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Aujourd’hui — 28 septembre 2021Slashdot

Robinhood CEO Unwittingly Inspired $1 Million Meme Stock Fraud

28 septembre 2021 à 00:20
According to the SEC, Robinhood CEO Vlad Tenev unwittingly inspired brokerages to engage in a scheme involving illegal wash trading, or trading with yourself. An anonymous reader shares the report from Bloomberg: The SEC accused Suyun Gu and Yong Lee of improperly pocketing more than $1 million of rebates from stock exchanges from February through April, after placing thousands of options trades for hot shares like GameStop, AMC , BlackBerry and Nokia. The U.S. equity market, including the related options business, is built atop a system known as maker-taker. Traders who submit orders that sit on an exchange's public order book are, in many cases, paid a "maker" rebate -- an incentive designed to attract more liquidity. Those who trade against those resting orders are charged a "taker" fee. Gu, who lives in Miami, and Lee, a resident of Torrance, California, placed the first part of their trades through a broker based in Greenwich, Connecticut and another in Morristown, New Jersey, that pass along the maker rebates to their clients, according to the SEC's complaint. They targeted out-of-the-money puts for their resting orders, investments that others were unlikely to trade against because the holdings offered little opportunity to make money -- barring something nefarious. Gu, 35, and Lee, 37, then traded against their own orders through accounts they opened at brokers including Robinhood, which doesn't pass along "taker" fees to customers. In summary, their profits came from collecting maker rebates without having to pay taker fees. Gu executed approximately 11,430 wash trades, pocketing $668,671, according to the SEC. For Lee, it was 2,360 wash trades and $51,334 of profits, the regulator said. The SEC didn't name Tenev or Robinhood. Instead, the agency refers to a "Broker-dealer B" based in Menlo Park, California. The SEC complaint adds that the firm's CEO appeared before the House Financial Services Committee on Feb. 18, where he said the firm "pioneered commission free and zero contract fee options trading." For Tenev, that day was a grueling five-hour ordeal. He faced dozens of probing questions from lawmakers, who accused Robinhood of turning the stock market into a casino while failing to protect retail investors amid the frenzied run-up of GameStop and other stocks. But Gu heard opportunity, according to the SEC. The former trade-system developer who had worked at several financial firms concluded from Tenev's testimony that Robinhood didn't charge its customers "take fees," the agency said. Gu's friend, Lee, joined in the scheme, according to the SEC. While Gu is contesting the regulator's claims, Lee agreed to pay a $25,000 fine and about $52,000 in disgorgement and interest without admitting or denying wrongdoing. The SEC added that its investigation didn't initially prompt Gu to stop breaking the law.

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Hier — 27 septembre 2021Slashdot

MediaLab Acquires Imgur

27 septembre 2021 à 23:44
In a blog post, Imgur announced that it has been acquired by a company called MediaLab. "It's the beginning of a new chapter, and we're excited to share the news with you," writes the Imgur team. From the post: We've been acquired by MediaLab! MediaLab, based in Santa Monica, CA, is a company that owns great internet brands like Whisper, Kik, WorldStarHipHop, Amino, Genius and others. They're a team of technologists, product managers, designers, and community builders who geek out over building cool stuff for large scale audiences. We made the choice to join the MediaLab portfolio because their resources and shared services can help accelerate us closer toward our goal and keep the main Imgur team focused on what we do best: creating the best place for community-powered entertainment online. MediaLab has committed to investing more resources in engineering and community to continue adding new features, new tools for creators, and growing Imgur. Details on the sale price haven't been announced. You can read the full post here.

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Google, in Fight Against Record EU Fine, Slams Regulators for Ignoring Apple

27 septembre 2021 à 23:00
Alphabet unit Google on Monday blasted EU antitrust regulators for ignoring rival Apple as it launched a bid to get Europe's second-highest court to annul a record 4.34-billion euro ($5.1 billion) fine related to its Android operating system. From a report: Far from holding back rivals and harming users, Android has been a massive success story of competition at work, representatives of Google told a panel of five judges at the General Court at the start of a five-day hearing. The European Commission fined Google in 2018, saying that it had used Android since 2011 to thwart rivals and cement its dominance in general internet search. Regardless of how the court rules, Google, Apple, Amazon and Facebook will have to change their business models in the coming years to ensure a level playing field for rivals following tough new rules proposed by European Union antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager. "The Commission shut its eyes to the real competitive dynamic in this industry, that between Apple and Android," Google's lawyer Meredith Pickford told the court. "By defining markets too narrowly and downplaying the potent constraint imposed by the highly powerful Apple, the Commission has mistakenly found Google to be dominant in mobile operating systems and app stores, when it was in fact a vigorous market disrupter," he said. Pickford said Android "is an exceptional success story of the power of competition in action."

