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Delhi Uber passenger who alleges driver rape sues in U.S (Dan Levine/Reuters)

TechMeme - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 7:00pm

Dan Levine / Reuters:
Delhi Uber passenger who alleges driver rape sues in U.S  —  (Reuters) - A passenger who said she had been raped by an Uber driver in India's capital sued the online car service in U.S. federal court on Thursday, claiming the company failed to maintain basic safety procedures.

Categories: Technology

FTC shuts down "revenge porn" operation, but imposes no fine (Jeff John Roberts/Gigaom)

TechMeme - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:35pm

Jeff John Roberts / Gigaom:
FTC shuts down “revenge porn” operation, but imposes no fine  —  In one of the most despicable scams on the internet, Colorado resident Craig Brittain ran a website that posted nude photographs of hundreds of women alongside their Facebook profiles and other personal information …

Categories: Technology

D-Link Routers Vulnerable To DNS Hijacking

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:27pm
An anonymous reader writes At least one and likely more D-Link routers as well as those of other manufacturers using the same firmware are vulnerable to remote changing of DNS settings and, effectively, traffic hijacking, a Bulgarian security researcher has discovered. Todor Donev, a member of the Ethical Hacker research team, says that the vulnerability is found in the ZynOS firmware of the device, D-Link's DSL-2740R ADSL modem/wireless router. The firmware in question is implemented in many networking equipment manufactured by D-Link, TP-Link Technologies and ZTE.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Imgur introduces new tool to make high-quality GIFs from streaming video like YouTube (Jacob Kastrenakes/The Verge)

TechMeme - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:15pm

Jacob Kastrenakes / The Verge:
Imgur introduces new tool to make high-quality GIFs from streaming video like YouTube  —  Imgur's new tool makes the most beautiful GIFs on the web  —  Imgur has been on a quest to upgrade the GIF, and part of that means making GIFs look a whole lot nicer.

Categories: Technology

CyLon, Europe's first cyber security incubator launches in London (Natasha Lomas/TechCrunch)

TechMeme - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:10pm

Natasha Lomas / TechCrunch:
CyLon, Europe's first cyber security incubator launches in London  —  Europe Gets A Cyber Security Incubator  —  London's — and Europe's — crowded startup accelerator scene is getting a new addition.  Not fintech-related, this time.  Rather the focus is cyber security.

Categories: Technology

Spire Plans To Use Tiny Satellites For More Accurate Weather Forecasts

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 6:06pm
Zothecula writes Weather forecasting is a notoriously inexact science. According to San Francisco-based tech startup Spire, this is partially because there are currently less than 20 satellites responsible for gathering all of the world's weather data – what's more, some of the older ones are using outdated technology. Spire's solution? Establish a linked network of over 100 shoebox-sized CubeSats, that will use GPS technology to gather 100 times the amount of weather data than is currently possible. The first 20 of those satellites are scheduled to launch later this year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

FSF-Endorsed Libreboot X200 Laptop Comes With Intel's AMT Removed

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:43pm
gnujoshua (540710) writes "The Free Software Foundation has announced its endorsement of the Libreboot X200, a refurbished Lenovo ThinkPad X200 sold by Gluglug. The laptop ships with 100% free software and firmware, including the FSF's endorsed Trisquel GNU/Linux and Libreboot. One of the biggest challenges overcome in achieving FSF's Respects Your Freedom certification was the complete removal of Intel's ME and AMT firmware. The AMT is a controversial proprietary backdoor technology that allows remote access to a machine even when it is powered off. Quoting from the press release: "The ME and its extension, AMT, are serious security issues on modern Intel hardware and one of the main obstacles preventing most Intel based systems from being liberated by users. On most systems, it is extremely difficult to remove, and nearly impossible to replace. Libreboot X200 is the first system where it has actually been removed, permanently," said Gluglug Founder and CEO, Francis Rowe."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

'Anonymized' Credit Card Data Not So Anonymous, MIT Study Shows

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 5:12pm
schwit1 writes Scientists showed they can identify you with more than 90 percent accuracy by looking at just four purchases, three if the price is included — and this is after companies "anonymized" the transaction records, saying they wiped away names and other personal details. The study out of MIT, published Thursday in the journal Science, examined three months of credit card records for 1.1 million people. "We are showing that the privacy we are told that we have isn't real," study co-author Alex "Sandy" Pentland of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, said in an email.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Despite All The Buzz, Truly Connected Cars Are Still Years Away

ReadWriteWeb - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 4:47pm

ReadWriteDrive is an ongoing series covering the future of transportation.

