A Declassified State Department Report Says Microwaves Didn't Cause 'Havana Syndrome'

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed News: Noises linked to mysterious injuries among US diplomats in Cuba were most likely caused by crickets — not microwave weapons — according to a declassified scientific review commissioned by the US State Department and obtained by BuzzFeed News. The State Department report was written by the JASON advisory group, an elite scientific board that has reviewed US national security concerns since the Cold War. It was completed in November of 2018, two years after dozens of US diplomats in Cuba and their families reported hearing buzzing noises and then experiencing puzzling neurological injuries, including pain, vertigo, and difficulty concentrating. Originally classified as “secret,” the report concluded that the sounds accompanying at least eight of the original 21 Havana syndrome incidents were “most likely” caused by insects. That same scientific review also judged it “highly unlikely” that microwaves or ultrasound beams — now widely proposed by US government officials to explain the injuries — were involved in the incidents. And though the report didn’t definitively conclude what caused the injuries themselves, it found that “psychogenic” mass psychology effects may have played a role.

“No plausible single source of energy (neither radio/microwaves nor sonic) can produce both the recorded audio/video signals and the reported medical effects,” the JASON report concluded. “We believe the recorded sounds are mechanical or biological in origin, rather than electronic. The most likely source is the Indies short-tailed cricket.” The report’s findings fly in the face of a medical report commissioned by the State Department and published by a National Academies of Sciences panel last year, which found that microwaves were the “most plausible” cause of the symptoms. That panel was not provided with the JASON report as part of its assessment, the NAS told BuzzFeed News.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – A Declassified State Department Report Says Microwaves Didn’t Cause ‘Havana Syndrome’

Apple Watch Series 7 Might Start Shipping in Mid-October

More than two weeks after Apple proudly unveiled its new Apple Watch Series 7, fans have still not gotten their hands on the device. This is because the company did not issue a specific release date, saying cryptically that the device would be “available later this fall.” That might be changing.

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – Apple Watch Series 7 Might Start Shipping in Mid-October

Disney settles Scarlett Johansson lawsuit over 'Black Widow' streaming strategy

Disney and Scarlett Johansson are no longer on the outs. The parties have reached a settlement for the lawsuit Johansson filed over the hybrid release strategy used for Black Widow. If you’ll recall, the actor sued Disney over the company’s decision to release her movie in theaters and on Disney+ at the same time, accusing the entertainment giant of breach of contract. 

Johansson’s camp argued that Black Widow was supposed to be released in theaters exclusively under her deal with Marvel. According to the lawsuit she filed, she could lose as much as $50 million due to the hybrid release, seeing as her compensation is tied directly with the movie’s box office success and doesn’t include a cut from what Disney would make from streaming. People have had to pay $30 for a Premier Access pass to watch the movie on Disney+, and the company said Black Widow earned $60 million from streaming during its opening weekend. 

Her lawsuit also said that her camp tried to contact Disney and Marvel to re-negotiate their deal, but they were allegedly unresponsive. Neither party disclosed the terms of their agreement, but both issued a statement mentioning future collaborations. Alan Bergman, chairman of Walt Disney Studios, said he looks “forward to working together on a number of upcoming projects, including Disney’s Tower of Terror.”

Meanwhile, entertainment workers are gearing up for a strike because studios like Disney are rapidly producing content after pandemic-related restrictions had lifted. The situation led to poor working conditions with long hours and no breaks for production crew. Entertainment unions are hoping to convince studios to make changes, including ending the lower pay scale for smaller streaming services. Under the current rules, streaming services with fewer than 20 million subscribers like Apple TV+ does can pay their workers lower wages.

Source: Engadget – Disney settles Scarlett Johansson lawsuit over ‘Black Widow’ streaming strategy

Nagasaki Casino Resort Concept Images

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Nagasaki Prefecture has released concept images of the Integrated Resort (IR) including a casino that Casinos Austria International has proposed to build at the Huis Ten Bosch theme park in Sasebo city.

This represents the most extensive visualization available of one of the casino resorts that might be licensed by the central government sometime next year.

The image at the top is of the European-style casino that would sit at the heart of the facility, and is of course the most controversial aspect of the proposed US$3.2 billion development.

Ten additional concept images are provided below, beginning with six images of how the facility may look from the outdoors.

The following four images are of the exhibition and conference facilities, regarded by the Japanese government of one of the most crucial reasons why IRs are needed in the country.

