Tech News

Facebook, TikTok Least Trusted By Americans, Google Most Trusted, Says Survey

technology - Posted On:2021-03-01 22:44:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Forty percent of Americans don't trust Facebook and TikTok and Google appears to be winning the trust wars, according to a survey from SeoClarity. SeoClarity surveyed 1,057 American residents to gauge trust in tech companies and found a majority of US citizens think social media companies need more regulation. The findings are notable due to how tech companies are stacking up on trust. Google tops Amazon, Microsoft and Apple on the trustworthy scores. Meanwhile, Facebook and TikTok were the most distrusted. SeoClarity also found that half of Americans think that Websites can control where they land in Google searches. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Scientists Have Invented Light-Up OLED Tattoos

technology - Posted On:2021-03-01 19:14:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Tattoos are usually considered a form of personal expression, but a team of researchers in Europe have created what they're calling the world's first light-emitting tattoo based on OLED screen technology that, besides presumably looking kind of cool, could also serve as a visible warning about potential health concerns. In a recently published paper in the Advanced Electronic Materials journal, "Ultrathin, UltraConformable, and FreeStanding Tattooable Organic LightEmitting Diodes," scientists from the University College London in the UK and the Italian Institute of Technology detail how their new approach to tattoos relies on the same organic light-emitting diode technology featured in devices like more recent iPhones, as well as the recent crop of mobile devices featuring folding screens. The flexibility of an OLED display is important for this application given human skin is so pliable and flexes and folds as the body moves. The actual electronics of the light-emitting tattoos, made from an extremely thin layer of an electroluminescent polymer that glows when a charge is applied, measure in at just 2.3-micrometers thick, which, according to the researchers, is about one-third the diameter of a red blood cell. The polymer layer is then sandwiched between a pair of electrodes and sits atop an insulating layer, which is bonded to temporary tattoo paper through a printing process that isn't prohibitively expensive. The tattoos can be easily applied to surfaces using the same wet transfer process that temporary tattoos designed for kids use, and can be easily washed off when no longer needed or wanted using soap and water. With a current applied the OLED tattoos in their current form simply glow green, but eventually could produce any color using the same RGB approach that OLED screens use. However, while the researchers acknowledge that the potential for glowing tattoos is there, taking that art in a whole new direction, they also see even more potential for them as a medical tool. When combined with other wearable technologies the light-emitting tattoos could start flashing when an athlete needs to rehydrate, or change color when applied to foods providing obvious warnings when expiration dates have passed. The researchers note that the OLEDs polymers can quickly degrade when exposed to the air, and "there's an even bigger issue of finding a way to power them using tiny batteries or supercapacitors, as so far in the lab they've been wired to an external power source," adds Gizmodo. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Far-Right Platform Gab Has Been Hacked

it - Posted On:2021-03-01 18:29:59 Source: slashdot

The far-right social media platform Gab says a trove of its contents has been stolen in a security breach -- including passwords and private communications. Wired reports: On Sunday night the WikiLeaks-style group Distributed Denial of Secrets is revealing what it calls GabLeaks, a collection of more than 70 gigabytes of Gab data representing more than 40 million posts. DDoSecrets says a hacktivist who self-identifies as "JaXpArO and My Little Anonymous Revival Project" siphoned that data out of Gab's backend databases in an effort to expose the platform's largely right-wing users. Those Gab patrons, whose numbers have swelled after Parler went offline, include large numbers of Qanon conspiracy theorists, white nationalists, and promoters of former president Donald Trump's election-stealing conspiracies that resulted in the January 6 riot on Capitol Hill. DDoSecrets cofounder Emma Best says that the hacked data includes not only all of Gab's public posts and profiles -- with the exception of any photos or videos uploaded to the site -- but also private group and private individual account posts and messages, as well as user passwords and group passwords. "It contains pretty much everything on Gab, including user data and private posts, everything someone needs to run a nearly complete analysis on Gab users and content," Best wrote in a text message interview with WIRED. "It's another gold mine of research for people looking at militias, neo-Nazis, the far right, QAnon, and everything surrounding January 6." DDoSecrets says it's not publicly releasing the data due to its sensitivity and the vast amounts of private information it contains. Instead the group says it will selectively share it with journalists, social scientists, and researchers. According to DDoSecrets' Best, the hacker says that they pulled out Gab's data via a SQL injection vulnerability in the siteā"a common web bug in which a text field on a site doesn't differentiate between a user's input and commands in the site's code, allowing a hacker to reach in and meddle with its backend SQL database. Despite the hacker's reference to an "Anonymous Revival Project," they're not associated with the loose hacker collective Anonymous, they told Best, but do "want to represent the nameless struggling masses against capitalists and fascists." The company's CEO, Andrew Torba, responded in a public statement on the company's blog that "reporters, who write for a publication that has written many hit pieces on Gab in the past, are in direct contact with the hacker and are essentially assisting the hacker in his efforts to smear our business and hurt you, our users." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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EU Law Requires Companies To Fix Electronic Goods For Up To 10 Years

