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Starbucks Worker Insisting Customers Wear Masks Rewarded With $70K On GoFundMe

Slashdot - Sun, 28/06/2020 - 09:34
"Masks are stupid and so are the people wearing them," posted one San Diego woman on Facebook (who is also an anti-vaxxer). "She has also shared previous posts expressing her refusal to wear masks, and her belief that those who wear them are 'not thinking clearly,'" reports the Washington Post. Here's what happened next... Amber Lynn Gilles walked into a Starbucks in San Diego without a mask and was declined service, according to a Facebook post on her page. She took a photograph of the barista who didn't serve her... Her post backfired. It quickly collected more than 100,000 reactions and comments, as well as nearly 50,000 shares. Many Facebook users defended the barista, Lenin Gutierrez, and some called Gilles a "Karen" — a name coined to describe an entitled white woman making inappropriate remarks. One Facebook user wrote: "There's no reason to publicly shame a kid who's trying to work his shift like any other day...." That's when Matt Cowan, a man who doesn't know Gutierrez but stumbled upon the post, decided to start a virtual tip jar for the barista on GoFundMe. Cowan called the donation page "Tips for Lenin Standing Up To A San Diego Karen..." "Everybody is rallying around somebody for doing what they're supposed to do and trying to protect everyone else," Cowan said in an interview with KGTV. "It just goes to show you there are a lot of good people out there and that outweighs the bad...." By Saturday the original Facebook post criticizing the Starbucks barista had brought him over $70,000 in donations through the GoFundMe campaign. Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Times reports, "In an interview with KNSD-TV Channel 7 in San Diego, Gilles said she's received 'thousands' of death threats since the post went live."

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Google's Phone App May Soon Tell You Why Businesses Are Calling

Slashdot - Sun, 28/06/2020 - 06:34
Android Police spotted a new "Verified Calls" feature Google appears to be rolling out that tells users why a business is calling before they answer the call: Unlike call screening, which can be initiated by the user on any incoming call, Verified Calls only come from businesses that have gone through Google's approval process. When a call that meets the criteria is placed from an approved business, the user will see the business name and logo, as well as the reason for the call. Verified Calls require the business to send call information to a secure Google server. That server then pushes the info to the Google phone app on your device When the actual call is placed, the app checks the caller's info against that stored data in order to verify the call is indeed coming from the business. If everything's legit, the Phone app displays the call as being Verified, and presents the helpful info provided by the business. A few minutes after receiving the call, the information is deleted from Google's server. Verified Calls will be turned on by default, but there should be a setting to opt-out in the Phone app. Although, it doesn't seem to be showing up yet.

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How Did the World Miss Covid-19's Silent Spread?

Slashdot - Sun, 28/06/2020 - 03:34
Long-time Slashdot reader hankwang writes: The New York Times has an article on how the transmission of Covid-19 by seemingly healthy individuals was discovered in Germany on January 27, but the report was discredited because of a quibble over whether it was really asymptomatic or rather presymptomatic or oligosymptomatic transmission. Oligosymptomatic means that the symptoms are so mild that they are not recognized as symptoms... It took until March before asymptomatic transmission was publicly acknowledged as playing a significant role. From the article. (Alternate source here): Dr. Rothe, an infectious disease specialist at Munich University Hospital, and her colleagues were among the first to warn the world [on January 30]. But even as evidence accumulated from other scientists, leading health officials expressed unwavering confidence that symptomless spreading was not important. In the days and weeks to come, politicians, public health officials and rival academics disparaged or ignored the Munich team. Some actively worked to undermine the warnings at a crucial moment, as the disease was spreading unnoticed... It is now widely accepted that seemingly healthy people can spread the virus, though uncertainty remains over how much they have contributed to the pandemic. Though estimates vary, models using data from Hong Kong, Singapore and China suggest that 30 to 60 percent of spreading occurs when people have no symptoms... The Chinese health authorities had explicitly cautioned that patients were contagious before showing symptoms. A Japanese bus driver was infected while transporting seemingly healthy tourists from Wuhan. And by the middle of February, 355 people aboard the Diamond Princess cruise ship had tested positive. About a third of the infected passengers and staff had no symptoms... [P]ublic health officials saw danger in promoting the risk of silent spreaders. If quarantining sick people and tracing their contacts could not reliably contain the disease, governments might abandon those efforts altogether... Plus, preventing silent spreading required aggressive, widespread testing that was then impossible for most countries. "It's not like we had some easy alternative," said Dr. Libman, the Canadian doctor. "The message was basically: 'If this is true, we're in trouble.'" European health officials say they were reluctant to acknowledge silent spreading because the evidence was trickling in and the consequences of a false alarm would have been severe... As the research coalesced in March, European health officials were convinced. "OK, this is really a big issue," Dr. Agoritsa Baka, a senior European Union doctor, recalled thinking. "It plays a big role in the transmission..." Since then, the C.D.C., governments around the world and, finally, the World Health Organization have recommended that people wear masks in public.

