Halfords suffers a puncture in the customer details department

The Register - Thu, 06/23/2022 - 01:30
I like driving in my car, hope my data's not gone far

UK automobile service and parts seller Halfords has shared the details of its customers a little too freely, according to the findings of a security researcher.…

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Don't ditch PowerShell to improve security, say infosec agencies from UK, US, and NZ

The Register - Thu, 06/23/2022 - 00:58
Use it sensibly instead – which means turning on the useful bits Microsoft doesn't enable by default

Windows PowerShell is enormously useful, extremely prevalent, and often targeted by crooks because it offers an express route into the heart of Windows servers and networks.…

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Bipolar transistors made from organic materials for the first time

The Register - Thu, 06/23/2022 - 00:33
Move over silicon – digital circuits have a flexible new friend

Scientists in Germany claim to have developed bipolar transistors from organic materials, opening a path for flexible and transparent electronics.…

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If you didn't store valuable data, ransomware would become impotent

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 23:57
Start by pondering if customers could store their own info and provide access

Column  Sixteen years ago, British mathematician Clive Humby came up with the aphorism "data is the new oil".…

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Europol arrests nine suspected of stealing 'several million' euros via phishing

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 23:29
Victims lured into handing over online banking logins, police say

Europol cops have arrested nine suspected members of a cybercrime ring involved in phishing, internet scams, and money laundering.…

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Samsung fined $14 million for misleading smartphone water resistance claims

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 22:58
Promoted phones as ready for a dunking – forgot to mention known problems with subsequent recharges

Australia’s Competition and Consumer Commission has fined Samsung Electronics AU$14 million ($9.6 million) for making for misleading water resistance claims about 3.1 million smartphones.…

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Brave Search leaves beta, offers Goggles for filtering, personalizing results

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 19:21
Freedom or echo chamber?

Brave Software, maker of a privacy-oriented browser, on Wednesday said its surging search service has exited beta testing while its Goggles search personalization system has entered beta testing.…

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Meta agrees to tweak ad system after US govt brands it discriminatory

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 18:27
And pay the tiniest of fines, too

Facebook parent Meta has settled a complaint brought by the US government, which alleged the internet giant's machine-learning algorithms broke the law by blocking certain users from seeing online real-estate adverts based on their nationality, race, religion, sex, and marital status.…

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Broadcom sketches out VMware ambitions that stretch from mainframe to cloud

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 17:32
Engineers, sales teams told to stick around, customers promised more 'choice' – to buy from Symantec or CA

Broadcom has made its first public comment in weeks about its plans for VMware, should the surprise $61 billion acquisition proceed as planned, and has prioritized retaining VMware's engineers to preserve the virtualization giant's innovation capabilities.…

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Zscaler bulks up AI, cloud, IoT in its zero-trust systems

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 16:40
Focus emerges on workload security during its Zenith 2022 shindig

Zscaler is growing the machine-learning capabilities of its zero-trust platform and expanding it into the public cloud and network edge, CEO Jay Chaudhry told devotees at a conference in Las Vegas today.…

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Amazon shows off robot warehouse workers that won't complain, quit, unionize...

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 14:51
Mega-corp insists it's all about 'people and technology working safely and harmoniously together'

Amazon unveiled its first "fully autonomous mobile robot" and other machines designed to operate alongside human workers at its warehouses.…

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Who gets credit for science? Often, it’s not women

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 14:21
She may work hard, but she's likely to get less credit for it.

Enlarge / She may work hard, but she's likely to get less credit for it. (credit: Qi Yang)

In science, the ultimate measure of academic worth is the number of papers published where you're credited as an author. There are subtleties that matter—where you are in the list of authors and whether others cite your publications. But it's hard for those factors to overcome the weight of raw numbers. Other things, like grants and promotions, also matter a great deal. But success in those areas often depends on a large publication list.

That's why a publication released on Wednesday by Nature is significant: It describes data that indicate that women are systematically left off the list of authors of scientific publications. The gap between participation and publication continues even after various factors of career advancement are considered. And it goes a long way toward explaining why science has a problem called a "leaky pipeline," where women drop out of research at higher rates at each stage of their careers.

Making the team

It's pretty easy to crunch the data and see that women are underrepresented in author lists attached to scientific papers. But figuring out why is a significant challenge. It could result from women being historically underrepresented in some fields, discrimination, or differences in effort and commitment. Figuring out which factor(s) contribute is challenging because it involves identifying an invisible population: the people who should be on the author list but aren't.

