The Next Linux Kernel Will Further Fend Off Buggy EFI Firmware

The EFI support code within the mainline Linux kernel continues to be improved upon. While EFI firmware has matured in the past few years to become more reliable, there still are systems/motherboards shipping with various bugs. One of the additions for this next kernel release will better handle rare cases where buggy firmware could hang the kernel…

Source: Phoronix – The Next Linux Kernel Will Further Fend Off Buggy EFI Firmware

The official 'Super Mario Bros.' encyclopedia is here

After a years-long wait, the official Super Mario Bros. Encyclopedia is available outside of Japan. The 256-page compendium is available in both a $40 standard edition as well as an $80 limited version with a random, holofoil-trimmed cover in a ques…

Source: Engadget – The official ‘Super Mario Bros.’ encyclopedia is here

The Pixel 3 Won't Wirelessly Charge at Max Speed Except on Google-Approved Chargers

If you’re considering getting one of Google’s new Pixel 3 devices, beware: Unless you use a Google-certified accessory, wireless fast charging will only work at half of the phone’s maximum 10 watt charging speed.

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Source: Gizmodo – The Pixel 3 Won’t Wirelessly Charge at Max Speed Except on Google-Approved Chargers

Microplastics Found In Human Stools For the First Time

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: In a pilot study with a small sample size, researchers looked for microplastics in stool samples of eight people from Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria. To their surprise, every single sample tested positive for the presence of a variety of microplastics (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). In a pilot study with a small sample size, researchers looked for microplastics in stool samples of eight people from Finland, Italy, Japan, the Netherlands, Poland, Russia, the United Kingdom and Austria. To their surprise, every single sample tested positive for the presence of a variety of microplastics.

The new paper, which was presented Monday at a gastroenterology conference in Vienna, could provide support for marine biologists who have long warned of the dangers posed by microplastics in our oceans. But the paper suggests that microplastics are entering our bodies through other means, as well. To conduct the study, they selected volunteers from each country who kept food diaries for a week and provided stool samples. Dr. Philipp Schwabl, a researcher at the Medical University of Vienna who led the study, and his colleagues analyzed the samples with a spectrometer. Up to nine different kinds of plastics were detected, ranging in size from .002 to .02 inches. The most common plastics detected were polypropylene and polyethylene terephthalate — both major components of plastic bottles and caps.

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Source: Slashdot – Microplastics Found In Human Stools For the First Time

2019 Jaguar I-Pace receives 234-mile range rating from the EPA

Jaguar’s I-Pace is just getting into consumer’s hands, and now the EPA has officially released its range estimates for the all-electric SUV. The vehicle has a range of 234 miles from its 90kWh battery pack, according to the EPA’s tests. And compared…

Source: Engadget – 2019 Jaguar I-Pace receives 234-mile range rating from the EPA

Catastrophic Escalator Failure in Rome Sends Crowd Speeding to Bottom, With 20 Injuries Reported

At least 20 people, many of them Russian fans on their way to attend a Champions League soccer match between AS Roma and CSKA Moscow, were injured after an escalator in the metro station at Rome’s Piazza Repubblica went haywire, CNN International reported on Tuesday.

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Source: Gizmodo – Catastrophic Escalator Failure in Rome Sends Crowd Speeding to Bottom, With 20 Injuries Reported

Big Brother is Being Increasingly Outsourced To Silicon Valley, Says Report

The federal and local governments have long relied on private companies for defense and law enforcement technologies, from Lockheed Martin jetfighters to Booz Allen Hamilton data analysis. But increasingly, the government is expanding beyond the usual defense contractors to the company that also provides free shipping and online TV. From a report: “The … thing that was shocking for me was to understand just how the federal authorizations are allowing Amazon to have such a monopoly over the storage of government information,” says Jacinta Gonzalez, field organizer for immigrant advocacy group Mijente. Along with the National Immigration Project and the Immigrant Defense Project, Mijente funded a new report entitled, “Who’s Behind ICE?: The Tech and Data Companies Fueling Deportations.” Its findings are based on documents such as contracts, memoranda, and corporate financial reports –which are publicly available but take a lot of digging to decipher. While Amazon plays the leading role, the report also details the involvement of companies including Peter Thiel’s Palantir, NEC, and Thomson Reuters in storing, transferring, and analyzing data on both undocumented residents and U.S. citizens. The U.S. government is moving its databases from federal facilities to cloud providers, especially Amazon Web Services (AWS), raising concerns about accountability.

