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Monday, 05 February


Week in review: The future of smartphone security, automated cyber threat anticipation "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Heres an overview of some of last weeks most interesting news and articles: Authentication today: Moving beyond passwords A new global study from IBM Security examining consumer perspectives around digital identity and authentication, found that people now prioritize security over convenience when logging into applications and devices. Dridex gang follows trends, also created FriedEx ransomware The gang behind the infamous banking Trojan Dridex has also created the FriedEx (aka BitPaymer) ransomware, ESET researchers confidently claim. More

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Sunday, 04 February


Links 4/2/2018: Plans for Linux 4.17, FOSDEM Ends "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

GNOME bluefish



  • Worth Saving?

    A friend the other day casually called Linux Journal the journal of record for the Open Source community. I think thats a good description of what we were for 23 yearsbecause one sign of our of record status is how many people have told us that they have a collection of LJ issues going back many years.

    So I asked myself, what other magazines do people tend to keep, that might be models for Linux Journal as it grows into something much bigger in the worldwhile doing a better job than ever tending its Linux roots?

  • Desktop

    • Poll: Best Linux Distribution

      ere working on 2018 Readers Choice Awards. First poll which do you consider to be the best distribution?

    • Linux Desktop Success Unleaded Hangout

      Linux Desktop Success. Whats it going to take to get us there? Have we already hit the tipping point with ChromeOS? Perhaps instead, its a matter of greater OEM adoption? We discuss.

    • ...


04feb2018 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"


GNU Hurd Hardware Support Remains In Very Rough Shape For 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Yesterday at FOSDEM 2018 Hurd developer Samuel Thibault talked about the work done on this GNU kernel for a PCI arbiter to allow different user-land drivers to access PCI devices concurrently. During this PCI arbiter talk he also went over the current state of the hardware support and recent achievements for GNU Hurd...


Benchtop Fume Extractor Cuts the Cord, Clears the Air "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

What good is safety gear that isnt used because its annoying and gets in the way of getting the job at hand completed? None, really, and the solder fume extractor is one item that never seems to live in harmony with your workspace. Theyre often noisy, they obstruct your vision, and a power cord draped across your bench is a sure way to ruin your soldering zen.

To fix those problems, [Nate] has built a nice battery powered solder fume extractor thats so low profile and so quiet, you wont mind sharing a bench with it. Based on a standard 80-mm case fan, the extractor has a built-in 18650 battery for power and a USB charging port. There are nice little features, like a speed control and a low-battery indicator. The fan mounts to a pair of custom PCBs, which form the feet for the fan. [Nate] claims to have run the fan for 12 hours straight on battery before needing a charge, and that its so quiet he needs to add a power indicator to the next version. Also making an appearance in rev 2 will be a carbon filter to catch the fumes, but as [Nate] notes, better to spread them around for now than let them go directly up his nose.

Are you in the hacking arts for the long haul? Lets hope so. If you are, make sure youre up on the basics of mitigating inhalation hazards.


Three Million UK Homes To Get Ultrafast Broadband By 2020 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Openreach, the BT-owned firm that manages the UK's broadband infrastructure, has vowed to introduce "ultrafast" internet connections to three million premises by 2020. The company said it was accelerating its plan to run fibre connections directly to homes and businesses. It will increase internet speeds from 24 megabits a second under superfast broadband to 100 megabits. The first phase will begin this year, targeting eight cities across the UK.

[...] Too little, too late. That is how BT's many critics will characterise the plan to bring full fibre connections into as many as 10 million homes by 2025. They have always argued that the UK should have opted long ago for a national future-proof fibre-to-the-home network. Instead, BT's approach has been to lay fibre to cabinets on the street and then rely on good old copper cables to take broadband into the home.

[...] with the government switching tack and insisting "full fibre" is now the answer, BT has seen the light - though as its statement makes clear the speed of the rollout will depend on an "acceptable" return on its investment.

Original Submission

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Statistics Show That Motions to Amend Patents Are Rarely Successful (No Second Chance for Bad Patents) "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Sign of success and failure

Summary: A look at some curious figures which serve to highlight the role played by the patent appeal board, PTAB, which cleans up the mess left for a number of decades due to lenient examination

THE bashing of PTAB aside, this past week we saw some interesting posts that arent pure lobbying.

Scott McKeown, for example, shared some statistics. The headline is a tad misleading because PTAB does not attack. PTAB defends. It defends from bogus patents. But heres the key part:

Patent reexamination filings have fallen 86% since 2012. With the elimination of the popular inter partes patent reexamination option in 2012, an overall decrease was certainly expected. However, ex parte reexamination filings continue to drop every year. Only 191 ex parte reexamination requests were filed in 2017. This was the lowest number of ex parte reexamination filings since the mid-1990s. While an ex parte patent challenge is far less appealing to a patent challenger than a contested proceeding (AIA trial proceeding), and this factor has undoubtedly contributed to the decreasing numbers, patent reexamination and other post-grant proceedings of the Central Reexamination Unit (CRU) still provide unique rehabilitation opportunities for patent owners.

Andrew Williams also shared some statistics from PTAB. As it turns out, those begging to salvage their bogus patents by editing them have slim chances. As Williams put it: Tellingly, the third chart shows the outcome of the 170 decided motions to amend in which substitute claims were proposed. In 156 of these cases, or 92%, the Board denied the motion. The four motions to amend that were granted outright represent 2% of all motions to amend with substitute claims that were decided, and represent a much smaller per...


Amazon surpasses Google to become the worlds most valuable brand "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Amazon is the worlds most valuable brand, overtakes Apple and Google

Amazon, the e-commerce giant, has raced ahead of last years number one, Google, to become the worlds most valuable brand, according to the latest Brand Finance Global 500 report for the year 2018.

Amazons brand value has increased by 42% year-on-year to $150.8 billion (106.3 billion). Moving beyond the digital space, Amazon acquired Whole Foods for US$13.7 billion last year that gave the brand a foothold in the business of bricks and mortar. While Amazon is present in shipping, music and video streaming, there is also industry speculation on an impending bank acquisition in 2018.

Speaking of Amazons dominance, David Haigh, Chief Executive Officer of Brand Finance commented, Jeff Bezos once said that brands are more important online than they are in the physical world. He has proved himself right by choosing the name Amazon, known as the largest, most powerful river in the world, as 23 years later the Amazon brand carries all before it as an unstoppable force. The strength and value of the Amazon brand gives it stakeholder permission to extend relentlessly into new sectors and geographies. All evidence suggests that the amazing Amazon brand is going to continue growing indefinitely and exponentially.

Defending its number two ranking is Apple, whose brand value shot up by 37% to $146.3 billion. However, the reports authors described its future as looking bleak.

Apple has failed to diversify and grown overdependent on sales of its flagship iPhones, responsible for two thirds of revenue, the report said. With the advent of emerging world brands like Huawei, Apples increasing focus on what are effectively luxury products may cost the brand a fair share of the global mass market, limiting the potential for brand value growth.

Meanwhile, Google came in at a (relatively) distant third with a modest 10% increase in brand value to $120.9 billion. Google is a champion in internet search, cloud and mobile OS technology but, similar to Apple, its focus on particular sectors is holding it back from unleashing the full potential of its brand, the report authors said.

Climbing two positions was the South Korean tech giant, Samsung at number four, whose brand value rose by 39% to $92.3 billion. On the other hand, social networking giant, Facebook climbed from ninth to fifth spot, with its value up by 45% to $89.7 billion.

This is the first time since the inception of the Brand Finance Global 500 study in 2007 that all top five companies in the table are from the technology sector....


Spectre V1 Mitigation, IBPB Support Sent In For Linux 4.16 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Last week Meltdown/Spectre patch wrangler Thomas Gleixner sent in various code clean-ups for Retpolines and KPTI with Linux 4.16 while today more feature work has been submitted. This includes initial mitigation work for Spectre v1 as well as IBPB support...


Repairs You Can Print: Nintendo 3DS XL Lives Again! "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Handheld game consoles have a hard life, and even the most well-built models can sometimes fail. The Nintendo 3DS XL, for example, can fail at its hinge, which is what happened to the one owned by [Mark]. Would he fix the hinge? No, he had a far simpler if a little less flexible solution, a 3D-printed bracket that clips over the whole device.

Sometimes the best pieces of work are also the simplest ones, and this one certainly fits that bill on both counts. When your console dies, you want it fixed, and though this doesnt extend as far as providing a working hinge action it should allow you to play without further damaging anything. Its not impossible to imagine that it could be made to incorporate a flexible zig-zag section to produce a closeable hinge, but if your Nintendo is broken youll care little for such niceties. The project can be downloaded from its Thingiverse page.

A common failure that wed expect to accompany a broken hinge would be a faulty flexible ribbon cable. Fortunately, those are fixable on the 3DS, too.


The Latest Attacks on PTAB Are Old News or Smears Recycled by Watchtroll et al. "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

An old newspaper

Summary: The attempts to tarnish the reputation of the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB), particularly because of Oil States at the US Supreme Court (SCOTUS), have reached pretty pathetic levels and endless repetition with sound bites like kangaroo court or efficient infringement

THE past week, based on our media survey, showed a rise in attacks on PTAB (compared to the prior week). We are guessing that these attacks will intensify as Oil States (SCOTUS decision) draws near. Its all about PTAB.

Watchtroll has been very late to the news this month. It was covering news from almost 3 weeks ago (e.g. Exmark, TiVo, and WesternGeco, which we mentioned before). Must be slow for them very late to the news. But rest assured, Watchtroll will carry on with PTAB bashing. Not even anything new, just old stuff recycled.

We are guessing that these attacks will intensify as Oil States (SCOTUS decision) draws near.There have been fewer attacks on PTAB lately (slowdown for the anti-PTAB lobby), so here comes Dennis Crouch complaining again about lack of opinions (to slow PTAB down). It wasnt just Crouch/Patently-O. Tw...


Never-Before-Seen Viruses That Can Kill Bacteria Contained in Women's Bladders "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

Plumbing the depths of women's bladders may shower researchers with viral gold.

In a wee survey, Loyola University Chicago researchers found the sac-like organ brimming with never-before-seen viruses that can kill and manipulate bacteria. Their findings, published this week in the Journal of Bacteriology, offer a first-pass catalogue of the rich diversity of bacteria-infecting virusesaka "phages" or "bacteriophages"in the bladder microbiome. The researchers suggest that further studies into the streaming viral content could one day lead to phage-based methods to void bacterial infections and identify disorders.

"The thought that there's not bacteria in urine is false," Catherine Putonti told Ars straight away. Putonti, a bioinformatics researcher and microbiologist at Loyola, is the leading author of the study. "The big picture is that there are a lot of viruses that are part of these bacterial communities as well."

With an early hold on what viruses are present in the bladder, the researchers are excited for more urinary deep dives to see if there's a core "bladder phageome" and what those viruses might be doingor be able to do. "Now we can start asking questions," Putonti said.


Original Submission

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FreeIPMI 1.6.1 Released With Performance Improvements, Better IPv6 Support "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Albert Chu of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory announced the release this weekend of FreeIPMI, the GNU project implementing Intelligent Platform Management Interface v1.5/2.0 support...


Russia Blocks 500 Pirate Sites in Four Months, Without a Single Court Order "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Once the legal process for blocking pirate sites has been accepted in a region, it usually follows that dozens if not hundreds of other sites are given the same treatment. Rightsholders simply point to earlier decisions and apply for new blockades under established law.

Very quickly, however, it became clear that when a domain is blocked its relatively easy to produce a clone or mirror of a site to achieve the same purpose, thus circumventing a court order. This mirror site whac-a-mole was addressed in Russia last year with new legislation.

Starting October 1, 2017, Russian authorities allowed rightsholders to add mirror sites to the countrys national blocklist without having to return to court. Perhaps unsurprisingly, given the relative convenience and cost-efficiency, they have been doing that en masse.

According to Alexei Volin, Russias Deputy Minister of Communications and Mass Media, hundreds of mirrors of pirate sites have been blocked since the introduction of the legislation in October, affecting an audience of millions of people.

For the past few months, we have been able to block mirrors of pirate sites. As of today, we can already note that about 500 sites are blocked as mirrors, said Volin at the CSTB 2018 television and telecommunications expo in Moscow.

While rightsholders were expected to quickly take advantage of the change in the law, the speed at which they have done so is unprecedented. According to Volin, more pirate platforms have been blocked in the four months since October 1, 2017, than in the previous two years worth of judicial decisions.

Colleagues from the industry recently found a general audience of blocked sites, its about 200 million people, Volin said, while describing the results as encouraging.

The process is indeed quite straightforward. Following a request from a rightsholder, the Ministry of Communications decides whether the site being reported is actually a copy of a previously blocked pirate site. If it is, the owner of the site and telecoms regulator Rozcomnadzor are informed about the situation, while local ISPs are ordered to begin blocking the site.

Source: TF, for the latest info on copyright, file-sharing, torrent sites and more. We also have VPN discounts, offers and coupons


Kepler Clock Gating Queued In Nouveau DRM, Lowering Power Use "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Red Hat's Lyude Paul has been spending the past number of weeks working out clock-gating support for NVIDIA Kepler GPUs with the open-source Nouveau DRM kernel driver...


GandCrab, a new ransomware-as-a-service emerges from Russian crime underground "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Experts at cyber security firm LMNTRIX have discovered a new ransomware-as-a-service dubbed GandCrab. advertised in Russian hacking community on the dark web.

Experts at cyber security firm LMNTRIX have discovered a new ransomware-as-a-service in the dark web dubbed GandCrab.

GandCrab raas

The GandCrab was advertised in Russian hacking community, researchers noticed that authors leverage the RIG and GrandSoft exploit kits to distribute the malware.

Over the last three days LMNTRIX Labs has been tracking an influx of GandCrab ransomware. The ransomware samples are being pushed by RIG Exploit delivery channels. reads the analysis published by LMNTRIX.

GandCrab raas

As usually happen for Russian threat actors, members cannot use the ransomware to infect systems in countries in the former Soviet Republics that now comprise the Commonwealth of Independent States.

Below some interesting points from the advertisement:

  • Prospective buyers are asked to join the partner program, in which profits from the ransomware are split 60:40
  • Large partners are able to increase their percentage of proceeds to 70 per cent
  • As a Ransomware-as-a-service off...


