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Industry & Technology

NSA employee who brought hacking tools home sentenced to 66 months in prison

Ars Technica - September 25, 2018 - 10:40pm

The National Security Operations Center at NSA, photographed in 2012—the nerve center of the NSA's "signals intelligence" monitoring. A former NSA coder has been sentenced to 66 months in prison for bringing home the code that drove much of the NSA's signals intelligence operations. (credit: National Security Agency)

Nghia Hoang Pho, a 68-year-old former National Security Agency employee who worked in the NSA's Tailored Access Operations (TAO) division, was sentenced today to 66 months in prison for willful, unauthorized removal and retention of classified documents and material from his workplace—material that included hacking tools that were likely part of the code dumped by the individual or group known as Shadowbrokers in the summer of 2016.

Pho, a naturalized US citizen from Vietnam and a resident of Ellicott City, Maryland, had pleaded guilty to bringing home materials after being caught in a sweep by the NSA following the Shadowbrokers leaks. He will face three years of supervised release after serving his sentence. His attorney had requested home detention.

In a letter sent to the court in March, former NSA Director Admiral Mike Rogers told Judge George Russell that the materials removed from the NSA by Pho "had significant negative impacts on the NSA mission, the NSA workforce, and the Intelligence Community as a whole." The materials Pho removed, Rogers wrote, included:

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Internet be nimble, internet be QUIC, Cloudflare shows off new networking shtick

The Register - September 25, 2018 - 10:03pm
So is it goodbye, TCP?

CloudFlare has puts its weight behind a new internet protocol that should make mobile browsing faster and more secure.…

Apple iPhone XS review: A notch above the iPhone X - CNET - Reviews - September 25, 2018 - 9:34pm
This year's iPhone is hard to judge without seeing the iPhone that's not yet here.

Have I been pwned, Firefox? Well, let's ask the browser's builtin Have I Been Pwned tool

The Register - September 25, 2018 - 9:31pm
Email queries get hash protection via Firefox Monitor

Mozilla on Tuesday debuted a service called Firefox Monitor that it has been testing to help people see whether their email addresses have been compromised.…

VMWare Fusion 11 adds support for Core i9 MacBook Pro and 18-core iMac Pro

Ars Technica - September 25, 2018 - 9:20pm


A new version of virtualization software VMWare Fusion hit Macs this week. VMWare Fusion 11 adds a new application menu and support for the 18-core CPU configuration in the latest iMac Pro and the Core i9 for the 15-inch MacBook Pro.

The release appears to have been closely timed with the launch of macOS Mojave, which hit this Monday. VMWare Fusion is one of the most popular virtual-machine applications for Macs; its closest direct rival is Parallels Desktop, which also released a new version preparing for Mojave last month. Parallels has many strengths, including a leg up or two on VMWare Fusion with certain features. But VMWare Fusion does offer its own advantages over the Parallels release; among other things, it has moved to using Metal as the default graphics API on the Mac. Parallels still uses the Mac's outdated OpenGL, though the Parallels team is working on making the transition.

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The HP Tango X writes the book on bookshelf printers - CNET - Reviews - September 25, 2018 - 9:17pm
Printer design has been stuck in the '90s. This mobile-first printer aims to change that.

Instagram co-founders leaving company, reportedly amid clashes with Facebook - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 9:12pm
Instagram vice president Adam Mosseri is the most likely candidate to take over the app, according to multiple reports.

Nintendo Switch cloud saves disappear 6 months after subscription ends [Updated]

Ars Technica - September 25, 2018 - 9:03pm

Enlarge / Better keep paying for your Switch Online subscription if you want that cloud-based save data to remain accessible. (credit: Nintendo)

[Update Sept. 25: Nintendo has now confirmed to IGN that it will retain players' cloud saves for six months after they cancel their subscription. "Nintendo will allow users who resubscribe within 180 days to access their previous Save Data Cloud backups," the statement reads, in part.

This seems to be a reversal of Nintendo's previous plans, especially since a Nintendo UK FAQ still says, "Save data stored with Save Data Cloud cannot be kept outside of the duration of your Nintendo Switch Online membership." The new policy puts Nintendo in line with Sony, which also retains cloud saves for six months after a PlayStation Plus subscription lapses.]

Original Story

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Valve reveals just how many PC gamers plug in gamepads—and which kinds

Ars Technica - September 25, 2018 - 8:50pm

Enlarge / How third-party controllers appear in the Steam Input interface. (credit: Valve Software)

Fans of PC video games inevitably point to the options they have for how they play their favorite games, whether with a keyboard and mouse, a large array of flight-sim pedals, or everything in between. But the data coming from leading PC platform Steam points to an interesting trend: millions of PC gamers who gladly stick to the console-like experience of a standard gamepad.

A Tuesday hardware survey from Valve Software, Steam's handler, reveals that "over 30 million" users have connected at least one gamepad to a Steam installation since the company began tracking "Steam Input" as part of its hardware surveys. And with some users connecting multiple pads to their PCs, the total number of connected Steam controllers ratchets up to nearly 60 million.

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Nintendo Switch Online: Your guide to the paid subscription service - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:45pm
Nintendo's online subscription service is live. Here's what you get for your $20 a year.

Hennessey's 700-hp Goliath 6X6 is a rolling Lee Greenwood song - Roadshow - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:37pm
'Cause there ain't no doubt, I love (driving over) this land (at speed).

Cookie clutter: Chrome saves Google cookies from cookie jar purges

The Register - September 25, 2018 - 8:31pm
Privacy bod says 'remove all' function not living up to its name – netizens stay logged into Chocolate Factory

If you tell Google's latest version of Chrome to delete all of its cookies – surprise, you may end up with Google cookies on your computer.…

Facebook teams with Sphero to bring computer science to more schools - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:26pm
CodeFWD aims to increase the number of underrepresented and female students learning to code.

Verizon outage knocks out service across the US - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:20pm
States in the Northeast, Midwest and South are reportedly affected.

Would you spend 30 hours in a coffin to win $300? - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:19pm
You might think a coffin is the last thing you need, but if you can hang out in one for just 30 hours, you can win big.

Why Mojave’s dark mode isn’t dark enough

Ars Technica - September 25, 2018 - 8:18pm

The days of getting overly excited about an OS release have passed for me. Maybe I'm just getting old and cranky or maybe operating systems reached "good enough" status a while ago. But either way, it's not something I get worked up for.

But I'll cop to being curious to try out Mojave's dark mode. I browse Ars with our in-house dark mode (you'll find it in the upper-right three-bar hamburger menu if you haven't tried it yourself yet), I use night mode on Twitter, and I find myself more comfortable with darker interfaces these days.

I upgraded to Mojave on my iMac yesterday and found the installer had already pre-selected the dark option for me, presumably because I ran the dark menu bar on High Sierra. Seemed like a good sign.

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3D-printed gun controversy: Everything you need to know - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:15pm
Here's a breakdown of the debate that pits free speech and gun rights against public safety.

America cooks up its flavor of GDPR – and Google's over the moon

The Register - September 25, 2018 - 8:13pm
But Uncle Sam has already ruled out any actual laws and fines for breaking rules

The US government has started the process to create new rules on safeguarding America's online privacy, opening a "request for comments" on its initial proposal.…

NASA spots still-silent Opportunity rover on Mars - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:12pm
NASA's eye-in-the-sky orbiter snaps a distant look at the dusty rover.

Solo: A Star Wars Story now on Blu-ray, Digital HD: Every way to watch - CNET - News - September 25, 2018 - 8:09pm
Han Solo's origin movie is ready for home viewing.

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