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Windows 10 PCs powered by Snapdragon 845 due in H2 2018

Last week we saw the first pair of Always Connected PCs on stage at Qualcomm’s 2nd annual Snapdragon Technology Summit in Maui, Hawaii. Software partner Microsoft and hardware partners Asus and HP were keen to show off the new PCs with Qualcomm inside, which were heralded by Microsoft as offering a “new vision for connected computing… enabling a new culture of work.”

1717a_e493d286-908f-471f-bd30-168aa9a0652a Windows 10 PCs powered by Snapdragon 845 due in H2 2018

The new PCs, the Asus NovaGo and the HP Envy x2 (and one on the way from Lenovo), are powered by the Qualcomm Snapdragon 835 processors. Some of Windows works natively on its Arm cores and other parts (and apps) via emulation, but the result is said to be a fully featured Windows experience with great battery life and always-connected utility value.

At the same event Qualcomm went on to launch the Snapdragon 845 SoC with its headlined availability for “early 2018”. That lead to folk pondering over why the PC makers didn’t just wait a bit – to employ the new processor. Surely the Snapdragon 845 would be much more capable at running the Windows OS and apps for the purpose of its debut – especially as first impressions can linger. The Snapdragon 845 will be made by Samsung on its latest 10nm LPP process and thanks to process and architectural tweaks is 25 per cent faster at general CPU calculations, up to 30 per cent faster at GPU bound calculations, and offers even greater power efficiency.

1717a_e493d286-908f-471f-bd30-168aa9a0652a Windows 10 PCs powered by Snapdragon 845 due in H2 2018

Fudzilla claims to have heard directly from the EVP and President of QCT, Cristiano Amon, confirming Snapdragon 845 PCs will start to be released from H2 2018. The tech site says that Qualcomm, Microsoft and its partners have already worked rather quickly in readying the first wave of Always Connected PCs we saw debut in detail last week (approx 12 months), considering the hardware, driver and software work involved.

While we will indeed see Snapdragon 845 smartphones in early 2018 the “big learning curve” for Windows 10 on Arm devices means we will likely have to wait until the ‘back to school’ 2018 season for the updated Always Connected PCs to launch. In future generations, pondered Fudzilla, we might see PC and phones more in sync with each other with regard to updates.

Microsoft Adding a Built-in OpenSSH Client to Windows 10

ef55c_windows-10-openssh Microsoft Adding a Built-in OpenSSH Client to Windows 10

Windows 10 is soon getting a built-in OpenSSH client. Microsoft has quietly started testing a built-in OpenSSH client for Windows 10, reports TechCrunch.

The built-in OpenSSH client in Windows 10 is available as an optional feature to users on the latest version of the Fall Creators Update, also known as Windows 10 Version 1709. Once you download and install the OpenSSH client using the settings app in Windows 10, you will be able to use SSH from an elevated CMD or PowerShell. Microsoft adding a built-in OpenSSH client to Windows 10 is obviously a big step forward for the OS, as users were required to use software like PuTTY to connect to SSH servers for years.

Of course, users using the Windows Subsystem for Linux have already been able to use SSH in Windows 10, but the addition of the built-in OpenSSH client right in Windows 10 will be a welcome addition for those who don’t need all the features that come with the entire Windows Subsystem for Linux.

Installing the OpenSSH client in Windows 10 isn’t too much of a hard task – all you need to do is head over to Apps Manage optional features Add a feature in the Settings app, scroll down the page and look for the OpenSSH Client or Server, and hit install. Once installed, just open up an elevated terminal and `ssh` will be ready for you to use.

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How to set up a Windows 10 laptop for your kid – CNET

If you are buying a Windows laptop for your child as a holiday present or because it’s required for school, then you need to know how to set it up with Microsoft’s parental controls to cordon off certain corners of the Internet. You can even set up time limits and sign up to get a weekly report on your kid’s online activity. Let’s get started.

Create an account for your kid

Microsoft allows you to create separate accounts for children, which you, as the adult in the room, can then manage. After signing into your own Microsoft account on your kid’s laptop, go to Settings Accounts Family other users and click Add a family member. Next, select Add a child and then click The person I want to add doesn’t have an email address to create an account if your child doesn’t already have a Microsoft account.

e4b37_create-account-for-child-windows-10 How to set up a Windows 10 laptop for your kid - CNET


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

After creating an account for your child, you will then need to log in to your account and, to prove you are an adult, provide your credit card information and agree to a $0.50 charge, which Microsoft will donate to charity. Upon making your tiny charitable donation, your kid’s account will no longer be listed as “pending” on the Family other people page in Settings, and you can start setting parental controls.

Family safety first

From Settings Accounts Family other users, you’ll see a link for Manage family settings online below your accounts in the Your Family section. The link will open Microsoft’s Family Settings website. Make sure you sign into your own account on this site; if you are signed in under your child’s account, you won’t be able to access the family settings.

After signing in to your own account, click Family in the top right to view your family members. Under your child’s account, you’ll see four items listed: Activity, Screen time, Content restrictions and Spending.

For Activity, the setup is simple. Toggle on Activity reporting, which shows you the searches and web history of your child along with the apps and games he or she has used. You can view this information on the Activity page and also click a toggle switch to get a weekly report emailed to you.

e4b37_create-account-for-child-windows-10 How to set up a Windows 10 laptop for your kid - CNET


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

For Screen time, you can set time limits for the laptop or PC registered to your child’s account as well as an Xbox. If your kid tries to use the laptop outside the time window you set, he or she will not be able to log into their account and will be told to either log into a different account or turn off the PC.

For Content restrictions, you can set an age restriction for apps, games media as well as for web browsing. For the latter, you can blacklist sites you know you don’t want your child accessing or you can create a whitelist and allow access only to the sites you specifically add. Microsoft tracks usage only in its Edge browser, but to prevent unfettered internet access from another browser, Microsoft blocks Chrome, Firefox, Opera and a few other browsers by default. Also in Content restrictions, you can require Microsoft Store purchases to get your approval first.

e4b37_create-account-for-child-windows-10 How to set up a Windows 10 laptop for your kid - CNET


Screenshot by Matt Elliott/CNET

For Spending, you can add money to your kid’s account as sort of a digital allowance for the Microsoft Store. 

