Category Archives: entertainment

Injustice 2 Review: Gods, monsters, and unholy beatings

This sequel is great at everything except teaching you how not to get beaten.

That permissiveness begins with Injustice 2’s single-player campaign, which just might set a new gold standard for such modes in fighting games. Granted, that’s a low bar to clear, and NetherRealm is mostly competing with itself. But the cinematic unfolding of alternate-universe comic-book antics in Injustice 2 is wildly fun in its own right.

In the Injustice-verse, Superman is a villain. The first Injustice ended with the last son of Krypton locked up and awaiting trial for murdering both criminals and “potential” wrongdoers without hearings of their own. Just as Batman and his “no-kill club” allies are returning things to normal, a Superman-level threat invades Earth in the form of Brainiac. The alien machine-man wants the Kryptonian for his own personal collection, and perhaps the only one that can stop the invasion is Superman himself. Punching ensues.

The previous Injustice saw this “alternate” universe calling in help from a more recognizable DC Comics world. With Injustice 2, NetherRealm is going all-in on its own Elseworld fiction. New battle lines and factions are drawn as familiar characters pop out of the woodwork to express how they feel about preemptive justice and, when it comes down to it, whether killing is ever justifiable.

Some of this is glossed over in the game, partially because an Injustice comic book has been filling in those gaps since the first Injustice game. At points, it feels like the developers simply needed to throw in at least a token story-mode appearance for some fighters to justify their inclusion in the roster of fighters. Characters like Doctor Fate, Swamp Thing, Atrocitus, and The Joker feel more like cameos than plotline movers and shakers. That makes the first hour of Injustice 2’s story feel a bit rushed.

Once Brainiac hits the scene, though, the campaign picks up hefty, if familiar, weight. Comic book readers have seen the “What if Superman was bad?” story at least a half-dozen times now, but it’s hard to think of any adaptation that presents it with this much cinematic flair and attention to detail.

As in previous NetherRealm games, cutscenes seamlessly transition into fights, and vice versa, with a twirl of the camera. Combatants trade faithful, often shockingly obscure quips around every fight, both in and out of the story mode (Swamp Thing-on-Swamp Thing mirror matches start with one of them claiming to be Alec Holland, which was very gratifying for me, personally). And even with the lightning pace, NetherRealm shows how to condense years of recent character development into its sideline continuity. Harley Quinn’s severance from her famously abusive ex-boyfriend, for instance, is concise but a standout moment for the character.

The fighting itself is just as impactful. The most basic jab in Injustice 2 sounds like a 100-pound punching bag hitting another, slightly larger punching bag. That’s to say nothing of the absolutely insane super-moves that drill opponents into the core of the Earth or send them flying past the Sun.

The concussive blows and exceptional nonsense make sense, given Injustice 2 comes from the makers of the hard-hitting (and much bloodier) Mortal Kombat series. Just like the game’s sister series, combos and special moves in Injustice 2 send opponents bouncing up, down, and all around the screen.

This inherent bounciness and the generous timing windows make juggling opponents through combos relatively easy even when playing on a standard gamepad. The same basic button combinations are used for different special moves between characters, too, meaning there aren’t a lot of complex strings to memorize.

This is a double-edged sword, however. Delivering endless strings of loud, thumping blows is tremendously satisfying and easy to pick up. But that means your opponent is going to get those combos on you, too. Doing the bouncing ends up being much more gratifying than getting bounced.

Even a few days after launch, most of my time playing online multiplayer has been spent not playing at all. Instead, I watch my poorly handled Swamp Thing hurtle sideways across the screen for long seconds that feel like minutes. I’m functionally helpless to do anything but watch the carnage until the virtual referee mercifully calls the match. Often, I lose after barely standing up for long enough to throw a punch.

Losing isn’t the problem: I expected my relative lack of fighting-game skill to cause me to lose to online players coming off of months or years of practice from the first game. But the amount of time spent airborne when I was really losing in Injustice 2 was infuriatingly passive.

A dense tutorial explains how to get out of such situations. Once per match, you can wager chunks of your super meter to start a “Clash” that can interrupt combos and potentially regain health, as well. Then there are quick as well as delayed wake-ups, roll escapes, and reversal attacks to get out of hairy situations, too.

As easy as Injustice 2’s offense is to learn, I wish these escape mechanisms had some more comprehensive training options. You can always “tag” combos and special moves so their command strings display on-screen during matches, for example. But there’s no easy way to even remind yourself what all your defensive options are mid-match. That’s fine for players who have already internalized concepts like “wake-up attacks,” but it puts the onus of learning on easily juggled (and/or frustrated) newcomers…

Thankfully, the Multiverse has some far less savage opponents than flesh-and-blood humans to play against. Similar to Mortal Kombat X’s “Living Towers,” the Multiverse is a hub for time-limited strings of player-vs-AI fights with unique modifiers. Maybe you’ll start every match with one-percent health. Maybe a buzzsaw periodically appears on the stage floor. Maybe, if you’re lucky, you can periodically summon allies like Gorilla Grodd or Harley Quinn to do extra attacks on your behalf.

Not every modifier is “fun,” exactly (I seriously hate those buzzsaws… ). But you can usually leverage them into useful skills. Starting with almost no health, for instance, can teach you the importance of distancing yourself from opponents. Even the saws force you to think about jumping, both for offensive and defensive purposes.

The Multiverse provides an interesting “do or die” method of learning the ropes. But without concrete tactical examples outside of the tutorials, I still needed to bump back and forth between menus and modes more than I liked. On the upside, just like nearly everything else in Injustice 2, the Multiverse is a good source of loot.

Yeah, loot, as in armor and items that modify stats for every character. Loot is an odd, even slightly worrisome concept for a fighting game—which should, ostensibly at least, try to put players on even footing in the interest of fairness. Thankfully, Injustice 2 sidesteps the worst of that by simply turning stat bonuses off during ranked matches.

But the random drops always work in the Multiverse. That means, even if every player in the world up and decides to only play loot-less ranked matches, you’ll always have a place to play where your gear matters.

Of course, an extra 23 hit points doesn’t make you any better at setting up or escaping those seemingly endless series of combos. That just takes cold, hard practice. Injustice 2 has diffuse, but still approachable, methods of teaching. Flitting between tutorials to learn, the Multiverse to practice, multiplayer to prove yourself, and character customization to tweak the numbers just so isn’t the most convenient approach, no. But the game’s flashy fights and flashier story mode help ease you into the concepts enough that they will help you commit to this more easily than most other fighting games.