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Source: Slashdot – Big Brother is Being Increasingly Outsourced To Silicon Valley, Says Report

Russia Is Behind Cyberattack On Saudi Petrochemical Plant, Researchers Say

U.S. researchers from FireEye have linked a Russian research lab to a cyberattack on a Saudi petrochemical plant. The malware strain called Triton — or Trisis — “was designed to either shut down a production process or allow SIS-controlled machinery to work in an unsafe state,” reports ZDNet, citing technical reports from FireEye, Dragos, and Symantec. From the report: The group behind the malware, which FireEye has been tracking under the codename of TEMP.Veles, nearly succeeded last year, when it almost caused an explosion at a Saudi petrochemical plant owned by Tasnee, a privately owned Saudi company, according to a New York Times report. The malware’s origins were a mystery when FireEye first discovered Triton in 2017 and remained a mystery even after the New York Times report in March 2018.

But in a report published today, FireEye says that following further research into incidents where the Triton malware was deployed, it can now assess with “high confidence” that the Central Scientific Research Institute of Chemistry and Mechanics (CNIIHM), a government-owned technical research institution located in Moscow, was involved in these attacks. FireEye’s report does not link the Triton malware itself to CNIIHM, but the secondary malware strains used by TEMP.Veles and deployed during the incidents where Triton was deployed. Clues in these secondary malware strains used to aid the deployment of the main Triton payloads contained enough artifacts that allowed researchers to identify their source.

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Source: Slashdot – Russia Is Behind Cyberattack On Saudi Petrochemical Plant, Researchers Say

New 'Overwatch' viewer gives you broadcast-worthy camera control

Blizzard is stepping up its efforts to improve Overwatch esports viewing ahead of the World Cup’s climax at BlizzCon. As part of a developer update, the studio has introduced an Overwatch World Cup Viewer that will give you the kind of spectating co…

Source: Engadget – New ‘Overwatch’ viewer gives you broadcast-worthy camera control

Overwatch Is Getting A Spectator Mode

If you’ve ever found yourself tired of Overwatch esports spectators’ camera angle choices and thought you could do a better job, your big day is just around the corner. Blizzard’s shooter is getting an in-game spectator mode, though it’s gonna have to go through some testing first.

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Source: Kotaku – Overwatch Is Getting A Spectator Mode

Yahoo To Pay $50 Million, Offer Credit Monitoring For Massive Security Breach

Yahoo has agreed to pay $50 million in damages and provide two years of free credit-monitoring services to 200 million people whose email addresses and other personal information were stolen as part of the biggest security breach in history. “The restitution hinges on federal court approval of a settlement filed late Monday in a 2-year-old lawsuit seeking to hold Yahoo accountable for digital burglaries that occurred in 2013 and 2014, but weren’t disclosed until 2016,” reports ABC News. From the report: Claims for a portion of the $50 million fund can be submitted by any eligible Yahoo accountholder who suffered losses resulting from the security breach. The costs can include such things as identity theft, delayed tax refunds or other problems linked to having had personal information pilfered during the Yahoo break-ins. The fund will compensate Yahoo accountholders at a rate of $25 per hour for time spent dealing with issues triggered by the security breach, according to the preliminary settlement. Those with documented losses can ask for up to 15 hours of lost time, or $375. Those who can’t document losses can file claims seeking up to five hours, or $125, for their time spent dealing with the breach. Yahoo accountholders who paid $20 to $50 annually for a premium email account will be eligible for a 25 percent refund. The free credit monitoring service from AllClear could end up being the most valuable part of the settlement for most accountholders. The lawyers representing the accountholders pegged the retail value of AllClear’s credit-monitoring service at $14.95 per month, or about $359 for two years — but it’s unlikely Yahoo will pay that rate. The settlement didn’t disclose how much Yahoo had agreed to pay AllClear for covering affected accountholders.

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Source: Slashdot – Yahoo To Pay Million, Offer Credit Monitoring For Massive Security Breach

Apple snags Steve Carell for one of its upcoming shows

Last year, Apple announced a Reese Witherspoon- and Jennifer Aniston-led drama as part of its growing slate of original shows, and now Steve Carell has signed on to the project. Still unnamed, the series centers on a morning TV show, and Carell will…

Source: Engadget – Apple snags Steve Carell for one of its upcoming shows

Uh, a Fighter Plane With World War II-Era Nazi Insignia Just Crashed in California

The German Luftwaffe suffered another devastating defeat today when a plane bearing its World War II-era insignia crash-landed on the center divider of U.S. 101 in California on Tuesday, promptly going up in an inferno like its historical predecessors.

