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Sharp Unveils 27-inch 8K 120Hz IGZO Monitor With HDR
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 02:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's eye-candy department:
Sharp has unveiled a next-gen monitor that is an absolute mouthful. It measures in at 27-inches and features a 8K resolution (7,680 x 4,320), HDR (high dynamic range), and a 120Hz refresh rate. Monitornerds reports: Sharp says that the IGZO name is an acronym for the semiconductor materials used in the monitor's backplane. It is comprised of indium, gallium, zinc, and oxygen. This material can also be utilized with several types of panels such as IPS, TN, and even OLED. The IGZO technology has benefits compared to standard silicon semiconductors in which the electron mobility is 20 to 50 times higher which translates to higher frame rates. It also uses smaller transistors, which translates to higher pixel density as well as lower power consumption. The panel which is show at the Sharp exhibit is a 27-inch model with a very notable pixel density of 326ppi: double in comparison to the average 150ppi of 4K monitors. It has a stunning 33 million pixels under its belt as well as HDR technology which promises that this monitor can deliver stunning images with ease. Sharp didn't disclose a price for the television, nor did they say whether or not the unit will be mass produced. However, we can imagine the monitor will cost a pretty penny if it ever makes it to the market.

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Facebook Wins 'Big Brother' Award in Belgium After Being Declared Worst Privacy Villain
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 01:21 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's what-privacy department:
Facebook won the "Big Brother" award in Belgium on Thursday, after people in the nation reached a conclusion that the social juggernaut is the ultimate privacy villain. "Facebook is a multi-billion dollar company that has one commodity - you!" said Joe McNamee, Executive Director of European Digital Rights. From a CNET report: Facebook, nominated by international digital advocacy group EDRi, won after being criticized for its default privacy settings in a unanimous decision. The social network didn't respond to requests for comment. "Facebook has access to a wide range of personal data, and it tracks your movements across the web, whether you are logged in or not," EDRi said. "And the devil is in the default: To opt out, you are expected to navigate Facebook's complex web of settings."

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US Intel Officially Blames the Russian Government For Hacking DNC
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 01:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's pointing-finger department:
It's official, the Director of National Intelligence and Department of Homeland Security has blamed Russia for stealing and publishing archived emails from the Democratic National Committee in July. Wikileaks released over 19,000 emails and more than 8,000 attachments from the DNC in what was "part one of [their] new Hillary Leaks series." The Verge reports: "The recent disclosures of alleged hacked e-mails on sites like DCLeaks.com and WikiLeaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts," the statement reads. "We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities." The release also mentions recent reports of attempted intrusions into voting systems in 20 different states, but says there is not yet enough evidence to attribute those attacks to the Russian government. Despite the acknowledged threat, the DNI says digital attacks are unlikely to directly alter election results. "It would be extremely difficult for someone, including a nation-state actor, to alter actual ballot counts or election results by cyber attack or intrusion," the statement reads. "This assessment is based on the decentralized nature of our election system in this country and the number of protections state and local election officials have in place." "Nevertheless," it continues, "DHS continues to urge state and local election officials to be vigilant."

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Bruce Schneier: We Need To Save the Internet From the Internet of Things
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 12:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's internet-of-shit department:
Bruce Schneier, writing for Motherboard:What was new about the Krebs attack was both the massive scale and the particular devices the attackers recruited. Instead of using traditional computers for their botnet, they used CCTV cameras, digital video recorders, home routers, and other embedded computers attached to the internet as part of the Internet of Things. Much has been written about how the IoT is wildly insecure. In fact, the software used to attack Krebs was simple and amateurish. What this attack demonstrates is that the economics of the IoT mean that it will remain insecure unless government steps in to fix the problem. This is a market failure that can't get fixed on its own.

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Microsoft Likely To Launch All-in-One Surface At its October 26 Event
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 12:01 PM
By msmash from Slashdot's new-hardware department:
Microsoft today sent out invitations to an event on October 26 in which it will discuss "what's next for Windows 10." The invitations follow months of rumors that a Microsoft Surface all-in-one PC, so naturally it's expected to be launched at the event. VentureBeat adds: It's also likely that Microsoft will talk about updates coming to Windows 10, given the billing of the event. Judging by the pomp of last year's Microsoft hardware event, the October 26 affair will be a big deal, too.Microsoft's Surface tablet, or Surface Book 2-in-1 aren't expected to see a refresh. Anyone who would like to see Microsoft take another go at smartphones at the event?