Just try not to rage-quit when you feel like you’ve spend 80 percent of your first few matches as a human basketball.

Verdict: Injustice 2 continues NetherRealm’s tradition of best-in-class story modes with solid, complex fighting to back it up. Learning the ropes could just be a little more convenient. Buy it.

Leaks ‘expose peculiar Facebook moderation policy’

The “inconsistent” rules used to judge and censor content on Facebook are exposed, claim insiders.

How Facebook censors what its users see has been revealed by internal documents, the Guardian newspaper says.

It said the manuals revealed the criteria used to judge if posts were too violent, sexual, racist, hateful or supported terrorism.

The Guardian said Facebook’s moderators were “overwhelmed” and had only seconds to decide if posts should stay.

The leak comes soon after British MPs said social media giants were “failing” to tackle toxic content.

The newspaper said it had managed to get hold of more than 100 manuals used internally at Facebook to educate moderators about what could, and could not, be posted on the site.

The social network has acknowledged that the documents seen by the newspaper were similar to what it used internally.

The manuals cover a vast array of sensitive subjects, including hate speech, revenge porn, self-harm, suicide, cannibalism and threats of violence.

Facebook moderators interviewed by the newspaper said the policies Facebook used to judge content were “inconsistent” and “peculiar”.

The decision-making process for judging whether content about sexual topics should stay or go were among the most “confusing”, they said.

The Open Rights Group, which campaigns on digital rights issues, said the report started to show how much influence Facebook could wield over its two billion users.

“Facebook’s decisions about what is and isn’t acceptable have huge implications for free speech,” said an ORG statement. “These leaks show that making these decisions is complex and fraught with difficulty.”

It added: “Facebook will probably never get it right but at the very least there should be more transparency about their processes.”

In a statement, Monica Bickert, Facebook’s head of global policy management, said: “We work hard to make Facebook as safe as possible, while enabling free speech.

“This requires a lot of thought into detailed and often difficult questions, and getting it right is something we take very seriously,” she added.

As well as human moderators that look over possibly contentious posts, Facebook is also known to use AI-derived algorithms to review images and other information before they are posted. It also encourages users to report pages, profiles and content they feel is abusive.

In early May, the UK parliament’s influential Home Affairs Select Committee strongly criticised Facebook and other social media companies as being “shamefully far” from tackling the spread of hate speech and other illegal and dangerous content.

The government should consider making sites pay to help police content, it said.

Soon after, Facebook revealed it had set out to hire more than 3,000 more people to review content.

British charity the National Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NSPCC) said the report into how Facebook worked was “alarming to say the least”.

“It needs to do more than hire an extra 3,000 moderators,” said a statement from the organisation.

“Facebook, and other social media companies, need to be independently regulated and fined when they fail to keep children safe.”

It has been clear for a while that dealing with controversial content is just about the most serious challenge that Facebook faces.

These leaked documents show how fine a line its moderators have to tread between keeping offensive and dangerous material off the site – and suppressing free speech.

A Facebook insider told me he thought the documents would show just how seriously and thoughtfully the company took these issues.

Why then does it not publish its training manual for moderators so that the world could see where it draws the line?

There are community guidelines available to read on Facebook but the company fears that if it gives away too much detail on its rules, that will act as a guide to those trying to game the system.

But what will strike many is that they have seen this kind of document before. Most big media organisations will have a set of editorial guidelines, coupled with a style guide, laying out just what should be published and how. Staff know that if they contravene those rules they are in trouble.

Of course, Facebook insists that it is a platform where people come to share content, rather than a media business.

That line is becoming ever harder to maintain, as governments wake up to the fact that the social media giant is more powerful than any newspaper or TV channel in shaping how the public sees the world.

North Korea says ready to deploy, mass-produce new missile

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea says it’s ready to deploy and start mass-producing a new medium-range missile capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases there following a test launch it claims confirmed the missile’s combat readiness and is an “answer” to U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies. The solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea’s media said more missiles will be launched in the future. Trump, traveling in Saudi Arabia, had no immediate public comment.

This image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea’s KRT on Monday, May 22, 2017, shows North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, center, watches the test launch of what was said to be the Pukguksong-2 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. (KRT via AP Video)

In this undated photo distributed by the North Korean government Monday, May 22, 2017, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un watches the test launch of a solid-fuel “Pukguksong-2” at an undisclosed location in North Korea. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim. The official Korean Central News Agency confirmed Monday the missile was a Pukguksong-2, a medium-to-long range ballistic missile also launched in February. The missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

This image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea’s KRT on Monday, May 22, 2017, shows what was said to be the Pukguksong-2 missile at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. (KRT via AP Video)

In this undated photo distributed by the North Korean government Monday, May 22, 2017, a solid-fuel “Pukguksong-2” missile lifts off during its launch test at an undisclosed location in North Korea. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. The official Korean Central News Agency confirmed Monday the missile was a Pukguksong-2, a medium-to-long range ballistic missile also launched in February. The missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. (Korean Central News Agency/Korea News Service via AP)

This image made from video of a news bulletin aired by North Korea’s KRT on Monday, May 22, 2017, shows what was said to be the Pukguksong-2 missile lifts off as it is test-launched at an undisclosed location in North Korea. Independent journalists were not given access to cover the event depicted in this photo. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. (KRT via AP Video)

A man watches a TV news program showing image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, published in the North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 22, 2017. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

People watch a TV news program showing images of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un and the missile launch, published in the North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea, Monday, May 22, 2017. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. The letters on the top left reads “North Korea, missile launch.” (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

FILE – In this Feb. 13, 2017 file photo, a man watches a TV news program showing photos published in North Korea’s Rodong Sinmun newspaper of North Korea’s “Pukguksong-2” missile launch, at Seoul Railway station in Seoul, South Korea. North Korea fired a solid-fuel ballistic missile Sunday, May 21, 2017, that can be harder for outsiders to detect before launch and later said the test was hailed as perfect by leader Kim Jong Un. The official Korean Central News Agency confirmed Monday, May 22, the missile was a Pukguksong-2, a medium-to-long range ballistic missile also launched in February. South Korea and the U.S. had earlier described Sunday’s missile as medium-range. (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon, File)

A man passes by a TV news program showing a file image of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, at the Seoul Railway Station in Seoul, South Korea, Sunday, May 21, 2017. North Korea on Sunday fired a midrange ballistic missile, U.S. and South Korean officials said, in the latest weapons test for a country speeding up its development of nuclear weapons and missiles. The letters read: “North Korea launched a missile on April 29.” (AP Photo/Ahn Young-joon)

TOKYO (AP) — North Korea says it’s ready to deploy and start mass-producing a new medium-range missile capable of reaching Japan and major U.S. military bases there following a test launch it claims confirmed the missile’s combat readiness and is an “answer” to U.S. President Donald Trump’s policies.

