By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
Researchers have found an explanation for why many drivers act out toward cyclists: They are actually dehumanizing people who ride bikes, according to an April study by Australian researchers in the journal Transportation Research. From a report: And this dehumanization -- the belief that a group of people are less than human -- correlates to drivers' self-reported aggressive behavior. Since 2010, cyclist fatalities have increased by 25 percent in the US. A total of 777 bicyclists were killed in crashes with drivers in 2017, and 45,000 were injured from crashes in 2015. Data compiled by the League of American Bicyclists also suggests that, in some states, bicyclists are overrepresented in the number of traffic fatalities.
"The idea is that if you don't see a group of people as fully human, then you're more likely to be aggressive toward them," said Narelle Haworth, a professor and director of the Centre for Accident Research and Road Safety at Queensland University of Technology, one of the authors of the study. The researchers asked 442 Australians, including those who identified as cyclists, to rank the average cyclist on a scale from ape to human. This ape-to-human diagram has been used in other studies, like this one from 2015, looking at the dehumanization of marginalized groups, such as Muslims and black people.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's security-woes department
Reader eatmorekix writes: A hacker broke into thousands of accounts belonging to users of two GPS tracker apps, giving him the ability to monitor the locations of tens of thousands of vehicles and even turn off the engines for some of them while they were in motion, Motherboard has learned. The hacker, who goes by the name L&M, told Motherboard he hacked into more than 7,000 iTrack accounts and more than 20,000 ProTrack accounts, two apps that companies use monitor and manage fleets of vehicles through GPS tracking devices. The hacker was able to track vehicles in a handful of countries around the world, including South Africa, Morocco, India, and the Philippines. On some cars, the software has the capability of remotely turning off the engines of vehicles that are stopped or are traveling 12 miles per hour or slower, according to the manufacturer of certain GPS tracking devices.
By reverse engineering ProTrack and iTrack's Android apps, L&M said he realized that all customers are given a default password of 123456 when they sign up. At that point, the hacker said he brute-forced 'millions of usernames' via the apps' API. Then, he said he wrote a script to attempt to login using those usernames and the default password. This allowed him to automatically break into thousands of accounts that were using the default password and extract data from them.Read Replies (0)
By msmash from Slashdot's how-about-that department
Reader schwit1 writes: Marking your tires with chalk is trespassing, not law enforcement, the federal appeals panel said in a Michigan case. U.S. Circuit Judge Bernice Bouie Donald wrote that when drivers pull into parking spaces, "the city commences its search on vehicles that are parked legally, without probable cause or even so much as 'individualized suspicion of wrongdoing' -- the touchstone of the reasonableness standard." Moreover, overstaying your welcome at a parking space doesn't cause "injury or ongoing harm to the community," she wrote, meaning the city is wrong to argue that parking enforcement is part of its "community caretaking" responsibility, potentially justifying a search without a warrant. In fact, she wrote, "there has been a trespass in this case because the City made intentional physical contact with Taylor's vehicle." Further reading: A court ruling 'chalking' illegal could make way for more privacy-invasive tech.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's latest-and-greatest department
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Google today launched Chrome 74 for Windows, Mac, Linux, Android, and iOS. The release includes support for a reduced motion media query, private class fields, feature policy improvements, and more developer features. You can update to the latest version now using Chrome's built-in updater or download it directly from google.com/chrome.
Motion sickness in the browser is a real thing. Android provides an accessibility option to reduce motion whenever possible, as shown above in the âoeremove animationsâ setting. Chrome is now taking that a step further so websites can limit motion sickness when viewing parallax scrolling, zooming, and other motion effects. Chrome 74 introduces prefers-reduced-motion (part of Media Queries Level 5) that allows websites to honor when an operating system is set to limit motion effects. This might not seem like a big deal today, but it could be very useful if websites start abusing motion effects. Check out the full changelog for more information on this release.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's first-of-its-kind department
dryriver writes: The BBC reports on a 50ft long and only 120kg heavy blimp-like UAV aircraft that is designed to fly at 70,000 feet, is entirely solar powered, uses variable-buoyancy for propulsion, and can essentially stay airborne in a self-powered way until it experiences mechanical or electrical failure. The Phoenix varies its buoyancy continuously using a helium-filled fuselage that also has an interior air sack that works a bit like a lung. It can inhale air and compress it on demand, making the aircraft temporarily heavier than air, and expel the inhaled air through a nozzle at the back of the aircraft, making the aircraft lighter than air again, creating some extra forward propulsion in the process.
