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Finger-Tracking Tech Turns Your Arm Into A Touchpad
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 08:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's drag-and-drop department:
New submitter Keys of Cars quotes a report from Gizmag: Smartwatches may be handy, but their tiny touchscreens can easily be obscured by your fingers as you're using them on the device. As a result, we've seen various attempts to move the control surface. One of the latest, Carnegie Mellon University's SkinTrack system, moves it onto your hand and lower arm. The strap of the smartwatch features multiple electrodes, which detects a ring that is worn on your "control finger" (on your non smartwatch-wearing arm) that emits a high-frequency electrical signal. When your finger, specifically the ring, approaches and/or touches the arm with the watch, the high-frequency electrical signal is propagated through the skin. It will work even if your skin is covered with clothing! The system is reportedly 99% accurate, and can locate touches with a mean error of 7.6mm. SkinTrack was used to control games, scroll through lists, zoom in and out of maps, draw pictures, and operate an onscreen number pad.

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Meet The Company That Poached The FBI's Entire Silk Road Investigation Team
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 07:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's sunny-side-up department:
Patrick O'Neill quotes a report from The Daily Dot: The FBI team that brought down Silk Road has a new home. After headline-grabbing investigations, arrests, and prosecutions on some of America's highest-profile cybercriminals, five of U.S. law enforcement's most prized cybercrime aces have all left government service for greener pastures -- a titan consulting firm called Berkeley Research Group (BRG). BRG's newly hired gang of five includes former federal prosecutor Thomas Brown, as well as former FBI agents Christopher Tarbell, Thomas Kiernan, and Ilhwan Yum -- names that punctuated many of the biggest cybercrime stories of the last decade including Silk Road, LulzSec, Liberty Reserve, as well as the hacks of Citibank, PNC Bank, and the Rove Digital botnet; and the prosecution of Samarth Agrawal for stealing crucial code for high-frequency trading from the multinational, multibillion dollar bank Societe Generale. "Private industry provides a lot of opportunity," NYPD intelligence chief Thomas Galati told Congress earlier this year. "So I think the best people out there are working for private companies, and not for the government."

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India Plans To Spend $6 Billion On Creating New Forests
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's that's-a-lot-of-green department:
The Narendra Modi government plans to spend $6.2 billion to create new forests through the Compensatory Afforestation Fund Bill, 2015, which has been passed by lawmakers in India's lower house this week. The bill aims to increase India's forest cover from 21.34% of the total land to 33%. Where does the money come from? It comes from private companies and various "other entities" who paid fees to the Indian government since 2006 for allowing them to set up projects on forest land. The bill proposes local state governments be provided 90% of the accumulated funds, with 10% left with the central government. "Our forest cover will dramatically increase and it will result in achieving our target 33% of tree cover and most importantly 2.5 billion tonne of carbon sink as we have indicated in our intended nationally determined contributions (INDC)," India's environmental minister, Prakash Javadekar said on May 3rd. Naturally, some experts are concerned with how appropriately the funds will be used, as well as how exactly the government will develop forests on alternate land. According to Quartz, "Since 1980, the environment ministry has approved the diversion of 1.29 million hectares of forestlands for non-forestry purposes, according to a study by CSE." India's comptroller and auditor general has expressed his dissatisfaction with the ministry's failure to grow forests on alternative land in a report in 2013.

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Tesla Plans To Produce 500,000 Electric Cars In 2018, 1 Million In 2020
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's full-steam-ahead department:
"Tesla Motors Inc said it was stepping up production plans for its upcoming Model 3 mass-market sedan and would build a total of 500,000 all-electric vehicles in 2018, two years ahead of schedule, but warned that spending will ramp up in tandem," reports Reuters. Tesla said capital spending would rise about 50% more than originally planned this year, to around $2.25 billion. Producing 500,000 vehicles in 2018 will be no easy task, especially considering the company is only on track to deliver between 80,000 and 90,000 electric vehicles this year. In addition to producing 500,000 electric vehicles in 2018, Elon Musk also said the company expects to produce nearly 1 million vehicles in 2020. These are certainly ambitious goals, even for a company that had the 'biggest one-week launch of any product ever.'

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LAPD Hacked An iPhone 5s Before The FBI Hacked San Bernardino Terrorist's iPhone 5c
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 04:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's bypassed-security department:
According to recently released court papers, Los Angeles police investigators found a way to break into a locked iPhone 5s belonging to April Jace, the slain wife of "The Shield" actor Michael Jace. The detectives were able to bypass the security at around the same time period the FBI was demanding Apple unlock the iPhone 5c belonging to San Bernardino terrorist Syed Rizwan Farook. LAPD detective Connie Zych wrote on March 18, the department found a "forensic cellphone expert" who could "override the locked iPhone function," according to the search warrant. There's no mention of how the LAPD broke into the iPhone or what OS the iPhone was running (Note: iOS 8, which features improved encryption and security features, came out months after the killing). The information stored on the iPhone should help in the criminal case against Jace's husband, who is charged with the May 19, 2014, killing.

