of the water division at the canal authority estimates. He says it will take at least six years to dam up and fill the site. The US Army Corps of Engineers is conducting a feasibility study. The Indio River reservoir would increase vessel traffic by 11 to 15 a day, enough to keep Panama's top moneymaker working at capacity while guaranteeing fresh water for Panama City... The country will need to dam even more rivers to guarantee water through the end of the century.

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HP, Many More Companies May Have Been Breached By Russian Intelligence Group

Slashdot - Sat, 2024-01-27 16:34
"Security experts expect many more companies to disclose that they've been hacked by Russian intelligence agents who stole emails from executives," reports the Washington Post, "following disclosures by Microsoft and Hewlett-Packard Enterprise in the past week." Microsoft said late Thursday that it had found more victims and was in the process of notifying them. A spokesperson declined to say how many. But three experts in and out of government said that the attack was deeper and broader than the disclosures to date reveal. Two said that more than 10 companies, and perhaps far more, are expected to come forward... The Securities and Exchange Commission last year strengthened the rules that require companies to notify their stockholders of computer intrusions that could have a material impact on company results. That helped spur the recent disclosures. A spokesperson for America's Department of Homeland Security said "at this time we are not aware of impacts to Microsoft customer environments or products," according to the article. (Although the Washington Post adds that "The Microsoft and HPE breaches are especially concerning because so many other companies and agencies rely on them for cloud services, including email.") The attackers were potentially spying on Microsoft's senior leadership team "for weeks or months," reports the Verge, citing a newly-published analysis by Microsoft: Crucially, the non-production test tenant account that was breached didn't have two-factor authentication enabled. [A cyber-breaching group named Nobelium from Russia's foreign intelligence service] "tailored their password spray attacks to a limited number of accounts, using a low number of attempts to evade detection," says Microsoft. From this attack, the group "leveraged their initial access to identify and compromise a legacy test OAuth application that had elevated access to the Microsoft corporate environment...." This elevated access allowed the group to create more malicious OAuth applications and create accounts to access Microsoft's corporate environment and eventually its Office 365 Exchange Online service that provides access to email inboxes... Hewlett Packard Enterprise (HPE) revealed earlier this week that the same group of hackers had previously gained access to its "cloud-based email environment." HPE didn't name the provider, but the company did reveal the incident was "likely related" to the "exfiltration of a limited number of [Microsoft] SharePoint files as early as May 2023."

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