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Comcast Rolls Out Nationwide 1TB Data Cap
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 06:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's overage-fees department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Comcast's home internet data caps are going live for a majority of customers starting November 1st, the company announced today. Called the "Xfinity Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan," the cap restricts the amount of data you consume in your home to 1TB per month regardless of the speed of your plan. Comcast claims 99 percent of customers use less than 1TB per month, but it does now offer an unlimited option for $50 more per month. Back in April, Comcast bumped its data cap from 300GB to 1TB after consumer backlash and renewed regulatory concern from the FCC. And until today, the plan has been active in select markets for 16 states. But starting November 1st, the list will add 18 new markets, bringing the total number of states with the terabyte data cap to around 30. Notable exceptions include New York and nearly the entire northeast. For a full list of included markets, check Comcast's online FAQ.

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12-Year-Old Boy Gets $100K Bill From Google After Confusing Adwords With Adsense
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 05:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other department:
The names Google gives to its services can be a bit confusing at times, especially since there are so many of them. For example, Adwords and Adsense look and sound very similar but they deal with two different transaction types. While Adwords deals with spending money, Adsense deals with earning money. A 12-year-old boy in Spain managed to confused the two services and ended up with a bill of 100,000 euros ($111,490). The Register reports: Jose Javier, 12, had signed up for Google's Adwords program in order to make money from advertisements placed alongside YouTube videos of his band, the Torrevieja llamada Los Salerosos -- en ingles, the Torrevieja Fun Guys -- named after the Alicante town in which he lives. Unfortunately, for the young musician, Google's AdWords program is for those wishing to advertise at cost, rather than run advertisements for profit. According to a report from Spanish daily El Pais, Jose and a friend planned to buy instruments, play music, get rich and buy a mansion by subscribing to the service. By early September the account was being billed by Google, receiving charges which reportedly rose quickly from an initial 15 euros ($16.72) to 19,700 euros ($21,960.57) at a time until the amount owed hit six figures. Google's statement noted that AdWords has age restrictions in place and encouraged families to familiarize itself with its Safety Center, but the boy's mother complained to El Pais that it was too easy for her son to make the purchases from Google, requiring him only to provide his savings account details, which he did in mid-August. Thankfully, Google was kind enough to cancel the outstanding balance on its Adwords service.

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New York To Test Facial Recognition Cameras At 'Crossing Points'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 05:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Minority-Report department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vocativ: In a 35-minute speech detailing a landmark $100 billion investment into state infrastructure, largely focused on New York City and Long Island, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a number of promises that would thrill New Yorkers, like the promise of a renovated Penn Station, called Penn-Farley, a direct train from there to LaGuardia Airport, and the completion of the long-awaited Second Avenue Line. Oh, and facial recognition cameras around the city, he said: "At each crossing, and at structurally sensitive points on bridges and tunnels, advanced cameras and sensors will be installed to read license plates and test emerging facial recognition software and equipment." "We're going to be using this in Penn-Farley and we also want to be testing it in bridges and crossings system," he added. On the matter of facial recognition cameras, Cuomo was shy on details. It's unclear how many cameras will be deployed, which agencies will have access to them, what defines a crossing, how citizens' photos will be stored, and what photo databases will be used to compare against the faces of the millions of people who drive into the city. In his speech, Cuomo referenced the cameras as necessary for New York to adapt to 21st century security threats. "In this age of terrorist activity and lone wolves, if you look at points of vulnerability you'll go to our tunnels and to our bridges. So really they have to be reimagined for a new reality," he said.

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Two 19-Year-Olds Charged With Running Phone Harassment, Hack-For-Hire Sites
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 03:34 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hang-up-and-try-again department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Federal prosecutors have charged two 19-year-old men with running "hacking-for-hire" websites that attacked companies worldwide and did business with international hacking groups "Lizard Squad" and "PoodleCorp." Zachary Buchta of Fallston, Maryland, and Bradley Jan Willem van Rooy of the Netherlands, have both been charged with conspiring to cause damage to protected computers. Buchta walked out of federal court in Chicago yesterday after being released on bail. He was arrested earlier but released on his own recognizance. The judge ruled that Buchta can live with his mother in Maryland while he awaits trial, but he won't be allowed to access the Internet or have any contact with van Rooy. As for van Rooy, he was arrested in the Netherlands last month and remains in custody there. The allegations against Buchta and van Rooy are among the first US charges related to Lizard Squad. The site that first got the feds' attention was phonebomber.net, which allowed paying customers to purchase a barrage of harassing phone calls directed at chosen targets. The phonebomber.net website charged just $20 to initiate the harassment, according to a report in the Chicago Tribune. Police say the two worked together with other members of Lizard Squad to run additional websites that trafficked in stolen credit card numbers and offered hacking-for-hire services alleged to have caused thousands of "denial of service" attacks worldwide.

