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TikTok, Trump and an Impulse to Act as C.E.O. to Corporate America August 3, 2020

The president’s interventions in company dealings based on his own instincts are a departure from the arm’s-length approach of predecessors of either party. TikTok, Trump and an Impulse to Act as C.E.O. to Corporate America Source: NY Times Tech

Profile of Twitter hack mastermind Graham Clark, a troubled teen who allegedly went from scamming on Minecraft to joining hacker forum OGUsers and SIM swapping (New York Times)


New York Times:

Profile of Twitter hack mastermind Graham Clark, a troubled teen who allegedly went from scamming on Minecraft to joining hacker forum OGUsers and SIM swapping  —  The teenage “mastermind” of the recent Twitter breach, who had a difficult family life, poured his energy into video games and cryptocurrency.

Profile of Twitter hack mastermind Graham Clark, a troubled teen who allegedly went from scamming on Minecraft to joining hacker forum OGUsers and SIM swapping (New York Times)
Source: Tech Meme

TikTok Ban: Creators Respond to Trump

The uncertainty over the future of the wildly popular video app has brought chaos to its user community — and to the entertainment and advertising industries as well. TikTok Ban: Creators Respond to Trump
Source: NY Times Tech

Microsoft to continue discussions on TikTok purchase after talking to Donald Trump – CNET

A potential purchase would involve an overhaul of “security, privacy, and digital safety protections”. Microsoft to continue discussions on TikTok purchase after talking to Donald Trump – CNET
Source: CNet

Crew Dragon Safely Returns Astronauts

NASA astronauts Robert Behnken, left, and Douglas Hurley are seen inside the SpaceX Crew Dragon Endeavour spacecraft onboard the SpaceX GO Navigator recovery ship shortly after having landed in the Gulf of Mexico. Crew Dragon Safely Returns Astronauts
Source: NASA

After a talk between Satya Nadella and Trump, Microsoft says it will continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in US, which will wrap up by Sept. 15 (The Official Microsoft Blog)

The Official Microsoft Blog:

After a talk between Satya Nadella and Trump, Microsoft says it will continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in US, which will wrap up by Sept. 15  —  Following a conversation between Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and President Donald J. Trump, Microsoft is prepared to continue discussions …

After a talk between Satya Nadella and Trump, Microsoft says it will continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in US, which will wrap up by Sept. 15 (The Official Microsoft Blog)
Source: Tech Meme

Microsoft says it intends to continue discussions with TikTok on acquisition following conversation with Trump

Microsoft said it will continue talks to buy TikTok from Chinese company ByteDance. Microsoft says it intends to continue discussions with TikTok on acquisition following conversation with Trump
Source: Washington Post Tech

Microsoft says CEO Satya Nadella has talked to Trump about buying TikTok

Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge

In a blog post Sunday, Microsoft said it was “prepared to continue discussions to explore a purchase of TikTok in the United States,” following a conversation between its CEO Satya Nadella and President Trump. It’s the first time the company has confirmed reports it was in talks to acquire the video sharing platform.

“Microsoft fully appreciates the importance of addressing the President’s concerns. It is committed to acquiring TikTok subject to a complete security review and providing proper economic benefits to the United States, including the United States Treasury,” the blog post reads. It adds that the company expects to move “quickly to pursue discussions with TikTok’s parent company, ByteDance, in a matter of weeks, and in any…

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Microsoft says CEO Satya Nadella has talked to Trump about buying TikTok
Source: New feed

Former Intel executive on how Intel achieved dominance in the computer industry after pivoting from memory chips to CPUs and then lost it as smartphones emerged (Michael Bruck/LinkedIn)


Michael Bruck / LinkedIn:

Former Intel executive on how Intel achieved dominance in the computer industry after pivoting from memory chips to CPUs and then lost it as smartphones emerged  —  Last week, Intel announced its second-quarter financial results which easily beat the analysts’ consensus expectations by a handsome margin.

