ReHacked #80: Germany wants smartphone makers to offer 7 years of software updates, open source alternative to discord, Protonmail clarifications regarding arrest of climate activist and more

Toyota set a goal this spring to sell 8 million units of electric-powered vehicles a year in 2030, out of a projected total of 10 million vehicle unit sales worldwide.

ReHacked #80: Germany wants smartphone makers to offer 7 years of software updates, open source alternative to discord, Protonmail clarifications regarding arrest of climate activist and more
NASA's Ingenuity helicopter, photographed on the surface of Mars by the Perseverance rover on June 15, 2021.

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Germany wants smartphone makers to offer 7 years of software updates #software

Although the EU’s new right to repair laws are yet to go into effect, the German Federal Government has now announced plans to extend the support timeline by two years. A spokesperson for Germany’s Federal Ministry of Economics recently said (via Heise Online) that the government body plans to enforce stricter rules that would require OEMs to deliver spare parts and software updates for seven years. In addition, the Federal Government wants OEMs to publish the spare part prices and not increase them over time.

As far as the delivery times for spare parts is concerned, the German Federal Government wants to implement strict rules to ensure that OEMs deliver parts as quickly as possible. It argues that a lengthy repair time could force customers to opt for an exchange rather than a repair, defeating the purpose of the new regulations. As part of its right to repair laws, the EU plans a maximum delivery time of five working days. The German Federal Government is yet to finalize a delivery timeline.

Revolt - open source alternative to discord #software #link

Important clarifications regarding arrest of climate activist #privacy

We would like to provide important clarifications regarding the case of the climate activist who was recently arrested by French police on criminal charges. We are also deeply concerned about this case and deplore that the legal tools for serious crimes are being used in this way. In the interest of transparency, we would like to provide additional context.

In this case, Proton received a legally binding order from Swiss authorities which we are obligated to comply with. There was no possibility to appeal this particular request.

After six months on Mars, NASA's tiny copter is still flying high #space #engineering #nature

It was only supposed to fly five times. And yet NASA's helicopter on Mars, Ingenuity, has completed 12 flights and it isn't ready to retire.

Given its stunning and unexpected success, the US space agency has extended Ingenuity's mission indefinitely.

The tiny helicopter has become the regular travel companion of the rover Perseverance, whose core mission is to seek signs of ancient life on Mars.

Russia: Google told to clamp down on Navalny′s ′Smart Voting′ | News | DW | 05.09.2021 #freespeech #politics

A Moscow court has ordered Google to stop displaying the term "smart voting" in its search results — two weeks before elections. Smart Voting is a strategy developed by Navalny's team against the pro-Putin bloc.

Minus #internet #socialnetworks

Minus is a finite social network where you get 100 posts—for life. While you can reply to a post as often as you like, every time you add to the feed, it subtracts from your lifetime total. When you reach 0 posts left, that’s it. No exceptions.

Dogs distinguish human intentional and unintentional action | Scientific Reports #science #psychology #nature

When dogs interact with humans, they often show appropriate reactions to human intentional action. But it is unclear from these everyday observations whether the dogs simply respond to the action outcomes or whether they are able to discriminate between different categories of actions. Are dogs able to distinguish intentional human actions from unintentional ones, even when the action outcomes are the same? We tested dogs’ ability to discriminate these action categories by adapting the so-called “Unwilling vs. Unable” paradigm. This paradigm compares subjects’ reactions to intentional and unintentional human behaviour. All dogs received three conditions: In the unwilling-condition, an experimenter intentionally withheld a reward from them. In the two unable-conditions, she unintentionally withheld the reward, either because she was clumsy or because she was physically prevented from giving the reward to the dog. Dogs clearly distinguished in their spontaneous behaviour between unwilling- and unable-conditions. This indicates that dogs indeed distinguish intentional actions from unintentional behaviour. We critically discuss our findings with regard to dogs’ understanding of human intentional action.

ProtonMail deletes 'we don't log your IP' boast from website after French climate activist reportedly arrested • The Register #privacy

Encrypted email service ProtonMail has become embroiled in a minor scandal after responding to a legal request to hand over to Swiss police a user's IP address and details of the devices he used to access his mailbox – resulting in the user's arrest.

Police were executing a warrant obtained by French authorities and served on their Swiss counterparts through Interpol, according to social media rumours that ProtonMail chief exec Andy Yen acknowledged to The Register.

Three near-identical Boris Vishnevskys on St Petersburg election ballot | Russia | The Guardian #politics

Russian opposition politicians are used to finding spoiler candidates with identical surnames running against them in order to confuse voters at the polls. Now it appears that the impersonators are changing their faces as well.

That’s what Boris Vishnevsky, a senior member of the liberal Yabloko party, is facing in his district in St Petersburg before municipal elections later this month.

Vishnevsky already knew that two of his opponents had changed their names so that they were also called Boris Vishnevsky, an update on the common tactic of nominating a “double” to split the vote and deliver victory to another candidate.

Australia's new mass surveillance mandate - Digital Rights Watch #privacy

The Australian government has new laws on the books to hack your computer, your online accounts, and just about any piece of technology and networks you come into contact with. It can happen without a warrant and without you ever knowing. That’s just the start of it. Outraged? Good.