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Chrome and Firefox Flag The Pirate Bay As a 'Phishing' Site...Again
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 03:34 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's deceptive-pages department:
The Pirate Bay's download pages are being blocked by Chrome and Firefox. These pages have been flagged as "deceptive," by Google's safe browsing program. TorrentFreak reports that "millions" of Pirate Bay users are currently unable to access the torrent detail pages on the site without receiving a stark warning. The report adds: The homepage and various categories can be reached without problems, but when visitors navigate to a download page they are presented with an ominous red warning banner. According to Google the notorious torrent site is linked to a phishing effort, where malicious actors try to steal the personal information of visitors. It's likely that the security error is caused by a malicious third-party advertisement. The TPB team informs TorrentFreak that they are aware of the issue, which they hope will be resolved soon.

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Upcoming Blade Runner Sequel Gets a Title: Blade Runner 2049
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 03:34 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's coming-to-a-theater-near-you department:
The sequel to Ridley Scott's 1982 sci-fi classic "Blade Runner" is officially titled "Blade Runner 2049." Harris Ford is confirmed to be returning as Rick Deckard. Other stars include Ryan Gosling, Jared Leto, Robin Wright, Dave Bautista and Lennie James. The Verge reports: There's a hashtag included in the press release, of course (#BladeRunner2049), but other than that there's little else revealed about the story itself. There is a new picture out, however, with Scott, Villeneuve, Gosling, and Harrison Ford chatting over some Blade Runner weaponry. Whether you like or hate the new title will most likely depend on how excited you are about knowing the exact year that the new film takes place. The original was set in 2019, so it's good that they're tacking on an extra 30 years because the Los Angeles of today really doesn't look anything like the dystopian vision Scott wowed audiences with way back when. But hey -- there's still time. Blade Runner 2049 is scheduled to arrive in theaters on October 6th, 2017.

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BitTorrent Fires CEOs, Closes Los Angeles Studio, Shutters BitTorrent Now
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 02:13 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's big-shakeup department:
Things are not looking good at BitTorrent. Citing multiple sources, Variety reports today that the company has fired two former CEOs -- Robert Delamar and Jeremy Johnson -- and let go an unknown number of staffers. Company's CFO Dipak Joshi has stepped in as interim CEO. BitTorrent is also closing its Los Angeles-based production studio and shutting its BitTorrent Now streaming efforts. From the report: The company had officially announced the appointment of Delamar and Johnson as new co-CEOs in April. At the time, the duo laid out a renewed focus on media production and distribution, which involved the opening of a new Los Angeles-based production studio. These efforts culminated in BitTorrent Now, an ad-supported music and video streaming platform that launched in June. BitTorrent Now built on the company's efforts to strike media distribution deals with independent artists, but didn't actually use BitTorrent's P2P technology for streaming.

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Zuckerberg Teases An 'Affordable' Standalone Oculus VR Headset
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 12:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's budget-friendly department:
At the Oculus Connect developers conference today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg teased a standalone Oculus VR headset that fits somewhere imbetween the Gear VR consumer headset for Samsung Galaxy users and the high-end Oculus Rift headset designed for professional gamers. TechCrunch reports: The hallmark feature of the new prototype standalone headset is positional tracking. In a brief demo video, the headset appeared to be a modified Rift with a compute module embedded into the back of the headset. This positional tracking technology allows the headset to understand where it is in physical space and adjust the onscreen content accordingly. With 360 videos, you're limited to a spherical viewpoint from a fixed point, but with positional tracking enabled you can walk through an experience and see a story from every angle. There's a reason that plenty of enthusiasts refer to this as the hallmark feature of "real VR." Zuckerberg said development is still incredibly early, but that it's on the product roadmap. Unbelievably the word "affordable" was mentioned at some point. Oculus did also announce that its Oculus Touch motion controllers will be coming out on December 6th. They will cost $199, and will put the combined Oculus Rift price at roughly $800. Pre-orders for Touch start on October 10th.