The solid-fuel Pukguksong-2 missile flew about 500 kilometers (310 miles) and reached a height of 560 kilometers (350 miles) Sunday before plunging into the Pacific Ocean. North Korea’s media said more missiles will be launched in the future.

Trump, traveling in Saudi Arabia, had no immediate public comment.

North Korean leader Kim Jong Un ordered the launch and watched from an observation post, state media reported Monday. The Korea Central News Agency said the test verified technical aspects of the weapon system and examined its “adaptability under various battle conditions” before it is deployed to military units.

Kim reportedly said the launch was a success, “approved the deployment of this weapon system for action” and said that it should “be rapidly mass-produced.”

North Korea has significantly speeded up its missile tests over the past year or so and appears to be making tangible progress toward developing an arsenal that poses a threat not only to South Korea and Japan — which together host about 80,000 U.S. troops — but also toward an intercontinental ballistic missile capable of reaching the mainland United States.

It’s moving ahead with its nuclear weapons program as well.

The North conducted two nuclear tests last year. It claims one was a hydrogen bomb and the other device created a more powerful explosion than any the North has previous tested. Satellite imagery suggests it could be ready to conduct its next test — which would be its sixth — at virtually any time.

Pyongyang’s often-stated goal is to perfect a nuclear warhead that it can put on a missile capable of hitting Washington or other U.S. cities.

North Korea’s media, meanwhile, have stepped up their calls for even more missile launches because of what Pyongyang claims is an increasingly hostile policy by President Donald Trump.

“The Trump administration would be well advised to lend an ear to the voices of concern that are heard from the U.S. and the international community,” the North’s Minju Joson newspaper said in a commentary Sunday. “Many more ‘Juche weapons’ capable of striking the U.S. will be launched from this land. This is the DPRK’s answer to the Trump administration.'”

“Juche,” in this usage, refers to domestically produced and DPRK is short for the North’s official name, the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea.

In an interview with “Fox News Sunday” U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the ongoing testing is “disappointing” and “disturbing.”

South Korea held a National Security Council meeting after the launch, and its Foreign Ministry said the launch “throws cold water” on efforts to ease tensions on the peninsula.

At the request of diplomats from the U.S., Japan and South Korea, a United Nations’ Security Council consultation on the missile test will take place Tuesday.

North Korea a week earlier had successfully tested a new midrange missile — the Hwasong 12 — that it said could carry a heavy nuclear warhead.

Experts said that rocket flew higher and for a longer time than any other missile previously tested by North Korea and represents another big advance toward a viable ICBM.

David Wright, an expert on North Korea’s missiles and nuclear program who is with the Union of Concerned Scientists, said the latest missile could have flown farther but was fired on a “lofted” trajectory, which sends the missile high up so that it will land in the open seas rather than flying over or splashing down near neighboring countries.

He noted the Pukguksong-2’s solid fuel is of particular concern.

Solid-fuel missiles have their fuel loaded in them before being moved into place, allowing them to be launched faster and with more secrecy. Liquid-fuel missiles, on the other hand, are fueled at the launch site in a process that can last an hour and requires fueling and other vehicles. That makes then easier to spot and easier to destroy than the solid-fuel variety.

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AP writers Kim Tong-hyung in Seoul and Edith M. Lederer in New York contributed to this report. Talmadge is the AP’s Pyongyang bureau chief. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/EricTalmadge and Instagram at erictalmadge.

New York enclave with Nazi roots agrees to change policies

YAPHANK, N.Y. (AP) — An enclave of former summer bungalows, where Nazi sympathizers once proudly marched near streets named for Adolf Hitler and other Third Reich figures, is being forced to end policies that limited ownership to people of German descent. The German American Settlement League, which once welcomed tens of thousands in the 1930s to pro-Nazi marches at Camp Siegfried on eastern Long Island, has settled an anti-discrimination case brought by New York state. The settlement calls for a change in the league’s leadership and adherence to all state and federal housing laws.

In this May 22, 1938 photo provided by the New York City Municipal Archives, a large swastika is surrounded by a white picket fence at Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, N.Y. The enclave of former summer bungalows, where Nazi sympathizers once proudly marched near streets named for Adolf Hitler and other Third Reich figures, is being forced to end policies that limited ownership to people of German descent. (New York City Municipal Archives via AP)

In this May 22, 1938 photo, provided by the New York City Municipal Archives, members of the German American Bund pose for a photo at Camp Siegfried, in Yaphank, N.Y. The enclave of former summer bungalows, where Nazi sympathizers once proudly marched near streets named for Adolf Hitler and other Third Reich figures, is being forced to end policies that limited ownership to people of German descent. (New York City Municipal Archives via AP)

In this May 22, 1938 photo provided by the New York City Municipal Archives the front gate of Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, N.Y. is shown. The New York enclave with a history as a Nazi camp in the 1930s has agreed to change its policies that limited home ownership to people of German descent. (New York City Municipal Archives via AP)

In this May 22,1938 photo provided by the New York City Municipal Archives, a young member of the German American Bund poses for a photo with other members gathered behind him, at Camp Siegfried in Yaphank, N.Y. The New York enclave with a history as a Nazi camp in the 1930s has agreed to change its policies that limited home ownership to people of German descent. (New York City Municipal Archives via AP)

This May 18, 2017 photo shows one of 40 homes in a community run by the German American Settlement League in Yaphank, N.Y. The organization has settled a case with New York’s attorney general, who claimed the GASL was not complying with state and federal fair housing laws because it had restricted ownership of homes to people of German descent. The agreement with the attorney general calls for the ouster of organization leaders and regular reports to the state indicating compliance with all laws. (AP Photo/Frank Eltman).

