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posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @11:04PM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

Semiconductor testing company Teradyne recently confirmed to Reuters that it had to pull $1 billion of equipment out of China because of supply chain disruptions.

Teradyne manufactures automated testing equipment that plays an important role in chip fabs around the world. 

“We did manufacturing in China, so we had to get an emergency authorization to continue that activity,” Brian Amero, the company’s global director of compliance, is quoted by Reuters as saying. “We decided that was too risky so we moved manufacturing out of China — at no insignificant expense.”

Amero said that Teradyne had not been a “direct target” of the rules regarding supplying equipment to China.

While China is making significant strides in developing its domestic semiconductor industry, the country is still reliant on a foreign supply chain to service it.

Teradyne has been highlighted in previous reports about how reliant Chinese firms are on US semiconductor equipment suppliers, which control 80% of the market for such equipment.

A DigiTimes report from last July highlighted how China’s semiconductor equipment imports have fallen sharply, with a 24.4% quarter-on-quarter decrease in late 2022 and a further 28.1% drop in early 2023.

In total, China imports about $31 billion in semiconductor equipment a year, from firms including US-based Teradyne, Japan-based Tokyo Electron, and Netherlands-based ASML.

In 2019, China launched a $29 billion fund to help rid itself of this reliance. Last September, it announced further monetary incentives in the form of new tax credits.

[...] Beijing’s goal is for its industry to use 70% locally produced equipment.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @05:18PM   Printer-friendly

- Homepage: https://www.hirensbootcd.org/
- Download: https://www.hirensbootcd.org/download/

We have occasionally picked out specific piece of Linux software that we think might be of interest to some in our community. For example, TAILS gets an occasional mention, and we frequently discuss 'improvements' to web browser that are supposed to make our lives better in some way. This one is slightly different. It is, as far as I can recall, the first time that we have received a submission for a Windows Boot Disk.

- Hiren's BootCD PE core has been updated to Windows 11 Pro v10.0.22621.2428 (build 22621).
- 340 new drivers have been integrated into the Windows 11 PE image in the IO, Network and Storage categories.
- Almost all utilities have been updated.
- Most of the known bugs have been fixed."

"Hiren's BootCD PE (Preinstallation Environment) is a restored edition of Hiren's BootCD based on Windows 11 PE x64. Given the absence of official updates after November 2012, the PE version is currently under development by the fans of Hiren's BootCD. It features a curated selection of the best free tools while being tailored for new-age computers, supporting UEFI booting and requiring a minimum of 4 GB RAM.

Equipped with these invaluable tools, you can address various computer-related problems. Notably, it does not include any pirated software; instead, it exclusively contains free and legal software.

If your computer does not support a regular Windows 11 installation, it will likely boot with the Windows 11 PE version, as Windows PE versions have significantly lower hardware requirements. For instance, if your computer boots with the Windows 10 PE version, it is highly probable that it will also boot with the Windows 11 PE version.

Upon booting, the PE version attempts to install drivers for essential components such as graphics, sound, wireless and Ethernet cards for your hardware, facilitating connection to a WIFI or Ethernet network. If your WIFI or Ethernet card is not recognized by the PE version, kindly Contact Us with your hardware model. We will strive to incorporate the necessary drivers in upcoming releases.

Yes, I know, haters gonna hate...


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @12:35PM   Printer-friendly
from the subscription-for-life dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gaming/2024/02/after-14-5m-judgments-console-hacker-paid-nintendo-25-a-month-from-prison/

When 54-year-old Gary Bowser pleaded guilty to his role in helping Team Xecuter with their piracy-enabling line of console accessories, he realized he would likely never pay back the $14.5 million he owed Nintendo in civil and criminal penalties. In a new interview with The Guardian, though, Bowser says he began making $25 monthly payments toward those massive fines even while serving a related prison sentence.

Last year, Bowser was released after serving 14 months of that 40-month sentence (in addition to 16 months of pre-trial detention), which was spread across several different prisons. During part of that stay, Bowser tells The Guardian, he was paid $1 an hour for four-hour shifts counseling other prisoners on suicide watch.

