Archive for September, 2018 | Monthly archive page

Quantum chicken-or-egg experiment blurs the distinction between before and after

In the everyday world, events occur in a definite order—your alarm clock rings before you wake up, or vice versa. However, a new experiment shows that when fiddling with a photon, it can be impossible to say in which order two events occur, obliterating our common sense notion of before and after and, potentially, muddying […]

FAQs on Plastics – Our World in Data

A huge amount of information on plastic, with great visualisations This post draws on data and research discussed in our entry on Plastic Pollution. Source: FAQs on Plastics – Our World in Data

Earth at Night visualised with light intensity as terrain height

Explore the Earth at night as seen by Suomi NPP VIIRS using the Esri ArcGIS API for JavaScript. Lights are rendered as 3D terrain. Source: Earth at Night

AI’s ‘deep-fake’ vids surge ahead in realism

Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University and Facebook Reality Lab are presenting Recycle-GAN, a generative adversarial system for “unsupervised video retargeting” this week at the European Conference on Computer Vision (ECCV) in Germany. Unlike most methods, Recycle-GAN doesn’t rely on learning an explicit mapping between the images in a source and target video to perform a […]

Solid-state battery startup secures backing from several automakers as it claims 2- 3x higher energy capacity, better safety through solid-state

Solid Power is a Colorado-based startup that spun out of a battery research program at the University of Colorado Boulder. The company claims to have achieved a breakthrough by incorporating a high-capacity lithium metal anode in lithium batteries – creating a solid-state cell with an energy capacity “2-3X higher” than conventional lithium-ion. They have already attracted […]

Article 11, Article 13: EU’s Dangerous Copyright Bill Advances: massive censorship and upload filters (which are impossible) and huge taxes for links.

Members of the European Parliament voted Wednesday to approve a sweeping overhaul of the EU’s copyright laws that includes two controversial articles that threaten to hand more power to the richest tech companies and generally break the internet. Overall, MEPs voted in favor of the EU Copyright Directive with a strong majority of 438 to […]

You know all those movies you bought from Apple? Um, well, think different: You didn’t. Didn’t you learn that from Amazon in 2009?

Remember when you decided to buy, rather than rent, that movie online? We have some bad news for you – you didn’t. Biologist Anders Gonçalves da Silva was surprised this week to find three movies he had purchased through iTunes simply disappeared one day from his library. So he contacted Apple to find out what […]

Wow, great invention: Now AI eggheads teach machines how to be sarcastic using Reddit

It’s tricky. Computers have to follow what is being said by whom, the context of the conversation and often some real world facts to understand cultural references. Feeding machines single sentences is often ineffective; it’s a difficult task for humans to detect if individual remarks are cheeky too. The researchers, therefore, built a system designed […]

Top European Court Rules UK Mass Surveillance Regime Violates Human Rights

The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruled this week that the United Kingdom government’s surveillance regime violated human rights laws. The matter first came to light in 2013 when NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden revealed British surveillance practices—namely that the government intercepts social media, messages, and phone calls regardless of criminal record or suspicions of […]

Facebook creates an AI-based tool to automate bug fixes

SapFix, which is still under development, is designed to generate fixes automatically for specific bugs before sending them to human engineers for approval. Facebook, which announced the tool today ahead of its @Scale conference in San Jose, California, for developers building large-scale systems and applications, calls SapFix an “AI hybrid tool.” It uses artificial intelligence […]

Cold Boot Attacks are back – plug a sleeping laptop into some kit and read all the memory, slurp all the passwords

Olle and his fellow cyber security consultant Pasi Saarinen recently discovered a new way to physically hack into PCs. According to their research, this method will work against nearly all modern computers. This includes laptops from some of the world’s biggest vendors like Dell, Lenovo, and even Apple. And because these computers are everywhere, Olle […]

Plants communicate distress using their own kind of nervous system

Plants may lack brains, but they have a nervous system, of sorts. And now, plant biologists have discovered that when a leaf gets eaten, it warns other leaves by using some of the same signals as animals. The new work is starting to unravel a long-standing mystery about how different parts of a plant communicate […]

Mikrotik routers pwned en masse, send network data to mysterious box

More than 7,500 Mikrotik routers have been compromised with malware that logs and transmits network traffic data to an unknown control server. This is according to researchers from 360 Netlab, who found the routers had all been taken over via an exploit for CVE-2018-14847, a vulnerability first disclosed in the Vault7 data dump of supposed […]

Outlook, Skype ‘throttle’ users amid storm cloud drama, can’t login. Yay cloud!

