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Instagram boss Adam Mosseri says like counts might go private – CNET June 26, 2019

He told CBS This Morning’s Gayle King the Facebook-owned site is making “well-being” a priority. Instagram boss Adam Mosseri says like counts might go private – CNET Source: CNet

Queen guitarist Brian May writes song for historic NASA flyby – CNET

Don’t stop him now! The rock star, who also happens to be an astrophysicist, will be on hand at NASA headquarters as his song marks the space milestone. Queen guitarist Brian May writes song for historic NASA flyby – CNET
Source: CNet

Source: Netflix to hire Activision Blizzard's Spencer Neumann as its new CFO starting in early 2019; Activision said it intended to fire Neumann in a filing (Kenneth Li/Reuters)


Kenneth Li / Reuters:

Source: Netflix to hire Activision Blizzard’s Spencer Neumann as its new CFO starting in early 2019; Activision said it intended to fire Neumann in a filing  —  (Reuters) – Netflix Inc is expected to announce in the next few days that it has poached media finance veteran Spencer Neumann …

Source: Netflix to hire Activision Blizzard's Spencer Neumann as its new CFO starting in early 2019; Activision said it intended to fire Neumann in a filing (Kenneth Li/Reuters)
Source: Tech Meme

Aquaman director James Wan: Stop harassing people who hate the movie – CNET

“Be respectful,” the Aquaman director tells crabby fans. Aquaman director James Wan: Stop harassing people who hate the movie – CNET
Source: CNet

Hacking a 20 Year Old Subaru

While cars are slowing becoming completely computer-controlled, road vehicles have been relying on computers since the 1970’s. The first automotive use of computers was in engine control units (ECUs) which came along as fuel injection systems started to replace carburetors.

[P1kachu]’s 1997 Subaru Impreza STi, like most cars of this vintage, uses an ECU and provides a diagnostic connector for external communications. [P1kachu]’s Subaru hacking project includes building a diagnostic interface device, dumping the ECU’s firmware, and reverse engineering the binary to understand and disable the speed limiter. If this looks familiar, it’s because we just covered the infotainment hacks in this car on Saturday. But he added information about the communications protocols is definitely worth another look.

This era of Subaru uses a non-standard diagnostics protocol called SSM1, which is essentially a 5 volt TTL serial line running at 1953 bits per second. The custom interface consists of a Teensy and a 3.3V to 5V level shifter. Once connected, commands can be sent directly to the ECU. Fortunately, the protocol has been quite well documented in the past. By issuing the “Read data from ECU address” command repeatedly, the full firmware can be dumped.

[P1kachu] goes on to locate the various engine tuning maps and discover the inner workings of the speed limiter. With cars getting more computerized, it’s nice to see folks are still able to tune their rides, even if it means using Teensys instead of wrenches.

Hacking a 20 Year Old Subaru
Source: HackADay

All photos uploaded to Twinning, Popsugar's tool to match a user's photo with a celebrity's, were accessible from a public AWS storage bucket that is now locked (Zack Whittaker/TechCrunch)


Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:

All photos uploaded to Twinning, Popsugar’s tool to match a user’s photo with a celebrity’s, were accessible from a public AWS storage bucket that is now locked  —  I thought the worst thing about Popsugar’s Twinning tool was that it matched me with James Corden.

All photos uploaded to Twinning, Popsugar's tool to match a user's photo with a celebrity's, were accessible from a public AWS storage bucket that is now locked (Zack Whittaker/TechCrunch)
Source: Tech Meme

Tech trends for 2019: foldable phones, 5G, cashierless retail, privacy legislation, autonomous delivery wagons, IoT edge computing, and more (Wall Street Journal)


Wall Street Journal:

Tech trends for 2019: foldable phones, 5G, cashierless retail, privacy legislation, autonomous delivery wagons, IoT edge computing, and more  —  From delivery wagons and foldable phones to privacy crackdowns and corporate health tracking, the coming year will make good on some of the tech industry’s biggest promises

Tech trends for 2019: foldable phones, 5G, cashierless retail, privacy legislation, autonomous delivery wagons, IoT edge computing, and more (Wall Street Journal)
Source: Tech Meme

