Eric Grunau

Eric Grunau

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Following 44
UK
Ex-Amazon techie accused of cyber-looting other storage buckets, mining crypto-coins on hacked serversThe ex-Amazon engineer who allegedly stole 100 million Capital One credit applicants' personal details from AWS cloud buckets has been formally accused of swiping data from 30 other organizations.Paige Thompson, 33, was collared last month after cops, acting on a tip off, raided her Seattle home and allegedly discovered a computer containing vast quantities of records purloined from Capital One's AWS-hosted systems as well as files from 30 other organizations.An indictment [PDF], filed on Wednesday in a US federal district court, noted that investigators have identified most of the companies and institutions allegedly hit by Thompson, and lists three as “a state agency outside the State of Washington; a telecommunications conglomerate outside the United States; and a public research university outside the State of Washington.”According to prosecutors, Thompson wrote software that scanned for customer accounts hosted by a “cloud computing company,” which is believed to be her former employer, AWS or Amazon Web Services.It is claimed she specifically looked for accounts that suffered a common security hole – specifically, a particular web application firewall misconfiguration – and exploited this weakness to hack into the AWS accounts of some 30 organizations, and siphon their data to her personal server.
UK
The head of the United Nation’s cybercrime and anti-money-laundering branch has warned that investigating online child sexual abuse has become considerably more difficult since the advent of cryptocurrency.Neil Walsh told Australia’s ABC the true scale of online child sexual abuse is much, much bigger than many realise, and that cryptocurrency — like Bitcoin — has added an additional layer of anonymity that favors perpetrators.“It’s what makes it really hard for cops [and] investigators to manage some really big risks.Because in the past, when we looked at some of those really big high threat areas, like kids getting abused online, it had to be paid for, and now with the use of cryptocurrencies, it’s exceptionally difficult for investigators to track and manage that risk,” Walsh told ABC.“When we look at some of the really high-risk crime, where we see kids, and I’m talking babies – very, very young, six months old and younger, who are in pay-per-view, live, online child sexual abuse streaming websites that’s getting paid for by cryptocurrencies, we need to have some sort of options,” said Walsh.“We need to know how we try and challenge that threat, and reduce the risks for kids and reduce the opportunities for criminals to get involved.”
UK
Disney has gone to great lengths to ensure that a visit to Star Wars: Galaxy's Edge at Disneyland is as immersive as possible, and that includes selling drinks in specialised containers shaped like grenades thermal detonators.And the fact nerds have been taking them home as souvenirs isn't really going down well with the legions of airport security staff in the USA's airports.And yes, it's because the bottles of liquid look like bloody bombs.Now you wouldn't be able to take the bottles in the cabin, because they're over 100ml in volume.That should be obvious, but according to the @AskTSA Twitter account passengers shouldn't be stuffing them in their suitcases either.Sure glad you provided a pic, Andrew!
US
Y Combinator-backed startup Astranis is now set to launch its first commercial telecommunication satellite aboard a Falcon 9 rocket, with a launch timeframe currently set for sometime starting in the fourth quarter of next year.Astranis aims to address the market of people who don’t currently have broadband internet access, which is still a huge number globally, and they hope to do so using low-cost satellites that massively undercut the price of existing global telecommunications hardware, which can be built and launched much faster than existing spacecraft, too.Astranis satellites are much more cost efficient because they’re smaller and easier to make, which changes the economics of deployment for potential carrier and connectivity provider partners.Its approach has already attracted the partnership of Microcom subsidiary Pacific Dataport, an Anchorage company that was formed to expand satellite broadband access in Alaska.This will be the goal of the company’s first launch with SpaceX, to deliver a single satellite to geostationary orbit that will add more than 7.5 Gbps of capacity to the internet provider’s network in Alaska, tripling capacity and potentially reducing costs by “up to three times,” according to Astranis.This isn’t the first ever satellite that Astranis has sent up to space – it launched a demonstration satellite in 2018 to show that its tech could work as advertised.
US
With more authorities demonstrating they cannot be trusted to act responsibly or transparently, the European Commission is reportedly on the verge of putting the reigns on facial recognition.According to reports in The Financial Times, the European Commission is considering imposing new rules which would extend consumer rights to include facial recognition technologies.Across the world, police forces and intelligence agencies are imposing technologies which pose a significant risk of abuse without public consultation or processes to create accountability or justification.There are of course certain nations who do not care about privacy rights of citizens, though when you see the technology being implemented for surveillance purposes in the likes of the US, UK and Sweden, states where such rights are supposedly sacred, the line starts to be blurry.The reasoning behind the implementation of facial recognition in surveillance networks is irrelevant; without public consultation and transparency, these police forces, agencies, public sector authorities and private companies are completely disregarding the citizens right to privacy.What is worth noting, is that this technology can be a driver for positive change in the world when implemented and managed correctly.
