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Steven Dean Gordon, left, and Franc Cano. Megan's Law database Police said two convicted sex offenders were wearing GPS-tracking ankle monitors when they allegedly raped and murdered four Southern California women. The two convicts, who could face the death penalty if convicted, are to appear in court Tuesday to answer to four charges of rape and murder each. Data from their monitors and the mobile phone records of the victims helped police crack the case, the authorities said. "That was one of the investigative tools we used to put the case together," Anaheim Police Chief Raul Quezada said Monday at a news conference. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Greetings, Arsians! Our partners at LogicBuy are back with some more deals for you. The top deal this week is a 24-inch 4K Dell monitor, which costs $699.99 after the use of a gift card. Ars looks a whole lot better in 4K! Just imagine how many more comments per screen you could fit in! Top deals: Dell UP2414Q UltraSharp 24" 3840x2160 IPS Monitor + $300 eGift Card (Shown in Cart) for $999.99 with free shipping (normally $1299.99 | effective final price of $699.99 w/ full use of gift card) HP Pavilion 23tm 23" 1080p Fully Reclining Touch Monitor for $269.99 with free shipping (normally $349.99 | use coupon code SV3819) Dell S2240L 21.5" 1080p IPS Monitor + $100 Gift Card (Shown in Cart) for $199.99 with free shipping (normally $299.99) Laptops, desktops, and tablets Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Drone retrofitted with a DARPA mobile hotspot unit. DARPA With all of the talk of Facebook’s efforts to blanket the planet with drones that the company promises will provide global Wi-Fi accessibility, another technology leader, the US military’s Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA), has also entered the drone Wi-Fi game. Through DARPA’s new “Mobile Hotspots Program,” the agency has planned to retrofit a fleet of aging RQ-7 shadow drones that were once deployed for various surveillance missions by the US military in Iraq. The repurposed drones will now be used to help the military carry out operations in remote locations that lack Internet connectivity. The hotspot program aims to provide a 1Gbps communications backbone to deployed units. In order to establish a secure connection from ground stations without requiring large antennas, each drone will be equipped with a lightweight, low-power pod, holding low-noise amplifiers, which DARPA claims can boost signals while minimizing background noise. The drones can apparently run for nine-hour shifts to provide continual coverage as needed. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The newest addition to Microsoft's range of Office 365 subscriptions is now available. For $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year, Office 365 Personal lets you use Office on one PC or Mac and one Windows tablet or iPad. The Personal plan slots in below the Home plan (formerly known as Home Premium), which costs $9.99 a month, or $99.99 a year, which supports five PCs or Macs and five tablets in the same house. Both subscriptions also include 20GB of OneDrive storage and 60 minutes of global Skype calls per month. Both are also licensed only for "home" use, with "business" use requiring different subscriptions; the Small Business Premium subscription, for $12.50 a month or $150 a year, appears to be the closest equivalent. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Google is finally updating the underlying OS in Google Glass. The device was previously running on an ancient Android 4.0.4 build, but later this week it will be brought up to speed with the latest version: Android 4.4, KitKat. Google says the update will bring "improved battery life and makes Glass more reliable and easier to update in the future." The KitKat update will also allow developers of native Glass applications to use the latest Android SDK tools and APIs. KitKat's lower memory requirements should help, too, along with the numerous other core OS improvements Glass will gain from the four-version jump. The Glass software is being improved, as well. Photos and videos will now be bundled together in a single card for the day, instead of polluting the entire timeline with an endless strip of cards. Glass can now send photo replies in Google Hangouts, and the ever-growing voice command list will be sorted by most-used. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Antana/Flickr The founder of Mt. Gox, Mark Karpeles, won't head to the US to respond to a Treasury Department inquiry concerning the Japanese bitcoin exchange's bankruptcy flap. Karpeles filed for bankruptcy in Tokyo in late February after Mt. Gox, which was once the world's largest Bitcoin exchange, reportedly lost about 750,000 customer Bitcoins and 100,000 of the company's own Bitcoin reserves. On March 9, Karpeles filed in a Dallas, Texas court to have the bankruptcy recognized in the United States. The US Department of Treasury Financial Crimes Enforcement Network has subpoenaed Karpeles, demanding he testify Friday in Washington, DC, according to a court filing [PDF] lodged in the Dallas bankruptcy case Monday. FinCEN, as the investigative branch of the Treasury is known, has been monitoring the virtual currency. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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SRLabs The heavily marketed fingerprint sensor in Samsung's new Galaxy 5 smartphone has been defeated by whitehat hackers who were able to gain unfettered access to a PayPal account linked to the handset. The hack, by researchers at Germany's Security Research Labs, is the latest to show the drawbacks of using fingerprints, iris scans, and other physical characteristics to authenticate an owner's identity to a computing device. While advocates promote biometrics as a safer and easier alternative to passwords, that information is leaked every time a person shops, rides a bus, or eats at a restaurant, giving attackers plenty of opportunity to steal and reuse it. This new exploit comes seven months after a separate team of whitehat hackers bypassed Apple's Touch ID fingerprint scanner less than 48 hours after it first became available. "We expected we'd be able to spoof the S5's Finger Scanner, but I hoped it would at least be a challenge," Ben Schlabs, a researcher at SRLabs, wrote in an e-mail to Ars. "The S5 Finger Scanner feature offers nothing new except—because of the way it is implemented in this Android device—slightly higher risk than that already posed by previous devices." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Toshiba's Satellite P55t, the company's first 4K laptop. Toshiba Are you reading this on a laptop right now? Are the screen's giant, blocky, visible pixels ruining your experience? If so, Toshiba has the fix: today it's announcing a 15.6-inch laptop with a 3840×2160, 282 PPI IPS display, the same model we originally saw at CES earlier this year. The Satellite P55t goes on sale April 22 and will cost $1,499.99, the same starting price as the company's Kirabook Ultrabook. In most important ways, the laptop is very well-specced. It includes quad-core Haswell CPUs from Intel, a dedicated AMD R9 M265X GPU with 2GB of GDDR5 RAM, 16GB of system RAM, 802.11ac Wi-Fi, four USB 3.0 ports, a 4K-capable full-size HDMI port, and an integrated Blu-ray writer. The one area where the laptop disappoints is in its 1TB mechanical hard drive—the extra storage space will be good for those working on high-resolution images and 4K video, but we'd at least like to see a hybrid SSD/HDD solution in a laptop this pricey. Toshiba On the right side, there's an Ethernet port, two USB 3.0 ports, and a Blu-ray writer. 4 more images in gallery Toshiba has also made a few additions that it hopes will attract photography enthusiasts: each display will be color calibrated at the factory, and the screen is Technicolor-certified. The laptop comes with a built-in application called "Chroma Tune" that will allow users to select from among a few different color profiles depending on their preferences and needs. A license for Adobe's Lightroom 5 photo editing software is included as well. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The viral onslaught has its benefits for the bacteria. Zappys Technology Bacterial diseases cause millions of deaths every year. Most of these bacteria were benign at some point in their evolutionary past, and we don’t always understand what turned them into disease-causing pathogens. In a new study, researchers have tracked down when this switch happened in one flesh-eating bacteria. They think the knowledge might help predict future epidemics. The flesh-eating culprit in question is called GAS, or Group A β-hemolytic streptococcus, a highly infective bacteria. Apart from causing the flesh-eating disease necrotizing fasciitis, GAS is also responsible for a range of less harmful infections. It affects more than 600 million people every year, and it causes an estimated 500,000 deaths. These bacteria appeared to have affected humans since the 1980s. Scientists think that GAS must have evolved from a less harmful streptococcus strain. The new study, published in PNAS, reconstructs that evolutionary history. Read 15 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Hc_07 On Monday, after seven months of discussion and planning, the first-phase of a two-part audit of TrueCrypt was released. The results? iSEC, the company contracted to review the bootloader and Windows kernel driver for any backdoor or related security issue, concluded (PDF) that TrueCrypt has: “no evidence of backdoors or otherwise intentionally malicious code in the assessed areas.” While the team did find some minor vulnerabilities in the code itself, iSEC labeled them as appearing to be “unintentional, introduced a the result of bugs rather than malice.” Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Hacker and Internet troll Andrew 'weev Auernheimer demanded bacon, cream cheese and alfalfa sprouts following his Friday release from prison, hours after a federal appeals court vacated his conviction. According to a YouTube video posted on Motherboard, Auernheimer is shown joking with friends that included his lawyer, Tor Ekeland. He demands bacon in the vehicle ride away from the Allenwood Federal Correctional Center in Pennsylvania, according to the YouTube video. He says he lost 17 pounds, too, following his 2012 hacking conviction, which was viewed as a test of the reaches of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA), the same statute Aaron Swartz was being prosecuted for before his 2013 suicide death. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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If you use Windows Phone 8 and want to get the new Windows Phone 8.1 hotness and give Cortana a spin before it rolls out officially—and you do, it's really great—then don't despair. Although the early access is a "developer preview," you don't actually have to write any code to get your hands on it. You just need a Microsoft Account and a Windows Phone 8 phone (obviously). First head to App Studio and sign in with the same Microsoft Account that you use on your phone. This will make some magical change to your account. Next, install the app "Preview for Developers." It's a regular app you can find in the store, or you can send it to your phone here. Then run the app. It's straightforward. It'll ask you to accept some terms and conditions, warning that you may void your warranty. If you don't want to do that, then you'll have to wait for the final release. Otherwise, sign in with your Microsoft Account—the same one that you used at App Studio and check one final box. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Public Health Image Library via Wikipedia The catastrophic Heartbleed security bug that has already bitten Yahoo Mail, the Canada Revenue Agency, and other public websites also poses a formidable threat to end-user applications and devices, including millions of Android handsets, security researchers warned. Handsets running version 4.1.1 of Google's mobile operating system are vulnerable to attacks that might pluck passwords, the contents of personal messages, and other private information out of device memory, a company official warned on Friday. Marc Rogers, principal security researcher at Lookout Mobile, a provider of antimalware software for Android phones, said some versions of Android 4.2.2 that have been customized by the carriers or hardware manufacturers have also been found to be susceptible. Rogers said other releases may contain the critical Heartbleed flaw as well. Officials with BlackBerry have warned the company's messenger app for iOS, Mac OS X, Android, and Windows contains the critical defect and have released an update to correct it. The good news, according to researchers at security firm Symantec, is that major browsers don't rely on the OpenSSL cryptographic library to implement HTTPS cryptographic protections. That means people using a PC to browse websites should be immune to attacks that allow malicious servers to extract data from an end user's computer memory. Users of smartphones, and possibly those using routers and "Internet of things" appliances, aren't necessarily as safe. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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"The Innocence of Muslims." Several media groups and rights organizations have rallied behind Google, urging a federal appeals court to revisit its takedown order of the inflammatory "The Innocence of Muslims" video on YouTube. Media groups like the Los Angeles Times, New York Times, Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, and others told the Ninth US Circuit of Appeals Friday that its February decision "arguably expands the concept of copyright ownership in a manner that could allow the subjects of news coverage to exercise veto power over unflattering broadcasts" (PDF). The case concerns an actress in the 2012 video that sparked violent protests throughout the Muslim world. The actress, Cindy Lee Garcia, urged the appeals court to remove the video after complaining that she received death threats and was fired from her work. Garcia said she was duped into being in the "hateful anti-Islamic production." Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Duke Energy If you were collecting sections of the new report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, you can now complete your set. Following the release of the section on the physical science of climate change in September and the section on the impacts of, and adaptations to, climate change just two weeks ago, the section on how to avoid future warming was finally released over the weekend in Berlin. This section was written by 235 scientists from 58 countries and cites almost 10,000 studies. The final publication of the entire report will take place in October, along with a short synthesis report summarizing the key findings in simpler, less-technical terms. How we got here If you add up all the human-caused greenhouse gas emissions around the world in 2010, it was equivalent to 49 billion tons of CO2. That number isn’t just growing, its growth is accelerating. Over the previous decade, it increased by about one billion tons each year, while the average from 1970-2000 was about 0.4 tons more each year. More than three-quarters of these emissions come from fossil fuels, and the rest come from things like deforestation, livestock production, and industrial pollutants. