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Apple Replaces Bing With Google as Search Engine For Siri and Spotlight (geekwire.com) 54

Apple is ditching Bing and will now use Google to power the default search engine for Siri, Search within iOS (iOS search bar), and Spotlight on Mac. From a report: TechCrunch reported Monday that Apple users will now see search results powered by Google, instead of Bing, when using those tools. For example, when an iPhone user asks Siri a question that needs a search engine result, the voice assistant will now pull from Google, not Bing. Apple will still use Bing for image search queries using Siri or Spotlight on Mac, TechCrunch reported. Apple said the move was done for consistency; its Safari browser uses Google as the default search engine. In a statement, the company told TechCrunch that "we have strong relationships with Google and Microsoft and remain committed to delivering the best user experience possible." Google is reportedly paying Apple $3 billion this year to remain as the default search engine on iPhones and iPads.

Google AMP Flaw Exploited By Russian Hackers Targeting Journalists (salon.com) 57

An anonymous reader writes: Russian hacktivist group Fancy Bear (also referred to as APT28, Sofacy, and Strontium) has been using a flaw in Google's caching of Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) to phish targets, Salon reports. To make matters worse, Google has been aware of the bug for almost a year but has refused to fix it... The vulnerability involves how Google delivers google.com URLs for AMP pages to its search users in an effort to speed up mobile browsing. This makes Google products more vulnerable to phishing attacks.
Conservative blogger Matthew Sheffield writes in the article that most of the known targets "appear to have been journalists who were investigating allegations of corruption or other wrongdoing by people affiliated with the Russian government." One such target was Aric Toler, a researcher and writer for the website Bellingcat who specializes in analyzing Russian media and the country's relationship with far-right groups within Europe and America... another journalist who writes frequently about Russia, David Satter, was taken in by a similar AMP phishing message... Shortly after Satter was tricked into visiting the fake website and entering his password, a program that was hosting the site logged into his Gmail account and downloaded its entire contents. Within three weeks, as the Canadian website Citizen Lab reported, the perpetrators of the hack began posting Satter's documents online, and even altering them to make opponents and critics of Russian President Vladimir Putin look bad.
Google told Salon they've "made a number of changes" to AMP -- without saying what they were. (After contacting Google for a comment, AMP's creator and tech lead blocked public comments on a Github bug report about Google's AMP implementation.) "More things ... will come on Google's side in the future and we are working with browser vendors to eventually get the origin right," AMP's tech lead wrote last February.

Jason Kint, CEO of a major web publishing trade association, told Salon that "This report of an ongoing security issue is troubling and exactly why consolidation of power and closed standards are problematic. The sooner AMP migrates to the open web and becomes less tied to the interests of Google, in every way the better."

Hackers Using iCloud's Find My iPhone Feature To Remotely Lock Macs, Demand Ransom Payments (macrumors.com) 61

AmiMoJo shares a report from Mac Rumors: Over the last day or two, several Mac users appear to have been locked out of their machines after hackers signed into their iCloud accounts and initiated a remote lock using Find My iPhone. With access to an iCloud user's username and password, Find My iPhone on iCloud.com can be used to "lock" a Mac with a passcode even with two-factor authentication turned on, and that's what's going on here. Affected users who have had their iCloud accounts hacked are receiving messages demanding money for the passcode to unlock a locked Mac device. The usernames and passwords of the iCloud accounts affected by this "hack" were likely found through various site data breaches and have not been acquired through a breach of Apple's servers. Impacted users likely used the same email addresses, account names, and passwords for multiple accounts, allowing people with malicious intent to figure out their iCloud details.

Google Experiment Tests Top 5 Browsers, Finds Safari Riddled With Security Bugs (bleepingcomputer.com) 105

An anonymous reader writes from a report via Bleeping Computer: The Project Zero team at Google has created a new tool for testing browser DOM engines and has unleashed it on today's top five browsers, finding most bugs in Apple's Safari. Results showed that Safari had by far the worst DOM engine, with 17 new bugs discovered after Fratric's test. Second was Edge with 6, then IE and Firefox with 4, and last was Chrome with only 2 new issues. The tests were carried out with a new fuzzing tool created by Google engineers named Domato, also open-sourced on GitHub. This is the third fuzzing tool Google creates and releases into open-source after OSS-Fuzz and syzkaller. Researchers focused on testing DOM engines for vulnerabilities because they expect them to be the next target for browser exploitation after Flash reaches end-of-life in 2020.

Comment Any good alternates? (Score 1) 84

I only like 20% of my friends taste in music anyway, just like I want a separate network for business stuff (LinkedIn) I'd rather have a separate social network for exchanging music. LastFM sort of filled this niche for a tiny bit but never focused on the network enough for me, I tried tastebuds.fm while single about 6 months ago and it was closer to what I was looking for interims of sharing music, but a little too heavily dating focused to be useful now.

Comment Re:2017 (Score 1) 314

The solution is simple:
Stop watching sports (preferred as it's not likely providing you much value in your life outside of entertainment), or spend a amount ($ value) of your time finding free streams of sports events until someone decides that the BS is too much and does what iTunes did for music for Sports.

