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ATM Hacks in 'More Than a Dozen' European Countries in 2016
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 10:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's bank-heist department:
Cybercriminals have hacked ATMs in more than a dozen countries in Europe this year using software that forces the machines to spit out cash, according to Russian cybersecurity firm Group IB. ZDNet adds: This type of attack, known as "jackpotting", is part of hackers' shifting focus from stealing card numbers and online banking details towards a more lucrative method that gives them access to both ATMs and electronic payments. The firm said attacks had successfully compromised banks in Armenia, Belarus, Bulgaria, Estonia, Georgia, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Poland, Romania, Russia, Spain, and the United Kingdom, as well as in Malaysia. However, the firm declined to disclose the banks' names. ATM makers Diebold Nixdorf and NCR Corp said that they are aware of the attacks, and have been working with customers to mitigate the threat. Dmitry Volkov, head of intelligence at Group IB said that he expects more heists on ATMs in the future.

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Trump: I'll Ditch TPP Trade Deal on Day One of My Presidency
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 10:01 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's immediate-future-plans department:
US President-elect Donald Trump has confirmed that the U.S. will pull out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) -- a trade deal involving 12 Pacific Rim nations -- "on day one" of his presidency. From a report on ArsTechnica: Trump, in a YouTube video outlining plans for his first 100 days in office, said: "I'm going to issue our notification of intent to withdraw from the Trans-Pacific Partnership, a potential disaster for our country." He added: "Instead, we will negotiate fair, bilateral trade deals that bring jobs and industry back on to American shores." An emphasis on bilateral trade deals may call into question both the Trade in Services Agreement (TISA), involving dozens of nations, and the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP). Although the latter is between the US and the European Union, the complex political structure of the EU means that effectively 28 nations are involved and can influence the outcome of the deal. This was demonstrated by the dramatic intervention of the Walloon regional government in the signing of CETA, the bloc's trade deal with Canada.

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Aussie Internet Pirates Are The Best Customers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 08:32 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's curious-case-of-Australia department:
A report commissioned by the Australian government has found a drop in piracy rates for 2016. The fall is being attributed to improved availability of legal streaming alternatives, but as TorrentFreak points out, the report also reveals that the much reviled Aussie pirate is often the industry's best customer. From the report: Streaming, on the other hand, increased from 54% to 57% year on year, with TV shows and movies making the biggest gains. "The proportion of internet users who streamed TV programs increased from 34% to 38% (making TV the most commonly accessed content type via online streaming) and the proportion of internet users who streamed movies increased from 25% to 29%," the report reads. This year the most-consumed content were TV shows (41%, up from 38% in 2015), music (39%, down from 42% in 2015) and movies (33%) and video games (15%). When all four content types were considered, the survey found that consumers streaming content on a weekly basis increased significantly, with 71% doing so for music and videos games, 55% for TV programs and 51% for movies. [...] However, in yet another blow to those who believe that genuine consumers and pirates are completely different and separate animals, the survey also reveals that millions of pirates are also consumers of legitimate content. In 2016, just 6% of Internet users exclusively obtained content from pirate sources. And there was an improvement in other areas too. When the survey presents figures from internet users who consumed content in the period (instead of just 'all Internet users 12+'), 37% consumed at least one unlawful file, down from 43% in the same period in 2015. Using the same parameters, 9% consumed all of their files unlawfully, down from 12% in 2015. But while there have been improvements in a number of areas, the volume of content being consumed illegally is not coming down across the board. According to the report, an estimated 279m music tracks, 56m TV shows, 34m movies, and 5m video games were consumed in the three month period.

