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14% of Android App Privacy Policies Contain Contradictions About Data Collection

Tue, 2020-01-21 18:50
A large number of Android mobile apps listed on the official Google Play Store contain self-contradictory language in their privacy policies in regards to data collection practices. From a report: In an academic study published last year, researchers created a tool named PolicyLint that analyzed the language used in the privacy policies of 11,430 Play Store apps. They found that 14.2% (1,618 apps) contained a privacy policy with logical contradicting statements about data collection. Examples include privacy policies that stated in one section that they do not collect personal data, only to contradict themselves in subsequent sections, where they state they collect emails or customer names -- which are clearly personally-idenfiable information. While the research team could not determine the app maker's intent in using contradicting statements in their privacy policy, researchers feel the primary purpose was to mislead users if they ever took the time to read the policies.

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Categories: Linux fréttir

Federal Workers Kept Clicking on Tech Jobs Months After Shutdown

Tue, 2020-01-21 18:10
The U.S. government's longest shutdown to date ended a year ago, but the memory may have kept lingering in the minds of federal workers looking for greener pastures in the technology world. From a report: A report released Tuesday by recruiting website Indeed compared clicks by federal employees on private tech jobs against clicks by users not on the federal payroll. That comparison found federal employees' clicks on such jobs were up on average almost 11% in the first 11 months of 2019 compared with 2017. Clicks from the general public fell 7.8% in the same period. The gap is more dramatic between tech workers in the government and private sector. Clicks by federal tech employees on those private-sector jobs were up 6.1% from January 2017 as of November, while clicks from private-sector tech employees fell 21% in the same period. Potential explanations for the divide included advantages for private-sector jobs like higher salaries and the ability to work remotely. Certain tech companies pay an almost 50% premium compared to the federal government, Indeed said.

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Using 'Legacy' Sonos Devices With Modern Ones Will Prevent Any Future Software Updates

Tue, 2020-01-21 17:30
Sonos has announced that come May 2020, a number of its older products will no longer receive software updates. From a report: That's fair enough, especially considering some of the devices were introduced as far back as 2005. What's likely to raise the heckles of affected Sonos customers, though, is that should they choose to continue using their legacy products, they won't be able to get updates for their contemporary ones. The reason this is the case is that a multi-speaker Sonos system requires all devices to operate on the same software and older products "do not have enough memory or processing power to sustain future innovation." Thus, as Sonos explains in an email to customers, "If modern products remain connected to legacy products after May, they also will not receive software updates and new features."

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Glenn Greenwald Charged With Cybercrimes in Brazil

Tue, 2020-01-21 16:50
Federal prosecutors in Brazil on Tuesday charged the American journalist Glenn Greenwald with cybercrimes for his role in the spreading of cellphone messages that have embarrassed prosecutors and tarnished the image of an anti-corruption task force. The New York Times: In a criminal complaint made public on Tuesday, prosecutors in the capital, Brasilia, accused Mr. Greenwald of being part of a "criminal organization" that hacked into the cellphones of several prosecutors and other public officials last year. The Intercept Brazil, a news organization Mr. Greenwald co-founded, has published several stories based on a trove of leaked messages he received last year.

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Microsoft is Testing Ads in WordPad in Windows 10

Tue, 2020-01-21 16:14
BetaNews: Over the years Microsoft has taken numerous controversial decisions with Windows 10, including installing sponsored apps, using the Start menu to advertise apps it thinks you might be interested in, and -- of course -- the various forms of data-collecting telemetry. Now it has been discovered that more ads could be on their way. A Windows researcher has uncovered ads in WordPad encouraging people to try out Word, Excel and PowerPoint online. News of the ads was shared on Twitter by Rafael Rivera, and it was met with a mixture of indignation and reluctant acceptance. Reaction was mixed because while some people saw little wrong with Microsoft advertising a free service rather than trying to encourage people to part with money, there was still a widespread feeling that it was an invasive move.

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Macron and Trump Declare Truce in Digital Tax Dispute

Tue, 2020-01-21 15:22
French President Emmanuel Macron said on Monday he had a "great discussion" with U.S. President Donald Trump over a digital tax planned by Paris and said the two countries would work together to avoid a rise in tariffs. From a report: The two leaders agreed to the truce after Paris offered to suspend down payments for this year's digital tax and Washington promised to keep negotiating toward a solution rather than acting on a tariff threat, French sources said. Specifically, Macron and Trump agreed to hold off on a potential tariff war until the end of 2020, a French diplomatic source said, and to push ahead with broader negotiations at the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development to rewrite the rules of international taxation during that period. "They agreed to give a chance to negotiations until the end of the year," the source said. "During that time period, there won't be successive tariffs." France decided in July to apply a 3% levy on revenue from digital services earned in France by companies with revenues of more than 25 million euros ($28 million) in France and 750 million euros worldwide.

