Study finds Wikipedia bots often undo each other's edits, engage in years-long editing wars (George Dvorsky/Gizmodo)(42 minutes ago)
George Dvorsky / Gizmodo:Study finds Wikipedia bots often undo each other's edits, engage in years-long editing wars — Revision wars on Wikipedia amongst human editors is an all-too-common occurrence, but new research from the UK shows that similar online battles are being waged between the site's software robots.
The new funding will be made available for robotics research carried out by British universities.
A firm that offered ad blocking will now offer ads, in a case of poacher turned gamekeeper.
How satellite images shared via the cloud are helping us discover more about the earth.
A distribution company says many of the 251 Freedom handsets it paid for have not been delivered.
The "mastermind" behind a massive 2016 attack may face sabotage charges in Germany.
Country's defence minister admits the presence of a powerful military team focused on controlling information.
The runner missed out more than a mile of the Fort Lauderdale race to clock a fast time
Some 22% of UK adults are using ad blocking software, says the Internet Advertising Bureau.
Malware researcher Anton talks about who does what in the web's dark marketplaces.
A pest control company develops a mouse trap that connects to the internet.
The UK proposes that insurance companies have to cover all accidents involving self-driving cars.
A water company is using floating drones to survey the sewers under Milton Keynes.
BBC Click's Lara Lewington looks at some of the best of the week's technology news.
BBC Click's Lara Lewington finds out how iBeacons could help blind people navigate roadworks.
A new 12-sided coin comes into circulation in March, and the Royal Mint is working 24/7 to make 1.5bn of them.
Thousands of people are lending their eyes to those who need them.
A live video stream of a giraffe waiting to give birth at a zoo is up again, after complaints the feed was sexually explicit.
Whirlpool insists its repair programme is the best way to go, but thousands of owners want a recall.
UK air traffic control is investing £600m in a new cloud-based system to cope with rising demand.
Sir Clive Sinclair's nephew develops a successor to the C5 trike, which he hopes can find a market.
BBC Click’s Lara Lewington looks at some of the latest tech for your cat.
YouTube has attracted little scrutiny for hosting and rewarding creators of fake news, conspiracy theories, and hate speech (Joseph Bernstein/BuzzFeed)(2 hours ago)
Joseph Bernstein / BuzzFeed:YouTube has attracted little scrutiny for hosting and rewarding creators of fake news, conspiracy theories, and hate speech — David Seaman is the Pizzagate King of the Internet. — On Twitter, Seaman posts dozens of messages a day to his 66,000 followers, often about the secret cabal …
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:EFF: Half of web traffic is now encrypted — Half of the web's traffic is now encrypted, according to a new report from the EFF released this week. The rights organization noted the milestone was attributable to a number of efforts, including recent moves from major tech companies to implement HTTPS on their own properties.
Misconfigured backup drive at Stewart International Airport exposed highly sensitive data to the public internet for almost a year (Zack Whittaker/ZDNet)(4 hours ago)
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:Misconfigured backup drive at Stewart International Airport exposed highly sensitive data to the public internet for almost a year — Exclusive: The files included gigabytes of emails, sensitive government files, and a password list, which researchers say could give hackers ‘full access’ to the airport's systems.
"New York subscribers have had to overpay month after month for services that Spectrum deliberately didn't provide," reports Backchannel -- noting these practices are significant because together Comcast and Charter (formerly Time Warner Cable) account for half of America's 92 million high-speed internet connections. An anonymous reader quotes Backchannel:Based on the company's own documents and statements, it appears that just about everything it has been saying since 2012 to New York State residents about their internet access and data services is untrue...because of business decisions the company deliberately made in order to keep its capital expenditures as low as possible... Its marketing department kept sending out advertising claims to the public that didn't match the reality of what consumers were experiencing or square with what company engineers were telling Spectrum executives. That gives the AG's office its legal hook: Spectrum's actions in knowingly saying one thing but doing another amount to fraudulent, unfair, and deceptive behavior under New York law... The branding people went nuts, using adjectives like Turbo, Extreme, and Ultimate for the company's highest-speed 200 or 300 Mbps download offerings. But no one, or very few people, could actually experience those speeds...because, according to the complaint, the company deliberately required that internet data connections be shared among a gazillion people in each neighborhood... [T]he lawsuit won't by[..]
