A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

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A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#1

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:03 am

Here's why Facebook is ending Aquila, its drone-delivered internet project
Facebook has closed the office responsible for the Aquila drone-delivered internet project following substantive difficulties getting the service off the ground.

By James Sanders | June 27, 2018, 6:14 AM PST

Facebook has suspended its internet via Drone experiment Aquila in an announcement posted to Facebook Code on Tuesday. Aquila was part of Facebook's Internet.org initiative, which is seeking to connect more people to the internet in unserved and underserved markets.

The project, which started in 2014, faced significant difficulties getting off the ground, which Facebook's statement concedes "has involved a lot of trial and error." Andy Cox, the engineer responsible for the project, as well as Martin Gomez, Facebook's director of aeronautics, left the company last month.

The first test flight in Arizona in June 2016 launched and flew as expected, though turbulence before touchdown resulted in the drone landing short of the runway and receiving damage to the right wing in the process. A second test flight of a different model drone in May 2017, did not crash, though apparently suffered dings during landing, according to a post by Gomez at the time.

The Aquila drones are slightly larger than a Boeing 737 in terms of wingspan, though they lack the standard landing gear that aircraft typically have as part of an effort to reduce weight. Instead, they are intended to land on specially designed kevlar pads.


https://www.techrepublic.com/article/he ... t-project/



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#2

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:05 am

from link of article above:
Meanwhile, Project Loon, a similar endeavor of Google's parent company Alphabet, is being deployed in Puerto Rico in an attempt to restore internet connectivity following the infrastructure damage caused by Hurricane Maria last September.



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other stuff

#3

Post by Foggy » Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:49 am

Richard, can you change the title to "all other tech stuff"? Otherwise it sounds too much like Hijack This Thread.

Thanks.


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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#4

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jun 28, 2018 10:25 am

Foggy wrote:
Thu Jun 28, 2018 7:49 am
Richard, can you change the title to "all other tech stuff"? Otherwise it sounds too much like Hijack This Thread.

Thanks.
Your voice was heard...
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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#5

Post by RTH10260 » Wed Jul 04, 2018 11:14 am

for S9 and S9+ owners
Samsung smartphone users are reporting that their photos are randomly being sent to contacts without their knowledge

Antonio Villas-Boas
Jul. 2, 2018, 10:54 PM

Some Samsung smartphone users have reported that their devices randomly sent photos to their contacts without their knowledge and without a trace.
Samsung is aware of the issue and is working to resolve the problem.
A small number of people that own Samsung smartphones have reported that their devices randomly sent photos from their gallery to their contacts without their knowledge, according to several reports on Samsung's forums and Reddit that were first discovered by Gizmodo.

A Reddit user reported their Samsung phone sent their entire photo gallery to their girlfriend. Another reported that their device sent photos to their wife.

Specifically, the photos were sent over Samsung's stock text messaging app. Notably, there's also no record that the photos were sent from an affected users' phone, according to the Reddit user.



http://uk.businessinsider.com/samsung-s ... cts-2018-7



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#6

Post by Lani » Wed Jul 04, 2018 5:47 pm

Crap. I need a new phone and was considering the S9.


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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#7

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:49 am

originally reported in the WSJ (paywall)
Think your Gmail is secure? App developers are sifting through your inbox
Even after assurances, Google continues to let software developers scan hundreds of millions of emails of users who sign up for email-based services
Douglas MacMillan | WSJ
Last Updated at July 3, 2018 08:23 IST

Google said a year ago it would stop its computers from scanning the inboxes of Gmail users for information to personalise advertisements, saying it wanted users to “remain confident that Google will keep privacy and security paramount.”

But the internet giant continues to let hundreds of outside software developers scan the inboxes of millions of Gmail users who signed up for email-based services offering shopping price comparisons, automated travel-itinerary planners or other tools. Google does little to police those developers, who train their computers—and, in some cases, employees—to read their users’ emails, a Wall Street Journal examination has found.

