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+ - Avira wins case upholding its right to block adware->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Security firm Avira has won a court case that can not only be chalked up as a win for consumer rights, but could also set something of a precedent. Germany company Freemium.com took Avira to court for warning users about 'potentially unwanted applications' that could be bundled along with a number of popular games and applications.

Freemium.com downloads included a number of unwanted extras in the form of browser toolbars, free trial applications, adware, and other crapware. Avira's antivirus software warned users installing such applications; Freemium took objection to this and filed a cease and desist letter, claiming anti-competitive practices. But the court ruled in Avira favor, saying it could continue to flag up and block questionable software.

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+ - Bill Gates To Invest $2 Billion In Renewables->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: Bill Gates has invested about a billion dollars in renewable energy, and now he's ready to double down. Gates announced he will increase his investment in renewable energy technologies to $2 billion in an attempt to "bend the curve" on limiting climate change. He is focusing on risky investments that favor "breakthrough" technologies because he thinks incremental improvements to existing tech won't be enough to meet energy needs while avoiding a climate catastrophe. "There’s no battery technology that’s even close to allowing us to take all of our energy from renewables and be able to use battery storage in order to deal not only with the 24-hour cycle but also with long periods of time where it’s cloudy and you don’t have sun or you don’t have wind. Power is about reliability. We need to get something that works reliably." At the same time, Gates rejected calls to divest himself and his charitable foundation of investments in fossil fuel companies.
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+ - Where are all the legal drones based in America?->

Submitted by garymortimer
garymortimer writes: Leading unmanned aviation blog, sUAS News today released a map showing more than 600 drone operators that the FAA has granted permission to fly commercially.

Not only does Canada have an applicant but Switzerland and the UK as well.

The drones are used for a wide range of tasks from mapping farms to search and rescue. The majority are multirotors.

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+ - Scientists Overcome One of the Biggest Limits in Fibre Optic Networks->

Submitted by Mark.JUK
Mark.JUK writes: Researchers at the University of California in San Diego have demonstrated a way of boosting transmissions over long distance fibre optic cables and removing crosstalk interference, which would mean no more need for expensive electronic regenerators (repeaters) to keep the signal stable. The result could be faster and cheaper networks, especially on long-distance international subsea cables.

The feat was achieved by employing a frequency comb, which acts a bit like a concert conductor; the person responsible for tuning multiple instruments in an orchestra to the same pitch at the beginning of a concert. The comb was used to synchronize the frequency variations of the different streams of optical information (optical carriers) and thus compensate in advance for the crosstalk interference, which could also then be removed.

As a result the team were able to boost the power of their transmission some 20 fold and push data over a “record-breaking” 12,000km (7,400 miles) long fibre optic cable. The data was still intact at the other end and all of this was achieved without using repeaters and by only needing standard amplifiers.

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+ - Black hole awakes after 26 years

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 writes: For the first time since 1989, the black hole in V404 Cygni, a system comprising a black hole and a star, has reawakened, suddenly emitting high energy outbursts beginning on June 15.

First signs of renewed activity in V404 Cygni were spotted by the Burst Alert Telescope on NASA's Swift satellite, detecting a sudden burst of gamma rays, and then triggering observations with its X-ray telescope. Soon after, MAXI (Monitor of All-sky X-ray Image), part of the Japanese Experiment Module on the International Space Station, observed an X-ray flare from the same patch of the sky.

These first detections triggered a massive campaign of observations from ground-based telescopes and from space-based observatories, to monitor V404 Cygni at many different wavelengths across the electromagnetic spectrum.

The outbursts are probably occurring because the black hole is gobbling up material that has fallen into it.

While the 1989 outburst helped astronomers gain their first understand of the behavior of a black hole in a star system, this outburst will help them understand how such systems evolve and change over time.

+ - Google Tests Code Repository Service->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: VentureBeat notes that Google has begun testing an unannounced service to host and edit source code repositories as part of its cloud platform. It's called Cloud Source Repositories, and it's currently being beta-tested. "Google is taking a gradual approach with the new service: It can serve as a 'remote' for Git repositories sitting elsewhere on the Internet or locally. Still, over time the new tool could help Google become more of an all-in-one destination for building and deploying applications."
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+ - Editor of "Reason" talks about Federal subpoena->

Submitted by mi
mi writes: Is there anything more likely to make you shit your pants out of a mix of fear and anger than getting a federal subpoena out of the blue?

Well, yes, there is: getting a gag order that prohibits you from speaking publicly about that subpoena and even the gag order itself. Talk about feeling isolated and cast adrift in the home of the free. You can’t even respond honestly when someone asks, “Are you under a court order not to speak?”

