By BeauHD from Slashdot's pay-the-piper department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from New York Daily News: Gawker's founder Nick Denton filed for personal bankruptcy Monday after a Florida appeals court refused to give him an emergency order that would block wrestler Hulk Hogan from collecting on a $140 million jury verdict. The District Court of Appeal in Lakeland, Fla., denied a request by Gawker and Denton to stay a ruling by lower court judge Pamela Campbell -- who said Hogan could start collecting on his award immediately. But declaring bankruptcy will give Denton protection from collectors including Hogan, whose real name is Terry Bollea. In the filing, Denton says he has assets of $10 to $50 million and liabilities of $100 to $500 million. His debts includes $125 million that he owes to Hogan, an $11.5 million loan that he took out on June 10 from Silicon Valley Bank, a $50,000 loan he took from his 401(k) at Gawker and his Time Warner Cable bill for $120.88. The jury's March verdict was the result of Gawker's decision to publish a tape on the internet of Hogan having sex with a friend's wife. The former WWF star said it was an invasion of his privacy. Gawker filed for bankruptcy shortly after the jury's verdict, but Denton resisted, asking the bankruptcy court to protect him as part of the process. The federal court refused. Now that the Florida courts have opened the door for Hogan to start collecting from Denton, he is expected to follow Gawker into federal bankruptcy court in lower Manhattan.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's illegal-deception department
An anonymous reader writes: Washington State has filed a lawsuit against Comcast to the sum of $100 million, accusing Comcast of "engaging in a pattern of deceptive practices." It claims that Comcast's documents reveal a pattern of illegally deceiving its own customers for profit. KOMO News reports: "The lawsuit (PDF) alleges more than 1.8 million individual violations of the Washington Consumer Protection Act. The Attorney General's Office says 500,000 Washington consumers were affected. The lawsuit also accuses Comcast of violating the Consumer Protection Act to all of its nearly 1.2 million Washington subscribers due to its deceptive 'Comcast Guarantee,' Ferguson said. The lawsuit accuses Comcast of misleading 500,000 Washington consumers and deceiving them into paying at least $73 million in subscription fees over the last five years for what the attorney general says is a a near-worthless protection plan. Customers who sign up for Comcast's Service Protection Plan pay a $4.99 monthly fee to avoid being charged if a Comcast technician visits their home. But the plan did not cover wiring inside a wall, the lawsuit says. The Attorney General Office says 75 percent of the time, customers who contacted Comcast were told the plan covered inside wiring. Customer service scripts, which the Attorney General's Office said it obtained during its investigation, told Comcast representatives to say that the plan covers calls 'related to inside wiring' and 'wiring inside your home.'" According to KOMO News, the lawsuit is seeking more than $73 million in restitution to pay back Service Protection Plan subscriber payments; full restitution for all service calls that applied an improper resolution code, estimated to be at least $1 million; removal of improper credit checks from the credit reports of more than 6,000 customers; up to $2,000 per violation of the Consumer Protection Act; and that Comcast clearly disclose the limitations of its Service Protection Plan in advertising and through its representatives, correct improper service codes that should not be chargeable and implement a compliance procedure for improper customer credit checks.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's fixing-mistakes department
An anonymous reader writes: Earlier today, the FCC reached a settlement with TP-Link over Wi-Fi router interference. Most of the agreement was routine, addressing compliance with radio emission rules. But the FCC also did something unprecedented. It required TP-Link to support open source firmware on its routers. You might recall that, last year, the FCC caused a ruckus when it mistakenly suggested it was banning open source router firmware. In fact, the FCC only required that router vendors implement protections for specific radio emission parameters. But the FCC didn't work with router vendors in advance to maintain open source compatibility, resulting in certain vendors (including TP-Link) trying to lock down their routers. The FCC eventually issued a clarification, but the damage was done. Only recently have a couple router vendors (Linksys and Asus) affirmed that they will continue to support open source firmware. Today's settlement is a milestone for the FCC. The agency is finally doing something, with deeds and not just words, to demonstrate its support for the open source community. It would be better if the agency hadn't created this mess, but they deserve serious credit for working so hard to fix it.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's taking-precaution department
