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kya100 last won the day on September 16 2018

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  1. Private tweets sent by users of Twitter's Android app could have been exposed publicly for years. Twitter said it had discovered a security flaw which meant "protected" tweets became public when some changes were made to accounts. Anyone who updated the email address linked to their account between November 2014 and January 2019 could have had messages exposed, it said. Twitter said it had started to let affected users know about the bug.It added that it had turned the protections back on for Android users who had inadvertently switched them off. Twitter said it was also issuing a public notice about the error because it could not confirm the exact number of accounts that had been affected and wanted to reach those it could not identify by an internal investigation. "We're very sorry this happened and we're conducting a full review to help prevent this from happening again," it said. It encouraged users to check their privacy settings to make sure they reflected their preferences. Twitter said it fixed the flaw on 14 January and would share more information if it became available.Anyone who used Twitter via an Apple device or through the web would not have been caught out by the bug.
  2. A 41-year-old man accused of using the hit video game Fortnite to initiate sexual activity with children has been arrested in Florida.Anthony Gene Thomas of Broward County is accused of unlawful sex with a minor and possessing indecent images and videos of at least one victim. According to police, an accomplice used Fortnite's voice chat to meet children and introduce them to Mr Thomas.Police believe there could be up to 20 additional victims. "This case is disturbing not only because it involves child pornography, but also because a popular online game was used to communicate with the victim," said Florida attorney general Ashley Moody in a statement. "Parents need to know that predators will use any means possible to target and exploit a child. I am asking parents and guardians to please make sure you know who your children meet online, and talk to them about sexual predators." Ms Moody has urged any other victims to get in touch with the police. Chat warning Mr Thomas allegedly groomed the 17-year-old victim using cash and gifts, one of which was a mobile phone which allowed him to contact the child. This led to a face-to-face meeting in late August 2018, after which Mr Thomas and his collaborator drove the minor to Mr Thomas's home, where the sexual offences were committed. The parents reported the child missing and police later located and returned the teenager home. The victim remained in contact with Mr Thomas, claims the Florida attorney general, which led police to search Mr Thomas's home and seize his phone. Analysis of the device revealed pornographic pictures and videos of the victim. Fortnite's Battle Royale mode is an online multiplayer game in which 100 players fight for survival, with the winner being the last person standing. Players can also team up with friends or strangers and work together. As in many other online games, players who have joined a squad can talk to one another using unmoderated voice chat. However, the voice chat can also be disabled in the settings menu. In May last year, the NSPCC issued a warning about the chat systems in Fortnite, saying they left children open to being contacted by strangers. It advised parents to turn off the game's voice chat system but warned that the text messaging feature could not be disabled.
  3. The killer gave away scouting missions through technological carelessness. An alleged hitman has learned hard lessons about the the value of GPS data on fitness watches. A Liverpool jury has found Mark Fellows guilty of the 2015 murder of mob boss Paul Massey in part thanks to location info from the accused's Garmin Forerunner. An expert inspecting the watch's info discovered that Fellows had recorded a 35-minute trip that took him to a field just outside Massey's home ahead of the murder. He appeared to be scouting the route he would take later to perform the hit, a claim supported by cell site and CCTV evidence showing Fellows driving his car past Massey's house numerous times in the week before the slaying. Massey's murder had gone unsolved until the 2018 killing of his associate John Kinsella, where surveillance footage showed Fellows biking a similar scouting route before pulling the trigger. That led law enforcement to see if there were any connections to the Massey case. Fellows had a GPS jammer in his car when police investigated in 2018, suggesting that he knew enough to avoid location data at some point -- just not while he was scouting Massey three years earlier. The judge in the case has sentenced Fellows to life in prison. While there likely won't be anyone lamenting Fellows' mistake, his conviction illustrates how many people don't think about the positioning info their devices collect. Whether or not that information reaches the internet (it didn't here), it still creates a record that you might not want to keep.
  4. The belt lets robots know a human is in the area to avoid any collisions. Amazon is using an electric vest to help improve worker safety when dealing with automated systems and robots inside its warehouses, according to a report from TechCrunch. The Robotic Tech Vest, which is really just a pair of suspenders connected to a belt, signals to robots that a human is entering a space to avoid any sort of collision. The way the so-called vest works is by arming human workers with sensors that can communicate with robotic systems. On occasion, a human worker will need to enter an area primarily dominated by automated machines in order to perform maintenance or to pick up items that have fallen to the floor. With the vest on, robots can detect the human presence and adjust their behaviors. The bots will slow down and steer away from humans, allowing work to continue rather than shutting down the operation entirely for a quick fix. Amazon's sensor-filled belt solution comes just one month after a robot-involved accident in one of the company's warehouses resulted in the hospitalization of 24 workers. Reports at the time indicated that one of Amazon's robots managed to puncture a can of bear repellant and release the spray inside the warehouse. More than 50 workers in total were affected by the incident.
