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EverQuest and Pantheon Developer Brad McQuaid Has Died
Brad McQuaid, best known as a formative hand in the creation of EverQuest, has passed away at the age of 51. From a report: McQuaid's death was reported by the official Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Twitter account, which is the MMO he was working on until his death. A message was also left on the Pantheon MMO forums by user BenD -- Visionary Realms' director of comms Benjamin Dean -- who writes that McQuaid passed away in his home. "Brad was a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father," the message reads. "He touched thousands of lives with his dreams and concepts. He changed the landscape of video games forever. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered in life and in Pantheon. Thank you, Brad, for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace, Aradune. All of us at Visionary Realms offer our deepest condolences to Brad's family and during this most difficult time, we kindly ask that you respect the privacy of Brad's family." Known as Aradune in the MMO community, McQuaid joined Sony Online Entertainment in 1996 as a lead programmer and later producer on EverQuest, before later becoming chief creative officer. In 2002 he left SOE and founded Sigil Games, which shipped the MMO Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Sigil Games was eventually purchased by SOE. He briefly rejoined SOE in 2012-2013 before going independent. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen was successfully Kickstarter funded in 2014.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0727248/everquest-and-pantheon-developer-brad-mcquaid-has-died?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T10:00:00+00:00
subject
software
slash
department
rest-in-peace
section
games
comments
14
hit_parade
14,13,10,8,4,4,1
feedburner
origlink
https://games.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0727248/everquest-and-pantheon-developer-brad-mcquaid-has-died?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Brad McQuaid, best known as a formative hand in the creation of EverQuest, has passed away at the age of 51. From a report: McQuaid's death was reported by the official Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen Twitter account, which is the MMO he was working on until his death. A message was also left on the Pantheon MMO forums by user BenD -- Visionary Realms' director of comms Benjamin Dean -- who writes that McQuaid passed away in his home. "Brad was a visionary, a mentor, an artist, a trailblazer, a friend, a husband, a father," the message reads. "He touched thousands of lives with his dreams and concepts. He changed the landscape of video games forever. He will be deeply missed and forever remembered in life and in Pantheon. Thank you, Brad, for bringing us together through your worlds. Rest in peace, Aradune. All of us at Visionary Realms offer our deepest condolences to Brad's family and during this most difficult time, we kindly ask that you respect the privacy of Brad's family." Known as Aradune in the MMO community, McQuaid joined Sony Online Entertainment in 1996 as a lead programmer and later producer on EverQuest, before later becoming chief creative officer. In 2002 he left SOE and founded Sigil Games, which shipped the MMO Vanguard: Saga of Heroes. Sigil Games was eventually purchased by SOE. He briefly rejoined SOE in 2012-2013 before going independent. Pantheon: Rise of the Fallen was successfully Kickstarter funded in 2014.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Password Data For About 2.2 Million Users of Currency, Gaming Sites Dumped Online
Password data and other personal information belonging to as many as 2.2 million users of two websites -- one a cryptocurrency wallet service and the other a gaming bot provider -- have been posted online, according to Troy Hunt, the security researcher behind the Have I Been Pwned breach notification service. Ars Technica reports: One haul includes personal information for as many as 1.4 million accounts from the GateHub cryptocurrency wallet service. The other contains data for about 800,000 accounts on RuneScape bot provider EpicBot. The databases include registered email addresses and passwords that were cryptographically hashed with bcrypt, a function that's among the hardest to crack. The person posting the 3.72GB Gatehub database said it also includes two-factor authentication keys, mnemonic phrases, and wallet hashes, although GateHub officials said an investigation suggested wallet hashes were not accessed. The EpicBot database, meanwhile, purportedly included usernames and IP addresses. Hunt said he selected a representative sample of accounts from both databases to verify the authenticity of the data. All of the email addresses he checked were registered to accounts of the two sites. [...] While there were 2.2 million unique addresses in the two dumps, it's possible that corresponding password hashes or other data isn't included with each one.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://it.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0027204/password-data-for-about-22-million-users-of-currency-gaming-sites-dumped-online?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T07:00:00+00:00
subject
security
slash
department
another-day-another-leak
section
it
comments
15
hit_parade
15,10,9,8,4,1,1
feedburner
origlink
