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What we're watching: '7 Days Out: League of Legends' - 18 Jan 2019 at 10:15am - This week reporter Nick Summers explores the sixth episode of Netflix's 7 Days Out docuseries. Coming from the producers of Chef's Table and Last Chance U,'this particular episode covers themes of tragedy and perseverance against the backdrop of espo...

Have Aliens Found Us? A Harvard Astronomer on the Mysterious Interstellar Obj... - 18 Jan 2019 at 9:45am - On October 19, 2017, astronomers at the University of Hawaii spotted a strange object travelling through our solar system, which they later described as "a red and extremely elongated asteroid." It was the first interstellar object to be detected within our solar system; the scientists named it 'Oumuamua, the Hawaiian word for a scout or messenger. The following October, Avi Loeb, the chair of Harvard's astronomy department, co-wrote a paper (with a Harvard postdoctoral fellow, Shmuel Bialy) that examined 'Oumuamua's "peculiar acceleration" and suggested that the object "may be a fully operational probe sent intentionally to Earth's vicinity by an alien civilization." Loeb has long been interested in the search for extraterrestrial life, and he recently made further headlines by suggesting that we might communicate with the civilization that sent the probe. Isaac Chotiner of The New Yorker has interviewed Loeb, who was frustrated that scientists saw 'Oumuamua too late in its journey to photograph the object. "My motivation for writing the paper is to alert the community to pay a lot more attention to the next visitor," he told Chotiner. An excerpt from the interview: The New Yorker: Your explanation of why 'Oumuamua might be an interstellar probe may be hard for laypeople to understand. Why might this be the case, beyond the fact that lots of things are possible? Loeb: There is a Scientific American article I wrote where I summarized six strange facts about 'Oumuamua. The first one is that we didn't expect this object to exist in the first place. We see the solar system and we can calculate at what rate it ejected rocks during its history. And if we assume all planetary systems around other stars are doing the same thing, we can figure out what the population of interstellar objects should be. That calculation results in a lot of possibilities, but the range is much less than needed to explain the discovery of 'Oumuamua. There is another peculiar fact about this object. When you look at all the stars in the vicinity of the sun, they move relative to the sun, the sun moves relative to them, but only one in five hundred stars in that frame is moving as slow as 'Oumuamua. You would expect that most rocks would move roughly at the speed of the star they came from. If this object came from another star, that star would have to be very special. [...]The New Yorker: Hold on. "'Not where is the lack of evidence so that I can fit in any hypothesis that I like?' " [Bailer-Jones, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy, in Heidelberg, Germany, has identified four possible home stars for 'Oumuamua, and was asked to respond to Loeb's light-sail theory by NBC.] Loeb: Well, it's exactly the approach that I took. I approached this with a scientific mind, like I approach any other problem in astronomy or science that I work on. The point is that we follow the evidence, and the evidence in this particular case is that there are six peculiar facts. And one of these facts is that it deviated from an orbit shaped by gravity while not showing any of the telltale signs of cometary outgassing activity. So we don't see the gas around it, we don't see the cometary tail. It has an extreme shape that we have never seen before in either asteroids or comets. We know that we couldn't detect any heat from it and that it's much more shiny, by a factor of ten, than a typical asteroid or comet. All of these are facts. I am following the facts. Last year, I wrote a paper about cosmology where there was an unusual result, which showed that perhaps the gas in the universe was much colder than we expected. And so we postulated that maybe dark matter has some property that makes the gas cooler. And nobody cares, nobody is worried about it, no one says it is not science. Everyone says that is mainstream -- to consider dark matter, a substance we have never seen. That's completely fine. It doesn't bother anyone. But when you mention the possibility that there could be equipment out there that is coming from another civilization -- which, to my mind, is much less speculative, because we have already sent things into space -- then that is regarded as unscientific. But we didn't just invent this thing out of thin air. The reason we were driven to put in that sentence was because of the evidence, because of the facts. If someone else has a better explanation, they should write a paper about it rather than just saying what you said.

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Lightning's $13,000 electric motorbike boasts a top speed of 150mph - 18 Jan 2019 at 9:35am - Lightning Motorcycles, maker of the land speed record-breaking LS-218, has announced its first mass-market electric motorbike. Starting at $12,998, the "Lightning Strike" will be capable of a 150-mile range, 150 mph top speed (that's faster than the...

