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Tuesday, 13 November


Reading the Android Ecosystem Security Transparency Report Security Affairs

According to Android Ecosystem Security Transparency Report the number of potentially harmful applications has fallen from 0.66% in Lollipop to 0.06% in Pie

Google published the first Android Ecosystem Security Transparency Report that revealed that the number of potentially harmful applications (PHAs) discovered on Android 9 Pie devices has been reduced by half compared to the previous versions.

According to the Android Ecosystem Security Transparency Report, the number of potentially harmful applications (PHAs) has fallen from 0.66 percent in Lollipop to 0.06 percent in Pie.

Android Ecosystem Security Transparency Report 2

The number obtained from the analysis of malware detected by Google Play Protect scans that was launched in May 2017 to protect the devices running its Android OS.

The system is integrated into the Google Play Store app, this means that its usage is transparent to the end user that doesnt need to install or enable it on his device. It analyzes malicious applications distributed through the Play Store and third-party app stores.

Google Play Protect continuously works to keep your device, data and apps safe. It actively scans your device and is constantly improving to make sure you have the latest in mobile security. Your device is automatically scanned around the clock, so you can rest easy. reads the description published by Google.

Google Play Protect implements the following features:

  • App scanning
  • Anti-Theft Measures
  • Browser Protection




YouTube CEO Says That Videos May Be Blocked Due to EU Copyright Law TorrentFreak

Two years ago the European Commission announced plans to modernize EU copyright law.

Some of the proposals were hugely controversial. Article 13, for example, would see the liability for infringing content switched from users of sites like YouTube to the platform itself.

But, despite warnings, in September the European Parliament voted in favor of proposals put forward by Axel Voss EPP group.

While we support the goals of article 13, the European Parliaments current proposal will create unintended consequences that will have a profound impact on the livelihoods of hundreds of thousands of people, Wojcicki writes.

The parliaments approach is unrealistic in many cases because copyright owners often disagree over who owns what rights. If the owners cannot agree, it is impossible to expect the open platforms that host this content to make the correct rights decisions.

Using the hit Despacito as an example, Wojcicki says that the track contains multiple copyrights including sound recording and publishing rights. YouTube has agreements with several parties to license the video but other rightsholders remain unknown. This could present a situation so complex that YouTube might have to stop hosting the video altogether.

That uncertainty means we might have to block videos like this to avoid liability under article 13. Multiply that risk with the scale of YouTube, where more than 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute, and the potential liabilities could be so large that no company could take on such a financial risk, she adds.

While the rest of the world appears to be safe from such blocking, YouTubes CEO warns that it is EU residents that will be affected. During the last month alone, videos were viewed by citizens more than 90 billion times.

Wojcicki says her company wants to work with policymakers and the industry to develop Article 13 in a way that protects rightsholders but without stifling the creative economy. That might including broader licensing agreements, improved collaboration with rightsholders, and technical solutions, similar to Content ID...


Star Trek-like Tech Seals Wounds with a Laser IEEE Spectrum Recent Content full text

In early tests, this laser-activated silk and gold material held wounds together better than stitches or glue

On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander Riker had an impressive ability to receive head wounds. Luckily for him, Dr. Crusher could whip out the dermal regenerator, a handheld sci-fi tool that healed skin wounds with a colorful laser.

Luckily for us, Kaushal Rege and colleagues at Arizona State University are developing essentially the same thing. Well, close enough. In a new paper out from the journal Advanced Functional Materials, the engineers successfully repaired animal wounds with a silk and gold nanomaterial activated by a laser.

In this proof-of-concept study, the technology quickly sealed soft-tissue wounds in pig intestines and on mice skin. In the pig intestines, for example, the seal proved to be roughly seven times stronger than traditional sutures.

When sealing wounds, sutures, staples, or glue can often cause problems such as leakages at the repair site and slow recovery of the tissue. Were trying to seal incisions faster and heal them at an earlier point of time, says Deepanjan Ghosh, a PhD student in Reges lab and co-author on the paper.

Comparison of three methods of wound repair, on days 0 and 2. Photos: Russell Urie/Advanced Functional Materials This comparison shows the effects on a wound of conventional suturing, skin glue, and laser sealing at 0 and 2 days after injury.

To use a laser to seal skin, one must focus the heat of the light using some sort of photoconverter. Reges lab opted for gold nanorods and embedded them in a silk protein matrix purified from silkworm cocoons. A silk protein called fibroin binds to collagen, the structural protein that holds together human skin cells. When near-infrared light hits the gold nanorods, they produce heat and activate the silk and skin to create bonds, forming a sturdy seal.

The near-infrared laser operates at a wavelength of about 800 nanometers, which is powerful enough to heat the gold without damaging the skin.

The engineers created two disc-shaped sealants: one for wet environments that does not dissolve in water and one for dry environments that does. The first was used to repair samples of pig intestine. When the t...


Vulkan 1.1.92 Released, Finally Allows For Chunked HTML Documentation Phoronix

Vulkan 1.1.92 is out today to mark the newest specification update to this high-performance graphics/compute API...


Lawsuits Aim Billions in Fines at Equifax and Ad-Targeting Companies SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Lawsuits Aim Billions in Fines at Equifax and Ad-Targeting Companies

Equifax, Experian and Oracle are among a slate of companies whose business is consumer information, that could soon face billions of dollars in fines for improper data handling.

Privacy International has filed complaints against seven corporations, consisting of data brokers (Acxiom and Oracle), companies that provide consumer profiling and targeting data for advertising purposes (Criteo, Tapad and Quantcast), and two credit-referencing agencies that collect sensitive financial data on roughly everyone in the U.S. as well as many in Europe and elsewhere (Equifax and Experian). The complaints have been lodged with data protection authorities in France, Ireland and the U.K. The group is asking for an investigation into their data-handling practices under the auspices of Europe's strict General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

The GDPR, which went into effect in May, gives regulators real teeth when it comes to enforcing privacy mandates, including issuing fines of up to 4 percent of an offending company's annual turnover. That would equal billions of dollars for Fortune 500 companies such as Equifax, which consumers know from the massive data breach last year.

Aside from the credit-reporting giants, the complaints target companies that, despite collecting and using or selling the data of millions of people, are not household names.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.


France seeks Global Talks on Cyberspace security and a code of good conduct Security Affairs

The French government announced a Paris Call for global talks about cyberspace security aimed at laying out a shared framework of rules.

The French government is promoting a series of Global Talks on cyberspace security, it urges for a code of good conduct for states in the cyberspace.

Events such as the interference in the 2016 Presidential election or massive attacks like WannaCry and NotPetya increase the sense of urgency among states.

The risk of escalation and retaliation in cyberspace, the increasing number of cyber attacks and cyber threats even more sophisticated could have a destabilizing effect on international peace and security. The risk of conflict between states caused so cyber incidents encourages all States to engage in law-abiding, norm-respecting and confidence-building behavior in their use of ICT.

Im one of the authors of the G7 DECLARATION ON RESPONSIBLE STATES BEHAVIOR IN CYBERSPACE that were signed in 2017 during the Italy G7 meeting.

I had the honor to be a member of the group that worked on the proposal for voluntary, non-binding norms of State behavior during peacetime. We presented 12 points aimed to propose stability and security in the cyberspace. The declaration invites all the States to collaborate with the intent to reduce risks to international peace, security, and stability.

The decision of the French government aims to relaunch the discussion of the adoption of a framework for norms of state behavior in the cyberspace, a sort of prosecution of the work started last year during the G7 meeting.

Officials said the text, to be presented by President Emmanuel Macron as he opens UNESCOs Internet Governance Forum in Paris on Monday, has been signed by most European countries. reads the press release published by AFP.

During the G7 meeting emerged the need to open the discussion to other states, including China, Russia, and India.

Now China, Russia, and the United States have not yet joined to the initiative, even if major firms and organizations like Microsoft and the NGO Internet Society believe that a supplementary effort is essential to define the framework.

The identity and number of signatories are to be released later Monday, following a lunch hosted at the Elysee Palace by Macron for dozens of technology executives and officials. continues the AFP.

To respect peoples rights and protect them online...


The Risk That Ebola Will Spread to Uganda Is Now Very High Lifeboat News: The Blog

With the Ebola outbreak in the Democratic Republic of Congo continuing to spread, neighboring Uganda deploys its health care defenses.


Linux Getting Two-Line Patch To Finally Deal With The Quirky Microsoft OEM Mouse Phoronix

While Microsoft is self-proclaimed to love Linux, their common and very basic Microsoft OEM Mouse has not loved the Linux kernel or vice-versa... The Linux kernel HID code is finally getting a quirk fix to deal with the Microsoft OEM mouse as it would disconnect every minute when running at run-levels one or three...


Top 5 Factors That Increase Cyber Security Salary The Most The Hacker News

Our partner Springboard, which provides online courses to help you advance your cybersecurity career with personalized mentorship from industry experts, recently researched current cybersecurity salaries and future earning potential in order to trace a path to how much money you can make. Here's what they found were the most important factors for making sure you earn as much as possible: 1


Dutch man, 69, starts legal fight to identify as 20 years younger Lifeboat News: The Blog

Motivational speaker Emile Ratelband compares bid to alter age to gender change.

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Monday, 12 November


The Radeon GCN Backend Is Still Being Worked On For GCC, GCC 9 Deadline Looms Phoronix

Back in September Code Sourcery / Mentor Graphics posted their new Radeon GCN port for the GNU Compiler Collection (GCC). Two months later this port is still being worked on but not yet ready for mainline...


Re: CVE-2018-5407: new side-channel vulnerability on SMT/Hyper-Threading architectures Open Source Security

Posted by Marc Deslauriers on Nov 12

Thank you very much for the info!



Cross Shard Transactions at 10 Million Requests Per Second SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Cross shard transactions at 10 million requests per second

Dropbox stores petabytes of metadata to support user-facing features and to power our production infrastructure. The primary system we use to store this metadata is named Edgestore and is described in a previous blog post, (Re)Introducing Edgestore. In simple terms, Edgestore is a service and abstraction over thousands of MySQL nodes that provides users with strongly consistent, transactional reads and writes at low latency.

Edgestore hides details of physical sharding from the application layer to allow developers to scale out their metadata storage needs without thinking about complexities of data placement and distribution. Central to building a distributed database on top of individual MySQL shards in Edgestore is the ability to collocate related data items together on the same shard. Developers express logical collocation of data via the concept of a colo, indicating that two pieces of data are typically accessed together. In turn, Edgestore provides low-latency, transactional guarantees for reads and writes within a given colo (by placing them on the same physical MySQL shard), but only best-effort support across colos.

While the product use-cases at Dropbox are usually a good fit for collocation, over time we found that certain ones just arent easily partitionable. As a simple example, an association between a user and the content they share with another user is unlikely to be collocated, since the users likely live on different shards. Even if we were to attempt to reorganize physical storage such that related colos land on the same physical shards, we would never get a perfect cut of data.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.


Apple Announces Repair Program For Faulty iPhone X and 13-Inch MacBook Pro Units TechWorm

Apple offers free repairs to fix quality problems in some faulty iPhone X units and 13-inch MacBook Pro models

Apple has launched a free replacement programme around the world for the affected iPhone X owners who are experiencing touchscreen issues.

Apparently, Apple found out that screens of some iPhone X models either arent responsive to touch or responds intermittently to touch. In some cases, it noted that iPhone screen reacts even though it was not touched.

Apple has determined that some iPhone X displays may experience touch issues due to a component that might fail on the display module. Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider will replace the display module on eligible devices, free of charge. the company said on the official support page.

According to Apple, the touch issues may be due to a component failure on the iPhone Xs display module, adding it would fix the screen on faulty devices for free. The company said the problem only affects the original iPhone X, and not the recently launched the iPhone XS, XS Max and XR.

Apple has noted that if the iPhone X owner has already replaced the screen prior to the replacement programme, he/she is eligible to get a refund. They are advised to contact Apple support for more information.

However, Apple warns iPhone X owners that If your iPhone X has any damage which impairs the ability to complete the repair, such as a cracked screen, that issue will need to be resolved prior to the service. In some cases, there may be a cost associated with the additional repair.

Meanwhile, Apple has also confirmed that a limited number of 13-inch MacBook Pro units were facing a hard drive problem, that could result in data loss and failure of the storage drive.

In a note to customers, the company says, Apple has determined that a limited number of 128GB and 256GB solid-state drives (SSD) used in 13-inch MacBook Pro (non-TouchBar) units have an issue that may result in data loss and failure of the drive. The company suggests affected users to have their laptops serviced as soon as possible.

Users can put in their serial number on a page on the Apple Support website to confirm if they have an affected MacBook Pro. The affected model in question is the MacBook Pro (13-inch, 2017, Two Thunderbolt 3 ports). No other macOS notebooks are experiencing hard drive issues.

The post Apple Announces Repair Program For Faulty iPhone X and 13-Inch MacBook Pro Units appeared first on...


New Part Day: A $6 Linux Computer You Might Be Able To Write Code For Hackaday

The latest news from the world of cheap electronics is a single board computer running Linux. It costs six dollars, and you can buy it right now. You might even be able to compile code for it, too.

The C-Sky Linux development board is listed on Taobao as an OrangePi NanoPi Raspberry Pi Linux Development Board and despite some flagrant misappropriation of trademarks, this is indeed a computer running Linux, available for seven American dollars.

This board is based on a NationalChip GX6605S SoC, a unique chip with an ISA that isnt ARM, x86, RISC-V, MIPS, or anything else that would be considered normal. The chip itself was designed for set-top boxes, but there are a surprising number of build tools that include buildroot, GCC and support for qemu. The company behind this chip is maintaining a kernel, and support for this chip has been added to the mainline kernel. Yes, unlike many other single board computers out there, you might actually be able to compile something for this chip.

The features for this board include 64 MB of DDR2 RAM, HDMI out (with a 1280 x 720 framebuffer, upscaled to 1080p, most likely), and a CPU running at just about 600 MHz. There are a few buttons connected to the GPIO pins, two USB host ports, a USB-TTL port for a serial console, and a few more pins for additional GPIOs. There does not appear to be any networking, and we have no idea what the onboard storage is.

If you want a challenge to get something compiled, this is the chip for you.


Kernel Developers Debate Having An Official Linux System Wrapper Library Phoronix

As new system calls get added to the Linux kernel, these syscalls generally get added to Glibc (and other libc libraries) for developers to make easy use of them from their applications. But as Glibc doesn't provide 1:1 coverage of system calls, sometimes is delayed in their support for new calls, and other factors, there is a discussion about providing an official Linux system wrapper library that could potentially live as part of the kernel source tree...


[SECURITY] [CVE-2018-17187] Apache Qpid Proton-J transport TLS wrapper hostname verification mode not implemented Open Source Security

Posted by Robbie Gemmell on Nov 12

CVE-2018-17187: Apache Qpid Proton-J transport TLS wrapper hostname
verification mode not implemented

Severity: Important

Vendor: The Apache Software Foundation

Versions Affected: Versions 0.3 to 0.29.0

The Proton-J transport includes an optional wrapper layer to perform TLS,
enabled by use of the 'transport.ssl(...)' methods. Unless a verification
mode was explicitly configured, client and server modes previously...


Links 12/11/2018: Linux 4.20 RC2, Denuvo DRM Defeated Again Techrights

GNOME bluefish



  • Behind the scenes with Linux containers

    Can you have Linux containers without Docker? Without OpenShift? Without Kubernetes?

    Yes, you can. Years before Docker made containers a household term (if you live in a data center, that is), the LXC project developed the concept of running a kind of virtual operating system, sharing the same kernel, but contained within defined groups of processes.

    Docker built on LXC, and today there are plenty of platforms that leverage the work of LXC both directly and indirectly. Most of these platforms make creating and maintaining containers sublimely simple, and for large deployments, it makes sense to use such specialized services. However, not everyones managing a large deployment or has access to big services to learn about containerization. The good news is that you can create, use, and learn containers with nothing more than a PC running Linux and this article. This article will help you understand containers by looking at LXC, how it works, why it works, and how to troubleshoot when something goes wrong.

  • Desktop

    • Samsungs Linux on DeX app enters private beta

      In context: Almost exactly one year ago, Samsung announced it was working on an app called Linux on DeX (DeX is that gimmicky app/dock combo that got mediocre reviews). This was supposed to allow users to run Linux distros on their phone, which would seem to create a more PC-like experience at least in theory.

      It looks as if Linux on DeX is almost ready. On Friday Samsung launched the private beta for the app. If you signed up for alerts when it was announced last year, you should have already received an email to allow you to register for the beta.

  • Server


'Wallace & Gromit' Producer Aardman Animations Transfers Ownership to Employees SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

'Wallace & Gromit' Producer Aardman Animations Transfers Ownership to Employees

In an era of entertainment industry mergers and acquisitions, the founders of British animation powerhouse Aardman the much-loved Oscar-winning studio behind Wallace & Gromit and Shaun the Sheep have moved to ensure their companys continued independence by transferring it into employee ownership.

The decision, made by Peter Lord and David Sproxton, who first set up Aardman in 1972, will see the majority of company shares transferred into a trust, which will then hold them on behalf of the workforce.

