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    - The US Cannot Crush Us, Says Huawei Founder
    The founder of Huawei has said there is "no way the US can crush" the company, in an interview with the BBC. From the report: Ren Zhengfei, founder and president of Huawei, described the arrest of his daughter Meng Wanzhou, the company's chief financial officer, as politically motivated. The US is pursuing criminal charges against Huawei and Ms Meng, including money laundering, bank fraud and stealing trade secrets. Huawei denies any wrongdoing. Mr Ren spoke to the BBC's Karishma Vaswani in his first international broadcast interview since Ms Meng was arrested -- and dismissed the pressure from the US. "There's no way the US can crush us," he said. "The world cannot leave us because we are more advanced. Even if they persuade more countries not to use us temporarily, we can always scale things down a bit." However, he acknowledged that the potential loss of custom could have a significant impact. [...] Mr Ren warned that "the world cannot leave us because we are more advanced". "If the lights go out in the West, the East will still shine. And if the North goes dark, there is still the South. America doesn't represent the world. America only represents a portion of the world."

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    - House Opens Inquiry Into Proposed US Nuclear Venture In Saudi Arabia
    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: President Trump's former national security adviser and other White House officials pushed a venture to bring nuclear power plants to Saudi Arabia over repeated legal and ethical warnings that potential conflicts of interest around the plan could put American security at risk, concluded a new report from House Democrats released on Tuesday. The 24-page report from the House Oversight and Reform Committee outlined actions taken in the early weeks of the Trump administration to secure government backing to have American companies build dozens of nuclear power plants across Saudi Arabia, potentially at the risk of spreading nuclear weapons technology. But House Democrats said there was evidence that as recently as last week, the White House was still considering the proposal. Claims presented by whistle-blowers and White House documents obtained by the committee show that the company backing the nuclear plan, IP3 International, and its allies in the White House were working so closely that the company sent a draft memo to the former national security adviser, Michael T. Flynn, to circulate just days after the inauguration. Mr. Flynn had worked on the plan for IP3 during the Trump campaign and transition, the Democrats said, and continued to advocate for it in the White House. Even after Mr. Flynn left the White House in February 2017, officials on the National Security Council pushed ahead, the Democrats said, ignoring advice from the N.S.C.'s ethics counsel and other lawyers to cease all work on the plan because of potentially illegal conflicts. At a March 2017 meeting, a National Security Council aide tried to revive the IP3 plan "so that Jared Kushner can present it to the President for approval," the Democratic report said, a reference to Mr. Trump's son-in-law and top adviser. The draft memo also referenced another close Trump associate, Thomas J. Barrack, who served as chairman of the president's inaugural committee. It said that Mr. Trump had appointed Mr. Barrack as a special representative to implement the plan, which it called "the Middle East Marshall Plan." The memo also directed agencies to support Mr. Barrack's efforts.

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    - Linux Subsystem Files To Become Accessible via Windows File Explorer
    One of Windows Subsystem for Linux's more annoying tricks is it's hard to get at your Linux files from Windows. From a report: Oh, you can do it, but you take a real chance of ruining the files. To quote Microsoft, "DO NOT, under ANY circumstances, access, create, and/or modify files in your distro's filesystem using Windows apps, tools, scripts, consoles, etc." In the forthcoming Windows 10 April 2019 Update, aka Windows 10 19H1, this Linux file problem will finally be fixed. According to Craig Loewen, a Microsoft programming manger working on Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL), "The next Windows update is coming soon and we're bringing exciting new updates to WSL with it! These include accessing the Linux file system from Windows, and improvements to how you manage and configure your distros in the command line."

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    - Middle-Age Men Who Can Do 40+ Push-Ups Have Lower Heart Disease Risk, Study Finds
    A new study finds that active middle aged men who can do more than 40 push-ups at a time have a significantly lower risk of heart disease. From a report: Researchers at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health followed more than 1,100 middle-aged male firefighters over a decade. They looked at two specific measures: how many push-ups they could do and their exercise tolerance on a treadmill. They found that men who could do more than 40 push-ups had a 96-percent lower risk of heart disease than those who could do no more than 10 and their ability to do push-ups was a better predictor of cardiovascular disease than their stamina on a treadmill test.

