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A bunch of apps will be able to bypass Microsoft's new store and use own update methods

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 17:00
Risky and annoying?

Microsoft has a new app store coming to both Windows 10 and 11, but some applications will use their own update mechanisms, raising security and user experience concerns.…

Categories: Technology

Facebook Pauses Sales of the Oculus Quest 2 Due To Face Irritation Concerns

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 17:00
Facebook said on Tuesday that it is temporarily halting sales of the Oculus Quest 2, a month before a planned update to a new entry-level model with more onboard storage. The move comes after several reported cases of skin reactions to the headset's included foam faceplate, the social media giant confirmed. From a report: According to a Facebook post on the issue from earlier this year, the company says a small percent of Quest 2 owners have reported the issue. But some cases reported online have sometimes been bad enough to cause faces to puff up and eyes to close. Facebook changed the manufacturing process of its foam face interfaces earlier this year, but the concerns still prompted Facebook to stopped selling the Quest 2 in coordination with the US Product Safety Commission. Facebook's adding silicone face-mask covers in future versions of the Quest 2, which will fit over the foam. Existing customers can contact Facebook for the replacement cover as well. This is happening a month before Facebook is updating the Quest 2 with more storage: a new version of the $299 Quest that goes on sale Aug. 24 will have 128GB of storage instead of 64GB. Quest 2 models will include the silicone face-cover in the box from that point onward. It's awkward timing for the move, but also looks like a chance for Facebook to replace Quest 2 stock with models that have the silicone covers.

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Google Launches New Bug Hunters Vulnerability Rewards Platform

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 16:21
Google has announced a new platform and community designed to host all its Vulnerability Rewards Programs (VRP) under the same roof. From a report: Since launching its first VRP more than ten years ago, the company has rewarded 2,022 security researchers from 84 different countries worldwide for reporting over 11,000 bugs. [...] "To celebrate our anniversary and ensure the next 10 years are just as (or even more) successful and collaborative, we are excited to announce the launch of our new platform, bughunters.google.com," Google said. "This new site brings all of our VRPs (Google, Android, Abuse, Chrome and Play) closer together and provides a single intake form that makes it easier for bug hunters to submit issues." The new VRP platform should provide researchers with per-country leaderboards, healthier competition via gamification, awards/badges for specific bugs, and more opportunities for interaction. Google also launched a new Bug Hunter University, which would allow bug hunters to brush up on their skills or start a hunting learning streak.

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UK regulator Ofcom seeks more powers to deal with mega constellations

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 16:15
Operator shall talk unto operator or the big stick will be wielded

UK telecommunications regulator Ofcom has kicked off a consultation process regarding licence applications for non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) systems such as Starlink and OneWeb.…

Categories: Technology

Intel Details Comeback Plan To Leapfrog Chipmaking Rivals by 2025

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 15:40
Intel unveiled on Tuesday a smorgasbord of new technologies designed to help it reclaim processor manufacturing leadership within four years. The plans bear the fingerprints of newly installed CEO Pat Gelsinger, who has pledged to restore the company's engineering leadership and credibility. From a report: The developments include a new push to improve the power usage of Intel chips, a key element of battery life, while simultaneously raising chip performance. The technologies involve deep redesigns to how processors are constructed. One technology, RibbonFET, fundamentally redesigns the transistor circuitry at the heart of all processors. Another, PowerVia, reimagines how electrical power is delivered to those transistors. Lastly, Intel is updating its Foveros technology for packaging chip elements from different sources into dense stacks of computing horsepower. Intel's commitments, unveiled at an online press event, will mean faster laptops with longer battery life, if realized. And the advancements could boost technologies like artificial intelligence at cloud computing companies and speed up the services on mobile phone networks. "In 2025, we think we will regain that performance crown," Sanjay Natarajan, who rejoined Intel this year to lead the company's processor technology development, said in an interview. Further reading: Intel's foundry roadmap lays out the post-nanometer "Angstrom" era.

