By msmash from Slashdot's modest-proposal department
hyperclocker shares a report: HP hopes to entice researchers with a $10,000 reward for finding vulnerabilities in printers. The tech giant revealed the new bug bounty program on Tuesday. The scheme, which is launching as a private bug bounty, is tailored specifically for HP printer hardware. While many of us use home printers simply for printing the occasional document or photo, in the enterprise, these devices are often found in a network. If there is a weak link in business networks, a single device -- whether it be a printer or smart air conditioning system -- can be exploited to compromise a wider network system. Printers, especially if they are overlooked when it comes to firmware updates or upgrades, can become such avenues to exploit. According to research undertaken by Bugcrowd, "2018 State of Bug Bounty Report," endpoint devices are becoming a tantalizing target for threat actors, with a 21 percent increase in total endpoint bugs reported over the past 12 months. In partnership with bug bounty platform Bugcrowd, HP says it is the "only vendor" to launch a printer-only vulnerability disclosure scheme. Under the terms of the program, researchers can earn between $500 and $10,000 per legitimate find.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's new-plan department
The Department of Homeland Security announced on Tuesday the creation of a new center aimed at guarding the nation's banks, energy companies and other industries from major cyberattacks that could cripple critical infrastructure. From a report: The launch of the National Risk Management Center was unveiled by DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen at a government-hosted cyber summit in New York City, at which Vice President Mike Pence and several other cabinet secretaries are expected to speak. In prepared remarks, Ms. Nielsen said that cyber threats now posed a greater threat to the country than physical attacks. DHS was founded 15 years ago to prevent another Sept. 11, 2001, Ms. Nielsen said, but "today I believe the next major attack is more likely to reach us online than on an airplane." The center's creation was motivated by a growing recognition in government that sophisticated cyberattacks, particularly those deployed by foreign adversaries, can not only harm a company or industry but can cause systemic failure across society, Chris Krebs, DHS's top cyber official, said in an interview.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
Several readers have shared a report: Vickie Shannon Allen, 49, started working at Amazon as a counter in a fulfillment warehouse at Haslet, Texas, in May 2017. At first, like many employees, Allen was excited by the idea of working for one of the fastest growing corporations in the world. That feeling dissipated quickly after a few months. [...] Nor is Allen alone. A Guardian investigation has revealed numerous cases of Amazon workers suffering from workplace accidents or injuries in its gigantic warehouse system and being treated in ways that leave them homeless, unable to work or bereft of income. Allen's story began on 24 October last year when she injured her back counting goods on a workstation that was missing a brush guard, a piece of safety equipment meant to prevent products from falling onto the floor. She used a tote bin to try to compensate for the missing brush guard, and hurt her back while counting in an awkward position. The injury was the beginning of an ongoing ordeal she is still working to amend at Amazon. Over the course of a few weeks, Amazon's medical triage area gave her use of a heating pad to use on her back, while Amazon management sent her home each day without pay until Allen pushed for workers compensation. "I tried to work again, but I couldn't stretch my right arm out and I'm right-handed. So I was having a hard time keeping up. This went on for about three weeks," Allen said. Despite not getting paid, Allen was spending her own money to drive 60 miles one way to the warehouse each day just to be sent home. Once on workers compensation, Allen started going to physical therapy. In January 2018, she returned to work and injured herself again on the same workstation that still was not fixed.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
An anonymous reader shares a report: In August 22, 2001, Jerome Jacobson, director of security for a subcontracting company called Simon Marketing, was arrested along with eight co-conspirators for orchestrating a massive scheme to defraud McDonald's Monopoly promotion out of more than $24 million. Jeff Maysh of The Daily Beast tells the inside story in 8,800 words. Between 1989 and 2001, "Uncle Jerry" used his position as the head of the McDonald's Monopoly account to steal winning "pieces" worth between $10,000 and $1 million. He proceeded to gift the pieces to family members and a growing network of associates -- which included "mobsters, psychics, strip club owners, convicts, drug traffickers, and even a family of Mormons" -- in exchange for a cut of the laundered winnings. A former police officer known for his attention to detail, Jacobson was personally responsible for overseeing the printing of paper game pieces, cutting out the winning tickets, and transporting them to McDonald's packaging factories throughout the country. Read the full story here.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's breaking-news department
