Feed: Slashdot

Slashdot rdf

Home 2022-12-09T12:30:16+00:00 (15 items)

NASA'S ICON Space Weather Satellite Has Suddenly Gone Silent 2022-12-09T10:00:00+00:00
A three-year-old NASA satellite lost touch with ground controllers two weeks ago and is now wandering through low Earth orbit without supervision. Sadly, the space agency fears the worst. Gizmodo reports: NASA's Ionospheric Connection Explorer (ICON) mission has not communicated with ground stations since November 25 due to some sort of glitch the space agency is yet to identify, NASA wrote in a blog post on Wednesday. The spacecraft is equipped with an onboard command loss timer that's designed to reset ICON in the event that contact is lost for eight days, but the reset seemingly did not work as the team was still unable to communicate with the spacecraft on December 5 after the power cycle was complete. Although silent, the ICON spacecraft is still intact. NASA used the Department of Defense's Space Surveillance Network to confirm that ICON is still out there in one piece, according to the space agency. But communication is obviously key for orbiting spacecraft, as it allows the mission team to send commands to satellites and also receive data through downlinked signals. "The ICON mission team is working to troubleshoot the issue and has narrowed the cause of the communication loss to problems within the avionics or radio-frequency communications subsystems," NASA wrote in the blog post. "The team is currently unable to determine the health of the spacecraft, and the lack of a downlink signal could be indicative of a system failure." Oof, that doesn't sound good.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Japanese Billionaire Unveils the 8 Artists He'll Fly To the Moon On SpaceX's Starship dearMoon Flight 2022-12-09T07:00:00+00:00
A Japanese billionaire picked his crewmates for the first-ever artist-centered mission. Space.com reports: Yusaku Maezawa, who made his fortune as an online fashion retailer, announced the eight people who would be flying with him on the dearMoon mission, which aims to use a SpaceX Starship to fly around the moon as soon as next year. "I hope each and every one will recognize the responsibility that comes with leaving the Earth, travelling to the moon and back," Maezawa says in the video in Japanese, with a translation provided in-video. Riding along with Maezawa will be: - Steve Aoki, D.J., producer and electronic dance music artist with several Billboard-charting studio albums; - Tim Dodd, YouTube creator of the "Everyday Astronaut" channel (Dodd has interviewed SpaceX founder Elon Musk multiple times on camera); - Yemi A.D., artist and choreographer known for his work with JAD Dance Company and with Ye (formerly Kanye West); - Karim Iliya, photographer whose publications include National Geographic Magazine; - Rhiannon Adam, a photographer who has been supported by the BBC/Royal Geographical Society and won multiple awards, according to their website; - Brendan Hall, filmmaker on projects such as the two-hour documentary "Blood Sugar Rising" about diabetes in the United States, according to the Internet Movie Database; - Dev Joshi, an "Indian television actor known for portraying the role of Baal Veer in Sony Sab's Baal Veer and Baalveer Returns," according to the Internet Movie Database; - T.O.P., a South Korean rapper known as the lead for the boy band Big Bang; - Two backup members: dancer Miyu, and snowboarder Kaitlyn Farrington. Each member of the dearMoon crew was briefly quoted in a video from the dearMoon YouTube channel, and the announcement was confirmed on Dodd's and Maezawa's Twitter feeds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

General Motors Installs the First of 40,000 New EV Chargers 2022-12-09T03:30:00+00:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Electric vehicle drivers in Marshfield, Wisconsin, and Owosso, Michigan, are the first to benefit from General Motors' Dealer Community Charging Program. These deployments of new level 2 (AC) chargers are the first in a planned rollout of 40,000 new plug-in points, which GM says will nearly double the number of public charging stations in the US and Canada. GM announced the program in October 2021 and since then has had almost 1,000 of its Chevrolet dealerships sign on to the initiative, which is designed to increase charger access in underserved, rural, and urban locations. GM will supply dealerships with up to 10 19.2 kW chargers to be installed around the communities they serve, and the chargers are available to any EV driver, not just those who drive electric models from GM. Wheeler's Chevrolet in Wisconsin was the first dealership to sign on to the initiative and has installed chargers in two parks, a library, and a sports complex, among other locations in Marshfield. "We're excited to be the first dealership in the nation to have these chargers," said Mary Jo Wheeler-Schueller, owner of Wheelers Chevrolet GMC. "This will help put Marshfield on the map in terms of EV leadership. This is a great stop for commuters to check out our community and see all that Marshfield has to offer." Young Cadillac Chevrolet in Michigan followed and installed its first charger at a health care center in Owosso. GM says that the next installations should take place in Delaware, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Ohio, and Washington in the coming months. Separately, GM has another program that, together with EVgo, is in the midst of installing 5,250 DC fast chargers by 2025, including 2,000 fast chargers at Pilot and Flying J travel centers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Did Sam Bankman-Fried Finally Admit the Obvious? 2022-12-09T02:02:00+00:00
