Report: Amazon chooses New York City neighborhood, DC suburb for HQ2

Policy - Posted On:2018-11-12 23:59:58 Source: arstechnica

Amazon has reportedly selected two joint sites for its second headquarters, or HQ2: Long Island City—a neighborhood in Queens, New York City—and Crystal City, Virginia, adjacent to Washington DC.

According to the Wall Street Journal, which broke the news on Monday evening, the selection caps a process that lasted over a year to lure the Seattle-based retail giant.

In January 2018, 20 "finalist" cities were named, including Raleigh, Toronto, Chicago, and Atlanta, among others.

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Israel Aims To Ban Gasoline, Diesel Vehicles By 2030

hardware - Posted On:2018-11-12 22:44:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CleanTechnica: 2030 seems like a long way off, but it's really just around the corner. And when the bell tolls at midnight on December 31, 2030, you may not be able to buy a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle in Israel. After that date, all passenger cars will be electric and all trucks will be powered by electricity or compressed natural gas, if a proposal currently under consideration gets approved by the government. A final decision is expected by the end of this year. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz [told Reuters last month] the biggest challenge will be creating a "critical mass" of electric and CNG powered vehicles before the deadline arrives. "We are already encouraging [the transition] by funding ... more than 2,000 new charging stations around the country," he says. The plan was set in motion one day after the United Nations issued its latest climate assessment that finds nations must do far more than they are currently doing in order to stave off warmer global average temperatures that will put the environment at risk. In order to reach the goal, the Israeli government will "reduce taxation on electric cars to almost zero, so they are going to be much cheaper," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. He expects there will be about 177,000 electric cars on Israeli roads around 2025. By 2030, the expectation is that there will be nearly 1.5 million EVs in the country. The country has a ways to go though, as there are less than 100 electric cars on the roads today. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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A new “fuzzy Pikachu” debate headlines a trailer-filled Monday

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2018-11-12 21:29:59 Source: arstechnica

Three film and TV studios elected to dump their latest trailers online on Monday, as opposed to spreading the love out over the week. Alone, each trailer is each intriguing, but their combined nerd power lets us glimpse what's to come from three world premieres.

The highlight of this year's Veterans Day trailer explosion is Detective Pikachu, a live-action (and decidedly Western) take on the odd video game of the same name. That title means a few things. First, like the game, this fork of the Pokemon universe appears to exist outside the collect-'em-all series' game and anime entries. That means there's no sign of familiar human characters like Ash, Daisy, Brock, or Team Rocket.

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Monday’s nerdiest trailers: Pokemon, sporks, and sarcastic bots come to life

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2018-11-12 21:14:59 Source: arstechnica

Three film and TV studios elected to dump their latest trailers online on Monday, as opposed to spreading the love out over the week. Alone, each trailer is each intriguing, but their combined nerd power lets us glimpse what's to come from three world premieres.

The highlight of this year's Veterans Day trailer explosion is Detective Pikachu, a live-action (and decidedly Western) take on the odd video game of the same name. That title means a few things. First, like the game, this fork of the Pokemon universe appears to exist outside the collect-'em-all series' game and anime entries. That means there's no sign of familiar human characters like Ash, Daisy, Brock, or Team Rocket.

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Facebook To Let French Regulators Investigate On Moderation Processes

yro - Posted On:2018-11-12 21:14:59 Source: slashdot

Facebook and the French government are working together to look at the social media company's efforts to moderate content on its site. "At the start of 2019, French regulators will launch an informal investigation on algorithm-powered and human moderation," reports TechCrunch. "Facebook is willing to cooperate and give unprecedented access to its internal processes." From the report: Regulators will look at multiple steps: how flagging works, how Facebook identifies problematic content, how Facebook decides if it's problematic or not and what happens when Facebook takes down a post, a video or an image. This type of investigation is reminiscent of banking and nuclear regulation. It involves deep cooperation so that regulators can certify that a company is doing everything right. It's still unclear who's going to be in charge of this investigation. There could be regulators from France's telecom regulator (ARCEP), from the government's tech team (DINSIC), from the TV and radio regulator (CSA)... There's one thing for sure, the French government wants to focus on hate speech for now, so don't expect anyone from the privacy regulator (CNIL). The investigation isn't going to be limited to talking with the moderation teams and looking at their guidelines. The French government wants to find algorithmic bias and test data sets against Facebook's automated moderation tools. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Should Comcast Be Investigated For Antitrust Violations?