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Prosecutors in Mexico Seeking Arrest Warrants For More Than 30 Scientists

27 septembre 2021 à 22:20
Mexico's scientific community has reacted with outrage after the country's chief prosecutor requested arrest warrants for 31 scientists, researchers and academics on accusations of organised crime, money laundering and embezzlement -- charges that could land them alongside drug cartel kingpins in one of the country's most notorious lockups. From a report: A judge at the maximum security Altiplano prison -- from which Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman escaped in 2015 -- denied granting the arrest warrants on Wednesday. But the federal prosecutor immediately announced plans to pursue arrest warrants for the third time. The university professors have been accused of violating a law that prevents members of an advisory board from receiving money from a government science fund. But that law was passed in 2019, and the scientists got the $2.5m years earlier when it was apparently legal. Those involved have denied the funds were illegal or misused. The National Council on Science and Technology (Conacyt) has described the reaction to the arrest warrant applications as "a concerted wave of disinformation," which was spreading "terror" in the scientific community.

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Coinbase To Let You Deposit Part of Your Paycheck Into Your Coinbase Account

27 septembre 2021 à 21:42
Cryptocurrency company Coinbase is announcing a handful of new features. While the company is better known for its exchange that lets you convert USD into various cryptocurrencies, Coinbase wants to expand its consumer services so that you use the platform for different use cases with more financial services. From a report: First, the company will soon launch direct deposit in the U.S. This way, customers will be able to deposit a portion of their paycheck into Coinbase. Coinbase app users can find their current payroll company or employer and update paycheck allocation from there. The most extreme users will probably choose to deposit 100% of their paycheck into their Coinbase account. Once the money hits your Coinbase account, you can choose what the company is supposed to do with your dollars. You can just keep everything in USD or you can choose to convert everything to a cryptocurrency. Users can choose any of the crypto assets available on the platform. This feature alone is particularly useful if you want to set up recurring buys without even having to think about it. But direct deposit makes more sense when you realize that Coinbase also has its own debit card powered by Marqeta. It's a Visa debit card that works with Apple Pay and Google Pay. It's all about getting money in and out of your Coinbase account. From the Coinbase app, you can choose the source wallet for your card transactions. Every time you make a purchase, Coinbase converts your crypto assets to USD with a 2.49% transaction fee.

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Eftpos Granted Government Accreditation as First Private ID Exchange Operator

27 septembre 2021 à 21:00
Eftpos has become Australia's first accredited non-government operator of a digital identity exchange under the federal government's Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF). From a report: By becoming an accredited operator, Eftpos connectID can now facilitate online transactions requiring a digital identity from Australians. Eftpos sent connectID live in June as a fully-owned subsidiary of the organisation and as a standalone fintech company. It's been set up to act as "broker" between identity service providers and merchants or government agencies that require identity verification, such as proof of age, address details, or bank account information. It has been designed to work within the federal government's Trusted Digital Identity Framework (TDIF) and the banking industry's TrustID framework. Although the Australian government has its own digital identity solution with myGovID, Eftpos has previously said its solution could provide a "smoother, faster, and more secure onboarding experience, including for government services." Eftpos has also assured that connectID does not store any identity data.

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Facebook is Spending $50 Million To 'Responsibly' Build the Metaverse

27 septembre 2021 à 20:27
Facebook has announced a $50 million fund that it says will help it develop the metaverse more responsibly. From a report: It's officially called the XR Programs and Research Fund, and the company says it'll be invested into "programs and external research" over the course of two years. Facebook has previously funded academic research into the social impact of AR wearables and solicited VR hardware proposals. Facebook's announcement blog calls the metaverse the "next computing platform" and says that the company will be working with policymakers, researchers, and industry partners while building it. The announcement also gives us Facebook's definition of the sometimes nebulous word "metaverse." The company describes it as "virtual spaces where you can create and explore with other people" that you're not physically with, spread out over a variety of products and services.