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    - Trump Directs Pentagon To Create Space Force Legislation for Congress
    President Donald Trump signed a directive on Tuesday that ordered the Department of Defense to create a Space Force as a sixth military branch. From a report: With a directive signed Tuesday, Mr. Trump was positioning the Space Force much as the Marine Corps fits into the Navy, officials said, with the result being lower costs and less bureaucracy. The plan would require congressional approval. Mr. Trump is to propose funding in his proposed 2020 budget, and spell out a goal of eventually establishing the Space Force as a separate military department, a senior administration official said. "Space, that's the next step and we have to be prepared," said Mr. Trump, who added that adversaries were training forces and developing technology. "I think we'll have great support from Congress." The order Mr. Trump signed, Space Policy Directive 4, calls for a legislative proposal by the secretary of defense to establish a chief of staff of the Space Force within the Air Force. That officer would be a member of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, according to an outline. There also be a new under secretary of defense for space to be appointed by the president. The proposal calls for the Space Force to organize, train and equip personnel to defend the U.S. in space, to provide independent military options for "joint and national leadership" and "enable the lethality and effectiveness of the joint force," according to the administration's outline.

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    - Analysis of Four-Day Working Week Trial by a New Zealand Financial Services Company Finds Staff Were Happier and 20% More Productive
    AmiMoJo shares a report: The founder of one of the first big companies to switch to a four-day working week has called on others to follow, claiming it has resulted in a 20% increase in productivity, appeared to have helped increase profits and boosted staff wellbeing. Analysis of one of the biggest trials yet of the four-day working week has revealed no fall in output, reduced stress and increased staff engagement, fuelling hopes that a better work-life-balance for millions could be in sight. Perpetual Guardian, a New Zealand financial services company, switched its 240 staff from a five-day to a four-day week last November and maintained their pay. Productivity increased in the four days they worked so there was no drop in the total amount of work done, a study of the trial released on Tuesday has revealed. The trial was monitored by academics at the University of Auckland and Auckland University of Technology. Among the Perpetual Guardian staff they found scores given by workers about leadership, stimulation, empowerment and commitment all increased compared with a 2017 survey. Details of an earlier trial showed the biggest increases were in commitment and empowerment. Staff stress levels were down from 45% to 38%. Work-life balance scores increased from 54% to 78%. "This is an idea whose time has come," said Andrew Barnes, Perpetual Guardian's founder and chief executive. "We need to get more companies to give it a go. They will be surprised at the improvement in their company, their staff and in their wider community."

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    - Google's Waymo Risks Repeating Silicon Valley's Most Famous Blunder
    An anonymous reader shares a report: Everyone in Silicon Valley knows the story of Xerox inventing the modern personal computer in the 1970s and then failing to commercialize it effectively. Yet one of Silicon Valley's most successful companies, Google's Alphabet, appears to be repeating Xerox's mistake with its self-driving car program. Xerox launched its Palo Alto Research Center (PARC) in 1970. By 1975, its researchers had invented a personal computer with a graphical user interface that was almost a decade ahead of its time. Unfortunately, the commercial version of this technology wasn't released until 1981 and proved to be an expensive flop. Two much younger companies -- Apple and Microsoft -- co-opted many of Xerox's ideas and wound up dominating the industry. Google's self-driving car program, created in 2009, appears to be on a similar trajectory. By October 2015, Google was confident enough in its technology to put a blind man into one of its cars for a solo ride in Austin, Texas. But much like Xerox 40 years earlier, Google has struggled to bring its technology to market. The project was rechristened Waymo in 2016, and Waymo was supposed to launch a commercial driverless service by the end of 2018. But the service Waymo launched in December was not driverless and barely commercial. It had a safety driver in every vehicle, and it has only been made available to a few hundred customers.

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    - Microsoft Releases Windows 10 Timeline Extension For Google Chrome
    Microsoft has released an official Timeline extension for Google Chrome called "Web Activities" that brings Timeline integration to Google's web browser. From a report: Just like with Microsoft Edge, this new extension syncs web browsing activities with the Timeline feature on Windows 10, making it easier to pick up old activities and search through webpages you've visited recently. The extension is available now in the Chrome Web Store, and ties with your Microsoft Account.

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    - Apple's Newest Macs Seem To Have a Serious Audio Bug
    An anonymous reader writes: Apple's new Mac products might have a serious audio glitch for professional users. The company's newest Mac products with its T2 security chip suffer from a software-related bug that leads to issues with audio performance. The issue seemingly affects devices with the T2 chip -- that includes the iMac Pro, Mac Mini 2018, MacBook Air 2018, and MacBook Pro 2018. Although Apple's T2 chip is designed to offer improved security, it's affecting users in the pro audio industry. As CDM reports, there is a bug in macOS that leads to dropouts and glitches in audio whenever a Mac automatically updates its system clock through the system time daemon. Users have been reporting the issue across a bunch of different pro audio forums for months, and it seems like the issue has never been acknowledged by Cupertino. The issue here is pretty simple to understand, as explained by a DJ software developer on Reddit: whenever the system time daemon automatically updates the system time, it somehow sends a 'pause-audio-engine' message to the kernel, leading to dropouts and glitches in audio.

