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News you missed
Full Windows XP/Server 2003 source code leaks
From The Verge, "Microsoft's source code for Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 has leaked online. Torrent files for both operating systems' source code have been published on various file sharing sites this week. It’s the first time source code for Windows XP has leaked publicly, although the leaked files claim this code has been shared privately for years". Apparently it is legit. Besides the curiosity factor, this is also useful for infosec people looking for fresh vulnerabilities in Windows XP/Server 2003. They're obsolete but still in use so a nice vuln can do some damage. Can someone leak the source code to Windows 2000, give it modern stuff and sell it to me? Cheers.
Amazon’s got a way for you to pay for stuff using your palmprint
Amazon is using palm recognition technology in its Seattle supermarkets to verify who you are when you enter and deduct the value of what you leave the shop with from your account. They call this Amazon One and reckon it has "broad applicability beyond our retail stores, so we also plan to offer the service to third parties like retailers, stadiums, and office buildings so that more people can benefit from this ease and convenience in more places". They picked palm recognition instead of eye or face because it "is considered more private than some biometric alternatives because you can’t determine a person’s identity by looking at an image of their palm". I have no idea if this is true so I will assume they're blowing smoke up our arses.
Google’s new Pixel 5, Chromecast and Nest Audio released
Google dropped a metric fucktonne of announcements overnight. The Pixel 5 ($999) is now a thing and goes on sale Oct 15th. Honestly, there's not much going on here that makes it a big improvement over the much cheaper Pixel 4A. Software wise there's new features like being able to edit audio recordings like you're using a word processor, something called "Hold for Me" that sends an alert when someone picks up the phone whilst you're on hold and more automagic features for Google Photos. There's a new Nest Audio ($149) smartspeaker that replaces the Google Home. The Chromecast ($99) now comes with a little remote control and has an all-new user interface that lets it work more like an Apple TV or Roku than just a dumb thing to stream video to. It runs Android TV and features an app called Google TV. This article explains all of Google's confusing TV-related nonclementure.
NSW puts rules-as-code into production
The NSW government has put its first piece of "rules as code" into production. They're using something called OpenFisca to turn legislation into an API, so government departments can create stuff that reacts if a law related to it changes. The first use of such a thing is a NSW Fair Trading questionnaire to tell people if "their gaming activity would be permitted or not permitted, and whether they need to apply for an authority to conduct a gaming activity". Instead of updating that questionnaire when the regulations change, the form picks up the legislative changes and automatically adjusts the questionnaire to reflect it.
Google to hand out US$1b to news outlets via Google News Showcase
Google has a plan to pay US$1b over three years to news publishers around the world via a new product called Google News Showcase. This new feature in the Google News smartphone app will "give participating publishers the ability to package the stories that appear within Google’s news products, providing deeper storytelling and more context through features like timelines, bullets and related articles". The real key feature however is that Google will pay to licence the content displayed here, and has 200 partnerships with outlets in Germany, Brazil, Argentina, Canada, the U.K. and Australia. Some of the Australian outlets include Australian Community Media (ACM), Solstice Media, Schwartz Media and Private Media., with News Corp currently in negotiations to get its stuff in Google News Showcase. I assume this is a token effort by Google to show regulators they're doing something, but media outlets want every link via Google, everywhere, to be licenced, not just a section in an app.
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