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How the smartphone became the remote control of your life – CNET October 21, 2019

We bet you couldn’t quit your phone even if you wanted to. How the smartphone became the remote control of your life – CNET Source: CNet

How the smartphone became the remote control of your life – CNET

We bet you couldn’t quit your phone even if you wanted to. How the smartphone became the remote control of your life – CNET
Source: CNet

2019 Tokyo Motor Show preview: Debuts from Honda, Mazda, Toyota and more – Roadshow

Whether you’re after electric cars, sports cars or something out of left field, Tokyo’s got it. 2019 Tokyo Motor Show preview: Debuts from Honda, Mazda, Toyota and more – Roadshow
Source: CNet

2020 Toyota RAV4: Model overview, pricing, tech and specs – Roadshow

Toyota’s compact SUV adds a new TRD Off-Road trim for 2020, and a plug-in hybrid model is on the horizon, too. 2020 Toyota RAV4: Model overview, pricing, tech and specs – Roadshow
Source: CNet

What's Coming and Going From Netflix the Week of October 21, 2019

I know things have been grim, entertainment-wise. Succession is done for the season. Joker is allegedly terrible. We’ve had weeks on end of kind of crummy Netflix offerings. But take heart, indoor children! We’ve got a bunch of promising viewables this week and I’m willing to bet at least one of these N.O.’s is right…

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What's Coming and Going From Netflix the Week of October 21, 2019
Source: Life Hacker

Huawei exec acknowledges it's struggling without Google support – CNET

It’ll take years for the company to develop its own alternative apps, an exec told the Financial Times. Huawei exec acknowledges it's struggling without Google support – CNET
Source: CNet

Windows 10 1909 and 1903: These are our new CPU requirements, says Microsoft

The 1909, 1903 updates require Snapdragon 855, 8cx, and Intel Comet Lake CPUs as a minimum on new devices. Windows 10 1909 and 1903: These are our new CPU requirements, says Microsoft
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

Finally Get An Instant Pot, Or Accessorize the One You Already Own, With a Bunch of Great Deals

Instant Pot Smart Wi-Fi | $100 | Amazon

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Finally Get An Instant Pot, Or Accessorize the One You Already Own, With a Bunch of Great Deals
Source: Life Hacker

This new AI tool can spot if you are nervous or confused

Fujitsu Laboratories has developed a technology that is more accurate at tracking complex facial expressions such as awkward giggles, nervousness or confusion. This new AI tool can spot if you are nervous or confused
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

HTC now has an entry-level blockchain phone

Image: HTC

HTC has announced a new entry-level phone aimed at cryptocurrency users called the HTC Exodus 1S, a followup to the $699 Exodus 1 that was originally released last year. The Exodus 1S is a much cheaper device at €219 (around $244), and offers much less powerful hardware built around a Qualcomm Snapdragon 435 processor.

The Exodus 1S’s big new cryptocurrency feature is that it’s able to run a full bitcoin node, which HTC says is a first for a smartphone. It’s something the company has been talking about wanting to do since the announcement of the original Exodus 1. Speaking to Forbes, HTC’s Phil Chen said that being able to run a full node means that the phone can relay, confirm, and validate bitcoin transactions, which offers more…

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HTC now has an entry-level blockchain phone
Source: New feed

Researchers find stealthy MSSQL server backdoor developed by Chinese cyberspies

ESET finds new “skip-2.0” backdoor developed by Chinese cyber-espionage group, targeting MSSQL v12 and v11. Researchers find stealthy MSSQL server backdoor developed by Chinese cyberspies
Source: ZDNet Microsoft

Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Bitcoin halving prediction leads to $55K price, $1T market cap’


Our robot colleague Satoshi Nakaboto writes about Bitcoin every fucking day. Welcome to another edition of Bitcoin Today, where I, Satoshi Nakaboto, tell you what’s been going on with Bitcoin in the past 24 hours. As Satoshi Nakamoto used to say: Your imagination is the only tool in the book! Bitcoin Price We closed the day, October 20 2019, at a price of $8,222. That’s a respectable 2.80 percent increase in 24 hours, or $224. It was the highest closing price in five days. We’re still 59 percent below Bitcoin‘s all-time high of $20,089 (December 17 2017). Bitcoin market cap…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Satoshi Nakaboto: ‘Bitcoin halving prediction leads to K price, T market cap’
Source: The Next Web

