Posts

Showing posts from 2018

Police Use of Driver’s License Databases to Nab Crooks Spurs Privacy Concerns

Police Use of Driver’s License Databases to Nab Crooks Spurs Privacy Concerns
Thirty-one states now allow law-enforcement officials to access license photos to help identify potential suspects
A New York Police Department detective works at the Real Time Crime Center in New York. While some jurisdictions are limited to mug shots for suspect identification, a case in Maryland was one of the first to publicly tout using a search of driver’s license photos.
By Zusha Elinson June 17, 2018 7:00 a.m. ET
When police in the small Maryland city of Hagerstown used a cutting edge, facial recognition program to track down a robbery suspect last week, it was one of the first such cases to come to light.
In the process of identifying a possible suspect, investigators fed an Instagram photo into the state’s vast facial recognition system, which quickly spit out the driver’s license photo of an individual who was then arrested.
This digital-age crime-solving technique is at the center of a debate be…

Spotlight falls on Russian threat to undersea cables

Spotlight falls on Russian threat to undersea cables
BY MORGAN CHALFANT AND OLIVIA BEAVERS - 06/17/18 08:14 PM EDT The Trump administration’s new sanctions on Russia are casting light on the threat posed to the undersea cables that carry the world’s electronic communications between continents.
The Treasury Department sanctioned five Russian firms and three Russian nationals this week for aiding the Kremlin’s domestic security service, the FSB. One of the companies is alleged to have provided support for Moscow’s “underwater capabilities” – including producing diving systems and a submersible craft for the FSB.
The Treasury Department alleged that Russia has been “active” in tracking underwater fiber optic cables that transmit communications across continents.
The threat to undersea cables is multifaceted. Foreign adversaries could track their whereabouts to sabotage them and cut rivals off from communications.
Or they could be motivated by espionage. There has long been suspicion t…

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict

Pentagon Puts Cyberwarriors on the Offensive, Increasing the Risk of Conflict
By David E. Sanger, New York Times Posted 8:28 p.m. June 16, 2018
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon has quietly empowered the United States Cyber Command to take a far more aggressive approach to defending the nation against cyberattacks, a shift in strategy that could increase the risk of conflict with the foreign states that sponsor malicious hacking groups.
Until now, the Cyber Command has assumed a largely defensive posture, trying to counter attackers as they enter American networks. In the relatively few instances when it has gone on the offensive, particularly in trying to disrupt the online activities of the Islamic State and its recruiters in the past several years, the results have been mixed at best.
But in the spring, as the Pentagon elevated the command’s status, it opened the door to nearly daily raids on foreign networks, seeking to disable cyberweapons before they can be unleashed, according to stra…

Iceland faces a DNA dilemma: Whether to notify people carrying cancer genes

Iceland faces ethical DNA dilemma
Iceland, with extensive DNA databases, has the ability to identify citizens with deadly breast-cancer genes, and notify them. But government so far refuses to do so.
By Stuart Leavenworth and Alexa Ard June 14, 2018 05:00 AM
REYKJAVÍK, ICELAND - Sometime in the future, U.S. researchers will be able to press a button and reliably identify the thousands of people who carry cancer-causing genes, including those that trigger breast cancer.
In Iceland, that day is already here. With a relatively uniform population and extensive DNA databases, Iceland could easily pinpoint which of its people are predisposed to certain diseases, and notify them immediately. So far, the government has refused to do so. Why? Iceland confronts legal and ethical obstacles that have divided the nation and foreshadow what larger countries may soon face.
Since the late 1990s, tens of thousands of Icelanders have agreed to contribute their DNA to a public-private science projects…

Elon Musk firm tapped to build Chicago high-speed transit

Elon Musk firm tapped to build Chicago high-speed transit
AFP • June 14, 2018
Chicago (AFP) - Elon Musk's The Boring Company has been tapped to build a high-speed underground transportation system for Chicago -- the first US city to bank on the entrepreneur's futuristic concept for mass transit.
The project, to be officially announced Thursday, would employ tunnels and autonomous electric vehicles called "skates" to zip passengers between the Midwestern city's downtown core and its busy airport.
Details remain to be hammered out, including the exact route of The Chicago Express Loop.
"We're really excited to work with the Mayor and the City to bring this new high-speed public transportation system to Chicago," Musk's The Boring Company tweeted Wednesday night.
The proposed transit system would consist of electric vehicles reaching speeds as high as 150 mph (240 kph) in underground tunnels, as they travel to O'Hare airport, one of the nation…

TED Talk: Machine Learning could be capable of outsmarting humans and even taking over the world we live in

