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New Mirai Malware Variant Targets Signage TVs and Presentation Systems

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-03-19 01:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from ZDNet: Security researchers have spotted a new variant of the Mirai IoT malware in the wild targeting two new classes of devices -- smart signage TVs and wireless presentation systems. This new strain is being used by a new IoT botnet that security researchers from Palo Alto Networks have spotted earlier this year. The botnet's author(s) appears to have invested quite a lot of their time in upgrading older versions of the Mirai malware with new exploits. Palo Alto Networks researchers say this new Mirai botnet uses 27 exploits, 11 of which are new to Mirai altogether, to break into smart IoT devices and networking equipment. Furthermore, the botnet operator has also expanded Mirai's built-in list of default credentials, that the malware is using to break into devices that use default passwords. Four new username and password combos have been added to Mirai's considerable list of default creds, researchers said in a report published earlier today. The purpose and modus operandi of this new Mirai botnet are the same as all the previous botnets. Infected devices scan the internet for other IoT devices with exposed Telnet ports and use the default credentials (from their internal lists) to break in and take over these new devices. The infected bots also scan the internet for specific device types and then attempt to use one of the 27 exploits to take over unpatched systems. The new Mirai botnet is specifically targeting LG Supersign signage TVs and WePresent WiPG-1000 wireless presentation systems.

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Education and Science Giant Elsevier Left Users' Passwords Exposed Online

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Wt, 2019-03-19 01:00
The world's largest scientific publisher, Elsevier, left a server open to the public internet, exposing user email addresses and passwords. "The impacted users include people from universities and educational institutions from across the world," reports Motherboard. "It's not entirely clear how long the server was exposed or how many accounts were impacted, but it provided a rolling list of passwords as well as password reset links when a user requested to change their login credentials." From the report: "Most users are .edu [educational institute] accounts, either students or teachers," Mossab Hussein, chief security officer at cybersecurity company SpiderSilk who found the issue, told Motherboard in an online chat. "They could be using the same password for their emails, iCloud, etc." Motherboard verified the data exposure by asking Hussein to reset his own password to a specific phrase provided by Motherboard before hand. A few minutes later, the plain text password appeared on the exposed server. Elsevier secured the server after Motherboard approached the company for comment. Hussein also provided Elsevier with details of the security issue. An Elsevier spokesperson told Motherboard in an emailed statement that "The issue has been remedied. We are still investigating how this happened, but it appears that a server was misconfigured due to human error. We have no indication that any data on the server has been misused. As a precautionary measure, we will also be informing our data protection authority, providing notice to individuals and taking appropriate steps to reset accounts."

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US Reveals Details of $500 Million Supercomputer

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-03-18 23:03
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: The Department of Energy disclosed details on Monday of one of the most expensive computers being built: a $500 million machine based on Intel and Cray technology that may become crucial in a high-stakes technology race between the United States and China (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source). The supercomputer, called Aurora, is a retooling of a development effort first announced in 2015 and is scheduled to be delivered to the Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago in 2021. Lab officials predict it will be the first American machine to reach a milestone called "exascale" performance, surpassing a quintillion calculations per second. That's roughly seven times the speed rating of the most powerful system built to date, or 1,000 times faster than the first "petascale" systems that began arriving in 2008. Backers hope the new machines will let researchers create significantly more accurate simulations of phenomena such as drug responses, climate changes, the inner workings of combustion engines and solar panels. Aurora, which far exceeds the $200 million price for Summit, represents a record government contract for Intel and a test of its continued leadership in supercomputers. The Silicon Valley giant's popular processors -- the calculating engine for nearly all personal computers and server systems -- power most such machines. But additional accelerator chips are considered essential to reach the very highest speeds, and its rival Nvidia has built a sizable business adapting chips first used with video games for use in supercomputers. The version of Aurora announced in 2015 was based on an Intel accelerator chip that the company later discontinued. A revised plan to seek more ambitious performance targets was announced two years later. Features discussed on Monday include unreleased Intel accelerator chips, a version of its standard Xeon processor, new memory and communications technology and a design that packages chips on top of each other to save space and power.

