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Disney+ Does Not Work On Linux Devices

Slashdot - 30 min 43 sec ago
If you plan on streaming content from the new Disney+ streaming service on Linux devices, you'll likely be greeted with Error Code 83. Fedora Linux package maintainer Hans De Goede from the Netherlands first made the unpleasant discovery. gHacks reports: De Goede noticed that Disney+ would not work in any of the web browsers that he tried on systems running Fedora Linux. He tried Firefox and Chrome, and both times Disney+ threw the error "error code 83." Disney+ Support was not able to assist de Goede. It replied with a generic message stating that the error was known and that it happened often when customers tried to play Disney+ in web browsers or using certain devices. Support recommended to use the official applications on phones or tablets to watch the shows or movies. Other streaming services, e.g. Netflix, work fine on Linux. A user on the Dutch site Tweakers dug deeper and uncovered the response code that the site returned when a device or browser was used that could not be used to play streams. According to the information, error code 83 means that the platform verification status is incompatible with the security level. Disney uses the DRM solution Widevine to protect its streams from unauthorized activity. Widevine supports three different security levels, called 1, 2 and 3, which have certain requirements. The supported level determines the maximum stream quality and may even prevent access to a stream if the requirements are not met. It appears that Disney set Widevine to a more restrictive level than its competitors. The decision affects Disney+ on Linux devices and on other devices that don't support the selected Widevine security standard.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

UK Man Invents Aluminum-Air Battery In His Garage

Slashdot - 1 hour 10 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CleanTechncia: UK engineer and former Royal Navy officer Trevor Jackson began experimenting with aluminum air batteries at his workshop in the Cornish town of Callington in 2001. At that time, the electrolyte used was extremely caustic and poisonous. After years of experimentation, Jackson devised a new electrolyte -- whose composition is a closely guarded secret -- he says make it possible for his invention to power an electric car for up to 1,500 miles. What happens when it runs out of juice? You replace it with a new one while the old one gets recycled. At the beginning of the electric car era when charging infrastructure was nonexistent, the idea of swapping spent batteries for fully charged new ones was considered feasible. Jackson says such a thing could be the future, with his batteries/fuel cells sold at grocery stores and retail outlets. He says the process of disconnecting the old one and connecting the new one will take about 90 seconds. [A]n independent evaluation by the UK Trade and Investment agency in 2017 said Jackson's invention was a "very attractive battery" based on "well established'" technology, and that it produced much more energy per kilogram than standard electric vehicle types, according to a report in the Daily Mail. A Tesla Model S can drive up to 370 miles on a single charge. Jackson says if you drove the same car with an aluminum-air cell that weighed the same as the Tesla's lithium-ion battery, it would have a range of 2,700 miles. Aluminum-air cells also take up less space. If that same Tesla were fitted with an aluminum-air fuel cell the same size as its current battery, it could run non-stop for 1,500 miles. The report goes on to say that Jackson just signed a multi-million dollar deal with Austin Electric, which will begin putting thousands of the batteries into electric vehicles next year. "Austin Electric has three targets for the new batteries -- the three-wheeled tuk-tuks used for transportation in many countries such as Pakistan, electric bicycles with far more range than current models, and a program that will convert front wheel drive cars with internal combustion engines into hybrids by fitting aluminum-air batteries and motors to drive the rear wheels," reports CleanTechnica. "Jackson expects the conversion operation to start next year. He says the cost of each conversion will be [...] about $4,000."

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Surreal plague horror Pathologic 2's Marble Nest DLC out next week

Eurogamer - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 23:55

Developer Ice-Pick Lodge is expanding the world of its bleak, punishing plague horror Pathologic 2 next week, with the arrival of The Marble Nest - a not-entirely-new dollop of DLC.

Pathologic 2, for the uninitiated, is a re-imagining of Ice-Pick's idiosyncratic, rough-around-the-edges 2005 cult-favourite Pathologic, and charts the deterioration of a plague-ridden town through the eyes of physician known as Haruspex.

The Marble Nest - which is actually a spruced-up version of Pathologic 2's pre-release demo - is a self-contained story, running parallel to the events of the full game. It plays out over the course of a single day (in contrast to the main story's 12-day duration), viewed from the perspective of another character, scientist Dr. Daniil Dankovsky.

