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Submission + - Why do we still have caps lock prominently on keyboards?

Esther Schindler writes: The developers at .io are into tracking things, I guess. In any case, a few weeks back they decided to track team performance in terms of keyboard and mouse activity during the working day. They installed a simple Chrome plugin on every macbook and collected some statistics. For instance, developers have fewer keypresses than editors and managers—around 4k every day. Managers type more than 23k characters per day. And so on. Some pretty neat statistics.

But the piece that jumped out at me was this:

What’s curious—the least popular keys are Capslock and Right Mouse Button. Somewhere around 0.1% of all keypresses together. It’s time to make some changes to keyboards.

I've been whining about this for years. Why is it that the least-used key on my keyboard not just in a prominent position, but also bigger than most other keys? I can I invest in a real alternate keyboard with a different layout (my husband's a big fan of the Kinesis keyboards, initially to cope with carpal tunnel). But surely it's time to re-visit the standard key layout?

Submission + - Chrome Extension Thwarts User Profiling Based On Typing Behavior

An anonymous reader writes: Per Thorsheim, the founder of PasswordsCon, created and trained a biometric profile of his keystroke dynamics using the Tor browser at a demo site. He then switched over to Google Chrome and not using the Tor network, and the demo site correctly identified him when logging in and completing a demo financial transaction. Infosec consultant Paul Moore came up with a working solution to thwart this type of behavioral profiling. The result is a Chrome extension called Keyboard Privacy, which prevents profiling of users by the way they type by randomizing the rate at which characters reach the DOM. A Firefox version of the plugin is in the works.

Submission + - State Of Georgia Sues for Copyright Infringement For Publishing The State's Laws-> 1 1

schwit1 writes: The state of Georgia has sued sued Carl Malamud and his site Public.Resource.org. It is about as ridiculous as you would expect focusing on the highly questionable claim that the Official Code of Georgia Annotated is covered by federal copyright law — and that not only was Malamud (*gasp*) distributing it, but also... creating derivative works! Oh no! And, he's such an evil person that he was encouraging others to do so as well!
Link to Original Source

Submission + - A Plea For Websites To Stop Blocking Password Managers-> 1 1

An anonymous reader writes: Password managers aren't a security panacea, but experts widely agree that it's better to use one than to have weak (but easy-to-remember) passwords. Just this week, they were listed as a tool non-experts don't use as much as experts do. I use one, and a pet peeve of mine is when a website specifically (or through bad design) interferes with the copying and pasting of a password. Thus, I appreciated this rant about it in Wired: "It’s unacceptable that in an age where our lives are increasingly being played out online, and are sometimes only protected by a password, some sites deliberately stop their users from being as secure as possible, for no really justifiable reason."
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Submission + - EU may become a single digital market of 500 million people.

RockDoctor writes: The Guardian is reporting that the EU is becoming increasingly vociferous in it's opposition to "geo-blocking" — the practice of making media services available in some areas but not in others.

“European consumers want to watch the pay-TV channel of their choice regardless of where they live or travel in the EU,”

That adds up to a block of nearly 500 million first-world media consumers. They don't necessarily all speak the same language, but English is probably the most commonly understood single language. And the important thing for American media companies to remember is that they're not American in thought, taste or outlook.

Submission + - Isis Plotting To Use Drones To Bomb Crowds->

An anonymous reader writes: The Express reports, "Terrorists want to use the unmanned machines — available for as little as £100 on the high street — to drop explosives on large crowds at popular sporting and cultural gatherings. Defence chiefs fear they could launch a multi-drone attack carrying several bombs, even using airborne cameras to film the bloody carnage below for twisted propaganda videos. ... A counter-terrorism source said: "Islamist plotters have been trying to launch a drone-borne bomb attack for some time, as these machines are getting more hi-tech every year." Last year more than 127,000 drones were bought and sold on just eBay.
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Submission + - US Court: 'Pocket-Dialed' Calls Are Not Private->

