Windows XP leak confirmed after user compiles the leaked code into a working OS

Found on ZD Net on Wednesday, 07 October 2020
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NTDEV decided to compile the code and find out for themselves.

According to videos shared online, the amateur IT technician was successful in compiling the Windows XP code over the weekend, and Windows Server 2003 yesterday.

Last week's leak also included source code for several other Windows operating systems, such as Windows 2000, Embedded (CE 3, CE 4, CE 5, CE, 7), Windows NT (3.5 and 4), and MS-DOS (3.30 and 6.0).

That could give a nice boost to interoperability between various operating systems, allowing developers to actually take a look at the source instead of using try and error. Also, it would possibly cause new malware (any maybe updates) for those still running these old versions.

When Coffee Machines Demand Ransom, You Know IoT Is Screwed

Found on Wired on Tuesday, 06 October 2020
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As a thought experiment, Martin Hron, a researcher at the security company Avast, reverse engineered one of the older coffee makers to see what kinds of hacks he could do with it. After just a week of effort, the unqualified answer was: quite a lot. Specifically, he could trigger the coffee maker to turn on the burner, dispense water, spin the bean grinder, and display a ransom message, all while beeping repeatedly. Oh, and by the way, the only way to stop the chaos was to unplug the power cord.

“The lifespan of a typical fridge is 17 years, how long do you think vendors will support software for its smart functionality?”

IoT is a load of junk. Most devices are of low-quality, buggy, harmful to the environment and sometimes downright dangerous. Consumers better think twice if they really need such spyware in their homes.

Man refused to disband party that violated COVID order, gets year in jail

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 05 October 2020
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A Maryland judge sentenced a man to one year in jail after finding him guilty of throwing two large parties in violation of a state pandemic order that banned large gatherings. Police were called to the man's home twice in one week, and he refused to disband the party on the second occasion, authorities said.

The order classified any "knowing" and "willful" violation as a misdemeanor that can be punished with up to a year behind bars and a $5,000 fine. Myers therefore got the maximum sentence on the second count.

There are cases where you can, and should, question the current rules. A rule to protect people from a possibly deadly pandemic is at the bottom of that list.

'I monitor my staff with software that takes screenshots'

Found on BBC News on Sunday, 04 October 2020
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Shibu is the founder of Transcend - a small London-based firm that buys beauty products wholesale and re-sells them online.

For the last year and a half he has used Hubstaff software to track his workers' hours, keystrokes, mouse movements and websites visited.

"Employers have an implied legal duty to maintain their employees' trust and confidence, and need to be mindful of how employees might react to the mass roll-out of monitoring software," he says.

There's a good solution for this: quit the job. It's not worth it if there is no trust between the employer and his employees. Or does the boss also let employees monitor his computer as much as they want to?

Thailand takes first legal action against Facebook, Twitter over content

Found on Reuters on Saturday, 03 October 2020
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The complaints were against the U.S. parent companies and not their Thai subsidiaries, Puttipong said.

The ministry will file more requests asking Facebook, Twitter, and Google, to remove more than 3,000 items, some of which include criticism of the monarchy, Puttipong said.

While already questionable, they could block access to said content from inside of Thailand; but if they would actually remove it for everybody in the world, it would reduce the possible online content to the minimal compromise between all nations. It would be a really tiny Internet then.

Your Photos Are Irreplaceable. Get Them Off Your Phone

Found on Wired on Friday, 02 October 2020
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Tons of people keep their most precious data—their photos—on the smallest, most fragile device they own, which they carry around with them everywhere, constantly at risk of loss, theft, and breakage.

There are plenty of apps dedicated to uploading, storing, and editing your photos, and you may have to explore each to figure out which is best for your use case.

Don't store them at one location, but two, because: one backup is no backup, and two backups are one backup.

Google announces crackdown on in-app billing, aimed at Netflix and Spotify

Found on Ars Technica on Thursday, 01 October 2020
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With a lot of focus lately on how smartphone app developers are treated on Apple's and Google's app stores, Google has decided right now is a great time to announce more stringent app store billing rules.

Google draws a clear distinction between Android and iOS by pointing out that on Android, developers have a "choice of stores" and that most Android devices ship with multiple app stores. Google mentions twice that "each store is able to decide its own business model and consumer features" with the implication being that if developers want to be on Google Play, which has 2 billion active users, they're going to have to start following the rules or look elsewhere.

At least there developers have an alternative. Still, 30% is still too much.

Too many staff have privileged work accounts for no good reason, reckon IT bods

Found on The Register on Wednesday, 30 September 2020
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In a survey commissioned by IT security firm Forcepoint of just under 900 IT professionals, 40 per cent of commercial sector respondents and 36 per cent working in the public sector said they had privileged access to sensitive data through work.

Worryingly, of that number, about a third again (38 per cent public sector and 36 per cent private) said they had access privileges despite not needing them.

That sort of IT work would be something the management cannot see and it will only hear about it when users complain who cannot access data anymore; and in turn, the IT gets yelled at for making things more secure.

'If you steal music, you aren't a real music fan'

Found on BBC News on Tuesday, 29 September 2020
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File-sharing sites like The Pirate Bay were widely used to illegally download music, but they have waned in popularity thanks to successful efforts to shut them down.

However, they have been replaced by websites and apps that allow users to download music taken from licensed streaming sites including YouTube and Spotify.

"Literally every single penny can make a massive difference in their ability to survive to the next great song."

The business model itself is broken. You could simply remove the entire music industry from the equation and leave it to musicians and fans to connect to each other.

Apple v. Epic hearing previews a long, hard-fought trial to come

Found on Ars Technica on Monday, 28 September 2020
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In her statements, Judge Rogers seemed more inclined to Apple's view of its position in the wider video game market. "If we look at this plaintiff and industry, walled gardens have existed for decades," she noted. "Nintendo has had a walled garden. Sony has had a walled garden. Microsoft has had a walled garden... In this particular industry, what Apple is doing is not much different... It's hard to ignore the economics of the industry, which is what [Epic is] asking me to do."

That implies that walled gardens are good. They are not. Apple could simply allow users to break free and root their devices if they want to.