Supreme Court Backs Award of Overseas Patent Damages

schwit1 quotes a report from Reuters: The U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Friday that companies can recover profits lost because of the unauthorized use of their patented technology abroad in a victory for Schlumberger NV, the world’s largest oilfield services provider. The decision expands the ability of patent owners to recover foreign-based damages, increasing the threat posed by certain infringement lawsuits in the United States.

Internet-based companies and others had expressed concern that extending patent damages beyond national borders would expose U.S. high-technology firms to greater patent-related risks abroad. U.S. patent law generally applies only domestically, but Schlumberger said that since the law protects against infringement that occurs when components of a patented invention are supplied from the U.S. for assembly abroad, it should be fully compensated for the infringement, including any lost foreign sales. The high court agreed.

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Atari Accuses Journalists of Making Stuff Up So They Produce Recordings of the Interview

An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Register: Legendary games company Atari has accused a Register reporter of making stuff up and acting unprofessionally following an interview earlier this year in San Francisco at the launch of its new games console, the Atari VCS. In that article, we were critical of the fact that the machine did not work, and that its chief operating officer Michael Arzt, whom we spoke to, appeared unable to answer even the most basic questions about the product. We were shown “engineering design models” that were said to be “real” yet turned out did not work, and pointed out as much.

In the article, we wrote: “What happens if we plug this into our laptop, we ask Mike. I don’t know, he says. Will it work? I don’t know. If we plug it into a different games machine, will it work? No. So it’s custom hardware and software? I don’t know about that.” Presumably this is where Atari feels that the reporter “wrote what he wanted instead of what was discussed with him.” Which makes this clip tough to explain — and we’ll give you a clue: your humble Reg hack is the one with the British accent… This is a clip of Atari having no idea about its own controller. The Register goes on to provide more examples of how Atari “is so full of crap…” The accusations started via the company’s Facebook page, where a potential buyer of an Atari VCS posted a link to the Reg article and asked the company to explain it. The full interview between the journalist and Atari can be found here.

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An Up-to-Date Browser Should Keep Users Safe From Most Exploit Kits

Exploit kits, once a preferred choice of attackers to invade a victim’s browser and find way to their computer, are increasingly diminishing in their effectiveness. If you have an updated browser, chances are it packs adequate resources to fight such attacks. Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: Exploit kits (EK) have been around on the criminal underground for more than a decade and were once pretty advanced, often being a place where researchers found zero-days on a regular basis. But as browsers got more secure in recent years, exploit kits started to die out in 2016-2017. Most operators were arrested, moved to other things, and nobody developed new exploits to add to the arsenal of EK left on the market, which slowly began falling behind when it came to their effectiveness to infect new victims. A Palo Alto Networks report published yesterday details statistics about the vulnerabilities used by current exploit kits in the first three months of the year (Q1 2018). According to the gathered data, researchers found 1,583 malicious URLs across 496 different domains, leading to landing pages (URLs) where an EK attempted to run exploits only for only a meager eight vulnerabilities. All eight were old and known bugs, with the newest dating back to 2016. Seven of the eight vulnerabilities targeted Internet Explorer, meaning that using a more modern browser like Chrome and Firefox is a simple, yet effective way of avoiding falling victim to exploit kits.

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Google Engineers Refused To Build Security Tool To Win Military Contracts

Mark Bergen reports via Bloomberg: Earlier this year, a group of influential software engineers in Google’s cloud division surprised their superiors by refusing to work on a cutting-edge security feature. Known as “air gap,” the technology would have helped Google win sensitive military contracts. The coders weren’t persuaded their employer should be using its technological might to help the government wage war, according to four current and former employees. After hearing the engineers’ objections, Urs Holzle, Google’s top technical executive, said the air gap feature would be postponed, one of the people said. Another person familiar with the situation said the group was able to reduce the scope of the feature.

The act of rebellion ricocheted around the company, fueling a growing resistance among employees with a dim view of Google’s yen for multi-million-dollar government contracts. The engineers became known as the “Group of Nine” and were lionized by like-minded staff. The current and former employees say the engineers’ work boycott was a catalyst for larger protests that convulsed the company’s Mountain View, California, campus and ultimately forced executives to let a lucrative Pentagon contract called Project Maven expire without renewal.

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Facebook Messenger Kids App Is Expanding

Facebook’s controversial Messenger Kids app is heading outside the U.S. to Canada and Peru. From a report: As part of the expansion, the social networking giant said Friday that it would also debut Spanish and French language versions of the children’s messaging app that are now available in all three countries where the service is available. Facebook introduced Messenger Kids in December, pitching it as a safer way for children under 13 to chat with friends while sending them silly GIFs, emoji, and other goofy digital imagery. Unlike the core Facebook social networking service or other messaging apps, Facebook said that Messenger Kids does not display any online ads or allow kids to buy things within the app.

