Computers & Linux News

iPhone 8, 8 Plus draw Apple fans at launch despite X holdouts - CNET

CNET News - 46 min 33 sec ago
A decade on, fans still queue up for Apple's latest phones. But lines aren't as long as they've been in the past because many are waiting for iPhone X.

'Dear Apple, The iPhone X and Face ID Are Orwellian and Creepy'

SlashDot - 1 hour 16 min ago
Trent Lapinski from Hacker Noon writes an informal letter to Apple, asking "who the hell actually asked for Face ID?" and calling the iPhone X and new face-scanning security measure "Orwellian" and "creepy": For the company that famously used 1984 in its advertising to usher in a new era of personal computing, it is pretty ironic that 30+ years later they would announce technology that has the potential to eliminate global privacy. I've been waiting 10-years since the first iPhone was announced for a full-screen device that is both smaller in my hand but has a larger display and higher capacity battery. However, I do not want these features at the cost of my privacy, and the privacy of those around me. While the ease of use and user experience of Face ID is apparent, I am not questioning that, the privacy concerns are paramount in today's world of consistent security breaches. Given what we know from Wikileaks Vault7 and the CIA / NSA capabilities to hijack any iPhone, including any sensor on the phone, the very thought of handing any government a facial ID system for them to hack into is a gift the world may never be able to return. Face ID will have lasting privacy implications from 2017 moving forward, and I'm pretty sure I am not alone in not wanting to participate. The fact of the matter is the iPhone X does not need Face ID, Apple could have easily put a Touch ID sensor on the back of the phone for authentication (who doesn't place their finger on the back of their phone?). I mean imagine how cool it would be to put your finger on the Apple logo on the back of your iPhone for Touch ID? It would have been a highly marketable product feature that is equally as effective as Face ID without the escalating Orwellian privacy implications. [...] For Face ID to work, the iPhone X actively has to scan faces looking for its owner when locked. This means anyone within a several foot range of an iPhone X will get their face scanned by other people's phones and that's just creepy.

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Tesla Discontinues Its Most Affordable Model S

SlashDot - 1 hour 56 min ago
Tesla will be discontinuing its cheapest Model S option, the Model S 75, this Sunday. What that means is that the all-wheel-drive version -- the 75D -- will take its place as the low-end Model S sedan, currently listed at a starting price of $74,500. Engadget reports: The move to discontinue the Model S 75 was first announced by Tesla in July after it dropped the price by $5,000 a few months earlier. The removal of the model from Tesla's offerings follows its discontinuation of the Model S 60 and 60D vehicles in April, which at the time were the least expensive Model S options available. As well as streamlining its EV line and making all Model S options all-wheel-drive, knocking off the low-end Model S vehicles is also likely being done to carve out a bigger separation between the Model 3 and Model S lines. Custom orders for the Model S 75 will be taken until Sunday, September 24th and the pre-configured versions will be available for purchase until inventory runs out.

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Researchers: CCleaner attack aimed at major tech companies - CNET

CNET News - 2 hours 35 min ago
Hackers set their sights on companies like Google, Microsoft and Samsung, infecting potentially hundreds of computers with malicious software.

Ford Is Using Microsoft's HoloLens To Design Cars In Augmented Reality

SlashDot - 2 hours 36 min ago
Ford is using Microsoft's HoloLens headset to let designers quickly model out changes to cars, trucks, and SUVs in augmented reality. This allows designers to see the changes on top of an existing physical vehicle, instead of the traditional clay model approach to car design. The Verge reports: Ford is still using clay models, but the HoloLens can be used to augment additional 3D models without having to build every single design prototype with clay. It's one of the more interesting ways we've seen businesses use Microsoft's HoloLens, and it's something customers will never see. Microsoft is planning to hold a Windows Mixed Reality launch event on October 3rd in San Francisco. We're not expecting to hear about a HoloLens successor, but we should get a better idea of what apps and games we'll see coming for Microsoft's Windows Mixed Reality headsets.