  5. You can run but you can't hide from internet price hikes. That's what Sean Barry in Powell River, B.C., learned after leaving his provider, Shaw, following a couple of price increases. He switched to competitor Telus in September only to discover that the cost of his current Telus internet plan is also going up — by $5 a month. "I am choked over the increase so soon," said the 71-year-old Barry, who lives on a fixed income. "Every year it just goes up and up and up." Telus, Bell and Shaw are all raising prices on select internet plans over the next few months. The hikes come on the heels of internet price increases by Telus, Shaw, Bell and Rogers in 2018. Meanwhile, Canadians are living more of their lives online and signing up in record numbers for internet service, driving up revenues for providers. "They can do whatever they want; it's big business," said Barry. "We've just got to suck it up." Price hike roundup Beginning on Feb. 25, Telus will hike rates on internet plans by $2 to $5 a month. On Feb. 1, Bell will raise internet prices by $5 a month for Bell Aliant customers in Atlantic Canada. In Ontario and Quebec, the telco is hiking various internet plans by up to $6 a month as of March 1. "I laughed, because I pretty much knew it was coming," said Christopher Provias, of Welland, Ont., after learning that he's facing a $5 monthly increase on his Bell internet bill. "It's pretty much like clockwork." On April 1, Shaw also plans to raise rates on select internet plans. The telco declined to say by how much prices are going up. Why raise prices? In 2017, home internet was the fastest-growing sector of all telecommunications services. According to the latest Communications Monitoring Report by the CRTC, Canada's telecom regulator, 86 per cent of Canadian households subscribed to home internet service in 2017, up almost four per cent from 2016. Canadians are also demanding faster internet speeds with more data — average monthly data use for high-speed users jumped by a whopping 30 per cent in 2017 compared to 2016. Bell, Telus and Shaw say they have to raise rates to continually improve their networks to accommodate growing demand. Bell said customers' internet usage has increased by more than 500 per cent over the past five years. "Our costs to meet that demand and provide customers with the best experience possible also continue to rise," said spokesperson Nathan Gibson in an email. Industry analyst Dwayne Winseck acknowledges that the big telcos are investing significant amounts in their networks. But he says that's not the only reason customers face higher internet bills. "These price increases are at least as much, if not more, about protecting very high operating profits," says Winseck, a professor at Carleton University's School of Journalism and Communication. According to the CRTC report, residential internet service revenues, including applications, equipment and other related services, totalled $9.1 billion in 2017 — an 8.8 per cent increase over 2017. In a notice sent to customers facing price hikes, Bell said it invested $4 billion in its infrastructure last year. But that's cold comfort for Dennis Fitt, of Truro, N.S., who's facing a monthly increase of $9 come February for his bundled internet, phone and TV service with Bell. "Their profits aren't enough to cover the infastructure — this $4 billion that I have to pay for now?" said Fitt, whose family of six relies on internet for both their TV and phone service. Because the internet has become so important in Canadians' lives, Fitt believes the CRTC should do something to ensure prices don't get out of control. "The CRTC should call [the internet] a necessity, and at that point they should be able to regulate it a lot more than they do now." The telecom regulator is currently exploring an internet code of conduct to address a growing number of complaints from Canadians about their internet service. While there's no mention of price regulation, the CRTC says the code would include measures to make it easier for consumers to switch providers to take advantage of competitive offers. For Canadians planning to make a switch, there are a growing number of independent internet providers such as TekSavvy, Distributel and Start that offer competitive rates. In 2017, only 13 per cent of Canadian internet subscribers were signed up with an independent, according to the CRTC report. Reasons for the modest uptake include the fact that many are unaware of Canada's smaller providers or are fearful of switching to a lesser-known company. Others believe they're better off bundling their internet with other services at a discount with one of the major telcos. Barry in Powell River says because he has a promotional deal with Telus, if he cancelled his internet, he'd likely face a bigger bill for his phone and TV service with the company "They've got you coming and going," he said.