That 773M Password 'Megabreach' is Years Old - 18 Jan 2019 at 9:06am - Security reporter Brian Krebs writes: My inbox and Twitter messages positively lit up today with people forwarding stories from Wired and other publications about a supposedly new trove of nearly 773 million unique email addresses and 21 million unique passwords that were posted to a hacking forum. A story in The Guardian breathlessly dubbed it "the largest collection ever of breached data found." But in an interview with the apparent seller, KrebsOnSecurity learned that it is not even close to the largest gathering of stolen data, and that it is at least two to three years old. The dump, labeled "Collection #1" and approximately 87GB in size, was first detailed earlier today by Troy Hunt, who operates the HaveIBeenPwned breach notification service. Hunt said the data cache was likely "made up of many different individual data breaches from literally thousands of different sources." KrebsOnSecurity sought perspective on this discovery from Alex Holden, CTO of Hold Security, a company that specializes in trawling underground spaces for intelligence about malicious actors and their stolen data dumps. Holden said the data appears to have first been posted to underground forums in October 2018, and that it is just a subset of a much larger tranche of passwords being peddled by a shadowy seller online.

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Alienware m15 review: Dell?s first thin gaming laptop doesn?t disappoint - 18 Jan 2019 at 9:00am - Alienware finally made a thin and light gaming laptop, and it was worth the wait. For years, Dell's gaming brand has been pumping out powerful, but hefty gaming machines. The Alienware m15, though, is its first step towards a truly modern laptop...

Epic Games will pause 'Fortnite' updates ahead of events to help pros - 18 Jan 2019 at 8:31am - Epic Games is changing the way it handles Fortnite patches to give pros more time to adjust to game-impacting tweaks. Competitive players can now expect updates to arrive a few days to a week prior to a tournament so as not to catch anyone by surpris...

How Riot rebranded its European esports league - 18 Jan 2019 at 8:00am - Esports is growing up. The stages and broadcast packages are becoming more glamorous to entice viewers and traditional advertisers. Teams are investing heavily in merchandise, coaching staff and training facilities. Players, meanwhile, are commanding...

Google Play Malware Used Phones' Motion Sensors To Conceal Itself - 18 Jan 2019 at 8:00am - An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Malicious apps hosted in the Google Play market are trying a clever trick to avoid detection -- they monitor the motion-sensor input of an infected device before installing a powerful banking trojan to make sure it doesn't load on emulators researchers use to detect attacks. The thinking behind the monitoring is that sensors in real end-user devices will record motion as people use them. By contrast, emulators used by security researchers -- and possibly Google employees screening apps submitted to Play -- are less likely to use sensors. Two Google Play apps recently caught dropping the Anubis banking malware on infected devices would activate the payload only when motion was detected first. Otherwise, the trojan would remain dormant. Security firm Trend Micro found the motion-activated dropper in two apps -- BatterySaverMobi, which had about 5,000 downloads, and Currency Converter, which had an unknown number of downloads. Google removed them once it learned they were malicious. The motion detection wasn't the only clever feature of the malicious apps. Once one of the apps installed Anubis on a device, the dropper used requests and responses over Twitter and Telegram to locate the required command and control server. Once Anubis was installed, it used a built-in keylogger that can steal users' account credentials. The malware can also obtain credentials by taking screenshots of the infected users' screen.

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Google Maps speed limit signs appear in more US cities - 18 Jan 2019 at 7:31am - Google Maps is showing the local speed limit to more users across the US. After debuting in the San Francisco Bay Area and Rio, Brazil, the feature has now been spotted in New York City, Los Angeles, and Minnesota, according to Android Police. It's u...

Mystery company buys Meta's augmented reality tech - 18 Jan 2019 at 6:57am - After a promising start, AR startup Meta's assets have been sold to an unknown buyer, reports TechCrunch and other sites. Meta fell on hard times in September after a promised $20 million investment from a Chinese company fell through over trade tens...

The Morning After: Google's smartwatch and Netflix vs. 'Fortnite' - 18 Jan 2019 at 6:40am - Hey, good morning! You look fabulous. Good Friday morning. No self-lacing sneakers today, but we do have a giant tractor. Less randomly, Google is buying Fossil's smartwatch tech arm, we take a closer look at the AIs that gamble and a robot dog pick...

Tesla is laying off 7 percent of its full-time employees - 18 Jan 2019 at 5:48am - Tesla CEO Elon Musk has announced that the company is laying off 7 percent of its full-time employees in an effort to cut costs and increase profits. He revealed that while Tesla will run a second consecutive quarterly profit, it will be less than wh...

