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DVDFab Has Ignored Court's Shut Down Order, AACS Says
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 11:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's ignoring-court-orders-like-a-boss department:
An anonymous reader cites a report on TorrentFreak: DVDFab has failed to cease its operations in the U.S. and should be sanctioned, AACS says. The decryption licensing outfit founded by Warner Bros, Disney, Microsoft, Intel and others, informs a New York federal court that DVDFab's parent company has blatantly ignored a permanent injunction that was issued last year. In 2014 decryption licensing outfit AACS LA initiated a renewed crackdown on DRM-circumvention software. The company, founded by a group of movie studios and technology partners, sued the makers of popular DVD and Blu-Ray ripping software DVDFab in a New York federal court. After a brief legal battle the court ruled in favor of AACS, issuing an injunction based on the argument that the "DVDFab Group" violates the DMCA's anti-circumvention clause, since their software can bypass DVD and Bluray encryption. Among other things, the injunction barred DVDFab from distributing its software in public and allowed AACS to seize a wide range of domain names. The crippling injunction seemed to work, but not for long. In a new court filing, AACS notes that the software vendor briefly blocked U.S. purchases but went back to business as usual soon after (PDF).

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Linux Is the Largest Software Development Project On the Planet: Greg K-H
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 11:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's love-for-Linux department:
sfcrazy writes: Greg Kroah-Hartmant, the Linux superstar, delivered a keynote at CoreOS Fest where he gave some impressive details on how massive is the Linux project. Kroah-Hartman said the latest release (4.5) made two months ago contains over 21 million lines of code. More impressive than the amount of code, and what truly makes Linux the world's largest software project is the fact that last year around 4,000 developers and at least 440 different companies that contributed to the kernel. Kroah-Hartman said, "It's the largest software development project ever, in the history of computing -- by the number of people using it, developing it, and now using it, and the number of companies involved. It's a huge number of people."

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Internal Docs Show Human Intervention at Almost Every Stage Of Facebook's News Operation
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 11:12 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's facebook-and-how-it-works department:
More evidence has surfaced to support Gawker's two recent reports that claimed editors manipulate the trending news and a few other aspects on Facebook. The Guardian, citing leaked documents it obtained, reports that the topics one sees on Facebook are determined on a number of factors including "engagement, timeliness, Pages you've liked and your location." From the report: But the documents show that the company relies heavily on the intervention of a small editorial team to determine what makes its "trending module" headlines -- the list of news topics that shows up on the side of the browser window on Facebook's desktop version. The company backed away from a pure-algorithm approach in 2014 after criticism that it had not included enough coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, in users' feeds. The guidelines show human intervention -- and therefore editorial decisions -- at almost every stage of Facebook's trending news operation, a team that at one time was as few as 12 people.Sam Biddle of Gawker, wrote: Never trust what a company tells you, on/off record -- FB straight up lied to Recode last year. He adds: unless they're under oath a company like Facebook has every incentive to lie about how it operates. It's not illegal to lie to a reporter!"

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Internal Docs Show Human Intervention at Almost Every Stage Of Its News Operation
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 09:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's facebook-and-how-it-works department:
More evidence has surfaced to support Gawker's two recent reports that claimed editors manipulate the trending news and a few other aspects on Facebook. The Guardian, citing leaked documents it obtained, reports that the topics one sees on Facebook are determined on a number of factors including "engagement, timeliness, Pages you've liked and your location." From the report: But the documents show that the company relies heavily on the intervention of a small editorial team to determine what makes its "trending module" headlines -- the list of news topics that shows up on the side of the browser window on Facebook's desktop version. The company backed away from a pure-algorithm approach in 2014 after criticism that it had not included enough coverage of unrest in Ferguson, Missouri, in users' feeds. The guidelines show human intervention -- and therefore editorial decisions -- at almost every stage of Facebook's trending news operation, a team that at one time was as few as 12 people.Sam Biddle of Gawker, wrote: Never trust what a company tells you, on/off record -- FB straight up lied to Recode last year. He adds: unless they're under oath a company like Facebook has every incentive to lie about how it operates. It's not illegal to lie to a reporter!"

