Geek Stuff

Apple Will No Longer Unlock Most iPhones, iPads For Police

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SternisheFan writes with this selection from a story at the Washington Post: Apple said Wednesday night that it is making it impossible for the company to turn over data from most iPhones or iPads to police — even when they have a search warrant — taking a hard new line as tech companies attempt to blunt allegations that they have too readily participated in government efforts to collect user data. The move, announced with the publication of a new privacy policy tied to the release of Apple's latest mobile operating system, iOS 8, amounts to an engineering solution to a legal dilemma: Rather than comply with binding court orders, Apple has reworked its latest encryption in a way that makes it almost impossible for the company – or anyone else but the device's owner – to gain access to the vast troves of user data typically stored on smartphones or tablet computers. The key is the encryption that Apple mobile devices automatically put in place when a user selects a passcode, making it difficult for anyone who lacks that passcode to access the information within, including photos, e-mails, recordings or other documents. Apple once kept possession of encryption keys that unlocked devices for legally binding police requests, but will no longer do so for iOS8, it said in a new guide for law enforcement. "Unlike our competitors, Apple cannot bypass your passcode and therefore cannot access this data," Apple said on its Web site. "So it's not technically feasible for us to respond to government warrants for the extraction of this data from devices in their possession running iOS 8."

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13 Principles Week of Action: Human Rights Require a Secure Internet

EFF's Deeplinks -

Between 15th-19th of September, in the week leading up the first year anniversary of the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, EFF and the coalition behind the Principles will be conducting a Week of Action explaining some of the key guiding principles for surveillance law reform. Every day, we'll take on a different part of the principles, exploring what’s at stake and what we need to do to bring intelligence agencies and the police back under the rule of law. You can read the complete set of posts at: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/anniversary. The Principles were first launched at the 24th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council in Geneva on 20 September 2013. Let's send a message to Member States at the United Nations and wherever else folks are tackling surveillance law reform: surveillance law can no longer ignore our human rights. Follow our discussion on twitter with the hashtag: #privacyisaright

Human Rights Require a Secure Internet

The ease by which mass surveillance can be conducted is not a feature of digital networks; it's a bug in our current infrastructure caused by a lack of pervasive encryption. It's a bug we have to fix. Having the data of our lives sent across the world in such a way that distant strangers can (inexpensively and undetectably) collect, inspect and interfere with it, undermines the trust any of us can have in any of our communications. It breaks our faith not only with the organizations that carry that data for us, but the trust we have with each other. On a spied-upon network, we hold back from speaking, reading, trading and organizing together. The more we learn about the level of surveillance institutions like the NSA impose on the Net, the more we lose trust in the technology, protocols, institutions and opportunities of the Net.

Thankfully, technologists have been slowly hardening the net to defend against this global vulnerability. In the last year, according to Sandvine, in Europe and Latin America, encrypted traffic has increased from 1.47% to 6.10% and 1.8 to 10.37% respectively. Companies and individuals are encrypting more now not just because of the greater knowledge of government mass surveillance programs, but because of the increasing use of such security flaws by opportunistic criminals. What NSA does today, even under-resourced states (like Ethiopia) will manage tomorrow, and common criminals might be able to do in a decade. Fixing the safety of the Net means fixing all the flaws that allow mass surveillance, one step at a time.

But when a surveillance capability that government agencies are accustomed to use starts to disappear, we know that those agencies fight back. The Crypto Wars of the Nineties represented the US intelligence community's attempt to prevent the spread of encryption that they could not crack. What followed was a decade of complacency, when encryption was used only when it was thought to be absolutely necessary, and the majority of online communications remained eminently tappable.

If we succeed in taking back the Net through increasing use of encryption by major communications providers, more secure software, and closer auditing of the tools we use, how can we expect intelligence and law enforcement agencies to react?

The visible moves we have seen in the last few years include legislative attempts to mandate data collection by companies, increase sharing with governments, and build backdoors into networking equipments. This is the purpose of proposed and enacted legislation such as in the United States, DRIP in the United Kingdom, the Mexican Ley Telecom, a Colombian lawful interception law that compels Telecommunication Service Providers—including Internet service providers (ISPs)—to create backdoors that would make it easier for law enforcement to spy on Colombians, and Australia's data retention proposals.