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Facebook Hands Over 3K Russia-Linked Ads to Congress

PCMag News - 2 hours 37 min ago
Facebook initially shared details about the ads with former FBI director Robert Mueller's special counsel, but did not provide Congress with as much data, citing privacy concerns.

DC Court Rules Tracking Phones Without a Warrant Is Unconstitutional

SlashDot - 3 hours 21 min ago
An anonymous reader writes: Law enforcement use of one tracking tool, the cell-site simulator, to track a suspect's phone without a warrant violates the Constitution, the D.C. Court of Appeals said Thursday in a landmark ruling for privacy and Fourth Amendment rights as they pertain to policing tactics. The ruling could have broad implications for law enforcement's use of cell-site simulators, which local police and federal agencies can use to mimic a cell phone tower to the phone connect to the device instead of its regular network. In a decision that reversed the decision of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia and overturned the conviction of a robbery and sexual assault suspect, the D.C. Court of Appeals determined the use of the cell-site simulator "to locate a person through his or her cellphone invades the person's actual, legitimate and reasonable expectation of privacy in his or her location information and is a search."

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EU Paid For Report That Said Piracy Isn't Harmful -- And Tried To Hide Findings

SlashDot - 4 hours 1 min ago
According to Julia Reda's blog, the only Pirate in the EU Parliament, the European Commission in 2014 paid the Dutch consulting firm Ecorys 360,000 euros (about $428,000) to research the effect piracy had on sales of copyrighted content. The final report was finished in May 2015, but was never published because the report concluded that piracy isn't harmful. The Next Web reports: The 300-page report seems to suggest that there's no evidence that supports the idea that piracy has a negative effect on sales of copyrighted content (with some exceptions for recently released blockbusters). The report states: "In general, the results do not show robust statistical evidence of displacement of sales by online copyright infringements. That does not necessarily mean that piracy has no effect but only that the statistical analysis does not prove with sufficient reliability that there is an effect. An exception is the displacement of recent top films. The results show a displacement rate of 40 per cent which means that for every ten recent top films watched illegally, four fewer films are consumed legally." On her blog, Julia Reda says that a report like this is fundamental to discussions about copyright policies -- where the general assumption is usually that piracy has a negative effect on rightsholders' revenues. She also criticizes the Commissions reluctance to publish the report and says it probably wouldn't have released it for several more years if it wasn't for the access to documents request she filed in July. As for why the Commission hadn't published the report earlier, Reda says: "all available evidence suggests that the Commission actively chose to ignore the study except for the part that suited their agenda: In an academic article published in 2016, two European Commission officials reported a link between lost sales for blockbusters and illegal downloads of those films. They failed to disclose, however, that the study this was based on also looked at music, ebooks and games, where it found no such connection. On the contrary, in the case of video games, the study found the opposite link, indicating a positive influence of illegal game downloads on legal sales. That demonstrates that the study wasn't forgotten by the Commission altogether..."

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Police need warrant to track cell phones, appeals court says - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 18 min ago
A judge must sign off when police use "Stingrays" to record all the cell phone numbers nearby. The devices trick cell phones by acting like cell towers.

Wes Anderson's 'Isle of Dogs' trailer is absolutely pawesome - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 25 min ago
Dog person or not, you might find it ruff to get through this stop-motion film, about dogs exiled to a trash dump, without shedding a tear.

Verizon is giving away free iPhone 8s, if you can find them - CNET

CNET News - 4 hours 33 min ago
Through Friday, September 22nd, Verizon's iPhone 8 promotion will lead you on an AR scavenger hunt across the city.

Hurricane Maria Knocks Out 95 Percent of Puerto Rico Cell Sites

PCMag News - 4 hours 37 min ago
'Getting Puerto Rico's communications networks up and running will be a challenging process, particularly given the power outages,' FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said.

