Research

Sonos Says Users Must Accept New Privacy Policy Or Devices May Cease To Function

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - 53 min 39 sec ago
An anonymous reader writes: Sonos has confirmed that existing customers will not be given an option to opt out of its new privacy policy, leaving customers with sound systems that may eventually "cease to function". It comes as the home sound system maker prepares to begin collecting audio settings, error data, and other account data before the launch of its smart speaker integration in the near future. A spokesperson for the home sound system maker told ZDNet that, "if a customer chooses not to acknowledge the privacy statement, the customer will not be able to update the software on their Sonos system, and over time the functionality of the product will decrease. The customer can choose to acknowledge the policy, or can accept that over time their product may cease to function."

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Categories: Research

Two-Factor Authentication Fail: Identity Thieves Hijack Cellphone Accounts to Go After Virtual Currency

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - 1 hour 28 min ago
Reader Cludge shares an NYT report: Hackers have discovered that one of the most central elements of online security -- the mobile phone number -- is also one of the easiest to steal. In a growing number of online attacks, hackers have been calling up Verizon, T-Mobile U.S., Sprint and AT&T and asking them to transfer control of a victim's phone number to a device under the control of the hackers. Once they get control of the phone number, they can reset the passwords on every account that uses the phone number as a security backup -- as services like Google, Twitter and Facebook suggest. "My iPad restarted, my phone restarted and my computer restarted, and that's when I got the cold sweat and was like, 'O.K., this is really serious,'" said Chris Burniske, a virtual currency investor who lost control of his phone number late last year. A wide array of people have complained about being successfully targeted by this sort of attack, including a Black Lives Matter activist and the chief technologist of the Federal Trade Commission. The commission's own data shows that the number of so-called phone hijackings has been rising. In January 2013, there were 1,038 such incidents reported; by January 2016, that number had increased to 2,658. But a particularly concentrated wave of attacks has hit those with the most obviously valuable online accounts: virtual currency fanatics like Mr. Burniske. Within minutes of getting control of Mr. Burniske's phone, his attackers had changed the password on his virtual currency wallet and drained the contents -- some $150,000 at today's values. Most victims of these attacks in the virtual currency community have not wanted to acknowledge it publicly for fear of provoking their adversaries. But in interviews, dozens of prominent people in the industry acknowledged that they had been victimized in recent months.

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China Relaunches World's Fastest Train

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - 9 hours 53 min ago
China has decided to relaunch the world's fastest train service following a fatal crash in 2011, where the high speed train service reduced its upper limit from its then-record holding 350 km/h (217 miles/hour) to 250-300 km/h (155-186 miles/hour). Fortune reports: Government-controlled website Thepaper.cn reported that seven pairs of bullet trains will be operating under the name "Fuxing," meaning rejuvenation, according to the South China Morning Post. The trains will once again run at 350 km/h, with a maximum speed of 400 km/h (248 mph). It is reported that the train service will boast a monitoring system that will automatically slow the trains in case of emergency. The Beijing-Shanghai line will begin operating on 21 September and will shorten the nearly 820 mile journey by an hour, to four hours thirty minutes. Nearly 600 million people use this route each year, providing a reported $1 billion in profits . Other routes include Beijing-Tianjin-Hebei, which will begin operation today.

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Categories: Research

iPhone 8's 3D Face Scanner Will Work In 'Millionths of a Second'

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 23:30
According to a report by the Korea Herald, Apple's upcoming iPhone 8 will ditch the fingerprint identification in favor of 3D face recognition, which will work "in the millionths of a second." PhoneArena reports: The Samsung Galaxy series were among the first mainstream devices to feature iris recognition, but the speed and accuracy of the current technology leave a lot to be desired, and maybe that is why current phones ship with an eye scanner AND a fingerprint reader. The iPhone 8, on the other hand, is expected to make a full dive into 3D scanning. Both Samsung and Apple are rumored to have tried to implement a fingerprint scanner under the display glass, but failed as the technology was not sufficiently advanced. The new iPhone will also introduce 3D sensors on both its front and back for Apple's new augmented reality (AR) platform. This latest report also reveals that Apple will not use curved edges for its iPhone 8 screen, but will instead use a flat AMOLED panel. The big benefit of using AMOLED for Apple thus is not the curve, but its thinner profile compared to an LCD screen.

