Technology News

Source: Google is building a live support app with screen-sharing for Nexus devices (David Ruddock/Android Police)

(39 minutes ago)
David Ruddock / Android Police:Source: Google is building a live support app with screen-sharing for Nexus devices  —  A long-standing gap in the Nexus device feature-set for “normal” buyers has been live on-device support.  In the event you need help setting up your Nexus smartphone - a smartphone you bought on the internet …

Valve Faces Lawsuit Over Video Game Gambling

(39 minutes ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Bloomberg: Valve's Counterstrike: Global Offensive game is being sued for its role in the multibillion-dollar gambling economy that has fueled the game's popularity. Michael John McLeod filed a lawsuit Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Connecticut alleging that Valve violated gambling laws and engaged in racketeering with a handful of off-shore gambling companies. McLeod, who has been gambling on CS:GO since 2014, is asking for class-action status for the suit. The suit was first reported by Polygon and doesn't give a specific request for damages, nor does it say how much money he lost by betting on the site. According to Bloomberg: "Valve provided for money, technical support, and advice to such websites as CSGO Lounge and Diamonds, which take bets, and OPSkins, which runs a market where virtual goods are traded and can be redeemed for cash." Valve has yet to respond to the suit. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple Won't Collect Your Data For Its AI Services Unless You Let It

(One hour ago)
Apple doesn't like collecting your data. This is one of iPhone maker's biggest selling points. But this approach has arguably acted as a major roadblock for Apple in its AI and bots efforts. With iOS 10, the latest version of company's mobile operating system, Apple announced that it will begin collecting a range of new information as it seeks to make Siri and iPhone as well as other apps and services better at predicting the information its owner might want at a given time. Apple announced that it will be collecting data employing something called differential privacy. The company wasn't very clear at the event, which caused confusion among many as to what data Apple is exactly collecting. But now it is offering more explanation. Recode reports:As for what data is being collected, Apple says that differential privacy will initially be limited to four specific use cases: New words that users add to their local dictionaries, emojis typed by the user (so that Apple can suggest emoji replacements), deep links used inside apps (provided they are marked for public indexing) and lookup hints within notes. Apple will also continue to do a lot of its predictive work on the device, something it started with the proactive features in iOS 9. This work doesn't tap the cloud for analysis, nor is the data shared using differential privacy.Additionally, Recode adds that Apple hasn't yet begun collecting data, and it will ask for a user's consent before doing so. The company adds that it is[..]

Some fast-growing Amazon units like Alexa and AWS are poaching employees while they are being hired by other Amazon divisions (Business Insider)

(One hour ago)
Business Insider:Some fast-growing Amazon units like Alexa and AWS are poaching employees while they are being hired by other Amazon divisions  —  Amazon's hugely popular and important cloud computing division, Amazon Web Services, has a classic problem: It can't hire qualified engineers fast enough.

Netflix to Soon Let Users Download Videos, Says Report

(One hour ago)
Karl Bode, writing for DSLReport:Netflix will soon let users download and store videos locally, according to Penthera (a Pittsburgh-based firm that focuses on delivery of HD media to mobile devices by storing content on the recipient device) COO Dan Taitz and a report over at Light Reading. Taitz told the outlet that it shouldn't be long before the feature arrives. Netflix has been working harder to help consumers manage broadband caps, and being able to download a video on Wi-Fi for later viewing would go a long way in helping users (especially on wireless networks) that consistently find themselves hamstrung by their monthly usage allotments. "We know from our sources within the industry that Netflix is going to launch this product," Taitz tells the outlet. "My expectation is that by the end of the year Netflix will be launching download-to-go as an option for their customers."Bold move, if it does happen. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

YouTube Red acquires its first big-budget Hollywood-produced series, based on dance drama Step Up from Lionsgate (Brooks Barnes/New York Times)

(2 hours ago)
Brooks Barnes / New York Times:YouTube Red acquires its first big-budget Hollywood-produced series, based on dance drama Step Up from Lionsgate  —  LOS ANGELES — YouTube Red, the Google-owned paid streaming service, has acquired its first big-budget, Hollywood-produced television drama, moving it into more direct competition …

