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Technical (News/Activism)

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  • Apple will appeal $533 million patent infringement verdict

    02/26/2015 8:20:31 PM PST · by Star Traveler · 123 replies
    Digital Trends ^ | Wednesday, February 25, 2015 | Mike Flacy
    Loosely referencing Smartflash’s dubious moniker as a patent troll, Apple spokeswoman Kristin Huguet said “Smartflash makes no products, has no employees, creates no jobs, has no U.S. presence, and is exploiting our patent system to seek royalties for technology Apple invented. We refused to pay off this company for the ideas our employees spent years innovating and unfortunately we have been left with no choice but to take this fight up through the court system.” Speaking to Bloomberg about the decision, Rutgers University law professor Michael Carrier said “This award won’t hold up. If there’s a large verdict in the...
  • Eleventh-hour drama for net neutrality rules

    02/24/2015 5:52:27 PM PST · by Nachum · 18 replies
    the hill ^ | 02/24/15 | Julian Hattem
    A Democrat on the Federal Communications Commission wants to see changes that could narrow the scope of new net neutrality rules set for a vote on Thursday. Mignon Clyburn, one of three Democrats on the FCC, has asked Chairman Tom Wheeler to roll back some of his provisions before the full commission votes on them, FCC officials said. The request — which Wheeler has yet to respond to — puts the chairman in the awkward position of having to either roll back his proposals, or defend the tough rules and convince Clyburn to back down. It’s an ironic spot for...
  • How Lenovo's dangerous Superfish adware put its customers at risk

    02/20/2015 1:19:16 PM PST · by smokingfrog · 31 replies
    Consumer Reports ^ | 2-20-15 | Donna Tapellini
    The Internet is lighting up with warnings about Superfish, an adware program that came preinstalled on many Lenovo laptops in the past six months. Like a lot of the bloatware that comes on new computers, Superfish exists to help push advertising, not to serve any real consumer need. That would be annoying enough, but Superfish seriously undermines the user's safety, according to many security experts. Superfish is a piece of third-party software that Lenovo installed to, as it says in its apology to consumers, “enhance the shopping experience.” That means it's meant to help advertisers target potential customers. But security...
  • Net Neutrality's Technical Troubles

    02/19/2015 10:09:21 AM PST · by Western Phil · 6 replies
    IEEE Spectrum ^ | 12 Feb 2015 | Jeff Hecht
    After years of fence-sitting, the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has come down strongly in favor of Net neutrality, which in some sense must mean the equal treatment of all Internet data packets. The FCC plans to vote on a proposal on 26 February. -snip- “There’s a lot of complexity here at a technical level that is absolutely lost in the policy conversations,” says Fred Baker, a distinguished engineering fellow at Cisco Systems and former chair of the Internet Engineering Task Force. Getting the technology right is crucial for the future of the Net. -snip- Engineers decided that the best way to...
  • Tech Whiplash: Obama Endorses, Then Undermines, Encryption

    02/18/2015 3:26:09 PM PST · by Dalek · 10 replies
    Slate ^ | 2/18/15 | Dan Gillmor
    President Obama talked a surprising amount of common sense on his trip last week to Silicon Valley, where he spoke at a "cybersecurity" gathering at Stanford University. But he undermined some noteworthy remarks about strong encryption--we need it, he said--with the kind of fear-monger hedging that has become almost every politician's refuge from telling the hard truth.... The first was Obama's clear statement that he, personally, favors ubiquitous strong encryption. He thinks everyone should use it but hedges that by saying law enforcement needs a way to break into communications and data.... [W]e need leaders who'll tell the truth--that we...
  • Obama calls on Silicon Valley to help thwart cyber attacks

    02/13/2015 3:43:00 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 13 replies
    Associated Press ^ | Feb 13, 2015 6:32 PM EST | Darlene Superville and Martha Mendoza
    Cyberspace is the new “Wild West,” President Barack Obama said Friday, with everyone looking to the government to be the sheriff. But he told the private sector it must do more to stop cyber attacks aimed at the U.S. every day. “Everybody is online, and everybody is vulnerable,” Obama said during a White House cybersecurity summit at Stanford University, just miles from Google, Facebook, Intel and other internet giants. “The business leaders here want their privacy and their children protected, just like the consumer and privacy advocates here want America to keep leading the world in technology and be safe...
  • Apple hiring automotive experts to work in secret research lab

