House Rep. Pushing To Set Back Online Privacy Rakes In Industry Funds - Vocativ
The campaign contributions started small, with a handful of donations of a few thousand dollars each. In recent elections, however, it’s ballooned, with AT&T, Comcast, and Verizon each giving one of their favorite politicians in Congress between $15,000 and $20,000 every two years. All told, Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), author of a controversial resolution to let internet providers sell customers’ search histories to advertisers without notice or permission, has racked up well over half a million dollars in campaign donations from that industry over the course of her career.
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2 days ago
Google and Facebook Can’t Just Make Fake News Disappear
The puzzles made visible through “fake news” are hard. They are socially and culturally hard. They force us to contend with how people construct knowledge and ideas, communicate with others and construct a society. They are also deeply messy, revealing divisions and fractures in beliefs and attitudes.
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2 days ago
Basic Income: A Sellout of the American Dream - MIT Technology Review
Well, there’s the fact that a universal basic income could add as much as $2 trillion in annual expenses to the U.S. budget. Then there’s the question of whether such a program might disconnect large swaths of our population from the positive aspects of working for a living—a potentially toxic side effect. And finally, there’s little convincing evidence that large-scale technological unemployment is actually happening or will happen in the immediate future.
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3 days ago
We Have 24 Hours to Save Online Privacy Rules | Electronic Frontier Foundation
If the House passes it, you’ll be even more at the mercy of your ISP. Because Congress is using a CRA resolution, the FCC will be prohibited from writing similar rules in the future. And thanks to the current legal landscape, no other federal agency has the authority to protect you against privacy invasions by your ISP.
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3 days ago
The TSA's Selective Laptop Ban - Schneier on Security
This current restriction implies some specific intelligence of a laptop-based plot and a temporary ban to address it. However, if that's the case, why only certain non-US carriers? And why only certain airports? Terrorists are smart enough to put a laptop bomb in checked baggage from the Middle East to Europe and then carry it on from Europe to the US.

Why not require passengers to turn their laptops on as they go through security? That would be a more effective security measure than forcing them to check them in their luggage. And lastly, why is there a delay between the ban being announced and it taking effect?
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3 days ago
Meet Gcam: The X graduate that gave us a whole new point of view
Most recently, Gcam’s HDR+ technology launched as the default mode for the critically acclaimed Google Pixel phone. DxOMark, the industry standard for camera ratings, declared that the Pixel camera was “the best smartphone camera ever made” in 2016. Reflecting on the evolution of the project, Marc says, “It took five years to get it really right…and we’re grateful that X gave our team the long-term horizons and independence to make that happen.”
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3 days ago
Enemy number one is Netflix: The monster that's eating Hollywood | Business Standard News
Netflix’s spending on original and acquired programming this year is expected to be more than $6 billion, up from $5 billion last year, more than double what Time Warner Inc.’s HBO spends and five times as much as 21st Century Fox’s FX or CBS Corp.’s Showtime. It spent close to $10 million an episode on “The Crown,” a lavish period drama about a young Queen Elizabeth II.
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3 days ago
Germany wants to regulate a 24-hour livestream as a broadcaster
You might want to think twice about running a non-stop livestream just because you can -- at least in Germany, regulators will want to have a word with you. They've told the 24-hour let's play channel PietSmietTV that it has to apply for a broadcasting license by April 30th if it wants to keep running. While it's operating through Twitch and YouTube instead of TV or radio, it technically meets all the legal definitions of a broadcaster: it's a "linear information and communication service" aimed at the public, with an editorial focus and not meant for personal purposes. Channel founder Peter Smits is respecting the decision, so there isn't going to be a fight.
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3 days ago
Trump taps Kushner to lead a SWAT team to fix government with business ideas - The Washington Post
The innovation office has a particular focus on technology and data, and it is working with such titans as Apple chief executive Tim Cook, Microsoft founder Bill Gates, Salesforce chief executive Marc Benioff and Tesla founder and chief executive Elon Musk. The group has already hosted sessions with more than 100 such leaders and government officials.
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3 days ago
​Microsoft yanks Docs.com search after complaints of exposed sensitive files | ZDNet
Microsoft has quietly removed a feature on its document sharing site Docs.com that allowed anyone to search through millions of files for sensitive and personal information.