  6. You Locked Yourself Out of Your Phone, Now What? Other than remembering your PIN a little better next time. The lock on your phone is designed to keep unwelcome visitors from taking a peek at your texts, photos, and banking apps, but the same security measures can sometimes lock you out of your own phone. Don't panic, because there are ways to regain access. Here's what you need to do. The bad news: Wiping your phone There’s no magic combination to get back in or to reset the timer for how long until you try the code again. Otherwise, that lock wouldn't be much use in the first place. Unfortunately, without the aid of military-grade forensics software, the only way to get back control of your device is to wipe it and start over from the original factory settings. Your phone will be back in the state it was when you first bought it. What to do next For an iPhone, connect it to a computer running iTunes — if you don’t have one, you can go to an Apple Store and use one there. Once connected, force restart the iPhone. For iPhone 8 and X or later, press and release Volume Up, then press and release Volume Down, then hold Sleep/Wake until the phone says that it’s in recovery mode. For the iPhone 7, press and hold Sleep/Wake and Volume Down until you see it go into recovery mode. For the iPhone 6 and earlier, hold the Home Button on the bottom, and Sleep/Wake. The computer will ask if you want to Restore or Update. Choose Restore. On stock Android and most Android phones, turn off the device, then press and hold the Volume Down and Power (Sleep/Wake) buttons simultaneously to reboot the phone into a special diagnostics mode. Tap Volume Down to highlight Recovery Mode option, then Power to select it. When it starts to robot, press and hold Power and tap Volume Up. Highlight the Wipe Data/Factory Reset option, then press Power to confirm. Press Volume Down to choose Yes. Once the phone has been wiped, press Power to reboot the phone. The process varies slightly between Android phone manufacturers so if you get stuck, look up the method for your specific model. From here, you can set the phone up as new, or restore it from a backup (both Google and Apple have official guides). We recommend setting up as new. This gets rid of old software, and starting with the latest versions of the apps you use will help it run better. What to do in the future Don't be put off protecting your phone with a PIN or pattern in the future — it's all that's standing between your personal data and apps and someone who might pick up your phone after you've dropped it on the street. Just make sure you backup everything in case you forget the code. If your phone has the option, switch on a biometric alternative, like a fingerprint or face scan. You’ll still need a core password to secure the phone, but it makes unlocking faster. On iPhones, this is under the Passcode section of Settings. On Android, it’s under the Security section of Settings. Android also features a useful feature called Smart Lock, which you can find under the same Security menu in Settings. You can have the PIN code (or fingerprint requirement) disabled when your phone is in a trusted location (like your home) or connected to a trusted Bluetooth device (like your Amazon Echo). The most recent versions of Android have added on-body detection, so your device isn't locked when it's on you (based on its movement), and voice detection, so you can unlock your phone by talking to it. Some of these Smart Lock options could give you an alternative option to unlock your phone in a pinch, but they could also mean you'll be typing in your PIN less and making you more liable to forget it. So maybe write it down, too.
  7. Got a new laptop and ready to get to work? You're going to need a few things first. Ignore the hate from YouTuber critics and tech reviewers. The latest MacBooks are incredible machines and still an easy recommendation for anyone who needs a great, reliable computer. It is true, though, that some of the quirks—especially a lack of ports—make the machines a little trickier to use. So to get the most out of your MacBook, you'll need a few core accessories. A Do-Anything Adapter (The Dongle): Satechi V2 The biggest difference/inconvenience of modern MacBooks is that the only ports are USB-C (and a 3.5mm headphone jack). No SD card slot, no regular USB-A port, no HDMI video output. Someday, everything will be either wireless, or work with a USB-C plug. But that day is not today. To work with cameras, Ethernet internet connections and networking, or projecting your laptop onto big displays via HDMI requires an adapter. Problem is, USB-C is a complicated technology, and there’s a lot of junk out there. Satechi’s, however, hasn’t failed us yet. And unlike other adapters, it has a USB-C port. Sounds ridiculous, but for the plain MacBook with only one port, that means you can charge the laptop while using the adapter. A Protective Sleeve: Incase Classic A basic sleeve will help protect from drops and scratches and is worth having even if your shoulder bag has a dedicated laptop slot. Incase is a regular favorite for nailing the fit around every model MacBook, sturdy YKK zippers, and slim but protective padding around all sides. A Backup Battery: Mophie Powerstation AC If you work with video or otherwise wear down your MacBook battery and don’t have access to outlets, this big battery will give you extra hours of use. It charges via USB-C, so you can use the same plug and cable that you use on the MacBook to charge the Sherpa. Be warned, though: for MacBook Pros, anything less than wall power will have a hard time doing more than keeping the power level at the same percentage. Portable power works best if you are on the move and charge the laptop while it’s closed and asleep. Wireless Headphones: Jabra Move Style A recent update to our go-to over-ear headphones means longer battery life and more colors. But even the regular Move headphones are great. These sound and fit way better than anything around the $100 mark should, and are a great value for anyone who needs a pair of wireless headphones. A Monitor: Acer H277HU This is actually a more difficult decision than you’d expect. Mac compatibility, especially with USB-C-only cable connections, can be difficult. Dell monitors, for example, have had issues with resolution when we’ve tested them. Acer’s 27-inch USB-C model, however, works well with MacBooks and can use USB-C, so you need only one wire for data and to keep your laptop charged. Its performance will satisfy almost all users, but anyone editing video should spend a few hundred bucks more for LG’s UltraFine series. A Keyboard: Logitech K380 Among the complaints about the newest MacBooks: that shallow keyboard. The Logitech will last forever (we have a Logitech K811 at the office that’s going on seven years), you can use it with multiple devices, and it’ll last for weeks without needing a charge. A Mouse: Apple Magic Trackpad 2 If you’re accustomed to the swipe and drag gestures to go between desktops and apps, this is the way to keep up with that interface. If you want a traditional mouse, skip Apple’s model and go for the Logitech MX Master. It’s fully customizable and more comfortable to use for long periods than just about any other traditional mouse.
