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Submission + - Firefox purging functionality citing privacy concerns (theguardian.com)

xogg writes: Battery Status API allows web sites to read the battery level of user's system. The API was found to bring privacy risks and abuse potential and a number of implementation bugs. Now with apparent no legitimate use cases, Mozilla is taking the unprecedented decision to vaporize a browser API due to privacy concerns. And apparently, WebKit, powering Apple's Safari follows. Is that the first time a browser reduces functionality following research reports warning of privacy risks?

Submission + - Microsoft Stops Selling Windows 7 And Windows 8.1 To Computer Makers

An anonymous reader writes: Out with the old, and in with the new. Microsoft yesterday stopped providing Windows 7 Professional and Windows 8.1 licenses to original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), including its PC partners and systems builders. This means that, as of today, the only way you can buy a computer running Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 is if you can still find one in stock.

Submission + - Nuclear CSI: Noninvasive procedure could identify criminal nuclear activity (phys.org)

mdsolar writes: Determining if an individual has handled nuclear materials, such as uranium or plutonium, is a challenge national defense agencies currently face. The standard protocol to detect uranium exposure is through a urine sample; however, urine is able to only identify those who have been exposed recently. Now, scientists at the University of Missouri have developed procedures that will better identify individuals exposed to uranium within one year. Scientists and homeland security experts believe this noninvasive procedure could identify individuals who may be smuggling nuclear materials for criminal purposes.

"We are working to develop a tool that law enforcement agencies in nuclear proliferation or smuggling investigations can use to identify individuals who have handled special nuclear material," said John Brockman, associate professor of research in the MU Research Reactor Center. "The goal of our research was to determine if hair, fingernail clippings and toenail clippings could be used to better detect uranium exposure."

Brockman collected hair, fingernail and toenail clippings from workers in nuclear research facilities from around the country. Testing procedures developed by Brockman and his team were able to identify exposure to both natural and manmade sources of uranium.

According to the World Nuclear Association, naturally occurring uranium is a mixture of three isotopes, including uranium-238 (U-238), U-235 and traces of U-234. U-238 accounts for over 99 percent of the isotopes found in nature; U-235 is the isotope necessary to create nuclear weapons or power a nuclear reactor. U-235 is considered a fissile isotope, meaning the atom has the ability to split, yielding a large amount of energy. Uranium that has been used as fuel in a nuclear power plant also contains the manmade isotope, U-236.

"Our technique was not only able to determine uranium exposure, but also the specific isotopes the individual has handled within the last year," Brockman said. "We were able to identify exposure to enriched uranium, which is used to make both nuclear fuel and weapons, and U-236 which is suggestive of nuclear fuel reprocessing."

Submission + - The AT&T-Time Warner Merger Must Be Stopped (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: AT&T’s proposed merger with Time Warner is evidence that AT&T doesn’t ever plan to invest in fiber to the home, writes Susan Crawford at Backchannel—and that's just one of many reasons the merger is a catastrophic idea. Crawford writes: "It’s hard to think of a single positive thing this merger will accomplish, other than shining a bright light on just how awful the picture is for data transmission in this nation. This deal should be dead on arrival. In fact, AT&T should spare us by dropping the idea now. This merger must not happen."

Submission + - Can anyone actually read 650,000 emails? (nbcnews.com)

philip456 writes: "....650,000 emails found on former congressman Anthony Weiner's laptop...."

Even if the majority are spam, they still need to be checked/sifted/deleted.

How could Weiner have skimmed let-a-alone read through 650,000 emails?

At typically 75KB per email, that's around 50GB of emails. Is the FBI exaggerating the task they have or it this a feasible number of emails to have on a laptop?

Submission + - CloudFlare Can Be Ordered To Disclose Science Piracy Website Owner Details (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A New York judge has ruled that CDN provider Cloudflare can be compelled to disclose customer details for the domains libgen.io and bookfi.org, both of which are alleged to provide pirated access to scientific and technical papers, infringing the rights of controversial academic publisher Elsevier.

Submission + - Facebook 'Messenger Day' Is the Chat App's New Snapchat Stories Clone (techcrunch.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Facebook is stealing the Stories format and invading countries where Snapchat isn’t popular yet. Today in Poland it launched “Messenger Day”, which lets people share illustrated filter-enhanced photos and videos that disappear in 24 hours, just like on Snapchat. Much of the feature works exactly like Snapchat Stories, with the ability to draw or add text to images. Facebook’s one big innovation with Messenger Day is the use of graphic filters as suggestions for what to share, instead of just to celebrate holidays and events or to show off your location like with Snapchat’s geofilters. At the top of the Messenger thread list, users see a row of tiles representing “My Day” and friends’ Days they can watch, but there are also prompts like “I’m Feeling”, “Who’s Up For?” and “I’m Doing”. Tapping on these tiles provides a range of filters “I’m feelingso blue” with raindrops and a bubbly blue font, “I’m feelingblessed” with a glorious gold sparkly font, “Who’s up forroad trip” with a cute car zooming past, or “Who’s up forLet’s grab drinks” with illustrated beer mugs and bottles that cover the screen. This feature allows people to share visually appealing images even if they aren’t great artists or especially creative. These prompts could also spur usage when people are bored, sparking their imagination. Messsenger is already an app people use all day with close friends, so it could end up a better home for the Stories format than cramming it into Facebook’s core app, which the company tested as “Quick Updates” and scrapped.

