Technical (News/Activism)

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  • "Blockstack" Startup Seeks to Build "Second Internet" That Can’t Be Censored

    09/30/2016 7:53:32 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 73 replies
    Breibart.com ^ | September 30, 2016 | Breitbart Tech
    From Brady Dale writing at Observer.com: A lot of weird stuff has been happening to data inside the internet’s walled gardens. It has been getting shut down by the people who own the sites we all depend on. There’s a protest going on at Facebook over the issue right now. One Turkish journalist is saying that his account has been blocked inside the country, at his government’s request; Palestinian journalists have a similar problem. YouTubers believe that their videos have been getting unfairly de-monetized by mindless robots. A Union Square Ventures and Y Combinator backed startup called Blockstack, just barely...
  • Meet the New Authoritarian Masters of the Internet

    09/29/2016 10:55:54 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 22 replies
    Breibart.com ^ | September 29, 2016 | John Hayward
    President Barack Obama’s drive to hand off control of Internet domains to a foreign multi-national operation will give some very unpleasant regimes equal say over the future of online speech and commerce. In fact, they are likely to have much more influence than America, because they will collectively push hard for a more tightly controlled Internet, and they are known for aggressively using political and economic pressure to get what they want.
  • Elon Musk Outlines Plans for Missions to Mars

    09/27/2016 10:25:08 PM PDT · by aquila48 · 20 replies
    Wall Street Journal ^ | Sept 27, 2016 | ANDY PASZTOR
    Entrepreneur Elon Musk unveiled his contrarian vision for sending humans to Mars in roughly the next decade, and ultimately setting up colonies there, relying on bold moves by private enterprise, instead of more-gradual steps previously proposed by Washington. Mr. Musk—who in 14 years transformed his closely held rocket company, Space Exploration Technologies Corp., into a global presence—envisions hosts of giant, reusable rockets standing more than 300 feet tall eventually launching fleets of carbon-fiber spacecraft into orbit. The boosters would return to Earth, blast off again into the heavens with “tanker” spaceships capable of refueling the initial vehicles, and then send...
  • The Democratization of Censorship [Krebs is back]

    09/25/2016 1:58:19 PM PDT · by snarkpup · 13 replies
    Krebs on Security ^ | Sept. 16, 2016 | Brian Krebs
    As many of you know, my site was taken offline for the better part of this week. The outage came in the wake of a historically large distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack which hurled so much junk traffic at Krebsonsecurity.com that my DDoS protection provider Akamai chose to unmoor my site from its protective harbor. ... Today, I am happy to report that the site is back up — this time under Project Shield, a free program run by Google to help protect journalists from online censorship. And make no mistake, DDoS attacks — particularly those the size of the assault...
  • Nike's self-lacing sneakers finally go on sale November 28th

    09/23/2016 9:52:50 PM PDT · by aquila48 · 69 replies
    verge ^ | Sep 21, 2016 | James Vincent
    Nike has finally announced when it will begin selling its self-lacing sneakers inspired by the shoes worn by Michael J. Fox in Back to The Future II. According to a tweet from the company's Heidi Burgett, the HyperAdapt 1.0 will be available for "experience & purchase" starting on the 28th of November, but only in select Nike locations in the US. Pricing is still unknown, but expect a "high price tag," according to a Wired feature on the shoe's development. You can check out the full story from Wired for a more detailed look at how the sneakers were made,...
  • That iPhone 7 Hissing Sound Is Probably Nothing to Worry About

    09/20/2016 9:52:46 AM PDT · by LouieFisk · 23 replies
    nbcnews.com ^ | Sep 19 2016 | Alyssa Newcomb
    Some iPhone 7 and iPhone 7 Plus users have reported their new smartphones have had quite the hissy fit — making a noise that sounds like a snake hissing in the grass.
  • 1,000-mile Nissan Leaf electric-car road trip in the Northeast: are we there yet?