    02/13/2015 1:27:47 PM PST · by Star Traveler · 67 replies
    Financial Times ^ | Friday, February 13, 2015 | Tim Bradshaw, Andy Sharman
    Apple is recruiting experts in automotive technology and vehicle design to work at a new top-secret research lab, said several people familiar with the company, pointing to ambitions that go beyond the dashboard. Dozens of Apple employees, led by experienced managers from its iPhone unit, are researching automotive products at a confidential Silicon Valley location outside the company’s Cupertino campus, the people said. Sir Jonathan Ive’s team of Apple designers has held regular meetings with automotive executives and engineers in recent months, in some cases trying to hire them. Recent recruits to Apple’s team include the head of Mercedes-Benz’s Silicon...
  • Newsweek Twitter account hacked by ‘CyberCaliphate’

    02/10/2015 12:26:41 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 7 replies
    Fox News ^ | February 11, 2015 | James Rogers
    Newsweek’s Twitter account was hacked Tuesday morning by a group describing itself as “CyberCaliphate,” the latest in a series of high-profile hacks by apparent cyber jihadists. During the 14-minute hack, the group praised “cyber jihad” and threatened Michelle Obama and her family. “Bloody #Valentine’s Day Michelle Obama! We’re watching you, your girls, and your husband!” it tweeted, via the @Newsweek account. […] The hackers briefly changed the account’s profile picture and banner to an image of a masked man and the black standard that is the symbol of the terror organization. The profile also bore the message “Je suIS IS.”...
  • Samsung's warning: Our Smart TVs record your living room chatter

    02/09/2015 5:47:28 AM PST · by Alex Murphy · 34 replies
    C/Net ^ | February 9, 2015 | Chris Matyszczyk
    Why worry about Big Brother? It's your big Samsung TV that's watching you. Oh, and listening to you. That seems to be the conclusion from reading the privacy small print offered by the company. (Samsung's motto: TV has never been this smart.) It concerns the voice-recognition feature, vital for everyone who finds pressing a few buttons on their remote far too tiresome. The wording, first spotted by the Daily Beast, first informs you that the company may "capture voice commands and associated texts so that we can provide you with Voice Recognition features and evaluate and improve the features." This...
  • 'Air-tube' train could travel near the speed of sound

    02/04/2015 6:02:52 AM PST · by smokingfrog · 58 replies
    ksl.com ^ | 2-3-15 | Grant Olson
    AUSTIN — Elon Musk is the successful inventor who played a role in the creation of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX. In 2013, he made national headlines by proposing an air-tube transit system. Called Hyperloop, it was essentially a futuristic-looking train that traveled through a pressurized tube similar the ones you use at the drive-through of your local bank. As described by CNN, the Hyperloop would be powered by “a series of electric motors.” Solar panels on the top of the tube would provide the energy necessary to keep things moving. While the concept may sound bizarre, it’s believed to...
  • Chinese company limits US drone use after White House crash

    02/03/2015 7:43:59 PM PST · by DTAD · 10 replies
    A Chinese drone maker which created the small quadcopter that recently crashed on White House grounds said Wednesday it is updating its drones to prohibit flight over the US capital.
  • Rand Paul introduces bill to reform civil asset forfeiture

    02/03/2015 7:06:02 AM PST · by MadIsh32 · 17 replies
    Washington Post ^ | July 25, 2014 | Radley Balko
    Sen. Rand Paul yesterday introduced S. 2644, the FAIR (Fifth Amendment Integrity Restoration) Act, which would protect the rights of citizens and restore the Fifth Amendment’s role in seizing property without due process of law. Under current law, law enforcement agencies may take property suspected of involvement in crime without ever charging, let alone convicting, the property owner. In addition, state agencies routinely use federal asset forfeiture laws; ignoring state regulations to confiscate and receive financial proceeds from forfeited property.
  • Tim Cook Defused Steve Jobs' Thermonuclear War, Then He Took Down Android

