Technology News

US Government Admits It Doesn't Know If Assange Cracked Password For Manning

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: The U.S. government does not have any evidence that WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange succeeded in cracking a password for whistleblower Chelsea Manning, according to a newly unsealed affidavit written by an FBI agent. Last week, Assange was escorted out of the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and arrested for breaching bail in connection to allegations of sexual misconduct in Sweden. The day of Assange's arrest, the U.S. government unsealed an indictment against Assange with a hacking conspiracy charge. The Department of Justice accused WikiLeaks' founder of agreeing to help Manning crack a password that would have helped the former military analyst get into a classified computer system under a username that did not belong to her, making it harder for investigators to trace the eventual leak. On Monday, the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia unsealed the affidavit, which is dated December 21, 2017. The document contains more details on the interactions between Assange and Manning. And, most significantly, contains the admission that the U.S. government -- as of December of 2017 -- had no idea whether Assange actually cracked the password. Until now, we knew that the U.S. was aware that Assange attempted to crack a password for Manning once, but didn't know if it had more evidence of further attempts or whether it thought Assange was successful. "Investigators have not recovered a response by Manning to[..]

Amazon to crunch data for Chilean stargazers amid Latam push

(3 days ago)
Amazon Web Services, a unit of Amazon.com Inc, said it will help astronomers in Chile crunch huge troves of data using its cloud computing services, a symbolically important step for the retail-to-entertainment giant as it looks to expand in Latin America.

Tianhong, controlled by Jack Ma's Ant Financial, seeks diversification outside China

(3 days ago)
China's Tianhong Asset Management Co, controlled by Jack Ma's Ant Financial Group, is stepping up the expansion of its cross-border business as regulatory curbs check the growth of its giant Yu'e Bao fund at home, a senior executive said on Tuesday.

Italy's competition watchdog launches probe into five Amazon companies

(3 days ago)
Italy's antitrust authority said on Tuesday it had launched a probe into five Amazon companies for possible abuse of dominant market position in e-commerce and logistical services. It said the probe had been launched into Amazon Services Europe, Amazon Europe Core, Amazon EU, Amazon Italia Services and Amazon Italia Logistica.

India's Wipro misses fourth-quarter profit estimates

(3 days ago)
Indian software services exporter Wipro Ltd missed analyst estimates for fourth-quarter profit on Tuesday, partly hurt by a rise in expenses and forecast weak growth at its biggest business segment.

Crypto compliance startup Chainalysis raises funding from MUFG, Sozo Ventures

(3 days ago)
New York-based cryptocurrency compliance startup Chainalysis has raised $6 million in funding from Japanese financial group Mitsubishi UFJ Financial Group Inc and venture capital firm Sozo Ventures, the company said on Tuesday.

Japan to require crypto exchanges to bolster internal oversight: source

(3 days ago)
Japan's financial regulator will require cryptocurrency exchanges to strengthen internal oversight of the so-called "cold wallets" used to store digital money, a source with direct knowledge of the matter told Reuters on Tuesday.

Russia: Twitter, Facebook have nine months to comply with data law - Ifax

(3 days ago)
Twitter and Facebook have nine months to comply with data law by moving Russian user data onto servers in Russia, Interfax cited communications watchdog head Alexander Zharov as saying on Tuesday.

Researchers 3D-Print Heart From Human Patient's Cells

(3 days ago)
Researchers have 3D-printed a heart using a patient's cells, providing hope that the technique could be used to heal hearts or engineer new ones for transplants. "This is the first time anyone anywhere has successfully engineered and printed an entire heart replete with cells, blood vessels, ventricles and chambers," Professor Tal Dvir of Tel Aviv University's School of Molecular Cell Biology and Biotechnology said in a statement. Dvir is senior author of the research, published Monday in the journal Advanced Science. CNN reports: The process of printing the heart involved a biopsy of the fatty tissue that surrounds abdominal organs. Researchers separated the cells in the tissue from the rest of the contents, namely the extracellular matrix linking the cells. The cells were reprogrammed to become stem cells with the ability to differentiate into heart cells; the matrix was processed into a personalized hydrogel that served as the printing "ink." The cells and hydrogel were first used to create heart patches with blood vessels and, from there, an entire heart. Next, the researchers plan to train the hearts to behave like hearts, Dvir explained. "The cells need to form a pumping ability; they can currently contract, but we need them to work together." If researchers are successful, they plan to transplant the 3D-printed heart in animal models and, after that, humans.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Poland to hold off blanket ban on Huawei 5G gear due to cost concerns

