We're Publishing the Facebook Papers. Here's How Facebook Killed News Feed Fixes Over Fear of Conservative Backlash.

This piece is part of Gizmodo’s ongoing effort to make the Facebook Papers available to the public. See the full directory of documents here.

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Source: Gizmodo – We’re Publishing the Facebook Papers. Here’s How Facebook Killed News Feed Fixes Over Fear of Conservative Backlash.

Apple staff are already using 'Tap to Pay' at the HQ visitor center

In February Apple unveiled Tap to Pay, a new feature that will enable merchants to accept payments with only an iPhone — something that could cut into the business of companies like Square. Now, it turns out that Apple is already testing the feature at its own Apple Park visitor center in Cupertino. 

A video tweeted by user @NTFTWT, spotted by MacRumors, shows the system in action, with a customer making an Apple Pay payment directly to the iPhone of an Apple staffer. They simply needed to touch their iPhone to the other iPhone, with no payment terminal in sight. 

As we detailed earlier, the technology requires an iPhone XS or later device. It works with Apple Pay, of course, but will also support contact-free credit and debit cards, third-party payment platforms and other digital wallets. Stripe has already detailed plans to offer Tap to Pay on iPhone to business customers in the spring, with other platforms and apps scheduled to come later in 2022. Dutch processor Adyen will work with Lightspeed Commerce, Newstore and other commerce platforms to help them use Tap to Pay. 

Apple promised a future iOS beta giving developers a look at Tap to Pay, but it has yet to release a date. Now that it seems to be operational at Apple’s own office, though, it might be a sign that it’ll launch soon in the US and around the world. 

Source: Engadget – Apple staff are already using ‘Tap to Pay’ at the HQ visitor center

Those Nauseating Viral Photos From Burger King in Germany Are Real, But There's a Catch

Have you seen those photos on social media featuring stomach-churning Burger King items from Germany? Believe it or not, the photos are real, but there’s one big catch: All of the foods being advertised were available for precisely one day at just one location in Berlin. They’re not regular items sold at Burger King…

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Source: Gizmodo – Those Nauseating Viral Photos From Burger King in Germany Are Real, But There’s a Catch

Mesa's Radeon Vulkan Driver Lands Indirect Ray-Tracing Support

Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan driver “RADV” continues working on maturing its ray-tracing implementation after the initial code was merged last year. RADV ray-tracing is still treated as experimental and not as reliable as the proprietary NVIDIA Vulkan driver’s ray-tracing support that has been around much longer, but it’s getting there and at least is open-source — unlike AMD’s official AMDVLK driver that continues to not support Vulkan RT unlike their proprietary driver alternative…

Source: Phoronix – Mesa’s Radeon Vulkan Driver Lands Indirect Ray-Tracing Support

Google Posts Latest Code For KCFI As Better Control-Flow Integrity For The Linux Kernel

Google engineer Sami Tolvanen has posted the second “request for comments” patch series on KCFI as a Control-Flow Integrity implementation better geared for Linux kernel usage than the existing CFI support…

Source: Phoronix – Google Posts Latest Code For KCFI As Better Control-Flow Integrity For The Linux Kernel

Install phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 22.04 with Apache

phpMyAdmin is a web-based application for interacting with MySQL database server. This tool provides you with a user interface to make MySQL operations so you don’t have to use the command line interface.In this guide you are going to learn how to install phpMyAdmin with Apache on Ubuntu 22.04 and secure it.

Source: LXer – Install phpMyAdmin on Ubuntu 22.04 with Apache

Celebrate Scratch Week with us

Scratch Week is a global celebration of Scratch that takes place from 15 to 21 May this year. Below, we’ve put together some free resources to help get kids coding with this easy-to-use, block-based programming language. If you’re not sure what Scratch is, check out our introduction video for parents.


Visit Scratch Island on Code Club World

Code Club World is a great place to start coding for children who have never done any coding or programming before. The Code Club World online platform lets them begin their coding journey with fun activities, starting by creating their own personal avatar.

The islands on Code Club World.

