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Microsoft Is Teasing Windows 1.0 and Other 1980s Software

Wed, 2019-07-03 20:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Either Microsoft is gearing up for a very odd promotional effort or somebody on the Windows team has hijacked a functioning time machine. Yesterday, the company posted a video boasting an "all-new Windows 1.0" to its social channels. It even went so far as to completely wipe all its previous posts from the Windows Instagram account, so all you'll find is the clip of its logos over the years. The video scrolls from the simplicity of Windows 10 through the pixellated rainbow flag of Windows XP and Windows 95. Whatever the situation is, the stunt is giving Windows' social media managers a chance to load their replies to confused tweets with throwbacks, from Back to the Future gifs to all the jargon that was once the epitome of cool.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

India is Staring at a Water Apocalypse

Wed, 2019-07-03 20:10
A combination of climate change, bad policies and political apathy is steadily pushing India into a catastrophic water crisis that threatens stability in South Asia. From a report: Recent studies document that glaciers feeding the Indian subcontinent's rivers will recede rapidly, while rapid ground water depletion poses an existential challenge to agriculture. The southwest monsoons remain the biggest source of water in the subcontinent. The monsoons lead to a combination of water sources supporting human habitats that includes glaciers, surface irrigation and ground water. But redundancy and surplus have gone missing from this once abundant system. Taking their place are galloping shortages. Even the best-case scenarios are "scary," water researcher Aditi Mukherjee told Asia Times. Mukherjee is one of the editors of a landmark study that was published earlier this year. It predicts a terrible loss of the glaciers that dot the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region. "The Hindu Kush Himalaya Assessment [PDF]" says that even if urgent global action on climate change is able to limit global warning to 1.5 degrees centigrade, it will still lead to a loss of a third of the glaciers in the region by the year 2100. If the temperatures rise by 2.7 degrees centigrade, then half the glaciers will be gone. And if the current rate of global warming continues and temperatures rise by 6 degrees centigrade, then two-thirds of the glaciers will melt away. This has major implications for India, China, Pakistan, Nepal and Bangladesh. While the nearly 250 million who live in the Hindu Kush-Himalaya region will be most impacted from the outset, another 1.65 billion people who depend on the glacier-fed rivers are primarily at risk. "Even if we look at the best case scenario, which means limiting global warming by 1.5C, we are looking at a 36% loss of glaciers," said Mukherjee. Further reading: Nearly two dozen cities in India will be out of water by next year.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

D-Link To Undergo Security Audits For 10 Years as Part of FTC Settlement

Wed, 2019-07-03 19:30
D-Link has agreed to a settlement with the US Federal Trade Commission in regards to a 2017 lawsuit in which the US government agency accused the Taiwanese hardware maker of misrepresenting the security of its devices and ignoring vulnerability reports. From a report: As part of the settlement, D-Link has promised to implement a new software security program for its routers and Internet-connected cameras. The company has also agreed to subject itself to ten years of biennial security audits from a third-party, independent auditor. The FTC gets to choose the auditor, while D-Link got to decide the certifications the auditor must obtain before allowing it to review its security program.

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Google Internet Balloon Spinoff Loon Still Looking For Its Wings

Wed, 2019-07-03 18:50
Google's bet on balloons to deliver cell service soon faces a crucial test amid doubts about the viability of the technology by some potential customers. From a report: The company behind the effort, Loon says its balloons will reach Kenya in the coming weeks for its first commercial trial. The test with Telkom Kenya, the nation's No. 3 carrier, will let mountain villagers buy 4G service at market-rate prices for an undefined period. Kenya's aviation authority said its final approval would be signed this month. Hatched in 2011, Loon aims to bring connectivity to remote parts of the world by floating solar-powered networking gear over areas where cell towers would be too expensive to build. Its tennis-court-sized helium balloons have demonstrated utility. Over the last three years, Loon successfully let wireless carriers in Peru and Puerto Rico use balloons for free to supplant cell phone towers downed by natural disasters. Kenyan officials are enthusiastic as they try to bring more citizens online. But executives at five other wireless carriers courted by Loon across four continents told Reuters that Loon is not a fit currently, and may never be. Those companies, including Telkom Indonesia, Vodafone New Zealand and French giant Orange, say Loon must demonstrate its technology is reliable, safe and profitable for carriers.

