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US senator wants to make sure the FTC takes smart toys seriously

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:44
It's not just parents that are worrying about the security of connected toys. Senator Mark Warner has sent a letter to the Federal Trade Commission grilling it about efforts to protect kids' privacy when they use smart toys like the CloudPets you se...
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Wikimedia is clear to sue the NSA

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:23
A federal appeals court has ruled the Wikimedia Foundation does have grounds to sue the National Security Agency over its use of warrantless surveillance tools. A district judge shot down Wikimedia's case in 2015, saying the group hadn't proved the N...
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President Trump's Budget Includes a $2 Trillion Math Error

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 16:20
An anonymous reader quotes a report from TIME: President Trump's budget includes a simple accounting error that adds up to a $2 trillion oversight. Under the proposed budget released Tuesday, the Trump Administration's proposed tax cuts would boost economic growth enough to pay for $1.3 trillion in spending by 2027. But the tax cuts are also supposed to be revenue-neutral, meaning that trillion dollars is already supposed to pay for the money lost from the tax cuts. Former Treasury Secretary Lawrence Summers called the oversight an "elementary double count" and "a logical error of the kind that would justify failing a student in an introductory economics course" in an op-ed in the Washington Post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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China's LeEco lays US ambitions to rest with massive layoffs

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:57
Several days ago, the CEO of Chinese corporation LeEco, Jia Yueting, resigned. While he remains chairman of the company, the move followed worrying announcements over the past six months: Growing so quickly it was running out of cash, selling the sit...
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Engineer At Boeing Admits Trying To Sell Space Secrets To Russians

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:40
An anonymous reader shares an ArsTechnica report: Gregory Allen Justice, a 49-year-old engineer living in Culver City, Calif., has pleaded guilty to charges of attempted economic espionage and attempted violation of the Export Control Act. Justice, who according to his father worked for Boeing Satellite Systems in El Segundo, Calif., was arrested last July after selling technical documents about satellite systems to someone he believed to be a Russian intelligence agent. Instead, he sold the docs to an undercover Federal Bureau of Investigation employee. The sting was part of a joint operation by the FBI and the US Air Force Office of Special Investigations. The documents provided by Justice to the undercover agent included information on technology on the US Munitions List, meaning they were regulated by government International Trade in Arms regulations (ITAR). "In exchange for providing these materials during a series of meeting between February and July of 2016, Justice sought and received thousands of dollars in cash payments," a Justice Department spokesperson said in a statement. "During one meeting, Justice and the undercover agent discussed developing a relationship like one depicted on the television show 'The Americans.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Google simplifies sharing notes, calendars and photos with family

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:36
Google knows that a large part of its customer base probably have families. That's why it introduced a family plan option to Google Music a couple of years ago, as well as Family Library sharing for the Play Store last year. When YouTube TV launched...
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Russian Newscaster Shocked By Big Dog Who Appears From Under Her News Desk

GeekOlogy - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:30
This is a short video from Russian news channel Mir24 of a newscaster who's shocked to see a big black dog suddenly appear from under the news desk and jump up to videobomb her newscast. Apparently after petting the dog she tells viewers that she's "Actually a cat person," which is the last thing a surprise dog wants to hear and she's lucky it didn't bite her. Personally, I would have pretended he was the new weatherdog, but that's just me and I'm great at playing things off like they're nothing out of the ordinary. I bet you couldn't even tell I wrote this article on fire. Keep going for the video. Hi I'm dog with the sports I love balls.
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Medium’s existential makeover continues with a revamped homepage

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:14
Despite its high profile, Medium still hasn't quite figured out what it is in the five years since it launched as a minimalist blogging platform. In the meantime, Medium has pivoted from tech company to publishing service and various shades in betwee...
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'Sony Needs a Fresh Hit'