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Microsoft No Longer Allows Admins To Block Windows Store Access In Windows 10 Pro
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 04:22 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's windows-woes department:
If you're an administrator, you will no longer be able to block Windows 10 Pro users on your watch from accessing the Windows Store. Mary Jo Foley reports for ZDNet: Up until a month ago, admins could use Group Policy to shut off employees' access to Windows Store if they were running Windows 10 Pro. Controlling this access is a requirement for some businesses. But last month, Microsoft changed that option, claiming that Store access was required for all versions of Windows 10 except Enterprise and Education "by design." Admins still can use AppLocker or Group Policy to block access to the Windows Store if their employees (or students) are running Enterprise or Education.

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SAP Partners With Apple To Expand iOS In The Enterprise
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 03:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's money-making-deals department:
SAP has announced a partnership with Apple to bring iOS to SAP's enterprise customers. Steve Lucas, president for SAP's Digital Enterprise Platform, says SAP is firmly an enterprise company which has built a cloud platform to access all the software it has developed -- ERP product, SuccessFactors or Concur. With the new deal, Apple hopes to take a bite out of Microsoft's territory by selling hardware to companies who traditionally shop for PCs. In an effort to push iOS to its customers, SAP has announced a new set of apps for the iPhone and iPad that take advantage of data stored in SAP tools. They're providing an iOS SDK for its in-memory database product, SAP HANA, to allow organizations to build their own customized apps using the data stored in HANA. SAP is also offering SAP Academy for iOS as a way for SAP programmers to learn to use the HANA iOS SDK. The deal between Apple and SAP echoes the deal from a couple years ago between Apple and IBM.

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As Robots Eat Our Jobs, Fed Should 'Drop the Money From Helicopters,' Says Bill Gross
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 03:01 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's what's-in-store-for-future department:
As technology continues to change the world -- and kill many jobs -- it may soon change the very nature of what is considered work, said Bill Gross, a renowned American financial manager in his recently released investment outlook. Gross says that in a year or so we will need to start guaranteeing income for everyone. Gross, added that the current crop of national leaders is hopelessly behind the curve, leaving it to central bankers to fix the mess. "Our economy has changed, but voters and their elected representatives don't seem to know what's really wrong," he writes. "They shout: (1) build a wall, (2) balance the budget, (3) foot the bill for college, or (4) make free trade less free. "That will fix it" they discordantly proclaim, and after November's election some unlucky soul may do one or more of the above in an effort to make things better. Similar battles are being fought everywhere." The Sydney Morning Herald reports: Central bank "helicopter money" will avoid a long recession that looms as millions of millennials face losing their jobs to robot technology, Gross says. In news that is sure to depress anyone under the age of 30, Gross says that while presidential hopefuls in the US spout mantras about how they are going to spur growth, none are addressing the reality of the future: that robots and technology are going to render "millions" of jobs redundant. "Virtually every industry in existence is likely to become less labour-intensive in future years as new technology is assimilated into existing business models," Gross writes. Transport is a visible example of this transition and millions of truck and taxi drivers will be out of a job in the next 10 to 15 years due to driverless vehicles, he says. "We should spend money where it's needed most -- our collapsing infrastructure for instance, health care for an aging generation and perhaps on a revolutionary new idea called UBI -- Universal Basic Income."

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Unity 8 And Snaps Are Conquering The Ubuntu Desktop After Ubuntu 16.10
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 01:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's divide-and-conquer department:
prisoninmate writes: Today is the last day of the Ubuntu Online Summit 2016, and the Ubuntu developers discussed the future of the Ubuntu Desktop for Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak) and beyond. It looks like Snaps (Snappy) and Unity 8 with Mir are slowly conquering the Ubuntu Desktop, at least according to Canonical's Will Cooke, Ubuntu Desktop Manager. Work has already begun on pushing these new and modern technologies to the Ubuntu Desktop, as Ubuntu 16.04 LTS has just received support for installing Snaps from the Ubuntu Snappy Store. Canonical's Will Cooke has mentioned the fact that the Unity 7 desktop enters its twilight years, which means that it gets fewer features and it's being reduced to only critical and OEM work. This is because Unity 8 desktop is getting all the attention now, and it will become the default desktop session somewhere after Ubuntu 16.10 (Yakkety Yak).