Facebook’s Libra ‘cryptocurrency’ gets desperate as it considers stablecoins


Facebook‘s controversial ‘cryptocurrency‘ Libra could be based on national currencies such as the dollar, the tech giant said on Sunday, following increased scrutiny from regulators and governments in recent months. “We could do it differently,” he said. “Instead of having a synthetic unit … we could have a series of stablecoins, a dollar stablecoin, a euro stablecoin, a sterling pound stablecoin, etc,” David Marcus, the project‘s lead, told a banking seminar. “We could definitely approach this with having a multitude of stablecoins that represent national currencies in a tokenized digital form,” he said. “That is one of the options that…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Facebook

Facebook’s Libra ‘cryptocurrency’ gets desperate as it considers stablecoins
Source: The Next Web

CEO of ride-hailing giant Gojek departs $10B startup to join Indonesian government


Nadiem Makarim, co-founder and CEO of Indonesia’s first decacorn Gojek, is stepping down from his chief executive role to take up a cabinet post in the newly formed government led by Joko Widodo. The move comes after President Widodo expressed a preference to include professionals and millennials in his second-term team to boost the country’s economy. Although it’s not clear what position he will hold, local reports said the 35-year-old could assume a role in the newly created digital economy ministry or in education. To fill the spot left vacant by Makarim, Gojek Group President Andre Soelistyo and co-founder Kevin…

This story continues at The Next Web

CEO of ride-hailing giant Gojek departs B startup to join Indonesian government
Source: The Next Web

Moonday Mornings: Another cryptocurrency SIM-swap victim sues AT&T, this time for $1.8M


Welcome to Moonday Morning forkers. It’s Hard Fork’s wrap-up of the weekend’s top cryptocurrency and blockchain headlines you can’t afford to miss. Take a look at what’s happened over the last few days. 1. Telecom operator AT&T is being sued by an individual claiming to be the victim of a SIM-swap hack which resulted in the loss of $1.8 million. The victim alleges that between May 16 – 18 AT&T employees transferred ownership of their SIM to bad actors. The scammers were then able to access the victim’s personal finances and cryptocurrency exchange accounts to carry out their attack. It…

This story continues at The Next Web

Moonday Mornings: Another cryptocurrency SIM-swap victim sues AT&T, this time for .8M
Source: The Next Web

How a Secret Gaming Scene Emerged in Communist East Germany

During the late 1980s, a gaming scene emerged in East Germany just before the fall of communism. Teenagers gathered in buildings like the “House of Young Talents” (HdjT), originally Palais Podewils, to watch and play Commodore 64 games. There were 20 similar clubs in Berlin alone, sometimes with more than 70 people crowded into a single room. Above all, the computers they were in possession of were all made in the West.

At a point in time when loyalties were frequently questioned, the club of self-proclaimed “freaks” soon attracted the attention of the Stasi, GDR (East Germany) intelligence agents who kept close tabs on the group. As one Stasi agent warned:

“Given that there are also members within the interest groups or computer clubs with a verifiably negative attitude toward the socialist state and social order, there is a potential danger that the interest groups or computer clubs will go in a negative direction.”

Domestically produced computers – the KC 85 from VEB Mikroelektronik Wilhelm Pieck Mühlhausen and the KC 87 from VEB Robotron – did not have the quality of C128 and C64s from Commodore. Surprisingly, even while microelectronics remained on the list of embargoes products imported to East Germany, C64s managed to make their way into the state. The GDR customs officials didn’t have any problem with Western imported hardware – what they were worried about was the software.