Speaking to The Hollywood Reporter, both Lord and Sproxton explained that the move was about seven years in the making, and while it wasnt an indicator of their imminent departure, meant that Aardman was in the best possible shape for when that moment came and would help secure its creative legacy and culture.

Weve spent so much time building this company up and being so profoundly attached to it. Its not a business to us, its everything, its our statement to the world, said Lord. Having done that for so many years, the last thing we wanted to do was to just flog it off to someone.

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.


AMDVLK Vulkan Driver Sees Its First Tagged Release Phoronix

In the nearly one year that the AMDVLK official Vulkan driver has been open-source there hasn't been any "releases" but rather new code drops on a weekly basis that is pushed out of their internal development repositories. But surprisingly this morning is now a v2018.4.1 release tag for this open-source AMD Vulkan Linux driver...


Linux Poised To Remove Decade-Old EXOFS File-System Phoronix

The Linux kernel will likely be doing away with EXOFS, a file-system that had been around since the Linux 2.6.30 days...


A critical flaw in GDPR compliance plugin for WordPress exploited in the wild Security Affairs

A critical security vulnerability affects a GDPR compliance plugin for WordPress has been already exploited in the wild to take control of vulnerable websites.

Users warn of cyber attacks exploiting a critical security vulnerability in the WordPress GDPR Compliance plugin for WordPress to take over of websites using it.

The WordPress GDPR Compliance plugin was used by more than 100,000 websites to be compliant with the EUs General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). WP GDPR Compliance currently supports Contact Form 7 (>= 4.6), Gravity Forms (>= 1.9), WooCommerce (>= 2.5.0) and WordPress Comments. Additional plugin support will follow soon.

GDPR Compliance Plugin

Researchers from the Wordfence reported that WordPress GDPR Compliance plugin is affected by vulnerabilities can be exploited by unauthenticated attackers to add new admin accounts.

The reported vulnerabilities allow unauthenticated attackers to achieve privilege escalation, allowing them to further infect vulnerable sites. Any sites making use of this plugin should make it an immediate priority to update to the latest version, or deactivate and remove it if updates are not possible. reads the analysis published by Wordfence.

Weve already begun seeing cases of live sites infected through this attack vector. In these cases, the ability to update arbitrary options values is being used to install new administrator accounts onto the impacted sites.

Researchers from...


Re: CVE-2018-5407: new side-channel vulnerability on SMT/Hyper-Threading architectures Open Source Security

Posted by Billy Brumley on Nov 12

Some more technical advice below. Hope it helps!


# 1.0.1

That is EOL. Try your luck with porting the 1.0.2 solution.

Shameless self plug: read Section 2

for a related discussion about EOL issues and security in the context
of OpenSSL.

# 1.0.2

Wait until this gets merged into OpenSSL_1_0_2-stable :

# 1.1.0 up to and including 1.1.0h

So I went through the...


How Bill Gates Aims to Save $233 Billion Lifeboat News: The Blog

Bill Gates thinks toilets are a serious business, and hes betting big that a reinvention of this most essential of conveniences can save a half million lives and deliver $200 billion-plus in savings.

The billionaire philanthropist, whose Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation spent $200 million over seven years funding sanitation research, showcased some 20 novel toilet and sludge-processing designs that eliminate harmful pathogens and convert bodily waste into clean water and fertilizer.

The technologies youll see here are the most significant advances in sanitation in nearly 200 years, Gates, 63, told the Reinvented Toilet Expo in Beijing on Tuesday.


Vitamin D And Fish Oil Supplements Disappoint In Long-Awaited Study Results SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Vitamin D And Fish Oil Supplements Disappoint In Long-Awaited Study Results

Many people routinely take nutritional supplements such as vitamin D and fish oil in the hopes of staving off major killers like cancer and heart disease.

But the evidence about the possible benefits of the supplements has been mixed.

Now, long-awaited government-funded research has produced some of the clearest evidence yet about the usefulness of taking the supplements. And the results published in two papers are disappointing.

"Both trials were negative," says Dr. Lawrence Fine, chief of the clinical application and prevention branch of the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, a part of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the studies.

"Overall, they showed that neither fish oil nor vitamin D actually lowered the incidence of heart disease or cancer," Fine says.

The results were presented at the American Heart Association Scientific Sessions in Chicago and released online Saturday by the New England Journal of Medicine. One paper focused on vitamin D supplementation and the other focused on fish oil.

The trials involved nearly 26,000 healthy adults age 50 and older with no history of cancer or heart disease who took part in the VITAL research project. Twenty percent of the participants were African-American.

Some of the participants took either 1 gram of fish oil which contains omega-3 fatty acids plus 2,000 international units of vitamin D daily. Others consumed the same dose of vitamin D plus a placebo, while others ingested the same dose of fish oil plus a placebo. The last group took two placebos. After more than five years, researchers were unable to find any overall benefit.

While the overall results were disappointing, there appeared to be a beneficial effect when it came to one aspect of heart disease and fish oil: heart attacks.

Original Submission

Read more of this story at SoylentNews.


How To Evolve A Radio Hackaday

Evolutionary algorithms are an interesting topic of study. Rather then relying on human ingenuity and investigation to create new designs, instead, an algorithm is given a target to achieve, and creates offspring, iterating in an evolutionary manner to create offspring that get closer to the target with each generation.

This method can be applied to the design of electronic circuits, and is sometimes referred to as hardware evolution. A team from Duke University attempted exactly this, aiming to produce an oscillator using evolutionary techniques.

The team used a platform called the evolvable motherboard, or EM. The EM is a platform controlled by an attached computer, consisting of reconfigurable solid state switches that allow attached circuit components to be interconnected in every combination possible. These components may be virtually any electronic component; in this experiment, 10 bipolar transistors were used.

The evolutionary algorithm was given a fitness function that rewarded output amplitude and frequency, aiming to create an oscillator operating at 25KHz. However, the team noticed some interesting emergent behavior. The algorithm tended to reward amplification behavior from the circuit, leading to many configurations that oscillated poorly, but amplified ambient noise. In the end, the algorithm developed circuit configurations that acted as a radio, picking up and amplifying signals from the surrounding environment, rather than oscillating on their own. The evolutionary algorithm took advantage of the interaction between not only the circuit elements, but effects such as the parasitic capacitance introduced by the switching matrix and appeared to use the PCB circuit traces as an antenna.

The team conclude that evolutionary algorithms used in circuit design ignore human preconceptions about how circuits work, and will take advantage of sometimes unpredictable and unexpected effects to achieve their targets. This is a blessing and a curse, bringing unconventional designs to the fore, but also creating circuits that may not work well in a generalized environment. If your oscillator relies on a nearby noise source to operate, it may operate unpredictably in the field, for example.

Weve seen evolutionary algorithms used before, such as being applied to robotic design.


Hitman 2s Denuvo Protection Cracked Three Days Before Launch TorrentFreak

Protecting video games from piracy has become big business over the years. The latest games consoles from Sony and Microsoft appear relatively secure but the same cannot be said about PC titles.

Due to the fact that PC games are loaded onto a platform that is instantly accessible to hackers, its almost inevitable that any games worth having will have their piracy protections removed at some point and leak online for all to download.

The company on the anti-piracy frontlines is Denuvo. Its anti-tamper technology is fiendishly difficult to crack and as such it regularly finds its way on to many of the gaming worlds most cherished titles. However, Denuvo is not infallible so regularly finds itself targeted by crackers.

This weekend, the technology suffered yet another disappointing blow. The long-awaiting stealth game Hitman 2 which comes protected by the latest variant of Denuvo (v5.3) leaked online. Aside from having its protection circumvented, this happened three days before the titles official launch on November 13.

Firstly, the game leaked online three days early, rendering the protection when the game finally comes out much less useful. Secondly, presuming the original copy of the game was obtained on Friday when the pre-order copy was delivered, it took just a single day for the group to crack Denuvos latest protection.

Considering an announcement made by Denuvo just last week, this is a pretty embarrassing turn of events. Denuvos aim is to protect games in their initial release window and according to the company, having no protection can result in millions of dollars in potential lost revenue in just a couple of weeks.

To be on the safe side, however, the company also highlighted the importance of protecting games for just four days (notably a couple of Denuvo-protected titles recently withstood attack for the same number period). Winding back further still, the company said that even providing protection for an hour is worthwhile. Clearly, minus three days didnt figure into Denuvos plans.

While several groups have been chipping away at Denuvo for some time, FCKDRM is a new entrant (at least by branding) to the cracking scene. Notably, FCKDRM isnt a Scene group but one that works in P2P circles. At leas...


Elon Musk BITCOIN Twitter scam, a simple and profitable fraud for crooks Security Affairs

Crooks are exploiting the popularity of Elon Musk and a series of hacked verified Twitter accounts to implement a new fraud scheme.

Crooks are exploiting the popularity of Elon Musk and a series of hacked verified Twitter accounts (i.e. UK retailer Matalan, US publisher Pantheon Books, and official government Twitter accounts such as the Ministry of Transportation of Colombia and the National Disaster Management Authority of India.) in a simple as effective scam scheme.

The accounts were hacked to impersonate Elon Musk, once hijacked, scammers changed the accounts names and profile pictures to those of the popular entrepreneur and started using them to share tweet calling for people to send him cryptocurrency.

The accounts were informing Twitter users of a new alleged Musks initiative of creating the biggest crypto-giveaway of 10,000 bitcoins.

Im giving 10 000 Bitcoin (BTC) to all community! I left the post of director of Tesla, thank you all for your support, states the hacked account of Pantheon Books.



Top 10 Most Pirated Movies of The Week on BitTorrent 11/12/18 TorrentFreak

This week we have three newcomers in our chart.

Mission: Impossible Fallout is the most downloaded movie.

The data for our weekly download chart is estimated by TorrentFreak, and is for informational and educational reference only. All the movies in the list are Web-DL/Webrip/HDRip/BDrip/DVDrip unless stated otherwise.

RSS feed for the articles of the recent weekly movie download charts.

This weeks most downloaded movies are:
Movie Rank Rank last week Movie name IMDb Rating / Trailer
Most downloaded movies via torrents
1 () Mission: Impossible Fallout 8.0 / trailer
2 (1) The Equalizer 2 6.9 / trailer
3 (2) The Meg 5.9 / trailer
4 (3) Incredibles 2 8.0 / trailer
5 (5) Mile 22 6.1 / trailer
6 () Outlaw king 7.1 / trailer
7 (6) Alpha 6.9 / trailer


Winged Humanoid Observed in Fayette County, WV Terra Forming Terra


This puts the time frames back a lot.  Makes the argument of a potential human system completely out of reach.  

There is nothing in the archeological record to support this life form so it is perhaps reasonable to wonder if this could be alien in origin. It still has antecedents in the gargoyle.

Otherwise it is an excellent look at this creature and it determines that it is large enough to depend largely on gliding.   Many other glimpses had left this aspect uncertain.


Winged Humanoid Observed in Fayette County, WV
Wednesday, October 24, 2018

I received the following account after posting Black Winged Humanoid Encounter Near Rockford, Illinois:

Hi Lon, hope things are going well. I read about the winged humanoid in your latest newsletter. I've been following these stories in your newsletter pretty closely. The newsletter that was in my inbox today really struck me, because I have seen something similar - the 'Jeepers Creepers' description was dead on.

Long story short, I don't remember the exact year, but this would've been the mid-80's. My best guess is 1985 or 1986. It was a summer evening in Oak Hill, West Virginia (Oak Hill is a small town in the south-central part of the state, about 15...


The Pentagon's Plan to Dominate the Economy Terra Forming Terra

As i have stated many times, government prints money, then spends money and then taxes it back or relies on the credit system to  actually draw it down through interest charges which is offset with a moderate inflation.

Spending that mass of money to best effect has mostly been done through the military in which maximum productivity is possible except for that small fraction actually spent on war.  After that entitlements matter and then you struggle to get effective civilian programs.  My point though is that military spending has dominated our economy for a long time and employs the best and the brightest. 

There are still plenty of management difficulties particularly due to secrecy.

This is no plan and has been accepted for a long time.


Tomgram: William Hartung, The Pentagon's Plan to Dominate the Economy

Back in the mid-1990s, I wrote the following in my book The End of Victory Culture, with memories of the American world of my 1940s and 1950s childhood in mind:
The worlds of the warrior and of abundance were, to my gaze, no more antithetical than they were to the corporate executives, university research scientists, and military officers who were using a rising military budget and the fear of communism to create a new national security economy.  An alliance between big industry, big science, and the military had been forged during World War II.  This alliance had blurred the boundaries between the military and the civilian by fusing a double set of desires: for technological breakthroughs leading to ever more instant weapons of destruction and to ever easier living.  The arms race and the race for the good life were now...


JFK jr as NEW AG? Terra Forming Terra

A lot has happened and is now happening, that it is difficult to know how to provide a coherent report.  Worse than that, not knowing the background makes it easy for a new reader to be dismissive.  In fact that is healthy. Otherwise i have nothing to say.

I have posted that a massive operation is presently underway that truly began decades ago and which includes Mil Intel in particular.  I do not use the phrase 'white hats' except to say men are doing their duty in face of a concerted long standing operation against the regime that is itself far older.  I myself perceived the existence of this threat many years ago as it slowly emerged.  To the point of wondering if Mil Intel was asleep which i considered unlikely.

The true enemy has operated secretly and has secured control over large swaths of the governing apparatus both in the USA and abroad.  They have done this with access to unlimited financial resources which includes willing ( or otherwise ) control of the central banking system.  The apparatus itself was surely produced by either or both of COMITERM and the NAZIS.  The intellectual infection was also introduced into the universities under various names, but all revering authoritarian socialism.  This infection has spread downward into the general education system itself where resistance is much weaker.

The counter attack is now in full tide and is about to erupt into our general consciousness. You must understand that very detailed planning is  been implemented and the enemy is resisting.

It may help to understand that Trump's Career was plausibly sponsored by the Kennedy fortune.  Put another way, certain things happened that can best be explained by a true silent partner.  It proves possible that JFK jr staged his death in an airplane crash in 9...


New evidence of how the Norse became long-distance mariners Terra Forming Terra


I do not think that any of this was sudden but it does tell of the methodology that must trace back to before the Bronze Age.  Proofing a ship against worms and fouling has been a constant to today.

The viking Age was a natural response to opportunity created by the Roman Collapse itself in the West.  Recall this was also preceded by Celtic shipping superior to Roman shipping.  Thus we have around 500 AD the first real break in serious Sea protection in Western Europe.

The recipe sounds pretty obvious and also basic.  Adding seal oil to pine pitch may well make wood highly resistant to worms and fouling and experiments indicate as much..

New evidence of how the Norse became long-distance mariners

They made tar in industrial quantities, to coat ships hulls and sails

Nov 1st 2018

 ACCORDING TO THE Saga of Erik the Red, shipworm will not bore into the wood which has been smeared with the seal-tar. Viking scholars debate the precise meaning of seal in seal-tar. One interpretation is that the Scandinavian conquerors mixed tar, or pitch, with animal fat and some experiments suggest this may indeed keep shipworm at bay. What is clear is that tar was an important marine technology, and new finds suggest that a vast industry making it emerged at the beginning of the Viking era, helping enable their conquests.

The oldest tar pits in Sweden date from around 100AD to 400AD. The first were discovered in the early 2000s, and are found close to old settlements, suggesting that the tar was for coating houses and household items. It was made by stacking pine wood into conical pits a metre or two across, setting the wood on fire and covering it with turf and charcoal to encourage a slow combustion. In this way, the woods resin would turn to tar and drip out of the cones bottom into a buried container.

However, as Andreas Hennius, an archaeologist at Uppsala University, reports in this months Antiquity, around the eighth century something shifted. The pits got much biggerreaching eight to ten metres in diameterand moved far into the forest. These pits could have made between 200 and 300 litres of tar in a single production cycle.

Mr Hennius argues that the builders needed all this tar for ships. The eighth century was when sails arrived in Scandinavia. That, in his view, is no coincidence. Tar has been found on hulls, rigging and small fragments of sails from Viking vessels. It was used to waterproof the hulls...


Smartwatches Know You're Getting a Cold Days Before You Feel Ill SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Smartwatches know you're getting a cold days before you feel ill

Once we had palm-reading, now we have smartwatches. Wearable tech can now detect when youre about to fall ill, simply by tracking your vital signs.

Michael Snyder at Stanford University in California experienced this first-hand last year. For over a year he had been wearing seven sensors to test their reliability, when suddenly they began to show abnormal readings. Even though he felt fine, the sensors showed that his heart was beating faster than normal, his skin temperature had risen, and the level of oxygen in his blood had dropped.

Thats what first alerted me that something wasnt quite right, says Snyder. He wondered whether he might have caught Lyme disease from a tick during a recent trip to rural Massachusetts.

A mild fever soon followed, and Snyder asked a doctor for the antibiotic doxycycline, which can be used to treat Lyme disease. His symptoms cleared within a day. Subsequent tests confirmed his self-diagnosis.

