Geek Stuff

China Orders App Stores To Join Register

Slashdot -

China's internet regulator has ordered mobile app stores to register themselves with it immediately. The Cyberspace Administration of China (CAC) said the move would help "promote the healthy and orderly development of the mobile internet." From a report on BBC: Most smartphones in the country run Android, but Google does not operate its Play Store locally, meaning users go elsewhere to add software. A report last year linked this to the spread of malware. Cheetah Mobile Security -- a Beijing-based firm -- reported that more than 1.4 million Chinese users' mobile devices had been struck by infections as of January 2016, making it the worst afflicted nation. India and Indonesia were in second and third place. This follows previous efforts to censor what appears online, including a recent demand that Apple remove the New York Times from the Chinese version of its iOS App Store. The US newspaper was the first to report the watchdog's move outside of China itself. Because of the Play store's absence, Android users in China typically go to stores operated by local tech giants including Tencent, Xiaomi, Baidu and Huawei.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

NVIDIA’s new Shield TV now available for $200, software update brings same features to original

Liliputing -

NVIDIA introduced an updated version of its Shield TV box at CES earlier this month, and now it’s available for purchase for $200 and up.

The new model has the same processor, storage, and memory as the original, but it comes in a case that’s about 40 percent smaller. The new Shield TV will also gain access to the Google Assistant voice service in  a future update.

But most of the new features are also available for owners of the original Shield TV through a software update that’s also rolling out today.

Continue reading NVIDIA’s new Shield TV now available for $200, software update brings same features to original at Liliputing.

Deutsche Bank Switches Off Text Messaging

Slashdot -

Deutsche Bank has banned text messages and communication apps such as WhatsApp on company-issued phones in an effort to improve compliance standards. From a report: The functionality will be switched off this quarter, chief regulatory officer Sylvie Matherat and chief operating officer Kim Hammonds told staff in a memo. Unlike emails, text messages can't be archived by the bank, said a person with knowledge of the matter who asked not to be identified discussing internal matters. "We fully understand that the deactivation will change your day-to-day work and we regret any inconvenience this may cause," Matherat and Hammonds said in the memo. "However, this step is necessary to ensure Deutsche Bank continues to comply with regulatory and legal requirements." The policy also applies to private phones used by employees for work purposes. Communication apps such as WhatsApp, Google Talk, iMessage are also prohibited, the memo said.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Remember Dr. King—and What He Endured

EFF's Deeplinks -

Annual celebrations of the life and work of Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. often lionize the civil rights era, rightfully focusing on its achievements. 

But celebrations often overlook the federal government’s attempts to “neutralize” the movement. While we remember Dr. King’s many achievements today, we also must remember the documented and unfounded vilification by U.S. intelligence agencies that he, and others in the civil rights movement, endured.

As our nation approaches a new administration, led by a president-elect whose rhetoric has shown little respect for constitutional limits on executive power and armed with an entrenched surveillance state, that experience offers a prescient warning.

A movement in Memoriam

The emergence of the civil rights movement in the 1960s, its triumph over hate to establish desegregation and secure procedural voting rights, and the narrative of interracial struggle for justice—all reflect an inspiring legacy of a grassroots movement that aspired to hold America true to our founding values. As Dr. King succinctly exhorted, the movement called on America to "Be true to what you said on paper." 

The movement was subjected to brutal violence, both by the assassination of its leaders and by the daily brutality of police and vigilantes reacting to the desegregation of public institutions. Dozens of civil rights activists from various backgrounds were murdered during this era, alongside hundreds—if not thousands—of African-Americans as young as 14 year-old Emmitt Till and 11 year-old Denise McNair, whose church in Alabama was bombed by extremists using violent terror to oppose racial integration.

The risks confronting supporters of civil rights grew so acute that the Supreme Court in 1958, in NAACP v. Alabama, granted members of organizations the right to anonymity under the association clause of the First Amendment. EFF cited that decision 55 years later, when we filed First Unitarian Church of Los Angeles v. NSA to challenge the contemporary mass surveillance regime (which we have fought in court since 2008) that turned the right to anonymity on its head.

Violent state suppression of speech

Throughout Dr. King's life, and for a decade (if not longer) beyond it, the FBI pursued what members of the U.S. Senate in 1976 described as "a sophisticated vigilante operation aimed squarely at suppressing…First Amendment rights of speech and association." Those operations, described in internal FBI files as COINTELPRO, have been forgotten by many Americans, but represent a key to understanding why the specter of mass surveillance threatens not only privacy, but also democracy.

