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Japan To Begin Testing Fingerprints As 'Currency'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 05:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what-could-go-wrong department:
schwit1 quotes a report from The Japan News: Starting this summer, the government will test a system in which foreign tourists will be able to verify their identities and buy things at stores using only their fingerprints. The government hopes to increase the number of foreign tourists by using the system to prevent crime and relieve users from the necessity of carrying cash or credit cards. It aims to realize the system by the 2020 Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games. The experiment will have inbound tourists register their fingerprints and other data, such as credit card information, at airports and elsewhere. Tourists would then be able to conduct tax exemption procedures and make purchases after verifying their identities by placing two fingers on special devices installed at stores. The Inns and Hotels Law requires foreign tourists to show their passports when they check into ryokan inns or hotels. The government plans to substitute fingerprint authentication for that requirement.

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NASA: Global Warming Is Now Changing How Earth Wobbles
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 02:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's the-great-migration department:
An anonymous reader writes: A new study from NASA finds global warming is shifting the way the Earth wobbles on its polar axis. Melting ice sheets are changing the distribution of weight on Earth, which has caused both the North Pole and the wobble, called polar motion, to change course. Since 1899, scientists and navigators have been accurately measuring the true pole and polar motion and for almost the entire 20th century they migrated a bit toward Canada. That migration has changed with this century -- now they're moving toward England, said study lead author Surendra Adhikari at NASA's Jet Propulsion Lab. "The recent shift from the 20th-century direction is very dramatic," Adhikari said. NASA scientist and the study's co-author Eirk Ivins said, Greenland has lost on average more than 600 trillion pounds of ice a year since 2003 and that affects the way the Earth wobbles in a manner similar to a figure skater lifting one leg while spinning.

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SpaceX Successfully Lands Its Rocket On A Floating Drone Ship For The First Time
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 02:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: SpaceX has finally landed its Falcon 9 rocket on a drone ship at sea, after launching the vehicle into space this afternoon. It's the first time the company has been able to pull off an ocean landing, after four previous attempts ended in failure. This is the second time SpaceX has successfully landed one of its rockets post-launch; the first time was in December, when the company's Falcon 9 rocket touched down at a ground-based landing site in Cape Canaveral, Florida, after putting a satellite into space. Now that SpaceX has demonstrated it can do both types of landings, the company can potentially recover and reuse even more rockets in the future. And that could mean much greater cost savings for SpaceX.

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Small and Heavy Arms Traded On Facebook By Libyan Militants
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 01:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's weapon-trafficking department:
An anonymous reader writes: A report entitled "The Online Trade of Light Weapons in Libya" on Thursday revealed machine guns, grenade launchers and anti-tank missiles are being traded in Libya via Facebook. Some of the weapons include those supplied by the U.S. allies to their Libyan proxies, while most come from raids by militants on the arsenals of former Colonel Muammar Gaddafi. "Many of the players in this new market began to use new technologies to hawk their wares," the paper says. Online sales from social media platforms such as Facebook "are one of the tools currently being used for this purpose." Machine guns made up the bulk of the Facebook offers, including six Soviet-made 12,7mm DShKMs, 11 14,5mm KPVs, and one Belgian 12,7mm FN Browning M2-type heavy machine gun. Large-caliber anti-material sniper rifles and a handful of other weapons have also been advertised on Facebook, according to the research.

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WordPress.com Enables HTTPS Encryption For All Websites
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 11:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-https department:
On Friday, WordPress announced that it is bringing free HTTPS to all -- "million-plus" -- custom domains, essentially ramping up security on every blog and website. The publishing platform says it partnered with Let's Encrypt project to implement HTTPS across such a voluminous number of sites. From the blog: For you, the users, that means you'll see secure encryption automatically deployed on every new site within minutes. We are closing the door to un-encrypted web traffic (HTTP) at every opportunity.

