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+ - One-child family norm gaining ground in Great Britain->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "While Europe has woken up to the crisis of overspill, Republic of India and its neighbourhood has nevertheless to induce their act along to handle population drawback, observes Subhash Chopra Birth rates ar falling across Europe, as well as UK wherever it's declined from two.4 kids per girl to one.9 over the recent ten years."
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+ - Kepler Makes First Exoplanet Discovery After Mission Reboot->

Submitted by astroengine
astroengine (1577233) writes "NASA’s Kepler space telescope has detected its first new extrasolar planet after mission engineers were able to save the mission from a premature death after two of the exoplanet hunter’s four stabilizing reaction wheels failed last year. Called “K2, the extended mission arose from an “innovative idea” that appears to have given the prolific telescope a new lease on life. “Last summer, the possibility of a scientifically productive mission for Kepler after its reaction wheel failure in its extended mission was not part of the conversation,” said Paul Hertz, NASA’s astrophysics division director at the agency’s headquarters in Washington D.C. “Today, thanks to an innovative idea and lots of hard work by the NASA and Ball Aerospace team, Kepler may well deliver the first candidates for follow-up study by the James Webb Space Telescope to characterize the atmospheres of distant worlds and search for signatures of life.”"
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+ - Small Bank in Kansas Creates the Bank Account of the Future 1

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Nathaniel Popper writes at the NYT that the Citizens Bank of Weir, Kansas, or CBW, has been taken apart and rebuilt, from its fiber optic cables up, so it can offer services not available at even the nation’s largest bank. The creation of the new bank, and the maintenance of the old one, are the work of Suresh Ramamurthi and his wife, Suchitra Padmanabhan who were born in India and ended up buying the bank in Kansas in 2009 after living in Silicon Valley and passing through jobs at Google and Lehman Brothers. Their goal was to find solutions to logjams that continue to vex consumers all over the country, such as the obstacles that slow money moving from one bank to another and across international borders. The new services that CBW is providing, like instant payments to any bank in the United States, direct remittance transfers abroad and specialized debit cards that can be set for particular purchases, such as those at specific stores, or at specific times might seem as if they should be painless upgrades in an age of high-frequency trading and interplanetary space missions. But the slowness of current methods of moving money is a widely acknowledged problem in the financial industry.

In the United States the primary option that consumers have to transfer money is still the ACH payment. Requests for ACH transfers are collected by banks and submitted in batches, once a day, and the banks receiving the transfers also process the payments once a day, leading to long waits. ACH technology was created in the 1970s and has not changed significantly since. The clunky system, which takes at least a day to deliver money, has become so deeply embedded in the banking industry that it has been hard to replace. CBW went to work on the problem by using the debit card networks that power ATM cash dispensers. Ramamurthi’s team engineered a system so that a business could collect a customer’s debit card number and use it to make an instant payment directly into the customer’s account — or into the account of a customer of almost any other bank in the country. The key to CBW's system is real-time, payment transaction risk-scoring — software that can judge the risk involved in any transaction in real time by looking at 20 to 40 factors, including a customers’ transaction history and I.P., address where the transaction originated. It was this system that Elizabeth McQuerry, the former Fed official, praised as the “biggest idea” at a recent bank conference. "Today's banks offer the equivalent of 300-year-old paper ledgers converted to an electronic form — a digital skin on an antiquated transaction process," says Suresh Ramamurthi. "We'll now be one of the first banks in the world to offer customers a reliable, compliant, safe and secure way to instantly send and receive money internationally.""

+ - AMD Offers A Performance Boost, Over 20 New Features With Catalyst Omega Drivers->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD this week just dropped its new Catalyst Omega driver package that is the culmination of six months of development work. AMD Catalyst Omega reportedly brings over 20 new features and a wealth of bug fixes to the table along with performance increases both on AMD Radeon GPUs and integrated AMD APUs. Some of the new functionality brought with the Catalyst Omega driver includes Virtual Super Resolution, or VSR. VSR is "game- and engine-agnostic" and renders content at up to 4K resolution, then displays it at a resolution that your monitor actually supports. The very nature of VSR allows it to be used across a wide spectrum of applications including games and even the Windows desktop. AMD says that VSR allows for increased image quality, similar in concept to Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA). Another added perk of VSR is the ability to see more content on the screen at once. To take advantage of VSR, you'll need a Radeon R9 295X2, R9 290X, R9 290, or R9 285 discrete graphics card. Both single- and multi-GPU configurations are currently supported. VSR is essentially AMD's answer to NVIDIA's DSR, or Dynamic Super Resolution. In addition, AMD is claiming performance enhancements in a number of top titles with these these new drivers. Reportedly, as little as 6 percent improvement in performance in FIFA Online to as much as a 29 percent increase in Batman: Arkham Origins can be gained when using an AMD 7000-Series APU, for example. On discrete GPUs, an AMD Radeon R9 290X's performance increases ranged from 8 percent in Grid 2, to roughly 16 percent in Bioshock Infinity."
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+ - DOJ Wants Companies To Trust the Government on Cybersecurity->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "During a forum on cybersecurity in Washington, D.C. Tuesday, Leslie Caldwell, assistant attorney general with the DOJ's Criminal Division, called for private companies to put more trust in the country's law enforcement agencies. Caldwell pointed to smartphone encryption as one area that is likely to become a problem for law enforcement. ‘We really need to think long and hard about whether we want to create a zone of lawlessness that law enforcement can't access,’ she said. ‘I think that's a very dangerous precedent that's been set.’"
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+ - Linux 3.18 Released, Lockup Bug Still Present

