The new era in mobile

Column - Posted On:2018-09-25 17:45:00 Source: techcrunch

A stagnating mobile app industry eyes automobiles and a driverless future as the path to much needed diversification and exponential revenue growth.

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Nintendo Switch cloud saves disappear 6 months after subscription ends [Updated]

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2018-09-25 17:44:59 Source: arstechnica

[Update Sept. 25: Nintendo has now confirmed to IGN that it will retain players' cloud saves for six months after they cancel their subscription. "Nintendo will allow users who resubscribe within 180 days to access their previous Save Data Cloud backups," the statement reads, in part.

This seems to be a reversal of Nintendo's previous plans, especially since a Nintendo UK FAQ still says, "Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership." The new policy puts Nintendo in line with Sony, which also retains cloud saves for six months after a PlayStation Plus subscription lapses.]

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NSA employee who brought hacking tools home sentenced to 66 months in prison

Biz & IT - Posted On:2018-09-25 17:44:59 Source: arstechnica

Nghia Hoang Pho, a 68-year-old former National Security Agency employee who worked in the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division, was sentenced today to 66 months in prison for willful, unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents and material from his workplace—material that included hacking tools that were likely part of the code dumped by the individual or group known as Shadowbrokers in the summer of 2016.

Pho, a naturalized US citizen from Vietnam and a resident of Ellicott City, Maryland, had pleaded guilty to bringing home materials after being caught in a sweep by the NSA following the Shadowbrokers leaks. He will face three years of supervised release after serving his sentence. His attorney had requested home detention.

In a letter sent to the court in March, former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers told Judge George Russell that the materials removed from the NSA by Pho "had significant negative impacts on the NSA mission, the NSA workforce, and the Intelligence Community as a whole." The materials Pho removed, Rogers wrote, included:

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Over 80 Cisco Products Affected by FragmentSmack DoS Bug

Security - Posted On:2018-09-25 17:30:00 Source: bleepingcomputer

Cisco is currently looking into its product line to determine the ones using Linux kernel 3.9 or above, which is vulnerable to the FragmentSmack denial-of-service (DoS) bug. [...]

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Across The Arctic, Lakes Are Leaking Dangerous Greenhouse Gases

science - Posted On:2018-09-25 17:29:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Set against the austere peaks of the Western Brooks Range, the lake, about 20 football fields in size, looked like it was boiling. Its waters hissed, bubbled and popped as a powerful greenhouse gas escaped from the lake bed. Some bubbles grew as big as grapefruits, visibly lifting the water's surface several inches and carrying up bits of mud from below. This was methane. As the permafrost thaws across the fast-warming Arctic, it releases carbon dioxide, the top planet-warming greenhouse gas, from the soil into the air. Sometimes, that thaw spurs the growth of lakes in the soft, sunken ground, and these deep-thawing bodies of water tend to unleash the harder-hitting methane gas. But not this much of it. This lake, which Katey Walter Anthony, an ecologist who has studied 300 lakes across the tundras of the Arctic, dubbed Esieh Lake, looked different. And the volume of gas wafting from it could deliver the climate system another blow if lakes like this turn out to be widespread. The first time Walter Anthony saw Esieh Lake, she was afraid it might explode -- and she is no stranger to the danger, or the theatrics, of methane. In 2010, the University of Alaska at Fairbanks posted a video of the media-savvy ecologist standing on the frozen surface of an Arctic lake, then lighting a methane stream on fire to create a tower of flame as tall as she is. It got nearly half a million views on YouTube. So now, in the Arctic's August warmth, she had come back to this isolated spot with a small research team, along with her husband and two young sons, to see what secrets Esieh Lake might yield. Was it simply a bizarre anomaly? Or was it a sign that the thawing Arctic had begun to release an ancient source of methane that could worsen climate change? One thing she was sure of: If the warming Arctic releases more planet-warming methane, that could lead to... more warming. Scientists call this a feedback loop. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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VMWare Fusion 11 adds support for Core i9 MacBook Pro and 18-core iMac Pro

Biz & IT - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:45:00 Source: arstechnica

A new version of virtualization software VMWare Fusion hit Macs this week. VMWare Fusion 11 adds a new application menu and support for the 18-core CPU configuration in the latest iMac Pro and the Core i9 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The release appears to have been closely timed with the launch of macOS Mojave, which hit this Monday. VMWare Fusion is one of the most popular virtual-machine applications for Macs; its closest direct rival is Parallels Desktop, which also released a new version preparing for Mojave last month. Parallels has many strengths, including a leg up or two on VMWare Fusion with certain features. But VMWare Fusion does offer its own advantages over the Parallels release; among other things, it has moved to using Metal as the default graphics API on the Mac. Parallels still uses the Mac's outdated OpenGL, though the Parallels team is working on making the transition.

