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Cellphones

FBI's Smartphone Surveillance Tool Explained In Court Battle 168

Posted by Soulskill
from the spying-made-simple dept.
concealment writes with news that a court battle has brought to light details on how the FBI's "stingray" surveillance tool works, and how they used it with Verizon's help to collect evidence about an alleged identity thief. Quoting: "Air cards are devices that plug into a computer and use the wireless cellular networks of phone providers to connect the computer to the internet. The devices are not phones and therefore don’t have the ability to receive incoming calls, but in this case Rigmaiden asserts that Verizon reconfigured his air card to respond to surreptitious voice calls from a landline controlled by the FBI. The FBI calls, which contacted the air card silently in the background, operated as pings to force the air card into revealing its location. In order to do this, Verizon reprogrammed the device so that when an incoming voice call arrived, the card would disconnect from any legitimate cell tower to which it was already connected, and send real-time cell-site location data to Verizon, which forwarded the data to the FBI. This allowed the FBI to position its stingray in the neighborhood where Rigmaiden resided. The stingray then "broadcast a very strong signal" to force the air card into connecting to it, instead of reconnecting to a legitimate cell tower, so that agents could then triangulate signals coming from the air card and zoom-in on Rigmaiden’s location. To make sure the air card connected to the FBI’s simulator, Rigmaiden says that Verizon altered his air card’s Preferred Roaming List so that it would accept the FBI’s stingray as a legitimate cell site and not a rogue site, and also changed a data table on the air card designating the priority of cell sites so that the FBI’s fake site was at the top of the list."
Media

Fox, Univision May Go Subscription To Stop Aereo 306

Posted by timothy
from the sounds-like-bluffing dept.
GTRacer writes "In response to Aereo's recent win allowing per-user over-the-air antenna feeds to remote devices, Fox COO Chase Carey said, 'We need to be able to be fairly compensated for our content. This is not an ideal path we look to pursue [...],' that path being a switch to a subscription model. Spanish-language stalwart Univison may join Fox, per CEO Haim Saban. Aereo replied, in part, 'When broadcasters asked Congress for a free license to digitally broadcast on the public's airwaves, they did so with the promise that they would broadcast in the public interest and convenience, and that they would remain free-to-air. Having a television antenna is every American's right.' A switch to a pay-TV subscription model would stymie Aereo but could hurt affiliate stations."
Firefox

Gecko May Drop the Blink Tag 138

Posted by timothy
from the you'll-notice-we-eschew-it dept.
AmiMoJo writes "It looks like Mozilla are finally going to remove the much hated blink tag from the Gecko rendering engine that powers Firefox. Work to remove support for the tag, which was always non-standard and is not supported by the most popular HTML layout engines WebKit and Blink (Chrome, Safari, Opera, Android), is progressing and should show up in a future version of the browser." A comment attached to the discussion of this (not completed) move points out the odd possibility that Google's new Blink rendering engine may feature the blink tag via CSS animation, which would be "hilarious/awesome."
Google

Do Big-Money Acquisitions Mean We're In a Tech Bubble? 266

Posted by timothy
from the give-me-a-million-dollars-and-I'll-tell-you dept.
Nerval's Lobster writes "When a major IT company pays a reported $30 million—roughly 90 percent of it in cash—for an iOS app with no monetization strategy and a million downloads since launch, is that a sign that the tech industry as a whole is riding a massive, overinflated bubble? Yahoo isn't alone, by a long shot: over the past couple years, a few apps have been snatched up for enormous sums—think Facebook's $1 billion acquisition of Instagram in 2012, or Google buying Sparrow for a reported $25 million. Nor has the money train stopped there: in a pattern that recalls the late-90s market frothiness for anyone over the age of 28, a handful of tech companies have either launched much-hyped IPOs or witnessed their share price skyrocket into the stratosphere. But does all this IPO activity and app-acquiring actually mean 'bubble'?"
Android

Archos Gamepad Released In the USA 106

Posted by timothy
from the take-it-or-leave-it-or-use-it-as-a-shovel dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Archos have finally released their much anticipated touchscreen gamepad in the USA. The console boasts a Arm Cortex Dual-core A9 1.6GHz cpu, 1024MB Ram, 8GB internal storage and uses the Android 4.1 Jelly Bean OS. The Gamepad has 14 physical buttons and dual analog thumb-sticks as well as a touchscreen which means the latest 3D Android games should work great and for fans of emulation the traditional gamepad design and buttons will make N64/PS1 emulators work great on the gamepad." CNET UK was unimpressed, calling it "a bitter disappointment"; IGN was more optimistic, especially at its sub-$200 price.
Businesses

MasterCard Forcing PayPal To Pay Higher Fees 260

Posted by Soulskill
from the and-they'll-pass-the-spendings-on-to-you dept.
iComp sends this quote from El Reg: "PayPal, Google Wallet and other online payment systems face higher transaction fees from MasterCard in retaliation for their refusal to share data on what people are spending. Visa is likely to follow suit. The amount that PayPal has to pay MasterCard for every transaction will go up as the latter introduces new charges for intermediated payment processors. This change is on the grounds that such processors don't share transaction details, which the card giants would love to get hold of as it can be used to research buying patterns and the like. Companies such as PayPal allow payments between users, so the party (perhaps a merchant) receiving the money doesn't need to be registered with the credit-card company. PayPal collects the dosh from the payer's card, and deducts a processing fee before passing the cash on to the receiving party. MasterCard would prefer the receiver to be registered directly so will apply the new fee from June to any payment that is staged in this way."
Microsoft