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Whatever Happened to the 'Flash Crash' Trader?

Slashdot - Sun, 28/06/2020 - 01:34
British stock trader Navinder Sarao was accused of helping cause a $1 trillion stock market crash in 2010. But the rest of his story is now being told in a new book titled Flash Crash: A Trading Savant, a Global Manhunt, and the Most Mysterious Market Crash in History. "I think that he was a gamer and, for him, markets were honestly the ultimate form of game," author Liam Vaughan tells the New York Post: Sarao was more concerned with the rise of high-frequency trading, a method of buying and selling that used powerful computers and algorithms to execute trades in fractions of seconds. The speed allowed (mostly) large, monied firms to beat others to a trade, thereby securing a better price. Sarao bristled at the unfairness. He began engaging in what is known as "spoofing." He hired software developers to write programs that would allow him to place millions of dollars worth of orders, then — after other traders had reacted to his potential trade — abruptly cancel his order. The deception allowed Sarao to nudge the market higher or lower and reap the benefits. His trading habits eventually drew scrutiny from the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, earning him cautionary letters. Sarao, however, phoned the authorities and told them to "kiss my ass." Then on May 6, 2010, Sarao logged on from his bedroom and began furiously trading, attempting to capitalize on the volatility still roiling the markets after the 2008 crisis. In the final two hours before he logged off at 7:40 p.m. London time, the trader had bought and sold 62,077 e-mini contracts — with a combined value of $3.4 billion. A minute later, markets tumbled with a "velocity and intensity it never had before," Vaughan writes... Sarao was later arrested and extradited to the United States, only the second person ever charged with spoofing. It's unclear how much his actions contributed to America's so-called "flash crash." The US government contends that he was partially responsible, while some financial experts disagree, seeing him as a Robin Hood whose actions only hurt wealthy companies. But whatever happened to Sarao? The Post writes that he cooperated with authorities, and the answer ultimately came quietly in January, reports CNBC: Despite facing as much as eight years in prison, Federal Judge Virginia Kendall sentenced Sarao — who suffers from severe Asperger's — to just one year of supervised release. Court documents submitted by Sarao's legal team described him as a "singularly sunny, childlike, guileless, trusting person," who lived off social security payments and played hour after hour of video games in his childhood bedroom. Sarao, who spent four months in the U.K.'s Wandsworth Prison before his extradition to the United States, has forfeited about $7.6 million in gains made from trading. U.S. authorities claimed Sarao made more than $70 million between 2009 and 2014 from his bedroom — much of it legal. However, it has been reported that he has lost almost all of his money after investing in fraudulent scams. "I think justice was done," the new book's author tells the Post, "because the message was out there that someone shouldn't be thinking about doing what Nav was doing."

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Apple Will Force Apps to Ask for Permission Before Tracking Users

Slashdot - Sun, 28/06/2020 - 00:34
"Apple Inc. will force iPhone apps to get permission from users before tracking them," reports Bloomberg, "dealing a potentially major blow to app developers who rely on advertisements to make money." Apple facilitates tracking on its phones by providing app developers with unique numbers for each user, something security advocates have long said contradicts the company's frequent statements in support of privacy. The update to the iPhone's operating system doesn't do away with the tracking system, but makes it much more apparent to users and gives them more opportunities to turn it off. Previously, controls were buried in the phone's settings menu. "Considering the iPhone's user base, this is a very big change. It certainly improves user privacy," said Lukasz Olejnik, an independent privacy researcher and consultant. "Users at large encountering such pop-ups in just about any application may potentially start asking questions about the use of their data. It will force the industry to reconsider some of the core assumptions."

