Russia

Simple $40 wiretap planted in iPhone of Russian activist

Simple $40 wiretap planted in iPhone of Russian activist

An interesting little device was discovered planted in the iPhone of Russian anti-corruption activist Lyubov Sobol's campaign manager over the new year. On December 21, 2020, Sobol's campaign manager Olga Klyuchnikova was taken into custody by the Russian FSB. She spent a week in jail on "administrative charges" and was released - but something was amiss.

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Roscosmos is prepared to send more oxygen to the ISS as the atmosphere leaks

Roscosmos is prepared to send more oxygen to the ISS as the atmosphere leaks

Astronauts on the ISS continue to struggle with an oxygen leak that is venting the breathable atmosphere into space. General director of Roscosmos, Dmitry Rogozin, has stated that the oxygen leak is under control. Still, the Russian space organization is prepared to send additional oxygen to the space station in February if needed.

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US Treasury and Commerce emails reportedly exposed to Russian hackers

US Treasury and Commerce emails reportedly exposed to Russian hackers

There has been a lot of coverage lately about the Chinese government's ability to use the likes of Huawei and ZTE to spy on the US but it seems that a different country may have successfully pulled that off instead. According to multiple sources, at least two US government agencies have had their emails snooped on by hackers who are believed to be backed by a nation-state, specifically Russia.

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Scientists discover a new mineral in Russia

Scientists discover a new mineral in Russia

Scientists from St. Petersburg University working with colleagues from other research institutions in Russia have studied the mineralogy of scoria cones and lava flows of fumaroles in Kamchatka. The objects were formed after a pair of major eruptions of the Tolbachik Volcano in 1975 through 1976 and 2012 through 2013. The area is considered unique for mineralogical diversity.

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App store revenue cuts in Russia might be capped at 20%

App store revenue cuts in Russia might be capped at 20%

While the matter is still being debated in the US, both inside and outside of courts, Russia is already starting to take steps to cut down what has been an unwritten business practice when it comes to digital content distribution, especially in apps and games. A lawmaker has proposed reducing the amount that app store owners are able to take from sales and in-app purchases from the usual 30% down to 20% but adds one more requirement that Apple and Google might not be so keen on obliging.

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Russia’s claim of world’s first coronavirus vaccine raises alarms

Russia’s claim of world’s first coronavirus vaccine raises alarms

The world has more or less gotten used to the fact of the COVID-19 coronavirus plaguing almost all countries even as some of those continue to struggle to keep their infection numbers and, worse, death tolls in check. What was previously a race to bring order to a suddenly chaotic world has now become a race to find a cure or, at the very least, a vaccine to prevent infection in the first place. Russian President Vladimir Putin has publicly claimed the crown in that race, raising not just doubts but also deep concerns over releasing a vaccine that has not undergone proper and massive testing.

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Apple found guilty in Russia for monopoly over parental control apps

Apple found guilty in Russia for monopoly over parental control apps

Apple has long been accused of using its position as owner and curator of the only app store authorized on its own mobile platform to create a monopoly that eventually kills off competing apps. Most of those complaints, however, haven't gone beyond just that but Apple has lately come under legislative or even legal scrutiny over that business practice. In at least one case in Russia, however, Apple was indeed formally charged and now found guilty of anti-competitive practices specifically in crippling third-party parental control apps in favor of its own built-in feature.

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NSA warns Russian Sandworm hackers have infiltrated email MTA Exim

NSA warns Russian Sandworm hackers have infiltrated email MTA Exim

This week the NSA warned the public that Russian military cyber actors have been exploiting a version of email software for several months at least. The exploited system is MTA software for Unix-based systems, Exim mail - software that's installed with a number of Linux distributions by default. While the original patch for this vulnerability was released last year, many computers still run Exim without said patch.

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An AI beat humans in a selfie personality test

An AI beat humans in a selfie personality test

Another study has found that artificial intelligence is able to beat humans -- this time it involves judging selfies to determine the subject's personality traits. The machine was best able to identify one particular trait, at least compared to humans, but it was ultimately able to determine five different personality qualities based on nothing more than a picture of a face.

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Joaquin Phoenix used to promote Joker edition Galaxy Z Flip in Russia

Joaquin Phoenix used to promote Joker edition Galaxy Z Flip in Russia

The folks at Caviar have a new super-expensive super-elite smartphone with the launch of the Samsung Galaxy Z Flip. This device makes use of the two-sided, split backside of the Galaxy Z Flip with a Queen and Joker card pair - one for Harley Quinn, the other for The Joker Himself. What's more, the company's gone ahead and used Joaquin Phoenix and his newly-awarded Academy Award for Best Actor to promote the phone - though we're not quite ready to believe that he or his representatives signed off on said appearance on their webpage as such...

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These custom AirPod Pros cost over $67k

These custom AirPod Pros cost over $67k

A pair of AirPod Pro earbuds were customized by the same folks who brought you several diamond-encrusted iPhones. They've suggested that the "Caviar AirPods Pro Gold Edition" is an extravagant package the likes of which only one person will ever own. They've suggested that the body of each of the AirPod Pro buds is "one-piece 750-content gold."

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These iPhone 11 Pro units include macabre bits

These iPhone 11 Pro units include macabre bits

The folks at Caviar Royal Gift created a set of new iPhones with pieces of two very different historical craft. Count this amongst the strange stories for which you've probably not come prepared today. One of the two new "limited edition" iPhone 11 Pro editions comes embedded with a piece of the Titanic. The other comes with a piece of the spacecraft in which Yuri Gagarin orbited our planet Earth.

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