Original Submission

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Rocket Lab Completes First Commercial Launch of Its Electron Rocket Lifeboat News: The Blog

U.S.-based aerospace manufacturer Rocket Lab completed its first successful commercial launch on Saturday, sending seven spacecraft including six tiny satellites and a drag sail demonstrator into orbit aboard a relatively small Electron rocket designed primarily for smallsats and cubesats, Spaceflight Now reported.


NASA has plans to probe Uranus in search of gas Lifeboat News: The Blog

That title though

A group at NASA has taken aim at Uranus and Neptune in search of gas, heavy metals, and to understand more about the planets atmospheres.


Consumers would stop engaging with a brand online following a breach Help Net Security

Ping Identity surveyed more than 3,000 people across the United States, United Kingdom, France and Germany to find out what they expect from brands when it comes to the safekeeping of personal information. The survey reveals many consumers are making drastic changes to the ways they interact with companies and secure their own personal data following a breach: 78 percent of respondents would stop engaging with a brand online and more than one third (36 More

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Implications of the NIS Directive for the industrial sector Help Net Security

On July 6, 2018 the NIS (Network and Information System) Directive was enacted as the first EU-wide legislation that provides measures to boost security across the region. Under the law, operators of essential services and digital service providers are required to abide by the requirements of the new regulations. These are intended to provide a framework for countries and operators to strengthen the security of critical infrastructures and allied information systems. Any operator with 50 More

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[SECURITY] [DSA 4338-1] qemu security update Bugtraq

Posted by Moritz Muehlenhoff on Nov 11

Debian Security Advisory DSA-4338-1 security () debian org Moritz Muehlenhoff
November 11, 2018

Package : qemu
CVE ID : CVE-2018-10839 CVE-2018-17962...


[SECURITY] [DSA 4337-1] thunderbird security update Bugtraq

Posted by Moritz Muehlenhoff on Nov 11

Debian Security Advisory DSA-4337-1 security () debian org Moritz Muehlenhoff
November 10, 2018

Package : thunderbird
CVE ID : CVE-2018-12389 CVE-2018-12390...


Reported breaches in the first 9 months of 2018 exposed 3.6 billion records Help Net Security

There have been 3,676 publicly disclosed data compromise events through September 30. Breach activity continues at a consistent pace for 2018, which although significant in level, will likely not reach the numbers we saw in 2017, according to the 2018 Q3 Data Breach QuickView report by Risk Based Security. Incidents by data type exposed The number of reported breaches shows some improvement compared to 2017 and the number of records exposed has dropped dramatically, said More

The post Reported breaches in the first 9 months of 2018 exposed 3.6 billion records appeared first on Help Net Security.


[SECURITY] [DSA 4336-1] ghostscript security update Bugtraq

Posted by Salvatore Bonaccorso on Nov 11

Debian Security Advisory DSA-4336-1 security () debian org Salvatore Bonaccorso
November 10, 2018

Package : ghostscript
CVE ID : CVE-2018-11645 CVE-2018-17961...


PeepSo v1.11.2 (WordPress Plugin) - XSS Vulnerability in Members Bugtraq

Posted by Socket_0x03 on Nov 11

PeepSo v1.11.2 (WordPress Plugin) - Cross-Site Scripting Vulnerability in Members"


PeepSo v1.11.2 - Time-Based SQL Injection Bugtraq

Posted by Socket_0x03 on Nov 11

PeepSo v1.11.2 (WordPress Plugin) - Time-Based SQL Injection


NEW VMSA-2018-0027 VMware ESXi, Workstation, and Fusion updates address uninitialized stack memory usage Bugtraq

Posted by VMware Security Response Center on Nov 11


VMware Security Advisory

Advisory ID: VMSA-2018-0027
Severity: Critical
Synopsis: VMware ESXi, Workstation, and Fusion updates address
uninitialized stack memory usage
Issue date: 2018-11-09
Updated on: 2018-11-09 (Initial Advisory)
CVE number: CVE-2018-6981, CVE-2018-6982

1. Summary

VMware ESXi, Workstation, and...


WP User Manager v2.0.8 - Time-Based SQL Injection Bugtraq

Posted by Socket_0x03 on Nov 11

WP User Manager v2.0.8 (WordPress Plugin) - Time-Based SQL Injection


Closing the security gap will drive $125 billion critical infrastructure security spending Help Net Security

Critical infrastructures are radically transforming on an unprecedented scale, boosted by a rapid adoption of smart operational technologies. Cybersecurity is a growing part of that evolution. ABI Research forecasts security spending for the protection of critical infrastructures will hit US$125 billion globally by 2023. Currently, defense contractors (Lockheed Martin, BAE Systems, Harris, Northrop Grumman), industrial OEMs (Honeywell, Siemens, Airbus, Rockwell, Boeing), tech leaders (IBM, Amazon, Microsoft, Verizon), and energy companies (Shell, Total, Exxon) are the More

The post Closing the security gap will drive $125 billion critical infrastructure security spending appeared first on Help Net Security.


Cloudflare Releases DNS App for Mobile Users SoylentNews

Cloudflare rolls out its privacy service to iOS, Android

Months after announcing its privacy-focused DNS service, Cloudflare is bringing to mobile users.

Granted, nothing ever stopped anyone from using on their phones or tablets already. But now the app, now available for iPhones, iPads and Android devices, aims to make it easier for anyone to use its free consumer DNS service.

The app is a one-button push to switch on and off again. That's it.

Cloudflare rolled out earlier this year on April Fools' Day, no less, but privacy is no joke to the San Francisco-based networking giant. In using the service, you let Cloudflare handle all of your DNS information, like when an app on your phone tries to connect to the internet, or you type in the web address of any site. By funneling that DNS data through, it can make it more difficult for your internet provider to know which sites you're visiting, and also ensure that you can get to the site you want without having your connection censored or hijacked.

Apple and Google Play.

Also at Android Police and Fast Company.

Previously: Cloudflare Launches Consumer DNS Service
Cloudflare's New DNS Attracting 'Gigabits Per Second' Of Rubbish

Original Submission

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[SECURITY] [DSA 4335-1] nginx security update Bugtraq

Posted by Moritz Muehlenhoff on Nov 11

Debian Security Advisory DSA-4335-1 security () debian org Moritz Muehlenhoff
November 08, 2018

Package : nginx
CVE ID : CVE-2018-16843 CVE-2018-16844...


A Daylight-Readable Bar Graph Display in the 70s Wasnt Cheap Hackaday

The driver board with display attached; the row of lamps is visible on the right hand side.

LEDs werent always an easy solution to displays and indicators. The fine folks at [Industrial Alchemy] shared pictures of a device that shows what kind of effort and cost went into making a high brightness bar graph display in the 70s, back when LEDs were both expensive and not particularly bright. There are no strange materials or methods involved in making the display daylight-readable, but its a peek at how solving problems we take for granted today sometimes took a lot of expense and effort.

The display is a row of 28 small incandescent bulbs, mounted in a PCB and housed in a machined aluminum frame. Holes through which to view the bulbs are on both the top and front of the metal housing, which allows the unit to be mounted in different orientations. It was made as a swappable module, its 56 machined gold pins mate to sockets on the driver board. The driver board itself consists of 14 LM119 dual comparators, each of which controls two bulbs on the display.



Rocket Lab's Modest Launch is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business SoylentNews

Rocket Lab's Modest Launch Is Giant Leap for Small Rocket Business:

The company's Electron rocket carried a batch of small commercial satellites from a launchpad in New Zealand, a harbinger of a major transformation to the space business.

A small rocket from a little-known company lifted off Sunday from the east coast of New Zealand, carrying a clutch of tiny satellites. That modest event the first commercial launch by a U.S.-New Zealand company known as Rocket Lab could mark the beginning of a new era in the space business, where countless small rockets pop off from spaceports around the world. This miniaturization of rockets and spacecraft places outer space within reach of a broader swath of the economy.

The rocket, called the Electron, is a mere sliver compared to the giant rockets that Elon Musk, of SpaceX, and Jeffrey P. Bezos, of Blue Origin, envisage using to send people into the solar system. It is just 56 feet tall and can carry only 500 pounds into space.

But Rocket Lab is aiming for markets closer to home. "We're FedEx," said Peter Beck, the New Zealand-born founder and chief executive of Rocket Lab. "We're a little man that delivers a parcel to your door."

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Forget your car, this is awesome Lifeboat News: The Blog

Forget your car, this is awesome, via Jet Capsule.


Alarm Over Talks to Implant UK Employees with Microchips

Via: Guardian: Britains biggest employer organisation and main trade union body have sounded the alarm over the prospect of British companies implanting staff with microchips to improve security. UK firm BioTeq, which offers the implants to businesses and individuals, has already fitted 150 implants in the UK. The tiny chips, implanted in the flesh between []


First Perihelion: Into the Unknown with Parker Solar Probe Lifeboat News: The Blog

Good thing there are no traffic cameras in space! The #ParkerSolarProbe spacecraft reached a top speed of 213,200 miles per hour relative to the Sun during its first close approach to our closest star, setting a new record for spacecraft speed.Learn more from NASA Sun Science about this mission of solar discovery:


The Naughty AIs That Gamed The System Hackaday

Artificial intelligence (AI) is undergoing somewhat of a renaissance in the last few years. Theres been plenty of research into neural networks and other technologies, often based around teaching an AI system to achieve certain goals or targets. However, this method of training is fraught with danger, because just like in the movies the computer doesnt always play fair.

Its often very much a case of the AI doing exactly what its told, rather than exactly what you intended. Like a devious child who will gladly go to bed in the literal sense, but will not actually sleep, this can cause unexpected, and often quite hilarious results. [Victoria] has created a master list of scholarly references regarding exactly this.

The list spans a wide range of cases. Theres the amusing evolutionary algorithm designed to create creatures capable of high-speed movement, which merely spawned very tall creatures that generated these speeds by falling over. More worryingly, theres the AI trained to identify toxic and edible mushrooms, which simply picked up on the fact that it was presented with the two types in alternating order. This ended up being an unreliable model in the real world. Similarly, the model designed to assess malignancy of skin cancers determined that lesions photographed with rulers for scale were more likely to be cancerous.

[Victoria] refers to this as specification gaming. One can draw parallels to classic sci-fi stories around the Laws of Robotics, where robots take such laws to their literal extremes, often causing great harm in the process. Its an interesting discussion of the difficulty in training artificially intelligent systems to achieve their set goals without undesirable side effects.

Weve seen plenty of work in this area before like this use of evolutionary algorithms in circuit design.


NASA asteroid WARNING: Three giant asteroids to pass Earth THIS SATURDAY Lifeboat News: The Blog

THREE giant asteroids will barrel past the planet this weekend on a so-called Close Earth Approach, NASA has warned.


Astronomers Just Discovered Two Rogue Planets in Our Galaxy Lifeboat News: The Blog

Polish astronomers just discovered two new planets in our galaxy. Thats cool news on its own, but these planets are different from most. Unlike almost all known planets, New Scientist reports, these two planets dont orbit a star.

Instead, they drift aimlessly through the cold, dead void of space and presumably spend their time writing angsty poetry.


Our seedlings are sprouting on the International Space Station Lifeboat News: The Blog

Astronaut Serena Aun-Chancellor planted Red Russian kale and Dragoon lettuce in a special garden last month and if all goes well, they will be ready to enjoy for Thanksgiving! Dig in:


Apple's T2 Security Chip Prevents Linux From Installing on New Macs SoylentNews

Apple's MacBook Pro laptops have become increasingly unfriendly with Linux in recent years [...] But now with the latest Mac Mini systems employing Apple's T2 security chip, they too are likely to crush any Linux dreams.

At least until further notice, these new Apple systems sporting the T2 chip will not be able to boot Linux operating systems.

[...] By default, Microsoft Windows isn't even bootable on the new Apple systems until enabling support for Windows via the Boot Camp Assistant macOS software.

From Phoronix.

Original Submission

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Comcast Heads to Trial With Washington State Over Consumer Protection Dispute SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for chromas

Comcast heads to trial with Washington state over consumer protection dispute

Lawyers from Comcast and the State of Washington met in King County Superior Court Friday debating evidence in a rare consumer protection lawsuit headed for trial.

The case involves a Comcast product called the Service Protection Plan (SPP), a monthly paid service that covers maintenance of in-home wiring for Xfinity TV, internet and voice, and troubleshooting for customer-owned equipment. Washington claims Comcast repeatedly violated the state's Consumer Protection Act (CPA) by signing customers up for the SPP without their consent, misleading them to believe the service was free, and misrepresenting what the service guaranteed.

"Consumers who get signed up for a service over the phone without being told about it are potentially deceived as to whether or not they have that service, even if they get disclosures later," Assistant Attorney General Seann Colgan said during the hearing Friday. "That's really where this comes down under the law."

Colgan also noted that the SPP is a lucrative product for Comcast, claiming sales of the product accounted for $85 million in revenue for the company between 2011 and 2016.

Comcast's attorneys claim that the cases cited by the Attorney General's office were in the extreme minority and the result of a few bad apples who were fired or seriously disciplined.

"When you're dealing with millions of interactions, there will be mistakes," said Comcast attorney Howard Shapiro. "There will be misconduct. Comcast, like any other large entity, is not full of perfect humans who every time, do everything right. But that is not a CPA violation."

Comcast revised its SPP policies in 2017 to be more transparent.

Original Submission

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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 789 News

This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Fedora 29 WorkstationNews: Fedora turns 15, Haiku experiences server outage, Debian releases updated media, FreeBSD 10.4 reaches its end of lifeTechnology review: Fedora 29 SilverblueReleased last week: Neptune 5.6, ReactOS 0.4.10, Oracle Linux 7.6Torrent corner: Antergos, Archman, AUSTRUMI, CAINE, Debian, HardenedBSD, Kodachi,....


Kernel prepatch 4.20-rc2

The 4.20-rc2 kernel prepatch is out for testing. "Fairly normal week, aside from me traveling".


Hackaday Links: The Eleventh Day Of The Eleventh Month, 2018 Hackaday

For the better part of the last five years, the Great War Channel on YouTube has been covering the events of the Great War, week by week, exactly 100 years later. Its hundreds of episodes designed for history buffs, and quite literally one of the most educational channels on YouTube. Its the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eighteenth year, which means the folks behind the Great War Channel are probably taking a well-deserved vacation. If you havent heard of this channel, it might be a good time to check it out.

Ikea is now selling NFC locks. [Mike] wrote in to tell us he found the new ROTHULT drawer deadbolts for $18 at Ikea. No, these arent meant for your front door, theyre meant for file cabinets. Thats a different threat model, and no lock is ever completely secure. However, there are some interesting electronics. You get a lock powered by three AAA batteries and two NFC cards for $18. Cant wait for the teardown.

The biggest news from the United States this week is big. People gathered in the streets. Millions made sure their voices were heard. Journalists were cut down for asking questions. This is a week that will go down in history. The McRib is back for a limited time. Its just a reconstituted pork patty, pickles, onions, and sauce on a hoagie roll, but theres more to the McRib than you would think. McDonalds only releases the McRib when the price of pork is low, and in late October, pork belly futures hit their lowest price since the last time the McRib came to town. This has led some to claim the McRib is just a second lever for McDonalds in an arbitrage play on the price of pork. McDonalds is always buying pork futures, the theory goes, and when it looks like theyre going to lose money, McDonalds simply turns on the McRib production line, pushing pork consumption up, and netting McDonalds a tidy profit. With the volume youre looking at, McDonalds will never lose money by betting on pork.

You can turn anything into a quadcopter. A dead cat? Yes, its been done. How about a quartet of box fans? Thats what the folks at Flite Test did, and while the completed article was wobbly and didnt survive its first crash, it was a quadcopter made out of box fans.


Linux 4.20-rc2 Released With EXT4 Bug Fixes, New NVIDIA Turing USB-C Driver Phoronix

Linus Torvalds put out the second weekly test release of the Linux 4.20 kernel and all-around it's been a normal week past the merge window...


Automation of Searches Will Not Solve the Legitimacy Problem Caused by Patents Lust Techrights

Related: Michael Frakes and Melissa Wasserman Complain About Low Patent Quality While Watchtroll Lobbies to Lower It Further

Trump and Iancu

Summary: The false belief that better searches and so-called AI can miraculously assess patents will simply drive/motivate bad decisions and already steers bad management towards patent maximalism (presumption of examination/validation where none actually exists)

THE emergence of SCOTUSs decision on Alice and todays 35 U.S.C. 101 was quite revolutionary. We have no issue with USPTO-granted patents on physical things (an example from several hours ago can be seen here) but on algorithms something which the European Patent Office (EPO) too has been guilty of lately.

Examiners need to better understand and respect patent scope, irrespective of what was done in the past (prior art).Recently there were those who framed prior art [1, 2] not patent scope as a core issue. Not even Watchtroll was happy about it (labeling it An Overstated Solution to Patent Examination). Examiners need to better understand and respect patent scope, irrespective of what was done in the past (prior art). Compare this to prior Watchtroll rants/coverage about prior art (like this from 2 days earlier).

We dont mean to say that prior art never matters; alluding to...


