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+ - TSA confiscates a toy ray-gun belt buckle

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Does this make you feel safer? At an airport security checkpoint the TSA confiscated a belt buckle made to look like a toy Flash Gordon ray-gun.

It wasn’t a real gun. It wasn’t even a toy gun. It was a belt buckle fashioned to look like a 1940s science fiction ray-gun. Even if it was one of the actual Flash Gordon ray-guns that was used in the movie serial, it couldn’t have done anything.

But it wasn’t. It was a belt buckle. I am so glad we have the TSA looking out for us!"

+ - 'Ambulance drone' prototype unveiled in Holland->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "A Dutch-based student on Tuesday unveiled a prototype of an "ambulance drone", a flying defibrillator able to reach heart attack victims within precious life-saving minutes.

"Around 800,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest in the European Union every year and only 8.0 percent survive, the main reason for this is the relatively long response time of emergency services of around 10 minutes, while brain death and fatalities occur with four to six minutes,""

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+ - Some Researchers Agree With Musk That A.I. Could Be Dangerous->

Submitted by Lucas123
Lucas123 (935744) writes "Researchers from some of the top U.S. universities said Elon Must wasn't so far off the mark when he said last week that artificial intelligence poses a threat to humans. "If I were to guess at what our biggest existential threat is, it's probably that... With artificial intelligence, we are summoning the demon." Musk said at an M.I.T. symposium . Musk's comments came after he tweeted in early August that AI is "potentially more dangerous than nukes." Andrew Moore, dean of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon, Musk has "a valid concern and it's really an interesting one. It's a remote, far future danger but sometime we're going to have to think about it." AI researchers disagree on when the technology will be available, some saying 20 years, others believe 50 or, even 100 years away. Stuart Russell, a professor of electrical engineering and computer science at the UC Berkeley, compared AI research to that of nuclear fusion. "The first thing you think of is containment. You need to get energy out without creating a hydrogen bomb. The same would be true for AI. If we don't know how to control AI it would be like making a hydrogen bomb.""
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+ - British Spies Allowed to Access U.S. Data Without a Warrant->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "British authorities are capable of tapping into bulk communications data collected by other countries' intelligence services—including the National Security Agency—without a warrant, according to secret government documents released Tuesday.

The agreement between the NSA and Britain's equivalent, GCHQ, potentially puts the Internet and phone data of Americans in the hands of another country without legal oversight when obtaining a warrant is "not technically feasible."

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+ - Federal agents impersonated computer technicians to collect evidence-> 1

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Federal agents turned off Internet access to three luxury villas at a Las Vegas hotel then impersonated repair technicians to surreptitiously get inside and collect evidence in an investigation of online sports betting, according to defense lawyers challenging the practice.

The FBI employed the ruse against the recommendation of an assistant U.S. attorney."

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+ - As H-1B Investigative Reports Emerge, Feds Set to Destroy H-1B Records

Submitted by theodp
theodp (442580) writes "A year-long investigation by NBC Bay Area's Investigative Unit and The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR) raises questions about the H-1B visa program. In a five-part story that includes a mini-graphic novel called Techsploitation, CIR describes how the system rewards job brokers who steal wages and entrap Indian tech workers in the US, including the awarding of half a billion dollars in Federal tech contracts to those with labor violations. "Shackling workers to their jobs," CIR found after interviewing workers and reviewing government agency and court documents, "is such an entrenched business practice that it has even spread to U.S. nationals. This bullying persists at the bottom of a complex system that supplies workers to some of America’s richest and most successful companies, such as Cisco Systems Inc., Verizon and Apple Inc." In a presumably unrelated move, the U.S. changed its H-1B record retention policy last week, declaring that records used for labor certification, whether in paper or electronic, "are temporary records and subject to destruction" after five years under the new policy. "There was no explanation for the change, and it is perplexing to researchers," reports Computerworld. "The records under threat are called Labor Condition Applications (LCA), which identify the H-1B employer, worksite, the prevailing wage, and the wage paid to the worker." Lindsay Lowell, director of policy studies at the Institute for the Study of International Migration at Georgetown University, added: "It undermines our ability to evaluate what the government does and, in today's world, retaining electronic records like the LCA is next to costless [a full year's LCA data is less than 1 GB]." President Obama, by the way, is expected to use his executive authority to expand the H-1B program after the midterm elections."

