Technology News

Unpatchable 'Flaw' Affects Most of Today's Modern Cars

(2 days ago)
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: A flaw buried deep in the hearts of all modern cars allows an attacker with local or even remote access to a vehicle to shut down various components, including safety systems such as airbags, brakes, parking sensors, and others. The vulnerability affects the CAN (Controller Area Network) protocol that's deployed in modern cars and used to manage communications between a vehicle's internal components. The flaw was discovered by a collaborative effort of Politecnico di Milano, Linklayer Labs, and Trend Micro's Forward-looking Threat Research (FTR) team. Researchers say this flaw is not a vulnerability in the classic meaning of the word. This is because the flaw is more of a CAN standard design choice that makes it unpatchable. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Internal memo: Mic is laying off 25 staffers, primarily from its news and editorial departments, as it shifts focus to video and visual journalism (Maxwell Tani/Business Insider)

(2 days ago)
Maxwell Tani / Business Insider:Internal memo: Mic is laying off 25 staffers, primarily from its news and editorial departments, as it shifts focus to video and visual journalism  —  Mic.com laid off staffers on Thursday in what is part of a larger pivot to video that it will begin later this month.

In Defense of the Popular Framework Electron

(2 days ago)
Electron, a popular framework that allows developers to write code once and seamlessly deploy it across multiple platforms, has been a topic of conversation lately among developers and users alike. Many have criticised Electron-powered apps to be "too memory intensive." A developer, who admittedly uses a high-end computer, shares his perspective: I can speak for myself when I say Electron runs like a dream. On a typical day, I'll have about three Atom windows open, a multi-team Slack up and running, as well as actively using and debugging my own Electron-based app Standard Notes. [...] So, how does it feel to run this bloat train of death every day? Well, it feels like nothing. I don't notice it. My laptop doesn't get hot. I don't hear the fan. I experience no lags in any application. [...] But aside from how it makes end-users feel, there is an arguably more important perspective to be had: how it makes software companies feel. For context, the project I work in is an open-source cross-platform notes app that's available on most platforms, including web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. All the desktop applications are based off the main web codebase, and are bundled using Electron, while the iOS and Android app use their own native codebases respectively, one in Swift and the other in Kotlin. And as a new company without a lot of resources, this setup has just barely allowed us to enter the marketplace. Three codebases is two too many codebases to maintain. Every[..]

Bitcoin Is Forking. Again.

(2 days ago)
Merely weeks after it was announced that Bitcoin was splitting into two separate entities, the initial version of bitcoin and it's new "bitcoin cash," the network is adding a third version, according to a report. From the article: On Wednesday, a group of bitcoiners scheduled yet another split for the network in November, which would create a third version of bitcoin. So, what makes this version different from the others? Right now, the bitcoin network can sometimes take a long time to process transactions due to so many people using it. This is because the "blocks" of transaction data that get added to bitcoin's public ledger, the blockchain, are getting full. In the weeks preceding the fork, bitcoin coalesced around a solution called "segregated witness," which will change how data is stored in blocks to free up some space when it kicks in later in August. But the size of the blocks themselves will stay at one megabyte on the original bitcoin blockchain. Still, some bitcoiners maintained that the only way to speed bitcoin up for the foreseeable future was to increase the size of blocks themselves. So, a group of bitcoin companies and developers got together and launched a fork called bitcoin cash, which does not include segregated witness. It bumped the size of blocks up to a maximum of eight megabytes. That fork was widely anticipated to be a failure before it happened, but at the time of writing, bitcoin cash is trading above $300 USD per coin, which is comparable to[..]

Reddit now allows users to upload videos of up to 15 minutes to its website (Janko Roettgers/Variety)

(2 days ago)
Janko Roettgers / Variety:Reddit now allows users to upload videos of up to 15 minutes to its website  —  Videos are coming to Reddit, thanks to a new feature that allows users to upload video clips directly to the service.  Reddit rolled out the new video feature Tuesday after testing it with around 200 communities over the past couple of weeks.