technology - Posted On:2021-03-01 17:44:59 Source: slashdot

Companies that sell refrigerators, washers, hairdryers, or TVs in the European Union will need to ensure those appliances can be repaired for up to 10 years, to help reduce the vast mountain of electrical waste that piles up each year on the continent. Euronews reports: The "right to repair," as it is sometimes called, comes into force across the 27-nation bloc on Monday. It is part of a broader effort to cut the environmental footprint of manufactured goods by making them more durable and energy-efficient. Lack of spare parts is another problem, campaigners say. Sometimes a single broken tooth on a tiny plastic sprocket can throw a proverbial wrench in the works. Under the new EU rules, manufacturers will have to ensure parts are available for up to a decade, though some will only be provided to professional repair companies to ensure they are installed correctly. New devices will also have to come with repair manuals and be made in such a way that they can be dismantled using conventional tools when they really can't be fixed anymore, to improve recycling. German Environment Minister Svenja Schulze said that the next step should see manufacturers forced to state how long a product is expected to work for and repair it if it breaks down earlier. This would encourage companies to build more durable products, she said. In a next step, environmentalists and consumer rights groups want the "right to repair" expanded to include smartphones, laptops and other small electrical devices. The bloc's ecological design directive -- of which the right to repair requirement is a part -- will also revise existing energy labels that describe how much electricity washers and other household devices consume. The new seven-step scale from A to G will be complemented by a QR code that provides consumers with further information, such as how loud the devices are. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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First Fully Weaponized Spectre Exploit Discovered Online

it - Posted On:2021-03-01 14:00:00 Source: slashdot

Catalin Cimpanu, reporting for The Record: A fully weaponized exploit for the Spectre CPU vulnerability was uploaded on the malware-scanning website VirusTotal last month, marking the first time a working exploit capable of doing actual damage has entered the public domain. The exploit was discovered by French security researcher Julien Voisin. It targets Spectre, a major vulnerability that was disclosed in January 2018. [...] The vulnerability, which won a Pwnie Award in 2018 for one of the best security bug discoveries of the year, was considered a milestone moment in the evolution and history of the modern CPU. Its discovery, along with the Meltdown bug, effectively forced CPU vendors to rethink their approach to designing processors, making it clear that they cannot focus on performance alone, to the detriment of data security. Software patches were released at the time, but the Meltdown and Spectre disclosures forced Intel to rethink its entire approach to CPU designs going forward. At the time, the teams behind the Meltdown and Spectre bugs published their work in the form of research papers and some trivial proof-of-concept code to prove their attacks. Shortly after the Meltdown and Spectre publications, experts at AV-TEST, Fortinet, and Minerva Labs spotted a spike in VirusTotal uploads for both CPU bugs. While initially there was a fear that malware authors might be experimenting with the two bugs as a way to steal data from targeted systems, the exploits were classified as harmless variations of the public PoC code published by the Meltdown and Spectre researchers and no evidence was found of in-the-wild attacks. But today, Voisin said he discovered new Spectre exploits -- one for Windows and one for Linux -- different from the ones before. In particular, Voisin said he found a Linux Spectre exploit capable of dumping the contents of /etc/shadow, a Linux file that stores details on OS user accounts. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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China Appears To Warn India: Push Too Hard and the Lights Could Go Out

