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‘Game of Thrones’ has used 4,000 gallons of fake blood, and other fun facts about the show
Game of Thrones season 8

Bringing a hit TV series like Game of Thrones to fruition is a massive creative endeavor that requires so much behind the scenes to make it work, everything from the obvious elements like a great story, spot-on casting and a network home like HBO that believes in the project and gets behind it in a big way.

Oh, and because this is a fantasy series featuring dragons, impalement, beheadings and an abundance of gruesome slayings, you also need blood. Lots and lots of fake blood.

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  1. ‘Game of Thrones’ has used 4,000 gallons of fake blood, and other fun facts about the show

‘Game of Thrones’ has used 4,000 gallons of fake blood, and other fun facts about the show originally appeared on on Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 14:08:40 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Everything new coming to Netflix this week, and everything leaving (week of Apr. 21)
Netflix arrivals and departures

There has been a lot of complaining on my part in a few of these weekly Netflix release posts recently, but with The Hateful Eight being added to the streaming library this week, I've got nothing to complain about. While it's not Quentin Tarantino's best movie, it is still incredibly compelling, with a typical star-studded cast (and Samuel L. Jackson in one of his best roles in recent memory). Make time for it if you missed it in theaters in 2015.

That's the real highlight of the week, but for the kids (and all of the kids at heart), the second season of the critically acclaimed She-Ra reboot lands on Friday. And I'll probably give I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson (from SNL alum Robinson) a try, because one of these sketch shows has to be decent. Right?

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  1. Everything new coming to Netflix this week, and everything leaving (week of Apr. 21)

Everything new coming to Netflix this week, and everything leaving (week of Apr. 21) originally appeared on on Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 13:07:12 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

The first details on the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ credits scenes are here – and we have some bad news
Avengers Endgame Post-Credits

The official Avengers: Endgame premiere is almost here, which means we’ll soon learn plenty of details about Marvel’s biggest movie ever, including early, spoiler-free reviews. We’ll also learn precisely how many credits scenes Avengers 4 has, and what they’re supposed to introduce — after all, Spider-Man: Far From Home is the next MCU movie, the film that marks an end to Marvel's Phase 3 of adventures.

While we wait for all that info, we’ll tell you that we now know exactly how long the credits scenes will be thanks to a brand new leak. If accurate, the leak also seems to confirm one of the most recent Endgame plot leaks, which would be a huge deal. Before we get to any of that though, you should know that spoilers follow below, so you’d better stay away if you’re looking to avoid all Endgame spoilers.

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  1. The first details on the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ credits scenes are here – and we have some bad news

The first details on the ‘Avengers: Endgame’ credits scenes are here – and we have some bad news originally appeared on on Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 12:06:32 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

You can cover one room with a $200 Nest Cam or your entire house with these $26 cameras
Best Wireless Home Security Camera 2019

It’s pretty crazy what companies get away with when they have a little brand recognition — like charging $200 for a home security camera that probably cost about $11 to make. Luckily there are some fantastic options out there that are just as good as a Nest Cam at a fraction of the price. Our favorite is the Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera, which streams 1080p and has all of the same main features as the Nest Cam. In fact, there are only two main differences: The Wyze Cam comes with 14 days of free cloud storage, and it costs $26 instead of $200.

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with…: $25.99

Here are the highlights from the product page:

  • 1080p full HD live stream direct to your smartphone day or night with night vision (up to 30 feet away). Works with 2.4GHz Wi-Fi networks (does not support 5GHz Wi-Fi)
  • Motion Tagging technology detects and outlines motion in both live stream and playback video modes. Operating system supports ios 8.0 and android 5.0 or later.
  • Motion and sound detection with free rolling 14-day cloud storage. Use the Wyze App (iOS and Android) to manage and share multiple cameras. Add a microSD card (up to 32GB max size) for local storage.
  • Magnetic base, 6-foot power cable and included adhesive metal plate let you mount your Wyze Cam anywhere - no screws required. Image Sensor Type: CMOS Sensor
  • Works with Alexa: Ask Alexa to show your front door, kid's room, or anywhere else you have your Wyze Cam, Smart Sound Recognition - Wyze Cam recognizes the unique sounds of smoke alarms and CO monitors and alerts you to these specific emergencies

Wyze Cam 1080p HD Indoor Wireless Smart Home Camera with Night Vision, 2-Way Audio, Works with…: $25.99

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  1. You can cover one room with a $200 Nest Cam or your entire house with these $26 cameras

You can cover one room with a $200 Nest Cam or your entire house with these $26 cameras originally appeared on on Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 10:33:39 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Hilarious: Watch Leslie Jones and Seth Meyers watch the ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 premiere
Game of Thrones Premiere

If you thought the Game of Thrones premiere was boring, you need to watch Leslie Jones watching it.

Well, it’s Jones and Seth Meyers watching the premiere before and after “levitating.” The video is hilarious, especially if you’ve seen these two do the same thing for earlier seasons. Before we move forward with the clip, you should know that several spoilers will follow below, as the "Game of Jones" video includes commentary on some of the key scenes from the first episode of Game of Thrones season 8.

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  1. Hilarious: Watch Leslie Jones and Seth Meyers watch the ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 premiere

Hilarious: Watch Leslie Jones and Seth Meyers watch the ‘Game of Thrones’ season 8 premiere originally appeared on on Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 09:02:31 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

10 deals you don’t want to miss on Sunday: $8 wireless charger, $10 Philips Hue bulbs, Instant Pot, more
Amazon Deals

Happy Easter, everyone! Before you run off to hunt Easter eggs and celebrate with family, we've got some truly terrific daily deals for you to check out. Highlights from Sunday's roundup include a fast wireless charging pad for $8.49 that sold out in hours the last time we covered it, Philips Hue white LED smart bulbs for an all-time low of $10 a piece when you buy a 4-pack, SanDisk 128GB microSD cards back down to an all-time low of $19.99, top-selling true wireless earbuds for only $25.49, a huge $40 discount on one of the most popular Instant Pot multi-use cookers, $40 off an excellent Ninja air fryer, Amazon's insanely popular Fire TV Stick for just $29.99, $30 off a Ring camera and Echo Dot bundle, and plenty more. See all of today's top deals below.

