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FBI Tells Local Law Enforcement It Will Help Unlock Phones
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '16 at 06:20 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-vs-fbi department:
Salvador Hernandez, reporting for BuzzFeed: Just days after breaking into a terroristâ(TM)s iPhone using a mysterious third-party technique, FBI officials on Friday told local law enforcement agencies it will assist them with unlocking phones and other electronic devices. The advisory, obtained by BuzzFeed News, was sent in response to law enforcement inquiries about its new method of unlocking devices. Though the dispatch does not explicitly state if the FBI will use the mysterious third-party method to unlock phones for local authorities, officials said the agency âoewill of course consider any tool that might be helpful to our partners.â

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Researchers Develop Cancer-Targetting Hybrid Molecule
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '16 at 06:20 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's molecular-physiques department:
New York researchers have developed a hybrid molecule that can target cancer cells, which they believe shows promise in the fight against breast cancer. The team created a composite nanoparticle that can transport chemotherapeutic agents, in a technique that more than doubled the uptake of an anti-inflammatory compound that inhibits cancer cell growth when directly applied to a tumor. The composite nanoparticle "can load up with these drugs, carry them to malignant cells, and unload them where they can do the most damage with the least amount of harm to the patient," according to a statement from the NYU Tandon School of Engineering, with one of the researchers summarizing it as a hybird molecule that "can carry higher payloads, enabling it to deliver more drug."

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Record-Setting Astronaut Retires from NASA
Posted by News Fetcher on April 03 '16 at 03:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's down-to-earth department:
Record-setting NASA astronaut Scott Kelly retired from NASA on Friday, after spending more than 520 days in outer space, spread across four space missions â" two space shuttle flights and two recent missions on the orbiting International Space Station. The 52-year-old astronaut's last visit to the space station lasted more than a year, "a profound challenge for all involved," Kelly says, "and it gave me a unique perspective and a lot of time to reflect on what my next step should be on our continued journey to help further our capabilities in space and on Earth." Kelly's time in space started with a 1999 mission on the space shuttle to NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, and he's since spent more time in space than any other American. According to Space.com, NASA and Kelly have both said that his long-duration visits are the first baby steps towards a manned missions to Mars.

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MPAA Opposes Proposed Minnesota Revenge Porn Law, Saying It Limits Speech
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 11:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's avenging-revenging department:
New Minnesota legislation is "attempting to penalize those who post explicit photos or videos of ex-lovers on the Internet without permission," reports the Associated Press. But while 27 states across America have already passed laws against "revenge porn", Hollywood's lobbying arm, the MPAA, argues that Minnesota's bill doesn't specifically require an intent to harass in their definition of the crime, which "could limit the distribution of a wide array of mainstream, Constitutionally protected material, including items of legitimate news, commentary, and historical interest," according to Ars Technica. The MPAA adds that "images of Holocaust victims, or prisoners at Abu Ghraib, or the Pulitzer-Prize winning photograph entitled 'Napalm Girl' -- which shows a young girl running screaming from her village, naked, following a Napalm attack -- could be prohibited under the terms of this legislation."

"This is the same MPAA that fiercely supported the Stop Online Piracy Act of 2012," notes Ars Technica, though "many claimed that legislation would also curtail free speech because SOPA could lead to the removal of domains that host infringing material." But the state's ACLU chapter is also opposing Minnesota's bill, according to the Associated Press, pointing out that it doesn't require an offender to be aware that they're invading someone's privacy, and arguing that "We're not doing victims of revenge porn any service by passing a law that can't be upheld in court, that will let people go free."

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Electric Bike Company Lets Users Create Replacement Parts with 3D Printers
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 07:31 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's all-the-bikes-that-are-fit-to-print department:
The manufacturers of a new electric bike are sharing 3D-printable files that let users create their own replacement parts and accessories. "We want to help all our customers to personalize and get the most from their electric bikes," the company explains on their web site, "by offering them unique and interesting parts, as well as spares, that they can 3D print at home for free." Powered by a 42V lithium ion battery, the $2,430 Trayser has a range of 60 miles at speeds up to 15.5 miles per hour. 3Ders.org points out that entire bike frames have also been generated using 3D printers.

