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Submission + - Inside PRISM: Why the Government Hates Encryption (

Lauren Weinstein writes: Now, what's really going on with PRISM? The government admits that the program exists, but says it is being "mischaracterized" in significant ways (always a risk with secret projects sucking up information about your citizens' personal lives). The Internet firms named in the leaked documents are denying that they have provided "back doors" to the government for data access.

Who is telling the truth?

Likely both. Based on previous information and the new leaks, we can make some pretty logical guesses about the actual shape of all this.

Here's my take.

Submission + - Apple Accused Of Data Throttling Its Devices (

redletterdave writes: A recent report by iTweakiOS founder Joseph Brown says networks are increasingly and intentionally limiting data speeds for Apple users without their knowledge, claiming to have discovered code within the iPhone and iPad that proves the intentional throttling. Brown believes Apple is solely at fault for the implementation of data throttling measures and that carriers have nothing to do with the issue.

Submission + - Ask Slashdot: How important IS advanced math in a CS degree? 6

AvailableNickname writes: I am currently pursuing a bachelor's in CompSci and I just spent 3 hours working on a few differential equations for homework. It is very frustrating because I just don't grok advanced math. I can sort of understand a little bit, but I really don't grok anything beyond long division. But I love computers, and am very good at them. However, nobody in the workforce is even going to glance at my direction without a BSc. And to punish me for going into a field originally developed by mathematicians I need to learn all this crap. If I had understood what I was doing, maybe I wouldn't mind so much. But the double frustration of not understanding it and not understanding why the profanity I need to do it is too much. So, how important is it?

Submission + - Feds authorize sales of American communication technologies to Iran (

An anonymous reader writes: from sfgate: The United States has lifted portions of two-decades-old sanctions against Iran in an effort to bolster communication between the country’s citizens — and potentially aid organization against a repressive Iranian government. Thursday afternoon the US Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control authorized the sale of hardware and software that pertain to the Internet, instant messaging, chat, e-mail, social networking, sharing of media, and blogging — basically, all things digitalzu.

Submission + - Researchers Make A Major Breakthrough In The Battle Against HIV Virus

adeelarshad82 writes: Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC) have determined the precise chemical structure of the HIV 'capsid,' a protein shell that protects the virus's genetic material and is a key to its virulence. The experiment involved mapping an incredible 64 million atoms to simulate the HIV capsid, pictured here. Interestingly no current HIV drugs target the HIV capsid and researchers believe that understanding the structure of the HIV capsid may hold the key to the development of new and more effective antiretroviral drugs. What makes this whole experiment even more fascinating is the use of Blue Waters, a Cray XK7 supercomputer with 3,000 Nvidia Tesla K20X GPU accelerators.

Submission + - Microsoft TV tracks viewers behavior (

An anonymous reader writes: [PJ: OMG. Three things I detest all in one noxious bundle: having my privacy invaded, method patents, and Microsoft. Here's the patent application, and it includes this creepy sentence: "The computing system 102 may be configured to track the viewing behaviors of one or more viewers. The computing system 102 may then compile one or more user-specific reports of the viewing behaviors, and send the user-specific reports to a remote device to determine whether the user-viewing goal has been met. If the viewing goal has been met, an award may be granted to the viewer." And Microsoft complains to regulatory bodies about Google privacy issues? This is 1984 on steroids. A device in your house that watches you watching it and judges your conduct.]

Submission + - Judge Slaps Apple in Amazon E-Books Case (

Nerval's Lobster writes: Apple could face a difficult time winning its court case against the U.S. Department of Justice over e-book pricing, according to the federal judge overseeing the trial. “I believe that the government will be able to show at trial direct evidence that Apple knowingly participated in and facilitated a conspiracy to raise prices of e-books,” U.S. District Judge Denise Cote said during a May 23 pretrial hearing, according to Reuters, “and that the circumstantial evidence in this case, including the terms of the agreements, will confirm that.” Apple’s legal counsel is a bit perturbed over her comments. “We strongly disagree with the court’s preliminary statements about the case today,” Apple lawyer Orin Snyder wrote in a statement also reprinted by Reuters. The Justice Department has asserted that Apple, along with those publishers, conspired to raise retail e-book prices in tandem “and eliminate price competition, substantially increasing prices paid by consumers.” Apple battles Amazon in the e-book space, with the latter company achieving great success over the past few years by driving down the price of e-books and Kindle e-readers; while Apple co-founder insisted in emails to News Corp executive James Murdoch (son of Rupert Murdoch), that Amazon’s pricing was ultimately unsustainable, the online retailer shows no signs of flagging with regard to its publishing-industry clout.

Submission + - IE 8 Zero Day Exploit Used Against Korean Military Targets (

msm1267 writes: The Sunshop targeted espionage malware campaign has hit a number of Korean military and political-strategy websites, as well as a Uyghur forum with a pair of Java exploits and the IE 8 zero-day recently used against the U.S. Department of Labor and a number of other sites. The exploits were redirecting vulnerable visitors to sunshop[.]com[.]tw where a host of malware awaits including Lady Boyle, which has been deployed in other attacks against the Uyghur, in particular, and in the Winnti attacks.

Submission + - Quadcopter Drone Network Transports Supplies For Disaster Relief (

kkleiner writes: A startup called Matternet is building a network of quadcopter drones to deliver vital goods to remote areas and emergency supplies to disaster-stricken areas. The installation of solar-powered fueling station and an operating system to allow for communications with local aviation authorities will allow the network to be available around the clock and in the farthest reaches of the world.

Submission + - Electronics Made From Hemp (

MTorrice writes: A low-cost chemical process can turn hemp fiber into carbon nanomaterials. Researchers used the materials to make devices called supercapacitors that provide quick bursts of electrical energy. Supercapacitors made with the hemp nanosheets put out more power than commercial devices can.

Submission + - 41% Of San Francisco's Serious Crime Is Gadget Theft ( 1

jfruh writes: Between November 2012 and April 2013, 579 people in San Francisco had cell phones or tablets stolen from them — making up 41% of what San Francisco police consider "serious" crimes. A quarter of those robberies involved the display of a knife or a gun. On several days in that period, cell phone thefts were the only serious crimes that occured. San Francisco is a particularly gadget-happy place, of course, but similar numbers come from police departments in Washington D.C. and New York. Smartphones are in some ways the perfect thing to steal: they're small, they have a high resale value, and the people using them are often not paying attention to their surroundings.

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