APL engineer helps restore internet access for communities in his native Puerto Rico

By
Geoff Brown

/

Published

Dec 14, 2017

Naim Merheb, a satellite communication systems engineer at the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, recently led a volunteer effort to reconnect several Puerto Rican communities to the internet in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Merheb even helped restore 911 dispatch for ambulances in one rural area.

When the category 5 storm slammed into Puerto Rico on Sept. 20, it devastated the island and cut off communications to most areas. When Merheb, a native of Puerto Rico, heard from family and friends about the storm damage, he knew it would have a continuing impact on residents who would have to rebuild an economy with no infrastructure.

A graduate of Polytechnic University of Puerto Rico and the Johns Hopkins Engineering for Professionals program, Merheb has worked at APL since 1999 and specializes in communication and network systems, particularly those relying on satellites. He contacted several satellite communication companies with a proposal to establish hot spots for wireless internet access in hard-hit and hard-to-reach communities.

“We all saw on television how folks were pulling over along the highways, having driven miles to find a small spot with a cellphone signal. So I wanted to try to take the signal to them instead,” Merheb said. “I was looking at how I could apply my professional knowledge to contribute in some capacity.”

One company agreed to provide him with the equipment, service, and support that he requested. With the help of family and friends, several other collaborating organizations and APL colleagues—including other members of APL’s Hispanic Employee Resource Group—he began establishing free internet hot spots in areas that had been cut off from communications.

From Nov. 11–22, Merheb and his collaborators set up free internet in eight municipalities: Comerío, Culebra, Luquillo, Morovis, Orocovis, Utuado, Vieques, and Yabucoa. He said that the group could only address about one site per day, since many communities are still difficult to reach due to poor road conditions.

163c5_mehreb121317 APL engineer helps restore internet access for communities in his native Puerto Rico

Image caption:
Last month, Johns Hopkins APL’s Naim Merheb (center) and his collaborators set up free internet in eight Puerto Rican municipalities after Hurricane Maria destroyed much of the island’s infrastructure.

Image credit: Naim Merheb

A few days after Merheb returned home from Puerto Rico, the Federal Communications Commission issued a report on the reestablishment of cellphone connectivity throughout the storm-ravaged island. Of the top five towns on the FCC’s list of areas most in need, Merheb’s team had restored communications to four.

Yabucoa, the southeastern municipality where Maria made landfall in Puerto Rico, was fourth on that list—with Culebra and Vieques right above. The municipality’s 911 dispatch for ambulances had been down for almost 60 days, and without it, the hospital could only help patients who were able to drive themselves or had arranged for a ride.

“I happened to install the terminal at the community hospital where the 911 system was co-located because it was one of the few places in the region with reliable generator power,” Merheb said. “So I went ahead and took a few hours to help reverse-engineer their building’s wiring to hook them back up. The next day, the point of contact there informed me that the Yabucoa municipal hospital had been able to dispatch ambulances to more remote communities for the first time since Hurricane Maria tore through.”

While proud of his team’s work, Merheb said a considerable amount of work remains—especially in the most remote areas.

“The situation gets increasingly worse the farther you get from the San Juan metro area,” he said. “I suspect that many folks will still be without power well into the spring of 2018. Can you imagine living without electricity in the United States in the 21st century for six months?”

Simone Biles Responds to Internet Haters Criticizing Her Hair

I won’t lie: I act UP when my hair is freshly done. For the hours that pass after going to my stylist, you better believe I’m placing an exorbitant amount of unnecessary FaceTime calls so my squad can see my hair, snapping selfies like it’s my job. But to be honest with you, after like, five hours, I’m already over my hair and want to stuff it in a bonnet and go back to work (I work from home).

And while it’s been a minute since I’ve been to the gym (don’t judge me), I can tell you when I did go regularly, it was not an easy feat keeping my hair looking good whilst getting my Kanye workout plan on. I’ve done it through relaxers, natural hair, and weaves. Now, I was getting it in at the gym, but in no way was I even doing one percent of the strenuous routines I bet Olympic athletes like Simon Biles go through to train. I don’t even think I could have my hair looking flawless even in my downtime were I subjected to that much physical activity.

Yet that didn’t seem to stop some people on the internet from roasting the Houston native about her hair. Simone is the most decorated American gymnast with over 19 Olympic and World Championship medals, and yet some people want to know why her hair isn’t “done.” Sigh.

Biles, naturally, tweeted about her excitement about cheering in her first game for the Houston Texans. In the tweet, she also included a picture of herself smiling brightly and looking cute as ever for her inaugural run as cheerleader. Her hair is swept back — and yeah, it’s not exactly looking like she’s fresh out of the salon, but SHE’S AN ATHLETE. As a matter of fact, Biles replied to a tweet questioning her hairstyle explaining that she had just come from a four-hour practice with her hair in a bun and didn’t have time to primp.

The somewhat baffling thing about folks coming for Simone Biles’ hair is that many of the negative comments seemed to be coming from other black women. Surely, we know that it’s not easy to keep your edges on fleek and look camera-ready at all times — especially for someone whose career is so heavily focused on her physical strength. Black women have been dehumanized for our appearance, especially our hair, since slavery and it’s still, sadly, a thing. European standards were the markers of beauty for centuries, and though things are slightly changing, our society has a far way to go. Even now, when black women wear cornrows or box braids, they’re considered “ghetto” or “unprofessional,” but when white women wear those styles, they’re praised as chic and beautiful by mainstream society.

