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Hungarian tech store closed by World War II bomb

The Register - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 07:01
Please shop online instead while it's safely disposed of, says branch of CCTV specialist MASCO

Masco, a Hungarian chain of stores specializing in property surveillance and protection tech, has asked customers to avoid its head office because an unexploded World War II bomb has been found nearby.…

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'Woefully insufficient': Biden administration's assessment of critical infrastructure protection

The Register - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 06:15
Memorandum details plans to turn that around with rapid development of security baselines, not mandates

The Biden administration has issued a National Security Memorandum on Improving Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure Control Systems to address what it describes as a "woefully insufficient" security posture.…

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Over 100 Taiwanese political figures' messages leaked outta LINE app

The Register - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 05:34
Attack turned off encryption function, which made snooping rather easier

Law enforcement agencies in Taiwan are investigating a cyberattack on over 100 local political figures and dignitaries who used the messaging app LINE.…

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Apple Closing Down Internal Slack Channels Where Employees Debate Remote Work

Slashdot - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 04:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Cult of Mac: Apple is closing down internal Slack channels to stop employees discussing remote working options, reports Zoe Schiffer from The Verge. Many Cupertino employees are currently engaged in a Cold War of sorts with their employer over the remote working arrangement coming out of the coronavirus pandemic. As the arguments flare up among staff, Apple has taken the step of shuttering the Slack channels where these are taking place. "Apple recently began cracking down on Slack channels that aren't directly related to work," Schiffer wrote on Twitter. "The company bans channels 'for activities and hobbies' that aren't directly related to projects or part of official employee groups -- but this wasn't always enforced, employees say." Two public letters from Apple employees have requested more flexible working conditions. A recent petition this month was shared on Apple's internal Slack channel, with more than 6,000 members discussing remote work. It noted that: "We continue to be concerned that this one-size-fits-all solution is causing many of our colleagues to question their future at Apple. With COVID-19 numbers rising again around the world, vaccines proving less effective against the delta variant, and the long-term effects of infection not well understood, it is too early to force those with concerns to come back to the office." According to Schiffer, "internally, [many] people feel like [Apple] isn't listening to their demands." She continues that: "Since Friday, three Apple employees have resigned specifically because of the remote work policies. One had been at the company for nearly 13 years. I've seen a bunch of these resignation notes and they're pretty heart wrenching."

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'World's Most Powerful Tidal Turbine' Starts To Export Power To the Grid

Slashdot - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 03:02
A tidal turbine weighing 680 metric tons and dubbed "the world's most powerful" has started grid-connected power generation at the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, an archipelago located north of mainland Scotland. CNBC reports: In an announcement Wednesday, Scottish engineering firm Orbital Marine Power explained how its 2 megawatt O2 turbine had been anchored in a body of water called the Fall of Warness, with a subsea cable linking it to a local electricity network on land. It's expected that the turbine, which is 74 meters long, will "operate in the waters off Orkney for the next 15 years," the company said, and have "the capacity to meet the annual electricity demand of around 2,000 UK homes." The turbine is also set to send power to a land-based electrolyzer that will generate so-called green hydrogen. In a statement, Orbital Marine Power's CEO, Andrew Scott, described Wednesday's news as "a major milestone for the O2." Funding for the O2's construction has come from public lenders via Abundance Investment. The Scottish government has also provided £3.4 million (around $4.72 million) of support through its Saltire Tidal Energy Challenge Fund. Looking to the future, Orbital Marine Power said it was "setting its sights" on the commercialization of its tech via the deployment of multi-megawatt arrays.

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Facebook Warns Growth To 'Decelerate Significantly', Mandates Vaccine For US Staff

Slashdot - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 02:25
Facebook said on Wednseday it expects revenue growth to "decelerate significantly." It also announced that it would require anyone working at its U.S. offices to be vaccinated against COVID-19. Google announced a similar policy earlier this morning. Reuters reports: The warning overshadowed the company's beat on Wall Street estimates for quarterly revenue, bolstered by increased advertising spending as businesses build their digital presence to cater to consumers spending more time and money online. Facebook said it expects Apple's recent update to its iOS operating system to impact its ability to target ads and therefore ad revenue in the third quarter. The iPhone maker's privacy changes make it harder for apps to track users and restrict advertisers from accessing valuable data for targeting ads. Monthly active users came in at 2.90 billion, up 7% from the same period last year but missing analyst expectations of 2.92 billion and marking the slowest growth rate in at least three years, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. "The user growth slowdown is notable and highlights the engagement challenges as the world opens up. But importantly, Facebook is the most exposed to Apple's privacy changes, and it looks like it is starting to have an impact to the outlook beginning in 3Q," said Ygal Arounian, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. Brian Wieser, GroupM's global president of business intelligence, said all social media companies would see slower growth in the second half of the year and that it would take more concrete warnings about activity in June and July for anyone to anticipate a "meaningful deceleration."