Users had complained over the weekend on Twitter that anyone could use the site's search box to trawl through publicly-accessible documents and files stored on the site, which were clearly meant to remain private
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3 days ago
YouTube’s ad mess gives advertisers leverage for what they really want: More data - Recode
What advertisers really want from YouTube is what they already get on the open web: tracking how many times an ad has been shown to a particular anonymized user; where it’s happening; and how people are interacting with the ad.

Right now, when someone leaves a site like Expedia or CNN and goes to YouTube, the advertiser doesn’t know if it’s showing that person the same ad they showed before. Same goes for Snapchat and Amazon, also walled gardens. Advertisers have an easier time predicting how a product will sell if they know how often someone saw an ad for that product.
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4 days ago
For advertisers, algorithms can lead to unexpected exposure on sites spewing hate - The Washington Post
The Post’s examination found that the networks had displayed ads for Allstate, IBM, DirectTV and dozens of other household brand names on websites with content containing racial and ethnic slurs, Holocaust denial and disparaging comments about African Americans, Jews, women and gay people.
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4 days ago
FedEx Caught Off-Guard By Browsers Blocking Flash, Will Give Customers $5 To Enable It
Despite all of those warnings, FedEx has remained one of the largest companies that still supports Flash content on its website. This seems to be causing some issues for their customers, who now need to enable Flash in Chrome and Safari.
As you may imagine, chances are that many FedEx customers aren’t very happy that they have to follow a list of relatively technical instructions to enable Flash again in their browsers. The more tech savvy ones may even dislike the fact that FedEx is forcing them to use Flash again, and potentially expose them to security risks, just when they thought they could have a Flash-free web experience.
To alleviate this problem, FedEx has come up with a rather interesting idea--it will offer its customers a $5 discount for orders over $30 if the site notices that they don’t have Flash enabled. All you have to do to get that $5 discount is--you guessed it--enable Flash in your browser. Easy!
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5 days ago
Apple iCloud ransom demands: The facts you need to know | ZDNet
So far, we know that a London-based hacker group, calling itself the Turkish Crime Family, has claimed to have access to 250 million accounts (at the time of writing). The hackers are threatening to reset the passwords on those iCloud accounts and remotely wipe iPhones if Apple doesn't pay a ransom by April 7. Those demands have since changed and increased. Motherboard, which first reported the story, noted that the media-hungry group has approached multiple outlets, possibly to help its extortion efforts.
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5 days ago
Exclusive: AMC plans ad-free streaming service for cable subscribers - sources | Reuters
Unlike standalone streaming options from Time Warner’s HBO and from CBS Corp, AMC's would be exclusively available to consumers who subscribe to a cable TV package. AMC is doing this, the sources said, as a way to support the traditional cable television industry at a time when many younger consumers are increasingly cutting the cord.

AMC is discussing featuring digital-only spinoff shows of its existing programs like "The Walking Dead" and is considering pricing between $4.99 to $6.99 a month, according to the sources, who cautioned final details are still being worked out.
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5 days ago
The holiday is over: Amazon will collect sales taxes nationwide on April 1
Amazon, the online merchandise juggernaut, will collect sales taxes from all states with a sales tax starting April 1.

Tax-free shopping will be over as of next month in Hawaii, Idaho, Maine and New Mexico, the four remaining holdouts.

