Mitsubishi Recalls 68,000 SUVs Over Bad Software
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 14:44:59 Source: slashdot
Mitsubishi is recalling 68,000 SUVs because of bad software in two different engine-control units (ECUs), according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Consumer Reports adds: In one of the two actions, the automaker is recalling 58,916 of its 2018 Eclipse Cross, 2017 to 2018 Outlander, and 2018 Outlander Sport SUVs because of faulty software in the hydraulic unit ECU -- the computer control system for the brake system. According to NHTSA, the software problem could cause some features -- such as adaptive cruise control (ACC); forward-collision mitigation (FCM), which is a combination of forward-collision warning and automatic emergency braking; and antilock brakes (ABS) -- to not work as expected. In the second action, Mitsubishi is recalling 9,166 of its 2018 Eclipse Cross, 2017 to 2018 Outlander, and 2018 Outlander Sport SUVs because of bad software in the computer control for the FCM system. According to NHTSA, if the FCM system detects a pedestrian in front of the vehicle who could be hit, that ECU may activate the brake for longer than necessary, even when the obstacle is no longer detected. There's concern that when this happens, the driver may provide additional braking, making the SUV slow rapidly and increasing the risk of a rear-end collision, NHTSA says. Consumer Reports has also detailed the models that are affected and how customers could contact the manufacturer. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Over 1,100 New Arcade Games Added To the Internet Archive
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 14:15:01 Source: slashdot
Jason Scott, writing for Internet Archive blog: The Internet Arcade, our collection of working arcade machines that run in the browser, has gotten a new upgrade in its 4th year. Advancements by both the MAME emulator team and the Emscripten conversion process allowed our team to go through many more potential arcade machines and add them to the site. The majority of these newly-available games date to the 1990s and early 2000s, as arcade machines both became significantly more complicated and graphically rich, while also suffering from the ever-present and home-based video game consoles that would come to dominate gaming to the present day. Even fervent gamers might have missed some of these arcade machines when they were in the physical world, due to lower distribution numbers and shorter times on the floor. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Microsoft Launches Office 2019 For Windows and Mac
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 13:00:00 Source: slashdot
Microsoft is releasing Office 2019 for Windows and Mac today. The update is designed for businesses and consumers that haven't opted into Microsoft's Office 365 service with monthly feature updates. The Verge: Office 2019 is essentially a subset of features that have been added to Office 365 over the past three years, and it includes updates to Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, Project, Visio, Access, and Publisher. Office 2019 will include a roaming pencil case and ribbon customizations across all Office apps. Microsoft is also bringing focus mode to Word, alongside a new translator, and accessibility improvements. Morph transitions, SVG and 3D model support, play in-click sequence, and 4k video export are all coming to PowerPoint. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Germany Launches World's First Autonomous Tram
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 12:15:00 Source: slashdot
An anonymous reader shares a report: The world's first autonomous tram was launched in unspectacular style in the city of Potsdam, west of Berlin, on Friday. The Guardian was the first English-language newspaper to be offered a ride on the vehicle developed by a team of 50 computer scientists, engineers, mathematicians, and physicists at the German engineering company Siemens. Fitted with multiple radar, lidar (light from a laser), and camera sensors, forming digital eyes that film the tram and its surroundings during every journey, the tram reacts to trackside signals and can respond to hazards faster than a human. Its makers say it is some way from being commercially viable but they do expect it to contribute to the wider field of driverless technology, and have called it an important milestone on the way to autonomous driving. Travelling in real traffic from the tram depot of Potsdam's transport company ViP, the articulated Combino model tram whirred its way through a high-rise housing settlement in the south-eastern district of Stern on Friday, contending with bikes, prams and cars which sometimes haphazardly crossed its path during the 3.7-mile (6km) route. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Despite Outrage From Users, Microsoft Continues To Install Bloatware Applications Onto Every Windows 10 PC
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 11:30:00 Source: slashdot
Before Windows 10, a clean install of Windows only included the bare essentials a user would need to get started using their PC. With Windows 10, a clean install stays that way for about two minutes, because the second you hit the desktop, the Microsoft Store immediately starts trying to download third-party apps and games. Users have long complained about it, but it turns out Microsoft never put paid to it. Windows Central writes: And these apps keep trying to install themselves even after you cancel the downloads. There are six such apps, which is six too many. These apps are often random, but right now they include things like Candy Crush, Spotify, and Disney Magic Kingdoms. You should not see any of these apps on a fresh install of Windows 10, yet they are there every single time. There are policies you can set that disable these apps from automatically installing, but that's not the point. On a fresh, untouched, clean install of Windows 10, these apps will download themselves onto your PC. Even if you cancel the installation of these apps before they manage to complete the download, they will retry at a later date, without you even noticing. The only way I've found that gets rid of them permanently is to let them install initially, without canceling the download, and then uninstall the apps from the Start menu. If you cancel the initial download of the bloatware apps before they complete their first install, the Microsoft Store will just attempt to redownload them later and will keep doing so until that initial install is complete. This is not a good user experience, Microsoft. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google Secretly Logs Users Into Chrome Whenever They Log Into a Google Site