Piracy Phishing Scam Targets US ISPs and Subscribers

(2 hours ago)
According to a report on TorrentFreak, an elaborate piracy phishing operating is tageting US ISPs and subscribers. Scammers are reportedly masquerading as anti-piracy company IP-Echelon and rightholders such as Lionsgate to send fake DMCA notices and settlement demands to ISPs. From the report:TorrentFreak was alerted to a takedown notice Lionsgate purportedly sent to a Cox subscriber, for allegedly downloading a pirated copy of the movie Allegiant. Under threat of a lawsuit, the subscriber was asked to pay a $150 settlement fee. This request is unique as neither Lionsgate nor its tracking company IP-Echelon is known to engage in this practice. When we contacted IP-Echelon about Lionsgate's supposed settlement offer, we heard to our surprise that these emails are part of a large phishing scam, which has at least one large ISPs fooled. "The notices are fake and not sent by us. It's a phishing scam," IP-Echelon informed TorrentFreak. For a phishing scam the fake DMCA notice does its job well. At first sight the email appears to be legit, and for Cox Communications it was real enough to forward it to their customers.U.S. law enforcement has been notified and is currently investigating the matter. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Russia Lawmakers Pass Spying Law That Requires Encryption Backdoors, Call Surveillance

(3 hours ago)
A bill that was proposed recently in the Russian Duma to make cryptographic backdoors mandatory in all messaging apps, has passed. Patrick Howell O'Neill, reports for DailyDot:A massive surveillance bill is now on its way to becoming law in Russia. The "anti-terrorism" legislation includes a vast data-eavesdropping and -retention program so that telecom and internet companies have to record and store all customer communications for six months, potentially at a multitrillion-dollar cost. Additionally, all internet firms have to provide mandatory backdoor access into encrypted communications for the FSB, the Russian intelligence agency and successor to the KGB. The bill, with support from the ruling United Russia party, passed Friday in the Duma, Russia's lower legislative house, with 277 votes for, 148 against, and one abstaining. It now moves to Russia's Federal Council and the Kremlin, where it's expected to pass into law. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: smaller HTC Nexus will have 5-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, 2770mAh battery, 12MP rear and 8MP front camera, quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit CPU (David Ruddock/Android Police)

(3 hours ago)
David Ruddock / Android Police:Source: smaller HTC Nexus will have 5-inch 1080p display, 4GB of RAM, 2770mAh battery, 12MP rear and 8MP front camera, quad-core 2.0GHz 64-bit CPU  —  It's that time everybody: Nexus season.  While the last substantive pieces of Nexus information we could share popped up nearly two months ago …

U.S. charges Filipino man with hacking accounts of celebrities

(3 hours ago)
(Reuters) - A Filipino man has been criminally charged in New Jersey with running a large and sophisticated scheme to hack into the bank and credit card accounts of well-known or celebrity customers, U.S. prosecutors said.

An activist campaign seeks to shame U.S. companies over Trump

(3 hours ago)
(Reuters) - Disturbed by Donald Trump's presidential campaign, U.S. activists have taken out online advertisements, circulated petitions, put up billboards and even chipped in for an airplane banner to try to shame companies into dropping their sponsorships of the Republican National Convention in July.

In the Aftermath Of Brexit, Brits Google About Irish Passport, Meaning Of EU, and Why it All Happened

(3 hours ago)
As the world makes peace with the news that the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, people in the UK are increasingly trying to figure out what this means. Google noted on Twitter late Thursday that "What is the EU?" was the second top UK question on the EU since the news broke, with "Why did Britain leave the EU?" being the first. The questions also speak volume about the awareness of the issue among them. Understandably, some people also resorted to the search engine to look for Irish passports. "Getting an Irish passport" keywords saw a 100% surge. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Net Neutrality Advocates To FCC: Put the Kibosh On Internet Freebies