Tesla is installing Powerwalls and solar power on 50,000 homes to create biggest virtual power plant in the world "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Tesla has been making big moves on the energy storage market in Australia, but they are now all being dwarfed by this new project that will see them install solar arrays and Powerwalls on 50,000 homes to create the biggest virtual power plant in the world. The companys main project has been the 100MW/ 129MWh Powerpack project in South Australia, the largest in the world for now. But now instead of being a large centralized battery system using Teslas Powerpacks, the new project announced today is using Teslas residential battery system, the Powerwall, to create decentralized energy stora


All-electric ferry cuts emission "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The operators of the first all-electric ferry in Norway are starting to get some good data on the vehicle and its nothing short of impressive. They claim that the all-electric ferry cuts emission by 95% and costs by 80% compared to fuel-powered counterparts and the results are attracting customers. The ferry in question is called Ampere and it was put into operation back in May 2015 with the aim to reduce NOx and CO2 emissions, as well as noise pollution on the water. It was the result of an extensive partnership between Norled AS, a shipping company and ferry operator, Fjellstrand Shipy


Chinas plan to use artificial intelligence to boost the thinking skills of nuclear submarine commanders "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Equipping nuclear submarines with AI would give China an upper hand in undersea battles while pushing applications of the technology to a new level.


Contrary to Claims From the Litigation Industry, AIA, PTAB, and the USPTOs Inter Partes Reviews (IPRs) Make the US Better for Innovation "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Related: In the United States, Software Patents Are Still Consistently Invalidated Under 35 U.S.C. 101


Summary: In an effort to undermine patent reform, patent extremists now latch onto findings about the relative decline of the US (e.g. in the sciences) and blame that squarely on patent policy, neglecting to mention that patent activity in the US (e.g. filings) is at an all-time high

THE US has changed after the Federal Circuit and Board (PTAB) started invalidating software patents en masse. It changed for the better. As we noted last month, the patent microcosm blames everything negative in the US (decline in rankings pertaining to science) on AIA, which is responsible for PTAB (and thus IPRs). Sometimes they also lump in SCOTUS (with Alice). Its laughable and we already wrote some rebuttals to their arguments, which are worse than shallow. They rely on no concrete evidence, as we shall explain in a moment.

the patent microcosm blames everything negative in the US (decline in rankings pertaining to science) on AIA, which is responsible for PTAB (and thus IPRs).The High Tech Inventors Alliance, a front group for several large technology companies, defends PTAB. Data contradicts the claims made by some that #patent reform has harmed innovation, it wrote a few days ago. Since the introduction of the IPR review process and the Supreme Courts Alice decision, innovation in the United States is flourishing.

This is empirically true. Here is the corresponding article from John Thorne, who describes himself as general counsel of the High Tech Inventors Alliance, a coalition of top technology companies supporting balanced patent policy and collectively holding more than 115,000 patents.

From the article:

On Fri...


Generalized Hardy's Paradox Shows an Even Stronger Conflict Between Quantum and Classical Physics "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

In 1993, physicist Lucien Hardy proposed an experiment showing that there is a small probability (around 6-9%) of observing a particle and its antiparticle interacting with each other without annihilatingsomething that is impossible in classical physics. The way to explain this result is to require quantum theory to be nonlocal: that is, to allow for the existence of long-range quantum correlations, such as entanglement, so that particles can influence each other across long distances.

"In this paper, we show a family of generalized Hardy's paradox to the most degree, in that by adjusting certain parameters they not only include previously known extensions as special cases, but also give sharper conflicts between quantum and classical theories in general," coauthor Jing-Ling Chen at Nankai University and the National University of Singapore told "What's more, based on the paradoxes, we are able to write down novel Bell's inequalities, which enable us to detect more quantum entangled states."

-- submitted from IRC

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GFX-RS Continues Advancing For High-Performance, Portable Graphics In Rust "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

GFX-RS has been the Rust programming language project for a high-performance, portable graphics API that can map to Vulkan, Apple's Metal, Direct3D, etc from a single Rust API...


Vitalik Buterin Donates $2.4 Million In Ether To Anti-Aging Research "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Vitalik Buterin, co-founder of Ethereum, donated $2.4 mln in ETH to a charity researching solutions for aging, one of the greatest problems facing humanity.


Kodi 18 Is Coming But They Are Already Thinking About Kodi 19 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

At this weekend's FOSDEM event in Brussels, Martijn Kaijser of the Kodi project provided an update on their current activities for 2018...


USPTO May Get a New Director Tomorrow, But Its Not Good News "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Andrei Iancu

Summary: It is expected that Andrei Iancu (above) will become the Director of the US Patent and Trademark Office (PTO), probably late tomorrow, but why the silence on the likely impact he would have on the Office?

THE USPTO has been headless for a long time, except for its interim leadership (Director). Trumps nominee is a cause for concern because he's from the patent microcosm, putting aside more personal aspects (such as him being born in the Soviet Union and being picked by Trump's official who is most closely connected to Putin's family); we dont want to use the McCarthyist tactics, so instead we focus on Andrei Iancus professional background.

The writings are on the wall and Iancu in this position would likely exacerbate things.Is a private patent law firm about to take over? According to this, [t]he USPTO should have a new director within the next few days. President Trump nominated Irell & Manella partner Andrei Iancu for the position last fall. A vote is now scheduled on the Senate Floor for late Monday. So far, no Senators have voiced any direct opposition to the nomination.

Have any Senators bothered researching this matter? Have any corporations (or their front groups) bothered commenting on the matter? If not, why not? Are they just trying to be diplomatic in case he gets appointed? The writings are on the wall and Iancu in this position would likely exacerbate things. Its bad enough as it is and it can only get worse after the PTO amassed many patents of questionable quality (reducing legal certainty).

Its bad enough as it is and it can only get worse after the PTO amassed many patents of questionable quality (reducing legal certainty).It is worth noting, based on...


A Few Laser-Cut Cases For Your SBCs "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Single-board computers, usually featuring ARM processors, have revolutionized the world of the hardware hacker over the last decade. The computing power you would have found in a desktop computer not so long ago, mounted on a small PCB and powered from a mobile phone charger.

With a few notable exceptions though, these single board computers are just that, boards. No cases in the pack, which has, of course, spawned a huge aftermarket of commercial offerings and a pile of homemade ones of varying sophistication. If these homemade offerings are your fancy then todays link may be of interest, some very well-designed laser-cut cases from [Nick Smith] for a selection of popular and less well-known boards.

The Orange Pi Lite and Raspberry Pi Zero are both familiar enough, but one of the delights of writing for Hackaday reveals itself in the discovery of the more esoteric Marvell ESPRESSObin, an SBC with multiple network ports and serial ATA.

Are cases your passion? Step back in time for our round-up of case designs for the first Raspberry Pi.

Via Hacker News.



PTABs Chief Judge David Ruschke Responds to the Smears From the Anti-PTAB Lobby "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Related: The Anti-PTAB (Patent Trial and Appeal Board) Lobby is Partly Funded by the Koch Brothers and the Right Wing

David Ruschke

Summary: David Ruschkes response to the attacks on the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) as covered in the media just before the weekend, based on a meeting of the Patent Public Advisory Committee

WHEN the Chief Judge of the PTAB was appointed 1.5 years ago the USPTO got itself a technical judge with a decent background in charge of an important panel/board. We have not seen any evidence whatsoever of foul play under his watch. We do, however, see patent scammers (like the lawyers of the Mohawk tribe) flinging conspiracy theories at him. The anti-PTAB lobby has resorted to just attacking the judges (e.g. calling them impotent) and their integrity rather than application of the law etc.

The law is the law and unlike the patent office, these people dont have an incentive to just grant as many patents as possible.We can sort of understand why PTAB is hated (well say more about that later today) and especially who it is hated by. As the latest issue of IAM magazine put it some days ago, PTABs Inter partes reviews continue to have a huge impact on patent litigation in the United States and patents become far less enticing (for the litigation industry).

Its not uncommon to resort to judge-bashing something that is rarely done in Europe but is apparently considered acceptable in the US. According to Law 360, David Ruschke has just responded to common accusations:

The Patent T...


i.MX8 SoC Support Might Be Introduced In Linux 4.17 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

With this week's ARM SoC/platform updates for Linux 4.16 it was revealed the next kernel cycle might introduce i.MX8 SoC support...


IAM Magazine, Authored by Benot Battistelli, is Rubbish Compared to Patent Scholars "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Ask patent scholars for an honest perspective (not indebted to/invested in patent maximalism)

Michael Risch

Summary: Benot Battistelli has just written an article for IAM (in which he promotes buzzwords that relate to software patents) and contrary to him, prominent academics believe that the patent systems have gone too far and are unhinged from any economic justification.

THE EPO has been using buzzwords like "fourth industrial revolution" and "artificial intelligence" lately. We have already explained why we believe these to be loopholes for software patents, among other things. IAM has just published (in its new issue) another piece with buzzwords in the headline (intellectual property and artificial intelligence), but we were rather surprised to then find out that even a crooked tyrant, Benot Battistelli, became a contributor/writer for IAM. He promotes the fourth industrial revolution buzzwords right from the get-go (headline).

We also quite like Professor Bessen, Lemley and others who strive to improve the patent system and take nothing for granted; if only someone like them was to run the EPO; instead we have another President coming (in less than 5 months) whos a banker.The use of buzzwords is to be expected from lawyers, politicians and marketing people; not from scientists (which Battistelli cannot understand or relate to). Software patents will occupy the remainder of todays coverage. Were still seeing


A Cloud/Hosting Provider Is Using Coreboot On Thousands Of Servers "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

A European cloud and dedicated server provider that designs their own servers is now designing their own BIOS using Coreboot and using this in production on thousands of servers...


Norway Rats Trade "Commodities" "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Norway rats trade different commodities

Researchers of the University of Bern have shown for the first time in an experiment that also non-human animals exchange different kind of favours. Humans commonly trade different commodities, which is considered a core competence of our species. However, this capacity is not exclusively human as Norway rats exchange different commodities, too. They strictly follow the principle "tit for tat" even when paying with different currencies, such as grooming or food provisioning.

[...] In an experimental study, Manon Schweinfurth and Michael Taborsky from the Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the University of Bern tested whether common Norway rats engage in reciprocal trading of two different forms of help, i.e. allogrooming and food provisioning. Their test rats experienced a partner either cooperating or non-cooperating in one of the two commodities. To induce allogrooming, the researchers applied saltwater on the test rats' neck, which is hardly accessible to self-grooming, so help by a partner is needed. To induce food provisioning, partner rats could pull food items towards the test rats. Afterwards, test rats had the opportunity to reciprocate favours by the alternative service, i.e. allogrooming the partner after receiving food from it, or donating food after having been allogroomed. The test rats groomed more often cooperating than non-cooperating food providers, and they donated food more often to partners that had heavily groomed them before. Apparently, they traded these two services among another according to the decision rules of direct reciprocity. This result indicates that reciprocal trading among non-human animals may be much more widespread than currently assumed. It is not limited to large-brained species with advanced cognitive abilities, says Manon Schweinfurth.

Experimental evidence for reciprocity in allogrooming among wild-type Norway rats (open, DOI: 10.1038/s41598-017-03841-3) (DX)

Reciprocal allogrooming among unrelated Norway rats (Rattus norvegicus) is affected by previously received cooperative, affiliative and aggressive behaviours (DOI: 10.1007/s00265-017-2406-1) (DX)



Igalia's Battle Getting Chromium Running Nicely On Wayland "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Igalia has been one of the companies working on improving Chromium's support for Wayland and they shared their story about it at this weekend's FOSDEM 2018 event in Brussels...


GRUB 2.04 Should Be Released Later This Year "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

It's been nine months since the release of GRUB 2.02 while the GRUB 2.04 stable release should be out by year's end...


Puerto Crypto is a conference focused on connecting Puerto Rico with visionary entrepreneurs and investors in the blockchain, crypto currency and ICO vertical "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Puerto Rico 09:15 A History of Virtual Currency and Digital Payments Rod Garratt UCSB 09:30 Transparency and the Transformative Nature of Blockchain Technology Gerardo Trevino Paybook 10:00 Living on the Ledger And The Coming Licensing Revolution Matt Clemenson Scott Picken 10:30 Coffee Break 11:00 New Money, New Internet, New World Alena Vranova Satoshi Labs 11:15 Crypto Trading Panel Jared Geata Blockchain Industries, Inc.


Beating Life-Force Amulet "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Its one thing to see science-fiction slowly become reality, but quite another to take that process into your own hands. Inspired by a movie prop, [Eric Strebel] decided to build himself a 21st science-fiction artifact: a pulsing, life-force amulet.

At the aheam heart of this amulet is a blinking LED circuit which [Strebel] modified into a slow pulse with the help of his friends. To add to the surreal quality of the amulet, he sourced a stone from a local gem show, bringing his circuit along to get an idea of what the final product would look like. Once [Strebel] had shaped the stone to a more manageable size, he took a polyester filler mold of its rear face to use as a base from which to cast a durable resin housing for the circuit.

[Strebel] is using a pair of coin cell batteries which fit snugly behind the glowing LED, and in case he ever needs to get inside the amulet, hes attached the stone to the rear with sew-on straps super-gluing them to each piece. He went for a bit of an industrial look for the necklace a braided oil line with a modified quick-release clasp that works like a charm.

How does this amulet stack up to one from the 23rd century? You be the judge!


(video) Why all blue whales dont get cancer "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

SciShow created a well-produced video on why whales dont get cancer. The video shows how researchers have discovered extra cancer-fighting genes in elephants and whales and plan to apply these lessons to fighting cancer in humans.

(video) Researchers are investigating why blue whales dont get cancer and plan to apply this lessons to fighting cancer in humans.


These researchers argue there is no upper limit to our lifespan "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Researchers say there is not an upper limit to human lifespan. However, a new report from the CDC suggests that both sides of the debate may be missing the point.

Summary: Several researchers say there is not an upper limit to human lifespan, contradicting studies which point to a maximum human lifespan. However, a new report from the CDC suggests that both sides of the debate may be missing the point. [This article first appeared on LongevityFacts. Author: Brady Hartman. ]

While many studies have set an upper limit on human lifespan at around 115 to 120 years, other researchers argue that there is no upper limit. This article presents both sides of the debate over the existence of a maximum human lifespan.

Upper Limit to Human Lifespan

The trouble started last year when several new studies announced that human lifespan is limited to about 115 120 years.


EU Anti-Piracy Agreement Has Little Effect on Advertising, Research Finds "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

In recent years various copyright holder groups have adopted a follow-the-money approach in the hope of cutting off funding to so-called pirate sites.

Thus far this has resulted in some notable developments. In the UK, hundreds of advertising agencies began banning pirate sites in 2014 and similar initiatives have popped up elsewhere too.

One of the more prominent plans was orchestrated by the European Commission. In October 2016, this resulted in a voluntary self-regulation agreement signed by leading EU advertising organizations, which promised to reduce ad placement on pirate sites. The question is, how effective is this agreement?

