Daily Report: A Net Neutrality Setback for Facebook in India
In the United States, the social media giant has been an advocate of equal treatment of all Internet content. In India, regulators who share that belief have effectively blocked a free Facebook service.
Swype keyboard was a huge influence on the Android keyboard world. For many of us, it brought the swiping gesture to our attention and became a big part of our daily lives. Many keyboards tried to replicate it, but for a while Swype was easily the best. It was even loaded [...]
Back in September 2017, Sony’s Managing Director in India teased a big change for the company in terms of smartphone design, saying that Sony’s newest flagship would arrive “soon” but keeping most of the details a mystery.
Now, with Mobile World Congress taking place next week, the official Sony [...]
Top 5 most popular Android apps from last week: Phone, Readably
Every week we cover new Android apps with Fresh Meat on Wednesday, followed by Android Gaming on Thursday and Top 10 App Updates on Friday. When Monday rolls around, we look back to see which apps were the most appealing to our audience. Read on for the five most popular Android apps from last week. These apps are ones [...]
Semiconductor and LCD equipment supplier Csun Manufacturing has reported net profits of NT$403 million (US$13.79 million) for 2017, increasing 91.9% on year. The earnings translated into an EPS of NT$2.70 for the year, the highest in seven years.
APeJ public cloud services spending to reach US$15 billion in 2018, says IDC
Asia Pacific excluding Japan (APeJ) spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach US$15.08 billion in 2018, an increase of 35.66% over 2017, according to IDC. The market is expected to hit a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 32.58% in public cloud services spending, or a total of US$32.27 billion in 2021.
Qualcomm enters into amended definitive agreement with NXP
Qualcomm has announced that Qualcomm River Holdings, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of Qualcomm, has reached an agreement with NXP Semiconductors to increase to US$127.50 per share its previously announced cash tender offer to purchase all outstanding shares of NXP. The amended agreement, which was approved by the boards of directors of both Qualcomm and NXP, also lowers the minimum tender condition from 80% of NXP's outstanding shares to 70%.
Huawei to use more smartphone SoCs from HiSilicon in 2018, says report
Huawei is expected to increase the adoption of smartphone solutions from its chipset subsidiary, HiSilicon Technologies, in 2018 which will add more pressure on Qualcomm and MediaTek, according to a Chinese-language Economic Daily News report.
E-paper solution provider E Ink Holdings (EIH) has settled disputes with ex-employees of its Korea-based subsidiary Hydis Technologies through conciliation efforts initiated by Korea's high civil court, according to a company announcement.
Gallant Technologies Commercializes Homemade Explosive Training Aid Licensed from Johns Hopkins APL
NATIONAL HARBOR, Md., Feb. 20, 2018 -- Gallant Technologies Inc., a small business located in Maryland, has successfully transitioned the technology for a revolutionary, non-detonable explosives training aid developed and licensed from the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) under funding from the Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate (DHS S&T). The TA-SPOT® and HM-SPOT® training aids directly address the rising threat from homemade explosives like HMTD and TATP, known as the "Mother of Satan" due to its inherent instability, by allowing the country's explosive detection canines and sensor systems to train on the real explosive odor, without the threat of injury.
After testing existing products on the market, DHS identified the need for a high-quality, safe training aid for homemade explosives that can be used in operational training scenarios without the logistical burden and safety hazards associated with using pure explosives. Unlike existing simulant-based training aids, the JHU/APL-developed training aid starts by manufacturing high-quality explosive and then renders it safe using a proprietary process without contributing any additional odors that may confound canine handler teams. As a key customer of DHS S&T, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) mandates that canine teams train using only real explosive material, such as that found in the new training aid.
Gallant Technologies has heavily invested in the transition of the training aid from research to a commercial product making it widely available to the Federal, State, and Local government marketplace. Manufacturing high-quality, neat explosives as the base material requires a level of quality control, safety processes, and regulatory hurdles not required for some competing products. Gallant Technologies has successfully begun production, performed the required quality testing rounds, obtained Department of Transportation shipping classification allowing unrestricted shipping, and obtained an Export Control Classification Number allowing overseas shipping.
The HM-SPOT® and TA-SPOT® training aids enable regular training in operational scenarios with a low logistical burden. Pure explosive molecules enable training and assessment of canine teams, multiple sensor-based detection technologies, and security operations protocols. To date, Gallant Technologies has manufactured thousands of training aids and has delivered small quantities to the TSA, law enforcement agencies, research groups, and independent quality assurance laboratories. Gallant Technologies is looking forward to supporting emerging and existing contracts to enable broad distribution of this capability-enhancing product.
