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Istanbul Convention: Poland to leave European treaty on violence against women

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Thousands of women have protested against the withdrawal from the Istanbul Convention.
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linuxfingers
15 days ago
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Behold! Saturn has no summertime blues in this amazing Hubble telescope photo

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Can't get enough of summer? Saturn's northern hemisphere is also in the throes of the season, and the Hubble Space Telescope has captured a stunning new photo of the ringed planet to celebrate.

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linuxfingers
16 days ago
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Blackbaud Hack: Universities lose data to ransomware attack

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At least seven UK universities and one in Canada were affected by attack on a cloud computing provider.
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linuxfingers
16 days ago
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Intel's 7nm is Broken, Company Announces Delay Until 2022, 2023

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(Image credit: Tom's Hardware)

Intel announced today in its Q2 2020 earnings release that it has now delayed the rollout of its 7nm CPUs by six months relative to its previously-planned release date, undoubtedly resulting in wide-ranging delays to the company's roadmaps. Intel's press release also says that yields for its 7nm process are now twelve months behind the company's internal targets, meaning the company isn't currently on track to produce its 7nm process in an economically viable way. The company now says its 7nm CPUs will not debut on the market until late 2022 or early 2023. 

Here's the snippet from Intel's press release:

"The company's 7nm-based CPU product timing is shifting approximately six months relative to prior expectations. The primary driver is the yield of Intel's 7nm process, which based on recent data, is now trending approximately twelve months behind the company's internal target."

On the earnings call, Intel CEO Bob Swan said the company had identified a "defect mode" in its 7nm process that caused yield degradation issues. As a result, Intel has invested in "contingency plans," which Swan later defined as using third-party foundries. The company will also use external third-party foundries as a contingency plan for its forthcoming 7nm Ponte Vecchio GPUs, the company's first graphics chips. Swan noted the GPUs will come in late 2021 or early 2022, portending a delay beyond the original schedule for a 2021 launch in the exascale Aurora supercomputer. Ponte Vecchio comes as a chiplet-based design, and Swan clarified that some of the production for the chiplets (tiles) will be outsourced to third parties. 

Intel also says that its first 10nm desktop CPUs, Alder Lake, will arrive in the second half of 2021, and its first 7nm server CPUs (Granite Rapids) will arrive in 2023, a delay from earlier roadmaps that projected a launch in 2022.

For perspective, rival foundry TSMC plans to be on the 3nm node in the same time frame as Intel's new schedule for 7nm. The company clearly isn't pleased with its execution on the 7nm node, as Swan remarked that "I'm not happy, I'm not pleased, with our 7nm performance" at the end of the call. Swan also said "we have root-caused the [7nm] issue and believe there are no fundamental roadblocks" and that the company would provide further updates at an upcoming Architecture Day

It's unclear how Intel will reconcile a six month delay to its 7nm processors with a year delay to its internal 7nm yield projections, but Swan said the company had a built-in buffer in its roadmap to account for process node delays. The 7nm delay reflects yet another setback as Intel still struggles to overcome the multi-year yield issues it has encountered with its 10nm process. Those delays have allowed its competitors, like AMD, to seize an opportunity to wrest the process node leadership position from Intel for the first time in the company's history. That's triggered a price war in the market as Intel fights a true x86 competitor with a better node, not to mention Amazon's new Graviton 2 ARM chips based on TSMC's 7nm node. Apple also recently announced that it is transitioning from Intel's chips to its own ARM-based 7nm silicon. The announcement also exacerbates the recent news that rock star chip architect Jim Keller, who was a key part of a team effort to revitalize the company's roadmaps, has left the company. 

(Image credit: Intel)

Intel CFO George Davis has previously indicated that the company's process tech would lag its its competitors until 2021 until 7nm arrived in 2021, and that the company would regain the lead with its 5nm process at an undefined time:

"So we bring a lot of capability to the table for our customers, in addition to the CPU, and we feel like we're starting to see the acceleration on the process side that we have been talking about to get back to parity in the 7nm generation and regain leadership in the 5nm generation."

"As we said back at our analyst day in May of 19: Look, this isn't just going to be the best node that Intel has ever had. It's going to be less productive than 14nm, less productive than 22nm, but we're excited about the improvements that we're seeing and we expect to start the 7nm period with a much better profile of performance over that starting at the end of 2021."