  8. The conscious uncoupling begins in the latest test build. Microsoft is splitting up search and voice assistant Cortana in Windows 10, giving each their own spot on the taskbar in the latest build for Windows Insiders testers. The change should go live for everyone in the next major update to Windows 10, which is planned for April. The move, according to Microsoft, should improve both functions as it "will enable each experience to innovate independently to best serve their target audiences and use cases." The search box will be solely for text queries, while Cortana will of course handle voice queries. Microsoft has placed more focus on improving search lately. It merged the function across Windows 10, Bing, Office and Edge, and released a more powerful search tool in the Office app. Elsewhere in the latest preview build, you'll be able to install font files simply by dragging them onto the fonts settings page, while Microsoft is changing how the Start menu works. It will run on its own process, so if it's affected by any problems, they should have a smaller impact on other parts of your system.
  9. You bought your parents / grandparents / other relatives a new computer, set it up, and showed them all of its nifty new features. You’ve gone home, knowing that you’ve made them very happy. But, deep down, you know that this isn’t the end of the story. It’s not going to be long before that dreaded call comes in asking for support. “I can’t find the draft of the email I started!” “Why can’t I make a Skype call?” “My speaker / mouse / keyboard isn’t working!” They’re going to want you to come over as soon as possible to fix the problem or to talk them through a fix, and both of those activities are probably going to take several hours out of your day. But there is a solution. If both you and your troubled relative use the Chrome browser (or own a Chromebook), you can use the Chrome Remote app to easily gain temporary control of their computer to either fix the issue or show them what to do. It’s available for PCs, Macs, Linux systems, and Chromebooks; there are also separate apps for iOS and Android. Sharing via another computer To take control of a client computer using another computer, you first need to download the Chrome Remote Desktop app from the Chrome Web Store. Once it’s installed, click on the app. A pop-up window gives you three choices: Chrome Remote Desktop•Share this computer for another user to see and control (accompanied by an easy-to-see green button labeled “Share”) •See and control a shared computer (accompanied by a slightly less obvious button labeled “Access” •Access your own computer from anywhere (accompanied by a button labeled “Get started”) If you’re helping a less technically inclined friend or relative, it’s the first two (which appear under the subhead “Remote Assistance”) that you’ll need. Assuming you were smart enough to install Chrome Remote Desktop on their system before you gifted it to them, get on the phone and tell them to press the big green “Share” button. (If this is the initial time they are using it, they will first be directed to download the Chrome Remote Desktop Host Installer. However, that is a one-time process.) Chrome Remote Desktop generated code When they click on the green “Share” button, they will get a 12-digit randomly generated numerical code. That’s your cue to click on the “Access” button. Have your friend or relative call or text you the code, and type it into the pop-up box. The other person will get a box that asks “Would you like to allow to see and control your computer?” They have the choice to Share or Cancel. Assuming they’ve selected Share, you will now have control of their computer. The other person never loses control, but you can do anything they can from your computer, including showing them how to set up Skype or finding the email they accidentally deleted. Chrome Remote Desktop sharing screen As long as the screen is being shared, there will be a small box reminding both you and the other person of that fact. And after a few minutes, there will be a “timeout” warning on the client system, which will have to be clicked on or the connection will be lost. This is a safety feature, although it can become irritating if you’re in for a long session. There is a way around that, but it will only work in some cases. Remember that “Access your own computer from anywhere link” on the first Remote Desktop window? Click on that “Get started” button. You’ll be asked to enable remote connections and to provide a PIN for security. Once that’s done, you can then use Remote Desktop from another computer by simply going to Remote Access, finding the system on the list of My Computers, clicking on it, and entering the PIN. Then, there will be no timeouts. However, there is one major caveat: you must be using the same Google account on both systems. Making it mobile The mobile versions of Chrome Remote Desktop also work fairly smoothly once you’ve downloaded the appropriate app. However, keep in mind that you will not be able to see the entire client screen on your phone; you will have to scroll around the display, which may make things a bit difficult. Admittedly, the interface for Remote Desktop could be better. Google may finally be getting that message — there is apparently a beta version in the works — but for now, the above directions are the best way to go. Chrome Remote Desktop isn’t the only remote access software available. For example, Windows has its own Remote Desktop app, and Macs offer a Screen Sharing feature. There are also a number of other apps out there. However, Chrome Remote Desktop makes it simple for people to share screens cross-platform with very little effort.