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Categories: Video Games

New Facebook Features Fight Election Lies Everywhere But Ads

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 23:30
Heaven forbid a political candidate's Facebook account gets hacked. They might spread disinformation ... like they're already allowed to do in Facebook ads ... From a report: Today Facebook made a slew of announcements designed to stop 2020 election interference. "The bottom line here is that elections have changed significantly since 2016" and so has Facebook in response, CEO Mark Zuckerberg said on a call with reporters. "We've gone from being on our back foot to proactively going after some of the biggest threats out there." One new feature is called Facebook Protect. By hijacking accounts of political candidates or their campaign staff, bad actors can steal sensitive information, expose secrets, and spread disinformation. So to safeguard these vulnerable users, Facebook is launching a new program with extra security they can opt into. Facebook Protect entails requiring two-factor authentication, and having Facebook monitor for hacking attempts like suspicious logins. Facebook can then inform the rest of an organization and investigate if it sees one member under attack.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

New Gene Editing Tool Could Fix Most Harmful DNA Mutations

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 22:50
Scientists have raised fresh hopes for treating people with genetic disorders by inventing a powerful new molecular tool that, in principle, can correct the vast majority of mutations that cause human genetic diseases. From a report: The procedure, named "prime editing," can mend about 89% of the 75,000 or so harmful mutations known to mangle the human genome and lead to conditions such as cystic fibrosis, sickle cell anaemia, and a nerve-destroying illness called Tay-Sachs disease. The landmark work opens the door to a new era of genome editing, but scientists caution that more research is needed before it can be safely used in humans. Beyond proving its safety, another major hurdle is how to deliver the molecular machinery to cells that need it in sufficient amounts to treat a disorder. "This first report of prime editing is the beginning rather than the end of a longstanding aspiration in the life sciences to be able to make any DNA change in any position of a living cell or organism, including potentially human patients with genetic diseases," said David Liu at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard in Cambridge, Massachusetts. The ability to rewrite the genetic code is one of the most striking scientific advances of recent years. The most common approach, known as Crispr-Cas9, has been likened to "molecular scissors" which home in on a particular DNA sequence and then cut it in two. The procedure allows scientists to disable specific genes and even correct harmful mutations by providing cells with fresh strands of DNA with which to repair the cut.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Apple CEO Tim Cook Joins Influential Chinese University Board

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 22:10
Apple CEO Tim Cook has been appointed chairman of the advisory board at Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, a role that could provide access to top Chinese leaders at a time the iPhone manufacturer is facing mounting challenges in the world's second largest economy. From a report: Cook will assume the role for three years and replace Jim Breyer, the founder and chief executive of Breyer Capital, according to a statement from the university released on Friday. Cook said he would work with other members on the board, who have not been named, to make the Beijing-based school into a "world-class" education institution. Apple's market share in China is sliding as nationalist rhetoric calling for consumers to switch to Chinese phone manufacturer Huawei has gained momentum amid the trade war between China and the United States. New appointments to the board, which is usually stacked with business and political leaders, could offer clues on the relationship between Beijing and some of the world's most influential business leaders at a time when trade tensions have reached new highs.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Bank of America Says It Saves $2 Billion Per Year By Ignoring Amazon and Microsoft and Building Its Own Cloud Instead

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 21:30
Bank of America has bucked the Wall Street trend by building its own private cloud software rather than outsourcing to companies like Amazon, Microsoft, and Google. From a report: The investment, including a $350 million charge in 2017, hasn't been cheap, but it has had a striking payoff, CEO Brian Moynihan said during the company's third-quarter earnings call. He said the decision helped reduce the firm's servers to 70,000 from 200,000 and its data centers to 23 from 60, and it has resulted in $2 billion in annual infrastructure savings.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

You can now play your local multiplayer Steam games online with friends

Eurogamer - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 20:58

Steam's previously reported Remote Play Together feature, which makes it possible for friends to play local multiplayer games together online, is now available in beta form.

According to a new Steam blog post, Remote Play Together works with any game that supports local co-op, local multiplayer, or shared/split screen functionality, and works with up to four players - although Valve notes that more players might be possible "in ideal conditions".