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Wells Fargo Sued By 63-Year-Old Pastor They Wrongfully Accused of Forging Checks

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-03-18 09:34
Wells Fargo has been hit with a lawsuit from a 63-year-old pastor at the United Methodist Church of Parsippany. Wells Fargo sent his ATM photos to the police, which he says led to false arrest, malicious prosecution -- and humiliation. NJ.com reports: In the lawsuit filed Thursday in Morris County Superior Court, attorneys for the 63-year-old pastor sought unspecified damages against Wells Fargo, which has come under fire over a series of scandals in recent years. Also named were the State Police detectives who originally brought the charges against him last year after bank security officials allegedly mistakenly identified a photo of Edwards taken at an ATM machine as a suspect in a series of fraudulent check deposits.... In the lawsuit, Edwards' attorney wrote that Wells Fargo notified the State Police when it discovered the bogus transactions, and the bank was asked to provide any still photos or video images taken from the ATM at Parsippany where some of the checks were deposited and later cashed out. The bank sent photos of Edwards, who had made his own deposit of checks at the same ATM the very same day, according to the complaint... The pastor said he first discovered he was the focus of a criminal investigation last year after a parishioner texted him a State Police Facebook posting requesting the public's help identifying a man suspected of depositing fraudulent checks at an ATM... In an interview, Edwards said after seeing the post, he called the detectives and shared a copy of his banking transactions to show he had not deposited the fraudulent checks. "I thought it would clear things up," he said. "They said all their information was from Wells Fargo..." Last September, Edwards said he was asked to come down to the State Police station in Holmdel. After he got there, he said he was shocked to find out he was being arrested and charged with third degree forgery. When he protested and said somebody made an error, he said one of the investigators asked him if the case did go to trial, who would the jury believe -- a bank security expert or him? "They fingerprinted me. Took my mug shot and gave me a court date," he said. The case fell apart, but the 63-year-old pastor says he never received an apology from the police, or from Wells Fargo. "The carelessness of both Wells Fargo and the State Police is kind of appalling, and I wonder what happens to somebody who might not have the resources to defend themselves," the pastor told NJ.com. "I told them yes that was my picture and yes I was in the bank that day. That's all they needed to arrest me." A spokesman for Wells Fargo told the reporter they'd be unable to comment "since this is a pending legal matter." But the story was submitted to Slashdot by someone claiming to be pastor Jeff Edwards. "Wells Fargo carelessly provided ATM pictures [of] me to the state police in a fraudulent check investigation that led to my arrest," reads the original submission. "The case was dismissed when it was demonstrated that Wells Fargo had been grossly irresponsible."

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BBC Visits 'Hated and Hunted' Ransomware Expert

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-03-18 05:34
In "Hated and hunted," a BBC reporter describes visiting a ransomware expert "who has devoted himself, at huge personal cost, to helping victims of ransomware around the world." They hate him so much that they leave him angry threats buried deep inside the code of their own viruses... "I was shocked but I also felt a real sense of pride," says Fabian. "Almost like, a little bit cocky. I'm not going to lie, yeah, it was nice...." He works remotely for a cyber security company, often sitting for hours at a time working with colleagues in different countries. When he's "in the zone", the outside world becomes even less important and his entire existence focuses on the code on his screen. He once woke up with keyboard imprints all over his face after falling asleep during a 35-hour session. All of this to create anti-ransomware programs that he and his company usually give away free. Victims simply download the tools he makes for each virus, follow the instructions and get their files back... According to research from Emsisoft, the cyber security company Fabian works for, a computer is attacked every two seconds. Their network has managed to prevent 2,584,105 infections in the past 60 days -- and that's just one anti-virus firm of dozens around the world.... "It's pretty much an arms race," says Fabian. "They release a new ransomware virus, I find a flaw in its code and build the decryption tool to reverse it so people can get their files back. Then the criminals release a new version which they hope I can't break... It escalates with them getting more and more angry with me...." Fabian accepts that moving around and restricting his life and circle of friends is just a part of the sacrifice for his hobby-turned-profession... He earns a very good salary but looking around his home and at his life it's hard to see how he spends it. He estimates that he's "upset or angered" 100 different ransomware gangs (based on his analysis of the Bitcoin wallets where they collect their ransoms.) One group had collected about $250,000 (£191,000) in three months -- until Fabian created a countering anti-ransomware program -- which is one reason he carefully hids his identity. "I know how much money they make and it would be literally nothing for them to drop 10 or 20,000 for like some Russian dude to turn up to my house and beat the living hell out of me."

