Linux fréttir

Signal's New Usernames Help Keep Cops Out of Your Data

Slashdot - Wed, 2024-03-06 01:25
Longtime Slashdot reader SonicSpike shares a report from The Intercept: With the new version of Signal, you will no longer broadcast your phone number to everyone you send messages to by default, though you can choose to if you want. Your phone number will still be displayed to contacts who already have it stored in their phones. Going forward, however, when you start a new conversation on Signal, your number won't be shared at all: Contacts will just see the name you use when you set up your Signal profile. So even if your contact is using a custom Signal client, for example, they still won't be able to discover your phone number since the service will never tell it to them. You also now have the option to set a username, which Signal lets you change whenever you want and delete when you don't want it anymore. Rather than directly storing your username as part of your account details, Signal stores a cryptographic hash of your username instead; Signal uses the Ristretto 25519 hashing algorithm, essentially storing a random block of data instead of usernames themselves. This is like how online services can confirm a user's password is valid without storing a copy of the actual password itself. "As far as we're aware, we're the only messaging platform that now has support for usernames that doesn't know everyone's usernames by default," said Josh Lund, a senior technologist at Signal. The move is yet another piece of the Signal ethos to keep as little data on hand as it can, lest the authorities try to intrude on the company. Whittaker explained, "We don't want to be forced to enumerate a directory of usernames." [...] If Signal receives a subpoena demanding that they hand over all account data related to a user with a specific username that is currently active at the time that Signal looks it up, they would be able to link it to an account. That means Signal would turn over that user's phone number, along with the account creation date and the last connection date. Whittaker stressed that this is "a pretty narrow pipeline that is guarded viciously by ACLU lawyers," just to obtain a phone number based on a username. Signal, though, can't confirm how long a given username has been in use, how many other accounts have used it in the past, or anything else about it. If the Signal user briefly used a username and then deleted it, Signal wouldn't even be able to confirm that it was ever in use to begin with, much less which accounts had used it before. In short, if you're worried about Signal handing over your phone number to law enforcement based on your username, you should only set a username when you want someone to contact you, and then delete it afterward. And each time, always set a different username. Likewise, if you want someone to contact you securely, you can send them your Signal link, and, as soon as they make contact, you can reset the link. If Signal receives a subpoena based on a link that was already reset, it will be impossible for them to look up which account it was associated with. If the subpoena demands that Signal turn over account information based on a phone number, rather than a username, Signal could be forced to hand over the cryptographic hash of the account's username, if a username is set. It would be difficult, however, for law enforcement to learn the actual username itself based on its hash. If they already suspect a username, they could use the hash to confirm that it's real. Otherwise, they would have to guess the username using password cracking techniques like dictionary attacks or rainbow tables.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Max Password Sharing Crackdown Is Coming

Slashdot - Wed, 2024-03-06 00:45
Warner Bros. Discovery said a password crackdown for its Max streaming service is coming later this year, joining competitors Netflix and Disney. TheWrap reports: JB Perrette, WBD's CEO and president of global streaming and games, said the initiative would launch later this year with a broader rollout in 2025. "We think, relative to the scale of our business, it's a meaningful opportunity," Perrette said during Morgan Stanley's 2024 Technology, Media & Telecom Conference in San Francisco on Monday. The push to crack down on password sharing comes as Warner Bros. Discovery narrowed its streaming loss to $55 million during its fourth quarter of 2023, down from a loss of $217 million a year ago. For the full year, it swung to a profit of $103 million, compared to a loss of $1.59 billion in 2022. Looking ahead, WBD said its DTC business would have "modestly negative" EBITDA in the first half of 2024 before turning profitable in the second half. WBD is targeting $1 billion of direct-to-consumer EBITDA in 2025. In its fourth quarter, Warner Bros. Discovery added 1.8 million subscribers in its direct-to-consumer division for a total of 97.7 million. The DTC segment's results include Max, Discovery+ and traditional HBO cable subscriptions. Parrette also discussed interest in transactional ads, notes Ars Technica. Per Perrette: "On the ad format size, we've made lots of improvements from where we were, but we still have a lot of ad format enhancements that will give us more things that we can go to marketers with, [like] shoppable ads [and] other elements of the ad format side of the house that we can improve."

