Technology News

Chrome and Firefox Changes Spark the End of 'Extended Validation' Certificates

(21 minutes ago)
"Upcoming changes in Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox may finally spark the end for Extended Validation certificates as the browsers plan to do away with showing a company's name in the address bar," reports Bleeping Computer.When connecting to a secure web site, an installed SSL/TLS certificate will encrypt the communication between the browser and web server. These certificates come in a few different flavors, with some claiming to offer a more thorough verification process or extra perks. One certificate, called EV Certificates, are known for having a browser display the owner of the certificate directly in the browser's address bar. This allegedly makes the site feel more trustworthy to a visitor. In reality, the different types of SSL/TLS certificates all serve a single purpose and that is to encrypt the communication between a browser and web site. Anything extra is seen by many as just a marketing gimmick to charge customers for a more expensive "trustworthy" certificate. In numerous blog posts, security researcher Troy Hunt has stated that EV Certificates will soon be dead as more and more sites switch away from them, because they are much harder to manage due to extra verification times, and because people have become to associate a padlock with a secure site rather than a company name. With Safari already removing EV Certificate company info from the address bar, most mobile browsers not showing it, and Chrome and Mozilla desktop browsers soon to remove it, Hunt's[..]

US Set To Give Huawei Another 90 Days To Buy From American Suppliers

(One hour ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies so that it can service existing customers, two sources familiar with the situation said. The "temporary general license" will be extended for Huawei for 90 days, the sources said. Commerce initially allowed Huawei to purchase some American-made goods in May shortly after blacklisting the company in a move aimed at minimizing disruption for its customers, many of which operate networks in rural America. An extension will renew an agreement set to lapse on August 19, continuing the Chinese company's ability to maintain existing telecommunications networks and provide software updates to Huawei handsets. The situation surrounding the license, which has become a key bargaining chip for the United States in its trade negotiations with China, remains fluid and the decision to continue the Huawei reprieve could change ahead of the Monday deadline, the sources said.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

YouTube To Allow Everyone To Watch YouTube Originals For Free

(4 hours ago)
Last November, YouTube announced that it would be removing the paywall for its original programming starting in 2019. Now, we have more details on exactly how and when this will work. Android Central reports: Per a statement sent out by the YouTube team: "New YouTube Originals series, movies, and live events released after September 24, 2019 will be made available to non-members to watch for free, with ads. For series, members will get immediate access to every episode of a new season, while non-members will have to wait for each new episode to be released." It appears that YouTube Originals content released prior to that September 24 date will remain exclusive to Premium subscribers, but going forward, it'll be fair game for everyone. While that does slightly water-down the perks of being a YouTube Premium subscriber, it's also noted that paying customers will gain access to additional footage that won't be available for free users: "In most cases, where available, Director's cuts and bonus footage for YouTube Originals movies and live events will be exclusive to members like you, as well."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

A New Species of Leech Is Discovered Near Washington, D.C.

(7 hours ago)
schwit1 shares a report from Smithsonian: In the summer of 2015, when Smithsonian research zoologist Anna Phillips and other scientists were standing in slow-moving swamp water, letting leeches latch onto their bare legs or gathering them up in nets from muddy pond bottoms, they didn't realize that some of the bloodsuckers they'd collected belonged to an entirely new species. But in a just-published paper in the Journal of Parasitology, Phillips and her colleagues from the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico and the Royal Ontario Museum report that a previously unknown leech species, Macrobdella mimicus, is the first to be discovered on the continent in more than 40 years. Parasitologists typically rely on the arrangement of pores on the bottom of leeches' bodies to help distinguish species. With a close inspection, the researchers noticed a subtle difference in the spacing of the leeches' accessory pores. (While leeches are hermaphrodites, they mate with other leeches, and accessory pores secrete mucus that allows the mating leeches to stick together.) M. decora had four accessory pores grouped in two rows of two, just like the outlier group, but the new species had a set of pores located several millimeters farther back on their body. The similar pore pattern, however, led Phillips and the other scientists to name the new species Macrobdella mimicus, after the Greek word for "imitator" or "actor." The new species is olive-green with orange spots, about as long as a[..]

Exclusive: U.S. set to give Huawei another 90 days to buy from American suppliers - sources

(9 hours ago)
The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies so that it can service existing customers, two sources familiar with the situation said.

