Technology News

EU lawmakers agree to strengthen privacy rules for WhatsApp, Skype

(2 days ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - European Union lawmakers voted on Thursday to bring online messaging and email services such as WhatsApp and Skype into the scope of tough telecoms privacy rules that will restrict how they can track users.

Merck cyber attack may cost insurers $275 million: Verisk's PCS

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurers could pay $275 million to cover the insured portion of drugmaker Merck & Co's loss from a cyber attack in June, according to a forecast by Verisk Analytics Inc's Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.

Japanese Metal Manufacturer Faked Specifications To Hundreds of Companies

(2 days ago)
schwit1 writes: Kobe Steel, a major Japanese supplier of steel and other metals worldwide, has admitted that it faked the specifications to metals shipped to hundreds of companies over the past decade.Last week, Kobe Steel admitted that staff fudged reports on the strength and durability of products requested by its clients -- including those from the airline industry, cars, space rockets, and Japan's bullet trains. The company estimated that four percent of aluminum and copper products shipped from September 2016 to August 2017 were falsely labelled, Automotive News reported.But on Friday, the company's CEO, Hiroya Kawasaki, revealed the scandal has impacted about 500 companies -- doubling the initial count -- and now includes steel products, too. The practice of falsely labeling data to meet customer's specifications could date back more than 10 years, according to the Financial Times.For rockets the concern is less serious as they generally are not built for a long lifespan, but for airplanes and cars this news could be devastating, requiring major rebuilds on many operating vehicles.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'Anemic' iPhone 8 demand drags Apple shares lower

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - Signs of poor demand for the iPhone 8 fueled more questions on Thursday over Apple Inc's strategy of releasing two phones within months of each other in 2017, sending its shares almost 3 percent lower.

Facebook, Twitter lawyers to testify in Congress on Russia meddling

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc will send their general counsels to testify on Nov. 1 before two Congressional panels investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the companies said on Thursday.

Alphabet's CapitalG leads Lyft's latest $1 billion funding

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - Lyft Inc has raised $1 billion in fresh financing, the ride-services company said on Thursday, in a round led by one of Alphabet Inc's investment funds, further complicating the convoluted world of ride-hailing alliances and dealing a blow to rival Uber Technologies Inc.

Merck cyber attack may cost insurers $275 million: Verisk's PCS

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Insurers could pay $275 million to cover the insured portion of drugmaker Merck & Co's loss from a cyber attack in June, according to a forecast by Verisk Analytics Inc's Property Claim Services (PCS) unit.

Turning the Optical Fiber Network Into a Giant Earthquake Sensor

(2 days ago)
Tekla Perry writes: Researchers at Stanford have demonstrated that they can use ordinary, underground fiber optic cables to monitor for earthquakes, by using innate impurities in the fiber as virtual sensors. "People didn't believe this would work," said one of the researchers. "They always assumed that an uncoupled optical fiber would generate too much signal noise to be useful." They plan a larger test installation in 2018. Their biggest challenge, they say, will not be perfecting the algorithms but rather convincing telcos to allow the technology to piggyback on existing telecommunications lines. Meanwhile, the same data is being used for an art project that visualizes the activity of pedestrians, bicycles, cars, and fountains on the surface above the cables.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Targeted Fuzzing Is Improving Linux Security, Linus Torvalds Says

(2 days ago)
On the sidelines of announcing the fifth release candidate for the Linux kernel version 4.14, Linus Torvalds said fuzzing, which involves stress testing a system by generating random code to induce errors, is helping the community find and fix a range of security vulnerabilities. He wrote: The other thing perhaps worth mentioning is how much random fuzzing people are doing, and it's finding things. We've always done fuzzing (who remembers the old "crashme" program that just generated random code and jumped to it? We used to do that quite actively very early on), but people have been doing some nice targeted fuzzing of driver subsystems etc, and there's been various fixes (not just this last week either) coming out of those efforts. Very nice to see.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Facebook, Twitter lawyers to testify in Congress on Russia meddling

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc and Twitter Inc will send their general counsels to testify on Nov. 1 before two Congressional panels investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the companies said on Thursday.