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SK Hynix hits 3-year revenue high as extreme ultraviolet production kicks off in earnest

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 15:30
Commercial EUV LPDDR4 modules in the works now, but the 1anm node is still being treated as a test-bed

Memory maker SK Hynix has boasted of its best sales quarter since prior to the pandemic, and confirmed the start of volume production on its extreme ultraviolet (EUV) product line.…

Categories: Technology

Tencent's WeChat Suspends New User Registration for Security Compliance

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 15:08
Tencent's WeChat has temporarily suspended registration of new users in mainland China as it undergoes a technical upgrade "to align with relevant laws and regulations," China's dominant instant messaging platform said on Tuesday. From a report: "We are currently upgrading our security technology to align with all relevant laws and regulations," the company said in a statement to Reuters. "During this time, registration of new Weixin personal and official accounts has been temporarily suspended. Registration services will be restored after the upgrade is complete, which is expected in early August," it added. Weixin is the Chinese name for WeChat. [...] China is in the process of tightening policies towards privacy and data security. It is readying a Personal Information Protection Law, which calls for tech platforms to impose stricter measures to ensure secure storage of user data.

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'Login infrastructure issue' blamed as sustained Xero outage threatens payrolls

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 14:54
Accoutancy software goes TITSUP* as biz users can't invoice customers nor see who's paid their bills

Hundreds of thousands of small businesses are having trouble raising invoices and sorting out their monthly payroll following an outage at accounting software-as-a-service outfit Xero.…

Categories: Technology

UK's National Museum of Computing asks tunesmiths to recreate bleeps, bloops, and parps of retro game music

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 14:00
Competition in celebration of the BBC Micro's 40th anniversary

The UK's National Museum of Computing (TNMOC) is running a competition aimed at recreating the bleeps, whistles, and flatulent squawks of video game music from years gone by.…

Categories: Technology

Valve Promises Steam Deck Will Run 'The Entire Steam Library' At 30+ FPS

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 14:00
Valve expects that its recently announced Steam Deck portable gaming console will be able to run "really the entire Steam library" on its 1280x800 LCD screen at frame rates of 30 fps or higher. Ars Technica reports: That's according to a recent IGN video interview in which Valve Hardware Engineer Yazan Aldehayyat said that "all the games that we wanted to be playable had really good [performance], a really good experience" in Steam Deck testing. Valve developer Pierre-Loup Griffais expanded on that statement by saying that "all the games that we wanted to be playable" means "really the entire Steam library." "We haven't really found something we could throw at this device that it couldn't handle yet," he added. Griffais said initial prototype testing for the Steam Deck focused on older games in the Steam catalog and that there were "games that were coming out last year that just couldn't really run very well on the previous types of prototypes and architectures we were testing." On the finalized version of the hardware, though, he said the company has "achieved the level of performance that is required to run the latest generation of games without a problem." "The entire Steam catalog is available to people who have this device," Aldehayyat added. "That's where we knew we had a product that was going to deliver the experience we were looking for." Aldehayyat attributed Steam Deck's wide compatibility in part to "future-proofing" internals that include a custom APU incorporating AMD's latest generation of GPU and CPU technology, as well as 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. Griffais added that the performance scalability of modern PC games helps Steam Deck achieve a playable frame rate at its native 800p resolution (which is relatively low compared to desktop gaming PCs). "If people are still valuing high frame rates and high resolutions on different platforms, I think that content will scale down to our 800p, 30 Hz target very well," he said. "If people start heavily favoring image quality, we might be in a position where we might have tradeoffs, but we're not in a position where we really see that yet." In a follow-up tweet late last week, Griffais clarified that the 30 fps target is the "floor" for what Valve considers playable: "games we've tested and shown have consistently met and exceeded that bar so far. There will also be an optional built-in FPS limiter to fine-tune perf[ormance] vs. battery life."

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Compsci student walks off with $50,000 after bug bounty report blows gaping hole in Shopify software repos

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 13:14
First-timer wins maximum payout through HackerOne programme

Shopify has forked out $50,000 (£36,150) in a bug bounty payment to computer science student Augusto Zanellato following the discovery of a publicly available access token which gave world+dog read-and-write access to the company's source code repositories.…

Categories: Technology

Samsung confirms no new Note this year, but does have a pen for foldables up its sleeve

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 12:29
Hints at new Galaxy Z Fold and Z Flip models too

A Samsung rep has confirmed the Korean giant won't deliver a new Note phablet this year, but has disclosed a pair of new folding phones and the company's first S Pen for foldables, which will debut in August.…

Categories: Technology

North Wales Police seek IT services partners in deals worth up to £41.6m

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 11:45
Force still stinging after CGI fiasco ended up costing more than hoped for

North Wales Police is tendering for new workplace, data centre, and network support contracts in deals potentially worth up to £40m after a five-year agreement with CGI offered opaque results.…

Categories: Technology

Steam-powered computers: Retro cool or old and busted?

