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Industry & Technology

Router hack risk 'not limited to Virgin Media'

BBC Technology News - June 23, 2017 - 5:52pm
A weakness in some Virgin Media routers also affects routers by other providers, experts warn.

OnePlus 5 review - CNET - Reviews - June 23, 2017 - 5:51pm
With cameras that hold up against those on the iPhone and Pixel, the affordable OnePlus 5 impresses us again.

Adios, turbulence. Pilots have a new way to outfox you - CNET - News - June 23, 2017 - 5:48pm
Airplanes with better Wi-Fi aren’t just good for passengers -- they help pilots avoid troublesome turbulence too.

Mysterious Planet 10 could be hiding out beyond Pluto - CNET - News - June 23, 2017 - 5:37pm
Move over, Planet 9. There's a new possible planet lurking out in the solar system and it could be messing with a whole lot of distant space rocks.

Affordable adventure in the $25,895 2018 Subaru Outback - Roadshow - News - June 23, 2017 - 5:30pm
The prices aren't much higher than last year, which is always nice.

Espionage suspect totally thought messages to Chinese intel were deleted

Ars Technica - June 23, 2017 - 5:23pm

On June 22, Kevin Patrick Mallory was brought before a US federal judge for his first hearing on charges that he sold highly classified documents to a Chinese intelligence agent. These documents, which are considered "National Defense Information," included at least one Top Secret document and three classified as Secret and were found on a phone Mallory had been provided by his Chinese contacts. Mallory, a 60-year-old former Central Intelligence Agency employee living in Leesburg, Virginia, had thought the documents were in messages that had been deleted automatically from the device. Mallory faces life in prison if convicted.

Mallory, an independent consultant, had previously been an employee of "various government agencies" as well as several defense contractors. An Army veteran, Mallory worked at the State Department from 1987 to 1990. And according to The Washington Post, Mallory was also confirmed to have worked at the CIA, among other places. According to the FBI, Mallory was also an Army reservist during this time and served on active duty for several deployments. For much of his career, he held a Top Secret clearance, which was rescinded when he left government service in 2012.

According to the indictment, at some point during his service at the unnamed agency or at a defense contractor, Mallory—who is fluent in Mandarin—secreted out a collection of documents. Mallory told the FBI that while in China doing consulting work for a state-funded think tank in March and April of this year, he was approached by individuals he then believed to be with China's intelligence service and was given a phone to communicate with them secretly. During an interview with the FBI on May 24, FBI agent Stephen Green recounted in an affidavit requesting an arrest warrant:

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Galaxy S8's voice sidekick can do things Siri can't - CNET - News - June 23, 2017 - 5:17pm
Here are the important things you need to know about Samsung’s new voice app.

Mozilla: This $2M is yours if you can 'decentralize' the web - CNET - News - June 23, 2017 - 5:02pm
It's not a "Silicon Valley" plot line. The Firefox maker and the National Science Foundation are aiming for a free and accessible internet for everyone.

Samsung’s Classy New TV Moonlights as a Work of Art

Wired - June 23, 2017 - 5:00pm
One click on the remote toggles between a television and a display for digital art.

LG SJ9 review - CNET - Reviews - June 23, 2017 - 4:59pm
The LG SJ9 Atmos sound bar sounds very good, but its main draw is Dolby Atmos audio and Chromecast built-in for a relatively affordable price.

Destiny 2’s guns won’t recoil on PC as they do on consoles

Ars Technica - June 23, 2017 - 4:57pm

Captured footage of the PC version of Destiny 2 shows what looks like extremely limited recoil on a number of powerful weapons.

When Destiny 2 brings the first-person shooter from the console to the PC later this year, the developers at Bungie want the gameplay to feel the same across platforms. But there is at least one important change being made to make the PC edition of the game play differently for keyboard and mouse players.

"For instance, there’s no recoil on guns on PC because recoil on the controller feels really good," Destiny 2 project lead Mark Noseworthy said in an interview with Australian website Finder. "'I’m firing, I’m firing, I’m firing, oh, I’m losing control of my gun a little bit.' That feels great, especially with magnetism and all the magic in the controller that makes you feel it. With a mouse and keyboard, you don’t want the mouse moving without you moving it, so recoil doesn’t feel good, so there is no recoil on PC... The basic idea is that some things don’t work that don’t feel good, and those places there are going to be little forks in the road."

Noseworthy later tweeted a clarification from Destiny 2's PC lead David Shaw, who said that recoil won't be completely eliminated on PCs but just "heavily modified from console." You can watch E3 footage captured on the PC version of the game which shows very little drift as a semi-automatic weapon empties numerous bursts of fire into enemies. Compare that to how the original Destiny works on consoles, where many weapons see their aim drift upward or to the side over multiple shots.

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How safe is your internet router?