Bandcamp will open its first record store in California next month - 18 Jan 2019 at 5:08am - Bands and indie artists using Bandcamp to sell their music and merchandise might soon see their creations sold in the service's first brick-and-mortar location. The online platform, known for providing musicians an online portal where they can sell d...

Motorola's RAZR Is Returning As a $1,500 Folding Smartphone - 18 Jan 2019 at 5:00am - A new report from The Wall Street Journal says the Motorola RAZR might be making a comeback as a $1,500 foldable screen smartphone, and it could launch as early as February. The Verge reports: The original RAZR was one of the most iconic cellphones ever made, and it seems that Motorola's parent company Lenovo is looking to cash in on that branding with an updated foldable phone (similar to the one that Samsung has teased for later this year). Per the WSJ, the new RAZR will be exclusive to Verizon in the U.S. with a planned February launch, although the device is still in testing and details have yet to be finalized. Also unknown is nearly any concrete information about the phone. There's no word yet on things like screen size, specifications, or even form factor. Will the revived RAZR just borrow the name but use a more traditional landscape folding display? Will Lenovo follow the original RAZR design and have some sort of super long vertically folding screen? According to the WSJ report, Lenovo is hoping to manufacture over 200,000 of the new RAZRs, which may seem optimistic for a $1,500 luxury smartphone. But considering that the (admittedly much cheaper) RAZR V3 model sold 130 million units over its lifespan, if lightning does manage to strike twice, that goal might not be so hard to hit.

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Verizon will give subscribers free access to anti-robocall tools - 18 Jan 2019 at 2:11am - Verizon will give all its subscribers free access to its spam alert and call blocking tools, so long as their phones can support the features. The carrier originally rolled out those tools over a year ago as part of its $3-per-month Call Filter add-o...

Netflix Says It Has 10 Percent of All TV Time In the US - 18 Jan 2019 at 2:00am - In its fourth-quarter 2018 earnings report, Netflix disclosed some of its viewership numbers for hits such as "Bird Box." "Overall, Netflix said it serves about 100 million hours of video per day, earning an estimated 10 percent of all time spent in front of the TV in the U.S.," reports CNBC. The company also said "Bird Box" reached 80 million member households in its first four weeks on the streaming service. Unfortunately, it still didn't show exactly how many people have viewed the content. From the report: By way of comparison, during the week of Jan. 7, the top TV show was an NFL playoff game between the New Orleans Saints and Dallas Cowboys on Sunday, Jan. 13, which drew 33 million viewers, according to Nielsen. The top scripted show, "The Big Bang Theory," drew over 13 million. But Netflix does not view TV as its only competition. In its earnings note, it also said games such as Fortnite compete for attention. Fortnite reportedly draws 200 million players per week. The company also highlighted several of its international projects. Netflix said its original from Spain, "Elite," was watched by over 20 million member households worldwide in the first four weeks. "Bodyguard," co-produced with BBC One; "Baby," an original series from Italy, and "Protector," an original series from Turkey, all reached more than 10 million member households in their first four weeks, the company said. There was still one notable hit that Netflix didn't disclose numbers for: "Black Mirror: Bandersnatch." Instead, the company discussed in its earnings letter that the technology used to create the movie, its first interactive choose-your-own-adventure-style flick, will be used for interactive projects in the future.

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Swiss watchmaker's latest jab at the Apple Watch has no hands - 17 Jan 2019 at 11:50pm - Swiss watchmaker H. Moser & Cie is no stranger to taking digs at the Apple Watch. Its latest form of social commentary, however, is rather unique. The company has unveiled the Swiss Alp Watch Concept Black, a mechanical watch that once more riffs...

Akai Force is for DJs and producers that want to ditch the laptop - 17 Jan 2019 at 10:32pm - Akai made its name around the early 90s thanks to its line of relatively affordable S-series samplers and the (now legendary) MPC. Since then, the company has continued to release new spins on those mainstays, the latest of which is the all-in-one Fo...