An anonymous reader quotes Motherboard:The video game industry is lobbying against legislation that would make it easier for gamers to repair their consoles and for consumers to repair all electronics more generally. The Entertainment Software Association, a trade organization that includes Sony, Microsoft, Nintendo, as well as dozens of video game developers and publishers, is opposing a "right to repair" bill in Nebraska, which would give hardware manufacturers fewer rights to control the end-of-life of electronics that they have sold to their customers... Bills making their way through the Nebraska, New York, Minnesota, Wyoming, Tennessee, Kansas, Massachusetts, and Illinois statehouses will require manufacturers to sell replacement parts and repair tools to independent repair companies and consumers at the same price they are sold to authorized repair centers. The bill also requires that manufacturers make diagnostic manuals public and requires them to offer software tools or firmware to revert an electronic device to its original functioning state in the case that software locks that prevent independent repair are built into a device. The bills are a huge threat to the repair monopolies these companies have enjoyed, and so just about every major manufacturer has brought lobbyists to Nebraska, where the legislation is currently furthest along... This setup has allowed companies like Apple to monopolize iPhone repair, John Deere to monopolize tractor repair, and Sony,[..]
An anonymous reader quotes InfoQ:GitHub has recently launched its Open Source Guides, a collection of resources addressing the most common scenarios and best practices for both contributors and maintainers of open source projects. The guides themselves are open source and GitHub is actively inviting developers to participate and share their stories... "Open source is complicated, especially for newcomers. Experienced contributors have learned many lessons about the best way to use, contribute to, and produce open source software. Everyone shouldn't have to learn those lessons the hard way." Making a successful first contribution is not the exclusive focus of the guides, though, which also strives to make it easier to find users for a project, starting a new project, and building healthy open source communities. Other topics the guides dwell on are best practices, getting financial support, metrics, and legal matters. GitHub's Head of Open Source says the guides create "the equivalent of a water cooler for the community." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Twitter opens up Periscope Producer to all users; the service lets broadcasters incorporate live video from sources other than their mobile device (Ken Yeung/VentureBeat)(8 hours ago)
Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:Twitter opens up Periscope Producer to all users; the service lets broadcasters incorporate live video from sources other than their mobile device — After four months of being slowly released, Twitter announced that its Periscope Producer service is now available to everyone …
An anonymous IT geek writes:Cloudflare-hosted web sites have been leaking data as far back as September, according to Gizmodo, which reports that at least Cloudflare "acted fast" when the leak was discovered, closing the hole within 44 minutes, and working with search engines to purge their caches. (Though apparently some of it is still lingering...) Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince "claims that there was no detectable uptick in requests to Cloudflare-powered websites from September of last year...until today. That means the company is fairly confident hackers didn't discover the vulnerability before Google's researchers did." And the company's CTO also told Reuters that "We've seen absolutely no evidence that this has been exploited. It's very unlikely that someone has got this information... We do not know of anybody who has had a security problem as a result of this." Nevertheless, Fortune warns that "So many sites were vulnerable that it doesn't make sense to review the list and change passwords on a case-by-case basis." Some sites are now even resetting every user's password as a precaution, while site operators "are also being advised to wipe their sites' cookies and security certificates, and perform their own web searches to see if site data leaked." But I'd like to know what security precautions are being taken by Slashdot's readers? Leave your own answers in the comments. How did you respond to Cloudbleed?[..]
Chinese phone-maker TCL hopes to revive the brand and its physical keyboard phones.
Baidu reports 2.6% sales dip, its second straight quarterly decline, says "revenue impact" of 2016 medical advertising scandal is "largely behind" it (Meng Jing/South China Morning Post)(10 hours ago)
Meng Jing / South China Morning Post:Baidu reports 2.6% sales dip, its second straight quarterly decline, says “revenue impact” of 2016 medical advertising scandal is “largely behind” it — Online search operator's sales dipped 2.6 per cent to 18.21 billion yuan (US$2.65 billion) in the fourth quarter
"The AI is definitely godlike," one professional player told Quartz. "I am not sure if anyone could beat it." An anonymous reader quotes their report about an AI's showdown with the best players of Super Smash Bros. Melee:Of 10 professionals that faced the bot, each one was killed more than they could kill the bot... But the bot was once only as good as a mere mortal. At first, Vlad Firoiu, creator and a competitive Smash player himself, couldn't train 'Phillip' to be as strong as the in-game bot, which he says even the worst players can beat fairly easily. Firoiu's solution? He started making the bot play itself over and over again, slowly learning which techniques fail and which succeed, called reinforcement learning. Then, he left it alone. "I just sort of forgot about it for a week," said Firoiu, who coauthored an unreviewed paper with William F. Whitney, the NYU student [who helped him] on the work. "A week later I looked at it and I was just like, 'Oh my gosh.' I tried playing it and I couldn't beat it." Business Insider points out that their AI read the players positions, velocities, and states directly from the game's memory, so the AI responds six times faster than a human player. To compensate it played as Captain Falcon, the game's slowest character, but there was one crucial glitch. "One particularly clever player found that the simple strategy of crouching at the edge of the stage caused the network to behave very oddly, refusing to attack and eventually KOing[..]
