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Indonesia Wants To Criminalize Memes
Posted by News Fetcher on October 05 '16 at 02:31 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's scumbag-steve department:
While the United States has the First Amendment to justify the spread of memes that may ridicule political figures for example, the Indonesian government doesn't. In fact, it is looking to criminalize internet users for posting memes. The Daily Dot reports via Jakarta Post: Its Electronic Information and Transactions Law (ITE) punishes any electronic media communication that incites fear or embarrassment under its defamation article. The public has continuously called for the article's removal, but instead Indonesia is introducing more restrictions to freedom of expression. Posting memes, texts, pictures, or videos would be punishable if found to have a defamatory or slanderous tone. According to the Indonesian government, this provision stands to prevent and control cyberbullying. But it can further be used as a political tool against opposition during elections. Since its implementation in 2008, 200 people have been prosecuted according to data from the Southeast Asia Freedom of Expression Network. Among the most notable cases, was the prosecution of Prita Mulyasari in 2009 for complaining about Omni International Hospital services on an online mailing list.

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Boeing CEO Vows To Beat Elon Musk To Mars
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 11:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's space-race department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Bloomberg: Boeing Chief Executive Officer Dennis Muilenburg sketched out a Jetsons-like future at a conference Tuesday, envisioning a commercial space-travel market with dozens of destinations orbiting the Earth and hypersonic aircraft shuttling travelers between continents in two hours or less. And Boeing intends to be a key player in the initial push to send humans to Mars, maybe even beating Musk to his long-time goal. "I'm convinced the first person to step foot on Mars will arrive there riding a Boeing rocket," Muilenburg said at the Chicago event on innovation, which was sponsored by the Atlantic magazine. Like Musk's SpaceX, Boeing is focused on building out the commercial space sector near earth as spaceflight becomes more routine, while developing technology to venture far beyond the moon. The Chicago-based aerospace giant is working with the National Aeronautics and Space Administration to develop a heavy-lift rocket called the Space Launch System for deep space exploration. Boeing and SpaceX are also the first commercial companies NASA selected to ferry astronauts to the International Space Station. Boeing built the first stage for the Saturn V, the most powerful U.S. rocket ever built, which took men to the moon. Nowadays, Muilenburg sees space tourism closer to home "blossoming over the next couple of decades into a viable commercial market." The International Space Station could be joined in low-earth orbit by dozens of hotels and companies pursuing micro-gravity manufacturing and research, he said. Muilenburg said Boeing will make spacecraft for the new era of tourists. He also sees potential for hypersonic aircraft, traveling at upwards of three times the speed of sound.

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'Great Pacific Garbage Patch' Far Bigger Than Imagined, Aerial Survey Shows
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 08:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's artificial-islands department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: The vast patch of garbage floating in the Pacific Ocean is far worse than previously thought, with an aerial survey finding a much larger mass of fishing nets, plastic containers and other discarded items than imagined. A reconnaissance flight taken in a modified C-130 Hercules aircraft found a vast clump of mainly plastic waste at the northern edge of what is known as the "great Pacific garbage patch," located between Hawaii and California. The density of rubbish was several times higher than the Ocean Cleanup, a foundation part-funded by the Dutch government to rid the oceans of plastics, expected to find even at the heart of the patch, where most of the waste is concentrated. The heart of the garbage patch is thought to be around 1m sq km (386,000 sq miles), with the periphery spanning a further 3.5m sq km (1,351,000 sq miles). The dimensions of this morass of waste are continually morphing, caught in one of the ocean's huge rotating currents. The north Pacific gyre has accumulated a soup of plastic waste, including large items and smaller broken-down micro plastics that can be eaten by fish and enter the food chain. Following a further aerial survey through the heart of the patch on Sunday, the Ocean Cleanup aims to tackle the problem through a gigantic V-shaped boom, which would use sea currents to funnel floating rubbish into a cone. A prototype of the vulcanized rubber barrier will be tested next year, with a full-sized 100km (62-mile) barrier deployed by 2020 if trials go well. "Normally when you do an aerial survey of dolphins or whales, you make a sighting and record it," said Boyan Slat, the founder of the Ocean Cleanup. "That was the plan for this survey. But when we opened the door and we saw the debris everywhere. Ever half second you see something. So we had to take snapshots -- it was impossible to record everything. It was bizarre to see that much garbage in what should be pristine ocean."