(3 days ago)
Poland is unlikely to exclude all Huawei equipment from its next generation mobile networks, a government minister told Reuters, in part to avoid increased costs for mobile operators.

Russian lawmakers approve new Internet law

(3 days ago)
Russia's lower house of parliament approved on Tuesday the third reading of a draft law that aims to increase Moscow's sovereignty over its Internet segment and defend against foreign meddling, Interfax agency reported.

Huawei says not discussed 5G chipsets with Apple, wins more telco gear contracts

(3 days ago)
China's Huawei Technologies said on Tuesday it has not held talks with Apple Inc about supplying 5G chipsets, a day after its founder said it was open to selling such chips to the U.S. firm which has yet to unveil dates for a next-gen iPhone.

Traversable Wormholes Can Exist, But They're Not Very Useful For Space Travel, Physicists Say

(3 days ago)
A new study from physicists at Harvard and Stanford says that wormholes can exist but they're not very useful for humans to travel through. "It takes longer to get through these wormholes than to go directly, so they are not very useful for space travel," said the author of the study, Daniel Jafferis. From the report: Despite his pessimism for pan-galactic travel, he said that finding a way to construct a wormhole through which light could travel was a boost in the quest to develop a theory of quantum gravity. The new theory was inspired when Jafferis began thinking about two black holes that were entangled on a quantum level, as formulated in the ER=EPR correspondence by Juan Maldacena from the Institute for Advanced Study and Lenny Susskind from Stanford. Although this means the direct connection between the black holes is shorter than the wormhole connection -- and therefore the wormhole travel is not a shortcut -- the theory gives new insights into quantum mechanics. "From the outside perspective, travel through the wormhole is equivalent to quantum teleportation using entangled black holes," Jafferis said. Jafferis based his theory on a setup first devised by Einstein and Rosen in 1935, consisting of a connection between two black holes (the term wormhole was coined in 1957). Because the wormhole is traversable, Jafferis said, it was a special case in which information could be extracted from a black hole. "It gives a causal probe of regions that would otherwise have[..]

India's Wipro investigating potential breach of some employee accounts

(3 days ago)
Indian IT services firm Wipro Ltd said on Tuesday some of its employee accounts may have been hacked due to an advanced phishing campaign and that the company had launched an investigation to contain any potential impact.

India's Wipro investigating potential breach of some employee accounts

(3 days ago)
Indian IT services firm Wipro Ltd said on Tuesday some of its employee accounts may have been hacked due to an advanced phishing campaign and that the company had launched an investigation to contain any potential impact.

Daimler: Mercedes sells more than 600 Maybach models a month in China

(3 days ago)
Daimler's China chief said sales rose 3 percent in the first quarter, defying an overall downturn in demand in the world's biggest car market, thanks to robust demand for ultra luxury vehicles like the Mercedes S-Class Maybach.

Huawei says not discussed 5G chipsets with Apple: chairman

(3 days ago)
Huawei Technologies, one of the world's biggest smartphone makers, has not had talks with Apple Inc about supplying it with 5G chipsets, Rotating Chairman Ken Hu said on Tuesday.

Foxconn chairman mulls presidential bid; plans to withdraw from daily ops

(3 days ago)
Foxconn's Chairman Terry Gou said on Tuesday he is considering whether to run for Taiwan's 2020 presidential election, a day after Reuters reported the tycoon planned to step down from the world's largest contract manufacturer.