In Defense of Popular Framework Electron

(2 days ago)
Electron, a popular framework that allows developers to write code once and seamlessly deploy it across multiple platforms, has been a topic of conversation lately among developers and users alike. Many have criticised Electron-powered apps to be "too memory intensive." A developer, who admittedly uses a high-end computer, shares his perspective: I can speak for myself when I say Electron runs like a dream. On a typical day, I'll have about three Atom windows open, a multi-team Slack up and running, as well as actively using and debugging my own Electron-based app Standard Notes. [...] So, how does it feel to run this bloat train of death every day? Well, it feels like nothing. I don't notice it. My laptop doesn't get hot. I don't hear the fan. I experience no lags in any application. [...] But aside from how it makes end-users feel, there is an arguably more important perspective to be had: how it makes software companies feel. For context, the project I work in is an open-source cross-platform notes app that's available on most platforms, including web, Mac, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android. All the desktop applications are based off the main web codebase, and are bundled using Electron, while the iOS and Android app use their own native codebases respectively, one in Swift and the other in Kotlin. And as a new company without a lot of resources, this setup has just barely allowed us to enter the marketplace. Three codebases is two too many codebases to maintain. Every[..]

B2B data platform ZoomInfo was acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners for $240M (Paul Sawers/VentureBeat)

(2 days ago)
Paul Sawers / VentureBeat:B2B data platform ZoomInfo was acquired by private equity firm Great Hill Partners for $240M  —  ZoomInfo, the subscription-based B2B platform that sells access to company data such as contact details, employment history, and other background information, was acquired earlier this week …

Microsoft launches preview of redesigned Skype desktop client, adds new features including @mentions, message reactions, media gallery, and enhanced group calls (Skype Blogs)

(2 days ago)
Skype Blogs:Microsoft launches preview of redesigned Skype desktop client, adds new features including @mentions, message reactions, media gallery, and enhanced group calls  —  Starting today, the next generation of Skype is available in preview on desktop computers.  It's not yet complete and we need your feedback.

A 2:15 Alarm, 2 Trains and a Bus Get Her To Work by 7 AM

(2 days ago)
From a report on The New York Times: Sheila James starts her Monday, and the workweek, at 2:15 a.m. This might be normal for a baker or a morning radio host, but Ms. James is a standard American office worker. She is 62 and makes $81,000 a year as a public health adviser for the United States Department of Health and Human Services in San Francisco. Her early start comes because San Francisco is one of the country's most expensive metropolitan areas. Ms. James lives about 80 miles away in Stockton, which has cheaper homes but requires her to commute on two trains and a bus, leaving at 4 a.m. Plenty of office workers get up at 5 a.m. or a bit before, but 2:15 is highly unusual. "Two-fifteen is early enough that some people are still having their evening," she said on a (very) early morning. But she likes to take her time and have coffee. She keeps the lights low and the house quiet and Zen-like. "I just can't rush like that," she said. When the second alarm goes off at 3:45 -- a reminder to leave for the train in 15 minutes -- her morning shifts from leisure to precision. It is a seven-minute drive to the station, where she catches the Altamont Corridor Express train. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Trump mulling lifting status of Cyber Command: sources

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump is close to making a decision to elevate the status of the Pentagon's Cyber Command, signaling more emphasis on developing cyber weapons to deter attacks, punish intruders and tackle adversaries, current and former officials told Reuters on Thursday.

U.S. e-sports platform to launch $100 million cryptocurrency sale in September

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Unikrn, a U.S. sports betting digital platform backed by some of the biggest names in media, entertainment and sports, will launch the sale of $100 million in cryptocurrency next month, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer, Rahul Sood, told Reuters in an interview earlier this week.