[...] Nintendo lawyers were upfront that they pushed for jail time for Bowser to "send a message that there are consequences for participating in a sustained effort to undermine the video game industry."

[...] Bowser also maintains that he wasn't directly involved with the coding or manufacture of Team Xecuter's products and only worked on incidental details like product testing, promotion, and website coding. Speaking to Ars in 2020, Aurora, a writer for hacking news site Wololo, described Bowser as "kind of a PR guy" for Team Xecuter. Despite this, Bowser said taking a plea deal on just two charges saved him the time and money of fighting all 14 charges made against him in court.

[...] Now that he's free, Bowser says he has been relying on friends and a GoFundMe[https://www.gofundme.com/f/garyopa-restarting-his-life] page to pay for rent and necessities as he looks for a job. That search could be somewhat hampered by his criminal record and by terms of the plea deal that prevent him from working with any modern gaming hardware.

Despite this, Bowser told The Guardian that his current circumstances are still preferable to a period of homelessness he experienced during his 20s. And while console hacking might be out for Bowser, he is reportedly still "tinkering away with old-school Texas Instruments calculators" to pass the time.

Alternate source with GoFundMe link (added to the story above): Nintendo Sued a Man So Severely That He Can Only Survive on GoFundMe

Similar on SoylentNews:
Denuvo Promises to Kill Nintendo Switch Emulator Piracy With New Protection - 20220828
Nintendo Confirms Breach of 160,000 Accounts - 20200425
Nintendo Wins Lawsuit Against ROM Sites, Defendants Agree to Pay $12.23 Million - 20181114
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Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @08:30AM   Printer-friendly

Many of you will have experienced the problems with the expired certificates. Unfortunately, our one remaining sysadmin is away from home until 1400 Monday (US time - tz unknown) and he has been away for a while.

We have requested NCommander and k0lie to assist. They have declined.

We all have real jobs and lives to live too and this is just one of those things.

Unfortunately it seems that the problem will continue for another 36 hours.

UPDATE: Audioguy has fixed the site. Thank you ag! Jan

posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @07:51AM   Printer-friendly
from the idle-hands dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/02/cops-arrest-17-year-old-suspected-of-hundreds-of-swattings-nationwide/

Police suspect that a 17-year-old from California, Alan Filion, may be responsible for "hundreds of swatting incidents and bomb threats" targeting the Pentagon, schools, mosques, FBI offices, and military bases nationwide, CNN reported.
[...]
Recently extradited to Florida, Filion was charged with multiple felonies after the Seminole County Sheriff’s Office (SCSO) traced a call where Filion allegedly claimed to be a mass shooter entering the Masjid Al Hayy Mosque in Sanford, Florida. The caller played "audio of gunfire in the background," SCSO said, while referencing Satanism and claiming he had a handgun and explosive devices.
[...]
According to SCSO, police were able to track down Filion after he allegedly "created several accounts on websites offering swatting services" that were linked to various IP addresses connected to his home address. The FBI then served a search warrant on the residence and found "incriminating evidence."

Filion has been charged as an adult for a variety of offenses, including making a false report while facilitating or furthering an act of terrorism. He is currently being detained in Florida, CNN reported.

Earlier this year, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.) introduced legislation to "crack down" on swattings after he became a target at his home in December. If passed, the Preserving Safe Communities by Ending Swatting Act would impose strict penalties, including a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for any swatting that lead to serious injuries. If death results, bad actors risk a lifetime sentence. That bill is currently under review by the House Judiciary Committee.
[...]
FBI announced it would finally begin tracking swatting incidents nationwide. Hundreds of law enforcement agencies and police departments now rely on an FBI database to share information on swatting incidents.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Monday February 05, @03:09AM   Printer-friendly
from the achieving-reason-progress-and-freedom-by-dispensing-with-humility-and-nuance dept.

