Amazon is taking a tough stance against vendors who sell fully-loaded Kodi boxes and other “pirate” media players through its platform. From a report: The store now explicitly bans media players that “promote” or “suggest” the facilitation of piracy. Sellers who violate this policy, of which there are still a few around, risk having their inventory destroyed. […] While Kodi itself is a neutral platform, millions of people use third-party add-ons to turn it into the ultimate pirate machine. In some cases, the pirate add-ons are put onto the devices by vendors, who sell these “fully-loaded” boxes through their own stores or marketplaces such as Amazon. The ecommerce giant appears to be well aware of the controversy, as it recently published an updated policy clarifying that pirate media players are not permitted on the platform. Merely ‘suggesting’ that devices can be used for infringing purposes is enough to have them delisted.
Australia is close to seizing the global crown for the longest streak of economic growth thanks to a mixture of policy guile and outrageous fortune. From a report: While growth is being underpinned by population gains and resource exports to China, failure to spur productivity has meant stagnant living standards and electoral discontent; a property bubble fueled by record-low interest rates has driven household debt to levels that threaten financial stability; and a timid government facing political gridlock could lose the nation’s prized AAA rating as early as May because of spiraling budget deficits. Australia’s last recession — defined locally as two straight quarters of contraction — occurred in 1991 and was a devastating conclusion to eight years of reform designed to create an open, flexible and competitive economy. But it also proved cathartic, paving the way for a low-inflation, productivity-driven expansion. As momentum started waning, China’s re-emergence as a pre-eminent global economic power sent demand for Australian resources skyrocketing, helping shield the nation from the worst of the global financial crisis. But the post-crisis return of the boom proved ephemeral, failing to boost government coffers and pushing the local currency higher, eroding competitiveness and driving another nail into the coffin of a fading manufacturing sector.
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: You may have just upgraded your computer to use DDR4 recently or you may still be using DDR3, but in either case, nothing stays new forever. JEDEC, the organization in charge of defining new standards for computer memory, says that it will be demoing the next-generation DDR5 standard in June of this year and finalizing the standard sometime in 2018. DDR5 promises double the memory bandwidth and density of DDR4, and JEDEC says it will also be more power-efficient, though the organization didn’t release any specific numbers or targets. Like DDR4 back when it was announced, it will still be several years before any of us have DDR5 RAM in our systems. That’s partly because the memory controllers in processors and SoCs need to be updated to support DDR5, and these chips normally take two or three years to design from start to finish. DDR4 RAM was finalized in 2012, but it didn’t begin to go mainstream until 2015 when consumer processors from Intel and others added support for it. DDR5 has no relation to GDDR5, a separate decade-old memory standard used for graphics cards and game consoles.
Microsoft corporate vice president Brian Harry announced in a blog post today that they are shutting down CodePlex, its service for hosting repositories of open source software. “As of this post, we’ve disabled the ability to create new CodePlex projects,” Harry wrote. “In October, we’ll set CodePlex to read-only, before shutting it down completely on December 15th, 2017.” VentureBeat reports: While people will be able to download an archive of their data, Microsoft is teaming up with GitHub, which provides similar functionality for hosting code that people can collaborate on, to give users “a streamlined import experience” to migrate code and related content there. “Over the years, we’ve seen a lot of amazing options come and go but at this point, GitHub is the de facto place for open source sharing and most open source projects have migrated there,” Harry wrote. Microsoft has been leaning in more and more to GitHub in the past few years. It moved the CNTK deep learning toolkit from CodePlex to GitHub last year. Today Microsoft’s GitHub organization has more than 16,000 open source contributors, Harry wrote. And last year GitHub itself made a big deal about Microsoft’s adoption of GitHub. At the same time, CodePlex has rotted. In the past month people have made commits to fewer than 350 projects, Harry wrote. GitHub is based on the Git open source version control software, which keeps track of changes by multiple people. People can move code to alternative systems like Atlassian’s Bitbucket and Microsoft’s Visual Studio Team Services, Harry wrote. The startup GitLab also offers hosting for open and closed source projects.