Nielsen is launching a new division, Nielsen Esports, to quantify the rapidly growing industry for teams, sponsors, advertisers, and publishers (Eben Novy-Williams/Bloomberg)

(2 days ago)
Eben Novy-Williams / Bloomberg:Nielsen is launching a new division, Nielsen Esports, to quantify the rapidly growing industry for teams, sponsors, advertisers, and publishers  —  Estimates of pro gaming industry, audience vary wildly  —  Nielsen will provide analysis across traditional, new channels

U.S. e-sports platform to launch $100 million cryptocurrency sale in September

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Unikrn, a U.S. sports betting digital platform backed by some of the biggest names in media, entertainment and sports, will launch the sale of $100 million in cryptocurrency next month, the company's co-founder and chief executive officer, Rahul Sood, told Reuters in an interview earlier this week.

Sixt CEO hints at car-sharing merger talks between BMW and Daimler

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German carmakers Daimler and BMW may be in talks to combine their car-sharing services Car2Go and DriveNow, the chief executive of car rental company and DriveNow partner Sixt hinted on Thursday.

Wisconsin lawmakers debate billions in incentives for Foxconn plant

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - The Wisconsin State Assembly on Thursday will consider a $3 billion incentive package for a proposed liquid-crystal display factory by Taiwan's Foxconn, the first vote on the deal by a chamber of the state's Republican-controlled legislature.

New MH370 Analysis Again Suggests Plane Came Down Outside Search Area

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: New analysis of images thought to depict wreckage from missing Malaysian Airlines flight MH 370 suggest the Boeing 777 came down to the north of the area searched during efforts to find the plane. A new document [PDF] released yesterday by Geoscience Australia (GA) detailed analysis of four images captured by the PLEIADES 1A Earth-imaging satellite on March 23rd, 2014, not long after the March 8th disappearance of the plane. The images were provided to GA by the French Ministry of Defence. The images depict an area to the north and east of the area searched by underwater survey, and in-between areas where search and rescue operations were conducted in the wake of the plane's disappearance. The image displays the areas covered by underwater survey in yellow and the search and rescue zones in red. Extensive manual analysis of the images -- there was not enough data to use machine learning -- yielded a dozen objects that researchers were happy to classify as "probably not natural." Several of those objects were clustered in the northern parts of the areas depicted in the photos. The document is at pains to point out that it is not possible to identify the objects as airplane debris. The new analysis referred back to drift pattern analysis made on debris known to have come from MH370 and released in December 2016. That analysis suggested the search area be extended by 25,000km2. More detailed drift analysis released in April 2017 also called[..]

Facebook will limit the spread of stories in News Feed that feature either fake video play buttons or videos of only a static image (Thuy Ong/The Verge)

(2 days ago)
Thuy Ong / The Verge:Facebook will limit the spread of stories in News Feed that feature either fake video play buttons or videos of only a static image  —  Like ones that have a fake play button on videos of still images … Facebook has announced two new updates that will limit video clickbait posts from appearing in the News Feed.

China Cracks Down on VPN Vendors

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a BBC report: China's latest crackdown on those attempting to skirt state censorship controls has seen it warn e-commerce platforms over the sale of illegal virtual private networks (VPNs). Five websites, including shopping giant Alibaba, have been asked to remove vendors that sell VPNs. It is the latest in a series of measures from the Chinese government to maintain strict control over content. Apple has previously been asked to remove VPN apps. China's cyber-regulator the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) has ordered the websites to carry out immediate "self-examination and correction." "The CAC has ordered these five sites to immediately carry out a comprehensive clean-up of harmful information, close corresponding illegal account.. and submit a rectification report by a deadline," the regulator said in a statement. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Alibaba leads $1.1B investment in Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia (Jon Russell/TechCrunch)

(2 days ago)
Jon Russell / TechCrunch:Alibaba leads $1.1B investment in Indonesia-based e-commerce firm Tokopedia  —  Alibaba has continued its push into Southeast Asia after it led a $1.1 billion investment in Tokopedia, an e-commerce firm based in Indonesia.  —  A valuation for the deal was not announced …

