Top US Catholic Church official resigns after a Catholic media site obtained his alleged Grindr app and phone location data from an undisclosed data broker


In what appears to be a first, a public figure has been ousted after de-anonymized mobile phone location data was publicly reported, revealing sensitive and previously private details about his life.

Monsignor Jeffrey Burrill was general secretary of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), effectively the highest-ranking priest in the US who is not a bishop, before records of Grindr usage obtained from data brokers was correlated with his apartment, place of work, vacation home, family members' addresses, and more. Grindr is a gay hookup app, and while apparently none of Burrill’s actions were illegal, any sort of sexual relationship is forbidden for clergy in the Catholic Church. The USCCB goes so far as to discourage Catholics from even attending gay weddings.

Burrill’s case is “hugely significant,” Alan Butler, executive director of the Electronic Information Privacy Center, told Ars. “It’s a clear and prominent example of the exact problem that folks in my world, privacy advocates and experts, have been screaming from the rooftops for years, which is that uniquely identifiable data is not anonymous.”

It has finally happened. "Anonymized" data is the biggest myth there is since it really doesn't exist.

To give you a idea on why "anonymized" data is bullshit, here's a Vice article on the rise of the de-anonymization industry, where companies buy pseudonymized datasets with mobile advertising IDs and unmask the identities of people in the datasets. And it's all legal.

It's very clear that we need laws to protect people from these abuses since anyone can be next, even BIPOC, LGBTQIA, and other marginalized people.

Valve announces the Steam Deck, it's Nintendo Switch competitor


The device has an AMD APU containing a quad-core Zen 2 CPU with eight threads and eight compute units’ worth of AMD RDNA 2 graphics, alongside 16GB of LPDDR5 RAM. There are three different storage tiers: 64GB eMMC storage for $399, 256GB NVMe SSD storage for $529, and 512GB of high-speed NVME SSD storage for $649, according to Valve. You can also expand the available storage using the high-speed microSD card slot.

Very interesting specs although it remains to be seen if it's executed well.

Also looking at the FAQ over at IGN, there's a lot of transparency plus it's open despite their DRM stances over the years which is very surprising.

IBM's company-wide email migration, 18 months in the making, has left many employees unable to use email or schedule calendar events for several days


Current and former IBMers have confirmed to The Register that the migration, 18 months in the making, has been a disaster.

"I feel bad for bringing this to the press but I'm afraid that I'm only one of the many thousands at Big Blue who are utterly disgruntled at the moment," one employee told us. "If we can't even handle our own cloud migration program then why would any customer trust us?"

The incident has spilled out onto social media as IBMers vent their frustration. "Every IBMer has descended into a dark, chaotic pit of not being able to access email or calendars for the past 3 days…. wondering where we are??" lamented one IBM designer via a now-deleted tweet.

We've been told that email service has been intermittent for the past four or five days, and not everyone has been affected in the same way. Lack of access has been shorter for some – one source told us email was back after two days of downtime.

Yikes! It's just another example into why IBM lost out on so many things over th epast 30+ years…

'Most homes' in Lytton, B.C., destroyed by catastrophic fire, B.C. minister says


More than 1,000 people living in and around Lytton, B.C., northeast of Vancouver, were forced to leave with little notice Wednesday. They raced out of town in every direction as smoke and flames swallowed the community in minutes.

The province said the loss includes "most homes" and structures in the village, as well as the local ambulance station and RCMP detachment. A local member of parliament said 90 per cent of the village is gone.

My deepest thoughts are with the people of Lytton, British Columbia. This is what happens when governments globally ignore the climate emergency that we're all facing.

Hackers exploited 0-day, not 2018 bug, to mass-wipe My Book Live devices


The undocumented vulnerability resided in a file aptly named system_factory_restore. It contains a PHP script that performs resets, allowing users to restore all default configurations and wipe all data stored on the devices.

Normally, and for good reason, factory resets require the person making the request to provide a user password. This authentication ensures that devices exposed to the Internet can only be reset by the legitimate owner and not by a malicious hacker.

This WD My Book situation is getting a lot more worse…

There's even code that shows how it's exploited.

Windows 11 is officially here.


