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Software

Ubuntu Phones To Feature Wireless Display Support With OTA-11 Update (softpedia.com) 15

prisoninmate writes from a report via Softpedia: The moment you've all been waiting for is almost here, as you will no longer need a cable to connect your Ubuntu Phone to your TV or a supported LCD monitor. Canonical will soon release the OTA-11 software update to supported Ubuntu Phone devices implementing the Aethercast (also known as Miracast or Display Casting) technology that provides Wireless display support to all devices, with the exception of Meizu PRO 5, which already comes with built-in wireless display functionality. Some other features of the OTA-11 update include: the adoption of the NetworkManager 1.2 network connection manager, an updated VPN feature with username and password authentication support, a pre-loaded Home Scope which will allow for a faster startup, multiple application windows, and subtitles in the header. In addition, the positioning in location service has been greatly improved, Dynamic Grid Unit (DGU) support is now available, and many bugs have been fixed (squashed). You can view a list of the devices that support the OTA-11 update here.
Advertising

Microsoft Will Stop Spamming Android Users With Office Ads In The Notification Tray (betanews.com) 67

An anonymous reader writes from a report via BetaNews: The notification tray in Android serves a very specific purpose. There's a clue in the name -- and it's nothing to do with advertising. Android user Thom Holwerda was upset this week when Microsoft Office for Android started to spam him with ads for apps he already had installed. There are many questions here, one of which is why is Microsoft ignoring Google's guidelines and using the notification tray to display ads? Thom, from the website OSnews, found that the copy of Word he had installed on his Nexus 6P was spamming him with ads for Excel and Powerpoint -- which he was already using. Mark Wilson from BetaNews contacted Microsoft and they said, "Our team is actively investigating the occurrences of these notifications." After pressing further into the issue, a Microsoft spokesperson said, "Microsoft is deeply committed to ensuring that we maintain the best possible experience for our customers in addition to complying with all applicable policies. We have taken the action to turn off these notifications. This update will be reflected in the coming days." In other semi-related news, users can now remove the 260-character path length limit in the Windows 10 build 14352.
Communications

Russian Online Trolls Resist The Light 117

Rick Zeman writes: Since the beginning of the public Internet on Usenet and now following on comment boards worldwide, live the trolls, the online creatures dedicated to stirring up trouble with their versions of online flaming, fact-twisting, and overall being a menace to online society. Russia, by paying state-sponsored trolls, has elevated the troll to the level of professional propagandists spewing the party line. In neighboring Finland, a country again precariously balanced between Europe and the Russian bear, Finnish journalist Jessikka Aro's investigations have opened a new front in the (dis)information war (Warning: source may be paywalled) where "'There are so many layers of fakery you get lost,' said Ms. Aro, who was awarded the Finnish Grand Prize for Journalism in March," reports the NYT. All because "A member of the European Union with an 830-mile-long border with Russia, Finland has stayed outside the United States-led military alliance but, unnerved by Russian military actions in Ukraine and its saber-rattling in the Baltic Sea, has expanded cooperation with NATO and debated whether to apply for full membership." The NYT article explores many of the actions that the Russian propagandists use to keep Finland out of NATO, and some of the more indefensible ones directed personally at Aro. She says, "They get inside your head, and you start thinking: If I do this, what will the trolls do next?"
Operating Systems

Microsoft Removes 260-Character Path Length Limit In Windows 10 Redstone (softpedia.com) 184

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: Windows 10 build 14352, a preview version of the upcoming Anniversary Update (also known as Redstone), comes with an eagerly awaited change that Microsoft hasn't yet announced publicly. The 260-character path length limit in Windows can be removed with the help of a new policy, thus allowing you to run operations with files regardless of their path or file name. While this new rule is not enabled by default, admins can turn it on by following these instructions. Launch the Registry Editor by clicking the Start menu and typing "regedit.exe," and then navigate to the following path: HKEY_CURRENT_USER\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\Group Policy Objects\{48981759-12F2-42A6-A048-028B3973495F}Machine\System\CurrentControlSet\Policies. Look for an entry called "LongPathsEnabled," and if it does not exist, simply right-click Policies, select New DWORD (32-bit), name it "LongPathsEnabled" (without the quotes), enter value 1, and you're good to go. The description of the preview reads, "Enabling NTFS long paths will allow manifested win32 applications and Windows Store applications to access paths beyond the normal 260 char limit per node. Enabling this setting will cause the long paths to be accessible within the process." While the Windows 10 preview build 1452 has been made available last week, according to Windows Central, a Microsoft team member says that the company could released Windows 10 Mobile build 14352 for Insiders on Tuesday, May 31.
AI

