The Pentagon Claims a Chinese Surveillance Balloon Has Been Floating Over the U.S. for Days

Defense officials claim that a Chinese surveillance balloon has been drifting over the northern part of the United States for the past several days. The balloon is thought to have traveled over a number of different states where sensitive defense installations (read: nuclear silos) are located.

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Source: Gizmodo – The Pentagon Claims a Chinese Surveillance Balloon Has Been Floating Over the U.S. for Days

The Long History of Mandalore to Know Before The Mandalorian Season 3

Star Wars canon is fascinated with the homeworld of the Mandalorians—ever since The Clone Wars radically overhauled the status quo of its people, the planet has loomed large, casting a shadow of intrigue across the works of Dave Filoni. When The Mandalorian returns March 1 for its third season, we’ll be heading back…

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Source: Gizmodo – The Long History of Mandalore to Know Before The Mandalorian Season 3

The Story Of Nintendo's Favorite Football Team

If you’re a fan of both football and video games you’ll no doubt have all kinds of fond memories of the two coming together on a team’s shirt, from Arsenal’s classic Dreamcast kit to Fiorentina’s shirts in the 90s. As iconic as those kits were, though, they were but blips on the radar compared to Nintendo’s…

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Source: Kotaku – The Story Of Nintendo’s Favorite Football Team

86% of Stablecoin Issuer Tether Was Controlled By 4 People As of 2018: WSJ

Four men owned 86% of Tether as of 2018, according to investigatory documents viewed by the Wall Street Journal. CoinDesk reports: The documents from 2021 probes of Tether by the New York Attorney General and the federal Commodity Futures Trading Commission reveal the previously unknown ownership structure of the secretive issuer of the world’s largest stablecoin. Tether’s USDT stablecoin is a key piece of infrastructure in the crypto world, easing the movement of money in the industry. Yet, the people behind it have not always been forthcoming about how they operate.

Tether began from separate companies led by ex-plastic surgeon Giancarlo Devasini and former child actor Brock Pierce. Devasini, who helped develop crypto exchange Bitfinex and is now its chief financial officer, owned about 43% of Tether in 2018, according to the documents seen by the Journal. Two other executives of both Bitfinex and Tether, CEO Jean-Louis van Der Velde and Chief Counsel Stuart Hoegner, each owned roughly 15% of Tether in 2018, the documents revealed. The fourth major owner as of 2018 was a businessman with British and Thai citizenship known as Christopher Harborne in the U.K. and Chakrit Sakunkrit in Thailand. He controlled about 13% of Tether. Together, the four men owned approximately 86% of Tether through their own holdings and another related company.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – 86% of Stablecoin Issuer Tether Was Controlled By 4 People As of 2018: WSJ

OneDriveGUI Makes It Easy to Sync OneDrive to a Local Folder

OneDriveGUI is a GUI for OneDrive that includes the ability to configure and manage multiple OneDrive accounts with asynchronous real-time monitoring, selective sync, GUI-based login process, system tray icon, and more. Learn more here.

The post OneDriveGUI Makes It Easy to Sync OneDrive to a Local Folder appeared first on Linux Today.



Source: Linux Today – OneDriveGUI Makes It Easy to Sync OneDrive to a Local Folder

Amazon Reports Its First Unprofitable Year Since 2014

Amazon is reporting its first unprofitable year since 2014. NPR reports: Amazon lost $2.7 billion last year, the company said on Thursday. This was despite holiday-season sales growing 9%. Amazon’s shares fell in after hours trading. By far, the biggest culprit for Amazon’s losses over the year was the company’s hefty investment in the electric automaker Rivian whose value plummeted last year and ate into Amazon’s bottom line.

Amazon had taken a 20% stake in Rivian and has begun rolling out the carmaker’s electric delivery vans. Rivian wanted to replicate Tesla’s success and held one of the largest initial public offerings in U.S. history. But last year, the exuberance faded, the carmaker made pricing missteps and it fell short of growth targets. Its stock price dropped 82%. For Amazon, the loss on its investment comes right when it contends with the need to recalibrate after a pandemic-era upsurge.

