Technology archive for 2016-06-22

C-SPAN Uses Periscope and Facebook Live To Broadcast The House Sit-In

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes from a report via The Washington Post: C-SPAN has made history for resorting to Periscope to live stream a sit-in on the House floor. C-SPAN spokesman Howard Mortman said: "This is the first time we've ever shown video from the House floor picked up by a Periscope account." C-SPAN had to rely on Periscope for a direct feed to House proceedings because these proceedings aren't exactly official. The Washington Post reports: "Earlier today, Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) led a sit-in on the House floor to push for action on gun control, following the failure of four gun measures earlier this week in the Senate. According to an official at the House Recording Studio, the cameras that C-SPAN commonly uses to broadcast House business are 'in recess subject to the call of the chair.' No approved video feed, no problem: C-SPAN has been piping in the Periscope feed from Rep. Scott Peters, a California Democrat." The feed hasn't been as reliable as C-SPAN's official House-proceedings feed. "Well, the Periscope video froze up again," said a C-SPAN anchor. And a bit later: "We're still having some issues with that video feed." At around 3:30 p.m., C-SPAN switched to a Facebook feed where viewers could hear and watch Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Fla.) rip the "cowards who run this chamber" for failing to turn on the microphones.[..]

WiFi-Connected Hard Drive Fits a Plex Server In Your Pocket

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader cites an Engadget report:Over the years we've seen Plex's media software run across a number of different devices, from PCs to game consoles to NAS and cellphones. Now, it's teamed up with Western Digital for what it says is the first portable Plex Media Server. The hardware is handled by the My Passport Wireless Pro, a battery-powered portable hard drive that can run standalone for 10 hours, charge mobile devices, and back up data via SD or USB 3.0. The all-in-one box can even create a WiFi network to sync with mobile devices or stream media to any device running Plex. The 2TB version is ready to take your stuff on the go for $230, and upgrading to 3TB only costs an extra $20. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Battle of the Secure Messaging Apps: Signal Triumphs Over WhatsApp, Allo

(3 years ago)
There is no shortage of messaging apps out there, so which one should you be using? If you care about your privacy, you would want your messaging client to be end-to-end encrypted. This narrows down the list to WhatsApp, Signal, and Allo. The Intercept has evaluated the apps to find which among the three is the best from the privacy standpoint. The publication says that while all the three aforementioned apps use the same secure messaging protocol (Open Whisper System's), they differ on exactly what information is encrypted, what metadata is collected, and what, precisely, is stored in the cloud. WhatsApp:It's important to keep in mind that, even with the Signal protocol in place, WhatsApp's servers can still see messages that users send through the service. They can't see what's inside the messages, but they can see who is sending a message to whom and when.In addition, WhatsApp also retains your contact list -- provided you have shared it with the service. If government requests access to this data, WhatsApp could hand it over. Allo:The first thing to understand about Google's forthcoming Allo app is that, by default, Google will be able to read all of your Allo messages. If you want end-to-end encryption via the Signal protocol, you need to switch to an "incognito mode" within the app, which will be secure but include fewer features. [...] Allo's machine learning features prevent Google from turning on end-to-end encryption for all messages, since Google needs to be able[..]

Senate narrowly fails to pass plan allowing FBI to access browser history, email info, more without warrant; Mitch McConnell submits motion to reconsider vote (Zack Whittaker/ZDNet)

(3 years ago)
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:Senate narrowly fails to pass plan allowing FBI to access browser history, email info, more without warrant; Mitch McConnell submits motion to reconsider vote  —  Lawmakers couldn't get the required majority to advance the bill.  —  An amendment designed to allow the government warrantless access …

Tech companies worry that Britain leaving the EU could negatively affect European tech policy, data handling, and hiring (Wall Street Journal)

(3 years ago)
Wall Street Journal:Tech companies worry that Britain leaving the EU could negatively affect European tech policy, data handling, and hiring  —  Differing national attitudes to regulation color firms' views on doing business after a possible fracture  —  Microsoft Corp. was for a decade pursued …

Advertiser That Tracked Around 100M Phone Users Without Consent Pays $950,000

(3 years ago)
Mobile advertising firm InMobi will be paying a fine of $950,000 and revamp its services to resolve federal regulators' claims that it deceptively tracked locations of hundreds of millions of people, including children. Ars Technica reports:The US Federal Trade Commission alleged in a complaint filed Wednesday that Singapore-based InMobi undermined phone users' ability to make informed decisions about the collection of their location information. While InMobi claimed that its software collected geographical whereabouts only when end users provided opt-in consent, the software in fact used nearby Wi-Fi signals to infer locations when permission wasn't given, FTC officials alleged. InMobi then archived the location information and used it to push targeted advertisements to individual phone users. Specifically, the FTC alleged, InMobi collected nearby basic service set identification addresses, which act as unique serial numbers for wireless access points. The company, which thousands of Android and iOS app makers use to deliver ads to end users, then fed each BSSID into a "geocorder" database to infer the phone user's latitude and longitude, even when an end user hadn't provided permission for location to be tracked through the phone's dedicated location feature. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NY Fed may do 'enhanced monitoring' of SWIFT money transfers: Yellen

(3 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York might begin taking closer looks at international money transfers using the SWIFT network, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday in response to questions over a recent theft by cyber criminals.

