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Hashtag Trending – Pirating streams a felony in the US; Siri, where’s my car; RIP Eric Engstrom – IT World Canada

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Pirated streamed content will soon become a felony in the U.S., Apple is working on a new autonomous vehicle, and Eric Engstrom the champion of Windows Gaming and Direct X passes away.

It’s all the tech news that’s popular right now. Welcome to Hashtag Trending! It’s Tuesday Wednesday 23, and I’m your host Baneet Braich.

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Pirating Streamed Content to Become Felony from technology

Pirated streamed content will soon become a felony in the U.S. thanks to a new Bill. Under the new bill, any person that pirates video streams of copyrighted work will have committed a felony act and be subject to either fines or imprisonment. The previous penalty for pirating streaming content was a misdemeanour. The bill targets large scale, criminal and for-profit streaming services. However, it does not address non-commercial activities or individuals who access the pirated streams knowingly or unknowingly. This bill was passed considering how people’s viewing habits have changed since COVID-19 touched down, leaving them with more time to view content.

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Hey Siri, start my car. That’s right – Apple is working on a new self-driving vehicle with “breakthrough” battery technology by 2024, according to Reuters. However, the tech giant refused to discuss the new vehicle. Anonymous sources say it’s a mass-market vehicle, with “radically” cheaper battery, and lidar sensors, which give self-driving cars a three-dimensional road view. [LinkedIn]

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Creator of DirectX, Eric Engstrom, passes away at 55 from technology

And lastly, some heavy news to report as Eric Engstrom, the Pioneer Of Windows Gaming And DirectX, has passed away at 55 due to an injury. He will be remembered for his contributions to DirectX where the API made gaming on Microsoft’s Windows OS the top choice for PC Gaming. DirectX is a set of application programming interfaces (APIs) that enable a computer to recognize and run games that can tap that computer’s graphics capabilities. This also paved the way for what we now know as Microsoft’s Xbox consoles. Rest in Peace Eric, you brought people joy in both the real and virtual world.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash Briefing or your Google Home daily briefing. And remember, over the next couple of weeks, we want you to tell us what you think is this year’s biggest Canadian tech story. Let us know on Twitter @ITWorldCa, or leave a comment on the show notes for this episode at ITWorldCanada.com. Respondents will be entered into a draw for a chance to win an IT World Canada mug in the New Year!

I’m Baneet Braich thanks for listening.

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Apple Patches Three Actively Exploited Zero-Days, Part of iOS Emergency Update – Threatpost

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An anonymous researcher identified bugs in the software’s kernel and WebKit browser engine that are likely part of an exploit chain.

Apple continues to put out potential security fires by patching zero-day vulnerabilities, releasing an emergency update this week to patch three more recently discovered in iOS after a major software update in November already fixed three that were being actively exploited.

The newly patched bugs are part of a security update released Tuesday for iOS 14.4 and iPadOS 14.4. One bug, tracked as CVE-2021-1782, was found in the OS kernel, while the other two–CVE-2021-1870 and CVE-2021-1871–were discovered in the WebKit browser engine.

The most recent vulnerabilities apparently weren’t known when Apple released iOS 14.2 and iPadOS 14.2, a comprehensive update that patched a total of 24 vulnerabilities back in November. That update included fixes for three zero-day flaws discovered by the Google Project Zero team that were actively being exploited in the wild.
Attackers also may be actively taking advantage of the latest bugs, according to Apple. The company described the kernel flaw as a “a race condition” that the update addresses “with improved locking.” If exploited, the vulnerability can allow a malicious application to elevate privileges.

The WebKit vulnerabilities are both logic issues that the update addresses with improved restrictions, according to Apple. Exploiting these flaws would allow a remote attacker “to cause arbitrary code execution,” the company said.

All the zero-days and thus the fixes affect iPhone 6s and later, iPad Air 2 and later, iPad mini 4 and later, and iPod touch (7th generation), according to Apple. Security experts believe the three are part of an exploit chain attackers can use to escalate privileges and compromise a device after its unsuspecting user falls victim to a malicious website leveraging the WebKit flaw.

As is custom, however, Apple did not go into detail about how the bugs are being used in attacks, as it doesn’t typically reveal this type of info until most of the affected devices are patched.

The proliferation of iPhones across the world makes news of any Apple iOS zero-day a security threat to its hundreds of millions of users, and thus a very big deal. In fact, four nation-state-backed advanced persistent threats (APTs) used a zero-day iPhone exploit in a highly publicized espionage hack against Al Jazeera journalists, producers, anchors and executives late last year.

