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Amazon Is Planning To Open Cashierless Supermarkets Next Year

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 14:35
Amazon.com is preparing to open Amazon Go supermarkets and pop-up stores, an expansion of the company's cashierless ambitions that includes the possibility of licensing the technology to other retailers. From a report: The new store formats and licensing initiative could launch as soon as the first quarter of 2020, according to a person familiar with the project. Amazon is testing a supermarket equipped with Go technology in a 10,400-square-foot retail space in Seattle's Capitol Hill neighborhood. The Go expansion is the e-commerce giant's latest attempt to compete in the $900 billion U.S. grocery industry and perhaps other areas of retail, as well. The company already operates the Whole Foods Market chain and last week confirmed plans to launch a separate supermarket brand, starting with a location in the upscale Woodland Hills neighborhood of Los Angeles. Those stores will have human cashiers. The previously unreported plan to expand Go revives Amazon's original vision of creating full-size grocery stores without checkout lines. Amazon opened the first Go convenience store at its Seattle headquarters almost two years ago and now operates 21 locations around the U.S. It's not clear how much money the company has lavished on the project, but some of the 1,000 or so people working on it were recently told their cumulative salaries have totaled more than $1 billion since the project got underway in 2012, the person said.

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UK public sector IT chiefs shrug off breach threats: The data we hold isn't that important

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 14:03
Are you for real? splutters surveyor Sophos

Half of UK public sector IT chiefs think the data they're responsible for protecting is less valuable than private sector information, according to a survey by antivirus firm Sophos.…

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London cops seeking £600m mega IT contract to knock 'towers' sprawl into 'one throat to choke'

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 12:42
ACK!

London's Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) has published its first procurement notice to consolidate its IT "towers" in a contract worth £600m over five years.…

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DXC Technology to enter its purple period as monochrome corporate branding is cast out

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 12:00
People person CEO urges staff 'if you like the One DXC logo, tell others'

LogoWatch Words are cheap and what better way for the new man in charge of DXC to convince his troops that a more caring regime has taken over than by scrapping its current corporate colours and logo to something more daring.…

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Video-editing upstart bares users' raunchy flicks to world+dog via leaky AWS bucket

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 11:02
Lock the front door, you chumps

A British video-editing startup exposed what is claimed to be "thousands" of user-uploaded videos, including family films and home-made pornography, in an unsecured Amazon AWS bucket.…

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Getronics confirms – finally – that CEO has quit following HMRC VAT payment debacle

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 10:10
Ailing services integrator pulls in more cash from backers to pay off debts, rebrands US MSP arm

Cash-strapped IT services integrator Getronics has finally confirmed its split with group CEO Nana Baffour and is getting an injection of capital following its cash-flow issues.…

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EverQuest and Pantheon Developer Brad McQuaid Has Died

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 10:00
Brad McQuaid, best known as a formative hand in the creation of EverQuest, has passed away at the age of 51. From a report: McQuaid's death was reported by the official Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Twitter account, which is the MMO he was working on until his death. A message was also left on the Pantheon MMO forums by user BenD -- Visionary Realms' director of comms Benjamin Dean -- who writes that McQuaid passed away in his home. "Brad was a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father," the message reads. "He touched thousands of lives with his dreams and concepts. He changed the landscape of video games forever. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered in life and in Pantheon. Thank you, Brad, for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace, Aradune. All of us at Visionary Realms offer our deepest condolences to Brad's family and during this most difficult time, we kindly ask that you respect the privacy of Brad's family." Known as Aradune in the MMO community, McQuaid joined Sony Online Entertainment in 1996 as a lead programmer and later producer on EverQuest, before later becoming chief creative officer. In 2002 he left SOE and founded Sigil Games, which shipped the MMO Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Sigil Games was eventually purchased by SOE. He briefly rejoined SOE in 2012-2013 before going independent. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen was successfully Kickstarter funded in 2014.

