Weekly Update: 2019-11-03 to 2019-11-09

'Game-Changer' Warrant Let Detective Search Genetic Database

Court ordered GEDmatch to search its 1M people for a match. I think it is safe to assume that no DNA database is immune from police search.

The CASE Act creates a new body in the Copyright Office which will receive copyright complaints, notify the person being sued, and then decide if money is owed and how much. This new Copyright Claims Board will be able to fine people up to $30,000 per proceeding. Worse, if you get one of these notices (maybe an email, maybe a letter—the law actually does not specify) and accidentally ignore it, you’re on the hook for the money with a very limited ability to appeal.

Xerox Considers Cash-and-Stock Offer For HP

This sure would have been hard to imagine 10 years ago. HP current market value of about $27B.

Samsung Shutting Down Custom CPU Division in the US

I may have already touched on this, but I think we’re basically down to a Quallcomm Snapdragon and Apple duopoly.

Breaking the law: How 8chan (or “8kun”) got (briefly) back onlin

Interesting methods they are using to try and get the site back online. With any luck it won’t ever be able to get very large before its shut down again.

Linux 5.5 to add support for SGI Octane I, Octane II workstations


Helsinki has a library to learn about the world, the city, and each other

Strikingly beautiful both in its design and prupose.

NCR Barred Mint, QuickBooks from Banking Platform During Account Takeover Storm

This seems like a very unusual step. How long until it will be the responsibility of companies to monitor integrations and API and cut off third parties to prevent attacks?

Banking industry giant NCR Corp. [NYSE: NCR] late last month took the unusual step of temporarily blocking third-party financial data aggregators Mint and QuickBooks Online from accessing Digital Insight, an online banking platform used by hundreds of financial institutions. That ban, which came in response to a series of bank account takeovers in which cybercriminals used aggregation sites to surveil and drain consumer accounts, has since been rescinded. But the incident raises fresh questions about the proper role of digital banking platforms in fighting password abuse.

Uber lost $1.1 billion last quarter, says rides are profitable (sort of)


Uber says that, if you exclude certain non-operating expenses—mainly interest, depreciation, and stock-based compensation—the "rides" app actually earned a substantial $631 million profit. That’s enough to cover the company’s core operating expenses, the company said. But Uber’s profitability was dragged down by losses in its other businesses—mainly a $316 million loss from Uber Eats.

Sawzall Vs Trump’s Wall — No Contest

I don’t think anyone is surprised here.

The breaches have been made using a popular cordless household tool known as a reciprocating saw that retails at hardware stores for as little as $100. When fitted with specialized blades, the saws can slice through one of the barrier’s steel-and-concrete bollards in minutes, according to the agents, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about the barrier-defeating techniques.

Gitlab considers not hiring SREs and Support Engineers in China and Russia

Over data privacy / locality. - peer to peer file transfers in a browser

Uses webrtc, self-hosted. Great, simple way to share a file directly between two people via a web browser.

via github

End-of-Sale and End-of-Life Announcement for the Cisco Catalyst 6506-E (et al)

End of an era. Hard to believe the 6500 is really going to finally be retired. Of course we still have another 5+ years.

via cisco

BOFH Calendar

If you need a good excluse.

Ran across this in the article about 8chan trying to get back online. So it’s a uh, blockchain-based system, which has network nodes that allow for TOR line routing, supposedly at low latencies, including exit nodes. It also has SNApps which are on-network apps.

AT&T Switches Customers To More Expensive Plans Without Asking Them First

At some point can we charge these people criminally? I don’t know what else could possibly work in preventing these types of things at this point.

via slashdot

Fedora Stakeholders Debate Statically Linking Python For Better Performance

A not-insignificant 5-27% improvement has been reported. Obviously this increases the size of packages. I think for normal desktop usage that isn’t much of a concern for the normal use case. But maybe on machines with very small disks or low memory this could be a concern.

via phoronix

A Ton of People Received Text Messages Overnight That Were Originally Sent on Valentine’s Day

Overnight, a multitude of people received text messages that appear to have originally been sent on or around Valentine’s Day 2019.

I assume the NSA accidentally forgot to forward the texts after capturing them. Whoops!

via slashdot

UPDATE: And we have the dramatic conclusion to our story

Syniverse’s statement explained that "On Feb. 14, 2019 a server failed, and messages were in queue at the time. When the server was reactivated on Nov. 7, 2019 messages in the queue were released."

Electric vehicles outsold manual transmissions in the U.S. last quarter

Not entirely clear, but I believe "EV" includes all types of electric vehicles, including hybrid. Still, pretty interesting milestone.

via autoblog

The July Galileo Outage: What Happened and Why

TLDR: upgrade bonked, backup didn’t work, "anomoly" in reference time design, etc.