Since the beginning of this year, Amazon has added a number of states to its roster of jurisdictions where it collects sales taxes.
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5 days ago
Facebook finally tests a GIF button for comments | TechCrunch
After years of stubborn caution, Facebook is finally embracing the animated GIF. Next week Facebook will begin testing a GIF button that lets users post GIFs from services like Giphy and Tenor as comments, a source told TechCrunch. We inquired with Facebook, which confirmed the GIF test is coming with this statement:
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5 days ago
G Suite Update Alerts: Updates in G Suite to streamline Hangouts and Gmail
removing carrier SMS functionality in the classic Hangouts app for Android, starting on May 22.
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5 days ago
Senate Republicans Vote To Gut Internet Privacy - BuzzFeed News
The Senate voted Thursday to make it easier for internet service providers to share sensitive information about their customers, a first step in overturning landmark privacy rules that consumer advocates and Democratic lawmakers view as crucial protections in the digital age. The vote was passed along party lines, 50-48, with all but two Republicans voting in favor of the repeal and every Democrat voting against it. Two Republican Senators did not vote.
608 
6 days ago
Google takes Symantec to the woodshed for mis-issuing 30,000 HTTPS certs [updated] | Ars Technica
More gradually, Google plans to update Chrome to effectively nullify all currently valid certificates issued by Symantec-owned CAs. With Symantec certificates representing more than 30 percent of the Internet's valid certificates by volume in 2015, the move has the potential to prevent millions of Chrome users from being able to access large numbers of sites. What's more, Sleevi cited Firefox data that showed Symantec-issued certificates are responsible for 42 percent of all certificate validations. To minimize the chances of disruption, Chrome will stagger the mass nullification in a way that requires they be replaced over time. To do this, Chrome will gradually decrease the "maximum age" of Symantec-issued certificates over a series of releases. Chrome 59 will limit the expiration to no more than 33 months after they were issued. By Chrome 64, validity would be limited to nine months.
608 
6 days ago
Tech community "dumbfounded" by Mnuchin's dismissal of AI impact on jobs - Axios
Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin riled the tech community this morning when he told Axios' Mike Allen that displacement of jobs by artificial intelligence and automation is "not even on my radar screen" because the technology is "50-100 more years" away. Mnuchin also said he is "not worried at all" about robots displacing humans in the near future. "In fact, I'm optimistic."
608 
6 days ago
US Senate votes to let internet providers share your web browsing history without permission
The US Senate has voted to overturn consumer-friendly internet privacy rules that would have prevented internet providers from sharing your web browsing history without permission.

The privacy rules, passed last year by the FCC, required internet providers like Comcast, Verizon, and AT&T to get each customer's permission before sharing personal information like which websites they visit. But internet providers want to be able to sell that data and use it to target ads, so they've been vocal about opposing the rules since around the time President Trump took office.
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6 days ago
iCloud may have doxxed a journalist’s Twitter attacker - The Verge
The break came thanks to AT&T, which was supporting Tracfone’s SIM card. While AT&T didn’t have any directly identifying data, the company’s toll records showed that the SIM card had been used by an iPhone 6. That sent investigators looking for an iCloud account linked to the same number. After another search warrant to Apple, they got what they were looking for. According to the complaint, the number was linked to a five-year-old iCloud account owned by John Rivello of Salisbury, Maryland. A search of iMessages and photos in the account provided further evidence of Rivello’s interest in Eichenwald.
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8 days ago
Why American Farmers Are Hacking Their Tractors With Ukrainian Firmware - Motherboard
A license agreement John Deere required farmers to sign in October forbids nearly all repair and modification to farming equipment, and prevents farmers from suing for "crop loss, lost profits, loss of goodwill, loss of use of equipment … arising from the performance or non-performance of any aspect of the software." The agreement applies to anyone who turns the key or otherwise uses a John Deere tractor with embedded software. It means that only John Deere dealerships and "authorized" repair shops can work on newer tractors.
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8 days ago
2038: only 21 years away [LWN.net]
That work, he said, is proceeding on three separate fronts, the first of which is the kernel itself. He has been working for the last five years to try to prepare the kernel for 2038. Much of that work involves converting 32-bit timestamps to 64-bit values, even on 32-bit systems. Some 32-bit timestamps also show up in the user-space API, which complicates the issue considerably. There is a plan for the enhancement of the user-space API with 2038-clean versions of the problematic system calls, but it has not yet gotten upstream. One recent exception is the statx() system call, which was merged for 4.11; statx() will serve as the year-2038-capable version of the stat() family of calls. There are quite a few other system calls still needing 2038-clean replacements, though.
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8 days ago
Trump signs NASA funding bill, sets goal of human on Mars | TheHill
The law, known as the NASA Transition Authorization Act, gives the space agency $19.5 billion in funding for fiscal year 2018. It also asks the agency to create a plan to send a “crewed mission to Mars in the 2030s.”
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8 days ago
O-MG, the Developer Preview of Android O is here! | Android Developers Blog
Background limits: Building on the work we began in Nougat, Android O puts a big priority on improving a user's battery life and the device's interactive performance. To make this possible, we've put additional automatic limits on what apps can do in the background, in three main areas: implicit broadcasts, background services, and location updates. These changes will make it easier to create apps that have minimal impact on a user's device and battery. Background limits represent a significant change in Android, so we want every developer to get familiar with them. Check out the documentation on background execution limits and background location limits for details.
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8 days ago
Google releases Android O to developers, promising better battery life and notifications - The Verge
For the second year in a row, Google is making a developer preview for the next version of Android available in March, well ahead of its presumed consumer release in the fall. This one is codenamed “O,” and your guess is as good as mine as to what dessert the final version will be named after. It isn’t yet available for regular users to try out. Although developers can begin testing it right away, it’s best for most people to let things stabilize a bit more before they try it out. Developers can download it today.
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8 days ago
Ad Groups Petition Consumer Internet Privacy Rules, Call Opt-In Requirement 'Onerous' 01/04/2017
The petition -- which was submitted jointly by the Association of National Advertisers, the American Association of Advertising Agencies, the American Advertising Federation, the Data & Marketing Association, the Interactive Advertising Bureau, and the Network Advertising Initiative -- contends that the FCC’s order “imposes sweeping and onerous requirements” for utilizing data on consumer Internet and digital media usage and “violates First Amendment protections of commercial speech.”
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9 days ago
Avoiding articles from “the creep”: People trust news based on who shared it, not on who published it » Nieman Journalism Lab
From new mottos to television advertising campaigns, news organizations are refocusing efforts on why their readers should trust them. But new research suggests they should also focus on who their “ambassadors” are: The main factor in determining a reader’s trust in an article appears to be who shared it, not the news organization that published it, according to a study out Monday from The Media Insight Project, a collaboration between the American Press Institute and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
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9 days ago
Bixby: A New Way to Interact with Your Phone | Samsung Mobile Press
Another example of removing friction will be the dedicated Bixby button that will be located on the side of our next device. Confusion around activating a voice interface is a barrier we have removed to make it feel easier and more comfortable to give commands. For example, instead of taking multiple steps to make a call – turning on and unlocking the phone, looking for the phone application, clicking on the contact bar to search for the person that you’re trying to call and pressing the phone icon to start dialing – you will be able to do all these steps with one push of the Bixby button and a simple command.
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10 days ago
Samsung unveils its context-aware ‘Bixby’ AI assistant ahead of Galaxy S8 launch | 9to5Google
In a press release, Samsung explains what Bixby is and how it compares to other assistants available today, like Google Assistant and Siri and explaining that it will be “fundamentally different from other voice agents or assistants in the market.”

