Feb 25

New submitter John Trumpian shares a report from Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday refused to hear Apple’s bid to avoid paying about $440 million in damages for using patent licensing firm VirnetX’s internet security technology without permission in features such as FaceTime video calling. The justices rejected Apple’s appeal in the long-running case in which a federal jury in 2016 found that Apple had infringed VirnetX’s patents and awarded $302 million. A judge later increased that amount to $439.7 million including interest and other costs.

The case dates back to 2010 when Nevada-based VirnetX filed suit in federal court in the Eastern District of Texas accusing Cupertino, California-based Apple of infringing four patents for secure networks, known as virtual private networks, and secure communications links. VirnetX said Apple infringed with its FaceTime and VPN on Demand features in products such as the iPhone and iPad. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington, which specializes in patent disputes, upheld the judgment against Apple last year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 24

Intel’s sale of its consumer 5G modem unit signaled its exit from the smartphone business last year, but the company remains heavily committed to participating in the growing 5G marketplace — primarily on the carrier and enterprise sides. Today, the company announced three chips built for various types of 5G computers, plus a 5G-optimized network adapter for PCs. From a report: Up first is an updated second-generation Xeon Scalable processor, now at a top speed of 3.9GHz and bolstered by additional AI capabilities to aid with inference applications. The new chip promises up to 36% more performance than the first-generation version, with up to 42% more performance per dollar, though early second-generation chips were introduced in April 2019. Intel says the Xeon Scalable is the “only CPU with AI built in” — a pitch that’s not exactly accurate, given the range of existing laptop and mobile CPUs with AI features, but one Intel further explains means “the only CPU on the market that features integrated deep learning acceleration.” Xeon Scalable’s Deep Learning Boost feature set promises up to 6 times more AI performance than AMD’s Rome processors, though Intel won’t quantify the number of TOPS available for AI processing, calling the metric “theoretical.” Regardless, Intel says Xeon Scalable will support the cloud AI needs of Alibaba, AWS, Baidu, Microsoft, and Tencent, as well as other major companies.

Network-optimized “N-SKUs” of the new Xeon Scalable will also be available, offering up to 58% more performance for network function virtualization workloads compared with the first chip. Customers such as China Mobile, SK Telecom, Sprint, and T-Mobile Poland are all using Xeon Scalable in their 5G networks. The boosted Xeon Scalable chips are officially available starting today. Intel is also introducing the Atom P5900, billed as the first Intel architecture SoC for base stations and designed from the ground up for radio access network (RAN) needs. Itâ(TM)s a 10-nanometer chip with hardware-based network acceleration features, including integrated packet processing, ultra low latency, and a switch for inline cryptographic acceleration.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 19

Local authorities in India-controlled Kashmir have opened a case against hundreds of people who used virtual private networks (VPNs) to circumvent a social media ban in the disputed Himalayan region in a move that has been denounced by human rights and privacy activists. From a report: Tahir Ashraf, who heads the police cyber division in Srinagar, said on Tuesday that the authority had identified and was probing hundreds of suspected users who he alleged misused social media to promote “unlawful activities and secessionist ideology.” On Monday, the police said they had also seized “a lot of incriminating material” under the Unlawful Activities Prevention Act (UAPA), the nation’s principal counter-terrorism law. Those found guilty could be jailed up to seven years. “Taking a serious note of misuse of social media, there have been continuous reports of misuse of social media sites by the miscreants to propagate the secessionist ideology and to promote unlawful activities,” the region’s police said in a statement. The move comes weeks after the Indian government restored access to several hundred websites, including some shopping websites such as Amazon India and Flipkart and select news outlets in the disputed region. Facebook, Twitter and other social media services remain blocked, and mobile data speeds remain capped at 2G speeds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 19