    01/31/2015 10:16:59 AM PST · by Star Traveler · 314 replies
    Forbes ^ | Saturday, January 31, 2015 | Evan Spence
    I’ve already spoken about one of the plays made by Apple and Tim Cook to damage Android. This was the push to 64-bit computing in the iPhone 5S. As that smartphone was announced, the roadmaps for Android devices did not have 64-bit computing planned in the near future. Manufacturers and component suppliers were bounced into making bold claims that they would join Apple in the 64-bit world. They had no choice but to do this. Android’s success was built around the promise of being faster, better, and stronger than its rival OS. If Apple was 64-bit, Android had to be...
  • Nuclear Power Turns To Salt

    01/31/2015 1:05:27 AM PST · by ckilmer · 47 replies
    forbes.com ^ | 1/07/2015 @ 11:32AM | James Conca
    Today, it was announced that the Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory  (ORNL) in Tennessee is partnering with Canadian nuclear company Terrestrial Energy Inc. (TEI) to assist with TEI’s new Integral Molten Salt Reactor (IMSR). The engineering blueprint stage for this GenIV reactor should be reached in two years. The reactor should come online in less than ten.
  • Dear Skeptics, Here's How Apple Will Continue To Demolish Expectations

    01/28/2015 2:42:33 PM PST · by Star Traveler · 363 replies
    Business Insider ^ | Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | Jay Yarrow
    Apple delivered the greatest earnings report in history on Tuesday. That's not hyperbole. Apple earned $18 billion in net income over the three-month period of October to December 2014. That's more than any other company has ever earned over a three-month span. Apple earned those mind-melting profits thanks mostly to the iPhone, which is an incredible business. Apple sold 74.5 million iPhones, up 46% from the year prior. The iPhone generated $51 billion in revenue, giving each iPhone an average selling price of $687.
  • Sony's 'Music Unlimited' Service Shutting Down After Failing to Emerge as Viable iTunes Alternative

    01/28/2015 2:24:06 PM PST · by Star Traveler · 12 replies
    MacRumors ^ | Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | Joe Rossignol
    Sony announced on Wednesday that it will be shutting down its Music Unlimited on-demand streaming music service ahead of launching Spotify on PlayStation Music. Music Unlimited will shut down in all 19 countries it operated on March 29, 2015, with nearly all of the countries among the 41 regions that Spotify for PlayStation Music will be available upon launch, including the United States, Canada, Mexico and Brazil. Music Unlimited launched in December 2010 on PlayStation Network in several countries worldwide, and the service was later extended to iPhone [Direct Link], Android, PlayStation Vita and other devices and platforms. In February...
  • The Mac market just gets bigger and bigger

    01/28/2015 10:52:49 AM PST · by Star Traveler · 202 replies
    Apple Daily Report ^ | Wednesday, January 28, 2015 | Dennis Sellers
    Forget the post-PC era. The Mac just continues to get bigger. For its fiscal 2015 first quarter that ended Dec. 27, 2014, Apple sold 5.5 million Macs. That’s up 9% year-over-year and up 14% from the previous quarter and brought in revenue of US$6.9 billion. Apple has gained market share verses Windows PCs in all quarters since 2005 but one. The Mac has surpassed overall PC growth for 34 of the last 35 quarters.The Mac’s unit share of the worldwide PC market has grown from 2.1% in 2005 to 5.5% in 2013. Apple’s U.S. market share is somewhere between 10%...
  • Telomere extension turns back aging clock in cultured human cells, study finds

    01/23/2015 2:28:53 PM PST · by Red Badger · 15 replies
    medicalxpress.com ^ | Provided by Stanford University Medical Center
    A new procedure can quickly and efficiently increase the length of human telomeres, the protective caps on the ends of chromosomes that are linked to aging and disease, according to scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine. Treated cells behave as if they are much younger than untreated cells, multiplying with abandon in the laboratory dish rather than stagnating or dying. The procedure, which involves the use of a modified type of RNA, will improve the ability of researchers to generate large numbers of cells for study or drug development, the scientists say. Skin cells with telomeres lengthened by...
  • EU wants internet firms to hand over encryption keys

    01/22/2015 2:22:02 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 16 replies
    EU Observer ^ | 01/22/2015 09:30 | Nikolaj Nielsen
    A top EU official wants internet and telecommunication companies to hand over encryption keys to police and spy agencies as part of a wider crackdown on terrorism. The EU’s counter-terrorism coordinator, Gilles de Kerchove, in a document leaked by London-based civil liberties group Statewatch, says the European Commission should come up with rules that require the firms to help national governments snoop on possible suspects. “Since the Snowden revelations, internet and telecommunications companies have started to use often decentralized encryption, which increasingly makes lawful interception by the relevant national authorities technically difficult or even impossible,” notes de Kerchove in the...
  • What BlackBerry's CEO Wants From Apple