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Nevada Lawmakers Want Police To Scan Cellphones After Car Crashes

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pn, 2019-03-18 01:34
An anonymous reader quotes the Associated Press: Most states ban texting behind the wheel, but a legislative proposal could make Nevada one of the first states to allow police to use a contentious technology to find out if a person was using a cellphone during a car crash... If the Nevada measure passes, it would allow police to use a device known as the "textalyzer," which connects to a cellphone and looks for user activity, such as opening a Facebook messenger call screen. It is made by Israel-based company Cellebrite, which says the technology does not access or store personal content. It has not been tested in the field and is not being used by any law enforcement agencies. The company said the device could be tested in the field if the Nevada legislation passes... Opponents air concerns that the measure violates the Fourth Amendment, which protects against unreasonable search and seizure. Jay Stanley, a senior policy analyst at the American Civil Liberties Union, also raised questions over how the software will work and if it will be open sourced so the public can ensure it doesn't access personal content... Law enforcement officials argue that distracted driving is underreported and that weak punishments do little to stop drivers from texting, scrolling or otherwise using their phones. Adding to the problem, they say there is no consistent police practice that holds those drivers accountable for traffic crashes, unlike drunken driving.

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Texas Lawmakers Want To Stop Tesla From Fixing Its Own Cars

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-03-17 21:34
In Texas the local car dealer lobby has blocked Tesla from selling its cars directly to customers. They're using old laws meant to prevent car manufacturers from competing with their own local dealers -- but Tesla never had any local dealers! And according to Electrek, it gets worse... Despite this issue, Texans have bought thousands of Tesla vehicles, which the automaker delivers from other states to comply with the law. Tesla has been able to service those vehicles through its own service centers, which are not subject to those same direct-sale rules, but now dealers are even going after Tesla's right to service its cars. Quartz offers some additional coverage: At issue is a battle over money. Car dealers derive much of their revenue from selling and (especially) servicing vehicles. Tesla's direct-to-customer sales and service stations are a threat to that business model since they cut dealers out of the transaction.

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Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Says Labor Shouldn't Have To Fear Automation

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - N, 2019-03-17 00:34
Munky101 tipped us off to some interesting comments from New York's activist congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. TechCrunch reports: It's impossible to discuss the seismic shift toward automation without a conversation about job loss. Opponents of these technologies criticize a displacement that could someday result in wide-scale unemployment among what is often considered "unskilled" roles. Advocates, meanwhile, tend to suggest that reports of that nature tend to be overstated. Workforces shift, as they have done for time immemorial. During a conversation at SXSW this week, New York congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez offered another take entirely. "We should not be haunted by the specter of being automated out of work," she said in an answer reported by The Verge. "We should be excited by that. But the reason we're not excited by it is because we live in a society where if you don't have a job, you are left to die. And that is, at its core, our problem... We should be excited about automation, because what it could potentially mean is more time educating ourselves, more time creating art, more time investing in and investigating the sciences, more time focused on invention, more time going to space, more time enjoying the world that we live in," The Verge quoted Ocasio-Cortez as saying. "Because not all creativity needs to be bonded by wage." And Ocasio-Cortez cited Bill Gates' suggestion (first floated in a presentation on Quartz) that a robot tax might be a way to make that vision real. "What [Gates is] really talking about is taxing corporations," she reportedly said. "But it's easier to say: 'tax a robot.' " Science fiction writer William Gibson called her comments "shockingly intelligent" for a politician. Fast Company adds that robots "have put half a million people out of work in the United States, and researchers estimate that bots could take 800 million jobs by 2030" -- then quotes Ocasio-Cortez's assessment of the unfair state of labor today. "We should be working the least amount we've ever worked, if we were actually paid based on how much wealth we were producing, but we're not," she said. "We're paid by how little we're desperate enough to accept. And then the rest is skimmed off and given to a billionaire."

