If your Android phone is on this list, Google says it could be hacked

Google has announced details of a new plan to ensure that Android smartphone manufacturers keep their devices updated – naming and shaming. Yes, a favourite technique of primary school teachers worldwide, the Californian technology firm has confirmed plans to hunt for dangerous bugs in the tweaked versions of Android that ship on devices from manufacturers like Samsung, Huawei and OnePlus.

Google security researchers already scour the version of Android developed by Google, which is available on its own Pixel-branded line of smartphones, as well as any handsets enrolled in the Android One scheme, like Nokia and HTC. However, Samsung, OnePlus and other third-parties will adapt this version of Android for their own devices – adding support for new features, like the folding screen on the Samsung Galaxy Z Fold2, or new designs, like the unique software design of the Sony Xperia range, for example.

Of course, these vast multi-national companies already have security teams of their own hunting for potentially harmful bugs or vulnerabilities in their software that could endanger smartphone owners from malware, phishing or adware. But sometimes, things get missed.

Starting now, Google plans to vet these versions of Android too, sharing anything negative they find publicly – to keep smartphone owners informed about the device in their pocket and spurring manufacturers into action to fix the issues as quickly as possible.

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Given the amount of trust we place in our smartphone, saving credit and debit card information, phone numbers, banking apps, private and work emails, calendars with our every appointment, fitness and health data… the list goes on, it’s nice to see that Google will be checking all versions of Android in the near future through the so-called Android Partner Vulnerability Initiative, or APVI

NASA imagery reveals Tropical Storm Chan-hom’s skewed structure

NASA imagery reveals Tropical Storm Chan-hom's skewed structure
On Oct. 5, 2020, NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Tropical Storm Chan-hom several hundred miles northwest of Guam (lower right). Credit: NASA Worldview, Earth Observing System Data and Information System (EOSDIS).

NASA’s Terra satellite obtained visible imagery of Tropical Storm Chan-hom as it continued moving though the Northwestern Pacific Ocean. The imagery revealed that the center of circulation was exposed and its strongest storms were south of the center.


Tropical Depression 16W formed on Oct. 4 and strengthened into a tropical storm on Oct 5. Once it reached tropical storm strength, it was re-named Chan-hom. Laos submitted the name Chan-hom to the World Meteorological Organization list. The name is a type of tree in Laos.

NASA satellite view: Chan-hom’s organization

The Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite captured a visible image of Tropical Storm Chan-hom on Oct. 5 that showed a couple of things were occurring in the storm. First, bands of thunderstorms were wrapping into a partially exposed low-level circulation center. Second, there was building convection and thunderstorms occurring over the southern quadrant of the storm, giving it an appearance of a backwards letter “C” on satellite imagery. The storm is expected to strengthen over the next three days and when it does, it will likely develop a more circular shape.

The satellite imagery was created using NASA’s Worldview product at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Md.

Chan-hom’s status on Oct. 5

At 11 a.m. EDT (1500 UTC) on Oct. 5, Chan-hom was centered near latitude 23.0 degrees north and longitude 139.2 degrees east. That is about 738 miles south of Yokosuka, Japan. Chan-hom is moving north and has maximum sustained winds of 35 knots (40 mph/64 kph).

Chan-hom’s forecast

The Joint Typhoon Warning Center noted, “Chan-hom

Faraday Future plans to go public through a SPAC deal

Faraday Future, the electric vehicle startup with a messy and complicated past, is planning to go public through a special-purchase acquisition company (SPAC) deal.

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The company’s chief executive Carsten Breitfeld told Reuters that the company is working on a reverse merger with a SPAC and “will be able to announce something hopefully quite soon.”

Breitfeld, formerly the co-founder of Chinese EV startup Byton, declined to give more information about who Faraday is talking to or when the deal will closed. A Faraday Future spokesperson contacted by TechCrunch also said the company had no further details to share at this time.

SPACs are blank-check companies that are formed to raise money through an initial public offering in order to merge or acquire other companies. As TechCrunch’s Connie Loizos wrote in an explainer, they’ve become more popular among tech companies recently because many had their initial public offering plans delayed by the pandemic. SPACs also present an alternative to the regulatory issues surrounding traditional IPOs.

Shortly after being appointed CEO in September 2019, Breitfeld told Automotive News that Faraday Future wanted to raise about $850 million by the first quarter of 2020. By that time, company had already received $225 million in bridge financing led by Birch Lake Associates. The funding’s purpose is to finally bring Faraday’s flagship vehicle, the FF91 luxury electric SUV, to market.

Though the SPAC deal’s timeline is still undisclosed, Breitfeld told Reuters that Faraday Future plans to start volume production of the FF91, its first electric luxury SUV, 12 months after securing funding. This would represent a major milestone for the company, which was founded in 2015 but hasn’t produced a production vehicle yet. Faraday Future has made several prototypes, including one that went up for auction in August.

If the deal is successful, Breitfeld

Findings come from new analysis of large epidemiological dataset — ScienceDaily

Children appear to be at greater risk of having high blood pressure when their mothers had the high blood pressure condition called preeclampsia during pregnancy — but this adverse association may be reduced or even eliminated for children who were exposed to higher levels of vitamin D in the womb, according to a study from researchers at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.

The findings, based on an analysis of data on 754 mother-child pairs in Massachusetts, suggest that higher vitamin D levels in pregnancy may help protect children born to preeclamptic women from developing high blood pressure. High blood pressure in childhood is associated in turn with hypertension and heart disease in adulthood.

The study was published online October 5 in JAMA Network Open.

“There is increasing evidence that cardiovascular disease risk is, to a great extent, programmed in the womb, and we now see that it may be vitamin D that alters this programming in a beneficial fashion,” says study senior author Noel Mueller, PhD, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology at the Bloomberg School.

Preeclampsia, which can lead to strokes and/or organ failure, is a major cause of illness and death for pregnant women, and also is associated with a greater risk of stillbirth and preterm birth. Researchers have estimated that preeclampsia occurs in 2-8 percent of pregnancies worldwide. It is associated with maternal obesity, and the rate of severe preeclampsia in the U.S. has risen sharply since the 1980s.

At the same time, the rate of high blood pressure among children in the U.S. has risen by about 40 percent between 1988 and 2008. Studies have suggested that maternal preeclampsia may be a factor in that increase.

Studies also have linked maternal vitamin D deficiency to a higher risk of preeclampsia, and

SAP pledges to spend more on social, diverse businesses



FILE PHOTO: SAP logo at SAP headquarters in Walldorf


© Reuters/Ralph Orlowski
FILE PHOTO: SAP logo at SAP headquarters in Walldorf


BERLIN (Reuters) – SAP will try to allocate 5% of its procurement spending to social enterprises and diverse businesses by 2025 to encourage greater social and environmental responsibility.

The German software group, which has 440,000 clients, appealed on Tuesday to other companies to join it in supporting small businesses owned and run by women or minorities.

SAP’s procurement initiative follows its launch in June of a product to help firms track greenhouse gas emissions in supply chains, backing a view that being transparent about their carbon footprint will be good for business.

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The new initiative relates to so-called addressable spend, the share of a company’s procurement budget that can be allocated to social or diverse enterprises, which in SAP’s case equated to up to $60 million a year.

“We all need soap in our washrooms, landscaping for our offices, food and drink in our cafeterias, marketing services and office supplies. These and many more are all products and services provided by social enterprises and diverse businesses,” SAP board member Adaire Fox-Martin said.

“This is money we are spending anyway. Why not spend it with suppliers who are delivering social impact as well?”

(Reporting by Douglas Busvine; Editing by Alexander Smith)

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