17 Jan 2019

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Vaccine opponents, climate change, Ebola among top 10 'threats to global health' this year, WHO says

Vaccine opponents, climate change, Ebola among top 10 'threats to global health' this year, WHO saysThe World Health Organization (WHO) has named people who oppose vaccination among the top 10 "threats to global health" this year. "Vaccine hesitancy -- the reluctance or refusal to vaccinate despite the availability of vaccines -- threatens to reverse progress made in tackling vaccine-preventable diseases," such as measles, polio and cervical cancer, the WHO, the global public health arm of the United Nations, said in a list released this week.

17 Jan 2019 6:00pm GMT

Space Force: President Trump says he wants a 'space-based missile defense layer'

Space Force: President Trump says he wants a 'space-based missile defense layer'"My upcoming budget will invest in a space-based missile defense layer," Trump said in remarks at the Pentagon on Thursday.

17 Jan 2019 5:55pm GMT

Head of U.N. team in Yemen's Hodeidah safe after car in convoy shot: U.N.

Head of U.N. team in Yemen's Hodeidah safe after car in convoy shot: U.N.Both the Iranian-aligned Houthi movement which controls Hodeidah, and the Saudi-led coalition that has massed troops on its outskirts, accused one another of opening fire on the convoy of retired Dutch general Patrick Cammaert. U.N. spokesman Stephane Dujarric said Cammaert and his team were leaving a meeting with representatives of the government of Yemen when the incident occurred. "As they were leaving one U.N. marked armored vehicle sustained one round of small arms fire.

17 Jan 2019 5:53pm GMT


Professors From 7 US Colleges, Including MIT and Stanford, Have Teamed Up To Design a Cryptocurrency Capable Of Processing Thousands of Transactions a Second

Some of the brightest minds in America are pooling their brain power to create a cryptocurrency that's designed to do what Bitcoin has proved incapable of: processing thousands of transactions a second. From a report: Professors from seven U.S. colleges including the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Stanford University and University of California, Berkeley have teamed up to create a digital currency that they hope can achieve speeds Bitcoin users can only dream of without compromising on its core tenant of decentralization. The Unit-e, as the virtual currency is called, is the first initiative of Distributed Technology Research, a non-profit foundation formed by the academics with backing from hedge fund Pantera Capital Management LP to develop decentralized technologies. Bitcoin is the original cryptocurrency and the first payment network to allow parties to transact directly without needing to trust each another or to rely on a central authority. Yet, while it has built a following among developers, anarchists and speculators, mainstream adoption remains elusive. That's in no small part the product of its design, where inbuilt restrictions have constrained its performance and scalability and, as a result, reduced its usefulness as an everyday unit of payment, DTR said in a research paper. The academics are designing a virtual coin they expect will be able to process transactions faster than even Visa.

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17 Jan 2019 5:28pm GMT

feedArs Technica

Anti-vaccine nonsense spurred NY’s largest outbreak in decades

Health officials went to community doctors and rabbis to thwart disease spread.

17 Jan 2019 5:23pm GMT

How running websites has changed in the last two decades (for an Ars IT guru)

Ars' IT guru Jason Marlin has 20+ years in information infrastructure-game's changed a bit.

17 Jan 2019 5:00pm GMT

If we stopped upgrading fossil-fuel-using tech, we’d hit our climate goals

Replacing infrastructure with clean tech at end-of-life could halt warming fast.

17 Jan 2019 4:52pm GMT


North Korean Hackers Infiltrate Chile's ATM Network After Skype Job Interview

A Skype call and a gullible employee was all it took for North Korean hackers to infiltrate the computer network of Redbanc, the company that interconnects the ATM infrastructure of all Chilean banks. From a report: Prime suspects behind the hack are a hacker group known as Lazarus Group (or Hidden Cobra), known to have associations to the Pyongyang regime, is one of the most active and dangerous hacking groups around, and known to have targeted banks, financial institutions, and cryptocurrency exchanges in the past years. Lazarus' most recent attack took place at the end of December last year but only came to the public's attention after Chilean Senator Felipe Harboe called out Redbanc on Twitter last week for not disclosing its security breach. The company, which has direct lines into the networks of all Chilean banks, formally admitted to the hack a day later in a message posted on its website, but that announcement didn't include any details about the intrusion. However, a day after Redbanc's admission, an investigation conducted by Chilean tech news site trendTIC revealed that the financial firm was the victim of a serious cyber-attack, and not something that could be easily dismissed. According to reporters, the source of the hack was identified as a LinkedIn ad for a developer position at another company to which one of the Redbanc employees applied.

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17 Jan 2019 4:52pm GMT

China Drove 40% of Mobile App Spending and Nearly Half of All Downloads in 2018

China may be slowing iPhone sales worldwide, but Chinese people are driving Apple's App Store business. From a report: China accounted for nearly 50 percent of all app downloads in 2018, pushing the global downloads count to reach a record 194 billion, according to research firm App Annie. China, which is the world's largest smartphone market, also accounted for nearly 40 percent of worldwide consumer spend in apps in 2018, App Annie said in its yearly "State of Mobile" report. (Note: Google Play Store is not available in China.) Global consumer spend in apps reached $101 billion last year, up 75 percent since 2016. And 74 percent of all money spent on apps last year came from games. The battle between Silicon Valley companies and Chinese tech giants generated more than half of total consumer spend in the top 300 parent companies in 2018, the report said. The top company for global consumer spend was China's Tencent, which owns stake in several startups, companies, and games -- including last year's sleeper hits PUBG and Fortnite.

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17 Jan 2019 4:05pm GMT