Tech News

About 3% of Starlink Satellites Have Failed So Far

technology - Posted On:2020-10-27 06:14:57 Source: slashdot

According to Phys.Org, about 3% of SpaceX's Starlink satellites "have proven to be unresponsive and are no longer maneuvering in orbit, which could prove hazardous to other satellites and spacecraft in orbit." From the report: In order to prevent collisions in orbit, SpaceX equips its satellites with krypton Hall-effect thrusters (ion engines) to raise their orbit, maneuver in space and deorbit at the end of their lives. However, according to two recent notices SpaceX issued to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over the summer (mid-May and late June), several of their satellites have lost maneuvering capability since they were deployed. Unfortunately, the company did not provide enough information to indicate which of their satellites were affected. For this reason, astrophysicist Jonathan McDowell of the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics (CfA) and the Chandra X-ray Center presented his own analysis of the satellites' orbital behavior to suggest which satellites have failed. The analysis was posted on McDowell's website (Jonathan's Space Report), where he combined SpaceX's own data with U.S. government sources. From this, he determined that about 3% of satellites in the constellation have failed because they are no longer responding to commands. Naturally, some level of attrition is inevitable, and 3% is relatively low as failure rates go. But every satellite that is incapable of maneuvering due to problems with its communications or its propulsion system creates a collision hazard for other satellites and spacecraft. As McDowell told Business Insider: "I would say their failure rate is not egregious. It's not worse than anybody else's failure rates. The concern is that even a normal failure rate in such a huge constellation is going to end up with a lot of bad space junk." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Chrome OS May Finally Be Getting a Dark Mode

technology - Posted On:2020-10-26 19:44:59 Source: slashdot

New submitter andreavenezia shares a report from The Verge: Chrome OS may finally be getting a dark mode, but so far it's only been spotted in its experimental Canary channel, Android Central reported. Before you go tinkering with Canary just be advised: Canary is Google's "bleeding edge" Chrome OS path, which receives daily updates of features before they've been widely tested. It can only be accessed from Chromebooks switched into a special developer mode (not to be confused with the Chrome OS Developer channel). Google warns that Canary can be "unstable." But at the moment, to activate dark mode on your Chromebook, you need to have the Canary channel installed. Once you've done that, Android Central says you just open Chrome and type in chrome://flags/#enable-force-dark and chrome://flags/#enable-webui-dark-mode into the URL bar. I should note I tried this on my older Chromebook and wasn't able to get it to work. But here's the view Android Police captured. Android Central says the dark mode has some bugs, but notes it seems to apply across the UI, not just as darker backgrounds. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Pakistan's PM Asks Facebook To Ban Islamophobic Content

technology - Posted On:2020-10-26 18:59:59 Source: slashdot

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan called on Facebook to ban Islamophobic content on its platform, warning of a spike in radicalization amongst Muslims, hours after he hit out at the French president for "attacking Islam." Reuters reports: Pakistan summoned the French ambassador in Islamabad as anger spread on Monday over President Emmanuel Macron's reaction to the murder last week of a French teacher by an Islamist. Khan, in an open letter posted on Twitter on Sunday, said "growing Islamophobia" was encouraging extremism and violence worldwide, especially through social media platforms such as Facebook. "I would ask you to place a similar ban on Islamophobia and hate against Islam for Facebook that you have put in place for the Holocaust," Khan said. "One cannot send a message that while hate messages against some are unacceptable, these are acceptable against others," Khan said, adding such a stance was "reflective of prejudice and bias that will encourage further radicalization." In response, a Facebook spokeswoman told Reuters the company opposed all forms of hate and did not allow attacks based on race, ethnicity, national origin or religion. "We'll remove this hate speech as soon as we become aware of it," the spokeswoman said in a statement, adding that Facebook had "more work to do." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Over 100 Irrigation Systems Left Exposed Online Without a Password

