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Submission Summary: 2 pending, 1064 declined, 742 accepted (1808 total, 41.04% accepted)

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Submission + - Tech Nightmares That Keep Turing Award Winners Up At Night->

itwbennett writes: At the Heidelberg Laureate Forum in Germany this week, RSA encryption algorithm co-inventor Leonard Adelman, 'Father of the Internet' Vint Cerf, and cryptography innovator Manuel Blum were asked 'What about the tech world today keeps you up at night?' And apparently they're not getting a whole lot of sleep these days. Cerf is predicting a digital dark age arising from our dependence on software and our lack of 'a regime that will allow us to preserve both the content and the software needed to render it over a very long time.' Adelman worries about the evolution of computers into 'their own species' — and our relation to them. Blum's worries, by contrast, lean more towards the slow pace at which computers are taking over: '"The fact that we have brains hasn't made the world any safer,' he said. 'Will it be safer with computers? I don't know, but I tend to see it as hopeful.'
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Submission + - Amazon Reportedly Laid Off Dozens from Fire Smartphone Team->

itwbennett writes: In recent weeks, Amazon has laid off an unspecified number (but in the dozens) of engineers from its Lab126 hardware development center in Silicon Valley who worked on the Fire smartphone, according to a Wall Street Journal news report. The company has also reorganized Lab126, as well as scaled back and killed some other projects in the division.
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Submission + - Why Modular Smartphones Are Such a Nightmare To Develop->

itwbennett writes: Last week Google postponed tests of its Project Ara until next year. Mikael Ricknäs has written about why developing such devices is particularly difficult. The biggest challenge, writes Ricknäs, 'is the underlying architecture, the structural frame and data backbone of the device, which makes it possible for all the modules to communicate with each other. It has to be so efficient that the overall performance doesn't take a hit and still be cheap and frugal with power consumption.' For more on Project Ara and its challenges, watch this Slashdot interview with the project's firmware lead Marti Bolivar.
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Submission + - Study: Young Kids Have the Best Ideas for Mobile Services->

itwbennett writes: According to a paper published last week by researchers at Free University of Bozen-Bolzano in Italy, young children are better able to generate original, transformative and relevant ideas for mobile services than are adults. Using data collected in 2006 in Finland (as part of a different study) in which more than 2,000 people of various ages were asked to each come up with ideas for new mobile services, the researchers randomly selected 400 distinct ideas from kids aged 7 to 12 and 400 distinct ideas from adults aged 17 to 50. The ideas were evaluated by judges who rated each idea for its novelty and its quality. The results? The kids' ideas scored higher on all measures. 'We expected that kids’ ideas were more novel than those of adults,' authors Daniel Graziotin and Xiaofeng Wang told ITworld's Phil Johnson via email, 'but were quite surprised to see that more of their ideas were implemented six years later than those from adults, and considered by the evaluators more relevant as well.'
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Submission + - Skylake Has a Voice DSP and Listens To Your Commands->

itwbennett writes: Intel's new Skylake processor (like the Core M processor released last year) comes with a built-in digital signal processor (DSP) that will allow you to turn on and control your PC with your voice. Although the feature is not new, what is new is the availability of a voice controlled app to use it: Enter Windows 10 and Cortana. If this sounds familiar, it should, writes Andy Patrizio: 'A few years back when the Xbox One was still in development, word came that Kinect, its motion and audio sensor controller, would be required to use the console and Kinect would always be listening for voice commands to start the console. This caused something of a freak-out among gamers, who feared Microsoft would be listening.'
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Submission + - Oracle: Google Has 'Destroyed' the Market for Java->

itwbennett writes: Oracle made a request late last month to broaden its case against Android. Now, claiming that 'Android has now irreversibly destroyed Java’s fundamental value proposition as a potential mobile device operating system,' Oracle on Wednesday filed a supplemental complaint in San Francisco district court that encompasses the six Android versions that have come out since Oracle originally filed its case back in 2010: Gingerbread, Honeycomb, Ice Cream Sandwich, Jelly Bean, Kit Kat and Lollipop.
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Submission + - New IP Address Blacklist Based on Web Chatter->

itwbennett writes: A new approach to assembling blacklists analyzes chatter on the dark and open Web and can find malicious IP addresses that would have been missed using honeypots and intrusion detection systems, according to a report by security startup Recorded Future. On traditional blacklists, 99 percent of the addresses are for inbound activity, 'when someone is attacking your system from an external address,' said Staffan Truvé, chief scientist and co-founder at Recorded Future. On Recorded Future's new list, half of the addresses are for outbound activity, 'when an intruder is already in your systems, and is trying to connect to the outside world to exfiltrate data,' said Truvé. For example, Recorded Future identified 476 IP addresses associated with both the Dyreza and the Upatre malware families — only 41 of which were known to existing blacklists.
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Submission + - Is IT On Its Way Out?->