The training aid is sold under the TA-SPOT® and HM-SPOT® product lines. More information on this revolutionary product can be found at the company's web site (www.gallant.tech).
South Korea wins Most Powerful Passport in the World - New record position shared with Singapore
MONTREAL, Feb. 20, 2018 - The PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympic Games isn't the only thing South Korea is proud of this February. As the world tunes in, South Korea takes the lead with the world's most powerful passport. Ranking with an impressive visa-free score of 162, South Korea joins Singapore at the top of The Passport Index ranking for the first time, ever.
The Passport Index is the world authority on passport ranking. Used by governments from around the world to monitor and increase the power of their passports, The Passport Index is the most recognized and trusted service with over 12 million users and counting. South Korea tied with Singapore as the most powerful passport in the world (CNW Group/Passport Index)
Although European countries historically dominated the charts, with Germany at the top, 2017 saw the rise of Asia. In late 2017 Singapore took the lead as the first Asian country ever to top the world's most powerful passports. By December 2017, Germany caught up but it wasn't for too long.
"We are currently seeing not one but two Asian countries with the most powerful passports in the world," shared Armand Arton founder and president of Arton Capital. "This is a testament to the increased global respect and trust Asian countries are commanding," added Arton.
Recent changes were mainly driven by Uzbekistan granting visa-free access to South Korea and Singapore, as well as recent adjustments to visa policies in Somalia. With South Korea's visa-free score of 162, South Korean passport holders have access to many European, North American and Asian countries, including The United States of America, Canada, Russia and others.
Japan quietly moved up to number two place in the Global Passport Power ranking with a visa-free score of 161. Although tied with Germany, Japan has fewer visa-free waivers than Germany which puts it fourth in the Individual Passport Power Ranking. The Passport Index gives equal scores to both visa-free and visa on arrival conditions that add up to make the country's visa-free score.
"Thanks to The Passport Index' first-ever and unique real-time ranking, we are able to witness the volatility of the passport power trends," shared Arton. Daily changes affect the positions of most passports but it is important to note that overall the world is opening up. According to Arton, "People don't like imaginary borders that set boundaries to their opportunities in life." "Having multiple passports has become the new norm and people who haven't invested in this privilege feel anxious and left out," added Arton.
The World Openness Score as measured by The Passport Index has never been higher and has passed the 19,000 mark for the first time. The World Openness Score monitors how frictionless global travel is and since its inception in 2014, it has gained over 1,000 points.
The Passport Index issues eye-catching certificates to top position holders. Referred to as "art pieces," past certificates have been issued to Singapore, the United Arab Emirates, and others.
Between South Korea's charming countryside dotted with cherry trees, century old Buddhist temples, iconic sub-tropical islands, and ambitiously diverse cities such as Seoul, it is its moment to boast its 5000+ years of history and culture for the world to admire.
"Passion. Connected." is the official slogan for the PyeongChang 2018 Winter Olympics hosted in South Korea. "The new slogan embodies our vision to expand winter sports participation to a truly global audience and encourage people to create and share their once-in-a-lifetime experiences at PyeongChang," said PyeongChang Organizing Committee President, Yang-ho Cho.
About The Passport Index The Passport Index is the world authority on real-time global passport ranking. Used by governments from around the world to monitor and increase the power of their passports, The Passport Index is the most recognized and trusted service with over 12 million users to date. Users enjoy in the fascinating world of passports, explore their designs, sort them (by country, region and even by color), compare them side-by-side, and see how to improve their Global Mobility Score.
NASA Invites Media to View SLS Test Hardware Moving to NASA Barge
HUNTSVILLE, Ala., Feb. 20, 2018 -- Media are invited to NASA's rocket factory, the Michoud Assembly Facility in New Orleans, at 7 a.m. CST on Thursday, Feb. 22, to view recently completed test hardware for America's new deep-space rocket, the Space Launch System.
Media will have the opportunity to view a structural test version of the SLS intertank as it is moved for loading onto NASA's barge Pegasus to be shipped to the Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama, where it will undergo critical testing. The test article will be moved on new ground support vehicles designed especially for transporting large rocket components. Positioned between the rocket's two colossal fuel tanks, the intertank is a rigid structure that will connect the solid rocket boosters to the core stage. The intertank also houses much of the avionics computers and electronics that will control the rocket in flight.