My guess, however is that a break-up of the sports monopoly by some outside party (even apple) won't happen because most people watching sports are doing so to distract them selves from reality and the feeling that they should do something real. Fun fact: the word sport means to literally "carry away" (the mind from serious matters), from des- "away" (see dis-) + porter "to carry," from Latin portare "to carry" - which likely explains why governments since the Romans have been building stadiums / subsidizing them.

Comment Click bait sensationalism... (Score 1) 316

"A dozen of the 14 compounds were still as potent as they were when they were manufactured, some at almost 100 percent of their labeled concentrations"

How can something be "almost 100 percent of labeled concentration" and "as potent as when they were manufactured"? Seems like an article trying to sensationalize non-news. Milk doesn't necessarily expire on it's expiration date either, in fact, different states have different requirements for when that date is suppose to be set.
And of course drug manufactures must have *some* incentive to prolong the expiration dates, else they'd all be 3 months (or at least the same time frame). Longer expropriations mean you can manufacture more drugs in one run (and use the same workers to manufacture something else before the next run).

Comment Re:Brilliant (Score 1) 135

I call BS!

Some regulations actually encourage innovation (carbon credits). Moreover, without truth in advertising / some burden of proof that what you are putting out there in healthcare actually works, it's easy for a large company (l'll choose Merck since they seem to have no problem publishing fake data to this end) to claim they've made a drug that cures a particular disease causing funding in that field to evaporate.

Similarly, since there are no non-profit pharmaceutical manufacturers (due to the sheer cost), the issuing of drug patents (a form of regulation) are they only way to incentive the huge finical risk that a large scale (burden of proof) trial entails, and subsequent manufacturing equipment costs. As a researcher I wish this wasn't the case, but it seems even generic drug makers won't enter the market for a patent-free without some idea of what the market capacity is.

Comment Re:Every One (Score 2) 191

This is great timeing as it's not just the NYT that's discussing this. In the Febuary 18th issuse, Nature talks about an arxiv for biology called bioRxiv were biologist can post their pre-prints: http://www.nature.com/news/bio...

As a biologist frustrated with publication turnaround times, I took some time to encourage a collaborator to submit one of our manuscripts to bioRxiv this morning.

Comment Re:DARPA specs (Score 1) 102

It seems totally doable for a electrode array to do this if you can find a reason to convince the FDA of a need for higher density electrode arrays (the max is currently 256).

Manufactures like Imec are confident they can use photographic techniques and flexible circuit board technology to create a multi-electrode arrays (MEA) that meet the density requirements set in the BAA. The tricky part here is to ensure the final system is biologically compatible.

I was planning on applying to the grant using an optical approach but got delayed by an industry contact / didn't have time to vet other optical technologies before the abstract submission deadline. CRISPR-CAS9 editing is already in human trials for Parkinson's patients so getting FDA approval to use optogentic techniques to control human brains for extreme cases illnesses like quadriplegia and ALS could be doable in 4 years. And while readout of 100,000 neurons using optical methods and seems doable via implantable sensors, using optics for precise writing to 1 million neurons didn't seem possible in a fully implantable device without overheating the brain tissue, although it might be possible using a though skull fiber-optic technology. In any case, it's clear more development work would be needed in an optical approach vs an MEA based one.

Comment About time... (Score 3, Interesting) 25

This sort of thing has always been available for pharmaceutical manufacturing, but has been long overlooked on the research side. I've been at a few science research based engineering companies that collect this kind of data already, but don't do anything to analyse it unless something catastrophic happens. A software tool that could enable visualization of this data across experiments will extremely valuable as we remove technician to technician variation (via robotics) and a synthetic biology becomes more common place, and could prove as invaluable as well plate edge effect analysis already included in major bio-analysis software packages such as spotfire.

Submission + - Porn-Sniffing Dog Helped Bring Down Subway Star Jared Fogle (simplejustice.us)

schwit1 writes:

A rambunctious black Labrador named Bear — one of only five dogs in the nation trained to sniff out electronic data devices — played a key role in the arrest of former Subway pitchman Jared Fogle on child-porn charges.

Bear's dog whisperer, Todd Jordan, gave NBC News a demonstration of how he works his magic, walking him through an apartment while repeatedly giving him the command "Seek!"

According to Bear's trainer, the dog was trained to smell the chemicals used in the manufacture of the devices, in this case a thumb drive. And it he substance of the article is true, it works as the dog found a thumb drive that otherwise eluded detection.

No, dogs cannot smell porn. Not kiddie porn. Not adult porn. Not lawful or unlawful porn. Not porn at all. A $5 footlong, sure, but pretty much anyone can smell that, not that they necessarily want to unless they've made millions off them.

The 2-year-old rescue pooch nosed out a thumb drive that humans had failed to find during a search of Fogle's Indiana house in July, several weeks before he agreed to plead guilty to having X-rated images of minors and paying to have sex with teenage girls.

The dog zeroed in on a kitchen drawer, which Jordan opened to reveal a device. "Good boy!" he told Bear, giving him a handful of food.

While the question of whether dogs can and should be used as a proxy for probable cause, whether to search directly or to obtain a warrant to search, is one of grave concerns, as it's fraught with substantial failings, plus its efficacy is little different than a coin toss, the âoeporn sniffing dogâ presents a very different picture.

Yet, apparently, dogs (Labradors in particular) can be trained to sniff out data storage devices. Whoda thunk?

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