Russian Shipwreck Allegedly Carrying $130 Billion In Gold Has Been Rediscovered
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Popular Mechanics:
A salvage company has located the remains of a Russian warship lost during the the Russo-Japanese War. The battle-damaged cruiser Dmitrii Donskoi was scuttled off the coast of Korea in 1905, reportedly carrying a cargo of gold worth an estimated $130 billion in today's dollars. An international consortium of companies plans to salvage the gold.
According to the Telegraph, the Donskoi was found less than a mile off the coast of Ulleung island, at a depth of 1,423 feet in the Sea of Japan. A submersible descended to the wreck and captured an image of the ship's name on the stern in the Cyrillic alphabet. The South Korean Shinil Group, which discovered the wreck, plans to recover the gold sometime later this year with help from companies in China, Canada, and the U.K. At the time of her sinking Donskoi was reportedly carrying 5,500 boxes of gold bars and 200 tons of gold coins with a street value today of $130 billion. That's more than twice Russia's 2017 defense budget, which was $61 billion. If the treasure does materialize, the Russian government will receive half of the recovered amount. The money that's not going to Russia will reportedly be invested in a railroad line linking North Korea, South Korea, and Russia. A small percentage (10%) will also be invested in tourism projects on Ulleungdo Island, including a museum dedicated to the vessel.
Leaked Documents Show Facebook's 'Threshold' For Deleting Pages, Groups
Facebook has repeatedly referenced to lawmakers a "threshold" that must be reached before the platform decides to ban a particular page for violating the site's policies, but it hasn't discussed its guidelines publicly. Motherboard has obtained internal Facebook documents
laying out what this threshold is for multiple types of different content, including some instances of hate speech. From the report:
One Facebook moderator training document for hate speech says that for Pages -- Facebook's feature for sections dedicated to, say, a band, organization, public figure, or business -- the Page admin has to receive 5 "strikes" within 90 days for the Page itself to be deleted. Alternatively, Facebook moderators are told to remove a Page if at least 30 percent of the content posted by other people within 90 days violates Facebook's community standards. A similar 30 percent-or-over policy exists for Facebook Groups, according to the document.
In a similar vein, another hate speech document says that a profile should be taken down if there are 5 or more pieces of content from the user which indicate hate propaganda, photos of the user present with another identifiable leader, or other related violations. Although the documents obtained by Motherboard were created recently, Facebook's policies change regularly, so whether these exact parameters remain in force is unclear. Of course this still depends on moderators identifying and labeling posts as violating to reach that threshold. [...] Another document focused on sexual content says moderators should unpublish Pages and Groups under the basis of sexual solicitation if there are over 2 "elements," such as the Page description, title, photo, or pinned post, that include either explicit solicitation of nude imagery, or, if the page is more subtle, includes either a method of contact or a location. This slide again reiterates the over 30 percent and 5 admin posts rules found in the hate speech document.
Corning's New Gorilla Glass 6 Will Let Your Phones Survive 15 Drops
Corning just announced its most durable glass yet: Gorilla Glass 6. "The company says that the glass
will survive up to 15 drops from a one meter height and can be 'up to two times better' than Gorilla Glass 5," reports The Verge. From the report:
As phones get slimmer and have ever sleeker glass displays, reports have appeared that the slimness may actually cancel out the improvements in new iterations of Gorilla Glass, since thinner glass is weaker glass, even if it's become stronger. Still Corning argues that sleek edge-to-edge displays have actually led to stronger smartphones. Sometimes, in smartphones of previous years, the bezel would crack first, then leading to a weakness in the glass. There's also a tradeoff between drop resistance and scratch resistance, which Corning has admitted to in the past. Corning says that Gorilla Glass 6 will have the same amount of scratch resistance as previous generations. So although the company claims the new generation of Gorilla Glass is "better," you shouldn't expect new phones made with the glass to be more scratch-resistant. The first devices to feature Gorilla Glass 6 are expected to arrive near the end of the year.
