Slash Boxes

SoylentNews is people

Log In

Log In

Create Account  |  Retrieve Password

Site News

Join our Folding@Home team:
Main F@H site
Our team page

Funding Goal
For 6-month period:
2020-07-01 to 2020-12-31
(All amounts are estimated)
Base Goal:


Covers transactions:
2020-07-01 00:00:00 ..
2020-08-09 09:04:26 UTC
(SPIDs: [1408..1425])
Last Update:
2020-08-10 13:10:21 UTC

Support us: Subscribe Here
and buy SoylentNews Swag

We always have a place for talented people, visit the Get Involved section on the wiki to see how you can make SoylentNews better.

During the COVID-19 lockdowns, on average, the time you spend in front of a computer has

  • Increased greatly
  • Increased somewhat
  • Not changed
  • Decreased somewhat
  • Decreased greatly
  • It's complicated (explain)
  • I don't have a computer you insensitive clod

[ Results | Polls ]
Comments:50 | Votes:194

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @11:57PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the fine-print-giveth-and-small-print-taketh-away dept.

People Are Jailbreaking Used Teslas to Get the Features They Expect:

People have certain expectations when they buy a car. For example, they expect it to work for years afterwards needing only basic maintenance. They also expect that the purchase price includes ownership of not only the physical car itself but all the software that runs it.

Tesla doesn't agree.

Last week, Jalopnik ran an article about a person who bought a used Tesla from a dealer—who in turn bought it at auction directly from Tesla under California's lemon law buyback program—advertised as having Autopilot, the company's Advanced Driver Assistance System. The entire Autopilot package, which the car had when the dealer bought it, costs an extra $8,000. Then, Tesla remotely removed the software because "Full-Self Driving was not a feature that you had paid for." Tesla said if the customer wanted Autopilot back, he'd have to fork over the $8,000.

Tesla clawing back software upgrades from used cars is not a new practice for the company. "Tesla as a policy has been doing this for years on salvage cars," said Phil Sadow, an independent Tesla repair professional. One former employee, who used to work in an official Tesla service center and asked to remain anonymous because he still works with Tesla in another capacity, said he was told to put the software features back if people complained to avoid bad publicity. He left about a year ago.

But that doesn't mean Tesla owners are helpless. Sadow and others have ways to push back against Tesla by jailbreaking the cars and getting the features owners feel are rightfully theirs.

"As far as I am concerned removing a paid-for feature, regardless of the state of the car, is theft," Sadow said. "It's as if a bunch of guys show up in a van and take your upgraded 20" wheels. Just because it's software, it's no different."

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @10:06PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the gravitas++ dept.

SpaceX brings on NASA's former top spaceflight official as it prepares to launch first astronauts:

SpaceX is only a couple of months away from its first attempt at launching astronauts and the company has brought in one of the foremost experts in human spaceflight to help it do so successfully.

William Gerstenmaier, the former leader of NASA's human spaceflight program, has now begun working at SpaceX headquarters in Hawthorne, California, people familiar with his hiring told CNBC. In his new role Gerstenmaier is reporting to SpaceX vice president of mission assurance Hans Koenigsmann, those people said, as the company prepares to begin launching astronauts.

A SpaceX spokesperson confirmed that Gerstenmaier is a consultant for the company's reliability engineering team.

Previously Gerstenmaier served as the NASA Associate Administrator for Human Exploration and Operations for nearly 14 years. In total he had a four decade career with NASA, working on programs ranging from the Space Shuttle to the International Space Station. Gerstenmaier is widely considered one of the world's top specialists in flying humans in space, frequently testifying before Congress on the subject.

SpaceX has hired a key NASA official to help with human spaceflight:

SpaceX has confirmed that NASA's former chief of human spaceflight, William Gerstenmaier, has joined the company as a consultant as it prepares to launch astronauts for the first time.

[...] He immediately brings credibility to the company's safety culture. Former Space Shuttle Program Manager Wayne Hale, who now chairs the human spaceflight committee of NASA's Advisory Council, told Ars last summer, "Bill was recognized by everybody as being technically well-grounded and very astute. He was known to listen carefully and to make his judgments based on good technical reasons."

