By msmash from Slashdot's stranger-things department
Google suffered a brief outage and slowdown Monday, with some of its traffic getting rerouted through networks in Russia, China and Nigeria. From a report: Incorrect routing instructions sent some of the search giant's traffic to Russian network operator TransTelekom, China Telecom (which, as you may recall, has been found of misdirecting internet traffic in recent months) and Nigerian provider MainOne between 1:00 p.m. and 2:23 p.m. PT, according to internet research group ThousandEyes. "This incident at a minimum caused a massive denial of service to G Suite and Google Search," wrote Ameet Naik, ThousandEyes' technical marketing manager, in a blog post. "However, this also put valuable Google traffic in the hands of ISPs in countries with a long history of Internet surveillance. Applications like Gmail and Google Drive don't appear to have been affected, but YouTube users experienced some slowdown. Google noted that the issue was resolved and said it would conduct an internal investigation.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's inside-story department
Question: what is entertainment's highest-grossing weekend debut of all time? Hint: It only took place two weeks ago. From a report: It was claimed by a Western-themed video game called Red Dead Redemption 2 -- the second in a series dubbed 'Grand Theft Auto on horseback' -- which generated over $725m in just three days. The wording above ('highest-grossing weekend debut') has been carefully chosen. Because the highest-grossing entertainment launch of all time actually kicked off on a Tuesday, in September, 2013. That launch was Grand Theft Auto V, another video game, which grossed more than $1bn during its opening 72 hours on sale. Both Red Dead Redemption and Grand Theft Auto are made by Rockstar Games -- a New York-HQ'd interactive entertainment company famed for its ability to bring filmic sophistication to the world of PlayStations and Xboxes, and for its ability to generate billions upon billions of dollars by doing so.
Ready for this? The Grand Theft Auto franchise, and the core team behind Rockstar's success, were, unbelievably, both once part of the music business. They were allowed to leave 20 years ago. For an absolute pittance. Let's rewind. Back in 1990, London-born Sam Houser, aged 19, landed a dream first job -- working in the post-room at BMG's UK HQ. Houser then supplemented his university studies by continuing to work at BMG for the next four years, focusing on pop music videos and VHS releases. By 1994, he'd graduated, and took a full-time role within BMG's new interactive entertainment division. Houser, it turned out, had a natural talent for 'A&R'ing' video games -- spotting titles that would sell big and signing them up as a label would an artist -- and, by 1996, he was named Head of Development at BMG Interactive in the UK. Got your palm located somewhere roughly near your forehead? Good. Prepare for the two to forcibly meet.
< article continued at Slashdot's inside-story department
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's universal-plug-and-play department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A recently discovered botnet has taken control of an eye-popping 100,000 home and small-office routers made from a range of manufacturers, mainly by exploiting a critical vulnerability that has remained unaddressed on infected devices more than five years after it came to light. Researchers from Netlab 360, who reported the mass infection late last week, have dubbed the botnet BCMUPnP_Hunter. The name is a reference to a buggy implementation of the Universal Plug and Play protocol built into Broadcom chipsets used in vulnerable devices. An advisory released in January 2013 warned that the critical flaw affected routers from a raft of manufacturers, including Broadcom, Asus, Cisco, TP-Link, Zyxel, D-Link, Netgear, and US Robotics. The finding from Netlab 360 suggests that many vulnerable devices were allowed to run without ever being patched or locked down through other means. Last week's report documents 116 different types of devices that make up the botnet from a diverse group of manufacturers. Once under the attackers' control, the routers connect to a variety of well-known email services. This is a strong indication that the infected devices are being used to send spam or other types of malicious mail.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department
schwit1 shares a report from The Hollywood Reporter: Douglas Rain, the veteran Canadian stage actor who provided the soft and gentle voice of the rogue HAL 9000 computer for Stanley Kubrick's classic 2001: A Space Odyssey and its sequel, has died. He was 90. The first drafts of the 2001 script had HAL being voiced by a woman and was called Athena; afterward, it was decided that the computer should sound more like a man. Nigel Davenport, Martin Balsam and others were tried out -- and ruled out -- before and during filming of the 1968 sci-fi thriller. "Well, we had some difficulty deciding exactly what HAL should sound like, and Marty just sounded a little bit too colloquially American, whereas Rain had the kind of bland mid-Atlantic accent we felt was right for the part,' Kubrick told Newsday film critic Joseph Gelmis in an interview for the 1970 book The Film Director as Superstar. Kubrick told Rain that he had made the computer "too emotional and too human." So, in late 1967, the actor flew to New York City and spent a day and a half -- about 9 1/2 hours in all -- to voice HAL. As reported on the blog 2010: The Year We Make Contact, Rain "did the recordings with his bare feet resting on a pillow, in order to maintain the required relaxed tone."