The theoretical promise of AI is as hopeful as the promise of social media once was, and as dazzling as its most partisan architects project. AI really could cure numerous diseases. It really could transform scholarship and unearth lost knowledge. Except that Silicon Valley, under the sway of its worst technocratic impulses, is following the playbook established in the mass scaling and monopolization of the social web:

Facebook (now Meta) has become an avatar of all that is wrong with Silicon Valley. Its self-interested role in spreading global disinformation is an ongoing crisis. Recall, too, the company’s secret mood-manipulation experiment in 2012, which deliberately tinkered with what users saw in their News Feed in order to measure how Facebook could influence people’s emotional states without their knowledge. Or its participation in inciting genocide in Myanmar in 2017. Or its use as a clubhouse for planning and executing the January 6, 2021, insurrection. (In Facebook’s early days, Zuckerberg listed “revolutions” among his interests. This was around the time that he had a business card printed with I’M CEO, BITCH.)

And yet, to a remarkable degree, Facebook’s way of doing business remains the norm for the tech industry as a whole, even as other social platforms (TikTok) and technological developments (artificial intelligence) eclipse Facebook in cultural relevance.

The new technocrats claim to embrace Enlightenment values, but in fact they are leading an antidemocratic, illiberal movement.

[...] The Shakespearean drama that unfolded late last year at OpenAI underscores the extent to which the worst of Facebook’s “move fast and break things” mentality has been internalized and celebrated in Silicon Valley. OpenAI was founded, in 2015, as a nonprofit dedicated to bringing artificial general intelligence into the world in a way that would serve the public good. Underlying its formation was the belief that the technology was too powerful and too dangerous to be developed with commercial motives alone.

Related:


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday February 04, @10:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the ass-technica-website! dept.

https://arstechnica.com/science/2024/01/study-closing-toilet-lid-while-flushing-doesnt-stop-spread-of-airborne-bacteria/

"If it's something you can't see, it's easy to pretend it doesn't exist," study co-author John Crimaldi said at the time. They found that the ejected airborne particles could travel up to 6.6 feet per second, reaching heights of 4.9 feet above the toilet within 8 seconds. And if those particles were smaller (less than 5 microns), they could hang around in that air for over a minute.

More relevant to this latest paper, it has been suggested that closing the lid before flushing could substantially reduce the airborne spread of contaminants. For example, in 2019, researchers at University College Cork deployed bioaerosol sensors in a shared lavatory for a week to monitor the number and size of contaminant particles. They concluded that flushing with the toilet lid down reduced airborne droplets between 30 and 60 percent. But this scenario also increased the diameter of the droplets and bacteria concentration. Leaving the lid down also means the airborne microdroplets are still detectable 16 minutes after flushing, 11 minutes longer than if one flushed with the lid up.

[...] Perhaps the least surprising finding is that rigorous cleaning with a toilet bowl brush and Lysol reduced the contamination by 99.99 percent compared to cleaning with just a brush. Therefore, "The most effective strategy for reducing restroom cross-contamination associated with toilet flushing include the addition of a disinfectant to the toilet bowl before flushing and the use of disinfectant/detergent dispensers in the toilet tank," the authors concluded. They also recommend regularly disinfecting all restroom surfaces after flushing or cleaning with a toilet brush in health care facilities—which often have a lot of immunocompromised people—and if someone in your house has an active infection like norovirus.

Got it. Pardon us while we scrub our toilet bowls with Lysol and stock up on toilet tank disinfectant dispensers.

American Journal of Infection Control, 2024. DOI: 10.1016/j.ajic.2023.11.020 (About DOIs).


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday February 04, @05:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the I-can-see-you-through-the-keyhole dept.

Apparently the bad guys can now use a device's ambient light sensor:

That tape over your webcam may not be enough. Researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) have highlighted imaging privacy threats enabled by ambient light sensors, in a paper recently published in Science Advances. Device users concerned with security and privacy may be comforted by hardware solutions (shutters) and software permissions restricting webcam use. However, researchers have shown visual information can be gathered via one of the common ambient light sensors installed in many devices. These small sensors usually aren’t shuttered or disabled by users and are typically permission-free on a device level.

Ambient light sensors are categorized as low-risk by device makers and can often be accessed directly by software (or malware) without any permissions or privileges. Nevertheless, previous studies have shown such a rudimentary sensor can provide enough information to infer keystrokes on a virtual keyboard and steal a device PIN, about 80% of the time. The new research shows what an ambient light sensor can do when combined with an active light source component – namely the device' screen.

