PewDiePie quit plan prompts YouTube reply

Found on BBC News on Thursday, 08 December 2016
Browse Internet

In a video uploaded on Friday, video gamer Mr Kjellberg said he would delete his channel when it reached 50 million subscribers as a result of his frustration with the platform.

Mr Kjellberg is currently producing new episodes of his YouTube-financed series Scare PewDiePie, and on Tuesday topped Forbes' list of highest-paid YouTube stars for the second year in a row.

Of course, he will just close his account from which he makes millions each year. Remember: if you make a threat, don't make it look ridiculous. With all the money he earned by now, he could easily retire; but greed does not work that way.

Millions exposed to malvertising that hid attack code in banner pixels

Found on Ars Technica on Wednesday, 07 December 2016
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The malicious script is concealed in the alpha channel that defines the transparency of pixels, making it extremely difficult for even sharp-eyed ad networks to detect. After verifying that the targeted browser isn't running in a virtual machine or connected to other types of security software often used to detect attacks, the script redirects the browser to a site that hosts three exploits for now-patched Adobe Flash vulnerabilities.

Despite targeting only people using IE and unpatched versions of Flash, Stegano is noteworthy for its concealment of exploit code in the pixels of the banner ads. There's no reason future campaigns—or possibly ongoing ones that have yet to be discovered—couldn't exploit zero-day vulnerabilities that infected a much larger base of people. Until ad networks get much better at detecting malvertising campaigns, the scourge is likely to continue.

Just a friendly reminder why you should always use adblocking in the first place.

EU criticises tech firms for slow action on hate speech

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 06 December 2016
Browse Censorship

The European Commission looked into whether the tech giants were meeting a pledge to remove hate speech within 24 hours of it being reported.

"It is our duty to protect people in Europe from incitement to hatred and violence online," said Ms Jourova. "While IT Companies are moving in the right direction, the first results show that the IT companies will need to do more to make it a success."

Funny how the same people have no problem to blame China when it censors to protect its own citizens.

Hollow, world! Netflix premieres Java in-memory database toolkit

Found on The Register on Monday, 05 December 2016
Browse Software

The streaming media service on Monday released an open-source project called Hollow that dispenses with what it characterizes as the conventional wisdom about distributing datasets of a certain size over a network.

Koszewnik claims that Hollow has helped Netflix reduce server startup times and heap footprints even as it deals with more and more metadata. He also said it has helped the company realize productivity gains associated with disseminating its data catalog.


So they offload the storage and cpu to the customers; hopefully they also offer some compensation. Plus: Java, was that really necessary?

Chrome 55 Now Blocks Flash, Uses HTML5 by Default

Found on Bleeping Computer on Sunday, 04 December 2016
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While some of the initial implementation details of the "HTML5 By Default" plan changed since May, Flash has been phased out in favor of HTML5 as the primary technology for playing multimedia content in Chrome.

Flash, who's been accused of being a resource hog and a security threat, will continue to ship with Chrome for the time being.

If you do it, don't do it half-heartedly: you don't block Flash while still shipping it. Just don't install it at all; the Internet works without it. Those websites which rely on Flash for core parts need to phase it out quickly. Having said all that, having Chrome doing this is an annoying decision: until now there was no real pressure to move to HTML5, so not having Flash installed means no annoying advertising that sneaks by adblockers. Now that advertisers will shift to HTML5, this simple and easy protection is gone.

UK's new Snoopers' Charter just passed an encryption backdoor law by the backdoor

Found on The Register on Saturday, 03 December 2016
Browse Politics

Most critically, if a Cabinet minister decides she wants a backdoor to be introduced into some software, is there anything that can stop him or her? The answer to that is almost certainly no, except she can be slowed down and would likely make some concessions to move ahead.

At the end of the day, will the UK security services be able to read your email, your messages, your posts and private tweets, and your communications if they believe you pose a threat to national security? Yes, they will.

So use software that is not developed in the UK to e.g. encrypt your harddrive; or use a VPN provider not based in the UK to stop the government from snooping. At the end of the day, they won't suddenly catch tons more of criminals. Nevertheless, the Snoopers' Charter should be stopped.

NYPD busts $8 million counterfeit phone scheme

Found on CNet News on Friday, 02 December 2016
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Officers executed a search warrant for "Phone Traders" on Coney Island Avenue at about 11:55 a.m. ET Thursday. They seized 9,000 counterfeit phones and $59,000 from the store. The location had actually been a warehouse for a stash of fake phones, which police believed was supplying smaller stores with its counterfeit devices.

So police seems to do more than confiscating money from law-abiding citizens to raise their funds.

SHIFT + F10, Linux gets you Windows 10's cleartext BitLocker key

Found on The Register on Thursday, 01 December 2016
Browse Software

Microsoft is working on a patch for a bug or feature in Windows 10 that allowed access to the command line and, using a live Linux .ISO, made it possible steal BitLocker keys during OS updates.

"This sadly allows for access to the hard disk as during the upgrade Microsoft disables BitLocker."

Bitlocker is only good for a laugh. Even more so since Microsoft can have backups of your key for recovery purposes, making the disk encryption basically pointless.

Zynga sues 2 former employees over alleged massive data heist

Found on Ars Technica on Wednesday, 30 November 2016
Browse Legal-Issues

Both men are accused of taking a vast quantity of private data with them and successfully recruited former colleagues to join them at Scopely, which Zynga claimed was a violation of their employment contracts. (Scopely has several Zynga alumni, including Roy Rosenthal, the company’s general counsel. Rosenthal also did not respond to Ars.)

Those documents also allegedly included “hundreds of detailed design specifications,” “unreleased game design documents,” and “financial-related information."

Funny how things suddenly change when you are on the other side. Just a few years ago, Pincus had rather clear ideas about innovating: "Just copy what they do and do it until you get their numbers".

New Zealand is the first country to wipe out invasive butterfly

Found on New Scientist on Tuesday, 29 November 2016
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Before morphing into a butterfly, P. brassicae starts out as a caterpillar that feeds voraciously on brassica crops – including cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower and Brussel sprouts. It can also eat New Zealand’s 79 native cress species, 57 of which are at risk of extinction.

To encourage children to join the eradication effort, the department also offered a NZ$10 bounty for every dead great white butterfly brought in during the 2013 spring school holidays.

New Zealand’s great white butterfly eradication is part of a larger scheme to remove all introduced pests. In July, the government announced that it would also wipe out all rats, stoats and possums by 2050.

With globalization, it has gotten easier for species to travel to new areas. That, and humans have been stupid enough to release species, thinking that can help fixing problems other released species cause.