https://it.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0027204/password-data-for-about-22-million-users-of-currency-gaming-sites-dumped-online?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Password data and other personal information belonging to as many as 2.2 million users of two websites -- one a cryptocurrency wallet service and the other a gaming bot provider -- have been posted online, according to Troy Hunt, the security researcher behind the Have I Been Pwned breach notification service. Ars Technica reports: One haul includes personal information for as many as 1.4 million accounts from the GateHub cryptocurrency wallet service. The other contains data for about 800,000 accounts on RuneScape bot provider EpicBot. The databases include registered email addresses and passwords that were cryptographically hashed with bcrypt, a function that's among the hardest to crack. The person posting the 3.72GB Gatehub database said it also includes two-factor authentication keys, mnemonic phrases, and wallet hashes, although GateHub officials said an investigation suggested wallet hashes were not accessed. The EpicBot database, meanwhile, purportedly included usernames and IP addresses. Hunt said he selected a representative sample of accounts from both databases to verify the authenticity of the data. All of the email addresses he checked were registered to accounts of the two sites. [...] While there were 2.2 million unique addresses in the two dumps, it's possible that corresponding password hashes or other data isn't included with each one.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Justice Department To Abolish Movie Distribution Rules Dating To 1949
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Justice Department said on Monday that it planned to overturn antitrust-related movie distribution rules from the early days of Hollywood (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), citing an entertainment landscape that has been radically reshaped by technology. "We cannot pretend that the business of film distribution and exhibition remains the same," Makan Delrahim, the antitrust chief at the Justice Department, said at an American Bar Association conference in Washington. "Changes over the course of more than half a century also have made it unlikely that the remaining defendants can reinstate their cartel." The film distribution rules, known as the Paramount consent decrees, were enacted in 1949, a year after the United States Supreme Court ruled that Hollywood's eight largest studios could not own theaters, and thus control the film business. The regulations made it illegal for studios to unreasonably limit the number of theaters in one geographical area that could play a movie. They also banned "block booking," a bundling practice where studios forced theaters to play their bad movies along with their good ones or not play any. But that was when "metropolitan areas generally had a single movie theater with one screen that showed a single movie at a time," Mr. Delrahim said. "Today, not only do our metropolitan areas have many multiplex cinemas showing films from different distributors, but much of our movie-watching is not in theaters at all." In essence, he was saying that the regulations are obsolete because of technological advancements, most recently streaming. The National Association of Theater Owners said that abolishing the consent decrees could result in a return to block booking, which many smaller theater owners could not survive. "If distributors can engage in block booking, exhibitors may be forced to pack their screens with global tentpoles at the expense of targeted programming," the association said in its submitted comments, referring to blockbuster films that now dominate the box office. "Consumers will face increasingly limited choices at the box office, and, without the possibility of a theatrical run, many films will no longer be made, limiting the availability of choices through home entertainment platforms as well."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0011223/justice-department-to-abolish-movie-distribution-rules-dating-to-1949?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T03:30:00+00:00
subject
movies
slash
department
outdated-rules
section
entertainment
comments
70
hit_parade
70,67,62,48,10,4,4
feedburner
origlink
https://entertainment.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0011223/justice-department-to-abolish-movie-distribution-rules-dating-to-1949?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Justice Department said on Monday that it planned to overturn antitrust-related movie distribution rules from the early days of Hollywood (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), citing an entertainment landscape that has been radically reshaped by technology. "We cannot pretend that the business of film distribution and exhibition remains the same," Makan Delrahim, the antitrust chief at the Justice Department, said at an American Bar Association conference in Washington. "Changes over the course of more than half a century also have made it unlikely that the remaining defendants can reinstate their cartel." The film distribution rules, known as the Paramount consent decrees, were enacted in 1949, a year after the United States Supreme Court ruled that Hollywood's eight largest studios could not own theaters, and thus control the film business. The regulations made it illegal for studios to unreasonably limit the number of theaters in one geographical area that could play a movie. They also banned "block booking," a bundling practice where studios forced theaters to play their bad movies along with their good ones or not play any. But that was when "metropolitan areas generally had a single movie theater with one screen that showed a single movie at a time," Mr. Delrahim said. "Today, not only do our metropolitan areas have many multiplex cinemas showing films from different distributors, but much of our movie-watching is not in theaters at all." In essence, he was saying that the regulations are obsolete because of technological advancements, most recently streaming. The National Association of Theater Owners said that abolishing the consent decrees could result in a return to block booking, which many smaller theater owners could not survive. "If distributors can engage in block booking, exhibitors may be forced to pack their screens with global tentpoles at the expense of targeted programming," the association said in its submitted comments, referring to blockbuster films that now dominate the box office. "Consumers will face increasingly limited choices at the box office, and, without the possibility of a theatrical run, many films will no longer be made, limiting the availability of choices through home entertainment platforms as well."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

