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Food Taste 'Not Protected By Copyright,' EU Court Rules
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '18 at 05:10 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's taste-you-can-see department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The taste of a food cannot be protected by copyright, the EU's highest legal authority has ruled in a case involving a Dutch cheese. The European Court of Justice said the taste of food was too "subjective and variable" for it to meet the requirements for copyright protection. The court was asked to rule in the case of a spreadable cream cheese and herb dip, Heksenkaas, produced by Levola. Levola argued another cheese, Witte Wievenkaas, infringed its copyright. The firm claimed that Heksenkaas was a work protected by copyright; it asked the Dutch courts to insist Smilde, the producers of Witte Wievenkaas, cease the production and sale of its cheese. The Court of Justice of the European Union was asked by Netherlands' court of appeal to rule on whether the taste of a food could be protected under the Copyright Directive. In order to quality for copyright, the taste of food must be capable of being classified as a "work" and has to meet two criteria: That it was an original intellectual creation; That there was an "expression" of that creation that makes it "identifiable with sufficient precision and objectivity."

The court found that "the taste of a food product cannot be identified with precision and objectivity." It said it was "identified essentially on the basis of taste sensations and experiences, which are subjective and variable," citing age, food preferences and consumption habits as examples which could influence the taster.

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Netflix is Testing a Mobile-Only, $3 Subscription To Make Its Service More Affordable
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '18 at 05:10 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department:
Netflix is testing a cut-price mobile-only subscription, priced as low as $3 for some, as it explores new packages aimed at widening its appeal in Asia and other emerging markets. TechCrunch: CEO Reed Hastings told Bloomberg last week that the company would test lower-priced packages and it hasn't taken long for those experiments to come to light. The first reports are from Malaysia, where Netflix quietly rolled out a mobile-only tier priced at RM17, or around $4, each month. That's half the price of the company's next cheapest package -- 'Basic' -- which retails for RM33, or around $7.90, per month in Malaysia. A Netflix spokesperson confirmed the Malaysia trial. They added that similar trials are "running in a few countries" although they declined to provide details. It remains to be seen if this new subscription tier will roll out to other parts of the world.

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Google Accused of 'Trust Demolition' Over Health App
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '18 at 05:10 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's broken-promises department:
A privacy expert is criticizing Google for taking over a controversial health app developed by AI firm DeepMind. The app in question -- Streams -- was first used to send alerts in a London hospital but hit headlines for gathering data on 1.6 million patients without informing them. DeepMind now wants the app to become an AI assistant for nurses and doctors around the world. BBC reports: One expert described the move as "trust demolition." Lawyer and privacy expert Julia Powles, who has closely followed the development of Streams, responded on Twitter: "DeepMind repeatedly, unconditionally promised to 'never connect people's intimate, identifiable health data to Google.' Now it's announced... exactly that. This isn't transparency, it's trust demolition," she added.

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Large, Strangely Dim Galaxy Found Lurking On Far Side of Milky Way
Posted by News Fetcher on November 14 '18 at 02:31 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's lost-and-found department:
Iwastheone shares a reprot from Science Magazine: Circling our galaxy is a stealthy giant. Astronomers have discovered a dwarf galaxy, called Antlia 2, that is one-third the size of the Milky Way itself. As big as the Large Magellanic Cloud, the galaxy's largest companion, Antlia 2 eluded detection until now because it is 10,000 times fainter. Such a strange beast challenges models of galaxy formation and dark matter, the unseen stuff that helps pull galaxies together. The galaxy was discovered with data from the European Space Agency's Gaia satellite, a space telescope measuring the motions and properties of more than 1 billion stars in and around the Milky Way. Gabriel Torrealba, an astronomy postdoc at the Academia Sinica in Taipei, decided to sift the data for RR Lyrae stars. These old stars, often found in dwarf galaxies, shine with a throbbing blue light that pulses at a rate signaling their inherent brightness, allowing researchers to pin down their distance.

Gaia data helped the team see past the foreground stars. Objects in the Milky Way's disk are close enough for Gaia to measure their parallax: a shift in their apparent position as Earth moves around the sun. More distant stars appear fixed in one spot. After removing the parallax-bearing stars, the researchers homed in on more than 100 red giant stars moving together in the constellation Antlia, they report in a paper posted to the preprint server arXiv this week. The giants mark out a sprawling companion galaxy 100 times less massive than anything of similar size, with far fewer stars.

