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Apple Watch craze over before it started: Wrist-puter drags market screaming off a cliff

El Reg - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 7:23pm
Sir Jony ive's Waterloo

Smartwatch shipments are in freefall thanks to slowing sales of the Apple Watch.…

Google Gets Rid Of App Launcher In Chrome 52, Browser's Mac Client Gets Material Design

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 7:20pm
Google has finally removed App Launcher that it bundles with the Chrome browser for Windows and Mac with the release of Chrome v52. The Mac client, in addition, now embraces Google's Material Design approach, and comes with new icons and flatter and transparent interface. 9to5Mac documents more changes on Chrome for Mac and Windows: Besides a new flatter, sharper, and transparent design, Material is also a "huge engineering feat," especially for Chrome OS and Windows. Chrome is "now rendered fully programmatically including iconography, effectively removing the ~1200 png assets we were maintaining before," Google noted. "It also allows us to deliver a better rendering for a wide range of PPI configuration."

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Facebook Took Its Giant Internet Drone On Its First Test Flight

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 6:42pm
An anonymous reader writes: A year ago, Facebook unveiled Aquila, its effort to put giant drones in the skies to beam Internet connectivity to areas in the developing world without mobile broadband Internet. Today, the company announced it has completed the first full-scale test of its Aquila drone, after months of testing one-fifth-size models. On June 28, the experimental aircraft (featuring a V-shaped wingspan the width of a Boeing 737) took off from the Yuma Proving Grounds in Yuma, Arizona, and flew for 96 minutes at low altitude, as CEO Mark Zuckerberg and many others watched in the dawn sunlight.. Possibly years of work remain before Facebook's connectivity effort fully takes off, according to a head engineer, including figuring out how to keep the drones aloft for hours at a time, and how to effectively send Internet with lasers.Quartz points out that Facebook may not have been given the permission to test the drones. From the article:Earlier this year, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) finalized its regulations for flying commercial drones in the US. These regulations, which require commercial drones to be kept within the line of sight of the person flying the drone, and that the drones be kept below 400 feet, do not go into effect until August. Prior to these regulations, any company wishing to fly or test drones outdoors in the US required an exemption from the FAA, called a Section 333. Quartz checked with the FAA last year to ask whether Facebook had one of these exemptions, and was told it did not. (We've asked the FAA again, and Facebook, to see if the company has since received permission to fly drones in the US.) The FAA has started to fine some companies that operate drones commercially without an exemption, including a nearly $2 million fine for a company that was flying drones over people in New York and Chicago without permission.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fear not, humanity – Saint Elon has finished part two of his world-saving 'master plan'

El Reg - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 6:22pm
Sustainability and sharing isn't just some 'silly, hippy thing,' says Musk

Solar-panel roofs on cars, compact SUVs, and high-passenger-density urban transport are all part of Elon Musk's self-titled "master plan, part deux" for the world.…

Apple Patches Stagefright-Like Bug In IOS

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 6:00pm
Reader Trailrunner7 writes: Apple has fixed a series of high-risk vulnerabilities in iOS, including three that could lead to remote code execution, with the release of iOS 9.3.3. One of those code-execution vulnerabilities lies in the way that iOS handles TIFF files in various applications (Alternate source: Fortune ). Researchers at Cisco's TALOS team, who discovered the flaw, said that the vulnerability has a lot of potential for exploitation. "This vulnerability is especially concerning as it can be triggered in any application that makes use of the Apple Image I/O API when rendering tiled TIFF images. This means that an attacker could deliver a payload that successfully exploits this vulnerability using a wide range of potential attack vectors including iMessages, malicious web pages, MMS messages, or other malicious file attachments opened by any application that makes use of the Apple Image I/O API for rendering these types of files," Cisco TALOS said in a blog post.

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Feral Releases "Life Is Strange" For Linux

Phoronix - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 5:46pm
The latest Linux game port by Feral Interactive is the Life Is Strange title with all five episodes...

