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FBI Director Says Prolific Default Encryption Hurting Government Spying Efforts

Slashdot - 58 min 31 sec ago
SonicSpike quotes a report from ABC News: FBI Director James Comey warned again Tuesday about the bureau's inability to access digital devices because of encryption and said investigators were collecting information about the challenge in preparation for an "adult conversation" next year. Widespread encryption built into smartphones is "making more and more of the room that we are charged to investigate dark," Comey said in a cybersecurity symposium. The remarks reiterated points that Comey has made repeatedly in the last two years, before Congress and in other settings, about the growing collision between electronic privacy and national security. "The conversation we've been trying to have about this has dipped below public consciousness now, and that's fine," Comey said at a symposium organized by Symantec, a technology company. "Because what we want to do is collect information this year so that next year we can have an adult conversation in this country." The American people, he said, have a reasonable expectation of privacy in private spaces -- including houses, cars and electronic devices. But that right is not absolute when law enforcement has probable cause to believe that there's evidence of a crime in one of those places, including a laptop or smartphone. "With good reason, the people of the United States -- through judges and law enforcement -- can invade our private spaces," Comey said, adding that that "bargain" has been at the center of the country since its inception. He said it's not the role of the FBI or tech companies to tell the American people how to live and govern themselves. "We need to understand in the FBI how is this exactly affecting our work, and then share that with folks," Comey said, conceding the American people might ultimately decide that its privacy was more important than "that portion of the room being dark." Comey made his remarks to the 2016 Symantec Government Symposium. The Daily Dot has another take on Comey's remarks, which you can read here.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Study: 33% of Facebook Users Want Less News In Their Feed

Slashdot - 1 hour 38 min ago
An anonymous reader writes from a report via Business Insider: According to a survey of 526 random Facebook users conducted by Spot.IM, 33% of Facebook users in the U.S. want to see fewer news articles in their feeds. The survey comes at a time when Facebook is desperately trying to improve the quality of publisher articles that gain traction on its platform. Here are some important takeaways from the study: Older people are likelier to want less news in their Facebook feeds. While 33% of all respondents indicated there was too much news and shared links in their Facebook feeds, the majority of this group was individuals aged 30 or older. Those 30-44 (37%), 45-59 (36%), and 60+ (36%) said they want less news in their feeds. Young Facebook users enjoy consuming news on social media. While middle-aged and older Facebook users don't like seeing news in their feeds, those aged 18-29 were much more interested and excited to see even more news articles on Facebook. 32% of respondents in this group wanted to see more news, while just 21% wanted less. This is an encouraging sign for publishers who want to reach a new generation of news consumers. The majority of people don't care about how much news they see on Facebook. Overall, 51% of all surveyed said they simply don't care if more or less news shows up in their Facebook feeds. A study conducted in June by Columbia University says that 59% of people don't even read the articles they share.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google to undercut Uber in San Francisco with new ride-sharing service

Arstechnica - 2 hours 3 sec ago

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On Tuesday, The Wall Street Journal said a “person familiar with the matter” confirmed that Google would be moving into the ride-sharing market currently dominated by Uber and, to a lesser extent, Lyft. The source said that since May, Google has been testing a feature that lets Google employees and employees of other nearby firms in the Bay Area organize carpools through Waze, a mapping and traffic app purchased by Google in 2013.

The report noted that this new service would be different from Uber and Lyft in that it would only try to connect people who are already going in the same direction, offering rates low enough to discourage drivers from operating like taxis. The service will only be available in San Francisco at the beginning.

According to the WSJ, Waze’s drivers in the closed pilot test only make 54 cents a mile, although Google doesn’t take a cut as Uber and Lyft do.

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Google To Take On Uber With New Ride-Share Service

Slashdot - 2 hours 18 min ago
Finally, a major company is planning to compete with Uber in the ride-sharing service space. The Wall Street Journal reports today that Google is planning to debut its own ride-hailing service in San Francisco at "far cheaper rates." (Editor's note: the link could be paywalled, here's an alternate source.) The Mountain View-based company began a pilot program around its California headquarters in May, and enabled several thousand area workers at specific firms to use the Waze navigation app to connect with fellow commuters. Expect Google's service in the coming weeks, says the report. One key difference in Google's approach is that it aims to connect riders with drivers who are already headed in the same direction. The project is in compliance with Waze's aims to "make fares low enough to discourage drivers from operating as taxi drivers." From the report: Still, Google's push into ride-sharing could portend a clash with Uber, a seven-year-old firm valued at roughly $68 billion that largely invented the concept of summoning a car with a smartphone app. Google and Uber were once allies -- Google invested $258 million in Uber in 2013 -- but increasingly see each other as rivals. Alphabet executive David Drummond said Monday that he resigned from Uber's board because of the increasing competition between the companies. Uber, which has long used Google's mapping software for its ride-hailing service, recently began developing its own maps.Game on, Uber.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Companies Are Developing More Apps With Fewer Developers