CoinDesk's Daniel Kuhn writes in an opinion piece: Despite the focus on FTX following its catastrophic collapse, it's remarkable how little we know about how the crypto exchange and its in-house trading firm Alameda Research actually operated. New CEO John Jay Ray III has called Sam Bankman-Fried's crypto trading empire the "greatest failure of corporate controls" he's seen. Wednesday, Coffeezilla, a YouTuber with a rising star who has made a career of shining a light on sketchy projects in and out of crypto, pressed Bankman-Fried for information related to how different customer accounts were treated at the exchange. It turns out, there wasn't much differentiation -- at the very least during the final days the exchange was in business, Bankman-Fried admitted. "At the time, we wanted to treat customers equally," SBF said during a Twitter Spaces event. "That effectively meant that there was, you know, if you want to put it this way, like fungibility created" between the exchange's spot and derivatives business lines. For Coffeezilla, this looks like a smoking gun that fraud was committed. At the very least, this is a contradiction of what Bankman-Fried had said just minutes before when first asked about the exchange's terms of service (ToS). "I do think we're treating them differently," Bankman-Fried said, referring to customer assets used for "margin versus staking versus spot versus futures collateral." All of those services come with different levels of risk, different promises made to customers and different responsibilities for the exchange. According to FTX's ToS, everyday users just looking to buy or store their cryptocurrencies on the centralized exchange could trust they were doing just that, buying and storing cryptographically unique digital assets. But now, thanks to skillful questioning by Coffeezilla, we know there were instead "omnibus" wallets and that spot and derivatives traders were essentially assuming the same level of risk. We can also assume this was a longstanding practice at FTX. Bankman-Fried noted that during the "run on the exchange" (pardon the language), when people were attempting to get their assets off before withdrawals were shut down, FTX allowed "generalized withdrawals" from these omnibus wallets. But he also deflected, saying what, you wanted us to code up an entirely new process during a liquidity crisis? Before now, Bankman-Fried had been asked multiple times about the exchange's ToS and often managed to derail the conversation. He would often point to other sections of the document that stated clients using margin (taking out debt from FTX) could have their funds used by the exchange. Or he would bring up a vestigial wire process in place before FTX had banking relationships. Apparently, according to SBF, customers had sent money to Alameda to fund accounts on FTX and somewhere along the lines this capital ended up in a rarely seen subaccount. This also had the benefit of inflating Alameda's books, another dark corner of the empire. Further reading: FTX Founder Sam Bankman-Fried Is Said To Face Market Manipulation Inquiry

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AI Learns To Write Computer Code In 'Stunning' Advance 2022-12-09T01:25:00+00:00
DeepMind's new artificial intelligence system called AlphaCode was able to "achieve approximately human-level performance" in a programming competition. The findings have been published in the journal Science. Slashdot reader sciencehabit shares a report from Science Magazine: AlphaCode's creators focused on solving those difficult problems. Like the Codex researchers, they started by feeding a large language model many gigabytes of code from GitHub, just to familiarize it with coding syntax and conventions. Then, they trained it to translate problem descriptions into code, using thousands of problems collected from programming competitions. For example, a problem might ask for a program to determine the number of binary strings (sequences of zeroes and ones) of length n that don't have any consecutive zeroes. When presented with a fresh problem, AlphaCode generates candidate code solutions (in Python or C++) and filters out the bad ones. But whereas researchers had previously used models like Codex to generate tens or hundreds of candidates, DeepMind had AlphaCode generate up to more than 1 million. To filter them, AlphaCode first keeps only the 1% of programs that pass test cases that accompany problems. To further narrow the field, it clusters the keepers based on the similarity of their outputs to made-up inputs. Then, it submits programs from each cluster, one by one, starting