Bosses at UK infosec biz Quadsys confess to hacking rival reseller

El Reg - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 5:44pm
Sentencing set for September

Five men working at UK-based IT security reseller Quadsys confessed today to hacking into a rival's database.…

activate my windows

Windows Genuine Disadvantage [XP] - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 5:41pm
trying to activate my windows and I get a error #oxd0000452 what does this mean

Verizon To Disconnect Unlimited Data Customers Who Use Over 100GB/Month

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 5:20pm
Verizon Wireless customers who have an unlimited data plan and use significantly more than 100GB a month will soon be disconnected from the network unless they agree to move to limited data packages that require payment of overage fees. Ars Technica reports: Verizon stopped offering unlimited data to new smartphone customers a few years ago, but some customers have been able to hang on to the old plans instead of switching to ones with monthly data limits. Verizon has tried to convert the holdouts by raising the price $20 a month and occasionally throttling heavy users but stopped that practice after net neutrality rules took effect. Now Verizon is implementing a formal policy for disconnecting the heaviest users.In a statement, Verizon said: "Because our network is a shared resource and we need to ensure all customers have a great mobile experience with Verizon, we are notifying a very small group of customers on unlimited plans who use an extraordinary amount of data that they must move to one of the new Verizon Plans by August 31, 2016." a Verizon spokesperson told Ars. "These users are using data amounts well in excess of our largest plan size (100GB). While the Verizon Plan at 100GB is designed to be shared across multiple users, each line receiving notification to move to the new Verizon Plan is using well in excess of that on a single device." FYI: The 100GB plan costs $450 a month.

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EFF Is Suing the US Government To Invalidate the DMCA's DRM Provisions

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 4:40pm
Cory Doctorow, writes for BoingBoing: The Electronic Frontier Foundation has just filed a lawsuit that challenges the Constitutionality of Section 1201 of the DMCA, the "Digital Rights Management" provision of the law, a notoriously overbroad law that bans activities that bypass or weaken copyright access-control systems, including reconfiguring software-enabled devices (making sure your IoT light-socket will accept third-party lightbulbs; tapping into diagnostic info in your car or tractor to allow an independent party to repair it) and reporting security vulnerabilities in these devices. EFF is representing two clients in its lawsuit: Andrew "bunnie" Huang, a legendary hardware hacker whose NeTV product lets users put overlays on DRM-restricted digital video signals; and Matthew Green, a heavyweight security researcher at Johns Hopkins who has an NSF grant to investigate medical record systems and whose research plans encompass the security of industrial firewalls and finance-industry "black boxes" used to manage the cryptographic security of billions of financial transactions every day. Both clients reflect the deep constitutional flaws in the DMCA, and both have standing to sue the US government to challenge DMCA 1201 because of its serious criminal provisions (5 years in prison and a $500K fine for a first offense).Doctorow has explained aspects of this for The Guardian today. You should also check Huang's blog post on this.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft Responds To Allegations That Windows 10 Collects 'Excessive Personal Data'

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 4:03pm
BetaNews's Mark Wilson writes: Yesterday France's National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) slapped a formal order on Microsoft to comply with data protection laws after it found Windows 10 was collecting "excessive data" about users. The company has been given three months to meet the demands or it will face fines. Microsoft has now responded, saying it is happy to work with the CNIL to work towards an acceptable solution. Interestingly, while not denying the allegations set against it, the company does nothing to defend the amount of data collected by Windows 10, and also fails to address the privacy concerns it raises. Microsoft does address concerns about the transfer of data between Europe and the US, saying that while the Safe Harbor agreement is no longer valid, the company still complied with it up until the adoption of Privacy Shield. It's interesting to see that Microsoft, in response to a series of complaints very clearly leveled at Windows 10, manages to mention the operating system only once. There is the promise of a statement about privacy next week, but for now we have Microsoft's response to the CNIL's order.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ubuntu 16.04.1 LTS Released

Phoronix - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 3:53pm
The first point release to the Ubuntu 16.04 Long Term Support (LTS) release is now available...

Nope, we can't find dark matter either, says LUX team

El Reg - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 3:37pm
The WIMPs theory is still strong though

An international team of researchers working on the Large Underground Xenon dark matter experiment announced today that they have failed to detect any dark matter particles.…

Smartwatch Shipments Fall For the First Time; Apple Only Company In Top 5 To Decline

