news

After Payroll Provider Collapses, Banks Drain Employee Accounts

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 22:25
dcblogs writes: MyPayRollHR, a payroll processing provider with about 4,000 small to mid-sized business customers, suddenly closed late last week. In response, the banking system went haywire and began taking funds from employees at many of these firms. Previously deposited pay was removed from their personal banking accounts, or 'reversed.' Not once, but twice and there are reports that these withdrawals happened continuously. The checking account of one employee of an animal rescue facility was pinged for nearly $1 million. Her account shows a negative $999,193.75.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Expert Predicts 25% of Colleges Will 'Fail' in the Next 20 Years

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 21:45
For the first time in 185 years, there will be no fall semester at Green Mountain College in western Vermont. The college, which closed this year, isn't alone: Southern Vermont College, the College of St. Joseph, and Atlantic Union College, among others, have shuttered their doors, too. The schools fell victim to trends in higher education -- trends that lead one expert to believe that more schools will soon follow. From a report, shared by a reader: "I think 25% of schools will fail in the next two decades," said Michael Horn, who studies education at Harvard University. "They're going to close, they're going to merge, some will declare some form of bankruptcy to reinvent themselves. It's going to be brutal across American higher education." Part of the problem, Horn explained, is that families had fewer kids after the 2008 recession, meaning that there will be fewer high school graduates and fewer college students. "Fundamentally, these schools' business models are just breaking at the seams," he said. That's what happened to Green Mountain College. When Robert Allen became president of the school in 2016, he realized "very quickly" that the school had a problem. "I'm a mathematician by training, a financial person," he said. "And I realized that we were going to come up short." The main problem was shrinking enrollment. By last year, just 427 students remained on campus, leaving the school broke. "At Green Mountain College this past year, we didn't have one full paid student," Allen said, adding, "Our published tuition was $36,500, and the average student paid just a little over $12,000." Unable to find a school with which to merge, Allen announced in January that the school's 184th graduation would be its last. "I've had a long professional career, not all of it in education, and it was the hardest thing I've ever had to do," Allen said. "As you can imagine, many parents were really angry."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

A Famous Argument Against Free Will Has Been Debunked

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 21:05
For decades, a landmark brain study fed speculation about whether we control our own actions. It seems to have made a classic mistake. From a report: The death of free will began with thousands of finger taps. In 1964, two German scientists monitored the electrical activity of a dozen people's brains. Each day for several months, volunteers came into the scientists' lab at the University of Freiburg to get wires fixed to their scalp from a showerhead-like contraption overhead. The participants sat in a chair, tucked neatly in a metal tollbooth, with only one task: to flex a finger on their right hand at whatever irregular intervals pleased them, over and over, up to 500 times a visit. The purpose of this experiment was to search for signals in the participants' brains that preceded each finger tap. At the time, researchers knew how to measure brain activity that occurred in response to events out in the world -- when a person hears a song, for instance, or looks at a photograph -- but no one had figured out how to isolate the signs of someone's brain actually initiating an action The experiment's results came in squiggly, dotted lines, a representation of changing brain waves. In the milliseconds leading up to the finger taps, the lines showed an almost undetectably faint uptick: a wave that rose for about a second, like a drumroll of firing neurons, then ended in an abrupt crash. This flurry of neuronal activity, which the scientists called the Bereitschaftspotential, or readiness potential, was like a gift of infinitesimal time travel. For the first time, they could see the brain readying itself to create a voluntary movement. This momentous discovery was the beginning of a lot of trouble in neuroscience. Twenty years later, the American physiologist Benjamin Libet used the Bereitschaftspotential to make the case not only that the brain shows signs of a decision before a person acts, but that, incredibly, the brain's wheels start turning before the person even consciously intends to do something. Suddenly, people's choices -- even a basic finger tap -- appeared to be determined by something outside of their own perceived volition.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Attacking the VM Worker Process

Microsoft Security Response Blog - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 20:50

In the past year we invested a lot of time making Hyper-V research more accessible to everyone. Our first blog post, “First Steps in Hyper-V Research”, describes the tools and setup for debugging the hypervisor and examines the interesting attack surfaces of the virtualization stack components. We then published “Fuzzing para-virtualized devices in Hyper-V”, which …

Attacking the VM Worker Process Read More »

The post Attacking the VM Worker Process appeared first on Microsoft Security Response Center.

Categories: IT

Call of Duty: Modern Warfare's two weeks of beta sessions get underway tomorrow

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 20:47

If you've been left intrigued by thoughts of Infinity Ward's upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare but aren't yet quite ready to commit, then you might appreciate a reminder that Activision's various beta sessions - some of them open - kick off very soon.

