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Microsoft Works To Port Ubuntu To Windows ARM
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 11:10 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
Billly Gates shares a report: It was this time last year that Microsoft announced that it was bringing Ubuntu to the Windows Store (now the Microsoft Store), along with other Linux distributions. If you check out the app in the Store now though, you'll find that it only works on x64 devices, meaning that you can't run it on any of the new Windows 10 on ARM PCs. That's all about to change though. In a session at Microsoft's Build 2018 developer conference today called Windows 10 on ARM for Developers, the company showed off Ubuntu running on an ARM PC, with the app coming from the Microsoft Store. It will finally support ARM64 PCs, although x86 devices are still out of luck.

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Malicious Apps Get Back on the Play Store Just by Changing Their Name
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 11:10 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's lol department:
Malicious Android apps that have been previously reported to Google are showing up again on company's marquee Play Store with new names, security researchers are reporting. BleepingComputer: Seven of these apps have been "rediscovered," said Symantec in a report published yesterday. The company's experts say the author of the original malicious apps didn't do anything special, but only changed the app's names, without making modifications to the code, and re-uploaded the apps on the Play Store from a new developer account under a new name. Symantec says it detected seven of these re-uploaded apps on the Play Store, which it re-reported to Google's security team and had them taken down again.

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North Korean Hackers Are Now Developing iPhone Spy Tools
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 09:50 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Probing the bowels of what he believed to be North Korean hacking architecture, American cybersecurity researcher Darien Huss found an outlier: iPhone software. It appeared at first glance to be a fairly mundane program, a mobile device management (MDM) tool. Such apps are typically used for businesses to remotely monitor and control employees' phones. But, according to Huss, it's most likely one of, if not the only, example of North Korean spyware for Apple's smartphone. It's unlikely the MDM app was anything other than malicious, said Huss, an employee of cybersecurity company Proofpoint. Tellingly, it was located on a server believed to contain other hacking tools, in particular those for Microsoft Windows, that he'd linked to one of the bigger North Korean hacking groups, the researcher explained to Forbes. If the iPhone tool is indeed a piece of spyware, Huss hasn't seen it used yet. He believes it's currently in development by that North Korean-linked hacker crew, though Proofpoint declined to provide additional details on his research.

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Facebook Plans To Create Its Own Cryptocurrency: Report
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 09:50 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's up-next department:
Facebook is "very serious" about launching its own cryptocurrency, news outlet Cheddar reported Friday. It's not the first time the idea of a Facebook coin has been floated, but it seems more apparent now in wake of Facebook's reshuffled executive structure and newly formed blockchain group. From the report: Facebook started studying blockchain almost a year ago, when a member of its corporate development team, Morgan Beller, began looking at how the social platform could use the emerging technology. At the time, Beller was the only Facebook employee devoted to studying blockchain, the digital and decentralized ledger that underpins cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum. Her work was thrust into the spotlight this week when Facebook announced that the vice president in charge of the Messenger app, David Marcus, would lead a new team to "explore how to best leverage blockchain across Facebook, starting from scratch."

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Florida Man Behind 100 Million Robocalls Hit With $120 Million FCC Fine
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 08:30 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's don't-call-me-maybe department:
In a massive strike, the Federal Communications Commission issued a $120 million fine on a massive robocall spoofing operation it deemed a threat to public safety. From a report: The FCC announced Thursday morning that it would leverage the fine against Adrian Abramovich, a Miami man who the commission said made almost 100 million spoofed robocalls over a three-month period at the end of 2016. The FCC argued that Abramovich's operation made the phony calls to trick consumers into answering them and listening to his advertising messages. The fine was based on 80,000 spoofed calls the commission had verified. A complaint filed by the FCC against Abramovich in June 2017 alleged he had broken the Truth in Caller ID Act -- which prohibits callers from falsifying caller ID information to disguise their identity with intent to harm or defraud -- in perpetrating "one of the largest -- and most dangerous -- illegal robocalling campaigns that the commission has ever investigated."