Fukushima: the Removal of Nuclear Fuel Rods From Damaged Reactor Building Begins

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Workers at the wrecked Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant have begun removing fuel rods from a storage pool near one of the three reactors that suffered meltdowns eight years ago. The plant's operator, Tokyo Electric Power (Tepco) said on Monday that work had begun to remove the first of 566 used and unused fuel assemblies in reactor building No 3. The fuel rods stored in unit No 3's cooling pool were not damaged in the 2011 disaster, when a powerful earthquake and tsunami knocked out Fukushima Daiichi's backup power supply and triggered the world's worst nuclear accident since Chernobyl, 25 years earlier. Tepco said the operation to remove the fuel rods, which are in uncovered pools, would take two years, adding that transferring them to safer ground would better protect them in the event of another catastrophic earthquake. Workers are remotely operating a crane to raise the fuel from a storage rack in the pool and place it into a protective cask. The whole process occurs underwater to prevent radiation leaks. The utility plans to repeat the procedure in the two other reactors that suffered meltdowns.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Huawei secured 40 5G commercial contracts by end-March

(3 days ago)
China's Huawei Technologies Co Ltd said on Tuesday it had secured 40 commercial contracts to build and operate fifth-generation (5G) telecommunications infrastructure as at the end of March, up from a previously disclosed tally of more than 30.

Hulu spends $1.43 billion to buy back AT&T stake, values streaming service at $15 billion

(3 days ago)
Hulu has bought back wireless carrier AT&T Inc's stake in the U.S. entertainment streaming service for $1.43 billion, in a deal that values Hulu at $15 billion, the two companies said on Monday.

iOS 13 To Feature Dark Mode and Interface Updates, Report Says

(3 days ago)
9to5Mac has learned of several new features expected to be included in iOS 13. From the report: Dark Mode: There will be a system-wide Dark Mode that can be enabled in Settings, including a high contrast version, similar to what's already available on macOS. Speaking of macOS, iPad apps that run on the Mac using Marzipan will finally take advantage of the Dark Mode support on both systems.Multitasking: There are many changes coming to iPad with iOS 13, including the ability for apps to have multiple windows. Each window will also be able to contain sheets that are initially attached to a portion of the screen, but can be detached with a drag gesture, becoming a card that can be moved around freely, similar to what an open-source project called "PanelKit" could do. These cards can also be stacked on top of each other, and use a depth effect to indicate which cards are on top and which are on the bottom. Cards can be flung away to dismiss them.Undo gesture: With iOS 13, Apple is introducing a new standard undo gesture for text input on the iPad. The gesture starts as a three-finger tap on the keyboard area, sliding left and right allows the user to undo and redo actions interactively.Safari improvements: Safari on iOS 13 for the iPad will automatically ask for a desktop version of websites when necessary, preventing a common issue where websites will render their iPhone version even when running on an iPad with a big screen. YouTube is notorious for this behavior, forcing[..]

Immune Cells May Play a Role In Causing Cavities

(3 days ago)
Researchers at the University of Toronto have found that cavities may be collateral damage from an overzealous immune system. New Atlas reports: Traditionally, bacteria have taken most of the blame for cavities and tooth decay. The bugs cling to your teeth as plaque and produce acid as waste, which dissolves tooth enamel, dentin and even filling material. But the new study suggests the story is more complicated than that. Oral immune cells called neutrophils are dispatched by the body in response to invading bacteria -- but the researchers found that they might be a little careless in the battle. On their own, neutrophils can't damage teeth but the problems arise after acids from bacteria demineralize them. Once weakened, enzymes released by the neutrophils could wreak havoc on other tooth substances. Damage was found to appear in a matter of hours, and worse still, it also seems to apply to tooth-colored fillings, which may explain why they tend to fail within five to seven years. The silver lining of the discovery is that it could lead to new types of treatment, or new standards for testing materials that are to be used in fillings. The research was published in the journal Acta Biomateralia.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hulu buys back AT&T's 9.5 percent stake for $1.43 billion

(3 days ago)
Hulu is buying back wireless carrier AT&T Inc's stake in the U.S. entertainment streaming service for $1.43 billion, in a deal that values Hulu at $15 billion, the two companies said on Monday.