To find out, researchers from European universities in Munich, Copenhagen, and Lisbon, conducted an extensive study. They collected data on the prevalence of ads from various advertisers on hundreds of pirate sites. The data were collected on several occasions, both before and after the agreement.

The findings are published in the article Follow The Money: Online Piracy and Self-Regulation in the Advertising Industry. Christian Peukert, one of the authors, informs TF that the latest version of the working paper was published last month and is currently under review at an academic journal.

The results show that the effects of the anti-piracy agreement are fairly minimal. On a whole, there is no significant change in the volume of piracy sites that ad agencies serve. Only when looking at the larger ad-networks in isolation, a downward trend is visible.

Our results suggests that the presence of advertising services on piracy websites does not change significantly, at least not on average, the researchers write in their paper.

Once we allow for heterogeneity in terms of size, we show that more popular advertising services, i.e. those that are overall more diffused on the Internet, reduce their presence on piracy websites significantly more.

When larger advertising companies are given more weight in the analysis, the average effect equates to a 17% drop in pirate site connections.

That larger companies are more likely to comply with the agreement can be explained by a variety of reasons. They could simply be more aware of the agreement, or they feel more pressure to take appropriate steps in response.

Interestingly, there...


Children Get New Ears Grown From Their Own Cells "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Scientists have grown a perfectly compatible ear in a lab and grafted it onto a patient, in what they said was a world first in regenerative medicine.

The groundbreaking technique saw them use the patient's own ear cartilage cells to form a new one.

Five children suffering from a condition known as microtia, in which the external ear is underdeveloped, have undergone the experimental surgery.

The first child to have the procedure two-and-a-half years ago was showing no signs the body has rejected or accidentally absorbed the new cells, the Chinese team who developed the procedure wrote when they published their findings in the journal EBioMedicine.

Currently the widely used treatments for microtia include the use of silicone prosthetic ears, or rib-cartilage reconstruction, which has mixed results.

The new technique involves taking a scan of the child's unaffected ear, reversing the dimensions and 3D-printing a biodegradable mould punctuated with tiny holes.

Cartilage cells taken from the recipient's other, unaffected ear are then used to fill the holes while the new ear is still in the lab.

Over three months the cartilage cells begin to grow in the shape of the mould, and the mould itself begins to break down.

While this process is underway, the ear is grafted onto the recipient.

"It's a very exciting approach," Tessa Hadlock, a reconstructive plastic surgeon at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary in Boston, told New Scientist, which first reported on the research.

Guangdong Zhou, et. al. In Vitro Regeneration of Patient-specific Ear-shaped Cartilage and Its First Clinical Application for Auricular Reconstruction, EBioMedicine, DOI: 10.1016/j.ebiom.2018.01.011

Original Submission

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UK Government Advices Industry Sectors To Comply With Guidance Or Pay $17 Million Fine "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Aiming to tackle threats from rogue nations and hackers The UK Government urges to boost security measures of services in critical sectors.

On November 2016 United Kingdom published the National Cyber Security Strategy to address cyber threats from rogue nations like Iran, Russia, China, terrorists, states sponsored hackers and cyber menaces like ransomware against the national infrastructure.

On August 2017 UK government published a public consultation to improve United Kingdom essential services in electricity, transport, water, energy, health and digital infrastructure in accordance with the Directive of Security of Network and Information Systems (known as NIS Directive) in cooperation with the Member States within the European Union (EU).

The NIS Directive consultation covered six main topics that are the following: identification of essential services, national Framework to manage implementation, security requirements for operators of essential services, incident reporting requirements for operators of essential services, requirements on Digital Service Providers and proposed penalty regime.

The Directive comes into play to cover aspects of network security that are not present in GDPR. Regarding GDPR the Directive aligns itself with the deadline for the implementation.

It is important to notice that there are two major and distinct bodies inspecting the compliance of the NIS Directive, the Competent Authorities, and NCSC. NCSC stands for National Cyber Security Centre a part of GCHQ, while Competent Authority stands for Regulator Body defined in NIS Directive scope for different critical sectors. This division aims to allow NCSC to carry out its function in providing expert advice and incident response capability to cyber attacks.

The NIS Directive is established in a layered fashion with a mandatory security outcome to be achieved with each principle like the NIST Security Framework. This assures that the NIS Directive can be implemented throughout the whole industry regardless their sectors. The layered approach takes into account the...


A 3D Printable Raman Probe "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Scientific instruments are expensive. In a lot of cases, really expensive, so if you have spent any time in a well-equipped lab, the chances are that it would have been one backed up by the resources of a university, or a large company. Those experimenters who wish to pursue such matters outside those environments have traditionally had to rely on obsolete instruments from the surplus market. A fascinating endeavor in itself, but one that can sometimes limit the opportunity to pursue science.

It has been interesting then to see the impact of the arrival of affordable 3D printing on the creation of self-built scientific instruments. A fantastic example has come our way, [David H Haffner Sr]s 3D printable Raman probe. A Raman spectroscope is an instrument in which the light scattered from the sample exposed to an incident monochromatic source is collected, as opposed to that reflected or transmitted through it. Scattered light can be a huge magnitude weaker than other modes, thus the design of a Raman probe is critical to its success. (If you are curious, read this multi-part explanation on Raman spectroscopy.)

This is a work in progress at the time of writing, but it still makes for an interesting examination of Raman probe design. Interestingly the sensor is a standard DSLR camera, which though not a cheap device is possibly more affordable than a more dedicated sensor.

This isnt the first Raman spectrometer weve seen on these pages, weve also brought you a Fourier transform spectrometer, and plenty of more conventional instruments.


More than 1 million worth of ETH stolen from Bee Token ICO Participants with phishing emails "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Participants to the Bee Token ICO were robbed for 100s of ETH, scammers sent out a phishing email stating that the ICO was now open, followed by an Ethereum address they controlled.

Another day, another incident involving cryptocurrencies, hundreds of users fell victims to email scams in the last days.

The victims were tricked by scammers into sending more than $1 million worth of Ethereum to them as part of Bee Token ICO (Initial Coin Offering). Bee Token is a blockchain-based home sharing service, it launched the ICO on January 31 and ended on February 2, when the Bee team obtained the $5 million necessary to start their project.

During the period of the ICO, the crooks sent phishing emails posing as the Bee Token ICO.

The scammers, impersonating the Bee team, sent out emails with a character of urgency to the potential investors inviting them to buy Bee Tokens by transferring Ethereum coins to their wallets.

The scammers attempted to convince users to participate to the ICO by sending Ethereum spreading the news that the company started a partnership with Microsoft and would be giving participants a 100% bonus for all contributions in the next 6 hours.

Cybercriminals also guaranteed that the value of Bee Token would double within 2 months, or participants would receive their RTH back.

Today, investors who were eagerly waiting for their opportunity to join the Bee Token ICO were robbed for 100s of ETH. Scammers managed to get their hands on the Bee Token mailing list and sent out a phishing email stating that the ICO was now open, followed by an Ethereum address to send their contributions to. states the blog post published TheRippleCryptocurrency.

After the Bee team became aware of fraudulent activity it issued three security alerts to warn of the ongoing scam:


'Never Get High on Your Own Supply' Why Social Media Bosses Dont Use Social Media "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The Guardian writes how tech insiders give their own products a wide berth. The reason is in the design of these services.

I am a compulsive social media user. I have sent about 140,000 tweets since I joined Twitter in April 2007 six Jacks' worth. I use Instagram, Snapchat and Reddit daily. I have accounts on Ello, Peach and Mastodon (remember them? No? Don't worry). Three years ago, I managed to quit Facebook. I went cold turkey, deleting my account in a moment of lucidity about how it made me feel and act. I have never regretted it, but I haven't been able to pull the same stunt twice.

I used to look at the heads of the social networks and get annoyed that they didn't understand their own sites. Regular users encounter bugs, abuse or bad design decisions that the executives could never understand without using the sites themselves. How, I would wonder, could they build the best service possible if they didn't use their networks like normal people?

Now, I wonder something else: what do they know that we don't?

Apparently what's good for the goose isn't good for the gander.

Original Submission

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Anymail: CVE-2018-6596: timing attack on WEBHOOK_AUTHORIZATION secret "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Posted by Salvatore Bonaccorso on Feb 04


MITRE has assigned CVE-2018-6596 for the following issue in Anymail, a
Django email backends for multiple ESPs:

There is the upstream fix for v1.3
and v1.2.1



The Mothership Awaits: Startup Societies In The Sky "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Another in our Frontiers series, this article examines the possibility and probability of Startup Societies in the sky. The upsides are great, but so are the obstacles


Yale dermatologists successfully restore skin color in vitiligo patients "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

By Ziba Kashef

Building on prior research that examined the use of an arthritis medication to treat vitiligo, a team of Yale dermatologists has successfully applied a novel combination therapy the medication and light to restore skin color in patients.


New A.I. police car brings us one step closer to Robocop "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The capabilities on this thing are both impressive and worrisome.


Tickling the brain with electrical stimulation improves memory, study shows "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Tickling the brain with low-intensity electrical stimulation in a specific area can improve verbal short-term memory. Mayo Clinic researchers report their findings in Brain.

The researchers found word recall was enhanced with stimulation of the brains lateral temporal cortex, the regions on the sides of the head by the temples and ears. Patients recalled more words from a previously viewed list when low-amplitude was delivered to the brain. One patient reported that it was easier to picture the words in his mind for remembering.

The most exciting finding of this research is that our for language information can be improved by directly stimulating this underexplored brain area, says Michal Kucewicz, Ph.D., a Mayo Clinic researcher in the Department of Neurology and co-first author. Dr. Kucewicz compares the stimulation to tickling the brain.


The Next 20 Years of Open Source Software Begins Today "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Over at the Open Source Initiative, Simon Phipps writes about the past, present, and future of Open Source Software as it turns 20 this year. Thought of in a strategy session on how to make Free Software more palatable to certain business interests, the orignal idea was for it to be a stepping stone from proprietary to Free Software by focusing first on the advantages of the developmental model.

Thirty-five years ago when Richard Stallman decided that he could no longer tolerate proprietary software, and started the free software movement, software freedom was misunderstood and dismissed. Twenty years ago a group of free software advocates gathered in California and decided that software freedom needed to be brought to the business world. The result was a marketing program called "open source". That same month, February 1998, the Open Source Initiative (OSI) was founded as a general educational and advocacy organization to raise awareness and adoption for the superiority of an open development process.

Of course, old-timers will remind us that originally software was source and binaries did not count. Up until the late 1970s or early 1980s, when you bought software, it was source.

Source : Happy AnniversaryThe Next 20 Years of Open Source Begins Today


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Towards Sensible Packaging For 3D Printer Filament "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Filament-based 3D printers are remarkably wasteful. If you buy a kilogram of filament from your favorite supplier, the odds are that it will come wrapped around a plastic spool weighing about 250 grams. Use the filament, and that spool will be thrown in the trash. Very, very few products have such wasteful packaging as 3D printer filament, with the possible exception of inkjet cartridges or getting a receipt with your purchase at CVS.

For the last few years, [Richard Horne], better known as RichRap, has been working towards a solution to the problem of the wasteful spools for 3D printer filament. Now, it looks like he has a solution with the MakerSpool. Its the perfect solution for a 3D printing ecosystem that doesnt waste 20% of the total plastic on packaging.

The design of the MakerSpool is fairly straightforward and also 3D printable. Its a plastic filament spool, just a shade over 200mm in diameter, consisting of two halves that screw together. Add in some RepRap teardrop logos, and you have a spool that should fit nearly any machine, and will accept any type of filament.

The trick with this system is, of course, getting the filament onto the spool in the first place. Obviously, filament manufacturers would have to ship unspooled filament thats somehow constrained and hopefully vacuum packed. Das Filament, a filament manufacturer out of Germany, has already tested this and it looks like they have their process down. It is possible to ship a kilogram of 1.75 filament without a spool, and held together with zip ties. Other filament manufacturers also have packaging processes that are amenable to this style of packaging.

Whether this sort of packing will catch on is anyones guess, but there are obvious advantages. There is less waste for the environmentalists in the crowd, but with that you also get reduced shipping costs. Its a win-win for any filament manufacturer that could also result in reduced costs passed onto the consumer.


Florida Voting Rights Restoration Process Found Unconstitutional "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

U.S. District Judge Mark Walker has ruled that Florida's system for restoration of voting and other civil rights to convicted felons is unconstitutional. Florida is likely to appeal the ruling:

A federal judge has declared unconstitutional Florida's procedure for restoring voting rights to felons who have served their time. In a strongly worded ruling seen as a rebuke of Republican Gov. Rick Scott, who is the lead defendant in the case, U.S. District Judge Mark Walker said the disenfranchisement of felons who have served their time is "nonsensical" and a violation of the First and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

Although nearly every state bars incarcerated criminals from voting, only Florida and three others Iowa, Kentucky and Virginia do not automatically restore voting rights at the completion of a criminal sentence.

Walker, an Obama administration appointee, decried the state's requirement that someone with a felony conviction must "kowtow" to a partisan panel, the Office of Executive Clemency, "over which Florida's governor has absolute veto authority" to regain their right to vote. "[Elected], partisan officials have extraordinary authority to grant or withhold the right to vote from hundreds of thousands of people without any constraints, guidelines, or standards," the judge said. [...] The judge cited one clemency hearing where Scott announced the panel "can do whatever we want" as evidence of its arbitrary nature.

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Indias farmed chickens dosed with worlds strongest antibiotics, study finds "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Warning over wider global health impacts after findings reveal hundreds of tonnes of colistin the antibiotic of last resort are being shipped to Indias farms.

Thu 1 Feb 2018 05.50 EST Last modified on Thu 1 Feb 2018 11.20 EST.


Boost Tube Replacement Through 3D Printing "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

3D printing intake parts for a supercharged vehicle has some unique challenges. The intake must be able to take the boost pressures seen by the engine, in this case up to around 10 psi. There must be no air leaks at all as this risks confusing the sensors that measure how much air is entering the engine. Lastly, the tube must be able to withstand the hot, and often oily environment under the hood.

The first attempt was completed with TPU filament, which unfortunately did not hold pressure. A followup with PLA fared better, but was unable to withstand the heat present in the engine bay. After some experimentation, a successful print was made in PETG which was more robust. In the final design, [Sam] applied a rubber coating and then some aluminum tape, to both help seal any micro-holes in the 3D printed surface as well as help protect against heat.

After over a month of testing, [Sam]s data logs indicate the tube is performing well and holding boost. It goes to show that with some perseverance and iterative design, 3D printed parts can often save the day.