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New on LLRX – You Don’t Need AI Or Robot Lawyers To Automate Your Law Firm

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 22:39

Via LLRXYou Don’t Need AI Or Robot Lawyers To Automate Your Law FirmNicole Black’s article addresses how solo and small law firms can effectively implement business process improvements using applications for critical tasks including time-tracking, billing, and invoicing.

Categories: Research

Digital Regulation: Designing a Supranational Legal Framework for the Platform Economy

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 22:11

Finck, Michèle, Digital Regulation: Designing a Supranational Legal Framework for the Platform Economy (June 20, 2017). European Law Review (2018 Forthcoming); LSE Legal Studies Working Paper No. 15/2017. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2990043

“This paper examines digital data-driven platforms and their impact on contemporary regulatory paradigms. While these phenomena are increasingly proclaimed as paradigm altering in many respects, they remain relatively little understood, including in their regulatory dimension. Lawmakers around the globe including the European Commission are currently trying to make sense of these evolutions and determine how to regulate digital platforms. In its 2016 Communication on Online Platforms, the European Commission proposed various options for regulating the platform economy, including self-regulatory and co-regulatory models. The Commission’s assumption that self-regulation or co-regulation can replace top-down legislative intervention in the platform economy forms the background of this paper, which examines these three options to determine their respective suitability. We shall conclude that as command-and-control regulation as well as self-regulation raise significant problems in their application to the platform economy, co-regulation emerges as the most adequate option if certain conditions are complied with.”

Categories: Research

2017 International Data Base Update

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 22:01

“The U.S. Census Bureau’s International Data Base update provides revisions for 16 countries and areas. Revised estimates and projections are available for American Samoa, Angola, Botswana, Burma, Guam, Iran, Jordan, Liberia, Mali, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico, Rwanda, Tunisia, United States, U.S. Virgin Islands and Zimbabwe. The International Data Base is a series of estimates and projections that provide a consistent set of demographic indicators, including population size and growth (by sex and single year of age up to 100 and over) and components of change (mortality, fertility and net migration) for more than 200 countries and areas. Highlights from the International Data Base update include:

  • American Samoa has a positive natural increase growth rate, with three times as many births as deaths. However, net migration rates show about 26 per 1,000 people leaving in recent years, resulting in a population decline of more than 1 percent annually.
  • Puerto Rico has experienced both high levels of emigration and declining fertility in recent years. Deaths are estimated to have exceeded births for the first time in 2016. Puerto Rico’s population has declined from 3.7 million in 2010 to 3.4 million in 2017.
  • In the U.S. Virgin Islands, births have been nearly double the number of deaths annually but net outmigration is driving negative growth rates.
  • The Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands has about three times as many births as deaths, but high levels of emigration lead to the population declining by about half a percent annually.
  • Burma conducted their first census in over 30 years in 2014. The total fertility rate has gradually declined to about 2.2, just above the replacement rate. Net outmigration brings the population growth rate in Burma to just under 1 percent.
  • Iran’s population reached an estimated 82.0 million in 2017. For the past 10 years, the fertility rate has remained below the replacement rate at about 1.9 total births per woman of reproductive age.”
Categories: Research

The Promise of Artificial Intelligence

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 21:55

Center for Data Innovation: “Artificial intelligence (AI) has the potential to dramatically transform huge swathes of the economy and society for the better, and as the technology continues to make headlines many countries are developing plans to ensure they can take full advantage of these benefits. Below is a high-level overview of a number of national-level policies some countries have undertaken to take advantage on the technology. While it is not intended to be an exhaustive list of every policy initiative countries have launched around AI, it is meant to show the most significant ones. Canada, China, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the United States have all taken high-profile steps towards advancing AI over the past two years. These range from prospective research about the potential impacts of AI to large amounts of funding and ambitious strategic plans to bolster national capacity to take advantage of the technology. While it appears the United States is the early leader in developing and adopting AI, many other countries are working diligently to surpass it as they recognize the importance that this technology will have on economic competitiveness…”

