Jan 15 10:47am
The older suspect charged in the May 2019 shooting is due in court at 2 p.m. ahead of his trial which is currently set to being next month.
Jan 12 8:35pm
Colorado could step in to help speed up the process for getting the COVID vaccine to people in assisted living facilities. - We ask Congressman Jason Crow if he feels safe in the Capitol and whether his colleague, Rep. Lauren Boebert, should resign.
Jan 10 7:59am
The official total at Denver International Airport was 1.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Jan 10 7:05am
The official total at Denver International Airport was 1.9 inches, according to the National Weather Service.
Jan 6 9:30pm
"An insurrection in America. A violent mob stormed and seized the US Capitol today. An attempted coup by supporters of President Trump as the electoral votes were counted. There are Coloradans who played key roles in encouraging this anti-American dishonor..."
Jan 5 9:41am
Since his indictment in 2017, the trial for for Mark Redwine, who is accused of killing his son Dylan, has been delayed numerous times.
Jan 5 9:41am
Since his indictment in 2017, the trial for for Mark Redwine, who is accused of killing his son Dylan, has been delayed numerous times.
Jan 4 9:38pm
Colorado appears to be coming down from the peak in deaths from a few weeks ago. - Two Coloradans in Congress prepare to usurp American Democracy and have Congress pick the President. - Preserving the past of Black Denver neighborhoods.
Dec 28 7:22pm
Next with Kyle Clark revisits the best stories, characters, and events from the past 12 months, that prove 2020 is a year to remember.
Dec 28 7:21pm
Next with Kyle Clark revisits the best stories, characters, and events from the past 12 months, that prove 2020 is a year to remember.
Dec 21 9:25pm
Lessons learned from Week 1 of vaccinations in Colorado. - Tons of Coloradans got the new exposure tracking app; but are they using it? - The generous tip you collected for restaurant workers.
Dec 21 12:19pm
Wildlife officers said they believe the moose was killed between Dec. 15-18. A $1,000 reward is being offered to ID the poacher.
Dec 18 10:39pm
Pharmacists said they learned about the “extra” dose this week. After getting FDA guidance, they began to administer the extra dose to patients.
Dec 3 9:28pm
The state has been simulating the distribution of COVID vaccines before they arrive. We learned a test run involved confusion with the state of Kentucky. - Who has final say on who gets vaccines first. - The Kid of the Year is from Colorado.
Dec 2 10:04pm
Health care workers will get the first batch of COVID vaccines, but how long will that take? We talk to a doctor who helped plan distribution in Colorado.
Dec 1 10:26pm
We look at the fine print as state lawmakers prepare to send cash to Colorado businesses. - Will a prisoner in our state be able to get a COVID vaccine before your grandma who lives at home? We look at the plan as it stands now and what might change.
Nov 27 8:34pm
Ruth Anderson, in Louisville, lost her mom Elaine Morrison to COVID-19 last week. She hopes others think of how their actions impact others as the virus spreads.
Nov 23 11:41pm
A crucial week for COVID in Colorado as hospitalizations hit new heights. We find some reason for optimism. - And an answer to your question - why can people eat and drink and be merry at the airport, but not the rest of the metro area?
Nov 19 9:44pm
Colorado hits 1,500 COVID hospitalizations. - A county reports its ICU beds are full. - And growing numbers of hospitals say staff shortages are coming. But people can still go to Broncos games. We look at why.
Nov 18 10:43pm
Colorado calls for help staffing hospitals as healthcare workers contract COVID. - A doctor tells us about patients who still think the pandemic is a hoax. - Answers to your questions about how businesses will make it.
Nov 17 9:29pm
We just got the list of 15 Colorado counties going under tougher COVID restrictions. Call it lockdown-lite. - A word about why the state is punishing other people, instead of those spreading the virus.
Nov 13 10:52am
This is the first time Visit Denver has organized a fall iteration of the event, which aims to help struggling restaurants and offers in-person and to-go options.
Nov 12 5:47pm
Why is COVID spreading so like this if people are wearing masks? Kyle and Chris Vanderveen discussed this today, as well as the data lag – which means even if you social distance now, it will take a while to see the results of your efforts.
Nov 9 1:13pm
The school district follows the path of several other districts that recently announced they will shift students to remote learning amid rising COVID-19 cases.
Nov 7 1:42pm
Find real-time 2020 Colorado election results for state, local and federal races, including the U.S. presidential battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Nov 5 10:03pm
The governor issues a warning after we reach all-time COVID-19 highs. - A word about something we may take for granted on Election Day in Colorado. - Rural Colorado gets wolves handed to it by those of us who live in cities.
Nov 3 11:05pm
Unofficial results showed District Court Judge Tomee Crespin losing her seat as of 9:35 p.m., with 55% of voters casting ballots against her retention.
Nov 3 3:34pm
Find real-time 2020 Colorado election results for state, local and federal races, including the U.S. presidential battle between Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
Nov 3 2:00pm
The nonprofit cited financial hardship amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and said its board will assess and reinvent the organization.
Oct 29 9:32pm
COVID-19 hospitalizations are still spiking. We take an in-depth look at whether a second lockdown is likely, or if the virus, and our response, has changed to the point we can avoid that.
Oct 29 9:07pm
COVID-19 hospitalizations are still spiking in Colorado. Kyle and Chris Vanderveen take an in-depth look at whether a second lockdown is likely, or if the virus, and our response, has changed to the point we can avoid that.
Oct 24 2:53pm
Detective Curt Holland, 37, had served the department for four years and four months, the last six months. He leaves behind a wife and two young children.
Oct 22 7:21pm
An update on the East Troublesome Fire, which burned through Grand Lake last night and is now threatening Estes Park -- And a thanks for your generosity.
Oct 22 8:23am
Aluminum beverage packaging company Ball Corporation and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment announced a new partnership Thursday.
Oct 22 8:23am
Aluminum beverage packaging company Ball Corporation and Kroenke Sports & Entertainment announced a new partnership Thursday.
Oct 20 6:45pm
The court case against unlicensed security guard Matthew Dolloff begins tomorrow. What to expect. --And a lot more people are voting in person this election.
Oct 18 3:48pm
Broncos dominated most of game in building 18-3 lead, then held on. Offense had to settle for 6 McManus field goals. Denver D forced three turnovers.
Oct 18 2:04pm
Broncos dominated most of game in building, 18-3 lead, then held on. Offense had to settle for 6 McManus field goals. Denver D has forced three turnovers.
Oct 16 10:28pm
Last time Colorado saw a COVID-19 surge like this - we were headed for a statewide shutdown. -The wall of smoke that swept down the Front Range. - And grab your ballot - our Lets Just Vote series continues on Next.
Oct 16 11:26am
Terrence Gordon will assume to role of police chief in December. He served with the Milwaukee Police Department for more than 24 years.
Oct 14 10:41am
The increased amount of fine particulate matter in wildfire smoke can hurt your eyes, irritate your respiratory system, and worsen chronic heart and lung diseases.
Oct 8 12:09pm
The Art is a 165-room luxury hotel at 1201 Broadway that is bedecked in artwork and features a fourth-floor balcony lounge overlooking the Golden Triangle district.
Oct 8 10:04am
The 9Preps Game of the Week is back! Vote to determine which high school football game we showcase on Friday, October 9.
Jun 16 2:19pm
The United States would like a face-to-face meeting with Iran to discuss prisoner releases and it wants the U.N. Security Council to impose an indefinite arms embargo on the Islamic Republic, a senior U.S. diplomat said on Tuesday.
Jun 16 12:55pm
Turkey angrily accused France on Tuesday of exacerbating the crisis in Libya and violating U.N. and NATO decisions by supporting the forces of Khalifa Haftar against the internationally recognised Government of National Accord (GNA).
Slashdot Jan 20 12:10pm
Ajit Pai, the man who killed net neutrality, enacted a series of industry-friendly deregulatory moves for big telecom, and drank from a gigantic mug, is no longer around to terrorize the internet. The FCC confirmed to Motherboard that Pai is officially gone: "Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai today concluded his four years as Chairman, eight years as a Commissioner, and twelve years as an employee of the agency,â the agency said. His official FCC Twitter account, where he antagonized people who criticized him, has been deleted.

Jan 20 4:30am
Investments into clean-energy technologies totaled more than $500 billion for the first time ever, according to a BloombergNEF report released Tuesday. Axios reports: Technologies making energy and other material cleaner needs to expand rapidly if the world is to adequately address climate change in the coming decades. Global investment in the low-carbon energy transition was $501.3 billion in 2020, up 9% from 2019 despite the pandemic driving the world into a recession. This tally includes investments in renewables, energy storage, electric vehicle charging stations, hydrogen production, carbon capture projects and more. The largest areas of investment are renewable energy and electrified transportation. The report also reflects another broader trend, which is that investment often lags in technologies beyond renewable electricity and electric cars. This includes carbon capture and most industrial processes like cement, according to the International Energy Agency.

Jan 18 7:10pm
"Researchers claim achievement of new record photovoltaic conversion efficiencies for perovskite-based solar cells by spicing them up with a little capsaicin," writes Slashdot reader ffkom, adding: "Of course everyone who loves to eat chilis already knew capsaicin energizes you to record levels." The researchers have published their findings in the journal Joule. From the report: Perovskite solar cells (PSCs) suffer from significant nonradiative recombination, limiting their power conversion efficiencies. Here, for the first time, we directly observe a complete transformation of perovskite MAPbI 3 surface region energetics from p- to n-type during defect passivation caused by natural additive capsaicin, attributed to the spontaneous formation of a p-n homojunction in perovskite active layer. We demonstrate that the p-n homojunction locates at 100 nm below perovskite surface. The energetics transformation and defect passivation promote charge transport in bulk perovskite layer and at perovskite/PCBM interface, suppressing both defect-assisted recombination and interface carrier recombination. As a result, an efficiency of 21.88% and a fill factor of 83.81% with excellent device stability are achieved, both values are the highest records for polycrystalline MAPbI 3 based p-i-n PSCs reported to date. The proposed new concept of synergetic defect passivation and energetic modification via additive provides a huge potential for further improvement of PSC performance.