with the largest cluster, until it alights on a successful one or reaches 10 submissions (about the maximum that humans submit in the competitions). Submitting from different clusters allows it to test a wide range of programming tactics. That's the most innovative step in AlphaCode's process, says Kevin Ellis, a computer scientist at Cornell University who works AI coding. After training, AlphaCode solved about 34% of assigned problems, DeepMind reports this week in Science. (On similar benchmarks, Codex achieved single-digit-percentage success.) To further test its prowess, DeepMind entered AlphaCode into online coding competitions. In contests with at least 5000 participants, the system outperformed 45.7% of programmers. The researchers also compared its programs with those in its training database and found it did not duplicate large sections of code or logic. It generated something new -- a creativity that surprised Ellis. The study notes the long-term risk of software that recursively improves itself. Some experts say such self-improvement could lead to a superintelligent AI that takes over the world. Although that scenario may seem remote, researchers still want the field of AI coding to institute guardrails, built-in checks and balances.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Windows 11 Is Finally Getting a Built-In Screen Recording Tool 2022-12-09T00:45:00+00:00
Microsoft is finally bringing a built-in screen recorder to Windows. The Verge reports: The Snipping Tool in Windows 11 will soon be updated to include screen recording, meaning Windows users won't have to rely on the Xbox Game Bar or third-party tools just to record their screens. Windows 11 testers will start getting access to the updated Snipping Tool today, and the new record option will allow you to record an entire screen or even a section that gets cropped. The update comes more than four years after Microsoft first introduced a new screenshot experience for Windows. [...] Microsoft has only just started testing this with Windows 11 testers in the Dev Channel, so it's likely some weeks or months before this Snipping Tool is released to everyone using Windows 11.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cyberattack On Top Indian Hospital Highlights Security Risk 2022-12-09T00:02:00+00:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the Associated Press: The leading hospital in India's capital limped back to normalcy on Wednesday after a cyberattack crippled its operations for nearly two weeks. Online registration of patients resumed Tuesday after the hospital was able to access its server and recover lost data. The hospital worked with federal authorities to restore the system and strengthen its defenses. It's unclear who conducted the Nov. 23 attack on the All India Institute of Medical Sciences or where it originated. The attack was followed by a series of failed attempts to hack India's top medical research organization, the Indian Council of Medical Research. This raised further concerns about the vulnerability of India's health system to attacks at a time when the government is pushing hospitals to digitize their records. More than 173,000 hospitals have registered with a federal program to digitize health records since its launch in September 2021. The program assigns patients numbers that are linked to medical information stored by hospitals on their own servers or in cloud-based storage. Experts fear that hospitals may not have the expertise to ensure digital security. "Digitizing an entire health care system without really safeguarding it can pretty much kill an entire hospital. It suddenly stops functioning," said Srinivas Kodali, a researcher with the Free Software Movement of India. That is what happened to the hospital in New Delhi. Healthcare workers couldn't access patient reports because the servers that store laboratory data and patient records had been hacked and corrupted. The hospital normally treats thousands of people a day, many of whom travel from distant places to access affordable care. Always crowded, queues at the hospital grew even longer and more chaotic. Sandeep Kumar, who accompanied his ill father, said the digital attack meant that appointments couldn't be booked online, and that doctors could do little when they saw patients because they couldn't access their medical history.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Vivaldi Integrates Mastodon In Its Desktop Browser 2022-12-08T23:20:00+00:00
Vivaldi recently became the first browser to have its own Mastodon instance, Vivaldi Social. Now, the new version on the desktop is the first to integrate Mastodon into the browser itself, along with the ability to pin tab groups and other UI improvements. From a blog post: We believe in providing alternatives to Big Tech while putting your privacy first and launched Vivaldi Social, our Mastodon instance. And today we are integrating Vivaldi Social into the sidebar of our desktop browser becoming the first browser to offer this functionality. The new version -- Vivaldi 5.6 -- also allows you to pin your tab stacks. We've added a new private search engine You.com for select countries, helping to broaden your choices for searching the web. Vivaldi's sidebar of icons links to a number of utility functions. And now it integrates Vivaldi Social, our Mastodon instance.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung Galaxy S22 Hacked Again On Second Day of Pwn2Own 2022-12-08T23:00:00+00:00
