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By Jay Bonggolto
Google launches News Showcase in the UK and Argentina
by Jay Bonggolto
Google's plan to launch a licensing program called News Showcase for publishers in Australia last year hit a snag when the country's legislators proposed a bill that would make it mandatory for tech giants to pay license fees to Australian media organizations for their content. The legislation led to a dispute between the search giant and Australia, almost jeopardizing the Australian users' access to the search engine. However, it didn't prevent Google from finally rolling out News Showcase in the country anyway.
Today, the licensing program is expanding to other countries. Google announced today that News Showcase is available to participating publishers in the UK and Argentina. As part of this program, those who've previously been unable to read paywalled news articles in those countries will now be able to access them.
News Showcase marks a win-win situation for both the publishers and consumers. For publishers, it essentially expands their market reach and opportunity to attract more paying subscribers. Meanwhile, consumers will have access to paid content that they would otherwise not be able to read.
In the UK, participating publishers include Archant, DC Thomson, Evening Standard, The Financial Times, Iliffe Media, The Independent, Midland News Association, New Statesman, Newsquest, JPI Media, Reach, The Telegraph, and Reuters. In Argentina, some of the news groups that signed up for the program are Clarin, La Nación, Perfil, Crónica, Cronista, El Economista, Diario Río Negro, El Día, La Gaceta, and El Litoral, among others.
News Showcase articles will appear on story panels that consumers can read through Google News on Android, iOS, and the mobile web, as well as Discover on iOS. In the future, these panels will also show up on the Google News and Discover apps on other platforms that they're available on. These panels will be accessible in the users' personalised feeds while panels from less familiar publishers may be recommended in the Google News “For You” feed and within “Newsstand". Users who tap on articles in a panel will be redirected to the publisher's direct web page.
Today's announcement represents another expansion for News Showcase, which already counts over 450 media partners across the world. In addition to Australia, Argentina, and the UK, the program is already available in Germany, Brazil, Canada, France, and Japan.
Debian 13 will be called 'Trixie' after Toy Story dinosaur
by Paul Hill
The Debian Project has announced that the codename name of Debian 13 is Trixie. Debian 13 is expected to be released sometime in 2025. Alongside the new name, the project announced that Debian 11 would reach its transition and essentials freeze on 12 January 2021; this is considered the first milestone of Debian 11 which is due for release later in 2021.
The codename Trixie comes from the blue dinosaur in Toy Story 3. Ever since 1996, the Debian Project has opted for Toy Story codenames and has so far used Buzz, Rex, Bo, Hamm, Slink, Potato, Woody, Sarge, Etch, Lenny, Squeeze, Wheezy, Jessie, Stretch, Buster, Bullseye, and Bookworm. The current version, Debian 10 ‘Buster’ was released in July 2019 and will receive security support until 2022 and long-term support until 2024.
As long as everything stays on schedule, Debian 11 ‘Bullseye’ should come out in 2021 and receive long-term support until 2026, Debian 12 ‘Bookworm’ will arrive in 2023 and get long-term support until 2028, and Debian 13 ‘Trixie’ will arrive in 2025 and receive long-term support until 2030.
With regards to the upcoming Debian 11 freeze, package maintainers are being asked to evaluate their plans going forward. Once the freeze occurs, the Debian Project does not want large or disruptive changes to packages as this could make them unstable. Having reliable software in Debian is very important for the project because it is the basis of other distributions such as Ubuntu.
By Rich Woods
Surface leaks show ARM-based Surface 7 with narrow bezels, Laptop 3 without Alcantara
by Rich Woods
Microsoft's big Surface launch event is just days away at this point, and FrAndroid says it has the scoop. A few things that we're expecting to see is the Surface Pro 7, a Snapdragon-powered Surface tablet, and Surface Laptop 3 in 13.5- and 15-inch flavors. Today's report shares some details on those devices.