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Man Pleads Guilty To Swatting Attack That Led To Death of Kansas Man
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 11:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's time-to-get-what-you-deserve department:
Federal prosecutors in Kansas announced Tuesday that a 25-year-old Californian has admitted that he caused a Wichita man to be killed at the hands of local police during a swatting attack late last year. Ars Technica reports: According to the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Kansas, Tyler Barriss pleaded guilty to making a false report resulting in a death, cyberstalking, and conspiracy. He also admitted that he was part of "dozens of similar crimes in which no one was injured." In May 2018, Barriss was indicted on county charges (manslaughter) and federal charges, which include cyberstalking and wire fraud, among many others. U.S. Attorney Stephen McAllister said in a Tuesday statement that Barriss would be sentenced to at least 20 years in prison. Barriss also was involved in calling in a bomb threat to the Federal Communications Commission in December 2017 to disrupt a vote on net neutrality rules. The 25-year-old Californian is scheduled to be sentenced on January 30, 2019, in federal court in Wichita.

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Tantalizing But Preliminary Evidence of a 'Brain Microbiome'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 07:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's bleeding-edge department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Science Magazine: We know the menagerie of microbes in the gut has powerful effects on our health. Could some of these same bacteria be making a home in our brains? A poster presented here this week at the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience drew attention with high-resolution microscope images of bacteria apparently penetrating and inhabiting the cells of healthy human brains. The work is preliminary, and its authors are careful to note that their tissue samples, collected from cadavers, could have been contaminated. But to many passersby in the exhibit hall, the possibility that bacteria could directly influence processes in the brain -- including, perhaps, the course of neurological disease -- was exhilarating.

Talking hoarsely above the din of the exhibit hall on Tuesday evening, neuroanatomist Rosalinda Roberts of The University of Alabama in Birmingham (UAB), told attendees about a tentative finding that, if true, suggests an unexpectedly intimate relationship between microbes and the brain. Her lab looks for differences between healthy people and those with schizophrenia by examining slices of brain tissue preserved in the hours after death. About 5 years ago, neuroscientist Courtney Walker, then an undergraduate in Roberts's lab, became fascinated by unidentified rod-shaped objects that showed up in finely detailed images of these slices, captured with an electron microscope. Roberts had seen the shapes before. "But I just dismissed them, because I was looking for something else," she says. "I would say 'Oh, here are those things again.'" But Walker was persistent, and Roberts started to consult colleagues at UAB. This year, a bacteriologist gave her unexpected news: They were bacteria. Her team has now found bacteria somewhere in every brain they've checked -- 34 in all -- about half of them healthy, and half from people with schizophrenia.

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Waymo To Start First Driverless Car Service Next Month
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 07:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ready-or-not-here-they-come department:
Alphabet's self-driving car company Waymo is planning to launch the world's first commercial driverless car service in early December. According to Bloomberg, citing a person familiar with the plans, the service "will operate under a new brand and compete directly with Uber and Lyft." From the report: Waymo is keeping the new name a closely guarded secret until the formal announcement. It's a big milestone for self-driving cars, but it won't exactly be a "flip-the-switch" moment. Waymo isn't planning a splashy media event, and the service won't be appearing in an app store anytime soon. Instead, things will start small -- perhaps dozens or hundreds of authorized riders in the suburbs around Phoenix, covering about 100 square miles.

The first wave of customers will likely draw from Waymo's Early Rider Program -- a test group of 400 volunteer families who have been riding Waymos for more than a year. The customers who move to the new service will be released from their non-disclosure agreements, which means they'll be free to talk about it, snap selfies, and take friends or even members of the media along for rides. New customers in the Phoenix area will be gradually phased in as Waymo adds more vehicles to its fleet to ensure a balance of supply and demand. The report notes that some backup drivers will be placed in the cars when the service launches, and the cars themselves will be heavily modified Chrysler Pacifica minivans.

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Google Is Absorbing DeepMind's Health Care Unit To Create An 'AI Assistant For Nurses and Doctors'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 06:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's shaping-up-fast department:
Google has announced that it's absorbing DeepMind Health, a part of its London-based AI lab DeepMind. "In a blog post, DeepMind's founders said it was a 'major milestone' for the company that would help turn its Streams app -- which it developed to help the UK's National Health Service (NHS) -- into 'an AI-powered assistant for nurses and doctors' that combines 'the best algorithms with intuitive design,'" reports The Verge. "Currently, the Streams app is being piloted in the UK as a way to help health care practitioners manage patients." From the report: DeepMind says its Streams team will remain in London and that it's committed to carrying out ongoing work with the NHS. These include a number of ambitious research projects, such as using AI to spot eye disease in routine scans. The news is potentially controversial given the upset in the UK caused by one of DeepMind's early deals with the NHS. The country's data watchdogs ruled in 2017 that a partnership DeepMind struck with the NHS was illegal, as individuals hadn't been properly informed about how their medical data would be used.

