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Submission + - Microsoft Open-Sources Its JavaScript Engine Chakra

An anonymous reader writes: As promised, Microsoft has open-sourced the core components of Chakra, the company’s JavaScript engine used in Microsoft Edge and Internet Explorer. The project, dubbed ChakraCore, has been released under the MIT License on GitHub.

Submission + - Al Jazeera America Terminates All TV and Digital Operations (theintercept.com)

waspleg writes: Executives of Al Jazeera America (AJAM) held a meeting at 2 p.m. Eastern Time to tell their employees that the company is terminating all news and digital operations in the U.S. as of April 2016, resulting in the loss of hundreds of jobs.

AJAM has been losing staggering sums of money from the start. That has become increasingly untenable as the network’s owner and funder, the government of Qatar, is now economically struggling due to low oil prices. The decision was made recently to terminate AJAM, which allows the network to terminate all of its cumbersome distribution contracts with cable companies, and re-launch its successful Al Jazeera English inside the U.S.

Submission + - Uber Scaling Up its Data Center Infrastructure (datacenterfrontier.com)

1sockchuck writes: Connected cars generate a lot of data. That's translating into big business for data center providers, as evidenced by a major data center expansion by Uber, which needs more storage and compute power to support its global data platform. Uber drivers’ mobile phones send location updates every 4 seconds, which is why the design goal for Uber’s geospatial index is to handle a million writes per second. It's a reminder that as our cars become mini data centers, the data isn't staying onboard, but will also be offloaded to the data centers of automakers and software companies.

Submission + - Ann Caracristi, who cracked codes, and the glass ceiling, at NSA, dies at 94 (washingtonpost.com) 2

An anonymous reader writes: The Washington Post reports, "Ann Caracristi, who became one of the highest ranking and most honored women at the code breaking National Security Agency after a career extending from World War II through much of the Cold War, died Jan. 10 at her home in Washington. She was 94. ... Ms. Caracristi formally retired from her intelligence career in 1982, after becoming the sixth deputy director of the NSA . . . She was the first woman to serve as deputy director. One of her strengths was reconstructing enemy code books, said Liza Mundy, a former Washington Post staff writer who is working on a book about U.S. female code breakers during the war. Admired for her early accomplishments as a young woman in wartime Washington, Ms. Caracristi was credited in her later career with providing leadership for new generations of code breakers and for her efforts to bring computers and technology to bear on the work. ... One of her jobs at the NSA was as chief from 1959 to 1980 of branches devoted to research and operations. Her honors there included the Defense Department’s Distinguished Civilian Service Award and the National Security Medal, among other top federal honors. After retiring, she began serving on a variety of prominent scientific, defense and intelligence advisory boards and committees."

Submission + - Netflix Movie and TV Show Country Comparison and Content Lists 1

SlappingOysters writes: Netflix’s surprise large-scale global rollout to over 100 countries last week saw the company’s huge entertainment offering appear in homes across the world overnight, however, no two countries were offered the exact same content. Finder has created a master list of TV shows and movies available for each country. There is also an interactive global map comparing each country and a comparison table that compares each country’s offering to those of the USA.

Submission + - Hackers and Heroes: A Tale of Two Countries (hackaday.com)

szczys writes: "Hackers" — people who non-maliciously test the limits of technology — have a very different societal standing depending on the country they live in. To illustrate the concept, consider the history of hackers in the United States versus those in Germany. Both communities have their genesis with the telecom systems of the 1980's, when hackers were called Phone Phreakers and traded secrets on telephone system exploits. These groups were the earliest to test the security and vulnerability of the burgeoning Internet, but their paths diverged. Hackers in Germany formed political parties while in the US they were targeted by law enforcement. The result is two very different communities filled with highly skilled individuals, but one must fly under the radar while the other enjoys much wider open acceptance.

Submission + - Nanotech could make incandescent light bulbs as efficient as LEDs (sciencemag.org)

sciencehabit writes: Thomas Edison would be pleased. Researchers have come up with a way to dramatically improve the efficiency of his signature invention, the incandescent light bulb. The approach uses nanoengineered mirrors to recycle much of the heat produced by the filament and convert it into additional visible light. The new-age incandescents are still far from a commercial product, but their efficiency is already nearly as good as commercial LED bulbs, while still maintaining a warm old-fashioned glow.

Submission + - New Jersey rejects request for dolphin necropsy results, cites "medical privacy" (muckrock.com) 1

v3rgEz writes: When a dolphin died in New Jersey's South River last year, Carly Sitrin wanted to know what killed it. So she filed a public record request to the NJ Department of Agriculture for the necropsy results. Just this last week, the DOA finally responded, and to make an already weird story even weirder ... barred the release of the record on grounds of medical privacy.

Submission + - North Korea Expands Retaliatory Loudspeaker Propaganda

jones_supa writes: North Korea has expanded its own loudspeaker broadcasts along the inter-Korean border as a counteraction to South Korea's retaliatory broadcasts critical of the communist nation, sources said Monday. In retaliation for North's nuclear test last Wednesday, South resumed its anti-Pyongyang broadcast campaign two days later, a form of psychological warfare detested by the communist country, where outside information is tightly blocked out. "The North initially operated its own loudspeakers at two locations and has now expanded to several locations," a government source said. "In fact, the anti-South loudspeaker broadcasts appear to be coming from every location where we are broadcasting." The North Korean broadcasts are not clearly audible from the South Korean side of the border, but mostly deal with internal propaganda messages and music promoting its leader Kim Jong-un. "We are not sure if it's an issue of electric power or the performance of the loudspeakers, but the sound is very weak," another government source said.

