Linux fréttir

Fake fuse: Bloke admits selling counterfeit chips for use in B-1 bomber, other US military gear

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-02-05 00:58
E-waste partly to blame for proliferation of deceptively marketed silicon

Rogelio Vasquez, the owner of California-based PRB Logics Corporation, has pleaded guilty to selling fake branded semiconductor chips from China, some of which made their way into US military systems.…

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Tesla Acquires Ultracapacitor Manufacturer For Over $200 Million, Reaches Deal With Electrify America To Deploy Powerpacks At Over 100 Charging Stations

Slashdot - Tue, 2019-02-05 00:30
Thelasko shares a report from Electrek: Tesla hasn't been known for making many acquisitions, but we've now learned that it has reached an agreement to acquire ultracapacitor and battery component manufacturer Maxwell based in California. The all-stock transaction worth over $200 million was announced by Maxwell this morning and we reached out to Tesla to confirm the news. [...] Tesla's acquisition of Maxwell might have little to do with ultracapacitors. The automaker might be more interested with Maxwell's dry electrode technology that they have been hyping recently. Maxwell claims that its electrode enables an energy density of over 300 Wh/kg in current demonstration cells and they see a path to over 500 Wh/kg. This would represent a significant improvement over current battery cells used by Tesla and enable longer range or lighter weight, but that's not even the most attractive benefit of Maxwell's dry electrode. They claim that it should simplify the manufacturing process and result in a "10 to 20% cost reduction versus state-of-the-art wet electrodes" while "extending battery Life up to a factor of 2." Many companies have been making similar claims about batteries. Tesla, specifically Elon and JB, have often complained that they couldn't verify those claims. If Tesla is willing to pay $200 million for Maxwell, I have to assume that they verified the claims and they believe the technology is applicable to their batteries. On a semi-related note, Tesla has also reached a deal with Electrify America to deploy Powerpacks at over 100 charging stations operated by the latter. "Demand charges, a higher rate that an electric utility charges when a user's electricity needs spike, are resulting in incredible costs for charging station operators," reports Electrek. "The use of energy storage at charging stations in order to shave the peak usage is a solution to those demand charges." "[Electrify America] announced today that they will deploy Tesla Powerpack systems consisting of 'a 210 kW battery system with roughly 350 kWh of capacity' at over 100 charging stations," the report says. "The system will be designed to be modular in order to increase the capacity if needed."

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Hi, Jack'd: A little PSA for anyone using this dating-hook-up app. Anyone can slurp your private, public snaps

TheRegister - Tue, 2019-02-05 00:06
Talk about a security cock-up... Hole exposing intimate snaps left wide open for months

Dating-slash-hook-up app Jack'd is exposing to the public internet intimate snaps privately swapped between its users, allowing miscreants to download countless X-rated selfies without permission.…

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Deep Learning 'Godfather' Yoshua Bengio Worries About China's Use of AI

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 23:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Yoshua Bengio, a Canadian computer scientist who helped pioneer the techniques underpinning much of the current excitement around artificial intelligence, is worried about China's use of AI for surveillance and political control. Bengio, who is also a co-founder of Montreal-based AI software company Element AI, said he was concerned about the technology he helped create being used for controlling people's behavior and influencing their minds. Bengio, a professor at the University of Montreal, is considered one of the three "godfathers" of deep learning, along with Yann LeCun and Geoff Hinton. It's a technology that uses neural networks -- a kind of software loosely based on aspects of the human brain -- to make predictions based on data. It's responsible for recent advances in facial recognition, natural language processing, translation, and recommendation algorithms. "This is the 1984 Big Brother scenario," he said in an interview. "I think it's becoming more and more scary." "The use of your face to track you should be highly regulated," Bengio said. The amount of data large tech companies control is also a concern. He said the creation of data trusts -- non-profit entities or legal frameworks under which people own their data and allow it be used only for certain purposes -- might be one solution. If a trust held enough data, it could negotiate better terms with big tech companies that needed it, he said Thursday during a talk at Amnesty International U.K.'s office in London. Bengio said there were many ways deep learning software could be used for good. In Thursday's talk, he unveiled a project he's working on that uses AI to create augmented reality images depicting what people's individual homes or neighborhoods might look like as the result of natural disasters spawned by climate change. But he said there was also a risk that the implementation of AI would cause job losses on a scale, and at a speed, that's different from what's happened with other technological innovations. He said governments needed to be proactive in thinking about these risks, including considering new ways to redistribute wealth within society.

