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Prosecutors Push For Anti-Phone-Theft Kill Switches 257

New submitter EdPbllips writes "Law enforcement officials nationwide are demanding the creation of a 'kill switch' that would render smartphones inoperable after they are stolen, New York's top prosecutor said Thursday in a clear warning to the world's smartphone manufacturers. Citing statistics showing that 1 in 3 robberies nationwide involve the theft of a mobile phone, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced the formation of a coalition of law enforcement agencies devoted to stamping out what he called an 'epidemic' of smartphone robberies. 'All too often, these robberies turn violent,' said Schneiderman, who was joined at a news conference by San Francisco District Attorney George Gascon. 'There are assaults. There are murders.'" Apple described a system like this in their presentation about iOS 7 at WWDC.

Comment This is Stupid (Score 4, Interesting) 622

None of those things will help you. To the NSA, the content of your email may be less important than with whom you are communicating. Yes, the care about the content of some emails, but their dragnet appears to be for network analysis -- sender, recipients, date, time, etc. The NSA almost certainly catalogs every DNS lookup you do. This is the stuff that is erroneously being referred to as metadata.

One possibly surprising way to keep your communications private is to read/post your communications to a very public forum. That way the intended recipient is difficult to determine. Keep the communication slightly covert -- a little steganography goes a long way if you can fly under the radar. Just don't trust others with your privacy.

Our rights are inalienable -- but only if we use them.


Majority of Americans Say NSA Phone Tracking Is OK To Fight Terrorism 584

An anonymous reader writes "While the tech media has gone wild the past few days with the reports of the NSA tracking Verizon cell usage and creating the PRISM system to peer into our online lives, a new study by Pew Research suggests that most U.S. citizens think it's okay. 62 percent of Americans say losing some personal privacy is acceptable as long as its used to fight terrorism, and 56 percent are okay with the NSA tracking phone calls. Online tracking is fair less popular however, with only 45 percent approving of the practice. The data also shows that the youth are far more opposed to curtailing privacy to fight terror, which could mean trouble for politicians planning to continue these programs in the coming years."

Comment Re:Facilities: learn from the telcos (Score 1) 75

I used to work doing IT for the ILEC and the more I worked with their systems the more surprised that I was able to pick up the phone and get a dial-tone. A friend of mine worked on the systems that managed the in-the-ground cables, he's the one that said the previous sentence. I worked mostly on the billing and ordering systems. They were not the most robust systems.

Comment Re:Yes it is real (Score 1) 206

Yeah, if only they'd invent some sort of device to turn a transmitter on in civilian airspace and off in restricted airspace. Maybe they could call it a Radio-Controlled Switch or something. In other news... if you're worried about insurgents shooting down your precious drones, why the fuck did you clear that area for civilian aviation?

Right.... because no insurgent would ever choose to put their hang out near a civilian airport. Someplace nice and safe from those pesky drones. Nope... that would never, ever happen.

Comment Re:I loathe the medical "profession" (Score 1) 273

You mention the "time out" before sedation is administered, which is great. But, the last time I had a procedure, we went through a bunch of stuff before I went into the operating theater, with my wife present and verifying everything that was going on. Then I was moved into an operating theater and asked by someone I had never met before to sign a paper about some sort of sedation, which I could opt out of. Without my wife present to "double check my math".

At this point, I hadn't had anything to eat in 24 hours, nothing to drink in 12, and had gotten little if any sleep in the previous 24+ hours because of the operation preparation... To recap: I was sleep deprived, dehydrated, and my blood sugar was all messed up, and had to make a decision that was so important that it required signing off on a page of dense text.

In retrospect, I should have said that I wasn't able to make that decision and lobbed the ball back into their court. What I did was the doctor said he recommended it, and I signed it.

In second retrospect, if at all possible, I'm never going to "meet" a doctor in the operating room. Apparently I had the opportunity to have a sit-down in their office, but this was presented to me as a waste of time. Never again...


Data Storage

Moore's Law Fails At NAND Flash Node 147

An anonymous reader writes "SanDisk sampling its 1Y-based NAND flash memory products and has revealed they are manufactured at same minimum geometry as the 1X generation: 19 nm. The author speculates that this is one of the first instances of a Moore's Law 'fail' since the self-fulfilling prophecy was made in 1965 — but that it won't be the last."

Submission + - How Did You Learn How to Program?

theodp writes: 'Every programmer likely remembers how they learned to code,' writes GeekWire's Taylor Soper. 'For guys like Bill Gates and Paul Allen, the magic began on the Teletype Model 33 (pic). For others, it may have been a few days at a coding workshop like the one I attended for journalists.' If you're in the mood to share how and in what ways your own developer days began, Soper adds, 'cyborg anthropologist' Amber Case is collecting stories to help people understand what it takes to learn how to code. Any fond computer camp stories, kids?
United States

Chinese Hackers Steal Top US Weapons Designs 395

n1ywb writes "Chinese hackers have gained access to the designs of many of the nation's most sensitive advanced weapons systems, according to a report prepared for the Defense Department and government and defense industry officials,The Washington Post reported Tuesday. The compromised weapons designs include, among others, the advanced Patriot missile system, the Navy's Aegis ballistic missile defense systems, the F/A-18 fighter jet, the V-22 Osprey, the Black Hawk helicopter and the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter." Also (with some more details and news-report round-up) at SlashBI.

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