+ - Verizon Launches Tech News Site That Bans Stories On U.S. Spying 2

Submitted by blottsie
blottsie (3618811) writes "The most-valuable, second-richest telecommunications company in the world is bankrolling a technology news site called The publication, which is now hiring its first full-time editors and reporters, is meant to rival major tech websites like Wired and the Verge while bringing in a potentially giant mainstream audience to beat those competitors at their own game.

There’s just one catch: In exchange for the major corporate backing, tech reporters at SugarString are expressly forbidden from writing about American spying or net neutrality around the world, two of the biggest issues in tech and politics today."

+ - Largest sunspot in a quarter century spews flares

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "The largest sunspot seen in about a quarter century produced another powerful X-class flare today, the sixth in less than a week.

This was the sixth X-class solar flare from NOAA 2192, a record for the number of X-class flares generated by a single group so far this solar cycle. It was also the fourth X-class flare since last Friday, continuing a period of intense flaring activity. This sunspot group has grown again a bit, and maintains its magnetic complexity. A degradation of the HF radio-communication was observed over South-America, the Caribbean, and West-Africa.

The last sentence is referring to some radio communications blackouts that have occurred in these areas because of the flares. For more information about the sunspot itself, go here."

+ - USA Today's Susan Page: Obama admin most 'dangerous' to media in history->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "At some point, a compendium of condemnations against the Obama administration’s record of media transparency (actually, opacity) must be assembled. Notable quotations in this vein come from former New York Times executive editor Jill Abramson, who said, “It is the most secretive White House that I have ever been involved in covering”; New York Times reporter James Risen, who said, “I think Obama hates the press”; and CBS News’s Bob Schieffer, who said, “This administration exercises more control than George W. Bush’s did, and his before that.”

USA Today Washington Bureau Chief Susan Page has added a sharper edge to this set of knives. Speaking Saturday at a White House Correspondents’ Association (WHCA) seminar, Page called the current White House not only “more restrictive” but also “more dangerous” to the press than any other in history, a clear reference to the Obama administration’s leak investigations and its naming of reporter James Rosen as a possible “co-conspirator” in a violation of the Espionage Act."

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+ - T-Mobile quietly hardens part of its U.S. cellular network against snooping->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Wireless carrier T-Mobile US has been quietly upgrading its network in a way that makes it harder for surveillance equipment to eavesdrop on calls and monitor texts, even on the company’s legacy system.

The upgrade involves switching to a new encryption standard, called A5/3, that is harder to crack than older forms of encryption. Testing by The Washington Post has found T-Mobile networks using A5/3 in New York, Washington and Boulder, Colorado, instead of the older A5/1 that long has been standard for second-generation (2G) GSM networks in the United States. More advanced technologies, such as 3G and 4G, already use stronger encryption."

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+ - Ex-CBS reporter claims Government agency bugged her computer->

Submitted by RoccamOccam
RoccamOccam (953524) writes "A former CBS News reporter who quit the network over claims it kills stories that put President Obama in a bad light says she was spied on by a “government-related entity” that planted classified documents on her computer.

In her new memoir, Sharyl Attkisson says a source who arranged to have her laptop checked for spyware in 2013 was “shocked” and “flabbergasted” at what the analysis revealed. “This is outrageous. Worse than anything Nixon ever did. I wouldn’t have believed something like this could happen in the United States of America,” Attkisson quotes the source saying."

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Whoever dies with the most toys wins.