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+ - A Search Warrant for Your Brain?->

Submitted by benonemusic
benonemusic (2584875) writes "Will signals from your brain be protected under the Fourth or Fifth Amendment in the future? Experts at the recent annual meeting of the American Association for the Advancement of Science suggest that the Supreme Court may ultimately have to weigh in, and that search warrants for brain scans may someday be a possibility."
Link to Original Source

Omand Warns of "Ethically Worse" Spying If Unbreakable Encryption Is Allowed 392

Posted by samzenpus
from the don't-make-it-hard-for-us dept.
Press2ToContinue writes In their attempts to kill off strong encryption once and for all, top officials of the intelligence services are coming out with increasingly hyperbolic statements about why this should be done. Now, a former head of GCHQ, Sir David Omand has said: "One of the results of Snowden is that companies are now heavily encrypting [communications] end to end. Intelligence agencies are not going to give up trying to get the bad guys. They will have to get closer to the bad guys. I predict we will see more close access work." According to The Bureau of Investigative Journalism, which reported his words from a talk he gave earlier this week, by this he meant things like physical observation, bugging rooms, and breaking into phones or computers. "You can say that will be more targeted but in terms of intrusion into personal privacy — collateral intrusion into privacy — we are likely to end up in an ethically worse position than we were before." That's remarkable for its implied threat: if you don't let us ban or backdoor strong encryption, we're going to start breaking into your homes.
United States

Secret Service Investigating Small Drone On White House Grounds 146

Posted by samzenpus
from the a-little-off-course dept.
An anonymous reader sends word that the Secret Service is investigating a "device," described as a small drone, found on the grounds of the White House. "A small drone was found on the White House grounds overnight, two law enforcement sources told ABC News, but White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said the situation 'does not pose any sort of ongoing threat.' The Secret Service is investigating the device, Earnest said. Police, fire and other emergency vehicles swarmed around the White House in the pre-dawn hours, with several clustered near the southeast entrance to the mansion. The White House was dark and the entire perimeter was on lockdown until around 5 a.m., when pass holders who work in the complex were allowed inside."

+ - Decades Of Failed Promises From Verizon: It Promises Fiber To Get Tax Breaks... ->

Submitted by jehan60188
jehan60188 (2535020) writes "A decade ago, we wrote about how Verizon had made an agreement in Pennsylvania in 1994 that it would wire up the state with fiber optic cables to every home in exchange for tax breaks equalling $2.1 billion. In exchange for such a massive tax break, Verizon promised that all homes and businesses would have access to 45Mbps symmetrical fiber by 2015. By 2004, the deal was that 50% of all homes were supposed to have that. In reality, 0% did, and some people started asking for their money back. That never happened, and it appeared that Verizon learned a valuable lesson: it can flat out lie to governments, promise 100% fiber coverage in exchange for subsidies, then not deliver, and no one will do a damn thing about it."
Link to Original Source

+ - Amazing reduction in privacy->

Submitted by AtWorkInChicago
AtWorkInChicago (3985011) writes "An Atlanta-based company, AirSage, collects real-time data (15 billion data points every day) from cell phone tower interactions — whenever a person sends a text, makes a phone call or when a phone is searching for the next cell phone tower.... ...Because AirSage knows the home (or where the device seems to call home and sleeps on a daily basis) and its Census Block Group, it can infer demographic information (such as average household income) about the devices’ owners.
I'm surprised carriers are allowed to send this data to a commercial aggregator and more surprised that the company is allowed to sell details of my daily activity to any who will pay — am I being naive?"

Link to Original Source

There's a Problem In the Silk Road Trial: the Jury Doesn't Get the Internet 303

Posted by timothy
from the of-your-peers dept.
sarahnaomi (3948215) writes "The trial began this week for Ross Ulbricht, the 30-year-old Texas man accused of being the mastermind behind the dark net drug market, Silk Road. But as the jury began hearing testimony in the case, it was clear the technological knowledge gap would impede the proceedings. Judge Katherine Forrest said right off the bat when the case began that "highly technical" issues must be made clear to the jury. "If I believe things are not understandable to the average juror, we will talk about what might be a reasonable way to proceed at that time," she said. After the first day of proceedings, Forrest told the prosecution to be more clear with explanations of concepts central to the case, noting she was unhappy with its "mumbo-jumbo" explanation of the anonymizing service Tor. She also requested all readings of chat transcripts include emoticons."

NASA Update Will Deal With Opportunity Flash Memory "Amnesia" 52

Posted by samzenpus
from the patch-it-up dept.
BarbaraHudson writes Computerworld has some details on NASA's latest fix to allow the Opportunity Mars Rover to store data while in overnight "sleep mode." Opportunity has been suffering from a glitch that's causing what NASA scientists describe as memory and data loss — or robotic "amnesia" — caused by flash memory deterioration since early December. Currently any information gathered is stored temporarily in RAM and must be sent to Earth so it's not lost when Opportunity powers down.

