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Industry & Technology

New plastic banknote plans now upsetting environmental campaigners

The Register - 1 hour 17 min ago
This time it's palm oil instead of a single dead cow

Poll First it was vegetarians and vegans complaining about plastic banknotes. Now the Bank of England has managed to upset environmentalists at the WWF – wildlife, not wrestlers – over plans for new plastic £20 notes made using palm oil.…

Apple patent disables wearables when you're driving - Roadshow - News - 1 hour 19 min ago
It uses motion information to determine whether or not the user is the one behind the wheel.

The internet is killing our culture and destroying society - CNET - News - 1 hour 23 min ago
A new report claims cyberspace is a corrupt and evil influence on society.

To fight Tor hack prosecutions, activist groups offer up legal help

Ars Technica - 1 hour 42 min ago

Enlarge (credit: The Washington Post / Getty Images News)

Three legal advocacy organizations have published a new guide for criminal defense attorneys who are defending more than 200 people who are accused of accessing Playpen, a now-shuttered notorious child porn site that was only available as a Tor-hidden service.

The Playpen prosecutions, which are unfolding nationwide, have raised significant questions as to what the limits of government surveillance should be—and how much judicial and legislative oversight exists for authorized government hacking.

In order to find the suspects, federal authorities seized and operated the site for 13 days before closing it down in 2015. During that period, the FBI deployed a Tor exploit that allowed them to find out those users’ real IP addresses. The use of Tor, which obscures and anonymizes IP addresses and browser user agents, makes it significantly more difficult for individuals to be tracked online. With the exploit, it became extremely easy for suspects to be identified and located. The Department of Justice has called this exploit a "network investigative technique," (NIT) while many security experts have dubbed it as "malware."

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UK cops arrest 20-year-old on suspicion of blackmail and hacking

The Register - 1 hour 44 min ago
Meanwhile, wannabe iTunes gift card moguls reportedly fire up their email

UK cops have arrested a man they suspect of extortion and Computer Misuse Act offences – and according to reports, "someone in control of the Turkish Crime Family email account" claimed that arrest was to do with $100,000 Apple iTunes gift card debacle.…

An App That Tracks Your Movement to Help You Relax, Even in the Back of a Cab

Wired - 2 hours 8 min ago
Sway is the latest in a recent spate of meditation apps designed to encourage mindfulness. The post An App That Tracks Your Movement to Help You Relax, Even in the Back of a Cab appeared first on WIRED.

Review: Earin M-1 Wireless Earbuds

Wired - 2 hours 11 min ago
Apple's AirPods aren't the only wireless earbud game in town. The post Review: Earin M-1 Wireless Earbuds appeared first on WIRED.

Samsung will throw in a free Gear VR if you preorder the Galaxy S8

Ars Technica - 2 hours 19 min ago

Enlarge / The Samsung Galaxy S8. Check out those bezels.

Preorders for Samsung's new Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones are available now, and the company is throwing in a gift if you pledge your money before the handsets launch on April 21. When you go to Samsung's website and preorder either smartphone, you can get a free Gear VR headset and the new motion controller Samsung developed with Oculus.

We mentioned this yesterday when the Samsung Galaxy S8 was announced. It's a good deal because you're getting a $170 bundle (the $130 Gear VR plus the $40 motion controller) for free. If you do choose the free gift, you'll also get a content bundle from Oculus that you can redeem as a digital download when you receive your order. Samsung's pricing for the Galaxy S8 isn't surprising: the website says the handsets start at $650, but the base models you can preorder from each major carrier (AT&T, Verizon, T-Mobile, and Sprint) place the S8 at about $750 and the S8+ at about $840. Currently you cannot preorder an unlocked Galaxy S8 or S8+ from Samsung's website.

If you want to splurge, Samsung is also offering a $99 "Gear VR Immersive Bundle," which includes a Gear VR headset, the motion controller, a pair of AKG headphones, and a 256GB microSD card. All those items separately would cost about $530 total, so getting Samsung's bundle for just $99 is a good deal as well. You'll only be able to pick one of these additional gifts if you preorder the S8 or S8+ before April 20.

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Freeze! New Dodge SRT Demon teaser promises serious cooling - Roadshow - News - 2 hours 29 min ago
I'm beginning to think these teasers will never stop, even after the car debuts.

Samsung debuts slew of new accessories for Galaxy S8 and S8 Plus - CNET - News - 2 hours 36 min ago
Samsung's Galaxy S8 launch was accompanied by the launch of several new accessories, including new cases, wireless charging stands and headphones.

Ford to build own data centre to store connected car data

The Register - 2 hours 41 min ago
Cost works out at about $1m per petabyte

Following boastful tweets by American president Donald Trump about job creation, Ford is set to open its very own Michigan data centre for its connected cars.…

Space Opera Fiction Isn’t Just Back. It’s Better Than Ever

Wired - 2 hours 42 min ago
No longer just the home of cyborgs and ships, space operas are exploring a lot of new frontiers. The post Space Opera Fiction Isn't Just Back. It's Better Than Ever appeared first on WIRED.

The Uncertain Science Behind Your Phone’s Blue Light Dimmer

Wired - 2 hours 42 min ago
Does blue light make you more alert? Yep. But does removing it from your phone's screen help you fall asleep? That hasn't actually been proven yet. The post The Uncertain Science Behind Your Phone's Blue Light Dimmer appeared first on WIRED.

