Defense Information Systems Agency Suffers Data Breach

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Between May and July 2019 sensitive data like Social Security Numbers were stolen from servers belonging to the Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), a U.S. defense agency. Earlier this month it notified victims.

The Defense Information Systems Agency has begun issuing letters to people whose personally identifiable information may have been compromised in a data breach on a system hosted by the agency. While there is no evidence to suggest that any of the potentially compromised PII was misused, DISA policy requires the agency to notify individuals whose personal data may have been compromised.

AI Could Build the Next JPEG Image Codec

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The Joint Photographic Experts Group (JPEG) is exploring methods to use machine learning to create the next JPEG image codec.

In a recent meeting held in Sydney, the group released a call for evidence to explore AI-based methods to find a new image compression codec. The program, aptly named JPEG AI, was launched last year; with a special group to study neural-network-based image codecs.

Twitter Tests Fake News Warning System

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Twitter is testing a fake news warning system on its platform. Bright labels will appear under tweets with misinformation.

Twitter confirmed that the leaked demo, which was accessible on a publicly available site, is one possible iteration of a new policy to target misinformation it plans to roll out March 5.

In this version, disinformation or misleading information posted by public figures will be corrected directly beneath the tweet by fact-checkers and journalists who are verified on the platform, and possibly other users who will participate in a new “community reports” feature, which the demo claims is “like Wikipedia.”

I could see “community reports” abused by Twitter trolls mass-reporting anything they disagree with as fake news. Hopefully Twitter builds a good system.

Coronavirus Fear Leads to 800 Staff at Apple Supplier Staying Home

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SK Hynix, which supplies Apple with RAM, told 800 of its staff to stay home. It happened after it emerged that one trainee had been in contact with someone who was infected with coronavirus, AppleInsider reported.

SK Hynix on Thursday said it had requested 800 of its workers to quarantine themselves to prevent the spread of the coronavirus as a preventative measure. The precaution was made after the discovery one trainee had met a patient in Daegu, a city in South Korea that is at the center of an outbreak of the virus. The trainee was tested alongside another with symptoms of pneumonia, Reuters reports, though while neither were found to have the virus under the first test, a second is being performed to make sure. The company has also closed its training center and hospital in Incheon.

Naztech Wireless Power Hub 5: Qi-Enabled and 4 USB Ports: $44.99

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We have a deal on the Naztech Wireless Power Hub 5, a charging station with 4 USB charging ports and a Qi wireless charging pad. In addition to the USB charging ports, the station also has slots designed to hold your device while it’s charging with a minimal footprint. This device is $44.99 through our deal.

More Details About Apple's Row With German App Store Manager Over 'Tell All' Book

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App Store Confidential

I previously reported that Apple was attempting to stop the distribution of a book by a former German App Store manager, which purports to ‘tell-all’ about life at the company. Reuters offers more details about the row, and the legal arguments being made by both sides. The information largely comes courtesy of a letter by Ralph Oliver Graef, publisher Murmann’s lawyer.

“Apple is trying to obstruct the publication of a book that addresses its business practices, but is written very sympathetically,” Graef said. Murmann said a first print run of 4,000 copies was selling well and, rather than pulling the book, it was rushing out a second print run. “It’s No. 2 on the Amazon best-seller list in Germany – everyone is talking about it,” said Peter Felixberger, an executive at Murmann.

This Startup Wants to Build a “GitHub for Data”

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A startup called Gretel wants to build a “GitHub for data” so developers can safely access sensitive data.

Often, developers don’t need full access to a bank of user data — they just need a portion or a sample to work with. In many cases, developers could suffice with data that looks like real user data.

This so-called “synthetic data” is essentially artificial data that looks and works just like regular sensitive user data. Gretel uses machine learning to categorize the data — like names, addresses and other customer identifiers — and classify as many labels to the data as possible. Once that data is labeled, it can be applied access policies. Then, the platform applies differential privacy — a technique used to anonymize vast amounts of data — so that it’s no longer tied to customer information.


This Company Sells Your Credit Card Data

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Yodlee is the biggest financial data broker in the U.S., and it routinely sells your credit card data to investment and research firms.

The Yodlee document describes in detail what type of data its clients gain access to, how the company manages that data across its infrastructure, and the specific measures Yodlee takes to try and anonymize its dataset…Once logged into Yodlee’s server, clients download the data as a large text file, rather than interacting with the data in a dashboard or interface that stays solely within Yodlee’s control, according to the document.

Native Union Releases Drop XL Watch Edition Charger

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Native Union today announced the release of its newest product, the Drop XL Watch Edition. It’s a wireless charging pad for your Apple Watch, iPhone, and AirPods, and they can all be charged at the same time. The charging puck for the Apple Watch is detachable, so you can free up the device for an additional USB-A port if needed. The design looks a lot like Apple’s failed AirPower product, and it’s covered in a slate-colored fabric. It comes with AC Power Adapter and a 6.5ft / 2m USB-C to USB-A braided cable. You can order one today for US$149.99.