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Astra Likely To Run Additional Global Vaccine Test, CEO Says

Slashdot - 2 hours 2 min ago
AstraZeneca is likely to conduct an additional global trial to assess the efficacy of its Covid-19 vaccine, according to the company's chief executive officer, after current studies raised questions over its level of protection. From a report: The new trial would be run instead of adding an arm to an ongoing U.S. trial and would evaluate a lower dosage that performed better than a full amount in Astra's studies. The company's acknowledgment that the lower level was given in error fueled concerns. "Now that we've found what looks like a better efficacy we have to validate this, so we need to do an additional study," CEO Pascal Soriot said in his first interview since the data were released. It will probably be another "international study, but this one could be faster because we know the efficacy is high so we need a smaller number of patients." Soriot said he didn't expect the additional trial to hold up regulatory approvals in the U.K. and European Union. Clearance from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration may take longer because the regulator is unlikely to approve the vaccine on the basis of studies conducted elsewhere, especially given the questions over the results, he said. Authorization in some countries is still expected before the end of the year, he said.

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Marmite of scripting languages PHP emits version 8.0, complete with named arguments and other goodies

The Register - 2 hours 3 min ago
Hallucinate, Desegregate, Mediate, Try not to hate: INXS of 25 years on, PHP liberates the number eight

Version 8.0 of the PHP scripting language is scheduled for release on 26 November, which coincides with the US Thanksgiving holiday.…

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US Fertility Says Patient Data Was Stolen in a Ransomware Attack

Slashdot - 2 hours 57 min ago
U.S. Fertility, one of the largest networks of fertility clinics in the United States, has confirmed it was hit by a ransomware attack and that data was taken. From a report: The company was formed in May as a partnership between Shady Grove Fertility, a fertility clinic with dozens of locations across the U.S. east coast, and Amulet Capital Partners, a private equity firm that invests largely in the healthcare space. As a joint venture, U.S. Fertility now claims 55 locations across the U.S., including California. In a statement, U.S. Fertility said that the hackers "acquired a limited number of files" during the month that they were in its systems, until the ransomware was triggered on September 14. That's a common technique of data-stealing ransomware, which steals data before encrypting the victim's network for ransom. Some ransomware groups publish the stolen files on their websites if their ransom demand isn't paid. U.S. Fertility said some personal information, like names and addresses, were taken in the attack. Some patients also had their Social Security numbers taken. But the company warned that the attack may have involved protected health information.

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UK coronavirus tier postcode-searching tool yanked offline as desperate Britons hunt for latest lockdown details

The Register - 3 hours 5 min ago
When we expect heavy traffic spikes we provision enough capacity to handle it... right?

The gov.uk postcode-searching tool for Britons to find out what level of coronavirus lockdown they'll be in until Christmas has crashed on launch and been withdrawn.…

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Sophos Notifies Customers of Data Exposure After Database Misconfiguration

Slashdot - 3 hours 56 min ago
UK-based cyber-security vendor Sophos is currently notifying customers via email about a security breach the company suffered earlier this week. From a report: "On November 24, 2020, Sophos was advised of an access permission issue in a tool used to store information on customers who have contacted Sophos Support," the company said in an email sent to customers and obtained by ZDNet. Exposed information included details such as customer first and last names, email addresses, and phone numbers (if provided).

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Master boot vinyl record: It just gives DOS on my IBM PC a warmer, more authentic tone

The Register - 4 hours 4 min ago
And on the B-side: Linux?

Looking for something to do in quarantine? How about booting DOS from a 10-inch vinyl record?…

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Netflix chooses its own judgment in 'Bandersnatch' case: Settle and make the nasty lawsuit go away

The Register - 4 hours 53 min ago
Maybe next time Brooker can choose to write a proper Black Mirror episode

Streaming giant Netflix has agreed to settle a lawsuit over the trademark rights to the "Choose Your Own Adventure" series of books.…

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Culled Mink Rise From the Dead To Denmark's Horror

Slashdot - 4 hours 56 min ago
Dead mink are rising from their graves in Denmark after a rushed cull over fears of a coronavirus mutation led to thousands being slaughtered and buried in shallow pits -- from which some are now emerging. From a report: "As the bodies decay, gases can be formed," Thomas Kristensen, a national police spokesman, told the state broadcaster DR. "This causes the whole thing to expand a little. In this way, in the worst cases, the mink get pushed out of the ground." Police in West Jutland, where several thousand mink were buried in a mass grave on a military training field, have tried to counter the macabre phenomenon by shovelling extra soil on top of the corpses, which are in a 1 metre-deep trench. "This is a natural process," Kristensen said. "Unfortunately, one metre of soil is not just one metre of soil -- it depends on what type of soil it is. The problem is that the sandy soil in West Jutland is too light. So we have had to lay more soil on top." Adding to the popular concern, local media reported that the animals may also have been buried too close to lakes and underground water reserves, prompting fears of possible contamination of ground and drinking water supplies.