    09/18/2016 10:26:01 PM PDT · by aquila48 · 57 replies
    Green Car Reports ^ | Jul 19, 2016Follow John | John Briggs
    When my son scored a coveted civil engineering summer internship in Silver Spring, Maryland, the chance for an electric-car road trip from our Boston-area home presented itself. Sure, I could have done the sensible thing and taken my trusty 2006 Toyota Prius, but where would be the adventure in that? Instead, I seized the chance to take my 84-mile 2015 Nissan Leaf, throwing myself at the mercy of the scant CHAdeMO fast-charging infrastructure between Boston and Silver Spring, a 1,000-mile round trip. In the process, I learned a lot about the current challenges of long-distance travel with a battery-electric vehicle—and...
  • Kass: Here's Another Reason to Sell Apple: The iPhone 7

    09/08/2016 10:17:07 PM PDT · by aquila48 · 165 replies
    TheStreet.com ^ | Sep 8, 2016 | Doug Kass
    The terms that I would use to Wednesday's iPhone 7 introduction from Apple (AAPL) are "boring," "uninteresting" and "humdrum." Or as The Wall Street Journal put it, the iPhone 7 is Practical, but Not Jaw-Dropping. Indeed, I'm reminded of an old saying: "Risk-taking is inherently failure-prone. Otherwise it would be called 'sure-thing taking.'" But as Peter Drucker also once famously said: "If you want something new, you have to stop doing old." Frankly, it was little surprise to me when Apple revealed, for example, that it had eliminated the headphone jack with the iPhone 7. The company described that move...
  • iPhone 7: Why do we even care?

    09/06/2016 10:18:50 PM PDT · by aquila48 · 72 replies
    ZDNet ^ | September 6, 2016 | David Gewirtz
    A long time ago, in a valley far, far away (Silicon Valley), I was a young product manager giving a sales briefing on new software products. A salesman raised his hand and asked, "Why do we need more software? I mean, seriously. Don't we have enough already?" He had a point. Even though Facebook, Google, and even Photoshop were still at least a decade in the future, the world was awash in working solutions that were getting the job done. Wasn't enough enough? It's with that question in mind that I have to ask why those of us with iPhone...
  • VISA to Test Blockchain Payments among Banks; a SWIFT Rival?

    09/01/2016 8:51:37 AM PDT · by amorphous · 1 replies
    Cryptocoin News ^ | 1 Sept 2016 | Samburaj Das
    VISA and blockchain-technology partner BTL will invite a select group of European banks to participate in a blockchain project that will see inter-bank payments made via transfers over the ledger. Hot on the heels of the likes of R3, Visa will experiment its own blockchain-based payments platform with a select group of banks who will send money over a blockchain. The proof-of-concept project will use Interbit, a cross-border blockchain remittance and settlement platform developed by industry startup BTL. Launched earlier this year, the Interbit platform is seen by Visa as the solution to “reduce cost, settlement time, credit risk, and...
  • Regarding "Global Warming", we have a relevant book. "Darwin's Ghost" by Steve Jones

    08/30/2016 1:31:50 PM PDT · by OldNavyVet · 7 replies
    "Darwin's Ghost" | 1999 | Steve Jones
    "The Origin of the Species UPDATED"
  • New [Microsoft] resources to report hate speech, request content reinstatement

    08/29/2016 8:27:24 AM PDT · by HLPhat · 60 replies
    Microsoft ^ | 26 August 2016 | Jacqueline Beauchere - Microsoft Chief Online Safety Officer
    Microsoft is committed to creating safe online communities where our customers can learn, play, grow and interact without the threat of violence or hatred. That’s why for many years we’ve sought to protect our customers by prohibiting hate speech and removing such content from our hosted consumer services. While neither our principles nor our policies are changing, we are refining some of our processes to make it easier for customers to report hate speech. We’re also simplifying requests to reinstate content that customers feel was removed in error. Today we’re announcing a new dedicated web form for reporting hate speech...
  • What Facebook REALLY knows about you: Firm reveals the 98 pieces of data it uses to target ads...

