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TSA's Precheck Registration Program Causing Longer Security Lines
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 06:43 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's so-much-for-that-idea department:
McGruber writes: The Associated Press is reporting that TSA's PreCheck program is causing maddening long security lines at U.S. airports. TSA's PreCheck security lanes can screen 300 passengers an hour, twice that of its standard security lanes. Based on that and other increased efficiencies, the TSA's front-line screeners were cut from 47,147 three years ago to 42,525 currently. At the same time, the number of annual fliers passing through checkpoints has grown from 643 million to more than 700 million. The TSA told Congress its goal was to have 25 million fliers enrolled in the PreCheck registration program, but as of March 1, only 9.3 million people had registered for PreCheck. TSA first tried to make up for that shortfall by randomly placing passengers into the express Precheck lanes, but scaled back that effort for fear dangerous passengers were being let through. That's when the regular security lines started growing -- up to 90 minutes in some cases. The TSA is now shifting some resources to tackle lines at the nation's biggest airports, but it claims there is no easy solution to the problem with a record number of fliers expected this summer. To enroll in TSA's Precheck registration program, travelers must pay $85 to $100 every five years, then submit to a background check, in-person interview at an airport, and to being fingerprinted. Unsurprisingly, getting once-a-year fliers to spend the time or the money to register has been a challenge. While 250,000 to 300,000 people are registering for Precheck every month, it will take more than four years at that pace to reach the TSA's target enrollment.

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Microsoft Launches Cognitive Services Based On Project Oxford and Bing
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 05:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's machine-learning-tools department:
An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has announced updates to its portfolio of machine learning tools at its Build conference in San Francisco. Previously, they had fallen under the Project Oxford name, but now they are being rebranded to Microsoft Cognitive Services. According to Microsoft senior program manager Cornelia Carapcea, there are now 22 APIs available in Cognitive Services. There are also prices for the new services, along with APIs made available from Microsoft's Bing search division. Developers can try out these services for free.

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Feds Used 1789 Law To Force Apple, Google To Unlock Phones 63 Times
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 05:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-can-play-that-game department:
An anonymous reader writes: The FBI has been citing a 1789 law, the All Writs Act, to compel Apple to assist the authorities in unlocking the iPhone 5c belonging to San Bernardino killer, Syed Farook. The law allows for judges to issue orders for people or companies to do something despite Congress not passing laws to cover specific instances. According to the Civil Liberties Union, the U.S. government has cited the All Writs Act in 63 cases since 2008 to compel Apple or Google to assist in accessing data stored on an iPhone or Android device. Most of the orders involved Apple. "To the extent we know about the underlying facts, these cases predominantly arise out of investigations into drug crimes," said Eliza Sweren-Becker, an ACLU attorney.

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Skype is Getting Cortana and Crazy Bot Messaging
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 04:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's personal-voice-assistant department:
An anonymous reader writes: During its Build conference, Microsoft demoed how Skype users would be able to book trips, shop, and plan their schedule, just by chatting with Cortana. "Cortana is brokering the conversation with a third-party bot," says Lilian Rincon, Skype's program manager. Essentially, Skype will know which company or service you want to talk to, bring a new bot into your chat to help out, and then get rid of the bot when you're done. Video bots may also be in the works as Rincon mentioned, "We will also be bringing intelligence into real-time video."

The new features are very similar to Facebook's "Messenger Bot Store," which the company announced at F8. Facebook's AI-powered assistant, called M, would enable Messenger users to make purchases, restaurant reservations, and travel bookings within the messaging interface, similar to Cortana but with more human input.

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Slashdot Asks: Should FBI Reveal to Apple How to Unlock Terrorist's iPhone?
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 04:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's new-ethical-dilemma department:
After reports that the FBI managed to unlock an iPhone 5c belonging to one of the San Bernardino shooters without the help of Apple, Apple is now the one that needs the FBI's assistance. "The responsible thing for the government to do is privately disclose the vulnerability to Apple so they can continue hardening security on their devices," said Justin Olsson, product counsel at security software maker AVG Technologies. However, many experts in the field believe that the government isn't legally obligated to provide the information to Apple. As mentioned in Los Angeles Times, this creates a new ethical dilemma: Should tech companies be made aware of flaws in their products, or should law enforcement be able to deploy those bugs as crime-fighting tools?

