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NYPD can’t get story straight on evidence system backups

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EnlargeOliver Morris/Getty Images) In response to an Ars report on a court hearing in New York on October 17, New York City and New York City Police Department officials attempted to clarify the nature of the issues surrounding a lawsuit filed by the nonprofit legal defense organization Bronx Defenders. In response to reporting that the Property and Evidence Tracking System (PETS) ... Read More
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Facebook is failing to meet the burden of securing itself, security chief says

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Enlarge / Facebook Chief Security Officer Alex Stamos.Dave Maass Facebook is failing to live up to the responsibility it faces for adequately securing the vast amount of personal information it amasses, the social network's top security executive said in a leaked phone call with company employees. "The threats that we are facing have increased significantly and the quality of ... Read More
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$100 Internet bill became $340 for no reason, Frontier customer says

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Enlarge / Man posing for stock image is really surprised by the size of his bill.Getty Images | sturti Frontier Communications' purchase of FiOS and DSL networks from Verizon last year led to immediate problems for customers that took ... Read More
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Sonos One review: A better sounding Echo, with some holes left to fill

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EnlargeJeff Dunn Sonos is finally girding itself for the smart speaker wars. With Amazon’s Echo line of speakers proving a surprise hit and the usage of digital assistants growing generally, wireless speaker pioneer Sonos has launched its first voice-enabled speaker, the Sonos One. This $199 device taps into the same Alexa assistant that Amazon plants in its own hardware; at some point in 2018, Sonos says it will add support for the rival Google Assistant as well. It’s generally accepted t... Read More
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Google Fiber is now in Louisville thanks to new fiber deployment strategy

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EnlargeGoogle Fiber Google Fiber has begun taking signups in Louisville, Kentucky, after a tumultuous process involving lawsuits filed against the local government by incumbent broadband providers. AT&T and Charter both sued the metro government in Louisville and Jefferson County last year in an attempt to stop a new ordinance designed to give Google Fiber easier access to... Read More
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“Security concerns” lead to LTE service shutdown on Chinese Apple Watches

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Enlarge / You can now make calls from your Apple Watch without the phone nearby.Apple's struggles in China continue to mount, and this time, it's Apple's newest wearable causing problems for the company. According to a Wall Street Journal report, standalone wireless service available on certain models of the ... Read More
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Apple and GE partner to make industrial analytics iOS-accessible

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Enlarge / A wind turbine, May 17, 2016 in Melaune, Germany. (Photo by Florian Gaertner/Photothek via Getty Images)Getty Images GE and Apple announced a partnership today that will pave the way for putting utility analytics software Predix on iOS devices. The Predix software development kit will allow 77 utilities that work with GE to manage turbines, condensers, boiler feed pumps, and more from iPads and iPhones. That, GE says, will ensure “that real-time data is captured a... Read More
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NYPD database that tracks seized evidence (and cash) has no backup

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See-ming LeeAs part of an ongoing legal battle to get the New York City Police Department to track money police have grabbed in cash forfeitures, an attorney for the city told a Manhattan judge on October 17 that part of the reason the NYPD can't com... Read More
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Google Play apps with as many as 2.6m downloads added devices to botnet

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Enlargeportal gda Google has booted eight Android apps from its Play marketplace, even though the apps have been downloaded as many as 2.6 million times. The industry giant did so after researchers found that the apps add devices to a botnet and can perform denial-of-service attacks or other malicious actions. The stated purpose of the apps is to provide a skin that can modify the look of characters in the popu... Read More
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Another state lawmaker has proposed banning municipal broadband networks

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A state lawmaker in Michigan wants to prevent cities and towns from using any government funding to provide Internet service. Michigan Rep. Michele Hoitenga, a Republican from Manton, last week submitted a bill that says cities and towns "shall not use any federal, state, or local funds or loans to pay for the cost of providing qualified Internet service."Hoitenga is the chair of the Michigan House's Communications and Technology committee, which will consider the bill. ... Read More
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Federal watchdog tells Equifax—no $7.25 million IRS contract for you

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EnlargeBloomberg/Getty Images The Government Accountability Office (GAO) on Monday rejected Equifax's bid to retain its $7.25 million "taxpayer identity" contract—the one awarded days after Equifax announced it had exposed the Social Security numbers and other personal data of some 145 million people. At its core, the Equifax-IRS ordeal reveals the strangeness of the government contacting system. That's because Equifax wasn't even origina... Read More
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FCC’s DDoS claims will be investigated by government

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EnlargeGetty Images | Bill Hinton The US Government Accountability Office (GAO) will investigate DDoS attacks that allegedly targeted the Federal Communications Commission's system for accepting public comments on FCC Chairman Ajit Pai's plan to roll back net neutrality rules. Senator Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) and Rep. ... Read More
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The search for painless Internet privacy gets another boost with InvizBox 2