Interested media should contact Tracy McMahan at email@example.com no later than noon, Wednesday, Feb. 21, and report at 7 a.m., Thursday, Feb. 22, to Michoud's Building 101 at 13800 Old Gentilly Road. Participating media must be U.S. citizens with valid media credentials and a government-issued photo ID. Long pants and closed-toe shoes with heals smaller than 2 inches are required.
SLS will enable a new era of exploration beyond Earth's orbit, launching astronauts in NASA's Orion spacecraft on deep-space exploration missions to the Moon and eventually to Mars. The delivery and subsequent testing of the intertank will mark significant progress toward the rocket's first flight in 2019.
Media will have the opportunity to view additional SLS hardware and the SLS core stage Pathfinder -- a life-size replica of the 212-foot-tall core stage used to practice critical operations without the risk of damaging valuable flight hardware. NASA officials will be available for interviews.
The intertank will be the second major core stage component built at Michoud and delivered to Marshall for testing. The engine section was delivered in May 2017, and Marshall engineers recently completed an extensive test series on the hardware. Delivery is scheduled later this year for the liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen tanks.
Each test article, which is structurally identical to flight hardware, will undergo extensive structural testing to verify the rocket can withstand the extreme forces expected during launch and flight.
To ferry the test and flight hardware for SLS, NASA modified the barge Pegasus, increasing its length and weight-carrying capacity to carry the entire SLS core stage, which is 50 feet longer and more than 600,000 pounds heavier with support equipment than the space shuttle external tank.
CEA Report: The Cost of Malicious Cyber Activity to the U.S. Economy
Today, the Council of Economic Advisers (CEA) released a report detailing the economic costs of malicious cyber activity on the U.S. economy. Please see below for the executive summary and read the full report here.
This report examines the substantial economic costs that malicious cyber activity imposes on the U.S. economy. Cyber threats are ever-evolving and may come from sophisticated adversaries. Due to common vulnerabilities, instances of security breaches occur across firms and in patterns that are difficult to anticipate. Importantly, cyberattacks and cyber theft impose externalities that may lead to rational underinvestment in cybersecurity by the private sector. Firms in critical infrastructure sectors may generate especially large negative spillover effects into the wider economy. Successful protection against cyber threats requires accurate data and cooperation across firms and between private and public sectors.
• We estimate that malicious cyber activity cost the U.S. economy between $57 billion and $109 billion in 2016.
• Malicious cyber activity directed at private and public entities manifests as denial of service attacks, data and property destruction, business disruption (sometimes for the purpose of collecting ransoms) and theft of proprietary data, intellectual property, and sensitive financial and strategic information.
• Damages from cyberattacks and cyber theft may spill over from the initial target to economically linked firms, thereby magnifying the damage to the economy.
• Firms share common cyber vulnerabilities, causing cyber threats to be correlated across firms. The limited understanding of these common vulnerabilities impedes the development of the cyber insurance market.
• Scarce data and insufficient information sharing impede cybersecurity efforts and slow down the development of the cyber insurance market.
• Cybersecurity is a common good; lax cybersecurity imposes negative externalities on other economic entities and on private citizens. Failure to account for these negative externalities results in underinvestment in cybersecurity by the private sector relative to the socially optimal level of investment.
• Cyberattacks against critical infrastructure sectors could be highly damaging to the U.S. economy.
Assess Cyber Threats and Collaborate on Best Practices
CHEVY CHASE, Md.-- Cybersecurity leaders from Asia, Europe, the Middle East and the U.S., including the Department of Defense, the National Security Agency and the Department of Homeland Security, are on the agenda for a one-day deep dive into global threat assessment and solutions at the 3rd Annual Billington International Cybersecurity Summit March 21, Washington, D.C.
As cyber threats continue to plague and undermine governments and private sector organizations around the world, it's imperative that cybersecurity operators and leaders meet and partner to share knowledge and best practices to combat these increasing cyber threats.
Kicking off the program is David Koh, the newly appointed Cyber Commissioner of Singapore. Singapore has just enacted a far-reaching law that gives the cyber commissioner extensive powers over what it deems critical infrastructure industry companies. In the first U.S. speech since the new law's enactment, Koh will offer his view on how Singapore's new law will strengthen his country's and the region's cyber defenses.
