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Microsoft received almost 25,000 requests for consumer data from law enforcement over the last six months

The Register - 32 min 58 sec ago
25% were rejected, and it's less than 2013's figure... but be wary of what Redmond does with your information

Microsoft has had a busy six months if its latest biannual digital trust report is anything to go by as law enforcement agencies crept closer to making 25,000 legal requests.…

Categories: Technology

Australia Finds Google Misled Users Over Data Collection

Slashdot - 33 min 45 sec ago
Australia's federal court found that Google misled users about personal location data collected through Android mobile devices between 2017 and 2018, the country's competition regulator said Friday. From a report: The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) -- which launched legal proceedings against Google in 2019 -- said the ruling was an "important victory for consumers" with regard to the protection of online privacy. Google misled Android users into thinking the search giant could collect personal data only if the "location history" setting was on, the ACCC said. The court found that Google could still collect, store and use personally identifiable location data if the setting for "web and application activity" was on -- even if "location history" was turned off. "This is an important victory for consumers, especially anyone concerned about their privacy online, as the Court's decision sends a strong message to Google and others that big businesses must not mislead their customers," ACCC Chair Rod Sims said in a statement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Pfizer CEO Says Third Covid Vaccine Dose Likely Needed Within 12 Months

Slashdot - 1 hour 14 min ago
Pfizer CEO Albert Bourla said people will "likely" need a booster dose of a Covid-19 vaccine within 12 months of getting fully vaccinated. His comments were made public Thursday but were taped April 1. From a report: Bourla said it's possible people will need to get vaccinated against the coronavirus annually. "A likely scenario is that there will be likely a need for a third dose, somewhere between six and 12 months and then from there, there will be an annual revaccination, but all of that needs to be confirmed. And again, the variants will play a key role," he told CNBC's Bertha Coombs during an event with CVS Health. "It is extremely important to suppress the pool of people that can be susceptible to the virus," Bourla said. The comment comes after Johnson & Johnson CEO Alex Gorsky told CNBC in February that people may need to get vaccinated against Covid-19 annually, just like seasonal flu shots. Researchers still don't know how long protection against the virus lasts once someone has been fully vaccinated.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Will tech show IFA really return this year as a 'full-scale' shindig? Place your bets now

The Register - 1 hour 27 min ago
Announcement light on safety details and the world still doesn't look ready

Each year nearly 250,000 people flock to the sprawling Messe Berlin for IFA, one of the world's biggest tech consumer trade shows, to peruse the stands and discuss all things laptops, phones, and... fridges.…

Categories: Technology

Home office setup with built-in boiling water tap for tea and coffee without getting up is a monument to deskcess

The Register - 2 hours 13 min ago
If only it had a built-in loo and pillow, then we could work 24/7

A luxury desk designed based on what Brits "want to see" in their home office setup is not sure what it wants to be.…

Categories: Technology

99.992% of Fully Vaccinated People Have Dodged COVID, CDC Data Shows

Slashdot - 2 hours 14 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Cases of COVID-19 are extremely rare among people who are fully vaccinated, according to a new data analysis by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Among more than 75 million fully vaccinated people in the US, just around 5,800 people reported a "breakthrough" infection, in which they became infected with the pandemic coronavirus despite being fully vaccinated. The numbers suggest that breakthroughs occur at the teeny rate of less than 0.008 percent of fully vaccinated people -- and that over 99.992 percent of those vaccinated have not contracted a SARS-CoV-2 infection. The figures come from a nationwide database that the CDC set up to keep track of breakthrough infections and monitor for any concerning signs that the breakthroughs may be clustering by patient demographics, geographic location, time since vaccination, vaccine type, or vaccine lot number. The agency will also be keeping a close eye on any breakthrough infections that are caused by SARS-CoV-2 variants, some of which have been shown to knock back vaccine efficacy. [...] The extraordinary calculation that 99.992 percent of vaccinated people have not contracted the virus may reflect that they all simply have not been exposed to the virus since being vaccinated. Also, there are likely cases missed in reporting. Still, the data is a heartening sign. As for the "breakthroughs," the agency says many of them occurred in older people, who are more vulnerable to COVID-19. There are some scattered through every age group, but more than 40 percent were in people ages 60 and above. "We see [breakthroughs] with all vaccines," top infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci said in a press briefing earlier this week. "No vaccine is 100 percent efficacious or effective, which means that you will always see breakthrough infections regardless of the efficacy of your vaccine."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Customs raid rumbles black market for primary school e-learning materials in fiercely competitive Hong Kong

