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NSA Collecting Millions of Faces From Web Images
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '14 at 05:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's no-smiling-please department:
Advocatus Diaboli (1627651) writes "The National Security Agency is harvesting huge numbers of images of people from communications that it intercepts through its global surveillance operations for use in sophisticated facial recognition programs, according to top-secret documents. The spy agency's reliance on facial recognition technology has grown significantly over the last four years as the agency has turned to new software to exploit the flood of images included in emails, text messages, social media, videoconferences and other communications, the N.S.A. documents reveal. Agency officials believe that technological advances could revolutionize the way that the N.S.A. finds intelligence targets around the world, the documents show. The agency's ambitions for this highly sensitive ability and the scale of its effort have not previously been disclosed."

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OpenDNS Phases Out Redirection To Guide
Posted by News Fetcher on June 01 '14 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's good-on-them department:
First time accepted submitter Jim Efaw (3484) writes "Tired of the OpenDNS Guide surprise from website-unavailable.com when you go to an old link or a typo from some ISPs? Relief is at hand: On June 6, 2014, OpenDNS will stop redirecting dead hostnames to Guide and its ads; the OpenDNS Guide itself will shut down sometime afterwards. OpenDNS nameservers will start returning normal NXDOMAIN and SERVFAIL messages instead. Phishing protection and optional parental controls will still stay in place."

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Apple's 2014 WWDC Keynote Will Be Streamed Live; Hopes For a Microconsole?
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's apple-tv-plus department:
SlappingOysters (1344355) writes "Grab It is reporting that Apple will stream its 2014 WWDC keynote live at 10am PST on June 2. The site speculates that a recent update to showcase title and previous keynote star Real Racing 3 could confirm a rumoured microconsole announcement. The App Store has seen a dramatic rise in the quality and frequency of AAA spin-off titles over the last year, giving Apple a good platform to make a move into this emerging space."

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LAPD Gets Some Hand-Me-Down Drones From Seattle, Promises Discretion
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 07:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's orange-groves-as-far-as-the-eye-can-see department:
After Seattleites objected to the local police department's plan to deploy unmanned aircraft, that plan was withdrawn. Now, it seems, Seattle has found a willing recipient for some of the drones that it no longer has use for: the Los Angeles Police Department. From the linked article: "The Draganflyer X6 aircraft, which resemble small helicopters, are each about 3 feet wide and equipped with a camera, video camera and infrared night-vision capabilities. In making the announcement, however, department officials were at pains to make it clear the LAPD doesn't intend to use the new hardware to keep watch from above over an unsuspecting public. If they're used at all, the remotely controlled aircraft will be called on only for "narrow and prescribed uses" that will be made clear to the public, the statement said."

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Comcast CEO Brian Roberts Opens Mouth, Inserts Foot
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 04:30 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's contortions-of-all-kinds department:
lpress (707742) writes "At a recent conference, Comcast CEO Brian Roberts rationalized charging Netflix to deliver content by comparing Comcast to the Post Office, saying that Netflix pays to mail DVDs to its customers but now expects to be able to deliver the same content over the internet for free. He forgot to mention that the Post Office does not charge recipients for those DVDs. The underlying issue in this debate is who will invest in the Internet infrastructure that we badly need? Comcast has a disincentive to invest because, if things bog down, people will blame content providers like Netflix and the ISP will be able to charge the content provider for adequate service. If ISPs have insufficient incentive to invest in infrastructure, who will? Google? Telephone companies? Government (at all levels)? Premises owners?"

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Pirate Bay Co-Founder Peter Sunde Arrested In Sweden
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 03:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's high-priority department:
An anonymous reader writes "Peter Sunde was arrested today in a police raid in southern Sweden. The Pirate Bay co-founder was wanted by Interpol as he had yet to serve prison time for his involvement with the site. Sunde's arrest comes exactly eight years after the police raided the Pirate Bay servers, which marked the start of the criminal prosecution against the site's founders." From the article: "While details are scarce at the moment, the Swedish newspaper Expressen reports that the arrest has been confirmed by the Swedish authorities.

