Cryptocurrency mining marketplace loses $64 million to hackers

A cryptocurrency marketplace called NiceHash has suffered a security breach that left its bitcoin wallet tens of millions of dollars lighter. Slovenia-based NiceHash connects miners, or people selling their hashing/computer power, with people willing to pay for that power. Andrej P. Škraba, the marketplace's head of marketing, told Reuters that the company was targeted by "a highly professional attack" that involved "sophisticated social engineering." He also revealed that the infiltrators got away with 4, 700 bitcoins -- or around $64 million. Before Škraba talked to Reuters , NiceHash posted an announcement on Reddit and on its website that it's pausing all operations for the next 24 hour to investigate the incident. The post said the company's payment system was compromised, and that it's working with authorities on top of conducting its own investigation. Unfortunately, Škraba didn't reveal more details than that, but it's advising users to change their passwords on NiceHash and other services -- a great advice now that bitcoin looks more alluring to hackers than ever. It has soared past $15, 000 in value, just hours after it broke past the $14, 000 mark. Authorities in some countries are cracking down on cryptocurrency, however, in hopes of gaining greater control over the virtual currency. Source: Reuters , Reddit

John Scalzi’s ‘Old Man’s War’ sci-fi series is headed to Netflix

Award-winning science fiction author John Scalzi famously chose military SF for his Old Man's War series because it was a marketable sub-genre . Lucky for us that he did, as the eventual six-book series has been a critical and commercial success. According to a report from Deadline , Netflix has just acquired the first novel with intentions to make it into a film. In the Old Man's War universe, set hundreds of years from now, older people are given a loaded choice. Either age and die on Earth or get healthy young bodies that are conscripted into the military to fight space aliens. Protagonist John Perry makes the obvious choice and becomes a high-octane space marine who ends up being pretty good at leading troops into battle. Of course, all is not as it seems, and Perry begins to piece together what's really going on. The engaging story will likely make a good movie, provided it's done right (looking at you, Ender's Game ). The film is being produced by John Shestak Productions ( Air Force One , Dan in Real Life ) and Madhouse Entertainment . Source: Deadline

Almost All Bronze Age Artifacts Were Made From Meteorite Iron

dryriver shares a report from Science Alert: According to a new study, it's possible that all iron-based weapons and tools of the Bronze Age were forged using metal salvaged from meteorites. The finding has given experts a better insight into how these tools were created before humans worked out how to produce iron from its ore. While previous studies had found specific Bronze Age objects to be made from meteoric metal -- like one of the daggers buried with King Tutankhamun -- this latest research answers the question of just how widespread the practice was. Albert Jambon, from the National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS) in France, studied museum artifacts from Egypt, Turkey, Syria, and China, analyzing them using an X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer to discover they all shared the same off-world origins. "The present results complementing high quality analyses from the literature suggest that most or all irons from the Bronze Age are derived from meteoritic iron, " writes Jambon in his published paper. "The next step will be to determine where and when terrestrial iron smelting appeared for the first time." Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NVIDIA’s ‘most powerful GPU’ ever is built for AI

NVIDIA's newest Titan GPU is now available for purchase, and the company says it's the "world's most powerful GPU for the PC" yet. The GPU-maker has launched the Volta-powered Titan V at the annual Neural Information Processing Systems conference. Volta is NVIDIA's latest microarchitecture designed to double the energy efficiency of its predecessor, and Titan V can apparently deliver 110 teraflops of raw horsepower or around 9 times what the previous Titan is capable of. This powerful new GPU's target? Scientists and researchers working on AI, deep learning and high performance computing. Since Volta was designed to work on a mixture of computation and calculations and has features created specifically for deep learning, scientists can use the GPU to build their own desktop PCs if they don't need special servers. NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang said during the event: "Our vision for Volta was to push the outer limits of high performance computing and AI. We broke new ground with its new processor architecture, instructions, numerical formats, memory architecture and processor links. With TITAN V, we are putting Volta into the hands of researchers and scientists all over the world. I can't wait to see their breakthrough discoveries." Those scientists and researchers probably need the backing of their educational institutions and donors to build computers with Titan V, though. The GPU, which is now available from NVIDIA's website and retailers, will set them back $2, 999. Source: NVIDIA

Marvel comics arrive in Hoopla’s public library app

Comic books are a brilliant medium, but keeping up with the latest releases can be expensive. If you live in the US, it's worth checking out Hoopla ; the service is supported by more than 1, 500 public libraries, and offers free digital access to DC, Image and IDW titles. And starting today, another major publisher is joining the platform: Marvel . More than 250 collections and graphic novels will be available, including Black Panther: A Nation Under Our Feet book one — by author, journalist and comic book writer Ta-Nehisi Paul Coates — Civil War and X-Men: The Dark Pheonix Saga . There's a handy map here that shows all of the Hoopla-supported libraries in the US. As Variety explains , the libraries set their own lending limits, so you might be able to check out five or 10 at a time through the app. You won't, of course, get every new Marvel release, but it's a good place to start if you're unsure which characters or series to follow. Hoopla says there should be plenty of familiar faces from the Marvel Cinematic Universe, including Spider-Man , Daredevil , The Runaways , The Avengers and the Guardians of the Galaxy . As Luke Cage would say: Sweet Christmas... Via: Variety Source: Hoopla (Press Release)

Zimbabwe’s Internet Went Down for About Five Hours. The Culprit Was Reportedly a Tractor.