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Yahoo's Government Email Scanner Was Not A Modified Spam Filter, But a Secret Hacking Tool: Motherboard
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 10:42 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department:
The spy tool that the US government ordered Yahoo to install on its systems last year at the behest of the NSA or the FBI was a "poorly designed" and "buggy" piece of malware, according to two sources closely familiar with the matter, reports Motherboard. From the article: Last year, the US government served Yahoo with a secret order, asking the company to search within its users' emails for some targeted information, as first reported by Reuters this week. It's still unclear what was the information sought, but The New York Times, citing an anonymous official source, later reported that the government was looking for a specific digital "signature" of a "communications method used by a state-sponsored, foreign terrorist organization." Anonymous sources told The Times that the tool was nothing more than a modified version of Yahoo's existing scanning system, which searches all email for malware, spam and images of child pornography. But two sources familiar with the matter told Motherboard that this description is wrong, and that the tool was actually more like a "rootkit," a powerful type of malware that lives deep inside an infected system and gives hackers essentially unfettered access.

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Sony To Return Image Sensors To Full Capacity On Smartphone Pickup
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 10:42 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's action-time department:
Sony's image sensor production will return to full capacity in the October-March half-year due to a pickup in smartphone demand, having spent part of the past year running just under full strength, the head of its chip-making subsidiary said. From a Reuters report: "The business environment for our customers is improving," President Yasuhiro Ueda of Sony Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp said at a news conference on Friday, at Sony's sensor factory in the Kumamoto region of southern Japan. Sony commands about 40 percent of the market for complementary metal-oxide semiconductor (CMOS) image sensors, a type of chip that converts light into electronic signals. The sensors were central to Sony's recovery from years of losses stemming mainly from price competition in consumer electronics. A slowdown in the global smartphone market prompted Sony to cut sensor production in the October-March half of the last business year, but demand has since picked up. Ueda said combined monthly production would rise in the second half of this business year from 70,000 wafers at present to 73,000 wafers -- full capacity at Sony's five image sensor plants. The figure excludes outsourced production.

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Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer Led Illegal Purge of Male Employees, Lawsuit Charges
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 09:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's tables-turned department:
A prominent local media executive fired from Yahoo last year has filed a lawsuit accusing CEO Marissa Mayer of leading a campaign to purge male employees. "Mayer encouraged and fostered the use of (an employee performance-rating system) to accommodate management's subjective biases and personal opinions, to the detriment of Yahoo's male employees," said the suit by Scott Ard filed this week in federal district court in San Jose. From a MercuryNews article: Ard, who worked for Yahoo for 3 and a half years until January 2015, is now editor-in-chief of the Silicon Valley Business Journal. His lawsuit also claims that Yahoo illegally fired large numbers of workers ousted under a performance-rating system imposed by Mayer. That allegation was not tied to gender. Yahoo spokeswoman Carolyn Clark said Yahoo couldn't comment on pending litigation, but she defended the company's performance-review process, which she said was guided by "fairness." "Our performance-review process was developed to allow employees at all levels of the company to receive meaningful, regular and actionable feedback from others," Clark said. "We believe this process allows our team to develop and do their best work. Our performance-review process also allows for high performers to engage in increasingly larger opportunities at our company, as well as for low performers to be transitioned out."

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Judge: Lawsuits Now Can Be Served Using Twitter
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 09:21 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's modernization-of-laws department:
Reader schwit1 writes: A Kuwaiti religious leader who allegedly raised money for jihadist rebels in Syria appears poised to become the first foreigner served a U.S. lawsuit via Twitter. Hajjaj bin Fahd al-Ajmi has been a hard man to reach for a lawyer seeking compensation in a northern California federal court on behalf of hundreds of thousands of Assyrian Christians who own property in Iraq and Syria. U.S. Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler, resolving the impasse, found al-Ajmi has "an active Twitter account and continues to use it," offering the "method of service most likely to reach" him to satisfy the service of process requirement for the case to move forward. Al-Ajmi is accused by both the U.S. government and the U.N. Security Council of funneling money to armed terrorists.

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Netflix CEO: Movie Theaters Are 'Strangling the Movie Business''
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 08:02 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's movie-industry department:
Netflix CEO Reed Hastings thinks the state of film is a "real tragedy" and that movie theaters are "strangling the movie business," he said at The New Yorker's Tech Fest on Friday. From a Business Insider report:On Friday, Hastings came down hard on these theater owners, saying there had been no innovation in the movie theater business in recent years, even as TV has been shaped by the rise of cable and internet networks. "Money" and "innovation" has flooded to the TV industry, Hastings said. Not so with film. The movie theater business has seen flatline revenue, Hastings said. Part of the problem is that small movies, such as many Netflix has snagged from places like Sundance, would be better distributed both at home and in theaters. That's a convenient position for Netflix to take, but Hastings said the movie studios feel the same way. Each movie studio would like to "break the oligopoly" of the theaters, but "they don't know how," he continued. If they collude to face the theaters, it's anti-trust, but if they are the ones to take the first step, their films will get killed. That means they just go along with the status quo.