TicTocTrack Smartwatch Flaws Can Be Abused To Track Kids

(3 days ago)
secwatcher shares a report from Threatpost: A popular smartwatch that allows parents to track their children's whereabouts, TicTocTrack, has been discovered to be riddled with security issues that could allow hackers to track and call children. Researchers at Pen Test Partners revealed vulnerabilities in the watch (sold in Australia) on Monday, which could enable hackers to track children's location, spoof the child's location or view personal data on the victims' accounts. The parent company of the TicTocTrack watch, iStaySafe Pty Ltd., has temporarily restricted access to the watch's service and app while it investigates further. Researchers found that the service's back end does not make any authorization attempt on any request -- besides the user having a valid username and password combination. That means that an attacker who is logged into the service could remotely compromise the app and track other accounts that are based in Australia. The smartwatch, available in Australia for $149 (USD), is designed for children and uses GPS to track the movement of the wearer every six minutes, and offers voice calling and SMS features. The smartwatch's API can be attacked by changing the FamilyIdentifier number (which identifies the family that the user belongs to), which then could give a bad actor complete access to the user's data -- including the children's location, parent's full names, phone numbers and other personal identifiable information. Researchers with Pen Test[..]

Science and Bicycling Meet In a New Helmet Design

(3 days ago)
John Timmer from Ars Technica got a chance to take a look at Trek's new bicycle helmet that they claim offers "the first major change in helmet technology in years," and is backed up with peer-reviewed science. Here's an excerpt from Timmer's report: WaveCel is the product of orthopedic surgeon Steve Madey and a biomedical engineer named Michael Bottlang. The two had been working on a variety of ideas related to medical issues and protective gear, funded in part by federal grant money. When considering the idea of a lightweight material that could evenly distribute forces, Bottlang told Ars that they first focused on a honeycomb pattern. But they found that it was actually too robust -- the honeycomb wouldn't collapse until a lot of force had been applied, and then it would fail suddenly. The design they eventually developed has a shape that allows flexing almost immediately when force is applied. "It starts to glide right away," Bottlang said. The manufacturing technique creates a clear point of failure that allows more extensive flexing once a certain level of force is exceeded -- part of the structure will fold over rather than experiencing a complete failure. Then, once folded, the polymer it's made of will allow neighboring cells to glide over each other. This provides some resistance even after the structure has collapsed. For the helmet, a patch of this material is attached to the inside of a more traditional EPS helmet, which provides impact resistance. But the[..]

SpaceX Loses the Center Core of Its Falcon Heavy Rocket Due To Choppy Seas

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: SpaceX successfully landed the center core of its Falcon Heavy rocket on a drone ship last week, but the vehicle accidentally fell into the ocean while in transit to the Florida coast. The company blamed the loss on choppy seas. "Over the weekend, due to rough sea conditions, SpaceX's recovery team was unable to secure the center core booster for its return trip to Port Canaveral," SpaceX said in a statement to The Verge. "As conditions worsened with eight to ten foot swells, the booster began to shift and ultimately was unable to remain upright. While we had hoped to bring the booster back intact, the safety of our team always takes precedence. We do not expect future missions to be impacted." SpaceX does have ways to secure the rockets it lands in the ocean, including a robot known as the "octagrabber" that latches on to the base of the boosters. But because the center core connects to two side boosters, it has a different design than a normal Falcon 9 booster. So the octagrabber cannot hold on to it in the same way. The center core is a modified Falcon 9 booster -- one of three that make up the Falcon Heavy rocket -- which flew last week during the second flight of the Falcon Heavy. "Following takeoff, all three cores of the rocket successfully landed back on Earth: the two outer cores touched down on dual concrete landing pads at the Cape while the center core touched down on the company's drone ship named Of Course I[..]