Seneo 10W Fast Wireless Charger, Qi-Certified Wireless Charging Pad, 7.5W Compatible iPhone Xs…: Price too low to display

Philips Hue White A19 4-Pack 60W Equivalent Dimmable LED Smart Bulbs (4 White Bulbs, Compatible…: $39.99

SanDisk 128GB Ultra microSDXC UHS-I Memory Card with Adapter - C10, U1, Full HD, A1, Micro SD C…: $19.99

SoundPEATS True Wireless Bluetooth Earbuds in-Ear Stereo Bluetooth Headphones Wireless Earphone…: $25.49

Instant Pot DUO80 8 Qt 7-in-1 Multi- Use Programmable Pressure Cooker, Slow Cooker, Rice Cooke…: $99.99

Ninja Air Fryer, 1550-Watt Programmable Base for Air Frying, Roasting, Reheating & Dehydrating…: $89.99

Fire TV Stick with Alexa Voice Remote, streaming media player: $29.99

Ring Stick Up Cam Wired HD Security Camera (White) with Echo Dot (3rd Gen): $149.99

Coleman Cooler Quad Portable Camping Chair, Blue: Price too low to display

Atlin Tumbler [30 oz. Double Wall Stainless Steel Vacuum Insulation] - Black Travel Mug [Crysta…: $24.99

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  1. 10 deals you don’t want to miss on Sunday: $8 wireless charger, $10 Philips Hue bulbs, Instant Pot, more

10 deals you don’t want to miss on Sunday: $8 wireless charger, $10 Philips Hue bulbs, Instant Pot, more originally appeared on on Sun, 21 Apr 2019 at 07:27:08 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ and all the new ‘Avengers’ clips you need to see from this week
New Trailers

You can tell that there’s just one week left until Avengers: Endgame hits cinemas around the world, because we don’t have any big movie launches this weekend. Not only that, but studios haven’t exactly been generous with new movie trailers this week either. It’s as if they’re planning to launch trailers next week when cinemas will be packed with moviegoers looking to find out how the Infinity War ends.

Marvel, on the other hand, released a bunch of new clips for Endgame, from a trailer-like video to short TV spots, showing a few scenes that weren’t included in any of the previous trailers.

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  1. ‘Hobbs & Shaw’ and all the new ‘Avengers’ clips you need to see from this week

‘Hobbs & Shaw’ and all the new ‘Avengers’ clips you need to see from this week originally appeared on on Sat, 20 Apr 2019 at 14:56:37 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

This tiny RC car could absolutely destroy your car in a race
rc car speed

A 0-to-60 mph time of under three seconds is something that all but the most wealthy supercar owners are ever likely to enjoy. A 0-to-100 mph time of just over five seconds? Well now we're in territory that few production automobiles have ever dared tread, but it's all in a day's work for RC enthusiasts who seek to achieve the most ludicrous speeds with their high-tech toys.

A recent video posted by YouTuber Innovation RC clearly demonstrates just how insane RC cars can be, with one of the pint-sized speed demons hitting an absolutely absurd speed of 124 mph in less than eight seconds, all while hauling a not-super-light action camera and traveling over what seems to be a fairly rough surface.

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  1. This tiny RC car could absolutely destroy your car in a race

This tiny RC car could absolutely destroy your car in a race originally appeared on on Sat, 20 Apr 2019 at 13:27:51 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Disney Goes Over the Top: How Does Its Streaming Service Stack Up?
The Walt Disney Corporation officially announced Disney+, its direct-to-consumer streaming service, during its Investor Day webcast last week. The new over-the-top service will become available on Nov. 12 for a $6.99 month subscription. Disney+ will arrive with more than 25 new TV programs, as well as more than 10 new movies. The service will expand to include more than 400 movies from the Disney vaults, as well as other IP from Pixar, Marvel, Lucasfilm, National Geographic, and 20th Century Fox -- all now owned by the Mouse House.

Everyone's a Winner in Apple-Qualcomm Settlement
Apple and Qualcomm unexpectedly announced a settlement as their case entered the second day of a hearing in the U.S. District Court in San Diego. In related news, Intel announced it was getting out of the 5G smartphone chip business. The Apple-Qualcomm settlement provides an unspecified one-time payment from Apple to Qualcomm, a six-year licensing arrangement, and Apple's agreement to pay royalties to Qualcomm. The settlement will free Apple to enter the 5G smartphone competition, where it has been outstripped by Android device manufacturers.

Condres OS Conjures Up Pleasing Arch Linux Transition
Condres OS, a distro much like the defunct Apricity OS, could be a speedier replacement for Linux OSes that have turned slow to no-go in recent new releases. Condres OS is an Arch-based distro that offers many pleasing usability traits similar to three popular Debian-based distros: Linux Mint; Peppermint; and Zorin, which bundles ICE and Wine accouterments. Condres OS, as is typical of Arch distributions, comes with a rolling release upgrade model. It is very easy to install and use. Something else that impresses me with Condres OS is its software balance.

How SMBs Can Trade Stressful One-by-One Shipping for Streamlined Operations
E-commerce continues to grow at an unprecedented pace. Total retail sales, excluding the sale of items not normally bought online -- like fuel, automobiles, and food at restaurants -- hit $3.628 trillion last year, up 3.9 percent year over year from $3.490 trillion. E-commerce accounted for a 14.3 percent share of that total, and 51.9 percent of all retail growth. That is substantial, and it has encouraged many people to take advantage of the booming opportunity. It can be difficult for SMB owners to compete without the right tools in place.

Managing Sales Tax Complexities in Merchandise Returns
As the world has become increasingly digital, the retail industry has gone through tremendous transformation. To survive in the competitive landscape and keep up with evolving customer preferences, merchants have had to adapt and learn how to deliver the seamless omnichannel experience that shoppers expect. Delivering that efficiency and convenience comes with operational intricacies that no longer can be managed manually. Customers expect an easy return process, and they use it to their advantage.