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Apple, Google, Microsoft: We Have No Government Email Scanning Program Like Yahoo's
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 06:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's business-as-usual department:
Apple, Google and Microsoft -- three of the largest technology companies in the U.S. -- have each said they don't scan all incoming messages for the U.S. government, which is exactly what Yahoo does. According to Reuters, Yahoo secretly built a custom software program last year to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials. The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI. Vocativ reports: In a statement, a Microsoft spokesperson told Vocativ that "We have never engaged in the secret scanning of email traffic like what has been reported today about Yahoo." While Apple declined to give a statement on the record, a representative for the company did, in response to Vocativ's question, refer to CEO Tim Cook's official letter on consumer privacy, which reads in part: "I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will." The fact that both the companies declined further statement means it's not yet known if the NSA or FBI approached them to request they build a program like Yahoo's. Meanwhile, a spokesperson from Alphabet's Google issued a statement to CNBC: "We've never received such a request, but if we did, our response would be simple: 'no way.'" [The spokesperson later clarified that the company has not received a "directive" or "order" to that effect, either, according to The Intercept.] But the question is whether or not you believe them. With Yahoo's case, only a handful of employees knew about the program. The same could be true with Apple, Google, Microsoft or any other large tech company. Edward Snowden tweeted not too long after Reuters' report surfaced: "Heads up: Any major email service not clearly, categorically denying this tomorrow -- without careful phrasing -- is as guilty as Yahoo."

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Encryption App Signal Wins Fight Against FBI Subpoena and Gag Order
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 06:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's nothing-to-see-here department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Daily Dot: Signal, widely considered the gold standard of encrypted messaging apps, was put to the test earlier this year when a FBI subpoena and gag order that demanded a wide range of information on two users resulted in a federal grand jury investigation in Virginia. The makers of Signal, Open Whisper Systems, profoundly disappointed law enforcement. The app collects as little data as possible and therefore was unable to hand anything useful over to agents. "That's not because Signal chose not to provide logs of information," ACLU lawyer Brett Kaufman told the Associated Press. "It's just that it couldn't." "The Signal service was designed to minimize the data we retain," Moxie Marlinspike, the founder of Open Whisper Systems, told the New York Times. The subpoena came with a yearlong gag order that was successfully challenged by the American Civil Liberties Union. Signal's creators challenged the gag order as unconstitutional, "because it is not narrowly tailored to a compelling government interest." The challenge was successful. In addition to being popularly considered the best consumer encrypted messaging app available, Signal's technology is used by Facebook for Secret Conversations, WhatsApp for encrypted messages, and Google's Allo. Confronted with the subpoena, Marlinspike went to the ACLU for legal counsel. The ACLU responded with a letter saying that even though Signal did not have data the FBI sought, it still strenuously objected (PDF) to the fact the FBI wanted so much information.

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British Trio Wins Nobel Prize In Physics For Study of Exotic Matter
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's strange-states department:
Dave Knott writes: David J. Thouless, F. Duncan M. Haldane and J. Michael Kosterlitz were awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics on Tuesday for discoveries in condensed-matter physics that have transformed the understanding of matter that assumes strange shapes. All three were born in Britain but work in the United States. Using advanced mathematical models, the three scientists studied unusual phases, or states, of matter, such as superconductors, superfluids or thin magnetic films. Their findings have relevance for materials science and electronics. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm awarded the prize for "theoretical discoveries of topological phase transitions and topological phases of matter." Topology is a branch of mathematics that describes properties that change only in increments. In the early 1970s, Dr. Kosterlitz and Dr. Thouless "demonstrated that superconductivity could occur at low temperatures and also explained the mechanism, phase transition, that makes superconductivity disappear at higher temperatures," the academy found. In the 1980s, Dr. Thouless showed that the integers by which the conductivity of electricity could be measured were topological in their nature. Around that time, Dr. Haldane discovered how topological concepts could be used to understand the properties of chains of small magnets found in some materials. "We now know of many topological phases, not only in thin layers and threads, but also in ordinary three-dimensional materials," the academy said. "Over the last decade, this area has boosted front-line research in condensed matter physics, not least because of the hope that topological materials could be used in new generations of electronics and superconductors, or in future quantum computers."

