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Over 1,800 MongoDB Databases Held For Ransom By Mysterious Attacker

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 10:50pm
An anonymous reader writes: "An attacker going by the name of Harak1r1 is hijacking unprotected MongoDB databases, stealing and replacing their content, and asking for a 0.2 Bitcoin ($200) ransom to return the data," reports Bleeping Computer. According to John Matherly, Shodan founder, over 1,800 MongoDB databases have had their content replaced with a table called WARNING that contains the ransom note. Spotted by security researcher Victor Gevers, these databases are MongoDB instances that feature no administrator password and are exposed to external connections from the internet. Database owners in China have been hit, while Bleeping Computer and MacKeeper have confirmed other infections, one which hit a prominent U.S. healthcare organization and blocked access to over 200,000 user records. These attacks are somewhat similar to attacks on Redis servers in 2016, when an unknown attacker had hijacked and installed the Fairware ransomware on hundreds of Linux servers running Redis DB. The two series of attacks don't appear to be related.

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Samsung Claims Its New QLED TVs Are Better Than OLED TVs

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 10:10pm
Samsung recently unveiled its latest flagship televisions at CES 2017, the QLED series. The company is challenging the notion that OLED TVs represent the pinnacle of picture quality in the living room. According to Samsung, the QLED TV represents its best achievement in image quality and viewing experience yet. The Verge reports: Of course Samsung would say that at an event meant to showcase said product. But the company insists it's made very real improvements compared to the flagship TVs it unveiled only a year ago. One of those upgrades pertains to brightness. The QLED TVs reach a peak brightness between 1,500 and 2,000 nits -- up from the 1,000 peak from 2016's lineup. Color reproduction has also been improved. The QLED sets handle DCI-P3 "accurately" and are capable of reproducing "100 percent color volume" -- something Samsung claims to be a world first. "This means they can express all colors at any level of brightness -- with even the subtlest differences visible at the QLED's peak luminance -- between 1,500 and 2,000 nits." Samsung says all of this is possible because it's using a new metal material along with the quantum dot nanocrystals. On the software end, Samsung's 2017 TVs are still powered by Tizen and feature basically the same user interface as last year. But there are some new additions like a sports mode that aggregates scores and other content from your favorite teams and an expanded Music section that lets you Shazam music as it's playing in a TV show and immediately launch that track in Spotify another streaming services. Samsung is also looking to clean up how its TVs look in your living room. New this year is a clear-colored "Invisible Connection cable" that runs from the TV to an external breakout box where you'll find all the HDMI ports and other critical connections (besides power, which is a separate input).

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GNOME's SVG Rendering Library Migrating To Rust

Phoronix - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 9:33pm
The librsvg library for SVG rendering is up to version 2.41.0 and with this milestone it's their first release to port some code to Rust while maintaining the same public API...

Google's AlphaGo AI Secretively Won More Than 50 Straight Games Against World's Top Go Players

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 9:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Quartz: When Google's artificial intelligence program AlphaGo made history by taking down Korea's Lee Sedol -- one of the world's best Go players -- in a landslide 4-1 victory in March, Chinese player Ke Jie was skeptical. He famously wrote on Weibo the next day, "Even if AlphaGo can defeat Lee Sedol, it can't beat me," and has since agreed to take on the AI at an undecided time. But now even Ke, the reigning top-ranked Go player, has acknowledged that human beings are no match for robots in the complex board game, after he lost three games to an AI that mysteriously popped up online in recent days. The AI turned out to be AlphaGo in disguise. On Jan. 4, after winning more than 50 games against several of the world's best Go players, Ke included, a user registered with an ID of "Master" on two Chinese board game platforms came forward to identify itself as AlphaGo. "I'm AlphaGo's Doctor Huang," the user "Master" wrote on, according to screenshots from Chinese media reports. Taiwanese developer Aja Huang is a member of Google's DeepMind team behind the AI. Since Dec. 29, Master has defeated a long list of top Go players including Korea's Park Jung-hwan (world No. 3), Japan's Iyama Yuta (No. 5) and Ke in fast-paced games. He won 51 games straight before his 52nd rival, Chen Yaoye, went offline, forcing the game to be recorded as a tie. By Jan. 4 when the test was completed, Master had racked up 60 wins, plus the one tie, and zero loss, according to numerous reports (link in Chinese).