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HP CEO talks up HP-ink-only print hardware and higher upfront costs for machines that use other cartridges

The Register - 5 hours 29 min ago
'These actions will help us to optimize the business by reducing the number of unprofitable customers'

HP might have dropped the Ink Inc from its corporate banner but CEO Enrique Lores is still mining for the black gold: with the firm clawing back cash by slapping away the grubby hands of its pesky "unprofitable customers" from its printing rig.…

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Calls for 'right to repair' electronics laws grow louder across Europe

The Register - 5 hours 59 min ago
UK Parliament's Environmental Audit Committee report slams manufacturers as Euro Parliament votes to back tinkerers

A new report from the UK's House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) argues the country should enshrine the "right to repair" in law and reduce VAT on tech repair services, while Europe's Parliamentarians also voted to further the cause.…

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Cambridge University Says Darwin's Iconic Notebooks Were Stolen

Slashdot - 6 hours 3 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NBC News: Two notebooks written by the famed British naturalist Charles Darwin in 1837 and missing for years may have been stolen from the Cambridge University Library, according to curators who launched a public appeal Tuesday for information. The notebooks, estimated to be worth millions of dollars, include Darwin's celebrated "Tree of Life" sketch that the 19th-century scientist used to illustrate early ideas about evolution. Officials at the Cambridge University Library say the two notebooks have been missing since 2001, and it's now thought that they were stolen. "I am heartbroken that the location of these Darwin notebooks, including Darwin's iconic 'Tree of Life' drawing, is currently unknown, but we're determined to do everything possible to discover what happened and will leave no stone unturned during this process," Jessica Gardner, the university librarian and director of library services, said in a statement. The lost manuscripts were initially thought to have been misplaced in the university's enormous archives, which house roughly 10 million books, maps and other objects. But an exhaustive search initiated at the start of 2020 -- the "largest search in the library's history," according to Gardner -- failed to turn up the notebooks and they are now being reported as stolen. Cambridge University officials said a police investigation is underway and the notebooks have been added to Interpol's database of stolen artworks.

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Physicists wrap neutrino detector in cosy blanket to shed light on the Sun's secondary fusion cycle

The Register - 6 hours 29 min ago
Direct observation published for first time

As we near the northern winter solstice, the Sun continues to produce a steady power output of 384.6 yottawatts resulting from the fusion of hydrogen into helium in two distinct nuclear reactions. Direct observation of the secondary cycle was published in the journal Nature for the first time yesterday.…

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Spending Review: We spy a stray £60m – is that all you can spare to help 5G market recover from UK kicking out Huawei?

The Register - 7 hours 42 min ago
Plus: Broadband ambitions meet cold water

Among the economic doom and gloom of the UK's Autumn Spending Review, Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak inadvertently revealed the sop UK.gov plans to throw to telcos after sacking Huawei from the UK's 5G rollout at the behest of an orange one-term president of the US.…

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Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft's creepy Productivity Score

The Register - 8 hours 10 min ago
Watching, always watching

Microsoft's Productivity Score has put in a public appearance in Microsoft 365 and attracted the ire of privacy campaigners and activists.…

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hCaptcha Runs On 15% Of the Internet

Slashdot - 9 hours 3 min ago
In a blog post, hCaptcha announced that its bot detector is running on about 15% of the internet, adding they they "took most of this market share directly from Google reCAPTCHA." From the post: Competing with Google and other Big Tech companies seems like a tall order: their monopolistic market power, platform effects and army of highly paid developers are generally considered too powerful to tackle for anyone but other tech giants such as Facebook or Amazon. Our story shows that it doesn't have to be that way -- you can beat Big Tech by focussing on privacy. Consider Google reCAPTCHA, which consumes enormous amounts of behavioral data to determine whether web users are legitimate humans or bots. At hCaptcha, we have deliberately taken a very different approach, using privacy-preserving machine learning techniques to identify typical bot behaviors at high accuracy, all while consuming and storing as little data as possible. Google is an ad company, and their security products look very much like their ad products: they track user behavior on every page of a website and across the web. We designed hCaptcha to be as privacy-friendly as possible from day one. This led to a completely different approach to the problem. As it turns out, tracking users across the web and tying their web history to their identity is completely unnecessary for achieving good security. The many companies that have switched over to hCaptcha often report equal or better performance in bot detection and mitigation despite our privacy focus. A growing number of critics have pointed out that Google's disregard for user privacy should concern customers looking to protect their websites and apps. At the same time, stopping bots from accessing publisher sites can reveal ad fraud, pitting Google's reCAPTCHA product directly against their ad business, which produces over 80% of their revenue. Every bot Google detects should be earning zero ad dollars. Google's company incentives are thus poorly aligned with the users of their security services, and this may be one explanation for the poor performance of their reCAPTCHA security offering.