Zimbabweans lost internet access en masse on Tuesday when a tractor reportedly cut through key fiber-optic cables in South Africa and another internet provider experienced simultaneous issues with its primary internet conduits. From a report: The outage began shortly before noon local time and persisted for more than five hours, affecting not only citizens' day-to-day internet usage but businesses that rely upon web access. And while five internet-free hours might sound unfathomable to those of us accustomed to having the web constantly at our fingertips, large-scale internet outages -- from inadvertent lapses caused by ship anchors to government-calculated blackouts designed to showcase political power -- do happen, and maybe more frequently than you'd thought. According to local news sources, a tractor in South Africa damaged cables belonging to Liquid Telecom, which has an 81.5 percent market share of Zimbabwe's international-equipped internet bandwidth as of the second quarter of 2017 and leases capacity to other internet providers. In a bad coincidence, city council employees in Kuwadzana, a suburb of Zimbabwe's capitol city of Harare, cut an additional TelOne cable around the same time. (According to NewsDay Zimbabwe, it was an accident. The company blamed "faults that occurred on our main links through South Africa and Botswana" in a statement.) Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Woman makes earring to store her two-factor authentication device

Etsy engineer Samantha Goldstein made a small wooden earring to hold her YubiKey 4 Nano , a tiny USB two-factor authentication device. From Motherboard : She laser cut wood and acrylic for the base, and then used sterling silver for the posts. The key slides into the base portion for safe keeping. Goldstein plans to put up a small batch for sale later this week on her Etsy store . “Between my work badge and my phone (and sometimes my computer) I’m lugging around a lot of accessories all the time,” Goldstein told me in a Twitter direct message. “I wanted a way to carry around a Yubikey but not burden myself with one more thing to carry in my hands.” Working late in the labs on these yubikey earrings! eeee! pic.twitter.com/fDto5kSDwZ — *:・゚✧ Samantha ✧・゚:* (@samantha_gold) December 5, 2017

Israeli firm Cyberbit illegally spied on behalf of Ethiopia’s despots, then stored all their...

Researchers from the University of Toronto's amazing Citizen Lab ( previously ) have published a new report detailing the latest tactics from the autocratic government of Ethiopia, " the world's first turnkey surveillance state " whose human rights abuses have been entirely enabled with software and expertise purchased on the open market, largely from companies in western countries like Finfisher and Hacking Team. (more…)

The new ‘Portal’ game is a ‘Bridge Constructor’ spin-off

Fans have been waiting with little hope for a third entry in the beloved Portal franchise since the second game came out in 2011. It seems Valve has answered their prayers -- kind of. Instead of another first-person teleporting puzzle adventure, the next Portal -branded title is a standalone spin-off of the popular Bridge Constructor game . If a marriage of both those franchises is up your alley, snag it for desktop or mobile on December 20th. As the trailer illustrates, the game packs in the endearingly wild physics of Bridge Constructor with the titular teleporting ovals of Portal . Sure, it's not the Portal 3 everyone really wants, but it's probably the closest we'll get since Valve doesn't really make games anymore (they handed this one off to studios Headup and ClockStone Software). Bridge Constructor Portal will cost $10 for the PC, MacOS and Linux versions and $5 for the iOS and Android apps, all of which come out December 20th. Console editions will follow in early 2018. Via: Ars Technica Source: 'Bridge Constructor Portal' trailer (YouTube)

Marvel is making a scripted ‘Wolverine’ podcast for Stitcher

Marvel is taking Logan to the internet. The comics publisher has entered a partnership with Stitcher to produce a premium podcast starring the razor-clawed mutant called Wolverine: The Long Night . Weapon X will be voiced by Richard Armitage, who has lent his voice to Netflix's Castlevania series as Trevor Belmont. Of course, he was also Thorin Oakenshield in Peter Jackson's The Hobbit trilogy . Needless to say, his geek cred stacks up. As for the rest of the production, TechCrunch notes that the 10-episode season finds Wolverine hounded by investigators tracking a serial killer, and that it will debut next spring. This won't exist on Stitcher's free service, though. Ben Percy ( Green Arrow , Batman: Detective Comics ) is on writing duties, and the cast also includes Scott Adsit (Pete Hornberger on 30 Rock ) and veteran podcaster Chris Gethard. Sound effects will be recorded in surround sound too, which, combined with the cast, explains why Wolverine: The Long Night will live on Stitcher's $35 yearly Premium subscription (or $5 per month). After an exclusivity period, it'll arrive on other platforms next fall. From the sounds of it, this is just the tip of the iceberg. Marvel's Dan Silver described the podcast to Variety as "the ideal premiere vehicle" and that Marvel will keep exploring the medium. With how well podcasts like Serial , Crimetown and Heaven's Gate have done, and how comic heroes have invaded pop culture, this seems like an area ripe for expansion -- especially given that this is a murder mystery . Wolverine as the star is just the icing on the cake here. Source: TechCrunch