technology - Posted On:2020-10-26 15:00:00 Source: slashdot

More than 100 smart irrigation systems were left exposed online without a password last month, allowing anyone to access and tamper with water irrigation programs for crops, tree plantations, cities, and building complexes. From a report: The exposed irrigation systems were discovered by Security Joes, a small boutique security firm based in Israel. All were running ICC PRO, a top-shelf smart irrigation system designed by Motorola for use with agricultural, turf, and landscape management. Security Joes co-founder Ido Naor told ZDNet last month that companies and city officials had installed ICC PRO systems without changing default factory settings, which don't include a password for the default account. Naor says the systems could be easily identified online with the help of IoT search engines like Shodan. Once attackers locate an internet-accessible ICC PRO system, Naor says all they have to do is type in the default admin username and press Enter to access a smart irrigation control panel. Here, Naor says attackers can pause or stop watering events, change settings, control the water quantity and pressure delivered to pumps, or lock irrigation systems by deleting users. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook Steps Into Cloud Gaming -- and Another Feud With Apple

technology - Posted On:2020-10-26 13:00:00 Source: slashdot

Facebook will soon be the latest tech giant to enter the world of cloud gaming. Their approach is different than what Microsoft or Google has built, but Facebook highlights a shared central challenge: dealing with Apple. From a report: Facebook is not building a console gaming competitor to compete with Stadia or xCloud; instead, the focus is wholly on mobile games. Why cloud stream mobile games that your device is already capable of running locally? Facebook is aiming to get users into games more quickly and put less friction between a user seeing an advertisement for a game and actually playing it themselves. Users can quickly tap into the title without downloading anything, and if they eventually opt to download the title from a mobile app store, they'll be able to pick up where they left off. Facebook's service will launch on the desktop web and Android, but not iOS due to what Facebook frames as usability restrictions outlined in Apple's App Store terms and conditions. [...] For a user downloading a lengthy single-player console epic, the short pitstop is an inconvenience, but long-time Facebook gaming exec Jason Rubin says that the stipulations are a non-starter for what Facebook's platform envisions, a way to start playing mobile games immediately without downloading anything. "It's a sequence of hurdles that altogether make a bad consumer experience," Rubin tells TechCrunch. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Microsoft Will Forcibly Stop Loading Some URLs in Internet Explorer To Move Users To Edge

it - Posted On:2020-10-26 10:44:56 Source: slashdot

Big changes are coming to Internet Explorer. Starting next month, users trying to access certain websites will see IE refuse to load the URL and automatically open the site in Edge instead. From a report: This forced IE-to-Edge behavior is part of Microsoft's Internet Explorer deprecation plans. Microsoft has been gradually rolling out the feature for testing purposes for some Windows users since the release of Edge 84 this summer. However, with the release of Edge 87, scheduled for next month, Microsoft plans to enable the forced IE-to-Edge action for all IE users. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook Finally Launches Its New Oversight Board for Content Moderation

technology - Posted On:2020-10-26 03:44:58 Source: slashdot

NBC News reports that "Social media users who believe their posts have been unfairly removed from Facebook or Instagram can now file an appeal to Facebook's Independent Oversight Board, the company announced Thursday." Positioned as a "Supreme Court" for Facebook's content moderation decisions, the external panel of 20 journalists, academics, lawyers and human rights experts will weigh in — and potentially override its content moderation decisions. The board has up to 90 days to review cases submitted by users through its website after they have exhausted their content appeal options directly with Facebook. If the Board sides with the user, Facebook will restore the content and potentially re-evaluate its policies. "The Oversight Board wasn't created to be a quick fix or an all-encompassing solution," said Helle Thorning-Schmidt, co-chair of the board and former prime minister of Denmark. But it aims to "offer a critical independent check on Facebook's approach to moderating some of the most significant content issues." By announcing the board on Thursday, Facebook has launched an unprecedented model of governance that no other social media outlet has created... "The Oversight Board has the potential to revolutionize how we think about the relationship between private corporations and our public rights," said Kate Klonick, an assistant professor at the St. John's University School of Law, who has published research on the Oversight Board. "It's a step toward recognition that these transnational companies control our public rights in a way that governments don't and that we need to create a participatory and democratic mechanism to inform those companies that those rights are protected...." "Of all the criticisms that are lodged against Facebook, I think one of the biggest is that we can't trust them," Jamal Greene, a Columbia Law School professor and co-chair of the Oversight Board, said in an interview in September. "One of the aims of the Oversight Board is to try to establish an institution that can be trusted..." During test panels, there were times when board members noted that their decision could affect Facebook's commercial model. For example, being more permissive about images containing some types of nudity on the platform could deter users in parts of the world with stricter cultural norms. "The reaction has always been 'Well, that's not our problem, that's Facebook's problem,'" said board member Alan Rusbridger, former editor-in-chief of The Guardian. "So I don't think anyone is coming into this thinking we're here to help Facebook continue with life as normal." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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'How 30 Lines of Code Blew Up a 27-Ton Generator'

