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Industry & Technology

Supreme Court upholds patent review process, dealing trolls a blow

Ars Technica - 59 min 11 sec ago

Enlarge / Justice Clarence Thomas, front, wrote the majority opinion. (credit: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images)

The Supreme Court on Tuesday upheld the constitutionality of a process for challenging low-quality patents. Since its creation in 2011, this "inter partes review" process has dramatically lowered the cost of defending against frivolous patent litigation.

The process allows an executive branch agency—not the courts—to revoke a patent after it has been granted. Critics claim that runs afoul of the Constitution's requirement that only the courts can deprive people of their property.

But the Supreme Court didn't buy it. In a 7-2 decision written by Justice Clarence Thomas, the nation's highest court ruled that patent rights were fundamentally a government-granted privilege that could properly come with strings attached. One such condition is the risk that the patent office might change its mind and invalidate a patent that it had previously approved.

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Happy having Amazon staff in your house? Why not the car then?

The Register - 1 hour 3 min ago
New Bezos scheme opens up vehicles as drop-off points

Amid worries about social network and ad-related privacy invasions, Amazon is asking for invitations into people's homes and cars.…

Cambridge Analytica: We didn't use Facebook data in Trump campaign - CNET - News - 1 hour 9 min ago
The company says it didn't use improperly handled data on millions of Facebook users in the 2016 election because of its "effective uselessness."

Otterbox drops Avengers: Infinity War phone cases ahead of movie opening - CNET - News - 1 hour 13 min ago
OtterBox's Avengers: Infinity War Symmetry and Defender Series cases are available for the latest iPhones and Samsung Galaxy S9 and S9 Plus.

Garlic bread sent to edge of space comes back less appetizing - CNET - News - 1 hour 22 min ago
Ballooning a chunk of garlic bread into the stratosphere probably won't become the next hot culinary trend.

Survey: More people are buying the iPhone 8 than iPhone X - CNET - News - 1 hour 40 min ago
Apple's priciest phone isn't its most popular, according to a consumer research group.

Electric scooters are invading. Bird's CEO leads the charge - CNET - News - 1 hour 48 min ago
Travis VanderZanden says scooters should ease traffic and be fun. But lawmakers from Santa Monica to San Francisco say they're a public nuisance.

Yahoo<i>!</i> fined<i>!</i> $35m<i>!</i> for<i>!</i> covering<i>!</i> up<i>!</i> massive<i>!</i> IT<i>!</i> security<i>!</i> screwup<i>!</i>

The Register - 1 hour 50 min ago
Now, who wants to take a look at the revamped Yahoo Mail?

The Disaster Formerly Known as Yahoo! has been fined $35m by US financial watchdog, the SEC, for failing to tell anyone about one of the world's largest ever computer security breaches.… turns into Someone Else's EtherWallet amid AWS DNS network hijack

The Register - 1 hour 55 min ago
Audacious BGP takeover followed by crypto-cyber-heist

Crooks today hijacked internet connections to Amazon Web Services systems to ultimately steal millions of dollars in alt-coins from online cryptocurrency website…

We won't see a Ferrari EV until at least 2023 - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 59 min ago
Ferrari will focus on bringing more hybrids to market in the near term.

Suspicious event hijacks Amazon traffic for 2 hours, steals cryptocurrency

Ars Technica - 1 hour 59 min ago

(credit: Amazon)

Amazon lost control of some of its widely used cloud services for two hours on Tuesday morning when hackers exploited a known Internet-protocol weakness that allowed them to redirect traffic to rogue destinations. The attackers appeared to use one server masquerading as cryptocurrency website to steal digital coins from unwitting end users. They may have targeted other customers of Amazon's Route 53 service as well.

The incident, which started around 6am California time, hijacked roughly 1,300 IP addresses, Oracle-owned Internet Intelligence said on Twitter. The malicious redirection was caused by fraudulent routes that were announced by Columbus, Ohio-based eNet, a large Internet service provider that is referred to as autonomous system 10297. Once in place, the eNet announcement caused some of its peers to send traffic over the same unauthorized routes. Amazon and eNet officials didn't immediately respond to a request to comment.

The highly suspicious event is the latest to involve Border Gateway Protocol, the technical specification that network operators use to exchange large chunks of Internet traffic. Despite its crucial function in directing wholesale amounts of data, BGP still largely relies on the Internet-equivalent of word of mouth from participants who are presumed to be trustworthy.

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Stormtroopers, Chewbacca, R2-D2 to announce 49ers NFL draft picks - CNET - News - 2 hours 3 min ago
Commentary: The NFL is trying to make Day 3 of the draft more (at all?) interesting. So it's letting teams make "entertaining" announcements.

TSB online banking chaos continues despite apology

BBC Technology News - 2 hours 6 min ago
The bank's IT chaos is set to continue into a fifth day despite an apology from the chief executive.

Nintendo Labo, my demonic children and the weekend from hell - CNET - News - 2 hours 11 min ago
Commentary: With some kids, Nintendo Labo can be a magical, educational bonding experience. Mine are not those kids...

Dealmaster: Take 18% off a new MacBook Pro with 256GB of storage

Ars Technica - 2 hours 14 min ago

Greetings, Arsians! Courtesy of our friends at TechBargains, we have another round of deals to share. Today's list is led by a deal on a latest-generation model of Apple's MacBook Pro, sans Touch Bar: its variant with 256GB of storage is down to $1,235. That's a high price for a laptop that's almost a year old, but c'est la Apple—this is still close to 20% off its usual going rate.

While the Dealmaster fully understands that this MacBook Pro isn't the most welcoming device for, y'know, professionals, it still packs an excellent display, a smooth trackpad, a decent-enough processor for most everyday tasks, and at least a couple of Thunderbolt 3 USB-C ports. The Touch Bar isn't really a must-have, either, and you won't have to worry about weird battery issues. You still can't expect it to power you through graphics-heavy work, but at the end of the day, some people will only settle for an Apple laptop regardless of its flaws. If that's you, this is a solid discount. Just keep in mind that new models will likely arrive in the coming months.

If you're not hitched to the Apple wagon, though, we also have deals on various Dell PCs and monitors, Samsung SSDs, 4K TVs, and more. Take a look for yourself below.

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CIA says foreign AI is tracking its spies - CNET - News - 2 hours 27 min ago
AI systems are now more likely to snoop on agents than their human counterparts.

Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug with Energy Monitoring review - CNET - Reviews - 2 hours 29 min ago
Monitor your device's energy consumption with this $30 smart plug that works with Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa.

Bargain-happy Brits snub big four mobile network operators

The Register - 2 hours 31 min ago
Plucky MVNOs snag top five spots for customer satisfaction

You can stuff your VoLTE and Notched iPhones – bargain-conscious Brits are shunning the big mobile operators for cheap-as-chips virtual network operators instead.…

Plantronics BackBeat Go 600 Release Date, Price and Specs - CNET - Reviews - 2 hours 32 min ago
The company's new over-ear Bluetooth headphone costs $100 and has a lightweight, comfortable-looking design.

Sense8 finale lands June 8 on Netflix - CNET - News - 2 hours 36 min ago
Netflix ordered a two-hour conclusion to the sci-fi series last year after the show's cancellation spurred fans to petition for more.

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