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Chicago To Shutdown Composting Business Because Regulations Don't Cover Worms

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-03-16 22:34
schwit1 shared an article from Reason's "Volokh Conspiracy" blog: Nature's Little Recyclers is a father-son business that does composting on empty residential lots, transforming organic waste into nutrient-rich soil. Last year, the business's worms processed 10 tons of banana peels and cups from the Chicago Marathon that would otherwise have gone to a landfill. But Chicago officials are going to shut the business down -- and not because the city doesn't think composting is a good thing (the city's sustainability website directs people to Nature's Little Recyclers). Rather, the city's business and zoning regulations weren't designed to accommodate small and innovative operations like Nature's Little Recyclers. "None of these operations met the criteria for garden composting or an on-site organic waste composting operation," said Anel Ruiz, spokesperson for the Department of Public Health, in a statement to Block Club Chicago, adding "Further, these sites are not properly zoned for commercial composting." But another perspective was shared by lawyer Amy Hermalik, associate director of the Institute for Justice Clinic on Entrepreneurship at the University of Chicago. "The city will unofficially imply there's wiggle room, saying it only enforces certain ordinances against 'bad operators,' but that leaves businesses subject to shifting political winds or personal whims, Hermalik said. 'They [the city] have an incredible amount of power to do as they please.'"

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Kamala Harris Introduces Bill To Send Millions To Local Governments For Tech Support

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-03-16 04:10
Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Kamala Harris has introduced legislation that would allocate millions of dollars for local government to create dedicated teams that could "update and rebuild" government systems. The Verge reports: The United States Digital Service, an office established in 2014 after the widespread failures of Healthcare.gov, provides IT support for the federal government, bringing technologists into the government to work on tools like federal websites. It's continued to operate under the Trump administration, and some states, Harris' office notes, have experimented with similar teams. Harris' bill, the Digital Service Act, would provide an annual $50 million to the federal service, but it also goes further, allocating $15 million per year to state and local governments to create similar teams. Harris' bill, the Digital Service Act, would provide an annual $50 million to the federal service, but it also goes further, allocating $15 million per year to state and local governments to create similar teams. Under the plan, the national Digital Service would offer two-year grants, giving state and local governments between $200,000 and $2.5 million per year. Those governments would be required to take on 20 percent of costs and to spend at least half of the money on talent, rather than tech. The national Digital Service, under the proposal, would report bi-annually to Congress on the progress of the grantees. The bill would provide funding through 2027.

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Man Arrested For Selling One Million Netflix, Spotify, Hulu Passwords

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-03-16 03:30
Police in Australia have arrested a man who allegedly made AU $300,000 (US $211,000) running a website which sold the account passwords of popular online subscription services including Netflix, Spotify, Hulu, PSN, and Origin. From a report: The 21-year-old man was arrested on Tuesday in Sydney, Australia, following an international investigation by the FBI and the Australian Federal Police into the website Wicked Gen. The Wicked Gen website bragged that it had over 120,000 users and almost one million sets of account details, offering monthly and yearly membership plans for those who wanted "access to thousands of premium accounts across a huge range of services." The account passwords, however, were not obtained via legitimate means. Instead the details were typically obtained through credential stuffing using swathes of usernames and passwords leaked through other data breaches, without the knowledge of their genuine owners.

