NYC's automated subway routing had glitches for 'months' before Friday

When New Yorkers were stuck without access to multiple subway lines for 90 minutes on July 19th, that was really just the culmination of ongoing woes. The City has obtained Metropolitan Transportation Authority reports showing that the NYC subway sys…

Source: Engadget – NYC’s automated subway routing had glitches for ‘months’ before Friday

Destiny Players Are Getting Fed Up With A Ridiculous Grenade Launcher Quest

For months, hardcore Destiny 2 players have been trying to scale their way up to a seemingly impossible mountaintop. The Mountaintop, in fact… because that’s the name of a Legendary grenade launcher in Destiny 2 that many players have coveted for a long time. It is, as its name implies, incredibly labor-intensive to…

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Source: Kotaku – Destiny Players Are Getting Fed Up With A Ridiculous Grenade Launcher Quest

Apple releases iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, macOS 10.14.6, and more

The Apple Watch Series 4 on a wooden table.

Enlarge / The Apple Watch series 4 running watchOS 5. (credit: Valentina Palladino)

As it often does, Apple has released updates for all of its device operating systems at once. iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, macOS 10.14.6, and tvOS 12.4 all arrive on supporting devices today.

iOS 12.4’s tentpole feature is the ability to directly and wirelessly transfer all your data from one iPhone to another when setting the latter up. Onlookers are also speculating that it includes yet-to-be-activated support for the Apple Card credit card. This Goldman Sachs-driven consumer credit card will have a number of smart features and iPhone tie-ins, and, per Apple’s announcement earlier this year, is due to launch by the end of the summer.

There are also some quality-of-life and UX improvements for Apple News+. These are Apple’s iOS 12.4 release notes:

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Source: Ars Technica – Apple releases iOS 12.4, watchOS 5.3, macOS 10.14.6, and more

SUSE Names Melissa Di Donato New CEO

Melissa Di Donato, SAP’s former COO, has been named SUSE’s new CEO. ZDNet reports: London-based Di Donato is a well-known technology leader. In particular, she has a proven track record in sales and business operations. Besides being SAP’s COO, she was also the company’s chief revenue officer. In SAP’s latest quarter, SAP saw an increase of 11% year-over-year revenues. Much of that came from the cloud — where SAP saw 40% year-over-year growth. SAP’s cloud is built on SUSE’s Linux servers and OpenStack cloud.

Di Donato succeeds Nils Brauckmann. While officially Brauckmann is retiring, there seems to be more to the story. On LinkedIn, Brauckmann wrote: “I care very deeply for the SUSE business and its employees, and this difficult decision is based entirely on personal reasons. I am pleased to be handing over the reins to such a talented and accomplished leader as Melissa Di Donato.” In his SUSE statement, Brauckman added: “She is a proven and dynamic change agent, and many of her achievements have occurred in subscription businesses that exist in high-growth cloud environments.” In April, then-CEO Nils Brauchmann said his company would soon be the largest independent Linux company. This comes after Brauckmann delivered eight years of continuous expansion during his tenure, including record-breaking revenues in FY18, reports ZDNet.

“Under Di Donato’s leadership, SUSE will continue to focus on growth and expansion. What that means is she’s expected to advance SUSE’s core business and emerging technologies, both organically and through add-on acquisitions.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – SUSE Names Melissa Di Donato New CEO

Chances of destructive BlueKeep exploit rise with new explainer posted online

Chances of destructive BlueKeep exploit rise with new explainer posted online

Enlarge (credit: One of the slides posted to Github)

A security researcher has published a detailed guide that shows how to execute malicious code on Windows computers still vulnerable to the critical BlueKeep vulnerability. The move significantly lowers the bar for writing exploits that wreak the kinds of destructive attacks not seen since the WannaCry and NotPetya attacks of 2017, researchers said.

As of three weeks ago, more than 800,000 computers exposed to the Internet were vulnerable to the exploit, researchers from security firm BitSight said last week. Microsoft and a chorus of security professionals have warned of the potential for exploits to sow worldwide disruptions. The risk of the bug, found in Microsoft’s implementation of the remote desktop protocol, stems from the ability for attacks to spread from one vulnerable computer to another with no interaction required of end users.

“A pretty big deal”

One of the only things standing in the way of real-world attacks is the expertise required to write exploits that remotely execute code without crashing the computer first. Several highly skilled whitehat hackers have done so with varying levels of success, but they have kept the techniques that make this possible secret. Much of that changed overnight, when a security researcher published this slide deck to Github.

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Source: Ars Technica – Chances of destructive BlueKeep exploit rise with new explainer posted online

My Overpowered Dota Underlords Build Makes Me Feel Like A Glorious Scumbag

It’s another week in the world of Dota Underlords, which means there’s been yet another drastic balance shift that’s turned the still-early Auto-Chess-alike on its head and scattered pieces all over the floor. This time, it’s the freaky, amorphous Primordials who’ve risen to the top of the pile. My dilemma: I love…

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Source: Kotaku – My Overpowered Dota Underlords Build Makes Me Feel Like A Glorious Scumbag

Apple In Advanced Talks To Buy Intel's Smartphone-Modem Chip Business

According to The Wall Street Journal, Apple is in advanced talks to buy Intel’s smartphone-modem chip business (Warning: source paywalled; alternative source), “a move that would jump-start the iPhone maker’s push to take control of developing the critical components powering its devices.” From the report: A deal, covering a portfolio of patents and staff valued at $1 billion or more, could be reached in the next week, the people said — assuming the talks don’t fall apart. Though the purchase price is a rounding error for companies valued in the hundreds of billions of dollars, the transaction would be important strategically and financially. It would give Apple access to engineering work and talent behind Intel’s yearslong push to develop modem chips for the crucial next generation of wireless technology known as 5G, potentially saving years of development work.

