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As netizens, devs scream bloody murder over Chrome ad-block block, Googlers insist: It's not set in stone (yet)

The Register - January 23, 2019 - 11:11pm
Advertising giant insists it's all still on drawing board – as plugin devs face code rewrites

Analysis Following uproar from developers and netizens over proposed changes to Chrome that threaten to break content and ad blockers, and knacker other browser extensions, Google software engineer Devlin Cronin has offered reassurance that the plans aren't set in stone.…

Acer looks to boost education sales with new Chromebooks - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 23, 2019 - 10:59pm
They're designed to be extra durable for students.

UK clothing company: Oops, our trademark doesn’t cover collusion.so

Ars Technica - January 23, 2019 - 10:42pm

Enlarge / One of the custom paintings in a stairwell of the Electronic Frontier Foundation offices, Sep 19, 2013 in San Francisco, CA, USA. (credit: Peter DaSilva for The Washington Post via Getty Images))

For the second time in a month, lawyers have told the Electronic Frontier Foundation that their legal claims were sent in error.

On Wednesday, lawyers representing the British fashion company ASOS sent a short email to Daniel Nazer, an EFF attorney, apologizing for a recent cease-and-desist letter over a claimed trademark infringement.

"Clearly the C&D letter should never have been sent," the letter states. "We are taking the matter very seriously and are investigating how this happened. Of course, ASOS would like to assure you that we will not be taking any further action and will ensure appropriate correspondence is sent as soon as possible to confirm this."

Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Hulu will make its basic plan cheaper as Netflix gets pricier

Ars Technica - January 23, 2019 - 10:31pm

Enlarge / Hulu on the Web. (credit: Samuel Axon)

In February, Hulu will drop the price of its ad-supported, on-demand streaming service from $7.99 per month to $5.99, while also raising the base price of its live TV cable replacement service from $39.99 per month to $44.99, Deadline reports. Its ad-free on-demand service will stay at $11.99.

The price changes will go into effect for new customers on February 26 and for existing customers in the billing cycle that follows that date.

One of Hulu's chief competitors, Netflix, did just the opposite recently—it raised the prices of all its plans by a dollar or two per month. Hulu is structured quite differently from Netflix, though; while Netflix licenses some shows from other content providers, its primary focus is on original content produced just for the online platform. Hulu, on the other hand, is co-owned by several of the broadcast TV networks and is primarily oriented toward distributing those networks' shows (and other content from traditional Hollywood sources) online. Hulu has some original series, too, though.

Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Fake broadband ISP support scammers accidentally cough up IP address to Deadpool in card phish gone wrong

The Register - January 23, 2019 - 10:27pm
A tale of Twitter fraudsters, an infosec biz boss, and a quest for one honeypot hit

Fraudsters masquerading as ISP support agents to phish payment card details have been unmasked – after they tried to scam a Brit infosec biz cofounder.…

Sorry, Ajit: Comcast lowered cable investment despite net neutrality repeal

Ars Technica - January 23, 2019 - 10:21pm

Enlarge / A Comcast service vehicle in Indianapolis, Indiana, in March 2016. (credit: Getty Images | jetcityimage)

Comcast's cable division spent 3 percent less on capital expenditures last year, despite promises that the repeal of net neutrality rules would boost broadband network investment.

Comcast's cable division spent $7.95 billion on capital expenditures during calendar year 2017, but that fell to $7.72 billion in the 12 months ending on December 31, 2018.

"Cable Communications' capital expenditures decreased 3.0 percent to $7.7 billion, reflecting decreased spending on customer premise equipment and support capital, partially offset by higher investment in scalable infrastructure and line extensions," Comcast said in an earnings announcement today.

Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Nicolas Cage to star in film based on H.P. Lovecraft's Color Out of Space - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 23, 2019 - 10:05pm
The 1927 novella involves a misbehaving meteorite.

Emulator project aims to resurrect classic Mac apps and games without the OS

Ars Technica - January 23, 2019 - 9:55pm

Want to be able to run classic Mac OS applications compiled for the Motorola 68000 series of processors on your ever-so-modern Mac OS X machine? Or maybe you'd rather run them on a Raspberry Pi, or an Android device for that matter? There's an emulation project that's trying to achieve just that: Advanced Mac Substitute (AMS).

