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Showing posts from June, 2018

'Flying brain' blasts off on cargo ship toward space station HAL-like robot to help astronauts...

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'Flying brain' blasts off on cargo ship toward space station
By Kerry SHERIDAN AFP • June 29, 2018
German Chancellor Angela Merkel interacts with CIMON, a "floating brain" device designed to aid astronauts aboard the International Space Station, while visiting an aerospace exhibit in Berlin in April 2018 (AFP Photo/John MACDOUGALL)
Tampa (AFP) - A ball-shaped artificial intelligence robot nicknamed the "flying brain" because it is trained to follow and interact with a German astronaut blasted off Friday toward the International Space Station aboard SpaceX's Dragon cargo ship.
A spare hand for the station's robotic arm, an experiment to measure plant stress and a study of a new cancer treatment were also on board as the Falcon 9 rocket lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida at 5:42 am (0942 GMT).
"We have ignition and liftoff! The Falcon 9 rocket powers the Dragon spacecraft toward the International Space Station," said a NASA commentator…

Sex workers leave Twitter for Switter after controversial US law

Sex workers leave Twitter for Switter after controversial US law
By Elizabeth Schumacher, Deutsche Welle Published 8:58 a.m. ET June 29, 2018
Sex workers have been a mainstay on social networks for more than a decade. Twitter in particular handed escorts a number of tools that allowed them to protect themselves ― a way to screen clients, anonymity, the ability to find customers without taking to the streets or working for a pimp.
But since April, sex workers have almost completely vanished from Twitter, instead flocking to the Austrian domain Switter.at.
Why? Because that was the month the U.S. Congress passed a bill known as FOSTA/SESTA (short for Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act, respectively) which is aimed at curbing underage sex trafficking and holds internet service providers liable for what users might create on their platforms.
However, the controversial law has had a series of negative consequences for adult escorts who are plying their …

Comcast Blames Widespread Service Outage on 2 Cut Fiber Lines

Comcast Blames Widespread Service Outage on Cut Fiber Lines
The company, which has more than 29 million business and residential customers, says it was working to restore services
By Maria Armental Updated June 29, 2018 8:57 p.m. ET
Cuts to two fiber lines caused a widespread system failure at cable giant Comcast Corp. on Friday that knocked out cable, internet and phone services around the country.
It was unclear how many customers were affected as the system failure, which appeared contained to Comcast’s network, also disrupted connectivity services such as Netflix Inc. and Okta Inc. as other internet service providers routed internet traffic through Comcast’s network, according to network-monitoring firm ThousandEyes.
Philadelphia-based Comcast, one of the dominant telecom companies in the U.S. with more than 29 million business and residential customers, said the lines damaged are owned by CenturyLink Inc. and Zayo Group Holdings Inc.
A spokeswoman for CenturyLink issued a statem…

America’s trucker shortage could undermine economy

America’s trucker shortage could undermine economy
By Heather Long Posted Jun 28, 2018 at 12:23 PM LAKE MILTON, Ohio - Bob Blocksom, an 87-year-old former insurance salesman, needs a job. He hasn’t saved enough money for his retirement. And trucking companies, desperate for workers, are willing to give him one.
Age didn’t matter, they said. If Blocksom could get his “CDL” - commercial driver’s license - they would hire him for a $50,000 job. One even offered to pay his tuition for driver training school, but there was a catch: Blocksom had to commit to driving an 18-wheel truck all over America for a year.
So far, that has been too big of an ask for Blocksom, who doesn’t want to spend long stretches of time away from his wife of 60 years. “The more I think about it, it would be tough to be on the road Monday through Friday,” he said.
As the nation grapples with a historically low level of unemployment, trucking companies are doing what economists have said firms need to do to attract…

AI ambulances and robot doctors: China seeks to ease hospital strain...