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 11:01
The silicon is weak, but the iron is strong

Bork!Bork!Bork!  "Steam powered" is occasionally used in an unkind fashion to describe computer hardware past its best. Today's entry in the bork archives takes the phrase to a whole other place.…

Categories: Technology

Scientists Create One-Atom-Thin Magnet That Works At Room Temperature

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 11:00
Mogster shares a report from SciTechDaily: A one-atom-thin 2D magnet developed by Berkeley Lab and UC Berkeley could advance new applications in computing and electronics. The researchers synthesized the new 2D magnet -- called a cobalt-doped van der Waals zinc-oxide magnet -- from a solution of graphene oxide, zinc, and cobalt. The new material -- which can be bent into almost any shape without breaking, and is a million times thinner than a sheet of paper -- could help advance the application of spin electronics or spintronics, a new technology that uses the orientation of an electron's spin rather than its charge to encode data. And unlike previous 2D magnets, which lose their magnetism at room temperature or above, the researchers found that the new 2D magnet not only works at room temperature but also at 100 degrees Celsius (212 degrees Fahrenheit).

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I've got a broken combine harvester – but the manufacturer won't give me the software key

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 10:15
Right-to-repair activists welcome policy wins with caution

Feature  It was the middle of harvest, and Sarah Rachor wasn't happy. Ranchor, who runs a farm with her father in Sidney, Montana, was baling hay in the field when the tractor she was using shut down without warning. The culprit was a sensor that detected the tractor was overheating. In reality, it wasn't.…

Categories: Technology

Early Skype developer Jaan Tallinn splashes cash in latest funding for Matrix-based instant messenger Element

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 09:30
Decentralised comms is where it's at

As Microsoft doubles down on efforts to kill Skype persuade users to chat with Teams, former Skype developer Jaan Tallinn has dropped some cash into the latest funding round for open-source IM client Element.…

Categories: Technology

Google promises its days as a cold-eyed API-killer are behind it

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 09:01
Customers are afraid of commitment, so new rules for enterprise APIs promise to stick around until you ride off into the sunset

Google has acknowledged that it makes life hard for users when killing off little-loved products, by announcing an API policy that will keep its cloudy interfaces alive for as long as customers are using them.…

Categories: Technology

It takes intuition and skill to find hidden evidence and hunt for elusive threats

The Register - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 08:28
Try the SANS DFIR-ence in Berlin this October

Promo  Whether it’s hunting for threats, tracking down security breaches, or gathering evidence, intuition helps though a thorough grounding in the latest techniques and tools for the platform in question is essential.…

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Bezos Offers To Cover $2 Billion In NASA Costs In Exchange For Astronaut Lunar Lander Contract

Slashdot - Tue, 27/07/2021 - 08:00
Blue Origin founder Jeff Bezos on Monday offered to cover billions of dollars of NASA costs in exchange for a contract to build a lunar lander to land astronauts on the moon. CNBC reports: Bezos said Blue Origin would waive all payments up to $2 billion from the National Aeronautics and Space Administration in the current and next two government fiscal years. Blue Origin would also fund its own pathfinder mission to low-Earth orbit, according to Bezos. In return, the company requested a fixed-priced contract from the government agency. "This offer is not a deferral, but is an outright and permanent waiver of those payments. This offer provides time for government appropriation actions to catch up," Bezos said in an open letter to NASA Administrator Bill Nelson. NASA in April awarded Elon Musk's SpaceX with a sole $2.89 billion contract to build the next crewed lunar lander under its Human Landing Systems program. Before selecting the winner of the contest, NASA gave 10-month study contracts to SpaceX, Blue Origin and Dynetics to begin work on lunar landers. "Instead of this single source approach, NASA should embrace its original strategy of competition," Bezos said. "Without competition, a short time into the contract, NASA will find itself with limited options as it attempts to negotiate missed deadlines, design changes, and cost overruns."

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