it - Posted On:2021-03-01 12:00:01 Source: slashdot

Early last summer, Chinese and Indian troops clashed in a surprise border battle in the remote Galwan Valley, bashing each other to death with rocks and clubs. Four months later and more than 1,500 miles away in Mumbai, India, trains shut down and the stock market closed as the power went out in a city of 20 million people. Hospitals had to switch to emergency generators to keep ventilators running amid a coronavirus outbreak that was among India's worst. The New York Times: Now, a new study lends weight to the idea that those two events may well have been connected -- as part of a broad Chinese cybercampaign against India's power grid, timed to send a message that if India pressed its claims too hard, the lights could go out across the country. The study shows that as the standoff continued in the Himalayas, taking at least two dozen lives, Chinese malware was flowing into the control systems that manage electric supply across India, along with a high-voltage transmission substation and a coal-fired power plant. The flow of malware was pieced together by Recorded Future, a Somerville, Mass., company that studies the use of the internet by state actors. It found that most of the malware was never activated. And because Recorded Future could not get inside India's power systems, it could not examine the details of the code itself, which was placed in strategic power-distribution systems across the country. While it has notified Indian authorities, so far they are not reporting what they have found. Stuart Solomon, Recorded Future's chief operating officer, said that the Chinese state-sponsored group, which the firm named Red Echo, "has been seen to systematically utilize advanced cyberintrusion techniques to quietly gain a foothold in nearly a dozen critical nodes across the Indian power generation and transmission infrastructure." The discovery raises the question about whether an outage that struck on Oct. 13 in Mumbai, one of the country's busiest business hubs, was meant as a message from Beijing about what might happen if India pushed its border claims too vigorously. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Go Malware is Now Common, Having Been Adopted by Both APTs and E-crime Groups

it - Posted On:2021-03-01 10:59:56 Source: slashdot

The number of malware strains coded in the Go programming language has seen a sharp increase of around 2,000% over the last few years, since 2017, cybersecurity firm Intezer said in a report published recently. From a report: The company's findings highlight and confirm a general trend in the malware ecosystem, where malware authors have slowly moved away from C and C++ to Go, a programming language developed and launched by Google in 2007. While the first Go-based malware was detected in 2012, it took, however, a few years for Golang to catch on with the malware scene. "Before 2019, spotting malware written in Go was more a rare occurrence and during 2019 it became a daily occurrence," Intezer said in its report. But in the new report, Golang (as it's often also referred to instead of Go) has broken through and has been widely adopted. It is used by nation-state hacking groups (also known as APTs), cybercrime operators, and even security teams alike, who often used it to create penetration-testing toolkits. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Reddit CEO Says Platform Doesn't Plan To Ban Pornography

technology - Posted On:2021-03-01 09:59:57 Source: slashdot

Reddit CEO Steve Huffman said in an interview that the company supports pornography on its platform, as long as it's not exploitative. From a report: "You can look at [porn] as exploitative. And, indeed, much of it is. And that's not the content that we want on Reddit," Huffman told Axios. "But there's another aspect that's empowering. And these are people sharing stories of themselves, pictures of themselves. And we are perfectly supportive of that. "There are difficult decisions to make in this sphere, but we think they're worth making, as opposed to saying, you know, 'No sex at all,' for example," he said. Huffman also spoke to Reddit's involvement in the GameStop frenzy. He told "Axios on HBO" he was proud of r/WallStreetBets, the forum on Reddit that was largely responsible for making GameStop's stock go haywire. "That community exposed a gap between those who have access to the financial markets and those who are on the outside," Huffman said. "In WallStreetBets you see a community, among many things, that is breaking in or trying to break through into that establishment." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Flaws In Zoom's Keybase App Kept Chat Images From Being Deleted