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Google Gets Serious About Home Automation: Unveils Google Home, Actions on Google and Google Wifi
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's always-listening department:
At its hardware launch event earlier today, Google launched Google Home, a voice-activated speaker that aims to give Amazon's Echo a run for its money. The speaker is always-listening and uses Google's Assistant to deliver sports scores, weather information, commute times, and much more. Tech Crunch reports: So like the Echo, Google Home combines a wireless speaker with a set of microphones that listen for your voice commands. There is a mute button on the Home and four LEDs on top of the device so you can know when it's listening to you; otherwise, you won't find any other physical buttons on it. As for music, Google Home will feature built-in support for Google Play Music, Spotify, Pandora and others. You can set up a default music service, too, so you don't always have to tell Google that you want to play a song "on Spotify." Google also noted that Home's music search is powered by Google, so it can understand relatively complex queries. Music on Google Home will also support podcast listening and because it's a Cast device, you can stream music to it from any other Cast-enabled device. Home integrates with Google's Chromecasts and Cast-enabled TVs. For now, that mostly means watching YouTube videos, but Google says it will also support Netflix, too. Google Home will cost $129 (with a free six-month trial of YouTube Red) and go on sale on Google's online store today. It will ship on November 4. What's more is that developers will be able to integrate their third-party apps with Google Assistant via "Actions on Google." With Actions on Google, developers will be able to create two kinds of actions: Direct and Conversation. Direct is made for relatively simple requests like home automation, while Conversation is made for a back and forth interaction utilizing API.ai. Actions on Google will also allow third-party hardware to take advantage of Google Assistant. Those interested can sign-up for the service today. But Google didn't stop there. The company went on to reveal all-new, multi-point Wifi routers called Google Wifi. The Verge reports: The Wifi router can be purchased two ways: as a single unit or in a multipack, just like Eero. A single unit is $129, while the three-pack will cost $299. Google says Wifi will be available for preorder in the U.S. in November and will ship to customers in December. There was no mention of international availability. Google says it has developed a number of technologies to make the Wifi system work, including intelligent routing of traffic from your phone or device to the nearest Wifi unit in your home. It supports AC 1200 wireless speeds, as well as simultaneous dual-band 2.4GHz and 5GHz networks. It also has beamforming technology and support for Bluetooth Smart. Google says the system will handle channel management and other traffic routing automatically.

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Johnson & Johnson Discloses That Its Insulin Pump Is Hackable
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 03:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's medical-emergency department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Stack: Johnson and Johnson has revealed that its JJ Animas OneTouch Ping insulin pump is vulnerable to hackers, who could potentially force the device to overdose diabetic patients -- however, it declares that the risk of this happening is very low. Unnamed executives from the American multinational medical manufacturer said that they were taking the unprecedented step of warning customers about the vulnerability, particularly in light of recent controversies regarding attack vectors in cardiac equipment. In a letter to doctors and 114,000 patients, sent on Monday, the company wrote: "The probability of unauthorized access to the OneTouch Ping system is extremely low... It would require technical expertise, sophisticated equipment and proximity to the pump, as the OneTouch Ping system is not connected to the internet or to any external network." Even though the company's own technicians were able to hack the pump within a distance of 25 feet, Johnson and Johnson's chief medical officer Brian Levy observed that the hack would be extremely difficult to pull off, and said "We believe the OneTouch Ping system is safe and reliable. We urge patients to stay on the product."