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Uncle Sam intervenes as Change Healthcare ransomware fiasco creates mayhem

TheRegister - Wed, 2024-03-06 00:30
As the crooks behind the attack - probably ALPHV/BlackCat - fake their own demise

The US government has stepped in to help hospitals and other healthcare providers affected by the Change Healthcare ransomware infection, offering more relaxed Medicare rules and urging advanced funding to providers.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Why Desktop Linux Is Finally Growing In Popularity

Slashdot - Wed, 2024-03-06 00:02
According to the latest data from StatCounter, Linux's market share has reached 4.03% -- surging by an additional 1% in the last eight months. What's the reason behind this recent growth? "That's a good question," writes ZDNet's Steven Vaughan-Nichols. "While Windows is the king of the hill with 72.13% and MacOS comes in a distant second at 15.46%, it's clear that Linux is making progress." An anonymous Slashdot reader shares the five reasons why Vaughan-Nichols thinks it's growing: 1. Microsoft isn't that interested in Windows If you think Microsoft is all about the desktop and Windows, think again. Microsoft's profits these days come from its Azure cloud and Software-as-a-Service (SaaS), Microsoft 365 in particular. Microsoft doesn't want you to buy Windows; the Redmond powerhouse wants you to subscribe to Windows 365 Cloud PC. And, by the way, you can run Windows 365 Cloud PC on Macs, Chromebooks, Android tablets, iPads, and, oh yes, Linux desktops. 2. Linux gaming, thanks to Steam, is also growing Gaming has never been a strong suit for Linux, but Linux gamers are also a slowly growing group. I suspect that's because Steam, the most popular Linux gaming platform, also has the lion's share of the gaming distribution market 3. Users are finally figuring out that some Linux distros are easy to use Even now, you'll find people who insist that Linux is hard to master. True, if you want to be a Linux power user, Linux will challenge you. But, if all you want to do is work and play, many Linux distributions are suitable for beginners. For example, Linux Mint is simple to use, and it's a great end-user operating system for everyone and anyone. 4. Finding and installing Linux desktop software is easier than ever While some Linux purists dislike containerized application installation programs such as Flatpak, Snap, and AppImage, developers love them. Why? They make it simple to write applications for Linux that don't need to be tuned just right for all the numerous Linux distributions. For users, that means they get more programs to choose from, and they don't need to worry about finicky installation details. 5. The Linux desktop is growing in popularity in India India is now the world's fifth-largest economy, and it's still growing. Do you know what else is growing in India? Desktop Linux. In India, Windows is still the number one operating system with 70.37%, but number two is Linux, with 15.23%. MacOS is way back in fourth place with 3.11%. I suspect this is the case because India's economy is largely based on technology. Where you find serious programmers, you find Linux users.

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Stuck paying for your apartment's crummy internet? FCC chair Rosenworcel wants to help

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 23:45
Proposed regulation would bar building owners from forcing internet services on tenants

One of the oddities of American apartment living is "bulk billing" – a practice that sees landlords determine which ISP serves the entire complex and requires residents to use that provider even if they would prefer a rival.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Copilot Pane As Annoying As Clippy May Pop Up In Windows 11

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 23:20
Richard Speed reports via The Register: Copilot in Windows is set to get even more assertive after Microsoft added a function that makes the AI assistant's window pop up after a user's cursor hovers over the icon in the task bar. [...] Windows Insiders on the Beta Channel â" with the option to get the latest updates turned on â" will soon find themselves on the receiving end of what Microsoft calls "a new hover experience for Copilot in Windows" from build 22635.3276. If your mouse cursor happens to drift over to the Copilot icon on the taskbar, the Copilot pane will open to make users aware of the delights on offer. The result, we suspect, will be to educate users in the art of switching off the function. Much like Widgets, which will also make its unwanted presence felt should a user move a mouse over its icon. A swift hop into taskbar settings is all it takes to make the icons disappear, for now at least. The new feature is being piloted but considering the proximity of the Beta Channel to Release Preview, there is every chance the pop-up will, er, pop up in a release version of Windows before long.

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Trump supporters forge AI deepfakes to woo Black voters

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 22:58
Perps argue that if you vote based on one fake pic you get what you deserve

Admirers of Donald Trump are creating fake AI-generated images depicting the former US President interacting with Black people, in the hope the pictures are interpreted by voters as a sign of increasing support from a key voter group that would bolster his attempt to regain the White House.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

