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Top US Lobbyist Wants Broadband Data Caps

quantr Re:Help us Google Fiber! You're our only hope. (568 comments)

yeah man been in a lot of other countries and people 'run out' of their data within a week for a month period if they use netflix.

about 9 months ago
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China Arrests Anti-Corruption Blogger

quantr Re:News For Nerds (113 comments)

you can read an article and with basic reading comprehension skills discover he posted articles on the internet. internet is technology. internet uses computers. computers are technology. get with the program!

about 10 months ago
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AT&T sees slowdown in iPhone activations

quantr Re:What a story (2 comments)

No it is a story. ATT is not doing as well as they claim. Where's your non-story?

more than 2 years ago

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China Bans Financial Companies From Bitcoin Transactions

quantr quantr writes  |  about 8 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "China’s central bank barred financial institutions from handling Bitcoin transactions, moving to regulate the virtual currency after an 89-fold jump in its value sparked a surge of investor interest in the country.
Bitcoin plunged more than 20 percent to below $1,000 on the BitStamp Internet exchange after the People’s Bank of China said it isn’t a currency with “real meaning” and doesn’t have the same legal status. The public is free to participate in Internet transactions provided they take on the risk themselves, it said.
The ban reflects concern about the risk the digital currency may pose to China’s capital controls and financial stability after a surge in trading this year made the country the world’s biggest trader of Bitcoin, according to exchange operator BTC China. Bitcoin’s price jumped more than ninefold in the past two months alone, prompting former Federal Reserve Chairman Alan Greenspan to call it a “bubble.”
“The concern is that it interferes with normal monetary policy operation,” said Hao Hong, head of China research at Bocom International Holdings Co. in Hong Kong. “It represents an unofficial leakage to the current monetary system and trades globally. It is difficult to regulate and could be used for money laundering. I think the central bank is right to make this move.”
Bitcoin prices plunged to $875 at 6:02 p.m. Shanghai time on BitStamp, an Internet-based exchange where the currency is traded for dollars, euros and other currencies. They closed at a record high of $1,132.01 yesterday. On the Mt.Gox exchange, the currency traded at $901, down from today’s high of $1,240. Prices dropped to as low as 4,521.1 yuan on BTC China, after rising as high as 7,050 yuan."

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Google Puts Money on Robots, Using the Man Behind Android

quantr quantr writes  |  about 8 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Over the last half-year, Google has quietly acquired seven technology companies in an effort to create a new generation of robots. And the engineer heading the effort is Andy Rubin, the man who built Google’s Android software into the world’s dominant force in smartphones.
The company is tight-lipped about its specific plans, but the scale of the investment, which has not been previously disclosed, indicates that this is no cute science project.
At least for now, Google’s robotics effort is not something aimed at consumers. Instead, the company’s expected targets are in manufacturing — like electronics assembly, which is now largely manual — and competing with companies like Amazon in retailing, according to several people with specific knowledge of the project.
A realistic case, according to several specialists, would be automating portions of an existing supply chain that stretches from a factory floor to the companies that ship and deliver goods to a consumer’s doorstep.
“The opportunity is massive,” said Andrew McAfee, a principal research scientist at the M.I.T. Center for Digital Business. “There are still people who walk around in factories and pick things up in distribution centers and work in the back rooms of grocery stores.”
Google has recently started experimenting with package delivery in urban areas with its Google Shopping service, and it could try to automate portions of that system. The shopping service, available in a few locations like San Francisco, is already making home deliveries for companies like Target, Walgreens and American Eagle Outfitters.
Perhaps someday, there will be automated delivery to the doorstep, which for now is dependent on humans.
“Like any moonshot, you have to think of time as a factor,” Mr. Rubin said. “We need enough runway and a 10-year vision.”
Mr. Rubin, the 50-year-old Google executive in charge of the new effort, began his engineering career in robotics and has long had a well-known passion for building intelligent machines. Before joining Apple Computer, where he initially worked as a manufacturing engineer in the 1990s, he worked for the German manufacturing company Carl Zeiss as a robotics engineer.
“I have a history of making my hobbies into a career,” Mr. Rubin said in a telephone interview. “This is the world’s greatest job. Being an engineer and a tinkerer, you start thinking about what you would want to build for yourself.”
He used the example of a windshield wiper that has enough “intelligence” to operate when it rains, without human intervention, as a model for the kind of systems he is trying to create. That is consistent with a vision put forward by the Google co-founder Larry Page, who has argued that technology should be deployed wherever possible to free humans from drudgery and repetitive tasks.
The veteran of a number of previous Silicon Valley start-up efforts and twice a chief executive, Mr. Rubin said he had pondered the possibility of a commercial effort in robotics for more than a decade. He has only recently come to think that a range of technologies have matured to the point where new kinds of automated systems can be commercialized."

