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Submission + - Investigation Finds Inmates Built Computers, Hid Them In Prison Ceiling (cbs6albany.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The discovery of two working computers hidden in a ceiling at the Marion Correctional Institution prompted an investigation by the state into how inmates got access. In late July, 2015 staff at the prison discovered the computers hidden on a plywood board in the ceiling above a training room closet. The computers were also connected to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction's network. Authorities say they were first tipped off to a possible problem in July, when their computer network support team got an alert that a computer "exceeded a daily internet usage threshold." When they checked the login being used, they discovered an employee's credentials were being used on days he wasn't scheduled to work. That's when they tracked down where the connection was coming from and alerted Marion Correctional Institution of a possible problem. Investigators say there was lax supervision at the prison, which gave inmates the ability to build computers from parts, get them through security checks, and hide them in the ceiling. The inmates were also able to run cabling, connecting the computers to the prison's network.

Submission + - Google Ruins the Assistant's Shopping List, Turns It Into a Google Express Ad (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Google Assistant, Google's voice assistant that powers the Google app on Android phones, tablets, and Google Home, has just gotten a major downgrade. In a move reminiscent of all the forced and user-hostile Google+ integrations, Google has gutted the Google Assistant's shopping list functionality in order to turn it into a big advertisement for Google's shopping site, Google Express. The shopping list has been a major feature of the Google Assistant. You can say "Add milk to my shopping list," and the Google Assistant would dutifully store this information somewhere. The shopping list used to live in Google Keep. Keep is Google's primary note-taking app, making it a natural home for the shopping list with lots of useful tools and management options. Now the shopping list lives in Google Express. Express is an online shopping site, and it has no business becoming a dedicated place to store a shopping list that probably has nothing to do with Google's online marketplace. Since Google Express is an online shopping site (and, again, has no business having a note-taking app grafted onto it), the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant's shopping list functionality loses the following features: Being able to reorder items with drag and drop.
Reminders; Adding images to the shopping list; Adding voice recordings to the shopping list; Real time collaboration with other users (Express has sharing, but you can't see other people as they type—you have to refresh.); Android Wear integration; Desktop keyboard shortcuts; Checkbox management: deleting all checked items, unchecking all items, hiding checkboxes. Alternatively, the move from Keep to Google Express means the Assistant shopping list gains the following features: Google Express advertising next to every list item; Google Express advertising at the bottom of the page.

Submission + - The Kodi development team wants to be legitimate and bring DRM to the platform. (torrentfreak.com)

pecosdave writes: The XBMC/ Kodi development team has taken a lot of heat over the years, mostly due to third party developers introducing piracy plugins to the platform, then in many cases cheap Android computers are often sold with these plugins pre-installed with the Kodi or XBMC name attached to them. The Kodi team is not happy about this, and has taken the fight to the sellers. The Kodi team is now trying to work with rights holders to introduce DRM and legitimate plugins to the platform. Is this the first step towards creating a true one-stop do it yourself Linux entertainment system?

Submission + - How Google Book Search Got Lost (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: When Google started its Book Search project nearly 15 years ago, it seemed impossibly ambitious: An upstart tech company that had just tamed and organized the vast informational jungle of the web would now extend the reach of its search box into the offline world. It was the company's first real moonshot, aspiring to make all the world's books digitally accessible—and in doing so, somehow produce a phase-shift in human awareness. But between legal battles and a slowly dwindling sense of ambition, Google Books never achieved those great heights, and today, it's settled into a quiet middle age of sourcing quotes and serving up snippets of text from the 25 million-plus tomes in its database. At Backchannel, Scott Rosenberg chronicles the project's rise and fall, writing that "Google employees maintain this is all they ever intended to achieve. Maybe so. But they sure got everyone else’s hopes up."

Submission + - SPAM: Exploit Revealed For Remote Root Access Vulnerability Affecting Many Routers

Orome1 writes: Back in January 2013, researchers from application security services firm DefenseCode unearthed a remote root access vulnerability in the default installation of some Cisco Linksys (now Belkin) routers. The flaw was actually found in Broadcom’s UPnP implementation used in popular routers, and ultimately the researchers extended the list of vulnerable routers to encompass devices manufactured by the likes of ASUS, D-Link, Zyxel, US Robotics, TP-Link, Netgear, and others. Since there were millions of vulnerable devices out there, the researchers refrained from publishing the exploit they created for the flaw, but now, four years later, they’ve released their full research again, and this time they’ve also revealed the exploit.
Link to Original Source

Submission + - Symantec says CIA hacking tools were used in 40 'Longhorn' cyberattacks (betanews.com)

Mark Wilson writes: The CIA's range of hacking tools revealed as part of WikiLeaks' Vault 7 series of leaks have been used to conduct 40 cyberattacks in 16 countries, says Symantec. The security firm alleges that a group known as Longhorn has been using tools that appear to be the very same ones used by the CIA.

