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VentureBeat

Automatic signature verification software threatens to disenfranchise U.S. voters

As of early October, more than 84.2 million absentee ballots had been requested or sent to U.S. voters in 47 states and the District of Columbia ahead of the U.S general election. According to some estimates, the swing state of Florida has already doubled California’s 1 million total, with nearly 2 million voters casting their mail-in ballots in the weeks leading up to November 3. Delays in verifying mail-in ballots will slow the election tally, with tasks like processing ballots — verifying voters and separating that information from their ballot — anticipated to take longer than in previous years. Existing technology could expedite some processes, like software that matches signatures on ballot envelopes to voter records. (Thirty-three states require that voters’ signatures undergo validation.) But many question whether the algorithms underpinning this software might be biased against certain groups of voters. How signature verification works The category of algorithms used to verify signatures on ballots is known as “offline” signature verification because it relies on images of signatures when real-time information (like the downward pressure of a pen) isn’t available. Offline signature verification algorithms are trained on datasets that attempt to capture two feature types: global features that describe the signatures as a whole and local features that describe individual parts of the signatures (like symmetry and stroke directions). Several studies on automatic signature verification have been published, most recently by the Central Police University’s Department of Forensic Science in Taiwan. The study found that an algorithm trained on an…Continue readingAutomatic signature verification software threatens to disenfranchise U.S. voters

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Tech Radar

Project management software: free vs. paid tools

To take a popular proverb and completely misquote it, “the path to hell is paved with poorly managed projects”. Misquote or not, there are tons of failed products out there. Anyone remember the Microsoft Zune? Microsoft’s response to the iPod failed to capture even 10% of the MP3 player market share, and according to Tony Scherba, President of Yeti LLC, this was largely down to poor project management. About the author Samantha Ferguson is Senior Sales Manager at Project.co In an interview, he said that it was clear Microsoft did not do enough research or prototyping [when developing the Zune], stating: “If it had, Microsoft would have learned prior to release that consumers didn’t truly value Zune’s features.” A similar story can be told of the Virtual Boy, Nintendo’s worst-selling console of all time. There are many reasons attributed to the failure of this product, including a high price, poor display, lack of portability, and even health concerns.  When projects are managed effectively, issues like this can be captured and resolved before they ever cause any real problems for the business.  And with lots of different project management tools out there – one to suit everyone and anyone – there’s really no excuse for poorly managed projects anymore.  In this article we’re going to take a close look at different project management software tools, particularly their pricing models, so you can discover which one will bring the most value to your business. A project management software tool is – as…Continue readingProject management software: free vs. paid tools

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The Next Web

Why software developers might be obsolete by 2030

In 1930, John Maynard Keynes predicted we’d be having 15-hour workweeks by the end of the century. But by the time it was 2013, it was clear the great economist had gotten something wrong. Welcome to the era of bullshit jobs, as anthropologist David Graeber coined it. Since the 1930s, whole new industries have sprung up, which don’t necessarily add much value to our lives. Graeber would probably call most jobs in software development bullshit. I don’t share Graeber’s opinion, especially when it comes to software. But he does touch an interesting point: as more and more processes are automated, most jobs are obsolete at some point. According to one estimate, 45 percent of all jobs could be automated using current technology. And over time, they probably will. In software development, where things move pretty fast anyway, you can see this happen in real-time: as soon as software testing became a hot topic, automation tools started springing up. And this is just one of the many areas where the bullshit-parts — the parts that are iterative and time-consuming — of software has been automated away. This begs the question, though, whether developers are making themselves obsolete by building automation tools. If more and more machines can write code for themselves, what do we need humans for? From designing logic to designing minds Software developers are builders at heart. They build logical links, algorithms, programs, projects, and more. The point is: they build logical stuff. With the rise of artificial intelligence, we’re seeing a paradigm shift though. Developers aren’t designing logical…Continue readingWhy software developers might be obsolete by 2030

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The Verge

Google says Chinese hackers who targeted Biden campaign are faking McAfee software

