Larry Wilson

Larry Wilson

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US
This is a guest post from Steve Bellovin, a professor in the Computer Science department and affiliate faculty at the law school at Columbia University.His research focuses on networks, security, and public policy.His opinions don't necessarily reflect the views of Ars Technica.By now, most people have heard about the erroneous incoming ICBM alert in Hawaii.One possible factor, of course, is hurried design:"We spent the last few months trying to get ahead of this whole threat so that we could provide as much notification and preparation time to the public," Miyagi said.
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China
The Mi 6X is supposed to be a sibling to the Mi6, but with a more affordable price tag, asseen previously with the Mi 5X and Mi 5C which were downgraded versions of the flagship Mi5.The rear panel of the Mi 6X has leaked a month after a transparent back case was leaked.The rear panel design corroborates with the design of the transparent case that was leaked earlier.It features a vertically aligned dual camera setup,inspired by the Apple iPhone X.This is not a surprise since Xiaomi has time and again taken inspiration from Apple’s design, even earning the tag “Apple of China”.The transparent case that had leaked showed a cut out for the fingerprint scanner on the back, whereas the rear panel seems to have a small hole, which looks nothing like a fingerprint scanner.
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Chinese biz scrambles to tear down injected theft scriptThe Chinese phone company admitted after a week of probing that about 40,000 of its customers had their payment card details nicked while buying stuff from its web shop.Crooks were quick to start plundering victims' accounts using the swiped information, going on shopping sprees with the stolen card data.Here's how it went down: one of the store's servers was hacked, and its code modified so that between mid-November, 2017, and January 11 this year, bank card details typed into oneplus.net by shoppers were copied and sent over to miscreants.Specifically, the software was tampered with to harvest the numbers, names, and security codes on cards before they were encrypted and sent to OnePlus's payment processor.OnePlus said people who opted to use PayPal were not affected, nor was anyone who had paid with a credit card they had "saved" to the site before November 11, because those cards had been encrypted by the payment provider and saved only as tokens by OnePlus.
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If there’s one thing that’s the bane of a PUBG player’s existence right now, it isn’t server lag or textures failing to load, but cheaters.The problem with cheaters within PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds has been well documented at this point, with many players complaining loudly and frequently about the problem.Though the PUBG Corporation has been trying to keep up with cheaters by using BattlEye and regularly handing out bans, the problem persists.Today, however, the PUBG team made a pretty big announcement about its efforts against cheating.In a new post to the Steam PUBG Community, PUBG Corporation announced that it has “recently discovered a new pattern of cheats in action.” This discovery gave way to a data review of 10 million PUBG players, which in turn led to the identification of more than 100,000 instances of cheating.The developer says that all 100,000 of those players will be permanently banned in a single wave.
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Inc, parent company of chat service Snapchat popular with millennials, reportedly recently laid off "roughly two dozen" staffers, while private memos reveal threats against potential whistle-blowers.According to Cheddar, a New York-based media outlet founded by a former president of Buzzfeed, the firm sacked employees "across 8 different teams" on Thursday (18 January).Founded in 2011, Snap Inc has an approximately 1,800-strong workforce.The company boasts 178 million active daily users and an average of 3.5bn snaps are sent every day, statistics indicate.The sackings – which followed a dozen job layoffs in September last year– allegedly came the same week as an internal memo was sent company-wide discussing the importance of growth and scalability.CEO Evan Spiegel wrote: "Getting bigger is not a competitive advantage, unless you are also able to achieve scale - which means generating non-linear returns on your incremental investment."
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Can the investment from SoftBank drive Uber forward to a more positive path?A consortium of investors led by SoftBank has closed a deal with Uber, making the Japanese company the largest stakeholders in the ride-hailing firm.Following months of endless scandal that has brought Uber to somewhat of a halt, the investment from SoftBank has given the company the boost it needs to push the business forward.The investor group is co-led by SoftBank and Dragoneer Investment Group and also includes Sequoia Capital.Around $9bn was invested overall at the close of the deal, with the group taking around a 17.5% stake in Uber, with SoftBank keeping 15%.SoftBank has bought shares from existing investors and employees, which were purchased at a 30% discounted rate after Uber was revalued at $48bn from the original $69bn.