The Register - 2 hours 59 min ago
Kids have missed almost an entire year of education due to coronavirus so parents have sought help online

Five people were arrested in Hong Kong this week for selling electronic question banks for primary schools online. Hong Kong Customs detected the operation and seized over 59,000 suspect teaching materials.…

Categories: Technology

Watchdog thinks Google tricked Australians into giving up data, sues. Judge semi-agrees

The Register - 3 hours 44 min ago
Google employees called the meeting to discuss AP's data privacy reveal the 'Oh Shit' meeting

Australian federal court sent a message to Big Tech about its willingness to act on privacy violations when it ruled today that Google had "partially" misled consumers about collecting mobile phone personal location data.…

Categories: Technology

Informatica's Intelligent Data Management Cloud not new tech, but covers hyperscalers' weakness in data integration

The Register - 4 hours 29 min ago
Picking up the slack on AWS, Azure, and GCP

Vendors should only be allowed to go "cloud-native" once, no matter how many times they try to pull off the publicity trick. We can decide later how we'll police this house rule – electrical clamps to the nodes, anyone? – but for now let's look a recent suspect: Informatica.…

Categories: Technology

Best of FRANDs: Judge allows Apple retrial following $506m patent infringement ruling

The Register - 5 hours 14 min ago
PanOptis was obliged to provide 4G LTE licences – but no one mentioned it

A federal judge in Texas has allowed Apple a limited retrial [PDF] in its battle with PanOptis, which stung the iPhone maker for $506m in damages over claims it infringed the company's 4G LTE patents.…

Categories: Technology

Amazon Tried To Coerce Ecobee Into Collecting Private User Data, the WSJ Reports

Slashdot - 5 hours 14 min ago
Amazon tried to use its power to coerce Ecobee into using its smart home products to collect user data by threatening Ecobee's ability to sell its products on Amazon, according to a report from The Wall Street Journal. The Verge reports: As of now, Ecobee's products can still be purchased on Amazon, but the WSJ claims that negotiations between Ecobee and Amazon are ongoing. According to the WSJ, the online retail giant asked Ecobee to share data from its Alexa-enabled smart thermostats, even when the customer wasn't actively using the voice assistant. Ecobee reportedly refused to have its devices constantly report back to Amazon about the state of the user's home, including data on which doors were locked or unlocked and the set temperature. The reasoning being that enabling its devices to report this data to Amazon would be a violation of its customer's trust. Ecobee may have also been concerned that Amazon wanted the data to build competing products. The retail giant has a reputation for taking non-public sales data and using it to develop products -- something that's come up in antitrust investigations in the US and EU. Amazon has also been accused of using this sales data to directly copy and compete with other companies using its Amazon Basics brand.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

How not to apply for a new job: Apply for it on a job site

The Register - 5 hours 59 min ago
Watch as I channel my digital Yosser Hughes, violence included

Something for the Weekend, Sir?  Gizza job*. I can do that. Go on, giz it.…

Categories: Technology

Patent battle over Facebook Live and 'walkie talkie' tech rattles through High Court in London

The Register - 6 hours 44 min ago
Sueball sees social network squaring off against app upstart in UK branch of worldwide fight

A legal battle between a company which says Facebook Live infringes one of its patents and the anti-social networking biz is currently playing out in the High Court of England and Wales as part of a long-running multinational legal battle.…

Categories: Technology

To have one floppy failure is unlucky. To have 20 implies evil magic or a very silly user

The Register - 7 hours 59 min ago
Not quite what we meant by 'disk capacity'

On Call  Welcome back to On Call and a timely reminder that no matter how careful and clear you think your instructions are, a user will somehow always misunderstand.…