[...] In his new position, Gerstenmaier is reporting to Hans Koenigsmann, the vice president of Mission Assurance at SpaceX. Although the role is officially a consultancy, it is expected to become a full-time position. SpaceX is poised to launch the first crewed mission of its Dragon spacecraft by June of this year. Gerstenmaier will play a key role in ensuring the safety of those missions and helping SpaceX secure certification for the Crew Dragon vehicle.

[...] Gerstenmaier and SpaceX have a complicated relationship, but he has supported Elon Musk at key moments during the company's development. In December 2008, Gerstenmaier saved a cash-strapped SpaceX with a Commercial Resupply Service contract for operational cargo missions to the International Space Station.

Gerstenmaier's decision to maintain two competitors as part of the commercial crew program in 2014 (SpaceX and Boeing) was also essential, although it was not a company-saving move. Boeing was lobbying hard for all of the funds and very nearly got them. Gerstenmaier was the deciding official who kept two providers in the competition. It has proven to be a smart decision, as SpaceX is poised to beat Boeing into space by months, if not years, at 50 percent less cost.

With Gerstenmaier Gone, Decision to Fly NASA Astronauts May be More Contentious
New Head of Human Exploration at NASA Committed to Reaching the Moon by 2024
NASA Chief Says a Falcon Heavy Rocket Could Fly Humans to the Moon
2020s to Become the Decade of Lunar Re-Exploration
NASA's Chief of Human Spaceflight Rules Out Use of Falcon Heavy for Lunar Station

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @08:15PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the making-a-major-mobile-mess dept.

Each year, the GSMA (GSM (Global System for Mobile Communications) Association) holds three MWC (Mobile World Congress) events. The next is MWC Barcelona and is scheduled for 24-27 February 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. The next event scheduled for this year is MWC Shanghai 2020, scheduled for 30 June - 2 July 2020 in Shanghai, China. And rounding out 2020 is the last event, MWC Los Angeles, California on 28-30 October 2020.

Since 2011, MWC Barcelona has been known as the GSMA Mobile World Capital. It is the oldest and largest of the MWC series, so some of the largest mobile product announcements occur at this event. The 2018 event attracted attendees around the world. Approximately half of the attendees hold senior positions in their firms. In other words, in the mobile market, MWC Barcelona is a "Really Big Deal."

That was all history. The recent outbreak of the 2019-nCoV Coronovirus has made quite a stir worldwide. Major players in the mobile arena are concerned about sending their representatives to a venue with approximately 100,000 attendees drawn from all around the world.

Major companies in the mobile space have recently announced plans to either skip MWC Barcelona entirely or, in some cases, make presentations remotely. These include: including Intel, TCL, Sony, Amazon, Samsung, Nvidia, Ericsson Vivo, and MediaTek among many others.

[...] It will be "interesting" to see what the follow-on effects will be from the reduced attendance. The June MWC is scheduled for Shanghai (a major city in China - the country that is the apparent source of the 2019-nCov coronoavirus and imposing major quarantines trying to stem its spread). Thus, unless 2019-nCoV is brought under control in record time, things do not look good for those who were diverted from Barcelona to look forward to making up the difference 4 months later. That leaves waiting for MWC LA at the end of October, or making more one-on-one connections to work out buying and selling decisions.

[Editors' Note: The World Health Organisation has formally renamed the virus to COVID-19]

For those who are interested in more details on these vendors plans, here are a baker's dozen links expanding on this:

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 12 2020, @06:27PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the did-you-check-to-turn-the-lights-off dept.

Germany's economy nowadays emits as much carbon dioxide as it did in the 1950s, when it was 10 times smaller.

According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), carbon dioxide emissions trends for 2019 suggest clean energy transitions are underway. Global power sector emissions declined by some 170 Mt, or 1.2%, with the biggest falls taking place in the advanced economies of the European Union, Japan and the United States. There, CO2 emissions are now at levels not seen since the late 1980s, when electricity demand was one-third lower.

In these advanced economies, the average CO2 emissions intensity of electricity generation declined by nearly 6.5% in 2019. This is a rate three times faster than the average over the past decade.

