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Submission + - Clinton campaign tech team made a web platform to help fight Trump (businessinsider.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Hillary Clinton may have lost the election, but her campaign's digital arm used technology in innovative, creative ways — it put a live fact-checking interface on the homepage during the debates, created an interactive tool that compared what the two candidates were doing at various years in their lives, and made it easy to find ways to support and connect with the campaign.

Submission + - To promote tech education, Canada's Prime Minister made his own game (gamasutra.com)

Eloking writes: Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau's Twitter account lit up today with a message all too familiar to many indie devs: Mr. Trudeau has made a video game, and he'd like everyone to play it.

It was a cute bit of promotion for Hour of Code, the computer science education event masterminded every year by the Code.org nonprofit. While the Hour of Code websites hosts one-hour tutorials (in 45 languages) for coding all sorts of simple applications, game developers may appreciate that the lion's share appear to be game projects, like the one Trudeau modified into a sort of hockey-themed Breakout variant.

Submission + - Transport employees were secretly paid by the DEA to search travelers bags (economist.com)

schwit1 writes: THERE are many reasons why you might have been stopped at an American transport hub and your bag searched by officials. You might have be chosen at random. Perhaps you matched a profile. Or you could have been flagged by an airline, railroad or security employee who was being secretly paid by the government as a confidential informant to uncover evidence of drug smuggling.

A committee of Congress heard remarkable testimony last week about a long-running programme by the Drug Enforcement Administration. For years, officials from the Department of Justice testified, the DEA has paid millions of dollars to a variety of confidential sources to provide tips on travellers who may be transporting drugs or large sums of money. Those sources include staff at airlines, Amtrak, parcel services and even the Transportation Safety Administration.

The testimony follows a report by the Justice Department that uncovered the DEA programme and detailed its many potential violations. According to that report, airline employees and other informers had an incentive to search more travellers' bags, since they received payment whenever their actions resulted in DEA seizures of cash or contraband. The best-compensated of these appears to have been a parcel company employee who received more than $1m from the DEA over five years. One airline worker, meanwhile, received $617,676 from 2012 to 2015 for tips that led to confiscations. But the DEA itself profited much more from the programme. That well-paid informant got only about 12% of the amount the agency seized as a result of the his tips.

Submission + - Should Federally funded projects require sharing revenue on results? (theatlantic.com)

riskkeyesq writes: The Atlantic is running a story about the patent fight between MIT and Berkeley over the invention of CRISPR.
"This week, the biggest science-patent dispute in decades is getting a hearing at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office headquarters. The invention in dispute is the gene-editing technique CRISPR, and at stake are millions, maybe even billions, of dollars for the winning side. CRISPR is the hugely hyped technology that could launch life-saving therapies, novel genetically modified crops, new forms of mosquito control, and more. It could—without much exaggeration—change the world."
Shouldn't Federally funded projects return a portion of the proceeds to the people?

Submission + - Samsung to ditch the headphone jack too.

Pascoea writes: Following close behind Apple, and a number of others, it looks like Samsung will be omitting the headphone jack from the Galaxy S8.

From Business Insider

"Samsung will omit the 3.5mm headphone jack from its next flagship smartphone, the Galaxy S8, according to a new report from SamMobile. Instead, the report says, you’ll have to use headphones that connect over USB-C, which Samsung first adopted with the now-defunct Galaxy Note 7, a 3.5mm adapter, or headphones connect wirelessly over Bluetooth."

The article continues:

"While the outrage over Apple’s decision appears to have subsided in the weeks after the iPhone 7’s launch, Bluetooth headphones are still far less popular than traditional pairs, often come at a price premium, and tend to have lesser audio quality."

iPhone owners, has the "outrage" subsided?

Submission + - 2017 Virtual Reality: A Semi-Comprehensive Forecast (virtualrealitypop.com)

goddestroyer writes: "TLDR; 2016 in VR was chock-full of ‘firsts’ as we raced to complete the ground-level VR-building tools across the full spectrum of VR, and in 2017 we will get to see the benefits of developing new content with that wide array of new tools. Namely, higher quality and more quickly built content. Social VR experiences will be the overarching story of the year, and general VR popularity will continue to exponentially grow."

Submission + - Supreme Court sides with Samsung in Apple patent damages dispute (cnbc.com)

mlauzon writes: The U.S. Supreme Court on Tuesday ruled for Samsung in a dispute over damages related to Apple's iPhone design.

The ruling means that Samsung is not liable for $399 million awarded to Apple in a previous lower court ruling for infringing on Apple's iPhone design. That figure represented profits from 11 Samsung smartphone models.

Submission + - With Bioelectronic Medicine, You Can Zap a Nerve to Stop Bleeding (ieee.org)

the_newsbeagle writes: A seriously wounded person can bleed out within minutes. So first responders, battlefield medics, and surgeons will all be interested in this new technology: a "neural tourniquet" that stops blood loss by zapping a nerve. The handheld device stimulates the vagus nerve to send an electrical signal through the nerve to the spleen, where the blood cells responsible for forming clots receive instructions. This signal primes the cells so that they form clots faster if they encounter a wound anywhere in the body; a study in pigs showed 40% less bleeding time and 50% less blood loss. A startup called Sanguistat is testing the device first as a treatment for postpartum hemorrhage.