SoundCloud rolls out Suggested Tracks to surface new music based on user listening habits (Ken Yeung/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:SoundCloud rolls out Suggested Tracks to surface new music based on user listening habits  —  SoundCloud has started rolling out a new way for people to discover music and audio files on its service.  Called Suggested Tracks, this feature analyzes your listening activity to surface the tracks and artists you may not have heard before.

Senate Rejects FBI Bid For Warrantless Access To Internet Browsing Histories

(3 years ago)
Zack Whittaker, reporting for ZDNet:An amendment designed to allow the government warrantless access to internet browsing histories has been narrowly defeated in the Senate. The amendment fell two votes short of the required 60 votes to advance. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) switched his vote at the last minute. He submitted a motion to reconsider the vote following the defeat. A new vote may be set for later on Wednesday. Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) introduced the amendment as an add-on to the commerce, justice, and science appropriations bill earlier this week. McCain said in a statement on Monday that the amendment would "track lone wolves" in the wake of the Orlando massacre, in which Omar Mateen, who authorities say radicalized himself online, killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in the Florida city. The amendment, which may be reconsidered in the near future, aims to broaden the rules governing national security letters, which don't require court approval. These letters allow the FBI to demand records associated with Americans' online communications -- so-called electronic communications transactional records. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US Senate rejects plan to allow FBI greater access to browser history, email account information, and more without a warrant (Karoun Demirjian/Washington Post)

(3 years ago)
Karoun Demirjian / Washington Post:US Senate rejects plan to allow FBI greater access to browser history, email account information, and more without a warrant  —  The Senate is set to vote Wednesday on a measure to let the FBI access a person's Internet browsing history, email account data and other electronic communications without …

What if you could 3-D print hair?

(3 years ago)
Any number of complicated things can be created in a matter of minutes with 3-D printer technology: weapons, robots, even pizza. But what if you could print hair?

Severe Flaws Found In Libarchive Open Source Library

(3 years ago)
Reader itwbennett writes: Researchers from Cisco Systems' Talos group have found three memory corruption errors in the widely used open-source library libarchive that can result in arbitrary code execution and can be exploited by passing specially crafted files to applications that contain the vulnerable code. "The library is used by file and package managers included in many Linux and BSD systems, as well as by components and tools in OS X and Chrome OS," writes Lucian Constantin. "Developers can also include the library's code in their own projects, so it's hard to know how many other applications or firmware packages contain it." (Original blog post) So, while the libarchive maintainers have released patches for the flaws, it will likely take a long time for them to trickle down through all the affected projects. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dresses made from brain scans

(3 years ago)
To showcase the focus on fashion of Europe's largest festival of technology this year, designer Brooke Roberts curated a selection of designs and prototypes from the forefront of London's fashion tech community.

Senate votes down proposal to expand FBI surveillance powers

(3 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday voted down a Republican-backed proposal to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation's secretive surveillance powers after the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub last week.

Alibaba wins dismissal of lawsuit over pre-IPO regulatory warning

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd has won the dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit accusing China's largest e-commerce company of defrauding shareholders by concealing a regulator's warning about its ability to suppress counterfeiting on its websites.

NY Fed may do 'enhanced monitoring' of SWIFT money transfers: Yellen

(3 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The Federal Reserve Bank of New York might begin taking closer looks at international money transfers using the SWIFT network, Fed Chair Janet Yellen said on Wednesday in response to questions over a recent theft by cyber criminals.

Bangladesh unlikely to extend FireEye contract for heist probe

(3 years ago)
DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh's central bank is unlikely to extend the contract of U.S. cyber security firm FireEye to investigate the electronic theft of $81 million of its money, sources at the bank said on Wednesday, citing high costs as one of the factors.