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FDA To Regulate E-Cigarettes Like Tobacco
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 01:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's nicotine-addiction department:
An anonymous reader writes: Electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) have been all the rage lately, as many claim they are healthier than traditional tobacco cigarettes. Since they are so relatively new to the market, the government hasn't been able to effectively study them and determine whether or not they should be regulated like traditional cigarettes and smokeless tobacco -- until now. The FDA has released their final rule Thursday, broadening the definition of tobacco products to include e-cigarettes, hookahs, pipe tobacco, premium cigars, little cigars and other products. "Going forward, the FDA will be able to review new tobacco products not yet on the market, help prevent misleading claims by tobacco product manufacturers, evaluate the ingredients of tobacco products and how they are made, and communicate the potential risks of tobacco products," the agency said. The new rule will go into effect immediately. According to CDC data from 2014, e-cigarette use among adults has gone up about 12.6%. People under the age of 18 will no longer be able to buy these products with the new regulations, and the products will be required to be sold in child-resistant packaging. In addition, the government will now be able to have a say in what goes into the products. Previously, there was no law mandating that manufacturers tell you what you are inhaling when trying their products.

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After ISIS, Americans Fear Cyberattacks Most
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 12:22 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's cyberattack-woes department:
An anonymous reader writes: According to Pew Research Center, there's an increasingly growing fear among Americans about cyberattacks. In fact, it's the second most feared entity to them, the first being ISIS. The terrorist group is scary by design, relying on propaganda videos and ultra-violent attacks to spread fear and project power. But coming in second right after the terrorist group was the prospect of country-on-country cyberwar: a digital raid to steal another government's information, for example, or a large-scale attack on a nation's electrical grid. Cyberattacks are a major threat in the minds of 72 percent of Americans, and a minor threat to another 22 percent. Cyberwar hasn't been on Americans' minds to this degree since 2013. That year, for the first time, Americans ranked cyberattacks as a top threat, placing it second after the threat from Islamic extremists like al-Qaeda. But in the intervening years, Americans turned their attention to nuclear threats.

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Cops Deploy StingRay Anti-Terror Tech Against $50 Chicken-Wing Thief
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 12:22 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's mystery-of-a-chicken-wing-thief department:
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Register: Police in Maryland, U.S., used controversial cellphone-tracking technology intended only for the most serious crimes to track down a man who stole $50 of chicken wings. Police in Annapolis -- an hour's drive from the heart of government in Washington DC -- used a StingRay cell tower simulator in an effort to find the location of a man who had earlier robbed a Pizza Boli employee of 15 chicken wings and three sandwiches. Total worth: $56.77. In that case, according to the police log, a court order was sought and received but in many other cases across the United States, the technology is being used with minimal oversight, despite the fact it is only supposed to be used in the most serious cases such as terrorism.Annapolis police never found the thief.

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NY Approves New Digital Currency For Winklevoss Bitcoin Exchange
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's digital-currency department:
An anonymous reader writes (edited and condensed): The New York State Department of Financial Services has approved the application of Gemini Trust Company, founded by investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, to trade digital currency ether on its bitcoin exchange, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday. Cuomo said Gemini would be the first U.S.-based ether exchange, created, and operated in New York. Ether is a token or digital asset of the Ethereum platform, a public blockchain, or distributed ledger, that can execute peer-to-peer contracts automatically without the need for intermediaries. The blockchain is the underlying technology behind bitcoin. The Winklevoss twins have dubbed the exchange the 'Nasdaq of Bitcoin.' They have also developed a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that would go by the name COIN, which regulators have yet to approve.CoinDesk has more information.

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Cupertino's Mayor: Apple 'Abuses Us' By Not Paying Taxes
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-and-tax department:
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Guardian: Apple pays a 2.3% effective tax rate on its $181bn in cash held offshore, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a not-for-profit research group focusing on tax policy. Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that Apple would owe $59.2bn in U.S. taxes if the money weren't funneled into offshore shell accounts. Criticism over the company's offshore tax schemes has become more pointed in recent months, both locally in Cupertino and from Apple's own staff. At a recent Cupertino city council meeting, some residents protested about a lack of funding for public projects, Barry Chang, Mayor of Cupertino said: "They ball up the paper and throw it, and they say 'You're making all the wrong decisions'," Chang said. "In the meantime, Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They're making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won't. They abuse us."