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Apple Has Removed Dash from the App Store
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 12:52 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's what's-happening department:
Popular API documentation browser Dash was pulled from the App Store this week after a routine migration request, its developer Bogdan Popescu wrote in a blog post. He said the migration was successful, but some features in iTunes Connect weren't available during account migration, Apple warned him. Later in the day, Apple sent another email saying the app has been pulled because of "fraudulent conduct," and did not offer any explanation. From the post: Today I called them and they confirmed my account migration went through and that everything is okay as far as they can tell. A few hours ago I received a "Notice of Termination" email, saying that my account was terminated due to fraudulent conduct. I called them again and they said they can't provide more information. Update: Apple contacted me and told me they found evidence of App Store review manipulation. This is something I've never done. Apple's decision is final and can't be appealed.Apple blogger Federico Viticci said. "This seems like a major screwup. Apple dev relationships should fix this soon." Marco Arment, the co-founder of Tumblr and founder of Instapaper, said This is a story with two major paths: Either the developer did something to deserve the rug being pulled out from under, something worthy of their developer credentials being cancelled. Or there's a colossal misunderstanding here. I suspect there's more to this than meets the eye. Either way, don't think this is the way this should have played out.

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AT&T Gigabit Internet Coming To 11 More US Regions
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's aggressive-expansion department:
AT&T is bringing its gigabit Internet service to 11 new metro areas. Currently available in parts of 29 cities around the country, the ultra-fast network -- which the company is now calling AT&T Fiber -- is expected to reach another 45 locations by the end of this year, reads a PCMag article. From the report: That includes 11 new markets: Florida: Gainesville and Panama City, Georgia: Columbus, Kentucky: Central Kentucky, Louisiana: Lafayette, Mississippi: Biloxi-Gulfport and Northeast Mississippi, Tennessee: Southeastern Tennessee and Knoxville, and Texas: Corpus Christi.

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Unity 8 Desktop Session Arrives in Ubuntu 16.10
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-things department:
The latest updates to Ubuntu 16.10 Yakkety Yak add a Unity8 desktop session to the Ubuntu login screen. OMGUbuntu adds: Added to the Ubuntu meta package, the new Unity 8 desktop session will be available to try on all new installs and upgrades of Ubuntu 16.10, but only as an alternate login session to Unity 7. Unity 8 is not -- repeat: not -- going to be the default session in this release. Shipping it as a preview session is a great idea. It means to try Unity 8 on Ubuntu 16.10 you won't need to install a set of packages, or faff around with special set-up, or add a PPA. When at the Unity Greeter (aka the login screen) just click the session selector button, followed by 'Unity 8,' and then proceed to login as normal.

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Facebook Is Talking To the White House About Giving You 'Free' Internet
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 11:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's rekindling-controversy department:
Facebook is in talks with the government and wireless carriers to bring its 'Free Basics' internet service to the United States, reports Washington Post, citing sources. If everything goes as planned for Facebook, it would target "low-income and rural Americans who cannot afford reliable, high-speed internet at home or on smartphones," (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternate source) the paper adds. From the report: Exactly what specific services would be offered in the U.S. app has not been determined. But the idea to bring Free Basics to the United States is likely to rekindle a long-running debate about the future of the Internet. On one side are those who view services such as Facebook's as a critical tool in connecting underserved populations to the Internet, in some cases for the first time. On the other side are those who argue that exempting services from data caps creates a multitiered playing field that favors businesses with the expertise and budgets to participate in such programs. The fight over this tactic, known as "zero-rating," has largely taken place overseas where local start-ups are mixing with globally established firms in still-nascent Internet economies. But a launch of Free Basics would bring the discussion to U.S. shores in a major way.India banned Free Basics program in the country earlier this year, stating that Facebook's initiative violates net neutrality. The government told Facebook to open Free Basics so that underserved Indians could access any website that would like -- as opposed to select websites handpicked by Facebook. The government added that if it is not feasible for Facebook to offer unlimited access to every website, it could look into introducing limited monthly data plans (like 500MB or 1GB for users). India was not open to the idea of Facebook offering users access to select websites.