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Mozilla Co-Founder's Ad-blocking Brave Browser Will Pay You Bitcoin To See Ads
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 06:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's everybody-wins? department:
An anonymous reader writes: Brave, a new privacy and speed focused web browser for Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, and Android, backed by Mozilla co-founder Brendan Eich, will pay its users in bitcoin to watch ads. From a PCWorld article, 'Under this plan, advertisers pay for a certain number of impressions, and Brave aggregates those payments into one sum. Websites that participate in the scheme get 55 percent of the money, weighted by how many impressions are served on their sites. For both users and publishers, Brave deposits the money into individual bitcoin wallets, and both parties must verify their identity to claim the funds. This requires an email and phone number for users, and more stringent identification steps for publishers. Users who don't verify will automatically donate their share of the funds back to the sites they visit most.' It appears Brave's strategy hinges on, among other things, collecting your browsing data to display relevant ads. The aforementioned article also says that users will have an option to block all ads by paying a monthly subscription to Brave. Not sure how many people would want to buy that.

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Oklahoma Video Vigilante Uses Drone To Wage War Against Prostitutes and Johns
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 04:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's fly-by-night-flyby department:
HughPickens.com writes: Chris Baraniuk writes at BBC that Brian Bates, known in Oklahoma as the "Video Vigilante," is taking credit for Amanda Zolicoffer's conviction on a lewdness charge after being caught on Bates' drone mounted camera in a sex act in a parked vehicle last year. Zolicoffer was sentenced to a year in state prison for the misdemeanor while the case against her alleged client, who was released following arrest in December, is still pending. "I'm sort of known in the Oklahoma City area," says Bates . "For the last 20 years I've used a video camera to document street-level and forced prostitution, and human trafficking." Bates runs a website where he publishes videos of alleged sex workers and their clients. "I am openly referred to as a video vigilante, I don't really shy away from that," says Bates adding that the two individuals were inside a vehicle and the incident occurred away from other members of the public. The drone dropped to within a few feet of the vehicle where it filmed a 75 year old in the front seat of the white pickup truck. The duo separated after Zolicoffer, who was identified by her tattoo saying "Baby Gangster," saw the drone hovering overhead.

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Tech Billionaire Mark Cuban Argues Stock Regulators Hurt the Economy
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 04:51 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's billionaires-against-red-tape department:
Tech entrepreneur and investor Mark Cuban denounced America's stock-regulating agency on CNBC this week, arguing that they're reducing the number of companies going public with vague rules that are open-ended. "[W]here there's no clarity and no certainty on what to do in response to the SEC, you get people doing nothing or people avoiding going public or doing anything to avoid dealing with the SEC," Cuban said on CNBC. "And that's a real problem for up and coming companies and it's a problem for the economy as well."

Mary Jo White, the head of America's SEC, had appeared earlier in the week near Silicon Valley, according to Bloomberg, telling an audience at Stanford Law school to be wary of billion-dollar valuation IPOs and warning that founders and startup advisors preparing for an IPO should watch their internal controls, reporting and certifications. "They are doing what the SEC always does," Cuban complained on CNBC. "100 degrees of gray."

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Amateur Scientist Builds Thermite Grenade Cannon
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 03:32 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's flash-powder department:
YouTube personality Colin Furze has built a homemade cannon which he's filmed launching grenades filled with thermite, "an especially nasty chemical composition made of metal power and oxide that burns as hot as 2,500 degrees Celsius." Furze once co-hosted Sky1's program Gadget Geeks, and he's since made a new career demonstrating strange science projects on YouTube. Furze's other homemade devices have included a rocket-powered go-kart and a knife that can also toast bread while it's cutting.

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Free Wi-Fi Program in Los Angeles Fails to Provide Free Wi-Fi
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 02:17 PM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's not-so-hot-spot department:
The Los Angeles Time found no internet connectivity in 24 public locations, despite a three-year, $500,000 grant to provide them with free Wi-Fi service. Investigations both last year and again in March found that none of the 18+ locations checked were able to successfully connect to the internet, prompting a PUC investigation that confirmed only two of the hotspots were working. The grant was part of a $315 million state-wide program using surcharges on utility bills to promote high-quality communication services, though in Los Angeles most of the money for "underserved" areas was being directed to outreach and education. The Wi-Fi company's executive director said maintaining their networks had proved to be difficult, though one economist argued it would've been more productive to give net-access subsidies directly to the poor, a program the FCC recently voted to expand.

