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FBI Issues Warning Over Windows 7 End-of-Life

Slashdot - August 6, 2020 - 12:45am
Categories: Geek, Opinion

TikTok to open $500m data centre in Ireland

BBC Technology News - August 6, 2020 - 12:20am
The firm says the move represents its "long-term commitment to Europe".

Insecure satellite Internet is threatening ship and plane safety

Ars Technica - August 5, 2020 - 11:31pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

More than a decade has passed since researchers demonstrated serious privacy and security holes in satellite-based Internet services. The weaknesses allowed attackers to snoop on and sometimes tamper with data received by millions of users thousands of miles away. You might expect that in 2020—as satellite Internet has grown more popular—providers would have fixed those shortcomings, but you’d be wrong.

In a briefing delivered on Wednesday at the Black Hat security conference online, researcher and Oxford PhD candidate James Pavur presented findings that show that satellite-based Internet is putting millions of people at risk, despite providers adopting new technologies that are supposed to be more advanced.

Over the course of several years, he has used his vantage point in mainland Europe to intercept the signals of 18 satellites beaming Internet data to people, ships, and planes in a 100 million-square-kilometer swath that stretches from the United States, Caribbean, China, and India. What he found is concerning. A small sampling of the things he observed include:

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With COVID-19 spreading, 49% of low-income communities have zero ICU beds

Ars Technica - August 5, 2020 - 9:35pm

Enlarge / Medics transfer a patient on a stretcher from an ambulance outside of Emergency at Coral Gables Hospital where coronavirus patients are treated in Coral Gables near Miami, on July 30, 2020. (credit: Getty | CHANDAN KHANNA)

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads uncontrolled in much of the United States, a new study finds that almost half of low-income areas are gravely unprepared to treat severe cases of COVID-19, hinting at higher death rates to come.

Forty-nine percent of the country’s lowest-income communities—with median incomes of $35,000 or less—have zero intensive care unit beds in their area hospitals. Looking only at rural areas, the picture is even worse: 55 percent had no ICU beds. This is in stark contrast to the highest-income communities, defined by a median income of $90,000 and above. Of those, only 3 percent overall lack access to ICU beds. The study, published by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, appeared this week in the journal Health Affairs.

The findings further heighten concern over how the pandemic is exacerbating gaping socioeconomic disparities in the US. Low-income communities are already more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 due to unavoidable job-related exposure, reliance on mass transit, higher population densities, and less ability to quarantine upon potential exposure, the authors note.

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What we know about the massive chemical explosion in Beirut

Ars Technica - August 5, 2020 - 9:10pm

On Tuesday, Beirut was devastated by a massive chemical explosion that occurred at the city's port a little after 6pm local time. The blast killed at least 135 people and injured thousands more, and it may have left 300,000 residents homeless after the shockwave shattered glass and damaged buildings across the Mediterranean city. Initial reports blamed improperly stored fireworks for the disaster, but the real culprit soon emerged: 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate (NH4NO3) that had been seized by Lebanese officials from a freighter in 2013 and stored at a warehouse at the port ever since.

It's now believed that a fire broke out at the warehouse—possibly due to careless welding performed as an anti-theft measure—which caused the stockpile of the chemical, often used as a fertilizer, to explode catastrophically.

Ammonium nitrate has often been combined with fuel oil to create an explosive that's used in mining and construction, and it has been used as an oxidizer for rocket engines. But it's also been employed for more nefarious ends. The first recorded ammonium nitrate fuel oil (ANFO) bomb was detonated in 1970 at the University of Wisconsin-Madison as a protest against the Vietnam War. Terror groups on both sides of Northern Ireland's sectarian conflict also built bombs using ANFO from the 1970s until the 1990s, and Timothy McVeigh used a combination of ammonium nitrate and nitromethane for a terror attack in Oklahoma City in 1995.

