The British actor David (‘Dave’) Prowse is dead. He died on Saturday 28. November after a short illness, his agent Thomas Bowington said, according to BBC. Prowse was most notably known for his portrayal of the character of Darth Vader in the original movie trilogy "Star Wars" world famous.

"May the force always be with him"

According to the BBC report, his agent said in the spirit of the Jedi Order from the Star Wars films: "May the Force always be with him!" ("May the force be with him, always!"). Born in Bristol, Prowse was not only an actor, but also a bodybuilder and weightlifter, and worked as a fitness trainer. In this function he prepared for example the Superman actor Christopher Reeve for his strenuous role.

Not least because of his impressive physical appearance (body size 1.98 m), he was eventually cast in the role of the Bosewight and Sith Lord Darth Vader. Darth Vader is in the famous film series on the dark side of the force and is the opponent of the hero Luke Skywalker. In the fight scenes of Darth Vader Prowse was replaced by fencer Bob Anderson.

Github to use opentelemetry for telemetry data management

GitHub has announced that it will be using the open source project OpenTelemetry to manage telemetry data. Up to now, statsd – a syslog format for plain text logs – and OpenTracing for request traces have been used for metrics.

Apparently, each component did its job well, but interoperability was a challenge, according to the announcement on GitHub. For example, different parts of the GitHub infrastructure used different statsd dialects, which had resulted in the telemetry code having to be tagged with special characters in various places. Different components can have different "Vocabulary" use for similar observability concepts, making it harder to find.

Unity with Open Telemetry

GitHub seems to have found a way to standardize the use of telemetry data with OpenTelemetry, an open source project that provides a uniform and vendor-independent signal. The Open Telemetry Protocol (OTLP) also allows telemetry signals to be interconnected.

Facebook launches information center on us presidential election

Facebook wants to play a more active role in the U.S. presidential election in November. All U.S. users will be prominently displayed an area with official information about the election process and regulations. The area will be similar to the one currently used for information on the corona virus.

The goal, according to a Facebook blog post, is to help four million people register to vote – twice as many as in the past two presidential elections. Facebook also gives users the option to keep election ads and political messages distributed as ads completely out of their news feeds.

At the same time, the online network closes an often-criticized loophole in the distinction of election ads. The advertisements are in principle provided with a link, under which one can get information about who has paid for them. Until now, however, this reference disappeared when a user shared the post in his profile. This meant that it was no longer obvious that the original was a paid post. Now the notice will remain even when sharing.

Report: discord rejects microsoft's takeover offer

Discord has ended takeover talks with Microsoft and rejected the offer, reports the Wall Street Journal. The Messenger service wants to go public instead. The conversations had been recorded about a month ago. Microsoft reportedly offered more than $10 billion for Discord.

Microsoft was not the only interested party. According to the Wall Street Journal, at least three other companies were interested in talks to take over Discord. Previously, Discord had made a bid for the company, according to Bloomberg’s Discord had also been in talks with Amazon and Epic Games. Although talks with Microsoft over the 10 billion offer have ended for now, a return to the negotiating table is not ruled out.

Discord has grown significantly recently

Discord doubled its monthly user numbers to around 140 million last year, especially as life increasingly moves online in pandemic times. In 2020, Discord generated $130 million in revenue, nearly three times as much as in 2019. However, the messenger service still does not operate profitably.

Focus on business customers: netgate announces firewall distribution pfsense plus

In future, Netgate will market the commercial version of the pfSense firewall distribution under the name pfSense Plus. In addition to the rebranding of pfSense Factory Edition to pfSense Plus, the company is shifting its development priorities more in the direction of business customer offerings. Netgate plans the first release of pfSense Plus with version number 21.02 in February 2021. pfSense Plus will initially be available only on Netgate devices or virtualized via cloud providers AWS and Azure. Support for third-party devices and selected virtual machines will be added in June 2021 at the latest.

The first release will be similar to the pfSense Community Edition, in the future the closed pfSense Plus will deviate from the open code base. Netgate declares that it will continue to sponsor the community project and provide resources. A free pfSense Plus option for home users is also promised.

Exclusive features for pfSense Plus customers

The planned pfSense Plus 21.02 is based on pfSense Community Edition 2.5, but has exclusive features like hardware accelerated IPsec via Intel QuickAssist (QAT) or EIP-97. In a FAQ, Netgate gives an overview of planned features, including a new dashboard, support for 802.11ac.

Radio interference: regulator pulls 'water vitalizer' out of circulation'wasservitalisierer' aus dem verkehr‚Äč

The German Federal Network Agency has prohibited the sale and use of a so-called "Water vitalizer" of the Swiss Wassermatrix AG forbidden. The device causes radio interference in the amateur radio band, the regulatory authority announced on Friday. According to the report, radio amateurs and other market surveillance authorities have repeatedly reported interference in the past year.

