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13/04/2021 20:06:05  

Hackers could take control of victims' computers just by tricking them into clicking on a Steam invite to play Counter Strike: Global Offensive, Motherboard reports, citing a bug filing review. From a report: A bug in the game engine used in Counter Strike: Global Offensive could be exploited by hackers to take full control of a target's machine. A security researcher alerted Valve about the bug in June of 2019. Valve is the maker of Source Engine, which is used by CS:GO, Team Fortress 2, and several other games. The researcher, who goes by the name Florian, said that while that the bug has been fixed in some games that use the Source engine, it is still present in CS:GO, and he demonstrated it in a call with Motherboard. Florian's correspondence with Valve occurred on HackerOne, the bug bounty platform used by the company to get reports about vulnerabilities. Valve admitted that it was being slow to respond, even though it classified the bug as "critical" in the thread with the researchers, which Motherboard reviewed. "I am honestly very disappointed because they straight up ignored me most of the time," Florian said in an online chat.

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13/04/2021 20:06:04  

Catalin Cimpanu, reporting at Record: Security researchers have found a new set of vulnerabilities that impact hundreds of millions of servers, smart devices, and industrial equipment. Called NAME:WRECK, the vulnerabilities have been discovered by enterprise IoT security firm Forescout as part of its internal research program named Project Memoria -- which the company describes as "an initiative that aims at providing the cybersecurity community with the largest study on the security of TCP/IP stacks." Although never visible to end-users, TCP/IP stacks are libraries that vendors add to their firmware to support internet connectivity and other networking functions for their devices. These libraries are very small but, in most cases, underpin the most basic functions of a device, and any vulnerability here exposes users to remote attacks. The NAME:WRECK research is the fifth set of vulnerabilities impacting TCP/IP libraries that have been disclosed over the past three years, and the third set disclosed part of Project Memoria.

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13/04/2021 19:06:05  

Professional political trolling is still a thriving underground industry around the world, despite crackdowns from the biggest tech firms. From a report: Coordinated online disinformation efforts offer governments and political actors a fast, cheap way to get under rivals' skin. They also offer a paycheck to people who are eager for work, typically in developing countries. "It's a more sophisticated means of disinformation to weaken your advisories," said Todd Carroll, CISO and VP of Cyber Operations at CybelAngel. Facebook last week said it had uncovered a massive troll farm in Albania, linked to an Iranian militant group. The operation had the the hallmarks of a typical troll farm, which Facebook defines as "a physical location where a collective of operators share computers and phones to jointly manage a pool of fake accounts as part of an influence operation." "The main thing we saw was strange signals centralized coordination between different fake accounts," said Ben Nimmo, Facebook's global influence operations threat intelligence lead. Like numerous troll farms uncovered over the past few years, there was one easy giveaway: content from the network targeted Iran, but was posted on social media during normal working hours on Central European Time.

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13/04/2021 18:06:05  

Microsoft's long-awaited new webcam is finally here, alongside a number of accessories designed for the work from home era. From a report: Rumors of a new Microsoft webcam have been circulating for years, and the result is what Microsoft calls the Modern Webcam. It's a fairly basic and affordable 1080p webcam that will start shipping for $69.99 in June. The Microsoft Modern Webcam will support up to 1080p HDR output at 30fps and connects via USB-A, not USB-C. It's not the 4K webcam found on Microsoft's Surface Hub 2, and it doesn't include Windows Hello support either. It's really a simple webcam designed for students or workers to quickly add a better video calling option to an existing laptop or PC. Microsoft is also including a privacy shutter and LED indicator to let people easily see when the webcam is active. Microsoft is also launching a new USB-C speaker. The Modern USB-C Speaker is designed primarily for Microsoft Teams, and it even includes a button to launch a control panel for Teams with quick actions for meetings.

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13/04/2021 18:06:04  

An Indian security researcher has published today proof-of-concept exploit code for a recently discovered vulnerability impacting Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, and other Chromium-based browsers like Opera and Brave. From a report: The researcher, Rajvardhan Agarwal, told The Record today that the exploit code is for a Chromium bug that was used during the Pwn2Own hacking contest that took place last week. During the contest, security researchers Bruno Keith (@bkth_) & Niklas Baumstark (@_niklasb) of Dataflow Security used a vulnerability to run malicious code inside Chrome and Edge, for which they received $100,000. Per contest rules, details about this bug were handed over to the Chrome security team so the bug could be patched as soon as possible. While details about the exact nature of the bug were never publicly disclosed, Agarwal told The Record he spotted the patches for this bug by looking at the source code commits to the V8 JavaScript engine, a component of the Chromium open-source browser project, which allowed him to recreate the Pwn2Own exploit, which he uploaded earlier today on GitHub, and shared on Twitter. However, while Chromium developers have patched the V8 bug last week, the patch has not yet been integrated into official releases of downstream Chromium-based browsers such as Chrome, Edge, and others, which are still vulnerable to attacks.