Also keynoting is Essye Miller, the acting chief information security officer for the Department of Defense. Ms. Miller will outline DoD's cyber priorities. Cyber has become an increasingly important force in the U.S. defensive and offensive posture around the world. In her position as acting CIO for the Department of Defense, Ms. Miller's portfolio includes coordinating cybersecurity policies, standards and procedures with other federal agencies, coalition partners and industry.
Other keynote speakers at the summit are:
Update from the Frontlines -- Facing the New Digital Battlefield
Ambassador Sorin Ducaru, Senior Fellow, Hudson Institute; Former Assistant Secretary General for Emerging Security Challenges, NATO
U.S. National Security Systems Cybersecurity Challenges in a Global Ecosystem
Marianne Bailey, Deputy National Manager, National Security Systems, NSA
Decision Calculus for Public Attribution of Cyber Attacks
Rick Ledgett, Former Deputy Director, National Security Agency
Cybersecurity Priorities of Kuwait Through 2020
Mohammad Altura, Chief, Information Technology Sector (CITRA), Kuwait
Other confirmed speakers are:
John Felker, Director, National Cybersecurity and Communications Integration Center, DHS
David Hogue, Technical Director, Cybersecurity Threat Operations Center, NSA
Atsushi Karimata, Counsellor National Center for Incident Readiness and Strategy for Cybersecurity (NISC) Cabinet Secretariat, Government of Japan
Dr. Dennis McCallam, Technical Fellow, Northrop Grumman
Richard Oehme, Director, Cyber Security and Critical Infrastructure Protection, PwC Sweden; Former Director of the Office of Cybersecurity and Critical Infrastructure Protection, Swedish Civil Contingencies Agency
Taimar Peterkop, Director General, Information System Authority, Republic of Estonia
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) Gregory Touhill, President, Cyxtera Federal Group, Cyxtera Technologies; Former U.S. CISO
Join us March 21 to hear cybersecurity leaders discuss best practices and important cybersecurity developments in the global effort to secure the cyber ecosystem.
About the summit host:Billington CyberSecurity is an independent media company that produces high-level executive forums, conferences and seminars about cybersecurity. The mission of Billington CyberSecurity is to bring together thought leaders from all sectors to examine the state of cybersecurity and highlight ways to enhance best practices and strengthen cyber defenses within government and the private sector.
The National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) Delivers Successful Sold-Out Training Sessions at SHOT Show 2018
The NTOA offered four sold-out sessions and co-hosted a very well attended full day of critical incident debriefs during SHOT Show's Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP).
Doylestown, Pa. (February 2018) – The National Tactical Officers Association (NTOA) is pleased to announce its four NTOA training sessions offered at SHOT Show 2018, held in Las Vegas, Nevada, Jan. 23-26, 2018, were some of the most highly demanded sessions available, selling out well before the show debuted. The NTOA also teamed up with SHOT Show to co-host a very well attended full day of critical incident debriefs taught by subject matter experts from around the United States.
The NTOA taught four seminars on current hot topics, including Top Tactical Concepts for Law Enforcement Operations, Active Shooter Update and the Advanced Police Officer, Law Enforcement Response to Suicidal Subjects and The Future of Tactical Patrol Operations.
"Year after year we see our sessions sell out during the Law Enforcement Education Program (LEEP) portion of SHOT Show, which demonstrates that the demand for quality, credible and proven training tactics is only increasing. We are honored to be included in this effort and are happy to contribute to the ultimate goal of enhancing the performance and professional status of our law enforcement brethren through our training resources. We look forward to coming back to LEEP in 2019 with even more dynamic sessions," remarked Don Kester, the NTOA's Director of Training and Education.
As part of LEEP, participants receive a certificate of attendance upon completion, confirming course participation and documenting their training. The LEEP program focuses on the most contemporary law enforcement challenges and technology advancements.
The NTOA is proud to offer training sessions during the annual SHOT Show and contribute to the law enforcement attendance rise year after year. This year's SHOT Show saw the addition of a fourth NTOA training session (up from three in 2017), as well as the newly added full day of critical incident debriefs, and continued demand for more information and sessions from its attendees.
For more information on the National Tactical Officers Association, visit ntoa.org or call 800-279-9127. Join the NTOA today and start receiving the benefits of better training and stay on top of the ever-changing and challenging world of law enforcement.