    08/23/2016 7:40:27 AM PDT · by snarkpup · 47 replies
    UK Daily Mail ^ | Updated: 16:50 EST, 22 August 2016 | Stacy Liberatore
    Facebook users are constantly being bombarded with ads, but sometimes one shows up on the screen that is so well-suited, it's as if the site has tapped into your thoughts. ... 'The majority of promoted topics that I see in my Facebook feed are relevant to my interests, and they're worth clicking on more often.' However, others are not sold that Facebook's methods are completely innocent. Peter Eckersley, the chief computer scientist at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, calls them 'the most invasive in the world.' 'Facebook's business model is to amass as much first-party and third-party data on you as...
  • WikiLeaks uploads 300+ pieces of malware among email dumps

    08/19/2016 4:05:25 PM PDT · by snarkpup · 12 replies
    The Register ^ | 19 Aug 2016 at 07:02 | Darren Pauli
    WikiLeaks is hosting 324 confirmed instances of malware among its caches of dumped emails, a top Bulgarian anti-malware veteran says. Random checks of reported malware hashes find the trojans are flagged as malware by Virus Total's static analysis checks. Much of the malware appear to be attachments emailed by black hats in a bid to compromise the various parties affected in the WikiLeaks dumps.
  • Social Security rolls back two-factor mandate

    08/17/2016 5:07:47 AM PDT · by ken in texas · 21 replies
    FCW ^ | Aug 15, 2016 | Adam Mazmanian
    The Social Security Administration is relaxing a recent security directive requiring beneficiaries to use two-factor authentication to log into personal accounts after complaints that the new restrictions hindered user access. ...SSA has not come up with a new two-factor verification method. The agency is strongly recommending that users take advantage of the text-message security option, but beneficiaries are able once again to use a simple username and password to access their accounts....
  • Hackers show how they tricked a Tesla into hitting objects in its path

    08/09/2016 12:49:59 PM PDT · by PapaBear3625 · 27 replies
    Business Insider ^ | Aug 8, 2016 | Paul Szoldra
    LAS VEGAS — A group of researchers presenting at last week's Def Con hacker conference showed how they were able to overwhelm or deceive Tesla's sophisticated sensors to make a car hit an object it would normally detect in its path. "Normally the car will not move. However, when we jam the sensor it moves," Chen Yan said in a talk on Friday while playing a demo video of a Tesla Model S attack. "It hit me," he added, to audience laughter.
  • NIH Plans To Lift Ban On Research Funds For Part-Human, Part-Animal Embryos

    08/04/2016 11:50:00 AM PDT · by amorphous · 23 replies
    NPR ^ | 4 August 2016 | Rob Stein
    The federal government announced plans Thursday to lift a moratorium on funding of certain controversial experiments that use human stem cells to create animal embryos that are partly human. The National Institutes of Health is proposing a new policy to permit scientists to get federal money to make embryos, known as chimeras, under certain carefully monitored conditions. The NIH imposed a moratorium on funding these experiments in September because they could raise ethical concerns. One issue is that scientists might inadvertently create animals that have partly human brains, endowing them with some semblance of human consciousness or human thinking abilities....
  • Social Security Administration Now Requires Two-Factor Authentication

    08/04/2016 8:11:41 AM PDT · by snarkpup · 53 replies
    Krebs on Security ^ | 8/16/2016 | Brian Krebs
    The U.S. Social Security Administration announced last week that it will now require a cell phone number from all Americans who wish to manage their retirement benefits at ssa.gov. Unfortunately, the new security measure does little to prevent identity thieves from fraudulently creating online accounts to siphon benefits from Americans who haven’t yet created accounts for themselves. ... “People will not be able to access their personal my Social Security account if they do not have a cell phone or do not wish to provide the cell phone number,” the agency said. ... Also, as one reader already pointed out...
  • Opera sells open-source Chromium browser for $600m to Chinese bods

    07/19/2016 8:24:53 AM PDT · by snarkpup · 30 replies
    The Register ^ | 18 Jul 2016 at 20:07 | Shaun Nichols
    Opera will sell its web browser technology to Chinese investors for $600m after a larger sale worth $1.2bn fell apart.
  • Paper Retracted After Incorrectly Labeling Conservatives

