Linux fréttir

Amazon Can Make Just About Anything -- Except a Good Video Game

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-30 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg, which is "based on interviews with more than 30 current and former Amazon employees, most of whom spoke under the condition of anonymity citing fears of litigation or career repercussions." From the report: Mike Frazzini had never made a video game when he helped start Amazon Game Studios. Eight years later, he has released two duds, withdrew both from stores after a torrent of negative reactions and canceled many more. For a company that dominates countless areas of retail, consumer electronics and enterprise computing, the multiple failures in gaming show one realm that may be impervious toAmazon.com's distinctive business philosophy. It tried to make games the Amazon way, instead of simply making games people would want to play. Frazzini is an Amazon lifer who came up in the books section of the website, where he endeared himself to Jeff Bezos as a manager there. Conventional wisdom inside the company is that if you can run one business, you can run any other. Amazon's deep financial resources certainly help. As head of the games division, Frazzini has acquired established development studios and pushed the company to spend nearly $1 billion for the live video streaming website Twitch. Frazzini recruited some of the top names in the video game industry, including creators of the critically acclaimed franchises EverQuest and Portal, as well as executives fromElectronic Arts Inc.and other big publishers. Then, according to numerous current and former employees of Frazzini's game studios, he ignored much of their advice. He frequently told staff that every Amazon game needed to be a "billion-dollar franchise" and then understaffed the projects, they say. Instead of using industry-standard development tools, Frazzini insisted Amazon build its own, which might have saved the company money if the software ever worked properly. Executives under Frazzini initially rejected charges that New World, an Amazon game that would ask players to colonize a mythical land and murder inhabitants who bear a striking resemblance to Native Americans, was racist. They relented after Amazon hired a tribal consultant who found that the portrayal was indeed offensive, say two people who worked on the project. The game, previously planned for release last year, is now scheduled for this spring.

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Tesla Roadster Delayed To 2022

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-30 02:02
Elon Musk confirmed that the new Tesla Roadster has been delayed from 2021 to 2022 -- a good two years behind the original schedule set all the way back in 2017. Electrek reports: When first unveiling the next-generation Tesla Roadster in 2017, Musk said that it will come to market in 2020. Tesla started taking reservations for the impressive electric supercar with a 0-60 mph in 1.9 seconds and over 600 miles of range at the unveiling event. People who wanted to be first in line to get the vehicle had to put down between $50,000 and $250,000 in deposits. The vehicle program was later delayed as the CEO said that it wasn't a priority for Tesla. Last year, Musk hinted at Tesla Roadster being delayed all the way to 2022 as the automaker focuses on the Cybertruck. Now the CEO confirmed that the production of Tesla's new Roadster won't start until next year: Musk wrote on Twitter today: "Finishing engineering [of the new Tesla Roadster] this year, production starts next year. Aiming to have release candidate design drivable late summer. Tri-motor drive system and advanced battery work were important precursors."

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'Meme Stock' Rally Rescues AMC Theaters From $600 Million Debt

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-30 00:45
This week's bizarre "meme stock" rally, which has delivered lottery-like windfalls for holders of GameStop stock, also wiped out $600 million in debt owed by the AMC theater chain. Polygon reports: That's because, on Wednesday, a private equity firm named Silver Lake -- and private equity firms are popularly considered the "bad guys" in this snobs-versus-slobs drama -- elected to convert the corporate bonds it held into AMC Entertainment Holdings stock. Although the theater chain's stock price has tumbled and soared since the move, the debt relief is permanent. Just Monday, AMC was warning investors that "there is substantial doubt about our ability to continue as a going concern." Wiping out more than half-a-billion dollars in debt, though, should take a lot of pressure off AMC in the short term. "A week ago, it was not crazy to think this company was doomed," Bloomberg's Matt Levine wrote on Thursday. "Now it is entirely possible that it will survive and thrive and show movies in movie theaters for decades to come because everyone went nuts and bought meme stocks this week." Yet, by converting their AMC debt holding to AMC stock, the Silver Lake equity firm has gotten hurt by a falling stock price, too. The conversion price for the bonds Silver Lake held was $13.51; Silver Lake cashed in on Wednesday, when AMC's shares ended the day at $19.90, more than 400% better than the day before. Smart move, right? Well, AMC's share price at publication time Friday was about $15 -- but it closed Thursday at $8.63. So, unless Silver Lake found some other sucker to buy the stock before it bottomed out, they've been riding a roller coaster that at best has them about 5% to 7% ahead of their original position, with no guarantee of staying there.