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Source: Gizmodo – Uh, a Fighter Plane With World War II-Era Nazi Insignia Just Crashed in California

An ISP Left Corporate Passwords, Keys, and All Its Data Exposed On the Internet

Security researchers at UpGuard discovered that a Washington-based ISP called Pocket iNet left 73 gigabytes of essential operational data publicly exposed in a misconfigured Amazon S3 storage bucket for months. “Said bucket, named ‘pinapp2,’ contained the ‘keys to the kingdom,’ according to the security firm, including internal network diagramming, network hardware configuration photos, details and inventory lists — as well as lists of plain text passwords and AWS secret keys for Pocket iNet employees,” reports Motherboard. From the report: Upguard says the firm contacted Pocket iNet on October 11 of this year, the same day the exposed bucket was discovered, but the ISP took an additional week before the data was adequately secured. “Seven days passed before Pocket iNet finally secured the exposure,” noted the firm. “Due to the severity of this exposure, UpGuard expended significant effort during those seven days, repeatedly contacting Pocket iNet and relevant regulators, including using contact information found within the exposed dataset.”

According to UpGuard, the list of plain text passwords was particularly problematic, given it provided root admin access to the ISP’s firewalls, core routers and switches, servers, and wireless access points. “Documents containing long lists of administrative passwords may be convenient for operations, but they create single points of total risk, where the compromise of one document can have severe and extensive effects throughout the entire business,” noted UpGuard. “If such documents must exist, they should be strongly encrypted and stored in a known secure location,” said the firm. “Unfortunately, a single folder of PocketiNet’s network operation historical data (non-customer) was publicly accessible to Amazon administrative users,” the ISP said in a statement to Motherboard. “It has since been secured.”

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Source: Slashdot – An ISP Left Corporate Passwords, Keys, and All Its Data Exposed On the Internet

Why the Google Pixel 3 Charges Faster On a Pixel Stand Than Other Wireless Chargers

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Google’s Pixel 3 smartphone is shipping out to the masses, and people hoping to take advantage of the new Qi wireless charging capabilities have run into a big surprise. For some unexplained reason, Google is locking out third-party Qi chargers from reaching the highest charging speeds on the Pixel 3. Third-party chargers are capped to a pokey 5W charging speed. If you want 10 watts of wireless charging, Google hopes you will invest in its outrageously priced Pixel Stand, which is $79.

Android Police reports that a reader purchased an Anker wireless charger for their Pixel 3, and, after noticing the slow charging speed, this person contacted the company. Anker confirmed that something screwy was going on with Google’s charging support, saying “Pixel sets a limitation for third-party charging accessories and we are afraid that even our fast wireless charger can only provide 5W for these 2x devices.” Normally we would chalk this up to some kind of bug, but apparently Google told Android Police that this was on purpose. The site doesn’t have a direct quote, but it writes that, after reaching out to Google PR, it was “told that the Pixel 3 would charge at 10W on the Pixel Stand [and that] due to a ‘secure handshake’ being established that third-party chargers would indeed be limited to 5W.” In an update, Google said the reason has to do with the “proprietary wireless charging technology” it has via its Pixel Stand and other select wireless chargers. The Pixel 3 only supports 5W Qi charging; “Google’s 10W proprietary wireless charging technology” is what will allow the phone to charge at faster speeds.

“Google says it is ‘certifying’ chargers for the Pixel 3 via the ‘Made for Google’ program and pointed us to one such device, a Belkin charger called the ‘Boost Up Wireless Charging Pad 10W for Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL,'” reports Ars Technica. “Belkin’s description is very enlightening, saying ‘Made with the Google Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL in mind, this wireless charging pad uses Google’s 10W proprietary wireless charging technology. It’s certified for Pixel, so you know that the BOOST UP Wireless Charging pad has been made specifically for your Pixel 3 and meets Google’s high product standards.'”

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Source: Slashdot – Why the Google Pixel 3 Charges Faster On a Pixel Stand Than Other Wireless Chargers

Tesla drops Model S and X interior options to simplify production

Tesla isn’t just pulling exterior color options to keep its assembly lines humming. Elon Musk has announced that his company is removing “many” Model S and Model X interior configuration options after November 1st in order to “simplify production.”…

Source: Engadget – Tesla drops Model S and X interior options to simplify production