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US Agrees Not To Pursue Fraud Charges Against Huawei CFO

27 septembre 2021 à 19:27
Huawei CFO Meng Wanzhou would appear in a Brooklyn federal courtroom today via streaming video and enter a plea regarding US charges against her. From a report: Canadian authorities arrested the Chinese executive in December 2018 on suspicion of violating US sanctions, and she has remained there on house arrest ever since, fighting US attempts at extradition. Hearings in her extradition case ended in August, with the ruling scheduled for October 21st. Meng was indicted on fraud charges claiming the Chinese technology and telecommunications company misrepresented its relationship with an Iranian affiliate, along with accusations it stole intellectual property from T-Mobile. The 13-count indictment named Meng, Huawei, and two of its subsidiaries -- Huawei USA and Skycom. On Friday afternoon, Meng pleaded not guilty. Prosecutors submitted a statement of facts asserting that in 2013 she told financial institutions the Iranian company Skycom was a partner of Huawei while knowing that Skycom was owned and controlled by a Huawei subsidiary to act as its agent in the region. As part of the deal in making this admission, the prosecution says "Meng has agreed to the accuracy of a four-page statement of facts that details the knowingly false statements she made to Financial Institution 1."

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Facebook is Hitting the Brakes on Instagram for Kids

27 septembre 2021 à 18:49
Instagram is pressing pause on plans to develop a version of its service for kids under 13 after facing pressure from lawmakers to back down on the effort and new questions about the impact the photo-sharing service has on teen girls. From a report: "While we stand by the need to develop this experience, we've decided to pause this project," Adam Mosseri, head of Instagram, wrote in a blog post published Monday. "This will give us time to work with parents, experts, policymakers and regulators, to listen to their concerns, and to demonstrate the value and importance of this project for younger teens online today." The move comes just days before the US Senate was set to hold a hearing entitled "Protecting Kids Online: Facebook, Instagram, and Mental Health Harms" to discuss the pressure today's youth face on social media. That hearing comes after a Wall Street Journal investigation around what Facebook knows about how Instagram affects teen users, including their mental health. In the blog post Monday, Mosseri acknowledged that the Journal's reporting "has raised a lot of questions for people."

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TikTok Reaches 1 Billion Monthly Active Users

27 septembre 2021 à 18:08
TikTok announced in a blog post today that 1 billion people use TikTok every month. From a report: That means that on this big rock in space that we call home, about one in seven-and-a-half people are regularly watching short-form videos of dancing, dangerous "milk crate challenges" and even actual educational content. For context, Facebook said that in June it had 2.9 billion monthly active users, up 7% year over year. But TikTok's growth is rapid -- this new user data marks a 45% increase in monthly active users since July 2020, when it had 689 million users. Plus, this July, TikTok became the first non-Facebook app to reach 3 billion global downloads, per app analytics firm SensorTower. The competition that TikTok poses to Western tech giants is palpable -- Instagram, owned by Facebook, has radically shifted its focus, declaring that it's no longer a photo-sharing app. Instagram is heavily promoting Reels, its TikTok clone, and even discussion forums like Reddit are enticed by the promise of short-form video feeds. Instagram even advised creators that if they recycle watermarked TikToks as posts on Reels, the content will be less discoverable.

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US Space Force Awards $87.5 Million To Rocket Lab, SpaceX, Blue Origin, ULA for Next-gen Rocket Testing

27 septembre 2021 à 17:21
The U.S. Space Force, the military branch spun out of the Air Force in December 2019, has announced its next batch of awards for projects related to next-gen rocket engine testing and upper stage improvements. From a report: The awards were granted by the Space Enterprise Consortium (SpEC), a program managed by the Space Force's Space Systems Command. SpEC facilitates engagement between the U.S. Department and Defense and the space industry, by allowing its nearly 600 members to compete for contracts. The awards, which total $87.5 million, were granted to four launch companies:

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Cloudflare Is Taking a Shot at Email Security

27 septembre 2021 à 16:43
Cloudflare, the internet infrastructure company, already has its fingers in a lot of customer security pots, from DDoS protection to browser isolation to a mobile VPN. Now the company is taking on a classic web foe: email. From a report: On Monday, Cloudflare is announcing a pair of email safety and security offerings that it views as a first step toward catching more targeted phishing attacks, reducing the effectiveness of address spoofing, and mitigating the fallout if a user does click a malicious link. The features, which the company will offer for free, are mainly geared toward small business and corporate customers. And they're made for use on top of any email hosting a customer already has, whether it's provided by Google's Gmail, Microsoft 365, Yahoo, or even relics like AOL. Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince says that from its founding in 2009, the company very intentionally avoided going anywhere near the thorny problem of email. But he adds that email security issues are unrelenting, so it has become necessary. "I think what I had assumed is that hosting providers like Google and Microsoft and Yahoo were going to solve this issue, so we weren't sure there was anything for us to do in the space," Prince says. "But what's become clear over the course of the last two years is that email security is still not a solved issue." Prince says that Cloudflare employees have been "astonished by how many targeted threats were getting through Google Workspace," the company's email provider. That's not for lack of progress by Google or the other big providers on anti-spam and anti-malware efforts, he adds. But with so many types of email threats to deal with at once, strategically crafted phishing messages still slip through. So Cloudflare decided to build additional defense tools that both the company itself as well as its customers could use.

