Linux fréttir

Microsoft President Calls Washington State's New Facial Recognition Law 'a Significant Breakthrough'

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 22:10
Microsoft President Brad Smith took a break from responding to the COVID-19 outbreak this week to praise Washington state's landmark facial recognition regulations. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee signed a bill Tuesday that establishes rules specifically governing facial recognition software. From a report: Smith called the law an "early and important model" and "a significant breakthrough" in a blog post published Tuesday. Some cities have enacted their own facial recognition rules, but Washington is the first to establish statewide regulations. "This balanced approach ensures that facial recognition can be used as a tool to protect the public, but only in ways that respect fundamental rights and serve the public interest," Smith said. The new law requires public agencies to regularly report on their use of facial recognition technology and test the software for fairness and accuracy. Law enforcement agencies must obtain a warrant before using facial recognition software in investigations unless there is an emergency. The bill also establishes a task force to study the use of facial recognition by government agencies. Under the bill, public entities using facial recognition software to make decisions that produce "legal effects" must ensure a human reviews the results. That category includes decisions that could affect a person's job, financial services, housing, insurance, and education.

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Microsoft finds itself in odd position of sparing elderly, insecure protocols: Grants stay of execution to TLS 1.0, 1.1

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 22:04
A few more months to get those servers upgraded 'in light of current global circumstances'

Microsoft has blinked once again and delayed disabling TLS 1.0 and 1.1 by default in its browsers until the latter part of 2020.…

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T-Mobile Officially Completes Merger With Sprint, CEO John Legere Steps Down

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 21:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: After months of regulatory maneuvering, T-Mobile and Sprint officially completed their $26 billion merger today. The new combined parent company is called T-Mobile and will now trade on the Nasdaq under the ticker symbol TMUS with Sprint no longer trading on the NYSE. For consumers, it will seemingly take a little time before the effects of the transition are meaningfully felt. T-Mobile did not comment on the future of the Sprint brand in today's announcement, but they have previously promised that subscribers will have access to "the same or better rate plans" for three years as part of the deal. Alongside news of the merger being finalized, T-Mobile shared that its CEO transition is taking place early. John Legere was supposed to stay on until the end of April, but Mike Sievert has been appointed CEO a month early, effective immediately. Sievert was previously T-Mobile's COO. Legere is still on the company's board of directors, but he'll be stepping down at the end of his term through June.

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For the past five years, every FBI secret spy court request to snoop on Americans has sucked, says watchdog

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 21:24
Feeling secure? Sucker

Analysis The FBI has not followed internal rules when applying to spy on US citizens for at least five years, according to an extraordinary report [PDF] by the Department of Justice’s inspector general.…

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Access Analysis, GuardDuty and Inspector gadgets not enough? Here comes another AI-driven security tool for AWS

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 20:55
What have you got for us, Detective?

Amazon's Detective has hit general availability, adding to a range of AWS security services, which at this point has become a little confusing.…

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Cloudflare Launches a DNS-Based Parental Control Service

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 20:50
Cloudflare introduced today '1.1.1.1 for Families,' a privacy-focused DNS resolver designed to help parents in their efforts to safeguard their children's online security and privacyââââââ by automatically filtering out bad sites. From a report: This new tool makes it simple for parents to add protection from malware and adult content to the entire home network, allowing them to focus on working from home instead of worrying about their kids' online safety. "1.1.1.1 for Families leverages Cloudflare's global network to ensure that it is fast and secure around the world," Cloudflare's CEO Matthew Prince said in an announcement published today.