Synchronized telescopes put limits on mystery bursts Lifeboat News: The Blog

A technological tango between 2 telescopes in the Australian outback has added an important piece to the puzzle of fast radio bursts.


What makes us? Nature or nurture? The DNA debate comes back to life Lifeboat News: The Blog

An extraordinary new film about identical triplets throws doubt on the dominance of DNA.


Samsung will soon test TVs that can be controlled with your brain Lifeboat News: The Blog

Samsung TVs are already some of the most popular options for high-end home theater systems, and the company is now using its television-making prowess to help people with disabilities live more normal lives. A new project by a Samsung team in Switzerland could yield the first smart TV that can be controlled with thoughts.

As CNET reports, Samsung has partnered with Swiss scientists to bring the system to life. Called Project Pontis, the ultimate goal is to build a brain/software interface that will allow individuals with movement disabilities to control television features like channel switching and volume control with their brains rather than their bodies.


The US Military Just Publicly Dumped Russian Government Malware Online SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for chromas

The US Military Just Publicly Dumped Russian Government Malware Online

Usually it's the Russians that dump its enemies' files. This week, US Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), a part of the military tasked with hacking and cybersecurity focused missions, started publicly releasing unclassified samples of adversaries' malware it has discovered.

CYBERCOM says the move is to improve information sharing among the cybersecurity community, but in some ways it could be seen as a signal to those who hack US systems: we may release your tools to the wider world.

"This is intended to be an enduring and ongoing information sharing effort, and it is not focused on any particular adversary," Joseph R. Holstead, acting director of public affairs at CYBERCOM told Motherboard in an email.

On Friday, CYBERCOM uploaded multiple files to VirusTotal, a Google-owned search engine and repository for malware. Once uploaded, VirusTotal users can download the malware, see which anti-virus or cybersecurity products likely detect it, and see links to other pieces of malicious code.

Original Submission

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Ex-Facebook exec ousted from company sparked controversy with pro-Trump views: report The Hill: Technology Policy

A former top executive at Facebook who was ousted from the company may have been fired over his support for Donald Trump during the 2016 campaign, according to The Wall Street Journal.The Journal reported Sunday that Palmer Luckey has...


The Federal Circuit and PTAB Are Not Slowing Down; Patent Maximalists Claim Its Harassment to Question a Patents Validity Techrights

The duo that strikes out a lot of questionable patents is still besieged or at least berated by the litigation industry


Summary: Theres no sign of stopping when it comes to harassment of judges and courts; those who make a living from patent threats and litigation do anything conceivable to stop the bloodbath of US patents which were never supposed to have been granted in the first place

AS we noted in the previous post, theres a coordinated effort to squash reviews of patents wrongly granted by the USPTO. Battistelli did something similar at the European Patent Office (EPO) when he relentlessly attacked judges and their collective independence.

The USPTO, unlike the EPO, cannot quite influence the courts (its definitely trying to, as we warned earlier this month), so if patents are granted in error they will be invalidated/rejected by the courts; Iancu and his new sidekick (patent trolls' apologists) can just stare and glare. They cant quite touch the judges. They make a bit of a turmoil at the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) though, mirroring Battistellis assault on the appeal boards.

Recent Law360 coverage spoke about fake patents (that are, as usual, software patents) being thrown out by the excellent Federal Circuit, which has changed a lot under its current chief judge. There is virtually nothing Iancu can do to the Federal Circuit and ignoring its outcomes/caselaw he can only ever do at his own peril. Suzanne Monyaks report says that [t]he Federal Circuit on Wednesday refused to revive technology company PurePredictive Inc.s claims that an open-source software company ripped off its predictive analytics patent...


The Performance Impact Of Spectre Mitigation On POWER9 Phoronix

Over the past year we have looked extensively at the performance impact of Spectre mitigations on x86_64 CPUs but now with having the Raptor Talos II in our labs, here are some benchmarks to see the performance impact of IBM's varying levels of Spectre mitigation for POWER9.


New Music Random Thoughts

Music Ive bought this month.

jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=BEAK%3E&album=%3E%3E%3E jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Bert+Jansch&album=A+Man+I'd+Rather+Be+(4)%3A+Bert+and+John jukebox.php?image=micro.png&group=Susumu+Yokota&album=Acid+Mt.+Fuji ...


Patent Maximalists Will Latch Onto Return Mail v US Postal Service in an Effort to Weaken or Limit Post-Grant Reviews of US Patents Techrights

Summary: An upcoming case, dealing with what governments can and cannot do with/to patents (specifically the US government and US patents), interests the litigation industry because it loathes reviews of low-quality and/or controversial patents (these reviews discourage litigation or stop lawsuits early on in the cycle)

THE DEPARTURE of the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) from science and technology was noted here earlier today; it not only abandons actual innovation but also justice itself. Its rather troubling. It all happened quite fast under Donald Trump and corrupt Wilbur Ross (new Director and deputy appointed); at the same time two right-wing activists were also appointed as Justices.

Looking back at the past fortnights news we take note of Watchtrolls article from two weeks ago about Bayh-Dole, wherein Joseph Allen defends public work (government/universities) being handed over for trolls to attack the public with. Remember that USPTO chiefs are rather sympathetic towards trolls. This cannot be ignored.

One other topic covered here two weekends ago was that chasm separating individuals and non-human entities, i.e. person versus government/corporation (similar to corporations as people or corporate bribery as free speech). Watchtroll explained it as follows on the last day of last month: Return Mail also cites to the Supreme Courts 1991 decision in International Primate Protection League v. Ad...


Pro-Copyright Bias is Alive, Well, and Still Hiding the Full Story TorrentFreak

In 2007, the movie The Man From Earth leaked on file-sharing networks, with unexpected results. Instead of proving nothing but damaging, the title gained almost universal praise, rocketing the sci-fi flick to stardom via word-of-mouth advertising.

Director Richard Schenkman and producer Eric Wilkinson embraced the development and enthused over the attention their work was receiving online. Given the positive experience, during January 2018 the team deliberately leaked the sequel The Man from Earth: Holocene on The Pirate Bay.

Given that filmmakers tend to view piracy as the enemy, TorrentFreak enthusiastically reported both events. Sadly, we had less positive news to convey this week when, out of the blue, Schenkman published an article on the site of pro-industry, anti-piracy alliance CreativeFuture, in which he heavily criticized piracy.

There can be little doubt that the piece was a gift to CreativeFuture and everyone who viewed Schenkman and Wilkinsons place in the piracy debate as something positive for unauthorized sharing. The movies story had become a ray of light and here it was being shredded, a disastrous episode from which nothing good had come.

At TorrentFreak, however, we had our doubts about the tone of the piece. Never before had we seen such a turnaround, particularly when reviewing all previous correspondence with Schenkman. Something didnt add up.

Mainly due to timezone differences, Schenkman responded to our questions after our article was published. However, his responses only served to increase our suspicions that what had been published on CreativeFuture wasnt representative of his overall position on piracy.

First of all, Schenkman was rightfully furious about his movie being distributed in Russia after being professionally dubbed, with his donation requests removed from the resulting copy. That, most people will agree, is a flat-out insult to someone who has bent over backward to accommodate piracy.

He had every right to be annoyed but its worth noting that his anger was directed at one site, not necessarily pirates in general. In fact, Schenkman told us that plenty of positives have come out of the releases of both movies.

The only reason that people all over the world knew and loved the original Man from Earth was because of piracy, so while Im disappointed that weve (still) made so little money from the first film, Im deeply grateful that so many people have been able to se...


Belt Up With A Redundant Car Part Hackaday

The toothed belt that turns the camshaft in synchronization with the crankshaft on many motor vehicle engines is something of an under-appreciated component. Unless you are unlucky enough to ave had one fail and destroy your engine, its probably something youve never given a second thought to outside of periodic service intervals.

For something to perform such a task over so many thousands of miles of motoring it must be made of pretty strong stuff. Even when a belt is life-expired it is still in good physical shape, and [Crispyjones] saw the potential in a used Subaru belt to make a different type of belt. After keeping his engine in sync for so long it would serve no less vital a purpose, and keep his pants from falling down.

You can of course buy the hardware for a belt from a decent crafting store, but he chose to recycle a buckle from a worn-out leather belt. Cleaning the timing belt and cutting it carefully so that the Subaru logo would be on show to the outside world in the finished article, he secured it round the buckle with some epoxy glue and a bit of stitching. The original leather retaining loop is not really appropriate, so one is fashioned from wire. Finally we see the process for measuring where the holes should be placed, followed by their creation with a hole punch.

Hackaday isnt a crafting site, so we dont often feature projects like this one. But the humble timing belt is a component that weve probably all replaced and thrown away more than once without really thinking what the properties of the thing were throwing away are. So we like this relatively simple project for its re-use of something few of us would otherwise keep, as well as for its delivering rather a cool belt. Weve featured plenty of cambelts here doing their traditional job, but this is the first time weve had one as an item of clothing. Well leave you with a glimpse of a future without cambelts at all.


Guest Post: EPO Spins Censorship of Staff Representation Techrights

Summary: Another concrete example of Campinos cynical story-telling

THE FOLLOWING is composed/presented as two parts. The first is a readers response to the second, which is spin from Antnio Campinos, published after censoring SUEPO's E-mails.

The situation prior to Battistelli

Under all EPO presidents, CSC/LSC as well as SUEPO could send the messages they wanted with no limitation (obviously they never spammed EPO staff with silly contents, much less aggressive messages since it is not EPOs culture and it would have fired back).

There was no problem.

The situation under Battistelli

Battistelli rapidly feared that staff reps/SUEPO could issue to staff reasoned and substantiated critiques exposing his wrongdoing. He then decided to ban mass emails of both CSC/LSC and SUEPO, based on fake motives: Elodie Bergot (HR) falsely accused staff reps/SUEPO of sending defamatory contents or aggressive emails, but surprisingly no one was ever disciplined for an aggressive/defamatory message sent to staff via mass emails (and you best believe that if staff reps/SUEPO officials had sent something truly defamatory or insulting, Bergot would have disciplined them ASAP as sanctioning staff is her hobby).

The situation under Campinos

Campinos now wants EPO staff and the public to believe he re-establishes communication channels only without doing it.

Interesting aspects of his communiqu:

1 it is limited to CSC/LSC = it thus excludes SUEPO (the union representing half of EPO staff) which emails remains banned within the EPO.

2 it is limited to TWO (2) messages/year (dont laugh) and only to call for general assemblies (something which occurs about twice a year).

The communication ban remains intact and impedes not only the communication but de facto the daily work of staff reps/SUEPO as they cannot properly inform staff on the very issues which concern them e.g. top managerial decisions, planned reforms etc.

3 this change is on trial for one year (again dont laugh). So the ban is not only not lifted but the tiny improvement can even be reversed.

4 Campinos suggests that receiving mass email from CSC/LSC (who are elected by staff) would be an intrusion amounting to spam: how nice of him!




Will good prevail over bad as bots battle for the internet? HackRead

By Ian Trump

This is the third in a series of blog posts on all things Bot The first two posts are available here and here. From bad to good and looking towards the future, Bots remain an information security issue which has the potential to impact all commercial and recreational online activity. This series will explore []

This is a post from Read the original post: Will good prevail over bad as bots battle for the internet?


Iconic Westworld Set Burns Down in California Wildfire SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Iconic Westworld set burns down in California wildfire

Old West-style buildings used in the production of HBO's Westworld, as well as in other shows and movies, have been destroyed by the fast-moving Woolsey Fire now sweeping through Southern California.

The fire ruined buildings at Paramount Ranch, one of the locations used during seasons 1 and 2 of Westworld.

"Westworld is not currently in production, and as the area has been evacuated, we do not yet know the extent of the damage to any structures remaining there," HBO said in a statement. "Most importantly, our thoughts go out to all those affected by these horrible fires."

The official Twitter account of the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area shared a photo of the structures as they looked before the fire, with the message, "We are sorry to share the news that the #WoolseyFire has burned Western Town at #ParamountRanch in Agoura."

Westworld was far from the only production to take advantage of the Old West-style buildings and setting for filming. Dr Quinn, Medicine Woman, the 1990s Western drama starring Jane Seymour filmed there, as well as 1968's Herbie The Love Bug, the acclaimed HBO series Carnivale and more were all filmed there.

Original Submission

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MPAA: Switzerland Remains Extremely Attractive For Pirate Sites TorrentFreak

While the European Union has worked hard to strengthen its copyright laws in recent years, one country in the heart of the continent chooses its own path.

Switzerland is not part of the EU, which means that its policies deviate quite a bit from its neighbors. According to Hollywood, thats not helping creators.

Responding to recent submission to the United States Trade Representative (USTR), the MPAA has identified several foreign trade barriers around the world. In Hollywoods case, many of these are related to piracy.

One of the countries thats highlighted, in rather harsh terms, is Switzerland. According to the MPAA, the countrys copyright law is wholly inadequate which, among other things, makes it extremely attractive to host illegal sites.

Switzerlands copyright law is wholly inadequate, lacking crucial mechanisms needed for enforcement in the digital era, MPAA writes.

Switzerland lacks meaningful remedies and effective enforcement against online copyright infringement. Switzerlands inadequate legal framework and robust technical infrastructure make it an extremely attractive host for illegal sites.

One of the concerns is that the Swiss currently have no requirement for Internet services to remove infringing content. In addition, services cant be held liable for infringements of customers.

The Hollywood group says this should change, adding that it also wants ISPs to aid their piracy battle, and to make sure that copying from unauthorized sources is outlawed. The MPAA proposes several changes the Swiss should implement, which include:

1) Ensuring liability under Swiss law for parties who facilitate, encourage, and profit from widespread infringement
2) Engaging ISPs in the fight against online piracy
3) Affirming that current law does not permit copying from unauthorized sources
4) Implementing adequate civil and criminal enforcement tools

While this sounds like a rather pressing matter, these recommendations and the associated problems are far from new. The MPAAs submission does at times read like a broken record, using the exact same language as four years ago, as seen below.

From the MPAAs 2014 report

These copied sections appear throughout the report, also affecting other countries. For example, Hollywood still wants tougher penalties for Australian camcording pirates,...


Quantum compass promises navigation without using GPS Lifeboat News: The Blog

The technology could reduce the damage done by GPS satellite failures or jamming efforts.


Week in review: VirtualBox 0day, GPU side channel attacks, vulnerable self-encrypting SSDs Help Net Security

Heres an overview of some of last weeks most interesting news and articles: Five key considerations when developing a Security Operations Center Organizations should start with the following five key considerations if they are to get the most out of their SOC. How financial institutions can change the economics of fraud The volume of data breaches has bolstered fraudsters ability to waltz through the front doors of businesses using synthetic identities. VirtualBox Guest-to-Host escape 0day More

The post Week in review: VirtualBox 0day, GPU side channel attacks, vulnerable self-encrypting SSDs appeared first on Help Net Security.


WhatsApp iOS beta open for public; How to download it now TechWorm

WhatsApp officially launches an iOS public beta, here is how you can download and register

WhatsApp Beta programme that was limited to a few iOS users has now officially been made publicly available to all iOS users, according to a WABetaInfo report who first published this news. In other words, anyone now can register and become a beta tester for WhatsApp on iOS.

How to Install WhatsApp Beta for iOS

WhatsApp Beta application for iOS receives updates every two days. This will allow beta users to access upcoming features even before they are rolled out to the public. Also, WhatsApp iOS beta testers can report bugs and issues experienced on the beta build along with a description and screenshot through Contact Us page in WhatsApp Settings to notify the company about the bug.

The post WhatsApp iOS beta open for public; How to download it now appeared first on TechWorm.


3D-Printer Extrudes Paper Pulp Instead of Plastic Hackaday

Weve seen all sorts of 3D-printers on these pages before. From the small to the large, Cartesians and deltas, and printers that can squeeze out plastic, metal, and even concrete. But this appears to be the first time weve ever featured a paper-pulp extruding 3D-printer.

Its fair to ask why the world would need such a thing, and its creator, [Beer Holthuis], has an obvious answer: the world has a lot of waste paper. Like 80 kg per person per year. Thankfully at least some of that is recycled, but that still leaves a lot of raw material that [Beer] wanted to put to work. Build details on the printer are sparse, but from the photos and the video below it seems clear how it all went together. A simple X-Y-Z gantry moves a nozzle over the build platform. The nozzle, an order of magnitude or two larger than the nozzles most of us are used to, is connected to an extruder by a plastic hose. The extruder appears to be tube with a stepper-driven screw that lowers a ram down onto the pulp, squeezing it into the hose. [Beer] notes that the pulp is mixed with a bit of natural binder to allow the extruded pulp to keep its shape. We found the extrusion process to be just a wee bit repulsive to watch, but fascinating nonetheless, and the items hes creating are certainly striking in appearance.

This may be the first pulp printer to grace our pages, but its not the first pulp hack weve featured. Pulp turns out to be a great material to keep your neighbors happy and even makes a dandy fuel.

Thanks to [baldpower] for the tip.