    06/18/2016 4:53:33 PM PDT · by CriticalJ · 14 replies
    Wonder how many times the original was sited on MSNBC. Conservative political beliefs not linked to psychotic traits, as study claimed Researchers have fixed a number of papers after mistakenly reporting that people who hold conservative political beliefs are more likely to exhibit traits associated with psychoticism, such as authoritarianism and tough-mindedness. As one of the notices specifies, now it appears that liberal political beliefs are linked with psychoticism. That paper also swapped ideologies when reporting on people higher in neuroticism and social desirability (falsely claiming that you have socially desirable qualities); the original paper said those traits are linked...
  • Who Really Died at Auschwitz?

    06/16/2016 5:53:28 PM PDT · by Redwood71 · 72 replies
    The internet ^ | 2004 | Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez
    Here's an interesting viewpoint. The following is a copy of an article written by Spanish writer Sebastian Vilar Rodrigez and published in numerous news locations along with the web It doesn't take much imagination to extrapolate the message to the rest of Europe - and possibly to the rest of the world. I walked down the streets in Barcelona and suddenly discovered a terrible truth - Europe died in Auschwitz We killed six million Jews and replaced them with 20 million Muslims. In Auschwitz we burned a culture, thought, creativity, talent. We destroyed the chosen people, truly chosen, because they...
  • Here are the proposed names for the 4 newest elements on the periodic table

    06/09/2016 2:40:41 AM PDT · by AdmSmith · 65 replies
    Vox ^ | 8JUN2016 | Brian Resnick
    Nihonium, named after Japan (Nippon is a Japanese word for Japan), with an atomic number of 113. Its symbol is Nh. Moscovium (Mc), element 115, named after the Russian capital city. Tennessine (Ts), 117, named after — you guessed it — the state of Tennessee. ("Tennessine is in recognition of the contribution of the Tennessee region, including Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Vanderbilt University, and the University of Tennessee at Knoxville, to superheavy element research," the IUPAC states.) And finally, 118 is oganesson (Og), which bears the name of Russian physicist Yuri Oganessian, who led several elemental discoveries. Nature reports this...
  • FBI Pushes For More Power To Crush Your Privacy

    06/07/2016 7:43:07 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 14 replies
    InfoWorld ^ | 06/03/2016 | Caroline Craig
    The FBI continues its push to greatly expand government surveillance and exempt that spying from constitutional safeguards and privacy rules Like living in a police state much? The FBI is pushing on multiple fronts to greatly expand its surveillance powers and exempt that spying from constitutional safeguards and privacy rules. Many in Congress are only too happy to help. With a treasure trove of digital information tantalizingly within reach, the FBI doesn't want to be slowed down by inconveniences like Fourth Amendment protections.... Comey's campaign against encryption may have stalled, but his push to expand the agency's use of warrantless...
  • Twitter And Facebook Vow To Eliminate "Hate Speech"

    06/01/2016 3:24:27 AM PDT · by Biggirl · 30 replies
    Could it soon be illegal to oppose jihad terror on the Internet? AP reported that “the European Union reached an agreement Tuesday with some of the world’s biggest social media firms, including Facebook and Twitter, on ways to combat the spread of hate speech online.”
  • ACTUAL COLOR FILM OF PEARL HARBOR ATTACK

    05/28/2016 1:07:36 PM PDT · by knarf · 45 replies
    FB ^ | Conservative Post
    Long forgotten, private color film of the actual attack on Pearl Harbor
  • Phone Scam ‘Onslaught’ Has Authorities Scrambling

    05/27/2016 7:17:06 AM PDT · by KeyLargo · 140 replies
    WSJ video ^ | 5/27/2016
    Phone Scam ‘Onslaught’ Has Authorities Scrambling 5/27/2016 Telephone scammers posing as tech support, lottery reps or even government officials are inundating U.S. homes as cheap technology and the rapid rise in Internet access globally makes it easier to set up ..
  • Senate Bill Would Let Fbi Read Your EMails Without A Court Order