According to the company, Bixby is different in three key areas, the first being “completeness.” Samsung says that unlike other assistants available right now, Bixby will be able to take complete control over supported apps, unlike its competitors which can only take care of limited tasks. Instead, Bixby will take the guesswork out of using an assistant for controlling an app.
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10 days ago
Apple’s Next Big Thing: Augmented Reality - Bloomberg
Apple has built a team combining the strengths of its hardware and software veterans with the expertise of talented outsiders, say the people, who requested anonymity to discuss internal strategy. Run by a former Dolby Laboratories executive, the group includes engineers who worked on the Oculus and HoloLens virtual reality headsets sold by Facebook and Microsoft as well as digital-effects wizards from Hollywood. Apple has also acquired several small firms with knowledge of AR hardware, 3D gaming and virtual reality software.

As previously reported by Bloomberg, Apple is working on several AR products, including digital spectacles that could connect wirelessly to an iPhone and beam content—movies, maps and more—to the wearer. While the glasses are a ways off, AR features could show up in the iPhone sooner.
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10 days ago
ACLU Comment on Congressional Move to Allow Internet Providers to Sell Consumer Data Without Permission | American Civil Liberties Union
WASHINGTON — The Senate introduced a resolution today that would overturn a Federal Communications Commission rule that requires internet service providers to get customers’ permission before they sell sensitive consumer data, such as browsing history. Passage of the resolution by Congress would prevent the FCC from issuing similar rules in the future.
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10 days ago
Facebook's Building 8 working on camera, augmented reality, mind reading projects - Business Insider
The all-start roster of tech veterans that Facebook began assembling one year ago is quietly making progress, steadily expanding the size of its ranks and the hardware prototypes under development.