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Snapchat Sued For Facilitating 107 MPH Car Crash
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's technology-facilitating-damage department:
An anonymous reader writes: A Georgia couple is suing Snapchat, a popular instant messaging and photo sharing app, after a car accident last year seriously injured the husband, leaving him permanently brain damaged. According to media reports, Wentworth Maynard, the victim, was driving in a 55-mile-per-hour zone when 18-year-old Christal McGee crashed into him traveling at 107 miles per hour. McGee, according to lawsuits, was attempting to use Snapchat's "speed filter" -- a feature that overlays the speed one is traveling on a picture. "Snapchat's speed filter facilitated McGee's excessive speeding," reads the lawsuit. "McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by the means of a Snapchat 'trophy.'"

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Sci-Hub Faces Millions Of Dollars In Damages, Elsevier Complaint Shuts Down Domain
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's some-people-want-to-watch-the-world-burn department:
Reader Taco Cowboy writes: Sci-Hub is facing millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed by Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers. As a result of the legal battle the site just lost one of its latest domain names. However, the site has no intentions of backing down, and will continue its fight to keep access to scientific knowledge free and open. Several 'backup' domain names are still in play, including Sci-Hub.bz and Sci-Hub.cc. In addition to the alternative domain names users can access the site directly through the IP-address 31.184.194.81. Its TOR domain is also still working -- http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/. Authorized or not, there is definitely plenty of interest in Sci-Hub's service. The site currently hosts more than 51 million academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month. Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia or China. But even in countries where access is more common, many researchers visit the site, an analysis from Science magazine revealed last week. Late last month we learned that plenty of people were downloading academic papers from Sci-Hub. Over the 6 months leading up to March, Sci-Hub had served over 28 million documents, with Iran, China, India, Russia, and the United States being the leading requestors.

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Windows 10 Now Runs On 300M Active Devices; Upgrade To Cost $119 After July 29
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 11:02 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's free-upgrade,-no-more department:
On Thursday (May 5), Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices, up from 270 million monthly active devices as of March 30. The feat comes nine months after Microsoft released Windows 10, the latest version of its desktop operating system, after offering it for months to developers. The company also announced today that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows 8) users with a valid license wouldn't be eligible for the free upgrade starting July 29. After July 29th, Microsoft says, users will be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119. Windows 10 offers a range of interesting features including virtual digital assistant Cortana. While these features and a substantial boost to performance and speeds could be a big reason for the fast adoption of Windows 10, it's also no secret that Microsoft continues to push Windows 10 update to computers ... sometimes even when users don't want that.

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'Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 08:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-and-music department:
Vellum's James has written about his ordeal with Apple Music which many people can relate to. Apple Music, the Cupertino-based giant's online music streaming service, deleted 122GB of music files that James had stored on his computer. He writes: What Amber (supposed Apple Support representative) explained was exactly what I'd feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users' computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize -- which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself -- it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted. This isn't the first time Apple Music has deleted a user's locally stored music files. Long-time Apple watcher Jim Dalrymple canceled his subscription last year and called Apple Music a "nightmare" after the service allegedly deleted over 4,700 of his previously bought songs. At the time, he wrote: At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me -- Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I've spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none.Incidentally, Apple Music is rumoured for a reboot at the company's developer conference in June. It's not clear if fixing the aforementioned glitch is among Apple's imminent agenda.

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Old Qualcomm Vulnerability Exposes Android User Data
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 08:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's Android-security-woes department:
Reader wiredmikey writes: Researchers from FireEye have disclosed the details of a serious information disclosure vulnerability affecting a Qualcomm software package found in hundreds of Android device models (Editor's note: the link could have pop-up ads, here's an alternate source). The vulnerability is in the Qualcomm tethering controller (CVE-2016-2060) and could allow a malicious application to access user information. While the flaw could expose millions of Android devices, the vulnerability has limited impact on devices running Android 4.4 and later, which include significant security enhancements, and also does not affect Nexus devices. FireEye said its researchers informed Qualcomm about the vulnerability in January and the vendor developed a fix by early March and started reaching out to OEMs to let them know about the issue. Now it's up to the device manufacturers to push out the patch to customers.FireEye said: "The OEMs will now need to provide updates for their devices; however, many devices will likely never be patched."

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Bitcoin 'Creator' Reneges On Promise To Provide More Proof, Says He's Sorry
Posted by News Fetcher on May 05 '16 at 06:54 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's he's-sorry,-guys department:
Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto -- the creator of bitcoin -- has backtracked on a pledge to provide more proof of his earlier claims. Wright says that he lacks the courage to face allegations. On May 1, Wright claimed that he was the creator of bitcoin, offering digital signature, signed using a private key that was thought to be held by Nakamoto. We later learned that the "proof" Wright offered was simply copied from an older transaction. At the time, Wright assured that he will be moving early bitcoins as "extraordinary evidence". On Thursday, Wright wrote in a blog post that he is "sorry," and that he cannot do this. He writes: I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I'm sorry.

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