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Qualcomm seeks court order forcing Apple suppliers to pay royalties amid legal dispute

AppleInsider - 1 hour 50 min ago


As part of an ongoing patent licensing dispute with Apple, Qualcomm on Wednesday requested a court order stipulating that Apple contract manufacturers maintain royalty payments during the legal process.
Categories: Apple Mac, Computer

Windows is now built on Git, but Microsoft has found some bottlenecks

The Register - 2 hours 3 min ago
300 GB repo handles 8,421 pulls and 1,760 official builds a day, more once GVFS fix is in

Microsoft has adopted Git to manage the vast collection of code that is Windows' source, and has shared performance issues it's had to fix along the way.…

Microsoft will pay you $25 to use Groove

Beta News - 2 hours 5 min ago
Steaming music is all the rage nowadays, and there is certainly no shortage of services. Quite frankly, you really can't go wrong when selecting one, as many of them are great. With that said, for an optimal experience, Apple Music is probably best for iOS and macOS users, while Google Play Music and Spotify are great for Android and Linux desktop users. If you spend a lot of time on Windows 10, the Groove Music Pass service is an excellent choice, as is the associated Groove app. While Microsoft's service may not be the most popular, it provides great selection and… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news

Manchester Attack Could Lead To Internet Crackdown

Slashdot.org - 2 hours 34 min ago
New submitter boundary writes: The UK government looks to be about to put the most egregious parts of the Investigative Powers Act into force "soon after the election" (which is in a couple of weeks) in the wake of the recent bombing in Manchester. "Technical Capability Orders" require tech companies to break their own security. I wonder who'll comply? The Independent reports: "Government will ask parliament to allow the use of those powers if Theresa May is re-elected, senior ministers told The Sun. 'We will do this as soon as we can after the election, as long as we get back in,' The Sun said it was told by a government minister. 'The level of threat clearly proves there is no more time to waste now. The social media companies have been laughing in our faces for too long.'"

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Ransomware hits Australian hospitals after botched patch

The Register - 2 hours 45 min ago
WannaCry? Minister says data is safe, so save your tears for now

Hospitals connected to Australian State of Queensland's integrated electronic medical record system (ieMR) are suffering outages attributed to patching against a ransomware attack.…

Rackspace demotes a CEO to hire a CEO to replace CEO who quit

The Register - 3 hours 2 min ago
Former HO and EMC man Joe Eazor gets the job of completing conversion to services company

Rackspace has named Joe Eazor as its new CEO, replacing the departing Taylor Rhodes and interim CEO Jeff Cotten.…

Attempt at building kinder, gentler Reddit downvoted off the Web

The Register - 3 hours 59 min ago
Chat forums beyond El Reg just do respectful whimsy, so goodbye 'Imzy'

Reddit can be a nasty, nasty place. So nasty that a in 2015 half a dozen Reddit employees – some who said they'd experienced personal abuse or threats of violence from Reddit members - bailed from the company and set their sights on “rethinking the way communities exist on the Internet.”…

Apple transitions App Store pricing to local currencies in 9 new countries

AppleInsider - 4 hours 27 min ago


Apple this week is transitioning App Store pricing from the U.S. dollar and euro to the local currencies of nine countries, a change that in some locales equates to a small savings thanks to favorable exchange rates.
Categories: Apple Mac, Computer

Titan Note Continues Trying To Sell Its Questionable Device: Its Own Actions Keep Raising More Questions

Techdirt - 4 hours 33 min ago

A few weeks back, I wrote about IndieGogo shutting down a crowdfunding project for a small notetaking/speaker device called Titan Note. As I pointed out at the time, there were a lot of alarm bells about the product, but I had still backed it just to see if it might actually work. IndieGogo shutting it down actually had me relieved because the more I thought about it, the less sure I was the project was legit. Making things even more bizarre -- and leading to my post about it -- was the news that the guy behind Titan Note had sent a bogus DMCA takedown notice to the Verge over its skeptical take on the product. The DMCA notice targeted the use of Titan Note's promotional images -- which are clearly fair use for news publications.

A few days after that all went down, I went to see if the guy behind Titan Note had anything to say about it. There was a post on Facebook claiming that it was all IndieGogo's fault and promising it would be on another "more trusted" platform soon:

As you have noticed, your orders on Indiegogo have been refunded. We got into a dispute with Indiegogo and we decided to use another platform instead. Indiegogo doesn't have your best interest in mind and we decided to find a better solution for both you and ourselves.

This seemed... sketchy for a variety of reasons. What kind of "dispute" could they have gotten into? A number of people asked in the comments, and the Titan Note guy (it's unclear if it's more than just one guy), just started pasting the same boilerplate response over and over again, insisting that there was a "dispute" over "payment and fees."

