Tech News Feed

NASA To Film an Estee Lauder Ad In Space As the ISS Opens For Business

SlashDot - 2 hours 16 min ago
NASA is preparing to oversee the largest push of business activity aboard the ISS. "Later this month, up to 10 bottles of a new Estee Lauder (EL) skincare serum will launch to the space station," reports CNN. "NASA astronauts are expected to film the items in the microgravity environment of the ISS and the company will be able to use that footage in ad campaigns or other promotional material." The details of those plans were first reported by New Scientist magazine. From the report: The Estee Lauder partnership will continue NASA's years-long push to encourage private-sector spending on space projects as the space agency looks to stretch its budget beyond the ISS and focus on taking astronauts back into deep space. Those efforts include allowing the space station to be used for marketing and entertainment purposes. The Estee Lauder products, a new formula of the company's "Advanced Night Repair" skin serum, are expected to launch aboard a Northrop Grumman Cygnus spacecraft, tucked alongside 8,000 pounds of other cargo, experiments and supplies. NASA astronauts will be tasked with capturing "imagery and video" of the product. The astronauts themselves, however, won't be appearing in any cosmetics ads: The space agency's ethics policies strictly bar astronauts from appearing in marketing campaigns.

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Minor emoji update for 2021 adds 200 skintone variants for couples

Engadget - 3 hours 1 min ago
The Unicode Consortium has unveiled a relatively minor emoji update that would still add 217 options to your selection next year. Emoji 13.1 comes with seven brand new images: a heart on fire, a heart with bandages, a woman with beard, a gender-neutr...

Iranian Hackers Found Way Into Encrypted Apps, Researchers Say

SlashDot - Fri, 2020-09-18 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Iranian hackers, most likely employees or affiliates of the government, have been running a vast cyberespionage operation equipped with surveillance tools that can outsmart encrypted messaging systems -- a capability Iran was not previously known to possess, according to two digital security reports released Friday. The operation not only targets domestic dissidents, religious and ethnic minorities and antigovernment activists abroad, but can also be used to spy on the general public inside Iran, said the reports byCheck Point Software Technologies, a cybersecurity technology firm, andthe Miaan Group, a human rights organization that focuses on digital security in the Middle East. The reports, which were reviewed by The New York Times in advance of their release, say that the hackers have successfully infiltrated what were thought to be secure mobile phones and computers belonging to the targets, overcoming obstacles created by encrypted applications such as Telegram and, according to Miaan, even gaining access to information on WhatsApp. Both are popular messaging tools in Iran. The hackers also have created malware disguised as Android applications, the reports said. [...] According to the report by Check Point's intelligence unit, the cyberespionage operation was set up in 2014, and its full range of capabilities went undetected for six years. Miaan traced the first the operation to February 2018 from a malicious email targeting a Sufi religious group in Iran after a violent confrontation between its members and Iranian security forces. It traced the malware used in that attack and further attacks in June 2020 to a private technology firm in Iran's northeast city of Mashhad named Andromedaa. Miaan researchers determined that Andromedaa had a pattern of attacking activists, ethnic minority groups and separatist opposition groups but also had developed phishing and malware tools that could target the general public. The hackers appeared to have a clear goal: stealing information about Iranian opposition groups in Europe and the United States and spying on Iranians who often use mobile applications to plan protests, according to the Miaan report. [...] According to Check Point, the hackers use a variety of infiltration techniques, including phishing, but the most widespread method is sending what appear to be tempting documents and applications to carefully selected targets. [...] The spyware enabled the attackers to gain access to almost any file, log clipboard data, take screenshots and steal information. According to Miaan, one application empowered hackers to download data stored on WhatsApp. In addition, the attackers discovered a weakness in the installation protocols of several encrypted applications including Telegram, which had always been deemed relatively secure, enabling them to steal the apps' installation files. These files, in turn, allow the attackers to make full use of the victims' Telegram accounts. "Although the attackers cannot decipher the encrypted communications of Telegram, their strategy makes it unnecessary," the report adds. "Rather, they use the stolen installation files to create Telegram logins to activate the app in the victims' names on another device. This enables the attackers to secretly monitor all Telegram activity of the victims."

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Porsche debuts its Taycan safety car at Le Mans

Engadget - Fri, 2020-09-18 22:59
This weekend will see the running of the 88th 24 Hours of Le Mans race, but before that starts, the Porsche Carrera Cup Deutschland will run a 45-minute support race. During that event, while the race vehicles will be petrol burning Porsche 911 GT3 C...