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Microsoft Launches HoloLens Emulator, No Headset Required
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 02:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's developer-perks department:
An anonymous reader writes: As promised, Microsoft started shipping its $3,000 HoloLens development kits today. In addition to sharing that bots are coming to the new platform, the company also released a HoloLens emulator, which lets developers test holographic apps on their PC without the need for a physical HoloLens. You can download the emulator now directly from here.
Thinking about building a holographic app? HoloToolkit on GitHub is a collection of scripts and components that may help accelerate your development.

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AT&T Looks To Sell Cyanogen-Powered ZTE Phone To Snub Google
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 02:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's best-of-luck-to-you department:
An anonymous reader writes: According to a report out of The Information, the No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, ATT, is looking into partnering with Cyanogen because it thinks it could make a compelling Android-alternative smartphone for its customers. In other words, ATT wants to use Cyanogen to help it load more bloatware on phones to help sell their other services, like DirecTV. The Information's report suggests that ATT is "snubbing" Google by partnering with Cyanogen, because if the phone were to sell, it could put a damper on Google's continued attempts at making an Apple-like "consistent experience across all Android." Apparently, ATT is looking to partner with ZTE to manufacture the phone, though the U.S. government issued trade sanctions on them just this month, with allegations that they had tried to "illicitly re-export controlled items to Iran in violation of US export control laws."

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Microsoft Unlocks the Ability To Turn Xbox One Consoles Into 'Development Kits'
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 01:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's two-in-one department:
Dave Knott writes: Today, Microsoft made good on a nearly three-year-old promise, unlocking the ability for all retail Xbox One consoles to become development kits. This mode will allow anyone to build, test and experiment with Universal Windows Program (UWP) development. Converting a console to Dev Mode requires no special equipment or fees, though to fully access the abilities, a user will need to create a Dev Center account. After setting up Dev Mode, a user simply pairs their Xbox One with Visual Studio, which sees the console as a Windows 10 machine to which it can deploy content directly through a wired connection. While this feature eases self-publishing on Xbox One, a developer will still have to go through Microsoft's concept approval, which usually takes about two weeks, before the game is eligible to be published on Xbox One. The big change here is that while traditionally Microsoft had to give a hopeful developer a dev kit, now a developer can just switch over their own retail console.

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Leaked Emails Reveal Widespread Corruption in Global Oil Industry
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 01:21 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's information-wants-to-be-free department:
Nick McKenzie, Richard Baker, Michael Bachelard, and Daniel Quinlan report on a widespread corruption in the global oil industry for The Huffington Post: In the list of the world's great companies, Unaoil is nowhere to be seen. But for the best part of the past two decades, the family business from Monaco has systematically corrupted the global oil industry, distributing many millions of dollars worth of bribes on behalf of corporate behemoths including Samsung, Rolls-Royce, Halliburton and Australia's own Leighton Holdings. A massive leak of confidential documents has for the first time exposed the true extent of corruption within the oil industry, implicating dozens of leading companies, bureaucrats and politicians in a sophisticated global web of bribery and graft. After a six-month investigation across two continents, Fairfax Media and The Huffington Post can reveal that billions of dollars of government contracts were awarded as the direct result of bribes paid on behalf of firms including British icon Rolls-Royce, US giant Halliburton, Australia's Leighton Holdings and Korean heavyweights Samsung and Hyundai.

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ACLU Shows How the Apple-FBI Fight Was About Much More Than One Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 12:04 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's it's-not-over-until-govt-says-it's-over department:
Russell Brandom reports for The Verge: Apple's San Bernardino fight may be over, but the government is still seeking both Apple and Google's help in unlocking phones. New research from the American Civil Liberties Union shows 63 different cases in which the government compelled help from Apple or Google in unlocking a handset. It's unclear how many of the orders were filled, although companies often complied with such orders where possible before last year. The bulk of the cases target Apple, but nine of the orders also look to compel Google's help, typically to reset the password on a given device. The devices include phones from Alcatel, Kyocera, and Samsung, many of which shipped without the default device encryption that blocked the use of traditional forensic tools in the San Bernardino case.

