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Why Scientists Are Very Worried About the Variant From Brazil

Slashdot - 3시간 8분 지남
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: New coronavirus variants seem to be cropping up everywhere. There's one from the U.K., which is more contagious and already circulating in the United States. There's one from South Africa, which is forcing Moderna and Pfizer to reformulate their COVID-19 vaccines and create "booster" shots, just to make sure the vaccines maintain their efficacies. But for some scientists, the most worrying variant might be the newest one. A variant called P.1, which emerged in early December in Manaus, Brazil, and by mid-January had already caused a massive resurgence in cases across the city of 2 million people. [...] The concern with P.1 is twofold: scientists don't understand why the variant has spread so explosively in Brazil, and the variant carries a particularly dangerous set of mutations. While the variant from the U.K. took about three months to dominate the outbreak in England, P.1 took only about a month to dominate the outbreak in Manaus. In addition, Manaus had already been hit extremely hard by the virus back in April. One study estimated that the population should have reached herd immunity and the virus shouldn't be able to spread easily in the community. So why would the city see an even bigger surge 10 months later? Could P.1 be evading the antibodies made against the previous version of the virus, making reinfections easier? Could it just be significantly more contagious? Could both be true? "While we don't *know* exactly why this variant has been so apparently successful in Brazil, none of the explanations on the table are good," epidemiologist Bill Hanage, at Harvard University, wrote on Twitter. Reinfections are a serious concern for several reasons. First off, like the variant from South Africa, P.1 carries a cluster of mutations along the surface of the virus where antibodies -- especially the potent antibodies -- like to bind. "They are kind of the major targets of the immune system," says virologist Penny Moore at the National Institute for Communicable Diseases in South Africa and the University of KwaZulu-Natal. "So when we see a whole lot of mutations in [those surfaces], it raises the possibility that the mutations might be conferring immune escape." That is, the mutations are helping the virus evade antibodies or escape recognition by them. In essence, the mutations are providing the virus with a type of invisibility cloak. And thus, now we have a game of "cat and mouse," says virologist Ravi Gupta, between the virus and the vaccine. The virus finds ways around the vaccine (and our immune system), says Gupta, and so the manufacturers have to reformulate the vaccines (or else we run the risk of getting infected twice).

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Police Dismantle World's 'Most Dangerous' Criminal Hacking Network

Slashdot - 4시간 38분 지남
International law enforcement agencies said on Wednesday they had dismantled a criminal hacking scheme used to steal billions of dollars from businesses and private citizens worldwide. Reuters reports: Police in six European countries, as well as Canada and the United States, completed a joint operation to take control of Internet servers used to run and control a malware network known as "Emotet," authorities said in a statement. "Emotet is currently seen as the most dangerous malware globally," Germany's BKA federal police agency said in a statement. "The smashing of the Emotet infrastructure is a significant blow against international organized Internet crime." German police said infections with Emotet had caused at least 14.5 million euros ($17.56 million) of damage in their country. Globally, Emotet-linked damages cost about $2.5 billion, Ukrainian authorities said. Ukraine's General Prosecutor said police had carried out raids in the eastern city of Kharkiv to seize computers used by the hackers. Authorities released photos showing piles of bank cards, cash and a room festooned with tangled computer equipment, but did not say if any arrests were made.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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AT&T Eats a $15.5 Billion Impairment Charge As DirecTV Debacle Continues

Slashdot - 6시간 6분 지남
An anonymous reader writes: AT&T lost 617,000 customers from DirecTV and its other TV businesses in the final quarter of 2020, capping a year in which it lost nearly 3 million customers in the category, AT&T reported today. AT&T today also informed the Securities and Exchange Commission that it has taken "noncash impairment charges of $15.5 billion" related to its ongoing DirecTV debacle. AT&T said the $15.5 billion charges reflect "changes in our management strategy and our evaluation of the domestic video business... including our decision to operate our video business separately from our broadband and legacy telephony operations." This operational decision "required us to identify a separate Video reporting unit and to assess both the recoverability of its long-lived assets and any assigned goodwill for impairment," AT&T said. AT&T said it also logged "charges of approximately $780 million from the impairment of production and other content inventory at WarnerMedia, with $520 million resulting from the continued shutdown of theaters during the pandemic and the hybrid distribution model for our 2021 film slate." The charges were added to AT&T's Q4 expenses. As a result, AT&T reported a $13.9 billion net loss in the quarter, compared to a net profit of $2.4 billion a year ago. Q4 revenue was $45.7 billion, down from $46.8 billion year over year. The Q4 net loss swung AT&T to a full-year net loss of $5.4 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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[$] LWN.net Weekly Edition for January 28, 2021