FCC Chairman Wants Public Auction To Repurpose Satellite Bands For 5G
Chairman Ajit Pai is pressing for a public auction of wireless frequencies in the C-band spectrum (the 4GHz to 8GHz range often used by satellite companies) for the sake of 5G service. Engadget reports: This would help the FCC clear up "significant" frequency space in a quick fashion, generate money for the government and "ensure continued delivery" of existing services, Pai argued. He hoped to auction off a 280MHz slice while leaving the upper 200MHz available. An FCC official told the Wall Street Journal that the regulator hoped to bring the C-band auction up for a vote in 2020 and start the auction by the end of that year. Satellite companies, however, might not be so happy. Industry giants like Intelsat and SES haven't been averse to selling their spectrum, but they've wanted a private auction to share the money they make and have claimed the FCC isn't allowed to take in-use spectrum without paying them. A public auction flies in the face of that. The C-Band Alliance, a group representing the satellite firms, has hinted at "protracted litigation" if the FCC pushes forward. Carriers are also of mixed opinions. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, has called C-band an "opportunity" but also wanted compensation and a "reasonable transition plan" to avoid disruptions. Verizon (Engadget's parent company and Pai's former employer) likewise wanted "appropriate incentives and protections" to ensure a quick process.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/002223/fcc-chairman-wants-public-auction-to-repurpose-satellite-bands-for-5g?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T02:10:00+00:00
subject
communications
slash
department
push-comes-to-shove
section
yro
comments
36
hit_parade
36,34,34,24,10,5,4
feedburner
origlink
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/002223/fcc-chairman-wants-public-auction-to-repurpose-satellite-bands-for-5g?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Chairman Ajit Pai is pressing for a public auction of wireless frequencies in the C-band spectrum (the 4GHz to 8GHz range often used by satellite companies) for the sake of 5G service. Engadget reports: This would help the FCC clear up "significant" frequency space in a quick fashion, generate money for the government and "ensure continued delivery" of existing services, Pai argued. He hoped to auction off a 280MHz slice while leaving the upper 200MHz available. An FCC official told the Wall Street Journal that the regulator hoped to bring the C-band auction up for a vote in 2020 and start the auction by the end of that year. Satellite companies, however, might not be so happy. Industry giants like Intelsat and SES haven't been averse to selling their spectrum, but they've wanted a private auction to share the money they make and have claimed the FCC isn't allowed to take in-use spectrum without paying them. A public auction flies in the face of that. The C-Band Alliance, a group representing the satellite firms, has hinted at "protracted litigation" if the FCC pushes forward. Carriers are also of mixed opinions. AT&T, which owns DirecTV, has called C-band an "opportunity" but also wanted compensation and a "reasonable transition plan" to avoid disruptions. Verizon (Engadget's parent company and Pai's former employer) likewise wanted "appropriate incentives and protections" to ensure a quick process.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Valve Announces Half-Life: Alyx, Its First Flagship VR Game
Yesterday, Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, the first new game in the acclaimed Half-Life series in well over a decade. And unlike the previous Half-Life installments, this game will be playable exclusively in virtual reality. The Verge reports: We don't currently have any details beyond the tweet from Valve above, which appears to be the first tweet from a new, Twitter-verified Valve Software account established in June. But clearly, we'll be learning more on Thursday, presumably from this social media account, at 10am PT. Despite being some of the most influential and critically acclaimed PC games ever made, Valve has famously never finished either of its Half-Life supposed trilogies of games. After Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the company created Half-Life: Episode 1 and Half-Life: Episode 2, but no third game in the series. The closest we've come to knowing anything about where Half-Life was headed was this thinly veiled fanfic from former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0020237/valve-announces-half-life-alyx-its-first-flagship-vr-game?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T01:50:00+00:00
subject
entertainment
slash
department
wake-me-up-I-must-be-dreaming
section
hardware
comments
35
hit_parade
35,35,33,23,5,1,0
feedburner
origlink
https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/11/20/0020237/valve-announces-half-life-alyx-its-first-flagship-vr-game?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Yesterday, Valve announced Half-Life: Alyx, the first new game in the acclaimed Half-Life series in well over a decade. And unlike the previous Half-Life installments, this game will be playable exclusively in virtual reality. The Verge reports: We don't currently have any details beyond the tweet from Valve above, which appears to be the first tweet from a new, Twitter-verified Valve Software account established in June. But clearly, we'll be learning more on Thursday, presumably from this social media account, at 10am PT. Despite being some of the most influential and critically acclaimed PC games ever made, Valve has famously never finished either of its Half-Life supposed trilogies of games. After Half-Life and Half-Life 2, the company created Half-Life: Episode 1 and Half-Life: Episode 2, but no third game in the series. The closest we've come to knowing anything about where Half-Life was headed was this thinly veiled fanfic from former Valve writer Marc Laidlaw.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ask Slashdot: What Happened To Holographic Data Storage?