Researchers Build a Heat Shield Just 10 Atoms Thick To Protect Electronic Devices

(11 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: Excess heat given off by smartphones, laptops and other electronic devices can be annoying, but beyond that it contributes to malfunctions and, in extreme cases, can even cause lithium batteries to explode. To guard against such ills, engineers often insert glass, plastic or even layers of air as insulation to prevent heat-generating components like microprocessors from causing damage or discomforting users. Now, Stanford researchers have shown that a few layers of atomically thin materials, stacked like sheets of paper atop hot spots, can provide the same insulation as a sheet of glass 100 times thicker. In the near term, thinner heat shields will enable engineers to make electronic devices even more compact than those we have today, said Eric Pop, professor of electrical engineering and senior author of a paper published Aug. 16 in Science Advances. "To make nanoscale heat shields practical, the researchers will have to find some mass production technique to spray or otherwise deposit atom-thin layers of materials onto electronic components during manufacturing," adds Phys.Org. "But behind the immediate goal of developing thinner insulators looms a larger ambition: Scientists hope to one day control the vibrational energy inside materials the way they now control electricity and light. As they come to understand the heat in solid objects as a form of sound, a new field of phononics is emerging, a name taken from the Greek[..]

Exclusive: U.S. to extend Huawei's partial reprieve on supply curbs - sources

(11 hours ago)
The U.S. Commerce Department is expected to extend a reprieve given to Huawei Technologies that permits the Chinese firm to buy supplies from U.S. companies so that it can service existing customers, sources familiar with the situation said.

Huawei Is Working On Its Own Version of Google Maps

(12 hours ago)
According to the state-owned China Daily, Huawei is working on a Google Maps alternative with Yandex and Booking.com. The service is expected to be unveiled in October. CNET reports: It's apparently designed to use a tool for software developers to create apps based around its mapping capabilities, rather than for consumer use. It'll connect to local mapping services, cover 150 countries and regions, and be available in 40 languages, the report said. Huawei didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, but the company's ability to access Google's services has been threatened since President Trump blacklisted it in May. That came as a result of U.S. lawmakers' concerns about Huawei's tight relationship with the Chinese government and fears that its equipment could be used for spying. Trump has since said the ban will be eased.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Airbnb records 30% growth rate in first-quarter on booking strength: source

(12 hours ago)
Airbnb Inc recorded $9.4 billion in total booking value in the first quarter, up 31% from the year-ago quarter, a source familiar with the matter said on Friday, a key number that could help pull in investors as the home-sharing company plans its foray into the public market.

Runkeeper Will Stop Supporting Wear OS 'in a Few Weeks'

(13 hours ago)
Runkeeper this week announced that it will discontinue its Wear OS app in the next few weeks. From a report: The update was emailed to users this week, where the company told users that it decided to end support because "the integration didn't work well / work consistently for most users." In a response to users, Runkeeper elaborated that only a small percentage of Runkeeper users were actually using the Wear OS app. "It was a very buggy experience and difficult for us to maintain and fix," a representative said in an email. "Because we're a small team with limited resources, and having done our research, we ultimately concluded that trying to maintain a partnership that wasn't working well would not be good practice for us."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Anime Studio, Khara, Is Planning To Use Open-Source Blender Software

(14 hours ago)
The Japanese anime studio, Khara, is moving to Blender, the the open-source 3D creation software. "It'll begin partially using the software for its current development 'EVANGELION:3.0+1.0' but will make the full switch once that project is finished," reports Neowin. "The current project is expected to end in June next year, so after that point, its employees will start using Blender for the majority of their work." From the report: At the moment, Khara uses 3ds Max from Autodesk on a subscription basis; however, the company found that it had to reach out to small and medium-sized businesses for its projects. Due to the limitations of those companies, it's harder for them to afford 3ds Max. By switching to Blender, Khara says it can work better with external firms. While Blender will be used for the bulk of the work, Khara does have a backup plan if there's anything Blender struggles with; Hiroyasu Kobayashi, General Manager of Digital Dpt. and Director of Board of Khara, said: "There are currently some areas where Blender cannot take care of our needs, but we can solve it with the combination with Unity. Unity is usually enough to cover 3ds Max and Maya as well. Unity can be a bridge among environments."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nvidia CEO Says Google Is the Company's Only Customer Building Its Own Silicon At Scale

(14 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNBC: Nvidia's CEO, Jensen Huang, has reason to be concerned about other chipmakers, like AMD. But he's not worried about Nvidia's own big customers turning into competitors. Amazon, Facebook, Google and Tesla are among the companies that buy Nvidia's graphics cards and have kicked off chip-development projects. "There's really one I know of that have silicon that's really in production," Huang told CNBC in an interview on Thursday. That company would be Google, he said. "But our conversation with large customers is intensifying," Huang said. "We're talking to more large customers." Google first announced its entrance into the data center AI chip-making world in 2016. As it came up with new versions, the web company pointed to performance advantages over graphics cards that were available at the time. Google hasn't started selling data center chips for training AI models to other companies, though. (Google has started offering various products that use its Edge tensor processing unit chips, but those chips aren't as powerful as the TPU chips for training AI models in Google's cloud.)Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trump says he is having dinner Friday with Apple CEO Cook

(14 hours ago)
U.S. President Donald Trump said he was having dinner on Friday with Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook of Apple Inc, a company the president has criticized for not manufacturing more of its products in the United States.