lwn.net - 6시간 17분 지남
The LWN.net Weekly Edition for January 28, 2021 is available.
카테고리:

Personal Experiences Bridge Moral and Political Divides Better Than Facts, Research Finds

Slashdot - 6시간 43분 지남
AmiMoJo shares a report from Live Science: In his inaugural address last week, President Joe Biden called for unity. But how can Americans come together, given what seems to be growing political contention and deep divides? New research suggests the answer can be found in stories, not statistics. People respect those they disagree with more when their position comes from a place of personal experience, not facts and figures, finds a new series of experiments published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. This is especially true when the personal stories are rooted in experiences of harm or vulnerability. "In moral disagreements, experiences seem truer than facts," said Kurt Gray, a psychologist and director of the Center for the Science of Moral Understanding at the University of North Carolina. For the new research, Gray and his colleagues focused on how facts versus experiences affected people's perceptions of their opponent's rationality and their respect for that opponent. Over 15 separate experiments, they found that, although people think they respect opponents who present facts, they actually have more respect for opponents who share personal stories.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Clash and Byte, Two of TikTok's Competitors, Are Merging

Slashdot - 7시간 23분 지남
Yesterday, Clash announced it was acquiring Byte, a short-form video app launched by Vine cofounder Dom Hofmann. The announcement comes "at a time when TikTok itself now appears to be here to stay," reports CNN. From the report: Dubsmash, another TikTok competitor with a similar algorithmic feed serving up entertaining videos, was acquired last month by Reddit. Meanwhile, Adam Mosseri, the head of Instagram, which launched a TikTok clone called Reels days after then President Donald Trump said he would ban TikTok, recently admitted "TikTok is ahead." He also hinted at a need for Instagram to simplify or consolidate its video product offerings. Clash was one of the many competitors that seemed poised to benefit from TikTok's troubles. Like TikTok, Clash lets users upload short videos set to music and offers an algorithmic feed serving up content it thinks you'd like. Byte offers a similar experience, except with hidden follower counts and likes. [...] The Byte app will "continue to have the same great in-app experience" Clash said, but it will add new ways to monetize and other features. Clash said it's working on ways for its creators to earn money directly on the platform, including from viral videos and top fans giving payments on a regular basis, which it hopes will help it stand out in a crowded market.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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An unpleasant sudo vulnerability

lwn.net - 7시간 53분 지남
It would appear that "sudo" has a buffer-overflow vulnerability that allows any local user to gain root privileges, whether or not they are in the sudoers file. It has been there since 2011. See this advisory for details, but perhaps run an update first.
카테고리:

Discord Bans the r/WallStreetBets Server As Subreddit Goes Private

Slashdot - 8시간 6분 지남
According to The Verge, Discord has banned the r/WallStreetBets server for allowing "hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings." It did not ban the server for financial fraud. We have also learned that Reddit's WallStreetBets subreddit has been set to private. Here is Discord's full statement: The server has been on our Trust & Safety team's radar for some time due to occasional content that violates our Community Guidelines, including hate speech, glorifying violence, and spreading misinformation. Over the past few months, we have issued multiple warnings to the server admin. Today, we decided to remove the server and its owner from Discord for continuing to allow hateful and discriminatory content after repeated warnings. To be clear, we did not ban this server due to financial fraud related to GameStop or other stocks. Discord welcomes a broad variety of personal finance discussions, from investment clubs and day traders to college students and professional financial advisors. We are monitoring this situation and in the event there are allegations of illegal activities, we will cooperate with authorities as appropriate. Developing...