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Firefox Monitor Will Inform You of Data Breaches

technology - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:44:59 Source: slashdot

Earlier this year, Mozilla announced Firefox Monitor, a service that will inform you if your online accounts were hacked in a recent data breach. It's now available to general public. A report adds: For the new security-focused tool, Mozilla partnered with Troy Hunt, the renowned security expert behind Have I Been Pwned? (HIBP), which is a database of data breaches that allows anyone to discover whether one of their online accounts has been compromised. The first iteration of Firefox Monitor is, for all intents and purposes, a clone of HIBP. After you enter your email address and hit the scan button, you're told which online services have leaked your personal details (if any). You can also sign up to be notified of any future data breaches involving one or more of your email addresses. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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VMWare Fusion 11 adds support for 9-core MacBook Pro and 18-core iMac Pro

Biz & IT - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:30:00 Source: arstechnica

A new version of virtualization software VMWare Fusion hit Macs this week. VMWare Fusion 11 adds a new application menu and support for the 18-core CPU configuration in the latest iMac Pro and the Core i9 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro models.

The release appears to have been closely timed with the launch of macOS Mojave, which hit this Monday. VMWare Fusion is one of the most popular virtual-machine applications for Macs; its closest direct rival is Parallels Desktop, which also released a new version preparing for Mojave last month. Parallels has many strengths, including a leg up or two on VMWare Fusion with certain features. But VMWare Fusion does offer its own advantages over the Parallels release; among other things, it has moved to using Metal as the default graphics API on the Mac. Parallels still uses the Mac's outdated OpenGL, though the Parallels team is working on making the transition.

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Big cameras and big rivalries take center stage at Photokina

Gadgets - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:15:02 Source: techcrunch

Photokina is underway in London and the theme of the show is "large." Unusually for an industry that is trending towards the compact, the cameras on stage at this show sport big sensors, big lenses, and big price tags. But though they may not be for the average shooter, these cameras are impressive pieces of hardware that hint at things to come for the industry as a whole.

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Nintendo Switch cloud saves disappear six months after subscription ends [Updated]

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:15:02 Source: arstechnica

[Update Sept. 25: Nintendo has now confirmed to IGN that it will retain players' cloud saves for six months after they cancel their subscription. "Nintendo will allow users who resubscribe within 180 days to access their previous Save Data Cloud backups," the statement reads, in part.

This seems to be a reversal of Nintendo's previous plans, especially since a Nintendo UK FAQ still says, "Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership." The new policy puts Nintendo in line with Sony, which also retains cloud saves for six months after a PlayStation Plus subscription lapses.]

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Fedora 29 Beta Now Available For Download With Improved Raspberry Pi Support

linux - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:15:01 Source: slashdot

The Fedora Project announced Tuesday the beta availability of Fedora 29 -- the latest version of the free and open-source Fedora OS. From a report: It features updated packages, improved support for Raspberry Pi, and more. "Highlighting Fedora 29 Beta is the addition of modularity across all Fedora editions. First delivered in Fedora 28 Server, modularity enables multiple versions of the same software (like Node.js) to be selected on a per-system basis, with parallel installation done through containers. This can provide some users the ability to use tried-and-true versions of software while enabling other users to work with just-released innovation without impacting the overall stability of the Fedora operating system," says Matthew Miller, Fedora Project Leader. Miller further says, "The importance of ARM to IoT has not been lost on Fedora, and Fedora 29 Beta aims to make the Fedora operating system a home for both ARM and IoT. These features start with enhanced ZRAM support for swap on ARMv7 and aarch64, which can improve the performance and reliability of Fedora 29 Beta on ARM Single Board Computers, like the Raspberry Pi. These devices are used by 'makers' and in developmental IoT solutions." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Night Eye Extension Adds a Dark Mode to Websites

Security - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:00:00 Source: bleepingcomputer

There's a new extension in the marketplace that brings dark mode to websites like BleepingComputer, Facebook, Google, Quora and others. Called Night Eye, the extension basically tweaks the contrast within the websites to dark grey. [...]

