Computers & Linux News

French Government Releases In-house IM App To Replace WhatsApp and Telegram Use

SlashDot - 57 min 23 sec ago
A year ago, the French government unveiled its plan to build its own encrypted messenger service to ease fears that foreign entities could spy on private conversations between top officials. That app, named Tchap, is now official for Android handsets and the iPhone. From a report: A web dashboard is also in the works. Only official French government employees can sign-up for an account; however, the French government also open-sourced Tchap's source code on GitHub so other organizations can roll out their own versions of Tchap for internal use as well. Work on the app started in July 2018, and the app itself is based on Riot, a well-known open-source, self-hostable, and secure instant messaging client-server package. The app was officially developed by DINSIC (Interministerial Directorate of Digital and Information System and Communication of the State), under the supervision of ANSSI, France's National Cybersecurity Agency.

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Earth Day 2019: Go greener with these cool eco-friendly products - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 13 min ago
Make Earth Day an everyday event with reusable sandwich bags, solar-powered gadgets and shoes made from water bottles.

Volkswagen's US CEO says around $25,000 would be a smart price for a small pickup - Roadshow

CNET News - 1 hour 30 min ago
VW America head Scott Keogh sees "opportunity" in a market full of $50,000 and $60,000 pickups.

Nintendo Switch might soon be available in China - CNET

CNET News - 1 hour 30 min ago
The gaming giant is partnering with Chinese tech company Tencent, according to Reuters.

Ransomware Attack Knocks The Weather Channel Off the Air

SlashDot - 1 hour 37 min ago
A computer attack knocked the Weather Channel off the air for more than an hour Thursday morning [Editor's note: the link may be paywalled; alternative source], and federal authorities are investigating the incident, WSJ is reporting. From the report: After its broadcast was disrupted, the weather news service sent a tweet saying it had been the victim of "a malicious software attack," adding that federal law-enforcement officials were investigating the matter. A spokesman for the Federal Bureau of Investigation said the incident was a ransomware attack, and the agency was conducting an investigation. Ransomware is an increasingly common form of digital extortion. Criminals install it on computer networks via trickery or hacking, and the software then spreads from computer to computer, locking up systems until a digital ransom is paid.

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Galaxy Fold screens broke and the internet is freaking out - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 3 min ago
Samsung's foldable phone is off to a rough start.

Facebook's privacy mishaps: Zuckerberg could be held accountable, report says - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 5 min ago
The Federal Trade Commission is reportedly looking into Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's past remarks about privacy.

The best of AmazonBasics: PC accessories - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 12 min ago
From USB hubs to gaming keyboard, we tried a wide range of AmazonBasics PC accessories to see where you can save without sacrificing quality.

Instagram Hides Like Counts In Leaked Design Prototype

SlashDot - 2 hours 17 min ago
Instagram's Android code is hiding a design change that hides the number of likes your posts get. "During this test, only the person who shares a post will see the total number of likes it gets," the company says. TechCrunch reports on the seemingly small design change test and the massive potential impact it'll have on users' well-being: Hiding Like counts could reduce herd mentality, where people just Like what's already got tons of Likes. It could reduce the sense of competition on Instagram, since users won't compare their own counts with those of more popular friends or superstar creators. And it could encourage creators to post what feels most authentic rather than trying to rack up Likes for everyone to see. You can see [in a leaked screenshot] on the left that the Instagram feed post lacks a Like count, but still shows a few faces and a name of other people who've Liked it. Users are alerted that only they will see their post's Like counts, and anyone else won't. Many users delete posts that don't immediately get "enough" Likes or post to their fake "Finstagram" accounts if they don't think they'll be proud of the hearts they collect. Hiding Like counts might get users posting more because they'll be less self-conscious. It appears there's no plan to hide follower counts on user profiles, which are the true measure of popularity, but also serve a purpose of distinguishing great content creators and assessing their worth to marketers. Hiding Likes could just put more of a spotlight on follower and comment counts. And even if users don't see Like counts, they still massively impact the feed's ranking algorithm, so creators will still have to battle for them to be seen.

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Sewer-blocking London concreteberg weighs as much as a whale - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 27 min ago
Forget fatbergs. England has to chip an epic amount of concrete out of some sewer tunnels.