For 40 years,FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover presided over a reign of intimidation and terror across Washington. Under his tenure, the FBI blackmailed members of Congress, and infiltrated organizations seeking everything from international peace to equal rights for women.

The Bureau’s aim was not to guard national security from any external threat, but instead to “neutralize” constitutionally protected domestic dissent and people using their rights—including Dr. King. In addition to bugging his hotel rooms, monitoring his movements, and recording his liaisons, the FBI also tried to break up Dr. King's marriage and attempted to prompt his suicide.

Many Americans reacted to seemingly politicized FBI disclosures in the days before the 2016 presidential election with surprise. But the FBI has a long history of embroiling itself in partisan controversies since its very origins. From the Palmer Raids through the McCarthy era, from the Green Scare to its infiltration of labor organizing by farm workers, the FBI has a long history of investigating and undermining constitutional rights in the context of political movements.

Under Hoover’s direction, the FBI achieved its written goal: the "neutralization" of domestic social groups speaking out to advance their views as protected by the First Amendment. Hoover's FBI achieved its goals with a fraction of the budget, staff—and none of the computing power—of the FBI today.

Continuing abuses

The story of the FBI's Next Generation Initiative provides a compelling example of how the Bureau’s access to technology has increased its ability to undermine rights in secret. Starting by collecting biometric data of arrestees from local police departments around the country, originally for the stated purpose of identifying undocumented immigrants with criminal records eligible for fast track deportation proceedings, the FBI has built a fully operational facial recognition database including over 400 million records including biometric data of over 115 million Americans.

The Bureau’s aspiration to build a comprehensive biometrics database was kept secret for years, and became public knowledge only after a federal court in 2013 forced disclosure of previously secret documents. Even after its plans became public, the FBI continued to resist legal restraints, lobbying for exemptions to federal privacy requirements.

The FBI’s biometrics bait & switch is hardly unique. The Bureau played fast and loose with the facts again when claiming in 2016 that national security required it to force Apple to create a hack for a device platform that would place the security of millions of users at risk. Then, as now, encryption keeps us safe—whether from despotic regimes abroad (or at home), thieves, foreign state intelligence agencies, or the prying eyes of a neighbor. EFF was glad to see Apple choose user privacy over the ill-considered demands of intelligence agencies, and filed an amicus brief in support of Apple’s position, noting how the FBI’s demands violated the First Amendment in multiple ways.

Beyond hiding its biometric tracking scheme and trying to co-opt device manufacturers, the FBI has also helped extend secret surveillance across and throughout the U.S. For a decade, police departments around the U.S. deployed cell-site simulators (also known as IMSI-catchers or Stingrays) to spy on local cell phone networks without public oversight.

Only after a jailhouse lawyer discovered how the device had enabled authorities to identify him did the public learn about these devices, the latest versions of which are so powerful that they can hack phones, deny service, or plant malware on a device. While half a dozen states and the federal Department of Justice now require police to secure a judicial warrant before using a cell site simulator, only one state prohibits their offensive use.

Throughout the decade that local police kept Stingrays secret from policymakers, they did so at the behest of FBI agreements that required them to do so. The FBI imposed secrecy not only from the public, but even from judges. In multiple jurisdictions, FBI demands forced prosecutors to abandon cases rather than disclose to courts the origins of their evidence as required by Due Process principles.

The FBI also conducts its own surveillance activities, using powers including National Security Letters (NSLs) that have long been predictably abused behind walls of secrecy. We are proud to have challenged NSLs on behalf of organizational clients who recently revealed themselves after years of complying with illegitimate government gag orders that prevented them from informing Congress and the public about their experience.

Will past prove prologue?

Many have voiced concerns that the FBI's entrenched intelligence apparatus could expand under president-elect Trump. Even more dangerous is the specter of its potential politicization, given Trump’s campaign statements reflecting his seeming eagerness to use state intelligence to advance his own political ends.

If politicized, surveillance can insulate a system from accountability from critics and dissidents. That’s why the values offended by surveillance extend beyond privacy to also include dissent and democracy.

Communities organized around any number of pursuits—from advocacy to social services, recreation to religious practice—could find their opportunities dramatically diminished in an era when supporters must risk the ire of the state should they raise their voice. 