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Enlarge / Privacy comes in black or white, depending on your tastes.InvizBox InvizBox, a small Irish company focused on building Wi-Fi routers with built-in Internet privacy, has successfully crowdfunded the next generation of its eponymous privacy platform. The InvizBox 2 and InvizBox 2 Pro are more than an evolution from the team's original product, which was an ... Read More
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How the KRACK attack destroys nearly all Wi-Fi security

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Enlarge / Android users: your Wi-Fi combo can be set to all zeros.A paper by two Belgian researchers has cast more light on the vulnerabilities discovered in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II (WPA2) implementations on most, if not all, wireless networking devices that use the protocol. Dubbed "KRACK" (Key Reinstallation AttaCK), the attack "abuses design or implementation flaws in cryptographic protocols to reinstall an already-in-... Read More
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Supreme Court won’t nullify Google trademark in “genericide” challenge

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EnlargeLeon Neal/Getty Images The Supreme Court declined Monday to review a petition asserting that the term "google" has become too generic and therefore unqualified for trademark protection. Without comment, the justices set aside a legal challenge claiming that Google had fallen victim to "genericide" and should no longer be trademarked. A lawsuit claimed the word "google" had become synonymous with the term "s... Read More
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Supreme Court to decide if US has right to data on world’s servers

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Enlarge / Front row from left, US Supreme Court Associate Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Associate Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Associate Justice Clarence Thomas, and Associate Justice Stephen Breyer, back row from left, Associate Justice Elena Kagan, Associate Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Associate Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Associate Justice Neil Gorsuch pose for a group portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court.Alex Wong/Getty Images The S... Read More
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Millions of high-security crypto keys crippled by newly discovered flaw

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Enlarge / 750,000 Estonian cards that look like this use a 2048-bit RSA key that can be factored in a matter of days.Steve Jurvetson A crippling flaw in a widely used code library has fatally undermined the security of millions of encryption keys used in some of the highest-stakes settings, including national identity cards, software- and application-signing, and trusted platform modules p... Read More
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Severe flaw in WPA2 protocol leaves Wi-Fi traffic open to eavesdropping

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Aurich Lawson / ThinkstockAn air of unease set into the security circles on Sunday as they prepared for the disclosure of high-severe vulnerabilities in the Wi-Fi Protected Access II protocol that make it possible for attackers to eavesdrop Wi-Fi traffic passing between computers and access points. The proof-of-concept exploit is called KRACK, short for Key Reinstallation Attacks. The research has been a closely guarded secret for weeks ahead of a coordinated disclosure that's scheduled for 8 a.m. Monday. An advisory the US CERT recently distributed to about 100 o... Read More
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Australian defense firm was hacked and F-35 data stolen, DOD confirms

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EnlargeRoyal Australian Air Force The Australian Cyber Security Centre noted in its just-issued 2017 Threat Report that a small Australian defense company "with contracting links to national security projects" had been the victim of a cyber-espionage attack detected last November. "ACSC analysis confirmed that the adversary had sustained access to the network for an extended period of time and had stolen a significant amount of data," the ACSC report stated. "The ad... Read More
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After second bungle, IRS suspends Equifax’s “taxpayer identity” contract

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EnlargeBloomberg/Getty Images Last week we brought news that the Internal Revenue Service awarded a $7.2 million contract to Equifax to allow Equifax to "verify taxpayer identity." The contract was awarded days after Equifax announced it had exposed the personal data, including Social Security Numbers, of about 145 million people. The tax-collecting agency is now temporarily suspending the ... Read More
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Equifax rival TransUnion also sends site visitors to malicious pages

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Enlarge / One of the bad pages delivered after researcher Jérôme Segura visited transunioncentroamerica.comJérôme Segura Equifax isn't the only credit-reporting behemoth with a website redirecting visitors to fake Adobe Flash updates. A security researcher from AV provider Malwarebytes said transunioncentroamerica.com, a TransUnion site serving people in Central America, is also sending visitors to the fraudulent upd... Read More
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ISPs don’t want to tell the FCC exactly where they offer Internet service

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EnlargeGetty Images | jangeltun The Federal Communications Commission is considering whether it should collect more accurate data about broadband deployment in the US, but cable and telecom lobby groups are urging the FCC to maintain the status quo. Currently, the FCC's "... Read More
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FCC chair “refused” to rebuke Trump over threat to take NBC off the air

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Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC, on June 20, 2017.Getty Images | Bloomberg Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai still hasn't publicly responded to President Trump's call for NBC and other networks to have their FCC licenses challenged, and Democratic lawmakers are stepping up the pressure. Reps. Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-N.J.) and Mi... Read More
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Comcast found a way to raise other cable companies’ prices, rivals say

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ComcastComcast is increasingly making demands in TV programming contract negotiations that would force its smaller rivals to raise their minimum cable TV prices, a lobby group for small cable companies told the Federal Communications Commission yesterday. The American Cable Association (ACA), which represents nearly 800 small and medium-sized cable operators, asked the FCC to investigate the practice and prohibit it under its program access rules. The issue relates to Comcast's ownership of regional sports networks that are marketed under the... Read More
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Vivoactive 3 review: Garmin’s often the underdog, often the better choice

