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Industry & Technology

Drone perves defeated by tinfoil houses

The Register - 1 hour 35 min ago
Boffins figure out when drones are watching, without decrypting the video stream

If a drone-creeper is snooping on you, you could catch them by grabbing the video stream – but what if it's encrypted?…

iPhone 7 Plus was almost China's top selling phone in 2017 - CNET - News - 1 hour 49 min ago
Apple, the only foreign phone maker to hit China's top 10 list, was beaten to the top spot by Oppo's R9S.

2019 Jeep Cherokee gets a traditional new face for Detroit - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 53 min ago
Jeep does away with the squinty headlights and adds a new powertrain option to its popular compact SUV.

Developer plots server virtualization comeback for XenServer

The Register - 2 hours 34 min ago
Plans open source revival of XCP, to go places Citrix won’t

Moves are afoot to revive Xen Cloud Platform (XCP), the open source version of XenServer that existed independently of Citrix before the company released its code to the Xen Project and made its own efforts open source.…

China's first space station to - ahem - de-orbit in late March

The Register - 3 hours 36 min ago
Tiangong-1 is out of control and can't keep it up any more

Predictions are firming up for when China's Tiangong-1 spacecraft will make its final re-entry-crash-and-burn.…

Canada charges chap alleged to run stolen data-mart Leakedsource

The Register - 5 hours 38 min ago
Unlike similar services, this one sold purloined passwords

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police has announced it’s cuffed and charged a man for selling stolen identities and passwords at…

SpaceX to fire up Falcon Heavy's 27 engines this week - CNET - News - 5 hours 39 min ago
Elon Musk's next big thing will get fully lit up for the first time as soon as Tuesday.

Bad benchmarks bedevil boffins' infosec efforts

The Register - 6 hours 39 min ago
'Benchmark crimes' under-state the true performance impact of security controls

A group of operating systems specialists believes sloppy benchmarking is harming security efforts, by making it hard to assess the likely performance impact of security countermeasures.…

Gut bacteria linked to cataclysmic epidemic that wiped out 16th-century Mexico

Ars Technica - 6 hours 41 min ago

Enlarge / Entrance of Hernan Cortes into Mexico (credit: Kurz & Allison)

In the wake of the Spanish conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1521, waves of epidemics slammed Mexico. By 1576, the population, which had been more than 20 million before the Spanish arrived, had crashed to two million. One brutal outbreak in 1545 was estimated to have killed between five and 15 million alone—or up to 80 percent of the population.

But, like the other epidemics, the disease behind the 1545 outbreak was a complete mystery—until now.

Genetic evidence pulled from the teeth of 10 victims suggests that the particularly nasty bacterium Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Paratyphi C contributed to the scourge of fever, bleeding, dysentery, and red rashes recorded at the time. The genetic data, published Monday in Nature Ecology and Evolution, offers the first molecular evidence to try to explain what’s “regarded as one of the most devastating epidemics in New World history,” the authors conclude.

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Panic buying

BBC Technology News - 7 hours 16 min ago
Cyber insurance is growing fast as businesses lose billions to hackers.

Ford teases new Shelby Mustang GT500 with more than 700 horsepower - Roadshow - News - 7 hours 27 min ago
New range-topping model will arrive in 2019.

Microsoft extends patent protection shield on-premises

The Register - 7 hours 39 min ago
Azure Stack users invited under ‘IP Advantage’ umbrella

Microsoft’s extended its “Azure IP Advantage” litigation protection shield to on-premises technology, by applying it to the Azure Stack hybrid-cloud-in-a-box systems.…

2019 Kia Forte has Stinger looks, loads of tech and a CVT - Roadshow - News - January 15, 2018 - 11:42pm
Not every Detroit debut is some wild-eyed concept or a massive pickup.

Shell invests in Nashville solar firm, but it’s no less an oil company

Ars Technica - January 15, 2018 - 11:22pm

Enlarge / This photo represents a previous project completed by the Green Power EMC and Silicon Ranch partnership. The 52 MW ac solar energy plant in Hazlehurst, Georgia incorporates 633,600 solar modules. (credit: PRNewsfoto/Silicon Ranch Corporation)

On Monday, Royal Dutch Shell announced that it is going to acquire a 43.86-percent stake in a Nashville-based solar plant company called Silicon Ranch Corporation. The deal could cost up to $217 million, according to Reuters.