To get involved in the beta, interested parties will first need to join Steam's beta branch and download the latest build. Next, it's simply a matter of launching any supported local multiplayer game, then inviting a friend via the Steam Overlay (friends don't need to own the game themselves), using the Remote Play Together option. And that's it!

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Categories: Video Games

Traffic Lights Worldwide Set To Change

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 20:51
A Swedish engineer's umbrage at a traffic ticket has led to a six-year legal fight and now a global change in the speed with which traffic light signals are timed. From a report: After Mats Jarlstrom lost an initial legal challenge in 2014, a federal judge in January this year ruled Oregon's rules prohibiting people from representing themselves as engineers without a professional license from the state are unconstitutional. And now Jarlstrom's calculations and advocacy have led the Institute of Transportation Engineers (ITE) to revisit its guidelines for the timing of traffic signals. As a result, yellow lights around the globe could burn for longer -- ITE is an international advisory group with members in 90 countries. Jarlstrom discovered a problem with the timing of traffic lights in Beaverton, Oregon, after his wife Laurie received a $260 ticket for a red light violation from an automated traffic light camera in 2013. Jarlstrom, who studied electrical engineering in Sweden, challenged the ticket, arguing the timing interval for yellow lights fails to account for scenarios like a driver entering an intersection and slowing to make a turn. A slightly longer interval, he argued, would allow drivers making turns on a yellow light to exit intersections before the light turned red. Even a small timing increase would help -- the automatically generated ticket in this case was issued 0.12 seconds after the light turned red.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Avast Says Hackers Breached Internal Network Through Compromised VPN Profile

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 20:11
An anonymous reader writes: Czech cyber-security software maker Avast disclosed today a security breach that impacted its internal network. In a statement published today, the company said it believed the attack's purpose was to insert malware into the CCleaner software, similar to the infamous CCleaner 2017 incident. Avast said the breach occurred because the attacker compromised an employee's VPN credentials, gaining access to an account that was not protected using a multi-factor authentication solution. The intrusion was detected on September 23, but Avast said it found evidence of the attacker targeting its infrastructure going as far back as May 14, this year. The identity of the attacker is currently unknown, but the company said hackers didn't manage to modify CCleaner downloads this time around.

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Agent 47 gets a big ol' pumpkin head in Hitman 2's special Halloween event

Eurogamer - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 19:46

You can pop Hitman 2 on the ever-growing list of game's getting into the spirit of the spooky season, thanks to a special new Halloween-themed Escalation Contract, coming tomorrow, 22nd October, on PC, Xbox One, and PlayStation 4.

Developer IO Interactive hasn't, admittedly, offered much in the way of details regarding the new Escalation Contract, but we do know that it's a permanent addition to Hitman 2, is set on the Hawke's Bay map, and will offer two unique rewards for those able to complete it, in the form of the tactical wetsuit and bat shuriken.

Oh, and it looks like Agent 47 is getting a pumpkin head for the occasion, based on the atmospheric accompanying event trailer - which is always a win in my book.

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Categories: Video Games

The Chinese Threat To American Speech

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 19:38
American companies have an obligation to defend the freedom of expression, even at the risk of angering China, writes The New York Times' Editorial Board. From the article: China's assertive campaign to police discourse about its policies, even outside of its borders, and the acquiescence of American companies eager to make money in China, pose a dangerous and growing threat to one of this nation's core values: the freedom of expression. The Communist state is becoming more and more aggressive in pressuring foreign companies to choose between self-censorship and the loss of access to what will soon be the world's largest market. An old list of taboo topics, sometimes described as the "three Ts" -- Tibet, Tiananmen and Taiwan -- has been joined by newer subjects that must not be mentioned, including protests in Hong Kong and China's mistreatment of its Muslim minority. The Constitutions of China and the United States both enshrine freedom of speech, but China's totalitarian regime has long taken a narrow view of that freedom -- and American companies have long accepted those restrictions while doing business in China. Now, however, China is seeking to control not just what is said in China but what is said about China, too. If China has its way, any topic it deems off limits will be scrubbed from global discourse. For the first time since the end of the Cold War, the United States finds itself in a contest of ideas and principles with a country in its own weight class. But this time is different. The United States and China are economically intertwined: The trade volume between the two countries is the greatest of any between two countries in the history of the world. There is no reasonable prospect of disengagement, nor is that a desirable outcome. The clear necessity is for the two countries to find ways of living together, and coexistence requires respect for differences. Instead, China is engaged in the kind of cultural imperialism it often decries. China insists that its national interest is at stake. So is the national interest of the United States and other free nations. China has taken a hard line, and it's time for the United States to respond in kind. The United States and American businesses have a duty to not appease the censors in Beijing -- even if the price of insisting on free expression is a loss of access to the Chinese market.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Prison Architect's previously console-exclusive Psych Ward DLC heading to PC