    01/22/2015 11:43:37 AM PST · by smokingfrog · 20 replies
    ABC 13 ^ | 1-22-15 | ALYSSA NEWCOMB
    BlackBerry's CEO John Chen wants companies to stop "discriminatory practices" against BlackBerry by not allowing them to use certain apps. Chen called out Apple and Netflix in a blog post about net neutrality and what he called a "two-tiered wireless broadband ecosystem" where developers create apps only for iOS and Android devices. "Unlike BlackBerry, which allows iPhone users to download and use our BBM service, Apple does not allow BlackBerry or Android users to download Apple's iMessage messaging service," he wrote. Apple's iMessage service is only available to customers using the company's ecosystem of devices. Calling out Netflix, Chen said...
  • Windows 10 will be a free upgrade for Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users

    01/21/2015 9:57:16 AM PST · by McGruff · 122 replies
    The Next Web ^ | 1/21/2015 | Owen Williams
    At Microsoft’s Windows 10 event today, the company shared that all Windows 7, 8 and 8.1 users will be able to upgrade to Windows 10, for free. Microsoft said that the free upgrade will be valid for the first year immediately after the release. Those on Windows Phone 8.1 will also get the update. Terry Myerson, VP of Windows at Microsoft said that the company wanted to make it a “seamless upgrade” for those users when Windows 10 is released.
  • End of the Windows XP effect sends desktop sales tumbling, but laptop sales jump

    01/20/2015 10:09:38 AM PST · by smokingfrog · 27 replies
    ZD Net ^ | 1-20-15 | Steve Ranger
    Despite predictions to the contrary, it seem there is still plenty of life left in the PC market. PC shipments across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa (EMEA) reached 25.5 million units in the fourth quarter of 2014, a two percent increase on the same quarter a year ago, according to calculations by IDC. It said strong consumer demand during the holiday season meant the PC market racked up a third consecutive quarter of growth - albeit modest and patchy. PC sales across the region grew by 5.5 percent across the year, with 93.3 million PCs shipped. But the researchers...
  • Man's iPad stolen, mysterious photos appear in iCloud

    01/18/2015 10:43:52 AM PST · by smokingfrog · 69 replies
    click2houston ^ | 1-16-15 | Phillip Mena
    HOUSTON - A River Oaks man says mysterious photos have begun appearing on his iCloud account, a week after his iPad and other items went missing from his truck. Randy Schaefer said he awoke Jan. 8 to find his iPad, laptop, checkbooks and cash gone. He immediately filed a police report but had little else to go on. Then, Jan. 16, while looking at old photos on his phone with his girlfriend, Randy said about a dozen pictures of two men he'd never seen before appeared in his iCloud folder. he pictures were of two men holding large amounts of...
  • Beagle 2 found on surface of Mars after vanishing for 12 years [UK Spacecraft]

    01/16/2015 6:13:59 AM PST · by Red Badger · 21 replies
    Telegraph UK ^ | 10:00AM GMT 16 Jan 2015 | By Sarah Knapton, Science Editor
    Britain's Beagle 2 lander has finally been spotted, 12 years after it went missing while trying to land on the surface of Mars History books will need to be rewritten after scientists announced today that Beagle 2 has been finally been found on Mars, 12 years after it vanished without trace. The beleaguered spacecraft, which has become a byword for mission failure, was spotted by scientists operating the HiRise camera on NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO). It was discovered just 5km from its original touchdown site in the Isidis Planitia basin. And it appears that just one faulty motor was...
  • Extra 'Leap Second' Will Be Added to Clocks June 30 [Ruh-roh!]