    05/26/2016 5:06:55 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 53 replies
    CNet ^ | 05/25/2016 | Shara Tibken
    Better watch what you put in email. The Senate Intelligence Committee on Tuesday approved a bill that would make it easier for the government to read what you're writing online.... The bill is the latest move by the federal government to shore up its powers when it comes to surveilling citizens. The government has been battling Apple and other tech companies for more access to data stored on devices. Law enforcement argues it can't fight crimes unless it has access to information on mobile gadgets. Technology companies and rights groups argue that features like strong encryption, which scrambles data so...
  • What's Driving Silicon Valley To Become "Radicalized

    05/25/2016 8:26:18 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 12 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 05/24/2016 | Elizabeth Dwoskin
    Like many Silicon Valley start-ups, Larry Gadea's company collects heaps of sensitive data from his customers. Recently, he decided to do something with that data trove that was long considered unthinkable: He is getting rid of it. The reason? Gadea fears that one day the FBI might do to him what it did to Apple in their recent legal battle: demand that he give the agency access to his encrypted data. Rather than make what he considers a Faustian bargain, he's building a system that he hopes will avoid the situation entirely. "We have to keep as little [information] as...
  • Pentagon Report And Chinese Nuclear Forces

    05/21/2016 10:03:21 PM PDT · by Sawdring · 2 replies
    Fas.org ^ | May.18, 2016 | Hans M. Kristensen
    The Pentagon’s latest annual report on Chinese military developments mainly deals with non-nuclear issues, but it also contains important new information about developments in China’s nuclear forces. This includes: The size of China’s ICBM force has been relatively stable over the past five years China has deployed a new version of a medium-range ballistic missile A new intermediate-range ballistic missile is not yet deployed China’s SSBN fleet has yet to conduct its first deterrent patrol The possibility of nuclear capability for Chinese bombers Changes (or not) to Chinese nuclear policy ICBM Developments The future development of China’s ICBM force has...
  • FTC expands tech support fraud lawsuit

    05/20/2016 8:04:14 AM PDT · by KeyLargo · 21 replies
    Hartford Business.com ^ | May 18, 2016 | Keith Griffin
    May 19, 2016 FTC expands tech support fraud lawsuit Keith Griffin The Federal Trade Commission has added three new defendants to an ongoing case against a tech support scam with ties to Connecticut. The scheme allegedly bilked consumers out of tens of millions of dollars by pretending to represent Microsoft, Apple, and other major tech companies. Back in November, the Connecticut attorney general's office joined in the FTC action along with the state of Pennsylvania in a request to shut down a tech support scam operating out of Essex and two locations in Pennsylvania that allegedly scammed consumers out of...
  • District Attorney Arguing Against Encryption Handed Out Insecure Keylogging "Monitoring" Software

    05/18/2016 7:12:56 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 17 replies
    Techdirt ^ | 05/18/2016 | Tim Cushing
    Beyond James Comey, there are still a few law enforcement officials beating the anti-encryption drum. Manhattan DA Cyrus Vance is one of those. He's been joined in this fight by some like-minded district attorneys from the other coast, seeing as New York and California both have anti-encryption bills currently working their way through local legislatures. Vance, along with Los Angeles County DA Jackie Lacey and San Diego County DA Bonnie Dumanis, penned an op-ed against encryption for the LA Times. In it, they argue that tech companies have set them up as "gatekeepers" of communications and data, which they believe...
  • Full-Scale Production of Plutonium Spacecraft Fuel Still Years Away

    05/17/2016 6:19:08 PM PDT · by Sawdring · 18 replies
    Space.Com ^ | May 17, 2016 | Mike Wall
    The United States has begun manufacturing nuclear spacecraft fuel for the first time in a generation, but full production of the stuff is still seven years or so away. In December, officials at the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee announced that researchers at the site had generated a 1.8-ounce (50 grams) sample of plutonium-238, the fuel that powers deep-space missions such as NASA's New Horizons Pluto probe and Cassini Saturn orbiter.
  • Stanford Law Fellow Vivek Wadhwa weighs in ... Trump ... on how Apple must make iPhones in the U.S.