it - Posted On:2021-02-28 11:45:00 Source: slashdot

chicksdaddy writes: The Security Ledger reports that a flaw in Zoom's Keybase secure chat application left copies of images contained in secure communications on Keybase users' computers after they were supposedly deleted, according to researchers from the security research group Sakura Samurai. The flaw in the encrypted messaging application, CVE-2021-23827 does not expose Keybase users to remote compromise. However, it could put their security, privacy and safety at risk, especially for users living under authoritarian regimes in which apps like Keybase and Signal are increasingly relied on as a way to conduct conversations out of earshot of law enforcement or security services. It comes as millions of users have flocked to apps like Keybase, Signal and Telegram in recent months. Sakura Samurai researchers Aubrey Cottle, Robert Willis, and Jackson Henry discovered an unencrypted directory, /Cache, associated with the Keybase client that contained a comprehensive record of images from encrypted chat sessions. The application used a custom extension to name the files, but they were easily viewable directly or simply by changing the custom file extension to the PNG image format, researcher John Jackson told Security Ledger. In a statement, a Zoom spokesman said that the company appreciates the work of the researchers and takes privacy and security "very seriously." "We addressed the issue identified by the Sakura Samurai researchers on our Keybase platform in version 5.6.0 for Windows and macOS and version 5.6.1 for Linux. Users can help keep themselves secure by applying current updates or downloading the latest Keybase software with all current security updates," the spokesman said. In most cases, the failure to remove files from cache after they were deleted would count as a "low priority" security flaw. However, in the context of an end-to-end encrypted communications application like Keybase, the failure takes on added weight, Jackson wrote. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Is the Net Neutrality Debate a Pointless Distraction?

technology - Posted On:2021-02-27 15:44:59 Source: slashdot

"People may scream at me for saying this, but net neutrality is one of America's longest and now most pointless fights over technology." So argues the New York Times "On Tech" newsletter author Shira Ovide, calling the debate "a distraction for our elected leaders and corporations when there are more pressing issues." Ovide also shares their discussion with Times technology and regulatory policy reporter Cecila Kang: Kang: You can see the appeal of rules that make sure internet providers don't stall web traffic unless it's from their preferred business partners or their own streaming services. However, the debate feels much less urgent now that we're talking about threats of online disinformation about vaccine deployment and elections. The net neutrality debate focused on internet service providers as powerful gatekeepers of internet information. That term now seems better applied to Facebook, Google and Amazon.... Ovide: Internet providers, public interest groups, some tech companies and a bunch of our elected leaders have been screaming holy war about an issue for 13 years without a resolution. Can they reach a middle ground and we'll all move on? Kang: There probably isn't much of a middle ground. There are either net neutrality rules or there aren't. And the internet service providers see net neutrality as a slippery slope that leads to broader regulation of high-speed internet services or government-imposed limits on prices they can charge. They will fight any regulation. And that's true, too, of the lobbyists who are hired to argue against anything. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Jamaica's JamCOVID Pulled Offline After Third Security Lapse Exposed Travelers' Data

it - Posted On:2021-02-27 07:14:57 Source: slashdot

Jamaica's JamCOVID app and website were taken offline late on Thursday following a third security lapse, which exposed quarantine orders on more than half a million travelers to the island. From a report: JamCOVID was set up last year to help the government process travelers arriving on the island. Quarantine orders are issued by the Jamaican Ministry of Health and instruct travelers to stay in their accommodation for two weeks to prevent the spread of COVID-19. These orders contain the traveler's name and the address of where they are ordered to stay. But a security researcher told TechCrunch that the quarantine orders were publicly accessible from the JamCOVID website but were not protected with a password. Although the files were accessible from anyone's web browser, the researcher asked not to be named for fear of legal repercussions from the Jamaican government. More than 500,000 quarantine orders were exposed, some dating back to March 2020. TechCrunch shared these details with the Jamaica Gleaner, which was first to report on the security lapse after the news outlet verified the data spillage with local cybersecurity experts. Amber Group, which was contracted to build and maintain the JamCOVID coronavirus dashboard and immigration service, pulled the service offline a short time after TechCrunch and the Jamaica Gleaner contacted the company on Thursday evening. JamCOVID's website was replaced with a holding page that said the site was "under maintenance." At the time of publication, the site had returned. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google's Stadia Problem? A Video Game Unit That's Not Googley Enough