Submitted by jones_supa
jones_supa (887896) writes "As anticipated, Linus Torvalds officially released Linux 3.18. The new version is now out there, though that nasty lockup issue has still yet to be resolved. Dave Jones is nearing the end of bisecting the issue, but since it also affects Linux 3.17 and not too many people seem to get hit by the lockups, Linus Torvalds decided to go ahead and do the 3.18 release on schedule. Linus was also concerned that dragging out the 3.18 release would then complicate the Linux 3.19 merge window due to the holidays later this month. Now the Linux 3.19 kernel merge window is open for two weeks of exciting changes."

+ - French Publishers Prepare Lawsuit Against Adblock Plus

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Frédéric Filloux reports at Monday Note that two groups of French publishers, the GESTE and the French Internet Advertising Bureau, are considering a lawsuit against AdBlockPlus creator Eyeo GmbH on grounds that it represents a major economic threat to their business. According to LesEchos.fr, EYEO, which publishes Adblock Plus, has developed a business model where they offer not to block publishers' advertisements for remuneration as long as the ads are judged non-intrusive (Google Translate, Original here). "Several criteria must be met as well: advertisements must be identified as such, be static and therefore not contain animation, no sound, and should not interfere with the content. A position that some media have likened to extortion."

According to Filloux the legal action misses the point. By downloading AdBlock Plus (ABP) on a massive scale, users are voting with their mice against the growing invasiveness of digital advertising. Therefore, suing Eyeo, the company that maintains ABP, is like using Aspirin to fight cancer. A different approach is required but very few seem ready to face that fact. "We must admit that Eyeo GmbH is filling a vacuum created by the incompetence and sloppiness of the advertising community’s, namely creative agencies, media buyers and organizations that are supposed to coordinate the whole ecosystem," says Filloux. Even Google has begun to realize that the explosion of questionable advertising formats has become a problem and the proof is Google's recent Contributor program that proposes ad-free navigation in exchange for a fee ranging from $1 to $3 per month. "The growing rejection of advertising AdBlock Plus is built upon is indeed a threat to the ecosystem and it needs to be addressed decisively. For example, by bringing at the same table publishers and advertisers to meet and design ways to clean up the ad mess. But the entity and leaders who can do the job have yet to be found.""

+ - Every weapon, armored truck, and plane the Pentagon gave to local police->

Submitted by v3rgEz
v3rgEz (125380) writes "You may have heard that the image-conscious Los Angeles Unified School District chose to return the grenade launchers it received from the Defense Department’s surplus equipment program. You probably have not heard about some of the more obscure beneficiaries of the Pentagon giveaway, but now you can after MuckRock got the Department of Defense to release the full database, letting anyone browse what gear their local department has received."
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+ - NSA accused of running international cellphone cracking unit->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "The Intercept .has fresh revelations from the Snowden camp that suggest that the agency has stepped on, and grabbed hold of, cellphone weaknesses and cellphone communications. The news site reports on documents concerning an NSA thing called Operation Auroragold, that set about finding ways into any private cellphone networks that were presented to it.

It says that organisations including the European GSM Association were targeted by staffers from the agency, and that cellphone systems were picked apart and plundered for vulnerabilities."

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+ - We Are Living in the Surveillance Society Says Assange

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "Julian Assange writes in an op-ed in the NYT that we are living in a surveillance society where totalitarian surveillance is embodied in our governments and embedded in our economy, in our mundane uses of technology and in our everyday interactions. Companies like Google and Facebook are in the same business as the U.S. government’s National Security Agency says Assange and their business model is the industrial destruction of privacy. This destruction of privacy widens the existing power imbalance between the ruling factions and everyone else, leaving “the outlook for subject peoples and oppressed classes,” as Orwell wrote, “still more hopeless.”