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The NYPD Was Ticketing Legally Parked Cars; Open Data Put an End to It
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 09:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's open-data-solving-world-problems department:
Data analyst Ben Wellington claims that that the NYPD has been systematically ticketing legally parked cars for years. Doing so, he says, helps NYPD collect millions of dollars every year. In a blog post, Wellington notes about a change of law in 2008 (PDF) which allowed one in New York City to park their car in front of a sidewalk pedestrian ramp -- provided it's not connected to a crosswalk. Despite this, the NYPD continues to ticket people. To check how many more people are falling for this, Wellington looked into NYC's Open Data portal, and his findings are startling. In front of 575 Ocean Avenue in Brooklyn, which is in the middle of the block, with no crosswalk, over $48,000 in parking fines were issued in the last 2.5 years. He writes: 1705 Canton Avenue in Brooklyn, 273 Tickets, $45,045: Legal. 270-05 76 Avenue in Queens, 256 Tickets ($42,440) Legal. 143-49 Cherry Ave, Queens, 246 Tickets, ($40,590). Legal. A spot in Battery Park, ranked #16 on my list and the top spot in Manhattan, had 116 tickets ($19,140) and turned out to be legal.Wellington wrote to the NYPD about this, and he got the following response: Mr. Wellington's analysis identified errors the department made in issuing parking summonses. It appears to be a misunderstanding by officers on patrol of a recent, abstruse change in the parking rules. We appreciate Mr. Wellington bringing this anomaly to our attention. The department's internal analysis found that patrol officers who are unfamiliar with the change have observed vehicles parked in front of pedestrian ramps and issued a summons in error. When the rule changed in 2009 to allow for certain pedestrian ramps to be blocked by parked vehicles, the department focused training on traffic agents, who write the majority of summonses.

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US Congress Bans Members From Using Yahoo Mail
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 09:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's banning-technology-is-one-solution department:
A week after we learned that the House of Represantives had banned its members from using Google's appshot.com, more details about the blockage have surfaced. Reader Big Hairy Ian writes: A series of ransomware attacks on the House of Representatives has led U.S. Congress to ban members from using Yahoo Mail, according to a leaked email. Both Yahoo Mail and Gmail are named in the 30 April email, published on Thursday by Gizmodo, saying the attacks had increased "in the past 48 hours". Yahoo Mail will be blocked "until further notice" it adds. Ransomware encrypts victims' files and demands a ransom be paid for unlocking. In this particular instance, I think it isn't all of Yahoo Mail's fault. People need to be wary of the links they click on.

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Huawei Prepares For Robot Overlords and Communication With the Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 09:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's talking-with-the-dead department:
An anonymous reader shares a report on Bloomberg: Chinese technology giant Huawei is preparing for a world where people live forever, dead relatives linger on in computers and robots try to kill humans. Kevin Ho, president of its handset product line said his company used science fiction movies like "The Matrix" to envision future trends and new business ideas. "Hunger, poverty, disease or even death may not be a problem by 2035, or 25 years from now," he said. "In the future you may be able to purchase computing capacity to serve as a surrogate, to pass the baton from the physical world to the digital world." He described a future where children could use apps like WeChat (Editor's note: WeChat is a popular instant messaging app in China and other Asian markets) to interact with dead grandparents, thanks to the ability to download human consciousness into computers.For those unaware, Huawei is a major Chinese conglomerate. The company, known for its network equipment, last year got some spotlight for its Nexus 6P smartphone.

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Germany Set To End Copyright Liability For Open Wi-Fi Operators
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 09:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's small-steps-in-right-direction department:
An anonymous reader writes: People who travel to Germany are often surprised at the lack of public, open Wi-Fi networks. That's because German law holds operators of public hotspots liable for everything their users do online, especially when these actions are against the law, and even if the operators weren't aware of them. The law doesn't apply to commercial operators, but does to private (think home WI-Fi's) and small operators (e.g. wireless networks set up by public establishments like coffee bars, shops, etc.). But, there's more than a good chance that this clause of the law will be repelled this year, and hopefully, open Wi-Fi networks in Germany will mushroom as a result.Copyright trolls, who make money by sending invoices to people claiming that their content has been infringed, will not be pleased.