    01/08/2015 10:03:45 AM PST · by Red Badger · 31 replies
    www.ibtimes.com ^ | January 05 2015 9:25 PM or thereabouts | By Catherine Dunn
    Sometimes even the rotation of the Earth falls behind schedule. Come June 30, our planet's timekeepers will compensate by adding a "leap second" to clocks. The International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) announced the change Monday at the Paris Observatory, in a bulletin addressed to the "authorities responsible for the measurement and distribution of time." The bulletin advises authorities the extra second will be introduced to Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) during the final minute, of the final day of June. That means that right after the clock hits "23h 59m 59s," it will strike "23h 59m 60s" UTC....
  • Intel shows Silicon Valley the way on workforce diversity

    01/07/2015 7:18:08 PM PST · by artichokegrower · 16 replies
    San Jose Mercury News ^ | 01/07/2015 | Michelle Quinn
    Intel has taken a big if incomplete step toward rectifying the lack of diversity among its employees. Google, Apple, Facebook and other big companies in Silicon Valley -- now it's your turn.
  • Global Warming: False Alarm Over Polar Bears Exposed — Again

    01/06/2015 7:26:07 PM PST · by Coleus · 28 replies
    The New American ^ | 01.05.15 | William F. Jasper
    The rebounding of polar bear populations over the past several decades has been a huge success story. Far from being endangered, vulnerable, or threatened, polar bears are thriving; their populations have exploded in virtually all of their habitats of the circumpolar nations. That’s good news for the polar bears, but bad news for the Polar Bear Specialist Group, the highly politicized organization of wildlife “scientists” that receives massive funding and favorable media coverage for regularly claiming that hoary arctic predators are perilously close to extinction due to human-caused global warming.The Polar Bear Specialist Group (PBSG) is, perhaps, the best-known...
  • Sony hackers 'shared' stolen employee login data (Lizard Squad & GOP)

    12/30/2014 8:30:35 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 7 replies
    BBC ^ | 30 December 2014
    30 December 2014 Last updated at 11:33 Sony hackers 'shared' stolen employee login data Data that helped hackers access Sony's internal network came from another group targeting the firm's gaming network, reports the Washington Post. In an interview, a self-proclaimed Lizard Squad member said it had given stolen data to the Guardians of Peace. The GoP has carried out several attacks on Sony in a bid to halt the release of comedy film The Interview. By contrast, the Lizard Squad targeted Sony's PlayStation network knocking it offline on Christmas Day. The man interviewed by the newspaper appears to one of...
  • A Prototype Battery Could Double the Range of Electric Cars

    12/29/2014 10:14:10 AM PST · by Red Badger · 113 replies
    MIT Technology Review ^ | 12/23/2014 | Kevin Bullis
    Startup Seeo has developed batteries that store far more energy than conventional ones, which could extend the range of electric cars. An experimental lithium-ion battery based on materials developed at a U.S. Department of Energy lab stores twice as much energy as the batteries used in most electric cars. If the technology can be commercialized, it could give affordable electric cars a range of over 200 miles per charge, says Hal Zarem, CEO of Seeo, a startup that’s working on the technology. Today the cheapest electric cars, which cost around $30,000, typically have a range of less than 100 miles....
  • Gmail blocked in China

    12/29/2014 5:05:30 AM PST · by TigerLikesRooster · 10 replies
    Reuters ^ | Mon Dec 29, 2014 | Paul Carsten
    Gmail blocked in China By Paul Carsten BEIJING Mon Dec 29, 2014 2:52am EST (Reuters) - Google Inc's Gmail was blocked in China after months of disruptions to the world's biggest email service, with an anti-censorship advocate suggesting the Great Firewall was to blame. Large numbers of Gmail web addresses were cut off in China on Friday, said GreatFire.org, a China-based freedom of speech advocacy group. Users said the service was still down on Monday. "I think the government is just trying to further eliminate Google's presence in China and even weaken its market overseas," said a member of GreatFire.org,...
  • New 'illusion coating' hides objects from detection

    12/27/2014 5:53:02 AM PST · by shove_it · 29 replies
    BusinessStandard ^ | 21 Dec 2014
    Researchers have developed a new 'illusion coating' that could hide things by making them look like something else or even completely disappear. "Previous attempts at cloaking using a single meta-surface layer were restricted to very small-sized objects," said Zhi Hao Jiang, postdoctoral fellow in electrical engineering, Pennsylvania State University. Jiang and Douglas H Werner developed a meta-material coating with a negligible thickness that allows coated objects to function normally while appearing as something other than what they really are, or even completely disappearing. The researchers employ what they call "illusion coatings," coatings made up of a thin flexible substrate with...
  • Apple And Samsung: Here’s What Happens When The Money Begins To Run Out