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Guccifer 2.0 Dumps a Bunch of Clinton Foundation Donor Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 03:11 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's like-a-dog-chasing-cars department:
The hacker Guccifer 2.0 today released a large database of information reportedly stolen from the Clinton Foundation. The dump, Engadget reports, includes names, addresses, and emails of both individuals and corporate donors as well as their contribution amounts. From the report: This, of course, isn't the first time Guccifer or his friends at Wikileaks and the Kremlin have attempted to subvert the US political process during this election cycle. Just last month Guccifer released Democratic Vice Presidential nominee, Tim Kaine's personal cell phone number. What's more, nearly half of the country's state voter registration systems have recently come under cyberattack, according to the DHS, though the FBI has not yet determined if those breaches originated in Russia. There are also a number of unanswered questions regarding Republican nominee, Donald Trump's, connection to these attacks. Four House Democrats recently demanded that the FBI investigate the nominee after he "jokingly" suggested that Russia find and release the 33,000 emails reportedly missing from Hillary Clinton's private email server.

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Google Refreshes Its Streaming Dongle: Unveils $69 Chromecast Ultra With 4K and HDR Capabilities
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 01:52 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's for-your-streaming-delights department:
On the sidelines of Pixel smartphones announcement and $79 Daydream View VR headset, Google also announced a refresh for its streaming dongle. Called the Chromecast Ultra, the dongle offers 4K and HDR capabilities. The Chromecast Ultra, the company says, is the fastest Chromecast it has event made (it can load videos about 1.8 times faster than the standard Chromecast (all thanks to improved Wi-Fi connectivity). The Chromecast Ultra also includes an Ethernet port on the power adapter. Engadget adds: It's still a svelte puck like the earlier models, but it has a bit of a stealth bomber aesthetic. And at $69, it's far more expensive than the current $35 Chromecast. Still, it comes in $10 less than Roku's cheapest 4K player, and will be useful for anyone who wants to quickly stream high-res video to their new 4K TV.

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KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS Desktop Officially Released
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 01:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's fresh-software department:
prisoninmate writes from a report via Softpedia: KDE will celebrate 20 years of activity on October 14, 2016, and they've just released the first LTS (Long Term Support) version of the KDE Plasma desktop environment. Prominent new features of KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS include support for desktop widgets, a new system-wide search functionality that promises to let users easily search their KDE desktops for everything they want, including apps, music, videos, files, folders, etc., a new tool to get hot new stuff for your KDE Plasma desktop, such as wallpapers, widgets, desktop effects, or window styles, and infinite customization possibilities. Moreover, KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS comes with a unified look for the default Breeze theme so that, no matter what type of application you're using (Qt4, GTK2, GTK3, or Qt5), it will look the same, mobile phone notifications, along with the ability to use your smartphone as a PC remote, transfer files or mute music during calls, all with the new KDE Connect plasmoid. There's also Right-to-Left (RTL) language support, simplified global shortcuts, improvements to many applets, and much better Wayland support. KDE Plasma 5.8 LTS will receive nine point releases until 2018. "Today KDE releases its first Long Term Support edition of its flagship desktop software, Plasma," reads the announcement. "This marks the point where the developers and designers are happy to recommend Plasma for the widest possible audience be they enterprise or non-techy home users. If you tried a KDE desktop previously and have moved away, now is the time to re-assess, Plasma is simple by default, powerful when needed."

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Yahoo Secretly Scanned Customer Emails For US Intelligence
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 12:38 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's law-abiding department:
An anonymous reader shares with us an exclusive report from Reuters: Yahoo Inc last year secretly built a custom software program to search all of its customers' incoming emails for specific information provided by U.S. intelligence officials, according to people familiar with the matter. The company complied with a classified U.S. government directive, scanning hundreds of millions of Yahoo Mail accounts at the behest of the National Security Agency or FBI, said two former employees and a third person apprised of the events. Some surveillance experts said this represents the first case to surface of a U.S. Internet company agreeing to a spy agency's demand by searching all arriving messages, as opposed to examining stored messages or scanning a small number of accounts in real time. It is not known what information intelligence officials were looking for, only that they wanted Yahoo to search for a set of characters. That could mean a phrase in an email or an attachment, said the sources, who did not want to be identified. Reuters was unable to determine what data Yahoo may have handed over, if any, and if intelligence officials had approached other email providers besides Yahoo with this kind of request. The two former employees say that the decision Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer made to obey the directive resulted in the June 2015 departure of CISO Alex Stamos, who left to work for Facebook. The company said in response to Reuters questions about the demand, "Yahoo is a law abiding company, and complies with the laws of the United States."

