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+ - Tim Cook: "Weakening encryption or taking it away harms good people"->

Submitted by Patrick O'Neill
Patrick O'Neill writes: Over the last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook has repeatedly made headlines as a spearpoint in the new crypto wars. As FBI director James Comey pushes for legally mandated backdoors on encryption, Cook has added default strong encryption to Apple devices and vocally resisted Comey's campaign. Echoing warnings from technical experts across the world, Cook said that adding encryption backdoors for law enforcement would weaken the security of all devices and "is incredibly dangerous," he said last night at the Electronic Privacy Information Center awards dinner. "So let me be crystal clear: Weakening encryption or taking it away harms good people who are using it for the right reason."
Link to Original Source
Robotics

Building Amazon a Better Warehouse Robot 22

Posted by Soulskill
from the like-battlebots-but-kinda-boring dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes: Amazon relies quite a bit on human labor, most notably in its warehouses. The company wants to change that via machine learning and robotics, which is why earlier this year it invited 30 teams to a "Picking Contest." In order to win the contest, a team needed to build a robot that can outpace other robots in detecting and identifying an object on a shelf, gripping said object without breaking it, and delivering it into a waiting receptacle. Team RBO, composed of researchers from the Technical University of Berlin, won last month's competition by a healthy margin. Their winning design combined a WAM arm (complete with a suction cup for lifting objects) and an XR4000 mobile base into a single unit capable of picking up 12 objects in 20 minutes—not exactly blinding speed, but enough to demonstrate significant promise. If Amazon's contest demonstrated anything, it's that it could be quite a long time before robots are capable of identifying and sorting through objects at speeds even remotely approaching human (and thus taking over those jobs). Chances seem good that Amazon will ask future teams to build machines that are even smarter and faster.

Comment: Re:Huge Cash Pile (Score 3, Insightful) 35

by hey! (#49827821) Attached to: Mystery Company Blazes a Trail In Fusion Energy

Almost certainly the case on three grounds.

(1) Getting a serious fusion effort off the ground is fabulously expensive. Even if you have some kind of whizbang micro-reactor concept you need a small army of physicists, engineers and highly skilled fabricators. People who don't come cheap.

(2) Running out of cash is what most startups do.

(3) They probably didn't have as much cash as "everyone knows they have", for the simple reason that the best way to convince someone to give you the mountain of cash you need is to make them thing you've as good as got it from someone else.

Power

Mystery Company Blazes a Trail In Fusion Energy 35

Posted by Soulskill
from the here-comes-the-sun dept.
sciencehabit writes: Of the handful of startup companies trying to achieve fusion energy via nontraditional methods, Tri Alpha Energy Inc. has always been the enigma. Publishing little and with no website, but apparently sitting on a cash pile in the hundreds of millions, the Foothill Ranch, California-based company has been the subject of intense curiosity and speculation. But last month Tri Alpha lifted the veil slightly with two papers, revealing that its device, dubbed the colliding beam fusion reactor, has shown a 10-fold improvement in its ability to contain the hot particles needed for fusion over earlier devices at U.S. universities and national labs. 'They've improved things greatly and are moving in a direction that is quite promising,' says plasma physicist John Santarius of the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.

+ - Mystery company blazes a trail in fusion energy->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit writes: Of the handful of startup companies trying to achieve fusion energy via nontraditional methods, Tri Alpha Energy Inc. has always been the enigma. Publishing little and with no website, but apparently sitting on a cash pile in the hundreds of millions, the Foothill Ranch, California-based company has been the subject of intense curiosity and speculation. But last month Tri Alpha lifted the veil slightly with two papers revealing that its device, dubbed the colliding beam fusion reactor, has shown a 10-fold improvement in its ability to contain the hot particles needed for fusion over earlier devices at U.S. universities and national labs. “They’ve improved things greatly and are moving in a direction that is quite promising,” says plasma physicist John Santarius of the Fusion Technology Institute at the University of Wisconsin, Madison.
Link to Original Source

Comment: Re:50 aircraft? Actual count: 97 (Score 1) 130

by Tailhook (#49827113) Attached to: FBI Is Behind Mysterious Flights Over US Cities

my information is clearly more complete than what is in the AP story

They're doing what they always do; drip drip drip out the bad news, a little worse each time. Fifty?!! Wow. 97?? Well, that's only 47 more than 50 so; "no new information," as their spokes-fucks will say.

It's going on right now with the anthrax news. Yesterday the DOD revealed they sent live anthrax into Canada, in addition to the 12 US states they had already admitted to.