dryriver writes: In an episode of the BBC's Tomorrow's World broadcasted all the way back in 1984, a presenter shows hands-on how a laser hologram of a real-world object can be recorded onto a transparent plastic medium, erased again by heating the plastic with an electric current, and then re-recorded differently. The presenter states that computer scientists are very interested in holograms because the future of digital data storage may lie in them. This was 35 years ago. Holographic data storage for PCs, smartphones, etc. still is not available commercially. Why is this? Are data storage holograms too difficult to create? Or did nobody do enough research on the subject, getting us all stuck with mechanical hard disks and SSDs instead? Where are the hologram drives that appeared "so promising" three decades ago?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://science.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2356238/ask-slashdot-what-happened-to-holographic-data-storage?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T01:30:00+00:00
subject
storage
slash
department
future-tech
section
science
comments
52
hit_parade
52,50,44,37,12,5,2
feedburner
origlink
https://science.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2356238/ask-slashdot-what-happened-to-holographic-data-storage?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
dryriver writes: In an episode of the BBC's Tomorrow's World broadcasted all the way back in 1984, a presenter shows hands-on how a laser hologram of a real-world object can be recorded onto a transparent plastic medium, erased again by heating the plastic with an electric current, and then re-recorded differently. The presenter states that computer scientists are very interested in holograms because the future of digital data storage may lie in them. This was 35 years ago. Holographic data storage for PCs, smartphones, etc. still is not available commercially. Why is this? Are data storage holograms too difficult to create? Or did nobody do enough research on the subject, getting us all stuck with mechanical hard disks and SSDs instead? Where are the hologram drives that appeared "so promising" three decades ago?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Senator Introduces Bill That Would Block US Companies From Storing Data In China
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Monday introduced a bill that would curtail the flow of sensitive information about people in the U.S. to China through large tech companies like Apple and TikTok. Hawley's legislation would place new and wide-reaching limitations on companies with ties to China such as TikTok, the mega-popular social media platform owned by a Chinese firm, and Apple, an American company that builds many of its components in mainland China. The bill, called the National Security and Personal Data Protection Act, would subject a litany of companies with ties to countries of "national security concern," including Russia and China, to a new privacy regime. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also signed onto the bill on Monday. Hawley's bill would apply to tech companies that are subject to Chinese or Russian law, or are under the jurisdiction of those countries in a way that would allow those governments to access user data without "respect for civil liberties and privacy," according to the bill. Those companies would not be allowed to collect private data beyond what is required to run their services or transfer data on U.S. users to countries of concern. They would also be required to store information on U.S. users in the United States itself, and would have to submit a yearly report proving their compliance with the law once a year to the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. attorney general, and all state attorneys general.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/224220/senator-introduces-bill-that-would-block-us-companies-from-storing-data-in-china?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T00:50:00+00:00
subject
government
slash
department
cease-and-desist
section
yro
comments
40
hit_parade
40,40,38,35,8,4,3
feedburner
origlink
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/224220/senator-introduces-bill-that-would-block-us-companies-from-storing-data-in-china?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) on Monday introduced a bill that would curtail the flow of sensitive information about people in the U.S. to China through large tech companies like Apple and TikTok. Hawley's legislation would place new and wide-reaching limitations on companies with ties to China such as TikTok, the mega-popular social media platform owned by a Chinese firm, and Apple, an American company that builds many of its components in mainland China. The bill, called the National Security and Personal Data Protection Act, would subject a litany of companies with ties to countries of "national security concern," including Russia and China, to a new privacy regime. Sens. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) also signed onto the bill on Monday. Hawley's bill would apply to tech companies that are subject to Chinese or Russian law, or are under the jurisdiction of those countries in a way that would allow those governments to access user data without "respect for civil liberties and privacy," according to the bill. Those companies would not be allowed to collect private data beyond what is required to run their services or transfer data on U.S. users to countries of concern. They would also be required to store information on U.S. users in the United States itself, and would have to submit a yearly report proving their compliance with the law once a year to the Federal Trade Commission, the U.S. attorney general, and all state attorneys general.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Disney+ Fans Without Answers After Thousands Hacked
Many Disney+ users who have had their accounts stolen and put up for sale on the dark web say that Disney has yet to sort their problems. The firm says it does not believe its systems have been compromised, suggesting that members' details have been stolen by other means. The BBC reports: On November 12, its first day live, people had technical problems and many complained on social media. Others said they were locked out of their accounts, and since they contacted Disney they have not heard back. According to an investigation by ZDNet, thousands of user accounts went on sale on the dark web. Only hours after the service launched, hackers were selling Disney+ accounts for as little as $3. A subscription to the service costs $7 a month. With the help of a cyber-security researcher, the BBC also found several hacked customer accounts for sale on the dark web. Many say they used unique userIDs and passwords to access the streaming platform. But Jason Hill, a lead researcher with CyberInt, says it looks like many were stolen because people use the same passwords for different sites. Mr Hill said that hackers can lift someone's password from a different site which has previously been hacked and then try it on a new site, like Disney+. If it works, they steal the account. The streaming service does not have two-factor authentication. Others are concerned because they can use their Disney+ login to access other products the company provides, like the Disney store and its recreation parks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://it.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2157245/disney-fans-without-answers-after-thousands-hacked?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-20T00:10:00+00:00
