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      OpenAI drops login requirements for ChatGPT’s free version

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 April - 22:31 · 1 minute

    A glowing OpenAI logo on a blue background.

    Enlarge (credit: Benj Edwards)

    On Monday, OpenAI announced that visitors to the ChatGPT website in some regions can now use the AI assistant without signing in. Previously, the company required that users create an account to use it, even with the free version of ChatGPT that is currently powered by the GPT-3.5 AI language model. But as we have noted in the past , GPT-3.5 is widely known to provide more inaccurate information compared to GPT-4 Turbo , available in paid versions of ChatGPT.

    Since its launch in November 2022, ChatGPT has transformed over time from a tech demo to a comprehensive AI assistant, and it's always had a free version available. The cost is free because " you're the product ," as the old saying goes. Using ChatGPT helps OpenAI gather data that will help the company train future AI models, although free users and ChatGPT Plus subscription members can both opt out of allowing the data they input into ChatGPT to be used for AI training. (OpenAI says it never trains on inputs from ChatGPT Team and Enterprise members at all).

    Opening ChatGPT to everyone could provide a frictionless on-ramp for people who might use it as a substitute for Google Search or potentially gain new customers by providing an easy way for people to use ChatGPT quickly, then offering an upsell to paid versions of the service.

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      Redis’ license change and forking are a mess that everybody can feel bad about

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 April - 17:47

    AWS data centers built right next to suburban cul-de-sac housing

    Enlarge / An Amazon Web Services (AWS) data center under construction in Stone Ridge, Virginia, in March 2024. Amazon will spend more than $150 billion on data centers in the next 15 years. (credit: Getty Images)

    Redis , a tremendously popular tool for storing data in-memory rather than in a database, recently switched its licensing from an open source BSD license to both a Source Available License and a Server Side Public License (SSPL).

    The software project and company supporting it were fairly clear in why they did this. Redis CEO Rowan Trollope wrote on March 20 that while Redis and volunteers sponsored the bulk of the project's code development, "the majority of Redis’ commercial sales are channeled through the largest cloud service providers, who commoditize Redis’ investments and its open source community." Clarifying a bit, "cloud service providers hosting Redis offerings will no longer be permitted to use the source code of Redis free of charge."

    Clarifying even further: Amazon Web Services (and lesser cloud giants), you cannot continue reselling Redis as a service as part of your $90 billion business without some kind of licensed contribution back.

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      Bowing to pressure, Microsoft unbundles Teams from Microsoft 365 worldwide

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 April - 14:38

    Teams is being decoupled from the other Office apps worldwide, six months after Microsoft did the same thing for the EU.

    Enlarge / Teams is being decoupled from the other Office apps worldwide, six months after Microsoft did the same thing for the EU. (credit: Microsoft/Andrew Cunningham)

    Months after unbundling the apps in the European Union, Microsoft is taking the Office and Teams breakup worldwide. Reuters reports that Microsoft will begin selling Teams and the other Microsoft 365 apps to new commercial customers as separate products with separate price tags beginning today.

    This is a win for other team communication apps like Slack and videoconferencing apps like Zoom, both of which predate Teams but haven't had the benefits of the Office apps' huge established user base.

    The separation follows an EU regulatory investigation that started in July of 2023 , almost exactly three years after Slack initially filed a complaint alleging that Microsoft was "abusing its market dominance to extinguish competition in breach of European Union competition law."

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      What we know about the xz Utils backdoor that almost infected the world

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Monday, 1 April - 06:55

    Malware Detected Warning Screen with abstract binary code 3d digital concept

    Enlarge / Malware Detected Warning Screen with abstract binary code 3d digital concept (credit: Getty Images)

    On Friday, researchers revealed the discovery of a backdoor that was intentionally planted in xz Utils, an open-source data compression utility available on almost all installations of Linux and other Unix-like operating systems. The person or people behind this project likely spent years on it. They were likely very close to seeing the backdoor update merged into Debian and Red Hat, the two biggest distributions of Linux when an eagle-eyed software developer spotted something fishy.

    "This might be the best executed supply chain attack we've seen described in the open, and it's a nightmare scenario: malicious, competent, authorized upstream in a widely used library," software and cryptography engineer Filippo Valsorda said of the effort, which came frightfully close to succeeding.

    Researchers have spent the weekend gathering clues. Here's what we know so far.

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      PyPI halted new users and projects while it fended off supply-chain attack

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 28 March - 18:50

    Supply-chain attacks, like the latest PyPI discovery, insert malicious code into seemingly functional software packages used by developers. They're becoming increasingly common.

    Enlarge / Supply-chain attacks, like the latest PyPI discovery, insert malicious code into seemingly functional software packages used by developers. They're becoming increasingly common. (credit: Getty Images)

    PyPI, a vital repository for open source developers, temporarily halted new project creation and new user registration following an onslaught of package uploads that executed malicious code on any device that installed them. Ten hours later, it lifted the suspension.

    Short for the Python Package Index, PyPI is the go-to source for apps and code libraries written in the Python programming language. Fortune 500 corporations and independent developers alike rely on the repository to obtain the latest versions of code needed to make their projects run. At a little after 7 pm PT on Wednesday, the site started displaying a banner message informing visitors that the site was temporarily suspending new project creation and new user registration. The message didn’t explain why or provide an estimate of when the suspension would be lifted.

