Hey, Did You Know Stephen Hawking Thought There Is No God?

In what would be somewhat of a revelation had the late theoretical physicist and cosmologist Stephen Hawking not been one of the world’s most famous atheists—and spoken or written on the topic on numerous occasions—media outlets are playing up that Hawking’s final book Brief Answers to the Big Questions contains the …

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Source: Gizmodo – Hey, Did You Know Stephen Hawking Thought There Is No God?

Google-backed startup's chat bots turn ads into conversations

AdLingo, a marketing platform fresh out of Google’s Area 120 incubator program, is making advertisements “conversational” with the help of AI. AdLingo doesn’t build its own chatbots, but instead connects third-party chatbot tools with a company’s mar…

Source: Engadget – Google-backed startup’s chat bots turn ads into conversations

CDC Says It's Concerned About Polio-Like 'Mystery Illness' That's Paralyzing Kids

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention this week issued a warning about a disease known as acute flaccid myelitis (AFM), an illness it says it knows very little about but can cause arm or leg weakness and paralysis, particularly in children. According to a Tuesday press briefing, there have been 62 confirmed…

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Source: Gizmodo – CDC Says It’s Concerned About Polio-Like ‘Mystery Illness’ That’s Paralyzing Kids

USA Today thinks chat bots can keep voters informed during midterms

USA Today is no stranger to using technology as a hook for political coverage, but this time it could be particularly helpful in performing your civic duty. It’s rolling out chat bots across its properties that will help you keep tabs on various aspe…

Source: Engadget – USA Today thinks chat bots can keep voters informed during midterms

NBA League Pass transforms games into VR viewing parties

Live sports broadcasts in VR tend to be solitary affairs, but they’re about to become decidedly more social. Now that the 2018-2019 NBA season is getting underway, NBA League Pass and NextVR have revealed that they’re offering shared viewing through…

Source: Engadget – NBA League Pass transforms games into VR viewing parties

'Do Not Track,' the Privacy Tool Used By Millions of People, Doesn't Do Anything

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: When you go into the privacy settings on your browser, there’s a little option there to turn on the “Do Not Track” function, which will send an invisible request on your behalf to all the websites you visit telling them not to track you. A reasonable person might think that enabling it will stop a porn site from keeping track of what she watches, or keep Facebook from collecting the addresses of all the places she visits on the internet, or prevent third-party trackers she’s never heard of from following her from site to site. According to a recent survey by Forrester Research, a quarter of American adults use “Do Not Track” to protect their privacy. (Our own stats at Gizmodo Media Group show that 9% of visitors have it turned on.) We’ve got bad news for those millions of privacy-minded people, though: “Do Not Track” is like spray-on sunscreen, a product that makes you feel safe while doing little to actually protect you.

Yahoo and Twitter initially said they would respect it, only to later abandon it. The most popular sites on the internet, from Google and Facebook to Pornhub and xHamster, never honored it in the first place. Facebook says that while it doesn’t respect DNT, it does “provide multiple ways for people to control how we use their data for advertising.” (That is of course only true so far as it goes, as there’s some data about themselves users can’t access.) From the department of irony, Google’s Chrome browser offers users the ability to turn off tracking, but Google itself doesn’t honor the request, a fact Google added to its support page some time in the last year. […] “It is, in many respects, a failed experiment,” said Jonathan Mayer, an assistant computer science professor at Princeton University. “There’s a question of whether it’s time to declare failure, move on, and withdraw the feature from web browsers.” That’s a big deal coming from Mayer: He spent four years of his life helping to bring Do Not Track into existence in the first place. Only a handful of sites actually respect the request — the most prominent of which are Pinterest and Medium (Pinterest won’t use offsite data to target ads to a visitor who’s elected not to be tracked, while Medium won’t send their data to third parties.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – ‘Do Not Track,’ the Privacy Tool Used By Millions of People, Doesn’t Do Anything

New York Attorney General Subpoenas Industry Groups, Lobbyists Over Fake Net Neutrality Comments

The New York Attorney General’s office has subpoenaed “more than a dozen telecommunications trade groups, lobbying contractors and Washington advocacy organizations,” the New York Times reported on Tuesday, seeking to determine whether they were behind the flood of fake public comments submitted before the Federal…

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Source: Gizmodo – New York Attorney General Subpoenas Industry Groups, Lobbyists Over Fake Net Neutrality Comments

