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Security breaches where working from home is involved are costlier, claims IBM report

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 20:47
Great, it's not like employers need more reasons to haul you back to the office

Firms looking to save money by shifting to more flexible ways of working will need to think carefully about IT security and the additional cost of breaches linked to staff working from home.…

Categories: Technology

Walmart To Sell Its E-commerce Technologies To Other Retailers

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 20:21
Walmart's investments in software and retail technologies it used to transform its business from a brick-and-mortar to one that combines both in-person and online shopping will now be made available to other retailers for the first time, the company announced today. From a report: Through a strategic partnership with Adobe, Walmart will integrate access to Walmart's Marketplace, as well as its various online and in-store fulfillment and pickup technologies, into the Adobe Commerce Platform. The technologies will be made available to both Adobe Commerce and Magento Open Source customers, Adobe says. The deal will allow Walmart to potentially reach thousands of small to mid-sized retailers, who will effectively be able to tap into the same tools that one of the largest global retailers is using to run their business. Through the partnership, Adobe retail customers will be able to do things like show store pickup eligibility and available pickup times online; offer multiple pickup options like curbside and in-store pickup; provide their store associates with mobile tools to pick for orders, validate item selections and handle substitutions; and use tools to communicate with customers about their pickup orders, like those where customers can alert store associates of their ETA or arrival for curbside pickup. Another aspect of the partnership will allow retailers to syndicate and sell their products across Walmart's Marketplace.

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Since it's the only way to differentiate in a Chromium-dominated market, Vivaldi 4.1 introduces 'Accordion' tabs

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 20:01
Do the browser polka

Browser maker Vivaldi has introduced Accordion Tabs in version 4.1 – yet another way to deal with tab overload.…

Categories: Technology

White House Calls on America's Most Critical Companies To Improve Cyber Defenses

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 19:45
The White House is signaling to U.S. critical infrastructure companies, such as energy providers that they must improve their cyber defenses because additional potential regulation is on the horizon. From a report: U.S. President Joseph Biden signed a national security memorandum on Wednesday, launching a new public-private initiative that creates "performance controls" for cybersecurity at America's most critical companies, including water treatment and electrical power plants. The recommendations are voluntary in nature, but the administration hopes it will cause companies to improve their cybersecurity ahead of other policy efforts, said a senior administration official. The announcement comes after multiple high profile cyberattacks this year crippled American companies and government agencies, including a ransomware incident which disrupted gasoline supplies. "These are the thresholds that we expect responsible owners and operators to go," said the official. "The absence of mandated cybersecurity requirements for critical infrastructure is what in many ways has brought us to the level of vulnerability that we have today."

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Boeing and Rocket Lab hope for the best as both return to launchpad following failures

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 19:13
Space is hard

Two spacecraft with a lot to prove are ready for launch in the coming days.…

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Fast Internet Everywhere Could Add $160 Billion To US Economy

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 19:05
The U.S. economy stands to gain $160 billion a year in extra output from a successful national high-speed internet plan that would boost labor productivity and allow more people to work from home, according to new research. From a report: The study, which is based on survey data, attempts to put precise numbers on one of the bigger unknowns in President Joe Biden's infrastructure plan: how much is universal broadband really worth? "Moving to high-quality, fully reliable home internet service for all Americans would raise earnings-weighted labor productivity by an estimated 1.1% in the coming years," economists Jose Maria Barrero, Nicholas Bloom and Steven Davis wrote in a paper released July 27. "The implied output gains are $160 billion per year," equivalent to about 0.7% of gross domestic product. The study's authors describe an "abrupt, enormous" shift to remote work as a result of the pandemic, which they expect to settle with about 20% of the U.S. labor force persistently working from home. The share could be higher for so-called knowledge workers whose jobs are mostly done on computer networks anyway.

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Thousands of Scientists Warn Climate Tipping Points 'Imminent'

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 18:41
Thousands of scientists have repeated calls for urgent action to tackle the climate emergency, warning that several tipping points are now imminent. From a report: The researchers, part of a group of more than 14,000 scientists who have signed on to an initiative declaring a worldwide climate emergency, said in an article published in the journal BioScience on Wednesday that governments had consistently failed to address "the overexploitation of the Earth," which they described as the root cause of the crisis. Since a similar assessment in 2019, they noted an "unprecedented surge" in climate-related disasters, including flooding in South America and Southeast Asia, record-shattering heatwaves and wildfires in Australia and the US, and devastating cyclones in Africa and South Asia. For the study, scientists relied on "vital signs" to measure the health of the planet, including deforestation, greenhouse gas emissions, glacier thickness and sea-ice extent and deforestation. Out of 31 signs, they found that 18 hit record highs or lows. For example, despite a dip in pollution linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, levels of atmospheric CO2 and methane hit all-time highs in 2021. Greenland and Antarctica recently showed all-time low levels of ice mass and glaciers are melting 31-percent faster than they did just 15 years ago, the authors said. Ocean heat and global sea levels set new records since 2019, and the annual loss rate of the Brazilian Amazon reached a 12-year high in 2020. Echoing previous research, the researchers said forest degradation linked to fire, drought and logging was causing parts of the Brazilian Amazon to now act as a source of carbon, rather than absorb the gas from the atmosphere.