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 3:20pm
Emil Protalinski, reporting for VentureBeat: The smartwatch market has hit its first bump, and it's all Apple's fault. Vendors shipped a total of 3.5 million smartphones worldwide last quarter. This Q2 2016 figure is down 32 percent from the 5.1 million units shipped in Q2 2016, marking the first decline on record. It's important to note that smartwatches are just a subcategory of the larger wearable market. As such, these figures don't count basic bands sold by companies like Fitbit. Apple is thus the undisputed leader, even after the losses it saw in Q2 2016, and it could easily see a return to growth with the release of Watch OS 2.0. Apple's market share decreased 25 percentage points (from 72 percent to 47 percent) and it shipped less than half the smartwatches (1.6 million). But the company still holds almost half the market, with every other vendor shipping fewer than a million units.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Edward Snowden's New Research Aims To Keep Smartphones From Betraying Their Owners

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 2:40pm
Smartphones become indispensable tools for journalists, human right workers, and activists in war-torn regions. But at the same time, as Intercept points out, they become especially potent tracking devices that can put users in mortal danger by leaking their location. To address the problem, NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden and hardware hacker Andrew "Bunnie" Huang have been developing a way for potentially imperiled smartphone users to monitor whether their devices are making any potentially compromising radio transmissions. "We have to ensure that journalists can investigate and find the truth, even in areas where governments prefer they don't," Snowden told Intercept. "It's basically to make the phone work for you, how you want it, when you want it, but only when." Snowden and Huang presented their findings in a talk at MIT Media Lab's Forbidden Research event Thursday, and published a detailed paper. From the Intercept article: Snowden and Huang have been researching if it's possible to use a smartphone in such an offline manner without leaking its location, starting with the assumption that "a phone can and will be compromised." [...] The research is necessary in part because most common way to try and silence a phone's radio -- turning on airplane mode -- can't be relied on to squelch your phone's radio traffic. Fortunately, a smartphone can be made to lie about the state of its radios. The article adds: According to their post, the goal is to "provide field-ready tools that enable a reporter to observe and investigate the status of the phone's radios directly and independently of the phone's native hardware." In other words, they want to build an entirely separate tiny computer that users can attach to a smartphone to alert them if it's being dishonest about its radio emissions. Snowden and Haung are calling this device an "introspection engine" because it will inspect the inner-workings of the phone. The device will be contained inside a battery case, looking similar to a smartphone with an extra bulky battery, except with its own screen to update the user on the status of the radios. Plans are for the device to also be able to sound an audible alarm and possibly to also come equipped with a "kill switch" that can shut off power to the phone if any radio signals are detected.Wired has a detailed report on this, too.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

UK councils refuse to push data into the cloud

El Reg - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 2:39pm
More than two data centres each? Perfectly reasonable

The majority of the UK's local councils run two or more data centres each, suggesting cloudy adoption is still a long way off for local gov, according to Freedom of Information research.…

Seagate in 10TB drive brand brainstorm

El Reg - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 2:32pm
Helium premium

Seagate has added three new 10TB helium drives, simultaneously re-branding its desktop/laptop disk and SSHDs, NAS and surveillance drive products in a complicated scheme involving disparate drive technologies.…

Bareflank Is A New Linux Hypervisor Written In C++11/14

Phoronix - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 2:02pm
A Phoronix reader pointed out to us of a new Linux hypervisor released at the end of June by Assured Information Security Inc. This new hypervisor is named Bareflank and it's open-source...

Amazon Loses Huge Footwear Company Because Of Fake Products, a Problem It Denies Is Happening

Slashdot - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 2:00pm
Several sellers on Amazon had noted earlier this month that the platform is riddled with counterfeit products and that things have gotten worse after Chinese manufacturers were allowed to sell goods to the consumers in the United States. Amid the report, the German footwear company Birkenstock has announced it will no longer sell its sandals on Amazon. The company added that it will also ban any sales of its products by third-party sellers on Amazon, effectively making its products unavailable on the world's largest online store, according to a report on CNBC. From the report: "The Amazon marketplace, which operates as an 'open market,' creates an environment where we experience unacceptable business practices which we believe jeopardize our brand," Birkenstock USA CEO David Kahan wrote from the company's U.S. headquarters in Novato, California. "Policing this activity internally and in partnership with Amazon.com has proven impossible."

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DragonFlyBSD Updates Its Intel Graphics Driver From Linux 4.4

Phoronix - Thu, 21/07/2016 - 1:50pm
The DragonFlyBSD project, namely François Tigeot, is continuing to do a good job at keeping their i915 DRM kernel graphics driver close behind the upstream Intel Linux DRM graphics driver. With the latest patches that have landed in the DragonFlyBSD kernel, their i915 driver is up to the Linux 4.4 state...
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