Netflix's Subscriber Growth Stalls

technology - Posted On:2018-07-17 03:14:57 Source: slashdot

Netflix shares plunged by more than 14% on Monday, after the firm reported disappointing subscriber growth. While the entertainment service added 5.2 million subscribers last quarter, it forecasted a growth of 6.2 million. BBC reports: Investors are worried about Netflix's growth potential in the face of increased competition from tech giants such as Apple, YouTube and Amazon, as well as traditional firms, which have started to invest more in online streaming. Disney, for example, plans to launch its own streaming service and stop licensing some of its material to Netflix. In a letter to investors, Netflix called it a "strong but not stellar quarter," ending with about 130 million subscribers globally. The firm added just 670,000 subscribers in the U.S. -- far short of the more than one million it added in the second quarter of 2017. It added 4.5 million subscribers internationally, fewer than the two most recent quarters but up 8% year-on-year. However, it said its finances were strong. The company reported $3.9 billion in quarterly revenue, up 40% compared to the second quarter of 2017. Profits totaled $384.3 million, almost six times the figure during the same period a year ago. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Hacking Campaign Targets iPhone Users With Data-Stealing, Location-Tracking Malware

it - Posted On:2018-07-16 21:29:58 Source: slashdot

ZDNet reports of a new mobile malware campaign that is "gaining access to iPhones by tricking users to download an open-source mobile device management (MDM) software package." From the report: Once in control, the unidentified hackers can steal various forms of sensitive information from infected devices, including the phone number, serial number, location, contact details, user's photos, SMS, and Telegram and WhatsApp chat messages. Thirteen users -- all in India -- have been been compromised in the attacks, which have been detailed by Cisco Talos. Those infected use a range of iPhone models and are running iOS versions ranging from 10.2.1 to 11.2.6. The campaign has been active since August 2015. The attackers take control by using the MDM package, which can give attackers complete control of the device and the ability to install fake versions of real apps. Two different MDM services are used in the campaign, enabling system-level control of multiple devices from one location and the ability to install, remove and exfiltrate data from apps. One method of stealing data comes via malicious versions of messaging services like Telegram and WhatsApp being pushed onto the compromised device via fake updates. The apps look legitimate to the user, but malicious code sends information -- including messages, photos and contacts -- to a central command and control server. Deploying these apps requires a side-loading injection technique, which allows for the ability to ask for additional permissions, execute code and steal information from the original application. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Study Suggests Buried Internet Infrastructure at Risk as Sea Levels Rise

technology - Posted On:2018-07-16 14:59:59 Source: slashdot

Thousands of miles of buried fiber optic cable in densely populated coastal regions of the United States may soon be inundated by rising seas, according to a new study by researchers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Oregon. From a report: The study, presented Monday at a meeting of internet network researchers, portrays critical communications infrastructure that could be submerged by rising seas in as soon as 15 years, according to the study's senior author, Paul Barford, a UW-Madison professor of computer science. "Most of the damage that's going to be done in the next 100 years will be done sooner than later," says Barford, an authority on the "physical internet" -- the buried fiber optic cables, data centers, traffic exchanges and termination points that are the nerve centers, arteries and hubs of the vast global information network. "That surprised us. The expectation was that we'd have 50 years to plan for it. We don't have 50 years." The study, conducted with Barford's former student Ramakrishnan Durairajan, now of the University of Oregon, and Carol Barford, who directs UW-Madison's Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, is the first assessment of risk of climate change to the internet. It suggests that by the year 2033 more than 4,000 miles of buried fiber optic conduit will be underwater and more than 1,100 traffic hubs will be surrounded by water. The most susceptible U.S. cities, according to the report, are New York, Miami and Seattle, but the effects would not be confined to those areas and would ripple across the internet, says Barford, potentially disrupting global communications. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Skype 8.0 Launches on Desktop With Full-HD Video; To Soon Get Encryption and Call Recording Features

technology - Posted On:2018-07-16 14:14:59 Source: slashdot

Skype's redesign launched last year was met with mixed reviews, but the company is forging ahead by rolling out a number of its new features to other platforms, including the desktop. From a report: Microsoft today is launching Skype version 8.0 that will replace version 7.0 (aka Skype classic), the latter which will no longer function after September 1, 2018. The new release introduces a variety of features, including HD video and screen-sharing in calls, support for @mentions in chats, a chat media gallery, file and media sharing up to 300 MB, and more. It will also add several more features this summer, including most notably, supported for encrypted audio calls, texts, and file sharing as well as built-in call recording. The 8.0 release follows on the update to Skype desktop that rolled out last fall, largely focusing on upgrading the visual elements of new design, like the color-coding in chat messages and "reaction" emojis. This release also included the chat media gallery and file sharing support, which are touted as new today, but may have already hit your desktop. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Amazon Admits Prime Day Deals Not Necessarily the Cheapest