Another consistent worry for privacy advocates in the UK has been the prospect of Google getting its hands on this sort of information. It's not clear what the absorption of the Streams team into Google means in that context, but we've reached out to DeepMind for clarification. According to a report from CNBC, the independent review board DeepMind set up to oversee its health work will likely be shut down as a result of the move. More broadly speaking, the news clearly signals Google's ambitions in health care and its desire to get the most of its acquisition of the London AI lab. There have reportedly been long-standing tensions between DeepMind and Google, with the latter wanting to commercialize the former's work. Compared to Google, DeepMind has positioned itself as a cerebral home for long-sighted research, attracting some of the world's best AI talent in the process.

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Nasty Adobe Bug Deleted $250,000 Worth of Man's Files, Lawsuit Claims
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 05:10 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's always-make-a-backup department:
Freelance videographer Dave Cooper has filed a class action lawsuit against Adobe, alleging that an update to Premiere Pro came with a flaw in the way it handles file management that resulted in the deletion of 500 hours of video clips that he claims were worth around $250,000. Adobe has since patched the bug. Gizmodo reports: Premiere creates redundant video files that are stored in a "Media Cache" folder while a user is working on a project. This takes up a lot of hard drive space, and Cooper instructed the video editing suite to place the folder inside a "Videos" directory on an external hard drive, according to court documents. The "Videos" folder contained footage that wasn't associated with a Premiere project, which should've been fine. When a user is done working on a project they typically clear the "Media Cache" and move on with their lives. Unfortunately, Cooper says that when he initiated the "Clean Cache" function it indiscriminately deleted the contents of his "Videos" folder forever.

Cooper claims that he lost around 100,000 individual clips and that it cost him close to $250,000 to capture that footage. After spending three days trying to recover the data, he admitted that all was lost, the lawsuit says. He also apparently lost work files for edits he was working on and says that he's missed out on subsequent licensing opportunities. On behalf of himself and other users who wish to join the suit, he's asking the court for a jury trial and is seeking "monetary damages, including but not limited to any compensatory, incidental, or consequential damages in an amount that the Court or jury will determine, in accordance with applicable law."

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Couple Who Ran ROM Site To Pay Nintendo $12 Million
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 05:10 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's not-fucking-around department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Nintendo has won a lawsuit seeking to take two large retro-game ROM sites offline, on charges of copyright infringement. The judgement, made public today, ruled in Nintendo's favor and states that the owners of the sites LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co, will have to pay a total settlement of $12 million to Nintendo. The complaint was originally filed by the company in an Arizona federal court in July, and has since lead to a swift purge of self-censorship by popular retro and emulator ROM sites, who have feared they may be sued by Nintendo as well.

LoveROMS.com and LoveRETRO.co were the joint property of couple Jacob and Cristian Mathias, before Nintendo sued them for what they have called "brazen and mass-scale infringement of Nintendo's intellectual property rights." The suit never went to court; instead, the couple sought to settle after accepting the charge of direct and indirect copyright infringement. TorrentFreak reports that a permanent injunction, prohibiting them from using, sharing, or distributing Nintendo ROMs or other materials again in the future, has been included in the settlement. Additionally all games, game files, and emulators previously on the site and in their custody must be handed over to the Japanese game developer, along with a $12.23 million settlement figure. It is unlikely, as TorrentFreak have reported, that the couple will be obligated to pay the full figure; a smaller settlement has likely been negotiated in private.

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Facebook Patches Vulnerability That Could Have Exposed User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 03:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's here-we-go-again department:
Yet another vulnerability has been patched that could have exposed user data. According to security company Imperva, the bug "allowed websites to obtain private information about Facebook users and their friends through unauthorized access to a company API, playing off a specific behavior in the Chrome browser," reports The Verge. From the report: In technical terms, the attack is a cross-site request forgery, using a legitimate Facebook login in unauthorized ways. For the attack to work, a Facebook user must visit a malicious website with Chrome, and then click anywhere on the site while logged into Facebook. From there, attackers could open a new pop-up or tab to the Facebook search page and run any number of queries to extract personal information. Some examples Imperva gives are checking if a user has taken photos in a certain location or country, if the user has written any recent posts that contain specific text, or checking if a user's friends like a company's Facebook page. In essence, the vulnerability exposed the interests of a user and their friends even if privacy settings were set so interests were only visible to a user's friends. Imperva says the vulnerability was not a common technique and the issue has been resolved with Facebook. However, it does mention that these more sophisticated social engineering attacks could become more common in 2019. A Facebook representative told The Verge: "We appreciate this researcher's report to our bug bounty program. We've fixed the issue in our search page and haven't seen any abuse. As the underlying behavior is not specific to Facebook, we've made recommendations to browser makers and relevant web standards groups to encourage them to take steps to prevent this type of issue from occurring in other web applications."