technology - Posted On:2021-02-27 01:14:58 Source: slashdot

The tech giant likes to test and tweak. Stadia promised to change the industry and failed to deliver. From a report: Google's streaming video game service Stadia had ambitious plans to disrupt the gaming industry, which is dominated by consoles. The tech giant had planned to pack Stadia with original content, announcing two years ago that it was hiring hundreds of game developers and starting studios in Los Angeles and Montreal. But those teams barely had time to get started before they were dismissed earlier this month as Google shut down in-house game development. From the beginning, Google's approach to video games wasn't very Google-like. The Alphabet company tends to launch bare-bones products and test them as they grow. With Stadia, it came out big. Flashy press conferences and ad campaigns promised high-quality games with innovative features playable on Android smartphones or on the TV through Chromecast. Gamers would have access to a library of exclusive titles and well-known favorites like Assassin's Creed without having to dish out $500 for Sony Corp's PlayStation or Microsoft's Xbox. So when Stadia launched in 2019, gamers were expecting the complete package, not the beta model. While the cloud streaming technology was there, playing to Google's strengths, the library of games was underwhelming and many of the promised features nonexistent. Other platforms offer hundreds of games a year, but Stadia offers fewer than 80, according to Mat Piscatella, an analyst at the NPD Group, which tracks video game sales data. Players also didn't like Stadia's business model, which required customers to buy games individually rather than subscribe to an all-you-can-play service a la Netflix or the Xbox's Game Pass. Paying as much as $60 for a single game, for it only to exist on Google's servers rather than on your own PC, seemed a stretch to some. After all the hype, gamers were disappointed. Stadia missed its targets for sales of controllers and monthly active users by hundreds of thousands, according to two people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be identified discussing private information. A Google spokesperson declined to comment for this story. "I think it would be fair to say the messaging leading up to and around the launch was inconsistent," with the final product, Piscatella says. Further reading: Stadia Leadership Praised Development Studios For 'Great Progress' Just One Week Before Laying Them All Off. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Why an Animated Flying Cat With a Pop-Tart Body Sold for Almost $600,000

technology - Posted On:2021-02-26 13:15:00 Source: slashdot

In the 10 years since Chris Torres created Nyan Cat, an animated flying cat with a Pop-Tart body leaving a rainbow trail, the meme has been viewed and shared across the web hundreds of millions of times. On Thursday, he put a one-of-a-kind version of it up for sale on Foundation, a website for buying and selling digital goods. In the final hour of the auction, there was a bidding war. Nyan Cat was sold to a user identified only by a cryptocurrency wallet number. The price? Roughly $580,000. From a report: Mr. Torres was left breathless. "I feel like I've opened the floodgates," he said in an interview on Friday. The sale was a new high point in a fast-growing market for ownership rights to digital art, ephemera and media called NFTs, or "nonfungible tokens." The buyers are usually not acquiring copyrights, trademarks or even the sole ownership of whatever it is they purchase. They're buying bragging rights and the knowledge that their copy is the "authentic" one. Other digital tokens recently sold include a clip of LeBron James blocking a shot in a Lakers basketball game that went for $100,000 in January and a Twitter post by Mark Cuban, the investor and Dallas Mavericks owner, that went for $952. This month, the actress Lindsay Lohan sold an image of her face for over $17,000 and, in a nod to cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, declared, "I believe in a world which is financially decentralized." It was quickly resold for $57,000. People have long attached emotional and aesthetic value to physical goods, like fine art or baseball cards, and have been willing to pay a lot of money for them. But digital media has not had the same value because it can be easily copied, shared and stolen. Blockchain technology, which is most often associated with Bitcoin, is changing that. NFTs rely on the technology to designate an official copy of a piece of digital media, allowing artists, musicians, influencers and sports franchises to make money selling digital goods that would otherwise be cheap or free. In an NFT sale, all the computers hooked into a cryptocurrency network record the transaction on a shared ledger, a blockchain, making it part of a permanent public record and serving as a sort of certification of authenticity that cannot be altered or erased. The nascent market for these items reflects a notable, technologically savvy move by creators of digital content to connect financially with their audience and eliminate middlemen. Some NFT buyers are collectors and fans who show off what they have bought on social media or screens around their homes. Others are trying to make a quick buck as cryptocurrency prices surge. Many see it as a form of entertainment that mixes gambling, sports card collecting, investing and day trading. Eye-popping NFT sale prices have attracted some of the same confusion and derision that have long haunted the cryptocurrency world, which has struggled to find a good use for its technology beyond currency trading. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Nikola Stops Work on Electric Watercraft and ATV Projects