    About 10 hours later, PyPI restored new project creation and new user registration. Once again, the site provided no reason for the 10-hour halt.

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      Ubuntu will manually review Snap Store after crypto wallet scams

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 28 March - 18:23 · 1 minute

    Man holding a piggy bank at his desk, with the piggy wired up with strange circuits and hardware

    Enlarge / One thing you can say about this crypto wallet: You can't confuse it for any other. (credit: Getty Images)

    The Snap Store, where containerized Snap apps are distributed for Ubuntu's Linux distribution, has been attacked for months by fake crypto wallet uploads that seek to steal users' currencies. As a result, engineers at Ubuntu's parent firm are now manually reviewing apps uploaded to the store before they are available.

    The move follows weeks of reporting by Alan Pope, a former Canonical/Ubuntu staffer on the Snapcraft team, who is still very active in the ecosystem. In February, Pope blogged about how one bitcoin investor lost nine bitcoins (about $490,000 at the time) by using an "Exodus Wallet" app from the Snap store. Exodus is a known cryptocurrency wallet, but this wallet was not from that entity. As detailed by one user wondering what happened on the Snapcraft forums , the wallet immediately transferred his entire balance to an unknown address after a 12-word recovery phrase was entered (which Exodus tells you on support pages never to do).

    Pope takes pains to note that cryptocurrency is inherently fraught with loss risk. Still, Ubuntu's App Center, which presents the Snap Store for desktop users, tagged the "Exodus" app as "Safe," and the web version of the Snap Store describes Snaps as "safe to run." While Ubuntu is describing apps as "Safe" in the sense of being an auto-updating container with runtime confinement (or "sandboxed"), a green checkmark with "Safe" next to it could be misread, especially by a newcomer to Ubuntu, Snaps, and Linux generally.

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      Proxmox gives VMware ESXi users a place to go after Broadcom kills free version

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Thursday, 28 March - 17:15

    Proxmox gives VMware ESXi users a place to go after Broadcom kills free version

    Enlarge (credit: Proxmox )

    Broadcom has made sweeping changes to VMware's business since acquiring the company in November 2023, killing off the perpetually licensed versions of VMware's software and instituting large-scale layoffs . Broadcom executives have acknowledged the " unease " that all of these changes have created among VMware's customers and partners but so far haven't been interested in backtracking.

    Among the casualties of the acquisition is the free version of VMware's vSphere Hypervisor, also known as ESXi. ESXi is "bare-metal hypervisor" software, meaning that it allows users to run multiple operating systems on a single piece of hardware while still allowing those operating systems direct access to disks, GPUs, and other system resources.

    One alternative to ESXi for home users and small organizations is Proxmox Virtual Environment , a Debian-based Linux operating system that provides broadly similar functionality and has the benefit of still being an actively developed product. To help jilted ESXi users, the Proxmox team has just added a new " integrated import wizard " to Proxmox that supports importing of ESXi VMs, easing the pain of migrating between platforms.

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      Thousands of servers hacked in ongoing attack targeting Ray AI framework

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 27 March - 22:40

    Thousands of servers hacked in ongoing attack targeting Ray AI framework

    Enlarge (credit: Getty Images)

    Thousands of servers storing AI workloads and network credentials have been hacked in an ongoing attack campaign targeting a reported vulnerability in Ray, a computing framework used by OpenAI, Uber, and Amazon.

    The attacks, which have been active for at least seven months, have led to the tampering of AI models. They have also resulted in the compromise of network credentials, allowing access to internal networks and databases and tokens for accessing accounts on platforms including OpenAI, Hugging Face, Stripe, and Azure. Besides corrupting models and stealing credentials, attackers behind the campaign have installed cryptocurrency miners on compromised infrastructure, which typically provides massive amounts of computing power. Attackers have also installed reverse shells, which are text-based interfaces for remotely controlling servers.

    Hitting the jackpot

    “When attackers get their hands on a Ray production cluster, it is a jackpot,” researchers from Oligo, the security firm that spotted the attacks, wrote in a post . “Valuable company data plus remote code execution makes it easy to monetize attacks—all while remaining in the shadows, totally undetected (and, with static security tools, undetectable).”

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      Canva’s Affinity acquisition is a subscription-based weapon against Adobe

      news.movim.eu / ArsTechnica · Wednesday, 27 March - 19:27

    Affinity's photo editor.

    Enlarge / Affinity's photo editor. (credit: Canva )

    Online graphic design platform provider Canva announced its acquisition of Affinity on Tuesday. The purchase adds tools for creative professionals to the Australian startup's repertoire, presenting competition for today's digital design stronghold, Adobe.

    The companies didn't provide specifics about the deal, but Cliff Obrecht, Canva's co-founder and COO, told Bloomberg that it consists of cash and stock and is worth "several hundred million pounds."

    Canva, which debuted in 2013, has made numerous acquisitions to date, including Flourish, Kaleido, and Pixabay, but its purchase of Affinity is its biggest yet—by both price and headcount (90). Affinity CEO Ashley Hewson said via a YouTube video that Canva approached Affinity about a potential deal two months ago.

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