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Samsung Could Face Second Recall As US Probes Burnt Phone
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 08:02 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's more-trouble-ahead department:
The Federal Aviation Administration and the Consumer Product Safety Commission are investigating Wednesday's incident, when a passenger's phone emitted smoke on a Southwest Airlines plane readying for departure from Louisville, Kentucky. Bloomberg reports: "If it's the fixed phone and it started to smoke in his pocket, I'm going to guess there'll be another recall," said Pamela Gilbert, a former executive director of the consumer agency. "That just doesn't sound right." Samsung has been engulfed in crisis since the Note 7 smartphones began to burst into flames just days after hitting the market in August. The Suwon, South Korea-based company announced last month that it would replace all 2.5 million phones sold globally at that point. Samsung said it had uncovered the cause of the battery fires and that it was certain new phones wouldn't have the same flaws. The first indications of the existing recall's financial impact could be seen Friday with the company's release of earnings that rose at the slowest pace in five quarters. Operating income increased just 5.5 percent to 7.8 trillion won ($7 billion) in the three months ended Sept. 30.

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Fake Call Centers in India Scam Americans Of Millions
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 06:42 AM
By msmash from Slashdot's fraud-attack department:
An anonymous reader writes:Indian police have arrested 70 people and are questioning hundreds more after uncovering a massive scam to cheat thousands of Americans out of millions of dollars by posing as U.S. tax authorities and demanding unpaid taxes, a police officer said Thursday. According to police in Mumbai, the yearlong scam involved running fake call centers which sent voice mail messages telling U.S. nationals to call back because they owed back taxes. Those who called back and believed the threats would fork out thousands of dollars to "settle" their case, Mumbai police officer Parag Marere said Thursday. The scam brought in more than $150,000 a day, Marere said without giving a total sum. If the scam netted that amount daily, it would have made almost $55 million in one year. Some victims were also told to buy gift vouchers from various companies, and hand over the voucher ID numbers which the impostors then used to make purchases, Marere said. Police said they are likely to file charges against many of the 600 or more people still being questioned on suspicion of running the fake call centers, housed on several stories of a Mumbai office building.

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Verizon Wants $1 Billion Discount On Yahoo Deal After Reports of Hacking, Email Scanning
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 05:11 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's bad-reputation department:
As if Yahoo's reputation couldn't get any worse after the company revealed a massive data breach that occurred in 2014, compromising at least 500 million accounts, Reuters issued a report claiming the company secretly scanned customer emails for U.S. intelligence agencies. These reports certainly don't look good to the companies looking to acquire Yahoo, like Verizon, which has been nearing a deal since late July. Now, it appears that Verizon wants a $1 billion discount off its $4.83 billion deal to buy Yahoo. New York Post reports: Verizon is pushing for a $1 billion discount off its pending $4.8 billion agreement to buy Yahoo, several sources told The Post exclusively. "In the last day we've heard that Tim [Armstong] is getting cold feet. He's pretty upset about the lack of disclosure and he's saying can we get out of this or can we reduce the price?" said a source familiar with Verizon's thinking. That might just be tough talk to get Yahoo to roll back the price. Verizon had been planning to couple Yahoo with its AOL unit to give it enough scale to be a third force to compete with Google and Facebook for digital ad dollars. The discount is being pushed because it feels Yahoo's value has been diminished, sources said. AOL/Yahoo will reach about 1 billion consumers if the deal closes in the first quarter, with a stated goal to reach 2 billion by 2020. AOL boss Tim Armstrong flew to the West Coast in the past few days to meet with Yahoo executives to hammer out a case for a price reduction, a source said. "Tim was out there this week laying the law down and Marissa is trying to protect shareholders," said a source close to talks. "Tim knows how to be fair, while Verizon is pushing him, he can bridge the gap." At the same time, the Yahoo deal team is pushing back hard against any attempts to negotiate the price down, sources said. Yahoo is telling Verizon that a deal is a deal and that telecom giant has no legal recourse to change the terms.