This decline is driven by a switch from coal to natural gas, a rise in nuclear power and weaker electricity demand, combined with the seemingly unstoppable growth in renewables. These now constitute over 40% of the energy mix in Germany (wind power +11%) and the United Kingdom, where rapid expansion in offshore wind power generation is happening.

The bummer lies with the rest of the world.

There emissions continue to expand with close to 400 Mt last year. About 80% of that increase is happening in Asia. Coal demand here continues to expand, accounting for over 50% of energy use.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @04:33PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Have-you-tried-turning-it-off-and-restarting... dept.

Windows 7 will not go gentle into that good night: Ageing OS refuses to shut down:

It's not only end of support that Windows 7 diehards have to contend with. Late last week a new problem emerged – systems that refuse to shut down.

Complaints have been widespread on Reddit, Microsoft's official Answers forum and on on SevenForums. Some users also reported other issues, such as not being able to view their documents folder in Explorer.

Fortunately the problem seems to be fixable in most cases. The favourite solution is to tweak the UAC (User Account Control) settings with the Group Policy setting "Run all administrators in Admin Approval Mode" or the equivalent registry setting. Then run gpupdate/force, and everything goes back to normal.

There are other workarounds, such as using shutdown from the command prompt, or logging off and then shutting down.

This does not explain the reason for the problem, which appeared mysteriously on or around 7 February. There may be a clue in two other popular fixes.

Have any Soylentils run into this problem? How did you get around it?

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 12 2020, @02:42PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the will-it-blend? dept.

Ars Technica reports (with nice photos):

On Tuesday at the Singapore air show, Airbus revealed one of its new technology test beds. It's called MAVERIC—short for Model Aircraft for Validation and Experimentation of Robust Innovative Controls, and it eschews the traditional airliner shape for a more unconventional "blended wing body" (BWB) design. This packs a lot more interior volume into an aircraft than one with a traditional long, thin fuselage would for the same overall length and wingspan. In fact, Airbus has been flight testing MAVERIC in secret; the project began in 2017 and first flew in June 2019. However, don't expect to fly on it any time soon—although it's airworthy, it's also only a scale model, measuring 6.6 feet (2m) long and 10.5 feet (3.2m) wide.

[...] Airbus thinks that a BWB design should be about 20 percent more fuel efficient than a conventional single-aisle twin-engined airliner using the same engines. If that number sounds familiar, that's because it's the same fuel savings predicted by another BWB design we explored recently, the Flying V designed by the Delft University of Technology (TU Delft) in the Netherlands.

Aviation Week has more juicy details (Javascript required) for those interested:

[...] Maveric is still being flight tested says Jean-Brice Dumont, executive vice president of engineering for Airbus.

Designed specifically to evaluate flight control systems adapted for delta wing designs, the flight tests will be followed by a second round of studies to evaluate wider aspects of the configuration including safety, manufacturability, airport compatibility, maintenance and support. "Let's be clear we are studying this as an option," says Dumont. "We have already learned a lot and tests have helped us understand the flight behaviour of this kind of configuration in a real flight condition. So far we have a green light which is why [we] are unveiling it, and we are continuing with a more extensive study."

[...] However, Dumont says the real driver is the environmental concerns facing the industry. "The pressure we are under and the fact we need to disrupt to reach emissions objectives in 2050 forces us to drive down avenues we wouldn't have gone down earlier. That's because the equation was not resolvable and now we believe it is." Dumont adds BWB configurations are also particularly attractive because they can more easily support non-conventional hybrid electric and, perhaps ultimately, all-electric propulsion systems.

"To take this concept further we will need to fly a 'Scale 1' or larger demonstrator, but before that, we must answer questions about airport interface issues and the propulsion system," says Dumont.

"What's the best fit for the BWB? Right now we have two podded engines but is it the right formula? In parallel, we are testing the EcoPulse with Daher and Safran in France which is teaching us quickly about flight controls and power controls for distributed propulsion. So, we are converging this into a potential product. I'd say the next step would be flying this at a larger scale, but at exactly what scale and when I don't know."

Under the EcoPulse project Daher, Airbus and Safran plan to fly a modified TBM 900 turboprop as a distributed propulsion demonstrator by mid-2022. Although the aircraft will retain its standard nose-section engine and propeller the TBM will be modified with three small propellers on each wing. Each will be driven by a 45-kW Safran ENGINeUS electric motor, fed by batteries or an APU. Airbus is contributing battery technology and aerodynamic modelling.