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The fight to make the best all-purpose smartwatch has never been tougher. There are a number of new wearables around the $300 mark that want to be your device of choice for both fitness and all-day wear. Since fitness is still the most practical use for wearables, most companies follow the same pattern: make the best fitness device for the money and supplement it with other smart features that would be most useful to the masses. Garmin's latest attempt to execute that plan is the $300 Vivoactive 3, a device poised to take on the $329 Apple Watch Series 3 (wi... Read More
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Equifax website hacked again, this time to redirect to fake Flash update

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EnlargeRandy Abrams In May credit reporting service Equifax's website was breached by attackers who eventually made off with social security numbers, names, and a dizzying amount of other details for some 145.5 million US consumers. For several hours on Wednesday the site was compromised again, this time to deliver fraudulent Adobe Flash updates, which when clicked, infected visitors' computers with adwar... Read More
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T-Mobile website bug apparently exploited to mine sensitive account data

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Enlarge / Fastest to hack, maybe?T-Mobile USA A bug disclosed and patched last week by T-Mobile in a Web application interface allowed anyone to query account information by simply providing a phone number. That includes customer e-mail addresses, device identification data, and even the answers to account security questions. The bug, which was patched after T-Mobile was ... Read More
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Kaspersky reportedly modified its AV to help Russia steal NSA secrets

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EnlargeKaspersky Lab The rapidly evolving story about Moscow-based Kaspersky Lab's involvement in helping Russian government hackers steal sensitive National Security Agency materials has taken yet another turn, as The Wall Street Journal reports that the assistance could have come only with the company's kno... Read More
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10Gbps cable Internet uploads and downloads coming in DOCSIS update

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EnlargeGetty Images | Pasieka Cable Internet with download and upload speeds of 10Gbps may eventually come to American homes thanks to a new specification for higher-speed, symmetrical data transmissions. The industry's R&D consortium, CableLabs, today announced that it has completed the Full Duplex Data Over Cable Service Interface Specification, an update to DOCSIS 3.1. The completion of the 10Gbps full duplex spec comes... Read More
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Jony Ive’s creativity pales compared to Apple’s App Store lawsuit defense

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EnlargeJony Ive, Apple's chief design officer, might want to take a lesson in creativity from Apple's lawyers. The iPhone is beautiful, and we all know that. But Apple's response to an App Store antitrust lawsuit brought by consumers may take your breath away. Cupertino argues that it should not have to face a class-action lawsuit that accuses the iPhone maker of overcharging consumers for iOS apps in the Apple App Store (a monopolistic environment, the suit claims). The core argument in Apple's defense is so creative that the Supreme Court on Tuesday asked President ... Read More
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Russian hackers reportedly used Kaspersky AV to search for NSA secrets

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EnlargeMikhail Deynekin Last week, The Wall Street Journal dropped a bombshell when it reported that Russian government hackers located confidential National Security Agency material improperly stored on an employee's home computer with help from Ka... Read More
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Trump’s DOJ tries to rebrand weakened encryption as “responsible encryption”

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Enlarge / The cyber.Getty Images | Photographer is my life A high-ranking Department of Justice official took aim at encryption of consumer products today, saying that encryption creates "law-free zones" and should be scaled back by Apple and other tech companies. Instead of encryption that can't be broken, tech companies should implement "responsible encryption" that allows law enforcement to access data, he said. "Warrant-proof encryption de... Read More
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Beware of sketchy iOS popups that want your Apple ID

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EnlargeFelix Krause One of iOS' rougher edges are the popups it produces on a regular but seemingly random basis. These popups require users to enter their Apple ID before they can install or update an app or complete some other mundane task. The prompts have grown so common most people don't think twice about them. Mobile app developer ... Read More
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FCC’s claim that one ISP counts as “competition” faces scrutiny in court

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EnlargeGetty Images | Dimitri Otis A Federal Communications Commission decision to eliminate price caps imposed on some business broadband providers should be struck down, advocacy groups told federal judges last week. The FCC failed to justify its claim that a market can be competitive even when there is only one Internet provider, th... Read More
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Criminals stole millions from E. Europe banks with ATM “overdraft” hack

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Enlarge / Using a network of ATMs and a hack of card management apps, cybercriminals made off with millions from E. European banks.Sean Gallagher Banks in several former Soviet states were hit with a wave of debit card fraud earlier this year that netted millions of dollars worth of cash. These bank heists relied on a combination of fraudulent bank accounts and hacking to turn nearly empty bank accounts into cash generating machines. In a report being released by TrustWave's SpiderLabs today, SpiderLabs researchers detailed the c... Read More
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Advertised broadband speeds should actually be realistic, UK tells ISPs

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Enlarge / BT Openreach van and a coil of yellow broadband fibre cable awaiting installation in February 2017 in London, England.Getty Images | Richard Baker The United Kingdom's telecom regulator, Ofcom, wants to strengthen an industry code that lets Internet customers exit contracts without penalty when broadband providers fall short of their advertised speeds. Ofcom's proposed changes would also improve the accuracy of speed information provided to customers before they sign up fo... Read More
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1-4-8-12-28: Glitch causes same lottery numbers to hit multiple times in Arizona

