Categories
Security

Burger King blank email orders confuse thousands of customers

Burger King has just emailed thousands of customers with a blank order email receipt. The blank emails started appearing at around 12:15AM ET, leaving Burger King customers confused whether the company has been breached by a hungry hacker attempting a midnight feast, or if the emails are simply a giant whopper of a mistake.

Twitter users were quick to turn to the social network in a state of confusion over the blank emails, with some even receiving two Burger King emails in an apparent double whopper of a mistake. The order emails are totally blank, and were sent by Burger King’s main promotional marketing email address.

Burger King’s blank order receipt.
Screenshot by Tom Warren / The Verge

There’s no clear indication that Burger King has been breached. A lot of people who have received the emails don’t even remember creating a Burger King account, so it could simply be a system change that went wrong and blasted out blank orders to Burger King’s entire marketing database.

After this story was published, an email from “BK PR Team” responded to our request for more information, claiming the issue was “the result of an internal processing error.” We have asked for a specific individual to attribute the information to.

Update August 9th, 3:27PM ET: Added information from Burger King.

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Categories
Computing

Nvidia and AMD cut GPU orders to deal with crypto’s collapse

A new report shows that Nvidia, AMD, and Apple may all be trying to lower their chip orders from TSMC. This is a direct response to the lower demand for electronics we’ve been experiencing over the past few months (and the fall in GPU prices with crypto’s demise). Nvidia, in particular, is in a tough spot as it may not be able to reduce its orders.

If this proves to be true, it brings up a lot of things to consider. With AMD and Nvidia soon set to release the next generation of GPUs, will the lowered consumer interest result in a drop in prices, or will the potentially smaller supply simply mean there will be fewer next-gen graphics cards to buy?

From Shutterstock by Kiklas Kiklas/Shutterstock

The information comes from DigiTimes which cites its own anonymous industry sources. The report (translated by Twitter user RetiredEngineer) claims that AMD, Nvidia, and Apple, which are all TSMC clients, have tried to change their chip orders — but not all three have been successful.

Apple managed to cut down the initial shipment of iPhone 14 chips by around 10%. AMD, on the other hand, revised its orders for 7nm and 6nm wafers, reportedly lowering the amounts by around 20,000. This applies to shipments in the fourth quarter of 2022 and in the first quarter of 2023. However, AMD hasn’t changed its order for 5nm wafers intended for PCs and servers.

Nvidia seems to be in a sticky spot compared to the other two tech giants. It made prepayments to TSMC to secure their 5nm wafers for the upcoming RTX 4000-series of graphics cards. Now, facing a drastic drop in consumer demand, Nvidia tried to alter its order — but according to DigiTimes, TSMC wouldn’t budge. The companies came to an agreement where the first shipments will be delayed by one quarter, but Nvidia is now supposed to find replacement customers for TSMC’s vacated production capacity. A year ago, that would have been easy, but now, it might be nearly impossible.

After many long months of the GPU shortage, graphics card prices are now falling rapidly, and retailers and manufacturers alike are left with a surplus of GPUs that no one wants to buy. The second-hand market is flooded with used GPUs that did their time mining crypto and are no longer profitable to keep running due to the crash in the cryptocurrency market.

It’s not just graphics cards that have suddenly become far less sought after. According to a forecast by Gartner, worldwide PC shipments are on track to decline by 9.5% in 2022. The personal computer market is experiencing the steepest decline of all other device segments that Gartner analyzes, but mobile devices (tablets and phones) are also seeing a drop in shipments. Consumer PC demand is suffering bigger losses than business PC demand, amounting to 13.1% and 7.2% in 2022 respectively.

Will this affect the pricing of next-gen graphics cards?

Fans on the Nvidia RTX 3080.
Jacob Roach / Digital Trends

Something many aspiring PC builders are wondering about is whether the current market situation will affect the pricing of Nvidia’s RTX 4000 graphics cards. Given that the company is currently experiencing a drop in demand and seems to predict that this downward trend is going to continue, it makes sense that it might also change the pricing of next-gen GPUs.