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Google QUIC-ly left privacy behind in its quest for a speedier internet, boffins find

TheRegister - Sat, 2021-01-30 00:10
Promising protocol much easier to fingerprint than HTTPS

Google's QUIC (Quick UDP Internet Connections) protocol, announced in 2013 as a way to make the web faster, waited seven years before being implemented in the ad giant's Chrome browser. But it still arrived before privacy could get there.…

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Cable ISP Warns 'Excessive' Uploaders, Says Network Can't Handle Heavy Usage

Slashdot - Sat, 2021-01-30 00:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Mediacom, a cable company with about 1.4 million Internet customers across 22 states, is telling heavy uploaders to reduce their data usage -- even when those users are well below their monthly data caps. Mediacom's fastest Internet plan offers gigabit download speeds and 50Mbps upload speeds with a monthly data cap of 6TB. But as Stop the Cap wrote in a detailed report on Wednesday, the ISP is "reach[ing] out to a growing number of its heavy uploaders and telling them to reduce usage or face a speed throttle or the possible closure of their account." Mediacom told Ars that it is contacting heavy uploaders "more frequently than before" because of increased usage triggered by the COVID-19 pandemic. The company said that heavy uploaders "may be under their total bandwidth usage allowance but still have a negative impact on Mediacom's network." Mediacom's terms and conditions say the company charges $10 fees for each additional block of 50GB used by customers who exceed the data cap. But users may be warned about their usage long before they risk overage fees. One user in East Moline, Illinois, who described the predicament on a DSLReports forum in early January, said they paid for the 6TB plan "to make sure we wouldn't go over the cap" and had never used more than 4TB. Another gigabit user in Missouri named Cory told Stop the Cap that the 6TB monthly cap "is way more than I will ever use, but I still received a warning letter claiming I was uploading too much. I discovered I used about 900GB over the last two months, setting up a cloud backup of my computer. At most I can send files at around 50Mbps, which they claim is interfering with other customers in my neighborhood. I don't understand." Mediacom is blaming the pandemic for its hidden limits on uploaders. "When contacted by Ars, Mediacom pointed to cable-industry statistics showing 31.8 percent growth in downstream traffic and 51.1 percent growth in upstream traffic since the pandemic ramped up in March 2020," reports Ars.

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Visa Wants To Work With Exchanges, Wallets On 'Digital Gold' Bitcoin

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 23:20
Yesterday, in an earnings call, Visa CEO Alfred Kelly said that the firm wants to "work with wallets and exchanges" on handling crypto, and has called bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies "digital gold." Cryptocurrency News reports: During his talk, Kelly spent a significant amount of time discussing crypto. After differentiating a divide between "cryptocurrencies that represent new assets such as bitcoin" and "digital currencies and stablecoins" backed by fiat holdings, he stated: "We see all [cryptocurrencies] as digital gold. They are predominantly held as assets that are not used as a form of payment in a significant way at this point. Our strategy here is to work with wallets and exchanges to enable users to purchase these currencies using their Visa credentials or to cash out onto our Visa credential to make fiat purchase[s]." The Visa chief appeared to be keen to leave the door open for all crypto projects that show promise, pledging that should "a specific digital currency become a recognized means of exchange, there's no reason why we cannot add it to our network, which already supports over 160 currencies." And Kelly appeared ready to court the custom of stablecoin issuers -- as well as digital currency-issuing central banks. He said: "For [...] stablecoins and central bank digital currencies, these are an emerging payments innovation that could have the potential to be used for global commerce, much like any other fiat currency. We think of digital currencies running on public blockchains as additional networks [...] we see them as part of our network of networks strategy. [...] We are the clear leader in this space."