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @12:51PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]

Judge approves $26 billion merger of T-Mobile and Sprint:

Shares of Sprint soared Tuesday after a U.S. District judge ruled in favor of its $26 billion deal to merge with T-Mobile.

The stock was up 75% Tuesday morning. It had risen after hours Monday after The Wall Street Journal reported the judge was expected to rule in favor of the deal. Shares of T-Mobile were up 10%.

The ruling clears one of the final hurdles for the deal, which still can't close until the California Public Utilities Commission approves the transaction. Tuesday's ruling also culminates a years-long courtship between Sprint and T-Mobile, which have made multiple attempts over the years to merge, only to abandon their plans fearing regulatory scrutiny.

Attorneys general from New York, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Oregon, Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, Virginia and D.C. originally brought the lawsuit to block the deal following approval from the Justice Department of Federal Communications Commission. The states had argued that combining the No. 3 and No. 4 U.S. carriers would limit competition and result in higher prices for consumers. The companies had argued their merger would help them compete against top players AT&T and Verizon and advance efforts to build a nationwide 5G network.

In his decision filed Tuesday, Judge Victor Marrero wrote, "The resulting stalemate leaves the Court lacking sufficiently impartial and objective ground on which to rely in basing a sound forecast of the likely competitive effects of a merger."

The judge laid out three points on which the court rejected the states' objections to the merger. First, he said, they failed to convince the court that the merged party "would pursue anticompetitive behavior that, soon after the merger, directly or indirectly, will yield higher prices or lower quality for wireless telecommunications services."

Second, the court rejected that Sprint would be able to continue operating effectively as a wireless services competitor without the merger.

"The Court is thus substantially persuaded that Sprint does not have a sustainable long-term competitive strategy and will in fact cease to be a truly national [mobile network operator]," the ruling said.

And finally, the court rejected the states' argument that Dish Network "would not enter the wireless services market as a viable competitor nor live up to its commitments to build a national wireless network." The deal called for Dish to step in as a new wireless player based on agreements with the DOJ and FCC. Shares of Dish were up 11% on the judge's ruling.

In a statement following the ruling, New York Attorney General Letitia James, who helped lead the states' push, said the states "disagree with this decision wholeheartedly, and will continue to fight the kind of consumer-harming megamergers our antitrust laws were designed to prevent." She called the ruling and called it a "loss" for Americans who rely on wireless networks and said the states will review their options, including a potential appeal.

[...] If approved by the California commission, the deal would create a new wireless competitor in Dish, which has tried for years to become a provider, spending billions on airwaves it has stored away. Under a previous deal between Dish and the DOJ and FCC, the company had a deadline this year to build a narrowband internet of things (IoT) network connecting "people and sensors and microprocessors." If the deal clears, Dish will instead focus its efforts on building a 5G network covering 20% of the country by June 2022 and 70% of the U.S. population by June 2023, with the consequence of facing a $2.2 billion payment to the U.S. Treasury if it fails to live up to its commitments.

Legere, the T-Mobile CEO, announced last year he would step down from the role and be succeeded by President and COO Mike Sievert. Legere had been expected to step down once the company's merger with Sprint was completed. Sprint and T-Mobile had initially said Legere would lead the combined company when they announced their intention to merge in April 2018.


Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @11:03AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the put-all-your-secrets-in-one-basket dept.

'The intelligence coup of the century'

In case of paywall...
CIA Secretly Owned Crypto, the Swiss Company That Ruled Global Spy Comms for Decades, Says Report

For more than half a century, governments all over the world trusted a single company to keep the communications of their spies, soldiers and diplomats secret.

The company, Crypto AG, got its first break with a contract to build code-making machines for U.S. troops during World War II. Flush with cash, it became a dominant maker of encryption devices for decades, navigating waves of technology from mechanical gears to electronic circuits and, finally, silicon chips and software.

The Swiss firm made millions of dollars selling equipment to more than 120 countries well into the 21st century. Its clients included Iran, military juntas in Latin America, nuclear rivals India and Pakistan, and even the Vatican.

