• Google Expands Chrome's Site Isolation Feature To Android Users

    If Chrome for Android users visit a site where they enter passwords, Chrome will isolate that site from all the other tabs in a separate Android process, keeping the user's data safe from Spectre-like attacks, Google said today. From a report: Furthermore, Site Isolation, which has been available for desktop users since July 2018, has also been expanded for Windows, Mac, Linux, and Chrome OS users, which now receive protection against more attacks than the original Meltdown and Spectre vulnerabi
  • Brexit Deal Leaves Companies in Limbo Over Data Flows

    The U.K.'s new deal for leaving the European Union hasn't given companies any certainty about how they should handle the movement of personal data out of the bloc and into Britain. From a report: The country has until at least the end of next year to clinch an agreement with Europe that will allow organizations to freely move data about customers to and from the EU without breaching data protection rules, according to the agreement released on Thursday. Violating the EU's General Data Protection
  • The Water Crisis Cities Don't See Coming

    Aging water treatment systems, failing pipes and a slew of unregulated contaminants threaten to undermine water quality in U.S. cities of all sizes. Still, with only a handful of exceptions, "water systems aren't designed to focus on health, they're focused on cost-containment," says Seth Siegel, whose book "Troubled Water," released this month, examines the precarious state of water infrastructure in the U.S. From a report: Whatever goes down the sink, shower, washing machine and toilet is tran
  • Youth Suicide Rate Increased 56% in Decade, CDC Says

    Suicide and homicide rates have increased in recent years among young people in the U.S., according to a new federal report. From a report: The suicide rate among people ages 10 to 24 years old climbed 56% between 2007 and 2017, according to the report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The rate of homicide deaths decreased by 23% from 2007 to 2014 but then increased by 18% through 2017. Violent death, including homicide and suicide, is a major cause of premature death for the
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  • Samsung Says Anyone's Thumbprint Can Unlock $900 Galaxy S10 Smartphone

    A flaw that means any fingerprint can unlock a Galaxy S10 phone has been acknowledged by Samsung. From a report: It promised a software patch that would fix the problem. The issue was spotted by a British woman whose husband was able to unlock her phone with his thumbprint just by adding a cheap screen protector. When the S10 was launched, in March, Samsung described the fingerprint authentication system as "revolutionary." The scanner sends ultrasounds to detect 3D ridges of fingerprints in ord
  • Inside TurboTax's 20-Year Fight to Stop Americans From Filing Their Taxes for Free

    This year, nearly 40% of U.S. taxpayers filed online and some 40 million of them did so with TurboTax, far more than with any other product. But the success of TurboTax rests on a shaky foundation, one that could collapse overnight if the U.S. government did what most wealthy countries did long ago and made tax filing simple and free for most citizens. From a report: For more than 20 years, Intuit -- the developer of TurboTax, has waged a sophisticated, sometimes covert war to prevent the govern
  • Berkeley City Council Unanimously Votes To Ban Face Recognition

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Electronic Frontier Foundation: Berkeley has become the third city in California and the fourth city in the United States to ban the use of face recognition technology by the government. After an outpouring of support from the community, the Berkeley City Council voted unanimously to adopt the ordinance introduced by Councilmember Kate Harrison earlier this year. Berkeley joins other Bay Area cities, including San Francisco and Oakland, which also ban
  • China's Helicopter Prototype Looks Like a UFO

    CNN has a story about a Chinese prototype helicopter that looks like a UFO. Slashdot reader ClickOnThis shares the report: China has been unveiling a lot of new weaponry lately, but one of their latest reveals looks really, well, out of this world. Called the "Super Great White Shark" by Chinese media, the aircraft conjures up images of 1950s sci-fi movies more than 21st century technology. But China says the "armed helicopter" was designed for the "future digital information battlefield." State
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  • Paris Zoo Unveils the 'Blob,' An Organism With No Brain But 720 Sexes

