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Submission + - EFF needs your help to stop Congress dismantling Internet privacy protections! (eff.org)

Peter Eckersley writes: Last year the FCC passed rules forbidding ISPs (both mobile and landline) from using your personal data without your consent for purposes other than providing you Internet access. In other words, the rules prevent ISPs from turning your browsing history into a revenue stream to sell to marketers and advertisers. Unfortunately, members of Congress are scheming to dismantle those protections as early as this week. If they succeed, ISPs would be free to resume selling users' browsing histories, pre-loading phones with spyware, and generally doing all sorts of creepy things to your traffic.

The good news is, we can stop them. We especially need folks in the key states of Alaska, Colorado, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, and Pennsylvania to call their senators this week and tell them not to kill the FCC's Broadband Privacy Rules.

Together, we can stop Congress from undermining these crucial privacy protections.

Submission + - Tim Berners-Lee: I invented the web. Here are three things we need to change to (theguardian.com)

mspohr writes: "1) Weâ(TM)ve lost control of our personal data

The current business model for many websites offers free content in exchange for personal data. Many of us agree to this â" albeit often by accepting long and confusing terms and conditions documents â" but fundamentally we do not mind some information being collected in exchange for free services.

2) Itâ(TM)s too easy for misinformation to spread on the web
Today, most people find news and information on the web through just a handful of social media sites and search engines.

3) Political advertising online needs transparency and understanding
Targeted advertising allows a campaign to say completely different, possibly conflicting things to different groups. Is that democratic?"

Comment almost 16 years ago (Score 2) 75

On October 4th, 2001, I read this post https://tech.slashdot.org/stor... on slashdot. The article it refers to, http://archive.oreilly.com/pub... describes "SMS Relay -- An Idea for Fault-Tolerant Communications", wherein the author proposes building a mesh-like network capability into the SMS programming of cellphones. It's still a good idea.
And that article got me thinking about what I could do to make a difference. I shortly got my first ham radio license, volunteered with ARES, then the Red Cross, and now work there.

Submission + - The animal-to-human pattern in pandemics (thebulletin.org)

Lasrick writes: Six years ago, science writer Sonia Shah began work on a book that would explain how the next pandemic might originate: It would start as a pathogen found only in animals, adapt to humans through close contact, and spread rapidly thanks to urbanization and modern travel. Since then, there's been ebola in Africa, chikungunya in the Americas, and the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the Zika virus a global health emergency. All three followed the same animal-to-human pattern, aided by fast and easy transportation.

In this must-read interview, Shah calls for a new sanitary movement — a public outcry to prevent future pandemics; expresses skepticism that spraying for mosquitoes will have any positive health effect; explains global disease surveillance for emerging pandemics; and voices concern about the power the Gates Foundation now holds.

A fascinating read.

Comment prohibitive cost of oil? (Score 1) 1

I'm sensing some pork in this story, as in the barrel kind. Are people eating less beef? I know that industry lobby is quite powerful. And isn't oil at a 30 year low? It's got to be less prohibitive cost-wise than it has for quite some time.
That said, the use of biofuels is promising in some ways. I have trouble imagining a solar powered cruiser, and little progress has been made in making naval nuclear reactors smaller and cheaper.

Submission + - Terminal escape sequences – the new XSS for Linux sysadmins (ttias.be)

An anonymous reader writes: A terminal escape sequence is a special sequence of characters that is printed (like any other text). If the terminal understands the sequence, it won't display the character-sequence, but will perform some action. These sequences allow you to modify the output of basic commands like "cat", "tail", "more", ... and trick the execution of unwanted code.

Submission + - A Senior Policy Advisor in WH CTO dies in charity bike ride (bbc.com)

SpaceGhost writes: The BBC reports that Jake Brewer, a 34 year old senior policy advisor in the White House Chief Technology Office has died while participating in a charity bike race on Saturday. Some of his work included global policy and external affairs at change.org, the White Houses TechHire initiative, and the administration's efforts to expand broadband connectivity.

Comment WigWag just a failed kickstarter? (Score 1) 47

As someone who had done HA for over 20 years using mostly X10 I follow this kind of topic quite avidly. And I was quite impressed by the Wigwag kickstarter, which I bought into in 2013. They promised not just hardware but a new programing environment. And despite investing over $200 all I've ever received have been project updates, 46 of them, the last one in January. This is more like the Duke Nukem of HA.
I have had the opportunity to admin a system running Smarthings. I was appalled to find that everything ran out of their servers, so that if your internet connection goes down, you don't get the nice automated features you programmed in. You can't even log in to your own hub.
Homeseer is a decent app for running on a home server, although they like to charge for upgrades, more than I like. OpenHAB looks like it has some potential, as does Open Source Automation. Avoid X10, when that was all there was it was fine, but Insteon or Zwave is much nicer.
There are some nice things you can do with home automation and augmented control (state changes based on logic, one button to change multiple items for instance.) And there are finally some nice options coming up. But stick to someone that can actually ship a product.

Submission + - Viacom's lawsuit against YouTube (medium.com)

Presto Vivace writes:

Viacom’s claim wasn’t that YouTube was just turning a blind eye to users infringing copyright—it was that YouTube was offering filtering technology to its media partners that it wasn’t making available to companies who weren’t playing ball.

I think it is useful to document the historical record.

Submission + - Google notifies police of child pornography in email, suspect arrested (khou.com)

SpaceGhost writes: KHOU, the CBS affiliate in Houston, Texas reports that after Google detected an explicit image of a young girl in a users email they reported it to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, which led to his arrest. Google did not respond to questions the reporter asked about this use of their technology, and the article does not make clear if it was a gmail account.

Comment Ruggedized outdoor watch (Score 1) 427

While I can use my Note2 for all things digital, I still wear a watch quite often, a Casio G-Shock. The main feature that it has that keeps it on my wrist is the compass, although I use the alarm and timers more often.
I would like to see what the email/text/whatever is that I just got so I can decide if I need to read it now or later. I would like to have biometrics like pedometer, pulse, etc. Customizable watch faces are a must. Working with the phone GPS to display waypoint direction would be great.
Has to have GREAT battery life, it would be awesome to have solar like my current watch. I would turn off some of the features to get better battery life.
MUST be water/shock resistant.
My last smartwatch, a Timex Datalink, had some neat features, like being able to upload a days worth of MSExchange appointments. This endeared it to the astronaut crowd. It had some neat apps available too, but it wasn't rugged enough, and mine didn't alarm so I stopped wearing it.
If Casio or Suunto come out with a smartwatch version of their "adventure" watches they would probably qualify, but I wouldn't want to spend more than $200, so I'm figuring it will be 2-3 years at least for this feature/market intersection.

Comment Re:And that's why a GNU/Linux phone needs to happe (Score 1) 221

There are at least two AOSP flavours that offer nightly updates, Cyanogenmod and Omnirom. The slow updates on android are usually because the carriers want to lock you in to their set of apps/restrictions/spyware and insist on vetting updates. My t-Mobile Galaxy Note 2 has been running KitKat 4.4.2 for months, no thanks to T-Mobile. I would love to see a good GNU/Linux phone option. Maybe OpenBSD, where you make calls with a CLI...

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