Senator McCain suggests subpoena to make White House cyber aide testify

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Senator John McCain suggested on Thursday that the Senate Armed Services Committee, the powerful congressional panel he chairs, may consider issuing a subpoena to make the White House's top cyber security official testify.

Amazon Web Services resolves connectivity issues in Oregon region

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's web services unit said on Wednesday that it resolved connectivity issues that affected its Direct Connect customers in the Oregon region in the United States.

Google Engineers Explore Ways To Stop In-Browser Cryptocurrency Miners in Chrome

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Google Chrome engineers are considering adding a special browser permission that will thwart the rising trend of in-browser cryptocurrency miners. Discussions on the topic of in-browser miners have been going on the Chromium project's bug tracker since mid-September when Coinhive, the first such service, launched. "Here's my current thinking," Ojan Vafai, a Chrome engineering working on the Chromium project, wrote in one of the recent bug reports. "If a site is using more than XX% CPU for more than YY seconds, then we put the page into 'battery saver mode' where we aggressively throttle tasks and show a toast [notification popup] allowing the user to opt-out of battery saver mode. When a battery saver mode tab is backgrounded, we stop running tasks entirely. I think we'll want measurement to figure out what values to use for XX and YY, but we can start with really egregious things like 100% and 60 seconds. I'm effectively suggesting we add a permission here, but it would have unusual triggering conditions [...]. It only triggers when the page is doing a likely bad thing." An earlier suggestion had Google create a blacklist and block the mining code at the browser level. That suggestion was shut down as being too impractical and something better left to extensions.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

EU: No Encryption Backdoors But, Let's Help Each Other Crack That Crypto

(2 days ago)
The European Commission has proposed that member states help each other break into encrypted devices by sharing expertise around the bloc. From a report: In an attempt to tackle the rise of citizens using encryption and its effects on solving crimes, the commission decided to sidestep the well-worn, and well-ridiculed, path of demanding decryption backdoors in the stuff we all use. Instead, the plans set out in its antiterrorism measures on Wednesday take a more collegiate approach -- by offering member states more support when they actually get their hands on an encrypted device. "The commission's position is very clear -- we are not in favour of so-called backdoors, the utilisation of systemic vulnerabilities, because it weakens the overall security of our cyberspace, which we rely upon," security commissioner Julian King told a press briefing. "We're trying to move beyond a sometimes sterile debate between backdoors or no backdoors, and address some of the concrete law enforcement challenges. For instance, when [a member state] gets a device, how do they get information that might be encrypted on the device." [...] Share the wealth. "Some member states are more equipped technically to do that [extract information from a seized device] than others," King said. "We want to make sure no member state is at a disadvantage, by sharing the tech expertise among the member states and reinforcing the support that Europol can offer."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

New Law Bans California Employers From Asking Applicants Their Prior Salary

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: California employers can no longer ask job applicants about their prior salary and -- if applicants ask -- must give them a pay range for the job they are seeking, under a new state law that takes effect Jan. 1. AB168, signed Thursday by Gov. Jerry Brown, applies to all public- and private-sector California employers of any size. The goal is to narrow the gender wage gap. If a woman is paid less than a man doing the same job and a new employer bases her pay on her prior salary, gender discrimination can be perpetuated, the bill's backers say. Last year, the state passed a weaker law that said prior compensation, by itself, cannot justify any disparity in compensation. The new bill goes further by prohibiting employers, "orally or in writing, personally or through an agent," from asking about an applicant's previous pay. However, if the applicant "voluntarily and without prompting" provides this information, the employer may use it "in determining the salary for that applicant."Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wooing Amazon with sun, fun ... and giant buttons

(2 days ago)
Wooing Amazon with sun, fun ... and giant buttons

'Anemic' iPhone 8 demand drags Apple lower

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - Signs of poor demand for the iPhone 8 fueled more market questions over Apple Inc's double 2017 iPhone release strategy, sending its shares down as much as 2.6 percent on Thursday.

Facebook general counsel to testify before Congress on Nov. 1

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's general counsel will testify on Nov. 1 before a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the company said on Thursday.

Just relax, Europe's tech leader SAP tells investors, fourth quarter will be dynamite

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - SAP , Europe's most valuable technology stock, predicted a "dynamite" fourth quarter for its cloud computing business, helping its shares erase losses after third-quarter results fell short of market expectations.