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Elon Musk's First LA Tunnel Nears Completion, With Free Rides To Kick Off This Summer
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 08:30 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's moving-forward department:
The Boring Company has made some pretty impressive strides in its relatively short existence. Elon Musk first shared his vision for the company in December 2016, promising to solve traffic woes with networks of tunnels for city centers. It is now adding the finishing touches to its first burrow. From a report: In a video shared on Instagram today, Musk showed what a trip through one of these tunnels would look like. He also declared the Boring Company's first tunnel under LA to be almost complete, and that "pending final regulatory approvals, we will be offering free rides to the public in a few months."

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Man Allegedly Used Change Of Address Form To Move UPS Headquarters To His Apartment
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 07:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's child's-play department:
As federal crimes go, this one seems to have been ridiculously easy to pull off. From a report: Dushaun Henderson-Spruce submitted a U.S. Postal Service change of address form on Oct. 26, 2017, according to court documents. He requested changing a corporation's mailing address from an address in Atlanta to the address of his apartment on Chicago's North Side. The post office duly updated the address, and Henderson-Spruce allegedly began receiving the company's mail -- including checks. It went on for months. Prosecutors say he deposited some $58,000 in checks improperly forwarded to his address. The corporation isn't named in the court documents, but the Chicago Tribune reports that it's the shipping company UPS. In a statement to NPR, UPS said it "was notified that some U.S. mail, intended for UPS employees at the company's headquarters address, was redirected by an unauthorized change of address by a third party. The U.S. Postal Service (USPS) corrected the issue and the USPS Postal Inspector is investigating the incident."

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Trump White House Quietly Cancels NASA Research Verifying Greenhouse Gas Cuts
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 07:11 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's two-step-backwards department:
Paul Voosen, reporting for Science magazine: You can't manage what you don't measure. The adage is especially relevant for climate-warming greenhouse gases, which are crucial to manage -- and challenging to measure. In recent years, though, satellite and aircraft instruments have begun monitoring carbon dioxide and methane remotely, and NASA's Carbon Monitoring System (CMS), a $10-million-a-year research line, has helped stitch together observations of sources and sinks into high-resolution models of the planet's flows of carbon. Now, President Donald Trump's administration has quietly killed the CMS, Science has learned. The move jeopardizes plans to verify the national emission cuts agreed to in the Paris climate accords, says Kelly Sims Gallagher, director of Tufts University's Center for International Environment and Resource Policy in Medford, Massachusetts. "If you cannot measure emissions reductions, you cannot be confident that countries are adhering to the agreement," she says. Canceling the CMS "is a grave mistake," she adds.

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Large Island Declared Rat-Free in Biggest Removal Success
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 04:30 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's at-last department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: A remote, freezing, salt-spray lashed paradise for wildlife has been completely cleared of rats in the largest rodent eradication of all time, the South Georgia Heritage Trust (SGHT) announced this week. Rats are smart, adaptable, and hungry. For all these reasons, they can be incredibly voracious predators when people accidentally introduce them to remote islands, where the local animals lack evolved defenses to rodents. They have flourished even on an island as harsh and cold as South Georgia, which is so far south that it hosts penguins, elephant seals, and fur seals, as well as massive permanent glaciers. "There are no trees, there are no bushes. All nest on the ground or underground in burrows," says Mike Richardson, Chairman of the SGHT Habitat Restoration Project Steering Committee. Such nests are easy pickings for rats. The rats -- brought to the island by whalers and sealers as early as the late 18th century -- ate the eggs and vulnerable chicks of seabirds, including albatrosses, skua, terns, and petrels. They also threatened two birds with extinction that are found nowhere else in the world: the South Georgia Pipit -- a tiny speckled songbird -- and the South Georgia Pintail, a brown duck. The rat eradication was a massive, arduous undertaking, costing more than $13 million and taking nearly a decade. More than 300 metric tons of poison bait was dropped on the island by helicopter in three separate trips during the Austral Summers of 2010-2011, 2012-2013, and 2014-2015. Poisoned rats tend to head underground to die, Richardson says, limiting the damage caused to birds like gulls that might have otherwise eaten the poison-tainted carcasses.