Huge Survey of Firmware Finds No Security Gains In 15 Years

(15 hours ago)
A survey of more than 6,000 firmware images spanning more than a decade finds no improvement in firmware security and lax security standards for the software running connected devices by Linksys, Netgear and other major vendors. The Security Ledger reports: "Nobody is trying," said Sarah Zatko, the Chief Scientist at the Cyber Independent Testing Lab (CITL), a non-profit organization that conducts independent tests of software security. "We found no consistency in a vendor or product line doing better or showing improvement. There was no evidence that anybody is making a concerted effort to address the safety hygiene of their products," she said.The CITL study surveyed firmware from 18 vendors including ASUS, D-link, Linksys, NETGEAR, Ubiquiti and others. In all, more than 6,000 firmware versions were analyzed, totaling close to 3 million binaries created from 2003 to 2018. It is the first longitudinal study of IoT software safety, according to Zatko. CITL researchers studied publicly available firmware images and evaluated them for the presence of standard security features such as the use of non-executable stacks, Address Space Layout Randomization (ASLR) and stack guards, which prevent buffer overflow attacks. The results were not encouraging. Time and again, firmware from commonly used manufacturers failed to implement basic security features even when researchers studied the most recent versions of the firmware. For example: firmware for the ASUS RT-AC55U wifi router[..]

Uber, Lyft Finally Admit They're Making Traffic Congestion Worse In Cities

(16 hours ago)
Uber and Lyft tapped transportation consultancy Fehr & Peers to examine their combined vehicle miles traveled (VMT) in six cities in September 2018, and compare that number to the total VMT in each area for the same month. "The results show that while they are vastly out-stripped by personal and commercial vehicles, Uber and Lyft are still responsible for significant shares of VMT in those cities," reports The Verge. From the report: The analysis looks at Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Seattle, and Washington, DC. The results are presented on two levels: the regional area, including the surrounding towns and suburbs, and the "core" county of each region that contains the main part of the city with the densest concentration of jobs. The findings show that Uber and Lyft account for just 1-3 percent of VMT in the broader metropolitan areas of each city. But those numbers spike when zooming in on the core county of each city. In San Francisco County, for example, Uber and Lyft make up as much as 13.4 percent of all vehicle miles. In Boston, it's 8 percent; in Washington, DC, it's 7.2 percent. These figures suggest that Uber and Lyft are hitting some cities harder than previously thought. An independent study commissioned by the San Francisco County Transportation Authority looked at 2017 traffic patterns in the county and concluded that TNCs generated about 6.5 percent of the total VMT on weekdays, and 10 percent on weekends. (TNC, which stands for[..]

Judge Orders Georgia To Switch To Paper Ballots For 2020 Elections

(16 hours ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Election security advocates scored a major victory on Thursday as a federal judge issued a 153-page ruling ordering Georgia officials to stop using its outdated electronic voting machines by the end of the year. The judge accepted the state's argument that it would be too disruptive to switch to paper ballots for municipal elections being held in November 2019. But she refused to extend that logic into 2020, concluding that the state had plenty of time to phase out its outdated touchscreen machines before then. The state of Georgia was already planning to phase out its ancient touchscreen electronic voting machines in favor of a new system based on ballot-marking machines. Georgia hopes to have the new machines in place in time for a presidential primary election in March 2020. In principle, that switch should address many of the critics' concerns. The danger, security advocates said, was that the schedule could slip and Georgia could then fall back on its old, insecure electronic machines in the March primary and possibly in the November 2020 general election as well. The new ruling by Judge Amy Totenberg slams the door shut on that possibility. If Georgia isn't able to switch to its new high-tech system, it will be required to fall back on a low-tech system of paper ballots rather than continue using the insecure and buggy machines it has used for well over a decade. Alex Halderman, a University of Michigan computer[..]