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After IBM Failed To Sail an Autonomous Boat Across the Atlantic, It's Trying Again

27 septembre 2021 à 16:00
After failing its first attempt to re-create the Mayflower's voyage across the Atlantic Ocean, a crewless ocean vessel, powered by artificial intelligence, has returned to sea. From a report: Propelled by IBM's AI software, the autonomous ship set out in June for a month-long excursion through rough waters with no humans aboard. However, three days into what was supposed to be a monumental journey from Plymouth, England, to Plymouth, Mass., where pilgrim travelers settled in 1620, the robot ship suffered "a minor mechanical issue" according to ProMare, a nonprofit promoting marine research that is behind the project. Researchers pushed out a software update, signaling for the ship to reverse course. The boat abided by its orders and headed to shore. Yet according to Brett Phaneuf, co-director of the Mayflower Autonomous Ship Project, the organizers quickly began planning another voyage. "We've had a setback, but one that will put us further ahead than if we did nothing," he said. Earlier this month, researchers sent the ship back out for a shorter trip: This time it'll focus on the waters around the United Kingdom, where crews can attend to it sooner if something unforeseen happens. "At some point, you have to go for it and take the risk or never improve," Phaneuf said.

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As Environmental Criticism Mounts, Bitcoin Miners Eye Nuclear Power

27 septembre 2021 à 13:34
"Bitcoin miners, under fire for their sizable environmental footprint, are forging partnerships with owners of struggling nuclear-power plants with electricity to spare," reports the Wall Street Journal: The matchups have the potential to solve key issues facing each industry, executives and analysts say: Electricity-hungry bitcoin miners want stable and carbon-free power, while nuclear plants facing competition from cheaper power sources need new customers. Talen Energy Corp. has entered into a joint venture with bitcoin-mining company TeraWulf Inc., which has started land development for a mining facility the size of four football fields next to its Pennsylvania nuclear plant. Nuclear generator Energy Harbor Corp. will provide power to a Standard Power mining center in Ohio starting in December... New nuclear projects are eyeing cryptocurrency miners as well: Startup Oklo Inc., which plans to build a small-scale fission power plant that can run on used nuclear fuel, has signed a 20-year supply deal with hardware and hosting firm Compass Mining. "Both industry's challenges are the other industry's positives," said Sean Lawrie, partner at consulting firm ScottMadden Inc.... "At the core of bitcoin mining is energy and energy infrastructure," said Paul Prager, chief executive of TeraWulf.

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Should Billionaires Try Constructing 'Cities of the Future' in the Desert?

27 septembre 2021 à 09:34
The Guardian looks at a billionaire's plan to build a $400 billion "city of the future" in a U.S. desert. The city — to be named Telosa — "doesn't exist yet, nor is it clear which state will house the experiment, but the architects of the proposed 150,000-acre project are scouting the American south-west." They're already predicting the first residents can move in by 2030. Telosa will eventually house 5 million people, according to its website, and benefit from a halo of utopian promises: avant-garde architecture, drought resistance, minimal environmental impact, communal resources. This hypothetical metropolis promises to take some of the most cutting-edge ideas about sustainability and urban design and make them reality. The plan combines ideas about urban farming (the "beacon" tower of the project will house aeroponic farms) and quality of life (a city where everyone can live and work and play within a 15-minute commute) alongside new green technologies and a model of land ownership proposed, but never executed, by the 19th-century economist Henry George. These are ideas that have remained in the abstract or only attempted on a small scale; now they will have a whole American metropolis to experiment with, brought to life by the creative ambitions of one very rich man. Telosa certainly is a city of the future, but not in, like, a great way. Yes, it probably will have a very shiny public transportation system, but it seems futuristic more in the sense that, as the world deteriorates, the ultra-rich seem increasingly interested in telling the rest of us how to live. No longer content to just sneer down at us from their private jets, they take over our homes, our towns, our society... As anyone who has an adult relative who rules over their basement miniature train set with an iron fist, or who has spent any time on social media listening to 22-year-old leftists talk about what life will be like after "the revolution", knows, a lot of people have ideas about the way cities, countries and societies should work. We are usually protected from seeing those ideas realized, and dealing with the consequences of their megalomania, simply by preventing any one person from building enough wealth or power. But I have something to tell you about the tax policy of the last couple decades and the way a small number of people have benefited, and you're not going to like it... The ideas of this fake little town are grand! Green architecture, environmental technology, "transparent governance", innovative urban planning ideas — if this works, it could advance our thinking on how humans can exist in a changing world and live harmonious lives during the coming environmental and economic calamities. But it won't work. It won't work because one guy doesn't get to decide how the world, or even a city, should work. Even if he's collaborating with the greatest "thinkers" and architects and scientists of our time, just a glance through Lore's portfolio will reveal that all of his big ideas and fancy language about the betterment and advancement of society are pretty hollow... What would make society better? Is it skyscrapers in the desert? Or would it actually benefit the world more if billionaires had less influence over the way society operates?