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Apple's Fight With US Over Privacy Enters a New Round
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 11:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's apple-vs-govt department:
An anonymous reader shares a report on Bloomberg: Apple Inc.'s fight over privacy with the U.S. isn't over yet, even after the government dropped a demand for the company's help in accessing a California shooter's iPhone because someone else found a way to crack it. The U.S. said it'll keep fighting to get the company's help in getting data off a phone in Brooklyn, New York, that belonged to a drug dealer because Apple provided assistance in accessing such devices earlier. In a court filing Friday, the government said it's going ahead with an appeal of a judge's order denying its request for Apple's help. The battle between the world's most valuable tech company and the U.S. over encryption and data privacy has sparked a national debate, with dozens of companies and organizations siding with Apple, while law enforcement has generally taken the government's side.

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Verizon To Submit Bid For Yahoo
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 11:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's interest-in-Yahoo department:
An anonymous reader writes: Sources close to the company have confirmed that Verizon will submit a first-round bid to purchase Yahoo's web business early next week, and that they may offer to take on Yahoo Japan as well. Time Inc. and Google are said to still be considering whether or not to make an offer, while AT&T, Comcast, and Microsoft have decided against entering a bid. Verizon's willingness to take on Yahoo Japan in the bid may give it a strategic advantage over other bidders. The combined value of Yahoo web and Yahoo Japan Corp. could put the value of the bid out of range for all but the largest investors, potentially putting interested private equity firms such as Bain or TPG out of the running.

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Opinion: DevOps Is Dead
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's what's-happening-at-DevOps department:
Andrey Akselrod, CTO and a co-founder of Smartling, writes for TechCrunch: DevOps, as we know it, is dead. Perhaps not many people agree with me, but the age of DevOps is just about over he age of DevOps is just about over. Itâ(TM)s a âoePerfect Stormâ scenario in some ways. Lots of events coming together that drastically change the status quo. And where it all began was the concept and eventual widespread adoption of agile development and continuous deployment practices. DevOps was invented as a way to unite developers and IT operations (system administrators) to help them find a common ground. The premise was to automate the development and deployment tools that require collaborations between both disciplines. But someone still has to come in and write the required tool set. Thus, most companies resolved to create DevOps teams that combined the expertise of both sides to support their developers. The old model of throwing the code over the wall to system administrators who would deploy it stopped working with agile processes and continuous deployment practices. Whose responsibility is it when something goes wrong -- the person deploying the code or the developer? Developers donâ(TM)t know much about deploying and systems administrators donâ(TM)t know much about how the code is supposed to work.

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Anywhere Computing Makes 2FA Insecure On iOS and Android
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's 2FA-not-as-secure-as-you-think department:
An anonymous reader writes: Academics from the VU University Amsterdam have identified a new class of vulnerabilities to two-factor authentication, commonly used to protect transactions involving financial and private information. The vulnerability leaves users of both Android and Apple mobile devices open to the theft of personal information by hackers. The researchers note the text (PDF). While anywhere computing is generally considered to be a good thing, the research claims that integration across multiple platforms essentially removes the gap between those platforms, and it is that gap that is required to make two-factor authentication secure. Without a gap between devices, a common hack called the man-in-the-browser attack can be elevated to intercept the one-time password generated for two-factor authentication, thereby rendering two-factor authentication useless.

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Dark Web Mapping Reveals That Half of the Content Is Legal
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 10:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's dark-web-is-dark department:
An anonymous reader writes: Cyber threat intelligence firm Intelliagg and dark net indexing company Darksum have released the results of their efforts to map the dark web (actually, only the Tor network). They discovered that Tor network is much smaller than commonly thought, and that around 68% of the sites analyzed can be classified as illegal under UK and US law. In related news, a recent poll found that the vast majority of people want a ban on the dark net.

