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Facebook sets up a 'war room' ahead of Brazil and US elections – CNET

The social network also said it’s removed almost 1.3 billion fake accounts between October and March.
Source: CNET

New physics AI could be the key to a quantum computing revolution

Quantum computing is one of the most exciting technologies there is, but its basis in quantum physics makes it a pain in the ass to understand and even harder to do anything with. A recent breakthrough in physics research, however, might change all of that and start a computing revolution. It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened. IBM’s Thomas J Watson (the person the Watson AI was named after) famously said “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers,” in 1943. That’s probably because, at the time, a computer filled up an entire room. But,…

This story continues at The Next Web

Game of Thrones showrunners reveal why season 8 is taking so long – CNET

That last season is “the biggest thing we’ve ever done,” David Benioff says, promising it’ll be worth the wait.
Source: CNET

Password bypass flaw in Western Digital My Cloud drives puts data at risk

A security researcher has published details of a vulnerability in a popular cloud storage drive after the company failed to issue security patches for over a year.

Remco Vermeulen found a privilege escalation bug in Western Digital’s My Cloud devices, which he said allows an attacker to bypass the admin password on the drive, gaining “complete control” over the user’s data.

The exploit works because drive’s web-based dashboard doesn’t properly check a user’s credentials before giving a possible attacker access to tools that should require higher levels of access.

The bug was “easy” to exploit, Vermeulen told TechCrunch in an email, and that it was remotely exploitable if a My Cloud device allows remote access over the internet — which thousands of devices are. He posted a proof-of-concept video on Twitter.

Details of the bug were also independently found by another security team, which released its own exploit code.

Vermeulen reported the bug over a year ago in April 2017, but said the company stopped responding. Normally, security researchers give 90 days for a company to respond, in line with industry-accepted responsible disclosure guidelines.

After he found that WD updated the My Cloud firmware in the meanwhile without fixing the vulnerability he found, he decided to post his findings.

A year later, WD still hasn’t release a patch.

The company confirmed that it knows of the vulnerability but did not say why it took more than a year to issue a fix. “We are in the process of finalizing a scheduled firmware update that will resolve the reported issue,” a spokesperson said, which will arrive “within a few weeks.”

WD said that several of its My Cloud products are vulnerable — including the EX2, EX4, and Mirror, but not My Cloud Home.

In the meantime, Vermeulen said that there’s no fix and that users have to “just disconnect” the drive altogether if they want to keep their data safe.


HQ Trivia’s next game is a Wheel of Fortune lookalike

If you’re reading this site, you’ve probably heard of HQ Trivia, the live mobile gameshow where you answer questions to win real money. The HQ team is now looking to branch out with its latest project: HQ Words. As first reported by Digiday, it’s basically an HQ-ified Wheel of Fortune. That means you get a blank grid of potential letters, along with a clue as to what lies hidden beneath. You’ll see a selection of letters to choose from and earn points for each correct guess. Three strikes and you’re out. If you’re wondering how HQ can survive giving out…

This story continues at The Next Web

Red Dead Online could make Rockstar's western a GTA V-sized juggernaut – CNET

Commentary: Rockstar Games is back at it again with another open-world online mode.
Source: CNET

Fitbit targets employers and health plans with Care

When it launched the Versa back in March, Fitbit also announced plans to pivot. While the company will continue to operate in consumer hardware, it’s also shifting much of its focus toward healthcare. A month earlier, the company had acquired Twine, a platform that serves as part of the foundation of its new health coaching service, Care.

Announced today, the system uses the new Fitbit Plus, combined with the company’s off-the-shelf hardware to provide additional health insight, one-on-one health coaching and what the company calls “personalized digital interventions.”

The program is essentially looking to add a bit more a personalized, human touch to fitness tracking. It promises to step beyond algorithmic data by using custom social groups and human health coaches who communicate directly with users through the app or over the phone. The councilors are trained to help with everything from weight loss and smoking to serious conditions like diabetes and hypertension.