According to the manufacturer, the water vitalizer is supposed to energize the water by means of a hand probe, thereby strengthening the body’s self-healing powers. When the device is used, the water is "hexagonal" structured. "Healthy, hexagonal water is the basis of health and well-being", heibt on the website of the manufacturer, the "Basic Theory" of Nikola Tesla and Georges Lakhovsky. The water vitalizer is a further development of Lakhovsky’s "multi-wave oscillator".

"A lot of money for one device"

According to the Federal Network Agency, the thing is not cheap: "The device costs around 8000 euros and has been bought more than 2400 times by consumers in Germany", announced the authority. Those affected were allowed to keep the device, but no longer use it in Germany. "Our test and measurement service ensures that frequencies can be used without interference", explained Wilhelm Eschweiler, Vice President of the Federal Network Agency. "At the same time, the sales ban protects consumers from spending a lot of money on a device they are not allowed to use."

Our earth has probably at least partly by pure coincidence so long life made possible that we humans could develop sometime. This is the result of an extensive simulation of 100.000 randomly generated planets, which Earth system scientist Toby Tyrrell of the University of Southampton used to find out how unusual Earth’s fate could be.

It is almost certainly due to chance that our home planets have not suffered the same fate as Venus or Mars, for example, he concludes. This could also complicate the successful search for extraterrestrial life on a second Earth.

Gluck or logically?

As Tyrrell now explains in the journal Communications Earth Environment of Nature magazine, it is a mystery how the Earth has remained habitable for three to four billion years, making life possible. It seems more likely that at some point it became hostile to life – as seems to have happened with Mars. For example, the luminosity of the sun had increased by 30 percent during this time, which must have extinguished all life. In addition the climate is hair-barely balanced. Until now, science had amed that stabilizing mechanisms alone were responsible for maintaining favorable conditions.

Ipad: special rights for zoom app

Apple usually guards private APIs, whose use by external developers is not officially approved, heavily: For example, the company is said to have special tools in its App Store review, which inform the reviewer exactly about such occurrences. However, it seems that Apple also makes exceptions here. The company apparently also gives special rights to particularly popular apps from time to time.

Practical private API

This has now come to light in the course of a code investigation carried out by developer Jeremy Provost. The beneficiary of Apple’s special treatment is said to be the video chat provider Zoom. It is about the split view of the iPad, which is used for multitasking. Since Zoom gets access to a private iPad camera API, the tool can also access the camera when the iPad is in said multi-window mode. So the user can also access other apps while zooming, for example for notes. Something like this is otherwise only possible with Apple’s own FaceTime service.

The feature is implemented via so-called Entitlements. Developers have to apply for this from Apple for certain critical functions "" – such as access to the HomeKit network or iCloud. This is an open process. But besides these "public entitlements" there are also private. They are known for example from Apple’s CarPlay vehicle integration. But there is currently no process for the function used by Zoom. "com.apple.developer.avfoundation.multitasking-camera-access" is therefore reserved for selected developers – in this case apparently only Zoom alone. The video conferencing service confirmed to Provost that they had received approval from Apple.

Exchange leak: almost 40.000 german companies play russian roulette

A dangerous gap against which patches have been available since February and which is already being used for attacks – and yet, in Germany alone, around 40,000 systems are still vulnerable.000 systems are still vulnerable. Not just any systems. It is about Exchange servers. These are the communication centers of companies, through which almost everything is handled: E-mail, calendars, contacts. Nevertheless, many administrators apparently do not care about their security.

As the BSI has now also warned, there are around 40,000.000 Exchange servers in Germany that are vulnerable to the CVE-2020-0688 vulnerability. It makes it possible to completely take over the system via the network. More than half of all administrators of Exchange servers with a web interface directly accessible from the Internet thus rely on the Saint Florian principle ("Spare my house, feed the others!").

Since yesterday, Tuesday, the BSI therefore informs. In addition, the security agency’s IT threat assessment on "3" set. Meaning: "The IT threat is business critical. Massive disruption to regular operations"

Emissions fraud: bgh demands own test case for porsche se investors

The role of Volkswagen’s umbrella company Porsche SE in the emissions fraud will now be highlighted in a separate test case in Stuttgart after all. This is what shareholders demanding compensation from the holding company have achieved at the Federal Court of Justice (BGH), as the BGH announced in Karlsruhe.

Decision of the OLG revised

The Stuttgart Higher Regional Court had rejected its own case last year. The judges there were of the opinion that the claims basically revolved around the same facts as those in the lawsuit already underway against Volkswagen AG and Porsche SE in Brunswick. Thus, for the time being, there should not be a separate test case only against Porsche SE, it hailed at the time.

Karlsruhe judges saw it differently. They overturned the decision of their Stuttgart colleagues and instructed them to now designate a so-called model plaintiff for their own proceedings under the Capital Investor Model Proceedings Act (KapMuG) (Az. II ZB 10. It is significant that the Braunschweig proceedings concern public capital market information of Volkswagen AG, whereas the Stuttgart proceedings concern information of Porsche SE. "The fact that events at Volkswagen AG are at least indirectly relevant in both proceedings is not decisive," they emphasized.