Contestants hacked the Samsung Galaxy S22 again during the second day of the consumer-focused Pwn2Own 2022 competition in Toronto, Canada. They also demoed exploits targeting zero-day vulnerabilities in routers, printers, smart speakers, and Network Attached Storage (NAS) devices from HP, NETGEAR, Synology, Sonos, TP-Link, Canon, Lexmark, and Western Digital. BleepingComputer reports: Security researchers representing the vulnerability research company Interrupt Labs were the ones to demonstrate a successful exploit against Samsung's flagship device on Wednesday. They executed an improper input validation attack and earned $25,000, 50% of the total cash award, because this was the third time the Galaxy S22 was hacked during the competition. On the first day of Pwn2Own Toronto, the STAR Labs team and a contestant known as Chim demoed two other zero-day exploits as part of successful improper input validation attacks against the Galaxy S22. In all three cases, according to the contest rules, the devices ran the latest version of the Android operating system with all available updates installed. The second day of Pwn2Own Toronto wrapped up with Trend Micro's Zero Day Initiative awarding $281,500 for 17 unique bugs across multiple categories. This brings the first two days of Pwn2Own total to $681,250 awarded for 46 unique zero-days, as ZDI's Head of Threat Awareness Dustin Childs revealed. The full schedule for Pwn2Own Toronto 2022's second day and the results for each challenge are available here. You can also find the complete schedule of the competition here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FBI Calls Apple's Expansion of End-To-End Encryption 'Deeply Concerning' 2022-12-08T22:40:00+00:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from MacRumors: Apple yesterday announced that end-to-end encryption is coming to even more sensitive types of iCloud data, including device backups, messages, photos, and more, meeting the longstanding demand of both users and privacy groups who have rallied for the company to take the significant step forward in user privacy. iCloud end-to-end encryption, or what Apple calls "Advanced Data Protection," encrypts users' data stored in iCloud, meaning only a trusted device can decrypt and read the data. iCloud data in accounts with Advanced Data Protection can only be read by a trusted device, not Apple, law enforcement, or government entities. While privacy groups and apps applaud Apple for the expansion of end-to-end encryption in iCloud, governments have reacted differently. In a statement to The Washington Post, the FBI, the largest intelligence agency in the world, said it's "deeply concerned with the threat end-to-end and user-only-access encryption pose." Speaking generally about end-to-end encryption like Apple's Advanced Data Protection feature, the bureau said that it makes it harder for the agency to do its work and that it requests "lawful access by design": "This hinders our ability to protect the American people from criminal acts ranging from cyber-attacks and violence against children to drug trafficking, organized crime, and terrorism," the bureau said in an emailed statement. "In this age of cybersecurity and demands for 'security by design,' the FBI and law enforcement partners need 'lawful access by design.'" Former FBI official Sasha O'Connell also weighed in, telling The New York Times "it's great to see companies prioritizing security, but we have to keep in mind that there are trade-offs, and one that is often not considered is the impact it has on decreasing law enforcement access to digital evidence."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

MPs and Peers Do Worse Than 10-Year-Olds in Maths and English Sats 2022-12-08T22:00:00+00:00
MPs and peers tasked with completing a year 6 Sats exam have scored lower results on average than the country's 10-year-olds. From a report: MPs including Commons education select committee chair Robin Walker took part in the exams, invigilated by 11-year-olds, at a Westminster event organised by More Than A Score, who campaign for the tests to be scrapped. Only 44% of the cross-party group of parliamentarians dubbed the Westminster Class of 2022 achieved the expected standard in maths and just 50% had achieved the expected standard in spelling, punctuation and grammar. Across the country, 59% of pupils aged 10 and 11 reached the expected standard in the Sats tests of maths, reading and writing this year, down from 65% in 2019, the previous time the tests were taken. Detailed figures published by the Department for Education in the summer revealed disadvantaged children had a steeper fall than their better-off peers. Walker took part in the Big SATS Sit-In Westminster alongside his Conservative colleagues Flick Drummond and Gagan Mohindra; Labour MPs Ian Byrne and Emma Lewell-Buck with the Green party's Lady Bennett to experience the high-stakes nature of the exams. More Than A Score hope the politicians will take the high-pressured experience away with them and realise that "the exams only judge schools but do not help children's learning" at that age.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Combines Maps and Waze Teams Amid Pressure To Cut Costs 2022-12-08T21:20:00+00:00