UK
Samsung bigged up its Link to Windows during its Unpacked event a few weeks ago, and while the feature was expected to filter down to some older handsets, an unofficial APK is up for you to download it now.The feature lets your Galaxy Note 10's DeX mode cast to a Windows PC or Mac, and you can access the feature now, ahead of the Note 10's August 23 launch.Your phone needs to already support DeX, and you can go ahead and download Link to Windows APK from APKMirror.You also need to download the Your Phone Companion app from the Google Play Store.Once you've got both,Your Phone Companion will have magically disappeared from the app drawer, but if you navigate back to the Play Store, it'll display as being installed although there won't be an "open" button, so you'll know its worked.Once you've got this far, swipe down on your screen and tap the dots in the upper right, then hit "button order", and all being well you'll see a "Link to Windows" button that you can add to your control centre, log in, and follow the instructions.
UK
Chipmaker Nvidia says its business has finally returned to normal after its cryptocurrency mining hangover has subsided.In its latest quarterly financial report, published yesterday, Nvidia posted 17 percent growth in revenue – from $2.22 billion to $2.58 billion – over the last fiscal quarter.Across the same period in the previous financial year, the GPU giant posted revenue of $3.12 billion – a figure largely influenced by increased demand from cryptocurrency miners.Speaking on a conference call, Nvidia’s chief financial officer Collette Kress told analysts: “Essentially our business is normalized.”“We’ve reached normalized levels through the last couple of quarters and this quarter, just very similar to what we will see going forward,” Kress added.Nvidia’s $3.12 billion revenue posted last year largely came as a result from demand for its gaming GPU chips used by cryptocurrency miners.
UK
After Samsung showed off its 64MP and 108MP camera sensors the race was on for a smartphone to actually release with the super-powered sensors, and according to a new leak, we could know the names of each.This leaks come from Sudhanshu Ambhore, who posted on Twitter a graph showing the camera specs of all the 2020 Samsung Galaxy A series phones.These are the best Samsung phonesThere are a few highlights from this list.Firstly, it seems that the Galaxy A51 and upwards (A61, A71, A81 and A91) could all be quad-camera devices, and with fairly powerful specs to boot (compared to current affordable quad-camera phones like the Honor 20).Secondly, it seems even the most affordable Galaxy A phones will have three cameras.
UK
Fitbit Versa 2 are doing the rounds in the internet, and if they're legit, it could be a real contender for Apple smartwatch FitbitVersa FitbitVersa2 FitnessTracker buff.ly/2Z6j0zm
US
On Wednesday, former US President Barack Obama posted on Facebook his favorite books he's been reading over the summer.The Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award winning author Colson Whitehead -- best known for his previous book The Underground Railroad -- tackles another moment in American history told through the story of two boys sentenced to a nightmarish reform school in Jim Crow-era Florida.If you loved the Academy Award-nominated film Arrival, then you already know sci-fi author Ted Chiang's work.This historical novel by Hilary Mantel won the coveted Booker Prize back in 2009.As a reimagining of life under Henry VIII, this novel gives a glimpse of the real-life charmer and ambitious lawyer Thomas Cromwell who served as chief minister to King Henry VIII of England from 1532 to 1540 -- until he was beheaded by the King."Hilary Mantel's epic fictionalized look at Thomas Cromwell's rise to power, came out in 2009, but I was a little busy back then, so I missed it," Obama wrote.
US
With the long battle for the Democratic nominee for president in 2020 firmly underway, more than 20 political hopefuls are talking about spreading the fruits of a solid economy to millions of middle-class Americans who may have missed the good times, implementing Medicare for all to solve financial healthcare pitfalls, and free college education.“When we think about existential threats, government has to understand that electricity doesn’t reside in its own silo and that if something happens to (companies like) us, it would have a potentially cataclysmic impact on finance as well,” utility Southern Company CEO Tom Fanning recently told Fox Business.Specifically, consider just a few examples of what is going on every day:We hear daily outrage about threats to our increasingly digital electoral infrastructure, and yet there is no policy discussion.And yet our economic and military rivals are brazenly stealing this IP with impunity.(Note here: A positive response has been the Federal Trade Commission’s endorsement this month of a $5 billion settlement with Facebook over a long-running probe into its privacy missteps.)