YAPHANK, N.Y. (AP) — An enclave of former summer bungalows, where Nazi sympathizers once proudly marched near streets named for Adolf Hitler and other Third Reich figures, is being forced to end policies that limited ownership to people of German descent.

The German American Settlement League, which once welcomed tens of thousands in the 1930s to pro-Nazi marches at Camp Siegfried on eastern Long Island, has settled an anti-discrimination case brought by New York state. The settlement calls for a change in the league’s leadership and adherence to all state and federal housing laws.

Many residents in the tiny community of about 40 homes that is a small part of the rural hamlet of Yaphank declined to speak on the record, but those who did disputed their community is tainted by discrimination.

“There’s a mixed bag; it’s not like it was,” said Fred Stern, a member of the league’s board and a 40-year resident, who conceded the community was once primarily occupied by those of German descent. “It’s not like whatever they’re saying. If you went to every house and asked people’s nationality, it wouldn’t be any different than any other neighborhood.”

Kaitlyn Webber told a television interviewer that her “family’s always been very open. We’ve never had any issues with anyone discriminating against anyone up here.”

The homes, which stretch down a narrow street called Private Road and surround a large grassy ballfield along Schiller Court, are a combination of small bungalows and larger suburban-type ranches. Lawns are carefully landscaped and mailboxes — many with German surnames — sit street-side in the curbless enclave.

News accounts recall a groundswell of Nazism in the enclave in the years before the start of World War II. Camp Siegfried, where the homes stand today, was sponsored by the German-American Bund to promote Hitler, although many at the time also voraciously expressed loyalty to the United States.

Trains from New York City’s Penn Station were often jammed with people who traveled 60 miles (96 kilometers) east to Yaphank. A New York Times story from August 1938 reported 40,000 people had attended the annual German Day festivities at Camp Siegfried.

Swastikas were commonplace, including on some of the homes in the enclave at the time, said Geri Solomon, archivist at Hofstra University. “Some of the photos I have seen are kind of amazing,” Solomon said.

New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman said a 2016 settlement of a federal lawsuit brought by two former residents, who claimed The German American Settlement League policies hindered their attempts to sell their homes, called for an end to discriminatory practices. That settlement paid the former residents, who eventually did sell and moved out of state, $175,000.

Despite that agreement, Schneiderman found the league “continued to make new membership and property re-sale within the GASL community unreasonably difficult.”

The league owns the land on which the homes are situated and leases the property to homeowners, Schneiderman said. State investigators found that the league prohibited public advertisement of properties for sale. Members seeking to sell their homes could only announce a listing in person at member meetings or through internal flyers and meeting minutes circulated to the existing membership.

Stern, the league’s board member, conceded that much of the real estate turnover through the years had taken place by word of mouth. There was no need to advertise a sale, he said, because “everybody knew when a house would become available.” He blamed the complaints by the couple who brought the federal lawsuit on sour grapes, contending they had asked too much money for their home and that was the reason it didn’t initially sell.

Stern said homes in the community range in price from about $95,000 for a small bungalow to $300,000 or more.

An attorney for the couple involved in the 2016 settlement declined to comment on the attorney general’s announcement.

Schneiderman’s settlement with the league calls for the immediate replacement of the organization’s leadership, and requires it to regularly report compliance.

An attorney representing the league did not return emails seeking comment.

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Online: New York City Department of Records http://www.nyc.gov/html/records/html/home/home.shtml

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Associated Press investigative researcher Randy Herschaft contributed to this report.

ZeniMax sues Samsung over Gear VR tech

Suit says Oculus’ Mobile SDK used stolen trade secrets, copyrighted code.

Much of the complaint reiterates arguments ZeniMax made in its initial lawsuit against Oculus: that Oculus founder Palmer Luckey would not have been able to develop his VR technology without proprietary information and help that id’s John Carmack gave “in violation of his employment agreement” and an NDA, that Carmack intentionally destroyed evidence to “cover his tracks,” and that code that ended up in the Oculus software was originally developed at ZeniMax.

But the new lawsuit extends the allegations to say that Carmack’s proprietary information was also key to letting Oculus “secretly develop a mobile software development kit (“Mobile SDK”) and related software for the Samsung Gear VR.” According to ZeniMax, this Mobile SDK uses ZeniMax’s trade secrets and copyrighted code, and it was continually developed despite a “cease-and-desist” letter sent during the original Oculus trial.

Among the new allegations in the suit, ZeniMax says it has “security tapes” showing that Carmack let former id employee Matt Hooper into the company’s offices “unattended, free to examine ZeniMax confidential materials.” The night that Hooper visited, the suit alleges, he e-mailed contacts at Oculus to say he and Carmack had “formulated an ‘attack plan’ for the mobile VR work that they would undertake at Oculus.”

ZeniMax seems to come into this new case at something of an advantage, since a court has already found that Oculus and its executives violated an NDA in using information from Carmack before hiring him. That said, the court rejected the more sweeping claim that Carmack stole “trade secrets” from ZeniMax, destroyed evidence, or directly used copyrighted code developed at the company. And it’s unclear whether Samsung would be directly liable for using Oculus technology it accepted in good faith.

ZeniMax continues its legal fight with Oculus on other fronts as well. In February, the company filed an injunction attempting to halt the sale of Oculus system software (and, by extension, the hardware itself). Carmack, meanwhile, has filed his own $22.5 million lawsuit against ZeniMax for alleged breach of contract regarding payments from the id Software buyout.

War der WannaCry-Angriff das Werk von Amateuren?

Die WannaCry-Attacke gibt Sicherheitsexperten Rätsel auf: Die Erpressersoftware hat desaströse Schäden angerichtet, enthält aber auch viele amateurhafte Fehler.

Die Ransomware-Attacke auf Computersysteme in aller Welt vom Wochenende ist eines der folgenreichsten Digital-Desaster der Internetära. Doch was zunächst wie ein Geniestreich begnadeter Hacker wirkte, sieht in den Augen von Sicherheitsexperten immer mehr nach schlampiger Amateurarbeit aus. Denn die Kriminellen hinter WannaCry machten an praktisch jeder Ecke vermeidbare Fehler.

