Archive for January, 2019

Feds secretly ship plutonium to Nevada to meet South Carolina court order

January 31st, 2019
A truck outside of Los Alamos.

Enlarge / A truck rolls out of one of the most heavily guarded facilities, the Plutonium Facility, June 14, 1999, at the Los Alamos National Laboratory in Los Alamos, NM. (credit: Joe Raedle/Newsmakers)

On Wednesday, a lawyer for the Department of Energy (DOE) filed a notice in a federal lawsuit saying that the department's National Nuclear Security Administration (NNSA) had secretly shipped half a metric ton of weapons-grade plutonium from South Carolina to a national security site in Nevada without the latter state's knowledge.

The new information surprised and angered many Nevada politicians because it was disclosed as part of a federal lawsuit that Nevada brought against the US government in November, seeking an injunction to prevent the NNSA from shipping the plutonium to the Silver State. The federal government announced its intentions to move the plutonium from South Carolina to Nevada in the summer, and on November 30, lawyers for the state asked the district court to stop the plans.

On Wednesday, DOE lawyer Bruce Diamond wrote (PDF) that the plutonium had already been moved, rendering Nevada's request for injunction moot. "In order to provide security for its shipments of these kinds of materials, DOE normally will not release information about the status of the shipment(s) until sometime after the shipping 'campaign' is concluded," Diamond wrote.

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Posted in nuclear material, nuclear waste, Plutonium, Policy, yucca mountain | Comments (0)

NYC Now Knows More Than Ever About Your Uber and Lyft Trips

January 31st, 2019
The city has an unusual amount of insight into what ride-hail companies do on its streets, and it uses the info to plan for the future.

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Apple Blocked Google’s Internal Apps Too

January 31st, 2019
Two days after removing Facebook from its enterprise developer program for breaking the rules, Apple did the same to Google.

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Cisco Router Vulnerability Gives Window into Researchers’ World

January 31st, 2019
The research around a recent vulnerability shows how researchers follow leads and find unexpected results.

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The World’s Fastest Supercomputer Breaks an AI Record

January 31st, 2019
Researchers at Oak Ridge National Laboratory are training Summit, the world's fastest supercomputer, to model climate change using machine learning techniques.

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Exploiting the Magellan bug on 64-bit Chrome Desktop – Exodus Intelligence

January 31st, 2019
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Apple revokes Google’s enterprise iOS certificate, shuts down internal apps

January 31st, 2019
A Google logo on an Android phone.

Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | NurPhoto )

Yesterday, Apple revoked Facebook's iOS enterprise app certificate for violating its Terms of Service, and today, Apple is giving the same treatment to Google. According to a report from The Verge, Apple has shut down Google's internal iOS apps for doing the exact same thing Facebook was doing—distributing enterprise apps outside of the company.

Apple's Developer Enterprise Program allows developers to distribute iOS apps outside of the walled garden of the App Store but only under the condition that they limit this distribution to employees only. Yesterday, news broke that both Google and Facebook had built data-sucking "research" apps on Apple's enterprise app program and that both companies were caught distributing these apps to research participants outside the company. Facebook's app program was public first and was banned by Apple, with the company reiterating that "Any developer using their enterprise certificates to distribute apps to consumers will have their certificates revoked."

Google's program was discovered later in the day, and while Google apologized and disabled the app, today the other shoe dropped, and Google's internal apps were banned.

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Howard Schultz: Presidential Hopeful, Twitter Ratio King

January 31st, 2019
The billionaire and former Starbucks CEO has no reasonable chance of becoming president, but he’s already the undisputed champion of the Twitter ratio.

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Facebook nukes hundreds of “inauthentic” accounts “tied to Iran”

January 31st, 2019
The Facebook logo is displayed at the 2018 CeBIT technology trade fair on June 12, 2018, in Hanover, Germany.

Enlarge / The Facebook logo is displayed at the 2018 CeBIT technology trade fair on June 12, 2018, in Hanover, Germany. (credit: Alexander Koerner/Getty Images)

Facebook said Thursday that it had removed 783 pages, groups, and accounts for "engaging in coordinated inauthentic behavior tied to Iran."

According to the social media giant, some of the accounts date as far back as 2010.

"This activity was directed from Iran, in some cases repurposing Iranian state media content, and engaged in coordinated inauthentic behavior targeting people across the world, although more heavily in the Middle East and South Asia," Nathaniel Gleicher, the company's head of cybersecurity policy, wrote.

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Posted in Facebook, Iran, Policy | Comments (0)

Charter will spend less on cable network in 2019 but charge customers more

January 31st, 2019
A Charter Spectrum service vehicle.

Enlarge / A Charter Spectrum vehicle. (credit: Charter)

Charter Communications will spend nearly $2 billion less on capital improvements to its Spectrum cable network and services this year, despite raising TV and broadband prices—and despite Ajit Pai's claims that repealing net neutrality rules would boost capital investment.

"We currently expect capital expenditures, excluding capital expenditures related to mobile, to be approximately $7 billion in 2019, versus $8.9 billion in 2018," Charter wrote in an earnings announcement today. "Our expectation for lower capital expenditures in 2019 versus 2018 is primarily driven by our expectation for lower customer premise equipment spend with the completion of our all-digital conversion [and] lower scalable infrastructure spend with the completion of the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1 technology across our footprint." Charter's costs are also going down because it has largely finished integrating Time Warner Cable and Bright House, after buying the cable companies in 2016.

"2019 is the year we'll see a significant reduction in capital intensity," Charter CEO Tom Rutledge said in an earnings call today, according to a Seeking Alpha transcript. A year ago, Charter executives promised investors "a meaningful decline in capital intensity" in 2019.

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Posted in Biz & IT, capital expenditures, Charter | Comments (0)