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Submission + - FBI, DOJ continue using discredited junk science .. (techdirt.com)

An anonymous reader writes: .. the DOJ insists its science is solid, something it bases on confirmation bias. The matches determined in its forensic labs are "scientifically certain" because the DOJ's expert witnesses have said so in court. Not only are outside scientists locked out of examining evidence and forensic processes, but defense lawyers are as well.

Submission + - Stealthy, tricky to remove rootkit targets Linux systems on ARM and x86 (pcworld.com)

Kinwolf writes: Security researchers have identified a new family of Linux rootkits that, despite running from user mode, can be hard to detect and remove. Called Umbreon, after a Pokémon character that hides in the darkness, the rootkit has been in development since early 2015, runs from user mode but hijacks libc system calls. According to malware researchers from antivirus firm Trend Micro, Umbreon is a so-called ring 3 rootkit, meaning that it runs from user mode and doesn't need kernel privileges. Despite this apparent limitation, it is quite capable of hiding itself and persisting on the system.

Submission + - Publishers must let online readers pay for news anonymously (theguardian.com)

mspohr writes: The Guardian has an opinion piece by Richard Stallman which argues that we should be able to pay for news anonymously.
From the article:
"Online newspapers and magazines have come to depend, for their income, on a system of advertising and surveillance, which is both annoying and unjust.
Readers are rebelling by installing ad blockers, which cut into the publisher’s surveillance-based income. And in response, some sites are cutting off access to readers unless they accept being surveilled. What they ought to do instead is give us a truly anonymous way to pay."
He also (probably not coincidentally) has developed a method to do just that.
"For the GNU operating system, which was created by the free software movement and is typically used with the kernel Linux, we are developing a suitable payment system called GNU Taler that will allow publishers to accept anonymous payments from readers for individual articles. "

Comment Re:Free voice does not mean free plan (Score 1) 92

considering we pay $80 plus taxes for voice service on three feature phones (and that is without nationwide roaming or unlimited minutes.. that would be something like $30-35 more and take us off our old pre-verizon plan), chopping off voice calls from the bill and charging a measly 75 cents for a gigabyte of data sounds like a hell of a deal.

india must not have ridiculous baked-in per-line taxes, fees and other 'mandatory' charges for voice and not have the stupid money merry-go-round between carriers for each voice call.. so they can basically eliminate voice from phone plans completely. it's a wonderful idea. the u.s. will never see such a thing.

Try Google Fi which uses VOIP but is integrated with your phone and you get a phone number just like a conventional phone. They still charge you $20 a month for voice and $10 for 1GB but you do get the benefits of VOIP such as national/international roaming for free, very low priced international calling rates etc.

But yes, this is all made possible because Jio has its own backhaul network that is entirely IP packet based. This is what telecoms will become in the future. ISPs.

Comment Re:Not free (Score 1) 92

The real question is - do you have VOIP integrated with your cellphone and your phone number? To my knowledge, every single cellphone service provider charges separately for voice, and this is always a mandatory charge. Even Google Fi which uses VOIP for voice calls charges $20 a month for voice, and then $10 a month for every 1GB used (which rolls over).

Nobody offers a cellphone with a phone number where you are only charged for data usage and for nothing else. At least to my knowledge. As such, what Jio is doing in India is what all wireless telecom companies will be doing in the future. Especially since the entire backhaul is IP based anyway. They will all become ISPs.

Comment Chromecast Audio for high quality audio streaming (Score 1) 226

I was looking for a Squeezebox replacement since my device died and they stopped making it. I really didn't want to build out a dedicated PC or Raspberry solution just for audio, so was making do with Roku for audio (it acutally has a surprisingly large number of audio streaming services - it even covers my local FM radio channels).

Tried the first Chromecast - and it was largely a "meh" experience. Video was grainy and choppy and audio sounded quite substandard. For example the same youtube audio or internet audio would sound much better when streamed from the Roku channel than when casted from Chromecast.