That plan to regain a competitive footing has now obviously shifted due to the 7nm delay. Intel had planned to speed the delivery of its 7nm node to offset the underperforming 10nm, which it said would not perform as well as other nodes. At the time, Davis noted that the company was trying to be clear with investors about the impacts of 10nm on the company's gross margins: "...but the fact is that I wanted to be clear what was happening during the 10nm generation. The fact is, it isn't going to be as strong a node as people would expect from 14nm or what they'll see in 7nm."

"Also, we were at a time when in order to regain process leadership we had to accelerate the overlap between 10nm, 7nm, and then 7nm and 5nm, so the cost that you're absorbing, starting in particular in 2021, you’ve got this intersection of the performance of 10nm, the investment in 7nm, and were also well into starting the investment in 5nm: All of those elements just combine to impact gross margin."

This news was just released in Intel's financial earnings with no forewarning and the company says it will announce more details during its earnings call, so we're digging deeper. The company has its earnings briefing shortly and we've reached out for further context. We'll update this post as we learn more.  

Breaking news...more to come..


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linuxfingers
16 days ago
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‘F*ck Them Over Later’: Inside The Massive Alleged Bribery Scheme Rocking Ohio

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Several Ohio politicos — including the speaker of the Ohio statehouse — were arrested and slammed with federal charges Tuesday with a massive bribery scheme.

In an affidavit released Tuesday, an FBI agent spelled out how the men, working with and through the dark money group Generation Now, allegedly pushed legislation last year to bail out two aging and financially troubled nuclear power plants in exchange for millions of dollars of bribes and political support.

The alleged criminal enterprise is “likely the largest bribery–money laundering scheme ever perpetrated against the people of Ohio,” U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio David DeVillers said at a press conference Tuesday.

The scheme was allegedly fueled by $60 million from a company identified as “Company A” in the affidavit. From the affidavit’s description, that company appears to be FirstEnergy, the owner of the power plants at the time the legislation passed last year. The bailout legislation ultimately showered more than a billion dollars in bailout cash on the power plants.

“Everyone in this room knows who Company A is,” Devillers said Tuesday.

According to the affidavit, the scheme started in early 2017, when Householder took a trip on Company A’s private jet. Shortly thereafter, he allegedly began receiving quarterly $250,000 payments into a 501(c)4 that he himself secretly controlled: Generation Now.

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Over the years, Company A allegedly spent more than $60 million on the so-called “Householder Enterprise,” funding pass-through groups and politicians in pursuit of the bailout it ultimately got last year.

Through Generation Now, Company A allegedly spent cartloads of money supporting candidates for the Ohio statehouse who would support Householders’ bid for speaker. Householder and most of those candidates subsequently supported House Bill 6 — the Company-A-supported — legislation to prop up the power plants, and defended it against a referendum aimed at reversing it after the bill passed.

“We’re not done with this investigation,” DeVillers said Tuesday. “There’s going to be a lot of busy FBI agents and AUSAs here in the Southern District of Ohio.”

‘The Speaker’s (c)(4)’

The affidavit quoted several of the other men arrested Tuesday — former state GOP chairman Matt Borges, lobbyists Neil Clark and Juan Cespedes, and an adviser to Householder, Jeff Longstreth — speaking about Company A like a piggy bank. The millions of dollars that Company A “donated” to Generation Now, the affidavit said, “are akin to bags of cash.”

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In recorded phone calls, the defendants allegedly discussed the advantages of bankrolling their operation with a 501(c)4. “You don’t have to be afraid of anyone,” Clark allegedly told Householder in one recorded call, discussing the advantages of a group that didn’t have to disclose its donors to election authorities.

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And, lest there was any doubt that Company A was heavily invested in Householder’s scheme, Borges — a lobbyist for the company and alleged “key middleman” in the scheme — spelled it out in yet another recorded call, according to the feds. alt

Though the scheme allegedly culminated in the 2019 passage of HB6, which bailed out FirstEnergy’s power plants, it went back years — starting with an effort to get Householder the speakership.

After being term-limited in the early aughts and leaving the legislature, Householder was reelected as a state representative in 2016. But before he was even elected that year, he allegedly already had his eyes set on another run as speaker.

A document created in October 2016 and found in the possession of his top adviser, Jeff Longstreth, allegedly showed the plan for 2018: Use a 501(c)4 as the “recruitment and fundraising arm” in order to fill the House of Representatives with Householder loyalists.alt

According to the affidavit, the Householder Enterprise backed 15 candidates (including Householder) in the 2018 primaries and added six more candidates in the general election. Most of these candidates won their races, the affidavit said. All who won voted for Householder to become the speaker, and all but two voted for the FirstEnergy bailout.