it - Posted On:2020-10-25 15:44:59 Source: slashdot

After the U.S. unveiled charges against six members of the Sandworm unit in Russia's military intelligence agency, Wired re-visited "a secret experiment in 2007 proved that hackers could devastate power grid equipment beyond repair — with a file no bigger than a gif." It's an excerpt from the new book SANDWORM: A New Era of Cyberwar and the Hunt for the Kremlin's Most Dangerous Hackers which also remembers the late industrial control systems security pioneer Mike Assante: Among [Sandworm's] acts of cyberwar was an unprecedented attack on Ukraine's power grid in 2016, one that appeared designed to not merely cause a blackout, but to inflict physical damage on electric equipment. And when one cybersecurity researcher named Mike Assante dug into the details of that attack, he recognized a grid-hacking idea invented not by Russian hackers, but by the United State government, and tested a decade earlier... [S]creens showed live footage from several angles of a massive diesel generator. The machine was the size of a school bus, a mint green, gargantuan mass of steel weighing 27 tons, about as much as an M3 Bradley tank. It sat a mile away from its audience in an electrical substation, producing enough electricity to power a hospital or a navy ship and emitting a steady roar. Waves of heat coming off its surface rippled the horizon in the video feed's image. Assante and his fellow Idaho National Laboratory researchers had bought the generator for $300,000 from an oil field in Alaska. They'd shipped it thousands of miles to the Idaho test site, an 890-square-mile piece of land where the national lab maintained a sizable power grid for testing purposes, complete with 61 miles of transmission lines and seven electrical substations. Now, if Assante had done his job properly, they were going to destroy it. And the assembled researchers planned to kill that very expensive and resilient piece of machinery not with any physical tool or weapon but with about 140 kilobytes of data, a file smaller than the average cat GIF shared today on Twitter.... Protective relays are designed to function as a safety mechanism to guard against dangerous physical conditions in electric systems. If lines overheat or a generator goes out of sync, it's those protective relays that detect the anomaly and open a circuit breaker, disconnecting the trouble spot, saving precious hardware, even preventing fires... But what if that protective relay could be paralyzed — or worse, corrupted so that it became the vehicle for an attacker's payload...? Black chunks began to fly out of an access panel on the generator, which the researchers had left open to watch its internals. Inside, the black rubber grommet that linked the two halves of the generator's shaft was tearing itself apart. A few seconds later, the machine shook again as the protective relay code repeated its sabotage cycle, disconnecting the machine and reconnecting it out of sync. This time a cloud of gray smoke began to spill out of the generator, perhaps the result of the rubber debris burning inside it... The engineers had just proven without a doubt that hackers who attacked an electric utility could go beyond a temporary disruption of the victim's operations: They could damage its most critical equipment beyond repair... Assante also remembers feeling something weightier in the moments after the Aurora experiment. It was a sense that, like Robert Oppenheimer watching the first atomic bomb test at another U.S. national lab six decades earlier, he was witnessing the birth of something historic and immensely powerful. "I had a very real pit in my stomach," Assante says. "It was like a glimpse of the future." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Is X.Org Server Abandonware?