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Nigerian Firm Takes Blame For Routing Google Traffic Through China
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 03:50 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's whoops-a-daisy department:
Earlier today, it was reported that Google suffered a brief outage on Monday that pushed some of its traffic through networks in Russia, China, and Nigeria. Soon after Google said it would conduct an investigation, Nigeria's Main One Cable Company fessed up to the incident. According to Reuters, the company says it "accidentally caused the problem during a network upgrade." From the report: Main One said in an email that it had caused a 74-minute glitch by misconfiguring a border gateway protocol filter used to route traffic across the internet. That resulted in some Google traffic being sent through Main One partner China Telecom, the West African firm said. Even though Main One said it was to blame, some security experts said the incident highlighted concerns about the potential for hackers to conduct espionage or disrupt communications by exploiting known vulnerabilities in the way traffic is routed over the internet. Main One, which describes itself as a leading provider of telecom and network services for businesses in West Africa, said that it had investigated the matter and implemented new processes to prevent it from happening again.

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Amazon Is Getting More Than $2 Billion For NYC, Virginia Expansions
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 02:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's strategically-placed department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Over the last year, Amazon has dangled in front of cities the possibility that they could host the company's "second headquarters" -- a massive $5 billion facility that would provide 50,000 white-collar jobs. On Tuesday, Amazon confirmed what had been widely reported: nobody would be getting this massive prize. Instead, the expansion would be split in half, with New York City and Arlington, Virginia, (just outside Washington, DC) each getting smaller facilities that will employ around 25,000 people each. Amazon's Seattle offices will continue to be the company's largest and will continue to be Amazon's headquarters by any reasonable definition. But pretending to have three "headquarters" undoubtedly makes it easier for Amazon to coax taxpayer dollars out of local governments. [...] The tactic seems to have worked, as governments in both locations have offered Amazon hundreds of millions of dollars in incentives to locate their new offices there. Virginia officials appear to have driven a harder bargain than their rivals in New York. Amazon says it's getting $1.5 billion in government incentives for its New York expansion, whereas Virginia is offering a comparatively modest $573 million in direct incentives.

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Twitter is Struggling To Contain the Bitcoin Scam Outbreak
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 02:31 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department:
Google's official G Suite Twitter account is the latest victim of an ongoing bitcoin scam that has been plaguing the social media platform for the last few weeks. Earlier on Wednesday, Target saw a similar hack. From a report: G Suite might be the highest-profile target of the scam yet, which saw fake, promoted tweets that appeared to originate from the G Suite account pop up in users' timelines this afternoon, directing them toward a scammy bitcoin address as part of a "giveaway." From another report: The hackers have also hacked other high-profile accounts and made similar pledges, Twitter confirmed. In multiple cases, they have impersonated Elon Musk, the CEO of Tesla and SpaceX, and made a similar bitcoin pledge. To do so, they installed Musk's Twitter photo on the verified Twitter accounts they hacked and changed the accounts' display name to his. Musk's genuine Twitter account has not been compromised. In this incident, the scammers direct unsuspecting Twitter users to click on a giveaway link and to send bitcoin payments to them. By sending a certain amount, users are dubiously promised more bitcoin in return. Victims are also promised a chance at winning more. In some cases, the hackers have apparently paid Twitter to promote the ads. It was not immediately clear why Twitter was not able to stop those promotions from occurring.

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The British Army is Carrying Out a Massive Test of Military Robots and Drones
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 01:10 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
The British Army is testing out over 70 new technologies, including unmanned vehicles and surveillance drones, in a four-week experiment on one of its biggest training grounds. From a report: What sort of stuff? The department isn't giving out specifics but said the focus will be on "surveillance, long-range, and precision targeting, enhanced mobility and the re-supply of forces, urban warfare and enhanced situational awareness." The development is part of a $1030 million "innovation fund" launched in 2016. The aim? Primarily it's about reducing the danger to troops during combat, according to the UK's Ministry of Defense (MoD). One of the main areas it'll test is "last mile" supply of fuel, food, and ammunition. The exercise will culminate in a simulated battle involving over 200 soldiers to test out the ideas and products.

