Top Stories for the Week of December 13, 2017

  • Episode 534
  • December 13, 2017
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Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday December 13, 2017

Forget about working overtime in Japan now that drones are flying overhead blaring the tune Auld Lang Syne.

Since World War II, Japan has struggled with a work culture that consists of excessive overtime. To curb that behavior, one firm is planning to use drones that fly around the office blasting Auld Lang Syne to get employees to realize it’s time to go home.

The system, developed by office security and cleaning firm Taisei, and telecom giant NTT, will see drones patrolling the office on a scheduled flight path. The drones will also record footage of what they see during the flight to identify employees who remain in the office after standard work hours.

It may sound a little silly, but something must be done. A whitepaper released last year found that one in five Japanese people work an average of 49 hours or longer each week. From those, thousands of workers die each year, most of whom are only in their 30s and 40s. The victims die from various illnesses, such as heart failure, exhaustion, stroke, starvation, or suicide as a result of work stress and depression.

Of the drones, the director of the program says, “You can’t really work when you think ‘it’s coming over any time now.”

So what is Auld Lang Syne anyway? It’s a tune that is typically played in Japanese malls to announce that stores are closing. Taisei will trial the system in April 2018, targeting a monthly fee that works out to about $450 for companies to use this service.


Sent to us by: Jeff Weston

In a blow to the robot delivery industry, San Francisco officials have voted to restrict where they can go in the city.

In a blow to the growing robot delivery industry, San Francisco officials have voted to restrict where these robots can actually go in the city.

Start-ups will have to get permits to use such bots, which will be restricted to less crowded urban areas.

Opponents are concerned about the safety of pedestrians, particularly elderly people and children.

Walk San Francisco, a group that campaigns for pedestrian safety, wanted a complete ban.

A range of companies have begun trialling small robots that can deliver food and other goods. They use sensors and lasers in a similar way to self-driving cars in order to navigate their routes.

Robotics company Marble (which describes its machines as "friendly, neighbourhood robots") began testing in San Francisco earlier this year.

Other companies, such as Starship and Postmates, are also keen to use sidewalks for robot deliveries.

San Francisco supervisor Norman Yee, who originally proposed a ban on such robots, has previously said that the city streets "are for people, not robots."

Despite its proximity to Silicon Valley, San Francisco is falling behind other states (such as Virginia and Idaho) where there are already laws permitting delivery robots to operate.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

DanTDM has been named richest YouTuber of 2017 after making more than $16m this year alone.

DanTDM has been named richest YouTuber of 2017 after making more than $16m this year alone.

The 26-year-old, from Aldershot, England, started off simply making videos of himself playing Minecraft and Pokemon. His face is in the corner of the screen and he adds humorous on-going commentary as he plays.

He's got more than 16 million subscribers and more than 10 billion views of all his videos.

The YouTuber, whose real name is Dan Middleton, did not feature in the top ten list last year.

DanTDM's recent live tour included a show at the Sydney Opera House—which became the second fastest-selling show in the venue's history.

He started posting videos, which were aimed at viewers under 10 year old. At the time, he was also working at a grocery store.

Dude Perfect also made the list with about $14m in earnings, PewDiePie dropped to #6 with $12m, and a 6-year-old named Ryan earned more than $11m reviewing toys on his channel, "Ryan Toys Review."

Back in November, DanTDM said that he wasn't prepared for the fame he got from being a YouTuber. He said it is intense being a role model for young people and is something he's still learning.


Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash

We'll tell you what you need to know about a serious bug in TeamViewer for Windows, macOS and Linux.

TeamViewer has issued an urgent patch to fix a vulnerability that allows users sharing a desktop session to gain control of another PC without permission. This vulnerability affected versions of TeamViewer running on Windows, macOS and Linux machines.

TeamViewer is a popular remote-support software for desktop sharing, online meetings, web conferencing and file transfer between computers over the internet from anywhere in the world. To establish a connection between a local computer and a remote computer, the local computer requires the remote computer’s ID and password to gain control over the remote computer.

A critical vulnerability was publicized by a Reddit user last week, linking it to a Proof-of-Concept that was published on GitHub by a user named “gellin.”

TeamViewer acknowledged the existence of the vulnerability after it was publicly disclosed.

The proof of concept showed how a user could modify TeamViewer permissions with a simple DLL, which controls “naked inline hooking and direct memory modification to change TeamViewer permissions.”

The code can be used on both the client and server side, allowing the malicious user to gain control of the presenter’s session or the viewer’s session without permission.

Those users who have configured TeamViewer to accept automatic updates will get the patch delivered automatically; however, it could take up to three to seven days for the patches before the update is installed. Those who do not have automatic updates set will be notified when an update is available.


Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


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