'Pokemon Go' gets a little bigger with 'Diamond' and 'Pearl' monsters

The Pokémon company has announced that monsters from the Sinnoh region — the Diamond and Pearl games — are now available in Pokémon Go. Players will now be able to capture favorites like Turtwig, Chimchar, and Piplup as they make thei…

Source: Engadget – ‘Pokemon Go’ gets a little bigger with ‘Diamond’ and ‘Pearl’ monsters

Whoops, YouTube Is Hella Broken Right Now

Video giant YouTube appeared to be suffering a massive outage on Tuesday night, with users reporting widespread problems attempting to connect to the site. The cause is not yet clear, but reports indicate that viewers are experiencing a number of glitches including “500 Internal Server Error” messages (a generic HTTP…

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Source: Gizmodo – Whoops, YouTube Is Hella Broken Right Now

YouTube is Down

YouTube is facing outage worldwide, users and web tracker DownDetector reported Tuesday evening. Users attempting to visit the site have reported seeing a blank website frame instead of the usual homepage. The YouTube app also showed the same problems. In a tweet, YouTube said it was working on resolving the issues on YouTube, YouTube TV, and YouTube Music.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – YouTube is Down

Outage pulls the plug on YouTube, YouTube TV and YouTube Music

For about the last half hour, YouTube has been mostly unusable and inaccessible. According to the company’s Twitter account, “We’re working on resolving this and will let you know once fixed.” There’s no word on what is causing the error, but we’ve s…

Source: Engadget – Outage pulls the plug on YouTube, YouTube TV and YouTube Music

Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open

Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open

Enlarge (credit: starwars.com)

There’s a four-year-old bug in the Secure Shell implementation known as libssh that makes it trivial for just about anyone to gain unfettered administrative control of a vulnerable server. While the authentication-bypass flaw represents a major security hole that should be patched immediately, it wasn’t immediately clear what sites or devices were vulnerable since neither the widely used OpenSSH nor Github’s implementation of libssh was affected.

The vulnerability, which was introduced in libssh version 0.6 released in 2014 makes it possible to log in by presenting a server with a SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_SUCCESS message rather than the SSH2_MSG_USERAUTH_REQUEST message the server was expecting, according to an advisory published Tuesday. Exploits are the hacking equivalent of a Jedi mind trick, in which an adversary uses the Force to influence or confuse weaker-minded opponents. The last time the world saw an authentication-bypass bug with such serious consequences and requiring so little effort was 11 months ago, when Apple’s macOS let people log in as admin without entering a password.

The effects of malicious exploits, assuming there were any during the four-plus years the bug was active, are hard to fathom. In a worst-case scenario, attackers would be able to use exploits to gain complete control over vulnerable servers. The attackers could then steal encryption keys and user data, install rootkits and erase logs that recorded the unauthorized access. Anyone who has used a vulnerable version of libssh in server mode should consider conducting a thorough audit of their network immediately after updating.

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Source: Ars Technica – Trivial authentication bypass in libssh leaves servers wide open

Sixense refunds backers for VR controller, five years later

More than five years after funding its Stem virtual reality controller system on Kickstarter, Sixense is paying back those who pledged for the device. Sixense is no longer making a consumer version of the controller, as it is focusing on producing ha…

Source: Engadget – Sixense refunds backers for VR controller, five years later

New Study Explores How Dogs Understand Human Language

If you’re a dog person who has suspected that your four-legged friend may know exactly what you mean when you use certain words or phrases—for example “toy,” or “car,” or maybe even “who’s the good boy?” (he is)—you may be correct.

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Source: Gizmodo – New Study Explores How Dogs Understand Human Language

1st Sign of the Apocalypse – Youtube Down

Is Youtube down for everyone? Even Is It Down is down with people checking. Dexerto says it is down.

In a very rare occurence, video sharing website has completely gone down, not loading any videos or menus on desktop or mobile versions.

Reports from around the world quickly came in, shared on social media as users complained that they were unable to watch videos on Tuesday evening.

YouTube has not had a major crash of this kind in recent memory, with only small bugs and glitches typically affecting the site’s status.

YouTube is on average the 2nd most visited website in the world, and this is the first major crash of the website in years.

It comes on the same day that Twitter also had a major malfunction, sending out strange spam notifications to users mobile devices.
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Source: [H]ardOCP – 1st Sign of the Apocalypse – Youtube Down