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AWS Launches 'Amazon Honeycode', a No-Code App Building Service

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 23:34
"Amazon Web Services on Wednesday launched Amazon Honeycode, a fully-managed service that enables companies to build mobile and web applications without any programming," reports ZDNet: Customers can use the service to build apps that leverage an AWS-built database, such as a simple task-tracking application or a more complex project management app to manage multiple workflows. "Customers have told us that the need for custom applications far outstrips the capacity of developers to create them," AWS VP Larry Augustin said in a statement. Low-code and no-code tools have been growing in popularity in recent years, enabling people with little or no coding experience to be able to build the applications they need. Other major cloud companies like Salesforce offer low-code app builders. With IT teams stretched thin during the COVID-19 pandemic, low-code tools can prove particularly useful. Customers "can get started by selecting a pre-built template, where the data model, business logic, and applications are pre-defined and ready-to-use..." Amazon explains in a press release. "Or, they can import data into a blank workbook, use the familiar spreadsheet interface to define the data model, and design the application screens with objects like lists, buttons, and input fields. "Builders can also add automations to their applications to drive notifications, reminders, approvals, and other actions based on conditions. Once the application is built, customers simply click a button to share it with team members."

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Journalist's Phone Hacked: All He Had To Do Was Visit a Website. Any Website.

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 22:34
The iPhone that Moroccan journalist Omar Radi used to contact his sources also allowed his government to spy on him (and at least two other journalists), reports the Toronto Star, citing new research from Amnesty International. Slashdot reader Iwastheone shares their report: Their government could read every email, text and website visited; listen to every phone call and watch every video conference; download calendar entries, monitor GPS coordinates, and even turn on the camera and microphone to see and hear where the phone was at any moment. Yet Radi was trained in encryption and cyber security. He hadn't clicked on any suspicious links and didn't have any missed calls on WhatsApp — both well-documented ways a cell phone can be hacked. Instead, a report published Monday by Amnesty International shows Radi was targeted by a new and frighteningly stealthy technique. All he had to do was visit one website. Any website. Forensic evidence gathered by Amnesty International on Radi's phone shows that it was infected by "network injection," a fully automated method where an attacker intercepts a cellular signal when it makes a request to visit a website. In milliseconds, the web browser is diverted to a malicious site and spyware code is downloaded that allows remote access to everything on the phone. The browser then redirects to the intended website and the user is none the wiser. Two more human rights advocates in Morocco have been targeted by the same malware, the article reports.

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The creator of NBA Jam confesses that the Detroit Pistons were cheating against the Chicago Bulls all along

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 21:56

NBA Jam was one of my favourite games on the SNES. It's 2v2, over-the-top, arcade basketball action fuelled me during the mid-Nineties, and I loved playing against friends. Back then, NBA Jam felt like a fun, fair game of virtual basketball. It turns out that was not the case.

At least, it was not the case when two specific teams played each other - and in one specific circumstance.

In a fun video interview with Ars Technica, below, NBA Jam designer and lead programmer Mark Turmell reveals the ugly truth: the Detroit Pistons would cheat against the Chicago Bulls.

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Categories: Video Games

After 19 Years, Python May Finally Get a Pattern Matching Syntax

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 21:34
"A proposal under consideration by Python's development team would finally bring pattern matching statements to the language," reports InfoWorld: The creators of the Python language are mulling a new proposal, PEP 622, that would finally bring a pattern matching statement syntax to Python. The new pattern matching statements would give Python programmers more expressive ways of handling structured data, without having to resort to workarounds... While Python has lacked a native syntax for pattern matching, it has been possible to emulate it with if/elif/else chains or a dictionary lookup. PEP 622 proposes a method for matching an expression against a number of kinds of patterns using a match/case syntax: match something: case 0 | 1 | 2: print("Small number") case [] | [_]: print("A short sequence") case str() | bytes(): print("Something string-like") case _: print("Something else") Supported pattern match types include literals, names, constant values, sequences, a mapping (basically, the presence of a key-value pair in the expression), a class, a mixture of the above, or any of those plus conditional expressions. Any matches that are ambiguous or impossible to resolve will throw an exception at runtime... If an object implements the __match__ method, it can be used to test if it matches a given class pattern and return an appropriate response. One of the authors of the new PEP was Python creator Guido van Rossum, according to the article -- and he'd drafted an earlier pattern matching proposal back in 2006 that was rejected (following the rejection of an earlier proposal in 2001). The article also notes that many aspects of this PEP were inspired by the way pattern matching works in Rust and Scala.

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This is why it's probably best not to teabag in Call of Duty: Warzone

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 21:01

It's probably best not to teabag in Call of Duty: Warzone - as this wonderful couple of clips prove.

Twitch streamer Webzy thought he had the game in the bag. He had downed the last enemy and moved in for a cheeky teabag.

But, mid-teabag, his opponent sprung back into life to fire back. Webzy couldn't react quickly enough and died, handing the Warzone win to his opponent.