yro - Posted On:2018-11-12 20:29:59 Source: slashdot

The American Cable Association (ACA), an industry group that represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The group has "asked U.S. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to 'immediately' open an investigation into Comcast's practices," reports The Verge. Comcast is denying the claims, and while the Justice Department hasn't publicly responded, that may change soon. President Donald Trump tweeted about the ACA's claims earlier this afternoon. From the report: The ACA claims Comcast has a uniquely powerful hold on the U.S. cable industry because it controls a large chunk of "must have" programming like NBC's regional sports channels. The group argues that the Comcast "has shown a willingness to harm rivals" in the past, even while bound by a 2011 consent decree that expired earlier this year. The letter is dated November 6th but was published today, after Fox Business Networks reported on its existence last week. Contra Trump's description, the letter doesn't seem to describe "routine" violations of antitrust law. It's primarily arguing that there's a huge risk of Comcast abusing its market position, while explaining just how much damage could result if Comcast did so. The ACA has put forward more concrete claims in the past, though -- like a 2017 complaint that Comcast was forcing smaller cable providers to bundle unwanted NBC-owned channels into TV packages, driving up their costs. The ACA's letter also raises concerns involving Hulu, suggesting that Comcast could effectively hold the service hostage. "We have heard from ACA members that they fear that ComcastNBCU may restrict, if it is not already restricting, their ability to access Hulu and make it available to their customers as an alternative to their cable offerings," reads the letter. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Next Version of HTTP Won't Be Using TCP

technology - Posted On:2018-11-12 19:59:59 Source: slashdot

"The HTTP-over-QUIC experimental protocol will be renamed to HTTP/3 and is expected to become the third official version of the HTTP protocol, officials at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have revealed," writes Catalin Cimpanu via ZDNet. "This will become the second Google-developed experimental technology to become an official HTTP protocol upgrade after Google's SPDY technology became the base of HTTP/2." From the report: HTTP-over-QUIC is a rewrite of the HTTP protocol that uses Google's QUIC instead of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as its base technology. QUIC stands for "Quick UDP Internet Connections" and is, itself, Google's attempt at rewriting the TCP protocol as an improved technology that combines HTTP/2, TCP, UDP, and TLS (for encryption), among many other things. Google wants QUIC to slowly replace both TCP and UDP as the new protocol of choice for moving binary data across the Internet, and for good reasons, as test have proven that QUIC is both faster and more secure because of its encrypted-by-default implementation (current HTTP-over-QUIC protocol draft uses the newly released TLS 1.3 protocol). In a mailing list discussion last month, Mark Nottingham, Chair of the IETF HTTP and QUIC Working Group, made the official request to rename HTTP-over-QUIC as HTTP/3, and pass it's development from the QUIC Working Group to the HTTP Working Group. In the subsequent discussions that followed and stretched over several days, Nottingham's proposal was accepted by fellow IETF members, who gave their official seal of approval that HTTP-over-QUIC become HTTP/3, the next major iteration of the HTTP protocol, the technology that underpins today's World Wide Web. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Real Reason Palmer Luckey Was Fired From Facebook

politics - Posted On:2018-11-12 19:14:59 Source: slashdot

ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols argues that the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, wasn't fired because of his political views, as a recently-published Wall Street Journal article suggests, but because the virtual-reality company lost a $500 million intellectual property theft case to game maker ZeniMax. An anonymous reader shares the report: According to The Wall Street Journal, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company, was fired by Facebook because "he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group" during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign. But the article fails to mention a simple little fact: On Feb. 1, 2017, Oculus lost an intellectual property (IP) theft case against game maker ZeniMax, to the tune of $500 million. So, if one of your employees just cost your company a cool half-billion bucks for doing wrong what would you do? Well, Facebook isn't saying, even now, but on March 30, 2017, it let Luckey go. Yes, Luckey also lied about his political moves, which went well beyond donating to an anti-Hillary billboard campaign. But let's look at the record. Everyone knew he'd lied by Feb. 22, 2016. Was he fired then? No. Was he fired after being found guilty of stealing ZeniMax's trade secrets? Yes. Officially, Facebook stated: "All details associated with specific personnel matters are kept strictly confidential. This is our policy for all employees, no matter their seniority. But we can say unequivocally that Palmer's departure was not due to his political views." Let me spell it out for you: He made some political waves. Nothing happened. He cost Facebook $500 million. He was fired. Can anyone here seriously not draw the lines between the dots? Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Intel Microcode Boot Loader Protects Older CPUs From Spectre