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Robinhood Is Still Severely Limiting Trading, Customers Can Only Buy One Share of GameStop

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 22:40
Restrictions on Robinhood traders got tighter throughout the day on Friday, only allowing clients to buy a single share of GameStop. CNBC reports: The stock trading app also expanded its list of restricted stocks from 13 earlier in the day to 50. The restricted list tells clients how many shares and options contracts they can buy pertaining to a particular security. Robinhood customers can only buy one share and up to five options contracts of GameStop; however, if a customer already owns one or more share of GameStop, they are not able to buy any more shares. Robinhood's restrictions could take the wind out of point-and-click traders trying to jack up the price of GameStop. Robinhood, however, will not sell any client's shares of GameStop that are already over the one-share limit from a previous position. The stock, which closed up 67%, was off its highs of the session as the new more severe limits were implemented. Earlier in the day, clients could buy five shares of GameStop. On Thursday, Robinhood said the restrictions would be eased on Friday. "However, the restrictions got tighter throughout the trading day, as the list of limited securities grew and the number of shares clients could buy shrunk for certain stocks," reports CNBC.

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'We Spoke To a Guy Who Got His Dick Locked In a Cage By a Hacker'

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 22:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Sam Summers was sitting at home with his penis wrapped in an internet-connected chastity cage when he got a weird message on the app that connects to the device. Someone told him they had taken control and they wanted around $1,000 in Bitcoin to give control back to Summers. "Initially, I thought it was my partner doing that," Summers told Motherboard in a phone call. "It sounds silly, but I got a bit excited by it." But when Summers called his partner, she told him it wasn't her, even after he told her their safe word. That's when he realized he had gotten hacked. His penis was locked in the cage, and he had no way out. Summers is one of several people who purchased a chastity cage device called Cellmate and produced by Qiui, a China-based manufacturer. Some of the device's owners got their accounts -- and thus their devices as well -- hacked at the end of last year, after security researchers warned that the manufacturer left an exposed and vulnerable API, which could allow hackers to take control of the devices. Scared and a bit desperate, Summers realized he had some Bitcoin stashed in an old account. So he sent the hacker what they wanted, hoping that would be it. But when the hacker got the money, they asked for more, according to Summers. "That's when I felt fucking stupid and angry," Summers said. At that point, Summers and his partner started brainstorming ways to get his penis out of the cage. At home, they only had a hammer, so they went out and bought a pair of bolt cutters. His partner tried first, but she couldn't break through. So Summers had to do it himself. The way he was holding his penis put it "in a dangerous spot," he said, so it was "very scary." Nonetheless, he was able to break the cage, but the cutters still cut through him, he said. "I don't have a scar or anything but I was bleeding and it fucking hurt," Summers said.

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Suspected Russian Hack Extends Far Beyond SolarWinds Software, Investigators Say

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 21:26
Investigators probing a massive hack of the U.S. government and businesses say they have found concrete evidence the suspected Russian espionage operation went far beyond the compromise of the small software vendor publicly linked to the attack. From a report: Close to a third of the victims didn't run the SolarWinds software initially considered the main avenue of attack for the hackers, according to investigators and the government agency digging into the incident. The revelation is fueling concern that the episode exploited vulnerabilities in business software used daily by millions [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source]. Hackers linked to the attack have broken into these systems by exploiting known bugs in software products, by guessing online passwords and by capitalizing on a variety of issues in the way Microsoft cloud-based software is configured, investigators said. Approximately 30% of both the private-sector and government victims linked to the campaign had no direct connection to SolarWinds, Brandon Wales, acting director of the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, said in an interview. The attackers "gained access to their targets in a variety of ways. This adversary has been creative," said Mr. Wales, whose agency, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is coordinating the government response. "It is absolutely correct that this campaign should not be thought of as the SolarWinds campaign." Corporate investigators are reaching the same conclusion. Last week, computer security company Malwarebytes said that a number of its Microsoft cloud email accounts were compromised by the same attackers who targeted SolarWinds, using what Malwarebytes called "another intrusion vector."

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SEC To Review Brokers' Restrictions on GameStop, AMC Trading

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 20:49
Securities regulators said Friday they plan to closely review the actions of some brokerage firms [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source] that restricted investors' ability to trade volatile stocks such as GameStop this week. From a report: The Securities and Exchange Commission's statement on Friday is the clearest indication yet that regulators are examining potential misconduct around the trading mania that swamped stocks such as GameStop, AMC Entertainment and Novavax. Robinhood Markets restricted investors' ability to purchase shares in GameStop and 12 other companies on Thursday as it dealt with the impact on its financial requirements of a surge in trading. Robinhood raised $1 billion to shore up its ability to clear and execute trades in those popular and volatile stocks, which the broker on Friday allowed clients to resume trading. Regulators also said they are on the lookout for potentially manipulative trading. This week's sharp price swings have been aided by bullish individual traders communicating on websites such as Reddit's WallStreetBets about which shares to buy. Traders drove up demand for stocks that other investors such as hedge funds had bet against, resulting in a "short squeeze" that ramped up the prices of GameStop more than 10-fold.