Then on Scratch Island, kids can code a game to find a hidden bug, design a fun ‘silly eyes’ app, or animate a story. No experience necessary! We’ve just added a parents’ guide to explain how Code Club World works.

Explore Scratch projects 

For kids who feel ready to move beyond the basics of Scratch this Scratch Week, our Projects site offers a catalogue of projects that further enhance kids’ coding skills as they earn badges and explore, design, and invent.

A platform game your kids can code in Scratch with our project path.

With the More Scratch path, they will create six projects to make apps, games, and simulations using message broadcasting, if..then and if..then..else decisions, and variables. Then with the Further Scratch path, they can explore the advanced features of Scratch in another six projects to use boolean logic, functions, and clones while creating apps, games, computer-generated art, and simulations.

Discover young people’s Scratch creations

Be inspired by the amazing things young tech creators worldwide code in Scratch by visiting the Coolest Projects Global 2022 showcase. Young people are showing off Scratch games, stories, art, and more. In our Coolest Projects online gallery, these creations are displayed amongst hundreds of others from around the world — it’s the ideal place to get inspired.

A young coder shows off her tech project for Coolest Projects to two other young tech creators.

Learn something new with our Introduction to Scratch course 

Are you curious about coding too? If you would like to start learning so you can better help young people with their creative projects, our online course Introduction to Programming with Scratch is perfect for you. It’s available on-demand, so you can join at any time and receive four weeks’ free access (select the ‘limited access’ option when you register). This course is a fun, inspiring, and colourful starting point if you have never tried coding before. 

If you’re a parent looking for more coding activities to share with your kids, you can sign up to our parent-focused newsletter.

We hope you enjoy exploring these resources during Scratch Week. 

The post Celebrate Scratch Week with us appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Source: Raspberry Pi – Celebrate Scratch Week with us

Is Python About to Get Faster?

“Python 3.11 will bear the fruits of CPython’s multi-year effort to make Python a faster programming language,” reports ZDNet.

“Core Python (CPython) developer Mark Shannon shared details about the project to make Python faster at the PyCon 2022 conference this week…”

Last year, Microsoft funded a project for the Python Software Foundation (PSF), led by Python creator Guido van Rossum and Shannon, to make Python twice as fast as the current stable 3.10 series. The vision is to nudge Python towards the performance of C. Microsoft hired van Rossum in 2020 and gave him a free hand to pick any project. At last year’s PyCon 2021 conference, he said he “chose to go back to my roots” and would work on Python’s famed lack of performance….

The Faster CPython Project provided some updates about CPython 3.11 performance over the past year. Ahead of PyCon 2022, the project published more results comparing the 3.11 beta preview to 3.10 on dozens of performance metrics, showing that 3.11 was overall 1.25 times faster than 3.10. Shannon is realistic about the project’s ability to improve Python performance, but believes the improvements can extend Python’s viable use to more virtual machines. “Python is widely acknowledged as slow. Whilst Python will never attain the performance of low-level languages like C, Fortran, or even Java, we would like it to be competitive with fast implementations of scripting languages, like V8 for Javascript or luajit for lua,” he wrote last year in the Python Enhancement Proposal (PEP) 659.

“Specifically, we want to achieve these performance goals with CPython to benefit all users of Python including those unable to use PyPy or other alternative virtual machines….”

On the question of a just-in-time (JIT) compiler for Python’s performance, Shannon suggested it was not a priority and would likely not arrive until Python 3.13, according to the Python Software Foundation’s coverage of the event…. According to the Faster Python implementation plan, CPython 3.12 might gain a “simple JIT compiler for small regions” that compiles small regions of specialized code, while 3.13 would enhance the compiler to extend the regions for compilation.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Is Python About to Get Faster?

Uber Eats is launching two autonomous delivery pilots today in Los Angeles

Uber Eats is launching not just one but two autonomous delivery pilots today in Los Angeles, TechCrunch has reported. The first is via an autonomous vehicle partnership with Motional, originally announced in December, and the second is with sidewalk delivery firm Serve Robotics, a company that spun out of Uber itself.

