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Facebook Launches Hub To Help Users With US Poll Related Information

Slashdot.org - Thu, 08/13/2020 - 03:00
Facebook on Thursday launched a 'Voting Information Center' for the 2020 U.S. elections to help voters easily navigate the poll process. From a report: The hub will connect Facebook and Instagram users to accurate and easy-to-find information about voting wherever they live and help them hold their elected officials accountable, the social media company said in a blog.

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Cities Lose Lawsuit Against FCC's 5G Rules

Slashdot.org - Wed, 08/12/2020 - 22:30
A federal appeals court upheld the Federal Communications Commission's rules that limit municipalities' ability to negotiate with telecom companies such as AT&T and Verizon that are seeking to deploy thousands of 5G antennas on city streets and neighborhoods. From a report: The ruling by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals is a blow to dozens of cities that sued the agency, claiming the FCC's 2018 rules takes away their leverage and autonomy in deciding how the telecom industry can install "small-cell" antennas to build 5G networks. The FCC maintains that its rules -- which prohibit excessive fees and permitting delays by municipal governments -- will speed up the deployment of 5G networks throughout the country by removing burdensome barriers to telecom providers. "The wind is at our backs: With the FCC's infrastructure policies now ratified by the court, along with pathbreaking spectrum auctions concluded, ongoing and to come, America is well-positioned to extend its global lead in 5G and American consumers will benefit from the next generation of wireless technologies and services," said FCC Chairman Ajit Pai in a statement.

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Mozilla Extends its Google Search Deal

Slashdot.org - Wed, 08/12/2020 - 19:13
Mozilla and Google have extended their search deal for another three years, news outlet ZDNet reported Wednesday, citing sources familiar with thee matter. Mozilla confirmed the news. From a report: The new search deal will ensure Google remains the default search engine provider inside the Firefox browser until 2023 at an estimated price tag of around $400 million to $450 million per year. Mozilla officials are expected to announce the search deal's extension later this fall, in November, when the organization is scheduled to disclose its 2019 financial figures. Terms of the new deal were leaked to this reporter after Mozilla announced plans to lay off more than 250 employees on Wednesday in a move that had many users fearing for the browser maker's future, as Mozilla's current Google search deal was scheduled to expire at the end of the year. However, several sources have confirmed that the organization is sound financially, and the layoffs were part of a restructuring of its core business, with Mozilla moving away from its current role of internet standards steward and experimental approach to its product catalog to more commercially-viable offerings that generate revenues on their own.

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Arecibo Observatory Featured in James Bond Film 'Goldeneye' Shut Down

Slashdot.org - Wed, 08/12/2020 - 18:01
A number of Slashdot readers, including mknewman and MountainLogic have shared this report: The famous observatory in Arecibo, Puerto Rico, featured in the James Bond movie "GoldenEye," has been forced to temporarily close after a broken cable smashed through the side of its massive dish. Around 2:45 a.m. Monday, a three-inch auxiliary cable that helped support a metal platform broke, according to a news release from the University of Central Florida. UCF manages the facility alongside Universidad Ana G. Mendez and Yang Enterprises. When the cable broke, it created a 100-foot gash in the telescope's 1,000-foot-long reflector dish, according to UCF. It also damaged about six to eight panels along the observatory's Gregorian Dome, which is suspended over the reflector dish. The broken cable also twisted a platform used to access the Gregorian Dome, making damage assessment even more difficult. "The folks at the facility are working with engineers and other experts to asses and secure equipment at the facility," Zenaida Gonzalez Kotala, UCF Office of Research and College of Graduate Studies' assistant vice president for strategic communications told CNN. "That started (Tuesday) and is continuing through this week." The telescope has been an integral part of a number of scientific discoveries since it opened in 1963. It was made even more famous in popular culture when it was featured in the 007 movie, "Goldeneye" in 1995. Arecibo Observatory has survived a number of hurricanes, even earthquakes.

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Distribution Release: CAELinux 2020

DistroWatch.com - Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:39
Joël Cugnoni has announced the release of CAELinux 2020, a new version of the project's specialist distribution that features a collection of open-source tools designed for computer-aided engineering, based on Xubuntu 18.04: "I am happy to announce that a new CAELinux version is ready to download. CAELinux 2020....
Categories: Linux

Homeland Security Details New Tools For Extracting Device Data at US Borders

Slashdot.org - Wed, 08/12/2020 - 17:04
Travelers heading to the US have many reasons to be cautious about their devices when it comes to privacy. A report released Thursday from the Department of Homeland Security provides even more cause for concern about how much data border patrol agents can pull from your phones and computers. From a report: In a Privacy Impact Assessment dated July 30, the DHS detailed its US Border Patrol Digital Forensics program, specifically for its development of tools to collect data from electronic devices. For years, DHS and border agents were allowed to search devices without a warrant, until a court found the practice unconstitutional in November 2019. In 2018, the agency searched more than 33,000 devices, compared to 30,200 searches in 2017 and just 4,764 searches in 2015. Civil rights advocates have argued against this kind of surveillance, saying it violates people's privacy rights. The report highlights the DHS' capabilities, and shows that agents can create an exact copy of data on devices when travelers cross the border. According to the DHS, extracted data from devices can include: Contacts, call logs/details, IP addresses used by the device, calendar events, GPS locations used by the device, emails, social media information, cell site information, phone numbers, videos and pictures, account information (user names and aliases), text/chat messages, financial accounts and transactions, location history, browser bookmarks, notes, network information, and tasks list. The policy to retain this data for 75 years still remains, according to the report.

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Silicon Valley Game-Plans For a Messy Election Night

Slashdot.org - Wed, 08/12/2020 - 16:02
Google, Facebook, Twitter and other major social media companies are working together to scenario-plan for the last three months before Election Day in the United States -- including gaming out what to do if there's no quickly declared winner in the contest between President Donald Trump and former Vice President Joe Biden on election night. From a report: The close collaboration between Silicon Valley companies in the run-up to election day is detailed in an unusual cross-industry statement put out Wednesday. Pinterest, LinkedIn-owner Microsoft, and Reddit are also among its signatories. "We discussed preparations for the upcoming conventions and scenario planning related to election results. We will continue to stay vigilant on these issues and meet regularly ahead of the November election,â reads the statement. Among dozens of scenarios being contemplated by the companies for election night in particular are a "hack and leak" operation where stolen materials are quickly spread through online networks and addressing the distribution of manipulated videos, according to a person involved in the planning who spoke anonymously so as to not speak on behalf of the full industry coalition. The scenario planning is "candidate agnostic," they said. Today's statement comes shortly after a meeting among the companies and government officials -- the Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency, the FBI's Foreign Influence Task Force, the Department of Justice's National Security Division, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence -- to discuss the planning. It builds on a series of monthly meetings, the person said, that go back to September of last year.

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