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When the FBI Seizes Your Messages from Big Tech, You May Not Know for Years

27 septembre 2021 à 05:42
When America's law enforcement investigators serve tech companies with subpoenas or search warrants,"the target of the investigation has no idea their data is being seized," the Washington Post pointed out this weekend. It's becoming surprisingly common in the U.S. "And if investigators obtain a gag order, the records must be handed over without the person's knowledge or consent — depriving the person of an opportunity to challenge the seizure in court." Every year, Facebook, Google and other technology companies receive hundreds of thousands of orders from law enforcement agencies seeking data people stash online: private messages, photos, search histories, calendar items — a potentially rich trove for criminal investigators. Often, those requests are accompanied by secrecy orders, also known as nondisclosure or gag orders, that require the tech companies to keep their customers in the dark, potentially for years... In the last six months of 2020, Facebook received 61,262 government requests for user data in the United States, said spokesman Andy Stone. Most — 69 percent — came with secrecy orders. Meanwhile, Microsoft has received between 2,400 and 3,500 secrecy orders from federal law enforcement each year since 2016 — or seven to 10 per day — according to congressional testimony by vice president of customer security and trust Tom Burt. Google and Apple declined to disclose the number of gag orders they've received. But in the first half of 2020, Google said U.S. law enforcement made 39,536 requests for information about 84,662 accounts — with many of the requests targeting multiple accounts. Apple said it received 11,363 requests... Under the 1986 Electronic Communications Privacy Act, federal prosecutors are required to seek digital information from tech companies, not their customers. Since then, prosecutors have routinely used gag orders to prevent the companies from spilling the beans to suspects who might destroy evidence, go into hiding or threaten someone's life. But the practice has mushroomed over the past two decades, part of a broader surveillance ramp-up following the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks, lawyers said. As the orders have proliferated, privacy advocates and the tech companies themselves have become increasingly concerned. Some tech company officials have accused prosecutors of reflexively requesting gag orders for routine investigations, regardless of whether the cases actually require such secrecy. And an array of company officials and legal experts argue that the practice robs tech company customers of their constitutional protections against unreasonable search and seizure. "Across all the rest of society, it's understood that government doesn't get to take your stuff, doesn't get to come in and into your house, doesn't get to break into your file folders or your lock box at the bank without a warrant. And you get to know about that warrant and you get to exercise your legal rights," Microsoft's Burt said in an interview. "Someone cannot exercise their Fourth Amendment rights when their data has been taken in secret." U.S. lawmakers are considering changes, the article points out. One idea? Require tech companies "to preserve digital files that are the subject of court orders and permit customers to challenge the orders in court before the information is turned over to prosecutors." Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon points out that's how wiretaps currently work — and is also drafting a measure that would finally require federal courts to publish statistics on the number of surveillance and secrecy orders they've issued.

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Microsoft Joins a Linux Foundation Nonprofit's Effort to Decarbonize the Grid

27 septembre 2021 à 03:42
"Microsoft has joined forces with LF Energy, a Linux Foundation nonprofit working to accelerate the energy transition of the world's grids and transportation systems through open source," reports ZDNet: Microsoft has become a strategic member of the foundation and Audrey Lee, senior director of energy strategy at Microsoft, was elected to serve on the LF Energy Foundation Governing Board. Dr. Shuli Goodman, executive director of LF Energy, told ZDNet that the foundation believes Microsoft will play an important role in helping to advance their mission of decarbonization of the power grid, transportation and the built environment. "LF Energy Foundation is thrilled to have Microsoft join our organization as a General member. Through Microsoft's commitment to a carbon negative position they are directly encouraging the tech sector to look for more efficient ways to purchase and consume power," Goodman said. "LF Energy nurtures the most cutting edge of all open source projects focused on improving automation, control, security, virtualization, and interoperability of power systems. Our members contribute valuable code, tooling, resources and expertise to increase the velocity of these projects...." Goodman called Microsoft a "force multiplier" and said having the company backing LF Energy will help propel their projects forward at a rapid pace.