Unfortunately, it’s hard to say with any certainty what Nvidia might do in this situation. A year ago, we were in the midst of a market where the demand was much higher than the supply. That is no longer the case, and unless the crypto market miraculously recovers, we won’t be coming back to that for quite a while. With the world economy in a shaky place and inflation on the rise, lowering the pricing might be the only thing that would kickstart GPU sales again.

Nvidia still hasn’t announced the pricing of its next-gen graphics cards — but looking at the current generation gives us a bit of an idea of what to expect. AMD’s best graphics cards are cheaper than Nvidia across the board, so Nvidia wasn’t striving to be competitive in that regard this time around. It also still hasn’t lowered the prices for all the surplus GPUs it has laying around, and with the looming launch of RTX 4000, it’s high time that Nvidia tries to sell those off.

One thing is for certain — we’re finally in a buyer’s market. Whether you buy a new GPU or hold off for a little while to see the next generation hit the shelves, it’s refreshing to no longer see graphics cards hitting 300% of MSRP and selling out in seconds.

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Categories
Security

Canada bans Huawei equipment from 5G networks, orders removal by 2024

Canada has banned the use of Huawei and fellow Chinese tech giant ZTE’s equipment in its 5G networks, its government has announced. In a statement, it cited national security concerns for the move, saying that the suppliers could be forced to comply with “extrajudicial directions from foreign governments” in ways that could “conflict with Canadian laws or would be detrimental to Canadian interests.”

Telcos will be prevented from procuring new 4G or 5G equipment from the companies by September this year, and must remove all ZTE- and Huawei-branded 5G equipment from their networks by June 28th, 2024. Equipment must also be removed from 4G networks by the end of 2027. “The Government is committed to maximizing the social and economic benefits of 5G and access to telecommunications services writ large, but not at the expense of security,” the Canadian government wrote in its statement.

The move makes Canada the latest member of the Five Eyes intelligence alliance to have placed restrictions on the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in their communication networks. US telcos are spending billions removing and replacing the equipment in their networks, while the UK banned the use of Huawei’s equipment in 2020, and ordered its removal by 2027. Australia and New Zealand have also restricted the use of their equipment on national security grounds.

At the core of these concerns is China’s National Intelligence Law, which critics claim can be used to make Chinese organizations and citizens cooperate with state intelligence work, CBC News reports. The fear is this could be used to force Chinese tech companies like Huawei and ZTE to hand over sensitive information from foreign networks to the Chinese government.

Huawei disputes the claim and says its based on a “misreading” of China’s law. “China will comprehensively and seriously evaluate this incident and take all necessary measures to safeguard the legitimate rights and interests of Chinese companies,” China’s Canadian embassy said in a statement in response to Canada’s ban. In a statement emailed to The Verge, Alykhan Avelshi, a vice president at Huawei Canada called the policy “an unfortunate political decision that has nothing to do with cyber security or any of the technologies in question.”

Canada has taken around three years to come to its decision about the use of Huawei and ZTE equipment in its telecoms networks, a period which Bloomberg notes has coincided with worsening relations between it and China. In December 2018, Canada arrested Huawei’s Chief Financial Officer Meng Wanzhou on suspicion of violating US sanctions. Days later, China imprisoned two Canadian nationals: former diplomat Michael Spavor and entrepreneur Michael Kovrig. After the US came to a deferred-prosecution deal with Meng that allowed her to return to China last year, the Canadians were released.

Opposition politicians criticized the Canadian government’s delay. “In the years of delay, Canadian telecommunications companies purchased hundreds of millions of dollars of Huawei equipment which will now need to be removed from their networks at enormous expense,” Conservative MP Raquel Dancho said in a statement reported by the Toronto Sun. But Bloomberg reports that the likes of BCE and Telus have already been winding down their use of Huawei’s equipment over fears of an eventual ban.

