By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
A company that claims to combat app piracy is a pirate itself, according to a report Oracle released this week. From a report: Oracle claims the company, Tapcore, has been perpetrating a massive ad fraud on Android devices by infecting apps with software that ring up fake ad impressions and drain people's data. Based in The Netherlands, Tapcore works with developers to identify when apps are pirated and then enables developers to make money from those bootleg copies by serving ads. Oracle says that Tapcore's anti-piracy code was a Trojan horse that was generating fake mobile websites to trick ad serving platforms into paying them for non-existent ad inventory.
"The code is delivering a steady stream of invisible video ads and spoofing domains," Dan Fichter, VP of software development at Oracle Data Cloud, tells Ad Age. "On all those impressions it looked like the advertiser was running ads on legitimate mobile websites. Not only were they not on a website, they were on an invisible web browser." On its website, Tapcore says it works with more than 3,000 apps, serving 150 million ad impressions a day. The apps whose pirated versions it has worked with include titles like "Perfect 365," "Draw Clash of Clans," "Vertex" and "Solitaire: Season 4," according to Oracle's report.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ignoring-the-instructions department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The legislator in question is Republican Joe Read, who represents an area north of Missoula, home of many fine scientists at the University of Montana. Read has eight bills under consideration in the current session of the legislature, and two of those focus on climate change. One of them focuses on his state's role in any greenhouse gas regulatory program that would be instituted under a future president. Read is apparently unaware of past legal precedent indicating that the federal government has the legal ability to regulate pollutants. Instead, the preamble of the bill seemingly argues that Montana's emissions are all due to commerce that takes place within the state, and thus "any federal greenhouse gas regulatory program in the form of law or rule violates the 10th Amendment of the Constitution of the United States."
As a result, the bill would prohibit state agencies, officials, and employees from doing anything to cooperate with federal efforts to limit greenhouse gas emissions. If passed, the Montana government "may not implement or enforce in any way any federal regulation, rule, or policy implementing a federal greenhouse gas regulatory program." But if you thought Read's grasp of constitutional law was shaky, you should check out his reason for objecting to doing anything about climate change. That's laid out in his second bill, which targets both science education and in-state programs designed to reduce carbon emissions. And it doesn't mince words, suggesting that pretty much all the scientists have it wrong: "the [US] National Climate Assessment makes the same errors as the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, and the National Academy of Sciences is also fundamentally wrong about climate change."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's lost-and-found department
chiefcrash shares a report from ZDNet: Independent Security Evaluators (ISE) published an assessment on Tuesday with the results of testing with several popular password managers, including LastPass and KeePass. The team said that each password management solution "failed to provide the security to safeguard a user's passwords as advertised" and "fundamental flaws" were found that "exposed the data they are designed to protect."
The vulnerabilities were found in software operating on Windows 10 systems. In one example, the master password which users need to use to access their cache of credentials was stored in PC RAM in a plaintext, readable format. ISE was able to extract these passwords and other login credentials from memory while the password manager in question was locked. It may be possible that malicious programs downloaded to the same machine by threat actors could do the same. The report has summarized the main findings based on each password management solution. Here's what ISE had to say about LastPass and KeePass -- two of the most popular password managers available:
"LastPass obfuscates the master password while users are typing in the entry, and when the password manager enters an unlocked state, database entries are only decrypted into memory when there is user interaction. However, ISE reported that these entries persist in memory after the software enters a locked state. It was also possible for the researchers to extract the master password and interacted-with password entries due to a memory leak."
