Technology News

President Trump Is Sending NASA Back To The Moon

(2 days ago)
President Trump has formally told NASA to send U.S. astronauts back to the moon. From a report: "The directive I'm signing today will refocus America's space program on human exploration and discovery," he said. Standing at the president's side as he signed "Space Policy Directive 1" on Monday was Apollo 17 astronaut Harrison Schmitt, one of the last two humans to ever walk on the moon, in a mission that took place 45 years ago this week. Since that time, no human has ventured out beyond low-Earth orbit. NASA doesn't even have its own space vehicle, having retired the space shuttles in 2011. Americans currently ride up to the international space station in Russian capsules, though private space taxis are expected to start ferrying them up as soon as next year.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The First Women in Tech Didn't Leave -- Men Pushed Them Out

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader writes: A column on the Wall Street Journal argues that sexism in the tech industry is as old as the tech industry itself. At its genesis, computer programming faced a double stigma -- it was thought of as menial labor, like factory work, and it was feminized, a kind of "women's work" that wasn't considered intellectual (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source). In the U.K., women in the government's low-paid "Machine Operator Class" performed knowledge work including programming systems for everything from tax collection and social services to code-breaking and scientific research. Later, they would be pushed out of the field, as government leaders in the postwar era held a then-common belief that women shouldn't be allowed into higher-paid professions with long-term prospects because they would leave as soon as they were married. Today, in the U.S., about a quarter of computing and mathematics jobs are held by women, and that proportion has been declining over the past 20 years. A string of recent events suggest the steps currently being taken by tech firms to address these issues are inadequate.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

'More to come' after bitcoin futures launch: Cboe CEO

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The generally smooth launch of bitcoin futures on Cboe Global Markets could pave the way for other cryptocurrency-related products like options and ETFs, the head of the exchange operator said in an interview on Monday.

LinkedIn Bro Poetry Pretty Much Sums Up 2017

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares an article: It starts out like this: I was homeless. I was fired yesterday. I was walking home. I took an Uber. Someone stopped me on the street. My boss told me not to take a chance on anyone over 50, but I hired him anyway. It was Elon Musk. LinkedIn has become overrun with these types of inspirational tales posted as long status updates. They're characterized by their short sentences and read like E.E. Cummings poems recited from memory by Tony Robbins. They're usually between 15 to 25 lines long, always double spaced. They start with a hook in the first couple sentences that entices the reader to click the "see more" link that's displayed on LinkedIn posts that are longer than three lines. Some refer to this type of post as "the LinkedIn haiku" others call it "broetry" and it has completely cannibalized the LinkedIn newsfeed.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple removes app after MyEtherWallet complaint

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - IPhone maker Apple Inc said on Monday it had removed a paid iOS application from its App Store after MyEtherWallet, a free service for storing digital currencies, complained that the program was improperly using its name.

How Email Open Tracking Quietly Took Over the Web

(2 days ago)
Brian Merchant, writing for Wired: There are some 269 billion emails sent and received daily. That's roughly 35 emails for every person on the planet, every day. Over 40 percent of those emails are tracked, according to a study published last June by OMC, an "email intelligence" company that also builds anti-tracking tools. The tech is pretty simple. Tracking clients embed a line of code in the body of an email -- usually in a 1x1 pixel image, so tiny it's invisible, but also in elements like hyperlinks and custom fonts. When a recipient opens the email, the tracking client recognizes that pixel has been downloaded, as well as where and on what device. Newsletter services, marketers, and advertisers have used the technique for years, to collect data about their open rates; major tech companies like Facebook and Twitter followed suit in their ongoing quest to profile and predict our behavior online. But lately, a surprising -- and growing -- number of tracked emails are being sent not from corporations, but acquaintances. "We have been in touch with users that were tracked by their spouses, business partners, competitors," says Florian Seroussi, the founder of OMC. "It's the wild, wild west out there." According to OMC's data, a full 19 percent of all "conversational" email is now tracked. That's one in five of the emails you get from your friends. And you probably never noticed.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Canada's privacy watchdog launches probe into Uber hack

(2 days ago)
TORONTO (Reuters) - The office of Canada's privacy commissioner said on Monday that it has opened a formal investigation into the 2016 breach of customer and driver data at Uber Technologies Inc, which the ride-hailing company disclosed last month.