Invisibly, the world's intelligence agencies have been pursuing alternative strategies. Almost exactly a year ago, the Guardian published a report describing internal GCHQ documents which declared that the UK's intelligence capabilities "will degrade ... as widespread encryption becomes more commonplace". In preparation, the report described the British and American intelligence services attempts to find (or insert) security flaws in the network. That work includes attempts to weaken encryption standards, as well as the support of dedicated GCHQ human intelligence teams whose responsibilities included "identifying, recruiting and running covert agents in the global telecommunications industry."

This week, the Die Spiegel and Laura Poitras brought that battle between intelligence services and those trying to secure the Internet to life when they filmed employees at one satellite Internet provider as they learned that their networks were being exploited, and even their own lives were being monitored in order to defeat their corporate protections.

Privacy info. This embed will serve content from vimeo.com

Such surveillance is not just about exploiting and keeping secret existing flaws. Last July, in response to claims that the Skype network had been compromised by intelligence services, a Microsoft spokesperson gave a carefully-worded answer about government interference in the upgrading of their products (our emphasis):

Finally when we upgrade or update products legal obligations may in some circumstances require that we maintain the ability to provide information in response to a law enforcement or national security request. There are aspects of this debate that we wish we were able to discuss more freely. That's why we've argued for additional transparency that would help everyone understand and debate these important issues.

In other words, it may well be that companies like Microsoft are prevented from improving the security or privacy of their products, because governments have become accustomed to extracting data from them.

When EFF helped draft the Necessary and Proportionate Principles, our intention was to create set of guidelines that illuminate how lawmakers could fix the woefully out of date legislation and jurisprudence regarding surveillance. It was an attempt not to brief lawmakers about theoretical threats, but to highlight we already knew was happening in everyday state surveillance practice.

But human rights principles and the best laws to enforce them don't just deal with the here and now. They have to look to the future too. The very heart of the Necessary and Proportionate Principles is that while technology advances, our fundamental human rights must remain a constant.

One of the greatest future threats to human rights -- an existential threat, in fact -- isthe continued undermining of the progress being made to secure our networks.

It remains vital that governments support the toughening of our digital infrastructure, not subvert or impede it in their own interests. That's why the Principle 11 speaks of the integrity of communications and systems.

As the Principles note, compromising security for State proposes "almost always compromises security more generally." Undermining security for everyone online is an inherently disproportionate act. Legal regimes that require compulsory data retention or enforced monitoring capabilities undermine that integrity.

Maintaining that integrity also means reining back some of the tactics of state espionage. We can no longer afford to have shadowy state institutions slipping backdoors into encryption standards, or pressuring or colluding with companies to re-engineer their systems to allow or maintain existing surveillance capabilities. We need to push forward in building technology that secures the network: and lawmakers need to push back against executive practices that weaken it.

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OnePlus One smartphone “pre-order” period begins in October

Liliputing -

The OnePlus One smartphone features top-tier specs at a mid-range price. For $299 you get a phone with a 5.5 inch, full HD display, 3GB of RAM, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon 801 processor. But it’s tough to actually get your hands on the first phone form OnePlus. There’s a limited supply of phones from this […]

OnePlus One smartphone “pre-order” period begins in October is a post from: Liliputing

Alice Is Killing Trolls But Patent Lawyers Will Strike Back

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snydeq writes The wheels of justice spin slowly, but they seem finally to be running software patents out of town, writes Simon Phipps in his analysis of how Alice Corp. v CLS Bank is becoming a landmark decision for patent cases in the U.S. 'In case after case, the Court of Appeals is using Alice to resolve patent appeals. In each case so far, the Court of Appeals has found the software patents in question to be invalid. ... As PatentlyO points out, the Alice effect is even reaching to lower courts, saving the Court of Appeals from having to strike down patent findings on appeal.' Although the patent industry broadly speaking sees the Alice verdict as a death knell for patents, some expect Alice to turn software patents into 'draftsmen's art because as you and I have seen over the years, every time there's a court ruling it just means that you have to word the patent claims differently.'

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Support Diego Gomez, Join the Global Open Access Movement

EFF's Deeplinks -

Colombian master's student Diego Gomez faces up to eight years in prison and crippling monetary fines for sharing another academic's master's thesis with his colleagues online. He recently attended his first preliminary hearing for this case, where the paper's author is pressing charges against Diego under Colombia's stringent criminal copyright provisions.

