Tech News Feed

Air traffic controllers may get a break from non-stop drone reports

Engadget - 1 hour 23 min ago
Air traffic controllers have it bad enough managing full-size aircraft, but they face an extra headache when you throw drones in the mix. You see, controllers get calls when drone pilots want approval to fly within 5 miles of an airport -- and with...

Microsoft Chastises Google Over Chrome Security

SlashDot - 4 hours 45 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes PCMag: In a Wednesday blog post, Redmond examined Google's browser security and took the opportunity to throw some shade at Chrome's security philosophy, while also touting the benefits of its own Edge browser. The post, written by Microsoft security team member Jordan Rabet, noted that Google's Chrome browser uses "sandboxing" and isolation techniques designed to contain any malicious code. Nevertheless, Microsoft still managed to find a security hole in Chrome that could be used to execute malicious code on the browser. The bug involved a Javascript engine in Chrome. Microsoft notified Google about the problem, which was patched last month. The company even received a $7,500 reward for finding the flaw. However, Microsoft made sure to point out that its own Edge browser was protected from the same kind of security threat. It also criticized Google for the way it handled the patching process. Prior to the patch's official rollout, the source code for the fix was made public on GitHub, a software collaboration site that hosts computer code. That meant attentive hackers could have learned about the vulnerability before the patch was pushed out to customers, Microsoft claimed. "In this specific case, the stable channel of Chrome remained vulnerable for nearly a month," the blog post said. "That is more than enough time for an attacker to exploit it." In the past Google has also disclosed vulnerabilities found in Microsoft products -- including Edge.

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Fiber optic lines can double as earthquake detectors

Engadget - 6 hours 2 min ago
You might not need an extensive sensor network or a host of volunteers to detect earthquakes in the future -- in fact, the lines supplying your internet access might do the trick. Researchers have developed technology that detects seismic activity t...

For Under $1,000, Mobile Ads Can Track Your Location

SlashDot - 6 hours 50 min ago
"Researchers were able to use GPS data from an ad network to track a user to their actual location, and trace movements through town," writes phantomfive. Mashable reports: The idea is straightforward: Associate a series of ads with a specific individual as well as predetermined GPS coordinates. When those ads are served to a smartphone app, you know where that individual has been... It's a surprisingly simple technique, and the researchers say you can pull it off for "$1,000 or less." The relatively low cost means that digitally tracking a target in this manner isn't just for corporations, governments, or criminal enterprises. Rather, the stalker next door can have a go at it as well... Refusing to click on the popups isn't enough, as the person being surveilled doesn't need to do so for this to work -- simply being served the advertisements is all it takes. It's "an industry-wide issue," according to the researchers, while Mashable labels it "digital surveillance, made available to any and all with money on hand, brought to the masses by your friendly neighborhood Silicon Valley disrupters."

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Windows 10 now includes anti-cheat protection for games

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 23:04
Windows 10's Fall Creators Update is full of changes, but one of the understated additions could make a big difference if you're a gamer. Microsoft has switched on its previously teased TruePlay feature, which promises to protect against "common" che...

US Government Warns Of 'Ongoing' Hacks Targeting Nuclear and Power Industries

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 21:54
An anonymous reader quotes Reuters: The U.S government issued a rare public warning that sophisticated hackers are targeting energy and industrial firms, the latest sign that cyber attacks present an increasing threat to the power industry and other public infrastructure. The Department of Homeland Security and Federal Bureau of Investigation warned in a report distributed by email late on Friday that the nuclear, energy, aviation, water and critical manufacturing industries have been targeted along with government entities in attacks dating back to at least May. The agencies warned that hackers had succeeded in compromising some targeted networks, but did not identify specific victims or describe any cases of sabotage. The objective of the attackers is to compromise organizational networks with malicious emails and tainted websites to obtain credentials for accessing computer networks of their targets, the report said. According to the report, the Department of Homeland Security "has confidence that this campaign is still ongoing and threat actors are actively pursuing their objectives over a long-term campaign."

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Five-minute allergy test passes the FDA's scrutiny

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 21:33
A few years ago, researchers from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Lausanne (EPFL) started developing what they eventually dubbed the "world's most rapid" allergy test. Now, that test has received the FDA's approval and will start telling...