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Amazon Wants To Include Live Sports as Part of Prime Membership
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 08:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's dilemma department:
An anonymous reader writes: Amazon's next Prime membership benefit could be the ability to stream live sports. The Wall Street Journal reported Monday that Amazon is in talks with leagues like the NFL, NBA, MLB, and a handful of others about live game rights. The fact that Amazon wants to stream live sports isn't a new development. But the Journal did have a noteworthy tidbit: Amazon could offer a "premium, exclusive sports package" to those who pay for a $99 per year, or $8.99 per month, Prime membership. Amazon is exploring streaming rights to multiple sports at a variety of levels. The Journal reported that Amazon wanted to exclusively license NBA's League Pass streaming product; it is also reaching out to traditional broadcasters like Univision and ESPN about the content they own but don't end up airing on TV.Amazon was also recently exploring deals with Indian Premier League, a cricket match league. In a recent interview with David Remnick of The New Yorker, Reed Hastings said that one of the most difficult decisions for him has been to not do live sports. He said Netflix doesn't want to move away from movies and TV shows, and only focus on improving the quality of the shows and user experience.

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Facebook's Solar-Powered Drone Under Investigation After 'Accident'
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 07:12 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's what's-happening department:
Facebook has hit a hitch in its plans to use a solar-powered unmanned drone to provide internet access to developing nations, after it was revealed the American National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) has opened an investigation into an accident on the drone's first test flight in June. From a report on The Guardian:At the time, Facebook described the flight as "successful": the drone, called Aquila, stayed aloft for 96 minutes, three times the planned duration. "We have a lot of work ahead of us," Jay Parikh, Facebook's head of engineering and infrastructure, wrote when Facebook revealed the test flight, in late July. "In our next tests, we will fly Aquila faster, higher and longer, eventually taking it above 60,000 feet." In a second, more technical, blogpost published that same day, Facebook's Martin Luis Gomez and Andrew Cox acknowledged the failure in passing. "Our first flight lasted three times longer than the minimum mission length, so we were able to gather data on how the structure and autopilot responded under a range of real-world conditions to help verify these predictions," they wrote.Reporter Casey Newton mentioned on The Verge that at the time, Facebook had led them believe that everything was alright, and there were no hiccups.

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Almost Half the World Will be Online by End of 2016
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 07:12 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's booming-growth department:
By the end of this year, almost half of the world's population will be using the internet, partly because of growth of mobile networks and internet access becoming affordable to many, a United Nations agency said. From a report:In the world's developed countries about 80 percent of the population use the internet. But only about 40 percent in developing countries and less than 15 percent in less-developed countries are online, according to a report by the U.N.'s International Telecommunications Union (ITU). In several of Africa's poorer and more fragile countries, only one person in 10 is on the internet. The offline population is female, elderly, less educated, poorer and lives in rural areas, said the union, a specialized agency for information and communication technologies. Globally, 47 percent of the world's population is online, still far short of a U.N. target of 60 percent by 2020. Some 3.9 billion people, more than half the world's population, are not. ITU expects 3.5 billion people to have access by the end of this year

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Slashdot Asks: Are You Ashamed of Your Code?
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 05:51 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's right-vs-wrong department:
Programmer and teacher Bill Sourour wrote a post last week called "Code I'm Still Ashamed Of," where he recounts a story in which he was hired to write code for a pharmaceutical company. Little did he know at the time, he was being "duped into helping the company skirt drug advertising laws in order to persuade young women to take a particular drug," recaps Business Insider. "He later found out the drug was known to worsen depression and at least one young woman committed suicide while taking it." Sourour was inspired to write the post after viewing a talk by Robert Martin, called "The Future of Programming," who argues that software developers need to figure out how to self-regulate themselves quickly as software becomes increasingly prevalent in many people's lives. Business Insider reports: "Let's decide what it means to be a programmer," Martin says in the video. "Civilization depends on us. Civilization doesn't understand this yet." His point is that in today's world, everything we do like buying things, making a phone call, driving cars, flying in planes, involves software. And dozens of people have already been killed by faulty software in cars, while hundreds of people have been killed from faulty software during air travel. "We are killing people," Martin says. "We did not get into this business to kill people. And this is only getting worse." Martin finished with a fire-and-brimstone call to action in which he warned that one day, some software developer will do something that will cause a disaster that kills tens of thousands of people. But Sourour points out that it's not just about accidentally killing people or deliberately polluting the air. Software has already been used by Wall Street firms to manipulate stock quotes. "This could not happen without some shady code that creates fake orders," Sourour says. We'd like to ask what your thoughts are on Sourour's post and whether or not you've ever had a similar experience. Have you ever felt ashamed of your code?