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Xiaomi revenues up by a third due to strong phone sales and triple-digit European growth

The Register - 10 hours 23 sec ago
Cheap and cheerful clearly appealed during pandemic

It has been a difficult year for the mobile industry as economic uncertainty and widespread national lockdowns further depressed the public's appetite for handset upgrades. Some vendors are faring better than others, however, with Xiaomi proving especially resilient.…

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Last call: Share your DevOps experiences at Continuous Lifecycle Online 2021

The Register - 12 hours 3 min ago
Containers, serverless, CI/CD, tooling – we’d love to hear all about it

Event  If there’s anything that hasn’t come to a halt this year, it surely is software development and service infrastructure work. We know you’ve all been busy so here’s another chance to get in your presentation proposal for our Continuous Lifecycle Online 2021 conference.…

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Amateur Astronomer Alberto Caballero Finds Possible Source of Wow! Signal

Slashdot - 12 hours 3 min ago
Amateur astronomer and YouTuber Alberto Caballero, one of the founders of The Exoplanets Channel, has found a small amount of evidence for a source of the notorious Wow! signal. Phys.Org reports: Back in 1977, astronomers working with the Big Ear Radio Telescope -- at the time, situated in Delaware, Ohio -- recorded a unique signal from somewhere in space. It was so strong and unusual that one of the workers on the team, Jerry Ehman, famously scrawled the word Wow! on the printout. Despite years of work and many man hours, no one has ever been able to trace the source of the signal or explain the strong, unique signal, which lasted for all of 72 seconds. Since that time, many people have suggested the only explanation for such a strong and unique signal is extraterrestrial intelligent life. In this new effort, Caballero reasoned that if the source was some other life form, it would likely be living on an exoplanet -- and if that were the case, it would stand to reason that such a life form might be living on a planet similar to Earth -- one circling its own sun-like star. Pursuing this logic, Caballero began searching the publicly available Gaia database for just such a star. The Gaia database has been assembled by a team working at the Gaia observatory run by the European Space Agency. Launched back in 2013, the project has worked steadily on assembling the best map of the night sky ever created. To date, the team has mapped approximately 1.3 billion stars. In studying his search results, Caballero found what appears to fit the bill -- a star (2MASS 19281982-2640123) that is very nearly a mirror image of the sun -- and is located in the part of the sky where the Wow! signal originated. He notes that there are other possible candidates in the area but suggests his candidate might provide the best launching point for a new research effort by astronomers who have the tools to look for exoplanets. Caballero shared his findings via arXiv.

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CodeSOD: Classic WTF: Functional Encryption

The Daily WTF - 12 hours 33 min ago
It's Thanksgiving Day in the US. Yesterday, we looked at a classic "encryption" story, and today, we should all be thankful that we don't have to support this encryption code. Original --Remy

Richard's company builds, hosts, and maintains a variety of small- and mid-sized web-based applications for their clients. Recently, one of their clients asked Richard to help audit a fraudulent transaction, which meant that Richard needed to dig through the code to see how to decrypt bank account numbers stored in the database. The search led him to H88493247329(), the method responsible for encrypting customer data. After spending a minute to add linebreaks and rename the variables, Richard asked his coworker why he obfuscated the code. His coworker scoffed, you should always encrypt your encryption functions -- it's completely insecure otherwise

function H88493247329($B89424235) { //ED: Linkebreaks added global $a,$e,$m,$H; $X42342234 = $H . "." . $m . "-" . $a; $KJD234 = fopen($X42342234,"r"); $MMNVUD884 = fread($KJD234,filesize($X42342234)); fclose($KJD234); $MQUFI3 = mcrypt_module_open('','','''); $MMNVUD884 = substr($MMNVUD884,0,mcrypt_enc_get_key_size($MQUFI3)); $JF8_size = mcrypt_enc_get_iv_size($MQUFI3); $JF8 = mcrypt_create_iv($JF8_size, MCRYPT_RAND); if (mcrypt_generic_init($MQUFI3,$MMNVUD884,$JF8)!=-1) { $KIDO83R4234FFS = mcrypt_generic($MQUFI3,$B89424235); mcrypt_generic_deinit($MQUFI3); mcrypt_module_close($MQUFI3); } return $KIDO83R4234FFS; } [Advertisement] BuildMaster allows you to create a self-service release management platform that allows different teams to manage their applications. Explore how!
Categories: Technology

How America attacked Huawei: Former CEO of DocuSign and Ariba turned diplomat Keith Krach tells his tale

The Register - 14 hours 5 min ago
53 nations and 180 telcos have adopted Clean Network plan – and Huawei fell for it

The United States’ Clean Network plan has won support from 53 nations and 180 telcos, and Huawei has unwittingly legitimised it.…

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