While it would be obvious to jump to the conclusion that the CIA was itself responsible for the attacks — and that Longhorn is just a branch of the CIA — Symantec opts for a rather more conservative evaluation of things: "there can be little doubt that Longhorn's activities and the Vault 7 documents are the work of the same group."

In a post on the Symantec Security Response blog, the company provides what it says is the first evidence that the Vault 7 tools have actually been used in cyberattacks or cyberespionage.

Comment Re:A better question to ask (Score 1) 75

"Chad Rigetti, the startup's founder and CEO -- who declined to say whether the company is actually earning any revenue yet." who would also decline to say whether the company is doing proper quantum computing yet.

If he knew how much revenue he was getting, he wouldn't know whether the revenue growth rate was growing or shrinking. How the fark is he supposed to get Series A funding at a good valuation like that? Naw, man, he did it right - assume a given momentum sufficient to get the next round of funding, and who cares about the company's actual market position?

Comment Re:Bigoted much? (Score 1) 404

Expelling diplomats and seizing property is outrageous behavior if it's believed that it was done for no reason.

Not really. What the administration did was actually pretty much the least retaliation they can do. On MSNBC, they asked an analyst what the actions were on a 1-to-10 scale and it was called a 1, maybe a 2.

There's not much else less severe that could have been done.

Comment Retaliation..again (Score 3, Insightful) 821

This is like groundhog day. Putin very likely struck out at Sec. Clinton because of the damage her claim that the 2011 elections in Russia were illegitimate. That claim from the United States, by the way, is effectively like what Russia is accused of doing in 2016 - interfering in national elections of a rival.

This is a fools game. Retaliating by interfering in Russian politics will simply invite more of the same. There is no sense of balance or proportionality here.

It would have been nice for the Obama administration to have done a policy change here at the end, that put some teeth into a rule that prohibits the United States from interferring in the elections or politics of any foreign nation. But of course that's not in the cards.

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

How so? Take someone that's being paid, let's say, $5000/month at the moment, and let's take a UBI of $1000/month to have a neat number to work with. With the UBI they'll be getting $6000/mo, but paying back $1000/mo for a net of $5000/mo. That's exactly what they were already getting, so where's the subsidy for the employer?

The $1000 less they have to pay the person to do that job because that component of their worth in the market is being met by the UBI not the employer.

The minimum wage is not the same thing. It is a required minimum amount the employer must pay, not a minimum amount paid by the public.

It's a good point. I quite like the general idea. None of this is going to be viable long term though, because we can automate all of these things too.

Yes. But there needs to be a transitionary step so the people who can't handle the idea of "getting something for nothing" can get their head around it (or die).

Comment Re: Finland (Score 1) 441

They can't just pay $X less and hope to still have people working for them though, unless the resulting wage is high enough that the employee will be paying most or all of their UBI back in taxes, in which case the $X reduction is mostly or completely just a regular pay cut.

That doesn't really address the point ? Even if someone is being paid relatively a lot, the UBI still represents a subsidy to their employer who will be paying them roughly the equivalent of the UBI less than they would be if it didn't exist.

A job guarantee relies on there being jobs available, which as we've established is kind of the problem. I guess you could invent some pointless work for someone to do, but forcing them to spend a significant chunk of their time doing meaningless busy work doesn't strike me as being better than not forcing them to do it.

There is arguably plenty of work that is not so much "pointless" as not particularly profitable. Someone to help little old ladies on and off buses, for example. Or more teachers. Or take back all the jobs around publicly funded services that have been privatised and improve it (eg: cleaning staff).

Comment Re:I predict a lot of misunderstandings about BI (Score 1) 441

That is an incredibly convoluted way of saying "reduce the cost to business for employing people". :)

But it doesn't really explain what you're trying to achieve. The last few decades show that reduced costs to business go primarily into CxO bonuses and - maybe - shareholder dividends.

Businesses aren't charities. They won't employ more people without unmet demand. Supply-side economics is bunk.

In that context what really matters is this:

[...] while receiving an extra $269.08 deposit from Social Security every 2 weeks.

Not the reduction in taxes to business (though I agree payroll taxes are bad taxes).

As I said elsewhere, a jobs guarantee is a better and fairer option than a UBI (or similar), at least until we really do have robots that can do anything and current attitudes towards welfare have matured.

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