AfterDawn: Tech news

News written by James Delahunty

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WATCH: Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay Trailer 2

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Oct 2018 7:49

WATCH: Red Dead Redemption 2 Gameplay Trailer 2 The latest trailer for Rockstar Games' Red Dead Redemption 2 teases a first-person mode, endless activities, and madness.

It outlining all sorts of nefarious activities Arthur and the Van der Linde Gang can get involved in, including robbing trains, encountering rival gangs and outlaws, evading cunning lawmen and lots more in a world that is deep, teeming with life and very menacing.

The trailer shows us more of the improved Dead Eye system that was so well received in the first Red Dead Redemption title eight years ago. Additionally, we get a nice tease of viewing the world in first-person mode for those who are fond of first-person shooters.

Red Dead Redemption 2 will land on the Xbox One and PlayStation 4 console systems on October 26.


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Amazon raises workers' wages following criticism

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Oct 2018 7:32

Amazon raises workers' wages following criticism Amazon workers are to get a pay increase after criticism from multiple angles about workers' pay and conditions.

Amazon became the second company in history (after Apple) to reach a valuation topping $1 trillion this year. While the news was likely celebrated at Amazon, it was also met with concerns over the low pay rate for some Amazon employees and the conditions at some of its warehouses.

In a rare glimpse of agreement on America's left and right, both the Trump White House and Bernie Sanders welcomed the move by Amazon. Senator Sanders and President Trump had both publicly attacked Amazon for workers wages and for how much tax the firm pays.

From November, Amazon's lowest-paid workers in the United States will receive at least $15 per hour. In the UK, the minimum wage at Amazon will rise from £8 per hour to £9.50 per hour or £10.50 per hour in London. Around a quarter of a million workers will benefit from the increase in the United States.

Amazon has had widespread strikes by workers across Europe over conditions at factories too.

Source: BBC News

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Alex Jones sues PayPal for 'viewpoint discrimination'

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Oct 2018 7:12

Alex Jones sues PayPal for 'viewpoint discrimination' InfoWars founder claims that PayPal is abusing its market position to discriminate against conservative and right-wing viewpoints.

InfoWars founder Alex Jones has filed a lawsuit against PayPal after the firm halted processing of payments to the media outlet in September. PayPal cited its services policies in making its decision, accusing InfoWars of promoting violence and hate.

InfoWars users and fans had paid for InfoWars branded goods using the PayPal service up until this point. According to Jones, PayPal's actions are a dangerous precedent and an example of viewpoint discrimination.

"It is at this point well known that large tech companies, located primarily in Silicon Valley, are discriminating against politically conservative entities and individuals, including banning them from social media platforms such as Twitter, based solely on their political and ideological viewpoints," the complaint states.

InfoWars and Jones' personal social media accounts were targeted in recent months in a coordinated takedown that affected podcasts, personal pages and apps.

Source: BBC News

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Facebook: Hacked logins not used on third-party sites

Written by James Delahunty @ 03 Oct 2018 7:04

Facebook: Hacked logins not used on third-party sites Facebook has some reassuring news for the up to 50 million users affected by a data breach disclosed last week by the social media giant.

Last week, Facebook disclosed that a data breach affected up to 50 million users of its social network. The news set off alarms all over and concerns about how the stolen data may have been used, or is being used. One possibility is that hackers had used the "Facebook Login" feature to access third-party websites for which users signed in with their Facebook credentials.

Thankfully, there is not yet any evidence that this is the case.

"We analyzed third-party access during the time of the attack we have identified. That investigation has found no evidence that the attackers accessed any apps using Facebook Login," Facebook security VP, Guy Rosen, told the Reuters News Agency.

Facebook set out the possible negative consequences of the data breach in full when it disclosed it last week. This is thought to be due to the European Union's GDPR regulation, which would have imposed heavy penalties on Facebook if it was found to have failed to give a full picture to affected users. However, a side effect of this well-meaning and reasoned regulation is that Facebook painted the worst possible scenario after the disclosure.