But what none of its customers ever knew was that Crypto AG was secretly owned by the CIA in a highly classified partnership with West German intelligence. These spy agencies rigged the company's devices so they could easily break the codes that countries used to send encrypted messages.

For the most goodest security, use only one commercial crypto system. Trust it with all your secrets.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 12 2020, @09:10AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the call-me-maybe dept.

Samsung Announces The Galaxy Z Flip: Foldable Phone With Glass

Today Samsung announced the new Galaxy S20, S20+ and S20 Ultra, but the regular flagship phones weren't the only devices announce today as we've also seen the unveiling of the new Galaxy Z Flip. The new Z Flip is Samsung's second foldable phone to market after Galaxy Fold, but takes a new approach in terms of design as it comes in a new clamshell design with only a single primary screen.

[...] What makes the Z Flip extremely impressive though is its display. It's not the first flexible display out there, and it's relatively average with a 2636 x 1080 resolution. What makes it special, is that this is the very first display on the market that has an ultra-thin glass cover on it – yes, it's a foldable glass screen. The implications here are huge when compared to a plastic foldable screen, and the glass should be significantly more scratch resistant than plastic alternatives, making this a much more viable option when it comes to long-term durability of the phone.

Samsung's hinge mechanism was designed in such as way that it minimises dust ingress into the gears of the system. What's also special is that the phone clicks in at different angles such as 120°, instead of being freely flexible at any angle.

The phone is $1380/1480€.

Corning is making the smaller, outward-facing secondary display, but the origin of the "Ultra Thin Glass" is not yet known:

Besides the Snapdragon 855+, we have a 6.7-inch OLED display with a resolution of 2636x1080. Instead of the delicate plastic of the Galaxy Fold, the Z Flip is rumored to be covered by an "Ultra Thin Glass." We know companies are working on flexible glass for these folding smartphone displays. The industry leader is Corning, the maker of the "Gorilla Glass" cover that adorns nearly every high-end smartphone, but Corning's bendable glass solution is not on the market yet. One report out of Germany is that Samsung's partner is Schott, a German glass producer.

Also at VentureBeat.

Related: Samsung Announces the Galaxy Fold, a Phone-Tablet Hybrid Device
Corning Working on Flexible Glass for Devices
You're Folding It Wrong: Tech Reviewers Break Samsung Galaxy Fold after Just Days of Use
Samsung Galaxy Fold Delayed Indefinitely Following Reports of Broken Displays

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 12 2020, @07:17AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the that's-dense! dept.

SK Hynix has licensed technology that could enable the production of 16-layer High Bandwidth Memory (HBM) stacks. Bandwidth could also be increased by a superior interconnect density:

SK Hynix has inked a new broad patent and technology licensing agreement with Xperi Corp. Among other things, the company licensed the DBI Ultra 2.5D/3D interconnect technology developed by Invensas. The latter was designed to enable building up to 16-Hi chip assemblies, including next-generation memory, and highly-integrated SoCs that feature numerous homogeneous layers.

Invensas' DBI Ultra is a proprietary die-to-wafer hybrid bonding interconnect technology that supports from 100,000 to 1,000,000 interconnects per mm2, using interconnect pitches as small as 1 µm. According to the company, the much greater number of interconnects can offer dramatically increased bandwidth vs. conventional copper pillar interconnect technology, which only goes as high as 625 interconnects per mm2. The small interconnects also offer a shorter z-height, making it possible to build a stacked chip with 16 layers in the same space as conventional 8-Hi chips, allowing for greater memory densities.

12-Hi stacks have been specified, but have only recently reached development/production.

JEDEC (Joint Electron Device Engineering Council) has updated the HBM2 standard to accommodate 3.2Gbps/pin speeds. This is in line with Samsung's "Flashbolt" HBM2E memory (although SK Hynix and Samsung may push speeds to a further 3.6Gbps or 4.2Gbps/pin), which will enter into mass production soon. JEDEC has not adopted the "HBM2E" nomenclature used by Samsung, SK Hynix, and others.

Micron has announced that it is shipping LPDDR5 DRAM to customers. LPDDR5 will be used in the Xiaomi Mi 10, ZTE Axon 10s Pro 5G, and Samsung Galaxy S20 (yes, even 16 GB of it).

