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Industry & Technology

Trump’s DOJ not trying to stop AT&T/Time Warner merger

Ars Technica - August 18, 2017 - 3:40pm

Enlarge / AT&T will own a bunch of new media properties if it is allowed to buy Time Warner. (credit: Aurich Lawson)

Despite President Trump's promise to block AT&T's purchase of Time Warner Inc., the government's review of the merger has "reached an advanced stage" The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday.

"The deal’s regulatory review has hit a late-stage point where AT&T lawyers are discussing merger conditions with the Justice Department," the report said, quoting people close to the situation. If the Justice Department concludes that any potential harms from the merger can be offset by conditions, then it would not sue to block the deal.

"Among the topics raised in the government’s review is ensuring that AT&T doesn’t discriminate or treat channels that compete with Time Warner's content less favorably, the people close to the situation said," the Journal wrote. "For example, the government could prevent AT&T from favoring HBO over other premium-TV brands in its marketing and pricing, the people said."

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T-Mobile is taking up to $500 off a second LG G6 or V20 phone - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 3:16pm
If you add a line, you'll get a rebate for the second phone.

So long and thanks for all the phish: Red teams need to be smarter now

The Register - August 18, 2017 - 3:06pm
Pen-testers face new challenges as defences evolve

BSides The opening talk at BSides Manchester on Thursday examined how red team tactics are evolving beyond phishing to include a wider variety of methods.…

Now you can post videos directly to Reddit, no third-party service required

Ars Technica - August 18, 2017 - 3:01pm

(credit: Eva Blue)

Reddit announced a big, and likely welcome, change coming to its site: native video uploads. After testing the feature out in about 200 communities, native video hosting will now roll out for all Reddit communities, giving every user the ability to upload and share videos on Reddit without the use of a third-party service. Until now, users had to upload videos to another site and then post the video's link to Reddit in order to share.

Native video uploading is supported on both the desktop and mobile versions of Reddit. Users can upload pre-recorded videos from their devices; on the Reddit mobile app, you can shoot videos to upload immediately by giving the app access to your camera. Videos must be either MP4 of MOV files, and they can be no longer than 15 minutes. You can even make gifs out of your videos by using Reddit's new MP4 converter, and videos uploaded through the mobile app can be trimmed to show only the most important part. Since Reddit's core is its communities, the company made it so you could watch videos and read posted comments at the same time. On desktop, the video player will shrink and stay at the top of the page so you can scroll through comments. On mobile, the video player remains at the top of the page while the bottom-half is scrollable.

Reddit's blog post cites user experience as one of the main reasons for its new native video hosting. It was previously a hassle for users to post a video to Reddit, and the viewing experience wasn't seamless. Reddit gave the same treatment to images last year when it cut ties with its longtime partner Imgur in favor of native image hosting. Not only does native image and video hosting make it easier for users to upload and share content to their favorite subreddits, but it also cuts the amount of time users spend on third-party sites.

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The Robots Will Be Soft and Cuddly and Heal Their Own Wounds

Wired - August 18, 2017 - 3:00pm
Belgian researchers built a soft, squishy robot that can heal itself with just a bit of heat.

Apple takes on Netflix, HBO, Amazon with $1B budget (Apple Byte Extra Crunchy Podcast, Ep. 96) - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 2:30pm
Apple gets serious about original content. The Apple Watch will have LTE but no direct phone calling. McDonald's uses an iPhone 8 mock-up in a promotional email.

Q: How many drones are we bombing ISIS with? A: That's secret, mmkay

The Register - August 18, 2017 - 2:23pm
But the MoD will happily tell you how many manned jets we're using to do that exact thing

The UK's Information Tribunal has rejected an appeal by campaigners trying to find out how many British Reaper drones are being used for warlike missions in the Middle East.…

Get an LG 360 Cam for $70 - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 2:19pm
Originally $200, this handheld camera makes it easy to capture 360-degree photos and video.

The problem with tech diversity reports - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 2:07pm
Tech companies have gotten in the practice of releasing diversity reports, but are those reports transparent enough? Not really.

See the brains of Andy Rubin's Essential Home - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 2:02pm
The pieces are coming together for the Echo competitor from the founder of Android.

White Supremacy Isn't a Philosophy, It's a Filter

Wired - August 18, 2017 - 2:00pm
To view the world through a supremacist lens is to live in the complicity of false equivalences, to willfully color malice as virtue.

Review: Essential Phone

Wired - August 18, 2017 - 2:00pm
Think of Essential's flagship phone as the anti iPhone.

Essential 360˚ Camera: Hands-On First Impressions

Wired - August 18, 2017 - 2:00pm
This add-on for the Essential phone shoots spherical photos, and demonstrates the company's magnetic accessory dock.

Atari shoots sueball at KitKat maker over use of 'Breakout' in ad

The Register - August 18, 2017 - 1:55pm
Gaming star strikes

Atari has sued Nestle, accusing it of "blatantly" impinging on its intellectual property by featuring the 1970s video game Breakout in a Kit Kat ad without its permission.…

These women want to fix cybersecurity’s massive gender gap - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 1:54pm
After years of uncomfortable interactions at the world's largest hacker gathering, these women are making their own opportunities.

Windows 10 security: After Kaspersky fight, Microsoft talks up its case for Defender

ZDnet News - August 18, 2017 - 1:46pm
Windows 7 machines mostly unprotected because they're not running any antivirus, says Microsoft.

Reddit launches its own video hosting platform

BBC Technology News - August 18, 2017 - 1:36pm
One of the world's largest websites has not let users post their own videos directly before.

Galaxy Note 4 batteries recalled, but Samsung's not to blame - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 1:32pm
A recall on some batteries found in Note 4 devices echoes last year's Note 7 recall, but the circumstances are quite different.

Best mobile games of 2017 - CNET - News - August 18, 2017 - 1:30pm
Looking for a new game to play on your mobile device? Here are our picks of the best mobile games released in 2017 (so far).

Secret chips in replacement parts can completely hijack your phone’s security

Ars Technica - August 18, 2017 - 1:27pm

Enlarge (credit: Omer Shwartz et al.)

People with cracked touch screens or similar smartphone maladies have a new headache to consider: the possibility the replacement parts installed by repair shops contain secret hardware that completely hijacks the security of the device.

The concern arises from research that shows how replacement screens—one put into a Huawei Nexus 6P and the other into an LG G Pad 7.0—can be used to surreptitiously log keyboard input and patterns, install malicious apps, and take pictures and e-mail them to the attacker. The booby-trapped screens also exploited operating system vulnerabilities that bypassed key security protections built into the phones. The malicious parts cost less than $10 and could easily be mass-produced. Most chilling of all, to most people, the booby-trapped parts could be indistinguishable from legitimate ones, a trait that could leave many service technicians unaware of the maliciousness. There would be no sign of tampering unless someone with a background in hardware disassembled the repaired phone and inspected it.

The research, in a paper presented this week at the 2017 Usenix Workshop on Offensive Technologies, highlights an often overlooked disparity in smartphone security. The software drivers included in both the iOS and Android operating systems are closely guarded by the device manufacturers, and therefore exist within a "trust boundary." The factory-installed hardware that communicates with the drivers is similarly assumed to be trustworthy, as long as the manufacturer safeguards its supply chain. The security model breaks down as soon as a phone is serviced in a third-party repair shop, where there's no reliable way to certify replacement parts haven't been modified.

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