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Industry & Technology

The Snowden Legacy, part one: What’s changed, really?

Ars Technica - 39 min 57 sec ago

Enlarge / Remember this guy? (credit: Pardon Snowden)

Digital privacy has come a long way since June 2013. In the five years since documents provided by Edward Snowden became the basis for a series of revelations that tore away a veil of secrecy around broad surveillance programs run by the National Security Agency, there have been shifts in both technology and policy that have changed the center of gravity for personal electronic privacy in the United States and around the world. Sadly, not all of the changes have been positive. And Snowden's true legacy is a lot more complicated than his admirers (or his critics) will admit.

Starting with that first article published by the Guardian that revealed a National Security Agency program gathering millions of phone records from Verizon—which gave the agency access to metadata about phone calls placed by or received by everyone in America—the Snowden leaks exposed the inner workings of the NSA's biggest signals intelligence programs. Coming to light next was the PRISM program, which allowed the NSA, via the FBI, to gain access directly to customer data from nine Internet companies without notifying the customers. And then came Boundless Informant, a tool for visualizing the amount of signals intelligence being collected from each country in the world. By the time the Snowden cache had been largely mined out, hundreds of files—ranging from PowerPoint presentations to dumps of Internal Wikis and Web discussion boards—had been reviewed and revealed by journalists.

"Thanks to Snowden's disclosures, people worldwide were able to engage in an extraordinary and unprecedented debate about government surveillance," the American Civil Liberties Union declared on the fifth anniversary of the Guardian article.

Read 49 remaining paragraphs | Comments

Microsoft: You looking at me funny? Oh, you just want to sign in

The Register - 40 min 1 sec ago
Password-less logins for Edge users with Windows Hello or a FIDO2 dongle. Like, 3 people

It's taken a while, but it has finally arrived. You can sign into your Microsoft account with a suitable dongle or Windows Hello, with passwords consigned to history.…

Black Friday 2018 Best Buy phone deals available now: iPhone XS, Pixel 3, Note 9, Moto G6 and more - CNET - News - 54 min 20 sec ago
If you're in the market for a shiny new phone, Best Buy has some great deals for Black Friday.

Technical foul: Amazon suffers data breach days before Black Friday, emails world+dog

The Register - 59 min 47 sec ago
$1tn biz doesn't answer very basic questions - like how or why it happened

Amazon has suffered a data breach just days before Black Friday – and the company was tight-lipped about whether it had notified the British data protection authorities.…

Apple's main iPhone assembler reportedly plans to slash $2.9B from its costs - CNET - News - 1 hour ago
Foxconn thinks 2019 will be "a very difficult and competitive year," Bloomberg reports.

Black Friday 2018 iPhone deals: Free iPhone XR, $750 off iPhone XS now; free $400 iPhone X gift card soon - CNET - News - 1 hour 9 min ago
The best iPhone discounts from Sprint, Verizon, T-Mobile, Best Buy, Target and Walmart.

Wreck-It Ralph 2 review: Everything we wish Ready Player One had been

Ars Technica - 1 hour 9 min ago

Enlarge / "Ralph, I'm telling you, there's no porn in Disney's version of the 3D-cartoon Internet." "Don't give up yet, Vanellope! Look, I think that's John Lasseter over there. Maybe he can help." (Not an actual film quote.) (credit: Disney)

Disney's tech-skewering 3D-animation series, Wreck-It Ralph, leans into a misleading subtitle for its first motion-picture sequel: Ralph Breaks The Internet. Figuratively, this film does nothing that compares to Kim Kardashian-West's butt, and it doesn't turn in a best-in-class satire of Internet culture (either from a superficial level or a tech-savvy one).

That's fine. 2013's Wreck-It Ralph was in a similar boat: it looked like a gigantic gaming-satire feature at first, yet in the end, it focused on something arguably more important: a sweet-yet-weird take on friendship, complete with likable, fleshed-out characters.

The same applies with its sequel. What's more, with a core friendship established by the source film, this sequel takes some really killer risks (at least, for a family-friendly cartoon) in exploring friendship and villainy in ways that viewers likely won't see coming. You may not cry while watching this film, but between its riotous laughs, Wreck-It Ralph 2 pulls some clever, unique, and touching heartstrings that other Disney films haven't done in a while.

Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

'Adult' furry erotica site hacked

BBC Technology News - 1 hour 21 min ago
The latest in a long line of hacks aimed at adult websites leaves millions of users exposed.

Google Play movie rentals are all $1 for Thanksgiving - CNET - News - 1 hour 26 min ago
In case Netflix doesn't have what you're looking for.

Google's 'Not Pink' Pixel 3 XL goes under the macro lens - CNET - News - 1 hour 39 min ago
The understated pale pink Pixel 3 XL looks great up close under a macro lens.

Propel's excellent Star Wars drones: On sale for just $40 - CNET - News - 1 hour 39 min ago
These are definitely the drones you're looking for, at a price too good to pass up.

HP Spectre Folio: Getting my hands on the leather shell of this luxury laptop - CNET - Reviews - 1 hour 39 min ago
A 13-inch leather-clad laptop that would make even Ricardo Montalban jealous.

Fancy Bear hacker crew Putin dirty RATs in Word documents emailed to govt orgs – report

The Register - 1 hour 45 min ago
Disguised as files about recent Lion Air crash, no less

Russian state-backed hacking crew Fancy Bear (aka APT28) is distributing malware-riddled files with a suggested link to the recent Lion Air crash in order to dupe government workers into downloading software nasties – and has developed a new remote-access trojan called Cannon, according to Palo Alto Networks.…

Cyber Monday sales: 3 dirty little secrets - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
Commentary: Don't delay a good Black Friday purchase -- the Cyber Monday deals aren't likely to be dramatically better.

Black Friday 2018 Pixel 3 deals Nov. 22: Free Pixel 3, $400 Pixel 3, $530 Pixel 3 XL - CNET - News - 2 hours 9 min ago
After you stuff yourself with turkey, buy a Pixel 3.

Merry Christmas, you filthy directors: ICO granted powers to fine bosses for spam calls

The Register - 2 hours 18 min ago
Dodgy dialling dons' dosh due to diminish in December

Company bosses will be personally liable for nuisance calls made by their firms from 17 December, and could be forced to pay up to £500,000.…

Buying a Black Friday Chromebook? Read this first - CNET - News - 2 hours 24 min ago
A couple of key specs can keep you from getting a bad deal for your needs.

A Dota 2 tournament showed me the future of esports - CNET - News - 2 hours 29 min ago
The three-day event showed why esports is in the future of entertainment, though the competition was not without its flaws.

The 50 best iPhone games - CNET - News - 2 hours 39 min ago
If you're all about the iPhone, these are some of the best games you can play.

You can't buy every phone you want from AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile and Sprint: Here's why - CNET - News - 2 hours 39 min ago
Some of the world's best phones don't ever make it to your carrier store.

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