The group, known as Building 8, currently has four simultaneous projects underway, spanning everything from cameras and augmented reality to science fiction-like brain scanning technology, Business Insider has learned.
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10 days ago
Virtual machine escape fetches $105,000 at Pwn2Own hacking contest [updated] | Ars Technica
"We used a JavaScript engine bug within Microsoft Edge to achieve the code execution inside the Edge sandbox, and we used a Windows 10 kernel bug to escape from it and fully compromise the guest machine," Qihoo 360 Executive Director Zheng Zheng wrote in an e-mail. "Then we exploited a hardware simulation bug within VMware to escape from the guest operating system to the host one. All started from and only by a controlled a website."
606 
11 days ago
Google’s new encoder makes JPEGs up to 35 percent smaller - The Verge
The new encoder is called Guetzli — Swiss German for “cookie,” apparently — and according to Google, it can create “high quality JPEG images with file sizes 35 percent smaller than currently available methods.” The advantage to using Guetzli instead of a new format is that the images are still regular JPEG files, and so they’re still compatible with almost every browser and application that exists.
twig  606 
12 days ago
Edina police ask for whole city's Google searches, and a judge says yes | City Pages
And yet, on February 1, Hennepin County Judge Gary Larson agreed with the police, approving a search warrant that looks into "any/all user or subscriber information" of anyone in Edina who'd looked up that name between December 1, 2016, and January 7. Later that same day, an investigator filed the warrant with Google's "custodian of records" department in California. 

The warrant requests the day and time of the search, though that's not all. Search warrant findings should  "include, but [are] not limited to: name(s), address(es), telephone number(s), dates of birth, social security numbers, email addresses, payment information, account information, IP addresses, and MAC addresses of the person(s) who requested/completed the search."
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13 days ago
Apple Hires iPhone Security Expert Jonathan Zdziarski - Mac Rumors
I’m pleased to announce that I’ve accepted a position with Apple’s Security Engineering and Architecture team, and am very excited to be working with a group of like minded individuals so passionate about protecting the security and privacy of others.
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15 days ago
Sonic cyber attack shows security holes in ubiquitous sensors | University of Michigan News
It turns out they can be tricked. Led by Kevin Fu, U-M associate professor of computer science and engineering, the team used precisely tuned acoustic tones to deceive 15 different models of accelerometers into registering movement that never occurred. The approach served as a backdoor into the devices—enabling the researchers to control other aspects of the system.
606 
15 days ago
Microsoft adds LinkedIn co-founder Hoffman to its board | ZDNet
Update: Here's Hoffman's note about joining the Microsoft board. In addition to helping guide LinkedIn, Hoffman says, in his board role, he will "contribute more broadly as Microsoft deepens its presence in Silicon Valley and continues to weave social, AI, and other technologies into it products."
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15 days ago
Russia finds Apple guilty of iPhone price-fixing, potentially facing fines | 9to5Mac
As noted by The Financial Times, Russia’s Federal Antimonopoly Service found that Apple had illegally ordered retailers to fix prices of the iPhone 5 and iPhone 6 models. Specifically, Apple apparently instructed 16 retailers in Russia to set the prices at a certain amount and if a retailer was found to be selling the iPhone at an “unsuitable” price, Apple would contact them and order them to change the price or risk having the sales agreement terminated.
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15 days ago
U.S. Plans to Charge Four People Over Yahoo Hacking - Bloomberg
The U.S. had planned to arrest one of the people in Canada as soon as Tuesday, the person said. Additional details weren’t available, and Canadian authorities didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Three of the suspects are believed to be in Russia, according to the person. Representatives of Sunnyvale, California-based Yahoo and the Justice Department declined to comment.
twig  606 
15 days ago
Vibrator Maker To Pay Millions Over Claims It Secretly Tracked Use : The Two-Way : NPR
The makers of the We-Vibe, a line of vibrators that can be paired with an app for remote-controlled use, have reached a $3.75 million class action settlement with users following allegations that the company was collecting data on when and how the sex toy was used.

Standard Innovations, the Canadian manufacturer of the We-Vibe, does not admit any wrongdoing in the settlement finalized Monday.
twig  605 
15 days ago
Pandora Premium: the original music streaming giant is ready for prime time - The Verge
For the most part, Pandora Premium is exactly what you would expect it to be: a $10-a-month service with millions of songs that you can listen to at will and save offline whenever you want. There are workout and driving mixes and — of course — a radio feature. But Pandora has worked to separate itself from the rapidly growing pack of streaming services with a slew of personalization features and the least complicated music app to date. The goal is to make a music streaming experience more approachable for many who may not have given Apple Music or Spotify a try.
mbw  605 
16 days ago
An insecure mess: How flawed JavaScript is turning web into a hacker's playground | ZDNet
They looked at domains from Amazon's Alexa Top 75,000 list and 75,000 randomly selected .com domains, assessing 72 different libraries and their respective versions. Overall, 87 percent of the Alexa sites and 46.5 percent of the .com sites use one of the 72 libraries.

