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  1. The school district has been relying on virtual classes to teach students during the pandemic. But it decided to cancel classes today, citing a ransomware attack, which has shut down the district's IT systems. No school due to a ransomware attack? On Wednesday, a Maryland school district said it was canceling all classes precisely because of that. A ransomware strain has taken out the IT systems at Baltimore County Public Schools, which serves more than 11,500 students. “Due to issues with our network, all Baltimore County Public Schools and offices will b
  2. WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google and the U.S. Justice Department have failed to reach agreement over a protective order for third parties like Microsoft that provided data to the government for its lawsuit against the search and advertising giant. Google is pressing for two in-house attorneys to have access to the confidential data while the Justice Department and state attorneys general involved in the lawsuit have disagreed, Google said in a court filing on Friday. Google stated it needed the information to prepare an effective defense. It offered to
  3. Netflix no longer offers free trials in the US The company has been phasing them out Illustration by Alex Castro / The Verge Netflix has removed the option for potential subscribers in the United States to test the service with a free trial, the company confirmed to The Verge. The company started phasing out the option for US-based subscribers this month, but has spent the last couple of years phasing out the option in a number of countries around the world. To replace
  4. 'Some that have smoked are saying no, because they're scared that they may be banned for life' The mayor of Estevan, Sask., says local residents have been turned away at the nearby U.S. border after admitting to past pot use. "It is a fairly serious concern," said Roy Ludwig, mayor of the 11,258-person city located just 16 kilometres north of a North Dakota border crossing. "Even people that might have smoked it 20, 30 years ago, they're being asked, 'Have you ever smoked cannabis?' when they get to the U.S. border. We understand some peop
  5. Two eighth grade students have been arrested after allegedly spreading a fake school shooting threat at a Maryland middle school. Earlier this month, a parent contacted Aberdeen Middle School to report seeing a social media post from a student, warning students not to come to classes the next day because another student was allegedly threatening a school shooting, the Aberdeen Police Department said in a statement Friday. After an investigation, police determined the student in question never made a threat and two eighth grade students were responsible for faking the re
  6. U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials announced on Thursday that officers made a record-breaking seizure of fentanyl on the U.S.-Mexico border that was enough to kill tens of millions of Americans. "According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, a canine officer alerted other officers to the presence of 254 pounds of fentanyl hidden inside an 18-wheeler carrying cucumbers, during a secondary inspection at the Mariposa port of entry just past noon on Saturday," The Arizona Republic reported. "This is the largest fentanyl seizure in any port of entry,
  7. AT&T already launched its initial mobile 5G network in parts of 12 U.S. cities last December, but it’s now preparing for full nationwide coverage — a dauntingly large task that its millimeter wave small cells won’t be able to handle alone. This morning, the carrier revealed that it will “offer nationwide 5G coverage with our lower band spectrum,” specifically the sub-6GHz frequencies discussed in our interview with AT&T VP Gordon Mansfield yesterday. Above: Netgear's Nighthawk 5G Mobile Hotspot is the first AT&T mobile 5G device, and already available for purchase.
  8. The U.S. Treasury signed sanctions against three hacking groups actively engaged in cyber operations meant to bring financial assets to the government of North Korea. The groups are Lazarus, Bluenoroff, and Andariel, well-known in the security industry for cyber operations aimed at cyberespionage, data theft, monetary reward, and data destruction. By signing the sanctions, the U.S. Treasury U.S. Department of the Treasury’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) puts a lock on all properties and financial assets owned by the three groups in the U.S. and pr
  9. More scrutiny for the Chinese company The United States has opened a national security review into TikTok’s parent company over its acquisition of social media app Musical.ly, Reuters reports. In 2017, China-based TikTok owner Beijing ByteDance Technology bought up the popular American lip-syncing app — and its user base — for $1 billion. Last year, the app was fully rebranded as part of TikTok. But in the time since the deal closed, TikTok has faced substantial pressure from US lawmakers who have questioned how the company moderates its political con
  10. US may subsidize Huawei alternatives with proposed $1.25 billion fund Democrats and Republicans pitch $1.25 billion fund to boost non-Huawei 5G tech. Enlarge / Huawei sign displayed at CES 2020 in Las Vegas on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2020. Getty Images | Bloomberg The US government should spend at least $1.25 billion "to invest in Western-based alternatives to Chinese equipment providers Huawei and ZTE," a bipartisan group of six US senators said yesterday. The senators submitted legislation called the Uti
  11. Facebook tried to block the referral but today an influential advisor to Europe’s top court has issued a legal opinion that could have major implications for the future of the EU-US Privacy Shield personal data transfer mechanism. It’s a complex opinion, dealing with a fundamental clash of legal priorities around personal data in the EU and US, which does not resolve question marks hanging over the legality of Privacy Shield . The headline take-away is that a different data transfer mechanism which is also widely used by businesses to tra
  12. The company uses a severe efficiency metric called ‘the rate’ to surveil employees’ productivity, so workers in Minneapolis walked on Prime Day Ahead of the strike, an effort had been made to decorate the fulfillment center in Shakopee for Prime Day. There were silvered balloons spelling out MSP1, the name of the warehouse, visible through the glass visitor’s window in the lobby, and walls of smiling Amazon boxes festooned with Prime Day banners. Also in the window: a large, smiling man in a blazer, some sort of security person, but it was hard to say because his ID tag was t