technology - Posted On:2018-07-16 10:14:56 Source: slashdot

Shoppers taking part in internet giant Amazon's Prime Day are being told that the deals on offer may not be the cheapest available. From a report: Amazon said it has never claimed that Prime Day is necessarily the cheapest time to shop on its site. It comes after consumer group Which? warned customers that apparent bargains are not always as good as they seem. It said some goods can actually be cheaper at other times of the year, and advised shoppers to do their research. The 36 hour sale -- aimed at subscribers to the Prime shopping service -- offers discounts on a range of goods. The deals are time-limited, with shoppers being told that some items are only available while stocks last. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Passwords For Tens of Thousands of Dahua Devices Cached In IoT Search Engine

it - Posted On:2018-07-15 22:14:59 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader writes: "Login passwords for tens of thousands of Dahua devices have been cached inside search results returned by ZoomEye, a search engine for discovering Internet-connected devices (also called an IoT search engine)," reports Bleeping Computer. A security researcher has recently discovered that instead of just indexing IoT devices, ZoomEye is also sending an exploitation package to devices and caching the results, which also include cleartext DDNS passwords that allow an attacker remote access to these devices. Searching for the devices is trivial and simple queries can unearth tens of thousands of vulnerable Dahua DVRs. According to the security researcher who spotted these devices, the trick has been used in the past year by the author of the BrickerBot IoT malware, the one who was on a crusade last year, bricking unsecured devices in an attempt to have them go offline instead of being added to IoT botnets. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Facebook Makes Moves On Instagram's Users

technology - Posted On:2018-07-15 15:29:59 Source: slashdot

Facebook is trying to get Instagram users to visit its site more often by further entwining the two services. According to Instagram user Spencer Chen, the Instagram app prompted him to check out a friend's new photo on Facebook. "Chen grabbed a screenshot and posted the notification on the internet, calling it a cry for attention by the older social network," reports Bloomberg. From the report: Instagram says what Chen experienced was a product test with a small contingent of users. Still, Instagram feeds Facebook in other ways. Last year, Facebook launched its own version of an Instagram tool called Stories, which lets people post videos that disappear within 24 hours. (The feature was initially copied from Snap Inc., a competitor.) Greenfield noticed the Facebook version became more popular once it became possible for Instagram users to post their stories in both places with the click of a button. Instagram Stories' 400 million users present a significant opportunity for Facebook's advertising business, according to Ken Sena, an analyst at Wells Fargo Securities. Instagram is on track to provide Facebook with $20 billion in revenue by 2020, about a quarter of Facebook's total, he wrote to investors. And cross-posting could help Facebook's video ambitions. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Tesla Will Be First Automaker To Lose the Federal Tax Credit For Electric Cars

technology - Posted On:2018-07-15 14:30:00 Source: slashdot

Tesla has confirmed to Jalopnik that its 200,000th vehicle has been delivered this month, meaning the full $7,500 federal tax credit for electric cars will slowly be phased out. Tesla is the first automaker to reach this mark. "GM is close, too, while Nissan, Ford, and others still have a ways to go," notes The Verge. From the report: Tesla customers who take delivery of their cars -- regardless of whether it's a Model S, X, or 3 -- between now and December 31st, 2018, will still be eligible for the full $7,500 credit from the IRS. Customers who take delivery of their cars between January 1st and June 30th, 2019, will only be eligible for a $3,750 credit. And customers who take delivery of their cars between July 1st and December 31st, 2019, will be offered just $1,875. After that, the incentive is dead. Put in place early on in the Obama administration, the tax credit was seen as a tool that could be used to encourage customers to buy plug-in electric or hybrid vehicles. This would simultaneously help advance the president's climate and clean energy goals while offering consumers a bit of a break while the cost of battery technology slowly came down. It was also meant to encourage manufacturers to push for greater advancements in that technology. The dollar amount was technically flexible; it was essentially a $2,500 credit with room to increase up to $7,500 depending on the battery capacity of the car being sold. The better the battery in a company's car, the better the rebate their buyers would get. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Game Company Receives Complaints About Bad Example Set By '%FEMALENAME'