    The Paris Zoological Park on Wednesday showcased a mysterious new organism, dubbed the "blob," that has no mouth, no stomach, no eyes, yet it can detect food and digest it. The blob also has almost 720 sexes, can move without legs or wings and heals itself in two minutes if cut in half. Reuters reports: "The blob is a living being which belongs to one of nature's mysteries," said Bruno David, director of the Paris Museum of Natural History, of which the Zoological Park is part. "It surprises us
  • Magic Mushrooms Can Help Smokers Kick the Habit

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: New research shows that psilocybin might be an effective treatment for diseases such as depression and addiction. While the work is still in its early stages, there are signs that psilocybin might help addicts shake the habit by causing the brain to talk with itself in different ways. "These brain changes lead to, oftentimes, a sense of unity," says Matthew Johnson, an experimental psychologist at Johns Hopkins University. It all may sound a little "
  • SpaceX Says 12,000 Satellites Isn't Enough, So It Might Launch Another 30,000

    SpaceX is seeking permission to launch another 30,000 low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites for its Starlink broadband network, which would be in addition to the nearly 12,000 satellites the company already has permission to launch. But it's too early in the process to determine whether SpaceX is likely to launch most or all of the additional 30,000 satellites. Ars Technica reports: The Federal Communications Commission made the requests on SpaceX's behalf, as is standard practice, in a series of fil
  • GitLab Won't Exclude Customers On Moral Grounds, Says That Employees Should Not Discuss Politics At Work

    GitLab, a San-Francisco provider of hosted git software, recently changed its company handbook to declare that it won't ban potential customers on "moral/value grounds," and that employees should not discuss politics at work. The Register reports: The policy addition, created by co-founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij and implemented as a git pull request, was merged (with no approval required) about two weeks ago. It was proposed to clarify that GitLab is committed to doing business with "customers w
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  • Google Ejects Open-Source WireGuard From Play Store Over Donation Links

    Google appears to be removing apps that have donation links, including open-source apps where donations are one of the main sources of revenue. WireGuard, a free and open-source VPN, has been reportedly dropped over this according to WireGuard lead developer Jason Donenfeld. Phoronix reports: After waiting days for Google to review the latest version of their secure VPN tunnel application, it was approved and then removed and delisted -- including older versions of WireGuard. The reversal comes
  • For Now Women, Not Democracy, Are the Main Victims of Deepfakes

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: While the 2020 U.S. presidential elections have lawmakers on edge over AI-generated fake videos, a new study by Netherlands-based deepfake-detection outfit Deeptrace shows that the main victims today are women. According to Deeptrace, deepfake videos have exploded in the past year, rising from 8,000 in December 2018 to 14,678 today. And not surprisingly for the internet, nearly all of the material is pornography, which accounts for 96% of the deepf
  • The Creators Of Pokemon Go Mapped The World. Now They're Mapping You

    Cecilia D'Anastasio and Dhruv Mehrotra report via Kotaku: Today, when you use Wizards Unite or Pokemon Go or any of Niantic's other apps, your every move is getting documented and stored -- up to 13 times a minute, according to the results of a Kotaku investigation. Even players who know that the apps record their location data are usually astonished once they look at just how much they've told Niantic about their lives through their footsteps. For years, users of these technologists' products -
  • Volvo To Roll Out a New Electric Vehicle Every Year Through 2025

    Volvo Car Group President and CEO Hakan Samuelsson laid out the company's new business strategy that includes introducing a new EV every year through 2025 and slashing the carbon footprint of the lifecycle of every car and SUV it builds by 40%. All of the changes are aimed at Volvo Cars' target to become a climate neutral company by 2040. TechCrunch reports: A critical piece to hitting its target will be making more EVs available. The automaker plans to launch an all-electric car every year over
  • Huge Child Porn Ring Busted As Authorities Cite Ability To Crack Bitcoin Privacy