The study found that "36.7 percent of jQuery, 40.1 percent of Angular, 86.6 percent of Handlebars, and 87.3 percent of YUI inclusions use a vulnerable version." Additionally, 9.7 percent of the sites in the study use two or more vulnerable library versions.
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17 days ago
Malware Attacks Used by the U.S. Government Retain Potency for Many Years, New Evidence Indicates
Rand’s report is based on unprecedented access to a database of zero days from a company that sells them to governments and other customers on the “gray market.” The collection contains about 200 entries — about the same number of zero days some experts believe the government to have. Rand found that the exploits had an average lifespan of 6.9 years before the vulnerability each targeted was disclosed to the software maker to be fixed, or before the vendor made upgrades to the code that unwittingly eliminated the security hole.
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17 days ago
AT&T allegedly “discriminated” against poor people in broadband upgrades | Ars Technica
It's no secret that ISPs can make more money from network upgrades in wealthy neighborhoods than low-income ones, and a new analysis of Cleveland, Ohio, by broadband advocacy groups appears to show that AT&T is following that strategy. The National Digital Inclusion Alliance (NDIA) and a Cleveland-based group called Connect Your Community alleged in their report today that "AT&T has systematically discriminated against lower-income Cleveland neighborhoods in its deployment of home Internet and video technologies over the past decade."
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17 days ago
Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer to Get $23 Million Golden Parachute | Variety
If she is terminated or departs for good cause as CEO, Mayer would receive $3 million in cash, $20 million in equity, and $25,000 in continuing medical-coverage benefits, according to the Yahoo SEC filing. That’s less than the $55 million payout Yahoo had last May estimated Mayer would be entitled to following her termination with a sale of the company.
twig  605 
17 days ago
Google, Microsoft Still Waiting On Wikileaks To Deliver CIA Hacking Tools
And while there were few examples of actually usable code in the CIA Vault 7 leak, some Windows malware was uncovered by security expert Marc Maiffret, indicating Wikileaks may have mistakenly left it unredacted. Maiffret, former chief technology officer at security firm BeyondTrust and a cybersecurity entrepreneur, posted an analysis of the Windows implant yesterday. He noted that publishing spyware was nothing like publishing vulnerabilities, as cybercriminals and other kinds of malicious hackers already have access to such tools.
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18 days ago
Viber to launch secret chats that self-destruct and prevent screenshots | VentureBeat | Apps | by Paul Sawers
With secret chats, however, Viber is taking things a step further by enabling entire conversations to self-destruct at the pre-set time interval, be it a one-to-one or a group chat. This complements the hidden chat feature that Viber launched last year, which let users “hide” their conversations behind a PIN. Now you have the option to either retain chats while PIN-protected or have them vanish altogether.
605 
19 days ago
The Truth About the WikiLeaks C.I.A. Cache - The New York Times
Yet on closer inspection, this turned out to be misleading. Neither Signal nor WhatsApp, for example, appears by name in any of the alleged C.I.A. files in the cache. (Using automated tools to search the whole database, as security researchers subsequently did, turned up no hits.) More important, the hacking methods described in the documents do not, in fact, include the ability to bypass such encrypted apps — at least not in the sense of “bypass” that had seemed so alarming. Indeed, if anything, the C.I.A. documents in the cache confirm the strength of encryption technologies.
604 
19 days ago
Pinterest opens Lens visual search tool to everyone in the U.S. | VentureBeat | Apps | by Paul Sawers
First unveiled last June, the new Lens feature lets users snap a photo with their mobile camera, or use an existing image on their camera roll, to find themes and pins related to the photo. The feature arrived in beta early last month to a handful of users, and now, it seems, it’s ready for prime time. Well, almost.
ios  604 
19 days ago
Dear Confide: “We would never” isn’t the same as “we can’t” | Ars Technica
One of the bulletins, published by security firm Quarkslab, warned that current versions of Confide—including those available for Macs, PCs, iPhones, Android devices, and Apple Watches—don't provide true end-to-end encryption at all, at least as that term is commonly defined. Unlike competing secure messaging app Signal—which prevents even authorized insiders from accessing the keys needed to decrypt messages—Confide engineers, or people who hack the Confide service, can easily create keys that can be used to decrypt messages as they're sent in real time.
604 
19 days ago
California paves way to self-driving car tests without humans | Reuters
The proposed regulations enable manufacturers to certify that their driverless test vehicles can operate without conventional controls. The cars must meet federal safety standards or have an exemption from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, DMV Deputy Director Brian Soublet said in a media briefing on Friday.