Every year, cars become a bigger deal at the annual Consumer Electronics Show. Demonstration of self-driving and game-like dashboard wizardry—from the likes of Mercedes, Ford, Volkswagen and Audi—were inescapable in Las Vegas at the 2015 event earlier this month.

You might logically conclude that, at last, this is the year of the connected car. Think again.

There’s little doubt that drivers want to maintain connectivity to the Web, social media and streaming infotainment in cars. But so-called innovations like app-based car keys, or using a television to set up your driving route, seem like solutions in search of problems that don’t exist.

Moreover, much of the gimmicky car technology at CES reveals how far we are from car connectivity that matters where it counts the most: in the actual driving experience.

I visited the show for signs that I could soon toss away the $15 plastic dashboard mount that keeps my smartphone in view from behind the wheel. That’s how I currently access my favorite navigation app, stream music, and (when fully stopped at a stoplight) check email or texts. Even if carmakers, Apple, or Google could integrate mobile communications safely into my car, that’s merely the easy precursor to truly meaningful car connectivity. But we’re not even there yet.

Conflicting Protocols

Charles Koch, a manager of new business development at American Honda, said the 2014 rollout of Honda’s Siri-based hands free functionality was a “tough launch.” Speaking at the Consumer Telematics Show 2015, held concurrent with CES, he told me:

When you bring these environments into the car, inevitably they are conflicting with other protocols that are happening in the [car’s dashboard] head unit. That’s going to take a while to straighten out.

Honda is not alone in needing time to work out technical and user experience challenges that have delayed integration with Apple and Google technology. “Everybody is having a really tough time,” he said, referring to delays faced by Mercedes and BMW. “What it taught us is that it’s very difficult to sew together all these different operating systems when they are not created at the same time.”

Chip Goetzinger, a connectivity manager at Nissan, agreed that it’s a challenge for competing systems to manage things “like arbitration of the audio stream coming out of the speakers.” For example, what happens when you’re streaming music from a Bluetooth-paired phone and the phone rings? What if, at the same time, you’re relying on voice-based navigation commands as you speed toward a highway exit that is quickly approaching?

“You need something to tie all the pieces together,” said Andy Poliak, director of business development at QNX, a BlackBerry unit that provides car-based software. “Whether it’s fast access to a backup camera, or dealing with a device’s microphone versus the car’s microphone and speaker, or warning indicators,” he said. “All of these things need to blend. You need a close coupling between all these devices, cloud backend applications, and embedded systems.”

Now, Add Business Conflicts

While the engineers and HMI experts are working out these issues, business managers at car companies and web companies have yet to sort out the core nature of their collaborations. “We’re in the business of building and selling cars, and the experience of the vehicle,” said Nissan’s Goetzinger. He rattled off these questions: “What is the experience like? Is it consistent with our brand? Who owns the data? What data do you have access to? Do we share the data?”

Without these answers, it will be tough for the auto industry to develop a robust connected car strategy. We’re not talking about the music streaming and social media I can already get by pairing my phone to the car—but the more vibrant connectivity that combines the vehicle’s core computer systems with services that help me navigate, fuel, park and maintain my car.

“It’s not Facebook. It’s not Twitter. And it’s not one of your streaming audio services,” said Goetzinger. “It’s going to be vehicle health information, remote access to information about the vehicle and your driving experience. We’re going to be in the business of pulling in information about the vehicle that only we can access or know.”