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China Will Partly Lift Internet Censorship For One of Its Provinces To Promote Tourism

In an effort to promote tourism, the southern tropical Chinese island of Hainan will no longer censor its internet. “Visitors to select areas of Hainan will be able to access Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, according to a new plan authorities have put together to turn the province into a free trade port by 2020,” reports The Verge. “It’s not clear if other banned platforms will be uncensored.” From the report: The three-year action plan was published on Thursday, but removed from the local government website by Friday, as spotted by the South China Morning Post. For Hainan, China will lift part of its censorship system, or what’s known as the Great Firewall, that blocks access to most foreign social media and news sites. Tourists will be able to enter designated zones in Hainan’s two major cities to access Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube. Other banned foreign social media platforms, like Google, Instagram, or WhatsApp, haven’t been mentioned.

Ironically, China appears to be censoring people’s reactions to the news that some censorship is being lifted. One user on Weibo commented that people weren’t allowed a chance to provide any feedback on the new tourism plan. “Thousands of comments have since been deleted. As if censoring people solved the problem.”

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That Tablet On The Table At Your Favorite Restaurant Is Hurting Your Waiter

In data-hungry, tech-happy chain restaurants, customers are rating their servers using tabletop tablets, not realizing those ratings can put jobs at risk, an investigation by BuzzFeed News has found. From the report: When the Smokey Bones restaurant in Dayton, Ohio, where Nicole Bishop waits tables introduced Ziosk tabletop tablets, she wasn’t too worried about them. Ziosks are designed to increase restaurant efficiency by allowing customers to order drinks, appetizers, and desserts, and pay their bill from the table without talking to a server. But, as Bishop soon discovered, they also prompt customers to take a satisfaction survey at the end of every meal, the results of which are turned into a score that’s used to evaluate the server’s performance. One day not long after the Ziosks appeared, Bishop found that her work schedules had been cut short in half, a change she estimated would cost her between $200 and $400 a week. The report documents stories of several other waiters, all of whom have been affected by the tablet. It adds: Ziosk tablets sit atop dining tables at more than 4,500 restaurants across the United States — including most Chili’s and Olive Gardens, and many TGI Friday’s and Red Robins. Competitor E La Carte’s PrestoPrime tablets are in more than 1,800 restaurants, including most Applebee’s. Tens of thousands of servers are being evaluated based on a tech-driven, data-oriented customer feedback system many say is both inaccurate and unfair. And few of the customers holding the reins are even aware their responses have any impact on how much servers earn.

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Uber Driver Was Streaming Hulu Just Before Fatal Self-Driving Car Crash, Says Police

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Tempe, Arizona, police have released a massive report on the fatal Uber vehicle crash that killed pedestrian Elaine Herzberg in March. The report provides more evidence that driver Rafaela Vasquez was distracted in the seconds before the crash. “This crash would not have occurred if Vasquez would have been monitoring the vehicle and roadway conditions and was not distracted,” the report concludes. Police obtained records from Hulu suggesting that Vasquez was watching “The Voice,” a singing talent competition that airs on NBC, just before the crash. Hulu’s records showed she began watching the program at 9:16pm. Streaming of the show ended at 9:59pm, which “coincides with the approximate time of the collision,” according to the police report.

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Adobe Is Using AI To Catch Photoshopped Images

An anonymous reader shares a report: Adobe, certainly aware of how complicit its software is in the creation of fake news images, is working on artificial intelligence that can spot the markers of phony photos. In other words, the maker of Photoshop is tapping into machine learning to find out if someone has Photoshopped an image. Using AI to find fake images is a way for Adobe to help “increase trust and authenticity in digital media,” the company says. That brings it in line with the likes of Facebook and Google, which have stepped up their efforts to fight fake news. Whenever someone alters an image, unless they are pixel perfect in their work, they always leave behind indicators that the photo is modified. Metadata and watermarks can help determine a source image, and forensics can probe factors like lighting, noise distribution and edges on the pixel level to find inconsistencies. If a color is slightly off, for instance, forensic tools can flag it. But Adobe wagers that it could employ AI to find telltale signs of manipulation faster and more reliably.

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Facebook Mistakenly Leaked Developer Analytics Reports To Testers

This week, an alarmed developer contacted TechCrunch, informing us that their Facebook App Analytics weekly summary email had been delivered to someone outside their company. TechCrunch: It contains sensitive business information, including weekly average users, page views and new users. Forty-three hours after we contacted Facebook about the issue, the social network now confirms to TechCrunch that 3 percent of apps using Facebook Analytics had their weekly summary reports sent to their appâ(TM)s testers, instead of only the app’s developers, admins and analysts. Testers are often people outside of a developer’s company. If the leaked info got to an app’s competitors, it could provide them an advantage. At least they weren’t allowed to click through to view more extensive historical analytics data on Facebook’s site. Facebook tells us it has fixed the problem and no personally identifiable information or contact info was improperly disclosed.

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