Utah Bans Police From Searching Digital Data Without a Warrant

SlashDot - 2 hours 57 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Forbes: In a major win for digital privacy, Utah became the first state in the nation to ban warrantless searches of electronic data. Under the Electronic Information or Data Privacy Act (HB 57), state law enforcement can only access someone's transmitted or stored digital data (including writing, images, and audio) if a court issues a search warrant based on probable cause. Simply put, the act ensures that search engines, email providers, social media, cloud storage, and any other third-party "electronic communications service" or "remote computing service" are fully protected under the Fourth Amendment (and its equivalent in the Utah Constitution). HB 57 also contains provisions that promote government transparency and accountability. In most cases, once agencies execute a warrant, they must then notify owners within 14 days that their data has been searched. Even more critically, HB 57 will prevent the government from using illegally obtained digital data as evidence in court. In a concession to law enforcement, the act will let police obtain location-tracking information or subscriber data without a warrant if there's an "imminent risk" of death, serious physical injury, sexual abuse, livestreamed sexual exploitation, kidnapping, or human trafficking. Backed by the ACLU of Utah and the Libertas Institute, the act went through five different substitute versions before it was finally approved -- without a single vote against it -- last month. HB 57 is slated to take effect in mid-May.

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Google Will Begin To Block Sign-ins From Embedded Browser Frameworks in June

SlashDot - 3 hours 35 min ago
To fight phishing, Google last year announced it would require users to enable JavaScript during Google Account sign-in so that it could run attack-detecting risk assessments, and this week, the company said it'll begin to block all sign-ins from embedded browser frameworks like Chromium Embedded Framework starting in June. From a report: For the uninitiated, embedded browser frameworks enable developers to add basic web browsing functionality to their apps, and to use web languages like HTML, CSS, and JavaScript to create those apps' interface (or portions of it). They're typically cross-platform -- Chromium Embedded Framework runs on Linux, Windows, and macOS -- and they support a range of language bindings. With the change, Google is specifically targeting man in the middle (MITM) attacks, which it says are particularly difficult to spot from automation platforms like embedded browser frameworks.

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Aston Martin DBS 59 makes the Superleggera even more desirable somehow - Roadshow

CNET News - 3 hours 46 min ago
Only 24 of these will be produced by Aston's in-house personalization team.

Robert Downey the only Avenger the Russos trusted with Endgame script - CNET

CNET News - 3 hours 56 min ago
Well, maybe Chris Evans, because Captain America can keep a secret.

Notre Dame Official Says 'Computer Glitch' Could Be Fire Culprit

SlashDot - 4 hours 16 min ago
A "computer glitch" may have been behind the fast-spreading fire that ravaged Notre Dame, Associated Press reported Friday, citing the cathedral's rector. From the report: Speaking during a meeting of local business owners, rector Patrick Chauvet did not elaborate on the exact nature of the glitch, adding that "we may find out what happened in two or three months." On Thursday, Paris police investigators said they think an electrical short-circuit most likely caused the fire. French newspaper Le Parisien has reported that a fire alarm went off at Notre Dame shortly after 6 p.m. Monday but a computer bug showed the fire's location in the wrong place. The paper reported the flames may have started at the bottom of the cathedral's giant spire and may have been caused by an electrical problem in an elevator. Chauvet said there were fire alarms throughout the building, which he described as "well protected."

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Game of Thrones season 8: All the Westeros drama, in pictures - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 22 min ago
Joyous moments interspersed with complete bloody terror. Yep, that's how it goes in Westeros.

See all the Game of Thrones season 8 photos so far - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 23 min ago
From reunions to dragon flights to horrific discoveries, let's take a spoiler-filled trip to Westeros.

25 best battery life laptops - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 34 min ago
From CNET Labs: These are the 25 top battery-life performers in laptops, hybrids and Chromebooks, from 2018 through today.

Microsoft Debuts Bosque, a New Programming Language With No Loops, Inspired by TypeScript

SlashDot - 4 hours 53 min ago
Microsoft has introduced a new open source programming language called Bosque that aspires to be simple and easy to understand by embracing algebraic operations and shunning techniques that create complexity. From a report: Bosque was inspired by the syntax and types of TypeScript and the semantics of ML and Node/JavaScript. It's the brainchild of Microsoft computer scientist Mark Marron, who describes the language as an effort to move beyond the structured programming model that became popular in the 1970s. The structured programming paradigm, in which flow control is managed with loops, conditionals, and subroutines, became popular after a 1968 paper titled "Go To Statement Considered Harmful" by computer scientist Edsger Dijkstra. Marron believes we can do better by getting rid of sources of complexity like loops, mutable state, and reference equality. The result is Bosque, which represents a programming paradigm that Marron, in a paper he wrote, calls "regularized programming."

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