Während die Ransomware-Attacke mit dem Spitznamen WannaCry (oder auch Wcrypt) noch im Gange ist, staunt die internationale Gemeinde der Internet-Sicherheitsexperten vor allem über zahlreiche Patzer der Malware-Entwickler. Zwar gelang es den Hackern, mehr als 200.000 Computersysteme in 150 Ländern zu infizieren, indem sie eine Sicherheitslücke in Windows XP ausnutzten. Dabei handelt es sich um eine Schwäche des Microsoft-Betriebssystems, die der US-Nachrichtendienst NSA zwar kannte, aber lange unter Verschluss gehalten hatte, um sie als geheime Hintertür nutzen zu können.

Die Schadsoftware, die Lösegeld erpressen soll, legte unter anderem britische Krankenhäuser lahm, infizierte Geldautomaten und führte bei der Deutschen Bahn zum Blackout der Fahrplananzeigen. Doch nun sagen Analysten, eine Reihe von Entwicklerfehlern habe das Ausmaß des Angriffs und die mögliche Beute stark eingeschränkt.

Zu den Schwachpunkten gehören: ein eingebauter Stopp-Schalter für die Attacke, den ein Malware-Experte schnell fand und damit Schlimmeres verhindern konnte; eine ungeschickte Abwicklung der Lösegeldzahlung mithilfe von Bitcoin, die es Fachleuten leicht macht, zu verfolgen, wohin die Beute wandert; und schließlich sogar die Implementierung der Erpresserfunktion in der Software selbst. Die Ransomware sei so schlampig programmiert, sagen Experten, dass ihre Entwickler nicht erkennen können, welche Opfer für die Freischaltung ihrer Informationen bezahlt haben und welche nicht.

Wenn Profi-Kriminelle sich ein Beispiel nehmen und das Prinzip perfektionieren, könnte der Schaden deutlich größer ausfallen

Dass ein Angriff, der offenbar so dilettantisch geplant war, dennoch so weitreichende Folgen haben konnte, zeigt allerdings: Wenn Profi-Kriminelle sich an WannaCry ein Beispiel nehmen und das Prinzip perfektionieren, könnte der Schaden deutlich größer ausfallen.

Bisher haben die WannaCry-Hacker den Gegenwert von etwa 60.000 Euro erbeutet – einen Bruchteil der Millionen-Gewinne, die professionell angelegte Ransomware-Attacken sonst erzielen. „Schaut man nur auf die Lösegeldzahlungen, haben wir es hier mit einem katastrophalen Flop zu tun“, urteilt Craig Williams, ein Cybersecurity-Experte aus Ciscos Talos-Team. „Der Schaden ist hoch, die Aufmerksamkeit der Öffentlichkeit noch höher, Polizei und Justizbehörden sind in Alarmbereitschaft – und zugleich ist die Gewinnspanne so gering, wie wir es wohl noch nie bei einer moderaten oder selbst einer kleinen Ransomware-Attacke erlebt haben.“

Der magere Ertrag sei zumindest teilweise auf grundlegende Schwächen in der Lösegeld-Funktion zurückzuführen, sagt Matthew Hickey vom Hacker House in London, einem Anbieter von Sicherheitsdienstleistungen. Als Hickey übers Wochenende die Erpresser-Software untersuchte, stellte er fest, dass dem Code eine entscheidende Funktion fehlt: WannaCry prüft nicht automatisch, ob ein Opfer das Lösegeld von 300 Dollar gezahlt hat, indem jeder Zahlung – die in Bitcoin erfolgt – eine eigene, eindeutig identifizierbare Bitcoin-Adresse zugewiesen wird. Stattdessen verlassen sich die Hacker auf vier Bitcoin-Adressen, die fest in den Code der Software eingebaut sind. 

Die Folge: Statt Zahlungen automatisch verifizieren zu können, müssen die Angreifer jeden Fall einzeln prüfen. Das ginge vielleicht bei einer überschaubaren Zahl von Erpressungsopfern – doch bei Hunderttausenden wird es unmöglich. „Am Ende läuft es auf Handarbeit hinaus“, erklärt Hickey. „Jemand muss die Zahlung quittieren und den Schlüsselcode verschicken“, der die Computersysteme wieder zugänglich mache.

Diese Methode, warnt der Experte, führe unweigerlich dazu, dass die Kriminellen nicht dazu kommen, sich um alle Betroffenen zu kümmern – selbst wenn die Opfer das Lösegeld zahlen. „Sie sind nicht darauf vorbereitet, mit den Konsequenzen eines Ausbruchs dieser Größe fertig zu werden“, sagt Hickey.
Die vier statischen Bitcoin-Adressen erschweren nicht nur den Hackern das Abkassieren – sie erlauben es auch Sicherheitsexperten und Justizbehörden, die Kriminellen leichter aufzuspüren, sobald jemand von ihnen versuchen sollte, die Bitcoin-Beute einzulösen. Denn alle Transaktionen in der Kryptowährung sind öffentlich sichtbar – dank der sogenannten Blockchain.

„Man könnte meinen, hier seien Genies am Werk gewesen. Schließlich haben die Programmierer eine von der NSA geschaffene Sicherheitslücke in einen Computervirus verwandelt“, erklärt Rob Graham, Analyst beim Dienstleister Errata Security. „Darin besteht aber schon die einzige echte Leistung dieser Typen – in jeder anderen Hinsicht sind sie Nullen. Dass sie statische Bitcoin-Adressen verwenden, statt jedem Opfer dynamisch eine eigene zuzuweisen, zeigt schon, wie beschränkt diese Leute in ihrem Denken sind.“

Cisco-Analysten sagen, sie hätten ein Bezahlknopf-Funktion im Code der Ransomware gefunden, obwohl das Programm gar nicht prüfe, ob tatsächlich jemand Lösegeld für die Daten gezahlt habe. Stattdessen, erklärt Williams, verschicke die Software zufällig gewählt eine von drei Fehlermeldungen oder eine gefälschte Entschlüsselungs-Nachricht.

Sollten die Hacker tatsächlich ihren Opfern helfen, Daten zurückzubekommen, so passiere das auf manuellem Wege, glaubt Williams – nämlich über direkte Kommunikation, wenn jemand auf den „Kontaktieren“-Knopf klickt, oder indem die Täter wahllos Codes zum Entschlüsseln an eine Handvoll Opfer schicken, um den Eindruck zu erwecken, dass die Lösegeldzahlungen tatsächlich etwas bringen. Dieses Zufallsprinzip gebe den Opfern wenig Anreize, sich auf die Erpressung einzulassen, argumentiert Williams. Schließlich könnten Betroffene sich nicht darauf verlassen, ihre Daten zurück zu bekommen: „Es untergräbt das Vertrauen, auf dem das Ransomware-Modell basiert.“

Natürlich stimmt es, dass WannaCry sich schneller und weiter ausgebreitet hat als jede andere Erpresser-Software je zuvor. Dass die Hacker sich einer Windows-Sicherheitslücke namens EternalBlue bedienten, die auf die NSA zurückgeht, führte zu einer Malware-Epidemie von von bisher ungekanntem Ausmaß.