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WinUI and WinRT: Official modern Windows API now universal thanks to WebAssembly

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 09:09
C# and XAML devs get path to what UWP promised but never delivered

At Microsoft's recent Ignite conference, the company promoted WinUI as the best path for desktop developers, and pointed towards the third-party Uno platform as an option for Windows 7 or web deployment.…

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Half of Oracle E-Business customers open to months-old bank fraud flaw

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 08:00
Haven't gotten around to patching since last Spring? Now would be a good time

Thousands of Oracle E-Business Suite customers are vulnerable a security bug that can be exploited for bank fraud.…

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ICO scammer Maksim Zaslavskiy to miss 2020 Tokyo Olympics over digital currency fraud

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 07:01
Businessman gets 18 months for bogus cryptocoin sales

A 39 year-old man from New York has been ordered to spend the next 18 months in prison after being convicted of cryptocurrency-based securities fraud.…

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Password Data For About 2.2 Million Users of Currency, Gaming Sites Dumped Online

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 07:00
Password data and other personal information belonging to as many as 2.2 million users of two websites -- one a cryptocurrency wallet service and the other a gaming bot provider -- have been posted online, according to Troy Hunt, the security researcher behind the Have I Been Pwned breach notification service. Ars Technica reports: One haul includes personal information for as many as 1.4 million accounts from the GateHub cryptocurrency wallet service. The other contains data for about 800,000 accounts on RuneScape bot provider EpicBot. The databases include registered email addresses and passwords that were cryptographically hashed with bcrypt, a function that's among the hardest to crack. The person posting the 3.72GB Gatehub database said it also includes two-factor authentication keys, mnemonic phrases, and wallet hashes, although GateHub officials said an investigation suggested wallet hashes were not accessed. The EpicBot database, meanwhile, purportedly included usernames and IP addresses. Hunt said he selected a representative sample of accounts from both databases to verify the authenticity of the data. All of the email addresses he checked were registered to accounts of the two sites. [...] While there were 2.2 million unique addresses in the two dumps, it's possible that corresponding password hashes or other data isn't included with each one.

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IBM and Microsoft and Linux Foundation to fight patent trolls with 'multi-million' scheme

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 06:01
Linux was a 'cancer' but Microsoft is now defending it

IBM, Microsoft and the Linux Foundation have partnered with the Open Invention Network, a company formed to protect Linux from patent threats, to take on "Patent Assertion Entities", also known as patent trolls.…

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Justice Department To Abolish Movie Distribution Rules Dating To 1949

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Justice Department said on Monday that it planned to overturn antitrust-related movie distribution rules from the early days of Hollywood (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), citing an entertainment landscape that has been radically reshaped by technology. "We cannot pretend that the business of film distribution and exhibition remains the same," Makan Delrahim, the antitrust chief at the Justice Department, said at an American Bar Association conference in Washington. "Changes over the course of more than half a century also have made it unlikely that the remaining defendants can reinstate their cartel." The film distribution rules, known as the Paramount consent decrees, were enacted in 1949, a year after the United States Supreme Court ruled that Hollywood's eight largest studios could not own theaters, and thus control the film business. The regulations made it illegal for studios to unreasonably limit the number of theaters in one geographical area that could play a movie. They also banned "block booking," a bundling practice where studios forced theaters to play their bad movies along with their good ones or not play any. But that was when "metropolitan areas generally had a single movie theater with one screen that showed a single movie at a time," Mr. Delrahim said. "Today, not only do our metropolitan areas have many multiplex cinemas showing films from different distributors, but much of our movie-watching is not in theaters at all." In essence, he was saying that the regulations are obsolete because of technological advancements, most recently streaming. The National Association of Theater Owners said that abolishing the consent decrees could result in a return to block booking, which many smaller theater owners could not survive. "If distributors can engage in block booking, exhibitors may be forced to pack their screens with global tentpoles at the expense of targeted programming," the association said in its submitted comments, referring to blockbuster films that now dominate the box office. "Consumers will face increasingly limited choices at the box office, and, without the possibility of a theatrical run, many films will no longer be made, limiting the availability of choices through home entertainment platforms as well."

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FCC Chairman Wants Public Auction To Repurpose Satellite Bands For 5G

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 02:10
Chairman Ajit Pai is pressing for a public auction of wireless frequencies in the C-band spectrum (the 4GHz to 8GHz range often used by satellite companies) for the sake of 5G service. Engadget reports: This would help the FCC clear up "significant" frequency space in a quick fashion, generate money for the government and "ensure continued delivery" of existing services, Pai argued. He hoped to auction off a 280MHz slice while leaving the upper 200MHz available. An FCC official told the Wall Street Journal that the regulator hoped to bring the C-band auction up for a vote in 2020 and start the auction by the end of that year. Satellite companies, however, might not be so happy. Industry giants like Intelsat and SES haven't been averse to selling their spectrum, but they've wanted a private auction to share the money they make and have claimed the FCC isn't allowed to take in-use spectrum without paying them. A public auction flies in the face of that. The C-Band Alliance, a group representing the satellite firms, has hinted at "protracted litigation" if the FCC pushes forward. Carriers are also of mixed opinions. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, has called C-band an "opportunity" but also wanted compensation and a "reasonable transition plan" to avoid disruptions. Verizon (Engadget's parent company and Pai's former employer) likewise wanted "appropriate incentives and protections" to ensure a quick process.