itwbennett writes: In a case of a pocket-dialed call, a conscientious secretary, and sensitive personnel issues, a federal appeals court in Ohio has ruled pocket-dialers shouldn't have any expectation of privacy. 'Under the plain-view doctrine, if a homeowner neglects to cover a window with drapes, he would lose his reasonable expectation of privacy with respect to a viewer looking into the window from outside of his property,' the court said. The same applies to pocket-dialed calls, according to the court. If a person doesn’t take reasonable steps to keep their call private, their communications are not protected by the Wiretap Act.
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Submission + - Is Advertising Morally Justifiable? The Importance of Protecting Our Attention

theodp writes: With Is Advertising Morally Justifiable?, philosopher Thomas Wells is out to change the way you think about Google and its ilk. Wells begins: "Advertising is a natural resource extraction industry, like a fishery. Its business is the harvest and sale of human attention. We are the fish and we are not consulted. Two problems result from this. The solution to both requires legal recognition of the property rights of human beings over our attention. First, advertising imposes costs on individuals without permission or compensation. It extracts our precious attention and emits toxic by-products, such as the sale of our personal information to dodgy third parties. Second, you may have noticed that the world's fisheries are not in great shape. They are a standard example for explaining the theoretical concept of a tragedy of the commons, where rational maximising behaviour by individual harvesters leads to the unsustainable overexploitation of a resource. Expensively trained human attention is the fuel of twenty-first century capitalism. We are allowing a single industry to slash and burn vast amounts of this productive resource in search of a quick buck." Hey, you don't get a $470B market cap by passing on chances to monetize infants in hospital beds with contextual ads for mattresses!

Submission + - Open Document Format 1.2 Published as ISO/IEC Standard->

jrepin writes: The Open Document Format for Office Applications (ODF) Version 1.2, the native file format of LibreOffice and many other office applications, has been published as International Standard 26300:2015 by ISO/IEC. ODF defines a technical schema for office documents including text documents, spreadsheets, charts and graphical documents like drawings or presentations. The current version of the standard was published in 2011, and then was submitted to ISO/IEC in 2014.
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Submission + - UK government proposes 10-year copyright infringement jail term->

An anonymous reader writes: According the the BBC, the UK government is proposing increasing the jail term for copyright infringement from the current 2 years to 10 years, which they say would "act as a significant deterrent." They claim this will "mainly" be aimed at "distributors of pirated content". If you live in the UK, please let your MP know if it's appropriate for a teenager to go to jail for 10 years for torrenting the latest Taylor Swift album.
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Submission + - Data Store and Spying Laws Found Illegal by EU Court->

WillAffleckUW writes: The EU High Court found the United Kingdom's data retention (and subsequent storage and analysis) and surveillance laws to be illegal throughout the EU, which subsequently would be an argument in courts in Australia and Canada against their own Spy laws. This effectively brings back the Rule of Law that all EU citizens have a Right to Privacy that is at the Bill of Rights level, not an easily short-circuited legal basis.

It is uncertain that this would apply to US spy laws, as a Right of Privacy is only inferred by US high courts and is not written into constitutions as it is in the EU, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - New Unicode bug discovered for common Japanese character "no"

AmiMoJo writes: Some users have noticed that the Japanese character "no", which is extremely common in the Japanese language (forming parts of many words, or meaning something similar to the English word "of" on its own). The Unicode standard has apparently marked the character as sometimes being used in mathematical formulae, causing it to be rendering in a different font to the surrounding text in certain applications. Similar but more widespread issues have plagued Unicode for decades due to the decision to unify dissimilar characters in Chinese, Japanese and Korean.

Submission + - British data retention and surveillance act ruled illegal under European law->

An anonymous reader writes: The UK's High Court has ruled the government's new data surveillance law is "inconsistent with EU law" following an appeal by politicians.

The Data Retention and Investigatory Powers Act (Dripa) gave the police and security services the right to access phone and internet records in the interest of public safety.

is not compatible with a section of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) which gives the right to respect privacy as well as the protection of personal data.

The High Court has now ruled in favor of the politicians, who were also backed by human rights group Liberty, and declared that Dripa is inconsistent with EU law. the government now has until March 2016 to change the legislation.

Link to Original Source

IBM Advanced Systems Group -- a bunch of mindless jerks, who'll be first against the wall when the revolution comes... -- with regrets to D. Adams

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