World's Oldest Periodic Table Chart Found At University of St Andrews In Scot... - 17 Jan 2019 at 10:30pm - An anonymous reader quotes a report from Phys.Org: A periodic table chart discovered at the University of St Andrews is thought to be the oldest in the world. The chart of elements, dating from 1885, was discovered in the University's School of Chemistry in 2014 by Dr. Alan Aitken during a clear out. The storage area was full of chemicals, equipment and laboratory paraphernalia that had accumulated since the opening of the chemistry department at its current location in 1968. Following months of clearing and sorting the various materials a stash of rolled up teaching charts was discovered. Within the collection was a large, extremely fragile periodic table that flaked upon handling. Suggestions that the discovery may be the earliest surviving example of a classroom periodic table in the world meant the document required urgent attention to be authenticated, repaired and restored. Mendeleev made his famous disclosure on periodicity in 1869, the newly unearthed table was rather similar, but not identical to Mendeleev's second table of 1871. However, the St Andrews table was clearly an early specimen. The table is annotated in German, and an inscription at the bottom left -- "Verlag v. Lenoir & Forster, Wien" -- identifies a scientific printer who operated in Vienna between 1875 and 1888. Another inscription -- "Lith. von Ant. Hartinger & Sohn, Wien" -- identifies the chart's lithographer, who died in 1890. Working with the University's Special Collections team, the University sought advice from a series of international experts. Following further investigations, no earlier lecture chart of the table appears to exist. Professor Eric Scerri, an expert on the history of the periodic table based at the University of California, Los Angeles, dated the table to between 1879 and 1886 based on the represented elements. For example, both gallium and scandium, discovered in 1875 and 1879 respectively, are present, while germanium, discovered in 1886, is not.

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Bioacoustic Devices Could Help Save Rainforests - 17 Jan 2019 at 9:10pm - "Researchers writing in Science argue that networked audio recording devices mounted in trees could be used to monitor wildlife populations and better evaluate whether conservation projects are working or not," writes Slashdot reader Damien1972. From the report: Compared to ground surveys and camera traps, the technology provides cheap continuous, real-time biodiversity monitoring at the landscape scale. Thousands of hours of recordings can now be collected with long-lasting batteries and stored digitally. In sites with solar power and cellular signal, multi-year recordings have now been transmitted and saved to scientists' databases. That's possible thanks to the steep drop in the price of equipment that enables researchers to collect more than short, isolated sound snapshots. The key, says co-authors Eddie Game of The Nature Conservancy and Zuzana Burivalova at Princeton University, is to build out enough data to understand how changing soundscapes reflect biodiversity on the ground. Game says he has found plenty of "high-conservation value" tropical forests that are devoid of key species. This is common in reserves set aside by owners of plantation crops such as palm oil. Algorithms can use these recording to learn the sound of healthy forests, and infer the composition of their species. In Papua New Guinea, for example, the researchers found soundscapes in fragmented forests were far quieter during the dawn and evening choruses, the short cacophonous periods during the changing of day and night. Once enough data has been collected [...] the technology can be applied to the zero deforestation commitments set by corporations.

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Twitter bug exposed private tweets of some Android users for five years - 17 Jan 2019 at 9:01pm - A bug that has plagued Twitter since 2014 exposed the tweets of some Android users that were intended to be private. Twitter first disclosed the issue on its Help Center today after apparently fixing the issue on January 14th. The bug didn't affect p...

Court Rejects FCC Request To Delay Net Neutrality Case - 17 Jan 2019 at 8:30pm - A federal appeals court denied the FCC's request to postpone oral arguments in a court battle over the agency's decision to repeal its net neutrality rules. The FCC had asked for the hearing to be postponed since the commission's workforce has largely been furloughed due to the partial government shutdown. The hearing remains set for February 1. The Hill reports: After the FCC repealed the rules requiring internet service providers to treat all web traffic equally in December of 2017, a coalition of consumer groups and state attorneys general sued to reverse the move, arguing that the agency failed to justify it. The FCC asked the three-judge panel from the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals to delay oral arguments out of "an abundance of caution" due to its lapse of funding. Net neutrality groups opposed the motion, arguing that there is an urgent need to settle the legal questions surrounding the FCC's order.