Submission + - Researchers Ask Federal Court To Unseal Years of Surveillance Records (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Two lawyers and legal researchers based at Stanford University have formally asked a federal court in San Francisco to unseal numerous records of surveillance-related cases, as a way to better understand how authorities seek such powers from judges. This courthouse is responsible for the entire Northern District of California, which includes the region where tech companies such as Twitter, Apple, and Google, are based. According to the petition, Jennifer Granick and Riana Pfefferkorn were partly inspired by a number of high-profile privacy cases that have unfolded in recent years, ranging from Lavabit to Apple’s battle with the Department of Justice. In their 45-page petition, they specifically say that they don’t need all sealed surveillance records, simply those that should have been unsealed—which, unfortunately, doesn’t always happen automatically.

Submission + - Private phone and chat conversations ended up in tech company

Dex Hex writes: The Volkstrant reports: "The private communications of thousands of Dutch citizens has fallen into the hands of the Australian technology company Appen. It concerns telephone and chat conversations from 2010 and 2011. According to telecom experts, the only explanation is that this communication was tapped by the British intelligence service GCHQ and was then handed over to Appen with the aim of improving software for converting speech into text."

Can you believe the arrogance?

Submission + - The iPhone 7 has worse battery life than HTC 10, Samsung Galaxy S7 and LG G5 (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: Consumer group Which? has conducted a series of battery life tests on the latest smartphones, and the news is not good for the iPhone 7. Pitted against the Samsung Galaxy S7, HTC 10 and LG G5, Apple's latest handset came in last place... and by some distance.

In terms of call time, the Samsung Galaxy S7 lasted for more than twice as long as the iPhone 7, while the HTC 10 had two and a half times the longevity. Things were not quite as bad for the iPhone 7 in internet usage tests... but it was still found bringing up the rear.

Submission + - Security analyst says Yahoo!, Dropbox, LinkedIn, Tumblr all popped by same gang (theregister.co.uk)

mask.of.sanity writes: Five hackers are said to be behind breaches totalling up to a staggering three billion credentials from some of the world's biggest tech companies including the 2014 breach of Yahoo! that led to the loss of 500 million credentials .

The hacks are attributed to the so-called Group E, a small Eastern European hacking outfit that makes cash breaching companies and selling to buyers including nation states.

Comment New content == new copyright (Score 1) 420

Copyright is based on authorship. So, while the main text of Mein Kampf is in the public domain, this new two-volume work will legitimately claim a new copyright. The new copyright will come from all those notes, which were created through acts of authorship. Contrary to the other contemporary story of Otto Frank, editorship is sweat of the brow, while authorship is creativity (see https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki... , for example). Translation does qualify as authorship, since is an intellectual creative act. (Dunno about machine translation...)

In the US, public domain items often have a copyright claim due to a new preface, or introduction or even cover art. Check some of the "Penguin Classics" in your local bookstore for examples. For Mein Kampf, all that added content will create a mixed item, where extracting just the public domain content (minus notes and whatever else is new) will take some effort. Luckily, the public domain text is already widely available without the new notes.

As mentioned, copyright expiry based on life+70 has no bearing in the US for items published prior to 1978 (https://www.gutenberg.org/wiki/Gutenberg:Copyright_How-To). Due to GATT, no copyright renewal was required after 28 years for items published outside of the US to get the full copyright term. The translations into English were not made until after the original German, of course. In the US, copyright will expire 95 years after publication based on the current USC Title 17 (which, as we know, TPP might force to change). But that's another story...
    - gbn

Comment Re:So AMD called their Hyperthreading a CPU core? (Score 4, Interesting) 311

Concur. The design of the bulldozer modules was abundantly clear. The fact that the "cores" share an FPU was clearly disclosed and part of any diagram of the parts. The shared FPUs played a huge role in assessing bulldozer-based CPUs for high performance computing workloads. For HPC, the usual benchmark is HPL (a.k.a., high performance LINPACK), which is a measure of double precision floating point performance for a particular matrix operation called DGEMM. The fact that the FPU was doing double-duty for two "cores" on a module meant that the peak theoretical performance was limited by the number of FPUs in a CPU, not the number of cores or modules or anything else.

As others have noted, hyperthreading via Intel can have exactly the same impact: the threads share various components, including the FPU.

Another aspect that can have a major impact on performance is the number of memory channels, and how things like cache coherency is handled. Among other things, AMD's hyper-transport exhibits different scalability characteristics depending on the number of sockets. In a four or eight-socket configuration, latency due to cache coherency operations can have a big impact on performance.
    - gbn

Submission + - Dyson swarm around distant star?

gbnewby writes: A Dyson Swarm is a smaller but still colossal version of a Dyson Sphere, which is theoretically used by Type II civilizations to harvest energy from a star. According to an online article in The Atlantic, Tabetha Boyajian postulates in a forthcoming paper that a star, KIC 8462852, is surrounded by debris that does not yet have a natural explanation. In a previous paper with fellow Planet Hunters co-authors, Boyajian described the anomaly. It's 1500 light years away, and analysis was of imagery from the Kepler telescope. As her colleague told The Atlantic, "Aliens should always be the very last hypothesis you consider, but this looked like something you would expect an alien civilization to build.”

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