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Thomas Claburn

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blood-covered woman

Facebook sued for exposing content moderators to Facebook

Updated A Facebook contractor hired to keep the social network free of beheadings, rape, torture and the like has sued the tech giant and its contracting firm, Pro Unlimited – for allegedly failing to protect workers from the psychological trauma arising from exposure to disturbing content. The complaint, filed on behalf of San …
Thomas Claburn, 24 Sep 2018
JavaScript code

NPM not tied in knots over Yarn rival project

NPM, keeper of the npm Registry and the software package management tool called npm that pulls JavaScript packages from said registry, is testing another sort of package manager called tink. Previously referred to as frog and then crux, until someone discovered there was an npm package called crux, tink represents an attempt …
Thomas Claburn, 15 Sep 2018
Chrome icon on sandy beach

Google Chrome 69 gives worldwide web a stay of execution in URL box

Google Chrome 70 arrived as a beta release on Thursday, bringing with it a handful of meaningful improvements and some more esoteric features of interest to developers. Available on the Chrome Beta channel for Android, Chrome OS, Linux, macOS, and Windows – the iOS beta requires participation in Apple's TestFlight program – …
Thomas Claburn, 14 Sep 2018
Robot repairing another

Facebook can't root out fake news and hate talk, but – oh look – it has software to catch bugs

Facebook may have to hire people to police the content coursing through its social network, but software looks to be sufficient to hunt down bugs in its mobile app code. On Thursday, the information-harvesting biz revealed but did not release SapFix, a debugging tool that relies on artificial intelligence to suggest fixes for …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Sep 2018
Put those empty boxes over there, by the stock photography lighting rig

Redis does a Python, crushes 'offensive' master, slave code terms

The open-source Redis database, like the Python programming language, is moving away from using the technical terms "master" and "slave" in its documentation and API – to the extent that's possible without breaking things. For Python, the decision this week to replace the words "master" and "slave", prompted by undisclosed …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Sep 2018
Map of Europe, with lock symbolizing GDPR

So Brave: Browser biz sics Brit watchdogs on Google's info slurpage

Privacy-focused browser maker Brave has filed complaints with British and Irish data protection authorities seeking an end to the online sharing of protected data by advertising firms like Google. The complaints claim online behavioral ad targeting – which Google euphemizes as "personalized advertising" – gathers unnecessary …
Thomas Claburn, 13 Sep 2018
Apple iPhone XS

Apple in XS new sensation: Latest iPhone carries XS-sive price tag

Apple on Wednesday held its annual mobile device pageant at its Steve Jobs Theater in Cupertino to acquaint the fascinated with its latest fondleslabs, phones and wrist wraps. Despite the secrecy – which failed after developer Steve Troughton-Smith found Apple's products listed in an XML file on the company's website – and the …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Sep 2018
Robot solving Rubik's Cube

Unity tweaks AI training tools, makes bid for academic respect

Unity Technologies on Monday released version 0.5 of its ML-Agents toolkit to make its Unity 3D game development platform better suited for developing and training autonomous agent code via machine learning. Initially rolled out a year ago in beta, version 0.5 comes with a few improvements. There's a wrapper for Gym (a toolkit …
Thomas Claburn, 12 Sep 2018
Master and Slave on circuit board

Python joins movement to dump 'offensive' master, slave terms

Python creator Guido van Rossum retired as "benevolent dictator for life" in July, but like Michael Corleone in The Godfather III, he's been pulled back in to resolve a debate about politically incorrect language. Like other open source communities, Python's minders have been asked whether they really want to continue using …
Thomas Claburn, 11 Sep 2018
Statue of girl confronting Wall Street bull

Boffins bash Google Translate for sexism

Google Translate is used by over 200 million people daily and, according to boffins from Brazil, its AI-powered tongue twisting tends to deliver sexist results. In a research paper distributed through pre-printer service ArXiv, "Assessing Gender Bias in Machine Translation – A Case Study with Google Translate," Marcelo Prates …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Sep 2018
Room with many locks on door

Arms race: SiFive, Hex Five build code safe houses for RISC-V chips

If you've been looking at SiFive's RISC-V-based chip technology and thinking, y'know what, it's missing an Arm TrustZone-style element to run sensitive code, well, here's some good news. And if you're just into processor design and checking out alternatives to Arm CPU cores, then this may be some interesting news. SiFive …
Thomas Claburn, 10 Sep 2018
Crowdsource action figure in shrink wrap package

AI biz borks US election spending data by using underpaid Amazon Mechanical Turks

Captricity, a company that touts AI software capable of reading text better than people, has been blamed for a bumper crop of data entry errors that misrepresent what many US Senate candidates are actually spending for their campaigns. According to a report published this week from the Center for Public Integrity (CPI), there …
sinister doctor

Top antivirus tool nuked from macOS App Store – after it phoned browser histories to China