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Adding New DNA Letters Make Novel Proteins Possible - 17 Jan 2019 at 7:50pm - An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Economist: The fuzzy specks growing on discs of jelly in Floyd Romesberg's lab at Scripps Research in La Jolla look much like any other culture of E. coli. But appearances deceive -- for the dna of these bacteria is written in an alphabet that has six chemical letters instead of the usual four. Every other organism on Earth relies on a quartet of genetic bases: a (adenine), c (cytosine), t (thymine) and g (guanine). These fit together in pairs inside a double-stranded dna molecule, a matching t and c, g. But in 2014 Dr Romesberg announced that he had synthesised a new, unnatural, base pair, dubbed x and y, and slipped them into the genome of E. coli as well. Kept supplied with sufficient quantities of X and Y, the new cells faithfully replicated the enhanced DNA -- and, crucially, their descendants continued to do so, too. Since then, Dr Romesberg and his colleagues have been encouraging their new, "semisynthetic" cells to use the expanded alphabet to make proteins that could not previously have existed, and which might have properties that are both novel and useful. Now they think they have found one. In collaboration with a spin-off firm called Synthorx, they hope to create a less toxic and more effective version of a cancer drug called interleukin-2. Interleukin-2 works by binding to, and stimulating the activity of, immune-system cells called lymphocytes. The receptor it attaches itself to on a lymphocyte's surface is made of three units: alpha, beta and gamma. Immune cells with all three form a strong bond to interleukin-2, and it is this which triggers the toxic effect. If interleukin-2 can be induced to bind only to the beta and gamma units, however, the toxicity goes away. And that, experiments have shown, can be done by attaching polyethylene glycol (PEG) molecules to it. The trick is to make the PEGs stick. This is where the extended genetic alphabet comes in. Using it, Synthorx has created versions of interleukin-2 to which PEGs attach themselves spontaneously in just the right place to stop them linking to the alpha unit. Tested on mice, the modified molecule has exactly the desired anti-tumor effects. Synthorx plans to ask permission for human trials later this year.

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Oxford University halts donations and grants from Huawei - 17 Jan 2019 at 7:31pm - Huawei has faced increasing resistance from the US government and other countries, and now Oxford University has joined the growing number of groups distancing themselves from the company. The university, for now, will no longer accept research grant...

Jack Bogle, the Man Who Revolutionized Investing, Dies At 89 - 17 Jan 2019 at 7:10pm - Thelasko shares a report from MarketWatch: You can thank Thomas Edison for the light bulb casting light in your home, Henry Ford for your affordable, mass-produced car, and Apple's Steve Jobs for the astonishing computer in your pocket. And Jack Bogle, who died Wednesday [at the age of 89]. The low-cost mutual funds he helped pioneer at Vanguard aren't as sexy or dramatic as other inventions. And you can't really touch or see them. But their effect on everyday lives has been enormous. Bogle's low-cost index funds, and the imitators they have inspired, may have saved ordinary Main Street Americans a staggering $250 billion, or more, in mutual fund fees over the last forty years. According to the Investment Company Institute (ICI), there are now about 450 index mutual funds with around $3.4 trillion in assets. There are also 1,800 exchange-traded funds, also with around $3.4 trillion in assets.

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Twitter Bug Exposed Some Android Users' Protected Tweets For Years - 17 Jan 2019 at 6:30pm - Twitter disclosed on its Help Center page today that some Android users had their private tweets revealed for years due to a security flaw. "The issue caused the Twitter for Android app to disable the 'Protect your Tweets' setting for some Android users who made changes to their account settings, such as changing the email address associated with their account, between November 3rd, 2014 and January 14th, 2019," reports The Verge. From the report: Though the company says the issue was fixed earlier this week and that iOS or web users weren't affected, it doesn't yet know how many Android accounts were affected. Twitter says it's reached out to affected users and turned the setting back on for them, but it still recommends that users review their privacy settings to make sure it reflects their desired preferences.

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Google shows its bleak vision of search under new EU copyright laws - 17 Jan 2019 at 6:04pm - Google hasn't been shy about decrying the consequences of the EU's proposed Copyright Directive. Now, however, it's using stark visuals to illustrate its point. The company recently told Search Engine Land that it was experimenting with a version of...

