Computers & Linux News

Google celebrates 22nd birthday, together but from a distance - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 10:47
Search giant marks the occasion with a social-distancing Doodle.

You won't find a cheaper pet camera than the Petcube, now $36 - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 10:35
This budget camera sticks anywhere and includes an optional vet chat subscription service.

'Google App Engine' Abused to Create Unlimited Phishing Pages

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-09-27 10:34
Google's cloud-based service platform for developing and hosting web apps "can be abused to deliver phishing and malware while remaining undetected by leading enterprise security products," reports Bleeping Computer, citing a startling discovery by security researcher Marcel Afrahim: A Google App Engine subdomain does not only represent an app, it represents an app's version, the service name, project ID, and region ID fields. But the most important point to note here is, if any of those fields are incorrect, Google App Engine won't show a 404 Not Found page, but instead show the app's "default" page (a concept referred to as soft routing)... Essentially, this means there are a lot of permutations of subdomains to get to the attacker's malicious app. As long as every subdomain has a valid "project_ID" field, invalid variations of other fields can be used at the attacker's discretion to generate a long list of subdomains, which all lead to the same app... The fact that a single malicious app is now represented by multiple permutations of its subdomains makes it hard for sysadmins and security professionals to block malicious activity. But further, to a technologically unsavvy user, all of these subdomains would appear to be a "secure site." After all, the appspot.com domain and all its subdomains come with the seal of "Google Trust Services" in their SSL certificates. Even further, most enterprise security solutions such as Symantec WebPulse web filter automatically allow traffic to trusted category sites. And Google's appspot.com domain, due to its reputation and legitimate corporate use cases, earns an "Office/Business Applications" tag, skipping the scrutiny of web proxies.

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This water-resistant wireless speaker is just $9 - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 10:32
Take your tunes into the shower or anyplace else splashy.

From ballerina to gamer and entrepreneur: The Mari Takahashi origin story - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 10:08
On CNET's I'm So Obsessed podcast, Takahashi explains her unusual career path, being on Survivor, working for the YouTube giant Smosh and becoming, and now creating, her own content.

'Why Modeling the Spread of COVID-19 Is So Damn Hard'

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-09-27 09:34
Slashdot reader the_newsbeagle writes: At the beginning of the pandemic, modelers pulled out everything they had to predict the spread of the virus. This article explains the three main types of models used: 1) compartmental models that sort people into categories of exposure and recovery, 2) data-driven models that often use neural networks to make predictions, and 3) agent-based models that are something like a Sim Pandemic. "Researchers say they've learned a lot of lessons modeling this pandemic, lessons that will carry over to the next..." the article points out: Finally, researchers emphasize the need for agility. Jarad Niemi, an associate professor of statistics at Iowa State University who helps run the forecast hub used by the CDC, says software packages have made it easier to build models quickly, and the code-sharing site GitHub lets people share and compare their models. COVID-19 is giving modelers a chance to try out all their newest tools, says biologist Lauren Ancel Meyers, the head of the COVID-19 Modeling Consortium at the University of Texas at Austin. "The pace of innovation, the pace of development, is unlike ever before," she says. "There are new statistical methods, new kinds of data, new model structures." "If we want to beat this virus," says Mikhail Prokopenko, a computer scientist at the University of Sydney, "we have to be as adaptive as it is."

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Apple's battle with Epic Games could lead to big changes in iPhone apps - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 08:00
The future of the iPhone is once again at stake as Apple defends its App Store policies.

Best portable shop lights in 2020 - Roadshow

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 08:00
Do you struggle to see what you're doing when wrenching on your project car or tinkering with a carb on your workbench? These 10 portable shop lights will light the way.

Houses 3D-printed in just 24 hours now shipping in California - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 08:00
Using a unique UV-curable synthetic stone material, Mighty Buildings has created a process for 3D-printing an entire 350 square foot housing unit in just 24 hours.

Ring Mailbox Sensor: Amazon quietly introduces mail surveillance - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 07:00
The $30 Mailbox Sensor snuck in with Ring's other news on an under-the-radar announcement page. Orders open Oct. 8.