  10. Consumer advocates and the data-hungry technology industry are drawing early battle lines in advance of an expected fight this year over what kind of federal privacy law the U.S. should have. On Thursday, more than a dozen privacy organizations unveiled a plan that would create a new federal data-protection agency focused on regulating the way businesses and other organizations collect and make use of personal data, even if aggregated or anonymized. The proposal would sideline the Federal Trade Commission, which has limited powers and a mixed record of holding companies to account for privacy problems. On the other side, a think tank backed by Google, Amazon, Microsoft and other major tech companies proposed changes that would still give the industry broad authority to collect and use customer data. The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation called for national legislation that would repeal and replace existing privacy laws with a "common set of protections" intended to encourage innovation while also quashing tougher state laws. The U.S. has no overarching national law governing data collection and privacy. Instead, it has a patchwork of federal laws that protect specific types of data, such as consumer health and financial information and the personal data generated by younger children. States have also started to pass their own tougher restrictions. A California measure set to take effect next year, for instance, will let consumers request the data collected from them and to opt out of future collection. Calls for a national privacy law gained force after Facebook's Cambridge Analytica scandal last year, in which the social media giant was forced to admit that onetime political consultants for the 2016 Trump campaign had improperly accessed the personal information of as many as 87 million users. Continuing revelations of data missteps at Facebook and other big tech companies have bolstered a U.S. reform movement. Its advocates take heart from recent developments in Europe, which last year enacted sweeping privacy regulations that, among other things, require companies to obtain permission before collecting most data. Several U.S. senators — including Ron Wyden, an Oregon Democrat, Brian Schatz, a Hawaii Democrat, and Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican — have already introduced draft privacy legislation. "Privacy advocates are fed up with the FTC and with Washington failing to reign in the immense power the big data giants hold," said Jeffrey Chester, the executive director of the Center for Digital Democracy, which helped author the reform proposal. 'Baseline' protections Their proposal would set limits on what data companies can collect and would require firms to consider correcting or deleting personal data upon request. It would also prevent companies from giving customer data to the government unless criminal investigations necessitated it. By contrast, the ITIF report calls for a "grand bargain" that would accept a national privacy law long opposed by industry. In the foundation's proposal, however, this law would establish "baseline" privacy protections across all industries — and would prevent states from enacting stronger measures. "A lot of privacy activists are entrenched in creating ever more complicated rules," Daniel Castro, a co-author of the ITIF report's, said by email. "The only way to simplify these rules is to rewrite them." Privacy experts say the baseline protections in the ITIF proposal still leave consumers at the mercy of big corporations. For instance, its "limited" consumer protections would require individuals to track the companies that collect their data in order to request access or corrections, rather than shifting that burden to companies themselves, said Eric Null, senior policy counsel at the New America think tank's Open Technology Institute. The ITIF proposal would also prevent individual lawsuits against companies accused of misrepresenting or misusing their data, primarily to shield corporations from legal risk. Instead, only government would be empowered to protect individual rights. "A federal privacy law should include the power of a private individual to bring legal action," said Adam Schwartz, a lawyer with the Electronic Freedom Foundation, a digital-rights advocacy group. ITIF's plan could potentially start a conversation in Congress over repealing existing federal privacy laws, Null said, but several Democratic lawmakers strongly oppose that. "We should build upon — not dismantle — existing safeguards," said Sen. Ed Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, in an emailed statement from his office. Chris Hoofnagle, another privacy researcher at the University of California at Berkeley, called the ITIF offer "laughable," noting that it falls short of the voluntary privacy commitments companies such as Google, Microsoft and Amazon have already made.