Put another way: as long as the mass surveillance regime is available for the next (or any) administration to abuse, democracy hangs in the balance. The system has already been abused by individual agents and contractors to, for instance, spy on their ex-wives and lovers. They may be the canaries in the coal mine. The continuing potential for recurring abuse poses a threat to our entire political system.

A crucial opportunity

Against this backdrop, Congress enters 2017 with a critical deadline looming before it. A statutory pillar of the NSA and FBI’s mass surveillance powers, Section 702 of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, is scheduled to expire at the end of the year. If Congress does nothing, the legal basis for the NSA’s PRISM and Upstream collection programs (from which raw, unfiltered data became available to the FBI in the waning days of the Obama administration) will expire on December 31.

In years past, Congress has responded to reauthorization deadlines facing surveillance powers in a predictable pattern. After ignoring its oversight responsibilities for years, as the eleventh hour approaches before intelligence powers near their expiration, members cite national security concerns as a basis to ignore not only the need to conduct any oversight but also constitutional limits on executive power.

Congress has repeatedly extended executive surveillance powers without either determining whether they have actually helped security or how much they have undermined democracy by inhibiting participation in the political process. That pattern is poised to recur under the next administration. 

Americans who share a stake in democracy can intervene to prevent these horrors by raising our voices in concert. United resistance has derailed congressional consensus in the recent past, and also driven crucial (if incomplete) policy reform in 2015 when Congress enacted the USA Freedom Act.

To fully honor Dr. King’s legacy, we must bear witness not only to his courage, but also his vision, as well as his sacrifice. Rather than represent a comforting historical figure to assuage America of the burden to realize our founding values in practice, his example should sound a clarion call to resistance, a renewed commitment to hold America “true to what We said on paper.”


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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Warns Against 'Hubris' Amid AI Growth

Slashdot -

Microsoft and its competitors should eschew artificial intelligence systems that replace people instead of maximizing their time, CEO Satya Nadella said in an interview on Monday. From the report: "The fundamental need of every person is to be able to use their time more effectively, not to say, 'let us replace you'," Nadella said in an interview at the DLD conference in Munich. "This year and the next will be the key to democratizing AI. The most exciting thing to me is not just our own promise of AI as exhibited by these products, but to take that capability and put it in the hands of every developer and every organization. [...] There's a thin line between hubris and confidence," Nadella said. "Always there is risk of hubris coming back, missing trends. The only long-term indicator of success is, âhow good is your internal culture?'" "What I've learned if anything in three years as CEO is, it's not about celebrating one product," he said. "That, to me, is the sign of a company that's built to last. In tech it's even more harsh."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Windows 10 Gets A New Linux: openSUSE

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader writes: "Running Linux binaries natively on Windows... that sounds awesome indeed," writes Hannes Kuhnemund, the senior product manager for SUSE Linux Enterprise. He's written a blog post describing how to run openSUSE Leap 42.2 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2 on Windows 10, according to Fossbytes, which reports that currently users have two options -- openSUSE Leap 42.2 and SUSE Linux Enterprise Server 12 SP2. Currently it's Ubuntu that's enabled by default in the Windows Subsystem for Linux, although there's already a project on GitHub that also lets you install Arch Linux. "It's quite unfortunate that Microsoft enabled the wrong Linux (that's my personal opinion) by default within the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL)," writes Kuhnemund, "and it is time to change it to the real stuff.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Compute Module 3 Launch!

Raspberry Pi -

Way back in April of 2014 we launched the original Compute Module (CM1), which was based around the BCM2835 processor of the original Raspberry Pi. CM1 was a great success and we’ve seen a lot of uptake from various markets, particularly in IoT and home and factory automation. Not to be outdone by its bigger Raspberry Pi brother, the Compute Module is also destined for space!

Compute Module 3

Since releasing the original Compute Module, we’ve launched 2 further generations of much faster Raspberry Pi boards, so today we bring you the shiny new Compute Module 3 (CM3); this is based on the Raspberry Pi 3 hardware, providing twice the RAM and roughly 10x the CPU performance of the original Module. We’ve been talking about the Compute Module 3 since the launch of the Raspberry Pi 3, and we’re already excited to see NEC displays, an early adopter, launching their CM3-enabled display solution.