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Putin Says Panama Papers Part of US Plot to Weaken Russia
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's Putin-doesn't-like-Western-world department:
An anonymous reader writes: Russia President Vladimir Putin says he has no links to offshore accounts unveiled in the Panama Papers. Moreover, Putin believes that these leaks are part of Western efforts to weaken Russia. As ABC News reports, Putin criticised Western media for involving his name in offshore business even though his name didn't feature in any of the leaked documents. Speaking in St Petersburg, Putin added that it certainly seems like a US-led disinformation campaign waged against Russia. Putin also defended a cellist friend who was named as the alleged owner of an offshore company, noting that his friend is a philanthropist.People in Russia, sadly, don't seem to care much about Panama Papers. As Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty reports, most Russians haven't heard of -- or don't care about -- the Panama Papers. The media house interviewed 30 people on the street, of which it found only
1 person thought it was wrong. (video).

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Most Netflix Customers Don't Realize Prices Will Increase Next Month
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's shelling-out-more-bucks-for-streaming department:
An anonymous reader writes: Millions of Netflix customers are about to start paying more to stream their favorite movies and TV shows -- and chances are, they don't even realize it. In May 2014, Netflix raised the price of its standard streaming plan for new subscribers, to $9.99 a month. However, the price hike did not apply to existing customers, who were grandfathered into their current rates of $7.99 a month for a two-stream, HD plan, Business Insider reported. Unfortunately, the good times are about to end for this customer base, which analysts estimate at about 17 million people, or 37% of Netflix's U.S. subscribers. In May, all grandfathered customers will be required to fork over $9.99 to continue to watch Netflix. Even worse, about 80% of those who will be affected by the price increase did not realize it was coming, according to research from JP Morgan.

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Newspapers Try To Stop Ad-blocking Browser Brave From 'Stealing Content'
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 09:01 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's publishers-vs-adblockers department:
New reader DarkLordBelial writes: The newspaper Association of America (NAA) has sent a letter to Brave Software, makers of the Brave browser, detailing how little they think of Brave's proposed solution. In the letter, NAA says Brave Software "should be viewed as illegal and deceptive by the courts." The letter suggests that replacing adverts with their own selected ads is no different to republishing the content and therefore copyright infringement. In response, Brave Software says all such assertions are false and that the NAA has misunderstood their business model. Founded by Mozilla's co-founder, Brave pays its users in bitcoin to watch ads. According to the company's plan, a website gets 55 percent of the money, whereas rest is distributed among users and Brave.

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Facebook Users Are Sharing Less and It's a Big Problem
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 07:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's is-facebook-losing-its-coolness? department:
Reader Colin Castro writes: Facebook is starting to see decline in original posts and people sharing their thoughts. "Facebook's decline in personal updates reflects a common growing pain for online communities. What starts out as a special and intimate place to share things grows into a big, impersonal, and professional platform ." The author points out one of the reasons why: "They know that, unlike in Facebook's earlier days, their status updates can now be seen by distant relatives, high school classmates, and co-workers -- so they don't share anything too personal."

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The Next Hot Job in Silicon Valley Is For Poets
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 07:42 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's tech-needs-a-human-touch department:
An anonymous reader shares an article on Washington Post: As tech behemoths and a wave of start-ups double down on virtual assistants that can chat with human beings, writing for AI is becoming a hot job in Silicon Valley. Behind Apple's Siri, Amazon's Alexa and Microsoft's Cortana are not just software engineers. Increasingly, there are poets, comedians, fiction writers, and other artistic types charged with engineering the personalities for a fast-growing crop of artificial intelligence tools. A new crop of virtual assistant start-ups, whose products will soon flood the market, have in mind more ambitious bots that can interact seamlessly with human beings. Because this wave of technology is distinguished by the ability to chat, writers for AI must focus on making the conversation feel natural. Designers for Amazon's Alexa have built humanizing "hmms," and "ums" into her responses to questions. Apple's Siri assistant is known for her wry jokes, as well as her ability to beatbox upon request.