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Bitcoin's skyrocketing value ushers in era of $1 million hacker heists

quantr quantr writes  |  about 8 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "A company billing itself as one of Europe's biggest Bitcoin exchanges said it suffered a coordinated attack that succeeded in stealing almost $1 million worth of the digital currency, marking the latest in a string of high-stakes heists hitting companies that hold large sums online.
Kris Henriksen, CEO of Denmark-based Bitcoin Internet Payment Services (BIPS), made that claim last week in a Web post that said the attack began as a distributed denial-of-service (DDoS) attack. Two days later, Henriksen said, the same attackers targeted the BIPS network again and managed to use the damage they previously inflicted to somehow tamper with the channel that connects BIPS data storage systems to company servers.
"On November 15, BIPS was the target of a massive DDoS attack, which is now believed to have been the initial preparation for a subsequent attack on November 17 that overloaded our managed switches and disconnected the iSCSI connection to the SAN on BIPS servers," the CEO wrote. "Regrettably, despite several layers of protection, the attack caused vulnerability to the system, which has then enabled the attacker/s to gain access and compromise several wallets."
The missing funds totaled 1,295 BTC, or about $1 million, according to a post on Coindesk, which cited this block in the official Bitcoin ledger. BIPS quickly closed its Bitcoin wallet service for consumers after discovering the theft. It advised existing users to transfer their bitcoins to competing wallet services and pledged to notify all users affected by the security breach.
The BIPS attack is at least the third major heist to hit Bitcoin services this month. In early November, the founder of Australia-based inputs.io said the service was robbed of 4,100 bitcoins—valued at about $1.2 million—in two separate attacks. China-based Bitcoin exchange GBL reportedly vanished with $4.1 million worth of customers' digital currency. Another Chinese exchange, BTC China, has also sustained massive DDoS attacks that are costing it dearly, according to an article published Tuesday by Wired."

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HP, Google Suspend Chromebook 11 Sales After Overheating Reports

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Google Inc. (GOOG) and Hewlett-Packard Co. (HPQ) are halting sales of the Chromebook 11 laptop after some users reported overheating power supplies, a setback for the devices that have been gaining momentum with consumers.
The companies said in a statement yesterday that they are suspending sales of the laptop at Best Buy Co., the Google Play Store, Amazon.com Inc. and other outlets, and cautioned customers who have bought the laptop to avoid using the charger and get another one instead. The decision followed eight reports of overheating, some of which mentioned the charger melted, according to people with knowledge of the matter, who asked not to be identified because the details aren’t public. There were no reports of fires, the people said.
“We are working with the Consumer Product Safety Commission to identify the appropriate corrective action, and will provide additional information and instructions as soon as we can,” the companies said in a blog post, without elaborating on when they would begin selling the device again. “We apologize for the inconvenience.”
Chromebooks, often priced at less than $500, run Google’s Chrome operating system, which is software that emphasizes Web browsing, video and the company’s online software for word processing and other tasks. Google has been adding new manufacturing partners as demand rises for the laptops. The devices snagged 3.3 percent of the market for back-to-school shoppers in the U.S. between June 30 and Sept. 7, up from zero a year earlier, according to the NPD Group."