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Google Chirp To Rival Amazon Echo
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 09:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's mission-echoing-echo department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google is working on a competitor to the Amazon Echo, the smart speaker that has proved to be a sleeper hit for Amazon. The device, which will resemble an OnHub router, has not been officially named yet but is internally known as the Chirp. It has long been suspected that Google was working on a voice-controlled speaker that could integrate with Nest, since Google acquired Nest two years ago. While the Chirp isn't ready for release at next week's Google I/O developer conference, it will most likely receive honorable mention as the conference will highlight voice control, personal assistance, and virtual reality.

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Drones Could Replace $127 Billion Worth Of Human Labor
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 05:15 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's threats-to-human-labor department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Business Insider: A new report from PwC finds that drones could replace $127 billion worth of human labor and services across several industries. Infrastructure and agriculture make up the largest chunks of the potential value -- some $77.6 billion between them -- including services like completing the last mile of delivery routes and spraying crops with laser-like precision. Economists seem to agree that robot automation poses real threats to human labour within the next few decades. Drones are a cheap, versatile first step toward that future. According to the new PwC report, they're also a solid cost-cutting measure. Along with infrastructure and agriculture, drones will help tech giants like Amazon deliver packages, allow security companies to better monitor their sites, help producers and advertisers to film projects, allow telecommunication firms to easily check on their towers, and give mining companies a new way to plan their digs.

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Attackers Targeting Critical SAP Flaw Since 2013
Posted by News Fetcher on May 12 '16 at 02:13 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's five-year-old department:
msm1267 quotes a report from Threatpost: Three dozen global enterprises have been breached by attackers who exploited a single, mitigated vulnerability in SAP business applications. The attacks were carried out between 2013 and are ongoing against large organizations owned by corporations in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, China, India, Japan, and South Korea, spanning 15 critical industries, researchers at Onapsis said today. [The DHS-sponsored CERT at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon University also published an alert this morning, the first in its history for SAP applications.] The severity of these attacks is high and should put other organizations on notice that are running critical business processes and data through SAP Java apps. The issue lies in the Invoker Servlet, which is part of the standard J2EE specification and enables developers to test custom Java applications. When it is enabled, developers and users can call these servlets over the Internet directly without authentication or authorization controls. Attackers, however, can take advantage of this same functionality to exploit these business critical systems.

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Pornhub Launches Bug Bounty Program With Rewards Up To $25,000
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 11:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's 18-years-of-age-or-older department:
Mickeycaskill quotes a report from TechWeekEurope UK: Pornhub is launching a bug bounty program for security researchers and pornography enthusiasts who are able to identify flaws on its platform. Hunters will be paid a minimum of $50 for each vulnerability discovered, with up to $25,000 on offer for particularly vicious flaws, although the site notes that 23 reports have already been resolved. Successful applicants to the scheme will need to be the first person to responsibly disclose an unknown issue, which the Pornhub security team has 30 days to respond to, and up to 90 days to implement a fix base on the severity of the report. However there are some restrictions, such as users not being allowed to carry out Denial of Service (DDoS) attacks on Pornhub, or even carry out physical attacks on the company's offices or data centers. Social engineering tactics are also not allowed, such as phishing attacks against Pornhub employees, and researchers are not allowed to compromise user accounts.