11nov2018 Trivium


Re: null-pointer dereference in poppler library Open Source Security

Posted by Dhiraj Mishra on Nov 11

Later CVE-2018-19149 was assigned to this, because that fuzzing result
show's a very important vulnerability in a package currently shipped by a
major Linux distribution is still of interest, even if that Linux
distribution does not package the latest released upstream version.

For example, an out-of-bounds write finding is still very useful in that
case, but not out-of-bounds read, NULL pointer dereference,
divide-by-zero, etc.



Dry Conditions May Have Helped a New Type of Plant Gain a Foothold on Earth SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Dry conditions may have helped a new type of plant gain a foothold on Earth

Researchers have long believed that falling carbon dioxide levels drove the origin of plants with this innovation, but a new study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, based on biochemical modeling by a group led by University of Pennsylvania biologists and paleoclimate modeling by a group at Purdue University, indicates that water availability may have been the critical factor behind the emergence of C4 plants.

"The initial origin of C4, which happened when atmospheric carbon dioxide was still very high, seems driven by water limitation," says Haoran Zhou, a graduate student in the School of Arts and Sciences' Biology Department and first author on the paper. "Then later, about 5 to 8 million years ago, there's a large expansion of C4 grasslands. That's because carbon dioxide was getting lower and lower. Carbon dioxide and light intensity were actually the limiting factors favoring C4 at that time."

"What we show," says Erol Akay, an assistant professor of biology at Penn, "is that the increased water efficiency of the C4 pathway is enough to give it an initial ecological advantage in relatively arid environments. That's the benefit of doing this type of physiological modeling. If you were only looking at temperature and carbon dioxide, you might miss this role of water and light."

The researchers' work also suggest that C4 plants may have had a competitive advantage over C3 plants even when carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere were still relatively high, in the late Oligocene.

"The inference is that C4 could have evolved quite a bit earlier than we previously thought," says Penn's Brent Helliker, an associate professor of biology who, along with Akay, serves as Zhou's advisor. "This supports some molecular clock estimates for when C4 evolved as well."

Original Submission

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SteamOS/Linux Requirements For Valve's Artifact Is Just A Vulkan Intel/AMD/NVIDIA GPU Phoronix

With just two weeks to go until Valve unleashes their latest original game, Artifact, it's now up for pre-order and there are also the system requirements published...


Greek ISPs Ordered To Block The Pirate Bay, 1337x, YTS And Other Domains TechWorm

Court Orders Greek ISPs To Block 38 Domains, Including The Pirate Bay, YTS and 1337x

Greek ISPs (Internet Service Providers) have been ordered by a special Government-affiliated commission to block 38 domains, including The Pirate Bay (TPB), 1337x, and YTS, following a request from a local anti-piracy group, reports TorrentFreak.

The local anti-piracy group, Society for the Protection of Audiovisual Works (EPOE), which represents the interests of major Greek copyright holders, had filed a blocking request in spring.

Also Read The Pirate Bay is Down- 10 Best Torrent Sites To Download Free Movie

The group filed an application with the IPPC, a special commission that falls under the Greek Ministry of Culture and Sports, which decided that ISPs must block a total of 38 domain names.

The targeted sites include The Pirate Bay, 1337x, YTS, as well as several popular local sites, such as Xrysoi, Gamatotv, and Tainiomania. With,, and others, subtitle sites are included in the list of blocked domains as well.

The blocking request was finally approved, as the Government-affiliated commission felt that all the targeted sites are involved in large-scale copyright infringement.

ALSO READ: How To Unblock Torrent Sites

The commission has set a tight deadline of 48 hours for Greek ISPs to comply with the order. In the event of non-compliance, Greek ISPs will face a fine of 850 euros per day, reports Lawspot. The order stands for three years and it explicitly excludes offenses committed by end users.

Below is the complete list of the domain names that are to be blocked by the Greek decision:

    7. https: //
    13. https: // oipeirates .online
    18. ht...


Potent, Cocaine-Like Motivational Drug Unveiled at Neuroscience Conference Lifeboat News: The Blog

Motivation is such an intangible aspect of the human spirit that we often forget it has very real, neurochemical origins. We admire it in others and strive for it in ourselves (see: every Nike ad ever made), and now we are getting closer to potentially inducing that motivational feeling with drugs.

John Salamone, Ph.D., a professor at the University of Connecticut with a background in neural and behavioral pharmacology, has been working with the drug company Chronos Therapeutics to develop a drug that can restore motivation in people who have lost it whether thats due to the symptoms of depression, struggle with disease, or otherwise. He unveiled his early results on rats this week in a presentation at the Society For Neurosciences conference in San Diego, where he tells Inverse his board was bustling with activity:

Basically we stood there for four hours and were busy the entire time, says Salamone. The reception was overwhelmingly positive, he adds. We didnt have anyone say This is crazy! This will never work!.


DXVK 0.92 Released With Fixes For Shadow of the Tomb Raider, Other Games Phoronix

A new release of DXVK is out this weekend for running Direct3D 10/11 games on top of Vulkan...


Quantum compass could allow navigation without relying on satellites Lifeboat News: The Blog

The UKs first quantum accelerometer for navigation has been demonstrated by a team from Imperial College London and M Squared.

Most navigation today relies on a system (GNSS), such as GPS, which sends and receives signals from satellites orbiting the Earth. The is a self-contained system that does not rely on any external signals.

This is particularly important because satellite signals can become unavailable due to blockages such as tall buildings, or can be jammed, imitated or denied preventing accurate navigation. One day of denial of the satellite service would cost the UK 1 billion.


The US just elected 9 new scientists to Congress, including an ocean expert, a nurse, and a biochemist. Heres the full list Lifeboat News: The Blog

The faces of Capitol Hill are changing.

When the 116th Congress heads to Washington in January, there will be a record number of women in the ranks at least 123, according to the news website Axios, including the first Muslim women, the first Somali-American, and the first Native American women.

There will be more scientists too.


Astronomers Find Pairs of Black Holes at the Centers of Merging Galaxies SoylentNews

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Astronomers find pairs of black holes at the centers of merging galaxies

For the first time, a team of astronomers has observed several pairs of galaxies in the final stages of merging together into single, larger galaxies. Peering through thick walls of gas and dust surrounding the merging galaxies' messy cores, the research team captured pairs of supermassive black holeseach of which once occupied the center of one of the two original smaller galaxiesdrawing closer together before they coalescence into one giant black hole.

Led by University of Maryland alumnus Michael Koss (M.S. '07, Ph.D. '11, astronomy), a research scientist at Eureka Scientific, Inc., with contributions from UMD astronomers, the team surveyed hundreds of nearby galaxies using imagery from the W.M. Keck Observatory in Hawaii and NASA's Hubble Space Telescope. The Hubble observations represent more than 20 years' worth of images from the telescope's lengthy archive. The team described their findings in a research paper published on November 8, 2018, in the journal Nature.

"Seeing the pairs of merging galaxy nuclei associated with these huge black holes so close together was pretty amazing," Koss said. "In our study, we see two galaxy nuclei right when the images were taken. You can't argue with it; it's a very 'clean' result, which doesn't rely on interpretation."

The high-resolution images also provide a close-up preview of a phenomenon that astronomers suspect was more common in the early universe, when galaxy mergers were more frequent. When the black holes finally do collide, they will unleash powerful energy in the form of gravitational wavesripples in space-time recently detected for the first time by the twin Laser Interferometer Gravitational-wave Observatory (LIGO) detectors.

The images also presage what will likely happen in a few billion years, when our Milky Way galaxy merges with the neighboring Andromeda galaxy. Both galaxies host supermassive black holes at their center, which will eventually smash together and merge into one larger black hole.

More information: A population of luminous accreting black holes with hidden mergers, Nature (2018). DOI: 10.1038/s41586-018-0652-7 ,

Original Submission

Read more of this...


Kinect Visualizer Demo Gives Winamp a Run for Its Money Hackaday

Winamp eat your heart out, because thanks to the Microsoft Kinect in the hands of [Samarth] theres a new way to make your screen dance along with you. He created a music visualizer demo that takes advantage of the 3D depth camera on Kinect by outputting a fun pixelated silhouette and color changing strobe. When there are big high-hat hits or bass thumps the camera feed reacts accordingly (as any good visualizer would). He even uploaded his code for the project just in case anyone would like to take a look at it.

The visualizer utilizes the OpenKinect-Processing library which has provided the backbone to many other similar Kinect art projects. It was specifically created to provide a quicker way for coders to access the raw color and depth data output by Kinect. Its creator, Daniel Shiffman, has posted a number of tutorials to aid anyone looking to create their own real-time animations as well.

The visualizer demo (see video below) was created as part of Maker Faire Hyderabad which is happening over the weekend. The expo is the citys first Maker Faire and is set to feature over 200 maker exhibits across multiple disciplines. Its always great to see maker communities outside of the ones that are closest to you geographically speaking, so hopefully well see many more like [Samarth] taking part in more maker events in the future.

There are certainly other things you can do with Kinect, like this DSLR focus pull project the runs off a trusty Raspberry Pi.


Meteor shower on Nov. 2122 Lifeboat News: The Blog

By Ellalyn de Vera-Ruiz

The Leonids meteor shower, one of the most active meteor showers of the year, will be visible in most parts of the country in the late hours of November 21 until dawn of November 22.


Intel "Iris" Gallium3D Continues Advancing As The Next-Gen Intel Linux OpenGL Driver Phoronix

While we haven't had much to talk about the Intel "Iris" Gallium3D driver in development as the future Mesa OpenGL driver for the company's graphics hardware, it has continued progressing nicely since its formal unveiling back in September...


Are you close with your siblings? Lifeboat News: The Blog

There is evidence that star clusters start out close, as giant collisions between massive molecular clouds, but then the stellar siblings scatter throughout our galaxy. Evidence was collected using SOFIA Stratospheric Observatory for Infrared Astronomy which is The Boeing Companys jetliner modified to carry a 106-inch diameter telescope.


Living on Mars 2: The Real Tech Behind Nat Geos Martian Colony Lifeboat News: The Blog

What will the first Mars colony look like? In National Geographics Mars series, a group of pioneers build the first colony on Mars, complete with rovers, helicopters and other tech inspired by NASA, SpaceX and other big thinkers in the space industry. How does the fictional tech in Nat Geos series match up to real-world ideas for how well colonize Mars? Shown here is Mars 2s fictional idea of a Mars base.

Next: SpaceXs Mars Base Vision


CVE-2018-15961: Adobe ColdFusion Flaw exploited in attacks in the wild Security Affairs

Experts at Volexity discovered that a recently patched remote code execution flaw
(CVE-2018-15961) affecting the Adobe ColdFusion has been exploited in the wild.

Security experts from Volexity reported that attackers in the wild are exploiting a recently patched remote code execution vulnerability affecting the Adobe ColdFusion.

The flaw, tracked as CVE-2018-15961, is an unrestricted file upload vulnerability, successful exploitation could lead to arbitrary code execution.

The vulnerability was reported by Pete Freitag of Foundeo and addressed in September by Adobe (security bulletin APSB18-33).

Researchers from Volexity have uncovered a Chinese-based APT group exploiting the vulnerability to upload the China Chopper webshell to a vulnerable server.

The analysis of the hacked server revealed that it had all ColdFusion updates installed, except for the CVE-2018-15961 fix. Attackers exploited the flaw, a couple of weeks after Adobe released the security patches.

In the attack detected by Volexity, a suspected Chinese APT group was able to compromise a vulnerable ColdFusion server by directly uploading a China Chopper webshell. reads the advisory published by Volexity.

The target server was missing a single update from Adobe that had been released just two weeks earlier.


According to the experts, the flaw was introduced when the Adobe replaced the FCKeditor WYSIWYG editor with the CKEditor.

In order to exploit the flaw, an attacker have to send a specially crafted HTTP POST request to the upload.cfm file which is...


Andrei Iancu and Laura Peter Are Two Proponents of Patent Trolls at the Top of the USPTO Techrights

And the EPO isnt much better at the top (banker as President)

IP Watch and Antnio Campinos

Summary: Patent offices do not seem to care about the law, about the courts, about judges and so on; all they care about is money (and litigation costs) and thats a very major problem

THE previous post noted that patent lawsuits had significantly decreased in number because the confidence associated with USPTO-granted patents (certainty of validity) just isnt there anymore. Many lawsuits go astray.

The litigation industry fights back with misinformation and moles (entryism). Sure it cant change the courts/judges, but it certainly can lie to the public and to firms, encouraging them to file more patent lawsuits (even frivolous ones are profitable to lawyers). The other day we saw the headline Experts Assess Coming Changes In US Courts And Patentability (its mostly behind a paywall) a rather mystifying claim that appeared on Friday. Experts in this context means patent/litigation industry insiders; they express what they want to happen, not what is actually happening. Were very disappointed to see IP Watch going along with this although not so surprised anymore; they stopped covering European Patent Office (EPO) scandals and their chief takes selfies with Antnio Campinos (see above), who persists with union-busting and software patents in Europe. Hours ago Michael Loney from Managin...


AMDGPU DRM-Next Driver Picks Up Support For Vega 20 "A1" Stepping Phoronix

Among the work queuing in the AMDGPU DRM-Next branch for what will in turn appear with the next kernel cycle (Linux 4.21) is support for Vega 20 A1 ASICs...


Social media companies grapple with new forms of political misinformation The Hill: Technology Policy

Social media companies are struggling to contain new forms of political misinformation on their platforms that bubbled up during this year's midterm elections.The more unorganized, guerilla misinformation being spread is distinct from the...

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Sunday, 11 November


The Patent Industry Wants Incitations and Feuds, Not Innovation and Collaboration Techrights

Patent Lawyers' Tears

Summary: The litigation giants and their drones keep insisting that theyre interested in helping scientists; but sooner or later the real (productive) industry learns to kick them to the curb and work together instead of suing

THE US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) has fallen prey or has been compromised at the hands of the litigation lobby. Patently-O has just promoted IPO indoctrination videos and Gene Quinn (Watchtroll) carries on with his patent propaganda (its pretty shallow and easy to debunk, albeit its time-consuming and brings attention to the original).

If companies/people learn to get along with each other, these lawyers will become redundant and their occupation mothballed.From what we can gather, litigation-wise the US changed for the better; the number of patent lawsuits fell sharply, OIN has just added another member to its non-aggression (no litigation) pact [1, 2, 3, 4], and this major case between Nokia and Blackberry came to an end without a clear winner. Only the lawyers won (money, legal bills) and the lawsuit basically got dropped (not even a settlement). As...


EXT4 Getting Many Fixes In Linux 4.20, Including For Some Really Old Leaks Phoronix

Last month I reported on a number of fixes for really old bugs in the EXT4 code with some of the issues dating back to the Linux 2.6 days in the EXT3 file-system code that was carried over to the EXT4 driver. Those fixes are now working their way into the Linux 4.20 stable kernel...


Sci-Fi Writer Greg Egan and Anonymous Math Whiz Advance Permutation Problem Lifeboat News: The Blog

A debate over the most efficient way to watch a cult classic TV series episodes, in every possible order, lies at the heart of this mathematical breakthrough.


EUs Proposed Link Tax Would Still Harm Creative Commons Licensors SoylentNews

The Creative Commons, the international non-profit devoted to expanding the range of creative works available legally, summarizes how the EU's proposed link tax would still harm Creative Commons licensors. The proposed Copyright Directive legislation entered the final rounds of negotiation back in September, retaining the problematic articles that raised hackles earlier this year, notably articles 11, 12, and 13. The Creative Commons discusses the current stat of article 11, known informally as the link tax.

Article 11 is ill-suited to address the challenges in supporting quality journalism, and it will further decrease competition and innovation in news delivery. Spain and Germany have already experimented with similar versions of this rule, and neither resulted in increased revenues for publishers. Instead, it likely decreased the visibility (and by extension, revenues) of published contentexactly the opposite of what was intended. Just last week a coalition of small- and medium-sized publishers sent a letter to the trilogue negotiators outlining how they will be harmed if Article 11 is adopted.

Not only is a link tax bad for business, it would undermine the intention of authors who wish to share without additional strings attached, such as creators who want to share works under open licenses. This could be especially harmful to Creative Commons licensors if it means that remuneration must be granted notwithstanding the terms of the CC license. This interpretation is not far-flung. As IGEL wrote last week, [...]

Previously on SN:
Secretive EU Copyright Negotiations Started Tuesday: Here's Where We Stand
EU Copyright Directive Passes; "Terrorist Content" Regulation Proposed; Astroturfing?
How The EU May Be About To Kill The Public Domain: Copyright Filters Takedown Beethoven
European Copyright Law Isn't Great. It Could Soon Get a Lot Worse

Original Submission

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EPO Outsourcing Rumours Techrights

Summary: The EPO advertises jobs in Prague and Lisbon; this leads to speculations less than a year after Antnio Campinos sent EU-IPO jobs to India (for cost reduction)

THE volume of patent news definitely seems to have decreased in recent months. Were not sure why, we can only speculate and say that journalism in general is on the demise.

The European Patent Office (EPO) is nowadays playing if not paying the media for publicity stunts (not journalism). Antnio Campinos, like his predecessor, comes up with more tricks for enabling software patents in Europe. Were meanwhile trying to figure out what goes on recruitment-wise (HR is still led by Bergot).