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Retrial to decide Samsung's damages for Apple

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Apple is set for a replay of a court fight against Samsung Electronics in which the iPhone maker may seek to recoup more than the $411 million in damages a judge cut from a $1.05 billion jury award in 2012 over patents.
Jury selection was under way Tuesday in San Jose, in a retrial over how much Samsung should pay for infringement of Apple's intellectual property. The original verdict in August 2012, which was the year's largest in the U.S. at the time, was found by a judge to be flawed because jurors miscalculated the period that the infringement occurred for some of the 28 Samsung devices on trial.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will instruct jurors at the outset of the retrial that the previous nine-member jury found Samsung infringed five valid Apple patents and that their "sole job" is to determine the amount of damages Samsung must pay for the infringement of 13 Samsung products.
While Apple hasn't said how much it will seek, this jury's revision of the damages to properly account for the infringement may result in more than the $410.6 million subtracted from the previous award, according to Carl Howe, an analyst with Yankee Group.
"The argument at this point is simply about how much Samsung must pay Apple," Howe said. "In my view, there is no chance that the penalties assessed will be small; the argument is just over whether they will be big or huge."Apple is set for a replay of a court fight against Samsung Electronics in which the iPhone maker may seek to recoup more than the $411 million in damages a judge cut from a $1.05 billion jury award in 2012 over patents.
Jury selection was under way Tuesday in San Jose, in a retrial over how much Samsung should pay for infringement of Apple's intellectual property. The original verdict in August 2012, which was the year's largest in the U.S. at the time, was found by a judge to be flawed because jurors miscalculated the period that the infringement occurred for some of the 28 Samsung devices on trial.
U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh will instruct jurors at the outset of the retrial that the previous nine-member jury found Samsung infringed five valid Apple patents and that their "sole job" is to determine the amount of damages Samsung must pay for the infringement of 13 Samsung products.
While Apple hasn't said how much it will seek, this jury's revision of the damages to properly account for the infringement may result in more than the $410.6 million subtracted from the previous award, according to Carl Howe, an analyst with Yankee Group.
"The argument at this point is simply about how much Samsung must pay Apple," Howe said. "In my view, there is no chance that the penalties assessed will be small; the argument is just over whether they will be big or huge.""

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Apple maps: how Google lost when everyone thought it had won

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Apple's maps have turned out to be a hit with iPhone and iPad users in the US — despite the roasting that they were given when they first appeared in September 2012.
But Google — which was kicked off the iPhone after it refused to give Apple access to its voice-driven turn-by-turn map navigation — has lost nearly 23m mobile users in the US as a result.
That is a huge fall against the 81m Google Maps mobile users it had there at its peak in September last year, according to ComScore, a market research company, which produced the figures from regular polls of thousand of users.
The introduction of Apple's own maps with its iOS 6 software in September 2012 caused a furore after it emerged that they were littered with errors. A location in Ireland named "Airfield" was marked as an airport, Paddington station had vanished, and Helsinki railway station was — it seemed — a park. The company was panned, and chief executive Tim Cook made a public apology.
But a year on, a total of 35m iPhone owners in the US used Apple's maps during September 2013, according to ComScore, compared to a total of 58.7m Google Maps across the iPhone and Android.
Of those, about 6m used Google Maps on the iPhone, according to calculations by the Guardian based on figures from ComScore. That includes 2m iPhone users who have not or cannot upgrade to iOS 6, according to data from MixPanel.
That suggests Google's efforts to offer a stand-alone app since December have gained little traction with iPhone users.
"Google has lost access to a very, very important data channel in the North American market," commented Ben Wood, mobile analyst for CCS Insight, a research company based in London. "But Apple was adamant that it wasn't going to give up on doing its own maps, even when it had problems. This is a war of attrition.""