According to the report, Surface 'Campus', which it calls Surface 7, will be "almost borderless". Apparently, it will stray from the Surface trend of large bezels, although the top and bottom bezels will still be a bit larger. The site compared it to an iPad Pro. There's no USB Type-A port, similar to a Surface Go, and it will come with 4G LTE. This would be the model that comes with the Snapdragon 8cx.
The Intel Surface Pro 7, however, won't see any meaningful design changes. The only real change will be that it has a USB Type-C port instead of a Mini DisplayPort. This part really isn't surprising at all.
Finally, the Surface Laptop 3 should see some design changes, as the whole Laptop lineup is seeing an overhaul. It will now come with AMD processors, and for the first time, there will be a 15-inch model. Apparently, it won't just add one USB Type-C port, but two. It also might ditch Alcantara fabric on the palm rest, or at least one of the models will.
There are new colors on the way, although the report wasn't clear on what those colors will actually be for. We'll see Yellow Sandstone, Glacier Blue, and Red Poppy in either the new Type Covers, the new Surface Laptops, or both.
Of course, we only have to wait a few days before we can confirm any of these rumors. The big reveal will be if Microsoft wants to show off its Centaurus dual-screen PC, although that wouldn't be ready for sale until next year anyway.
Researchers use Microsoft Kinect to scan dinosaur skull
by Andy Weir
Image credit: Field Museum of Natural History, Chicago (via MIT News) Researchers at the world-renowned Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) came up with a novel solution when they found that their sophisticated 3D scanning equipment wasn't quite up to the huge task of scanning the giant jaw of a tyrannosaurus rex.
Forensic dentists obtained special permission to carry out a 3D scan of a T-rex skull at the Field Museum of Natural History in Chicago, to try to understand the cause of some unusual holes in the beast's jawbone. But they quickly discovered that their high-resolution dental scanners couldn't handle such a large jaw, so they got in touch with the Camera Culture group at MIT's Media Lab for assistance.
The Media Lab has a prototype system for producing high-res 3D scans, but it wasn't ready to handle a job that big either. So the Camera Culture team considered an alternative approach, using off-the-shelf hardware and software.
Spending just $150 on hardware, and with the help of some free software, they were able to create a system capable of scanning the massive jaw of the mighty dinosaur. MIT News explained:
Their solution cost a fraction of the tens of thousands of dollars needed to purchase high-end commercial 3D scanners. Such expensive scanning equipment is obviously more capable, and offers a depth resolution of around 50 to 100 micrometers, compared with roughly 500 micrometers for the Kinect. Nonetheless, Microsoft's 3D sensor - which it originally released for its Xbox games consoles - still provided enough resolution to help the researchers get some answers.
Anshuman Das, a research scientist in the Camera Culture group, said he anticipates that this low-cost solution will prove invaluable to researchers around the world, including archaeologists and anthropologists. He said that with such affordable tools at their disposal, scientists will be able to immediately scan their discoveries as soon as they're uncovered in the field, and quickly share them with colleagues worldwide.
Source: MIT News via Engadget
In a dramatic discovery, police in Argentina believe they have found the largest collection of Nazi artifacts in the country's history.
The trove, which was found in a hidden room in a house near Buenos Aires, includes a bust relief of Adolf Hitler, magnifying glasses inside elegant boxes with swastikas and even a macabre medical device used to measure head size.
The Washington Post reports that the items were put on display at the Delegation of Argentine Israeli Associations in Buenos Aires on Monday.
The discovery of the 75 objects in a collector's home in Beccar, a suburb north of Buenos Aires has grabbed international attention. Authorities suspect the artifacts are originals that belonged to high-ranking Nazis in Germany during World War II.
"Our first investigations indicate that these are original pieces," Argentine Security Minister Patricia Bullrich told The Associated Press on Monday, saying that many pieces were accompanied by old photographs. "This is a way to commercialize them, showing that they were used by the horror, by the Fuhrer. There are photos of him with the objects."