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How the NYE leap second clocked Cloudflare – and how a single character fixed it

El Reg - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 9:13pm
DNS bug was a matter of time

When the leap second was added just before the arrival of 2017, Cloudflare stumbled. The content delivery network's DNS service suffered a limited service interruption during the first few hours of the new year.…

Apple is Investing $1 Billion In SoftBank

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 9:00pm
Apple said Wednesday it plans to invest $1 billion in SoftBank's new technology fund to help finance technologies it could use in the future. From a report: SoftBank has said it is investing at least $25 billion in the fund and has been in talks with Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund for an investment that could go up to $45 billion. "We believe their new fund will speed the development of technologies which may be strategically important to Apple," company spokesman Josh Rosenstock told Reuters. SoftBank has also said that it plans to make future large-scale investments via the tech fund, rather than on its own.

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Amazon's Robot Workforce Grows By 50 Percent In Just One Year

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 8:40pm
Amazon hires a lot of people. But the expansion of its army of orange-wheeled robots is more than keeping pace. An anonymous reader writes: E-commerce and cloud giant Amazon has revealed that it now has 45,000 robots across 20 fulfilment centres around the world. This is a 50 percent increase on the same time last year, when the company said that it employed 30,000 robots alongside its 306,000 people. Amazon uses the robots to automate the picking and packing process at large warehouses. The robots are 16in tall and weigh 145kg. They can travel at 5mph and can carry packages that weigh 317kg. The robots became part of the company's workforce when Amazon acquired Kiva Systems in 2012 for $775m.

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Zuckerberg Could Run Facebook While Serving in Government Forever

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 8:00pm
Reader randomErr writes: Closer look at SEC documents reveal that Zuckerberg only needs to own enough Facebook stock or have the board's approval to be allowed to serve in the government. This comes hours after, Facebook co-founder said his 2017 personal challenge is to meet and listen to people in all 50 states, hinting that he may have intentions of getting into politics. Without the limit, Zuckerberg has the opportunity to be appointed or elected to a more significant office and have as much time as he wants to make an impact, rather than just dipping in potentially as a cabinet member whose terms typically last less than two years. Of course, getting elected would require the faith of the people which has been shaken by the fake news scandal. Some would surely view a role in government as a selfish push for power despite Zuckerberg's massive philanthropy initiatives. Certain government offices might have historically required him to give up control of Facebook, but Donald Trump is currently redefining how much ownership of business one can have as President

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San Francisco first US city to outlaw ISP lock-ins by landlords

El Reg - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 7:48pm
Renters freed from restrictions on network providers

San Francisco has become the first major US city to bar building owners from restricting their tenants to specific ISPs.…

Netflix Hasn't Forgotten About Its 4.3 Million DVD Subscribers

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 7:20pm
Netflix hasn't forgotten about its DVD service, which millions of people still use. From a report on Quartz: The company is touting a new app that DVD customers can use to manage their Netflix queues, search for DVD and Blu-ray titles, and get movie recommendations. Those features for DVD subscribers vanished from the main Netflix app back in 2011, leaving subscribers to manage their accounts on The new app, called DVD Netflix, is currently only available on Apple's iOS in the US, which is the only country the DVD service is offered in. About 4.2 million people in the US still rent DVDs from Netflix.

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Dotdot. Who's there? Yet another IoT app layer

El Reg - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 7:16pm
ZCL, motherf****r, do you speak it?

Internet of Things bods at the Zigbee Alliance have unveiled what they are calling a “universal language” for IoT, dotdot.…

HDMI 2.1 Announced: Looking Ahead To Dynamic HDR, 8K@60Hz, Variable Refresh Rate

Phoronix - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 7:00pm
The HDMI Forum announced from CES today the upcoming release of the HDMI 2.1 specification...