Academics and students send and post articles online like this every day—it is simply the norm in scholarly communication. And yet inflexible digital policies, paired with senseless and outdated practices, have led to such extreme cases like Diego's. People who experience massive access barriers to existing research—most often hefty paywalls—often have no choice but to find and share relevant papers through colleagues in their network. The Internet has certainly enabled this kind of information sharing at an unprecedented speed and scale, but we are still far from reaching its full capacity.

Scientific progress relies upon the exchange of ideas and research, but outmoded policies and practices continue to present barriers that collectively stifle the Internet's potential. This is why we need open access. Open access makes the results of scholarly research available online for free upon publication (or soon after), and removes barriers for scholarly and educational reuse. Open access policies should make full use of open licenses, allowing researchers to bypass the strictness of copyright law that falls quite contrary to the scientific ideals of openness and collaboration. But on top of this, we must bring about strong, sensible reforms to copyright laws around the world so academics like Diego don't face prison time for doing their research.

Open access is a movement of students, researchers, and concerned individuals who believe this system is broken and that we can do better. When research is shared widely and freely, we all benefit.

Sign your support for Diego and the ideal of open, unfettered access to knowledge that he stands for!

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An Open Source Pitfall? Mozilla Labs Closed, Quietly

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mikejuk writes with this excerpt: When Google Labs closed there was an outcry. How could an organization just pull the rug from under so many projects? At least Google announced what it was doing. Mozilla, it seems since there is no official record, just quietly tiptoes away — leaving the lights on since the Mozilla Labs Website is still accessible. It is accessible but when you start to explore the website you notice it is moribund with the last blog post being December 2013 with the penultimate one being September 2013. The fact that it is gone is confirmed by recent blog posts and by the redeployment of the people who used to run it. The projects that survived have been moved to their own websites. It isn't clear what has happened to the Hatchery -the incubator that invited new ideas from all and sundry. One of the big advantages of open source is the ease with which a project can be started. One of the big disadvantages of open source is the ease with which projects can be allowed to die — often without any clear cut time of death. It seems Mozilla applies this to groups and initiatives as much as projects. This isn't good. The same is true at companies that aren't open source centric, though, too, isn't it?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Now you can run most Android apps on a Chromebook (unofficially)

Liliputing -

Google recently rolled limited support for running Android apps on a Chromebook. At launch only 4 Android apps were added to the Chrome Web Store: Duolingo, Evernote, Vine, and Sight Words. But while you’re waiting for more Android apps to hit Chrome’s app store you can actually get just about any Android app to run […]

Now you can run most Android apps on a Chromebook (unofficially) is a post from: Liliputing

13 Principles Week of Action: Five Eyes’ Quest For Security Has Given Us Widespread Insecurity

EFF's Deeplinks -

This is a guest post from Aaron Gluck Thaler, Privacy International.* If you have comments on this post, you can contact Privacy International on Twitter.

Between 15th-19th of September, in the week leading up the first year aniversary of the 13 Necessary and Proportionate Principles, [Name of your organization] and the coalition behind the 13 Principles will be conducting a Week of Action explaining some of the key guiding principles for surveillance law reform. Every day, we'll take on a different part of the principles, exploring what’s at stake and what we need to do to bring intelligence agencies and the police back under the rule of law. You can read the complete set of posts at: https://necessaryandproportionate.org/anniversary. Let's send a message to Member States at the United Nations and wherever else folks are tackling surveillance law reform: surveillance law can no longer ignore our human rights. Follow our discussion on twitter with the hashtag: #privacyisaright

Five Eyes’ Quest For Security Has Given Us Widespread Insecurity

You do not have to choose between privacy and security. With robust communications systems, we can have both. Yet intelligence agencies such as GCHQ and the NSA have severely injured both, interfering with our privacy rights while simultaneously jeopardizing our security. Over the past year we have learnt how they try to master the internet by hacking into telecommunications providers, sabotaging encryption standards and deploying malware on our devices.

By infiltrating our communications technologies, governments, who have an obligation to respect and strengthen the integrity of these technologies, have instead eroded the possibility of secure systems.

By infiltrating our communications technologies, governments, who have an obligation to respect and strengthen the integrity of these technologies, have instead eroded the possibility of secure systems. Their activities violate the key principle of “Integrity of  Communications and Systems” of the “International Principles on the Application of Human Rights to Communications Surveillance”.

