By EditorDavid from Slashdot's check-mates department
"It's the biggest chess event of the year as World Champion Magnus Carlsen will try to defend his title against the American challenger Fabiano Caruana," reports Chess.com -- which is webcasting game two right now (7 a.m. PST, 3 p.m. London/GMT).
After seven grueling hours and 115 moves on Friday, the first game of their 12-game competition ended in a draw -- though challenger Caruana acknowledged that "I was quite fortunate to end up with a draw... I was outplayed after the opening... I think I was clearly losing, for a long time I was losing."
This was not the most pleasant experience to defend this extremely long game with white. I think I was quite fortunate to end up with a draw... There was definitely a lot of nerves. It is a very different feeling playing the first game of a world championship match.... Normally with white you shouldn't be too happy with a draw, but considering my position I am very happy. I am relieved to have escaped."
Slate reports Caruana has spent $50,000 on chess coaching just in 2018 in hopes of claiming the 1 million euro prize. Ironically, the match's "ceremonial starter", actor Woody Harrelson, bungled Caruana's first move by knocking over his king -- and then by moving the wrong pawn. "Caruana was ready to accept the mistake and continue with the match before officials gave Harrelson a third chance and he finally moved the correct piece."
Defending champion Magnus Carlsen later admitted that "I couldn't quite find the knockout before the time trouble.... I tried to find a way to exchange in order to play for a win, but I couldn't find it. Then I just moved around hoping to force a blunder, but I didn't succeed."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's sharing-is-caring department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: This week, U.S. Cyber Command (CYBERCOM), a part of the military tasked with hacking and cybersecurity focused missions, started publicly releasing unclassified samples of adversaries' malware it has discovered. CYBERCOM says the move is to improve information sharing among the cybersecurity community, but in some ways it could be seen as a signal to those who hack U.S. systems: we may release your tools to the wider world. On Friday, CYBERCOM uploaded multiple files to VirusTotal, a Google-owned search engine and repository for malware. Once uploaded, VirusTotal users can download the malware, see which anti-virus or cybersecurity products likely detect it, and see links to other pieces of malicious code.
One of the two samples CYBERCOM distributed on Friday is marked as coming from APT28, a Russian government-linked hacking group, by several different cybersecurity firms, according to VirusTotal. Those include Kaspersky Lab, Symantec, and Crowdstrike, among others. APT28 is also known as Sofacy and Fancy Bear. The malware itself does not appear to still be active.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what's-inside department
iFixit has released their teardown of the new Mac mini, providing a look inside the portable desktop computer. Some of the notable findings include user-upgradable RAM and soldered CPU and SSD. Mac Rumors reports: While the RAM in the previous-gen Mac mini from 2014 was soldered to the logic board, the new Mac mini has user-upgradeable RAM, as discovered earlier this week. As seen in older iMacs, the RAM is protected by a perforated shield that allows the memory modules to operate at a high frequency of 2666 MHz without interfering with other device functions, according to iFixit. To upgrade the RAM, the shield can be removed by unfastening four Torx screws.
Other silicon on the logic board of this particular Mac mini includes the Apple T2 security chip, a 3.6GHz quad-core Intel Core i3 processor, Intel UHD Graphics 630, 128GB of flash storage from Toshiba, an Intel JHL7540 Thunderbolt 3 controller, and a Gigabit Ethernet controller from Broadcom. Despite the good news about the RAM, the CPU and SSD are soldered to the logic board, as are many ports, so this isn't a truly modular Mac mini. iFixit awarded the new Mac mini a repairability score of 6/10, with 10 being the easiest to repair, topping the latest MacBook Air, MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and iMac Pro, and trailing only the 2013 Mac Pro.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's family-feud department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Amazon.com Inc. has taken another step toward eliminating software from Oracle Corp. that has long helped the e-commerce giant run its retail business. An executive with Amazon's cloud-computing unit hit back at Oracle Executive Chairman Larry Ellison, who ridiculed the internet giant as recently as last month for relying on Oracle databases to track transactions and store information, even though Amazon sells competing software, including Redshift, Aurora and DynamoDB. Amazon's effort to end its use of Oracle's products has made new progress, Andy Jassy, the chief executive officer of Amazon Web Services, tweeted Friday. "In latest episode of 'uh huh, keep talkin' Larry,' Amazon's Consumer business turned off its Oracle data warehouse Nov. 1 and moved to Redshift," Jassy wrote. By the end of 2018, Amazon will stop using 88 percent of its Oracle databases, including 97 percent of its mission-critical databases, he added.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hide-and-seek department
According to federal contracting documents, the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have hidden an undisclosed number of covert surveillance cameras inside streetlights around the country. Quartz reports: According to government procurement data, the DEA has paid a Houston, Texas company called Cowboy Streetlight Concealments LLC roughly $22,000 since June 2018 for "video recording and reproducing equipment." ICE paid out about $28,000 to Cowboy Streetlight Concealments over the same period of time. It's unclear where the DEA and ICE streetlight cameras have been installed, or where the next deployments will take place. ICE offices in Dallas, Houston, and San Antonio have provided funding for recent acquisitions from Cowboy Streetlight Concealments; the DEA's most recent purchases were funded by the agency's Office of Investigative Technology, which is located in Lorton, Virginia. "We do streetlight concealments and camera enclosures," Christie Crawford, who owns Cowboy Streetlight Concealments with her husband, told Quartz. "Basically, there's businesses out there that will build concealments for the government and that's what we do. They specify what's best for them, and we make it. And that's about all I can probably say."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's winners-and-losers department
dmoberhaus writes: Perceptual ad blockers were supposed to be the "superweapon" that put an end to the arms race between advertisers and users. According to new research, however, perceptual ad blockers will come out on the losing side in the war against internet advertisers and expose users to a host of new attack vectors in the process. Researchers at Stanford tricked six different visual classifiers used in perceptual ad blockers with adversarial ads designed to trick the ad blockers by making nearly imperceptible changes to the ads. "The researchers tried several different adversarial attacks on the perceptual ad blockers' visual classifiers," Motherboard reports. "One attack, for example, slightly altered the AdChoices logo that is commonly used to disclose advertisements to fool the perceptual ad blocker. In another attack, the researchers demonstrated how website publishers could overlay a transparent mask over a website that would allow ads to evade perceptual ad blockers."