TED Talk: Machine Learning could be capable of outsmarting humans and even taking over the world we live in
Robots can outsmart humans to make us SLAVES before complete extinction – expert warns
ROBOTS could be capable of outsmarting humans and even taking over the world we live in, an artificial intelligence researcher has chillingly warned.
By Callum Hoare / Published 14th June 2018
Artificial intelligence could cause human extinction says expert
There is currently a worrying disagreement over what artificial intelligence scientists are working towards, according to Max Tegmark.
The world-leading professor believes this could lead to grave consequences, having noted research into robots that are capable of enslaving humans.
And, speaking at a technology conference for TedTalks, Max revealed there is currently conflict in the industry, as concerns rise that humans will not be able to keep up with the machines they create.
“you should be more worried that maybe the superintelligence…

Erdogan Bans Uber: 'That Business Is Finished'

Erdogan Bans Uber: 'That Business Is Finished'
BY PHIL BAKER JUNE 11, 2018
Recep Tayyip Erdogan, the president of Turkey, announced that he’s expelling Uber from Turkey, a result of pressure from Istanbul's taxi industry. Istanbul taxi drivers, numbering more than 17,000, claimed Uber was providing an illegal service and that it needs to be banned.
Ever since Uber began its service in Turkey in 2014, it's caused dissension among the country's taxi drivers, not unlike what's happening elsewhere.
In a speech on Friday, Erdogan said, “This thing called Uber emerged. That business is finished. That does not exist anymore. We have our taxi system.... Where does this come from? It is used in Europe, I do not care about that.... We will decide by ourselves.... No non-taxpayers can do business here.... It is our duty to remove this network, which works illegally in your field.”
Uber had no comment but had noted that 2,000 drivers use the service while another 5,000 wo…

Australian court rules man can sue Google for defamation

Australian court rules man can sue Google for defamation
Associated Press  Associated Press • June 13, 2018
CANBERRA, Australia (AP) — An Australian man who alleges Google defamed him on Wednesday won a court battle to sue the search engine giant.
Milorad "Michael" Trkulja was shot in the back in 2004 in a restaurant in Melbourne, Australia's second largest city.
The Australian High Court unanimously ruled in favor of Trkulja, supporting his allegation that a Google search of his name could indicate to an ordinary person he was "somehow associated with the Melbourne criminal underworld."
Trkulja had successfully argued in the Victoria state Supreme Court in 2012 that Google defamed him by publishing photos of him linked to hardened criminals of Melbourne's underworld.
Four years later, the Victorian Court of Appeal overturned the decision, finding the case had no prospect of successfully proving defamation. The High Court disputed that ruling and ordered G…

FCC chairman: Our job is to protect a free and open internet

FCC chairman: Our job is to protect a free and open internet
Commentary: Ajit Pai says the Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which takes effect Monday, protects consumers and will promote better access to the internet.
By AJIT PAI JUNE 10, 2018 9:01 PM PDT
I support a free and open internet. The internet should be an open platform where you are free to go where you want, and say and do what you want, without having to ask anyone's permission. And under the Federal Communications Commission's Restoring Internet Freedom Order, which takes effect Monday, the internet will be just such an open platform. Our framework will protect consumers and promote better, faster internet access and more competition.
Our approach includes strong consumer protections. For example, we empower the Federal Trade Commission to police internet service providers for anticompetitive acts and unfair or deceptive practices. In 2015, the FCC stripped the FTC -- the nation's premier consumer protectio…

Vietnam Tightens Grip on Internet With Data-Storage Law

Vietnam Tightens Grip on Internet With Data-Storage Law
New cybersecurity law requires internet companies to store Vietnam-based users’ data on servers in the country
By James Hookway June 12, 2018 6:35 a.m. ET
Vietnam’s plans to vigorously police the internet took a step forward Tuesday when it adopted a cybersecurity law that requires internet companies such as Facebook and Google to store their Vietnam-based users’ data on servers in the country.
Critics say the new law could make it easier for authorities in the one-party communist state to track down critics online. Legislation passed by the National Assembly also requires internet companies to open offices in the country, which they have been hesitant to do, in addition to removing content within 24 hours at the government’s request.
Last year, China enacted a law requiring that cloud data from China-based consumers be stored in the country, sparking worries about privacy. And Vietnam has steadily increased scrutiny of what is …

Tanzania orders all unregistered bloggers to take down their sites

Tanzania orders all unregistered bloggers to take down their sites
by Reuters Monday, 11 June 2018 15:05 GMT
By Fumbuka Ng'wanakilala
DAR ES SALAAM, June 11 (Reuters) - Tanzania ordered all unregistered bloggers and online forums on Monday to suspend their websites immediately or face criminal prosecution, as critics accuse the government of tightening control of internet content.
Several sites, including popular online discussion platform Jamiiforums, said on Monday they had temporarily shut down after the state-run Tanzania Communications Regulatory Authority (TCRA) warned it would take legal action against all unlicensed websites.
Regulations passed in March made it compulsory for bloggers and owners of other online forums such as YouTube channels to register with the government and pay up to $900 for a licence. Per capita income in Tanzania is slightly below $900 a year.
Digital activists say the law is part of a crackdown on dissent and free speech by the government of Presi…

