Top Stories for the Week of October 11, 2017

  • Episode 525
  • October 11, 2017
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday October 11, 2017

It’s official. If you had a Yahoo account in 2013, it was compromised.

Yahoo has revealed that the major security breach in 2013 compromised all three billion accounts the company maintained. That's a three-fold increase over the estimate it disclosed previously.

The revelation, contained in an updated page about the 2013 hack, is the result of new information and the forensic analysis of an unnamed security consultant. Previously, Yahoo officials said about one billion accounts were compromised. With Yahoo maintaining roughly three billion accounts at the time, the 2013 hack would be among the biggest ever reported.

Yahoo officials wrote in the update, "We recently obtained additional information and, after analyzing it with the assistance of outside forensic experts, we have identified additional user accounts that were affected."

The report goes on to reveal the jaw-dropping truth, saying "Yahoo has determined that all accounts that existed at the time of the August 2013 theft were likely affected"

The information taken in the heist may have included users' names, e-mail addresses, telephone numbers, dates of birth, passwords scrambled using the weak MD5 cryptographic hashing algorithm, and, in some cases, encrypted or unencrypted security questions and answers.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

Apple is investigating a series of reports about battery problems with some of its new iPhone 8 Plus phones.

Over the last week, six reports have come to light which show the new iPhone 8 Plus phones splitting apart soon after they start to be used.

In all cases the battery inside the phone has swollen rendering the phone unusable.
It is not yet clear whether the swollen batteries are a few isolated cases or are indicative of a bigger issue.

The first report about an affected iPhone 8 Plus came from Taiwan. Phones with similar problems have now emerged in Japan, China, Canada, Greece and Hong Kong.

In a statement, Apple said it was aware of the reports and was "looking into" what might have caused the fault.

Apple's problems follow Samsung's experience with its Galaxy Note 7 last year.

Hundreds of faulty Galaxy Note 7s were reported as faulty soon after that device launched. The scale of the failure prompted Samsung to recall and discontinue the handset. The problem was traced to a design flaw.

Analyst, Sam Jaffe says battery bloat typically happens at the end of a battery's useful life, explaining that having it happen soon after a product launch is troubling.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

Nvidia's CEO says Moore’s Law is dead, claiming GPUs will soon replace CPUs.

Jensen Huang, founder and CEO of Nvidia said at the GPU Technology Conference in Beijing that Moore’s Law is dead because it cannot keep pace with advancements in GPU design.

Moore’s Law is the observation made by Gordon Moore, co-founder of Intel, in 1965 that the number of transistors per square inch on integrated circuits had doubled every year since the integrated circuit was invented. Moore predicted that this trend would continue for the foreseeable future. However, the pace has slowed down a bit in the subsequent years, but data density has doubled approximately every 18 months.

Huang says that since the CPU transistors have grown at an annual pace of 50%, the performance has only been enhanced by 10%. He believes the GPU will take over.

According to Huang, the top five ecommerce sites in China have already accepted Nvidia Volta GPU architectures to support cloud services, and HGX-based GPU servers have been deployed by both Lenovo and Huawei.

Huang claims Nvidia’s GPUs are the perfect solution for AI-based applications, suggesting he believes GPUs are set to play a larger role in certain aspects of computing, rather than replacing desktop CPUs completely. He showed faith in Nvidia’s GPUs and claimed that they will be able to replace CPUs in the upcoming years.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson

In the near future, you may be able to eat a robot that will heal you or provide nutrients.

It may sound like science fiction, but researchers are closing in on the creation of an ingestible robot that can perform a variety of functions from within the human body.

At the International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems in Vancouver earlier this month, researchers from Switzerland presented a prototype of a gelatin-based actuator.

Actuators are the components that allow a mechanism to physically move. So, while doctors can already insert machines like pacemakers into your body, those are stationary and also require invasive surgery.

It’s unlikely that the gelatin robots are very tasty, but they would have a wide variety of applications. The researchers in their paper explain that “the components of such edible robots could be mixed with nutrient or pharmaceutical components for digestion and metabolization.

Potential applications are disposable robots for exploration, digestible robots for medical purposes in humans and animals, and food transportation where the robot does not require additional payload because the robot is the food.

The researchers write as well, "Fully edible robots would help to study how wild animals collectively behave. The robots could also take a role of animals prey to observe their hunting behaviors, or to train protected animals to do predation."

And of course, once medical components are mixed into the edible composition, the robots could help preservation of wild animals or heal inside of the human body.


Sent to us by: Jeff Weston

Don't mess with Amazon! A couple is facing up to 20 years in jail for stealing over $1.2m in merch from the online shopping site.

A couple in the US have admitted stealing goods from Amazon valued at more than $1.2m by repeatedly pretending that items they ordered were damaged in the post.

A couple from Indiana, have pleaded guilty to postal fraud and money laundering.

The couple face fines of up to $500,000, as well as prison sentences of up to 20 years.

According to local newspaper the Muncie Star Press, they used hundreds of false online identities to order popular tech gadgets from Amazon, including Samsung smartwatches, GoPro cameras and Xbox video game consoles.

The couple then contacted Amazon's customer service department to report that the items had arrived damaged or were not working, and Amazon sent out replacement products for free.

They then sold the merchandise to another individual, who resold the products to an unnamed firm based in New York.

The couple and their accomplice were eventually caught after a joint investigation conducted by the US Postal Inspection Service, Indiana State Police and the Internal Revenue Service.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


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