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Xero says accounting software users were locked out by login glitch, not nefarious deeds

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 18:30
Issue has been resolved and your data is 'secure', claims SaaS outfit

Xero says that problems linked to its login infrastructure – not security woes – were to blame for yesterday's mega wobble that saw customers locked out of the cloud-based accounting software for almost eleven hours.…

Categories: Technology

US Senators Urge Barring Huawei, ZTE From $1.9 Trillion Govt Funding Measure

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 17:46
Two U.S. senators on Wednesday said they are introducing a measure to prohibit funds in a $1.9 trillion government funding measure from being used to purchase Chinese telecommunications equipment from Huawei and ZTE and others deemed U.S. security threats. From a report: Senators Tom Cotton, a Republican, and Mark Warner, a Democrat, said the funds that were approved in March in a law known as the American Rescue Plan should not be used to potentially undermine U.S. telecommunications networks.

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Iranian state-backed hackers posed as flirty Scouser called Marcy to target workers in defence and aerospace

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 17:45
Recognise this one? Oh dear...

Iranian state-backed hackers posed as a flirty Liverpudlian aerobics instructor in order to trick defence and aerospace workers into revealing secrets, according to a newly-published study.…

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France Issues Moratorium on Prion Research After Fatal Brain Disease Strikes Two Lab Workers

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 17:01
Five public research institutions in France have imposed a 3-month moratorium on the study of prions -- a class of misfolding, infectious proteins that cause fatal brain diseases -- after a retired lab worker who handled prions in the past was diagnosed with Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), the most common prion disease in humans. From a report: An investigation is underway to find out whether the patient, who worked at a lab run by the National Research Institute for Agriculture, Food and Environment (INRAE), contracted the disease on the job. If so, it would be the second such case in France in the past few years. In June 2019, an INRAE lab worker named Emilie Jaumain died at age 33, 10 years after pricking her thumb during an experiment with prion-infected mice. Her family is now suing INRAE for manslaughter and endangering life; her illness had already led to tightened safety measures at French prion labs.

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Mozilla ups its VPN game – and the price – with split tunneling for Android, iOS

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 17:00
Early birds really do get the worm, it would seem

Browser maker Mozilla has enhanced its Virtual Private Network (VPN) service with split tunnelling and doubled the monthly pricing plan for new customers that don't want to commit to a one year contract.…

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States Say They Will Appeal the Dismissal of Their Facebook Antitrust Suit

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 16:21
More than 40 state attorneys general on Wednesday said they planned to appeal the dismissal of their antitrust lawsuit against Facebook, setting up a protracted legal fight to rein in the power of the Silicon Valley giant. From a report: The states would be pushing back on a decision made last month by a federal judge who eviscerated their arguments that Facebook had obtained a monopoly through its acquisitions of Instagram in 2012 and WhatsApp in 2014 and had harmed competition. The judge said that the regulators' attempts to break up the social media company came too many years after the mergers were approved. "The court is aware of no case, and plaintiffs provide none, where such a long delay in seeking such a consequential remedy has been countenanced in a case brought by a plaintiff other than the federal government," the judge, James E. Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, said. The state attorneys general have 90 days from the date of the notice to file their appeal, including their arguments. Mr. Boasberg also dismissed a similar complaint brought by the Federal Trade Commission, criticizing the agency's claims of monopolization, but he directed the agency to rewrite its lawsuit. The F.T.C. is expected to resubmit its lawsuit to the court by Aug. 19. The states' notice of plan to appeal did not include new antitrust arguments and was filed to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.