It’s all such crap, but some black women internalize this and start to lash out at their fellow sisters. We’re taught from early on that our hair needs “fixing” in order to be acceptable. And there are often not enough examples of prominent black women in certain fields that when there is one, she becomes the single representative for black women everywhere. I’m not saying it’s right, but this is one of the reasons why some black women criticize other black women over their hair. Plus, the average person doesn’t always know all the guidelines for hair in certain sports or industries —
they assume that because someone is in the public eye, they have access to a glam team 24/7, even during mundane and active moments. Don’t let “reality” TV fool you, boo. It don’t always work like that.

Thankfully though, as I read through the thread, I saw more comments from black women and men who came to Biles’ defense against those chiding her hair.

Later on, pictures of Biles all done up, cheering at the actual game hit the ‘net.

Biles then took to Twitter to ask: “I have 1 question to everyone commenting about my hair when I genuinely look happy in the photo..Do you look perfect ALL the time? everything in perfect order.?”

Are we that stuck on looking amazing at every single moment, that we’d forsake sharing our of happiness just because our hair doesn’t look good? My goodness, what is social media doing to the babies?


Check out these hair stories:


Now, learn about black American hair trends from the past century:

I-TEAM: Seminole Tribe suing Jacksonville-area internet cafes

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The Seminole Tribe of Florida is now trying to do what city and state officials have not been able to do for years — shut down internet cafes. 

The Tribe has filed a lawsuit against numerous internet cafes in Jacksonville.    

More I-TEAM Headlines

The seven-page lawsuit says the dozens of internet cafes around the Jacksonville area violate the Seminole Tribe’s exclusive compact with the state of Florida to operate casino-style gambling on its reservations. The Tribe says it pays the state millions of dollars a month in revenues, totaling more than $1 billion so far.

COURT DOCUMENT: Seminole Tribe lawsuit

The Tribe is asking a judge to issue an injunction shutting down the cafes and force the owners to pay attorney fees.

News4Jax has been looking at the rise of internet cafes in Jacksonville. The I-TEAM has uncovered there are more than 126 of them in the city. According to records, some have permits but most do not. 

The Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office previously said it is aware of the operations, but can’t comment because it’s an ongoing investigation. The state attorney’s office has not commented. The Florida Attorney General’s Office said the cafes are no longer in its jurisdiction because it’s considered a local issue. 

Copyright 2017 by WJXT News4Jax – All rights reserved.

Five Times the Internet Was Actually Fun in 2017

“It makes us happy it made so many people happy,” he said.

Children interrupt a BBC News interview. Video by BBC News

One thing that has changed: He now locks the door when he’s doing live television. One thing that hasn’t changed: His 4-year-old daughter still won’t wait for him to finish his interviews. Now she’ll just bang on the locked door, since she knows he’s in there.

He spoke to The Times on his cellphone as he returned home from dinner, and she was supposed to be asleep as he walked in. But she waited up for him, and this reporter could hear giggling and squealing in the background as she watched her father speak on the phone. Mr. Kelly repeatedly paused the interview to try to bargain with her, but she drove a hard bargain.

“Please just let Daddy talk on the phone for one minute,” he said to her. “Please, baby, please.”

We weren’t offended.

Knife kid

Make sure you have your sound on, then watch this. Maybe watch it a few dozen times.

No one was harmed in the making of the video. Jonathan, 5, and the pocketknife he got his hands on were corralled by adults after a brief chase around the pool, said Chelsey Ryan, 22, who threw the party in her Joppa, Md., backyard for her mother’s birthday. Jonathan is her godson, and she had taken the video to send to his godfather, who is stationed with the Navy in Hawaii.

“I was terrified, honestly,” she said in a phone interview. “That’s why the video was so short. We didn’t know what he had.”

The woman inaccurately known as “Knife Mom” — the voice of horror — is April Holsapple, 20, a family friend who had met Jonathan only once before. But her maternal instinct kicked in when she saw him running with something in his hand, she said in an interview.

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“He had a look on his face like he was up to no good,” she said.

Don’t get confused — he’s normally a good boy, Ms. Ryan and Ms. Holsapple said. Sure, he’s got a lot of energy and likes to have fun, but he listens when his parents tell him something is wrong, as they did soon after the video ended. Turns out, the clever little sneak had pickpocketed the knife from his uncle.

Days later, a friend found the video on Ms. Ryan’s phone and tweeted it out to the world. They find it as funny as everyone else does, and enjoyed seeing their video on “The Ellen Show” and Fox News.

Jonathan doesn’t understand what it means to go viral on Twitter. But “he thought it was pretty cool to see himself on YouTube,” Ms. Ryan said.

Get out of the way, bus

Bus photobombs the Weather Channel’s stream of Georgia Dome implosion. Video by The Weather Channel

Ever lay out the perfect plans, only to have a totally unforeseen wrinkle come in at the last second and ruin everything?

Since everyone can say yes to that question, it’s hard not to relate to the anguished cameraman in this video.

Jason Rudge, a video producer at the Weather Channel, had arrived at a media platform at 4 a.m. on Nov. 20 to live-stream the Georgia Dome’s implosion on the channel’s Facebook page. The implosion wouldn’t happen until 7:33 a.m., so he had plenty of time to set up the shot.

Organizers told the news media that the roads would be closed during the implosion, said Katherine Wong, a Weather Channel spokeswoman.

“At the moment of the implosion, all eyes were glued to their camera viewfinder, so nobody really knew the bus was pulling up until it was too late,” she said.

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The chicken nugget teen

Photo

86571_09xp-nugget-master675 Five Times the Internet Was Actually Fun in 2017

Carter Wilkerson is still far from the 18 million retweets Wendy’s said he would need, but the fast-food chain is giving him free chicken nuggets for a year anyway.

Credit
Carter Wilkerson

In May, Carter Wilkerson, a 16-year-old high school junior in Reno, Nev., asked Wendy’s — or the fast-food company’s Twitter account — how many retweets he’d need for them to give him a year’s worth of chicken nuggets.

Get 18 million, the company responded, and he’d be flush in nuggets.