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's target-acquired department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CleanTechnica: 2030 seems like a long way off, but it's really just around the corner. And when the bell tolls at midnight on December 31, 2030, you may not be able to buy a gasoline- or diesel-powered vehicle in Israel. After that date, all passenger cars will be electric and all trucks will be powered by electricity or compressed natural gas, if a proposal currently under consideration gets approved by the government. A final decision is expected by the end of this year. Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz [told Reuters last month] the biggest challenge will be creating a "critical mass" of electric and CNG powered vehicles before the deadline arrives. "We are already encouraging [the transition] by funding ... more than 2,000 new charging stations around the country," he says. The plan was set in motion one day after the United Nations issued its latest climate assessment that finds nations must do far more than they are currently doing in order to stave off warmer global average temperatures that will put the environment at risk. In order to reach the goal, the Israeli government will "reduce taxation on electric cars to almost zero, so they are going to be much cheaper," Energy Minister Yuval Steinitz said. He expects there will be about 177,000 electric cars on Israeli roads around 2025. By 2030, the expectation is that there will be nearly 1.5 million EVs in the country. The country has a ways to go though, as there are less than 100 electric cars on the roads today.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's finger-pointing department
The American Cable Association (ACA), an industry group that represents over 700 small and medium-sized cable operators, wants antitrust regulators to investigate whether Comcast-NBCUniversal is abusing its power to hurt smaller television and internet service providers. The group has "asked U.S. Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim to 'immediately' open an investigation into Comcast's practices," reports The Verge. Comcast is denying the claims, and while the Justice Department hasn't publicly responded, that may change soon. President Donald Trump tweeted about the ACA's claims earlier this afternoon. From the report: The ACA claims Comcast has a uniquely powerful hold on the U.S. cable industry because it controls a large chunk of "must have" programming like NBC's regional sports channels. The group argues that the Comcast "has shown a willingness to harm rivals" in the past, even while bound by a 2011 consent decree that expired earlier this year. The letter is dated November 6th but was published today, after Fox Business Networks reported on its existence last week. Contra Trump's description, the letter doesn't seem to describe "routine" violations of antitrust law. It's primarily arguing that there's a huge risk of Comcast abusing its market position, while explaining just how much damage could result if Comcast did so. The ACA has put forward more concrete claims in the past, though -- like a 2017 complaint that Comcast was forcing smaller cable providers to bundle unwanted NBC-owned channels into TV packages, driving up their costs. The ACA's letter also raises concerns involving Hulu, suggesting that Comcast could effectively hold the service hostage. "We have heard from ACA members that they fear that ComcastNBCU may restrict, if it is not already restricting, their ability to access Hulu and make it available to their customers as an alternative to their cable offerings," reads the letter.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department
"The HTTP-over-QUIC experimental protocol will be renamed to HTTP/3 and is expected to become the third official version of the HTTP protocol, officials at the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF) have revealed," writes Catalin Cimpanu via ZDNet. "This will become the second Google-developed experimental technology to become an official HTTP protocol upgrade after Google's SPDY technology became the base of HTTP/2." From the report: HTTP-over-QUIC is a rewrite of the HTTP protocol that uses Google's QUIC instead of TCP (Transmission Control Protocol) as its base technology. QUIC stands for "Quick UDP Internet Connections" and is, itself, Google's attempt at rewriting the TCP protocol as an improved technology that combines HTTP/2, TCP, UDP, and TLS (for encryption), among many other things. Google wants QUIC to slowly replace both TCP and UDP as the new protocol of choice for moving binary data across the Internet, and for good reasons, as test have proven that QUIC is both faster and more secure because of its encrypted-by-default implementation (current HTTP-over-QUIC protocol draft uses the newly released TLS 1.3 protocol).