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13/04/2021 17:06:07  

If you're wondering when Apple will hold its next event, Siri may have the answer. From a report: Ask the digital helper: "When is the next Apple event?" and it will respond with "the special event is on Tuesday, April 20, at Apple Park in Cupertino, CA. You can get all the details on Apple.com." MacRumors, which spotted the reply, says the virtual assistant is providing it in certain instances on iPhone, iPad, Mac, and HomePod. While it's an open secret that Apple is planning an event for later this month where it's expected to debut a new iPad Pro, Siri has seemingly leaked the date ahead of confirmation. We won't have to wait long to find out if the info is correct, though. Apple normally sends out invites to the press a week ahead of the proceedings, so it should make it official later today. The event itself is expected to be a virtual affair starring the iPad Pro (in two sizes) and possibly featuring the AirTags Bluetooth tracker. Apple's next premium slate reportedly features a Mini LED display on the flagship 12.9-inch model, but supply chain issues could see it ship later than planned and in limited quantities.

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13/04/2021 16:06:05  

Microsoft on Tuesday announced a new 2021 Surface Laptop, called the Surface Laptop 4. The new version adds 11th-gen Intel Core processors, paired with Intel Iris XE graphics. There's also an AMD processor option -- Zen 2 series -- with a graphics chip called AMD Radeon Graphics Microsoft Surface Edition. From a report: For all the buzz Microsoft's Surface tablets get, I've always thought the Surface Laptop was actually Microsoft's secret weapon. Since Surface Laptop debuted in 2017, it's been a strong contender for the best all-purpose slim Windows laptop. But plenty of companies offer 13-inch-class slim laptops, all hoping to be the Windows version of Apple's ubiquitous MacBook Air. (Microsoft also introduced a 15-inch version in 2019.) Microsoft says the Surface Laptop has the Surface line's highest level of customer satisfaction. Besides simply working well and being stylish and easy to use, the Surface Laptop was frequently on sale at very reasonable prices, making it a great way to get a rock-solid clamshell laptop for not much money. Shortly before the Surface Laptop 4 preorders went live, you could still order a Core i5 13-inch Surface Laptop 3 (with 8GB RAM and a 128GB SSD) for $769, or $899 for a 256GB SSD.

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13/04/2021 16:06:04  

iggymanz writes: The U.S. is recommending a "pause" in using the single-dose Johnson & Johnson COVID-19 vaccine to investigate reports of potentially dangerous blood clots. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Food and Drug Administration said Tuesday they were investigating unusual clots that occurred 6 to 13 days after vaccination. The clots occurred in veins that drain blood from the brain and occurred together with low platelets. All six cases were in women between the ages of 18 and 48; there was one death and all remained under investigation. The reports appear similar to a rare, unusual type of clotting disorder that European authorities say is possibly linked to another COVID-19 vaccine not yet cleared in the U.S., from AstraZeneca. More than 6.8 million doses of the J&J vaccine have been administered in the U.S., the vast majority with no or mild side effects.

