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NASA Celebrates Curiosity's Fourth Year On Mars With a Game
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 11:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's happy-anniversary department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Engadget: In honor of Curiosity's fourth year on Mars, NASA has released a game. Engadget reports: "The glitch that shut down Curiosity in July was thankfully a temporary issue, else NASA would have mourned its loss rather than celebrating the rover's fourth year on Mars by releasing a game. It's simply called Mars Rover, and it's probably your only chance to pilot Curiosity. Mars Rover has a pretty straightforward gameplay -- you just have to press arrow keys to drive the vehicle and find underground pockets of water -- but it's harder than it seems. The virtual rover's wheels crack and break if they slam hard against rocks or heels, and when they do, it's game over. NASA derived these mechanics from Curiosity's actual mission and experiences on Mars."

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Car Thieves Arrested After Using Laptop and Malware To Steal More Than 30 Jeeps
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 08:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's modern-day-hot-wiring department:
New submitter altnuc writes: Two thieves in Houston stole more than 30 Jeeps by using a laptop and a stolen database. The thieves simply looked up the vehicles' VIN numbers in a stolen database, reprogramed a generic key fob, started the cars, and drove away. Chrysler has confirmed that more than 100 of their vehicles have been stolen in the Houston area since November. Chrysler/Jeep owners should always make sure their vehicles are locked! The Wall Street Journal issued a report in July with more details about how hackers are able to steal cars with a laptop. The whole process takes roughly 6 minutes. CrimeStopHouston has posted a video on YouTube of one of the thieves in action.

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Microsoft To Release Two Major Windows 10 Updates Next Year
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 05:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's mark-your-calendar department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka Windows 10 version 1607, released earlier this week, it's time to look forward to what's next. Windows 10 has multiple release tracks to address the needs of its various customer types. The mainstream consumer release, the one that received the Anniversary Update on Tuesday, is dubbed the Current Branch (CB). The Current Branch for Business (CBB) trails the CB by several months, giving it greater time to bed in and receive another few rounds of bug fixing. Currently the CBB is using last year's November Update, version 1511. In about four months, Microsoft plans to bump CBB up to version 1607, putting both CB and CBB on the same major version. [The Long Term Servicing Branch, an Enterprise-only version that will receive security and critical issue support for 10 years, will also be updated.] Going forward, however, the differences between both current branch variants (CB and CBB) and LTSB will become more marked. Microsoft is not planning another major update this year. There will be no equivalent to last year's 1511 release, but Microsoft will have two next year. These are believed to be codenamed Redstone 2 (rs2) and Redstone 3 (rs3), with this week's 1607 release being Redstone 1 (rs1). Current expectation is that rs2 will have a heavy mobile focus and be shipped simultaneously with new Surface branded hardware.

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Waze's New Safety Feature Reminds Drivers Not To Forget Their Child In the Car
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 05:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's bad-parenting department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ABC News: The navigation app Waze has released a new safety feature that reminds users not to forget their child, pet or other loved ones in the car before getting out. The feature, called "Child reminder," was made available to the public on Thursday, when Waze released its latest update on app stores for Android and iOS. The new feature comes amid concerns over recent child hot car deaths. Since 1998, there have been 37 child heatstroke fatalities on average per year in the U.S., according to the Department of Meteorology and Climate Science at San Jose State University in California. Waze's Head of Brand, Julie Mossler said in a statement: "Just as drivers sometimes forget to turn off their headlights, they sometimes forget things in the car too. This new feature helps keep people present in the vehicle and gives them an important, possibly life-saving reminder, that drivers sometimes need." The "Child reminder" feature is opt-in and can be turned on and off in the app's "general settings." Mossler also said that drivers can customize the alert "to include their child's name or pet's name -- anything that will get their attention at the end of a drive." It will only disappear if a driver has entered a destination in Waze and has arrived at that destination.

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Apple Acquires Machine Learning and AI Startup Turi
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 04:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's blockbuster-exit department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from GeekWire: Machine learning and artificial intelligence startup Turi has been acquired by Apple in a deal characterized as a blockbuster exit for the Seattle-based company, formerly known as Dato and GraphLab, GeekWire has learned. The acquisition reflects a larger push by Apple into artificial intelligence and machine learning. It also promises to further increase the Cupertino, Calif.-based company's presence in the Seattle region, where Apple has been building an engineering outpost for the past two years. Multiple sources with knowledge of the deal confirmed that Turi has been acquired. Sources close to the deal pegged the purchase price at around $200 million, marking a huge outcome for the original investors and early shareholders. Apple's plans for Turi's technology are not clear, but the company has been making a broad push into artificial intelligence through an expansion of its Siri personal assistant and related technologies. Turi lets developers build apps with machine learning and artificial intelligence capabilities that automatically scale and tune. Its products -- which include the Turi Machine Learning Platform, GraphLab Create, Turi Distributed, and Turi Predictive Services -- are largely designed to help large and small organizations make better sense of data. Use cases include recommendation engines, fraud detection, predicting customer churn, sentiment analysis, and customer segmentation.