Distrustful US Allies Force Spy Agency To Back Down In Encryption Fight

SlashDot - 4 hours 41 min ago
schwit1 shares a report from Reuters: An international group of cryptography experts has forced the U.S. National Security Agency to back down over two data encryption techniques it wanted set as global industry standards, reflecting deep mistrust among close U.S. allies. In interviews and emails seen by Reuters, academic and industry experts from countries including Germany, Japan and Israel worried that the U.S. electronic spy agency was pushing the new techniques not because they were good encryption tools, but because it knew how to break them. The NSA has now agreed to drop all but the most powerful versions of the techniques -- those least likely to be vulnerable to hacks -- to address the concerns.

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Firefox For iOS Gets Tracking Protection, Firefox Focus For Android Gets Tabs

SlashDot - 5 hours 21 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from VentureBeat: Mozilla today released Firefox 9.0 for iOS and updated Firefox Focus for Android. The iOS browser is getting tracking protection, improved sync, and iOS 11 compatibility. The Android privacy browser is getting tabs. You can download the former from Apple's App Store and the latter from Google Play. This is the first time Firefox has offered tracking protection on iOS, and Nick Nguyen, vice president of product at Mozilla, notes that it's finally possible "thanks to changes by Apple to enable the option for 3rd party browsers." This essentially means iPhone and iPad users with Firefox and iOS 11 will have automatic ad and content blocking in Private Browsing mode, and the option to turn it on in regular browsing. This is the same feature that's available in Firefox for Android, Windows, Mac, and Linux, as well as the same ad blocking technology used in Firefox Focus for Android and iOS.

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Zuckerberg vows to protect “election integrity" - CNET

CNET News - 5 hours 56 min ago
Facebook’s CEO said the company is handing over 3,000 Russian-linked ads to federal investigators. He also promised more transparency around political ads.

Security Researchers Warn that Third-Party GO Keyboard App is Spying on Millions of Android Users

SlashDot - 6 hours 11 min ago
An anonymous reader shares a report: Security researchers from Adguard have issued a warning that the popular GO Keyboard app is spying on users. Produced by Chinese developers GOMO Dev Team, GO Keyboard was found to be transmitting personal information about users back to remote servers, as well as "using a prohibited technique to download dangerous executable code." Adguard made the discovery while conducting research into the traffic consumption and unwanted behavior of various Android keyboards. The AdGuard for Android app makes it possible to see exactly what traffic an app is generating, and it showed that GO Keyboard was making worrying connections, making use of trackers, and sharing personal information. Adguard notes that there are two versions of the keyboard in Google Play which it claims have more than 200 million users in total.

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Alexa beams up new Star Trek skills, including Klingon - CNET

CNET News - 6 hours 14 min ago
The Amazon Echo boldly goes where no smart personal assistant has gone before, adding spacey sound effects, trivia and more.

Facebook Will Share Copies of Political Ads Purchased by Russian Sources With the US Congress

SlashDot - 6 hours 51 min ago
An anonymous reader shares a report: Facebook will turn over copies of political ads purchased by Russian sources to congressional lawmakers, who are investigating the country's potential interference in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Initially, Facebook had only released those ads -- 3,000 of them, valued at about $100,000 -- to Robert Mueller, the former FBI director who is spearheading the government's probe into Russia's actions. Facebook had withheld those details from House and Senate leaders, citing privacy concerns. But the move drew sharp rebukes from the likes of Sen. Mark Warner, the top Democrat on the Senate Intelligence Committee, who has charged in recent days that Facebook may not have done enough to scan its systems for potential Russian influence and to ensure that such foreign purchases -- otherwise illegal under U.S. law -- don't happen again. "After an extensive legal and policy review, today we are announcing that we will also share these ads with congressional investigators," wrote Colin Stretch, the company's general counsel. "We believe it is vitally important that government authorities have the information they need to deliver to the public a full assessment of what happened in the 2016 election."

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Facebook ads will target people who visited physical stores - CNET

CNET News - 7 hours 35 min ago
The move comes as the social network faces increased scrutiny over its advertising tools.

SEC Probes Whether Hackers Used Stolen Data for Illegal Trades

PCMag News - 7 hours 38 min ago
The agency was hacked in 2016, which 'may have provided the basis for illicit gain through trading,' it revealed this week.

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