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 15:00
Even as Sony's CEO Kazuo Hirai has done a remarkable job over the past five years -- taking bold decisions on the areas the company should be focusing on, and cutting efforts on those that aren't working -- his company desperately needs a fresh hit to boost its revenue and to become relevant in the mind of most, writes columnist Tim Culpan for Bloomberg. An except from his article: According to a company statement Tuesday for investors' day, the key will be to "remain the 'last one inch' that delivers a sense of 'wow' to customers," expand recurring revenue, and pursue new businesses.Those three strategies are closely linked. With TV sales in decline, its Vaio PC business spun off, and its smartphones barely a blip on the radar, Sony's last inch is heavily dependent on the PlayStation. Sony's Game & Network Services business has grown at both the top and bottom lines over the past five years, but the games console business is stuck in time. [...] Sony needs to build a device that will be far more ubiquitous and can appeal to consumers beyond the current male-skewed slowly aging hard-core gamer base. Amazon and Alphabet, with Echo and Home, are two such examples, and Apple will probably follow suit. With its background in audio, video, sensors and entertainment, Sony has all the right parts to make it happen. For the company that invented the Walkman, dreaming up another hit shouldn't be so hard.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Uber admits New York drivers were underpaid for years

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:53
Uber drivers have it tough lately. They have to deal with rate hikes they won't see directly, company plans for self-driving cars, and higher insurance rates. Uber doesn't have it much easier, already having settled in January to pay $20 million for...
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Ask Slashdot: ISPs That Respect Your Online Privacy?

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:40
New submitter Rick Schumann writes: According to this story just posted here on Slashdot, Comcast is playing about as dirty as they can get. This is just about the last straw for me; are there any ISPs in the United States that actually respect your online privacy?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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LEGO Porsche Set Gets Crash Tested Like A Real Car

GeekOlogy - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:30
This is a video of some Germans building and crash testing the 2,704 piece LEGO Technic Porsche 911 GT3 set just like a real car, filmed at 1,000 frames/second. I learned a lot by watching it. Mostly, that Germans take this sort of thing very seriously, and you should never drive a car built out of LEGO. That's almost as bad as the real first little pig you never hear about who tried building his house entirely out of imagination. Keep going for the whole video while I Google whether it's possible to receive a negative star safety rating.
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Fashion and technology will inevitably become one

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:30
There's no denying that the technology world is obsessed with fashion. Amazon, Apple and Google, three of the biggest names in tech, are all trying to carve their own path into the fashion space. Apple's doing so with fancy smartwatches, Amazon with...
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At Google, an Employee-Run Email List Tracks Harassment and Bias Complaints

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:20
A group of Google employees have begun a message board for employees to submit worker complaints that's then emailed weekly as a digest, according to a report on Bloomberg. The email list -- called "Yes, at Google" -- has been around since October and allows employees to talk openly about work situations in which they felt uncomfortable; most submissions are anonymized. From the article: Google management is aware of the list. "We work really hard to promote and preserve a culture of respect and inclusion," a Google spokesperson said in a statement. "Our employees have numerous ways to raise issues -- both negative and positive -- with us, including through grassroots transparency efforts like this one. We take concerns seriously and take appropriate measures to address them." The list is run by a group of workers across different product areas, according to a person familiar with the list, though it's not clear who runs the list and how or whether the submissions are vetted before being distributed. Usually, the people in the complaints are not named, though one submission described an instance when, during a large company meeting in late April, Alphabet Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt allegedly interrupted Chief Financial Officer Ruth Porat when she had a question addressed to her, which the post categorized as a "gender-related" complaint. A person who attended the meeting said Schmidt answered the question to make a joke. Messages sometimes include job titles and other details.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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Target settles with 47 states over its 2013 data breach

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:14
Believe it or not, Target still isn't done paying the price for the 2013 breach that exposed the shopping data of tens of millions of customers. The retailer has reached a settlement with 47 states (and the District of Columbia) that will have it pay...
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Edoardo Tresoldi Sculpts with Wire Mesh #ArtTuesday

AdaFruit - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 14:00

From Edoardo Tresoldi:

Edoardo Tresoldi was born in Italy in 1987. He grew up in Milan, where at the age of 9 he started to take lessons from painter and illustrator Mario Straforini, who gave him the pleasure of experimenting different artistic languages and techniques.

See more of Edoardo Tresoldi’s work or checkout one of these write-ups from Dezeen and Creative Boom.

