Tech Today w/ Ken May

Archive for May 27th, 2017

Almost 10 years ago, journalist David Kushner had a chance to interview Gary Gygax and Dave Arneson, the two creators of Dungeons & Dragons , before they died. Kushner’s reporting became a story for Wired , and now he’s expanded the scope of his taleĀ into a graphic novel. Rise of the Dungeon Master , beautifully illustrated by Koren Shadmi, is both a moving portrait of two creative outsiders and a chronicle of how a new kind of storytelling changed pop culture forever. Kushner recounts the story of Gygax and Arneson in the second person, addressing the reader as if Kushner were the dungeon master. “You” are young Gygax, the child of immigrants growing up in the midwest, seeking escape from ordinary life by exploring the wilderness, hunting, and eventually learning to break into an old, abandoned asylum. The narrative technique sounds gimmicky, but it works: you’re sucked into the story and into immediate sympathy with Gygax as he traces his fascination with adventure games back to his childhood, when he climbed around in the maze of tunnels below the creepy asylum’s rotting rooms. Nation Books Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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IT Crash Causes British Airways To Cancel All Flights

Posted by kenmay on May - 27 - 2017

An anonymous reader quotes CNBC: British Airways canceled all flights from London’s Heathrow and Gatwick airports on Saturday as a global IT failure upended the travel plans of tens of thousands of people on a busy U.K. holiday weekend. The airline said it was suffering a “major IT systems failure” around the world. Chief executive Alex Cruz said “we believe the root cause was a power-supply issue and we have no evidence of any cyberattack.” He said the crash had affected “all of our check-in and operational systems.” BA operates hundreds of flights from the two London airports on a typical day — and both are major hubs for worldwide travel. Several hours after problems began cropping up Saturday morning, BA suspended flights up to 6 p.m. because the two airports had become severely congested. The airline later scrapped flights from Heathrow and Gatwick for the rest of the day. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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https://youtu.be/27dnddCq5gc Here’s how to make web page with cute dog photos, taught by Satan!

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Cody Xiong from North Carolina should have kept his mouth shut, but when police came to his door to ask about something unrelated, the paranoid poppy grower said, “I guess you’re here for the opium.” This led police to discover over an acre of poppy plants, worth about $500 million, in Xiong’s backyard. According to Time : Investigators believe the plants were being harvested in Xiong’s isolated rural lot, before being shipped elsewhere. Opium poppies are used to make opium, morphine, codeine and heroin, and police estimated that the haul consisted of over 2,000 pounds of the plant. Xiong was arrested at the site and charged with manufacturing a Schedule II drug and trafficking in opium, both felonies. He was later released from jail after posting $45,000 bail. Image: Magnus Manske

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Qualcomm pays BlackBerry $940 million in royalty spat

Posted by kenmay on May - 27 - 2017

Qualcomm hasn’t been very successful with its licensing practices. It’s gotten into trouble in South Korea for charging phone makers over an “unnecessarily broad set of patents” It has also been dealing with lawsuits from the FTC and Apple for similar tactics. Qualcomm was ordered to pay BlackBerry $815 million in an arbitration settlement last April. BlackBerry announced today that the two companies have reached a final agreement amount of $940 miillion, which includes the original arbitration amount along with interst and attorneys’ fees. The release says that Qualcomm will pay the full amount before the end of May. BlackBerry has been trying to change its fortune after getting out of phone design . It brought in $286 million in revenue last quarter, making this $940 million settlement a much needed infusion of cash to can help the beleaguered company pivot towards self-driving cars . For its part, Qualcomm seems to be weathering the storm of lawsuits and anti-trust fines with countersuits and settlements like the current BlackBerry agreement. Qualcomm’s chips power a large number of mobile devices, with a Snapdragon system-on-chips in high-end Android phones. The company also continues to expand to as many other devices as possible, including IoT and connected cars . We’ve reached out to Qualcomm for comment on this story and will update when we hear back. Source: Blackberry

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Hackers stole credit card information from customers at Chipotle restaurants across the United States between March 24th and April 18th, the company announced today. Chipotle revealed in April that it had been the victim of an attack, and today it shared details about the type of information stolen from customers, which covered “cardholder name in addition to card number, expiration date, and internal verification code.” No other information was compromised, Chipotle said. The attack pulled data off the magnetic strips of credit cards used in physical Chipotle locations around the US. The company has not said how many customers were affected, though it offered a searchable list of locations that were actually hit in the attack, including the dates each restaurant was vulnerable. Some were compromised for about a week, and others for the full four weeks. If you swiped a credit card at a Chipotle in March or April, check out the list of affected restaurants right here . “Because of the nature of the incident and the type of data involved, we do not know how many unique payment cards may have been involved, ” Chipotle spokesperson Chris Arnold told Engadget. As Reuters notes, Chipotle is not offering credit monitoring services to compromised customers. The company said monitoring services don’t alert customers when a fraudulent charge is made in their name. “Chipotle takes this kind of issue very seriously, and we regret any inconvenience or concern it may have caused, ” Arnold told Engadget. “To help prevent a similar incident from recurring, we have resolved the issue and continue to work with cyber security firms to evaluate ways to enhance our security measures.” Source: Chipotle

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