In fact, things get underway tomorrow, 12th September, but Activision's dealings with Sony mean that it's a PS4-only affair at first. From Thursday, 12th September to Friday, 13th September, PS4 players with "early access" - that is, those that pre-ordered the game - can get involved. Then, all PS4 players are welcome via the open beta from the 14th to 16th September.

That open beta period will continue for PlayStation 4 players next week, from Thursday, 19th September to Monday, 23rd September - and Xbox One and PC players will also, finally, have an opportunity to at play same time. However, only those Xbox One and PC players with pre-order "early access" can join in between 19th and 20th September, and then its open beta time for all platforms from 21st to 23rd September.

Read more

Categories: Video Games

There's another round of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare betas starting tomorrow

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 20:47

If you've been left intrigued by thoughts of Infinity Ward's upcoming Call of Duty: Modern Warfare but aren't yet quite ready to commit, then you might appreciate a reminder that another batch of betas - some of them open - kick off very soon.

In fact, things get underway tomorrow, 12th September, but Activision's dealings with Sony mean that it's a PS4-only affair to begin with. From Thursday, 12th September to Friday, 13th September, PS4 players with "early access" - that is, those that pre-ordered the game - can get involved. Then, all PS4 players are welcome via the open beta from the 14th to 16th September.

That open beta period will continue for PlayStation 4 players next week, from Thursday, 19th September to Monday, 23rd September - and Xbox One and PC players will also, finally, have an opportunity to at play same time. However, only those Xbox One and PC players with pre-order "early access" can join in between 19th and 20th September, and then its open beta time for all platforms from 21st to 23rd September.

Read more

Categories: Video Games

Court Rules That 'Scraping' Public Website Data Isn't Hacking

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 20:47
Scraping public data from a website doesn't constitute "hacking," according to a new court ruling that could dramatically limit abuse of the United States' primary hacking law. From a report: The ruling comes after a lengthy battle between data analytics firm HiQ Labs and Microsoft owned LinkedIn, which have been at each other's throats for several years over HiQ Labs' practice of scraping the business social networking website's public-facing data, then selling it (fused with other datasets) to a laundry list of employers. In the ruling by The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, the court shot down LinkedIn's claim that access to this public data violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). In its declaration, the court ruled that to violate the CFAA, somebody would need to actually "circumvent [a] computer's generally applicable rules regarding access permissions, such as username and password requirements," meaning it's not really hacking if you're not bypassing some kind of meaningful authorization system.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

GameStop Closing 200 Stores Following Another Quarter of Dismal Sales

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 20:07
GameStop will close as many 200 stores before the end of 2019 following another quarter of sharply declining sales and a $32 million loss, the company stated. From a report: In a statement yesterday, the company's chief financial officer attributed the drop in sales to trends "consistent with what we have historically observed towards the end of a hardware cycle." That said, it's yet another quarter with a double-digit decline, down 14.3 percent over the same one last year. For the quarter ending March 2019, GameStop reported a 13.3 sales decline and the company's stock price plunged 40 percent in one day, recovering only slightly since then. James Bell, GameStop's chief financial officer, told investors that the closures will affect between 180 and 200 "underperforming" stores between now and the end of 2019. The company's most recent annual report listed 5,830 locations worldwide, with more than 4,000 of them in the United States and Canada. In yesterday's earnings call, Bell said that the vast majority -- 95 percent -- of stores were profitable. But more closures, in larger numbers than today's news, are expected over the next one to two years, he added.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

There's an Enter the Gungeon spin-off heading to Apple Arcade "soon"

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 19:42

Developer Dodge Roll's sublime bullet hell dungeon crawler, Enter the Gungeon, is getting a spin-off! It's called - wait for it - Exit the Gungeon, and it's coming to Apple Arcade "soon".

According to publisher Devolver Digital, Exit the Gungeon is a joint project by Dodge Roll and developer Singlecore Games, and reworks its predecessor's critically acclaimed top-down dungeoneering action into what's being referred to as a "bullet hell dungeon climber".

"The Gungeon has become a paradox and is collapsing!," exclaims Exit the Gungeon's release announcement. "Armed with an ever-changing weapon, an insatiable need to loot, and the trusty dodge roll, each of our heroes must ascend and escape via their own unique route of increasingly perilous elevators."