Facebook is preparing to announce that it has identified a coordinated political influence campaign, with dozens of inauthentic accounts and pages that are believed to be engaging in political activity ahead of November's midterm elections, The New York Times reported Tuesday, citing three people briefed on the matter. From the report: In a series of briefings on Capitol Hill this week, the company told lawmakers that it detected the influence campaign as part of its investigations into election interference. It has been unable to tie the accounts to Russia, whose Internet Research Agency was at the center of an indictment earlier this year for interfering in the 2016 election, but company officials told Capitol Hill that Russia was possibly involved, according to two of the officials. Facebook is expected to announce its findings on Tuesday afternoon. The company has been working with the F.B.I. to investigate the activity. Like the Russian interference campaign in 2016, the recently detected campaign dealt with divisive social issues. Update: Facebook has confirmed the story, adding: Today we removed 32 Pages and accounts from Facebook and Instagram because they were involved in coordinated inauthentic behavior. This kind of behavior is not allowed on Facebook because we don't want people or organizations creating networks of accounts to mislead others about who they are, or what they're doing. We're still in the very early stages of our investigation and don't have all the facts -- including who may be behind this. But we are sharing what we know today given the connection between these bad actors and protests that are planned in Washington next week. We will update this post with more details when we have them, or if the facts we have change. It's clear that whoever set up these accounts went to much greater lengths to obscure their true identities than the Russian-based Internet Research Agency (IRA) has in the past. We believe this could be partly due to changes we've made over the last year to make this kind of abuse much harder.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's day-light-robbery department
By msmash from Slashdot's closer-look department
As students enter college this fall, many will hunger for more than knowledge. Up to half of college students in recent published studies say they either are not getting enough to eat or are worried about it. From a report: This food insecurity is most prevalent at community colleges, but it's common at public and private four-year schools as well. Student activists and advocates in the education community have drawn attention to the problem in recent years, and the food pantries that have sprung up at hundreds of schools are perhaps the most visible sign. Some schools nationally also have instituted the Swipe Out Hunger program, which allows students to donate their unused meal plan vouchers, or "swipes," to other students to use at campus dining halls or food pantries. That's a start, say analysts studying the problem of campus hunger, but more systemwide solutions are needed. "If I'm sending my kid to college, I want more than a food pantry," says Sara Goldrick-Rab, a professor of higher education policy and sociology at Temple University in Philadelphia, and founder of the Hope Center for College, Community and Justice. [...] According to a survey of UC Berkeley students, 38 percent of undergraduates and 23 percent of graduate students deal with food insecurity at some point during the academic year, Ruben Canedo, a university employee who chairs the campus's basic needs committee, says.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's postponed-until-further-notice department
Zorro quotes a report from The Daily Beast: After years of planning, NASA is finally launching a new effort to send astronauts back to the moon and then onward to Mars. But one important piece of technology is missing: a new space suit. Fifty-three years after astronaut Ed White stepped outside his Gemini 4 capsule on the first-ever spacewalk for an American, NASA is stuck using decades-old suits that critics say are too old, too bulky, too rigid, and too few in number for America's new era of space exploration.
Astronauts could need as many as three different kinds of space suits for a single mission. NASA has plenty of flight-suit options, but its extravehicular activity or EVA suits are old and dwindling in number. And the agency doesn't have any suits specifically for surface missions. Time is running out to make up the space suit shortfalls. NASA plans to launch Exploration Mission 1, the first test of Orion and its heavy rocket, as early as 2020. The Lunar Gateway station could be ready for use five or six years later. Despite these looming deadlines, NASA "remains years away from having a flight-ready space suit... suitable for use on future exploration missions," the agency's inspector general warned in a 2017 audit.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's uncharted-territory department
Logitech announced late Monday night that it is acquiring Blue Microphones for $117 million. The company known for USB condenser microphones, such as the Snowball and Yeti, will join Logitech's existing portfolio of brands. The Verge reports: Founded in 1995, Blue sells microphones that range in price from $60 to over $4,000 (for studio-grade hardware), and they're used by podcasters, musicians, and any other consumers who need higher-fidelity audio than what they get from the built-in microphones on their devices. Now, after dropping a heap of cash on the company, Logitech will do its best to make sure Blue's devices become just as essential as its own wireless keyboards and mice. "For Logitech, this is a new space," the company wrote in a blog post. "But, at the same time, it's not at all. Gamers are already using our Logitech G webcams to stream. People are video calling with friends and family thanks to Logitech every day. And in business, our audio and video know-how is apparent every time a video meeting takes place at the office. Joining up with Blue and their microphone lines is a logical adjacent opportunity with great synergies."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rest-in-peace department
Doug Grindstaff, a five-time Emmy Award winner behind Star Trek's Tribble coos, communicator beeps, and Enterprise bridge door whooshes, has died at 87. The Hollywood Reporter looks back at Grindstaff's contributions to the Star Trek universe: [Grindstaff] received 14 Emmy nominations in all -- including one for Star Trek in 1967 -- and won for his editing on The Immortal in 1970, Medical Story in 1976, Police Story in 1978, Power in 1980 and Max Headroom in 1987. Working with Jack Finlay and Joseph Sorokin, Grindstaff created the background sounds and effects used on NBC's Star Trek. These sounds included red alert klaxons, the whoosh of Enterprise bridge doors opening/closing, heartbeats, boatswain whistles, sickbay scanners and communicator beeps and the acoustics that invoked phasers striking deflector shields and transporter materialization (and dematerialization).
