Germany sees big rise in security problems affecting infrastructure

Found on Reuters on Monday, 18 February 2019
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The Welt am Sonntag weekly had reported on Sunday that Germany had learned of 157 hacker attacks on critical infrastructure companies in the second half of 2018 compared to 145 attacks in the whole of the previous year.

German and European authorities have become increasingly worried about the risk of security breaches in infrastructure as well as interference in elections especially from Russia, China and far-right groups.

But, but! Everybody needs IoT and Cloud, and 5G so that everything can go online! Seriously, if politicians wouldn't be so clueless and corrupt manipulable by lobbyists they would realize that they are just spreading lies.

5G Has Become The Magic Pixie Dust Of Tech Policy Conversations

Found on Techdirt on Friday, 15 February 2019
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Fifth generation wireless (5G) has quickly become a sort of magical carrot on a stick in tech and telecom policy circles. Telecom lobbyists and the Ajit Pai FCC have spent the better part of the last two years trying to claim that unless we gut consumer protections like net neutrality, America will somehow fall behind in the "race" to 5G.

Of course this is all bullshit. As we've noted previously, the "race to 5G" rhetoric is largely nonsense crafted by hardware vendors looking to sell more network hardware and wireless carriers looking to justify high US mobile data prices and spur lagging phone and tablet sales.

5G ist nothing else but a buzzword that politicians manage to remember. Just ask one of them why a factory, which usually does not move around much, absolutely requires a wireless uplink instead of FTTB which is better; or why autonomous cars, which have to be capable of sensing the environment via build-in sensors, need a wireless connection to operate. They won't be able to answer, because there is no answer.

Fun fact: GPS uses 10 bits to store the week. That means it runs out... oh heck – April 6, 2019

Found on The Register on Thursday, 14 February 2019
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GPS signals from satellites include a timestamp, needed in part to calculate one's location, that stores the week number using ten binary bits.

Every 1,024 weeks, or roughly every 20 years, the counter rolls over from 1,023 to zero.

For devices unprepared for the counter overflow, a firmware upgrade will be necessary to keep the things working properly.

It's not like bits are very expensive. They could have used 12, or better 16 bits and be on the safe side; but no, they decided to make the timeframe short instead.

You Can Now Run Windows 10 on the Raspberry Pi 3

Found on Tom's Hardware on Wednesday, 13 February 2019
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Raspberry Pi is finally ready for the full Windows 10 experience. A new installer lets you put Windows 10 on Arm, including the Pi.

Previously, the only way to run Windows at all was by using Windows IoT Core, but Windows 10 on ARM may be far more capable.

Maybe you can, but why would you want to?

China’s nuclear hiatus may be coming to an end

Found on MIT Technology Review on Saturday, 02 February 2019
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Beijing has approved the construction of four new nuclear reactors using a domestically developed design, according to Chinese news reports.

Both projects had been planned and approved by Chinese authorities with Westinghouse’s AP1000 reactor design, which promises safety advances such as passive cooling. That means it stores water above the reactor, leveraging gravity to keep the plant cool should the pumps fail.

It would also be a welcome development for energy experts and governments that see nuclear as a crucial low-carbon energy source to accelerate a fossil-fuel phase-out.

You can't have your cake and eat it. Nuclear energy is CO2 neutral and a reliable source of energy. Alternatives like solar and wind energy is not constant and, unlike what many think, also have negative effects on the nature.

Apple hints at lower iPhone prices as sales fall

Found on BBC News on Wednesday, 30 January 2019
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Revenue from the iPhone, responsible for most of the firm's profits, fell 15% in its latest financial quarter.

The slowdown had been expected after the tech giant warned investors earlier this month that revenue would be about $84bn, lower than expected.

People start to realize that it's nothing but an overhyped and overpriced telephone.

Climate change: 'Right to repair' gathers force

Found on BBC News on Wednesday, 09 January 2019
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The European proposals refer to lighting, televisions and large home appliances.

At least 18 US states are considering similar laws in a growing backlash against products which can’t be prised apart because they’re glued together, or which don’t have a supply of spare parts, or repair instructions.

Manufacturers say the proposed rules on repairability are too strict and will stifle innovation.

If repairs by third parties is so bad for manufacturers, then just set the minimum warranty to 10 years. This will fuel the innovation: of products that last long. However, the manufacturers won't be happy about this either.

Nokia 9 leak shows off all five rear cameras

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 03 January 2019
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The rear camera setup features seven holes housing five cameras, with the extra two holes used for an LED flash and what looks to be a sensor cluster. For the first time, a video from MySmartPrice gives us an idea of what all of these cameras are actually supposed to do: it promises the phone will take "5 simultaneous shots," which will result in "10x more light captured" compared to a regular camera sensor.

How do you know that a telephone is at the end of it's evolution? It gets stuffed full of gadgets that have absolutely nothing to do with what it is meant to be.

Hot tub hack reveals washed-up security protection

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 25 December 2018
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Thousands of hot tubs can be hacked and controlled remotely because of a hole in their online security, BBC Click has revealed.

Balboa Water Group (BWG), which runs the affected system, has now pledged to introduce a more robust security system for owners and said the problem would be fixed by the end of February.

It said it was working with more than 1,000 owners in the UK and others globally to set up a system of individual usernames and passwords to secure the online controls.

It said it had previously opted not to do so because it had wanted to "allow for simple and easy use and activation" by homeowners.

You can't say BWG made an empty promise. Access to it sure is "simple and easy". It won't take too long before being an offline device will be a feature helping sales.

IBM Embraces Knative to Drive Serverless Standardization

Found on eWEEK on Wednesday, 12 December 2018
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Serverless computing, also often referred to as functions-as-a-service, enables organizations to execute functions without the need to first provision a long-running persistent server.

There have been multiple efforts in recent years to enable serverless models, often using containers as the core element.

"Serverless" just sounds like another buzzword.