Earlier in August, the Parliamentary Joint Committee on Intelligence and Security (PJCIS) released a report on the Surveillance Legislation Amendment (Identify and Disrupt) Bill 2020 recommending it be passed with significant changes. Most notably, they recommended narrowing the scope of the new powers introduced by the bill, by limiting the criteria for issuing new warrants, requiring approval from a superior court judge and calling for stronger oversight and review mechanisms.

El Salvador hits snags as it adopts bitcoin as official currency, first country to do so #economy #blockchain

El Salvador rushed to iron out snags on Tuesday after becoming the first country to adopt bitcoin as legal tender.

Chivo digital wallet became available on the app platforms hosted by Apple and Huawei shortly before midday local time Tuesday, after President Nayib Bukele, who pushed for adoption of the cryptocurrency and has promised $30 of bitcoin for each user, railed against the tech giants for not carrying the application.

Earlier on Tuesday, Salvadorans trying to download the Chivo digital wallet had found it was unavailable on the main app stores. Bukele said the government had temporarily unplugged it, in order to connect more servers to deal with demand.

Misbehaving Microsoft Teams ad brings down the entire Windows 11 desktop | Ars Technica #software #security

This problem combines two of latter-day Windows' most annoying tendencies. First, the operating system relentlessly promotes and prioritizes Microsoft's first-party apps and services. Second, the operating system talks to Microsoft's servers in the background to report diagnostic data, fetch advertisements, and even download Windows Store apps without asking. As Aleksandersen correctly points out, these non-essential background processes shouldn't be capable of breaking core functionality. And while this problem happened to beta builds of Windows 11 and not something that's actually running on most PCs, we are less than a month out from the official launch, and recent Windows 11 builds have mostly shifted to bug-fix mode rather than adding big, new features. This exact build of the operating system was offered to IT organizations in the "release preview" Insider channel, which is typically reserved for final or near-final builds.

MIT-designed project achieves major advance toward fusion energy | MIT News | Massachusetts Institute of Technology #engineering #futurism

It was a moment three years in the making, based on intensive research and design work: On Sept. 5, for the first time, a large high-temperature superconducting electromagnet was ramped up to a field strength of 20 tesla, the most powerful magnetic field of its kind ever created on Earth. That successful demonstration helps resolve the greatest uncertainty in the quest to build the world’s first fusion power plant that can produce more power than it consumes, according to the project’s leaders at MIT and startup company Commonwealth Fusion Systems (CFS).

Revealed: LAPD officers told to collect social media data on every civilian they stop | Los Angeles | The Guardian #privacy

The Los Angeles police department (LAPD) has directed its officers to collect the social media information of every civilian they interview, including individuals who are not arrested or accused of a crime, according to records shared with the Guardian.

Copies of the “field interview cards” that police complete when they question civilians reveal that LAPD officers are instructed to record a civilian’s Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and other social media accounts, alongside basic biographical information. An internal memo further shows that the police chief, Michel Moore, told employees that it was critical to collect the data for use in “investigations, arrests, and prosecutions”, and warned that supervisors would review cards to ensure they were complete.

Chinese activist Ai Weiwei says Credit Suisse closing his foundation's bank account | Reuters #world #economy #freespeech

Chinese dissident and artist Ai Weiwei has said Credit Suisse told him it was closing his foundation's bank account in Switzerland earlier this year citing his "criminal record" in China, despite the activist never being convicted of a crime.

One of China's most high-profile artists and political activists, Ai, who now lives in Portugal, wrote in an opinion piece for website Artnet how he was first told by the Swiss bank that it would close the account in the spring of this year.

"Credit Suisse initially informed me that they had a new policy to terminate all bank accounts which are related to people with criminal records," Ai told Reuters in an emailed statement, adding the foundation had been asked at the time to move the funds before September.

Massive new animal species discovered in half-billion-year-old Burgess Shale | Royal Ontario Museum #nature #history

Palaeontologists at the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) have uncovered the remains of a huge new fossil species belonging to an extinct animal group in half-a-billion-year-old Cambrian rocks from Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies. The findings were announced on September 8, 2021, in a study published in Royal Society Open Science.

Named Titanokorys gainesi, this new species is remarkable for its size. With an estimated total length of half a meter, Titanokorys was a giant compared to most animals that lived in the seas at that time, most of which barely reached the size of a pinky finger.

“The sheer size of this animal is absolutely mind-boggling, this is one of the biggest animals from the Cambrian period ever found,” says Jean-Bernard Caron, ROM's Richard M. Ivey Curator of Invertebrate Palaeontology.

Toyota to spend 1.5 trillion yen on EV battery development | The Asahi Shimbun: Breaking News, Japan News and Analysis #engineering #futurism

Toyota Motor Corp. announced on Sept. 7 that it will invest 1.5 trillion yen ($13.6 billion) by 2030 in expanding the production of batteries for its electric and gas-electric hybrid vehicles.

The funds will also go toward related research and development efforts.

The global automaker aims to halve the production cost of electric-vehicle batteries in the latter half of the current decade.

Toyota set a goal this spring to sell 8 million units of electric-powered vehicles a year in 2030, out of a projected total of 10 million vehicle unit sales worldwide.

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