Adi Robertson, reporting for The Verge: At the direction of Governor Andrew Cuomo, New York's correctional department has made playing online games a violation of parole for sex offenders -- particularly Pokemon Go. In a statement, Cuomo said that people on the sex offender registry are now banned from "downloading, accessing, or otherwise engaging in any internet enabled gaming activities, including Pokemon Go." He also published a letter that he sent to game developer Niantic, asking for its cooperation in preventing registrants from signing up. The decision is based on a report from two New York state senators, released last week. Jeffrey Klein and Diane Savino visited the locations of 100 registered sex offenders in New York City and found 57 pokemon and 59 pokestops and gyms within half a city block. They were particularly worried about the "lures" that draw pokemon -- and thus players, including children -- to a location. While criminals have used pokestops and lures to attract and rob players, there are no known cases of sexual predators using them so far. Nonetheless, Klein and Savino have crafted bills that would ban sex offenders from playing the game and require Niantic to remove any Pokemon Go-related items or locations from near their homes.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's big-shark-small-shark department
Kara Swisher, reporting for Recode: Uber, which has been spending hugely in China over the last two years, has folded, striking a deal in which it will merge its Chinese operations with its main rival there, Didi Chuxing. Under terms of the deal, Uber China, the ride-hailing company's Chinese subsidiary, will be part of a larger Didi company valued at $35 billion. Uber gets a 20 percent stake in that -- Didi's previous valuation was $28 billion. That's a $7 billion value for upward of $2 billion that Uber has frittered away, um, spent there. In turn, Didi will invest in Uber at a valuation of almost $70 billion. That was about the value of Uber's last round. Now, everyone owns everyone everywhere.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's brexing-out department
"To use a nonscientific term, the scientists in the country are freaking out," reports the Washington Post. An anonymous Slashdot reader quotes their report:
The researchers worry that Britain will not replace funding it loses when it leaves the E.U., which has supplied about $1.2 billion a year to support British science, approximately 10 percent of the total spent by government-funded research councils. There is a whiff of panic in the labs.
Worse than a possible dip in funding is the research community's fear that collaborators abroad will slink away and the country's universities will find themselves isolated. British research today is networked, expensive, competitive and global. Being part of a pan-European consortium has helped put Britain in the top handful of countries, based on the frequency of citations of its scientific papers... Anecdotal evidence suggests that headhunters may already be circling.
Meanwhile, NPR reports that Britain's vote to leave the EU "has depressed the value of the British pound," prompting many Britons to vacation at home rather than abroad -- while "Americans will find their dollars go further in Britain these days." And an anonymous Slashdot reader quotes a report from CNBC that Ford "is considering closing plants in the UK and across Europe in response to Britain's vote to leave the EU, as it forecast a $1 billion hit to its business over the next two years."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's serious-certification department
"Last year, we announced that beginning with the release of Windows 10, all new Windows 10 kernel mode drivers must be submitted to the Windows Hardware Developer Center Dashboard portal to be digitally signed by Microsoft," reads a MSDN blog post. "However, due to technical and ecosystem readiness issues, this was not enforced by Windows Code Integrity and remained only a policy statement. Starting with new installations of Windows 10, version 1607, the previously defined driver signing rules will be enforced by the Operating System, and Windows 10, version 1607 will not load any new kernel mode drivers which are not signed by the Dev Portal."
Slashdot reader mikejuk quotes a report from i-programmer.info which argues "the control of what software users can run on their machines is becoming ever tighter," and compares Microsoft's proposal to an XKCD cartoon:
Before you start to panic about backward compatibility with existing drivers the lockdown is only going to be enforced on new installations of Windows 10. If you simply upgrade an existing system then the OS will take over the drivers that are already installed... Only new installations, i.e. installing all drivers from scratch, will enforce the new rules from Windows 10 version 1607... Be warned, if you need to do a fresh install of Windows 10 in the future you might find that your existing drivers are rejected.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's gaming-the-system department
An anonymous reader quotes Vice:I always feel a little dirty when I look at leaked footage of any kind, but rarely so much as when I brought up Pornhub yesterday to check out a video featuring the hyped space exploration game No Man's Sky... I had to go to Pornhub, as this corner of the web was the only place I'd been able to find the footage after it'd been yanked off of DailyMotion, YouTube, and almost every other video hosting site...