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13/04/2021 14:06:06  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: The next few years will see billions of users regularly using facial recognition technology to secure payments made through their smartphone, tablets or smartwatches, according to new analysis carried out by Juniper Research. Smartphone owners are already used to staring at their screens to safely unlock their devices without having to dial in a secret code; now, facial recognition will increasingly be deployed to verify the identity of a user making a payment with their handset, whether that's via an app or directly in-store, in wallet mode. In addition to facial features, Juniper Research's analysts predict that a host of biometrics will be used to authenticate mobile payments, including fingerprint, iris and voice recognition. Biometric capabilities will reach 95% of smartphones globally by 2025, according to the researchers; by that time, users' biological characteristics will be authenticating over $3 trillion-worth of payment transactions -- up from $404 billion in 2020. [...] "All you need for software-based facial recognition is a front-facing camera on the device and accompanying software," Nick Maynard, lead analyst at Juniper Research, tells ZDNet. "In a hardware-based system, there will be additional hardware layers that add additional security levels. It's increasingly important to differentiate because hardware-based systems are the more secure of the two." Maynard's research shows that between now and 2025, the number of handsets using hardware-based systems will grow by a dramatic 376% to reach 17% of smartphones. Juniper expects the number of smartphone owners using [software-based facial recognition systems] to secure payments to grow by 120% to 2025, to reach 1.4 billion devices -- that is, roughly 27% of smartphones globally. "Hardware-based systems obviously have additional costs per device," adds Maynard, "but the reason it is growing well is really that Apple has been driving it forward. They've made the technology a part of their high-end devices, and shown that hardware-based facial recognition technology can be done and can be very secure." "Software-based facial recognition is strong because it's very easy to deploy," Maynard continues, "but we are expecting a shift towards hardware-based systems as software becomes invalidated by fraudster approaches. Fraudster methods are always evolving, and the hardware needs to evolve with it."

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13/04/2021 11:05:59  

fahrbot-bot shares a report from Phys.Org: Why is sugar not transparent? Because light that penetrates a piece of sugar is scattered, altered and deflected in a highly complicated way. However, as a research team from TU Wien (Vienna) and Utrecht University (Netherlands) has now been able to show, there is a class of very special light waves for which this does not apply: for any specific disordered medium -- such as the sugar cube you may just have put in your coffee -- tailor-made light beams can be constructed that are practically not changed by this medium, but only attenuated. The light beam penetrates the medium, and a light pattern arrives on the other side that has the same shape as if the medium were not there at all. This idea of "scattering-invariant modes of light" can also be used to specifically examine the interior of objects. The results have now been published in the journal Nature Photonics. This method of finding light patterns that penetrate an object largely undisturbed could also be used for imaging procedures. "In hospitals, X-rays are used to look inside the body -- they have a shorter wavelength and can therefore penetrate our skin. But the way a light wave penetrates an object depends not only on the wavelength, but also on the waveform," says Matthias Kuhmayer, who works as a Ph.D. student on computer simulations of wave propagation. "If you want to focus light inside an object at certain points, then our method opens up completely new possibilities. We were able to show that using our approach the light distribution inside the zinc oxide layer can also be specifically controlled."

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13/04/2021 11:05:58  

Google has announced that the Google Play Movies and TV app will no longer be available on any Roku set-top box or any Samsung, LG, Vizio or Roku smart TV starting July 15th. The Verge reports: If you have movies or TV shows purchased or rented through the service, you'll still be able to access them through the "Your movies and shows" section of the YouTube app on those devices. This change will also affect you if if you used the Movies and TV app to access Movies Anywhere, the service that allows you to redeem codes from DVDs and Blu-rays so you can access your media digitally. Google has confirmed to The Verge that users who relied on Play Movies and TV to access that content will be able to do so through YouTube. There are a few other caveats to note in the transition to YouTube. Your Watchlist will no longer be viewable in the app (though it can still be seen on the web by Googling "my watchlist"), and while your family can still share the content you bought from the Movie and TV store, any purchases made in the YouTube app won't be shared with your family. [The Verge's article breaks down all the various ways you can access the content you purchased through the Play Store after July 15th.]