The EPO does not operate there, at least not yet, and back in the days people entertained the possibility of EPO expanding to Romania for cost savings.One reader asked us: Have you seen the job offers on LinkedIn?

EPO job offers are in themselves news because theres a hiring freeze in effect for years to come (waiting for examiners to leave or retire).

The reader asked: Does the EPO have branches in Prague and Lisbon?

If any EPO insiders/friends are aware of something, please do get in touch.

It was almost exactly one year ago that Antnio Campinos was involved in an outsourcing scandal; he tried hard to suppress debate about it.

If anyone out there can send us information regarding Prague and Lisbon EPO jobs, well be able to clarify. Nobody else is likely to cover it. The EPO does not operate there, at least not yet, and back in the days people entertained the possibility of EPO expanding to Romania for cost savings. Does Campinos have plans he isnt sincere about? Theres no disputing the fact that under Campinos the EPO is even less transparent than it was under Battistelli.


Gallium D3D9 "Nine" Support Gets New Patches To Help Fight Lag Without Tearing Phoronix

While most Linux gamers these days are mesmerized by DXVK for mapping Direct3D 10/11 to Vulkan for better handling Windows games on Linux, for those with older Direct3D 9 era games there is still the Gallium Nine initiative for D3D9 implemented as a Mesa Gallium state tracker. A new patch series posted this weekend will make that Gallium Nine experience even better...


After the Search: Journey to the Dark Side Lifeboat News: The Blog

Just got these links: #Transhumanism is covered extensively in this hour long show from Discovery Channel that aired a few weeks ago. My 20-min interview in this program starts at 19 minutes: & the YouTube link:

After drinking a mysterious drug concocted by Amazonian shamans, Josh shares exclusive footage and insights into his own life-changing journey to the brink of the afterlife. Josh meets the leader of a movement attempting to beat death through technology.


A Fleet of Pressure Washers Powers This Interactive Public Fountain Hackaday

Public art installations can be cool. Adding in audience interactivity bumps up the coolness factor a bit. Throw civic pride, dancing jets of water, music, and lights into the project, and you get this very cool pressure washer powered musical fountain.

The exhibit that [Niklas Roy] came up with is called Wasserorgel, or water organ, an apt name for the creation. Built as part of a celebration of industry in Germany, the display was built in the small town of Winnenden, home to Krcher, a cleaning equipment company best known for their line of pressure washers in the distinctive yellow cases. Eight of the companys electric pressure washers were featured in the Wasserorgel, which shot streams of water and played notes in response to passersby tickling the sturdy and waterproof 3D-printed keyboard. The show was managed by an Arduino with a MIDI shield, which controlled the pressure washers via solid state relays and even accepted input from an anemometer to shut down the show if it got too windy, lest the nearby [Frau Dimitrakudi] be dampened.

The video below shows how engaging the Wasserorgel was during its weeks-long run in the town market square; theres also one in German with build details. And while we cant recall seeing pressure washers in public art before, we do remember one being used as the basis of a DIY water-jet cutter.


KDE Plasma Now Supports WireGuard, Alt-Tab Switching Improvements Phoronix

The WireGuard secure VPN tunnel is not in the mainline kernel yet but the KDE Plasma desktop is the latest project already adding support for it, which can be useful today if making use of WireGuard's DKMS kernel modules...


Wine-Staging 3.20 Released, Fixes A Four Year Old Rendering Bug Phoronix

Building off Friday's release of Wine 3.20 is now Wine-Staging 3.20 with minor work added into this testing/experimental blend of Wine that tends to particularly suit gamers better than the upstream code-base...


Links 11/11/2018: Bison 3.2.1 and FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4 Techrights

GNOME bluefish




Albert Camus and the Absurd Life Extension and the Big Picture Lifeboat News: The Blog

This paper explores Albert Camuss notions of the absurd in The Myth of Sisyphus and draws correlations with the movement for indefinite life extension and the big picture of existence.

Calorie vacuums playing in the mud, isnt that what we are when it comes down to it?  We guess our way through much of life, trying not to spend too much time thinking about how trivial it all may or may not be so as to see about keeping the levels of despair down, waiting for our turn on the chopping block We try to make sense of this life but in the end, can never fully convince ourselves that we have because we never fully do. That challenge is a mountain whose top hasnt been seen yet.

People are drawn to understand what the most sensible things to do with life are, or as Albert Camus writes the meaning of life is the most urgent of questions. Its a ballpark question. People thirst to make sense of their being, to understand whats going on, for meaning, to track down and engage the most profound implication. Is thirst proof that water exists, as Gaston Bachelard says? Even rocks mean profound things, and we are self-aware supercomputers in a space filled with variables and has no known walls. It is very improbable that there is not a fundamentally profound implication within such circumstances.

How might we ever make sense of our existence? Masses of people are desperate with this hope of another life one must deserve and often take an irrational leap, as Camus says, to some great idea that will transcend it, refine it, give it a meaning, and betray it. Many rest on the hope that theyll land a job they really love and can shine in someday but dont put serious effort into figuring out what that would specifically be let alone work to make it happen.

People routinely try to correct each other on that issue by saying that work, not hope, builds dreams, yet when they hope that reincarnation, or living a good life, or an evolutionarily consequential life will save them in the eyes of the hypothetical eternal chroniclers, nobody is out there correcting them. You must think it all the way through, work to figure it out and achieve an understanding of it. Hoping and leaping is a distraction from this duty.

Camus explains the leap to us:

I shall merely analyze here as examples a few themes dear to Chestov and Kierkegaard. But Jaspers will provide us, in caricatural form, a typical example of this attitude. [] He is left powerless to realize the transcendent, incapable of plumbing the depth of experience, and conscious of that universe upset by failure. Will he advance or at least draw the conclusions from that failure? He contributes nothing new. He has found nothing in experience but the confession of his own impotence and no occasion to infer any satisfactory principle. Yet without justification, as he says to himself, he suddenly asserts all at once the transcendent, the essence of experience, and the sup...


Linux Cryptocurrency miner leverages rootkit to avoid detection Security Affairs

Researchers from Trend Micro spotted a new cryptocurrency miner that leverages a rootkit component to hide its presence on the infected systems.

Cryptocurrency malware continues to be a privileged choice for crooks and the number of victims is rapidly growing.

Cryptocurrency miners are easy to detect due to the saturation of resources on the affected systems, but experts from Trend Micro spotted a new miner that leverages a rootkit component to hide its presence.

Even if the malware slows down infected systems abusing of their resources, the administrators will not be able to detect what process is causing it.

We recently encountered a cryptocurrency-mining malware (detected by Trend Micro as Coinminer.Linux.KORKERDS.AB) affecting Linux systems, reads the report published by TrendMicro. 

It is notable for being bundled with a rootkit component (Rootkit.Linux.KORKERDS.AA) that hides the malicious process presence from monitoring tools. This makes it difficult to detect, as infected systems will only indicate performance issues. The malware is also capable of updating and upgrading itself and its configuration file.

The experts speculate that the infection vector could be an unofficial or compromised plugin such as a media-streaming software.



Once installed the initial executable (Trojan.Linux.DLOADER.THAOOAAK) will download a file from Pastebin that is a shell script. The file is saved as /bin/httpdns and a scheduled task is created to run /bin/httpdns every hour. The shell script is executed. /bin/httpdns contains a shell script that connects and downloads another base64-encoded text file.

The process will allow to download and execute a series of shell scripts that ultimately install the miner and then a rootkit to hide its presence.



Heres a Close-Up Photo of the Swirling Clouds on Jupiter Lifeboat News: The Blog


NASA just released this new close-up photo of the swirling clouds found on Jupiter. It was captured by the Juno spacecraft on October 29th, 2018, during its 16th close flyby of the gas giant.

The clouds in the photo were seen in Jupiters North-North Temperate Belt (NNTB), one of the distinct cloud bands.


U.S. Secret Service Warns ID Thieves are Abusing USPSs Mail Scanning Service SoylentNews

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U.S. Secret Service Warns ID Thieves are Abusing USPS's Mail Scanning Service Krebs on Security

A year ago, KrebsOnSecurity warned that Informed Delivery, a new offering from the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) that lets residents view scanned images of all incoming mail, was likely to be abused by identity thieves and other fraudsters unless the USPS beefed up security around the program and made it easier for people to opt out. This week, the U.S. Secret Service issued an internal alert warning that many of its field offices have reported crooks are indeed using Informed Delivery to commit various identity theft and credit card fraud schemes.

The internal alert sent by the Secret Service on Nov. 6 to its law enforcement partners nationwide references a recent case in Michigan in which seven people were arrested for allegedly stealing credit cards from resident mailboxes after signing up as those victims at the USPSs Web site.

According to the Secret Service alert, the accused used the Informed Delivery feature to identify and intercept mail, and to further their identity theft fraud schemes.

Fraudsters were also observed on criminal forums discussing using the Informed Delivery service to surveil potential identity theft victims, the Secret Service memo reads.

The USPS did not respond to repeated requests for comment over the past six days.

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How Singles Day has helped Alibaba ascend on an AI-powered cloud in China Lifeboat News: The Blog

The technology and innovation that Alibaba has developed to serve the needs that arise from Singles Day have allowed Alibaba to expand into a variety of services, including Alibaba Cloud, logistics, and artificial intelligence.

Within minutes of the clock striking midnight on November 11 this year, consumers across China will be racking up billions in purchases on Alibabas e-commerce marketplaces. Alibaba engineers and employees watching the transaction numbers on big screens will whoop as the figure instantly crosses the hundred million yuan mark, then zooms into the billions.

As the orders start to roll in, the companys proprietary cloud computing platform Alibaba Cloud will, at its peak, process hundreds of thousands in transactions and payments per second. Robots in the automated warehouses of Alibabas logistics arm Cainiao will begin sorting and packing the orders that come in, readying them for the battalion of trucks, scooters and millions of deliverymen that will send an estimated 1 billion packages to their rightful owners within days of November 11.

For Chinas largest e-commerce firm, Singles Day is not just its most important shopping event of the year. It is also the day that the Alibaba pushes the boundaries on its technology and services, stress-testing its technology systems during the worlds largest shopping festival that grows in scale every year.


Robot Never Misses Leg Day Hackaday

We have heard bipedal walking referred to as a series of controlled falls, or one continuous fall where we repeatedly catch ourselves, and it is a long way to fall at 9.8m/s2. Some of us are more graceful than others, but most grade-schoolers have gained superior proficiency in comparison to our most advanced bipedal robots. Legs involve all kinds of tricky joints which bend and twist and dont get us started on knees. Folks at the Keio University and the University of Tokyo steered toward a robot which does not ride on wheels, treads, walk or tumble. The Mochibot uses thirty-two telescopic legs to move, and each leg only moves in or out from the center.

Multi-leg locomotion like this has been done in a process called tensegrity, but in that form, the legs extend only far enough to make the robot tumble in the desired direction. Mochibot doesnt wait for that controlled fall, it keeps as many downward-facing legs on the ground as possible and retracts them in front, as the rear legs push it forward. In this way, the robot is never falling, and the motion is controlled, but the processing power is higher since the legs are being meticulously controlled. Expecting motion control on so many legs also means that turns can be more precise and any direction can become the front. This also keeps the nucleus at the same level from the ground. We cant help but think it would look pretty cool stuffed into a giant balloon.

Some people already know of tensegrity robots from NASA, but they may not know about the toolkit NASA published for it. Okay, seriously, how did knees pass the test of evolution? I guess they work for this jumping robot.


Hackers Stole Income, Immigration and Tax Data in Breach, Government Confirms SoylentNews

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Hackers stole income, immigration and tax data in breach, government confirms

Hackers siphoned off thousands of applications by breaking into the accounts of brokers and agents tasked with helping customers sign up for healthcare plans.

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) said in a post buried on its website that the hackers obtained inappropriate access to a number of broker and agent accounts, which engaged in excessive searching of the governments healthcare marketplace systems.

CMS didnt say how the attackers gained access to the accounts, but said it shut off the affected accounts immediately.

In a letter sent to affected customers this week (and buried on the website), CMS disclosed that sensitive personal data including partial Social Security numbers, immigration status and some tax information may have been taken.

According to the letter, the data included:

  • Name, date of birth, address, sex, and the last four digits of the Social Security number (SSN), if SSN was provided on the application;
  • Other information provided on the application, including expected income, tax filing status, family relationships, whether the applicant is a citizen or an immigrant, immigration document types and numbers, employer name, whether the applicant was pregnant, and whether the applicant already had health insurance;
  • Information provided by other federal agencies and data sources to confirm the information provided on the application, and whether the Marketplace asked the applicant for documents or explanations;
  • The results of the application, including whether the applicant was eligible to enroll in a qualified health plan (QHP), and if eligible, the tax credit amount; and
  • If the applicant enrolled, the name of the insurance plan, the premium, and dates of coverage.

But the government said that no bank account information including credit card numbers, or diagnostic and treatment information was taken.

Adding insult to injury

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Scientists to create truly unhackable network based on quantum physics Lifeboat News: The Blog

Scientists are planning to create a network in the Chicago area tapping the principles of quantum physics. The idea is to prove that quantum physics could provide the basis for an unhackable internet.

This, they say, could have wide-ranging impact on communications, computing and national security.

The quantum network development, supported by the US Department of Energy (DOE), will stretch between the DOEs Argonne National Laboratory and Fermi National Acceleratory Laboratory, a connection that is said will be the longest in the world to send secure information using quantum physics.


A $4 Ultrasonic Theremin Looks Cheesy on Purpose Hackaday

We dont think [bleepbit] will take offense when we say the poor mans theremin looks cheesy after all, it was built in a cheese container. Actually, it isnt a bad case for a simple device, as you can see in the picture and the video below. Unlike a traditional theremin, the device uses ultrasonics to detect how far away your hand is and modifies the sound based on that.

There are also two buttons one to turn the sound off and another to cycle through some effects. We liked how it looked like a retro cassette, though. The device uses a cheap Arduino clone, but even with a real Arduino, the price wouldnt be too bad. However, the price tag quoted doesnt include a few connectors or the speaker that appears in the schematic. Theres a note that the model built uses a jack instead of a speaker, but it would be nice to include both and use the kind of jack that disconnects the speaker when you plug speakers or headphones in.

The code is simple and there are four possible effects you can cycle through with one of the buttons. Unlike a real theremin, you can trigger this one with anything the ultrasonic sensor can see. The Arduino audio quality is not superb, of course, but it is still a fun rainy day project.

We couldnt help but think that a 32-bit Arduino could have used one of the sophisticated audio libraries. However, there are other libraries that might improve things even with the 8-bit processor.

Granted, this isnt a true theremin, but weve seen plenty of those, too. Weve even used the same sensors to control a PC.


How to add bash auto completion in Ubuntu Linux nixCraft

I set up a new Ubuntu Linux LXD container, but my auto-completion of bash shell commands are not working. How do I enable autocomplete feature in Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS?

The post How to add bash auto completion in Ubuntu Linux appeared first on nixCraft.


Scientists Now Believe That The Universe Itself Is Conscious Lifeboat News: The Blog

I think aspects of our Universe are conscious. Dark matter or the ther perhaps. Stagnancy is death so change inherently means something is making decisions.

A new scientific concept has recently come to light, which scientists are calling panpsychism. Panpsychism says that the universe could be capable of consciousness, which could change everything.

For quite some time, scientists have been working to understand the universe, where it came from, and why we are here. However, they have often come up short until now. The scientist responsible for such a notion is Gregory Matloff, and his ideas are shocking, to say the least.

According to Matloff, a physicist at New York City College of Technology, in his recently published paper, humans could be like the rest of the universe, in substance and in spirit. Futurism reported that a proto-consciousness field could extend throughout all space. Basically, in lamens terms, the entire cosmos could be self-aware.


Batteryless Smart Devices Closer to Reality SoylentNews

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Batteryless smart devices closer to reality

Researchers at the University of Waterloo have taken a huge step towards making smart devices that do not use batteries or require charging.

These battery-free objects, which feature an IP address for internet connectivity, are known as Internet of Things (IoT) devices. If an IoT device can operate without a battery it lowers maintenance costs and allows the device to be placed in areas that are off the grid.

Many of these IoT devices have sensors in them to detect their environment, from a room's ambient temperature and light levels to sound and motion, but one of the biggest challenges is making these devices sustainable and battery-free.

Professor Omid Abari, Postdoctoral Fellow Ju Wang and Professor Srinivasan Keshav from Waterloo's Cheriton School of Computer Science have found a way to hack radio frequency identification (RFID) tags, the ubiquitous squiggly ribbons of metal with a tiny chip found in various objects, and give the devices the ability to sense the environment.

"It's really easy to do," said Wang. "First, you remove the plastic cover from the RFID tag, then cut out a small section of the tag's antenna with scissors, then attach a sensor across the cut bits of the antenna to complete the circuit."

In their stock form, RFID tags provide only identification and location. It's the hack the research team has done -- cutting the tag's antenna and placing a sensing device across it -- that gives the tag the ability to sense its environment.