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FBI Has Sights On Larger Battle Over Encryption After Apple Feud
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 08:43 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's legal-action department:
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Bloomberg: FBI Director James Comey said the FBI is exploring how to make broader use of the hack, used to access a San Bernardino terrorist's encrypted iPhone, while bracing for a larger battle involving encrypted text messages, e-mails and other data. The tool could "in theory be used in any case where there's a court order" to access data on an iPhone 5c running Apple's iOS 9 OS, Comey told reporters in Washington on Wednesday. However, accessing content on a phone, known as "data at rest," is only part of the challenge that encryption poses for U.S. investigators. Software applications and other services that encrypts texts, e-mails and other information in transit over the Internet, known as "data in motion," are "hugely significant," especially for national security investigations, Comey said. He said criminals are increasingly using services that encrypt data in motion, and he didn't rule out litigation against companies such as WhatsApp. "WhatsApp has over a billion customers, overwhelmingly good people," Comey said. "But in that billion customers are terrorists and criminals, and so that now ubiquitous feature of all WhatsApp products will affect both sides of the house." As for whether or not there will be litigation against WhatsApp down the road, Comey says, "I don't know." The FBI is trying to figure out how to allow "law enforcement around the country with court orders to be able to use our tool," Comey said. It's "tricky," he said, because using the tool to help state and local criminal investigations could mean that it would have to be revealed in a court preceding if there isn't a procedure in place to prohibit testimony about how it works.

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AAA Study: Blood THC Levels After Smoking Pot Are Useless In Defining 'Too High To Drive'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 07:25 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's illicit-substances department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Blood tests that try to quantify marijuana use are in fact useless at assessing how impaired a driver is, according to a study by the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety. The study found that people with low blood amounts of THC -- or delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, the main psychoactive component of pot -- may still act as if they're really stoned. On the other hand, some people may have THC measurements off the charts yet still act normally. The finding is critical because several states have already set legal limits for the amount of THC a person can have in their blood while driving. AAA concluded that such limits are "arbitrary and unsupported by science, which could result in unsafe motorists going free and others being wrongfully convicted for impaired driving." The conclusion echoes that of other researchers that also noted no correlation between blood THC levels and impairment. Still, there is a need to deter people from smoking pot while driving, AAA argues, as it can impair driving. It recommends that until scientifically valid measures of impairments are put into place, law enforcement should use a combination of behavior and psychological tests to assess whether drivers who use marijuana are safe to drive.

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Hyperloop One Technology Tested Successfully In Nevada Desert
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 06:05 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's age-of-hyperloop department:
Dave Knott quotes a report from CBC.ca: Hyperloop One (formerly known as Hyperloop Technologies) conducted a successful test of its high speed transportation technology Wednesday in the desert outside Las Vegas. The seconds-long, outdoor demonstration featured what appeared to be a blip of metal gliding across a small track before disappearing into a cloud against the desert landscape. A fully operational hyperloop would whisk passengers and cargo in pods through a low pressure tube at speeds of up to 1,207 kph (750 mph). Maglev technology would levitate the pods to reduce friction in the city-to-city system, which would be fully autonomous and electric powered. A day earlier, the company had announced the closing of $80 million in financing and said it plans to conduct a full system test before the end of the year.

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Harvard Scientist: Rio Olympics Could Spark 'Full Blown Global Health Disaster'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 06:05 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's world-events department:
An anonymous reader writes: Doctors have warned that the upcoming 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro could spark a "full-blown public health disaster" with the spread of the Zika virus. The World Health Organization has declared a health emergency in response to the disease's spread through Latin America. Rio has the highest number of cases of any state in the country. Dr Amir Attaran said in the Harvard Public Health Review the Olympic Games could increase the spread of the virus, suggesting the Games should be hosted by a different city in Brazil. "While Brazil's Zika inevitably will spread globally, given enough time, viruses always do -- it helps nobody to speed that up," he said. "In particular, it cannot possibly help when an estimated 500,000 foreign tourists flock into Rio for the Games, potentially becoming infected, and returning to their homes where both local Aedes mosquitoes and sexual transmission can establish new outbreaks." It's highly unlikely the virus will cause officials to take drastic action since the Games start on August 5th. With economic and political issues in the country, the Zika virus is just one more thing undermining confidence in the country's ability to host the Olympics. It was reported earlier this year that Rio has given up on its promise to eliminate 80 percent of the sewage found in the city's notoriously filthy water.