Jan 18 3:50pm
The OpenWRT forum, a large community of enthusiasts of alternative, open-source operating systems for routers, announced a data breach over the weekend. Bleeping Computer reports: The attack occurred on Saturday, around 04:00 (GMT), when an unauthorized third party gained admin access to and copied a list with details about forum users and related statistical information. The intruder used the account of an OpenWRT administrator. Although the account had "a good password," additional security provided by two-factor authentication (2FA) was not active. Email addresses and handles of the forum users have been stolen, the moderators say. They add that they believe the attacker was not able to download the forum database, meaning that passwords should be safe. However, they reset all the passwords on the forum just to be on the safe side and invalidated all the API keys used for project development processes. Users have to set the new password manually from the login menu by providing their user name and following the "get a new password" instructions. Those logging in using GitHub credentials are advised to reset or refresh it. The OpenWRT forum credentials are separate from the Wiki. Currently, there is no suspicion that the Wiki credentials have been compromised in any way. OpenWRT forum administrators warn that since this breach exposed email addresses, users may become targets of credible phishing attempts.

Jan 17 10:04am
The Washington Post reports: Online misinformation about election fraud plunged 73 percent after several social media sites suspended President Trump and key allies last week, research firm Zignal Labs has found, underscoring the power of tech companies to limit the falsehoods poisoning public debate when they act aggressively. The new research by the San Francisco-based analytics firm reported that conversations about election fraud dropped from 2.5 million mentions to 688,000 mentions across several social media sites in the week after Trump was banned from Twitter... The findings, from Jan. 9 through Friday, highlight how falsehoods flow across social media sites — reinforcing and amplifying each other — and offer an early indication of how concerted actions against misinformation can make a difference. Kate Starbird, disinformation researcher at the University of Washington, also warned the Post that "What happens in the long term is still up in the air."

Jan 15 8:23am
Noted TF International Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo in a report on Friday said recent industry surveys indicate Apple is "aggressively" testing vapor chamber thermal systems for use in iPhone, suggesting the technology will make its way to the flagship handset in the near future. From a report: Kuo believes Apple is highly likely to incorporate vapor chamber tech into an upcoming iPhone model, though it is not clear if the system will be ready in time for 2021. Generally speaking, vapor chamber (VC) technology involves evaporation of a liquid (typically water) within a specialized heat pipe or heat retention structure that snakes its way through a device chassis. Heat from processors and other high load electronic components causes the liquid to evaporate into a vapor that spreads thermal energy through the evaporation chamber as it travels to areas of lower pressure. Fins or other condenser bodies remove heat from the vapor, which returns to a liquid state and is carried back to areas of high pressure through capillary action.

Jan 13 2:25pm
British spacecraft could travel to Mars in half the time it now takes by using nuclear propulsion engines built by Rolls-Royce under a new deal with the UK Space Agency. From a report: The aerospace company hopes nuclear-powered engines could help astronauts make it to Mars in three to four months, twice as fast as the most powerful chemical engines, and unlock deeper space exploration in the decades to come. The partnership between Rolls-Royce and the UK Space Agency will bring together planetary scientists to explore how nuclear energy could be used to "revolutionise space travel," according to the government. Dr Graham Turnock, the chief executive of the UK Space Agency, said using nuclear power in space was "a gamechanging concept that could unlock future deep-space missions that take us to Mars and beyond."

Jan 13 3:00am
fahrbot-bot shares a report from Phys.Org: A team of astronomers led by the University of Arizona has observed a luminous quasar 13.03 billion light-years from Earth -- the most distant quasar discovered to date. Dating back to 670 million years after the Big Bang, when the universe was only 5% its current age, the quasar hosts a supermassive black hole equivalent to the combined mass of 1.6 billion suns. In addition to being the most distant -- and by extension, earliest -- quasar known, the object is the first of its kind to show evidence of an outflowing wind of super-heated gas escaping from the surroundings of the black hole at a fifth of the speed of light. In addition to revealing a strong quasar-driven wind, the new observations also show intense star formation activity in the host galaxy where the quasar, formally designated J0313-1806, is located. The researchers will present their findings, which have been accepted for publication in Astrophysical Journal Letters, during a press conference and a scientific talk at the 237th Meeting of the American Astronomical Society, which will be held virtually Jan. 11-15.

Jan 12 6:25pm
According to Reuters, the CDC is expected to sign an order on Tuesday requiring nearly all international air travelers to test negative for COVID-19 within 72 hours of departure. Those under 2 and passengers connecting through the UK are exempt. From the report: The new rules are to take effect two weeks from the day they are signed by CDC Director Mark Redfield, which would be Jan. 26. The CDC has been urgently pressing for an expansion of the requirements with the Trump administration for weeks. One remaining issue is how to address some countries that have limited testing capacity and how the CDC would address travel to those countries, the sources said. At a White House meeting on Monday, Redfield again made an urgent case to adopt the testing requirements as new strains of COVID-19 are identified in different parts of the world. He raised concerns that vaccines could potentially not be effective against new strains, sources said. U.S. officials do not plan to drop restrictions that were adopted starting in March that ban most non-U.S. citizens who have been in most of Europe, the United Kingdom and Brazil as soon as possible, the sources said. They added that public health officials are sympathetic to the push to lift the restrictions that apply only to a limited number of countries.

Jan 11 5:02pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Networking equipment and IoT device vendor Ubiquiti Networks has sent out today notification emails to its customers informing them of a recent security breach. "We recently became aware of unauthorized access to certain of our information technology systems hosted by a third party cloud provider," Ubiquiti said in emails today. The servers stored information pertaining to user profiles for account.ui.com, a web portal that Ubiquiti makes available to customers who bought one of its products. The site is used to manage devices from a remote location and as a help and support portal. According to Ubiquiti, the intruder accessed servers that stored data on UI.com users, such as names, email addresses, and salted and hashed passwords. Home addresses and phone numbers may have also been exposed, but only if users decided to configure this information into the portal. How many Ubiquiti users are impacted and how the data breach occurred remains a mystery. It is currently unclear if the "unauthorized access" took place when a security researcher found the exposed data or was due to a malicious threat actor. Despite the bad news to its customers, Ubiquiti said that it had not seen any unauthorized access to customer accounts as a result of this incident. The company is now asking all users who receive the email to change their account passwords and turn on two-factor authentication.

Jan 11 3:02pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Embattled social media platform Parler is offline after Apple, Google and Amazon pulled the plug on the site after the violent riot at the U.S. Capitol last week that left five people dead. But while the site is gone (for now), millions of posts published to the site since the riot are not. A lone hacker scraped millions of posts, videos and photos published to the site after the riot but before the site went offline on Monday, preserving a huge trove of potential evidence for law enforcement investigating the attempted insurrection by many who allegedly used the platform to plan and coordinate the breach of the Capitol. The hacker and internet archivist, who goes by the online handle @donk_enby, scraped the social network and uploaded copies to the Internet Archive, which hosts old and historical versions of web pages. In a tweet, @donk_enby said she scraped data from Parler that included deleted and private posts, and the videos contained "all associated metadata." The scraped videos from Parler appear to also include the precise location data of where the videos were taken. That metadata could be a gold mine of evidence for authorities investigating the Capitol riot, which may tie some rioters to their Parler accounts or help police unmask rioters based on their location data.

Jan 9 8:34pm
Thelasko quotes gHacks: Linux Mint 20.1 is now available. The first stable release of Linux Mint in 2021 is available in the three flavors Cinnamon, MATE and Xfce. The new version of the Linux distribution is based on Ubuntu 20.04 LTS and Linux kernel 5.4... - Linux Mint 20.1 comes with a unified file system that sees certain directories being merged with their counterparts in /usr, e.g. /bin merged with /usr/bin, /lib merged with /usr/lib for compatibility purposes... - The developers have added an option to turn websites into desktop applications in the new version [using the new Web App manager]... Web apps behave like desktop programs for the most part; they start in their own window and use a custom icon, and you find them in the Alt-Tab interface when you use it. Web apps can be pinned and they are found in the application menu after they have been created.

Jan 9 7:34pm
Bleeping Computer reports: NVIDIA has released security updates to address six security vulnerabilities found in Windows and Linux GPU display drivers, as well as ten additional flaws affecting the NVIDIA Virtual GPU (vGPU) management software. The vulnerabilities expose Windows and Linux machines to attacks leading to denial of service, escalation of privileges, data tampering, or information disclosure. All these security bugs require local user access, which means that potential attackers will first have to gain access to vulnerable devices using an additional attack vector. Following successful exploitation of one of the vulnerabilities patched today, attackers can easily escalate privileges to gain permissions above the default ones granted by the OS.

Jan 8 3:00am
phalse phace shares a report from The Wall Street Journal: Boeing Co. will pay $2.5 billion to resolve a Justice Department investigation and admit employees misled aviation about safety issues linked to two deadly crashes of its 737 MAX jet, U.S. authorities said. Federal prosecutors had been investigating the role of two Boeing employees who interacted with the Federal Aviation Administration about the design of the 737 MAX and how much pilot training would be required for the new model. The settlement includes a $243 million fine as well as $2.2 billion in compensation to airline customers and families of the 346 people who perished in two MAX crashes. The plane maker was charged with one count of conspiracy to defraud the U.S., but will avoid prosecution on that charge as long as it avoids legal trouble for a period of three years. The deal also calls for Boeing to comply with any ongoing investigations, including probes by foreign law-enforcement and regulatory authorities, and to beef up compliance programs, according to its agreement with prosecutors.

Jan 7 12:45pm
Bitcoin surged to $40,000 for the first time, doubling in value in less than a month and pushing the total market value of cryptocurrencies beyond $1 trillion. From a report: Cryptocurrencies hit the milestone after a fivefold climb in market value in the past year, data from tracker CoinGecko shows. Strategists have cited demand from speculative retail traders, trend-following quant funds, the rich and even institutional investors as among the reasons for the surge. Bitcoin rose as much as 11% on Thursday to $40,065 and has more than quadrupled in the past year, according to a composite of prices compiled by Bloomberg. It accounts for about two-thirds of cryptocurrency market value, followed by Ether at about 13%, according to CoinGecko data.

Jan 6 6:00pm
Amazon will direct $2 billion in loans and grants to secure affordable housing near three American cities where the company employs thousands of workers, the tech giant announced Wednesday. The Seattle Times reports: In a first step in the Puget Sound region, Amazon is promising $185.5 million, mostly in loans, to the King County Housing Authority to help buy affordable apartments in the region and keep the rents low. The Housing Authority will use an initial portion of that money to help fund its recent purchase of three Bellevue apartment buildings. Amazon will also direct about $382 million to a nonprofit in Arlington, Virginia, and so-far unspecified amount to organizations in Nashville, Tennessee. Amazon said it selected the three areas where the company expects to have at least 5,000 employees. In total across the three regions, the company projected the $2 billion would help preserve or create 20,000 affordable housing units over the next five years. The funding will "help local families achieve long-term stability while building strong, inclusive communities," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.