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Categories: Video Games

Firefox 79 Stable Will Let Users Test Unreleased Features Using 'Experiments'

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 20:34
Both Edge and Chrome already allow users to try unreleased, experimental features (by typing about:flags in the address bar). Soon there'll be a similar "Firefox Experiments" option starting in Firefox 79. Slashdot reader techtsp shares this report from the Windows Club: Mozilla has a dedicated Experimental Features page on MDN just for that. But limiting experimental features to Firefox's Nightly channel has a limitation: A fairly limited number of "curious" users. Now, extending some of these experimental features to stable releases will increase the scope of "Firefox Experiments" as a whole... This option will allow users to enable/disable experimental features under Preferences... [In Firefox 79] Navigate to Preferences by entering about:preferences in the browser's address bar or click the gear icon and got to "Preferences." Discover and set browser.preferences.experimental to True. Now, you should be able to see the "Firefox Experiments" menu under Firefox 79 Preferences.

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Command & Conquer Remastered Collection soundtrack released

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 20:14

The Command & Conquer Remastered Collection original soundtrack has been released across various streaming platforms.

You can listen to composer Frank Klepacki's wonderful 90s-infused video game music on Spotify, Apple Music/iTunes, Amazon Music, and YouTube Music.

There are 46 tracks for Tiberian Dawn and 51 tracks for Red Alert. Frank Klepacki and his band The Tiberian Sons recorded 22 new renditions in a separate playlist. That's a lot of Command & Conquer music!

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Categories: Video Games

Ahead of the launch of Xbox Series X, Microsoft closes its physical stores across the world

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 19:41

Microsoft will close its physical stores across the world, it has announced.

It said it will "reimagine" its flagships (London, New York City, Sydney, and its Redmond campus location), as Microsoft Experience Centers that do not sell products. But Microsoft's 80+ standard retail units will close.

The company said its retail staff will work from Microsoft's corporate facilities to provide sales remotely, as well as training and support. According to a report by The Verge, no layoffs are planned.

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Categories: Video Games

Apple 'Suddenly Catches TikTok Secretly Spying On Millions Of iPhone Users', Claims Forbes

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 19:34
In February, Reddit's CEO called TikTok "fundamentally parasitic," according to a report on TechCrunch, adding "it's always listening, the fingerprinting technology they use is truly terrifying, and I could not bring myself to install an app like that on my phone... I actively tell people, 'Don't install that spyware on your phone.'" TikTok called his remarks "baseless accusations made without a shred of evidence." But now Apple "has fixed a serious problem in iOS 14, due in the fall, where apps can secretly access the clipboard on users' devices..." reports Forbes cybersecurity contributor Zak Doffman, noting that one of the biggest offenders it revealed still turns out to be TikTok: Worryingly, one of the apps caught snooping [in March] by security researchers Talal Haj Bakry and Tommy Mysk was China's TikTok. Given other security concerns raised about the app, as well as broader worries given its Chinese origins, this became a headline issue. At the time, TikTok owner Bytedance told me the problem related to the use of an outdated Google advertising SDK that was being replaced. Well, maybe not. With the release of the new clipboard warning in the beta version of iOS 14, now with developers, TikTok seems to have been caught abusing the clipboard in a quite extraordinary way. So it seems that TikTok didn't stop this invasive practice back in April as promised after all. Worse, the excuse has now changed. According to TikTok, the issue is now "triggered by a feature designed to identify repetitive, spammy behavior," and has told me that it has "already submitted an updated version of the app to the App Store removing the anti-spam feature to eliminate any potential confusion." In other words: We've been caught doing something we shouldn't, we've rushed out a fix... iOS users can relax, knowing that Apple's latest safeguard will force TikTok to make the change, which in itself shows how critical a fix this has been. For Android users, though, there is no word yet as to whether this is an issue for them as well. Long-time Slashdot reader schwit1 also shares an online rumor from an anonymous Redditor (with a 7-year-old account) who claims to be a software engineer who's reverse engineered TikTok's software and learned more scary things, concluding that TikTok is a "data collection service that is thinly-veiled as a social network." So far the most reputable news outlets that have repeated his allegations are Bored Panda, Stuff, Hot Hardware, and Illinois radio station WBNQ.

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Bots Still Trying To Reach Cyberbunker 2.0 Addresses 9 Months After Raid

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 18:34
Long-time Slashdot reader UnderAttack writes: In September last year, German police raided what was known as "Cyberbunker 2.0", a former cold war nuclear bunker turned into a "bulletproof" hosting facility. A student of the internet security-training company SANS Technology Institute analyzed traffic reaching out for the former Cyberbunker's IP address space. Over two weeks, thousands of bots called "home" still looking for a command and control server. They also observed a number of phishing sites, as well as an odd ad network still directing users to the Cyberbunker's IPs. You can find the summary here.