NASA New Horizons zooms toward Ultima Thule as historic flyby nears – CNET

The spacecraft is hurtling toward the mysterious space rock, the most distant world ever explored. Watch NASA’s live stream here. NASA New Horizons zooms toward Ultima Thule as historic flyby nears – CNET
Source: CNet

Here’s why calendars look the way they do


What is the first image you visualize in your head when you think about a calendar? Probably a table with numbers arranged in seven columns and five rows (or six row depending on day one) to display the full month ahead. We use it every day, whether on your phone or on your wall. Same design no matter the medium, the same format has moved from posters to digital apps without any alteration. We are surrounded by objects that have history, sometimes that span centuries, and we completely ignore it. Anytime I encounter design patterns that are so well embedded…

This story continues at The Next Web

Here’s why calendars look the way they do
Source: The Next Web

In Screening for Suicide Risk, Facebook Takes On Tricky Public Health Role

Some doctors warn that Facebook is becoming an arbiter of users’ mental distress without proving that its efforts are accurate, effective or safe. In Screening for Suicide Risk, Facebook Takes On Tricky Public Health Role
Source: NY Times Tech

35C3: Safe And Secure Drivers In High-Level Languages

Writing device drivers is always a good start for a journey into the Linux kernel code. Of course, the kernel is a highly complex piece of software, and if you mess up your code properly, you might take down the entire system with you. User-space drivers on the other hand might not look as good on your CV, but they can help to work around some of the dangers and complexity of the kernel space. Plus, you don’t necessarily have to limit yourself to C to write them, especially if you are concerned about the usual C pitfalls and the security issues they can lead to.

With that in mind, [Paul Emmerich] is researching the concept of Linux user-space drivers for Intel’s 10Gbit network cards using other high-level languages, and recruits his students to write their final theses about the implementation details of as many languages as possible.

At last year’s 34c3, [Paul] already demonstrated the basics of writing such a user-space network driver for Linux, which serves now as reference implementation for his students. We won’t see Bash or JavaScript here, but we will see a brief summary of what it generally means to develop user-space drivers in C#, Swift, OCaml, or Haskell, along a more detailed insight from [Sebastian Voit] and [Simon Ellmann] about Go and Rust. A collection of each language’s implementation can be found on GitHub.

Since some of these languages bring their own memory handling and perform unpredictable garbage collection, performance and latency are two big topics to cover here. But then, the general concept is language-independent, so even if nothing in the world could ever make you give up on C, you might at least take away some new ideas for driver development.

35C3: Safe And Secure Drivers In High-Level Languages
Source: HackADay

Screenshots suggest Google is testing group calling and a low light mode in its Duo video chat app for Android (Scott Scrivens/Android Police)


Scott Scrivens / Android Police:

Screenshots suggest Google is testing group calling and a low light mode in its Duo video chat app for Android  —  Group calling and a low light mode in Google Duo have been rumored for some time, but we now have our first glimpse of the features in action.

Screenshots suggest Google is testing group calling and a low light mode in its Duo video chat app for Android (Scott Scrivens/Android Police)
Source: Tech Meme

With Drone Deliveries on the Horizon, Europe Moves to Set Ground Rules

A former military airfield in Belgium will be used to test technology and help regulators set rules for delivery by unmanned flying devices. With Drone Deliveries on the Horizon, Europe Moves to Set Ground Rules
Source: NY Times Tech

Parents are often shocked by inappropriate videos on TikTok, a major hit with teens that Sensor Tower says was the most downloaded app on iOS in H1 2018 (Agence France-Presse)


Agence France-Presse:

Parents are often shocked by inappropriate videos on TikTok, a major hit with teens that Sensor Tower says was the most downloaded app on iOS in H1 2018  —  TikTok’s video-sharing app was the most downloaded on Apple’s App Store in the first half of 2018, beating out Facebook, Instgram and Snapchat

Parents are often shocked by inappropriate videos on TikTok, a major hit with teens that Sensor Tower says was the most downloaded app on iOS in H1 2018 (Agence France-Presse)
Source: Tech Meme