Informed that some people had opted to help another representative’s bid for the speakership, Householder allegedly replied in a recorded conversation: “Yeah, we can fuck them over later.”

The ‘Company A’ Piggy Bank

Over and over, bank records show Company A allegedly wiring hundreds of thousands of dollars into Generation Now, as well as pass-through companies, at crucial moments — such as days before the November 2018 elections.

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“The volume and timing of the payments from Company A proved crucial to the Enterprise’s success,” the affidavit asserted.

According to the feds, the scheme heated up once the bailout package was up for a vote, in mid-2019. As Householder herded the legislation through the House — helped by a hefty ad campaign allegedly funded by Company A — he allegedly applied pressure to lawmakers to get on board.

In the middle of an interview with an FBI agent, in fact, one unnamed representative allegedly received a text message from Householder asking for their support.

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When the legislator refused, Householder allegedly responded: “I just want you to remember — when I needed you — you weren’t there.” The affidavit said that Householder, through an unnamed intermediary, later instructed the legislator to delete the texts he’d received from Householder about the legislation. The legislator informed the FBI.

As the legislation moved to the state Senate, texts obtained by authorities show Householder’s deep involvement in Generation Now: In one series of texts with Longstreth, his top adviser, Householder allegedly complained about seeing the same Generation Now ad over and over again — or, in Householder’s words, “that poor sum bitch drive that pickup truck down the road and cry about losing his job.” The ad, Householder allegedly said, was “burnt in.”

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‘Let’s just get all the signature firms hired tomorrow’

The fight against HB6 continued even after Gov. Mike DeWine (R) signed it into law in July 2019. At that point, a group of Ohioans launched a signature drive to get a referendum on the next ballot to reverse the law. Even then, the feds said, Householder’s scheme tried to stay one step ahead.

Responding to the signature-gathering effort, Cespedes, the lobbyist and alleged middleman, talked strategy with Longstreth. The plan? Hire all the competent signature-collection companies, so that anti-bailout activists couldn’t.

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In addition to supporting Company A, Householder and his crew also opposed the referendum effort because its success would undermine Householder’s power, the affidavit alleged.

At a dinner with Householder in September last year, Clark allegedly said that legislators needed to know: “If you attack a member, we’re going to fucking rip your dick off.”

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However, as the anti-bailout effort gained steam, the Householder Enterprise appeared to grow desperate. And so, per the affidavit, Householder’s crew allegedly offered bribes to the opposing side’s signature-gathering operation to switch sides.

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The Householder Enterprise also allegedly offered $15,000 to a manager for the other side’s operation, in exchange for information.

That was a mistake. The affidavit didn’t name the manager who accepted a $15,000 bribe from Borges — because they were working with the FBI. Instead, the affidavit refers to them as CHS 1 — the confidential human source who helped document what may be the largest bribery scandal in Ohio history.

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linuxfingers
18 days ago
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Trump admin undercuts CDC, seizes control of national COVID-19 data

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Huge facade for CDC headquarters against a beautiful sky.

Enlarge / Signage outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) headquarters in Atlanta, Georgia, on Saturday, March 14, 2020. (credit: Bloomberg | Getty Images)

A new directive from the Trump administration has cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention out of the loop for data from hospitals treating patients with COVID-19, a move which could have significant effects on what information about the pandemic is made public and how it is presented and used.

The updated instructions from the Department of Health and Human Services (PDF), dated July 10, go into effect today. Under the new mandate, the CDC "will no longer control" data reported by hospitals about admissions, capacity, resource utilization, ventilator use, staffing—or COVID-related deaths. Hospitals are instead required to make their reports directly to HHS, to have a third party make the report to HHS, or to make reports to their states if their states are certified to receive it.

The instructions also explicitly bar hospitals from reporting to the CDC in addition to HHS: "As of July 15, 2020, hospitals should no longer report the COVID-19 information in this document to the National Healthcare Safety Network site," the document explains, referring to the CDC's system.

Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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linuxfingers
24 days ago
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This..uh...doesn't sound good.
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2 public comments
shanel
24 days ago
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Get ready for the true numbers of people dying to multiply as states open up based on cooked data.
New York, New York
JayM
25 days ago
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Ummm.
Atlanta, GA
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