iOS 17.4 Is Here and Ready For a Whole New Europe

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 22:40
Jess Weatherbed reports via The Verge: Apple's iOS 17.4 update is now available, introducing new emoji and a cryptographic security protocol for iMessage, alongside some major changes to the App Store and contactless payments for the iPhone platform in Europe. Apple is making several of these changes to comply with the EU's Digital Markets Act (DMA), a law that aims to make the digital economy fairer by removing unfair advantages that tech giants hold over businesses and end users. iOS 17.4 will allow third-party developers to offer alternative app marketplaces and app downloads to EU users from outside the iOS App Store. Developers wanting to take advantage of this will be required to go through Apple's approval process and pay Apple a "Core Technology Fee" that charges 50 euro cents per install once an app reaches 1 million downloads annually. iPhone owners in the EU will see different update notes that specifically mention new options available for app stores, web browsers, and payment options. The approval process may take some time, but we know that at least one enterprise-focused app marketplace from Mobivention will be available on March 7th. Epic is also working on releasing the Epic Game Store on iOS in 2024, and software company MacPaw is planning to officially launch its Setapp store in April. iOS 17.4 allows people in the EU to download alternative browser engines that aren't based on Apple's WebKit, such as Chrome and Firefox, with a new choice screen in iOS Safari that will prompt users to select a default browser when opened for the first time. While no browser alternatives have been officially announced, both Google and Mozilla are currently experimenting with new iOS browsers that could eventually be released to the public. Apple is also introducing new APIs that allow third-party developers to utilize the iPhone's NFC payment chip for contactless payment services besides Apple Pay and Apple Wallet in the European Economic Area. No alternative contactless providers have been confirmed yet, but users will find a list of apps that have requested the feature under Settings > Privacy & Security > Contactless & NFC. While Apple previously revealed it was planning to drop support for progressive web apps (PWAs) in the EU to avoid building "an entirely new integration architecture" around DMA compliance, the company now says it will "continue to offer the existing Home Screen web apps capability" for EU users. However, these homescreen apps will still run using WebKit technology, with no option to be powered by third-party browser engines.

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Oregon OKs Right-To-Repair Bill That Bans the Blocking of Aftermarket Parts

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 22:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Oregon has joined the small but growing list of states that have passed right-to-repair legislation. Oregon's bill stands out for a provision that would prevent companies from requiring that official parts be unlocked with encrypted software checks before they will fully function. Bill SB 1596 passed Oregon's House by a 42 to 13 margin. Gov. Tina Kotek has five days to sign the bill into law. Consumer groups and right-to-repair advocates praised the bill as "the best bill yet," while the bill's chief sponsor, state Sen. Janeen Sollman (D), pointed to potential waste reductions and an improved second-hand market for closing a digital divide. "Oregon improves on Right to Repair laws in California, Minnesota and New York by making sure that consumers have the choice of buying new parts, used parts, or third-party parts for the gadgets and gizmos," said Gay Gordon-Byrne, executive director of Repair.org, in a statement. Like bills passed in New York, California, and Minnesota, Oregon's bill requires companies to offer the same parts, tools, and documentation to individual and independent repair shops that are already offered to authorized repair technicians. Unlike other states' bills, however, Oregon's bill doesn't demand a set number of years after device manufacture for such repair implements to be produced. That suggests companies could effectively close their repair channels entirely rather than comply with the new requirements. California's bill mandated seven years of availability. If signed, the law's requirements for parts, tools, and documentation would apply to devices sold after 2015, except for phones, which are covered after July 2021. The prohibition against parts pairing only covers devices sold in 2025 and later. Like other repair bills, a number of device categories are exempted, including video game consoles, HVAC and medical gear, solar systems, vehicles, and, very specifically, "Electric toothbrushes."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft drags Windows Subsystem for Android into the trash

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 21:27
Amazon Appstore tieup fizzles out, too

Next year Microsoft will kill off the Windows Subsystem for Android, its framework for running Android applications from the Amazon Appstore on Windows 11 devices.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

The Arctic Ocean Could Be 'Ice-Free' Within the Decade, Researchers Warn

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 21:20
The loss of Arctic sea ice has long been a graphic measure of human-caused climate change, with wrenching images of suffering polar bears illustrating a worsening planetary crisis. Now, new research has found that Arctic Ocean sea ice is shrinking even faster than previously thought -- and that the Arctic may start to see its first "ice-free" days within the current decade. From a report: That troubling milestone could occur before the end of the decade or sometime in the 2030s -- as many as 10 years earlier than previous projections, according to a study published Tuesday in the journal Nature Reviews Earth and Environment. The study defines "ice-free" as when the Arctic Ocean has less than 1 million square kilometers, or 386,000 square miles, of ice. By midcentury -- 2035 to 2067 -- the Arctic could see consistent ice-free conditions in September, the month when sea ice concentrations are typically at their minimum, the study found. The precise timing of such losses depends on how soon humanity is able to reduce fossil fuel emissions that are contributing to global warming. Under a high-emission scenario in which fossil fuel use continues unabated, the Arctic would be ice-free between the months of May and January by 2100, the study says. Even under a low-emission scenario, the Arctic would still be ice-free between August and October by that same year.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