Firm Led by Google Veterans Uses A.I. to ‘Nudge’ Workers Toward Happiness

Humu, a Silicon Valley start-up, applies data-driven lessons in human resources to the goal of improving employee satisfaction. Firm Led by Google Veterans Uses A.I. to ‘Nudge’ Workers Toward Happiness
Source: NY Times Tech

FCC may be forced to suspend most operations this week – CNET

Partial federal government shutdown to blame. FCC may be forced to suspend most operations this week – CNET
Source: CNet

Best streaming movies of 2018: The lazy moviegoer's guide – CNET

Those trailers looked so enticing, but if you never made it out to the cineplex, here’s your home list. Best streaming movies of 2018: The lazy moviegoer's guide – CNET
Source: CNet

The NYPD planned to use drones during Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration. Then it started raining.

This year — for the first time in the New York Police Department’s history — officials will have a camera-equipped, remote-controlled quadcopter on hand to watch over the thousands in Times Square. The NYPD planned to use drones during Times Square New Year’s Eve celebration. Then it started raining.
Source: Washington Post Tech

Since Waymo started testing driverless vans in Chandler, AZ in 2017, nearly two dozen attacks have been made on them including slashed tires and thrown rocks (Simon Romero/New York Times)


Simon Romero / New York Times:

Since Waymo started testing driverless vans in Chandler, AZ in 2017, nearly two dozen attacks have been made on them including slashed tires and thrown rocks  —  CHANDLER, Ariz. — The assailant slipped out of a park around noon one day in October, zeroing in on his target …

Since Waymo started testing driverless vans in Chandler, AZ in 2017, nearly two dozen attacks have been made on them including slashed tires and thrown rocks (Simon Romero/New York Times)
Source: Tech Meme

35C3: A Deep Dive into DOS Viruses and Pranks

Oh, the hijinks that the early days of the PC revolution allowed. Back in the days when a 20MB hard drive was a big deal and MS-DOS 3.1 ruled over every plain beige PC-clone cobbled together by enthusiasts like myself, it was great fun to “set up” someone else’s machine to do something unexpected. This generally amounted to finding an unattended PC — the rooms of the residence hall where I lived in my undergrad days were a target-rich environment in this regard — and throwing something annoying in the AUTOEXEC.BAT file. Hilarity ensued when the mark next booted the machine and was greeted with something like an inverted display or a faked hard drive formatting. Control-G was good to me too.

So it was with a sense of great nostalgia that I watched [Ben Cartwright-Cox]’s recent 35C3 talk on the anatomy and physiology of viruses from the DOS days. Fair warning to the seasoned reader that a sense of temporal distortion is inevitable while watching someone who was born almost a decade after the last meaningful release of MS-DOS discuss its inner workings with such ease. After a great overview of the DOS API elements that were key to getting anything done back then, malware or regular programs alike, he dives into his efforts to mine an archive of old DOS viruses, the payloads of most of which were harmless pranks. He built some tools to find viruses that triggered based on the system date, and used an x86 emulator he designed to test every day between 1980 and 2005. He found about 10,000 malware samples and explored their payloads, everything from well-wishes for the New Year to a bizarre foreshadowing of the Navy Seal Copypasta meme.

We found [Ben]’s talk a real treat, and it’s good to see someone from the current generation take such a deep dive into the ways many of us cut our teeth in the computing world.

35C3: A Deep Dive into DOS Viruses and Pranks
Source: HackADay

Teen scientist checks for alien lasers around famously weird star – CNET

A high school junior dug deep into the data on a mysteriously dimming star to search for evidence of a highly advanced civilization. Teen scientist checks for alien lasers around famously weird star – CNET
Source: CNet

What we still don’t know about the cyberattack on Tribune newspapers

Tribune did not say whether the hackers may have ties to a foreign government, how they infiltrated the company’s network, or what their motives may be. What we still don’t know about the cyberattack on Tribune newspapers
Source: Washington Post Tech

Chinese online brokerage Futu Securities files for a US IPO, seeking to raise up to $300M, and says it had $92M in revenue for year ending September 2018 (NASDAQ.com)


NASDAQ.com:

Chinese online brokerage Futu Securities files for a US IPO, seeking to raise up to $300M, and says it had $92M in revenue for year ending September 2018  —  Futu Holdings, the largest China-based online broker age, filed on Friday with the SEC to raise up to $300 million in an initial public offering.

