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2020 RAN Men’s 15-a-side, Women’s 10s and Men’s Under-19 tourney cancelled

first_imgDUE to the ongoing COVID-19 global pandemic, Rugby Americas North (RAN) announced that its 2020 RAN Men’s 15-a-side competition, along with the Women’s 10s and Men’s Under-19 tournament, which was set to take place July 8-12 in Nassau, Bahamas, have been cancelled.“Rugby Americas North’s Exco has followed World Rugby and the global game of rugby by putting athlete, staff and public welfare first and foremost, by making the decision to cancel our upcoming competitions,” said RAN president Miguel Carner.“While this is obviously difficult news for our member unions and region, we believe it’s in everyone’s best interest,” added Carner.The Senior Men’s 15-a-side tournament was set to get underway in April and doubled as the first regional qualification round for Rugby World Cup 2023. These matches have now been tentatively postponed to 2021, with further details to be confirmed.Currently, the 2020 RAN Sevens competition is still scheduled to take place in November 2020 and will be assessed over the course of the coming months as further developments take place. A venue has not yet been finalised.“As the situation develops over the coming weeks, RAN will be working with Rugby Americas, World Rugby and our Member Unions to monitor the situation and make decisions of when we can proceed with and reschedule events in a safe and efficacious manner,” said Niall Brooks, RAN General Manager.Last week, Rugby Americas announced the cancellation of the upcoming 2020 Under-20 Americas Rugby Championship (ARC) in Montevideo, Uruguay, which included Canada and the USA. Further decisions regarding the Senior and U-20 editions of the Americas Rugby Challenge (ARCh) and ARC will be announced in due course as the ongoing environment is continuously being evaluated.“At this time, RAN would like to reinforce the importance of everyone focussing on social-distancing and all that can be done within North America and the Caribbean to collectively address this constantly-evolving pandemic,” added Brooks.last_img read more

Neil Young’s Anti-MP3 Crusade Gets Real

first_img5 Outdoor Activities for Beating Office Burnout Tags:#music#web john paul titlow 12 Unique Gifts for the Hard-to-Shop-for People… 9 Books That Make Perfect Gifts for Industry Ex…center_img 4 Keys to a Kid-Safe App Related Posts For years, Neil Young has waged a rhetorical war on digital audio formats such as MP3. Lambasting their diminished sonic quality, the rock icon has advocated the development of a new high-resolution format more sonically akin to the analog sources of yesteryear. Now, after years of complaining, Young is turning his gripes in action.During a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman last week, Young showed off a prototype of Pono, a forthcoming portable music player that plays files in a format with the same name. The project has won the attention and praise of many within the music industry, according to a recent article in Rolling Stone. By definition, MP3 files are of lower quality than audio files stored on recording studio hard drives. Storing those original, gigabyte-scale files on a portable player simply isn’t practical, so instead we store data-reduced (a.k.a compressed or lossy) versions. When we stream from places like Spotify, SoundCloud and Rdio, the quality often drops further. Even the highest-quality MP3s contain less data than the same files would on CD, not to mention the theoretically infinite number of bits required to ideally digitize the old-school vinyl that Young so enthusiastically prefers. High-quality MP3s and lossless formats like FLAC and ALAC are an improvement over the 128kbps MP3s fans once grabbed from Napster, but in Young’s eyes, even the best digital formats leave much to be desired. Enter Pono. The high-capacity music player will hold lossless files with a dramatically higher sample rate and bit depth than CDs allow. Instead of 16-bit tracks sampled at 44.1kHz, Pono players will be packed with music encoded in 24 bits and sampled at 192kHz, equal to the DVD-Audio spec.Yet Another Format?The imminent arrival of Pono in the marketplace raises a few questions. For one, do we actually need this? The digital audio quality issue has long been a matter of intense debate among audiophiles and music fans. It’s certainly true that newer formats contain less data than analog sources, but does the average consumer care? Most songs on Spotify, for example, are compressed to a mediocre standard (premium users can unlock higher-quality streams), but services of this variety have managed to attract millions of users. For most of that audience, it appears, listening to music at less-than-CD quality sufficient. But then again, Pono isn’t intended for everybody. It’s geared toward audiophiles and purists. After all, high bit-rate MP3s and similar formats don’t sound terrible to the average person’s ear. It’s just that some of the details are lost or may sound slightly distorted. This raises another issue: Is there enough market demand to support a new music player and format? The industry can hardly get people to cough up $0.99 for a track on iTunes, let alone shell out for a premium-priced music player and super-high-quality files to play on it.That said, there’s a reason vinyl has seen a resurgence in the last few years. Young’s idea may seem counterintuitive given the misfortunes of the music industry over the last decade, but maybe he’s onto something. last_img read more