Although not a focus of the current set of concept images, there are planned to be several high-end European-style hotels on the IR grounds as well, including an extensive renovation of the existing Hotel Europe.

If licensed, would target a FY2027 date for opening to the public.

Recent Integrated Resorts Related Articles

Caesars Joins Wakayama IR Consortium

Osaka Approves MGM-Orix IR Bid

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IR Operators Pull Out of Yokohama

Casino Bribery Case Ends in Convictions

Sega Sammy Slot Series Hits Macau Casinos

Nagasaki Signs Agreement with Casinos Austria

Japan Seen Still on Track to “IR 2.0”

Wakayama Signs IR Agreement with Clairvest

The post Nagasaki Casino Resort Concept Images appeared first on Akihabara News.

Source: Akihabara News – Nagasaki Casino Resort Concept Images

Apple Pay With Visa Hacked To Make Payments Via Unlocked iPhones

Researchers have demonstrated that someone could use a stolen, unlocked iPhone to pay for thousands of dollars of goods or services, no authentication needed. Threatpost reports: An attacker who steals a locked iPhone can use a stored Visa card to make contactless payments worth up to thousands of dollars without unlocking the phone, researchers are warning. The problem is due to unpatched vulnerabilities in both the Apple Pay and Visa systems, according to an academic team from the Universities of Birmingham and Surrey, backed by the U.K.’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). But Visa, for its part, said that Apple Pay payments are secure and that any real-world attacks would be difficult to carry out.

The team explained that fraudulent tap-and-go payments at card readers can be made using any iPhone that has a Visa card set up in “Express Transit” mode. Express Transit allows commuters around the world, including those riding the New York City subway, the Chicago El and the London Underground, to tap their phones on a reader to pay their fares without unlocking their devices. “An attacker only needs a stolen, powered-on iPhone,” according to a writeup (PDF) published this week. “The transactions could also be relayed from an iPhone inside someone’s bag, without their knowledge. The attacker needs no assistance from the merchant.”

This attack is made possible by a combination of flaws in both Apple Pay and Visa’s systems, the academic team noted. “The details of this vulnerability have been disclosed to Apple (Oct 2020) and to Visa (May 2021),” according to the writeup. “Both parties acknowledge the seriousness of the vulnerability, but have not come to an agreement on which party should implement a fix.” “Variations of contactless-fraud schemes have been studied in laboratory settings for more than a decade and have proven to be impractical to execute at scale in the real world,” Visa said in a statement to the BBC, adding that its fraud-detection systems would flag any suspicious transactions. Apple meanwhile shifted the responsibility to Visa and told the outlet, “We take any threat to users’ security very seriously. This is a concern with a Visa system, but Visa does not believe this kind of fraud is likely to take place in the real world given the multiple layers of security in place. In the unlikely event that an unauthorized payment does occur, Visa has made it clear that their cardholders are protected by Visa’s zero-liability policy.” The researchers say users can protect themselves by not using Visa as a transport card in Apple Pay, and if they do, by remotely wiping the device if lost or stolen. The bug does not affect other types of payment cards or payment systems.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Apple Pay With Visa Hacked To Make Payments Via Unlocked iPhones

How to Install MERN Stack for JS-Based Applications on Ubuntu 20.04

MERN stack is a combination of MongoDB, Express, React, Node. All of them are based on JavaScript and the stack is used to build modern web applications. It is comprising the front-end (React), back-end (Node and Express), and database components (MongoDB). Learn how to install the MERN stack for JS-based applications on Ubuntu 20.04 here.

The post How to Install MERN Stack for JS-Based Applications on Ubuntu 20.04 appeared first on Linux Today.

Source: Linux Today – How to Install MERN Stack for JS-Based Applications on Ubuntu 20.04

Honda Enters the Flying Car Race

Akihabara News (Tokyo) — Honda Motor has revealed that it is developing its own model of eVTOL (flying car) that it plans to put into commercial development at the beginning of the 2030s.

The Honda eVTOL will be distinguished from almost all other eVTOL models by the fact that Honda is planning to equip it with a hybrid engine, not a fully electric engine as other developers are working on. It’s not clear what this means in terms of its carbon emissions, but Honda expects that this will allow for superior capabilities.

The model eVTOL exhibited possesses two wings with four propellers on each wing. The cabin for the occupants is designed to be spacious.