Study says body cameras don't always change police behavior

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 20:02
In theory, body cameras are supposed to not only catch police abuses of power, but deter them: officers will be on their best behavior knowing that they could be hauled in. As Washington, DC researchers have learned, though, that isn't guaranteed....

NYT Op-Ed Argues Amazon 'Took Seattle's Soul'

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 19:49
New York Times columnist Timothy Egan was part of the paper's Pulitzer Prize-winning team in 2001. Now he's written an op-ed arguing Amazon "took Seattle's soul." An anonymous reader writes: Since Amazon arrived "we've been overwhelmed by a future we never had any say over," Egan writes, with a message for cities competing to be the site of Amazon's next headquarters. Amazon now owns as much office space as Seattle's next 40 biggest employers combined, according to an analysis by the Seattle Times, "a mind-boggling 19 percent of all prime office space in the city, the most for any employer in a major U.S. city...more than twice as large as any other company in any other big U.S. city." Egan notes Amazon is offering 50,000 high-paying jobs and $5 billion worth of investments, "a once-in-a-century, destiny-shaping event," but "You think you can shape Amazon? Not a chance. It will shape you... What comes with the title of being the fastest growing big city in the country, with having the nation's hottest real estate market, is that the city no longer works for some people. For many others, the pace of change, not to mention the traffic, has been disorienting... [M]edian home prices have doubled in five years, to $700,000. This is not a good thing in a place where teachers and cops used to be able to afford a house with a water view... As a Seattle native, I miss the old city, the lack of pretense, and dinner parties that didn't turn into discussions of real estate porn. Wages have risen faster in Amazon's Seattle than anywhere else in America, and while Amazon changed the city's character, it also poured $38 billion into the city's economy. (Besides Amazon's own 40,000 employees, it also attracted another 50,000 new jobs.) "To the next Amazon lottery winner I would say, enjoy the boom," Egan concludes, "but be careful what you wish for."

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Amazon Patents Drones That Recharge Electric Vehicles

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 18:44
slash.jit shared an article from Futurism: Amazon has been granted a patent for an ambitious new method of maintaining a charge in electric vehicles. The company wants to use drones to allow drivers to top up their vehicles without having to visit a charging station. Drivers would request a top up from a central server, which would dispatch a charging drone to their location. The drone would then dock with the vehicle and start transferring power, without the car ever needing to come to a stop. This solution isn't meant to administer a full charge to the car's battery, it would only supply enough power to get the driver to a charging station, which are still in somewhat limited supply. "Amazon first applied for this patent back in June 2014," reports CNET, noting it was finally granted this month. "Like many other patents, there's no guarantee that Amazon will actually create a product based on the design. It could merely be an attempt to stop competitors from doing so."

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What we're watching: 'Raw' and 'Feast of Fiction'

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 18:32
Welcome back to Video IRL, where several of our editors talk about what they've been watching in their spare time. This month we're kicking things off with some seasonally-appropriate horror fare, that you can catch right away on Netflix or Amazon Pr...

I went to buy a Pixel 2. Verizon tried to sell me a Galaxy S8 - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2017-10-21 18:22
Commentary: Verizon is Google's exclusive partner for the Pixel 2 phone. But I wouldn't have known that after a chat with a Verizon salesman.

See Giant Robots Fight. US vs Japan Match On YouTube

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 17:39
AmiMoJo writes: Suidobashi Heavy Industries and MegaBots agreed to test their piloted giant robots in combat a few years back, and the content is finally available on YouTube. It ended in a draw, with Japan decisively winning the first bout with a single punch and the US team winning the second thanks to a chainsaw weapon. There have been some complaints that the whole event felt scripted, but it's early days yet. ITMedia has a nice gallery of photos from the event. "The MegaBots team expressed hope for a formal fighting robot league in the future," reports CNBC.

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LG's OLED TVs now pack loss-free 3D audio

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 17:01
There's a dirty secret to listening to Dolby Atmos sound on LG's current OLED TVs: all the audio is compressed, so you're losing a little fidelity for the sake of immersive 3D sound. You won't have to make that sacrifice before long. LG is trotting...