"The aim of our work is not to downplay the merits of ad-blocking, nor discredit the perceptual ad blocking philosophy, which is sound when instantiated with a robust visual ad detector," the researchers concluded. "Rather, our overarching goal is to highlight and raise awareness on the vulnerabilities that arise in building ad blockers with current computer vision systems."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what's-yours-is-mine department
Late last month, HealthCare.gov suffered a data breach exposing 75,000 customers. Details were sparse at the time of the breach, but have now learned that hackers obtained "inappropriate access" to a number of broker and agent accounts, which "engaged in excessive searching" of the government's healthcare marketplace systems. TechCrunch reports: [The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS)] didn't say how the attackers gained access to the accounts, but said it shut off the affected accounts "immediately." In a letter sent to affected customers this week (and buried on the Healthcare.gov website), CMS disclosed that sensitive personal data -- including partial Social Security numbers, immigration status and some tax information -- may have been taken. According to the letter, the data included name, date of birth, address, sex, and the last four digits of the Social Security number (SSN), if SSN was provided on the application. Other information could include expected income, tax filing status, family relationships, whether the applicant is a citizen or an immigrant, immigration document types and numbers, employer name, pregnancy status, health insurance status, and more. The government did say that no bank account information was stolen.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's never-a-contest department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Recode: To dozens of cities across the United States, Amazon's widely publicized search for a "second headquarters" looked like thousands of new jobs, up for grabs. To Pivot co-host Scott Galloway, it now looks like a "ruse." "I lease office space all the time for my businesses and I always tell my real estate agent, 'We can lease any office in the world as long as I can walk there from where I live,'" Galloway said on the latest episode. "Amazon is now talking about having three headquarters, Seattle, Crystal City and Long Island City. The Bezos's also own three homes, and the average distance from those three homes to a headquarters is 6.4 miles.
"This was never a contest," he added. "It was a con meant to induce ridiculous terms that they then took to the cites all along that they knew they were going to be in." In other words: By soliciting bids from lots of place where it was never going to move, Galloway alleges, Amazon was probably able to get more tax breaks from the pre-determined "winners." "I would bet, Kara, that when they pick two cities and they went to 2 and 3, they didn't say, 'Well, only half our headquarters is going there, so we're going to let you cut the tax subsidies and incentives in half,'" he explained. "This just has ill will written all over it, and I think people started to figure out what was going on ... It's the Olympics on steroids. A lot of high fives and ribbon cutting, and then 10 years later, we realize it was a bad idea."Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's amazon-will-not-see-you-now department
In a new agreement between tech giants Amazon and Apple, shoppers will soon see a selection of the latest Apple products on Amazon.com. This is not good news for everyone. Motherboard: John Bumstead is a computer refurbisher who, every year, saves thousands of laptops from the shredder. He buys MacBooks en masse from electronics recyclers, fixes them, then sells them on Amazon Marketplace or wholesales them to vendors who do the same. Friday morning, Bumstead got an email from Amazon informing him that he'd no longer be allowed to sell Apple computers on the platform, thanks to a new agreement between Apple and Amazon that will only allow "authorized resellers" to sell Apple products. "As part of a new agreement with Apple, we are working with a select group of authorized resellers to offer an expanded selection of Apple and Beats products, including new releases, in Amazon's stores," the email says. "You are receiving this message because you are currently selling, or have previously sold, Apple or Beats products. Your existing offers for those products will soon be removed from Amazon's online store in the United States. Please contact Apple if you would like to apply to become an authorized reseller on Amazon." As the email notes, this is part of a new agreement between two of the largest companies in the world that will allow Amazon to sell new Apple products around the world; in exchange, Amazon agreed to let Apple pick-and-choose who is allowed to sell Apple products on the site.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department
SpaceX has been granted permission by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to set up a vast network of thousands of low Earth orbit communication satellites. But the company has been tight-lipped about the project, known as Starlink. Mark Handley, University College London built a simulator based on public details from the FCC filings to understand the latency properties of the network. New Scientist reports: Although Musk has said he wants more than half of all internet traffic to go through Starlink -- Handley's simulation suggests that the project will be most appealing to high-frequency traders at big banks, who might be willing to fork out large sums for dedicated, faster connections. To create the simulation, Handley took what information he could from SpaceX's public FCC filings and combined this with his knowledge of computer networks. Initially, Starlink will consist of 4425 satellites orbiting between 1100 and 1300 kilometres up, a greater number of active satellites than are currently in orbit. There is only one way to arrange this many in a configuration that minimises collisions, says Handley. So he is confident that his simulation reflects what SpaceX is going for. When sending an internet message via Starlink, a ground station will begin by using radio waves to talk to a satellite above it. Once in space, the message will be fired from satellite to satellite using lasers until it is above its destination. From there, it will be beamed down to the right ground station using radio waves again. Between distant places, this will allow messages to be sent about twice as fast as through the optical fibres on Earth that currently connect the internet, despite having to travel to space and back. This is because the speed of the signal in glass is slower than it is through space.Read Replies (0)