While he didn’t make it to 18 million, he did set a record for history’s most retweeted tweet, passing the famous Ellen DeGeneres Oscars selfie that had 3.4 million at the time. On a social network where politicians shout into echo chambers and celebrities play out their lives in front of us, the world had never rallied behind a single tweet the way it did for an unknown teenager with a craving.

His life rapidly changed. He appeared on “The Ellen Show.” A Victoria’s Secret model in New York offered to buy him a Frosty. He made a cameo in a Katy Perry music video. He went from 200 Twitter followers to 114,000.

Before the fateful tweet, he wasn’t one to call attention to himself, he said last week in a phone interview. He would skip his school’s talent shows, worried that he’d embarrass himself.

“But I got used to it, and I grew into it, and it has definitely changed me as a person,” he said.

The company did give him “nuggets for a year” in the form of $1,000 in gift cards. He didn’t use them much in the fall because he was a captain on his school’s football team, so he was trying to eat healthy, he said. But he has no such restrictions now and has been going to Wendy’s about every other day, he said.

Is he sick of nuggets? Not yet, he said. But the gift cards have given him the option to branch out on the menu.

“Sometimes if I’m not in the mood for nuggets I can get a Baconator or something else,” he said.

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Dancing hot dog

Let’s not overthink this. It’s a dancing hot dog.

The dancing hot dog. Video by Aida Solorio

In June, Snapchat allowed users to superimpose an animated hot dog into their videos, and the animated hot dog had some sick moves. It would dance on a desk, on the top of your dog’s head — wherever a camera pointed, there it was.

People loved it. By August, when Snapchat pulled it down to cycle through new “lenses,” it had been viewed more than 1.5 billion times, a spokesman said.

“Our dancing hot dog is most likely the world’s first augmented reality superstar, Snap’s chief executive, Evan Spiegel, said during an earnings call, according to Fast Company.

Honorable mentions

Thank you also to Distracted Boyfriend, Roll Safe, Meryl Streep Singing, Blinking Guy, The Floor Is Lava and Salt Bae.

For more of the best stories from 2017, click here.


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Redbox returns to internet video with On Demand service – Engadget

Rentals start at $4 for a 48-hour period, while you’re looking at spending $10 or more for a purchase.

Redbox is wagering that this model plays into its existing strengths. If you’re already used to renting movies from its kiosks, it’s not a big stretch to rent online when you’d rather stay home. And since it already has deals to get new releases, it’s guaranteed to have titles that may take months to arrive on services like Amazon Prime Video and Netflix, if they ever do.

It’s not going to be a cakewalk, mind you. There’s still plenty of competition in this space, such as Apple’s iTunes, Google Play Movies and Walmart’s Vudu. And unlike Redbox’s kiosks, there aren’t really price advantages. Redbox is mainly banking on its name and physical presence to earn your business. Not that it necessarily need a runaway hit, mind you. On Demand can serve as more of a complement to Redbox’s discs, and could help it transition to digital if its kiosks become untenable.

Are Bitcoin Salaries the Future? This Japanese Internet Company Thinks So

A Japanese internet company with the bitcoin bug will soon allow its employees to receive some of their salaries in the form of cryptocurrency.

Tokyo-based GMO Internet Group announced the new payment option will launch in February 2018, according to digital currency news site coindesk.com. GMO said the option will gradually be opened to all of its more than 4,000 full-time employees.

Those opting in to the new scheme will be able select what portion of their monthly salary to receive in bitcoin between a minimum of 10,000 yen (around $88) and a maximum of 100,000 yen ($882), according to coindesk.

GMO is even reportedly offering an incentive for those who join the new payroll system—a bonus of 10 percent of the selected bitcoin amount.

While Japanese labor laws stipulate paying salaries in yen, GMO told Kyodo News that it was not breaking any regulations since the bitcoin payment would be optional, based on mutual agreement and deducted from an employee’s monthly paycheck.

The tech company, which registers domain names and offers web hosting and other services, joined the bitcoin spree this past May with the opening of an exchange, GMO-Z.com Coin, which was later rebranded as GMO Coin. In September, GMO announced it would invest $3 million in mining bitcoin — the process of obtaining the coin through powerful computers — starting in the first half of 2018.

The firm says it believes cryptocurrencies like bitcoin will evolve into “universal currencies” available to anyone globally, leading to a “new borderless economic zone.”

For more on cryptocurrency, see Fortune’s video:

But not everyone is so optimistic about the rise of digital currencies. A mounting number of experts have warned of a potential bubble effect.

Earlier this week, Nobel Prize-winning economist Robert Shiller compared bitcoin to a “contagion” with rapid price fluctuations reflecting the “intensity of the epidemic”.

According to Japanese bitcoin monitoring site Jpbitcoin.com, in November, yen-denominated bitcoin trades reached a record 4.51 million bitcoins, or nearly half of the world’s major exchanges of 9.29 million bitcoin.

AT&T’s power line-mounted internet service is back for more tests

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard about AirGig — well over a year — so you’d be forgiven for thinking ATT had abandoned idea. Apparently, the company is just taking its time with the testing phase. It’s unclear where the first US trial took place.

AirGig works through tiny radio stations that are mounted on top of existing infrastructure and telephone poles. They don’t require access to the pole’s power source and doesn’t use the existing wiring to send signals. Instead, AirGig stations use millimeter wave signals to communicate. It’s a low-cost, low-impact way to put high-speed internet in areas that don’t currently have access to it.

The team at ATT is hoping to develop the tech further based on what they learn in these trials. There’s no timeline on this current phase, or any hint of when the tech might be available commercially. ATT is clearly not hurrying along with this project, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. Hopefully it means that the tech will be refined and well-tested when it finally does come to market.

3 US hackers took out key parts of the internet in 2016 because they wanted to make money on Minecraft

  • Three US college-age hackers pleaded guilty to creating the Mirai botnet, which took out critical parts of the internet in 2016 through distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.
  • The attacks affected Spotify, Twitter, Reddit, and well-known security journalist Brian Krebs.
  • The three men created the malicious software to profit from the popular game Minecraft, according to Wired.
  • They hoped the DDoS attacks would take out rival Minecraft servers, and boost their own DDoS mitigation business.