In terms of flight performance, the Honda eVTOL is expected to have a maximum cruising distance of about about 400 kilometers, considerably longer than most other eVTOLs being developed around the world. The firm expects that this will make it possible to transport passengers between cities.

In addition, it is expected to be capable of a maximum speed of about 270 kilometers per hour and have a cruising altitude between 1,800 to 3,000 meters. The weight-carrying capacity is expected to be about 400 kilograms.

The company expects to have a competitive advantage on other eVTOL producers based not only on its status as one of the world’s leading automakers, but also as the producer of the HA-420 HondaJet, which gives it rich experience in the aircraft industry, including the regulatory aspects of the business.

The timeline being sketched out is that practical tests of the Honda eVTOL will begin in the United States in 2023, regulatory approval gained near the end of the decade, and then the launch commercial operations in earnest at the beginning of the 2030s.

Honda is currently looking more at the North American market for its eVTOL than its home market of Japan.

Recent eVTOL Industry Related Articles

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Notable Japan eVTOL Startups

DroNext and the Vertiports of the Future

JAXA-SkyDrive Boost for Flying Cars

Osaka Taps Flying Car Expertise from Skyports

The post Honda Enters the Flying Car Race appeared first on Akihabara News.

Source: Akihabara News – Honda Enters the Flying Car Race

It Might Have Just Gotten Easier to Find the New USB-C 240W Charging Cables

Although people got excited when the USB-C’s power output more than doubled from 100 watts to 240 watts earlier this year, there was still a mighty big problem at hand: How would consumers be able to tell these new USB-C cables apart from the old ones?

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – It Might Have Just Gotten Easier to Find the New USB-C 240W Charging Cables

Chip Shortage Leads Carmaker Opel To Shut German Plant Until 2022

Carmaker Opel, which is part of the Stellantis group, said on Thursday it will close one of its plants in Germany until at least the end of the year due to chip shortages. Reuters reports: Production at the Eisenach plant, which makes internal combustion engine and hybrid electric cars, should start again in 2022, although an Opel spokesperson could not specify a date. Some 1,300 workers employed at the plant will be temporarily laid off, Opel said, with a separate plant in France picking up some of the production. Stellantis has halted production at other plants, including in Europe and Canada, forecasting that it would make 1.4 million fewer vehicles this year due to the chip shortage.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Chip Shortage Leads Carmaker Opel To Shut German Plant Until 2022

Fairphone's Latest Sustainable Smartphone Comes With a Five-Year Warranty

New submitter thegreatnick writes: The next generation of Fairphone — an attempt to make an ethical smartphone — has been announced with the Fairphone 4. The base specs include a Qualcomm Snapdragon 750G SoC, 6GB of RAM, and 128GB of storage (upgradeable to 8GB and 256GB). On the front, you’ll get a 6.3-inch, 2340×1080 LCD display with slimmer bezels (compared to the Fairphone 3 design) and a teardrop notch for the 25-megapixel front camera. The 3,905mAh battery is Qualcomm Quick Charge 4.1 compatible, so if you have a compatible USB-C charger (not included in the box to reduce waste) you can take the battery from 0-50% in 30 minutes. The phone ships with Android 11 and has a side-mounted fingerprint reader in the power button, a MicroSD slot, and the option for dual-SIM usage via one physical nanoSIM and an eSIM. Continuing Fairphone’s progress in making a “fair” supply chain — both ethically-clean raw materials and paying workers a fair wage — it also describes the 4 as “e-waste neutral.” This is a neat way of summing up the idea that the company will recycle one device for every Fairphone 4 it sells. In addition, Fairphone can boast that it now uses 70% “fair” materials inside the handset, including FairTrade Gold and Silver, aluminum from ASI-certified vendors, and a backplate made from 100% post-consumer recycled polycarbonate. In an upgrade to previous models, the Fairphone 4 has dual cameras, though it loses the headphone jack. The company says this was to achieve an IP54 waterproof rating (light splashes) — a first for the Fairphone brand. It’s also been announced that it will come with an industry-leading 5-year warranty and aims to get 6 years of software updates for the phone.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Fairphone’s Latest Sustainable Smartphone Comes With a Five-Year Warranty

The Black Widow Lawsuit Between Scarlett Johansson and Disney Has Been Settled… in Private

One of Hollywood’s most contentious, high-stakes lawsuits of late—between Marvel star Scarlett Johansson and Disney, in the wake of Black Widow’s release on Disney+—has been settled. The suit, filed in late July, alleged that the pivot to both theatrical and streaming releases (via Disney+’s “Premiere Access”) …

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – The Black Widow Lawsuit Between Scarlett Johansson and Disney Has Been Settled… in Private

After UAE Hacking Scandal, Congress May Crack Down on Ex-Spies Working for Foreign Governments

After renewed outrage over a hacking scandal involving former federal operatives, U.S. lawmakers are considering adopting new restrictions that would limit the kinds of work ex-intelligence officials could do for foreign governments after leaving the service.