YouTube Suspends Account of Popular Chinese Dissident

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 16:34
schwit1 brings news about an exiled Chinese billionaire with 500,000 followers on YouTube. The Washington Free Beacon reports:YouTube has suspended the video account of popular Chinese dissident Guo Wengui amid a mounting pressure from the Beijing government to silence one of its critics. According to a person familiar with the action, YouTube issued what the company calls a 'strike' against Guo, who since the beginning of the year has created an online sensation by posting lengthy videos in which he reveals details of corruption by senior Chinese officials. The suspension involves a 90-day block on any new live-stream postings of videos and was the result of a complaint made against a recent Guo video for alleged harassment. The identity of the person or institution who issued the complaint could not be learned... Other videos by Guo posted prior to the suspension remain accessible. The suspension coincides with this week's once-every-five-years congress of the Chinese Communist party to reveal which top officials will serve President Xi Jinping, according to Financial Times, adding that "China's choreographed politics is not designed for public participation or questioning."

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2 Million IoT Devices Enslaved By Fast-Growing BotNet

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 15:34
An anonymous reader writes: Since mid-September, a new IoT botnet has grown to massive proportions. Codenamed IoT_reaper, researchers estimate its current size at nearly two million infected devices. According to researchers, the botnet is mainly made up of IP-based security cameras, routers, network-attached storage (NAS) devices, network video recorders (NVRs), and digital video recorders (DVRs), primarily from vendors such as Netgear, D-Link, Linksys, GoAhead, JAWS, Vacron, AVTECH, MicroTik, TP-Link, and Synology. The botnet reuses some Mirai source code, but it's unique in its own right. Unlike Mirai, which relied on scanning for devices with weak or default passwords, this botnet was put together using exploits for unpatched vulnerabilities. The botnet's author is still struggling to control his botnet, as researchers spotted over two million infected devices sitting in the botnet's C&C servers' queue, waiting to be processed. As of now, the botnet has not been used in live DDoS attacks, but the capability is in there. Today is the one-year anniversary of the Dyn DDoS attack, the article points out, adding that "This week both the FBI and Europol warned about the dangers of leaving Internet of Things devices exposed online."

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New York City ordered to share code for DNA evidence software

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 15:29
Many attempts to open up access to software in the justice system have fallen flat. Advocates in New York, however, have just scored a significant victory. A federal judge has publicly unsealed the source code for DNA analysis software previously u...

KEF’s R300 speaker is a knockout - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2017-10-21 14:47
The Audiophiliac loves the KEF R300 stand-mount speaker’s sleek design and rich sound.

Data Science Meets Sports Gambling: How Researchers Beat the Bookies

SlashDot - Sat, 2017-10-21 14:34
"A trio of data scientists developed a betting strategy to beat bookmakers at football games," writes austro. [The game Americans call soccer.] New Scientist reports: The team studied 10 years' worth of data on nearly half a million football matches and the associated odds offered by 32 bookmakers between January 2005 and June 2015. When they applied their strategy in a simulation, they made a return of 3.5 per cent. Making bets randomly resulted in a loss of 3.32 per cent. Then the team decided to try betting for real. They developed an online tool that would apply their odds-averaging formula to upcoming football matches. When a favorable opportunity arose, a member of the team would email Kaunitz and his wife, one of whom then placed a bet. They kept this up for five months, placing $50 bets around 30 times a week. And they were winning. After five months the team had made a profit of $957.50 -- a return of 8.5 per cent. But their streak was cut short. Following a series of several small wins, the trio were surprised to find that their accounts had been limited, restricting how much they could bet to as little as $1.25. The gambling industry has long restricted players who appear to show an edge over the house, says Mark Griffiths at Nottingham Trent University, UK. The paper "illustrates how the sports gambling industry compensates market inefficiencies with discriminatory practices against successful clients," adds austro, noting that the researchers posted a paper explaining their methodology on arxiv last week. "They also made the dataset and source code available on github. And best of all, they made an online publicly available dashboard that shows a live list of bet recommendations on football matches based on their strategy here or here for anyone to try."

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Twitter explains why it takes time to roll out new safety rules

Engadget - Sat, 2017-10-21 14:02
Twitter has been trying to stamp out harassment, violence and abuse on its platform for years, but it's nowhere near achieving that goal. Since its administrators regularly get a lot of flak for not moving fast enough to make the website safer, Twitt...

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