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+ - FAA moves to regulate and thus destroy drone use 2

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The proposed rules would require that a drone owner would have to get certified as a pilot, “certification that can cost $10,000 and demand many hours flying aircraft that control nothing like a little drone.”

“Knowing the proper flap setting on a short runway approach for a Cessna 172 doesn’t do any good for a DJI Phantom [an inexpensive and popular commercial drone],” said Matt Waite, a University of Nebraska professor and founder of the Drone Journalism Lab. “A lot of people out there already running businesses in conflict with FAA policy, who don’t have pilot licenses, are probably looking at this like, ‘You’ve got to be kidding me.'”

Gee, here we have a new industry that is growing and prosperous, with many people coming up with creative ideas for using drones that none of its inventors ever dreamed of, and the government wants to step in and control it, regulating it to a point where it can’t even exist legally. Isn’t that nice of them?"

+ - DHS Set to Destroy Einstein Surveillance Records->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The Department of Homeland Security is poised to ditch all records from a controversial network monitoring system called Einstein that are at least three years old, but not for security reasons. DHS reasons the files — which include data about traffic to government websites, agency network intrusions and general vulnerabilities — have no research significance.

But some security experts say, to the contrary, DHS would be deleting a treasure chest of historical threat data. And privacy experts, who wish the metadata wasn’t collected at all, say destroying it could eliminate evidence that the government wide surveillance system does not perform as intended.

The National Archives and Records Administration has tentatively approved the disposal plan, pending a public comment period."

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Comment: What did China promise? (Score 2) 145

by schwit1 (#48444673) Attached to: Prospects Rise For a 2015 UN Climate Deal, But Likely To Be Weak

The agreement allows China to continue building coal-powered plants, expand its economy and cement its place as the world's leading polluter -- perhaps even doubling its output until 2030 or some year around that time, when China's carbon emissions are expected to peak.

At that point, the Chinese promise that they will implement some vague action plan at some vague point in the future. All we need to do is trust them. The agreement contains no binding language requiring any goals to be met.

+ - A Charlotte judge unseals 500+ Stingray records->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "A judge in Charlotte, North Carolina, has unsealed a set of 529 court documents in hundreds of criminal cases detailing the use of a stingray, or cell-site simulator, by local police. This move, which took place earlier this week, marks a rare example of a court opening up a vast trove of applications made by police to a judge, who authorized each use of the powerful and potentially invasive device

According to the Charlotte Observer, the records seem to suggest that judges likely did not fully understand what they were authorizing. Law enforcement agencies nationwide have taken extraordinary steps to preserve stingray secrecy. As recently as this week, prosecutors in a Baltimore robbery case dropped key evidence that stemmed from stingray use rather than fully disclose how the device was used."

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+ - Air Gap no longer a barrier for hackers->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Air-gap networks were once considered the "magic bullet" for securing data, but researchers from Ben-Gurion University in Israel have found a way to compromise those machines. Once a computer is infected with a particular kind of virus, hackers can trick the PC into relaying information that can be wirelessly retrieved from a mobile phone located outside of the room."
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+ - Kickstarter campaign to fund lunar probe

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A private consortium of scientists and entrepreneurs is planning to fund its unmanned lunar lander with a Kickstarter campaign followed by private sales..

The mission is raising initial development funding through Kickstarter, the crowdfunding platform. Following the initial public phase the remaining funding requirements will be met through sales of ‘digital memory boxes’ in which donors can have their biographies recorded and taken to the Moon. These will also include a strand of hair so that their DNA can exist in space. The team has claimed that around one per cent of the global population who can afford a memory box will buy one. Also included in the time capsule will be record of life on Earth. The archive will include a record of human history and civilisation to date alongside a species database showing the biodiversity of animals and plants.

This is essentially a UK project, backed by the government but with little funding. They hope to launch in 2024, with two missions planned, the first to drill into the lunar soil and the second to bring back samples."