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SpaceX reveals identity of private Moon passenger, dates and details the mission

Written by James Delahunty @ 17 Sep 2018 22:05

SpaceX reveals identity of private Moon passenger, dates and details the mission SpaceX has announced the world's first passenger to fly around the Moon on the upcoming BFR (Big Falcon Rocket), as well as detailing the mission and dating it.

At a conference on Monday evening, SpaceX detailed its first private passenger mission to the Moon. Yusaku Maezawa, a private Japanese citizen and entrepreneur, will be the first person to fly beyond the Moon since the early 1970s. If all goes well, he will be blasted toward the moon on board a giant BFR rocket and space vehicle.

Maezawa has an estimated net worth of $3.6 billion since 2017.

"I choose to go to the Moon," Maezawa announced to the press present to applause. He spoke at the SpaceX conference about how he will invite artists from around the world to join him on the BFR mission, as he would rather not go alone. He calls the project #dearMoon. The mission is set for 2023 and between 6-8 additional artists will be flown to the moon as long as they commit to creating something inspired by the mission when they get back.

The crew will spend a week in space in the half million mile round-trip.


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Stranger Things: Netflix sued for copyright infringement over photograph use

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Sep 2018 22:11

Stranger Things: Netflix sued for copyright infringement over photograph use Netflix has been hit with a lawsuit by a photographer over the alleged unauthorized use of a supercell photograph in Stranger Things and How It Ends.

Sean R. Heavey is a photographer from Montana. In 2010, he tracked a storm for hours as it crossed into Montana, taking four vertical panoramic photos together into one photo. The resulting storm cell image has been used in publications all over the world.

While watching an episode of Netflix' hit show Stranger Things, Heavey noticed something oddly similar about a cloud formation that is shown. Later, in an episode of Beyond Stranger Things, a concept art photo appears to be built from his photo of the storm cell from 2010.

Heavey took to Facebook to show the following comparison and ask if others thought the cloud formation used in Stranger Things is his photograph.


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Apple explains removal of movies from iTunes library

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Sep 2018 21:52

Apple explains removal of movies from iTunes library Apple has responded to a tweet by a customer last week lambasting the company after three movies seemingly disappeared from his iTunes library.

In a tweet, Anders Gonçalves da Silva shared a support e-mail he received from Apple after he complained that three films he had previously purchased had disappeared from his iTunes library.

The response seemed to imply that because the films were no longer available in the iTunes store that the customer could no longer download them. Instead, he seemed to have been offered some free rentals.

Here is the original tweet:


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Report: Fortnite causing divorces in UK

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Sep 2018 21:37

Report: Fortnite causing divorces in UK Epic Games' smash hit Fortnite is being increasingly cited as a reason for divorce, according to figures from the UK.

Fortnite has become something of a cultural phenomenon for the games business. Fortnite Battle Royale attracted more than 125 million players in a year, and the title is generating hundreds of millions of dollars per month. Players have spoken of how addictive the game can be, and it has even generated compilation videos of "Fortnite Rage" where players lose their minds and smash up their equipment. To be fair, it's not the first title to generate such compilations.

It's not hard to imagine then that Fortnite could be a cause for the breakdown of a relationship. Excessive gaming has long been a factor in the breakdown of relationships between couples. In the UK, there are some figures to show that Fortnite can test the whole "til death do us part" thing.

Divorce-Online has reported that it received 200 divorce petitions that cite addiction to Fortnite, and to other games, as a reason that a divorce is being sought.

"These numbers equate to roughly 5% of the 4,665 petitions we have handled since the beginning of the year and as one of the largest filers of divorce petitions in the UK, is a pretty good indicator," Divorce-Online said on its website.


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Prison sentence sought for Deadpool pirate

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Sep 2018 21:19

Prison sentence sought for Deadpool pirate A man who has admitted to downloading a bootleg copy of Deadpool and then sharing it online could face a prison term.