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AWS to retire classic EC2 – the compute service that started the IaaS rush

The Register - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 02:11
You've got a year to sort yourself out if you're still using 'em

Comment  Amazon Web Services has announced the retirement of its third cloud service: the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, aka EC2 Classic.…

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Dell Is Cancelling Alienware Gaming PC Shipments To Several US States

Slashdot - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 01:45
davide marney writes: Orders for Alienware Aurora R12 and R10 gaming PC configurations placed in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Vermont, or Washington will not be honored because of power consumption regulations, reports PC Gamer. "Any orders placed that are bound for those states will be canceled," Dell states in a message. "The Aurora R12 and R10 are built around the latest generation processors from Intel and AMD, the former featuring 11th Gen Core Rocket Lake CPUs and the latter wielding Ryzen 5000 series chips based on Zen 3," reports PC Gamer. "Unfortunately for both Dell and buyers who reside in affected states, the majority of Aurora R12 and R10 configurations consume more power than local regulations allow. There are exceptions, though [depending on the configuration you select]."

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I'm feeling lucky: Google, Facebook say workers must be vaccinated before they return to offices

The Register - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 01:38
As web search giant stalls end to work-from-home to mid-October

Google employees can continue working from home until October 18 – after the web giant pushed back the date for staff to return to its offices from mid-September.…

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Microsoft: Component Shortages Not Going Away Any Time Soon

Slashdot - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 01:02
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: In reporting its Q4 FY21 earnings, Microsoft disclosed that both its Surface and Windows revenues were affected negatively by supply-chain constraints. While remote work has continued to fuel PC demand, Microsoft and its OEM partners have had problems getting enough components, including chips, power cords and other electronic components that are required for new PCs. In Q4, Microsoft's Surface revenue fell 20 percent, to $1.38 billion in the quarter. The year-ago quarter comparison was tough because Surface and other Windows PCs saw lots of demand as people needed to buy PCs to enable them to work from home. Chief Financial Officer Amy Hood told analysts on the earnings call that Microsoft anticipated that Surface revenues would continue to fall next quarter due to supply-chain constraints. Supply-chain pressures also will continue to impact Microsoft's Xbox gaming consoles and PCs made by its partners, company officials conceded. Hood told analysts to expect Windows OEM revenues in Q1 FY22 to decline mid to high single digits and Surface revenue to decline by low teens. The Q4 numbers released today had Windows OEM Pro revenues down two percent compared to the year-ago quarter and non-Pro (consumer) OEM growth off by four percent. Supply-chain constraints don't seem to be impacting how quickly Microsoft can continue to build out its cloud footprint, however. Hood and other officials expect Microsoft to continue to grow its commercial cloud businesses, including Azure, Office 365 and Dynamics 365. Azure was up 51 percent (from some undisclosed base number) for the quarter and Dynamics 365 was up 49 percent from some undisclosed base -- its third consecutive quarter of growth.

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Google Delays Return To Office, Mandates Vaccines

Slashdot - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 00:20
Google is postponing a return to the office for most workers until mid-October and rolling out a policy that will eventually require everyone to be vaccinated once its sprawling campuses are fully reopened. The Associated Press reports: The announcement Wednesday came as the more highly contagious delta variant is driving a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations. In an email sent to Google's more than 130,000 employees worldwide, CEO Sundar Pichai said the company is now aiming to have most of its workforce back to its offices beginning Oct. 18 instead of its previous target date of Sept. 1. The decision also affects tens of thousands of contractors who Google intends to continue to pay while access to its campuses remains limited. "This extension will allow us time to ramp back into work while providing flexibility for those who need it," Pichai wrote. And Pichai disclosed that once offices are fully reopened, everyone working there will have to be vaccinated. The requirement will be first imposed at Google's Mountain View, California, headquarters and other U.S. offices, before being extended to the more than 40 other countries where the Google operates. Google's vaccine mandate will be adjusted to adhere to the laws and regulations of each location, Pichai wrote, and exceptions will be made for medical and other "protected" reasons. "Getting vaccinated is one of the most important ways to keep ourselves and our communities healthy in the months ahead," Pichai explained.