In a First, US Students Will Take the SAT Entirely Online

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 20:43
The SAT, a college admissions exam that for nearly a century was completed using paper and pencil, is now officially all-digital. From a report: This week, students in the U.S. will begin taking the new SAT on their own devices -- including a tablet or a laptop -- or on school devices. The test is also one hour shorter (down from three hours), has shorter reading passages and uses digital tools, like a highlighter, a graphing calculator and a bookmark to go back to skipped questions. The revamped test, which ditches the paper and pencil, aims to make cheating harder and grading easier. Students will still take the exam at a test center or at a high school. "Today's students, they do a lot of their living digitally, they do a lot of their learning digitally and they do a lot of their test taking digitally," says Priscilla Rodriguez, who oversees the SAT for the College Board, the organization behind the test. Throughout March and April, the College Board expects more than 1 million students to take the new digital SAT. Students can take the exam on Saturday test dates or during SAT School Days, where participating high schools offer the test to upperclassmen free of charge during the school day.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Amazon Cancels Fees for Customers Moving To Rival Cloud Services

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 20:02
Amazon's cloud services division is halting fees it has long charged customers that switch to a rival provider -- following in the steps of Google, which recently announced it was ending the practice. From a report: Amazon Web Services will no longer charge customers who want to extract all of their data from the company's servers and move them to another service, AWS Vice President Robert Kennedy said in a blog post on Tuesday. "Beginning today, customers globally are now entitled to free data transfers out to the internet if they want to move to another IT provider," Kennedy said.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Fidelity customers' financial info feared stolen in suspected ransomware attack

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 19:28
Insurance giant blames Infosys, LockBit claims credit

Criminals have probably stolen nearly 30,000 Fidelity Investments Life Insurance customers' personal and financial information — including bank account and routing numbers, credit card numbers and security or access codes — after breaking into Infosys' IT systems in the fall.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Amazon bends to Euro watchdogs, waives egress fees for folks ditching AWS

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 18:56
Now the pressure is on for Microsoft to stop holding user data hostage

Amazon Web Services has joined Google in waiving egress fees for customers looking to ditch its platform for a rival cloud provider or on-prem datacenter.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft To End Its Android Apps on Windows 11 Subsystem in 2025

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 18:40
Microsoft is ending support for its Android subsystem in Windows 11 next year. From a report: The software giant first announced it was bringing Android apps to Windows 11 with Amazon's Appstore nearly three years ago, but this Windows Subsystem for Android will now be deprecated starting March 5th, 2025. "Microsoft is ending support for the Windows Subsystem for Android (WSA)," reads a new support document from Microsoft. "As a result, the Amazon Appstore on Windows and all applications and games dependent on WSA will no longer be supported beginning March 5, 2025." If you currently use Android apps from the Amazon Appstore, then you'll continue to have access to these past the support cutoff date, but you won't be able to download any new ones once Microsoft makes its Android subsystem end of life next year. On March 6th (tomorrow), Windows 11 users will no longer be able to search for Amazon Appstore or associated Android apps from the Microsoft Store.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

FCC: April is last month for Affordable Connectivity Program payments

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 18:36
US broadband customers prepare for the great disconnection

The end is nigh for the US Affordable Connectivity Program, with April being the final full month of the program.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Google is Starting To Squash More Spam and AI in Search Results

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 18:00
Google announced updates to its search ranking systems aimed at promoting high-quality content and demoting manipulative or low-effort material, including content generated by AI solely to summarize other sources. The company also stated it is improving its ability to detect and combat tactics used to deceive its ranking algorithms.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

AMD hires former Oak Ridge chief to punt AI to governments

TheRegister - Tue, 2024-03-05 17:30
You get a 'sovereign' AI, and you get a 'sovereign' AI, everybody gets a 'sovereign' AI

AMD is betting that it can get governments and other public bodies to sign off on investment in AI infrastructure by enlisting the former head of America's prestigious Oak Ridge National Laboratory research center.…

Categories: Linux fréttir

Microsoft Accuses the New York Times of Doom-Mongering in OpenAI Lawsuit

Slashdot - Tue, 2024-03-05 17:22
Microsoft has filed a motion seeking to dismiss key parts of a lawsuit The New York Times filed against the company and Open AI, accusing them of copyright infringement. From a report: If you'll recall, The Times sued both companies for using its published articles to train their GPT large language models (LLMs) without permission and compensation. In its filing, the company has accused The Times of pushing "doomsday futurology" by claiming that AI technologies pose a threat to independent journalism. It follows OpenAI's court filing from late February that's also seeking to dismiss some important elements on the case. Like OpenAI before it, Microsoft accused The Times of crafting "unrealistic prompts" in an effort to "coax the GPT-based tools" to spit out responses matching its content. It also compared the media organization's lawsuit to Hollywood studios' efforts to " stop a groundbreaking new technology:" The VCR. Instead of destroying Hollywood, Microsoft explained, the VCR helped the entertainment industry flourish by opening up revenue streams. LLMs are a breakthrough in artificial intelligence, it continued, and Microsoft collaborated with OpenAI to "help bring their extraordinary power to the public" because it "firmly believes in LLMs' capacity to improve the way people live and work."

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Categories: Linux fréttir

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