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Leaked Senate Talking Points Say Internet Surveillance Warrants Would Force FBI To Let Terrorists Bomb Things

Slashdot.org - Mon, 05/25/2020 - 09:43
Requiring federal agents to have "probable cause" to eavesdrop on the internet activities of American citizens poses a direct threat to national security and would force the FBI to stand by while terrorist plots unfold on U.S. soil, according to a leaked copy of talking points distributed to Senate lawmakers this month. From a report: The talking points, which were distributed by the Senate Judiciary Committee, according to a spokesperson for Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, seek to provide a communications guide for promoting an amendment floated by McConnell this year that would have expanded the U.S. Justice Department's use of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). The document was circulated on Capitol Hill ahead of a Senate vote this month to reinstate three key FBI surveillance authorities under the USA FREEDOM Authorization Act, including Section 215 of the Patriot Act, which expired March 15. A draft being circulated in the Senate reportedly contained an "alarming expansion of Attorney General Bill Barr's powers under FISA" and "explicitly permits" the warrantless collection of Americans' internet search and browser data by the FBI.

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Locked-Down Teens Stay Up All Night, Sleep All Day

Slashdot.org - Mon, 05/25/2020 - 09:03
Parents share a roof but see little of teenagers who have adopted vampire schedules; "Sometimes, my dad just wants me to wake up for no reason." From a report: Paul Cancellieri wakes up most mornings around 6 a.m. He makes himself breakfast. Then he says good night to his 16-year-old son, Cole. Cole, a high-school junior in Wake Forest, N.C., is one of the American teens who have gone nocturnal in the Covid-19 pandemic. While some schools require students to log on to live classes, many others are instead assigning work for students to complete on their own. With no daytime commitments, some teens prefer to stay up all night and sleep days. Some watch movies or chat with friends on similar schedules. Others do homework without their folks hovering. "I feel more relaxed, honestly," said Zach Zimmerman, a high-school senior in Mansfield, Texas. That was in April, when he was in the habit of going to bed around 10 a.m. and waking up in the late afternoon. This month, Zach started taking an online college class that starts at 1 p.m., forcing him back to daylight hours. "When my college classes are over," he said, "I'll probably go back." Some parents welcome the daytime peace and quiet. They say it isn't worth arguing over bedtimes when teens are stuck at home and have no compelling reason to rise early. Gabrielle Powell, a 17-year-old in Escondido, Calif., spends her nights on Snapchat and video calls with friends. She plows through TV shows like "Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness" and "All American," she said, and makes macaroni and cheese. Her post-dawn bedtime varies. She recently broke her routine for the Advanced Placement calculus exam, at the ungodly late 11 a.m. Gabrielle stayed awake the rest of the day before going to sleep, but she soon returned to the night shift.

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Texas Instruments Makes It Harder to Run Programs on its Calculators

Slashdot.org - Mon, 05/25/2020 - 06:34
An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: Texas Instruments' graphing calculators have a reputation as hobbyist devices given their program support, but they just lost some of their appeal. Cemetech has learned (via Linus Tech Tips) that Texas Instruments is pulling support for assembly- and C-based programs on the TI-84 Plus CE and its French counterpart, the TI-83 Premium CE. Install the latest firmware for both (OS 5.6 and OS 5.5 respectively) and you'll not only lose access to those apps, but won't have a way to roll back. The company explained the move as an effort to "prioritize learning and minimize any security risks." It's to reduce cheating, to put it another way... While this could please teachers worried that students will use apps to cheat during exams, enthusiasts are unsurprisingly mad. This reduces the amount of control programmers have over their calculator apps.

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Will The Pandemic Mean Less Age Discrimination For Boomers?

Slashdot.org - Mon, 05/25/2020 - 02:34
An anonymous reader quotes Psychology Today's "Boomer's 3.0" blog: More and more companies, especially those in the tech sector, are wisely concluding that the physical infrastructure constructed to put employees together in a building is largely inefficient if not unnecessary. Beyond the potential health risks, office buildings are expensive to construct and maintain, and rents, taxes, and insurance comprise a high percentage of operating costs. It makes simple fiscal sense to bypass these expenses, assuming there is an acceptable alternative with which people can effectively communicate with each other. The internet is that alternative... Because a person on Zoom or its equivalent has far less physical presence than in real life, managers may be more open to hiring someone past middle age. Likewise, young adults may be more receptive to working with older adults in a virtual setting than in a real one. It may be an odd thing to contemplate, but less attention is paid to a person's physical attributes in a little square box on a screen than if he or she is in the same room. For tens of millions of baby boomers, the prospect of corporate culture becoming more age-friendly due to advancing technology would be a very welcome development. Rather than end one's career at a predetermined age...most of today's sexagenarians and septuagenarians want to work as long as they possibly can.