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 10:14:57 Source: slashdot
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for ZDNet: Starting with Chrome 69, whenever a Chrome user would access a Google-owned site, the browser would take that user's Google identity and log the user into the Chrome in-browser account system -- also known as Sync. This system, Sync, allows users to log in with their Google accounts inside Chrome and optionally upload and synchronize local browser data (history, passwords, bookmarks, and other) to Google's servers. Sync has been present in Chrome for years, but until now, the system worked independently from the logged-in state of Google accounts. This allowed users to surf the web while logged into a Google account but not upload any Chrome browsing data to Google's servers, data that may be tied to their accounts. Now, with the revelations of this new auto-login mechanism, a large number of users are angry that this sneaky modification would allow Google to link that person's traffic to a specific browser and device with a higher degree of accuracy. That criticism proved to be wrong, as Google engineers have clarified on Twitter that this auto-login operation does not start the process of synchronizing local data to Google's servers, which will require a user click. Furthermore, they also revealed that the reason why this mechanism was added was for privacy reasons in the first place. Chrome engineers said the auto-login mechanism was added in the browser because of shared computers/browsers. Well-respected cryptographer Matthew Green was disappointed by the move. In a post, he wrote: [...] In the rest of this post, I‚(TM)m going to talk about why this matters. From my perspective, this comes down to basically four points: 1. Nobody on the Chrome development team can provide a clear rationale for why this change was necessary, and the explanations they've given don't make any sense. 2. This change has enormous implications for user privacy and trust, and Google seems unable to grapple with this. 3. The change makes a hash out of Google's own privacy policies for Chrome. 4. Google needs to stop treating customer trust like it's a renewable resource, because they're screwing up badly. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Meet the World's First Self-Driving Car From 1968
technology - Posted On:2018-09-24 00:14:58 Source: slashdot
Qbertino writes: The German Web industry magazine T3N (think of it as the German TechCrunch) has an article about a test circuit and a test vehicle -- a modified Mercedes Benz limousine of the time -- that was set up by the German tire manufacturer Continental in order to test tires in a precisely reproducible set of tests. Hence the self-driving mechanism provided by a wire in the test track to send and receive signals from the car and to record data on the test runs on magnetic tape and other high-tech stuff from the time. Here's a short video, erm, film clip showing the setup in action -- driverless seat included. Today's artificial intelligence is nowhere to be seen of course, but the entire setup itself seems pretty impressive and sophisticated. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Instagram Says It's Not Working On a Regram Feature
technology - Posted On:2018-09-23 11:30:00 Source: slashdot
Soon after The Verge reported that Instagram was working on a reshare feature, the company said that the function is "not happening." It told The Verge and TechCrunch that it's neither building nor testing a regram feature. Engadget reports: The Verge reported on Thursday that Instagram appeared to be working on a way for users to easily share others' posts in their own feed. The feature would be housed in the menu situated in the upper right-hand corner of each post and would give users the option to "share to feed." A source familiar with the feature provided The Verge with screenshots of posts shared with the feature, which the site noted looked like was in very early stages of development. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Why Attackers Are Using C# For Post-PowerShell Attacks
it - Posted On:2018-09-23 03:44:57 Source: slashdot
An anonymous Slashdot reader summarizes an article by a senior security researcher at Forecepoint Security Labs: Among cyber criminals, there has been a trend in recent years for using more so called 'fileless' attacks. The driver for this is to avoid detection by anti-virus. PowerShell is often used in these attacks. Part of the strategy behind fileless attacks is related to the concept of 'living off the land', meaning that to blend in and avoid detection, attackers strive for only using the tools that are natively available on the target system, and preferably avoiding dropping executable files on the file system. Recently, C# has received some attention in the security community, since it has some features that may make it more appealing to criminals than PowerShell. [Both C# and Powershell use the .NET runtime.] A Forcepoint researcher has summarized the evolvement of attack techniques in recent years, particularly looking at a recent security issue related to C# in a .NET utility in terms of fileless attacks. From the article: A recent example of C# being used for offensive purposes is the PowerShell/C# 'combo attack' noted by Xavier Mertens earlier this month in which a malware sample used PowerShell to compile C# code on the fly. Also, a collection of adversary tools implemented in C# was released. Further, an improved way was published for injecting shellcode (.NET assembly) into memory via a C# application.... Given recent trends it seems likely that we'll start to see an increased number of attacks that utilize C# -- or combinations of C# and PowerShell such as that featured in Xavier Mertens' SANS blog -- in the coming months. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Should The US Government Break Up Google, Twitter, and Facebook?
