Submission + - Tasers Implicated In Far More Deaths Than We Previously Thought (fastcompany.com)

tedlistens writes: The Taser is thought to be a “less than lethal” alternative to a firearm during aggressive police encounters. Independent studies have showed that when deployed correctly—according to “guidelines” manufacturer Axon offers to police—Tasers reduce injuries among both officers and the people they subdue. But amid a lack of official data about their use and effects, a new report by Reuters found 1,005 incidents in the U.S. in which people died after police stunned them with the electrical weapons, most since the early 2000s. The Taser was ruled to be a cause or contributing factor in 153 of those deaths—far more than the 24 cases the company has counted. Reuters found that 9 in 10 of those who died were unarmed and one in four suffered from mental illness or neurological disorders; In 9 of every 10 incidents reviewed, the deceased was unarmed; More than 100 of the fatal encounters began with a 911 call for help during a medical emergency. Earlier this year, Axon rebranded, dropping the name Taser International to underscore its focus on body cameras and digital evidence, which is meant in part to add new transparency to fatal police encounters.

Submission + - Should tech companies be the internet free speech police? 2

MobyDisk writes: Last week, Slashdot echoed reports about how Cloudflare was still providing services to the Neo-Nazi web site The Daily Stormer. But not a day later, Cloudflare CEO Matthew Prince changed his mind and canceled service for the Daily Stormer. But surprisingly, Mr. Prince insisted that he should actually not have this kind of power and that internet companies should be "consistently content neutral."

Today in an interview for NPR's Marketplace, Mr. Prince suggested that a few few big internet CEOs could essentially censor the internet. He stated "we'd been trying to have a conversation about who should be regulating and effectively censoring the internet. And yet the question just kept coming back to 'Why do you support Nazis?'" Was his decision a political one, to avoid damaging his own company's reputation?

Jim Gilmore, co-founder of the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), famously said that "The Net interprets censorship as damage and routes around it." This quote is often repeated here on Slashdot, but is it no longer true?

Submission + - Mozilla Testing an Opt-Out System for Firefox Telemetry Collection (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Mozilla engineers are discussing plans to change the way Firefox collects usage data (telemetry), and the organization is currently preparing to test an opt-out clause so they could collect more data relevant to the browser's usage. In a Google Groups discussion that's been taking place since Monday, Mozilla engineers cite the lack of usable data the Foundation is currently receiving via its data collection program.

The problem is that Firefox collects data from a very small fraction of its userbase, and this data may not be representative of the browser's real usage. Mozilla would like to fix this by flipping everyone's telemetry setting to enabled and adding an opt-out clause. Engineers also plan to embed Google's ROPPAR project [1, 2] for anonymous data collection.

Submission + - Iowa Computer Programmer Gets 25 Years For Lottery Scam (desmoinesregister.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Eddie Tipton, the Iowa brainpower behind a case of multi-state lottery fraud, will spend up to 25 years in prison for rigging “random” drawing jackpots. It's unknown how many years Tipton will actually spend in prison. He could be paroled within three or four years, his attorneys noted. Tipton, 54, was a longtime computer programmer in the Iowa offices of the Multi-State Lottery Association who installed software that allowed him to pick winning numbers in some of the nation’s most popular lottery drawings. His scam began to unravel following unsuccessful attempts to anonymously collect a $16.5 million Hot Lotto ticket that was purchased at a Des Moines convenience store in 2010.

Submission + - Google's Plans to Restrict Publisher Advertising 1

Presto Vivace writes: Google’s Censorship, Plans to Restrict Publisher Advertising Raises Antitrust Issues

A connected DC reader sent a copy of Google: Ad Blocking Chrome Extension Raises Antitrust Issues, published by Capitol Forum. The article gives a high level overview a recent Google move to exert even more influence over what appears on the Internet. Recall that recently Google changed its search algorithms to favor “authoritative content” meaning the mainstream media (note that Google already gave lower priority to less popular sites, including academic publications). The most widely publicized result that many left-leaning websites, such as WSWS, Consortium News, TruthDig, Common Dreams, Black Agenda Report, Democracy Now! and even The Intercept saw large drops in the traffic they got from internet searches, which is a significant source of their total pageviews. This result may have been one of the main sought-after outcomes, since not long after that, Google demonetized thousands of YouTube accounts, both left wing ones and those of Trump supporters.

Submission + - Cloud backup solutions, anyone?

