Archive for July, 2018 | Monthly archive page

The cashless society is a con – and big finance is behind it

All over the western world banks are shutting down cash machines and branches. They are trying to push you into using their digital payments and digital banking infrastructure. Just like Google wants everyone to access and navigate the broader internet via its privately controlled search portal, so financial institutions want everyone to access and navigate […]

Anti DRM software programmer Arrested For Cracking Denuvo Anti-Piracy Tech

Denuvo’s notorious anti-piracy tech used to be seen as uncrackable. It held up against hackers’ best efforts for years, contorting itself into obtuse new shapes every time anybody broke through. In 2016, a Bulgarian hacker calling himself Voksi came along with a breakthrough that revitalized the whole Denuvo cracking scene. He’s been a pillar of […]

Work less, get more: New Zealand firm’s four-day week an ‘unmitigated success’

The New Zealand company behind a landmark trial of a four-day working week has concluded it an unmitigated success, with 78% of employees feeling they were able to successfully manage their work-life balance, an increase of 24 percentage points. Two-hundred-and-forty staff at Perpetual Guardian, a company which manages trusts, wills and estate planning, trialled a […]

Windows 10 now uses machine learning to stop updates installing when a PC is in use

One of the more frustrating aspects of Windows 10 is the operating system’s ability to start installing updates when you’re in the middle of using it. While Microsoft has tried to address this aggressive approach to updates with features to snooze installation, Windows 10 users continue to complain that updates reboot devices when they’re in […]

Kremlin hackers ‘jumped air-gapped networks’ to pwn US power utilities

The US Department of Homeland Security is once again accusing Russian government hackers of penetrating America’s critical infrastructure. Uncle Sam’s finest reckon Moscow’s agents managed to infiltrate computers networks within US electric utilities – to the point where the miscreants could have virtually pressed the off switch in control rooms, yanked the plug on the […]

UK snooping ‘unlawful for more than decade’ – but seemingly (and amazingly) responsible

The system that allowed spy agency GCHQ access to vast amounts of personal data from telecoms companies was unlawful for more than a decade, a surveillance watchdog has ruled. The Investigatory Powers Tribunal said that successive foreign secretaries had delegated powers without oversight. But it added there was no evidence GCHQ had misused the system. […]

Hackers Breached Virginia Bank Twice in Eight Months, Stole $2.4M

Hackers used phishing emails to break into a Virginia bank in two separate cyber intrusions over an eight-month period, making off with more than $2.4 million total. Now the financial institution is suing its insurance provider for refusing to fully cover the losses. According to a lawsuit filed last month in the Western District of […]

Bluetooth security: Flaw could allow nearby attacker to grab your private data

A cryptographic bug in many Bluetooth firmware and operating system drivers could allow an attacker within about 30 meters to capture and decrypt data shared between Bluetooth-paired devices. The flaw was found by Lior Neumann and Eli Biham of the Israel Institute of Technology, and flagged today by Carnegie Mellon University CERT. The flaw, which […]

On Highway Noise Barriers, the Science Is Mixed. Are There Alternatives?

Engineers and acousticians have known for years that the sound barriers bracketing America’s urban and suburban highways are only marginally useful, and that a variety of better technologies could be developed. The problem: Nobody has an incentive to get them on the road. “Walls are not a very effective solution,” said Robert Bernhard, vice president […]

Fur, Feathers, Hair, and Scales May Have the Same Ancient Origin

New research shows that the processes involved in hair, fur, and feather growth are remarkably similar to the way scales grow on fish—a finding that points to a single, ancient origin of these protective coverings. When our very early ancestors transitioned from sea to land some 385 million years ago, they brought their armor-like scales […]

AI can untangle the jumble of neurons packed in brain scans

AI can help neurologists automatically map the connections between different neurons in brain scans, a tedious task that can take hundreds and thousands of hours. In a paper published in Nature Methods, AI researchers from Google collaborated with scientists from the Max Planck Institute of Neurobiology to inspect the brain of a Zebra Finch, a […]

The SIM Hijackers: how hackers take your phone number and then all of your accounts

In the buzzing underground market for stolen social media and gaming handles, a short, unique username can go for between $500 and $5,000, according to people involved in the trade and a review of listings on a popular marketplace. Several hackers involved in the market claimed that the Instagram account @t, for example, recently sold […]

Top Voting Machine Vendor Admits It Installed Remote-Access Software on Systems Sold to States