Perhaps youre inspired by this hack but need to jack up your car to work on it? Never fear, you can 3D print those too.


Meta: Much Delayed December Site Update (Complete) "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Yeah, so life has managed to delay our December Update until February. Things happen. The only change to what's in it is that I wrote up a simple plugin to syndicate content to Twitter, which is very much preferable to our current situation since we're pushing stories from a hacky little script on my desktop at the moment and I'd like to be able to boot Windows 7 for some vidya once in a while.

Downtime should be five minutes or less starting around 2:00AM UTC (an hour and forty minutes from now).

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EXT4 Is Mostly Fixes With Linux 4.16 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Ted Ts'o sent in the pull request today of EXT4 file-system driver changes for the Linux 4.16 kernel...


Uber and Lyft Shared Principle: No Personal Autonomous Cars in Dense Urban Areas "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The arrival of autonomous vehicles is an inevitability, so it makes sense that before mass adoption hits, companies like Lyft and Uber would want to band together to determine what our self-driving future will look like. Sounds pretty harmless, right?

Well, not so fast, because a new pledge by 15 big-name transportation companies seems designed to screw over city-dwellers who want to ride in their own self-driving cars. Item #10 of the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities, co-signed yesterday by Uber, Lyft, Zipcar, and Didi Chuxing (China's largest ride-sharing service), reads as follows:


Due to the transformational potential of autonomous vehicle technology, it is critical that all AVs are part of shared fleets, well-regulated, and zero emission. Shared fleets can provide more affordable access to all, maximize public safety and emissions benefits, ensure that maintenance and software upgrades are managed by professionals, and actualize the promise of reductions in vehicles, parking, and congestion, in line with broader policy trends to reduce the use of personal cars in dense urban areas.

Translation: These companies want to make it illegal for individuals to use privately owned self-driving cars in big cities, effectively giving the signatories control of our autonomous streets.

See the Shared Mobility Principles for Livable Cities site for details on their principles, which are enumerated here:

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The most advanced robotic arm in the world, John Hopkinss Modular Prosthetic Limb, is finally leaving the lab "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

I suspect this will be the hands for ATLAS. being field tested by human volunteers to see what it needs to do for average use. And, then blow that away within a few years.

Johnny Matheny is the first person to live with an advanced mind-controlled robotic arm. Last December, researchers from Johns Hopkins Applied Physics Lab delivered the arm to Matheny at his home in Port Richey, Florida. Aside from the occasional demo, this is the first time the Modular Prosthetic Limb (MPL) has spent significant time out of the lab.

Johns Hopkins has received more than $120 million from the US Defense Department to help pay for the arms development over the past 10 years.

Matheny, who lost his arm to cancer in 2005, is the first person to live with the MPL, but there are plans to have others try it out this year. There are a few things Matheny is not allowed to do with the arm, like getting it wet or drive while wearing it. But beyond that, the goal is to push the robotic prosthetic to its limits.


Getting to grips with military robotics "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

PETER SINGER, AN expert on future warfare at the New America think-tank, is in no doubt. What we have is a series of technologies that change the game. Theyre not science fiction. They raise new questions. Whats possible? Whats proper? Mr Singer is talking about artificial intelligence, machine learning, robotics and big-data analytics. Together they will produce systems and weapons with varying degrees of autonomy, from being able to work under human supervision to thinking for themselves. The most decisive factor on the battlefield of the future may be the quality of each sides algorithms. Combat may speed up so much that humans can no longer keep up.

Frank Hoffman, a fellow of the National Defence University who coined the term hybrid warfare, believes that these new technologies have the potential not just to change the character of war but even possibly its supposedly immutable nature as a contest of wills. For the first time, the human factors that have defined success in war, will, fear, decision-making and even the human spark of genius, may be less evident, he says.

Weapons with a limited degree of autonomy are not new. In 1943 Germany produced a torpedo with an acoustic homing device that helped it find its way to its target. Tomahawk cruise missiles, once fired, can adjust their course using a digital map of Earths contours. Anti-missile systems are pre-programmed to decide when to fire and engage an incoming target because the human brain cannot react fast enough.


The Breakneck Rise of Chinas Colossus of Electric-Car Batteries "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Via: Bloomberg: The next global powerhouse in the auto industry comes from a small city in a tea-growing province of southeast China, where an unheralded maker of electric-vehicle batteries is planning a $1.3 billion factory with enough capacity to surpass the output of Tesla and dwarf the suppliers for battery-powered cars by GM, Nissan and []


SiFive Introduces RISC-V Linux-Capable Multicore Processor "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Slowly but surely, RISC-V, the Open Source architecture for everything from microcontrollers to server CPUs is making inroads in the community. Now SiFive, the major company behind putting RISC-V chips into actual silicon, is releasing a chip thats even more powerful. At FOSDEM this weekend, SiFive announced the release of a Linux-capable Single Board Computer built around the RISC-V ISA. Its called the HiFive Unleashed, and its the first piece of silicon capable or running Linux on a RISC-V core.

SiFives HiFive Unleashed

The HiFive Unleashed is built around the Freedom U540 SOC, a quad-core processor built on a 28nm process. The chip itself boasts four U54 RV64GC cores with an additional E51 RV64IMAC management core. This chip has support for 64-bit DDR4 with ECC and a single Gigabit Ethernet port. Those specs are just the chip though, and youll really need a complete system for a single board computer. This is the HiFive Unleashed, a board sporting the Freedom U540, 8GB of DDR4 with ECC, 32MB of Quad SPI Flash, Gigabit Ethernet, and a microSD card slot...


Syrian Rebels Down Russian Plane, Kill Pilot "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Via: Reuters: Syrian rebels shot down a Russian warplane on Saturday and killed its pilot on the ground after he ejected from the plane, Russias defense ministry and Syrian rebels said. The SU-25 came down in an area of northern Idlib province that has seen heavy air strikes and fighting on the ground between Syrias []


How Vietnam veterans can get a rare cancer from this parasite "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Worth a closer look at, parasites causing cancer.

Vietnam veterans may have a slow growing, silent killer sitting inside their bodies, and they probably wont even know it until its too late.


Google and Aramco in Talks to Build a "Tech Hub" in Saudi Arabia "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Saudi Aramco and Alphabet/Google may cooperate on a "technology hub" within Saudi Arabia, or at least build some data centers:

Saudi Aramco, the world's largest energy company, and Google parent Alphabet have entered discussions to create a technology hub in Saudi Arabia, the Wall Street Journal reports.

The kingdom is embarking upon an ambitious plan, led by the 32-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to diversify the nation's oil-dependent economy. The foundation of the effort is a plan to create a huge sovereign wealth fund, underwritten by selling shares in the state-owned Aramco.

The initial public offering, which could happen this year, is expected to be the world's biggest-ever share sale. Aramco President and CEO Amin Nasser recently told CNBC his company is ready for the IPO this year, but is waiting on the government to choose an international list venue.

Alphabet and Aramco have discussed forming a joint venture that would build data centers around the kingdom, sources familiar with the matter tell the Journal. It remains to be seen which customers the data centers would serve and how large the joint venture would be, but it could be listed in the Saudi stock exchange, the sources said.

Data centers are just a "tangible" area of cooperation, not necessarily the entire purpose of the joint venture. Saudi Arabia has talked about building a $500+ billion "megacity" that would be technology-focused.

Meanwhile, slightly-less-of-a-billionaire Prince Alwaleed bin Talal has been put back to work:

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We are already Artificial Intelligence "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

By Eliott Edge

It is possible for a computer to become conscious. Basically, we are that. We are data, computation, memory. So we are conscious computers in a sense.

Tom Campbell, NASA

If the universe is a computer simulation, virtual reality, or video game, then a few unusual conditions seem to necessarily fall out from that reading. One is what we call consciousness, the mind, is actually something like an artificial intelligence. If the universe is a computer simulation, we are all likely one form of AI or another. In fact, we might come from the same computer that is creating this simulated universe to begin with. If so then it stands to reason that we are virtual characters and virtual minds in a virtual universe.

In Breaking into the Simulated Universe, I discussed how if our universe is a computer simulation, then our brain is just a virtual brain. It is our avatars brainbut our avatar isnt really real. It is only ever real enough. Our virtual brain plays an important part in making the overall simulation appear real. The whole point of the simulation is to seem real, feel real, look realthis includes rendering virtual brains.  In Breaking I went into this virtual brain conundrum, including how the motor-effects of brain damage work in a VR universe. The virtual brain concept seems to apply to many variants of the universe is a simulation proposal. But if the physical universe and our physical brain amount to just fancy window-dressing, and the bigger picture is indeed that we are in a simulated universe, then our minds are likely part of the big supercomputer that crunches out this mock universe. That is the larger issue. If the universe is a VR, then it seems to necessarily mean that human minds already are an artificial intelligence. Specifically, we are an artificial intelligence using a virtual lifeform avatar to navigate through an evolving simulated physical universe.


About the AI

There are several flavors of the simulation hypothesis and digital mechanics out there in science and philosophy; I refer to these different schools of thought with the umbrella term simulism.

In Breaking I went over the connection between Edward Fredkins concept of Otherthe other place, the computer platform, where our universe is being generated fromand Tom Campbells concept of Consciousness as an ever-evolving AI ruleset. If you take these two ideas and run with them, what you end up with is an interesting inevitability: over enough time and enough evolutionary pressure, an AI supercomputer with enough resources should be pushed to crunch out any number of virtual universes and any number of conscious AI lif...

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Saturday, 03 February


YouTube announces plan to combat propaganda "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

YouTube announced Friday it will start flagging videos published by organizations that receive government funding. Viewers will be able to see labels on videos from government-funded outlets above the video's title on the page. News...


Remi Locherer's EuroBSDcon 2017 Talk "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Remi Locherer wrote in:

Last September I gave a talk at EuroBSDcon in Paris. It was about the VPN setup for connecting the branch offices of my employer.

It was not my first EuroBSDcon but the first time I delivered a talk! I feared that only few people will show up at to my talk since Michael W. Lucas had his talk at the same time and also covered an OpenBSD topic. But the room was full and my talk was well received.

After the talk I received a nice gift from the EuroBSDcon organizers: a cartoonist made drawings from the presenters during the talks!

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Crowdfunding Is Now A Contract Between Company And Backer "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Kickstarter is not a store. Indiegogo is not a store. Crowdfunding is not buying something youre merely donating some money, and you might get a reward for your pledge. Caveat emptor doesnt apply, because there is no buyer, and no one can figure out what the correct Latin translation for backer is. These are the realities that have kept Indiegogo and Kickstarter in business, have caused much distress in people who think otherwise, and have been the source of so, so many crowdfunding follies.

Now, finally, crowdfunding is being legally recognized as a store. The Register reports a court in England has ruled against Retro Computers Ltd and said it had formed a contract of sale with crowdfunding backer Rob Morton. For one person, at least, for one of their pledges, Indiegogo is a store.

The crowdfunding campaign in question is Retro Computers Sinclair ZX Spectrum Vega, a small device not unlike the Commodore 64 direct to TV joysticks. The Spectrum Vega simply plugs into your TV, reads an SD card, and plays old speccy games. Clive Sinclair, the genius who brought us the Spectrum, strange flat CRTs, and a host of other inventions, was involved in this campaign. In the years since the campaign ended, there have been numerous updates and Retro Computers still says they intend to deliver the device. Morton, apparently fed up with the delays, brought a suit against Retro Computers for the grand sum of 584: 85 for the Spectrum pledge, 5 for shipping, and the remainder for travel expenses and lost wages for the court date.

District Judge Clarke of Luton County Court heard the case and ruled against Retro Computers, finding there was a contract of sale between Morton and Retro Computers Ltd.. Evidence included a number of copies of Mortons order, a document the judge pointed out as saying this order and not this pledge. Additionally, the judge found the fine print on Indiegogo does not negate a contract of sale; there was still an implied agreement between Morton and Retro Computers, and Retro Computers had breached the contract by not delivering a Spectrum.

It should go without saying that this finding does not apply to every project on Indiegogo, it does not apply to Kickstarter, and nor does it apply to every crowdfunding campaign. This does not even apply to all backers of the Spectrum Vega. Still, there are hundreds of thousands of backers for crowdfunding projects that havent received what they paid for, and if nothing else this story gives just a little bit of satisfaction to anyone thats still waiting on an undelivered product.


Backblaze Hard Drive Stats for 2017 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Backblaze has released its hard drive statistics for 2017.

Beginning in April 2013, Backblaze has recorded and saved daily hard drive statistics from the drives in our data centers. Each entry consists of the date, manufacturer, model, serial number, status (operational or failed), and all of the SMART attributes reported by that drive. As of the end of 2017, there are about 88 million entries totaling 23 GB of data. You can download this data from our website if you want to do your own research, but for starters here's what we found.

[...] For 2017 we added 25,746 new drives, and lost 6,442 drives to retirement for a net of 19,304 drives. When you look at storage space, we added 230 petabytes and retired 19 petabytes, netting us an additional 211 petabytes of storage in our data center in 2017.

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Internet Crime Complaint Center Impersonated for Malware & Phishing Scam "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

By Waqas

Another day, another phishing scam This time, hackers are impersonating Internet

This is a post from Read the original post: Internet Crime Complaint Center Impersonated for Malware & Phishing Scam


3D computed modelling of the presumed #railgun mounted on #Chinese #Navy landing ship "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Reps from #BAE, #GA General Atomics and others have been saying for years they could do this now if US #Navy wanted but its hever happened. Gotta wonder why.


Apple Offering Free Repairs To Fix No Service Bug In iPhone 7 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Apple to repair iPhone 7 models affected by No Service bug for free

For some time now, several users of the iPhone 7 have been experiencing problems due to a bug that causes their handsets to show a No Service error message in the status bar even if their cellular network coverage is available.

Apparently, a component that has failed on the main logic board is the reason behind the No Service message, says Apple. While officially acknowledging the problem, Apple said that the company will be offering a free device repair to the affected users (only available for the iPhone 7), and to even those who have already paid for repairs and are eligible for reimbursement.

Announcing about the repair program, Apple in a blog said, Apple has determined that a small percentage of iPhone 7 devices may show No Service in the status (even if cellular coverage is available), due to a component that has failed on the main logic board. These affected units were manufactured between September 2016 and February 2018 and sold in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and the U.S. See below for iPhone 7 model numbers that are covered in this program.

If your device exhibits the symptom described above, Apple will repair your device, free of charge. Your iPhone will be examined prior to any service to verify that it is eligible for this program. This program only applies to iPhone 7.

Apple will be contacting customers via email who may have paid for a repair related to this issue to arrange for reimbursement. If you believe you paid for a repair related to this issue, and have not received an email from Apple by the end of March 2018, please contact Apple.

