By msmash from Slashdot's for-the-record department
The classic Windows game Solitaire has joined such landmarks as Doom, Tetris, and World of Warcraft in being inducted into the Strong Museum of Play's World Video Game Hall of Fame. The award recognizes Solitaire's role as a significant part of gaming's history. From a report: Solitaire was first bundled with Windows 3.0. Much like the other notable bundled game, Minesweeper, Solitaire was there to serve as a secret tutorial: in a time when the mouse was still regarded as a new and exotic piece of computer hardware, Solitaire honed clicking, double clicking, and drag-and-drop skills. As a computerized version of a familiar card game, it was instantly recognizable. It was bundled with every subsequent Windows version, up to Windows 7. Windows 8 replaced it with a much more varied set of card games. The combination of approachability and bundling means that the game has been installed on more than a billion PCs, and it has likely been played by many billions of people.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's shape-of-things-to-come department
If Facebook's pivot from town square to private living room wasn't laden with enough irony, here's a new twist: Big business, it appears, has been invited to join us by the fireplace. From a report: On Thursday, The Wall Street Journal reported new potential details about Facebook's long-awaited cryptocurrency plans. The company is reportedly seeking dozens of business partners, including online merchants and financial firms, in an effort to extend the reach of its blockchain-based marketplace. Facebook's would-be partners are being asked to pitch into an investment fund, valued at $1 billion or more, that would serve as backing for Facebook's coin and mitigate the wild speculative swings that make cryptocurrencies like bitcoin hard to spend. The pitch, according to the Journal, involves offering merchants lower fees than credit cards.
Some were quick to note that this would reduce Facebook's ability to make money from payments in the short term. But that may not matter much -- if, in the end, Facebook's crypto effort is really all about getting you to spend more time glued to Facebook. Facebook appears to be already building out the plumbing to make its marketplace a reality. At its F8 developer conference this week, the word "blockchain" was notably absent.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's further-crackdown department
German police, together with Europol and law enforcement agencies from the US, the Netherlands, and France, have seized the servers of a dark web marketplace known as the Wall Street Market, on which users sold illegal products such as drugs, weapons, user credentials, and hacking tools, ZDNet reported Thursday. From the report: The site's seizure comes after a tumultuous two weeks for the Wall Street Market (WSM) and its users, during which the site's administrators have exit-scammed -- ran away with over $14.2 million worth of cryptocurrency from users and vendors' accounts. In this midst of all of this, one of the site's moderators -- named Med3l1n -- began blackmailing WSM vendors and buyers, asking for 0.05 Bitcoin (~$280), and threatening to disclose to law enforcement the details of WSM vendors and buyers who made the mistake of sharing various details in support requests in an unencrypted form. It is unclear if these extortion attempts succeeded, but days later, Med3l1n published the IP address (located in the Netherlands) and login credentials for the WSM backend on Dread, a Reddit-like community for dark web users. The IP address is in the same network range of another IP address that leaked from the Wall Street Market backend two years ago. Further reading: Feds Bust Up Dark Web Hub Wall Street Market.Read Replies (0)
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)