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Submission + - German Data Protection Expert Warns Against Using iPhone5S Fingerprint Function (spiegel.de)

dryriver writes: Translated from Der Spiegel: Hamburg Data-Protection Specialist Johannes Caspar warns against using iPhone 5S's new Fingerprint ID function. "The biometric features of your body, like your fingerprints, cannot be erased or deleted. They stay with you until the end of your life and stay constant — they cannot be changed. One should thus avoid using biometric ID technologies for non-vital or casual everyday uses like turning on a smartphone. This is especially true if a biometric ID, like your fingerprint, is stored in a data file on the electronic device you are using." Caspar finds Apple's argument that "your fingerprint is only stored on the iPhone, never transmitted over the network" weak and misleading. "The average iPhone user is not capable of checking, on a technical level, what happens to his or her fingerprint once it is on the iPhone. He or she cannot tell with any certainty or ease what kind of private data applications downloaded onto the iPhone can or cannot access. The recent disclosure of spying programs like Prism makes it riskier than ever before to share important personal data with electronic devices." Caspar adds: "As a matter of principle, one should never hand over any biometric data when it isn't strictly needed. Handing over a non-changeable biometric feature like a fingerprint for no better reason than that it provides 'some convenience' in everyday use, is ill advised and foolish. One must always be extremely cautious where and for what reasons one hands over biometric features."
Transportation

Submission + - GE forces Chevy Volt onto employees (greencarreports.com) 3

thecarchik writes: Sixteen months ago, General Electric announced it would place the "largest order in history" for electric cars , to be used by its employees who are issued company cars. Now, those cars are starting to arrive and be placed with employees.

And where changes are made, personnel policies are sure to follow. A person inside GE recently forwarded a memo to us that covers some of the nuts and bolts of using the 2012 Chevrolet Volt range-extended electric car . It's from the fleet operations manager for GE Healthcare.

Among the interesting points:

"All sedans ordered in 2012 will be the Chevrolet Volt"

Crossovers and minivans will be replaced by electric-vehicle sedans, i.e. the Volt

NASA

Submission + - Armstrong to NASA: You're Embarrassing (discovery.com) 1

astroengine writes: "Neil Armstrong, Apollo legend and outspoken critic of NASA's current direction for human spaceflight, was joined by three other space experts to address Congress on Thursday. It wasn't pretty. Amongst the other criticisms was Armstrong's tough statement: "For a country that has invested so much for so long to achieve a leadership position in space exploration and exploitation, this condition is viewed by many as lamentably embarrassing and unacceptable." He might have a point, but Apollo 17's Eugene Cernan, the last man to walk on the moon, suggested the shuttles should be brought out of retirement to fill the U.S. manned spaceflight gap — a suggestion that probably rolled some eyeballs."

Submission + - U.S Pwned In Space, No One Cares. 1

tetrahedrassface writes: The narrative over the last five years in the U.S. has been rife with an increasing number of attacks on NASA, its funding, how it arrives at its funds, and the governments role in space exploration. The detractors would have us believe that privatization is the only way forward, short of a erstwhile and fully cognizant federal plan. Yet, during this time as we have dallied and preferred to argue over the best course of action, other countries have continued to fund both manned and unmanned platforms on a governmental basis. The result is that Russia is preparing to launch a Soyuz from South America. The Chinese are busy preparing to launch a trial space station in September, and India just overtook Canada's place in space competiviness. Does anyone else care that we are being owned by all these other countries. Isn't it time we get our space program in gear?

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