Google said in a new blog post that hackers linked to the Chinese government have been impersonating antivirus software McAfee to try to infect victims’ machines with malware. And, Google says, the hackers appear to be the same group that unsuccessfully targeted the presidential campaign of former Vice President Joe Biden with a phishing attack earlier this year. A similar group of hackers based in Iran had tried to target President Trump’s campaign, but also was unsuccessful. The group, which Google refers to as APT 31 (short for Advanced Persistent Threat), would email links to users which would download malware hosted on GitHub, allowing the attacker to upload and download files and execute commands. Since the group used services like GitHub and Dropbox to carry out the attacks, it made it more difficult to track them. “Every malicious piece of this attack was hosted on legitimate services, making it harder for defenders to rely on network signals for detection,” the head of Google’s Threat Analysis Group Shane Huntley wrote in the blog post. Google In the McAfee impersonation scam, the recipient of the email would be prompted to install a legitimate version of McAfee software from GitHub, while at the same time malware was installed without the user being aware. Huntley noted that whenever Google detects that a user has been the victim of a government-backed attack, it sends them a warning. The blog post doesn’t mention who was affected by APT-31’s latest attacks, but said there had been “increased…Continue readingGoogle says Chinese hackers who targeted Biden campaign are faking McAfee software

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The Next Web

There’s a six-figure career in software development in your future. This training can be your gateway

TLDR: The Super Software Engineer Bundle offers the key background you need to understand and get started as a software developer. It’s never easy to start something completely new. Unfortunately, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced millions of Americans into the uncomfortable realization that their current or regrettably former occupations just don’t provide the future or security they want anymore. People need to work in stable, growing industries with strong wages that set workers up for a sound future. Last year, there were 26.4 million software developers in the world, with 4.2 million in the U.S. That global number is expected to reach just under 29 million by 2024. Meanwhile, American software developers are averaging six-figure salaries in this bursting digital age. If you’re looking for the training to help you step out on that professional ledge into a brighter tomorrow, the training in The Super Software Engineer Bundle ($39, over 90 percent off from TNW Deals) can help you reach that goal. With seven courses covering more than 40 hours of content, learners can explore foundational areas for anyone looking to start a new career building and developing apps, managing networked systems, creating games and more.  As a major component of app development, the Java Certification Training is a solid start to an engineering feature, learning the most commonly used programming language in software creation. With smart system usage and connectivity advances happening year after year, you can get a firm grasp on how that works with the Introduction to…Continue readingThere’s a six-figure career in software development in your future. This training can be your gateway

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TechCrunch

Aurora Labs ramps ‘self-healing’ software with $23M from LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho – TechCrunch

The automotive market is grappling with increasingly complex software systems, and in turn greater risks of glitches that can cause costly and unsafe disruptions and damage an automaker’s credibility. Just look at today’s new cars, trucks and SUVs compared to their counterparts a decade ago. New vehicles coming off assembly lines today contain tens of millions of lines of code, a statistic that continues to rise as automakers invest more in software. This upward trend has created risks for automakers; it’s also opened up opportunity for burgeoning startups like Aurora Labs, which developed a platform that can spot problems with software in cars and fix it on the fly. The company is now preparing to ramp up operations, even beyond automotive, as software takes a central role in shared mobility, cities and homes. Aurora Labs developed a platform designed to detect and predict problems and then fix any issues in real-time. The platform also enables automakers to update software in vehicles wirelessly — a feature often referred to as over-the-air software updates that was popularized by Tesla. The ability to conduct OTAs allows automakers to make changes quickly and without requiring owners to visit a dealership for service. Earlier this month, the Tel Aviv-based startup raised $23 million in a Series B round jointly led by LG Group’s investment arm LG Technology Ventures and Marius Nacht, co-founder of Check Point Software Technologies. Porsche SE, majority owner of the VW group, Toyota Tsusho, a member of Toyota Group and the venture…Continue readingAurora Labs ramps ‘self-healing’ software with $23M from LG Technology Ventures, Porsche SE, Toyota Tsusho – TechCrunch

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Mashable

LAPD used facial recognition software tied to wrongful arrests

When you want the public to trust your use of controversial facial recognition technology linked to two prominent wrongful arrests of Black men, it’s perhaps best not to claim you aren’t using it in the first place.  The Los Angeles Police Department was on the defensive Monday after a Los Angeles Times report found that, despite previous statements to the contrary, the LAPD does in fact use facial recognition tech — often, in fact. What’s more, the software in question, a product of South Carolina company DataWorks Plus, is itself no stranger to controversy.  According to the Times, over 300 LAPD officers have access to facial recognition software, and the department used it almost 30,000 times between November of 2009 and September of this year. In 2019, LAPD spokesperson Josh Rubenstein painted a very different picture of his department’s relationship with facial recognition tech.  “We actually do not use facial recognition in the Department,” he told the Times. While the LAPD doesn’t have an in-house facial recognition program, reports the Times, it does “have access to facial-recognition software through a regional database maintained by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.” Notably, studies have shown that facial recognition misidentifies the young, elderly, women, and people of color at rates higher than that of white men.  That information likely comes as no surprise to Robert Julian-Borchak Williams, who earlier this year was arrested and held for 30 hours after Detroit police accused him of shoplifting based (in part) on a facial recognition…Continue readingLAPD used facial recognition software tied to wrongful arrests