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Uber Tests a Feature That Lets Some California Drivers Set Fares

Tue, 2020-01-21 14:41
Uber is testing a new feature that gives some drivers in California the ability to set their fares, the latest in a series of moves to give them more autonomy in response to the state's new gig-economy law. From a report: Starting Tuesday morning, drivers who ferry passengers from airports in Santa Barbara, Palm Springs and Sacramento can charge up to five times the fare Uber sets on a ride, according to a person involved in developing the feature. Uber confirmed in an emailed statement that it is doing an "initial test" that "would give drivers more control over the rates they charge riders." The ride-hailing giant has made many changes to the way it works in response to California's passage of Assembly Bill 5. The law requires companies to treat workers as employees -- eligible for sick days and other benefits -- rather than independent contractors if they are controlled by their employer and contribute to its usual course of business.

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Apple Dropped Plan for Encrypting Backups After FBI Complained

Tue, 2020-01-21 14:00
Apple dropped plans to let iPhone users fully encrypt backups of their devices in the company's iCloud service after the FBI complained that the move would harm investigations, Reuters reported on Tuesday, citing six sources familiar with the matter. From the report: The tech giant's reversal, about two years ago, has not previously been reported. It shows how much Apple has been willing to help U.S. law enforcement and intelligence agencies, despite taking a harder line in high-profile legal disputes with the government and casting itself as a defender of its customers' information. The long-running tug of war between investigators' concerns about security and tech companies' desire for user privacy moved back into the public spotlight last week, as U.S. Attorney General William Barr took the rare step of publicly calling on Apple to unlock two iPhones used by a Saudi Air Force officer who shot dead three Americans at a Pensacola, Florida naval base last month. U.S. President Donald Trump piled on, accusing Apple on Twitter of refusing to unlock phones used by "killers, drug dealers and other violent criminal elements." Republican and Democratic senators sounded a similar theme in a December hearing, threatening legislation against end-to-end encryption, citing unrecoverable evidence of crimes against children. Apple did in fact did turn over the shooter's iCloud backups in the Pensacola case, and said it rejected the characterization that it "has not provided substantive assistance." Behind the scenes, Apple has provided the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation with more sweeping help, not related to any specific probe.

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Uber Sells Food Delivery Business in India To Local Rival Zomato

Tue, 2020-01-21 13:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report: Uber said on late Tuesday that it has sold its food delivery business, Uber Eats, in India to local rival Zomato as the American ride-hailing giant races to shed lossmaking operations to become profitable by next year. As part of the deal, Uber would own 9.99% of Zomato and its Eats users would become part of the Indian company, the two loss-making firms said. The deal valued Uber Eats' India business between $160 million and $200 million, two people familiar with the matter told TechCrunch. TechCrunch reported last month that the two were in advanced stages of talks for a deal. Indian newspaper Times of India first signaled about the two companies' talks in November. Satish Meena, an analyst at Forrester, told TechCrunch that despite the Uber deal, Zomato still lags local rival Swiggy, which services more number of orders each day. Backed by Prosus Ventures, Swiggy raised $1 billion in late 2018.

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LastPass Is In the Midst of a Major Outage

Tue, 2020-01-21 10:00
LastPass has been suffering from a major outage as users are reporting being unable to log into their accounts and autofill passwords. What's odd is the company insists that everything is working properly, even though there's an unusually high number of users reporting issues. ZDNet reports: User reports about login issues have been flooding Twitter, but also the company's forum, Reddit, and DownDetector. Users are reporting receiving the following error when trying to log in: "An error has occurred while contacting the LastPass server. Please try again later." Both home and enterprise users are impacted. According to reports, LastPass' support staff has been either non-responsive, or denying reports of any technical issue happening at all. Despite issues being reported as far back as three days, the company has not updated its status page to reflect the incident, nor do they provided any type of explanation or useful help to their userbase. According to multiple user on Twitter, the problems appear to impact only users with LastPass accounts dating to 2014, or prior. On DownDetector, a company spokesperson said the company was still investigating the incident, stating that there are no glaring issues with its servers -- which suggests the roots of this outage might be in a software component. "We are aware of and actively investigating reports from some LastPass customers who are experiencing issues and receiving errors when attempting to log in. At this time no service issues have been identified." Contacted by ZDNet, the company described the outage as "an isolated issue with limited impact" and said that "engineers are working to resolve the issue."