technology - Posted On:2018-07-15 07:44:56 Source: slashdot

ArenaNet narrative designer Jessica Price was fired last week after she accused a Twitter user of "mansplaining", and adding later "Don't expect me to pretend to like you here." (Her employer characterized this as "attacks on the community.") So what happened in the week that followed? An anonymous reader writes: A Reddit user indicated he'd been speaking satirically when he posted that "We can probably fire anyone on the GW2 dev team as long we make a big enough stink," and expressed surprise later that no one had disagreed with him. But another female developer told Kotaku she saw a real call to action on 4chan, and that it was followed by angry letters to the game studio she freelances for calling for her firing too, complaining their games had declined since she was hired (along with another woman). The letters also complained her Twitter account set "a bad example for the letter-writer's children, who supposedly play this game." The company's CEO received "a three-digit number's" worth of angry letters -- though "Fifty or so of them glitched out with a lot of variables exposed, including %FEMALENAME." "A deeper look at the names and emails associated with the letters went to Facebook bot profiles and people whose profiles indicated associations with Gamergate or 4chan," reports Kotaku -- and Brianna Wu made a similar charge on Twitter last week, citing research by a team of volunteers. "The overwhelming majority of people harassing Jessica Price today on Twitter are bots and sock puppets. These are throwaway accounts that are used as toys. Almost no one claiming to be upset is an established, normal Twitter user." The Verge reports that Wu monitored Jessica Price's account, and found harassment "as bad as she's ever seen," blocking at least 600 different accounts. Another female narrative designer at Arkane Studios says her employer was messaged with a complaint that she'd "verbally abused" a Twitter user -- and discovered a (since-deleted) online petition calling for her firing. And an angry message was also sent to Opaque Space (collaborating with NASA on VR games and training), complaining the company should take responsibility for the "man hating ideals...spread through social media accounts" by their game design lead. "I know MANY people like me, especially women, who have frequent experience with people calling for their employers to fire them for speaking up, speaking out," she posted on Twitter. The latest furor began with an accusation of mansplaining which a YouTube streamer defended as "my obvious attempt at creating dialogue and discussion", calling it "disheartening" that Jessica Price didn't "correct me in my false assumptions." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Chrome is Using 10-13% More RAM to Fight Spectre

technology - Posted On:2018-07-15 01:44:58 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes PCWorld: The critical Meltdown and Spectre bugs baked deep into modern computer processors will have ramifications on the entire industry for years to come, and Chrome just became collateral damage. Google 67 enabled "Site Isolation" Spectre protection for most users, and the browser now uses 10 to 13 percent more RAM due to how the fix behaves. "Site Isolation does cause Chrome to create more renderer processes, which comes with performance tradeoffs," Google‚(TM)s Charlie Reis says. "On the plus side, each renderer process is smaller, shorter-lived, and has less contention internally, but there is about a 10-13% total memory overhead in real workloads due to the larger number of processes. Our team continues to work hard to optimize this behavior to keep Chrome both fast and secure." It's a significant performance hit, especially for a browser battling a reputation for being a memory hog, but a worthwhile one nonetheless. Chrome's Spectre-blocking site isolation "is now enabled by default for 99 percent of Chrome users on all platforms." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google Maps API Becomes 'More Difficult and Expensive'

technology - Posted On:2018-07-14 17:44:59 Source: slashdot

Government Technology reports: On July 16, Google Maps is going to make it more difficult and expensive to use its API, which could make custom maps that rely on the service less sustainable or even unfeasible for the people who made them... First, Google Maps is requiring all projects to have an official API key in order to work. If a user doesn't have a key, the quality of the map will likely be reduced, or it could simply stop working. Second, API keys will only work if they are attached to somebody's credit card. Google will charge that card if users exceed a certain number of API requests, which is different for different services. Google will provide users a free $200 credit toward those costs each month... There are a couple places where the changes might have more of an impact. One is in the civic hacking space, where people often work with government data to create niche projects that aim for low costs, or are free so that as many people as possible can use them... "I think that's what scares people a little bit, it certainly scares me, this thought of having this API out there and not knowing how many people are going to use it," said Derek Eder, founder of the civic tech company DataMade. "I don't want to suddenly get a bill for $1,000." There's at least three Open Source alternatives, and Geoawesomeness.com lists nine more. Slashdot reader Jiri_Komarek also points out that Google's move was good news for its competitor, MapTiler. "Since Google announced the pricing change the number of our users increased by 200%," said Petr Pridal, head of the MapTiler team. "We expect more people to come as they get their first bill from Google." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Amazon Plans To Challenge Cisco in Networking Market With Much Cheaper Switches, Report Says

