Submission + - Chinese 'Accelerators' In Silicon Valley Aim To Bring Startups Home (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Beijing’s unslakeable thirst for the latest technology has spurred a proliferation of “accelerators” in Silicon Valley that aim to identify promising startups and bring them to China. The surge in the number of China-focused accelerators — which support, mentor and invest in early-stage startups — is part of a larger wave of Chinese investment in Silicon Valley. At least 11 such programs have been created in the San Francisco Bay Area since 2013, according to the tech-sector data firm Crunchbase. Some work directly with Chinese governments, which provide funding. Reuters interviews with the incubators showed that many were focused on bringing U.S. startups to China. For U.S. government officials wary of China’s growing high-tech clout, the accelerator boom reaffirms fears that U.S. technological know-how is being transferred to China through investments, joint ventures or licensing agreements.

Submission + - IBM Warns Quantum Computing will Break Encryption (zdnet.com)

CrtxReavr writes: "Quantum computers will be able to instantly break the encryption of sensitive data protected by today's strongest security," warns Arvind Krishna, head of IBM Research. The article continues "It has been known since the 1980s that quantum computers would be great at factoring large numbers, which is the foundation of public key cryptography. But building large enough quantum computers was not possible then. Advances in novel materials and in low-temperature physics have led to many breakthroughs in the quantum computing field in recent years. and large commercial quantum computer systems will soon be viable and available within five years." The article says continued advances in material science and software technologies will be required to take best advantage of Quantum Computing.

What I wonder is, if encryption can be "instantly broken," does this also mean that remaining crypto-coins, can be instantly discovered?

Submission + - First govt office in US to accept Bitcoin as payment (orlandosentinel.com)

SonicSpike writes: If cash, check or credit card seems too old-fashioned, Seminole County, Florida Tax Collector Joel Greenberg said this week his office will begin accepting bitcoin as payment for new IDs, license plates and property taxes starting next month.

Greenberg said accepting bitcoin and bitcoin cash as a payment method will promote transparency and accuracy in payment.

“There’s no risk to the taxpayer,” said Greenberg, who has often raised eyebrows since his 2016 election by moves including encouraging certain employees with concealed-weapons permits to carry a firearm openly as a security measure. “Blockchain technology is the future of the whole financial industry.”

Bitcoin, and other cryptocurrencies like it, aren’t issued by the government or regulated by a bank and exist solely online. Detractors of the digital currency say its volatility makes it risky.

Submission + - Wikipedia's Philip Cross problem (craigmurray.org.uk)

arnott writes: What happens when Wikipedia is used in ideological war with wikipedia's support ? 133,612 edits to Wikpedia have been made in the name of “Philip Cross” over 14 years. That’s over 30 edits per day, seven days a week. From Craig Murray, one of the people, whose wikipedia entry was edited by Philip Cross, a blog post:

Because the purpose of the “Philip Cross” operation is systematically to attack and undermine the reputations of those who are prominent in challenging the dominant corporate and state media narrative. particularly in foreign affairs. “Philip Cross” also systematically seeks to burnish the reputations of mainstream media journalists and other figures who are particularly prominent in pushing neo-con propaganda and in promoting the interests of Israel.

Looks like Philip Cross has Jimmy Wales's support.

Submission + - Google's Lightning-Fast Response to My "Trusted Contacts" Concerns (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: Very recently I discussed my concerns regarding several issues related to Google’s “Trusted Contacts” service. Trusted Contacts permits users to send their current location data to other users as notifications.

The situation was triggered when I suddenly began receiving such location data notifications from somebody I’d never heard of in Africa. Address typos? Trying to attract my attention for some other reason? I dunno.

But stopping those emailed notifications was easier said than done, because it turned out that there was no way to do so from a web page, and the only available mechanism to block them was usable only via the Trusted Contacts smartphone app that needed to be installed, which required enabling of Location History which I don’t ordinarily use.

Submission + - Win10 Developers (poorly) Reinvent Display Settings 5

MitchRandall writes: Windows 10 can't figure out different screen resolutions or monitor dimensions. Unlike several Windows releases in the past, Microsoft's newest operating system version can no longer handle multiple monitors of different resolution and size in a usable way, forcing users to buy extended monitors with identical physical size and resolution. However, there is no acceptable solution for using an external monitor with a laptop but to disable the laptop screen.
The Win10 operating system now offers just a single parameter (Scale) to adjust the issues of display resolution and relative physical size of additional monitors. However, the problem necessarily requires two parameters. The company's solution inserts bug-like issues into the widespread practice of using multiple monitors of differing sizes and resolutions.
The issues include the odd and sudden rescaling of application windows dragged across screens, cursor misalignment between screen boundaries, and odd effects with the font size — to name a few.
Microsoft help technicians or other contacts were unavailable or not helpful to respond to the issues raised in this article. It is not known if Microsoft is aware of this crippling problem, or has any plans to fix it.

