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Amazon Ordered to Hold Another Union Vote in Alabama
America’s National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) “has ordered a new union election for Amazon workers in Bessemer, Alabama,” reports the Associated Press, “based on objections to the first vote that took place in April.”

The move, announced Monday, is a major blow to Amazon, which had spent about a year aggressively campaigning for warehouse workers in Bessemer to reje … ⌘ Read more


Booster Doses are Powerful, May Fight Omicron, Researchers Find
Last week researchers at Northwestern University calculated that one week after a Covid-19 booster shot, median antibody levels were 23 times higher than before the shot.

This Thursday the Times of London reported that another study found similar results:

Booster jabs “massively” strengthen the body’s defences against Covid, according … ⌘ Read more


Bitcoin, Ether, Other Cryptocurrencies Suddenly Drop More Than 16%
“Cryptocurrency was down by as much as 20% Saturday, hitting its lowest point in months,” reports MarketWatch:

Bitcoin, the largest cryptocurrency by market value, was down 18% at $46,571.84 at about 7 a.m. ET, according to data from CoinDesk. It temporarily dipped to $42,000 before bouncing back. Ether, the second-largest cryptocurrency, … ⌘ Read more


Why Movie Dialogue Has Gotten Harder to Understand
“I used to be able to understand 99% of the dialogue in Hollywood films,” writes professional film blogger Ben Pearson. “But over the past 10 years or so, I’ve noticed that percentage has dropped significantly — and it’s not due to hearing loss on my end….”

Knowing I’m not alone in having these experiences, I reached out to several professional sound edi … ⌘ Read more


International Space Station Fired Its Thrusters Friday To Dodge More Space Debris
“The International Space Station dodged a fragment of a decades-old rocket body early Friday morning,” reports, “continuing a stretch of space debris threats to the orbiting laboratory.”

On Friday (Dec. 3) at around 3 a.m. EST (0800 GMT), a Russian cargo ship docked to the International Space … ⌘ Read more


Israel Halts Disputed Omicron Tracing Through Phone Surveillance
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Israel said on Thursday it was halting the use of mobile phone tracing to curb the spread of the new coronavirus variant Omicron, a practice that had been challenged by privacy watchdogs. Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s government authorized the surveillance technology, which matches virus car … ⌘ Read more


A New Humanoid Robot Has the Most Advanced and Realistic Facial Expressions Yet
A U.K.-based company Engineered Arts has developed a humanoid robot that can display human-like expressions with ease. Interesting Engineering reports: In a short video released on YouTube, the company shows off its most advanced humanoid, dubbed Ameca, which is initially a platform for testing robotic technolo … ⌘ Read more


Fake Covid-19 Vaccine Certificates Are Being Advertised On the Dark Web
Criminals have been selling fake vaccine certificates online and may be able to fool an EU system designed to verify the certificates’ validity, researchers warn. BankInfoSecurity reports: [A] report released last week, “COVID-19 Vaccination Certificates in the Dark Web,” which has not yet been peer-reviewed, notes that some darkne … ⌘ Read more


Australia Is the Drunkest Country In the World, Survey Finds
Australians have been named the heaviest drinkers in the world after spending more time drunk in 2020 than any other nation. The Guardian reports: An international survey (PDF) has found Australians drank to the point of drunkenness an average of 27 times a year, almost double the global average of 15. Almost a quarter of Australians reported feeling … ⌘ Read more


A Mysterious Threat Actor Is Running Hundreds of Malicious Tor Relays
Since at least 2017, a mysterious threat actor has run thousands of malicious servers in entry, middle, and exit positions of the Tor network in what a security researcher has described as an attempt to deanonymize Tor users. The Record reports: Tracked as KAX17, the threat actor ran at its peak more than 900 malicious servers part of … ⌘ Read more


Hackers Are Spamming Businesses’ Receipt Printers With ‘Antiwork’ Manifestos
Dozens of printers across the internet are printing out a manifesto that encourages workers to discuss their pay with coworkers, and pressure their employers. Motherboard reports: “ARE YOU BEING UNDERPAID?” one of the manifestos read, according to several screenshots posted on Reddit and Twitter. “You have a protected L … ⌘ Read more


Apple AirTags Being Used By Thieves To Track High-End Cars To Steal
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: This week, Canadian police announced that car thieves have been using AirTags to track vehicles they want to steal. York Regional Police (which serves an area north of Toronto) revealed that it has investigated five incidents in the past three months in which thieves have hidden AirTa … ⌘ Read more


Debt Collectors Can Now Text, Email and DM You On Social Media
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: New rules approved by the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau that took effect on Tuesday dictate how collection agencies can email and text people as well as message them on social media to seek repayment for unpaid debts. Kathleen L. Kraninger, the former CFPB director who oversaw the rule changes, sa … ⌘ Read more