Customs Computer Systems Down Nationwide, Causing Massive Delays At Airports

(17 hours ago)
A computer issue is preventing U.S. immigration officials from processing arriving passengers at several airports across the country. "It wasn't immediately clear what caused the problem at U.S. Customs and Border Protection, but the agency said it was investigating," reports CNBC. Agents will be processing people manually until the systems are resolved. One Twitter user posted a video of a long line of an estimated 5,000+ passengers at Dulles International Airport. Another traveler tweeted that passengers on her flight from London weren't allowed to deplane upon arrival in Boston because of the issue. UPDATE 21:28 UTC: NBC News has confirmed that the system shutdown is nationwide, and U.S. Customs and Border Patrol officials are working to determine the cause. You can view the thread here. Story is developing...Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NASA Made a Rare Flight Right Through a Thundercloud Formed by a Wildfire

(18 hours ago)
For years, Naval Research Laboratory meteorologist David Peterson has been obsessed with one of Earth's rarest atmospheric spectacles: thunderclouds formed by raging wildfires. Last week, he became one of the only people on Earth to fly straight through one. From a report: Peterson is the lead forecaster for Fire Influence on Regional to Global Environments and Air Quality (FIREX-AQ), a joint NASA and NOAA-led field campaign that's spending the summer intensively studying wildfire smoke from the ground, the air, and satellites. On August 8, he rode shotgun as NASA's DC-8 research aircraft passed directly through an anvil cloud as it was developing over the 45,000-acre Williams Flats fire currently burning in the Pacific Northwest. Over the next few hours, the plane would conduct the most detailed reconnaissance ever from within a pyrotechnic weather system, making observations and collecting samples that will help researchers to better understand the nature of these dramatic events and how they can impact Earth's climate. "Just being there was the most amazing experience I've ever had while working in science," Peterson said. Pyrocumulonimbus clouds (pyroCbs) only form when conditions are just right -- you need a special combination of atmospheric instability, moisture, and loads of wildfire heat to create an updraft.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon.com defeats IRS appeal in U.S. tax dispute

(19 hours ago)
Amazon.com Inc on Friday defeated an appeal by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in what the online retailer has called a $1.5 billion dispute over its tax treatment of transactions with a Luxembourg subsidiary.

The Algorithms That Detect Hate Speech Online Are Biased Against Black People

(19 hours ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Platforms like Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter are banking on developing artificial intelligence technology to help stop the spread of hateful speech on their networks. The idea is that complex algorithms that use natural language processing will flag racist or violent speech faster and better than human beings possibly can. Doing this effectively is more urgent than ever in light of recent mass shootings and violence linked to hate speech online. But two new studies show that AI trained to identify hate speech may actually end up amplifying racial bias. In one study [PDF], researchers found that leading AI models for processing hate speech were one-and-a-half times more likely to flag tweets as offensive or hateful when they were written by African Americans, and 2.2 times more likely to flag tweets written in African American English (which is commonly spoken by black people in the US). Another study [PDF] found similar widespread evidence of racial bias against black speech in five widely used academic data sets for studying hate speech that totaled around 155,800 Twitter posts. This is in large part because what is considered offensive depends on social context. Terms that are slurs when used in some settings -- like the "n-word" or "queer" -- may not be in others. But algorithms -- and content moderators who grade the test data that teaches these algorithms how to do their job -- don't usually know the context of the comments they're[..]

Trauma Counselors Were Pressured To Divulge Confidential Information About Facebook Moderators, Internal Letter Claims

(19 hours ago)
Sam Biddle, reporting for The Intercept: Nearly 1,500 miles from the Menlo Park headquarters of Facebook, at a company outpost in Austin, Texas, moderators toil around the clock to screen and scrub some the most gruesome, hateful, and heinous posts that make their way onto the social network and its photo-sharing subsidiary, Instagram. They are required to view as many as 800 pieces of disturbing content in a single shift, and routinely turn to on-site counselors to help cope with the procession of stomach-turning images, videos, and text. But some members of this invisible army have complained, in a statement widely circulated within Facebook, that the outsourcing giant that officially employs them, Accenture, has repeatedly attempted to violate the confidentiality of these therapy sessions. The moderators work from within a special section for outsourced staffers at Facebook Austin. The Texas outpost is designed to mimic the look and feel of the company's famously opulent Silicon Valley digs, but Accenture workers say they're reminded daily of their secondary status and denied perks, prestige, and basic respect. This second-class tier at Facebook, a sort of international shadow workforce, has been well documented in the media, from Manila to Arizona, and it's not clear whether the company has done anything to address it beyond issuing defensive PR statements. Moderators in Austin say their job is a brutalizing slog and that Facebook remains largely indifferent to their[..]

Amazon.com defeats IRS appeal in U.S. tax dispute

(19 hours ago)
Amazon.com Inc on Friday defeated an appeal by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service in what the online retailer has called a $1.5 billion dispute over its tax treatment of transactions with a Luxembourg subsidiary.