China issues warning to Alibaba's Taobao.com, other e-commerce marketplaces to remove VPN tools selling on their platforms (Cate Cadell/Reuters)

(2 days ago)
Cate Cadell / Reuters:China issues warning to Alibaba's Taobao.com, other e-commerce marketplaces to remove VPN tools selling on their platforms  —  BEIJING (Reuters) - Chinese authorities have issued a warning to the country's top e-commerce platforms, including Alibaba Holding Group Ltd's (BABA.N) Taobao.com …

Australia Joins China and Japan in Trying To Regulate Digital Currency Exchanges

(2 days ago)
Following moves by China and Japan to regulate digital currencies, Australia is attempting to crackdown on money laundering and terrorism financing with plans to regulate bitcoin exchanges. From a report: "The threat of serious financial crime is constantly evolving, as new technologies emerge and criminals seek to nefariously exploit them. These measures ensure there is nowhere for criminals to hide," said Australia's Minister for Justice Michael Keenan in a press release. The Australian government proposed a set of reforms on Thursday which will close a gap in regulation and bring digital currency exchange providers under the remit of the Australian Transactions and Reporting Analysis Centre. These exchanges serve as marketplaces where traders can buy and sell digital currencies, such as bitcoin, using fiat currencies, such as the dollar. The reform bill is intended to strengthen the Anti-Money Laundering and Counter-Terrorism Financing Act and increase the powers of AUSTRAC. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Renderings of alleged LG V30 show off handset from multiple angles, feature dual-camera setup and fingerprint sensor that doubles as a sleep/wake button (Justin Duino/9to5Google)

(2 days ago)
Justin Duino / 9to5Google:Renderings of alleged LG V30 show off handset from multiple angles, feature dual-camera setup and fingerprint sensor that doubles as a sleep/wake button  —  We're less than a week away from the official announcement of the V30, but that hasn't stopped leaked images of the handset from emerging.

Thai Activist Jailed For the Crime of Sharing an Article on Facebook

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Thai activist Jatuphat "Pai" Boonpattaraksa was sentenced this week to two and a half years in prison -- for the crime of sharing a BBC article on Facebook. The Thai-language article profiled Thailand's new king and, while thousands of users shared it, only Jutaphat was found to violate Thailand's strict lese majeste laws against insulting, defaming, or threatening the monarchy. The sentence comes after Jatuphat has already spent eight months in detention without bail. During this time, Jatuphat has fought additional charges for violating the Thai military junta's ban on political gatherings and for other activism with Dao Din, an anti-coup group. While in trial in military court, Jatuphat also accepted the Gwangzu Prize for Human Rights. When he was arrested last December, Jatuphat was the first person to be charged with lese majeste since the former King Bhumibol passed away and his son Vajiralongkorn took the throne. (He was not, however, the first to receive a sentence -- this past June saw one of the harshest rulings to date, with one man waiting over a year in jail to be sentenced to 35 years for Facebook posts critical of the royal family.) The conviction, which appears to have singled Jatuphat out among thousands of other Facebook users who shared the article, sends a strong message to other activists and netizens: overbroad laws like lese majeste can and will be used to target those who oppose military rule in Thailand.[..]

Ericsson Is Planning To Cut 25,000 Jobs in Brutal Response To Crisis, Report Says

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Multinational telecom operator Ericsson -- which carries 40% of the world's mobile traffic on its networks and is Sweden's second largest company by revenue -- reported another disappointing quarter last month.As response, the troubled company's new CEO Borje Ekholm announced costs cuts of 10 billion SEK ($1,25 bn) per year. He did not say how many jobs were at stake. Now insider sources have provided details to Svenska Dagbladet (SvD), indicating that Ericsson's restructuring will be more brutal than expected. The Swedish newspaper reports that there are advanced plans to cut Ericsson's operations by 80-90 percent in some markets, and centralize several European markets. However, the 14,000 employee-strong Swedish work force is to stay intact -- at least all R&D engineers. "Right now, Ericsson is hiring engineers to repair the damage that earlier saving packages caused. It's crucial that most of all the Swedish R&D department remains somewhat protected. They are the ones who will come up with the new solutions that will drive sales in the long term," said a person with insight into the process. According to internal sources, up to 25,000 people may be affected by the restructuring program. The Swedish company currently employs 109,000 people across 110 offices around the world.[..]

