+ - 705 UK police seek data access 'every two minutes'->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: British police forces made 733,237 requests to view communications data over a three-year period, according to a new report by campaign group Big Brother Watch.

Communications data includes the "who, where and when" — but not the actual content — of personal texts, emails, phone calls and web searches.

It amounted to one request almost every two minutes, the group said.

The Home Office said the data is a "vital tool" for public safety.

Currently the police have to issue a request within their own force before they are allowed to contact the holder of the data they seek — such as an internet service provider or mobile phone company.

Link to Original Source

+ - 184 US airport screeners missed 95% of weapons, explosives in undercover tests

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: An internal investigation by the TSA found that 95% of those testing airport checkpoints were able to bring weapons through at dozens of airports. In one case, an alarm sounded, but during the pat down, the screener failed to detect a fake plastic explosive taped to the undercover agent's back. ABC reports: "Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson was apparently so frustrated by the findings he sought a detailed briefing on them last week at TSA headquarters in Arlington, Virginia, according to sources. U.S. officials insisted changes have already been made at airports to address vulnerabilities identified by the latest tests. 'Upon learning the initial findings of the Office of Inspector General's report, Secretary Johnson immediately directed TSA to implement a series of actions, several of which are now in place, to address the issues raised in the report,' the DHS said in a written statement to ABC News."

+ - 463 Cinnamon 2.6 Is a Massive Update With Performance Improvements->

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa writes: The Linux Mint team has just announced that Cinnamon 2.6 desktop environment is considered stable and ready to download. It is a big update. The load times have been greatly improved and unnecessary calculations in the window management part are dropped, leading to 40% reduction in the number of CPU wakes per second. Other improvements include a screensaver that does more than just lock the screen, panels that can be removed or added individually, a much better System Settings panel that should make things much clearer, a cool new effect for windows, and a brand new plugin manager for Nemo. Linux Mint users will receive the new Cinnamon as an update by the end of the month.
Link to Original Source

+ - 263 MIT's new 3d printing process lead to print flexible actuators for future robots

Submitted by jan_jes
jan_jes writes: MIT Researchers have developed a new way of making tough — but soft and wet — biocompatible materials, called “hydrogels,” into complex and intricately patterned shapes. The process might lead to injectable materials for delivering drugs or cells into the body; scaffolds for regenerating load-bearing tissues; or tough but flexible actuators for future robots. The new process is described in a paper in the journal Advanced Materials.

+ - 450 Blackberry defeats Typo in court, Typo to discountinue sales of keyboard.

Submitted by juniorkindergarten
juniorkindergarten writes: Blackberry and Typo have reached a final settlement that effectively ends Typo selling its iphone keyboard accessory.
Blackberry took Typo to court for twice for patent infringement over the copying of Blackberry's keyboard design. Blackberry and Typo first battled it out in court, with Typo losing for copying the Blackberry Q10 keyboard design. Typo redesigned its keyboard and again Blackberry sued them for patent infringement.
The final results are that Typo cannot sell keyboards for screens less than 7.9", but can still sell keyboards for the ipad and ipad air. Exact terms were not disclosed

+ - 171 TSA Scores 95% on Airport Breach Tests Failures->

Submitted by cmarkn
cmarkn writes: Homeland Security agents posing as passengers were able get weapons past TSA agents in 67 out of 70 tests—a 95 percent failure rate, according to agency officials. The acting head of the Transportation Security Administration has been reassigned.

"The numbers in these reports never look good out of context, but they are a critical element in the continual evolution of our aviation security," Homeland Security officials said in a statement. They didn't mention what context could make this look good.

This isn't the first time TSA officers have failed to detect fake terrorists and their weapons. However, this time, TSA agents reached a new low, failing to detect almost everything. But at least they're protecting us from cannolis being carried onto planes.

Link to Original Source

+ - 207 Cure for cancer one step closer after 'spectacular' breakthrough->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: The treatment, known as immunotherapy, uses the body's immune system to attack cancerous cells. Researchers say it could replace chemotherapy as the standard treatment for cancer within five years.

A series of studies show that the drugs are effective against some of the most deadly tumours, including those of the lung, bowel, liver and head.

Patients who could expect to live for just a matter of months under existing treatments, could see their tumours completely destroyed and go on to enjoy a normal lifespan under the new treatment.

