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Submission + - Insurer Refuses to Cover Cox in Massive Piracy Lawsuit (torrentfreak.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Trouble continues for one of the largest Internet providers in the United States, with a Lloyds underwriter now suing Cox Communications over an insurance dispute. The insurer is refusing to cover legal fees and potential piracy damages in Cox's case against BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music. Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.
Following a ruling from a Virginia federal court that Cox is not protected by the safe-harbor provisions of the DMCA, the Internet provider must now deal with another setback.

Submission + - What humans may do by following New Horizons to Pluto (examiner.com)

MarkWhittington writes: NASA’s New Horizons flew by Pluto last July and is continuing to send back stunning images and breathtaking data. Forbes speculates about sending humans to the once and possibly future ninth planet from the sun. Since New Horizons took nine and a half years from launch to flyby, such a voyage would have to await the development of very advanced propulsion systems, among quite a few other technologies.

Submission + - The Billion Dollar Data Center Club (datacenterfrontier.com)

1sockchuck writes: The largest cloud builders now pump at least $1 billion into each of their new data center campuses, and may invest as much as $5 billion in future projects. This week Data Center Frontier profiles the top 10 cloud campuses, which feature massive investments in Virginia by Microsoft ($1.7 billion), Digital Realty ($1.3 billion) and DuPont Fabros ($1.2 billion). The NSA, Google and Apple have all spent in excess of $1 billion on their largest campuses. The top-ranked cloud campus is the Switch SUPERNAP project in Las Vegas, which has grown to 1.4 million square feet over three data centers. Switch has announced plans to spend $5 billion to convert an odd pyramid-shaped office building in Michigan into a data center, and has broken ground on a massive Reno project that kicks off with a single building with 1 million square feet of space.

Submission + - Green Light or No, Nest Cam Never Stops Watching (securityledger.com) 1

chicksdaddy writes: How do you know when the Nest Cam monitoring your house is “on” or “off”? It’s simple: just look at the little power indicator light on the front of the device — and totally disregard what it is telling you.

The truth is: the Nest Cam is never “off” despite an effort by Nest and its parent Google to make it appear otherwise, The Security Ledger reports (https://securityledger.com/2015/11/green-light-or-no-nest-cam-never-stops-watching/). That, according to an analysis of the Nest Cam by the firm ABI Research, which found that turning the Nest Cam “off” using the associated mobile application only turns off the LED power indicator light on the front of the device. (https://www.abiresearch.com/press/nest-cam-works-around-clock/) Under the hood, the camera continues to operate and, according to ABI researcher Jim Mielke, to monitor its surroundings: noting movement, sound and other activity when users are led to believe it has powered down.

“Basically, you have an LED that says ‘on’ and ‘off ‘ that shuts off – and that’s about it,” Mielke said when asked to describe what happens when a user turns the Nest Cam off. Mielke is the Vice President of Teardowns at ABI Research and the author of a report: “Teardown Phone/Device: Nest Cam Works Around the Clock.”

Mielke reached that conclusion after analyzing Nest Cam's power consumption. Typically a shutdown or standby mode would reduce current by as much as 10 to 100 times, Mielke told Security Ledger. But the Google Nest Cam’s power consumption was almost identical in “shutdown” mode and when fully operational, dropping from 370 milliamps (mA) to around 340mA. The slight reduction in power consumption for the Nest Cam when it was turned “off” correlates with the disabling of the LED power light, given that LEDs typically draw 10-20mA.

In a statement to The Security Ledger, Nest Labs spokesperson Zoz Cuccias acknowledged that the Nest Cam does not fully power down when the camera is turned off from the user interface (UI).

“When Nest Cam is turned off from the user interface (UI), it does not fully power down, as we expect the camera to be turned on again at any point in time,” Cuccias wrote in an e-mail. “With that said, when Nest Cam is turned off, it completely stops transmitting video to the cloud, meaning it no longer observes its surroundings.”

The privacy and security implications are serious. “This means that even when a consumer thinks that he or she is successfully turning off this camera, the device is still running, which could potentially unleash a tidal wave of privacy concerns,” Mielke wrote.

Submission + - Apple Pay Will Be Accepted in China Beginning Next Year (bapgo.com)

danielharker writes: Last time I was in china was about 5 years ago. Everyone seemed to have Android phones, or flip-phones. It seems that the iPhone has really taken off in China as the emerging middle class has more excess income to spend.

On mainland China, I had a difficult time finding people that would even take my credit card. Cash was king.

Hong Kong, on the other hand, allowed me to use my subway pass (Octopus card) to purchase nearly everything.

According to the Wall Street Journal, Apple Pay will now come to china in early February 2016. The deal was made with the main four state banks. This should allow some of their terminals to accept payment from NFC enabled iPhones.

The deal is not written in stone just yet. There still needs to be regulatory approval. Apple hopes to launch before China’s holidays begin in the Spring.

It is said that Apple does take a cut from all transactions made with Apple Pay. With this new revenue likely from next year’s deal, I’d say it’s a good time to buy apple stock.