  11. Drones would also be allowed to fly overhead and will be further integrated into national airspace. Right on the heels of Canada introducing new, stricter regulations for drone operations, the US Department of Transportation proposed a new set of rules for drones that would allow the unmanned vehicles to fly over populated areas and operate at night. The proposal also includes a pilot program for drone traffic management that would help to integrate the aircrafts into the nation's airspace. Under the proposed rules, the Federal Aviation Administration would no longer require drone operators to get waivers to operate at night. Instead, it would require drones flying after twilight to have an anti-collision light that would make it visible for at least three miles. Pilots operating a drone at night would also have to undergo knowledge testing and training before being cleared to fly. According to the FAA, requests to operate at night are the most common type of waiver it receives. The agency has granted 1,233 waivers and has not recorded any reports of accidents. The new rules would also loosen the restrictions on allowing drones to operate over people. The proposal suggests that unmanned aircrafts weighing less than 0.55 pounds could fly over populated areas without restrictions. Drones weighing more than that would require proof from a manufacturer that a malfunction wouldn't cause severe injury if the drone crashed into a person. Larger drones also would not be allowed to fly overhead if they have exposed rotating parts or if they have any known safety defects. Finally, the FAA announced plans to go forward with a pilot program to further integrate drones into the national airspace shared by airplane traffic. The project will run through September 2019 and will focus on flight planning, communications, aircraft separation and weather services. The program, first developed as a research project by NASA and operated as a joint effort between that agency and the FAA, will be used primarily to gather information that will help set future rules
  12. The bill dictates that public info released by federal agencies should be "machine-readable." POTUS has signed a bill into law that includes the OPEN Government Data Act, following approvals (and amendments) from the Senate and Congress. The sweeping legislation is aimed at making public data released by the government easier to access via smartphones and other electronic devices. It essentially requires that federal agencies publish any "non-sensitive" info in a "machine-readable" format (meaning in a file type that a phone or laptop can process, rather than a raw data dump). The White House announced on Monday that the the Foundations for Evidence-Based Policymaking Act (H.R. 4174) was now the law of the land, title II of which is the OPEN Government Data Act. The Center for Data Innovation think tank hailed the step as "a major bipartisan victory for open data," adding that "the United States has established itself as one of the global leaders in open data." "The government-wide law will transform the way the government collects, publishes, and uses non-sensitive public information," said Sarah Joy Hays, acting executive director of the Data Coalition, a membership-based trade association that worked on Title II. "The OPEN Government Data Act...sets a presumption that all government information should be open data by default: machine-readable and freely-reusable. Our Coalition celebrates the congressional and Executive Branch allies, as well as the open data advocates, who made this possible."
  13. All logins are equal, regardless of whether they're a passcode or a biometric unlock. Authorities can't force people to unlock devices with their faces, fingers or irises, a magistrate judge from California has ruled. Forbes has uncovered a nine-page order denying the search warrant for an investigation looking into a Facebook extortion crime. While the judge admits that investigators were able to establish probable cause for the warrant, she called their request to unlock any phone on the premises with biometrics "overbroad." The request wasn't limited to a particular person or device, and authorities would've been able to get everyone in the house to open their devices. Magistrate judge Kandis Westmore stressed that law enforcement doesn't have the right to force people to unlock their phones even with a warrant, thereby declaring that biometrics are equal to passcodes. Courts commonly allow biometric unlocks, because judges don't consider body parts "testimonial." The reason being, people have to give up passwords and passcodes verbally and willingly, so they're covered under the Fifth Amendment protections against self-incrimination. Westmore wrote in her ruling: "If a person cannot be compelled to provide a passcode because it is a testimonial communication, a person cannot be compelled to provide one's finger, thumb, iris, face, or other biometric feature to unlock that same device. The undersigned finds that a biometric feature is analogous to the 20 nonverbal, physiological responses elicited during a polygraph test, which are used to determine guilt or innocence, and are considered testimonial." Westmore noted that "technology is outpacing the law" and that the government has other means to solve the case. In this particular instance, investigators can obtain Messenger communications from Facebook itself with a proper warrant under the Stored Communications Act. According to Forbes, Facebook had been willing to hand over messages to authorities for a significant number of previous cases, so there's really no reason investigators can't go that route. While Westmore's decision is out of the norm and can still be overturned, EFF senior staff attorney Andrew Crocker said it's worth noting that "courts are beginning to look at these issues on their own terms."
