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Thomas Claburn

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Lady  standing on a hand with a megaphone shouting into mans ear

Welcome to your sci-fi dystopia: Sonic firewalls to crumble inaudible ad-tracking phone cookies

Boffins in Austria have developed a defense against acoustic cookies, a form of ad tracking by which smartphones can send and receive data using sounds people can't hear. App developers can implement ultrasound data transfer on their own or using various SDKs, such as XT Audio Beacons or Lisnr, or the Google Nearby API. ads …
Thomas Claburn, 25 May 2018
Facebook issue ad

New Facebook political ad rules: Now you must prove your ID before undermining democracy

Facebook has rolled out its promised disclosure regime for political and issue advertising, heralding a new age of transparency and civic responsibility. Or so Facebook folks suggest. "We believe that increased transparency will lead to increased accountability and responsibility over time – not just for Facebook but …
Thomas Claburn, 24 May 2018
Cloudy server conceptual illustration. Photo by Shutterstock

Microsoft and boffins cook up hardware-secured database

At the IEEE Symposium on Security and Privacy in San Francisco, Calif., this week, researchers from Imperial College London and Microsoft presented an experimental database engine called EnclaveDB that aims to keep data and database queries secure even when the host system has been compromised. As described in a research paper …
Thomas Claburn, 24 May 2018

EmDrive? More like BS drive: Physics-defying space engine flunks out

The "impossible" EmDrive may be just that, though don't count it out just yet. A group of German physicists at TU Dresden has tested two proposed means of propellantless propulsion – the EmDrive and Mach Effect Thrusters – and found the act of testing is what makes these arguably physics-flouting technologies appear to work. …
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2018
Cat in tupperware image via Shutterstock

VM-container chimera Kata Containers emerges from lab

The open source Kata Containers project, an effort to combine the security advantages of virtual machines with the deployment and management advantages of software-based containers, hit its 1.0 milestone on Tuesday. Forged from a merger of Intel’s Clear Containers and Hyper’s runV announced last December, Kata Containers …
Thomas Claburn, 23 May 2018
Facial recognition

Folks are shocked – shocked – that CIA-backed Amazon is selling face-recog tech to US snoops, cops

Analysis The American Civil Liberties Union on Tuesday expressed dismay that Amazon Web Services has been urging US government agencies to use its Rekognition API for state-sponsored facial recognition. The advocacy organization published emails obtained over a six-month investigation documenting marketing efforts by Amazon employees …
Thomas Claburn, 22 May 2018
Smartphone showing Chinese flag

Apple tells app makers to strip VoIP toolkit from iOS software in China

Developers of iOS apps distributed in China have started to receive notifications from Apple that they are required to remove CallKit, a software UI framework for integrating VoIP calling services, from their apps. A post in an Apple developer forum last week recounts having an app rejected by Apple's app review process …
Thomas Claburn, 21 May 2018
Photo by Kaspars Grinvalds / Shutterstock

Tesla inches toward GPL compliance in low gear: Source code forcibly ejected into public

Following five years of hectoring, Tesla has released a portion of the open-source code it's obligated to provide under the terms of the GNU General Public License (GPL). Since 2013, the Software Freedom Conservancy (SFC), responding to complaints of GPL violations related to software in the Tesla Model S, has pressed the …
Thomas Claburn, 21 May 2018
Nikki Bailey, Illumina

No root for you, or how to stop worrying and love AWS China

If you open an AWS account in China, you don't get a root account; instead, one of Amazon's Chinese operating partners, Sinnet or NWCD, has root access and creates an IAM admin user for you. Nikki Bailey, senior devops engineer at Illumina, a company that builds gear to sequence genetic data, explained as much at the DevOps- …
Thomas Claburn, 18 May 2018
IT worker with head in hands

Git push origin undo-my-last-disaster

"I'm about to make a change that will probably wipe out all of our systems." That was the message a developer employee once delivered to Alexis Richardson, CEO of Weaveworks, just prior to an attempted system update at his company. Richardson, who also serves as the Technical Oversight Committee Chair for the Cloud Native …
Thomas Claburn, 17 May 2018
Mike Roberts, Symphonia

Software development slow because 'Most of our ideas suck'

If you want a vision of the future of software creation, imagine a boot process spinning up a server, forever. Speaking at Continuous Lifecycle London* on Wednesday, Mike Roberts, co-founder of consultancy Symphonia Cloud, employed less Orwellian terminology for tomorrow: continuous experimentation. Perhaps you've heard of …
Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2018
Continuous Lifecycle London 2018

Agile development exposed as techie superstition

At DevOps-focused London conference Continuous Lifecycle* today, Linda Rising challenged the superstition of tech professionals, a group that ought to have some affinity for science. Rising, a consultant, author and COO of The Hillside Group, asked for a show of hands from anyone doing some flavour of agile development. Up …
Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2018
Image by: TijanaM http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-501730p1.html