Three US hackers have pleaded guilty to creating the Mirai botnet, which took out some of the internet’s biggest sites last year including Reddit, Spotify, and Twitter through distributed denial of service (DDoS) attacks.

According to a Wired investigation, the college-age Paras Jha, Josiah White, and Dalton Norman originally created the botnet to gain an advantage on Minecraft. But once they realised the botnet’s power, they went bigger.

“Mirai was originally developed to help them corner the Minecraft market, but then they realized what a powerful tool they built,” one FBI investigator told the publication. “Then it just became a challenge for them to make it as large as possible.”

Hosting and protecting Minecraft servers is competitive and big money

While Mirai eventually took down critical parts of the internet, alarming engineers tasked with keeping the infrastructure running smoothly, it had humbler beginnings.

The game Minecraft is massively popular, with 55 million players a month. Users construct blocky 3D worlds by “mining” blocks. The entire effect is cartoonish, and the game is popular with kids.

Those who want to play multiplayer must sign up to a Minecraft server, which can often have tens of thousands of users who pay money to rent “space” or buy tools. According to Wired, the FBI investigators found that people were making big money by hosting Minecraft servers. “These people at the peak of summer were making $100,000 a month,” one investigator said.

82b83_3359c81c6a6d231bcd641bbba035cf314cc5a9d8-800x600 3 US hackers took out key parts of the internet in 2016 because they wanted to make money on Minecraft

That, in turn, has resulted in rival Minecraft server hosts trying to one-up each other with DDoS attacks. Indeed, the arms race in DDoS attacks is directly linked to Minecraft, an agent said. The goal of DDoS in Minecraft is to try and frustrate users on a rival server with slow service – so that they end up switching to yours.

Mirai’s creators wanted both to knock out rival servers, but also potentially make money by offering protection against DDoS attacks. The trio had set up their own DDoS mitigation company and used Mirai to take out a competitor, French web hosting firm OVH. OVH offers Minecraft DDoS mitigation services and, in September 2016, it suffered a crushing DDoS attack unlike anything it had seen before.

“This was a calculated business decision to shut down a competitor,” one of the investigators said.

Eventually, Mirai’s creators decided to publish its source code online, to try and throw any investigators off the trail. That opened up the tool for wider use, and variants of Mirai – apparently not created by the three original hackers – took out performance management company Dyn. That meant outages for Dyn customers including Reddit, Github, and Twitter, and gave Mirai greater attention. According to Wired, an FBI investigation into Dyn is still ongoing.

The three left enough fingerprints for both the FBI and security journalist Brian Krebs, victim of a Mirai attack, to track them down.

You can read the full Wired investigation here.

Teachers And Educators Weigh In On Net Neutrality : NPR Ed : NPR

d5713_loading-net-neutrality_slide-5e18f3e6c8718b709e9134226a0b31d339b2e219-s1100-c15 Teachers And Educators Weigh In On Net Neutrality : NPR Ed : NPR

Schools across the country are nervously watching to see if the Federal Communications Commission chooses to repeal Obama-era regulations that protect an open internet, often referred to as “net neutrality.”

The 2015 rules are meant to prevent internet providers, such as Comcast, ATT and Verizon, from controlling what people can watch and see on the internet. Companies can’t block access to any websites or apps, and can’t meddle with loading speeds.

Educators rely heavily on technology in the classroom, so the repeal vote — expected Thursday — could dramatically impact the way students learn.

“One of the key elements of the internet is that it provides immediate access to a huge range of high-quality resources that are really useful to teachers,” says Richard Culatta, CEO of the International Society for Technology in Education. He previously led the Department of Education’s Office of Educational Technology during the Obama administration.

“But when carriers can choose to prioritize paid content over freely available content, schools really are at risk,” he says.

In Virginia, fifth-grade teacher Molly Fuller uses the internet with students struggling in math to help reinforce the skills they need online. They can play math-based computer games, or see a digital diagram of a math problem broken down. She also uses computers to teach her students how to find good sources versus bad sources.

“We’re trying to teach them those real-world skills,” she says. Repealing the current regulations, she says, “it’s going to really hinder their ability to learn.”

Kristin Ziemke, teaches third-graders in Chicago and says internet access allows her students to collaborate and interact with experts on topics they are passionate about.

She belongs to The Educators Collaborative — a group of educators that organize online and share innovative lesson plans that incorporate the internet. She helped that organization craft a note for their website in support of net neutrality.

“We believe that under the current FCC designation, the internet is more free and open,” the statement said. “This allows educators, students, and families access to information, apps, websites, and videos they feel will best support learning, creative thinking, and informed citizenship.”

“When we look at technology in our lives,” Ziemke says, “this is going to cause a huge shift in schools.”

She says a byproduct of rolling back the regulations will be a decrease in creativity for all students — and for those in low-income districts — she’s worried they’ll lack access to information.

Studies have shown discrepancies in access to internet, especially with poor schools and in rural schools that lack high-speed internet. The federal E-Rate program, which helps eligible schools and libraries have affordable access to phone and internet services, was redesigned and refunded just last year helped try and patch that gap.

Now 94 percent of school districts in the U.S. have access to high-speed internet and more than 118,000 school and libraries use the E-rate program.

“The internet for the first time leveled that playing field because it didn’t matter if you were in a wealthy school or an under resourced school,” says Culatta.

But still — there are lasting divides — not all students have access to high speed internet. A recent Pew Research study found that 5 million, most low income, school-aged children do not have access to broadband internet connection.

Some Democrats in the Senate are worried that deregulation of net neutrality will widen inequity.

And it’s not just teachers that are concerned about the FCC’s decision. Librarians across the country have also raised concerned over access.