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DevOps still 'rarely done well at scale' concludes report after a decade of research

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 16:15
Puppet Field CTO Nigel Kersten speaks to the Reg about 10 years of studying DevOps adoption

Interview  On the 10th anniversary of its first survey, the multi-vendor State of Devops report concludes that DevOps is still "rarely done well at scale," and that "almost everyone is using the cloud, but most people are using it poorly."…

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China Targets Mobile Pop-Ups in Latest Tech Crackdown

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 15:46
China ordered Tencent Holdings and 13 other developers to rectify problems related to pop-ups within their apps, adding to a wide-ranging crackdown on the country's tech sector. From a report: The companies must address the "harassing" pop-up windows, which could contain misleading information or divert users away from the apps, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said in a statement on Wednesday. The 14 services, including an e-books app by Tencent's QQ and a video platform by Le.com, will have to fix the problems by Aug. 3. "Failure to abide by regulations" will not be tolerated and will be "penalized" accordingly, said the ministry. Pop-ups, often used for advertising, are just the latest targets in a series of government crackdowns that have ranged from antitrust to data security, as Beijing seeks to rein in the tech giants' influence over most of everyday life. The crackdown has stepped into high gear in recent days after regulators announced their toughest-ever curbs on the online education sector and issued edicts governing food delivery, fueling a rout in Chinese tech stocks. The statement by MIIT comes days after the regulator announced a six-month crackdown on illegal online activities. The ministry on Monday said it will take steps to root out violations involving pop-ups, data collection and storage as well as the blocking of external links. Other regulators including the Cyberspace Administration of China have also pledged to tighten restrictions on misleading and explicit content used for marketing purposes. The watchdog said such material will be subject to harsher oversight, issuing fines against companies like Tencent, Kuaishou Technology and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for offensive content.

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Cellnex complains regulators waved through CK Hutchison mast buyout in Europe – only sticking point is the UK

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 15:30
Cell tower acquisition faces full inquiry from Britain's Competition and Markets Authority

Cellnex's efforts to buy the UK mobile infrastructure assets of CK Hutchison – including some 6,000 cell towers – have hit a regulatory snag after the competition regulator opted for a full inquiry into the deal.…

Categories: Technology

Apple Tells Leaker To Snitch On Sources Or It Will Report Them To the Police

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 15:00
pple is escalating its war against leakers, sending out cease and desist letters, according to a copy of a letter obtained by Motherboard. An anonymous reader writes: The letter was sent by Fangda Partners, Apple's law firm in China, on June 18, 2021. In the letter, Apple asked the seller to stop acquiring, advertising, and selling leaked Apple devices, and requested a list of anyone who provided them with the leaked devices. In other words, Apple wants the reseller to say who gave them the devices. Finally, the company requested the seller to sign a document promising to comply with the request within 14 days of receiving the letter. "You have disclosed without authorization a large amount of information related to Apple's unreleased and rumored products, which has constituted a deliberate infringement of Apple's trade secrets," the letter read.

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A global pandemic and ransomware explosion makes for a bumper quarter at Google parent Alphabet

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 14:45
Chief exec Pichai wants to 'help people get the information they need,' even as YouTube fingered for conspiracy guff

Google parent Alphabet has reported financial success across everything from artificial intelligence to video streaming – thanks in no small part to the pandemic and increased efforts from ransomware ne'er-do-wells.…

Categories: Technology

D'oh! Misplaced chair shuts down nuclear plant in Taiwan

The Register - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 14:01
Surprisingly a real-life scenario and not a plotline from The Simpsons

A reactor at Guosheng Nuclear Power Plant in Taiwan malfunctioned on Tuesday morning, triggering an auto shutdown that resulted in the loss of 985 megawatts of power – all due to the misplacement of a chair.…

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WoW Will Remove 'Inappropriate References' Following California Lawsuit

Slashdot - Wed, 28/07/2021 - 14:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget: The official World of Warcraft Twitter account has announced that it will take immediate action to "remove references that are not appropriate for [its] world." While it didn't elaborate on what those references are, they may pertain to in-game elements connected to its senior creative director Alex Afrasiabi, as Kotaku has noted. Afrasiabi was singled out in the lawsuit filed by California authorities accusing Activision Blizzard of fostering a "frat boy" culture that's become a "breeding ground for harassment and discrimination against women." According to the lawsuit, Afrasiabi is known for hitting on and touching female employees inappropriately in plain view of other male employees who would try to intervene and stop him. He apparently has such a notorious reputation within the company that his suite was nicknamed the "Crosby Suite after alleged rapist Bill Crosby."(The lawsuit has misspelled Bill Cosby's name.) In addition, executives allegedly knew about his behavior but "took no effective remedial measures." Blizzard President J. Allen Brack talked to him a few times, the lawsuit reads, but gave Afiasiabi a slap on the wrist for the incidents. In response to the lawsuit and the company's "abhorrent and insulting" response to the accusations, some 800+ Activision Blizzard employees are staging a walkout on Wednesday, July 28th. You can read the full message from the Warcraft team here.

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