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Hitman 2's Denuvo DRM Cracked Days Before the Game's Release
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 01:10 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's awkward department:
thegarbz writes: Denuvo, the darling of the DRM industry was once considered by publishers to be the final solution to piracy. Slashdot has documented the slow decline of Denuvo from stories in 2014, and 2016 where publishers were praising Denuvo's success at mitigating piracy for weeks, to its slow decline last year where games were being cracked within "hours" of release. The popular wisdom of publishers in the past considered DRM worth while as it thwarts piracy during the critical sales spike when games are first released. Last week saw Hitman 2, the latest Denuvo protected game get cracked in a short time. The kicker, the game isn't officially released until this Thursday.

Publishers are now eroding the potential sale day advantage of DRM through the latest practice of offering games for early release in an attempt to secure an ever larger number of pre-orders for popular titles. This leads to the obvious question: Does DRM make financial sense to include in titles if they risk being cracked before release date? Conversely, does releasing games early to selected customers make financial sense if it results in the DRM being cracked before release?

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Microsoft Resumes Rollout of Windows 10 Version 1809, Promises Quality Changes
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 11:50 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's third-time's-the-charm department:
Microsoft on Wednesday resumed the rollout of Windows 10 version 1809. The re-release of the so-called October 2018 Update comes more than five weeks after the company pulled the original installation files from its download servers and stopped its scheduled delivery through Windows Update. From a report: In a blog post, Microsoft's John Cable, the director of Program Management for Windows Servicing and Delivery, says the data-destroying bug that triggered that unprecedented decision, as well as other quality issues that emerged during the unscheduled hiatus, have been "thoroughly investigated and resolved."

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WannaCry is Still Dominating Ransomware
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 11:50 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
An anonymous reader writes: WannaCry, once the greatest cybersecurity calamity in history, now doesn't work. A website critical to its function is now controlled by civic-minded security researchers, and the fixed deadline to pay the ransom has long passed. Yet WannaCry still accounts for 28% of ransomware attacks -- the most of any ransomware family. According to a new study by Kaspersky Lab, the defanged North Korea linked ransomware is still spreading uncontrollably. The spreading mechanism that passed WannaCry from victim to victim that was so virulent in the 2017 attack is still active, even if the ransomware itself isn't. The firm discovered that since the WannaCry outbreak in May 2017 has affected 74,621 users across the globe.

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Intel Launches New Core i9-9980XE 18-Core CPU With 4.5GHz Boost Clock
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's meanwhile-in-Intel-world department:
MojoKid writes: When Intel officially announced its 9th Generation Core processors, it used the opportunity to also unveil a refreshed line-up of 9th Gen-branded Core-X series processors. Unlike other 9th Gen Core i products, however, which leverage an updated Coffee Lake microarchitecture, new processors in Intel's Core-X series remain based on Skylake-X architecture but employ notable tweaks in manufacturing and packaging of the chips, specifically with a solder TIM (Thermal Interface Material) under their heat spreaders for better cooling and more overclocking headroom. The Core i9-9980XE is the new top-end CPU that supplants the Core i9-7980XE at the top of Intel's stack. The chip features 18 Skylake-X cores (36 threads) with a base clock of 3.0GHz that's 400MHz higher than the previous gen. The Core i9-9980XE has max Turbo Boost 2.0 and Turbo Boost Max 3.0 frequencies of 4.4GHz and 4.5GHz, which are 200MHz and 100MHz higher than Intel's previous gen Core i9-7980XE, respectively.

In the benchmarks, the new Core i9-9980XE is easily the fastest many-core desktop processor Intel has released to date, out-pacing all previous-gen Intel processors and AMD Threadripper X series processors in heavily threaded applications. However, the 18-core Core i9-9980XE typically trailed AMD's 24 and 32-core Threadripper WX series processors. Intel's Core i9-9980XE also offered relatively strong single-threaded performance, with an IPC advantage that's superior to any AMD Ryzen processor currently.

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Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Xiaomi Mi 6 Smartphones Hacked At Pwn2Own Tokyo
Posted by News Fetcher on November 13 '18 at 10:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's cat-and-mouse-race department:
wiredmikey writes: Apple iPhone X, Samsung Galaxy S9 and Xiaomi Mi 6 smartphones were all hacked on the first day of the Pwn2Own Tokyo 2018 contest taking place this week alongside the PacSec security conference in Tokyo, Japan. Pwn2Own Tokyo 2018 participants earned a total of $225,000 on the first day of the event. On the second day, at least two teams will make additional attempts to hack the iPhone X and the Xiaomi Mi 6.

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