ASUS Unveils $599 Home Robot 'Zenbo' (computerworld.com) 32

An anonymous reader writes: In addition to the razor thin ZenBook 3, Asus unveiled a cute talking robot for the home at this week's Computex trade show in Taipei. The robot, called Zenbo, is priced at $599 and is pitched as a personal assistant that can help look after elderly relatives or read stories to the kids. It's about two feet tall and rolls around on wheels, with a display that can show animated faces or be used for making video calls and streaming movies. When asked, "Hey Zenbo, is it true you can take pictures?" by ASUS Chairman Jonney Shih, the robot replied with, "Yes, I can take photographs." Zenbo took a photo of him on stage with the audience in the background when Shih told it to. The robot doesn't have an official release date yet, but developers can sign up for a software kit to build applications for it now.
Microsoft

Microsoft Warns of ZCryptor Ransomware With Self-Propagation Features (softpedia.com) 47

An anonymous reader writes from a report issued by Softpedia on May 27: Microsoft and several other security researchers have detected the first ransomware versions that appears to have self-propagation features, being able to spread to other machines on its own by copying itself to shared network drives or portable storage devices automatically. Called ZCryptor, this ransomware seems to enjoy quite the attention from crooks, who are actively distributing today via Flash malvertising and boobytrapped Office files that infect the victim if he enables macro support when opening the file. This just seems to be the latest addition to the ransomware family, one which recently received the ability to launch DDoS attacks while locking the user's computer.
Education

Computer Generates Largest Math Proof Ever At 200TB of Data (phys.org) 100

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A trio of researchers has solved a single math problem by using a supercomputer to grind through over a trillion color combination possibilities, and in the process has generated the largest math proof ever -- the text of it is 200 terabytes in size. The math problem has been named the boolean Pythagorean Triples problem and was first proposed back in the 1980's by mathematician Ronald Graham. In looking at the Pythagorean formula: a^2 + b^2 = c^2, he asked, was it possible to label each a non-negative integer, either blue or red, such that no set of integers a, b and c were all the same color. To solve this problem the researchers applied the Cube-and-Conquer paradigm, which is a hybrid of the SAT method for hard problems. It uses both look-ahead techniques and CDCL solvers. They also did some of the math on their own ahead of giving it over to the computer, by using several techniques to pare down the number of choices the supercomputer would have to check, down to just one trillion (from 10^2,300). Still the 800 processor supercomputer ran for two days to crunch its way through to a solution. After all its work, and spitting out the huge data file, the computer proof showed that yes, it was possible to color the integers in multiple allowable ways -- but only up to 7,824 -- after that point, the answer became no. Is the proof really a proof if it does not answer why there is a cut-off point at 7,825, or even why the first stretch is possible? Does it really exist?
Earth

'Huge Wake Up Call': Third of Central, Northern Great Barrier Reef Corals Dead (smh.com.au) 101

iONiUM quotes a report from The Sydney Morning Herald: More than one-third of the coral reefs of the central and northern regions of the Great Barrier Reef have died in the huge bleaching event earlier this year, Queensland researchers said. Corals to the north of Cairns -- covering about two-thirds of the Great Barrier Reef -- were found to have an average mortality rate of 35 percent, rising to more than half in areas around Cooktown. Bleaching occurs when abnormal conditions, such as warm seas, cause corals to expel tiny photosynthetic algae, called zooxanthellae. Corals turn white without these algae and may die if the zooxanthellae do not recolonize them. "It is fair to say we were all caught by surprise," Professor Hughes, director of the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, said. "It's a huge wake up call because we all thought that coral bleaching was something that happened in the Pacific or the Caribbean which are closer to the epicenter of El Nino events." The report says, "The northern end of the Great Barrier Reef was home to many 50- to 100-year-old corals that had died and may struggle to rebuild before future El Ninos push tolerance beyond thresholds."
Encryption

Iran Forces Messaging Apps To Move Data To Iranian Servers (techcrunch.com) 37

An anonymous reader writes: According a report from Reuters, the Iranian government wants to be able to track private and semi-private conversations on messaging apps, and has given companies behind popular messaging apps one year to move their data onto servers in Iran. As it stands, many social networks are already blocked in Iran, and now the government wants to control even more online communication platforms. Apps like WhatsApp and Telegram, which have become incredibly popular in Iran, allow users to communicate with no government control. With Telegram, users can contact hundreds of people by creating groups. Now, even though WhatsApp for example is required to move their data to Iranian servers, it's unlikely the government will be able to intercept messages from the app since it features end-to-end encryption. WhatsApp can't even read the content of communications -- only WhatsApp users can decrypt the messages in their conversations. Apple's iMessage also features an encrypted messaging protocol, and Telegram does too, but users need to start "secret conversations" with end-to-end encryption.
Government