Serverless continuous deployment for the AWS crowd: Feeding time in Lambda-land

Continuous Lifecycle "You'll never go hungry if you know AWS," one of the workshop participants at the Continuous Lifecycle* devops-focused conference in London remarked. Mike Roberts, co-founder of consultancy Symphonia Cloud, was behind the lectern yesterday afternoon, preparing to conduct a tour of serverless continuous deployment on AWS. Mike …
Thomas Claburn, 16 May 2018
Oculus Go at F8 2018

Oculus Go: Capable kit, if the warnings don't put you off

Review Earlier this month, I jotted down some initial impressions about the Oculus Go virtual reality headset I received at Facebook's F8 developer conference. Last weekend, I had a chance to play around with it more thoroughly and to test it on unsuspecting family members. What follows is a more considered account of the face- …
Thomas Claburn, 15 May 2018
 Brand new apple Macbook Pro 15 inch late 2016 with touchbar.

Apple MacBook butterfly keyboards 'defective', 'prone to fail' – lawsuit

Two Apple customers, fed up with the keyboards used in recent model MacBook notebooks, filed a lawsuit against the company on Friday in a San Jose, Calif, federal court. Plaintiffs Zixuan Rao, of San Diego, Calif, and Kyle Barbaro, of Melrose, Mass, alleging that Apple's model year 2015 or later MacBooks and model year 2016 or …
Thomas Claburn, 14 May 2018

US prison telco accused of selling your phone's location to the cops

Updated An American telco that provides costly phone services to prisoners has been accused of harvesting location data on American phone users – and selling it to the police with no oversight. Senator Ron Wyden (D-OR) has asked America's comms watchdog – the Federal Communications Commission – and wireless carriers to investigate how …
Thomas Claburn, 11 May 2018

New law would stop Feds from demanding encryption backdoor

US lawmakers from both major political parties came together on Thursday to reintroduce a bill that, if passed, would prohibit the American government from forcing tech product makers to undermine the security of their wares. The bill, known as the Secure Data Act of 2018, was returned to the US House of Representatives by …
Thomas Claburn, 10 May 2018
password

Bombshell discovery: When it comes to passwords, the smarter students have it figured

Students who get good grades have better passwords than their less academically successful peers, though this finding should be considered alongside several caveats. JV Roig, consulting director and software developer at Asia Pacific College (APC) in the Philippines, wanted to find out whether school smarts had any bearing on …
Thomas Claburn, 10 May 2018
Bare knuckle fight, photo via Shutterstock

You have GNU sense of humor! Glibc abortion 'joke' diff tiff leaves Richard Stallman miffed

Late last month, open-source contributor Raymond Nicholson proposed a change to the manual for glibc, the GNU implementation of the C programming language's standard library, to remove "the abortion joke," which accompanied the explanation of libc's abort() function. Nicholson said: "The joke does not provide any useful …
An executive slowly vanishing

Crypto chat app Signal's disappearing messages found hiding on macOS

Encrypted chat app Signal's disappearing messages may not actually vanish on Apple Macs, thanks to the way the encrypted messaging software interacts with the macOS Notification Center. On Tuesday, security researcher Alec Muffett noted: "If you are using the @signalapp desktop app for Mac, check your notifications bar; …
People celebrating

Windows Notepad fixed after 33 years: Now it finally handles Unix, Mac OS line endings

Windows Notepad users, rejoice! Microsoft's text editing app, which has been shipping with Windows since version 1.0 in 1985, has finally been taught how to handle line endings in text files created on Linux, Unix, Mac OS, and macOS devices. "This has been a major annoyance for developers, IT Pros, administrators, and end …
Microsoft store opening

Windows app makers told to think different – you're Microsoft 365 developers, now

Build During the second day of its Build developer conference in Seattle, Washington, on Tuesday, Microsoft shined the spotlight on Microsoft 365, its year-old swirl of software and services made by whipping Office 365, Windows 10, and Enterprise Mobility and Security (EMS) into a single confection – a suite. In vendor-speak, this …
Penguin in a car

Microsoft's most popular SQL Server product of all time runs on Linux

Build SQL Server running on Linux, with embedded R and Python, is Microsoft's most successful SQL Server product ever, said JG "John" Chirapurath, general manager of Azure Data, in an interview with The Register at Build 2018. "It is the most successful server product we've ever released, in terms of downloads," he said. "Our …
Man surprised by calculator

Microsoft wants serious, non-gaming developers to make more money

Build Microsoft says it will take less money from Windows developers selling apps in its store, making its marketplace significantly more appealing than competing app stores in certain cases – assuming revenue share rather than market size is the primary consideration. In a blog post published on Monday, to be explained on Tuesday …
Satya Nadella Build 2018

The world is becoming a computer, says CEO of worldwide computer company Microsoft

Build At its Build 2018 developer conference in Seattle, Washington, on Monday, Microsoft showered attention on artificial intelligence, as it did last year, leaving Windows chatter for later. When Steve Ballmer still steered the ship, Microsoft's message to developers was as simple as repeating the word "developers" over and over …

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