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Mega's unbreakable encryption proves to be anything but

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 13:58
Boffins devise five attacks to expose private files

Mega, the New Zealand-based file-sharing biz co-founded a decade ago by Kim Dotcom, promotes its "privacy by design" and user-controlled encryption keys to claim that data stored on Mega's servers can only be accessed by customers, even if its main system is taken over by law enforcement or others.…

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Cisco warns of security holes in its security appliances

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 13:16
Bugs potentially useful for rogue insiders, admin account hijackers

Cisco has alerted customers to another four vulnerabilities in its products, including a high-severity flaw in its email and web security appliances. …

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Night owls beware, Fitbit knows your sleep type and wants to educate you on it

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 12:35
Being a dolphin's actually not a great thing.

Enlarge / Being a dolphin's actually not a great thing. (credit: Fitbit)

Today Fitbit announced a set of new sleep-assessment features for premium users. Launching via the Fitbit app on Wednesday, Sleep Profile is the latest subscription-only data Fitbit Premium members can use to better understand their unique sleep type and identify their strengths and weaknesses.

Using a month's worth of sleep data from about 60,000 Fitbit users, the company studied 1,000 unique sleep attributes, eventually cutting and compiling them down to 10 metrics. Five already existed within the Fitbit app, including sleep stages and duration. But the five new categories assess bedtime consistency, the number of days with naps, the time before sound sleep, disrupted sleep, and "stability," which averages the number of brief, typically unnoticeable wakeups through the night. With these assessments, users can see daily, weekly, and monthly trends in each category and see where they are (and should be) within the data range of other users of the same age and gender.

(credit: Fitbit)

Each month, users will also be assigned sleep chronotypes based on their data. Each of the six types is named after an animal with similar sleep patterns: giraffe, bear, dolphin, hedgehog, parrot, and tortoise. According to Fitbit, aside from fun, these sleep pattern identifiers aim to help stick in people's minds and reflect how their patterns change over time. Sleep types based on animals aren't a new concept to sleep science or even wearables; Samsung introduced a similar feature in the Galaxy Watch 4 this year.

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RISC-V International emits more open CPU specs

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 12:00
First edicts of 2022 include firmware, hypervisor-level specifications

Embedded World  RISC-V International has grown its pile of royalty-free, open specifications, with additional documents covering firmware, hypervisors, and more.…

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WSL2 on Windows Server 2022 hits Windows Update

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 11:30
Devs who like a Linux flavor to their server code get a gift from Redmond

Microsoft has made it official. Windows Subsystem for Linux 2 distributions are now supported on Windows Server 2022.…

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Israeli air raid sirens triggered in possible cyberattack

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 11:00
Source remains unclear, plenty suspect Iran

Air raid sirens sounded for over an hour in parts of Jerusalem and southern Israel on Sunday evening – but bombs never fell, leading some to blame Iran for compromising the alarms. …

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Poliovirus may be spreading in London; virus detected in sewage for months

ARS Technica - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 10:43
A health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child out of Kabul Afghanistan on May 17, 2016.

Enlarge / A health worker administers a polio vaccine to a child out of Kabul Afghanistan on May 17, 2016. (credit: Getty | Anadolu Agency)

A vaccine-derived version of poliovirus has repeatedly surfaced in London sewage over the past several months, suggesting there may be a cryptic or hidden spread among some unvaccinated people, UK health officials announced Wednesday.

No polio cases have been reported so far, nor any identified cases of paralysis. But sewage sampling in one London treatment plant has repeatedly detected closely related vaccine-derived polioviruses between February and May. This suggests "it is likely there has been some spread between closely-linked individuals in North and East London and that they are now shedding the type 2 poliovirus strain in their feces," the UK Health Security Agency (UKHSA) said.

Though the current situation raises alarm, the agency notes that it's otherwise common to see a small number of vaccine-like polioviruses pop up in sewage from time to time, usually from people who have recently been vaccinated out of the country. This is because many countries use oral polio vaccines that include weakened (attenuated) polioviruses, which can still replicate in the intestines and thus be present in stool. They can also spread to others via poor hygiene and sanitation (i.e., unwashed hands and food or water contaminated by sewage), which can become concerning amid poor vaccination rates.

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Castrol, Submer shift gears to datacenter immersion cooling

The Register - Wed, 06/22/2022 - 10:30
Just us who see 'liquid engineering' and think three pints at lunch on a Thursday? OK, got it, just us

Castrol, better known for its engine oil, has partnered with cooling specialist Submer to drive the adoption of immersion cooling for datacenter and edge applications.…

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