During the pandemic, the appetite for online shopping seemed to promise exponential growth, and many believed the habit changes could be permanent. Amazon couldn’t hire and built warehouses fast enough; its profits doubled and kept growing. But then people returned to physical stores, switched from cocooning to travel and outings, and eventually got more hesitant to spend as inflation rose. Last month, Amazon announced it expected to cut 18,000 jobs, or about 5% of the corporate workforce. CEO Andy Jassy, in a blog post, referenced “the uncertain economy” and the company’s pandemic-era hiring spree. At the peak, in late 2021-early 2022, Amazon employed more than 1.6 million part-time and full-time workers globally. Thursday’s financial report shows that number is now down to 1.5 million.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Amazon Reports Its First Unprofitable Year Since 2014

The World's Biggest Airplane, Destroyed In Ukraine, Is Coming To Flight Simulator

For over 30 years the Antonov An-225 Mriya was the world’s biggest airplane, a colossal vehicle that was 84 m (275 feet) long and weighed 190 tonnes, but which could still somehow not just get itself into the air, but carry loads of other stuff inside it while doing it.

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Source: Kotaku – The World’s Biggest Airplane, Destroyed In Ukraine, Is Coming To Flight Simulator

Paizo Partners With Humble Bundle to Tempt New Players

Paizo, the company heading up the establishment of the Open RPG Creative License (ORC) in the wake of Wizards of the Coasts’ mishandling of its attempted OGL update, is now offering nearly $4oo worth of product for only $25 through Humble Bundle. All proceeds will go to the charity Code for America, “which helps…

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Source: Gizmodo – Paizo Partners With Humble Bundle to Tempt New Players

Exploring Rust for Vulkan drivers, part 1

Over the course of the last decade, Rust has emerged as a new programming language for writing safe low-level code. How practical would it be to write a Vulkan driver mostly in Rust? Would doing so bring enough benefit to be worth the effort? In the first of a series, Faith Ekstrand explores the area of using Rust to write Mesa Vulkan drivers.

Source: LXer – Exploring Rust for Vulkan drivers, part 1

Back At Google Again, Cofounder Sergey Brin Just Filed His First Code Request In Years

After years of day-to-day absence, Google cofounder Sergey Brin filed a request for access to code related to the company’s natural language chatbot, LaMDA. Forbes reports: Two sources said the request was related to LaMDA, Google’s natural language chatbot — a project initially announced in 2021, but which has recently garnered increased attention as Google tries to fend off rival OpenAI, which released the popular ChatGPT bot in November. Brin filed a “CL,” short for “changelist,” to gain access to the data that trains LaMDA, one person who saw the request said. It was a two line change to a configuration file to add his username to the code, that person said. Several dozen engineers gave the request LGTM approval, short for “looks good to me.” Some of the approvals came from workers outside of that team, seemingly just eager to be able to say they gave code review approval to the company cofounder, that person added.

The move was a small technical change, but underscores how seriously the company is taking the looming threat from OpenAI and other competitors. Brin and cofounder Larry Page have been largely absent from the company since 2019, when Page handed the reins over to Sundar Pichai to become CEO of Google parent Alphabet. But Pichai has recently called in the company founders to review the company’s AI strategy and help form a response to ChatGPT, according to the New York Times. Brin’s tinkering highlights the level of involvement the cofounders have taken.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Back At Google Again, Cofounder Sergey Brin Just Filed His First Code Request In Years

7 Common Messes From Beauty Products (and How to Clean Them)

Nothing beats self-care—except saving money on self-care. Heading to the spa or salon for pampering is special and relaxing, but pampering yourself at home is fulfilling in its own way. You’re saving money, feeling accomplished, and looking great. But you know why going to the pros is as relaxing as it is? You don’t…

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Source: LifeHacker – 7 Common Messes From Beauty Products (and How to Clean Them)

Joe Manchin and Ted Cruz Are Trying to Ban Gas Stove Bans

Senators Joe Manchin and Ted Cruz have teamed up across the aisle to introduce a new bill that would stop the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) from restricting gas stoves. The legislation, titled the “Gas Stove Protection and Freedom Act,” was introduced during a Thursday committee meeting and would ban any…

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Source: Gizmodo – Joe Manchin and Ted Cruz Are Trying to Ban Gas Stove Bans

Pope Francis Briefly Gave the Middle Finger His Blessing in Since Deleted Tweet

Pope Francis caused a bit of ruckus on the internet Thursday after he seemed to support the use of the middle finger in a Twitter post. The post, which has since been removed, highlighted the middle finger, saying it was a symbol of honesty.