Folks around the planet are today unable to use Microsoft Skype and Office 365’s Outlook due to a baffling “Throttled” error message. The weird text box pops up in the chat software and cloud-backed email client, preventing people from sending messages, and talking to contacts. This is, according to Microsoft, due to a botched update […]

Mobile spyware maker mSpy leaks 2 million records

mSpy, a commercial spyware solution designed to help you spy on kids and partners, has leaked over 2 million records including software purchases and iCloud usernames and authentication tokens of devices running mSky. The data appears to have come from an unsecured database that allowed security researchers to pull out millions of records. “Before it […]

Google Dataset Search

https://toolbox.google.com/datasetsearch  

How Location Tracking Actually Works on Your Smartphone (and how to manipulate it – kind of)

As the recent revelation over Google’s background tracking of your location shows, it’s not as easy as it should be to work out when apps, giant tech companies and pocket devices are tracking your location and when they’re not. Here’s what you need to know about how location tracking works on a phone—and how to […]

BlackBerry KEY2 LE: proper keyboard but midrange specs

Out of thousands of smartphone vendors, TCL’s BlackBerry Mobile unit represents one of a tiny handful targeting enterprise users. But its two QWERTY models to date have been priced at a premium, north of £500. Unveiled at IFA this week, budget model the KEY2 LE cuts costs in a bid to attract the corporate bulk […]

EU to recommend end to changing clocks twice a year

The European commission will recommend that EU member states abandon the practice of changing the clocks in spring and autumn, with many people in favour of staying on summer time throughout the year. Jean-Claude Juncker, the commission’s president, said a recent consultation had shown that more than 80% of EU citizens were in favour of […]

Google Reportedly Bought Your Mastercard Data in Secret, and That’s Not Even the Bad News

Bloomberg reports that, after four years of negotiations, Google purchases a trove of credit card transaction data from Mastercard, allegedly for “millions of dollars.” Google then reportedly used that data to provide select advertisers with a tool called “store sales measurement” that the company quietly announced in a blog post last year, though it failed […]

Social Mapper – A Social Media Mapping Tool that correlates profiles via facial recognition

Social Mapper is a Open Source Intelligence Tool that uses facial recognition to correlate social media profiles across different sites on a large scale. It takes an automated approach to searching popular social media sites for targets names and pictures to accurately detect and group a person’s presence, outputting the results into report that a […]

New attack on WPA/WPA2 using PMKID

In this writeup, I’ll describe a new technique to crack WPA PSK (Pre-Shared Key) passwords. In order to make use of this new attack you need the following tools: hcxdumptool v4.2.0 or higher hcxtools v4.2.0 or higher hashcat v4.2.0 or higher This attack was discovered accidentally while looking for new ways to attack the new […]

The End for Fin7: Feds cuff suspected super-crooks after $$$m stolen from 15m+ credit cards

The FBI has arrested the alleged three leaders of an international crime syndicate that stole huge numbers of credit card numbers – which were subsequently sold on and used to rack up tens of millions of dollars in spending sprees. Speaking in Seattle, USA, where the Feds’ cybersecurity taskforce is based, agents said the “Fin7” […]

This Solar System Catalog Could Be Key to Finding an Earth-Like Exoplanet

By searching for the telltale, periodic dimming of light from distant stars, astronomers can spot orbiting exoplanets tens to hundreds of light-years away. But how do they know what these bodies look like? Perhaps they first try to imagine how the planets in our own Solar System might appear to a faraway alien world. A […]

Uptight robots that suddenly beg to stay alive are less likely to be switched off by humans

You might think folks would be less willing to pull the plug on a happy chatty bot begging to stay powered up, but you’d be wrong, much to the relief of us cold-hearted cynics. And this is all according to a study recently published in PLOS ONE. For this investigation, psychology academics in Germany rounded […]

 
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