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Industry & Technology

Facebook, Cambridge Analytica and data mining: What you need to know - CNET - News - 2 hours 3 min ago
The world's largest social network is at the center of an international scandal involving voter data, the 2016 US presidential election and Brexit.

Now that's a bad trip: 880k credit cards 'likely' stolen by Orbitz hackers

The Register - 2 hours 7 min ago
And bad news for healthy types: thoroughly pwned, too

Vacation-booking biz Orbitz has warned that sensitive details on as many as 880,000 credit cards have "likely" been stolen from its servers by hackers.…

Are driverless cars safe? Uber fatality raises questions - CNET - News - 2 hours 20 min ago
Authorities might be rethinking the race to get autonomous vehicles onto public roads after a self-driving car kills a woman in Arizona.

Entrepreneurs press VC industry to diversity its ranks - CNET - News - 2 hours 25 min ago
More than 400 tech executives and company founders have formed a coalition to press for more diversity in tech's venture capital industry.

Marvel is coming to three Disney parks and I'm not mad about it - CNET - News - 2 hours 25 min ago
Commentary: A Bug's Land is out, Avengers are in. I've been on Hong Kong Disneyland's Iron Man Experience, and Disney has earned my trust on this one.

Test tube meat

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 30 min ago
The sci-fi food of the future could change the way we eat forever, and it is going to be up to food designers to convince us it's not just an acquired taste.

Melania Trump discusses cyberbullying with Facebook, Google - CNET - News - 2 hours 32 min ago
The first lady met with Silicon Valley giants to talk about online hate and harassment. It comes at a time when tech firms are already in the doghouse.

Cluster-f*ck! Etcd DBs spaff passwords, cloud keys to world by default

The Register - 2 hours 33 min ago
Devs told to take responsibility by setting up authentication

Software called etcd, used for storing data across clusters of containers, has a problem – it does not implement authentication by default and so poses a security risk if deployed without further fiddling.…

Mercedes expands 2019 C-Class upgrades to Coupe and Cabriolet - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 34 min ago
Both C300 and AMG C43 Coupe and Cabriolet models will bow at the 2018 New York Auto Show.

How to Block Calls and Texts on iPhone in iOS 11

Wired - 2 hours 34 min ago
Unwanted calls and messages arriving on your iPhone? Block 'em all with our guide.

The OnePlus 6 may look something like this - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 11:58pm
It could be latest Android phone to get the iPhone X's notch.

Nexx Garage review - CNET - Reviews - March 20, 2018 - 11:49pm
For $100, the Nexx Garage system gives you voice control, remote access, auto open and more wires than you ever wanted.

Garage smarts get easier with Nexx Garage - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 11:49pm
The $100 Nexx Garage is a simple way to add voice commands, remote access and auto opening to your garage.

Cambridge Analytica: Facebook row firm boss suspended

BBC Technology News - March 20, 2018 - 11:45pm
Alexander Nix appeared to suggest tactics his company could use to discredit politicians online.

Cambridge Analytica suspends CEO Alexander Nix amid probe - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 11:45pm
The company, at the heart of the scandal involving the misuse of Facebook data, says Chief Data Officer Alexander Tayler will be acting CEO.

Windows Server 2019 coming later this year, out now in preview

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 11:28pm

Enlarge / Project Honolulu user interface, one of the new features in Windows Server 2019. (credit: Microsoft)

The next version of Windows Server will be branded Windows Server 2019, and it'll be out in the second half of the year.

This isn't tremendously surprising, as it fits with the schedule Microsoft has already committed to that splits Windows between a Long Term Servicing Channel (LTSC), with 10 years of support and a release every three years, and a Semi-Annual Channel (SAC) with 18 months of support and a release every six months. Windows Server 2019 will be an LTSC release, and it'll also have a corresponding Windows 10 release.

Highlights of the next version will be the new Project Honolulu Web-based interface, the integration the Windows Subsystem for Linux, and greater support for containers.

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Wakanda Yoga takes 'Black Panther' inspiration to the mat - CNET - News - March 20, 2018 - 11:17pm
A yoga teacher in Virginia leaves the Marvel movie so buzzed he decides to infuse his classes with the spirit of Afrofuturism.