The trials will be limited, with deliveries from just a few merchants including the Kreation juicery and organic cafe. Serve will do short delivery routes in West Hollywood, while Motional will take care of longer deliveries in Santa Monica. “We’ll be able to learn from both of those pilots what customers actually want, what merchants actually want and what makes sense for delivery,” an Uber spokesperson told TechCrunch.

Uber will apparently charge for the deliveries from Serve. However, autonomous vehicle deliveries in California require a permit that Motional reportedly doesn’t possess, so it appears that customers won’t be charged for deliveries from their vehicles, for now. In addition, human operators will take control when near the drop-off locations “to ensure a convenient and seamless experience for customers,” a spokesperson said. 

Serve’s robots, meanwhile, will mostly be able to operate autonomously, but remote operators will take control in certain cases, as when crossing a street. 

Customers within specific test zones will have an option to have their food delivered by an autonomous vehicle and can track it as with a regular delivery. When the food arrives, they’ll be able to unlock the vehicle with a passcode to obtain their meals, either from a Serve cooler or the backseat of a Motional car. “The hope is that [the trials] are successful and that we learn over the coming months and then figure out how to scale,” Uber’s spokesperson said. 

Source: Engadget – Uber Eats is launching two autonomous delivery pilots today in Los Angeles

EA Plans Free Mobile 'Lord of the Rings' Game

Electronic Arts and Middle-earth Enterprises “announced on Monday an upcoming free mobile game called The Lord of the Rings: Heroes of Middle-earth,” reports CNET:
With the role-playing game, Lord of the Rings fans can look forward to experiencing the iconic universe in a whole new way…. The game will feature immersive storytelling with iconic plot lines, turn-based combat and a selection of characters from both The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit to battle the evils of Middle-earth.

“The team is filled with fans of The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit and each day they bring their tremendous passion and talents together to deliver an authentic experience for players,” Malachi Boyle, vice president of mobile RPG for Electronic Arts, said in a statement. “The combination of high-fidelity graphics, cinematic animations, and stylized art immerses players in the fantasy of Middle-earth where they’ll go head-to-head with their favorite characters.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – EA Plans Free Mobile ‘Lord of the Rings’ Game

The 2023 Nissan Z first drive

A red Nissan Z in Las Vegas

Enlarge / Nissan gives a big nod to its heritage while injecting a much-needed dose of modernity into its rear-drive sports coupe. But is it enough to go toe-to-toe with the segment’s best? (credit: Nissan)

The Z badge holds a certain reverence in the world of Japanese performance. Aside from a one-year break back in 2001, Nissan’s two-seater has been in continuous production since 1969, and the formula that was established by the original 240Z still remains in place more than half a century later: eye-catching proportions, driver-focused design, and a six-cylinder engine sending power to the rear wheels.

For decades the Z was locked in a rivalry with the Toyota Supra for sports car supremacy, but in 2002 Toyota decided to pull the plug on its sports coupe. Perhaps due in part to the absence of its natural sparring partner, the outgoing 370Z—which originally made its debut in 2008—had really been starting to show its age in recent years, but any notion that Nissan could afford to rest on its laurels was put to bed in 2019 when the Supra rejoined the fray.

Rather than collaborating with another OEM to build its new sports car (as Toyota did with BMW in order to develop the new Supra), the Z is wholly a product of Nissan, and that comes with inherent benefits as well as some notable drawbacks. But as we discovered while hunting down apices on the road course at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, carving corners on the winding desert tarmac near Nevada’s Lake Mead, and cruising through Sin City, the Z fundamentals thankfully still remain intact.