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Digital Exchange Loses $137 Million As Founder Takes Passwords To the Grave

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 23:10
A cryptocurrency exchange in Canada has lost control of at least $137 million of its customers' assets following the sudden death of its founder, who was the only person known to have access to the offline wallet that stored the digital coins. British Columbia-based QuadrigaCX is unable to access most or all of another $53 million because it's tied up in disputes with third parties. Ars Technica reports: The dramatic misstep was reported in a sworn affidavit that was obtained by CoinDesk. The affidavit was filed Thursday by Jennifer Robertson, widow of QuadrigaCX's sole director and officer Gerry Cotten. Robertson testified that Cotten died of Crohn's disease in India in December at the age of 30. Following standard security practices by many holders of cryptocurrency, QuadrigaCX stored the vast majority of its cryptocurrency holdings in a "cold wallet," meaning a digital wallet that wasn't connected to the Internet. The measure is designed to prevent hacks that regularly drain hot wallets of millions of dollars. Thursday's court filing, however, demonstrates that cold wallets are by no means a surefire way to secure digital coins. Robertson testified that Cotten stored the cold wallet on an encrypted laptop that only he could decrypt. Based on company records, she said the cold wallet stored $180 million in Canadian dollars ($137 million in US dollars), all of which is currently inaccessible to QuadrigaCX and more than 100,000 customers. "The laptop computer from which Gerry carried out the Companies' business is encrypted, and I do not know the password or recovery key," Robertson wrote. "Despite repeated and diligent searches, I have not been able to find them written down anywhere." The mismanaged cold wallet is only one of the problems besieging QuadrigaCX. Differences with at least three third-party partners has tied up most or all of an additional $53 million in assets. Making matters worse, many QuadrigaCX customers continued to make automatic transfers into the service following Cotten's death. On Monday, the site became inaccessible with little explanation, except for this status update, which was later taken down. On Thursday, QuadrigaCX said it would file for creditor protection as it worked to regain control of its assets. As of Thursday, the site had 115,000 customers with outstanding balances.

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Grumble Pai: FCC boss told by House Dems to try the novel concept of putting US folks first, big biz second

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-02-04 23:04
Snotagram accuses comms regulator chief of being a Useful Ajit for telcos

The chairs of the US House of Reps' commerce and technology committees have picked a fight with FCC boss Ajit Pai, accusing him of being a corporate stooge.…

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Boffin suggests Trappist monk approach for Spectre-Meltdown-grade processor flaws, other security holes: Don't say anything public – zip it

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-02-04 22:36
Prof asks: What good comes from letting everyone know a vulnerability exists?

A computer engineering professor has an interesting idea for how to handle the public disclosure of serious vulnerabilities: don't.…

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Slack Says It's Filed To Go Public

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 22:30
Slack, the cloud-based messaging platform, has confidentially filed with regulators to go public in the U.S. "[Slack], previously reported to be pursuing a direct listing of its stock, said in a statement Monday that it had submitted a confidential filing with the [SEC]," reports Bloomberg. "Slack is working with Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, and Allen & Co. on the share sale." From the report: Slack plans to forgo a traditional initial public offering and instead intends to sell its shares to bidders in a direct listing, a person familiar with the matter said last month. While that would preclude the company from raising money by issuing new shares for sale, it would avoid some typical underwriting fees and allow current investors to sell shares without a lock-up period. The company is choosing the unusual method for going public because it doesn't need the cash or publicity of an IPO, the person said at the time. The share sale, which might take place toward mid-year, could value Slack at more than $7 billion, according to the person, who added that the San Francisco-based company's plans could still change.