Categories: Technology

Massachusetts Wants To Pull the Plug On Robinhood

Slashdot - 8 hours 14 min ago
Regulators in Massachusetts are seeking to revoke Robinhood's broker-dealer license in the state, after accusing the company of failing to properly account for fractional shares traded by customers on its platform. They also say the company "continues to entice and induce inexperienced customers into risky trading." CNN reports: The battle began in December when regulators in Massachusetts filed a 24-page complaint against Robinhood accusing the company of violating state law and regulations by failing to protect customers and safeguard its system. Officials alleged Robinhood lured inexperienced investors to its platform with gaming elements such as colorful confetti -- a practice that the company recently said it is getting rid of. The amended complaint filed Thursday says Robinhood has continued a pattern of aggressively enticing customers, including some with "little or no investment experience." It cites news reports indicating Robinhood has expanded margin lending and sought to persuade customers to deposit their stimulus checks by offering "free cash" for deposits. Robinhood's conduct since the complaint was filed in December "poses a substantial and continued risk to Massachusetts investors," the complaint said. Massachusetts regulators said Robinhood has failed to report its fractional share trade executions for over a year, "demonstrating its inability to follow the most basic requirements" required of broker-dealers. In a blog post, Robinhood sharply criticized what it described as "unfounded, politicized allegations and unreasonable demands" from regulators in Massachusetts and warned that revoking its license would block access for millions of customers. "The Massachusetts Securities Division's attempt to prevent Massachusetts residents from choosing how they invest is elitist and against everything we stand for," Robinhood said. "We don't believe our customers are naive as the Massachusetts Securities Division paints them to be." Robinhood fired back by filing a complaint and motion in Massachusetts State Court for a preliminary injunction that would stop the regulatory case against the company. Robinhood is arguing that the regulator's new fiduciary rule "exceeds its authority" under both state and federal law. "By trying to block Robinhood, the division is attempting to bring its residents back in time and reinstate the financial barriers that Robinhood was founded to break down," Robinhood said in the blog post.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Error'd: Days of Future Passed

The Daily WTF - 8 hours 44 min ago

After reading through so many of your submissions these last few weeks, I'm beginning to notice certain patterns emerging. One of these patterns is that despite the fact that dates are literally as old as time, people seem pathologically prone to bungling them. Surely our readers are already familiar with the notable "Falsehoods Programmers Believe" series of blog posts, but if you happen somehow to have been living under an Internet rock (or a cabbage leaf) for the last few decades, you might start your time travails at Infinite Undo. The examples here are not the most egregious ever (there are better coming later or sooner) but they are today's:

Famished Dug S. peckishly pronounces "It's about time!"


Far luckier Zachary Palmer appears to have found the perfect solution to poor Dug's delayed dinner: "It took the shipping company a little bit to start moving my package, but they made up for it by shipping it faster than the speed of light," says he.


Patient Philip awaits his {ship,prince,processor}: " B&H hitting us with hard truth on when the new line of AMD CPUs will really be available."


While an apparent contemporary of the latest royal Eric R. creakily complains " This website for tracking my continuing education hours should be smart enough not to let me enter a date in the year 21 AD"


But as for His Lateness Himself, royal servant Steve A. has uncovered a scoop fit for Q:


[Advertisement] Continuously monitor your servers for configuration changes, and report when there's configuration drift. Get started with Otter today!
Categories: Technology

We're on our way already: Astroboffins find 5 potentially habitable Tatooine-like planets from Kepler 'scope scans

The Register - 9 hours 10 min ago
Perhaps gigantic puffy exoplanets aren't as hostile to life as previously thought

Astronomers believe five binary-star systems identified by NASA’s now-defunct Kepler Space Telescope could have the right properties to support extraterrestrial life, according to new calculations.…

Categories: Technology

Striking Charter Workers Build ISP Where 'Profits Are Returned To Users'