Boon Edam Expands Enterprise Sales Group to Match Expanding Security Entrance Sales
Lillington, NC, 7 February 2018 – Boon Edam Inc., a global leader in security entrances and architectural revolving doors, announced today the expansion of the Enterprise Customer Group, a sales and service team originally launched in 2013 to help large national and global companies address the risks of physical breach at their facilities. The company has added four more people to the Group, now 11 in total, to deliver an exclusive level of entrance solution consulting, logistics planning and customer service at every stage of the sales process.
"We've seen tremendous growth in enterprise security entrance sales in the past five years, to the point it's a major market for us," says Mark Borto, President and CEO of Boon Edam Inc. "These customers require entrance solutions to be standardized and deployed globally, which takes a dedicated, cohesive effort across 20 subsidiaries and scores of distributors. We've built a successful team and processes that keep large companies coming back and we're now poised to keep up with this segment of our business for the next few years."
Greg Schreiber to Head the Enterprise Organization Greg Schreiber, the Senior Vice President of Sales, will now focus on leading the Enterprise Customer Group along with Mark Perkins, the current Vice President of Enterprise Security Accounts. Greg grew the Boon Edam sales team from six to 28 since 2007, reaching record-breaking revenue numbers in the last six years. He looks forward to growing this segment of the business further.
Pierre Bourgeix - New Consulting Manager Pierre Bourgeix is joining the enterprise group as a Consulting Manager. Pierre will work to support enterprise sales through development of partnership solutions to create scalable, integrated security entrance solutions for the enterprise customer.
Joe Seagriff - New Business Development Manager Joe Seagriff, previously a Business Development Manager for the western region, now joins the Enterprise Group to support projects with global footprints to provide a seamless experience for the customer.
Dana Cashion - New Inside Sales Representative Dana Cashion moves from her current role to an Inside Sales Representative for Enterprise Accounts, joining existing representative, Ashley Lockhart. The expanded team checks orders for accuracy and manages projects from purchase order to shipment – all to ensure enterprise customers receive constant, transparent communication about their unfolding projects.
RISE 4290HD Wins Government Security News (GSN) Homeland Security Award
CohuHD Costar's Day/Night Camera System Recognized for Excellence in Homeland Security and Critical Infrastructure Applications
SAN DIEGO, CALIFORNIA (PRWEB) -- CohuHD Costar, a pioneer in advanced video camera systems for over 70 years, has been selected as the gold winner of the 2017 Government Security News Homeland Security Award in the category of Best Thermal, Night Vision, Infrared Camera. This is the second Government Security News Award of 2017 for the RISE 4290HD camera system, also winning Best Long Range/High Res Camera in the Airport, Seaport, Border Security Awards Program earlier in the year.
Now in its 9th year, the GSN Homeland Security Awards program hosted by Government Security News (GSN) recognizes excellence and leadership in the Cyber Security and Homeland Security sectors. Winners were selected based on a combination of technological innovation, ability to address a recognized government IT security need, and flexibility to meet both current and future needs.
"We are very proud to have won awards in two categories in this year's prestigious GSN Awards Programs," said Doug Means, SVP and General Manager. "In just a few months since its introduction, the RISE 4290HD day/night camera system has captured a tremendous amount of attention in the outdoor surveillance market. We see the RISE 4290HD as the ideal product for many homeland security, border surveillance and critical infrastructure monitoring applications."
The dual-head design of the RISE 4290HD features a visible spectrum camera providing full 1080p imaging with 30x optical zoom, delivering full frame rate HD images over the entire zoom range and is a very cost-effective, long-range surveillance solution.
Additionally, a second camera head contains a thermal night vision camera which offers a choice of uncooled VOx 640x480 LWIR FPA detector with continuous zoom or fixed focal length hard carbon coated lenses. The RISE 4290HD thermal imaging delivers high-quality video, even in extreme conditions such as total darkness, smoke, atmospheric haze or dust, rain, light foliage, and most types of fog.
All CohuHD Costar camera systems are designed to operate in harsh weather with purged and pressurized IP67 enclosure protection to eliminate the effects of water intrusion, pollutants and corrosives. The ultra-rugged design of all CohuHD RISE products allows the company to offer a lifetime warranty against water ingress.
About CohuHD Costar CohuHD Costar, a division of Costar Video, Inc., is a leading manufacturer of video surveillance camera systems for use in mission-critical, sensitive environments. For more information on CohuHD Costar's products, please visit CohuHD.com.