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This Chef Taught Herself How To Catch Hackers Then Got A Great Job As A Computer

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "You hear a lot about self-taught programmers. And sometimes you hear about self-taught hackers, kids with a knack for computers that turn to the dark side.
But today we bring you the story of a woman who taught herself how to catch hackers.
In one big jump, Ashley Hamilton changed careers from a line cook at a popular San Francisco eatery to a computer security guru. She didn't know how to program. She didn't know how to hack. But by studying books, using some free websites and entering contests, she learned.
Today, Hamilton is an application security engineer for WhiteHat Security in Santa Clara, Calif. But in 2011, she was working at San Francisco restaurant Locanda. She went to culinary school and had been cooking for her whole career."

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Bill Gates: Internet Will Not Save the World

quantr quantr writes  |  about 8 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "The internet is not going to save the world, says the Microsoft co-founder, whatever Mark Zuckerberg and Silicon Valley's tech billionaires believe. But eradicating disease just might.
Bill Gates describes himself as a technocrat. But he does not believe that technology will save the world. Or, to be more precise, he does not believe it can solve a tangle of entrenched and interrelated problems that afflict humanity's most vulnerable: the spread of diseases in the developing world and the poverty, lack of opportunity and despair they engender. "I certainly love the IT thing," he says. "But when we want to improve lives, you've got to deal with more basic things like child survival, child nutrition."
These days, it seems that every West Coast billionaire has a vision for how technology can make the world a better place. A central part of this new consensus is that the internet is an inevitable force for social and economic improvement; that connectivity is a social good in itself. It was a view that recently led Mark Zuckerberg to outline a plan for getting the world's unconnected 5 billion people online, an effort the Facebook boss called "one of the greatest challenges of our generation". But asked whether giving the planet an internet connection is more important than finding a vaccination for malaria, the co-founder of Microsoft and world's second-richest man does not hide his irritation: "As a priority? It's a joke."
Then, slipping back into the sarcasm that often breaks through when he is at his most engaged, he adds: "Take this malaria vaccine, [this] weird thing that I'm thinking of. Hmm, which is more important, connectivity or malaria vaccine? If you think connectivity is the key thing, that's great. I don't.""

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FAA Says You Don't Have to Shut Off Your Electronics On Flights Anymore

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "After years of will they or won't they, the US Department of Transportation's Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has finally given permission for airlines to allow passenger to use personal electronics for the entirety of their flights. Translation: You don't have to shut down your phone anymore. Finally."
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Now Amazon Is Just Giving Money Away

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Amazon is really rubbing it in. Notorious for its willingness to lose money to drive ever-increasing sales, the company said Wednesday that it is now giving customers the option to donate 0.5 percent of the price of many purchases to charity through a new project called Amazon Smile.
The process is pretty easy: Customers go to smile.amazon.com and choose a charity.Amazon (AMZN) suggests a few, such as the American Red Cross and the Nature Conservancy. From that point on, the donations are sent automatically. There isn’t a cap on how much money Amazon will send to charities, but the program does exclude digital items such as Kindle books and recurring Subscribe-and-Save purchases or subscription renewals. “Nearly all physical products are eligible,” says a company spokesperson via e-mail.
This cuts into Amazon’s profit margins, of course, or it would if it had them."

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U.S. Losing 'Cyberwar,' Ex-Intel Chief Tells BGov Conference

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "The former U.S. director of intelligence says the country is fighting a cyber-war and losing, and wonders if it will take a “cyber Pearl Harbor” to take the steps needed to protect crucial computer systems.
Mike McConnell, now vice chairman of contractor Booz Allen Hamilton Holding Corp., told a Bloomberg Government cybersecurity conference today that he has been giving the same speech for 20 years and still not enough has been done.
“We’ll get it right, but it will be messy,” McConnell said. “We have the capability. We do not have the legal framework and we do not have the will.”
Efforts to get businesses to agree to voluntary steps have failed because companies are concerned they could be subject to lawsuits demanding that those rules become permanent, McConnell said.
In addition, privacy advocates want to limit the amount of information the government can collect, he said.
“We can do amazing things,” McConnell said, “The problem is we have to solve the privacy issue. The debate will be privacy versus security.”
Booz Allen employed Edward Snowden as a contractor to the National Security Agency. Snowden leaked top-secret NSA documents about electronic surveillance. Snowden was fired after reports based on the documents appeared in newspapers, and he has been indicted on federal charges of espionage and theft."