US
That changes with the new Galaxy Note 10 and Note 10 Plus.They look sleek, modern, and most importantly, colorful, adding some life and pizazz to this hulking beast of a phone.However, not much else stands out; it’s tough to follow the S10 range and the Galaxy Fold from earlier this year.It’s the first time Samsung has two variants in the Note range, and the standard Note 10 is meant to be the more compact phone for those looking for something smaller.Around front you’re treated to a vast 6.8-inch screen, which is surrounded by some of the thinnest bezels I’ve seen to date.It’s the same Dynamic AMOLED panel Samsung debuted for the S10 range, with 3,040 x 1,440 resolution (at 498 pixels per inch), and it’s HDR10+ certified.
UK
When you're setting out to build a new PC, there are a couple things you need to take into consideration – if you're getting an AMD processor, you have to use a motherboard and a cooler that are compatible.Enter the Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX, an AMD motherboard that supports an Intel cooler and Thunderbolt 3.That latter point is especially important, as the Asrock X570 Phantom Gaming-ITX is one of the first AMD motherboards that supports the standard, which was previously an Intel-exclusive feature.Now, just taking a look at the motherboard, it looks like the cooler compatibility is the way it is because of the rectangular shape of AMD coolers, where Intel coolers are square.There isn't much room on this motherboard for a cooler because, well, it's a mini-ITX board – the smallest form-factor for a motherboard.This is coupled with the fact that X570 motherboards in general have more robust VRM (voltage regulator module) cooling, and thus less room, thanks to the increased power requirements that its new features require.
US
The 5G iPhone isn’t expected until roughly this time next year.But when it comes to the next-gen cellular technology, Samsung has already been there and done that.Back in the February, the company announced an everything and the kitchen sink version of the Galaxy S10, sporting 5G — its first device to do so.The model was finally made available last month.At this afternoon’s Unpacked event in Brooklyn, the Note got its own 5G version — though the device got a little less time in the spotlight.That’s due, in part, to the 5G model is otherwise very little daylight between it and the standard Note 10+.
US
When we ask our readers to vote on something, it’s usually a pretty tight race, with so many opinions and preferences at play.Not so when we asked you to vote for your favorite Chromebook release of the first half of the year.This is one of the most decisive victories we’ve seen, even though we did have a split in preferences between the site audience and our YouTube community…So what was your pick for the best Chromebook of early 2019?Reader’s Choice: What’s the best Chromebook of early 2019?Out of over 5,000 total votes, the Asus Chromebook Flip C434 came out on top by a wide margin, securing almost two-thirds of the overall vote.
UK
*Problem In Chair Not In Computer, says reportIndustry nonprofit the Cloud Security Alliance has published a report on the top threats to cloud computing, concluding that the biggest issues are caused by customers, not by the cloud "solution" providers (CSPs).In the early days of cloud computing, security concerns were centred on the risks of multi-tenancy (sharing computing resources with other customers on the same physical hardware), or that the CSP might not do as good a job as internal IT departments at securing digital assets.The CSA said it "noticed a drop in ranking of traditional cloud security issues under the responsibility of providers.Concerns such as denial of service, shared technology vulnerabilities, and CSP data loss and system vulnerabilities were now rated so low they have been excluded in this report... instead, we're seeing more of a need to address security issues that are situated higher up the technology stack that are the result of senior management decisions."Top of the list is data breaches, caused by a variety of factors ranging from hacked accounts and server vulnerabilities, to data simply being left unprotected on internet-accessible services.
US
Ezoic, a Carlsbad, California-based startup developing an AI-driven platform for digital publishers, today announced that it has secured a $33 million investment led by growth capital firm Sageview Capital.“Despite accelerating advances in technology, digital publishers still rely on many legacy processes from print and early online web publishing.Ezoic gives publishers a way to capitalize on all the opportunities that exist with digital content,” said Lafleur, who claims that a typical publisher spends 50% of their time managing ads and website infrastructure.“Our platform has enabled thousands of web publishers to incorporate personalization and data science into their sites.The benefits of this approach are exponential and still untapped by many large brands and enterprises in the world of digital publishing.”To this end, Ezoic’s eponymous platform streamlines tasks like experimenting with ad placements and improving technical SEO by extending access to premium ad networks and running performance-optimizing ad ops experiments.