[...] The research paper by Wang, Abari and Keshav titled, Challenge: RFID Hacking for Fun and Profit-ACM MobiCom, appeared in the Proceedings of the 24th Annual International Conference on Mobile Computing and Networking, October 29-November 2, 2018, New Delhi, India, 461- 70.

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Arduino Gets a Command Line Interface Hackaday

When using an Arduino, at least once youve made it past blinking LEDs, you might start making use of the serial connection to send and receive information from the microcontroller. Communicating with the board while its interacting with its environment is a crucial way to get information in real-time. Usually, thats as far as it goes, but [Pieter] wanted to take it a step farther than that with his command line interpreter (CLI) for the Arduino.

The CLI allows the user to run Unix-like commands directly on the Arduino. This means control of GPIO and the rest of the features of the microcontroller via command line. The CLI communicates between the microcontroller and the ANSI/VT100 terminal emulator of your choosing on your computer, enabling a wealth of new methods of interacting with an Arduino.

The CLI requires a hex file to be loaded onto the Arduino that you can find at a separate site, also maintained by [Pieter]. Once thats running, you can get all of that sweet command line goodness out of your Arduino. [Pieter] also has some examples on his project page, as well as the complete how-to to get this all set up and running. Theres a lot going on in the command line world, in Linux as well as windows. So theres plenty to explore there as well.

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Red Dead Redemption 2 Has Sold Over 17 Million Copies Worldwide SoylentNews

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Better off... red?

Red Dead Redemption 2 has sold over 17 million copies worldwide

There was a time when westerns were a staple of American pop-culture -- a powerhouse genre for film, television, books and more. That trend kind of died in the 1980s, but maybe it's coming back. Take-Two Interactive, the company that owns Rockstar games reported in its quarterly financials that Red Dead Redemption 2 sold over 17 million copies in just over a week.

It took the original Red Dead Redemption 8 years to sell 15 million copies.

It's a shockingly huge number -- but if you've been keeping track, it might not be that big of a surprise. Just after the game's launch, the company revealed that it made over $725 million in its first few days, the largest opening weekend of any entertainment property ever, according to Rockstar. That's what happens when your game is one of the most anticipated, well-reviewed games in a decade.

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Noise-cancelling Noise to Signal

Man on airplane to seatmate: Its funny youre wearing headphones, because I just read this article about a study that showed lots of people cant pick up on basic privacy-seeking cues like, wait for it, *wearing headphones.*

Guys: just dont, okay?

* * *

I have a pair of big ear-can headphones: the Sony MDR-7506, acquired used on Craigslist last year. I havent used headphones this big since wow, since high school.

It seemed like overnight everyone stopped using them in the 80s, and started sporting tiny foam Sony Walkman headphones. Its headband looked so tiny and fragile that I couldnt believe it would survive the rough...


Pro-Litigation Front Groups Like CIPA and Team UPC Control the EPO, Which Shamelessly Grants Software Patents Techrights

Summary: With buzzwords and hype like insurtech, fintech, blockchains and AI the EPO (and to some degree the USPTO as well) looks to allow a very wide range of software patents; the sole goal is to grant millions of low-quality patents, creating unnecessary litigation in Europe

THE death spiral of patent quality is overseen by Iancu and Campinos, two non-scientists who head the USPTO and EPO, respectively. The only quantity or currency they understand is money. Campinos, being a former banker himself, would no doubt drool over the amounts of money gained by just printing papers (European Patents). It doesnt seem to bother them that 35 U.S.C. 101 and the EPC should in principle deny US patents that are abstract (like algorithms) and software patents in Europe. Those pesky laws are just obstacles when ones objective is to maximise revenue, not quality, innovation etc.

Those pesky laws are just obstacles when ones objective is to maximise revenue, not quality, innovation etc.The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, which deals with trademarks as well as patents, makes over 3 billion dollars (latest figures) in exchange for granting man-made monopolies, mostly to large corporations that bully rivals (money out of nothing). Its great, isnt it? Money by the billions for just printing things.

IPPro Patents has just repeated self-promotional claims about insurtech a fairly new buzzword for what typically alludes to fake/bogus patents on software and/or business methods. We mentioned insurtech some days ago; its similar to fintech, which well come to in a moment.

Wed like to focus on the EPO, however, because its software patents extravaganza truly went out of control last week. On Thursday, for example, half of its tweets promoted such patents. The EPO promoted (RT) this tweet which said: We are teaming up with @EPOorg to deliver an online services workshop, making online filing easier to understand. Join us on 14 or 15 Nov at @The...


Dubai Police Receive First Delivery of Innovative Hoversurf Drone, Begin Training Lifeboat News: The Blog

Hoversurf showed its rideable drone off in Dubai last October, and now, police are actively training to operate them for routine use.


Worlds Largest Neuromorphic Supercomputer Activated Lifeboat News: The Blog

SpiNNaker was built under the leadership of Professor Steve Furber at The University of Manchester, a principal designer of two products that earned the Queens Award for Technology the ARM 32-bit RISC microprocessor, and the BBC Microcomputer.

The ultimate objective for the project has always been a million cores in a single computer for real time brain modelling applications, and we have now achieved it, which is fantastic. Professor Steve Furber, The University of Manchester

Inspired by the human brain, the SpiNNaker is capable of sending billions of small amounts of information simultaneously. The SpiNNaker has a staggering 1 million processors that are able to perform over 200 million actions per second.


Single Board Computer Plays Nice with NVIDIA GPU Hackaday

Its about convenience when it comes to single board computers. The trade-off of raw compute power for size means the bulk of them end up being ARM based, but there are a few exceptions like the x86 based Udoo Ultra. The embedded Intel 405 GPU on the Udoo Ultra is better than most in the category, but that wont begin to play much of anything outside of a browser window. Not satisfied with standard [Matteo] put together his build combining an Udoo x86 Ultra with a NVIDIA 1060 GPU. It seems ridiculous to have an expansion card almost three times longer than the entire computer its attached to, but since when did being ridiculous stop anyone in the pursuit of a few more polygons?

M.2 adapter board trim comparisonM.2 to PCIe adapter board (Top) Trimmed adapter board (Bottom)

Since the Udoo Ultra doesnt feature a PCIe slot [Matteo] slotted in a M.2 to PCIe adapter board. There are two PCIe lines accessible by the Udoo Ultras M.2 port although trimming the adapter board was required in order to fit. The PCIe female slot was cut open to allow the 1060 GPU to slide in. All of the throughput of the 1060 GPU wouldnt be utilized given the Udoo Ultras limitations anyway.

Windows 10 was the OS chosen fo...


Distribution Release: SparkyLinux 4.9 News

SparkyLinux is a Debian-based distribution featuring three different development branches and multiple editions. The project has released a new update, SparkyLinux 4.9, to its Stable branch, based on Debian 9 Stretch. "New ISO images feature security updates and small improvements, such as: full system upgrade from Debian stable....


Microsoft Acquires Obsidian & inXile Entertainment Phoronix

As what could spell bad news for seeing native Linux game ports of future Pillars and Wasteland titles, among others, Microsoft announced they are acquiring Obsidian Entertainment and inXile Entertainment...


NASA Will Support Initial Concept Studies for Privately Funded Mission to Enceladus SoylentNews

NASA to support initial studies of privately funded Enceladus mission

NASA signed an agreement in September with a foundation to support initial studies of a privately funded mission to a potentially habitable moon of Saturn. The unfunded Space Act Agreement between NASA and the Breakthrough Prize Foundation, initiated with little public fanfare, covers NASA support for initial concept studies, known in NASA programmatic parlance as "Pre-Phase A," for a mission to the moon Enceladus, an icy world believed to have a subsurface ocean of liquid water and plumes that eject that water through the surface into space.

The agreement, the seven-page document posted on a NASA website states, "shall be for the purpose of cooperating on the Breakthrough Pre-Phase A activities for Breakthrough's Enceladus Mission." That includes supporting a series of reviews that leads up to what NASA calls Key Decision Point (KDP) A, "to determine progress to Phase A, for further formation of the Enceladus Mission's concept and technology development."

[...] Most of the study work would be done by Breakthrough. NASA, under the agreement, would use "reasonable efforts" to offer scientific and technical consulting for the study, including expertise in a range of scientific fields and in planetary projection. NASA will also advise "in the development of Phase A plans for a life signature mission to Enceladus." The agreement between NASA and Breakthrough involves no exchange of funds. NASA estimates its cost of carrying out its responsibilities under the agreement to be $72,384.

The agreement, first reported by New Scientist, offers few details about the proposed mission itself. A companion document for the agreement notes that the foundation's Breakthrough Watch program "seeks to evaluate near-term missions to objects in the Solar System, including Enceladus," that would search for signs of life there. "The Enceladus Mission is considering novel low-cost approaches, one of which uses solar sail technology to flyby the moon of Saturn to collect scientific data.

However, foundation officials have publicly discussed their interest in an Enceladus mission for a year. "We formed a little workshop around this idea," said Yuri Milner, the Russian billionaire who funds the foundation, at an event in Seattle in November 2017. "Can we design a low-cost privately-funded mission to Enceladus, which can be launched relatively soon...


Latest Loophole: To Get Software Patents From the EPO One Can Just Claim That Theyre on a Car Techrights

EPO is riding (or driving) hype waves again

A muscle car

Summary: The EPO has a new study (accompanied by an extensive media/PR campaign) that paints software as SDV if it runs on a car, celebrating growth of such software patents

THE age of computerised cars is here. What does that mean? Usually general-purpose computers inside cars, thats all. Innovative? Maybe. Exciting? Arguably. A novel/new concept? Not quite. Some computers are there just for entertainment (like in commercial aircrafts/airliners), whereas others connect to various mechanisms inside the car, e.g. brakes, throttling, steering, electric system, seats/belts and physical locking (windows, doors). None of that is particularly complicated except the steering as that relies on sound input and computer vision; both of those are reducible to software. Sensory components are general-purpose sensors. We wrote about them before, e.g. US patent number 10,000,000.

Take for example these new (days-old) reports about Tesla [1, 2]. The latter of these says: A recently published patent has revealed that Tesla is exploring the idea of a user interface allowing drivers to launch and display up to four apps simultaneously in a four-way split screen arrangement. Whats more, Tesla also seems to be preparing a setting that will enable users to customize the arrangement of icons in their vehicles main taskbar.

Thats just a classic software patent, likely invalid as per/in lieu with 35 U.S.C. 101 (Section 101) at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). So why was it granted? We know that Tesla pledged not to sue with its patents, but how is this considered innovative and patent-eligible? Its neither. Theres also prior art in other contexts/domains.

Unfortunately, things like the above are becoming no...


FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4 Released, Allows NVIDIA Driver To Work With 64-bit Linux Emulation Phoronix

That extra FreeBSD 12 beta release causing the minor setback to the FreeBSD 12.0 release is now available for testing. There is a fair number of last minute changes in FreeBSD 12.0 Beta 4 release ahead of the imminent branching...


The Huge Cost of Wrongly-Granted European Patents, Recklessly Granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) Techrights

Summary: It took 4 years for many thousands of people to have just one patent of Monsanto/Bayer revoked; what does that say about the impact of erroneous patent awards?

THE QUALITY of patents granted by the European Patent Office (EPO) may have slipped to the same level as the USPTO if not lower. According to one major law firm, its now easier to get software patents in Europe than in the US. Thanks, Antnio Campinos and Battistelli!

So it took this many years and many other patents remain to be dealt with; notice how much public effort/energy is required to squash just one single patent.The foremost patent families we oppose are software patents and patents on life/nature; theres no evidence that these contribute to innovation and theres ample evidence that these discourage development and cause deaths, respectively. So why are such European Patents being awarded (and sometimes rewarded for)? As we noted a few days ago, citing coverage from various sources except the EPO itself (the EPOs management prefers to dodge any admission of errors), patents on life/nature are being eliminated only after massive backlash and parliamentary intervention. It shouldnt be the case; the threshold of opposition should never be this high. Life Sciences Intellectual Property Review, a propaganda site for patents on life, belatedly (towards the end of the week) ended up saying something about rejection of Monsanto patents (only after many protests). EPO revokes Bayer broccoli patent, said the headline, alluding to patents originally granted to Monsanto (before the takeover). To quote:

The European Patent Office (EPO) has revoked a Bayer-owned patent which covers a type of broccoli adapted to make their harvesting easier.

In late October, the office revoked European patent number 1,597,965. Originally granted in 2013 to agrochemical company Monsanto (which has since been acquired by Bayer), the patent covers broccoli plants that have an exerted head, making them easier to harvest.

The rev...


Material scientists create fabric alternative to batteries for wearable devices Lifeboat News: The Blog

A major factor holding back development of wearable biosensors for health monitoring is the lack of a lightweight, long-lasting power supply. Now scientists at the University of Massachusetts Amherst led by materials chemist Trisha L. Andrew report that they have developed a method for making a charge-storing system that is easily integrated into clothing for embroidering a charge-storing pattern onto any garment.


Corel Wrongly Accuses Licensed User of Piracy, Disables Software Remotely TorrentFreak

While the majority of computing devices come with sophisticated operating systems installed, users will almost certainly need to buy additional software to meet their needs.

Open Source software can usually be obtained for free but millions of users opt for paid products that need to be licensed by the companies offering them.

Of course, piracy is a significant problem for the developers behind the majority of premium products. Most are available from torrent sites or file-hosting platforms, often arriving with a crack that allows users to enjoy without paying.

Companies often have sophisticated systems to detect unlicensed products, sometimes with the reasonable aim of attempting to convert pirates into paying consumers. Earlier this year we reported on Corels efforts in this space after the company obtained a patent for a system which is able to offer an amnesty to illegal users via a popup.

The amnesty offer may, for example, agree not to bring criminal charges in exchange for the user purchasing a legitimate copy of the product, Corels patent reads.

While this is fair enough, what happens when it all goes wrong? Earlier this week, TorrentFreak was contacted by an angry Corel customer who was witnessing first hand what can happen when a piracy detection system blows a fuse.

I am a valid and licensed user and Corel support has records of my license key and right to use this software on my work PC, he told us.

Despite paying the company as required, he received the following popup instead.

Scary message from Corel

The message couldnt be more clear. Corel states that the copy in use is illegal and as a result, its functionality has been severely limited. All save, export and print features will be permanently disabled, it warns.

According to Corel, all of these problems can be solved with a click of the blue BUY A LEGAL COPY NOW button, something that made our contact extremely angry.

I get this extortion popup and threat to my means to make a living. I feel like Corel has hijacked my computer, my artwork and images and is preventing me from making a living just to sell another upgrade. This is wrong, and something needs to be done about his practice, he told us.

Its not surprising that the u...


Sony Launches Quad-Layer 128 GB Blu-Ray Discs SoylentNews

Sony Releases Quad-Layer 128 GB BD-R XL Media

Sony is about to start selling the industry's first 128 GB write-once BD-R XL optical media. The discs will also be the first quad-layer BDXL media formally aimed at consumers, but bringing benefits to professionals that use BDXL today.

Although the general BDXL specifications were announced back in 2010 for multi-layered write-once discs with 25 GB and 33.4 GB layers, only triple-layer BDXL discs with a 100 GB capacity (generally aimed at broadcasting, medical, and document imaging industries) have been made available so far. By contrast, quad-layer 128 GB media has never seen the light of day until now.

As it turns out, increasing the per-layer capacity of Blu-ray discs (BDs) to 33.4 GB via a technology called MLSE (Maximum Likelihood Sequence Estimation) was not a big problem, and most of today's BD players and optical drives support the BDXL standard. However, increasing the layer count to four while ensuring a broad compatibility, signal quality across four layers, yields, and some other factors slow downed release of 128 GB BDXL essentially by eight years.

Related: Ultra HD Blu-Ray Specification Completed

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Development Release: FreeBSD 12.0-BETA4 News

Glen Barber has announced the availability of the (originally unscheduled) fourth beta release of FreeBSD 12.0. This means that the stable 12.0 release gets another reschedule - to 11 December. From the release announcement: "The third beta build of the 12.0-RELEASE release cycle is now available. A summary....


Whats Inside that New Mac Mini Anyway? Hackaday

Its been four long years since Apple has refreshed their entry-level desktop line. Those that have been waiting for a redesign of the Mac Mini can now collectively exhale as the Late 2018 edition has officially been released. Thanks to [iFixit] we have a clearer view of whats changed in the new model as they posted a complete teardown of the Mac Mini over on their website.

Mac Mini Teardown Late 2018 RAM Slots

One of the most welcomed changes is that the DDR4 RAM is actually user upgradeable this time around. Previously RAM was soldered directly to the motherboard, and there were no SO-DIMM slots to speak of. The 2018 Mac Minis RAM has also been doubled to 8GB compared to the 4GB in the 2014 model. Storage capacity may have taken a hit in the redesign, but the inclusion of a 128GB PCIe SSD in the base model fairs better than the 500GB HDD of old. The number of ports were flip-flopped between the two model generations with the 2018 Mini featuring four Thunderbolt ports along with two USB 3.0 ports. Though the biggest upgrade lies with the CPU. The base 2018 Mac Mini comes with a 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 as compared to the 2014s 1.4GHz dual-core Intel Core i5.