Zoom Will Soon Make It Obvious If You’re Late To Your Next Big Meeting
Zoom is rolling out a number of new updates for its video conferencing software and one of them might finally encourage users to ensure they’re on time for their next big meeting. TechRadar reports: According to a new blog post from the company, Attendance Status makes it easier for organizations to streamline the start of their Zoom … ⌘ Read more


Magnus Carlsen Wins Longest World Chess Championship Game of All Time
The first victory of the 2021 FIDE World Championship happened in game 6 after GM Magnus Carlsen defeated GM Ian Nepomniachtchi in a record 136 moves. reports: Carlsen’s victory came after the world champion exchanged a queen for two rooks, provoking a long, tense endgame – a strategy that eventually proved effective. With … ⌘ Read more


Chinese Rideshare App Didi To Delist From NYSE
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Hill: The Chinese rideshare app Didi announced Friday that it will delist from the New York Stock Exchange just months after its initial public offering. The company’s brief announcement on the microblog Weibo noted plans to relist on Hong Kong’s exchange, but gave few other details. Didi had been valued at nearly $70 billion after its firs … ⌘ Read more


How Much Has Quantum Computing Actually Advanced?
For a measured perspective on how much quantum computing is actually advancing as a field, IEEE Spectrum spoke with John Martinis, a professor of physics at the University of California, Santa Barbara, and the former chief architect of Google’s Sycamore. From a report: IEEE Spectrum: So it’s been about two years since you unveiled results from Sycamore. In the last few weeks … ⌘ Read more


The Coronavirus in a Tiny Drop
To better understand the coronavirus’s journey from one person to another, a team of 50 scientists has for the first time created an atomic simulation of the coronavirus nestled in a tiny airborne drop of water. From a report: To create the model, the researchers needed one of the world’s biggest supercomputers to assemble 1.3 billion atoms and track all their movements down to less than a millionth of a sec … ⌘ Read more


German Coalition Backs Ban on Facial Recognition in Public Places
Germany’s incoming government is throwing its weight behind a ban on the use of biometric identification technologies such as facial recognition in public places. From a report: According to their coalition deal, the Social Democrats (SPD), Greens and liberal Free Democrats (FDP) want to “exclude” biometric recognition in public spaces as well … ⌘ Read more


Musk Says Tesla’s Cybertruck Will Have Four-motor Variant
Tesla boss Elon Musk said on Friday the electric-car maker’s much-anticipated Cybertruck would come with a high- end four-motor variant. From a report: “Initial production will be 4 motor variant, with independent, ultra fast response torque control of each wheel,” Musk said in a tweet. Calling the electric pick-up truck “insane technology bandwagon,” Musk sa … ⌘ Read more


FBI Says the Cuba Ransomware Gang Made $43.9 Million from Ransom Payments
The US Federal Bureau of Investigations said today that the operators of the Cuba ransomware have earned at least $43.9 million from ransom payments following attacks carried out this year. From a report: In a flash alert sent out on Friday, the Bureau said the Cuba gang has “compromised at least 49 entities in five critical infra … ⌘ Read more


PlayStation Plans New Service To Take On Xbox Game Pass
Sony Group’s PlayStation division is planning a new subscription service to compete with rival Microsoft’s popular Xbox Game Pass, according to people familiar with Sony’s plans and documents reviewed. Blooomberg: The service, code-named Spartacus, will allow PlayStation owners to pay a monthly fee for access to a catalog of modern and classic games, said the pe … ⌘ Read more


Scientists Raise Concerns Over Baby Genome Sequencing Plan
Scientists have raised concerns about a proposed overhaul of newborn screening that could lead to the UK becoming the first country to offer whole-genome sequencing for every baby. From a report: Speaking before the publication of plans for an NHS pilot study in which up to 200,000 babies’ genomes will be sequenced and analysed, scientists suggested the … ⌘ Read more


US State Department iPhones Hacked With Israeli Company Spyware
Apple’s iPhones of at least nine U.S. State Department employees were hacked by an unknown assailant using sophisticated spyware developed by the Israel-based NSO Group, Reuters reported Friday, citing people familiar with the matter. From the report: The hacks, which took place in the last several months, hit U.S. officials either based in Ugan … ⌘ Read more


Amazon Charges Sellers Fees That Are High Enough To Offset Losses from Prime, a New Report Says
The massive reach of Amazon’s e-commerce platform is appealing for any small business that wants to sell its products online. But a new report suggests that the cost of doing business can become a Faustian bargain for a third-party seller, as the fees that Amazon charges them can quickly e … ⌘ Read more