Read more…

Source: Gizmodo – After UAE Hacking Scandal, Congress May Crack Down on Ex-Spies Working for Foreign Governments

Developers Are Quitting To Escape From Your Bad Code

An anonymous reader shares an excerpt from a ZDNet article, written by Liam Tung: [A] survey has come up with another reason why your engineers might want to quit — their fellow developers’ terrible code. Software engineers have long struggled with ‘technical debt’ created by past coding practices that might have been clever but also were undocumented and exotic. At a high level, technical debt is the price paid by supporting legacy systems rather than overhauling them or implementing a better, new system. The term can span everything from a major IT implementation, such as a core banking system that requires a decade of bug fixes, to the choice of programming language to build backend systems. In the latter case, subsequent language updates can require today’s developers to rewrite old code written by long-gone developers who wrote under different conditions and who might not have documented what they did and why they did it. That’s a big problem for companies that have millions of lines of code written in a language.

Stepsize, a firm that focuses on technical debt by tracking development issues in major code editors such as VS Code, conducted a fairly small survey of 200 software engineers to find out why they leave their jobs. The company said that 51% of engineers in its survey have considered leaving or left a job because of technical debt. Of that group who feel irked by technical debt issues, some 20% said that type of debt is the main reason they left a company. The results should be taken in context: the company’s key selling point is trying to solve technical debt challenges that organizations face, but at the same time, technical debt could be one area worthy of attention considering how hard it is to hire and retain software engineers.

Technical debt, or ‘code quality and codebase health’, was the fourth most important issue cited by respondents. Salary still trumped it, with 82% citing it as one of the “most important factors” when interviewing for a new role. The survey allowed respondents to choose several primary factors. “Technical challenges and growth opportunities” was the second priority, with 75% choosing it as the one of the most important factors. Some 68% of respondents said remote work was the most important actor, while 62% put said ‘code quality and codebase health’ was one of those prime factors. Slashdot reader ellithligraw first shared the report, adding: “Yet another reason developers are quitting… to escape the technical debt, or schlock code, or code rot. COBOL anyone?”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Developers Are Quitting To Escape From Your Bad Code

How to Create Linux OS Templates with KVM on Ubuntu 20.04

KVM refers to the Kernel-based Virtual Machine which helps to run multiple Linux or window-based isolated guests, along with their own OS and virtual dedicated hardware. This tutorial shows you how to create a VM Linux OS template from the existing VM on KVM. This demonstration is on Ubuntu 20.04.

The post How to Create Linux OS Templates with KVM on Ubuntu 20.04 appeared first on Linux Today.

Source: Linux Today – How to Create Linux OS Templates with KVM on Ubuntu 20.04

Linux 5.15, AMD / Radeon Advancements, Intel SDSi Dominated Discussions This Month

That’s a wrap for September with 229 original news articles and another 13 featured Linux hardware reviews / multi-page benchmark articles, all written by your’s truly. It was another eventful month with Linux 5.15 moving forward, a lot of driver activity by AMD and Intel, and other open-source milestones like the release of GNOME 41 and the shipping of the Ubuntu 21.10 and Fedora 35 beta releases…

Source: Phoronix – Linux 5.15, AMD / Radeon Advancements, Intel SDSi Dominated Discussions This Month

Zoom and Five9 Abandon $14.7 Billion Acquisition

Cloud contact center software company Five9 and video calling software maker Zoom said Thursday they will not go forward with Zoom’s plan to acquire Five9 for $14.7 billion. From a report: Five9 shares fell 2% in extended trading following the statement from the companies, which said the acquisition didn’t receive enough votes from Five9 shareholders. A branch of the U.S. Department of Justice was reviewing the deal out of concern of potential foreign participation, according to a letter dated Aug. 27, that was sent to the Federal Communications Commission. But Zoom said last week, when news of the review was reported, that it still expected the deal to close in the first half of 2022.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Source: Slashdot – Zoom and Five9 Abandon .7 Billion Acquisition