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Cellphones

US Judge Throws Out Cell Phone 'Stingray' Evidence For The First Time (reuters.com) 118

An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects' cell phones into revealing their locations. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis' rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment. Stingrays, also known as "cell site simulators," mimic cell phone towers in order to force cell phones in the area to transmit "pings" back to the devices, enabling law enforcement to track a suspect's phone and pinpoint its location. The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis' apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search. The ruling marked the first time a federal judge had suppressed evidence obtained using a stingray, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which like other privacy advocacy groups has criticized law enforcement's use of such devices. "Absent a search warrant, the government may not turn a citizen's cell phone into a tracking device," Pauley wrote. FBI Special Agent Daniel Alfin suggests in a report via Motherboard that decrypting encrypted data fundamentally alters it, therefore contaminating it as forensic evidence.

Submission + - SPAM: Breakthrough on battery life?

schwit1 writes: New research might have discovered engineering that could significantly increase the efficiency of the batteries we use.

This is where Mya Le Thai’s magic gel comes in. Typically, a Lithium Ion battery can go through between 5000 and 7000 recharge cycles before it dies and will also gradually lose its energy storage capacity over time. When researchers applied Thai’s plexiglass-like gel to gold nanowires in a manganese dioxiode shell, it increased that number to over 200,000 and the battery didn’t lose any of its power or storage capacity over a period of three months.

Submission + - US Judge Throws Out Cell Phone 'Stingray' Evidence (reuters.com)

An anonymous reader writes: For the first time, a federal judge has suppressed evidence obtained without a warrant by U.S. law enforcement using a stingray, a surveillance device that can trick suspects' cell phones into revealing their locations. U.S. District Judge William Pauley in Manhattan on Tuesday ruled that defendant Raymond Lambis' rights were violated when the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration used such a device without a warrant to find his Washington Heights apartment. Stingrays, also known as "cell site simulators," mimic cell phone towers in order to force cell phones in the area to transmit "pings" back to the devices, enabling law enforcement to track a suspect's phone and pinpoint its location. The DEA had used a stingray to identify Lambis' apartment as the most likely location of a cell phone identified during a drug-trafficking probe. Pauley said doing so constituted an unreasonable search. The ruling marked the first time a federal judge had suppressed evidence obtained using a stingray, according to the American Civil Liberties Union, which like other privacy advocacy groups has criticized law enforcement's use of such devices. "Absent a search warrant, the government may not turn a citizen's cell phone into a tracking device," Pauley wrote.

Submission + - SPAM: Court ruling equates password sharing to hacking

schwit1 writes: A new federal court ruling could make sharing your passwords for subscription services — covering everything from Netflix to HBO GO — a federal crime punishable by prison time, according to a judge who opposed the decision.

The ruling, issued by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals last week, pertained to a trade-secrets case and found that certain instances of sharing passwords are prosecutable under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA) – legislation predominantly concerned with hacking.

However, Judge Stephen Reinhardt, writing in his dissent, argued that the case was not about hacking but password sharing. Consequently, he argued, the ruling jeopardizes password sharing for the general public.

“[The ruling] loses sight of the anti-hacking purpose of the CFAA, and despite our warning, threatens to criminalize all sorts of innocuous conduct engaged in daily by ordinary citizens,” he wrote.

“The majority does not provide, nor do I see, a workable line which separates the consensual password sharing in this case from the consensual password sharing of millions of legitimate account holders, which may also be contrary to the policies of system owners. There simply is no limiting principle in the majority’s world of lawful and unlawful password sharing,” he argued.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - SPAM: Democratic senator: 'Due process is what's killing us right now'

An anonymous reader writes: MANCHIN: Really, the firewall we have right now is due process. It’s all due process. So we can all say we want the same thing, but how do we get there? If a person is on a terrorist watch list, like the gentleman, the shooter in Orlando? He was twice by the FBI — we were briefed yesterday about what happened — but that young man was brought in twice. They did everything they could. The FBI did everything they were supposed to do. But there was no way to keep him on the nix list or keep him off the gun-buy list, there was no way to do that.