"KeePass scrubs the master password from memory and is not recoverable. However, errors in workflows permitted the researchers from extracting credential entries which have been interacted with. In the case of Windows APIs, sometimes, various memory buffers which contain decrypted entries may not be scrubbed correctly."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's eyes-peeled department
NASA is keeping an eye on the Brunt Ice Shelf, home to the British Antarctic Survey's Halley VI Research Station, which has growing cracks that are threatening to unload an iceberg soon. "NASA/USGS Landsat satellites are monitoring the action as the cracks grow," reports CNET. "When the iceberg calves, it could be twice the size of New York City. That would make it the largest berg to break off the Brunt ice shelf since observations of the area began in 1915." From the report: An annotated view of the ice shelf shows the cracks as they relate to the Halley VI station. The crack leading up the middle is especially concerning. It's been stable for 35 years, but NASA says it's now extending northward as fast as 2.5 miles (4 kilometers) per year. As of December, Halley station was home to around 30 science and technical staff on missions to study the ice shelf and climate change in the polar region. The BAS completed a relocation of the futuristic-looking Halley station in 2017, placing it farther away from the unpredictable cracking. "It is not yet clear how the remaining ice shelf will respond following the break, posing an uncertain future for scientific infrastructure and a human presence on the shelf that was first established in 1955," NASA says. NASA says iceberg calving is "a normal part of the life cycle of ice shelves, but the recent changes are unfamiliar in this area."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: A team of Israeli scientists is to launch what will be the first privately funded mission to land on the moon this week, sending a spacecraft to collect data from the lunar surface. Named Beresheet, the Hebrew word for Genesis, the 585kg (1,290lb) robotic lander will blast off from Florida at 01.45 GMT on Friday, propelled by one of Elon Musk's SpaceX Falcon 9 rockets. Once it touches down, in several weeks, it will measure the magnetic field of the moon to help understand how it formed. Beresheet will also deposit a "time capsule" of digital files the size of coins containing the Bible, children's drawings, Israel's national anthem and blue and white flag, as well as memories of a Holocaust survivor. While it is not a government-led initiative, the state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) corporation joined as a partner. If the mission is successful, Israel will become the fourth country, after Russia, the U.S. and China, to reach the moon. "This is the lowest-budget spacecraft to ever undertake such a mission," an IAI statement said of the $100 million project. "The superpowers who managed to land a spacecraft on the moon have spent hundreds of millions." It added that although it was a private venture, Beresheet was a "national and historic achievement."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's privacy-concerns department
Vitaly Kamluk, an information security expert and a high-ranking executive of cybersecurity company Kaspersky Lab, went on Twitter with concerns about an embedded camera in Singapore Airlines' (SIA) inflight entertainment systems. He tagged SIA in his post on Sunday, asking the airline to clarify how the camera is being used. Yahoo News reports: SIA quickly allayed his fears of unwanted surveillance by assuring Kamluk that the cameras have been disabled, with no plans to use them in the future. Not all of their devices sport the camera, though -- SIA explained that only some of its newer inflight entertainment systems come with cameras embedded in the hardware. In another tweet, SIA affirmed that the cameras were already built in by the original equipment manufacturers in newer inflight entertainment systems. Kamluk recommended that it's best to disable the cameras physically -- with stickers, for example -- to provide better peace of mind. In 2017, entertainment device developer Panasonic Avionics said it was studying how eye tracking can be used for a better passenger experience. As the report mentions, "Cameras can be used for identity recognition on planes, which in turn, would allow for in-flight biometric payment (much like Face ID on Apple devices) and personalized services."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's show-me-the-evidence department
An anonymous Slashdot reader writes from a report via Reuters: Despite persistent U.S. allegations of Chinese state spying, Britain said it is able to manage the security risks of using Huawei telecom equipments and has not seen any evidence of malicious activity by the company, a senior official said on Wednesday. Asked later whether Washington had presented Britain with any evidence to support its allegations, he told reporters: "I would be obliged to report if there was evidence of malevolence [...] by Huawei. And we're yet to have to do that. So I hope that covers it."
At the same time, German officials have told The Wall Street Journal that the country has made a "preliminary decision" to allow Huawei to bid on contracts for 5G networking. Catering to the surging populism, the U.S. has accused Huawei and other Chinese telecom equipments, along with European cars, as national security risks, even though the National Security Agency, American's cyber spying agency, was found to have wiretapped German Chancellor Angela Merkel, conducted economic espionage against France, and hacked into Chinese networks. Earlier this week, beleaguered Huawei founder Ren Zhengfei described the continued investigations by the U.S. into the Chinese firm -- including the arrest of his daughter and company CFO, Meng Wanzhou -- as politically motivated.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fair-use department