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New Research Provides Evidence of Strong Early Magnetic Field Around Earth

Tue, 2020-01-21 07:00
New research from the University of Rochester provides evidence that the magnetic field that first formed around Earth was even stronger than scientists previously believed. The research, published in the journal PNAS, will help scientists draw conclusions about the sustainability of Earth's magnetic shield and whether or not there are other planets in the solar system with the conditions necessary to harbor life. Phys.Org reports: Using new paleomagnetic, electron microscope, geochemical, and paleointensity data, the researchers dated and analyzed zircon crystals -- the oldest known terrestrial materials -- collected from sites in Australia. The zircons, which are about two-tenths of a millimeter, contain even smaller magnetic particles that lock in the magnetization of the earth at the time the zircons were formed. Previous research by [John Tarduno, Professor of Earth and Environmental Sciences and Dean of Research for Arts, Sciences, and Engineering at Rochester] found that Earth's magnetic field is at least 4.2 billion years old and has existed for nearly as long as the planet. Earth's inner core, on the other hand, is a relatively recent addition: it formed only about 565 million years ago, according to research published by Tarduno and his colleagues earlier this year. While the researchers initially believed Earth's early magnetic field had a weak intensity, the new zircon data suggests a stronger field. But, because the inner core had not yet formed, the strong field that originally developed 4 billion years ago must have been powered by a different mechanism. "We think that mechanism is chemical precipitation of magnesium oxide within Earth," Tarduno says. The magnesium oxide was likely dissolved by extreme heat related to the giant impact that formed Earth's moon. As the inside of Earth cooled, magnesium oxide could precipitate out, driving convection and the geodynamo. The researchers believe inner Earth eventually exhausted the magnesium oxide source to the point that the magnetic field almost completely collapsed 565 million years ago. But the formation of the inner core provided a new source to power the geodynamo and the planetary magnetic shield Earth has today.

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A Newly-Discovered Part of Our Immune System Could Be Harnessed To Treat All Cancers, Say Scientists.

Tue, 2020-01-21 03:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from the BBC: The Cardiff University team discovered a method of killing prostate, breast, lung and other cancers in lab tests. The findings, published in Nature Immunology, have not been tested in patients, but the researchers say they have "enormous potential." Our immune system is our body's natural defense against infection, but it also attacks cancerous cells. The scientists were looking for "unconventional" and previously undiscovered ways the immune system naturally attacks tumors. What they found was a T-cell inside people's blood. This is an immune cell that can scan the body to assess whether there is a threat that needs to be eliminated. The difference is this one could attack a wide range of cancers. T-cells have "receptors" on their surface that allow them to "see" at a chemical level. The Cardiff team discovered a T-cell and its receptor that could find and kill a wide range of cancerous cells in the lab including lung, skin, blood, colon, breast, bone, prostate, ovarian, kidney and cervical cancer cells. Crucially, it left normal tissues untouched. Exactly how it does this is still being explored. This particular T-cell receptor interacts with a molecule called MR1, which is on the surface of every cell in the human body. It is thought MR1 is flagging the distorted metabolism going on inside a cancerous cell to the immune system. Treatment would include extracting T-cells from a blood sample of a cancer patient and then genetically modifying them so they were reprogrammed to make the cancer-finding receptor. The upgraded cells would be grown in vast quantities in the lab and then put back into the patient.

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Loot Boxes Push Kids Into Gambling, Says England's NHS Mental Health Director

Tue, 2020-01-21 01:30
Claire Murdoch, mental health director of England's National Health Service (NHS), has reignited the loot box controversy with a report claiming they push young people into "under the radar" gambling. PC Gamer reports: "Frankly no company should be setting kids up for addiction by teaching them to gamble on the content of these loot boxes", she said. "No firm should sell to children loot box games with this element of chance, so yes those sales should end." Loot boxes aren't currently regulated by England's Gambling Commission because their contents can't be monetized. The report calls this a "loophole" because, "Despite this, third party websites selling gaming accounts and rare items are commonplace and easy to find on places such as eBay across the internet." Murdoch called on game publishers to ban games whose loot boxes encourage children to gamble, as well as to introduce spending limits, tell players the odds of receiving each item before they buy a loot box, and "Support parents by increasing their awareness on the risks of in-game spending." As for what those risks are, the report says, "Investigations have found numerous cases of children spending money without their parents' knowledge, including a 16-year-old paying 2,000 British Pounds on a basketball game and a 15-year-old losing 1,000 British Pounds in a shooting game."