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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iCloud For Windows Gaining Support For iCloud Passwords Chrome Extension

Slashdot - 8시간 48분 지남
Apple yesterday released a new version of iCloud for Windows 10, and based on multiple reports and the update's release notes, it appears Apple is introducing an iCloud Passwords extension designed for Chrome, which will allow "iCloud" Keychain passwords to be used on Windows machines. MacRumors reports: As noted by The 8-Bit and a few other sources, the update adds support for an "iCloud" Passwords Chrome extension." After installing version 12 of "iCloud" for Windows, there's a new "Passwords" section in the app with an "iCloud" Keychain logo. When attempting to use the feature, though, the "iCloud" app prompts users to download a Chrome extension, but the extension is broken and clicking to install leads to a broken web page. This is likely a bug that will be addressed in the near future, and it sounds like when it is functional, Windows users will be able to access their "iCloud" Keychain passwords on their Windows machines through the Chrome browser. It's not clear if Apple will offer this extension for Mac machines in the future as well, and it appears to be limited to Windows at this time.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Tesla Model S Gets a Radically Redesigned Interior and 520-Mile Range

Slashdot - 9시간 28분 지남
During its fourth-quarter earnings announcement, Tesla unveiled the long-rumored refresh for its Model S sedan. CNET reports: On the outside, the Model S has a new front bumper with slightly different intakes, a tweaked rear diffuser and new 19- and 21-inch wheel designs. All of the exterior trim is now finished in black to match the Model Y, but the paint color palette remains the same, with white being the only no-cost option. The interior is the star of the show, though. It's been completely redesigned, marking the Model S' first major update since its debut in 2012. There's a large 17-inch central screen much like that of the Model 3 and Model Y, but the S retains a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster in front of the driver, as well. Tesla says the new center screen is basically a gaming computer with 10 teraflops of processing power, and the released images show it running the popular fantasy RPG game Witcher 3. Most radical is the new steering wheel. It isn't exactly a wheel anymore, instead looking like a yoke right out of Star Wars or Knight Rider. There are no stalks, either, meaning the turn signals, lights and other typical features are now controlled by touch buttons on the "wheel." There's more carbon fiber or wood trim covering parts of the dashboard and door panels, and the door cards and center console have been redesigned for more storage space and better looks. The rear seats look more sculpted and have a new fold-down armrest with cupholders. Rear-seat passengers get an 8-inch screen that offers the same infotainment and gaming functions as the main screen, and it even works with wireless gaming controllers. The Model S has three-zone climate control, a 22-speaker audio system, heated seats all around (and ventilated front seats), ambient lighting and a glass roof as standard. White, black and beige remain the only interior color options. The maxed-out "Plaid Plus" model, which comes in at $139,990, features over 1,100 hp and will hit 60 mph in under 2 seconds. "It also boats a sub-9-second quarter-mile time, a top speed of 200 mph and a range of over 520 miles," reports CNET.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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GitLab Reshuffles Its Paid Subscription Plans, Drops Its Bronze/Starter Tier

Slashdot - 10시간 6분 지남
An anonymous reader writes: GitLab, the increasingly popular DevOps platform, today announced a major update to its subscription model. The company is doing away with its $4/month Bronze/Starter package. Current users will be able to renew one more time at the existing price or move to a higher tier (and receive a significant discount for the first three years after they do so). The company's free tier, it is worth noting, is not going away and GitLab argues that it includes "89% of the features in Bronze/Starter." To ease the pain, Bronze users will be able to renew their existing subscription before January 26, 2022 for an additional year at the existing price. They can also opt to move to the Premium tier at a discounted price for the next three years, starting at $6/user/month in Year 1, but that price then goes up to $9/user/month and $15/user/month in Year 2 and 3 respectively. For new users, the Bronze package is no longer available, starting now. With this change, GitLab now offers three tiers: Free, Premium and Ultimate (it's also doing away with the "Silver/Premium" and "Gold/Ultimate" naming). "The Bronze tier, we were selling at a loss," GitLab founder and CEO Sid Sijbrandij told TechCrunch. "We were just losing money every time we sold it -- just on hosting and support. To be a sustainable business, this was a move we had to make. It's a big transition for our customers but we want to make sure we're a sustainable company and we can keep investing."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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[$] A year of Python in Fedora

lwn.net - 10시간 30분 지남
Distribution developers do a lot of work to keep a language ecosystem working well within the distribution. It is relatively thankless work that normally only becomes visible when there is a problem or complaint. But Miro Hrončok recently put together a look back at what the Fedora Python team did during 2020. While it is, obviously, Fedora-specific, it provides something of a look inside at the kinds of things that distribution teams work on.
카테고리:

