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AT&T raises prices 7% by making its customers pay AT&T’s property taxes | Ars Technica
AT&T can sign contracts promising one price then charge more and there is no recourse.
personal_net  evil  at&t  via:boingboing  ArsTechnica 
4 days ago by mcherm
Who needs qubits? Factoring algorithm run on a probabilistic computer | Ars Technica
Circuits that flip randomly (here called "p-bits") might provide an alternative form of computing. The article said nothing about an algorithmic analysis.
probabilisticcomputing  physics  hardware  ArsTechnica  via:HackerNews 
28 days ago by mcherm
The sim swap the US isn’t using | Ars Technica
To prevent the theft of SIM numbers for defeating text-based multi-factor authentication, mobile phone carriers around the world are letting banks know when a number has been recently changed. Except in the US, where the phone carriers won't participate.
security  banking  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
april 2019 by mcherm
Sorry Amazon: Philadelphia bans cashless stores | Ars Technica
Philadelphia passed an ordinance requiring all stores to accept cash, even though Amazon pushed for an exemption for their no-queue stores.
payments  amazon  philadelphia  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2019 by mcherm
Software patents poised to make a comeback under new patent office rules | Ars Technica
The federal circuit has effectively interpreted one line in Alice as meaning that it doesn't REALLY overturn software patents and they can bring them back.
law  patent  ip-law  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
january 2019 by mcherm
Fortnite reaches 15 million Android downloads without Google Play | Ars Technica
One game developer attempts to bypass the 30% cut that Google's app store takes. (Apple's app store can't be bypassed.)
appstore  google  mobile  mobiledevelopment  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
september 2018 by mcherm
If an algorithm draws lines on a map, is that the same as land surveying? | Ars Technica
Their computer program reads boundary descriptions and draws them on a map. Mississippi is suing them for practicing surveying without a license.
law  freespeech  licensing  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
july 2018 by mcherm
How one man’s death led to the extinction of a butterfly population | Ars Technica
Caterpillars evolved to prefer a certain non-native plant. Cow grazing patterns changed and the plants disappeared. Caterpillars nearly died out.
science  evolution  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
may 2018 by mcherm
Doctors shocked by 3.5-inch air bubble where part of man’s brain should be | Ars Technica
A bone tumor accidentally created a one-way valve and pumped air in, compressing his brain. He's letting it be, as surgery would be risky.
brain  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2018 by mcherm
Angry Coinbase users sue over claimed security failings, insider trading | Ars Technica
Three suits against Coinbase. None of them sound to me like Coinbase was in the wrong, except if (as is unclear) funds that were sent and unclaimed are kept by Coinbase rather than being returned to the sender.
coinbase  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2018 by mcherm
Software used in judicial decisions meets its equal in random amateurs | Ars Technica
The software that predicts who will re-offend after prison is wrong 1/3 of the time. Using mechanical turk to ask random people to make predictions was just as accurate. So was just using JUST count of convictions and age.
ai  prison  algorithms  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  bigdata 
january 2018 by mcherm
Now sites can fingerprint you online even when you use multiple browsers | Ars Technica
Sites can now fingerprint, not just a browser, but a specific *machine* (across browsers!) by using a bunch of "compiled JavaScript" features.
via:reddit  ArsTechnica  security  privacy  browsers  internet 
january 2018 by mcherm
Washington state: Comcast was “even more deceptive” than we thought | Ars Technica
The Attorney General of Washington State says that Comcast sold a worthless "insurance" plan that frequently covered nothing to around half their customers including many whose recorded phone calls show them saying "No, I don't want it."
comcast  evil  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
december 2017 by mcherm
Uber used bug bounty program to launder blackmail payment to hacker | Ars Technica
Uber paid a $100K ransom to a hacker, and they used their bug bounty program to do so. Uber, always evil.
uber  evil  security  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
december 2017 by mcherm
Severe flaw in WPA2 protocol leaves Wi-Fi traffic open to eavesdropping | Ars Technica
This pre-announcement news article is interesting as an illustration of the way a vulnerability can be announced. If accurate, this is perhaps the most severe vulnerability announcement I can ever recall.
