Scene group CODEX is responsible for cracking the first Universal Windows Platform game, Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection. The title contains five layers of DRM, which includes a Denuvo-like anti-tamper technology called Arxan that marketing considered undefeatable.
What is unclear at this stage is whether Zoo Tycoon Ultimate Animal Collection represents a typical UWP release, or if some particular flaw allowed CODEX to take it apart. The possibility of additional releases is certainly a tantalizing one for pirates, but how long they will have to wait is unknown.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Pirates Crack Microsoft’s UWP Protection, Five Layers of DRM Defeated
Sarah McBride, writing for Bloomberg: Tech billionaire Peter Thiel is moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco, adding another dose of legitimacy to a burgeoning startup scene in Southern California — along with some controversy. The co-founder of PayPal and an early investor in Facebook, Thiel runs Founders Fund, one of the more-respected venture capital firms in Silicon Valley. He comes with a little baggage, though, including his staunch support for President Donald Trump, his secretive funding of the legal battle between Hulk Hogan and Gawker.com, and comments some people say have been derogatory toward women. “I’m not sure why Peter Thiel believes he’ll receive a warmer reception on the L.A. tech scene than he’s had in Silicon Valley,” said Tracy DiNunzio, chief executive officer of Tradesy, a fashion-reselling company based in Santa Monica, California. “Our venture and startup ecosystem is fairly left-leaning.”
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Most Cities Would Welcome a Tech Billionaire, But Peter Thiel?
Landing in FreeBSD today was the mitigation work for the Meltdown and Spectre CPU vulnerabilities…
Source: Phoronix – FreeBSD Finally Gets Mitigated For Spectre & Meltdown
Google is bringing the power of AMP (Accelerated Mobile Pages) to email, which will essentially allow applications to run inside messages. The company believes this will offer numerous benefits, such as dynamic, updated content, but critics say that the beauty of email lies in its simplicity and static nature.
This is the great genius and curse of email, that all you can do is send messages back and forth. It’s not always the best option, but it’s rarely the worst. If it’s more complicated than that, you use something other than email: a chat app, a video call, a file host. These useful items are often located adjacent to email, sometimes closely integrated, but they’re never actually part of it. This is a good thing.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Google Wants to Use AMP to Make Email More Interactive
Due to Spectre and Meltdown, Intel is facing numerous lawsuits from both shareholders and consumers. Thirty of these are from users who say they have been harmed by the company’s “actions and/or omissions.” The other two are securities class actions that allege Intel made false and misleading statements concerning its products.
The company’s filing also listed three individual Intel shareholders who had filed actions against members of Intel’s board and other managers, alleging that they failed their duties to Intel by failing to take action in relation to alleged insider trading. It did not specify what allegations of wrongdoing the suit dealt with.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Intel Hit with 32 Lawsuits over Security Flaws
Google app is extremely close to rolling out a built-in screenshot-editing tool — so close that you can now try it out as a beta tester on Android. If you join the app’s beta program and download version 7.21, you’ll find an option that says “Edit a…
Source: Engadget – Google app beta adds built-in screenshot-editing tools
The Economist: China’s tech leaders love visiting California, and invest there, but are no longer awed by it [Editor’s note: the link may be paywalled]. By market value the Middle Kingdom’s giants, Alibaba and Tencent, are in the same league as Alphabet and Facebook. New stars may float their shares in 2018-19, including Didi Chuxing (taxi rides), Ant Financial (payments) and Lufax (wealth management). China’s e-commerce sales are double America’s and the Chinese send 11 times more money by mobile phones than Americans, who still scribble cheques. The venture-capital (VC) industry is booming. American visitors return from Beijing, Hangzhou and Shenzhen blown away by the entrepreneurial work ethic. Last year the government decreed that China would lead globally in artificial intelligence (AI) by 2030. The plan covers a startlingly vast range of activities, including developing smart cities and autonomous cars and setting global tech standards. Like Japanese industry in the 1960s, private Chinese firms take this “administrative guidance” seriously.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – How Does Chinese Tech Stack Up Against American Tech?
A Belgian court has ruled that Facebook must stop tracking its citizens on third-party sites and delete all data it illegally acquired. Otherwise, the company will be fined 250,000 ($312,000) euros a day. An investigation by Belgium’s Privacy Commission had determined that Facebook was following users around the web with the help of cookies and social plug-ins.
Richard Allan, Facebook’s vice president of public policy for EMEA, said the company was disappointed with the verdict and intended to appeal: “The cookies and pixels we use are industry standard technologies and enable hundreds of thousands of businesses to grow their businesses and reach customers across the EU.
Source: [H]ardOCP – Facebook Ordered to Stop Collecting User Data by Belgian Court
LinkedIn just introduced a way to help its members avoid going through the interview process for jobs with salaries that do not meet their expectations. From a report: The professional network announced the rollout of Salary Insights, which will add estimated or expected salary ranges to open roles, getting the numbers either through salary ranges provided by employers or estimated ranges from data submitted by members. The feature will launch “in the coming weeks.” Salary Insights marks the next step after LinkedIn Salary, which the professional network launched in November 2016 to provide its users with information on salaries, bonuses and equity data for specific job titles, as well as factors that impact those salaries, including experience, industry, company size, location and education level.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – LinkedIn Users Will Soon Know What Jobs Pay Before Applying for Them
After reports hit the news that over 130 of the more-or-less-randomly-promoted angry teens in the White House were working without full security clearances as of November, including top aides with access to highly classified intel like Ivanka Trump and Jared Kushner, Donald Trump’s administration says it will overhaul…
Source: Gizmodo – White House Says It Will Get Right On That 130-Plus Staff With Only Partial Security Clearances Thing
Earlier this week, we endured another school shooting. This time, in Parkland, Florida, where at least 17 students were killed. During the shooting’s aftermath, hoaxes and disinformation spread on Twitter. It’s a phenomenon that happens after every t…
Source: Engadget – Twitter’s fake news problem is getting worse
Nightdive Studios is taking a temporary break from developing System Shock. According to CEO Stephen Kick, things have gotten “out of control” because the team decided to make “a completely new game” instead of a simple remake, ballooning the budget in the process.