Eurogamer - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 19:03

Prison building and management sim Prison Architect is finally bringing its previously console-exclusive Psych Ward DLC to PC and Mac next month, on 21st November, in the form of the enhanced Psych Ward: Warden's Edition.

Psych Ward, created by developer Double Eleven (the studio responsible for porting Prison Architect to consoles), initially launched for Xbox One and PS4 in June 2017.

As you might imagine, Psych Ward expands the core game by introducing new management options themed around the concept of successfully housing the criminally insane. The new Warden's Edition also introduces a number of features not seen in the original DLC.

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Categories: Video Games

Microsoft Announces Secured-core PCs To Counter Firmware Attacks

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 18:51
Microsoft today announced a new initiative to combat threats specifically targeted at the firmware level and data stored in memory: Secured-core PCs. From a report: Microsoft partnered with chip and computer makers to apply "security best practices of isolation and minimal trust to the firmware layer, or the device core, that underpins the Windows operating system." Secured-core PCs will be available from Dell, Dynabook, HP, Lenovo, Panasonic, and Surface. Microsoft hasn't released a full list of Secured-core PCs, but two examples include HP's Elite Dragonfly and Microsoft's Surface Pro X. Firmware is used to initialize the hardware and other software on the device. The firmware layer runs underneath the OS, where it has more access and privilege than the hypervisor and kernel. Firmware is thus emerging as a top target for attackers since the malicious code can be hard to detect and difficult to remove, persisting even with an OS reinstall or a hard drive replacement. Microsoft points to the National Vulnerability Database, which shows the number of discovered firmware vulnerabilities growing each year. As such, Secured-core PCs are designed for industries like financial services, government, and healthcare. They are also meant for workers who handle highly sensitive IP, customer, or personal data that poses higher-value targets for nationstate attackers.

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Equifax Used 'admin' as Username and Password for Sensitive Data: Lawsuit

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 18:10
AndrewFlagg writes: When it comes to using strong username and passwords for administrative purposes let alone customer facing portals, Equifax appears to have dropped the ball. Equifax used the word "admin" as both password and username for a portal that contained sensitive information, according to a class action lawsuit filed in federal court in the Northern District of Georgia. The ongoing lawsuit, filed after the breach, went viral on Twitter Friday after Buzzfeed reporter Jane Lytvynenko came across the detail. "Equifax employed the username 'admin' and the password 'admin' to protect a portal used to manage credit disputes, a password that 'is a surefire way to get hacked,'" the lawsuit reads. The lawsuit also notes that Equifax admitted using unencrypted servers to store the sensitive personal information and had it as a public-facing website. When Equifax, one of the three largest consumer credit reporting agencies, did encrypt data, the lawsuit alleges, "it left the keys to unlocking the encryption on the same public-facing servers, making it easy to remove the encryption from the data." The class-action suit consolidated 373 previous lawsuits into one. Unlike other lawsuits against Equifax, these don't come from wronged consumers, but rather shareholders that allege the company didn't adequately disclose risks or its security practices.

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Lawmakers Slam Apple for 'Censorship' of Apps at China's Behest

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 17:50
U.S. lawmakers from both parties slammed Apple and Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook last week for "censorship of apps" at the "behest of the Chinese government." From a report: Senators Ted Cruz, Ron Wyden, Tom Cotton, Marco Rubio and Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Mike Gallagher and Tom Malinowski expressed concern about the removal of an app that let Hong Kong protesters track police movement in the city. "Apple's decisions last week to accommodate the Chinese government by taking down HKmaps is deeply concerning," they wrote in a letter to Cook, urging Apple to "reverse course, to demonstrate that Apple puts values above market access, and to stand with the brave men and women fighting for basic rights and dignity in Hong Kong." Apple didn't respond to a request for comment on Friday. Apple removed the HKmap.live app from the App Store in China and Hong Hong earlier this month, saying it violated local laws. The company also said it received "credible information" from Hong Kong authorities indicating the software was being used "maliciously" to attack police. The decision, and the reasoning, was questioned widely. Cook, in a recent memo to Apple employees, said that "national and international debates will outlive us all, and, while important, they do not govern the facts."