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Enlarge / Note—this isn't the Arizona machine in question.Science & Society Picture Library/Getty Images Arizona Lottery officials are investigating what they described on their website as "technical difficulties" surrounding one of their random number generators used to pick the winning numbers for many of the state's lottery games. As it turns out, the machine generated the same winning numbers in multiple drawings for three different games. State officials haven't offered an explanation, but they said th... Read More
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Alphabet’s Internet balloons will try to restore cell service in Puerto Rico

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Enlarge / Project Loon balloons.Alphabet The Alphabet division that's building a balloon-powered Internet service has obtained an experimental license "to help provide emergency cellular service in Puerto Rico," the Federal Communications Commission announced Saturday. But it's not clear when—or if—the company will be able to provide service to the hurricane-damaged island, as the FCC license is just one step in the process. A... Read More
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Puerto Rico in talks with Tesla for batteries; Sonnen to help build microgrids

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Enlarge / SAN ISIDRO, PUERTO RICO - OCTOBER 07: People sit in their home lit by a single donated solar lamp more than two weeks after Hurricane Maria hit the island. (Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images)Getty Images Tesla CEO Elon Musk pledged to send hundreds of energy-storing batteries to Puerto Rico to help the island recover from the devastating hurricane that took all of the island’s 3.4 million residents offline. Although no numbers have been announced yet—it's unclear exactly how many batteries Tesla will send, ... Read More
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Head, limbs of Kim Wall found, sinking story of suspect in submarine murder

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Enlarge / Peter Madsen, inventor and submarine and space enthusiast, after his rescue from the waters off Copenhagen. It appears he sank his sub to destroy evidence of the murder of his passenger.BAX LINDHARDT/AFP/Getty Images Dutch investigators have announced that divers discovered bags containing the head, arms, legs and clothing of Kim Wall, the reporter who disappeared while aboard the crowdfunded submarine UC3 N... Read More
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Google Fiber is losing interest in old-school TV

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Enlarge / A Google Fiber installation box in Kansas City, Kansas.Julie Denesha/Bloomberg via Getty Images Google Fiber won't be offering packages of traditional television service in the future. In a recent blog post, the company has said it's focusing on its main goal—"to bring superfast Internet to more people." When Fiber gets to its newest markets in Louisville and San Antonio, it's going to just off... Read More
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kthxbai: AOL Instant Messenger is being turned off on December 15th

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EnlargeK W Reinsch If you still have an AOL Instant Messenger account, now might be a good time to start saying your goodbyes. In ten weeks—the morning of December 15th to be precise—AIM will be shut down. The writing has been on the wall for some time—in March, AIM stopped supporting MD5 authentication, cutting off many third-party IM clients (like Adium) from accessing the service. Now t... Read More
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The cases for and against claims Kaspersky helped steal secret NSA secrets

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EnlargeMikhail Deynekin The Wall Street Journal just published an incendiary article that says hackers working for the Russian government stole confidential material from an NSA contractor's home computer. The hackers did so, according to the W... Read More
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SEC hack came as internal security team begged for funding

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Somebody didn't hear that whistle blowing.Securities and Exchange Commission Office of the Whistleblower Last month, the Securities and Exchange Commission revealed a 2016 breach of a test system that allowed an unknown party to get access to unpublished corporate information in the SEC's Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) system. The breach potentially allowed the bad actors to profit from trades based on the information. SEC Chairman Ja... Read More
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SpaceX and OneWeb broadband satellites raise fears about space debris

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OneWebThousands of new satellites are expected to be launched into low-Earth orbit in the coming years to provide high-speed broadband, and the projects have caused concern for experts and government officials who worry about a worsening space debris problem. As the Federal Communications Commission considers satellite applications from SpaceX, OneWeb, Boeing, and others, two US senators asked the FCC to coordinate with other agencies to prevent space debris. "As the Co... Read More
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Danish police find snuff images on computer tied to submarine murder suspect

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Enlarge / The UC3 Nautilus in early sea trials in 2008.Frumperino Copenhagen prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen announced in a court hearing today that "images" of the torture, decapitation, and burning of a woman were found on a computer hard drive at RML Spacelab, the organization devoted to building a manned suborbital rocket le... Read More
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Body Labs, a 3D human body modeling startup, is now part of Amazon

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[embedded content] YouTube, Body Labs Amazon wants to know your body better, so the online retailer bought Body Labs, and New York-based startup that specializes in 3D body scanning and modeling software for fashion and gaming applications. Body Labs confirmed the deal on its website, but details of the acquisition have not been disclosed. A TechCrunch report estimates Amazon bought the startup for anywhere between $50 million and $70 million. Multiple videos and demos on the Body Labs websi... Read More
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Yahoo says all 3 billion accounts were compromised in 2013 hack

