By BeauHD from Slashdot's there's-always-next-time department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: The successful hack of a phone linked to the San Bernardino terror attacks is unlikely to help police win greater access to encrypted data contained inside thousands of smartphones sitting in evidence lockers nationwide, legal experts and law enforcement officials said Tuesday. The process used to gain access to Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone 5c might not work on other devices, according to an FBI official with knowledge of the investigation. Though the FBI might want to use the new tool to help solve outstanding criminal cases, doing so would also make the process subject to discovery during criminal trials and place the information in the public domain, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on the condition of anonymity.
"From all the chiefs that I've talked to, we're hopeful this will give us some insight into how we're going to be able to get into some of the phones sitting in all of our evidence rooms," said Terry Cunningham, police chief in Wellesley, Mass., and president of the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police. "We're clearly anxious to learn what they did and how they did it and if it can be replicated."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's concealed-smartphone department
Earthquake Retrofit writes: Sometimes you want to carry your gun in peace, but people keep drawing attention to your piece. This very issue plagued Kirk Kjellberg, the creator of Ideal Conceal, a [.380-caliber pistol] that folds up to look like a smartphone. "A boy spotted me in [a] restaurant and said loudly, 'Mommy, Mommy, that guy's got a gun!' And then pretty much the whole restaurant stared at me," Kjellberg told NBC News. He developed Ideal Conceal to avoid those awkward situations.
According to NBC News, "In locked position, the two-shot plastic gun with a metal core can be discreetly slipped into pockets, like a real phone. But 'with one click of the safety it opens and is ready to fire,' Ideal Conceal claims. The Department of Homeland Security has contacted him about the pistol, and he plans on giving them x-rays of it so law enforcement can distinguish it from cellphones during airport screenings. An Ideal Conceal prototype is slated for June, with sales beginning in October. The gun is listed for $395."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what-you-don't-know-can't-hurt-you department
mdsolar quotes a report from TIME: Air pollution leads to 16,000 premature births in the United States each year, leading to billions of dollars in economic costs, according to new research. Researchers behind the study, published in the journal Environmental Health Perspectives, found that preterm births associated with particulate matter -- a type of pollutant -- led to more than $4 billion in economic costs in 2010 due to medical care and lost productivity that results from disability. And, like many other public health issues, affected populations tend to be concentrated in low-income areas home to large numbers of minorities. "This is another piece of the evidentiary pie about why we should really be doing something about air pollution," says Tracey Woodruff, a professor who studies reproductive health and the environment at the University of California, San Francisco. "When you reduce air pollution you get lots of different health benefits." Countless studies have shown the effect of air pollution on cardiovascular and respiratory health -- killing millions each year. Air pollution leads to inflammation in blood vessels and contributes to lung cancer, asthma and a slew of other disorders. The effect on pregnancy may in some ways be an extension of those effects as air pollution disrupts the way a pregnant woman delivers oxygen to the fetus. Air pollution may also disrupt the endocrine system, keeping women from producing a protein needed to regulate pregnancy, researchers say.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's making-landlines-cool department
Google on Tuesday announced Fiber Phone, a home phone service for Fiber subscribers. For $10 a month, Fiber Phone offers unlimited local and nationwide calling, and "the same affordable rates as Google Voice for international calls." From company's blog post: You can keep your old phone number, or pick a new one. You can use call waiting, caller ID, and 911 services just as easily as you could before. Fiber Phone can also make it easier to access your voicemail -- the service will transcribe your voice messages for you and then send as a text or email. Writing for TechCrunch, Devin Coldewey explains why this matters: Fiber Phone features unlimited calls to the U.S., call filtering and blocking, voicemail transcription, and call forwarding to your mobile so you don't miss that telemarketer. It may seem an anachronism, but if Google aims to be the main or even sole conduit for communication in the areas it is expanding to, it does have to offer this.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's smell-of-betrayal? department
An anonymous reader shares an Ars Technica report: U.S. government officials from the FBI director down have said repeatedly that the FBI-Apple legal brouhaha was just about a single phone -- the seized iPhone used by Syed Farook, one of the San Bernardino shooters. And just last week, James Comey, the FBI director, said his fight with Apple wasn't about setting precedent; rather, it was about battling terrorism. But it seems that the storyline has changed. The Justice Department now says it will not hesitate to invoke the precedent it won in its iPhone unlocking case. Having won the court and technological battle a triumphant Department of Justice warned late Monday that its legal battle for what many say amounts to judicially ordered encryption backdoors has only just begun. "It remains a priority for the government to ensure that law enforcement can obtain crucial digital information to protect national security and public safety, either with cooperation from relevant parties, or through the court system when cooperation fails," Melanie Newman, a Justice Department spokesman, wrote in an e-mail to Ars. "We will continue to pursue all available options for this mission, including seeking the cooperation of manufacturers and relying upon the creativity of both the public and private sectors."Read Replies (0)