Mozilla has a new virtual private network service and if you have a Chromebook, a Windows 10 computer or an Android device in the US, you can start using a beta version now. From a report: Called Firefox Private Network, the new service is designed to function as a full-device VPN and give better protection when surfing the web or when using public Wi-Fi networks. The company offers two options: a free browser-extension version, which it launched in beta last year, that provides 12 one-hour VPN passes when using the Firefox browser and a Firefox account; and a second, $4.99-a-month option that provides a more complete VPN service across your whole device. The new paid option, which runs off of servers provided by Swedish open-source VPN company Mullvad, can protect up to five devices with one account. It allows for faster browsing and streaming, and gives you the ability to tap into servers located in “30-plus countries” for masking your location data.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 14

The UK’s National Crime Agency (NCA) has publicly said it has nothing to do with a misleading poster designed to put fear into the hearts of parents and urge them to call the police if their children are using Kali Linux. From a report: The poster, made public by Twitter user @G_IW, has reportedly been distributed by local authorities on behalf of the West Midlands Regional Organised Crime Unit (WMROCU). It appears the creators of the poster are aiming to inform parents of what dubious software to look out for if they suspect their children are up to no good on the computer. While a good and reasonable intention, the disinformation on the poster, as described by @G_IW, is “staggering.” Virtual machines, the Tor Browser, Kali Linux, WiFi Pineapple, Discord, and Metasploit are all deemed terrible finds and the poster urges parents to call the cops “so we can give advice and engage them into positive diversions.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 13

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Valve’s gaming marketplace Steam includes an opt-in hardware survey feature, and the results are published as percentages of surveyed users on a monthly basis. You’ll find all kinds of data about Steam-connected computers every month, and this includes operating systems, video cards, VR systems, and more. In the latter case, that figure is counted out of all Steam users — as opposed to a less-helpful stat like “70 percent of VR fans prefer Product A, 30 percent Product B.” We were intrigued (but not surprised) to see a jump in connected VR devices for the reported month of December 2019. That’s the holiday season, after all, and it’s reasonable to expect Santa’s deliveries of headsets to affect data.

What surprised us was the continued growth of that metric through the following month — and a statistically significant one, at that. The latest survey, taken during January 2020, says that 1.31 percent of all surveyed Steam users own a VR system, up from 1.09 percent the month prior. By pure percentage points, this is the largest one-month jump in pure percentage since Valve began tracking VR use in 2016 — by a long shot. (For perspective, the same survey indicated that 0.9 percent of Steam computers run on Linux, while 3.0 percent use MacOS or OSX.) Based on Valve’s conservative January 2019 estimate of 90 million “monthly active users,” Ars Technica estimates there are “1.17 million PC-VR users connecting to Steam.”

“Drawing an exponential trend line of Steam’s MAU between August 2017 and January 2019 would get us closer to a count of 1.6 million active VR hardware owners on Steam, and that doesn’t include any estimate of Steam-ignorant Oculus users. However you slice it, the juiciest detail can’t be argued: a 20.2% jump within a major PC-VR ecosystem in 30 days.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 12

DoNotPay, the family of consumer advocacy services meant to protect people from corporate exploitation, is launching a new app aimed at helping end our long national nightmare surrounding robocalls by giving you a burner credit card to get their contact details then giving you a chatbot lawyer to automatically sue them. From a report: DoNotPay Founder and CEO Joshua Browder’s Robo Revenge app is unique from every other app looking to protect you from robocalls in that it can get you cash while stopping them completely. “All of the big companies like AT&T and Apple have failed to protect consumers,” Browder told Motherboard over the phone. “Consumers have to protect themselves. The only way the problem will end is if the robocallers start losing money every time they call someone.”

