Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft completes 15-minute maiden voyage

Rolls-Royce, best known in aviation for its jet engines, has taken an all-electric airplane on its maiden voyage. The “Spirit of Innovation” completed a 15 minute flight, marking “the beginning of an intensive flight-testing phase in which we will be collecting valuable performance data on the aircraft’s electrical power and propulsion system,” the company announced. Read more about Rolls-Royce’s all-electric aircraft completes 15-minute maiden voyage[…]

Judge in pocket of big business throws book at Man who unlocked nearly 2 million AT&T phones: 12 years in prison

A man who the Department of Justice says unlocked AT&T customers’ phones for a fee was sentenced to 12 years in prison, in what the judge called “a terrible cybercrime over an extended period,” which allegedly continued even after authorities were on to the scheme. According to a news release from the DOJ, in 2012, Read more about Judge in pocket of big business throws book at Man who unlocked nearly 2 million AT&T phones: 12 years in prison[…]

Physicists make square droplets and liquid lattices

When two substances are brought together, they will eventually settle into a steady state called thermodynamic equilibrium; examples include oil floating on top of water and milk mixing uniformly into coffee. Researchers at Aalto University in Finland wanted to disrupt this sort of state to see what happens—and whether they can control the outcome. […] Read more about Physicists make square droplets and liquid lattices[…]

Apple’s M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege

Aggrieved MacBook owners in two separate lawsuits claim Apple’s latest laptops with its M1 chips have defective screens that break easily and malfunction. The complaints, both filed on Wednesday in a federal district court in San Jose, California, are each seeking class certification in the hope that the law firms involved will get a judicial Read more about Apple’s M1 MacBook screens are stunning – stunningly fragile and defective, that is, lawsuits allege[…]

Scientists can now assemble entire genomes on their personal computers in minutes

Scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and the Institut Pasteur in France have developed a technique for reconstructing whole genomes, including the human genome, on a personal computer. This technique is about a hundred times faster than current state-of-the-art approaches and uses one-fifth the resources. The study, published September 14 in the journal Read more about Scientists can now assemble entire genomes on their personal computers in minutes[…]

Simple Mathematical Law Predicts Movement in Cities around the World

The people who happen to be in a city center at any given moment may seem like a random collection of individuals. But new research featuring a simple mathematical law shows that urban travel patterns worldwide are, in fact, remarkably predictable regardless of location—an insight that could enhance models of disease spread and help to Read more about Simple Mathematical Law Predicts Movement in Cities around the World[…]

Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it

Australia’s Federal Police force on Sunday announced it intends to start using new powers designed to help combat criminal use of encryption by taking over the accounts of some social media users, then deleting or modifying content they’ve posted. The law also requires sysadmins to help those account takeovers. The force (AFP) stated its intentions Read more about Australia gave police power to compel sysadmins into assisting account takeovers – so they plan to use it[…]

South Korea’s antitrust regulator fines Google $177 million for stifling innovation and competition

South Korea’s competition regulator on Tuesday announced it will fine Google 207.4 billion Korean won ($176.9 million) for allegedly using its dominant market position in the mobile operating system space to stifle competition. Google’s Android operating system currently holds the lion’s share of the smartphone market, ahead of Apple’s iOS platform. The U.S. tech giant Read more about South Korea’s antitrust regulator fines Google $177 million for stifling innovation and competition[…]

Singapore snitchbots into the streets to detect “undesirable social behaviours”

Singapore’s Home Team Science and Technology Agency (HTX) roving robot has hit the streets of Toa Payoh Central as part of a trial to support public officers in enhancing public health and safety. The robot, named Xavier, was jointly developed by HTX and the Agency for Science, Technology and Research. It is fitted with sensors Read more about Singapore snitchbots into the streets to detect “undesirable social behaviours”[…]

Kumu – network mapping tool

Stakeholder mapping Explore the complex web of loyalties, interests, influence, and alignment of key players around important issues. Systems mapping Understand and engage complex systems more effectively using systems maps and causal loop diagrams. Social network mapping Capture the structure of personal networks and reveal key players. Visualize the informal networks within your organization and Read more about Kumu – network mapping tool[…]

Apple wins some and loses some in big Epic Games lawsuit – judge must have been on acid

On the eve of the iPhone 13 launch, we’ve finally been handed a ruling in the lawsuit filed by Epic Games last year. Epic Games, the developer of Fortnite, sued Apple last year over claims the company was violating U.S. antitrust law by prohibiting developers from implementing alternative in-app purchase methods. Today, Judge Yvonne Gonzalez-Rogers Read more about Apple wins some and loses some in big Epic Games lawsuit – judge must have been on acid[…]

Seeing what’s in a room by pointing a laser through a keyhole

Non-line-of-sight (NLOS) imaging and tracking is an emerging technology that allows the shape or position of objects around corners or behind diffusers to be recovered from transient, time-of-flight measurements. However, existing NLOS approaches require the imaging system to scan a large area on a visible surface, where the indirect light paths of hidden objects are Read more about Seeing what’s in a room by pointing a laser through a keyhole[…]

Hackers leak passwords for 500,000 Fortinet VPN accounts

A threat actor has leaked a list of almost 500,000 Fortinet VPN login names and passwords that were allegedly scraped from exploitable devices last summer. While the threat actor states that the exploited Fortinet vulnerability has since been patched, they claim that many VPN credentials are still valid. […] The list of Fortinet credentials was Read more about Hackers leak passwords for 500,000 Fortinet VPN accounts[…]