Facebook Accused of Watching Instagram Users Through Cameras

SlashDot - Fri, 2020-09-18 21:20
Facebook is again being sued for allegedly spying on Instagram users, this time through the unauthorized use of their mobile phone cameras. Bloomberg reports: The lawsuit springs from media reports in July that the photo-sharing app appeared to be accessing iPhone cameras even when they weren't actively being used. Facebook denied the reports and blamed a bug, which it said it was correcting, for triggering what it described as false notifications that Instagram was accessing iPhone cameras. In the complaint filed Thursday in federal court in San Francisco, New Jersey Instagram user Brittany Conditi contends the app's use of the camera is intentional and done for the purpose of collecting "lucrative and valuable data on its users that it would not otherwise have access to." By "obtaining extremely private and intimate personal data on their users, including in the privacy of their own homes," Instagram and Facebook are able to collect "valuable insights and market research," according to the complaint.

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Worldwide tributes to Ruth Bader Ginsburg: 'There will never be another like her' - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 21:19
Fans of all strips pay tribute on social media to the fighter for gender equality.

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg dead at 87 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 20:19
Ginsburg, a fighter for gender equality and an unexpected pop culture icon, served 27 years on the United States' highest court.

Hyundai Venue loses the manual transmission for 2021 - Roadshow

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 20:10
It turns out that nobody actually bought one with the manual.

Deezer's country selector lets you listen to music and podcasts like a local

Engadget - Fri, 2020-09-18 19:40
You may not get a chance to physically travel anytime soon, but if you're Deezer subscriber, the music streaming service is giving you an alternative way to experience the music and culture of another country. The platform has introduced a country se...

Bill Gates On the Difference Between Elon Musk and Steve Jobs

SlashDot - Fri, 2020-09-18 19:40
In an interview with Bloomberg, Bill Gates was asked whether his contemporary Elon Musk could be considered the "next Steve Jobs," due to the advancements his companies Tesla and SpaceX have made in electric cars and reusable rockets, respectively. CNBC reports: "If you know people personally, that kind of gross oversimplification seems strange," Gates told Bloomberg in the interview published Thursday. There are some key differences between the way Musk and Jobs operate, Gates said. "Elon's more of a hands-on engineer. Steve was a genius at design and picking people and marketing," Gates said. "You wouldn't walk into a room and confuse them with each other." [...] As for Jobs, he "was such a wizard at over-motivating people ... I could see him casting the spells, and then I would look at people and see them mesmerized," Gates told podcast host Dax Shepard Aug. 20. Musk and Gates also have their differences. CNBC adds: In August, Gates wrote a blog post about electric vehicles, saying that they will "never be a practical solution" for replacing trucks and long-haul vehicles. Musk responded to Gates' comments on Twitter Sept. 11, saying that "he has no clue" about electric trucks. (Gates said in the Bloomberg interview that Musk's electric car "is a huge contribution to the climate change effort," that Tesla "did it with quality" and that "other car companies, seeing his success, will come [into the market].") [...] Of course, Gates own reputation has evolved. In the early Microsoft days, Gates was known for setting high standards for the company and being very tough on his team. "I certainly wasn't a sweetheart when I ran Microsoft," he said on Shepard's podcast.

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Fortnite: Save the World For Mac Is Shutting Down Because of Epic's Battle With Apple

SlashDot - Fri, 2020-09-18 19:00
Epic Games says Fortnite: Save the World will no longer be playable on macOS beginning on September 23rd because Apple is preventing the game from receiving new updates. The Verge reports: The co-op action shooter was initially released as a paid early access title in 2017. Epic's far more popular free-to-play battle royale will still be playable on Mac, the company says. Epic says Apple is blocking new updates and patches for the macOS version of Save the World, and an upcoming update going out to other platforms will cause bugs and "a very poor experience" for players stuck on the current version. In late August, Apple terminated Epic's developer account, meaning users cannot download or reinstall games developed by Epic, including Fortnite, and Epic can no longer validate updates for distribution. The studio said that it will issue refunds to "all players who purchased any Save the World Founder's or Starter Packs (including Upgrades) and played Save the World on macOS between September 17, 2019, and September 17, 2020." Epic Games says it may take until October 2nd for players to receive refunds.