    05/17/2016 9:55:44 AM PDT · by SunkenCiv · 20 replies
    CNBC ^ | May 17, 2016 | interview with Vivek Wadhwa
    Stanford Law Fellow Vivek Wadhwa weighs in on Donald Trump's rant on how Apple must make iPhones in the U.S. | Watch CNBC Live TV
  • Congressional Candidate Accidentally Shares Porn Tastes On Facebook

    05/16/2016 3:35:19 PM PDT · by Cyberman · 32 replies
    Daily Caller ^ | 05/16/2016 | Blake Neff
    A Congressional candidate in Virginia’s 8th District has posted a photo on Twitter that incidentally includes a glimpse of his pornography tastes. Mike Webb initially ran as a Republican for the 8th District seat, which covers Arlington and Alexandria and is considered safely Democratic. He lost the nomination, though, and is now running as an independent, though he is, to say the least, unlikely to win. Webb published a post on his campaign page Monday that included a screenshot of his computer desktop. And as it happened, Webb hadn’t bothered to close his pornography tabs when he took his screengrab.......
  • FBI Director Says Legal War On Encryption Far From Over

    05/12/2016 3:20:20 PM PDT · by Cyberman · 19 replies
    Apple Insider ^ | 05/13/2016 | Mikey Campbell
    FBI Director James Comey on Wednesday said the U.S. government will continue to wage legal war with tech companies to gain access to encrypted devices, intimating that such measures are weakening terror organizations like ISIL. At an FBI briefing, Comey said gaining privileged access to passcode locked — or otherwise protected — devices is an important national security concern as encryption is now "essential tradecraft" of terror groups, reports Reuters....
  • The Lawmakers Who Control Your Digital Future Are Clueless About Technology

    05/03/2016 9:32:58 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 13 replies
    Gizmondo ^ | 04/28/2016 | William Turton
    It is becoming increasingly clear that Senators Dianne Feinstein and Richard Burr, co-chairs of the Senate Intelligence Committee, don’t have the slightest clue about how encryption works. Good thing they’re currently pushing disastrous legislation that would force tech companies to decrypt things for law enforcement! Today Feinstein and Burr co-authored an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal entitled “Encryption Without Tears,” and wow, it is bad. They have yet again demonstrated a failure to grasp even the most basic principles of technology.... Feinstein and Burr’s bill is not based in any technical reality. Companies like Apple, Microsoft and Google would...
  • Burr-Feinstein antiencryption bill a firing offense

    04/21/2016 10:51:30 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 14 replies
    The Christian Science Monitor ^ | 04/19/2016 | Sascha Meinrath
    Sens. Richard Burr (R) of North Carolina and Dianne Feinstein (D) of California should be stripped of their positions for introducing a bill that would endanger American digital security and privacy. The Burr-Feinstein antiencryption bill isn't just bad, it's evidence of a dangerous incompetence in congressional leadership that is undermining America’s security. In fact, the draft bill, leaked two weeks ago and now officially released, is compelling evidence that Senate leadership should strip – or at least not reappoint – Senators Burr and Feinstein of their positions on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence.... To say this most recent Burr-Feinstein...
  • Supreme Court affirms Google Books scans of copyrighted works are fair use

    04/18/2016 3:10:27 PM PDT · by dware · 52 replies
    TechCrunch ^ | 04.18.2016 | Devin Coldewey
    A Supreme Court order issued today closes the book on (or perhaps merely ends this chapter of) more than a decade of legal warfare between Google and the Authors Guild over the legality of the former’s scanning without permission of millions of copyrighted books. And the final word is: it’s fair use. The order is just an item in a long list of other orders that appeared today, and adds nothing to the argument except the tacit approval of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals 2015 decision — itself approving an even earlier decision, that of the U.S. District Court...
  • DARPA Prepares to Unleash a Storm of "Gremlins" on U.S. Foes