Slashdot - 2 hours 58 min ago
Fortune reports that the "yawning gap in tech skills" has resulted in a surprising shift in supply and demand in the software industry. And in many companies now, a growing trend of developer jobs being given to non-developers can be seen. From the article: That's because a relatively new technology, known as low-code or no-code platforms, is now doing a big chunk of the work that high-priced human talent used to do. Low-code platforms are designed so that people with little or no coding or software engineering background -- known in the business as "citizen developers" -- can create apps, both for use in-house and for clients. Not surprisingly, the low-code platform industry, made up of about 40 small companies (so far), is growing like crazy. A recent Forrester Research report put its total revenues at about $1.7 billion in 2015, a figure that's projected to balloon to $15 billion in the next four years. Low-code-platform providers, notes Forrester, are typically seeing sales increases in excess of 50% a year.The report cites QuickBase, a company whose low-code platforms are used by half of the Fortune 500 companies, as an example. Its CEO Allison Mnookin says that almost any employee can now do most or all of the same work that developers used to do. Mnookin adds that there's a big advantage in this. "Opening an app's development to the non-techies who need the app removes misunderstandings between the IT department and other employees about what the end user needs."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Officials blame “sophisticated” Russian hackers for voter system attacks

Arstechnica - 3 hours 16 min ago

Sophisticated hackers use the command line with their pinkies raised and wear cashmere balaclavas.

The profile of attacks on two US state voter registration systems this summer presented in an FBI "Flash" memo suggests that the states were hit by a fairly typical sort of intrusion. But an Arizona official said that the Federal Bureau of Investigation had attributed an attack that succeeded only in capturing a single user's login credentials to Russian hackers and rated the threat from the attack as an "eight on a scale of ten" in severity. An Illinois state official characterized the more successful attack on that state's system as "highly sophisticated" based on information from the FBI.

Arizona Secretary of State Office Communications Director Matt Roberts told the Post's Ellen Nakashima that the FBI had alerted Arizona officials in June of an attack by Russians, though the FBI did not state whether they were state-sponsored or criminal hackers. The attack did not gain access to any state or county voter registration system, but the username and password of a single election official was stolen. Roberts did not respond to requests from Ars for clarification on the timeline and other details of the attack.

Based on the details provided by Roberts to the Post, it's not clear if the Arizona incident was one of the two referred to in the FBI "Flash" published this month. The FBI has not responded to questions about the memorandum on the attacks first published publicly by Yahoo News' Michael Isikoff, but a SQL injection attack wouldn't seem to be the likely culprit for stealing a single username and password. It's more likely that the Gila County election official whose credentials were stolen was the victim of a phishing attack or malware.

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The most absurd Internet privacy class-action settlement ever

Arstechnica - 3 hours 32 min ago

(credit: Neon Tommy)

In 2013, Yahoo announced that it would begin scanning its users' e-mail for targeted advertising purposes—just as Google does. As is par for the course, class-action lawsuits were filed. The Silicon Valley media giant, according to one of the lawsuits, was violating the "personal liberties" of non-Yahoo Mail users. That's because non-Yahoo Mail users, who have sent mail to Yahoo mail users, were having their e-mail scanned without their permission.

"Plaintiff and the Class are among the multitude of U.S. residents who have sent electronic communications or emails to a Yahoo Mail user or users, and whose personal liberties have been, and continue to be, intruded upon when these private communications are read or, in the alternative, eavesdropped upon by Yahoo," the lawsuit read. (PDF) The suit said that Yahoo's new scanning policies adopted under Yahoo chief Marissa Mayer violated federal and state privacy laws and that Yahoo's e-mail scanning regime "seriously threatens the free exercise of personal liberties, and is of the type of behavior that the U.S. Congress and the California Legislature has declared should not be tolerated in a free and civilized society."

The suit, which was one of six that were co-mingled as a single class action, demanded that a judge halt the scanning and award each victim "$5,000 or three times actual damages" in addition to "reasonable attorneys' fees and costs."

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Europe's Net Neutrality Doesn't Ban BitTorrent Throttling

Slashdot - 3 hours 38 min ago
Millions of Europeans will have to do with throttling on BitTorrent. The Body of European Regulators of Electronic Communication (BEREC) published its guidelines for Europe's net neutrality rules on Tuesday in which it hasn't challenged the BitTorrent throttling practices by many ISPs. TorrentFreak reports:Today, BEREC presented its final guidelines on the implementation of Europe's net neutrality rules. Compared to earlier drafts it includes several positive changes for those who value net neutrality. For example, while zero-rating isn't banned outright, internet providers are not allowed to offer a "sub Internet" service, where access to only part of the Internet is offered for 'free.' However, not all traffic is necessarily "neutral." ISPs are still allowed to throttle specific categories for "reasonable" network management purposes.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google+ gets a new look that might make you care - CNET

CNET NEWS - 3 hours 54 min ago
Google's social network gets a redesign that might convince people to use it. All users will see the new interface by default.