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 12 2020, @05:28AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the Gives-new-meaning-to-World-Wide-Web dept.

OneWeb's first large batch of satellites launch on Arianespace Soyuz rocket

A Soyuz rocket launched 34 small broadband satellites for OneWeb Thursday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan, marking the beginning of a multi-launch campaign for the company.

[...] The launch expands OneWeb's constellation of low Earth orbiting satellites to 40, following a Soyuz launch last February that carried six satellites.

Adrian Steckel, OneWeb's chief executive, told SpaceNews the company has another batch of 34 satellites launching from Baikonur in March before the company plans to take a monthlong break to implement spacecraft software and hardware changes. After that pause, OneWeb plans to launch once in May and once in June before potentially shifting out of a monthly launch cadence, he said.

Steckel said OneWeb still plans to achieve global coverage by the end of 2021. The company is building its satellites in Florida through a joint venture with Airbus Defence and Space called OneWeb Satellites.

Counting Thursday's launch, OneWeb plans to conduct a total of 17 or 18 Soyuz launches and one Ariane 6 launch with Arianespace to orbit 588 satellites before the end of next year, Steckel said. After those launches, OneWeb will pause again before deciding a schedule for launching 60 spares, completing the 648-satellite first-generation constellation, he said.

See also:
Op-ed | SpaceX's adaptation to market changes
SpaceX Starlink is a step closer to beaming satellite internet to Australia

OneWeb Joins the Satellite Internet Gold Rush this Week

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Wednesday February 12 2020, @03:38AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the virtual-audit dept.

A 3D Hentai Camgirl Is Taking Over Chaturbate, and Human Models Are Worried (probably NSFW)

A 3D anime woman with a black strap across her nipples is giving a lecture on YouTube about whether hentai is art or porn. "I think there's a higher demand for the odd and the fantastical," she says. "With art, it's flexible, you're allowed to explore your sexuality. And with real titties? No offense, but it's bound to the cruel weight of science, gravity, and bones that only go one way."

ProjektMelody is a virtual avatar of a woman who claims to be the world's first hentai camgirl. When she's not on YouTube, she gives regular, live shows on the camming site Chaturbate, where she dances and fondles herself for tips. She's not real, but there's a real person in there somewhere, moving her arms and speaking into a microphone to any of her 14,300 followers currently in the live chat. She only started streaming three days ago.

On Chaturbate, her location is listed as "Virtual Little Tokyo," and under smoking and drinking preferences, "literally impossible." Her birthdate is listed as July 7, 2000, but more accurately, Melody came into the world in July 2019, when ProjektMelody joined Twitter.

In the last three days since her first stream, Melody has gone from 700 Twitter followers to more than 20,000. The "more rooms like this" tab on her Chaturbate page returns an error: "Sorry, we don't have any rooms similar to projektmelody yet." That's because other cam models are human. Her sudden rise in popularity has made some who aren't working behind a full-body avatar question what place an anime avatar has on the platform.

Motion capture technology is used to animate the virtual troublemaker.

There is a Projekt Melody channel on YouTube.

Related: Gatebox: Your New Holographic AI Assistant "Waifu"
A Different Kind of Virtual Reality, or "Only in Japan" (Hatsune Miku)
The Virtual Vloggers "Taking Over" YouTube

Original Submission

posted by Fnord666 on Wednesday February 12 2020, @01:44AM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the digital-signing-FTF dept.

A kernel-level driver for old PC motherboards has been abused by criminals to hijack Windows computers, disable antivirus, and hold files to ransom.

Sophos this month reported that an arbitrary read-write flaw in a digitally signed driver for now-deprecated Gigabyte hardware was recently used by ransomware, dubbed Robbinhood, to quietly switch off security safeguards on Windows 7, 8 and 10 machines.

The problem, said Sophos, is that while Gigabyte stopped supporting and shipping the driver a while back, the software's cryptographic signature is still valid. And so, when the ransomware infects a computer – either by some other exploit or by tricking a victim into running it – and loads the driver, the operating system and antivirus packages will allow it because the driver appears legit.