Chinese online brokerage Futu Securities files for a US IPO, seeking to raise up to 0M, and says it had M in revenue for year ending September 2018 (NASDAQ.com)
Source: Tech Meme

The Art of Vacuum Tube Fabrication

Vacuum tubes fueled a technological revolution. They made the amplification of signals a reality for transatlantic telephone cables (and transcontinental ones too), they performed logic for early computers, and they delivered that warm fuzzy sound for high fidelity audio. But they were labor intensive to produce, and fragile, so semiconductors came along and replaced tubes in almost every application. But of course tubes are still with us and some tube applications are still critical — you’ll find them used in high-power RF and there are even satellites that depend on klystrons. So there are still experts in tube fabrication around, and Charles Alexanian is one of them. His newly-published talk at the 2018 Hackaday Supercon (found below) is a whirlwind tour of what goes into building a vacuum tube.

The process of building your own vacuum tube isn’t hard, but it’s not a walk in the park. The difficulty comes in the sheer number of processes, and the tricks of the trade found at every step. Charles’ methaphor is that if you build one tube at a time each step is like learning to ride a bicycle again, but if you build many you get into the swing of it and things go a lot better. His talk is a brief overview of everything, but if you want to drill down he also wrote an excellent article that goes further in depth.

In the working components of each tube are the precision parts: the grid (or grids). For the tube to function well these must be accurately produced which can be done with photolithography, but Charles usually uses a winding process involving a lathe. After winding, the grid is stretched to straighten the nickel wire, then cut to length. Other components such as the plate are stamped using an arbor press and simple forms he fabricates for the purpose.


Tube being tested for leaks

Two glass components are used, the dome itself, and feedthrough stems that have a wire for each lead passing through a glass disc. The components are spot welded to the inside portion of the feedthrough stem, then the glass is fused together, again using a lathe. It heads over to a pumping station to evacuate the air from the tube, and is finally tested for leaks using a handheld Tesla coil (see, we knew those weren’t just toys).

Charles proposed his Supercon appearance as a chance to fabricate tubes on-site. We loved the idea, but the amount of gear needed is somewhat prohibitive (annealing ovens, vacuum cabinets, torches for sealing, and the need for 220v, plus space for it all). That’s too bad since we were really hoping to see the Jolly Wrencher in Nixie-tube form — incidentally, Charles says Nixes are simple to make compared to amplifiers and switches. He also mentions that the majority of your time is spent “washing” parts to remove impurities. Fair enough, that part sounds boring, but we hope to endure it at some point in the future because vacuum tube fabrication demos feel very much like a Hackaday event!

The Art of Vacuum Tube Fabrication
Source: HackADay

Intercontinental Exchange subsidiary Bakkt raises $182.5M to build its cryptocurrency exchange; sources: regulatory hurdles delay its plans for bitcoin futures (Frank Chaparro/The Block)


Frank Chaparro / The Block:

Intercontinental Exchange subsidiary Bakkt raises $182.5M to build its cryptocurrency exchange; sources: regulatory hurdles delay its plans for bitcoin futures  —  Bakkt, the cryptocurrency venture by Intercontinental Exchange, has scored $182.5 million to build out its platform aimed …

Intercontinental Exchange subsidiary Bakkt raises 2.5M to build its cryptocurrency exchange; sources: regulatory hurdles delay its plans for bitcoin futures (Frank Chaparro/The Block)
Source: Tech Meme

5G Is Coming Next Year. Here’s What You Need to Know.

The transition to new fifth-generation cellular networks, known as 5G, will affect how you use smartphones and many other devices. Let’s talk about the essentials. 5G Is Coming Next Year. Here’s What You Need to Know.
Source: NY Times Tech