According to Assange, the very concept of the Internet — a single, global, homogenous network that enmeshes the world — is the essence of a surveillance state. "The Internet was built in a surveillance-friendly way because governments and serious players in the commercial Internet wanted it that way. There were alternatives at every step of the way. They were ignored." But if there is a “democratic weapon,” that “gives claws to the weak” in George Orwell's words, it is cryptography. "It is cheap to produce: cryptographic software can be written on a home computer. It is even cheaper to spread: software can be copied in a way that physical objects cannot. But it is also insuperable — the mathematics at the heart of modern cryptography are sound, and can withstand the might of a superpower." It is too early to say whether the “democratizing” or the “tyrannical” side of the Internet will eventually win out says Assange. "But acknowledging them — and perceiving them as the field of struggle — is the first step toward acting effectively.""

+ - Apple Deleted Users' Non-iTunes Music->

Submitted by KatchooNJ
KatchooNJ (173554) writes "Engadget is reporting that Apple deleted users' non-iTunes music and didn't tell them about it. From the article:

Tell us if this sounds familiar: You grabbed Lady Gaga's The Fame Monster from Amazon MP3 in 2009, threw it in your iTunes library, went to sync your 160GB iPod classic and got an error message saying you needed to restore the device's factory settings. According to The Wall Street Journal, upon restoring, non-iTunes music would disappear. In the courtroom for the anti-trust case, prosecuting attorney Patrick Coughlin said that Apple directed the software to not tell users about their now-missing songs, too. Cupertino countered by saying that its actions were to thwart any attempts at hacking into iTunes and that users were kept in the dark for a reason. As security director Augustin Farrugia testified:

"We don't need to give users too much information... We don't want to confuse users.""

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+ - Are privacy and civil liberties a secondary concern for law enforcement?->

Submitted by coondoggie
coondoggie (973519) writes "Speaking at the Cybercrime 2020 Symposium in Washington, D.C., Assistant Attorney General Leslie R. Caldwell encouraged the debate but defended the US Department of Justice stating: “Almost every decision we make during an investigation requires us to weigh the effect on privacy and civil liberties, and we take that responsibility seriously. Privacy concerns are not just tacked onto our investigations, they are baked in. Privacy concerns are in the laws that set the ground rules for us to follow; the Departmental policies that govern our investigative and prosecutorial conduct; the accountability we must embrace when we present our evidence to a judge, a jury, and the public in an open courtroom; and in the proud culture of the Department."
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+ - U.K. Police Force "Accidentally" Admits It Spied on Journalists->

Submitted by Zanadou
Zanadou (1043400) writes "A U.K. police force has accidentally released documents revealing that it has used controversial anti-terror laws to spy on journalists who had not committed any crimes.

The Cleveland Police force (U.K.) “erroneously” sent information to The Press Gazette, a British media trade magazine dedicated to journalism and the press, that indicated that the police force had used the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) to obtain telecoms data while searching for a journalist’s source, the Press Gazette reports—and asked the publication to delete the documents when they realised what they had done.

Press Gazette refused to do so, arguing that “there is a strong public interest in disclosing it.”"

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+ - What Does The NSA Think Of Cryptographers? ->

Submitted by mikejuk
mikejuk (1801200) writes "A recently declassified NSA house magazine, CryptoLog, reveals some interesting attitudes between the redactions. What is the NSA take on cryptography?
The article of interest is a report of a trip to the 1992 EuroCrypt conference by an NSA cryptographer whose name is redacted.We all get a little bored having to sit though presentations that are off topic, boring or even down right silly but we generally don't write our opinions down. In this case the criticisms are cutting and they reveal a lot about the attitude of the NSA cryptographers. You need to keep in mind as you read that this is intended for the NSA crypto community and as such the writer would have felt at home with what was being written.
Take for example:
Three of the last four sessions were of no value whatever, and indeed there was almost nothing at Eurocrypt to interest us (this is good news!). The scholarship was actually extremely good; it’s just that the directions which external cryptologic researchers have taken are remarkably far from our own lines of interest.
It seems that back in 1992 academic cryptographers were working on things that the NSA didn't consider of any importance. Could things be the same now?
The gulf between the two camps couldn't be better expressed than:
The conference again offered an interesting view into the thought processes of the world’s leading “cryptologists.” It is indeed remarkable how far the Agency has strayed from the True Path.
The ironic comment is clearly suggesting that the NSA is on the "true path" whatever that might be.
Clearly the gap between the NSA and the academic crypto community is probably as wide today with the different approaches to the problem being driven by what each wants to achieve. It is worth reading the rest of the article."

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+ - Jolla's tablet will be able to run Linux and Android apps->

Submitted by sfcrazy
sfcrazy (1542989) writes "Jolla's tablet campaign on Indiego has crossed the desired $380,00 goal and hit the half million mark with $731,764 raised. While there are Firefox OS and Android, Sailfish like Ubuntu Touch, is the only Linux based OS which can install and run traditional Linux applications. So Jolla is really going to be exciting tablet for Linux users."
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