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Er, no, we would like to continue suing Facebook, US state AGs tell courts

The Register - Thu, 29/07/2021 - 00:16
Legal eagles determined to overturn decision to throw out antitrust lawsuit targeting Instagram, Whatsapp acquisitions

Attorneys General from 46 US states, plus Guam and Washington DC, have appealed a district court’s decision to dismiss their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook that claims the social media giant illegally acquired its competitors to maintain a monopoly.…

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YouTube Channel 'Tech Support Scams' Taken Offline By Tech Support Scam

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 23:40
The Tech Support Scams YouTube channel, operated by host and creator Jim Browning, was deleted after a tech support scam convinced Browning that the only way to secure his account was to delete it. The Register reports: "So to prove that anyone can be scammed," Browning announced via Twitter following the attack, "I was convinced to delete my YouTube channel because I was convinced I was talking [to YouTube] support. I never lost control of the channel, but the sneaky s**t managed to get me to delete the channel. Hope to recover soon." To fool Browning, the ruse must have been convincing: "I track down the people who scam others on the Internet," he writes on his Patreon page. "This is usually those 'tech support' call frauds using phone calls or pop-ups. I explain what I do by guiding others in how to recognize a scam and, more importantly, how to turn the tables on scammers by tracking them down." Browning has made a name for himself with self-described "scam baiting" videos, in which he sets up honeypot systems and pretends to fall for scams in which supposed support staffers need remote access to fix a problem or remove a virus -- in reality scouring the hard drive for sensitive files or planting malware of their own. "I am hoping that YouTube Support can recover the situation by 29th July," Browning wrote in a Patreon update, "and I can get the channel back, but they've not promised anything as yet. I just hope it is recoverable." Whether Browning is able to recover the account, and the 3.28 million subscribers he had gathered over his career as a scam-baiter, he's hoping to turn his misfortune into another lesson. "I will make a video on how all of this went down," he pledged, "but suffice to say, it was pretty convincing until the very end."

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About half of Python libraries in PyPI have security issues, Finnish boffins claim

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 23:14
Coding lingo's community says it has a plan to mitigate supply chain vulnerabilities

Boffins in Finland have scanned the open-source software libraries in the Python Package Index, better known as PyPI, for security issues and found that nearly half contain potentially vulnerable code.…

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What That Google Drive 'Security Update' Message Means

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 23:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A security update will be applied to Drive," Google's weird new email reads. If you visit drive.google.com, you'll also see a message saying, "On September 13, 2021, a security update will be applied to some of your files." You can even see a list of the affected files, which have all gotten an unspecified "security update." So what is this all about? Google is changing the way content sharing works on Drive. Drive files have two sharing options: a single-person allow list (where you share a Google Doc with specific Google accounts) and a "get link" option (where anyone with the link can access the file). The "get link" option works the same way as unlisted YouTube videos -- it's not really private but, theoretically, not quite public, either, since the link needs to be publicized somewhere. The secret sharing links are really just security through obscurity, and it turns out the links are actually guessable. Google knew about the problem of guessable secret links for a while and changed the way link generation works back in 2017 (presumably for Drive, too?). Of course, that doesn't affect links you've shared in the past, and soon Google is going to require your old links to change, which can break them. Google's new link scheme adds a "resourcekey" to the end of any shared Drive links, making them harder to guess. So a link that used to look like "https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxI1YpjkbX0OZ0prTHYyQ1U2djQ/" will now look like "https://drive.google.com/file/d/0BxI1YpjkbX0OZ0prTHYyQ1U2djQ/view?resourcekey=0-OsOHHiQFk1QEw6vIyh8v_w." The resource key makes it harder to guess. If you head to drive.google.com/drive/update-drives in a browser, you should be able to see a list of your impacted files, and if you mouse over them you'll see a button on the right to remove or apply the security update. "Applied" means the resourcekey will be required after September 13, 2021, and will (mostly) break the old link, while "removed" means the resourcekey isn't required and any links out there should keep working. YouTube is also making similar changes. "In 2017, we rolled out an update to the system that generates new YouTube Unlisted links, which included security enhancements that make the links for your Unlisted videos even harder for someone to discover if you haven't shared the link with them," says YouTube in a support page. YouTube creators can decide to opt out of this change. They also have the option of making Unlisted pre-2017 videos public or re-uploading as a new Unlisted video at the expense of stats.