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With HTTPS Everywhere, EFF Begins Plans to Eventually Deprecate 'HTTPS Everywhere' Extension

27 septembre 2021 à 02:11
The Record reports: The Electronic Frontier Foundation said it is preparing to retire the famous HTTPS Everywhere browser extension after HTTPS adoption has picked up and after several web browsers have introduced HTTPS-only modes." "After the end of this year, the extension will be in 'maintenance mode' for 2022," said Alexis Hancock, Director of Engineering at the EFF. Maintenance mode means the extension will receive minor bug fixes next year but no new features or further development. No official end-of-life date has been decided, a date after which no updates will be provided for the extension whatsoever. Launched in June 2010, the HTTPS Everywhere browser extension is one of the most successful browser extensions ever released. The extension worked by automatically switching web connections from HTTP to HTTPS if websites had an HTTPS option available. At the time it was released, it helped upgrade site connections to HTTPS when users clicked on HTTP links or typed domains in their browser without specifying the "https://" prefix. The extension reached cult status among privacy advocates and was integrated into the Tor Browser and, after that, in many other privacy-conscious browsers. But since 2010, HTTPS is not a fringe technology anymore. Currently, around 86.6% of all internet sites support HTTPS connections. Browser makers such as Chrome and Mozilla previously reported that HTTPS traffic usually accounts for 90% to 95% of their daily connections. From EFF's announcement: The goal of HTTPS Everywhere was always to become redundant. That would mean we'd achieved our larger goal: a world where HTTPS is so broadly available and accessible that users no longer need an extra browser extension to get it. Now that world is closer than ever, with mainstream browsers offering native support for an HTTPS-only mode. With these simple settings available, EFF is preparing to deprecate the HTTPS Everywhere web extension as we look to new frontiers of secure protocols like SSL/TLS... We know many different kinds of users have this tool installed, and want to give our partners and users the needed time to transition. The announcement also promises to inform users of browser-native HTTPS-only options before the day when the extension reaches its final sunsetting — and ends with instructions for how to active the native HTTPS-only features in Firefox, Chrome, Edge, and Safari — "and celebrate with us that HTTPS is truly everywhere for users."

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US Military Seeks Comments on Its Plan to Build a Small, Transportable Nuclear Reactor

27 septembre 2021 à 00:52
America's Department of Defense "is taking input on its plan to build an advanced mobile nuclear microreactor prototype at the Idaho National Laboratory in eastern Idaho," reports the Associated Press: The department began a 45-day comment period on Friday with the release of a draft environmental impact study evaluating alternatives for building and operating the microreactor that could produce 1 to 5 megawatts of power. The department's energy needs are expected to increase, it said. "A safe, small, transportable nuclear reactor would address this growing demand with a resilient, carbon-free energy source that would not add to the DoD's fuel needs, while supporting mission-critical operations in remote and austere environments," the Defense Department said. The draft environmental impact statement cites President Joe Biden's January 27 executive order prioritizing climate change considerations in national security as another reason for pursuing microreactors. The draft document said alternative energy sources such as wind and solar were problematic because they are limited by location, weather and available land area, and would require redundant power supplies. The department said it uses 30 terawatt-hours of electricity per year and more than 10 million gallons (37.9 million liters) of fuel per day. Powering bases using diesel generators strains operations and planning, the department said, and need is expected to grow during a transition to an electrical, non-tactical vehicle fleet. Thirty terawatt-hours is more energy than many small countries use in a year. The department in the 314-page draft environmental impact statement said it wants to reduce reliance on local electric grids, which are highly vulnerable to prolonged outages from natural disasters, cyberattacks, domestic terrorism and failure from lack of maintenance. The department also said new technologies such as drones and radar systems increase energy demands... The Defense Department said a final environmental impact statement and decision about how or whether to move forward is expected in early 2022. If approved, preparing testing sites at the Idaho National Lab and then building and testing of the microreactor would take about three years.

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