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Nest Secure Has an Unlisted, Disabled Microphone

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 21:55
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Android Authority: Owners of the Nest Secure alarm system have been able to use voice commands to control their home security through Google Assistant for a while now. However, to issue those commands, they needed a separate Google Assistant-powered device, like a smartphone or a Google Home smart speaker. The reason for this limitation has always seemed straightforward: according to the official tech specs, there's no onboard microphone in the Nest Secure system. However, Google just informed us that it is right now rolling out Assistant functionality to all Nest Secure devices via a software update. That's right: if you currently own a Nest Secure, you will be able to use it as a Google Home very soon. That means somewhere in the Nest Guard -- the keypad base station of the Nest Secure -- there might be a microphone we didn't know existed. Either that or your voice commands are going to be heard by another product (like your phone, maybe) but Assistant's output will now come from the Nest Guard, if you happen to be in the range of that device. UPDATE: Google has issued a statement to Android Authority confirming the built-in microphone in the Nest Guard base system that's not listed on the official spec sheet at Nest's site. The microphone has been in an inactive state since the release of the Nest Secure, Google says. This unlisted mic is how the Nest Guard will be able to operate as a pseudo-Google Home with just a software update.

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Firefox To Block Auto-Playing Audio Starting March 2019

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 20:52
An anonymous reader writes: Starting with Firefox 66 -- scheduled for release on March 19, 2019 -- Mozilla plans to block auto-playing audio on both desktop and mobile -- a feature it began to test on Nightly builds last year. The new rule will apply to any website that plays audio without user interaction in advance -- such as a user clicking a button. The audio autoplay ban will apply to both HTML5 audio and video elements used for media playback in modern browsers, meaning Firefox will block sound coming from both ads and video players, the most common sources of such abuse. Mozilla's move comes almost a year after Chrome took a similar decision to block all auto-playing sound by default with the release of Chrome 66 in April 2018. Microsoft similarly announced plans to block auto-playing sounds in Edge, but the feature never made it to production.

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Amid polar vortex... Honeywell gets frosty reception after remote smart thermostat tech freezes up for a week

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-02-04 20:33
Just use manual control, says biz. Then why did we buy 'smart' controls, ask customers

Honeywell's remote-control "smart" thermostat platform has been down for a week, leaving thousands of customers fuming.…

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Xbox Live Will Soon Connect Players on Android, iOS and Switch

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 20:11
Microsoft is getting ready to release an important software development kit (SDK) that will allow game developers to integrate Xbox Live into any titles that run across PC, Xbox, iOS, Android, and Nintendo Switch. From a report: A Microsoft session at the upcoming Game Developers Conference mentions that Xbox Live will soon have a cross-platform developer kit that integrates the service into Android, iOS and Switch games. You'd have your achievements, clubs, friends list and "more" while on the move, and could pick up on some experiences where you left off. The session will provide a "first look" at the kit. You shouldn't expect titles to support Xbox Live for a while, even if the software toolbox is complete by the time GDC starts.

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LibreOffice patches malicious code-execution bug, Apache OpenOffice... wait for it, wait for it... doesn't

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-02-04 20:07
Remote scripting flaw in open-source productivity suites is at least partly fixed

A security flaw affecting LibreOffice and Apache OpenOffice has been fixed in one of the two open-source office suites. The other still appears to be vulnerable.…

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Google Brings Instant Tethering To 3rd-Party Chromebooks

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 19:31
Google today rolled out Instant Tethering to third-party Chromebooks. Fifteen additional Chromebook models and over 30 cell phone models now support the feature. The move is part of Google's strategy of bringing Chrome OS and Android closer together. From a report: Tethering requires switching on your hotspot that uses your phone's mobile data, connecting to it from your other device by entering the password, and disconnecting when you're done. Instant Tethering skips those steps by putting you through an initial set-up process and then just showing a notification with a Connect button when your Chromebook detects that it has no Wi-Fi access. As long as tethering is enabled on your mobile data plan, and you have the data to spare, your Chromebook can always be online. Instant Tethering will also automatically disconnect if it detects 10 minutes of no activity.

