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N. Carolina Senator Drafting Bill To Criminalize Apple's Refusal To Aid Decryption
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's authority-trumps-consent department:
Ars Technica reports that North Carolina senator Richard Burr says he plans to introduce legislation "to criminalize a company's refusal to aid decryption efforts as part of a governmental investigation." In a USA Today op-ed, Burr, griping that "[t]he newest Apple operating systems allow device access only to users," even Apple itself can't get in," drags out the usual bugaboos: "Murderers, pedophiles, drug dealers and the others are already using this technology to cover their tracks."
Updated Friday 12:40pm EST: The Wall Street Journal reports Senate Panel Chief Decides Against Plan to Criminalize Firms That Don't Decipher Encrypted Messages

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3-in-1 Android Malware Acts As Ransomware, Banking Trojan and Info Thief
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 10:36 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's now-how-much-would-you-pay? department:
An anonymous reader writes: Why stop at asking ransom for encrypted files when you can also steal personal info, passwords, online banking credentials and credit card details, and sell it or use it to get even more money? Palo Alto researchers have recently analyzed Xbot, a Trojan that is capable of doing all the aforementioned things, and have found it mimicking 22 different Android apps.

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Original 1977 Star Wars 35mm Print Has Been Restored and Released Online
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 06:44 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's fine-go-straight-to-the-cantina-scene department:
AmiMoJo writes: A restored HD version of the original Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope 35mm print has appeared online. While this isn't the first time that attempts have been made to restore Star Wars to its original theatrical version—that's the one without the much-maligned CGI effects and edits of later 'special' editions—it is the first to have been based entirely on a single 35mm print of the film, rather than cut together from various sources. The group behind the release, dubbed Team Negative 1, is made up of Star Wars fans and enthusiasts who spent thousands of dollars of their own cash to restore the film without the blessing of creator George Lucus, or franchise owner Disney.

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Mobile Giant Three Group To Block Online Advertising
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 06:44 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's goodwill-effort department:
An anonymous reader writes: Global mobile provider Three has announced that it will shortly begin to block online advertising on all of its six European networks, beginning with the UK and Italy. The company, which also has networks in Hong Kong and Indonesia, will announce its partnership with Israeli network ad-blocking startup Shine at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona, according to sources. Shine's first network ad-block customer was Caribbean provider Digicel last year, but the new Three Group deal seems set to cause massive disruption to web-based publishers — who, it seems, may have to pay for bandwidth and show more respect for user privacy in their ads if they want to continue to operate in the mobile space.

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Good Riddance Payphones: NYC's Free Gigabit Wi-Fi Kiosks Go Live
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 05:23 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's upsides-of-density department:
alphadogg writes: New York City on Thursday officially launched its payphone booth replacements: shiny new 9-foot-plus-high kiosks, dubbed Links, that offer free Gigabit-speed Wi-Fi as well as free domestic VoIP calls via a tablet app. Mayor Bill de Blasio, joined by vendor partners such as Qualcomm and NYC Department of IT and Telecommunications reps, showed off the first operating LinkNYC kiosks, just over a dozen of which are spread across 3rd Avenue for starters. The spacing of the hotspots will enable users to stay connected as they walk down the street. More than 500 of the advertising-supported kiosks are slated to be installed by mid-year, with promises of secure and private connectivity.

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Bad Karma: WISP Pares Back Its Monthly 4G Hotspot Plan, Again
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 04:03 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's lawyers-should-warn-you-about-certain-words department:
Robotech_Master writes: The ongoing saga of the Neverstop plan shows that Karma Wireless just can't seem to catch a break as far as high-bandwidth plans are concerned. After starting out with a straight pay-per-bandwidth plan, "Refuel," for its $150 wireless hotspot, Karma thought it would innovate with a throttled-but-otherwise-unlimited 4G plan, "Neverstop." However, it soon discovered that users were taking it at its word and using up considerably more bandwidth than Karma expected or could afford. After experimenting with further throttling, Karma subsequently revamped the plan into a $50 per month, 15 GB plan that throttled to dialup speed after it ran out.

However, now it turns out even that plan was too optimistic, and Karma has opted to dump the Neverstop plan altogether in favor of tiered monthly plan called Pulse —whose bandwidth costs significantly more. ($40/mo for 5 GB, $75 for 10 GB, $140 for 20 GB.) Karma's "unlimited" users weren't pleased the first time the plan changed, and now they're practically through the roof.

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Anonymous Hacker Gets Lost At Sea, Rescued, Then Arrested
Posted by News Fetcher on February 19 '16 at 01:22 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's would-be-weird-if-they-changed-the-order department:
An anonymous reader writes: Martin Gottesfeld, 31, from Somerville, Massachusetts, was arrested by FBI agents after being rescued at sea in the Gulf of Mexico. According to the FBI, Mr. Gottsfeld was under investigation after launching a series of cyber-attacks against Boston Children's Hospital in 2014, as part of the Anonymous hacker collective. Gottesfeld and his wife were found in a sailboat, near the coast of Cuba, with lots of luggage and 3 laptops. A Disney Cruise ship took them to the Bahamas, where FBI agents took him into custody.