Miami Uploads Bitcoin White Paper To Municipal Website

Slashdot - 10시간 43분 지남
The city of Miami on Wednesday uploaded a copy of the Bitcoin white paper to its municipal website, joining a growing chorus of governments and companies now hosting bitcoin's original blueprint. From a report: Mayor Francis Suarez emphasized his commitment to "turn Miami into a hub for crypto innovation" in his tweet announcing the upload. He's been pumping the U.S. city's potential as a landing ground for California tech expats for weeks on social media. Miami is the "first municipal government to host Satoshi's white paper," Suarez asserted. Also see: Twitter thread on who else is participating.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

카테고리:

CVE-2021-3331

Latest 7 days CVE Lists - 10시간 53분 지남
WinSCP before 5.17.10 allows remote attackers to execute arbitrary programs when the URL handler encounters a crafted URL that loads session settings. (For example, this is exploitable in a default installation in which WinSCP is the handler for sftp:// URLs.)

GameStop, AMC Trading Now Being Restricted at TD Ameritrade, Schwab

Slashdot - 11시간 23분 지남
Some major brokerage houses have begun to respond to a frenetic surge in the price of shares of companies that has been attributed to rabid buying by individual investors on social-media platforms. From a report: On Wednesday, TD Ameritrade said it was restricting trading for GameStop and AMC Entertainment Holdings, as well as other names, amid a triple-digit percentage surge in the price of those companies in recent days. "In the interest of mitigating risk for our company and clients, we have put in place several restrictions on some transactions in $GME, $AMC and other securities," a spokeswoman for TD Ameritrade told MarketWatch, referring to the ticker symbols of the companies. "We made these decisions out of an abundance of caution amid unprecedented market conditions and other factors," she said. Charles Schwab, which bought TD Ameritrade but is still operating as an independent retail brokerage platform, said that it has tightened margin requirements in some of those trading names, including GameStop. A Schwab spokeswoman said that the platform changed its margin requirements, or how much an investor can borrow, on Jan. 13 and said it has placed "restrictions in place on certain transactions in GME and other securities."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

카테고리:

CVE-2021-3326

Latest 7 days CVE Lists - 11시간 53분 지남
The iconv function in the GNU C Library (aka glibc or libc6) 2.32 and earlier, when processing invalid input sequences in the ISO-2022-JP-3 encoding, fails an assertion in the code path and aborts the program, potentially resulting in a denial of service.

CVE-2021-22641

Latest 7 days CVE Lists - 11시간 53분 지남
A heap-based buffer overflow issue has been identified in the way the application processes project files, allowing an attacker to craft a special project file that may allow arbitrary code execution on the Tellus Lite V-Simulator and V-Server Lite (versions prior to 4.0.10.0).

CVE-2021-22653

Latest 7 days CVE Lists - 11시간 53분 지남
Multiple out-of-bounds write issues have been identified in the way the application processes project files, allowing an attacker to craft a special project file that may allow arbitrary code execution on the Tellus Lite V-Simulator and V-Server Lite (versions prior to 4.0.10.0).

CVE-2021-22655

Latest 7 days CVE Lists - 11시간 53분 지남
Multiple out-of-bounds read issues have been identified in the way the application processes project files, allowing an attacker to craft a special project file that may allow arbitrary code execution on the Tellus Lite V-Simulator and V-Server Lite (versions prior to 4.0.10.0).

CVE-2021-26276

Latest 7 days CVE Lists - 11시간 53분 지남
** DISPUTED ** scripts/cli.js in the GoDaddy node-config-shield (aka Config Shield) package before 0.2.2 for Node.js calls eval when processing a set command. NOTE: the vendor reportedly states that this is not a vulnerability. The set command was not intended for use with untrusted data.

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