squiggleslash writes: Samsung is already feeling the heat from its exploding Note 7 phones, but according to The Guardian a lawsuit has been filed alleging Samsung's phones have for years shown similar defects. From the S6 to the Acclaim R880, the lawsuit covers 30 incidents where phones other than the Note 7 ignited into flames or became burning hot. The lawsuit may light a fire underneath Samsung's engineering group and force them to confront the issue.
squiggleslash writes: Brianna Wu, a game studio owner in Boston, found herself the target of numerous anonymous death threats last month, apparently the escalation of a campaign that started when she spoke up for women in gaming, and that intensified during the GamerGate train wreck. Rather than hide, she's offering an $11,000+ cash reward for anyone who helps put her attacker in jail, and she's reporting — albeit at a time many see GamerGate being in its death throes — that it's already having an affect. Wu is also setting up a legal fund to go after those promoting more extreme libels against her and others, with screenshots of a forged tweet purporting to be written by her still circulating around the Internet. Still, why do we seriously need threats prison time to get people to knock off threating to rape and murder people, or threats of lawsuits to have people not forge the kind of libelous "evidence" that drives such hatred in the first place?
squiggleslash writes: One question arose almost immediately upon the exposure of Heartbleed (Original Slashdot story), the infamous OpenSSL exploit that can leak confidential information and even private keys to the Internet: Did the NSA know about it, and did they exploit if so? The answer is "Yes". Bloomberg reports that "The agency found the Heartbeat glitch shortly after its introduction, according to one of the people familiar with the matter, and it became a basic part of the agency’s toolkit for stealing account passwords and other common tasks." Some National Security experts are upset about this, given the same flaw could just as easily be used by foreign governments against Americans as vice versa.
squiggleslash writes: Despite some industry skepticism, Nokia has indeed been working on an Android smartphone and finally unveiled the Nokia X today. As rumored, it's not a Google Play compatible device, running instead a Google-less AOSP build with a Nokia app store, and Windows Phone style shell. The budget phone will also not be marketed in North America. The Media seems convinced Microsoft — who are in the process of aquiring Nokia — will kill the project, but it's hard to see why Nokia would be working on such a project at this time if Microsoft had plans to do this.
squiggleslash writes: The concerns, legitimate or otherwise, about genetically modified foods such as Monsanto's Round-up Ready soy-beans, may be causing unintended consequences: Monsanto's rivals such as BASF are selling "naturally" mutated seeds where extreme exposure to ultra-violet is used to increase the rate of mutations in seeds, a process called mutagenesis. These seeds end up with many of the same properties, such as herbicide resistance, as GM seeds, but inevitably end up with other, uncontrolled, mutations too. The National Academy of Sciences warns that there's a much higher risk of unintentionally creating seeds that have active health risks through mutagenesis than by other means, including relatively controlled genetic engineering, presumably because of the blind indiscriminate nature of mutations caused by the process. But because mutagenesis is effectively simply an acceleration of the natural system of evolution, it's very difficult to regulate.
squiggleslash writes: Concerned about their use as fronts for gambling operations, the Florida legislature passed a law banning Internet Cafes. The law appears to be a reaction in part to the recent stepping down of Lt. Gov. Jennifer Carroll, embroiled in a scandal involving a company that operates Internet Cafes. More ordinary cafes with Wi-fi, where you supply your own computer (such as Starbucks), are not affected by the ban.
squiggleslash writes: Could Google's driverless cars rampage through Florida, killing powerless pensioners as they wreak deadly havok across the Sunshine State? That's the fear of Floridian State Congressional Rep. Jim Frische, concerned that rival Rep. Jeff Brandes is pro-Google's driverless cars, and he's running ads against Brandes as a result. No word on whether Old Glory Insurance is donating to Brandes election fund...
squiggleslash writes: Morgan Stanley has been subpoenaed (FRR) and SEC officials are investigating NASDAQ after Facebook's disastrous IPO and post-IPO share slide. Analysts are blaming the IPO for dragging down tech stocks in general, and questions are being asked about the likelihood of successful, Netscape and Google style IPOs in the future. Did Facebook overreach? By attempting to cash in at a price of over 100 P/E, has Facebook's founders made things tougher for future tech entrepreneurs to get funding?
squiggleslash writes: CNN reports that IBM CEO Jeanette Horan has banned Siri, the iPhone voice recognition system. Why? According or Horan "(IBM) worries that the spoken queries might be stored somewhere." Siri's backend is a set of Apple-owned servers in North Carolina, and all spoken queries are sent to those servers to be converted to text, parsed, and interpreted. While Siri wouldn't work unless that processing was done, the centralization and cloud based nature of Siri makes it an obvious security hole.