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Kanye West Is Reportedly Considering Legal Action Against the Pirate Bay
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 10:42 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's 53-million-in-the-hole department:
An anonymous reader writes: Kanye West apparently has a new mission: to sue The Pirate Bay. Last weekend, West announced that his new album, The Life of Pablo, would be sold exclusively as a download from his website and the artist-driven streaming music service Tidal. The news sent Tidal to No. 1 on the U.S. Apple App Store, so West pulled the album from his site and announced it wouldn't be released on other streaming services. The Internet responded by pirating his album in droves.

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PVS-Studio Analyzer Spots 40 Bugs In the FreeBSD Kernel
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 07:52 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's branching-dancing-regexes department:
Andrey_Karpov writes: Svyatoslav Razmyslov from PVS-Studio Team published an article on the check of the FreeBSD kernel. PVS-Studio developers are known for analyzing various projects to show the abilities of their product, and do some advertisement, of course. Perhaps, this is one of the most acceptable and useful ways of promoting a proprietary application. They have already checked more than 200 projects and detected 9355 bugs. At least that's the number of bugs in the error base of their company.
So now it was FreeBSD kernel's turn. The source code was taken from GitHub 'master' branch. Svyatoslav states that PVS-Studio detected more than 1000 suspicious code fragments that are most likely bugs or inaccurate code. He described 40 of them in the article. The list of warnings was given to the FreeBSD developer team and they have already started editing the code.
A couple of words for programmers who are still not familiar with PVS-Studio. PVS-Studio is a tool for bug detection in the source code of programs, written in C, C++ and C#. It performs static code analysis and generates a report that helps a programmer find and fix the errors in the code. You can see a more detailed description of the tool on the company website and download a trial version.

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Where Do the Presidential Candidates Stand On Encryption?
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 05:18 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's oh-the-stories-they'll-tell department:
v3rgEz writes: In a divided election year, encryption brings parties together — against technology. That's the sobering finding based on transcripts from the remaining presidential candidates, all of whom came out against cryptography and for government backdoors to varying degrees. It's a testament to the post-Snowden era (and Apple's fight against a court order to backdoor an iPhone) that every candidate has been asked about the issue multiple times, but only one candidate even acknowledged that backdoors cause great security concerns for the public.

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Researchers Find Method To Own VoIP Phones, Silently Listen To Any Call
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 03:52 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's who-is-listening department:
Trailrunner7 writes: Researchers have uncovered a simple method for compromising some common VoIP phones, enabling them to listen to victims' calls covertly or use the phones to make expensive or fraudulent calls. The attack takes advantage of the fact that the affected phones don't have any authentication set up by default, but do have a vulnerability that is open to remote exploitation. A victim who has one of the vulnerable phones connected to a network and uses a PC on that network to visit a malicious site can be open to the attack. Paul Moore, a security consultant in the U.K., detailed the problem and demonstrated an attack on a Snom 320, a popular VOIP phone.

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Apple Says Sorry For iPhone Error 53 and Issues IOS 9.2.1 Update To Fix It
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 03:52 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's apple-bugs department:
Mark Wilson writes: Apple has a lot of support at the moment for its stance on encryption and refusing the FBI access to an iPhone's contents, but it's only a couple of weeks since the company was seen in a less favorable light. There was quite a backlash when users found that installing an update to iOS resulted in Error 53 and a bricked iPhone. Apple initially said that Error 53 was caused 'for security reasons' following speculation that it was a bid to stop people from using third party repair shops. iFixit suggested that the problem was a result of a failure of parts to correctly sync, and Apple has been rounding criticized for failing to come up with a fix. Today the company has issued an apology, along with an update that ensures Error 53 won't happen again. But there's more good news ... If you were talked into paying for an out of warranty replacement as a result of Error 53, you could be in line to get your money back.

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Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS Officially Released
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 02:35 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's updates department:
prisoninmate writes: Ubuntu 14.04.4 LTS (Long-Term Support) builds are available for download in the form of Live and Installable ISO images for Desktop, Server, Cloud, and Core products, on both 64-bit and 32-bit platforms, and that existing Ubuntu 14.04.3 LTS users can now update their systems. But not only Ubuntu 14.04 LTS (Trusty Tahr) users can update, as all the official flavors have been updated as well, so users of Kubuntu 14.04 LTS, Edubuntu 14.04 LTS, Xubuntu 14.04 LTS, Lubuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu Studio 14.04 LTS, Mythbuntu 14.04 LTS, Ubuntu GNOME 14.04 LTS, and Ubuntu Kylin 14.04 LTS can also update their systems today or grab the new ISOs.