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How Texas Lost the World's Largest Super Collider

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "The international operation of CERN marked a monumental success in this respect. To prove the existence of the Higgs boson, which has been contentiously described as the “God particle,” required $9 billion, ten years of study, thousands of careers, and a seventeen-mile collider ring which bores out of the earth on the Franco-Swiss border. At fourteen Terraelectron volts (TeV), it is the most energetic super collider ever built, and also one of the largest, most complex scientific experiments in history. Many have called it a modern-day cathedral.
And it should have been built in Texas.
Five-thousand miles southwest of Geneva, just outside Waxahachie, Texas, are the remnants of a super collider whose energy and circumference—true to American sensibility—would have dwarfed those of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider. Nobody doubts that the 40 TeV Superconducting Super Collider (SSC) in Texas would have discovered the Higgs boson a decade before CERN. The collider’s tunnel would have entrenched Waxahachie in a topographical oval that curved east before the southern Dallas County line, then running southwest under Bardwell Lake and curving north at Onion Creek. Since Congress canceled the project twenty years ago, on October 21, 1993, Waxahachie has witnessed the bizarre and disquieting history of its failure."

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Big data busts out: Geek-built bra hits the market

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "True&Co.'s algorithm-built bra has hit the market. Its She Walks in Beauty (Light)collection is based on information collected from more than 200,000 women who have taken a "fit quiz" and on their personal responses after the at-home try-on and purchasing process.
True&Co.co-founder Michelle Lam provided ample commentary to Fast Company this past week as part of the marketing blitz for the sexiest big data product ever. The company has identified 6,000 distinct body types (not good news for high school boys trying to work with their hands behind someone else's back).
"Big data is not the answer to everything. But the design process is not just a machine spitting out a spec," Lam told Fast Company. Ladies and gentleman (but mostly ladies), welcome to the world of the "perfect" 34C."

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Federal Prosecutors, in a Policy Shift, Cite Warrantless Wiretaps as Evidence

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "The Justice Department for the first time has notified a criminal defendant that evidence being used against him came from a warrantless wiretap, a move that is expected to set up a Supreme Court test of whether such eavesdropping is constitutional.
Prosecutors filed such a notice late Friday in the case of Jamshid Muhtorov, who was charged in Colorado in January 2012 with providing material support to the Islamic Jihad Union, a designated terrorist organization based in Uzbekistan.
Mr. Muhtorov is accused of planning to travel abroad to join the militants and has pleaded not guilty. A criminal complaint against him showed that much of the government’s case was based on e-mails and phone calls intercepted under a 2008 surveillance law.
The government’s notice allows Mr. Muhtorov’s lawyer to ask a court to suppress the evidence by arguing that it derived from unconstitutional surveillance, setting in motion judicial review of the eavesdropping.
The New York Times reported on Oct. 17 that the decision by prosecutors to notify a defendant about the wiretapping followed a legal policy debate inside the Justice Department.
The debate began in June when Solicitor General Donald B. Verrilli Jr. discovered that the department’s National Security Division did not notify criminal defendants when eavesdropping without a warrant was an early link in an investigative chain that led to evidence used in court. As a result, none of the defendants knew that they had the right to challenge the warrantless wiretapping law.
The practice contradicted what Mr. Verrilli had told the Supreme Court last year in a case challenging the law, the FISA Amendments Act of 2008. Legalizing a form of the Bush administration’s program of warrantless surveillance, the law authorized the government to wiretap Americans’ e-mails and phone calls without an individual court order and on domestic soil so long as the surveillance is “targeted” at a foreigner abroad.
A group of plaintiffs led by Amnesty International had challenged the law as unconstitutional. But Mr. Verrilli last year urged the Supreme Court to dismiss the case because those plaintiffs could not prove that they had been wiretapped. In making that argument, he said a defendant who faced evidence derived from the law would have proper legal standing and would be notified, so dismissing the lawsuit by Amnesty International would not close the door to judicial review of the 2008 law. The court accepted that logic, voting 5-to-4 to dismiss the case."