Google Fiber To Pay Nearly $4 Million To Louisville In Exit Deal

(3 days ago)
As Google Fiber prepares to leave Louisville, Kentucky, Google has agreed to pay the city government $3.84 million to fix damage to city streets. "The payments, to be made over 20 months, will cover removing fiber cables and sealant from roads, milling and paving streets 'where needed' and removing Google's above-ground infrastructure," reports WDRB, citing a news release from Mayor Greg Fischer's office. From the report: Google Fiber also agreed to donate $150,000 to the Community Foundation of Louisville to support Metro's "digital inclusion" efforts, which include "refurbishing used computers for low-income individuals and the enrollment of public housing residents in low-cost internet access through other companies providing service in Louisville," according to the mayor's office. Google Fiber, a unit of the Silicon Valley tech giant, said Feb. 7 that it would abandon the Louisville market after running into too many problems with the micro-trenching technique it used to install its fiber-optic cables as shallow as two inches below the pavement surface of city streets. Louisville, which lobbied for years to get Google Fiber, has the distinction of being the first city to lose the super-fast internet service. The report notes that Google Fiber only reached a small slice of the city, estimating that the service was only available to, at most, about 11,000 households.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hulu buys back AT&T's 9.5 percent stake

(3 days ago)
Streaming service company Hulu is buying back wireless carrier AT&T Inc's 9.5 percent stake in the company in a deal valued at $1.43 billion, the two companies said on Monday.

DARPA Wants To Make a Better, More Secure Version of WhatsApp

(3 days ago)
The Defense and Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) appears to be in the process of developing its own ultra secure communication platform. The program is called "Resilient Anonymous Communication for Everyone," or RACE, and it will be similar to WhatsApp in that it will be for everyone to use. Trusted Reviews reports: The objectives of the program are to create a distributed messaging system that can do three things: Exist completely within a network; Provide confidentiality, integrity and availability of messaging; and Preserve privacy to any participant in the system. DARPA seem to be putting security front and center, and the description of the project claims that "compromised system data and associated networked communications should not be helpful for comprising any additional parts of the system," meaning that DARPA are keen that one breach shouldn't also give them a leg up on access to other parts of the system. So, will we soon be using a U.S government branded DARPA? Probably not, but the chances are that RACE will go some way to creating a messaging app that's resilient to attacks, with the protocol and security they find no doubt dripping through to consumer tech and features in the coming years.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ecuador says hacking attempts doubled after it ended Assange asylum

(3 days ago)
Hacking attempts on Ecuadorean government institutions have doubled since the country revoked WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange's asylum at its London embassy last week, an official said on Monday.

Volkswagen's Former CEO Charged In Germany Over Diesel Rigging

(3 days ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Former Volkswagen AG head Martin Winterkorn was charged with serious fraud in Germany for his role in the diesel-rigging scandal that rocked the carmaker and cost it about $33 billion. The former chief executive officer was accused alongside four other managers of equipping vehicles sold to customers in Europe and the U.S. with a so-called defeat device, authorities in Braunschweig said Monday in an emailed statement. Fraud charges carry a sentence of as long as 10 years, and prosecutors also want to seize bonuses paid to the five men, which ranged from 300,000 euros for some managers to about 11 million euros for Winterkorn. Allegations that VW wrongfully withheld information about the emission software used in its diesel cars have loomed over the company since the scandal first broke in 2015. The crisis involved as many as 11 million diesel cars worldwide, and shattered the Wolfsburg-based company's reputation. Winterkorn's lawyer Felix Doerr said prosecutors haven't given him full access to their files. Unless all information is disclosed to him, he said, he can't comment on the charges. Winterkorn was also charged with breach of trust for failing to swiftly tell authorities about the defeat devices used "to seemingly meet tightened emission standards for diesel cars and preserve market shares for VW or even increase them for the benefit of the company and the accused themselves," prosecutors said.Read more of this story[..]

U.S. to press allies to keep Huawei out of 5G in Prague meeting: sources

(3 days ago)
The United States will push its allies at a meeting in Prague next month to adopt shared security and policy measures that will make it more difficult for China's Huawei to dominate 5G telecommunications networks, according to people familiar with the matter and documents seen by Reuters.