One of those companies is Return Path Inc., which collects data for marketers by scanning the inboxes of more than two million people who have signed up for one of the free apps in Return Path’s partner network using a Gmail, Microsoft Corp. or Yahoo email address. Computers normally do the scanning, analyzing about 100 million emails a day. At one point about two years ago, Return Path employees read about 8,000 unredacted emails to help train the company’s software, people familiar with the episode say.

In another case, employees of Edison Software, another Gmail developer that makes a mobile app for reading and organizing email, personally reviewed the emails of hundreds of users to build a new feature, says Mikael Berner, the company’s CEO.

Letting employees read user emails has become “common practice” for companies that collect this type of data, says Thede Loder, the former chief technology officer at eDataSource Inc., a rival to Return Path. He says engineers at eDataSource occasionally reviewed emails when building and improving software algorithms.


https://www.business-standard.com/artic ... 143_1.html



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#8

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jul 05, 2018 9:55 am

Google, FB using tricks to prevent users from exercising privacy rights
The consumer watchdog studied the privacy settings of the firms and found a series of "dark patterns"
IANS | London
Last Updated at June 29, 2018 18:40 IST

Tech giants Google, Facebook and Microsoft have been using "dark patterns" around privacy settings to discourage users in the European Union from exercising their privacy rights, according to a new report by the Norwegian Consumer Council.

The popups from Facebook, Google and Windows 10 have design, symbols and wording that nudge users away from the privacy friendly choices, said the study.

The consumer watchdog studied the privacy settings of the firms and found a series of "dark patterns", including intrusive default settings and misleading wording, the BBC reported on Thursday.

"The use of exploitative design choices, or 'dark patterns', is arguably an unethical attempt to push consumers toward choices that benefit the service provider," the Norwegian Consumer Council said in its report.

It picked Facebook, Google, and Microsoft for the study as they are some of the world's largest digital service-providers.

In this study, the Norwegian group looked at user settings updates in the three digital services that relate to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) which came into force in May.



https://www.business-standard.com/artic ... 662_1.html



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#9

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jul 19, 2018 3:16 pm

it happens even to the most sophisticated
Internal documents show how Amazon scrambled to fix Prime Day glitches
Amazon wasn't able to handle the traffic surge and failed to secure enough servers to meet the demand on Prime Day, according to expert review of internal documents obtained by CNBC.
That led to a cascading series of failures, including a slowdown in its internal computation and storage service called Sable, and other services that depend on it, like Prime, authentication, and video playback.
Amazon immediately launched a scaled-down "fallback" front page to reduce workload and temporarily killed all international traffic too.

Eugene Kim CNBC.com

Amazon failed to secure enough servers to handle the traffic surge on Prime Day, causing it to launch a scaled-down backup front page and temporarily kill off all international traffic, according to internal Amazon documents obtained by CNBC.

And that all took place within 15 minutes of the start of Prime Day — one of Amazon's biggest sales days every year.

The e-commerce giant also had to add servers manually to meet the traffic demand, indicating its auto-scaling feature may have failed to work properly leading up to the crash, according to external experts who reviewed the documents. “Currently out of capacity for scaling,” one of the updates said about the status of Amazon’s servers, roughly an hour after Prime Day’s launch. “Looking at scavenging hardware.”

A breakdown in an internal system called Sable, which Amazon uses to provide compute and storage services to its retail and digital businesses, caused a series of glitches across other services that depend on it, like Prime, authentication, and video playback, the documents show.



https://www.cnbc.com/2018/07/19/amazon- ... amble.html



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#10

Post by RTH10260 » Thu Jul 26, 2018 9:17 pm

Microsoft goes deep into data theft on Windows 7 and 8.1
Microsoft makes Telemetry updates for Windows 7 and 8.1 “critical updates”
by Surur @mspoweruserJul 20, 2018 at 21:01 GMT

If you have been avoiding Windows 10 because you are concerned about Microsoft spying on you via its telemetry services, the company has just made your life slightly more difficult.

Microsoft has just classified KB2952664 and KB2976978 , for Windows 7 and Windows 8.1, respectively as Critical Updates, meaning their installation is now compulsory. The updates have been available earlier but were then Optional.

The updates bring a telemetry service to the operating systems, as explained in their descriptions.