+ - Democrats' Bill Would Ban Paid Prioritization By ISPs->

Submitted by jfruh
jfruh (300774) writes "In the opening days of the new U.S. Congress, a bill has been introduced in both the House and Senate enforcing Net neutrality, making it illegal for ISPs to accept payment to prioritize some traffic packets over others. But the sponsors are all Democrats, and with Republicans now in charge of both house of Congress, the chances of it passing seem slim."
Link to Original Source

+ - A Zoo Where the Visitors Are Locked Inside the Cages

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Chris Perez reports at the NY Post that the Lehe Ledu Wildlife Zoo in Chongqing city is giving people the hair-raising chance to learn what it’s like to come face to face with an apex predator. Visitors pay to be caged inside the back of a truck as it makes its way through the animal park. Just to make sure they get the attention of the beasts, huge chunks of raw meat are tied to the bars to lure them as close as possible. “We wanted to give our visitors the thrill of being stalked and attacked by the big cats but with, of course, none of the risks,” says Chan Liang. “The guests are warned to keep their fingers and hands inside the cage at all times because a hungry tiger wouldn’t know the difference between them and breakfast.” According to CNN the trips have been sold out for the next three months. “It’s like nothing I’ve ever experienced before in a zoo,” says Tao Jen. “We’re not looking at them, they’re looking at us — and we’re lunch.”"

Toyota Opens Patents On Hydrogen Fuel Cell Technology 124

Posted by samzenpus
from the here-you-go dept.
An anonymous reader writes that Toyota will share almost 6,000 hydrogen fuel cell patents. "Hoping to speed development of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, Toyota said Monday that it would offer thousands of patents on related technologies to rival automakers, for free. The announcement, made at the annual Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, echoes a similar move by electric car maker Tesla in 2014, when Chief Executive Elon Musk made Tesla patents available to all, hoping to spur innovation in the electric vehicle world (and, perhaps, to draw publicity.) Toyota has similar goals for the fuel-cell car market. 'At Toyota, we believe that when good ideas are shared, great things can happen,' Bob Carter, senior vice president at Toyota, said before the announcement. 'The first generation hydrogen fuel cell vehicles, launched between 2015 and 2020, will be critical, requiring a concerted effort and unconventional collaboration.'"

In Daring Plan, Tomorrow SpaceX To Land a Rocket On Floating Platform 151

Posted by samzenpus
from the use-it-again dept.
HughPickens.com writes "The cost of getting to orbit is exorbitant, because the rocket, with its multimillion-dollar engines, ends up as trash in the ocean after one launching, something Elon Musk likens to throwing away a 747 jet after a single transcontinental flight. That's why tomorrow morning at 620 am his company hopes to upend the economics of space travel in a daring plan by attempting to land the first stage of a Falcon 9 rocket intact on a floating platform, 300 feet long and 170 feet wide in the Atlantic Ocean. SpaceX has attempted similar maneuvers on three earlier Falcon 9 flights, and on the second and third attempts, the rocket slowed to a hover before splashing into the water. "We've been able to soft-land the rocket booster in the ocean twice so far," says Musk. "Unfortunately, it sort of sat there for several seconds, then tipped over and exploded. It's quite difficult to reuse at that point."

After the booster falls away and the second stage continues pushing the payload to orbit, its engines will reignite to turn it around and guide it to a spot about 200 miles east of Jacksonville, Florida. Musk puts the chances of success at 50 percent or less but over the dozen or so flights scheduled for this year, "I think it's quite likely, 80 to 90 percent likely, that one of those flights will be able to land and refly." SpaceX will offer its own launch webcast on the company's website beginning at 6 a.m. If SpaceX's gamble succeeds, the company plans to reuse the rocket stage on a later flight. "Reusability is the critical breakthrough needed in rocketry to take things to the next level."
SpaceX announced the plan in December.

+ - SpyWatch: Enabling users to monitor third party web trackers->

Submitted by neelguha
neelguha (3974687) writes "SpyWatch is a Chrome browser extension I created that allows users to see the third parties tracking them when they browse online. When a user visits a page online, SpyWatch enables them to see which third parties know they visited the page. Unlike other browser privacy extensions (such as Ghostery and DoNotTrackMe), SpyWatch also allows users to see which pages a particular third party (e.g. doubleclick.net) knows they’ve visited."
Link to Original Source

+ - US army could waive combat training for hackers

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "New U.S. Army cyber warriors could be spared the rigors of combat training to help the Pentagon attract badly needed recruits from the ponytail wearing Google generation, a top American general has suggested. Lt Gen Brown, commander of the US Army Combined Arms Centre at Fort Leavenworth, said: 'We need to give serious consideration to how the US Army could combine the technical expertise of the "Google" generation with its more traditional military skills. In order to gain an intellectual advantage over adversaries in cyberspace, we will need to tap into a talent pool that may not fit the stereotypical soldier profile. Our goal is to recruit the best talent possible.'""

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