OneHundredAndTen writes: After having used the services of CrashPlan for my backups for a few years now, I have just learned that CrashPlan is exiting the home backup business. Although this won't be happening for another 14 months, they have the chutzpah of recommending a provider (Carbonite) that does not support Linux. Looking in the net, there are not so many alternatives available — unless you go with somebody that charges you $5/mo and up for a measly 100GB, or (occasionally) 1TB. Fine for a little phone, but not for the several TB worth of video I have shot over the years.

Anybody aware of decent cloud backup solutions that support Linux, and that offer a maximum backup capacity that is not ridiculously small?

Submission + - IBM to Trace Food Contamination with Blockchain (cnbc.com)

Thelasko writes: IBM has been joined by a group of global food giants including the likes of Nestle, Unilever and Walmart in an effort to reduce food contamination by using blockchain.

The corporation announced Tuesday that it would enable global food businesses to use its blockchain network to trace the source of contaminated produce.

It would enable food suppliers to source information about the origin, condition and movement of food, and to trace contaminated produce in mere seconds.

Submission + - Code42 says Crashplan backup service will discontinue all personal backup plans (crashplan.com)

amxcoder writes: Code42, the company behind the popular Crashplan online backup service has announced that will be discontinuing all of it's personal and family backup plan offerings to focus on business backup service plans only. In the letter sent to existing personal plan customers, it says that next year will be the cutoff date for personal plans and all existing personal plan holders will have to upgrade their subscriptions to more expensive business plans or leave for another provider after current subscription runs out. Crashplan personal and family services were one of the best (and most affordable) options available for online backup, providing features that other rivals do not, including backup options for cloud, external local drives, and to other friends/family member's drives (trusted offsite). Looking at Carbonite services (who Code42 is recommending existing personal subscribers switch to), does not offer many of the options and features in their backup software, including multiple backup sets, unlimited deleted file retention, the trusted offsite options and any type of 'family subscription' offerings. Here is the statement from the Code42 CEO Joe Payne: https://www.crashplan.com/en-u...

Submission + - Code42 To Exit Consumer Market (zendesk.com)

ReederDa writes: Code42, creator of popular backup software "CrashPlan", announced plans today to cease offering their home and family plans for backups, instead choosing to focus on the business and enterprise markets.
From their announcement:
"On August 22, 2017, Code42 announced our exit from the consumer backup business to focus exclusively on enterprise, small business, and education markets.

We are no longer renewing or offering new CrashPlan for Home subscriptions as of August 22, 2017, including trials. We will end all operations for CrashPlan for Home after October 22, 2018 and the product will no longer be available for customers’ use, including access to previously backed up data.

We will honor existing CrashPlan for Home subscriptions until they expire and work with our customers to ensure a smooth transition."

Submission + - China Will Launch World's First 'Unhackable' Computer Network

Iamthecheese writes: China is set to launch the world’s first unhackable computer network this August. Called the Jinan project, the computer network is based on quantum technology.

The development of the computer network puts China amongst the world leaders of quantum technology. The network works by using the city of Jinan as a quantum computer hub. The city is located between Beijing and Shanghai so it can enhance the Beijing-Shanghai quantum network.

Submission + - Two-Factor Auth Fail: Cellphone Hijacking On the Rise (nytimes.com) 1

Cludge writes: The NYT writes: "Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of online security — the mobile phone number — is also one of the easiest to steal. ... hackers have been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile U.S., Sprint and AT&T and asking them to transfer control of a victim’s phone number to a device under the control of the hackers. Once they get control of the phone number, they can reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup." Cellphone hijacking incidents more than doubled between 2013 and 2016, targeting a diverse group that includes a Black Lives Matter activist and the chief technologist of the Federal Trade Commission.

Submission + - This Battery Breakthrough Could Change Everything (wired.com)

mirandakatz writes: Technology is advancing faster than ever before, but one area has remained stubbornly static: Batteries. And as we move toward a future where nearly everything we use is battery-powered, it's crucial that we figure out a better solution than what we've currently got. Bill Joy, a long-time investor in clean tech, thinks he may have found the solution: solid-state batteries that are literally bulletproof. At Backchannel, Joy discusses the breakthrough with Steven Levy, explaining that "if this works out, energy becomes very fungible and we could more easily move energy from renewable sources like wind and hydroelectric....these new models are efficient, so you can store and retrieve renewable energy, and it will cost a penny or less to put the energy in and out. We finally can get the smart grid. I call it the energy internet. If I have a wind farm in Texas that’s generating electricity, late at night, I can simply send a kilowatt-hour—a packet of energy—to someone in another place that’s going to use it later, and they can simply store it."

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