Predictably, numerous iPhone users, tech professionals and security experts took to Twitter as news of the latest spate of iOS zero-days broke to warn iPhone users to update their devices immediately.

“iOS release notes are always comforting when you have firsts like this,” tweeted one iPhone user Daniel Sinclair sarcastically. “3 zero-days actively exploited in the wild. 2 involving WebKit.”

Sinclair also tweeted earlier in the month that his iPhone “inexplicably became bricked,” though it’s unclear if that issue was related to the recently discovered zero-days.

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SSC says the Tuatara broke the top speed record again, for sure this time – Yahoo Canada Sports

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CBC

$1 billion in TV money is what ensures the Tokyo Olympics will happen

This is a column by Morgan Campbell, who writes opinion for CBC Sports. For more information about CBC’s Opinion section, please see the FAQ. In December, a football game between the University of Michigan and its biggest rival, Ohio State, was cancelled after a coronavirus outbreak on Michigan’s team. If you can’t conceive how big that decision was, imagine Real Madrid and Barcelona calling off El Clásico, or pulling the plug on a gold-medal women’s hockey game between the U.S. and Canada. Or consider that cancelling the game cost Fox, the game’s broadcaster, a reported $18.5 million US in ad revenue. Now contrast that with the NFL’s insistence on continuing with a game between the Baltimore Ravens and the Pittsburgh Steelers even though COVID-19 outbreaks among the Ravens had already triggered a string of postponements. The six-day delay led to a rare NFL game on network TV on a Wednesday afternoon, but salvaging the matchup made financial sense. Cancelling could have cost NBC an estimated $71 million in ad sales. If you’re a big fan of the Summer Olympics, concerned they won’t take place this July, rest easy. The International Olympic Committee is scheduled to collect a reported $1 billion in broadcast rights fees tied to this summer’s event (the CBC holds the Canadian broadcast rights), and tied to that sum is a long list of broadcasters eager to recoup that money through ad sales or streaming app subscriptions. Cancelling or delaying Tokyo 2020 again might make sense while we grapple with a global pandemic, but staging the Games makes too many dollars for too many people to consider anything else. So, if you’re worried the Olympics will press ahead during a public health emergency, you should decide whether you’ll object on ethical grounds, or watch despite reservations. I’ll join that second group, following the Olympic Games with feelings as mixed as the messaging pro sports are sending about their commitment to COVID-19 safety. Consider the NBA, which set the gold standard last summer, setting up a secure campus on a Disney resort, and conducting a post-season free of outbreaks. For the current season, every team except the Raptors returned to its home market and resumed a normal, if shortened, schedule of home and road games. Predictably, infections have followed. The Washington Wizards paused activities for more than nine days after an outbreak within the team. Earlier this month Minnesota Timberwolves star Karl-Anthony Towns, whose mother is among six relatives to die from COVID-19, tested positive. He hasn’t played since Jan. 13. WATCH | Bring It In: Remembering Kobe and Gianna Bryant: Yet the league still wants to host its all-star weekend in Atlanta in March, even though it means more travel when most experts are telling us to limit our movement. We can’t expect the NBA to seal all its players inside a COVID-free bubble from its tip-off in December until the playoffs end in July, and we knew proceeding with a season entailed risk. But we can also recognize that, even by pro sports standards, all-star games aren’t essential and that the league’s best players would benefit more from a weekend off work than from a detour that could expose them to the virus. And look at Arizona, where COVID-19 case counts are swelling, and where officials in cities with MLB team complexes want the league to delay spring training until the number of new infections recedes. Except MLB and its players’ union can’t make that decision until they haggle over it. Part of the problem, according to published reports, is that delaying spring training pushes back opening day, which could cause the World Series to bleed into mid-November, which might displease the league’s broadcast partners. A non-baseball fan could simply conclude that, when balanced against a public health emergency, a delayed baseball season barely qualifies as an inconvenience. But MLB is the same outfit that pulled Los Angeles Dodgers third baseman Justin Turner from the field late in the final game of the World Series over a positive COVID-19 test, then did nothing after he returned to the diamond to celebrate with his teammates, maskless and maybe contagious. Or we could return to the University of Michigan, where first-year track standout Ziyah Holman erased her team’s 25-metre deficit in the final leg of a 4×400-metre relay, passing two runners to seal a Michigan victory. For the track aficionados, Holman ran her split in 51.79 seconds, the fastest segment of any runner on any team competing. And for everyone else, the feat went viral, giving track and field a rare moment in the mainstream sports spotlight. Virus is relentless and versatile A week later, the school announced a two-week moratorium on sports after a COVID-19 outbreak within its athletic program. The case count included a variant of the virus, which has been spreading in the community beyond the campus. The dilemma in Ann Arbor tells us the novel coronavirus possesses traits coaches treasure in athletes. It’s relentless, spreading in all but the most controlled environments, ripping through communities where COVID-fatigued people are relaxing their defences. It’s versatile, with enough new variants to keep drug companies adjusting vaccines. And it’s opportunistic, mutating into new varieties because unchecked spread gave it a chance to. The more people infected, the more likely that we will see new variants. – Dr. Michel Nussenzweig “The more people infected, the more likely that we will see new variants,” Dr. Michel Nussenzweig, an immunologist at Rockefeller University in New York, told the New York Times. “If we give the virus a chance to do its worst, it will.” Wrestling the pandemic into submission in time for a relatively safe Summer Games is less about billions of us producing Holman-type heroics, than about governments providing something else coaches love. An effective game plan we can adjust on the fly. Ontario’s government instituted a province-wide state of emergency, and is urging residents to stay at home. But a stay-at-home strategy likely works better alongside paid sick leave, so essential workers don’t have to choose between spreading a virus and courting financial disaster. Meanwhile, across Canada where the pandemic has halted cross-border pro sports, just less than two per cent of residents had received a vaccine as of Tuesday morning. That rate trails even the U.S., where ex-President Donald Trump and other Republican officials all but actively sabotaged efforts to fight the virus’ spread. Anheuser-Busch is on board even if some elected officials aren’t. The brewer opted out of Super Bowl advertising, instead spending that money on a campaign to promote COVID-19 vaccines. “We are eager to get people back together, reopen restaurants and bars,” said Budweiser’s VP of marketing, Monica Rustgi, in a statement explaining the move. “To bring consumers back into neighbourhood bars and restaurants that were hit exceptionally hard by the pandemic, we’re stepping in to support critical awareness of the COVID-19 vaccine.” But if an Olympic bubble isn’t feasible, the road to a normal sports landscape, and guilt-free Olympic watching, likely goes through widespread vaccine uptake. Or we can wait until next year.