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Doctors Turn To Twitter and TikTok To Share Coronavirus News

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 20:10
In a sign of the times, doctors are effectively waging a two-pronged fight against coronavirus: one part takes place in overcrowded hospitals and the other takes place on noisy social media platforms as they work to combat what the World Health Organization has declared an infodemic with accurate, authoritative voices. From a report: All of that means doctors, some of whom were once reluctant to embrace social media, are wading deeper into platforms that are rife with fake news, unproven medical advice and mass panic. "Social media is the disease and the cure. It is responsible for the dissemination of misinformation as much as it needs to be a tool for repairing that," said Rick Pescatore, an emergency room physician and public health expert in the Philadelphia area, who is active on Twitter and Facebook and has treated Covid-19 patients. "It's incumbent upon physicians, who want to get real information out there, to meet these patients where they are -- and that's social media." Perhaps nowhere is this shift more striking than on TikTok, a short-form video platform beloved by teens that is best known for lip syncing, dance routines and comedy skits. In one TikTok video viewed more than 416,000 times, a registered nurse named Miki Rai does a choreographed dance involving a lot of hand motions as facts about Covid-19 flash on the screen, such as how long the virus stays on different surfaces. In another TikTok video, set to soothing elevator music, Dr. Rose Marie Leslie demonstrates proper handwashing: Wet hands. Lather up. Start washing for 20 seconds. Scrub under your nails and between fingers. Rinse. Leslie, a resident physician specializing in family medicine at the University of Minnesota Medical School, created a TikTok account about a year ago, with the aim of reaching a younger demographic with health education information. Soon after coronavirus cases started emerging, she began creating TikToks about the issue. Now, she works to debunk myths about the virus for her more than 500,000 followers.

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Microsoft's PowerToys suite sprouts four new playthings with a final March emission

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 20:00
Today's Window Walk is brought to you by the letters 'R' 'E' and 'G'

Microsoft has persevered with the quickfire release cadence of the toolbox of stuff that should really be built into Windows 10 in the form of PowerToys 0.16.…

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Cloudflare family-friendly DNS service flubs first filtering foray: Vital LGBTQ, sex-ed sites blocked 'by mistake'

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 19:31
For a biz that prides itself on not censoring the internet, it sure likes censoring the internet

Cloudflare, known for free speech advocacy, rolled out a self-styled family-friendly variation of its DNS service to block adult content – and ended up denying access to LGBTQ websites and sex education resources.…

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Cash App Scammers Are Using Coronavirus To Exploit People

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 19:30
An anonymous reader shares a report: Reyna is a teenager in Florida whose family is strapped for cash amid the economic slowdown caused by the coronavirus. When the uber-popular beauty influencer Jeffree Star tweeted that he'd be giving out $30,000 via payment service Cash App to a random person who retweeted him, she did just that. Star's offer seems to have been legitimate -- and drummed up a lot of attention for the influencer. A woman actually won the $30,000, and Reyna missed out. But then another Twitter user messaged Reyna asking whether she wanted to get $250, she told Quartz. "My goal is to help those in need or need emergency cash," the person said. The catch was that she'd have to pay $25 first. "Your deposit along with our other earnings allows us to immediately send you your payment," the person said. Reyna sent the cash, and that's when the Twitter user blocked her, and her money was gone, she said. What happened to Reyna is a popular Cash App scam called "cash-flipping," according to Satnam Narang, researcher at the cybersecurity company Tenable. Con artists are taking advantage of the coronavirus by pretending they are helping the needy. While Reyna simply got a direct message to lure her in after she expressed interest in a legitimate giveaway, other scammers have been promoting fake giveaways in public tweets adding "#coronavirus" in order to reach more people. Sometimes they will request money through Cash App pretending that it's a verification mechanism. "They'll say, you won this giveaway, send us $10 to verify to win 500 bucks," Narang said. The scammers say they have a special way of modifying the transactions through payment applications like Cash App, Paypal, Zelle, Venmo, or Apple Pay, Narang wrote in a blog post explaining the scams. "All they ask for is that the recipient share the initial cut with them for providing them this so-called service." This, of course, is all made up.

