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Showing posts from October, 2016

Who gets your vote? Facebook wants to help you decide.

Who gets your vote? Facebook wants to help you decide.
The company is rolling out a new election product less than two weeks before ballots are due.
BY KURT WAGNER  OCT 28, 2016, 2:00P
You know who's running for president. How could you not?
But do you know where they stand on the issues? Do you know who's running for Congress in your district? Or which propositions are on your ballot?
Facebook thinks it can teach you — or at least point you to info so you can teach yourself. The social giant rolled out a new election product Friday that lets you browse the issues and races from your specific ballot, then share with friends who and what you're voting for.
Discussing politics on social media can be stressful; few people believe social platforms like Facebook actually improve political discourse. The hope is that this new election page will provide an alternative to your News Feed as a place to learn about the issues.
“The problem with News Feed is that there’s often a lot …

EU data protection watchdogs warn WhatsApp, Yahoo on privacy

EU data protection watchdogs warn WhatsApp, Yahoo on privacy
By Julia Fioretti Saturday, 29 October 2016 16:15 GMT
BRUSSELS, Oct 28 (Reuters) - European privacy watchdogs warned WhatsApp on Friday over sharing user information with parent company Facebook, and cautioned Yahoo over a 2014 data breach and scanning of customer emails for U.S. intelligence purposes.
The popular messaging service's recent change in privacy policy to start sharing users' phone numbers with Facebook - the first policy change since WhatsApp was acquired by Facebook in 2014 - has attracted regulatory scrutiny in Europe.
The Italian antitrust watchdog on Friday also announced a separate probe into whether WhatsApp obliged users to agree to sharing personal data with Facebook.
The European Union's 28 data protection authorities said in a statement they had requested WhatsApp stop sharing users' data with Facebook until the "appropriate legal protections could be assured" to avoid falli…

Apple demolished by Microsoft at their respective PC events

Apple demolished by Microsoft at their respective PC events Published: Oct 29, 2016 3:50 p.m. ET
Microsoft hailed as the winner over Apple following back-to-back events
By JENNIFER BOOTON REPORTER
Who would have thought that at back-to-back hardware events in the year 2016, Microsoft Corp.’s would prove the much more innovative and exciting one over Apple Inc.? Times are a-changing.
On Wednesday, Microsoft unveiled the Windows 10 Creators Update that includes 3D imaging tools; new virtual-reality headsets that can be used through a HoloLens platform on Windows PCs; live broadcasting for Xbox; a $2,999 enterprise-grade desktop called Surface Studio that essentially folds into a table-sized tablet; the Surface Dial, which is an input device for Surface products that lets users toggle between different menu items by twisting it like a doorknob; and the Surface Book i7.
Also Read: Microsoft’s new Surface Studio aims to compete with Apple’s iMac
On Thursday, Apple unveiled a new app for A…

I took a photo with the Pixel that changed my mind about the iPhone

I took a photo with the Pixel that changed my mind about the iPhoneMea culpa: I was wrongbyVlad SavovOct 29, 2016, 4:29p A few moons ago, I wrote some words under the title of "The Google phone is almost as good as the iPhone," and while I stand by the content of those words, I now have to revise my conclusion. On the basis of my extended experience with Google’s Pixel, I consider it an all-around better phone than the iPhone 7. The final exhilarating straw that broke the camel’s back was the photo below, coming straight out of the Pixel XL’s camera, undoctored other than for a horizon adjustment.


I take a lot of photos with phones, it’s a major part of my job of reviewing them, but this one (full resolutionhere) is easily the best one I’ve ever shot. The circumstances are worth recounting: I was in the middle of crossing New York City’s 7th Avenue on a rainy and windy night, and only stopped because I knew I could take a quick shot with the Pixel that might be worth p…

How Podesta's Gmail Account Was Breached

Clinton campaign staff guilty of getting duped by hackers
OCTOBER 28--So how did John Podesta’s e-mail account get hacked?
The answer to that question came into embarrassing focus this morning with the latest Wikileaks dump of correspondence stolen from the Gmail account of Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman.
On March 19, a Saturday, Podesta received an e-mail--purportedly from Google--warning him that, “Someone has your password.” The alert informed Podesta that a sign-in attempt from an IP address in Ukraine was thwarted and that, “You should change your password immediately.”
The e-mail, addressed "Hi John," included a blue “CHANGE PASSWORD” box to be clicked.
As TSG reported in August, similar messages were sent to the Gmail accounts of scores of other Clinton campaign officials around the time Podesta received the phony alert. An identical e-mail--containing the exact Ukrainian IP address--was received on March 22 by William Rinehart, a campaign organizer. The IP addr…

Elon Musk wants to sell you a better-looking solar roof

Elon Musk wants to sell you a better-looking solar roof amid slowing growth for panels
By Ivan Penn and Russ Mitchell October 29, 2019
Like some kind of 21st century Willy Wonka, audacious entrepreneur Elon Musk chose a prime spot on the Universal Studios Hollywood backlot tour to unveil his latest attempt to energize an industry — roofs that generate solar power but look like no other.
Musk, the chief executive of Tesla Motors and chairman of SolarCity, showcased a line of high-design solar roof tiles that would replace clunky solar panels and tie into an upgraded version of the Tesla wall-mounted battery for those times when the sun doesn’t shine. The glass solar shingles resemble French slate, Tuscan barrel tile or more conventional roofing materials with a textured or smooth surface.
“The key is to make solar look good,” Musk said during the product introduction staged on the old set of ABC’s “Desperate Housewives” series, where he had re-roofed four of the Wisteria Lane houses…

Is Facebook's Facial-Scanning Technology Invading Your Privacy Rights?