AMD promises firmware fixes for security processor bugs

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 11:00pm

Enlarge / AMD's Ryzen die. Threadripper has two of these in a multi-chip module. Epyc has four of them. (credit: AMD)

AMD has responded to the reports last week of a range of security flaws affecting its Platform Security Processor (PSP) and chipset. The company acknowledges the bugs and says that, in coming weeks, it will have new firmware available to resolve the PSP bugs. These firmware fixes will also mitigate the chipset bugs.

Israeli firm CTS identified four separate flaw families, naming them Masterkey (affecting Ryzen and Epyc processors), Ryzenfall (affecting Ryzen, Ryzen Pro, and Ryzen Mobile), Fallout (hitting only Epyc), and Chimera (applying to Ryzen and Ryzen Pro systems using the Promonotory chipset).

Masterkey, Ryzenfall, and Fallout are all problems affecting the Platform Security Processor (PSP), a small ARM core that's integrated into the chips to provide certain additional features such as a firmware-based TPM security module. The PSP has its own firmware and operating system that runs independently of the main x86 CPU. Software running on the x86 CPU can access PSP functionality using a device driver, though this access is restricted to administrator/root-level accounts. The PSP is also typically not exposed to guest virtual machines, so virtualized environments will typically be protected.

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USS Fitzgerald collision deaths ruled negligent homicide by Japanese coast guard

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 10:40pm

Enlarge / The Arleigh Burke-class guided-missile destroyer USS Fitzgerald (DDG 62) returns to Fleet Activities (FLEACT) Yokosuka following a collision with a merchant vessel while operating southwest of Yokosuka, Japan in June, 2017. (credit: US Navy)

While the US Navy has already taken administrative action regarding the collision of the USS Fitzgerald, one of the members of the ship's crew now faces possible criminal charges in Japan as the result of a Japanese Coast Guard investigation of the incident. Stars & Stripes reported today that Japanese Coast Guard officials have recommended negligent homicide charges against both the Fitzgerald's Officer of the Deck (OOD) and the second officer of the container ship the Fitzgerald struck—the ACX Crystal.

Japan Coast Guard spokesman Yoshihito Nakamura said that the official recommended charges were "Causing Death and Injury through Negligence in the Pursuit of Social Activities and Endangering Traffic through Negligence in the Pursuit of Social Activities." He said the charges had been recommended because both officers were responsible for the navigation of their ships at the time of the collision. While the ACX Crystal was operating in accordance with Preventing Collisions at Sea regulations—known to sailors as the "Rules of the Road"—the ACX Crystal's 2nd officer failed to take any actions to avoid the collision.

In the Navy's report on the June 2017 collision, issued along with findings from the August 2017 collision of the USS McCain last November, the Navy found:

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These early humans survived a supervolcano eruption 74,000 years ago

Ars Technica - March 20, 2018 - 10:19pm

Scientists analyzed the remains of two Paleolithic human campsites in South Africa (PP5-6 and VBB) to see whether there were dramatic changes after the Toba eruption 74,000 years ago in Sumatra. They found clear evidence that ash and glass from the eruption fell at these sites, and yet human habitation remained uninterrupted. (credit: Nature)

It's one of the biggest mysteries of recent human evolution. Roughly 70,000 years ago, Homo sapiens went through a genetic bottleneck, a period when our genetic diversity shrank dramatically. But why? In the late 1990s, some scientists argued that the culprit was a massive volcanic eruption from what is now Lake Toba, in Sumatra, about 74,000 years ago, whose deadly effects reduced our species to a few thousand hardy individuals. Now, new evidence suggests we were right about the volcano—but wrong about pretty much everything else.

The so-called Toba Catastrophe Theory was first proposed by University of Illinois anthropologist Stanley Ambrose and popularized by University of Utah anthropologist Henry Harpending, who was trying to understand what caused the genetic bottleneck. At the time, mounting evidence suggested that the volcano had had a global effect, because debris from it can be found throughout the world. Many scientists thought it was likely that airborne particles from Toba caused a "volcanic winter" that lowered Earth's temperatures. Harpending and his colleague Gregory Cochran suggested that it ushered in a millennium of frigid temperatures, driving humanity to near-extinction and pushing it out of Africa in search of better habitats.

Once the globe warmed up again, the theory goes, humanity started to recover its ranks. But the population crash meant that we had lost a lot of genetic diversity. This hypothesis sounded reasonable at first, but then scientists began to uncover intriguing new evidence that humans hadn't died out at all.

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