Jagex Blocks Release Of Popular Runescape Mod Runelite HD

Runelite HD is a mod (made by one person, 117) that takes Old School RuneScape and gives it an HD makeover. As far back as 2018, Jagex were issuing legal threats against mods like this, claiming they were copyright infringement. However, those appeared to have blown over as Jagex gave their blessing to the original Runelite. Read more about Jagex Blocks Release Of Popular Runescape Mod Runelite HD[…]

Australia: Facebook Users Liable for Comments Under Their Posts

The High Court’s ruling on Wednesday is just a small part of a larger case brought against Australian news outlets, including the Sydney Morning Herald, The Age, and The Australian, among others, by a man who said he was defamed in the Facebook comments of the newspapers’ stories in 2016. The question before the High Read more about Australia: Facebook Users Liable for Comments Under Their Posts[…]

A developer used GPT-3 to build realistic custom personality AI chatbots. OpenAI shut it down. Wants content filters, privacy invasions and inability to model personalities.

“OpenAI is the company running the text completion engine that makes you possible,” Jason Rohrer, an indie games developer, typed out in a message to Samantha. She was a chatbot he built using OpenAI’s GPT-3 technology. Her software had grown to be used by thousands of people, including one man who used the program to Read more about A developer used GPT-3 to build realistic custom personality AI chatbots. OpenAI shut it down. Wants content filters, privacy invasions and inability to model personalities.[…]

Imaginary numbers help AIs solve the very real problem of adversarial imagery • The Register

Boffins from Duke University say they have figured out a way to help protect artificial intelligences from adversarial image-modification attacks: by throwing a few imaginary numbers their way. […] The problem with reliability: adversarial attacks which modify the input imagery in a way imperceptible to the human eye. In an example from a 2015 paper Read more about Imaginary numbers help AIs solve the very real problem of adversarial imagery • The Register[…]

Wooden floors laced with silicon generate electricity from footsteps

Wooden floors infused with silicon and metal ions can generate enough electrical power from human footsteps to light LED bulbs. Researchers hope that they could provide a green energy source for homes. Some materials can generate an electrical charge when they come into contact with another such material and are then separated, due to a Read more about Wooden floors laced with silicon generate electricity from footsteps[…]

Masks Lead to Less Covid-19, Massive Study Finds

An enormous randomized trial of communities in Bangladesh seems to provide the clearest evidence yet that regular mask-wearing can impede the spread of the covid-19 pandemic. The study found that villages where masks were highly promoted and became more popular experienced noticeably lower rates of covid-like symptoms and confirmed past infections than villages where mask-wearing Read more about Masks Lead to Less Covid-19, Massive Study Finds[…]

FTC bans spyware maker SpyFone, and orders it to notify hacked victims

The Federal Trade Commission has unanimously voted to ban the spyware maker SpyFone and its chief executive Scott Zuckerman from the surveillance industry, the first order of its kind, after the agency accused the company of harvesting mobile data on thousands of people and leaving it on the open internet. The agency said SpyFone “secretly Read more about FTC bans spyware maker SpyFone, and orders it to notify hacked victims[…]

WhatsApp fined over $260M for EU privacy violations, failng to explain how data is shared with Facebook

WhatsApp didn’t fully explain to Europeans how it uses their data as called for by EU privacy law, Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said on Thursday. The regulator hit the messaging app with a fine of 225 million euros, about $267 million. Partly at issue is how WhatsApp share information with parent company Facebook, according to the commission. Read more about WhatsApp fined over $260M for EU privacy violations, failng to explain how data is shared with Facebook[…]

EU Bolsters Net Neutrality With Ruling Against Zero Rating

The European Union’s top court has flipped the bird to German mobile network operators Telekom Deutschland and Vodafone, ruling in two separate judgements that their practice of exempting certain services from data caps violated the bloc’s net neutrality rules. “Zero rating” is when service providers offer customers plans that exempt certain data-consuming services (be it Read more about EU Bolsters Net Neutrality With Ruling Against Zero Rating[…]

Sky Broadband sends Subscribers browsing data through to Premier League without user knowledge or consent

UK ISP Sky Broadband is monitoring the IP addresses of servers suspected of streaming pirated content to subscribers and supplying that data to an anti-piracy company working with the Premier League. That inside knowledge is then processed and used to create blocklists used by the country’s leading ISPs, to prevent subscribers from watching pirated events. Read more about Sky Broadband sends Subscribers browsing data through to Premier League without user knowledge or consent[…]

Gift Card Gang Extracts Cash From 100k Inboxes Daily

Some of the most successful and lucrative online scams employ a “low-and-slow” approach — avoiding detection or interference from researchers and law enforcement agencies by stealing small bits of cash from many people over an extended period. Here’s the story of a cybercrime group that compromises up to 100,000 email inboxes per day, and apparently Read more about Gift Card Gang Extracts Cash From 100k Inboxes Daily[…]

Apple stalls CSAM auto-scan on devices after ‘feedback’ from everyone on Earth – will still scan all your pics at some point

Apple on Friday said it intends to delay the introduction of its plan to commandeer customers’ own devices to scan their iCloud-bound photos for illegal child exploitation imagery, a concession to the broad backlash that followed from the initiative. “Previously we announced plans for features intended to help protect children from predators who use communication Read more about Apple stalls CSAM auto-scan on devices after ‘feedback’ from everyone on Earth – will still scan all your pics at some point[…]