  13. Trump moves could stop Huawei from buying US tech or from selling to US firms. Enlarge / Customers purchase mobile phones at the Huawei Experience Center on May 16, 2019 in Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province of China. Getty Images | VCG/Long Wei The Trump administration yesterday took two actions that could effectively prevent Huawei from buying US technology and prevent it from selling products to US companies. An executive order issued by President Trump and a separate action taken by the US Commerce Department c
  14. Ericsson announced on Wednesday its plans to build a 5G factory in the US sometime early next year. The factory will be the Swedish telco equipment maker's first fully-automated factory, the company said, and will be used to produce 5G radios designed for urban areas. It will also make Advanced Antenna System radios that it said are components for large-scale deployments of 4G and 5G networks for both rural and urban coverage. "With today's announcement, we conclude months of preparations and can move into execution also in the US," Ericsson
  15. A cyberattack on a subcontractor for U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) exposed surveillance plans and much more than was previously disclosed, according to a new report. Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection said photos of travelers and license plates had been compromised during a cyberattack, adding that less than 100,000 people were affected. However, the Washington Post reported on Friday that the cyberattack also compromised documents including “detailed schematics, confidential agreements, equipment lists, budget spreadsh
  16. Americans aren’t interested in the Moon and Mars—and that’s understandable After 15 years and $50 billion, we haven't really gotten that far. Enlarge / Mars or the Moon? It’s a debate that has bedeviled NASA for decades. Aurich Lawson / Getty Images Nearly two years ago, Vice President Mike Pence made the administration's space policy official, saying NASA would re-focus its program around "establishing a renewed American presence on the Moon, a vital strategic goal." In December 2017, President Trump signed a space-policy d
  17. (Reuters) - Alphabet Inc’s Google announced on Tuesday it would set aside $750 million in land and $250 million in financing to spur developers in the San Francisco Bay Area to build at least 20,000 homes and rehabilitate other housing over the next decade. Google, which told Reuters it has 45,000 employees in the region, has been the target of local activists who for several years have said the company’s growth and high salaries have contributed to rising rents and housing shortages. They have called on Google and other Silicon Valley tech companies to invest in affo
  18. Round of devastating job cuts are deepest since the telecom giant said it would create jobs after the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act NATIONWIDE — AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) plans to cut 1,880 American jobs over the next few months, continuing a pattern of drastic cuts to family-supporting jobs in communities across the country. The company began notifying employees that their jobs are at risk right before Father’s Day weekend, forcing thousands of working dads and families to spend the holiday figuring out what to do now that they are facing the loss of their paychec
  19. How many more will die in US heatwaves as world warms? The difference between 1.5°C and 3°C worlds can be thousands of lives. Enlarge Garrett Ziegler / Flickr One of the more obvious risks of climate change is an increased frequency of extreme heatwaves. Particularly in cities, heatwaves can be more than sticky and unpleasant—they can be deadly. The emissions cuts pledged so far in the international Paris Agreement in 2015—if followed through—would limit global warming to the neighborhood of 3°C. Tha
  20. “The world should know that what they’re doing out here is crazy,” said a man who refused to share his passcode with police. As police now routinely seek access to people’s cellphones, privacy advocates see a dangerous erosion of Americans’ rights, with courts scrambling to keep up. William Montanez is used to getting stopped by the police in Tampa, Florida, for small-time traffic and marijuana violations; it’s happened more than a dozen times. When they pulled him over last June, he didn’t try to hide his pot, telling officers, "Yeah, I smo
  21. US report finds sky is the limit for geothermal energy beneath us US Dept. of Energy project estimates geothermal’s untapped potential. Enlarge / Sonoma Power Plant at The Geysers in California. Geothermal Resources Council/flickr With all attention focused on the plummeting prices and soaring popularity of solar and wind, geothermal energy is probably under-appreciated. Sure, you might think, it’s great where you can get it—in, say, Iceland or the Geysers area of California—but those are exceptions, right? Not entirely. Geo
  22. You can watch a breakdown of the US broadband problem even if you can't stream it. The latest episode of Netflix variety talk show Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj focuses on the digital divide. In it, Minhaj breaks down some of the many reasons why internet access is so terrible across much of the US, including the roles of carriers and the Federal Communications Commission. It's a topic we cover frequently on Engadget, and the episode, "Why Your Internet Sucks," is a compelling watch. It's a strong look at why mill
  23. President Donald Trump’s recent Executive Order on America’s Cybersecurity Workforce has created surprisingly little buzz within the cybersecurity training community. This is likely because, as exciting as it is to have the leader of the free world focused on our slice of the industry, the EO is extremely high-level. Unless the policy has some serious teeth in the form of enforceable sanctions, sufficient funds and manpower, an executive order is little more than a press statement. Still, I’m optimistic about this one. Given the scope of the cyber
  24. It'll only be available in Korea. Samsung is making 5G versions of both the Galaxy Note 10 and Galaxy Note 10 Plus, but only the latter version is coming to the US, according to a graphic spotted by The Verge. Meanwhile, a smaller 6.3-inch Galaxy Note 10 5G will definitely be built, but it will launch exclusively in Korea. It's not clear why Samsung is doing this, given that the Galaxy Note 10 Plus 5G model that is coming to the US will work on all the major carriers
  25. Find the podcast you're looking for quickly. Google continues its push into the world of podcasts, not only through its own podcast app but also by adding a new podcast feature to search. If you enter a search term like "grilling podcasts" into Google, you'll now see playable podcast episodes right in the results page. In the future Google plans to tweak the feature to allow search to include podcast results even if you don't specify "podcast" in the query. In addition, later this year Google Assistant will begin suggesting podcasts
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