The dispute was regarding the payment and the fees. Moreover, Indiegogo has a history of not taking responsibility for the users on its platform. Many are dissatisfied with the Indiegogo platform. It was a wrong move from our side to take orders on the Indiegogo platform in the first place and we truly apologize about that. We promise that we will make it up to you when we relaunch Titan Note on a more trusted platform next week. Please let us know if you have any other questions.

More people began to question this, and then he started insisting he couldn't talk any more about it, because he was going to sue IndieGogo.

We are in the process of pursuing legal action against Indiegogo for their misconduct. Because of this, neither we or them can go into more specific details. We appreciate your understanding and we apologize for the inconvenience this has caused you.

Somewhere around this time, I decided to ask some questions on the Facebook page as well, noting that the boilerplate claims didn't make much sense. There's no reason to expect a dispute about "fees" since IndieGogo is pretty damn clear on the fee breakdown. I pointed out that there's simply no reason that he can't explain more of what the problem was, even if a lawsuit was in process -- and furthermore, suggested that it might make sense to delay a new crowdfunding campaign until after such a lawsuit was filed, so that backers could better understand the details. Separately, I asked about why they sent the DMCA notice.

A few hours later, I noticed that my question about the DMCA was deleted. I saw someone else asked a similar question -- and that was deleted. After a few more people asked, he finally posted another boilerplate answer, responding to a bunch of users:

About the DMCA: We sent the DMCA notice to the verge because they used our copyrighted images without our permission. No reputable publication would do that. They stole our property and we had to take action.

I responded to that, noting that this explanation made no sense at all. First of all, the images were promotional images, released for the press. Second, the Verge's use was clearly fair use. And, finally, I pointed out that this explanation was clearly not true, and the reason for the DMCA notice was obviously the skeptical nature of the Verge's article because none of the other news articles that were hyping up the Titan Note -- and which the company proudly linked to -- appeared to have DMCA notices over their use of the very same images.

And that's when I got blocked from commenting on the Titan Note Facebook page and all my remaining comments were deleted (he had already deleted my DMCA questions earlier).

So that confirmed just how sketchy this whole project was to me. The DMCA notice was bad. The nonsensical explanations were worse. And deleting some fairly straightforward questions about all of that (and then blocking me from commenting any more)? That's not a trustworthy project.

At almost the exact same time that I got blocked, Titan Note "relaunched" on a supposedly more trustworthy platform, an Australian site called Pozible. The project quickly got to nearly $100,000 in backing. I emailed Pozible to ask if they did any checking on projects, and pointed out that IndieGogo had taken the same project down. Almost immediately I got an email response from someone at Pozible, telling me that their own system had "flagged" the project and they were suspending the project until the creator provided more information.

I similarly reached out to IndieGogo to find out if the "fee dispute" claim was legit. Not so, the company told me. While they would not go into the full reasons for the project being suspended, they did say that "a lengthy investigation" by the trust and safety team determined that the company was violating IndieGogo's terms and services, and made it clear "this was not a dispute about fees, but a violation on their end." IndieGogo's terms involve lots of things, but one line that stands out:

Campaign Owners are not permitted to create a Campaign to raise funds for illegal activities, to cause harm to people or property, or to scam others. If the Campaign is claiming to do the impossible or it's just plain phony, don't post it.

Not surprisingly, after Pozible shut down the campaign after just a few hours, a bunch of people went back to Facebook to ask questions and note that this was now two crowdfunding platforms that had shut down the campaign entirely, and demanding answers. A few joked that "boilerplate" answers would be coming soon. It actually took a few days, but eventually...

To clarify, Neither of those platforms have seen our product. The outcome is not a reflection of Titan Note's quality and again, they have not seen our product. We have had competitors that have posted slanderous information to the platforms and we are in the process of bringing legal action against one of those platforms for their misconduct. We will not let a bump in the road stop our passion.

So... yeah. That doesn't actually answer the question. Nearly all crowdfunding projects don't involve the platforms seeing the projects, but it's very rare for projects to be canceled. It certainly suggests something else is up with this project and that's why they were canceled. Besides, the original story was that IndieGogo canceled over a "fee dispute." If that's the case, why would it matter that it hadn't seen the product?

And, of course, a few days after that -- earlier this week -- Titan Note launched its own website entirely (previously, one of the concerns was that the company didn't appear to have a website). And that website is allowing pre-orders. We won't link to it directly (no reason to give it free advertising), but astoundingly, the company is using the canceled IndieGogo project on its new website as proof of how cool it is:

Yes, the IndieGogo campaign had over 12,000 backers and had initially raised over $1.1 million dollars. But that was canceled and all the money was refunded. It seems very, very, very questionable to then go on and put up a website that suggests the project successfully raised that much money when that's not how things actually ended.