Silicon Valley Tech Workers Angered By Proposal to Make Some Mandatory Telecommuting Permanent

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-09-27 06:34
"The Metropolitan Transportation Commission, a regional government agency in the San Francisco Bay Area, voted Wednesday to move forward with a proposal to require people at large, office-based companies to work from home three days a week as a way to slash greenhouse gas emissions from car commutes," reports NBC News: It's a radical suggestion that likely would have been a non-starter before Covid-19 shuttered many offices in March, but now that corporate employees have gotten a taste of not commuting, transportation planners think the idea has wider appeal. "There is an opportunity to do things that could not have been done in the past," said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf, a member of the transportation commission who supports the proposal. She said she felt "very strongly" that a telecommuting mandate ought to be a part of the region's future... Some of the nation's largest companies are headquartered in the Bay Area, including not only tech giants Apple, Facebook, Google, Intel and Netflix, but Chevron, Levi Strauss and Wells Fargo... The idea of a mandate was a surprise to residents, many of whom first learned of the idea this week from social media and then flooded an online meeting of the transportation agency Wednesday to try, unsuccessfully, to talk commissioners out of the idea. "We do not want to continue this as a lifestyle," Steven Buss, a Google software engineer who lives in San Francisco, told the commission. "We are all sacrificing now to reduce the spread of the virus, but no one is enjoying working from home," he said. "It's probably fine if you own a big house out in the suburbs and you're nearing retirement, but for young workers like me who live in crowded conditions, working from home is terrible." Many callers pointed out that the situation exacerbates inequality because only some types of work can be done from home. Others worried about the ripple effects on lunch spots, transit agencies and other businesses and organizations that rely on revenue from office workers. Still other residents said that if car emissions are the problem, the commission should focus on cars, not all commutes... Dustin Moskovitz, a cofounder of Facebook who usually keeps a low public profile, mocked the idea as an indictment of the Bay Area's general failure to plan for growth. "We tried nothing, and we're all out of ideas," Moskovitz, now CEO of software company Asana, tweeted Tuesday. The mandate would apply to "large, office-based employers" and require them to have at least 60 percent of their employees telecommute on any given workday. They could meet the requirement through flexible schedules, compressed work weeks or other alternatives.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Galaxy S20 FE is the iPhone competitor Android fans need in 2020 - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 06:00
The Galaxy S20 Fan Edition has a solid lineup of specs at a much lower price than its flashy siblings.

The US Space Force Will Use Blockchain-Based Data Protection - and SpaceX's Reusable Rockets

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-09-27 03:34
"The service branch protecting U.S. interests outside the stratosphere may use blockchain to render its computer systems, on earth and in space, unhackable," reports CoinDesk: Last week, Xage Security won a contract from the United States Space Force to develop and roll out a blockchain-based data protection system across its networks. Called the Xage Security Fabric, the blockchain verifies data and protects the network from third party intervention, so confidential data sent from satellites to earth isn't intercepted en-route. It also ensures security remains consistent across the entire United States Space Force network, preventing hackers and other malicious entities from identifying and exploiting any weak spots. And UPI reports: The U.S. Space Force will start to fly missions on reused SpaceX rockets next year to save millions of dollars, the service announced Friday. The Space Force will fly two GPS satellites into orbit on a Falcon 9 first-stage booster. The lower cost that SpaceX charges for reused rockets will save taxpayers $52.7 million, a statement from the military branch said... Gwynne Shotwell, SpaceX's president and chief operating officer, said in a news release that the company was pleased the Space Force saw "the benefits of the technology."

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Apple Watch SE isn't as cheap as the Series 3. So how do you decide which to buy? - CNET

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 02:00
We compare Apple's latest Watch SE with 2017's Watch Series 3.

The Hyundai RM20e is a little electric rocket - Roadshow

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 01:17
It's essentially an electric Veloster N ETCR race car with a bunch more power. Heck, yes.