security  wifi  ArsTechnica  via:reddit 
october 2017 by mcherm
The secret lives of Google raters | Ars Technica UK
Work rating things for Google -- like Amazon Turk, but slightly more pleasant and pays better. Oh, and now because Google is afraid of being stuck with the bill for health care, you can't work more than 26 hr/week.
google  jobs  ArsTechnica  via:boingboing 
may 2017 by mcherm
Android devices can be fatally hacked by malicious Wi-Fi networks | Ars Technica
You know that second CPU for running the radio antenna? It can have vulnerabilities too.
security  mobile  android  ArsTechnica  via:boingboing 
april 2017 by mcherm
Google reduces JPEG file size by 35% | Ars Technica
New compression algorithm (fully compatible with decompressers) is supposedly optimized for human perception.
imageprocessing  images  compression  ArsTechnica  via:reddit 
march 2017 by mcherm
People have no idea which sciences are robust | Ars Technica
"People think forensics is very precise and evolution is imprecise."
science  personal_net  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2017 by mcherm
Patent troll sues Netflix over offline downloads | Ars Technica
After Netflix got big in the CD business, someone patented doing the same with writable CDs, but writes it vaguely enough to cover sending any data to people over a computer. Troll now sues Netflix.
law  ip-law  patent  patentabuse  ArsTechnica  via:reddit 
february 2017 by mcherm
Google warns journalists and professors: Your account is under attack | Ars Technica
Google says there's a nation state running attacks on prominent journalists and national defense and polysci professors in the US.
security  politics  via:reddit  ArsTechnica 
november 2016 by mcherm
“Most serious” Linux privilege-escalation bug ever is under active exploit | Ars Technica
A privilege escalation bug on Linux has been there for 9 years. Average lifespan of a security bug is 5 years. And it's not for lack of willingness to fix them: we suck at finding these things.
security  linux  ArsTechnica  via:HackerNews 
october 2016 by mcherm
Why the silencing of KrebsOnSecurity opens a troubling chapter for the ‘Net | Ars Technica
Unsecured or buggy internet-capable devices are now the source of truly massive (so big no company will defend against them and it may threaten internet traffic in general) DDOS attacks (for hire).
security  internet  ddos  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
september 2016 by mcherm
The explosive growth of the 300-person “megagame” | Ars Technica
A popular new type of game gets a large group together for a day to play a LARP / boardgame / Diplomacy session. Sounds really fun.
gaming  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
september 2016 by mcherm
ISP lobby has already won limits on public broadband in 20 states | Ars Technica
A rundown of what states have passed laws preventing local government from offering internet service.
politics  comcast  law  via:ArsTechnica  ArsTechnica 
september 2016 by mcherm
Building a new Tor that can resist next-generation state surveillance | Ars Technica UK
A survey of the current state of items that are being built to replace or complement TOR.
anonyminity  privacy  via:HackerNews  ArsTechnica  tor 
september 2016 by mcherm
Time to scrap the idea that humans arrived in the Americas by land bridge | Ars Technica
Apparently people from Asia arrived by boat before the land bridge had enough plants and animals to be survivable.
science  history  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
august 2016 by mcherm
Secure Boot snafu: Microsoft leaks backdoor key, firmware flung wide open | Ars Technica
Microsoft accidentally released the key to secure boot. How can the government expect to keep THEIR system safe?
microsoft  security  keyescrow  ArsTechnica  via:reddit 
august 2016 by mcherm
Slow Verizon Internet prevents two doctors from viewing X-rays online | Ars Technica
Complaint: doctors serving rural areas cannot comply with federal mandates because the federal mandates require internet service and Verizon's service is terrible.
verizon  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
july 2016 by mcherm
Discovery of massive new helium reserves is “game changer” for medical industry | Ars Technica UK
We found more helium! This can help save the world from the stupidity of the US Congress.