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(credit: Randy Stewart / Flickr) Yahoo said a major security breach in 2013 compromised all three billion accounts the company maintained, a three-fold increase over the estimate it disclosed previously. The revelation, contained in an updated page about the 2013 hack, is the result of new information and the forensic analysis of an unnamed security consultant. Previously, Yahoo officials said about one billion accounts were compromised. With Yahoo maintaining roughly three billion accounts at the... Read More
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IRS awards Equifax $7.25M “taxpayer identity” contract weeks after hack

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EnlargeSmith Collection Gado/Getty Images Just because your resume says you exposed the personal data, including Social Security numbers, of some 143 million Americans while practicing unsafe security, it doesn't mean you can't score a multi-million dollar contract with the Internal Revenue Service. That's the case even if your name is Equifax and you're being contracted by the IRS to "verify taxpayer identity" to combat fraud. The $7.25 million no-bid ... Read More
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Code-execution flaws threaten users of routers, Linux, and other OSes

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EnlargeChristiaan Colen Google researchers have discovered at least three software bugs in a widely used software package that may allow hackers to execute malicious code on vulnerable devices running Linux, FreeBSD, OpenBSD, NetBSD, and macOS, as well as proprietary firmware. Dnsmasq, as the package is known, provides code that makes it easier for networked device... Read More
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Screwdriving: Many Bluetooth sex toys leave users vulnerable

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EnlargeMichael Ochs Archives/Getty Images Technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) have allowed an increasing number of devices to be controlled by mobile devices. But as Ars has reported in the past, BLE devices also can be a privacy and security risk. And as Alex Lomas ... Read More
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Walmart buys Parcel in latest attempt to battle Amazon delivery machine

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EnlargeWalmart Walmart is trying to beat Amazon at its own game and the company's latest acquisition will give it a better shot at that, at least in the New York City area. Walmart announced it has acquired Parcel, a Brooklyn-based delivery company that specializes in scheduled and same-day package delivery of traditional items as well as... Read More
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As US launches DDoS attacks, N. Korea gets more bandwidth—from Russia

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Enlarge / The North Korean border post for the Friendship Bridge, the rail link connecting North Korea to Russia. It now carries an Internet connection for North Korea to the rest of the world as well.DPRK KCNA As the US reportedly conducts a denial-of-service attack against North Korea's access to the Internet, the regime of Kim Jong Un has gained another connection to help a... Read More
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Google admits citing 4chan to spread fake Vegas shooter news

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EnlargeMadison Scott-Clary / Flickr ... Read More
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A series of delays and major errors led to massive Equifax breach

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Enlarge / A monitor displays Equifax Inc. signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York on Friday, September 15, 2017.Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images A series of costly delays and crucial errors caused Equifax to remain unprotected for months against one of the most severe Web application vulnerabilities in years, the former CEO for the credit reporting service said in written testimony in... Read More
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T-Mobile agrees to stop claiming its network is faster than Verizon’s

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Enlarge / A disputed T-Mobile advertising claim.T-Mobile USA T-Mobile USA has agreed to stop claiming its 4G LTE network is faster than Verizon Wireless', after the advertising industry's self-regulation body agreed with Verizon that T-Mobile's claim was unsupported. The National Advertising Division (NAD) "recommended T-Mobile discontinue claims that it has the fastest 4G LTE network" and "also recommended that T-Mobile discontinu... Read More
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Supreme Court’s new term: Surveillance, hacking, sports betting—and cake, too

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Enlarge / Front row from left, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Justice Clarence Thomas, and Justice Stephen Breyer, back row from left, Justice Elena Kagan, Justice Samuel Alito Jr., Justice Sonia Sotomayor, and Justice Neil Gorsuch pose for a group portrait in the East Conference Room of the Supreme Court on June 1, 2017 in Washington, DC.Alex Wong/Getty Images The Supreme Court's 2017-2018 term begins today, and there are plenty of high-interest case... Read More
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Tesla says world’s largest battery installation is halfway done

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EnlargeAt a Jamestown, South Australia event on Friday, Tesla CEO Elon Musk announced that the company was halfway done installing a 100MW/129MWh utility-grade battery bank near the site of the 100MW Hornsdale Wind Farm. The battery bank will be the largest grid-tied system in the world when it’s complete. (Currently, the ... Read More
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In anti-net neutrality push, FCC downplays data that contradicts narrative

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Enlarge / FCC Chairman Ajit Pai listens during a Senate Appropriations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, DC on June 20, 2017.In his ongoing push to get rid of net neutrality rules, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai claimed this month that the rules caused capital investment in wireless networks to drop in 2016. But in doing so, Pai hasn't addressed data from earlier years that doesn't fit his anti-net neutrality narrative. "The most concerning emerging issue we are seeing is that investment in wireless networks was down signi... Read More
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An alarming number of Macs remain vulnerable to stealthy firmware hacks