eBay Is Conducting a 'Mass Layoff' In the Bay Area
planning to slash nearly 300 jobs from Bay Area locations by July 20, calling the cuts a "mass layoff." Those being laid off were informed at the end of June, reports The Mercury News. The San Jose-based company estimated that it would eliminate 224 jobs in San Jose, 41 in San Francisco, and five in Brisbane. From the report:
"This action is expected to be permanent," eBay stated in the Employment Development Department filing. "No affected employee has any bumping rights." Over the one-year period that ended in March, eBay lost $1.64 billion on revenues of $9.84 billion, according to information posted on the Yahoo Finance site. During the first quarter that ended March 31, eBay earned $407 million on revenues of $2.58 billion. Compared to the year-ago first quarter, profits were down 60.7 percent and revenue rose 12 percent.
DeepMind, Elon Musk and Others Pledge Not To Make Autonomous AI Weapons
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Engadget:
Yesterday, during the Joint Conference on Artificial Intelligence, the Future of Life Institute announced that more than 2,400 individuals and 160 companies and organizations have signed a pledge, declaring that they will "neither participate in nor support the development, manufacture, trade or use of lethal autonomous weapons." The signatories, representing 90 countries, also call on governments to pass laws against such weapons. Google DeepMind and the Xprize Foundation are among the groups who've signed on while Elon Musk and DeepMind co-founders Demis Hassabis, Shane Legg and Mustafa Suleyman have made the pledge as well.
"Thousands of AI researchers agree that by removing the risk, attributability and difficulty of taking human lives, lethal autonomous weapons could become powerful instruments of violence and oppression, especially when linked to surveillance and data systems," says the pledge. It adds that those who sign agree that "the decision to take a human life should never be delegated to a machine." "I'm excited to see AI leaders shifting from talk to action, implementing a policy that politicians have thus far failed to put into effect," Future of Life Institute President Max Tegmark said in a statement. "AI has huge potential to help the world -- if we stigmatize and prevent its abuse. AI weapons that autonomously decide to kill people are as disgusting and destabilizing as bioweapons, and should be dealt with in the same way."
IBM Wants $167 Million From Groupon Over Alleged Patent Infringement
On Monday, IBM
asked a jury to award the company $167 million in a lawsuit against deals site Groupon for using patented technology without authorization. The patents involve e-commerce technology that had already been licensed to Amazon, Facebook, and Alphabet for between $20 million and $50 million per company. "Most big companies have taken licenses to these patents," IBM's lawyer, John Desmarais, said. "Groupon has not. The new kid on the block refuses to take responsibility for using these inventions." Reuters reports:
Groupon lawyer J. David Hadden argued that IBM was overreading the scope of its patents and claiming ownership of building blocks of the internet. "A key question for you in this case is whether these patents cover the world wide web," Hadden told jurors. "They do not and that is because IBM did not invent the world wide web."
An IBM executive is expected to testify during the two-week trial about licensing deals with technology companies like Amazon and Google, providing a rare glimpse into IBM's efforts to derive revenue from its large patent portfolio. The Armonk, New York-based company invests heavily in research and development and has secured more U.S. patents than any other company for the past 25 years.
Hackers Account For 90 Percent of Login Attempts At Online Retailers
account for 90% of of e-commerce sites' global login traffic, according to
a report by cyber security firm Shape Security. They reportedly use programs to apply stolen data acquired on the dark web -- all in an effort to login to websites and grab something of value like cash, airline points, or merchandise. Quartz reports:
These attacks are successful as often as 3% of the time, and the costs quickly add up for businesses, Shape says. This type of fraud costs the e-commerce sector about $6 billion a year, while the consumer banking industry loses out on about $1.7 billion annually. The hotel and airline businesses are also major targets -- the theft of loyalty points is a thing -- costing a combined $700 million every year.