technology - Posted On:2020-10-25 13:45:00 Source: slashdot

Phoronix ran a story this morning with this provocative headline: "It's Time To Admit It: The X.Org Server Is Abandonware." The last major release of the X.Org Server was in May 2018 but don't expect the long-awaited X.Org Server 1.21 to actually be released anytime soon. This should hardly be surprising but a prominent Intel open-source developer has conceded that the X.Org Server is pretty much "abandonware" with Wayland being the future. [Or, more specifically, that "The main worry I have is that xserver is abandonware without even regular releases from the main branch."] This comes as X.Org Server development hits a nearly two decade low, the X.Org Server is well off its six month release regimen in not seeing a major release in over two years, and no one is stepping up to manage the 1.21 release. A year ago was a proposal to see new releases driven via continuous integration testing but even that didn't take flight and as we roll into 2021 there isn't any motivation for releasing new versions of the X.Org Server by those capable of doing so. Red Hat folks have long stepped up to manage X.Org Server releases but with Fedora Workstation using Wayland by default and RHEL working that way, they haven't been eager to devote resources to new X.Org Server releases. Other major stakeholders also have resisted stepping up to ship 1.21 or commit any major resources to new xorg-server versions. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google Patched an Actively-Exploited Zero-Day Bug in Chrome

it - Posted On:2020-10-25 01:44:58 Source: slashdot

"Google released an update to its Chrome browser that patches a zero-day vulnerability in the software's FreeType font rendering library that was actively being exploited in the wild, Threatpost reported this week: Security researcher Sergei Glazunov of Google Project Zero discovered the bug which is classified as a type of memory-corruption flaw called a heap buffer overflow in FreeType. Glazunov informed Google of the vulnerability on Monday. Project Zero is an internal security team at the company aimed at finding zero-day vulnerabilities. By Tuesday, Google already had released a stable channel update, Chrome version 86.0.4240.111, that deploys five security fixes for Windows, Mac & Linux — among them a fix for the zero-day, which is being tracked as CVE-2020-15999 and is rated as high risk. "Google is aware of reports that an exploit for CVE-2020-15999 exists in the wild," Prudhvikumar Bommana of the Google Chrome team wrote in a blog post announcing the update Tuesday... "The fix is also in today's stable release of FreeType 2.10.4," Ben Hawkes, technical lead for the Project Zero team, tweeted. Meanwhile, security researchers took to Twitter to encourage people to update their Chrome browsers immediately to avoid falling victim to attackers aiming to exploit the flaw... In addition to the FreeType zero day, Google patched four other bugs — three of high risk and one of medium risk — in the Chrome update released this week... So far in the last 12 months Google has patched three zero-day vulnerabilities in its Chrome browser. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Chrome Caught Exempting Google Sites From User Requests To Delete Data

technology - Posted On:2020-10-24 23:44:58 Source: slashdot

This week the Verge reported: If you ask Chrome to delete all cookies and site data whenever you quit the browser, it's reasonable to expect that this policy applies to all websites. Recently, though, a bug in the browser meant data wasn't being removed for two sites in particular: Google and YouTube. This problem was first documented by iOS developer Jeff Johnson on his blog. Johnson found that in Chrome version 86.0.4240.75, "local storage" data for Google.com and YouTube.com stuck around even after restarting the browser. We've been able to replicate similar behavior... The Register notes that Chrome's behavior could allow Google to stash cookie-style data as site data, allowing it to track users even when they think they're being careful by deleting their cookie and site data every time they close the browser. In a statement, Google said it was aware of the issue and was working on a fix... At least one of the affected sites, YouTube, appears to have already been fixed. After we upgraded the Chrome browser to version 86.0.4240.111, YouTube's local storage data seems to successfully purge after a restart, although the data from Google.com still sticks around. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Cult Expert Predicts QAnon Adherents Will 'Get Angry and Exit'

