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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

BMW is making a quicker, more fun X2 M35i for the haters – Roadshow

The new M Sport version of BMW’s X2 crossover should be a hoot to drive and give the Mercedes GLA45 AMG a run for its money.
Source: CNET

Former Facebook security chief says creating election chaos is still easy

As someone who’s had a years-long front row seat to Russia’s efforts influence US politics, former Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos has a pretty solid read on what we can expect from the 2018 midterms. Stamos left the company last month to work on cybersecurity education at Stanford.

“If there’s no foreign interference during the midterms, it’s not because we did a great job,” Stamos said in an interview with TechCrunch at Disrupt SF on Thursday. “It’s because our adversaries decided to [show] a little forbearance, which is unfortunate.”

As Stamos sees it, there is an alternate reality in which the US electorate would be better off heading into its next major nationwide voting day but critical steps haven’t been taken.

“As a society, we have not responded to the 2016 election in the way that would’ve been necessary to have a more trustworthy midterms,” he said. “There have been positive changes, but overall security of campaigns [is] not that much better, and the actual election infrastructure isn’t much better.”

Stamos believes that it’s important to remember that foreign adversaries can’t dictate the outcome of an election with any kind of guarantee. What they can do — and what he calls his “big fear” — is that they can still mess everything up in a way that calls the entire system into question.

“In most cases, throwing an election one way or another is going to be very difficult for a foreign adversary but throwing any election into chaos is totally doable right now,” he said. “That’s where we haven’t moved forwards. ”

Stamos gave examples of attacks on voter registration sites that lose voter data or denial-of-service attacks on the day of elections.

“With a disinformation campaign at the same time, you can make it so that you have half the country that thinks the election was thrown,” he said.

To a foreign adversary seeking to undermine US democracy, creating that kind of doubt isn’t very technically difficult. Even with no votes changed and no voting systems breached, a little doubt goes a very long way toward accomplishing the same goals as a more sophisticated hacking campaign.

Stamos cites new ad funding disclosures as one substantive change that will help make US democracy healthier, but more efforts need to be taken.

“Russian interference or not, we do not want a future where campaigns and candidates are cutting up the electorate into smaller and smaller pieces — so I think ad transparency is the first step there,” he said.

In some cases, those efforts will require a major shift in the way both the US government and private social media companies have conducted themselves. For one, as he wrote in Lawfare, the US needs “an independent, defense-only cybersecurity agency with no intelligence, military or law enforcement responsibility” rather than a patchwork of agencies each partially responsible for cybersecurity defense.

The news may not be great for 2018, but a strong dose of realism now will amplify the clarion call to do better before 2020.


Source: TechCrunch

Slack is having connection issues again (Update: It’s back)

This is officially a trend. This afternoon, Slack reported connectivity issues through its official status channel. We can confirm. Roughly half of our messages are going through. And yes, it’s super duper annoying.

“We’re investigating problems with connectivity at this time,” the company writes. “We’re sorry for the interruption and will keep you posted as soon as we have an update”

This is the third large connection issue the popular chat service has experienced in roughly a month or so. We’ll report back as we hear more.

Update: Seems things are back to normal, at least according to Slack’s internal monitors. Still. we’ll see if we can get more information about what’s been making the chat service unreliable of late. Here’s what Slack has to say,

Things should be back to normal now. Thanks for your patience, and we’re extremely sorry for the disruption to your day. Our team is continuing to investigate this issue to ensure it doesn’t happen again.


Source: TechCrunch

Hey, Twitter and Facebook: Your wild west era's coming to an end – CNET

Lawmakers did their tech homework and came up with good questions for the top social media networks. The problem: not a lot of good answers.
Source: CNET

How to watch Google's Pixel event on Oct. 9 – CNET

Will we see the Pixel 3 and Pixel 3 XL? Probably.
Source: CNET

Copycat military websites caught selling users' personal information – CNET

Fake recruitment sites peddled the info to schools as sales leads, the FTC says.
Source: CNET

Huawei caught cheating performance test for new phones

UL, the company behind the tablet and phone performance benchmark app 3DMark, has delisted new Huawei phones from its “Best Smartphone” leaderboard after AnandTech discovered the phone maker was boosting its performance to ace the app’s test.

The phones delisted were the P20, P20 Pro, Nova 3 and the Honor Play.

“After testing the devices in our own lab and confirming that they breach our rules, we have decided to delist the affected models and remove them from our performance rankings,” the company said in a statement.

For the Huawei case, the rules are actually a little fuzzy. Phones are permitted to adjust performance based on workload, which results in peaks or dips in performance for different apps, but they are not permitted to hard-code peaks in performance specifically for the benchmark app. Huawei reportedly claimed that the peak in performance seen during the run of the benchmark app was an intuitive jump determined by AI; however, when an unlabeled version of the benchmark test was run, the phones were unable to recognize it and, as a result, displayed lower performances.

In other words, the phones aren’t so smart after all.

Huawei is not the first company caught overstepping these rules. Samsung did as well in 2013, and ironically the results of these benchmark tests actually mean little in terms of overall general performance of the phone.

While they can point to how a phone may perform during heavy stress, average performance is still best discovered through individual testing.

Huawei did not immediately return a request for comment.


Source: TechCrunch

JUST’s plant-based eggs are coming to a grocery store near you

Vegans, rejoice! JUST’s sustainable egg alternative is set to arrive in stores this fall.

The vegan foods company, formerly known as Hampton Creek, will sell the egg-free and dairy-free “egg” in certain grocery store chains across the U.S. 

JUST co-founder and CEO Josh Tetrick, whose company was valued at $1.1 billion last year, says fans of JUST have long-awaited this day.

“Launching JUST Egg is a major milestone and we’re excited for it to become a favorite part of families’ meals far into the future,” Tetrick said in a statement. “Fans of JUST have been looking forward to this moment for some time and we’re eager to hear customers’ feedback when they try it at home or in their favorite restaurants.”

JUST’s “egg” product is among its growing line of vegan foods. It also carries salad dressing, cookie dough and mayo, most of which you can buy on Amazon and in grocery stores. The company also runs a clean meat lab, where it’s competing against Impossible Foods, Memphis Meats and other startups to conquer the lab-grown meat market.

If you’re unfamiliar with JUST, you may remember Hampton Creek. The company ditched its former name in 2017 after major scandals and poor business decisions led it down a bad, bad road.

Founded in 2011, JUST was a VC darling, raising capital from Facebook co-founder Eduardo Saverin, Salesforce founder and CEO Marc Benioff and Khosla Ventures, among others. But in 2016, reports emerged that employees were buying products off the shelves to increase sales figures, a move that resulted in an SEC investigation.

The company went on to lose several executives amid other reports it was blasting through $10 million per month. The final blow, however, was last July, when every member of the company’s board stepped down, except for CEO Josh Tetrick, who remains at the helm.

After a couple of months, Tetrick hit the ground running again with new board members and patents signaling a new direction for JUST.

JUST Egg will be available in Hy-Vee, Fresh Thyme, Gelson’s, Nugget, Mollie Stone’s, New Seasons, Lunardi’s, Mariano’s, Haggen, Metropolitan Market, Acme Fresh Markets and others.


Source: TechCrunch

The Truth About Amazon, Food Stamps, and Tax Breaks

Bernie Sanders wants companies like Amazon to pay when their employees rely on public benefits, but the retail giant benefits even more from economic incentives offered by local politicians.
Source: Wired

Epic NASA panorama shows Curiosity rover under dusty Mars skies – CNET

It’s a selfie and a stunning Mars landscape together in one.
Source: CNET

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