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Prominent Pro-Patent Judge Issues Opinion Declaring All Software Patents Bad
Posted by News Fetcher on October 07 '16 at 02:22 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's form-of-language department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Techdirt: A lawsuit brought by the world's largest patent troll, Intellectual Ventures, and handled on appeal (as are all patent cases), by the notoriously awful Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit (CAFC) may have actually killed off software patents. The ruling came from a judge that has ruled over patent cases since the 1980s, and it appears he's been born again into the anti-software patent world. Judge Mayer pointed out that the First Amendment says that "some" patents should not be allowed. The whole concurrence is worth reading, starting with the First Amendment argument -- which is kind of fascinating in that it goes well beyond what most people had talked about in the past concerning software patents. Judge Mayer makes the point that basically all software is unpatentable because software is "a form of language," which we don't patent: "All software implemented on a standard computer should be deemed categorically outside the bounds of Section 101. ("Section 101" is 35 U.S. Code; 101 is the part that governs patents.) The central problem with affording patent protection to generically-implemented software is that standard computers have long been ceded to the public domain .... Because generic computers are ubiquitous and indispensable, in effect the 'basic tool []' of modern life, they are not subject to the patent monopoly. In the section 101 calculus, adding software (which is as abstract as language) to a conventional computer (which rightfully resides in the public domain) results in a patent eligibility score of zero .... Software lies in the antechamber of patentable invention. Because generically-implemented software is an 'idea' insufficiently linked to any defining physical structure other than a standard computer, it is a precursor to technology rather than technology itself."

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Kennedy Space Center Braces For Hurricane Matthew
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 11:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's brace-for-impact department:
Hurricane Matthew, one of the most powerful storms to hit Florida's Space Coast in the last 50 years, is expected to pummel the Kennedy Space Center and the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station Thursday night and into Friday. "Kennedy Space Center is now in HurrCon 1 status, meaning a hurricane is imminent. Hurricane preparations at Kennedy were completed early last night, and remaining employees were then sent home," NASA spokesman George Diller said in a blog post today. CBS News reports: The National Hurricane Center is predicting heavy rain, dangerous storm surges and winds gusting up to 140 mph along Florida's east coast with the eye passing just off shore or directly over Cape Canaveral and the Kennedy Space Center. Satellite observations of Matthew show the hurricane features "a distinct eye surrounded by very deep convection," the National Hurricane Center reported in its 11 a.m. EDT update. "Data from an Air Force reconnaissance plane traversing the eye of the hurricane also indicate that Matthew has strengthened. Members of a 139-member "rideout" team will be stationed at various facilities across the space center to monitor critical systems "and report any significant events" to emergency operations personnel in the Complex 39 Launch Control Center where space shuttle launchings were once managed. "After the hurricane has passed, and winds have dropped below 50 knots, areas around KSC will be assessed and the damage assessment and recovery team will report for duty," said Diller. You can view satellite images of the storm here.

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Apes Can Guess What Others Are Thinking -- Just Like Humans, Study Finds
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 07:42 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's mind-reading department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Apes have a human-like ability to guess what others are thinking, even in cases when someone holds a mistaken belief, according to research that supports the view that other primates can empathize and have complex inner lives. The findings, in chimpanzees, bonobos and orangutans, are the first to clearly demonstrate that apes can predict another's beliefs -- even when they know that presumption is false. In a fresh take on a classic psychology experiment, the apes were able to correctly anticipate that someone would look for a hidden item in a specific location, even if the apes knew that the item was no longer there. The ability to predict that someone holds a mistaken belief -- which psychologists refer to as a "theory of mind" -- is seen as a milestone in cognitive development that children normally acquire by the age of five. The findings overturn the view that the ability to place oneself in another's shoes is uniquely human. Krupenye and Fumihiro Kano, a comparative psychologist at Kyoto University who co-led the study, re-examined the question using a creative approach that involved showing the apes videos of a capering actor dressed in a King Kong suit. The video features an actor dressed as King Kong, who hits a man holding a long pole before darting under one of two haystacks while the human looks on. In some scenarios, the King Kong character switches haystack while the human disappears out of view behind a door. The man then reappears and smacks the haystack he thinks his assailant is hidden under -- presumably to get his own back. By using eye-tracking technology, the scientists showed that 17 out of 22 apes tested switched their gaze to show they had correctly anticipated when the man would target the wrong haystack. The findings were published on Thursday in the journal Science.