New leaks reveal specs for both the Xperia XZ2 and XZ2 Compact
A new rumor gives us a look at what to expect from the upcoming Sony Xperia XZ2 and the Xperia XZ2 Compact. Both devices will fall in the flagship market, while featuring a display with an aspect ratio of 18:9.
Archos just announced an Android-powered electric scooter
The scooter has an aluminum frame, 8.5-inch wheels, a range of about 15 miles on a single charge, and can reach speeds of 15 MPH. The phone has a 5-inch display, 3G for mobile connectivity, and Android Oreo.
Business Insider: Under CEO Tim Cook's watch, Apple has sold hundreds of millions of iPhones, booked hundreds of billions of dollars in profit, and launched new products like AirPods and Apple Watch. In fact, Cook says, he's never had a bad year as CEO of Apple. "I've only had good years. No, seriously," he said in an interview with Fast Company. "Even when we were idling from a revenue point of view -- it was like $6 billion every year -- those were some incredibly good years because you could begin to feel the pipeline getting better, and you could see it internally. Externally, people couldn't see that," he continued.
'Tech Companies Should Stop Pretending AI Won't Destroy Jobs'
Kai-Fu Lee, the founder and CEO of Sinovation Ventures and president of the Sinovation Ventures Artificial Intelligence Institute, believes that we're not ready for the massive societal upheavals on the way. He writes for MIT Technology Review: The rise of China as an AI superpower isn't a big deal just for China. The competition between the US and China has sparked intense advances in AI that will be impossible to stop anywhere. The change will be massive, and not all of it good. Inequality will widen. As my Uber driver in Cambridge has already intuited, AI will displace a large number of jobs, which will cause social discontent. Consider the progress of Google DeepMind's AlphaGo software, which beat the best human players of the board game Go in early 2016. It was subsequently bested by AlphaGo Zero, introduced in 2017, which learned by playing games against itself and within 40 days was superior to all the earlier versions. Now imagine those improvements transferring to areas like customer service, telemarketing, assembly lines, reception desks, truck driving, and other routine blue-collar and white-collar work. It will soon be obvious that half of our job tasks can be done better at almost no cost by AI and robots. This will be the fastest transition humankind has experienced, and we're not ready for it. Not everyone agrees with my view. Some people argue that it will take longer than we think before jobs disappear, since many jobs will be only partially replaced, and companies will try to redeploy those displaced internally. But even if true, that won't stop the inevitable. Others remind us that every technology revolution has created new jobs as it displaced old ones. But it's dangerous to assume this will be the case again.
AI Experts Say Some Advances Should Be Kept Secret
AI could reboot industries and make the economy more productive; it's already infusing many of the products we use daily. But a new report [PDF] by more than 20 researchers from the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge, OpenAI, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation warns that the same technology creates new opportunities for criminals, political operatives, and oppressive governments -- so much so that some AI research may need to be kept secret. From a report: [...] The study is less sure of how to counter such threats. It recommends more research and debate on the risks of AI and suggests that AI researchers need a strong code of ethics. But it also says they should explore ways of restricting potentially dangerous information, in the way that research into other "dual use" technologies with weapons potential is sometimes controlled.
Lawsuits Threaten Infosec Research -- Just When We Need it Most
This year, two security reporters and one researcher will fight for their professional lives in court. Steve Ragan, senior staff writer at tech news site CSO, and Dan Goodin, security editor at Ars Technica, were last year named defendants in two separate lawsuits. The cases are different, but they have a common theme: they are being sued by the companies covered in articles they wrote. From a report: Although lawsuits targeting reporters, particularly on the security beat, are rare, legal threats are an occupational hazard that reporters are all too aware of -- from companies threatening to call an editor to demand a correction -- or else -- to a full-blown lawsuit. But the inevitable aftermath is a "chilling effect." White-hat hackers and security researchers hesitate to report vulnerabilities and weaknesses to technology firms for fear of facing legal retribution. With nation state attackers targeting elections and critical national security infrastructure on a near-daily basis, security research is needed more than ever.
Google launched its latest answer to Apple Pay on Tuesday. It's called Google Pay and replaces Android Pay, a previous solution that let Android users buy goods with their smartphones. From a report: It's also Google's answer to Apple Pay and Apple Pay Cash. Google Pay follows several failed attempts by Google to launch a widespread payment platform. The company launched Google Wallet several years ago before folding it and launching Android Pay. Google Pay combines features from both, including the ability to pay at checkout counters with a smartphone, and even the option to scan into transit systems in cities such as Kiev, London and Portland, initially.