Remote-access software and modems on election equipment ‘is the worst decision for security short of leaving ballot boxes on a Moscow street corner.’ The nation’s top voting machine maker has admitted in a letter to a federal lawmaker that the company installed remote-access software on election-management systems it sold over a period of six years, […]

Blue Origin pushed its rocket ‘to its limits’ with another succesful high-altitude emergency abort test

Update July 18th, 11:35AM ET: Blue Origin pulled off another successful test launch today, landing both the New Shepard rocket and capsule after flight. The company ignited the capsule’s emergency motor after it had separated from the rocket, pushing the spacecraft up to a top altitude of around 74 miles — a new record for […]

Robocall Firm Exposes Hundreds of Thousands of US Voters’ Records

Personal details and political affiliations exposed The server that drew Diachenko’s attention, this time, contained 2,584 files, which the researcher later connected to RoboCent. The type of user data exposed via Robocent’s bucket included: ⬖  Full Name, suffix, prefix ⬖  Phone numbers (cell and landlines) ⬖  Address with house, street, city, state, zip, precinct ⬖  […]

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AI plus a chemistry robot finds all the reactions that will work

Lee Cronin, the researcher who organized the work, was kind enough to send along an image of the setup, which looks nothing like our typical conception of a robot (the researchers refer to it as “bespoke”). Most of its parts are dispersed through a fume hood, which ensures safe ventilation of any products that somehow […]

Dutch F-16 flies using fryer fat

The aircraft flew for two weeks on kerosine with 5% biofuel. Unfortunately there is not enough fuel available to allow for more than one aircraft to fly for two weeks. A chicken and egg dilemma. Een F-16 van Vliegbasis Leeuwarden stootte de afgelopen 2 weken minder CO2 uit tijdens het vliegen. Het toestel koos het […]

China’s latest quantum radar could help detect stealth planes, missiles

On June 22, China Electronics Technology Group Corporation (CETC), China’s foremost military electronics company, announced that its groundbreaking quantum radar has achieved new gains, which could allow it to detect stealth planes. The CETC claims its system is now capable of tracking high altitude objects, likely by increasing the coherence time entangled photons. CETC envisions […]

Python creator Guido van Rossum sys.exit()s as language overlord

Guido van Rossum – who created the Python programming language in 1989, was jokingly styled as its “benevolent dictator for life”, and ushered it to global ubiquity – has stepped down, and won’t appoint a successor. In a mailing list post on Thursday titled, “Transfer of Power,” he wrote: “Now that PEP 572 is done, […]

Newly Discovered ‘Asteroid’ Is actually two orbiting around each other

Near-Earth object 2017 YE5 was first spotted by astronomers at the Oukaïmeden Observatory in Morocco in December of last year, but virtually nothing about it, beyond its presence, was known. In June, the object made the closest approach it will make to Earth for the next 170 years, allowing scientists to take a closer look. […]

Two Cancer Drugs Found to Boost Aging Immune Systems 

A new clinical trial published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine has found evidence that low doses of two existing drugs can boost the immune system of an elderly person, helping it fight common deadly infections, including the flu, with seemingly little to no side effects. The trial, run by scientists at the pharmaceutical company Novartis, […]

Roku releases speakers that turn volume down for loud ads and up for soft programmes. Unfortunately, only for Roku TVs.

While the tech specs of the speakers haven’t been released yet, we know how they’ll connect to and work with Roku TVs. The speaker set pairs wirelessly with Roku TVs via Roku Connect, and, thanks to built-in software that works with Roku OS, the speakers will sync up with whatever you’re watching on the smart […]

‘007’ code helps stop Spectre exploits before they exist

At arXiv, Singaporean and US researchers have published work, appropriately dubbed “007”, which checks code to see if it’s trying to exploit Spectre; and at Virus Bulletin, Fortinet’s Axelle Apvrille takes a look at the bug from an Android point of view. Apvrille’s work backs up what we’ve heard from other researchers: so far, Spectre […]

Carlsberg: AI beer taster can now tell the difference between lager and pilsner

Denmark-based brewing giant Carlsberg has reported good progress in its attempts to turn Microsoft’s Azure AI into a robot beer sniffer. The project, which kicked off earlier this year, was aimed at cutting the time a beer spends in research and development by one-third, thus getting fresh brews into the hands of drinkers faster … […]

 
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