What3Words: The App That Can Save Your Life

(20 hours ago)
Police have urged everyone to download a smartphone app they say has already saved several lives. What is it and how does it work? From a report: Kicked. Converged. Soccer. These three randomly chosen words saved Jess Tinsley and her friends after they got lost in a forest on a dark, wet night. They had planned a five-mile circular stroll through the 4,900 acre (2,000 hectare) woodland Hamsterley Forest, in County Durham, on Sunday evening, but after three hours they were hopelessly lost. "We were in a field and had no idea where we were," the 24-year-old care worker from Newton Aycliffe said. "It was absolutely horrendous. I was joking about it and trying to laugh because I knew if I didn't laugh I would cry." At 22:30 BST they found a spot with phone signal and dialled 999. "One of the first things the call-handler told us to do was download the what3words app," Ms Tinsley said. "I had never heard of it." Within a minute of its download, the police said they knew where the group was and the soaked and freezing walkers were swiftly found by the Teesdale and Weardale Search and Mountain Rescue Team. "I have told everyone I know to download this app," Ms Tinsley said. "You never know when you are going to get lost and need it." What3words essentially points to a very specific location. Its developers divided the world into 57 trillion squares, each measuring 3m by 3m (10ft by 10ft) and each having a unique, randomly assigned three-word address. For example, the door of 10[..]

Amazon's Creepy Twitter PR Army is Growing

(20 hours ago)
On Wednesday, a horde of Amazon employees rushed to defend the honor of the world's richest man. From a report: The employees -- known as "FC ambassadors," for Amazon's Orwellian-sounding "fulfillment center" warehouses -- flooded into the mentions of several Twitter users. This isn't the first time these accounts have attracted attention. Earlier this year, the accounts descended on Twitter with coordinated anti-union talking points. The FC Ambassador program made its debut last August and also seemed to coordinate talking points about how great it was to work at Amazon. The program backfired most recently after a Twitter thread of FC ambassadors went viral, with many people saying the tweets were dark or dystopian (others raised doubts about their legitimacy). When TechCrunch first covered the Amazon FC Ambassador accounts in August 2018, there were around 14 accounts. That army has grown. This week, Motherboard found more than 40 FC Ambassador accounts on Twitter which appear to be genuine. Open source intelligence collective Bellingcat did their own investigation, and found close to 60 accounts. The accounts are spread across the world, with users not just based in the U.S., but Spain, the UK, Germany, and elsewhere too.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UPS Has Been Delivering Cargo in Self-Driving Trucks for Months And No One Knew

(21 hours ago)
The self-driving freight truck startup TuSimple has been carrying mail across the state of Arizona for several weeks. From a report: UPS announced on Thursday that its venture capital arm has made a minority investment in TuSimple. The announcement also revealed that since May TuSimple autonomous trucks have been hauling UPS loads on a 115-mile route between Phoenix and Tucson. UPS confirmed to Gizmodo this is the first time UPS has announced it has been using TuSimple autonomous trucks to deliver packages in the state. Around the same time as the UPS and TuSimple program began, the United States Postal Service and TuSimple publicized a two-week pilot program to deliver mail between Phoenix and Dallas, a 1,000 mile trip. TuSimple claims it can cut the average cost of shipping in a tractor-trailer by 30 percent. In an announcement about the new partnership, UPS Ventures managing partner, Todd Lewis, said the venture arm "collaborates with startups to explore new technologies and tailor them to help meet our specific needs."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Rental firm walks away from Tesla order after quality dispute

(21 hours ago)
Car rental company Nextmove has walked away from a 5 million euros ($5.55 million) order for 85 Tesla Model 3 electric vehicles following a dispute over how to fix quality issues, the German company said on Friday.

'Fake' Amazon ambassadors baited on Twitter

(21 hours ago)
Amazon says its warehouse ambassadors are authentic, but critics accuse them of being "paid to lie".

Hundreds of Thousands of People Are Using Passwords That Have Already Been Hacked, Google Says

(22 hours ago)
A new Google study this week confirmed the obvious: internet users need to stop using the same password for multiple websites unless they're keen on having their data hijacked, their identity stolen, or worse. From a report: It seems like not a day goes by without a major company being hacked or leaving user email addresses and passwords exposed to the public internet. These login credentials are then routinely used by hackers to hijack your accounts, a threat that's largely mitigated by using a password manager and unique password for each site you visit. Sites like "have I been pwned?" can help users track if their data has been exposed, and whether they need to worry about their credentials bouncing around the dark web. But it's still a confusing process for many users unsure of which passwords need updating. To that end, last February Google unveiled a new experimental Password Checkup extension for Chrome. The extension warns you any time you log into a website using one of over 4 billion publicly-accessible usernames and passwords that have been previously exposed by a major hack or breach, and prompts you to change your password when necessary. The extension was built in concert with cryptography experts at Stanford University to ensure that Google never learns your usernames or passwords, the company says in an explainer. Anonymous telemetry data culled from the extension has provided Google with some interesting information on how widespread the practice of account[..]