Distressingly, the project is also using the various positive press it got upon launching on the website, leaving out the Verge (obviously).

Not surprisingly, I am not the only person concerned about all of this. There are still some users in the Titan Note comments concerned about this (I have no idea how many others had their comments deleted, as mine were). There's also a Facebook group on crowdfunding scams that has taken a special interest in Titan Note with a few different discussions on it -- including concern about the current offering directly off the website.

Throughout all of this, I still would like the product to be legit, because it certainly would be an interesting product! However, with all of the red flags raised, and the questionable way that Titan Note has responded to these kinds of questions, it seems entirely reasonable to believe that the product is, at the very least, greatly exaggerated, and might possibly not exist at all. I did send Titan Note an email listing out a series of questions and letting them know I would be writing about this. So far, there has been no response. If one should come in, I will update this post.



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Vermont DMV Caught Using Illegal Facial Recognition Program

Slashdot.org - 4 hours 39 min ago
schwit1 quotes a report from Vocativ: The Vermont Department of Motor Vehicles has been caught using facial recognition software -- despite a state law preventing it. Documents obtained by the American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont describe such a program, which uses software to compare the DMV's database of names and driver's license photos with information with state and federal law enforcement. Vermont state law, however, specifically states that "The Department of Motor Vehicles shall not implement any procedures or processes that involve the use of biometric identifiers." The program, the ACLU says, invites state and federal agencies to submit photographs of persons of interest to the Vermont DMV, which it compares against its database of some 2.6 million Vermonters and shares potential matches. Since 2012, the agency has run at least 126 such searches on behalf of local police, the State Department, FBI, and Immigrations and Customs Enforcement.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Fat-thumbed dev slashes Samba security

The Register - 5 hours 58 sec ago
Remote code execution in all versions since 3.5.0, so it's patching time!

Sysadmins tending Samba need to get patching.…

Stanford study finds Apple Watch top-notch heart rate monitor, mediocre calorie counter

AppleInsider - 5 hours 7 min ago


A new medical study from Stanford University focusing on consumer fitness tracker reliability found Apple Watch to be the most accurate heart rate monitor out of seven popular devices, though all products tested failed in terms of calorie counting.
Categories: Apple Mac, Computer

Facebook Signs BuzzFeed, Vox, Others For Original Video Shows

Slashdot.org - 5 hours 11 min ago
Facebook has signed deals with Vox Media, BuzzFeed, ATTN, Group Nine Media and others to make shows for its upcoming video service, which will feature long and short-form content with ad breaks. The social media company is reportedly set to pay up to $250,000 for the longer, scripted shows. Reuters reports: Facebook is planning two tiers of video entertainment: scripted shows with episodes lasting 20 to 30 minutes, which it will own; and shorter scripted and unscripted shows with episodes lasting about 5 to 10 minutes, which Facebook will not own, according to the sources. For the second tier of shorter shows, Facebook will pay $10,000 to $35,000 for each show and give creators 55 percent of revenue from ads, the sources said. Ads will run during both the long-form and short-form shows.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Machine 1, Man 0: AlphaGo slams world's best Go player in the first round

The Register - 5 hours 19 min ago
DeepMind scores another win in marketing its AI

AlphaGo yesterday one-upped man as it won the first out of three games against Ke Jie, the world’s number one player in Go.…

Study Finds Magic Mushrooms Are the Safest Recreational Drug

Slashdot.org - 5 hours 44 min ago
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Guardian: Mushrooms are the safest of all the drugs people take recreationally, according to this year's Global Drug Survey. Of the more than 12,000 people who reported taking psilocybin hallucinogenic mushrooms in 2016, just 0.2% of them said they needed emergency medical treatment -- a rate at least five times lower than that for MDMA, LSD and cocaine. Global Drug Survey 2017, with almost 120,000 participants in 50 countries, is the world's biggest annual drug survey, with questions that cover the types of substances people take, patterns of use and whether they experienced any negative effects. Overall, 28,000 people said they had taken magic mushrooms at some point in their lives, with 81.7% seeking a "moderate psychedelic experience" and the "enhancement of environment and social interactions."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Uber New York class action alleges passengers overcharged $7.43m per month

The Register - 5 hours 47 min ago
Dial-a-ride d-baggery claimed on passenger side too

Uber's New York woes are piling up, as the dial-a-ride service has now been sued by riders who believe they were being overcharged.…

