Feed aggregator

Your Kids Eat Way Too Much Sugar, and the Week’s Other Revelations

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 6:12pm
We’re proud to bring NextDraft—the most righteous, most essential newsletter on the web—to WIRED.com. The post Your Kids Eat Way Too Much Sugar, and the Week's Other Revelations appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

British Companies Are Selling Advanced Spy Tech To Authoritarian Regimes

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 6:00pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Since early 2015, over a dozen UK companies have been granted licenses to export powerful telecommunications interception technology to countries around the world, Motherboard has learned. Many of these exports include IMSI-catchers, devices which can monitor large numbers of mobile phones over broad areas. Some of the UK companies were given permission to export their products to authoritarian states such as Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, and Egypt; countries with poor human rights records that have been well-documented to abuse surveillance technology. In 2015, the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) started publishing basic data about the exportation of telecommunications interception devices. Through the Freedom of Information Act, Motherboard obtained the names of companies that have applied for exportation licenses, as well as details on the technologies being shipped, including, in some cases, individual product names. The companies include a subsidiary of defense giant BAE Systems, as well as Pro-Solve International, ComsTrac, CellXion, Cobham, and Domo Tactical Communications (DTC). Many of these companies sell IMSI-catchers. IMSI-catchers, sometimes known as "Stingrays" after a particularly popular brand, are fake cell phone towers which force devices in their proximity to connect. In the data obtained by Motherboard, 33 licenses are explicitly marked as being for IMSI-catchers, including for export to Turkey and Indonesia. Other listings heavily suggest the export of IMSI-catchers too: one granted application to export to Iraq is for a "Wideband Passive GSM Monitoring System," which is a more technical description of what many IMSI-catchers do. In all, Motherboard received entries for 148 export license applications, from February 2015 to April 2016. A small number of the named companies do not provide interception capabilities, but defensive measures, for example to monitor the radio spectrum.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Game|Life Podcast: No Man’s Sky, Deus Ex and Other Controversies

Wired - Top Stories - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 5:35pm
Cut features, delays, and other weirdness on this episode of WIRED's gaming podcast. The post Game|Life Podcast: No Man's Sky, Deus Ex and Other Controversies appeared first on WIRED.
Categories: Open Source, Technology

Hillary Clinton Used BleachBit To Wipe Emails

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 5:20pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Neowin: The open-source disk cleaning application, BleachBit, got quite a decent ad pitch from the world of politics after it was revealed lawyers of the presidential hopeful, Hillary Clinton, used the software to wipe her email servers. Clinton is currently in hot water, being accused of using private servers for storing sensitive emails. "[South Carolina Representative, Trey Gowdy, spoke to Fox News about Hillary Clinton's lawyers using BleachBit to wipe the private servers. He said:] 'She and her lawyers had those emails deleted. And they didn't just push the delete button; they had them deleted where even God can't read them. They were using something called BleachBit. You don't use BleachBit for yoga emails or bridesmaids emails. When you're using BleachBit, it is something you really do not want the world to see.'" Two of the main features that are listed on the BleachBit website include "Shred files to hide their contents and prevent data recovery," and "Overwrite free disk space to hide previously deleted files." These two features would make it pretty difficult for anyone trying to recover the deleted emails. Slashdot reader ahziem adds: The IT team for presidential candidate Hillary Clinton used the open source cleaning software BleachBit to wipe systems "so even God couldn't read them," according to South Carolina Rep. Trey Gowdy on Fox News. His comments on the "drastic cyber-measure" were in response to the question of whether emails on her private Microsoft Exchange Server were simply about "yoga and wedding plans." Perhaps Clinton's team used an open-source application because, unlike proprietary applications, it can be audited, like for backdoors. In response to the Edward Snowden leaks in 2013, privacy expert Bruce Schneier advised in an article in which he stated he also uses BleachBit, "Closed-source software is easier for the NSA to backdoor than open-source software." Ironically, Schneier was writing to a non-governmental audience. Have any Slashdotters had any experience with BleachBit? Specifically, have you used it for erasing "yoga emails" or "bridesmaids emails?"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Spotify calls report that it demotes songs in search due to artists' exclusives with rivals "unequivocally false" (Peter Kafka/Recode)

TechMeme - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 5:10pm

Peter Kafka / Recode:
Spotify calls report that it demotes songs in search due to artists' exclusives with rivals “unequivocally false”  —  Spotify doesn't like exclusives.  But it says it won't bury Frank Ocean and other acts in its search results.  —  Spotify doesn't like it when big-name acts take their music to Apple or Tidal first.