    12/26/2014 10:19:05 AM PST · by Star Traveler · 162 replies
    PixoBebo ^ | Friday, December 26, 2014 | Kate MacKenzie
    You knew this had to happen. While Samsung and other Android smartphone vendors bask in the glory of marketshare vs. Apple’s iPhone and iPad, it’s Apple that walks away with most of the profits. Without profits, tech companies have to tighten their belts, cut back on R&D (research and development), close stores, and reduce the product line. Guess which high profile tech company is doing all that? If you guessed Apple, you’d be so far off the mark that you’re probably in need of public assistance for watching too much Faux News and reading Business Insider. It’s not Apple. It’s...
  • Faith in Apple’s future as Woz becomes an Aussie

    12/18/2014 2:58:24 PM PST · by Star Traveler · 41 replies
    Financial Review ^ | Thursday, December 18, 2014 | Paul Smith
    Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak has officially become an Australian resident, is planning to make the Apple Isle his home – appropriately enough – and says one day he’d like it said he lived and died an Australian. The man who formed Apple with Steve Jobs in California back in 1976 has just had ­“permanent residency” stamped in his passport. He originally applied for Australian citizenship in 2012. He’s since taken steps to move more aspects of his life Down Under; in October he became an adjunct professor at the University of Technology in Sydney. He says he’s thinking about a...
  • Sony “stuck in 1992″ after hacks – except for Macs, iPads and iPhones

    12/18/2014 7:38:04 AM PST · by Star Traveler · 65 replies
    9-to-5 Mac ^ | Thursday, December 18, 2014 | Staff
    A Sony employee has described the company as being “stuck in 1992″ following the massive hacks, with employees desperately trying to avoid using any technology that could be compromised, reports TechCrunch. There has, though, been one exception to the ban on modern technology: Apple kit. “People using Macs were fine,” she said. She said most work is done on iPads and iPhones. Sony may need to buy a few extra Macs, with some departments having only one or two computers for the entire office. It is, she said, like “living in an office from ten years ago.”
  • Judge: Give NSA unlimited access to digital data

    12/06/2014 10:32:28 AM PST · by RememberRonnie · 42 replies
    PC World ^ | 12-04-2014 | Grant Gross
    The U.S. National Security Agency should have an unlimited ability to collect digital information in the name of protecting the country against terrorism and other threats, an influential federal judge said during a debate on privacy. "I think privacy is actually overvalued," Judge Richard Posner, of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit, said during a conference about privacy and cybercrime in Washington, D.C., Thursday. "Much of what passes for the name of privacy is really just trying to conceal the disreputable parts of your conduct," Posner added. "Privacy is mainly about trying to improve your social and...
  • Congress Quietly Decides To Delete Key NSA Reform In CRomnibus Agreement

    12/04/2014 7:54:43 PM PST · by RememberRonnie · 12 replies
    Techdirt ^ | 12-03-2014 | Mike Masnick
    You may recall, back in June, that there was a key House vote that took NSA supporters by surprise. An amendment to the Defense Appropriations bill pushed by a bi-partisan team of Thomas Massie, Jim Sensenbrenner and Zoe Lofgren passed overwhelmingly, with a plan to slam the door shut on questionable NSA "backdoor searches" (as described in detail earlier). The House voted 293 to 123, making it a pretty clear and overwhelming statement that Congress did not, in fact, support such practices by the NSA. But, of course, the NSA gets the last laugh. As part of the big lameduck...
  • 10 times science ruled in 2014

    12/04/2014 6:03:14 AM PST · by shove_it · 6 replies
    Mashable ^ | 30 Nov 2014 | Jacqui Devaney
    There's no denying it: Science is cool, and 2014 was no exception. This year, we discovered that one of Saturn's moons, Enceladus, was shooting geysers out of cracks in its surface. We also found a way to make a teeny, tiny radio that requires no battery. The human race is pushing forward into the final frontier — and also the tiniest frontier. SEE ALSO: 10 YouTube Videos That Prove Science Is Magic Although 2014 was also the year Kim Kardashian's butt broke the internet, let's take some time to remember the actual cool stuff people do...
  • Stephen Hawking warns artificial intelligence could end mankind

