Enlarge / A 2015 Ram 1500, one of the models affected by this recall. (credit: FCA) Dodgy software code controlling side airbags and safety belt pretensioners is responsible for a recall affecting more than a million Ram pickup trucks. On Friday, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) announced that it will be recalling Ram 1500 and 2500 trucks (model years 2013 to 2016) and Ram 3500 trucks (model years 2014 to 2016) beginning in June in order to rectify the problem. The software error, which could prevent side airbag deployment and belt pretensioning in cases where a vehicle rolls over following an underbody impact—say, hitting road debris or something when off-roading—has already been implicated in one death. Although the code has not been conclusively fingered as the culprit, FCA says it is issuing the recall proactively. A similar issue forced General Motors to recall more than 4 million vehicles in 2016. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments
The Ocean Cleanup , a Dutch foundation that aims to deal with plastics polluting our seas, says it's finally ready to put its technology to work. In a statement released today, the organization has revealed that it plans to start cleaning up the Great Pacific Garbage Patch in early 2018 using its newly redesigned cleaning system. That garbage patch is the biggest collection of debris in the ocean, a massive soup of visible and microscopic plastic particles poisoning marine life. The ship captain who discovered it in 2003 said he "never found a clear spot" in the week it took to cross the region. While Boyan Slat (the organization's founder) originally envisioned trapping plastic trash with one large screen tethered to the ocean floor, the new design is smaller, sturdier and can save the group a ton of money. Instead of deploying a 60-mile stationary screen, they plan on releasing 50 smaller ones that measure 0.6 miles in length. They'll weigh the floating screens down with anchor, so they can move with the currents like plastics do, albeit a bit slower in order to trap debris. Slat told FastCompany that he expected the original design to clean up half of the massive garbage patch in 10 years for $320 million. Now, he expects the new design to cut that timespan in half and to cost the group significantly less than that amount. Since he and his team still need to fund the project, though, they plan to use the plastic they collect to make items they can sell, such as sunglasses, chairs and car bumpers. Source: The Ocean Cleanup
Starbucks has a long, long tradition of using tech to bring you into its coffee shops , and that will be truer than ever with the latest supersized Reserve Roastery location in Shanghai. The beverage behemoth will use a mobile app to offer guided augmented reality tours of the coffee-making process when the restaurant opens on December 6th. Point your phone at equipment like the roaster or cask and you'll get an explanation of what happens as beans eventually turn into your venti latte. The chain is offering virtual badges for participating in the tour, and you'll get a "unique Roastery filter" to mark your trip. We're not sure who's excited to show that they've visited a Starbucks (even if it's a very elaborate one), but it at least means you'll have a virtual record of your trip. There's no mention of whether or not you'll see this AR experience in other Reserve Roasteries (we've asked about future plans), but it's reasonable to expect that this won't be available at your corner Starbucks any time soon. This is more about turning your visit into a mini event and encouraging you to linger a while longer. As it is, we could see other restaurants following suit if this catches on. Source: Starbucks
President Trump on Thursday signed a long-delayed executive order on cybersecurity that "makes clear that agency heads will be held accountable for protecting their networks, and calls on government and industry to reduce the threat from automated attacks on the internet, " reports The Washington Post. From the report: Picking up on themes advanced by the Obama administration, Trump's order also requires agency heads to use Commerce Department guidelines to manage risk to their systems. It commissions reports to assess the country's ability to withstand an attack on the electric grid and to spell out the strategic options for deterring adversaries in cyberspace. [Thomas Bossert, Trump's homeland security adviser] said the order was not, however, prompted by Russia's targeting of electoral systems last year. In fact, the order is silent on addressing the security of electoral systems or cyber-enabled operations to influence elections, which became a significant area of concern during last year's presidential campaign. The Department of Homeland Security in January declared election systems "critical infrastructure." The executive order also does not address offensive cyber operations, which are generally classified. This is an area in which the Trump administration is expected to be more forward-leaning than its predecessor. Nor does it spell out what type of cyberattack would constitute an "act of war" or what response the attack would invite. "We're not going to draw a red line, " Bossert said, adding that the White House does not "want to telegraph our punches." The order places the defense secretary and the head of the intelligence community in charge of protecting "national security" systems that operate classified and military networks. But the secretary of homeland security will continue to be at the center of the national plan for protecting critical infrastructure, such as the electric grid and financial sector. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
The one thing that helped me combat my irritation at being at an airport was the knowledge that airports are the great social equalizer: generally, it doesn’t matter who you are—rich, poor, famous, normal, whatever—you still have to check-in, go through security and get on the moving sidewalks to your gate. It sucks… Read more...