YouTube Shuts Down Music Companies' Use of Manual Copyright Claims To Steal Creator Revenue

(22 hours ago)
YouTube is making a change to its copyright enforcement policies around music used in videos, which may result in an increased number of blocked videos in the shorter term -- but overall, a healthier ecosystem in the long-term. From a report: Going forward, copyright owners will no longer be able to monetize creator videos with very short or unintentional uses of music via YouTube's "Manual Claiming" tool. Instead, they can choose to prevent the other party from monetizing the video or they can block the content. However, YouTube expects that by removing the option to monetize these sorts of videos themselves, some copyright holders will instead just leave them alone. "One concerning trend we've seen is aggressive manual claiming of very short music clips used in monetized videos. These claims can feel particularly unfair, as they transfer all revenue from the creator to the claimant, regardless of the amount of music claimed," explained YouTube in a blog post. To be clear, the changes only involve YouTube's Manual Claiming tool which is not how the majority of copyright violations are handled today. Instead, the majority of claims are created through YouTube's Content ID match system. This system scans videos uploaded to YouTube against a database of files submitted to the site by copyright owners. Then, when a match is found, the copyright holder owner can choose to block the video or monetize it themselves, and track the video's viewership stats.Read more of this story at[..]

New York financial regulator approves Bakkt trust license

(23 hours ago)
The New York State Department of Financial Services announced on Friday that it granted a license to Bakkt Trust Co LLC to operate as a limited liability trust company.

JD.com JV in talks to raise $500 million in U.S. IPO: The Information

(23 hours ago)
China's e-commerce company JD.com is in talks with bankers to list shares of its online grocery and delivery joint venture in the United States in May and is seeking to raise $500 million, The Information reported on Friday.

Twitter Leads $100M Round in Top Indian Regional Social Media Platform ShareChat

(23 hours ago)
Is there room for another social media platform? ShareChat, a four-year-old social network in India that serves tens of million of people in regional languages, just answered that question with a $100 million financing round led by global giant Twitter. From a report: ShareChat serves 60 million users each month in 15 regional languages, Ankush Sachdeva, co-founder and CEO of the firm, told TechCrunch in an interview. The platform currently does not support English, and has no plans to change that, Sachdeva said. That choice is what has driven users to ShareChat, he explained. The early incarnation of the social media platform supported English language. It saw most of its users choose English as their preferred language, but this also led to another interesting development: Their engagement with the app significantly reduced.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Bluetooth KNOB Flaw Lets Attackers Manipulate Traffic

(2 days ago)
A new Bluetooth vulnerability named "KNOB" has been disclosed that allow attackers to more easily brute force the encryption key used during pairing to monitor or manipulate the data transferred between two paired devices. From a report: In a coordinated disclosure between Center for IT-Security, Privacy and Accountability (CISPA), ICASI, and ICASI members such as Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Cisco, and Amazon, a new vulnerability called "KNOB" has been disclosed that affects Bluetooth BR/EDR devices, otherwise known as Bluetooth Classic, using specification versions 1.0 - 5.1. This flaw has been assigned CVE ID CVE-2019-9506 and allows an attacker to reduce the length of the encryption key used for establishing a connection. In some cases, an attacker could reduce the length of an encryption key to a single octet. "The researchers identified that it is possible for an attacking device to interfere with the procedure used to set up encryption on a BR/EDR connection between two devices in such a way as to reduce the length of the encryption key used," stated an advisory on Bluetooth.com. "In addition, since not all Bluetooth specifications mandate a minimum encryption key length, it is possible that some vendors may have developed Bluetooth products where the length of the encryption key used on a BR/EDR connection could be set by an attacking device down to a single octet."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AOL Held Talks To Buy YouTube, Facebook in 2006, Ex-CEO Reveals

(2 days ago)
Add another chapter to your internet revisionist history books: AOL held talks to buy both Facebook and YouTube in 2006 and considered taking a large minority stake in Tencent in 2004. From a report: Obviously none of this happened -- and the board of Time Warner is to blame, said ex-AOL CEO Jon Miller in an exclusive CNBC interview. Miller has never discussed the failed talks publicly before. Miller said he discussed buying YouTube from the founders, Chad Hurley, Steve Chen and Jawed Karim, in January and July 2006. He spoke with Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg in the spring of that year, he said. The Tencent talks were held in 2004, Miller said. "We wanted to take some shots," Miller said. "We had a line on buying YouTube before anybody else. We had an opportunity to step in with Facebook when Yahoo stumbled. We had a chance to maybe to step in to Tencent."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Amazon Offered Vendors 'Amazon's Choice' Labels In Return For Ad Spending