Google's researchers specifically cited Git when they announced a new SHA-1 attack vector, according to ZDNet. "The researchers highlight that Linus Torvald's code version-control system Git 'strongly relies on SHA-1' for checking the integrity of file objects and commits. It is essentially possible to create two Git repositories with the same head commit hash and different contents, say, a benign source code and a backdoored one,' they note." Saturday morning, Linus responded:First off - the sky isn't falling. There's a big difference between using a cryptographic hash for things like security signing, and using one for generating a "content identifier" for a content-addressable system like git. Secondly, the nature of this particular SHA1 attack means that it's actually pretty easy to mitigate against, and there's already been two sets of patches posted for that mitigation. And finally, there's actually a reasonably straightforward transition to some other hash that won't break the world - or even old git repositories... The reason for using a cryptographic hash in a project like git is because it pretty much guarantees that there is no accidental clashes, and it's also a really really good error detection thing. Think of it like "parity on steroids": it's not able to correct for errors, but it's really really good at detecting corrupt data... if you use git for source control like in the kernel, the stuff you really care about is source code, which is very much a[..]
angry tapir writes: A group of film studios is undertaking what is set to be the most significant use so far of Australia's anti-piracy laws, which allow rights holders to apply for court orders that can compel ISPs to block their customers from accessing certain piracy-linked sites. A pair of rights holders last year successfully obtained court orders forcing Australia's most popular ISPs to block a handful of sites including The Pirate Bay. Now Village Roadshow wants to have 41 more sites blocked. Village Roadshow joined six other studios in requesting an injunction Friday in federal court, reports Computerworld. And meanwhile, "a separate site-blocking application has been launched by Australian music labels, which are seeking to have Telstra, Optus, TPG and Foxtel's broadband arm block access to Kickass Torrents." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai plans to halt rule that would require ISPs to protect the security of their customers' personal information (Jon Brodkin/Ars Technica)(12 hours ago)
Jon Brodkin / Ars Technica:FCC Chairman Ajit Pai plans to halt rule that would require ISPs to protect the security of their customers' personal information — FCC chair plans to halt security rule and set up vote to kill privacy regime. — The Federal Communications Commission plans to halt implementation …
lxw56 writes: Garmin engineer Srinivas Kuchibhotla was shot and killed at a local bar in Olathe, Kansas, the U.S. headquarters of Garmin. Co-worker Alok Madasani was also injured along with bystander Ian Grillot, who attempted to help the men. "The suspect in the shooting, Adam Purinton, was drinking at the bar in Olathe, Kansas, at about 7:15 p.m. that night," reports The Verge. "A witness said he yelled 'get out of my country' to two of the victims, reportedly saying the men, believed to originally be from India, were 'Middle Eastern.'" In 2015, Garmin employed 2,700 workers in Olathe and has plans to double this number, which the article notes has led to "increasing diversity" in the community. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Between February and September of 2016, there were 1,274 reports of drones near airports -- versus just 874 for the same period in 2015, according to newly-released FAA research. "The report detailed more than 1,200 incidents of airplane pilots, law enforcement, air traffic controllers, and U.S. citizens reporting drones flying in places they shouldn't," writes Fortune. An anonymous reader quotes their report:One of takeaway of the report was that while the FAA has received several reports from pilots that drones may have hit their aircraft, the administration was unable to verify any such claim. "Every investigation has found the reported collisions were either birds, impact with other items such as wires and posts, or structural failure not related to colliding with an unmanned aircraft," the FAA said in a statement... Although a drone hasn't smashed into an airplane yet, the FAA "wants to send a clear message that operating drones around airplanes and helicopters is dangerous and illegal. Unauthorized operators may be subject to stiff fines and criminal charges, including possible jail time," the FAA said. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
BARCELONA, Spain (Reuters) - Blackberry Ltd may have exited the device business, but fans of the pioneering email machine need not despair as Chinese smartphone maker TCL Communication has introduced its first Blackberry-licensed phone with the physical keyboard that was long its key allure.
