By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department
An anonymous reader writes: Hundreds of developers have had had Git source code repositories wiped and replaced with a ransom demand. The hacker removes all source code and recent commits from vitcims' Git repositories, and leaves a ransom note behind that asks for a payment of 0.1 Bitcoin (~$570). The hacker claims all source code has been downloaded and stored on one of their servers, and gives the victim ten days to pay the ransom; otherwise, they'll make the code public.
Hundreds of users have had code repositories wiped and replaced with ransom notes. The coordinated attack has hit Git repositories stored across multiple platforms, such as GitHub, GitLab,and Bitbucket. Some users who fell victim to this hacker have admitted to using weak passwords for their GitHub, GitLab, and Bitbucket accounts, and forgetting to remove access tokens for old apps they haven't used for months --both of which are very common ways in which online accounts usually get compromised. Several users also tried to pin the issue on the hacker using an exploit in SourceTree, a Git GUI app for Mac and Windows made by Atlassian; however, there is no evidence to support this theory, for the time being.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's pushing-the-limits department
A new deep learning algorithm can generate high-resolution, photorealistic images of people -- faces, hair, outfits, and all -- from scratch. From a report: The AI-generated models are the most realistic we've encountered, and the tech will soon be licensed out to clothing companies and advertising agencies interested in whipping up photogenic models without paying for lights or a catering budget. At the same time, similar algorithms could be misused to undermine public trust in digital media.
The algorithm was developed by DataGrid, a tech company housed on the campus of Japan's Kyoto University, according to a press release. In a video showing off the tech, the AI morphs and poses model after model as their outfits transform, bomber jackets turning into winter coats and dresses melting into graphic tees. Specifically, the new algorithm is a Generative Adversarial Network (GAN).Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
An anonymous reader shares a report: It looked like yet another weird symptom of San Francisco tech culture: a cluster of people sitting on the side of a road, working at desks placed within the boundaries of a parking space. But WePark -- a project led by San Francisco-based web developer Victor Pontis -- was actually a manifestation of an idea that has become more popular in the last few years: Cities use space inefficiently and prioritize cars over people. The people at the desks were attempting to reclaim a sliver of space for human use. "Car parking squanders space that can be used for the public good -- bike lanes, larger sidewalks, retail, cafes, more housing," Pontis said. "Let's use city streets for people, not cars."
(There are also WePark franchises in France as well as Santa Monica.) Pontis said he got the idea from a Twitter exchange in which Github's Devon Zuegel pointed out that eight bicycles could fit in one park spot instead of a car. Urbanist Annie Fryman, responded, suggesting that the metered parking spot be used as a coworking space instead. Pontis turned that hypothetical into a reality, choosing popular real estate like Santa Monica's Ocean Avenue. The set-up was simple: he paid for a day's worth of parking meter, then charged users people per hour. He said 30 people showed up on the first day in the three cities, paying the $2.25 per hour fee that WePark charged for a spot at a parking lot desk. (Paying for a desk at a regular coworking space, like WeWork is approximately $50 per day plus a monthly membership fee.)Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's RIP department
"Star Wars" actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy, died on Tuesday, his family said today. He was 74. He died at his North Texas home surrounded by his family. From a report: He was discovered by producer Charles H. Schneer while working as a hospital attendant in London, and cast in Ray Harryhausen's "Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger." The next year, he was cast as Chewbacca, the 200-year-old Wookiee. Mayhew went on to appear in "The Empire Strikes Back," "Return of the Jedi," "Revenge of the Sith," "The Force Awakens" and "The Star Wars Holiday Special." He was active on the "Star Wars" convention circuit and wrote two books, "Growing Up Giant" and "My Favorite Giant." His height was not due to gigantism, but he measured 7 feet 3 inches at his highest. George Lucas originally had his eye on bodybuilder David Prowse, but Prowse decided to play Darth Vader instead and Lucas went with the even taller Mayhew.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
Google has reviewed more than 1 million suspected terrorist videos on YouTube in the first three months of 2019, according to a letter the tech giant sent to US lawmakers. From a report: In the April 24 letter, made public Thursday as part of a press release from the House Committee on Homeland Security, Google said 90,000 of those videos violated its terrorism policy. Google, which owns YouTube, said it spends "hundreds of millions of dollars annually" on content review. The House committee urged Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Microsoft to do a better job of removing violent content, following posts about the deadly New Zealand mosque shooting in March. In April, Rep. Max Rose and other Democrats asked for the websites' budgets, to see how the platforms were fighting terrorism.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's privacy-woes department
An anonymous reader shares a report: Latch is on a mission to digitize the front door, offering apartment entry systems that forgo traditional keys in favor of being able to unlock entries with a smartphone. The company touts convenience -- who wants to fiddle with a metal key? -- and has a partnership with UPS, so you can get packages delivered inside your lobby without a doorman. But while it may keep homes private and secure, the same can't be said about tenants' personal data.
Latch -- which has raised $96 million in venture capital funding since launching in 2014, including $70 million in its Series B last year -- offers three products. Two are entry systems for specific units, and one is for lobbies and other common areas like elevators and garages. The company claims one in 10 new apartment buildings in the U.S. is being built with its products, with leading real estate developers like Brookfield and Alliance Residential now installing them across the country.
By msmash from Slashdot's tussle-continues department
In recent weeks, an Apple representative and a lobbyist for CompTIA, a trade organization that represents big tech companies, have been privately meeting with legislators in California to encourage them to kill legislation that would make it easier for consumers to repair their electronics Motherboard has learned. From a report: According to two sources in the California State Assembly, the lobbyists have met with members of the Privacy and Consumer Protection Committee, which is set to hold a hearing on the bill Tuesday afternoon. The lobbyists brought an iPhone to the meetings and showed lawmakers and their legislative aides the internal components of the phone. The lobbyists said that if improperly disassembled, consumers who are trying to fix their own iPhone could hurt themselves by puncturing the lithium-ion battery, the sources, who Motherboard is not naming because they were not authorized to speak to the media, said. The argument is similar to one made publicly by Apple executive Lisa Jackson in 2017 at TechCrunch Disrupt, when she said the iPhone is âoetoo complexâ for normal people to repair them. The bill has been pulled by its sponsor, Susan Talamantes-Eggman: "It became clear that the bill would not have the support it needed today, and manufacturers had sown enough doubt with vague and unbacked claims of privacy and security concerns," she said.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department
Russia is one step closer to creating its own, independent internet -- at least legally speaking. Russian President Vladimir Putin has signed into law new measures that would enable the creation of a national network, able to operate separately from the rest of the world, according to documents posted on a government portal this week. From a report: For now, the network remains largely theoretical though, with few practical details disclosed. In concept, the new law aims to protect Russia from foreign online restrictions by creating what the Kremlin calls a "sustainable, secure and fully functioning" local internet. The legislation takes effect in November, state news agency RIA-Novosti reported. According to a summary from RIA-Novosti, the law calls for the creation of a monitoring and a management center supervised by Roskomnadzor, Russia's telecoms agency. The state agency will be charged with ensuring the availability of communication services in Russia in extraordinary situations. During such situations, it would also be empowered to cut off external traffic exchange, creating a purely Russian web.Read Replies (0)