Read more

Categories: Video Games

Google Chrome Now Lets You Send Webpages To Other Devices

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 19:28
Google is starting to make its Chrome 77 browser update available to Windows, Mac, iOS, and Android this week. While there are many visual changes to Chrome this time, Google is introducing a new send webpage to devices feature. From a report: You can right-click on a link and a new context menu will appear that simply lets you send links to other devices where you use Chrome. If you're using Chrome on iOS you'll need to have the app open and a small prompt will appear to accept the sent tab. The feature has started showing up on Windows, Android, and iOS versions of Chrome, but it doesn't appear to be enabled in the macOS variant just yet. Chrome has long supported the ability to browse your open and recent tabs across multiple devices, but this send to device feature just makes things a little quicker if you're moving from browsing on a PC or laptop to a phone or vice versa.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

SpaceX Confirms It's Almost Ready To Test Its Orbital Starship

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 18:48
SpaceX isn't wasting much time now that Starhopper has completed its hover test. The company has filed an FCC communication permissions request that, as Elon Musk confirmed, prepares for test-flying the "orbit-class" Starship. From a report: The vehicle will fly much higher than its stubby predecessor, reaching an altitude of 12.5 miles before it comes back to the same landing pad used during earlier tests. It's not a true orbital test, then, but it's clearly much closer to SpaceX's goals. The FCC filing came days after word from Business Insider (later verified) that the FAA was effectively granting SpaceX permission to expand its Boca Chica launch facility for the sake of Starship launches. The company also hasn't tried to hide its construction work on the orbit-quality vehicle, and Musk has alluded to a September 28th update event that could show off the completed spacecraft. It's poised to launch sometime in October, possibly as soon as the 13th.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Simogo's "euphoric music video dream" Sayonara Wild Hearts is out next week

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 18:28

Developer Simogo's wonderful-looking "euphoric music video dream" Sayonara Wild Hearts finally has a release date and it's coming very soon; it'll be heading to Switch, Apple devices via Apple Arcade, and PlayStation 4 next Thursday, 19th September.

Sayonara Wild Hearts, according to Simogo (the studio behind the exceptional Year Walk, Device 6, and Beat Sneak Bandit), is an attempt to create "an action game that felt inviting, without compromising what makes an action game good: the thrill".

It stars a woman spirited away to a world of neon lights and euphoric pop, where she meets her alter-ego The Fool, for a game about "being awesome, riding motorcycles, skateboarding, dance battling, shooting lasers, wielding swords, and breaking hearts at 200 mph".

Read more

Categories: Video Games

Stunning new Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer revealed

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 18:10

A brand new Final Fantasy 7 Remake trailer has landed ahead of Tokyo Games Show, and it's full of surprises.

Following on from the more action-focused E3 gameplay earlier this year, the trailer recreates some more eccentric aspects of the original game. In particular, we get to see the slums and Wall Market area, the darker, seedier under-belly of the game's central city, Midgar. Here we see some bizarre mini-games recreated, and later, the introduction of a mysterious new character.

New clips of its battle system are revealed. We get a debut for fan-favourite battle summons, like the diamond-dusted Shiva, a glimpse of what could be a chariot-riding Odin and the fiery Ifrit. Old faces make a glossy return in the remake as well, with fan favourites Reno and Rude swaggering into a ruined church.

Read more

Categories: Video Games

California Bill Makes App-Based Companies Treat Workers as Employees

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 18:08
California legislators approved a landmark bill on Tuesday that requires companies like Uber and Lyft to treat contract workers as employees, a move that could reshape the gig economy and that adds fuel to a yearslong debate over whether the nature of work has become too insecure. From a report: The bill passed in a 29 to 11 vote in the State Senate and will apply to app-based companies, despite their efforts to negotiate an exemption. California's governor, Gavin Newsom, endorsed the bill this month and is expected to sign it after it goes through the State Assembly, in what is expected to be a formality. Under the measure, which would go into effect Jan. 1, workers must be designated as employees instead of contractors if a company exerts control over how they perform their tasks or if their work is part of a company's regular business. The bill may influence other states. A coalition of labor groups is pushing similar legislation in New York, and bills in Washington State and Oregon that were similar to California's but failed to advance could see renewed momentum. New York City passed a minimum wage for ride-hailing drivers last year but did not try to classify them as employees. In California, the legislation will affect at least one million workers who have been on the receiving end of a decades-long trend of outsourcing and franchising work, making employer-worker relationships more arm's-length. Many people have been pushed into contractor status with no access to basic protections like a minimum wage and unemployment insurance. Ride-hailing drivers, food-delivery couriers, janitors, nail salon workers, construction workers and franchise owners could now all be reclassified as employees.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Fallout 76's fridge pricing leaves fans cold

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 17:40

Just when you thought things were starting to settle down with Fallout 76, another incident has riled up the playerbase, and this time it's all about a fridge and a scrap-collecting robot.