Amazon's New Kindle Is Only $80, Comes In White, and With More Storage

(3 years ago)
Found the $290 Kindle Oasis too expensive? Amazon has a new, familiar e-reader for you. On Wednesday, the e-commerce giant announced a new, more-affordable Kindle that is pretty much identical to the Kindle Paperwhite, but costs only $80. It comes in white as well as black, and has 512MB storage space (the Kindle Paperwhite sport a 256MB internal storage chip). From an Ars Technica report:In addition to the extra memory, the $80 Kindle will have a slightly thinner, lighter, and more rounded design than its predecessors. It will have a touchscreen display as well, but it won't be the 300 PPI screen that the $120 Kindle Paperwhite has (it will sport a 167 PPI display instead). Some reports also suggest that the new Kindle will come with Bluetooth support so blind readers can hook up a pair of wireless headphones to listen to books, along with a note-sending feature that will let you send yourself messages and highlights, which can be exported as PDFs or spreadsheets. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Dropbox adds better Office integration and file scanning to its iOS app; business users can search text of scanned documents (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Jordan Novet / VentureBeat:Dropbox adds better Office integration and file scanning to its iOS app; business users can search text of scanned documents  —  Cloud syncing and sharing software company Dropbox today is announcing a slew of new features for individuals and teams.  —  Probably the most significant addition …

'Headphone Jacks Are the New Floppy Drives'

(3 years ago)
According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple's upcoming iPhone won't have a 3.5mm headphone jack. The news has already upset many people. The Verge's Nilay Patel wrote on Tuesday that the decision of getting rid of the legacy headphone port is "user hostile and stupid." Apple commentator John Gruber makes a case for why Apple's supposed move is not a bad idea at all. He writes:Patel misses the bigger problem. It's not enforcement of DRM on audio playback. It's enforcement of the MFi Program for certifying hardware that uses the Lightning port. Right now any headphone maker in the world can make any headphones they want for the standard jack. Not so with the Lightning port.He adds that the existing analog headphone jack "is more costly in terms of depth than thickness," and by getting rid of it, Apple could use the extra real estate to stuff in more battery juice. Addressing Patel's point that the move of ditching a deeply established standard will "disproportionately impact accessibility," Gruber adds that "enabling, open, and democratizing" have never been high on Apple's list of priorities for external ports. Gruber also addressed Patel's argument that introducing a Lightning Port-enabled headphone feature will make Android and iPhone headphones incompatible. He wrote: Why would Apple care about headphone compatibility with Android? If Apple gave two shits about port compatibility with Android, iPhones would have Micro-USB ports. In 1998 people used floppy drives[..]

Opera Denies Microsoft Edge Battery-Saving Claims

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: According to the makers of the Opera browser, Microsoft's recent claim that its Windows 10 Edge browser is more power-efficient than Chrome are erroneous. Running its own tests with Opera, Edge and Chrome, the company finds that Opera runs 22% faster (with a battery life of 3hr 55m) than Edge (3hrs 12m). In Microsoft's own tests, Google's Chrome browser was the first to completely exhaust the battery, closely followed by Firefox and Opera. In May, Opera added a power-saving mode, but any advantage it can be verified to have in the energy-efficiency stakes may be more due to the native adblocking feature it introduced this year. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft says nearly one third of Azure virtual machines now run Linux, up from one quarter last year (Mary Jo Foley/ZDNet)

(3 years ago)
Mary Jo Foley / ZDNet:Microsoft says nearly one third of Azure virtual machines now run Linux, up from one quarter last year  —  Over the past year, Microsoft has seen customers use Linux in a third of its Azure virtual machines, up from 25 percent.  —  Microsoft's self-professed Linux love is helping the company in the cloud.

Mark Zuckerberg Tapes Over His Webcam. Should You?

(3 years ago)
Remember when FBI's director James Comey was spotted using a piece of tape over the camera on his laptop? At the time, Comey noted that he started doing it after he saw a person "smarter" than him do it as well. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg apparently also puts a tape over his webcam. Zuckerberg posted an image on Facebook yesterday, celebrating Instagram's big milestone of hitting 500 million monthly active users. In the background, we can see that his laptop has a tape over the webcam, as well as something around the microphone port. From a report on The Guardian: Even experts who don't cover their cameras think they should. Why doesn't Matthew Green, an encryption expert at Johns Hopkins University? "Because I'm an idiot," he said. "I have no excuse for not taking this seriously ... but at the end of the day, I figure that seeing me naked would be punishment enough." While Zuckerberg probably does have any number of advanced persistent threats trying to break his digital security, normal people shouldn't be too complacent either. Installing backdoors on compromised computers is a common way for some hackers to occupy their time.On an unrelated note, it appears, Zuckerberg uses Mozilla's Thunderbird as his primary email client. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Alibaba wins dismissal of lawsuit over pre-IPO regulatory warning

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Alibaba Group Holdings Ltd has won the dismissal of a U.S. lawsuit accusing China's largest e-commerce company of defrauding shareholders by concealing a regulator's warning about its ability to suppress counterfeiting on its websites.

BlackBerry top priority this year is making devices profitable: CEO

(3 years ago)
WATERLOO, Ontario (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd's top priority for this year is making its devices business profitable, its chief executive said on Wednesday, even as it weighs the future of its hardware operation.

