Hackers gain access to 880K credit cards from Orbitz customers

Another day, another breach. Today, online travel agency Orbitz disclosed that hackers managed to get both credit card data and personal information (though no Social Security numbers and passwords) from users who made their travel purchases on the site between January 1, 2016 and December 22, 2017. In total, the company says, that’s about 880,000 payment cards that were accessed from what the company calls a “legacy Orbitz platform.” The hackers also likely accessed other data, like names, physical or mailing addresses, birth dates, email addresses, phone numbers and the customer’s gender while they were in the systems between October and December 2017. It’s unclear whether the hackers also downloaded this data. In a statement, though, Orbitz told us that it has found no “direct evidence that this personal information was actually taken from the platform.” Orbitz, which has been part of the Expedia empire of travel sites
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The new Dragon Ball game is powered by Google’s cloud

Bandai Namco Entertainment announced the latest entrant in its series of Dragon Ball games this week. Dragon Ball Legends is a player versus player (PvP) mobile game that has players from all over the world battle with each other in real time by using their move cards. From all I’ve seen, it looks like a pretty fun game, though I know nothing about Dragon Ball and I have an unreasonable disinterest in card-based games. What made me perk up, though, was when I heard that Bandai Namco opted to use Google’s Cloud Network to host all the infrastructure for the game and that one of the main components of this system is Cloud Spanner, Google’s globally distributed database. To make a real-time game work at all is hard enough, but Bandai Namco wanted players from all over the world to be able to play against each other. There’s a
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Windows Server 2019 is now available in preview

Microsoft today announced the next version of Windows Server, which launches later this year under the not completely unexpected moniker of “Windows Server 2019.” Developers and operations teams that want to get access to the bits can now get the first preview build through Microsoft’s Insider Program. This next version comes with plenty of new features, but it’s also worth noting that this is the next release in the Long-Term Servicing Channel for Windows Server, which means that customers will get five years of mainstream support and can get an extra five years of extended support. Users also can opt for a semi-annual channel that features — surprise — two releases per year for those teams that want to get faster access to new features. Microsoft recommends the long-term option for infrastructure scenarios like running SQL Server or SharePoint. So what’s new in Windows Server 2019? Given Microsoft’s focus
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IBM brings its Power9 servers with Nvidia GPUs to its cloud

IBM is hosing its annual THINK conference to packed halls in Las Vegas this week. Given how important its cloud business has become to its bottom line, it’s no surprise that this event features its fair share of cloud news. Among today’s announcements it the launch of the third generation of Power Systems servers in the IBM Cloud. This comes a day after Google also confirmed that it is using these processors in its data centers, too. These servers are designed around the recently launched Power9 RISC processor (which are themselves the latest generation of the PowerPC processors Apple once used) and Nvidia Tesla V100 GPUs. Thanks to their use of the high-speed NVLink interface, these machines are especially powerful when it comes to training machine learning models. In addition, IBM is also bringing its PowerAI distribution to the cloud. PowerAI is essentially IBM’s deep learning platform that supports frameworks
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IBM launches deep learning as a service inside its Watson Studio

IBM’s Watson Studio is the company’s service for building machine learning workflows and training models, is getting a new addition today with the launch of Deep Learning as a Service (DLaaS). The general idea here, which is similar to that of competing services, is to enabled a wider range of businesses to make user of recent advances in machine learning by lowering the barrier of entry. With these new tools, developers can develop their models with the same open source frameworks they are likely already using (think TensorFlow, Caffe, PyTorch, Keras etc.). Indeed, IBM’s new service essentially offers these tools as cloud-native services and developers can use a standard Rest API to train their models with the resources they want — or within the budget they have. For this service, which offers both a command-line interface, Python library or interactive user interface, that means developers get the option to
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Google Play Instant lets you try games without having to install them

Last year, Google launched Instant Apps, a way for developers to give users a native app experience that didn’t involve having to install anything. Users would simply click on a link on the search results page and the instant app would load. Today, the company is extending this program to games. Thanks to this, you can now see what playing a level or two of Clash Royale, Final Fantasy XV: A New Empire or Panda Pop is like without having to go through the usual install procedure. Instead, you simply head for the Google Play store, find a game that supports this feature, and hit the “Try now” button. Google Play product managers Jonathan Karmel and Benjamin Frenkel told me that the team learned a lot from the experience with building Instant Apps. For games, though, the team decided to increase the maximum file size from 2 MB
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Repl.it lets you program in your browser

No matter whether you are a seasoned programmer or you simply want to take your first steps in writing code, Repl.it wants to help you get from idea to result as fast as possible — without complicated installs and setup procedures getting in your way. The Y Combinator-funded project, which released version 1.0 of its service this week, gives you an easy to use programming environment in the browser, which slowly reveals its complexity as you write your code. The acronym REPL stands for read-eval-print loop and basically provides a programmer with an interactive programming environment. Unsurprisingly, that’s exactly what Repl.it gives you, too, and with 200,000 weekly active developers on the platform already, there is clearly a demand for this service. Repl.it already supports virtually every programming language you can think of, no matter whether that’s JavaScript, Python, PHP or QBasic, as well as popular
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