Facebook general counsel to testify before Congress on Nov. 1

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Facebook Inc's general counsel will testify on Nov. 1 before a U.S. House of Representatives panel investigating possible Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, the company said on Thursday.

Slashdot's 20th Anniversary: History of Slashdot

(2 days ago)
Slashdot turned 20 this month, which is ancient in internet years. How far have we come? Also, we've set up a page to coordinate user meet-ups around the world to celebrate. Read on for the full 20-year history of Slashdot.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

TSMC sees on-quarter revenue growth at 10 pct ahead of iPhone X launch

(2 days ago)
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co Ltd (TSMC) said demand from mobile device makers is likely to push October-December revenue growth to 10 percent from three months prior, in a quarter when client Apple Inc begins sales of its iPhone X.

Native American tribe sues Amazon and Microsoft

(2 days ago)
The Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe was assigned data-processing patents by technology company SRC Labs.

Still photographs spring to life

(2 days ago)
New software animates still photos so that subjects can be made to smile and pull expressions.

Samsung To Let Proper Linux Distros Run on Galaxy Smartphones

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report: Samsung has announced it will soon become possible to run actual proper Linux on its Note8, Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones -- and even Linux desktops. Yeah, yeah, we know Android is built on Linux, but you know what we mean. Samsung said it's working on an app called "Linux on Galaxy" that will let users "run their preferred Linux distribution on their smartphones utilizing the same Linux kernel that powers the Android OS." "Whenever they need to use a function that is not available on the smartphone OS, users can simply switch to the app and run any program they need to in a Linux OS environment," Samsung says. The app also allows multiple OSes to run on a device. Linux desktops will become available if users plug their phones into the DeX Station, the device that lets a Galaxy 8 run a Samsung-created desktop-like environment when connected to the DeX and an external monitor.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung, Omnitracs expand tablet offering for U.S. truck fleets

(3 days ago)
SEATTLE (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd and U.S. truck fleet services company Omnitracs said on Thursday they are rolling out a tablet-software package to help smaller carriers comply with a looming federal regulation to log driver hours electronically.

Ryanair, Google and eDreams reach settlement over advertisements

(3 days ago)
DUBLIN (Reuters) - Ryanair reached a settlement with Google and online travel agent eDreams to end legal proceedings in the Irish High Court over what it said were misleading advertisements for Ryanair flights, the airline said on Thursday.

Japan finance sector to reap digital currency benefits, says MUFG chief

(3 days ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - The chief executive of Japan's largest bank expects new business opportunities to appear as digital currencies allow collection of data on how people use their money.

Apple shares drop on iPhone 8 demand worries

(3 days ago)
(Reuters) - Apple Inc's shares fell 1.5 percent in premarket trading on Thursday on growing concerns about muted demand for the iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus.

Toshiba probed by Japan securities watchdog over results filing: source

(3 days ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's securities watchdog is investigating Toshiba Corp's accounting in its latest earnings statement to see if it properly handled losses incurred by its U.S. nuclear unit, a source with knowledge of the matter said on Thursday.

China's Meituan-Dianping raises $4 billion, valuing firm at $30 billion

(3 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - Meituan-Dianping on Thursday said it has raised $4 billion in a funding round that values China's largest on-demand services provider at $30 billion, as part of a strategy to compete with the country's leading e-commerce firms in offline retail.

SAP profits miss forecasts as cloud shift inflates costs

(3 days ago)
FRANKFURT/LONDON (Reuters) - SAP , Europe's most valuable technology company, missed market expectations for third-quarter profit as it invested heavily to shift business customers into cloud computing.