The state will "rely heavily" on the federal guidelines for self-driving vehicles released last fall by the agency, Soublet said.

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Driverless vehicles must also have a remote operator who is capable of monitoring the vehicle's operation and communicating with any passengers.

A number of automakers have said they plan to begin deploying self-driving vehicles, some of them in commercial fleets, by 2020-2021.
604 
19 days ago
SoundCloud needs more money, or it may sell at a fire-sale price - Recode
The upshot, according to people familiar with the company: SoundCloud is now at a point where it may sell for less than the $700 million investors thought it was worth a few years ago. One source thinks it will consider bids, as long as they’re above the total investment it has raised to date — about $250 million.

SoundCloud’s struggle is taking place while there’s renewed investor interest in streaming music. Even though the industry’s economics are challenging, users have embraced streaming, and are even willing to pay for it: Spotify, which would like to go public next year, says it has more than 50 million paid subscribers worldwide. Apple Music says it has more than 20 million paid subs.

SoundCloud’s stall has been out in the open for some time. Investors pegged its value at $700 million in 2014, and since then it has raised money twice — including last year’s $70 million Twitter investment — at the same valuation.
604 
19 days ago
After escaping net neutrality probe, Verizon expands data cap exemptions | Ars Technica
Customers who have Verizon FiOS TV at home and a Verizon Wireless smartphone plan can watch TV outside their homes without using up the data allotments on limited mobile plans, the company announced today. Just two months ago, the Federal Communications Commission accused Verizon Wireless of violating net neutrality rules by letting its Go90 video service stream without counting against customers' data caps as the company charged other video providers for the same data cap exemptions (also known as "zero-rating"). But the FCC's new Republican leadership rescinded that claim and ended the investigation last month, giving carriers the green light to expand data cap exemptions.
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19 days ago
Google’s reCAPTCHA turns “invisible,” will separate bots from people without challenges | Ars Technica
When sites switch over to the invisible CAPTCHA system, most users won't see CAPTCHAs at all, not even the "I'm not a robot" checkbox. If you are flagged as "suspicious" by the system, then it will display the usual challenges.
ttg  604 
19 days ago
The Way We Talk About Autonomy Is a Lie, and That’s Dangerous | Fortune.com
But this is, at best, only partially true. While a number of automakers have engineered vehicles that can pilot themselves with an ability unfathomable even a decade ago, after months of interviews with the people shaping the self-driving car industry it's clear that our autonomous future—the one where you take a nap as your vehicle whisks you to your destination in comfort and safety—is not in any real sense here now, nor around the corner, but likely decades away. All claims to the contrary are either based on misunderstanding or are intentionally misleading.
twig  604 
21 days ago
Amazon hands over Echo 'murder' data - BBC News
Mr Bates says he was asleep at the time, and the data may hold clues as to who was with Mr Collins when he died.
twig  sn  604 
23 days ago
WikiLeaks Releases Trove of Alleged C.I.A. Hacking Documents - The New York Times
Among other disclosures that, if confirmed, would rock the technology world, the WikiLeaks release said that the C.I.A. and allied intelligence services had managed to bypass encryption on popular phone and messaging services such as Signal, WhatsApp and Telegram. According to the statement from WikiLeaks, government hackers can penetrate Android phones and collect “audio and message traffic before encryption is applied.”
mbw  twig  604 
23 days ago
Lightroom mobile can now shoot RAW HDR photos on top phones - The Verge
Adobe says the photos are made by stitching together three RAW images. That in itself is pretty standard process for creating an HDR photo, but Adobe claims it can deliver “greatly increased dynamic range” over what your phone would typically put out.
mbw  604 
23 days ago
Vault7 - Home
Recently, the CIA lost control of the majority of its hacking arsenal including malware, viruses, trojans, weaponized "zero day" exploits, malware remote control systems and associated documentation. This extraordinary collection, which amounts to more than several hundred million lines of code, gives its possessor the entire hacking capacity of the CIA. The archive appears to have been circulated among former U.S. government hackers and contractors in an unauthorized manner, one of whom has provided WikiLeaks with portions of the archive.
mbw  twig  605 
23 days ago