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Federal authorities in the U.S. have unsealed charges against the South Korean operator of a child porn ring that's been billed as the world's "largest dark web child porn marketplace." The child porn site, known as Welcome to Video, charged some users in Bitcoin and authorities say they successfully unmasked those Bitcoin transactions in order to catch the perpetrators. An additional 337 people from around the world have been charged in relation
  • Microsoft Launches Two New Open Source Projects for Developers -- OAM and Dapr

    Continuing its embracing of open source, Microsoft has today announced two new open source projects. From a report: The first is Open Application Model (OAM), a new standard for developing and operating applications on Kubernetes and other platforms. The second project is Dapr (Distributed Application Runtime), designed to make it easier to build microservice applications. Microsoft says that both OAM and Dapr "help developers remove barriers when building applications for cloud and edge." Micro
  • FCC Votes To Approve T-Mobile-Sprint Merger

    The FCC on Wednesday formally approved the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint. The vote comes months after the Justice Department greenlit the deal. The Verge reports: In May, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai first signaled that he would vote to approve the merger after the commission and the companies struck a deal that Republicans believed would help foster a faster 5G rollout. The other Republican commissioners, Brendan Carr and Michael O'Rielly, also voiced support for the merger at the time. The merge
  • Analogue Announces Game Boy Clone Dubbed 'Analogue Pocket'

    Analogue is set to announce a new Game Boy clone. From a report: Analogue, known for their FPGA (Field Programmable Gate Array)-based hardware clones of the NES, SNES, and Sega Genesis/Megadrive, will be launching a handheld addition to their lineup called the "Analogue Pocket." The unit will be compatible with the entire library of Game Boy and Game Boy Color games, as well as Sega's Game Gear, SNK's Neo Geo Pocket Colour, and Atari's Lynx -- essentially bringing every 90's handheld under one h
  • Multiple Vulnerabilities in Pulse Secure VPN

    Original release date: October 16, 2019
    The CERT Coordination Center (CERT/CC) has released information on multiple vulnerabilities affecting Pulse Secure Virtual Private Network (VPN). An attacker could exploit these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system. These vulnerabilities have been targeted by advanced persistent threat (APT) actors.The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review the following resources for more info
  • Yahoo Groups Is Winding Down and All Content Will Be Permanently Removed

    Yahoo announced on Wednesday that it is winding down its long-running Yahoo Groups site. From a report: As of October 21, users will no longer be able to post new content to the site, and on December 14 Yahoo will permanently delete all previously posted content. "You'll have until that date to save anything you've uploaded," an announcement post reads. Yahoo Groups, launched in 2001, is a cross between a platform for mailing lists and internet forums. Groups can be interacted with on the Yahoo
  • Hacking 20 High-Profile Dev Accounts Could Compromise Half of the NPM Ecosystem

    The npm ecosystem of JavaScript libraries is more interwoven than most developers think, and the entire thing is a gigantic house of cards, being one bad hack away from compromising hundreds of thousands of projects, according to a recent academic study. From a report: The research, carried out by the Department of Computer Science from the Technical University of Darmstadt, in Germany, analyzed the dependency graph of the entire npm ecosystem. Researchers downloaded metadata for all the npm pac
  • Hubble Observes First Confirmed Interstellar Comet

    NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has given astronomers their best look yet at an interstellar visitor -- comet 2I/Borisov -- whose speed and trajectory indicate it has come from beyond our solar system. In a press release, the space agency said: This Hubble image, taken on Oct. 12, 2019, is the sharpest view of the comet to date. Hubble reveals a central concentration of dust around the nucleus (which is too small to be seen by Hubble). Comet 2I/Borisov is only the second such interstellar object k
  • Interview With Fedora Project Leader Matthew Miller On 15 Years of Fedora

    intensivevocoder writes: Fedora -- as a Linux distribution -- will celebrate the 15th anniversary of its first release in November, though its technical lineage is much older, as Fedora Core 1 was created following the discontinuation of Red Hat Linux 9 in favor of Red Hat Enterprise Linux (RHEL). Five years after the start of Fedora.next, the distribution is on the right track -- stability has improved, and work on minimizing hard dependencies in packages and containers, including more audio/vi
  • US Carried Out Secret Cyber Strike on Iran in Wake of Saudi Oil Attack