An anonymous reader writes: In case you missed the latest drama to take place in the YouTube tech community, Ars Technica reports how Vox Media attempted to copyright strike two reaction videos that mocked The Verge's terrible PC build guide video that could have ruined a $2,000 system for a beginner PC builder. That effort failed when the tech community sounded the alarms; YouTube removed the copyright strikes and Vox Media had to retract their takedown notice. From the report: "Last week, The Verge got a reminder about the power of the Streisand effect after its lawyers issued copyright takedown requests for two YouTube videos that criticized -- and heavily excerpted -- a video by The Verge. Each takedown came with a copyright 'strike.' It was a big deal for the creators of the videos, because three 'strikes' in a 90-day period are enough to get a YouTuber permanently banned from the platform. T.C. Sottek, the Verge's managing editor, blamed lawyers at the Verge's parent company, Vox Media, for the decision. 'The Verge's editorial structure was involved zero percent in the decision to issue a strike,' Sottek said in a direct message. 'Vox Media's legal team did this independently and informed us of it after the fact.' The move sparked an online backlash. Verge editor Nilay Patel (who, full disclosure, was briefly a colleague of mine at The Verge's sister publication Vox.com), says that when he learned about the decision, he asked that the strike be rescinded, leading to the videos being reinstated. Still, Patel defended the lawyers' legal reasoning, arguing that the videos 'crossed the line' into copyright infringement. It's hard to be sure if this is true since there are very few precedents in this area of the law. But the one legal precedent I was able to find suggests the opposite: that this kind of video is solidly within the bounds of copyright's fair use doctrine."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's best-of-both-worlds department
dryriver writes: A lot of people probably remember the 1990s palmtop computers made by Psion fondly. The clamshell-design palmtops were pocketable, black and white, but had a working stylus and a fantastic tactile foldout QWERTY keyboard that you could type pretty substantial documents on or even write code with. A different company -- Planet Computers -- has now produced a spiritual successor to the old Psion palmtops called the Gemini PDA that is much like an old Psion but with the latest Android smartphone hardware in it and a virtually identical tactile keyboard. It can also dual boot to Linux (Debian, Ubuntu, Sailfish) alongside Android. The technical specs are a MediaTek deca-core processor, 4GB RAM, 64GB storage (plus microSD slot), 4G, 802.11c Wi-Fi, GPS, Bluetooth, eSIM support, and 4,220mAh battery. The screen measures in at 5.99-inches with a 2,160 x 1,080 (403ppi) resolution. The only thing missing seems to be the stylus -- but perhaps that would have complicated manufacturing of this niche-device in its first production run.Read Replies (0)
Are We Ready For 5G Phones?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 20 '19 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's ready-or-not-here-it-comes department
Next-generation 5G networks are very much in their infancy right now, but that's not stopping smartphone manufacturers from teasing new 5G phones. At Samsung's Galaxy S10 launch event today, Samsung teased the Galaxy S10 5G, a top-tier model of the Galaxy S10 that offers 5G mobile data connectivity. "The device, which has a larger screen and battery than the S10 Plus, will temporarily be a Verizon Wireless exclusive before expanding to other carriers in the weeks after launch," reports The Verge. "It will go on sale sometime 'in the first half of 2019."
Late last year, LG confirmed that its first U.S. 5G phone would debut on Sprint "in the first half of 2019," just as Sprint launches its 5G network. At around the same time, Lenovo unveiled the Moto Z3, a phone that only connects to 5G with a MotoMod modular accessory. It too is expected to arrive early this year -- but there's no mention of how much it'll cost. OnePlus, Nokia, and Huawei are also working on 5G phones expected to arrive sometime this year. The question is: are we ready for 5G phones? Three of the four largest carriers in the U.S. have only just started offering 5G service in select cities. Sprint, the fourth largest U.S. telecommunications company, hasn't even reached this step. Just like the first 4G phones to hit the market, these first-of-their-kind 5G devices look to merely symbolize what the next decade of mobile computing has in store.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cause-and-effect department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Disney is said to have pulled its advertising spending from YouTube, joining other companies including Nestle, after a blogger detailed how comments on Google's video site were being used to facilitate a "soft-core pedophilia ring." Some of the videos involved ran next to ads placed by Disney and Nestle. All Nestle companies in the U.S. have paused advertising on YouTube, a spokeswoman for the company said Wednesday in an email. Video game maker Epic Games and German packaged food giant Dr. August Oetker KG also said they had postponed YouTube spending after their ads were shown to play before the videos. Disney has also withheld its spending.