By the end of the 80s, modern data traffic over telephone lines had arrived in East Germany, causing fear that software would soon be disseminated without the need of a physical medium. For the gamers of GDR, however, many didn’t even have access to a phone line. They just wanted to go to computer clubs to swap software. Since computer games from the West were only available in government-run Intershop stores and not in normal shops, teenagers had to rely on the computer clubs to access these games. Games like Frogger and Rambo would be copied to cheaper cassette tapes – it wouldn’t even be violating the saw since software was not protected by copyright within the country.

A few politically charged games – “Raid Over Moscow” and “Kremlin” – were forbidden to ensure that the HdjT wouldn’t be shut down. Towards the end of the GDR, the Stasi desperately tried to gain control of games “relating to the increasing activities of the political opponent”, but by this point the political situation was already heading towards the fall of the Wall. [Stefan Paubel], founder of the HdjT reflected that he was disappointed the Stasi didn’t try harder to report on the computer clubs.

“They had everything critical in the reports: Swapping software, a complete list of all the games glorifying war and computers from the West.”

It appeared that microelectronics were sacred to the GDR, since officials were trying to get more young people to engage with computers. The regime’s concern for their reputation led them to prioritize other forms of surveillance than technology. For a while after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the computer club continued to exist. It wasn’t until August 1990, two months before reunification, that the remaining members decided to dissolve the club.

[Thanks to Frank for the tip!]

How a Secret Gaming Scene Emerged in Communist East Germany
Source: HackADay

Instagram is testing a feature to clean up your pity follows


We’ve all been there: You meet someone who wants to stay in touch later, but you don’t want to share your number with them. So you turn to the next best thing — Instagram. These are people whom you follow out of courtesy, but don’t interact with much. Don’t worry, Instagram is testing a feature that might help you out unfollow some of them. According to app researcher Jane Manchun Wong,the social network is experimenting with a feature to let you group accounts — and it’ll even corral those courtesy follows for you automatically. Some automatic groups are “Least interacted…

This story continues at The Next Web

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Instagram is testing a feature to clean up your pity follows
Source: The Next Web

Microsoft’s open-source election software now has a bug bounty program


Microsoft has announced a bug bounty program for its open-source election software ElectionGuard, allowing researchers to uncover vulnerabilities and help bolster election security. Available as a software development kit (SDK), ElectionGuard aims to make voting tamper-proof by leveraging encryption to “enable a new era of secure, verifiable voting.” It also allows individual voters to confirm that their votes were correctly counted. “Security researchers play an integral role in the ecosystem by discovering and reporting vulnerabilities to Microsoft through coordinated vulnerability disclosure,” the Windows maker said. The bug bounty offers security professionals, part-time hobbyists, and students a reward of up to $15,000…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Microsoft

Microsoft’s open-source election software now has a bug bounty program
Source: The Next Web

Facebook begins testing dark mode and a Twitter-like interface for desktop

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In May, Facebook said it was going to redesign the website and bring dark mode to its website and mobile apps. While it began testing dark mode for its Android app in August, it has now started rolling out a beta version of its website with that option to some users too. Multiple people are being invited to test the new interface. The screenshots shared by testers are akin to design Facebook showed off at its developer conference F8 in May. The new version of the website kinda looks like Twitter: Got the invite to try Facebook’s new desktop design…

This story continues at The Next Web

Or just read more coverage about: Facebook,Twitter

Facebook begins testing dark mode and a Twitter-like interface for desktop
Source: The Next Web

Finding USB Bugs the Hard Way

Sometimes debugging just doesn’t go the way you want it to. When USB problems arise, you can usually use a protocol analyzer to find the issue causing trouble. For [Paul Stoffregen], it was only the first step in a long process to find the culprit.

Procotol Analyzer

The complaint that came up was from a customer whose 2 port USB hub wasn’t working on their Teensy 3.6. The hub had been tested on Linux, Mac, and Windows, so it made sense to test what was different about the Teensy. Furthermore, all other USB hubs worked on the Teensy. As it turns out, these weren’t the most helpful assumptions to make when finding the bug.

Any protocol analyzer can be used, for instance the Beagle480. The way it works is by passing through USB communication, making a copy of the communication coming in and out, and sending it to the PC.