Slashdot - 11 hours 44 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: Charter Communications employees who have been on strike since 2017 are building an Internet service provider in New York City called "People's Choice." "People's Choice Communications is an employee-owned social enterprise launched by members of IBEW Local #3 to bridge the digital divide and help our neighbors get connected to the Internet during the COVID-19 pandemic," the ISP's website says. "We are the workers who built a large part of New York City's Internet infrastructure in the first place. We built out [Charter] Spectrum's cable system, until in 2017, the company pushed us out on strike by taking away our healthcare, retirement, and other benefits. It's now the longest strike in US history." So far, People's Choice says it has completed rooftop antenna installations at two schools in the Bronx and installed "hardline connections to wireless access points connecting 121 units" at housing for survivors of domestic violence who have disabilities. A Gizmodo article said the system is equipped to offer minimum speeds of 25Mbps downstream and 3Mbps upstream, meeting a broadband standard that has been used by the Federal Communications Commission since 2015. "We have a big portion of most of the Bronx covered with our antenna," IBEW Local #3 steward Troy Walcott told Gizmodo. "Now we have to go building by building to let people know we're out there and start turning them on." "A few dozen Spectrum strikers have been actively involved in the installations, but Walcott expects that at least one hundred workers are waiting in the wings for the project to scale up," the Gizmodo article said. "We work in affordable housing, supportive housing, co-op housing, NYCHA [NYC Housing Authority], homeless shelters, and regular old apartment complexes," the webpage notes. You can fill out this form if you're interested in bringing broadband to your building. "After we build out a network in your building, it transfers to cooperative ownership, so profits are returned to users," the People's Choice website says. "We are able to provide high-speed service in most cases for $10-$20/month. No more cable company ripping you off, and as an owner, you have a vote in policies like data privacy."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

California To Hunt Greenhouse Gas Leaks and Superemitters With Monitoring Satellites

Slashdot - 13 hours 12 min ago
California and its partners are set to launch by 2023 two satellites to spot and monitor plumes of planet-warming carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. "If all goes right, dozens more could follow," reports Science Magazine. From the report: The $100 million Carbon Mapper project, announced today and financed by private philanthropists including Michael Bloomberg, will advance efforts to track concentrated emissions of greenhouse gases, which rise from fossil fuel power plants, leaky pipelines, and abandoned wells. Previous satellites have lacked the resolution and focus to monitor point sources rigorously. [...] The satellites will be built and managed by Planet, a California company that already operates a constellation of Earth-imaging satellites. The spacecraft will rely on "hyperspectral" imaging spectrometers developed by NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL). Rather than gathering light in just a few discrete wavelength channels, like the human eye, these spectrometers capture reflected sunlight and subdivide it into more than 400 wavelength channels across the visible and into the infrared. The intensity of light across these channels can be tied to specific chemistries and reflect the abundances of certain gases in the air molecules below. The satellites won't just measure gases in the air; they will also detect chemical signatures on the ground. By measuring the intensity of green chlorophyll or detecting the signatures for excess salts or fungus, for example, researchers will be able to evaluate the health of crops and forests. They can prospect for minerals in remote regions. They can map and identify different coral and algae species, and they can track dust and soot. Even snow and ice pops out in these sensors, says Robert Green, a remote-sensing scientist at JPL. "Snow is one of the most colorful materials on Earth if you look beyond visible light." The first two Carbon Mapper satellites will each be roughly the size of a washing machine, weighing up to 200 kilograms. They will provide imagery with a resolution of 30 meters but won't offer global coverage at first. Instead, they will target regions known to host superemitters, like power plants, oil and gas drilling, or livestock operations. The regions will be revisited every few weeks to start. All emission data, calculated from the plume intensity and length, will be made publicly available -- in the hopes that governments and businesses will do more to staunch leaks and tamp down discharges. [...] Should Carbon Mapper's first two satellites prove successful, Planet envisions building a commercial constellation of similar satellites that would revisit every spot on the planet once a day, and selling those data to regulators and companies.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Categories: Technology

Global chip shortage probably won't let up until 2023, warns TSMC: CEO 'still expects capacity to tighten more'

The Register - 13 hours 45 min ago
Automotive supply is a 'top priority', analysts told

TSMC this week warned the ongoing global shortage of semiconductor supplies will probably continue throughout this year and next.…

Categories: Technology


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