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Pfizer Data Suggest Third Dose of Covid-19 Vaccine 'Strongly' Boosts Protection Against Delta Variant

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 22:22
A third dose of the Pfizer/BioNTech Covid-19 vaccine can "strongly" boost protection against the Delta variant -- beyond the protection afforded by the standard two doses, suggests new data released by Pfizer on Wednesday. From a report: The data posted online suggest that antibody levels against the Delta variant in people ages 18 to 55 who receive a third dose of vaccine are greater than fivefold than following a second dose. Among people ages 65 to 85, the Pfizer data suggest that antibody levels against the Delta variant after receiving a third dose of vaccine are greater than 11-fold than following a second dose. The data, which included 23 people, have not yet been peer-reviewed or published. During a company earnings call on Wednesday morning, Dr. Mikael Dolsten, who leads worldwide research, development and medical for Pfizer, called the new data on a third dose of vaccine "encouraging." "Receiving a third dose more than six months after vaccination, when protection may be beginning to wane, was estimated to potentially boost the neutralizing antibody titers in participants in this study to up to 100 times higher post-dose three compared to pre-dose three," Dolsten said in prepared remarks. "These preliminary data are very encouraging as Delta continues to spread." The data also show that antibody levels are much higher against the original coronavirus variant and the Beta variant, first identified in South Africa, after a third dose.

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Microsoft abandons semi-annual releases for Windows Server

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 22:15
Special capabilities on Azure leaving on-premises users behind

Microsoft will not support a semi-annual release channel in the forthcoming Windows Server 2022, and users requiring frequent updates will be directed towards Azure Stack HCI (Hyperconverged Infrastructure).…

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Sony Has Sold 10 Million PS5 Consoles

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 21:44
The PlayStation 5 just crossed a significant milestone. Sony has revealed that it has sold 10 million PS5 consoles as of July 18th, eight months after the system's November 12th debut. From a report: The company considered that no mean feat between the pandemic and ongoing chip shortages that reportedly held sales back. It's now Sony's fastest-selling console to date, outpacing the PS4 by nearly a month. Sales have slowed down since launch. Sony racked up 4.5 million PS5 sales in 2020, but sold 3.3 million in the first quarter of 2021 -- it took another four months to add 2.2 million to the tally. That's not surprising between supply constraints and the usual mid-year slump, but you might not see sales climb until the holidays. PlayStation chief Jim Ryan told GamesIndustry.biz in an interview that it was "too early to tell" which markets were the hottest given widespread demand, but pointed out that China was a pleasant surprise. The company sold out its PS5 launch stock "very, very quickly" despite a local market focused on mobile games and the free-to-play model.

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Are you a 1%er? Windows 11 turns up in the usage figures

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 21:30
Shrinking survey could signify decline of UWP

Windows 11 has reared its Fluent-designed head in the latest set of usage figures for Microsoft's operating systems.…

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Israel Begins Investigation Into NSO Group Spyware Abuse

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 21:01
Israeli government officials visited the offices of the hacking company NSO Group on Wednesday to investigate allegations that the firm's spyware has been used to target activists, politicians, business executives, and journalists, the country's Ministry of Defense said in a statement today. From a report: An investigation published last week by 17 global media organizations, claims that phone numbers belonging to notable figures have been targeted by Pegasus, the notorious spyware that is NSO's best-selling product. The Israeli Ministry of Defense did not specify which government agencies were involved in the investigation, but Israeli media previously reported that the Foreign Ministry, Justice Ministry, Mossad, and Military Intelligence were also looking into the company following the publication of the Pegasus Project. NSO Group CEO Shalev Hulio confirmed to MIT Technology Review that the visit had taken place, but continued the company's denials that the list published by reporters was linked to Pegasus. "That's true," he said. "I believe it's very good that they are checking, since we know the truth and we know that the list never existed and is not related to NSO." The reports focused largely on the successful hacking of 37 smartphones of business leaders, journalists, and human rights activists. But they also pointed to a leaked list of over 50,000 more phone numbers of interest in countries that are reportedly clients of NSO Group. The company has repeatedly denied the reporting. At this point, both the source of and meaning of the list remain unclear, but numerous phones on the list were hacked according to technical analysis by Amnesty International's Security Lab. When asked if the government's investigation process will continue, Hulio said he hopes it will be ongoing. "We want them to check everything and make sure that the allegations are wrong," he added.

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