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13/04/2021 08:05:59  

According to the Associated Press, Japan's government decided it will start releasing treated radioactive water accumulated at the crippled Fukushima nuclear plant into the Pacific Ocean in two years. From the report: Under the basic plan adopted Tuesday by the ministers, Tokyo Electric Power Company Holdings, also known as TEPCO, will start releasing the water in about two years after building a facility and compiling release plans adhering to safety requirements. It said the disposal of the water cannot be postponed further and is necessary to improve the environment surrounding the plant so residents can live there safely. TEPCO says its water storage capacity of 1.37 million tons will be full around fall of 2022. Also, the area now filled with storage tanks will have to be freed up for building new facilities needed for removing melted fuel debris from inside the reactors and for other decommissioning work that's expected to start in coming years. In the decade since the tsunami disaster, water meant to cool the nuclear material has constantly escaped from the damaged primary containment vessels into the basements of the reactor buildings. To make up for the loss, more water has been pumped into the reactors to continue to cool the melted fuel. Water is also pumped out and treated, part of which is recycled as cooling water, and the remainder stored in 1,020 tanks now holding 1.25 million tons of radioactive water. Those tanks that occupy a large space at the plant interfere with the safe and steady progress of the decommissioning, Economy and Industry Minister Hiroshi Kajiyama said. The tanks also could be damaged and leak in case of another powerful earthquake or tsunami, the report said. Releasing the water to the ocean was described as the most realistic method by a government panel that for nearly seven years had discussed how to dispose of the water. The report it prepared last year mentioned evaporation as a less desirable option. About 70% of the water in the tanks is contaminated beyond discharge limits but will be filtered again and diluted with seawater before it is released, the report says. According to a preliminary estimate, gradual releases of water will take more than 30 years but will be completed before the plant is fully decommissioned. Japan will abide by international rules for a release, obtain support from the International Atomic Energy Agency and others, and ensure disclosure of data and transparency to gain understanding of the international community, the report said. China blasted the Japanese government for being "extremely irresponsible," and warned that it might take action. "The Japanese side has yet to exhaust all avenues of measures, disregarded domestic and external opposition, has decided to unilaterally release the Fukushima plant's nuclear waste water without full consultation with its neighboring countries and the international community," the foreign ministry statement said. "This action is extremely irresponsible and will pose serious harm to the health and safety of the people in neighboring countries and the international community." South Korea also isn't happy with Japan's decision. "The government expresses strong regret over the Japanese government's decision to release contaminated water from the Fukushima nuclear plant into the ocean," said Koo Yoon-cheol, head of South Korea's Office for Government Policy Coordination.

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13/04/2021 06:05:59  

Apple has been a laggard in the smart-home space, but a versatile new device in early development could change that. From a Bloomberg report: The company is working on a product that would combine an Apple TV set-top box with a HomePod speaker and include a camera for video conferencing through a connected TV and other smart-home functions, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. The device's other capabilities would include standard Apple TV box functions like watching video and gaming plus smart speaker uses such as playing music and using Apple's Siri digital assistant. If launched, it would represent Apple's most ambitious smart-home hardware offering to date. The Cupertino, California-based technology giant is also mulling the launch of a high-end speaker with a touch screen to better compete with market leaders Google and Amazon.com, the people said. Such a device would combine an iPad with a HomePod speaker and also include a camera for video chat. Apple has explored connecting the iPad to the speaker with a robotic arm that can move to follow a user around a room, similar to Amazon's latest Echo Show gadget. Development of both Apple products is still in the early stages, and the company could decide to launch neither or change key features. The company often works on new concepts and devices without ultimately shipping them.

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13/04/2021 06:05:58  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ScienceAlert: [T]here's been a longstanding question over whether heavy water tastes the same as regular drinking water -- or whether its subtle isotopic variation yields a different taste that people may be able to perceive. "There is anecdotal evidence from the 1930s that the taste of pure D2O is distinct from the neutral one of pure H2O, being described mostly as 'sweet,'" an international team of researchers led by first authors and biochemists Natalie Ben Abu and Philip E. Mason explains in a new study. [I]n their new research, Ben Abu, Mason, and their team can finally confirm that there really is something a bit different about the taste of heavy water. "Despite the fact that the two isotopes are nominally chemically identical, we have shown conclusively that humans can distinguish by taste (which is based on chemical sensing) between H2O and D2O, with the latter having a distinct sweet taste," explains senior author and physical chemist Pavel Jungwirth from the Czech Academy of Sciences. In a taste-testing experiment with 28 participants, most people were able to distinguish between H2O and D2O, and tests with mixed amounts of the waters revealed that greater proportions of heavy water were perceived as tasting sweeter. In tests with mice, however, the animals did not seem to prefer drinking heavy water over regular water, although they did show a preference for sugared water -- suggesting that in mice, D2O does not elicit the same sweet taste that people can perceive. Other taste tests conducted by the team suggest why this is so, indicating that human taste receptivity to D2O is mediated by the taste receptor TAS1R2/TAS1R3, which is known to respond to sweetness in both natural sugars and artificial sweeteners. Experiments in the lab with HEK 293 cells confirmed the same thing, showing robust responses in TAS1R2/TAS1R3 expressing cells when exposed to D2O. The findings are published in the journal Communications Biology.