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1,000+ US Spies Are Protecting Rio Olympics, Says Report
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 04:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's heightened-security department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via NBC News: U.S. intelligence agencies have assigned more than 1,000 spies to security at the Rio 2016 Summer Games. NBC News reports: "The classified report outlines an operation that encompasses all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies, including those of the armed services, and involves human intelligence, spy satellites, electronic eavesdropping, and cyber and social media monitoring. Areas of cooperation include vetting 10,000-plus athletes and 35,000-plus security and police personnel and others; monitoring terrorists' social media accounts; and offering U.S. help in securing computer networks, the review shows. 'U.S. intelligence agencies are working closely with Brazilian intelligence officials to support their efforts to identify and disrupt potential threats to the Olympic Games in Rio,' said Richard Kolko, a spokesman for National Intelligence Director James Clapper."

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Man Says Tesla Autopilot Saved His Life By Driving Him To the Hospital
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 04:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's life-savers department:
An anonymous reader writes: Last month a man sent an email to Elon Musk explaining how his Tesla Model S with Autopilot activated may have saved a pedestrian's life. Now, it appears Autopilot may have saved the life of a Tesla Model X driver. CNBC reports: "A Missouri man says his Tesla helped saved his life by driving him to the hospital during a life-threatening emergency. Joshua Neally is a lawyer and Tesla owner from Springfield, Missouri, who often uses the semi-autonomous driving system called Autopilot on his Tesla Model X. The system has come under fire after it was involved in a fatal Florida crash in May, but Neally told online magazine Slate that Autopilot drove him 20 miles down a freeway to a hospital, while Neally suffered a potentially fatal blood vessel blockage in his lung, known as a pulmonary embolism. The hospital was right off the freeway exit, and Neally was able to steer the car the last few meters and check himself into the emergency room, the report said."

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X-Rays Reveal Hidden Portrait Under Painting By Edgar Degas
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 02:51 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's never-before-seen department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from NPR: Using specialized X-ray imaging, a team of researchers in Australia has revealed a striking painting of a woman's face hidden under French Impressionist Edgar Degas' Portrait of a Woman. The researchers believe the auburn-haired woman in the hidden work -- which they also attribute to Degas -- is Emma Dobigny, who was reportedly one of Degas' favorite subjects and modeled for him in 1869 and 1870. "Degas painted directly on the underlying portrait with no intermediate ground paint layer using exceptionally thin paint layers, thus little pigment is present to provide hiding power," the researchers explained in the journal Nature. "The hiding power of paint layers often decreases as oil paintings age." Even as the traces of a ghostly form emerged over the course of decades, conventional imaging technology could only provide hints of what the hidden portrait looked like. Now, an enhanced process known as X-ray fluorescence elemental mapping gives a far better picture. The technique allowed the researchers to scan for the individual elements -- such as iron, zinc and copper -- found in different colors of paint. The team said the maps "can be used to deduce pigment use based on the elements observed within the context of the painting." For example, "Fe and Mn are co-located in the hidden sitter's hair [...] strongly suggesting the use of the brown pigment umber." The researchers detected cobalt in the face, and deduced that it is "probably present as a blue pigment, which is useful in defining flesh tones." This chart shows maps of elements the researchers tested in an effort to create a representation of the hidden work.

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DJI Issues Software Update That Implements No-Fly Zones For Rio Olympics
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 01:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's unmanned-aerial-vehicles department:
An anonymous reader writes: DJI has issued a software update this week that prevents its unmanned aerial vehicles from flying over the Olympic venues. The temporary no-fly zones, which will be in place for the duration of the games, include Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, Brasilia, and several other Brazilian cities. The Brazilian military requested DJI to prohibit its drones from entering certain coordinates in the cities, and DJI complied. "DJI is proud to work with Brazilian authorities to put temporary no-fly zones in place during this important time, in order to increase safety and security at high-profile locations and reduce the likelihood of drone operators inadvertently entering sensitive areas," Manual Martinez, DJI Latin America corporate communications director, said in a statement. "The overwhelming majority of DJI customers want to operate safely and within the law," Martinez said. "And establishing clear no-fly zones helps reduce any potential for drone operations that could distract from the upcoming events."