Security - Posted On:2018-11-12 18:44:59 Source: bleepingcomputer

The Intel Microcode Boot Loader creates a bootable USB flash drive that automatically applies the latest Intel microcodes to your identified CPU so that you are protected from the speculative execution side-channel attacks called Spectre. [...]

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Cats, beetles, other mummified animals found—along with a sealed door

Science - Posted On:2018-11-12 18:44:59 Source: arstechnica

Archaeologists discovered dozens of mummified cats in seven previously undisturbed tombs in a 4,500-year-old pyramid complex near Saqqara, south of Cairo. The cats were found along with a collection of mummified scarab beetles, gilded wood cat statues, painted animal sarcophagi, and other artifacts.

Today, dozens of intact mummies of any species are a relatively rare find for archaeologists, but mummifying cats and other animals was a common practice in Egypt for thousands of years. The Saqqara cats, like millions of others throughout Egyptian history, would have been bred and raised for eventual mass sacrifice to the protective goddess Bastet, who often appears in Egyptian art as a woman with the head of a lioness or, after about 1000 BCE, a domestic cat.

Most of those once-common mummies were lost to rampant looting across the centuries, which peaked between the 1700s and early 1900s. Europeans looted hundreds of thousands of animal mummies, including baboons, cats, crocodiles, and ibises, most of which were destroyed to make fertilizer.

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Dozens of cat mummies discovered in Egyptian tombs

Science - Posted On:2018-11-12 18:29:59 Source: arstechnica

Archaeologists discovered dozens of mummified cats in seven previously undisturbed tombs in a 4,500-year-old pyramid complex near Saqqara, south of Cairo. The cats were found along with a collection of mummified scarab beetles, gilded wood cat statues, painted animal sarcophagi, and other artifacts.

Today, dozens of intact mummies of any species are a relatively rare find for archaeologists, but mummifying cats and other animals was a common practice in Egypt for thousands of years. The Saqqara cats, like millions of others throughout Egyptian history, would have been bred and raised for eventual mass sacrifice to the protective goddess Bastet, who often appears in Egyptian art as a woman with the head of a lioness or, after about 1000 BCE, a domestic cat.

Most of those once-common mummies were lost to rampant looting across the centuries, which peaked between the 1700s and early 1900s. Europeans looted hundreds of thousands of animal mummies, including baboons, cats, crocodiles, and ibises, most of which were destroyed to make fertilizer.

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Drive-By Shooting Suspect Remotely Wipes iPhone X, Catches Extra Charges

yro - Posted On:2018-11-12 18:29:59 Source: slashdot

schwit1 shares a report from Apple Insider: A woman from Schenectady, N.Y. accused of being the driver in a shooting used Apple's remote wipe feature to destroy evidence on her iPhone X that might have been related to the event. The iPhone was seized as evidence in the case, but police say that shortly after she triggered the remote wipe, an option available via Find My iPhone in iCloud. Normally the tool is intended for people with lost or stolen devices. The suspected driver, Juelle Grant, was arrested on November 2nd and charged with two counts of tampering with physical evidence, and one count of hindering prosecution. As Apple Insider notes, only one of the tampering counts is connected to the iPhone. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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French investigators to work directly with Facebook to monitor hate speech

Policy - Posted On:2018-11-12 18:14:59 Source: arstechnica

For the first time, Facebook has agreed to allow French regulators to work closely with the company as a way to monitor what actions it's taking to combat hate speech. If necessary, France could impose further regulations on the social media giant.

In a French-language speech before the Internet Governance Forum held in Paris on Monday, French President Emmanuel Macron said that the two sides would work together for six months starting in early 2019 to come up with "joint, precise, and concrete" proposals that both Menlo Park and Paris could agree with.

— Emmanuel Macron (@EmmanuelMacron) November 12, 2018

"There's a Californian Internet and a Chinese Internet," he explained, urging those in attendance to seek a middle-ground "European" model.