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FCC Proposal: Internet Providers Must Ask To Share Your Data
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 06:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's strict-rules department:
The FCC has unveiled a new privacy proposal Thursday that is sure to appeal to millions of internet users. Internet service providers? Not so much. The proposal would require ISPs like Verizon and Comcast to get your permission before sharing your precious info with advertisers. Fox News reports: The Federal Communication Commission has changed its broadband-privacy plan since it was initially proposed in March. The wireless and cable industries had complained that under the initial plan, they would be more heavily regulated than digital-ad behemoths like Google and Facebook, who are monitored by a different agency, the Federal Trade Commission. The FCC explained its new approach Thursday and plans to vote on it Oct. 27. The revised proposal says broadband providers don't have to get permission from customers ahead of time to use some information deemed "non-sensitive," like names and addresses. The previous plan called for customers to expressly approve the use of more of their information. This time around, customers still need to OK broadband providers' using and sharing a slew of their data, like a phone's physical location, websites browses and apps used, and what's in emails. And customers must be told what types of information is kept and how it will be used, and agency officials said they can still say no to internet service providers using other data, like names and addresses.

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Comcast Rolls Out Nationwide 1TB Data Cap
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 06:22 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's overage-fees department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Comcast's home internet data caps are going live for a majority of customers starting November 1st, the company announced today. Called the "Xfinity Terabyte Internet Data Usage Plan," the cap restricts the amount of data you consume in your home to 1TB per month regardless of the speed of your plan. Comcast claims 99 percent of customers use less than 1TB per month, but it does now offer an unlimited option for $50 more per month. Back in April, Comcast bumped its data cap from 300GB to 1TB after consumer backlash and renewed regulatory concern from the FCC. And until today, the plan has been active in select markets for 16 states. But starting November 1st, the list will add 18 new markets, bringing the total number of states with the terabyte data cap to around 30. Notable exceptions include New York and nearly the entire northeast. For a full list of included markets, check Comcast's online FAQ.

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12-Year-Old Boy Gets $100K Bill From Google After Confusing Adwords With Adsense
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 05:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's one-of-these-things-is-not-like-the-other department:
The names Google gives to its services can be a bit confusing at times, especially since there are so many of them. For example, Adwords and Adsense look and sound very similar but they deal with two different transaction types. While Adwords deals with spending money, Adsense deals with earning money. A 12-year-old boy in Spain managed to confused the two services and ended up with a bill of 100,000 euros ($111,490). The Register reports: Jose Javier, 12, had signed up for Google's Adwords program in order to make money from advertisements placed alongside YouTube videos of his band, the Torrevieja llamada Los Salerosos -- en ingles, the Torrevieja Fun Guys -- named after the Alicante town in which he lives. Unfortunately, for the young musician, Google's AdWords program is for those wishing to advertise at cost, rather than run advertisements for profit. According to a report from Spanish daily El Pais, Jose and a friend planned to buy instruments, play music, get rich and buy a mansion by subscribing to the service. By early September the account was being billed by Google, receiving charges which reportedly rose quickly from an initial 15 euros ($16.72) to 19,700 euros ($21,960.57) at a time until the amount owed hit six figures. Google's statement noted that AdWords has age restrictions in place and encouraged families to familiarize itself with its Safety Center, but the boy's mother complained to El Pais that it was too easy for her son to make the purchases from Google, requiring him only to provide his savings account details, which he did in mid-August. Thankfully, Google was kind enough to cancel the outstanding balance on its Adwords service.

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New York To Test Facial Recognition Cameras At 'Crossing Points'
Posted by News Fetcher on October 06 '16 at 05:02 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's Minority-Report department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Vocativ: In a 35-minute speech detailing a landmark $100 billion investment into state infrastructure, largely focused on New York City and Long Island, Governor Andrew Cuomo made a number of promises that would thrill New Yorkers, like the promise of a renovated Penn Station, called Penn-Farley, a direct train from there to LaGuardia Airport, and the completion of the long-awaited Second Avenue Line. Oh, and facial recognition cameras around the city, he said: "At each crossing, and at structurally sensitive points on bridges and tunnels, advanced cameras and sensors will be installed to read license plates and test emerging facial recognition software and equipment." "We're going to be using this in Penn-Farley and we also want to be testing it in bridges and crossings system," he added. On the matter of facial recognition cameras, Cuomo was shy on details. It's unclear how many cameras will be deployed, which agencies will have access to them, what defines a crossing, how citizens' photos will be stored, and what photo databases will be used to compare against the faces of the millions of people who drive into the city. In his speech, Cuomo referenced the cameras as necessary for New York to adapt to 21st century security threats. "In this age of terrorist activity and lone wolves, if you look at points of vulnerability you'll go to our tunnels and to our bridges. So really they have to be reimagined for a new reality," he said.

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