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Submission + - Holding Shift + F10 During Windows 10 Updates Opens Root CLI, Bypasses BitLocker (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Windows security expert and infrastructure trainer Sami Laiho says that by holding SHIFT + F10 while a Windows 10 computer is installing a new OS build, an attacker can open a command-line interface with SYSTEM privileges. This CLI debugging interface also grants the attacker full access to the computer's hard drive data, despite the presence of BitLocker. The CLI debugging interface is present when updating to new Windows 10 and Windows 10 Insiders builds.

The most obvious exploitation scenario is when a user leaves his computer unattended during the update procedure. A malicious insider can open the CLI debugger and perform malicious operations under a root user, despite BitLocker's presence. But there are other scenarios where Laiho's SHIFT + F10 trick can come in handy. For example when police have seized computers from users who deployed BitLocker or when someone steals your laptop. Windows 10 defaults help police/thieves in this case because these defaults forcibly update computers, even if the user hasn't logged on for weeks or months.

Submission + - It Will Soon Be Illegal To Punish Customers Who Criticize Businesses Online (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Congress has passed a law protecting the right of U.S. consumers to post negative online reviews without fear of retaliation from companies. The bipartisan Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed by unanimous consent in the US Senate yesterday, a Senate Commerce Committee announcement said. The bill, introduced in 2014, was already approved by the House of Representatives and now awaits President Obama's signature. The Consumer Review Fairness Act—full text available here—voids any provision in a form contract that prohibits or restricts customers from posting reviews about the goods, services, or conduct of the company providing the product or service. It also voids provisions that impose penalties or fees on customers for posting online reviews as well as those that require customers to give up the intellectual property rights related to such reviews. The legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the new law and impose penalties when necessary. The bill also protects reviews that aren't available via the Internet.

Submission + - What's the best Linux Laptop?

sconeu writes: This came up in the "Which laptop could replace a Macbook Pro?" story. It was rightfully marked off-topic there, but I thought it might make an interesting discussion.

I'm currently looking into replacing my 10 year old Toshiba Satellite with a newer laptop. I'm looking to run some flavor of Linux (probably KDE based UI, but not mandatory) while using a VM to run Win 7 (for stuff needed for work).

For me, personally, battery life and weight are more important than raw power. I'm not going to be running games on this.

I've been considering an XPS 13 Developer Edition, or something from System76, ZaReason or Emperor Linux.

What laptop do you use? Do you have any suggestions?

Submission + - Trump considering MIT grad for head Science position (thelibertyconservative.com)

SonicSpike writes: A confidential source on the Trump transition team has told The Liberty Conservative that Rep. Thomas Massie, an award-winning, MIT-educated engineer, elected to Congress in 2012, is under consideration for the job of Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy, a role commonly known as Science Advisor to the President. Massie currently serves as Chairman for the Subcommittee on Technology and Innovation in the House of Representatives and is a libertarian-leaning Republican.

Submission + - SQL Server on Linux (microsoft.com)

mj1ab writes: Earlier in the year Microsoft announced that the next version of SQL Server would run on Linux. The first CTP (Community Technology Preview) of SQL Server v.Next is now available: SQL Server v.Next—SQL Server on Linux. It seems to work as expected on a 64-bit Ubuntu 16.04 VM, but SQL Server Management Studio reports the OS as NT 6.2 (Windows Server 2012) and the data paths as C:\var\opt\mssql\data\. I guess it has a long way to go before the final release.

Submission + - China passes law requiring full access to customer data (deepdotweb.com) 1

AnonymousCube writes: As if there wasn't enough reason to want tech companies to stay out of China, the Chinese government has passed a new cybersecurity law requiring companies to give them full access to customer information.

Companies are also required to give government investigators complete access to their data if there is suspected wrong-doing, and Internet operators must cooperate in any national security or crime-related investigation.

Note that China has an extremely flexible definition of "national security".
Additionally computer equipment will need to undergo mandatory certification, that could involve giving up source code, encryption keys, or even proprietary intellectual data, as Microsoft has been doing for some time.

Submission + - Germany's Justice Minister Says Facebook Should Be Treated As a Media Company (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Germany's Justice Minister says he believes Facebook should be treated like a media company rather than a technology platform, suggesting he favors moves to make social media groups criminally liable for failing to remove hate speech. Under a program that runs until March, German authorities are monitoring how many racist posts reported by Facebook users are deleted within 24 hours. Justice Minister Heiko Maas has pledged to take legislative measures if the results are still unsatisfactory by then. Maas has said the European Union needs to decide whether platform companies should be treated like radio or television stations, which can be held accountable for the content they publish. Under current EU guidelines Facebook and other social media networks are not liable for any criminal content or hate posts hosted on their platform. Instead, in May Facebook, Google's YouTube and Twitter signed the EU hate speech code, vowing to fight racism and xenophobia by reviewing the majority of hate speech notifications within 24 hours. But the code is voluntary not legally binding. The state justice ministers meeting in Berlin called on the government to take swift action against hate speech on the Internet. The ministers called for more transparency and said social media companies should be obliged to regularly publish figures on how many hate posts have been deleted. They also wanted more public information on how notifications are processed and the criteria behind the decision making. Facebook says it is a technology company, not a media company, that builds the tools to supply users with news and information but does not produce content.