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Ultrafast Camera Takes 1 Trillion Frames Per Second of Transparent Objects, Phenomena

Tue, 2020-01-21 00:50
After developing the world's fastest camera a little over a year ago, Caltech's Lihong Wang decided that wasn't good enough and started working on an even faster device. A new paper published in the journal Science Advances details a new camera from Wang that can take up to 1 trillion pictures per second of transparent objects. Phys.Org reports: The camera technology, which Wang calls phase-sensitive compressed ultrafast photography (pCUP), can take video not just of transparent objects but also of more ephemeral things like shockwaves and possibly even of the signals that travel through neurons. Wang explains that his new imaging system combines the high-speed photography system he previously developed with an old technology, phase-contrast microscopy, that was designed to allow better imaging of objects that are mostly transparent such as cells, which are mostly water. The fast-imaging portion of the system consists of something Wang calls lossless encoding compressed ultrafast technology (LLE-CUP). Unlike most other ultrafast video-imaging technologies that take a series of images in succession while repeating the events, the LLE-CUP system takes a single shot, capturing all the motion that occurs during the time that shot takes to complete. Since it is much quicker to take a single shot than multiple shots, LLE-CUP is capable of capturing motion, such as the movement of light itself, that is far too fast to be imaged by more typical camera technology. In the new paper, Wang and his fellow researchers demonstrate the capabilities of pCUP by imaging the spread of a shockwave through water and of a laser pulse traveling through a piece of crystalline material.

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Huge PS5 Leak Spills a Bunch of Info On Sony's Reveal Event

Tue, 2020-01-21 00:10
A PS5 leak posted on 4Chan, which was later reposted on Reddit, spills a bunch of information on the PlayStation 5 reveal event which is expected to take place in February. According to the leak, the PS5 will be unveiled on February 5 at a PlayStation Meeting event for the media. "The console design, controller, UI/home screen, certain features, console specs, talk from third parties/indie publishers, as well as announcements for PS5 exclusives will be shown," says the leaker. The leak says the PS5 will support backwards compatibility with games from all 5 PlayStation platforms; PS4 accessories will be compatible on the new console as well; and the specs will rival Microsoft's Xbox Series X console. Furthermore, it states that the PS5 will launch worldwide in October 2020, priced at $499 in the U.S. It'll also be launched with several exclusive titles. You can read the full list of details here.

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Instagram Drops IGTV Button Because Nobody Was Using It

Mon, 2020-01-20 23:30
Instagram is removing the annoying orange IGTV button from its homepage because hardly anyone was using it. "As we've continued to work on making it easier for people to create and discover IGTV content, we've learned that most people are finding IGTV content through previews in Feed, the IGTV channel in Explore, creators' profiles and the standalone app. Very few are clicking into the IGTV icon in the top right corner of the home screen in the Instagram app," a Facebook company spokesperson tells TechCrunch. "We always aim to keep Instagram as simple as possible, so we're removing this icon based on these learnings and feedback from our community." TechCrunch reports: Instagram users don't need the separate IGTV app to watch longer videos, as the IGTV experience is embedded in the main app and can be accessed via in-feed teasers, a tab of the Explore page, promo stickers in Stories, and profile tabs. Still, the fact that it wasn't an appealing enough destination to warrant a home page button shows IGTV hasn't become a staple like past Instagram launches including video, Stories, augmented reality filters, or Close Friends. Now users need to tap the IGTV tab inside Instagram Explore to view long-form video. Another thing absent from IGTV? Large view counts. The first 20 IGTV videos I saw today in its Popular feed all had fewer than 200,000 views. BabyAriel, a creator with nearly 10 million Instagram followers that the company touted as a top IGTV creator has only post 20 of the longer videos to date with only one receiving over 500,000 views. [...] In another sign that Instagram is folding IGTV deeper into its app rather than providing it more breathing room of its own, and that it's eager for more content, you can now opt to post IGTV videos right from the main Instagram feed post video uploader. AdWeek Social Pro reported this new "long video" upload option yesterday. A Facebook company spokesperson tells me "We want to keep our video upload process as simple as possible" and that "Our goal is to create a central place for video uploads."

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Feds Seize WeLeakInfo.com For Selling Access To Stolen Data

Mon, 2020-01-20 22:50
JustAnotherOldGuy shares a report from PC Magazine: The FBI has shut down a website that offered hackers easy access to 12 billion records stolen in thousands of data breaches. On Thursday, the Justice Department announced it had seized the internet domain to WeLeakInfo.com, a site that was cataloging data taken from more than 10,300 data breaches at various companies and websites over the years. Customers could pay as little as $2 to gain access to the massive trove of data, which was carefully indexed and searchable. In return, subscribers could look up a person's email address to find out what previously leaked passwords, names, phone numbers, and IP addresses had been associated with it. It isn't entirely clear how WeLeakInfo.com was obtaining the data breach records. But hackers routinely sell, trade, and collect such information on dark web marketplaces and forums.