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Valve Announces Half-Life: Alyx, Its First Flagship VR Game

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 01:50
Yesterday, Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, the first new game in the acclaimed Half-Life series in well over a decade. And unlike the previous Half-Life installments, this game will be playable exclusively in virtual reality. The Verge reports: We don't currently have any details beyond the tweet from Valve above, which appears to be the first tweet from a new, Twitter-verified Valve Software account established in June. But clearly, we'll be learning more on Thursday, presumably from this social media account, at 10am PT. Despite being some of the most influential and critically acclaimed PC games ever made, Valve has famously never finished either of its Half-Life supposed trilogies of games. After Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the company created Half-Life: Episode 1 and Half-Life: Episode 2, but no third game in the series. The closest we've come to knowing anything about where Half-Life was headed was this thinly veiled fanfic from former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw.

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Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Holographic Data Storage?

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 01:30
dryriver writes: In an episode of the BBC's Tomorrow's World broadcasted all the way back in 1984, a presenter shows hands-on how a laser hologram of a real-world object can be recorded onto a transparent plastic medium, erased again by heating the plastic with an electric current, and then re-recorded differently. The presenter states that computer scientists are very interested in holograms because the future of digital data storage may lie in them. This was 35 years ago. Holographic data storage for PCs, smartphones, etc. still is not available commercially. Why is this? Are data storage holograms too difficult to create? Or did nobody do enough research on the subject, getting us all stuck with mechanical hard disks and SSDs instead? Where are the hologram drives that appeared "so promising" three decades ago?

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Security giants line up behind push to stop stalkerware being used on smartphones

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 01:10
Coalition aims to help users spot and remove covert trackers

A collection of security, privacy, and digital rights groups have joined up to push a campaign against stalking software.…

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Senator Introduces Bill That Would Block US Companies From Storing Data In China

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 00:50
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Monday introduced a bill that would curtail the flow of sensitive information about people in the U.S. to China through large tech companies like Apple and TikTok. Hawley's legislation would place new and wide-reaching limitations on companies with ties to China such as TikTok, the mega-popular social media platform owned by a Chinese firm, and Apple, an American company that builds many of its components in mainland China. The bill, called the National Security and Personal Data Protection Act, would subject a litany of companies with ties to countries of "national security concern," including Russia and China, to a new privacy regime. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also signed onto the bill on Monday. Hawley's bill would apply to tech companies that are subject to Chinese or Russian law, or are under the jurisdiction of those countries in a way that would allow those governments to access user data without "respect for civil liberties and privacy," according to the bill. Those companies would not be allowed to collect private data beyond what is required to run their services or transfer data on U.S. users to countries of concern. They would also be required to store information on U.S. users in the United States itself, and would have to submit a yearly report proving their compliance with the law once a year to the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. attorney general, and all state attorneys general.

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Satellite operators’ shares plummet as FCC plumbs for public 5G spectrum auctions

TheRegister - Wed, 2019-11-20 00:15
You win some, you lose… 75 per cent of your share value

The shares of satellite operators continued to plummet today after it became clear that the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) was going to seize valuable spectrum off them and resell it to mobile phone companies.…

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Disney+ Fans Without Answers After Thousands Hacked

Slashdot - Wed, 2019-11-20 00:10
Many Disney+ users who have had their accounts stolen and put up for sale on the dark web say that Disney has yet to sort their problems. The firm says it does not believe its systems have been compromised, suggesting that members' details have been stolen by other means. The BBC reports: On November 12, its first day live, people had technical problems and many complained on social media. Others said they were locked out of their accounts, and since they contacted Disney they have not heard back. According to an investigation by ZDNet, thousands of user accounts went on sale on the dark web. Only hours after the service launched, hackers were selling Disney+ accounts for as little as $3. A subscription to the service costs $7 a month. With the help of a cyber-security researcher, the BBC also found several hacked customer accounts for sale on the dark web. Many say they used unique userIDs and passwords to access the streaming platform. But Jason Hill, a lead researcher with CyberInt, says it looks like many were stolen because people use the same passwords for different sites. Mr Hill said that hackers can lift someone's password from a different site which has previously been hacked and then try it on a new site, like Disney+. If it works, they steal the account. The streaming service does not have two-factor authentication. Others are concerned because they can use their Disney+ login to access other products the company provides, like the Disney store and its recreation parks.

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