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Microsoft Edge Will Start Automatically Pausing Less Important Flash Content
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 06:22 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's flash-must-die department:
An anonymous reader cites an article on VentureBeat: Microsoft Edge will âoeintelligently auto-pauseâ Flash content that is "not central to the webpage." If you want to try this out now, you can take the feature for a spin with Windows 10 build 14316, which was recently made available to Windows Insiders. Peripheral content like animations or advertisements built with Flash will be displayed in a paused state unless the user explicitly clicks to play that content. This significantly reduces power consumption and improves performance while preserving the full fidelity of the page. Flash content that is central to the page, like video and games, will not be paused. Microsoft wrote in a blog post, "We encourage the web community to continue the transition away from Flash and towards open web standards. We are planning for and look forward to a future where Flash is no longer necessary as a default experience in Microsoft Edge."

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Uber To Pay Up To $25 Million For Misleading Advertising In California
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 06:22 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's false-advertising department:
Bruce66423 writes: Uber has agreed to a settlement of $10 million for misleading advertising about the quality of its background checks for drivers. One particular concern was its absence of fingerprint-based checking.Uber has agreed to no longer use such terms as "safest drive on the road" in its advertising. Prosecutors said Uber failed to prevent 25 people with criminal records from becoming drivers, including several sex offenders and a convicted murderer. Another language change included renaming its "safe ride fee" as a "booking fee." Uber has agreed to make the $10 million payment within 60 days to settle the agreement, otherwise they will be forced to pay an additional $15 million in two years.

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Adobe Patches Flash Zero-Day Exploited By Magnitude Exploit Kit
Posted by News Fetcher on April 08 '16 at 02:21 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's quick-before-it's-too-late department:
wiredmikey writes: Adobe released a Flash Player update on Thursday night to patch a zero-day vulnerability that has been leveraged by cybercriminals to deliver malware via the Magnitude exploit kit. The vulnerability [CVE-2016-1019], a memory corruption that can be exploited for remote code execution, was discovered after, on April 2, security researcher Kafeine of Proofpoint noticed a change in the Magnitude exploit kit. The sample was then investigated by FireEye, which determined that Magnitude EK had been exploiting a previously unknown vulnerability in Flash Player. âoeDespite the fact that this new exploit could potentially work on any version of Adobe Flash, including a fully patched instance of Flash, the threat actors implemented it in a manner that only targeted older versions of Flash. In other words, equipped with a weapon that could pierce even the latest armor, they only used it against old armor, and in doing so exposed to security researchers a previously unreported vulnerability,â Proofpoint said in a blog post.

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Jeff Bezos: AWS Will Break $10 Billion This Year
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 11:31 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's win-some-lose-some department:
v3rgEz writes: Jeff Bezos is bullish on the cloud, pegging AWS' sales for this year at $10 billion in a recent letter to shareholders. But he said there was a surprising source of that success: The company's willingness to fail. That said, with AWS now spanning 70 different services, Amazon can afford to fail some as long as few, like EC2 and S3, keep winning. Bezos wrote: "One area where I think we are especially distinctive is failure. I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins. To invent you have to experiment, and if you know in advance that it's going to work, it's not an experiment. Most large organizations embrace the idea of invention, but are not willing to suffer the string of failed experiments necessary to get there."

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Fallout 4 Wins Best Game At Bafta Awards
Posted by News Fetcher on April 07 '16 at 08:52 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's eSports department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BBC: Fallout 4 has won the best game of the year at 2016's British Academy Games Awards. It marks the first time its US-based developer Bethesda has won the prize. It did not win in any other category. Fallout 4 is an action-focused role-playing game set in Boston following a nuclear war. It contains hundreds of hours of storyline to explore. Like last year's winner -- Destiny -- it had not won a prize in any of the other categories before taking the top award. The studio's European managing director said he had not expected the result, and recalled that although Fallout is now one of gaming's biggest franchises, it too started out small. "You don't have to have the multi-million dollar budgets to make great games -- I've seen a huge amount of evidence for that tonight," said Sean Brennan.

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