Emulators of older computer platforms and game consoles are popular with vintage game enthusiasts. But emulators also could be attractive to others with some emotional (or economic) attachment to old binaries—like those with a sudden desire to resurrect aged Aldus PageMaker files.

Advanced Mac Substitute is an effort by long-time Mac hacker Josh Juran to make it possible to run old Mac OS software (up to Mac OS 6) without a need for an Apple ROM or system software. Other emulators out there for 68000 Mac applications such as Basilisk II require a copy of MacOS installation media—such as install CDs from Mac OS 7.5 or Mac OS 8. But AMS uses a set of software libraries that allow old Mac applications to launch right within the operating environment of the host device, without needing to have a full virtual hardware and operating system instance behind them. And it's all open source.

Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google planning changes to Chrome that could break ad blockers

Ars Technica - January 23, 2019 - 9:30pm

Google is planning to change the way extensions integrate with its Chrome browser. The company says that the changes are necessary for and motivated by a desire to crack down on malicious extensions, which undermine users' privacy and security, as part of the company's continued efforts to make extensions safer. The move also means that popular ad blocking extensions such as uBlock Origin and uMatrix will, according to their developer, no longer work.

The plans, called Manifest V3, are described in a public document. Google is proposing a number of changes to the way extensions work. The broad intent is to improve extension security, give users greater control over what extensions do and which sites they interact with, and make extension performance more robust. For example, extensions will no longer be able to load code from remote servers, so the extension that's submitted to the Chrome Web store contains exactly the code that will be run in the browser. This prevents malicious actors from submitting an extension to the store that loads benign code during the submission and approval process but then switches to something malicious once the extension is published. In a bid to discourage extensions from asking for blanket access to every site, Manifest V3 also changes the permissions system, so universal access can no longer be demanded at extension install time.

The problem for ad blockers comes with an API called webRequest. With the current webRequest API, the browser asks the extension to examine each network request that the extension is interested in. The extension can then modify the request before it's sent (for example, canceling requests to some domains, adding or removing cookies, or removing certain HTTP headers from the request). This provides an effective tool for ad blockers; they can examine each request that is made and choose to cancel those that are deemed to be for ads.

Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

NASA discovers fresh 'blast pattern' on Mars - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 23, 2019 - 9:27pm
Blamo! NASA catches sight of a smashing new impact crater on the Red Planet.

Google, Facebook and Amazon spending more than ever lobbying Congress - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 23, 2019 - 9:23pm
Combined, the tech giants spent more than $65 million to influence Washington last year.

If you installed PEAR PHP in the last 6 months, you may be infected

Ars Technica - January 23, 2019 - 9:10pm

Enlarge (credit: Thomas Hawk)

Officials with the widely used PHP Extension and Application Repository have temporarily shut down most of their website and are urging users to inspect their systems after discovering hackers replaced the main package manager with a malicious one.

“If you have downloaded this go-pear.phar [package manager] in the past six months, you should get a new copy of the same release version from GitHub (pear/pearweb_phars) and compare file hashes,” officials wrote on the site’s blog. "If different, you may have the infected file.”

The officials didn’t say when the hack of their Web server occurred or precisely what the malicious version of go-pear.phar did to infected systems. Initial indications, however, look serious. For starters, the advice applies to anyone who has downloaded the package manager in the past six months. That suggests the hack may have occurred in the timeframe of last July, and no one noticed either it or the tainted download until this week.

Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Google faces another GDPR probe – this time in the land of meatballs and flat-pack furniture

The Register - January 23, 2019 - 9:01pm
Gimme, gimme, gimme your data after midnight... Swedish watchdogs cry, Mamma Mia! over location slurping

Google's slurping of people's location data and web browsing histories is being probed by Swedish privacy watchdog.…

Xiaomi shows off foldable phone that bends on both sides - CNET

cNET.com - News - January 23, 2019 - 8:58pm
Yet another flexible phone debuts. Xiaomi exec calls it "double folding."

Subaru stops two Japanese factories to address power-steering defect - Roadshow

cNET.com - News - January 23, 2019 - 8:49pm
The automaker's still investigating the cause of the problem, which can disable the power steering.

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