The Clintons have been pulling this crap since the 90's. They're dripping out Foundation donor information one foreign turd at a time; timed to run out long before the election. They've got the State Department dripping out their copies of her emails on a published schedule now.

They know there are far more than 50 aircraft. So does the AP. They'll admit to a few more in a couple news cycles. They'll probably fess up to the whole number just before Rand Paul or whomever seats the first hearing on it.

Security

New SOHO Router Security Audit Uncovers Over 60 Flaws In 22 Models 46

Posted by Soulskill
from the my-god,-it's-full-of-flaws dept.
Home and small-office routers have become a hotbed for security research lately, with vulnerabilities and poor security practices becoming the rule, rather than the exception. A new security audit by researchers from Universidad Europea de Madrid only adds to that list, finding 60 distinct flaws in 22 different device models. They posted details of their research on the Full Disclosure mailing list, and the affected brands include D-Link, Belkin, Linksys, Huawei, and others. Many of the models they examined had been distributed to internet customers across Spain by their ISPs. About half of the flaws involve Cross Site Scripting and Cross Site Request Forgery capabilities, though there is at least one backdoor with a hard-coded password. Several routers allow external attackers to delete files on USB storage devices, and others facilitate DDoS attacks.

+ - New SOHO Router Security Audit Uncovers Over 60 Flaws In 22 Models->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett writes: In yet another testament to the awful state of home router security, a group of security researchers uncovered more than 60 vulnerabilities in 22 router models from different vendors, most of which were distributed by ISPs to customers. The researchers performed the manual security review in preparation for their master’s thesis in IT security at Universidad Europea de Madrid in Spain. They published details about the vulnerabilities they found Sunday on the Full Disclosure security mailing list.
Link to Original Source
DRM

The Bizarre Process Used For Approving Exemptions To the DMCA 24

Posted by Soulskill
from the assume-a-spherical-librarian dept.
harrymcc writes: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act imposes severe penalties on those who overcome copy-protection technologies. It allows for exemptions for a variety of purposes — but in a weird proviso, those exemptions must be re-approved by the Librarian of Congress every three years. Over at Fast Company, Glenn Fleishman takes a look at this broken system and why it's so bad for our rights as consumers. "The Librarian has opted to require one or more 'champions' or proponents of a carefully defined category, like "Audiovisual works – educational uses – colleges and universities," to file a brief. His office also opens the floor to rebuttals from opponents. Further, the Librarian sunsets every exemption every three years—something not required by the law, and which requires champions to arise again to launch a new defense. The office also doesn't propose its own examples of circumvention that should be permitted, even though the law permits it to do so."

Comment: Re:Sometimes even your hack gets outdated... (Score 1) 200

by sumdumass (#49826471) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Your Most Unusual Hardware Hack?

Eh... it wasn't really until the mid 90s before laptops or processors had a large difference between generations. 15 and 30 mhz 486s desktops were still common on store shelves in 1995. Sound cards and CD roms were still expensive add ons around then too. A lot of systems were still dos or Windows 3.1 and not only did you have to purchase a web browser, you had to install a network stack just to dial up the internet. I remember being stoked when i upgraded the 9600 baud modem to a USR 33.6k modem for

+ - The Bizarre Process We Use for Approving Exemptions to the DMCA->

Submitted by harrymcc
harrymcc writes: The Digital Millennium Copyright Act imposes severe penalties on those who overcome copy-protection technologies. It allows for exemptions for a variety of purposes--but in a weird proviso, those exemptions must be re-approved by the Librarian of Congress every three years. Over at Fast Company, Glenn Fleishman takes a look at this broken system and why it's so bad for our rights as consumers.
Link to Original Source
Privacy

Senate Passes USA Freedom Act 158

Posted by Soulskill
from the agreeing-to-disagree-about-agreeing dept.
schwit1 points out that the U.S. Senate has passed the USA Freedom Act by a vote of 67-32, sending it on to President Obama, who is expected to sign it into law. The bill removes mass metadata collection powers from the NSA, but also grants a new set of surveillance powers to replace them. Telecoms now hang on to that data, and the government can access it if they suspect the target is part of a terrorism investigation and one of the call's participants is overseas. "The second provision revived Tuesday concerns roving wiretaps. Spies may tap a terror suspect's communications without getting a renewed FISA Court warrant, even as a suspect jumps from one device to the next. The FISA Court need not be told who is being targeted when issuing a warrant. The third spy tool renewed is called "lone wolf" in spy jargon. It allows for roving wiretaps. However, the target of wiretaps does not have to be linked to a foreign power or terrorism."

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton

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