The model numbers that were affected by the hardware failure includes A1660, A1780, and A1779, that were sold in China, Hong Kong, Japan, Macao, and the U.S., as mentioned above.

Under Apples repair program, the company will examine all iPhones prior to service to verify that the device in question is affected by the bug and eligible for repair. In the event that the iPhone 7 has suffered any damage, for instance, due to cracked screens, and this impairs the ability to complete the repair, then in such a case, the customer needs to resolve the issue prior to the No Service fix service, says Apple. In such cases, additional cost associated with the repair may be incurred. Those customers who need assistance for repairing their device can contact an Authorized Apple Service Provider, or visit an Apple retail store, or get in touch with Apple support. All iPhone 7 models that need repair will be sent by Apple to their repair center. The new iPhone 7 repair program covers only those iPhone 7 devices that are within two years of the original purchase date.

If you feel that your iP...


250,000 to 385,000-Year-Old Stone Tools Found in India "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

These Tools Upend Our View of Stone-Age Humans in Asia

Long ago in what's now southern India, early humans showed a knack for disruption that would've made Silicon Valley tech wizards envious. Over time, the ancient innovators rejected bulky hand-axes and cleavers, instead opting for sleek flakes of stone meant for cutting and tipping spears.

Similar disruptions occurred in Africa among the forebears of modern humans around the same time. But the timing of the Indian transition, spotted in the soil layers of a site called Attirampakkam, is eye-popping. At 250,000 years oldand possibly up to 385,000 years oldthis tool transition occurred far earlier than it did at other sites in India.

The discovery, described in Nature on Wednesday [DOI: 10.1038/nature25444] [DX], pushes back the start of what's called the Middle Paleolithic culture in the region by more than a hundred thousand years. That, in turn, could reshape how scientists view the global spread of homininshumans and their ancient relativesbefore modern humans migrated out of Africa some 60,000 years ago.

Also at The Verge.

Related: Earliest Human Remains Outside of Africa Discovered

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MIT Makes Lego Lab For Microfluidics "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

As any good hacker (or scientist) knows, sometimes you find the tools you need in unexpected places. For one group of MIT scientists, that place is a box of Lego. Graduate student [Crystal Owens] was looking for new ways to make a cheap, simple microfluidics kit. This technique uses the flow of small amounts of liquid to do things like sort cells, test the purity of liquids and much more. The existing lab tools arent cheap, but [Crystal] realized that Lego could do the same thing. By cutting channels into the flat surface of a Lego brick with a precise CNC machine and covering the side of the brick with glass, she was able to create microfluidic tools like mixers, drop makers and others. To create a fluid resistor, she made the channel smaller. To create a larger microfluidic system, she mounted the blocks next to each other so the channels connected. The tiny gap between blocks (about 100 to 500 microns) was dealt with by adding an O-ring to the end of each of channel. Line up several of these bricks, and you have a complete microfluidic system in a few blocks, and a lab that only costs a few dollars.

Of course, there are limitations. The ABS plastic Lego bricks are made from cant handle chemicals like organic solvents, and the channels cant be smaller than about 10 microns wide, which is too wide for some microfluidic techniques. These issues aside, its a great and inventive idea, and MIT is currently working on a web site that will show you how to make your own Lego microfluidics lab.


India and Europe Do Not Permit Software Patents, But Patent Law Firms Try to Work Around the Law "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

They want to be let in through loopholes and trap doors

To let in

Summary: LexOrbis and NLO are two of the latest examples of law firms that scheme to bypass the rules and patent software where these patents are not permitted

WHEN patent lawyers in the US are plotting to get software patents from the USPTO they arent doing anything unethical. While software patents have virtually no teeth in US courts (and are also harder to get from the examiners, especially once PTAB gets involved), theres no law or even guidelines actually banning such patents.

In other parts of the world (except China) its another matter; LexOrbis and its advocacy [1, 2] for software patents in India was noted here before. IAM helps them a lot with this. A few days ago DPS Parmar (LexOrbis) continued pushing this agenda in India. To quote:

Once the Examiner identified that claims are drafted in the means plus function style the CRI guidelines seeks examiner to further to look for information relating to implementation of the invention in the specification and if the specification supports implementation of the invention solely by the computer program then such means plus function claims may be deemed as only computer programme per se falling within the ambit of non-patentable subject matter under section 3(k). Moreover, though act does not refer the term software, the CRI guidelines directed to keep such software within the scope of non-patentable subject under section 3(k) as seen from the last para of this guideline for mean plus function claims where it is stated that Where no structural features of those means are disclosed in the specification and specification supports implementation of the invention solely by the software then in that case means in the means plus function claims are nothing but software.

They are using the infamous per se loopho...


BeeTokens ICO Hit by Phishing Scam; $1M worth of Ethereum Stolen "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

By Waqas

The decentralized home sharing network The BeeToken customers have been

This is a post from Read the original post: BeeTokens ICO Hit by Phishing Scam; $1M worth of Ethereum Stolen


Radeon Linux Graphics Stack, RadeonSI Shaders Update From FOSDEM 2018 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

In addition to the Nouveau driver crew talking about their Vulkan plans and other open-source work, Nicolai Hhnle of AMD represented the company's work on their Radeon Linux graphics driver stack(s) and the work they have going on for improving their GPU driver support...


Blizzard Targets Fan-Created World of Warcraft Legacy Server "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Over the years video game developer Blizzard Entertainment has published many popular game titles, including World of Warcraft (WoW).

First released in 2004, the multiplayer online role-playing game has been a massive success. It holds the record for the most popular MMORPG in history, with over 100 million subscribers.

While the current game looks entirely different from its first release, there are many nostalgic gamers who still enjoy the earlier editions. Unfortunately, however, they cant play them. At least not legally.

The only option WoW fans have is to go to unauthorized fan projects which recreate the early gaming experience, such as Lights Hope.

We are whats known as a Legacy Server project for World of Warcraft, which seeks to emulate the experience of playing the game in its earliest iterations, including advancing through early expansions, the project explains.

If youve ever wanted to see what World of Warcraft was like back in 2004 then this is the place to be. Our goal is to maintain the same feel and structure as the realms back then while maintaining an open platform for development and operation.

In recent years the project has captured the hearts of tens of thousands of die-hard WoW fans. At the time of writing, the most popular realm has more than 6,000 people playing from all over the world. Blizzard, however, is less excited.

The company has asked the developer platform GitHub to remove the code repository published by Lights Hope. Blizzards notice targets several SQL databases stating that the layout and structure is nearly identical to the early WoW databases.

The LightsHope spell table has identical layout and typically identical field names as the table from early WoW. We use database tables to represent game data, like spells, in WoW, Blizzard writes.

In our code, we use .sql files to represent the data layout of each table []. MaNGOS, the platform off of which Lights Hope appears to be built, uses a similar structure. The LightsHope spell_template table matches almost exactly the layout and field names of early WoW client database tables.

This takedown notice had some effect, as people now see a repository unavailable due to DMCA takedown message when they access it in their browser.

While this...


Game Changer: Maya Cities Unearthed In Guatemala Forest Using Lasers "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The technology provides them with an unprecedented view into how the ancient civilization worked and lived, revealing almost industrial agricultural infrastructure and new insights into warfare.


Physicists Spot Evidence of Odderon First Predicted in the 1970s "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Scientists have uncovered some preliminary evidence for a nuclear physics effect first predicted back in the 1970s. The physics universe youre about to enter into in order to understand it is especially mind-bending.


Why I Spent A Week Without My Phone By Gigi Falk | Thrive Global "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

My phone habits are, Id like to think, better than most. I seldom take my phone out in company and its a rare site to see me scrolling through social media. But when Im walking to or from work, standing in an elevator, or eating by myself, Ill often be checking emails, texting friends, or reading articles.

Read more


Hubbles Majestic Spiral in Pegasus | NASA "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

This NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope image shows a spiral galaxy known as NGC 7331. First spotted by the prolific galaxy hunter William Herschel in 1784, NGC 7331 is located about 45 million light-years away in the constellation of Pegasus (the Winged Horse). Facing us partially edge-on, the galaxy showcases its beautiful arms, which swirl like a whirlpool around its bright central region.

Read more


Renewables Overtake Coal in Supplying European Electricity | UNFCCC "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

A new analysis by Sandbag and Agora Energiewende shows that the European Union generated more electricity from renewable sources such as wind, solar and biomass than coal in 2017, with renewables accounting for over 30% of Europes electricity for the first time.

Read more


UN Calls on Investors to Align Portfolios with Paris Agreement | UNFCCC "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Greater ambition to divest from fossil fuel investments and consistent climate action is needed from the global investor community to accelerate the move towards a low-carbon economy and a climate-resilient future, top UN officials said at a major investor summit in New York this week.

Read more


Intel Icelake Support Lands In GCC 8 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Back in November I wrote about a GCC patch for the Intel Icelake CPU target and now that code has finally been merged for the GNU Compiler Collection ahead of the upcoming GCC 8.1 release...


Will the Future Be Human? "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

For 4 Billion Years Nothing Has Changed in the Rules of the Game of Life. That is Ending.

~ Yuval Harari

What can we learn from a history of the future? Historian Yuval Harari takes us on a journey through technological development and challenges leaders to develop a substantive vision of what it means for society, politics, religion and ideology.

Introduced by gillian R. tett, managing editor, US, financial times, USA

With yuval noah harari, professor, department of history, hebrew university of jerusalem, israel.


Had Enough Alt-Right? Try Alt-Gov! "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

From a fine publication, The Modern Farmer, an intriguing expos!

Twitter, specifically, has been a source of contention. It all started when the official National Park Service account was asked to stop tweeting after it shared photos that compared the crowd size of Trump's inauguration to the crowd size of Obama's inauguration in 2009. Then the official Badlands National Park Twitter went rogue and started tweeting facts about climate change. The tweets were later removed and blamed on "a former employee who was not authorized to use the park's account."

Since those tweets were removed, over 40 "alt" or "rogue" Twitter accounts have sprouted up to fill in for many agencies and National Parks. Some of them already have a pretty big followingcurrently, AltUSNatParkService has more than 1.27 million followers. So far we're seeing climate facts, inspirational quotes about the environment, cute photos of animals, and a lot of snark (this is Twitter, after all).

TFA includes the a few of the more interesting ones, including:

  • AltEPA: He can take our official Twitter but he'll never take our FREEDOM. Unofficial EPA #resistance. #factsmatter. If loving science is wrong, we don't wanna be right. #factsmatter
  • AltUSForestService: The unofficial, and unsanctioned, #Resistance team for the U.S. Forest Service. Not an official Forest Service account, not publicly funded, citizen run. Read it while you can!
  • AltUSDA: Resisting the censorship of facts and science. Truth wins in the end. Read the USDA Climate Change Solutions page while you still can: #resist #science #climatechange.
  • AltFDA: Uncensored FDA
  • AltUSFWS: The Alt U.S. Fish Wildlife Service (AltUSFWS) is dedicated to the conservation, protection and enhancement of fish, wildlife and plants and their habitats

Being Twitter, some of these seem to have difficulty staying on-topic and seem to think that anything is fair game.

Original Submission



It is a Tough Market for Patent Trolls in the US, But Microsoft-Connected Trolls Still Manage to Harm Android/Linux "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Simon Phipps, OSI President, earlier today: Microsoft tried to kill open source, conspiring in something called the Halloween documents.

John Sullivan, Executive Director of the Free Software Foundation (FSF), earlier today:

Summary: The litigious climate or atmosphere of litigation in the United States may have moved eastwards to China, where Microsoft and its proxies continue to shake down major Linux-using rivals (such as Huawei)

THE USPTO grants patents at record rates, but patent litigation is falling every year. Thats because the certainty associated with granted patents is decreasing.

the certainty associated with granted patents is decreasing.3 days ago came a new press release which speaks of a new chief licensing officer in InterDigital, a company whose entire business is patent shakedowns. We are guessing that they have trouble. IAM took note of that. Theres lots of turbulence and resignations (the rats jumping the sinking ship so to speak) in the patent trolls industry these days, with many examples of that. We have been covering several in the past few months. Now, according to IAM, a few of these entities go east. Tu joins an organisation that, as well as former Ericsson chief IP officer Kasim Alfalahi [he is a patent troll] at its head, IAM said about the Marconi Group on Friday.

So they will try their luck in China, the ne...


Cellphone Radiation Linked To Tumors In Male Rats, Government Study Says "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Via: CBS: High exposure to radiofrequency radiation the radiation known as RFR and emitted from your cell phone causes a rare cancer in male rats, according to draft conclusions released by the National Institutes of Health on Friday. The two technical reports, one on mice and the other on rats, released by the []


Evolving Humanity through Smart Clothing "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Were integrating technology into everyday apparel creating a continuous digital presence to better connect, enhance, and protect humanity.

Pre-order Play Video


Cancer Vaccine Eradicates Tumors in Mice "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Last year, we talked about a new cancer vaccine currently in clinical trials in an article here, and now a second cancer vaccine is capturing media interest due to impressive results in the lab. The new therapy is now in human clinical trials for lymphoma patients.

Researchers at Stanford Medicine have found that injecting two immune system stimulating agents directly into a solid tumor can eradicate the tumor completely. The treatment is also able to destroy distant metastases that have not been directly treated themselves.


If Elon Musk is to colonise Mars, hell need to recruit a crew of genetically-modified humans "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

People who live on Mars may need to be genetically altered to be resistant to radiation. And while it might seem a long way off, research is already underway to work out how this can be done.


Nouveau Hopes For Basic Vulkan Driver This Year, NVIDIA To Release Some New Docs Soon "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Open-source NVIDIA "Nouveau" driver developers Martin Peres, Pierre Moreau, and Karol Herbst took to the FOSDEM 2018 conference today to share a status update on their reverse-engineering and open-source driver writing work around this unofficial NVIDIA Linux driver...


3D Print A 3D Printer Frame "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

It is over a decade since the RepRap project was begun, originally to deliver 3D printers that could replicate themselves, in other words ones that could print the parts required to make a new printer identical to themselves. And were used to seeing printers of multiple different designs still constructed to some extent on this principle.

The problem with these printers from a purist replicating perspective though is that there are always frame parts that must be made using other materials rather than through the 3D printer. Their frames have been variously threaded rod, lasercut sheet, or aluminium extrusion, leaving only the fittings to be printed. Thus [Chip Jones] Thingiverse post of an entirely 3D printed printer frame using a 3D printed copy of aluminium extrusion raises the interesting prospect of a printer with a much greater self-replicating capability. It uses the parts from an Anet A8 clone of a Prusa i3, upon which it will be interesting to see whether the 3D printed frame lends the required rigidity.