Submission + - What to Do When Your Startup Won't Stop Bro-ing Out (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: Karen Wickre has survived the highs and lows of Silicon Valley’s kingmakers, and now she's taking her years of tech experience to Backchannel to answer your burning workplace questions. First up: what to do when you're a sole woman on a team of bro developers; how to avoid getting aged out of tech; and how to handle a brown-nosing coworker who keeps taking credit for your work.

Submission + - According to Snopes, Fake News Is Not the Problem (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In the wake of last week's election, everyone's panicking about the plague of fake news on Facebook—but the chief myth busters over at Snopes are less worried about blatantly fake news than they are about a failing media. At Backchannel, Snopes managing editor Brooke Binkowski sums it up as such: “When you’re on your fifth story of the day and there’s no editor because the editor’s been fired and there’s no fact checker so you have to Google it yourself and you don’t have access to any academic journals or anything like that, you will screw stories up." Welcome to the post-fact media.

Submission + - Code.org Taps Microsoft Minecraft Hour of Code Designer to Teach Kids CS

theodp writes: In September, Code.org CEO Hadi Partovi dissed Stephen Wolfram's ambitious plan to teach computational thinking in schools in an EdSurge op-ed, arguing that "the Wolfram Language has serious shortcomings for broad educational use" (an assertion some challenge). So, it's probably no surprise that you won't find the Wolfram Language among this year's Hour of Code tutorials. Like last year, Code.org on Tuesday announced it has partnered again with Microsoft on a Minecraft-themed signature tutorial for the 2016 Hour of Code. "The new tutorial," Code.org explains, "begins in a Minecraft world where sheep don’t move, the chickens don’t cluck, and nothing attacks: it’s a blank slate without movement or defined action. Over the course of an hour, students will bring this world to life using computer science. At the final level, they get to define the rules of Minecraft however they wish. If they want, the cows can lay eggs, sheep can explode, and zombies can run away from players." In an accompanying press release, Microsoft — a Code.org Platinum supporter (Microsoft President Brad Smith sits on Code.org's Board — boasted that 31 million schoolchildren sat through last year's Minecraft-themed Hour of Code tutorial. “We are partnering with Code.org again this year to make computer science more accessible to millions of youth around the world with 'Minecraft' and Hour of Code,” said Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella. “I am inspired by the 'Minecraft' generation who view themselves not as players of a game, but as creators of the new worlds they dream up. This is the generation that will imagine, build and create our future, and together we can equip them with the computational thinking and problem-solving skills to seize the opportunities ahead." The press release ends with a plug for (non-free) Minecraft: Education Edition, "a fully featured title that brings the magic of 'Minecraft' to the classroom for more immersive, long- term lesson plans."

Submission + - Facebook admits that it miscalculated advertising metrics (wsj.com)

McGruber writes: Facebook disclosed on Wednesday that a comprehensive internal metrics audit found that discrepancies, or “bugs,” led to the undercounting or overcounting of four measurements, including the weekly and monthly reach of marketers’ posts, the number of full video views and time spent with publishers’ Instant Articles. None of the metrics in question impact Facebook’s billing, said Mark Rabkin, vice president of Facebook’s core ads team.

The unveiling of the additional errors may trouble some advertisers and web publishers that rely on Facebook for distribution and monetization. Several had already called for additional third-party validation of Facebook’s data.

Submission + - Another Samsung smartphone explodes.

ctrl-alt-canc writes: According to a CTV news agency report, a man from Winnipeg (Canada) was badly injuried while driving by the explosion of a Samsung Galaxy 7. The man suffered some second degree burns to his hands. Samsung Canada said that "Customer safety remains our highest priority and we remain committed to working with any customer who has experienced an issue with a Samsung product". The Samsung Galaxy 7 is one of the smartphones that were offered as a replacement for defective Samsung Galaxy Notes 7.

Submission + - Could alt-right account bans spell the end of Twitter? (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Abuse and trolling has been a serious problem for Twitter for some time and continues to be so. Various measures have been introduced to help with the issues, but now the site is going down a more drastic route, banning prominent alt-right accounts.

This is not something that is entirely new; earlier in the year Breitbart's Milo Yiannopoulos (also known as @Nero) was permanently banned from Twitter. In the wake of Donald Trump's astonishing rise to presidency, the alt-right movement has enjoyed a major boost. The question is, does Twitter risk cutting off too many of its users if it continues its alt-right cull?

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