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Google Canceled the Launch of a Robotic Arm After it Failed the 'Toothbrush Test'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 10:04 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's toothbrush-test department:
Mark Bergen, reporting for Bloomberg: Google published research this week detailing how its software enables robots to learn from one another. To demonstrate, the company's scientists showed videos featuring robotic arms whirling inside its labs. Google's robotics group built those machines and wanted to sell them to manufacturers, warehouse operators and others. However, executives at Google parent Alphabet Inc. nixed the plan because it failed Chief Executive Officer Larry Page's "toothbrush test," a requirement that the company only ship products used daily by billions of people, according to people familiar with the situation.

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Bigfoot Spotted Sneaking Around Below Bald Eagle Nest, Multiple Outlets Report
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 10:04 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's grain-of-salt department:
Take it with a pinch of salt. Maybe some more. Eric Mack, writing for CNET:Bigfoot, that mysteriously unkempt and anti-social gentlemen of the woodlands, has again made an appearance on camera in his trademark blurry yet intriguing style. This time the legendary cryptid has apparently been captured on the CarbonTV Eagle Cam in northern Michigan. The live webcam is trained on a bald eagle nest 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground near the Platte River State Fish Hatchery. In the aforementioned video we see a dark lumbering figure talking into frame about 10 seconds into the clip. The shadowy silhouette of something clearly bipedal makes its way through the stand of trees before walking out of frame. While the creature appears to fit the traditional description of Bigfoot, it also could pretty easily be explained as a bear or a human. Because the camera is capturing the forest floor looking down from 100 feet up, the perspective is a little screwy and it's hard to get much clarity.Further reporting on Time, and Fox.

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Microsoft Allows Users To Remove Some System Applications in Windows 10 Insider Preview 14936
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 08:43 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's good-riddance department:
Until now, Microsoft restricted users from deleting many of the system applications on Windows 10. But it is finally giving users that option in the latest Windows 10 Insider Preview -- 14936. From an article on Ghacks:If you open the Mail and Calendar application for instance, you will notice that the uninstall button is active now. This means that you can remove the system app from the machine without having to resort to Powershell or third-party programs to do so. Users who are on the stable version of Windows 10 cannot uninstall system apps using the apps & features menu currently. It seems likely that Microsoft will introduce the feature with the next feature update, codename Redstone 2, which will be out in 2017. Before you start jumping up and down in joy, note that some system applications cannot be removed. While you can uninstall Mail and Calendar, Calculator, Groove Music, Maps, and Weather, you cannot remove Alarm & Clock, Camera, Cortana, Messaging, and others.

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LinkedIn Now Lets You Look For New Job Without Your Existing Boss Finding Out
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 08:43 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's interesting-feature department:
A new feature on LinkedIn can come in handy to thousands. An anonymous reader writes: LinkedIn has removed an obstacle preventing some members from using the professional social network from finding their next job: The possibility of their current boss finding out. On Thursday, the company released its Open Candidates feature which now lets members privately notify recruiters that they're open for opportunities without exposing themselves to their current company. Additionally, businesses are also receiving updated career pages that can be used to better market themselves to potential hires. In research conducted in the past year, LinkedIn claimed that 77 percent of professional workers are open to their next opportunity. However, with social media, the fear has been that any signal made on a profile could get back to an employer, which is why the Open Candidates feature lets anyone operate stealthily. It's perfect for those who are open to change, but aren't precisely set on making a move... yet. "This is a signal to recruiters that you want to hear from them," explained Eric Owski, LinkedIn's head of talent brand products.