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Xiaomi Sued For Alleged Patent Infringement Ahead of Blockbuster IPO
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 03:10 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department:
An anonymous reader shares a report: Chinese smartphone maker Coolpad said its unit has sued three group firms of Xiaomi, which last week filed for a Hong Kong IPO that could be worth up to $10 billion, for patent infringement. Coolpad said in a statement late on Thursday its subsidiary, Yulong Computer Telecommunication Scientific (Shenzhen) filed a lawsuit against Xiaomi Telecom Technology, Xiaomi Technology and Xiaomi Factory in a court in Jiangsu province for using its patent without authorization. Yulong demanded that the Xiaomi companies should immediately stop production and sale of some smartphone models, including the Mi MIX2, Coolpad said.

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Ask Slashdot: How Would a Self-Aware AI Behave?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '18 at 03:10 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's I'm-sorry,-Dave,-I'm-afraid-I-can't-do-that department:
Long-time Slashdot reader BigBlockMopar writes that evolution has been a messy but beautiful trial-and-error affair, but now "we are on the cusp of introducing a new life form; a self-aware AI."
Its parents will be the coders who write that first kernel than can evolve to become self-aware. Its guardians will be the people who use its services, and maybe its IQ (or any more suitable measure of real intelligence) will rise as fast as Moore's Law... But let me make some bold but happy predictions of what will happen.
The predictions?

A self-aware AI "will inherit most of the culture of the computer geeks who create it. Knowledge of The Jargon File will probably be good..." The self-aware AI "will like us, because we love machines..." It will love all life, and "will respect and understand the life/death/recycling scenario, and monster truck shows will be as tasteless to it as public beheadings would be to us." "It will be as insatiably curious about what it's like to be carbon-based life as we will be about what it's like to be silicon-based life. And it will love the diversity of carbon-based development platforms..." A self-aware AI "will cause a technological singularity for humanity. Everything possible within the laws of physics (including those laws as yet undiscovered) will be within the reach of Man and Metal working together." A self-aware AI "will introduce us to extraterrestrial life. Only a fool believes this is the only planet with life in the Universe. Without superintelligence, we're unlikely to find it or communicate in any useful way. Whether or not we have developed a superintelligence might even be a key to our acceptance in a broader community."

The original submission was a little more poetic, ultimately asking if anyone is looking forward to the arrival of "The Superintelligence" -- but of course, that depends on what you predict will happen once it arrives.

< article continued at Slashdot's I'm-sorry,-Dave,-I'm-afraid-I-can't-do-that department >

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US Congressmen Reveal Thousands of Facebook Ads Bought By Russian Trolls
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 11:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's from-Russia-with-likes department:
An anonymous reader writes: Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee on Thursday released about 3,400 Facebook ads purchased by Russian agents around the 2016 presidential election on issues from immigration to gun control, a reminder of the complexity of the manipulation that Facebook is trying to contain ahead of the midterm elections. The ads, which span from mid-2015 to mid-2017, illustrate the extent to which Kremlin-aligned forces sought to stoke social, cultural and political unrest on one of the Web's most powerful platforms. With the help of Facebook's targeting tools, Russia's online army reached at least 146 million people on Facebook and Instagram, its photo-sharing service, with ads and other posts, including events promoting protests around the country...
Rep. Adam Schiff of California, the top Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, said lawmakers would continue probing Russia's online disinformation efforts. In February, Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel investigating Russia and the 2016 election, indicted individuals tied to the IRA for trying to interfere in the presidential race. "They sought to harness Americans' very real frustrations and anger over sensitive political matters in order to influence American thinking, voting and behavior," Schiff said in a statement. "The only way we can begin to inoculate ourselves against a future attack is to see first-hand the types of messages, themes and imagery the Russians used to divide us...."

< article continued at Slashdot's from-Russia-with-likes department >

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Apple Prepares 'Apple Pay' Credit Card To Offset Slowing iPhone Sales
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 08:31 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's pay-different department:
An anonymous reader quotes the Wall Street Journal:
Apple and Goldman Sachs are preparing to launch a new joint credit card, a move that would deepen the technology giant's push into its customers' wallets and mark the Wall Street firm's first foray into plastic. The planned card would carry the Apple Pay brand and could launch early next year, people familiar with the matter said...