There is a question as to whether an inexpensive clone printer makes for the most promising collection of mechanical parts upon which to start, but we look forward to seeing this frame and its further derivatives in the wild. Meanwhile this is not the most self-replicating printer weve featured, that one we covered in 2015.

Thanks [MarkF] for the tip.


Japans Financial Services Agency raided the Coincheck headquarters in Tokyo after the hack "IndyWatch Feed Tech"


Cryptocurrencies are in the middle of a Tempest, on Thursday India announced it would adopt measures to prevent the use of virtual currencies in the country, the value of Bitcoin dropped below $9,000 for the first time since November. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley, in his annual budget, explained its government would take all measures to eliminate use of these crypto-assets in financing illegitimate activities or as part of the payment system.

coincheck hack coindesk

A week after the security breach suffered by the virtual currency exchange Coincheck, Japanese authorities raided the company.

The hackers stole 58 billion yen ($530 million), an amount of money that is greater than the value of bitcoins which disappeared from MtGox in 2014.

After the MtGox case, the Japanese government passed a law on cryptocurrencies that assigns to the FSA the tack of regulating the exchanges operating in the country.

Coincheck had submitted an application to the FSA for a licence, the company was waiting for the permission.

This week, Coincheck announced it will refund about $400 million to 260,000 customers after the hack, the company will use its own funds.

Coincheck was founded in 2012, it is one of the most important cryptocurrency exchange in Asia. The company announced it will refund about $400 million to customers after the hack. 

Japanese media criticized the company blaming the management to have underestimated the importance of security of its investor, they said Coincheck expanded business by putting safety second.

On Friday, agents of the Financial Services Agency raided the Coinchecks headquarters in Tokyos Shibuya district with the intent to verify that the company adopted proper security measure...


Hey, Did You Ever Get the Source Code to that Thing Attached to Your Heart? "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Karen Sandler of the Software Freedom Conservancy delivered a keynote presentation last week at 2018 (LCA) in Sydney, Australia. Specifically she spoke about her multi-year odyssey to try to gain access to the source code for the pacemaker attached to her heart and upon which her life currently depends. Non-free software is having an increasingly (negative) impact on society as people entrust more of their lives to it. That software is found in an increasing number of places, both high and low, as all kinds of devices start to run fully networked microcomputers.

In her first LCA keynote 6 years ago, Karen first told the people of LCA about her heart condition and the defibrillator that she needed to have implanted. This year she described her continued quest to receive the source code for the software running in her defibrillator, and how far she has been able to get in obtaining the source code that she's been requesting for over a decade now.

Source : Karen Sandler Delivered Keynote at

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Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) on Jurisdictional Immunity of International Organisations and Rights of Their Staff "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Resolution No. 2206 adopted by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe on 26 January 2018

Local copies of relevant documents (PDF):

Summary: A reader-contributed article about the issues associated with immunity at the EPO and what European officials have been saying lately

On 26 January 2018 the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE) held a debate on a Resolution dealing with the subject of Jurisdictional immunity of international organisations and rights of their staff.

The Assembly adopted the Resolution (no. 2206) and an accompanying Recommendation (No. 2122).

Both documents can be downloaded from the website of the Council of Europe.

Resolution No. 2206 is here.

Recommendation No. 2122 is here.

The story behind this action of the Parliamentary Assembly goes back to a written declaration (No. 596) of 25 June 2015 entitled Rollback of fundamental rights at the European Patent Office which was tabled by the French parliamentarian Mr. Pierre-Yves Le Borgn and signed by a total of 82 members of the Assembly.



KDE's Elisa Music Player Reaches Its Second Alpha "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

There is no shortage of different KDE music/media player projects over the years but one of the most promising in recent times is Elisa. This week marks the second alpha release for the Elisa music player...


GTK+ 4.0 Targeted For Its Initial Release This Fall, GTK+ 5.0 Development To Follow "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

A few days back I wrote about how GTK+ 4.0 is being talked about for release this year and now a bit more specific timeline is in place...


The European Council Confirms That the Unitary/Unified Patent Court Agreement (UPCA) is Outside the Legal Framework of the European Union "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Another unaccountable authority to be pursued?

Siegfried Bro
Image courtesy:

Summary: The vision of the Unitary Patent looks a lot like another Battistelli-type regime rather than a court of justice

THE MANAGEMENT of the EPO did some UPC spin with former (until very recently) IP Kat authors. The EPO and others close to Team UPC then boosted this spin; it goes something along the lines of Britain remains part of the EPC after Brexit and thus UPC is all fine and dandy for the UK to ratify, even though the UPC is neither necessary nor desirable for the UK. This spin came from no-one other than Battistelli, who according to rumours wants (or wanted) to be the UPCs chief.

The management of the EPO did some UPC spin with former (until very recently) IP Kat authors.Siegfried Bro (pictured above), who repeatedly explained the issues with the UPC, is back as a discussion topic after an IP Kat comment (mentioned here before) which SUEPO has just/must have noticed, adding that [a]n article and a lecture by Prof. Dr. Siegfried Bro, former judge at the German Federal Constitutional Court of Karlsruhe.

SUEPO made copies and added: Both documents incidentally also deal with the employment situation of staff members of international organisations.

One of our readers has meanwhile explained another reason to shun the UPC:

The MEP Pascal Arimont submitted a question for written answer to the European Council on 9 February 2017.

The EPO...


GLXVND Server Module / Server-Side GLVND Updated For X.Org Server "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

For the better part of a year NVIDIA developers and Adam Jackson at Red Hat have been working on "server-side GLVND" and this new X.Org Server feature might finally be close to landing...


LIDAR Reveals Huge Number of Previously Unknown Mayan Structures "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

'Game Changer': Maya Cities Unearthed In Guatemala Forest Using Lasers

By raining down laser pulses on some 770 square miles of dense forest in northern Guatemala, archaeologists have discovered 60,000 Maya structures that make up full sprawling cities.

And the new technology provides them with an unprecedented view into how the ancient civilization worked, revealing almost industrial agricultural infrastructure and new insights into Maya warfare.

"This is a game changer," says Thomas Garrison, an archaeologist at Ithaca College who is one of the leaders of the project. It changes "the base level at which we do Maya archaeology."

The data reveals that the area was three or four times more densely populated than originally thought. "I mean, we're talking about millions of people, conservatively," says Garrison. "Probably more than 10 million people."

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GStreamer Lands A WebRTC Plugin "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The GStreamer multimedia framework now has mainline support for WebRTC...


Heres Why Hoverboard Motors Might Belong In Robots "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

[madcowswe] starts by pointing out that the entire premise of ODrive (an open-source brushless motor driver board) is to make use of inexpensive brushless motors in industrial-type applications. This usually means using hobby electric aircraft motors, but robotic applications sometimes need more torque than those motors can provide. Adding a gearbox is one option, but there is another: so-called hoverboard motors are common and offer a frankly outstanding torque-to-price ratio.

A teardown showed that the necessary mechanical and electrical interfacing look to be worth a try, so prototyping has begun. These motors are really designed for spinning a tire on the ground instead of driving other loads, but [madcowswe] believes that by adding an encoder and the right fixtures, these motors could form the basis of an excellent robot arm. The ODrive project was a contender for the 2016 Hackaday Prize and we cant wait to see where this ends up.


JenX botnet leverages Grand Theft Auto videogame community to infect devices "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Researchers at security firm Radware have spotted a new IoT botnet, dubbed JenX, the leverages the Grand Theft Auto videogame community to infect devices.

Researchers at security firm Radware have spotted a new IoT botnet, dubbed JenX, that exploits vulnerabilities triggered by the Satori botnet and is leveraging the Grand Theft Auto videogame community to infect devices.

The activity of the Satori botnet has been observed in 2017 by researchers from Check Point security, it uses A Zero-Day vulnerability (CVE-2017-17215) in the Huawei home router HG532.

JenX exploits the CVE-2014-8361 (Realtek SDK Miniigd UPnP SOAP command execution) and CVE-2017-17215 (Huawei Router HG532 arbitrary command execution). that affect Huawei and Realtek routers.

A new botnet recently started recruiting IoT devices. The botnet uses hosted servers to find and infect new victims leveraging one of two known vulnerabilities that have become popular in IoT botnets recently:

Both exploit vectors are known from the Satori botnet and based on code that was part of a recent public Pastebin post by the Janit0r, author of BrickerBot.

JenX also implemented some techniques used by the recently discovered PureMasuta botnet.

The command-and-control server is hosted at the site San Calvicie, which offers multiplayer mo...


Keith Packard Exploring "Semi-Automatic Compositing" For The X.Org Server "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Keith Packard's latest work for Valve on improving the Linux display stack is on what he's exploring around "semi-automatic compositing" but at this point it's still a risky bet with the new protocol yet to be written...


Links 3/2/2018: Wine 3.1, Elisa 0.0.81, Elive 2.9.26 Beta, Glibc 2.27 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

GNOME bluefish



  • Server

    • Heptio launches its Kubernetes un-distribution

      Heptio holds a special place in the Kubernetes startup ecosystem. Its co-founders, Craig McLuckie and Joe Beda, are, after all, also two of the co-founders of the Kubernetes project (together with Brendan Burns), which launched inside of Google. Heptio also raised $8.5 million when it launched in 2016 (and another $25 million last year), but it was never quite clear what the companys actual business plan looked like beyond offering training and professional services. Thats becoming quite a bit clearer now, though, as the company today announced the launch of the Heptio Kubernetes Subscription.

    • CIOs buried under mounting IT complexity: survey

      A global survey of 800 chief information officers by digital performance management company Dynatrace has found that a little more than three-quarters fear that the complexity of IT setups in organisations would soon make the management of digital performance impossible.

  • Audiocasts/Shows

    • ...


China to Start Blocking Unauthorized VPN Providers This April "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Back in January 2017, Chinas Ministry of Industry and Information Technology announced a 14-month campaign to crack down on unauthorized Internet platforms.

China said that Internet technologies and services had been expanding in a disorderly fashion, so regulation was required. No surprise then that the campaign targeted censorship-busting VPN services, which are used by citizens and corporations to traverse the countrys Great Firewall.

Heralding a nationwide Internet network access services clean-up, China warned that anyone operating such a service would require a government telecommunications business license. Its now been more than a year since that announcement and much has happened in the interim.

In July 2017, Apple removed 674 VPN apps from its App Store and in September, a local man was jailed for nine months for selling VPN software. In December, another man was jailed for five-and-a-half years for selling a VPN service without an appropriate license from the government.

This week the government provided an update on the crackdown, telling the media that it will begin forcing local and foreign companies and individuals to use only government-approved systems to access the wider Internet.

Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) chief engineer Zhang Feng reiterated earlier comments that VPN operators must be properly licensed by the government, adding that unlicensed VPNs will be subjected to new rules which come into force on March 31. The government plans to block unauthorized VPN providers, official media reported.

We want to regulate VPNs which unlawfully conduct cross-border operational activities, Zhang told reporters.

Any foreign companies that want to set up a cross-border operation for private use will need to set up a dedicated line for that purpose, he said.

They will be able to lease such a line or network legally from the telecommunications import and export bureau. This shouldnt affect their normal operations much at all.

Radio Free Asia repo...


Western Digital My Cloud flaws allows local attacker to gain root access to the devices "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Trustwave disclosed two vulnerabilities in Western Digital My Cloud network storage devices could be exploited by a local attacker to gain root access to the NAS devices.

Researchers at Trustwave disclosed two new vulnerabilities in Western Digital My Cloud network storage devices could be exploited by a local attacker to delete files stored on devices or to execute shell commands as root.

The two Western Digital My Cloud flaws are an arbitrary command execution vulnerability and an arbitrary file deletion issue. The arbitrary command execution vulnerability affects the common gateway interface script nas_sharing.cgi that allows a local user to execute shell commands as root. Hardcoded credentials allows any users to authenticate to the device using the username mydlinkBRionyg.

The first finding was discovering hardcoded administrator credentials in the nas_sharing.cgibinary. These credentials allow anyone to authenticate to the device with the username mydlinkBRionyg. states the analysis published by Trustwave. Considering how many devices are affected this is very serious one. Interestingly enough another researcher independently released details on the same issue less than a month ago.

The arbitrary file deletion vulnerability is also tied to the common gateway interface script nas_sharing.cgi.

Another problem I discovered in nas_sharing.cgi is that it allows any user execute shell commands as root. To exploit this issue the artist parameter can be used. continues the analysis.

Western Digital My Cloud

Chaining the two flaws it is possible to execute commands as root, a local attacker could log in using the hardcoded credentials and executing a command that is passed inside the artist parameter using base64 encoding.

The Western Digital models affected are My Cloud Gen 2, My Cloud PR2100, My Cloud PR4100, My Cloud EX2 Ultra, My Cloud EX2, My Cloud EX4, My Cloud EX2100, My Cloud EX4100, My Cloud DL2100 and My Cloud DL4100.

Trustwave reported the issues to Western Digital in 2017, according to the researchers the flaws are addressed with the...


Does Aging Have a Reset Button? "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Part of Vittorio Sebastianos job is to babysit a few million stem cells. The research professor of reproductive biology at Stanford University keeps the cells warm and moist deep inside the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building, one of the nations largest stem cell facilities. Hes joined there by an army of researchers, each with their own goals. His own research program is nothing if not ambitious: He wants to reverse aging in humans.

Stem cells are the Gary Oldman of cell types. They can reprogram themselves to carry out the function of virtually any other type of cell, and play a vital role in early development. This functional reprogramming is usually accompanied by an age reset, down to zero. Sebastiano figures that if he can separate these different kinds of reprogramming, he can open up a whole new kind of aging therapy. Nautilus caught up with him last month.


The New Prometheus: Google CEO Says AI is More Profound than Electricity or Fire "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Fire good. AI better:

Google CEO Sundar Pichai says artificial intelligence is going to have a bigger impact on the world than some of the most ubiquitous innovations in history. "AI is one of the most important things humanity is working on. It is more profound than, I dunno, electricity or fire," says Pichai, speaking at a town hall event in San Francisco in January.

A number of very notable tech leaders have made bold statements about the potential of artificial intelligence. Tesla boss Elon Musks says AI is more dangerous than North Korea. Famous physicist Stephen Hawking says AI could be the "worst event in the history of our civilization." And Y Combinator President Sam Altman likens AI to nuclear fission.