BBC Technology News - June 23, 2017 - 4:50pm
Virgin Media is warning its customers to change the password on their internet routers. A Which? investigation found its Super Hub 2 router is vulnerable to hackers.

YouTube’s “VR180” format cuts down on VR video’s prohibitive requirements

Ars Technica - June 23, 2017 - 4:47pm

Enlarge / Grab a phone, strap in, and start watching VR content.

VidCon, the largest conference for online video creators, took place this week, and YouTube celebrated by announcing a new VR format.

YouTube has supported VR and 360-degree video for some time, but the format is really hard to do right. The camera rigs are really expensive, and for any kind of clarity, 4K resolution isn't good enough—you need at least an 8K video feed for each eye, which is really hard to record, store, and stream to viewers. 360 video is great for virtually teleporting someone to a location, but it's not an appropriate format for more traditional, structured content with a stage, lighting, and a place you're supposed to be looking at.

To help pull traditional content creators into the VR space, YouTube is launching a new "VR180" format, which is exactly what it sounds like: stereoscopic video, but only in 180 degrees. This cuts the data requirements in half—4K for each eye looks great—and the format should map a lot easier to the existing content most content creators produce, where they can just set up a camera, aim it at a (slightly wider than normal) staged area, and start filming. The new format even supports live streaming.

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Subaru prices fancier, prettier 2018 Legacy from $22,195 - Roadshow - News - June 23, 2017 - 4:46pm
It's not much more expensive than last year, at least for the base trim.

Friday Freebie: PhraseExpress automatically inserts and corrects text - CNET - News - June 23, 2017 - 4:39pm
This indispensable utility will save you tons of time. Plus: Get the horror co-op shooter Killing Floor absolutely free. Plus-plus: two other awesome bonus deals!

Virgin Media router security flap follows weak password expose

The Register - June 23, 2017 - 4:34pm
You're not using the password from the sticker, are you?

Virgin Media has urged 800,000 customers to change their passwords to guard against possible hacking attack.…

Low-latency satellite broadband gets approval to serve US residents

Ars Technica - June 23, 2017 - 4:30pm

(credit: OneWeb)

A company seeking to offer low-latency broadband from satellites yesterday received a key approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

"Over a year ago, OneWeb was the first company to seek approval to enter the US market with a system of high-capacity satellites that orbit closer to Earth than any satellite has ever before," FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said before yesterday's vote. "The goal of this non-geostationary satellite orbit (NGSO) technology is to provide global, high-speed broadband service—and its use case is particularly compelling in remote and hard-to-serve areas."

Today's satellite ISPs have average latencies of 600ms or more, according to FCC measurements, with satellites orbiting the Earth at about 35,400km. By contrast, OneWeb satellites would orbit at altitudes of about 1,200km. The company says its Internet access would have latencies of around 30ms, just a bit higher than typical cable systems. Speeds would be around 50Mbps.

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IDG Contributor Network: Top 7 books on digital transformation - IT industry - June 23, 2017 - 4:30pm

Take a look back to 2010 and digital transformation or disruption were terms reserved for tech companies and startups. Fast-forward to 2017 and regardless of what industry you’re in, digital transformation is coming. For example, yesterday as I walked past an off-duty taxi and hopped in my Uber, I was trying to figure out what I wanted to watch on Netflix after dinner when a thought crossed my mind, does anyone remember Blockbuster? Maybe I should ask Jeeves…

 My point is, even the most well-established industry leaders can quickly fall to the wayside if they don’t actively seek out innovation and prepare to adapt quickly when it shows up unannounced. Unfortunately, most people and by extension most businesses are about as fond of change as your “not racist, just from another time” uncle. We may say we want change, but when things are going well we want them to stay precisely the way they are.

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A short exercise in middle school sets minorities on a path to college

Ars Technica - June 23, 2017 - 4:20pm

Enlarge (credit: Austin Community College)

In the US, a college education makes a huge difference for most people. It opens up lots of career opportunities, many of them at higher than average pay. The better economic opportunities it provides are associated with things like better health and a longer life expectancy.

Unfortunately, the US population doesn't have equal access to college. Black people attend the most selective colleges in the US at one-fifth the rate of whites, and Latinos at a third the rate of whites. There are a lot of systemic reasons for this gap—persistent poverty, poor access to good preparatory schools, discrimination, and more. But it can be corrected; a poor family moving to a wealthy neighborhood is enough to improve their children's college attendance rate, for example.

But a team of psychologists has now found there may be an easier way of boosting kids' chances of attending a good school than changing addresses. It's a simple exercise that can be done a few times over the year during middle school. Despite their simplicity, these exercises stay with minority students for years and help them get to college at the same rate as whites.

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Russian hackers are selling British officials' passwords - CNET - News - June 23, 2017 - 4:19pm
The massive, illegal trading market among hackers includes passwords of senior British politicians, police officers and diplomats.

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