Become an extra in 'Avengers: Infinity War' - CNET - News - 3 hours 7 min ago
Do you have a character face or classic New York looks? Then audition to work alongside Marvel superheroes taking over the Big Apple.

Security co-operation unlikely to change post Brexit, despite threats

The Register - 3 hours 10 min ago
'Messy divorce' would help no one

UK Prime Minister Theresa May is warning that failure to negotiate an agreement on Britain's exit from the European Union could damage security cooperation. The tough line - contained in Wednesday's historic letter triggering Article 50 - has re-focused minds on the possible security implications of Brexit.…

How Reggaetón Exploded All Over Cuba Without the Internet

Wired - 3 hours 11 min ago
Three million people download music from hard drives delivered by hand. The post How Reggaetón Exploded All Over Cuba Without the Internet appeared first on WIRED.

Live today: SpaceX attempts to launch a “flight proven” rocket

Ars Technica - 3 hours 22 min ago

Enlarge / The "flight proven" Falcon 9 rocket sits on the launch pad at Kennedy Space Center in Florida. (credit: SES)

This evening, nearly a full year after it first launched a payload into orbit, a Falcon 9 booster will attempt a second launch. Some might call this a "used" or "reused" rocket, but in a wonderful marketing euphemism, SpaceX has characterized the booster as "flight proven." One day, clearly, rocket manufacturers like SpaceX and Blue Origin hope to convince satellite operators that used rockets are, in fact, more reliable than new ones.

But first SpaceX has to prove it can actually reuse a first-stage booster. That may happen as soon as today, with the SES-10 mission to deliver a communications satellite to geostationary transfer orbit. The launch window opens  6:27pm ET (11:27pm UK) today, and extends for two and a half hours. After launch SpaceX will attempt to land the booster on a drone ship in the Atlantic Ocean. Should weather (which appears good) or a technical issue force a delay today, a backup launch window opens on Saturday, at 6:27pm.

SpaceX has been circumspect about the extent to which this Falcon 9 first stage had to be refurbished for the reuse flight. In earlier remarks, SpaceX president Gwynne Shotwell has said it took about four months to test and prepare for the second flight. The company has not disclosed how much it spent refurbishing the rocket, but SES is believed to have paid about 30 percent less than a typical launch.

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Beyond Zelda: The first month of Switch games acts as a promising crystal ball

Ars Technica - 3 hours 35 min ago

Enlarge / So many Switch games to play that Zelda: Breath of the Wild has been relegated to the bottom of my bin. (Insane, I know.)

We've had a lota lot, lotlot—to say about the new Nintendo Switch game system this past month. But if you are keeping score, you may notice that we haven't reviewed many games for the home-portable hybrid console.

That's no small gap in coverage, because as we've reported, the portable touchscreen device currently can't do most of the things you would expect from a modern portable touchscreen device. It has no Web browser; no streaming-media apps; no messaging service; and no cute, Nintendo-styled systems like Miiverse or Streetpass. Until Nintendo issues a substantial patch, the Switch is games or bust.

Video host: Mark Walton (video link)

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If you publish Georgia’s state laws, you’ll get sued for copyright and lose

Ars Technica - 3 hours 36 min ago

Carl Malamud of Public.Resource.Org. (credit: Kirk Walter)

If you want to read the official laws of the state of Georgia, it will cost you more than $1,000.

Open-records activist Carl Malamud bought a hard copy, and it cost him $1,207.02 after shipping and taxes. A copy on CD was $1,259.41. The "good" news for Georgia residents is that they'll only have to pay $385.94 to buy a printed set from LexisNexis.

Malamud thinks reading the law shouldn't cost anything. So a few years back, he scanned a copy of the state of Georgia's official laws, known as the Official Georgia Code Annotated, or OCGA. Malamud made USB drives with two copies on them, one scanned copy and another encoded in XML format. On May 30, 2013, Malamud sent the USB drives to the Georgia speaker of the House, David Ralson, and the state's legislative counsel, as well as other prominent Georgia lawyers and policymakers.

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How many NSA spy hubs are scooping up your Internet data? I counted 7

Ars Technica - 3 hours 47 min ago


A couple of years ago, when I was investigating the UK's safest ISP, a high-ranking employee at Virgin Media told me there was no NSA or GCHQ Internet traffic interception equipment hiding within Virgin's network. He also said that, in his opinion, not much traffic interception actually occurs in the UK. I asked him why. "Because they don't need to. They'll get your data when lands in the US."

While it's not true that all Internet traffic flows through the US, the addition of a few listening posts at key Internet exchanges in Europe (London, Paris) and some in Asia (Hong Kong, Tokyo) ensure that the NSA and its Five Eyes partners can analyse and ingest the majority of international Internet traffic.

To visualise the extent of the NSA's surveillance network, IXmaps has created a tool that shows you the location of suspected Internet traffic interception points. You can input your own traceroute data, or if you're in a rush you can just bring up traceroute data from people living in the same city or using the same ISP. Then click the "layers" button and turn on NSA, AT&T/Fairview, and Verizon/Stormbrew.

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