Submission + - Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter join forces to fight terrorism (betanews.com) 3

BrianFagioli writes: Unfortunately, terrorists thrive on the internet too. Using social media and video platforms like YouTube, these evil-doers look to recruit new members while sharing propaganda. Today, Google announces that it is partnering with some major players — Facebook, Microsoft, and Twitter — to fight online terrorism with a special database. The partners will look to protect user privacy in the process.

Submission + - Al Gore has "an extremely interesting conversation" with Trump (bbc.com)

tomhath writes: Mr Gore told reporters he met Ivanka before his meeting with her father.

"The bulk of the time was with the president-elect, Donald Trump. I found it an extremely interesting conversation, and to be continued," Mr Gore said.

Mr Trump has been stocking his administration with conservative ideologues, and many of the possible names for his environmental posts are sceptical of current policy. If Ms Trump pushes the issue and Mr Gore continues his "extremely interesting conversation" with the president, however, this could become a test of how willing President Trump is to cross party orthodoxy.

A free-agent president — beholden to neither party and willing to strike deals according to his own fancy — may be exactly what his voters wanted and what Washington insiders fear.

Submission + - FBI reviewing new emails in Clinton probe (cnn.com)

mmiscool writes: FBI Director James Comey said Friday the bureau is reviewing new emails related to Hillary Clinton's time as secretary of state, according to a letter sent to eight congressional committee chairmen, a surprise development with 11 days until the election.

After recommending this year that the Department of Justice not press charges against the Secretary of State, Comey said in the letter that "recent developments" urged him to take another look.

"In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear pertinent to the investigation," Comey wrote the chairmen. "I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."

Submission + - SPAM: Colorado Habitat For Humanity Says Ransomware Making it hard to Function

chicksdaddy writes: The Colorado branch of the affordable housing charity Habitat for Humanity has acknowledged that a ransomware attack on a critical server has lasted for months and has been so disruptive that it "has severely handicapped" the group's ability to function, notes a post over on Digital Guardian's blog. ([spam URL stripped])

In a statement released this week, Habitat for Humanity Colorado (HFHC) said that it has spent months dealing with a “significant and malicious data breach” that “has severely handicapped our ability to efficiently conduct business.”

Habitat for Humanity, of course, is the non-profit charity group started in 1976 that builds affordable housing for low income families in the U.S. and elsewhere. According to a FAQ ([spam URL stripped]), the incident in question began with a ransomware malware infection in “late June” that targeted a server in HFHC’s main office in Lakewood Colorado. That server, HFHC said, was “connected to the Internet” and thus a target of attack by cyber-criminal groups operating from outside the U.S.

The incident continued for months “hijacking” the attention of the group. Because it works directly with would-be homeowners, HFHC stored a wealth of data including a customer’s names, Social Security Numbers, driver’s license numbers and so on. Information on HFHC employees was also stored on the server. In all, only around 250 individuals were affected – small potatoes, especially with news of the massive breach at Yahoo Inc. that affected some 500 million accounts.

“While there is no evidence that any of your personal information was taken; we only know that hackers may have viewed it,” HFHC said. The group is working with the FBI and has offered credit and identity theft monitoring for affected customers.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Sheriff's Raid to Find Blogger Who Criticized Him Ruled Unconstitutional (theintercept.com)

schwit1 writes: An appellate court in Baton Rouge ruled Thursday that a raid on a police officer’s house in search of the blogger who had accused the sheriff of corruption was unconstitutional.

The Louisiana First Circuit Court of Appeals argued that Sheriff Jerry Larpenter’s investigation into the blog ExposeDAT had flawed rationale: the alleged defamation was not actually a crime as applied to a public official.

The unanimous ruling from the three-judge panel comes after police officer Wayne Anderson and his wife Jennifer Anderson were denied assistance in local and federal court.

Submission + - VA Invests in Failed Solar Projects, Veterans Linger on Wait List (heartland.org)

An anonymous reader writes: The Department of Veteran's Affairs Inspector General has found the VA wasted millions on solar panel installations that don't work.

Evidently, the Veteran's Administration (VA), does not have enough money to hire new doctors or take other actions to reduce wait times and improve treatment for our nation's military veterans, but it does have money to spend installing solar panels at its facilities, according by the VA's Inspector General (IG) detailed by the Washington Free Beacon.

While the VA has been under fire for wasting federal dollars as veterans’ wait times and other failings have persisted at VA medical facilities nationwide, the IG report reveals the VA spent more than $408 million to install solar panels on its medical facilities, yet many of the projects have experienced significant delays and cost overruns with some solar projects failing to function at all.

In a report issued August 3, 2016, the VA IG reported the VA had consistently failed to effectively plan and manage its solar panel projects, resulting in significant delays and additional costs. An audit of 11 of the 15 solar projects awarded between fiscal years 2010 and 2013, found only two of the 11 solar panel projects were fully completed.

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