technology - Posted On:2020-10-24 21:44:59 Source: slashdot

"From my time studying cults and helping followers escape them, I can reassure you that QAnon will disintegrate in the United States over time if effective measures are taken if and when Trump is defeated," writes prominent mental health counselor Steven Haasan: When cult adherents get confused, then ashamed, then realize they've been scammed, they get angry and exit. While some followers may continue to believe in the cult for some time — especially if they stay in an information silo — eventually contact with family and friends who care about them and others who have escaped from cults can and will help people come back to themselves. People are not permanently programmed, despite what some pundits and politicians may say. Like fashions and fads, movements end. How do we dismantle a dangerous cult safely and turn this into yet another American fad as embarrassing as bell-bottoms, polyester and pet rocks? By dismantling the power of its mythology so people who have been pulled into it return to independent thinking. Fundamentally, QAnon is a mind virus, and we must bring the rate of transmission down. For starters, stop mocking QAnon and calling it a conspiracy theory; it is a psy-op, an intentional online cult movement aimed at recruiting and indoctrinating people into an all-or-nothing, us-vs.-them, good-vs.-evil frame. It is important to understand that QAnon believers think they are heroes and believe they are aligned with a righteous cause. We must take them seriously and build a rapport of respect. In other words, agree and amplify that human trafficking is bad and wrong. Then show legitimate groups fighting trafficking... Reclaim this issue and demonstrate that QAnon is talking about it but does nothing, while others are taking action to make a difference... [W]hile QAnon promoters are currently being removed from the internet platforms they use to spread their propaganda and interact with adherents, as they should be, this approach will only temporarily disrupt and slow down new recruits, rather than help anyone exit. In fact, these moves can validate followers' beliefs that they are being persecuted, while a large percentage of cult members will simply be directed to alternative platforms... The key to helping these folks out is more respectful interaction — not cancel culture, demonization or mockery. People need to be able to exit with dignity. We need to find ways to allow people to return to society with their humanity intact, in a way that honors the very real questions that led them to look toward alternative answers in the first place. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook Demands Shutdown of Research Project Into Its Targeting of Political Ads

technology - Posted On:2020-10-24 11:45:00 Source: slashdot

"Facebook Inc. is demanding that a New York University research project cease collecting data about its political-ad targeting practices," reports the Wall Street Journal, "setting up a fight with academics seeking to study the platform without the company's permission." The dispute involves the NYU Ad Observatory, a project launched last month by the university's engineering school that has recruited more than 6,500 volunteers to use a specially designed browser extension to collect data about the political ads Facebook shows them. In a letter sent October 16 to the researchers behind the NYU Ad Observatory, Facebook said the project violates provisions in its terms of service that prohibit bulk data collection from its site. "Scraping tools, no matter how well-intentioned, are not a permissible means of collecting information from us," said the letter, written by a Facebook privacy policy official, Allison Hendrix. If the university doesn't end the project and delete the data it has collected, she wrote, "you may be subject to additional enforcement action...." Facebook said it already offers more transparency into political advertising than either traditional media or rival social platforms, and that the automated collection of data from users' on-platform activity — even with their permission — poses an unacceptable privacy threat... What limitations on social media data scraping are enforceable has been the subject of litigation in recent years, with platforms arguing they have both a right and responsibility to prevent the unauthorized use of user-generated data. The NYU project has already collected the targeting data behind more than 200,000 ads. Researchers say it has exposed areas where the publicly available archive of political ads Facebook created after the 2016 election is failing to log advertisements that should be in the system. Facebook said it has appreciated the NYU researchers' efforts to improve the ad library, but won't stand for violations of its rules. Laura Edelson, a researcher at NYU's Tandon School of Engineering who helps oversee the Ad Observatory project, said, "The only thing that would prompt us to stop doing this would be if Facebook would do it themselves, which we have called on them to do...." The article also includes a reaction from the associate director of Georgetown's Institute for Data, Democracy, and Politics. "There's far too much critical information closed up behind Facebook's walled garden. And efforts like the Ad Observatory play a critical role in breaking down those walls." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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First 'Murder Hornet' Nest In US Is Found In Washington State