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Make perfect steaks with this sous vide cooker on sale for just $50 - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 18:39
This 50%-off cooker doesn't offer Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or a mobile app, but you don't need that stuff for a great medium-rare steak.

NBCU's new deal with Roku will bring Peacock to the streaming platform

Engadget - Fri, 2020-09-18 18:26
Just a few hours ago it looked like the fight between NBCUniversal and Roku would get ugly, and even see the Comcast-owned network’s other channels disappear from streaming boxes and sticks. But now the two have patched things up, and announced that...

Tesla Wins Lawsuit Against Whistleblower Accused of Hacks

SlashDot - Fri, 2020-09-18 18:20
An anonymous reader writes: The US District Court of Nevada awarded Tesla a win in its lawsuit against a former employee, filed two years ago. You may recall CEO Elon Musk referred to this incident in a previously leaked email calling on employees to be "extremely vigilant." Martin Tripp, who worked at the company's Nevada Gigafactory, was accused of hacking the automaker and supplying sensitive information to unnamed third parties. Reuters reported Friday the court ruled in Tesla's favor and dismissed Tripp's motion to file another reply to the court. Tesla did not immediately respond to a request for comment, but according to Reuters, the court will grant Tesla's motion to seal the case. Tripp originally entered the spotlight two years ago after seeking whistleblower protections and accusing Tesla of "some really scary things." He told The Washington Post he was the individual who provided information to the media and accused Tesla of building Model 3 sedans with punctured batteries. Tesla, in turn, accused Tripp of making false claims to the media. Tripp also denied any allegations he hacked Tesla, saying, "I don't have the patience for coding." The automaker previously named Tripp as a disgruntled employee angry after not receiving a promotion and accused him of aiding the theft of confidential photos and videos documenting Tesla's manufacturing process.

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Save 20% on Blinks, the tabletop game of the future - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 17:43
Play solo or against other people with these light-up, magnetic, interactive tiles that plays a slew of different games.

TikTok faces ban from app stores: Here are 5 alternatives - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 17:42
The video app will keep working until Nov. 12, but it's time to start looking for a replacement.

Lord of the Rings Special Effects Company 'Weta Digital' Launches Inquiry Into Toxic Workplace Claims

SlashDot - Fri, 2020-09-18 17:40
AmiMoJo shares a report from The Guardian: Weta Digital, the special effects company behind the orcs, dragons and battle scenes of the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings trilogy, has launched an independent investigation into allegations of a toxic work culture including sexism, bullying and pornography being shared on its intranet. The investigation was ordered by the company's majority owners, who include the director Peter Jackson, his wife, Fran Welsh, and screenwriter Phillipa Boyens. It followed a months-long investigation by local television station TVNZ that found complaints had been ignored by senior management at Weta Digital, and long-standing issues raised by staff had been covered up. "The world's most beautiful toxic waste dump," is how one former employee described the award-winning company. Allegations from former staffers include sexism, bullying, and harassment, as well as "pornographic mailing lists,'" hosted on Weta Digital's intranet, in addition to staff openly viewing pornography in the studio. The pornography mailing lists are alleged to have existed from at least 2002 to 2015, when they were shut down. "There was a tradition at the time called Porn Friday. Every Friday staff members would email round porn images to the whole team," a female former Weta employee told TVNZ. "The first Friday I worked there I was so surprised, intimidated and uncomfortable. You could opt out of receiving them, which I did. "But there were still conversations amongst the team in my office every Friday about what images were sent round." Another alleged that pornography was openly shared and watched in Weta offices. There were also allegations of sexual overtures and in some cases harassment. It was also alleged that some chose not to complain because the company is a world leader in the special effects industry, and those who experienced issues feared being blacklisted.

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What we know about Trump’s ‘ban’ on TikTok and WeChat

Engadget - Fri, 2020-09-18 17:35
When the Department of Commerce said Friday that it would soon bar all new downloads of WeChat and TikTok from US App Stores, it marked the latest escalation in the weeks-long saga over TikTok’s future in America. The drama has been playing out since...

Peacock, Roku reach deal to add streaming service app to TV devices - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 17:35
Two months after its nationwide launch in July, NBCUniversal's free service makes its way to Roku's popular streaming platform.

Lawsuit accuses Instagram of peeping with iPhone camera - CNET

CNET News - Fri, 2020-09-18 17:24
Facebook said earlier that the underlying issue was a bug and that the app didn't actually use the camera.