Even in such company, Pichai's comment seems remarkable. Interviewer and Recode executive editor Kara Swisher stopped Pichai when he made the comment. "Fire? Fire is pretty good," she retorts. Pichai sticks by his assertion. "Well, it kills people, too," Pichai says of fire. "We have learned to harness fire for the benefits of humanity but we had to overcome its downsides too. So my point is, AI is really important, but we have to be concerned about it."

Also at CNN and Gizmodo.

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Will America yield its position as the worlds leader in science and technology? "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Finally, are we prepared to expand science and technology opportunities for all Americans? The United States has only 5 percent of the worlds population. To stay ahead, well need to use all our assets. That means leveling the barriers for women in science and engineering, and closing the participation gap for underrepresented minorities. It also means expanding tech-driven prosperity beyond the two coasts. Pittsburghs success is a proof of principle, but we need to nurture at least a dozen new tech hubs across America, anchored by leading universities.

We need clear answers to six big questions.

To begin, do we care if China surpasses America as the leading spender on research and development? In 2000, China and the United States accounted for roughly 5 and 40 percent, respectively, of global R&D. In 2015, the figures were 21 and 29 percent. At this pace, the lines will cross before 2020. While the average quality of American science remains higher, that gap is closing too.

To be clear, being the global hub of innovation isnt about bragging rights. Its about the prosperity that comes with it.


How to print filename with awk on Linux / Unix "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

I would like to print filename with awk on Linux / Unix-like system. How do I print filename in BEGIN section of awk? Can I print the name of the current input file using gawk/awk?

The post How to print filename with awk on Linux / Unix appeared first on nixCraft.


A Wrencher On Your Oscilloscope "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

We like oscilloscope art here at Hackaday, so it was natural to recently feature a Javascript based oscilloscope art generator on these pages, along with its companion clock. Open a web page, scribble on the screen, see it on the scope.

As part of our coverage we laid down the challenge: If any of you would like to take this further and make a Javascript oscilloscope Wrencher, wed love to make it famous. Which of course someone immediately did, and that someone was [Ted] with this JSFiddle. Hook up your soundcards left and right to X and Y respectively, press the logo button in the bottom right hand pane, fiddle with your voltages and trigger levels for a bit, and you should see a Wrencher on the screen. Were as good as our word, so here we are making the code famous. Thanks, [Ted]!

Its not an entirely perfect Wrencher generator, as it has a lot of points to draw in the time available, resulting in a flickery Wrencher. (Update: take a look at the comments below, where he has posted an improved JSFiddle and advice on getting a better screen grab.) Thus the screen shot is an imperfect photograph rather than the usual grab to disk, for some reason the Rigol 1054z doesnt allow the persistence to be turned up in X-Y mode so each grab only had a small part of the whole. But it draws a Wrencher on the screen, so were pretty impressed.

The piece that inspired this Wrencher can be found here. If you think you can draw one with a faster refresh rate, get coding and put it in the comments. We cant promise individual coverage for each effort though, were Hackaday rather than Yet-another-scope-Wrencher-aday.


Why are we all silent on the surveillance? "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Silicon Valley with its bright minds has come to a point where almost every day they collect information about individuals. Why are we all silent on the surveillance?

NSA spying apart, what Facebook, Apple, and Google know about their usual users is quite overwhelming. Each of these major players is trying to find more about us. They even go to our friends, family and job network.

The big guns know when you are sad, happy, as well as your general internet spendings and many more.

Technology is changing so dramatically and has the power to find every bit of information about you. A perfect example of this is the Google Home Assistant or the new self-driving cars that shockingly knows where you want to go, or wheres your home.

In quick succession, step by step these big guys are creating probably the most invasive surveillance population in time.

It is quite worrisome how a group of known criminals hack them pretty often. Take Uber as an example; the ride-sharing firm is accused of getting hacked for multiple times not just once or twice.

Californians, the world, and privacy

From all of this, you might think Californians are often talking about the privacy policy not only in most private sector, where is believed that law is more occasionally meeting with people.

But they actually talk in the private sector, where they have the protection of the 4th Amendment if they encounter problems as unreasonable searches.

I wish to have a talk at a coffee or a dinner with a tech investor and to ask him What is your company doing with all the information? For the moment, there is no possibility of a confrontation at this.

Even if California, for the USA, is the center of everything. As for technology, investors, the most brilliant minds, residents and elected officials are the targeted ones when it comes to the privacy policy. And, for sure, as in everything, there are exceptions.

I would love to see in the next US elections to prioritize this issue, or it can be an impactful subject in a ballot initiative.

Unfortunately, not so many exceptions for tech employees to feel human again. However, the one pushing is the employer, who digs deep into the privacy and enjoys it.



Truck Driver Damages Nazca Lines UNESCO Site "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Truck Driver Plows Over Peru's 2,000-Year-Old Nazca Lines, Leaving 'Deep Scars'

A semitrailer driver ignored warning signs and drove over Peru's famous Nazca Lines on Saturday, causing significant damage to the UNESCO World Heritage site.

The driver, identified as 40-year-old Jainer Jess Flores Vigo, was detained and released, according to newspaper Peru21.

[...] The rig left "deep scars" across a 50 meter by 100 meter (164 feet by 328 feet) area, the Culture Ministry said, affecting the surface of the ancient site and damaging three of the geoglyphs.

Argentine newspaper Clarn reports that the driver said he didn't know the area because he had never traveled there before and that he left the road because of a mechanical problem. The newspaper speculated that the driver actually drove off the Pan-American Highway to avoid paying a toll.


This isn't the first time people have damaged the site. In 2014, Greenpeace activists left footprints as they planted a message there in advance of U.N. climate talks in Lima.

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Repairs You Can Print: 3D Printing is for (Solder) Suckers "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

[Joey] was about to desolder something when the unthinkable happened: his iconic blue anodized aluminium desoldering pump was nowhere to be found. Months before, having burned himself on copper braid, hed sworn off the stuff and sold it all for scrap. He scratched uselessly at a solder joint with a fingernail and thought to himself: if only Id used the scrap proceeds to buy a backup desoldering pump.

Determined to desolder by any means necessary, [Joey] dove into his junk bin and emerged carrying an old pump with a broken button. Hed heard all about our Repairs You Can Print contest and got to work designing a replacement in two parts. The new button goes all the way through the pump and is held in check with a rubber band, which sits in a groove on the back side. The second piece is a collar with a pair of ears that fits around the tube and anchors the button and the rubber band. Its working well so far, and you can see it suck in real-time after the break.

Were not sure what will happen when the rubber band fails. If [Joey] doesnt have another, maybe he can print a new one out of Ninjaflex, or build his own desoldering station. Or maybe hell turn to the fire and tweezers method.

If youd like to enter the contest, head on over to its page on, and start coming up with a print to submit!


Tractor Hacking: The Farmers Breaking Big Tech's Repair Monopoly "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

When it comes to repair, farmers have always been self reliant. But the modernization of tractors and other farm equipment over the past few decades has left most farmers in the dust thanks to diagnostic software that large manufacturers hold a monopoly over.

Farmers using Eastern European cracking software for their tractors, and MS, Apple, etc. want to stop them.

Related: Right to Repair

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Security Council official behind 5G network plan no longer at White House: report "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The U.S. official behind a memo arguing for the development of a nationalized 5G mobile network has reportedly left the National Security Council (NSC).The Washington Post reported Friday that Air Force Brig. Gen. Robert Spalding's...


Microsoft Office 2019 Will be Exclusive to Windows 10 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Microsoft revealed today that Office 2019 will ship in the second half of 2018, and will run exclusively on Windows 10.

Microsoft's General Manager for Windows, Bernardo Caldas, and General Manager for Office, Jared Spataro announced changes to Office and Windows servicing and support today.

[...] Office 2019 applications will only be supported on a limited number of Windows client and server operating system versions. In particular, Office 2019 will only be supported on the following systems:

  • Any supported Windows 10 SAC (Semi-Annual Channel) release.
  • Windows 10 Enterprise Long Term Servicing Channel 2018.
  • The next Long Term Servicing Channel release of Windows Server.

Unless I'm misreading Microsoft's announcement, Office 2019 won't be available for Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, or older Server versions.

[...] The company plans to support Office 2019 for five years of mainstream support and about two years of extended support.

[...] Office 2019 support will end around the same time that Office 2016 ends. It is unclear why Microsoft made the decision; one explanation is that the company plans to move all-in in regards to Office 365 and Office in the cloud and that 2025 may be the year Microsoft might make that switch.

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Careful Testing Reveals USB Cable Duds "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Whats worse than powering up your latest build for the first time only to have absolutely nothing happen? OK, maybe its not as bad as releasing the Magic Smoke, but its still pretty bewildering to have none of your blinky lights blink like theyre supposed to.

What you do at that point is largely a matter of your troubleshooting style, and when [Scott M. Baker]s Raspberry Pi jukebox build failed to chooch, he returned to first principles and checked the power cable. That turned out to be the culprit, but instead of giving up there, he did a thorough series of load tests on multiple USB cables to see which ones were suspect, with interesting results.

[Scott] originally used a cable with a USB-A on one end and a 3.5-mm barrel plug on the other with a switch in between, under the assumption that the plug on the Pi end would be more robust, as well as to have a power switch for the jukebox. Testing that cable using an adjustable DC load would prove that the cable was unfit for Pi duty, dropping the voltage to under 2 volts at a measly 500-mA load. Other cables proved much better under load, even those with USB mini jacks and even one with a 5.5-mm barrel. But the larger barrel-plug cable also proved to be a stinker when it was paired with an inline switch. In the video below, [Scott] walks through not only the testing process, but also gives a quick tour of his homebrew DC load.

The lesson is clear: not all USB cables are created equal, so caveat hacker. And if youve got a yen to check the cables in your junk bin like [Scott] did, this full-featured smart DC load might be just the thing.

[via Dangerous Prototypes]


Blame privacy activists for the Memo?? "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Former FBI agent Asha Rangappa @AshaRangappa_ has a smart post debunking the Nunes Memo, then takes it all back again with an op-ed on the NYTimes blaming us privacy activists. She presents an obviously false narrative that the FBI and FISA courts are above suspicion.

She writes "I know firsthand that its difficult to get a FISA warrant". Yes, the process was difficult for her, an underling, to get a FISA warrant. The process is different when a leader tries to do the same thing.

I know this first hand having casually worked as an outsider with intelligence agencies. I saw two processes in place: one for the flunkies, and one for those above the system. The flunkies constantly complained about how there is too many process in place oppressing them, preventing them from getting their jobs done. The leaders understood the system and how to sidestep those processes.

That's not to say the Nunes Memo has merit, but it does point out that privacy advocates have a point in wanting more oversight and transparency in such surveillance of American citizens.

Blaming us privacy advocates isn't the way to go. It's not going to succeed in tarnishing us, but will push us more into Trump's camp, causing us to reiterate that we believe the FBI and FISA are corrupt.


The Case for Free Money "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

A major conservative publication, The Weekly Standard, has published a positive Cover story about Basic Income, as a way to reign in entitlements and deal with automation. My California libertarian governor campaign gets a brief mention in it. Over 100,000 print copies out this week.

At first blush, universal basic income sounds like something dreamed up on a California commune or in a late-night college bull session. The idea: Just give people money. Ask nothing in return. Impose no requirement to work or to look for work. And dont just give taxpayer money to people living in poverty, give it to everybodyfrom gazillionaire to gig-workerno questions asked.

Yet universal basic income is an idea that is having its moment. Enthusiasm for a government-guaranteed income for all seems to be percolating across the country. Groups backed by Silicon Valley luminaries are forming to devise political strategies. Hillary Clintons presidential campaign flirted with the idea.


UK's Fertility Regulator Approves Creation of First "Three-Parent" Babies "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Doctors have been given permission to create the UK's first "three-parent" or "three-person" babies to mitigate the risk of inheritable mitochondrial diseases:

Doctors have received permission to create the UK's first "three-person" babies for two women at risk of passing inheritable diseases to their children.

The two cases involve women who have mitochondrial diseases, which are passed down by the mother and can prove fatal.

Three-person babies involve an advanced form of IVF that uses a donor egg, the mother's egg and the father's sperm.

Doctors at the Newcastle Fertility Centre will carry out the procedure.

The decision was approved by the UK Fertility Regulator, the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA).

Also at New Scientist.

Previously: Mitochondrial DNA Manipulation and Ethics
Approval for Three-Parent Embryo Trials
Fatal Genetic Conditions Could Return in Some 'Three-Parent' Babies
Baby Girl Born in Ukraine Using Three-Parent Pronuclear Transfer Technique
FDA Warns Doctor Against Marketing Three-Person IVF Technique

Related: First Human Embryo Editing Performed in the UK

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Evidence Of Rohingya Mass Graves Uncovered In Myanmar "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Scores of Rohingya villagers in Myanmar have been massacred and buried in 5 mass graves, according to an exclusive investigation by the Associated Press news agency.

The report by the news agency on Thursday includes witness testimony from two dozen survivors and relatives of victims, as well as time-stamped mobile phone footage of the aftermath of the attack.

Estimates suggest 400 members of the persecuted minority were killed by Burmese troops.

In one massacre, a group of men were picking teams for a local football-like game called 'chinlone' in the village of Gu Dar Pyin, when soldiers began firing at them.

A survivor named Noor Kadir later found six of his friends buried in two separate mass graves. He said the bodies of the victims were only recogniseable through the colour of their shorts.

The mass killing is believed to have taken place on August 27 and survivors told the Associated Press that soldiers had tried to cover up evidence of the atrocity.

Video obtained by the agency indicates attempts at using acid to remove the bodies.


Widely regarded as one of the most persecuted minorities in the world, the mainly Muslim Rohingya people, are denied citizenship by the Burmese government, which claims they are not native to Myanmar.

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You Can Learn a Lot From a Blinkenrocket "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

At this years Chaos Communication Congress, we caught up with [muzy] and [overflo], who were there with a badge and soldering project they designed to teach young folks how to solder and program. Blinkenrocket is a basically a 64-LED matrix display and just enough support hardware to store and display animations, and judging by the number of blinking rockets we saw around the necks of attendees, it was a success.

Their talk at 34C3 mostly concerns the production details, design refinements, and the pitfalls of producing thousands of a thing. If youre thinking of building a hardware kit or badge on this scale, you should really check it out and crib some of their production optimization tricks.

For instance, instead of labelling the parts C2 or R: 220 Ohms, they used a simple color-coding scheme. This not only makes it easier for kids to assemble, but it also means that they didnt have to stick 1,000 part labels on every component. Coupled with [overflo]s...


Apple plans to reduce $163B cash holdings after GOP tax law "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Apple intends to reduce its large cash holdings of $163 billion to "approximately zero" following passage of the Republican tax-reform plan.Apple Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri declined to offer specifics but said the process could include...