Jan 6 3:00pm
The source code of mobile apps and internal tools developed and used by Nissan North America has leaked online after the company misconfigured one of its Git servers. ZDNet reports: The leak originated from a Git server that was left exposed on the internet with its default username and password combo of admin/admin, Tillie Kottmann, a Swiss-based software engineer, told ZDNet in an interview this week. Kottmann, who learned of the leak from an anonymous source and analyzed the Nissan data on Monday, said the Git repository contained the source code of: Nissan NA Mobile apps, some parts of the Nissan ASIST diagnostics tool, the Dealer Business Systems / Dealer Portal, Nissan internal core mobile library, Nissan/Infiniti NCAR/ICAR services, client acquisition and retention tools, sale / market research tools + data, various marketing tools, the vehicle logistics portal, vehicle connected services / Nissan connect things, and various other backends and internal tools.

Jan 5 7:41am
UK scientists have expressed concern that COVID-19 vaccines being rolled out in Britain may not be able to protect against a new variant of the coronavirus that emerged in South Africa and has spread internationally. From a report: Both Britain and South Africa have detected new, more transmissible variants of the COVID-19-causing virus in recent weeks that have driven a surge in cases. British Health Secretary Matt Hancock said on Monday he was now very worried about the variant identified in South Africa. Simon Clarke, an associate professor in cellular microbiology at the University of extensive alterations to a key part of the virus known as the spike protein -- which the virus uses to infect human cells -- and "may make the virus less susceptible to the immune response triggered by the vaccines." Lawrence Young, a virologist and professor of molecular oncology at Warwick University, also noted that the South African variant has "multiple spike mutations."

Jan 4 9:12am
Slack is down on the first full work day of 2021. From a report: The company said Monday morning "customers may have trouble loading channels or connecting to Slack at this time. Our team is investigating and we will follow up with more information as soon as we have it. We apologize for any disruption caused." The company is reporting issues with connecting to the service and messaging.

Jan 4 7:03am
Employees of Google and parent company Alphabet announced the creation of a union on Monday, escalating years of confrontation between workers and management of the internet giant. From a report: The Alphabet Workers Union said it will be open to all employees and contractors, regardless of their role or classification. It will collect dues, pay organizing staff and have an elected board of directors. The unionizing effort, a rare campaign within a major U.S. technology company, is supported by the Communications Workers of America as part of a recent tech-focused initiative known as CODE-CWA. Googlers who join the Alphabet Workers Union will also be members of CWA Local 1400. The group, which represents more than 200 workers in the U.S., plans to take on issues including compensation, employee classification and the kinds of work Google engages in. "We will hire skilled organizers to ensure all workers at Google know they can work with us if they actually want to see their company reflect their values," Dylan Baker, software engineer at Google, said in a statement. A letter from the union organizers published in the New York Times said workplace concerns at the company have been dismissed by executives for too long. Google has clashed with some employees in recent years over contracts with the military, the different treatment of contract workers and a rich exit package for an executive ousted for alleged sexual harassment.

Jan 3 1:14am
Mozilla is "investigating" a design refresh for its Firefox browser. Ghacks reports that the refresh is referred to internally as "Photon." Information about the design refresh is limited at this point in time. Mozilla created a meta bug on Bugzilla as a reference to keep track of the changes. While there are not any mockups or screenshots posted on the site, the names of the bugs provide information on the elements that will get a refresh. These are: - The Firefox address bar and tabs bar. - The main Firefox menu. - Infobars. - Doorhangers. - Context Menus. - Modals. Most user interface elements are listed in the meta bug. Mozilla plans to release the new design in Firefox 89; the browser is scheduled for a mid-2021 release. Its release date is set to May 18, 2021... [Developer/Firefox extension author] Sören Hentzschel revealed that he saw some of the Firefox Proton mockups... He notes that Firefox will look more modern when the designs land and that Mozilla plans to introduce useful improvements, especially in regards to the user experience. Hentzschel mentions two examples of potential improvements to the user experience: a mockup that displays vertical tabs in a compact mode, and another that shows the grouping of tabs on the tab bar.

Jan 2 3:00am
More than 100,000 Zyxel firewalls, VPN gateways, and access point controllers contain a hardcoded admin-level backdoor account that can grant attackers root access to devices via either the SSH interface or the web administration panel. From a report: The backdoor account, discovered by a team of Dutch security researchers from Eye Control, is considered as bad as it gets in terms of vulnerabilities. Device owners are advised to update systems as soon as time permits. Security experts warn that anyone ranging from DDoS botnet operators to state-sponsored hacking groups and ransomware gangs could abuse this backdoor account to access vulnerable devices and pivot to internal networks for additional attacks.

Jan 1 4:00pm
A new era has begun for the United Kingdom after it completed its formal separation from the European Union. From a report: The UK stopped following EU rules at 23:00 GMT, as replacement arrangements for travel, trade, immigration and security co-operation came into force. Boris Johnson said the UK had "freedom in our hands" and the ability to do things "differently and better" now the long Brexit process was over. But opponents of leaving the EU maintain the country will be worse off. Scottish First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, whose ambition it is to take an independent Scotland back into the EU, tweeted: "Scotland will be back soon, Europe. Keep the light on." BBC Europe editor Katya Adler said there was a sense of relief in Brussels that the Brexit process was over, "but there is regret still at Brexit itself". The first lorries arriving at the borders entered the UK and EU without delay. On Friday evening, Transport Secretary Grant Shapps tweeted that border traffic had been "low due to [the] bank holiday" but there had been no disruption in Kent as "hundreds" of lorries crossed the Channel with a "small" number turned back.

Dec 31 7:30pm
The New York Stock Exchange said it will delist three Chinese companies to comply with a U.S. executive order that imposed restrictions on companies that were identified as affiliated with the Chinese military. From a report: China Mobile, China Telecom, China Unicom Hong Kong will be delisted between Jan. 7 and Jan. 11, according to a statement by the exchange.

Dec 31 3:00pm
Gazelle, one of the longest-running used smartphone buyers in the US, has announced the end of its core trade-in program, which let phone owners mail in phones and other electronics devices in exchange for cash. From a report: The news, revealed in an email Gazelle sent to some customers this week, means any prospective Gazelle customers will have to receive a quote and initiate the trade-in process by January 31st, 2021 (allowing 30 days to mail in the phone) if they want to take advantage of the program. The service will shut down officially on February 1st, while any active trade-ins will be honored, the company says.

Dec 31 12:00pm
An anonymous reader shares a report: A ten-year longitudinal study published in the Journal of Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking on a group in early adolescence from as young as ten years old, investigated how playing violent video games at an early age would translate into adulthood behavior (23 years of age). Titled "Growing Up with Grand Theft Auto: A 10-Year Study of Longitudinal Growth of Violent Video Game Play in Adolescents" the study found no correlation between growing up playing video games and increased levels of aggression ten years later. This particular study utilized a more contemporary approach for analyzing its data, known as the person-centered approach. Traditional studies use a variable-centered approach whereby researchers treat each variable, or characteristic, as related to another variable. An example would be that exercising is related to a reduced incidence of heart disease. This has been particularly valuable when comparing groups. In a person-centered approach researchers combine various algorithms across variables to determine how these variables compare among individuals. This approach provides a more accurate depiction of how variables relate to the individual.

Dec 29 12:00pm
Apple is researching keyboards with small displays on the keys to dynamically change the label on each key, according to a newly-granted patent filing. From a report: The filing is titled "Electronic devices having keys with coherent fiber bundles" and was granted to Apple by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office on the final patent day of this year. The patent explains how each key on a keyboard could have "an associated key display" connected to "control circuitry in the keyboard" via a "coherent fiber bundle." Apple proposes that each key would be "formed from a fiber optic plate" with "opposing first and second surfaces." While the patent stipulates that each key would need to contain a small display to provide the label, of which any compatible pixel array would work, the foremost technology put forwards by Apple is OLED. The key may be made from materials such as glass, ceramic, metal, or polymer, or even crystalline materials such as sapphire.

Dec 29 9:00am
References to decades-old computer software are included in the new Brexit agreement, including a description of Netscape Communicator and Mozilla Mail as being "modern" services. From a report: Experts believe officials must have copied and pasted chunks of text from old legislation into the document. The references are on page 921 of the trade deal, in a section on encryption technology. It also recommends using systems that are now vulnerable to cyber-attacks. The text cites "modern e-mail software packages including Outlook, Mozilla Mail as well as Netscape Communicator 4.x." The latter two are now defunct - the last major release of Netscape Communicator was in 1997. The document also recommends using 1024-bit RSA encryption and the SHA-1 hashing algorithm, which are both outdated and vulnerable to cyber-attacks.

Dec 29 4:01am
Cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase said on Monday it would suspend trading in cryptocurrency XRP after U.S. regulators last week charged associated blockchain firm Ripple with conducting a $1.3 billion unregistered securities offering. From a report: The move by San Francisco-based Coinbase comes as the firm is preparing for a stock market listing and has confidentially applied with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission to go public. It would be the first major U.S. crypto exchange to list on the stock market.

Dec 28 12:14pm
The U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) on Monday said it is issuing long-awaited rules to allow for small drones to fly over people and at night, a significant step toward their use for widespread commercial deliveries. From a report: The FAA is also requiring remote identification of most drones, which are formally known as unmanned aerial vehicles, to address security concerns. "The new rules make way for the further integration of drones into our airspace by addressing safety and security concerns," said FAA Administrator Steve Dickson in a statement. "They get us closer to the day when we will more routinely see drone operations such as the delivery of packages." The race has been on for companies to create drone fleets to speed deliveries.

Dec 25 12:00pm
Threat actors have discovered a way to bounce and amplify junk web traffic against Citrix ADC networking equipment to launch DDoS attacks. From a report: While details about the attackers are still unknown, victims of these Citrix-based DDoS attacks have mostly included online gaming services, such as Steam and Xbox, sources have told ZDNet earlier today. The first of these attacks have been detected last week and documented by German IT systems administrator Marco Hofmann. Hofmann tracked the issue to the DTLS interface on Citrix ADC devices. DTLS, or Datagram Transport Layer Security, is a more version of the TLS protocol implemented on the stream-friendly UDP transfer protocol, rather than the more reliable TCP. Just like all UDP-based protocols, DTLS is spoofable and can be used as a DDoS amplification vector.