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EnlargeAutobahn An alarming number of Macs remain vulnerable to known exploits that completely undermine their security and are almost impossible to detect or fix even after receiving all security updates available from Apple, a comprehensive study released Friday has concluded. The exposure results from known vulnerabilities that remain in the Extensible Firmware Interface, or EFI, which is the software located on a ... Read More
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FCC chief Ajit Pai wants Apple to stop disabling FM radio chips in iPhones

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EnlargeSamuel Axon Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai on Thursday issued a public statement requesting that Apple activate the disabled FM radio chips within its iPhones. Pai made his appeal in the wake of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria, which have wreaked havoc on communities across the US and beyond in recent weeks. The FCC chief’s framed the acti... Read More
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AT&T’s 10Mbps wireless replacement for slow DSL comes to nine more states

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Parts of 18 states in AT&T's 21-state wireline footprint are getting a wireless home Internet option.AT&T AT&T has brought wireless home Internet to nine more states, offering rural and underserved customers a slightly faster replacement for old DSL lines. "Our Fixed Wireless Internet service delivers a home Internet connection with download speeds of at least 10Mbps and upload speeds of at least 1Mbps," AT&T said in an announcement yesterday. "The connection comes from a wireless tower to a fixed antenna on customers’ homes or businesses. This is an efficient wa... Read More
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New Equifax CEO offers “sincere and total apology” to consumers

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EnlargeSmith Collection/Gado via Getty Images Equifax's new CEO is very sorry. "On behalf of Equifax, I want to express my sincere and total apology to every consumer affected by our recent data breach," Paulino do Rego Barros Jr. wrote in an open letter published by the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday afternoon. "We didn’t live up to expectations." ... Read More
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Internet Explorer bug leaks whatever you type in the address bar

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Manuel CaballeroThere's a bug in the latest version of Internet Explorer that leaks the addresses, search terms, or any other text typed into the address bar. The bug allows any currently visited website to view any text entered into the address bar as soon as the user hits enter. The technique can expose sensitive information a user didn't intend to be viewed by remote websites, including the Web address the user is about to visit. The hack can also expose search queries, since IE allows them to be typed into the address bar and then retrieved from Bing or other search s... Read More
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Mug shot website must face class-action for charging to remove photos

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Enlarge / Ars Creative Director Aurich Lawson is looking for $15k apiece to have these Ars authors' faces removed from this group mug shot.Aurich Lawson / Getty Websites that publish mug shots and charge for their removal have defeated one lawsuit after the other, claiming First Amendment protection. But that defense to this shady industry may be about to burst. That's because a federal judge, ruling on a lawsuit by several arrestees suing Mughshots.com, just approved a novel class-action. It's one... Read More
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Cox inches closer to nationwide data caps with move into California

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"Perhaps you should switch to another cable company… oh, that's right, we're the only one in town."Viacom Cox has started charging overage fees to customers who exceed their data limits in California, bringing the nation's third largest cable company a bit closer to nationwide deployment of data caps. Previously, Cox's California customers technically had monthly caps, but there was no enforcement of overage fees. Moving forward, Cox subscribers in the state will pay $10 for each additional block of 50GB after they pass the monthly cap. ... Read More
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Review: watchOS 4 breathes new life into fitness side of the Apple Watch

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EnlargeWatchOS 4 officially became available to all Apple Watch owners last week even if its release was overshadowed by the hype surrounding the Series 3 Apple Watch. The newest software update for Apple's wearable brings a decent amount of change, but it's not enough to make the Apple Watch feel like an entirely new machine. Some of the biggest new additions in watchOS 4 include a new vertical Dock, new Siri and Toy Story watch faces, a slew of new heart rate monitor calculations, and new Music and News apps. While watchOS 4 is available for all Apple Watch models, I primar... Read More
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Lyft adds Ford to its every-growing list of partners

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EnlargeFord On Wednesday morning, Ford revealed that it is the latest OEM to partner with Lyft as it prepares to put self-driving cars on the roads in a few short years. In a post on Medium, Ford's VP of Autonomous Vehicles and Electrification Sherif Marakby explained that the Blue ... Read More
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One Tinder user’s data request turned into 800 pages of probing info

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Enlarge / This image is from Tinder's "Anywhere" service, which doesn't require a smartphone to use. Meaning, even more people will be able to cough up their data to the popular dating service.Tinder In March of this year, German reporter Judith Duportail acted upon her rights, thanks to the European Union's data protection directive, to request a copy of all personal data capture... Read More
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In a first, Android apps abuse serious “Dirty Cow” bug to backdoor phones

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Enlarge / Cow.Ian Barbour A serious vulnerability that remains unfixed in many Android devices is under active exploit, marking the first known time real-world attackers have used it to bypass key security protections built in to the mobile operating system. Dirty Cow, as the vulnerability has been dubbed, ... Read More
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FCC declares that USA’s wireless competition problem has been solved

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EnlargeGetty Images | Yagi Studio The Federal Communications Commission today declared that there is "effective competition" in the United States' mobile wireless market, a finding that could influence how the FCC regulates wireless carriers and whether it approves mergers such as a possible combination of T-Mobile USA and Sprint. The FCC is required to report annually on the state of wireless competition, but during each year of the Obama administration it declined to make a finding on whether the market b... Read More
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Twitter explains why Trump can use site as venue for violence, hate

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EnlargeApparently, it's totally OK to take to Twitter and declare that you're going to attack an entire country or assassinate its leader. According to Twitter, that's true if you're US President Donald Trump, even if the tweets are a violation of the micro-blogging platform's terms of service. Ever since Trump took office in January, the Internet has been wondering how San Francisco-based Twitter could allow the Tweeting President to routinely violate "The Twitter Rules." The latest came when Tru... Read More
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As N. Korea threatens nuclear missile test, are US ballistic defenses ready?