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Popular VPN Service NordVPN Says it Was Hacked

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 16:48
NordVPN, a virtual private network provider that promises to "protect your privacy online," has confirmed it was hacked. From a report: The admission comes following rumors that the company had been breached. It first emerged that NordVPN had an expired internal private keys exposed, potentially allowing anyone to spin out their own servers imitating NordVPN. For its part, NordVPN has claimed a "zero logs" policy. "We don't track, collect, or share your private data," the company says. But the breach is likely to cause alarm that hackers may have been in a position to access some user data. NordVPN told TechCrunch that one of its datacenters was accessed in March 2018. "One of the datacenters in Finland we are renting our servers from was accessed with no authorization," said NordVPN spokesperson Laura Tyrell. The attacker gained access to the server -- which had been active for about a month -- by exploiting an insecure remote management system left by the datacenter provider, which NordVPN said it was unaware that such a system existed.

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Venezuela's Water System is Collapsing

Slashdot - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 16:05
In Venezuela, a crumbling economy and the collapse of even basic state infrastructure means water comes irregularly -- and drinking it is an increasingly risky gamble. Venezuela's current rate of infant mortality from diarrhea, which is closely related to water quality, is six times higher than 15 years ago, according to the World Health Organization. From a report: But the government stopped releasing official public health data years ago. So The New York Times commissioned researchers from the Universidad Central de Venezuela to recreate the water quality study they had conducted regularly for the water utility in Caracas from 1992 until 1999. The scientists found that about a million residents were exposed to contaminated supplies. This puts them at risk of contracting waterborne viruses that could sicken them and threatens the lives of children and the most vulnerable. "This is a potential epidemic," said Jose MarÃa De Viana, who headed Caracas's water utility, Hidrocapital, until 1999. "It's very serious. It's unacceptable." In the latest study, 40 samples were taken from the capital's main water systems and tested for bacteria and for chlorine, which keeps water safe. The study also tested alternative water sources used by city residents during supply outages. One third of the samples did not meet national norms. This should have required Hidrocapital to issue a sanitation alert, according to the utility's own internal regulations. But Venezuela's government has not issued any alerts at least since President Nicolas Maduro's Socialist Party took power 20 years ago. "The biggest health risk that we see there right now is water -- water and sanitation," the head of the International Federation of the Red Cross, Francesco Rocca, told foreign reporters this week, referring to Venezuela.

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Fortnite's supercharged XP event is an imperfect solution to Chapter 2's levelling grind

Eurogamer - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 16:03

Fortnite Chapter 2 has come under fire from fans unhappy with its redesigned XP and levelling system - which, they say, will require far longer to unlock all 100 levels of its Battle Pass.

There's been a lot of coverage of this since the season started - and plenty of number-crunching from fans pointing to the extended amount of playtime required at current rates. But that's the thing - we only know current rates, and not what Epic Games might introduce next.

Which brings us to this weekend, and Fortnite's sudden announcement of a two-day "Supercharged XP" event. This unlocked a ~4x XP multiplayer which remained active until you boosted through around four Battle Pass levels.

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Categories: Video Games

Hide your purses, three upcoming Steam Sale dates have leaked

Eurogamer - Mon, 21/10/2019 - 15:51

Here's hoping you've been saving your pennies, as three of Steam's upcoming sale dates have leaked via Twitter.

According to the leak, the very first sale (the Halloween one, of course) will start next week and run from 28th October until 1st November. This will be followed by the Autumn Sale from 26th November and 3rd December, then finally the Winter Sale between 19th December and 2nd January.

This info comes courtesy of Steam Database on Twitter, which has been a reliable source for leaks of this nature in the past.

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