Dec 25 3:00am
The Korea Superconducting Tokamak Advanced Research(KSTAR), a superconducting fusion device also known as the Korean artificial sun, set the new world record as it succeeded in maintaining the high temperature plasma for 20 seconds with an ion temperature over 100 million degrees. Phys.Org reports: On November 24 (Tuesday), the KSTAR Research Center at the Korea Institute of Fusion Energy (KEF) announced that in a joint research with the Seoul National University (SNU) and Columbia University of the United States, it succeeded in continuous operation of plasma for 20 seconds with an ion-temperature higher than 100 million degrees, which is one of the core conditions of nuclear fusion in the 2020 KSTAR Plasma Campaign. It is an achievement to extend the 8 second plasma operation time during the 2019 KSTAR Plasma Campaign by more than 2 times. In its 2018 experiment, the KSTAR reached the plasma ion temperature of 100 million degrees for the first time (retention time: about 1.5 seconds) To re-create fusion reactions that occur in the sun on Earth, hydrogen isotopes must be placed inside a fusion device like KSTAR to create a plasma state where ions and electrons are separated, and ions must be heated and maintained at high temperatures. In its 2020 experiment, the KSTAR improved the performance of the Internal Transport Barrier(ITB) mode, one of the next generation plasma operation modes developed last year and succeeded in maintaining the plasma state for a long period of time, overcoming the existing limits of the ultra-high-temperature plasma operation.

Dec 24 7:20pm
fahrbot-bot shares a report from Phys.Org: Researchers from Tokyo Metropolitan University have discovered a way to make self-assembled nanowires of transition metal chalcogenides at scale using chemical vapor deposition. By changing the substrate where the wires form, they can tune how these wires are arranged, from aligned configurations of atomically thin sheets to random networks of bundles. This paves the way to industrial deployment in next-gen industrial electronics, including energy harvesting, and transparent, efficient, even flexible devices. Using a process called chemical vapor deposition (CVD), they found that they could assemble TMC nanowires in different arrangements depending on the surface or substrate that they use as a template. Examples are shown in Figure 2; in (a), nanowires grown on a silicon/silica substrate form a random network of bundles; in (b), the wires assemble in a set direction on a sapphire substrate, following the structure of the underlying sapphire crystal. By simply changing where they are grown, the team now have access to centimeter-sized wafers covered in the arrangement they desired, including monolayers, bilayers and networks of bundles, all with different applications. They also found that the structure of the wires themselves were highly crystalline and ordered, and that their properties, including their excellent conductivity and 1D-like behavior, matched those found in theoretical predictions. The research has been published in the journal Nano Letters.

Dec 23 10:25am
Instant messaging app Telegram is "approaching" 500 million users and plans to generate revenue starting next year to keep the business afloat, its founder Pavel Durov said on Wednesday. From a report: Durov said he has personally bankrolled the seven-year-old business so far, but as the startup scales he is looking for ways to monetize the instant messaging service. "A project of our size needs at least a few hundred million dollars per year to keep going," he said. The service, which topped 400 million active users in April this year, will introduce its own ad platform for public one-to-many channels -- "one that is user-friendly, respects privacy and allows us to cover the costs of server and traffic," he wrote on his Telegram channel.

Dec 22 11:49am
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo signed a bill Tuesday suspending the use of facial recognition and other kinds of biometric technology in schools in New York, also directing a study of whether its use is appropriate in schools. The legislation places a moratorium on schools purchasing and using biometric identifying technology until at least July 1, 2022 or until the report is completed and the state Education Department commissioner authorizes its use. The rule applies to both public and private schools in New York. In a statement, ACLU said. "This is a victory for student privacy and students of color, who are disproportionately harmed by this flawed and biased technology. New York has led the way, and now other states should follow."

Dec 22 12:00am
Jupiter and Saturn will appear as a double planet in the night sky Monday evening thanks to a rare planetary alignment known as a "great conjunction." Axios explains how to see it: In order to see the two planets, step outside under clear skies not long after sundown and look to the southwest. Jupiter will look brighter than Saturn and will appear just above the ringed planet. If you hold out your hand to the sky, the tip of your pinky will be able to cover both planets at once, according to NASA. The two planets will be bright enough to see from most cities. For those interested, NASA has a dedicated article on how to photograph the conjunction.

Dec 19 6:34pm
Long-time Slashdot reader lee1 shares his recent article from LWN: On November 26, version 6.1 of GNU Octave, a language and environment for numerical computing, was released. There are several new features and enhancements in the new version, including improvements to graphics output, better communication with web services, and over 40 new functions... In the words of its manual: GNU Octave is a high-level language primarily intended for numerical computations. It is typically used for such problems as solving linear and nonlinear equations, numerical linear algebra, statistical analysis, and for performing other numerical experiments. Octave is free software distributed under the GPLv3. The program was first publicly released in 1993; it began as a teaching tool for students in a chemical engineering class. The professors, James B. Rawlings and John G. Ekerdt, tried to have the students use Fortran, but found that they were spending too much time trying to get their programs to compile and run instead of working on the actual substance of their assignments... Octave became part of the GNU project in 1997... Octave, written in C, C++, and Fortran, soon adopted the goal and policy of being a fully compatible replacement for MATLAB. According to the Octave Wiki, any differences between Octave and MATLAB are considered to be bugs, "in general", and most existing MATLAB scripts will work unmodified when fed to Octave, and vice versa... When octave is started in the terminal it brings up an interactive prompt. The user can type in expressions, and the results are printed immediately.

Dec 19 4:34pm
fahrbot-bot quotes an article from Science Alert: Nothing keeps time like the beating heart of an atom. But even the crisp tick-tock of a vibrating nucleus is limited by uncertainties imposed by the laws of quantum mechanics. Several years ago, researchers from MIT and the University of Belgrade in Serbia proposed that quantum entanglement could push clocks beyond this blurry boundary. Now, we have a proof of concept in the form of an experiment. Physicists connected together a cloud of ytterbium-171 atoms with streams of photons reflected from a surrounding hall of mirrors and measured the timing of their tiny wiggles. Their results show that entangling atoms in this way could speed up the time-measuring process of atomic nuclei clocks, making them more precise than ever. In principle, a clock based on this new approach would lose just 100 milliseconds since the dawn of time itself.

Dec 18 7:10pm
Cryptocurrency brokerage Coinbase said Thursday that it has filed a draft registration statement with the Securities and Exchange Commission, paving the way for plans for an eventual initial public offering. CNN reports: The announcement comes as interest in bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies has soared during the coronavirus pandemic. Investors have found such currencies attractive as the US dollar weakens. Bitcoin has been smashing its own price records and recently surpassed the symbolic $20,000-a-coin milestone. It has since continued to climb higher, and was last trading just shy of $23,000, according to data provider Refinitiv. Coinbase was launched in 2012, according to its website, and "more than 35 million people in over 100 countries trust Coinbase to buy, sell, store, use and earn cryptocurrency." The company indicates it has more than $25 billion in assets on the platform and more than $320 billion in total volume traded.

Dec 18 5:10pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from PCMag.com: Mark Lantz, Manager of Advanced Tape Technologies at IBM Research, explains how researchers at IBM and Fujifilm brought together more than 15 years of work to set a new world record in tape storage. What they achieved is an areal density of 317Gbpsi (gigabits per square inch), which translates to a single tape capable of storing 580 terabytes of data. In order to achieve such a high areal density, the research team had to develop a brand new tape and created Strontium Ferrite (SrFe) in the process. Existing magnetic tapes rely on Barium Ferrite (BaFe), but SrFe offers the potential for higher density storage in the same amount of tape. Alongside that, the team also "developed a family of new servo-mechanical technologies including a new servo pattern that is pre-recorded in the servo tracks, a prototype head actuator and a set of servo controllers." The end result is a very high capacity tape that can be read while moving at a speed of 15km/h (9.3mph).

Dec 16 2:25pm
Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton announced Wednesday that he will soon file a multistate antitrust lawsuit against Google and its advertising business, alleging that the company has stifled competition and enjoys "monopolistic power." From a report: In a tweet, Paxton said the lawsuit will be filed on Wednesday. "This goliath of a company is using its power to manipulate the market, destroy competition and harm you, the consumer," Paxton said in a video accompanying the tweet. The text of the complaint was not immediately available. But a court record shows that nine other states are participating in the suit, including Kentucky, South Dakota, Arkansas, Idaho, Indiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota and Utah. The lawsuit marks the second antitrust suit by government officials to hit Google in the US this year. The Justice Department took the search giant to court over similar allegations in October. Eleven states joined the suit at the time. It also follows a lawsuit by more than 40 attorneys general against Facebook alleging it has abused a monopoly in social media.

Dec 15 5:02pm
Rival French and Russian disinformation campaigns have sought to deceive and influence Internet users in the Central African Republic ahead of an election later this month, Facebook said on Tuesday. Reuters reports: Facebook said it was the first time it had seen foreign influence operations directly engage on its platforms, with fake accounts denouncing each other as "fake news." The company said it had suspended three networks totaling almost 500 accounts and pages for so-called "coordinated inauthentic behavior." One network was linked to "individuals associated with French military," it said, while the other two had connections to "individuals associated with past activity by the Russian Internet Research Agency" as well as Russian businessman Evgeny Prigozhin. France and Russia are both keen to assert influence in Africa. Paris has ties with many French-speaking African countries, which it sees as vital to preventing the spread of violent Islamisation, and Moscow is jockeying for position in a lucrative market. Facebook said the two campaigns largely focused on the Central African Republic (CAR), which votes on Dec. 27, but also targeted users in 13 other African countries including Algeria, Cameroon, Libya and Sudan. Ben Nimmo, head of investigations at social media analytics firm Graphika, said both campaigns used fake accounts to pose as local people, sometimes sharing doctored photos. [...] But neither side built a significant audience in CAR, he added. "They looked like two troll teams arm wrestling, with nobody else really paying attention."