Jimmy Wales is Selling His First Wikipedia Edit as an NFT
Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is selling a non-fungible token (or NFT) based on his first edit of the free encyclopedia. From a report: Auction house Christie’s will hold a sale of the token from December 3rd to 15th, auctioning it alongside the Strawberry iMac Wales was using around Wikipedia’s launch. The funds will go toward charitable causes and WT.Soc … ⌘ Read more


Microsoft Backtracks on Windows 11’s Controversial Default Browser Changes
Microsoft is backtracking on changes it made to Windows 11 that made it more difficult to switch default browsers. From a report: A new test build of Windows 11 now allows users of Chrome, Firefox, and other browsers to set a default browser with a single button, which is a far simpler process. Rafael Rivera, developer of the … ⌘ Read more


US Indicts Two Men for Running a $20 Million YouTube Content ID Scam
Two men have been indicted by a grand jury for running a massive YouTube Content ID scam that netted the pair more than $20m. TorrentFreak: Webster Batista Fernandez and Jose Teran managed to convince a YouTube partner that the pair owned the rights to 50,000+ tracks and then illegally monetized user uploads over a period of four years.�� … ⌘ Read more


New Blockchain Tech Promises To Ease Ethereum’s Growing Pains
New technology promising to solve Ethereum’s growing pains is gaining traction, increasing bets that some day most of the network’s transactions might not actually take place on its own blockchain. From a report: For years slow speeds and high transaction fees have plagued the network underpinning the $550 billion cryptocurrency Ether – home to the mo … ⌘ Read more


Another Porn Site Says Banks Forced It To Stop Paying Sex Workers
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: AVN Stars, a platform where sex workers can sell porn clips, announced on Wednesday that it will no longer allow creators to monetize their content on the site beginning January 1. In a press release, Adult Video News wrote that discrimination from banks forced the decision. “Unfortunately … ⌘ Read more


The Largest Comet We’ve Ever Seen Just Delivered a Curious Surprise
schwit1 shares a report from ScienceAlert: The comet Bernardinelli-Bernstein (BB) – the largest our telescopes have ever spotted – is on a journey from the outer reaches of our Solar System that will see it flying relatively close to Saturn’s orbit. Now, a new analysis of the data we’ve collected on BB has revealed something rather su … ⌘ Read more


NASA Awards Blue Origin, Nanoracks, Northrop Grumman Over $400M In Contracts To Avoid Space Station Gap
Just two days after officially (and quietly) confirming that it intends to replace the International Space Station with a commercial station by 2030, NASA has awarded over $400 million in agreements to three companies to further develop private station plans. TechCrun … ⌘ Read more


US Satellites Are Being Attacked Every Day According To Space Force General
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Drive: U.S. Space Force’s General David Thompson, the service’s second in command, said last week that Russia and China are launching “reversible attacks,” such as electronic warfare jamming, temporarily blinding optics with lasers, and cyber attacks, on U.S. satellites “ever … ⌘ Read more


Former Ubiquiti Dev Charged For Trying To Extort His Employer
Long-time Slashdot reader tinskip shares a report from BleepingComputer: Nickolas Sharp, a former employee of networking device maker Ubiquiti, was arrested and charged today with data theft and attempting to extort his employer while posing as a whistleblower and an anonymous hacker. “As alleged, Nickolas Sharp exploited his access as a trusted inside … ⌘ Read more


Trump’s Social Media Site Quietly Admits It’s Based On Mastodon
mrflash818 shares a report from PCMag: To avoid a lawsuit, Donald Trump’s social media site is quietly acknowledging the computer code powering the platform comes from Mastodon. Trump’s “Truth Social” site now features a dedicated section labeled “open source,” which contains a Zip archive to Mastodon’s source code. “Our goal is to support the open … ⌘ Read more


Google Readies ‘Pixel Watch’ For 2022 Launch
According to Insider, Google is planning to launch its own in-house smartwatch in 2022. “Two employees said a spring launch was possible if the latest testing round is a success, however all sources stressed that details and timelines were subject to change depending on feedback from employees testing the device,” reports Insider. From the report: The device, which is internally codena … ⌘ Read more


New York Anime Convention Possibly Infected With Omicron
Long-time Slashdot reader Aighearach shares a report from Reuters: President Joe Biden on Thursday laid out his strategy to fight the coronavirus as the highly contagious Omicron spread across the globe with winter coming and hours after the first known U.S. case of community transmission of the variant was reported. […] In California and Colorado, … ⌘ Read more


Microsoft Makes Breakthrough In the Quest To Use DNA As Data Storage
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: Microsoft, one of the pioneers of DNA storage, is making some headway, working with the University of Washington’s Molecular Information Systems Laboratory, or MISL. The company announced in a new research paper the first nanoscale DNA storage writer, which the research group expects … ⌘ Read more


