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Updated: 9 min 16 sec ago

Cops Deploy StingRay Anti-Terror Tech Against $50 Chicken-Wing Thief

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 7:30pm
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Register: Police in Maryland, U.S., used controversial cellphone-tracking technology intended only for the most serious crimes to track down a man who stole $50 of chicken wings. Police in Annapolis -- an hour's drive from the heart of government in Washington DC -- used a StingRay cell tower simulator in an effort to find the location of a man who had earlier robbed a Pizza Boli employee of 15 chicken wings and three sandwiches. Total worth: $56.77. In that case, according to the police log, a court order was sought and received but in many other cases across the United States, the technology is being used with minimal oversight, despite the fact it is only supposed to be used in the most serious cases such as terrorism.Annapolis police never found the thief.

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NY Approves New Digital Currency For Winklevoss Bitcoin Exchange

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 6:50pm
An anonymous reader writes (edited and condensed): The New York State Department of Financial Services has approved the application of Gemini Trust Company, founded by investors Tyler and Cameron Winklevoss, to trade digital currency ether on its bitcoin exchange, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo announced on Thursday. Cuomo said Gemini would be the first U.S.-based ether exchange, created, and operated in New York. Ether is a token or digital asset of the Ethereum platform, a public blockchain, or distributed ledger, that can execute peer-to-peer contracts automatically without the need for intermediaries. The blockchain is the underlying technology behind bitcoin. The Winklevoss twins have dubbed the exchange the 'Nasdaq of Bitcoin.' They have also developed a bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF) that would go by the name COIN, which regulators have yet to approve.CoinDesk has more information.

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Cupertino's Mayor: Apple 'Abuses Us' By Not Paying Taxes

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 6:10pm
An anonymous reader shares a report on The Guardian: Apple pays a 2.3% effective tax rate on its $181bn in cash held offshore, according to Citizens for Tax Justice, a not-for-profit research group focusing on tax policy. Citizens for Tax Justice estimates that Apple would owe $59.2bn in U.S. taxes if the money weren't funneled into offshore shell accounts. Criticism over the company's offshore tax schemes has become more pointed in recent months, both locally in Cupertino and from Apple's own staff. At a recent Cupertino city council meeting, some residents protested about a lack of funding for public projects, Barry Chang, Mayor of Cupertino said: "They ball up the paper and throw it, and they say 'You're making all the wrong decisions'," Chang said. "In the meantime, Apple is not willing to pay a dime. They're making profit, and they should share the responsibility for our city, but they won't. They abuse us."

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Snapchat Sued For Facilitating 107 MPH Car Crash

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 5:30pm
An anonymous reader writes: A Georgia couple is suing Snapchat, a popular instant messaging and photo sharing app, after a car accident last year seriously injured the husband, leaving him permanently brain damaged. According to media reports, Wentworth Maynard, the victim, was driving in a 55-mile-per-hour zone when 18-year-old Christal McGee crashed into him traveling at 107 miles per hour. McGee, according to lawsuits, was attempting to use Snapchat's "speed filter" -- a feature that overlays the speed one is traveling on a picture. "Snapchat's speed filter facilitated McGee's excessive speeding," reads the lawsuit. "McGee was motivated to drive at an excessive speed in order to obtain recognition through Snapchat by the means of a Snapchat 'trophy.'"

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Sci-Hub Faces Millions Of Dollars In Damages, Elsevier Complaint Shuts Down Domain

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 4:50pm
Reader Taco Cowboy writes: Sci-Hub is facing millions of dollars in damages in a lawsuit filed by Elsevier, one of the largest academic publishers. As a result of the legal battle the site just lost one of its latest domain names. However, the site has no intentions of backing down, and will continue its fight to keep access to scientific knowledge free and open. Several 'backup' domain names are still in play, including Sci-Hub.bz and Sci-Hub.cc. In addition to the alternative domain names users can access the site directly through the IP-address 31.184.194.81. Its TOR domain is also still working -- http://scihub22266oqcxt.onion/. Authorized or not, there is definitely plenty of interest in Sci-Hub's service. The site currently hosts more than 51 million academic papers and receives millions of visitors per month. Many visits come from countries where access to academic journals is limited, such as Iran, Russia or China. But even in countries where access is more common, many researchers visit the site, an analysis from Science magazine revealed last week. Late last month we learned that plenty of people were downloading academic papers from Sci-Hub. Over the 6 months leading up to March, Sci-Hub had served over 28 million documents, with Iran, China, India, Russia, and the United States being the leading requestors.