SEC halts initial coin offering from restaurant review app

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission has stepped in to stop an "initial coin offering" (ICO) from a restaurant review app, after the company failed to register it as a security.

Net Neutrality: 'Father Of Internet' Joins Tech Leaders in Condemning Repeal Plan

(2 days ago)
More than 20 internet pioneers and leaders including the "father of the internet", Vint Cerf; the inventor of the world wide web, Tim Berners-Lee; and the Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak have urged the FCC to cancel its vote to repeal net neutrality, describing the plan as "based on a flawed and factually inaccurate" understanding of how the internet works. From a report: "The FCC's rushed and technically incorrect proposed order to repeal net neutrality protections without any replacement is an imminent threat to the internet we worked so hard to create. It should be stopped," said the technology luminaries in an open letter to lawmakers (PDF) with oversight of the Federal Communications Commission on Monday. The letter refers to the FCC's proposed Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which removes net neutrality protections introduced in 2015 to ensure that internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon would treat all web content and applications equally and not throttle, block or prioritise some content in return for payment. The FCC's vote on the proposed order is scheduled for 14 December and it is expected to be approved. "It is important to understand that the FCC's proposed order is based on a flawed and factually inaccurate understanding of Internet technology," the internet pioneers state, adding that the flaws were outlined in detail in a 43-page comment submitted by 200 tech leaders to the FCC in July.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackers hit U.S., Russian banks in ATM robbery scam: report

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A previously undetected group of Russian-language hackers silently stole nearly $10 million from at least 18 mostly U.S. and Russian banks in recent years by targeting interbank transfer systems, a Moscow-based security firm said on Monday.

U.S. tech firm settles probe of Russian work on defense project

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Netcracker Technology Corp will not face criminal charges for allowing Russian nationals without security clearance to work on a U.S. defense project after it agreed to adopt enhanced cyber security measures, authorities said on Monday.

Google Releases Tool To Help iPhone Hackers

(2 days ago)
Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, writing for Motherboard: Google has released a powerful tool that can help security researchers hack and find bugs in iOS 11.1.2, a very recent version of the iPhone operating system. The exploit is the work of Ian Beer, one of the most prolific iOS bug hunters, and a member of Google Project Zero, which works to find bugs in all types of software, including that not made by Google. Beer released the tool Monday, which he says should work for "all devices." The proof of concept works only for those devices he tested -- iPhone 7, 6s and iPod touch 6G -- "but adding more support should be easy," he wrote. Last week, Beer caused a stir among the community of hackers who hack on the iPhone -- also traditionally known as jailbreakers -- by announcing that he was about to publish an exploit for iOS 11.1.2. Researchers reacted with excitement as they realized the tool would make jailbreaking and security research much easier.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

U.S. tech firm settles probe of Russian work on defense project

(2 days ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Netcracker Technology Corp will not face criminal charges for allowing Russian nationals without security clearance to work on a U.S. defense project after it agreed to adopt enhanced cyber security measures, authorities said on Monday.

Apple confirms deal to buy music discovery app Shazam

(2 days ago)
SAN FRANSICO (Reuters) - Apple Inc on Monday confirmed it had reached a deal to acquire Shazam Entertainment Ltd, the U.K.-based app that lets users identify songs by pointing a smart phone at the audio source.

Hackers hit U.S., Russian banks in ATM robbery scam: report

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A previously undetected group of Russian-language hackers silently stole nearly $10 million from at least 18 mostly U.S. and Russian banks in recent years by targeting interbank transfer systems, a Moscow-based security firm said on Monday.