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Tesla Model S Owner Claims Vehicle Went Rogue Causing An Accident By Itself
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's rise-of-the-machines department:
MojoKid writes: A Tesla Model S owner is laying blame on the company and its product for an accident involving his pricey electric vehicle and a parked trailer. Jared Overton claims that on April 29th, he parked his Model S on the side of the road and ran some errands. He was parked behind a trailer at the time. A worker from the business he was visiting greeted him outside after which he went inside the establishment. Roughly five minutes later, he came out to find his Model S slammed into the trailer in front of it. How exactly did his Model S start-up on its own and roll several feet down the road crashing into another parked vehicle? Good question. Overton was not happy about the accident, which smashed the car's windshield, so he decided to contact Tesla to tell them that his vehicle had "gone rogue." Tesla responded and cited owner error. According to the vehicle's logs, Overton had put the vehicle in Summon mode right before exiting the vehicle, which is activated by "a double-press of the gear selector stalk button, shifting from Drive to Park and requesting Summon activation." Those are understandably deliberate actions that must be taken to invoke Summon, so either Overton didn't remember doing all of that (unlikely) or his Model S simply spazzed out (possible).

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Google Bans Ads For Payday Loans
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 04:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's right-thing-to-do department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google has decided it doesn't want to promote predatory lending practices that are harmful to consumers, so the company has decided to ban ads for payday loans and some related products from their ads systems. "Research has shown that these loans can result in unaffordable payment and high default rates for users so we will be updating our policies globally to reflect that," Google's product policy director, David Graff, writes in a blog post. Payday loans often come with extremely high interest rates if they aren't paid back immediately, which can push people further in debt. Georgetown's Center on Privacy and Technology notes in a statement, "Payday lenders profit from people's weaknesses -- particularly poor people and people of color. Every time someone clicks on those ads, search engines profit, too." While Google may lose some revenue in the short-run by removing these ads, the move will likely benefit the company in the long-run (positive PR doesn't hurt) as Google users should have more trust in the ads they come across. Payday loans will be banned from Google globally starting June 13th.

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Renewables Fastest-Growing Energy Sources, Feds Say
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 03:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's projected-growth department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Computerworld written by Lucas Mearian: By 2040, coal, natural gas and renewable energy sources will provide roughly equal shares (28%-29%) of world electricity generation -- a tremendous change from 2012, when coal provided 40% of all power generation, according to a new report. The report, International Energy Outlook 2016, was released today by the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA). Renewables are now the world's fastest-growing energy source and are expected to increase by 2.6% per year through 2040. Hydropower and wind are the two largest contributors to the increase in world electricity generation from renewable energy sources, the report stated. Together, hydro and wind account for two-thirds of the total increase in renewable energy from 2012 to 2040. In contrast, coal is the world's slowest-growing energy source, rising by 0.6% per year through 2040. By 2030, natural gas surpasses coal to become the world's second-largest energy source after liquid fuels, the report stated. The world's energy consumption is expected to increase by 48% over the next three decades even as renewable energy sources increase. Fossil fuels will still supply more than three-quarters of the world's energy by 2030. Currently, China, the U.S. and India are the top three coal-consuming countries, making up 70% of the world's coal use. China's coal use is expected to decline as their economy slows and policies to combat air pollution and climate change become implemented. The Environmental Protection Agency's new Clean Power Plan regulations intend to dramatically lower the use of coal in the U.S. over the next three decades. "Of the world's three largest coal consumers, only India is projected to increase coal use throughout the projection period," the report stated.

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Samsung Unveils 256GB MicroSD Card, Highest Capacity In Its Class
Posted by News Fetcher on May 11 '16 at 03:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's boost-in-storage department:
Samsung recently unveiled its EVO Plus 256GB microSD card, capable of storing more than 12 hours of 4K video footage, 33 hours of full HD recording, 55,200 photos or 23,500 MP3s. While you most likely do not need such a large microSD card in your life, you'll probably want one. The card features Samsung's newest V-NAND technology, with read/write speeds of 95MB/s and 90MB/s, respectively. It will be available in June to over 50 countries at a price of $250, which includes a 10 year warranty. Personally, I have no need for such a high-capacity card at this time, but I marvel how far technology has progressed in the last few years, let alone months. SanDisk, for example, revealed a 200GB microSD card back in March, 2015, which was the highest capacity microSD card up until now.

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