For their experiments, the MIT researchers used a Samsung Galaxy View 2. This rather old and large (17.3-inch) consumer tablet has its ambient light sensor next to the front-facing (selfie) camera, which is still a very common configuration.

[...] The scientists explained that the ambient light sensor reads the light emitted by the screen shining on a person’s face and being partially blocked by the hand / screen interaction. A whole lot of complicated math, aided by AI and image processing technology, was used by the researchers to deliver their results.

Journal Reference: Imaging privacy threats from an ambient light sensor - Yang Liu, Gregory W. Wornell, William T. Freeman, and Frédo Durand - https://www.science.org/doi/10.1126/sciadv.adj3608

Related: Now That Everyone's Using Zoom, Here Are Some Privacy Risks You Need to Watch Out For


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Sunday February 04, @12:54PM   Printer-friendly

https://physicsworld.com/a/nuclear-powered-spacecraft-why-dreams-of-atomic-rockets-are-back-on/

Launching rockets into space with atomic bombs is a crazy idea that was thankfully discarded many decades ago. But as Richard Corfield discovers, the potential of using the energy from nuclear-powered engines to drive space travel is back on NASA’s agenda

In 1914 H G Wells published The World Set Free, a novel based on the notion that radium might one day power spaceships. Wells, who was familiar with the work of physicists such as Ernest Rutherford, knew that radium could produce heat and envisaged it being used to turn a turbine. The book might have been a work of fiction, but The World Set Free correctly foresaw the potential of what one might call “atomic spaceships”.

The idea of using nuclear energy for space travel took hold in the 1950s when the public – having witnessed the horrors of Hiroshima and Nagasaki – gradually became convinced of the utility of nuclear power for peaceful purposes. Thanks to programmes such as America’s Atoms for Peace, people began to see that nuclear power could be used for energy and transport. But perhaps the most radical application lay in spaceflight.

Among the strongest proponents of nuclear-powered space travel was the eminent mathematical physicist Freeman Dyson. In 1958 he took a year’s sabbatical from the Institute of Advanced Study in Princeton to work at General Atomics in San Diego on a project code-named Orion. The brainchild of Ted Taylor – a physicist who had worked on the Manhattan atomic-bomb project at Las Alamos – Project Orion aimed to build a 4000-tonne spaceship that would use 2600 nuclear bombs to propel it into space.

[...] Despite Project Orion ending, the lure of nuclear propulsion never really went away (see box “Nuclear space travel: a brief history”) and is now enjoying something of a resurgence. Rather than using atomic bombs, however, the idea is to transfer the energy from a nuclear fission reactor to a propellant fuel, which would be heated to roughly 2500 K and ejected via a nozzle in a process called “nuclear thermal propulsion” (NTP). Alternatively, the fission energy could ionize a gas that would be fired out of the back of the spacecraft – what’s known as “nuclear electric propulsion” (NEP).

So, is nuclear-powered space travel a realistic prospect and, if so, which technology will win out? [...] A nuclear spacecraft would instead use fission energy to heat a fuel (figure 1) – most likely cryogenically stored liquid hydrogen, which has a low molecular mass and high heat of combustion. “Nuclear propulsion, either electric or thermal, could extract more energy from a given mass of fuel than is possible via combustion-based propulsion,” says Dale Thomas, a former associate director at NASA’s Marshall Space Flight Center, now at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.

Thomas says that today’s most efficient chemical propulsion systems can achieve a specific impulse of about 465 seconds. NTP, in contrast, can have a specific impulse of almost 900 seconds due to the higher power density of nuclear reactions. Combined with a much higher thrust-to-weight ratio, NTP could get a rocket to Mars in just 500 days, rather than 900.

“The thrust-to-weight ratio is crucial because it determines the spacecraft’s ability to accelerate, which is especially critical during key mission phases, like escaping Earth’s gravity or manoeuvring in deep space,” says Mauro Augelli, head of launch systems at the UK Space Agency. “The specific impulse, on the other hand, is a measure of how effectively a rocket uses its propellant.”


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @09:23PM   Printer-friendly
from the oops-ibm-does-not-own-the-community dept.