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File-Storage App 4shared Caught Serving Invisible Ads and Making Purchases Without Consent

Wed, 2019-07-03 18:10
With more than 100 million installs, file-sharing service 4shared is one of the most popular apps in the Android app store. But security researchers say the app is secretly displaying invisible ads and subscribes users to paid services, racking up charges without the user's knowledge -- or their permission -- collectively costing millions of dollars. From a report: "It all happens in the background... nothing appears on the screen," said Guy Krief, chief executive of London-based Upstream, which shared its research exclusively with TechCrunch. The researchers say the app contains suspicious third-party code that allowed the app to automate clicks and make fraudulent purchases. They said the component, built by Hong Kong-based Elephant Data, downloads code which is "directly responsible" for generating the automated clicks without the user's knowledge. The code also sets a cookie to determine if a device has previously been used to make a purchase, likely as a way to hide the activity.

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A Researcher Attempted To Opt Out of Facial Recognition at the Airport -- It Wasn't Easy

Wed, 2019-07-03 17:30
Allie Funk, writing for Wired: The announcement came as we began to board. Last month, I was at Detroit's Metro Airport for a connecting flight to Southeast Asia. I listened as a Delta Air Lines staff member informed passengers that the boarding process would use facial recognition instead of passport scanners. As a privacy-conscious person, I was uncomfortable boarding this way. I also knew I could opt out. Presumably, most of my fellow fliers did not: I didn't hear a single announcement alerting passengers how to avoid the face scanners. To figure out how to do so, I had to leave the boarding line, speak with a Delta representative at their information desk, get back in line, then request a passport scan when it was my turn to board. Federal agencies and airlines claim that facial recognition is an opt-out system, but my recent experience suggests they are incentivizing travelers to have their faces scanned -- and disincentivizing them to sidestep the tech -- by not clearly communicating alternative options. Last year, a Delta customer service representative reported that only 2 percent of customers opt out of facial-recognition. It's easy to see why.

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Facebook Says It's 'Working' To Resolve Outages Across Instagram, WhatsApp, and Messenger

Wed, 2019-07-03 16:50
Facebook has had problems loading images, videos, and other data across its apps today, leaving some people unable to load photos in the Facebook News Feed, view stories on Instagram, or send messages in WhatsApp. From a report: Facebook says it is aware of the issues and "working to get things back to normal as quickly as possible." The issues started around 8AM ET and now appear to be clearing up, according to DownDetector, which monitors website and app issues. The errors aren't affecting all images; many pictures on Facebook and Instagram still load, but others are appearing blank. DownDetector has also received reports of people being unable to load messages in Facebook Messenger.

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Amazon Alexa Keeps Your Data With No Expiration Date, and Shares It Too

Wed, 2019-07-03 16:10
If you have hangups about Amazon and privacy on its smart assistant, Alexa, you're not alone. Even after Amazon sent answers to a US senator who had questions about how the tech giant retains voice data and transcripts, the lawmaker remains concerned about Alexa's privacy practices. From a report: Sen. Chris Coons, a Democrat from Delaware, sent a letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos in May, demanding answers on Alexa and how long it kept voice recordings and transcripts, as well as what the data gets used for. The letter came after CNET's report that Amazon kept transcripts of interactions with Alexa, even after people deleted the voice recordings. The deadline for answers was June 30, and Amazon's vice president of public policy, Brian Huseman, sent a response on June 28. In the letter, Huseman tells Coons that Amazon keeps transcripts and voice recordings indefinitely, and only removes them if they're manually deleted by users. Huseman also noted that Amazon had an "ongoing effort to ensure those transcripts do not remain in any of Alexa's other storage systems." But there are still records from some conversations with Alexa that Amazon won't delete, even if people remove the audio, the letter revealed.

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India's Reliance Jio Partners With Facebook To Launch Literacy Program For First Time Internet Users

Wed, 2019-07-03 15:30
An anonymous reader writes: Mukesh Ambani, India's richest man, has enabled tens of millions of people -- if not more -- to come online for the first time with his disruptive telecom network. He has changed how many Indians, once thrifty about each megabyte they spent browsing the internet, consume mobile data today. But many of these first time internet users are increasingly struggling with grasping the nuances of the internet -- often ending up trusting everything they see online and, in extreme cases, causing major chaos in the nation. Ambani now wants to help these people understand the ins and outs of the digital world. His telecom network Reliance Jio announced today a literacy program called 'Digital Udaan' for first time internet users in India. The two-and-a-half-year-old telecom network, which has amassed more than 300 million subscribers, said it has partnered with Facebook to create "the largest ever digital literacy program" that will offer audio-visual training in 10 regional languages. As part of the Digital Udaan program, Reliance Jio will hold training sessions to help its users learn about internet safety, and how they should engage with popular services and its devices. The operator said it will hold these sessions each Saturday and also provide training videos and information brochures to users.