Fallout 76's latest update dropped yesterday, and introduced a number of quality of life improvements along with some new maps. A glance at the Atomic Shop section, however, revealed several new utility items were also added - such as refrigerators, which can be placed at C.A.M.P.s to reduce the spoilage rate of stored food and drink by 50 per cent. There's also a WALL-E wannabe in the form of the Collectron Station, a C.A.M.P. item that spawns a little scrap-collecting bot to search the nearby area for scrap and simple items.

What's the big deal? You may recall an article back in April about Fallout 76's repair kits, which allow players to pay to restore their items. Players accused Bethesda of breaking its "no pay-to-win" promise, pointing to several statements assuring players this would not happen. Such as this one from Pete Hines (senior vice president of global marketing and communications) when talking to the Metro about the Atomic Shop:

Read more

Categories: Video Games

Apple Just Turned Its Extended Warranty For iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch Into a Monthly Subscription

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 17:28
An anonymous reader shares a report: Apple's extended warranty, AppleCare+, has always covered iOS and Apple Watch devices for a total of two years. But after its iPhone 11 event, the company quietly introduced a new option that basically turns AppleCare+ into a full-on monthly subscription, allowing consumers to continue paying beyond the regular coverage period and keep going for as long as Apple is able to service their product. The change was spotted by 9to5Mac. Apple had already offered monthly installments for AppleCare+, but that was only an alternative to paying a lump sum for the same two-year coverage total. And it seems Apple has now eliminated this payment option. With the new approach, Apple uses the pretty clear wording of "pay monthly until canceled." As 9to5Mac notes, you'd end up paying more through the monthly option for the standard 24 months of coverage than if you just opted to buy that length of time outright. The new subscription is really best for people who plan to hold on to their gadgets for several years.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Get Overwatch Legendary Edition on Switch for under £25

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 17:00

The Nintendo Switch version of Overwatch was only officially announced earlier this month - with a release date of October 15th too - but you can already secure a copy of the Blizzard shooter for under £25.

ShopTo has the digital version of the Overwatch Legendary Edition on Switch for just £23.85. As a handy bonus, you also get three months' Nintendo Switch Online membership included in the price. That would usually set you back around £7 - cheers luvs!

By comparison, you'll have to spend £34.99 for a copy from Amazon UK or $39.99 from Amazon US.

Read more

Categories: Video Games

Google To Run DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) Experiment in Chrome

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 16:45
Google has announced plans to test the new DNS-over-HTTPS (DoH) protocol inside Google Chrome starting with v78, scheduled for release in late October this year. From a report: The DNS-over-HTTPS protocol works by sending DNS requests to special DoH-compatible DNS resolvers. The benefit comes from the fact that DNS requests are sent via port 443, as encrypted HTTPS traffic, rather than cleartext, via port 53. This hides DoH requests in the unending stream of HTTPS traffic that moves across the web at any moment of the day and prevents third-party observers from tracking users' browsing histories by recording and looking at their unencrypted DNS data. The news that Google is looking into testing DoH in Chrome comes just as Mozilla announced plans over the weekend to gradually enable DoH by default for a small subset of users in the US later this month.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

Amazon Probed by US Antitrust Officials Over Marketplace

Slashdot - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 16:05
A team of FTC investigators has begun interviewing small businesses that sell products on Amazon to determine whether the e-commerce giant is using its market power to hurt competition. From a report: Several attorneys and at least one economist have been conducting interviews that typically last about 90 minutes and cover a range of topics, according to three merchants. All were asked what percentage of revenue their businesses derive from Amazon versus other online marketplaces like Walmart and EBay, suggesting regulators are skeptical about Amazon's claims that shoppers and suppliers have real alternatives to the Seattle-based company. One merchant, Jaivin Karnani, said he was surprised the FTC returned his call the very next day. The interviews indicate the agency is in the early stages of a sweeping probe to learn how Amazon works, spot practices that break the law and identify markets dominated by the company. The length of the interviews and the manpower devoted to examining Amazon point to a serious inquiry rather than investigators merely responding to complaints and going through the motions, antitrust experts say.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Geeky Stuff

There's a new System Shock 3 gameplay trailer and it's starting to look quite good

Eurogamer - Wed, 11/09/2019 - 15:44

A new pre-alpha gameplay trailer for System Shock 3 has been released and it looks, well, not bad, which is nice.

It's the longest look at the game we've had so far, and it gives a good sense of the oppressive atmosphere developer OtherSide is going for. Dark, scary, grotesque - it's not a million miles from Dead Space, which is a good thing.

Behind all the bad stuff is, of course, the infamous AI Shodan, the omnipresent, ever-threatening voice of evil - or, perhaps, reason. It's quite compelling hearing an AI objectively appraise humankind and the effect it has had on the world. We're definitely not in the good books, are we?

Read more

Categories: Video Games
Syndicate content