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ISPs Strike Deal With Vermont To Suspend State Net Neutrality Law

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - So, 2019-03-16 02:50
The state of Vermont has agreed to suspend enforcement of its net neutrality law pending the outcome of a lawsuit against the Federal Communications Commission. In October 2018, five industry groups representing major internet providers and cable companies sued Vermont seeking to block a state law barring companies that do not abide by net neutrality rules from receiving state contracts. But, as Ars Technica reports, "the lobby groups and state agreed to delay litigation and enforcement of the Vermont law in a deal that they detailed in a joint court filing yesterday." From the report: The delay will remain in place until after a final decision in the lawsuit seeking to reverse the FCC's net neutrality repeal and the FCC's preemption of state net neutrality laws. Vermont is one of 22 states that sued the FCC in that case in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. Tech companies and consumer advocacy groups are also opposing the FCC in the same case. Oral arguments were held last month, and DC Circuit judges will likely issue a decision in the coming months. An FCC loss in that case could entirely restore federal net neutrality rules, potentially making the Vermont law redundant. But a partial loss for the FCC could leave the federal repeal in place while allowing states to enforce their own net neutrality laws. The Vermont delay would remain in place until after all appeals are exhausted in the FCC case, which could potentially reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

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The Intercept Shuts Down Access To Snowden Trove

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-03-15 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Daily Beast: First Look Media announced Wednesday that it was shutting down access to whistleblower Edward Snowden's massive trove of leaked National Security Agency documents. Over the past several years, The Intercept, which is owned by First Look Media, has maintained a research team to handle the large number of documents provided by Snowden to Intercept journalists Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald. But in an email to staff Wednesday evening, First Look CEO Michael Bloom said that as other major news outlets had "ceased reporting on it years ago," The Intercept had decided to "focus on other editorial priorities" after expending five years combing through the archive. "The Intercept is proud of its reporting on the Snowden archive, and we are thankful to Laura Poitras and Glenn Greenwald for making it available to us," Bloom wrote. He added: "It is our hope that Glenn and Laura are able to find a new partner -- such as an academic institution or research facility -- that will continue to report on and publish the documents in the archive consistent with the public interest." Poitras reprimanded First Look Media for its decision to shut down its archives, and lay off 4 percent of its staff who had maintained them. "This decision and the way it was handled would be a disservice to our source, the risks we've all taken, and most importantly, to the public for whom Edward Snowden blew the whistle," she wrote. "Late Thursday evening, Greenwald tweeted that both he and Poitras had full copies of the archives, and had been searching for a partner to continue research," reports The Daily Beast.

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Apple Dealt Legal Blow as Jury Awards Qualcomm $31 Million

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-03-15 22:50
Apple violated three Qualcomm patents and should pay the chipmaker $31 million for infringing on its technology, a jury decided Thursday, giving Qualcomm momentum as it heads into another legal skirmish with the iPhone maker next month. From a report: Qualcomm, which filed the suit in July 2017, alleged Apple had used its technology without permission in some versions of its popular iPhone. The jury awarded Qualcomm the full amount it requested at the start of the two-week trial, which was held in San Diego. One disputed Qualcomm patent covers technology that lets a smartphone quickly connect to the internet once the device is turned on. Another deals with graphics processing and battery life. The third addresses technology that shifts traffic between a phone's apps processor and modem. The $31 million in damages -- or $1.41 per infringing iPhone -- is a drop in the bucket for Apple, a company that briefly became a $1 trillion company last year. But it marks an important victory for Qualcomm, burnishing its reputation as a mobile components innovator. The win also lends credibility to the notion that much of the company's innovation is reflected in iPhones.