The process starts when hackers break into databases and steal login information. Some of the best known "data spills" took place at Equifax and Yahoo, but they happen fairly regularly -- there were 51 reported breaches last year, compromising 2.3 billion credentials, according to Shape. Taking over bank accounts is one way to monetize stolen login information -- in the US, community banks are attacked far more than any other industry group. According to Shape's data, that sector is attacked more than 200 million times each day. Shape says the number of reported credential breaches was roughly stable at 51 last year, compared with 52 in 2016. The best way consumers can minimize these attacks is by changing their passwords.
Zuckerberg: If Someone Gets Fired For Data Abuse 'It Should Be Me'
Mark Zuckerberg isn't planning to fire himself. At least, not at the moment. From a report:
During an interview with Recode's Kara Swisher published Wednesday, the Facebook CEO touched on Russians interfering with US elections, misinformation, data breaches, the company's business model and more. When asked by Swisher who's to blame for the Cambridge Analytica scandal and related data misuse, Zuckerberg said he "designed the platform, so if someone's going to get fired for this, it should be me." Swisher followed up by asking if he was going to fire himself. "Not on this podcast right now," he said. Zuckerberg also
defended the social media platform's decision not to kick off conspiracy theory-peddling websites like the far-right InfoWars. From a report:
Zuckerberg said that instead of banning websites outright, the company removes individual posts that violate Facebook's terms of service. Posts promoting violence are particularly likely to be taken down, he added. Zuckerberg, who is Jewish, said even Holocaust deniers have a place on the platform as long as they genuinely believe the content they share. "I find that deeply offensive," he said. "But at the end of the day, I don't believe that our platform should take that down because I think there are things that different people get wrong. I don't think that they're intentionally getting it wrong."
Google Warns Android Might Not Remain Free Because of EU Decision
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge:
The EU's decision to force Google to unbundle its Chrome and search apps from Android may have some implications for the future of Android's free business model. In a blog post defending Google's decision to bundle search and Chrome apps on Android, Google CEO Sundar Pichai outlines the company's response to the EU's $5 billion fine. Pichai highlights the fact a typical Android user will "install around 50 apps themselves" and can easily remove preinstalled apps. But if Google is prevented from bundling its own apps, that will upset the Android ecosystem.
"If phone makers and mobile network operators couldn't include our apps on their wide range of devices, it would upset the balance of the Android ecosystem," explains Pichai, carefully avoiding the fact that phone makers will no longer be forced to bundle these apps but can still choose to do so. Pichai then hints that the free Android business model has relied on this app bundling. "So far, the Android business model has meant that we haven't had to charge phone makers for our technology, or depend on a tightly controlled distribution model," says Pichai. "But we are concerned that today's decision will upset the careful balance that we have struck with Android, and that it sends a troubling signal in favor of proprietary systems over open platforms." While it may be a bluff to court popular opinion, Google is threatening to license Android to phone makers. "[I]f phone makers can bundle their own browsers instead of Chrome and point search queries toward rivals, then that could have implications for Google's mobile ad revenue, which constitutes
more than 50 percent of the company's net digital ad revenue," reports The Verge.
Robocall Firm Exposes Hundreds of Thousands of US Voters' Records
An anonymous reader shares a report:
RoboCent, a Virginia Beach-based political robocall firm, has exposed the personal details of hundreds of thousands of US voters, according to the findings of a security researcher who stumbled upon the company's database online. The researcher, Bob Diachenko of Kromtech Security, says he discovered the data using a recently launched online service called GrayhatWarfare that allows users to search publicly exposed Amazon Web Services data storage buckets. Such buckets should never be left exposed to public access, as they could hold sensitive data.
British Airways Says Computer Problems Affecting Operations at Heathrow
British Airways said on Wednesday that its operations at London's Heathrow, Europe's biggest airport,
were disrupted because of an issue with a supplier's IT systems. From a report:
"We are working with our supplier to resolve the matter and are sorry for the disruption to our customers' travel plans," the company said in a statement. Further reading:
The Telegraph, which reports that several flights have been delayed or cancelled because of the IT failure.