    04/16/2016 11:42:17 AM PDT · by Mariner · 20 replies
    The Motley Fool ^ | April 16th, 2016 | Rich Smith
    Six months in the making, DARPA's Gremlins program is finally getting off the ground -- and that statement probably requires a bit of explaining. "DARPA" is the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the "mad scientists" division of the Pentagon, responsible for funding and developing leading-edge technologies that can be employed in warfare. Respectively, "Gremlins" is one such technology. As previously revealed by DARPA, Gremlins aims to develop fleets of "low-cost, reusable unmanned air systems" (aka drones) that can be launched from other aircraft, perform their missions, and then return to land back aboard their motherships -- an acrobatic feat to...
  • Line By Line, How The US Anti-Encryption Bill Will Kill Our Privacy, Security

    04/14/2016 7:59:33 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 9 replies
    The Register ^ | 04/13/2016 | Iain Thomson
    Analysis In the wake of the FBI's failed fight against Apple, Senators Richard Burr (R-NC) and Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) have introduced a draft bill that would effectively ban strong crypto. The bill would require tech and communications companies to allow law enforcement with a court order to decrypt their customers' data. Last week a draft copy of the bill, dubbed the Compliance with Court Orders Act of 2016, was leaked, but the new version is even worse than the discussion draft.... The senators want to have their cake--by requiring tech companies to protect their customers' data--and eat it too--by insisting...
  • Smoke-filled room, meet Silicon Valley: Techies see opportunity at GOP convention

    04/07/2016 7:23:27 AM PDT · by McGruff
    LA Times ^ | April 7, 2016 | Evan Halper
    Few things scream throwback like a contested political convention, an event that calls to mind conniving party bosses, clouds of stale cigar smoke and throngs of activists in Uncle Sam hats passionately waiving homemade signs. But while some of those retro touches will surely present themselves if Republicans arrive in Cleveland for their national convention in July with no clear nominee, the X factor in the fight could be an entirely new frontier of politics: the new technology of hunting for delegates. A cottage industry of political techies already has emerged to pitch their wares to campaigns. They’re promising that...
  • GOP Senator Slams WhatsApp For Turning On Encryption (Cotton-headed nitwittery)

    04/07/2016 6:40:56 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 2 replies
    The Hill ^ | 4/6/2016 | David McCabe
    Sen. Tom Cotton (R-Ark.) is slamming messaging platform WhatsApp for turning on end-to-end encryption for all of its users.... WhatsApp, which is owned by Facebook and is particularly popular outside the United States, said on Tuesday that it would start offering encryption for its users as the default setting. That will apply to the different types of messages on the service, which include video and voice. "Every day we see stories about sensitive records being improperly accessed or stolen," WhatsApp founders Jan Koum and Brian Acton said in a post announcing the change. "And if nothing is done, more of...
  • America's Next President Must Continue Obama’s Progress On Clean Energy

    04/06/2016 7:07:33 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 34 replies
    The Washington Post ^ | 4/5/2016 | David Ignatius
    So much of America's future is at stake in the 2016 presidential election. But let's focus for a moment on just one area--energy and the environment--where the Obama administration has made startling progress.... Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz, arguably President Obama's best Cabinet appointment, has been leading a quiet revolution in clean-energy technology. Innovation is transforming this industry, costs are plummeting and entrepreneurs are devising radical new systems that create American jobs--in addition to protecting the planet.... Here's a suggestion for any fact-based, technology-respecting candidate in either party: Promise that, if elected, you'll try to persuade Moniz to remain in place.......
  • Can Frontier regroup after its bungled Verizon FiOS takeover?

    04/05/2016 1:49:23 PM PDT · by Iron Munro · 36 replies
    Tampa Bay Times ^ | April 5, 2016 | Robert Trigaux
    The reviews are in. Five days after the cable TV/Internet switchover to Frontier Communications from Verizon FiOS in the Tampa Bay market, I'm giving Frontier's performance a "C-" with a strong recommendation to improve. Quickly. I know. Folks and businesses that have no Internet or TV services give Frontier an "F" while those who can't even tell there was any switchover in companies here ask "what's the problem?" while privately expressing thanks for dodging a bullet. For Frontier, spending more than $10 billion to buy Verizon's FiOS businesses in Tampa Bay, and urban parts of Texas and California is a...
  • Developers can run Bash Shell and user-mode Ubuntu Linux binaries on Windows 10