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Challenge Over UK Bulk Hacking Powers Taken To European Court of Human Rights
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 01:31 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's so-it-begins department:
Joseph Cox, reporting for Motherboard: On Friday, activist group Privacy International and five internet and communications providers lodged an application before the European Court of Human Rights to challenge the UK's use of bulk hacking powers abroad. "The European Court of Human Rights has a strong track record of ensuring that intelligence agencies act in compliance with human rights law. We call on the Court to hold GCHQ accountable for its unlawful bulk hacking practices," Scarlet Kim, legal officer at Privacy International, said in a statement. The application has been made with UK-based non-profit GreenNet, the Chaos Computer Club from Germany, Jibonet from South Korea, US internet service provider May First, and communications provider Rise Up. In 2014, Privacy International filed a complaint over the country's bulk hacking powers with the UK's Investigatory Powers Tribunal, a court which determines if public authorities have unlawfully used covert techniques. In February of this year, the IPT concluded that GCHQ's hacking was legal under the UK's Intelligence Service Act 1994. Privacy International is now challenging whether the UK's interpretation of the Intelligence Service Act for using bulk hacking powers complies with the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR).

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Hackers Bring Ethics To Las Vegas
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 12:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's changing-perception department:
Steven Levy, who has been extensively covering the world of hackers for decades (fun fact: the first time he wrote about it, the word "hacker" didn't really mean much), is sharing the changing perception about hacker conferences, and hackers themselves. In a newsletter, Backchannel's Levy writes about Black Hat conference: What I find most striking in the coverage of these events is that they are no longer seen as outlaw gatherings, but rather conclaves that form a valuable portion of the digital security mosaic. This is a big change from the long period, beginning in the late 1980s, during which the term "hacker" became synonymous with malfeasants, punks, and criminals. The glorious originals -- people who invented just about everything great we do on computers, including the internet -- were outraged at the denigration of a word that was once a badge of honor. [...] The hackers who attend those conferences are true to that ethic. There's a core morality to both events, built on privacy, equal access to systems, and personal freedom. There's indignation at poorly built systems. There's contempt at those who see computers and the internet as means of controlling people instead of seeing them as tools of liberation. So who gets to decide what a hacker is in 2016? The question comes up constantly because the term retains some fuzziness. I'll put aside the unquestioned hacker status of coders and designers who innovate on products and private infrastructure. Blissfully, it's now OK for Silicon Valley geeks to proudly declare themselves hackers, the best example of which is Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg's naming of his corporate philosophy as "The Hacker Way." But I'm wondering about those people who take the law into their own hands, sometimes not even taking care to limit collateral damage of innocent people. While true hackers generally don't wreak actual destruction, there are some who invade or even tamper with systems for what they consider moral purposes. Some call it hacktivism. Does that mean they are still hackers? That's tough to answer. Hacking into a system doesn't make you a hacker. Using a computer to steal a credit card or a Bitcoin doesn't do it, either. If you work for China and hack into Google; if you work for Russia and hack into the DNC; or if you work for the United States of America and plant a software time bomb in a nuclear centrifuge in Iran -- you are not necessarily a hacker.

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Kids Can Now Learn To Code With Pocky, the Delicious Japanese Snack
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 12:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's bring-on-the-coding-revolution department:
Dami Lee, writing for The Verge: Even if you didn't grow up in Asia, chances are you've had this ubiquitous Japanese snack before. Walk into most grocery stores in America and you'll find a box of Pocky, and in multiple flavors like strawberry and green tea if your supermarket is fancy. With over dozens of flavors and variations, there's a Pocky for all occasions! There's a Pocky for Men. Now, there's Pocky for kids, with an educational aspect. Pocky's maker, Glico, has made a game called Glicode (Like if Wilco made a coding game called Wilcode) that gets kids coding by having them arrange actual cookies and snacks, then snapping a photo to translate them into digital commands. Glico's other products like Almond Peak chocolates and Biscuit Cream Sands are also featured in the game, representing "if" and "sequence" commands, respectively. It's a lot like Apple's Swift Playgrounds, with simple programming tasks commanding a funny-looking blob to walk around on platform blocks. The app is only available on Android for now.