Categories: Technology

SpaceX Dragon Returns Home From ISS

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 4:40pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Florida Today: A SpaceX Dragon capsule that helped prepare the International Space Station for future commercial astronaut flights has returned to Earth after a stay of more than month-long mission. A robotic arm released the unmanned capsule packed with 3,000 pounds of cargo at 6:11 a.m. EDT, then fired thrusters several times to move a safe distance away from the station orbiting about 250 miles up. The departure began a less than six-hour journey that culminated in a Pacific Ocean splashdown at 11:47 a.m. EDT, about 300 miles southwest of Baja, California. The Dragon launched from Cape Canaveral early July 18 on a Falcon 9 rocket and berthed at the station two days later. Among the cargo brought back from space Friday were a dozen mice from a Japanese science experiment -- the first brought home alive in a Dragon. Samples from mice euthanized as part of an experiment by pharmaceutical company Eli Lilly also were on board. Results were returned from an experiment that studied the behavior of heart cells in microgravity, and from research into the composition of microbes in the human digestive system, NASA said. Findings from both could help keep astronauts healthy during deep space exploration missions. SpaceX plans to launch a Falcon 9 rocket from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station next Saturday, Sept. 3.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Sprint Charging 'Unlimited' Users $20 More for Unthrottled Video

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 4:01pm
Sprint has a new "unlimited" data plan for users that want to watch videos in full-HD (1080p) screen resolution. Dubbed "Unlimited Freedom Premium" plan, it offers the same features as the "Unlimited Freedom" plan with the bonus of allowing users to stream videos in full-HD. Also, it costs $20 extra. DSLReports points out the obvious:Last week we noted that Sprint unveiled its new Unlimited Freedom plan, which provides unlimited text, voice and data for $60 a month for one line, $40 a month for a second line, and $30 a month for every line thereafter (up to a maxiumum of 10). But the plan also, following on T-Mobile's heels, throttles all video by default to 480p, a move that has raised the hackles of net neutrality advocates.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Everything we know about the secretive NSO Group and its founder Omri Lavie, who are behind the latest iPhone hacks (Thomas Fox-Brewster/Forbes)

TechMeme - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 3:40pm

Thomas Fox-Brewster / Forbes:
Everything we know about the secretive NSO Group and its founder Omri Lavie, who are behind the latest iPhone hacks  —  NSO Group employees' lives must seem no different from others in the Israeli tech scene.  They turn up every morning at their office in Herzelia, in Tel Aviv's northern district …

Categories: Technology

Amazon Is Testing a 30-Hour, 75% Salary Workweek

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 3:21pm
Amazon is planning a pilot program in which a select group of workers will need to work for 30 hours a week, instead of the usual 40 to 70 hours, and make 75 percent of the salary + benefits (alternate source). From the report:Currently, the pilot program will be small, consisting of a few dozen people. These teams will work on tech products within the human resources division of the company, working Monday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with additional flex hours. Their salaries will be lower than 40-hour workers, but they will have the option to transition to full-time if they choose. Team members will be hired from inside and outside the company. As of now, Amazon does not have plans to alter the 40-hour workweek on a companywide level, the spokesman said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Belgians Are Hunting Books, Instead Of Pokemon

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 2:42pm
An anonymous reader shares a Reuters report:Inspired by the success of Pokemon Go, a Belgian primary school headmaster has developed an online game for people to search for books instead of cartoon monsters, attracting tens of thousands of players in weeks. While with Pokemon Go, players use a mobile device's GPS and camera to track virtual creatures around town, Aveline Gregoire's version is played through a Facebook group called "Chasseurs de livres" ("Book hunters"). Players post pictures and hints about where they have hidden a book and others go to hunt them down. Once someone has finished reading a book, they "release" it back into the wild. "While I was arranging my library, I realized I didn't have enough space for all my books. Having played Pokemon Go with my kids, I had the idea of releasing the books into nature," Gregoire told Reuters. Though it was only set up a few weeks ago, more than 40,000 people are already signed up to Gregoire's Facebook group.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Alphabet's Nest Wants to Build a 'Citizen-Fueled' Power Plant

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 2:00pm
Mark Chediak, reporting for Bloomberg:Alphabet Inc's Nest Labs is looking to enlist enough customers in California to free up as much power as a small natural gas-fired plant produces, helping alleviate potential energy shortages in the region following a massive gas leak that has restricted supplies. Nest, which supplies digital, wireless thermostats, is partnering with Edison International's Southern California Edison utility to get households enrolled in a state-established energy conservation program. The company wants to attract 50,000 customers through next summer that could shrink their total demand by as much as 50 megawatts when needed, Ben Bixby, Nest's director of energy businesses at Nest, said by phone. "We are building a citizen-fueled clean power plant," he said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Going smart is the home stager’s latest trick

ReadWriteWeb - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 1:44pm

Real estate franchise Coldwell Banker has signed a supplier agreement with Worthington Group, which will supply a “Smart Home Staging Kit” to affiliated real estate agents to make the house “smart home ready.”