subject
security
slash
department
crickets-chirping
section
it
comments
29
hit_parade
29,28,28,25,7,4,2
feedburner
origlink
https://it.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2157245/disney-fans-without-answers-after-thousands-hacked?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Many Disney+ users who have had their accounts stolen and put up for sale on the dark web say that Disney has yet to sort their problems. The firm says it does not believe its systems have been compromised, suggesting that members' details have been stolen by other means. The BBC reports: On November 12, its first day live, people had technical problems and many complained on social media. Others said they were locked out of their accounts, and since they contacted Disney they have not heard back. According to an investigation by ZDNet, thousands of user accounts went on sale on the dark web. Only hours after the service launched, hackers were selling Disney+ accounts for as little as $3. A subscription to the service costs $7 a month. With the help of a cyber-security researcher, the BBC also found several hacked customer accounts for sale on the dark web. Many say they used unique userIDs and passwords to access the streaming platform. But Jason Hill, a lead researcher with CyberInt, says it looks like many were stolen because people use the same passwords for different sites. Mr Hill said that hackers can lift someone's password from a different site which has previously been hacked and then try it on a new site, like Disney+. If it works, they steal the account. The streaming service does not have two-factor authentication. Others are concerned because they can use their Disney+ login to access other products the company provides, like the Disney store and its recreation parks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google Is Putting An Algorithmic Audio News Feed On Its Assistant
Google is adding an algorithmically determined news feed to its Google Assistant via a new service it's calling "Your News Update." The Verge reports: Google uses the information it has learned about you over the years alongside your location to custom-build a series of short news updates from partners from which it has licensed audio. It hopes to foster an ecosystem it's calling "the audio web," according to Liz Gannes, Google's product manager of audio news. These aren't podcasts so much as news bites, similar to the hourly news updates that can be heard on the radio. Your News Update replaces the current way of getting news updates from Assistant, which consists of a straightforward list of news sources. With that system, you have to choose which sources you want and what order they're played in. Before, you would have had to ask for the news and hear the hourly update from NPR, then The Daily from The New York Times, then CNN (or whichever news sources you chose). Now, you will hear individual, topic-specific news bites from Google's news partners. And instead of it cycling hourly or daily, it will play based on those topics. Google says that once Your News Update goes live, users will be able to choose between either the new system or the original one.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2149240/google-is-putting-an-algorithmic-audio-news-feed-on-its-assistant?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-19T23:30:00+00:00
subject
google
slash
department
personalized-news
section
news
comments
17
hit_parade
17,16,15,15,1,0,0
feedburner
origlink
https://news.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2149240/google-is-putting-an-algorithmic-audio-news-feed-on-its-assistant?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Google is adding an algorithmically determined news feed to its Google Assistant via a new service it's calling "Your News Update." The Verge reports: Google uses the information it has learned about you over the years alongside your location to custom-build a series of short news updates from partners from which it has licensed audio. It hopes to foster an ecosystem it's calling "the audio web," according to Liz Gannes, Google's product manager of audio news. These aren't podcasts so much as news bites, similar to the hourly news updates that can be heard on the radio. Your News Update replaces the current way of getting news updates from Assistant, which consists of a straightforward list of news sources. With that system, you have to choose which sources you want and what order they're played in. Before, you would have had to ask for the news and hear the hourly update from NPR, then The Daily from The New York Times, then CNN (or whichever news sources you chose). Now, you will hear individual, topic-specific news bites from Google's news partners. And instead of it cycling hourly or daily, it will play based on those topics. Google says that once Your News Update goes live, users will be able to choose between either the new system or the original one.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Cops Put GPS Tracker On Man's Car, Charge Him With Theft For Removing It
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Back in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled that it's illegal for the police to attach a GPS tracking device to someone's car without a warrant. But what if you find a GPS tracking device on your car? Can you remove it? A little more than a year ago, the state of Indiana charged a suspected drug dealer [Derek Heuring] with theft for removing a government-owned GPS tracking device from his SUV. This month, the state's Supreme Court began considering the case, and some justices seemed skeptical of the government's argument. "I'm really struggling with how is that theft," said Justice Steven David during recent oral arguments. At trial, Heuring's legal team argued that the search had been illegal because the police didn't have probable cause to believe their client had committed theft. The defense pointed out that the device could have fallen off the car by accident or simply malfunctioned. Even if Heuring did take the device off the vehicle, he couldn't have known for sure that it belonged to the government. It wasn't exactly labeled as the property of the Warrick County Sheriff's Office. Most important, it's not clear that taking an unwanted device off your car is theft -- even if you know who it belongs to. With the case now at the state Supreme Court, the stakes are high. If Heuring can show that the police lacked probable cause to search his house, he could get all of the evidence gathered in the search thrown out -- not only evidence of GPS device theft, but evidence of drug dealing, too. In July, an appellate court ruled against Heuring, "leading to the case reaching the Indiana Supreme Court earlier this month," the report says. "Initially, multiple justices seemed skeptical of the idea that taking a tracking device off your own car amounted to theft." "If somebody wants to find me to do harm to me and it's not the police and they put a tracking device on my car and I find a tracking device and I dispose of it after stomping on it 25 times, I would hope they would not be able to go to a local prosecutor and somehow I'm getting charges filed against me for destroying someone else's property," Justice David said.