Mines Linked to Child Labor Are Thriving in Rush for Car Batteries
Metal vital to many electric vehicles has tripled in 18 months. From a report: The appetite for electric cars is driving a boom in small-scale cobalt production in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where some mines have been found to be dangerous and employ child labor. Production from so-called artisanal mines probably rose by at least half last year, according to the estimates of officials at three of the biggest international suppliers of the metal, who asked not to be named because they're not authorized to speak on the matter. State-owned miner Gecamines estimates artisanal output accounted for as much as a quarter of the country's total production in 2017. That's a concern for carmakers from Volkswagen to Tesla, who are seeking to secure long-term supplies of the battery ingredient but don't want to be enmeshed in a scandal about unethical mining practices. Tech giants including Apple and Microsoft endured bad publicity after a 2016 Amnesty International report said children were being sent down some Congolese mines to dig for cobalt destined for their gadgets. Pit and tunnel collapses killed dozens of workers in 2015, the advocacy group said. Cobalt has tripled in value in the last 18 months as the rise of electric vehicles intensifies competition for scarce resources. Two-thirds of the world's supply comes from Congo, the second-poorest nation. The boom in the metal, currently trading above $80,000 a metric ton, has triggered more mining in the cobalt-rich Katanga region, where sprawling hand-dug mines dot the landscape, and searching for ore is as commonplace as farming.
Lawmakers Worry About Rise of Fake Video Technology
Lawmakers are concerned that advances in video manipulation technology could set off a new era of fake news. Now legislators say they want to start working on fixes to the problem before it's too late. From a report: Technology experts have begun to sound the alarm on the new software, which lets users take existing videos and make high-quality altered video and audio that appears real. The emergence of the technology opens up a new world of hoaxes driven by doctored audio or video, and threatens to shake faith in the media even further. Senator Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of the most vocal members of Congress on tech issues, painted a grim picture about what the advances could mean for the future of discerning truth in media. "Since we can't rely on the responsibility of individual actors or the platforms they use, I fully expect there will be a proliferation of these sorts of fictions to a degree that nearly drowns out actual facts," Wyden told The Hill. "For those who value real information, there will still be some reliable publications and news outlets, and their credibility will need to be guarded all the more intently by professional journalists," he added.
Enthusiasts have Turned the Nintendo Switch into a Functional Linux Tablet
An anonymous reader shares a report: A couple of weeks ago, the fail0verflow hacking collective showed a still image on Twitter of a Nintendo Switch booting Linux. They're one of a small handful of hacker teams who are teasing exploits of the Nvidia Tegra hardware inside the Switch. But now fail0verflow has video of a full-on Linux distro running on the hacked Switch, complete with touchscreen support, a fully operational web browser, and even a GPU-powered demo application. On Twitter, fail0verflow claims the bug they're exploiting to sidestep the Switch's security can't be patched on currently released hardware, and doesn't require a modchip. But as for now there aren't any details on how to do this yourself at home.
Sprint: LG G Flex Will Launch Online on January 31 for $299 on Contract
Starting today, Sprint customers can pre-order the unique LG G Flex smartphone for $299 online with a two year contract. By pre-ordering between now and January 31st, customers will receive a complimentary Quickwindow Folio Case, which is valued at $60. Sprint…
Motorola Announces Moto X Launch in UK, France, and Germany on February 1
Certain European consumers interested in the Moto X smartphone from Motorola will soon have their chance to purchase the excellent handset. Expected to launch on February 1st, Motorola will sell its iconic Moto X device in Black or White in…
Make H when the sun shines, and H when it doesn't.
German boffins design solar reactor that, er, works at night
Researchers in Cologne, Germany have successfully demonstrated a solar reactor known as CONTISOL, which promises to be able make hydrogen day and night while running on little more than air and sunlight.…
Intel hurls Spectre 2 microcode patch fix at world
Mitigation for chip design vuln
For the second time of asking, Intel has issued microcode updates to OEMs that it prays says will mitigate the Spectre variant two design flaw impacting generations of CPUs spewed out over previous decades.…
Bosch and Daimler jump in together on driverless vehicle tech
Self-parking cars - and a lot of practical R&D going on
BCW18 Bosch’s Connected World conference opened with a demo of its automated valet technology. Though the firm’s chief exec, Volkmar Denner, drove the car up to its drop-off point, the self-parking mode failed to engage.…