Categories: Research

The Patterns in Global Terrorism: 1970-2016

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 21:53

The Patterns in Global Terrorism: 1970-2016, by Anthony Cordesman, August 14, 2017 – “Terrorism has become one of the dominating national security threats of the 21st century. It is also one of the most complex — mixing the actions of states, extremists, and other non-state actors in a wide range of threats and types of conflicts. Terrorists range from individuals carrying out scattered terrorist acts, to international terrorist networks of non-state actors, to state terrorism including the use of conventional forces and poison gas to terrorize portions of a civil population. Terrorism has also become a key aspect of civil war, insurgency/counterinsurgency, and asymmetric warfare, as well as ideological, ethnic, and religious warfare. There is no easy way to categorize the resulting patterns of violence, to measure their rise, or to set national security priorities. For more than a decade, the U.S. has focused on the threat of terrorism in Afghanistan and Iraq, but it has dealt increasingly with the expansion of the threat into North Africa, other parts of the Middle East, Sub-Saharan Africa, and the rest of the world. Key warfighting threats like the Islamic State and its affiliates, and the Taliban and Haqqani Network, are only a comparatively small part of the rising threat in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA), Sub-Saharan Africa, and South Asia. It is clear from the current trends in other regions that the threat of religious extremism may soon expand rapidly into the rest of Asia, and there are many other causes of terrorism in Africa, Europe, Latin America, the United States. Terrorism is often heavily driven by ideology, but it also is often a reaction to major shifts in population, ethnic and sectarian tensions, failed and corrupt governance, and the failure to broadly develop a given economy and offer employment and a future. No area is immune to the threat, and internal instability can drive terrorism anywhere in the world. The Burke Chair at CSIS has prepared a graphic overview of these trends as of the end of 2016. It traces the patterns since 1970, and focuses on the period from 2011-2016 — the years since the sudden rise of massive political instability and extremism in the MENA region. It covers global, regional, and key national trends and compares different estimates and sources for 2015 and 2016. The report draws primarily on reporting in the START database, but uses other reporting from sources like EU/Europol, IHS Jane’s, and the IEP to illustrate different estimates, different perspectives, and the uncertainties in the data.”

Categories: Research

Third Party Trackers On Web Shops Can Identify Users Behind Bitcoin Transactions

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 20:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Help Net Security: More and more shopping websites accept cryptocurrencies as a method of payment, but users should be aware that these transactions can be used to deanonymize them -- even if they are using blockchain anonymity techniques such as CoinJoin. Independent researcher Dillon Reisman and Steven Goldfeder, Harry Kalodner and Arvind Narayanan from Princeton University have demonstrated that third-party online tracking provides enough information to identify a transaction on the blockchain, link it to the user's cookie and, ultimately, to the user's real identity. "Based on tracking cookies, the transaction can be linked to the user's activities across the web. And based on well-known Bitcoin address clustering techniques, it can be linked to their other Bitcoin transactions," they noted. "We show that a small amount of additional information, namely that two (or more) transactions were made by the same entity, is sufficient to undo the effect of mixing. While such auxiliary information is available to many potential entities -- merchants, other counterparties such as websites that accept donations, intermediaries such as payment processors, and potentially network eavesdroppers -- web trackers are in the ideal position to carry out this attack," they pointed out.

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Categories: Research

Petition of the day

SCOTUS Blog - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 19:28

The petition of the day is:

Kolbe v. Hogan 17-127

Issues: (1) Whether District of Columbia v. Heller excludes the most popular semiautomatic rifles and magazines from Second Amendment protection; and (2) whether they may be banned even though they are typically possessed for lawful purposes, including self-defense in the home.

The post Petition of the day appeared first on SCOTUSblog.

Categories: Research

Globe had 2nd warmest July and year to date on record

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 18:54

NOAA: Antarctic sea ice hits record low in July, and Arctic ice coverage remains small – “Earth’s warmest month is typically July, when the strong mid-summer sun heats up large Northern Hemisphere land masses and adjacent coastal areas. In fact, July 2017 was not only the warmest month of this year, but also the second warmest July on record, trailing the record set in 2016. You can find NOAA’s report and download related maps and images.