A Hacker Has Dumped Nearly One Billion User Records Over the Past Two Months

(3 days ago)
A hacker who spoke with ZDNet in February about wanting to put up for sale the data of over one billion users is getting dangerously close to his goal after releasing another 65.5 million records last week and reaching a grand total of 932 million records overall. From a report: The hacker's name is Gnosticplayers, and he's responsible for the hacks of 44 companies, including last week's revelations. Since mid-February, the hacker has been putting batches of hacked data on Dream Market, a dark web marketplace for selling illegal products, such as guns, drugs, and hacking tools. He's released data from companies like 500px, UnderArmor, ShareThis, GfyCat, and MyHeritage, just to name the bigger names. Releases have been grouped in four rounds -- Round 1 (620 million user records), Round 2 (127 million user records), Round 3 (93 million user records), and Round 4 (26.5 million user records).Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Disc-Free Xbox One S Could Land on May 7

(3 days ago)
Microsoft is about to launch an even cheaper Xbox One S. In order to cut costs, the company is removing the Blu-ray disc drive altogether. According to leaked marketing images spotted by WinFuture, the console could launch on May 7th for $258 in Germany. From a report: Given that the launch is just a few weeks away and that those marketing images line up perfectly with previous rumors, chances are this is the real deal. As you can see on WinFuture's images, it looks exactly like an Xbox One S without the disc slot. The console is called Xbox One S All Digital and comes with a 1TB hard drive -- most standard Xbox One S consoles currently also feature a 1TB hard drive. Microsoft states clearly that this console is only for digital games. If you already have physical Xbox One games, you wonâ(TM)t be able to insert them in the console.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

France to ask EU partners to adopt its cryptocurrency regulation

(3 days ago)
France will push for the European Union to adopt a regulatory framework on cryptocurrencies similar to the one it brought in last week at a national level, becoming the first major country to do so, French Finance Minister Bruno Le Maire said on Monday.

Starz Goes on Twitter Meta-Censorship Spree To Cover Up TV-Show Leaks

(3 days ago)
American entertainment giant Starz is continuing to remove tweets that link to a TorrentFreak news report about leaked TV-shows. From a report: Last week we posted a news article documenting how several TV-show episodes had leaked online before their official release. Due to the leaks, complete seasons of unreleased TV-shows such as "The Spanish Princess," "Ramy," and "The Red Line," surfaced on pirate sites. In most cases, there were visible signs revealing that the leaks were sourced from promotional screeners. The leaks also hit Starz, as three then-unreleased episodes from its TV series "American Gods" appeared online as well. The American entertainment company was obviously not happy with that, but its response was rather unconventional. Soon after the news was published, Starz issued a takedown request through The Social Element Agency, requesting Twitter to remove our tweet to our own article. Twitter was quick to comply and removed the tweet that supposedly infringed Starz copyrights. We disagreed. The article in question never linked to any infringing material. It did include a screenshot from a leaked episode, showing the screener watermarks, but those watermarks were central to the story, as we explained in a follow-up piece. The good news is that many legal scholars, journalists, and lawyers agree with our stance. The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), for example, responded that Starz has no right to silence TorrentFreak and also shared that opinion on[..]

Spotify prompts Nordic pension funds to add private equity to playlists

(4 days ago)
A vibrant start-up scene, which has spawned stars such as Spotify, Skype and Rovio, is inspiring Nordic pension funds to invest more money with local private equity funds.

Hackers Could Read Your Hotmail, MSN, and Outlook Emails by Abusing Microsoft Support

(4 days ago)
eatmorekix writes: On Saturday, Microsoft confirmed that some users of the company's email service had been targeted by hackers. A hacker or group of hackers had first broken into a customer support account for Microsoft, and then used that to gain access to information related to customers' email accounts such as the subject lines of their emails and who they've communicated with. But the issue is much worse than previously reported, with the hackers able to access email content from a large number of Outlook, MSN, and Hotmail email accounts, according to a source who witnessed the attack in action and described it before Microsoft's statement, as well as screenshots provided to Motherboard. Microsoft confirmed to Motherboard that hackers gained access to the content of some customers' emails.Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Nano Dimension sees sharp growth on increasing demand for 3D printing

(4 days ago)
Nano Dimension, a pioneer in 3D printers for circuit boards, expects to keep up a steep rate of sales growth while reducing its cash burn as it taps demand from new sectors such as defense and space exploration, the company's leaders said.
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