Technology

Engadget RSS Feed 2018-04-23 22:12:00

You can already get HTC's Vive Pro in a bundle aimed at first-timers, but what if you're a business buyer who needs it for VR design and training? You're covered now, too. HTC has released a $1,399 Vive Pro 2.0 Kit that includ…

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YouTube mistakenly pulls video exposing Alex Jones conspiracy

YouTube has been trying to reduce instances of mistaken video takedowns, but it's evident there's still some work to do. The company temporarily pulled a video from watchdog group Media Matters that exposed Alex Jones' conspiracy theories surroundin…

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Facebook starts verifying political advertisers in the US

Early this month, Facebook announced it will change how political ads appear on the company's platforms. Anyone advertising about elections or issues would need their identity 'verified' before the messages go online, and the messages themselves woul…

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Engadget RSS Feed 2018-04-23 19:58:00

This week the NFL Draft takes place, squeezed in between NBA and NHL playoffs action. At the same time Archer is back to open another season, along with Netflix's 3% and The Handmaid's Tale on Hulu. We also have the season finale of …

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GOG gets social by adding user profiles

GOG is introducing user profiles, which will bring a touch of social interaction to the DRM-free games marketplace. The platform has hesitantly modernized over the years to compete with Steam, adding films and in-development titles, and the new profi…

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Monkey-selfie lawsuit finally ends: Court affirms adorable macaque can’t sue

A federal appeals court in San Francisco ruled Monday that Naruto, a “crested macaque,” does not have legal standing to file a copyright claim against a nature photographer, as Naruto is not a person.

The case dates back to 2011, when British nature photographer David Slater was on a shoot on the Tangkoko reserve in Indonesia. Naruto somehow swiped Slater’s camera and managed to snap a few pictures. Slater later published a book, including some of the so-called “monkey selfie” images.

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals, the advocacy group seeking to represent Naruto, then filed a lawsuit, saying that Naruto’s copyright of the image had been violated. In January 2016, a federal district judge in San Francisco ruled that Naruto had no standing: not being a person, he could not bring a lawsuit.

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Engadget RSS Feed 2018-04-23 18:24:00

The popular battle royale game Fortnite is coming to China, thanks to a partnership between its creator Epic Games and Tencent. The Chinese tech giant, which owns over 40 percent of Epic, will handle distribution and publishing. Tencent will r…

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New hacks siphon private cryptocurrency keys from airgapped wallets

Enlarge / Simplified figurative process of a Cryptocurrency transaction. (credit: Mikael Häggström / Wikimedia)

Researchers have defeated a key protection against cryptocurrency theft with a series of attacks that transmit private keys out of digital wallets that are physically separated from the Internet and other networks.

Like most of the other attacks developed by Ben-Gurion University professor Mordechai Guri and his colleagues, the currency wallet exploits start with the already significant assumption that a device has already been thoroughly compromised by malware. Still, the research is significant because it shows that even when devices are airgapped—meaning they aren’t connected to any other devices to prevent the leaking of highly sensitive data—attackers may still successfully exfiltrate the information. Past papers have defeated airgaps using a wide array of techniques, including electromagnetic emissions from USB devices, radio signals from a computer’s video card, infrared capabilities in surveillance cameras, and sounds produced by hard drives.

On Monday, Guri published a new paper that applies the same exfiltration techniques to “cold wallets,” which are not stored on devices connected to the Internet. The most effective techniques take only seconds to siphon a 256-bit Bitcoin key from a wallet running on an infected computer, even though the computer isn’t connected to any network. Guri said the possibility of stealing keys that protect millions or billions of dollars is likely to take the covert exfiltration techniques out of the nation-state hacking realm they currently inhabit and possibly bring them into the mainstream.

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Facebook details its fight to stop terrorist content

Last June, Facebook described how it uses AI to help find and take down terrorist content on its platform and in November, the company said that its AI tools had allowed it to remove nearly all ISIS- and Al Qaeda-related content before it was flagged…

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The latest Hyperloop feasibility study aims to connect Cleveland and Chicago

Enlarge (credit: Hyperloop Transportation Technologies)

The drive between Chicago and Cleveland can take about five hours. Taking the train is a little longer—six to seven hours, depending on how many stops the train makes. It’s easy to see why people would be interested in bringing a faster type of transportation to the corridor.

Enter Hyperloop, of course. The brainchild of Elon Musk, a Hyperloop is a system of transportation envisioned to carry cargo or passengers at speeds above 700 mph through low-pressure tubes. The train pods would hover above the track, using either magnetic levitation or air-bearings. Stretch a tube across the 344 miles between Chicago and Cleveland and simple math suggests you could cover the distance in half an hour, give or take.

At least, theoretically. No Hyperloop system has (publicly) broken a rail-speed barrier yet, and Hyperloop startups have generally focused on announcing new investments or miles-per-hour achievements rather than describing how safety would work in such a system if a pod were to break down and passengers needed to escape a vacuum-sealed tube.