Bangladesh unlikely to extend FireEye contract for heist probe

(3 years ago)
DHAKA (Reuters) - Bangladesh's central bank is unlikely to extend the contract of U.S. cyber security firm FireEye to investigate the electronic theft of $81 million of its money, sources at the bank said on Wednesday, citing high costs as one of the factors.

The new entry-level Kindle is thinner, lighter, still costs $80, has double storage, and comes with Bluetooth audio support (Devindra Hardawar/Engadget)

(3 years ago)
Devindra Hardawar / Engadget:The new entry-level Kindle is thinner, lighter, still costs $80, has double storage, and comes with Bluetooth audio support  —  The luxurious Kindle Oasis is no longer the new kid on the block.  Amazon just unveiled its new entry-level Kindle device, which is more portable and packs in twice as much storage as the last model.

FireEye report finds sharp drop-off in Chinese cyberattacks on US over past two years (David E. Sanger/New York Times)

(3 years ago)
David E. Sanger / New York Times:FireEye report finds sharp drop-off in Chinese cyberattacks on US over past two years  —  WASHINGTON — Nine months after President Obama and President Xi Jinping of China agreed to a broad crackdown on cyberespionage aimed at curbing the theft of intellectual property …

Microsoft Launches NFC Payments For Windows 10 Phones

(3 years ago)
Microsoft has finally added support for NFC payments to its mobile operating system Windows 10 Mobile. The company this week introduced the feature in an update to Microsoft Wallet app. Users will now be able to make mobile payments with their MasterCard or Visa accounts. The feature is now available to eligible Windows 10 Mobile handset users who are part of Windows Insiders program. Other users will get it with Windows 10 Anniversary Update in a few months. From a blog post on NFC World: Supporting banks and credit unions include Bank of America, BECU, Chase, First Tech, Fifth Third Bank, People's United Bank, US Bank and Virginia Credit Union. The launch date for each bank will be "posted when available," according to Microsoft. "Microsoft Wallet is a cloud-based payment technology that will make mobile payments simple and more secure for Windows 10 Mobile devices, starting in the US with our Lumia 950, 950 XL and 650," the company says. "With Microsoft Wallet, you simply tap your phone on a contactless payment terminal and your default credit or debit card is charged. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Kernel of iOS 10 Preview Is Not Encrypted -- Nobody Knows Why

(3 years ago)
Security experts are claiming that iOS 10 preview, which Apple made available to enthusiasts last week, is not secure. iOS 10 is the latest version of Apple's mobile operating system. It will be available to standard customers later this year (likely around September). According to security experts, iOS 10's kernel is not encrypted. MIT News reports: Why Apple has suddenly opened up its code is unclear. One hypothesis in the security community is that, as author Jonathan Levin puts it, someone inside the company "screwed up royally." But he and security researcher Mathew Solnik both say there are reasons to think it may have been intentional. Encouraging more people to pore over the code could result in more bugs being disclosed to Apple so that it can fix them. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Senate likely to pass FBI spying bill after Orlando shooting

(3 years ago)
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Wednesday is likely to pass a Republican-backed proposal to expand the Federal Bureau of Investigation's secretive surveillance powers after the mass shooting at an Orlando gay nightclub last week.

Kuka's robotics boss welcomes prospect of Chinese ownership

(3 years ago)
MUNICH, Germany (Reuters) - Chinese ownership should benefit Germany's Kuka, the German firm's robotics chief said, as the company and its shareholders mull a 4.5 billion-euro ($5.1 billion) offer from home appliances maker Midea.

Online FX broker Azimo halts money transfers for Brexit vote

(3 years ago)
LONDON (Reuters) - Azimo was the latest major money transfer company to suspend operations for Britain's referendum on EU membership, saying on Wednesday the uncertainty around the vote made it impossible to guarantee the safety of customers' money.

LeBron James Used A Steve Jobs Speech To Motivate The Cavs To Victory

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader quotes a report from BGR: Well, LeBron James finally accomplished what he set out to do when he announced his triumphant return to the Cleveland Cavaliers 2014: he brought an NBA championship to Cleveland. Going into the NBA Finals, the Cavaliers were clear underdogs. And once the Cavs went down three games to one, the odds in Vegas that LeBron and co. could take back the series were as high as +900. Looking back at the Cavaliers' historic championship run and odds-defying victory, ESPN has a fascinating piece up detailing how LeBron sought to find every and anything that could help motivate his teammates and help them believe that an unprecedented comeback was indeed within the realm of possibility. And interestingly enough, one of the sources of inspiration James turned to was Steve Jobs. Specifically, James played portions of Steve Jobs' iconic 2005 Stanford University commencement speech to rally the troops ahead of game 3. "You can't connect the dots looking forward," Jobs passionately said, "you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something -- your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life." You can watch Jobs' aforementioned speech in its entirety here on YouTube.[..]
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