technology - Posted On:2021-02-26 05:44:57 Source: slashdot

Zero-emission trucking company Nikola has shuttered its so-called Powersports division and is pausing work on an electric personal watercraft and off-road vehicle first announced in April 2019. From a report: Nikola stopped work on the projects as part of a larger push to focus on getting its first hydrogen-powered truck out the door, following a number of stumbles in 2020. "We still own the NZT and WAV rights and have put the projects on pause. We may consider moving forward with them at a later time," a spokesperson tells The Verge. "Right now we are focusing on commercial trucking and hydrogen infrastructure." Nikola started pursuing an electric watercraft back in 2017 after it bought up one of the more promising startups working on the idea. The off-road vehicle was a hybrid of sorts, mixing dune buggy styling with the kinds of comforts found in passenger cars, like air conditioning. Nikola was promising the so-called NZT vehicle would get 590 horsepower and 150 miles of range. It was supposed to come to market this year at a starting price of $80,000. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Smart TVs Running Google TV Will Have a 'Basic' Option

technology - Posted On:2021-02-26 02:14:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: If you go out and purchase a new TV today, it's going to have smart TV features allowing access to streaming services and the internet. However, if that new TV is running on the Google TV platform, it's possible to easily disable all the smart features during setup. The option to make your TV dumb was spotted by 9To5Google. During the setup of a TV running Google's smart TV platform, multiple features are offered including the ability to run apps, receive content recommendations, and enable Google Assistant. That's alongside the core options you'd expect from a TV: the ability to watch live broadcasts through an aerial and having access to attached devices via its HDMI ports. [...] However, Google decided to offer a more user-friendly way of doing this. As part of the setup process you can select "Set up basic TV." What this does is allow your TV to receive live broadcasts and access the HDMI ports, but nothing else. There's no apps, no Google Assistant, and no content recommendations. You also have the option to go back into the setup process and enable these smart features whenever you like. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google Pledges Changes To Research Oversight After Internal Revolt

technology - Posted On:2021-02-25 20:44:59 Source: slashdot

Alphabet's Google will change procedures before July for reviewing its scientists' work, according to a town hall recording heard by Reuters, part of an effort to quell internal tumult over the integrity of its artificial intelligence (AI) research. From a report: In remarks at a staff meeting last Friday, Google Research executives said they were working to regain trust after the company ousted two prominent women and rejected their work, according to an hour-long recording, the content of which was confirmed by two sources. Teams are already trialing a questionnaire that will assess projects for risk and help scientists navigate reviews, research unit Chief Operating Officer Maggie Johnson said in the meeting. This initial change will roll out by the end of the second quarter, and the majority of papers will not require extra vetting, she said. Reuters reported in December that Google had introduced a "sensitive topics" review for studies involving dozens of issues, such as China or bias in its services. Internal reviewers had demanded that at least three papers on AI be modified to refrain from casting Google technology in a negative light, Reuters reported. Jeff Dean, Google's senior vice president overseeing the division, said Friday that the "sensitive topics" review "is and was confusing" and that he had tasked a senior research director, Zoubin Ghahramani, with clarifying the rules, according to the recording. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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iRobot Says It'll Be a Few Weeks Until It Can Clean Up Its Latest Roomba Software Update Mess

technology - Posted On:2021-02-25 09:14:56 Source: slashdot

iRobot, maker of the robotic Roomba vacuums, has confirmed that a software update has been causing issues for some users of its i7 and s9 robots and that it's working on another one to prevent future issues. The catch? It might be a bit before things get sorted out, with iRobot expecting the update to roll out "over the next several weeks." From a report: According to users on Reddit and Twitter, the recent 3.12.8 firmware update has been causing navigation issues. One user described their robot cleaner as acting "drunk" after the update: spinning itself around and bumping into furniture, cleaning in strange patterns, getting stuck in an empty area, and not being able to make it home to the dock. What's more, some other users are reporting that the environment maps their Roombas made were wiped out by the update. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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CD Projekt Ransomware Hack Severely Disrupts Work on Cyberpunk Updates