US
Engineers at Lehigh University are the first to utilize a single enzyme biomineralization process to create a catalyst that uses the energy of captured sunlight to split water molecules to produce hydrogen.Solar-driven water splitting is a promising route towards a renewable energy-based economy.The generated hydrogen could serve as both a transportation fuel and a critical chemical feedstock for fertilizer and chemical production.Both of these sectors currently contribute a large fraction of total greenhouse gas emissions.One of the challenges to realizing the promise of solar-driven energy production is that, while the required water is an abundant resource, previously-explored methods utilize complex routes that require environmentally-damaging solvents and massive amounts of energy to produce at large scale.Now a team of engineers at Lehigh University have harnessed a biomineralization approach to synthesizing both quantum confined nanoparticle metal sulfide particles and the supporting reduced graphene oxide material to create a photocatalyst that splits water to form hydrogen.
China
Huawei put on a brave face for the cameras on Tuesday at a carefully planned event to announce the troubled telecom player’s unaudited first-half results.The company said it has received more than 2,600 journalists so far this year at its campuses in Shenzhen and Dongguan as part of efforts to maintain an air of openness, and many were in attendance yesterday to hear from Chairman Liang Hua.Liang admitted that US sanctions had caused some disturbances to Huawei’s business, but called the impact “controllable.” Growth continued even after the US put the firm on a trade blacklist on May 16, thanks to what the company has called “market inertia.”“There isn’t one day that we stopped production, nor did we stop shipping to our customers after May 16,” he said.Huawei also preached that it would maintain a strong growth path with sizable expenditure on research and development even if the US ban continues.But experts maintain that the company’s future performance will be dependent on the outcome of US-China trade talks, and not the company’s drive for self-reliance.
US
Consumers are concerned about self-driving cars.Power’s inaugural 2019 Mobility Confidence Index Study published today in collaboration with SurveyMonkey, which found that a majority of the 5,749 respondents harbor doubts about the technology’s robustness.executive director of driver interaction and human machine interface research Kristin Kolodge.“As automakers head down the developmental road to self-driving vehicles and greater electrification, it’s important to know if consumers are on the same road — and headed in the same direction.That doesn’t seem to be the case right now.”Asked to rate on a 100-point scale their confidence in self-driving cars (with scores of 0-40 corresponding to low confidence and scores 61-100 corresponding to high confidence), respondents scored comfort about riding in them low (34) and sharing the road with others in them equally low (35).
US
SpaceX successfully launched a test prototype of its future Starship rocket, called Starhopper, on Thursday.The test version of the rocket was launched from a location in Texas and was able to hover in the air for a few seconds before it returned to the ground and landed.That might not sound all that impressive, but it was the first time SpaceX was able to get the rocket off the ground using its next-generation rocket engine called Raptor.The spacecraft is called Starhopper specifically because it was designed to do those short takeoffs and landings, or “hops.”The launch happened a day after the company had to abort a test launch of the rocket.On Wednesday, the rocket’s engine appeared to fire up, but then flames and smoke appeared at the top of the spacecraft and SpaceX scrapped the test.
UK
Smart assistants can make life easier in a lot of ways, but for folks living with disabilities that limit their mobility, their usefulness can skyrocket.With that in mind, Google Nest has teamed up with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation to give out 100,000 Google Home Minis to people living with paralysis.Not only that, but the company is making it easier for Google Home users to donate to the Reeve Foundation and help its cause.The initiative was announced in a Google Blog post penned by Reeve Foundation ambassador and paralympic powerlifter Garrison Redd.Redd explains that he’s been paralyzed since an accident that occurred 20 years ago, and though he considers himself to be more independent than most individuals living with paralysis, he still faces his share of hurdles.“When you’re paralyzed, your home goes from being a place of comfort and security to a reminder of what you’ve lost,” Redd wrote.
UK
When UK and US govts said it was Russia, they weren't thinking of the litigators!In June 2017, the notorious file-scrambling software nasty NotPetya caused global havoc that affected government agencies, power suppliers, healthcare providers and big biz.According to the firm, the malware rendered 1,700 of its servers and 24,000 of its laptops permanently dysfunctional.In January, Zurich rejected the claim, simply referring to a single policy exclusion which does not cover "hostile or warlike action in time of peace or war" by "government or sovereign power; the military, naval, or air force; or agent or authority".Cyber-insurance shock: Zurich refuses to foot NotPetya ransomware clean-up bill – and claims it's 'an act of war'Mondelez, meanwhile, suffered significant loss as the attack infiltrated the company – affecting laptops, the company network and logistics software.