    The United States carried out a secret cyber operation against Iran in the wake of the Sept. 14 attacks on Saudi Arabia's oil facilities, which Washington and Riyadh blame on Tehran, two U.S. officials have told Reuters. From the report: The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the operation took place in late September and took aim at Tehran's ability to spread "propaganda." One of the officials said the strike affected physical hardware, but did not provide further details. The
  • VMware Releases Security Update for Harbor Container Registry for PCF

    Original release date: October 16, 2019
    VMware has released a security update to address a vulnerability affecting Harbor Container Registry for Pivotal Cloud Foundry (PCF). An attacker could exploit this vulnerability to take control of an affected system.The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review VMware Security Advisory VMSA-2019-0016 and apply the necessary update. This product is provided subject to this Notification and this Pr
  • UK Drops Plans For Online Pornography Age Verification System

    Plans to introduce a nationwide age verification system for online pornography have been abandoned by the government after years of technical troubles and concerns from privacy campaigners. From a report: The climbdown follows countless difficulties with implementing the policy, which would have required all pornography websites to ensure users were over 18. Methods would have included checking credit cards or allowing people to buy a "porn pass" age verification document from a newsagent. Websi
  • The Simmering Debate Over Big Tech Explodes on the Democratic Debate Stage

    Democrats running for president had their most vigorous debate yet about the power of tech companies, finally bringing the long-simmering conversation about Big Tech into the mainstream of Democratic politics. From a report: The dozen Democratic candidates quarreled for almost 15 minutes at the fourth presidential debate about topics including digital privacy rights, the monopoly power of companies like Amazon, political fundraising in Silicon Valley, and whether politicians like Donald Trump sh
  • Goldman Sachs CEO Says Apple Card is the Most Successful Credit Card Launch Ever

    Goldman Sachs CEO David Solomon called his bank's rollout of the Apple Card "the most successful credit card launch ever." From a report: Solomon provided investors with an update on the bank's new initiatives at the start of a conference call Tuesday. "We believe Apple Card is the most successful credit card launch ever," he said. Continuing on the Apple Card, which the bank built in partnership with the iPhone maker, Solomon said that "since August, we've been pleased to see a high level of co
  • Some Colleges Are Using Students' Smartphones To Track Their Locations on Campus

    Lee Gardner, reporting for Chronicle: James Dragna had his work cut out for him when he became "graduation czar" at California State University at Sacramento, in 2016. The university's four-year graduation rate sat at 9 percent. It hadn't moved in about 30 years, he says. Like many student-success experts at public colleges these days, Dragna combed through academic data about students that the university had on hand -- grades, attendance, advising information -- to track how they were doing as
  • Elite MBA Programs Report Steep Drop In Applications

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Applications to some of America's most elite business schools fell at a steeper rate this year, as universities struggled to attract international students amid changes to immigration policies and political tensions between the U.S. and China. The declines affected some of the nation's top-rated programs, with Harvard University, Stanford University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, among others, all reporting larger
  • Google Chief: I'd Disclose Smart Speakers Before Guests Enter My Home

    After being challenged as to whether homeowners should tell guests smart devices -- such as a Google Nest speaker or Amazon Echo display -- are in use before they enter the building, Google senior vice president of devices and services, Rick Osterloh, concludes that the answer is indeed yes. The BBC reports: "Gosh, I haven't thought about this before in quite this way," Rick Osterloh begins. "It's quite important for all these technologies to think about all users... we have to consider all stak
  • California's New Law Bans Schools From Starting Before 8am