Although Apple lacked the courage to drop the 3.5mm headphone jack this time around, they did retain the same footprint for Mac Mini redesign. It still provides HDMI as the default display out port, althoug...


Nano-scale process may speed arrival of cheaper hi-tech products Lifeboat News: The Blog

An inexpensive way to make products incorporating nanoparticlessuch as high-performance energy devices or sophisticated diagnostic testshas been developed by researchers.


Some weekend stable kernel updates

The 4.18.18, 4.14.80, 4.9.136, 4.4.163, and 3.18.125 stable kernel updates have all been released; each contains a relatively large set of important fixes.

The 3.18.x updates may be about to come to an end, since it is not clear that anybody is using them. "And from what I can see in the 'real world', no one is actually updating devices that rely on 3.18.y to the newer kernel releases. So I think I'm going to stop maintaining this tree soon unless someone speaks up and says 'I am using it!''


SpaceX's Falcon 9 Certified to Lift NASA's Most Valuable Science Payloads SoylentNews

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Rocket Certified to Launch NASA's Most Precious Science Missions

SpaceX's workhorse Falcon 9 rocket can now launch NASA's most expensive and highest-priority science missions. NASA's Launch Services Program (LSP) has certified the two-stage Falcon 9 as a "Category 3" rocket, SpaceX representatives announced Thursday (Nov. 8).

[...] The LSP certification ladder only goes up to Category 3, which is reserved for the most dependable launchers. These rockets are expected to have a demonstrated reliability of 90 to 95 percent, according to LSP officials. For comparison, Category 2 vehicles the level attained by the Falcon 9 in 2015 are expected to ace their missions 80 to 90 percent of the time.

Only Category 3 rockets can launch the priciest, most important, most complex NASA missions projects like the Hubble Space Telescope, the Mars rover Curiosity and the James Webb Space Telescope. (Hubble launched aboard the space shuttle Discovery in April of 1990, Curiosity flew atop a United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket in November of 2011 and Webb will ride an Arianespace Ariane 5 rocket in March 2021.)

Also at NASASpaceflight.

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Facebook quietly launches Lasso, a TikTok-clone app to win teens over TechWorm

Facebook launches Lasso, a short video app like competitor TikTok

Facebook on Friday quietly launched its stand-alone music app to rival popular short-video social network, TikTok, without any official announcement on its website, reports The Verge.

Called Lasso, the music app is directed at teens which allows users to create short music videos similar to TikTok, the short 15-second video app that had recently merged with Lasso is available on both, iOS and Android. Currently, the app is available only for users in the U.S.

Apparently, almost half of teenagers in the U.S. say they use Facebook, which is a decrease of 20 percent from 2015, according to Pew. In comparison, nearly 69 percent of US teenagers use Snapchat, 72 percent say they use Instagram and 85 percent say they use YouTube. Hence, it is believed that Facebook has introduced Lasso app to lure the teenagers and gain its lost hold.

Lasso is a new standalone app for short-form, entertaining videos from comedy to beauty to fitness and more. Were excited about the potential here, and well be gathering feedback from people and creators, Facebook told The Verge.

With Lasso, users can record themselves dancing and lip-syncing to music and also record short clips. It allows users to add music and text to their videos, add cool effects, etc. Users can also find popular hashtags, follow creators, and browse videos.

Users can sign in to Lasso through Instagram or create an account using Facebook. They can share their videos directly from the app to their Facebook Stories, with the feature to share them as Instagram Stories coming soon. All profiles and videos on Lasso would be public, which means you cannot keep anything private.

Currently, it is unclear when Facebook would be releasing the app globally.

The post Facebook quietly launches Lasso, a TikTok-clone app to win teens over appeared first on TechWorm.


Back to School Online Hackaday

In 1961, FCC Commissioner [Newt Minow] famously described TV as a vast wasteland. But TV can do great things; educational programming, news coverage, and great performances do appear, just not all that often. You can draw the same parallels to the Internet. Sure, its mostly cat pictures, snarky comments, and posts of what your friends had for dinner. But it can also be a powerful tool, especially for education. Recently, top-name schools and other institutions have posted courses online for everything from Python to Quantum Mechanics to Dutch. The problems are finding these classes and figuring out which ones are gems and which are duds. A site called Class-Central aims to solve these problems.

The site aggregates class descriptions from a variety of sources like edX, Coursea, and more. Users can rate the classes. Many of these courses are free to take. The recent trend is to offer the content for free, but charge for people who want an assessment, such as a certificate of completion or even a full-blown degree. Even then, the cost is typically far less than traditional college costs.

Theres also news about courses. For example, a recent post highlighted that edX now offers nine online masters degrees in conjunction with major schools. A computer science masters from the University of Texas, for example, runs about $10,000. A Georgia Tech cybersecurity masters degree costs even less. There are another seven not ready yet, including one for electrical engineering.

But the real key is you can learn whats in these classes for the most part at no cost. A degree or certificate is nice, but the real value to you personally is in the knowledge. Granted, your employer might not agree and would like the degree, but they also might offer to pay for it, too.

There are plenty of courses in computer science, data science, programming, math, and engineering. There are also many courses on other sciences and topics ranging from business, nursing, writing, and more.

So while you dont want to go cold turkey on cat pictures, the access to high-quality courses at low or no cost is amazing. Having all these classes organized in one place is pretty handy, too.

Weve talked before about using the Internet to build your own college-level education. If you want something more practical, theres always the Navy.


Elon Musk authorizes Tesla employees to provide assistance for the California wildfires and not worry about payment Lifeboat News: The Blog

California, Teslas home state, is currently on fire as the current wildfire season is proving to be particularly devastating.

CEO Elon Musk has authorized Tesla employees to provide assistance for the wildfires and not worry about payment.

Several wildfires have been extremely destructive in California this week.


Researchers Uncover A Circuit For Sadness In The Human Brain Lifeboat News: The Blog

Sadness Circuit Found In Human Brain : Shots Health News When people are feeling glum, it often means that brain areas involved in emotion and memory are communicating. Researchers now have observed the circuit in action in humans.


Gravitational waves could solve a cosmological crisis within five yearsor shake physics to its core Lifeboat News: The Blog

This could be the last decade that cosmologists debate how fast the universe is expanding.


F.D.A. Plans to Seek a Ban on Menthol Cigarettes Lifeboat News: The Blog

The move is part of an aggressive campaign against many products containing nicotine, including flavored e-cigarettes. Menthol has long been a concern among African-Americans because of its addictive qualities.


How History Forgot the Woman Who Defined Autism Lifeboat News: The Blog

Grunya Sukhareva characterized autism nearly two decades before Austrian doctors Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger.


"Bionic Mushroom" Produces Electrical Current SoylentNews

Researchers create 'bionic mushroom' that produces electricity

Scientists outlined in a study published Wednesday a "bionic mushroom" capable of producing its own electricity. To do this, researchers used cyanobacteria, a bacteria with a blue-green color that creates its energy through photosynthesis, like plants.

Researchers at the Stevens Institute for Technology said the microbes have been known in the bioengineering community to create electricity, but don't last as long because the artificial surfaces used to host the bacteria can't keep it thriving long enough. For their study, Manu Mannoor, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at the institute, and postdoctorate fellow Sudeep Joshi tried a button mushroom.

[...] To create the "bionic mushroom," researchers used a 3D printer to create two types of electronic ink patterns, one containing the bacteria, and a second containing graphene nanoribbons to collect the current. Those patterns were placed on the mushroom's cap. [...] The mushroom was able to create a current of about 65 nanoAmps. Although the mushroom isn't strong enough to power a device, researchers say several of them could build up enough electrical current to light up an LED.

Also at Discover Magazine, BBC, and The Independent.

Bacterial Nanobionics via 3D Printing (DOI: 10.1021/acs.nanolett.8b02642) (DX)

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Debian 9.6 Released With Many Security & Bug Fixes, Adds In Rust's Cargo Phoronix

Debian 9.6 is out this weekend as the latest stable update to the Debian GNU/Linux "Stretch" series...


CDC Director Warns that Congos Ebola Outbreak may not be Containable SoylentNews

The Washington Post is reporting that the Center for Disease Control's director is warning that the Democratic Republic of the Congos Ebola outbreak may not be containable. The ongoing conflicts in the region might ensure that the disease becomes entrenched instead of coming under control. If it becomes endemic to the province then it will become impossible to trace contacts, stop transmission chains, and contain the outbreak. Apparently 60% to 80% of the newly-confirmed cases have no known epidemiological link to prior cases, indicating loss of control and fewer options for prevention or treatment. High level political attention is becoming needed at this point for there to be a solution.

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Tissue Chips in Space a Big Leap for Research Lifeboat News: The Blog

A small device that contains human cells in a 3D matrix represents a giant leap in the ability of scientists to test how those cells respond to stresses, drugs and genetic changes. About the size of a thumb drive, the devices are known as tissue chips or organs on chips.

A series of investigations to test tissue chips in microgravity aboard the International Space Station is planned through a collaboration between the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS) at the National Institutes for Health (NIH) and the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) in partnership with NASA. The Tissue Chips in Space initiative seeks to better understand the role of microgravity on human health and disease and to translate that understanding to improved human health on Earth.

Spaceflight causes many significant changes in the human body, said Liz Warren, associate program scientist at CASIS. We expect tissue chips in space to behave much like an astronauts body, experiencing the same kind of rapid change.


What Good Are Counterfeit Parts? Believe It Or Not, Maybe A Refund Hackaday

[Charles Ouweland] purchased some parts off Aliexpress and noticed that the Texas Instruments logo on some of his parts wasnt the Texas Instruments logo at all, it was just some kind of abstract shape that vaguely resembled the logo. Suspicious and a little curious, he decided to take a closer look at the MCP1702 3.3v LDO regulators he ordered as well. Testing revealed that they were counterfeits with poor performance.

Left: counterfeit part. Right: genuine Microchip MCP1702-3302

Looking at the packages, there were some superficial differences in the markings of the counterfeit MCP1702 versus genuine parts from Microchip, but nothing obviously out of place. To conclusively test the devices, [Charles] referred to Microchips datasheet. It stated that the dropout voltage of the part should be measured by having the regulator supply the maximum rated 250 mA in short pulses to avoid any complications from the part heating up. After setting up an appropriate test circuit with a 555 timer to generate the pulses for low duty cycle activation, [Charles] discovered that the counterfeit parts did not meet Microchip speci...


NVIDIA Open-Sources New I2C USB Type-C Turing GPU Driver In Linux 4.20 Phoronix

The Linux 4.20 kernel has just received a new post-merge-window new driver: i2c-nvidia-gpu that is being contributed by the NVIDIA crew for their newest Turing graphics cards...


Symantec shared details of North Korean Lazaruss FastCash Trojan used to hack banks Security Affairs

North Korea-linked Lazarus Group has been using FastCash Trojan to compromise AIX servers to empty tens of millions of dollars from ATMs.

Security experts from Symantec have discovered a malware, tracked as FastCash Trojan, that was used by the Lazarus APT Group, in a string of attacks against ATMs.
The ATP group has been using this malware at least since 2016 to siphon millions of dollars from ATMs of small and midsize banks in Asia and Africa.

The activity of the Lazarus Group surged in 2014 and 2015, its members used mostly custom-tailored malware in their attacks and experts that investigated on the crew consider it highly sophisticated.

This threat actor has been active since at least 2009, possibly as early as 2007, and it was involved in both cyber espionage campaigns and sabotage activities aimed to destroy data and disrupt systems.

The group is considered responsible for the massive WannaCry ransomware attack, a string of SWIFTattacks in 2016, and the Sony Pictures hack.

Earlies October, a joint technical alert from the DHS, the FBI, and the Treasury warned about a new ATM cash-out scheme, dubbed FASTCash, used by Hidden Cobra APT.

Following the above alert, Symantec uncovered the malware used in the FastCash scheme that was designed to intercept and approve fraudulent ATM cash withdrawal requests and send fake approval responses.

Following US-CERTs report, Symantecs research uncovered the key component used in the groups recent wave of financial attacks. The operation, known as FASTCash, has enabled Lazarus to fraudulently empty ATMs of cash. To make the fraudulent withdrawals, Lazarus first breaches targeted banks networks and compromises the switch application servers handling ATM transactions. reads the analysis published by Symantec.

Once these servers are compromised, previously unknown malware (Trojan.Fastcash) is deployed. This malware in turn intercepts fraudulent Lazarus cash withdrawal requests and sends fake approval res...


A Solar Storm Detonated Dozens of US Sea Mines in 1972 SoylentNews

Recently declassified documents suggest that in August 1972, a massive, high-velocity coronal mass ejection caused many sea mines to detonate unexpectedly. A new look is taken at the incident, taking into account more of what is known about the solar activity at the time.

The extreme space weather events of early August 1972 had significant impact on the US Navy, which have not been widely reported. These effects, long buried in the Vietnam War archives, add credence to the severity of the storm: a nearly instantaneous, unintended detonation of dozens of sea mines south of Hai Phong, North Vietnam on 4 August 1972. This event occurred near the end of the Vietnam War. The US Navy attributed the dramatic event to 'magnetic perturbations of solar storms.' In researching these events we determined that the widespread electric and communication grid disturbances that plagued North America and the disturbances in Southeast Asia late on 4 August likely resulted from propagation of major eruptive activity from the Sun to the Earth. The activity fits the description of a Carringtonclass storm minus the low latitude aurora reported in 1859. We provide insight into the solar, geophysical and military circumstances of this extraordinary situation. In our view this storm deserves a scientific revisit as a grand challenge for the space weather community, as it provides spaceage terrestrial observations of what was likely a Carringtonclass storm.

Given that nearly everything is almost fully dependent on electronics and those same electronics are connected to several large networks of copper wire which will act as antennas, what will we do now to mitigate the damage so we are more ready when a similar event occurs again?

Space Weather : On the LittleKnown Consequences of the 4 August 1972 UltraFast Coronal Mass Ejecta: Facts, Commentary and Call to Action
Science Alert : A Solar Storm Detonated Dozens of US Sea Mines, Declassified Navy Documents Reveal

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Google confirms Dark Mode on Android smartphones improves battery life TechWorm

Dark Mode on Android smartphone helps save battery life, admits Google

Google finally confirmed that the Dark Mode uses less power and helps increase battery life on Android smartphones, SlashGear reported. During a presentation at the 2018 Android Dev Summit, Google urged its developers to use darker colors in their apps to get the best battery life on the end users phone.

Generally, when you increase the screens brightness, it affects the battery life of the device. Also, the color displayed affects the power consumption of the display.

The Dark Mode basically reverses the color theme of an operating system (OS) or applications by replacing the white background with black. The Dark Mode for long has been associated with better battery life on devices, especially mobile devices.

According to Business Insider, Dark Mode draws 43% lesser power at full brightness compared to normal mode in the YouTube app, which normally uses a lot of white. The white color indirectly utilizes more power than darker colors.

Google also admitted their past mistake of encouraging app developers to use the color white for their applications and interfaces, including its own apps with their official Material Design specification for the last few years. The search giant said that they have plans to roll out a Dark Mode for all the Google apps in the future.

Please note that changing to Dark Mode only changes the user interface (UI) color to black background. You may have to manually enable Dark Mode on different applications.

For instance, to enable Dark Mode on your Android smartphone, you need to follow the below steps:

  1. Go to Settings on your phone.
  2. Tap on Display > Advanced > Device Theme.
  3. Tap on Dark.

Similarly, you can enable Dark Mode for YouTube application as given below:

  1. Launch YouTube app on your phone.
  2. Then, tap on your profile icon that appears on the right top corner.
  3. Go to Settings > General.
  4. Tap on the toggle for Dark theme to enable it.
  5. Tap on the back button, the theme is automatically saved.

The post Google confirms Dark Mode on Android smartphones improves battery life appeared first on TechWorm.

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Headmaster caught mining cryptocurrency at school; gets fired HackRead

By Uzair Amir

A Chinese school headmaster Lei Hua was caught mining cryptocurrency using the schools electricity. As a result, he had to lose his job. It happened at Puman Middle School in Hunan province of China. Initially, teachers complained about the loud noise that continued day and night while an increase in the schools electricity consumption was also reported []

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Man who conducted DDoS attacks on Sony, Xbox & EA pleads guilty HackRead

By Waqas

Austin Thompson, a 23-year-old man from Utah has pleaded guilty to conducting DDoS attacks on gaming giants between 2013 to 2014. Among his targets were companies like EA Origin, Sonys PlayStation Network, Steam, Microsofts Xbox,, and League of Legends, etc. Thompson who used the Twitter handle of DerpTrolling to announce attacks on his victims pleaded guilty this []

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Friday, 09 November


Vulnerability in Drone giant DJI exposed users photos & other sensitive data HackRead

By Waqas

Researchers at security firm CheckPoint identified a vulnerability in the website and apps of the popular consumer drone manufacturer DJI. The vulnerability was revealed on Thursday after DJI managed to fix the flaw. Though, it took DJI around six months to fully address the security flaw. If exploited, the attacker could have gained free access []

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