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Microsoft Launches Bot Framework To Let Developers Build Their Own Chatbots
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 12:04 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's bot-is-the-new-cool department:
An anonymous reader shares a report on VentureBeat: Microsoft today is introducing the Bot Framework, a new tool in preview to help developers build their own chatbots for their applications. Using this, anyone can create a text program that they can chat with. A BotBuilder software-development kit (SDK) is available on GitHub under an open-source MIT license. These bots can be implemented into a variety of applications, including Slack or Telegram or even email. "Bots are like new applications," Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella said. "And digital assistants are meta apps, or like the new browsers. And intelligence is infused into all of your interactions. That's the rich platform that we have." Microsoft will want to tread carefully.

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Apple's New Safari Technology Preview Browser Is Aimed At Web Developers
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 10:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's steal-thunder-away-from-Microsoft's-Build-2016 department:
Sarah Perez reports for TechCrunch: Apple today announced it's expanding its efforts in the area of web development, with the launch of a new version of its Safari web browser, designed specifically for developers. Called Safari Technology Preview, the company says this browser will allow developers to get an early look at upcoming web technologies in OS X and iOS, including things like the latest layout technologies, visual effects, and other developer tools. The idea is to allow developers to more easily get their hands on these technologies and be able to experiment, then offer feedback to Apple earlier on so the company can make the necessary improvements. AnandTech's Brandon Chester elaborates: It's available from Apple's developer website, and updates will come every two weeks via the Mac App Store. This makes the list of changes and additions easily accessible with each update, and because the builds are signed by Apple there's full support for iCloud integration. [...] One important thing to note about the Safari Technology Preview is that, while the app is available from Apple's developer site, you don't need to be a registered developer paying the yearly iOS and OS X publishing fee to access it. Since the target audience consists mainly of programmers building websites and web applications, it doesn't make sense to limit it to developers building native apps for iOS and OS X.

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MIT Media Lab Defaults To Free and Open Source Software
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 10:31 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's embracing-the-power-of-FOSS department:
Reader alphadogg cites a report on NetworkWorld: MIT Media Lab, that 30-year-old tech innovation factory that has had a huge hand in churning out everything from LEGO MindStorms to the Guitar Hero video game, has now wowed the open source and free software crowd. Lab Director Joi Ito over the weekend revealed that MIT Media Lab has changed its approach to software releases to FLOSS (free/libre/open-source software) by default.

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Amazon.com Now Bans USB Type-C Cables That Aren't Up To Spec
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 09:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's say-no-to-bad-usb-cables department:
Google engineer, Benson Leung has been on a mission to get rid of USB Type-C cables that aren't compliant with Type-C 1.1 spec. He reminds us that these cables could potentially lead to damage. Over the past few months, he has reviewed over a dozen of USB Type-C cables on Amazon.com and concluded that the vast majority of them aren't compliant with the aforementioned standard. Now he reports: Amazon.com has just made a change to their "Prohibited listings" for Electronics. They've added the following line: Any USB-C (or USB Type-C) cable or adapter product that is not compliant with standard specifications issued by "USB Implementers Forum Inc." What does this mean? It means that cable manufacturers who sell poorly made or intentionally deceptive USB Type-C cables and adapters are banned from Amazon, officially. Really great news, but we all have to continue to be vigilant and call out any bad products we find on Amazon and other stores (both online and brick and mortar) as we find them.

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Windows 10 Now Runs On 270 Million Monthly Active Devices
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 09:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's growing-windows-userbase department:
At its developer conference, Build 2016, Microsoft announced on Wednesday that Windows 10, the latest version of its desktop version which it released on July 29 last year, is now being used on over 270 million active computers worldwide. "Windows 10 is off to the fastest adoption of any release ever," said Terry Myerson, executive vice president for Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group. The company also announced that it will be releasing Windows 10 Anniversary Update this summer for all Windows 10 users free of charge.