    12/02/2014 7:17:29 AM PST · by ConservingFreedom · 81 replies
    BBC News ^ | 2 December 2014 | Rory Cellan-Jones
    Prof Stephen Hawking, one of Britain's pre-eminent scientists, has said that efforts to create thinking machines pose a threat to our very existence. He told the BBC: "The development of full artificial intelligence could spell the end of the human race." His warning came in response to a question about a revamp of the technology he uses to communicate, which involves a basic form of AI. [...] "It would take off on its own, and re-design itself at an ever increasing rate," he said. "Humans, who are limited by slow biological evolution, couldn't compete, and would be superseded." But others...
  • The EU has a plan to break up Google

    11/23/2014 11:58:38 PM PST · by Olog-hai · 15 replies
    The Verge ^ | November 21, 2014 02:48 pm | Ben Popper
    Google has been the target of repeated anti-trust scrutiny in Europe over the last decade. Today’s Financial Times is reporting that the European parliament is on the verge of taking even more drastic steps, preparing a plan that would call for the breakup of the search giant, specifically the “unbundling [of] search engines from other commercial services.” […] When asked by Financial Times why a drastic measure like a breakup was necessary, Ramon Tremosa, a Spanish member of the EU parliment who sponsored the motion, said the commission could not “ask the secret of [Google’s] algorithm” and was seeking other...
  • Truthy: The Tax-Funded Speech Monitoring and Suppression Project

    11/14/2014 5:26:20 AM PST · by Biggirl · 5 replies
    Frontpagemag.com ^ | November 14,2014 | Arnold Ahlert
    Leftist speech suppressors are at it again, but this time they’re apparently being subsidized by the American taxpayer. On Monday, House Committee on Science, Space and Technology Chairman Rep. Lamar Smith (R-TX) sent a letter to the head of the National Science Foundation (NSF), demanding information about the nearly $1 million spent on the “Truthy” data-mining project that monitors political speech on Twitter.
  • AT&T chief: Net neutrality uncertainty puts a pause in investing

    11/12/2014 8:17:50 AM PST · by walford · 20 replies
    C|NET ^ | November 12, 2014 | Roger Cheng
    AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson warned that he will hold off on many of his company's capital investment plans if uncertainty persists over how the US government will regulate the Internet. "It's prudent to pause," he said at an investor conference Wednesday. "We want to make sure we have line of sight on this process and where these rules could land, and then re-evaluate." The comments come two days after President Obama threw his support behind the idea that broadband services providers should be regulated under Title II of the Telecommunications Act, which would treat Internet service providers more like utilities...
  • Huge raid to shut down 400-plus dark net sites

    11/07/2014 2:38:07 PM PST · by ConservingFreedom · 33 replies
    BBC News ^ | 7 November 2014 | Jane Wakefield
    Silk Road 2.0 and 400 other sites believed to be selling illegal items including drugs and weapons have been shut down. The sites operated on the Tor network - a part of the internet unreachable via traditional search engines. The joint operation between 16 European countries and the US saw 17 arrests, including Blake Benthall who is said to be behind Silk Road 2.0. Experts believe the shutdown represents a breakthrough for fighting cybercrime. Six Britons were also arrested, including a 20-year-old man from Liverpool, a 19-year-old man from New Waltham, a 30 year-old-man from Cleethorpes and a man and...
  • The iPhone just lost its perfect security record — now what?

    11/06/2014 10:14:15 AM PST · by for-q-clinton · 221 replies
    The Verge ^ | 6 Nov 2014 | Russell Brandom
    For most of the iPhone's lifespan, it's been effectively immune to malware. There were theoretical attacks and viruses targeting jailbroken phones, but thanks to the tight controls of the App Store, finding iOS malware in the wild has been nearly impossible. If you didn't jailbreak your phone and you weren’t targeted by the NSA, you simply didn't have to worry about catching a virus. Yesterday, that changed. A security firm called Palo Alto Networks discovered a malware program they’re calling Wirelurker, which sneaks into computers through unauthorized Chinese apps, then attacks iOS devices when they connect over USB. It’s an...
  • Full list of vehicles involved in 2014 airbag recall: updated by feds