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A Third CRISPR Baby May Have Already Been Born in China

Wed, 2019-07-03 14:50
An anonymous reader shares a report: The Second International Summit on Human Genome Editing, held in Hong Kong last November, was meant to debate the pros and cons of genetically engineering humans. Instead, the proceedings were turned upside down by the revelation that He Jiankui, a Chinese biophysicist, had already done it. He'd gone ahead and edited the DNA of twin girls with the powerful gene modification tool called CRISPR. Then the Chinese scientist sprang a further surprise on the shocked gene-editing experts. A second Chinese woman, he said, was pregnant with yet another CRISPR baby. An early pregnancy test had confirmed it. That third CRISPR baby is now due to be born at any moment -- if he or she hasn't come crying into the world already. Seven months have passed since the Hong Kong summit, but because the pregnancy was already under way by then, it is now at term, according to William Hurlbut, a Stanford University physician and ethicist who was in regular communication with He starting in 2017 and is familiar with the time line of events. Hurlbut knows the day the third baby was conceived but won't make it public, because of the risk the information could identify the parents and child.

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US Government Staff Told To Treat Huawei as Blacklisted

Wed, 2019-07-03 14:08
A senior U.S. official told the Commerce Department's enforcement staff this week that China's Huawei should still be treated as blacklisted, days after U.S. President Donald Trump sowed confusion with a vow to ease a ban on sales to the firm. From a report: Trump surprised markets on Saturday by promising Chinese President Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the G20 summit in Japan that he would allow U.S. companies to sell products to Huawei Technologies. In May, the company was added to the so-called Entity List, which bans American firms from selling to it without special permission, as punishment for actions against U.S. national security interests. Trump's announcement on Saturday -- an olive branch to Beijing to revive stalled trade talks -- was cheered by U.S. chipmakers eager to maintain sales to Huawei, the world's largest telecoms equipment maker and a key U.S. customer. But Trump's comments also spawned confusion among industry players and government officials struggling to understand what Huawei policy he had unveiled. In an email to enforcement staff on Monday that was seen by Reuters, John Sonderman, Deputy Director of the Office of Export Enforcement, in the Commerce Department's Bureau of Industry and Security (BIS), sought to clarify how agents should approach license requests by firms seeking approval to sell to Huawei.

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Scientists Are Using Subatomic Particles To Search For a Mirror Universe

Wed, 2019-07-03 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: At Oak Ridge National Laboratory in eastern Tennessee, physicist Leah Broussard is trying to open a portal to a parallel universe. She calls it an "oscillation" that would lead her to "mirror matter," but the idea is fundamentally the same. In a series of experiments she plans to run at Oak Ridge this summer, Broussard will send a beam of subatomic particles down a 50-foot tunnel, past a ring-shaped magnet and into an impenetrable wall. If the setup is just right -- and if the universe cooperates -- some of those particles will transform into mirror-image versions of themselves, allowing them to tunnel right through the wall. And if that happens, Broussard will have uncovered the first evidence of a mirror world right alongside our own. The mirror world, assuming it exists, would have its own laws of mirror-physics and its own mirror-history. You wouldn't find a mirror version of yourself there (and no evil Spock with a goatee -- sorry "Star Trek" fans). But current theory allows that you might find mirror atoms and mirror rocks, maybe even mirror planets and stars. Collectively, they could form an entire shadow world, just as real as our own but almost completely cut off from us. Broussard says her initial search for the mirror world won't be especially difficult. But if she unequivocally detects even a single mirror particle, it would prove that the visible universe is only half of what is out there -- and that the known laws of physics are only half of a much broader set of rules.

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India's First CPUs Are Ready For App Development

Wed, 2019-07-03 10:00
The Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Madras has released the software development kit (SDK) for its open-source Shakti processor. Shakti is based on the open-source RISC-V instruction set architecture and was funded by the Indian Ministry of Electronics and Information Technology. The institute promised that a development board will also be released soon. Tom's Hardware reports: The RISE group at IIT Madras started working on the Shakti project in 2016 with a plan to release a family of six classes of processors, each serving a different market. The group promised that the reference processors will be competitive with commercial offerings in terms of area, performance and power consumption. Now India, like China and the European Union, are showing interest in designing their own processors, rather than relying on ones designed by U.S. manufacturers. With the release of the Shakti SDK, developers can begin to develop applications for the Shakti processors, even before they're commercialized.