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Valve reveals just how many PC gamers plug in gamepads—and which kinds

Gaming & Culture - Posted On:2018-09-25 16:00:00 Source: arstechnica

Fans of PC video games inevitably point to the options they have for how they play their favorite games, whether with a keyboard and mouse, a rigorous array of flight-sim pedals, or everything in between. But the data coming from leading PC platform Steam points to an interesting trend: millions of PC gamers who gladly stick to the console-like experience of a standard gamepad.

A Tuesday hardware survey from Valve Software, Steam's handlers, reveals that "over 30 million" users have connected at least one gamepad to a Steam installation since the company began tracking "Steam Input" as part of its hardware surveys. And with some users connecting multiple pads to their PCs, the total number of connected Steam controllers ratchets up to nearly 60 million.

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After-market car tech firm sold 363,000 emissions-cheating devices, DOJ says [updated]

Cars - Posted On:2018-09-25 15:30:05 Source: arstechnica

On Monday, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced a settlement with an after-market car technology company called Derive Systems. Derive was accused of selling 363,000 devices that could defeat the emissions control systems of any car. The settlement called for Derive to spend around $6 million correcting its sold and unsold software to prevent further emissions tampering, as well as pay a fine of $300,000.

(Update, 15:10 ET: Derive disavows the $6 million figure in the DOJ press release, saying "the cost of our investments was not part of our agreement, so in fact, we are not aware of how the EPA has estimated the $6 million figure." It also added that all of its current products comply with EPA standards and "the removal of user-adjustable options do not depend on hardware fixes," so the company doesn't need to issue a formal recall.)

Derive's products rely on the OBD (On Board Diagnostics) II port that's found in most cars. Ars wrote about the company last year, noting that it is able to not only read diagnostics through the OBD II port, but to write via OBD II as well. This allows the company to re-map engine performance according to a customer's needs or wishes. If you own a fleet of delivery vehicles and you need to maximize efficiency (and minimize fuel cost) at the expense of, say, towing power, Derive's system would allow you to do that.

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Why Mojave’s dark mode isn’t dark enough

Biz & IT - Posted On:2018-09-25 15:30:05 Source: arstechnica

The days of getting overly excited about an OS release have passed for me. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky, or maybe operating systems reached "good enough" status a while ago. But either way, it's not something I get worked up for.

But I'll cop to being curious to try out Mojave's dark mode. I browse Ars with our in-house dark mode (you'll find it in the upper right three-bar hamburger menu if you haven't tried it yourself yet), I use night mode on Twitter, and I find myself more comfortable with darker interfaces these days.

I upgraded to Mojave on my iMac yesterday and found the installer had already pre-selected the dark option for me, presumably because I ran the dark menu bar on High Sierra. Seemed like a good sign.

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Myst, One of the Most Influential Games Ever, Turns 25

games - Posted On:2018-09-25 15:29:59 Source: slashdot

harrymcc writes: On September 24, 1993, Myst debuted as a CD-ROM game for the Mac. The mysterious, puzzle-laden adventure went on to become the best-selling game title of its era, inspiring a devoted following and multiple sequels. But for all the people who loved Myst, it was disrespected by many in the gaming industry, who found it less engaging than previous adventures and even blamed it for killing of the earlier genre of more action-packed adventuring. Over at Fast Company, Benj Edwards provides an appreciation of Myst but also talks to game designers about the game's still-complex legacy. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Uber wins key ruling in its fight against treating drivers as employees

Policy - Posted On:2018-09-25 15:15:00 Source: arstechnica

A federal appeals court handed Uber a significant win Tuesday in its battle to avoid having its drivers declared to be legal employees. Uber has asked the courts to throw out the lawsuit, because Uber's driver agreement requires this kind of dispute to be handled in private arbitration instead—an endorsement that the 9th Circuit Appeals Court has now accepted.