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Confirmed: Microsoft and Canonical Partner To Bring Ubuntu To Windows 10
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 09:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's microsoft-loves-linux department:
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports for ZDNet: According to sources at Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company, and Microsoft, you'll soon be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10. This will be more than just running the Bash shell on Windows 10. After all, thanks to programs such as Cygwin or MSYS utilities, hardcore Unix users have long been able to run the popular Bash command line interface (CLI) on Windows. With this new addition, Ubuntu users will be able to run Ubuntu simultaneously with Windows. This will not be in a virtual machine, but as an integrated part of Windows 10. [...] Microsoft and Canonical will not, however, sources say, be integrating Linux per se into Windows. Instead, Ubuntu will primarily run on a foundation of native Windows libraries. Update: 03/30 16:16 GMT by M : At its developer conference Build 2016, Microsoft on Wednesday confirmed that it is bringing native support for Bash on Windows 10. Scott Hanselman writes: This isn't Bash or Ubuntu running in a VM. This is a real native Bash Linux binary running on Windows itself. It's fast and lightweight and it's the real binaries. This is a genuine Ubuntu image on top of Windows with all the Linux tools I use like awk, sed, grep, vi, etc. It's fast and it's lightweight. The binaries are downloaded by you - using apt-get - just as on Linux, because it is Linux. You can apt-get and download other tools like Ruby, Redis, emacs, and on and on. This is brilliant for developers that use a diverse set of tools like me.

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Over 1,400 Vulnerabilities Found In Automated Medical Supply System
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 07:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's seeking-immediate-attention department:
An anonymous reader writes: Security researchers have discovered 1,418 vulnerabilities in CareFusion's Pyxis SupplyStation system -- automated cabinets used to dispense medical supplies -- that are still being used in the healthcare and public health sectors in the US and around the world. The vulnerabilities can be exploited remotely by attackers with low skills, and exploits that target these vulnerabilities are publicly available. Things already seem to be getting out hands.

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Repeated DDoS Attacks Force Coinkite Bitcoin Wallet To Close Down Web Service
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 07:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's hurt-but-not-broken department:
An anonymous reader writes: Coinkite, one of the earliest Web-based Bitcoin wallet services, has announced plans to discontinue its service and focus on a hardware-based Bitcoin products, all because of a barrage of relentless DDoS attacks that has been plaguing the company ever since 2012. The company plans to focus on hardware-based Bitcoin products such as PoS terminals, USB sticks, and professional servers. "Being a centralized bitcoin service does attract attention from state actors and other well-funded pains-in-the-butt, and as a matter of fact, we've been under DDoS since the first month we launched -- over three years -- yay. Plus we have put real fiat dollars into our lawyers' pockets to defend our customers from their own governments. This is not what we love to do, which is coding and delivering awesome services," the Coinkite team explained.

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Microsoft and Canonical Partner To Bring Ubuntu To Windows 10, Says Report
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 06:14 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's microsoft-loves-linux department:
Steven J. Vaughan-Nichols reports for ZDNet: According to sources at Canonical, Ubuntu Linux's parent company, and Microsoft, you'll soon be able to run Ubuntu on Windows 10. This will be more than just running the Bash shell on Windows 10. After all, thanks to programs such as Cygwin or MSYS utilities, hardcore Unix users have long been able to run the popular Bash command line interface (CLI) on Windows. With this new addition, Ubuntu users will be able to run Ubuntu simultaneously with Windows. This will not be in a virtual machine, but as an integrated part of Windows 10. [...] Microsoft and Canonical will not, however, sources say, be integrating Linux per se into Windows. Instead, Ubuntu will primarily run on a foundation of native Windows libraries.

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Police Unlikely To Win Wider Access To Smartphones Despite FBI Success In San Bernardino Case
Posted by News Fetcher on March 30 '16 at 04:52 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's there's-always-next-time department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Los Angeles Times: The successful hack of a phone linked to the San Bernardino terror attacks is unlikely to help police win greater access to encrypted data contained inside thousands of smartphones sitting in evidence lockers nationwide, legal experts and law enforcement officials said Tuesday. The process used to gain access to Syed Rizwan Farook's iPhone 5c might not work on other devices, according to an FBI official with knowledge of the investigation. Though the FBI might want to use the new tool to help solve outstanding criminal cases, doing so would also make the process subject to discovery during criminal trials and place the information in the public domain, according to the official, who was not authorized to discuss the case and spoke on the condition of anonymity.

"From all the chiefs that I've talked to, we're hopeful this will give us some insight into how we're going to be able to get into some of the phones sitting in all of our evidence rooms," said Terry Cunningham, police chief in Wellesley, Mass., and president of the International Assn. of Chiefs of Police. "We're clearly anxious to learn what they did and how they did it and if it can be replicated."

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