By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
From border crossings to hacking conferences, that Bitcoin or political sticker may be worth leaving on a case at home. From a report: Plenty of hackers, journalists, and technologists love to cover their laptop in all manner of stickers. Maybe one shows off their employer, another flaunts that local cryptoparty they attended, or others may display the laptop owner's interest in Bitcoin. That's all well and good, but a laptop lid full of stickers also arguably provides something of a red flag to authorities or hackers who may want to access sensitive information stored on that computer, or otherwise cause the owner hassle. "Conferences, border crossing[s], airports, public places -- stickers will/can get you targeted for opposition research, industrial espionage, legal or investigative scrutiny," Matt Mitchell, director of digital safety and privacy for technology and activism group Tactical Tech, told Motherboard in an online chat. Mitchell said political stickers, for instance, can land you in secondary search or result in being detained while crossing a border. In one case, Mitchell said a hacker friend ended up missing a flight over stickers.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
When you're browsing a website and the mouse cursor disappears, it might be a computer glitch -- or it might be a deliberate test to find out who you are. The way you press, scroll and type on a phone screen or keyboard can be as unique as your fingerprints or facial features. To fight fraud, a growing number of banks and merchants are tracking visitors' physical movements as they use websites and apps. From a report: Some use the technology only to weed out automated attacks and suspicious transactions, but others are going significantly further, amassing tens of millions of profiles that can identify customers by how they touch, hold and tap their devices. The data collection is invisible to those being watched. Using sensors in your phone or code on websites, companies can gather thousands of data points, known as "behavioral biometrics," to help prove whether a digital user is actually the person she claims to be. To security officials, the technology is a powerful safeguard. Major data breaches are a near-daily occurrence. Cyberthieves have obtained billions of passwords and other sensitive personal information, which can be used to steal from customers' bank and shopping accounts and fraudulently open new ones.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
In the so-called "post-truth era," science seems like one of the last bastions of objective knowledge, but what if science itself were to succumb to fake news? From a report: Over the past year, German journalist Svea Eckert and a small team of journalists went undercover to investigate a massive underground network of fake science journals and conferences. In the course of the investigation, which was chronicled in the documentary "Inside the Fake Science Factory," the team analyzed over 175,000 articles published in predatory journals and found hundreds of papers from academics at leading institutions, as well as substantial amounts of research pushed by pharmaceutical corporations, tobacco companies, and others. Last year, one fake science institution run by a Turkish family was estimated to have earned over $4 million in revenue through conferences and journals. Eckert's story begins with the World Academy of Science, Engineering and Technology (WASET), an organization based in Turkey. At first glance, WASET seems to be a legitimate organization. Its website lists thousands of conferences around the world in pretty much every conceivable academic discipline, with dates scheduled all the way out to 2031. It has also published over ten thousand papers in an "open science, peer reviewed, interdisciplinary, monthly and fully referred [sic] international research journal" that covers everything from aerospace engineering to nutrition. To any scientist familiar with the peer review process, however, WASET's site has a number of red flags, such as spelling errors and the sheer scope of the disciplines it publishes.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-and-improved department
MojoKid shares a report from Hot Hardware: We been hearing a lot about NVIDA's next-generation GPU architecture since late last year, and today NVIDIA is announcing the first products based on Turing. NVIDIA is targeting the professional graphics market first with its new Quadro RTX 8000, RTX 6000 and RTX 5000 GPUs. Turing GPU architecture replaces Pascal, which has served both the consumer and professional markets since 2016. But as its 8th generation GPU architecture, NVIDIA is ushering in a number of advances with Turing and it's billed as the "world's first ray-tracing GPU." When it comes to content creators, NVIDIA claims that with the power of Turing, "applications can simulate the physical world at 6x the speed of the previous Pascal generation." Getting down to brass tacks, the entry-level Quadro RTX 5000 has 3,072 CUDA cores, 384 Tensor cores, and will come with 16GB of 14Gbps GDDR6 memory. Its ray-tracing performance is dialed in at 6 GigaRays/sec, according to NVIDIA. Both the Quadro RTX 6000 and RTX 8000 have 4,608 CUDA cores and 576 Tensor cores; the only difference between the two is that the former has 24GB of GDDR6, while the latter doubles that to 96GB. Ray-tracing performance for both of these GPUs tops out at 10 GigaRays/sec. NVIDIA is also claiming up to 16TFLOPs compute performance for the Quadro RTX 8000. NVIDIA's new Quadro GPUs will also be among the first to support both USB-C and VirtualLink for next-generation virtual reality and mixed reality headsets. Other VirtualLink backers include AMD, Oculus, Microsoft and Valve. The Quadro RTX 5000, RTX 6000 and RTX 8000 will all be available during the fourth quarter of 2018 priced at $2,300, $6,300 and $10,000 respectively.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-hope department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Between 2014 and 2017, the world's reefs endured the worst coral bleaching event in history, as the cyclical El Nino climate event combined with anthropogenic warming to cause unprecedented increases in water temperature. But the June survey, funded by Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen's family foundation, found the Sulawesi reefs were surprisingly healthy. In fact they were in better condition than when they were originally surveyed in 2014 -- a surprise for British scientist Dr Emma Kennedy, who led the research team.