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Authorities Arrest Activists Instead of Those Responsible For CA Gas Leak
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 02:35 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's who-would-have-thought department:
MikeChino writes: The California State Patrol has arrested two people in connection with the massive methane leak in Southern California's Aliso Canyon. Instead of busting company executives and engineers that caused the leak, the CSP arrested protesters who had draped banners on the headquarters of the California Public Utilities Commission. The banners highlighted the lax regulatory environment that enabled the spill.

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John McAfee Offers To Decrypt San Bernardino iPhone For the FBI and Save America
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 02:35 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's mcafee-makes-a-comeback department:
MojoKid writes: Wondering what John McAfee is up to these days? It's not sniffing bath salts nor is he fleeing foreign countries as a person of interest in a murder investigation and faking heart attacks (been there, done all that) ; instead, he's on a mission to save America. How so? By cracking the code on the San Bernardino iPhone that's causing such a ruckus. McAfee didn't just criticize the FBI; instead he offered a potential solution. Let him and his team of hackers break into the iPhone without any help from Apple. "With all due respect to Tim Cook and Apple, I work with a team of the best hackers on the planet. These hackers attend Defcon in Las Vegas, and they are legends in their local hacking groups, such as HackMiami. They are all prodigies, with talents that defy normal human comprehension," McAfee said. Eccentric rant aside, McAfee's offer is simple - give him three weeks and he will, "free of charge, decrypt the information on the San Bernardino phone" with his team of hackers. He'll do it using mostly social engineering.

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Astronomers No Longer Need To Avoid the "Zone of Avoidance"
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 01:12 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's dont-avoid-it department:
An anonymous reader writes: If you want to look out into the Universe, all you need to do is gather the light it gives off. Unless, of course, there's something in the way. For about 20% of the sky, that's exactly the story. In our own Milky Way galaxy, the neutral gas and dust block most of the visible light everywhere we look, preventing us from observing the Universe beyond. However, although the gas and dust might block visible light, longer wavelengths like radio and infrared can pass right through. Recently NASA's Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission mapped the entire sky in the infrared, including the entire galactic plane. It not only found many background galaxies, but it gave us a new window into what's possible. Perhaps, with future missions, we'll discover the cause of the "great attractor" phenomenon after all.

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FCC Votes To Fight Cable's Reign Over Set-top Boxes
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 01:12 PM
By yaelk from Slashdot's cable department:
Last month, reports surfaced that the FCC planned to pry set-top boxes out of hands of cable and satellite companies. Today, the Commission passed the 'Unlock the Box' plan that would do just that. The proposal aims to introduce more competition when it comes to the boxes users rent from television providers. Under the new rules, cable companies would have to give third-party device makers the information they'd need in order to build set-top boxes.

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IRS Warns Of 400% Flood In Phishing and Malware This Tax Year Alone
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 11:57 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's its-tax-season department:
coondoggie writes: There has been a 400% surge in phishing and malware incidents in this tax season alone, the Internal Revenue Service warned this week. According to the IRS, there have been thousands of phony emails aimed at fooling taxpayers into thinking these are official communications from the IRS or others in the tax industry, including from many tax software companies.

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Apple Announces New Trade Up With Installments Program
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 11:57 AM
By yaelk from Slashdot's iphone-versus-android department:
Mark Wilson writes: Today, Apple launched a new program called Trade Up With Installments, which makes it possible to upgrade to the latest iPhone in a more affordable way. As the name suggests, this is more than a straight trade-in program - upgraders can use the trade-in value of their old handset to reduce on-going monthly costs. This is something that will appeal not only to people with older iPhones who are looking to get their hands on a newer model, but also ex-Android fans. Apple is opening up the program, so Android handsets can be traded in and their value offset against the cost of a new iPhone. Windows Phone handsets are also eligible. Trade Up With Installments is slightly different to the existing iPhone Upgrade Program and trade-in option. After handing over your old handset (be it iOS, Windows Phone or Android powered) for part exchange for a new iPhone, you'll then (assuming you qualify) be extended credit and allowed to pay off the remaining balance over 24 months.

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Google Submits Patent Application For Online Voting
Posted by News Fetcher on February 18 '16 at 10:15 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's needs-a-none-of-the-above-option department:
An anonymous reader writes: Google has outlined a concept for real-time online voting in the Google home page in a patent to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office. Entitled 'Social Voting-Based Campaigns in Search', the application proposes a voting user interface (VUI) that will enable a user to submit one or more votes in a voting-based campaign, giving the hypothetical example of a campaign to vote for the 'Top American Singer', with users authenticated via Google log-ins. If implemented, the system would represent a new foray for Google into generating rather than recording analytics and metrics of popularity.

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