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Source: Gizmodo – Pope Francis Briefly Gave the Middle Finger His Blessing in Since Deleted Tweet

AI Is Streaming An Endlessly Generated Seinfeld TV Show On Twitch And Yes It's Bizarre

AI Is Streaming An Endlessly Generated Seinfeld TV Show On Twitch And Yes It's Bizarre
Have you ever wished that there was more Seinfeld, except visualized as a 1990s PC point-and-click game, and with completely nonsensical AI-generated everything? No? Well, that’s too bad, because that’s exactly what you get with “Nothing, Forever,” an endless Twitch stream of exactly what we just described.

To be clear, when we say “everything”

Source: Hot Hardware – AI Is Streaming An Endlessly Generated Seinfeld TV Show On Twitch And Yes It’s Bizarre

Extremely drug-resistant germ found in eye drops infects 55 in 12 states; 1 dead

Young man applying eye drops.

Enlarge (credit: Getty | UniversalImagesGroup)

This story will be updated as more information becomes available.

An extensively drug-resistant bacterial strain is spreading in the US for the first time and causing an alarming outbreak linked to artificial tears eye drops, according to an alert released Wednesday evening from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. So far, the germ has caused various infections in 55 people in 12 states, killing one and leaving others hospitalized and with permanent vision loss.

Infected patients reported using more than 10 brands of artificial tears collectively, with some patients using multiple brands. But the most common brand used among the patients was EzriCare Artificial Tears, a preservative-free product sold by Walmart, Amazon, and other retailers.

Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments



Source: Ars Technica – Extremely drug-resistant germ found in eye drops infects 55 in 12 states; 1 dead

Anker Finally Comes Clean About Its Eufy Security Cameras

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: First, Anker told us it was impossible. Then, it covered its tracks. It repeatedly deflected while utterly ignoring our emails. So shortly before Christmas, we gave the company an ultimatum: if Anker wouldn’t answer why its supposedly always-encrypted Eufy cameras were producing unencrypted streams — among other questions — we would publish a story about the company’s lack of answers. It worked.

In a series of emails to The Verge, Anker has finally admitted its Eufy security cameras are not natively end-to-end encrypted — they can and did produce unencrypted video streams for Eufy’s web portal, like the ones we accessed from across the United States using an ordinary media player. But Anker says that’s now largely fixed. Every video stream request originating from Eufy’s web portal will now be end-to-end encrypted — like they are with Eufy’s app — and the company says it’s updating every single Eufy camera to use WebRTC, which is encrypted by default. Reading between the lines, though, it seems that these cameras could still produce unencrypted footage upon request.

That’s not all Anker is disclosing today. The company has apologized for the lack of communication and promised to do better, confirming it’s bringing in outside security and penetration testing companies to audit Eufy’s practices, is in talks with a “leading and well-known security expert” to produce an independent report, is promising to create an official bug bounty program, and will launch a microsite in February to explain how its security works in more detail. Those independent audits and reports may be critical for Eufy to regain trust because of how the company has handled the findings of security researchers and journalists. It’s a little hard to take the company at its word! But we also think Anker Eufy customers, security researchers and journalists deserve to read and weigh those words, particularly after so little initial communication from the company. That’s why we’re publishing Anker’s full responses [here]. As highlighted by Ars Technica, some of the notable statements include:
– Its web portal now prohibits users from entering “debug mode.”
– Video stream content is encrypted and inaccessible outside the portal.
– While “only 0.1 percent” of current daily users access the portal, it “had some issues,” which have been resolved.
– Eufy is pushing WebRTC to all of its security devices as the end-to-end encrypted stream protocol.
– Facial recognition images were uploaded to the cloud to aid in replacing/resetting/adding doorbells with existing image sets, but has been discontinued. No recognition data was included with images sent to the cloud.
– Outside of the “recent issue with the web portal,” all other video uses end-to-end encryption.
– A “leading and well-known security expert” will produce a report about Eufy’s systems.
– “Several new security consulting, certification, and penetration testing” firms will be brought in for risk assessment.
– A “Eufy Security bounty program” will be established.
– The company promises to “provide more timely updates in our community (and to the media!).”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Anker Finally Comes Clean About Its Eufy Security Cameras

