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Submission + - BBC [UK] gets go-ahead to detect iPlayer packets over encrypted Wi-Fi. (telegraph.co.uk)

product_bucket writes: The BBC has been given permission to use a new technology to detect users of the iPlayer who do not hold a TV licence. Researchers at University College London have apparently developed a method to identify specially crafted packets over an encrypted Wi-Fi link without needing to break the underlying encryption itself. TV Licensing (the fee-collecting arm of the BBC) has said the practice is under regular scrutiny by independent regulators, but declined to elaborate on how the technique works.

Submission + - NASA Celebrates Curiosity's Fourth Year On Mars With A Game (engadget.com)

An anonymous reader writes: In honor of Curiosity's fourth year on Mars, NASA has released a game. Engadget reports: "The glitch that shut down Curiosity in July was thankfully a temporary issue, else NASA would have mourned its loss rather than celebrating the rover's fourth year on Mars by releasing a game. It's simply called Mars Rover, and it's probably your only chance to pilot Curiosity. Mars Rover has a pretty straightforward gameplay — you just have to press arrow keys to drive the vehicle and find underground pockets of water — but it's harder than it seems. The virtual rover's wheels crack and break if they slam hard against rocks or heels, and when they do, it's game over. NASA derived these mechanics from Curiosity's actual mission and experiences on Mars."

Submission + - Microsoft To Release Two Major Windows 10 Updates Next Year (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: With the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, aka Windows 10 version 1607, released earlier this week, it's time to look forward to what's next. Windows 10 has multiple release tracks to address the needs of its various customer types. The mainstream consumer release, the one that received the Anniversary Update on Tuesday, is dubbed the Current Branch (CB). The Current Branch for Business (CBB) trails the CB by several months, giving it greater time to bed in and receive another few rounds of bug fixing. Currently the CBB is using last year's November Update, version 1511. In about four months, Microsoft plans to bump CBB up to version 1607, putting both CB and CBB on the same major version. [The Long Term Servicing Branch, an Enterprise-only version that will receive security and critical issue support for 10 years, will also be updated.] Going forward, however, the differences between both current branch variants (CB and CBB) and LTSB will become more marked. Microsoft is not planning another major update this year. There will be no equivalent to last year's 1511 release, but Microsoft will have two next year. These are believed to be codenamed Redstone 2 (rs2) and Redstone 3 (rs3), with this week's 1607 release being Redstone 1 (rs1). Current expectation is that rs2 will have a heavy mobile focus and be shipped simultaneously with new Surface branded hardware.

Submission + - Theresa May named internet villain of the year (theguardian.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Home Secretary, Theresa May, has been named the UK internet industry’s villain of the year for pursuing “snooper’s charter” legislation without fully consulting the sector.

The gong, part of the annual ISPA awards, was given for “forging ahead with communications data legislation that would significantly increase capabilities without adequate consultation with industry and civil society”.

“With an investigatory powers bill due before parliament in the coming months, it is essential that ISPs are consulted,” the Internet Services Providers’ Association (ISPA) added.

Submission + - Call Centre raided after DoS to UK phone network operators

product_bucket writes: The UK's Information Commissioner has (with help from Ofcom) raided [ico.org.uk] offices of a currently anonymous Manchester call centre after network operators complained of disruptions to their networks. Whilst making unsolicited marketing calls of any type has been illegal for some time, The action was only justified after approximately 7,000 reports of complaints were traced back to the call centre operator.

Nuisance calls in the the UK are once again on the rise [ico.org.uk] after government agencies have been at odds over who is responsible for what type of call is being made. With no less than three different organisations tasked with dealing with five [ico.org.uk] different forms of telemarketing, unscrupulous companies are making the most of this risky business opportunity.

Submission + - UK's New DWP Manager Seeks Another Digital Exemplar to Reform Obsolete Systems

product_bucket writes: The new manager of the UK's Department for Work and Pensions is looking for [green-park-jobs.co.uk] someone to reform its sprawling and often outdated [slashdot.org] IT infrastructure . In the continued effort to ensure the governments public facing IT service is fit for purpose, Government Digital Service boss Mike Bracken pins high hopes on [governmentcomputing.com] DWP tech lead Mayank Prakash and Digital Transformation Director Kevin Cunnington in finding someone else to rebuild this complex and expensive infrastructure.

Submission + - Linus Torvalds Wants Us All to Chill Out About the Leap Second (wired.com)

alphadogg writes: The leap second is the rare and obscure practice of occasionally adding a second to the Coordinated Universal Time (UTC) system that most of us use to set our watches. It’s necessary, but not exactly computer friendly. In 2012 it crashed websites such as Reddit and Yelp and snarled up airline departures in Australia, so you’d think most computer experts would really hate them. After all, we have perfectly accurate timekeeping systems, such as the one used by GPS, that don’t futz with leap seconds. But it turns out many computer folks are OK with the leap second, including Linux’s creator, Linus Torvalds.

Submission + - Comcast's Lobbyists Hands Out VIP Cards To Skip the Wait (vox.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A lengthy story about how David Gregory lost his job hosting Meet the Press holds an interesting tidbit: Comcast's team of lobbyists regularly hands out VIP cards to influential (and influence-able) people in Washington that lets them bypass normal customer service and fast-track their support problems. "Its government-affairs team carried around 'We'll make it right' cards stamped with 'priority assistance' codes for fast-tracking help and handed them out to congressional staffers, journalists, and other influential Washingtonians who complained about their service. A Comcast spokeswoman says this practice isn't exclusive to DC; every Comcast employee receives the cards, which they can distribute to any customer with cable or internet trouble. Nevertheless, efforts like this one have surely helped Comcast boost its standing inside the Beltway and improve its chances of winning regulatory approval for its next big conquest: merging with the second-largest cable provider in the country, Time Warner Cable." (The David Gregory article is worth a look, too; it shows how Comcast's purchase of NBC has led to interference in NBC's attempts at real journalism.)

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