Germany might take diesel VWs off the road if recalls are ignored

Found on CNet News on Saturday, 18 August 2018
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The KBA, Germany's federal motor vehicle authority, said drivers who ignore fixes for over-polluting Volkswagen Group diesel vehicles might have their vehicles removed from the road, Automotive News Europe reports, citing a report from the German publication Automobilwoche.

In 2016, the KBA approved a series of software-related fixes for three different diesel engines, meaning getting the recall done is about as easy as sitting at a dealer for an hour.

Software updates. Could as well call them snakeoil.

Facebook flat-out 'lies' about how many people can see its ads – lawsuit

Found on The Register on Friday, 17 August 2018
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"Based on a combination of publicly available research and Plaintiffs' own analysis, among 18-34 years-olds in Chicago, for example, Facebook asserted its Potential Reach was approximately 4 times (400 per cent) higher than the number of real 18-34 year-olds with Facebook accounts in Chicago," the complaint states.

What's more, the court filing contends that former Facebook employees, described as confidential witnesses, have acknowledged that Facebook is fine with inflated numbers.

A second former Facebook employee is said to have observed that "Facebook does not care about the accuracy of information related to the number of users so long as advertising revenue is not negatively affected."

Not much of a surprise actually. The entire online advertising industry is pretty much full of scams and lies.

MoviePass users can't see Crazy Rich Asians till Sunday because MP picks the movies now

Found on CNet News on Thursday, 16 August 2018
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The menu of movies you can select from daily has shrunk to six for your $10 per month.

And the options have shrunk dramatically just over the past year, from a failed flirtation with surge pricing to a $15 per month plan with limited choices that never saw the light of day, to reducing its $10 unlimited plan to three movies per month.

So, a few more month from now, they will be a pretty good candidate to file for bankruptcy. Breaking promises by going from unlimited to three is a reduction many will simply not accept.

Serverless? It doesn’t have to be all or nothing

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 15 August 2018
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Speakers like Frazer Jamieson, Susanna Roden and Avi Deitcher will not just show you how to design and implement Serverless systems, but explain how they've implemented them themselves.

We'll also consider the challenges Serverless and FaaS throw up in areas like security, migration, management and ethics.

Just like "the cloud", it's just the hardware of somebody else. Software does not run magically on thin air. Just some more marketing buzzword bingo to convince managers to store the internals of their companies on systems outside of their full control.

Malware has no trouble hiding and bypassing macOS user warnings

Found on Arstechnica on Tuesday, 14 August 2018
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In a presentation at the Def Con hacker convention in Las Vegas over the weekend, Wardle said it was trivial for a local attacker or malware to bypass many security mechanisms by targeting them at the user interface level.

“The ability to synthetically interact with a myriad of security prompts allows you to perform a lot of malicious actions,” Wardle told Ars. “Many of Apple's privacy and security-in-depth protections can be trivially bypassed.”

"You will never get a virus on an Apple". Yeah, sure.

Google keeps tracking you even when you specifically tell it not to: Maps, Search won't take no for an answer

Found on The Register on Monday, 13 August 2018
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Researchers at Princeton University in the US this week confirmed on both Android handhelds and iPhones that even if you go into your smartphone's settings and turn off "location history", Google continues to snoop on your whereabouts and save it to your personal profile.

Of course by "may be saved" Google means "will be saved" and it forgets to tell you that "Web and App Activity" is where you need to go to stop Search and Maps from storing your location data.

It's almost as if the approach taken by Google is purposefully confusing because by continuing to store that data and associating it with individual accounts it can continue to make huge sums of money selling it to third parties.

It looks like Google is openly asking for a big fat lawsuit that will really hurt their piggy bank.

PETA roasts Impossible Burger for rat tests, suggests patties cause cancer

Found on Ars Technica on Sunday, 12 August 2018
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In a blistering blog post, PETA claimed the testing was “voluntary” and that Impossible Foods conducted the test after “disregarding advice from a PETA scientist who said that there’s no need to hurt and kill animals to test its burger.” To further scorch the burger’s name, PETA made the dubious suggestion that the burger could increase risks of cancer in consumers.

Researchers have indeed linked excessive iron (aka iron overloads) to risks of cancer. But it seems rather implausible to achieve such levels by simply eating an Impossible Burger, or a hundred. For one thing, healthy people typically don't accumulate excessive levels of iron.

PETA turned into nothing but a big failure over the years, and with ridiculous claims like this one, or the fight for selfie rights of animals, it won't get better. They should just rename themselves to PITA.

Dropbox Is Dropping Support For All Linux File Systems Except Unencrypted Ext4

Found on Slashdot on Saturday, 11 August 2018
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Dropbox have declared that the only Linux filesystem supported for storage of the Dropbox sync folder starting the 7th of November will be on a clean ext4 file system. This basically means Dropbox drops Linux support completely, as almost all Linux distributions have other file systems as their standard installation defaults nowadays -- not to mention encryption running on top of even an ext4 file system, which won't qualify as a clean ext4 file system for Dropbox (such as eCryptfs which is the default in, for example, Ubuntu for encrypted home folders).

Unencrypted files on remote storage? I don't think many will be happy about this, especially since most corporations have strict internal security guides that do not allow the unencryted storage of files on remote systems. So the decision will be rather simple: drop Dropbox.

Kaspersky VPN blabbed domain names of visited websites – and gave me a $0 reward, says chap

Found on The Register on Friday, 10 August 2018
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The antivirus giant duly fixed up the blunder when a researcher reported it via the biz's bug bounty program – for which he received zero dollars and zero cents as a reward.

A spokesperson for Kaspersky Lab has been in touch to say the VPN tool is completely outside the scope of the bug bounty.

Obviously that bug was realistic and serious enough to get patched; yet Kaspersky still claims that it's not worth a single cent. That leads to a pretty simple conclusion: it's better to try and sell bugs and exploits (at least for Kaspersky products) to blackhats instead who do value your discoveries.

ICANN Loses Yet Again In Its Quixotic Quest To Obtain A Special Exemption From The EU's GDPR

Found on Techdirt on Thursday, 09 August 2018
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The Appellate Court pointed out that ICANN could hardly claim it would suffer "irreparable harm" if it were not granted an injunction forcing EPAG to gather the additional data. If necessary, ICANN could collect that information at a later date, without any serious consequences. ICANN's case was further undermined by the fact that gathering administrative and technical contacts in the past had always been on a voluntary basis, so not doing so could hardly cause great damage.

Maybe it's time for ICANN to comply with the EU law like everybody else, and for it to stop wasting money in its forlorn attempts to get EU courts to grant it a special exemption from the GDPR's rules.

Obviously there is no valid reason for collecting this data, so the courts have all ruled correctly so far. ICANN need to get over it and realize that the law applies to them too and nothing will change.