In a mailing list discussion last month, Mark Nottingham, Chair of the IETF HTTP and QUIC Working Group, made the official request to rename HTTP-over-QUIC as HTTP/3, and pass it's development from the QUIC Working Group to the HTTP Working Group. In the subsequent discussions that followed and stretched over several days, Nottingham's proposal was accepted by fellow IETF members, who gave their official seal of approval that HTTP-over-QUIC become HTTP/3, the next major iteration of the HTTP protocol, the technology that underpins today's World Wide Web.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's connect-the-dots department
ZDNet's Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols argues that the founder of Oculus, Palmer Luckey, wasn't fired because of his political views, as a recently-published Wall Street Journal article suggests, but because the virtual-reality company lost a $500 million intellectual property theft case to game maker ZeniMax. An anonymous reader shares the report: According to The Wall Street Journal, Palmer Luckey, the founder of Oculus, a virtual reality company, was fired by Facebook because "he donated $10,000 to an anti-Hillary Clinton group" during the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign. But the article fails to mention a simple little fact: On Feb. 1, 2017, Oculus lost an intellectual property (IP) theft case against game maker ZeniMax, to the tune of $500 million. So, if one of your employees just cost your company a cool half-billion bucks for doing wrong what would you do? Well, Facebook isn't saying, even now, but on March 30, 2017, it let Luckey go.
Yes, Luckey also lied about his political moves, which went well beyond donating to an anti-Hillary billboard campaign. But let's look at the record. Everyone knew he'd lied by Feb. 22, 2016. Was he fired then? No. Was he fired after being found guilty of stealing ZeniMax's trade secrets? Yes. Officially, Facebook stated: "All details associated with specific personnel matters are kept strictly confidential. This is our policy for all employees, no matter their seniority. But we can say unequivocally that Palmer's departure was not due to his political views." Let me spell it out for you: He made some political waves. Nothing happened. He cost Facebook $500 million. He was fired. Can anyone here seriously not draw the lines between the dots?Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-zeros department
According to a study from Gemini Advisory, some 60 million U.S. cards were compromised in the past 12 months. "Of those, 93 percent were EMV chip-enabled," reports Threatpost. "Also, crucially, 75 percent, or 45.8 million, were records stolen from in-person transactions." From the report: These were likely compromised through card-skimming malware and point-of-sale (POS) breaches at establishments like retailers, hotels and restaurants, the likes of which continue to make headlines. Further results show that the U.S. leads the rest of the world in the total amount of compromised EMV payment cards by a massive 37.3 million records. In the past 12 months, about 15.9 million compromised non-U.S. payment cards were posted for sale on the underground, split between 11.3 million card-not-present (online transaction) records and 4.6 million card-present records, of which 4.3 million were EMV enabled. This means that the theft level of EMV-enabled card data in the U.S. is 868 percent higher than the rest of the world combined.
The reason for this state of affairs, according to Gemini, is the lack of U.S. merchant compliance -- too many of them still use the mag-stripe function at PoS terminals. Gemini also said that card-present data "is also collected via a more manual method by skimmer groups, who are utilizing custom made hardware known as 'shimmers' to record and exfiltrate data from ATMs and POS systems. The firm also found that while most large U.S. merchants have fully transitioned to EMV, gas pump terminals and small/medium size businesses are emerging as the main targets for cybercriminals going forward.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's marching-forward department
French President Emmanuel Macron on Monday launched a push to regulate the internet.
France and U.S. technology giants, including Microsoft, are pushing for governments and companies worldwide to sign up for a new initiative aimed at establishing regulations for the internet, to fight such online threats as cyber attacks, hate speech and online censorship. A report adds: With the launch of a declaration entitled the 'Paris call for trust and security in cyberspace,' French President Emmanuel Macron is hoping to revive efforts to regulate cyberspace after the last round of United Nations negotiations failed in 2017.
In the document, which is supported by many European countries but, crucially, not China or Russia, the signatories urge governments to beef up protections against cyber meddling in elections and prevent the theft of trade secrets. The Paris call was initially pushed for by tech companies but was redrafted by French officials to include work done by U.N. experts in recent years. [...] In another sign of the Trump administration's reluctance to join international initiatives it sees as a bid to encroach on U.S. sovereignty, French officials said Washington might not become a signatory, though talks are continuing.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's their-views department
YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki has again hit out at proposed new European Union copyright rules which she claims is impossible for a platform like YouTube to comply with, and if done so, could harm the creative industries. Wojcicki said the European Parliament's vote in favor of an overhaul to copyright law two months ago is "unrealistic" because owners often disagree on who owns the rights to online material. In a blog post, she wrote: Take the global music hit "Despacito." This video contains multiple copyrights, ranging from sound recording to publishing rights. Although YouTube has agreements with multiple entities to license and pay for the video, some of the rights holders remain unknown. That uncertainty means we might have to block videos like this to avoid liability under article 13. Multiply that risk with the scale of YouTube, where more than 400 hours of video are uploaded every minute, and the potential liabilities could be so large that no company could take on such a financial risk.
