Linux fréttir

WhatsApp's New Browser Extension is Aimed at Making Web Chats More Secure

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 14:49
Code Verify is a new browser extension from WhatsApp parent company Meta that aims to improve the security of WhatsApp's web version, the company has announced. From a report: The extension works by verifying that the contents of WhatsApp's web version haven't been tampered with. The aim is to make it a lot more difficult for a would-be attacker to compromise data or the privacy of WhatsApp's end-to-end encrypted messages when using the browser-based version of the service. The extension follows the launch of WhatsApp's multi-device beta last year. This aims to make using the messaging service from devices other than your primary phone easier and more seamless. Since the feature's launch, WhatsApp says it's seen an increase in people accessing its service through web browsers, which present new security challenges compared to an app. There's nothing particularly new about the security methods underpinning Code Verify. Ultimately it's just comparing a hash of the code running in your browser, with a hash held by trusted third-party Cloudflare.

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The long-term strategy behind IBM's Red Hat purchase

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 14:09
Senior veep for software raps about containers and OpenShift to Wall Street

IBM's senior veep of software reiterated for Wall Street this week that OpenShift is the linchpin of Big Blue's overall multi-cloud strategy.…

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Russia Asks Court To Label Facebook, Instagram as 'Extremist'

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 14:01
Russian prosecutors have asked a court to ban Meta Platforms's Facebook and Instagram as "extremist," Interfax reported, the latest move in a growing crackdown on social networks. From a report: Authorities blocked access to Facebook last week under a new media law, but the "extremist" designation, if approved by a court, would effectively criminalize all of Meta's operations in Russia. The company's Instagram app would also be blocked. The move comes amid increasing tension between Moscow and U.S. tech companies. Earlier Friday, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Vyacheslav Volodin, called on prosecutors to investigate Meta after Reuters reported that the company had temporarily eased internal restrictions on calling for violence against Russian soldiers due to the invasion of Ukraine. Russia has already banned certain social media companies like Facebook and Twitter, while tech companies have demonetized Russian state-sponsored media and blocked them in Europe.

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Oracle sees automation opportunity in healthcare following pandemic

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 13:51
Doctor Ellison says big wins in the sector influenced decision to buy health records outfit Cerner

The pandemic highlighted systemic weaknesses in healthcare systems around the globe and Oracle technology is going to fix those issues.…

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Router and Modem Rental Fees Still a Major Annoyance Despite New US Law

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Consumer Reports wants the Federal Communications Commission to take a closer look at whether Internet service providers are complying with a US law that prohibits them from charging hardware rental fees when customers use their own equipment. In a filing submitted to the FCC this week, Consumer Reports said it asked members about their Internet bills and got over 350 responses, with some suggesting violations of either the letter or spirit of the law. "Some contain allegations that the law is being violated, whereas others state the new statute is being respected. Many more stories suggest that ISPs dissuade consumers from using their own equipment, typically by refusing to troubleshoot any service disruptions if consumers opt not to rent the ISP's devices. Such practices result in de facto situations where consumers feel pressured or forced to rent equipment that they would prefer to own instead," Consumer Reports told the FCC. Consumer Reports' filing came in response to the FCC asking for public comment on the implementation of the Television Viewer Protection Act (TVPA), which took effect in December 2020. In addition to price-transparency rules for TV service, the law prohibited TV and broadband providers from charging rental or lease fees when "the provider has not provided the equipment to the consumer; or the consumer has returned the equipment to the provider." All the comments collected by Consumer Reports are available here. The FCC filing includes examples of complaints about AT&T, Comcast, Verizon, Charter Spectrum, Frontier, Windstream, and Cox, though the complaints weren't all about rental fees. In its call for public input, the FCC asked for comment on "the extent to which (if at all) subject entities continue to assess charges for equipment that are expressly prohibited by the statute." [...] Consumer Reports said its questions for members were "designed to measure whether or not ISPs were in compliance... and also to solicit consumer opinion on whether or not it was difficult to use consumer-owned equipment versus renting those devices from the provider. Notably, neither of the two cable industry trade associations mentioned this issue in any detail in their comments filed last month at the Commission." Consumer Reports said that some of the responses "suggest the statute is not being complied with as vigorously as Congress intended... These allegations merit further investigation by the Commission." Consumer Reports offered to share contact information for the customers with the FCC so it can investigate further.

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UK, EU regulators probe Google and Meta's 'Jedi Blue' ad deal

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 12:43
Watchdog: We're 'concerned' they 'teamed up ... to put obstacles in the way of competitors'

Google and Meta are facing scrutiny from UK and EU competition regulators over their infamous "Jedi Blue" ad-slinging deal.…

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UK Home Office dangles £20m for national gun licence database system

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 11:32
But potential bidders will have to move fast on this one

The Home Office is looking to replace its ancient and creaky National Firearms Licensing Management System (NFLMS) in a £20m contract.…

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The Human Genome Project will tell us who to support at Eurovision

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 10:26
My parents were not lying to me but… who's the Finn?

