Meet the new Dropbox: It's like the old Dropbox, but more expensive, and not everyone's thrilled

Found on The Register on Sunday, 16 June 2019
Browse Internet

The cloudy storage outfit is keen to move beyond mere cloud storage to become "a single workspace designed to bring files, fragmented work tools, and teams together".

It is the usual cloud story: prices can change at any time, which means something that is great value when you sign up may not look so good a year or two later.

More of your data in the cloud? No thanks. If you rely on the cloud, you'll be left to die at some point.

No Telegram today, protestors: Chinese boxes DDoS chat app amid Hong Kong protest

Found on The Register on Saturday, 15 June 2019
Browse Politics

The traffic crapflood resulted in the app, which is advertised as being "privacy-focused", going offline to users "in the Americas", according to the firm, as well as unspecified "other countries". Telegram claims to have around 200 million users and said the outage lasted for around an hour.

The timing of the attack, last night, came as Hong Kong residents staged large-scale protests against a Chinese extradition law being pushed through the territory's legislature.

So much for open-end discussions on the extradiction law.

CERN Ditches Microsoft to ‘Take Back Control’ with Open Source Software

Found on omg! ubuntu! on Friday, 14 June 2019
Browse Software

Microsoft recently revoked the organisations status as an academic institution, instead pricing access to its services on users. This bumps the cost of various software licenses 10x, which is just too much for CERN’s budget.

“MAlt’s objective is to put us back in control using open software. It is now time to present more widely this project and to explain how it will shape our computing environment,” CERN’s Emmanuel Ormancey explains in a blog post.

Microsoft licensing is an absolute nightmare and in some cases flat out ridiculous. Let's not forget the privacy nightmare either. The more moving away from that software, the better.

Google Says It Isn't Killing Ad Blockers. Ad Blockers Disagree

Found on Wired on Thursday, 13 June 2019
Browse Software

Over the past 18 months, Google has pushed to improve Chrome extension security—a welcome goal given the sketchy morass of extensions that have been out there for years. But one proposed change related to this effort threatens to hobble ad blocking extensions.

Its new iteration, the company says, will better protects users' data and help ad blockers work more more efficiently. But ad blocker developers argue the new arrangement will hinder their ability to quickly and correctly identify ads, without necessarily providing the benefits touted by Google.

A company who makes billions from online advertising is looking for excuses to mess with adblockers. How shocking and surprising.

Boeing wanted to wait three years to fix safety alert on 737 Max

Found on LA Times on Wednesday, 12 June 2019
Browse Various

The company acknowledged that it originally planned to fix a cockpit warning light in 2020 after two key U.S. lawmakers disclosed the company's timetable Friday.

Last month, acting FAA Administrator Daniel Elwell told DeFazio's and Larsen's committee that he wasn't happy Boeing waited 13 months to tell the agency about the problem.

“We will make sure that software anomalies are reported more quickly,” he said.

There are 346 reasons why faster reports would have been a great idea right from the start.

Steven Spielberg Writing Horror Series for Quibi That You Can Only Watch at Night

Found on Variety on Tuesday, 11 June 2019
Browse Various

Spielberg had an unusual request however: He wanted viewers to only be able to watch the program after midnight. Given that phones can track where it is at the moment — and keep tabs on when the sun rises and sets in its area — Katzenberg and Whitman challenged their engineers to come up with an idea for how to view the show when it’s spooky out.

The result: A clock will appear on phones, ticking down until sun sets in wherever that user is, until it’s completely gone. Then the clock starts ticking again to when the sun comes back up — and the show will disappear until the next night.

This might be a good reason for quite a few people to take a look at releases on the usual well-known websites.

The Catch-22 that broke the Internet

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 10 June 2019
Browse Internet

The disruptions all stemmed from Google Cloud, which suffered a prolonged outage—an outage which also prevented Google engineers from pushing a fix. And so, for an entire afternoon and into the night, the Internet was stuck in a crippling ouroboros: Google couldn’t fix its cloud, because Google’s cloud was broken.

Google says its engineers were aware of the problem within two minutes. And yet! “Debugging the problem was significantly hampered by failure of tools competing over use of the now-congested network,” the company wrote in a detailed postmortem.

A friendly reminder that everything can and will go down. "The cloud" is in no way special there; it makes it just more spectacular by affecting way more people.

More Trouble for Huawei: No More Facebook on New Phones

Found on Wired on Sunday, 09 June 2019
Browse Various

Facebook will reportedly no longer allow the Chinese telecom giant to preinstall Facebook, WhatsApp, and Instagram apps on its devices.

Facebook's decision is the latest fallout from the US government's decision last month to add Huawei to a list of companies that, due to national security concerns, must get permission to buy US-made technology, including software.

That sounds more like a unique selling point instead of trouble.

Doctor Who writer axed over transgender tweets

Found on BBC News on Saturday, 08 June 2019
Browse Censorship

Writer Gareth Roberts has been dropped from an upcoming Doctor Who anthology over "offensive" transphobic tweets, BBC Books has confirmed.

"It is impossible for a person to change their biological sex. I don't believe anybody is born in the wrong body," he said.

Ebury's decision to drop Roberts over his tweets, which it says conflicts with its "values as a publisher", has sparked debate on social media.

So, personal opinions are only allowed if they do not hurt the feelings of even minorities. That will be a fad and boring world.

Who left a database of emails, credit cards, plain-text passwords, and more open to the web this week?

Found on The Register on Friday, 07 June 2019
Browse Various

IT gear distributor Tech Data is the latest company to expose an insecure database, jam packed with personal and sensitive information, to the public internet for anyone to rifle through.

Within that database, we're told, was a 264GB cache of information including emails, payment and credit card details, and unencrypted usernames and passwords. Pretty much everything you need to ruin someone's day (or year).

In addition to the login credentials and card information, the researchers said they were able to find private API keys and logs in the database, as well as customer profiles that included full names, job titles, phone numbers, and email and postal addresses.

CC details and plaintext passwords, really now? Haven't any of the similar "accidents" taught the big companies that such information has to be handled in a better way?