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Argentine scientists tap cow burps for natural gas

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Argentine scientists have found a way to transform the gas created by the bovine digestive system into fuel, an innovation that could curb greenhouse gases that cause global warming.
Using a system of valves and pumps, the experimental technique developed by Argentina's National Institute of Agricultural Technology (INTA) channels the digestive gases from bovine stomach cavities through a tube and into a tank.
The gases — which otherwise are commonly known as burps, or "eruptos" in Spanish — are then processed to separate methane from other gases such as carbon dioxide.
Methane is the main component of natural gas, used to fuel everything from cars to power plants.
"Once you get it compressed, it's the same as having natural gas," said Guillermo Berra, head of INTA's animal physiology group.
"As an energy source it is not very practical at the moment, but if you look ahead to 2050, when fossil fuel reserves are going to be in trouble, it is an alternative," he told Reuters.
Each head of cattle emits between 250 and 300 liters of pure methane a day, enough energy to keep a refrigerator running for 24 hours.

Argentina is one of the world's top beef exporters, with around 51 million heads of cattle. Gases emitted from those animals account for 30 percent of the country's total greenhouse gas emissions, according to INTA, with methane having 23 times the global warming effect as carbon dioxide."

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New Apple Os Mavericks Corrects NSA Address Book Spying Issue

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Apple's new operating system, OS X Mavericks, doesn't just offer a spiffed up Web browser and extended battery life. It may also help protect you from the National Security Agency.
Hours after Mavericks was released on Tuesday, Stanford University computer science PhD student Jonathan Mayer identified a change in the way the new operating system syncs Apple Contacts with Google accounts. Updates to address books in Mavericks are apparently now sent only in encrypted form, Mayer said, fixing a vulnerability that may have left some users' information exposed to government spying.
"The speculation seems to be that this is one of the ways in which the NSA was able to collect Google address book information," Mayer told HuffPost. "Certainly to the extent the NSA was doing simple keyword searches on the content of unencrypted Web traffic."

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Facebook backtracks again on decision to allow controversial beheading video

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Facebook has altered its stance on the issue of violent viral videos once again. Yesterday, it emerged that the social network was allowing clips of beheadings to be shared on users' news feeds after a six-month moratorium, taking the stance that "Facebook has long been a place where people turn to share their experiences, particularly when they're connected to controversial events on the ground." But now Facebook has performed another U-turn by removing a graphic clip that depicts a beheading allegedly carried out in Mexico, as noted by All Things D.

In a statement, Facebook says that it now considers the video in question to "improperly and irresponsibly glorify violence." The company previously used that line of reasoning as justification for keeping the video online in the first place, arguing that "if the video were being celebrated, or the actions in it encouraged, our approach would be different."

While Facebook appears to have changed its mind on the merits of certain content, it will still allow violent clips that have been uploaded for the purpose of condemnation. However, it now asks that users "do so in a responsible manner, carefully selecting their audience and warning them about the nature of the content so they can make an informed choice about it." The company had previously hinted that it would consider implementing a system of advance warnings for graphic content."