Enlarge / Loki Patera, in the lower-center, has a central island that divides two waves of molten material. (credit: NASA/JPL/USGS ) Volcanic activity appears to be a common feature in our Solar System; we have evidence of it on three planets and two moons and hints of it elsewhere. But that doesn't mean all volcanic activity is the same. Venus' activity is driven by a simple version of plate tectonics. On the Moon, massive lava flows were released by large impacts, and Mars just seems to have vented heat left over from its formation. There are also hints of cryovolcanoes, which belch up ice rather than lava, on some of the bodies of the outer Solar System. But when it comes to sheer volume of activity, all of this takes a back seat to Jupiter's moon Io. Io is partially molten due to gravitational stress from its proximity to three large moons and a massive planet. The results are active volcanoes and vast pools of molten material on the Moon's surface. And we just got a good look inside the biggest of them. Slicing up Loki Loki Patera is the most powerful active volcano in the Solar System. It's an enormous crater with a central island; around that island is a sea of hot material that covers more than 20,000 square kilometers. By all appearances, that hot material isn't stable, since the entire surface seems to be reworked every few years, temporarily replaced by new hot material. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments
If the idea of a more secure Windows browser appeals to you -- and why wouldn't it -- then you might want to have a peek at the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Build . That's because it includes the Windows Defender Application Guard for Microsoft Edge, which was announced last September but is finally available for testing today. This Application Guard essentially encases your browser in a virtual machine, so that if your browser ever gets attacked by malware, it won't affect the rest of your PC. To enable this, you need to use the "Turn Windows features on or off" dialog, and then mark the checkbox for "Windows Defender Application Guard." Now when you open Microsoft Edge and click on the menu, you'll see the option for a "New Application Guard window." Click it, and a new special isolated browser window will appear. The whole thing is possible due to the Virtualization Based Security (VBS) made possible by Windows 10. The virtual PC created by Application Guard would keep the Edge browser separate from storage, other apps and the Windows 10 kernel. Other browsers offer "sandboxes" too, but Microsoft says that Application Guard is unique because there's a hardware container that makes it impossible for malware and other exploits to seep through. There are a couple of caveats though. Running Edge in a virtual machine will likely slow it down, and since each browser's session is siloed, all data and cookies are lost once you close it. It's also only available for Enterprise users for now, presumably because their security needs are much higher than the average person. Still, perhaps it could be introduced as an optional feature later on for everyday users. Aside from Application Guard, the Windows 10 Insider Preview Build also includes an improved PDF Reader for Microsoft Edge and integrated Cortana settings.
A newly discovered virus has been found by a San Diego State University team to live inside more than half of all sampled human gut cells sampled. Exploring genetic material found in intestinal samples, the international team uncovered the CrAssphage virus. They say the virus could influence the behaviour of some of the most common bacteria in our gut. Researchers say the virus has the genetic fingerprint of a bacteriophage - a type of virus known to infect bacteria. Phages may work to control the behaviour of bacteria they infect - some make it easier for bacteria to inhabit in their environments while others allow bacteria to become more potent. [Study lead Dr. Robert] Edwards said: "In some way phages are like wolves in the wild, surrounded by hares and deer. "They are critical components of our gut ecosystems, helping control the growth of bacterial populations and allowing a diversity of species." According to the team, CrAssphage infects one of the most common types of bacteria in our guts. National Geographic gives some idea why a virus so common in our gut should have evaded discovery for so long, but at least CrAssphage finally has a Wikipedia page of its own. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
An anonymous reader writes: The audio driver installed on some HP laptops includes a feature that could best be described as a keylogger, which records all the user's keystrokes and saves the information to a local file, accessible to anyone or any third-party software or malware that knows where to look. Swiss cyber-security firm modzero discovered the keylogger on April 28 and made its findings public today. According to researchers, the keylogger feature was discovered in the Conexant HD Audio Driver Package version 188.8.131.52 and earlier. This is an audio driver that is preinstalled on HP laptops. One of the files of this audio driver is MicTray64.exe (C:windowssystem32mictray64.exe). This file is registered to start via a Scheduled Task every time the user logs into his computer. According to modzero researchers, the file "monitors all keystrokes made by the user to capture and react to functions such as microphone mute/unmute keys/hotkeys." Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Ransomware may be mostly thought of as a (sometimes costly) nuisance, but when it hinders the ability of doctors and nurses to help people with an emergency medical problems, that qualifies as armed robbery. Read more...