Uber says that its drivers are legally independent contractors, not employees. That's significant because federal law strictly regulates the relationship between employers and employees. Employees are guaranteed to earn federal minimum wage and are entitled to overtime pay if they work more than 40 hours per week. Uber employees, in contrast, are paid by the ride and might earn much less than minimum wage if they drive at a slow time of day.

California law also gives employees the right to be reimbursed for expenses they incur on the job, which would be significant for Uber drivers who otherwise are responsible for gas, maintenance, insurance, and other expenses of operating an Uber vehicle.

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Dealmaster: Get Red Dead Redemption 2 bundled with a PS4 Pro at no extra cost

Staff - Posted On:2018-09-25 14:45:00 Source: arstechnica

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is headlined by a new bundle that pairs Red Dead Redemption 2 with Sony's PlayStation 4 Pro console for the latter's usual $400 retail price.

Now, PS4 Pro bundles are nothing new, and there will inevitably be chances to score the console and game for less than $400 after Rockstar's latest is out. But stock of the PS4 Pro has been somewhat sporadic on its own, so if you're interested in the 4K-ready console and plan to buy Red Dead Redemption 2 anyway, it's a decent savings off the bat.

As for whether the PS4 Pro is worth it in the first place, that'll depend on how much stock you put in 4K gaming. The standard PS4 can play in HDR, and generally speaking there's little reason to pay more if you're using a 1080p TV or 1440p monitor. Still, even if it's not a generational leap, the Pro does make many games look and run smoother on higher-end screens.

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Apple stole Qualcomm chip secrets and gave them to Intel, Qualcomm claims

Policy - Posted On:2018-09-25 14:45:00 Source: arstechnica

Qualcomm has accused Apple of stealing modem-chip designs and giving them to Intel in order to help Intel make cellular chips that could be used in iPhones at lower prices than those charged by Qualcomm.

"Apple has engaged in a years-long campaign of false promises, stealth, and subterfuge designed to steal Qualcomm's confidential information and trade secrets for the purpose of improving the performance and accelerating time to market of lower-quality modem chipsets, including those developed by Intel Corporation, competitor of Qualcomm, to render such chipsets useable in Apple iPhones and other devices, with the ultimate goal of diverting Qualcomm's Apple-based business to Intel," Qualcomm wrote in a proposed amended complaint.

Apple started switching from Intel to Qualcomm modem chips in iPhones and other devices in 2011 when it launched the Verizon version of the iPhone 4, Qualcomm said. But Apple began switching back to Intel chips in some iPhone models in 2016, apparently to get lower prices despite the Intel chips' lower performance. Qualcomm alleges that the switch to Intel in 2016 and Intel chip improvements since then were aided by Apple's illegal actions.

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Do You Know Cobol? If So, There Might Be a Job for You.

developers - Posted On:2018-09-25 14:45:00 Source: slashdot

Despite its advanced age, Cobol is still the most prevalent programming language in the financial-services industry world-wide. Software programmed in Cobol powers millions of banking transactions every day and underpins critical computer mainframes. WSJ: And Cobol isn't going away anytime soon. Banks and other companies have come to the uncomfortable realization that ripping out old mainframes is pricey and complicated. Transitioning to new systems is likely to take years, and besides, a lot of the older tech works just fine. The problem is that Cobol isn't popular with new programmers. So, with a generation of Cobol specialists retiring, there is a continuing hunt to find a new generation of programmers to service this technology. In Texas, Mr. Hinshaw's (an anecdote in the story) company, the Cobol Cowboys, a group of mostly older programmers, is training U.S. military veterans in the programming language. Accenture is coaching hundreds of Cobol programmers every year in India and the Philippines to work at banks. In Malaysia, one consultancy that provides engineers versed in Cobol for its clients, iTAc MSC Outsourcing, has adopted the slogan "Keeping the Dinosaurs Alive." A host of companies offer online courses in Cobol in places like South Africa, India and Bangladesh. Developing economies are key technology-outsourcing centers for banks. Further reading: Major Banks and Parts of Federal Gov't Still Rely On COBOL, Now Scrambling To Find IT 'Cowboys' To Keep Things Afloat. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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