TCL debuts $549 BlackBerry KeyOne with hardware keyboard, Snapdragon 625, 4.5-inch 1620x1080 display, and Android 7.1; phone ships "as early as" April (Ben Schoon/9to5Google)(14 hours ago)
Ben Schoon / 9to5Google:TCL debuts $549 BlackBerry KeyOne with hardware keyboard, Snapdragon 625, 4.5-inch 1620x1080 display, and Android 7.1; phone ships “as early as” April — BlackBerry's “hail mary” just went official, the BlackBerry “KeyOne.” Previously referred to as the “Mercury,” …
A project to preserve (and validate) every Super Nintendo game ROM had been derailed when the post office lost a package containing 100 games from the PAL region. But now Byuu, the creator of the Higan SNES emulator, reports that the package has been found. An anonymous reader writes:Thursday Byuu finally posted photos of the unboxing for the package that was shipped to him January 5th. "I'd like to offer my sincerest apologies to the USPS for assuming the worst in that these games were stolen. I should not have been so hasty to assume malicious intent." At the same time, Byuu writes that "My package was sitting in Atlanta, GA for well over a month with my address clearly visible right on the box. Had this case not been escalated to the media, it likely would have gone up for auction in a bin with other electronics sometime in March." Byuu is now refunding donations he'd received to replace the missing games, and says he can now also resume work on the SNES Preservation Project.And going forward, according to Eurogamer, "Byuu has said he will be more cautious with shipping games in the future -- only using smaller shipments, or buying individual games to scan and archive then selling them on to get some money back." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Bigscreen, an app that enables people to use their computer desktops in VR while communicating in a shared virtual space, raises $3M led by a16z (Ben Lang/Road to VR)(16 hours ago)
Ben Lang / Road to VR:Bigscreen, an app that enables people to use their computer desktops in VR while communicating in a shared virtual space, raises $3M led by a16z — Bigscreen Inc, the company behind the social VR desktop app, Bigscreen, last year told us they'd raised a seed round from “Tier 1” VC firms.
An anonymous reader writes:"Chats that seem to be more ephemeral than email are still being recorded on a server somewhere," reports Fast Company, noting that Slack's Data Request Policy says the company will turn over data from customers when "it is compelled by law to do so or is subject to a valid and binding order of a governmental or regulatory body...or in cases of emergency to avoid death or physical harm to individuals." Slack will notify customers before disclosure "unless Slack is prohibited from doing so," or if the data is associated with "illegal conduct or risk of harm to people or property." The article also warns that like HipChat and Campfire, Slack "is encrypted only at rest and in transit," though a Slack spokesperson says they "may evaluate" end-to-end encryption at some point in the future. Slack has no plans to offer local hosting of Slack data, but if employers pay for a Plus Plan, they're able to access private conversations. Though Slack has 4 million users, the article points out that there's other alternatives like Semaphor and open source choices like Wickr and Mattermost. I'd be curious to hear what Slashdot readers are using at their own workplaces -- and how they feel about the privacy and security of Slack? Read more of this story at Slashdot.
(Reuters) - Appliances and electronics retailer hhgregg Inc is preparing to file for bankruptcy as soon as next month, Bloomberg reported.
CHICAGO (Reuters) - ADM Investor Services (ADMIS), a futures commission merchant owned by global grain trader Archer Daniels Midland Co, will begin executing more of its orders electronically beginning on March 1, the company said on Friday.
(Reuters) - Snap Inc appears set to make a splash next week with the biggest tech stock debut since Facebook Inc, but history suggests investors shut out of the initial public offering would be better off waiting a bit to chase this unicorn on the open market.
HANOI (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd's display panel subsidiary has received a license to invest another $2.5 billion in Vietnam to boost capacity, Vietnam's State Television (VTV)reported.
"The Java and Python runtimes fail to properly validate FTP URLs, which can potentially allow attackers to punch holes through firewalls to access local networks," reports CSO Online. itwbennett writes: Last weekend security researcher Alexander Klink disclosed an interesting attack where exploiting an XML External Entity vulnerability in a Java application can be used to send emails. At the same time, he showed that this type of vulnerability can be used to trick the Java runtime to initiate FTP connections to remote servers. After seeing Klink's exploit, Timothy Morgan, a researcher with Blindspot Security, decided to disclose a similar attack that works against both Java's and Python's FTP implementations. "But his attack is more serious because it can be used to punch holes through firewalls," writes Lucian Constantin in CSO Online. "The Java and Python developers have been notified of this problem, but until they fix their FTP client implementations, the researcher advises firewall vendors to disable classic mode FTP translation by default..." reports CSO Online. "It turns out that the built-in implementation of the FTP client in Java doesn't filter out special carriage return and line feed characters from URLs and actually interprets them. By inserting such characters in the user or password portions of an FTP URL, the Java FTP client can be tricked to execute rogue commands..."[..]
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Berkshire Hathaway Inc's gain on its investment in Apple Inc. stands at more than $1.6 billion after shares of the iPhone maker surged.