        So can’t we say that if a person’s under suspicion there should be a five-year period of time that we have to see if good behavior, if this person continues the same traits? Maybe we can come to that type of an agreement, but due process is what’s killing us right now.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - Intel x86s hide another CPU that can take over your machine (you can't audit it) (boingboing.net)

meriksen writes: Recent Intel x86 processors implement a secret, powerful control mechanism that runs on a separate chip that no one is allowed to audit or examine. When these are eventually compromised, they'll expose all affected systems to nearly unkillable, undetectable rootkit attacks. I've made it my mission to open up this system and make free, open replacements, before it's too late.

Submission + - Where is the rugged 16GB RAM / 1TB Storage / 20 hrs. battery tablet?

Qbertino writes: I’m a tablet user. I bought the HTC Flyer when it was just roughly 1,5 years old to fiddle with it and program for it. I was hooked pretty quickly and it became part of my EDC. The hardware has since become way outdated, but I still think it’s one of the best tablets ever built in terms of quality and consistency. About a roughly four years later I moved to a then current 10“ Yoga 2 with Atom CPU & LTE module + a SD slot for a 64GB card. I’m very happy with the device and it goes with me where ever I go. It has 12 — 16 hours of battery time, depending on usage and basically is my virtual bookshelf/music/multimedia/mailing device and keeps the strain on my eyes and my fingers to a minimum. It has some power-button issues, but those are bearable considering all the other upsides.

I’ve got everything on this device and it has basically become my primary commodity computer. My laptops are almost exclusively in use when I need to code or do task where performance is key, such as 3D or non-trivial image editing.

In a nutshell, I’m a happy tablet user, I consider it more important than having the latest phone — my Moto G2 is serving me just fine — and I’m really wondering why there are no tablets that build on top of this. Memory is scarce on these devices (RAM and storage) as often is battery time.

Most tablets feel flimsy (the Yoga 2 and Yoga 3 being a rare exception) and have laughable battery times (again, the Yoga models being a rare exception). However, I’ve yet to find a tablet that does not give me storage or memory problems in some way or other, lasts for a day or two in power and doesn’t feel chinsy and like it won’t stand a month of regular everyday use and carrying around in an EDC bag.

Of course, we all know that RAM is an artificial scarcity on mobile devices, so the manufacturers can charge obscene amounts of money for upgrades but 1GB as a standard? That’s very tight by todays standards. Not speaking of storage. Is it such a big deal adding 128GB or perhaps even 256GB of storage to these devices as a default? Why has none of the manufacturers broken rank? Do you think there’s a market for the type of tablet described in the title and we can expect some movement in that direction or am I on my own here?

What are your thoughts and observations on the tablet market? Do you think they are the convergence devices we’ve all been waiting for — as apparently Apple and Aquaris & Ubuntu seem to think? (I’d agree to some extent btw.)

Your educated opinion is requested. Thanks.
Security

Researchers Hack the Mitsubishi Outlander SUV, Shut Off Alarm Remotely (helpnetsecurity.com) 58

Reader Orome1 writes: Mitsubishi Outlander, a popular hybrid SUV sold around the world, can be easily broken into by attackers exploiting security weaknesses in the setup that allows the car to be remotely controlled via an app. After discovering the SSID and the pre-shared key, they connected to a static IP address within a network's subnet, and this allowed them to sniff the Wi-Fi connection and send messages to the car. Through these messages they were able to turn the car's lights, air conditioning and heating on and off, change the charging programme and, most importantly, to disable the car's anti-theft alarm.

Submission + - Kansas Heart Hospital hit with ransomware; attackers demand two ransoms (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: Kansas Heart Hospital was hit with a ransomware attack. It paid the ransom, but then attackers tried to extort a second payment.

Yes, the hospital paid the ransom. No, the hackers didn’t decrypt the files—at least it was described as not returning “full access to the files.” Instead, the attackers asked for another ransom. This time the hospital refused to pay because it was no longer “a wise maneuver or strategy.”

The hospital supposedly had a plan for this type of attack, but the plan didn't include backups.