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TPG Growth, the middle market and growth equity investment arm of private equity giant TPG, and Evolution Media, the investment and advisory services firm created by Creative Artists Agency and TPG, have acquired a majority stake in the South African multimedia entertainment company, TRACE.With 200 million viewers and listeners across 160 countries, TRACE has created a media empire in Sub-Saharan Africa.The company owns and operates 30 digital and mobile services, 21 pay TV channels and seven FM radio stations.Through over 400 concerts, web simulcasts, and talent search competitions, the company’s programming reaches viewers on the continent and throughout the world.As part of the transaction, Millennium Technology Group, which had previously owned the company, will be selling its stake — subject to regulatory approval.Trace properties include its subscription streaming service, TRACE Play, which offers live TV, radio, and on-demand programming on desktop, mobile, and through OTT services like Roku and Amazon Fire.
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China
An exclusive report from the Chinese media (Cai Xin) states that Xiaomi held a listing launch today and the company chooses to be listed in Hong Kong.An investment banker said that Xiaomi is striving to become the first manufacturing giant to visit H-shares after The Stock Exchange of Hong Kong (HKEx) new policy.Earlier, some sources confirmed that Xiaomi would be listed in the second half of 2018 with a valuation of $100 billion.There is also an argument that the valuation of Xiaomi may reach as high as $200 billion U.S. dollars, but it can not be confirmed.Sources close to the company says that Xiaomi has never submitted a valuation of $200 billion to the investment bank or anyone else but that the $100 billion valuation is much more reasonable.HKEx is undoubtedly a tremendous opportunity for Xiaomi – the Hang Seng index in Hong Kong rose 36% in 2017 and has a world-wide reputation.
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At CES 2018, cutting-edge marketers are starting to see the automobile infotainment system as their newest playground.However, advertising, marketing and brand building messages must be carefully thought through and delivered.Remember when the screen on your dashboard used to be to tune the radio only.Think of this like the old story of putting a frog in a pot of boiling water on the stove.Move into this next step carefully.The good and bad news is there are no rules yet.
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According to a Statista survey, almost 50 percent of people 18 years and older in the United States have placed a bet on a sports event at least once in their life.However, the channels for which to place sports bets online haven’t evolved in terms of usability and customer experience.A sports bettor could incur commissions of up to 10 percent per bid, experience lack of transparency, suffer unfair account blockages and risk their financial information being shared with less reliable intermediaries.Enter XWIN, an Ethereum blockchain-based betting platform that seeks to solve these problems.Bets are accepted on certain conditions, with predetermined rules of payout.Subsequently, the XWIN smart contract performs the functions of an arbitrator that autonomously and completely independently fulfills the terms of agreement.
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Pilots and air traffic controllers will study new reference manuals and approach plates, all updated to reflect an airport whose three runways have been renamed.World, meet 2L/20R, 2R/20L, and 15/33—which happen to be the same runways that have been welcoming planes since 1954.Well, the magnetic fields around the world have changed.The magnetic North Pole (as opposed to the geographic one, which doesn't move) shifts by as much as 40 miles a year, and is steadily headed from somewhere over Canada toward Russia.(Pro tip: Pilots say "one-four" and "three-two," not 14 and 32.)For simplicity’s sake, the headings are rounded to the nearest five, and dropped to two digits.
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Fast-forward ten years and the gatekeepers of content strategy and promotion are struggling to process the flood of messaging from PR, marketing and brand agencies, users and influencers.A series of low-fi images can attract more attention for some brands than a beautifully-produced piece of long-form content.And in a world where newsjacking made it onto the shortlist for Word of the Year and people “saying it like it is” is prized as highly as anything else, I’m proposing authenticity as a more useful ideal to aim for in 2018.Understanding search intent can help create content that offers more authentic value.But serving audience need isn’t enough to avoid wasting your investment.How to use search insights to shape your production strategy
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Pesky phishing pages using international domain names just won't go awayIt's been known for a long while that people can use similar-looking non-Roman characters to create internet addresses that look similar to real ones.These dishonest URLs have been doing the rounds for years.And, sadly, the abuse of homographs to craft dodgy web addresses continues well into this day, according to security researchers.In an extensive review of top brands – including: tech companies like Apple, Google, Facebook; banks and cryptocurrency burgs like Bank of America, Poloniex and Coinbase; and sites like the New York Times, Wikipedia and Walmart – Farsight Security discovered that scammers had gone to some lengths to register domains that like similar to the real thing in an attempt to phish unsuspecting internet users.As one example, the domain address "xn--polonex-3ya.com" which is turned into the address polonìex.com in browsers configured to display internationalized domain names (IDNs), featured the exact same user interface as the real poloniex.com website and even had a valid security certificate.