US
SoftBank Group announced today that it will launch its second Vision Fund with participation from Apple, Foxconn, Microsoft and other tech companies and investors.Called the Vision Fund 2, the fund will focus on AI-based technology.SoftBank said the fund’s capital has reached about $108 billion, based on memoranda of understandings.SoftBank Group’s own investment in the fund will be $38 billion.It is worth noting that the second Vision Fund’s list of expected limited partners does not currently include any participants from the Saudi Arabia government (the first Vision Fund’s close ties to people, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who have been implicated in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, has understandably been a major source of concern for investors, companies and human rights observers).But SoftBank Group also said is still in discussions with other participants and that the total amount of the fund is expected to increase.
US
SpaceX will try again today to launch its 20th Dragon spacecraft mission to the International Space Station (ISS), one day after the planned launch was scrapped due to unfavorable weather.You can watch the event in its entirety on NASA’s free livestream above.Using the Falcon 9 rocket, SpaceX’s 18th operational cargo delivery flight to the ISS, known as CRS-18, will (hopefully) take off from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida at 3:01 p.m. PT on Thursday, July 25.The mission was delayed at the last possible minute on Wednesday due to cloudy, stormy weather in the area.Forecasts for Thursday aren’t looking much better — there’s a 25% chance of precipitation around launch time, and there might be thunderstorms earlier in the day.Wednesday was a rough day for SpaceX.
China
Artificial intelligence (AI) unicorn Sensetime is setting up a research center in the United Arab Emirates, with plans to hire hundreds of employees that will focus on AI in Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA).Why it matters: While Sensetime has a significant presence in Asia, the Abu Dhabi-based research and development (R) center will mark the company’s first presence in the EMEA region.As the world attempts to rely less on fossil fuels, Gulf states are looking for new ways to stimulate their economies.Sensetime is setting up the R center with support from the Abu Dhabi Investment Office (ADIO), which aims to promote business in the emirate.“Abu Dhabi offers us the ability to focus on innovation in key sectors, opens up a new customer base and importantly, a new talent pool.”—Xu Li, Sensetime co-founder and CEO in a statement
US
Awair has announced a new smart plug called the Glow C. The Glow C is a follow-up to the Glow from a couple of years ago, and it blends Awair’s air quality-sensing technology with a smart plug and a customizable night light.It’s available for $75 starting today, which is $25 less than the prior Glow model.Seventy-five dollars is a lot of money for a smart plug when you can easily find simple internet-connected plugs on Amazon for less than $20, so the Glow C’s real value is in all of the other sensors Awair has packed into it.The Awair app also uses this combined data to provide a score between 0 (bad) and 100 (perfect) for the air quality in the room where the Glow C is installed.You can also manually toggle the smart plug and set up various rules and conditions to trigger the outlet from the app.Finally, the Glow C can connect to Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant, IFTTT, and other smart home devices for more control options.
UK
Today we’ve got a list of all Shadow Pokemon in Pokemon GO as of this minute – and it’s a rather strange list.Included are the first three obvious entrants, including Bulbasaur, Charmander, and Squirtle – the original basics, plus their evolutionary types.We’re taking a look at what it’ll mean for users to find and attack Shadow Stops, aka Pokestops that’ve been taken over by Team Rocket!You’ll also most likely have a long, long time to beat the badges new to the game this week, and win the gold.How do I find a Shadow Stop in Pokemon GO?The appearance of Shadow Stops is not random.
US
You can get it now on the Epic Games Store, and I think it’s a really solid port of the incredible PlayStation version.It also has robust suite of graphics options.You can truly customize the look of the game, which is something that was in the PlayStation 4 release.But developer Resonair and publisher Enhance, Inc. expanded on this for PC.You can also select which display you want the game to appear on.This is huge for me because it makes it simple to get it running on my ultrawide monitor.
UK
OpenText has announced a major new partnership with Mastercard which it hopes should take much of the pain out of business payments across the entire supply chain.The software giant will work with the global payments firm across a number of new products and platforms to allow companies of all sizes to ensure their transactions stay safe and protected.“We think this is an incredible partnership to bring new payment, new cash management, a new source of financing,” OpenText CEO Chris Barrenechea said at the company’s recent Enterprise World event in Toronto.The partnership is at the heart of Mastercard Track, a new unified payment platform that will allow businesses more clarity into their partners, customers and clients.Building a directory of 200 million companies across the world, Track allows businesses to search for their next big partnership.It will also serve as a single, secure and reliable place to manage bank accounts, view anticipated payments, and keep tabs on managing credit risks and even potentially negative media coverage that could affect payments.
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