Every Tuesday is Art Tuesday here at Adafruit! Today we celebrate artists and makers from around the world who are designing innovative and creative works using technology, science, electronics and more. You can start your own career as an artist today with Adafruit’s conductive paints, art-related electronics kits, LEDs, wearables, 3D printers and more! Make your most imaginative designs come to life with our helpful tutorials from the Adafruit Learning System. And don’t forget to check in every Art Tuesday for more artistic inspiration here on the Adafruit Blog!
Categories: Nerd News

New York forces smart lock maker to improve its security

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:58
Smart locks promise the security of a traditional lock without the need to carry around a key. Most can be unlocked with a mobile app or an RFID-equipped card you can store in your wallet. Unfortunately, they're also pretty easy to hack open. The off...
Categories: Nerd News

Comcast Proves Need For Net Neutrality By Trying To Censor Advocacy Website

Slashdot - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:40
Reader mrchaotica writes: As most Slashdot readers are probably aware, the FCC, under the direction of Trump-appointed chairman Ajit Pai, is trying to undo its 2015 decision to protect Net Neutrality (PDF) by classifying ISPs as common carriers. During the recent public comment period, the FCC's website was flooded with pro-Net-Neutrality comments from actual people (especially those who heeded John Oliver's call to arms) as well as anti-Net-Neutrality comments posted by bots using the names and addresses of people without their consent. The fake comments use boilerplate identical to that used in a 2010 press release by the conservative lobbying group Center for Individual Freedom (which is funded by Comcast, among other entities), but beyond that, the entities who perpetrated and funded the criminal acts have not been conclusively identified. In response to this brazen attempt to undermine the democratic process, the Internet freedom advocacy group Fight for the Future (FFTF) created the website Comcastroturf.com to call attention to the fraud and allow people to see if their identity had been misappropriated. Comcast, in a stunning display of its tone-deaf attitude towards free speech, has sent a cease-and-desist order to FFTF, claiming that Comcastroturf.com violates its "valuable intellectual property[sic]." According to the precedent set in Bosley Medical Institute, Inc. v. Kremer , websites created for the purpose of criticizing an organization can not be considered trademark infringement. As such, FFTF reportedly has no intention of taking down the site."This is exactly why we need Title II net neutrality protections that ban blocking, throttling, and censorship," said Evan Greer, campaign director of Fight for the Future, "If Ajit Pai's plan is enacted, there would be nothing preventing Comcast from simply blocking sites like Comcastroturf.com that are critical of their corporate policies," she added. "It also makes you wonder what Comcast is so afraid of? Are their lobbying dollars funding the astroturfing effort flooding the FCC with fake comments that we are encouraging Internet users to investigate?"Could there be a better example to illustrate why ensuring strong Net Neutrality protections by regulating ISPs as common carriers is so important?

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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‘Overwatch’ turns one with more skins for your arsenal

Engadget - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:37
Last week, Blizzard answered the susurrous rising from Overwatch fans wondering whether the studio would celebrate the game's one-year anniversary: Yes, an event was in the works. (And there was much rejoicing.) To commemorate the game's arrival exac...
Categories: Nerd News

Animal Shelter Invents 'Kitty Bjorns' To Acclimate Feral Kittens To Human Interaction

GeekOlogy - Tue, 05/23/2017 - 13:30
These are a couple shots of the 'kitty bjorns' developed by the Animal Rescue League (ARL) of Boston to help acclimate feral kittens to human interaction and socialization so they can become loving, adoptable pets as quickly as possible. Great, now I want another kitty. I want all the kitties. GIMME THE KITTIES, I LOVE THEM. "The idea was to have something that allow the kittens to socialize, and be hands-free, thus allowing staff and volunteers to multi-task (answering phones, talking with clients etc.)," Michael DeFina, communications and media relations officer at ARL Boston, told The Dodo. "The design allows the kitten to be flooded with stimuli in a safe way while being constantly monitored by whoever is wearing the vest. Since ARL started using the vests, the process of socializing feral kittens has gotten so much faster -- so fast, in fact, that now feral kittens are ready for adoption in just 48 hours, and sometimes even sooner. Honestly, I just one for taking my cat on walks around the neighborhood. Unfortunately, he's so fat there's no way the weight of him wouldn't rip the whole vest and expose my tits for everyone to see. "Which you're totally okay with." They're nice tits, they deserve the attention. Keep going for one more shot.
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