The current staging kit consists of six devices – a Nest Smart Thermostat, a Nest Protect smoke alarm and a Nest security camera, as well as an August Smart Lock and Connect package and a Lutron Caséta wireless lighting starter kit.

Worthington Group already sells the staging kit for $1,195, but Coldwell Banker affiliated associates can sell the kit for $1,000. Home sellers can also opt-in for Pro.com service to install the devices.

In the future, Worthington Group may add new devices and alternatives to the staging kit. Having an alternative to Lutron will be the largest request, we would assume, considering Philips and LIFX are more popular for smart lighting services.

Coldwell Banker survey showed big interest

Coldwell Banker spotted the interest in smart home devices in a survey, where 35 percent of respondents said they associate smart home tech with a move-in ready home. It is aiming for the millennial generation as well, 50 percent said smart home tech would attract them to a house.

See Also: Future hackers might freeze you out til you pay up

Once all six devices are connected, Coldwell Banker will add a Smart Home icon to the house on its online real estate service. It did not say if the value of the house would rise once the staging kit is installed, though some insurance providers are lowering rates for customers that own smart home devices like the Nest smart thermostat.

“Smart Home technology is a consumer driven movement,” said Coldwell Banker CEO, Sean Blankenship. “Our research confirms this technology has a positive influence in the appeal of a home—and agents agree. Our homes, like cars, are providing convenience and a sense of security like never before. We want to bring the two together for our customers.”

The post Going smart is the home stager’s latest trick appeared first on ReadWrite.

Categories: Technology

Dropbox Is Urging Users To Reset Their Passwords

Slashdot - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 1:20pm
Dropbox is forcing a number of users to change their passwords after the cloud storage company found some account details linked to an old data breach. "The next time you visit dropbox.com, you may be asked to create a new password. We proactively initiated this password update prompt for Dropbox users who meet certain criteria," the company writes on its website. Fortune reports: The popular cloud storage said the move was related to the theft of an old set of Dropbox credentials, dating back to 2012. So the users the company has contacted are those who created Dropbox accounts before mid-2012 and have not updated their passwords since that time. Dropbox disclosed in July 2012 that some users were getting spammed, and the cause appeared to be the theft of usernames and passwords from other websites. As is often the case, some people reuse their usernames and passwords across different web services. (If it still needs saying, you really shouldn't reuse your passwords, ever.)

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Open Source, Technology

Cloud-based IT management startup Apptio files for IPO, shows $129.3M in 2015 revenue, up 21% YoY, $41M loss, up from $32.9M in 2014 (John Cook/GeekWire)

TechMeme - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 1:15pm

John Cook / GeekWire:
Cloud-based IT management startup Apptio files for IPO, shows $129.3M in 2015 revenue, up 21% YoY, $41M loss, up from $32.9M in 2014  —  Another Seattle area technology company is looking to test the IPO waters.  —  Bellevue, Wash.-based Apptio, which makes software to help CIOs better manage …

Categories: Technology

Sources: Twitter is working on an anti-harassment tool to let users filter posts using keywords (Sarah Frier/Bloomberg)

TechMeme - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 11:20am

Sarah Frier / Bloomberg:
Sources: Twitter is working on an anti-harassment tool to let users filter posts using keywords  —  Abuse has led to depature of several high-profile users  —  New solution is similar to Instagram's keyword-based filter  —  Twitter Inc. is working on a keyword-based tool that will let people filter …

Categories: Technology

Facebook open sources three computer vision tools that can identify objects within photos: DeepMask, SharpMask, and MultiPathNet (Nick Statt/The Verge)

TechMeme - Fri, 08/26/2016 - 10:50am

Nick Statt / The Verge:
Facebook open sources three computer vision tools that can identify objects within photos: DeepMask, SharpMask, and MultiPathNet  —  DeepMask and SharpMask are now open source  —  Facebook is open sourcing a set of computer vision software tools that can identify both the variety and the shape of objects within photos.

Categories: Technology