The Case that Bitcoin Is a Bubble

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from the Economist: It seems that every day, Bitcoin seems to hit a new high. But the reported price can move up and down by $1,000 or so within a few hours. This might have made it a great investment for those who got in at the right price and are nimble enough to get out in time. But it doesn't make it a useful means of exchange (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternative source). When the price is rising fast, those who use bitcoin will be reluctant to part with it; when the price falls, those who sell goods will be reluctant to accept it.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bitcoin Futures Surge In First Day Of Trading

(2 days ago)
On their first day of trading, bitcoin futures surged past $18,000, adding to a streak for the digital currency that began the year at just $1,000 and has nearly tripled in value over the past month alone. From a report: Reuters reports that bitcoin futures, traded through the Chicago Board Options Exchange (CBOE), saw January contracts, which opened at $15,460 in New York on Sunday evening, leap to a high of $17,170 during Asian hours. Trading, which began at 6 p.m. ET (5 p.m. CT), was so intense that halts designed to cool volatility were triggered twice on the CBOE. The halts are "not surprising based on the volatility of the underlying [asset]. The futures are behaving as expected and designed," Tom Lehrkinder, senior analyst at consulting firm Tabb Group, was quoted by CNBC as saying.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Newly minted bitcoin futures indicate more modest growth ahead

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK/SYDNEY/LONDON (Reuters) - Newly launched bitcoin futures indicated on Monday that financial markets expect the cryptocurrency to climb further but at a far slower rate than in recent weeks as warnings of a bubble grew.

UBS leads blockchain data reporting pilot ahead of new EU rules

(2 days ago)
ZURICH/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Financial companies led by Swiss bank UBS are testing a blockchain platform to help them comply with new European Union trade data standards due to come into force next year.

U.S. videogame makers may trounce sales estimates again

(2 days ago)
(Reuters) - Tepid holiday sales forecasts from two of the three major U.S. videogame producers have not dampened investors' confidence in one of the past decade's major stock market success stories for a simple reason: they almost always beat them.

Ex-contractor says he shut Trump's Twitter account by accident

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - The contractor who shut down Donald Trump's Twitter account has told Reuters he did so by mistake, but says he believes some of the U.S. president's recent tweets breach the social network's ban on hate speech.

Former Facebook Exec Says Social Media is Ripping Apart Society

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Verge: Another former Facebook executive has spoken out about the harm the social network is doing to civil society around the world. Chamath Palihapitiya, who joined Facebook in 2007 and became its vice president for user growth, said he feels "tremendous guilt" about the company he helped make. "I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works," he told an audience at Stanford Graduate School of Business, before recommending people take a âoehard breakâ from social media. Palihapitiya's criticisms were aimed not only at Facebook, but the wider online ecosystem. "The short-term, dopamine-driven feedback loops we've created are destroying how society works," he said, referring to online interactions driven by "hearts, likes, thumbs-up." "No civil discourse, no cooperation; misinformation, mistruth. And it's not an American problem -- this is not about Russians ads. This is a global problem." Also read: Sean Parker Unloads on Facebook 'Exploiting' Human PsychologyRead more of this story at Slashdot.

German Intelligence Warns of Increased Chinese Cyberspying

(2 days ago)
The head of Germany's domestic intelligence agency has warned that China allegedly is using social networks to try to cultivate lawmakers and other officials as sources. From a report: Hans-Georg Maassen said his agency, known by its German acronym BfV, believes more than 10,000 Germans have been targeted by Chinese intelligence agents posing as consultants, headhunters or researchers, primarily on the social networking site LinkedIn. "This is a broad-based attempt to infiltrate in particular parliaments, ministries and government agencies," Maassen said.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackers hit major ATM network after U.S., Russian bank breaches: report

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A previously undetected group of Russian-language hackers silently stole nearly $10 million from at least 18 mostly U.S. and Russian banks in recent years by targeting interbank transfer systems, a Moscow-based security firm said on Monday.

Hackers hit major ATM network after U.S., Russian bank breaches: report

(2 days ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A previously undetected group of Russian-language hackers silently stole nearly $10 million from at least 18 mostly U.S. and Russian banks in recent years by targeting interbank transfer systems, a Moscow-based security firm said on Monday.