Windows 10 and Windows Server 2019 To Support True UTC-Compliant Leap Second
Mehedi Hassan, writing for Thurrott:
Microsoft is bringing support for leap seconds -- yes, that one extra second -- to Windows, starting with Windows 10 Redstone 5 and Windows Server 2019. With the upcoming updates for Windows 10, Microsoft's operating system now deals with leap seconds in a way that is incredibly accurate, UTC-compliant, and traceable. Leap seconds typically occur every 18 months, resulting in one extra second. The extra leap second occurs to adjust with the earth's slowed down rotation, and an extra second is added to UTC in order to keep it in-sync with mean solar time. To deal with the extra second more appropriately, Windows 10 will now display that extra second, instead of directly jumping to the next one. H/T
Perfycat who adds:
The new move makes Windows Server the first OS to have full support of the rare but valid timestamp of: 23:59:60. Linus Torvalds has long maintained that users needs to chill out about leap seconds. Further reading: Microsoft's
blog post 1, and
blog post 2.
Frequent Smart Phone, Internet Use Linked To Symptoms Of ADHD in Teens
Most teens today own a smartphone and go online every day, and about a quarter of them use the internet "almost constantly," according to a 2015 report by the Pew Research Center. Now a study published this week in JAMA suggests that
such frequent use of digital media by adolescents might increase their odds of developing symptoms of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. From a report:
"It's one of the first studies to look at modern digital media and ADHD risk," says psychologist Adam Leventhal, an associate professor of preventive medicine at the University of Southern California and an author of the study. When considered with previous research showing that greater social media use is associated with depression in teens, the new study suggests that "excessive digital media use doesn't seem to be great for [their] mental health," he adds. Previous research has shown that watching television or playing video games on a console put teenagers at a slightly higher risk of developing ADHD behaviors. But less is known about the impact of computers, tablets and smartphones.
Apple iCloud Data in China is Being Stored By a State-Run Telco
Six months ago Apple caused controversy by announcing its intentions to
move Chinese users' iCloud keys out of the US and into China, in order to comply with Chinese law. From a report:
Now, that data, which includes emails, text messages and pictures, is being looked after by government-owned mobile operator China Telecom. And users and human rights activists alike have big concerns. The move has unsurprisingly been praised by state media, with Chinese consumers being told they can now expect faster speeds and greater connectivity. But as comments on Weibo (China's equivalent of Twitter) reveal, users have major privacy worries, claiming the government -- known for its extreme citizen surveillance methods -- will now be able to check personal data whenever it wishes.
Blue Origin Pushed Its Rocket 'To Its Limits' With High-Altitude Emergency Abort Test
pulled off another successful test launch today, landing both the New Shepard rocket -- a reusable vehicle designed to take tourists to the edge of space and back -- and capsule after flight. From a report:
The company ignited the capsule's emergency motor after it had separated from the rocket, pushing the spacecraft up to a top altitude of around 74 miles -- a new record for Blue Origin. The firing also caused the capsule to sustain up to 10 Gs during the test, but Blue Origin host Ariane Cornell said "that is well within what humans can take, especially for such a short spurt of time."
[...] The rocket which went up today is the third New Shepard vehicle that the company has ever flown. The first one flew to a super high altitude in April 2015, but the booster was unable to land back on Earth after flight. The second iteration of the vehicle was much more successful, however. Blue Origin launched and landed the rocket and booster a total of five times before retiring the system. This third New Shepard has already done two launches and landings, and it sports some upgrades over its predecessors. For instance, this one actually has windows in the crew capsule; the second vehicle had its windows painted on. Blue Origin is building even more vehicles to carry passengers, though there isn't a firm date for when the first crewed flights will occur. The company's president Rob Meyerson has estimated that the first test passengers could fly as soon as this year, while commercial flights could start in 2019. Blue Origin also plans to start selling tickets next year, too.