Doch selbst wenn man nur darauf schaut, wie WannaCry darauf programmiert wurde, Computersysteme zu infizieren, zeigen sich enorme Patzer der Entwickler. Unerklärlich etwa, dass sie beschlossen, einen Stopp-Schalter (Englisch: „kill switch“) einzubauen, der es erlaubte, die Software über eine bestimmte Internetadresse zu deaktivieren – was prompt geschah.

Sicherheitsexperten spekulieren, diese Funktion habe verhindern sollen, dass die Entwickler bei Probeläufen, die innerhalb einer virtuellen Softwareumgebung stattfanden, auffliegen konnten. Doch schon am Freitag, kurz nach Beginn der Attacke, entdeckte ein privater Sicherheitsforscher, der sich MalwareTech nennt, die Schwäche und registrierte die Internet-Domain, die den Stopp-Schalter auslöste und eine weitere Ausbreitung von WannaCry verhinderte.

Zwar tauchte übers Wochenende sofort eine neue Version der Schadsoftware auf, die eine andere Internet-Adresse für den Stopp-Schalter benutzte. Aber auch diese war schnell gefunden: Der Sicherheitsexperte Matt Suiche aus Dubai registrierte die Domain, sobald die neue Version auftauchte, und verhinderte damit, dass sich die abgewandelte WannaCry-Version weiter verbreiten konnte. Unerklärlich ist für Suiche, dass die Hacker nicht auf die Idee kamen, die Internet-Domain für den Stopp-Schalter dynamisch abzufragen, statt sie fest in den Code der Malware einzubauen. „Mir ist nicht klar, warum es diesen kill switch weiterhin gibt“, sagt Suiche. Denselben Fehler gleich zweimal zu machen ergebe keinen Sinn – besonders bei einem Fehler, der WannaCry neutralisiert. „Es wirkt wie ein Fehler in der Logik.“

Das Missverhältnis zwischen Schaden und Erlös ist so groß, dass Experten andere Motive als Geldgier vermuten

Zusammengenommen haben all diese Schwächen den Ertrag der Erpresser stark beschränkt. Cisco-Experte Williams weist darauf hin, dass eine weit weniger beachtete Ransomware-Attacke namens Angler den kriminellen Entwicklern geschätzte 60 Millionen Dollar im Jahr einbrachte – ehe es 2015 gelang, die Software unschädlich zu machen.

Bei WannaCry dagegen ist das Missverhältnis zwischen Schaden und Erlös so groß, dass einige Sicherheitsexperten andere Motive als Geldgier vermuten. Statt Millionen zu kassieren, so spekulieren sie, könnte es den Entwicklern vielmehr darum gegangen sein, die NSA zu blamieren – und womöglich stecke dieselbe Hacker-Bande namens Shadow Brokers hinter der Attacke, der es ursprünglich gelungen war, die Instrumente der NSA aufzudecken. „Ich bin fest davon überzeugt“, sagt Matthew Hickey vom Londoner Hacker House, „dass jemand hinter dieser Sache steckt, dem es in erster Linie darum ging, so viel Schaden wie möglich anzurichten.“

Jenseits aller Spekulationen dürfte die wichtigste Lehre aus diesem Angriff sein: Der Schaden hätte bei professioneller Umsetzung deutlich größer ausfallen können – und die Verlockung für Kriminelle, Erpressersoftware auf die vernetzte Welt loszulassen, wird in Zukunft nur noch steigen. „Ohne Frage sehen wir hier die nächste Stufe in der Entwicklung von Malware“, sagt der Cisco-Sicherheitsforscher Williams. „Es wird Nachahmer geben.“ Und die können aus den Fehlern der WannaCry-Entwickler vieles lernen – um dann erfolgreich abzukassieren.

Big Ten conference, high schools discuss conflicts with Friday night games

Administrators from a number of high school associations in the Midwest – including MHSAA executive director John E. “Jack” Roberts – met for two hours Monday with the 12 Big Ten athletic directors,

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Head coach Mark Dantonio leads the Spartans onto the field before the first half of play against Furman in the Spartan’s opening game of the 2016 season on Friday.(Photo: Dave Wasinger, Dave Wasinger/Lansing State Journal)Buy Photo

ROSEMONT, Ill. – When the Big Ten announced in November that it would play six games on Friday nights in 2017, it caused a ripple of backlash from high schools across the Midwest.

It also did not sit well with some of the league’s 14 members.

Northwestern athletic director Jim Phillips, whose school had two games scheduled for Fridays, managed to convince the conference last month to move them both to Saturday. One of them was the Wildcats’ home game against Michigan State, which was shifted to Saturday, Oct. 28.

“I think part of this has to be the local politics, if you will,” Phillips said Monday at Big Ten headquarters. “What does it feel like in Evanston versus what does it feel like in Lincoln or feels like in Iowa City or Columbus, Ohio. And the more we can allow those schools to locally have influence over what we do on Friday nights, the better off we’ll be.”

Administrators from a number of high school associations in the Midwest met for two hours Monday with the 12 Big Ten athletic directors, who are having their annual meetings at conference headquarters. Phillips said it was vital for the college representatives to hear the high school perspective on the impending Friday night move.

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The Big Ten’s new television agreements with ABC/ESPN and Fox stipulates the conference will play six Friday games per year over the next six seasons. MSU’s only Friday game in 2017 as part of that pact was the since-moved game against Northwestern.

The Spartans are scheduled to host Bowling Green on Saturday, Sept. 2 at Spartan Stadium, which was initially planned for the following week. MSU has opened iots season with a Friday night game over Labor Day weekend for the past six seasons, five of them at home.

MSU athletic director Mark Hollis said moving the opener against Bowling Green requires Big Ten approval to move it to a Friday. Those MSU games, however, have not presented a conflict because Michigan high schools mostly play their games on the Thursday before Labor Day.