According to Peter Althin, Sunde’s lawyer, the news means that his client will most likely be sent to prison to serve his 8-month sentence.

Sunde’s prison sentence was made final in 2012 after Sweden’s Supreme Court announced its decision not to grant leave to appeal in the long-running criminal case against the founders of The Pirate Bay."

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SpaceX Shows Off 7-Man Dragon V2 Capsule
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 02:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's yes-please department:
As promised, SpaceX has unveiled its design for a 7-passenger space capsule, intended for carrying astronauts to the International Station or other missions. Writes the L.A. Times: "SpaceX's Dragon V2 spacecraft looks like a sleek, modern-day version of the Apollo capsules that astronauts used in trips to the moon in the 1960s. Those capsules splashed down in the ocean and couldn't be reused. SpaceX builds its Dragon capsules and Falcon 9 rockets in a vast complex in Hawthorne, where fuselage sections for Boeing's 747 jumbo jets once were built. The company is expanding its complex, near Los Angeles International Airport, and has more than 3,000 employees."

NBC News offers more pictures and description of what conditions aboard the Dragon would be like, while astronaut Chris Hadfield says that for all its good points, the Dragon won't eliminate the need for international cooperation in space: "The United States cannot fly to the Space Station without Russia, and Russia can't fly to the Space Station without the United States. It's a wonderful thing to have. If you look at the whole life of the Space Station, think of all the tumult, with the fall of the Soviet Union, and the devaluation of the Ruble in 1998, and other countries backing out of it, the Columbia accident, which would have left us completely helpless if we hadn't had the international commitment. It's easy to have a one-month attention span, but that's just not how you build spaceships, or how you explore the rest of the universe."

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After the Sun (Microsystems) Sets, the Real Stories Come Out
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 12:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's best-logo-too department:
Tekla Perry (3034735) writes "Former Sun executives and employees gathered in Mountain View, Calif., in May, and out came the 'real' stories. Andy Bechtolsheim reports that Steve Jobs wasn't the only one who set out to copy the Xerox Parc Alto; John Gage wonders why so many smart engineers couldn't figure out that it would have been better to buy tables instead of kneepads for the folks doing computer assembly; Vinod Khosla recalls the plan to 'rip-off Sun technology,' and more."

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New Federal Database Will Track Americans' Credit Ratings, Other Financial Info
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 11:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-they-know-your-social-security-number department:
schwit1 (797399) writes "As many as 227 million Americans may be compelled to disclose intimate details of their families and financial lives — including their Social Security numbers — in a new national database being assembled by two federal agencies.
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau posted an April 16 Federal Register notice of an expansion of their joint National Mortgage Database Program to include personally identifiable information that reveals actual users, a reversal of previously stated policy. The FHFA will manage the database and share it with CFPB. A CFPB internal planning document for 2013-17 describes the bureau as monitoring 95 percent of all mortgage transactions. FHFA officials claim the database is essential to conducting a monthly mortgage survey required by the Housing and Economic Recovery Act of 2008 and to help it prepare an annual report for Congress."


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Oregon vs. Oracle: the Battle of Blame Heats Up
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 10:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's named-larry-ellison department:
Rambo Tribble (1273454) writes "The ongoing efforts to assign responsibility for the disastrous attempts to create the Cover Oregon health exchange, the primary contractor for which was Oracle Corporation, have entered a new round, with Governor John Kitzhaber calling on State Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum to initiate legal action against the firm. Kitzhaber has also sought the help of Washington D.C. in sanctioning Oracle, though Oregon's own management of the project and the terms of their contract with Oracle muddy the waters, considerably. Although the AG's office hasn't committed to filing suit, yet, AG Rosenblum has said, 'I share your determination to recover every dollar to which Oregon is entitled.' Although the outcome of this is uncertain, it is likely heads, both corporate and political, will roll."