Took another gamble at the new Chromecast Audio - and it is a phenomenal device. It actually plays as well as my Squeezebox. For $35, you get really high quality audio, and it has digital out so you can connect it to a DAC, or optionally use its inbuilt DAC which is not bad at all. Some people are even using it to drive moderately hard to drive headphones. It also supports high res audio up to 24/96. The really neat thing is that if you cast Spotify or Pandora from your phone to the CCA device, it will stream directly from Spotify after the initial handshake and will not stream through your phone. All in all, I can't imagine how they pulled off this quality of audio output and features for $35.

Submission + - How stingray is zapping the fourth amendment

Presto Vivace writes: How Militarized Cops Use the Intrusive Technology Stingray, and Much More, to Intrude on Our Rights — Police nationwide are secretly exploiting intrusive technologies with the feds' complicity.

Thanks to this call-and-response process, the Stingray knows both what cell phones are in the area and where they are. In other words, it gathers information not only about a specific suspect, but any bystanders in the area as well. While the police may indeed use this technology to pinpoint a suspect’s location, by casting such a wide net there is also the potential for many kinds of constitutional abuses—for instance, sweeping up the identities of every person attending a demonstration or a political meeting. Some Stingrays are capable of collecting not only cell phone ID numbers but also numbers those phones have dialed and even phone conversations. In other words, the Stingray is a technology that potentially opens the door for law enforcement to sweep up information that not so long ago wouldn’t have been available to them.

This is why it matters who wins the mayor and city council races. Localities do not have to accept this technology.

Power

Scientists: Electric Vehicles Produce As Many Toxins As Dirty Diesels (dailymail.co.uk) 555

An anonymous reader writes: Thanks to ongoing efforts to reduce engine emissions, nowadays only 10% to 15% of particulate emissions from traffic are coming from vehicles' tailpipes. The remainder originates in tire, road surface and brake wear. A study by Victor Timmers and Peter Achten published in Atmospheric Environment has now found that the extra weight of electric vehicles causes non-tailpipe emissions to increase by about as much as the omission of the internal combustion engine saves. Atmospheric particulates have been shown to cause cancer, cardiovascular disease and respiratory diseases and are widely considered as the most harmful form of air pollution. Achten said, "We found that non-exhaust emissions, from brakes, tires and the road, are far larger than exhaust emissions in all modern cars. These are more toxic than emissions from modern engines so they are likely to be key factors in the extra heart attacks, strokes and asthma attacks seen when air pollution levels surge." The study shows that non-exhaust emissions a vehicle produces is directly related to its weight. Scientists found that electric and eco-friendly vehicles weighed around 24 percent more than conventional vehicles, which in turn contributes to more wear on the tires.

Submission + - Sci-hub domain been shut down by Elsevier (torrentfreak.com)

Taco Cowboy writes: Several ‘backup’ domain names are still in play, including Sci-Hub.bz and Sci-Hub.cc

In addition to the alternative domain names users can access the site directly through the IP-address 31.184.194.81

Its TOR domain is also still working — http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/

Authorized or not, there is definitely plenty of interest in Sci-Hub’s service. The site currently hosts more than 51 million academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month

Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia or China. But even in countries where access is more common, many researchers visit the site, an analysis from Science magazine revealed last week

Submission + - The science behind the world's simplest, controllable, flying machine (robohub.org)

Kassandra Perlongo writes: Researchers at the Institute for Dynamic Systems and Control at ETH Zurich have created a flying machine that only has a single moving part, the rotating propeller, but can still fully control its position in space. Pretty neat!

Unfortunately there's no practical applications for the technology just yet other than it looks cool. Next up: refining the control strategy to allow the Monospinnner to recover from a larger range of initial conditions.

Submission + - http compression continues to put encrypted communications at risk (computerworld.com)

monkeyFuzz writes: According to the article:
Security researchers have expanded and improved a three-year-old attack that exploits the compression mechanism used to speed up browsing in order to recover sensitive information from encrypted Web traffic.

The attack, known as BREACH, takes advantage of the gzip/DEFLATE algorithm used by many Web servers to reduce latency when responding to HTTP requests. This compression mechanism leaks information about encrypted connections and allows man-in-the-middle attackers to recover authentication cookies and other sensitive information.

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