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AI ambulances and robot doctors: China seeks digital salve to ease hospital strain
In the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, an ambulance speeds through traffic on a wave of green lights, helped along by an artificial intelligence (AI) system and big data.
A woman touches a screen on a robot developed by iFlytek at the outpatient hall of People's Liberation Army General Hospital in Beijing, China March 16, 2017. Zhao Naiming/Qianlong.com via REUTERS
28 Jun 2018 09:16PM
HANGZHOU, China/SHANGHAI: In the eastern Chinese city of Hangzhou, an ambulance speeds through traffic on a wave of green lights, helped along by an artificial intelligence (AI) system and big data.
The system, which involves sending information to a centralized computer linked to the city's transport networks, is part of a trial by Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. The Chinese tech giant is hoping to use its cloud and data systems to tackle issues hobbling China's healthcare system like snarled city traffic, long …

TLBleed is latest Intel CPU flaw to surface: But don't expect it to be fixed

TLBleed is latest Intel CPU flaw to surface: But don't expect it to be fixed
Researchers find a new side-channel attack against a performance-enhancing feature in Intel CPUs.
By Liam Tung | June 26, 2018 -- 12:39 GMT (05:39 PDT)
Intel won't be patching a newly revealed side-channel vulnerability in its CPUs, even though it could be used to leak encryption keys for signing a message.
The flaw, which will be presented at the Black Hat USA 2018 conference, is why OpenBSD recently decided to disable hyperthreading on Intel CPUs.
The OpenBSD project's chief, Theo de Raadt, said he dropped support for the feature after viewing the paper from researchers at the Systems and Network Security Group at Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.
The Register reported on Friday that the paper details an attack on Intel's Hyper-Threading technology to reliably extract a 256-bit EdDSA encryption key used for cryptographically signing data.
The researchers argue that their attack, dubbed TLBleed…

Massive data leak could affect nearly all American adults, security researcher says

Massive data leak could affect nearly all American adults, security researcher says
By LEVI SUMAGAYSAY PUBLISHED: June 28, 2018 at 8:23 am
A new data leak could affect hundreds of millions of Americans, perhaps more than the nearly 150 million affected by the Equifax breach.
Exactis, a Florida-based marketing and data-aggregation firm, leaked detailed information on individual adults and businesses, a security researcher says. While the exact number of individuals affected isn’t known, the leak involved about 340 million records on a publicly available server.
Wired was the first to report that the exposed information included phone numbers, home addresses, email addresses and personal characteristics for every name, such as interests and habits, plus the number, age and gender of the person’s children. Other types of information found: religion, whether a person smokes, type of pet.
On the website of Exactis — which was inaccessible as of Thursday morning — it claims to have data o…

The big picture: Yelp is the new battleground for political warfare

The big picture: Yelp is the new battleground for political warfare
With the press of a button, users can remotely post reviews of businesses or rate them with low star counts when they are embroiled in media controversies. The Red Hen in Lexington, VA is the most recent victim of this behavior, receiving 15,000 false reviews after the restaurant asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave the restaurant. Why it matters: When these illegitimate postings take over, they have a real impact on businesses. Meanwhile, the regulation of reviews falls on the shoulders of companies like Yelp, which have been criticized for not doing enough to banish fake posts from their site
The Red Henmade waves last weekend when co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson asked White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders to leave the establishment. Yelp is now parsing through 15,000 reviews of the restaurant, up from less than 100 before the incident. Many even posted poor reviews for restaurants …

Kroger to bring driverless cars to grocery delivery

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Kroger to bring driverless cars to grocery delivery
Kroger is partnering with autonomous car company Nuro to introduce driverless cars to its grocery delivery.
Kroger has made a number of investments toward expanding its digital and online delivery business.
"Last mile delivery" is one of the hardest feats in the delivery of fresh food. Lauren Hirsch
Published June 28, 2018 11 AM EST CNBC.com

Kroger announced plans Thursday to partner with driverless car company Nuro to deliver groceries using its autonomous vehicles.
The partnership comes as the largest U.S. grocery players continue to tackle the expensive challenge of "last mile delivery" — the final step in getting a product to a shopper's home. It is a feat that is particularly perilous when dealing with fragile products like fresh food. It is further complicated by populations that vary wildly across the U.S., with some far less dense that others.
Walmart recently said it was partnering with Postmates to …