Fired Tech Workers Turn To Chatbots for Counseling

(2 days ago)
An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report: For months Lovkesh Joshi was quietly terrified of losing his job as a manager at a top Indian tech services company. Joshi didn't want to burden his wife or friends so he turned to a chatbot therapist called Wysa. Powered by AI, the app promises to be "loyal, supportive and very private," and encourages users to divulge their feelings about a recent major event or big change in their lives. "I could open up and talk," says the 41-year-old father of two school-age children, who says his conversations with the bot flowed naturally. "I felt heard and understood." Joshi moved to a large rival outsourcer two months ago. The upheaval in India's $154 billion tech outsourcing industry has prompted thousands of Indians to seek solace in online therapy services. People accustomed to holding down prestigious jobs and pulling in handsome salaries are losing out to automation, a shift away from long-term legacy contracts and curbs on U.S. work visas. McKinsey & Co says almost half of the four million people working in India's IT services industry will become "irrelevant" in the next three to four years. Indians, like people the world over, tend to hide their mental anguish for fear of being stigmatized. That's why many are embracing the convenience, anonymity and affordability of online counseling startups, most of which use human therapists.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Verizon to pay $2.25 billion to NFL for five-year streaming deal: source

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc will pay around $2.25 billion for a five-year digital streaming partnership with National Football League, according to a source.

Chinese electric car maker to put 'Weltmeister' on road next year

(2 days ago)
BEIJING (Reuters) - WM Motor Technology Co, one of a new breed of Chinese electric car companies, will use its company name "Weltmeister" as its brand and plans to start taking orders for its first product, a sport-utility vehicle, from April.

Verizon and NFL reach digital streaming agreement

(2 days ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc and the National Football League have reached an agreement for a multi-year digital streaming deal, Verizon said on Monday.

Uber's London license appeal to be heard next year

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Uber [UBER.UL] will defend its right to operate in London in court next year after the app was deemed unfit to run a taxi service and stripped of its license in its most important European market.

Hotly anticipated bitcoin futures ease off after 22 percent surge

(3 days ago)
NEW YORK/SYDNEY/LONDON (Reuters) - Bitcoin futures eased back from an initial surge of almost 22 percent to trade up 13 percent on Monday, in an eagerly awaited U.S. market debut that backers hope will confer greater legitimacy on the volatile cryptocurrency and lead to its wider use.

Apple aims to block climate, rights proposals with quick use of SEC guidance

(3 days ago)
BOSTON (Reuters) - Apple Inc is pushing back on shareholder proposals on climate issue and human rights concerns, an effort activists worry could sharply restrict investor rights.

Uber's London license appeal to be heard next year

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Uber [UBER.UL] will defend its right to operate in London in court next year after the app was deemed unfit to run a taxi service and stripped of its license in its most important European market.

EU must look at regulating bitcoin, ECB's Nowotny says

(3 days ago)
VIENNA (Reuters) - The European Union needs to consider regulating bitcoin, European Central Bank ratesetter Ewald Nowotny said on Monday, citing the risk of money laundering.

HP Laptops Found To Have Hidden Keylogger

(3 days ago)
Hidden software that can record every letter typed on a computer keyboard has been discovered pre-installed on hundreds of HP laptop models, BBC reported on Monday citing the findings of a security researcher. From the report: Security researcher Michael Myng found the keylogging code in software drivers preinstalled on HP laptops to make the keyboard work. HP said more than 460 models of laptop were affected by the "potential security vulnerability." It has issued a software patch for its customers to remove the keylogger. The issue affects laptops in the EliteBook, ProBook, Pavilion and Envy ranges, among others. HP has issued a full list of affected devices, dating back to 2012. Mr Myng discovered the keylogger while inspecting Synaptics Touchpad software, to figure out how to control the keyboard backlight on an HP laptop. He said the keylogger was disabled by default, but an attacker with access to the computer could have enabled it to record what a user was typing. According to HP, it was originally built into the Synaptics software to help debug errors. It acknowledged that could lead to "loss of confidentiality" but it said neither Synaptics nor HP had access to customer data as a result of the flaw.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

HP laptops found to have hidden keylogger

(3 days ago)
A researcher finds more than 460 models have the hidden software pre-installed.

Ask Slashdot: What's the Best Way to Retrain Old IT Workers?