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https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2143257/cops-put-gps-tracker-on-mans-car-charge-him-with-theft-for-removing-it?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
BeauHD
date
2019-11-19T22:50:00+00:00
subject
crime
slash
department
tracking-devices
section
yro
comments
175
hit_parade
175,168,154,125,34,18,13
feedburner
origlink
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/2143257/cops-put-gps-tracker-on-mans-car-charge-him-with-theft-for-removing-it?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Back in 2012, the US Supreme Court ruled that it's illegal for the police to attach a GPS tracking device to someone's car without a warrant. But what if you find a GPS tracking device on your car? Can you remove it? A little more than a year ago, the state of Indiana charged a suspected drug dealer [Derek Heuring] with theft for removing a government-owned GPS tracking device from his SUV. This month, the state's Supreme Court began considering the case, and some justices seemed skeptical of the government's argument. "I'm really struggling with how is that theft," said Justice Steven David during recent oral arguments. At trial, Heuring's legal team argued that the search had been illegal because the police didn't have probable cause to believe their client had committed theft. The defense pointed out that the device could have fallen off the car by accident or simply malfunctioned. Even if Heuring did take the device off the vehicle, he couldn't have known for sure that it belonged to the government. It wasn't exactly labeled as the property of the Warrick County Sheriff's Office. Most important, it's not clear that taking an unwanted device off your car is theft -- even if you know who it belongs to. With the case now at the state Supreme Court, the stakes are high. If Heuring can show that the police lacked probable cause to search his house, he could get all of the evidence gathered in the search thrown out -- not only evidence of GPS device theft, but evidence of drug dealing, too. In July, an appellate court ruled against Heuring, "leading to the case reaching the Indiana Supreme Court earlier this month," the report says. "Initially, multiple justices seemed skeptical of the idea that taking a tracking device off your own car amounted to theft." "If somebody wants to find me to do harm to me and it's not the police and they put a tracking device on my car and I find a tracking device and I dispose of it after stomping on it 25 times, I would hope they would not be able to go to a local prosecutor and somehow I'm getting charges filed against me for destroying someone else's property," Justice David said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Senators Ask Zuckerberg To Explain Why Facebook Still Tracks Users' Location Even When They Have Asked it Not To
Two senators are asking Facebook to "respect" users' decisions to keep their location data from the company. From a report: In a letter sent Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to respond to questions about how the company collects location data through the new operating systems for Apple's iPhones and Google's Android. Both Google and Apple updated their operating systems earlier this year to give users more control and insight into which apps can access their location data. Anticipating those changes, Facebook released a blog post in September explaining that even if users opt out of letting Facebook collect their data, it could still determine users' locations in other ways, like through check-ins and users' internet connections. "If a user has decided to limit Facebook's access to his or her location, Facebook should respect these privacy choices," the senators, members of the Judiciary Committee, wrote in the letter to Zuckerberg. "The language in the blog post, however, indicates that Facebook may continue to collect location data despite user preferences, even if the user is not engaging with the app, and Facebook is simply deducing the user's location from information about his or her internet connection. Given that most mobile devices are connected to the internet nearly all the time, whether through a cellular network or a Wi-Fi connection, this practice would allow Facebook to collect user location data almost constantly, irrespective of the user's privacy preferences. Users who have selected a restrictive location services option could reasonably be under the misimpression that their selection limits all of Facebook's efforts to extract location information."

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https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1742233/senators-ask-zuckerberg-to-explain-why-facebook-still-tracks-users-location-even-when-they-have-asked-it-not-to?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
msmash
date
2019-11-19T22:10:00+00:00
subject
facebook
slash
department
tussle-continues
section
technology
comments
33
hit_parade
33,33,32,27,3,1,0
feedburner
origlink
https://tech.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1742233/senators-ask-zuckerberg-to-explain-why-facebook-still-tracks-users-location-even-when-they-have-asked-it-not-to?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Two senators are asking Facebook to "respect" users' decisions to keep their location data from the company. From a report: In a letter sent Tuesday, Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Mo., and Sen. Chris Coons, D-Del., asked Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg to respond to questions about how the company collects location data through the new operating systems for Apple's iPhones and Google's Android. Both Google and Apple updated their operating systems earlier this year to give users more control and insight into which apps can access their location data. Anticipating those changes, Facebook released a blog post in September explaining that even if users opt out of letting Facebook collect their data, it could still determine users' locations in other ways, like through check-ins and users' internet connections. "If a user has decided to limit Facebook's access to his or her location, Facebook should respect these privacy choices," the senators, members of the Judiciary Committee, wrote in the letter to Zuckerberg. "The language in the blog post, however, indicates that Facebook may continue to collect location data despite user preferences, even if the user is not engaging with the app, and Facebook is simply deducing the user's location from information about his or her internet connection. Given that most mobile devices are connected to the internet nearly all the time, whether through a cellular network or a Wi-Fi connection, this practice would allow Facebook to collect user location data almost constantly, irrespective of the user's privacy preferences. Users who have selected a restrictive location services option could reasonably be under the misimpression that their selection limits all of Facebook's efforts to extract location information."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

The Flat-Earth Conspiracy Continues To Spread Around the Globe
An anonymous reader shares a report: "I don't want to be a flat Earther," David Weiss says, his voice weary as he reflects on his personal awakening. "Would you wake up in the morning and want everyone to think you're an idiot?" But Weiss is a flat Earther. Ever since he tried and failed to find proof of the Earth's curve four years ago, he's believed with an evident passion that our planet is both flat and stationary -- and it's turned his world upside down. [...] People in every pocket of this spherical planet are rejecting science and spreading the word that the Earth is flat. There's no clear study indicating how many people have been convinced -- and flat Earthers like Weiss will tell you without evidence there are millions more in the closet anyway, including Hollywood A-listers and commercial airline pilots -- but online communities have hundreds of thousands of followers and YouTube is inundated with flat-Earth content creators, whose productions reach millions. A YouGov survey of more than 8,000 American adults suggested last year that as many as one in six Americans are not entirely certain the world is round, while a 2019 Datafolha Institute survey of more than 2,000 Brazilian adults indicated that 7% of people in that country reject that concept, according to local media. The flat-Earth community has its own celebrities, music, merchandise -- and a weighty catalog of pseudo-scientific theories. It's been the subject of a Netflix documentary and has been endorsed by figures including the rapper B.o.B. Each year, more flat-Earth events fill the calendar, organizers say.