Chronicle, the Google Moonshot Cybersecurity Startup That Was Supposed To Completely Change the Industry, is Imploding

It sounded like an amazing idea on paper. I would be shocked if this wasn’t being reattempted in some way now or very soon.

via slashdot

RIP OG Pixel: Google Ends Support After Just Three Years

That’s an appallingly short life span for a flag ship device. Although Google only originally promised 2 years. Meanwhile, iOS 13 is running on devices that are 5+ years old with no end in sight.

Former Twitter Employees Charged With Spying For Saudi Arabia

I have no idea how we should be handling nation-states attacking private industries in the US. I understand the Saudi’s are US allies but come on.

via slashdot

Intel Performance Strategy Team publishing intentionally misleading benchmarks

TLDR: used a version of GROMACS that had not been updated yet for Zen 2 and was widely known to perform poorly.

via osnews

Microsoft Edge is officially coming to Linux soon

No thanks.

via osnews

Researchers hack Siri, Alexa, and Google Home by shining lasers at them

Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant are vulnerable to attacks that use lasers to inject inaudible—and sometimes invisible—commands into the devices and surreptitiously cause them to unlock doors, visit websites, and locate, unlock, and start vehicles, researchers report in a research paper published on Monday.

This Is How the US Military’s Massive Facial Recognition System Works

That weapon is a vast database, packed with millions of images of faces, irises, fingerprints, and DNA data — a biometric dragnet of anyone who has come in contact with the U.S. military abroad. The 7.4 million identities in the database range from suspected terrorists in active military zones to allied soldiers training with U.S. forces. "Denying our adversaries anonymity allows us to focus our lethality. It’s like ripping the camouflage netting off the enemy ammunition dump," wrote Glenn Krizay, director of the Defense Forensics and Biometrics Agency, in notes obtained by OneZero.

via slashdot

An Incredible Move: The Indiana Bell Telephone Building

Really incredible feat of engineering. I wonder how this influenced the design of buildings and the telephone system in general going forward.

Microsoft and Warner Bros. Archived the Original 'Superman' Movie on a Futuristic Glass Disc

Holds 75.6GB of data and supposedly lasts for "thousands of years".

via slashdot

Ransomware, Data Breaches At Hospitals Tied To Uptick In Fatal Heart Attacks

The researchers found that for care centers that experienced a breach, it took an additional 2.7 minutes for suspected heart attack patients to receive an electrocardiogram.

via slashdot

What Happened When Microsoft Tried A Four-Day Work Week

Some results were predictable. Workers were happier and took 25.4 percent fewer days off during the month. There were also savings from spending less time at work. 23.1 percent less electricity was used and 58.7 percent fewer pages were printed. More importantly from a bottom-line standpoint, however, productivity went up 39.9%, as fewer and shorter meetings were held, often virtually rather than in person.

via slashdot

IEEE Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame: Casio F91w Wristwatch, Fitbit and TiVo

I always loved t e IEEE Hall of Fame, reminders of really great or interest devices and their write-ups always include some interesting detail. They recently just added three, which are fun reads.

AMD Announces 3rd-Generation Threadripper CPUs, Ryzen 9 3950X available on November 25th, and More

I think it’s time for a new computer! I’m very excited about the 3950X, but the news about the new Threadrippers is certainly interesting. A 24c/48t 3960X for $1400 and a 32c/64t 3970X for $2000. Supposedly a 48c/96t or 64c/128t Threadripper is expected in January, but not confirmed by AMD.

Also some new low-end 3000G parts, as cheap as $50 wth Vega graphics and an included cooler. AMD is leaving no stone unturned and competing at every level on the desktop, and with the Surface 3, now moving seriously into mobile.

Darktable 3.0 Approaching With Many New Features

Darktable is a wonderful piece of software, I use it for managing all my photos. I really love the workflow, the sidecar concept, the keybindings and UI, it’s just a great piece of software.

via phoronix

Russian Law Allowing Inspection and Internet Disconnection Takes Effect

signed by President Vladimir Putin in May, it requires Russian[sic] to route traffic through nodes under the control of the Russian Government. ISPs are obliged to install technical devices provided by the authorities to allow traffic inspection.

I think Putin is putting controls in place to avoid being Arab-Spring’ed.

The Big Bitcoin Heist

Not what you think. Really!

The Untold Story of the 2018 Olympics Cyberattack, the Most Deceptive Hack in History

Fascinating story and the question in the conclusion is certainly a concerning one.

via wired

'Microsoft Defender ATP' Antivirus is Coming to Linux

No thank you.

via slashdot