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13/04/2021 03:05:54  

Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger called Monday for the U.S. to spend billions of dollars over the next few years as part of a "moonshot" designed to regain lost ground in semiconductor manufacturing. The goal, he said, is to see the U.S. again account for a third of global output, up from about 12% today. From a report: Investments made now will take several years to bear fruit, so they won't do much to ease the current semiconductor shortage, but are vital to America's long-term economic future and national security, Gelsinger told Axios on Monday. The White House met with tech leaders in a virtual summit on Monday discussing the need for investment in chip manufacturing. With demand for broad categories of chips exceeding supply, makers of everything from cars to computers and networking gear are having to slow factories and cut output. Automakers have been hit especially hard. At the very leading edge, the vast majority of chip production today is done in Taiwan, an island that remains imperiled by China's longstanding claims. "I would argue the most important building block for our economic livelihood and every aspect of human life is now increasingly not in our control," Gelsinger told Axios in an interview after the White House meeting.

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13/04/2021 02:05:52  

An anonymous reader writes: If you're a frequent user of WhatsApp, you may want to keep an eye on a disturbing hole discovered in its security this weekend. It's possible for an attacker to completely suspend your WhatsApp account, without any recourse for the individual user, and all they need is your phone number. At the time of writing there's no solution for this issue. This newly-discovered flaw uses two separate vectors. The attacker installs WhatsApp on a new device and enters your number to activate the chat service. They can't verify it, because of course, the two-factor authentication system is sending the login prompts to your phone instead. After multiple repeated and failed attempts, your login is locked for 12 hours. Here's where the tricky part comes in: with your account locked, the attacker sends a support message to WhatsApp from their email address, claiming that their (your) phone has been lost or stolen, and that the account associated with your number needs to be deactivated. WhatsApp "verifies" this with a reply email, and suspends your account without any input on your end. The attacker can repeat the process several times in succession to create a semi-permanent lock on your account. The results are disturbing, but at the very least, this method can't be used to actually gain access to an account, merely to block access by its legitimate owner. Confidential text messages and contacts are not exposed. The proof-of-concept attack was first reported by Forbes from security researchers Luis Marquez Carpintero and Ernesto Canales Perena. There's no indication that it's being used in the wild.

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13/04/2021 02:05:51  

A judge has ordered Charter Communications to pay $19.2 million to Windstream for lying to customers in order to trick them into switching from Windstream to Charter's Spectrum Internet service. Charter also faces a $5,279 penalty for shutting off service to hundreds of Windstream's resale customers. Ars Technica reports: When Windstream filed for bankruptcy in early 2019, Charter began a "literally false and intentionally misleading advertising campaign intended to create the impression, using mailings designed to seem as if they were coming from the Debtors [Windstream], that the Debtors were going out of business," said an order issued Thursday by Judge Robert Drain of US Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York. Charter's goal with the mailings "was to induce the Debtors' customers to terminate their contracts and switch to Charter by sending them literally false and intentionally misleading information about the Debtors' bankruptcy cases and financial wherewithal," the ruling said. Charter premised its ad campaign "on false assertions regarding the Debtors' bankruptcy cases," the ruling said. "We are gratified that Judge Drain's ruling means Charter will have to pay a significant price for its egregious false advertising," Windstream General Counsel Kristi Moody said, according to a FierceTelecom article. "Charter knew full well what it was doing when it embarked on a dishonest scare-tactic campaign to lure away our customers. At Windstream, we will always aggressively defend ourselves and our customers against predatory schemes and meritless allegations."

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13/04/2021 02:05:51  

Tesla appears to have drastically increased the price of its Solar Roof tiles in an update to its configurator and quote estimates. Electrek reports: After years of delays, the Tesla Solar Roof is finally gaining momentum with a sharp rise in installations over the last few quarters. The increased deployment came after Tesla launched version 3 of its Solar Roof tiles, which brought a significant price decrease through optimization and faster installation process. Tesla kept refining the product and changed its online cost estimates a few times, decreasing the price again last summer. But now Tesla appears to have changed course and significantly increased the price of its solar roof in its online configurator. Several Electrek readers and prospective solar roof buyers reached out this weekend to let us know that they are seeing higher prices for the same quotes. Last summer, a quote for a 3,947-square-foot roof with a 12,3 kW solar roof tile system was $54,966 before incentives. Now the Tesla Solar Roof configurator shows prices between $79,938 and $100,621 for the same size roof. While this is a sharp increase in price, Tesla also appears to try to make its online quotes more accurate with a new "roof complexity" factor. [...] However, in this case, the least to the most complex options all result in higher prices than previously quoted for the same address with the same square footage.