Red Hat's new source code policy and the intense pushback, explained:

When CentOS announced in 2020 that it was shutting down its traditional "rebuild" of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL) to focus on its development build, Stream, CentOS suggested the strategy "removes confusion." Red Hat, which largely controlled CentOS by then, considered it "a natural, inevitable next step."

Last week, the IBM-owned Red Hat continued "furthering the evolution of CentOS Stream" by announcing that CentOS Stream would be "the sole repository for public RHEL-related source code releases," with RHEL's core code otherwise restricted to a customer portal. (RHEL access is free for individual developers and up to 16 servers, but that's largely not the issue here).

Red Hat's post was a rich example of burying the lede and a decisive moment for many who follow the tricky balance of Red Hat's open source commitments and service contract business. Here's what followed.

Rocky Linux, launched by CentOS co-founder Greg Kurtzer as a replacement RHEL-compatible distro, announced Thursday that it believes Red Hat's moves "violate the spirit and purpose of open source." Using a few different methods (Universal Base Image containers, pay-per-use public cloud instances), Rocky Linux intends to maintain what it considers legitimate access to RHEL code under the GNU General Public License (GPL) and make the code public as soon as it exists.

"[O]ur unwavering dedication and commitment to open source and the Enterprise Linux community remain steadfast," the project wrote in its blog post.

AlmaLinux, a similarly RHEL-derived distribution, is also working to keep providing RHEL-compatible updates and downstream rebuilds. "The process is more labor intensive as we require gathering data and patches from several sources, comparing them, testing them, and then building them for release," wrote Jack Aboutboul, community manager for AlmaLinux, in a blog post. "But rest assured, updates will continue flowing just as they have been."

The Software Freedom Conservancy's Bradley M. Kuhn weighed in last week with a comprehensive overview of RHEL's business model and its tricky relationship with GPL compliance. Red Hat's business model "skirts" GPL violation but had only twice previously violated the GPL in newsworthy ways, Kuhn wrote. Withholding Complete Corresponding Source (CCS) from the open web doesn't violate the GPL itself, but by doing so, Red Hat makes it more difficult for anyone to verify the company's GPL compliance.

Kuhn expressed sadness that "this long road has led the FOSS community to such a disappointing place."

Shorter, pithier versions of the GPL-minded community's reaction to Red Hat's news are exemplified by Jeff Geerling's blog post called "Dear Red Hat: Are you dumb?," or his YouTube Video "Huge Open Source Drama." Geerling, who says he's dropping RHEL support from his Ansible and other software projects, says that Red Hat's moves are intended to "destroy" Rocky, Alma, and other RHEL derivatives and that after the "knife in the back" of abandoning full CentOS Linux, the recent moves "took that knife and twisted it, hard."

See also:

RHEL's Source Code Access Change Is Causing Issues For CentOS SIGs:


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @04:40PM   Printer-friendly
from the was-it-worth-it? dept.

A former CIA programmer was sentenced to 40 years in prison on Thursday for leaking the US spy agency's most valuable hacking tools to WikiLeaks:

Joshua Schulte, 35, was found guilty in 2022 of espionage and other charges in what the CIA called a "digital Pearl Harbor" -- the largest data breach in the history of the intelligence agency.

[...] US District Judge Jesse Furman sentenced Schulte to 40 years in prison for espionage, computer hacking, contempt of court, making false statements to the FBI and child pornography.

Schulte worked for the CIA's elite hacking unit from 2012 to 2016 when he quietly took cyber tools used to break into computer and technology systems, according to court documents.

After quitting his job, he sent them to WikiLeaks, which began publishing the classified data in March 2017.

[...] The leaked data included a collection of malware, viruses, trojans, and "zero day" exploits that, once leaked out, were available for use by foreign intelligence groups, hackers and cyber extortionists around the world, they said.

Previously:


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @11:53AM   Printer-friendly
from the think-of-the-AI-generated-children dept.

https://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/2024/01/surge-of-fake-ai-child-sex-images-thwarts-investigations-into-real-child-abuse/

Law enforcement is continuing to warn that a "flood" of AI-generated fake child sex images is making it harder to investigate real crimes against abused children, The New York Times reported.