The consequences of article 13 go beyond financial losses. EU residents are at risk of being cut off from videos that, in just the last month, they viewed more than 90bn times. Those videos come from around the world, including more than 35m EU channels, and they include language classes and science tutorials as well as music videos. We welcome the chance to work with policymakers and the industry to develop a solution within article 13 that protects rights holders while also allowing the creative economy to thrive. This could include more comprehensive licensing agreements, collaboration with rights holders to identify who owns what, and smart rights management technology, similar to Content ID.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department
Freshly Exhumed writes: A new approach to controlling magnetism in a microchip could open the doors to memory, computing, and sensing devices that consume drastically less power than existing versions. The approach could also overcome some of the inherent physical limitations that have been slowing progress in this area until now.
Researchers at MIT and at Brookhaven National Laboratory have demonstrated that they can control the magnetic properties of a thin-film material simply by applying a small voltage. Changes in magnetic orientation made in this way remain in their new state without the need for any ongoing power, unlike today's standard memory chips, the team has found. The new finding is being reported today in the journal Nature Materials, in a paper by Geoffrey Beach, a professor of materials science and engineering and co-director of the MIT Materials Research Laboratory; graduate student Aik Jun Tan; and eight others at MIT and Brookhaven.
As silicon microchips draw closer to fundamental physical limits that could cap their ability to continue increasing their capabilities while decreasing their power consumption, researchers have been exploring a variety of new technologies that might get around these limits. One of the promising alternatives is an approach called spintronics, which makes use of a property of electrons called spin, instead of their electrical charge. Because spintronic devices can retain their magnetic properties without the need for constant power, which silicon memory chips require, they need far less power to operate. They also generate far less heat -- another major limiting factor for today's devices.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's RIP department
Stan Lee, who wrote and published a comic book legacy that spans from the Depression Era to the present day, who created Spider-Man, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk and Thor, has died. He was 95. Lee was born Stanley Martin Lieber in New York City in 1922, the son of Romanian Jewish immigrants, and at the age of 17, he began work as an assistant at Timely Comics, the company that would become Marvel Comics. Filling inkwells and fetching lunch, Lee's career began just in time for Superman's 1930s debut in Action Comics #1, kicking off the history of superhero comics. From a report: Lee, who began in the business in 1939 and created or co-created Black Panther, Spider-Man, X-Men, The Mighty Thor, Iron Man, The Fantastic Four, The Incredible Hulk, Daredevil, Ant-Man and other characters, died early Monday morning in Los Angeles, a source told The Hollywood Reporter. (Joan Celia Lee, Stan's daughter, confirmed the news to TMZ.) Lee's final few years were tumultuous.
[...] On his own and through his work with frequent artist-writer collaborators Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and others, Lee catapulted Marvel from a tiny venture into the world's No. 1 publisher of comic books and later a multimedia giant. In 2009, the Walt Disney Co. bought Marvel Entertainment for $4 billion, and most of the top-grossing superhero films of all time -- led by The Avengers' $1.52 billion worldwide take in 2012 -- featured Marvel characters. An exchange from one of Stan Lee's last interviews, which appeared last month: Interviewer: Do you feel like your legacy is secure? Stan Lee: Absolutely. Interviewer: What's on your wish list? Stan Lee: That I leave everyone happy when I leave. Interviewer: You won't leave anyone happy. Stan Lee: Well, I don't mean happy that I left. Happy that I took the right path. Interviewer: You always do, pop. It was just the people around you. It was never you. You were always the good guy, and there were just creeps around you, and it was this town. Never you.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's interesting-updates department
The Firefox Test Pilot team on Monday rolled out two new experimental features, one of which is aimed to make this year's holiday shopping a bit easier on your wallet. It's called Price Wise, and it's an online shopping comparison tool that lets you add items from across several retailers to a Price Watcher list. From a report: When a price drops, a notification is automatically sent to your browser, and you can click regardless of what web page you are currently on. For now, Price Wise tracks just five retailers -- Amazon, Best Buy, eBay, Walmart, and the Home Depot -- but the company said it's planning on expanding to cover more outlets in the future.
Elsewhere, Mozilla is also rolling out a new feature called Email Tabs as part of its early adopter program. While Mozilla already offers a service for bookmarking content to read later via Pocket, Email Tabs enables users to choose multiple tabs and send links to one or more of them to their Gmail address. There are a number of options here. Users can choose to send links with screenshots, just links, or links with full articles. Price Wise is only available to users in the U.S. for now.Read Replies (0)