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Cyberscum target Microsoft SQL Server boxen – and some careless sysadmins were reinfected after cleaning it out

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 19:02
Two-year campaign observed by Guardicore

A malware gang is targeting Microsoft SQL servers with such precision that they're disabling rival gangs' software nasties in their quest to steal control of servers from their rightful owners.…

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Ted Chiang Explains the Disaster Novel We All Suddenly Live In

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 18:50
The esteemed science fiction author, best known for movie "Arrival" that is based on his novel, on how we may never go "back to normal" -- and why that might be a good thing. From an interview on Electric Literature: EL: Do you see aspects of science fiction (your own work or others) in the coronavirus pandemic? In how it is being handled, or how it has spread? TC: While there has been plenty of fiction written about pandemics, I think the biggest difference between those scenarios and our reality is how poorly our government has handled it. If your goal is to dramatize the threat posed by an unknown virus, there's no advantage in depicting the officials responding as incompetent, because that minimizes the threat; it leads the reader to conclude that the virus wouldn't be dangerous if competent people were on the job. A pandemic story like that would be similar to what's known as an "idiot plot," a plot that would be resolved very quickly if your protagonist weren't an idiot. What we're living through is only partly a disaster novel; it's also -- and perhaps mostly -- a grotesque political satire. EL: This pandemic isn't science fiction, but it does feel like a dystopia. How can we understand the coronavirus as a cautionary tale? How can we combat our own personal inclinations toward the good/evil narrative, and the subsequent expectation that everything will return to normal? TC: We need to be specific about what we mean when we talk about things returning to normal. We all want not to be quarantined, to be able to go to work and socialize and travel. But we don't want everything to go back to business as usual, because business as usual is what led us to this crisis. COVID-19 has demonstrated how much we need federally mandated paid sick leave and universal health care, so we don't want to return to a status quo that lacks those things. The current administration's response ought to serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of electing demagogues instead of real leaders, although there's no guarantee that voters will heed it. We're at a point where things could go in some very different ways, depending on what we learn from this experience.

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Apple's iOS 14 May Turn iCloud Keychain Into a True 1Password and LastPass Competitor

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 18:10
Apple's native iOS password manager may be getting an overhaul later this year with the presumed release of iOS 14 that will make it more competitive with third-party options like 1Password and LastPass, reports 9to5Mac. From a report: Right now, iCloud Keychain can store your passwords and help autofill them on the iPhone, where copying and pasting long strings of letters and numbers or manually doing so has been a headache since the advent of the mobile touchscreen. But it doesn't have reminders for changing those passwords like competitors do, and it doesn't support two-factor authentication (2FA) options. That means users are still stuck using potentially insecure methods like SMS or email in the event that they do have 2FA set up.

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Who you gonna call? Google Cloud Platform's beta Service Directory is like a phone book for microservice discovery

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 18:00
Playing catch-up with AWS and not that smart, but some advantages over DNS

Google Cloud Platform's Service Directory, which aims to enhance microservice discovery, has hit beta.…

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Google Data Centers' Secret Cost: Billions of Gallons of Water

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 17:30
To meet surging demand for online information, internet giant taps public water supplies that are already straining from overuse. From a report: In August 2019, the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association built a 16-foot pyramid of jugs in its main entrance in Phoenix. The goal was to show residents of this desert region how much water they each use a day -- 120 gallons -- and to encourage conservation. "We must continue to do our part every day," executive director Warren Tenney wrote in a blog post. "Some of us are still high-end water users who could look for more ways to use water a bit more wisely." A few weeks earlier in nearby Mesa, Google was finalizing plans for a giant data center among the cacti and tumbleweeds. The town is a founding member of the Arizona Municipal Water Users Association, but water conservation took a back seat in the deal it struck with the largest U.S. internet company. Google is guaranteed 1 million gallons a day to cool the data center, and up to 4 million gallons a day if it hits project milestones. If that was a pyramid of water jugs, it would tower thousands of feet into Arizona's cloudless sky. Alphabet's Google is building more data centers across the U.S. to power online searches, web advertising and cloud services. The company has boasted for years that these huge computer-filled warehouses are energy efficient and environmentally friendly. But there's a cost that the company tries to keep secret. These facilities use billions of gallons of water, sometimes in dry areas that are struggling to conserve this limited public resource. [...] Google considers its water use a proprietary trade secret and bars even public officials from disclosing the company's consumption. But information has leaked out, sometimes through legal battles with local utilities and conservation groups. In 2019 alone, Google requested, or was granted, more than 2.3 billion gallons of water for data centers in three different states, according to public records posted online and legal filings.

