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Submission + - Linux-based security phone to ship with source code (

DeviceGuru writes: Purism is crowdfunding a security minded “Librem 5” smartphone that runs Linux on an i.MX6 or i.MX8, and offers a 5-inch screen and privacy protections. After the death of Firefox OS, the discontinuation of the Ubuntu Phone, and Samsung’s painfully slow rollout of its Tizen phones, the dream of establishing alternative Linux phone platforms not called Android appeared to be heading for the dustbin of history. Lately, however, several new projects have emerged such as the Raspberry Pi Zero based ZeroPhone and Halium OS project. The latest is Purism’s Librem 5 smartphone. Purism, which offers a Librem line of secure, open source, Intel Skylake based laptops, has now launched a crowdfunding campaign for the Librem 5 smartphone. The $599 phone won’t ship until Jan. 2019. However, a $299 developer kit is expected in June 2018. The company claims to have a manufacturer already signed up — assuming the $1.5 million Purism Libre 5 campaign succeeds within the next two months.

Submission + - You can help Purism build the secure open source Linux-based Librem 5 smartphone (

BrianFagioli writes: Thankfully, consumers are starting to wake up and become more aware, and some companies, such as Purism, are designing products to safeguard users. The company's laptops, for instance, run an open source Linux-based operating system, called "PureOS" with a focus on privacy. These machines even have hardware "kill switches" so you can physically disconnect a webcam or Wi-Fi card. Today, Purism announces that it is taking those same design philosophies and using them to build a new $599 smartphone called Librem 5. The planned phone will use the GNOME desktop environment and PureOS by default, but users can install different distros too. Sound good? Well you can help the company build it through crowdfunding.

"Purism, the social purpose corporation which designs and produces popular privacy conscious hardware and software, has revealed its plans to build the world’s first encrypted, open platform smartphone that will empower users to protect their digital identity in an increasingly unsafe mobile world. After 18 months of R&D to test hardware specifications and engage with one of the largest phone fabricators, Purism is opening a self-hosted crowdfunding campaign to gauge demand for the initial fabrication order and add the features most important to users," says Purism.

Submission + - Tasers Implicated In Far More Deaths Than We Previously Thought (

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 + - 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 + - Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

Presto Vivace writes: Facebook establishes new censorship centre in Germany

Facebook announced Wednesday that it would open a new control centre in Essen with 500 employees. The number of workers responsible for censoring and checking content in Germany will almost double as a result. The company has thus far only one such centre in Berlin. ... ... Facebook has gone to great lengths to cover up the work of the control centres. While the training documents and internal guidelines for the workers have been kept strictly secret, the company organised a tour of the Berlin centre for selected media outlets a month ago.

Submission + - A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack ( 4

Bartles writes: This story from The Nation raises questions about the feasibility of transferring the 2 gigbaytes of data that were stolen from the DNC last year. Was it possible in 2016 to transfer 2 gigabytes of data from DC to Romania through a VPN in 87 seconds?

Forensicator’s first decisive findings, made public in the paper dated July 9, concerned the volume of the supposedly hacked material and what is called the transfer rate—the time a remote hack would require. The metadata established several facts in this regard with granular precision: On the evening of July 5, 2016, 1,976 megabytes of data were downloaded from the DNC’s server. The operation took 87 seconds. This yields a transfer rate of 22.7 megabytes per second.

Submission + - FCC Extends Net Neutrality Comment Period By Two Weeks (

An anonymous reader writes: You’ll have two extra weeks to file your thoughts with the FCC on its plan to get rid of net neutrality. The proposal’s comment period was originally scheduled to end next week, on August 16th, but the commission just pushed the date out to August 30th. The extension was granted in response to 10 groups asking for more time to respond. They had been looking for an additional eight weeks, but the commission said an additional two weeks would be more in line with the type of extensions granted in the past. The commission didn’t signal that disruptions to its filing system, caused by an apparent DDOS attack, factored into the decision at all. Granting a two week extension gives people more time to file “reply comments,” which are meant to respond to what people filed during the first phase of the comment period, which closed in July. That comment period had been much longer than usual, because the commission released the proposal a month before it was voted on.

Submission + - Trump Data Firm Worked On Kenyan Election Flooded With Fake News (

tedlistens writes: As Kenya's tense election wrapped up, the opposition leader Raila Odinga called the results “a complete fraud,” claiming the voting system had been hacked to manipulate the outcome. (Hackers used a password taken from a leading election technology official who was found tortured to death last week, he claimed.) Amid concerns about the rampant spread of “fake news”—more than any other election in history, according to one study—and fearful memories of scores of deaths during the 2007 election, it was another seismic development in a fraught election.