(2 days ago)
DigiDay has reviewed a pitch deck detailing a 2017 bidding program for the "Amazon's Choice" label, a mark that denotes than an item is recommended and gives certain products higher placement in search results. While the mark is now believed to be operated by Amazon's algorithms, sources say that Amazon actually offered sellers the chance to bid on the mark back in 2017. An anonymous Slashdot reader shares the report: Amazon has previously offered vendors the ability to "bid" for an Amazon's Choice badge by lowering prices and spending more money on advertising, bringing into sharper focus how the program, which recently came under fire from senators, actually works. It's unclear whether or not this offer was taken up by any Amazon vendors, or how long the program was offered before it was discontinued. One source believed it was only offered for a few months.The criteria for each bid focused on reviews and in-stock rate. To be considered, Amazon required brands to be able to keep products in stock for a 12-month duration, keep customer review ratings above four stars, and maintain certain technical specifications for their respective subcategories. Essentially, Amazon was only interested in bids from brands already selling high-quality products on its platform. From there, Amazon wanted to drive attention to products in each category that would maximize its profitability. In an email to a brand client, an Amazon strategic vendor service manager recommended the brand drop[..]

LSE's FTSE stock market suffers longest outage in years

(2 days ago)
A technical glitch delayed the start of trading on Friday on the UK blue chip FTSE 100 and midcap stock indexes for almost two hours in what was the longest outage at one of the world's top bourses in eight years.

Google Play app store accused of anti-gay bias

(2 days ago)
Social app Hornet says Google moderators in Malaysia targeted its app several times.

Chemists Make First-Ever Ring of Pure Carbon

(2 days ago)
A team of researchers has synthesized the first ring-shaped molecule of pure carbon -- a circle of 18 atoms. Nature reports: The chemists started with a triangular molecule of carbon and oxygen, which they manipulated with electric currents to create the carbon-18 ring. Initial studies of the properties of the molecule, called a cyclocarbon, suggest that it acts as a semiconductor, which could make similar straight carbon chains useful as molecular-scale electronic components. Chemist Przemyslaw Gawel of the University of Oxford, UK, and his collaborators have now created and imaged the long-sought ring molecule carbon-18. Using standard 'wet' chemistry, his collaborator Lorel Scriven, an Oxford chemist, first synthesized molecules that included four-carbon squares coming off the ring with oxygen atoms attached to squares. The team then sent their samples to IBM laboratories in Zurich, Switzerland, where collaborators put the oxygen -- carbon molecules on a layer of sodium chloride, inside a high-vacuum chamber. They manipulated the rings one at a time with electric currents (using an atomic-force microscope that can also act as a scanning-transmission microscope), to remove the extraneous, oxygen-containing parts. After much trial-and-error, micrograph scans revealed the 18-carbon structure. "I never thought I would see this," says Scriven. Alternating bond types are interesting because they are supposed to give carbon chains and rings the properties of semiconductors. The[..]

Alibaba and the $15 billion question: Amid Hong Kong's protests, when to list?

(2 days ago)
Hong Kong's political unrest is posing a dilemma for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on the timing of its planned $15 billion listing in the city, with sources saying China's biggest e-commerce company is now considering several timetables.

Alibaba and the $15 billion question: Amid Hong Kong's protests, when to list?

(2 days ago)
Hong Kong's political unrest is posing a dilemma for Alibaba Group Holding Ltd on the timing of its planned $15 billion listing in the city, with sources saying China's biggest e-commerce company is now considering several timetables.

China's Ninebot unveils scooters that drive themselves to charging stations

(2 days ago)
Segway-Ninebot Group, a Beijing-based electric scooter maker, on Friday unveiled a scooter that can return itself to charging stations without a driver, a potential boon for the burgeoning scooter-sharing industry.

Irish regulator nears end of first privacy probe, ruling to take months

(2 days ago)
Ireland's data privacy regulator is close to concluding its first probe into a multinational company under the EU's new privacy laws, likely to involve Facebook's WhatsApp subsidiary, although a formal decision could take months.

STAR Market tech board offers hope to Chinese venture capitalists

(2 days ago)
When Chinese venture capital firm New Vision Capital invested in two startups focusing on cloud computing and micro-optics, the plan was to eventually take them public on the Nasdaq exchange.

Irish regulator nears end of first privacy probe, ruling to take months

(2 days ago)
Ireland's data privacy regulator is close to concluding its first probe into a multinational company under the EU's new privacy laws, likely to involve Facebook's WhatsApp subsidiary, although a formal decision could take months.

