By timothy from Slashdot's hidden-driveway-too department
Nicola Hahn writes: As the Department of Justice exerts legal pressure on Apple in an effort to recover data from the iPhone used by Syed Rizwan Farook, Apple's CEO has publicly stated that "the U.S. government has asked us for something we simply do not have, and something we consider too dangerous to create. They have asked us to build a backdoor to the iPhone." But, as one Windows rootkit developer has observed, the existing functionality that the FBI seeks to leverage is itself a backdoor. Specifically, the ability to remotely update code on a device automatically, without user intervention, represents a fairly serious threat vector. Update features marketed as a safety mechanism can just as easily be wielded to subvert technology if the update source isn't trustworthy. Something to consider in light of the government's ability to steal digital certificates and manipulate network traffic, not to mention the private sector's lengthy history of secret cooperation.
Related: wiredmikey writes: Apple said Monday it would accept having a panel of experts consider access to encrypted devices if US authorities drop efforts to force it to help break into the iPhone of a California attacker. Apple reaffirmed its opposition to the US government's effort to compel it to provide technical assistance to the FBI investigation of the San Bernardino attacks, but also suggested a compromise in the highly charged legal battle. In his first public remarks since Apple CEO Tim Cook said he would fight the federal magistrate's order, FBI Director James Comey claimed the Justice Department's request is is about "the victims and justice."Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's smart-homes department
The Internet of Things (IoT) is the next step toward technological advancement but it requires a huge effort on manufacturers' and developers' part to make different devices and operating systems to function seamlessly with one another. Now, many of the big names in the industry are banding together to form the Open Connectivity Foundation or OCF to set standards for IoT devices. The lineup includes ARRIS, CableLabs, Cisco, Electrolux, GE Digital, Intel, Microsoft, Qualcomm, and Samsung, which will all work closely with one another to set rules and specifications to guarantee a singular advancement in the field.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's viral-reactions department
whoever57 writes: Talia Jane was employed by Yelp in San Francisco but after posting in an open letter to Yelp's CEO, Jeremy Stoppelman, that her after tax income of $8.15 was insufficient to provide basic necessities like heating, food, etc., she discovered that she had been fired. How did she discover? Her work email stopped working. Even her boss did not know what had happened. Stoppelman denies having a hand in her firing, making the claim "(There are) two sides to every HR story so Twitter army please put down the pitchforks," replying to the criticism. He didn't personally turn off her email, perhaps he did not even make the decision to fire her, but as the person who ultimately sets the culture and policies of the company, his claim to not be directly responsible is unconvincing.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's copyright-infringement department
Mephistophocles writes: A sneaky and underhanded change to the TPP, spotted by the EFF and summarized here by Jeremy Malcolm, means much stiffer penalties for copyright "infringement:" Under the TPP's original terms, a country could limit the exposure of the owner of such a website to prison time, or to the seizure and possible destruction of their server, on the grounds that by definition their infringement didn't cause any lost sales to the copyright owner. (Note that they would be liable for civil damages to the copyright owner in any case.)
Although a country still has the option to limit criminal penalties to "commercial scale" infringements (which is so broadly defined that it could catch even a non-profit subtitles website), the new language compels TPP signatories to make these penalties available even where those infringements cause absolutely no impact on the copyright holder's ability to profit from the work. This is a massive extension of the provision's already expansive scope. Perhaps most concerning, however, is the fact that this means those stiff penalties apply even when there is no harm or threat of harm to the copyright owner caused by the infringement. Think about it. What sense is there in sending someone to jail for an infringement that causes no harm to the copyright holder, whether they complain about it or not? And why should it matter that the copyright holder complains about something that didn't affect them anyway? Surely, if the copyright holder suffers no harm, then a country ought to be able to suspend the whole gamut of criminal procedures and penalties, not only the availability of ex officio action.
This is no error -- or if it is, then the parties were only in error in agreeing to a proposal that was complete nonsense to begin with.Read Replies (0)
By BeauHD from Slashdot's intimately-starring-at-a-screen-pressed-up-against-your-face department
New submitter mobby_6kl writes: The HTC Vive VR headset, developed in partnership with Valve, has been announced ahead of schedule today to cost $799, with pre-orders opening on February 29th and shipping from April 1st. The Vive will ship with two games that take advantage of the system's two motion controllers and "room scale" capabilities, Job Simulator and Fantastic Contraption. The HTC Vive is $200 more expensive than its main competitor, Oculus Rift, but does include the two motion controllers as well as Bluetooth for smartphone connectivity. However, detailed specifications for either system are not yet known. When it's available for pre-order, it will launch in no less than 24 different markets on that day including the U.S., Canada, U.K., Germany, France, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Spain, Switzerland, Ireland, Sweden, Taiwan, China, Japan, Australia, and New Zealand.Read Replies (0)