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Windows 10 Now Runs On 300M Active Devices; Upgrade To Cost $119 After July 29

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 4:10pm
On Thursday (May 5), Microsoft announced that Windows 10 is now running on 300 million active devices, up from 270 million monthly active devices as of March 30. The feat comes nine months after Microsoft released Windows 10, the latest version of its desktop operating system, after offering it for months to developers. The company also announced today that Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 (as well as Windows 8) users with a valid license wouldn't be eligible for the free upgrade starting July 29. After July 29th, Microsoft says, users will be able to continue to get Windows 10 on a new device, or purchase a full version of Windows 10 Home for $119. Windows 10 offers a range of interesting features including virtual digital assistant Cortana. While these features and a substantial boost to performance and speeds could be a big reason for the fast adoption of Windows 10, it's also no secret that Microsoft continues to push Windows 10 update to computers ... sometimes even when users don't want that.

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'Apple Stole My Music. No, Seriously'

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 3:30pm
Vellum's James has written about his ordeal with Apple Music which many people can relate to. Apple Music, the Cupertino-based giant's online music streaming service, deleted 122GB of music files that James had stored on his computer. He writes: What Amber (supposed Apple Support representative) explained was exactly what I'd feared: through the Apple Music subscription, which I had, Apple now deletes files from its users' computers. When I signed up for Apple Music, iTunes evaluated my massive collection of Mp3s and WAV files, scanned Apple's database for what it considered matches, then removed the original files from my internal hard drive. REMOVED them. Deleted. If Apple Music saw a file it didn't recognize -- which came up often, since I'm a freelance composer and have many music files that I created myself -- it would then download it to Apple's database, delete it from my hard drive, and serve it back to me when I wanted to listen, just like it would with my other music files it had deleted. This isn't the first time Apple Music has deleted a user's locally stored music files. Long-time Apple watcher Jim Dalrymple canceled his subscription last year and called Apple Music a "nightmare" after the service allegedly deleted over 4,700 of his previously bought songs. At the time, he wrote: At some point, enough is enough. That time has come for me -- Apple Music is just too much of a hassle to be bothered with. Nobody I've spoken at Apple or outside the company has any idea how to fix it, so the chances of a positive outcome seem slim to none.Incidentally, Apple Music is rumoured for a reboot at the company's developer conference in June. It's not clear if fixing the aforementioned glitch is among Apple's imminent agenda.

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Old Qualcomm Vulnerability Exposes Android User Data

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 2:50pm
Reader wiredmikey writes: Researchers from FireEye have disclosed the details of a serious information disclosure vulnerability affecting a Qualcomm software package found in hundreds of Android device models (Editor's note: the link could have pop-up ads, here's an alternate source). The vulnerability is in the Qualcomm tethering controller (CVE-2016-2060) and could allow a malicious application to access user information. While the flaw could expose millions of Android devices, the vulnerability has limited impact on devices running Android 4.4 and later, which include significant security enhancements, and also does not affect Nexus devices. FireEye said its researchers informed Qualcomm about the vulnerability in January and the vendor developed a fix by early March and started reaching out to OEMs to let them know about the issue. Now it's up to the device manufacturers to push out the patch to customers.FireEye said: "The OEMs will now need to provide updates for their devices; however, many devices will likely never be patched."