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Let's get digital... digital: Microsoft Ignite switches to online-only as 2020's tech calendar clears

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 17:00
2021 looking ever more virtual and distant. Did March feel like a year for you too?

Microsoft has switched its September Ignite event to a digital affair even as other organisers hope for a return to some semblance of "normal" by August.…

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Ex-NSA Hacker Drops New Zero-Day Doom for Zoom

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 16:54
Zoom's troubled year just got worse. From a report: Now that a large portion of the world is working from home to ride out the coronavirus pandemic, Zoom's popularity has rocketed, but also has led to an increased focus on the company's security practices and privacy promises. Hot on the heels of two security researchers finding a Zoom bug that can be abused to steal Windows passwords, another security researcher found two new bugs that can be used to take over a Zoom user's Mac, including tapping into the webcam and microphone. Patrick Wardle, a former NSA hacker and now principal security researcher at Jamf, dropped the two previously undisclosed flaws on his blog Wednesday, which he shared with TechCrunch. The two bugs, Wardle said, can be launched by a local attacker -- that's where someone has physical control of a vulnerable computer. Once exploited, the attacker can gain and maintain persistent access to the innards of a victim's computer, allowing them to install malware or spyware.

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China Concealed Extent of Virus Outbreak, U.S. Intelligence Says

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 16:10
China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it's suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House, according to three U.S. officials. From a report: The officials asked not to be identified because the report is secret and declined to detail its contents. But the thrust, they said, is that China's public reporting on cases and deaths is intentionally incomplete. Two of the officials said the report concludes that China's numbers are fake. The report was received by the White House last week, one of the officials said. The outbreak began in China's Hubei province in late 2019, but the country has publicly reported only about 82,000 cases and 3,300 deaths, according to data compiled by Johns Hopkins University. That compares to more than 189,000 cases and more than 4,000 deaths in the U.S., which has the largest publicly reported outbreak in the world.

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Salesforce founder Marc Benioff tossed $2.3m in return for bumper company growth

TheRegister - Wed, 2020-04-01 16:00
Enterprise cloud rains bonus down on software supremo... that's this year's holiday sorted then

Salesforce.com has had a rummage down the back of the sofa and awarded CEO Marc Benioff $2.3m in small change.…

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Researchers find AI is Bad at Predicting GPA, Grit, Eviction, Job Training, Layoffs, and Material Hardship

Slashdot - Wed, 2020-04-01 15:25
A paper coauthored by over 112 researchers across 160 data and social science teams found that AI and statistical models, when used to predict six life outcomes for children, parents, and households, weren't very accurate even when trained on 13,000 data points from over 4,000 families. From a report: They assert that the work is a cautionary tale on the use of predictive modeling, especially in the criminal justice system and social support programs. "Here's a setting where we have hundreds of participants and a rich data set, and even the best AI results are still not accurate," said study co-lead author Matt Salganik, a professor of sociology at Princeton and interim director of the Center for Information Technology Policy at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. "These results show us that machine learning isn't magic; there are clearly other factors at play when it comes to predicting the life course." The study [PDF], which was published this week in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is the fruit of the Fragile Families Challenge, a multi-year collaboration that sought to recruit researchers to complete a predictive task by predicting the same outcomes using the same data. Over 457 groups applied, of which 160 were selected to participate, and their predictions were evaluated with an error metric that assessed their ability to predict held-out data (i.e., data held by the organizer and not available to the participants). The Challenge was an outgrowth of the Fragile Families Study (formerly Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study) based at Princeton, Columbia University, and the University of Michigan, which has been studying a cohort of about 5,000 children born in 20 large American cities between 1998 and 2000.

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