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+ - Car hacking - it's FAR too easy...->

Submitted by Bruce66423
Bruce66423 writes: "Consumer Reports got an eye-opener during a visit to a National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) laboratory. The publication’s editors were surprised when a technician turned off the engine of a test car they were driving using nothing more than a mobile phone. NHTSA has found ways of tampering remotely with door locks, seat-belt tensioners, instrument panels, brakes, steering mechanisms and engines—all while the test cars were being driven.

"Last summer, for instance, during a meeting of automotive engineers and security experts, a 14-year-old schoolboy showed industry experts how to take control of a car remotely using circuitry he had lashed up overnight with $15 worth of parts bought from Radio Shack the day before. The youngster turned the windscreen wipers on and off, locked and unlocked the doors, engaged the engine-start mechanism, and had the headlamps flash to the beat of a tune on his iPhone."

There is hope: "This being litigious America, the automakers concerned quickly found themselves in the legal cross-hairs, as owners sought financial compensation for their vehicles’ perceived vulnerabilities."

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+ - U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission hunting insider trading hackers->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes: The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission are actively investigating the FIN4 financial hacking group identified by FireEye last December [http://it.slashdot.org/story/14/12/01/1827235/cyber-ring-stole-secrets-for-gaming-us-stock-market], according to a Reuters exclusive [http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/06/23/us-hackers-insidertrading-idUSKBN0P31M720150623]. In an unprecedented extension of its usual practice, the SEC is soliciting information about security breaches from private companies, which are not obliged to reveal them unless the breach enters into categories covered by federal law. Former SEC Head of Internet Enforcement John Reed Stark describes the proactive stance of the organisation as an ‘absolute first’.
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+ - China Allows Foreigners To Own E-Commerce, Companies Leaving New York->

Submitted by hackingbear
hackingbear writes: China has decided to give foreign investors greater freedom in the booming e-commerce industry by allowing them to fully own e-commerce companies in the country, the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) announced Friday. No longer needing the cumbersome VIE structure, an offshore special purpose vehicle that simultaneously allows foreign ownership and domestic operation, and considering Chinese Internet companies trade at an average of 150 times in the mainland, Chinese companies listed in the U.S., most of those are actually owned by foreigners like Yahoo, are receiving management-led buyout offers at record pace, the latest being Qihoo 360 (QIHU), which needs a whopping $7 billion financing package to complete the deal. Valuation differential with China aside, Chinese companies are also subject to short seller attacks. For instance, J Capital last week wrote a short report on JD, which Jefferies brushed aside as non-sense.
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Comment: Data generated by me belongs to me. (Score 1) 142 142

by leftover (#49964765) Attached to: Allstate Patents Physiological Data Collection

Why is no-one challenging the de facto theft of personal information? I don't care by who or how the data is recorded, it belongs to me and anyone who wants to use it needs my permission.

In some cases, such as a doctor ordering lab tests, I will give that permission gratis. In other cases, such as any of the Web page leeches, I will require payment.

It might be fun if a few tens of thousands of us start blasting out DMCA takedown notices whenever we see a tracking cookie on a Web page.

+ - Allstate patents physiological data collection 1 1

Submitted by TigerPlish
TigerPlish writes: According to the Chicago Tribune, Allstate has been granted a patent — no. US 20140080100 A1 — that covers a "driving-behavior database that it said might be useful for health insurers, lenders, credit-rating agencies, marketers and potential employers."

The article continues, "...the invention has the potential to evaluate drivers' physiological data, including heart rate, blood pressure and electrocardiogram signals, which could be recorded from steering wheel sensors."

Imagine a world where you are denied employment or credit based on the information obtained from your car and sold by your insurer. Imagine a world where your insurer predicts how you may act or react in the future. Imagine your personal physiological information in Allstate's hands.

Good hands, indeed, right? What could possibly go wrong?

+ - What is Facebook not telling us about machiavellian censorship?->

Submitted by Mark Wilson
Mark Wilson writes: Just a few days ago the Electronic Frontier Foundation published its annual Who Has Your Back report looking at how various technology companies treated customer privacy. The report makes for interesting reading, but it also raises some questions. One question that has cropped up several times is "how the hell did Facebook get a rating of 4 out of 5!?"

As well as rating Mark Zuckerberg's social network in terms of its privacy policies and how it responds to government data request, the EFF also probes the hidden censorship that appears to be going on. There have been numerous examples of blatant censorship from Facebook — including blocking certain pages in Turkey — and while this is worrying (particularly when the social network's founder is looking to connect the world to the web with Internet.org) but what is perhaps more concerning is the censorship we don't know about. The silent censorship that's going on the in the background. What are we *not* being told about?

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+ - Turning neural networks upside down produces psychedelic visuals->

Submitted by cjellibebi
cjellibebi writes: Neural networks that were designed to recognise images, when run backwards, turn out of being capable of enhancing existing images to resemble the images they were meant to try and recognise. The results are pretty trippy. This blog-post explains the research in great detail. There are pictures, and even a video. The Guardian has a digested article for the less tech-savvy.
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