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Crime Prediction Software 'Adopted By 14 UK Police Forces'

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 18:42
At least 14 UK police forces have made use of crime-prediction software or plan to do so, according to Liberty. From a report: The human rights group said [PDF] it had sent a total of 90 Freedom of Information requests out last year to discover which forces used the technology. It believes the programs involved can lead to biased policing strategies that unfairly focus on ethnic minorities and lower-income communities. And it said there had been a "severe lack of transparency" about the matter. Defenders of the technology say it can provide new insights into gun and knife crime, sex trafficking and other potentially life-threatening offences at a time when police budgets are under pressure.

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Ajit Pai Loses in Court -- Judges Overturn Gutting of Tribal Broadband Program

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 18:01
A federal appeals court has overturned Ajit Pai's attempt to take broadband subsidies away from tribal residents. From a report: The Pai-led Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 in November 2017 to make it much harder for tribal residents to obtain a $25-per-month Lifeline subsidy that reduces the cost of Internet or phone service. The change didn't take effect because in August 2018, the US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit stayed the FCC decision pending appeal. The same court followed that up on Friday last week with a ruling that reversed the FCC decision and remanded the matter back to the commission for a new rule-making proceeding. [...] The Pai FCC's 2017 decision would have limited the $25 subsidy to "facilities-based" carriers -- those that build their own networks -- making it impossible for tribal residents to use the $25 subsidy to buy telecom service from resellers. The move would have dramatically limited tribal residents' options for purchasing subsidized service, but the FCC claimed it was necessary in order to encourage carriers to build their own networks.

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Keeping up with the kollect-kash-ians: Data manager Komprise more than doubles funding

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-02-04 18:00
Thanks to whip-round from WD investment arm and co

Data management startup Komprise has more than doubled its funding, collecting a $24m third round to grow its file-moving and managing tech.…

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'The World Might Actually Run Out of People'

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 17:21
An anonymous reader shares a report: By 2050 there will be 9 billion carbon-burning, plastic-polluting, calorie-consuming people on the planet. By 2100, that number will balloon to 11 billion, pushing society into a Soylent Green scenario. Such dire population predictions aren't the stuff of sci-fi; those numbers come from one of the most trusted world authorities, the United Nations. But what if they're wrong? Not like, off by a rounding error, but like totally, completely goofed? That's the conclusion Canadian journalist John Ibbitson and political scientist Darrel Bricker come to in their newest book, Empty Planet, due out February 5th. After painstakingly breaking down the numbers for themselves, the pair arrived at a drastically different prediction for the future of the human species. "In roughly three decades, the global population will begin to decline," they write. "Once that decline begins, it will never end." But Empty Planet is not a book about statistics so much as it is about what's driving the choices people are making during the fastest period of change in human history.

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European Commission orders mass recall of creepy, leaky child-tracking smartwatch

TheRegister - Mon, 2019-02-04 17:16
Hackers can talk to and locate the wearer, warns notice

The European Commission has ordered the recall of a smartwatch aimed at kids that allows miscreants to pinpoint the wearer's location, posing a potentially "serious risk".…

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Google's Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier Aim To Help the Hard of Hearing

Slashdot - Mon, 2019-02-04 16:41
Google wants to make Android phones powerful tools for people who are deaf or hard of hearing. From a report: On Monday, the search giant released two new services, Live Transcribe and Sound Amplifier, aimed at helping people who have trouble hearing communicate more easily. Live Transcribe does exactly what its name suggests -- it uses your phone's mic to automatically generate captions that appear on your screen. With Sound Amplifier, you can use your phone and a set of headphones to improve the clarity of the speech around you. To develop the new products, Google said it worked with Gallaudet University, the private school in Washington, DC for people who are deaf or hard of hearing.

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