(3 hours ago)
An anonymous reader cites a CNET report:Net neutrality advocates demand action. Representatives from Fight the Future, the Center for Media Justice and Free Press on Friday hand-delivered a 6-foot tall package containing 100,000 letters of complaint to the Federal Communications Commission. They ask the agency to take action against AT&T, Comcast, T-Mobile and Verizon for violating the agency's Open Internet order by offering so-called zero-rating service plans. While the practice offers some benefits to customers, critics say it violates the agency's Net neutrality principles, which requires all services on the internet be treated the same. They claim it puts smaller competitors at a disadvantage and highlights the fact that data caps are unnecessary. Carriers say they are simply experimenting with new business models that will make their service more affordable for consumers. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Collaborative robots open new fronts in automation

(3 hours ago)
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Robots that work as assistants alongside people are set to upend the world of industrial robotics by putting automation within reach of many small and medium-sized companies for the first time, industry players said this week.

EU, United States agree on changes to strengthen data transfer pact

(3 hours ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union and the United States have agreed changes to a data transfer pact that is key to transatlantic business, including stricter rules for companies holding information on Europeans and clearer limits on U.S. surveillance.

France's Orange says will keep UK offices despite Brexit vote

(3 hours ago)
PARIS (Reuters) - French telecoms company Orange said on Friday it plans to maintain several group offices in the United Kingdom, which employ about 900 people, despite Britain's vote to leave the European Union.

In the Aftermath Of Brexit, British Google About Irish Passport, Meaning Of EU, and Why it All Happened

(4 hours ago)
As the world makes peace with the news that the United Kingdom has voted to leave the European Union, people in the UK are increasingly trying to figure out what this means. Google noted on Twitter late Thursday that "What is the EU?" was the second top UK question on the EU since the news broke, with "Why did Britain leave the EU?" being the first. The questions also speak volume about the awareness of the issue among them. Understandably, some people also resorted to the search engine to look for Irish passports. "Getting an Irish passport" keywords saw a 100% surge. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Qualcomm files a patent infringement lawsuit in China against Meizu (Ian King/Bloomberg)

(4 hours ago)
Ian King / Bloomberg:Qualcomm files a patent infringement lawsuit in China against Meizu  —  U.S. company files suit against Meizu Technology in Beijing  —  First test after winning agreement to charge licensing fees  —  Qualcomm Inc., the largest mobile phone chipmaker, is filing a lawsuit in Beijing …

TD Ameritrade, Fidelity problems rile social media users

(5 hours ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Social media users flooded TD Ameritrade's and Fidelity Investments' Twitter feeds with irate messages on Friday, as customers struggled to access their accounts with the online brokers.

FBI Is Classifying Its Tor Browser Exploit Because 'National Security'

(5 hours ago)
Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard:Defense teams across the US have been trying to get access to a piece of malware the FBI used to hack visitors of a child pornography site. None have been successful at obtaining all of the malware's code, and the government appears to have no intention of handing it over. Now, the FBI is classifying the Tor Browser exploit for reasons of national security, despite the exploit already being used in normal criminal investigations well over a year ago. Experts say it indicates a lack of organization or technical capabilities within the FBI. "The FBI has derivatively classified portions of the tool, the exploits used in connection with the tool, and some of the operational aspects of the tool in accordance with the FBI's National Security Information Classification Guide," government attorneys wrote in a filing earlier this month. It came in response to the defense of Gerald Andrew Darby, who is charged with child pornography offenses. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

TD Ameritrade, Fidelity problems rile social media users

(5 hours ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Social media users flooded TD Ameritrade's and Fidelity Investments' Twitter feeds with irate messages on Friday, as customers struggled to access their accounts with the online brokers.

U.S. charges Filipino man with hacking accounts of celebrities

(5 hours ago)
(Reuters) - A Filipino man has been criminally charged in New Jersey with running a large and sophisticated scheme to hack into the bank and credit card accounts of well-known or celebrity customers, U.S. prosecutors said.

In latest update, Oculus removes DRM that prevented porting Rift games to other VR headsets, says it will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC anymore (Sam Machkovech/Ars Technica)

(5 hours ago)
Sam Machkovech / Ars Technica:In latest update, Oculus removes DRM that prevented porting Rift games to other VR headsets, says it will not use hardware checks as part of DRM on PC anymore  —  News breaks not from official announcement, but from discovery by workaround dev.  —  What a difference an Internet uproar can make.