I don’t expect carmakers to gladly hand their brand and the monetization of this data over to Google and Apple.

Smart Cars Need Smart Cities

The plot gets even thicker, because as Bryan Mistel, chief executive of Inrix, told me in Vegas: “The connected car cannot happen without smart cities.”

Inrix is perhaps the most important connected car company you never heard of. It’s a 10-year-old outfit spun off from traffic prediction software at Microsoft. Inrix is getting data from—and sending it back to—navigation systems in 185 million cars.

The company, whose partner list that includes Audi, BMW, Ford, Mercedes, Toyota, Tesla and Volkswagen, uses hundreds of additional data sources to derive dynamic real-time information about traffic, fuel prices, parking and weather. That gets combined with data from car computers about speed, location, and heading—and even data points about windshield wipers and traction control.

When you add analytics to this big and deep data, you have the makings of true car connectivity. Finally, think about the power of community to provide an exponential increase in driver-generated content. It will come with apps like Waze that allow users to report roadside hazards or the presence of police.

It’s the value of the network effect that prompted Google to acquire Waze in 2013 for $1 billion. And that’s why companies like Cisco, IBM and Intel are so interested in this space.

By the end of CES, I started hearing rumors about these types of old guard technology companies, holding meetings in Vegas in hotel suites far from the floor of the convention center. I suspect that the future of car connectivity, still years away, is being built in these discussions between high-tech infrastructure companies, automakers and web startups—miles away from the buzz of the CES showroom floor.

Lead photo by Ford Europe

Categories: Technology

VP Anthony Moschella Shows Off Makerbot's Latest Printers and Materials (Video)

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 4:28pm
You may have read a few weeks ago about the new materials that MakerBot has introduced for its 3-D printers; earlier this month, I got a chance to see some of them in person, and have them explained by MakerBot VP of Product Anthony Moschella in a cramped demo closet — please excuse the lighting — at the company's booth at CES. Moschella had some things to say about materials, timelines, and what MakerBot is doing to try to salvage its open-source cred, despite being a very willing part of a corporate conspiracy to sell boxes of Martha Stewart-branded extruder filament — as well as a few unremarkable things that the company's ever-vigilant PR overseer decreed Moschella couldn't answer on the record for reasons like agreements between MakerBot parent Stratasys and their suppliers. The good news for owners of recent MakerBot models: they'll be upgradeable to use the new and interesting materials with a part swap, rather than a whole-machine swap (it takes a "smart extruder" rather than the current, dumber one). And the pretty good news for fans of open source, besides that the current generation of MakerBots are all Linux-based computers themselves, is that MakerBot's open API provides a broad path for 3-D makers to interact with the printers. (The bad news is that there's no move afoot to return the machines' guts to open source hardware, like the early generations of MakerBots, but STL files at least don't care whether you ship them to an FSF-approved printer to be made manifest.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Microsoft to Invest in Android Startup Cyanogen, Says Report

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 4:26pm

Microsoft will be investing $70 million in Cyanogen, the startup that makes a popular Android ROM, according to a new report from The Wall Street Journal. The investment would make Microsoft a minority investor in a round of funding that puts Cyanogen’s value in the high hundreds of millions.

The post Microsoft to Invest in Android Startup Cyanogen, Says Report appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

US Air Force Selects Boeing 747-8 To Replace Air Force One

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 3:46pm
Tyketto writes Following up on a previous story about its replacement, the US Air Force has selected the Boeing 747-8 to replace the aging Presidential fleet of two VC-25s, which are converted B747-200s. With the only other suitable aircraft being the Airbus A380, the USAF cited Boeing's 50-year history of building presidential aircraft as their reason to skip competition and opt directly for the aircraft, which due to dwindling sales and prospects, may be the last 747s to be produced.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

China’s New Rules for Selling Tech to Banks Have US Companies Spooked

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 3:21pm

Technology companies that want to sell equipment to Chinese banks have to submit to extensive audits, turn over source code, and build “back doors” into their hardware and software---presumably so that the Chinese government have the ability peek into computer banking systems.