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Bitcoin 'Creator' Reneges On Promise To Provide More Proof, Says He's Sorry

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 2:00pm
Craig Wright, the Australian computer scientist who claimed to be Satoshi Nakamoto -- the creator of bitcoin -- has backtracked on a pledge to provide more proof of his earlier claims. Wright says that he lacks the courage to face allegations. On May 1, Wright claimed that he was the creator of bitcoin, offering digital signature, signed using a private key that was thought to be held by Nakamoto. We later learned that the "proof" Wright offered was simply copied from an older transaction. At the time, Wright assured that he will be moving early bitcoins as "extraordinary evidence". On Thursday, Wright wrote in a blog post that he is "sorry," and that he cannot do this. He writes: I believed that I could do this. I believed that I could put the years of anonymity and hiding behind me. But, as the events of this week unfolded and I prepared to publish the proof of access to the earliest keys, I broke. I do not have the courage. I cannot. When the rumors began, my qualifications and character were attacked. When those allegations were proven false, new allegations have already begun. I know now that I am not strong enough for this. I know that this weakness will cause great damage to those that have supported me, and particularly to Jon Matonis and Gavin Andresen. I can only hope that their honour and credibility is not irreparably tainted by my actions. They were not deceived, but I know that the world will never believe that now. I can only say I'm sorry.

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Medical Equipment Crashes During Heart Procedure Because Of Antivirus Scan

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 1:01pm
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Softpedia: The device in question is Merge Hemo, a complex medical equipment used to supervise heart catheterization procedures, during which doctors insert a catheter inside blood veins and arteries in order to diagnose various types of heart diseases. According to one such report filed by Merge Healthcare in February, Merge Hemo suffered a mysterious crash right in the middle of a heart procedure when the screen went black and doctors had to reboot their computer. Merge investigated the issue and later reported to the FDA that the problem occurred because of the antivirus software running on the doctors' computer. The antivirus was configured to scan for viruses every hour, and the scan started right in the middle of the procedure. Merge says the antivirus froze access to crucial data acquired during the heart catheterization. Unable to access real-time data, the app crashed spectacularly.

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Scientists Grow Two-Week-Old Human Embryos In Lab For The First Time

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 10:01am
An anonymous reader writes: According to Reuters, "Using a culture method previously tested to grow mouse embryos outside of a mother, the teams were able to conduct almost hour by hour observations of human embryo development to see how they develop and organize themselves up to day 13." Brave new world, here we come From the report: "The work, covered in two studies published on Wednesday in the journal Nature and Nature Cell Biology, showed how the cells that will eventually form the human body self-organize into the basic structure of a post-implantation human embryo. As well as advancing human biology expertise, the knowledge gained from studying these developments should help to improve in-vitro fertilization (IVF) treatments and further progress in the field of regenerative medicine, the researchers said. But the research also raises the issue of an international law banning scientists from developing human embryos beyond 14 days, and suggests this limit may have to be reviewed. 'Longer cultures could provide absolutely critical information for basic human biology,' said researcher Zernicka-Goetz. 'But this would of course raise the next question - of where we should put the next limit.'"

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Star Wars Buttons And Lights You May Have Missed

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 7:01am
tedlistens writes: At Motherboard, Alex Pasternack writes: "Star Wars is set in a world of wildly advanced technology. But take a good look at the machinery of Star Wars, and you may be surprised to see how wonderfully analog it all is -- buttons! levers! vector graphics! Yes, there are hyperdrives and lightsabers and hologram Princess Leias and droids that know six million languages (including the language of moisture vaporators, along with various etiquette and diplomatic protocols useful across the galaxy). But it's also a world where sometimes you have to hit a robot to get it to work, like an old dashboard radio, a place where the supercomputers are operated manually and where buttons and control panels and screens seem far removed from our own galaxy: tactile, lo-fi, and elegantly simple." May the 4th be with you.