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Facebook Readies AI Tech To Combat 'Revenge Porn'

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-03-15 16:52
Facebook said on Friday it would use AI to combat the spread of intimate photos shared without people's permission, sometimes called "revenge porn," on its social networks. From a report: The new technology is in addition to a pilot program that required trained representatives to review offending images. "By using machine learning and artificial intelligence, we can now proactively detect near nude images or videos that are shared without permission," the social networking giant said in a blog post. "This means we can find this content before anyone reports it." A member of Facebook's community operations team would review the content found by the new technology, and if found to be an offending image, remove it or disable the account responsible for spreading it, the company added.

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You Will Soon Be Able To Pay Your Subway Fare With Your Face in China

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Pt, 2019-03-15 01:30
China has led the world in adoption of smartphone-based mobile payments to the point where the central bank had to remind merchants not to discriminate against cash. The next phase of development may be to pay with your face. South Morning China Post: In Shenzhen, the local subway operator is testing various advanced technologies backed by the ultra-fast 5G network, including facial-recognition ticketing. At the Futian station, instead of presenting a ticket or scanning a QR bar code on their smartphones, commuters can scan their faces on a tablet-sized screen mounted on the entrance gate and have the fare automatically deducted from their linked accounts. Currently in a trial mode, the facial-recognition ticketing service could in future help improve the efficiency of handling the up to 5 million rides per day on the city's subway network. Shenzhen Metro did not elaborate when it will roll out the facial payment service. The introduction of facial recognition-and-payment services to the public transit system marks another step by China toward integrating facial recognition and other artificial intelligence-based technology into everyday life in the world's most populous nation. Consumers can already pay for fried chicken at KFC in China with its "Smile to Pay" facial recognition system, first introduced at an outlet in Hangzhou in January 2017.

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Boeing 737 Max Crashes 'Linked' By Satellite Track Data, FAA Says

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-03-14 22:10
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The Federal Aviation Administration issued an emergency order grounding all Boeing 737 MAX aircraft on March 13, citing new data that showed a possible link between the March 10 crash of an Ethiopian Airlines flight and the crash of a Lion Air flight off the coast of Indonesia last October. In an interview with NPR's David Greene this morning, acting FAA Director Dan Ewell said that "newly refined satellite data" from a flight telemetry system had led the agency to make the move. Both Ethiopian Airlines Flight 302 (ET302) and Lion Air Flight 610 (JT610) were recently acquired 737 MAX 8 aircraft, and both were lost with all aboard just minutes after take-off. According to the emergency order issued by the FAA, "new information from the wreckage concerning the aircraft's configuration just after takeoff that, taken together with newly refined data from satellite-based tracking of the aircraft's flight path, indicates some similarities between the ET302 JT610 accidents that warrant further investigation of the possibility of a shared cause for the two incidents that needs to be better understood and addressed." The source of the data in question is a combination of telemetry feeds from the flights' Automatic Dependent Surveillance(ADS) system. Introduced in the US in 2001 and more widely worldwide in the wake of the crash of Malaysian Airlines flight 370 in 2014, Europe has required most aircraft to carry the UHF-band ADS-Broadcast (ADS-B) system since 2017, and the FAA has mandated ADS-B for most aircraft by 2020. While ADS-B data was initially meant to be picked up by other aircraft and ground stations, it is also tracked by satellites. Other, less-granular telemetry data sent in the subscription-based ADS-addressed/Contract (ADS-A/ADS-C) format, the Future Air Navigation System(FANS), and the Aircraft Communications Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS) are also picked up by satellite.