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Distribution Release: Linux Kodachi 7.0

DistroWatch.com - Sun, 05/24/2020 - 23:00
Warith Al Maawali has announced the release of Linux Kodachi 7.0, an updated version of the project's privacy-focused Linux distribution that also includes a number of forensic tools. Despite a major change in version number, this release is still based on Xubuntu 18.04. From the changelog: "Linux kernel....
Categories: Linux

Linus Torvalds Dumps Intel For 32-core AMD Ryzen On His Personal PC

Slashdot.org - Sun, 05/24/2020 - 22:34
Linus Torvalds released Linux 5.7 rc7 today, saying it "looks very normal... none of the fixes look like there's anything particularly scary going on." But then he added something else: [T]he biggest excitement this week for me was just that I upgraded my main machine, and for the first time in about 15 years, my desktop isn't Intel-based. No, I didn't switch to ARM yet, but I'm now rocking an AMD Threadripper 3970x. My 'allmodconfig' test builds are now three times faster than they used to be, which doesn't matter so much right now during the calming down period, but I will most definitely notice the upgrade during the next merge window. The Register writes: Torvalds didn't divulge any further details about his new rig, but the 3970x is quite the beast, boasting 32 cores and 64 threads at 3.7GHz with the ability to burst up to 4.5GHz, all built on TSMC's 7nm FinFET process... Torvalds has probably acquired a whole new PC, as the Threadripper range requires a sTRX4 socket and those debuted on motherboards from late 2019. Whatever he's running, it has more cores than Intel currently offers in a CPU designed for PCs. Even Chipzilla's high-end CoreX range tops out at 18 cores. AMD will be over the moon that such a high profile IT pro has adopted their kit and pointed to its performance. Or, as long-time Slashdot reader williamyf puts it, "Good endorsement for AMD, a PR blow for Intel."

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Tech Companies Urges US House to Protect the Privacy of Americans' Browsing and Search History

Slashdot.org - Sun, 05/24/2020 - 20:38
While reinstating the PATRIOT Act, the U.S. Senate blocked an amendment which would've shielded Americans' browsing and search histories from warrantless searches. But that fight may not be over, reports TechSpot: [S]everal tech companies including Mozilla, Reddit, Twitter, and Patreon have co-signed a letter asking the House of Representatives to tidy up this mess. The House still needs to pass the bill for it to become law, and they can force the inclusion of the amendment. They vote this week. "Our users demand that we serve as responsible stewards of their private information, and our industry is predicated on that trust," says the letter. "Americans deserve to have their online searches and browsing kept private, and only available to the government pursuant to a warrant." The amendment has also received support from dozens of civil rights and liberties groups, including the NAACP, the American Civil Liberties Union, and the Human Rights Watch. They co-signed a separate letter last week... "[S]upport for the underlying policy is now abundantly clear," argues the second letter, "both within Congress and among thepublic: the FBI should not be allowed to use the PATRIOT Act to surveil Americans' online activity without a warrant."

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DistroWatch Weekly, Issue 867

DistroWatch.com - Sun, 05/24/2020 - 19:23
This week in DistroWatch Weekly: Review: Pop!_OS 20.04News: Slackware merges PAM support, glimpses behind the scenes at the Finnix project, Haiku developing support for additional filesystemsTips and tricks: Creating, removing, modifying, and ignoring aliasesReleased last week: OpenBSD 6.7, NuTyX 11.5, GoboLinux 017, Redcore Linux 2004Torrent corner: Bicom Systems,....
Categories: Linux

Risk For MS 30% Higher For Those Living In Cities, Study Finds

Slashdot.org - Sun, 05/24/2020 - 18:42
schwit1 quotes UPI: City-dwellers are nearly 30 percent more likely to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis than those living in more rural areas, a study presented Friday at the European Academy of Neurology Virtual Congress has found. Based on the results, which will also be published in European Journal of Neurology, air pollution could be a risk factor for the development of the disease, according to the authors, who conducted their research in Italy. "It is well recognized that immune diseases such as MS are associated with multiple factors, both genetic and environmental," co-author Dr. Roberto Bergamaschi, of the IRCCS Mondino Foundation in Pavia, Italy, said in a statement. "We believe that air pollution interacts through several mechanisms in the development of MS and the results of this study strengthen that hypothesis," he added.

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