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The Pill Robot Is Coming
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 12:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's bright-future department:
Bloomberg has an article on a new project that MIT's Daniela Rus has been working on. They have developed a "robot," squeezed into an inch-long, 0.09-ounce pill, but it "unfolds like an origami after it's swallowed". This robot can be guided with a tiny magnet to remove a foreign object from the stomach or treat a wound by administering medication, the report says. The equipment to manipulate the robot is pricey, but its own components cost less than $100. The article talks about the next step in this project: Rus and her team have tested the robot in a silicon-molded prototype stomach and are seeking approval from MIT's animal care committee to try it in pigs. She says they're also looking to raise more money. "The experiments they've been doing are very promising," says Ken Goldberg, a robotics professor at the University of California at Berkeley. Until now, he says, "nothing has been able to essentially walk inside the body."

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This Company Has Built a Profile On Every American Adult
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 10:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-brother-cares-about-you department:
Reader schwit1 writes: Every move you make. Every click you take. Every game you play. Every place you stay. They'll be watching you. IDI, a year-old company in the so-called data-fusion business, is the first to centralize and weaponize all that information for its customers. The Boca Raton, Fla., company's database service, idiCORE, combines public records with purchasing, demographic, and behavioral data. Chief Executive Officer Derek Dubner says the system isn't waiting for requests from clients -- it's already built a profile on every American adult, including young people who wouldn't be swept up in conventional databases, which only index transactions. 'We have data on that 21-year-old who's living at home with mom and dad,' he says.

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Microsoft Swaps Toy Gun Emoji For Revolver -- Days After Apple Does the Opposite
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 10:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's battling-over-gun-emoji department:
The pistol emoji has become a heated topic of debate among people. Apple's decision to replace the gun with a toy pistol is getting a mixed response. Amid all this, Microsoft has announced it is replacing the toy gun emoji with a symbol for a real revolver. ArsTechnica reports: This emoji change is part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which is rolling out now. The move has surprised some, as Microsoft and Apple had been seen as allies in an effort to dial down violence in emoji generally. In June it emerged that the two had successfully lobbied to have a sports rifle removed from the latest collection of emoji, as it was felt that two firearm symbols would be too many.Microsoft says it is only trying "to align with the global Unicode standard." The issue is that despite Apple's thought on the matter, when an iPhone (or iPad or a Mac) user sends a water pistol emoji, people with devices running non-Apple OS are only going to see a regular pistol. The article adds: Analysts had been worried that without standardisation between platforms, intent for violent emoji could be misunderstood. For instance, if someone sent an acquaintance a message using their iPhone offering to come around with some friends and some waterguns, that acquaintance might well misunderstand the thrust of the message if they were using an Android phone and saw a series of pistols.Emojipedia, an emoji reference website has a good suggestion: Apple: Don't change the pistol emoji. At least not today. Hide it. Unicode does not depreciate emojis, but there is no requirement to show all approved emojis on the keyboard. The pistol emoji could be removed from the iOS emoji keyboard without causing any cross platform compatibility issues.

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BlackBerry Enters New Phase Of Patent Monetization, Sues Internet Telephony Firm Avaya
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 09:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's new-ways-to-make-money department:
In what can be seen as a turning point for BlackBerry, the Canadian iconic company has filed a patent lawsuit against internet telephony firm Avaya. BlackBerry claims Avaya has infringed eight of its U.S. patents, and that BlackBerry should be paid for its history of innovation going back nearly 20 years. "BlackBerry revolutionized the mobile industry," the company's lawyers said. "BlackBerry... has invented a broad array of new technologies that cover everything from enhanced security and cryptographic techniques, to mobile device user interfaces, to communication servers, and many other areas." From an article on Iam Media: The move comes just over a year since Blackberry announced itself as a major player in the monetisation space with an agreement signed with Cisco, in which the Canadian company not only secured a cross-licensing deal but also "a license fee from Cisco." Another royalty-bearing deal was done with an unnamed company around the same time. Since then, the company has also signed two more deals with Canon and International Game Technology, both of which look to contain a royalties element to them; while in January it emerged that late last year Blackberry had sold a portfolio of patents to investment firm Centerbridge Partners for as much as $50 million. Blackberry CEO John Chen has made clear that he sees the company's patent assets as a key element in his plans. "We have today about 44,000 patents. The good thing about this is that we also have one of the youngest patent portfolios in the entire industry, so monetization of our patents is an important aspect of our turnaround," he told delegates at a summit in Waterloo, Ontario, last September. He was at it again in May during an earnings call with analysts when he stated: "Many people have wanted to buy the patents... But I'm not really in a patent-selling mode, I'm in a patent licensing mode."

