Tag Archive : Takes

/ Takes

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Microsoft obtained a court order to disrupt the largest botnet in the world.


Angela Lang/CNET

This story is part of Elections 2020, CNET’s coverage of the run-up to voting in November.

A group of tech companies dismantled a powerful hacking tool used by Russian attackers just three weeks before the US presidential election. On Monday, Microsoft announced actions against Trickbot, a Russian botnet that’s infected more than a million computers since 2016 and that’s behind scores of ransomware attacks. 

Cybersecurity experts have raised concerns about ransomware attacks casting doubt on election results. While a ransomware attack wouldn’t change votes and could only lock up machines, the chaos stirred by a cyberattack could create uncertainty about the outcome of the results. 

Election officials in most states have offline backup measures in the event of a ransomware attack, but have a harder time tackling the disinformation that comes with getting hacked.

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A building on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington in 2014.

A building on the Microsoft campus in Redmond, Washington in 2014.
Photo: Stephen Brashear (Getty Images)

Microsoft has obtained a court order to seize servers the company says are part of the Trickbot botnet ahead of the 2020 elections, the Washington Post reported on Monday.

Microsoft vice president of customer security and trust Tom Burt told the Post the botnet poses a “theoretical but real” threat to election security, as it is known to be run by Russian-speaking criminals and could be used to launch ransomware attacks. Ransomware is a type of malware that hijacks computer networks, and typically holds the data hostage in exchange for some kind of payment—although attackers could just forego the ransom element and permanently lock users out of their own computers. While a ransomware attack on voting machines, election officials, or political campaigns would be unprecedented, gangs of cybercriminals have targeted municipal

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You can say what you want about Bill Gates, but it would be hard to argue that he hasn’t experienced success. He’s one of the wealthiest people on earth, having co-founded one of the world’s most valuable companies. He now spends his time giving away all of that money to causes like eradicating polio. His is not a bad resume. 

A lot of that accomplishment comes from a simple lesson Bill Gates learned early on in his life. I think it’s worth looking at, especially since it’s something many people take a lifetime to learn, if they ever do at all.

Most of us assume that it is, which means everything that isn’t success must be failure. But the opposite of success isn’t failure. Or, it doesn’t have to be. And, that’s a distinction that can make all the difference. Unfortunately, it’s one that many people never learn to make.

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a close up of a device: Devialet's Gemini wireless earbuds. Devialet


© Devialet
Devialet’s Gemini wireless earbuds. Devialet

  • Audio company Devialet is branching out from high-end speakers and launching earbuds to rival Apple’s AirPods Pro.
  • Devialet’s Gemini wireless earbuds cost $299 in the US and will be available to pre-order from October 10.
  • CEO Franck Lebouchard talked up Gemini’s active noise cancellation and said the earbuds had been in the works for two years.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

High-end speaker company Devialet is taking on Apple with its first pair of wireless earbuds, the £279/$299 Devialet Gemini.

Devialet is best-known for making pricey speakers targeted at audiophiles, winning plaudits for its classic, $2,000 Phantom speakers. The company’s backers include Chinese manufacturing giant Foxconn, which produces the iPhone, as well as Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.

This is the first time the company is venturing into headphones, with an eye to a broader audience.

The Devialet Gemini earbuds are about $50

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Angela Lang/CNET

Microsoft announced 10 new app store principles in a blog post Thursday, needling Apple’s and Google’s policies in the process. The new guidelines from Microsoft are intended to promote choice, fairness and innovation for software developers on Windows 10.

“Developers will have the freedom to choose whether to distribute their apps for Windows through our app store. We will not block competing app stores on Windows.” the first principle reads.

“Windows 10 is an open platform. Unlike some other popular digital platforms, developers are free to choose how they distribute their apps,” the tech giant wrote, alluding to Apple and Google.

Those companies are embroiled in a legal battle with Fortnite developer Epic over fees they charge in their respective app stores.

Earlier this month, lawmakers

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Thanks to the coronavirus pandemic and other issues, the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) will finally hold oral arguments in Google v. Oracle on Oct. 7, 2020. This case will decide, without exaggeration, the future of software development and billions of dollars.

Seriously. 

As the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) states, “allowing copyright on APIs is a terrible idea for computer science.” That’s because almost all modern software depends on open APIs. When your web browser works with Amazon, Apple, Microsoft — any complex site really — it communicates through APIs. When your smartphone shows you the weather, directions to your doctor’s office, or a video, it uses APIs to bridge the gap between services and servers and your devices. 

That’s the theory. Developers see the reality of the threat. Hannu Valtonen, chief product officer at Aiven said: 

It’s clear that an Oracle win would not be in the

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Facebook is cracking down on QAnon.


Angela Lang/CNET

Facebook said Tuesday that it’ll take down Facebook pages, groups and Instagram accounts representing QAnon, a far-right conspiracy theory that falsely alleges there’s a “deep state” plot against President Donald Trump, even if posts don’t contain violent content.

The social network’s tougher stance comes after Facebook said in August that it would remove these QAnon accounts, pages and groups when they discussed potential violence, and would limit the reach of users tied to the movement.

Facebook said it’s taking strong action against QAnon content because it’s seen posts that included different forms of harm, such as false claims that certain groups started the west coast wildfires. Misinformation about the wildfires diverted the attention of local officials fighting the fires.

“Additionally,

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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The Fitbits on our wrists collect our health and fitness data; Apple promises privacy but lots of iPhone apps can still share our personal information; and who really knows what they’re agreeing to when a website asks, “Do You Accept All Cookies?” Most people just click “OK” and hope for the best, says former Democratic presidential candidate Andrew Yang.

“The amount of data we’re giving up is unprecedented in human history,” says Yang, who lives in New York but is helping lead the campaign for a data privacy initiative on California’s Nov. 3 ballot. “Don’t you think it’s time we did something about it?”

Yang is chairing the advisory board for Proposition 24, which he and other supporters see as a model for other states as the U.S. tries to catch up with protections that already exist in Europe.

The California Privacy Rights Act of 2020

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It could be the wackiest product yet from Amazon — a tiny indoor drone which buzzes around people’s homes as a security sentry.

The introduction of the Ring Always Home Cam planned for 2021 has opened up fresh debate on the potential for intrusive surveillance and privacy infringement.

Amazon says the tiny drone is “built with privacy in mind” and operates at the direction of its customers. Nestled in a charging dock, the drone can be deployed remotely and send up to five minutes of video to the user.

But some activists express concerns about the device — part of a family of Ring-branded home security technology which has been scrutinized over its links to law enforcement.

John Verdi, vice president of policy at the Future of Privacy Forum, a Washington think tank, said the deployment may contribute to a “normalization of surveillance” in everyday life as more consumers install

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Shelburne’s local 164 Royal Canadian Air Cadets Squadron has launched a website and is now offering their program virtually for the remainder of 2020.

“We hope the website will help other families in our community learn about what a great program the cadets is,” said 164 Commanding Officer, Captain Ruth Garwood.

The website, which is directed specifically to the 164 Air Cadets, has been developed over the last six months and looks to inform cadets, their families, and community members about the program. The site, as it expands, will include pictures, upcoming activities, and 164 Air Cadets apparel.

“In the past, we’ve had a closed Facebook group, that’s where we’ve kept a lot of our pictures and we have always communicated with our cadets that way, but now they’ll be able to show their extended family and friends what we do and how much fun we have,” said Garwood.

The

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