it - Posted On:2020-10-23 23:44:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Remember the "murder hornets"? You know, the terrifyingly large Asian giant hornets that are threatening to wipe out the North American bee population? Entomologists with the Washington State Department of Agriculture have now located a nest of them -- the first to be found in the U.S., the agency says. The nest was discovered in the cavity of a tree on a property in the city of Blaine, near the Canadian border. This achievement closely follows another advance: State entomologists had recently had luck trapping the hornets. This week, they were able to collect four live Asian giant hornets using a new type of trap -- and managed to attach radio trackers to three of them. One of those tagged hornets led staffers to the nest. The plan now? Destroy the nest. The agency says it intends to eradicate it on Saturday, removing the tree if necessary. Asian giant hornets are an invasive pest that prey on honeybees and other insects. "Only a couple of hornets can slaughter an entire healthy honeybee hive in just a matter of a few hours," Sven-Erik Spichiger, chief entomologist for the state's agriculture department, told NPR last week. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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A Massive Spam Attack Is Ruining Public 'Among Us' Games

it - Posted On:2020-10-23 20:59:59 Source: slashdot

Just days after US Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez played Among Us to an audience of more than 435,000 viewers, InnerSloth, the developer of the popular multiplayer title, is struggling to contain a spam attack that is affecting most of the game's community. Engadget reports: The hack started to spread through the game's userbase on Thursday evening. It causes players to spam their match's text chat with messages that direct people to the YouTube and Discord channels of a person who goes by the pseudonym "Eris Loris," threatening them if they don't subscribe. For good measure, some of the messages also promote President Donald Trump's 2020 campaign. InnerSloth said it's "super duper aware of the current hacking issue" and that it had planned to roll out an emergency server-side update to address the spam. Forest Willard, one of three developers who make up the InnerSloth team, said they had begun rolling out the update at some point in the middle of the night, but it doesn't seem to have addressed the issue; new reports of spam-filled matches continue to flood Twitter. The studio is advising people to play private games with friends while it works to solve the problem. As for the hacker, it appears their primary motive in all of this was to troll people. "I was curious to see what would happen, and personally I found it funny," they told Kotaku. "The anger and hatred is the part that makes it funny. If you care about a game and are willing to go and spam dislike some random dude on the internet because you cant [sic] play it for three minutes, it's stupid." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The Technology That's Replacing the Green Screen

technology - Posted On:2020-10-23 18:59:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vox: As a compositor for venerable visual-effects house Industrial Light and Magic (ILM), [Charmaine Chan] has worked on films like The Last Jedi, assembling various digital elements into a beautiful, seamless image. Her job changed while working on The Mandalorian, one of the first shows to use ILM's upgrade for the green screen: LED panels that use the same technology as video game engines to place a realistic-looking world behind the actors. The result was a huge improvement, as green screens actually have a lot of drawbacks. Removing the green screen is never as quick as VFX artists would hope, and it also casts green light over the set and the actors. Even green-screen substitutes, like projecting an image onto a screen behind the actor, fail to dynamically respond to camera movements the way they would in the real world. ILM's solution fixes a lot of those problems. It also led to creative breakthroughs in which the old Hollywood order of making a TV show or movie -- wherein VFX came last -- was suddenly reversed. Now, artists like Charmaine work alongside actors, set designers, and other crew members during filming. That collaboration means this technology doesn't just eliminate a screen -- it eliminates a creative barrier. Watch the video [here] to see how it happens. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Uber and Lyft Need To Make Drivers Employees, Appeals Court Rules