The Five Eyes’ quest for security has given us widespread insecurity.

Exploiting our devices

Documents released by whistle-blower Edward Snowden have revealed that GCHQ and the NSA work together to intrude on computers and mobile devices. They have developed diverse methods to covertly install malware on devices for surveillance, including tricking internet users to click on a malicious link or injecting malicious data into the transmissions received while browsing common websites.

GCHQ and the NSA gain total control over the device once the malware is installed. They can use it to surreptitiously record conversations and take pictures with the device’s camera and microphone. They can also capture all data on the device, including keystrokes, internet browsing history and passwords.

Apparently dissatisfied with this extent of intrusion, GCHQ and the NSA developed an automated system named TURBINE, which “allow the current implant network to scale to large size (millions of implants) by creating a system that does automated control implants by groups instead of individually”.

There is no clear or accessible legal regime governing the hacking by either country, so it is unclear how many devices are infected and if any safeguards are in place to limit this system’s scale.

Breaking the Internet

Going beyond targeting individual computers, GCHQ and the NSA attack and exploit the companies that maintain core communications infrastructure. Der Spiegel revealed that GCHQ deployed attacks against the employees of Belgacom, a Belgium telecommunications company. The employees did not pose any legitimate national security concern. They simply had “good access” to critical parts of Belgium’s telecommunications infrastructure that GCHQ wanted to exploit.

It was later revealed that GCHQ and the NSA targeted three German internet exchange points. In addition to collecting internet traffic passing through these points, GCHQ agents looked to identify “important customers” and “future technical trends in their business sector”.

The destructive practices of GCHQ and the NSA make all network users­ vulnerable–and not just intelligence agency targets­­.

  • Deliberately weakening an encryption standard makes all encrypted information using that standard vulnerable. Encryption is used everywhere in daily life: in our conversations on Skype, electronic medical records, Google searches and financial statements.    

  • Breaching the  security of a telecommunications system leaves the infrastructure open to further exploitation. For example, by compromising routers and switches, a third party– like a foreign government or a criminal–can infiltrate, shut down or monitor the network.    

  • Third parties can exploit the same security flaws that GCHQ and the NSA use. Since the agencies do not disclose the existence of zero day vulnerabilities,  other parties can use them undetected to gain access to the device.    

Intelligence agencies are trying to subvert the internet into a tool for surveillance. They have undermined our trust in the privacy of our own communications and in the process, endangered the security of the internet.

Taking Action

These practices are not only destructive, but also contrary to the rule of law. This is why Privacy International is challenging GCHQ’s abuses on multiple fronts.

Privacy International in July filed a case in the Investigatory Powers Tribunal (IPT) that demands an end to the unlawful hacking and exploitation of internet service and communications providers. This comes shortly after two other cases filed by Privacy International: one challenges GCHQ’s indiscriminate collection and storage of personal data through the TEMPORA, PRISM and UPSTREAM programs while the second is against GCHQ’s hacking of computers and mobile devices.

While the seven internet service and communications providers in third case were not mentioned in the Snowden disclosures, the malice of GCHQ’s surveillance and the threat it poses to communications networks and customers grants them standing in the IPT.

The providers assert that the GCHQ attacks have undermined the goodwill that they rely on, and the trust in the security and privacy of the internet. Together, they are demanding protections for their customers and employees, and an end to GCHQ’s destructive exploitations of the internet.

The providers’ claims are based on the following:

  • By interfering with network assets and computers belonging to the internet and communications service providers, GCHQ has contravened the UK Computer Misuse Act and Article 1 of the First Additional Protocol (A1AP) of the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), which guarantees the individual’s peaceful enjoyment of their possessions;

  • Conducting surveillance of the network providers’ employees is in contravention of Article 8 ECHR (the right to privacy) and Article 10 ECHR (freedom of expression);

  • Surveillance of the network providers’ customers that is made possible by exploitation of their internet infrastructure, is in contravention of Arts. 8 and 10 ECHR; and

  • By diluting the internet and communications service providers’ goodwill and relationship with their customers, members and users, GCHQ has contravened A1AP ECHR.

The effects of these destructive practices must be weighed with their benefits. The GCHQ and NSA have failed to assess the effectiveness of their actions in improving security and have yet to demonstrate any credible benefit.