New HDMI 2.1 Spec Includes Support For Dynamic HDR, 8K Resolution

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 6:41pm
The HDMI Licensing Group has unveiled the HDMI 2.1 spec, adding support for dynamic HDR, 8K60, and 4K120. From a report on TechHive: To take full advantage of the new HDMI spec, you'll need a new 48-gigabit-per-second cable. That cable will also work with older HDMI 1.3 (10.2Gbps) and HDMI 2.0a (16Gbps) ports, but those ports don't support the new HDMI 2.1 features. [...] HDMI 2.1 adds support for the new object-oriented audio codecs -- such as Dolby Atmos and DTS X -- which can position audio events from movie soundtracks in 3D space.

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New California Law Finally Makes Ransomware Illegal

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 6:02pm
Reader Trailrunner7 writes: It was nice to see the calendar turn over to 2017, for a lot of reasons, not the least of which is that on Jan. 1 a new law went into effect in California that outlaws the use of ransomware. The idea of needing a new law to make a form of hacking illegal may seem counterintuitive, but ransomware is a case of criminals outflanking the existing laws. Ransomware emerged in a big way a few years ago and the law enforcement community was not prepared for the explosion of infections. While there have been takedowns of ransomware gangs, they often involve charges of money laundering or other crimes, not the installation of the ransomware itself. In September, California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law a bill that made the use of ransomware a crime, essentially a form of extortion. The law went into effect on Jan. 1.

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Google Develops Experimental Python Runtime In Golang

Phoronix - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 5:39pm
Google's open-source team today announced Grumpy, a Python runtime written in the Go programming language...

Android Was 2016's Most Vulnerable Product, Oracle the

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 5:23pm
An anonymous reader writes: According to CVE Details, a website that aggregates historical data on security bugs that have received a CVE identifier, during 2016, security researchers have discovered and reported 523 security bugs in Google's Android OS, winner by far of this "award." The rest of the top 10 is made up by Debian (319 bugs), Ubuntu (278 bugs), Adobe Flash Player (266 bugs), openSUSE Leap (259 bugs), openSUSE (228 bugs), Adobe Acrobat DC (227 bugs), Adobe Acrobat Reader DC (227 bugs), Adobe Acrobat (224 bugs), and the Linux Kernel (216 bugs). When it comes to software vendors, the company for which the largest number of new CVE numbers have been assigned was Oracle, with a whopping 798 CVEs, who edged out Google (698 bugs), Adobe (548 bugs), Microsoft (492 bugs), Novell (394), IBM (382 bugs), Cisco (353 bugs), Apple (324 bugs), Debian Project (320 bugs), and Canonical (280 bugs).

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A New Proposal For Supporting DRM Linux Drivers In User-Space

Phoronix - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 5:15pm
The discussion has come up before about supporting Direct Rendering Manager (DRM) drivers in user-space rather than having to be tied within the Linux kernel while that outlook was reignited today with a new patch series wiring in said support...

DomainMonster email service restored at last after Yuletide borkage

El Reg - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 5:03pm
Cue customers blasting weary Christmas staff over Twitter

Updated  DomainMonster finally resolved problems with its hosted email service on Tuesday, more than two weeks after they first began on 21 December.…

Amazon Doubles Deliveries in 2016 For Third-Party Sellers

Slashdot - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 4:43pm shipped 50 percent more items this holiday season than last for third-party vendors and doubled the amount for 2016 overall, the retail giant said on Wednesday. From a report on Reuters: Amazon, the world's largest online retailer, has said the 2016 holiday was its best-ever shopping season. However, high spending on warehouses and video production are expected to drag on profits. More sellers are paying the company to store, pack and ship their goods through the Fulfillment by Amazon service. Amazon more than doubled the items it delivered for other sellers in 2016 from the year prior to exceed two billion, a spokesman said.

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Assange confirmed alive, tells Fox: Prez Obama 'acting like a lawyer'

El Reg - Wed, 04/01/2017 - 4:10pm
Failed US Veep candidate Palin's wailin: I was wrong about you, pale one!

Julian Assange has been interviewed for the first time in months, putting to bed rumours he'd been kidnapped, while also disputing claims that Russia contributed to WikiLeaks' offerings during the US Presidential election.…

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