Compute Module 3

The idea of the Compute Module was to provide an easy and cost-effective route to producing customised products based on the Pi hardware and software platform. The thought was to provide the ‘team in a garage’ with easy access to the same technology as the big guys. The Module takes care of the complexity of routing out the processor pins, the high speed RAM interface, and core power supply, and allows a simple carrier board to provide just what is needed in terms of external interfaces and form factor. The module uses a standard DDR2 SODIMM form factor, sockets for which are made by several manufacturers, are easily available, and are inexpensive.

In fact, today we are launching two versions of Compute Module 3. The first is the ‘standard’ CM3 which has a BCM2837 processor at up to 1.2GHz with 1GByte RAM, the same as Pi3, and 4Gbytes of on-module eMMC flash. The second version is what we are calling ‘Compute Module 3 Lite’ (CM3L) which still has the same BCM2837 and 1Gbyte of RAM, but brings the SD card interface to the Module pins so a user can wire this up to an eMMC or SD card of their choice.

Back side of CM3 (left) and CM3L (right).

We are also releasing an updated version of our get-you-started breakout board, the Compute Module IO Board V3 (CMIO3). This board provides the necessary power to the Module and gives you the ability to program the Module’s flash memory (for the non-Lite versions) or use an SD card (Lite versions), access the processor interfaces in a slightly more friendly fashion (pin headers and flexi connectors, much like the Pi), and provides the necessary HDMI and USB connectors so that you have an entire system that can boot Raspbian (or the OS of your choice). This board provides both a starting template for those who want to design with the Compute Module, and a quick way to start experimenting with the hardware, and building and testing a system, before going to the expense of fabricating a custom board. The CMIO3 can accept an original Compute Module, CM3, or CM3L.

Comprehensive information on the Compute Modules is available in the relevant hardware documentation section of our website, and includes a datasheet and schematics.

With the launch of CM3 and CM3 Lite, we are not obsoleting the original Compute Module; we still see this as a valid product in its own right, being a lower-cost and lower-power option where the performance of a CM3 would be overkill.

CM3 and CM3L are priced at $30 and $25 respectively (excluding tax and shipping), and this price applies to any size order. The original Compute Module is also reduced to $25. Our partners RS and Premier Farnell are also providing full development kits, which include all you need to get started designing with the Compute Module 3.

The CM3 is largely backwards-compatible with CM1 designs which have followed our design guidelines. The caveats are that the Module is 1mm taller than the original Module, and the processor core supply (VBAT) can draw significantly more current. Consequently, the processor itself will run much hotter under heavy CPU load, so designers need to consider thermals based on expected use cases.

CM3 (left) is 1mm taller than CM1 (right)

We’re very glad to finally be launching the Compute Module 3, and we’re excited to see what people do with it. Head on over to our partners element14 and RS Components to buy yours today!

The post Compute Module 3 Launch! appeared first on Raspberry Pi.

Researchers Create A Lithium-Ion Battery With Built-In Flame Retardant

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader quotes Engadget: One big problem with lithium-ion batteries is that they have the tendency to catch fire and blow up all kinds of gadgets like toys and phones. To solve that issue, a group of researchers from Stanford University created lithium-ion batteries with built-in fire extinguishers. They added a component called "triphenyl phosphate" to the plastic fibers of the part that keeps negative and positive electrodes separate. Triphenyl phosphate is a compound commonly used as a flame retardant for various electronics. If the battery's temperature reaches 150 degrees Celsius, the plastic fibers melt and release the chemical. Based on the researchers' tests, the method can stop batteries from burning up within 0.4 seconds.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Microsoft's Security Bulletins Will End In February

Slashdot -

Remember how Microsoft switched to cumulative updates? Now Computerworld points out that that's bringing another change. An anonymous reader quotes their report: Microsoft next month will stop issuing detailed security bulletins, which for nearly 20 years have provided individual users and IT professionals information about vulnerabilities and their patches... A searchable database of support documents will replace the bulletins; that database has been available, albeit in preview, since November on the portal Microsoft dubbed the "Security Updates Guide," or SUG. The documents stored in the database are specific to a vulnerability on an edition of Windows, or a version of another Microsoft product. They can be sorted and filtered by the affected software, the patch's release date, its CVE identifier, and the numerical label of the KB, or "knowledge base" support document. Redmond Magazine reports that Microsoft still plans to continue to issue its security advisories, and to issue "out-of-band" security update releases as necessary.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Windows 10 Upgrade Bug Disabled Cntrl-C In Bash