itwbennett writes: The death knell for traditional IT has been sounding for quite a while now, starting famously, and at the time explosively, with Nick Carr's 2003 Harvard Business Review article 'IT Doesn't Matter'. Now, a new report from the Business Performance Innovation Network, an executive change advocacy group, is shedding light on why IT doesn't matter. And, perhaps not surprisingly, it all comes down to IT's ability to innovate. The worldwide survey of 250 business leaders found that most rated 'the level of innovation in IT organizations' as middling (37% were 'making progress'; 33% were 'good'). And 15 percent of survey respondents rated IT innovation as 'poor.'
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Submission + - Fossil CEO: Wearables Smothering Swiss Watch Business->

itwbennett writes: 'I think technology and the whole idea of wearables ... has taken some of the oxygen out of the Swiss business,' Fossil CEO Kosta Kartsotis told analysts Tuesday on a call to discuss the watch maker’s second quarter results. These new competitors, along with other factors like a strong U.S. dollar, contributed to Fossil’s quarterly revenue decline, Kartsotis said. Last week, a report from market research firm NPD Group claimed the Apple Watch was partially behind the largest slump in U.S. watch sales since 2008.
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Submission + - 'Privacy Visor' Can Fool Face-Recognition Cameras->

itwbennett writes: Dark shades aren't enough to go incognito in the face of facial recognition camera systems. For that you need the Privacy Visor developed Japan's National Institute of Informatics. The visor consists of a lightweight, wraparound, semitransparent plastic sheet fitted over eyewear frames and works by reflecting overhead light into the camera lens, causing the area around the eyes to appear much brighter than normal.
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Submission + - BlackBerry Denies Its OS Was To Blame In Jeep Cherokee Hack->

itwbennett writes: Last month, security researchers demonstrated how to circumnavigate the in-vehicle entertainment system of the Jeep Cherokee to take over the car itself, including control of the dashboard, steering mechanism, transmission, locks, and brakes. The more than 1.4 million vehicles being recalled all run the QNX Neutrino OS, which was supplied by BlackBerry subsidiary QNX Software Systems. But the flaw being exploited was not within the OS itself, BlackBerry said Monday in its blog.
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Submission + - How To Make Money As An Independent Developer->

itwbennett writes: A new survey of 13,000 developers in 149 countries by U.K.-based research company VisionMobile compared, among other things, the most popular versus the most lucrative revenue models for four groups of developers: those focusing on mobile apps, cloud services, the Internet of Things, and desktop apps. Among their findings for mobile developers: While advertising is by far the most popular revenue model, only 17% of developers who rely primarily on advertising make more than $10,000 per month from their apps. By comparison, 37% of those who make their money by e-commerce (selling real-world goods and services) make $10k per month or more.
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Submission + - Android Device Makers To Release Monthly Security Fixes->

itwbennett writes: Although Google has for years provided manufacturers with monthly notices about Android security fixes, that hasn't necessarily meant that updates were distributed to users, in part because it required cooperation from mobile operators. That may be changing. Google, Samsung and LG will start to issue monthly security patches for Android devices. Google’s Nexus devices will get monthly over-the-air security patches. Samsung is 'in conversation with carriers around the world to implement the new approach.' And LG has made a similar commitment, said Adrian Ludwig, lead engineer for Android security at Google. The first update, released on Wednesday, included a patch Stagefright.
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Submission + - China To Plant Internet Police In Top Online Firms->

itwbennett writes: Websites based in China already have to abide by strict provisions for online censorship, and will often delete any content deemed offensive by government censors. But under a new plan announced Tuesday by the Ministry of Public Security security forces will be placed at the offices of the country's major websites, so that they can quickly respond to suspected online crimes. No specific companies were mentioned in the statement put out by the Ministry, but the country's biggest Internet firms include Alibaba Group, Baidu and Tencent.
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Submission + - Cleaning Up Botnets Takes Years, May Never Be Completed->

itwbennett writes: That's the finding of researchers in the Netherlands who analyzed the efforts of the Conficker Working Group to stop the botnet and find its creators. Seven years later, there are still about 1 million computers around the world infected with the Conficker malware despite the years-long cleanup effort. 'These people that remain infected — they might remain infected forever,' said Hadi Asghari, assistant professor at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands. The research paper will be presented next week at the 24th USENIX Security Symposium in Washington, D.C.
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