Father and son map the Faroe Islands with DIY gear - CNET

CNET NEWS - 3 hours 57 min ago
Google Maps hasn't made it to the Faroe Islands yet, so one father and son team took matters into their own hands.

Apple decries 'unprecedented' $14.5B tax bill from EU - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 5 min ago
The European Commission claims Apple paid an effective corporate tax rate of just 0.005 percent in 2014. Apple says the ruling has "no basis in fact or in law."

Arya actress: It'd be cool to kill off this character on 'Game of Thrones' - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 18 min ago
Maisie Williams says she'd like to have her character cross another major name off her list before the hit show ends.

Mitsubishi Overstated Mileage For More Vehicle Models, Japan Ministry Says

Slashdot - 4 hours 18 min ago
Earlier this year Mitsubishi admitted to using some less-than-correct tactics when calculating the fuel economy of four of its Japanese market vehicles. But that wasn't the end of the scandal. The Japanese transport ministry has announced that its investigation into Mitsubishi's practices has revealed eight additional vehicles with misreported fuel economy numbers. Reuters reports: Earlier in the day, Japan's transport ministry said its investigation had shown the automaker had overstated the fuel economy for eight vehicles including the RVR, Pajero and Outlander SUV models, in addition to four minivehicles initially confirmed in April. The latest announcement deals another reputational blow to Japan's sixth-largest automaker, which has been struggling to recover from the mileage scandal, which affected two minivehicle models produced for Nissan Motor Co Ltd. The company's market value has tumbled since the scandal broke, and the ordeal prompted the company to seek financial assistance from Nissan, which agreed to buy a controlling one-third stake for $2.2 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Mitsubishi Says Overstated Mileage For More Vehicle Models

Slashdot - 4 hours 18 min ago
Earlier this year Mitsubishi admitted to using some less-than-correct tactics when calculating the fuel economy of four of its Japanese market vehicles. But that wasn't the end of the scandal. The Japanese transport ministry has announced that its investigation into Mitsubishi's practices has revealed eight additional vehicles with misreported fuel economy numbers. Reuters reports: Earlier in the day, Japan's transport ministry said its investigation had shown the automaker had overstated the fuel economy for eight vehicles including the RVR, Pajero and Outlander SUV models, in addition to four minivehicles initially confirmed in April. The latest announcement deals another reputational blow to Japan's sixth-largest automaker, which has been struggling to recover from the mileage scandal, which affected two minivehicle models produced for Nissan Motor Co Ltd. The company's market value has tumbled since the scandal broke, and the ordeal prompted the company to seek financial assistance from Nissan, which agreed to buy a controlling one-third stake for $2.2 billion.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Tablet sales: What goes down must come up - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 29 min ago
Yes, demand for tablets will continue to plummet for the rest of the year, says IDC. The big surprise? Sales will rebound in 2018 as companies shift away from PCs, says IDC.

Uber teams with Visa on Local Offers rewards program - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 34 min ago
Spend with your Visa card to get $10 rewards for Uber rides.

The next fight between Megaupload and the US will be livestreamed

Arstechnica - 4 hours 35 min ago

Kim Dotcom. (credit: Kim Dotcom)

The battle between the US and Kim Dotcom over whether he should face criminal copyright charges is coming to a screen near you.

No, the movie rights haven't been sold (yet). The Internet mogul who ran the once-dominant cyberlocker site Megaupload has won the right to livestream his next court battle online.

Dotcom was arrested and charged in 2012, but the battle over whether he can be extradited from his home in New Zealand has dragged on. In December, a New Zealand judge finally said that Dotcom should be sent to the Eastern District of Virginia to face federal charges that he facilitated copyright infringement by promoting piracy on his website.

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General Motors recalls nearly 400,000 SUVs for windshield wipers - Roadshow

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 38 min ago
Random wiper failure sounds like a recipe for some hairy rain driving.

VW diesel owners are taking the money and running - Roadshow

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 42 min ago
Most folks that signed up for the Dieselgate settlement have chosen the buyback option.

The EU wants Apple to pay $14.5 billion in back taxes, and Tim Cook isn't happy about it - CNET

CNET NEWS - 4 hours 42 min ago
The EU says Apple didn't pay enough taxes for profits in Europe, but Apple insists it meets its tax obligations and plans to appeal.
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