In a 2016 interview for the Audible Range blog, Grindstaff noted that Star Trek creator Gene Roddenberry "wanted to paint the whole show [with sound] like you were painting a picture. "And he wanted sounds everywhere. One time I asked him, 'Don't you think we're getting too cartoony?' Because I felt it should be a little more dignified, but he wanted sound for everything. For example, I worked on one scene where [Dr. McCoy] is giving someone a shot. Gene says, 'Doug, I'm missing one thing. The doctor injects him and I don't hear the shot.' I said, 'You wouldn't hear a shot, Gene.' He said, 'No, no, this is Star Trek, we want a sound for it.' "So I turned around to the mixing panel and said, 'Do you guys have an air compressor?' And they did. I fired up the air compressor, squirted it for a long enough period by the mic, went upstairs, played with it a little bit and then put it in the show. And Gene loved it. So, that's how Gene was. He didn't miss nothing!" Grindstaff said he created Tribble coos by manipulating the sound of a dove.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's blown-away department
WindBourne shares a report from Forbes: In the second quarter of 2018, Tesla produced just over 53,000 vehicles, doubling its output compared to the same quarter last year. For the first time, Model 3 production (28,578) exceeded combined Model S and X production (24,761) with deliveries to customers totaling 40,740 for the quarter. The ramp up in Model 3 production is enabling it to outsell small and midsize luxury car sales in the U.S., according to some number crunching by CleanTechnica's Zachary Shahan.
His analysis claims that the Model 3 is crushing its "competitors" in that segment with total estimated sales for July amounting to 16,000 vehicles. The closest individual model to Tesla's mass-market endeavor is the Mercedes C-Class and even then, its July sales are estimated at just 6,029 units. The Model 3 is still untouchable when sales figures from multiple vehicles produced by the same company are added together. For example, the analysis expects sales of the BMW 2, 3, 4 and 5 Series to hit 12,811 at the end of July in total while customers will get their hands on 11,835 Mercedes C, CLA, CLS and E-Class models. That all means that Tesla would have a 23% share of the small and midsize luxury car market in July, ahead of BMW's 17% and Mercedes' 17%.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's state-of-the-art department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: In a forthcoming paper ("Dexterous In-Hand Manipulation"), OpenAI researchers describe a system that uses a reinforcement model, where the AI [known as Dactyl] learns through trial and error, to direct robot hands in grasping and manipulating objects with state-of-the-art precision. All the more impressive, it was trained entirely digitally, in a computer simulation, and wasn't provided any human demonstrations by which to learn. The researchers used the MuJoCo physics engine to simulate a physical environment in which a real robot might operate, and Unity to render images for training a computer vision model to recognize poses. But this approach had its limitations, the team writes -- the simulation was merely a "rough approximation" of the physical setup, which made it "unlikely" to produce systems that would translate well to the real world. Their solution was to randomize aspects of the environment, like its physics (friction, gravity, joint limits, object dimensions, and more) and visual appearance (lighting conditions, hand and object poses, materials, and textures). This both reduced the likelihood of overfitting -- a phenomenon that occurs when a neural network learns noise in training data, negatively affecting its performance -- and increased the chances of producing an algorithm that would successfully choose actions based on real-world fingertip positions and object poses.
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By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-is-better-than-one department
T-Mobile has entered into a $3.5 billion multi-year agreement with Nokia to build out its 5G network. Nokia will supply T-Mobile with its end-to-end 5G technology, software, and services, including commercial AirScale radio platforms and cloud-native core, AirFrame hardware, CloudBand software, SON, and 5G Acceleration Services," reports PhoneDog. From the report: Nokia will help T-Mobile build a nationwide 5G network that'll use both 600MHz and 28GHz millimeter wave (mmWave) spectrum that'll be compliant with 3GPP 5G New Radio (NR) standards. T-Mobile has said that it'll deploy its 5G coverage in 30 cities in 2018, including New York City, Dallas, Los Angeles, and Las Vegas. The carrier's first 5G-capable smartphones are expected to arrive in early 2019. The T-Mobile announcement can be viewed here.Read Replies (0)