Hacker Crackdown: Blame AT&T’s Crappy Security, Not Weev

first_imgA Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… adam popescu A day later in a blog post on the Goatse Security site, Auernheimer and company wrote:I want to summarize this explicitly:All data was gathered from a public webserver with no password, accessible by anyone on the Internet. There was no breach, intrusion, or penetration.The dataset was not disclosed until we verified the problem was fixed by the vendor.The only person to receive the dataset was Gawker journalist Ryan Tate who responsibly redacted it.[…]We did this to help you.By its own account, AT&T responded with “swift action” to prevent additional intrusions: Within hours, AT&T disabled the mechanism that automatically populated the email address. Now, the authentication page log-in screen requires the user to enter both their email address and their password.Problem solved, right? Wrong. A week later Auernheimer was arrested after the FBI raided his house. He was then charged with major computer crimes under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the same legal club prosecutors have used to go after Aaron Swartz and, last week, Reuters social editor Matthew Keys.(See also: Reuters Social Editor Indicted Over Anonymous Hack; Internet’s Jaw Drops)During the trial, AT&T admitted the server was publicly accessible, yet claimed Auernheimer’s access was unauthorized. Under the CFAA, unauthorized access is a crime. But the statute’s ambiguity on that score has opened the door for egregious prosecutorial overreach in this and other cases.On Nov. 20, 2012, a jury found Auernheimer guilty of one count each of identity theft and conspiracy to violate the CFAA. Today, Auernheimer was sentenced.Fair Or Fanning The Flames?Supporters of Auernheimer say what he did was not a crime. Maybe it wasn’t smart to expose a major vulnerability at AT&T and then rub the company’s nose, but stupidity shouldn’t be a federal offense. Friends and colleagues point out that the point of hacking is to gain something from it — and in this case, there was no money involved and nothing else to gain but besides a measure of celebrity.Australian journalist and hacktivist Asher Wolf wrote a poignant piece today arguing that’s it’s insane to publicly tar and feather someone who spurred a company to fix a problem, even if he didn’t choose the most orthodox means of doing it:Putting Weev behind bars is pointless and tragic. Jailing the most outspoken men and women amongst our generation won’t stop the leaks, the hacks, the news revelations, the whistleblowers — and most of all it won’t stop the rage of the malcontent, dispossessed youth from eventually tumbling down upon the heads of the bureaucrats who sold us out and then tried to lock us up when we complained.Bees To HoneyAT&T’s vulnerability was basically low hanging fruit — just too easy a target for hackers to ignore. But the question of whether AT&T was asking for it is more complicated.Sure, poor security is asking for trouble. But playing with fire will get you burned no matter how righteous and ethical you claim to be. “Our conduct doesn’t happen in a vacuum,” hacker Adrian Lamo — the guy who allegedly dropped a dime on Bradley Manning — wrote on Twitter today. “I don’t think 3+ years is warranted for Weev, but in totality of circumstances, it’s understandable.”Still, this is significant time for essentially not hurting anyone, as the British journalist Laurie Penny pointed out. By comparison, the Steubenville rapists were sentenced to just one year in juvenile jail.This isn’t over. Auernheimer is appealing his conviction. And either another example will be made to hackers everywhere, or the sentence will be reduced.At the end of the day, Weev and co. were nicer to AT&T than, say, hacker HD Moore — who published unpatched iPhone flaws and exposed another big bug in Apple’s WiFi — was to Apple. But that doesn’t seem to matter much in the boardrooms and courtrooms of America. In their view, all hackers are criminals.Even many mainstream journalists think all hacking is a crime. Last night on 60 Minutes, for instance, Lara Logan basically accused Jack Dorsey’s early work of bordering on just that. And even with the best of intentions, hackers’ attempts to route around the system will likely never gain the benefit of the doubt with the public.Instead, they’ll just keep earning jail sentences, at least unless and until the courts — or Congress, though don’t hold your breath — push back against prosecutorial overreach. And that, at least, will give them plenty of time to repent at leisure.Lead image via Flickr user shane_curcuru, CC 2.0; image of Andrew Auernheimer via Wikimedia Commons Related Posts Tags:#data#hacking#privacy#security Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting Another hacker bites the dust. This morning, Andrew Auernheimer — aka “Weev” — got handed a sentence of 41 months in prison, 3 years of supervised release and a $36,500 fine. All for basically exposing a major security hole at AT&T and publicly shaming the company that hadn’t ever bothered to fix it.Back in 2010, Auernheimer and his partner Daniel Spitler, part of a team calling itself Goatse Security, hacked into a public server owned by AT&T. That server housed hundreds of thousands of email addresses of customers who owned 3G iPads. Through trial and error and some ingenuity, group members discovered they could randomly guess iPad identification numbers and then use them to extract matching email addresses from that server.AT&T’s Security Loophole, ExposedThis security loophole on AT&T’s site returned email addresses associated with ICC IDs, the unique serial numbers used to track and link SIM cards on mobile devices with specific subscribers. A PHP script that automated the process ended up harvesting a whopping 114,000 email addresses. Auernheimer then sent news of the group’s work as an exclusive to Gawker.(See also: U.S. Announces 120,000 iPad Users Had Their Data Stolen) 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Marketlast_img read more