Disruption Plus
There's a chicken-and-egg issue with digital disruption. Making decisions based on numbers instead of gut instinct is recognized to be a superior approach in many situations, but before you can get to decision making, people have to be able to use things like artificial intelligence and machine learning. Humans are not naturals when it comes to numbers; thinking back to high school algebra is all it takes to convince most of us. Humans are really good at things like relationships and reading faces.

Hackers Use Microsoft Help Desk to Pull Off Massive Email Breach
Hackers piggybacked onto a Microsoft customer support portal between Jan. 1 and March 28 to gain access to the emails of noncorporate account holders on webmail services Microsoft manages, including, and Microsoft has confirmed that a "limited" number of customers who use its Web service had their accounts compromised. However, as more details have surfaced, it appears the intrusion may have been more widespread than implied. The hackers got into the system by compromising a customer support agent's credentials.

7 tax scams to watch out for this year

7 tax scams to watch out for this yearIn case wringing your hands over the tax man weren’t enough, criminals are out there trying to swipe your hard-earned cash and personal information from right under your nose.

Avowed Apple Fan Jeb Bush Realizes His Apple Watch Can Take Phone Calls

Avowed Apple Fan Jeb Bush Realizes His Apple Watch Can Take Phone CallsJeb Bush's love of Apple products has been widely documented, and the Republican presidential candidate continues to wear his Apple Watch on the campaign trail. Yesterday, in a meeting with The Des Moines Register editorial board documented by USA Today, Bush stumbled upon a feature he didn’t realize his smartwatch was capable of: taking phone calls. Somehow Bush managed to take a call without picking up his iPhone, and the sound of a person’s voice saying hello breaks through the meeting noise, to which Bush responds, “My watch can’t be talking.”

Social media welcomes Pope Francis to the United States

Social media welcomes Pope Francis to the United StatesPope Francis gets the social media treatment upon arriving in the U.S. Tuesday. As Pope Francis’s flight touched down in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Twitter unveiled a new batch of emojis created for the highly anticipated papal visit. Until his departure from the United States on Sunday, Twitter users chronicling the Catholic leader’s East Coast journey will be able to include a cartoon image of the Pope’s face in front of the American flag on all Pope-related tweets by using the hashtag #PopeinUS.

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No more waivers: The United States will try to force Iranian oil exports to zero - The Washington Post
No more waivers: The United States will try to force Iranian oil exports to zero  The Washington Post

About one year after the United States decided to leave the Iran nuclear deal, the State Department is set to announce that all countries will have to completely ...

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Inside The Mueller Report, This Man Found A Photo Of His Dad Being Used By Russians - NPR
Inside The Mueller Report, This Man Found A Photo Of His Dad Being Used By Russians  NPR

When a redacted version of special counsel Robert Mueller's report on Russian interference in the 2016 election was released to the public and Congress this ...

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Google Lens may add translation and restaurant 'filters'
As clever as Google Lens can be, it's still quite limited in what it can do before it points you to another app. You might not have to lean on those other apps quite so often n the near future. In the wake of an initial discovery earlier in April,...

France launches government chat app after fixing last-minute flaw
France made good on its promise to launch a secure government-only chat app -- although it almost didn't turn out that way. The country has introduced a beta version of Tchap, a messaging app that helps officials communicate with each other through...

Picking the best security camera for your needs
By Rachel Cericola This post was done in partnership with Wirecutter. When readers choose to buy Wirecutter's independently chosen editorial picks, Wirecutter and Engadget may earn affiliate commission. Read the full blog on picking the best securi...

Tesla starts selling inventory Model 3 cars on its website
Tesla is giving potential buyers the chance to get Model 3 deliveries within days instead of weeks. As first reported by Electrek, the automaker has made its inventory Model 3 vehicles available for browsing online. The inventory section used to disp...

SpaceX Crew Dragon capsule suffers 'anomaly' in testing
SpaceX's dreams of crewed spaceflight appear to have faced a setback. The company and the US Air Force's 45th Space Wing have confirmed to Florida Today that a Crew Dragon capsule suffered an "anomaly" during a static test fire at Cape Canaveral. Mos...

After Math: Move fast and break laws
While the world held its collective breath this week ahead of Special Counsel Mueller's damning report on the current administration's conduct, the tech industry went ahead and let out all the bad news it had been holding onto for just such a moment....

Sri Lanka temporarily bans social media after terrorist bombings
Extremist violence has once again prompted Sri Lanka to put a halt to social media in the country. The government has instituted a "temporary" ban on social networks, including Facebook, WhatsApp and Viber, after a string of apparently coordinated b...

Nintendo Game Boy at 30: As fun as it ever was
Today marks the 30th anniversary of the Game Boy's release in Japan. Three decades ago, the portable gaming landscape would change forever. Whether you owned a Game Boy or not, it's likely something you're familiar with. The legacy reaches far beyond...