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The Music Industry Is Begging the US Government To Change Its Copyright Laws
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 02:17 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's signed-by-millionaires-and-hundred-millionaires department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on The Verge: Christina Aguilera, Katy Perry, deadmau5, and dozens of other musicians are asking the U.S. government to revamp the Digital Millennium Copyright act (DMCA), the piece of law that governs access to copyrighted work on the internet. Musicians, managers, and "creators" from across the industry co-signed petitions sent to the U.S. Copyright Office arguing that tech companies -- think YouTube and Tumblr, sites with vast reserves of content that infringes on some copyright -- have "grown and generated huge profits" on the backs of material that's illegally hosted. "The growth and support of technology companies should not be at the expense of artists and songwriters," reads the letter signed by Aguilera, Perry, and their peers. "The tech companies who benefit from the DMCA today were not the intended protectorate when it was signed into law two decades ago."

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Security Gaps Found in Massive Visa Database
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 12:51 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's security-woes department:
Mike Levine and Justin Fishel, reporting for ABC News: Cyber-defense experts found security gaps in a State Department system that could have allowed hackers to doctor visa applications or pilfer sensitive data from the half-billion records on file, according to several sources familiar with the matter -- though defenders of the agency downplayed the threat and said the vulnerabilities would be difficult to exploit. Briefed to high-level officials across government, the discovery that visa-related records were potentially vulnerable to illicit changes sparked concern because foreign nations are relentlessly looking for ways to plant spies inside the United States, and terrorist groups like ISIS have expressed their desire to exploit the U.S. visa system, sources added.

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UK Pharma Giant GSK Won't Patent Its Drugs in Poorer Countries
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 12:51 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's understanding-markets-and-strategy department:
Glyn Moody, reporting for Ars Technica: The UK pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) has announced that it will not be routinely patenting its drugs around the world. Instead of applying for patents on its medicines in all regions, it will now take into account the economic development of the country before deciding whether to seek monopoly protection there. As a result, a poorer country can encourage local manufacturers to create cheaper generic versions of GSK's products, and thus provide them to a greater number of its population, potentially saving many lives. Specifically, GSK says: "For Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Low Income Countries (LICs), GSK will not file patents for its medicines, so as to give clarity and confidence to generic companies seeking to manufacture and supply generic versions of GSK medicines in those countries." Might sound weird but, this makes economic sense for GlaxoSmithKline. Applying for and defending a patent could cost a huge chunk of money. Then there are application and overhead expenses when selling a drug to different markets.

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Astronomers Find Rare Triple-Star Planet
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 11:22 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's bright-sky department:
Phys.org is reporting the discovery of a rare planet with three different stars in its sky, two distant stars orbiting each other and a closer third star which would appear 40 times as large as our sun. Two robotically controlled telescopes -- one in Arizona, one in South Africa -- determined the gas giant planet KELT-4Ab was orbiting two separate stars which had always appeared to be one. The brighter third star will make it easier to study both the star itself and the nearby planet. "Known planets with three stars appearing in their sky are rare," reports Phys.org," adding "this new discovery is just the fourth, and it has caused excitement in the space community because it is the closest one yet, allowing for a better look than has been possible with the other finds."

"The environment in which this planet exists is quite spectacular," add Maciej Konacki from the California Institute of Technology, telling Space.com that "With three suns, the sky view must be out of this world -- literally and figuratively."

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How To Hack an Election
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 11:22 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's hopelessly-de-voted department:
"For eight years, Andres Sepulveda, now 31, says he traveled the continent rigging major political campaigns..." writes Bloomberg, citing elections in Nicaragua, Panama, Honduras, El Salvador, Colombia, Mexico, Costa Rica, Guatemala, and Venezuela. Sepulveda says he was bankrolled by a political consultant in Miami, and his services involved everything from phone tapping and cracking donor databases to managing thousands of fake Twitter profiles. While Sepulveda wasn't always successful, in 2012, "He led a team of hackers that stole campaign strategies, manipulated social media to create false waves of enthusiasm and derision, and installed spyware in opposition offices, all to help Pena Nieto, a right-of-center candidate, eke out a victory." Now serving 10 years in prison in Colombia, Sepulveda is telling his story in hopes of a reduced sentence - and to warn the public that hackers are affecting modern elections, and that specialized skills will be need to stop them. "On the question of whether the U.S. presidential campaign is being tampered with, he is unequivocal. 'I'm 100 percent sure it is'."