Update May 20th, 6:04PM ET: Added statement from Huawei.

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Categories
Security

FTC bans spyware app SpyFone, orders it to delete illegally harvested data

On Wednesday, the Federal Trade Commission announced it had banned spyware maker SpyFone and its CEO Scott Zuckerman from the surveillance business. The commission called SpyFone a “stalkerware app company” that allegedly harvested and shared data about people’s movements, phone use, and online activity via a hidden device hack.

“The company’s apps sold real-time access to their secret surveillance, allowing stalkers and domestic abusers to stealthily track the potential targets of their violence,” the FTC said in a statement. “SpyFone’s lack of basic security also exposed device owners to hackers, identity thieves, and other cyber threats.”

In addition to the ban, the FTC ordered SpyFone to delete illegally harvested data and notify device owners when the app had been installed without their knowledge.

“We must be clear eyed about the variety of threats that surveillance businesses pose,” FTC chair Lina Khan said in a statement. “The FTC will be vigilant in its data security and privacy enforcement and will seek to vigorously protect the public from these dangers.”

Stalkwerware apps, which are banned by app stores, can be used to track a user’s movements and online activities without their knowledge, sometimes marketed as ways to for “catching a cheating spouse” or, more subtly, to keep tabs on employees or children, according to the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF). Such apps can be used to perpetuate harassment and abuse, according to the Coalition Against Stalkerware.

SpyFone ran at a phone’s root level for several of its functions, the FTC said, including monitoring email and video chats.

The app and its CEO are banned from “offering, promoting, selling, or advertising any surveillance app, service, or business,” according to the FTC.

The EFF praised the FTC’s order. “With the FTC now turning its focus to this industry, victims of stalkerware can begin to find solace in the fact that regulators are beginning to take their concerns seriously,” the foundation’s leadership wrote in a blog post.

The FTC board voted 5-0 to accept the consent order with the company. SpyFone, which is now doing business as Support King, did not admit or deny the FTC’s allegations, according to the consent order agreement (pdf). Commissioner Rohit Chopra issued a separate statement, saying the proposed order “in no way releases or absolves” the company or the CEO from potential criminal liability

“While this action was worthwhile, I am concerned that the FTC will be unable to meaningfully crack down on the underworld of stalking apps using our civil enforcement authorities,” Chopra wrote. “I hope that federal and state enforcers examine the applicability of criminal laws, including the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, the Wiretap Act, and other criminal laws, to combat illegal surveillance, including the use of stalkerware.”



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Categories
Tech News

LG is taking orders for the 2021 OLED R rollable TV

A report has surfaced that LG Electronics has begun quietly taking orders from the wealthy for one of the most expensive TVs it’s ever produced, the 2021 OLED R. This is the OLED TV with a screen that’s flexible enough to be rolled and stored away out of sight when not in use. According to reports, LG is taking orders from customers around the world, including in the US.

The OLED R has been available since last year in South Korea at prices in the $100,000 range. At that price, you can bet only the wealthiest of buyers would even consider purchasing. Other costs are unknown. Specifically, some sort of installation would be required for the roll-up television screen.

As you would expect from the price tag, reports indicate only a few televisions have been sold. There are three viewing options available, including the Full View, Line View, and Zero View options depending on the user’s needs. The TVs support voice commands and can be connected to a smart home network. Supported voice assistants include Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri.

The 2021 OLED R television also supports AirPlay 2 and HomeKit. One of the interesting aspects of the Line View option is that the TV can be partially unrolled to support applications that don’t need the full TV screen. Features supporting that option include clock mode and weather mode. Frame mode can display photos from smartphones, and Mood mode creates a relaxing environment for listening to music.

Zero View mode rolls the screen down completely into the supplied base. In that mode, the TV can still play music and other audio content using an internal multi-channel audio system supporting Dolby Atmos technology.

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