I.P.O. Day for Pinterest and Zoom Ends With Shares Sharply Higher
Coming into these I.P.O.s, there were many questions about whether investors were willing to swallow the risk of the latest crop of tech companies.
Samsung’s Review Phones Fail, Delivering a P.R. Nightmare
The company said some of the problems described in reviews of its nearly $2,000 Galaxy Fold phone might be due to the removal of a protective film from the display.
Amazon Gives Up on Chinese Domestic Shopping Business
The company had long struggled to gain traction in China despite operating there for more than a decade.
Bits: The Week in Tech: Do You Prefer Free Speech, or a Perfectly Clean Internet?
Automated policing of content will never be perfect, and that leaves us facing a big question about what we want the web to be like.
Free Speech Puts U.S. on ‘a Collision Course’ With Global Limits on Big Tech
Many other countries are adopting or considering stricter moderation of online speech. But they don’t have to work around the First Amendment.
The Interpreter: Sri Lanka Blocks Social Media, Fearing More Violence
Sri Lankan officials have a troubled relationship with social media. They have seen firsthand how quickly online hate can turn into deadly violence.
Silicon Valley Came to Kansas Schools. That Started a Rebellion.
Public schools in Kansas rolled out a web-based learning platform backed by Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg. Now students have staged walkouts and sit-ins. Their parents have organized.
He Stopped a Global Cyberattack. Now He’s Pleading Guilty to Writing Malware.
Marcus Hutchins, a British security researcher credited with halting a huge outbreak of ransom software in 2017, accepted United States charges over previous activity.
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Game of Thrones, season 8: All the Westeros drama, in photos - CNET
Joyous moments interspersed with complete bloody terror. Yep, that's how it goes in Westeros.
Game of Thrones season 8 episode 2 trailer brings in the White Walkers - CNET
It's a long, cold wait until Sunday night, so start hunting through the teaser for spoilers.
Galaxy Fold's screen woes and more: How my foldable review unit is doing so far - CNET
Our Galaxy Fold screen is in good shape, and the ongoing review continues.
Samsung's reported delay of two Galaxy Fold launch events casts doubt on shipping date - CNET
The reasons for the delay are murky but point to Samsung's recent troubles with its new foldable phone.
Next Toyota 86, Subaru BRZ may move to Toyota's TNGA platform, report says - Roadshow
A source told Motoring that Subaru's global AWD platform was a no-go.
CIA reportedly says Huawei funded by Chinese state security - CNET
Telecomm giant received funding from China's military, The Times reports.
Sri Lanka blocks social media after deadly Easter explosions - CNET
More than 200 people are reported killed, with hundreds more hospitalized following eight blasts at churches and hotels.
Star Trek fan builds a home theater Starfleet would love - CNET
Meet Anil, who lives in New Jersey. His basement home theater seeks out new life and new levels of Trekkie fandom. It has to be seen to be believed.
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Why Modern C++ Still Isn't As Safe As Memory-Safe Languages Like Rust and Swift
Alex Gaynor is a software engineer at Mozilla working on Firefox, after previously serving as a director of both the Python Software Foundation and the Django Software Foundation. In a new blog post today, he argues that memor

Black Hole Photo Used Supercomputers and Cloud Computing To Prove Einstein Right
An anonymous reader quotes The Next Web: As stunning and ground-breaking as it is, the EHT project is not just about taking on a challenge. It's an unprecedented test of whether Einstein's ideas about the very nature of space a

Red Hat Takes Over Maintenance of OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 From Oracle
"Red Hat is taking over maintenance responsibilities for OpenJDK 8 and OpenJDK 11 from Oracle," reports InfoWorld: Red Hat will now oversee bug fixes and security patches for the two older releases, which serve as the basis for

Bluecherry Open Sources Its Entire Linux Surveillance Server
"Big changes are here," writes the official blog for Bluecherry: In 2010 we released our multi-port MPEG4 video capture card with an open source driver (solo6x10) and in 2011 updated the driver to support our multi-port H.264 c

Linux 5.2 Will Introduce The Fieldbus Subsystem
"The new Fieldbus system has been deemed ready to be released into the staging area of the Linux kernel," writes jwhyche (Slashdot reader #6,192). Phoronix reports: This newest subsystem for the Linux kernel benefits indust

Historic 'Summit' with the Creators of Python, Java, TypeScript, and Perl
"At the first annual charity event conducted by Puget Sound Programming Python on April 2, four legendary language creators came together to discuss the past and future of language design," reports PacktPub. - Guido van Rossum

More Than 23 Million People Use the Password '123456'
Bearhouse shares a new study from the UK's "National Cyber Security Centre," which advises the public on computer security, about the world's most-frequently cracked passwords. It's probably no surprise to the Slashdot readersh

Southwest Airlines Says They'll Purchase 'Hundreds' More Boeing 737 Max Aircraft
Inc. magazine describes as "stunning" announcement from Southwest Airlines, "by far the biggest 737 Max customer in the United States, with 34 of the planes among its fleet, and plans for many more. " Speaking at a chamber of c

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SpaceX suffers capsule anomaly during Florida tests
Elon Musk's SpaceX suffered an anomaly in one of its Crew Dragon capsules while conducting engine tests at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida on Saturday, the company said.
China releases new rules on game approvals
China's press and publication regulator has issued new rules on applications for publishing online games in China, signalling a possible acceleration in the handing out of formal approvals.
U.S. intelligence says Huawei funded by Chinese state security: report
U.S. intelligence has accused Huawei Technologies of being funded by Chinese state security, The Times said on Saturday, adding to the list of allegations faced by the Chinese technology company in the West.
Cyber expert credited with stopping 'WannaCry' attack admits malware charges
A British cyber security researcher hailed as a hero for neutralizing the global "WannaCry" ransomware attack in 2017 has pleaded guilty to U.S. charges of writing malware.
Hundreds sign online petition supporting woman suing CEO in rape case
Hundreds of people have added their names to an online petition in support of a University of Minnesota student who said she was raped last August by Richard Liu, the chief executive officer of China's e-commerce retailer I
Tesla to shrink board to seven directors from 11
Tesla Inc said on Friday that four members of its eleven-member board would be leaving over the next two years, as the electric car company looks to streamline its board.
Foxconn says it remains committed to Wisconsin investment project
Taiwan's Foxconn said on Friday it remains committed to its contract to build a display plant and tech research facilities in Wisconsin, days after the U.S. state's governor said he wanted to renegotiate the deal.
Qualcomm's joint venture with Chinese province to shut down: The Information
A joint venture between U.S. smartphone chipmaker Qualcomm Inc and China's Guizhou province will shut down by the end of the month, The Information reported on Friday, citing employees at the venture.
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  TechCrunch Show All 
What you missed in cybersecurity this week

It’s been a busy week — it’s tough to keep up with all the cybersecurity news. We’ve collected some of the biggest cybersecurity stories from the week — from TechCrunch and afar — to keep you up to date with the latest hacks, privacy breaches and security stories you need to know.