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'ClickClickClick' Site Reveals How Much Browsers Know About Your Online Behavior
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 03:01 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's creepy-websites department:
mi writes: The site called ClickClickClick annotates your every move on its one and only page. Turn on the sound to listen to verbal annotations in addition to reading them. The same is possible for, and therefore done by, the regular sites as they attempt to study visitors looking for various trends -- better to gauge our opinions and sell us things. While not a surprise to regular Slashdotters, it is certainly a good illustration... Dutch media company VPRO and Amsterdam based interactive design company Studio Moniker have created the site to remind online users about the "serious themes of big data and privacy." Studio Monkier designer Roel Wouters said, "It seemed fun to thematize this in a simple and lighthearted way."

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US Dementia Rates Drop 24%, New Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on November 22 '16 at 12:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's medical-mystery-of-the-best-kind department:
A new study involving more than 21,000 people across the country finds that dementia rates in people over age 65 fell from 11.6 percent in 2000 to 8.8 percent in 2012 -- a decline of 24 percent. CNN reports: The decline in dementia rates translates to about one million fewer Americans suffering from the condition, said John Haaga, director of behavioral and social research at the National Institute on Aging, part of the National Institutes of Health, which funded the new study. Dementia is a general term for a loss of memory or other mental abilities that's severe enough to interfere with daily life. Alzheimer's disease, which is believed to be caused by a buildup of plaques and tangles in the brain, is the most common type of dementia. Vascular dementia is the second most common type of dementia and occurs after a stroke. The study, which began in 1992, focuses on people over age 50, collecting data every two years. Researchers conduct detailed interviews with participants about their health, income, cognitive ability and life circumstances. The interviews also include physical tests, body measurements and blood and saliva samples. Although researchers can't definitively explain why dementia rates are decreasing, Langa said doctors may be doing a better job controlling high blood pressure and diabetes, which can both boost the risk of age-related memory problems. High blood pressure and diabetes both increase the risk of strokes, which kill brain cells, increasing the risk of vascular dementia. Authors of the study found that senior citizens today are better educated than even half a generation ago. The population studied in 2012 stayed in school 13 years, while the seniors studied in 2000 had about 12 years of education, according to the study. People who are better educated may have more intellectually stimulating jobs and hobbies that help exercise their brains, Langa said. The study has been published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.

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China To Build a Solar Plant In Chernobyl's Exclusion Zone
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 08:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's exclusion-to-inclusion department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: Two Chinese firms plan to build a solar power plant in the exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor, which has been off limits since a devastating explosion contaminated the region with deadly radiation in 1986. GCL System Integration Technology (GCL-SI), a subsidiary of the GCL Group, said it would cooperate with China National Complete Engineering Corp (CCEC) on the project in Ukraine, with construction expected to start next year. CCEC, a subsidiary of state-owned China National Machinery Industry Corp, will be in overall charge of the project, while GCL-SI will provide and install solar components. GCL-SI did not say how much it would cost. The Chernobyl reactor, which is due to be covered next year by a 1.5 billion euro ($1.6 billion) steel-clad arch, is surrounded by a 2,600 square km (1,000 square mile) exclusion zone of forest and marshland. GCL-SI would not disclose exactly where the solar plant would be built, but a company manager told Reuters that the site had already gone through several rounds of inspections by the company's technicians. China is the world's biggest solar power generator, with 43 gigawatts of capacity by the end of last year. It is also the world's top manufacturer, producing 72 percent of global solar power components in 2015, according to a research note by Everbright Securities last week. "There will be remarkable social benefits and economic ones as we try to renovate the once damaged area with green and renewable energy," said Shu Hua, chairman of GCL-SI. A company manager added: "Ukraine has passed a law allowing the site to be developed for agriculture and other things, so that means (the radiation) is under control."