The PornHub video shows 21 minutes of footage with awful resolution, and none of it's particularly exciting to watch (which may say something about the game)...
On July 7, when the game was ready to ship, No Man's Sky creator Sean Murray posted on Twitter "I'm so incredibly proud of this tiny team. 4 years of emotions," then addressed the leaked footage on Friday, tweeting "We've spent years filling No Man's Sky with surprises. You've spent years waiting. Please don't spoil it for yourself..." A later Twitter post added "Take a break from reading about it, and picking vids apart. You can experience for yourself so soon."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's chip-vs-RFID department
It's easy to pontificate about the best security practices -- but the real test is what we do with our own money. Long-time Slashdot reader Keybounce writes:
So, like most of you, I recently got a new credit card with a chip in it. I was not worried about that -- I know the chips are harder to copy and counterfeit. But I recently discovered that the card is also a radio card -- swiping it near the screen caused an message to show up on the reader. In this case, it told me to use the chip reader instead, but this means it has an active radio signal, and could be "hacked" -- stolen by someone with the right device.
How can I prevent this? Is there anything I can do that will disable the radio signal and still leave the chip functioning?
At least 200 million RFID credit cards were in circulation by 2012, even though their signals could be easily intercepted, prompting the introduction of RFID-blocking wallets and sleeves. But what's the alternative? A recent article in Quartz argued that America's transition to chip cards has been an utter disaster (since the banks dispensed with PIN numbers altogether and now validate with only an electronic signature). Is the answer to just use a mobile wallet like Apple Pay or Android Pay -- or to always pay with cash?
So leave your own answer in the the comments. How are you keeping your own credit card secure?Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's goodbye,-Hello department
Firefox's voice and videoconferencing add-on was described as "the first global communications system built directly into a browser" -- but things change. An anonymous Slashdot reader writes: An entry on Mozilla's issue tracker opened on July 17 reveals ongoing efforts from Mozilla engineers to remove the Hello system add-on from default Firefox installations starting with version 49, set for public release on September 13, 2016. Mozilla added Hello to Firefox in version 34, released on December 1, 2014, and from the beginning, it was part of the browser's core code, but was moved in December 2015 into a separate add-on, one that came pre-installed with Firefox, making Hello its first ever system add-on. Mozilla plans to remove Hello from the codebases of Firefox Beta 49, Firefox Developer Edition 50, and Firefox Nightly 51. Based on the currently available information, the deadline for the Hello code removal operations is for this Monday, August 1, after which the first Firefox builds with no Hello integration will be available for testing, and will ship out in the fall with the stable release.
The article suggests this may have been a space-saving measure, "since Mozilla is focused on rebuilding Firefox's code from scratch to keep up with speedier competitors like Chrome, Opera, and Vivaldi."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's rewriting-the-rankings department
An anonymous reader quotes Network World:
Python ranked #4 on RedMonk's list, while the survey found a three-way tie for fifth place between Ruby, C#, and C++, with C coming in at #9 (ranking just below CSS). Network World argues that while change comes slowly, "if you go back deeper into RedMonk's rankings, you can see slow, ongoing ascents from languages such as Go, Swift and even TypeScript."
Interestingly, an earlier ranking by the IEEE declared C to be the top programming language of 2016, followed by Java, Python, C++, and R. But RedMonk's methodology involves studying the prevalence of each language on both Stack Overflow and GitHub, a correlation which "we believe to be predictive of future use, hence their value."Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's Microsoft-loves-Linux department
An anonymous reader quotes a columnist at CIO:
While Ubuntu is the primary Linux distribution that Microsoft is using to showcase its ChakraCore technologies, the company said that the support should easily translate to other modern Linux distributions.
Microsoft's blog post says the experimental implementation runs not only on x64 Linux but also on OS X.Read Replies (0)