Former Intel executive on how Intel achieved dominance in the computer industry after pivoting from memory chips to CPUs and then lost it as smartphones emerged (Michael Bruck/LinkedIn)
Source: Tech Meme

Hackaday Links: August 2, 2020

If you somehow manage to mentally separate yourself from the human tragedy of the COVID-19 pandemic, it really has provided a fascinating glimpse into how our planet operates, and how much impact seven billionpeople have on it. Latest among these revelations is that the shutdowns had a salubrious effect in at least one unexpected area: solar power. Researchers found that after the Indian government instituted mandatory lockdowns in March, output from solar power installations in Delhi increased by more than eight percent. The cause: the much-diminished smog, which let more sunlight reach solar panels. We’ve seen similar shutdown-related Earth-impact stories, from decreased anthropogenic seismicity to actually being able to see Los Angeles, and find them all delightfully revealing.

Remember Google Glass? It’s hard to forget, what with all the hype leading up to launch and the bitter disappointment of realizing that actually wearing the device wouldn’t go over well in, say, a locker room. That said, the idea of smart glasses had promise, and several startups tried to make a go of combining functionality with less out-there styling that wouldn’t instantly be seen as probable cause for being a creep. One such outfit was North, who made the more-or-less regular looking (if a bit hipsterish) Focals smart glasses. But alas, North was bought out by Google back in June, and as with so many things Google acquires, Focals smart glasses are being turned off. Anyone who bought the $600 specs will reportedly get their money back, but the features of the smart glasses will no longer function. Except, you know, you’ll still be able to look through them.

It looks like someone has finally come up with a pretty good use case for the adorably terrifying robot mini-dogs from Boston Dynamics. Ford Motors has put two of the yellow robots to work in their sprawling Van Dyke Transmission Plant in Michigan. Dubbed Fluffy and Spot (aww), the dogs wander around the plant with a suite of cameras and sensors, digitally mapping the space to prepare for possible future modifications and expansions. The robots can cover a lot of ground during the two hours that their batteries last, and are even said to be able to hitch a ride on the backs of other robots when they’re tuckered out. Scanning projects like these can keep highly trained — and expensive — engineers busy for weeks, so the investment in robots makes sense. And we’re sure there’s totally no way that Ford is using the disarmingly cute robo-pets to keep track of its employees.

We all know that the Linux kernel has some interesting cruft in it, but did you know that it can actually alert you to the fact that your printer is aflame? We didn’t either until  Editor-in-Chief Mike Szczys shared this reddit post that details the kernel function lp_check_status and how it assumes the worst if it detects the printer is online but also in “check mode.” The Wikipedia entry on the “lp0 on fire” error message has some interesting history that details how it’s not as implausible as it might seem for a printer, especially one in the early 1970s, to burst into flames under the right conditions. A toner fuser bar running amok on a modern laser printer is one thing, but imagine a printer with a fusing oven running out of control.

And finally, because 2020 is apparently the gift that can’t stop giving, at least in the weirdness department, the US Department of Defense let it slip that the office charged with investigating unidentified aerial phenomena is not quite as disbanded as they once said it was. Reported to have been defunded in 2017, the Advanced Aerospace Threat Identification Program actually appears to live on, as the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena Task Force, operating out of the Office of Naval Intelligence. Their purpose is ostensibly to study things like the Navy videos of high-speed craft out-maneuvering fighter jets, but there are whispers from former members of the task force that “objects of undetermined origin have crashed on earth with materials retrieved for study.” All this could just be a strategic misdirection, of course, but given everything else that has happened this year, we’re prepared to believe just about anything.