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Turn 10 bans the Confederate flag in Forza

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 17:57

Turn 10 has banned the Confederate flag in the Forza games.

A tweet by the official Forza support page said the use of the Confederate flag on any car and under any circumstances will be categorised as a "notorious iconography" in developer Turn 10's enforcement guidelines, "and its use will result in a ban".

Forza's enforcement guidelines for user generated content lists what it deems notorious iconography. The Confederate flag joins swastikas, SS-runes, Wolfsangel, Black Sun, Arrow Cross, Iron Cross (with contextual clues), and the Rising Sun on the banned list.

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Categories: Video Games

Charter Seeks FCC Permission to Impose Data Caps and Charge Fees to Video Services

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 17:34
"Charter Communications has asked federal regulators for permission to impose data caps on broadband users and to seek interconnection payments from large online video providers, starting next year," writes Ars Technica. Long-time Slashdot reader Proudrooster shares their report: Charter, unlike other ISPs, isn't allowed to impose data caps and faces limits on charges for interconnection payments because of conditions applied to its 2016 purchase of Time Warner Cable. The conditions were imposed by the Federal Communications Commission for seven years and are scheduled to elapse in May 2023. Last week, Charter submitted a petition asking the FCC to let the conditions run out on May 18, 2021 instead. The FCC is seeking public comment on the petition... When it sought FCC permission for the merger, it told the FCC that it provides service "without any data caps, usage-based pricing, or modem fees" and that it "has been involved in no notable disputes over traffic management and has long practiced network neutrality." When contacted by Ars yesterday, Charter said it doesn't "currently" plan to impose data caps or change its interconnection policy, but it wants the option to do so.

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State of Decay 2's Green Zone is a "relaxed, accessible apocalypse"

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 17:16

State of Decay 2 can be a stressful experience, a survival zombie game that keeps players on their toes.

But an update adds a new difficulty level to Undead Labs' undead-packed game, dubbed the Green Zone - and it's here players will be able to let their hair down.

"Think of the Green Zone as a more relaxed, accessible apocalypse, designed for all those gamers who'd like to explore what's possible in State of Decay 2 without enduring quite so much stress," Undead Labs said in a post on State of Decay 2's Steam page.

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Categories: Video Games

Brand new Metal Slug game announced

Eurogamer - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 16:45

SNK has announced a brand new Metal Slug game - for mobiles.

The arcade series has been somewhat dormant for over a decade, with ports and re-releases filling the void left in the wake of the release of Metal Slug 7 in 2008.

But things are hotting up in the world of Metal Slug. There is a new console Metal Slug game in the works, apparently due out at some point in 2020, and today SNK announced Metal Slug Code: J (working title), a mobile game developed by Call of Duty: Mobile maker Timi Studios for Chinese megacorp Tencent.

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Categories: Video Games

Sweden Tries Out a New Status: Pariah State

Slashdot - Sat, 27/06/2020 - 16:34
Sweden's population is not quite twice the size of Norway's — yet Sweden has reported 21 times as many deaths from Covid-19, prompting many countries to close their borders to Sweden, reports the New York Times: Norway isn't the only Scandinavian neighbor barring Swedes from visiting this summer. Denmark and Finland have also closed their borders to Swedes, fearing that they would bring new coronavirus infections with them. While those countries went into strict lockdowns this spring, Sweden famously refused, and now has suffered roughly twice as many infections and five times as many deaths as the other three nations combined, according to figures compiled by The New York Times. While reporting differences can make comparisons inexact, the overall trend is clear, as is Sweden's new status as Scandinavia's pariah state... "When you see 5,000 deaths in Sweden and 230 in Norway, it is quite incredible," said Gro Harlem Brundtland, a former prime minister of Norway and the former director of the World Health Organization, during a digital lecture at the Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters in May... Swedes now find themselves with few options for moving about the European Union. Most countries in the bloc have reopened their borders to member nations, but only France, Italy, Spain and Croatia are welcoming Swedes without restrictions. On a popular Scandinavian radio program, a journalist with a leading Swedish paper complained about how Sweden was being treated by its neighboring countries, according to the Times. "We are supposed to sit here in our corner of shame, and the worst part is that you're savoring it." The BBC notes that just days later, on Wednesday, Sweden reported 1,610 new infections — roughly one infection for every 6,354 people in Sweden and its highest number of daily infections since the outbreak began.

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