Dec 15 1:08pm
High-frequency traders are using an experimental type of cable to speed up their systems by billionths of a second, the latest move in a technological arms race to execute stock trades as quickly as possible. From a report: The cable, called hollow-core fiber, is a next-generation version of the fiber-optic cable used to deliver broadband internet to homes and businesses. Made of glass, such cables carry data encoded as beams of light. But instead of being solid, hollow-core fiber is empty inside, with dozens of parallel, air-filled channels narrower than a human hair. Because light travels nearly 50% faster through air than glass, it takes about one-third less time to send data through hollow-core fiber than through the same length of standard fiber. The difference is often just a minuscule fraction of a second. But in high-frequency trading, that can make the difference between profits and losses. HFT firms use sophisticated algorithms and ultrafast data networks to execute rapid-fire trades in stocks, options and futures. Many are secretive about their trading strategies and technology. Hollow-core fiber is the latest in a series of advances that fast traders have used to try to outrace their competition. A decade ago, a company called Spread Networks spent about $300 million to lay fiber-optic cable in a straight line from Chicago to New York, so traders could send data back and forth along the route in just 13 milliseconds, or thousandths of a second. Within a few years the link was superseded by microwave networks that reduced transmission times along the route to less than nine milliseconds. HFT firms have also used lasers to zip data between the data centers of the New York Stock Exchange and Nasdaq, and they have embedded their algorithms in superfast computer chips. Now, faced with the limits of physics and technology, traders are left fighting over nanoseconds. "The time increments of these improvements have gotten markedly smaller," said Michael Persico, chief executive of Anova Financial Networks, a technology provider that runs communications networks used by HFT firms. High-frequency trading is controversial, with critics saying that some ultrafast strategies amount to an invisible tax on investors. Industry representatives say such criticism is unfounded.

Dec 14 5:02pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: GameStop employees across the country were caught by surprise on Saturday when the video-game chain suddenly announced new shipments of the highly coveted PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series X consoles, sending customers flocking to stores. Workers at the U.S. retailer, speaking to Bloomberg and posting on social media, said they had received little notice for the restock and that the crowds were both chaotic and a risk to their health. The latest generation devices from Sony Corp. and Microsoft Corp. have been in short supply since their release last month, leaving gamers everywhere eager for the latest restock. On Saturday afternoon, GameStop told customers that new inventory was arriving, but that it would only be available to pre-order in stores, not online, where scalpers have dominated digital queues. However, employees found out less than an hour before the public, according to GameStop staffers, which left them unprepared for the rush of customers. One GameStop manager on the East Coast shared an email from the company, sent just a few minutes before the public announcement, saying that their store would have about 15 new consoles available for pre-order. Minutes after the announcement, the manager said, the store had a crowd of about 40 people, violating social-distancing requirements and overwhelming their clerks. GameStop said its last-minute notification to customers was meant to ensure that individuals, not resellers, were able to purchase the consoles. "We realize that in some situations our approach of notifying customers of this opportunity may have caused unintended reactions from both our associates and customers," GameStop said in a statement. "We apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused." The rush occurred as GameStop is facing widespread staffing shortages as the retailer has asked stores across the country to cut hours, the manager said. GameStop, which has been struggling in recent years amid the widespread adoption of digital games, reported a disappointing third quarter last week, sending the stock falling as much as 22%. The retailer has shuttered almost 700 stores this year and will close more locations through 2022 while it continues to cut costs, although it expects to see a sales bump this quarter thanks to the new consoles. On Reddit, GameStop employees are sharing similar complaints, telling stories of big lines and unruly crowds.

Dec 14 1:05pm
Reuters: A team of sophisticated hackers believed to be working for the Russian government won access to internal communications at the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to people familiar with the matter. The breach was part of the campaign reported Sunday that penetrated the U.S. departments of Treasury and Commerce.

Dec 14 1:51am
The New York Times reports: As coronavirus deaths soar across the country, deaths in communities that are home to colleges have risen faster than the rest of the nation, a New York Times analysis of 203 counties where students compose at least 10 percent of the population has found... [S]ince the end of August, deaths from the coronavirus have doubled in counties with a large college population, compared with a 58 percent increase in the rest of the nation. Few of the victims were college students, but rather older people and others living and working in the community. Health officials and family members of some people who died in such counties described large surges of cases involving students followed by subsequent infections and deaths in the wider community. "When the rate of transmission in the surrounding community is high and increasing," said Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, "you are going to see more deaths...." [I]n September and October, when deaths were well below earlier peaks and fairly steady, they were already rising in many college communities. That trend highlighted a central fear of health officials — that young adults with limited symptoms may unwittingly transmit the virus, increasing the possibility it would ultimately spread to someone more vulnerable... "All it really takes is one cavalier interaction," said Tali Elfassy, an epidemiologist at the University of Miami.

Dec 13 3:34pm
The international news agency AFP reports on "a violent rampage at a Taiwanese-run iPhone factory in southern India" leading to over 100 arrests. About 2,000 workers were involved in the protest, reports the Verge, citing the Indian Express newspaper. The workers are protesting over allegations of unpaid wages and exploitation, according to AFP. "Local media reported workers saying they had not been paid for up to four months and were being forced to do extra shifts..." Workers at the Taiwanese-run Wistron Infocomm Manufacturing near Bangalore smashed glass panels with rods and flipped cars on their side... CCTV cameras, fans and lights were torn down, while a car was set on fire, footage shared on social media showed... A local trade union leader alleged that there was "brutal exploitation" of factory workers in sweatshop conditions at the iPhone manufacturing plant. "The state government has allowed the company to flout the basic rights," Satyanand, who uses one name, told The Hindu newspaper... Labour unrest is not uncommon in India, with workers paid poorly and given few or no social security benefits.

Dec 11 1:50pm
cusco shares a blog post from Amazon: As part of our efforts to continue supporting the future workforce, we are investing hundreds of millions of dollars to provide free cloud computing skills training to people from all walks of life and all levels of knowledge, in more than 200 countries and territories. We will provide training opportunities through existing AWS-designed programs, as well as develop new courses to meet a wide variety of schedules and learning goals. The training ranges from self-paced online courses -- designed to help individuals update their technical skills -- to intensive upskilling programs that can lead to new jobs in the technology industry.

Dec 11 8:25am
In a joint security alert published this week, the US Cybersecurity Infrastructure and Security Agency, along with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, warned about increased cyber-attacks targeting the US K-12 educational sector, often leading to ransomware attacks, the theft of data, and the disruption of distance learning services. From a report: "As of December 2020, the FBI, CISA, and MS-ISAC continue to receive reports from K-12 educational institutions about the disruption of distance learning efforts by cyber actors," the alert reads. "Cyber actors likely view schools as targets of opportunity, and these types of attacks are expected to continue through the 2020/2021 academic year," it added. But of all the attacks plaguing the K-12 sector (kindergarten through twelfth-grade schools), ransomware has been a particularly aggressive threat this year, CISA and the FBI said. "According to MS-ISAC data, the percentage of reported ransomware incidents against K-12 schools increased at the beginning of the 2020 school year," the two agencies said. "In August and September, 57% of ransomware incidents reported to the MS-ISAC involved K-12 schools, compared to 28% of all reported ransomware incidents from January through July," they said.

Dec 9 7:10pm
A new study, published in the European Journal of Psychotraumatology, is the first to explore the effects of MDMA therapy in couples where one member is suffering from PTSD. New Atlas reports: This preliminary study investigated the feasibility of incorporating two MDMA sessions into a previously established PTSD therapeutic regime known as CBCT, or cognitive-behavioral conjoint therapy. As opposed to traditional PTSD therapies focusing on the individual, CBCT is designed to help improve relationship functioning for couples, while still improving PTSD symptoms in the individual patient. The new trial recruited six couples, in which one member of the couple had a pre-existing PTSD diagnosis, and explored the feasibility of incorporating two MDMA sessions into the CBCT protocol, which traditionally involves around 15 therapy sessions conducted over several months. The new study reports the addition of MDMA to the couples therapy protocol resulted in effects that were, "on par with, or greater than, those achieved with CBCT alone." Improvements were detected in both relationship outcomes and individual PTSD symptoms. The effects were most significant at the six-month follow up implying the MDMA therapy confers compelling long-term benefits. It is important to note the study was uncontrolled, so any efficacy comparisons to CBCT alone can only be garnered by examining prior CBCT studies. However, this feasibility study does establish the addition of MDMA to the pre-existing therapeutic protocol is safe and it does not negatively interfere with other PTSD treatments.

Dec 8 12:32pm
The U.S. Senate voted Tuesday by a 49 to 47 vote to advance the nomination of a senior Trump administration official who has helped lead an effort seeking social media regulations to a seat on the Federal Communications Commission. From a report: The Senate is set to vote later on the nomination of Nathan Simington, a Commerce Department official, after U.S. President Donald Trump repeatedly urged lawmakers to take action. If Simington is confirmed, the FCC could initially be deadlocked 2-2 between Democrats and Republicans when Democratic President-elect Joe Biden takes office next month.

Dec 8 9:59am
A French judge has sentenced the founder of the now-defunct BTC-e cryptocurrency exchange to five years in prison and a fine of $121,000 for laundering funds for cybercriminals, including ransomware gangs, ZDNet France reported today. From the report: Alexander Vinnik, 41, a Russian national, dodged a bigger sentence after French prosecutors failed to prove that the BTC-e founder was directly involved in the creation and the distribution of Locky, a ransomware strain that was active in 2016 and 2017. "Mr. Vinnik, the court acquitted you of the offenses relating to the cyber-attacks linked to Locky, as well as the offenses of extortion and association to criminal activities, but finds you guilty of organized money laundering," the judge said when reading the sentence. innik was trialed in Paris this fall after a long and complicated legal battle. He was initially arrested in July 2017 while vacationing in a summer resort in northern Greece. He was taken into custody by Greek police under an international warrant issued by the US for his involvement in running BTC-e, a cryptocurrency exchange that Vinnik founded in 2011, together with fellow Russian national Aleksandr Bilyuchenko. US authorities said Vinnik operated BTC-e as a front company for a money-laundering operation, knowingly receiving funds from hacks and other forms of cybercrime and helping crooks cash out stolen funds into fiat currency.

Dec 7 9:45am
The U.S. air pollution monitoring network has fallen into disrepair after years of budget cuts and neglect, leaving tens of millions of Americans vulnerable to undetected bad air quality from events like wildfires to industrial pollution, according to a report by the investigative arm of Congress. Reuters: The conclusions from a 2-1/2-year audit by the U.S. Government Accountability Office (GAO) confirm key findings in a Reuters special report published last week that detailed broad failures in the air-pollution monitoring system, whose data guides U.S. regulatory policy and informs the public about health risks. Federal funding for the air monitoring network, which is overseen by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and operated and maintained by state and local environmental agencies, has declined by about 20% since 2004, after adjusting for inflation, leaving it in poor condition, according to the GAO report viewed by Reuters. The GAO report said some agencies have reported termite damage and leaky roofs at shelters housing sensitive but aging pollution monitoring equipment, and one state agency resorted to shopping on eBay to find used monitor parts because the manufacturer had stopped making them.

