The Linkielist

Linking ideas with the world

Data of 243 million Brazilians exposed online via govt website source code

The personal information of more than 243 million Brazilians, including alive and deceased, has been exposed online after web developers left the password for a crucial government database inside the source code of an official Brazilian Ministry of Health’s website for at least six months. The security snafu was discovered by reporters from Brazilian newspaper Estadao, Read more about Data of 243 million Brazilians exposed online via govt website source code[…]

Alphabet’s internet Loon balloon kept on station in the sky using AI that beat human-developed control code

Loon, known for its giant billowing broadband-beaming balloons, says it has figured out how to use machine-learning algorithms to keep its lofty vehicles hovering in place autonomously in the stratosphere. The 15-metre-wide balloons relay internet connections between people’s homes and ground stations that could be thousands of kilometres apart. To form a steady network that Read more about Alphabet’s internet Loon balloon kept on station in the sky using AI that beat human-developed control code[…]

China’s first fully driverless robotaxis hit the streets of Shenzhen

Fully driverless robotaxis are now a practical reality on Chinese roads. AutoX has become the first company to put a fleet of the completely driver-free vehicles on the country’s streets, with the cars now roaming Shenzhen. They’re not yet available to the public, a spokesperson told TechCrunch, but it’s still a significant move. AutoX claims Read more about China’s first fully driverless robotaxis hit the streets of Shenzhen[…]

The first phone with an under-display camera goes on sale December 21st

You won’t have to wait much longer to buy the first phone with an under-display camera — if you live in the right country. ZTE now plans to release the Axon 20 5G in 11 countries and regions on December 21st, including the UK, European Union, Japan and South Korea. The company didn’t reveal pricing, Read more about The first phone with an under-display camera goes on sale December 21st[…]

As if Productivity Score wasn’t creepy enough, Microsoft has patented tech for ‘meeting quality monitoring devices’ – PS is being defanged though

The slightly creepy “Productivity Score” may not be all that’s in store for Microsoft 365 users, judging by a trawl of Redmond’s patents. One that has popped up recently concerns a “Meeting Insight Computing System“, spotted first by GeekWire, created to give meetings a quality score with a view to improving upcoming get-togethers. It all Read more about As if Productivity Score wasn’t creepy enough, Microsoft has patented tech for ‘meeting quality monitoring devices’ – PS is being defanged though[…]

DeepMind’s A.I. can now predict protein shapes from their DNA sequences | Fortune

Researchers have made a major breakthrough using artificial intelligence that could revolutionize the hunt for new medicines. The scientists have created A.I. software that uses a protein’s DNA sequence to predict its three-dimensional structure to within an atom’s width of accuracy. The achievement, which solves a 50-year-old challenge in molecular biology, was accomplished by a Read more about DeepMind’s A.I. can now predict protein shapes from their DNA sequences | Fortune[…]

How use science to fight back against anti-maskers, climate deniers and anti-vaxxers? Let people read their research

[..] The shift to online science communication from conventional news platforms has been going on for a while. There is a need for credible and accurate science reporting because the miscommunication of science in the media is causing lasting damage to the public’s understanding of science. Misinformation has consequences, as seen during the ongoing COVID-19 Read more about How use science to fight back against anti-maskers, climate deniers and anti-vaxxers? Let people read their research[…]

Defeat COVID-19: put positive spin to a grim 2020 by showing global covid recoveries on screen

The campaign was conceived by DOOH firm Orb Screen, produced by Creative Conscience and L&CO, developed by Voodooh and Nicole Yershon, and designed by advertising graduate Megan Williams. It has now made its way to Asia, with Location Media Xchange (LMX), the supply-focused arm of Moving Walls Group, amplifying the creatives on partner screens across Read more about Defeat COVID-19: put positive spin to a grim 2020 by showing global covid recoveries on screen[…]

Poland’s Bid To Get Upload Filters Taken Out Of The EU Copyright Directive Suddenly Looks Much More Hopeful

one of the biggest defeats for users of the Internet — and for online freedom of expression — was the passage of the EU Copyright Directive last year. The law was passed using a fundamentally dishonest argument that it did not require upload filters, because they weren’t explicitly mentioned in the text. As a result, Read more about Poland’s Bid To Get Upload Filters Taken Out Of The EU Copyright Directive Suddenly Looks Much More Hopeful[…]

Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft’s creepy Productivity Score now in 365

Microsoft’s Productivity Score has put in a public appearance in Microsoft 365 and attracted the ire of privacy campaigners and activists. The Register had already noted the vaguely creepy-sounding technology back in May. The goal of it is to use telemetry captured by the Windows behemoth to track the productivity of an organisation through metrics Read more about Privacy campaigner flags concerns about Microsoft’s creepy Productivity Score now in 365[…]

Prolonged AWS outage takes down a big chunk of the internet

Amazon Web Services (AWS), Amazon’s internet infrastructure service that is the backbone of many websites and apps, experienced a multi-hour outage on Wednesday that affected a large portion of the internet. The service has been nearly fully restored as of 4:18AM ET on Thursday morning, according to Amazon. Source: Prolonged AWS outage takes down a Read more about Prolonged AWS outage takes down a big chunk of the internet[…]

IRS contracted to Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times

The IRS was able to query a database of location data quietly harvested from ordinary smartphone apps over 10,000 times, according to a copy of the contract between IRS and the data provider obtained by Motherboard. The document provides more insight into what exactly the IRS wanted to do with a tool purchased from Venntel, Read more about IRS contracted to Search Warrantless Location Database Over 10,000 Times[…]

GM launches OnStar Insurance Services – uses your driving data to calculate insurance rate