Submission + - Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo balk at UK's Investigatory Powers (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The Investigatory Powers Bill may only be in draft form at the moment, but the UK government has already come in for criticism for its plans. Today, scores of pieces of written evidence, both for and against the proposals, have been published, including input from the Reform Government Surveillance (RGS) coalition.

Five key members of the coalition are Facebook, Google, Microsoft, Twitter and Yahoo. In their written evidence, the quintet of tech companies express their concerns about the draft bill, seek clarification from the UK government, and issue warnings about the implications of such a bill.

The evidence (document IPB0116) says that any surveillance undertaken by the government need to be "targeted, lawful, proportionate, necessary, jurisdictionally bounded, and transparent". The coalition notes that many other countries are watching to see what the UK does.

Submission + - Judge Tosses Class Action Over Michaels Data Breach Citing Lack of Damages (digitalguardian.com)

chicksdaddy writes: Data breaches have become so common that they’ve taken on a kind of formality.
One of the phrases that often accompany such incidents goes something like this: “[Company X] has no evidence that any of the stolen information has been used inappropriately.” Or you might read that “there is no evidence of fraud linked to the stolen data.”

Such assurances are generally interpreted as wishful thinking. But when courts are asked to weigh in on the question of damages resulting from cyber incidents in civil suits, the question of what harm resulted from the incident is very different – and very real. To put it simply: if nobody can prove harm resulting from a cyber incident, a company can’t be held liable for those damages, as this blog post notes (https://digitalguardian.com/blog/missing-michaels-data-breach-harm-consumers) over at Digital Guardian.

That fact was underscored again late last month, when a federal judge in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York dismissed a class action suit against arts and crafts giant Michaels Stores (http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/desktop/document/Whalen_v_Michael_Stores_Inc_Docket_No_214cv07006_EDNY_Dec_02_2014?1452175387) that was filed in the wake of that company’s widely-reported data breach. As part of her ruling, the judge, Joanna Seybert, cited a legal precedent set by the recent Supreme Court ruling in “Clapper v. Amnesty International,” (https://securityledger.com/2015/06/scotus-fisa-ruling-a-tool-to-disenfranchise-data-theft-victims/) concluding that the plaintiffs hadn’t proven that any harm resulted from the Michaels breach.

“Simply put, Whalen has not asserted any injuries that are ‘certainly impending’ or based on a 'substantial risk that the harm will occur,'” Seybert wrote in her decision, referring to Mary Jane Whalen, the Michaels customer in whose name the class action suit was filed. “Thus, Whalen’s claims are DISMISSED WITHOUT PREJUDICE for lack of subject matter jurisdiction,” Seybert concluded.

This isn’t to say that Whalen or other Michaels stores customers were not the target of fraudsters. In fact, Whalen’s attorneys presented evidence that her stolen credit card (or a clone of it) was presented for payment fraudulently in Ecuador: at a local gym and at a venue that sold concert tickets. But regulations in the U.S. exempt consumers from paying the cost of credit card fraud, and Whalen wasn’t asked to pay any unreimbursed charges as a result of the fraudulent use, the court noted.

Whalen’s other attempts to establish “costs” associated with the breach were also disregarded. They included the cost of credit monitoring services and the cost (in time and effort) to obtain replacement cards, the intrinsic value of her credit card information and the risk of future fraud tied to the theft of her credit card data.

Submission + - DoD Award to Recognize Drone Operators (securityweek.com)

wiredmikey writes: According to a Pentagon memo due out today, the US military will create a new way to recognize drone operators and other service members who contribute to America's fighting efforts from afar. The military is set to introduce a new "R" designation — known as a "device" — that can be attached to medals given to drone operators and other non-combat troops, such as cyber warriors who hack enemy networks.

Former defense secretary Chuck Hagel nixed a proposed new combat medal for US troops who launch drone strikes or cyber attacks, after a torrent of criticism from veterans and lawmakers. Drone pilots have complained of low morale, long hours and of the psychological impacts stemming from killing people remotely.

Submission + - Uber To Pay $20,000 In Settlement On Privacy Issues (csoonline.com)

itwbennett writes: Uber has agreed to pay a penalty of $20,000 in a settlement with New York Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman for delaying telling drivers about the data breach of their personal information in 2014. The company has also agreed to tighten employee access to geo-location data of passengers, following reports that the company's executives had an aerial 'God View' of such data, the office of the attorney general said in a statement Wednesday.

Submission + - IBM union calls it quits (computerworld.com)

dcblogs writes: A 16-year effort by the Communication Workers of America to organize IBM employees into a union is ending. The union's local, the Alliance@IBM, is suspending "organizing" efforts, and says its membership has been worn down by IBM's ongoing decline of its U.S. work force as it grows overseas. The union never got many dues-paying members, but its Website, a source of reports from employees on layoffs, benefit changes and restructuring, was popular with employees, a source of information for the news media, and a continuing thorn in the side of IBM.

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