Last weekend, staffers at Aristotle, an American data firm working for the opposition party, were deported from the country after what a spokesperson described as an aggressive detention. Among the other foreign companies working on the election is Cambridge Analytica, the data firm behind Donald Trump’s victory, which the ruling party's campaign hired to do polling and data analytics. Their involvement has raised concerns about the safety of personal data after the election, and worries that viral rumors could ignite powder kegs of violence in a country where politics is tied up in ethnic identities.

Submission + - Facebook Now Out to Squish Even Newbie Potential Competitors

Presto Vivace writes: Facebook Now Out to Squish Even Newbie Potential Competitors

Mind you, Facebook isn’t doing anything illegal. the story, focuses on a plucky company called Houseparty that recently got $50 million from venture capitaliss led by Sequoia. Houseparty has developed an app that allows users to share one-minute video clips and chat about them on their smartphones. ... ... Even though this would seem to be a narrow enough business so as to be able to co-exist with Facebook, Facebook thinks otherwise. The fact that Housebook has one million monthly users, a mere 0.1% of Facebook’s 2 billion members, is seen as a threat.

Submission + - Maybe Americans Don't Need Fast Home Internet Service, FCC Suggests (

An anonymous reader writes: Americans might not need a fast home Internet connection, the Federal Communications Commission suggests in a new document. Instead, mobile Internet via a smartphone might be all people need. The suggestion comes in the FCC's annual inquiry into broadband availability. Section 706 of the Telecommunications Act requires the FCC to determine whether broadband (or more formally, "advanced telecommunications capability") is being deployed to all Americans in a reasonable and timely fashion. If the FCC finds that broadband isn't being deployed quickly enough to everyone, it is required by law to "take immediate action to accelerate deployment of such capability by removing barriers to infrastructure investment and by promoting competition in the telecommunications market."

The FCC found during George W. Bush's presidency that fast Internet service was being deployed in a reasonable and timely fashion. But during the Obama administration, the FCC determined repeatedly that broadband isn't reaching Americans fast enough, pointing in particular to lagging deployment in rural areas. These analyses did not consider mobile broadband to be a full replacement for a home (or "fixed") Internet connection via cable, fiber, or some other technology. Last year, the FCC updated its analysis with a conclusion that Americans need home and mobile access. Because home Internet connections and smartphones have different capabilities and limitations, Americans should have access to both instead of just one or the other, the FCC concluded under then-Chairman Tom Wheeler.

Submission + - Foxconn's Con: Whopping Subsidies for Wisconsin, Michigan Manufacturing

Presto Vivace writes: Foxconn’s Con: Seeking Whopping Subsidies for Wisconsin, Michigan Manufacturing JobsIf They Happen

Gou is in the habit of promising big and rarely delivering. Four years ago business journals crowed about a plan to bring a Foxconn flat screen manufacturing plant to Pennsylvania in 2013. The result? Foxconn opened an empty office in Harrisburg and nothing further has been done. ... ... This behavior is not new. Foxconn has signed letters promising to build factories in Indonesia (2013), Vietnam (2007), and Brazil (2011). None of these were completed according to the original pie-in-the-sky spec.

Submission + - Electronic Health Records Degrade Care

Presto Vivace writes: How Electronic Health Records Degrade Care and Endanger Patients

I took my neighbor to the hospital after she had fainted. She had low blood pressure and a slow pulse. The nurse examined and interviewed her, but spent most of the interview facing the computer and inputting data. A few minutes later, my friend was moved two beds down and exchanged places with another patient due to some equipment problems. When the nurse returned to check on my friend, she addressed her by the incorrect name and questioned her about the symptoms of the patient who had been there earlier. I corrected her and she checked the armband to confirm.

Submission + - SPAM: P&G Cuts More Than $100 Million in 'Largely Ineffective' Digital Ads

schwit1 writes: Procter & Gamble said that its move to cut more than $100 million in digital marketing spend in the June quarter had little impact on its business, proving that those digital ads were largely ineffective.

Almost all of the consumer product giant’s advertising cuts in the period came from digital, finance chief Jon Moeller said on its earnings call Thursday. The company targeted ads that could wind up on sites with fake traffic from software known as “bots,” or those with objectionable content.

“What it reflected was a choice to cut spending from a digital standpoint where it was ineffective, where either we were serving bots as opposed to human beings or where the placement of ads was not facilitating the equity of our brands,” he said.

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