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Hacker Guccifer Claims He Easily and Repeatedly Broke Into Hillary Clinton's Email Server

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 3:15am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Fox News: The infamous Romanian hacker known as "Guccifer," speaking exclusively with Fox News, claimed he easily -- and repeatedly -- breached former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's personal email server in early 2013. In the process of mining data from the Blumenthal account, Lazar said he came across evidence that others were on the Clinton server. "As far as I remember, yes, there were up to 10, like, IPs from other parts of the world," he said. From the report: "'For me, it was easy ... easy for me, for everybody,' Marcel Lehel Lazar, who goes by the moniker 'Guccifer,' told Fox News from a Virginia jail where he is being held. Fox News could not independently confirm Lazar's claims. The 44-year-old Lazar said he first compromised Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal's AOL account, in March 2013, and used that as a stepping stone to the Clinton server. He said he accessed Clintonâ(TM)s server 'like twice,' though he described the contents as 'not interest[ing]' to him at the time." Guccifer was sent to prison last month, which is when his potential role in the Clinton email investigation became apparent.

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DuckDuckGo Is Giving Away $225,000 To Support Open Source Projects

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 1:31am
An anonymous reader writes: Google Search competitor DuckDuckGo announced it will be giving away a total of $225,000 to support nine open source projects, each project will receive $25,000. DuckDuckGo said it performed 3 billion searches in 2015. It differs from many other search engines as it offers private, anonymous internet search. It doesn't gather information about you to sell ads to marketeers, like Google. Instead, it shows generic ads as it's part of the Microsoft/Bing/Yahoo ad network. It also has revenue-sharing agreements with certain companies in the Linux Open Source worlds, and makes money from select affiliate links. The $225,000 DuckDuckGo is giving away is chump change compared to the $100 million Google gives away in grants ever year. However, for the select projects, it should still be very beneficial. Last year, DuckDuckGo gave away a total of $125,000 to open source projects, so it's nice to see them donate an extra $100,000 to a good cause.

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Microsoft Overhauls SharePoint To Compete With Slack In The Mobile Era

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:48am
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: Microsoft is overhauling SharePoint today, and introducing iOS, Android, and Windows 10 Mobile apps. The iOS SharePoint app will arrive by the end of June, with the Android and Windows 10 Mobile versions due for release later this year. All of the mobile apps are designed to make SharePoint more accessible on the go, allowing users to access things like corporate intranet sites and content. Alongside the new apps, Microsoft is also providing access to SharePoint Online document libraries in OneDrive mobile apps, and the ability to copy from OneDrive to SharePoint. Microsoft plans to synchronize SharePoint Online document libraries with the new OneDrive sync client by the end of the year, and integrate SharePoint sites with Office 365 Groups. Microsoft's new Flow service, which lets you automate tasks, will also be integrated into SharePoint by the end of the year.

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Man Sets World Record With 25 Continuous Hours In Virtual Reality

Thu, 05/05/2016 - 12:05am
An anonymous reader writes: Derek Westerman has made it in the Guinness Book of World Records by spending 25 straight hours in virtual reality. He used the HTC Vive and spent his entire time playing Tilt Brush. "Guinness has a whole set of rules and regulations, one of those being 'one game only the whole time.' I wanted to pick something that gave me the most freedom," Westerman says, "And painting in 3D space for 25 hours seemed like the best bet." At around the 17th hour mark, Westerman reportedly experienced some vertigo and threw up into a bucket provided for him by an assistant. The same bucket was used around the 6th hour mark when Westerman had to urinate. Then around the 21st hour, he starts babbling incoherently while waving the Vive controllers around, saying at one point, "I don't know where I'm at..." The video of the event has been released on Wednesday, even though Guinness lists the record as being achieved on April 7th.

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In Search Of A Healthy Gut, One Man Turned To An Extreme DIY Fecal Transplant

Wed, 04/05/2016 - 11:22pm
Josiah Zayner writes: Arielle Duhaime-Ross at The Verge followed Dr. Josiah Zayner, a former Scientist at NASA turned BioHacker, as he attempted the first ever full-body microbiome transplant. She writes "Over the course of the next four days, Zayner would attempt to eradicate the trillions of microbes that lived on and inside his body -- organisms that helped him digest food, produce vitamins and enzymes, and protected his body from other, more dangerous bacteria. Ruthlessly and methodically, he would try to render himself into a biological blank slate. Then, he would inoculate himself with a friend's microbes -- a procedure he refers to as a 'microbiome transplant.'".

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