Dutch foreign affairs committee politicians were tricked into participating in a deepfake video chat w Russian opposition leaders’ chief of staff

Netherlands politicians (Geert Wilders (PVV), Kati Piri (PvdA), Sjoerd Sjoerdsma (D66), Ruben Brekelmans (VVD), Tunahan Kuzu (Denk), Agnes Mulder (CDA), Tom van der Lee (GroenLinks), Gert-Jan Segers (ChristenUnie) en Raymond de Roon (PVV).) just got a first-hand lesson about the dangers of deepfake videos. According to NL Times and De Volkskrant, the Dutch parliament’s foreign Read more about Dutch foreign affairs committee politicians were tricked into participating in a deepfake video chat w Russian opposition leaders’ chief of staff[…]

Epic witness claims Apple’s App Store profit reaches 78%. Apple disagrees as their overall profit is “only” 42.5%

Epic Games is using its lawsuit against Apple to accuse the iPhone maker of being particularly greedy. As The Verge reports, expert witness Eric Barns testified that Apple supposedly had an App Store operating margin of 77.8 percent in 2019, itself a hike from 74.9 percent in 2018. He also rejected Apple witness’ claims that Read more about Epic witness claims Apple’s App Store profit reaches 78%. Apple disagrees as their overall profit is “only” 42.5%[…]

Appeals Court says Amazon is responsible for the safety of third-party products

ROBYN BECK/AFP via Getty Images Amazon may soon be more accountable for more products than the ones it directly sells. According to the LA Times, a California state appeals court has ruled that Amazon is responsible for the safety of third-party products available through its marketplace following a 2015 hoverboard fire. While the internet giant Read more about Appeals Court says Amazon is responsible for the safety of third-party products[…]

Three ways to improve scholarly writing to get more citations

Researchers from University of Arizona and University of Utah published a new paper in the Journal of Marketing that examines why most scholarly research is misinterpreted by the public or never escapes the ivory tower and suggests that such research gets lost in abstract, technical, and passive prose. The study, forthcoming in the Journal of Read more about Three ways to improve scholarly writing to get more citations[…]

Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick takes 50% voluntary pay cut

Bobby Kotick, the longtime CEO of “Call of Duty” and “Candy Crush” game maker Activision Blizzard, will see his base salary reduced by 50% and bonus potential slashed as part of a 15-month contract extension, the company reported Thursday in an SEC filing. Why it matters: The cut isn’t a sign that the company is Read more about Activision Blizzard CEO Bobby Kotick takes 50% voluntary pay cut[…]

Experian API Exposed Credit Scores of Most Americans

Big-three consumer credit bureau Experian just fixed a weakness with a partner website that let anyone look up the credit score of tens of millions of Americans just by supplying their name and mailing address, KrebsOnSecurity has learned. Experian says it has plugged the data leak, but the researcher who reported the finding says he Read more about Experian API Exposed Credit Scores of Most Americans[…]

BadAlloc: Microsoft looked at memory allocation code in tons of devices and found this one common security flaw

Microsoft has taken a look at memory management code used in a wide range of equipment, from industrial control systems to healthcare gear, and found it can be potentially exploited to hijack devices. […] Drilling down to the nitty-gritty: Microsoft’s Azure Defender for IoT security research group looked at memory allocation functions, such as malloc(), Read more about BadAlloc: Microsoft looked at memory allocation code in tons of devices and found this one common security flaw[…]

People rebel against WiFi Tracking in Maassluis with Robin Hood action

A resident of Maassluis registered the Mac addresses of 54,000 smartphones and passed them on to an opt-out register. The action of the “Robin 2.4Ghz Hood” keeps all these phone owners out of the municipality’s Wi-Fi tracking. The promotion is intended to protect the privacy of the residents of Maassluis. The man behind the initiative, Read more about People rebel against WiFi Tracking in Maassluis with Robin Hood action[…]

AI Dungeon text adventure generator’s sessions generate NSFW + violence (turns out people like porn), but some involved sex with children. So they put a filter on.

AI Dungeon, which uses OpenAI’s GPT-3 to create online text adventures with players, has a habit of acting out sexual encounters with not just fictional adults but also children, prompting the developer to add a content filter. AI Dungeon is straightforward: imagine an online improvised Zork with an AI generating the story with you as Read more about AI Dungeon text adventure generator’s sessions generate NSFW + violence (turns out people like porn), but some involved sex with children. So they put a filter on.[…]

EU Charges Apple With Antitrust Violations in Spotify Case

the European Union has charged Apple with allegedly “abus[ing] its dominant position” in the music streaming market. The charges stem from an initial complaint filed by Spotify in 2019. At the time, Spotify accused Apple of having “an unfair advantage at every turn” by imposing a series of obstacles that favored its own services at Read more about EU Charges Apple With Antitrust Violations in Spotify Case[…]

ENVG-B – latest iteration of night vision goggles offer augmented reality, stereo vision, white lines

The ENVG-B is a helmet-mounted, dual-waveband goggle with industry-leading, fused white phosphor and thermal technologies. […] Flexible 40 Field-Of-View with options of white-hot, black-hot and outline modes […] Augmented Reality Soldiers keep eyes on target without having to look down to read maps or check radios for critical information. High-resolution goggle display Data display includes Read more about ENVG-B – latest iteration of night vision goggles offer augmented reality, stereo vision, white lines[…]

Covid-19 Vaccine Crisis Shows Intellectual Property Dangers

Virologist and medical researcher Jonas Salk developed a successful polio vaccine that was approved in 1955, helping the world all but eradicate the disease. When the late journalist Edward Murrow asked Salk who owned that vaccine’s patent, he famously responded, “Could you patent the sun?” It was in large part his commitment to keeping the Read more about Covid-19 Vaccine Crisis Shows Intellectual Property Dangers[…]

Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and Oxitec Announce Site Participation for Florida Keys Pilot Project to Combat Disease Transmitting Mosquito Type

The Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and Oxitec Ltd today announced location participation plans for its landmark Florida Keys pilot project. Project managers anticipate that during the last week of April and first week of May release boxes, non-release boxes and netted quality control boxes will be placed in six locations: two on Cudjoe Key, Read more about Florida Keys Mosquito Control District and Oxitec Announce Site Participation for Florida Keys Pilot Project to Combat Disease Transmitting Mosquito Type[…]

One-Third of Basecamp Employees Have Reportedly Quit at Once after being told they can’t talk about politics

Within a week, Basecamp’s loathed no-politics-at-work rule has escalated to a mass exodus. This afternoon, reporter Casey Newton tweeted that around one-third of the company’s employees accepted buyouts following a “contentious all-hands meeting.” The software company behind Ruby on Rails, Campfire, and HEY was, until this week or so, generally perceived by outsiders as one Read more about One-Third of Basecamp Employees Have Reportedly Quit at Once after being told they can’t talk about politics[…]

Microsoft shakes up PC gaming by reducing Windows store cut to “just” 12 percent

Microsoft is shaking up the world of PC gaming today with a big cut to the amount of revenue it takes from games on Windows. The software giant is reducing its cut from 30 percent to just 12 percent from August 1st, in a clear bid to compete with Steam and entice developers and studios Read more about Microsoft shakes up PC gaming by reducing Windows store cut to “just” 12 percent[…]

China’s Space Station Is Closer to Reality With Launch of Core Module

China today launched the main module of its new space station into low Earth orbit. The ambitious project is set to be China’s answer to the International Space Station, which has never included China in its membership. The 55-foot core module is called Tianhe, or Harmony of the Heavens. It blasted off from the Wenchang Read more about China’s Space Station Is Closer to Reality With Launch of Core Module[…]

Stratolaunch sends world’s biggest airplane on second test flight

Stratolaunch, the aerospace company founded by the late Seattle billionaire Paul Allen, put the world’s biggest airplane through its second flight test today, two years after the first flight. “We are airborne!” Stratolaunch reported in a tweet. Today’s takeoff from California’s Mojave Air and Space Port at 7:28 a.m. PT marked the first time the Read more about Stratolaunch sends world’s biggest airplane on second test flight[…]

F-22 And F-35 Datalinks *Finally* Talk Freely With Each Other Thanks To A U-2 Flying Translator

Five F-35A Joint Strike Fighters and a single F-22 Raptor “talked” with each other using their proprietary stealthy datalinks via a U-2S Dragon Lady spy plane carrying a specialized communications gateway payload, during a recent demonstration. This marks the first time that the Air Force’s two stealth fighters were able to exchange data freely in Read more about F-22 And F-35 Datalinks *Finally* Talk Freely With Each Other Thanks To A U-2 Flying Translator[…]

Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive Information on COVID-19: Russian and Chinese Efforts Targeting the United States

Both Russia and China appear to have employed information manipulation during the COVID-19 pandemic in service to their respective global agendas. This report uses exploratory qualitative analysis to systematically describe the types of COVID-19-related malign and subversive information efforts with which Russia- and China-associated outlets appear to have targeted U.S. audiences from January 2020 to Read more about Superspreaders of Malign and Subversive Information on COVID-19: Russian and Chinese Efforts Targeting the United States[…]

Tesla Loses A Lot Of Money Selling Cars, But Makes It All Back On Credits And Bitcoin

On Monday after the close of business, Tesla announced its Q1 2021 financial results in its quarterly earnings call. The company turned a surprisingly large profit this quarter, but it didn’t do it by selling cars. Q1 net profit reached a new record for Tesla, at $438 million. Revenue for the electric car company was Read more about Tesla Loses A Lot Of Money Selling Cars, But Makes It All Back On Credits And Bitcoin[…]

Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program

For a second year, the nation’s surveillance court has pointed with concern to “widespread violations” by the F.B.I. of rules intended to protect Americans’ privacy when analysts search emails gathered without a warrant — but still signed off on another year of the program, a newly declassified ruling shows. In a 67-page ruling issued in Read more about Court Chides F.B.I., but Re-Approves Warrantless Surveillance Program[…]

Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era: Preserving the Province of Humanity

Humans have explored and exploited near-earth space for more than six decades. More recently, the past two decades have seen the start of a New Space Era, characterized by more spacefaring nations and companies and a growing risk of collisions and conflict. Yet the basic treaties and mechanisms that were crafted 50 years ago to Read more about Responsible Space Behavior for the New Space Era: Preserving the Province of Humanity[…]

Google Is Saving Over $1 Billion a Year by Working From Home

During the first quarter, Google parent Alphabet Inc. saved $268 million in expenses from company promotions, travel and entertainment, compared to same period a year earlier, “primarily as a result of COVID-19,” according to a company filing. On an annualized basis, that would be more than $1 billion. Indeed, Alphabet said in its annual report Read more about Google Is Saving Over $1 Billion a Year by Working From Home[…]

Satellites show world’s glaciers melting much faster than ever

Glaciers are melting faster, losing 31 percent more snow and ice per year than they did 15 years earlier, according to three-dimensional satellite measurements of all the world’s mountain glaciers. […] Using 20 years of recently declassified satellite data, scientists calculated that the world’s 220,000 mountain glaciers are losing more than 328 billion tons (298 Read more about Satellites show world’s glaciers melting much faster than ever[…]