+ - South Africa appeals to ISO against OOXML ->

Submitted by
yoonkit
yoonkit writes "The South African national body (SABS) has submitted an official appeal against DIS 29500 (Microsoft Office OpenXML) to ISO and IEC stating "deep concerns" on the contradictions raised early in the process, "challenges" the interpretation of the ISO directives on the conduct of the ballot resolution meeting (BRM) and the inappropriateness of the fast-tracking of the large DIS. [PDF and transcript available.] Steve Pepper, ex-Chair of the Norwegian TC who lead the demonstration against OOXML, also urges "other national body members of JTC1 to declare their support for this appeal. Let's make it impossible for ISO and IEC to simply wave it aside.""
Link to Original Source

Comment: Throw away the keys (Score 1) 206

by deunan_k (#21906500) Attached to: Spammer Alan Ralsky Indicted
I apologize if this sounds harsh. I think they ought to hang 'em high. Throw the book at this guy. Maybe use the same punishment for drug traffickers in South East Asia for this guy. This is the scum of the earth. He do not deserve any clemency. Dig a hole somewhere, a very-very deep one, drop him in all the the way to the molten earth core. Adios, farewell, goodbye!

As an email system administrator, I positively hate this kind of sub-humans. If I am to fall to the dark side of the force, this is it.
Biotech

+ - Fall Back, Spring Forward, and DIE!!!

Submitted by
docinthemachine
docinthemachine writes "It's Y2K all over again thanks to the new daylight savings time schedule. A pair of advisories from the FDA warns patients that the new daylight savings time calendar could kill you! The FDA warns "If you have any medical equipment that uses, creates or records time information about your diagnosis or treatment and the manufacturer has not updated it, the equipment may not work properly when the new Daylight Savings Time (DST) starts and ends this year and in future years." Lucky for us the healthcare provider advisory lists the days your equipment is most likely to fail and kill you and how to troubleshoot. Heck, Microsoft is charging for their fix why should your pacemaker work? full details at http://docinthemachine.com/2007/03/07/dstdeath/"
Education

+ - Schools across Japan may switch to Linux

Submitted by
Chris Salzberg
Chris Salzberg writes "Japan's public broadcaster NHK reported late last week that the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry plans to introduce the open-source operating system Linux for use within classrooms across the country in the near future. According to an investigation conducted in the spring of last year, there are currently over 400,000 computers at schools in Japan running on either Windows 98 or Windows Me, systems no longer supported by the software manufacturer Microsoft. The prohibitive cost of replacing these machines with newer models, as well as the rising price of proprietary software, prompted school teachers and administrators to propose the possibility of switching to open-source software as an affordable alternative. A conference held in Tokyo on March 2-3, attended by around 2000 government officials, teachers and education board members from across the country, considered the idea of reclaiming these older computers by switching from unsupported and out-of-date versions of Windows to the operating-system Linux, which can be freely downloaded from the Internet. A teacher from a high-school in Fukuoka Prefecture explained: "Having to always install the latest software is costly, and it makes things very difficult for us. From now on, I want to actively move toward the use of free open-source software." (continue reading at gyaku.jp)"
Microsoft

+ - Upcoming Microsoft software develpoments

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "Microsoft is revealing some of their software development ideas. Some of these sound pretty kool. However, I wonder if they are original ideas from M$ or are they rip offs. From the article: a video game designed to teach children computer-programming basics. Text-It-Notes, lets people scribble a message on a sticky note. The devices converts it to a text message using handwriting recognition software, then fires it off to one of a few preset phones. a telescope application that lets PC users zoom around the universe and explore galaxies (think Google Earth, but in the stars), by piecing together images collected by the Sloan Digital Sky Survey with educational content from astronomers at Harvard and other research centers. speakers that send sound to someone standing right in front of them, but are almost silent to someone standing off to the side. One featured program that is available to consumers now is Lincoln, which works on Windows Mobile 5. Mobile phone users can take a photo of a DVD cover when browsing in the video store. The system matches it to a photo on file, then spits back links to Amazon.com reviews. The service is open to the public, so bands, for example, can upload an image of a poster advertising an upcoming show, then give users a link to listen to some sample songs right from their phones"
Databases

+ - PostgreSQL Stomps MySQL

Submitted by
menion
menion writes "Cliff Wells has posted a blurb on his blog after reading various threads and performance reviews that indicate something suprising: PostgreSQL now overcomes MySQL in performance terms as well as features and reliability.

FTA: "We see, for instance, that adding a second Woodcrest in MySQL 5.0.20a — costing a good 851 dollars — only yields a 6% performance increase."

Article 1: the Tweakers.net review of PostgreSQL vs. MySQL performance.
Article 2: a thread from the MySQL forums noting a few performance problems."

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