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First Flu Vaccine Created By AI To Be Trialed In the US

Wed, 2019-07-03 07:00
A "turbocharged" flu vaccine created by a computer with artificial intelligence in South Australia is set to be trialed in the United States. ABC reports: Flinders University Professor Nikolai Petrovsky has told the ABC the computer running a program called Sam invented the new drug on its own, in what he claimed was a world first. "We essentially showed all of that to the AI program called Sam and then Sam came up with its own suggestion of what might be an effective adjuvant, which we then took and tested, and sure enough, it worked." The chosen strains are decided by the World Health Organization, according to which ones were prevalent in the previous northern or southern hemisphere flu seasons. This year's Australian vaccine for people aged over 65 contains a component in it which boosts their immune system.

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Study Says We've Already Built Too Many Power Plants, Cars To Meet Paris Climate Targets

Wed, 2019-07-03 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MIT Technology Review: In 2010, scientists warned we'd already built enough carbon-dioxide-spewing infrastructure to push global temperatures up 1.3 degrees C, and stressed that the fossil-fuel system would only continue to expand unless "extraordinary efforts are undertaken to develop alternatives." In a sequel to that paper published in Nature today, researchers found we're now likely to sail well past 1.5C of warming, the aspirational limit set by the Paris climate accords, even if we don't build a single additional power plant, factory, vehicle, or home appliance. Moreover, if these components of the existing energy system operate for as long as they have historically, and we build all the new power facilities already planned, they'll emit about two thirds of the carbon dioxide necessary to crank up global temperatures by 2C. If fractions of a degree don't sound that dramatic, consider that 1.5C of warming could already be enough to expose 14% of the global population to bouts of severe heat, melt nearly 2 million square miles (5 million square kilometers) of Arctic permafrost, and destroy more than 70% of the world's coral reefs. The hop from there to 2C may subject nearly three times as many people to heat waves, thaw nearly 40% more permafrost, and all but wipe out coral reefs, among other devastating effects, research finds. The basic conclusion here is, in some ways, striking. We've already built a system that will propel the planet into the dangerous terrain that scientists have warned for decades we must avoid. This means that building lots of renewables and adding lots of green jobs, the focus of much of the policy debate over climate, isn't going to get the job done.

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Security Flaws In a Popular Smart Home Hub Let Hackers Unlock Front Doors

Wed, 2019-07-03 02:10
In new research published Tuesday, security researchers Chase Dardaman and Jason Wheeler found three security flaws which, when chained together, could be abused to open a front door with a smart lock. TechCrunch reports: Dardaman and Wheeler began looking into the ZipaMicro, a popular smart home hub developed by Croatian firm Zipato, some months ago, but only released their findings once the flaws had been fixed. The researchers found they could extract the hub's private SSH key for "root" -- the user account with the highest level of access -- from the memory card on the device. Anyone with the private key could access a device without needing a password, said Wheeler. They later discovered that the private SSH key was hardcoded in every hub sold to customers -- putting at risk every home with the same hub installed. Using that private key, the researchers downloaded a file from the device containing scrambled passwords used to access the hub. They found that the smart hub uses a "pass-the-hash" authentication system, which doesn't require knowing the user's plaintext password, only the scrambled version. By taking the scrambled password and passing it to the smart hub, the researchers could trick the device into thinking they were the homeowner. All an attacker had to do was send a command to tell the lock to open or close. With just a few lines of code, the researchers built a script that locked and unlocked a smart lock connected to a vulnerable smart hub.

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Frontier Refuses To Waive Router Rental Fee For Customer Who Brought His Own