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Sitrep #2: Facing down North Korea's ballistic missile threat. After suffering yet another round of sanctions, as well as a provocative UN speech and further sanctions from President Donald Trump, North Korea's leaders have hinted that more ballistic missile and nuclear weapons tests are to come—including a possible atmospheric nuclear test launched on a ballistic missile. Given the other antics that North Korea has apparently engaged in—including  fake te... Read More
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Password-theft 0day imperils users of High Sierra and earlier macOS versions

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Koichi TaniguchiThere's a vulnerability in High Sierra and earlier versions of macOS that allows rogue applications to steal plaintext passwords stored in the Mac keychain, a security researcher said Monday. That's the same day the widely anticipated update was released. The Mac keychain is a digital vault of sorts that stores passwords and cryptographic keys. Apple engineers have designed it so that installed applications can't access its contents without the user entering a master password. A weakness in the keychain, however, allows rogue apps to steal every plaintext password it stores wi... Read More
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Exxon, under pressure from investors, prosecutors, commits to methane reduction

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Enlarge / FORT WORTH, Texas: The Barnett Shale Gas field at dusk, February 27, 2006. XTO Energy Inc. is extracting natural gas at this facility.J.G. Domke/Bloomberg via Getty Images On Monday, oil and gas giant ExxonMobil announced that it would voluntarily ... Read More
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CCleaner backdoor infecting millions delivered mystery payload to 40 PCs

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EnlargeWiggy! At least 40 PCs infected by a backdoored version of the CCleaner disk-maintenance utility received an advanced second-stage payload that researchers are still scrambling to understand, officials from CCleaner's parent company said. The 40 PCs, belonging to 12 technology companies, including Samsung, Asus, Fujitsu, Sony and Intel, is double the number ... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 7
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macOS 10.13 High Sierra: The Ars Technica review

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Enlarge / High Sierra wallpaper. The low-hanging clouds in the background may or may not be related to the name.Apple If you've felt like the last few macOS releases have been a little light, High Sierra won't change your mind. That's not because there's nothing here but because most of Apple's development work this time around went into under-the-hood additions and updates to foundational technologies. Changing ... Read More
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Never mind the Elon—the forecast isn’t that spooky for AI in business

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Enlarge / Space Imaging's IKONOS satellite detected this jack-o-lantern corn maze in Bell County, Kentucky. Satellite images are being paired with other data to find a totally different sort of pattern—predicting crop yields and failures.Space Imaging/Getty Images Despite Elon Musk's warnings this summer, there's not a whole lot of reason to lose any sleep worrying about Skynet and the Terminator. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is far from becoming ... Read More
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Jared Kushner conducted White House business with personal e-mail

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Enlarge / U.S. President Donald Trump, at right, with son-in-law and senior advisor Jared Kushner at a recent White House meeting.Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images Don't expect President Donald Trump to be tweeting "Crooked Jared" anytime soon. Trump called his presidential rival, Hillary Clinton, "Crooked Hillary" during the presidential campaign and afterward because she used private e-mail to conduct government affairs when she was secretary of state. The Justice Department did not press charges against Clinton, although Trump ... Read More
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Intel Core i9-7960X review: It beats Threadripper, but for a price

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EnlargeMark Walton Whether the Core i9-7960X was always part of Intel's plans for the high-end desktop (HEDT), or whether it was haphazardly rushed to market to combat AMD's bullish Threadripper platform, one thing is clear: Intel once again has the fastest slice of silicon on the market. With 16 cores and 32 threads, matching AMD's flagship ... Read More
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Justice Department goes nuclear on Google in search warrant fight

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Enlarge / Close-up of cables and LED lights in the data center of T-Systems, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom AG.Thomas Trutschel/Getty Images The Justice Department is demanding that a federal judge sanction Google for failing to abide by court orders to turn over data tied to 22 e-mail accounts. ... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 13
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Is beaming down in Star Trek a death sentence?