The Fresno, California resident downloaded a bootleg copy of Deadpool shortly after it debuted in theaters over two years ago and then shared it on Facebook. As a result, the copy of the film was viewed more than 6,386,456 times by Facebook users.

Following his arrested, the individual signed a plea agreement with the government in which he admitted to pirating the popular film and sharing it on the social media platform. He pleaded guilty to a Class A misdemeanor which carried a maximum prison term of a year.

However, the government is recommending a six-month stint.

"[T]he government recommends the high-end sentence of six months' imprisonment, to be followed by a one-year term of supervised release, and a mandatory special assessment of $100," the sentencing position reads.

To justify the request, the government argues that the individual broke the law in a brazen and public manner. It noted, for example, that many users in the comments on Facebook pointed out to him that he was committing a crime, but he scoffed at the warnings.

"Defendant even created a Facebook group for the purpose of illegally sharing movies with others, posting 'EVERYBODY JOIN' in relation to the Facebook group he created called 'BOOTLEG MOVIES'," the government notes.


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Fire breaks out at Tesla's Gigafactory

Written by James Delahunty @ 16 Sep 2018 21:15

Fire breaks out at Tesla's Gigafactory Another Tesla facility has experienced a fire and this time it is at the firm's ambitious Gigafactory.

Tesla's enormous (and still being constructed) Gigafactory in Nevada is used to make electric motors and battery packs for the company's all-electric Model 3 vehicle. Late on Saturday night, the local fire department responded to a fire at the facility.

Employees were evacuated and production was completely halted across the facility as a precaution. Tesla has said that nobody was injured in the incident, which is good news. Early on Sunday morning, the fire department turned the scene back over to Tesla for cleanup and repairs, and production resumed at the facility.

Last month, a Tesla factory in California also experienced a fire. The fire at the Gigafactory reportedly occurred in the cooling tube coating oven, which is on the third floor of the facility. Sprinklers managed to suppress it and the fire department made the facility safe.

Tesla has been working hard to push up its Model 3 production numbers and expects to produce between 50,000 and 55,000 vehicles in the third quarter. It also expects to turn a profit in the second half of 2018.

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Fingerprint sensing comes to Chrome on Android, Mac

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Sep 2018 15:57

Fingerprint sensing comes to Chrome on Android, Mac The latest beta of Google Chrome provides access to fingerprint sensing hardware so it can be used by web services.

The Web Authentication API enables fingerprint sensing features for Chrome. This could be used, for example, for two-factor authentication by web services to enhance security.

In addition, the latest beta also adds "shape identification" which relies on multiples APIs to detect faces, barcodes and Latin text in images across the web.

Google has also beefed up its push for HTTPS by displaying a red "not secure" warning when a user enters an e-mail or password into a site without HTTPS enabled. It also will exit full-screen mode when dialog boxes appear. This change is designed to catch the attention of the user to ensure they get the proper context of the decision they are being asked to make.

More info: Chromium Blog

via: Engadget

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SpaceX to name first Moon tourist on Monday

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Sep 2018 15:51

SpaceX to name first Moon tourist on Monday SpaceX has signed up its first private passenger which it will fly around the Moon using its upcoming BFR rocket.

Previously the rocket-maker had planned to send two private tourists around the Moon this year in a human-rated Dragon capsule using its new Falcon Heavy rocket. However, SpaceX has since dropped plans for crewed missions using the Falcon Heavy as it shifts its focus to the BFR. It can ferry astronauts to the International Space Station using the Falcon 9 Block V which is currently seeking human rating.

On Monday, SpaceX will announce details of the BFR's first private passenger Moon mission and seems set to identify who is flying "and why". It will be the furthest humans have traveled from Earth since the 1970s if the mission goes ahead.

