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Updated: 12 min 49 sec ago

Sony Confirms It's Making a 'High-End PlayStation 4' With 4K and Richer Graphics

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 4:00pm
Sony has confirmed it is working on an upgraded version of its PlayStation 4 gaming console (could be paywalled; alternate source). The company says that the upcoming console dubbed Neo is intended to sit alongside and complement the standard PS4. Touted as the "high-end PS4", the gaming console will support ultra-high definition 4K resolution and richer graphics, and will certainly cost more than PlayStation 4's $350 retail price. The move might upset many PlayStation 4 owners, especially the ones who have purchased the console in the recent months. One of the perks of purchasing a gaming console from Sony and Microsoft is knowing that neither company will launch an upgraded version of their respective console for around six to seven years. Sony realizes that it is playing with fire here, so it assured that all forthcoming games -- including the VR ones -- must support the older version of the console as well. The company says that the new PS4 console won't be unveiled at E3 tradeshow next week, however.

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First Batch Of Chromebooks Reach End Of Life, To Stop Receiving Support and Updates

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 3:20pm
An anonymous reader shares a BetaNews report:The original Chromebooks launched back in 2011 are reaching the end of their support cycle. With Google offering a fairly generous five years of support and updates, users have had a good run, but the Samsung Series 5 Chromebook is the first device to drop off the support list. Having been launched in August 2011, Acer AC700 Chromebook will be in a similar position in a couple of months. Google says that after five years, automatic updates are "no longer guaranteed". Interestingly, it has continued to provide updates to at least one of its own device that originated in 2010. It's not entirely clear what will happen by the end of this month, but if the company sticks to how it handles its smartphones, you should be worried.

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Mozilla Will Fund Code Audits For Open Source Software

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 2:40pm
Reader Orome1 writes: The Mozilla Foundation has set up the Secure Open Source (SOS) Fund, whose aim is to help open source software projects get rid their code of vulnerabilities. Projects that want Mozilla's help must be open source/free software and must be actively maintained, but they have a much better probability to being chosen if their software is commonly used and is vital to the continued functioning of the Internet or the Web. Three open source projects -- PCRE, libjpeg-turbo, and phpMyAdmin -- have already gone through the process, and the result was removal of 43 vulnerabilities (including one critical).

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Visual Studio 2015 C++ Compiler Secretly Inserts Telemetry Code Into Binaries

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 2:00pm
Reader edxwelch writes: Reddit user sammiesdog discovered recently that Visual Studio 2015 C++ compiler was inserting calls to a Microsoft telemetry function into binaries. "I compiled a simple program with only main(). When looking at the compiled binary in IDA, I see a call for telemetry_main_invoke_trigger and telemetry_main_return_trigger. I cannot find documentation for these calls, either on the web or in the options page," he wrote. Only after the discovery did Steve Carroll, the dev manager for Visual C++ admit to the "feature" and posted a workaround to remove it.A Microsoft spokesperson confirmed the existence of this behavior to InfoQ, adding that the company wil be removing it in a future preview build. For those who wish to get rid of it, the blog writes: Users who have a copy of VS2015 Update 2 and wish to turn off the telemetry functionality currently being compiled into their code should add notelemetry.obj to their linker command line.

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Woman Uses 'Hey Siri' To Call An Ambulance and Help Save Her Child's Life

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 1:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Networkworld: When Apple released the iPhone 6s, it included a great new Siri feature which enables users to activate the intelligent assistant via voice. Dubbed 'Hey Siri,' the feature is particularly convenient because the iPhone 6s' M9 motion co-processor is 'always listening' and thereby lets users use 'Hey Siri' even when the device isn't connected to a power source. Recently, Stacey Gleeson of Australia used the 'Hey Siri' feature to successfully call an ambulance while she was tending to her daughter Giana who had stopped breathing. "I picked her up and sat down with her on the floor," Gleeson said in an interview. "And as I checked her airways, I looked over and remembered my phone." Thinking quick on her feet, Gleeson said, "Hey Siri, call the ambulance." Fortunately, Gleeson managed to resuscitate her daughter while the ambulance was in route. And while it's impossible to know for sure, it's entirely possible that the time Gleeson saved by not having to call an ambulance manually helped save her daughter's life. "Saving me the trouble of having to physically dial emergency services was a godsend," Gleeson said.

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British Startup Strip Mines Renters' Private Social Media For Landlords

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 10:00am
Rick Zeman writes: Creepy British startup Score Assured has brought the power of "big data" to plumb new depths. In order to rent from landlords who use their services, potential renters are "...required to grant it full access to your Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and/or Instagram profiles. From there, Tenant Assured scrapes your site activity, including entire conversation threads and private messages; runs it through natural language processing and other analytic software; and finally, spits out a report that catalogs everything from your personality to your 'financial stress level.'" This "stress level" is a deep dive to (allegedly) determine whether the potential renter will pay their bills using vague indicators like "online retail social logins and frequency of social logins used for leisure activities." To make it worse, the company turns over to the landlords' indicators that the landlords aren't legally allowed to consider (age, race, pregnancy status), counting on the landlords to "do the right thing." As if this isn't abusive enough, the candidates are not allowed to see nor challenge their report, unlike with credit reports. Landlords first, employers next...and then? As the co-founder says, "People will give up their privacy to get something they want" and, evidently, that includes a place to live and a job. In late May, an apartment building in Salt Lake City told tenants living in the complex to "like" its Facebook page or they will be in breach of their lease.

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US Agency Lines Up Broad Support For ICANN Transition

Fri, 10/06/2016 - 7:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from PCWorld: A U.S. agency has lined up broad support for its plan to end the government's oversight of the Internet's domain name system, despite opposition from some Republicans in Congress. The U.S. National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) on Thursday released statements of support for a plan to end its oversight of the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN). Among supporters of a plan, developed by the ICANN community, to transition ICANN's domain name coordination functions to a multistakeholder governance model are Amazon.com, Google, Cisco Systems, Microsoft, Facebook, Hewlett Packard Enterprise, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and the Computer and Communications Industry Association. NTIA on Thursday announced it had reviewed the community proposal and found it meets the agency's criteria for allowing the ICANN privatization plan to move forward. The community plan maintains the openness of the Internet and maintains the security and stability of the DNS, said NTIA Administrator Lawrence Strickling. It does not replace NTIA's oversight with another government organization, he said, although that's been a fear of some critics of the NTIA plan. On Wednesday, Ted Cruz proposed a bill, the Protecting Internet Freedom Act, that would prohibit the U.S. government from relinquishing its role with respect to overseeing the web's domain name system (DNS), unless explicitly authorized by Congress.

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