Microsoft is officially confirming the name for the next release of Windows today: Windows 11. After months of teases, hints of the number 11, and a giant Windows 11 leak, Microsoft’s new operating system is official. The big focus for Windows 11 is a simplification of the Windows user interface, a new Windows store, and improvements to performance and multitasking. Windows 11 will also include support for running Android apps for the first time.

My thoughts: Some good, some work in progress, and some just bad. Some of the bad includes the Microsoft Account mandate if you're running Home which justifies at minimum buying Pro which I have been saying for years now.

The work in progress part includes the 10X UI (which is still works best for tablets and multiple screens) and the somewhat good part is their Store which looks promising but needs refinement.

Also, here's the list of Windows 10 features that WON"T be coming to 11. Some include Cortana in the boot experience, Live Tiles in the Start menu, and tablet mode plus huge changes in the Start menu and more.

Windows 11 has been leaked


The new Windows 11 user interface and Start menu look very similar to what was originally found in Windows 10X. Microsoft had been simplifying Windows for dual-screen devices, before canceling this project in favor of Windows 11. Visually, the biggest changes you’ll notice can be found along the taskbar. Microsoft has centered the app icons here, cleaned up the tray area, and included a new Start button and menu.

This updated Start menu is a simplified version of what currently exists in Windows 10, without Live Tiles. It includes pinned apps, recent files, and the ability to quickly shut down or restart Windows 11 devices. It’s really a lot more simplified than what exists in Windows 10 today.

Microsoft is also using rounded corners throughout Windows 11. These are visible in context menus, and around apps and the File Explorer. The Start menu itself also includes rounded corners. This is still an early version of Windows 11 that has leaked, so not everything is included yet.

So basically, Windows 11 is 10X ported over. My feeling is that this would best work on tablets and dual screens but other devices not so much that it varies. Time will tell though.

New York State Senate has become the first legislative body in the US to pass a Right to Repair law.


“It protects consumers from the monopolistic practices of manufacturers,” Senator Phil Boyle said on the floor. “We all have computers, laptops, and smartphones that we repair once in a while. Many times we have to send them back to the manufacturer for simple repairs that cost a lot more. Now people can repair their own computers, laptops, and smartphones, and farm equipment. We don’t have to send them back to the manufacturers.”

The Senate passed the bill with 51 Senators voting for and only 12 voting against. The bill still has to pass the Assembly on an extremely tight deadline—New York's legislative session ends Thursday. If enacted, New York’s Digital Fair Repair Act would be the first of its kind in the United States. One of its strengths is its simplicity. According to the text, it “requires OEMs to make available, for purposes of diagnosis, maintenance, or repair, to any independent repair provider, or to the owner of digital electronic equipment manufactured by or on behalf of, or sold by, the OEM, on fair and reasonable terms, documentation, parts, and tools, inclusive of any updates to information or embedded software.”

I know it's got ways to go such as getting through the Assembly and Governor but this is HUGE as it can be done.

A Japanese bookstore simulator is collaboratively translated into English after 24 years


These are but a few choice elements of 本屋物語, a bookstore simulator created by the Japanese videogame developer Kairosoft in 1997 (the title translates literally as “Bookstore Story,” or more poetically, “BookStory”). I came across the game recently while searching for book-related sims. While sims (videogames that simulate activities) have been enjoying a genre renaissance lately, there’s still a decided lack of book-related titles, and so I was delighted to discover BookStory, with its charming yesteryear graphics and nostalgic UI elements.

Just wow, this is so well done…

Stack Overflow acquired by Prosus for $1.8 billion


While perhaps not a name everyone recognizes, Prosus — the international assets holding arm of South Africa’s Naspers — is something of a giant. In 2001, parent company Naspers bought a 46.5% stake in Tencent for $32 million dollars. Earlier this year they sold a 2% stake of Tencent for nearly $15 billion.

Today we’re pleased to announce that Stack Overflow is joining Prosus. Prosus is an investment and holding company, which means that the most important part of this announcement is that Stack Overflow will continue to operate independently, with the exact same team in place that has been operating it, according to the exact same plan and the exact same business practices. Don’t expect to see major changes or awkward “synergies”. The business of Stack Overflow will continue to focus on Reach and Relevance, and Stack Overflow for Teams. The entire company is staying in place: we just have different owners now.

The Stack Overflow as we know it is fundamentally dead. It's been a good run…