Alphabet's Google plans to combine the team working on the mapping service Waze with the group overseeing the company's Maps product, as the search giant faces pressure to streamline operations and cut costs. From a report: Google plans to merge Waze's more than 500 employees with the company's Geo organization, which oversees the Maps, Earth and Street View products, beginning on Friday, according to a Google spokeswoman. Waze CEO Neha Parikh will exit her role following a transition period, the spokeswoman said. Google said it planned to maintain Waze as a stand-alone service and didn't plan to conduct any layoffs as part of the reorganization. Google expects the restructuring to reduce overlapping mapmaking work across the Waze and Maps products, the company said. "Google remains deeply committed to Waze's unique brand, its beloved app and its thriving community of volunteers and users," the spokeswoman said in a statement. Google CEO Sundar Pichai has looked for areas to improve efficiency following a slowdown in advertising growth this year. In September, Mr. Pichai said he wanted Google to become 20% more productive and indicated the company could merge teams working on overlapping products.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Samsung's Android App-Signing Key Has Leaked, is Being Used To Sign Malware 2022-12-08T20:40:00+00:00
Lukasz Siewierski, a member of Google's Android Security Team, has a post on the Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative (AVPI) issue tracker detailing leaked platform certificate keys that are actively being used to sign malware. From a report: The post is just a list of the keys, but running each one through APKMirror or Google's VirusTotal site will put names to some of the compromised keys: Samsung, LG, and Mediatek are the heavy hitters on the list of leaked keys, along with some smaller OEMs like Revoview and Szroco, which makes Walmart's Onn tablets. [...] Esper Senior Technical Editor Mishaal Rahman, as always, has been posting great info about this on Twitter. As he explains, having an app grab the same UID as the Android system isn't quite root access, but it's close and allows an app to break out of whatever limited sandboxing exists for system apps. These apps can directly communicate with (or, in the case of malware, spy on) other apps across your phone. Imagine a more evil version of Google Play Services, and you get the idea.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

South Korea To Move To Standardized, Internationally Recognized Age System 2022-12-08T20:00:00+00:00
South Koreans are set to become one or even two years younger - at least on official paperwork. From a report: On Thursday, the South Korean parliament passed a law to scrap Korea's two traditional methods of counting age. From June 2023, the so-called "Korean Age" system will no longer be permitted on official documents. Only the standardised, internationally recognised method will remain. The government is fulfilling a campaign promise to reduce confusion by adopting the same system used in the rest of the world. Currently, the most widely used calculation method in Korea is the so-called "Korean age system", in which a person is one year old at birth and then gains a year on the first day of each new year. In a separate method - the "counting age" - a person's age is calculated from zero at birth and a year is added on 1 January.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FTC Sues Microsoft To Block $69 Billion Activision Blizzard Acquisition 2022-12-08T19:03:00+00:00
The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of the video game publisher Activision Blizzard, charging that the massive deal would allow the Washington tech giant to suppress its competitors in gaming. Washington Post: The lawsuit represents the FTC's most significant effort to rein in consolidation in the tech industry since prominent tech critic Lina Khan (D) became the commission's chair and was expected to usher in a new era of antitrust enforcement characterized by a willingness to bring cases in court rather than pursue settlements with companies. The FTC lawsuit against Microsoft could foil the company's ambitions to become a heavier hitter in gaming frontiers. Activision is the owner of massively popular titles like "Candy Crush" and "Call of Duty," and its acquisition could bolster Microsoft in its competition with Japanese console makers Nintendo and Sony. The commission voted on Thursday on a party-line vote to issue the lawsuit in administrative court, with the three Democrats in favor of the complaint and one Republican against it.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


Sparky 2.0 | CCBot/2.0 (https://commoncrawl.org/faq/)