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13/04/2021 01:05:57  

HSBC has banned customers of its online share-trading platform from buying or moving into their accounts MicroStrategy stock, calling it a "virtual currency product." Reuters reports: The bank will not facilitate the buying or exchange of products related to or referencing the performance of virtual currencies, the message to an HSBC InvestDirect client said. MicroStrategy declined to comment. The U.S. business software firm is led by bitcoin proponent Michael Saylor and owns bitcoin worth billions of dollars. While HSBC will allow the holding, sale and outgoing transfer of MicroStrategy shares, it will forbid new purchases or incoming transfers, said the message dated March 29. "HSBC has no appetite for direct exposure to virtual currencies and limited appetite to facilitate products or securities that derive their value from VCs (virtual currencies)," HSBC said in a statement. The bank said its policy towards cryptocurrencies had been in place since 2018 and is kept under review.

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13/04/2021 00:05:52  

An anonymous reader quotes a report from 9to5Google: A new Google Shopping experience that featured a personalized homepage launched in 2019. On Android, Google rebranded the existing Express app to Shopping, but it's now shutting down the mobile experience in favor of just the web. The [Android and iOS clients] will continue to work through June. It comes as Google has been expanding shopping functionality in Search, Image Search, and YouTube, while increasingly leveraging augmented reality: "Within the next few weeks, we'll no longer be supporting the Shopping app. All of the functionality the app offered users is available on the Shopping tab. We'll continue building features within the Shopping tab and other Google surfaces, including the Google app, that make it easy for people to discover and shop for the products they love."

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13/04/2021 00:05:51  

Jess Powell, CEO of Kraken, the world's fourth-largest digital currency exchange, warns that governments around the world may start to clamp down on the use of bitcoin and cryptocurrencies. CNBC reports: "I think there could be some crackdown," Jesse Powell, CEO of Kraken, told CNBC in an interview. Cryptocurrencies have surged in value lately, with bitcoin hitting a record high price of more than $61,000 last month. The world's most valuable digital coin was last trading at around $60,105. [...] Kraken's chief thinks regulatory uncertainty around crypto isn't going away anytime soon. A recent anti-money laundering rule proposed by the U.S. government would require people who hold their crypto in a private digital wallet to undergo identity checks if they make transactions of $3,000 or more. "Something like that could really hurt crypto and kind of kill the original use case, which was to just make financial services accessible to everyone," Powell said. Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin have often been associated with illicit activities due to the fact that people transacting with it are pseudonymous -- you can see where funds are being sent but not who sent or received them. "I hope that the U.S. and international regulators don't take too much of a narrow view on this," Powell said. "Some other countries, China especially, are taking crypto very seriously and taking a very long-term view." Kraken's CEO said he feels the U.S. is more "shortsighted" than other nations and "susceptible" to the pressures of incumbent legacy businesses -- in other words, the banks -- that "stand to lose from crypto becoming a big deal." "I also think it might be too late," Powell added. "Maybe the genie's out of the bottle and just trying to ban it at this point would make it more attractive. It would certainly send a message that the government sees this as a superior alternative to their own currency."

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12/04/2021 23:05:52  

Mobileye, the company that specializes in chips for vision-based autonomous vehicles, announced that it will launch a full-scale, fully driverless delivery service starting in 2023. The company, a subsidiary of Intel, is joining forces with self-driving delivery startup Udelv to run this new service. From a report: Deliveries will be made using a new type of cabin-less vehicle called The Transporter. While manufacturing plans are still in flux, Mobileye and Udelv say they will produce 35,000 Transporters between 2023-2028 -- a signal of their seriousness to launch a driverless delivery system at scale. "This is a real commercial deployment," Jack Weast, vice president of automated vehicle standards at Mobileye, told The Verge. "Thirty-five thousand units starting in 2023 that will fully integrate our self driving system for commercial use for automated goods delivery." Mobileye's turn-key self-driving system features a full-sensor suite of 13 cameras, three long-range LiDARs, six short-range LiDARs, and six radar. It also includes the Israeli company's EyeQ system-on-a-chip and a data crowdsourcing program called the Road Experience Management, or REM, which uses real-time data from Mobileye-equipped vehicles to build out a global 3D map.