Last year, after researchers uncovered thousands of realistic but fake AI child sex images online, every attorney general across the US quickly called on Congress to set up a committee to squash the problem. But so far, Congress has moved slowly, while only a few states have specifically banned AI-generated non-consensual intimate imagery.
[...]
"Creating sexually explicit images of children through the use of artificial intelligence is a particularly heinous form of online exploitation," Steve Grocki, the chief of the Justice Department's child exploitation and obscenity section, told The Times. Experts told The Washington Post in 2023 that risks of realistic but fake images spreading included normalizing child sexual exploitation, luring more children into harm's way and making it harder for law enforcement to find actual children being harmed.

In one example, the FBI announced earlier this year that an American Airlines flight attendant, Estes Carter Thompson III, was arrested "for allegedly surreptitiously recording or attempting to record a minor female passenger using a lavatory aboard an aircraft." A search of Thompson's iCloud revealed "four additional instances" where Thompson allegedly recorded other minors in the lavatory, as well as "over 50 images of a 9-year-old unaccompanied minor" sleeping in her seat. While police attempted to identify these victims, they also "further alleged that hundreds of images of AI-generated child pornography" were found on Thompson's phone.
[...]
The NYT report noted that in 2002, the Supreme Court struck down a law that had been on the books since 1996 preventing "virtual" or "computer-generated child pornography." South Carolina's attorney general, Alan Wilson, has said that AI technology available today may test that ruling, especially if minors continue to be harmed by fake AI child sex images spreading online. In the meantime, federal laws such as obscenity statutes may be used to prosecute cases, the NYT reported.

Congress has recently re-introduced some legislation to directly address AI-generated non-consensual intimate images after a wide range of images depicting fake AI porn of pop star Taylor Swift went viral this month.
[...]
There's also the "Preventing Deepfakes of Intimate Images Act," which seeks to "prohibit the non-consensual disclosure of digitally altered intimate images." That was re-introduced this year after teen boys generated AI fake nude images of female classmates and spread them around a New Jersey high school last fall. Francesca Mani, one of the teen victims in New Jersey, was there to help announce the proposed law, which includes penalties of up to two years' imprisonment for sharing harmful images.

Previously on SoylentNews:
AI-Generated Child Sex Imagery Has Every US Attorney General Calling for Action - 20230908
Cheer Mom Used Deepfake Nudes and Threats to Harass Daughter's Teammates, Police Say - 20210314


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @07:07AM   Printer-friendly

Arthur T Knackerbracket has processed the following story:

A medical treatment given to children in the UK may have led to some developing Alzheimer’s disease decades later, new research out Monday suggests. The study presents evidence that at least five people contracted the neurodegenerative disorder from having received human growth hormones contaminated with rogue amyloid beta protein. The authors point out that Alzheimer’s cannot be caught person-to-person through conventional means, however, and this specific infection risk no longer exists today.

Starting in the 1950s, scientists learned how to extract human growth hormone (HGH) from the pituitary glands of cadavers. Unfortunately, the method only provided minute amounts of hormone at a time, which limited the supply of HGH available for medical and research purposes. As a result, its distribution was meticulously handled, and it was typically only given to treat the most severe growth-related conditions in children.

This remained the status quo for the next 30 years, with more than 20,000 children worldwide having received this form of cadaver-derived HGH. But in the mid-1980s, health officials in the U.S. and elsewhere began to get unusual reports of people coming down with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), a rare but universally fatal neurodegenerative disease. These cases were happening in much younger people than typically seen with CJD, and it was soon discovered those affected shared a history of past HGH treatment. Within months of this discovery, the U.S. and other countries shut down their cadaver HGH programs.

These cases, as it turned out, were caused by HGH seeded with a person’s misfolded prions—mutinous proteins that eat away at the brain by gradually transforming normal prions into their misfolded form. It can take years to decades before the symptoms of a prion disease appear, explaining why it took so long for the connection to be discovered. As of today, there have been around 220 cases of Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease linked to cadaver-derived HGH, with some showing up to 40 years later.