    10/30/2014 8:17:22 AM PDT · by Red Badger · 32 replies
    www.oregonlive.com ^ | 10-23-2014 | Staff
    Owners can check by manufacturer. Here is the list of vehicles released Wednesday by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration: Note: The list below corrects the list that accompanied NHTSA's Oct. 20 advisory, which incorrectly included certain vehicles. The numbers cited for potentially affected vehicles below are subject to change and adjustment because there may be cases of vehicles being counted more than once. Owners should check their VIN periodically as manufacturers continue to add VINs to the database. Once owner recall notices are available, owners can retrieve a copy from SaferCar.gov, or will receive one by U.S. mail and...
  • Google’s New Computer With Human-Like Learning Abilities Will Program Itself

    10/29/2014 1:56:10 PM PDT · by Red Badger · 43 replies
    betabeat.com ^ | 10/29 3:22pm | By Sage Lazzaro
    The new hybrid device might not need humans at all. In college, it wasn’t rare to hear a verbal battle regarding artificial intelligence erupt between my friends studying neuroscience and my friends studying computer science. One rather outrageous fellow would mention the possibility of a computer takeover, and off they went. The neuroscience-savvy would awe at the potential of such hybrid technology as the CS majors argued we have nothing to fear, as computers will always need a programmer to tell them what to do. Today’s news brings us to the Neural Turing Machine, a computer that will combine the...
  • HP wants to be a 3D printing giant with new 'Multi Jet Fusion' tech

    10/29/2014 8:33:24 AM PDT · by shove_it · 25 replies
    Engadget ^ | 29 Oct 2014 | Steve Dent
    HP has just revealed a lot more information about the 3D printing technology it teased dramatically a few months ago. It's called "Multi Jet Fusion," and the company thinks it can "change entire industries." The original goal was to make 3D printers build objects at higher resolution and much, much faster, speeds. Based on the demos we saw today, that claim looks feasible. Essentially, the 3D printer builds parts similar to how an inkjet printer produces documents -- the "ink" is applied to a material coating, then heated and fused to build up layers (see below). That's substantially different to...
  • LAWMAKERS SKEPTICAL OF FBI’S PUSH FOR ENCRYPTION BACK DOORS

    10/20/2014 11:39:03 AM PDT · by e-gadfly · 6 replies
    NextGov ^ | 2014-10-17 | Brendan Sasso
    Tech companies like Apple and Google want to make the data customers carry on their smartphones and computers more secure, safe from the prying eyes of spies and identity thieves alike. But law-enforcement officials--from the FBI to local police--see those same devices as treasure troves of evidence.... "I'd be surprised if more than a handful of members would support the idea of backdooring Americans' personal property," Sen. Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat and vocal privacy advocate, said.... And a House Democratic aide said that staffers have been in touch with the FBI on the issue but that Congress is unlikely...
  • Cyber security Expert Gary Milefsky (flashlight app on smartphones)

    10/19/2014 5:43:12 AM PDT · by Mechanicos · 17 replies
    YouTube ^ | Unknown | Bret Baire via YouTube
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q8xz8xKEFvU/a>
  • FBI Head: Apple, Google Encryption Leads to 'Dark Place'

    10/17/2014 4:17:20 PM PDT · by e-gadfly · 22 replies
    Tom's Guide ^ | 2014-10-16 | Paul Wagenseil
    FBI Director James Comey gave a strong speech today (Oct. 16) explaining why law enforcement should have access to data on encrypted smartphones. But he failed to cite any examples in which such law-enforcement access could have made the difference between life and death.... The Communications Assistance for Law Enforcement Act (CALEA) of 1994 mandates that telecommunications companies must give police the ability to listen in on telephone conversations. CALEA covers landlines and cellular carriers, and was expanded in 2004 to cover Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) providers and broadband Internet service providers. For the past few years, the FBI...
  • “Six Strikes” Anti-Piracy Warnings Double This Year

    10/08/2014 11:25:31 AM PDT · by ConservingFreedom · 19 replies
    TorrentFreak ^ | August 30, 2014 | Ernesto
    The six-strikes Copyright Alert System has been active for one and a half years now and warnings are being sent out at an increasing rate. The program will double in size this year, according to its executive director, in the hope that it will eventually change people's norms toward piracy. February last year, five U.S. Internet providers started sending Copyright Alerts to customers who use BitTorrent to pirate movies, TV-shows and music.These efforts are part of the Copyright Alert System, an anti-piracy plan that aims to educate the public. Through a series of warnings suspected pirates are informed that their...