The post China’s New Rules for Selling Tech to Banks Have US Companies Spooked appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Ask Slashdot: When and How Did Europe Leapfrog the US For Internet Access?

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 2:50pm
New submitter rsanford, apropos today's FCC announcement about what is officially consided "broadband" speed by that agency, asks In the early and middle 90's I recall spending countless hours on IRC 'Trout-slapping' people in #hottub and engaging in channel wars. The people from Europe were always complaining about how slow their internet was and there was no choice. This was odd to me, who at the time had 3 local ISPs to choose from, all offering the fastest modem connections at the time, while living in rural America 60 miles away from the nearest city with 1,000 or more people. Was that the reality back then? If so, what changed, and when?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

When Robots Beam Down From the Cloud

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 2:42pm

It’s been over 20 years since Larry Ellison made the case for cloud computing. Some speculate he only invented the idea to get at Bill Gates, the dominance of the PC and the then-newly released Windows 95. Even if the motivation had a personal edge, the point is that he had a strong case. As […]

The post When Robots Beam Down From the Cloud appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Mozilla Dusts Off Old Servers, Lights Up Tor Relays

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 2:09pm
TechCurmudgeon writes According to The Register, "Mozilla has given the Tor network a capacity kick with the launch of 14 relays that will help distribute user traffic. Engineers working under the Foundation's Polaris Project inked in November pulled Mozilla's spare and decommissioned hardware out of the cupboard for dedicated use in the Tor network. It included a pair of Juniper EX4200 switches and three HP SL170zG6 (48GB ram, 2*Xeon L5640, 2*1Gbps NIC) servers, along with a dedicated existing IP transit provider (2 X 10Gbps). French Mozilla engineer Arzhel Younsi (@xionoxfr) said its network was designed to fall no lower than half of its network capacity in the event of maintenance or failure. The Polaris initiative was a effort of Mozilla, the Tor Project and the Centre for Democracy and Technology to help build more privacy controls into technology."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Prosecutors Trace $13.4M in Bitcoins From the Silk Road to Ulbricht’s Laptop

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 1:55pm

If anyone still believes that bitcoin is magically anonymous internet money, the U.S. government just offered what may be the clearest demonstration yet that it’s not. A courtroom powerpoint presentation traced hundreds of thousands of bitcoins from the Silk Road anonymous marketplace for drugs directly to the personal computer of Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old accused of running that contraband bazaar.

The post Prosecutors Trace $13.4M in Bitcoins From the Silk Road to Ulbricht’s Laptop appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

FCC Officially Approves Change In the Definition of Broadband

Slashdot - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 1:28pm
halfEvilTech writes As part of its 2015 Broadband Progress Report, the Federal Communications Commission has voted to change the definition of broadband by raising the minimum download speeds needed from 4Mbps to 25Mbps, and the minimum upload speed from 1Mbps to 3Mbps, which effectively triples the number of US households without broadband access. Currently, 6.3 percent of US households don't have access to broadband under the previous 4Mpbs/1Mbps threshold, while another 13.1 percent don't have access to broadband under the new 25Mbps downstream threshold.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

One of F1’s Greatest Partnerships Ever Reveals Its New Rocket

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 1:26pm

McLaren has dropped Mercedes as an engine supplier in favor of a rekindling with its long-lost flame. The result is the MP4-30, the only car on the grid to be fitted with Honda's RA615H Hybrid Power Unit.

The post One of F1’s Greatest Partnerships Ever Reveals Its New Rocket appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

To Adjust This Standing Desk’s Height, Just Hold Out Your Hand

Wired - Top Stories - Thu, 01/29/2015 - 12:45pm

The TableAir is a variable-height workspace that uses a sensor to detect the height of an outstretched hand, then moves the desk surface up to match it.

The post To Adjust This Standing Desk’s Height, Just Hold Out Your Hand appeared first on WIRED.

Categories: Open Source, Technology