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When I bought my Nintendo Switch last year, I was a little surprised at just how small the individual game cards were.With a small child at home, I’ve been extra vigilant about keeping track of them, because no one wants to spend $60 on a tiny piece of plastic that can easily vanish.The same thought occurred to Bob Clagett, who runs the YouTube channel I Like to Make Stuff.In his latest video, he shows viewers how to make their own controller that doubles as a storage box for the cards.I’ve been hooked on Clagett’s videos for a while now — ever since I came across his Shoretrooper helmet build, a project close to my heart — it’s a great series on how to build a range of extremely practical items.This new project uses a bunch of tools: a 3D Printer, laser cutter, and some woodworking equipment.
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The US Department of Energy and NASA have teamed up to test a compact nuclear power system that may one day sustain human energy needs on Mars.The system is being tested in the Nevada desert, where initial tests have proven successful.According to US officials, a full-power test will be performed in March under the NASA Kilopower project.NASA’s Kilopower project aims to develop preliminary concepts and various technologies for putting affordable fission nuclear power systems on Mars.These systems may be used to sustain long-term human stays on Mars, and are one of many types of technologies needed to make these future missions possible.At this point, the project and related tests aims to determine whether fission power is even a viable option for this mission; if it’s not, decision makers can direct focus elsewhere.
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The smartphone industry saw a lot of changes last year.Bezel-less displays led to a shift in the basic design of smartphones, dual cameras became a staple, not just on the back, but also on the front.A Samsung patent now throws light upon the future of the front camera/s; under-the-screen.The patent proposes a device that houses the earpiece, proximity sensor and other sensors below the screen along with the front camera.This would enable a more immersive experience when it comes to video calls.The fingerprint scanner literally took a back seat when the bezel-less revolution happened.
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European automaker PSA Peugeot Citroen plans to offer electric and hybrid electric powertrain options for all of its vehicles by 2025, according to CEO Carlos Tavares.The chief executive also said that PSA will seek to re-enter the U.S. market, according to Reuters, and revealed that they company aims to offer partial autonomous driving features on 80 percent of its car lineup by 2030, with a full 10 percent of the cars it sells capable of full self-driving operation.That’s a list of three very ambitious goals, especially given Peugeot’s exit from the U.S. market over two decades ago, but Tavares has discussed the plan to re-enter the U.S. previously.The plan, per the executive, speaking at the North American Strategic Auto Show, is to return with ride services first, using vehicles made by other brands, and then to put its own cars in service in a similar capacity, while finally selling its own vehicles to consumers after that as a third and final step.As for its plans around electrification and autonomy, these reflect the goals set by many of PSA’s automaker rivals.Any automaker not claiming a path to total electrification (which means, by most carmaker interpretations, offering electric and hybrid options, not replacing ICE models entirely) is behind the trend at this point.
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Instagram is testing a new feature for adding text-only slides to Stories.The feature was first spotted in December, but Instagram is now rolling it out to users in other countries.According to The Next Web, which first spotted Type, it appears alongside the standard Live, Normal, Boomerang and Superzoom options when you create a new Story.You can type your text onto a plain background, choose a gradient, or position the text over a photo (which will have a gradient applied so the text stands out more clearly.Stories, introduced in 2016, are a way to share several photos and videos from a single day without spamming your friends' main Instagram feeds.All the pictures and clips are gathered together into a slideshow, with drawing tools for adding doodles and captions.
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Caocao Zhuanche(曹操专车) an electric vehicle sharing company backed by Chinese automaker Geely, has completed a RMB 1 billion ($156 million) series A round from various investors, at a valuation of over RMB 10 billion ($1.6 billion), Sina Technology is reporting.Investors in the round were not disclosed.While Didi Chuxing still dominates China’s ride-sharing market after the acquisition of Uber’s China operations, there is still room for other players to grow.In last December, Didi Chuxing’s market penetration rate was 11.4%, followed by Yidao Yongche (0.9%) and Shenzhou Zhuanche (0.7%), according to Jiguang Data.Caocao Zhuanche, taking the 7th place in the list, showed an explosive growth rate 512.7% in December.Three things seemed to have contributed to Caocao’s high valuation.
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Amazon today announced that it has added over 1000 new skills to Alexa since the launch of the service in India.According to the company, Alexa users in India can now access over 12,000 skills.The 1,000 new skills that have been added since the India launch are spread across 20 categories, the e-commerce giant said.Launched in India on October 31 last year, Indian users had access to over 11,000 skills, with developers like TED, ESPNCricinfo, Saavn, Zomato etc.In the 60 days since bringing Alexa to the country, Amazon has added around 1,000 new skills.The company further claims that being backed by the AWS cloud and its own understanding of natural language, makes it easier to add new skills to the service.
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