Hollis said Monday that the Spartans would only agree to play home games either on the Friday of Labor Day weekend or the day after Thanksgiving. He said playing any other Friday at home “would not be ideal for us.”

“The networks are still going through that process,” Hollis said. “I’m uncertain if our Labor Day (game) is going to be Friday, but it’s obviously been what I would call a very good tradition and would like to see it continue. Just waiting to hear word on that one.”

Northwestern’s road game at Maryland also was moved to Saturday and now will be played Oct. 14. Illinois’ game at South Florida on Sept. 15 and Iowa’s conference game at Nebraska on Nov. 24 got bumped to Fridays with the Wildcats’ moves.

The other Friday games are Washington at Rutgers, and Utah State at Wisconsin on Sept. 1; Ohio at Purdue on Sept. 8; and Nebraska at Illinois on Sept. 29.

Illinois athletic director Josh Whitman likes the idea of his Illini playing two Friday night games this season.

“Obviously you play at whatever time on a Saturday afternoon, you’re competing with dozens of other games,” Whitman said. “A chance to be on a national platform, I think, is great for our program.”

Hollis said he understands that viewpoint.

“If you remember when we were building our men’s basketball program, it was ‘Anyone, anywhere, anyplace, any time.’ It was to get that exposure,” he said. “We have so many more teams in the Big Ten that trying to find those windows that allow you to get that exposure for the whole league is important. I’m not surprised, because you always want to be on TV, you want to create those windows.

“You understand the challenges with high school but I also think if you have that communication early on it gives the ability to create some pretty special times in those communities and high schools can adapt.”

Ohio State athletic director Gene Smith said he supported the idea of Friday night football “100%.”

“We have to be creative for our league,” Smith said. “Any time you have change of that nature, of that magnitude, there’s going to be some challenges. You just gotta fight through them.”

Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh said on WXYT-FM (97.1) the same day that “I’m for traditional Saturdays. Friday is for high school games.” U-M athletic director Warde Manual was available Monday.

Penn State quickly voiced its disapproval for the Big Ten’s decision, issuing a statement that it would only consider hosting a Friday game the day after Thanksgiving. Leaders at Wisconsin and Iowa both also expressed the same two stipulations as MSU.

Phillips cited a number of factors for why it doesn’t work for Northwestern. He added that Purdue has been working with high schools around West Lafayette to move games to Ross-Ade Stadium on the Saturday after the Boilermakers play the Bobcats in September. That, Phillips said, is one way both groups can make things work cooperatively.

“Friday night football is beautiful,” he said, “and no one wants to disrupt that.”

Contact Chris Solari: csolari@freepress.com. Follow him on Twitter@chrissolari. Download our Spartans Xtra app for free onAppleandAndroiddevices!

 

 

Ian Brady death: ‘Lost chance’ to find Keith Bennett’s body

Alan Bennett, whose brother Keith was murdered by Ian Brady, says he feels no sense of celebration.

The brother of Moors Murders victim Keith Bennett feels he has lost the opportunity to find his remains, the family’s solicitor has said.

Alan Bennett told John Ainley he felt no sense of celebration following the death of Ian Brady on Monday.

Brady, 79, tortured and killed five children with Myra Hindley.

But he never revealed where Keith’s remains were buried, though Keith’s mother Winnie Johnson, who died in 2012, had begged Brady to do so.

Writing on Facebook, Alan Bennett, who runs a website, Searching for Keith, in a continuing attempt to locate his brother’s body, said: “We will carry on doing whatever we can to bring Keith home”.

He said support from well-wishers “means more than I could ever put in to words”.

Brady, who was jailed in 1966, buried four of his victims in graves on Saddleworth Moor, Greater Manchester.

He died at Ashworth Hospital, a secure psychiatric unit in Merseyside where he had been detained since 1985.

A Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust spokesman said Brady had died at 18:03 BST on Monday.

An inquest into his death is due to be opened at Southport Town Hall later.

Brady, who was born in Glasgow but later moved to Manchester, was jailed at Chester Assizes 51 years ago for the murders of John Kilbride, aged 12, Lesley Ann Downey, 10, and Edward Evans, 17.

In 1985 he also admitted to the murders of Pauline Reade, 16, and Keith Bennett, who was 12.

The children had been abducted by Brady and his lover Hindley, who died in prison in 2002, between 1963 and 1965.

Robin Makin, who was Brady’s solicitor for 25 years, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme he was with his client in hospital less than two hours before his death.

“I got a call that he wanted to see me – he was obviously well aware that his death was imminent,” he said.

He described the encounter as “quite a moving sort of situation”, where the pair discussed Brady’s legal affairs and funeral arrangements.

He said the whereabouts of Keith Bennett’s remains did not come up in conversation.

“I would be very surprised if he really had information that was useful,” he said.

“He did go to the Moors a long time ago and I suspect that if there had been information for him that he could have provided, he would have provided it then.”

Describing coverage of the search for Keith’s body as a “frenzy”, he said: “I would very much hope that the remains can be found, but unfortunately I haven’t got any information that’s going to assist.”

Brady and Hindley were caught when her brother-in-law David Smith, who was a petty criminal, phoned the police after seeing Brady abuse and strangle Edward Evans.

The officers caught Brady and Hindley at home, retrieving Edward’s body from the bedroom, along with Brady’s library of volumes on perversion and sadism.

Martin Bottomley, the head of Greater Manchester Police’s cold case unit, said the force would never give up the search for Keith and Brady’s death did “not change that”.

He said: “Our aim, as it always has been, is to find where Keith is buried and give closure to his surviving family members so they can give Keith the proper burial they so desperately want.

“Whilst we are not actively searching Saddleworth Moor, we will act on credible and actionable information that will help lead us to him.”

Ch Insp Ian Hanson, chair of the Greater Manchester branch of the Police Federation, said: “Having grown up in that part of Manchester where Brady and his cohort committed these terrible crimes, I know first-hand the impact this had on decent young families.

“We couldn’t even play in the street unless somebody’s mum could see us from the window.

“He now takes his place in hell and he can rot there and as far as I am concerned.

“Ashworth Hospital can leave him out for the bin men.”

In 2012 Brady’s health advocate, Jackie Powell, was questioned by police after she told a television documentary Brady had given her a sealed envelope to pass to Mrs Johnson in the event of Brady’s death.

The letter was never found.