Andrew Rose, president of OnStar Insurance Services commented: “OnStar Insurance will promote safety, security and peace of mind. We aim to be an industry leader, offering insurance in an innovative way. “GM customers who have subscribed to OnStar and connected services will be eligible to receive discounts, while also receiving fully-integrated services from OnStar Insurance Read more about GM launches OnStar Insurance Services – uses your driving data to calculate insurance rate[…]

Struggling electric jet startup Zunum sues Boeing for fraud, misuse of trade secrets, poaching talent

In 2017, Zunum Aero was flying high. The Kirkland, Washington-based aviation startup came out of stealth mode with bold plans to build a fleet of 12-seat hybrid electric jets for short, regional hops between cities. The company, which had received millions of dollars from the venture arms of Boeing and JetBlue, said it would be Read more about Struggling electric jet startup Zunum sues Boeing for fraud, misuse of trade secrets, poaching talent[…]

Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data

Australia’s intelligence agencies have been caught “incidentally” collecting data from the country’s COVIDSafe contact-tracing app during the first six months of its launch, a government watchdog has found. The report, published Monday by the Australian government’s inspector general for the intelligence community, which oversees the government’s spy and eavesdropping agencies, said the app data was Read more about Australia’s spy agencies caught collecting COVID-19 app data[…]

Amazon’s ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors’ Wi-Fi if needed – and it’s opt-out

Amazon is close to launching Sidewalk – its ad-hoc wireless network for smart-home devices that taps into people’s Wi-Fi – and it is pretty much an opt-out affair. The gist of Sidewalk is this: nearby Amazon gadgets, regardless of who owns them, can automatically organize themselves into their own private wireless network mesh, communicating primarily Read more about Amazon’s ad-hoc Ring, Echo mesh network can mooch off your neighbors’ Wi-Fi if needed – and it’s opt-out[…]

Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars and Alien book writer

Disney, of course, has quite the reputation as a copyright maximalist. It has been accused of being the leading company in always pushing for more draconian copyright laws. And then, of course, there’s the infamous Mickey Mouse curve, first designated a decade ago by Tom Bell, highlighting how copyright term extensions seemed to always happen Read more about Disney (Disney!) Accused Of Trying To Lawyer Its Way Out Of Paying Royalties To Alan Dean Foster, Star Wars and Alien book writer[…]

Scientists Produce Rare Diamonds In Minutes At Room Temperature

While traditional diamonds are formed over billions of years deep in the Earth where extreme pressures and temperatures provide just the right conditions to crystalize carbon, scientists are working on more expedient ways of forging the precious stones. An international team of researchers has succeeded in whittling this process down to mere minutes, demonstrating a Read more about Scientists Produce Rare Diamonds In Minutes At Room Temperature[…]

Split-Second ‘Phantom’ Images Can Fool Tesla’s Autopilot

one group of researchers has been focused on what autonomous driving systems might see that a human driver doesn’t—including “phantom” objects and signs that aren’t really there, which could wreak havoc on the road. Researchers at Israel’s Ben Gurion University of the Negev have spent the last two years experimenting with those “phantom” images to Read more about Split-Second ‘Phantom’ Images Can Fool Tesla’s Autopilot[…]

Nintendo Continues Cracking Down On People Selling Switch Hacks: jailbraking w RCM = piracy in their minds

Nintendo filed a lawsuit Wednesday against an Amazon Marketplace user who was allegedly selling devices called RCM loaders. Used to help people jailbreak their Switch, shutting these down is the latest in the company’s efforts to stop players from pirating its games. As first reported by Polygon, the lawsuit against reseller Le Hoang Minh seeks Read more about Nintendo Continues Cracking Down On People Selling Switch Hacks: jailbraking w RCM = piracy in their minds[…]

Oppo’s X 2021 rollable concept phone expands in your hand

Today’s Inno Day 2020 event unveiled the Oppo X 2021 concept smartphone, which is all about its “continuously variable OLED display.” With a simple swipe on a button, the phone is able to transform between a regular 6.7-inch size and a tablet-like 7.4-inch size, and the software interface adapts accordingly for optimal experience — be Read more about Oppo’s X 2021 rollable concept phone expands in your hand[…]

YouTube will run ads on smaller creators’ videos without paying them

Don’t be surprised if you start seeing ads on videos made by smaller YouTube creators. The video-sharing website has updated its Terms of Service, and it includes a new section that gives it the right to monetize videos from channels not big enough to be part of its Partner Program. That doesn’t mean new creators Read more about YouTube will run ads on smaller creators’ videos without paying them[…]

After 12,523 replacements, Feds investigate Tesla Media Control Unit failures

Is one of Tesla’s infotainment systems defective by design? That’s a question the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration hopes to answer. It has started an engineering analysis after hundreds of customer complaints of bricked systems resulted in a preliminary investigation in June. NHTSA thinks it knows what the problem is: an 8GB eMMC NAND flash Read more about After 12,523 replacements, Feds investigate Tesla Media Control Unit failures[…]

The ones who brought you Let’s Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens

The Internet Security Research Group (ISRG) has a plan to allow companies to collect information about how people are using their products while protecting the privacy of those generating the data. Today, the California-based non-profit, which operates Let’s Encrypt, introduced Prio Services, a way to gather online product metrics without compromising the personal information of Read more about The ones who brought you Let’s Encrypt, bring you: Tools for gathering anonymized app usage metrics from netizens[…]

Apple’s ‘Batterygate’ Saga Wraps Up With $113 Million Settlement

Younger readers might not know, but there was once an annual tradition in which Apple would release a new iPhone, old iPhones would suddenly start performing poorly, and users would speculate about a conspiracy to get them to buy the shiny new thing. It turned out that a conspiracy, of sorts, did exist, and Apple Read more about Apple’s ‘Batterygate’ Saga Wraps Up With $113 Million Settlement[…]