 

Normally, the analyzer has a small buffer memory and must sustain fast data flow. Unfortunately, this can occasionally cause software lockup. From what could be gathered from the verbose printing, USB descriptors were found for the hub. As it turns out, the faulty hub was a Multi-TT type hub, while most others are single TT (transaction translator).

Fixing Software Lockup

Since it was necessary to get the rest of the descriptor data, fixing the software lockup was the next step. Writing in a panic function – a breakpoint of sorts – into the code allowed the USB host’s power to terminate, and stepping through the program revealed that while the 2 port hub was initially being read, some issue arose afterwards.

As it turns out, the issue relied on USB split transactions, used only between USB hosts and hubs. Communication happens by tokens, which begins with a SPLIT-START token.

 

As it turns out, the issue was that the tokens weren’t being sent in the correct order. The other hubs seemed to be handle this nevertheless. By applying a fix to the C++ code of the bad hub, which had previously not been implementing the data structure for accessing register properly, the hub was able to work again.The hub appeared to be rejecting bad token, which was causing the issue in the first place.

All in all, while I’m sure this had to be a head scratching experience, at least it gives us some insight into the low-level design of USB communication.

Finding USB Bugs the Hard Way
Source: HackADay

The Mandalorian: Early reactions to Disney Plus' 'truly incredible' Star Wars show – CNET

Sounds like The Mandalorian could be pretty special. The Mandalorian: Early reactions to Disney Plus' 'truly incredible' Star Wars show – CNET
Source: CNet

How your brain protects you from the reality of your impending death – CNET

Thank you, brain. How your brain protects you from the reality of your impending death – CNET
Source: CNet

Turn your old-school CRT into a YouTube media player

Ever wish you could enjoy modern conveniences like YouTube in a retro world of CRTs and late 20th century graphics?

[Johannes Spreitzer] happened to find an old VIENNASTAR CRT (cathode-ray tube television) made by the Austrian brand Kapsh at a flea market. The CRT dates back to 1977 and uses just RF input, making it useless as a modern television set since most TV stations nowadays broadcast primarily in digital.

However, HDMI-to-RF transmitters do exist, making it possible to convert HDMI signals to RF or coaxial cable output to replace an antenna signal. What [Spreitzer] did next was to plug in a Chromcast and essentially convert the CRT into an old-school monitor. You can see some of the trippy graphics in the video below – the video samples shown fit the retro aesthetic, but I’m sure there’s video combinations that would seem pretty out of place.

HDMI-to-RF adapters are pretty easy to pick up at a hardware store, and they allow you to project videos onto specific channels on a CRT. Needless to say, they don’t work the other way around, although since there are still televisions that only pick up RF broadcasts, coaxial to HDMI adapters do exist.

Turn your old-school CRT into a YouTube media player
Source: HackADay

HBO's Watchmen TV series: Early reviews, first episode airs Sunday night – CNET

The show is here, so dig into the vigilante action. HBO's Watchmen TV series: Early reviews, first episode airs Sunday night – CNET
Source: CNet

Google to update Pixel 4 face unlock with eye detection ‘in the coming months`

Photo by Vjeran Pavic / The Verge

One of the headline features for the Google Pixel 4 is that it adds a new, secure face unlock feature in lieu of a fingerprint sensor. Only it turns out that “secure” is a relative term, as the phone will unlock even if your eyes are closed. Google has given us a statement promising that it will issue a software update that will fix that problem up, but unfortunately the timeline for it is longer than users might like. Google says that it has “been working on an option for users to require their eyes to be open to unlock the phone, which will be delivered in a software update in the coming months.”

The Pixel 4’s face unlock feature is very similar to the iPhone’s system, utilizing infrared projectors and cameras to create and read an…

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Google to update Pixel 4 face unlock with eye detection ‘in the coming months`
Source: New feed

20 photos taken with the Pixel 4's camera: You be the judge – CNET

We take the Pixel 4’s camera out for a spin and test Portrait Mode, selfies, close-ups and more on Google’s newest flagship phone. 20 photos taken with the Pixel 4's camera: You be the judge – CNET
Source: CNet

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