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TechCrunch

Unity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range – TechCrunch

Whoever said you can’t make money playing video games clearly hasn’t taken a look at Unity Software’s stock price. On its first official day of trading, the company rose more than 31%, opening at $75 per share before closing the day at $68.35. Unity’s share price gains came after last night’s pricing of the company’s stock at $52 per share, well above the range of $44 to $48 which was itself an upward revision of the company’s initial target. Games like “Pokémon GO” and “Iron Man VR” rely on the company’s software, as do untold numbers of other mobile gaming applications that use the company’s toolkit for support. The company’s customers range from small gaming publishers to large gaming giants like Electronic Arts, Niantic, Ubisoft and Tencent. Unity’s IPO comes on the heels of other well-received debuts, including Sumo Logic, Snowflake and JFrog . TechCrunch caught up with Unity’s CFO, Kim Jabal, after-hours today to dig in a bit on the transaction. According to Jabal, hosting her company’s roadshow over Zoom had some advantages, as her team didn’t have to focus on tackling a single geography per day, allowing Unity to “optimize” its time based on who the company wanted to meet, instead, of say, whomever was free in Boston or Chicago on a particular Tuesday morning. Jabal’s comments aren’t the first that TechCrunch has heard regarding roadshows going well in a digital format instead of as an in-person presentation. If the old-school roadshow survives, we’ll be surprised, though private…Continue readingUnity Software has strong opening, gaining 31% after pricing above its raised range – TechCrunch

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Tech Radar

Fall Guys will adopt Fortnite’s Easy Anti-Cheat software

When a game becomes particularly popular, cheating inevitably follows. With over 7 million Steam sales and counting, Fall Guys has unsurprisingly attracted plenty of cheats and hacks, and it’s starting to impact players’ enjoyment of the game.  Fall Guys dev Mediatonic promised in early August that it was working on a solution, and now we know what it is: the company plans to release a “BIG update” in the next couple of weeks that “adds the same anti-cheat used by games such as Fortnite”. We’re really sorry about the cheating problem!We’re expanding the current detection system this week to improve thingsWe also have a BIG update in the next couple of weeks that adds the same anti-cheat used by games such as FortniteThanks for bearing with us![Not BeanBot]September 6, 2020 Fortnite dev Epic Games, famous for its free game giveaways, purchased Kamu in 2018, a Helsinki-based company that created the Easy Anti-Cheat service. Kamu currently lists 124 PC games on its website that use its anti-cheat software, and it appears Fall Guys will soon add to that number.  Assuming Easy Anti-Cheat works the same way that it does with Fortnite, you will be prompted to install an EAC patch, and won’t be able to play the game until it detects the software on your computer. Until then, Mediatonic says it will expand its current “detection system” to catch cheaters during the game. This detection software kicks cheaters out at the conclusion of the round after they use a cheat, and…Continue readingFall Guys will adopt Fortnite’s Easy Anti-Cheat software

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Engadget

‘Fall Guys’ will use the same anti-cheat software as ‘Fortnite’

We’re really sorry about the cheating problem! We’re expanding the current detection system this week to improve things We also have a BIG update in the next couple of weeks that adds the same anti-cheat used by games such as Fortnite Thanks for bearing with us! [Not BeanBot] — Fall Guys | BeanBot Activated 🤖 (@FallGuysGame) September 6, 2020 Fortnite developer Epic Games owns and uses Easy Anti-Cheat. The software is used by more than 120 games, and it’s proven to be pretty reliable. So this update should provide the anti-cheat support that Fall Guys fans are looking for.  Mediatonic has been working to fight cheaters for weeks now. It changed its detection criteria so that players would no longer have to report individual cheaters, and it started blocking cheaters in the middle of games, rather than after each round. It also closed a loophole that allowed cheaters to get around bans by creating new Family-Sharing accounts on Steam.  But as Engadget’s Matt Brian found, those efforts haven’t done much to stop cheaters.  So, @FallGuysGame insists that cheaters are auto-detected and removed from the game ASAP. Notice this little complication of four rounds (first two blink and you’ll miss), but pay attention to the last two rounds and how they continued to blatantly cheat and progress. pic.twitter.com/qjhASDOdQG — Matt Brian (@m4tt) September 5, 2020 Hopefully, adding Epic’s Easy Anti-Cheat will be more effective, so Fall Guys players can stop fighting cheaters and get back to playing the game.  Source linkContinue reading‘Fall Guys’ will use the same anti-cheat software as ‘Fortnite’