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The next version of HTTP won’t be using TCP

Tech - Posted On:2018-11-12 17:59:59 Source: arstechnica

The next version of the Hypertext Transfer Protocol (HTTP)—the network protocol that defines how browsers talk to Web servers—is going to make a major break from the versions in use today.

Today's HTTP (versions 1.0, 1.1, and 2) are all layered on top of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol). TCP, defined as part of the core set of IP (Internet Protocol) layers, provides reliable, ordered, and error-checked delivery of data over an IP network. "Reliable" means that if some data goes missing during transfer (due to a hardware failure, congestion, or a timeout), the receiving end can detect this and demand that the sending end re-send the missing data; "ordered" means that data is received in the order that it was transmitted in; "error-checked" means that any corruption during transmission can be detected.

These are all desirable properties and necessary for a protocol such as HTTP, but TCP is designed as a kind of one-size-fits-all solution, suitable for any application that needs this kind of reliability. It isn't particularly tuned for the kinds of scenarios that HTTP is used for. TCP requires a number of round trips between client and server to establish a connection, for example; using SSL over TCP requires subsequent round trips to establish the encrypted connection. A protocol purpose-built for HTTP could combine these negotiations and reduce the number of round trips, thereby improving network latency.

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US Chip Cards Are Being Compromised In the Millions

it - Posted On:2018-11-12 17:44:59 Source: slashdot

According to a study from Gemini Advisory, some 60 million U.S. cards were compromised in the past 12 months. "Of those, 93 percent were EMV chip-enabled," reports Threatpost. "Also, crucially, 75 percent, or 45.8 million, were records stolen from in-person transactions." From the report: These were likely compromised through card-skimming malware and point-of-sale (POS) breaches at establishments like retailers, hotels and restaurants, the likes of which continue to make headlines. Further results show that the U.S. leads the rest of the world in the total amount of compromised EMV payment cards by a massive 37.3 million records. In the past 12 months, about 15.9 million compromised non-U.S. payment cards were posted for sale on the underground, split between 11.3 million card-not-present (online transaction) records and 4.6 million card-present records, of which 4.3 million were EMV enabled. This means that the theft level of EMV-enabled card data in the U.S. is 868 percent higher than the rest of the world combined. The reason for this state of affairs, according to Gemini, is the lack of U.S. merchant compliance -- too many of them still use the mag-stripe function at PoS terminals. Gemini also said that card-present data "is also collected via a more manual method by skimmer groups, who are utilizing custom made hardware known as 'shimmers' to record and exfiltrate data from ATMs and POS systems. The firm also found that while most large U.S. merchants have fully transitioned to EMV, gas pump terminals and small/medium size businesses are emerging as the main targets for cybercriminals going forward. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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iSH - An iOS Linux Shell for Your iPhone or iPad

Security - Posted On:2018-11-12 17:14:59 Source: bleepingcomputer

Have you ever wanted to run a Linux shell on your iOS device to transfer files, write shell scripts, or simply to use Vi to develop code or edit files?  Now you can, with a project called iSH that is currently available as a TestFlight beta for iOS devices. [...]

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Being a morning person might have some health advantages

Science - Posted On:2018-11-12 17:14:59 Source: arstechnica

A paper presented at the National Cancer Research Institute this week has made for some flashy headlines, like this confident declaration from India’s Economic Times: “Ladies, check your alarm: Waking up early may cut breast-cancer risk.” But most headlines have been appropriately measured and wordy, like The Independent’s “Women who prefer to wake up early have lower risk of breast cancer than night owls.”

In amidst the largely cautious coverage is a truckload of confusion over the details. Some reports frame the paper’s findings as being about preference (preferring to wake up early or stay up late) while others frame them as being about behavior (actually waking up earlier, regardless of preference). Some hold questions of cause and effect at arm’s length, while others dive right in with claims about sleep habits causing cancer.

And what’s the data that was used by the National Cancer Research Institute? Health News Review, in its critique of media coverage of the research, reports that researchers examined “self-reported responses” about being a morning person, but genetic data came into the mix, too.