A combination of 360-degree imaging tech and Artificial Intelligence (AI) allowed scientists to gather and analyze more than 56,000 images of shallow water reefs. Over the course of a six-week voyage, the team deployed underwater scooters fitted with 360 degree cameras that allowed them to photograph up to 1.5 miles of reef per dive, covering a total of 1487 square miles in total. Researchers at the University of Queensland in Australia then used cutting edge AI software to handle the normally laborious process of identifying and cataloguing the reef imagery. Using the latest Deep Learning tech, they 'taught' the AI how to detect patterns in the complex contours and textures of the reef imagery and thus recognize different types of coral and other reef invertebrates. Once the AI had shown between 400 and 600 images, it was able to process images autonomously. The Ocean Agency has published a short 2-minute video on YouTube about the Coral Triangle survey.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's gender-diversity department
Two female state senators from California are spearheading a bill to require companies to have women on their boards. "SB 826, which won Senate approval with only Democratic votes and has until the end of August to clear the Assembly, would require publicly held companies headquartered in California to have at least one woman on their boards of directors by end of next year," reports TechCrunch. "By 2021, companies with boards of five directors must have at least two women, and companies with six-member boards must have at least three women. Firms failing to comply would face a fine." From the report: "Gender diversity brings a variety of perspectives to the table that can help foster new and innovative ideas," said Democratic Sen. Hannah-Beth Jackson of Santa Barbara, who is sponsoring the bill with Senate President Pro Tem Toni Atkins of San Diego. "It's not only the right thing to do, it's good for a company's bottom line."
Yet critics of the bill say it violates the federal and state constitutions. Business associations say the rule would require companies to discriminate against men wanting to serve on boards, as well as conflict with corporate law that says the internal affairs of a corporation should be governed by the state law in which it is incorporated. This bill would apply to companies headquartered in California. [A] legislative analysis of the bill cautioned that it could get challenged on equal protection grounds, and that it would be difficult to defend, requiring the state to prove a compelling government interest in such a quota system for a private corporation.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's be-patient department
Since Qualcomm is set to launch a new wearable chipset on September 10, Kellen from DoidLife argues against buying a new Google Wear OS-powered smartwatch in the meantime. The new chipset will be able to execute commands quicker, and provide for substantially longer battery life. From the report: This new chipset is said to be built from the ground up, will allow watches to look pretty when you aren't using them (like a normal watch sitting idly by your side), and extend battery life. More importantly, Qualcomm is betting that this Snapdragon Wear chip will "significantly change the Wear OS ecosystem, what you expect from a smartwatch." If you buy a smartwatch today, before Qualcomm announces this chip, you will be stuck with a 2+ year old Snapdragon Wear 2100 chip. All of the new Wear OS watches that have been announced recently, use that chip. It's old. It's never been great. And it's about to be replaced by something potentially game-changing for smartwatches. A report from WinFuture says that this new Snapdragon chip will be called the Wear 3100 and will allow for "Ok Google" detection even when the display is off. It is rumored to come with Google's Pixel-branded smartwatch, although DroidLife thinks that LG will be one of the first to launch a watch with this new processor. "This LG watch is said to have physical watch hands, as well as the smarts of Wear OS and a touch display," reports DroidLife. It is expected to make its debut on September 10.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-Facebook-sees-itself department