Researcher Discusses Whether Time Travel Could Prevent a Pandemic

SlashDot - Sun, 2020-09-27 00:34
University of Queensland student Germain Tobar who worked with UQ physics professor Fabio Costa on a new peer-reviewed paper "says he has mathematically proven the physical feasibility of a specific kind of time travel" without paradoxes, reports Popular Mechanics: Time travel discussion focuses on closed time-like curves, something Albert Einstein first posited. And Tobar and Costa say that as long as just two pieces of an entire scenario within a closed time-like curve are still in "causal order" when you leave, the rest is subject to local free will... In a university statement, Costa illustrates the science with an analogy "Say you travelled in time, in an attempt to stop COVID-19's patient zero from being exposed to the virus. However if you stopped that individual from becoming infected, that would eliminate the motivation for you to go back and stop the pandemic in the first place. This is a paradox, an inconsistency that often leads people to think that time travel cannot occur in our universe. [L]ogically it's hard to accept because that would affect our freedom to make any arbitrary action. It would mean you can time travel, but you cannot do anything that would cause a paradox to occur...." But the real truth, in terms of the mathematical outcomes, is more like another classic parable: the monkey's paw. Be careful what you wish for, and be careful what you time travel for. Tobar explains in the statement: "In the coronavirus patient zero example, you might try and stop patient zero from becoming infected, but in doing so you would catch the virus and become patient zero, or someone else would. No matter what you did, the salient events would just recalibrate around you. Try as you might to create a paradox, the events will always adjust themselves, to avoid any inconsistency."

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Audi Sportback-ifies its popular Q5 SUV for 2021 - Roadshow

CNET News - Sun, 2020-09-27 00:00
The biggest change between the standard Q5 and the new Q5 Sportback is the latter's sloping roofline.

Enola Holmes on Netflix: Everything you need to know about Sherlock's sister - CNET

CNET News - Sat, 2020-09-26 21:46
What's the Phoebe Waller-Bridge connection? Why's Sherlock's sister being sued? All your questions answered about the new movie starring Millie Bobby Brown.

The World's Largest Concentrations of Java Programmers are in Asia and Germany

SlashDot - Sat, 2020-09-26 21:34
"To celebrate Java's 25th anniversary this year and the latest release of Java 15, JetBrains has compiled data from multiple sources to look at what the current state of the language," reports SD Times: The largest concentration of Java developers is in Asia, where 2.5 million developers use it as their primary language. JetBrains believes this may be due to the fact that it is common to hire offshore developers in countries like China and India to build Android apps. "We might have expected the USA to have a high percentage of Java users, but it also makes a lot of sense that they don't. There is a big technology stack to choose from and often a lot of the tech companies are at the forefront of that stack, so it could be that developers there don't need the power or stability of Java and are using languages that allow them to build and test quickly," JetBrains wrote in a post. The post on JetBrains notes that the six countries with the highest percentage of developers using Java as their primary language are: China, South Korea, India, Germany, Spain, and Brazil: The reasons Java is most likely so popular in the first 6 countries include the free use of Java, governmental support, and open-source... Germany is also very high which could be attributed to Java being the most popular language in Germany for software engineers as it is used to build highly scalable applications for a multitude of industries. Most enterprise services rely on Java to power the applications that enable the day-to-day running of businesses, such as payroll, inventory management, reporting, and so on. Germany also has a big financial sector that uses Java heavily for their homegrown tech, such as trading bots, retail banking systems, and other applications that the finance industry requires in order to remain competitive... According to the State of the Developer Ecosystem Survey 2020, more than a third of professional developers use Java as a primary language and Java remains the second primary language among professional developers after JavaScript. Expert analysis: It is not surprising to see JavaScript and Java taking the leading positions as they are kind of paired together; developers who work with Java often write their frontend and any quick scripts in JavaScript. Python is probably third place due to the spread of machine learning. In general, we expect the web to be a big part of the developer ecosystem and so JavaScript, HTML and CSS, and PHP will always have solid standing. SQL is also always going to be around as there isn't much that doesn't require databases in some capacity. C++ is also kind of a solid language in that it is used for a lot of embedded applications, so it won't be disappearing off the charts any time soon. C# though seems to be losing ground, and I guess if Java is high then C# will be low, as they are both very similar in terms of capabilities. As to why I think Java is so high in the sphere of professional development — it's similar to what was mentioned about Germany. Most enterprise business services rely on Java to make them tick along. It's not just the IT sector either — almost every company, be it in distribution, manufacturing, or banking, has IT services as part of their infrastructure, and these services, such as payroll or inventory management, are generally built with Java in the backend. So Java is used a lot by professional developers who work for these companies.

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