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader quotes InfoWorld: A massive set of changes to the Windows Subsystem for Linux (WSL) was rolled into Windows Insider build 15002... If this is any hint, Microsoft's goal is nothing short of making it a credible alternative to other Linux distributions... Some of the fixes also implement functionality that wasn't available before to Linux apps in WSL, such as support for kernel memory overcommit and previously omitted network stack options. Other changes enhance integration between WSL and the rest of Windows... [O]ne major issue in build 15002 is that Ctrl-C in a Bash session no longer works. Microsoft provided an uncommon level of detail for how this bug crept in, saying it had to do with synchronization between the Windows and Bash development teams. The next Insider build should have a fix. But for people doing serious work with Linux command-line apps, not having Ctrl-C is a little like driving a car when only the front brakes work.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

How A Professional Poker Player Conned a Casino Out of $9.6 Million

Slashdot -

Phil Ivey is a professional poker player who's won ten World Series of Poker bracelets -- but he's also got a new game. An anonymous reader write: In 2012, Ivey requested that the Borgata casino let him play baccarat with an assistant named Cheng Yin Sun while using a specific brand of playing cards -- purple Gemaco Borgata playing cards -- and an automatic shuffler. He then proceeded to win $9.6 million over four visits. The pair would rotate certain cards 180 degrees, which allowed them to recognize those cards the next time they passed through the deck. (They were exploiting a minute lack of a symmetry in the pattern on the backs of the cards...) But last month a U.S. district judge ruled that Ivey and his partner had a "mutual obligation" to the casino, in which their "primary obligation" was to not use cards whose values would be known to them -- and ordered them to return the $9.6 million [PDF]. "What this ruling says is a player is prohibited from combining his skill and intellect and visual acuity to beat the casino at its own game," Ivey's attorney told the AP, adding that the judge's ruling will be appealed. The judge also ruled Ivey had to return the money he later won playing craps with his winnings from the baccarat game -- though the judge denied the casino's request for restitution over the additional $250,000 worth of goods and services they'd "comped" Ivey during his stay.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Apple/Samsung Patent Case Returns To Court To Revisit Infringement Damages

Slashdot -

An anonymous reader quotes MacRumors: The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit on Thursday reopened a longstanding patent lawsuit related to Samsung copying the design of the iPhone nearly six years ago...according to court documents filed electronically this week... Apple's damages were calculated based on Samsung's entire profit from the sale of its infringing Galaxy smartphones, but the Supreme Court ruled it did not have enough info to say whether the amount should be based on the total device, or rather individual components such as the front bezel or the screen. It will now be up to the appeals court to decide. Apple last month said the lawsuit, ongoing since 2011, has always been about Samsung's "blatant copying" of its ideas, adding that it remains optimistic that the U.S. Court of Appeals will "again send a powerful signal that stealing isn't right."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Google-Funded Project Envisions Nation's Librarians Teaching Kids to Code

Slashdot -

"We're excited to double down on the findings of Ready to Code 1," says one Google program manager, "by equipping librarians with the knowledge and skills to cultivate computational thinking and coding skills in our youth." theodp writes: Citing the need to fill "500,000 current job openings in the field of computer science," the American Library Association argues in a new whitepaper that "all 115,000 of the nation's school and public libraries are crucial community partners to guarantee youth have skills essential to future employment and civic participation"... The ALA's Google-funded "Libraries Ready to Code" project has entered Phase II, which aims to "equip Master's in Library Science students to deliver coding programs through public and school libraries and foster computational thinking skills among the nation's youth." "Libraries play a vital role in our communities, and Google is proud to build on our partnership with ALA," added Hai Hong, who leads US outreach on Google's K-12 Education team... "Given the ubiquity of technology and the half-a-million unfilled tech jobs in the country, we need to ensure that all youth understand the world around them and have the opportunity to develop the essential skills that employers -- and our nation's economy -- require."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Driverless Electric Shuttle Deployed In Downtown Las Vegas