+ - Senate Blocks Vote on Curbing NSA's Bulk Data Collection Program->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Senate leaders failed to get the 60 votes needed to advance The USA Freedom Act — which would have limited the National Security Agency’s bulk collection of phone records — and as Bloomberg reports, it's unlikely a new version can be drafted for another vote before the congressional term expires this year. The 58-42 vote to move the measure forward came mostly along party lines as Senator Saxby Chambliss — the top Republican on the intelligence committee — rambling that the bill "eliminates tools critical to the intelligence community’s ability to prevent terrorist attacks, and its adoption would greatly degrade our ability to fight domestic terrorism in particular." In other words — it's for own good, now shut up!"
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+ - MARS, inc - We are running out of chocolate->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "There's no easy way to say this: You're eating too much chocolate, all of you. And it's getting so out of hand that the world could be headed towards a potentially disastrous (if you love chocolate) scenario if it doesn't stop.

Chocolate deficits, whereby farmers produce less cocoa than the world eats, are becoming the norm. Already, we are in the midst of what could be the longest streak of consecutive chocolate deficits in more than 50 years. It also looks like deficits aren't just carrying over from year-to-year—the industry expects them to grow. Last year, the world ate roughly 70,000 metric tons more cocoa than it produced. By 2020, the two chocolate-makers warn that that number could swell to 1 million metric tons, a more than 14-fold increase; by 2030, they think the deficit could reach 2 million metric tons."

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+ - Disney keeps mysterious no-fly zone over parks->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "What do the White House and the Magic Kingdom have in common? Each is protected by a federally imposed no-fly zone.

That's because for the past decade, Disney World and Disneyland have benefited from a deal slipped into a 300-page spending bill that designates airspace above both parks as no-fly zones. That means anyone caught trying to chopper into Cinderella’s castle could risk federal prosecution and jail time.

The no-fly zones were put in place ostensibly for security reasons following 9/11 but have stayed in place in what some say is a cleverly crafted plan by Disney to keep pesky aerial advertisers out of its pristine airspace."

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+ - Taking photos of Eiffel Tower at night is illegal->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The next time you're in the City of Lights and are about to snap nighttime pictures of the Eiffel Tower don't: you could be fined.

An obscure clause in EU law states that the tower's evening light display is an "art work" — and therefore is copyrighted.According to the Daily Mail, under the EU's 2001 information society directive, tourists could be fined for taking pictures of the Eiffel Tower at night and sharing them on Facebook, Twitter, or online.

Built in 1889, the structure is the most-visited paid monument in the world that attracts almost seven million of tourists to Paris each year. Tourist flock to see the glittering lightshow, which made its first appearance in 1985. Originally the work of Pierre Bideau, an electrician and lighting engineer, the golden lights that flank the sides of the tower sparkle for five minutes every hour from dusk til dawn.

The tower is classified as public domain, so when the lights are off, picture taking and sharing is permitted."

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+ - Carmakers unite around privacy protections->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Nineteen automakers accounting for most of the passenger cars and trucks sold in the U.S. have signed onto a set of principles they say will protect motorists' privacy in an era when computerized cars pass along more information about their drivers than many motorists realize.

The principles were delivered in a letter Wednesday to the Federal Trade Commission, which has the authority to force corporations to live up to their promises to consumers. Industry officials say they want to assure their customers that the information that their cars stream back to automakers or that is downloaded from the vehicle's computers won't be handed over to authorities without a court order, sold to insurance companies or used to bombard them with ads for pizza parlors, gas stations or other businesses they drive past, without their permission.

The principles also commit automakers to "implement reasonable measures" to protect personal information from unauthorized access.

It's a meaningless gesture without being codified into law. A greedy car manufacturer or NSL trumps any 'set of principles'."

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+ - Drone sightings up dramatically->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The government is getting near-daily reports — and sometimes two or three a day — of drones flying near airplanes and helicopters or close to airports without permission, federal and industry officials tell The Associated Press. It's a sharp increase from just two years ago when such reports were still unusual.

Many of the reports are filed with the Federal Aviation Administration by airline pilots. But other pilots, airport officials and local authorities often file reports as well, said the officials, who agreed to discuss the matter only on the condition that they not be named because they weren't authorized to speak publicly. Michael Toscano, president of a drone industry trade group, said FAA officials also have verified the increase to him.

While many of the reports are unconfirmed, raising the possibility that pilots may have mistaken a bird or another plane in the distance for a drone, the officials said other reports appear to be credible."

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