This update performs diagnostics on the Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program. The diagnostics evaluate the compatibility status of the Windows ecosystem, and help Microsoft to ensure application and device compatibility for all updates to Windows. There is no GWX or upgrade functionality contained in this update.

The updates automatically activate DoScheduledTelemetryRun , a process that records and sends telemetry data, even on devices that do not participate in the Windows Software Usage Analysis program.



https://mspoweruser.com/microsoft-makes ... l-updates/



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#11

Post by Fortinbras » Mon Jul 30, 2018 9:02 pm

I have recently developed a problem with Youtube.

I am running a Windows7 desktop, using Chrome. I had been watching a lot of Youtube videos, scanning down the comments and occasionally adding my own comments. But in just the last few days a very strange problem: I can search for videos and use the scroll command to go up and down the menu of videos to choose one. BUT: When I load a video the comments and alternate videos segments of the image (below and to the right of the immediate video) are simply gray patches with no text (Everything but the video itself is grayed-out), and the up-and-down scrolling feature has disappeared - I have the immediate video but cannot look further down the page (not that there's a reason since everything is turned to gray). And the video loading seems to be effed up; it takes a long time to load and then it runs only about five seconds and needs to stop to buffer further and this cycle keeps repeating every five seconds or so. Obviously I cannot add comments to anything; I cannot even log-on to Youtube as a member.

Obviously I have done something very wrong. I would be grateful for instructions on how to un-eff my computer. Please write instructions in simple non-techie English.



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#12

Post by MN-Skeptic » Mon Jul 30, 2018 10:17 pm

Maybe it's an extension or add-on causing problems. According to another website, opening an incognito window disables extensions and add-ons, so I'd try that first, just to see if the problem still exists. Opening an incognito window is easy. Just click on the three vertical dots on the upper right corner of your Chrome browser, and click on New Incognito Windows. See if Youtube works ok in that new window. If it does, that points to an extension or add-on conflict.


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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#13

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:01 am

Amazon’s Face Recognition Falsely Matched 28 Members of Congress With Mugshots

By Jacob Snow, Technology & Civil Liberties Attorney, ACLU of Northern California
JULY 26, 2018 | 8:00 AM

Amazon’s face surveillance technology is the target of growing opposition nationwide, and today, there are 28 more causes for concern. In a test the ACLU recently conducted of the facial recognition tool, called “Rekognition,” the software incorrectly matched 28 members of Congress, identifying them as other people who have been arrested for a crime.

The members of Congress who were falsely matched with the mugshot database we used in the test include Republicans and Democrats, men and women, and legislators of all ages, from all across the country.



https://www.aclu.org/blog/privacy-techn ... matched-28
and
ACLU wrote:In a recent letter to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, the Congressional Black Caucus expressed concern about the “profound negative unintended consequences” face surveillance could have for Black people, undocumented immigrants, and protesters. Our results validate this concern: Nearly 40 percent of Rekognition’s false matches in our test were of people of color, even though they make up only 20 percent of Congress.



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#14

Post by RoadScholar » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:02 am

Maybe they weren't errors...


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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#15

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:07 am

RoadScholar wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:02 am
Maybe they weren't errors...
What happens if one were to match against this adminstrations WH staff :?:



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#16

Post by Fortinbras » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:24 am

MANY THANKS to MN-SKEPTIC.

Your advice worked like a charm. I dumped a bunch of little-used or unused Chrome extensions and my Youtube is now healthy!!

Thanks again.



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#17

Post by Danraft » Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:29 am

Fortinsbras, try emptying your cache, all your cookies, if they changed the code endpoints, it could leave you hanging.


When that report came out about the facial recognition, the gurus were saying it's like having a radar gun that pegs a minority as going 20 mph faster than they are, and still using it anyway and giving tickets due to the false readings. Rather stunning that these systems are being bought up by police forces all across the nation to have a passive facial recognition check given in many public areas and they are very unrelialble.


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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#18

Post by MN-Skeptic » Tue Jul 31, 2018 11:53 am

Fortinbras wrote:
Tue Jul 31, 2018 10:24 am
MANY THANKS to MN-SKEPTIC.

