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Submission Summary: 0 pending, 22 declined, 14 accepted (36 total, 38.89% accepted)

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Submission + - Verizon to Force AppFlash Spyware on Android phones

saccade.com writes: Verizon is joining with the creators of a tool called "Evie Launcher" to make a new app search / launcher tool called AppFlash, to be installed on all Verizon phones running Android. The app provides no functionality to users beyond what Google Search does. It does, however, give Verizon a steady stream of metrics on your app usage and searches. A quick glance at the AppFlash privacy policy confirms this is the real purpose behind it:

We collect information about your device and your use of the AppFlash services. This information includes your mobile number, device identifiers, device type and operating system, and information about the AppFlash features and services you use and your interactions with them. We also access information about the list of apps you have on your device. ... AppFlash information may be shared within the Verizon family of companies, including companies like AOL who may use it to help provide more relevant advertising within the AppFlash experiences and in other places, including non-Verizon sites, services and devices.

Submission + - Kindle Unlimited Scammers Gaming the System at the Expense of Real Authors (annchristy.com)

saccade.com writes: Kindle Unlimited is Amazon's book service that lets customers "check out" any book from a large selection without paying for individual titles. Like most things on the Internet, it's fallen prey to scammers. The system is designed to pay authors out of a single pool of money based on how many pages of their books are actually read. However, scammers have figured out how to rig the system by posting large, fake books, then hiring click farms to "read" them. This doesn't affect people using the service to read books (other than the nuisance of occasionally stumbling over bogus titles). But legitimate authors are getting squeezed as more of the KU payment pool goes to thieves and their bogus books.

Submission + - Are Bug Bounties the Right Solution for Improving Security? (codinghorror.com)

saccade.com writes: Coding Horror's Jeff Atwood is questioning if the current practice of paying researchers bounties for the software vulnerabilities they find is really improving over-all security. He notes how the Heartbleed bug serves as a counter example to "Linus's Law" that "Given enough eyeballs, all bugs are shallow".

...If you want to find bugs in your code, in your website, in your app, you do it the old fashioned way: by paying for them. You buy the eyeballs.

While I applaud any effort to make things more secure, and I completely agree that security is a battle we should be fighting on multiple fronts, both commercial and non-commercial, I am uneasy about some aspects of paying for bugs becoming the new normal. What are we incentivizing, exactly?


Submission + - Congressmen Invite Schneier to Brief them on the NSA (schneier.com)

saccade.com writes: Six members of Congress invited security expert Bruce Schneier to brief them on the NSA. Why Bruce? Because, with access to the Snowden documents, he's more forthcoming about the NSA's activities than anybody at the NSA itself. He writes:

Rep. Lofgren asked me to brief her and a few Representatives on the NSA. She said that the NSA wasn't forthcoming about their activities, and they wanted me — as someone with access to the Snowden documents — to explain to them what the NSA was doing. Of course I'm not going to give details on the meeting, except to say that it was candid and interesting. And that it's extremely freaky that Congress has such a difficult time getting information out of the NSA that they have to ask me. I really want oversight to work better in this country.

Ironic: Even though the contents of top-secret, unpublished documents was discussed, the meeting was held in a regular conference room, because Bruce didn't have the necessary security clearance to enter a secure government facility.

Submission + - Google Glass Teardown

saccade.com writes: Ever wonder how Google packed all of the Google Glass functionality into a slender eyeglass frame? Find out by checking out this teardown by Scott Torborg and Star Simpson. Goodies found inside include proximity, light and inertial sensors, sound transducers, a TI OMAP CPU, flash, RAM, camera and tiny projection display.
Hardware

Submission + - Opportunties From the Twilight of Moore's Law (bunniestudios.com)

saccade.com writes: "Andrew "bunnie" Huang just posted an excellent essay, Why the Best Days of Open Hardware are Yet to Come. He shows how the gradually slowing pace of semiconductor density actually may create many new opportunities for smaller scale innovators and entrepreneurs. It's based on a talk presented at the 2011 Open Hardware Summit.

Are we entering an age of heirloom laptops and artisan engineering?"

Submission + - Telehack re-creates the Internet from 25 years ago (telehack.com)

saccade.com writes: "Telehack.com has meticulously re-created the Internet as it appeared to a command line user over a quarter century ago. Drawing on material from Jason Scott's TextFiles.com, the text-only world of the 1980's appears right in your browser.

If you want to show somebody what the Arpanet looked like (you didn't call it the "Internet" until the late '80s) this is it.

Using the "finger" command and seeing familiar names from decades ago (some, sadly, ghosts now) sends a chill down your spine."

Space

Submission + - Missing Apollo 11 tapes may have been found (theregister.co.uk)

saccade.com writes: "The Register and several other outlets are reporting that the missing tapes of the first manned lunar landing may have been found at a storage facility in Perth, Australia. If found, these could have much clearer pictures than the recordings we currently have that were downsampled for TV broadcast. We don't have pictures yet, though: 'Whether the world will finally enjoy high-quality pics of Aldrin and Armstrong strolling the Moon's surface remains to be seen. When NASA coughed to having lost the original tapes, John Sarkissian of the Parkes Observatory noted that even if a machine could be found to replay them, they would be "so old and fragile, it's not certain they could even be played.'"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - Taking Electronic Prototypes Through TSA Security? 1

saccade.com writes: "I've recently built a prototype electronic gadget, and I'd like to show it to my folks when I fly to visit them over the July 4th holiday. After the Star Simpson fiasco, I'm a little concerned about getting a prototype with exposed batteries and wires through the TSA, or having it confiscated from my checked luggage. Only a moron would confuse my prototype with an explosive device, but, well, we are dealing with the TSA. I'd like to hear your experiences taking handmade electronic gadgets through airport security. No big deal, or major hassle?"
Hardware Hacking

Submission + - China's "Shanzai" electronic mash-up desig (bunniestudios.com)

saccade.com writes: "Bunnie (of XBox hacking and Chumby fame) has written an insightful post about how a new phenomena emerging out of China called "Shanzai" has impacted the electronics business there.

A new class of innovators, they're going beyond merely copying western designs to producing electronic "mash-ups" to create new products. Bootstrapped on small amounts of capitol, they range from shops of just a few people to a few hundred. They rapidly create new products, and use an "open source" style design community where design ideas and component lists are shared."

Businesses

Submission + - Circuit City shutting down, closing all US stores (yahoo.com)

saccade.com writes: "Electronics retailer Circuit City is unable to find a buyer, and is shutting down it's remaining 567 US retail stores. The 30,000 employees will lose there jobs. The chain was trying to find a buyer, but with credit markets tight they were unable to secure a deal. Certain stores will begin close-out sales as early as Saturday."

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