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Severe bug in Libgcrypt – used by GPG and others – is a whole heap of trouble, prompts patch scramble

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 20:21
Recently released cryptography code easily undone by trivial buffer overflow

Google Project Zero researcher Tavis Ormandy on Thursday reported a severe flaw in Libgcrypt 1.9.0, an update to the widely used cryptographic library that was released ten days ago.…

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Has Science Solved One of History's Greatest Adventure Mysteries?

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 20:05
Robin George Andrews, reporting for National Geographic: A 62-year-old adventure mystery that has prompted conspiracy theories around Soviet military experiments, Yetis, and even extraterrestrial contact may have its best, most sensible explanation yet -- one found in a series of avalanche simulations based in part on car crash experiments and animation used in the movie Frozen. In an article published this week in the journal Communications Earth and Environment, researchers present data pointing to the likelihood that a bizarrely small, delayed avalanche may have been responsible for the gruesome injuries and deaths of nine experienced hikers who never returned from a planned 200-mile adventure in Russia's Ural Mountains in the winter of 1959. In what has become known as the Dyatlov Pass incident, ten members of the Urals Polytechnic Institute in Yekaterinburg -- nine students and one sports instructor who fought in World War II -- headed into the frigid wilderness on a skiing and mountaineering expedition on January 23, 1959. One student with joint pain turned back, but the rest, led by 23-year-old engineering student Igor Dyatlov, continued on. According to camera film and personal diaries later found on the scene by investigators, the team made camp on February 1, pitching a large tent on the snowy slopes of Kholat Saykhl, whose name can be interpreted as "Dead Mountain" in the language of the region's Indigenous Mansi people. The nine -- seven men and two women -- were never heard from again. When a search team arrived at Kholat Saykhl a few weeks later, the expedition tent was found just barely sticking out of the snow, and it appeared cut open from the inside. The next day, the first of the bodies was found near a cedar tree. Over the next few months, as the snow thawed, search teams gradually uncovered more spine-chilling sights: All nine of the team members' bodies were scattered around the mountain's slope, some in a baffling state of undress; some of their skulls and chests had been smashed open; others had eyes missing, and one lacked a tongue. Each body was a piece in a grim puzzle, but none of the pieces seemed to fit together. A criminal investigation at the time blamed their deaths on an "unknown natural force," and the Soviet bureaucracy kept the case quiet. The lack of detail about this shocking event, an apparent massacre that transpired in a deeply secretive state, gave rise to dozens of long-lived conspiracy theories, from clandestine military tests to Yeti attacks.

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After SolarWinds Breach, Lawmakers Ask NSA for Help in Cracking Juniper Cold Case

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 19:29
As the U.S. investigation into the SolarWinds hacking campaign grinds on, lawmakers are demanding answers from the National Security Agency about another troubling supply chain breach that was disclosed five years ago. From a report: A group of lawmakers led by Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., are asking the NSA what steps it took to secure defense networks following a years-old breach of software made by Juniper Networks, a major provider of firewall devices for the federal government. Juniper revealed its incident in December 2015, saying that hackers had slipped unauthorized code into the firm's software that could allow access to firewalls and the ability to decrypt virtual private network connections. Despite repeated inquiries from Capitol Hill -- and concern in the Pentagon about the potential exposure of its contractors to the hack -- there has been no public U.S. government assessment of who carried out the hack, and what data was accessed. Lawmakers are now hoping that, by cracking open the Juniper cold case, the government can learn from that incident before another big breach of a government vendor provides attackers with a foothold into U.S. networks. Members of Congress also are examining any role that the NSA may have unwittingly played in the Juniper incident by allegedly advocating for a weak encryption algorithm that Juniper and other firms used in its software. Lawmakers want to know if, more than a decade ago, the NSA pushed for a data protection scheme it could crack, only for another state-sponsored group to exploit that security weakness to gather data about the U.S. "Congress has a responsibility to determine the root cause of this supply chain compromise and the NSA's role in the design and promotion of the flawed encryption algorithm that played such a central role," Wyden and other lawmakers wrote to Gen. Paul Nakasone, head of the NSA and U.S. Cyber Command, in a letter made public Friday.