Dec 5 3:34pm
NBC News reports: The mysterious neurological symptoms experienced by American diplomats in China and Cuba are consistent with the effects of directed microwave energy, according to a long-awaited report by the National Academies of Sciences that cites medical evidence to support the long-held conviction of American intelligence officials. The report, obtained Friday by NBC News, does not conclude that the directed energy was delivered intentionally, by a weapon, as some U.S. officials have long believed. But it raises that disturbing possibility... A team of medical and scientific experts who studied the symptoms of as many as 40 State Department and other government employees concluded that nothing like them had previously been documented in medical literature, according to the National Academies of Sciences report... "The committee felt that many of the distinctive and acute signs, symptoms and observations reported by (government) employees are consistent with the effects of directed, pulsed radio frequency (RF) energy," the report says. "Studies published in the open literature more than a half-century ago and over the subsequent decades by Western and Soviet sources provide circumstantial support for this possible mechanism...." In the last year, as first reported by GQ Magazine and The New York Times, a number of new incidents have been reported by CIA officers in Europe and Asia, including one involving Marc Polymeropoulos, who retired last year after a long and decorated career as a case officer. He told NBC News he is still suffering the effects of what he believes was a brain injury he sustained on a trip to Moscow. A source directly familiar with the matter told NBC News the CIA, using mobile phone location data, had determined that some Russian intelligence agents who had worked on microwave weapons programs were present in the same cities at the same time that CIA officers suffered mysterious symptoms. CIA officials consider that a promising lead but not conclusive evidence. The State Department, responding to the report, said that "each possible cause remains speculative" and added that the investigation, now three years old, is still "ongoing." Although it praised the National Academies of Sciences for undertaking the effort, the State Department offered a long list of "challenges of their study" and limitations in the data the academies were given access to, suggesting that the report should not be viewed as conclusive... The report says more investigation is required [and] recommends that the State Department establish a response mechanism for similar incidents that allows new cases to be studied more quickly and effectively [as well as neurological assessments for all State Department employees on foreign assignments]. NBC notes that the study examined four possible causes: Infection, chemicals, psychological factors and microwave energy. The report concludes that "Among the plausible mechanisms that the committee considered, directed radio frequency (RF) energy, especially in those with the distinct early manifestations, appears most germane, along with persistent postural perceptual dizziness (PPPD) as a secondary reinforcing mechanism, as well as the additive effects of psychological conditions. "The committee cannot rule out other possible mechanisms, and again, considers it likely that a multiplicity of factors explains some cases and the differences between others."

Dec 5 12:34pm
9to5Mac reports that Apple announced a repair program for "a small percentage" of iPhone 11s manufactured between November 2019 and May 2020 where the display stops responding to touch: The replacement program is exclusive to the regular iPhone 11 model and does not apply to the iPhone 11 Pro or iPhone 11 Pro Max. Users can check the Apple Support website to find out if their iPhone 11 is eligible for the replacement program using its serial number... Apple will replace the affected iPhone 11 for free. The repair program covers affected iPhone 11 models for two years after the first retail sale of the unit. Apple may refuse free technical support for devices with physical damages.

Dec 4 9:06am
Apple has always gone out of its way to build features for users with disabilities, and VoiceOver on iOS is an invaluable tool for anyone with a vision impairment -- assuming every element of the interface has been manually labeled. But the company just unveiled a brand new feature that uses machine learning to identify and label every button, slider and tab automatically. From a report: Screen Recognition, available now in iOS 14, is a computer vision system that has been trained on thousands of images of apps in use, learning what a button looks like, what icons mean and so on. Such systems are very flexible -- depending on the data you give them, they can become expert at spotting cats, facial expressions or, as in this case, the different parts of a user interface. The result is that in any app now, users can invoke the feature and a fraction of a second later every item on screen will be labeled. And by "every," they mean every -- after all, screen readers need to be aware of every thing that a sighted user would see and be able to interact with, from images (which iOS has been able to create one-sentence summaries of for some time) to common icons (home, back) and context-specific ones like "..." menus that appear just about everywhere. The idea is not to make manual labeling obsolete -- developers know best how to label their own apps, but updates, changing standards and challenging situations (in-game interfaces, for instance) can lead to things not being as accessible as they could be.

Dec 4 7:58am
President Donald Trump on Thursday signed an executive order that aims to guide how federal agencies adopt artificial intelligence (AI) as part of efforts to build public trust in the government using this technology. From a report: The order itself directs federal agencies to be guided by nine principles when designing, developing, acquiring, and using AI. These principles emphasise that AI use by federal agencies be lawful; purposeful and performance-driven; accurate, reliable, and effective; safe, secure, and resilient; understandable; responsible and traceable; regularly monitored; transparent; and accountable. To implement these principles, the order directs the Office of Management and Budget to create a roadmap by the end of May 2021 for how the government will better support the use of AI. This roadmap will include a schedule for engaging with the public and timelines for finalising relevant policy guidance. The order also calls on agencies to continue to use voluntary consensus standards developed with industry participation. "This order recognises the potential for AI to improve government operations, such as by reducing outdated or duplicative regulations, enhancing the security of federal information systems, and streamlining application processes," Trump said in a statement. Federal agencies will also be required to prepare an inventory of AI use cases, as well as review and assess these use cases for consistency. The General Services Administration, meanwhile, has been directed to establish an AI track within the Presidential Innovation Fellows program to attract experts from industry and academia to work within agencies to further the design, development, acquisition, and use of AI in government.

Dec 3 8:31am
GitHub has released its annual Octoverse report, revealing trends in one of the largest developer communities on the planet, including a spike in open source project activity following the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. VentureBeat: JavaScript continues to be the most popular programming language on GitHub, while Python is now the second most popular, followed by Java and the fast-growing TypeScript community. Maintained by GitHub owner Microsoft, TypeScript has climbed from seventh place in 2018 and 2019 to fourth overall this year. PHP and Ruby, languages that ranked among the most popular five years ago, continued to decline in popularity.

Dec 1 6:00pm
Joe2020 writes: Famous developer Hector Martin who put Linux on the PS4 now wants to port Linux to the new Apple M1, and he wants to do it with the help of crowdfunding by making it his full-time job. One can find his official pledge for support here. "Since these devices are brand new and bespoke silicon, porting Linux to run on them is a huge undertaking. Well beyond a hobby project, it is a full-time job," the developer explains. "The goal is to bring Linux support on Apple Silicon macs to the point where it is not merely a tech demo, but is actually an OS you would want to use on a daily driver device. To do this, there is a huge amount of work to be done. Running Linux on things is easy, but making it work well is hard. Drivers need to be written for all devices. The driver for the completely custom Apple GPU is the most complicated component, which is necessary to have a good desktop experience. Power management needs to work well too, for your battery life to be reasonable," the dev explains. Martin says he hopes to have enough donations to purchase the new Apple Silicon-powered devices and hire other people to help with the job. Slashdot reader NoMoreACs also shared the news via Mac Rumors.

Nov 30 8:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Mechanics: Scientists are going back to the salt mines, literally, to find a revolutionary new way to store large quantities of hydrogen for energy. Proponents say this could be a step toward unlocking hydrogen for renewables -- something that could change the energy landscape if it were resolved. "The project would initially have enough energy to power 150,000 households for one year and is scheduled to be operational by 2025," Fuel Cell Works reports. "It is being managed by Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems (MHPS), a maker of gas turbines, and Magnum Development, which owns salt caverns for liquid fuel storage." This works by basically repurposing existing, enormous caves to store reserves of hydrogen as well as other fuels. Salt in particular makes a great medium for storing and then continuing to generate green hydrogen. CNBC explains how the caves are used to store and generate hydrogen: "Caverns can be created in salt domes by drilling into the salt dome and injecting the rock with water, which dissolves the salt. The resulting brine is extracted, leaving a large cavity. The next step is storing hydrogen in the cavern. Hydrogen electrolyzers can convert water into hydrogen by using renewable energy from solar and other sources. The hydrogen can then be stored, and reconverted to electricity when needed." Fuel Cell Works reports that while these caves are in the U.S., the major push for salt cave storage is in Europe.

Nov 30 10:29am
Facebook has acquired Kustomer, a New York-based software company that helps businesses manage customer conversations from multiple services on one dashboard. From a report: The social media giant made the deal to bolster its nascent messaging business, which is expanding to include customer-service products that help companies interact with people via chat apps, like WhatsApp and Messenger. "Any business knows that when the phone rings, they need to answer it. Increasingly, texts and messages have become just as important as that phone call -- and businesses need to adapt," Facebook executives wrote in a blog post. Kustomer also offers automated tools so companies can handle easier customer requests using bots. The deal values Kustomer at a little over $1 billion, WSJ reported.

Nov 27 7:30pm
The U.S. Federal Communications Commission killed a proposal to allow in-flight voice calls via mobile phones, ending its examination of an idea that evoked fears of air rage from passengers trapped beside jabbering seat mates. From a report: The idea drew "strong opposition" from pilots and flight attendants, the agency said Friday in a four-paragraph order. The FCC in 2013 proposed allowing mobile telephone conversations above 10,000 feet, adopting practices followed in Europe and elsewhere, where in-flight voice calling is more common. But the proposal led to strong and immediate pushback, with travelers, flight attendants, members of Congress and others saying they were troubled by the idea of passengers talking on phones in flight. One group raised "the potential for air rage if passengers are using their cell phone."

Nov 27 8:09am
Leaf-cutter ants are named for their Herculean feats: they chomp foliage and carry unwieldy pieces, like green flags many times their size, long distances to their colonies. There they chew up the leaves to feed underground fungus farms. Along the way, the insects brave all manner of predators -- and regularly engage in wars with other ants. But these insects are even tougher than previously thought. From a report: A new study shows that one Central American leaf-cutter ant species has natural armor that covers its exoskeleton. This shield-like coating is made of calcite with high levels of magnesium, a type found only in one other biological structure: sea urchin teeth, which can grind limestone. Bones and teeth of many animals contain calciferous minerals, and crustaceans, such as crabs and lobsters, have mineralized shells and other body parts. But before this finding, no type of calcite had been found in any adult insect. In leaf-cutter ants, this coating is made of thousands of tiny, plate-like crystals that harden their exoskeleton. This "armor" helps prevent the insects from losing limbs in battles with other ants and staves off fungal infections, according to a paper published November 24 in the journal Nature Communications. The discovery is especially surprising because the ants are well known. "There are thousands of papers on leaf-cutter ants," says study co-author Cameron Currie, an evolutionary biologist at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. "We were really excited to find [this in] one of the most well-studied insects in nature," he says. Though this paper looked only at one species, Acromyrmex echinatior, Currie and colleagues suspect other related ants have the biomineral too.