The new Fitbit Plus app is a big piece of that puzzle, offering those connections and integrating serious health tracking from third-party devices. That means users can add metrics like blood pressure and glucose levels.

This is one of the first key public facing steps for Fitbit’s shift into enterprise and healthcare. If it can get corporations and providers to take it more seriously as a medical device provider, the company can tap into a lucrative market beyond straight to consumer. Of course, Fitbit’s not alone in that push. Apple notably took another step in that direction with the addition of features like the ECG meter on the new Apple Watch.


After inspiring from Manypixels, I've launched a productized service which is an extension of theirs

[DesignThingy]( is an on-demand design to HTML/CSS conversion service and existing website improvisation service for Indie makers, startups, and agencies.

If you are thinking:

Sketch can export design files in HTML/CSS and there are also plugins and apps out there to do this job, then why should I choose you?

Then I want to say that you are absolutely right! There are tools and apps to convert the design to HTML/CSS but these tools don’t deliver you fully responsive, error-free, clean coded, pixel perfect, fully cross-browser compatible, hand-coded template. But we do! This makes us different from them.

I would love to know what do you think about

Facebook plans voter drive, partners with Democratic/Republican Institutes

Facebook will push users to register to vote through a partnership with TurboVote, has partnered with the International Republican Institute and International Democratic Institute non-profits to monitor foreign election interference, and will publish a weekly report of trends and issues emerging from its new political ads archive. Facebook has also confirmed that its election integrity war room is up and running and the team is now ‘red teaming’ how it would react to problem scenarios such as a spike in voter suppression content.

These were the major announcements from today’s briefing call between Facebook’s election integrity team and reporters.

Facebook’s voter registration drive will also partner with TurboVote, which Instagram announced yesterday will assist it with a similar initiative

Much of the call reviewed Facebook’s past efforts, but also took time to focus on the upcoming Brazilian election. There, Facebook has engaged with over 1000 prosecutors, judges, and clerks to establish a dialog with election authorities. It’s partnered with three fact-checkers in the country and worked with them on Messenger bots like “Fátima” and “Projeto Lupe” that can help people spot fake news.

The voter registration drive mirrors Instagram’s plan announced yesterday to work with TurboVote to push users to registration info via ads. Facebook says it will also remind people to vote on election day and let them share with friends that “I voted”. One concern is that voter registration and voting efforts by Facebook could unevenly advantage one political party, for instance those with a base of middle-aged constituents who might be young enough to use Facebook but not so young that they’ve abandoned it for YouTube and Snapchat. If Facebook can’t prove the efforts are fair, the drive could turn into a talking point for congressional members eager to paint the social network as biased against their party.

The partnerships with the Institutes that don’t operate domestically are designed “to understand what they’re seeing on the ground in elections” around the world so Facebook can move faster to safeguard its systems, says Facebook’s Director of Global Politics and Government Outreach Team Katie Harbath. Here, Facebook is admitting this problem is too big to tackle on its own. Beyond working with independent fact checkers and government election commissions, it’s tasking non-profits to help be its eyes and ears on the ground.

The war room isn’t finished yet, according to a story from the New York Times published in the middle of the press call. Still under construction in a central hallway between two of Facebook’s Menlo Park HQ buildings, it will fit about 20 of Facebook’s 300 staffers working on election integrity. It will feature screens showing dashboards about information flowing through Facebook to help the team quickly identify and respond to surges in false news or fake accounts.

Overall, Facebook is trying to do its homework so it’s ready for a “heat of the moment, last day before the election scenario” and won’t get caught flat-footed, says Facebook director of product management for News Feed Greg Marra. He says Facebook is “being a lot more proactive and building systems to look for problems so they don’t become big problems on our platform.” Facebook’s director of product management for Elections and Civic Engagement Samidh Chakrabarti noted, this is “One of the biggest cross-team efforts we’ve seen.”


Wildlife Detective Uses DNA to Link Stolen Ivory to Big Cartels

A new method looks at the DNA of elephant tusks to pinpoint the crime networks behind disparate stashes of poached ivory.
Source: WIRED