At that point, the ransomware exploits the security flaw in the Gigabyte driver to alter memory to bypass protection mechanisms and inject malicious code into kernel space, completely compromising the box and allowing the file-scrambling component to run unhindered.

Also at: threatpost.

If only they used their powers for good.

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday February 11 2020, @11:56PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the HR-aka-"people-operations" dept.

Google's HR head to step down amid tension among employees:

[Eileen] Naughton, who has held various roles at the company since 2006, has led the company's human resources department as the vice president of people operations since 2016. The news was previously reported by Fortune.

Employee headcount has doubled since 2016, when Naughton took the helm, as it's added more than 70,000 employees. The company has faced considerable tension with employees over the last several years, including a November 2018 employee walk-out after employees learned the company had paid departing Android chief $90 million in 2014, despite credible claims of sexual misconduct, as well as protests over the company's plans to work with the Defense Department on artificial intelligence technology and a plan -- since abandoned -- to create a censored version of its search engine for China. In November 2019, the company fired four employees who allegedly shared internal information.

[...] Naughton's departure comes in the midst of a slow-rolling executive shakeup over the last several months. In December, founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from their roles as the CEO and President of Google's holding company, Alphabet. Sundar Pichai, who had already been Google's CEO for several years, took the helm. The company's long-time chief legal officer David Drummond retired at the end of January.

[...] A Google spokesperson confirmed Naughton will be taking another role within the company, but declined to provide any details on what that would be. She'll work with Pichai and Alphabet CFO Ruth Porat to find another leader to fill her role.

"Over the past 13 years, Eileen has made major contributions to the company in numerous areas, from media partnerships, to leading our sales and operations in the UK and Ireland, to leading our People Operations team through a period of significant growth -- during which over 70,000 people started their careers at Google," Pichai said in a statement the company sent to CNBC. "We're grateful to Eileen for all she's done and look forward to her next chapter at Google."

Google HR chief Eileen Naughton to step down amid employee tensions:

Eileen Naughton is stepping down as Google human resources chief.

Google's head of human resources, Eileen Naughton, said on Monday she will depart that role, as tensions continue to rise between company management and workers who have protested the search giant's workplace culture.

[...] The shift comes as Google faces the greatest challenges to its culture in its 21-year history. During her tenure as head of HR, activists within the search giant have protested several decisions by leadership, including the signing of an artificial intelligence contract with the Pentagon and Google's work in China. Most notably, 20,000 employees walked out of their offices in November 2018 to protest leadership's handling of sexual assault allegations.

[...] Naughton, though, said her decision to step down isn't related to any of those cultural clashes. 

"My husband and I have decided -- after six years on the road, first in London and now San Francisco -- to return home to New York to be closer to our family," Naughton said in a statement. "I'm at the very beginning of the process and wanted to let everyone know upfront, as I'll be working with [Google CEO] Sundar [Pichai] and [Google CFO] Ruth [Porat] to find a great leader for the People Operations team."

Original Submission

posted by martyb on Tuesday February 11 2020, @10:05PM   Printer-friendly [Skip to comment(s)]
from the velociraptors-on-hoverboards dept.

Discovery of a North American apex predator 16 million years older than Tyrannosaurus rex.

Scientists in Canada have announced the discovery of a new species of dinosaur closely related to Tyrannosaurus rex that strode the plain of North America about 80m years ago.

Thanatotheristes degrootorum – Greek for "reaper of death" – is thought to be the oldest member of the T rex family yet discovered in northern North America, and would have grown to around 8m (26ft) in length.

"We chose a name that embodies what this tyrannosaur was as the only known large apex predator of its time in Canada, the reaper of death," said Darla Zelenitsky, assistant professor of dinosaur palaeobiology at Canada's University of Calgary.

"The nickname has come to be Thanatos[*]," she told AFP.

[*] From Wikipedia: Thanatos.

Journal Reference:
Voris, Jared T.; Therrien, Francois; Zelenitzky, Darla K.; Brown, Caleb M. (2020). A new tyrannosaurine (Theropoda:Tyrannosauridae) from the Campanian Foremost Formation of Alberta, Canada, provides insight into the evolution and biogeography of tyrannosaurids. Cretaceous Research: 104388. doi:10.1016/j.cretres.2020.104388.

Original Submission