Patent-holding company’s $533M verdict against Apple is dust on appeal | Ars Technica
The dreams of patent riches have gone up in smoke after a panel of appeals judges ruled that all three of Smartflash's patents are invalid as overly abstract. At this point in history, a one-employee patent-holding company with no novel legal argument has an infinitesimal chance of getting the attention of the US Supreme Court, so Smartflash's path has ended with the opinion (PDF) published yesterday.
mbw  604 
26 days ago
Snap Bears May Drive $1 Billion of Short Sales Within a Week - Bloomberg
That’s the view of S3 Partners LLC, a financial analytics firm, which says short interest in the photo-app maker is liable to reach $1 billion within a week, particularly if today’s rally continues. The contrary bet won’t be cheap, either, with the cost to borrow shares likely to start at 25 percent and rise.
603 
26 days ago
How Uber Used Secret Greyball Tool to Deceive Authorities Worldwide - The New York Times
SAN FRANCISCO — Uber has for years engaged in a worldwide program to deceive the authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was being resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been outright banned.
604 
26 days ago
Virginia is the first state to pass a law allowing robots to deliver straight to your door - Recode
The two Virginia lawmakers who sponsored the bill, Ron Villanueva and Bill DeSteph, teamed up with Starship Technologies, an Estonian-based ground delivery robotics company, to draft the legislation.
604 
26 days ago
IDC: Wearables grew 16.9% in Q4 2016, Fitbit still first but Xiaomi is gaining | VentureBeat | Mobile | by Emil Protalinski
Mobile companies shipped a total of 33.9 million wearables worldwide last quarter. That figure is up 16.9 percent from the 29.0 million units shipped in Q4 2015.
604 
27 days ago
Microsoft now lets anyone create and publish Xbox games - The Verge
Microsoft today announced a new initiative to let any game developer create and sell games on its Xbox platform without having to go through any of the company’s preexisting channels. The Xbox Live Creators Program, as it’s called, is designed to let an indie team or solo developer take a retail Xbox, which doubles as a dev kit, and use it to create and self-publish the title to the Xbox marketplace. Prior to today, developers had to part of an established game development or media company, or they had to apply through Microsoft’s ID@Xbox indie game program to receive self-publishing capabilities.
604 
27 days ago
Uber will apply for a self-driving test permit in California | TechCrunch
Uber is now in the process of getting a permit from the California DMV to resume testing its self-driving vehicles on public state roads. Uber started testing its self-driving Volvo XC90 SUVs in San Francisco last year – but the state DMV ultimately opposed the tests since Uber had not applied for its autonomous testing permit prior to beginning service.
604 
27 days ago
Mike Pence used private email for state business
Emails released to IndyStar in response to a public records request show Pence communicated via his personal AOL account with top advisers on topics ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe. In one email, Pence’s top state homeland security adviser relayed an update from the FBI regarding the arrests of several men on federal terror-related charges.
604 
27 days ago
Ming-Chi Kuo Says All 2017 iPhones Will Have Lightning Connectors With USB-C Fast Charging - Mac Rumors
All three iPhones rumored to be launched in 2017 will retain Lightning connectors with the addition of USB-C Power Delivery for faster charging, including an all-new OLED model with a larger L-shaped battery and updated 4.7-inch and 5.5-inch models, according to KGI Securities analyst Ming-Chi Kuo.
604 
27 days ago
Spotify now has 50 million paid subscribers - The Verge
No matter how you slice it, it’s a firm lead for Spotify when compared to its competitors. Apple Music, as of the last official update in December, is at a comparatively small 20 million — still impressive, given Spotify’s head start, but there’s still a ways to go for Apple before it catches up. Meanwhile, Tidal is even farther behind, with a reported 1.1 million subscribers as of last October, although there are also claims that Tidal may have been inflating its numbers.
604 
27 days ago
Amazon explains big AWS outage, says employee error took servers offline, promises changes - GeekWire
Amazon said the S3 team was working on an issue that was slowing down its billing system. Here’s what happened, according to Amazon, at 9:37 a.m. Pacific, starting the outage: “an authorized S3 team member using an established playbook executed a command which was intended to remove a small number of servers for one of the S3 subsystems that is used by the S3 billing process. Unfortunately, one of the inputs to the command was entered incorrectly and a larger set of servers was removed than intended.”
604 
27 days ago
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