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https://science.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/193211/the-flat-earth-conspiracy-continues-to-spread-around-the-globe?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
msmash
date
2019-11-19T21:30:00+00:00
subject
earth
slash
department
stranger-things
section
science
comments
297
hit_parade
297,295,273,223,58,22,11
feedburner
origlink
https://science.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/193211/the-flat-earth-conspiracy-continues-to-spread-around-the-globe?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
An anonymous reader shares a report: "I don't want to be a flat Earther," David Weiss says, his voice weary as he reflects on his personal awakening. "Would you wake up in the morning and want everyone to think you're an idiot?" But Weiss is a flat Earther. Ever since he tried and failed to find proof of the Earth's curve four years ago, he's believed with an evident passion that our planet is both flat and stationary -- and it's turned his world upside down. [...] People in every pocket of this spherical planet are rejecting science and spreading the word that the Earth is flat. There's no clear study indicating how many people have been convinced -- and flat Earthers like Weiss will tell you without evidence there are millions more in the closet anyway, including Hollywood A-listers and commercial airline pilots -- but online communities have hundreds of thousands of followers and YouTube is inundated with flat-Earth content creators, whose productions reach millions. A YouGov survey of more than 8,000 American adults suggested last year that as many as one in six Americans are not entirely certain the world is round, while a 2019 Datafolha Institute survey of more than 2,000 Brazilian adults indicated that 7% of people in that country reject that concept, according to local media. The flat-Earth community has its own celebrities, music, merchandise -- and a weighty catalog of pseudo-scientific theories. It's been the subject of a Netflix documentary and has been endorsed by figures including the rapper B.o.B. Each year, more flat-Earth events fill the calendar, organizers say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Xiaomi Integrates Earthquake Alert System Into MIUI OS
Xiaomi today unveiled a new iteration of its virtual assistant Xiao Ai and shared a new feature of Android-based MIUI operating system as the publicly listed Chinese technology group pushes to expand its internet services ecosystem. From a report: At its annual Mi Developer conference in Beijing, the company said it is integrating an earthquake warning function into MIUI for select users in China, with plans to expand it nationwide soon. The integration, touted as the first of its kind globally, will enable alerts to be sent to smartphones running MIUI 11 and Mi TV "seconds to tens of seconds" before the quake waves arrive, Xiaomi said. The feature, which was first tested in September this year, has been developed in partnership with Institute of Care-life, a Chengdu-based organization focusing on natural disaster warning. Xiaomi said it has activated the feature for the earthquake-prone Sichuan Province and plans to expand it elsewhere in the nation soon. Wang Tun, head of the institute, said this function, unlike those available through apps in some countries, works more efficiently and does not rely on a working internet connection.