Eric Holder Says Snowden Performed 'Public Service' (cnn.com) 123

An anonymous reader writes from a report via CNN: Former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder says Edward Snowden performed a "public service" by triggering a debate over surveillance techniques, but still must pay a penalty for illegally leaking a trove of classified intelligence documents. "We can certainly argue about the way in which Snowden did what he did, but I think that he actually performed a public service by raising the debate that we engaged in and by the changes that we made," Holder told David Axelrod on "The Axe Files," a podcast produced by CNN and the University of Chicago Institute of Politics. "Now I would say that doing what he did -- and the way he did it -- was inappropriate and illegal," Holder added. "I think that he's got to make a decision. He's broken the law in my view. He needs to get lawyers, come on back, and decide, see what he wants to do: Go to trial, try to cut a deal. I think there has to be a consequence for what he has done." "But," Holder emphasized, "I think in deciding what an appropriate sentence should be, I think a judge could take into account the usefulness of having had that national debate." You can listen to the podcast with Eric Holder here.
Canada

Telus To Shutter CDMA Service On January 31, 2017 (mobilesyrup.com) 41

An anonymous reader writes: With most Canadian mobile devices on some form of HSPA+ or LTE network, you don't hear mention of CDMA that often anymore. And for good reason; carriers like Telus, which still maintain their CDMA network for legacy customers, plan to mothball the tech over the next few years. We now have a definitive date when Telus customers will no longer be able to use their old CDMA device. Over the weekend, the company sent text messages stating, "CDMA service ends January 31, 2017. Move to our 4G network with great offers."
Wikipedia

Net Neutrality Is Complicated: Wikipedia Founder Jimmy Wales (indiatimes.com) 132

In an interview, Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales backed the principle of Net neutrality, but added that enabling poor people to access the Internet is equally important. Wales also defended Wikipedia Zero, a project that aims to provide select services free of cost on mobile devices in developing markets. He said :Wikipedia Zero follows a very strict set of principles such as no money is ever exchanged and so on. Net neutrality is such a complicated topic, it is something that I am extremely passionate about and I think is incredibly important. And at the same time I think getting access to knowledge for poorest people of world is also very important. Sometimes those two things can be in tension and we have to be really careful about it. I think fundamental thing is that we maintain and open and free Internet.
Transportation

Tesla To Hold Gigafactory Grand Opening on July 29 20

Tesla's mammoth 13-acre battery making Gigafactory isn't due to begin production on lithium ion cells until next year, but according to a report on Fortune, the factory's grand opening is to be held on July 29. According to a report on Bloomberg, as of earlier this month, only 14 percent of the Gigafactory has been built so far. Though, Tesla is already utilizing it to produce Powerpacks and Powerwalls. The factory will apparently cost at least $5 billion to make. (Thanks to an anonymous reader for sharing the link.)
Graphics

ARM's New CPU and GPU Will Power Mobile VR In 2017 (theverge.com) 37

An anonymous cites a story on The Verge: ARM, the company that designs the processor architectures used in virtually all mobile devices on the market, has used Computex Taipei 2016 to announce new products that it expects to see deployed in high-end phones next year. The Cortex-A73 CPU and Mali-G71 GPU are designed to increase performance and power efficiency, with a particular view to supporting mobile VR. ARM says that its Mali line of GPUs are the most widely used in the world, with over 750 million shipped in 2015. The new Mali-G71 is the first to use the company's third-generation architecture, known as Bifrost. The core allows for 50 percent higher graphics performance, 20 percent better power efficiency, and 40 percent more performance per square mm over ARM's previous Mali GPU. With scaling up to 32 shader cores, ARM says the Mali-G71 can match discrete laptop GPUs like Nvidia's GTX 940M. It's also been designed around the specific problems thrown up by VR, supporting features like 4K resolution, a 120Hz refresh rate, and 4ms graphics pipeline latency.
Security

Hackers Stole 65 Million Passwords From Tumblr (vice.com) 44

Lorenzo Franceschi-Bicchierai, reporting for Motherboard: On May 12, Tumblr revealed that it had found out about a 2013 data breach affecting 'a set of users' email addresses and passwords, but the company refused to reveal how many users were affected. As it turns out, that number is 65 million, according to an independent analysis of the data. Troy Hunt, a security researcher who maintains the data breach awareness portal Have I Been Pwned, recently obtained a copy of the stolen data set. Hunt told Motherboard that the data contained 65,469,298 unique emails and passwords. Update: 05/30 16:36 GMT by M : An earlier version of the original report claimed that data of 68 million accounts were compromised. It's 65 million. The original story, and hence, this summary has been updated to reflect the same.
Encryption

WWII Code-Breaker Dies At Age 95 (washingtonpost.com) 113

An anonymous reader quotes an article from the Washington Post: Jane Fawcett, a British code-breaker during World War II who deciphered a key German message that led to the sinking of the battleship Bismarck -- one of Britain's greatest naval victories during the war -- died May 21 at her home in Oxford, England. She was 95... Fluent in German and driven by curiosity, Mrs. Fawcett -- then known by her maiden name, Jane Hughes -- found work at Britain's top-secret code-breaking facility at Bletchley Park, about 50 miles northwest of London. Of the 12,000 people who worked there, about 8,000 were women. Bletchley Park later became renowned as the place where mathematician Alan Turing and others solved the puzzle of the German military's "Enigma machine," depicted in the 2014 film "The Imitation Game"...