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Smartphone Reseller Cheated Customers Out of Millions, Feds Say
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 07:22 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's fraud-case department:
An anonymous reader writes:The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has sued a Nevada-based company called Laptop & Desktop Repair LLC (LDR) for allegedly bilking thousands of customers out of millions of dollars in promised funds for the resale of their smartphones. LDR operated dozens of websites that promised customers high returns for their smartphones and tablets using an instant quote generator. The customers, believing that this website would pay the highest price for their used gadget, sent their phones to LDR. Once LDR received the gadget, it would offer the customer a "revised quote" that was often only three to ten percent of the original quoted price. Customers only had three to five days to dispute the revised quote, the FTC's complaint claimed. The FTC further alleged that when customers would call LDR to request their smartphones back, the company would put them on hold for extraordinarily long periods of time, the call would be dropped, and an LDR employee would say the phone had already been processed. If the customer persisted in threatening to report LDR's actions, company representatives would offer slightly higher resale prices.

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Tech Billionaires Are Asking Scientists For Help To Break Humans Out of Computer Simulation
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 07:22 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's realities-of-life department:
Many believe that we live in a computer simulation. But it takes a billionaire and his money to ask scientists to help break us out of the simulation. The New Yorker recently did a profile about Y Combinator's Sam Altman. In the story, Altman discusses his theories about being controlled by technology and delves into the simulation theory. From an article on The New Yorker: Many people in Silicon Valley have become obsessed with the simulation hypothesis, the argument that what we experience as reality is in fact fabricated in a computer; two tech billionaires have gone so far as to secretly engage scientists to work on breaking us out of the simulation. Business Insider adds: The piece doesn't give any clue as to who those two billionaires are -- although it's easy to hazard a few guesses at who they might be, like Musk himself or Altman's friend Peter Thiel -- but it's fascinating to see how seriously people are taking this theory. According to Musk, it's the most popular topic of conversation right now.Earlier this year, at Code Conference, Elon Musk said there's "one in billions" chance we're not living in a computer simulation.

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New Study Suggests There's a Limit To How Long People Can Live
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 06:00 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's age-is-just-a-number department:
Life expectancies have risen in many countries around the world thanks to breakthroughs in medical treatment and sanitation in the last century. The maximum age of death has also increased. But as these numbers continue to rise, it raises the question as to how long can people live? ABC News reports: The record for the world's oldest person is 122 years and the odds of shattering that record are slim, according to an analysis published Wednesday in the journal Nature. In the new study, researchers [at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York] analyzed mortality data from a global database. They found that while there have been strides in reducing deaths among certain groups -- children, women during childbirth and the elderly -- the rate of improvement was slower for the very old, those over 100 years old. Next they examined how old centenarians were when they died. The record holder is Jeanne Calment, of France, who lived until 122 years old. Since her death in 1997, no one has broken her record. The researchers calculated the odds of someone reaching 125 years in a given year are less than 1 in 10,000. They think the human life span more likely maxes out at 115 years. Some aging specialists said the study doesn't take into account advances that have been made in extending the life span -- and health -- of certain laboratory animals including mice, worms and flies through genetic manipulation and other techniques. The goal is to eventually find treatments that might slow the aging process in humans and keep them healthier longer.

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Yahoo Scan By US Fell Under Foreign Spy Law Expiring Next Year
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 03:12 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's expiration-date department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: A Yahoo operation in 2015 to scan the incoming email of its customers for specific information requested by the U.S. government was authorized under a foreign intelligence law, parts of which will expire next year, two U.S. government officials familiar with the matter said. The collection in question was specifically authorized by a warrant issued by the secret Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court, said the two government sources, who requested anonymity to speak freely. Yahoo's request came under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, the sources said. The two sources said the request was issued under a provision of the law known as Section 702, which will expire on Dec. 31, 2017, unless lawmakers act to renew it. The FISA Court warrant related specifically to Yahoo, but it is possible similar such orders have been issued to other telecom and internet companies, the sources said. Section 702 of the FISA governs a program exposed by former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden known as Prism, which gathers messaging data from Alphabet Inc's Google, Facebook Inc, Microsoft Corp, Apple Inc and other major tech companies that involves a foreign target under surveillance. Another type of spying the authority allowed under Section 702 is known as "upstream," and allows the NSA to copy web traffic flowing along the internet backbone located inside the United States and search for certain terms associated with a target. "The NSA has said that it only targets individuals under Section 702 by searching for email addresses and similar identifiers," Senator Ron Wyden (OR-D) said in a statement to Reuters on Monday. "If that has changed, the executive branch has an obligation to notify the public."

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