Facebook now says its password leak affected ‘millions’ of Instagram users

TechCrunch: As all eyes were on attorney general William Barr giving his highly anticipated summary of the Mueller report out this week, Facebook was quietly updating a blog post it had published a month earlier, revising up the number of Instagram accounts affected by a years-long bug that stored passwords in plaintext. Facebook admitted that “millions” of accounts were affected and not “hundreds of thousands” as it had first estimated. It wasn’t a coincidence; it was a perfect opportunity for Facebook to bury bad news. CNN’s Donie O’Sullivan called it the “most cynical” thing Facebook has done since dropping its report detailing its role in a genocide in Myanmar the day before the U.S. midterm elections.

Utah bans police from searching digital data without a warrant

Forbes: Some good news for privacy advocates this week: a big Fourth Amendment loophole has been closed in the state of Utah. Previously, state law enforcement only required a subpoena to access someone’s digital content — including emails, pictures, video and audio — from internet and cloud providers. Now, following the introduction of HB 57, the Electronic Information or Data Privacy Act, police need a warrant based on probable cause. No more warrantless fishing expeditions allowed.

A mystery agent is doxing Iran’s hackers and dumping their code

Wired: Buried in the news this week was the startling revelation that someone — whose identity isn’t known — has begun spilling the secrets of an Iranian hacker group, known as OilRig or APT34, on a Telegram channel, according to Chronicle, Alphabet’s cybersecurity company. It would be a devastating breach of their operational security if true, only a couple of years after the Shadow Brokers stole and published highly classified hacking tools developed by the National Security Agency.

The Weather Channel knocked off the air for over an hour

Wall Street Journal: For over an hour on Thursday, The Weather Channel was brought offline by a ransomware attack. In a tweet, the channel said it restored its live programming after running through its backup systems. The FBI said it was investigating. It’s the latest ransomware incident hit a major company — from aluminum maker Norsk Hydro to drinks giant Arizona Beverages.

Mueller report: Hacked elections, encrypted messaging, troll farms and more

TechCrunch: After two years, the Special Counsel’s probe into Russian interference with the 2016 U.S. presidential election is over. TechCrunch covered the tech angles you need to know: from how Russian-backed hackers broke into the Hillary Clinton campaign, how the use encrypted messaging apps hindered the investigation, how successful Russia was in breaking into election systems, and what role its troll factory and disinformation had on the election.

FTC said to want to face-off with Mark Zuckerberg over privacy violations

Washington Post: Now more than ever, Facebook is under the watchful eye of the Federal Trade Commission. A report this week said the social media giant’s founder Mark Zuckerberg could also be in the agency’s crosshairs. It’s part of an ongoing effort to hold the company accountable since the Cambridge Analytica scandal, following which has been security incident after incident, amid claims of mismanaged consumer data and gross ethical violations.

Cybersecurity firm Verint hit by ransomware

ZDNet: Verint, a cybersecurity company, was also hit by ransomware this week. Described as an “extreme case of irony,” the company was forced to bring in a third-party security firm to handle the infection. It comes in the same week that Wipro, one of India’s largest outsourcing companies, was hit by hackers. The company initially denied the breach, but was challenged by the security reporter Brian Krebs — who broke the news — live on the company’s earnings conference days following the breach. Of course the call was recorded, forcing Wipro’s chief operating officer Bhanu Ballapuram to come clean.

Security flaw in French government messaging app exposed confidential conversations

TechCrunch: And finally, a security flaw was found in the French government’s own encrypted messaging app Tchap immediately after it launched. Security researcher Baptiste Robert created a user account — even though the service is restricted to government officials. The app, which uses the open-source Signal Protocol, inadvertently allowed access to non-government email addresses, exposing the app’s public channels.

Notes from the Samsung Galaxy Fold: day six

I’m starting to get that thing where my iPhone XS screen feels super tiny when I switch back from the Fold to send a text message from my number. Someone recently asked me if I’m going to have trouble giving the device back to Samsung in a few days, and while the answer is a decided “not really,” the march toward even larger screens does feel inevitable — and I do believe folding phones will be an important part of that push.

Of course, I also believe that we’re as close as a generation or two out from this first shot on that foldable feeling pretty big and bulky (some folks who’ve seen the phone have already said as much about it). I’m back at the airport today, and both airline representatives and TSA agents (who see a LOT of phones as people are checking in) seem pretty impressed with it.

I had the phone standing up at a 45 degree angle on the bathroom sink this morning to watch the news as I brushed my teeth. That’s pretty neat. And If I’d had the forethought, I have loaded a couple of movies on it for the flight. It definitely beats the seatback screens on Delta.

In addition to the fingerprints on the outside, the inside gets like crazy dusty after any kind of use. And a lot of that collects in the little reservoir between the screen protector and the outside lip.

The top shot is from yesterday’s A’s game (the dark line along the seam is a shadow). You can use the front facing screen as a view finder while taking photos, but it’s pretty small. The inside, meanwhile, makes you feel like one of those people who use their iPads to take photos in public. Once you get over that, it’s a pretty nice way to view shots, though.

And no, it’s not broken yet. We’re still waiting for official word from Samsung about what happened there. The Fold is on track for an April 26 release here in the States, in spite of everything, and even as a China release appears be delayed.

Review soon.

Sri Lanka blocks social media sites after deadly explosions

The government of Sri Lanka has temporarily blocked access to several social media services following deadly explosions that ripped through the country, killing at least 207 people and injuring hundreds more.

Eight bombings were reported, including during Easter services at three churches, on the holiest weekend of the Christian calendar.

In a brief statement, the Sri Lankan president’s secretary Udaya Seneviratne said the government has “decided to temporarily block social media sites including Facebook and Instagram,” in an effort to curb “false news reports.” The government said the services will be restored once the investigations into the attacks had concluded.

Sri Lanka’s prime minister Ranil Wickremesinghe has described the explosions as a terrorist incident.