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Sea Ice In Arctic and Antarctic Is At Record Low Levels This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's it's-getting-hot-in-here department:
dryriver quotes a report from CNN: For what appears to be the first time since scientists began keeping track, sea ice in the Arctic and the Antarctic are at record lows this time of year. "It looks like, since the beginning of October, that for the first time we are seeing both the Arctic and Antarctic sea ice running at record low levels," said Walt Meier, a research scientist with the Cryospheric Sciences Laboratory at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, who has tracked sea ice data going back to 1979. While it is too early to know if the recent, rapid decline in Antarctic sea ice is going to be a regular occurrence like in the Arctic, it "certainly puts the kibosh on everyone saying that Antarctica's ice is just going up and up," Meier said. The decline of sea ice has been a key indicator that climate change is happening, but its loss, especially in the Arctic, can mean major changes for your weather, too. The report notes that air temperatures in the Arctic have been exceeding 35 degrees Fahrenheit (20 degrees Celsius) above average, while "sea ice in the northern latitudes is at a lower level than ever observed for this time of the year." October and November is when the Arctic region typically gains ice. This year, air temperatures are staying much warmer and closer to the freezing mark of 32 degrees Fahrenheit. What's more is that water temperatures in the Arctic Ocean are several degrees above average, as a result of having less sea ice.

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US Sets Plan To Build Two Exascale Supercomputers
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 06:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's it-takes-two-to-tango department:
dcblogs quotes a report from Computerworld: The U.S. believes it will be ready to seek vendor proposals to build two exascale supercomputers -- costing roughly $200 to $300 million each -- by 2019. The two systems will be built at the same time and be ready for use by 2023, although it's possible one of the systems could be ready a year earlier, according to U.S. Department of Energy officials. The U.S. will award the exascale contracts to vendors with two different architectures. But the scientists and vendors developing exascale systems do not yet know whether President-Elect Donald Trump's administration will change directions. The incoming administration is a wild card. Supercomputing wasn't a topic during the campaign, and Trump's dismissal of climate change as a hoax, in particular, has researchers nervous that science funding may suffer. At the annual supercomputing conference SC16 last week in Salt Lake City, a panel of government scientists outlined the exascale strategy developed by President Barack Obama's administration. When the session was opened to questions, the first two were about Trump. One attendee quipped that "pointed-head geeks are not going to be well appreciated."

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Trump Names Two Opponents of Net Neutrality To Oversee FCC Transition Team
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's end-of-net-neutrality department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Gizmodo: President-elect Donald Trump has appointed two new advisers to his transition team that will oversee his FCC and telecommunications policy agenda. Both of the new advisers are staunch opponents of net neutrality regulations. Jeff Eisenach, one of the two newly appointed advisers, is an economist who has previously worked as a consultant for Verizon and its trade association. In September 2014, Eisenach testified before a Senate Judiciary Committee and said, "Net neutrality would not improve consumer welfare or protect the public interest." He has also worked for the conservative think-tank American Enterprise Institute (AEI) and in a blog post wrote, "Net neutrality is crony capitalism pure and simple." Mark Jamison, the other newly appointed adviser, also has a long history of battling against net neutrality oversight. Jamison formerly worked on Sprint's lobbying team and now leads the University of Florida's Public Utility Research Center. Both Eisenach and Jamison are considered leading adversaries of net neutrality who worked hard to prevent the rules from being passed last year. For the uninitiated, the rules passed last year prevent companies internet providers from discriminating against any online content or services. For example, without net neutrality rules, internet providers like Comcast and Verizon could charge internet subscribers more for using sites like Netflix. The FCC's net neutrality rules would protect consumers from paying exorbitant fees for internet use.