Categories: Research

Highly ideological members of Congress have more Facebook followers than moderates do

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 18:48

Pew – “The most liberal and conservative members of the 115th Congress have attracted more Facebook followers than moderates, according to a new Pew Research Center analysis. In both legislative chambers, members’ ideology is a strong predictor of the number of people who follow them on Facebook. The most liberal and most conservative House members had a median of 14,361 followers as of July 25, compared with 9,017 followers for those in the middle of the ideological spectrum. The median number of followers for the Senate’s most liberal and conservative lawmakers was 78,360, while moderates had 32,626. (These figures reflect each member’s total number of followers since the creation of their official Facebook page, not the number gained since the 115th Congress began.) The Center’s analysis determines each lawmaker’s ideology based on a score calculated through their congressional roll call votes. This widely employed measure, created by two political scientists in the 1980s, assigns each member a score that falls between -1 (most liberal) and +1 (most conservative)…”

Categories: Research

Let’s Make Work Better – Practices, research, and ideas from Google

beSpacific - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 18:14

re:Work is organized around some of the biggest ways to have an impact in your workplace. Each subject includes guides from Google with insights and tools to help improve the way you find, grow, and keep the best people..” Information is presented in topical guides, case studies, and blogs grouped under the following subject areas: goal setting, hiring, managers, people analytics, temas, unbiasing.

Categories: Research

New Bill Hurts and Helps Trump’s Border Wall

Project On Government Oversight - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 17:44
A new Republican bill loosens President Trump’s requirement for a border wall, but contains disturbing implications for government contracting and corporate handouts.
Categories: Research

Meeting and Hotel Booking Provider's Data Found in Public Amazon S3 Bucket

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 15:20
Leaks of personal and business information from unsecured Amazon S3 buckets are piling up. From a report: The latest belongs to Groupize, a Boston-area business that sells tools to manage small group meetings as well as a booking engine that handles hotel room-block reservations. Researchers at Kromtech Security found a publicly accessible bucket containing business and personal data, including contracts and agreements between hotels, customers and Groupize, Kromtech said. The data included some credit card payment authorization forms that contained full payment card information including expiration data and CVV code. The researchers said the database stored in S3 contained numerous folders, below; one called "documents" held close to 3,000 scanned contracts and agreements, while another called all_leads had more than 3,100 spreadsheets containing critical Groupize business data including earnings. There were 37 other folders in the bucket containing tens of thousands of files, most of them storing much more benign data.

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Categories: Research

Supreme Court Asked To Nullify the Google Trademark

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 13:20
Is the term "google" too generic and therefore unworthy of its trademark protection? That's the question before the US Supreme Court. From a report: What's before the Supreme Court is a trademark lawsuit that Google already defeated in a lower court. The lawsuit claims that Google should no longer be trademarked because the word "google" is synonymous to the public with the term "search the Internet." "There is no single word other than google that conveys the action of searching the Internet using any search engine," according to the petition to the Supreme Court. It's perhaps one of the most consequential trademark case before the justices since they ruled in June that offensive trademarks must be allowed. The Google trademark dispute dates to 2012 when a man named Chris Gillespie registered 763 domain names that combined "google" with other words and phrase, including "googledonaldtrump.com."

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Categories: Research

UPDATE – Exit Poll Discrepancies Fit Chronic Republican Vote-Count Rigging, Not Random Statistical Patterns

Chicago Political Economy Group - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 13:06
CPEG’s Ron Baiman has released an unused affidavit which includes data and analysis that corrects, updates, and expands on the data used in an earlier CPEG article. Download the affidavit (PDF)
Categories: Research

UK.gov To Treat Online Abuse as Seriously as Hate Crime in Real Life

Slashdot: Your Rights Online - Mon, 08/21/2017 - 12:00
The UK's Crown Prosecution Service has pledged to tackle online abuse with the same seriousness as it does hate crimes committed in the flesh. From a report: Following public concern about the increasing amount of racist, anti-religious, homophobic and transphobic attacks on social media, the CPS has today published a new set of policy documents on hate crime. This includes revised legal guidance for prosecutors on how they should make decisions on criminal charges and handle cases in court. The rules officially put online abuse on the same level as offline hate crimes -- defined as an action motivated by hostility or prejudice -- like shouting abuse at someone face-to-face. They commit the CPS to prosecuting complaints about online material "with the same robust and proactive approach used with online offending." Prosecutors are told to consider the effect on the wider community and whether to identify both the originators and the "amplifiers or disseminators."

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