Wed, 2019-07-03 01:30
Ever since Frontier bought Verizon's Texas network in 2016, the company has been charging some customers a $10-per-month router rental fee even if they're using their own router. Rich Son of Texas purchased Verizon's FiOS Quantum Gateway router for $200 in order to avoid monthly rental fees. He said: "[the router] worked well for me until the takeover happened with Frontier and I began getting charged for using my own equipment. I have continued to call Frontier and was repeatedly assured that the fees will be taken off my bill." But that didn't happen. Ars Technica reports: Son filed a complaint with the Federal Communications Commission; Frontier responded to the complaint but stuck to its position that he has to pay the fee. A voicemail that Frontier left with Son and his wife said the company informed the FCC that "the router monthly charge is an applicable fee, and it will continue to be billed." Another voicemail from Frontier told them they can avoid the monthly rental fees if they purchase a Frontier router. "We can reimburse you if you purchase a Frontier router. We cannot reimburse you if you have a Verizon router -- we are not Verizon," the voicemail said. "You can choose to use your own router, however you will be still charged the monthly fee... the difference is we do not service the router that you choose to use." "It's $10 today -- but how much will it cost us tomorrow?" Son said. "I'd consider letting it go if their customer service blew me out of the water, but they've been terrible ever since Verizon forced Frontier on us." When contacted by Ars Technica, Frontier said that it refuses to stop charging the Wi-Fi router rental fee even when customers use their own router and claimed it does so in order to cover higher support costs for customers like Son."

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Elizabeth Warren Accuses Advisory Panel For FCC of Corruption

Wed, 2019-07-03 00:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: A panel that provides policy advice to the Federal Communications Commission is "stacked with corporate insiders," Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren said Monday. She cited a blog post by the Project On Government Oversight (POGO), which showed more than half of all Communications Security, Reliability and Interoperability Council (CSRIC) members are direct employees of private companies or of industry trade groups. This could lead to allegations that rather than working for American consumers, the FCC is working for "giant telecom companies", Warren, a Democratic senator from Massachusetts, tweeted Monday. "This is the definition of corruption: industry members writing the rules to benefit themselves & their rich friends," she added in another tweet. Sen. Warren has called on FCC Chair Ajit Pai to "explain the extent to which CSRIC may be corrupted by corporate influence." A letter from Warren and Rep. Pramila Jayapal dated June 27, spotted earlier by The Hill, asks for information (PDF) from Pai on whether the panel is "inappropriately dominated by industry (pdf) insiders." "The industry-dominated personnel on the panel have recommended policies that are directly in line with the wishes of the companies from which their members are drawn," the letter says, adding that POGO says a lack of expertise among FCC members means they rely increasingly on the panel's recommendations.

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Regal Cinemas Readying Unlimited Ticket Subscription Program

Wed, 2019-07-03 00:10
Regal Cinemas is prepping to launch a new unlimited movie ticket subscriptions service at the end of July in the U.S. Deadline has the details: There will be three tiers of pricing, which work out to $18, $21 and $24 per month, each granting access to unlimited tickets (really). While the monthly price of AMC Stubs A-List movie ticket subscription program varies by state, we hear that Regal's is based on theater location. Those purchasing a top-priced tier will have access to any Regal Cinema (i.e., from Valencia, CA to 42nd Street in NYC), while the lowest tier gets access to about half of the chain's national footprint. If someone purchased a subscription at a low tier and ventures to an out-of-network Regal in a higher tier (like a major city), there's apt to be a surcharge (not final, but around $2-$3) on a gratis ticket. There are also 10% cash reductions on concessions for each tier, which are immediate rather than receiving a voucher for the next visit. Also, there's buzz that Regal Unlimited subscribers will have to purchase an entire year in advance for the unlimited ticket program, hence the tier prices respectively would be $288, $252 and $216. At this point in time, it's not clear whether premium venues (Imax, Dolby 3D, Premium Large Format screens, Dbox) will be included in the monthly subscription like it is with AMC's. Studio executives have mentioned to us in passing that a greater degree of revenue exists in upcharging a subscriber on premium tickets. Details are still being worked out despite what many might be reading in online chat rooms.

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'Motorola Has Let Me Down For the Last Time'

Tue, 2019-07-02 23:30
Jerry Hildenbrand, writing for AndroidCentral: If you're ever in the mood to think about a "how the mighty have fallen" story, you need to look no further than Motorola. The company used to be at the forefront of technology in everything digital, but buyouts, restructuring, and eventually becoming another OEM nameplate has left Motorola little more than a memory that old tech dudes like me will fondly look back with melancholy reflections of the good old days. If I sound bitter, it's because I am, just a little. [...] The company has had a very poor record regarding updates since it was sold to Lenovo; both the big grand Android platform updates and the important but overlooked security patch updates. This compounds the whole issue, as the only realistic chance Z2 Force owners have to get those critically important updates they have missed is when they are bundled into the Android 9 release. These patches have no glitz or glamour associated, but they are the types of updates that keep you and your personal information safer. I've mentioned it before and I'll say it again: manufacturers owe us security patches on a regular basis if they expect us to owe them our allegiance.

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