Hackaday Links: August 2, 2020
Source: HackADay

NASA Astronauts Safely Return to Earth: ‘Thank You for Flying SpaceX’

Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley returned to Earth in the first water landing by an American space crew since 1975. NASA Astronauts Safely Return to Earth: ‘Thank You for Flying SpaceX’
Source: NY Times Tech

From Minecraft Tricks to Twitter Hack: A Florida Teen’s Troubled Online Path

The teenage “mastermind” of the recent Twitter breach, who had a difficult family life, poured his energy into video games and cryptocurrency. From Minecraft Tricks to Twitter Hack: A Florida Teen’s Troubled Online Path
Source: NY Times Tech

Brazil Supreme Court orders Facebook to block accounts of several Bolsonaro allies

Brazil’s Bolsonaro Attends A Ceremony At Planalto Palace

Photo by Andre Borges/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Facebook has blocked the accounts of a dozen allies of President Jair Bolsonaro of Brazil, BBC News reported. Brazil’s Supreme Court ordered the 12 accounts blocked back in May, as they are under investigation for allegedly spreading false news about judges in the country. A Supreme Court judge said Friday that Facebook had not fully complied with that earlier order.

A Facebook spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge that the company had complied with the order, which it called “extreme” by “restricting the ability for the target Pages and Profiles to be seen from IP locations in Brazil.”

The Supreme Court fined the company 1.92 million reais (about $368,000) for not blocking worldwide access to the accounts in question. It could…

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Brazil Supreme Court orders Facebook to block accounts of several Bolsonaro allies
Source: New feed

Google Doodle celebrates Vicki Draves, Filipino American diver – CNET

She overcame racial prejudice to become the first Asian American to win an Olympic gold medal. Google Doodle celebrates Vicki Draves, Filipino American diver – CNET
Source: CNet

Nordstrom Uses Influencers to Promote Safety and Draw Anxious Shoppers

Some retailers are turning to popular social media personalities to detail post-pandemic protocols and boost the allure of visiting their stores. Nordstrom Uses Influencers to Promote Safety and Draw Anxious Shoppers
Source: NY Times Tech

San Francisco flattened the curve early. Now, coronavirus cases are surging.

The Bay Area was supposed to be exceptional. Quarantine fatigue and a prison outbreak changed that. San Francisco flattened the curve early. Now, coronavirus cases are surging.
Source: Washington Post Tech

San Francisco flattened the curve early. Now, coronavirus cases are surging.

{$inline_image}The Bay Area was supposed to be exceptional. Quarantine fatigue and a prison outbreak changed that. San Francisco flattened the curve early. Now, coronavirus cases are surging.
Source: Washington Post Tech

NASA astronauts aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule splash down in the Gulf of Mexico

NASA astronauts Doug Hurley and Bob Behnken have completed a successful splashdown in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Fla., aboard the SpaceX Dragon Endeavour capsule. NASA astronauts aboard SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule splash down in the Gulf of Mexico
Source: Washington Post Tech

Mike Pompeo suggests US will take action in the coming days against more Chinese software companies that it perceives as a risk to national security (Aime Williams/Financial Times)


Aime Williams / Financial Times:

Mike Pompeo suggests US will take action in the coming days against more Chinese software companies that it perceives as a risk to national security  —  Pompeo vows further clampdown as ByteDance tries to salvage sale talks with Microsoft  —  The Trump administration has vowed to “take action” …

Mike Pompeo suggests US will take action in the coming days against more Chinese software companies that it perceives as a risk to national security (Aime Williams/Financial Times)
Source: Tech Meme

A DIY 6.5-Digit Multimeter Is A Lesson In Clever Circuitry

A multimeter is an easy prospect, right? Back in the day you could make one fairly easily with a decent panel meter and a set of precision resistors, and now a digital one can be had for throwaway prices from China.

But what if instead of a cheap-and-cheerful bench instrument your needs extend to a high-precision device, a really good multimeter? It’s a path [jaromir.sukuba] has trodden with his 6.5 digit multimeter project, and along the way he’s offered us a fascinating window into their design that should be of interest to any electronic engineer even if they never intend to build a multimeter.

The range selection network of switches and resistors, microcontroller, and seven-segment displays are universal to a multimeter design, meaning that there is nothing too special about them in a high-precision instrument except that here he’s using an FPGA for timing.