Friday, 02 February


Facebook using leverage to get advance notice about public info requests: report "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Facebook is negotiating contracts where it requires local governments it reaches tax subsidy deals with to give the technology firm advance notice before responding to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests.In states where Facebook reaches...


Next Week: Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Next week something magical is happening. Seattle is getting a Vintage Computer Festival. Its the Vintage Computer Festival Pacific Northwest, and its happening Saturday, February 10th and Sunday, February 11th at the Living Computers Museum and Labs.

As with all Vintage Computer Festivals, this is one with plenty of exhibits, speakers, and the ever-popular consignment shop. A few of the more interesting exhibits include a demonstration of the Syntauri alphaSyntauri, a synthesizer card and controller designed for the Apple II. When it was released in 1980, this was the first affordable digital synthesizer that competed against the Synclavier and Fairlight CMI. The difference? Synclaviers cost as much as a house, where the alphaSyntauri cost as much as a car. Also on deck is the dis-integrated MOnSter6502, a complete NMOS 6502 constructed out of individual, surface mount transistors. The Digi-Comp II from Evil Mad Scientist will be there, there will be Bl...


The Shallowness of Google Translate "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Submitted via IRC for Bytram

[...] When I first got interested in the subject, in the mid-1970s, I ran across a letter written in 1947 by the mathematician Warren Weaver, an early machine-translation advocate, to Norbert Wiener, a key figure in cybernetics, in which Weaver made this curious claim, today quite famous:

When I look at an article in Russian, I say, "This is really written in English, but it has been coded in some strange symbols. I will now proceed to decode."

[...] The practical utility of Google Translate and similar technologies is undeniable, and probably it's a good thing overall, but there is still something deeply lacking in the approach, which is conveyed by a single word: understanding. Machine translation has never focused on understanding language. Instead, the field has always tried to "decode"to get away without worrying about what understanding and meaning are. Could it in fact be that understanding isn't needed in order to translate well? Could an entity, human or machine, do high-quality translation without paying attention to what language is all about? To shed some light on this question, I turn now to the experiments I made.

It is a bit on the long side but Douglas Hofstadter very clearly exposes what language translation is and that Google Translate does not do it that way

Source: The Shallowness of Google Translate

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Chinese Iron Tiger APT is back, a close look at the Operation PZChao "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Chinese Iron Tiger APT is back, the new campaign, dubbed by Operation PZChao is targeting government, technology, education, and telecommunications organizations in Asia and the US.

Malware researchers from Bitdefender have discovered and monitored for several months the activity of a custom-built backdoor capable of password-stealing, bitcoin-mining, and of course to gain full control of the victims machine.

The campaign, dubbed by Bitdefender, Operation PZChao is targeting government, technology, education, and telecommunications organizations in Asia and the US.

This is also the case of a custom-built piece of malware that we have been monitoring for several months as it wrought havoc in Asia. Our threat intelligence systems picked up the first indicators of compromise in July last year, and we have kept an eye on the threat ever since. states the report published by BitDefender.
An interesting feature of this threat, which drew our team to the challenge of analyzing it, is that it features a network of malicious subdomains, each one used for a specific task (download, upload, RAT related actions, malware DLL delivery). The payloads are diversified and include capabilities to download and execute additional binary files, collect private information and remotely execute commands on the system.

It is interesting to notice that the malware features a network of malicious subdomains, each one used for a specific task (download, upload, RAT related actions, malware DLL delivery).

The experts who analyzed the command and control infrastructure and malicious codes used by the hackers (i.e. Gh0st RAT) speculate the return of the Iron Tiger APT group.

The Iron Tiger APT (aka Panda Emissary or TG-3390) is active at least since 2010 and targeted organization in APAC, but since 2013 it is attacking high-technology targets in the US.

The experts found many similarities between the Gh0stRat samples used in the Operation PZChao and the ones used in past campaigns associated with the Iron Tiger APT.

Attackers behind the Operation PZChao targeted victims with spear-phishing messages using a malicious VBS file attachment that once executed will download the malicious payloads to Windows systems from a dist...


Raspberry Pi Console over USB: Configuring an Ethernet Gadget "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

When I work with a Raspberry Pi from anywhere other than home, I want to make sure I can do what I need to do without a network.

With a Pi model B, you can use an ethernet cable. But that doesn't work with a Pi Zero, at least not without an adapter. The lowest common denominator is a serial cable, and I always recommend that people working with headless Pis get one of these; but there are a lot of things that are difficult or impossible over a serial cable, like file transfer, X forwarding, and running any sort of browser or other network-aware application on the Pi.

Recently I learned how to configure a Pi as a USB ethernet gadget, which lets you network between the Pi and your laptop using only a USB cable. It requires a bit of setup, but it's definitely worth it.

The Cable

The first step is getting the cable. For a Pi Zero or Zero W, use a standard micro-USB cable: you probably have a bunch of them for charging phones (if you're not an Apple person) and other devices. For a model A or B with full-sized ethernet ports, it's a little tricker: you need a USB A to USB A plug, which is a lot less common. USB A is the most common type of USB plug, the type you usually plug into your computer, so you'll need a cable that has one of those on each end.

Set up the Pi

Setting up the Raspberry Pi end requires editing two files in /boot, which you can do either on the Pi itself, or by mounting the first SD card partition on another machine.

In /boot/config.txt add this at the end:


In /boot/cmdline.txt, at the end of the long list of options but on the same line, add a space, followed by: modules-load=dwc2,g_ether

Set a static IP address

This step is optional. In theory you're supposed to use some kind of .local address that Bonjour (the Apple protocol that used to be called zeroconf, and before that was called Rendezvous, and on Linux machines is called Avahi). That doesn't work on my Linux machine. If you don't use Bonjour, finding the Pi over the ethernet link will be much easier if you set it up to use a static IP address. And since there will be nobody else on your USB network besides the Pi and the computer on the other end of the cable, there's no reason not to have a static address: you're not going to collide with anybody else.

You could configure a static IP in /etc/network/interfaces, but that interferes with the way Raspbian handles wi-fi via wpa_supplicant and dhcpcd; so you'd have USB networking but your wi-fi won't work any more.

Instead, configure your address in Raspbian via dhcpcd. Edit /etc/dhcpcd.conf and add this:

interface usb0
static ip_address=


[$] 4.16 Merge window part 1 "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

As of this writing, just over 6,700 non-merge changesets have been pulled into the mainline repository for the 4.16 development cycle. Given that there are a number of significant trees yet to be pulled, the early indications are that 4.16 will be yet another busy development cycle. What follows is a summary of the significant changes merged in the first half of this merge window.


Printed Nexus 7 SIM Tray is Good Nuff "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

When repairing something, there are in effect two schools of thought: you can craft a repair that seamlessly blends into the original hardware and doesnt look like a repair, or you can slap that thing together and keep it moving. A lot of variables go into this decision making process, such as the complexity of the repair, the available materials, and of course whether or not you need to keep the fact you broke the thing from your significant other.

When the SIM holder on his Nexus 7 tablet broke recently, [Alex Whittemore] did the mental arithmetic and came to the conclusion that it wasnt worth his time trying to figure out how to model an exact replacement. But he was able to print something that works well enough for his purposes, which is all that matters in the end. A perfect entry for our ongoing Repairs You Can Print contest.

You must be this small to ride

Apparently the SIM holder in the 2013 Nexus 7 is notoriously poor, and of course since this is a known issue, online retailers are trying to get as much as $100 USD out of you for a tin...


California had 2,304 Self-Driving Car "Disengagements" Last Year "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

2,304 times last year (in just one state) so-called self driving cars, ahem, didn't self-drive, according to this report at auto connected car news.

The technology is not safe unless it is monitored by a human behind a steering wheel who can take control, Consumer Watchdog said.

Reasons for disengagement include:
    [a lot of human factors -- which "AI" does not understand]
        * Hardware discrepancy.
        * Errors in detection.
        * GPS signal issues.
        * Software crash.

While 50 companies are licensed to test autonomous vehicles in California, only 19 companies were required to file disengagement reports covering 2017.

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Japanese boy arrested for developing cryptocurrency stealing malware "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

By Carolina

A teenager has been arrested for creating a cryptocurrency stealing malware used

This is a post from Read the original post: Japanese boy arrested for developing cryptocurrency stealing malware


Bank of America to bar customers buying cryptocurrencies with credit cards "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Bank of America announced Friday that it would begin flagging and declining transactions made with credit cards to known cryptocurrency exchanges.A spokeswoman for the nation's second-largest credit card issuer said that the bank would begin...


Getting Ahead with Optical Simulation "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

This eSeminar will guide you through the process with two examples, demonstrating how to tackle photonic integrated circuits (PIC) and photonic crystals.

In this eSeminar we will demonstrate in detail how CST STUDIO SUITE can be utilized in the design process of photonic components by presenting two detailed examples.

First, an SOI ring coupler will be used as an example of the design of a photonic integrated circuit (PIC). The approach which will be presented consists of dividing the ring coupler into waveguide blocks and utilizing both 3D electromagnetic simulation and a flexible schematic to (i) speed up the simulation task, (ii) increase the flexibility and (iii) allow the design of PICs prohibitively large for electromagnetic simulation alone. In the second part of this eSeminar, a general approach to obtain dispersion diagrams for photonic crystals with the eigenmode solver will be presented. As an example a 2D tridiagonal photonic crystal will be used.




Georgia Must Block This Flawed Computer Crime Bill "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The State of Georgia must decide: will it be a hub of technological and online media innovation, or will it be the state that criminalized terms of service violations? Will it support security research that makes us all safer, or will they chill the ability of Georgias infosec community to identify vulnerabilities that need to be fixed to protect our private information? This is whats at stake with Georgias S.B. 315, and state lawmakers should stop it dead in its tracks. As EFF wrote in its letter opposing the bill, this legislation would hand immense power to prosecutors to go after anyone for checking baseball scores on a work computer, lying about your age or height in your user profile contrary to a websites policy, or sharing passwords with family members in violation of the service providers rules. The bill also fails to clearly exempt legitimate, independent security researchsuch as that conducted by Georgia Techs renowned cybersecurity departmentfrom the computer crime law. Georgia already has a robust computer crime statute that covers a wide range of malicious activities online, but S.B. 315 would criminalize simply accessing a computer, app, or website contrary to how the service provider tells you, even if you never cause or intend to cause harm. A violation under S.B. 315 would be classified as a misdemeanor of a high and aggravated nature, punishable by up to $5,000 and 12 months in jail. EFF has long criticized how stretched interpretations of the federal Computer Fraud & Abuse Act have resulted in the prosecution of computer scientists, such as Aaron Swartz. Georgias S.B. 315 is even worse in terms of how broadly it may be applied to regular users engaged in benign online behavior. Fortunately, the digital rights community in Georgia is mobilizing. Electronic Frontiers Georgia, an ally in the Electronic Frontiers Alliance network, is speaking out against S.B. 315. Andy Green, an infosec lecturer at Kennesaw State University, is also calling for an overhaul of the bill to ensure computer researchers ca...


Federal Appeals Court Misses Opportunity to Rule that Section 230 Bars Claims Against Online Platforms for Hosting Terrorist Content "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Although a federal appeals court this week agreed to dismiss a case alleging that Twitter provided material support for terrorists in the form of accounts and direct messaging services, the court left the door open for similar lawsuits to proceed in the future. This is troubling because the threat of liability created by these types of cases may lead platforms further filter and censor users speech.

The decision by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Fields v. Twitter is good news inasmuch as it ends the case. But the court failed to rule on whether 47 U.S.C. 230 (known as Section 230) applied and barred the plaintiffs claims.

Thats disappointing. The Ninth Circuit missed an opportunity to rule that one of the Internets most important laws bars these types of cases. Section 230 provides online platforms with broad immunity from liability that flows from user speech. By limiting intermediary liability for user-generated content, Congress sought to incentivize innovation in online products and services and thereby create new avenues for online discourse and engagement. Section 230s value has taken on increasing importance as the current Congress considers substantially weakening the statute.

The plaintiffs in Fields filed their lawsuit in an attempt to hold Twitter liable for the deaths of two Americans killed in a 2015 attack in Jordan for which ISIS had taken credit. The plaintiffs claimed that by providing accounts and messaging services to ISIS members and sympathizers, Twitter had provided material support to terrorists in violation of U.S. law.

The trial court dismissed the claims, ruling that Section 230 barred the claims. The court also ruled that the plaintiffs had not shown that Twitter played a direct role in the Jordan attack.

When the plaintiffs appealed, EFF filed a brief in support of Twitter. First, we argued that extending such material support liability to online platforms would threaten Internet users because those platforms would become incentivized to over-censor user content or severely curtail the creation of accounts (or even new products and services) in the first place. Second, we argued that such material support liability would violate online platforms First Amendment rights. Finally, we argued that the claims undercut both the...


Russia to Allow ISS Tourists to Go on Spacewalks "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Russia plans to allow paying tourists who visit the International Space Station (ISS) to go out on spacewalks. Russia's Energia is also building a "comfortable" new module to transport tourists to the ISS:

Russia is planning to send paying tourists on the International Space Station out on spacewalks for the first time, an official from the country's space industry said Thursday.

"We are discussing the possibility of sending tourists on spacewalks," Vladimir Solntsev, the head of Russian space company Energia, told Russian tabloid Komsomolskaya Pravda. "Market analysts have confirmed this: wealthy people are ready to pay money for this," Solntsev told the paper.

He said the cost of such a trip could be around $100 million (80 million euros), "possibly less for the first tourist". The tourists will be able to "go out on a spacewalk and make a film, (or) a video clip".

Energia, which was behind the launch of the first man in space Yuri Gagarin in 1961, is currently building a new module dubbed NEM-2 to transport tourists to the International Space Station (ISS). Solntsev said the NEM-2, the name of which is still to be confirmed, will accommodate four to six people. It will be fitted with "comfortable" cabins, two toilets and internet access.

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Facebook patents technology that would estimate users' socioeconomic status "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

Facebook has patented a new system that could help it estimate a user's socioeconomic status. The patent, according to CBInsights, shows a decision tree that collects data points on a user's education level, travel history, the number of...


Senate receives official net neutrality notice from FCC "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

The Senate has received the Federal Communications Commissions (FCC) official notice of measures to scrap net neutrality rules, two congressional sources confirmed.The notice is one of the first procedural steps in starting the 60-day deadline...


Bicyclist protests net neutrality by slowing traffic outside the FCC building "IndyWatch Feed Tech"

A protester opposed to the Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) net neutrality repeal slowed traffic to a crawl outside the FCC Monday as a demonstration against the repeal.  A video released Monday shows Rob Bliss,...

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