Slashdot -

schwit1 quotes the Associated Press: There's a new thrill on the streets of downtown Las Vegas, where high- and low-rollers alike are climbing aboard what officials call the first driverless electric shuttle operating on a public U.S. street. The oval-shaped shuttle began running Tuesday as part of a 10-day pilot program, carrying up to 12 passengers for free along a short stretch of the Fremont Street East entertainment district. The vehicle has a human attendant and computer monitor, but no steering wheel and no brake pedals. Passengers push a button at a marked stop to board it. The shuttle uses GPS, electronic curb sensors and other technology, and doesn't require lane lines to make its way. The shuttle -- which they've named Arma -- is traveling at 15 miles per hour, and the ride is smooth, according to the mayor of Las Vegas. ("It's clean and quiet and seats comfortably.") They've blocked all the side streets, so the shuttle doesn't have to deal with traffic signals yet, though eventually they'll install special transmitters at every intersection to communicate whether the lights are red or green, and the city plans to deploy more of the vehicles by the end of the year.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Meet Lux, A New Lisp-like Language

Slashdot -

Drawing on Haskell, Clojure, and ML, the new Lux language first targeted the Java Virtual Machine, but will be a universal, cross-platform language. An anonymous reader quotes JavaWorld: Currently in an 0.5 beta release, Lux claims that while it implements features common to Lisp-like languages, such as macros, they're more flexible and powerful in Lux... [W]hereas Clojure is dynamically typed, as many Lisp-like languages have been, Lux is statically typed to reduce bugs and enhance performance. Lux also lets programmers create new types programmatically, which provides some of the flexibility found in dynamically typed languages. The functional language Haskell has type classes, but Lux is intended to be less constraining. Getting around any constraints can be done natively to the language, not via hacks in the type system. There's a a 16-chapter book about the language on GitHub.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hackers Corrupt Data For Cloud-Based Medical Marijuana System

Slashdot -

Long-time Slashdot reader t0qer writes: I'm the IT director at a medical marijuana dispensary. Last week the point of sales system we were using was hacked... What scares me about this breach is, I have about 30,000 patients in my database alone. If this company has 1,000 more customers like me, even half of that is still 15 million people on a list of people that "Smoke pot"... " No patient, consumer, or client data was ever extracted or viewed," the company's data directory has said. "The forensic analysis proves that. The data was encrypted -- so it couldn't have been viewed -- and it was never extracted, so nobody has it and could attempt decryption." They're saying it was a "targeted" attack meant to corrupt the data rather than retrieve it, and they're "reconstructing historical data" from backups, though their web site adds that their backup sites were also targeted. "In response to this attack, all client sites have been migrated to a new, more secure environment," the company's CEO announced on YouTube Saturday, adding that "Keeping our client's data secure has always been our top priority." Last week one industry publication had reported that the outage "has sent 1,000 marijuana retailers in 23 states scrambling to handle everything from sales and inventory management to regulatory compliance issues."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Thousands Of Cubans Now Have Internet Access

Slashdot -

There's been a dramatic change in one of the world's least-connected countries. An anonymous reader quotes the AP: Since the summer of 2015, the Cuban government has opened 240 public Wi-Fi spots in parks and on street corners across the country... The government estimates that 100,000 Cubans connect to the internet daily. A new feature of urban life in Cuba is the sight of people sitting at all hours on street corners or park benches, their faces illuminated by the screen of smartphones connected by applications such as Facebook Messenger to relatives in Miami, Ecuador or other outposts of the Cuban diaspora... Cuban ingenuity has spread internet far beyond those public places: thousands of people grab the public signals through commercially available repeaters, imported illegally into Cuba and often sold for about $100 -- double the original price. Mounted on rooftops, the repeaters grab the public signals and create a form of home internet increasingly available in private rentals for tourists and cafes and restaurants for Cubans and visitors alike. The article also points out that last month, for the first time ever, 2,000 Cubans began receiving home internet access.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Will The Death of the PC Bring 'An End To Openness'?

Slashdot -

Slashdot reader snydeq shared "11 Predictions For the Future of Programming" by InfoWorld's contributing editor -- and one prediction was particularly dire: The passing of the PC isn't only the slow death of a particular form factor. It;s the dying of a particularly open and welcoming marketplace... Consoles are tightly locked down. No one gets into that marketplace without an investment of capital. The app stores are a bit more open, but they're still walled gardens that limit what we can do. Sure, they are still open to programmers who jump through the right hoops but anyone who makes a false move can be tossed... For now, most of the people reading this probably have a decent desktop that can compile and run code, but that's slowly changing. Fewer people have the opportunity to write code and share it. For all of the talk about the need to teach the next generation to program, there are fewer practical vectors for open code to be distributed.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

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