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Thomas Claburn

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man holding dice

Boffin: Dump hardware number generators for encryption and instead look within

Hardware-based random number generators (HWRNGs) for encryption could be superseded after a Philippines-based researcher found that side-channel measurement of the timing of CPU operations provide enough entropy to seed crypto systems with the necessary randomness. In a paper presented on Saturday at the International …
Cloud computing graphic

Cloudflare ties Workers to distributed data storage

Content delivery biz Cloudflare on Friday added distributed key-value storage to its Workers service, making a greater range of network-hosted applications possible. Cloudflare Workers are similar to browser-based Service Workers, except that they run JavaScript code on the company's network rather than in the browser, thereby …
Thomas Claburn, 29 Sep 2018
silicon wafer

Intel boss admits chips in short supply, lobs cash into the quagmire

Intel on Friday published a letter from CFO and interim CEO Robert Swan reassuring customers that the chip biz will be able to make enough processors to satisfy its customers. Currently, Intel chips are in short supply. The company's inability to deliver 10nm processors is well known; it played a role in the resignation of …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Sep 2018
Apple logo behind broken window

Former Apple engineer fights iPhone giant for patent credit and denied cash, says Steve Jobs loved his 'killer ideas'

Analysis A former Apple engineer is suing his old employer to force it to acknowledge his role as the inventor of "Find My iPhone" and to compensate him for unfair dismissal. Darren Eastman, the inventor credited on an Apple patent for detecting battery errors (US 7877631B2), is seeking to have his name added to five Apple patent …
Thomas Claburn, 28 Sep 2018
Python attacking

Mega-bites of code: Python snakes into 1st place for cyber-attacks

Python, either the world's most popular programming language or a close runner up, turns out to be the most widely used language for hacking tools. Security biz Imperva came to this conclusion after looking at GitHub and finding that more than 20 per cent of GitHub repositories for attack tools and proof-of-concept exploits …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Sep 2018
Distracted boyfriend image

Swedish ISP spanked for sexist 'distracted boyfriend' advert for developer jobs

A job ad using the ubiquitous distracted boyfriend image, fodder for countless social media posts, has been declared sexist by Sweden's advertising ombudsman following a handful of complaints. The ad, posted on Facebook and Instagram, is based on Antonio Guillem's "distracted boyfriend" stock photo, formally referred to on …
Thomas Claburn, 27 Sep 2018
Money falling from the sky

Sick of bandwidth gouging? Cloudflare, Google, Microsoft, IBM have some good news

Updated The Cloudflare content delivery network (CDN) has teamed up with Microsoft, Google, IBM Cloud, and others to form the Bandwidth Alliance, a group of companies committed to trimming fees for data passing through the CDN. The initiative follows from Cloudflare's experience with Google's CDN Interconnect program, which has led to …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Sep 2018
Coffee, photo via shutterstock

Oracle pours a mug o' Java 11 for its addicts, tips pot of Binary Code License down the sink

Oracle on Tuesday delivered Java 11, in keeping with the six-month release cadence adopted a year ago with Java 9. It is the first "Long Term Support" (LTS) release, intended for Java users who prioritize stability over Zuckerbergian fast movement and breakage. Oracle said it will offer commercial support for Java 11 for at …
Thomas Claburn, 26 Sep 2018
Firefox (red panda)

Have I been pwned, Firefox? OK, let's ask its Have I Been Pwned tool

Mozilla on Tuesday debuted a service called Firefox Monitor that it has been testing to help people see whether their email addresses have been compromised. "We’ll let you know if your email address and/or personal info was involved in a publicly known past data breach," said Nick Nguyen, Mozilla's VP of Firefox Product, in a …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Sep 2018
Shantanu Narayen, CEO of Adobe, Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft, Bill McDermott, CEO of SAP,

Microsoft has a digital coworker it wants in your business: Cortana

Ignite At its Ignite conference in the US on Monday, Microsoft pitched Cortana as a corporate worker, as the software and cloud biz pushes companies to interact with technology via voice. Javier Soltero, the Microsoft corporate vice president who oversees Cortana, suggested that voice interaction has reached the same level of …
Thomas Claburn, 25 Sep 2018
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 …

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