Less, not more, secure

Faith and trust have been lost in both governments and communication networks, thanks to the behaviour of the Five Eyes.

Modern communications technologies have allowed people around the world to connect to one another on an unprecedented scale. Any actions that undermine the integrity of these networks, or that conduct invasive surveillance on individual devices, does long-lasting harm to our security.

Given the interconnectivity of today’s communications, any attacks on systems administrators, internet service and communications providers, or our phones and laptops are an attack on us all. Democratic and legal principles must not be circumvented in the name of security alone. The public must be included in this important debate that negotiates our rights, freedoms and systems. It is time to challenge the presumed effectiveness– and legality­– of the Five Eyes’ destructive practices and weigh their proportionality.

Related Issues: InternationalSurveillance and Human Rights
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Snowden's Leaks Didn't Help Terrorists

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HughPickens.com writes The Interecept reports that contrary to lurid claims made by U.S. officials, a new independent analysis of Edward Snowden's revelations on NSA surveillance that examined the frequency of releases and updates of encryption software by jihadi groups has found no correlation in either measure to Snowden's leaks about the NSA's surveillance techniques. According to the report "well prior to Edward Snowden, online jihadists were already aware that law enforcement and intelligence agencies were attempting to monitor them (PDF)." In fact, concerns about terrorists' use of sophisticated encryption technology predates even 9/11. Earlier this month former NSA head Michael Hayden stated, "The changed communications practices and patterns of terrorist groups following the Snowden revelations have impacted our ability to track and monitor these groups", while Matthew Olsen of the National Counterterrorism Centre would add "Following the disclosure of the stolen NSA documents, terrorists are changing how they communicate to avoid surveillance." Snowden's critics have previously accused his actions of contributing from everything from the rise of ISIS to Russia's invasion of the Ukraine. "This most recent study is the most comprehensive repudiation of these charges to date," says Murtaza Hussain. "Contrary to lurid claims to the contrary, the facts demonstrate that terrorist organizations have not benefited from the NSA revelations, nor have they substantially altered their behavior in response to them."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Notion Ink launches a $330 Windows tablet for India

Liliputing -

Notion Ink grabbed headlines a few years ago when the Indian company designed one of the first Android tablets with an NVIDIA Tegra processor and unusual features including a custom user interface and a sunlight viewable display from Pixel Qi. But the Notion Ink Adam tablet got mixed reviews at best and over the past […]

Notion Ink launches a $330 Windows tablet for India is a post from: Liliputing

US Military Aware Only Belatedly of Chinese Attacks Against Transport Contractors

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itwbennett writes The Senate Armed Service Committee released on Wednesday an unclassified version of a report (PDF) commissioned last year to investigate cyberattacks against contractors for the U.S. Transportation Command (TRANSCOM). The report alleges that the Chinese military successfully stole emails, documents, login credentials and more from contractors, but few of those incidents were ever reported to TRANSCOM. During a one-year period starting in June 2012, TRANSCOM contractors endured more than 50 intrusions, 20 of which were successful in planting malware. TRANSCOM learned of only two of the incidents. The FBI, however, was aware of 10 of the attacks.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Australian Police Arrest 15, Charge 2, For Alleged Islamic State Beheading Plot

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The Washington Post reports (building on a short AP report they're also carrying) that "[Australian] police have arrested 15 people allegedly linked to the Islamic State, some who plotted a public beheading." According to the Sydney Morning Herald, of the arrestees, only two have been charged. From the Washington Post story: “Police said the planned attack was to be “random.” The killers were to behead a victim and then drape the body in the black Islamic State flag, according to the Sydney Morning Herald. ... Direct exhortations were coming from an Australian who is apparently quite senior in [the Islamic State] to networks of support back in Australia to conduct demonstration killings here in this country,” Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott said at a press conference, as the BBC reported. “So this is not just suspicion, this is intent and that’s why the police and security agencies decided to act in the way they have.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Polaroid Socialmatic camera features WiFi, Bluetooth, Android, and a built-in printer

Liliputing -

Polaroid’s new Socialmatic Camera gets back to the company’s roots by letting you print photos on the fly. But it does it with a modern twist. The camera has a built-in zero ink printer that can shoot out a 2″ x 3″ photo in less than a minute. But that’s not the camera’s only trick. It […]