Olivia Solon, writing for The Guardian: A senior Facebook executive told Australian media companies that if they didn't cooperate with the social network, their businesses would die. According to a report by The Australian, Campbell Brown, Facebook's head of news partnerships, told a group of more than 20 broadcasters and publishers that she wanted to help media companies develop sustainable business models through the platform. "We will help you revitalise journalism ... in a few years the reverse looks like I'll be holding your hands with your dying business like in a hospice," she said, in comments corroborated by five people who attended the meeting in Sydney on Tuesday. The Australian also reported that Brown said that Facebook's chief executive, Mark Zuckerberg, "doesn't care about publishers but is giving me a lot of leeway and concessions to make these changes," although both Facebook and Brown vehemently deny this comment was made, referring to a transcript they have from the meeting. Facebook would not release the transcript from the meeting.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's cash-back department
The FBI is warning banks about a global fraud scheme known as an "ATM cash-out," in which criminals hack a bank or payment card processor and use cloned cards at cash machines around the world to fraudulently withdraw millions of dollars in just a few hours. "The FBI has obtained unspecified reporting indicating cyber criminals are planning to conduct a global Automated Teller Machine (ATM) cash-out scheme in the coming days, likely associated with an unknown card issuer breach and commonly referred to as an 'unlimited operation,'" reads a confidential alert the FBI shared with banks privately on Friday. Krebs on Security reports: The FBI said unlimited operations compromise a financial institution or payment card processor with malware to access bank customer card information and exploit network access, enabling large scale theft of funds from ATMs. "Historic compromises have included small-to-medium size financial institutions, likely due to less robust implementation of cyber security controls, budgets, or third-party vendor vulnerabilities," the alert continues. "The FBI expects the ubiquity of this activity to continue or possibly increase in the near future."
Organized cybercrime gangs that coordinate unlimited attacks typically do so by hacking or phishing their way into a bank or payment card processor. Just prior to executing on ATM cashouts, the intruders will remove many fraud controls at the financial institution, such as maximum ATM withdrawal amounts and any limits on the number of customer ATM transactions daily. The perpetrators also alter account balances and security measures to make an unlimited amount of money available at the time of the transactions, allowing for large amounts of cash to be quickly removed from the ATM.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's not-a-backdoor department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: The Australian government has scheduled its "not-a-backdoor" crypto-busting bill to land in parliament in the spring session, and we still don't know what will be in it. The legislation is included in the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet's schedule of proposed laws to be debated from today (13 August) all the way into December. All we know, however, is what's already on the public record: a speech by Minister for Law Enforcement and Cybersecurity Angus Taylor in June, and the following from the digest of bills for the spring session: "Implement measures to address the impact of encrypted communications and devices on national security and law enforcement investigations. The bill provides a framework for agencies to work with the private sector so that law enforcement can adapt to the increasingly complex online environment. The bill requires both domestic and foreign companies supplying services to Australia to provide greater assistance to agencies."
Apart from the dodgy technological sophistry involved, this belief somewhat contradicts what Angus Taylor said in June (our only contemporary reference to what the government has in mind). "We need access to digital networks and devices, and to the data on them, when there are reasonable grounds to do so," he said (emphasis added). If this accurately reflects the purpose of the legislation, then the Australian government wants access to the networks, not just the devices. It wants a break-in that will work on networks, if law enforcement demands it, and that takes us back to the "government wants a backdoor" problem. And it remains clear that the government's magical thinking remains in place: having no idea how to achieve the impossible, it wants the industry to cover for it under the guise of "greater assistance to agencies."Read Replies (0)