Counterintuitive Physics Property Found To Be Widespread In Living Organisms

(2 days ago)
Lisa Zyga, writing for Phys.Org: Ever since the late 19th century, physicists have known about a counterintuitive property of some electric circuits called negative resistance. Typically, increasing the voltage in a circuit causes the electric current to increase as well. But under some conditions, increasing the voltage can cause the current to decrease instead. This basically means that pushing harder on the electric charges actually slows them down. Due to the relationship between current, voltage, and resistance, in these situations the resistance produces power rather than consuming it, resulting in a "negative resistance." Today, negative resistance devices have a wide variety of applications, such as in fluorescent lights and Gunn diodes, which are used in radar guns and automatic door openers, among other devices. Most known examples of negative resistance occur in human-engineered devices rather than in nature. However, in a new study published in the New Journal of Physics, Gianmaria Falasco and coauthors from the University of Luxembourg have shown that an analogous property called negative differential response is actually a widespread phenomenon that is found in many biochemical reactions that occur in living organisms. They identify the property in several vital biochemical processes, such as enzyme activity, DNA replication, and ATP production. It seems that nature has used this property to optimize these processes and make living things operate more[..]

Eurofins Scientific: Cyber-attack leads to backlog of 20,000 forensic samples

(2 days ago)
Police warn of delays to investigations and court cases after the attack led to a backlog of 20,000 samples.

Apple Files Lawsuit Against Corellium For iOS Emulation

(2 days ago)
Apple has filed a lawsuit against Corellium, accusing the software company of illegally selling virtual copies of iOS under the guise of helping discover security flaws. "Apple said the software company Corellium has copied the operating system, graphical user interface and other aspects of the devices without permission, and wants a federal judge to stop the violations," reports Bloomberg. From the report: Apple said it supports "good-faith security research," offering a $1 million "bug bounty" for anyone who discovers flaws in its system and gives custom versions of the iPhone to "legitimate" researchers. Corellium, the iPhone maker said, goes further than that. "Although Corellium paints itself as providing a research tool for those trying to discover security vulnerabilities and other flaws in Apple's software, Corellium's true goal is profiting off its blatant infringement," Apple said in the complaint. "Far from assisting in fixing vulnerabilities, Corellium encourages its users to sell any discovered information on the open market to the highest bidder." Corellium creates copies of the Apple iOS, and says that it's all to help white-hat hackers discover security flaws. Instead, according to Apple, any information is sold to people who can then exploit those flaws. Corellium, in a posting dated July 4 on its website, said it "respects the intellectual property rights of others and expects its users to do the same." Corellium's products allow the creation of a virtual[..]

Scientists Discover New Pain-Sensing Organ

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A new organ involved in the sensation of pain has been discovered by scientists, raising hopes that it could lead to the development of new painkilling drugs. Researchers say they have discovered that the special cells that surround the pain-sensing nerve cells that extend into the outer layer of skin appear to be involved in sensing pain. The scientists say the finding offers new insight into pain and could help answer longstanding conundrums. Writing in the journal Science, the researchers reveal how they examined the nature of cells in the skin that, they say, have largely been overlooked. These are a type of Schwann cell, which wrap around and engulf nerve cells and help to keep them alive. The study has revealed these Schwann cells have an octopus-like shape. After examining tissues, the team found the body of the cells sits below the outer layer of the skin, but that the cells have long extensions that wrap around the ends of pain-sensing nerve cells that extend up into the epidermis, the outer layer of the skin. The scientists were surprised at the findings because it has long been believed that the endings of nerve cells in the epidermis were bare or unwrapped. With the special Schwann cells and the nerves they engulf forming a mesh-like network, the researchers say they have essentially discovered a new pain-sensing organ. "It is a two-cell receptor organ: the nerve and Schwann cell together," Prof Patrik[..]

President Trump Is Reportedly Considering Buying Greenland

(2 days ago)
According to The Wall Street Journal, President Trump has -- with varying degrees of seriousness -- floated the idea of the U.S. buying the autonomous Danish territory of Greenland. From the report: In meetings, at dinners and in passing conversations, Mr. Trump has asked advisers whether the U.S. can acquire Greenland, listened with interest when they discuss its abundant resources and geopolitical importance and, according to two of the people, has asked his White House counsel to look into the idea. Some of his advisers have supported the concept, saying it was a good economic play, two of the people said, while others dismissed it as a fleeting fascination that will never come to fruition. It is also unclear how the U.S. would go about acquiring Greenland even if the effort were serious. U.S. officials view Greenland as important to American national-security interests. A decades-old defense treaty between Denmark and the U.S. gives the U.S. military virtually unlimited rights in Greenland at America's northernmost base, Thule Air Base. Located 750 miles north of the Arctic Circle, it includes a radar station that is part of a U.S. ballistic missile early-warning system. The base is also used by the U.S. Air Force Space Command and the North American Aerospace Defense Command. People outside the White House have described purchasing Greenland as an Alaska-type acquisition for Mr. Trump's legacy, advisers said. The few current and former White House officials who had[..]
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