    California governor Gavin Newsom signed a new law on Sunday preventing schools in the state from starting classes before 8am. Quartz reports: The law bars middle schools from starting before 8am, while high schools must wait till 8:30am to begin classes. This means that about half of California schools will need to delay their opening bell by 30 minutes or less, according to a legislative analysis (pdf), while one-quarter will need to wait an additional 31 to 60 minutes to get going. Schools hav
  • Testosterone Significantly Boosts Women's Athletic Performance, Study Shows

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Boosting testosterone levels significantly improves female athletic performance, according to one of the first randomized controlled trials. The findings come as the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF) announced on Monday it would impose an upper limit for testosterone levels on trans female athletes competing in middle-distance events. The latest research confirmed that testosterone significantly increases endurance an
  • Dutch Family 'Waiting For End of Time' Discovered In Basement

    A family who spent nine years in a basement "waiting for the end of time" have been discovered by police in the Netherlands after one of them turned up at a local pub, reports say. The BBC reports: A man of 58 and a family with young adults aged 18 to 25 were living at a farm in the province of Drenthe. They were found after the eldest of the children ordered beer at a bar in the nearby village of Ruinerwold. He then told staff he needed help, broadcaster RTV Drenthe reported. The older man, who
  • Robot War Breaks Out As Roomba Maker Sues Upstart SharkNinja

    Roomba robotic vacuum maker IRobot Corp. is suing rival SharkNinja for copying a device of theirs and selling it at "half the price." "Shark is not even shy about being a copycat," iRobot said in a lawsuit filed Tuesday in federal court in Boston, "claiming that the Shark IQ Robot offers the same iRobot technology at 'half the price of iRobot i7+'."Bloomberg reports: The company that unveiled the Roomba robotic vacuum in the early 2000s launched a product last year that takes house cleaning to a
  • YouTube Gets Alleged Copyright Troll To Agree To Stop Trolling YouTubers

    Alleged copyright troll Christopher Brady will no longer be able to issue false DMCA takedowns to other YouTubers, according to a lawsuit settlement filed today. The Verge reports: Under the new agreement, Brady is banned from "submitting any notices of alleged copyright infringement to YouTube that misrepresent that material hosted on the YouTube service is infringing copyrights held or claimed to be held by Brady or anyone Brady claims to represent." Brady agreed to pay $25,000 in damages as p
  • OpenAI's AI-Powered Robot Learned How To Solve a Rubik's Cube One-Handed

    Earlier today, San Francisco-based research institute OpenAI announced that it had taught a robotic hand to solve Rubik's cube one-handed. "Lost in the shuffle is just what is new here, if anything, and what of it may or may not be machine learning and artificial intelligence -- the science in other words," writes Tiernan Ray via ZDNet. An anonymous Slashdot reader shares an excerpt from his report: The real innovation in Tuesday's announcement, from a science standpoint, is the way many version
  • Oracle Releases October 2019 Security Bulletin

    Original release date: October 15, 2019
    Oracle has released its Critical Patch Update for October 2019 to address 219 vulnerabilities across multiple products. A remote attacker could exploit some of these vulnerabilities to take control of an affected system.The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency (CISA) encourages users and administrators to review the Oracle October 2019 Critical Patch Update and apply the necessary updates. This product is provided subject to this Notification a
  • Ask Slashdot: What Should I Do About My Landlord Forcing Smart Things Into My Home?

    New submitter aaronb1138 writes: So my apartment (UDR) pulled a bit of a blitz last Friday (10/11) to install new "Smart" IoT stuff in my home today (10/15) under the umbrella of SmartRent management. According to a CNET article from earlier this year, this seems to be SmartRent's usual method of attack. UDR is usually pretty miserly, so I suspect the monetization of my apartment usage is being sold at a nice price to advertisers. SmartRent FAQ claims no data sales, but their privacy policy is w
  • Twitter Says It Will Restrict Users From Retweeting World Leaders Who Break Its Rules