technology - Posted On:2018-09-22 16:44:59 Source: slashdot
The Bay Area Newsgroup reports: Political momentum for a crackdown on Silicon Valley's social media giants got a boost this week when a state attorney general said he would tell U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions next week that Google, Facebook and Twitter should be broken up. Louisiana Attorney General Jeff Landry wants the federal government to do to the social media firms what it did to Standard Oil in 1911, according to a Louisiana newspaper report Tuesday... "This can't be fixed legislatively," Landry told the paper. "We need to go to court with an antitrust suit." He or another high official from his office will next week present the break-up proposal to Sessions... Landry, president of the National Association of Attorneys General, had spent months with his colleagues probing what they described as anti-competitive practices by Facebook, Google and Twitter, according to the paper. CNET reports: On Friday, Bloomberg reported it had obtained a draft of a potential White House executive order that asks certain government agencies to recommend actions that would "protect competition among online platforms and address online platform bias." The order, reportedly in its preliminary stages, asks US antitrust authorities to "thoroughly investigate whether any online platform has acted in violation of the antitrust laws." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Purism Launches First Security Key with Tamper-Evident Protection for Laptops
it - Posted On:2018-09-22 13:44:59 Source: slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes Softpedia: Purism announced Thursday that its highly anticipated Librem Key security key is now available for purchase as the first and only OpenPGP-based smart card to offer a Heads-firmware-integrated tamper-evident boot process for laptops. Developed in partnership with Nitrokey, a company known for manufacturing open-source USB keys that enable secure encryption and signing of data for laptops, Purism's Librem Key is dedicated to Librem laptop users, allowing them to store up to 4096-bit RSA keys and up to 512-bit ECC keys on the security key, as well as to securely generate new keys directly on the device. Librem Key integrates with the secure boot process of the latest Librem 13 and 15 laptops... Designed to let Librem laptop users see if someone has tampered with the software on their computers when it boots, Librem Key leverages the Heads-enabled TPM (Trusted Platform Module) chip in new Librem 13 and Librem 15 laptops. According to Purism, when inserted, the security key will blink green to show users that the laptop hasn't been tampered with, so they can continue from where they left off, and blinks red when tampering has occurred. Purism's web site explains: With so many attacks on password logins, most security experts these days recommend adding a second form of authentication (often referred to as "2FA" or "multi-factor authentication") in addition to your password so that if your password gets compromised the attacker still has to compromise your second factor. USB security tokens work well as this second factor because they are "something you have" instead of "something you know" like a password is, and because they are portable enough you can just keep them in your pocket, purse, or keychain and use them only when you need to login to a secure site. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google Employees Discussed Tweaking Search Results To Counter Trump's Travel Ban
technology - Posted On:2018-09-21 18:15:00 Source: slashdot
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Days after the Trump administration instituted a controversial travel ban in January 2017, Google employees discussed how they could tweak the company's search-related functions (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source) to show users how to contribute to pro-immigration organizations and contact lawmakers and government agencies, according to internal company emails. The email traffic, reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, shows that employees proposed ways to "leverage" search functions and take steps to counter what they considered to be "islamophobic, algorithmically biased results from search terms 'Islam', 'Muslim', 'Iran', etc." and "prejudiced, algorithmically biased search results from search terms `Mexico', `Hispanic', `Latino', etc." The email chain, while sprinkled with cautionary notes about engaging in political activity, suggests employees considered ways to harness the company's vast influence on the internet in response to the travel ban. Google said none of the ideas discussed were implemented. "These emails were just a brainstorm of ideas, none of which were ever implemented," a company spokeswoman said in a statement. "Google has never manipulated its search results or modified any of its products to promote a particular political ideology -- not in the current campaign season, not during the 2016 election, and not in the aftermath of President Trump's executive order on immigration. Our processes and policies would not have allowed for any manipulation of search results to promote political ideologies." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Twitter Notifies Developers About API Bug That Shared DMs With Wrong Developers
it - Posted On:2018-09-21 15:30:00 Source: slashdot