The sinking of the Bismarck marked the first time that British code-breakers had decrypted a message that led directly to a victory in battle... Mrs. Fawcett's work was not made public for decades. Along with everyone else at Bletchley Park, she agreed to comply with Britain's Official Secrets Act, which imposed a lifetime prohibition on revealing any code-breaking activities.

Meanwhile, volunteers from The National Museum of Computing at Bletchley Park finally tracked down an original keyboard from the Lorenz machine used to encode top-secret messages between Hitler and his general. It was selling on eBay for 10 pounds, advertised as an old machine for sending telegrams.
Google

Google Scholar Users Report Badly Malfunctioning Captcha (google.com) 125

Google's search engine for academic research materials is blocking many users with a malfunctioning captcha screen, according to complaints on a Google help forum. "I'm a doctoral student and a professor, which means I use this extensively. Now I'm blocked from using it at all, even after answering all of the stupid image questions (3 times)," reads a typical complaint.

Heart44 writes: A lot of researchers when using Google Scholar are being asked to prove they are not a robot. You have to find all the rivers (but not the sea or lakes) or all street numbers (but not other numbers) or all the store fronts from nine poor quality images, sometimes more than once and, surprise, you will fail more than two thirds of the time and then just get an error 400 "Malformed request, that's all we know". You are offered an audio challenge but clicking on that simply loads more pictures... Is that the best they can do distinguishing between man and machine?
One post ended by stating succinctly "I'm not a robot, I'm an academic professional, and this process is wasting nontrivial amounts of my time. How do I stop it?"
Cellphones

Doubts Raised About Cellphone Cancer Study (vox.com) 95

Vox is strongly criticizing coverage of a supposed link between cellphones and cancer suggested by a new study, calling it "a breathtaking example of irresponsible science hype." An anonymous reader writes: A professor and research monitoring administrator at an American medical school reported that to get their results, the researchers "exposed pregnant rats to whole body CDMA- and GSM-modulated radiofrequency radiation, for 9 hours a day, 7 days a week," and the results were seen only with CDMA (but not GSM-modulated) radiofrequency. "[F]alse positives are very likely. The cancer difference was only seen in females, not males. The incidence of brain cancer in the exposed groups was well within the historical range. There's no clear dose response..."
An emeritus professor of applied statistics at the Open University in Britain also called the study "statistically underpowered..." according to Vox. "Not enough animals were used to allow the researchers to have a good chance of detecting a risk from radiofrequency radiation of the size one might plausibly expect."
Debian

Systemd Starts Killing Your Background Processes By Default (blog.fefe.de) 844

New submitter nautsch writes: systemd changed a default value in logind.conf to "yes", which will kill all your processes, when you log out... There is already a bug-report over at debian: Debian bug tracker.
The new change means "user sessions will be properly cleaned up after," according to the changelog, "but additional steps are necessary to allow intentionally long-running processes to survive logout. To effectively allow users to run long-term tasks even if they are logged out, lingering must be enabled for them."
Microsoft

Massive Backlash Building Over Windows 10 Upgrades (fortune.com) 478

Some Windows users are now disabling critical updates on their systems rather than face the prospect of mistakenly upgrading to Windows 10. An anonymous reader writes: "By pushing it on users in such a heavy-handed way, Microsoft is encouraging users who have very valid reasons to stick with Windows 7/8 to perform actions that leave their machines open to attack," writes PC World's senior editor. He adds that "Over the past week, I've received more contact from readers about this issue than I have about everything else I've written over the rest of my career combined."

Now even China's official news agency is reporting that users are angry about stealthy Windows 10 upgrades, saying over 1.2 million complaints appeared on one microblogging site. It quotes a legal advisor with the Internet Society of China, who says Microsoft "has abused its dominant market position and broken the market order for fair play," saying that lawsuits would be justified over Microsoft's action. "Yang Shuo, a worker at a Beijing-based public relations company, told Xinhua that the sudden update interrupted his drafting of a business plan and led to a meeting cancellation for a deal worth 3 million yuan ($457,735). 'Just because I didn't see the pop-up reminder does not mean I agreed.'"

In a possibly-unrelated development, the Chinese military plans to send nuclear submarines into the Pacific Ocean.

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