Google

How Copyright Law Is Being Misused To Remove Material From the Internet (theguardian.com) 102

London-based resident Annabelle Narey posted a negative review of a building firm on Mumsnet. She noted in her review that her ceiling fell down in an upstairs bedroom. The Guardian reports about what happened to her in the aftermath of posting that review. Building firm BuildTeam sent a letter to Mumsnet, which the site passed on to Narey. According to Narey, BuildTeam found Narey's comment defamatory and untrue, and asked for the removal of the comment from the website. The original comment saw several other users also post similar grievances, though many of these users pulled their comments in response to the legal threats from BuildTeam. Narey wanted to keep hers up. Then things got even weirder, reports the Guardian. Narey says BuiltTeam staff visited her apartment, and instead of offering any apology, asked her to remove the comment. Mumsnet received a warning from Google: a takedown request under DMCA, alleging copyright infringement. This led Google to de-list the entire thread. From the report: No copyright infringement had occurred at all. At some point after Narey posted her comments on Mumsnet, someone had copied the entire text of one of her posts and pasted it, verbatim, to a spammy blog titled "Home Improvement Tips and Tricks". The post, headlined "Buildteam interior designers" was backdated to September 14 2015, three months before Narey had written it. BuildTeam says it has no idea why Narey's review was reposted, but that it had nothing to do with it.The Guardian deep dives into what is wrong with the copyright system, the issues Google faces in dealing with them, and the consequences many users are facing because of this.

Submission + - FBI Wants to Keep Biometric Database Hidden

Trailrunner7 writes: The FBI is working to keep information contained in a key biometric database private and unavailable, even to people whose information is contained in the records.

The database is known as the Next Generation Identification System, and it is an amalgamation of biometric records accumulated from people who have been through one of a number of biometric collection processes. That could include convicted criminals, anyone who has submitted records to employers, and many other people. The NGIS also has information from agencies outside of the FBI, including foreign law enforcement agencies and governments. Because of the nature of the records, the FBI is asking the federal government to exempt the database from the Privacy Act, making the records inaccessible through information requests.

Submission + - Android apps only for Chromebooks less than 2 years old

tlhIngan writes: Yesterday, Google announced Android apps and Play store are coming to Chromebooks. They just released the compatibility list of devices which will support it. Looking at the list, it is obvious that only devices less than two years old are getting the feature. If you have one of the original $1200+ Chromebook Pixels, you're out of luck, your Chromebook is not getting it, despite the hardware being faster and more capable than some current generation Chromebooks on the list, and still being supported by Google.

Submission + - Microsoft grants users' wish for Windows 7 'service pack' (networkworld.com)

Miche67 writes: Microsoft announced "convenience rollup" for Windows 7 Service Pack 1 and Windows Server 2008 R2 that "contains all of the security and non-security updates it has issued for the two operating systems since the Windows 7 Service Pack up through April 2016."

It doesn't make it easy to get, though.

Displays

Transparent Displays Are Here, But They're Pretty Useless 171

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has debuted the first commercial installation of its 55-inch 'mirror' displays at a salon in South Korea with a transparent OLED screen overlaid over a mirrored surface to allow interaction. The Samsung product rivals an equivalent TOLED from Planar, with both intended for high-end use in the retail display and exhibition space. However both manufacturers are struggling to find practical applications for the much-awaited technology. Transparent displays have been a staple of sci-fi films such as Minority Report for decades, but only, it seems, because they helped to open up scenes which would otherwise have been difficult to film. With the pending advent of AR-based visualization, the innovation of the clear monitor seems not only to have come too late, but also offer limited practical use, even if its current breathtaking prices were to descend to the consumer space.

Submission + - SPAM: Transparent Displays Are Here, But Pretty Useless

An anonymous reader writes: Samsung has debuted the first commercial installation of its 55-inch 'mirror' displays at a salon in South Korea, with a transparent OLED screen overlaid over a mirrored surface to allow interaction. The Samsung product rivals an equivalent TOLED from Planar, with both intended for high-end use in the retail display and exhibition space. However both manufacturers are struggling to find practical applications for the much-awaited technology. Transparent displays have been a staple of sci-fi films such as Minority Report for decades, but only, it seems, because they helped to open up scenes which would otherwise have been difficult to film. With the pending advent of AR-based visualization, the innovation of the clear monitor seems not only to have come too late, but to have limited practical use, even if its currently breathtaking prices were to descend to the consumer space.

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