Judge Rules Against Forced Fingerprinting

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 11:40pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: A federal judge in Chicago has ruled against a government request which would require forced fingerprinting of private citizens in order to open a secure, personal phone or tablet. In the ruling, the judge stated that while fingerprints in and of themselves are not protected, the government's method of obtaining the fingerprints would violate the Fourth and Fifth amendments. The government's request was given as part of a search warrant related to a child pornography ring. The court ruled that the government could seize devices, but that it could not compel people physically present at the time of seizure to provide their fingerprints "onto the Touch ID sensor of any Apple iPhone, iPad, or other Apple brand device in order to gain access to the contents of any such device." The report mentions that the ruling was based on three separate arguments. "The first was that the boilerplate language used in the request was dated, and did not, for example, address vulnerabilities associated with wireless services. Second, the court said that the context in which the fingerprints were intended to be gathered may violate the Fourth Amendment search and seizure rights of the building residents and their visitors, all of whom would have been compelled to provide their fingerprints to open their secure devices. Finally, the court noted that historically the Fifth Amendment, which protects against self-incrimination, does not allow a person to circumvent the fingerprinting process." You can read more about the ruling via Ars Technica.

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Cellebrite Can Now Unlock Apple iPhone 6, 6 Plus

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 11:00pm
Patrick O'Neill writes: A year after the battle between the FBI and Apple over unlocking an iPhone 5s used by a shooter in the San Bernardino terrorist attack, smartphone cracking company Cellebrite announced it can now unlock the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus for customers at rates ranging from $1,500 to $250,000. The company's newest products also extract and analyze data from a wide range of popular apps including all of the most popular secure messengers around. From the Cyberscoop report: "Cellebrite's ability to break into the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus comes in their latest line of product releases. The newest Cellebrite product, UFED 6.0, boasts dozens of new and improved features including the ability to extract data from 51 Samsung Android devices including the Galaxy S7 and Galaxy S7 Edge, the latest flagship models for Android's most popular brand, as well as the new high-end Google Pixel Android devices."

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Valve Releases SteamVR For Linux

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 10:30pm
New submitter JustNiz quotes a report from GamingOnLinux: Valve has launched SteamVR for Linux officially in beta form and they are keen to stress that this is a development release. You will need to run the latest Steam Beta Client for it to work at all, so be sure to opt-in if you want to play around with it. VR on Linux will exclusively use Vulkan, so it's going to be a pretty good push for Vulkan if VR becomes more popular. Those who are interested can head over to GitHub for more information.

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California Needs Atmospheric Rivers. But Like, Not This Many

Wired News - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 10:17pm
With warmer weather stirring up bigger, stronger storms, California's flood management system is feeling the strain. The post California Needs Atmospheric Rivers. But Like, Not This Many appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Website Builder Wix Acquires Art Community DeviantArt For $36 Million

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 10:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TechCrunch: Wix.com has made another acquisition to build out the tools that it provides to users to build and administer websites: it has acquired DeviantArt, an online community for artists, designers and art/design enthusiasts with some 325 million individual pieces of original art and more than 40 million registered members, for $36 million in cash, including $3 million of assumed liabilities. Wix said that it will continue to operate DeviantArt as a standalone site, but it will also use it to boost its own business in a couple of ways. First, DeviantArt users will get access to Wix's web design tools to build out more dynamic online presences. These tools do not only cover design, but commerce and other features for running businesses online. Second, Wix will open up DeviantArt's repository of art and creative community to the Wix platform, giving Wix's users access to that work to use in their own site building. The deal will also include putting further investment into developing DeviantArt's desktop and mobile apps. (Today, that desktop experience is based on a very simple, pared-down interface that is reminiscent of the 2000 birthdate of the startup itself.)

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Review: Microsoft Surface Studio

Wired News - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 9:30pm
Microsoft wrote a love letter to Apple-toting creative types, in the form of the coolest desktop PC you've ever seen. The post Review: Microsoft Surface Studio appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

FCC Votes To Lift Net Neutrality Transparency Rules For Smaller Internet Providers

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 9:20pm
The Federal Communications Commission today voted to lift transparency requirements for smaller internet providers. According to The Verge, "Internet providers with fewer than 250,000 subscribers will not be required to disclose information on network performance, fees, and data caps, thanks to this rule change. The commission had initially exempted internet providers with fewer than 100,000 subscribers with the intention of revisiting the issue later to determine whether a higher or lower figure was appropriate." From the report: The rule passed in a 2-1 vote, with Republicans saying the reporting requirements unfairly burdened smaller ISPs with additional work. Only Democratic commissioner Mignon Clyburn opposed. Clyburn argued that the disclosures were an important consumer protection that was far from overbearing on businesses, particularly ones this large. Clyburn also argued that the rule would allow larger internet providers to avoid disclosing information by simply breaking their service areas up into different subsidiaries. Republican commissioner Michael O'Rielly voted in favor of the change, saying he actually would have preferred the subscriber exemption to be even higher. And commission chairman Ajit Pai said the rules were necessary to protect "mom and pop internet service providers" from "burdensome requirements [...] that impose serious and unnecessary costs."