Verizon Blames School Text Provider In Dispute Over 'Spam' Fee - 17 Jan 2019 at 5:50pm - Last week, Ars Technica reported that Verizon's new "spam" fee for texts sent from teachers to students might stop working on the network because of a dispute over texting fees that Verizon demanded from Remind, the company that operates the service. Now, it appears that Verizon "has backed down from its original position slightly, and ongoing negotiations could allow the free texting service to continue," reports Ars. From the report: As we reported Monday, the dispute involves Verizon and Remind, which makes a communication service used by teachers and youth sports coaches. Verizon is charging an additional fee, saying the money will be used to fund spam-blocking services. The fee would increase Remind's costs for sending texts to Verizon users from a few hundred thousand dollars to several million dollars per year, Remind said. Remind said it would absorb the cost in order to continue providing the paid version of its service. But most of Remind's 30 million users rely on the free version of the service, and Remind said it could no longer provide free text message notifications over Verizon's network unless the fee is reversed. Verizon issued an announcement today, titled "App provider Remind threatens to eliminate a free texting service for K-12 education organizations (which will cost it nothing)." The title reflects a new offer Verizon said it made on Tuesday, which would reverse the fee for K-12 users of the free Remind service. "Verizon will not charge Remind fees as long as they don't begin charging K-12 schools, educators, parents and students using its free text message service," Verizon said. "Despite this offer, made Tuesday, Remind has not changed its position that it will stop sending free texts to Verizon customers who use the service regarding school closures, classroom activities and other critical information." The report goes on to note that simply limiting the offer to K-12 users means the fee "would still be charged for preschools, day-care centers, and youth sports coaches who use the free Remind service."

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Walmart reportedly ditches planned streaming service to focus on Vudu - 17 Jan 2019 at 5:37pm - Walmart has abandoned its plans to launch a new streaming video service, according to a report from CNBC. Instead of throwing resources behind a new product, the company will instead focus its attention on expanding its existing video platform Vudu....

Facebook employees caught leaving five-star Amazon reviews for Portal - 17 Jan 2019 at 5:12pm - Facebook released its Portal and Portal+ smart displays two months ago, at the tail end of a scandal-ridden year in which data leaks and privacy incidents were abundant. So, the company faced a tough battle in convincing consumers to buy a smart disp...

Oklahoma Government Data Leak Exposes FBI Investigation Records, Millions of ... - 17 Jan 2019 at 5:10pm - An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Researchers have disclosed the existence of a server exposed to the public which not only contained terabytes of confidential government data but information relating to FBI investigations. According to UpGuard cybersecurity researchers Greg Pollock and Chris Vickery, the open storage server belonged to the Oklahoma Department of Securities (ODS), a U.S. government department which deals with securities cases and complaints. The database was found through the Shodan search engine which registered the system as publicly accessible on November 30, 2018. The UpGuard team stumbled across the database on December 7th and notified the department a day later after verifying what they were working with. To ODS' credit, the department removed public access to the server on the same day. In order to examine the security breach, the team was able to download the server's contents. The oldest records dated back to 1986 and the most recent was timestamped in 2016. In total, three terabytes of information representing millions of files. Contents ranged from personal data to system credentials and internal communication records. ODS said in a statement to ZDNet: "All state IP addresses, and many city and county addresses, are registered to OMES, but the agency has no visibility into the computer systems at the Oklahoma Department of Securities. For the past eight years the state has been working to consolidate all IT infrastructure under OMES and ODS had the option to consolidate its systems voluntarily and they did not."

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Sorry, MasterCard's free trial protection only applies to physical goods - 17 Jan 2019 at 4:52pm - Yesterday, MasterCard announced a new feature that would protect its customers from the automatic billing that kicks in after a free trial. The policy will require merchants to notify users about the end of the free trial, the cost of continuing with...

Google Just Spent $40 Million For Fossil's Secret Smartwatch Tech - 17 Jan 2019 at 4:33pm - Google and watchmaker Fossil Group today announced an agreement for the search giant to acquire some of Fossil's smartwatch technology and members of the research and development division responsible for creating it. From a report: The deal is worth roughly $40 million, and under the current terms Fossil will transfer a "portion" of its R&D team, the portion directly responsible for the intellectual property being sold, over to Google. As a result, Google will now have a dedicated team with hardware experience working internally on its WearOS software platform and potentially on new smartwatch designs as well.

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Air Force gives 3D-printed rocket company Cape Canaveral launch pad - 17 Jan 2019 at 4:23pm - Relativity Space, a startup that aspires to create 3D printed rockets, has secured a launch pad at Cape Canaveral. The company announced Thursday a five-year agreement with the US Air Force that will allow the company to operate out of Launch Complex...

Netflix points to 'Fortnite' as competition after its price hike - 17 Jan 2019 at 4:16pm - Just days after revealing higher prices coming to customers in the US, Netflix is revealing its Q4 2018 results, and it's already looking to the future. While a few years ago Netflix was the "Albanian army" coming to take on HBO, execs said in a lett...