How to Get All That Crap Off Your Roku Home Screen

No one wants to deal with so many preinstalled channels on their Roku, especially when you only have a few you regularly watch. As it turns out, there’s no need to keep those unnecessary channels around. In fact, you can delete any and all of them.

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Source: LifeHacker – How to Get All That Crap Off Your Roku Home Screen

Apple’s record service revenue couldn’t make up for falling hardware sales

As many Apple watchers have predicted, the company’s financial results this quarter are a break from the last few years of nonstop growth. The iPhone maker reported a revenue of $117.2 billion for its first fiscal quarter (ended December 2022), which is five percent down year over year, marking the first time Apple’s revenue is down since 2019. 

There are a couple of bright spots in the company’s performance, namely in its setting a revenue record of $20.8 billion in its Services business and hitting more than 2 billion active devices in its installed base. All-time revenue records were also set in markets like Canada, Indonesia, Mexico, Spain, Turkey and Vietnam.

In a statement, CEO Tim Cook said “As we all continue to navigate a challenging environment, we are proud to have our best lineup of products and services ever, and as always, we remain focused on the long term and are leading with our values in everything we do.”

On its earnings call, Cook said there were three main things that impacted revenue: the “challenging macroeconomic environment”, foreign exchange issues and COVID-related supply constraints that led to delays in the ship times of iPhone 14 Pro and Pro Max models. “Production is now back to where we want it to be,” he added.

Apple’s decline in revenue is in line with a general slump in the tech industry, with Meta having just reported revenues that are 4 percent down from the previous year. Alphabet is also seeing a slowdown in growth this quarter, and while Microsoft saw its revenue climb, its earnings missed expectations and profits fell by 12 percent. Amid the economic downturn, tech companies havebeenlaying off significant portions of their workforce, though Apple doesn’t appear to have made similar moves at the moment.

The company is holding a call to go into detail about its financial results at 5pm ET / 2pm PT today, and we will update this post with any additional news and insight.



Source: Engadget – Apple’s record service revenue couldn’t make up for falling hardware sales

The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 7.5 Community

Version 7.5 of the LibreOffice Community edition is now available. LibreOffice is, of course, the FOSS desktop office suite; version 7.5 brings new features to multiple parts of the tool, including major improvements to dark mode, better PDF exports, improved bookmarks in Writer, data tables for charts in Calc, better interoperability with Microsoft Office, and lots more.
Check out the release notes for further information.

LibreOffice 7.5 Community’s new features have been developed by 144
contributors: 63% of code commits are from the 47 developers employed by
three companies sitting in TDF’s Advisory Board – Collabora, Red Hat and
allotropia – or other organizations, 12% are from 6 developers at The
Document Foundation, and the remaining 25% are from 91 individual
volunteers.

Other 112 volunteers – representing hundreds of other people providing
translations – have committed localizations in 158 languages. LibreOffice
7.5 Community is released in 120 different language versions, more than any
other free or proprietary software, and as such can be used in the native
language (L1) by over 5.4 billion people worldwide. In addition, over 2.3
billion people speak one of those 120 languages as their second language
(L2).



Source: LWN.net – The Document Foundation announces LibreOffice 7.5 Community

A Fighter Turns to Breakfast Alchemy in Sci-Fi Short Steel Cut Oats

In a roadside diner, an aging former boxer (Seinfeld’s Brian George) tells a friendly server (The School for Good and Evil’s Rachel Bloom) a magical tale from his fighting past—involving a very special match between a monster made of radioactive oatmeal and a steam-powered robot. No wonder he gets misty when he sees…

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Source: Gizmodo – A Fighter Turns to Breakfast Alchemy in Sci-Fi Short Steel Cut Oats