On Sunday, Matt Watson, a video blogger, posted a 20-minute clip detailing how comments on YouTube were used to identify certain videos in which young girls were in activities that could be construed as sexually suggestive, such as posing in front of a mirror and doing gymnastics. Watson's video demonstrated how, if users clicked on one of the videos, YouTube's algorithms recommended similar ones. By Wednesday, Watson's video had been viewed more than 1.7 million times. Total ad spending on the videos mentioned was less than $8,000 within the last 60 days, and YouTube plans refunds, the spokeswoman said. Two years ago, Verizon, AT&T, Johnson & Johnson and other major companies pulled their ads from YouTube after learning that some of their ads surfaced next to extremist and violent content. Yesterday, YouTube released an updated policy about how it will handle content that "crosses the line" of appropriateness. "Any content -- including comments -- that endangers minors is abhorrent and we have clear policies prohibiting this on YouTube. We took immediate action by deleting accounts and channels, reporting illegal activity to authorities and disabling violative comments," a spokeswoman for YouTube said in an email.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's new-shiny-devices department
On the sidelines of the Galaxy Fold announcement, Samsung today also unveiled the Galaxy S10, Galaxy S10 Plus, and Galaxy S10E -- the latest iteration of its flagship Android offering. The Samsung Galaxy S10 sports a 6.1-inch Dynamic AMOLED display with Quad HD+ resolution in a 19:9 aspect ratio, whereas the Galaxy S10 Plus has a 6.4-inch display. Both the handsets are powered by Qualcomm's latest and greatest Snapdragon 855, coupled with 8GB or 12GB of RAM, and 128GB to 512GB (1TB on S10 Plus), expandable via microSD of storage. On the photography front, both the handsets have a wide angle 12-megapixel (77-degree), telephoto 12-megapixel (45-degree), and ultra wide 16-megapixel (123-degree) on the back; and 10 megapixels, 8-megapixel RGB depth camera (S10 Plus) upfront. The Galaxy S10 has 3,400mAh battery, whereas the Plus sibling houses a 4,100mAh battery. Both the handsets run Android 9 Pie with Samsung One UI, and support Wi-Fi 6, Bluetooth 5, LTE Cat.20, wireless charging. They both have USB-C ports, and a headphone jack.
Samsung Galaxy S10E is a lower-cost, smaller variant of the other two phones. It has a 5.8-inch "Dynamic AMOLED" display, Full HD+ resolution in a 19:9 aspect ratio. You can read more about it here. All three phones will be available for preorder starting tomorrow, February 21, and they will start shipping on March 8th. In addition to all four major US carriers, the S10 family will also be available unlocked from Samsung and other retailers, starting at $899.99 for the S10 and $999.99 for the S10 Plus. The S10E starts at $750.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
At an event today, Samsung unveiled its foldable smartphone. It's called the Galaxy Fold, and it sports dual screens: one that folds in half like a notebook, and another that works just like any other. From a report: The roughly 200-gram Galaxy Fold flips open in portrait orientation, and the inside is coated with a film that gives it a photopaper-like appearance. It's got a protective polymer consisting of a cover window, a shock-absorbent film, and a polarizer that's 45 percent slimmer than the company's previous thinnest, along with a flexible layer and backplane. Samsung says the tech -- dubbed Infinity Flex Display -- took seven years to develop. Thanks to a highly durable adhesive, the Fold's 7.3-inch primary screen and "sophisticated" hinge system with interlocking gears can undergo "hundreds of thousands" of flexes without sustaining damage, Samsung says. The 4.6-inch secondary screen doesn't bend, and that's by design -- it puts apps at your fingertips when the Fold's folded in half. [...] It's available in both an LTE and 5G version, starting at an eye-popping $1,980. April 26 is the launch date.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
Elon Musk, who among other things, is a pioneer in the payments industry, has weighed in on one of the most divisive topics in finance today: Bitcoin. In a podcast with Cathie Wood of ARK Invest, Musk, the co-founder and chief executive of electric car maker Tesla, was asked to "go off topic" and offer up some thoughts on the most famous cryptocurrency. From a report: "I think the bitcoin structure is quite brilliant. But I'm not sure that it would be a good use of Tesla's resources to get involved in crypto," he told Wood. Musk, who founded PayPal, added that the days of paper money are numbered and digital currencies could offer a more efficient solution to shifting value. "Paper money is going away and crypto is a far better way to transfer value than pieces of paper, that's for sure, but it has its pros and cons," he said.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department
Microsoft said today it had discovered hacking targeting democratic institutions, think tanks and non-profit organizations in Europe and plans to offer a cyber security service to several countries to close security gaps. From a report: The hacks occurred between September and December 2018, targeting employees of the German Council on Foreign Relations and European offices of The Aspen Institute and The German Marshall Fund, the company said. Microsoft said it found out about the hacks through the company's Threat Intelligence Center and Digital Crimes Unit, and the hacks targeted 104 employee accounts in Belgium, France, Germany, Poland, Romania, and Serbia. Hackers in most cases create malicious weblinks and spoofed email addresses that look legitimate, aiming to gain access to employee credentials and deliver malware, the company said.Read Replies (0)