SpaceX' BFR, or Big Falcon Rocket, is am ambitious super-heavy-lift rocket/spaceship system that SpaceX hopes to replace the Falcon 9 and Falcon Heavy with. It can carry payloads large enough to open up Moon missions, and then Mars mission. It is also intended to be fully reusable. At the moment, only the Falcon 9 booster and the Dragon cargo capsule are routinely reused by SpaceX.

According to SpaceX CEO, Elon Musk, the spaceship part of BFR could be ready for short hopper flights by next year. Test flights of the system will be a few years off.


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Kodi users fall victim to malware due to malicious add-on

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Sep 2018 15:48

Kodi users fall victim to malware due to malicious add-on Some Kodi users have been infected with a crypto-mining malware due to a malicious dependancy distributed with a popular add-on.

According to ESET, the malicious dependency had been distributed by a recently shut down add-on repository in the Netherlands called XvBMC-NL. However, it is likely that XvBMC-NL was an unwitting participant in its distribution as it seemed to originally show up on a repo for Bubbles, later renamed Gaia.

Specifically, the add-on affected is script.module.simplejson, which is a legitimate add-on that other add-ons depend on to work properly. The latest version of the add-on is v3.4.0, whereas the malicious version is v3.4.1. The malicious version reportedly showed up on the Bubbles repo back in December 2017 and was later removed from the newer Gaia report in April 2018.

The XvBMC-NL repo shut down in Holland was likely still serving the malicious version unwittingly. The problem arises when a user installed the repo and automatic updates installed the seemingly newer version, which was the malicious version.

You can easily check if you have the Add-On on your Kodi if you use the media center. In the Kodi 17 interface, open Add-Ons. Then click the Settings button (cog wheel). Open "Manage Dependencies", and then scroll down to see if SimpleJSON is installed. The version will be shown beside the add-on. If you have v3.4.1, then you have the malicious add-on and should install and run an anti-virus software to find and remove the crypto-miner it installs.


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North Korea: Sony hacker does not exist

Written by James Delahunty @ 14 Sep 2018 15:44

North Korea: Sony hacker does not exist North Korea has responded to charges against a hacker in the secretive country by insisting that the identified man does not exist.

The U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) charged a North Korean man in connection to the hacking of Sony Pictures in late 2014, and also with the spread of WannaCry malware last year. WannaCry affected business and government systems around the world. In the UK, thousands of health appointments had to be canceled as the malware affected computer systems in the National Health Service (NHS)

North Korea is claiming that the identified man doesn't exist at all and warns that the accusations against the country could have a negative effect on relations with the United States.

The man "is a non-existent entity, and furthermore, the act of cyber crimes mentioned by the Justice Department has nothing to do with us," North Korea's Ministry of Foreign Affairs, said in a statement to North Korean news agency KCNA.

Sony Pictures was hacked in 2014 ahead of the planned release of The Interview, a comedy starring Seth Rogan that depicts a U.S. plot to assassinate Supreme Leader Kim Jong Un.

AfterDawn: News

YouTube Kids gives parents more control over content

Written by James Delahunty @ 13 Sep 2018 18:44

YouTube Kids gives parents more control over content The YouTube Kids app now provides parents with more control over the content that their children can see.

The most important addition to the YouTube Kids app was initially announced in April. It is parent-approved content, and it allows parents to handpick every video and channel available to their child in the app. It is available today globally on Android and coming soon to iOS.

For parents who want to enable this feature, open settings, go to the child's profile and select "approved content only." Now they're ready to start picking videos for their kids.

If this mode is enabled, then children will be unable to search for content. Parents can still search for content and can choose any video, channel or collection of channels they like by tapping the "+" button.

Another addition is the option to set the app to filter content for Older children, aimed at those aged between 8 and 12. It includes additional new content, like popular music and gaming videos. Parents can change between "Younger," "Older" and parent-approved content at any time.

As always, YouTube encourages parents to block and flag for review any content that they deem to be inappropriate for a child.

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