Submission + - The Facebook App Is Asking for Superuser Privileges and Users Are Freaking Out (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Facebook Android app is asking for superuser permissions, and a bunch of users are freaking out about granting the Facebook app full access to their device, an understandable reaction following the fallout from the Cambridge Analytica privacy scandal. "Grants full access to your device," read the prompts while asking users for superuser permissions. Hundreds of users have confirmed the popups on Twitter, Reddit, and Android-themed forums.

According to an Avast security expert, a coding error in the implementation of the WhiteOps SDK —a bot and ad fraud detection SDK— is causing the popup to appear. Something similar also happened on May 8, but was not on the scale of today's event.

Submission + - Google Predictably Makes a Confused Jumble Out of New YouTube, Music Offerings (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: An old saying suggests that the only inevitabilities are death and taxes. When it comes to Google, there are a couple more that we can add. Google will likely always have an array of often incompatible and overlapping “chat” programs and systems — and their paid video and music offerings will be a maze of twisty passages, all different.

Google hasn’t disappointed in that respect with the manner in which word has gotten out about their latest paid content changes. The one thing that seems clear is that the brand “YouTube Red” is apparently going away. But after that, everything is about as easy to understand as hieroglyphics prior to the discovery of the Rosetta Stone.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: What is the safest router out there today? 4

MindPrison writes: As ashamed as I am to admit it, a long time computer user since the Commodore heydays, I've been hacked twice recently, and that has seriously made me rethink my options for my safety and well being, so I ask you dear Slashdot user, from one fellow long time Slashdotter to another:

What's the best router for optimal safety today?

Submission + - Spectre vulnerabilities open all computers to compromise (bloombergquint.com)

john of sparta writes: Yuriy Bulygin knows all about computer vulnerabilities. He spent most of his career at Intel Corp. studying security flaws in chips, including several years as the company’s chief threat researcher, until last summer. So you can believe him when he says he’s found something new: His latest research, set to be published on May 17, shows hackers can exploit previously disclosed problems in microprocessors to access a computer’s firmware—microcode that’s stored permanently inside processors and other chips—to get to its most sensitive information. “The firmware has access to basically all the secrets that are on that physical machine,” he says.

Submission + - One Year After WannaCry: A Fundamentally Changed Threat Landscape (threatpost.com)

lod123 writes: It’s been one year this week since the ransomware known as WannaCry infected more than 200,000 machines in 150 countries, causing billions of dollars in damages and grinding global business to a halt. The speed and scale of the attack – helped along by leaked National Security Agency hacking tools – was obviously notable, but it’s WannaCry’s legacy that resonates today. The cyber-landscape has fundamentally changed, with threat actors increasing almost exponentially in their capabilities, sophistication and ambition.

Submission + - The Pentagon Has a Big Plan to Solve Identity Verification in Two Years (nextgov.com) 2

Zorro writes: The Defense Department is funding a project that officials say could revolutionize the way companies, federal agencies and the military itself verify that people are who they say they are and it could be available in most commercial smartphones within two years.

The technology, which will be embedded in smartphones’ hardware, will analyze a variety of identifiers that are unique to an individual, such as the hand pressure and wrist tension when the person holds a smartphone and the person’s peculiar gait while walking, said Steve Wallace, technical director at the Defense Information Systems Agency.

Organizations that use the tool can combine those identifiers to give the phone holder a “risk score,” Wallace said. If the risk score is low enough, the organization can presume the person is who she says she is and grant her access to sensitive files on the phone or on a connected computer or grant her access to a secure facility. If the score’s too high, she’ll be locked out.

Submission + - Pupils find spellchecker 'cheat' in literacy test (bbc.com)

Thelasko writes: The Scottish National Standardised Assessments were introduced to assess progress in four different age groups. A spokesman said the issue was not with the Scottish National Standardised Assessments (SNSA) but with browser or device settings on some machines. Former head teacher George Gilchrist tweeted, "SNSA P7 spelling. Pupils asked to correct spelling of words. P7 pupils worked out if you right click on your answer, the computer tells you if it is correct! Brilliant!" Advice is being given to schools about how to disable the spellchecking function.

Submission + - Canada's "Amber Alert" fiasco

knorthern knight writes: Canada's "Alertready" system https://www.alertready.ca/#faq is stupid. You can *NOT* opt out of cellphone alerts. This is because Alertready (ab)uses the unblockable "Presidential Alert" level (intended for incoming missiles, etc) for *ALL* alerts. The story of the first live alert is at http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/... There were 3 "Presidential" alerts issued for the incident...
1) In English
2) In French
3) A blingual "alert", saying the kid had been found safe

The OPP (Ontario Provincial Police) displayed appalling ignorance. They claimed that it was necessary to alert the entire province because people from eastern Ontario might have been visiting Thunder Bay. This is absolute ignorance. The Alertready website FAQ says that the alerts are specific to individual cell towers, and that all compatable cellphones served by the tower will receive the alert regardless of where the phone is registered to.

Right now the only ways to avoid these messages are
* force your cellphone down to 3G (Alertready only works on LTE)
* get a custom ROM, e.g. Lineage OS, for your cellphone, with "Presidential Alerts" disabled

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