Something for the Weekend? Later in life, my father used to make bizarre claims of Russian ancestry, which I put down to his Alzheimer's at the time.…

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WHO Says It Advised Ukraine To Destroy Pathogens In Health Labs To Prevent Disease Spread

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 10:00
The World Health Organization advised Ukraine to destroy high-threat pathogens housed in the country's public health laboratories to prevent "any potential spills" that would spread disease among the population, the agency told Reuters on Thursday. From the report: Biosecurity experts say Russia's movement of troops into Ukraine and bombardment of its cities have raised the risk of an escape of disease-causing pathogens, should any of those facilities be damaged. Like many other countries, Ukraine has public health laboratories researching how to mitigate the threats of dangerous diseases affecting both animals and humans including, most recently, COVID-19. Its labs have received support from the United States, the European Union and the WHO. In response to questions from Reuters about its work with Ukraine ahead of and during Russia's invasion, the WHO said in an email that it has collaborated with Ukrainian public health labs for several years to promote security practices that help prevent "accidental or deliberate release of pathogens." "As part of this work, WHO has strongly recommended to the Ministry of Health in Ukraine and other responsible bodies to destroy high-threat pathogens to prevent any potential spills," the WHO, a United Nations agency, said. The WHO would not say when it had made the recommendation nor did it provide specifics about the kinds of pathogens or toxins housed in Ukraine's laboratories. The agency also did not answer questions about whether its recommendations were followed. On Wednesday, Russian's foreign ministry claimed that the U.S. operates a biowarfare lab in Ukraine, "an accusation that has been repeatedly denied by Washington and Kyiv," reports Reuters. A spokesperson for the ministry went on to claim that Russian forces unearthed documents in Ukraine that showed "an emergency attempt to erase evidence of military biological programs" by destroying lab samples. Not only has Ukraine denied these allegations, Pentagon spokesperson John Kirby called them "laughable" and suggested Moscow could be laying the groundwork to use a chemical or biological weapon.

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We have redundancy, we have batteries, what could possibly go wrong?

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 08:30
Practise makes... less than perfect

On Call A Register reader finds the inevitable single point of failure after a call-out to the heart of darkness in this week's On Call.…

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Infosys, Wipro silent on their Russian operations

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 08:01
IT giants reportedly contemplating relocation of Eastern European ops

Indian IT services giants Infosys and Wipro both operate offices in Russia - and neither is saying what will become of them.…

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Three Chinese web giants create streaming video 'standard'

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 07:02
ByteDance, Alibaba, and Tencent team on improvement to WebRTC's startup times

Chinese web giants Alibaba, Tencent, and ByteDance – the latter through its Volcano Engine hyperscale cloud service – have teamed up to create, in their terms, a new video streaming standard.…

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DeepMind AI Tool Helps Historians Restore Ancient Texts

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 07:00
AI software can help historians interpret and date ancient texts by reconstructing works destroyed over time, according to a new paper published in Nature. The Register reports: A team of computer scientists and experts in classical studies led by DeepMind and Ca' Foscari University of Venice trained a transformer-based neural network to restore inscriptions written in ancient Greek between 7th century BC and 5th century AD. The model, named "Ithaca" after the home of legendary Greek king Odysseus, can also estimate when the text was written and where it might have originated. By recovering fragments of text on broken pieces of pottery or blurry scripts, for example, researchers can begin translating them and learn more about ancient civilizations. [...] Why ancient Greek? The researchers said the variable content and available context in the Greek epigraphic record made it an "excellent challenge" for language processing, plus the large body of (digitized) written texts that is currently available -- essential for training the model. First, the text needs to be transcribed by scanning an image of an old object or script. The text is then fed into Ithaca for analysis. It works by predicting lost or blurry characters to restore words as outputs. The software generates and ranks a list of its top predictions; epigraphists can then scroll through them and judge whether the model's guesses seem accurate or not. The best results are reached when human and machine work together. When experts worked alone, they were 25 per cent accurate at piecing together ancient artefacts, but when they collaborated with Ithaca the accuracy level jumped up to 72 per cent. Ithaca's performance on its own is about 62 per cent, for comparison. It's also 71 per cent at pinpointing the location of where the text was written, and can date works to within 30 years of their creation between 800BC and 800AD. Ithaca was trained on over 63,000 Greek inscriptions containing over three million words from The Packard Humanities Institute's Searchable Greek Inscriptions public dataset. The team masked portions of the text and tasked the model with filling in the blanks. Ithaca analyses other words in a given sentence for context when generating characters. [...] DeepMind is now adjusting its model to adapt to other types of old writing systems, like Akkadian developed in Mesopotamia, Demotic from ancient Egypt, to Mayan originating from Central America and ancient Hebrew.