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Canada Plans To Phase Out Coal-Powered Electricity By 2030
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 05:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's countdown-timer department:
Last week, French president Francois Hollande announced that France will shut down all its coal-fired power plants by 2023. This week, Canada's environment minister, Kathleen McKenna, announced that Canada plans to phase out its use of coal-fired electricity by 2030. The Guardian reports: [McKenna] said the goal is to make sure 90% of Canada's electricity comes from sustainable sources by that time -- up from 80% today. The announcement is one of a series of measures Justin Trudeau's Liberal government is rolling out as part of a broader climate change plan. Trudeau also has plans to implement a carbon tax. "Taking traditional coal power out of our energy mix and replacing it with cleaner technologies will significantly reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, improve the health of Canadians, and benefit generations for years to come," McKenna said. Four of Canada's 10 provinces still use coal-based electricity. Alberta had been working toward phasing out coal-fired electricity by 2030.

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Panasonic Invests $60 Million In World's First Laundry-Folding Robot
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 04:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's money-well-spent department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Telegraph.co.uk: Panasonic has invested tens of millions of dollars in a robot that can reduce the time it takes to wash clothes by sorting clean items and folding them into neat piles. The electronics giant will pour $60 million into the startup behind the folding robot called Laundroid, which was first unveiled in October last year. The domestic robot has been a decade in the making and is expected to finally be available to buy next year. Created by Japanese company Seven Dreamers, the Laundroid can fold a shirt in ten minutes and sort clothing into types.Seven Dreamers is yet to say how much the robot, which is around the same size as a fridge-freezer, will cost, but Panasonic is reportedly funding just 10pc of the project. Consumers place clothes in a drawer at the bottom of the Laundroid, which it then identifies, sorts and folds using a combination of image recognition software, advanced robotics and machine learning. It can fold a range of clothing items, including shirts, skirts, shorts and trousers, according to Seven Dreamers. The company plans to release the Laundroid in March 2017, and will unveil more details at the Consumer Electronics Show in January.

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Instagram Launches Disappearing Live Video and Messages
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 04:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's now-you-see-me-now-you-don't department:
Instagram is continuing to add features to its service to woo Snapchat and Periscope users. Today, the company will be rolling out two big new features to Instagram Stories on iOS and Android: live video on Instagram Stories and disappearing photos and videos for groups and friends in Instagram Direct. TechCrunch reports: Instagram Live is the most ephemeral of the major Live streaming platforms now that Meerkat is defunct. While Periscope started with a 24 hour expiration date, it eventually allowed permanent replays like Facebook Live. Instagram Live videos disappear as soon as the stream stops, which could get people broadcasting more frequently rather than saving the capability just for big flashy events or citizen journalism. Meanwhile, viewers will feel greater urgency to watch immediately because they know it's their only chance. Instagram Direct already has 300 million monthly users, but all of the messages are permanent. The existing product lets you send text, photos, and videos, and posts from Instagram to friends and discuss them. But with Instagram Stories now letting you communicate visually with overlaid text and drawing, Instagram needed a way to share these 'Gramsterpieces' privately. Now Direct will have an ephemeral Stories messages bar at the top along with a list of permanent threads below. When you go to share a photo or video to Instagram Stories, you'll be able to also select friends or groups of friends to send it to. It's much like how you can send Snapchat Stories as private messages, but adds in a groups feature. Recipients can watch the messages once, and replay them once, but then they're gone.