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+ - 192 Foxconn offers Electric Car rental service in China->

Submitted by Taco Cowboy
Taco Cowboy writes: The world's largest electronics contract manufacturer, Taiwan-based Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn), plans to expand its electric-car rental business in ten more cities in China after the business started in Beijing last year

Since the beginning of this year, Hon Hai has launched similar services in Hangzhou and Changzhou in the eastern provinces of Zhejiang and Jiangsu respectively. Guiyang in southwest Guizhou province will start operations with 100 electric vehicles in July

The electric-car rental service is activated through the company's smartphone app, website and the WeChat platform. Customers will be able to use the car with a QR code sent to their smartphones after orders are confirmed. The company works with Alipay for online payment

The new-generation electric vehicles will be equipped with internet connectivity which warns drivers of low battery and shows the nearest charging station beforehand. The first priority is to solve charging problems for users, the company said

Also on http://www.digitimes.com/news/...

Link to Original Source

+ - 199 GlowBowl Lighting Makes Your Tinkle Twinkle At Night-> 1

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid writes: It's definitely not as creepy as Tony The Toilet Buddy from Better Call Saul, this latest Kickstarter project is definitely puts the "whiz" in gee-whiz. GlowBowl is an LED-light for your toilet that is seems to be aimed at males, because females probably won't have a use for such a product (and probably think it's too childish to boot), that bathes your toilet water in seven selectable colors. The GlowBowl simply attaches to your toilet bowl like any garden variety toilet fresher and serves as a night light so you don't have to sear your retinas with the fancy pants LED lighting in your overhead bathroom fixtures during late night pee runs. And if you simply can't settle on one single color for your last night "exit stream," there is a carousel mode that will cycle through all seven colors every four seconds.
Link to Original Source

+ - 285 Netflix Is Experimenting with Advertising ->

Submitted by derekmead
derekmead writes: Netflix is experimenting with advertisements that run both before and after users watch a video. It's unclear whether or not the company will eventually push ads to everyone.

For now, the company is primarily experimenting with the HBO model of pitching its own original programming to viewers. The company is only showing trailers for shows like Orange Is the New Black and House of Cards—it has not attempted to sell third party ads, and the company told me that, for the moment, only specific users in specific markets are seeing ads.

Link to Original Source

+ - 231 Cybersecurity and the Tylenol Murders

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: Cindy Cohn writes at EFF that when a criminal started lacing Tylenol capsules with cyanide in 1982, Johnson & Johnson quickly sprang into action to ensure consumer safety. It increased its internal production controls, recalled the capsules, offered an exchange for tablets, and within two months started using triple-seal tamper-resistant packaging. Congress ultimately passed an anti-tampering law but the focus of the response from both the private and the public sector was on ensuring that consumers remained safe and secure, rather than on catching the perpetrator. Indeed, the person who did the tampering was never caught.

According to Cohn the story of the Tylenol murders comes to mind as Congress considers the latest cybersecurity and data breach bills. To folks who understand computer security and networks, it's plain that the key problem are our vulnerable infrastructure and weak computer security, much like the vulnerabilities in Johnson & Johnson’s supply chain in the 1980s. As then, the failure to secure our networks, the services we rely upon, and our individual computers makes it easy for bad actors to step in and “poison” our information. The way forward is clear: We need better incentives for companies who store our data to keep it secure. "Yet none of the proposals now in Congress are aimed at actually increasing the safety of our data. Instead, the focus is on “information sharing,” a euphemism for more surveillance of users and networks," writes Cohn. "These bills are not only wrongheaded, they seem to be a cynical ploy to use the very real problems of cybersecurity to advance a surveillance agenda, rather than to actually take steps to make people safer." Congress could step in and encourage real security for users—by creating incentives for greater security, a greater downside for companies that fail to do so and by rewarding those companies who make the effort to develop stronger security. "It's as if the answer for Americans after the Tylenol incident was not to put on tamper-evident seals, or increase the security of the supply chain, but only to require Tylenol to “share” its customer lists with the government and with the folks over at Bayer aspirin," concludes Cohn. "We wouldn’t have stood for such a wrongheaded response in 1982, and we shouldn’t do so now."