    The social media giant said it will not allow users to like, reply, share or retweet tweets from world leaders who break its rules. Instead, it will let users quote-tweet to allow ordinary users to express their opinions. The company said the move will help its users stay informed about global affairs, but while balancing the need to keep the site's rules in check. TechCrunch reports: Twitter has been in a bind, amid allegations that the company has not taken action against world leaders who bre
  • Google's New Voice Recorder App Transcribes in Real Time, Even When Offline

    At Google's hardware event this morning, the company introduced a new voice recorder app for Android devices, which will tap into advances in real-time speech processing, speech recognition and AI to automatically transcribe recordings in real time as the person is speaking. From a report: The improvements will allow users to take better advantage of the phone's voice recording functionality, as it will be able to turn the recordings into text even when there's no internet connectivity. This pre
  • Data For 26 Million Stolen Payment Cards Leaked In Hack of Fraud Bazaar

    An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A thriving online bazaar selling stolen payment card data has been hacked in a heist that leaked the records for more than 26 million cards, KrebsOnSecurity reported on Tuesday. The 26 million figure isn't significant only to the legitimate consumers and businesses who own the stolen cards or the financial institutions that issued them. Fortunately for the card owners, the database is now in the hands of affected financial institutions, who
  • Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Event as It Tries To Contain Backlash

    Activision Blizzard, reeling from harsh reactions after it punished a tournament player for backing Hong Kong's anti-Beijing protesters, canceled a New York launch event for an edition of its Overwatch game. From a report: The event, scheduled for Wednesday at Nintendo's store in Rockefeller Center, was planned to support the release of Overwatch: Legendary Edition for the Nintendo Switch portable game machine. Nintendo tweeted Tuesday that Blizzard had canceled the promotion. Blizzard, which di
  • Google Announces New Google Assistant With Huge Boost To Speed

    Google has announced the second-generation version of its Google Assistant software, which promises new capabilities, a design overhaul, and a noticeable boost to speed. From a report: That last upgrade means the new Assistant can launch and return answers to queries much faster than before. The service is coming first to Pixel phones, and Google made the announcement onstage at its Pixel 4 reveal event in New York City on Tuesday. We already knew quite a bit about the new Assistant, thanks to G
  • Google's Auto-Delete Tools Are Practically Worthless For Privacy

    An anonymous reader shares a report: By default, Google collects a vast amount of data on users' behavior, including a lifelong record of web searches, locations, and YouTube views. But amid a privacy backlash and ongoing regulatory threats, the company has started to hype its recently released privacy tools, like the ability to automatically delete some of the data it collects about you -- data that helps power its $116 billion ad business. [...] In reality, these auto-delete tools accomplish l
  • Argentinian Security Researcher Arrested After Tweeting About Government Hack

    Argentinian police briefly detained and raided the home of a well-known security researcher last week on suspicion of hacking and leaking data from government systems. From a report: Following his release, Javier Smaldone, the security researcher, obtained and published court documents pertaining to his arrest on Twitter. The documents showed that authorities arrested and raided the security expert just for tweeting about a recent government hack, with no tangible evidence that he was involved.
  • In New Headache, WeWork Says It Found Cancer-Causing Chemical in Its Phone Booths

    Cash-strapped WeWork, the office-sharing company that is trying to negotiate a financial lifeline, has a new problem that may prove costly. From a report: It has closed about 2,300 phone booths at some of its 223 sites in the United States and Canada after it says it discovered elevated levels of formaldehyde. The company, which abandoned plans for an initial public offering last month after investors questioned its mounting losses and the way it was being run, said in an email to its tenants on
  • Google Discontinues Daydream VR

    Google's Daydream, Android's built-in virtual reality platform, is as good as dead. From a report: Following the company's annual hardware event today, Google confirmed to VentureBeat that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL do not support the VR platform. Furthermore, Google stopped selling the Daydream View headset today. There are also no plans to support Daydream in future Android devices, Pixel or otherwise. "We are no longer certifying new devices," a Google spokesperson confirmed. The Daydream app

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