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Zoombomber crashes court hearing on Twitter hack with Pornhub video

Ars Technica - August 5, 2020 - 8:20pm

Enlarge (credit: Aurich Lawson / Getty Images)

Zoombombers today disrupted a court hearing involving the Florida teen accused of masterminding a takeover of high-profile Twitter accounts, forcing the judge to stop the hearing. "During the hearing, the judge and attorneys were interrupted several times with people shouting racial slurs, playing music, and showing pornographic images," ABC Action News in Tampa Bay wrote. A Pornhub video forced the judge to temporarily shut down the hearing.

The Zoombombing occurred today when the Thirteenth Judicial Circuit Court of Florida in Tampa held a bail hearing for Graham Clark, who previously pleaded not guilty and is reportedly being held on $725,000 bail. Clark faces 30 felony charges related to the July 15 Twitter attack in which accounts of famous people like Elon Musk, Bill Gates, Jeff Bezos, and Joe Biden were hijacked and used to push cryptocurrency scams. Hackers also accessed direct messages for 36 high-profile account holders.

Today, Judge Christopher Nash ruled against a request to lower Clark's bail amount. But before that, the judge "shut down the hearing for a short time" when arguments were interrupted by "pornography... foul language and rap music," Fox 13 reporter Gloria Gomez wrote on Twitter.

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Virtual House Hunting Gets a Pandemic Boost

Slashdot - August 5, 2020 - 8:15pm
Categories: Geek, Opinion

Many of Mars’ stream valleys might have formed under an ice sheet

Ars Technica - August 5, 2020 - 8:08pm

Enlarge / Examples of different types of valleys on Mars. (credit: Galofre et al./Nature Geoscience)

The further back into Earth’s history your mind wanders, the more work your imagination has to put in. That’s even more true for Mars. None of us have physically stepped foot on the present-day version of the planet, and its past was clearly very different from its present, with evidence pointing to flowing and standing water.

Among the relics of the watery past are networks of valleys incised into Mars’ surface. The Red Planet’s southern hemisphere highlands host many valleys, which have largely been interpreted as formed by rivers and groundwater springs. The source of water in rivers—whether rainfall in a warm climate or just melt from glacial ice—has been a question mark.

It’s thought that Mars’ past was generally quite cold, so a connection between the valleys and glacial ice is quite plausible. But how direct is that connection? We can identify the drainages in which water flows beneath ice sheets based on physical characteristics of the valleys left behind. So a team led by Anna Grau Galofre at Arizona State set out to analyze the valleys on Mars to see if any would better match a sub-glacial origin.

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Mulan: UK cinemas hit out at 'disappointing' Disney+ release

BBC Technology News - August 5, 2020 - 6:55pm
A plan to release the film on Disney+ instead of in cinemas is described as "hugely disappointing".

Twitter users urged to update over Android security flaw

BBC Technology News - August 5, 2020 - 6:51pm
Millions of Android users should update their apps, Twitter warns.

Samsung’s Galaxy Z Fold 2 is official, comes with a ton of improvements [Update]

Ars Technica - August 5, 2020 - 6:47pm

Samsung Unpacked 2020 is happening today, but the star of the show, the Galaxy Z Fold 2, only got a light teasing. We got official press pictures, one or two specs, and a promise of more info on September 1. The good news is that there was also a full spec sheet leak today from XDA's Max Weinbach, and it fills in most of the blanks.

Samsung's second-generation foldable is officially the "Galaxy Z Fold 2," a slight name change from "Samsung Galaxy Fold" that puts it in the same class as Samsung's other foldable, the Galaxy Z Flip. The smartphone/tablet hybrid is very much in the mold of the Galaxy Fold 1 from last year, but it has a ton of iterative yearly upgrades and refinements.

The most noticeable upgrade is that the outer screen now fills the front of the phone. XDA's specs list the display as a 6.2-inch, 2260×816 OLED display with a crazy 25:9 aspect ratio. This is dramatically bigger than the 4.6-inch display that shipped on the Fold 1, which looked really out of place, with somewhere around a 50-percent body-to-display ratio. The new display is still very tall and skinny, but the "phone" part of the Fold 2 now looks more like a smartphone.

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