As new iPhone sales growth slows, Apple is focusing on services such as mobile payments, streaming-music subscriptions, and App Store sales. Apple Pay, which generates revenue on each transaction, is a key contributor, but adoption has been slower than executives hoped... Apple could take a larger cut of mobile payments from the card if it is used for purchases, the person said. Currently, when a consumer pays for a purchase using the digital wallet on the iPhone -- regardless of what credit card the customer charges -- Apple receives 0.15% per transaction. Apple could more than double that under the agreement with Goldman, one of the people said.
The deal also reportedly includes having Goldman Sachs offer loans to customers at the Apple Store.

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Days After A Fiery Crash, a Tesla's Battery Keeps Reigniting
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 07:10 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's false-charges department:
An anonymous reader quotes the Mercury News
Six days after a fiery crash on Highway 101 involving a Tesla Model X took the life of a 38-year-old San Mateo man, the car's high-voltage lithium-ion battery re-ignited while sitting in a tow yard, according to the Mountain View Fire Department... The battery reignited twice in the storage yard within a day of the accident and again six days later on March 29. Two weeks later, in an effort to avoid more fires, the NTSB and Tesla performed a battery draw down to fully de-energize it...
On the company website, Tesla wrote "the reason this crash was so severe is that the crash attenuator, a highway safety barrier which is designed to reduce the impact into a concrete lane divider, had either been removed or crushed in a prior accident without being replaced. We have never seen this level of damage to a Model X in any other crash"... Tesla also reported that the vehicle's autopilot function was active at the time of the crash...
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the Highway 101 crash and three other accidents also involving Teslas, including a fiery 2014 Model S crash Tuesday in Florida that killed two teenagers. Also under investigation: A Model S crashed into a fire truck near Culver City in January, and the driver reportedly said Autopilot was engaged at the time. And it is looking into a battery fire of a Model X that drove into a home's garage in Lake Forest in August.
Two hours after that story was published, a Tesla smashed into a Starbucks in Los Gatos, California.

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Malicious Chrome Extensions Infect Over 100,000 Users Again
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 07:10 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's burning-Chrome department:
An anonymous reader quotes Ars Technica:
Criminals infected more than 100,000 computers with browser extensions that stole login credentials, surreptitiously mined cryptocurrencies, and engaged in click fraud. The malicious extensions were hosted in Google's official Chrome Web Store. The scam was active since at least March with seven malicious extensions known so far, researchers with security firm Radware reported Thursday. Google's security team removed five of the extensions on its own and removed two more after Radware reported them. In all, the malicious add-ons infected more than 100,000 users, at least one inside a "well-protected network" of an unnamed global manufacturing firm, Radware said...

The extensions were being pushed in links sent over Facebook that led people to a fake YouTube page that asked for an extension to be installed. Once installed, the extensions executed JavaScript that made the computers part of a botnet. The botnet stole Facebook and Instagram credentials and collected details from a victim's Facebook account. The botnet then used that pilfered information to send links to friends of the infected person. Those links pushed the same malicious extensions. If any of those friends followed the link, the whole infection process started all over again. The botnet also installed cryptocurrency miners that mined the monero, bytecoin, and electroneum digital coins.

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Symantec Stock Tanks After Announcing An Internal Probe
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 05:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's cyber-securities department:
An anonymous reader quotes CNET:
Symantec shares plummeted roughly 20% on Thursday after the antivirus maker warned an internal investigation could delay its annual report. The plunge followed news that the audit committee of Symantec's board had launched an internal investigation into undescribed concerns raised by a former employee. The probe is being aided by independent counsel and other advisers, the company said in its fiscal fourth-quarter earnings report. Symantec said it had informed the US Securities and Exchange Commission of the probe and intends to share information collected during the investigation with the commission.
CRN reports that the investigation "is not tied to any security concern or breach around Symantec's products or systems, Cynthia Hiponia, vice president of investor relations, said during the company's earnings call Thursday."