“We depend increasingly on access to the internet for purpose of research, for purpose of learning.” says Jim Neal, President of the American Library Association.

The repeal of the regulations will be devastating to low-income communities that rely on public libraries to access information, he says. Libraries offer community members without home internet a place to search for health information, apply for jobs, even pay their bills. they also serve students — who use computers to do research for projects or homework.

“This could undermine the quality of the education that our students are receiving,” Neal says.

Librarians who work on college campuses say net neutrality is vital for students who rely heavily on research.

“The internet is essential to all our functions,” says Katherine Ahnberg, an academic librarian at the University of Pennsylvania “We teach students how to critically analyze information they come across.”

The FCC is set to vote at 10:30 a.m. EST on Thursday.

Editor’s Note: NPR’s legal counsel has filed comments with the FCC on the net neutrality proposal, in opposition to deregulation. You can read them here.

FCC Set To Repeal ‘Net Neutrality’ Rules For Internet Providers

6bdbc_gettyimages-891675448-fa14e666a916af3065fef62ac3f64c18902cb0bd-s800-c15 FCC Set To Repeal 'Net Neutrality' Rules For Internet Providers

The Federal Communications Commission votes Thursday on the proposed repeal of “net neutrality” rules.

Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images


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The Federal Communications Commission votes Thursday on the proposed repeal of “net neutrality” rules.

Alex Edelman/AFP/Getty Images

After weeks of heated controversy and protests, U.S. telecom regulators are slated to repeal so-called net neutrality rules, which restrict the power of Internet service providers to influence loading speeds for specific websites or apps.

The Republican majority of the Federal Communications Commission is expected to vote along party lines on Thursday to loosen Obama-era regulations for Internet providers.

The rules, put in place in 2015, ban cable and telecom companies from blocking or slowing down any websites or apps. They also prohibit broadband providers from striking special deals that would give some websites or apps “priority” over others.

Net neutrality

It’s a principle that Internet providers should be neutral gateways that provide equal access to all legal web content.

Read all of NPR’s coverage of the topic here.

In undoing the regulations, the FCC plans to reassert only one of the net neutrality requirements: that Internet providers — such as Comcast, Verizon and ATT — have to disclose to their users what exactly they do to web traffic. This would essentially shift all enforcement to the Federal Trade Commission, which polices violations rather than pre-empts them through regulations.

Broadband companies have been saying that they do not intend to block, slow down or prioritize any web traffic as a result of this repeal. Net neutrality activists, however, have been rallying widespread protests against the vote, saying the repeal will empower broadband companies to act as gatekeepers of the Internet.

If the FCC votes to repeal the rules, advocacy groups are expected to press Congress to stop the vote from taking effect under the Congressional Review Act. Consumer interest groups are also expected to pursue a lawsuit to challenge Thursday’s FCC decision, which would be the fourth related court case in a decade. (An appeal of the 2015 rules by ATT, CenturyLink and a telecom trade group is pending at the Supreme Court.)

Large tech companies — such as Netflix, Google and Facebook — have long spoken in support of strict net neutrality rules. However, as they’ve grown in size, their advocacy has been more muted, putting on the forefront smaller competitors like Etsy and Vimeo, which argue that startups stand to lose the most on an Internet that allows for special “priority” traffic deals.

The Internet Association, which represents dozens of tech companies, in a statement called Pai’s repeal “a departure from more than a decade of broad, bipartisan consensus on the rules governing the internet” and amounted to “relying” on Internet providers “to live to their own ‘promises.’ “

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, who voted against the rules in 2015, has portrayed the Obama-era regulations — which put broadband providers under the strictest-ever FCC oversight — as government “micromanaging the Internet.” As he told NPR’s Morning Edition in November, “The Internet wasn’t broken in 2015 when these heavy-handed regulations were adopted.”

Pai and broadband companies have argued that the regulations have stifled innovation and investment in broadband networks.

Editor’s Note: NPR’s legal counsel has filed comments with the FCC on behalf of the public radio system, opposing the repeal of the 2015 net neutrality rules. You can read them here.

Juniper Moves SDN-Based OpenContrail Project to The Linux …

News

Juniper Moves SDN-Based OpenContrail Project to The Linux Foundation

Juniper Networks today announced the codebase for OpenContrail, its open source network virtualization platform for the cloud, is moving to The Linux Foundation.

The company describes OpenContrail — which was moved to open source in 2013 — as a scalable network virtualization control plane that provides both feature-rich software-defined networking (SDN) and strong security.


[Click on image for larger view.]
OpenContrail (source: Juniper Networks)

After recently expanding the project’s governance by creating a community-led effort to help it grow, Juniper said it will continue that effort by putting under the direction of the foundation, which Juniper described as forming “the most ambitious and successful investment in the creation of shared technologies.”


“Once The Linux Foundation takes over governance of OpenContrail’s codebase, Juniper’s mission to ensure the project truly remains community-led will be fulfilled,” the company said in a statement today. Along with promoting growth of the project, Juniper said the move will quicken pioneering advancements in the space, spark more community adoption and ease secure migrations to multicloud environments.

According to its site, OpenContrail’s features include: routing and switching; network services; load balancing; security and policies; performance and scale; gateway services; rich analytics; service chaining; high availability and upgrades; and APIs and orchestrations.

About the Author


David Ramel is the editor of Visual Studio Magazine.

Invaluable tips and tricks for troubleshooting Linux

231bf_2017_11_nw_linuxtips_cover_teaser-100744212-large Invaluable tips and tricks for troubleshooting LinuxNetwork World / IDG

Troubleshooting anything comes with its own set of challenges, and in the case of Linux and Unix, it’s helpful to have a practical guide to the tools available to make the job easier. This is such a guide to introduce Linux/Unix admins to some essential commands that can make their lives easier when problems crop up.

For instance, the “list open files” or lsof command sounds straightforward enough, but its use as a troubleshooting tool may not be as apparent. If an unknown process were to open a number of files open, knowing which files they are could help determine whether the process is legitimate. The guide offers instruction in both how to use commands, but also suggestions for the situations when they might prove handy.