technology - Posted On:2020-10-23 17:44:59 Source: slashdot

An appeals court ruled Thursday evening that an injunction issued against Uber and Lyft over the status of their drivers was an appropriate measure. CNET reports: The injunction was issued in August by Judge Ethan Schulman of the San Francisco Superior Court, who ruled that the ride-hailing companies must start classifying their drivers as employees in the state. The judge allowed the companies 10 days to appeal the ruling, which they did. The First Appellate District court in San Francisco heard arguments from the companies last week and issued its ruling Thursday siding with Schulman. The appeals court said in its 74-page ruling that there was an "overwhelming likelihood" Uber and Lyft are violating California law AB5. That law requires some employers that use independent contractors to reclassify their workers as employees and provide more worker benefits. The injunction stems from a lawsuit against Uber and Lyft filed by the state of California in May in conjunction with the city attorneys from San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. The suit says the companies "exploited hundreds of thousands of California workers" by classifying drivers as independent contractors and are violating AB5, which took effect in January. As this lawsuit works its way through the courts, Uber, Lyft and other gig economy companies have sponsored a state ballot measure campaign with nearly $200 million to bring the issue to voters. Proposition 22 aims to create an exemption for the companies to AB5 and allow them to continue classifying their workers as independent contractors. The report notes that this latest appeals court ruling "won't have an immediate effect. The court gave the companies at least a 30-day stay without requiring any changes to driver status." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Microsoft Bashes Slack Complaint in European Antitrust Filing

technology - Posted On:2020-10-23 16:59:59 Source: slashdot

Microsoft has privately told European competition authorities that Slack's antitrust complaint against the tech giant was motivated essentially by sour grapes [Editor's note: the link is paywalled; an alternative source was not available.]. From a report: In a recent confidential filing, Microsoft told the European Commission, which oversees competition regulation, that Slack brought its complaint against Microsoft because the lockdown prompted by the coronavirus pandemic has exposed deficiencies in Slack's messaging product, according to a person who has seen the complaint. In the filing, which runs about 40 pages, Microsoft said the sudden surge in people working from home this year has made more apparent shortcomings in Slack's product, including its handling of videoconferencing, while also benefiting Microsoft's competing Teams software, the person said. [...] Slack declined to comment directly on the "confidential exchange of documents" between Slack, Microsoft and the commission. But the company's vice president of policy and communications, Jonathan Prince, told The Information that Microsoft's argument was the equivalent of a schoolyard taunt. Further reading: Slack CEO: Microsoft is 'Unhealthily Preoccupied With Killing Us.' Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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ClipDrop Lets You 'Copy-and-Paste' Real Life Objects Using Your Phone Camera Into Desktop Apps

technology - Posted On:2020-10-23 12:30:00 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple has boasted a lot about the AR capabilities of its new LiDAR equipped iPhone 12 Pro. It means that your new iPhone will be able to 'map' the room better to place objects. However, I hadn't found an AR app that I might use regularly -- until now. A few months ago, developer Cyril Diagne showed off a demo of an app called ClipDrop that lets you 'drop' real-life objects to your desktop. Now, the app has entered beta, and I already love it. The concept of the app is cool. You can take a picture of any object and the app with automatically remove the background and convert it into an image. You can then paste the image on your desktop and use it in your applications. In addition to objects and people, you can also extract text from a book or page that you have. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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ClipDrop Lets You 'Cut-and-Paste' Real Life Objects Using Your Phone Camera Into Desktop Apps

technology - Posted On:2020-10-23 10:14:57 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple has boasted a lot about the AR capabilities of its new LiDAR equipped iPhone 12 Pro. It means that your new iPhone will be able to 'map' the room better to place objects. However, I hadn't found an AR app that I might use regularly -- until now. A few months ago, developer Cyril Diagne showed off a demo of an app called ClipDrop that lets you 'drop' real-life objects to your desktop. Now, the app has entered beta, and I already love it. The concept of the app is cool. You can take a picture of any object and the app with automatically remove the background and convert it into an image. You can then paste the image on your desktop and use it in your applications. In addition to objects and people, you can also extract text from a book or page that you have. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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