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Apple just had its best quarter in India – Yahoo Canada Shine On

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Eat This, Not That!

This Popular Cheese Is About to Surge in Price, Experts Say

Thanks to fluctuating food costs in 2020 due to the coronavirus pandemic—and more specifically, the cost of milk, which experienced major price highs and lows last year when schools and restaurants closed and stockpiling at grocery stores began—the price of parmesan is expected to increase considerably this year, experts say.”Back in April 2020, cheesemakers were feeling the enormous loss of retail and foodservice business due to COVID,” explains Liz Thorpe, international cheese expert and author of The Book of Cheese. Then, add the milk shortage that started happening in June, and the cost of making milk-based cheeses skyrocketed. (Related: Grocery Shortages To Expect in 2021, According to Experts.)Of course, you may have already experienced the effects of this while shopping at the grocery store. As Schuman Cheese CEO Neal Schuman explains: “Younger, fresh, cheeses like mozzarella, cream cheeses, and things like that would have gone up in price pretty much in tandem with these increases nine to 12 months ago.”But considering it takes cheeses like parmesan at least 10 months to age before they’re available for purchase, the price hikes will only start to be felt now.The cost of producing parmesan at the Schuman Cheese plant in Turtle Lake, Wisc. went up 40-60% last year, says Schuman. So parmesan that was produced in March, April, and May 2020—which is now being shipped to distributors and being added to grocery store shelves—will carry a heftier price tag.Specifically, Schuman believes that, starting in April 2021, the price of parmesan will go up by $1.50-$2 for a pound and about $0.70-$0.75 for a wedge—and the surge will last for six months or longer.While it’s certainly not ideal, Schuman believes people will still pay for these milk-based, aged cheeses. “I would guess it may slow down consumers’ purchase patterns,” he says. “But people will, in all likelihood, pay the increase because, ultimately, it’s still delivering an experience and flavor.”Plus, there really isn’t a great alternative. “Parmesan is typically used for grating, and in order to get a hard texture for grating, a cheese has to be aged,” says Thorpe. “Comparable or alternative cheeses are going to face a similar problem. It becomes an issue of, ‘If you want this, you’re going to have to pay more for it.'”If all this cheese talk has made you hungry, check out the 13 Best Recipes for Cheese Lovers. And for more grocery store news delivered right to your email inbox, sign up for our newsletter.

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