Nalaka Gunawardene, a science writer and Sri Lankan native, confirmed in a tweet that Facebook-owned WhatsApp was also blocked in the country. Others reported that YouTube was inaccessible. But some said they were able to still use WhatsApp .

Facebook spokesperson Ruchika Budhraja told TechCrunch: ““Our hearts go out to the victims, their families and the community affected by this horrendous act. Teams from across Facebook have been working to support first responders and law enforcement as well as to identify and remove content which violates our standards. We are aware of the government’s statement regarding the temporary blocking of social media platforms. People rely on our services to communicate with their loved ones and we are committed to maintaining our services and helping the community and the country during this tragic time.”

A spokesperson for Google did not immediately comment.

It’s a rare but not unprecedented step for a government to block access to widely used sites and services. Although Sri Lanka’s move is ostensibly aimed at preventing the spread of false news, it’s likely to have an inhibiting effect on freedom of speech and efforts to communicate with loved ones.

Sri Lanka, like other emerging nations, has previously battled with misinformation. The government has complained that false news shared on Facebook has helped spread hatred and violence against the country’s Muslim minority. Other countries like India say encrypted messaging app WhatsApp has contributed to the spread of misinformation, prompting the social media company to add limits to how many groups a message can be sent to.

Iran and Turkey have also blocked access to social media sites in recent years amid protests and political unrest.

Updated with comment from Facebook.

Week-in-Review: Is Samsung unfolding another flop?

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. Samsung tries to deliver a big innovation and fails miserably.

A big story this week on TechCrunch was that in the buildup to the release of the Samsung Galaxy Fold, potentially one of the weirdest, most innovative, most expensive phones shipped in the past decade, there are some signs that this could be a momentous failure. Samsung only sent out about a dozen review units to press outlets, and three of them seemed to fail for three distinct reasons.

Does this inspire much faith in the durability of the $1,980 hardware (which has already sold out in pre-orders)? Not quite.

“A limited number of early Galaxy Fold samples were provided to media for review. We have received a few reports regarding the main display on the samples provided. We will thoroughly inspect these units in person to determine the cause of the matter,” a Samsung spokesperson publicly detailed, responding to the issues.

Samsung Galaxy Fold

This nascent scandal may lead you to recall the Note 7 debacle, which earned Samsung what was perhaps the worst free advertising ever, with the FAA mandating just about every domestic flight begin with the pilot ensuring that the plane was Note 7-free. A phone spontaneously dying is a cake walk compared to a phablet bomb, but we’ll see whether this was just a big pre-release fluke and the consumer units prove more durable. That said, a failure rate of around 25 percent for models sent to journalists after a few days doesn’t inspire the greatest confidence.

Brian seemed to have some pretty nice things to say about his early time with the device:

I will say I did get a chance to fumble around with the Fold this week while our hardware editor Brian Heater was in town, and I personally found the device pretty inspiring. The screen on his still-functioning device is really quite beautiful and it all just feels like an innovative approach, even if it’s very first-gen at its heart.

Its good qualities all rely on the device continuing to function though, so I won’t get too complimentary until we get some further clarity on that.

apple vs qualcomm

Trends of the week

Here are a few big news items from big companies, with links to all the sweet, sweet added context.

  • Apple + Intel Qualcomm = best friends
    The two companies finally put aside their royalties and patent troll skirmishes, and various media reports suggest Apple’s mobile mea culpa was all about accepting Qualcomm’s command on 5G modems — something the iPhone giant really couldn’t afford to overlook. It was great news for Qualcomm, which had a major stock rally this week, but probably bad news for Intel, which seemed to be embracing a renewed and improved relationship with Apple as it tried to replace Qualcomm’s tech. Oh well.
  • TikTok’s shock block 
    Chinese company ByteDance’s cross-border hit TikTok hit a major stumbling block in India after a judge there ruled that app downloads had to be halted on iOS and Android following a number of issues regarding porn and other “illegal content.” There are 120 million existing TikTok users in India, but they shouldn’t be affected, as the service itself has not been banned — you just won’t find them in the app stores there.
  • Move slow, still break things
    Twitter’s CEO Jack Dorsey continued his ill-advised public speaking tour with a chat at TED, where he first said he isn’t sure he’d build Twitter the same way if he got a second shot. “If I had to start the service again, I would not emphasize the follower count as much … I don’t think I would create ‘likes’ in the first place.” In response to a question about his lack of urgency in fixing some of Twitter’s more egregious problems, Dorsey said, “We are working as quickly as we can, but quickness will not get the job done… It’s focus, it’s prioritization, it’s understanding the fundamentals of the network.”
  • Sony teases an 8K PS5… Xbox loses a slot  
    While Google is betting on a world without dedicated high-end gaming hardware with its Stadia game-streaming platform, Xbox is betting on a future without physical media. Microsoft released the Xbox One S “All-Digital Edition” this week for $249. The company has been piping out mid-generation upgrades for Xbox One, and this is its most minor hardware update — there are almost no differences beyond the disc drive. Meanwhile, PlayStation kind of stole Xbox’s press lunch by giving some details on the PS5. Also on the gaming front, a report suggests Apple is spending more than $500 million on its Arcade gaming subscription service.

Shoot me tips or feedback
on Twitter @lucasmtny or email

lost passwords

Image: Bryce Durbin / TechCrunch

GAFA Gaffes

How did the top tech companies screw-up this week? This clearly needs its own section, in order of awfulness:

  1. Facebook elaborates more on that “screwing over users’ privacy” thing it does from time to time:
    [Facebook now says its password leak affected ‘millions’ of Instagram users]
  2. YouTube managed to add its own conspiracy to videos of the Notre-Dame fire:
    [YouTube’s algorithm added 9/11 facts to a live stream of the Notre-Dame Cathedral fire]

Extra Crunch

Our premium subscription service has been off to a great start. I just kicked off my new series this week, “The Exit,” where I interview a lead investor in a recent exit. I talked to Bessemer’s Adam Fisher, who led Bessemer’s investments in Dynamic Yield, which McDonald’s bought last month for $300 million.