  14. Set your devices free The smartphone revolution put an amazing amount of computing power into out pockets. But that iPhone you tote around will only what Apple and your carrier allow it to do. You play by their rules. You can download whatever apps you want from the App Store, but you can't download third-party apps Apple hasn't approved. You can tweak the settings menu to your heart's content, but you can't change the rules of Apple's operating system. The desire to defeat these restrictions gave birth to the idea of“jailbreaking”—the process of setting a phone free from the cage that companies build around it. Today, people are still doing it for just about every consumer electronics device there is. Here’s what you need to know. What is jailbreaking, really? One way to think about how a device works from a software security standpoint is to imagine it as a castle. Anyone can do the stuff outside the moat—say, open the internet browser app. The person who owns the phone can get inside the moat—they can download and install apps—and they can even get inside the castle walls, which might be going into settings and making some configurations. But somewhere, in the highest tower, is stuff that only the people who made the device get access to. This is the inner sanctum where the foundational code that determines how the device works lives. When you jailbreak a phone, you’re passing yourself off as someone who can get into every room in the castle, even if you’re just a peasant. That’s why you’ll also hear jailbreaking called “privilege escalation.” Any other names? When it comes to Android devices, you’ll usually hear “rooting” rather than “jailbreaking,” but functionally it's pretty much the same thing. So it’s not just iPhones that can be jailbroken? Nope. You can jailbreak Android phones, too, and pretty much any consumer device you might want to use in a way not intended by its manufacturer. People jailbreak Amazon Firesticks and Roku streaming boxes to run media software they prefer to the built-in apps, and Nintendo Switches to run emulated games. So you can make a jailbroken device run other software? Yes: because you can give a device features it doesn’t have according to the manufacturer’s spec. Take the iPhone. You can add the ability to tether–use the phone’s cellular collection to create a Wi-Fi network other devices can hop on—even if your device and plan don’t allow it. You can install apps that Apple doesn’t allow. You can redesign the look and feel of the OS. Is this legal? If it were up to the manufacturers, it probably wouldn’t be legal. But courts have affirmed that consumers have the right to jailbreak their devices—in the U.S., anyway (make sure to check the laws the cover where you live). That said, if you jailbreak your device, you’ve probably voided the warranty. So is it safe? By circumventing the manufacturer’s software, you’ve also circumvented the manufacturer’s security. You could be opening yourself up to malware and other issues like hacking or privacy violations. Whether or not to jailbreak is really a caveat emptor proposition, and certainly not something for casual or novice users. You're opening Pandora's Box not only for you to play in, but also for anyone else who can gain access to your phone. Also, jailbreaking some devices runs the risk of bricking them if you do it wrong, that is to say completely destroying your device permanently. So be aware of the risks. OK. How do I actually do it? It varies from device to device, but generally speaking: You download a jailbreaking software package, then follow its instructions to get its code implemented on your device. Note that this also varies with each new OS release for your device. Apple, for example, updates its security protocols with each update to iOS, so there’s always a bit of a time lag before there’s new jailbreaking software available, and there's no guarantee that a given device can be jailbroken, but the hackers usually find a way. Just be patient, and of course, be careful.
  15. There are plenty of counter-drone weapons to choose from, but all of them have shortcomings. For the second time in less than a month, flights at a major London airport have been halted by drone activity. On Monday evening, departures from Heathrow Airport were stopped for about an hour after a drone sighting nearby with the British military investigating the situation. But at a time when the number of drones—hobbyist and commercial—will only increase, is there anything airports and governments can do to safeguard against delays, and, in the worst circumstances, fatal collisions? It's no secret that a collision between an airliner and a drone could be catastrophic. Even though it's small, these "mechanical geese from hell" pose big threats to a plane's exterior and its engines. Yesterday's disruption at Heathrow has been minor compared to the holiday mess at Gatwick Airport, which shut down after an airport security officer spotted two drones flying over a perimeter road. Over 140,000 passengers had their flights diverted or delayed. Airport operations at Gatwick did not resume until 36 hours after the original incident. Geofencing restrictions built into consumer drones are supposed to stop them from operating in prohibited areas but those safety measures can easily be hacked. New UK laws prohibiting drone use near airports may stop hobbyists, but are clearly not enough to stop malicious users, such as criminals, terrorists, or activists bent on stopping flights. That leaves the use of force. The “military capability” brought in at Gatwick was withdrawn on January 3 and is now at Heathrow. The Ministry of Defence refuses to comment exactly what they are using, but we can gather a pretty good idea of what it is and what it does. There are currently six different ways to take down a drone, and some more plausible than others. Detect, Identify, and Jam Small drones are elusive. Despite 93 credible sightings by witnesses at Gatwick Airport, there was no good video of the drone in action, and drones are just as difficult to spot on radar. Radar to spot and track aircraft is designed to filter out small, slow objects, which were previously most likely to be birds, so special sensors are needed for drones. According to Aviation Week Magazine, the system used at Gatwick was the $6 million Anti-UAV [Unmanned Aerial Vehicle] Defence System or AUDS. This combines a radar sensor from Blighter, a Hawkeye video tracker and thermal imager which can track and classify a drone, and a radio jammer from Enterprise Control Systems. Jammers work by interfering with communications between the operator and the drone. This is fairly easy with commercial drones, which operate on known wavelengths and have no resistance to interference. When a drone loses the radio link, it will attempt to