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Zimbabwe Military Threatens To 'Deal With' Social Media-Powered Protesters
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 09:21 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's growing-tension department:
Things are not looking good in Zimbabwe. Amid tensions between the citizens and longtime president Robert Mugabe, the country's army commander said today that his soldiers will "deal with threats" from activists using social media to mobilize anti-government protests, the first time the military has commented on the demonstrations. Reuters reports: Lieutenant-General Valerio Sibanda, the Zimbabwe National Army Commander, said in an interview with state-owned The Herald newspaper that social media activism was cyber warfare that the army would deal with. Neither the army, which has anchored President Robert Mugabe's 36-year rule, nor the police force have been paid on time since June. Zimbabwe has seen several protests in recent months with unemployment above 80 percent, dollar shortages worsening as commodity prices slumped and as the region suffers its worst drought for 25 years. The largest anti-government protest in Zimbabwe in the last decade was organized on social media last month, when a strike by #ThisFlag movement shut down businesses. "As an army, at our institutions of training, we are already training our officers to be able to deal with this new threat we call cyber warfare where weapons -- not necessarily guns but basically information and communication technology -- are being used to mobilize people to do the wrong things," Sibanda said.

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Google's Open YOLO Project Will Remove the Need For Passwords On Android
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 08:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's yolo department:
An anonymous reader writes via a report on The Next Web: Google is partnering with password management service Dashlane to build what they're calling Open YOLO (You Only Login Once), a new API that will allow Android apps to securely access your login credentials to sign you in without any fuss. The project is open source, which means anyone can scrutinize the code used to build it and find bugs, or even contribute and improve the API. That also means that it'll be available for other password management services to implement in their tools. Dashlane will be the first to integrate it; the company noted in a blog post that other services are also collaborating on this project and will likely to follow soon. It also hopes that Open YOLO will eventually launch on other operating systems as well.

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Firefox Will Try To Show You Saved Archive Of a Page Instead Of 404 Error
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 08:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's less-annoying-web department:
Firefox has announced a new add-on dubbed No More 404s in its Test Pilot platform which aims to change the way we see 404 links on the web. The add-on, Firefox says, replaces the Error 404 from missing webpages, and replaces them with saved archives from the Wayback Machine. From a report on Gadgets 360: Normally, when presented with a missing link, the browser shows the 404 error. However, Mozilla's No More 404s add-on will give Firefox users the choice to see old Internet snapshots saved in the Internet Archive's Wayback Machine. This is especially handy for users trying to do research or just digging up some old graves out of curiosity. For now, this add-on is only available in Firefox's experimental Test Pilot platform, with no details on availability for regular Firefox users. Interested users can install the test version here. Apart from this, the Test Pilot platform also introduced improved search results through the Awesome Bar, redesigned the Tabs bar to the side, and even tweaked the history feed.

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Robocalling Scourge May Not Be Unstoppable After All
Posted by News Fetcher on August 05 '16 at 06:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's good-news department:
Dan Goodin, writing for Ars Technica: New data shows that the majority of robot-enabled scam phone calls came from fewer than 40 call centers, a finding that offers hope the growing menace of robocalls can be stopped. The calls use computers and the Internet to dial thousands of phone numbers every minute and promote fraudulent schemes that promise to lower credit card interest rates, offer loans, and sell home security products, to name just a few of the scams. Over the past decade, robocall complaints have mushroomed, with the Federal Trade Commission often receiving hundreds of thousands of complaints each month. In 2013, the consumer watchdog agency awarded $50,000 to three groups who devised blocking systems that had the potential to help end the scourge. Three years later, however, the robocall problem seems as intractable as ever. On Thursday at the Black Hat security conference in Las Vegas, a researcher said that slightly more than half of more than 1 million robocalls tracked were sent by just 38 telephony infrastructures. The relatively small number of actors offers hope that the phenomenon can be rooted out, by either automatically blocking the call centers or finding ways for law enforcement groups to identify and prosecute the operators. "We know that the majority of robocalls only come from 38 different infrastructures," Aude Marzuoli, research scientist at a company called Pindrop Labs, told Ars. "It's not as if there are thousands of people out there doing this. If you can catch this small number of bad actors we can" stop the problem."

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