Let’s hope that Apple Pay is ready for Single’s Day next year!

Submission + - The Tamagochi Singularity Made Real: Infinite Tamagochi Living on the Internet (hackaday.com)

szczys writes: Everyone loves Tamagochi, little electronic keychains spawned in the 90's let you raise your digital pets. Some time ago, XKCD made a quip about an internet based matrix of thousands of these digital entities. That quip is now a reality thanks to elite hardware hacker Jeroen Domburg (aka Sprite_TM). In his recent talk called The Tamagochi Singularity at the Hackaday SuperConference he revealed that he had built an infinite network of virtual Tamagochi by implementing the original hardware as a virtual machine. This included developing AI to keep them happy, and developing a protocol to emulate their IR interactions. But he went even further, hacking an original keychain to use wirelessly as a console which can look in on any of the virtual Tamagochi living on his underground network. This full-stack process is unparalleled in just about every facet: complexity, speed of implementation, awesome factor, and will surely spark legions of other Tamagochi Matrices.

Submission + - On iFixit and the Right to Repair

Jason Koebler writes: Motherboard sent a reporter to the Electronics Reuse Convention in New Orleans to investigate the important but threatened world of smartphone and electronics repair. As manufacturers start using proprietary screws, offer phone lease programs and use copyright law to threaten repair professionals, the right-to-repair is under more threat than ever.

Submission + - Finding Your Way in a Wayward World (anandsatheesh.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The world is currently in the biggest age of change since the industrial revolution. More data has been created than in the rest of human history. From the beginning of time until 2003, we gathered 5 Exabytes of data; that is equivalent to 5 billion Giga Bytes of data. In 2010, we gathered 5 Exabytes of data every two days. In 2013, we captured 5 Exabytes of data every 10 minutes.The world is functioning at such a pace that even milliseconds are crucial. People are getting busier, education is becoming more competitive and pundits preach the virtues of all these changes. Are we headed in the right direction?

Submission + - Judge wipes out Safe Harbor provision in DMCA, makes Cox accomplice of piracy

SysKoll writes: The DMCA is well-known for giving exorbitant powers to copyright holders, such as taking down a page or a whole web site without a court order. Media companies buy services from vendors like Rightscorp, a shake-down outfit that issues thousands of robot-generated take-down notices and issues threats against ISPs and sites ignoring them.

Cox, like a lot of ISP, is inundated with abusive take-down notices, in particular from Rightscorp. Now, BMG Rights Management and Round Hill Music are suing Cox for refusing to shut off the Internet access of subscribers that Rightscorp accused of downloading music via BitTorrent. Cox argues that as an ISP, they benefit from the Safe Harbor provision that shields access providers from subscribers' misbehavior.

Not so, says US District Judge Liam O'Grady. The judge sided with the media companies ahead of trial, saying Cox should have terminated the repeat offenders accused by Rightscorp. Cox's response is quite entertaining for a legal document: its description of Rightscorp includes the term "shady", "shake-down", and "pay no attention to the facts"

O'Grady also derided the Electronic Frontier Foundations's attempt to file an amicus brief supporting Cox, calling them hysterical crybabies.

This case will be closely watched and can be very damaging for the Internet industry.

Submission + - Yahoo denies ad-blocking users access to email (washingtonpost.com)

JoeyRox writes: Yahoo is running an A/B test (http://fortune.com/2015/11/23/yahoo-ad-block/) that blocks access to Yahoo email if the site detects that the user is running an Ad Blocker. Yahoo informed Engadget that this a trial rather than a new policy, effecting only a "small number" of users. Those lucky users are greeted with a message that reads "Please disable Ad Blocker to continue using Yahoo Mail." Regarding the legality of the move, "Yahoo is well within its rights to do so, said Ansel Halliburton an attorney at Kronenberger Rosenfeld who specializes in Internet law."

Submission + - Disney IT workers prepare to sue over foreign replacements (computerworld.com)

JustAnotherOldGuy writes: At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination. These employees are arguing that they are victims of national origin discrimination, a complaint increasingly raised by U.S. workers who have lost their jobs to foreign workers on H-1B and other temporary visas. Disney's layoff last January followed agreements with IT services contractors that use foreign labor, mostly from India. Some former Disney workers have begun to go public over the displacement process

Submission + - Axel Springer Goes After iOS 9 Ad Blockers In New Legal Battlle (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Germany's Axel Springer, owner of newspapers like Bild and Die Welt, is pursuing legal action against the developers of Blockr, an ad blocker for iOS 9. Techcrunch reports: "In October, Axel Springer forced visitors to Bild to turn off their ad blockers or pay a monthly fee to continue using the site. Earlier this month, the publisher reported the success of this measure, saying that the proportion of readers using ad blockers dropped from 23% to the single digits when faced with the choice to turn off the software or pay. 'The results are beyond our expectations,' said Springer chief exec Mathias Döpfner at the time. 'Over two-thirds of the users concerned switched off their adblocker.' He also noted that the Bild.de website received an additional 3 million visits from users who could now see the ads in the first two weeks of the experiment going live."

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