Chrome Bug Makes It Easy To Download Movies From Netflix and Amazon Prime

(5 hours ago)
A vulnerability found in Chrome by researchers allows people to save copies of movies and TV shows from streaming websites such as Netflix and Amazon Prime. From a Gizmodo report:The vulnerability, first reported by Wired (Editor's note: Wired blocks adblockers), takes advantage of the Widevine EME/CDM technology that Chrome uses to stream encrypted video from content providers. Researchers David Livshits from the Cyber Security Research Center at Ben-Gurion University and Alexandra Mikityuk of Telekom Innovation Laboratories discovered a way to hijack streaming video from the decryption module in the Chrome browser after content has been sent from services like Netflix or Amazon Prime. The researchers created a proof-of-concept (which is currently the only evidence of the exploit) to show how easily they could illegally download streaming video once CDM technology has decrypted it.Google was notified of the bug last month but is yet to patch it. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Researchers find Chrome vulnerability that may allow hackers to download videos from streaming sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime (Aarian Marshall/Wired)

(6 hours ago)
Aarian Marshall / Wired:Researchers find Chrome vulnerability that may allow hackers to download videos from streaming sites like Netflix or Amazon Prime  —  For years Hollywood has waged a war on piracy, using digital rights management technologies to fight bootleggers who illegally copy movies and distribute them.

$4 Android Smartphone From India To Begin Shipping Next Week

(6 hours ago)
Earlier this year, an Indian smartphone company called Ringing Bells unveiled the Freedom 251, an entry-level Android smartphone that was priced at Rs. 251 (roughly $3.7 USD). It didn't take long for the company to stir controversy -- soon after media got the device, they learned that Ringing Bells had disguised Adcom Ikon 4s (retail price: $60) as the Freedom 251 smartphone for marketing and media reviewing purposes. The company at the time noted that it was just a sample device. Furthermore, it was clear that components in the sample device alone would cost more than Rs. 2,000 ($30). Ringing Bells, standing by its earlier commitment, has now announced that it will begin shipping the Freedom 251 handset starting next week. The Freedom 251 unit which will ship to consumers reportedly features dual-SIM capability, 1GB of RAM, a 1.3GHz SoC from an unnamed chipset maker, 8GB of internal storage, an 8-megapixel rear camera, 3.2-megapixel front-facing shooter and a 1,800mAh battery. How did the company manage to get the price of the handset this cheap? In a separate interview with Times of India, the company noted that it has partnered with a number of software firms to pre-install their apps on the phone. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Twitter starts rolling-out Foursquare-powered location-tagged tweet feeds on iOS (Josh Constine/TechCrunch)

(7 hours ago)
Josh Constine / TechCrunch:Twitter starts rolling-out Foursquare-powered location-tagged tweet feeds on iOS  —  Finally Twitter will let you see tweets from a specific place, like a business, sports stadium, or music festival.  After a reader tipped us off, Twitter confirmed to TechCrunch it's now rolling out this big …

'Godless' Apps, Some Found In Google Play, Root 90% Of Android Phones

(7 hours ago)
Dan Goodin, reporting for ArsTechnica:Researchers have detected a family of malicious apps, some that were available in Google Play, that contain malicious code capable of secretly rooting an estimated 90 percent of all Android phones. In a recently published blog post, antivirus provider Trend Micro said that Godless, as the malware family has been dubbed, contains a collection of rooting exploits that works against virtually any device running Android 5.1 or earlier. That accounts for an estimated 90 percent of all Android devices. Members of the family have been found in a variety of app stores, including Google Play, and have been installed on more than 850,000 devices worldwide. Godless has struck hardest at users in India, Indonesia, and Thailand, but so far less than 2 percent of those infected are in the US. Once an app with the malicious code is installed, it has the ability to pull from a vast repository of exploits to root the particular device it's running on. In that respect, the app functions something like the many available exploit kits that cause hacked websites to identify specific vulnerabilities in individual visitors' browsers and serve drive-by exploits.Affected apps that have been spotted in Google Play, Android's marquee app store, are largely flashlight, Wi-Fi apps, as well as copies of popular games.[..]