The first article in this guide explains many options for using lsof – so many, in fact, that we’ve include a second article with recommendations on how to keep them all straight. Some may be used infrequently, so they might not stick in your mind. This cheat sheet recommends some aliases for the commands as well as a framework that you might use to create more as you identify commands that prove their value down the road.

A less technical checklist of questions to ask yourself when diagnosing problems is the subject of our third article. These will help impose some order on the chaos that some problems create.This includes queries like, “How is this system different from the one that’s still working?” and “What just changed?” Each question elicits a potentially valuable response.

Dealing with Oracle databases is a common admin task, and knowing a bit about them and how to test connections to them is an important tool described in the fourth article. If the connection is the problem, this can rescue you from calling in the database
admin. The article explains how to use tnsplng and sqlplus and how to write custom scropts to check these connections.

We round out our guide with instruction on the commands needed to manage and partition disks that first offers a primer on how disks work and the fundamentals of disk management. That is followed up with extensive examples of commands that can examine and monitor disk space.

Click below to register for the download.

To continue reading this article register now

Bill would make computer science an Ohio graduation option


A driver blew a tire, sending the vehicle into a pond, according to Dayton police.

Just after midnight, the car blew a tire on Route 4 just north of Harshman Road, sending the vehicle into the Dayton Well Field pond, according to police.

 State patrol: Female pedestrian struck, killed by pickup truck in Middletown

The driver, the only occupant, was able to escape and called 911. 

A tow truck was on scene and was attempting to remove the vehicle from the pond.

 WHIO Doppler 7 Interactive Radar

Joint Lab on Artificial Intelligence and Computer Vision Established

The Hong Kong University of Science and Technology (HKUST) signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Megvii (Face++) yesterday on establishing a joint laboratory on artificial intelligence (AI) and computer vision.  The lab will be dedicated to improving people’s living and advance knowledge frontiers through researches in AI and image recognition and analysis, marking a new milestone in the collaboration between HKUST and Megvii.

Artificial Intelligence is an indispensable part to our future development.  As a pioneer in computer vision and deep learning, Megvii, commonly known as Face++, possesses world leading hardware technology and algorithm – including “Paying with Face” and “City Skynet” which were widely used in the mainland.  Complementing its strength, HKUST also has an internationally recognized profile in computer vision research, in particular its work in object and environment recognition, adding on to HKUST’s competency in robotics and autonomous systems as one of the University’s five research focuses, the two parties are set to create more innovative applications in AI and computer vision.

The memorandum was signed by HKUST President Prof Tony F Chan and Megvii’s Co-founder and chief executive Yin Qi.  “As a research university,” President Chan said.  “HKUST dedicates to the development of frontier research in order to embrace the opportunities laid ahead of us.  Face ++ is a forerunner in artificial intelligence and computer vision, we expect this collaboration will leverage the strength of both parties, namely our research output and their industrial experience, to create even better products and technologies in the aforesaid areas.”

Megvii’s Co-founder and CEO Yin Qi said, “From an academic research team to a commercialized company, I have always sought to balance technical faith and commercial value.  The deeper we go into the industry, the more we realize how important scientific research it is, so this year, we set up an academic committee and invited renowned scholars like Andrew Yao Chi-Chih and Nanning Zheng as our consultants. Meanwhile we also hope that we can establish relations with first-class universities such as HKUST, so then, we built the joint laboratory. I think today is a brand new start to both sides, we will regard this as a starting point to our future success in scientific and technological cooperation between HKUST and Megvii.”

Led by Prof Quan Long from the Department of Computer Science and Engineering, research topics of the joint lab include AI, computer vision, 3D reconstruction, image analysis, recognition and understanding.  The lab aims to develop smarter computer vision technology, bringing together research talents from both sides and integrating the competitive edges from both academia and the industry.  The collaboration also covers talent grooming and other incubation and entrepreneurship projects, providing internship and job opportunities for HKUST students.

Prof Quan said, “Through founding this joint lab, we hope to stay at the frontier of AI’s development and help build the brain of a modern city, leveraging not only on our University’s world class research in computer vision, as well as Altizure, a 3D reconstruction company incubated by HKUST, but also on the strong AI commercial platform of Face++.”

This article has been republished from materials provided by Hong Kong University of Science and Technology. Note: material may have been edited for length and content. For further information, please contact the cited source.

Starbucks cafe’s wi-fi made computers mine crypto-currency

eabb2__99193143_cf59ed17-bcab-42bc-a4fe-b0305320737b Starbucks cafe's wi-fi made computers mine crypto-currencyImage copyright
Getty Images

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It is not known who was behind the mining operation

Starbucks has acknowledged that visitors to one of its branches were unwittingly recruited into a crypto-currency mining operation.

The wi-fi service provided by one of the coffee chain’s Buenos Aires outlets surreptitiously hijacked connected computers to use their processing power to create digital cash.

Starbucks said that it had taken “swift action” to address the problem.

But one expert said it highlighted the risks of using public wi-fi.

It is not clear how long the malware involved was active or how many customers were affected.

The issue was identified only when the chief executive of a New York-based technology company logged into the service and noticed the problem.

Skip Twitter post by @imnoah

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Noah Dinkin was alerted to the issue by a delay he experienced before being able to start using the net, and posted his discovery to Twitter.

Although he initially believed the code had been designed to force his laptop to try to create bitcoins, other users noted that it had in fact been designed to mine another digital currency, Monero.

Mining involves solving complicated mathematical equations to verify crypto-currency transactions.

Those involved are attracted by the promise of being rewarded with newly minted “coins” if their computer is first to solve a challenge.

But because lots of processing power is required to have a good chance of success, some people have tried to infect other people’s computers with mining code to boost their chances.

Victims’ computers are normally targeted via infected websites, but it is relatively unusual for a wi-fi hotspot to be involved.

