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Industry & Technology

The impromptu Slack war room where ‘Net companies unite to fight Spectre-Meltdown

Ars Technica - 3 hours 51 min ago

Enlarge / The early disclosure of Meltdown and Spectre by Google and the fumbled responses by hardware vendors left cloud companies scrambling to react. So they united to fight the dumpster fire of poor communication and bad patches. (credit: US Air Force)

Meltdown and Spectre created something of a meltdown in the cloud computing world. And by translation, the flaws found in the processors at the heart of much of the world's computing infrastructure have had a direct or indirect effect on the interconnected services driving today's Internet. That is especially true for one variant of the Spectre vulnerability revealed abruptly by Google on January 3, since this particular vulnerability could allow malware running in one user's virtual machine or other "sandboxed" environment to read data from another—or, from the host server itself.

In June 2017, Intel learned of these threats from researchers who kept the information under wraps so hardware and operating system vendors could furiously work on fixes. But while places like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft were clued in early because of their "Tier 1" nature, most smaller infrastructure companies and data center operators were left in the dark until the news broke on January 3. This sent many organizations immediately scrambling: no warning of the exploits came before proof-of-concept code for exploiting them was already public.

Tory Kulick, director of operations and security at the hosting company Linode, described this as chaos. "How could something this big be disclosed like this without any proper warning? We were feeling out of the loop, like 'What did we miss? Which of the POCs [proofs of concept of the vulnerabilities] are out there now?' All that was going through my mind."

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Google photo-matching art app finds twins for CNET staffers - CNET - News - 4 hours 17 min ago
The latest viral craze matches your photo to works from international museums and galleries. We asked CNET staffers to try it out, and the results aren't always flattering.

How weed dispensaries fight for higher awareness through tech - CNET - News - 4 hours 25 min ago
Marijuana businesses need to find creative workarounds to get attention on Google or Facebook, since tech companies still treat them as illegal operations.

PPI-pusher makes 75 MEEELLION nuisance calls, lands £350k fine

The Register - 4 hours 26 min ago
Firm slapped for 'blatantly ignoring telemarketing laws'

A company that made 75 million nuisance calls in just four months has been handed a £350,000 fine from the UK's data protection watchdog.…

Samsung gives 2018 Winter Olympics athletes a special Note 8 - CNET - News - 4 hours 29 min ago
The company only made around 4,000 of the special-edition phones. Sadly, it looks like you have to be a world-class athlete to get one.

YouTube tightens rules for tapping into ad money - CNET - News - 4 hours 47 min ago
Every video in its elite ad program will be scrutinized by human reviewers, while the bar has been raised for joining the program.

Ofcom cracks on with spectrum auction rules, despite Three's legal challenge

The Register - 4 hours 55 min ago
UK telcos continue appeal to lower spectrum cap

UK comms regulator Ofcom is cracking ahead with plans for the forthcoming spectrum auction - despite further delays posed by Three's Court of Appeal challenge.…

BT guarantees broadband speeds for two new services

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 7 min ago
Only 250,000 homes will be able to access the new services - a fraction of the total connected to the internet.

The interface to send out a missile alert in Hawaii is slightly less bad [Updated]

Ars Technica - 5 hours 8 min ago

Enlarge / A morning view of the city of Honolulu, Hawaii is seen on January 13, 2018. Social media ignited on January 13, 2018 after apparent screenshots of cell phone emergency alerts warning of a "ballistic missile threat inbound to Hawaii" began circulating, which US officials quickly dismissed as "false." (Eugene Tanner/AFP/Getty Images) (credit: Getty Images)

Update January 17, 2018, 8:12 ET: Yesterday the Office of the Governor of Hawaii sent Honolulu Civil Beat a screenshot of what it said was a list of options that employees saw when they sent out alerts to citizens. The bad layout and confusing wording made it clear that the employee was less to blame than bad design.

But late Tuesday the Governor’s office told Honolulu Civil Beat that it circulated a false image. "We asked (Hawaii Emergency Management Agency) for a screenshot and that’s what they gave us," Governor’s office spokeswoman Jodi Leong told Civil Beat. "At no time did anybody tell me it wasn’t a screenshot."

It’s unclear what the original image reflects, but Hawaii Emergency Management (HI-EMA) Administrator Vern Miyagi allegedly texted Leong the image below, which was widely circulated as an example of the kind of bad design that would trip up anyone, even if they were sending a test missile alert to millions.

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One of VR's most annoying problems could be solved soon - CNET - News - 5 hours 11 min ago
Trying to navigate a room while wearing a VR headset? A company named Occipital has a self-contained solution to that problem.

Bitcoin dips below $10,000 for first time since December

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 20 min ago
The crypto-currency has nearly halved in value since its peak in December.

Going soft: Kaminario exits the hardware business

The Register - 5 hours 29 min ago
Software-centric business model to reach disruptive industry price point

Kaminario has announced it will leave the hardware business, and said Tech Data will build the certified appliance hardware needed to run its software.…

Belgium 'abduction': Woman uses phone map to provide her location

BBC Technology News - 5 hours 40 min ago
A 19-year-old woman finds her location in Charleroi in Belgium and alerts her brother.

Satori botnet successor targets Ethereum mining rigs

ZDnet News - 5 hours 53 min ago
Updated: A variant of the botnet targets rigs to covertly replace their wallet addresses.

National Audit Office report blasts's 'muddled' STEM strategy

The Register - 5 hours 58 min ago
More people have skillz, but not in fields that need them

The UK government's "muddled" attempt to boost skills in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) risks wasting taxpayers' money, according to a report by the National Audit Office today.…

SPEC SFS 2014 benchmark smashed by storage newbie

The Register - 6 hours 30 min ago
NVMe over Fabrics shows its razor sharp performance teeth

NVMe-over-Fabrics fanboy startup E8 has whupped other suppliers' behinds with a SPEC SFS2014 filer benchmark.…

Biggest vuln bombshell in forever and storage industry still umms and errs over patches

The Register - 6 hours 54 min ago
Does it run in VMs, containers, systems running external code? Just. Patch. It

Analysis A growing consensus among storage hardware appliance vendors is that, since they don't run external software on their hardware, they don't need to stick performance-hindering patches into their operating systems.…

Shafted by bosses, disdained by punters, loved by hackers – yes, it's freelance workers

The Register - 7 hours 18 min ago
Turns out they are a top target for phishers

Usenix Enigma Gig economy workers – the fancy new way to describe short-term freelance serfs like Uber drivers and Deliveroo riders – are well in the sights of hackers.…

YouTube toughens advert payment rules

BBC Technology News - 8 hours 4 min ago
The video-clip platform will require creators to have more than 1,000 subscribers to feature adverts.

Destroying the city to save the robocar

The Register - 8 hours 9 min ago
The fight for our public space

Special Report Behind the mostly fake "battle" about driverless cars (conventional versus autonomous is the one that captures all the headlines), there are several much more important scraps. One is over the future of the city: will a city be built around machines or people? How much will pedestrians have to sacrifice for the driverless car to succeed?…

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