Apple has removed an app called Adware Doctor:Anti Malware &Ad from the macOS App Store following claims it sent users' browser histories to a remote server in China. The app's misbehavior was first noted by a security researcher who goes by name Privacyis1st on Twitter and claims to have alerted Apple to the weirdness in …
Man handing another person a paycheck

Soft eng salaries soar by 25 per cent – and, oh yes, devops is best paid for non-boss techies

Software developers, you're getting a raise, on paper at least. Coding Q&A community site Stack Overflow has crunched the numbers from its latest developer survey and found that programmers are earning more everywhere, with median salaries that are 25 per cent higher than last year in cities like London and San Francisco. …
British Airways website

'World's favorite airline' favorite among hackers: British Airways site, app hacked for two weeks

British Airways on Thursday said it is investigating the theft of customer data from its website and mobile app servers. The biz, which bills itself as the world's favorite airline, said its systems had been compromised for more than two weeks. "From 22:58 BST August 21 2018 until 21:45 BST September 5 2018 inclusive, the …
Sextortion graphic

NASA 'sextortionist' allegedly tricked women into revealing their password reset answers, stole their nude selfies

A former NASA contractor was arrested and charged on Wednesday for allegedly sextorting women. Richard Gregory Bauer, 28, was detained at his Los Angeles home by special agents from the space agency's internal watchdog. Bauer is accused of stalking, unauthorized access to protected computers, and aggravated identity theft, …
Close up of a BlackBerry keyboard

Facebook flogs dead horse. By flog, we mean sues. And by horse, we mean BlackBerry

Facebook is suing BlackBerry for alleged patent infringement six months after BlackBerry sued Facebook for alleged patent infringement. In a complaint filed in a US district court in San Francisco, California, on Tuesday, Facebook claimed that the Canadian messaging biz has ripped off six of its patents. Facebook's patents …

Google skewered in ad sting after Oracle-backed bods turn troll

An advocacy group funded in part by Oracle posed as a Russian internet troll farm to call attention to what it claims is Google's failure to police online political ad sales. To demonstrate shortcomings in Google's ad sales oversight, Campaign for Accountability (CfA) spent about $100 (~6,800 rubles) on political ads over the …
Illustration of developer writing code at desk with three monitors

Gitpod git-bolts git-IDE onto GitHub for in-browser code git-editing

Developers who use GitHub – 28 million at last count – now have the option to edit code with the click of a button using Gitpod, an integrated development environment (IDE) that can be launched directly from the social code hosting site. Based on Theia, an open source cloud-and-desktop IDE developed by Ericsson, IBM, TypeFox …
Bank vault door

Boffins are building an open-source secure enclave on RISC-V

At some point this fall, a team of researchers from MIT's CSAIL and UC Berkeley's EECS aim to deliver an initial version of an open source, formally verified, secure hardware enclave based on RISC-V architecture called Keystone. "From a security community perspective, having trustworthy secure enclaves is really important for …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2018
Man at desk overwhelmed by flood of messages

Apple pushes new iOS 12 beta build to silence notification spam

Apple on Friday issued its 12th developer beta version of iOS 12, which should see general release in September, just days after the previous version began spamming beta testers and developers with errant update notifications. Greater control over intrusive notifications is one of the relatively few marquee features in iOS 12 …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2018
Moogsoft CEO Phil Tee

Data apocalypse is coming unless you buy AI, declares AI biz

On Thursday, Moogsoft, maker of an AI platform for IT automation, invited a few corporate customers and like-thinking vendors to testify to the saving grace of AI-driven IT automation. CEO Phil Tee opened the second annual AIOps Symposium by questioning the pursuit of data. Enterprises gather 44TB of data daily, he said, and …
Thomas Claburn, 31 Aug 2018
Cryptojacking illustration

Cryptojacking isn't a path to riches - payout is a lousy $5.80 a day

Cryptojacking, the hijacking of computing resources to mine cryptocurrency, turns out to be both relatively widespread and not particularly profitable, according to a paper published by code boffins from Braunschweig University of Technology in Germany. In a paper distributed via ArXiv, researchers Marius Musch, Christian …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Aug 2018
Money raining from cloud on man

Google sets Kubernetes free with $9m in its pocket for expenses

Now that the Google-born open-source Kubernetes project has come of age, its proud corporate parent is setting it free on the path to maturity and independence with sizable wad of cash to get it started in its new home. The Cloud Native Computing Foundation, which oversees various open source projects like Kubernetes and …
Thomas Claburn, 30 Aug 2018
Person holding smartphone during whiteboard web design session

No need to code your webpage yourself, says Microsoft – draw it and our AI will do the rest

Microsoft has introduced an AI-infused web design tool called Sketch2Code that converts hand-drawn webpage mockups into functional HTML markup. It's not to be confused with a similar AirBnB project that has been referred to, unofficially, as sketch2code. For years, drag-and-drop web page building apps have been capable of much …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Aug 2018

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