technology - Posted On:2018-07-13 14:45:00 Source: slashdot

Amazon Web Services already dominates the market for cloud services. Now, reports The Information, it is eyeing a part of the cloud business it doesn't already control: the $14 billion global market for data center switches. From the report: AWS is considering selling its own networking switches for business customers -- hardware devices that move traffic around networks, according to a person with direct knowledge of the cloud unit‚(TM)s plans and another person who has been briefed on the project. The plan could plunge Amazon more deeply into the lucrative enterprise computing market, posing a direct challenge to incumbents in the business like Cisco, along with Arista Networks and Juniper Networks. As it does in many other categories, Amazon plans to use price to undercut rivals. The company could price its white-box switches between 70% and 80% less than comparable switches from Cisco, one of the people with knowledge of the program estimated. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Adobe To Launch Photoshop for iPad in Strategy Shift

technology - Posted On:2018-07-13 10:44:56 Source: slashdot

Adobe, the maker of popular digital design programs for creatives, is planning to launch the full version of its Photoshop app for Apple's iPad as part of a new strategy to make its products compatible across multiple devices and boost subscription sales. From a report: The software developer is planning to unveil the new app at its annual MAX creative conference in October, according to people with knowledge of the plan. The app is slated to hit the market in 2019. Engineering delays could still alter that timeline. San Jose, California-based Adobe has been on a multiyear journey to modernize its dominant creative media software. The company shifted all of its apps to the cloud in 2012, launching a new subscription-based business model that's on track to more than double sales through the end of this fiscal year and sent the stock soaring more than 700 percent. Recently, Adobe has also begun pitching its products to hobbyists, who prefer working on mobile devices rather than PCs. Still, the company has yet to transition full versions of its best-known apps to smaller screens. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The FCC Is Changing Up the Country's Emergency Alert System

technology - Posted On:2018-07-13 09:14:56 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The FCC announced today that it'll bolster the country's Emergency Alert System to prevent unexpected false alarms, like the one that happened in Hawaii earlier this year. State and local officials will now be able to conduct "live code" tests that'll use the same alert codes and processes that would be required in an actual emergency. The idea is that officials will better learn the system while the public will get used to responding to alerts and know what to expect. Everyone in the area will get a test message, like a real alert. The agency also says that public service announcements about the Emergency Alert System will now be able to use the same alert sounds as an actual emergency. (The alerts will include a disclaimer about what's happening, and officials will have to actually tell people beforehand.) Finally, anyone who uses the emergency system will be required to tell the FCC if it accidentally triggers a false alert. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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You Can Inherit Facebook Content Like a Letter or Diary, German Court Rules

technology - Posted On:2018-07-13 06:14:57 Source: slashdot

A German court ruled Thursday that Facebook content can be passed onto heirs like letters, books, or diaries. The ruling comes after the parents of a teenager who died in 2012 after being hit by a train argued Facebook should allow them to access her account, including her private messages, to determine whether she committed suicide. "This would also help determine whether the driver of the train should be entitled to compensation," notes Quartz. From the report: Currently, Facebook's policy is to "memorialize" an account when the site is informed of someone's death. If a user has a "legacy contact" (here are instructions on how to set one up), Facebook grants them limited access to the user's account, allowing them change the user's profile picture, accept friend requests, or pin posts to the top of the user's profile. They can also ask the platform to delete the account. Recently, Facebook told Quartz, the company revised its policy to allow parents or guardians of minors to become legacy contacts after their child has died. In rare cases, the company says, authorized people, like family members, can request information from a deceased person's account, if they have a court order. But there's no guarantee they will get what they need. A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement the company disagreed with the German ruling: "These questions -- how to weigh the wishes of the relatives and protect the privacy of third parties -- are some of the toughest we've confronted. We empathize with the family. At the same time, Facebook accounts are used for a personal exchange between individuals which we have a duty to protect. While we respectfully disagree with today's decision by [the court], the lengthy process shows how complex the issue under discussion is. We will be analyzing the judgment to assess its full implications." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Gawker.com Sold To Bleacher Report Co-Founder Bryan Goldberg In Bankruptcy Auction