“As soon as we were alerted of the situation in this specific store last week, we took swift action to ensure our third-party support provider resolved the issue and made the changes needed in order to ensure our customers could use wi-fi in our store safely,” a spokeswoman for Starbucks told the BBC.

The company had earlier told the Motherboard news website that it did not “have any concern that this is widespread” across its other stores.

One cyber-security expert said that public wi-fi users should ensure they used up-to-date software and be on the lookout for suspicious activity, to minimise their risks.

“Always be wary when connecting to untrusted networks, public wi-fi hotspots are untrusted to you even if they are provided by a trusted brand,” Don Smith, from Secureworks, told the BBC.

“Indeed, connecting to these networks gives the provider an ability to intercept your communications.

“However, we should not scaremonger unnecessarily, these can be useful services and the abuse of these services is definitely the exception not the rule.

“Also, as applications and websites increasingly move to encryption by default – this clearly improves overall security.”

Walmart Sponsors Women in Computer Science and Computer Engineering to Attend Celebration


Photo Submitted

From left: Kylie McClanahan, Sarah Colpitts, Lauren Rainbolt and Victoria Hobbs.

Four University of Arkansas students had the opportunity to attend the Grace Hopper Celebration this fall thanks to the generosity of Walmart. The Grace Hopper Celebration is the world’s largest gathering of women technologists.

The Grace Hopper Celebration is a three-day conference with the goal of bringing together women in computing to discuss research, career interests, and emerging technologies. The conference is named after Admiral Grace Murray Hopper, a computer programming pioneer whose work paved the way for some of the first compiler tools and programming languages.

The four sponsored Computer Science and Computer Engineering students, all female, attended this exciting event from Oct. 4-6 in Orlando, Florida. While attending the Grace Hopper Celebration, the students were able to participate in a variety of professional development activities, not the least of which being a Career Expo with major companies such as Walmart, Google, Facebook, Amazon, and many others.

There were numerous presentations on Emerging Technology, Artificial Intelligence, Cybersecurity, and Career Building. The students also had the opportunity to participate in hands-on workshops (i.e., one workshop introduced the inaugural Grace Hopper Capture the Flag Competition). Together, the four students were able to attend a talk by Melinda Gates and explore many activities that interested them personally. By sponsoring the students’ attendance at this conference, Walmart aims to increase the number of students studying science, technology, engineering and math, the STEM disciplines at the University of Arkansas, and to address the STEM gender gap.

Jessica Margetich, manager on Walmart’s STEM strategy team, said, “I graduated with a STEM degree a few years back and had never attended or even heard of the GHC. Upon seeing it for myself, I was blown away by its incredible value; allowing students to understand current STEM market needs, interview for dream-worthy entry jobs, and learn from thousands of available, enthusiastic technologists. I am humbled to work for a company [Walmart] that is actively breaking down barriers to STEM-related fields and am very excited to further our GHC sponsorship program.”

Surrounded by 18,000 of their peers, they learned from and were exposed to women, companies, and ideas that would have been unavailable otherwise.

Lauren Rainbolt, one of the sponsored students, said, “I encourage any woman who is in the technology field or interested in technology, to attend this conference. We are so grateful to Walmart for allowing us this opportunity. I am returning to the University of Arkansas empowered and excited to share what I’ve seen and learned.” She also wrote about the experience, “Every person that I met had a different background and an exciting story. We don’t all have the same path or the same interests, but technology connects us. There is a great need for more women technologists because together we are building a better world.”

Frank Liu, head of the Department of Computer Science and Computer Engineering, said, “The Computer Science and Computer Engineering Department encourages female students to study computing and data technology at the University of Arkansas. Opportunities like the Grace Hopper Celebration allow our female students to learn more about the world of technology and connect with their peers. We appreciate Walmart’s generosity in sponsoring their attendance.” 

Contacts

Autumn Lewis, assistant director of development

College of Engineering

479-575-6764, autumnl@uark.edu

Fake computer technicians targeting millennials in widespread scam …

Fake computer technicians targeting…






SPOKANE, Wash. – If you use a computer, the Better Business Bureau says it’s just a matter of time before you’re targeted by scammers posing as computer technicians. 

Those scammers claim that they need to fix a virus on your computer, when they are actually trying to get their hands on your sensitive information. 

The scam works through intrusive pop-ups and phone calls that trick you into believing your computer is in peril. They claim you have a virus infecting your computer, and possibly even a network of computers. Sometimes they even claim they will report you to authorities if you don’t get the issue fixed. 

While scams usually prey on the elderly, this one targets tech-trusting Millennials. 

“It’s actually younger people that are more likely to be the victim of a scam, especially those that have been dealing with devices pretty much their whole lives. They trust them,” said Kirsten Davis with Spokane’s Better Business Bureau. 

One Millennial who fell victim to the scam is 29-year-old Amy Sowell. 

“If I exited out of the pop up, I would lose all of my data on my hard drive. So I called the number which said they were a Microsoft partner and didn’t think twice about calling the number,” she said. 

When she did call the number, the person on the other end convinced her to pay $150 to have the issue fixed. That issue never even existed. 

“I had this gut feeling that something wasn’t quite right. I googled Microsoft partner and I found out they were a scam,” Sowell said. 

Davis says you should never call the number that is provided on a pop up. If you do, they’ll usually ask for remote access to your computer and could be installing viruses of their own to steal your identity. 

“You’re dealing with possibly bank accounts, sensitive information, your social security number so that they can commit identity theft and on top of that, now they’re going to ask you to probably pay for that process because they’re telling you they’re fixing your computer,” Davis said. 

Davis says if you do get a virus it’s best just to shut down your computer entirely. If you get a phone call from someone claiming a virus is infecting your computer, hang up immediately and report the number to the BBB’s website

In just the first nine months of this year, people have lost $21 million to tech support scams. Most of those calls are coming from India, with only a small portion coming from within the U.S. 

If you do get scammed, be sure to call your credit card company to inform them what happened and get the charge removed. 

 




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