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Skål! Ericsson toasts healthy set of Q4 2020 results thanks to global 5G rollout and a kneecapped competitor

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 19:11
Swedish comms giant cashes in where Huawei is on retreat

Swedish telecoms equipment manufacturer Ericsson will be raising a glass of aquavit to this week's Q4 2020 figures. Network sales were up 11 per cent unadjusted, driven by the ongoing rollout of 5G connectivity, as well as the ongoing malaise of rival Huawei.…

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SoftBank Expects Mass Production of Driverless Cars in Two Years

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 18:44
SoftBank Group Chief Executive Masayoshi Son said on Friday he expects mass production of self-driving vehicles to start in two years. From a report: While in the first year the production of units won't be in millions, in the next several years the cost per mile in fully autonomous cars will become very cheap, Son said, speaking at a virtual meeting of the World Economic Forum. "The AI is driving for you. The automobile will become a real supercomputer with four wheels." SoftBank has stake in self-driving car maker Cruise, which is majority owned by General Motors, and has been testing self-driving cars in California. It has also funded the autonomous driving business of China's Didi Chuxing.

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How embarrassing: Xiaomi and Motorola show up to high school prom both wearing remote-charging tech

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 18:04
Your scientists were so preoccupied with whether they could, they didn't stop to think if they should

Motorola and Lenovo are experimenting with wireless charging tech that works remotely, casting power to phones and wearables from across the room.…

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Who's Making All Those Scam Calls?

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 18:01
Every year, tens of millions of Americans collectively lose billions of dollars to scam callers. Where does the other end of the line lead? From a report: I flew to India at the end of 2019 hoping to visit some of the call centers that L. had identified as homes for scams. Although he had detected many tech-support scams originating from Delhi, Hyderabad and other Indian cities, L. was convinced that Kolkata -- based on the volume of activity he was noticing there -- had emerged as a capital of such frauds. I knew the city well, having covered the crime beat there for an English-language daily in the mid-1990s, and so I figured that my chances of tracking down scammers would be better there than most other places in India. I took with me, in my notebook, a couple of addresses that L. identified in the days just before my trip as possible origins for some scam calls. Because the geolocation of I.P. addresses -- ascertaining the geographical coordinates associated with an internet connection -- isn't an exact science, I wasn't certain that they would yield any scammers. But I did have the identity of a person linked to one of these spots, a young man whose first name is Shahbaz. L. identified him by matching webcam images and several government-issued IDs found on his computer. The home address on his ID matched what L. determined, from the I.P. address, to be the site of the call center where he operated, which suggested that the call center was located where he lived or close by. That made me optimistic I would find him there. In a recording of a call Shahbaz made in November, weeks before my Kolkata visit, I heard him trying to hustle a woman in Ottawa and successfully intimidating and then fleecing an elderly man in the United States.

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Flying Cars Airport of the Future To Land in England

Slashdot - Fri, 2021-01-29 17:22
An airport for flying cars will thrust the English city of Coventry into the future later this year, with a project aimed at demonstrating how air taxis will work in urban centres. From a report: Urban-Air Port, a British-based start-up, has partnered with car giant Hyundai Motor to develop the infrastructure required for when flying cars take to the skies to ferry around people and goods. From November, visitors to Coventry will be able to see what a flying car airport looks like and see a passenger-carrying drone and an operational electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) vehicle on the landing pad. Urban-Air Port was selected by a government programme aimed at developing zero-emission flying and new air vehicles, winning a 1.2-million-pound ($1.65-million) grant to help fund the temporary installation of the airport in Coventry city centre.

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European Commission redacts AstraZeneca vaccine contract – but forgets to wipe the bookmarks tab

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 17:09
Open that little box and bingo, clear text of the whole PDF

The European Commission's war of words against pharma company AstraZeneca over COVID-19 virus vaccines has descended into farce after Brussels accidentally published an unredacted version of a disputed supply contract.…

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Bad news for JSON tinkerers: Windows Terminal unveils The Settings

TheRegister - Fri, 2021-01-29 17:05
A fresh preview as the management cards receive a shuffle

Microsoft has disappointed hair-shirted developers with the arrival of a settings screen preview for its Windows Terminal product, potentially heralding the end of JSON tinkering to make things just so.…

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