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Facebook's Data Deals Are Under Criminal Investigation

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-03-14 15:00
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The New York Times: Federal prosecutors are conducting a criminal investigation into data deals Facebook struck with some of the world's largest technology companies (Warning: source may be paywalled; alternative source), intensifying scrutiny of the social media giant's business practices as it seeks to rebound from a year of scandal and setbacks. A grand jury in New York has subpoenaed records from at least two prominent makers of smartphones and other devices, according to two people who were familiar with the requests and who insisted on anonymity to discuss confidential legal matters. Both companies had entered into partnerships with Facebook, gaining broad access to the personal information of hundreds of millions of its users. The companies were among more than 150, including Amazon, Apple, Microsoft and Sony, that had cut sharing deals with the world's dominant social media platform. The agreements, previously reported in The New York Times, let the companies see users' friends, contact information and other data, sometimes without consent. Facebook has phased out most of the partnerships over the past two years. "We are cooperating with investigators and take those probes seriously," a Facebook spokesman said in a statement. "We've provided public testimony, answered questions and pledged that we will continue to do so."

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New Mexico the Most Coal-Heavy State To Pledge 100 Percent Carbon-Free Energy By 2045

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-03-14 03:50
New Mexico's state House of Representatives passed the "Energy Transition Act" on Tuesday, where it's expected to be signed quickly by Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham. The bill "commits the state to getting 100 percent of its energy from carbon-free sources by 2045," reports Ars Technica. From the report: The bill includes interim goals mandating that 50 percent of the state's energy mix be renewable by 2030 and 80 percent of the energy mix be renewable by 2040. The state currently buys no nuclear power, which is not renewable but qualifies as a zero-carbon energy source. The bill passed yesterday does not require that 100 percent of the state's energy be renewable by 2045; it just specifies that no electricity come from a carbon-emitting source. New Mexico is unique among these states because it is a relatively coal-heavy state, generating 1.5 gigawatts of coal-fired electricity as of November 2018. Last month, the state's Public Service Company of New Mexico had slated its 847MW San Juan coal plant for shut down by 2022, but a New York hedge fund called Acme Equities swooped in with an offer to buy the 46-year-old plant. According to Power Magazine, Acme intends to retrofit the plant with carbon capture and sequestration technology. If the deal goes through, Acme would use the captured carbon in enhanced oil recovery, where carbon is forced into older or weak oil wells to improve the pressure of the well and extract more oil. But with the passage of this bill, Acme's offer may not stand. New Mexico In Depth writes that the bill puts "$30 million toward the clean-up of the [San Juan] coal-fired power plant and the mine that supplies it and $40 million toward economic diversification efforts in that corner of the state and support for affected power plant employees and miners."

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Boeing 737 Max Jets Grounded By FAA Emergency Order

Slashdot - Your Rights Online - Cz, 2019-03-14 03:10
President Trump announced an emergency order from the Federal Aviation Administration on Wednesday grounding Boeing 737 Max jets in the wake of an Ethiopian Airlines crash Sunday and a Lion Air accident in October that together killed 346 people. The emergency order comes two days after the FAA said the Boeing 737 Max planes are still airworthy. NBC News reports: Trump's announcement came as the FAA faced mounting pressure from aviation advocates and others to ban flights of the planes pending the completion of investigations into the deadly accidents. Sunday's crash killed 157 people and the one in Indonesia in October left 189 dead. "We're going to be issuing an emergency order of prohibition to ground all flights of the 737 Max 8 and the 737 Max 9 and planes associated with that line," Trump announced, referring to "new information and physical evidence that we've received" in addition to some complaints. The FAA said it decided to ground the jets after it found that the Ethiopian Airlines aircraft that crashed had a flight pattern very similar to the Lion Air flight. "It became clear that the track of the Ethiopian flight behaved very similarly to the Lion Air flight," said Steven Gottlieb, deputy director of accident investigations for the FAA. United States airports and airlines reacted to the order Wednesday, acknowledging that it will lead to canceled flights. American has roughly 85 flights a day on the Boeing Max 8 and Max 9 jets. United Airlines has about 40 such flights. Southwest Airlines has the most, about 150 flights per day on these types of jets out of the airline's total of about 4,100 flights daily.

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