U.S. appeals court rules for Uber in arbitration dispute

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court on Thursday ruled in favor of Uber Technologies Inc [UBER.UL] in a lawsuit over whether passengers gave up their right to sue the company when they registered for its taxi-hailing service,

Samsung Galaxy Note 4 Batteries Are Being Recalled For Overheating Risk

(2 days ago)
According to The Verge, over 10,000 batteries for the Galaxy Note 4 are being recalled for risk of overheating that could lead to burns or fires. Given last year's Note 7 fiasco, this recall sure doesn't sound good. It is, however, far more limited than the Note 7 recall and doesn't appear to be Samsung's fault. The Verge reports: Only phones refurbished through AT&T's insurance program and handled by FedEx Supply Chain are impacted by the recall. Some of the refurbished phones apparently ended up with "counterfeit" batteries that include anomalies that could make them overheat. Fortunately, the Note 4 has a replaceable battery, so this recall isn't as big of a deal. Owners can just buy a new battery to use in their phone until the recall is taken care of. FedEx is currently sending out replacement batteries as well as boxes for returning the recalled phones. "FedEx Supply Chain is conducting this recall of non-genuine Samsung batteries as some of them are counterfeit," the spokesperson said. "The refurbishment program was managed by FedEx Supply Chain and operated independently of Samsung. Any affected owners should contact FedEx Supply Chain at 1-800-338-0163 or go online at www.exchangemybattery.com for more information." There's only been one report of a phone overheating and no damage to people or property because of it.[..]

Google adds Q&A section to Maps on Android and mobile search, letting businesses answer questions (Frederic Lardinois/TechCrunch)

(2 days ago)
Frederic Lardinois / TechCrunch:Google adds Q&A section to Maps on Android and mobile search, letting businesses answer questions  —  Google is launching a new feature for Google Maps for Android and mobile search today: question and answers.  I'm sure it won't come as a surprise when I tell you that this feature allows …

China cracks down on censorship loopholes

(2 days ago)
Five websites, including Alibaba, have been asked to remove vendors that sell virtual private networks.

Google Lunar X-Prize Extends Deadline Through March 2018

(2 days ago)
schwit1 writes: The Google Lunar X-Prize has announced that it has extended its contest deadline from the end of 2017 to the end of March 2018 for the finalists to complete their lunar rover mission and win the grand prize of $30 million. They also announced several additional consolation prizes that all of the remaining five contestants can win should they achieve lunar orbit ($1.75 million) or successfully achieve a soft landing ($3 million), even if they are not the first to do it. At least one team, Moon Express, will be helped enormously by the extra three months. This gives Rocket Lab just a little extra time to test its rocket before launching Moon Express's rover to the Moon. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ericsson could shed 25,000 jobs in cost-cutting drive: report

(2 days ago)
STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Mobile telecom gear maker Ericsson may lay off around 25,000 employees outside Sweden as part of its savings program, Swedish daily Svenska Dagbladet reported on Thursday, citing unidentified sources at the company.

Hyundai plans long-range premium electric car in strategic shift

(2 days ago)
SEOUL (Reuters) - Hyundai Motor Co said on Thursday it was placing electric vehicles at the center of its product strategy - one that includes plans for a premium long-distance electric car as it seeks to catch up to Tesla and other rivals.

NAFTA talks must include discussion on fintech: Mexican negotiator

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Talks to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) must include a discussion of new financial services, a Mexican negotiator said on Wednesday, singling out so-called fintech companies rapidly gaining ground in the region.
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