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Social Media Are Driving Americans Insane

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 8:40pm
Deena Shanker, writing for Bloomberg: If you pull out your phone to check Twitter while waiting for the light to change, or read e-mails while brushing your teeth, you might be what the American Psychological Association calls a "constant checker." And chances are, it's hurting your mental health. Last week, the APA released a study finding that Americans were experiencing the first statistically significant stress increase in the survey's 10-year history. In January, 57 percent of respondents of all political stripes said the U.S. political climate was a very or somewhat significant source of stress, up from 52 percent who said the same thing in August. On Thursday, the APA released the second part of its 1 findings, "Stress In America: Coping With Change," examining the role technology and social media play in American stress levels. [...] The highest stress levels, it should be noted, are reserved for those who constantly check their work e-mail on days off. Their average stress level is 6.0. So those of you who think it's somehow pleasant to work from home on a Saturday afternoon, you're actually fooling yourself.

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Amazon Argues That Alexa Is Protected By the First Amendment in a Murder Trial

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 8:00pm
Amazon is sticking to its guns in the fight to protect customer data. The ecommerce giant has filed a motion to quash the search warrant for recordings from an Amazon Echo in the trial of James Andrew Bates, accused of murdering friend Victor Collins in Bentonville, Arkansas in November 2015. And it's arguing that the responses of Alexa, the voice of the Echo, has First Amendment rights as part of that motion. From a report on Quartz: The company's lawyers claim that Alexa's recordings and responses are subject to free speech protections under the US constitution's bill of rights, and that prosecutors need to provide more evidence that this audio is essential to the case. "It is well established that the First Amendment protects not only an individual's right to speak, but also his or her 'right to receive information and ideas,'" Amazon lawyers wrote in a court filing. "At the heart of that First Amendment protection is the right to browse and purchase expressive materials anonymously, without fear of government discovery." Amazon also referenced a 2014 case involving Chinese search giant Baidu, where a court ruled that results returned by a search engine are protected by the First Amendment.

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Categories: Science

SARS and MERS: What’s Next?

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:47pm
It may be difficult to remember now, but when SARS was first recognized in February 2003, people were scared. This heretofore unknown disease was killing people—nearly 10 percent of those infected with what came to be recognized as the SARS-associated coronavirus. Before the end of the year, cases were reported in 29 countries.
Categories: Science

Desks join the internet of things

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:47pm
The internet of things promises to revolutionize the way we live, connecting the objects in our homes to one another and to the vast array of information available online. The possibilities are enormous, and one benefit may be improving our health.
Categories: Science

Researchers develop model for studying rare polio-like illness

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:21pm
Scientists have developed the first animal model for studying paralysis caused by virus linked to a polio-like illness that paralyzed 120 children in 2014.
Categories: Science

Understanding the impact of delays in high-speed networks

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:21pm
In a world increasingly reliant on high-speed networks, introducing microsecond delays into such systems can have profound effects.
Categories: Science

Computer bots are more like humans than you might think, having fights lasting years

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:21pm
Bots appear to behave differently in culturally distinct online environments. A new paper says the findings are a warning to those using artificial intelligence for building autonomous vehicles, cyber security systems or for managing social media.
Categories: Science

Tech Reporting Is More Negative Now Than in the Past

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:21pm
Wayne Williams, writing for BetaNews: A new study finds that tech reporting is generally more pessimistic now than in the past, and for two very different reasons. The new report from the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), and based on textual analysis of 250 articles from The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, and The Washington Post from 1986 to 2013, highlights how the tone of tech reporting has shifted in the past 20 years. In general, the ITIF found that in the 1980s and 1990s, coverage of technology was largely positive, but this changed from the mid-1990s to 2013, when more negative reports covering the downside of technology, its failure to live up to its promises, and potential ill effects, started to appear. The ITIF attributes this shift to two main causes, the first being that "there has been a significant increase in the number of civil-society organizations and attention-seeking scholars focused on painting a threatening picture of technology," and second, and perhaps most pertinent, "news organizations are under increased financial pressure, and as a result, reporters may have less time and fewer resources to dig deep into technology issues."

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Ball-rolling bees reveal complex learning

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:21pm
Bumblebees can be trained to score goals using a mini-ball, revealing unprecedented learning abilities.
Categories: Science

Missing Richard Simmons Is Gripping. And Also Kinda Icky

Wired News - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 7:00pm
If a person goes looking for someone who doesn't want to be found, is that really a mystery worth solving? The post Missing Richard Simmons Is Gripping. And Also Kinda Icky appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Science

Values gap in workplace can lead millennials to look elsewhere

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 6:44pm
Much has been made in popular culture about millennials as they join the working world, including their tendency to job hop. Although this behavior often is explained as a loyalty issue, new research reveals one reason young workers choose to leave a firm is because they find a disconnect between their beliefs and the culture they observe in the workplace.
Categories: Science

Global vaccine injury system needed to improve public health

Science Daily - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 6:44pm
A global vaccine injury compensation system administered through the World Health Organization would address the global public health issue of vaccine injuries, experts argue.
Categories: Science

Google Says Almost Every Recent 'Trusted' DMCA Notices Were Bogus

Slashdot - Thu, 23/02/2017 - 6:40pm
Reader AmiMoJo writes: In comments submitted to a U.S. Copyright Office consultation, Google has given the DMCA a vote of support, despite widespread abuse. Noting that the law allows for innovation and agreements with content creators, Google says that 99.95% of URLs it was asked to take down last month didn't even exist in its search indexes. "For example, in January 2017, the most prolific submitter submitted notices that Google honored for 16,457,433 URLs. But on further inspection, 16,450,129 (99.97%) of those URLs were not in our search index in the first place."

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Categories: Science