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about
https://slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1750258/xiaomi-integrates-earthquake-alert-system-into-miui-os?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
msmash
date
2019-11-19T20:50:00+00:00
subject
android
slash
department
moving-forward
section
slashdot
comments
9
hit_parade
9,8,7,7,0,0,0
feedburner
origlink
https://slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1750258/xiaomi-integrates-earthquake-alert-system-into-miui-os?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Xiaomi today unveiled a new iteration of its virtual assistant Xiao Ai and shared a new feature of Android-based MIUI operating system as the publicly listed Chinese technology group pushes to expand its internet services ecosystem. From a report: At its annual Mi Developer conference in Beijing, the company said it is integrating an earthquake warning function into MIUI for select users in China, with plans to expand it nationwide soon. The integration, touted as the first of its kind globally, will enable alerts to be sent to smartphones running MIUI 11 and Mi TV "seconds to tens of seconds" before the quake waves arrive, Xiaomi said. The feature, which was first tested in September this year, has been developed in partnership with Institute of Care-life, a Chengdu-based organization focusing on natural disaster warning. Xiaomi said it has activated the feature for the earthquake-prone Sichuan Province and plans to expand it elsewhere in the nation soon. Wang Tun, head of the institute, said this function, unlike those available through apps in some countries, works more efficiently and does not rely on a working internet connection.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Antivirus Vendors and Non-Profits Join To Form 'Coalition Against Stalkerware'
Ten organizations today announced the creation of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, the first global initiative of its kind, with the sole purpose of fighting against stalkerware. From a report: Also known as spouseware, stalkerware is a smaller category of the spyware class. Stalkerware refers to apps that abusive partners install on the devices of their loved ones without their knowledge or consent. They contain features that allow the abuser to track their significant other's geographical location, web browsing habits, social media activity, log keystrokes inside instant messaging apps, retrieve photos, or even record audio and video without the owner's knowledge. Stalkerware apps are available for both mobile and desktop operating systems and are often sold commercially under the guise of child trackers, pet trackers, phone-finding apps, remote access toolkits, and so on. This kind of apps live in a gray area of the current app ecosystem where they can be used for both legitimate and criminal purposes, giving app makers an easy excuse when confronted with abuse reports from victims -- albeit some apps are more blatant and advertise themselves as a way to catch cheating girlfriends, although, these cases are rare.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1935205/antivirus-vendors-and-non-profits-join-to-form-coalition-against-stalkerware?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
msmash
date
2019-11-19T20:10:00+00:00
subject
privacy
slash
department
taking-steps
section
yro
comments
22
hit_parade
22,21,17,15,2,0,0
feedburner
origlink
https://yro.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1935205/antivirus-vendors-and-non-profits-join-to-form-coalition-against-stalkerware?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
Ten organizations today announced the creation of the Coalition Against Stalkerware, the first global initiative of its kind, with the sole purpose of fighting against stalkerware. From a report: Also known as spouseware, stalkerware is a smaller category of the spyware class. Stalkerware refers to apps that abusive partners install on the devices of their loved ones without their knowledge or consent. They contain features that allow the abuser to track their significant other's geographical location, web browsing habits, social media activity, log keystrokes inside instant messaging apps, retrieve photos, or even record audio and video without the owner's knowledge. Stalkerware apps are available for both mobile and desktop operating systems and are often sold commercially under the guise of child trackers, pet trackers, phone-finding apps, remote access toolkits, and so on. This kind of apps live in a gray area of the current app ecosystem where they can be used for both legitimate and criminal purposes, giving app makers an easy excuse when confronted with abuse reports from victims -- albeit some apps are more blatant and advertise themselves as a way to catch cheating girlfriends, although, these cases are rare.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Secretive Energy Startup Backed By Bill Gates Achieves Solar Breakthrough
A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet. From a report: Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. Essentially, Heliogen created a solar oven -- one capable of reaching temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you'd find on the surface of the sun. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution. "We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO, told CNN Business. "And that's really the holy grail."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

about
https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1856245/secretive-energy-startup-backed-by-bill-gates-achieves-solar-breakthrough?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
dc
creator
msmash
date
2019-11-19T19:10:00+00:00
subject
power
slash
department
marching-forward
section
hardware
comments
133
hit_parade
133,130,114,99,26,9,4
feedburner
origlink
https://hardware.slashdot.org/story/19/11/19/1856245/secretive-energy-startup-backed-by-bill-gates-achieves-solar-breakthrough?utm_source=rss1.0mainlinkanon&utm_medium=feed
summary
A secretive startup backed by Bill Gates has achieved a solar breakthrough aimed at saving the planet. From a report: Heliogen, a clean energy company that emerged from stealth mode on Tuesday, said it has discovered a way to use artificial intelligence and a field of mirrors to reflect so much sunlight that it generates extreme heat above 1,000 degrees Celsius. Essentially, Heliogen created a solar oven -- one capable of reaching temperatures that are roughly a quarter of what you'd find on the surface of the sun. The breakthrough means that, for the first time, concentrated solar energy can be used to create the extreme heat required to make cement, steel, glass and other industrial processes. In other words, carbon-free sunlight can replace fossil fuels in a heavy carbon-emitting corner of the economy that has been untouched by the clean energy revolution. "We are rolling out technology that can beat the price of fossil fuels and also not make the CO2 emissions," Bill Gross, Heliogen's founder and CEO, told CNN Business. "And that's really the holy grail."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.


#
Some notes:
re: autodiscovery... some of the blo.gs entries actually already have the rss link included... and I'm currently thinking about using a AmpetaDesk like bookmarklet to add geeds to my list

re: sorting of feeds:
The reader itself 'remembers' the feeds I've viewed and ranks them after the last time I accessed/viewed them. It's a very simple form of interst filtering. Feeds I don't view go down, the ones I'm really interested in go up.


alles Bild, Text und Tonmaterial ist © Martin Spernau, Verwendung und Reproduktion erfordert die Zustimmung des Authors

Martin Spernau
© 1994-2019


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