[...] The paper details eight patients who visited the UCL’s National Prion Clinic. Five of them appear to have developed early onset Alzheimer’s, with a sixth having mild cognitive impairment. But none of the patients seemed to have known genetic mutations that cause Alzheimer’s to happen at a younger age or other shared factors besides a past history of HGH treatment.

Alzheimer’s is caused by the build-up of two misfolded proteins in the brain, amyloid beta and tau, with amyloid beta seen as the driving force of the two. The team’s past research has found amyloid beta inside the brains of people who died from HGH-caused Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, as well as inside samples of preserved HGH. And in the lab, they’ve been able to successfully cause mice to develop Alzheimer’s-like illness after exposing them to these contaminated samples.

Put all the pieces together, the study authors say, and it’s enough to show that “Alzheimer’s disease should now be recognized as a potentially transmissible disorder.”

[...] “It is important to stress that the circumstances through which we believe these individuals tragically developed Alzheimer’s are highly unusual, and to reinforce that there is no risk that the disease can be spread between individuals or in routine medical care,” said study author Jonathan Schott, a UCL neurologist and chief medical officer at Alzheimer’s Research UK, in a statement from the university. “These findings do, however, provide potentially valuable insights into disease mechanisms, and pave the way for further research which we hope will further our understanding of the causes of more typical, late onset Alzheimer’s disease.”

More Information: Iatrogenic Alzheimer's disease in recipients of cadaveric pituitary-derived growth hormone
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1038/s41591-023-02729-2.


Original Submission

posted by janrinok on Saturday February 03, @02:22AM   Printer-friendly

A Consumer Reports analysis looks at who is sending information about your online activity to Facebook

By now most internet users know their online activity is constantly tracked. No one should be shocked to see ads for items they previously searched for, or to be asked if their data can be shared with an unknown number of "partners."

But what is the scale of this surveillance? Judging from data collected by Facebook and newly described in a unique study by Consumer Reports (PDF), it's massive, and examining the data may leave you with more questions than answers.

Using a panel of 709 volunteers who shared archives of their Facebook data, Consumer Reports found that a total of 186,892 companies sent data about them to the social network. On average, each participant in the study had their data sent to Facebook by 2,230 companies. That number varied significantly, with some panelists' data listing over 7,000 companies providing their data. The Markup helped Consumer Reports recruit participants for the study. Participants downloaded an archive of the previous three years of their data from their Facebook settings, then provided it to Consumer Reports.

[...] Meta spokesperson Emil Vazquez defended the company's practices. "We offer a number of transparency tools to help people understand the information that businesses choose to share with us, and manage how it's used," wrote Vazquez in an emailed statement to The Markup.

While Meta does provide transparency tools like the one that enabled the study, Consumer Reports identified problems with them, including that the identity of many data providers is unclear from the names disclosed to users and that companies that provide services to advertisers are often allowed to ignore opt-out requests.

This article was copublished with The Markup, a nonprofit, investigative newsroom that challenges technology to serve the public good.

Consumer Reports

[Also Covered By]: Schneier on Security


Original Submission

posted by hubie on Friday February 02, @09:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the subscription-everything dept.

https://arstechnica.com/gadgets/2024/01/apple-declares-last-macbook-pro-with-an-optical-drive-obsolete/

Sometimes, it's worth taking a moment to note the end of an era, even when that ending might have happened a long time ago. Today, Apple announced that it considers the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro obsolete. It was the last MacBook Pro to include an optical drive for playing CDs or DVDs.

This means that any MacBook Pro with an optical drive is no longer supported.
[...]
Apple stopped selling the mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro in October 2016 (it was available for a while as the company's budget option in the Pro lineup), so anyone doing the math saw this coming.
[...]
The exclusion of an optical drive in subsequent MacBook Pro models was controversial, but it's now clear that whether Apple was jumping the gun at that point or not, optical drives have fallen away for most users, and many Windows laptops no longer include them.
[...]
That's a sign of just how irrelevant optical drives are for today's users, but this seems like a good time to remember a bygone era of physical media that wasn't so long ago. So farewell, mid-2012 13-inch MacBook Pro—honestly, most of us didn't miss you by this point.

[Do you still have a collection of Blu-rays/DVDs? Do you use an Optical Disc drive anymore?] I do.


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