Submission + - 'Login With Facebook' Data Hijacked By JavaScript Trackers (

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook confirms to TechCrunch that it’s investigating a security research report that shows Facebook user data can be grabbed by third-party JavaScript trackers embedded on websites using Login With Facebook. The exploit lets these trackers gather a user’s data including name, email address, age range, gender, locale, and profile photo depending on what users originally provided to the website. It’s unclear what these trackers do with the data, but many of their parent companies including Tealium, AudienceStream, Lytics, and ProPS sell publisher monetization services based on collected user data. The abusive scripts were found on 434 of the top 1 million websites including freelancer site, camera seller B&H Photo And Video, and cloud database provider MongoDB. That’s according to Steven Englehardt and his colleagues at Freedom To Tinker, which is hosted by Princeton’s Center For Information Technology Policy.

Submission + - Autonomous Boats Will Be On the Market Sooner Than Self-Driving Cars (

An anonymous reader writes: In the autonomous revolution that is underway, nearly every transportation machine will eventually be self-driving. For cars, it’s likely going to take decades before we see them operating freely, outside of test conditions. Some unmanned watercraft, on the other hand, may be at sea commercially before 2020. That’s partly because automating all ships could generate a ridiculous amount of revenue. According to the United Nations, 90 percent of the world’s trade is carried by sea and 10.3 billion tons of products were shipped in 2016. According to NOAA’s National Ocean Service, ships transported $1.5 trillion worth of cargo through US ports in 2016. The world’s 325 or so deep-sea shipping companies have a combined revenue of $10 billion.

Startups and major firms like Rolls Royce are now looking to automate the seas and help maritime companies ease navigation, save fuel, improve safety, increase tonnage, and make more money. As it turns out, autonomous systems for boats aren’t supremely different than those of cars, beyond a few key factors—for instance, water is always moving while roads are not, and ships need at least a couple miles to redirect. Buffalo Automation, a startup in upstate New York that began at the University at Buffalo, just raised $900,000 to help commercialize its AutoMate system—essentially a collection of sensors and cameras to help boats operate semi-autonomously. CEO Thiru Vikram said the company is working with three pilot partners, and intends to target cargo ships and recreational vessels first. Autonomous ships are an area of particular interest for the International Maritime Organization (IMO), which sets the standards for international waters. It launched a regulatory scoping exercise last year to analyze the impact of autonomous boats. By the time it wraps in 2020, market demand may make it so that we already have semi-autonomous and unmanned vessels at sea.

Submission + - MIT just discovered a way to mass produce graphene in large sheets (

Paige.Bennett writes: Up till now, graphene has been produced in small batches in labs. But MIT just found a way to mass produce graphene in large sheets using a process that rolls out five centimeters of graphene each minute. The longest span so far was nearly four hours, which produced about 10 meters of graphene.

Submission + - Microsoft Ports Edge Anti-Phishing Technology to Google Chrome (

An anonymous reader writes: Microsoft has released a Chrome extension named "Windows Defender Browser Protection" that ports Windows Defender's —and inherently Edge's— anti-phishing technology to Google Chrome. The extension works by showing bright red-colored pages whenever users are tricked into accessing malicious links. The warnings are eerily similar to the ones that Chrome natively shows via the Safe Browsing API, but are powered by Microsoft's database of malicious links —also known as the SmartScreen API.

Chrome users should be genuinely happy that they can now use both APIs for detecting phishing and malware-hosting URLs. The SmartScreen API isn't as known as Google's more famous Safe Browsing API, but works in the same way, and possibly even better. An NSS Labs benchmark revealed that Edge (with its SmartScreen API) caught 99 percent of all phishing URLs thrown at it during a test last year, while Chrome only detected 87 percent of the malicious links users accessed.

Submission + - Where is HBO Silicon Valley's Real Pied Piper? Look in Troon, Scotland (

Tekla Perry writes: The fictional startup Pied Piper of HBO's Silicon Valley started as a compression algorithm company--advised by Tsachy Weissman and his graduate students at Stanford. Last year, Pied Piper pivoted to "reinventing the Internet," and jumped into the decentralized Web movement. Some real world companies already had that in their mission statement. So maybe it's not a surprise that this year the show's tech twists are coming not from a lab at Stanford, but from the leaders of one of those companies--MaidSafe, in Troon, Scotland. "Without trying to sound too much like Richard," says the real-world decentralized Internet pioneer, "we are 100 percent focused on the goals of the decentralized web. Today's Internet is broken."

Submission + - GDPR : why Facebook is likely to delete 80% of their EU user's data (

superono007 writes: GDPR has one little discussed principle called "data minimisation" that imposes companies to collect as little personal data as possible. The regulation is so strict that is states that "personal data should be processed only if (...) the processing could not be reasonably be fulfilled by other means" (recital 39). An interesting legal study analysed the application of this principle to Facebook, concluding that most of it's EU user's data will have to be deleted.

Submission + - + 'Resourceful Teachers' = Higher Student Achievement, Says

theodp writes: "Could time spent learning to code also help students improve at reading, math, and science?" asks a Medium post from entitled + resourceful teachers = higher student achievement! The tech-bankrolled nonprofit goes on to answer its own question: "Research conducted with 3rd — 5th-grade students in Broward County found that students who did extra CS Fundamentals activities, in classrooms of teachers who reported high levels of resourcefulness, had significantly higher scores on the Achieve3000 reading comprehension exam. But that’s not all. They scored significantly higher on Florida State Math, Science, and English Language Arts Exams too!" That's based upon the "Early Reporting of a Sample of Research Findings" from the Time for CS Project, which is based on work supported under a $1.25 million NSF grant for a partnership between Broward County Public Schools (BCPS Superintendent Robert Runcie sits on's Board), researchers at the University of Chicago, and, which proposed integrating CS and STEM at the grade 3-5 level within the literacy block of the school day. While the preliminary findings have CS educators jazzed, they do come with the following caveat from UChicago's Outlier Research & Evaluation team: "Before moving on, we wish to explicitly acknowledge that this post is not intended to take the place of a comprehensive research report, and that a full manuscript with descriptions of instruments, psychometrics, demographics, measurement approach and further findings is under development for publication. However, we have agreed to report some initial findings here because we believe in open research and because the findings are likely to be of interest to the elementary education and CS education communities. With that in mind, we welcome thoughtful comments as we learn and improve computer science education together." The researchers also remind that there are still some unanswered questions: "So, what are we to make of these findings? Like any study, this one elicits a number of new and interesting questions. Why were there significant findings associated with completion of a higher percentage of 'extra' CS lessons and completing 'additional' CS activities, whereas completion of grade-level specific lessons were not associated with student outcomes? What is the role of teacher resourcefulness and coping in a classroom and how might it be related to student academic achievement? What might explain why teachers who report being more innovative have students with higher academic outcomes?"

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