For Intel’s part, a deal would allow the company to shed a business that had been weighing on its bottom line: The smartphone operation had been losing about $1 billion annually, a person familiar with its performance has said, and has generally failed to live up to expectations. Though it would exit the smartphone business, Intel plans to continue to work on 5G technology for other connected devices. Earlier this year, it was reported that Apple began discussing plans to acquire parts of Intel’s smartphone modem chip business last summer, around the time former Intel Chief Executive Brian Krzanich resigned. “Mr. Krzanich championed the modem business and touted 5G technology as a big future revenue stream,” reports The Wall Street Journal. “When Bob Swan was named to that job in January, analysts said the odds of a deal rose because his focus on cleaning up Intel would require addressing the losses in the modem business.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Apple In Advanced Talks To Buy Intel’s Smartphone-Modem Chip Business

Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ reportedly has its first cast member

Amazon may have picked the first cast member for its upcoming Lord of the Rings TV series. Sources told several media outlets today that Australian actress Markella Kavenagh will be a series regular in the streaming giant’s high-budget rendition of t…

Source: Engadget – Amazon’s ‘Lord of the Rings’ reportedly has its first cast member

Sob Along With Kristen Bell as She Contemplates the End of The Good Place

In June, we learned that NBC’s The Good Place, a wonderfully witty series that has sustained its “dead people navigating a supremely complex afterlife” premise by flipping its script with breathtaking deftness, will end after its upcoming fourth season. We’re glad the show gets to wrap up on its own terms, but we are…

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Source: io9 – Sob Along With Kristen Bell as She Contemplates the End of The Good Place

Marvel's Grandmaster Figure Perfectly Captures Jeff Goldblum's Goofy Charm

Forget Ian Malcom from Jurassic Park or Independence Day’s David Levison with his sweet-ass grappling hook and energy shield. Now there’s a superior Jeff Goldblum action figure in the form of Marvel’s gleefully grinning Grandmaster from Thor: Ragnarok.

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Source: Kotaku – Marvel’s Grandmaster Figure Perfectly Captures Jeff Goldblum’s Goofy Charm

DoorDash Still Thinks You're an Idiot

In an absolutely depressing bit of déjà vu, DoorDash’s controversial tipping policy—the one that generated a good amount of outrage nearly six months ago—has received renewed attention this week, reminding us that DoorDash and companies like it continue to exploit workers even after ample (but ultimately inadequate)…

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Source: Gizmodo – DoorDash Still Thinks You’re an Idiot

Christopher Columbus Kraft, NASA’s legendary flight director, has died

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Source: Ars Technica – Christopher Columbus Kraft, NASA’s legendary flight director, has died

Microsoft Pays $25 Million To End US Probe Into Bribery Overseas

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Microsoft Corp. agreed to pay $25 million to settle U.S. government investigations into alleged bribery by former employees in Hungary. The software maker’s Hungarian subsidiary entered into a non-prosecution agreement with the U.S. Department of Justice and a cease-and-desist order with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Microsoft said in an email to employees from Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith that was posted Monday on the company’s web site. The case concerned violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, according to an SEC filing.

The Justice Department concluded that between 2013 and June 2015 “a senior executive and some other employees at Microsoft Hungary participated in a scheme to inflate margins in the Microsoft sales channel, which were used to fund improper payments under the FCPA,” Smith wrote in the email. Microsoft sold software to partners at a discount and the partners then resold the products to the Hungarian government at a higher price. The difference went to fund kickbacks to government officials, the Wall Street Journal reported in 2018. The company fired the employees involved, Smith noted. The company says it “now requires discounts it provides to sales partners to be passed directly to government customers,” and “the company makes customers aware of any discounts to ensure they are receiving them and that funds are not diverted for other purposes like bribes,” the report adds. “The company also is using machine-learning software to track contracts and flag discounts or other practices that appear unusual.”

In semi-related news, Microsoft today announced that it would invest $1 billion in OpenAI to develop AI technologies on Azure.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Microsoft Pays Million To End US Probe Into Bribery Overseas

Fighting Game Community Mourns Death Of Prominent Louisiana Player

A weekend that was supposed to be full of fun and excitement took a decidedly tragic turn when it was announced that fighting game competitor Bryand “Krucial B” McIntosh, 34, passed away shortly after competing at Defend the North in New York City. McIntosh was a prominent member of the Louisiana fighting game…

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Source: Kotaku – Fighting Game Community Mourns Death Of Prominent Louisiana Player

Apple in 'advanced' discussions to buy Intel's modem division

After months of rumors, Intel is reportedly close to finding a buyer for its phone modem division… and it won’t surprise you to hear who the candidate is. Wall Street Journal tipsters claim Apple is in “advanced talks” to buy the modem chip outfit…

Source: Engadget – Apple in ‘advanced’ discussions to buy Intel’s modem division

Breaking Down the Familiar Faces and New Reveals of the Powerful Star Trek: Picard Trailer

On Saturday, Sir Patrick Stewart brought down the house at San Diego Comic-Con by revealing our first full look at his return to the iconic role of Captain Jean-Luc Picard. The trailer was laden with intriguing insight not just about the man of the hour, but the future of the Star Trek universe as we know it post-

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Source: io9 – Breaking Down the Familiar Faces and New Reveals of the Powerful Star Trek: Picard Trailer