Twitter has started notifying developers today about an API bug that accidentally shared direct messages (private messages) or protected tweets from a Twitter business account with other developers. From a report: According to a support page published today, Twitter said the bug only manifested for Twitter business accounts where the account owner used the Account Activity API (AAAPI) to allow other developers access to that account's data. Because of the bug, the AAAPI sent DMs and protected tweets to the wrong person instead of the authorized developer. Twitter said it discovered the bug on September 10, and fixed it the same day. They also said the bug was active between May 2017 and September 2018, for almost 16 months. The bug represents a serious privacy issue, especially for Twitter business accounts that use DMs to handle customer complaints that in some cases may include private user information. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Google Suppresses Memo Revealing Plans To Closely Track Search Users in China: The Intercept
technology - Posted On:2018-09-21 14:15:00 Source: slashdot
Google bosses have forced employees to delete a confidential memo circulating inside the company that revealed explosive details about a plan to launch a censored search engine in China, The Intercept has learned. From the report: The memo, authored by a Google engineer who was asked to work on the project, disclosed that the search system, code-named Dragonfly, would require users to log in to perform searches, track their location -- and share the resulting history with a Chinese partner who would have "unilateral access" to the data. The memo was shared earlier this month among a group of Google employees who have been organizing internal protests over the censored search system, which has been designed to remove content that China's authoritarian Communist Party regime views as sensitive, such as information about democracy, human rights and peaceful protest. According to three sources familiar with the incident, Google leadership discovered the memo and were furious that secret details about the China censorship were being passed between employees who were not supposed to have any knowledge about it. Subsequently, Google human resources personnel emailed employees who were believed to have accessed or saved copies of the memo and ordered them to immediately delete it from their computers. Emails demanding deletion of the memo contained ‚oepixel trackers‚ that notified human resource managers when their messages had been read, recipients determined. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
David Patterson Says It's Time for New Computer Architectures and Software Languages
technology - Posted On:2018-09-21 13:45:00 Source: slashdot
Tekla S. Perry, writing for IEEE Spectrum: David Patterson -- University of California professor, Google engineer, and RISC pioneer -- says there's no better time than now to be a computer architect. That's because Moore's Law really is over, he says : "We are now a factor of 15 behind where we should be if Moore's Law were still operative. We are in the post -- Moore's Law era." This means, Patterson told engineers attending the 2018 @Scale Conference held in San Jose last week, that "we're at the end of the performance scaling that we are used to. When performance doubled every 18 months, people would throw out their desktop computers that were working fine because a friend's new computer was so much faster." But last year, he said, "single program performance only grew 3 percent, so it's doubling every 20 years. If you are just sitting there waiting for chips to get faster, you are going to have to wait a long time." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
EU Justice Commissioner Quits Facebook, Describing Her Experience as 'Channel of Dirt'
technology - Posted On:2018-09-21 12:15:00 Source: slashdot
The European Commissioner for justice, consumers and gender equality shut down her Facebook account, describing her experience on the social network as a "channel of dirt." From a report: At a news conference Thursday in Brussels, Vera Jourova said that she received an "influx of hatred" on the popular platform and decided to cancel her account as a result. "I don't want to avoid communication with people, even with critical people," she said, noting her decision to leave Facebook was not to avoid public criticism. Her mailbox is filled with critical comments, she said, and she responds to those people who don't use vulgar language. "This is my nature, I speak to everybody who wants normal, honest, descent communication." Euractiv earlier reported on Jourova's remarks. At the same news conference, Jourova warned Facebook that it faces the prospect of sanctions from European member states if the company does not comply with consumer protection rules. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
'It Just Seems That Nobody is Interested in Building Quality, Fast, Efficient, Lasting, Foundational Stuff Anymore'
technology - Posted On:2018-09-21 11:30:01 Source: slashdot
Nikita Prokopov, a software programmer and author of Fira Code, a popular programming font, AnyBar, a universal status indicator, and some open-source Clojure libraries, writes: Remember times when an OS, apps and all your data fit on a floppy? Your desktop todo app is probably written in Electron and thus has userland driver for Xbox 360 controller in it, can render 3d graphics and play audio and take photos with your web camera. A simple text chat is notorious for its load speed and memory consumption. Yes, you really have to count Slack in as a resource-heavy application. I mean, chatroom and barebones text editor, those are supposed to be two of the less demanding apps in the whole world. Welcome to 2018. At least it works, you might say. Well, bigger doesn't imply better. Bigger means someone has lost control. Bigger means we don't know what's going on. Bigger means complexity tax, performance tax, reliability tax. This is not the norm and should not become the norm. Overweight apps should mean a red flag. They should mean run away scared. 