via:reddit  ArsTechnica  physics 
june 2016 by mcherm
Woman sues border agency after invasive cavity search for non-existent drugs | Ars Technica
I certainly hope that this lawsuit is successful, because I do not believe that this sort of behavior by police and medical personel is acceptable.
law  police  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
june 2016 by mcherm
Citigroup trademarks “THANKYOU” and sues AT&T for thanking clients | Ars Technica
"THANKYOU" is trademarked, so someone else shouldn't be allowed to use "THANKS". This is not what trademark law is intended for.
law  ip-law  trademark  trademarkabuse  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
june 2016 by mcherm
Apple says game about Palestinian child isn’t a game | Ars Technica
Apple rejects the game because it addresses the plight of the Palestinians, but there are other games that fit. It's all too arbitrary.
apple  appstore  politics  via:boingboing  ArsTechnica 
may 2016 by mcherm
Death by GPS | Ars Technica
People have followed GPS units to dangerous places and even died. Studies show using a GPS means you learn the territory less.
maps  ArsTechnica  via:HackerNews 
may 2016 by mcherm
Worshipping the Flying Spaghetti Monster is not a real religion, court rules | Ars Technica
I understand the court's reasoning, but I think it is extremely dangerous for a court to go around deciding which religions are and aren't considered eligible for 1st amendment protection.
law  religion  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
april 2016 by mcherm
Neutered random number generator let man rig million dollar lotteries | Ars Technica
We now know how the lottery was rigged by an insider: he created a DLL that generated the numbers non-randomly if certain conditions were met.
security  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  random 
april 2016 by mcherm
ER docs get heart rate info from Fitbit, save patient’s life | Ars Technica
"At present, activity trackers are not considered approved medical devices and use of their information to make medical decisions is at the clinician's own discretion."
medicine  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
april 2016 by mcherm
Cuckoldry is incredibly rare among humans | Ars Technica
"Scientists were so unwilling to believe that human women were different from songbirds that some suggested..." (any continuation of that sentence would be an indictment of the research). I especially love the last sentence.
ArsTechnica  sex  science  via:ArsTechnica 
april 2016 by mcherm
Rage-quit: Coder unpublished 17 lines of JavaScript and “broke the Internet” | Ars Technica
Upset over a kerfuffle on the use of a trademarked name, a developer pulled out all his modules from the NPM repository. One was a 17-line function that was used ALL over the place.
ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  node.js  trademark 
march 2016 by mcherm
Minimalist genome—only 473 genes—synthesized and used to boot up a cell | Ars Technica
These scientists are stripping out genes from a very simple bacterium to find out the minimum necessary to operate a cell.
science  biology  artificialLife  via:reddit  ArsTechnica 
march 2016 by mcherm
NSA refused Clinton a secure BlackBerry like Obama, so she used her own | Ars Technica
Interesting - Hillary Clinton's use of a personal email server may have been connected with policy prohibiting use of a mobile device.
politics  security  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2016 by mcherm
A typo costs bank hackers nearly $1B | Ars Technica
Electronic bank heist could have netted $1B but was caught after only $81M -- caught because a person investigated a typo in the payment instructions.
banking  hacking  cracking  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  security 
march 2016 by mcherm
16-year-old who distributed his teacher’s nude pics faces felony charges | Ars Technica
Teens, naked pictures, and teachers... how could this story NOT attract a "throw the book at everyone to do as much harm as possible" approach from authorities?
overprosecution  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
march 2016 by mcherm
The NSA’s SKYNET program may be killing thousands of innocent people | Ars Technica UK
The use of AI to decide who to kill is one thing -- maybe a bad thing. The use of BADLY DESIGNED AI that is known to be unreliable because of how it is built is much scarier, and that's what we're doing today.
terrorism  nsa  law  ai  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica  ethics 
february 2016 by mcherm
Social carnivores aren’t smarter—it’s all in the relative brain size | Ars Technica
Experiment with many species seems to show that problem solving is correlated with brain-to-body ratio, but NOT with brain size, amount of social behavior in the animal, or several other things they studied.
brain  animals  ArsTechnica  via:ArsTechnica 
january 2016 by mcherm
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