Robot Police Officer Goes On Duty In Dubai

Slashdot.org - 6 hours 24 min ago
The first robot officer has joined the Dubai Police force tasked with patrolling the city's malls and tourist attractions. "People will be able to use it to report crimes, pay fines and get information by tapping a touchscreen on its chest," reports BBC. "Data collected by the robot will also be shared with the transport and traffic authorities." From the report: The government said the aim was for 25% of the force to be robotic by 2030 but they would not replace humans. "We are not going to replace our police officers with this tool," said Brig Khalid Al Razooqi, director general of smart services at Dubai Police. "But with the number of people in Dubai increasing, we want to relocate police officers so they work in the right areas and can concentrate on providing a safe city. "Most people visit police stations or customer service, but with this tool we can reach the public 24/7. It can protect people from crime because it can broadcast what is happening right away to our command and control center."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Im Telefongespräch mit Duterte: Trump soll Atom-U-Boot-Tabu gebrochen haben

Spiegel Online - 6 hours 32 min ago
Die angebliche Mitschrift eines Telefongesprächs zwischen US-Präsident Trump und seinem philippinischen Kollegen Duterte sorgt für Entsetzen: Der Amerikaner soll verraten haben, dass zwei US-Atom-U-Boote vor Nordkoreas Küste stationiert waren.

Apple Watch Proves Most Accurate at Measuring Heart Rate in New Fitness Tracker Study

MacRumor News - 6 hours 46 min ago
In a new study comparing the accuracy of seven different fitness trackers, the Apple Watch was found to have the lowest margin of error when measuring heart rate, beating the Basis Peak, Fitbit Surge, Microsoft Band, Mio Alpha 2, PulseOn, and Samsung Gear S2.

Researchers set out to determine the accuracy of wrist-worn devices at measuring both heart rate and energy expenditure, aka calories burned via physical activity. 60 volunteers participated, including 29 males and 31 females, each of whom wore several fitness trackers and completed activities like cycling, running, and walking.


Data gathered by the fitness devices was compared against a "gold standard" tracking method, which included an electrocardiograph (ECG) for measuring heart rate and clinical grade indirect calorimetry (measuring oxygen and carbon dioxide expelled when breathing) for measuring calories burned. An error rate of 5 percent was determined to be within acceptable limits.

Across all of the modes of activity, the Apple Watch had the lowest median heart rate error at 2 percent (1.2% to 2.8%), while the Samsung Gear S2 had the highest error rate at 6.8 percent (4.6% to 9%). The Apple Watch was also notably more accurate at measuring heart rate during the walking test than competing products.For the walking task, three of the devices achieved a median error rate below 5%: the Apple Watch, 2.5% (1.1%-3.9%); the PulseOn, 4.9% (1.4%-8.6%); and the Microsoft Band, 5.6% (4.9%-6.3%). The remaining four devices had median error between 6.5% and 8.8%.When it came to measuring calories, no device, Apple Watch included, managed to accurately determine how many calories were burned through activity. Median error rates across all devices and tasks ranged from 27.4 percent (Fitbit Surge) to 92.6 (PulseOn). Though no device was accurate, the Apple Watch did the best at estimating energy expenditure.


Overall, researchers found that most of the fitness trackers tested were able to measure heart rate with an acceptable error level in a laboratory setting, but calorie estimates are largely inaccurate.There are three principal findings from the current study. In a diverse group of individuals: (1) most wrist-worn monitoring devices report HR with acceptable error under controlled laboratory conditions of walking, running and cycling; (2) no wrist-worn monitoring devices report EE within an acceptable error range under these conditions; (3) of the devices tested, the Apple Watch had the most favorable error profile while the Samsung Gear S2 had the least favorable error profile.The full study, conducted by Stanford University and the Swedish School of Sport and Health Services, is available in the Journal of Personalized Medicine.

Related Roundups: Apple Watch Series 2, watchOS 3
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Neutral)
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Categories: Apple Mac, Computer, IT news

OpenStack services monitoring: Challenges and solutions

Beta News - 6 hours 48 min ago
If you have previously worked with cloud platforms, you will be familiar with the distributed and decoupled nature of these systems. A decoupled distributed system relies on microservices to carry out specific tasks, each one exposing its own REST (Representational State Transfer) APIs. These microservices talk to each other through a lightweight messaging layer usually in the form of a message broker such as RabbitMQ or QPID. This is precisely how OpenStack works. Each major OpenStack component (Keystone, Glance, Cinder, Neutron, Nova, etc.) exposes a REST endpoint and the components and sub-components communicate via a message broker layer, such as… [Continue Reading]
Categories: IT news
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