Saturn Put A Ring On It Relatively Recently, Study Says - 17 Jan 2019 at 3:55pm - Saturn is famous for its lovely rings, but a new study suggests the planet has spent most of its 4.5 billion years without them. From a report: That's because the rings are likely only 10 million to 100 million years old, according to a newly published report in the journal Science that's based on findings from NASA's Cassini probe. Cassini spent some 13 years orbiting Saturn before plunging down and slamming into its atmosphere. During its final orbits, the spacecraft dove between the planet and its rings. That let scientists measure the gravitational effect of the rings and get a good estimate of the ring material's mass. What they found is that it's only about 40 percent of the mass of Saturn's moon Mimas, which is way smaller than Earth's moon. This small mass suggests that the rings are relatively young. That's because the rings seem to be made of extremely pure water ice, suggesting that the bright white rings have not existed long enough to be contaminated by the bombardment of messy, dirty comets that would be expected to occur over billions of years. Some scientists thought it was possible that darker debris from comets might lie beneath the bright ice, undetectable to their instruments, but this new study shows that isn't the case.

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Michael Cohen reportedly paid for fake Twitter flattery - 17 Jan 2019 at 3:54pm - Let's play a game of "would you rather." Would you rather an investigation upend criminal details about your past that land you in jail and put your business dealings under public scrutiny, or would you rather that investigation unearth the fact that...

ACLU sues US government over social media surveillance of immigrants - 17 Jan 2019 at 3:19pm - The ACLU has sued the federal government, naming the Department of Justice, the FBI, the Department of Homeland Security, ICE, US Customs and Border Protection, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the State Department as defendants. The civil...

Wirecutter's best deals: TorGuard VPN service is half-off - 17 Jan 2019 at 3:00pm - This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, it may earn affiliate commissions that support its work. Read Wirecutter's continuously updated list of deals here.

Louis Vuitton wireless earbuds will cost you almost $1,000 - 17 Jan 2019 at 2:32pm - Louis Vuitton is bringing its luxury brand to the world of audio. The French fashion house is teaming up with New York City-based audio company Master & Dynamic to create Louis Vuitton's first branded earbuds. The Louis Vuitton Horizon Earphones...

Instagram Won't Stop Showing Me the Mother's Day Photos I Don't Want to See - 19 May 2017 at 3:45pm -

After four and a half years of not speaking to my mom I?ve learned to stay away from social media on Mother?s Day.

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'World?s Hottest Pepper' Will Have You Breathing Fire, But It Won?t Kill You - 19 May 2017 at 3:40pm -

Not all hot peppers are created equal, and few are as unequal as the Dragon?s Breath chili?a new breed that may soon find itself atop the ?world?s hottest? throne. Forged by Wales horticulturalist Mike Smith, the red-orange, fingernail-sized fruit is the unintentional product of a trial of a new performance-boosting?

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Federal Agents Are Now Using ?Stingrays? to Track and Capture Undocumented Im... - 19 May 2017 at 3:11pm -

Controversial cellphone tracking technology is being deployed as a tool in President Donald Trump?s expanding effort to arrest and deport illegal US residents.

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A 'Superbug' Fungus Is Spreading Across the US - 19 May 2017 at 2:13pm -

Over the past nine months, the number of US cases of an emerging, multi-drug resistant fungus has ballooned from 7 to more than 122. What?s more, the fungus, Candida auris, seems to be spreading, according to a field report the Centers for Disease Control released Thursday.

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All the Dangerous Things You Shouldn't Be Doing With Your Fidget Spinners - 19 May 2017 at 2:09pm -

Like lawn darts, nano-magnets, and slap bracelets, fidget spinners are only one stupid stunt away from becoming yet another forgotten fad. And as usual, instead of enjoying them responsibly, the internet is hard at work trying to find ways to make spinners as dangerous as playing with firecrackers. This is why we?

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The Venom Movie Has Chosen Its Star/Symbiote Host: Tom Hardy - 19 May 2017 at 2:05pm -

Variety is reporting that Tom Hardy, who played Bane in Christopher Nolan?s The Dark Knight Rises, will next play another iconic comic book villain, Venom. The frequent Spider-Man villain is getting his own film next year, which will be directed by Ruben Fleischer, who made Zombieland.

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This Cyclops Goat Is Good - 19 May 2017 at 1:45pm -

Eight days ago, a one-eyed goat was born in the Indian state of Assam. Since then, this brave little fluff has become an international sensation for obvious reasons: clearly, it?s training to be in the X-Men.