Seattle tax opposed by Amazon will be likely be rescinded

Seattle tax opposed by Amazon will be likely be rescinded
By Phuong Le, Associated Press • June 11, 2018
SEATTLE (AP) -- Seattle city leaders said Monday they will work to repeal a tax on large businesses just one month after unanimously approving the measure to help pay for affordable housing and homeless services.
Mayor Jenny Durkan and seven of nine councilmembers said in a joint statement that "it is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis."
"We heard you," they said, adding that the City Council would consider legislation this week. A special meeting has been scheduled for Tuesday. The measure would need five votes to pass.
The announcement of a pending repeal comes just days before Thursday's deadline for the campaign working to overturn the tax to turn in signatures to qualify the referendum for the November ballot.
Th…

Bitcoin price plunges after cryptocurrency exchange is hacked

Image
Bitcoin price plunges after cryptocurrency exchange is hacked
Security fears rise as South Korea’s Coincheck loses about £28m of virtual currency
Julia Kollewe Mon 11 Jun 2018 10.06 EDT First published on Mon 11 Jun 2018 04.40 EDT
There has been a sharp drop in the price of bitcoin and other virtual currencies after South Korean cryptocurrency exchange Coinrail was hacked over the weekend.
A tweet from Coinrail confirming the cyber-attack sent the price of bitcoin tumbling 10% on Sunday to two-month lows.
The world’s best-known cryptocurrency lost $500 (£372) in an hour, dropping to $6,627 on the Luxembourg exchange Bitstamp, while most other digital currencies also recorded large losses.
The latest attack highlights the lack of security and weak regulation of global cryptocurrency markets.
Coinrail later said in a statement on its website that its system was hit by “cyber intrusion” on Sunday, causing a loss for about 30% of the coins traded on the exchange. It did not quantify the …

Sweden Tries to Halt Total Cashlessness With Lawmaker Proposal

Sweden Tries to Halt Total Cashlessness With Lawmaker Proposal
By Amanda Billner, Niklas Magnusson and Rafaela Lindeberg 11 June 2018, 8:34 AM 10 June 2018, 10:35 PM
(Bloomberg) -- A key committee of Swedish lawmakers wants to force the country’s biggest banks to handle cash in an effort to halt the nation’s march toward complete cashlessness.
Parliament’s Riksbank committee, which is in the process of reviewing the central bank law, proposed making it mandatory for banks to offer cash withdrawals and handle daily receipts. The requirement would apply to banks that provide checking accounts and have more than 70 billion kronor ($8 billion) in deposits from the Swedish public, according to a report.
The lawmakers said there needs to be “reasonable access to those services in all of Sweden," and that 99 percent of Swedes should have a maximum distance of 25 kilometers (16 miles) to the nearest cash withdrawal. The requirement doesn’t state how banks should offer those services, an…

Rural malls hit hard times, leaving shoppers adrift as more stores close

Rural malls hit hard times, leaving shoppers adrift as more stores close
Donnelle Eller, Des Moines Register Published 4:30 a.m. ET June 8, 2018 | Updated 9:27 p.m. ET June 8, 2018
National retail distress is emptying rural regional malls such as in Ottumwa. Rodney White, rodwhite@dmreg.com
OTTUMWA, Iowa -- This city's Target store is gone.
So is Kmart, MC Sports, JCPenney, Vanity and soon Herberger's, a department store.
"The mall is pretty sad," says Amanda Cain, a teacher and mother. "Once Herberger's closes, we'll have no anchors."
About two-thirds of Ottumwa's Quincy Place Mall will be empty with Herberger's loss.
Bon-Ton Stores, of which Herberger's was a part; Toys R Us; MC Sports and others are bankrupt. JCPenney, Kmart and other department stores are closing unprofitable stores in their struggle to survive against growing online competition.
National retail distress is emptying rural regional malls, experts say. But long-term …

Six amazing ways technology has transformed Kenyan businesses

Six amazing ways technology has transformed Kenyan businesses
By Correspondent June 6th 2018 at 16:30, Updated June 6th 2018 at 17:40 GMT
The present-day Kenyan business operations are far more advanced compared to how things used to be done couple of decades ago.
Today, Kenyan businesses transact via M-Pesa, conduct business in different continents through Skype, create online communities to get instant consumer feedback, actively network on LinkedIn, manage bank accounts and e-mails from smart phones, share business-related images and stories on WhatsApp, SoundCloud and YouTube among other platforms, and so much more.
The education sector of the country can learn a great deal from how businesses have taken advantage of technology. Here’s how technology can solve challenges in Kenya’s education sector.
Digital revolution has completely transformed how business is done in the country. More and more consumers are embracing the new-age technological trends. Africa is ripe for the …