+ - 162 Google smart thread woven into existing clothing to create smart wearables->

Submitted by monkeyzoo
monkeyzoo writes: Google is developing smart thread for smart fabrics that can be used by existing clothing designers and manufacturers as part of wearable computers. Called Project Jacquard, the yarn is conductive and can be woven invisibly on industrial looms to create touchpad surfaces that feel like normal fabric. Button sized computers connect with the touch surfaces and can communicate with mobile phones or other devices. The yarns "combine thin, metallic alloys with natural and synthetic yarns like cotton, polyester, or silk, making the yarn strong enough to be woven on any industrial loom." "Project Jacquard makes it possible to weave touch and gesture interactivity into any textile using standard, industrial looms," said Google. "Designers can use it as they would any fabric, adding new layers of functionality to their designs, without having to learn about electronics. Developers will be able to connect existing apps and services to Jacquard-enabled clothes and create new features specifically for the platform." Levi's announced that it is partnering with Google on the project.
Link to Original Source

+ - 197 Ransomware creator apologizes for 'sleeper' attack, releases decryption keys->

Submitted by colinneagle
colinneagle writes: Last week, a new strain of ransomware called Locker was activated after having been sitting silently on infected PCs. Security firm KnowBe4 called Locker a "sleeper" campaign that, when the malware's creator "woke it up," encrypted the infected devices' files and charged roughly $24 in exchange for the decryption keys. This week, an internet user claiming to be the creator of Locker publicly apologized for the campaign and appears to have released the decryption keys for all the devices that fell victim to it, KnowBe4 reported in an alert issued today. Locker's creator released this message in a PasteBin post, along with a link to a file hosted on Mega.co containing the decryption keys. The malware creator also said that an automatic decryption process for all devices that were affected by Locker will begin June 2nd.

However, the post did not mention anything about providing a refund to victims who paid the 0.1 bitcoin (equal to $22.88 at the time this was posted and about $24 last week) required for the decryption keys since last week.

KnowBe4 CEO Stu Sjouwerman says the files released do not appear to be malicious after brief analysis, and that "it does contain a large quantity of RSA keys and Bitcoin addresses." But he warned those interested to only open these files "at your own risk until further analyses are performed." Sjouwerman speculated that the malware creator may have been spooked by attention from law enforcement or Eastern European organized crime syndicates that are behind most ransomware campaigns.

Link to Original Source

+ - 166 MIT Physicists Build World's First Fermion Microscope->

Submitted by Zothecula
Zothecula writes: Researchers working at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) claim to have created a method to better observe fermions – the sub-atomic building blocks of matter – by constructing a microscope capable of viewing them in groups of a thousand at a time. A laser technique is used to herd the fermions into a viewing area and then freeze them in place so all of the captured particles can be imaged simultaneously.
Link to Original Source

+ - 175 What do you wish you'd known when starting your first 'real' job?->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: ITworld's Josh Fruhlinger asked seasoned (and some not-so-seasoned) tech professionals what they wished they knew back when they were newly minted graduates entering the workforce. Perhaps not surprisingly, some of the best advice has more to do with soft skills than with tech skills. To wit: 'When [managers] say they are suggesting you do something, it's not really a suggestion — it is an order disguised as a suggestion. Plain-speaking is a lost art at big companies and corporate double talk is the name of the game.' What's your best piece of advice for the newest among you?
Link to Original Source

+ - 208 New Wind Turbine Has No Blades

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com writes: The Guardian reports that Vortex Bladeless has developed a new bladeless wind turbine that promises to be more efficient, less visually intrusive, and safer for birdlife than conventional turbines. Using the principle of natural frequency and vorticity, the turbine oscillates in swirling air caused by the wind bypassing the mast, and then builds exponentially as it reaches the structure’s natural resonance. It’s a powerful effect that famously caused the collapse of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge in 1940, footage of which inspired David Yáñez to try to build a structure to harness this energy rather than prevent it. The turbine “floats” on magnets, which as well as significantly amplifying the oscillation, also eliminates any friction and the need for expensive lubricating oils or mechanical parts. “Wind turbines now are too noisy for people’s backyard,” says David Suriol. “We want to bring wind power generation to people’s houses like solar power.”

On the minus side the oscillating turbine design will sweep a smaller area and have a lower conversion efficiency. “The best wind turbine will collect around 50% of energy from the wind,” says Suriol. “We are close to 40% with bladeless turbines in our wind tunnel laboratory.” To offset this disadvantage, "you can put four, five or six 4kW turbines in the space of one conventional turbine, which need 5 meter diameter space around them,” he says. In fact, wind tunnel tests have shown they perform even better placed closer together as they benefit from the vortices each of them creates.