California Considers Creating A Fake News Advisory Group

California Considers Creating A Fake News Advisory Group
June 25, 2018 at 11:44 am
SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – California is considering creating a “fake news” advisory group in order to monitor information posted and spread on social media.
Senate Bill 1424 would require the California Attorney General to create the advisory committee by April 1, 2019. It would need to consist of at least one person from the Department of Justice, representatives from social media providers, civil liberties advocates, and First Amendment scholars.
The advisory group would be required to study how false information is spread online and come up with a plan for social media platforms to fix the problem. The Attorney General would then need to present that plan to the Legislature by December 31, 2019. The group would also need to come up with criteria establishing what is “fake news” versus what is inflammatory or one-sided.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation opposes the bill, calling it “flawed” and “misguide…

Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips into themselves – here’s why

Thousands of Swedes are inserting microchips into themselves – here’s why
They've been inserting NFC chips somewhere between the thumb and the index finger. These are the same microchips that have been used to track animals and packages
June 25, 2018 1:21 PM EDT
Thousands of people in Sweden have inserted microchips, which can function as contactless credit cards, key cards and even rail cards, into their bodies. Once the chip is underneath your skin, there is no longer any need to worry about misplacing a card or carrying a heavy wallet. But for many people, the idea of carrying a microchip in their body feels more dystopian than practical.
Some have suggested that Sweden’s strong welfare state may be the cause of this recent trend. But actually, the factors behind why roughly 3,500 Swedes have had microchips implanted in them are more complex than you might expect. This phenomenon reflects Sweden’s unique biohacking scene. If you look underneath the surface, Sweden’s love affai…

Warren Buffett Chooses New Path for Newspapers After Lamenting Decline

Warren Buffett Chooses New Path for Newspapers After Lamenting Decline
By Katherine Chiglinsky 26 June 2018, 6:21 PM 26 June 2018, 8:53 AM
(Bloomberg) -- Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. struck a deal for Lee Enterprises Inc. to manage its newspapers in 30 markets as the billionaire seeks a way to grapple with falling revenue in the media industry.
Berkshire will pay Lee to manage the papers and work to transform the businesses in exchange for an annual fee of $5 million plus a percentage of profits above benchmarks over five years, Lee said Tuesday in a statement. The deal doesn’t include the Buffalo News.
Terry Kroeger is stepping down as chief executive officer of BH Media Group, which controls some of Berkshire’s papers, according to the Omaha World-Herald, one of the companies included in the deal.
The changes come just months after Buffett said at his annual shareholder meeting that he hadn’t succeeded in finding a way to overcome the decline in newspapers in recent yea…

Rising concerns over hackers using satellites to target US

Rising concerns over hackers using satellites to target US
By OLIVIA BEAVERS - 06/26/18 06:00 AM EDT
The rapidly expanding number of satellites transmitting GPS locations, cellphone signals and other sensitive information is creating new opportunities for hackers.
It's a risk exacerbated by the growing number of aging satellite systems in circulation. While it is cheaper to leave old satellites in orbit rather than pulling them from space, the outdated systems are even easier targets for hacking.
Just last week, security researchers at Symantec warned that a China-based cyber espionage group known as Thrip targeted satellite, telecom and defense companies in the United States and Southeast Asia.
"Thrip’s attack on telecoms and satellite operators exposes the possibility that the attackers could intercept or even alter communications traffic from enterprises and consumers," Symantec said in a statement, noting its malicious behavior was well-hidden behind legitimate info…

Do you really know what your kid’s doing on that device?

Do you really know what your kid’s doing on that device?
By MARTHA IRVINE June 26, 2018
CHICAGO (AP) — Ayrial Miller is clearly annoyed. Her mother is sitting with her on the couch in their Chicago apartment, scrolling through the teen’s contacts on social media.
“Who’s this?” asks Jennea Bivens, aka Mom.
It’s a friend of a friend, Ayrial says, and they haven’t talked in a while.
“Delete it,” her mom says.
The 13-year-old’s eyes narrow to a surly squint. “I hate this! I hate this! I hate this!” she shouts.
Yes, Bivens is one of “those moms,” she says. The type who walks into her daughter’s bedroom without knocking; the kind who tightly monitors her daughter’s phone. She makes no apology.
Nor should she, says a retired cybercrimes detective who spoke to her and other parents in early June at Nathan Hale Elementary School in Chicago.
“There is no such thing as privacy for children,” Rich Wistocki told them.
Other tech experts might disagree. But even they worry about the secret digital…