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HR Chief: Google Sexual, Racial Diversity "Not Where We Want to Be"
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 08:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's what-factors-go-into-it department:
theodp (442580) writes "In 2007, Congress asked Google, "How many [Google employees] are African-American?" "I don't actually have that data at my fingertips," replied Google HR Chief Laszlo Bock. Seven years later, Google finally disclosed diversity data for the first time ever, revealing that 17% of its tech workforce is female, and only 1% is Black. "Put simply," wrote Google's Bock, "Google is not where we want to be when it comes to diversity." To put things in perspective, it looks like the 1947 Brooklyn Dodgers — commemorated in last year's Google Doodle of Jackie Robinson — put up better Black diversity numbers than Google was able to muster 67 years later. Things could have been worse, but the EEOC doesn't ask for and Google chose not to disclose anything about the age makeup of its workforce, aside from a mention of the existence of Greyglers, a group "for Googlers 'of a certain age.'""

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Huawei Successfully Tests New 802.11ax WiFi Standard At 10.53Gbps
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 07:30 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's hitting-your-data-cap-quickly department:
Mark.JUK (1222360) writes "Chinese ICT developer Huawei has confirmed that it was able to achieve a record transmission data rate of 10.53Gbps on 5GHz frequency bands in laboratory trials of their new 802.11ax WiFi (WLAN) wireless networking standard. The testing, which was conducted at Huawei's campus in Shenzhen, used a mix of MIMO-OFDA, intelligence spectrum allocation, interference coordination and hybrid access to achieve the result and the new technology could hit the market during 2018."

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Thousands of Europeans Petition For Their 'Right To Be Forgotten'
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 07:00 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's don't-call-me-a-spammer-that-was-a-long-time-ago department:
The EU's new rule (the result of a court case published May 13) requiring that online businesses remove on request information that is "inadequate, irrelevant or no longer relevant" has struck a chord with more than 12,000 individuals, a number that's rising fast. Other search engines, ISPs, and firms are sure to follow, but the most prominent reaction to the decision thus far, and one that will probably influence all the ones to come, is Google's implementation of an online form that users can submit to request that information related to them be deleted. The Daily Mail reports that the EU ruling "has already been criticised after early indications that around 12 per cent of applications were related to paedophilia. A further 30 per cent concern fraud and 20 per cent were about people's arrests or convictions"; we mentioned earlier this month one pedophile's request for anonymity. As the First Post story linked above puts it, the requirement that sites scrub their data on request puts nternet companies in the position of having to interpret the court’s broad criteria for information meeting the mandate's definition of "forgettable," "as well as developing criteria for distinguishing public figures from private individuals." Do you favor opt-out permissions for reporting facts linked to individuals? What data or opinions about themselves should people not be able to suppress? (Note: Google's form has this disclaimer: "We're working to finalize our implementation of removal requests under European data protection law as soon as possible. In the meantime, please fill out the form below and we will notify you when we start processing your request." That finalization may take some time, since there are 28 data-protection agencies across the EU to harmonize.)

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Solar Roadways Project Beats $1M Goal, Should Enter Production
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 05:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ok-but-what's-the-resolution department:
Lucas123 (935744) writes "It appears an Idaho-based company that created prototype panels for constructing roads that (among other features) gather solar power, will be going into production after it exceeded its crowdfunding goal of $1M. ... Solar Roadways' Indiegogo project has already exceeded $1.6 million. The hexagonal-shaped solar panels consist of four layers, including photovoltaic cells, LED lights, an electronic support structure (circuit board) and a base layer made of recyclable materials. The panels plug together to form circuits that can then use LED lights to create any number of traffic patterns, as well as issue lighted warnings for drivers. The panels also have the ability to melt snow and ice. Along with the crowdfunding money, Solar Roadways has received federal grant money for development."