The Netherlands-based oil and gas company is one of the biggest companies in the world, and, by its own account, it recorded revenue of $233.6 billion in 2016 and $4.8 billion in net income. The $217 million it has set aside for a US-based solar investment is a small fraction of that, but it does reflect some willingness to acknowledge a future, however far out, in which oil and gas may not dominate energy and transportation sectors.

The move follows oil and gas giant BP (formerly British Petroleum), which invested $200 million in European solar development company Lightsource just a month ago.

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Lenovo inherited a switch authentication bypass - from Nortel

The Register - January 15, 2018 - 10:58pm
A long time ago, in a company far, far away …

Lenovo has patched an ancient vulnerability in switches that it acquired along with IBM's hardware businesses and which Big Blue itself acquired when it slurped parts of Nortel.…

New BMW X2 makes North American debut in Detroit - Roadshow - News - January 15, 2018 - 10:36pm
Is it a really compact SUV or a too tall hatchback? Either way, the 2018 BMW X2 looks fantastically well suited for urban American cities.

IBM kills Global Technology and Global Business Services: it's all ‘IBM Services’ now

The Register - January 15, 2018 - 10:34pm
Because you need to ‘capitalize on exponential intelligence fueled by pervasive tech’ and only IBM can do that

Exclusive IBM is to help its ailing services business with a re-branding exercise that will see its Global Technology Services (GTS) and Global Business Services (GBS) operations emerge as a single entity named “IBM Services”.…

BitTorrent users beware: Flaw lets hackers control your computer

Ars Technica - January 15, 2018 - 10:25pm

Enlarge (credit: Tavis Ormandy)

There's a critical weakness in the widely used Transmission BitTorrent app that allows websites to execute malicious code on some users' computers. That's according to a researcher with Google's Project Zero vulnerability reporting team, who also warns that other BitTorrent clients are likely similarly susceptible.

Researcher Tavis Ormandy published the proof-of-concept attack code last week, along with a detailed description of the underlying vulnerability it exploited. Normally, Project Zero withholds publication of such details for 90 days or until the developer has released a fix. In this case, however, Ormandy's private report to Transmission included a patch that completely fixed the vulnerability. The researcher went ahead and disclosed the vulnerability last Tuesday—only 40 days after the initial report—because Transmission developers had yet to apply it. Ormandy said the publication would allow Ubuntu and other downstream projects to independently install the fix.

"I'm finding it frustrating that the Transmission developers are not responding on their private security list," Ormandy wrote in Tuesday's public report. "I suggested moving this into the open so that distributions can apply the patch independently."

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Spectre and Meltdown patches causing trouble as realistic attacks get closer

Ars Technica - January 15, 2018 - 10:05pm

Enlarge (credit: Simon Smith)

Applications, operating systems, and firmware all need to be updated to defeat Meltdown and protect against Spectre, two attacks that exploit features of high-performance processors to leak information and undermine system security. The computing industry has been scrambling to respond after news of the problem broke early a few days into the new year.

But that patching is proving problematic. The Meltdown protection is revealing bugs or otherwise undesirable behavior in various drivers, and Intel is currently recommending that people cease installing a microcode update it issued to help tackle the Spectre problem. This comes as researchers are digging into the papers describing the issues and getting closer to weaponizing the research to turn it into a practical attack. With the bad guys sure to be doing the same, real-world attacks using this research are sure to follow soon.

Back when initially releasing its Windows patch, Microsoft acknowledged incompatibilities with some anti-virus software. To receive the Meltdown and Spectre fixes, anti-virus software on Windows is required to create a special registry entry indicating that it's compatible. Without this entry, not only are these patches blocked, but so too are all future Windows patches. Most anti-virus vendors should now have compatible versions of their products, but users with stale anti-virus software—expired trials or end-of-lifed products—are at this point much better off removing the third-party software entirely and using the built-in protection in Windows 8.1 and Windows 10.

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2019 Hyundai Veloster Release Date, Price and Specs - Roadshow - Reviews - January 15, 2018 - 9:50pm
After a brief hiatus, Hyundai's enigmatic hatchback returns to the Detroit Auto Show sporting more tech and refinement.

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