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Apple Confirms Its T2 Security Chip Blocks Some Third-Party Repairs of New Macs

hardware - Posted On:2018-11-12 17:14:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report from The Verge about Apple's new security-focused T2 chip found in the newest Mac computers. The introduction of the chip "has renewed concerns that Apple is trying to further lock down its devices from third-party repair services," The Verge reports. From the report: The T2 is "a guillotine that [Apple is] holding over" product owners, iFixit CEO Kyle Wiens told The Verge over email. That's because it's the key to locking down Mac products by only allowing select replacement parts into the machine when they've come from an authorized source -- a process that the T2 chip now checks for during post-repair reboot. "It's very possible the goal is to exert more control over who can perform repairs by limiting access to parts," Wiens said. "This could be an attempt to grab more market share from the independent repair providers. Or it could be a threat to keep their authorized network in line. We just don't know." Apple confirmed to The Verge that this is the case for repairs involving certain components on newer Macs, like the logic board and Touch ID sensor, which is the first time the company has publicly acknowledged the tool's use. But Apple could not provide a list of repairs that required this or what devices were affected. It also couldn't say whether it began this protocol with the iMac Pro's introduction last year or if it's a new policy instituted recently. First revealed last month by MacRumors and Motherboard, both of which got their hands on an internal Apple document, the T2 chip could render a computer inoperable if, say, the logic board is replaced, unless the chip recognizes a special piece of diagnostic software has been run. That means if you wanted to repair certain key parts of your MacBook, iMac, or Mac mini, you would need to go to an official Apple Store or a repair shop that's part of the company's Authorized Service Provider (ASP) network. If you want to repair or rebuild portions of those devices on your own, you simply can't -- at least, according to this document. The parts affected, according to the document, are the display assembly, logic board, top case, and Touch ID board for the MacBook Pro, and the logic board and flash storage on the iMac Pro. It is also likely that logic board repairs on the new MacBook Air and Mac mini are affected, as well as the Mac mini's flash storage. Yet, the document, which is believed to have been distributed earlier this year, does not mention those products because they were unannounced at the time. Regardless, to replace those parts, a technician would need to run what's known as the AST 2 System Configuration suite, which Apple only distributes to Apple Stores and certified ASPs. So DIY shops and those out of the Apple network would be out of luck. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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A 100,000-router botnet is feeding on a 5-year-old UPnP bug in Broadcom chips

Biz & IT - Posted On:2018-11-12 16:30:00 Source: arstechnica

A recently discovered botnet has taken control of an eye-popping 100,000 home and small-office routers made from a range of manufacturers, mainly by exploiting a critical vulnerability that has remained unaddressed on infected devices more than five years after it came to light.

Researchers from Netlab 360, who reported the mass infection late last week, have dubbed the botnet BCMUPnP_Hunter. The name is a reference to a buggy implementation of the Universal Plug and Play protocol built into Broadcom chipsets used in vulnerable devices. An advisory released in January 2013 warned that the critical flaw affected routers from a raft of manufacturers, including Broadcom, Asus, Cisco, TP-Link, Zyxel, D-Link, Netgear, and US Robotics. The finding from Netlab 360 suggests that many vulnerable devices were allowed to run without ever being patched or locked down through other means.

Last week's report documents 116 different types of devices that make up the botnet from a diverse group of manufacturers. Once under the attackers' control, the routers connect to a variety of well-known email services. This is a strong indication that the infected devices are being used to send spam or other types of malicious mail.

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More Than 50 Nations Launch 'Paris Call' To Fix Hate Speech and Cyberattacks; China and Russia Not Among Signatories, Trump Administration Reluctant To Sign

it - Posted On:2018-11-12 16:30:00 Source: slashdot

French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday launched a push to regulate the internet. France and U.S. technology giants, including Microsoft, are pushing for governments and companies worldwide to sign up for a new initiative aimed at establishing regulations for the internet, to fight such online threats as cyber attacks, hate speech and online censorship. A report adds: With the launch of a declaration entitled the 'Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace,' French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to revive efforts to regulate cyberspace after the last round of United Nations negotiations failed in 2017. In the document, which is supported by many European countries but, crucially, not China or Russia, the signatories urge governments to beef up protections against cyber meddling in elections and prevent the theft of trade secrets. The Paris call was initially pushed for by tech companies but was redrafted by French officials to include work done by U.N. experts in recent years. [...] In another sign of the Trump administration's reluctance to join international initiatives it sees as a bid to encroach on U.S. sovereignty, French officials said Washington might not become a signatory, though talks are continuing. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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