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Byton teases its second “experience-driven” vehicle

Byton wowed us at CES back in January with its first autonomous EV concept car, a smart SUV built for passenger comfort. At the Beijing Motor Show, the company teased its second vehicle concept, an electric sedan slated to go into series production i…

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Adobe Premiere makes it easier to edit Insta360 Pro footage

Insta360's more affordable 8K VR camera was made available for pre-orders in 2017, with a major software update in December of that same year that kicked the high-end 360-degree camera's image processing up a notch. The camera got a stamp of approval…

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Engadget RSS Feed 2018-04-23 17:00:00

You didn't think Twitch would offer streamer extensions without finding a way to generate money from them, did you? Sure enough, the customization feature now accepts Bits (the microtransactions you normally use to tip streamers) for on-…

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The “unpatchable” exploit that makes every current Nintendo Switch hackable

Enlarge / The “proof of concept” payload for today’s exploit shows crucial protected information from the now-exposed Nintendo Switch bootROM. (credit: Kate Tempkin / ReSwitched)

A newly published “exploit chain” for Nvidia Tegra X1-based systems seems to describe an apparently unpatchable method for running arbitrary code on all currently available Nintendo Switch consoles. Hardware hacker Katherine Tempkin and the hacking team at ReSwitched released an extensive outline of what they’re calling the Fusée Gelée coldboot vulnerability earlier today, alongside a proof-of-concept payload that can be used on the Switch.

“Fusée Gelée isn’t a perfect, ‘holy grail’ exploit—though in some cases it can be pretty damned close,” Tempkin writes in an accompanying FAQ.

The exploit, as outlined, makes use of a vulnerability inherent in the Tegra X1’s USB recovery mode, circumventing the lock-out operations that would usually protect the chip’s crucial bootROM. By sending a bad “length” argument to an improperly coded USB control procedure at the right point, the user can force the system to “request up to 65,535 bytes per control request.” That data easily overflows a crucial direct memory access (DMA) buffer in the bootROM, in turn allowing data to be copied into the protected application stack and giving the attacker the ability to run arbitrary code.

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Despite bigger ambitions, Google is still an ad business

As we already know, Google's parent company Alphabet makes the bulk of its money from ads. We also learned in quarters past that revenue from its non-Google projects, which it calls "Other Bets," have been growing at a slow, steady rate. From the com…

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Atlanta spends more than $2 million to recover from ransomware attack

Last month, Atlanta's city government was hit with a ransomware attack that caused courthouse documents and services like payment processing to become inaccessible. The ransom demand was approximately $51,000 but according to the city's Department of…

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Samsung Pay finally works with your PayPal Wallet

Samsung Pay support for PayPal was unveiled back in July of last year with promises that it would be ready "soon," but that clearly didn't happen — you've had to use your regular payment cards in the months since. Whatever prompted the wait, it's re…

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Google Chrome’s major redesign shows a lighter, rounder UI

Google is planning a massive redesign of its major products this year. We’ve already seen some major changes land in the first Android P Developer Preview, and we’ve seen leaks of a new Gmail design. Next up on the docket is Google Chrome.

We’ve been unofficially calling Google’s new design effort “Material Design 2,” which is how it was first referenced in a Chrome commit from February. “Material Design” is Google’s current company-wide design language, which first debuted in 2014 with Android 5.0 Lollipop. We’re expecting to hear a lot about Material Design 2 at Google I/O 2018, but so far we’ve seen work-in-progress MD2 changes bring a lighter, rounder design to Google’s products. Round buttons, boxes with rounded corners, and white background are usually among the changes. We also see an increasing use of the “Product Sans” font in the redesigns, which makes everything look more Googly given that it’s the same font used in Google’s logo.

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Engadget RSS Feed 2018-04-23 15:45:00

While drivers experience most of the stress of a drive, it's important to remember that passengers are also prone to anxiety. After a long day at work (or fighting Twitter trolls) it can be tough to unwind even when you're being chau…

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Prof behind Cambridge Analytica’s Facebook data mining says he’s sorry

Enlarge (credit: Anthony Quintano / Flickr)

In advance of his upcoming testimony before the UK Parliament, Aleksandr Kogan wants the public to know two things: he’s sorry, and he’s not a Russian agent. (Kogan, who was born in Moldova, moved to the Soviet Union as a child before eventually emigrating to the United States, where he became a citizen.)

Kogan, who authored the initial Facebook app created at the behest of Cambridge Analytica, has now come forward. He recently granted interviews to The New York Times, BuzzFeed News, and CBS’ 60 Minutes. (Kogan did not respond to Ars’ request for comment.)

It was Kogan’s 2014 app, “This is Your Digital Life,” which invited users to log in with their Facebook credentials and answer a slew of survey questions in exchange for $4. Those respondents also allowed Kogan and his team access to their friends’ public profile data. In the end, this system captured data on 87 million Facebook users. This data trove ultimately wound up in the hands of Donald Trump’s presidential campaign when it hired the London-based firm.

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