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    - Google Launches New .dev TLD
    Google Registry today announced .dev, a brand new top-level domain (TLD) that's dedicated to developers and technology. From a report: The new .dev TLD comes after the company launched .app and .page, all are protected by HTTPS. Google has already used the TLD for a few of its own projects, such as web.dev and opensource.dev, but now it is being opened up to a wider audience. If you are interested in securing yourself a .dev domain, you can register through the Early Access Program.

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    - Android Q May Change the Back Button To a Gesture
    Android's back button might be going away entirely, replaced with a quick swipe to the left from the home button. From a report: XDA Developers has been digging into a leaked, early set of code from the next version of Android, codenamed Q, and the latest discovery from those forays is this potential demise of the back button, as well as a quicker app-changing animation when you swipe to the right. The way that gestures and buttons work in Android 9 Pie (the current iteration, at least if you're lucky enough to own a phone that runs it) is a little bit split. Google's Pixel has just a home "pill" and then a back button appears only when it's needed. Here's a quick video XDA made showing the gesture system Google is experimenting with in Android Q. It is, as anybody could have predicted, a little messy. For something as core to a phone as "going home" or "going back," the fact that different phones have different methods could be a problem.

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    - You Have Around 20 Minutes To Contain a Russian APT Attack
    When a Russian nation-state actor attacks a government or a private organization, they have about 20 minutes to detect and contain the attack. From a report: New statistics published today by US cyber-security firm Crowdstrike ranked threat groups based on their "breakout time." "Breakout time" refers to the time a hacker group takes from gaining initial access to a victim's computer to moving laterally through its network. This includes the time the attacker spends scanning the local network and deploying exploits in order to escalate his access to other nearby computers. [...] According to data gathered from 2018 hack investigations, CrowdStrike says Russian hackers (which the company calls internally "Bears") have been the most prolific and efficient hacker groups last year, with an average breakout time of 18 minutes and 49 seconds.

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    - Programming Interview Questions Are Too Hard and Too Short
    Programming interview questions can feel unnecessarily difficult. Sometimes they actually are, a new study has found. And this isn't just because they make interviews excessively stressful. The study shows that harder programming questions actually do a worse job of predicting final outcomes than easier ones. From the study: Programming under time pressure is difficult. This is especially true during interviews. A coding exercise that would seem simple under normal circumstances somehow becomes a formidable challenge under the bright lights of an interview room. Stress hormones cloud your thinking during interviews (even though, sadly, neither fight nor flight is an effective response to a menacing programming problem). And it can almost feel like the questions are designed to be perversely difficult. I actually think this is more than just a feeling. Interview questions are designed to be hard. Because the cost of hiring a bad engineer is so much higher than the cost of rejecting a good engineer, companies are incentivized to set a high bar. And for most companies that means asking hard questions. Intuitively this makes sense because harder questions seem like they should result in a more rigorous screening process. But intuition turns out to be a poor guide here. Our data shows that harder questions are actually less predictive than relatively easy ones. Further reading: Programmers Are Confessing Their Coding Sins To Protest a Broken Job Interview Process.

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    - DC Cancels Comic Where Jesus Learns From Superhero After Outcry
    AmiMoJo writes: A new comics series in which Jesus Christ is sent on "a most holy mission by God" to learn "what it takes to be the true messiah of mankind" from a superhero called Sun-Man, has been cancelled by DC Comics. The move follows a petition that called it "outrageous and blasphemous". The Second Coming series, from DC imprint Vertigo, was due to launch on 6 March. Written by Mark Russell and illustrated by Richard Pace, its story followed Jesus's return to Earth. "Shocked to discover what has become of his gospel," he teams up with a superhero, Sun-Man, who is more widely worshipped than him.

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    - Amazon Plans To Make 50% of Shipments Net Zero Carbon by 2030
    Amazon says it hopes to make 50 percent of all shipments to customers with net zero carbon in the next 11 years as part of an initiative it's calling Shipment Zero. From a report: It also announced that it'll share a report detailing its companywide carbon footprint -- along with "related goals and programs" -- later this year, and that it'll continue to use customer feedback to "enable" and "encourage" its supply chain partners to reduce their environmental impact. The initiative builds on the Seattle retailer's ongoing work to minimize its contributions to greenhouse gases, Dave Clark, senior vice president of worldwide operations at Amazon, explained in a blog post. Amazon currently has over 200 scientists, engineers, and product designers dedicated to "inventing new ways" to "leverage [its] scale" for the "good of customers and the planet," he said, and has engaged in an "extensive" project over the past two years to develop a model that provides internal teams with data to help them identify ways to reduce carbon use.

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