Nov 26 4:00pm
Residents of an Austrian village will ring in the new year under a new name -- Fugging -- after ridicule of their signposts, especially on social media, became too much to bear. From a report: They finally grew weary of Fucking, its current name, which some experts say dates back to the 11th century. Minutes from a municipal council meeting published on Thursday showed that the village of about 100 people, 350km (215 miles) east of Vienna, will be named Fugging from 1 January 2021. Increasing numbers of English-speaking tourists have made a point of stopping in to snap pictures of themselves by the signpost at the entrance to the village, sometimes striking lascivious poses for social media. Some have reportedly even stolen the signposts, leading the local authorities to use theft-resistant concrete when putting up replacements. Finally, a majority of the villagers decided they had had enough. "I can confirm that the village is being renamed," said Andrea Holzner, the mayor of Tarsdorf, the municipality to which the village belongs.

Nov 26 8:07am
UK-based cyber-security vendor Sophos is currently notifying customers via email about a security breach the company suffered earlier this week. From a report: "On November 24, 2020, Sophos was advised of an access permission issue in a tool used to store information on customers who have contacted Sophos Support," the company said in an email sent to customers and obtained by ZDNet. Exposed information included details such as customer first and last names, email addresses, and phone numbers (if provided).

Nov 26 12:00am
Amateur astronomer and YouTuber Alberto Caballero, one of the founders of The Exoplanets Channel, has found a small amount of evidence for a source of the notorious Wow! signal. Phys.Org reports: Back in 1977, astronomers working with the Big Ear Radio Telescope -- at the time, situated in Delaware, Ohio -- recorded a unique signal from somewhere in space. It was so strong and unusual that one of the workers on the team, Jerry Ehman, famously scrawled the word Wow! on the printout. Despite years of work and many man hours, no one has ever been able to trace the source of the signal or explain the strong, unique signal, which lasted for all of 72 seconds. Since that time, many people have suggested the only explanation for such a strong and unique signal is extraterrestrial intelligent life. In this new effort, Caballero reasoned that if the source was some other life form, it would likely be living on an exoplanet -- and if that were the case, it would stand to reason that such a life form might be living on a planet similar to Earth -- one circling its own sun-like star. Pursuing this logic, Caballero began searching the publicly available Gaia database for just such a star. The Gaia database has been assembled by a team working at the Gaia observatory run by the European Space Agency. Launched back in 2013, the project has worked steadily on assembling the best map of the night sky ever created. To date, the team has mapped approximately 1.3 billion stars. In studying his search results, Caballero found what appears to fit the bill -- a star (2MASS 19281982-2640123) that is very nearly a mirror image of the sun -- and is located in the part of the sky where the Wow! signal originated. He notes that there are other possible candidates in the area but suggests his candidate might provide the best launching point for a new research effort by astronomers who have the tools to look for exoplanets. Caballero shared his findings via arXiv.

Nov 24 3:40pm
This 2004 project is garnering interest from users who have found it for the first time. You might also like Zoomquilt2, from 2007, and Arkadia, from 2015.

Nov 24 12:00am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: OneWeb has emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy under new ownership and says it will begin launching more broadband satellites next month. Similar to SpaceX Starlink, OneWeb is building a network of low-Earth orbit (LEO) satellites that can provide high-speed broadband with much lower latencies than traditional geostationary satellites. After a launch in December, "launches will continue throughout 2021 and 2022 and OneWeb is now on track to begin commercial connectivity services to the UK and the Arctic region in late 2021 and will expand to delivering global services in 2022," OneWeb said in an announcement Friday. In March this year, OneWeb filed for bankruptcy and reportedly laid off most of its staff. In July, OneWeb agreed to sell the business to a consortium including the UK government and Bharti Global Limited for $1 billion. In the Friday announcement, OneWeb said it has secured "all relevant regulatory approvals" needed to exit bankruptcy. "Together with our UK Government partner, we recognized that OneWeb has valuable global spectrum with priority rights, and we benefit from $3.3 billion invested to date and from the satellites already in orbit, securing our usage rights," Bharti founder and Chairman Sunil Bharti Mittal said.

Nov 21 10:34pm
Mars is a dead planet — "Or is it?" asks the New York Times: Previous research has hinted at volcanic eruptions on Mars 2.5 million years ago. But a new paper suggests an eruption occurred as recently as 53,000 years ago in a region called Cerberus Fossae, which would be the youngest known volcanic eruption on Mars. That drives home the prospect that beneath its rusty surface pocked with gigantic volcanoes that have gone silent, some volcanism still erupts to the surface at rare intervals. "If this deposit is of volcanic origin then the Cerberus Fossae region may not be extinct and Mars may still be volcanically active today," scientists at the University of Arizona and Smithsonian Institution, write in their paper — which was posted online ahead of peer review and has been submitted to the journal Icarus... If it holds up to scrutiny, the discovery would have large implications for Mars. In geological terms, 53,000 years is the blink of an eye, suggesting Mars might well still be volcanically active now. It could also have big implications for the search for life on Mars. Such volcanic activity could melt subsurface ice, providing a potential habitable environment for living things. "To have life, you need energy, carbon, water and nutrients," said Steven Anderson, an earth sciences professor at the University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, who was not involved in the paper. "And a volcanic system provides all of those."

Nov 21 3:34pm
"Does the human brain resemble the Universe?" teases an announcement that an astrophysicist of the University of Bologna and a neurosurgeon of the University of Verona "compared the network of neuronal cells in the human brain with the cosmic network of galaxies...and surprising similarities emerged." Slashdot reader Iwastheone shares their report: Despite the substantial difference in scale between the two networks (more than 27 orders of magnitude), their quantitative analysis, which sits at the crossroads of cosmology and neurosurgery, suggests that diverse physical processes can build structures characterized by similar levels of complexity and self-organization. The human brain functions thanks to its wide neuronal network that is deemed to contain approximately 69 billion neurons. On the other hand, the observable universe can count upon a cosmic web of at least 100 billion galaxies. Within both systems, only 30% of their masses are composed of galaxies and neurons. Within both systems, galaxies and neurons arrange themselves in long filaments or nodes between the filaments. Finally, within both system, 70% of the distribution of mass or energy is composed of components playing an apparently passive role: water in the brain and dark energy in the observable Universe. Starting from the shared features of the two systems, researchers compared a simulation of the network of galaxies to sections of the cerebral cortex and the cerebellum. The goal was to observe how matter fluctuations scatter over such diverse scales. "We calculated the spectral density of both systems. This is a technique often employed in cosmology for studying the spatial distribution of galaxies", explains Franco Vazza (astrophysicist at the University of Bologna). "Our analysis showed that the distribution of the fluctuation within the cerebellum neuronal network on a scale from 1 micrometre to 0.1 millimetres follows the same progression of the distribution of matter in the cosmic web but, of course, on a larger scale that goes from 5 million to 500 million light-years". The two researchers also calculated some parameters characterising both the neuronal network and the cosmic web: the average number of connections in each node and the tendency of clustering several connections in relevant central nodes within the network. "Once again, structural parameters have identified unexpected agreement levels. Probably, the connectivity within the two networks evolves following similar physical principles, despite the striking and obvious difference between the physical powers regulating galaxies and neurons", adds Alberto Feletti (neurosurgeon at the University of Verona).

Nov 21 12:34pm
"In a historic test, a U.S. Navy guided missile destroyer shot down an intercontinental ballistic missile (ICBM) warhead aimed at a patch of ocean off the Hawaiian Islands," reports Popular Mechanics: Once the missile launched, a network of sensors picked it up. The data was then handed off to the guided missile destroyer USS John Finn, which launched a SM-3 Block IIA interceptor. Just as the ICBM released a [simulated] nuclear warhead, the SM-3 released an Exoatmospheric Kill Vehicle (EKV) designed to smash itself into the incoming warhead. Infrared cameras recorded a visible explosion as the EKV took out the simulated nuclear warhead. Most types of ballistic missiles are basically small payload space rockets designed to boost nuclear warheads into low-Earth orbit. Once in space, the warhead coasts through orbit at several thousand miles per hour — the so-called midcourse phase when the warhead is midway between its launch point and target. The warhead then de-orbits into a trajectory that sends it plunging toward its target. Meanwhile, space-based infrared sensors pick up the hot launch plume of the ballistic missile. A launch alert is passed on to ground-based long range radars, which search the skies for the incoming threat. As the missile falls away and the warhead continues on to its target, missile defense radars track the target, plot its trajectory, and alert any "shooters" in the flight path capable of shooting down the warhead. The shooter then launches an interceptor, and the EKV steers itself into the warhead path... The article includes video of the test, and concludes that the ability to shoot down missiles is "terrible news for China" — while adding this "could very well cause Beijing to increase its nuclear arsenal."

Nov 20 5:50pm
Apple and Microsoft are working on adding support for the Xbox Series X controller to Apple devices, according to an Apple Support page spotted by a Reddit user. MacRumors reports: The support page states that Apple devices only support the Xbox Wireless Controller with Bluetooth, Xbox Elite Wireless Controller Series 2, Xbox Adaptive Controller, PlayStation DualShock 4 Wireless Controller, and various other MFi Bluetooth controllers. However, small print on the page states: "Microsoft and Apple are working together to bring compatibility for the Xbox Series X controller to customers in a future update." There is no mention of the Sony PlayStation 5 DualSense Controller or the Amazon Luna Controller on the Apple Support page, but MacRumors has spotted code mentioning the controllers in the iOS and iPadOS 14.3 betas.

Nov 20 3:00am
sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: In 2018, a group of researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) pulled off a dazzling materials science magic trick. They stacked two microscopic cards of graphene -- sheets of carbon one atom thick -- and twisted one ever so slightly. Applying an electric field transformed the stack from a conductor to an insulator and then, suddenly, into a superconductor: a material that frictionlessly conducts electricity. Dozens of labs leapt into the newly born field of "twistronics," hoping to conjure up novel electronic devices without the hassles of fusing together chemically different materials. Two groups -- including the pioneering MIT group -- are now delivering on that promise by turning twisted graphene into working devices, including superconducting switches like those used in many quantum computers. The studies mark a crucial step for the material, which is already maturing into a basic science tool able to capture and control individual electrons and photons. Now, it is showing that it could one day be the basis of new electronic devices.

Nov 19 5:50pm
A group of state attorneys general, led by New York Attorney General Letitia James, is on track to file antitrust charges against Facebook in early December, according to a report Thursday from the Washington Post. CNET: The move comes as the US Federal Trade Commission is also reportedly finalizing its antitrust probe into the social media giant. State and federal investigators plan to bring antitrust charges against Facebook over its acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, alleging that the deals "helped create an anti-competitive social networking juggernaut," according to the Post. Investigators may also reportedly argue that Facebook weaponized its vast trove of user data to help quash rivals.