16Gb Android phone was perfectly fine 3 years ago. Today with Android 8.1 it's barely usable because each app has become at least twice as big for no apparent reason. There are no additional functions. They are not faster or more optimized. They don't look different. They just...grow? iPhone 4s was released with iOS 5, but can barely run iOS 9. And it's not because iOS 9 is that much superior -- it's basically the same. But their new hardware is faster, so they made software slower. Don't worry -- you got exciting new capabilities like...running the same apps with the same speed! I dunno. [...] Nobody understands anything at this point. Neither they want to. We just throw barely baked shit out there, hope for the best and call it "startup wisdom." Web pages ask you to refresh if anything goes wrong. Who has time to figure out what happened? Any web app produces a constant stream of "random" JS errors in the wild, even on compatible browsers. [...] It just seems that nobody is interested in building quality, fast, efficient, lasting, foundational stuff anymore. Even when efficient solutions have been known for ages, we still struggle with the same problems: package management, build systems, compilers, language design, IDEs. Build systems are inherently unreliable and periodically require full clean, even though all info for invalidation is there. Nothing stops us from making build process reliable, predictable and 100% reproducible. Just nobody thinks its important. NPM has stayed in "sometimes works" state for years. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
First Hydrogen-Powered Train Hits the Tracks In Germany
technology - Posted On:2018-09-21 03:14:58 Source: slashdot
"French train-building company Alstom built two hydrogen-powered trains and delivered them to Germany last weekend, where they'll zoom along a 62-mile stretch of track that runs from the northern cities of Cuxhaven, Bremerhaven, Bremervorde, and Buxtehude," reports Ars Technica. "The new trains replace their diesel-powered counterparts and are the first of their kind, but they are likely not the last. Alstom is contracted to deliver 14 more hydrogen-powered trains, called Coradia iLint trains, before 2021." From the report: The trains are an initial step toward lowering Germany's transportation-related emissions, a sector that has been intractable for policy makers in the country. But hydrogen fuel faces some chicken-and-egg-type problems. Namely, hydrogen is difficult to store, and making it a truly zero-emissions source of fuel requires renewable electricity to perform water electrolysis. The more common option for creating hydrogen fuel involves natural gas reforming, which is not a carbon-neutral process. The advantages of hydrogen fuel cells are that -- unlike battery-powered vehicles -- refueling a hydrogen-powered vehicle is just as fast as a vehicle powered by fossil fuels. No sitting around and charging overnight is required. Trains tend not to be battery-powered when they're electric, however, because they're so heavy. Electric train systems tend to use catenary systems, with electrified cables providing electricity to the train. But over long distances, setting up an external electricity source can be expensive. Both trains have a reported range of 1,000km (621 miles) and can reach top speeds of 140km/h (87mph). Cost is unknown, although Alstom's press release says that Lower Saxony, the German state where the trains will run, supported the purchase of the 14 additional trains with $94.5 million. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Tesla Model 3 Earns Five-Star Crash Safety Rating From NHTSA
technology - Posted On:2018-09-20 22:14:58 Source: slashdot
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration has awarded the Tesla Model 3 with a five-star safety rating -- the highest possible score. This means that every car Tesla has built has earned a five-star rating. Jalopnik reports: The NHTSA tests cover three primary categories: Frontal Crash, Side Crash, and Rollover, and the Model 3 received the highest ratings in all categories. For some categories, it's easy to understand why Teslas do so well. Rollover resistance, for example, makes sense for cars that carry most of their weight at the very bottom, in the batteries sandwiched in the Tesla's chassis design. Other reasons for the remarkable crash safety may be that, without the need for a heavy chunk of metal as a drivetrain, effective and large crumple zones can be designed in, front and rear. The NHTSA has released videos of their frontal collision test, side pole collision test, and side collision test, for those who like watching these sort of things. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
China Blocks Twitch
technology - Posted On:2018-09-20 22:14:58 Source: slashdot
After becoming the third most popular free app on China's App Store, Twitch is now no longer accessible and the Twitch app has been removed from the country's App Store. Engadget reports: While Twitch was available in China previously, it never gained much traction since its service is much slower than it is elsewhere. But when the country's CCTV state broadcaster chose not to air the Asian Games, those wanting to watch the event's eSports competitions sought coverage from other outlets. Now, with Twitch seemingly blocked in the country, it follows in the footsteps of other banned sites, including Facebook, YouTube and Twitter. Abacus first reported the news. Read more of this story at Slashdot.