I have put the team on a hiatus while we reassess our path so that we can return to our vision. We are taking a break, but NOT ending the project. Please accept my personal assurance that we will be back and stronger than ever. System Shock is going to be completed and all of our promises fulfilled.
Source: [H]ardOCP – System Shock Remake Development Halted
MIT and Harvard University researchers have figured out a way to make photons interact with one another, resulting in “a completely new kind of photonic matter.” Normally, photons just pass each other by, but they can apparently bind together under certain conditions. This could be a potential step toward quantum computation.
“Photons can travel very fast over long distances, and people have been using light to transmit information, such as in optical fibers,” Vuletic says. “If photons can influence one another, then if you can entangle these photons, and we’ve done that, you can use them to distribute quantum information in an interesting and useful way.”
Source: [H]ardOCP – Physicists Create New Form of Light
You run the risk of catching the flu, or someone’s cold or some other random virus pretty much every time you decide to leave your house – but what if you knew where people were sick before you went there?
Source: LifeHacker – Track Where People Are Sick With the Sickweather App
During an onstage conversation at Recode’s Code Media this week, YouTube CEO Susan Wojcicki called YouTube Red a music streaming service — first time any executive from the company has referred to YouTube Red as foremost a music service. From a report: This differs from comments that other YouTube executives have made in the past, including YouTube’s head of global content Susanne Daniels, who last year described YouTube Red as a premium subscription streaming service that offers Hollywood-quality shows and movies. Launched in October 2015, YouTube Red has always been positioned by YouTube as three services in one: It offers ad-free access to all of YouTube; it’s a music streaming service that also gives access to Google Play Music; and it’s consistently releasing original movies and TV shows, starring Hollywood talent and homegrown stars that users already subscribe to. Two years later, this has created somewhat of an identity crisis for the streaming service. As Wojcicki said in her interview, she sees YouTube Red as a music service. And she does not expect to spend billions of dollars on content to effectively compete with Netflix, Hulu, Amazon and others.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – YouTube Red is Having an Identity Crisis
If you’re flying from the west coast on Alaska Airlines, then you might be able to fly with a case of wine for free.
Source: LifeHacker – Alaska Airlines Will Let You Check a Case of Wine For Free From These Airports
The developers of Montecrypto: The Bitcoin Enigma, a puzzle game that launches February 20, says that they will award one bitcoin to the first person who manages to beat the game by solving its 24 puzzles. Some believe that this may be a scam to drive sales, however.
The game costs $1.99 and a single Bitcoin is currently worth a little over $9,800, so it’s possible that one lucky user stands to make a bunch of cash. We’ve reached out to Steam to ask whether games on their platforms are allowed to offer monetary rewards to customers. From what we can see on Steam’s submissions guidelines, they can.
Source: [H]ardOCP – New Steam Game Promises a Bitcoin to the First Person Who Beats It
theodp writes: While Google suggests that parents and educators are to blame for why kids can’t code, Allen Downey, Professor at Olin College argues that learning to program is getting harder . Downey writes: The fundamental problem is that the barrier between using a computer and programming a computer is getting higher. When I got a Commodore 64 (in 1982, I think) this barrier was non-existent. When you turned on the computer, it loaded and ran a software development environment (SDE). In order to do anything, you had to type at least one line of code, even if all it did was another program (like Archon). Since then, three changes have made it incrementally harder for users to become programmers: 1. Computer retailers stopped installing development environments by default. As a result, anyone learning to program has to start by installing an SDE — and that’s a bigger barrier than you might expect. Many users have never installed anything, don’t know how to, or might not be allowed to. Installing software is easier now than it used to be, but it is still error prone and can be frustrating. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn’t have to learn system administration first. 2. User interfaces shifted from command-line interfaces (CLIs) to graphical user interfaces (GUIs). GUIs are generally easier to use, but they hide information from users about what’s really happening. When users really don’t need to know, hiding information can be a good thing. The problem is that GUIs hide a lot of information programmers need to know. So when a user decides to become a programmer, they are suddenly confronted with all the information that’s been hidden from them. If someone just wants to learn to program, they shouldn’t have to learn operating system concepts first. 3. Cloud computing has taken information hiding to a whole new level. People using web applications often have only a vague idea of where their data is stored and what applications they can use to access it. Many users, especially on mobile devices, don’t distinguish between operating systems, applications, web browsers, and web applications. When they upload and download data, they are often confused about where is it coming from and where it is going. When they install something, they are often confused about what is being installed where. For someone who grew up with a Commodore 64, learning to program was hard enough. For someone growing up with a cloud-connected mobile device, it is much harder. theodp continues: So, with the Feds budgeting $200 million a year for K-12 CS at the behest of U.S. tech leaders, can’t the tech giants at least put a BASIC on every phone/tablet/laptop for kids?
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Source: Slashdot – Learning To Program Is Getting Harder
James Damore may claim Google was wrong to fire him over his memo criticizing the company’s diversity culture, but a federal government overseer begs to differ. The National Labor Relations Board has published a January memo recommending a dismissal…
Source: Engadget – Labor board says Google legally fired diversity memo writer
Sources say Uber is considering bailing on its Southeast Asia division, with plans to sell it to regional competitor Grab, CNBC reported on Friday.
Source: Gizmodo – Uber Is Reportedly Going to Sell Its Southeast Asian Division to Competitor Grab