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Germany bankrolls effort to build home-grown quantum systems

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 06:31
With millions of euros, we'll do you a QSolid, say scientists

Germany is getting more serious about quantum computing with the foundation of the QSolid project which aims to build a complete quantum computer based on cutting-edge native technology.…

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Toshiba's top investors signal strident opposition to planned two-way split

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 06:01
They’re not bothering to be particularly polite about it either

Toshiba's plan to split itself into two companies has been opposed by two significant groups of investors.…

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Moscow to issue HTTPS certs to Russian websites

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 04:55
Meanwhile, Anonymous claims it's popped Putin's comms regulator

Moscow has set up its own certificate authority to issue TLS certs to Russians affected by sanctions or otherwise punished for president Putin's invasion of Ukraine.…

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Company Plans To Dig World's Deepest Hole To Unleash Boundless Energy

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: A company that plans to drill deeper into Earth than ever before, creating holes that would extend a record-shattering 12 miles under our planet's surface, has raised a total of $63 million since its launch in 2020. Most recently, Quaise Energy, a startup that aims to revolutionize the geothermal energy market, secured $40 million in series A funding in February, reports Axios. The goal of these super-deep holes is to access a limitless amount of renewable energy from the heat deep inside Earth. "This funding round brings us closer to providing clean, renewable baseload energy," said Carlos Araque, CEO and co-founder of Quaise Energy, according to BusinessWire. "Our technology allows us to access energy anywhere in the world, at a scale far greater than wind and solar, enabling future generations to thrive in a world powered with abundant clean energy." Geothermal energy has a low profile compared to other renewable energy sources such as solar, wind, and hydro, but Quaise believes it is "at the core of an energy-independent world," according to the company's website. This form of energy is among the oldest power sources harnessed by humans, but it only accounts for about 0.4 percent of net energy production in the United States, which is the world's biggest geothermal producer. Quaise, which is a spinoff from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), intends to pioneer this technology using vacuum tubes known as gyrotrons that shoot millimeter-wave light beams, powered by electrons in a strong magnetic field. Using these devices, the company plans to burn almost twice as far into Earth as the deepest holes ever made, such as Russia's Kola Superdeep Borehole or Qatar's Al Shaheen oil well, both of which extend for about 7.5 miles. Gyrotrons are powerful enough to heat plasma in nuclear fusion experiments, making them an ideal tool to probe unprecedented depths of some 12 miles, where subterranean rocks roil at temperatures of about 500C (930F). Water pumped into this searing environment would instantly vaporize as steam that could be efficiently converted to electricity. Araque and his team at Quaise plan to funnel their seed money into prototype technologies within the next few years. By 2028, the company aspires to retrofit coal-fueled power plants into geothermal energy hotspots, reports ScienceAlert. The process of drilling out these super-deep holes would take a few months, but once the setup is complete, they could provide limitless energy to a region for up to a century, according to Araque.

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Russian chip makers face uncertainty as war drags on

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 03:26
Sanctions work, who knew?

The screw is tightening on Russian chip makers as America moves to further cut off semiconductor supplies to Vladimir Putin's regime.…

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Russia Says Its Businesses Can Steal Patents From Anyone In 'Unfriendly' Countries

Slashdot - Fri, 2022-03-11 02:02
Russia has effectively legalized patent theft from anyone affiliated with countries "unfriendly" to it, declaring that unauthorized use will not be compensated. The Washington Post reports: The decree, issued this week, illustrates the economic war waged around Russia's invasion of Ukraine, as the West levies sanctions and pulls away from Russia's huge oil and gas industry. Russian officials have also raised the possibility of lifting restrictions on some trademarks, according to state media, which could allow continued use of brands such as McDonald's that are withdrawing from Russia in droves. The effect of losing patent protections will vary by company, experts say, depending on whether they have a valuable patent in Russia. The U.S. government has long warned of intellectual property rights violations in the country; last year Russia was among nine nations on a "priority watch list" for alleged failures to protect intellectual property. Now Russian entities could not be sued for damages if they use certain patents without permission. The patent decree and any further lifting of intellectual property protections could affect Western investment in Russia well beyond any de-escalation of the war in Ukraine, said Josh Gerben, an intellectual property lawyer in Washington. Firms that already saw risks in Russian business would have more reason to worry. "It's just another example of how [Putin] has forever changed the relationship that Russia will have with the world," Gerben said. Russia's decree removes protections for patent holders who are registered in hostile countries, do business in them or hold their nationality. The Kremlin has not issued any decree lifting protections on trademarks. But Russia's Ministry of Economic Development said last week that authorities are considering "removing restrictions on the use of intellectual property contained in certain goods whose supply to Russia is restricted," according to Russian state news outlet Tass, and that potential measures could affect inventions, computer programs and trademarks. The ministry said the measures would "mitigate the impact on the market of supply chain breaks, as well as shortages of goods and services that have arisen due to the new sanctions of western countries," Tass stated. Gerben said a similar decree on trademarks would pave the way for Russian companies to exploit American brand names that have halted their business in Russia. He gave a hypothetical involving McDonald's, one of the latest global giants to suspend operations in Russia under public pressure.

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Canadian accused of unleashing NetWalker ransomware extradited

TheRegister - Fri, 2022-03-11 01:46
More than $28m in crypto-coins found in home, it is claimed

US prosecutors on Thursday said they have extradited a Canadian man to America to face charges that he conspired to distribute ransomware.…

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