In the past, DoNot Pay has offered various apps to help consumers fight back. DoNotPay’s Free Trial Card creates a virtual, one-time-use credit card to protect you from getting charged by “industrialized scams” like free trials. DoNotPay’s original offering was a chatbot lawyer program that automatically disputed parking tickets in small claims court. Robo Revenge combines both features to automatically add you to the Do Not Call Registry, generate a virtual DoNotPay burner credit card to provide scammers when they illegally call you anyways, use the transaction information to get the scammer’s contact information, then walk you through how to sue them for as much as $3,000 per call under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a law already on the books meant to protect consumers from calls that violate the Do Not Call Registry. The app also streamlines the litigation paperwork by automatically generating demand letters and court filing documents.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 10

An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: In May 2019, South Korea’s Interior Ministry announced plans to look into switching to the Linux desktop from Windows. It must have liked what it saw. According to the Korean news site Newsis, the South Korean Ministry of Strategy and Planning has announced the government is exploring moving most of its approximately 3.3 million Windows computers to Linux. The reason for this is simple. It’s to reduce software licensing costs and the government’s reliance on Windows. As Choi Jang-hyuk, the head of the Ministry of Strategy and Finance, said, “We will resolve our dependency on a single company while reducing the budget by introducing an open-source operating system.”

How much? South Korean officials said it would cost 780 billion won (about $655 million) to move government PCs from Windows 7 to Windows 10. […] Windows will still have a role to play for now on South Korean government computers. As the Aju Business Daily, a South Korean business news site, explained: Government officials currently use two physical, air-gapped PCs. One is external for internet use, and the other is internal for intranet tasks. Only the external one will use a Linux-based distro. Eventually, by 2026, most civil servants will use a single Windows-powered laptop. On that system, Windows will continue to be used for internal work, while Linux will be used as a virtual desktop via a Linux-powered cloud server. This looks to eventually end up as a Desktop-as-a-Service (DaaS) model. The report notes that the Ministry of National Defense and National Police Agency are already using the Ubuntu Linux 18.04 LTS-based Harmonica OS 3.0.

“Meanwhile, the Korean Postal Service division is moving to TMaxOS,” reports ZDNet. “The Debian Linux-based South Korean Gooroom Cloud OS is also being used by Defense and the Ministry of Public Administration and Security.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 10

Amazon is quietly canceling its Nazis. Over the past 18 months, the retailer has removed two books by David Duke, a former leader of the Ku Klux Klan, as well as several titles by George Lincoln Rockwell, the founder of the American Nazi Party. Amazon has also prohibited volumes like “The Ruling Elite: The Zionist Seizure of World Power” and “A History of Central Banking and the Enslavement of Mankind.” From a report: While few may lament the disappearance of these hate-filled books, the increasing number of banished titles has set off concern among some of the third-party booksellers who stock Amazon’s vast virtual shelves. Amazon, they said, seems to operate under vague or nonexistent rules. “Amazon reserves the right to determine whether content provides an acceptable experience,” said one recent removal notice that the company sent to a bookseller. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube have been roiled in recent years by controversies that pit freedom of speech against offensive content. Amazon has largely escaped this debate. But with millions of third-party merchants supplying much of what Amazon sells to tens of millions of customers, that ability to maintain a low profile may be reaching its end.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

Feb 03

A German artist illustrated [video] how it is possible to create a virtual traffic jam in Google Maps by walking around the streets of Berlin with 99 cell phones. Qbertino shares a report: Google Maps utilizes GPS and location data from mobile devices to determine if there is traffic congestion on a particular street. The app will then redirect users to less trafficked streets to avoid traffic. Using a hand cart filled with 99 active cell phones connected to Google Maps, artist Simon Weckert showed how he could create fake traffic jams in Google Maps simply by walking around the streets of Berlin. As he would be walking, rather than driving, Google Maps would perceive it to be a traffic jam due to a large number of devices reporting the same slow speed. Google’s response to the matter, via blog 9to5Google: Speaking with 9to5Google, a spokesperson from Google has responded to this situation to clarify a few things. In normal usage, Google does use a large number of devices running Maps in a single place as proof of a traffic jam, something this rare and very specific case took advantage of. In the statement below, though, the company does hint that it might use cases like this to further improve how Maps handles traffic data. “Whether via car or cart or camel, we love seeing creative uses of Google Maps as it helps us make maps work better over time.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

full article

«     |     ?     |     »