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4K Netflix Arrives On Windows 10, But Only Via Microsoft's Edge Browser
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 02:43 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-hardware-required department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Netflix 4K streaming is finally heading to Windows PCs this week. While a number of TVs and set-top-boxes already support 4K Netflix streams, the PC has largely been left out of the high-quality streams due to piracy fears. Netflix is now supporting 4K streaming through Microsoft's Edge browser, but you'll need a new PC to actually make use of it. Netflix is only supporting 7th generation (Kaby Lake) Intel Core processors, and there aren't many laptops that actually support both the 4K display required and the new Intel processors. As a result, Microsoft is using the 4K Netflix support as a marketing effort for its Edge browser and to encourage people to upgrade their hardware to watch new episodes of the Gilmore Girls. It all might seem like a bit of a con, but it's largely the fault of DRM requirements from Hollywood studios and TV networks. Content providers have strict controls for 4K playback, so that streams can't be captured and redistributed illegally. The latest hardware decryption features simply aren't available on older Intel processors, and the new Kaby Lake chips now support 10-bit HEVC, a popular 4K video codec.

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Symantec To Acquire LifeLock for $2.3B
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 02:43 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's big-shark,-small-shark department:
Symantec is acquiring identity-theft protection firm LifeLock for $2.3 billion, the companies announced today. It's the company's latest move to branch out from malware protection into cybersecurity, following its purchase of Blue Coat, a company that safeguards web transactions. "With the combination of Norton and LifeLock, we will be able to deliver comprehensive cyber defense for consumers," Symantec said. From a report on USA Today:Symantec will finance the deal with a combination of cash and $750 million of new debt, the company said in a statement. The deal will close during the first calendar quarter of 2017. The combination of LifeLock and Norton, Symantec's suite of antivirus and anti-spyware tools, will help the company deliver "comprehensive" protection for consumers, said Symantec CEO Greg Clark. "This acquisition marks the transformation of the consumer security industry from malware protection to the broader category of digital safety for consumers," said Clark. Symantec sees a growing market for digital safety, estimated at $10 billion and 80 million consumers. "People's identity and data are prime targets of cybercrime," said Symantec board chairman Dan Schulman. "The security industry must step up and defend through innovation and vigilance."

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Samsung and Panasonic Accused Over Supply Chain Labour Abuses in Malaysia
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 02:43 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's dirty-tricks department:
Samsung and Panasonic, two of the world's leading electronics brands, are facing allegations that workers in their supply chains are being duped, exploited and underpaid in Malaysia. From a report on The Guardian: The two companies have launched investigations into allegations of abuse made by Nepalese workers after a Guardian investigation raised multiple concerns about their treatment. The men said they had been deceived about pay, had their passports confiscated and had been told that they must pay large fines if they wanted to return to Nepal before the end of their contract. They also claimed they were forced to work for up to 14 hours on their feet without adequate rest, and with restricted toilet breaks, in an attempt to settle recruitment fees of up to pound 1,000 -- they said they had to pay this money to secure their jobs. They said they felt "cheated" and trapped in their factory jobs making or assembling components for household electrical goods sold on the global market. "My heart is aching," said one young man who works in a factory making Samsung microwaves. "I was not given the job I was promised. I am doing very difficult work. I haven't got the salary they said I would get."

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China Says Terrorism, Fake News Impel Greater Global Internet Curbs
Posted by News Fetcher on November 21 '16 at 02:43 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's things-China-says department:
China's ambitions to tighten up regulation of the Internet have found a second wind in old fears -- terrorism and fake news. Chinese officials and business leaders speaking at the third World Internet Conference held in Wuzhen last week called for more rigid cyber governance, pointing to the ability of militants to organize online and the spread of false news items during the recent U.S. election as signs cyberspace had become dangerous and unwieldy. From a report on Reuters: Ren Xianling, the vice minister of China's top internet authority, said on Thursday that the process was akin to "installing brakes on a car before driving on the road." Ren, number two at the Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC), recommended using identification systems for netizens who post fake news and rumors, so they could "reward and punish" them. The comments come as U.S. social networks Facebook and Twitter face a backlash over their role in the spread of false and malicious information generated by users, which some say helped sway the U.S. presidential election in favor of Republican candidate Donald Trump.

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