The Exit: an AI startup’s McPivot

“The pivot from courting the grey lady to the golden arches isn’t as drastic as it sounds. In a lot of ways, it’s the result of the company learning to say ‘no’ to certain customers…”

Here are some of our other top reads this week for premium subscribers —

Want more TechCrunch newsletters? Sign up here.

The UK’s latest list of most hacked passwords is as bad as you’d think

Names, soccer players, musicians and fictional characters make up some of the worst passwords of the year, according to the U.K. government’s National Cyber Security Center.

But nothing beats “123456” as the worst password of all.

It’s no shock to any seasoned security pro. For years, the six-digit password has been donned the worst password of all, given its wide usage. Trailing behind the worst password is — surprise, surprise — “123456789”.

The NCSC said more than 30 million victims use those two passwords alone, according to its latest breach analysis based off data pulled from Pwned Passwords, a website run by security researcher Troy Hunt, who also runs breach notification Have I Been Pwned.

“We understand that cyber security can feel daunting to a lot of people, but the NCSC has published lots of easily applicable advice to make you much less vulnerable,” said Dr. Ian Levy, NCSC’s technical director. “Password re-use is a major risk that can be avoided — nobody should protect sensitive data with something that can be guessed, like their first name, local football team or favorite band.”

Weak passwords are a problem. Not only can they be easily guessed by bots trying to break into your account, they can be easily cracked if they’re ever stolen from the company in a data breach. Weak passwords are often the default credentials on Internet of Things devices, making it easy for botnets to quietly break into your smart devices and hijack them for nefarious purposes.

What can you do about it?

TechCrunch has several free security guides you can read to put you on the right path. Setting yourself up with a password manager is the first big step. Password managers generate and securely store your passwords so you don’t have to remember each one. Then, you should set up two-factor authentication, as adding an additional barrier on top of your password makes it even tougher for the most determined malicious hacker to break into your accounts.

It doesn’t take long to get secure. Take an hour out of your day and get started.

The rules of the Game Of Oligarchs

Technology shrinks the world, makes geography less relevant. People find kinship, common cause, and community on the Internet, across nations and sometimes even languages. When the Internet began to erupt, when its connections began to draw such people closer together, this was anticipated with great hope and excitement. And with reason. At their best, the consequences are wonderful.

But it turns out that, like most major social transformations, this transcendence of geography has come with a slew of unexpected emergent properties, not all of them good. Indeed, some of which probably already need to be mitigated — fast.

It’s great that open-source communities can collaborate across the globe to craft tools which benefit everyone. It’s no bad thing that wealthy professionals in Singapore, San Francisco, Toronto, London, Dubai, and Hong Kong may feel they have more in common with one another than with people who live an hour’s drive away. One world, one humanity, one future. Right?

Except that around the globe, we increasingly see three worlds, sometimes intertwined and intersecting, but still apparently separating a little further every year: the ultra-rich, the rich, and the poor. The 1%, the 19%, and the 80%. The G20 are mostly looking more, not less, like the BRICS. Inequality has fallen between countries, which is good … while simultaneously rising within most countries, which is not.

As nations grow ever more alike, it gets easier for groups to forge common cause across nations. A virtuous cycle … except when it’s a vicious one. Except when bigots, xenophobes, and white supremacists join together. From Steve Bannon to Marine Le Pen to xenophobic Brexiters to the Five Star Movement, to the Kremlin, “white nationalism,” i.e. racist hatred, has been transformed — ironically — into an internationalist network.

But behind that loose-knit network of hate, i would argue, lies another, implicit rather than explicit; that of the ultra-rich, of the Koch brothers and Russian oligarchs and Brexit financiers. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not saying they’re actively collaborating. They aren’t sitting around sending one another Signal messages while stroking white cats.

But I am saying that the ultra-rich have long tried to maintain their positions by dividing the masses, via stoking hate against The Other. They have manipulated democracy in part by hacking its systems — regulatory capture at scale — but also by turning people against taxing oligarchs to give their (mounds of) excess money to the poor, by promoting the fear that this money will go to The Wrong Sort Of People Who Don’t Deserve It. By which is always tacitly meant: immigrants and visible minorities. Oligarchy implicitly monetizes racism.

So is it any real surprise if amoral American oligarchs look at Russia’s racist oligarchy and think, “Hey, those are my kind of people,” closely followed by, “Jeez, that kind of government seems pretty good to me”? To an oligarch, Russia isn’t an enemy of America; it’s a model, it’s what America should aspire to be.

None of this is all that new. The last time inequality was at these levels, aristocrats across Europe who had more in common with each other than with their own “common people” was something of a cliché. And obviously organized racism is as old as humanity, though its recent widespread resurgence across the developed world was a grim surprise.

What is new is how tightly our societies are bound together across nations by technology; how quickly new movements flare up, promulgate, evolve, and transform; and how nation-states and patriotism seem to mean noticeably less to modern progressives and modern conservatives alike with each passing year. These all bring both dangers and opportunities — depending on whether, and/or how fast, players accustomed to the existing world order notice that the rules of the game are changing.

No one knows how to hire, plus brand design and African tech

Editor’s Note: No one knows how to hire

Hiring is the lifeblood of the world. Few people do truly singular work; instead, nearly every facet of our civilization is built by groups of humans (and increasingly machines) working in tandem.

Image by PeopleImages via Getty Images

That presents quite the puzzle though: if teamwork is so critical to the functioning of, well, everything, why are we so god awfully bad at building teams?

Minus a couple of high functioning teams of course, the evidence for team rot is all around us. Startups go bust when teams of two (i.e. founders) can’t make simple decisions about the future of their business. Large companies exsanguinate cash while their teams spend eons debating the minutia of a pixel in the checkout flow. At even larger scale, massive infrastructure projects like California’s HSR fail because the right people weren’t planning and building it (plus ten other issues of course).

How do we get this so wrong, so consistently?

