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The Morning After: Thursday December 22, 2016

Good morning! If you need some last-minute gift ideas, don’t worry — we’ve got your back.

Issues in the news include Uber ending its self-driving car tests in San Francisco, a Nokia vs. Apple patent battle and an early look at Sling TV’s AirTV player.

It’s pretty bad when the DMV has the moral high groundUber shuts down its self-driving cars in San Francisco

After a week or so of posturing, the battle between California regulators and Uber has come to an end. The ride-sharing company pulled 16 self-driving cars off the road after the DMV revoked their registrations, insisting that Uber needs to obtain an autonomous permit for testing. According to the state, getting the permit (as 20 other companies already have, including Google, Tesla and Ford) could take less than 72 hours.

FuturecraftWhat it’s like to wear a pair of 3D-printed Adidas

The Adidas 3D Runner is pretty difficult to get, but just in case you could acquire them, how would they feel? Edgar Alvarez tried on a pair and found that their 3D-printed midsoles made for a shoe that was not only comfortable but also extremely light. Unfortunately, the heaviest hit could come to a hypebeast’s pocketbook — pairs from the limited release are selling online for as much as $6,500.

Drip-drip go the leaksSling TV is developing its own hardware for cord cutters

It looks like Sling TV’s next step is to build its own Android-powered player, according to a website leak revealed by Dave Zatz. The AirTV Player looks ready to blend local broadcasts and Sling’s live TV streams with internet services like Netflix, but we’ll probably have to wait until the start of CES to find out more.

This time Apple is playing defenseNokia sues Apple for patent infringement

The latest battle over IP is here, as Nokia filed lawsuits against Apple in Germany and the US. The suits cover 32 patents, while Nokia claims Apple declined to expand a licensing agreement the two reached in 2011. Based on recent history, were not expecting for this to wrap up anytime soon, but stay tuned.

Is there anything real on the internet?A Russian bot army “watches” video ads on fake sites 300 million times a day

According to the security firm WhiteOps, it uncovered a botnet built to trick ad networks. Called Methbot, the scheme tricked advertisers into playing videos on fake websites, where they were watched by fake viewers, and then paid for with real money.

From the creators of “Second Life”Sansar is intended as a WordPress for social VR

Linden Lab’s new project is called Sansar, and it’s a toolkit for creators to easily build and share virtual worlds. Interactivity is “fairly limited” at the moment, but its creators expect to improve that over time. Their experience comes from operating “Second Life” for many years, and Sansar has a similar focus on social, with support for hundreds of avatars at a time.

Snapchat survived budget cutsNASA missions were a social media hit in 2016

A combination of interesting missions and effective campaigns kept our attention on what was happening in space this year. Leaning in to pop culture references and dialing back the jargon also helped NASA’s team of social media specialists, as the group manages more than 500 accounts. Everyone wants to crush the ‘gram, but only NASA can do it from the furthest reaches of our Solar System.

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Ms. A. C. Kennedy
My name is Ms A C Kennedy and I am a Health practitioner and Consultant by day and a serial blogger by night. I luv family, life and learning new things. I especially luv learning how to improve my business. I also luv helping and sharing my information with others. Don't forget to ask me anything!

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Windows 10 included password manager with huge security hole

There's a good reason why security analysts get nervous about bundled third-party software: it can introduce vulnerabilities that the companies can't control. And Microsoft, unfortunately, has learned that the hard way. Google researcher Tavis Ormandy discovered that a Windows 10 image came bundled with a third-party password manager, Keeper, which came with a glaring browser plugin flaw -- a malicious website could steal passwords. Ormandy's copy was an MSDN image meant for developers, but Reddit users noted that they received the vulnerable copy of Keeper after clean reinstalls of regular copies and even a brand new laptop.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Ars Technica that the Keeper team had patched the exploit (in response to Ormandy's private disclosure), so it shouldn't be an issue if your software is up to date. Also, you were only exposed if you enabled the plugin.

However, the very existence of the hole has still raised a concern: are Microsoft's security tests as thorough for third-party apps as its own software? The company has declined to comment, but that kind of screening may prove crucial if Microsoft is going to maintain the trust of Windows users. It doesn't matter how secure Microsoft's code is if a bundled app undermines everything.

Source: Monorail, Tavis Ormandy (Twitter)