Google Removes Pirate Bay Domains from Search Results Citing Dutch Court Order
Google has removed The Pirate Bay and more than 100 related domains from its search results in the Netherlands. The search engine points to a local pirate site-blocking order that was forwarded by anti-piracy group BREIN. The order targets ISPs and doesn’t name Google but the company chose to voluntarily comply. Torre … ⌘ Read more


White To Unveil Alliance To Curb Human Rights Abuse of Tech
The White House will unveil a group of countries next week that have pledged to work together to curb exports of technology that can be used by bad actors and repressive governments to violate human rights, senior administration officials said on Thursday. Reuters reports: The announcement, which will be made as part of U.S. President Joe Biden’s Summit … ⌘ Read more


Really Stupid ‘Smart Contract’ Bug Let Hackers Steal $31 Million In Digital Coin
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Blockchain startup MonoX Finance said on Wednesday that a hacker stole $31 million by exploiting a bug in software the service uses to draft smart contracts. The company uses a decentralized finance protocol known as MonoX that lets users trade digital currency tok … ⌘ Read more


FTC Sues To Stop Blockbuster Chip Deal Between Nvidia and Arm
The Federal Trade Commission on Thursday sued to block Nvidia’s $40 billion acquisition of a fellow chip company, Arm, halting one of the biggest semiconductor industry deals in history. From a report: The F.T.C. said the deal between Nvidia, which is based in California and makes chips, and Arm, a British company that designs chips, would stifle com … ⌘ Read more


Goldman Sachs, Other Wall Street Banks Exploring Bitcoin-Backed Loans
Goldman Sachs is among a handful of tier-one U.S. banks figuring out how to use bitcoin as collateral for cash loans to institutions, CoinDesk reported Thursday, citing people familiar with the plans. From the report: Banks such as Goldman will not touch cryptocurrency spot markets but lean towards synthetic crypto products such as futures. … ⌘ Read more


Californian Firm Touts ‘Mushroom Leather’ as Sustainability Gamechanger
An anonymous reader shares a report: Vegan alternatives to leather could save more than just animals. The scientists behind fashion’s new latest must-have – the “mushroom leather” handbag – believe that mycelium, a material grown from fungi which can be engineered to look and feel like calfskin or sheepskin, could help save the … ⌘ Read more


The US Crackdown on Chinese Economic Espionage is a Mess
The US government’s China Initiative sought to protect national security. In the most comprehensive analysis of cases to date, MIT Technology Review reveals how far it has strayed from its goals. Technology Review: A visiting researcher at UCLA accused of hiding his connection to China’s People’s Liberation Army. A hacker indicted for breaking into video game … ⌘ Read more


Microsoft’s New Office UI is Now Rolling Out To Everyone
Microsoft is starting to roll out its new Office UI to all users this week. The visual update was originally announced earlier this year and went into testing over the summer. Now it’s starting to roll out to all Office 365 and Office 2021 users. From a report: This new Office UI is designed to match the visual changes in Windows 11, and it includes a more rounde … ⌘ Read more


AWS Brings M1 Mac Minis To Its Cloud
At today’s AWS re:Invent keynote, Amazon CTO Werner Vogels announced that AWS will now offer M1 Mac minis as part of its EC2 compute service. From a report: It was only last year, that AWS first brought Mac minis to its cloud. Using the Thunderbolt port, these minis connect to the AWS Nitro System, which helps make them available in the EC2 cloud, just like any other instance. The minis used here are the … ⌘ Read more


Meta Builds Tool To Stop the Spread of ‘Revenge Porn’
Facebook’s parent company, Meta, has worked with the U.K.-based nonprofit Revenge Porn Helpline to build a tool that lets people prevent their intimate images from being uploaded to Facebook, Instagram and other participating platforms without their consent. From a report: The tool, which builds on a pilot program Facebook started in Australia in 2017, launched Thursd … ⌘ Read more


US Government Agencies Bought Chinese Surveillance Tech Despite Federal Ban
schwit1 writes: At least three U.S. federal agencies, including the military, have purchased China-made video surveillance equipment banned from use in the federal government. Purchasing records seen by TechCrunch and video surveillance news site IPVM show the agencies collectively spent thousands of dollars on purchasing … ⌘ Read more


SiFive’s New RISC-V Chip Challenges Decades-old Computing Designs
The Performance P650 won’t beat a top-end Arm chip in a Samsung or Apple smartphone, but the startup believes its designs eventually could. From a report: It’s really hard to get a new chip family to catch on when companies like Intel and Qualcomm ship their products by the millions, but SiFive has a faster new design it hopes will carve a nic … ⌘ Read more