Ubuntu 17.10 Artful Aardvark Released

(3 days ago)
Canonical has made available the download links for Ubuntu 17.10 "Artful Aardvark". It comes with a range of new features, changes, and improvements including GNOME as the default desktop, Wayland display server by default, Optional X.org server session, Mesa 17.2 or Mesa 17.3, Linux kernel 4.13 or kernel 4.14, new Subiquity server installer, improved hardware support, new Ubuntu Server installer, switch to libinput, an always visible dock using Dash to Dock GNOME Shell extension, and Bluetooth improvements with a new BlueZ among others.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Oil company proposes Arctic drilling from artificial island

(3 days ago)
The federal government is collecting public comment on a proposal to drill in Arctic waters from an artificial island

Dodging Russian Spies, Customers Are Ripping Out Kaspersky

(3 days ago)
From a report: Multiple U.S. security consultants and other industry sources tell The Daily Beast customers are dropping their use of Kaspersky software all together, particularly in the financial sector, likely concerned that Russian spies can rummage through their files. Some security companies are being told to only provide U.S. products. And former Kaspersky employees describe the firm as reeling, with department closures and anticipation that researchers will jump ship soon. "We are under great pressure to only use American products no matter the technical or performance consequences," said a source in a cybersecurity firm which uses Kaspersky's anti-virus engine in its own services. The Daily Beast granted anonymity to some of the industry sources to discuss internal deliberations, as well as the former Kaspersky employees to talk candidly about recent events.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Shell opens its first electric vehicle charging points

(3 days ago)
Royal Dutch Shell is opening its first electric vehicle recharging points at three gas stations in Britain, as one of the oil giant steps responds to a global push toward zero-emission vehicles

Skinned sea otter carcass found on California beach

(3 days ago)
The skinned carcass of a sea otter was found on California's Central Coast, and investigators are trying to determine how it died and who took the pelt

WATCH: Apple to partner with Steven Spielberg on 1980s TV series reboot

(3 days ago)
Apple will reportedly team up with Steven Spielberg to revive his "Amazing Stories" anthology series.

US regulators approve 2nd gene therapy for blood cancer

(3 days ago)
US regulators approve 2nd gene therapy for blood cancer, 1st one for adults

Bankers Publicly Embracing Robots Are Privately Fearing Job Cuts

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Within the upper echelons of many financial firms, there's a lot of soul searching as executives prepare to roll out a new generation of technology. Publicly, they're upbeat, predicting machines will perform almost all repetitive tasks, freeing humans to focus on more valuable pursuits. Privately, many confide to peers, consultants and sometimes journalists that they're worried about what will happen to their staffs -- and what to tell them. There's also uncertainty. Maybe it's all overblown, executives say, because the tech will be hard to implement and humans will find new roles. Or perhaps it's the beginning of the end for legions of professionals in one of the world's most lucrative fields. Can jobs held by office-dwelling millionaires disappear like those on factory floors? The result, is that employees aren't getting a clear message on what's to come. For a rosy scenario, look to McKinsey & Co. In July, the consulting firm published a report estimating machines are ready to assume roughly a third of the work now performed by banks' rank and file. The authors framed it as positive: People will have more time to tend to clients, conduct research or brainstorm ideas. So far, it noted, firms at the forefront aren't slashing jobs. At JPMorgan Chase & Co., one of the most tech-savvy banks, Chief Executive Officer Jamie Dimon predicted in June that his workforce will more likely grow than shrink over the next 20[..]

First Floating Wind Farm Delivers Electricity

(3 days ago)
The world's first floating offshore wind farm began delivering electricity to the Scottish grid today. "The 30MW installation, situated 25km (15.5mi) from Peterhead in Aberdeenshire, Scotland, will demonstrate that offshore wind energy can be harvested in deep waters, miles away from land, where installing giant turbines was once impractical or impossible," reports Ars Technica. "At peak capacity, the wind farm will produce enough electricity to power 20,000 Scottish homes." From the report: The installation, called Hywind Scotland, is also interesting because it was built by Statoil, a Norwegian mega-corporation known for offshore oil drilling. Statoil has pursued offshore wind projects in recent years, using the companyâ(TM)s experience building and managing infrastructure in difficult open sea conditions to its advantage. Hywind Scotland began producing power in September, and today it starts delivering electricity to the Scottish grid. Now, all that's left is for Statoil and its partner company Masdar to install a 1MWh lithium-ion battery, charmingly called âoeBatwind,â on shore. Batwind will help the offshore system regulate power delivery and optimize output. After a number of small demonstration projects, the five 6MW turbines are the first commercial turbines to lack a firm attachment to the seafloor. They're held in place using three giant suction anchors, which are commonly used in offshore oil drilling. Essentially, an enormous, empty, upside-down[..]
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