Polaroid Socialmatic camera features WiFi, Bluetooth, Android, and a built-in printer is a post from: Liliputing

London's Crime Hot Spots Predicted Using Mobile Phone Data

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KentuckyFC (1144503) writes A growing number of police forces around the world are using data on past crimes to predict the likelihood of crimes in the future. These predictions can be made more accurate by combining crime data with local demographic data about the local population. However, this data is time consuming and expensive to collect and so only updated rarely. Now a team of data experts have shown how combing crime data with data collected from mobile phones can make the prediction of future crimes even more accurate. The team used an anonymised dataset of O2 mobile phone users in the London metropolitan area during December 2012 and January 2013. They then used a small portion of the data to train a machine learning algorithm to find correlations between this and local crime statistics in the same period. Finally, they used the trained algorithm to predict future crime rates in the same areas. Without the mobile phone data, the predictions have an accuracy of 62 per cent. But the phone data increases this accuracy significantly to almost 70 per cent. What's more, the data is cheap to collect and can be gathered in more or less real time. Whether the general population would want their data used in this way is less clear but either way Minority Report-style policing is looking less far-fetched than when the film appeared in 2002.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Study Finds Link Between Artificial Sweeteners and Glucose Intolerance

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onproton (3434437) writes The journal Nature released a study today that reveals a link between the consumption of artificial sweeteners and the development of glucose intolerance [note: abstract online; paper itself is paywalled], a leading risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes, citing a critical alteration of intestinal bacteria. Paradoxically, these non-caloric sweeteners, which can be up to 20,000 times sweeter than natural sugars, are often recommended to diabetes patients to control blood glucose levels. Sugar substitutes have come under additional fire lately from studies showing that eating artificially sweetened foods can lead to greater overall calorie consumption and even weight gain. While some, especially food industry officials, remain highly skeptical of such studies, more research still needs to be done to determine the actual risks these substances may pose to health.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








IOCCC 2014 Now In Progress

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leob (154345) writes In case you haven't noticed yet, the 23rd International Obfuscated C Code Contest is now in progress. A pre-announcement was made on Twitter in the end of August; the online submission tool is now available until 2014-Oct-19 18:17:16 UTC.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








FCC Chairman: Americans Shouldn't Subsidize Internet Service Under 10Mbps

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An anonymous reader writes On Wednesday at a hearing in front of the US House Committee on Small Business, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler stated that for ISPs to be eligible for government broadband subsidies, they would have to deliver speeds of at least 10 Mbps. Said Wheeler: "What we are saying is we can't make the mistake of spending the people's money, which is what Universal Service is, to continue to subsidize something that's subpar." He further indicated that he would remedy the situation by the end of 2014. The broadband subsidies are collected through bill surcharges paid for by phone customers.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








NASA Inspector General Lobs Big Rocks At Agency's Asteroid Hunting Program

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coondoggie writes Lack of money, management structure and staff are hampering NASA's ability to effectively identify and track comets, meteorites and asteroids that might threaten Earth. The space agency's Inspector General, Paul Martin, issued a scathing report this week that said while NASA's Near Earth Object program has done substantial work in identifying the sometimes massive rocks hurtling around the planet it is substantially behind in its goal of cataloging 90% of those 140 meters in diameter by 2020, among other issues.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








Apple Locks iPhone 6/6+ NFC To Apple Pay Only

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Ronin Developer writes From the Cnet article: "At last week's Apple event, the company announced Apple Pay — a new mobile payments service that utilizes NFC technology in conjunction with its Touch ID fingerprint scanner for secure payments that can be made from the iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus or Apple Watch. Apple also announced a number of retailers that would accept Apple Pay for mobile payments at launch. However, Cult of Mac reports that NFC will be locked to the Apple Pay platform, meaning the technology will not be available for other uses. An Apple spokesperson confirmed the lock down of the technology, saying developers would be restricted from utilizing its NFC chip functionality for at least a year. Apple declined to comment on whether NFC capability would remain off limits beyond that period." So, it would appear, for at least a year, that Apple doesn't want competing mobile payment options to be available on the newly released iPhone 6 and 6+. While it's understandable that they want to promote their payment scheme and achieve a critical mass for Apple Pay, it's a strategy that may very well backfire as other other mobile payment vendors gain strength on competing platforms.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.








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