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Edward Snowden The Nation Institute The 2014 Pulitzer Public Service Award for "meritorious public service by a newspaper or news site" was awarded Monday to the UK-based publication The Guardian and the US-based publication The Washington Post for their reporting on documents provided to them by National Security Agency whistleblower Edward Snowden. The two publications are being honored for their "revelation of widespread secret surveillance by the National Security Agency, helping through aggressive reporting to spark a debate about the relationship between the government and the public over issues of security and privacy." Their reporting has, for example, helped reveal the extent to which the US' NSA and the UK's Government Communications Headquarters have collected information en masse about millions of Americans’ phone calls and e-mails. Additionally, it has illuminated the mechanisms through which US telecommunications and technology companies have been complicit in government spying efforts. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Flickr user: Mandy Jansen Over the last year, a rabbi, a state NAACP official, a small town mayor, and other community leaders wrote op-eds and letters to Congress with remarkably similar language on a remarkably obscure topic. Each railed against a long-standing proposal that would give taxpayers the option to use pre-filled tax returns. They warned that the program would be a conflict of interest for the IRS and would especially hurt low-income people, who wouldn't have the resources to fight inaccurate returns. Rabbi Elliot Dorff wrote in a Jewish Journal op-ed that he "shudder[s] at the impact this program will have on the most vulnerable people in American society." "It's alarming and offensive" that the IRS would target "the most vulnerable Americans," two other letters said. The concept, known as return-free filing, is a government "experiment" that would mean higher taxes for the poor, two op-eds argued. Read 29 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A new Banksy-style street art mural that appeared in Cheltenham, England, on Sunday. Photo by Kathryn Wright It's a known fact that the city of Cheltenham is home to the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), the UK's counterpart to the National Security Agency. And on Sunday, locals received a GCHQ-themed surprise—new street art around a public telephone booth that depicts men in trench coats secretly recording what happens inside. The mural was painted at the intersection of Fairview Road and Hewlett Road, just three miles from GCHQ's main building. Local residents believe that the mural could be the work of the British graffiti artist Banksy, according to The Telegraph. Banksy is famous for his various street art "vandalism" projects across the globe, which often comment on social and political themes. While the wiretapping techniques in the mural appear historically bent, the theme of government eavesdropping on phone calls is quite timely. The message comes after a seemingly endless stream of revelations about the American and British dragnet surveillance, started by government whistleblower Edward Snowden and his first leaks in June 2013. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A model of the Solara 50, Titan Aerospace's commercial "atmospheric satellite," hangs above the company's booth at the AUVSI Unmanned Systems conference. Sean Gallagher Titan Aerospace—the drone-maker that was previously pegged as a Facebook acquisition—has been snapped up by Google, according to a report from the Wall Street Journal (subscription required). Titan creates “atmospheric satellites,” solar-powered drones that can fly for five years without landing. According to the report, Google says the Titan team will be headed to Project Loon, Google's balloon-based Internet project. Loon also uses solar-powered drones in the form of balloons instead of airplanes, so the two teams seem like a good match. The Journal also says the team might help out Manaki, a Google-owned company working on an airborne wind turbine (basically a drone plane on the end of a power cable). Atmospheric satellites could also be a big help to Google Maps and Google Earth since they both use satellite imagery. A fleet of camera-packing drones could take all the photos Google needs. One of Titan's "smaller" drone models, called the "Solara 50," has a wingspan of 164 feet. That's larger than a Boeing 767. Before the acquisition, the Titan Aerospace's drone Internet project expected to hit "initial commercial operations" in 2015. By using specialty communications equipment, the company claimed it could get Internet speeds of up to one gigabit per second. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Past case law shows you can't sue companies that provide basic Web services, even if the clients are running some illegal activities. A legal effort by several Texas women to attack a "revenge porn" site that posted nude photos of them can go forward against the site's creators. However, the women won't be allowed to sue Go Daddy, which provided hosting services for the now-defunct Texxxan.com website. The lawyer representing the women, John Morgan, filed a proposed class action lawsuit against both the then-anonymous creators of the site and Go Daddy in January 2013. The Texas state court judge overseeing the case wouldn't let Go Daddy out of the lawsuit, but he's now been overruled by a three-judge appeals panel based in Beaumont, Texas. In an opinion published Thursday, the court found that Go Daddy is clearly protected by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act (CDA), which immunizes "interactive computer services" against most types of lawsuits over content that they didn't create. The plaintiffs argued that CDA 230 shouldn't apply, since the site itself was breaking the law, and the "speech" on the website isn't protected by the First Amendment. Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Laura Gilmore/Flickr Utah law enforcement officials searched, without a warrant, the prescription drug records of 480 public paramedics, firefighters and other personnel to try to figure out who was stealing morphine from emergency vehicles. This type of snooping doesn't require crypto-cracking technology or other National Security Agency spying tools disclosed by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden. All it took was a law enforcement official's hunch in this case to search every member of the Unified Fire Authority's prescription records. The American Civil Liberties Union on Monday derided the 2013 dragnet search as "shocking" and called it a "disregard for basic legal protections" to provide law enforcement with "unfettered" access to such private data. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Netflix's decision to pay Comcast for a direct connection to the Comcast network has resulted in significantly better video streaming performance for customers of the nation's largest broadband provider. Netflix has bemoaned the payment, asking the government to prevent Comcast from demanding such interconnection "tolls."But there's little doubt the interconnection has benefited consumers in the short term. Average Netflix performance for Comcast subscribers rose from 1.51Mbps to 1.68Mbps from January to February, though the interconnection didn't begin until late February. In data released today, Netflix said average performance on Comcast has now risen further to 2.5Mbps, a 65 percent increase since January. Comcast's increased speed allowed it to pass Time Warner Cable, Verizon, CenturyLink, AT&T U-verse, and others in Netflix's rankings. Comcast remains slower than Cablevision, Cox, Suddenlink, Charter, and Google Fiber. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Falcon 9 shows off its new landing hardware. SpaceX The latest SpaceX resupply mission to the International Space Station is set to lift off at 6pm US Eastern Time today. The Falcon 9 launch vehicle will be sending a Dragon capsule into orbit to bring over 5,000 lbs of supplies and science experiments to the ISS. If all goes according to plan, the Dragon will rendezvous with the Station early Wednesday morning (also US Eastern). This is SpaceX's third resupply mission, so parts of the liftoff and rendezvous are likely to be routine. Lately, however, SpaceX has been doing interesting things with its Falcon boosters after payload separation. Back in September, the Falcon flipped around in flight and fired its engines to reverse direction, the first step toward a controlled return to the atmosphere. This time around, the company is planning on expanding on that test. "During today’s launch SpaceX will attempt to recover the first stage of the Falcon 9 launch vehicle as part of SpaceX’s reusability program," a SpaceX spokesperson told Ars. "It’s important to note this is not a primary mission objective and the probability of recovering the first stage is low, maybe 30-40 percent." Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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T-Mobile CEO John Legere in July 2013. T-Mobile T-Mobile US CEO John Legere today said that data overage fees are greedy and predatory and that the company plans to stop charging them. Legere today also launched a Change.org petition calling on AT&T, Verizon, and Sprint to eliminate overage charges—despite the fact that T-Mobile plans to continue charging entry-level customers for extra data. Just last week, T-Mobile announced a Simple Starter plan for $40 a month, which includes unlimited talk and text and up to 500MB of 4G data with "no data overage charges." Read 17 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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UC Santa Barbara Computers, cell phones, and any other device being used to read this article rely on a three-century-old approach to computation that represents data with a binary system. However, it’s possible that some computations will shift to a different system entirely thanks to developments in the field of quantum computing. Classical computing uses logic gates with a 1 or 0 value. Quantum bits, or qubits, can represent a 1, 0, or any state achieved by a mixture of these two through their quantum superposition. Single qubits can be linked to create a single computer that can perform parallel calculations that are out of the reach of today’s hardware. Studies conducted at the Max-Planck-Institut in Germany may help enable these sorts of parallel computations. In their studies, published in Nature, researchers have used the two spin orientations of an atom, along with two polarization states of a photon, to represent a 0 or 1. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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