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Source: Ars Technica – The 2023 Nissan Z first drive

'Lord of the Rings' Prequel Series Will Explore 'Unseen History' of Middle-Earth

The site GeekyTyrant is excited about Amazon’s upcoming eight-episode series The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power — premiering September 2 and set in Middle-earth’s “Second Age,” thousands of years before the events of The Hobbit and The Lord Of The Rings.)
With the film being set in a completely different age, I was expecting Middle-Earth to be very different than what we’ve seen in the past. As we’ve seen in the first trailer that was released, the show does has a similar visual style as Peter Jackson’s films, but things are definitely going to be different.
During a recent interview with Empire, Rings Of Power concept artist John Howe, teased some of the surprises that are in store:

“This isn’t the Middle-earth you remember. This is a world that’s very vibrant. The elves are not hidden away in Mirkwood or lingering in Rivendell. They’re busy constructing kingdoms. The dwarven kingdom of Moria is not an abandoned mine and the Grey Havens is not yet an abandoned city. I loved having the opportunity to explore that unseen history.”
He went on to share that the series will finally explore the oceans of Middle-Earth and says that there will be a set of seafaring elves.
Or, as Amazon’s press release puts it, The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power “will take viewers back to an era in which great powers were forged, kingdoms rose to glory and fell to ruin, unlikely heroes were tested, hope hung by the finest of threads, and the greatest villain that ever flowed from Tolkien’s pen threatened to cover all the world in darkness….”

The Independent notes the show “has been in the works since 2017” — and that Prime Video bought the rights for $250m (£183m). And now Prime Video has even invited some JRR Tolkien fans to attent a preview screening of the show:

[F]ans of Middle Earth were nervous ahead of sitting down to watch footage from the show — but those nerves soon made way for excitement, with fans praising the series as well as the showrunners, JD Payne and Patrick McKay…. Fan Dr Maggie Parke said that the showrunners “kept up with the best of us”, stating: “Their passion & knowledge made me feel like they were one of us, they get it. I’m feeling very optimistic…!”

The newspaper quotes another preview attendee’s conclusion that “”We, as Tolkien fans, are in good hands! Above and beyond, I was absolutely blown away. I cannot wait to see more — it’s just beyond words.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – ‘Lord of the Rings’ Prequel Series Will Explore ‘Unseen History’ of Middle-Earth

The Best Lord Of The Rings Video Games

Tolkien’s influence on video games stretches back decades. Fans have been playing games based on The Lord of the Rings (and The Hobbit) for almost as long as there have been video games, and for every misguided flop there has been a game that has been surprisingly OK for a licensed product. And in some cases much…

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Source: Kotaku – The Best Lord Of The Rings Video Games

Twitter Turns Its Privacy Policy Into a Videogame about a Dog

What did you think of Twitter Data Dash?
The Guardian describes it as “a Super Nintendo-style browser game that recaps Twitter’s private policy.”

And the Verge applauds the game — released Wednesday — for its “delightful pixel art aesthetic.”

“Welcome to PrivaCity!” reads a description of the game on the site. “Get your dog, Data, safely to the park.

“Dodge cat ads, swim through a sea of DMs, battle trolls, and learn how to take control of your Twitter experience along the way….”

The game itself is a pretty straightforward side-scrolling platformer. Each level is themed around what I can best describe as Twitter Things — one features cats wearing ad boards, another has you avoiding trolls — and your goal is to collect five bones as quickly as you can. If you get the bones, the game will explain something about Twitter’s privacy settings related to that level and even offer a button linking to Twitter’s settings. When you beat the cat ad level, for example, you’ll see a message about how Twitter customizes your experience on the platform and points to where you can turn personalized ads on or off….

Twitter introduced the game as part of a bigger push around its privacy policy, which the company has rewritten. “We’ve emphasized clear language and moved away from legal jargon,” Twitter said on its Safety account.

Gizmodo calls the game “adorable,” but also “buggy”. And they also have some quibbles with its ultimate message:
It’s a bit rich that Twitter made a game about avoiding faceless advertisers when the platform is actively doing everything it can to make ads tougher to avoid….
[A]fter watching our personas bounce from level to level with our lil blue dog in tow, it became clear that this game is less for us — or any Twitter user, really — and more for the company itself. It’s a way to paper over uncomfortable topics like “privacy” and “consent” and “ownership of our personal data” with a lil blue dog, collecting lil bones by hopping across lil stages. Just promise you won’t think about where those bones came from in the first place.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Twitter Turns Its Privacy Policy Into a Videogame about a Dog