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Congressman Introduces Bill To Limit FCC Powers
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 04:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's but-regulators-are-perfect-and-righteous department:
An anonymous reader writes "Representative Bob Latta (R-OH) introduced a bill on Wednesday that would limit the FCC's power to regulate ISPs in a supposed effort to keep the internet free. The bill's text is currently not available on the Library of Congress webpage or on congress.gov, but a purported copy has been spotted on scribd. Representative Latta's press release nevertheless indicates that the bill is intended to prevent the FCC from re-classifying ISPs as common carriers under Title II. Latta is one of the 28 representatives who lobbied the FCC earlier this month and were shown to have received double the average monetary donations given to all House of Representative members from the cable industry over a two year period ending this past December."

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German Intelligence Agency Planning To Follow Big NSA Brother On Shoestring
Posted by News Fetcher on May 31 '14 at 01:45 AM
By timothy from Slashdot's ironie-und-sarcasmus department:
An anonymous reader, tongue in cheek, writes"Facebook, Twitter, et al are tools for terrorists planning to do whatever terrorists do, Germany's BND has discovered. Inevitably, real-time monitoring of these sites is necessary and urgently required [original, in German], not least because that Snowden chap has shown we're running behind the U.S. and UK. And Spain. And Italy. In short, it's a national emergency — 300 million euros, presto please — and if we do this smartly, we could even get a sense of what the population outside Germany thinks. And while we're at it, why not throw in automated enemy face recognition too — and biometry and-and a program to deform the faces of our own spies' selfies, so the enemy cannot google them. Time to invest in national security startups."

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Popular Shuttered Torrent Site Demonoid Returns
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '14 at 10:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's there-and-back-again department:
First time accepted submitter AudioEfex (637163) writes "Demonoid has emailed all registered users that it is back online — at its original site — in a new "cloud based" back-end. There have been various attempts in the past (including one accused of simply being malware), but so far this appears to be the original site admins and a legitimate resurrection. User registrations are also open at this time, but as a semi-private tracker, it's unknown how long that will continue."

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Google To Close Its American Moto X Factory
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '14 at 08:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's cheaper-to-grow-them-in-iowa department:
An anonymous reader writes "After only one year in operation, Google's Moto X factory in Fort Worth, TX, is scheduled to close at the end of 2014. The decision to close apparently has nothing to do with Google's decision to sell Motorola Mobility to Lenovo and everything to do with poor sales numbers and high labor and shipping costs in the U.S. The factory had, at one point, employed 3,800 people. Their ranks now number at about 700. Moto E and Moto G, newer and cheaper iterations of Moto X, have sold in more profitable numbers overseas, so Google's original rationale of building phones nearer to the largest customer base to decrease time between assembly and delivery to end user will unsurprisingly force the closure of the U.S.-based factory and transfer labor overseas as well."

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Terran Computational Calendar Introduces Minimonths, Year Bases, and Datemods
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '14 at 05:00 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's on-a-night-just-like-tonight department:
First time accepted submitter TC+0 (3672227) writes "Inspired by comments regarding its first incarnation, the Terran Computational Calendar's recent redefinition now includes dynamic support for 'leap duration', 'year bases', and 'datemods'. Here's the new abstract from terrancalendar.com (wikia mirror) captured at 44.5.20,6.26.48 TC+7H:

< article continued at Slashdot >

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As Crypto Mining Grows, Data Centers Begin Accepting Bitcoin
Posted by News Fetcher on May 30 '14 at 03:45 PM
By timothy from Slashdot's market-pricing department:
miller60 (554835) writes "Citing strong demand from cryptocurrency miners, data center and colocation providers are beginning to accept Bitcojn as payment for large chunks of data center space. It's a sign that the data center industry sees an emerging opportunity in catering to the hosting needs of crypto miners, who typically seek high-density space with cheap power. While many web hosting companies accept Bitcoin, larger data center players have been slower to embrace cryptocurrency. Utah-based C7 Data Centers says it's accepting Bitcoin because of surging demand. The Utah-based company says it now hosts about 4.5 megawatts of mining gear, just down the road from the NSA data center." On-topic: Dish Networks has recently become the biggest company to accept Bitcoins.

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