(3 days ago)
A medium-sized company just hired a new IT manager who wants advice from the Slashdot community about their two remaining IT "gofers":These people have literally been here their entire "careers" and are now near retirement. Quite honestly, they do not have any experience other than reinstalling Windows, binding something to the domain and the occasional driver installation -- and are more than willing to admit this. Given many people are now using Macs and most servers/workstations are running Linux, they have literally lost complete control over the company, with most of these machines sitting around completely unmanaged. Firing these people is nearly impossible. (They have a lot of goodwill within other departments, and they have quite literally worked there for more than 60 years combined.) So I've been tasked with attempting to retrain these people in the next six months. Given they still have to do work (imaging computers and fixing basic issues), what are the best ways of retraining them into basic network, Windows, Mac, Linux, and "cloud" first-level help desk support? Monster_user had some suggestions -- for example, "Don't overtrain. Select and target areas where they will be able to provide a strong impact." Any other good advice? Leave your best answers in the comments. What's the best way to retrain old IT workers?Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber appeal case against London license loss planned for April or June next year

(3 days ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Uber's [UBER.UL] appeal against the loss of its London license should begin on Apr. 30 for five days but might be delayed until June, a British judge said on Monday at a preliminary hearing.

Taiwan outlines security plans to battle hackers

(3 days ago)
TAIPEI (Reuters) - Taiwan must boost its information security systems to protect against hackers who target the island's financial services and banking systems, President Tsai Ing-wen said on Monday, unveiling a three-pronged strategy against attacks.

Apple, India wrangle over import tax on mobile parts: sources

(3 days ago)
NEW DELHI (Reuters) - Apple Inc has asked India to defer a planned increase in import taxes on mobile phone parts so it can expand its iPhone manufacturing in the country, but the government is unlikely to accede, people familiar with the matter said.

Nokia's COO quits after eight months in the job

(3 days ago)
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Nokia said its chief operating officer will leave the telecom network equipment maker, which is struggling in the face of a shrinking market and tough competition, after just eight months in the job.

Exclusive: Hong Kong fund tells Toshiba that chip unit sale to Bain group not necessary

(3 days ago)
TOKYO (Reuters) - A Hong Kong-based activist investor in Toshiba Corp has told the embattled conglomerate that the $18 billion sale of its chip unit to a Bain Capital-led group is no longer necessary after its recent capital injection, according to a letter seen by Reuters.

Nokia COO to leave the company

(3 days ago)
HELSINKI (Reuters) - Telecom network equipment maker Nokia said on Monday its Chief Operating Officer Monika Maurer was leaving the company.

Mubadala has done 15 to 16 investments in Silicon Valley as part of the Softbank fund

(3 days ago)
ABU DHABI (Reuters) - Abu Dhabi's state investor, Mubadala [MUDEV.UL], has made 15 to 16 investments in Silicon Valley as part of a partnership with Softbank Group, deputy group CEO, Waleed al-Muhairi, told a conference in Abu Dhabi.

China Telecom earmarked as Philippines' 3rd telecoms player: Manila officials

(3 days ago)
MANILA (Reuters) - State-run China Telecom Corp could become the Philippines' third telecoms player, officials of the Southeast Asian nation said on Sunday, as the government looks to stir up competition in an effort to boost notoriously poor services.

Google's Machine Learning Is Analyzing Data From NASA's Kepler Space Telescope

(3 days ago)
NASA writes:NASA will host a media teleconference at 1 p.m. EST Thursday, Dec. 14, to announce the latest discovery made by its planet-hunting Kepler space telescope. The discovery was made by researchers using machine learning from Google. Machine learning is an approach to artificial intelligence, and demonstrates new ways of analyzing Kepler data... When Kepler launched in March 2009, scientists didn't know how common planets were beyond our solar system. Thanks to Kepler's treasure trove of discoveries, astronomers now believe there may be at least one planet orbiting every star in the sky. Space.com adds:Kepler spots alien worlds by noticing the tiny brightness dips they cause when they cross the face of their host star from the spacecraft's perspective. Kepler is the most accomplished planet hunter in history. It has found more than 2,500 confirmed alien worlds -- about 70 percent of all known exoplanets -- along with a roughly equal number of "candidates" that await confirmation by follow-up observations or analyses. The vast majority of these discoveries have come via observations that Kepler made during its original mission, which ran from 2009 to 2013. Study of these data sets is ongoing; over the past few years, researchers have used improved analysis techniques to spot many exoplanets in data that Kepler gathered a half-decade ago or more. Space.com describes Thursday's announcement as an exoplanet discovery. (Earlier they reported on the discovery of "a possibly[..]
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