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Google Unveils $79 Daydream View VR Headset, Attempts To Reduce VR's Complexity
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 12:38 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's another-go-at-VR department:
With its Cardboard, Google showed the world (and other companies) how people can experience VR without spending a premium for it. Today, on the sidelines of Pixel announcements, Google outlined its next step in the nascent technology category. Enter Daydream View VR, a $79 headset that is more comfortable and friendly, and with more capabilities. The Daydream VR comes with a Daydream controller, which has three-degrees-of-freedom. The Verge adds: The goal of Daydream View is to make a VR headset people can get their phones into and out of within a few seconds. To that end, it's revealed a few new features. When you put an unlocked phone on the front panel, an NFC chip will tell it to launch Daydream, after which you can close the panel and start using the headset. When you latch it shut with the elastic loop on the top, a pair of rubber nubs on the face will help the phone detect its position and automatically center the image. While we've already seen the basic Daydream controller design, Google is now showing it off as an actual piece of hardware. The controller has one home button and one menu button, plus a clickable trackpad on the end, volume buttons on one side, and internal sensors that can detect motion -- it can't tell your absolute position in space like Oculus Touch or the HTC Vive, but it can sense which direction it's pointing, and loosely follow your hand. When you're not using it, the controller fits into a slot on the inside of the headset, so the whole device is self-contained.Here's the official blogpost with more details.

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A Self-Driving Uber Car Went the Wrong Way On a One-Way Street in Pittsburgh
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 11:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's that's-how-it-begins department:
An anonymous reader writes: Uber driver Nathan Stachelek was pulled off to the side of the road when he saw the self-driving car turn the wrong way. It was the night of Sept. 26 and the car he had spotted, one of the autonomous Ford Fusions that Uber is testing in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was heading through the city's Oakland neighborhood, just steps from the center of campus for the University of Pittsburgh. Stachelek watched the car turn off Bates Street and onto Atwood, a one-way road, going in the wrong direction. From a distance he couldn't tell whether the car was driving itself, or its human operator had made a mistake. Stachelek took out his phone in time to shoot a brief video of Uber's vehicle backing up and driving away, then uploaded it to Facebook. "Driverless car went down a one way the wrong way," he wrote. "Driver had to turn car around."

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Outage Knocks Out All Major Phone Providers On the East Coast
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 11:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's outage-report department:
Every major phone carrier experience outages on United States' east coast this morning at around 11am local time. The outage lasted for about 45 minutes. DownDetector, which monitors outages of services, confirmed AT&T, Verizon, Charter Spectrum, Comcast, Sprint, Time Warner Cable, US Cellular, and Vonage among others were affected. From a DailyDot report: T-Mobile CEO John Legare tweeted about the incident, pointing to issues with Level 3, a major internet backbone. Other tech firms quickly pointed to a Level 3 outage as well. No specific information has been released on potential causes of the outage or consequences that may result from it.

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High-Tech Card Rolled Out By French Banks Replaces CSC Number Every Sixty Minutes To Prevent Fraud
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 11:13 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's we-win department:
French digital security firm Oberthur Technologies has come up with a method for making stolen cards useless after an hour. Called the Motion Code, the card replaces the fixed, three-digit Card Security Code (CSC) that sits next to your signature with a miniature display that shows a new number every 60 minutes. From a PopularScience report:In order to combat the rise of online credit card theft, several French banks are partnering with security company Oberthur Technologies to create a credit card with a security code that is constantly changing so that within an hour, a stolen number will be useless. Online credit card fraud is a rapidly growing problem. Thieves can steal your credit card info in a number of ways, such as hacking various consumer websites, or phishing, where they trick you into handing over your information yourself. Once they have your credit card numbers, thieves can go on a spending spree until you or your bank notice, and by the time that happens you can wind up with thousands of dollars in debt. Many banks try and combat this problem by flagging suspicious transactions, but this is an imperfect system that can miss real fraud and accidentally catch legitimate use. Now, two French banks, Societe Generale and Groupe BPCE, are introducing a new system to prevent fraud.