Is Facebook's Facial-Scanning Technology Invading Your Privacy Rights?
A court case threatens the social network with multibillion-dollar claims.
By Joel Rosenblatt October 26, 2016 — 7:00 AM EDT October 26, 2016 — 2:27 PM EDT
Facebook Inc.’s software knows your face almost as well as your mother does. And like mom, it isn’t asking your permission to do what it wants with old photos.
While millions of internet users embrace the tagging of family and friends in photos, others worried there’s something devious afoot are trying block Facebook as well as Google from amassing such data.
As advances in facial recognition technology give companies the potential to profit from biometric data, privacy advocates see a pattern in how the world’s largest social network and search engine have sold users’ viewing histories for advertising. The companies insist that gathering data on what you look like isn’t against the law, even without your permission.
If judges agree with Facebook and Google…

Google neural networksi: Learning to Keep Secrets...Invents it's own encryption

26 October 2016 Google’s neural networks invent their own encryptionMachines have been learning how to send secret messages to each other.
ByTimothy Revell
Computers are keeping secrets. A team from Google Brain, Google’s deep learning project, has shown that machines can learn how to protect their messages from prying eyes. ResearchersMartín Abadi andDavid Andersendemonstrate thatneural networks, or “neural nets” – computing systems that are loosely based on artificial neurons – can work out how to use a simple encryption technique.
In their experiment, computers were able to make their own form of encryption using machine learning, without being taught specific cryptographic algorithms. The encryption was very basic, especially compared to our current human-designed systems. Even so, it is still an interesting step for neural nets, which the authors state “are generally not meant to be great at cryptography”.
The Google Brain team started with three neural nets called Alice, Bob and Eve. …

AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal

HOLD THE PHONE! AT&T Is Spying on Americans for Profit, New Documents Reveal
The telecom giant is doing NSA-style work for law enforcement—without a warrant—and earning millions of dollars a year from taxpayers.
By Kenneth Lipp 10.24.16 10:13 PM ET
On Nov. 11, 2013, Victorville, California, sheriff’s deputies and a coroner responded to a motorcyclist’s report of human remains outside of town.
They identified the partially bleached skull of a child, and later discovered the remains of the McStay family who had been missing for the past three years. Joseph, 40, his wife Summer, 43, Gianni, 4, and Joseph Jr., 3, had been bludgeoned to death and buried in shallow graves in the desert.
Investigators long suspected Charles Merritt in the family’s disappearance, interviewing him days after they went missing. Merritt was McStay’s business partner and the last person known to see him alive. Merritt had also borrowed $30,000 from McStay to cover a gambling debt, a mutual business partner t…

Apple's annual profits fall for first time in 15 years as iPhone sales decline

Apple's annual profits fall for first time in 15 years as iPhone sales decline
Company has sold 45.5m iPhones in current quarter, down 5% from last year as analysts worry that the world has reached ‘peak Apple’
Tuesday 25 October 2016 17.06 EDT
Apple has reported its first decline in annual sales and profit in 15 years. The Silicon Valley company, which had bounced back from near bankruptcy in 1997 to become the world’s most valuable company today, told investors on Tuesday night that it had sold $215.6bn (£177bn) worth of iPhones, Watches, Mac computers and other products in the year to 24 September.
That works out as an 8% decrease on Apple’s record $233.7bn of sales it collected in the previous year. The decline in sales hit the company’s profits, which fell 14% to $45.7bn.
It is the first time Apple’s annual sales or profits have declined since 2001, and some analysts are concerned that the world may have reached “peak Apple”, meaning nearly everyone who wants (and can afford…

Electronic surveillance up 500 percent in D.C.-area since 2011, almost all sealed cases

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U.S. courts: Electronic surveillance up 500 percent in D.C.-area since 2011, almost all sealed cases
By Spencer S. Hsu and Rachel Weiner October 24 at 7:00 PM
Secret law enforcement requests to conduct electronic surveillance in domestic criminal cases have surged in federal courts for Northern Virginia and the District, but only one in a thousand of the applications ever becomes public, newly released data show.
The bare-bones release by the courts leaves unanswered how long, in what ways and for what crimes federal investigators tracked individuals’ data and whether long-running investigations result in charges.
Yet the listings of how often law enforcement applied to judges to conduct covert electronic surveillance — a list that itself is usually sealed — underscore the exponential growth in the use of a 1986 law to collect data about users’ telephone, email and other Internet communications.
Unsealing basic docket information “is an important first step for courts to recognize t…

TV ratings crash continues: Every network down double digits...

Fall TV: What's a hit, what's not Here's how all the new broadcast shows -- and their networks -- are doing
BY JAMES HIBBERD Posted October 25 2016 — 3:42 PM EDT
With the quasi-cancelation of ABC’s Notorious, let’s check the ratings for the rest of broadcast’s fall freshman class. Who’s doing the best? Who’s performing the worst? The answer isn’t always obvious as a number – the night a show airs, its lead-in and competition are factors that networks consider too. But first: Here’s how the networks themselves are faring overall compared to this point last year in the adult demo:
NET ..THEN .. NOW NBC…2.8…2.5…-11% CBS…2.5…2.2…-12% ABC…2.1…1.8…-14% Fox…1.9…1.7…-11% CW…0.6…0.5…-17%
So, yes, everybody is down. The decline reflects a broader audience trend shifting away from The Big 5 as original programs proliferate on cable and streaming networks. Another factor: This year’s intensely dramatic presidential election has been fascinating is possibly drawing attention away fro…