fly back towards the operator to re-establish a connection. If GPS navigation is also jammed, it will usually land on the spot There are many similar drone detection and jamming systems. According to The Times of Israel, the British used the Drone Dome system from Israeli company Rafael at Gatwick, another one combining specialist sensors and jammers. This is certainly possible given that the UK purchased a system earlier in 2018. However, this type of defense works only with consumer drones, which often rely on radio signals. More advanced drones can work on their own; for example, the new Skyraider from Aeryon has a "Dark Mode" for covert operations, flying autonomously with no operator link, while DARPA’s Collaborative Operations in Denied Environment shows how whole swarms of drones can work together when both communications and GPS are jammed. And this capability is only going to spread. Shoot ‘Em Down Police considered trying to shoot down drones at Gatwick, but even that is not as easy as it sounds. While drones have been knocked down with thrown sticks, beer bottles, or by shotgun-wielding neighbors, these are usually slow or stationary drones hovering at short distance. Police at Gatwick were pictured armed with shotguns, which present less of a safety hazard than rifles but are only effective at close range. At an altitude of several hundred feet, and moving at 30 mph, a drone is an extremely challenging target. The U.S. Army’s guidance on tackling small, low, slow drones advises that rather than individual soldiers trying to shoot at the drone, the entire platoon should fire their rifles and machine guns at a fixed point in the sky in the drone’s flight path so it runs into a wall of lead. However, every bullet has to land somewhere, and bullets can be dangerous more than a mile away. Massed firing into the sky in densely populated southern England would be likely to end up with unacceptable collateral damage. Even one broken window would draw unfavorable media attention. Call In R2-D2 Maybe something more advanced than manually aimed bullets is needed. The Phalanx CIWS fitted to U.S. warships is a computer-controlled, radar-guided cannon with an awesome rate of fire. Affectionately known as R2-D2 (and "the Dalek" to UK Royal Navy crews), it spits out 70 20mm rounds a second and can shoot down sea-skimming missiles at the last second before they reach a ship. A modified version, C-RAM, defends U.S. bases from rockets and mortar rounds. CIWS looks ideal for taking out small drones with shells designed to “explode at a certain altitude so as to reduce injuries on the ground.” But any duds would leave an area littered with unexploded ordnance, something that's happened to London before. During World War II, falling anti-aircraft shells sometimes did more damage than the bombers they were supposed to shoot down. For the meantime though, these systems are simply not built to deal with small, slow threats at low levels. Rockets and mortar rounds come in on a high trajectory where they show up well on radar, whereas drones can stay close to the ground. Phalanx would need to be integrated with a new radar/sensor system to cope with the threat, and protecting a major airport like Gatwick would be an expensive proposition. Tangled Up in Nets Nets are safer than bullets or missiles with no risk of collateral damage to the surrounding area. Skywall made by UK company Liteye is a bazooka-like device, which fires a net to entangle a drone and parachute it safely to the ground. There is no danger to anyone underneath and the drone is captured intact for forensic analysis. Other net projectiles range from Skynet 12-gauge shotgun cartridges to 40mm cannon rounds. But high-velocity rounds are dangerous projectiles. Skywall is launched with compressed air, which ensures that it is safe but means that range is limited to about a hundred meters, which would have been of little use to security personnel at Gatwick. Getting a Bit Sci-Fi On its surface, lasers look like the ideal way to counter drone weapons. They are precise enough to hit small, agile targets a mile away, and there is no risk to people or property on the ground. Israeli aerospace outfit Rafael, who make the Drone Dome system allegedly deployed at Gatwick, can also supply a laser "hard kill" anti-drone module. There are a vast number of other counter-drone lasers jostling for room in the marketplace, from the U.S. Army’s own version, to systems from makers like Raytheon and Lockheed Martin and European firms BAE Systems and Rheinmetall. Not to mention similar systems in China and Russia. Lasers have been shooting down drones on test range since 1973, but have not yet been used in action because of a key issue known as "dwell time." Rather than being instantaneous like a bullet, the beam has to stay focused on the drone for a period of time to melt or burn it enough to bring it down. Drones in tests fly in convenient straight lines, an unlikely path for a real target. Military lasers also work on specific, known wavelengths, so operators could coat their drones in protective material to reflect that specific frequency and degrade the laser’s effectiveness. Fighting Fire With Fire In the end, the best way to bring down a drone may be with another drone. An event known as DroneClash, organized in 2018 by Delft University of Technology, challenges developers and engineers to find creative ways to counter threat drones without any risk to bystanders. In last year's competition, teams armed their drones with entangling devices and dart guns or reinforced them for ramming. Dogfighting drones are a cheap, long-range solution which can be directed with high precision. The military has also done something similar. In June 2018, the U.S. Marine Corps fielded a mobile defense system called GBAD with an array of sensors, jammers, and missiles, along with a pod of interceptor drones. These are based on Raytheon’s Coyote drone and are armed with high-explosive warheads. Unlike missiles, the interceptor drones should not present a hazard if they fail to find a target and may even be reusable. No Easy Solution The motives of the drone operators at Gatwick and Heathrow are not known, but another drone incident looks like a near certainty. None of the existing solutions is likely to work on its own. In the future, airports are likely to rely on a variety of drone detection and tracking sensors, backed up by jammers and other systems such as interceptor drones. Cost will be an issue. While big airports like Gatwick and Heathrow may be able to afford several million for drone protection, smaller operators will not have that luxury, simply shifting the problem to the places that are less able to deal with it. Any failure is likely to lead to another shutdown, and at worst, a malicious drone could bring disaster.