technology - Posted On:2018-07-12 19:29:59 Source: slashdot

The now-dormant news and gossip website Gawker.com was sold on Thursday to Bryan Goldberg, the founder of Bustle and co-founder of Bleacher Report. According to CNN, the site sold for less than $1.5 million. From the report: Goldberg founded the sports website Bleacher Report along with three other people in 2005; in 2012, they sold it to Turner, which like CNN is owned by AT&T. He launched Bustle, a website focused on women's issues, in 2013. Goldberg addressed the Gawker sale in a Bustle internal email on Thursday, saying the site will be acquired "under a new holding company, separate from Bustle." "You are probably wondering what happens next," he said in the email, which was obtained by CNN. "The short is this -- not much. We have no immediate plans to re-launch Gawker. For now, things will stay as they are. I'm very excited about the possibilities for the future of Gawker. I will share more in the months ahead." The sale includes an archive of hundreds of thousands of Gawker stories and social media accounts affiliated with the site. Gawker Media was sold to Univision in 2016 for $135 million and renamed Gizmodo Media Group after the company declared bankruptcy, "the result of a legal assault waged by the former pro wrestler Hulk Hogan that was secretly subsidized by Silicon Valley billionaire Peter Thiel, a longtime Gawker adversary," reports CNN. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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India Now Has the 'World's Strongest' Net Neutrality Rules

technology - Posted On:2018-07-12 17:30:00 Source: slashdot

India has just adopted tough new rules guaranteeing an open and fair internet for nearly half a billion people. From a report: The government has taken an "unambiguous stand" on the issue by endorsing net neutrality rules proposed last November, India's telecom regulator said on Thursday. Net neutrality rules require internet providers to treat all online content the same, preventing them from favoring -- or withholding -- access to certain websites, services or apps. The principle is under attack in America, where the Trump administration repealed federal laws last month, but has been staunchly defended in India in the face of attempts by global tech companies such as Facebook to offer stripped-down internet access. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Canadian Telecoms Make The Most Money on Data Usage In The World: Tefficient

technology - Posted On:2018-07-12 15:30:00 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Canadian wireless users have some of the lowest data usage in the world, but Canadian telecom companies make the most money off the customers they have, a new report shows. A study by telecom comparison site Tefficient looked at data usage per SIM card in 36 countries worldwide in 2017, and how much money telecoms made per gigabyte of wireless data used. Canadians used about 1.3 GB of data per month per SIM card last year. There were only five countries where wireless customers used less than that -- the Czech Republic, Portugal, Germany, Belgium, and Greece. By contrast, Indian telecoms had the lowest revenue per gigabyte, and showed the highest growth in data usage in 2017 -- more than 300 percent. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Microsoft is Updating Windows Notepad Application For the First Time in Years

technology - Posted On:2018-07-12 12:45:00 Source: slashdot

Microsoft is giving its Notepad app for Windows a surprising amount of new features. From a report: You'll soon be able to do wrap around find and replace alongside the ability to zoom into text by holding down the ctrl key and using the mouse wheel to zoom in and out. Microsoft is also adding in extended line ending support so that Unix/Linux line endings (LF) and Macintosh line endings (CR) are supported in Notepad. The status bar will now be enabled by default in Notepad, and it includes the ability to display line and column numbers when word-wrap is enabled. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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The First Real Boom in Virtual Reality? It's Pornography.

technology - Posted On:2018-07-12 11:30:00 Source: slashdot

An anonymous reader shares a report: Pornography has provided the first real boom in VR, and adult-entertainment companies like Naughty America are leading the way. In the 18 months after producing its first VR video, the San Diego-based studio released 108 more, making it one of the most prolific producers of VR content in the world. In 2017, the company operated a booth at the annual International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas and became the first adult business allowed to exhibit in 19 years. It's not surprising that adult-entertainment companies are among the first movers in the nascent VR industry. After adult content helped popularize new media formats like VHS, Blu-ray and streaming video, the idea that porn drives digital innovation became a widely accepted truth. What is surprising is how big VR porn has become, and how quickly. In 2016, Samsung, HTC, Google, Sony and Facebook-owned Oculus sold just over 6.1 million headsets worldwide, according to an estimate from SuperData, a videogame market research firm. In December 2016 alone, Naughty America's customers downloaded more than 20 million VR videos, the company said. VR porn consumers are also more willing to pay for content than consumers of typical online porn. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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