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EnlargeIn the 2009 movie Star Trek, Captain Kirk and Sulu plummeted down toward the planet Vulcan without a parachute. “Beam us up, beam us up!” Kirk shouted in desperation. Then at the last second, after a tense scene of Chekov running top speed to the transporter room, their lives were saved moments before they hit the doomed planet’s rocky surface. <a href="https://cdn.arstechnica.net/wp-content/uploads/2017/08/Suicide-Booth.gif" class="enlarge" data-heig... Read More
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In spectacular fail, Adobe security team posts private PGP key on blog

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Enlarge / Um, yes, that was Adobe PSIRT's private PGP key on their website. Best get their new public key.Having some transparency about security problems with software is great, but Adobe's Product Security Incident Response Team (PSIRT) took that transparency a little too far today when a member of the team posted the PGP keys for PSIRT's e-mail account—both the public and the private keys. The keys have since been taken down, and a ... Read More
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Trade Commission decision finds solar manufacturers harmed by imports

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Enlarge / An employee inspects photovoltaic cells following electrical contact soldering during manufacture at Solarworld AG in Freiberg, Germany, in July 2016.Martin Leissl/Bloomberg via Getty Images On Friday, the International Trade Commission (ITC) sided with bankrupt solar panel manufacturer... Read More
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Verizon backtracks—but only slightly—in plan to kick customers off network

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EnlargeVerizon Verizon Wireless is giving a reprieve to some rural customers who are scheduled to be booted off their service plans, but only in cases when customers have no other options for cellular service. Verizon recently notified 8,500 customers in 13 states that they will be disconnected on October ... Read More
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Fitbit Ionic review: Meet the $300 fitness-focused smartwatch

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EnlargeValentina Palladino Fitbit has a lot riding on its new $300 Ionic smartwatch. Analyst reports suggest the smartwatch category will continue to grow over the next few years, and Apple and Google already have well-established devices and operating systems. Being one of the top players in the wearables game, Fitbit is unlikely to build a device that runs Android Wear (much less watchOS), so it designs its own devices from the ... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 8
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Report: T-Mobile, Sprint finally figuring out this merger thing

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EnlargeT-Mobile USA and Sprint are getting further along in merger talks and are "close to agreeing [to] tentative terms on a deal," Reuters reported today, citing anonymous sources. A merger would join the third and fourth larg... Read More
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Machine-learning cloud platforms get to work

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EnlargeGetty Images The machine-learning smarts that help Google know what’s in a photo and let Amazon’s Alexa carry on a conversation are getting a real job. “ML” platforms from vendors like Amazon, Google, IBM, Microsoft, and others can automate business processes on a previously impossible scale and free up... Read More
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Verizon kicking people off network for using just a few gigabytes a month

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EnlargeGetty Images | Spencer Platt When Verizon Wireless started disconnecting rural customers for using too much data, the nation's largest wireless carrier described them as extremely heavy data users who were costing the company money. When the disconnections began in June, ... Read More
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CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it first appeared

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The recent CCleaner malware outbreak is much worse than it initially appeared, according to newly unearthed evidence. That evidence shows that the CCleaner malware infected at least 20 computers from a carefully selected list of high-profile technology companies with a mysterious payload. Talos Previously, researchers found no evidence that any of the computers infected by t... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 10
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1shop0.827building, retail store, shop
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SEC Chairman reveals financial reporting system was hacked

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EnlargeBrendan Smialowski/Getty Images In a statement published on the Securities and Exchange Commission's website yesterday, SEC Chairman Jay Clayton revealed that the Electronic Data Gathering, Analysis, and Retrieval (EDGAR) s... Read More
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If Bill Gates really thinks ctrl-alt-del was a mistake, he should have fixed it himself

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An IBM keyboard signed by ctrl-alt-del inventor, David BradleyRoss Grady Once again, Bill Gates has bemoaned the creation of the ctrl-alt-del shortcut. Talking at Bloomberg Global Business Forum, Gates reiterates that he wishes IBM had created a dedicated button for the feature. We're republishing this piece from 2013, because we still ... Read More
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Ajit Pai’s plan to lower broadband standards is “crazy,” FCC Democrat says

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Enlarge / FCC members Jessica Rosenworcel and Ajit Pai at INTX: The Internet & Television Expo in Chicago, Illinois, US, on Wednesday, May 6, 2015.Getty Images | Bloomberg The Federal Communications Commission chairman's proposal that could lower the country's broadband standard is "crazy" and does nothing to solve the United States' broadband accessibility problems, a Democratic FCC commissioner said yesterday. The FCC is "proposing to lower US broadband standard from 25 to 10Mbps," FCC Commissioner Jessica Rose... Read More
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Number of Items Identified: 8
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Science-in-progress: Did the Bullet Cluster withstand scrutiny?

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Enlarge / Behold, the Bullet Cluster.NASA Dark matter was first proposed to explain the speed at which stars orbit the center of their galaxies. Ever since, the search for other lines of evidence for dark matter has been an interesting one. One of the biggest successes appeared to be a collision of galaxy clusters called the... Read More
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Massive Equifax hack reportedly started 4 months before it was detected

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Enlarge / A monitor displays Equifax Inc. signage on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York, US, on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017.Michael Nagle/Bloomberg via Getty Images Hackers behind the massive Equifax data breach began their attack no later than early March, more than four months before company officials discovered the intrusion, according to a report published Wednesday by the Wall Stree... Read More