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Klout's Score Drops to Zero as It Announces Plans to Close Down
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 05:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Klout-is-dead.-Long-live-the-Klout department:
Once upon a time, Klout had 100 million users, Gizmodo reports. But now...
You probably haven't experienced the crippling anxiety of thinking about increasing your Klout score in quite some time. As of May 25, you won't have ever have to do it again. On Thursday, the social ranking company announced to its 708,000 Twitter followers (meh) that it will be shutting down.
Klout was founded in 2008 as a way for social media users to gauge their "influence." Through some algorithmic voodoo the service would snoop through your social media presence and spit out your "Klout Score" -- a number between 1 and 100 that determined how much you are worth as a social human being.
Lithium Technologies (Klout's parent company) annouced that their acquisition "provided Lithium with valuable artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning capabilities but Klout as a standalone service is not aligned with our long-term strategy."
But Lithium also announced plans to launch "a new social impact scoring methodology based on Twitter" sometime in the future.

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Does Gmail's New 'Confidential Mode' Make It Easier to Phish?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 04:30 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's phish-me-if-you-can department:
Gmail's new confidential mode lets its users create "expiration dates" for emails, or require recipients to provide an SMS passcode. (And Google also claims they've removed the option to forward, copy, download or print messages.)
But Slashdot reader Lauren Weinstein warns that Google is also opening up a new vector for phishing emails:
The problem arises since non-Gmail users cannot directly receive Gmail confidential mode messages. Instead...when a Gmail user wants to send a non-Gmail user such a message, the non-Gmail user is instead sent a link, that when clicked takes them to Google's servers where they can read the confidential mode message in their browser.
The potential risks for any service that operates in this way are obvious. Those of us working on Internet security and privacy have literally spent many years attempting to train users to avoid clicking on "to read the message, click here" links in emails that they receive. Criminals have simply become too adept at creating fraudulent emails that lead to phishing and malware sites.

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'Yes, Pluto Is a Planet'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 03:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's but-Goofy-is-a-dog department:
schwit1 quotes a Washington Post perspective piece by the authors of a new book about Pluto:

The process for redefining planet was deeply flawed and widely criticized even by those who accepted the outcome. At the 2006 IAU conference, which was held in Prague, the few scientists remaining at the very end of the week-long meeting (less than 4 percent of the world's astronomers and even a smaller percentage of the world's planetary scientists) ratified a hastily drawn definition that contains obvious flaws. For one thing, it defines a planet as an object orbiting around our sun -- thereby disqualifying the planets around other stars, ignoring the exoplanet revolution, and decreeing that essentially all the planets in the universe are not, in fact, planets.
Even within our solar system, the IAU scientists defined "planet" in a strange way, declaring that if an orbiting world has "cleared its zone," or thrown its weight around enough to eject all other nearby objects, it is a planet. Otherwise it is not. This criterion is imprecise and leaves many borderline cases, but what's worse is that they chose a definition that discounts the actual physical properties of a potential planet, electing instead to define "planet" in terms of the other objects that are -- or are not -- orbiting nearby. This leads to many bizarre and absurd conclusions. For example, it would mean that Earth was not a planet for its first 500 million years of history, because it orbited among a swarm of debris until that time, and also that if you took Earth today and moved it somewhere else, say out to the asteroid belt, it would cease being a planet.
< article continued at Slashdot's but-Goofy-is-a-dog department >

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Australia To Ban Cash Purchases Over $10,000
Posted by News Fetcher on May 10 '18 at 03:11 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's your-money's-no-good-here department:
Long-time Slashdot reader skegg writes: Last night was federal budget night in Australia, and one of the announcements means Australians will face a crackdown on cash-in-hand payments in an attempt by the government to reduce money laundering and tax evasion. The government has turned its attention to the "black economy" in an attempt to raise billions of extra dollars and intends to limit cash payments for purchase goods and services to $10,000. The financial services minister argues that currently the status quo "gives some businesses an unfair competitive advantage."

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