    03/30/2016 2:30:19 PM PDT · by Scutter · 25 replies
    Hanselman.com ^ | 3/30/2016 | Scott Hanselman
    Today at BUILD in the Day One keynote Kevin Gallo announced that you can now run "Bash on Ubuntu on Windows." This is a new developer feature included in a Windows 10 "Anniversary" update (coming soon). It lets you run native user-mode Linux shells and command-line tools unchanged, on Windows. This isn't Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is an genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed,...
  • Rep. Speier Wants To Register Every Prepaid Phone Purchase

    03/29/2016 9:00:27 AM PDT · by Cyberman · 21 replies
    Techdirt ^ | 3/28/16 | Tim Cushing
    First, the legislators came for encrypted phones, because terrorists were apparently using encryption. (Except they weren't.) Now, they're coming for prepaid phones. Sure, customers will still be able to buy prepaid phones. They'll just have to "register" with their local retailer in order to do so. A bill proposed in congress this week would require that all users provide identification and register prepaid ‘burner’ phones upon purchase.... Even if this passes, it will do little to allow law enforcement agencies to follow up on burners recovered after attacks. Criminals and terrorists won't be presenting identification -- at least not theirs...
  • Mystery Kindle update will block readers from books after Wednesday

    03/21/2016 6:47:23 AM PDT · by afraidfortherepublic · 64 replies
    UK Register ^ | 3-21-16 | Darren Pauli
    This is not the time to take your Kindle camping, people Readers will be unable to download their purchased books or buy new ones without a computer handy if they fail to update their Amazon Kindles by Wednesday. Users of Kindle models older than 2013 will need to apply an update over their device's wireless connection to install a critical fix. Those who do not will be kicked from Amazon online properties, including the book store, and their cloud library of purchased books and documents. Amazon has sent emails to user account inboxes warning to update. It has not explained...
  • Keyless system cars easy to steal, German car club finds

    03/18/2016 7:14:32 PM PDT · by Olog-hai · 50 replies
    TheLocal.de ^ | 17 Mar 2016 12:33 GMT+01:00 | (AFP/The Local)
    The German Automotive Club (ADAC) tested 24 different cars with the new Keyless Go technology for safety. The result: all of the cars could be stolen with one easy trick. […] In a report released Thursday, the ADAC tested 24 car models from 2015 from 19 different manufacturers, including Audi, BMW, VW, Toyota, Renault, and Ford. The results were damning. They managed to illegally open every single car and drive it away within a few seconds. “All you need to do is extend the transmission range of the key from two or three meters to a few hundred meters. The...
  • Ransomware found in ads on NYT, BBC, AOL and more won’t help the ad-blocking debate

    03/16/2016 9:29:48 AM PDT · by rarestia · 71 replies
    TheNextWeb ^ | Mar 15, 2016 | Ben Woods
    A number of high-profile and very high-traffic websites such as The New York Times (NYT), BBC, AOL, MSN, the NFL and more have all been serving up malicious adverts to unsuspecting users that ultimately results in files being held to ransom by the malware, according to Malwarebytes. Malicious ads making their way onto websites via ad networks used to be a far more common occurence but most ad networks from company’s like Google have gotten far better at rooting out the bad from the good. “Out of the blue on the weekend, we witnessed a huge spike in malicious activity...
  • Millions menaced as ransomware-smuggling ads pollute top websites

    03/16/2016 7:54:20 AM PDT · by snarkpup · 42 replies
    The Register ^ | 15 Mar 2016 at 17:19 | John Leyden
    msn.com, nytimes.com, aol.com et al hit by malware-injecting banners Top-flight US online publishers are serving up adverts that attempt to install ransomware and other malware on victims' PCs. Websites visited by millions of people daily – msn.com, nytimes.com, aol.com, nfl.com, theweathernetwork.com, thehill.com, zerohedge.com and more – are accidentally pushing out booby-trapped adverts via ad networks, warn infosec researchers.