it - Posted On:2021-02-25 04:14:58 Source: slashdot

CD Projekt SA said Wednesday it will delay a promised update to the much-criticized role-playing game Cyberpunk 2077, pinning the blame for its slow progress on a recent security breach. From a report: What the Polish publisher didn't say is that most of its employees have been locked out of their workstations for the past two weeks, according to people familiar with the matter. The work stoppage is the result of a ransomware attack disclosed on Feb. 9. The extent of the disruption, which hasn't been previously reported, poses a major setback to CD Projekt's attempt to rescue a game in desperate need of repairs. CD Projekt has said it refused to pay a ransom to the hackers. As a result, employees remain unable to log onto the company's virtual private network, making it impossible to access the systems and tools needed to do most of their jobs, said the people, requesting anonymity because they weren't authorized to talk publicly. Although some CD Projekt employees are working from the headquarters in Warsaw, the majority are at home due to the coronavirus pandemic. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Verizon Leads 5G Airwave Bidding With Record $45 Billion Splurge

technology - Posted On:2021-02-24 17:59:59 Source: slashdot

Verizon Communications committed $45 billion for 5G wireless airwaves in a government auction that attracted record bidding as the largest U.S. mobile carriers race to build faster networks. From a report: At $23 billion, AT&T was the second-highest bidder, according to the Federal Communications Commission, which ran the auction. Participants also included T-Mobile US Inc. and pay-TV providers such as Dish Network, Comcast and Charter Communications. Some have already tapped the debt market to help pay the tab. The auction started in December, and within days the tally exceeded analysts' estimates of $47 billion before settling at $81.2 billion. The budget-stretching bidding underscores how crucial these so-called midband frequencies are to companies trying to seize global leadership in emerging 5G technology. The airwaves are prized for their combined ability to travel far and carry lots of data. They are expected to drive years of growth when deployed for next-generation mobile devices, autonomous vehicles, health-care equipment and manufacturing facilities. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Starlink Will Hit 300Mbps and Expand To 'Most of Earth' This Year

technology - Posted On:2021-02-24 12:30:00 Source: slashdot

Starlink broadband speeds will double to 300Mbps "later this year," SpaceX CEO Elon Musk wrote on Twitter this week. SpaceX has been telling users to expect speeds of 50Mbps to 150Mbps since the beta began a few months ago. From a report: Musk also wrote that "latency will drop to ~20ms later this year." This is no surprise, as SpaceX promised latency of 20ms to 40ms during the beta and had said months ago that "we expect to achieve 16ms to 19ms by summer 2021." It sounds like the speed and latency improvements will roll out around the same time as when Starlink switches from beta to more widespread availability. Two weeks ago, Starlink opened preorders for service expected to be available in the second half of 2021, albeit with limited availability in each region. Reader xonen writes: Starlink has become available in my country, The Netherlands. I verified pricing -- it's the same prices in Euros as in the USA in dollars, which was to be expected due to sales taxes being about equal the difference in value between dollars and euro's, so 99 euro monthly, and 499 up front for the hardware. From the email: Starlink is now available for order to a limited number of users in your coverage area. Placing your order now will hold your place in line for future service. Orders will be fulfilled on a first-come, first-served basis. During beta, users can expect to see data speeds vary from 50Mb/s to 150Mb/s and latency from 20ms to 40ms in most locations over the next several months as we enhance the Starlink system. There will also be brief periods of no connectivity at all. As we launch more satellites, install more ground stations and improve our networking software, data speed, latency and uptime will improve dramatically. The Starlink team will provide periodic updates on availability as we launch more satellites and expand our coverage area. Depending on your location, some orders may take 6 months or more to fulfill. To check availability for your location, visit and re-enter your service address. Thank you for your interest in Starlink and your continued support! Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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