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Anonymous's War on Trump Described as Successful and Disastrous
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 10:03 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's April-Fool-me-once department:
CitizensForTrump.com and the Trump Hotel Collection site reportedly went offline Friday, seeming to confirm threats made by the hacktivist collective Anonymous. But TechInsider is reporting that "The 'total war' that Anonymous declared earlier this month against Donald Trump has devolved into a war among hackers fighting within the group and pro-Trump supporters who are trolling them within their chat rooms." They describe two warring factions within the group's anti-Trump movement, also quoting CloudFlare's CEO as saying denial of service attacks "are sort of the functional equivalent of a caveman with a club." But while Trump has warned that law enforcement officials are pursuing the attackers, one Anonymous member unequivocally announced that still more attacks were planned. "This is NOT the last time you hear of this operation. We will be watching, and will act when the time is right."

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Refrigerator-Sized Machine Can Print Pills on Demand
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 10:03 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's make-two-pills-and-call-me-in-the-morning department:
MIT Researchers have created a new "Pharmacy on Demand" prototype that can produce 1,000 doses of medication every 24 hours. Their new system "can be easily transported in case of outbreaks, supply shortage or if a manufacturing plant shuts down," notes the Daily Mail, and the on-demand technology can address many of the challenges in supplying medications, for example regions without facilities for storing pills. "The dosages don't have to have long-term stability," says the head of MIT's Chemistry department. "People line up, you make it, and they take it." The DARPA-funded researchers produced Valium, Prozac, Benadryl, and lidocaine, and demonstrated that "Within a few hours we could change from one compound to the other." The machine can also switch to a different drug type within a few hours, making it economical to produce drugs needed by only a small number of patients.

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US Military Invests in $320M 'Smart Fabric' Project
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 08:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's chip-on-your-shoulder-pack department:
The U.S. Department of Defense is investing in a $320 million project to create "smart garments" that can protect soldiers while monitoring their environment -- for example, uniforms that can change color or become invisible to night-vision goggles. Other possibilities include tents which generate electricity, uniforms which detect chemical or nuclear contamination, and parachutes that can detect tearing, according to Phys.org. "Key to the plan is a technical ingredient: embedding a variety of tiny semiconductors and sensors into fabrics that can see, hear, communicate, store energy, warm or cool a person or monitor the wearer's health," reports the New York Times, calling it "a new frontier for the Internet of Things." The Pentagon is joining more than 30 universities, 49 companies (including Intel) and the state governments of Massachusetts and Georgia, and they're hoping the "Advanced Functional Fabrics of America" project establishes two dozen incubators for startups and creates 50,000 jobs over the next 10 years by streamlining the implementation of the smart fabrics in America's textile mills.

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Grieving Father is Begging Apple to Unlock His Dead Son's iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 08:41 AM
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's far-beyond-the-cloud department:
"A grieving father is begging Apple to allow him access to the photos stored on his dead son's iPhone," reports Time. In September Leonardo Fabbretti's adopted son died of bone cancer at age 13, and the father believes that two months of photographs are still stored on his son's iPhone. Last fall Apple staff attempted to retrieve the photos from their cloud-storage service, but the iPhone hadn't been synced before the 13-year-old's death. "Don't deny me the memories of my son," the father writes in a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook.
The father's letter tells Apple that "Although I share your philosophy in general, I think Apple should offer solutions for exceptional cases like mine," according to a British newspaper, while 88% of respondents in their online poll believed that Apple should unlock the phone.

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Users Find Renting a Movie On iTunes Frees Up Space On IPhone, IPad
Posted by News Fetcher on April 02 '16 at 08:41 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's awesome-sauce department:
An anonymous reader writes: Many, if not all, believe that 16GB storage on their iPhone and iPad is not sufficient. Apple insists that users with 16GB variant iDevice can always save files to the cloud. At any rate, several users have found an interesting way to free up storage space on their iPhone and iPad. The trick is to rent a movie from iTunes (on your mobile device) that is larger than the storage you have available. If you have 500MB free, for instance, you could try and rent Bridge of Spies, which is a 5.79GB download, according to an article on BetaNews. "When you click Rent, a loading symbol will appear but then you'll receive a message informing you that "there is not enough available storage" to download the film, and you'll be given the option of managing your storage in Settings. Tap the Settings button, and -- ta-da! -- you should see the amount of free storage you now have is much greater than before. Repeating the process will free up even more space."

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