John Kilbride’s brother, Terry, told the Sun newspaper: “It’s been years and years of anguish and pain for us and the families of the victims.

“He’s dead but we will have to still live with the nightmare that he left behind.”

Speaking about the case of victim Lesley Ann Downey, former police officer Norman Brennan told of the “grief and torment” he had seen on the faces of her mother and father.

Police found photographs of the naked 10-year-old, along with tape recordings of her final moments pleading for her life as she was brutally abused.

Mr Brennan told BBC Two’s Newsnight: “To know that your daughter was lost, alone and murdered and then actually her death was recorded, the grief can never ever be etched from your mind.

“Those two individuals, Myra Hindley and Ian Brady, they didn’t just destroy five young children’s lives.

“The… false hopes that they gave the families for over 50 years destroyed all of the families as well, even to this day.”

Brady had been on successive hunger strikes since 1999, arguing he should be allowed to die, but had been force-fed because he was considered mentally ill.

He campaigned for several years to be moved from Ashworth to a Scottish prison where he would not be force-fed and would be allowed to die if he wished.

The Mersey Care Trust was unable to confirm the cause of Brady’s death, but said he had been given oxygen for a while.

Brady was not found dead in his room, its spokesman said, but he was unable to confirm if anyone was with him when he died, adding: “Quite possibly. I don’t know.”

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

Jeremy Corbyn pledges more free childcare, billions for the NHS and to scrap tuition fees.

10 Things to Know for Today

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. AP ANALYSIS: TRUMP INTEL SHARING COULD RATTLE ALLIES

Reports that the U.S. president revealed sensitive intelligence to Russian officials comes just a few days before his debut on the international stage.

2. WHO MAY HAVE MORE LINKS IN MALWARE ATTACK

President Donald Trump waves as he leaves after speaking at the 36th Annual National Peace Officers’ memorial service, Monday, May 15. 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

CORRECTS FROM HUTCHIS TO HUTCHINS -British IT expert Marcus Hutchins who has been branded a hero for slowing down the WannaCry global cyber attack, sits in front of his workstation during an interview in Ilfracombe, England, Monday, May 15, 2017. Hutchins thwarted the virus that took computer files hostage around the world, including the British National Health computer network, telling The Associated Press he doesn’t consider himself a hero but fights malware because “it’s the right thing to do.’’ (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)

This photo shows the book “Thirteen Reasons Why” in a photo illustration Monday, May 15, 2017, in Phoenix. As a Colorado community mourns the loss of seven students who killed themselves, a top school district official ordered librarians to temporarily stop circulating a book that’s the basis for Netflix’s popular new series “13 Reasons Why,” which some critics say romanticizes suicide. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Your daily look at late-breaking news, upcoming events and the stories that will be talked about today:

1. AP ANALYSIS: TRUMP INTEL SHARING COULD RATTLE ALLIES

Reports that the U.S. president revealed sensitive intelligence to Russian officials comes just a few days before his debut on the international stage.

2. WHO MAY HAVE MORE LINKS IN MALWARE ATTACK

A South Korean cybersecurity expert says the way hackers took computers hostage during the global “ransomware” attack is similar to previous cyberattacks attributed to North Korea.

3. ERDOGAN COMING TO WHITE HOUSE

Trump and Turkey’s president are expected to address the Syrian civil war, the refugee crisis and the fight against the Islamic State group.

4. CHINESE ENAMORED WITH ‘GOLDEN VISAS’

More than 100,000 Chinese have poured at least $24 billion in the last decade into programs across the world that offer residence in exchange for investment, an AP analysis finds.

5. SUPREME COURT ORDER UNLIKELY TO DETER VOTING RESTRICTIONS

The high court’s refusal to breathe new life into North Carolina’s voter identification law might be just a temporary victory for civil rights groups.

6. FEDS: BULLYING PERSISTS, SEX CRIME UP IN SCHOOLS

One in every 5 middle and high school students complained of being bullied at school and the number of reports of sexual assault on college campuses more than tripled over the past decade.

7. NEO-NAZI WEBSITE COURTS NEW READERS … IN SPANISH

The Daily Stormer launches El Daily Stormer as a “news portal” tailoring its racist, anti-Semitic content for readers in Spain and Latin America.

8. SUICIDE BOOK ‘THIRTEEN REASONS WHY’ PULLED

A top school district in Colorado orders librarians to temporarily stop circulating a book that’s the basis for Netflix’s popular new series “13 Reasons Why,” which some critics say romanticizes suicide.

9. NO LAUGHING MATTER FOR CONAN O’BRIEN

A federal judge is letting an unusual lawsuit proceed on a trio of jokes a San Diego writer claims the comedian stole.

10. WHY THERE’S HOPE FOR SPURS STAR

Kawhi Leonard will miss Game 2 of the Western Conference finals with an ankle sprain, but there is a precedent for players returning from this type of injury.

Cockpit access codes for United Airlines spill online

“The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority,” United says.

First came the viral video of a passenger being forcefully removed from a United flight in April. Then came the out-of-court settlement with that passenger, David Dao.

If a 69-year-old United passenger being manhandled wasn’t bad enough for United, there’s word that the carrier’s security codes enabling access to the cockpit spilled online over the weekend. It wasn’t some nefarious hackers that disclosed the codes. Instead, an airline attendant inadvertently exposed the access codes to the cockpits that were secured in the wake of 9/11.

“The safety of our customers and crew is our top priority and United utilizes a number of measures to keep our flight decks secure beyond door access information,” United said in a statement. “In the interim this protocol ensures our cockpits remain secure.”

The Air Line Pilots Association said the problem has been fixed. CBS said the codes needed to be manually programmed for each plane in United’s fleet, which has some 4,400 departures daily across the globe. All the while, pilots were being told to continue with the practice of visually determining who somebody is before allowing them into the cockpit. Pilots can also override efforts by people trying to enter the cockpit, even if the correct code was entered on a keypad affixed on the outside of the cockpit door.

Airline crew can also ring a bell to alert pilots that somebody wants to enter the cockpit, and a code is required to open the door even from the inside of the cockpit.

United e-mailed employees, saying that “the risk of a breach of the flight deck door is strongly mitigated by carefully following the flight deck security procedures.” The Chicago-based airline also instructed employees that access code information “is sensitive security information and sharing this with anyone not authorized or who does not have a need to know is strictly prohibited.”