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Police Complaints Drop 93 Percent After Deploying Body Cameras
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 09:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's all-good department:
An anonymous reader writes:A study from Cambridge University documents an immense drop in complaints against police officers when their departments began using body cameras. But even more surprising is that the data suggests everyone is on their best behavior whether the cameras are present or not. The data was collected in seven police departments, and represents over 1.4 million hours logged by 1,847 officers in 2014 and 2015; the researchers published their data last week in the journal Criminal Justice and Behavior. Officers were randomly assigned to wear or not wear cameras week by week (about half would be wearing them any given week), and had to keep them on during all encounters. The authors used complaints against police as a metric because they're easy to measure, an established practice in most police forces and give a good ballpark of the frequency of problematic behavior. In the year before the study, 1,539 complaints in total were filed against officers; at the end of the body camera experiment, the year had only yielded 113 complaints.

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Google Unveils Pixel and Pixel XL, the First Phones It 'Designed Inside and Out'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 09:52 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's google-pixel department:
At an event on Tuesday, Google unveiled the Pixel and Pixel XL smartphones, the first phones "designed inside and out by Google." Focusing less on the hardware, the company says the biggest selling point of the phones is Google Assistant, which will be available to users wherever they go. Both Pixels have a quad-core 2.15GHz 64-bit processor, 4GB of RAM, 32GB or 128GB of storage, a 12.3MP rear camera, an 8MP front camera, a fingerprint scanner on the back, and a USB-C port on the bottom. The major differences between the two are in size, display (5-inch vs 5.5-inch), and battery (2770mAh vs 3450mAh). The company says the rear camera on both phones is top-notch as well, scoring 89 on DxO, the highest ever for a smartphone. Both phones also come with "endless cloud storage," the company said. It will let users backup unlimited storage in full-resolution images and videos shot with the Pixel. Pricing starts at $649 for the smaller 5-inch Pixel, available for preorder today. Mark Gurman of Bloomberg shares the inside story of how these phones were conceived.

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Facebook Says a 'Technical Issue' Caused Drugs, Animals and Other Illegal Listings To Flood Its New Craigslist Competitor
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 08:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tech-is-hard department:
On Monday, Facebook launched Marketplace, its own take on eBay and Craigslist to offer users a platform to buy and sell things. Less than a day later, the company said there was a "technical issue" that caused drugs, animals, adult services, and other illegal items to appear in Marketplace. Business Insider reports: In a statement to Business Insider, Facebook director of product management Mary Ku said the company is "working to fix the problem" and "closely monitoring our systems to ensure we are properly identifying and removing violations before giving more people access to Marketplace." To police what is sold in Marketplace, a Facebook spokesperson previously told us that the social network will rely on its employees proactively looking for offensive listings as well as users reporting posts they think should be removed.

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Amazon's Kindle Unlimited Is a Victim of Its Success in Japan
Posted by News Fetcher on October 04 '16 at 08:31 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's bad-pr department:
You really need to understand the market before you start operating there. Take Amazon's case for instance, which has found itself in the middle of a backlash with publishers in Japan. When Amazon launched its "all-you-can-read-subscription" Kindle Unlimited service in Japan, the company didn't know it would become such a big success. And yet it did. So much so that Amazon had to sharply scale back within weeks of its introduction in the country. Before Amazon introduced the feature in Japan, it partnered with Japanese publishers to offer their popular content, committing to pay them a premium through the end of this year when a customer reads at least 10 percent of a book or other content. It worked -- too well, WSJ reports. From an article: Since it's easy for readers to get through the first 10% of a magazine or photo book in just a few minutes, Amazon quickly found itself on the hook for large payments (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled; alternate source), a person at one publisher said. A person at another publisher said Amazon made an overture for talks in September saying it had hit its budget limit for the payments to publishers and wanted revisions to its contract with the publisher."

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