The first reason, and the one most challenging to overcome, is that human endeavors are fundamentally built upon aspirations. A startup is a dream, no different than improving Excel’s formula editor or adding traffic signals to an intersection. Action cannot happen without aspiration, and so we tend to be far more optimistic with all facets of a plan before execution.

Original Content podcast: On ‘Guava Island,’ Donald Glover mixes music and politics

It was hard to know what to expect from “Guava Island.”

Last year, Donald Glover and Rihanna filmed the mysterious project with director Hiro Murai (who’s also directed multiple episodes of “Atlanta” and the music video for “This is America”, then they said almost nothing about it until debuting the film at Coachella and releasing it on Amazon.

“Guava Island” turns out to be a 54-minute, fable-like story of a musician named Deni (Glover) and his girlfriend Kofi (Rihanna) on a fictional Caribbean island. Deni plans to throw a music festival for the community, but the island boss Red Cargo wants to stop him — if his employees stay out late to party, they might not show up for work the next day.

On this week’s episode of the Original Content podcast, we’re joined by Jon Shieber to discuss our reactions to the film.

It’s certainly filled with beautiful footage of Cuba, as well as wonderful musical moments — like a restaging of “This is America” that makes its anti-capitalist themes even more obvious. But the story as a whole feels underdeveloped, and it’s a bit mystifying that someone would cast Rihanna in musical, then fail to give her a single moment to sing.

We also discuss an obscure little show called “Game of Thrones,” which returned for its final season last week. We have thoughts on the season premiere, and on what’s coming for the next five episodes.

You can listen in the player below, subscribe using Apple Podcasts or find us in your podcast player of choice. If you like the show, please let us know by leaving a review on Apple. You can also send us feedback directly. (Or suggest shows and movies for us to review!)

  The Next Web Show All 
Score a domain that better suits what you and your company do — at up to 80% off

While .com addresses are stacked to the rafters, new top-level domains like .tech are fresh and ready to accommodate for the right businesses and services. So jump on board with five years of a premium .tech domain at a shockingly low $49.99, 80 percent off the regular price, from TNW Deals.

CHEAP: At $599, Lenovo’s 2018 Premium ThinkPad is the best Easter gift for your fam

Your kids or your parents might often ask you to borrow your computer just when you need it the most. So, it’s never a bad idea to keep another device at home for your family to use. At $599 (down from $1,999), Lenovo’s 2018 Premium ThinkPad might just be the perfect device for such occasions. At this price point, you get a basic package with an entry-level i5 processors, a 500GB hard drive, and 4GB RAM. Amazon also gives you an option of upgrading the processor to a faster i5-8250U (for $190) processor. Plus, you can upgrade the RAM up to…

This story continues at The Next Web boils down bestsellers in just 12 minutes

With, you’ll have access to some of the greatest books ever written on business and self-improvement, all boiled down to their essence. curates high-quality summaries of over 300 of the most popular and impactful works, allowing you to digest the core of each in just 12 minutes.

Cornell scientists create ‘living’ machines that eat, grow, and evolve

The field of robotics is going through a renaissance thanks to advances in machine learning and sensor technology. Each generation of robot is engineered with greater mechanical complexity and smarter operating software than the last. But what if, instead of painstakingly designing and engineering a robot, you could just tear open a packet of primordial soup, toss it in the microwave on high for two minutes, and then grow your own ‘lifelike’ robot? If you’re a Cornell research team, you’d grow a bunch and make them race. Scientists from Cornell University have successfully constructed DNA-based machines with incredibly life-like capabilities.…

This story continues at The Next Web

Happy 4/20: Here’s some science to shut up the cannabis haters

April 20th is a holy day for many who imbibe cannabis. For some, it’s just a great day to watch stoner flicks and smoke herb all day. Others view it with more import; especially those who consume cannabis medicinally. To them it’s a celebration of the day they found a therapeutic treatment that works. Every year, around this time, we see an outpouring of testimony in the news and on social media from people whose lives have been positively changed through the addition of medicinal cannabis. These inspiring stories include children who’ve found the first relief in their lives after…

This story continues at The Next Web

A Q&A with Roland CEO Jun-ichi Miki on innovation, Waku Waku, and ‘sleeping musicians’

The Roland Corporation is a global powerhouse in the field of music technology. We interviewed Mr. Jun-ichi Miki, Roland Corporation CEO and Representative Director, to find out how the company continues to drive innovation and customer growth. TNW: How does Roland approach the ‘people who are new to music’ market? JM: At Roland, our mission is to continuously devote ourselves to bringing a “Waku Waku” experience to everyone in the world. For those that don’t know, “Waku Waku” is a Japanese phrase that describes thrill and excitement, and at Roland we apply this to creative expression. With this in mind,…

This story continues at The Next Web

TNW2019 Daily: The latest conference news

In the blink of an eye, it’s suddenly Friday again. The countdown to TNW Conference is going by in a flash! With only 20 days to go, let’s review this week’s TNW2019 highlights. Here’s what you might’ve missed You can now sign up for the House of Talent to find your next career challenge during TNW Conference. Apply now for 1-on-1 meetings with the biggest digital brands, including Nike and PwC We surpassed 350 confirmed speakers! Check out the official schedule to see what they’ll talk about, and when they’re speaking about it Want to build your own itinerary via the…

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BitcoinSV’s blockchain is struggling with its enormous 128MB blocks

The Bitcoin Satoshi Vision (BitcoinSV) blockchain has suffered a series of “block re-oganizations,” putting the integrity of its network in question. “On 18th April 2019, our Bitcoin Cash SV [sic] node experienced two block re-organizations. First, a three block re-organization, followed by a six block re-organization,” tweeted BitMEX Research, the analysis arm of digital asset exchange BitMEX. Block re-organizations occur when cryptocurrency miners are forced to “orphan” blocks after they’ve been mined. This can happen when the network is too slow to “propagate” blocks effectively, and bigger blocks (like the ones featured by BitcoinSV) are especially susceptible to orphaning. The last time this occurred…

This story continues at The Next Web

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