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Controversial cyber threat bill CISPA may return to Congress

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "After suffering defeat this spring, the controversial legislation aimed at preventing cyber threats, CISPA, may be returning to the Senate. According to Mother Jones, two senators are now working on a new version of the bill that looks to curb some of the concerns that kept it from initially passing. The goal of the bill will still be to make it easier for private companies to share information with the government regarding cyber threats, however the type of information that can be shared will reportedly be narrower in scope this time around.
As the legislation is still being written, it's not clear exactly how different its updated form will be. Mother Jones reports that Senators Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) and Saxby Chambliss (R-GA) are working together to draft the bill. "The goal is to allow and encourage the sharing only of information related to identifying and protecting against cyber threats, and not the communications and commerce of Americans," Feinstein's office tells Mother Jones in a statement. Feinstein in particular has been a major proponent for facilitating this type of sharing, having also been in support of expanding FISA."

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Accidentally Revealed Document Shows TSA Doesn't Think Terrorists Are Plotting

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Jonathan Corbett, a long-time vocal critic of TSA body scanners, has been engaged in a lawsuit against the government concerning the constitutionality of those scanners. In the course of the case, the TSA gave him classified documents, which he was ordered not to reveal. In using some of that information to make his case, he needed to file two copies of his brief: a public one with classified stuff redacted, and the full brief under seal, for the government and the courts to look at. Just one problem: someone over at Infowars noticed that apparently a clerk at the 11th Circuit appeals court forgot to file the document under seal, allowing them to find out what was under the redactions... Included in there is the following, apparently quoted from the TSA's own statements:
“As of mid-2011, terrorist threat groups present in the Homeland are not known to be actively plotting against civil aviation targets or airports; instead, their focus is on fundraising, recruiting, and propagandizing.”
Elsewhere, the TSA appears to admit that "due to hardened cockpit doors and the willingness of passengers to challenge hijackers," it's unlikely that there's much value in terrorists trying to hijack a plane these days (amusingly, that statement is a clear echo of Bruce Schneier's statement criticizing the TSA's security theater — suggesting that the TSA flat out knows that airport security is nothing more than such theatrics).

Elsewhere, in the redacted portions, the TSA is quoted as admitting that "there have been no attempted domestic hijackings of any kind in the 12 years since 9/11.""

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How Apple's Address Book app could allow the NSA to harvest your contacts

quantr quantr writes  |  about 9 months ago

quantr (1722336) writes "Overlooked in last week's revelation that the National Security Agency is harvesting hundreds of millions of e-mail address books around the world was this surprising factoid: Apple makes this mass collection easier because the Address Book app that by default manages Mac contacts doesn't use HTTPS encryption when syncing with Gmail accounts.
As a result, addresses that automatically travel between Macs and Google servers are sent as plain text, independent privacy researcher Ashkan Soltani wrote in The Washington Post last Monday. He provided the above screenshot demonstrating that Address Book contents appear in the clear to anyone who has the ability to monitor traffic over a Wi-Fi network or other connection. His observation came 15 months after another Mac user also warned that the Mac app offered no way to enable HTTPS when syncing e-mail address lists with Gmail.
"It appears that it's an Apple issue," Soltani told Ars, referring to the inability to enable HTTPS when Apple's Address Book is updated to a user's Gmail account. "Their other products support Gmail over via HTTPS, so I suspect it would be a three-line fix in the contacts to alleviate this problem."
In fairness to Apple, Soltani pointed to this description of the Google contacts programming interface, which was officially discontinued in April 2012. It indicated HTTP as the sync mechanism for address books. It's possible Apple developers haven't updated their code since Google introduced the change. It's also possible the lack of HTTPS encryption will be fixed in Mavericks, the upcoming version of Mac OS X that Apple is expected to unveil Tuesday.
Once the current version of Address Book is configured to sync with Google's popular e-mail service, the Apple app checked in about once an hour on Macs Soltani tested. Anytime the app contained an address not found in Gmail, it would send the data unencrypted. Interestingly, the program uses the HTTPS protocol to cryptographically authenticate the machine advertising itself as a Gmail server, but the app goes on to send the addresses in plain text over an unencrypted HTTP connection, he said."

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  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>