Your advice worked like a charm. I dumped a bunch of little-used or unused Chrome extensions and my Youtube is now healthy!!

Thanks again.
:thumbs: I'm so glad that worked!


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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#19

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Aug 07, 2018 5:27 pm

How Cryptojacking Can Corrupt the Internet of Things
IoT devices often have weak security, making them prime targets for criminals looking to score digital cash

By Larry Greenemeier on July 31, 2018

Cyber criminals shut down parts of the Web in October 2016 by attacking the computers that serve as the internet’s switchboard. Their weapon of choice? Poorly secured Web cameras and other internet-connected gadgets that have collectively come to be known as the Internet of Things (IoT). The attack created a minor panic among people trying to visit Sony PlayStation Network, Twitter, GitHub and Spotify’s Web sites, but it had little long-term effect on internet use or the hijacked devices. Less than two years later, however, security experts are sounding the alarm over a new and possibly more nefarious type of IoT attack that “cryptojacks” smart devices, surreptitiously stealing their computing power to help cyber criminals make digital money.

Cryptocurrencies—so called because they use cryptography to secure transactions and mint new virtual coins—are generated when computers loaded with “cryptomining” software perform complex mathematical calculations. The calculations themselves serve no practical purpose, but the faster the computers complete them the more electronic money they make. Cryptojacking (a mashup of the words “cryptocurrency” and “hijacking”) occurs anytime someone uses another person’s internet-connected device without permission to “mine” Ethereum, Monero or some other virtual cash. (Bitcoins are a lot more valuable, but this well-known cryptocurrency is more likely to be created using warehouses of servers rather than someone’s stolen processing power).

Cyber criminals steal that power by sneaking malicious software containing cryptomining code onto PCs, smartphones and other internet-connected devices that, once infected, divert some of their processors’ capacity into solving the aforementioned calculations. Another type of cryptojacking attack occurs when internet users are tricked into visiting Web sites containing code that grabs part of their device’s processing power for as long as they visit the site. To entice people to stay, those sites tend to offer free pornography or pirated content. Victims usually have no idea their device has been coopted—although they might wonder why their batteries drain so quickly.


https://www.scientificamerican.com/arti ... of-things/



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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#20

Post by RoadScholar » Wed Aug 08, 2018 11:42 am

Asbestos! red.png
Trump's EPA set to allow building products using asbestos again... because the health risk were just a big ol' hoax, see? And the fact that one of the largest producers of asbestos is Russia? Just a remarkable coincidence no doubt.

The seal apparently says "Approved by Donald Trump, 45th President of the United States." :madguy:

:explode:
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Re: A General Thread -- for all other tech stuff

#21

Post by RTH10260 » Tue Aug 14, 2018 8:09 pm

Tinder co-founders sue parent company for $2 billion over deception
The lawsuit alleges they lowballed Tinder's valuation to shrink employee stock options.

David Lumb

Three of Tinder's co-founders and several other current and former senior executives are suing the dating company's parent organizations, Match Group and IAC. According to a complaint published online, the lawsuit seeks billions of dollars in damages for allegedly manipulating financial information in order to reduce Tinder's valuation and illegally take away employees' stock options.

The complaint explains that Tinder was supposed to be valued in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021; On those days, employees should have been able to exercise their stock options. Instead, the lawsuit alleges that parent company IAC/Match Group inaccurately lowballed Tinder's valuation in July 2017 at $3 billion, the same as it did two years ago despite the dating app's substantial growth. Then, the parent company secretly merged Tinder into Match Group, which meant employees earned far less in stock options. Then, IAC threatened to terminate anyone who revealed how much the company was actually worth, the lawsuit claims.

Tinder co-founders Sean Rad, Justin Mateen and Jonathan Badeen, three current executives and four other former execs are named on the lawsuit. It further alleges that interim Tinder CEO Greg Blatt, who had replaced Rad, sexually harassed the company's vice president of marketing and communications, Rosette Pambakian, during a company holiday party in 2016. The suit claims the incident was covered up because Blatt was spearheading the aforementioned scheme to produce an artificially low valuation of Tinder.


https://www.engadget.com/2018/08/14/tin ... deception/



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