The Phoenix -- which is a simple, cheap-to-build aircraft that its designers describe as "almost a disposable aircraft" -- could one day act as a satellite replacement flying at 70,000 feet. It may also be used for surveillance purposes or to release micro-satellites into earth orbit. The Phoenix has already completed short test-flights of 120m inside the hangar it was built in. This YouTube video shows just how gently the Phoenix rises into the air, hovers in place, and lands again. Unlike drones that need to land, refuel and then take to the skies again, the Phoenix may stay in the air for very long periods of time, landing only for periodic maintenance of its electrical and mechanical components.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's hidden-adware department
A total of 50 malicious apps have managed to bypass Google's security checks and land on the Google Play store, leading to millions of installs on Android devices. ZDNet reports: Now, the cybersecurity team from Avast have found a further 50 apps relating to lifestyle services which masquerade as legitimate software but are actually adware, and these malicious apps have been downloaded a total of 30 million times. On Tuesday, Avast published a report on the discovery, in which the apps are linked to each other through third-party libraries that "bypass the background service restrictions present in newer Android versions."
"Although the bypassing itself is not explicitly forbidden on the Play Store, Avast detects it as Android:Agent-SEB [PUP], because apps using these libraries waste the user's battery and make the device slower," the researchers say. "The applications use the libraries to continuously display more and more ads to the user, going against Play Store rules." Each app displays full-blown ads to users, and in some cases, will also attempt to lure viewers to install additional adware-laden applications. The malicious apps include Pro Piczoo, Photo Blur Studio, Mov-tracker, Magic Cut Out, and Pro Photo Eraser. Installation rates range from one million to one thousand.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's smart-regulation department
In an interview at the TIME 100 Summit in New York, Apple CEO Tim Cook said more government regulation on the tech industry is needed in order to protect privacy. "We all have to be intellectually honest, and we have to admit that what we're doing isn't working," said Cook. "Technology needs to be regulated. There are now too many examples where the no rails have resulted in a great damage to society." Time Magazine reports: In the interview, Cook suggested that U.S. regulators could look to Europe's passage of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in 2018. "GDPR isn't ideal," said Cook. "But GDPR is a step in the right direction." In light of recent data breaches and foreign election influence through social media, Cook's view is that the tech industry has no other responsible option but to accept more government oversight, a position he outlined in a recent TIME Ideas piece.
"I'm hopeful," Cook said at the Summit. "We are advocating strongly for regulation -- I do not see another path." Cook also explained Apple's stance on transparency and money in politics. "We focus on policies, not politics," Cook said. "Apple doesn't have a PAC...I refuse to have one because it shouldn't exist." [...] "I try not to get wrapped up in a pretzel about who we upset," Cook said. "At the end of the day we'll be judged more on 'did we stand up for what we believed in,' not necessarily, 'do they agree with it.'"Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's invisibility-cloak department
A group of engineers from the University of KU Leuven in Belgium have come up with a solution to make users invisible to one specific algorithm. "In a paper shared last week on the preprint server arXiv, these students show how simple printed patterns can fool an AI system that's designed to recognize people in images," reports The Verge. From the report: If you print off one of the students' specially designed patches and hang it around your neck, from an AI's point of view, you may as well have slipped under an invisibility cloak. As the researchers write: "We believe that, if we combine this technique with a sophisticated clothing simulation, we can design a T-shirt print that can make a person virtually invisible for automatic surveillance cameras."
In the case of this recent research -- which we spotted via Google researcher David Ha -- some caveats do apply. Most importantly, the adversarial patch developed by the students can only fool one specific algorithm named YOLOv2. It doesn't work against even off-the-shelf computer vision systems developed by Google or other tech companies, and, of course, it doesn't work if a person is looking at the image.Read Replies (0)