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12/04/2021 22:05:51  

Huawei will invest $1 billion on researching self-driving and electric-car technologies, accelerating plans to compete with Tesla and Xiaomi in the world's biggest vehicle arena. From a report: Huawei's autonomous-driving technology has already surpassed Tesla's in some spheres, for instance by allowing cars to cruise for more than 1,000 kilometers (621 miles) without human intervention, Rotating Chairman Eric Xu told analysts in Shenzhen Monday. The Chinese telecom giant will partner with three automakers initially to make self-driving cars that carry the Huawei name as a sub-brand, said Xu, one of three executives who take turns to fill the post. It will keep its circle of partners small and get its logo onto cars -- not unlike how Intel calls attention to its microprocessors on PCs -- that adopt its autonomous driving technology, he added. The mobile giant has so far agreed to team up with BAIC Group, Chongqing Changan Automobile and Guangzhou Automobile Group.

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12/04/2021 22:05:50  

In late March, the Free Software Foundation (FSF) readmitted its founder Richard M. Stallman (RMS) to its board, catching everyone by surprise. Now, weeks later, RMS "offers a defensive non-apology apology for the words and actions that led to his resignation from the FSF," writes Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols via ZDNet. Slashdot reader destinyland shares an excerpt of his statement from the Free Software Foundation's official website: Looking back over his life starting as a teenager, Stallman writes: "I realized that I didn't understand the subtle cues that other people were responding to. Later in life, I discovered that some people had negative reactions to my behavior, which I did not even know about. Tending to be direct and honest with my thoughts, I sometimes made others uncomfortable or even offended them -- especially women. This was not a choice: I didn't understand the problem enough to know which choices there were." "Sometimes I lost my temper because I didn't have the social skills to avoid it," Stallman adds. "Some people could cope with this; others were hurt. I apologize to each of them. Please direct your criticism at me, not at the Free Software Foundation. Occasionally I learned something about relationships and social skills, so over the years I've found ways to get better at these situations. When people help me understand an aspect of what went wrong, and that shows me a way of treating people better, I teach myself to recognize when I should act that way. I keep making this effort, and over time, I improve. Some have described me as being 'tone-deaf,' and that is fair. With my difficulty in understanding social cues, that tends to happen." This is just an excerpt. But through eight short paragraphs, Stallman seems to want to offer up a larger context for his badly-received defense of Professor Minsky on an MIT mailing list. (And Stallman adds later that "I condemn racism and sexism, including their systemic forms, so when people say I don't, that hurts too...") "I've learned something from this about how to be kind to people who have been hurt," writes Stallman. "In the future, that will help me be kind to people in other situations, which is what I hope to do." "RMS did not, however, address the many other issues which caused people to regret his return to a position of leadership," writes Vaughan-Nichols. Soon after the RMS post appeared on the FSF's front page, the board spoke on why they'd brought him back. The unsigned document states: The voting members of the Free Software Foundation, which include the board of directors, voted to appoint Richard Stallman to a board seat after several months of thorough discussion and thoughtful deliberation. We decided to bring RMS back because we missed his wisdom. His historical, legal and technical acumen on free software is unrivaled. He has a deep sensitivity to the ways that technologies can contribute to both the enhancement and the diminution of basic human rights. His global network of connections is invaluable. He remains the most articulate philosopher and an unquestionably dedicated advocate of freedom in computing. RMS acknowledges that he has made mistakes. He has sincere regrets, especially at how anger toward him personally has negatively impacted the reputation and mission of FSF. While his personal style remains troubling for some, a majority of the board feel his behavior has moderated and believe that his thinking strengthens the work of the FSF in pursuit of its mission. We take full responsibility for how badly we handled the news of his election to a board seat. We had planned a flow of information that was not executed in a timely manner or delivered in the proper sequence. [...]

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12/04/2021 21:05:51  

The Federal Communications Commission has released a new speed test app to help measure internet speeds across the country, available on both Android and iOS. From a report: The FCC Speed Test App works similarly to existing speed-testing apps like Ookla's and Fast by Netflix, automatically collecting and displaying data once users press the "start testing" button. According to the FCC, the data collected through the app will inform the agency's efforts to collect more accurate broadband speed information and aid its broadband deployment efforts. "To close the gap between digital haves and have nots, we are working to build a comprehensive, user-friendly dataset on broadband availability," Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said in a statement Monday. "Expanding the base of consumers who use the FCC Speed Test app will enable us to provide improved coverage information to the public and add to the measurement tools we're developing to show where broadband is truly available throughout the United States."

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