Where the meat lies in this project is in the ADC and its associated voltage reference, and for that he takes a surprising turn. Instead of taking an off-the-shelf ADC part from one of the usual manufacturers, he’s created his ADC from scratch using op-amps, and to understand why that is the case he takes us on a journey into the world of dual-slope integrating ADCs. These circuits are very well explained in a 1989 HP journal article (PDF, page 8), and are a clever design that measures the time taken to charge and discharge a capacitor from the voltage to be measured and compares it to the same time from the reference voltage.

The beauty of it comes out in the HP article, that the mathematics of the charge/discharge cycle cancel out any effects of the analogue component values, allowing the much higher precision of the reference and the clock timing to dictate that of the reading. We look forward to seeing more of this project.

It’s surprising how few home-made multimeters we have on these pages, perhaps because of those cheap ones. Of the few we’ve had, perhaps this state-based Nixie one is most unusual.

A DIY 6.5-Digit Multimeter Is A Lesson In Clever Circuitry
Source: HackADay

SpaceX capsule swarmed by boaters after successful splashdown

After SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico on Sunday and before NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley were out of the capsule, dozens of boats circled the area, creating chaos as recovery crews tried to get to the spacecraft. One had a banner with a “Trump” logo on it.

The spacecraft completed a two-month mission to the International Space Station, and splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2:48PM ET, where recovery boats were waiting nearby to receive the crew.

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SpaceX capsule swarmed by boaters after successful splashdown
Source: New feed

Escalating threats to ban TikTok are pushing creators and users to apps like Triller, which has now topped the US App Store multiple times, Byte, Reels, others (Josh Constine/Constine's Moving …)


Josh Constine / Constine’s Moving Product newsletter:

Escalating threats to ban TikTok are pushing creators and users to apps like Triller, which has now topped the US App Store multiple times, Byte, Reels, others  —  Constine’s Newsletter #10: Triller vs Dubsmash vs Byte vs Reels, plus unintended consequences of threatening a TikTok ban

Escalating threats to ban TikTok are pushing creators and users to apps like Triller, which has now topped the US App Store multiple times, Byte, Reels, others (Josh Constine/Constine's Moving …)
Source: Tech Meme

MLB is back: How to watch Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks, Red Sox vs. Yankees today without cable – CNET

Three more games are postponed today but the rest of the league is still playing, for now. MLB is back: How to watch Dodgers vs. Diamondbacks, Red Sox vs. Yankees today without cable – CNET
Source: CNet

SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully returns NASA astronauts back to Earth

NASA astronauts Bob Behnken and Doug Hurley safely returned to Earth inside SpaceX’s Crew Dragon capsule this afternoon, bringing their historic two-month mission at the International Space Station to an end. The spacecraft carrying the two astronauts splashed down in the Gulf of Mexico off the coast of Pensacola, Florida at 2:48PM ET, where recovery boats were waiting nearby to receive the crew.

With this landing, the Crew Dragon has now successfully completed its first-ever passenger flight to orbit. The mission began on May 30th, when Behnken and Hurley both launched inside the capsule from Cape Canaveral, Florida and then docked with the space station a day later. Called Demon-2 or DM-2, the mission was meant to prove out all of the…

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SpaceX’s Crew Dragon successfully returns NASA astronauts back to Earth
Source: New feed

NASA astronauts safely splash back down to Earth in SpaceX Crew Dragon – CNET

The historic Demo-2 mission makes a clean water landing in the Gulf of Mexico and the crew exits the capsule. NASA astronauts safely splash back down to Earth in SpaceX Crew Dragon – CNET
Source: CNet

SpaceX splashdown smoothly delivers NASA astronauts back to Earth – CNET

The historic Crew Dragon Demo-2 mission makes a clean water landing in the Gulf of Mexico and the crew safely exits the capsule. SpaceX splashdown smoothly delivers NASA astronauts back to Earth – CNET
Source: CNet

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