Nov 18 4:30pm
After analyzing 275,699,516 passwords leaked during 2020 data breaches, NordPass and partners found that the most common passwords are incredibly easy to guess -- and it could take less than a second or two for attackers to break into accounts using these credentials. Only 44% of those recorded were considered "unique." ZDNet reports: On Wednesday, the password manager solutions provider published its annual report on the state of password security, finding that the most popular options were "123456," "123456789," "picture1," "password," and "12345678." With the exception of "picture1," which would take approximately three hours to decipher using a brute-force attack, each password would take seconds using either dictionary scripts -- which compile common phrases and numerical combinations to try -- or simple, human guesswork. As one of the entrants on the 200-strong list describes the state of affairs when it comes to password security, "whatever," it seems many of us are still reluctant to use strong, difficult-to-crack passwords -- and instead, we are going for options including "football," "iloveyou," "letmein," and "pokemon." When selecting a password, you should avoid patterns or repetitions, such as letters or numbers that are next to each other on a keyboard. Adding a capital letter, symbols, and numbers in unexpected places can help, too -- and in all cases, you should not use personal information as a password, such as birthdates or names.

Nov 18 1:50pm
How long might immunity to the coronavirus last? Years, maybe even decades, according to a new study -- the most hopeful answer yet to a question that has shadowed plans for widespread vaccination. From a report: Eight months after infection, most people who have recovered still have enough immune cells to fend off the virus and prevent illness, the new data show. A slow rate of decline in the short term suggests, happily, that these cells may persist in the body for a very, very long time to come. The research, published online, has not been peer-reviewed nor published in a scientific journal. But it is the most comprehensive and long-ranging study of immune memory to the coronavirus to date. "That amount of memory would likely prevent the vast majority of people from getting hospitalized disease, severe disease, for many years," said Shane Crotty, a virologist at the La Jolla Institute of Immunology who co-led the new study. The findings are likely to come as a relief to experts worried that immunity to the virus might be short-lived, and that vaccines might have to be administered repeatedly to keep the pandemic under control. And the research squares with another recent finding: that survivors of SARS, caused by another coronavirus, still carry certain important immune cells 17 years after recovering. The findings are consistent with encouraging evidence emerging from other labs. Researchers at the University of Washington, led by the immunologist Marion Pepper, had earlier shown that certain "memory" cells that were produced following infection with the coronavirus persist for at least three months in the body. The study has yet to be published and peer-reviewed.

Nov 17 4:30pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: According to Bloomberg, EQT is planning an IPO for German Linux and enterprise software company SUSE. EQT is a Swedish-based private equity firm with 50 billion euros in raised capital. SUSE is the leading European Union (EU) Linux distributor. Over the years, SUSE has changed owners several times. First, it was acquired by Novell in 2004. Then, Attachmate, with some Microsoft funding, bought Novell and SUSE in 2010. This was followed in 2014 when Micro Focus purchased Attachmate and SUSE was spun off as an independent division. Then, EQT purchased SUSE from Micro Focus for $2.5 billion in March 2019. With an IPO of approximately $6 billion, EQT would do very well for itself in very little time. Bloomberg states that the IPO talks are in a very preliminary stage. Nothing may yet come of these conversations. As for SUSE, a company representative said, "As a company, we are constantly exploring ways to grow. But as a matter of corporate policy, we do not comment on rumor or speculation in the market."

Nov 17 7:41am
Amazon is making its biggest push into the healthcare industry yet with the launch today of Amazon Pharmacy: a new service offering home delivery for prescription medication. From a report: Customers can sign up to the new store by creating a "secure pharmacy profile," with the option of adding information about their health insurance, any outstanding medical issues like allergies, and any regular prescriptions. The store will offer a range of "generic and brand-name drugs," reports CNBC, including "commonly prescribed drugs like insulin, triamcinolone steroid creams, metformin for controlling blood sugar, and sumatriptan for migraines." Notably, the pharmacy will not sell Schedule II medications, which includes many common opioids like Oxycontin. As usual for Amazon, Prime members will get a number of advantages over regular customers. These perks include free, two-day delivery on orders and discounts on medication. Amazon claims Prime members will be able to save "up to 80 percent off generic and 40 percent off brand name medications when paying without insurance." Prime members will also be able to save on medication bought in person from over 50,000 pharmacies across the US, including Rite Aid, CVS, Walmart, and Walgreens.

Nov 17 12:05am
Four astronauts aboard their SpaceX Dragon capsule "Resilience" have arrived at the International Space Station, circling 262 miles above the Earth, where they will stay until spring. From a report: The capsule lifted off from the Kennedy Space Center Sunday evening atop a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket, chasing the ISS for 27 hours before matching its altitude and speed for an orbital dock. The flight marks only the second crewed flight for Crew Dragon, which became the first commercial vehicle to put humans in orbit when astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken launched in May. "SpaceX, this is Resilience. Excellent job, right down the center," commander Hopkins radioed to mission control after the docking. "SpaceX and NASA, congratulations." The flight marks another milestone for SpaceX flying its first fully operational mission. After the May launch, designated "Demo-2" with Hurley and Behnken, NASA certified the capsule for operational use in its Commercial Crew program. The Resilience crew includes three NASA astronauts and one from the Japan Aerospace Exploration Agency who were mostly passengers during the flight of Crew Dragon, which generally flies without human input and docks to the ISS autonomously.

Nov 16 5:10pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: A new study shows that the demand for employee surveillance software was up 55% in June 2020 compared to the pre-pandemic average. From webcam access to random screenshot monitoring, these surveillance software products can record almost everything an employee does on their computer. VPN review website Top10VPN used its global monitoring data to analyze over 200 terms related to employee surveillance software. It took into account both generic and brand-specific queries for its study which compared searches during March-May 2020 with internet searches in the preceding year. Global demand for employee monitoring software increased by 108% in April, and 70% in May 2020 compared with searches carried out the preceding year. Queries for "How to monitor employees working from home" increased by 1,705% in April and 652% in May 2020 compared with searches carried out the preceding year. The surge in popularity of such an open-ended phrase like this reveals how unprepared many companies were for the abrupt shift to mass home-working. The most popular surveillance tools are Time Doctor, Hubstaff, and FlexiSPY. The tools with the biggest increase in demand include Teramind, DeskTime, Kickidler, and Time Doctor, with interest for the latter tripling compared to the pre-pandemic levels. The top three tools account for almost 60% of global demand in surveillance software because of the range of features offered. The radical shift away from office-working has clearly made employers nervous about a reduction in productivity and its potential impact on their business. Greater surveillance, however, may actually reduce long-term productivity. Your boss watching your every move may make you less productive in the long run and could significantly impact your feelings about the company itself.

Nov 16 4:50pm
Airbnb released its prospectus today, becoming the latest big name to join the push to go public during the COVID-19 pandemic. CNBC reports: The company made $219 million in net income on revenues of $1.34 billion last quarter. That was down nearly 19% from $1.65 billion in revenue a year prior. Despite primarily turning net losses, the company has had other occasional quarters of profitability, including the second and third quarters of 2018 and the third quarter of 2019. The company said it plans to trade under the symbol "ABNB" on the Nasdaq. In its prospectus, the company put an emphasis on building a community around its hosts and guests, positioning that community as a differentiating factor from its competitors. The company said it would set up 9.2 million shares of non-voting stock aside in an endowment fund for hosts. "Our guests are not transactions -- they are engaged, contributing members of our community," the company said in its prospectus summary. "Once they become a part of Airbnb, guests actively participate in our community, return regularly to our platform to book again, and recommend Airbnb to others who then join themselves. This demand encourages new hosts to join, which in turn attracts even more guests. It is a virtuous cycle -- guests attract hosts, and hosts attract guests."

Nov 16 12:33pm
Matthew Green, a cryptographer and professor at Johns Hopkins University, writes: The Internet is a dangerous place in the best of times. Sometimes Internet engineers find ways to mitigate the worst of these threats, and sometimes they fail. Every now and then, however, a major Internet company finds a solution that actually makes the situation worse for just about everyone. Today I want to talk about one of those cases, and how a big company like Google might be able to lead the way in fixing it. This post is about the situation with Domain Keys Identified Mail (DKIM), a harmless little spam protocol that has somehow become a monster. My request is simple and can be summarized as follows: Dear Google: would you mind rotating and publishing your DKIM secret keys on a periodic basis? This would make the entire Internet quite a bit more secure, by removing a strong incentive for criminals to steal and leak emails. The fix would cost you basically nothing, and would remove a powerful tool from hands of thieves.

Nov 14 10:34am
"Ubuntu developers have fixed a series of vulnerabilities that made it easy for standard users to gain coveted root privileges," reports Ars Technica: "This blog post is about an astonishingly straightforward way to escalate privileges on Ubuntu," Kevin Backhouse, a researcher at GitHub, wrote in a post published on Tuesday. "With a few simple commands in the terminal, and a few mouse clicks, a standard user can create an administrator account for themselves." The first series of commands triggered a denial-of-service bug in a daemon called accountsservice, which as its name suggests is used to manage user accounts on the computer... With the help of a few extra commands, Backhouse was able to set a timer that gave him just enough time to log out of the account before accountsservice crashed. When done correctly, Ubuntu would restart and open a window that allowed the user to create a new account that — you guessed it — had root privileges... The second bug involved in the hack resided in the GNOME display manager, which among other things manages user sessions and the login screen. The display manager, which is often abbreviated as gdm3, also triggers the initial setup of the OS when it detects no users currently exist. "How does gdm3 check how many users there are on the system?" Backhouse asked rhetorically. "You probably already guessed it: by asking accounts-daemon! So what happens if accounts-daemon is unresponsive....?" The vulnerabilities could be triggered only when someone had physical access to, and a valid account on, a vulnerable machine. It worked only on desktop versions of Ubuntu. "This bug is now tracked as CVE-2020-16125 and rated with a high severity score of 7.2 out of 10. It affects Ubuntu 20.10, Ubuntu 20.04, and Ubuntu 18.04..." reports Bleeping Computer. They add that the GitHub security research who discovered the bugs "reported them to Ubuntu and GNOME maintainers on October 17, and fixes are available in the latest code."

Nov 13 7:02pm
"The Nov. 3rd election was the most secure in American history," state and federal election officials said in a statement Thursday. "There is no evidence that any voting system deleted or lost votes, changed votes, or was in any way compromi