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Hospitals Give Tech Giants Access To Detailed Medical Records

Mon, 2020-01-20 22:44
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Wall Street Journal: Hospitals have granted Microsoft, IBM and Amazon the ability to access identifiable patient information under deals to crunch millions of health records, the latest examples of hospitals' growing influence in the data economy. This breadth of access wasn't always spelled out by hospitals and tech giants when the deals were struck. The scope of data sharing in these and other recently reported agreements reveals a powerful new role that hospitals play -- as brokers to technology companies racing into the $3 trillion health-care sector. Rapid digitization of health records in recent years and privacy laws enabling companies to swap patient data have positioned hospitals as a primary arbiter of how such sensitive data is shared. Microsoft and Providence, a Renton, Wash., hospital system with data for about 20 million patient visits a year, are developing cancer algorithms by using doctor's notes in patient medical records. The notes haven't been stripped of personally identifiable information, according to Providence. And an agreement between IBM and Brigham and Women's Hospital, in Boston, to jointly develop artificial intelligence allows the hospital to share personally identifiable data for specific requests, people involved in the agreement said -- though so far the hospital hasn't done so and has no current plans to do so, according to hospital and IBM officials. Microsoft executive Peter Lee in July described how his company would use Providence patient data without identifying information for algorithm development. In a December statement, he said patients' personal health data remains in Providence's control and declined to comment further. As for Amazon, the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, in Seattle, granted certain AWS employees access to health information that identifies individual patients. "The Hutch, a research institution with ties to hospitals, trained and tested Amazon Web Services software designed to read medical notes," the report says. "An AWS spokeswoman said it doesn't use personally identifiable data protected under federal privacy laws to develop or improve its services."

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Frontier, an ISP In 29 States, Plans To File For Bankruptcy

Mon, 2020-01-20 22:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Frontier Communications is planning to file for bankruptcy within two months, Bloomberg reported last week. The telco "is asking creditors to help craft a turnaround deal that includes filing for bankruptcy by the middle of March, according to people with knowledge of the matter," Bloomberg wrote. Frontier CEO Bernie Han and other company executives "met with creditors and advisers Thursday and told them the company wants to negotiate a pre-packaged agreement before $356 million of debt payments come due March 15," the report said. The move would likely involve Chapter 11 bankruptcy to let Frontier "keep operating without interruption of telephone and broadband service to its customers." Frontier reported having $16.3 billion in long-term debt as of September 30, 2019. Frontier offers residential and business services in 29 states over its fiber and copper networks. Frontier offers broadband, TV, and phone services and reported revenue of $2 billion and a net loss of $345 million in the most recent quarter. Frontier has been losing customers and reducing its staff. Its residential-customer base dropped from 4.15 million to 3.81 million in the 12-month period ending September 30, 2019, including a loss of 90,000 customers in the most recent quarter. Also in that 12-month period, Frontier's business-customer base declined from 422,000 to 381,000. Meanwhile, Frontier had 19,132 employees as of September 30, 2019, down from 21,375 one year earlier. Frontier's financial performance last year was so bad that it refused to take any questions from investors during its quarterly earnings call in August. Frontier is in the process of selling its operations in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana to WaveDivision Capital.

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China Reports More Than 200 Infections With New Coronavirus From Wuhan

Mon, 2020-01-20 21:30
The outbreak of a new virus that began in the Chinese city of Wuhan last month appears to be far from over. Today, Chinese health authorities reported that over 130 new pneumonia cases caused by the virus were identified over the weekend, bringing the total in China alone to 201, including three outside Wuhan. From a report: There has also been a third death from the infection, and South Korea now has reported a case as well -- the third country outside China to do so. Meanwhile, the pattern of spread makes it increasingly unlikely that the virus does not transmit between people, some experts say. "Uncertainty and gaps remain, but it's clear that there is some level of person-to-person transmission," Jeremy Farrar, head of the Wellcome Trust in London, said in a statement today. "The sudden spike in cases is disconcerting, but not entirely unexpected," says Adam Kamradt-Scott, an infectious diseases specialist at the University of Sydney. As more people learn about the disease, more will go to doctors, Kamradt-Scott says, even with mild symptoms, whereas previously they might have just stayed home. And doctors are now on the lookout for the new disease. "The result is that you see a sudden surge in cases," he says. But âoeif we continue to see this trend continue over the next week where there are 50 to 100 new cases every day, then that would be cause for further concern."

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