Wikimedia Foundation appoints Katherine Maher, earlier its Chief Communications Officer, as Executive Director (Wikimedia blog)

(7 hours ago)
Wikimedia blog:Wikimedia Foundation appoints Katherine Maher, earlier its Chief Communications Officer, as Executive Director  —  It is our great pleasure to share that during the Board meeting at Wikimania 2016 in Esino Lario, we unanimously voted to appoint Katherine Maher as Executive Director of the Wikimedia Foundation.

Malware Can Use Fan Noise To Steal Data From Air-Gapped Systems

(7 hours ago)
Reader Orome1 writes: For the last few years, researchers from Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have been testing up new ways to exfiltrate data from air-gapped computers: via mobile phones, using radio frequencies ("AirHopper"); using heat ("BitWhisper"), using rogue software ("GSMem") that modulates and transmits electromagnetic signals at cellular frequencies. The latest version of the data-exfiltration attack against air-gapped computers involves the machine's fans. Dubbed "Fansmitter," the attack can come handy when the computer does not have speakers, and so attackers can't use acoustic channels to get the info.An anonymous reader adds:Malicious applications use the noise emanated by a computer fan's speed to relay information to a nearby recording device and steal data from air-gapped, isolated systems. The attack relies on selecting a fan speed to represent binary "1" and another for binary "0". A specially crafted malware can alter the CPU, GPU or chassis fan speed between these two frequencies and provide a method to relay data from infected systems. Attackers can then place microphones or smartphones to record the sound coming from the infected machine and steal the data. The attack works for distances of one to four meters, and operates in the 100-600 Hz frequency that can be picked up by the human year. Choosing smaller fan speeds or fan speeds that are closer together can make the attack harder to pick up by a human, but also makes it susceptible to[..]

Study Finds Password Misuse In Hospitals Is 'Endemic'

(8 hours ago)
chicksdaddy writes from a report via The Security Ledger: Hospitals are pretty hygienic places -- except when it comes to passwords, it seems. That's the conclusion of a recent study by researchers at Dartmouth College, the University of Pennsylvania and USC, which found that efforts to circumvent password protections are "endemic" in healthcare environments and mostly go unnoticed by hospital IT staff. The report describes what can only be described as wholesale abandonment of security best practices at hospitals and other clinical environments -- with the bad behavior being driven by necessity rather than malice. "In hospital after hospital and clinic after clinic, we find users write down passwords everywhere," the report reads. "Sticky notes form sticky stalagmites on medical devices and in medication preparation rooms. We've observed entire hospital units share a password to a medical device, where the password is taped onto the device. We found emergency room supply rooms with locked doors where the lock code was written on the door -- no one wanted to prevent a clinician from obtaining emergency supplies because they didn't remember the code." Competing priorities of clinical staff and information technology staff bear much of the blame. Specifically: IT staff and management are often focused on regulatory compliance and securing healthcare environments. They are excoriated for lapses in security that result in the theft or loss of data. Clinical staff, on the other[..]

Blackberry loss widens to $670m

(10 hours ago)
Blackberry reports a $670m (£450m) quarterly net loss, but the mobile phone company forecasts that its full-year results will beat expectations.

Electric car sets world acceleration record

(10 hours ago)
An electric racing car built by Swiss student engineers has broken the world record for acceleration by battery-powered vehicles.

Nintendo reacts to fans' calls for Christina Grimmie to appear in Zelda

(10 hours ago)
Fans of Christina Grimmie are calling for Nintendo to name a character after the murdered Voice star in new Zelda video game.

The Simpsons airs live animated segment and other tech news

(10 hours ago)
BBC Click's Marc Cieslak looks at some of the best of the week's technology news

Snap, swipe, like

(10 hours ago)
How are fashion retailers responding to the world of smartphones and social media?

Hidden forces

(10 hours ago)
When Iran's top civil defence official said his country was preparing for major cyber-attacks from Saudi Arabia, perhaps even he did not think it would take such a short time for his warnings to become reality.
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