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Inside The Russian Bomber That?s Been Flying America?s Coastline - 19 May 2017 at 1:22pm -

The Russian Tu-95/-142 Bear has been showing up in a lot of places it maybe shouldn?t be over the past month, as the Russian Air Force and Navy continues to probe the air defenses of several nations.The sixty-year-old symbol of the Cold War has been able to remain a viable weapon system despite its age, much the way?

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This Is How Miserable IBM Voice Recognition Probably Was in the '80s - 19 May 2017 at 1:13pm -

In the age of Siri, we take for granted how far speech recognition technology has come. But a quick glance back at 1986, when IBM introduced its voice recognition software, shows that we?ve travelled light years since the earliest version of this game-changing software. And it?s even more fun in satire form.

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Automate An Outlet With TP-Link's Alexa-Compatible Smart Plug, Now Just $21 - 19 May 2017 at 12:50pm -

Like the idea of a Belkin WeMo Switch, but not willing to spend $40-$50 to try one out? This TP-Link alternative has a nearly identical feature set for half the price.

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Flat Earthers Won't Believe This News on Antarctica?s Climate - 19 May 2017 at 12:39pm -

The Arctic is the fastest-warming place on our overheated planet, but so far, its polar opposite has managed to stay pretty cool. Why is Antarctica warming so slowly compared with the Arctic? The answer is complicated, but a new study suggests we?re overlooking a basic reality of geometry.

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I'm Afraid to Ask The Internet to Name This New Moon - 19 May 2017 at 12:10pm -

Good news! Three space telescopes, including Hubble, have combined their celestial powers to spot a moon orbiting a dwarf planet in the Kuiper Belt ?the region beyond Neptune where Pluto and countless other icy bodies live. According to NASA, the dwarf planet?s moon has lots to teach scientists about how moons formed?

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Rudy Giuliani Forgot 9/11('s Effect on Commercial Air Travel) - 19 May 2017 at 11:30am -

Yesterday morning, Rudy Giuliani?America?s mayor, Donald Trump?s current cybersecurity advisor, and a race-baiting thug most famous for being circumstantially tied to a great tragedy?had a little dust-up with the TSA while making his way through Newark airport. Apparently, the former mayor who famously saw his city?

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Google's Coolest Tech Is Getting Harder and Harder to See - 19 May 2017 at 11:25am -

Google always uses its annual I/O developer conference as a place to trot out some of its biggest and most exciting product updates. You?d be forgiven for feeling like this year was kind of a dud. There were no new gadgets, no new moonshot projects, and not even cool new swag like Google Cardboard headsets. The?

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The First AI-Generated Paint Names Include 'Homestar Brown' and 'Stanky Bean' - 19 May 2017 at 11:20am -

Humans aren?t nearly as creative as we think. Craft brewers, for example, have run out of fun names and are sending each other cease and desist letters for coming up with the same ideas. So, what if we let computers come up with new names for us?

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Duck Me, Ducktales Has Added Lin-Manuel Miranda as Gizmoduck - 19 May 2017 at 11:14am -

Man, the cast for the new DuckTales cartoon was already pretty insane. And now it just got even better.

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'Panda' Porpoise Could Be Extinct In Months - 19 May 2017 at 11:10am -

Vaquitas are cartoonish-looking porpoises that swim around, bothering literally no one. These little guys, which only weigh about 120 pounds, are found in just one region in the world? the Northern Gulf of California. Their nickname?the ?panda? porpoise?comes from the dark rings around their eyes, similar to that of?

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Sad, Sick Idiot Anthony Weiner to Plead Guilty to Sexting 15-Year-Old Girl - 19 May 2017 at 11:03am -

Early Friday morning, former Democratic congressman Anthony Weiner surrendered himself to FBI agents and will appear before a federal judge later this afternoon. There, he will plead guilty to transferring obscene material to a minor, multiple news outlets report.

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Uber Threatens to Dump Engineer Accused of Stealing Trade Secrets From Waymo - 19 May 2017 at 10:50am -

Lots of people get fired from Uber. One employee was reportedly fired last year for helping his female coworkers raise complaints about sexual harassment. Drivers get deactivated from the platform if their ratings slip below a certain number (Uber says the minimum rating varies by city, but driver forums say dipping?

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Today's Best Deals: Under Armour Apparel, Kamado Grill, SoundBuds, and More - 19 May 2017 at 10:28am -

Anker?s newest SoundBuds, a Big Green Egg alternative, and a huge Under Armour apparel sale lead off Friday?s best deals from around the web.

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