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The N1 tablet. Nokia After selling its Devices and Services division to Microsoft earlier this year, Nokia has gotten back into the consumer electronics game with the launch today of the N1 Android tablet. Ramzi Haidamus, president of Nokia Technologies (Nokia's industrial research division) described the N1 as being as good as the iPad mini but cheaper. The design is clearly inspired by Apple's device, as is the copycat 7.9-inch, 2048x1536 screen, but the internals are quite different: the N1 uses a quad core 64-bit Intel Atom Z3580 processor at 2.3GHz. This is paired with 2GB RAM and 32GB of internal storage. There are two cameras, an 8MP rear-racing one and a 5MP front-facing one. Connectivity comes from 2.4GHz and 5GHz 802.11a/b/g/n/ac Wi-Fi. It will also be ever so slightly lighter than the iPad mini, coming in at 318 grams to the iPad's 331, though the N1's battery is much smaller, at 18.5Wh compared to 23.8. The N1 will also be one of the first devices to use the new reversible USB Type C connector. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Greetings, Arsians! The Dealmaster is back with a ton of goodies for you, courtesy of our partners at TechBargains. Today's featured deal is for a Steam machine! (Well, sort of.) The Alienware Alpha was designed to be a Steam machine, but Steam OS was delayed until 2015, so the Alpha got turned into a Windows box. This little Core i3 living room gaming box can be yours for $549. It comes with an Xbox 360 controller, Payday 2, and a $100 Dell eGift card. We have that and tons of other deals below. Featured Deal Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Apple has lost a jury trial in the patent hotspot of East Texas. Late Monday, a jury in Marshall reached a verdict that Apple must pay $23.6 million for infringing patents once owned by a Mississippi pager company. The verdict, while large, is only about 10 percent of what lawyers for Mobile Telecommunications Technology LLC (MTel) were asking for. According to a Bloomberg report on the case, Mobile Telecommunications was a wireless messaging pioneer in the 1990s when these patents were filed. The patents were used in its SkyTel 2-way paging system. Now, MTel is a licensing company controlled by United Wireless Holdings, which operates the SkyTel paging system for use by first responders and doctors. "The guys working back then at SkyTel were way ahead of their time,” United Wireless CEO Andrew Fitton told Bloomberg. "This is vindication for all their work." Fitton is also CEO of Hartmann Capital, a London investment bank. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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As of today, developers can officially begin writing software for the Apple Watch. Megan Geuss The Apple Watch is set to launch early in 2015, and back in September Apple said that developers would be able to write software for it using a new set of APIs called WatchKit. Today Apple has officially issued the first beta of WatchKit to third party developers, who can get started writing and testing Apple Watch software now. According to Apple's WatchKit page, Apple Watch apps are actually divided up into two parts. One is "a WatchKit Extension" that actually runs on your iPhone, and the other is "a set of user interface resources that are installed on Apple Watch." The iPhone's more powerful SoC will actually be executing the code, and you interact with that code through the UI on the watch's screen. Apple's introductory video at the bottom of the WatchKit page explains the basics of how the phone and the watch will communicate, and how apps will work—we'll sum up some of the most interesting parts, but developers especially will want to watch the whole thing. The Apple Watch and its connected iPhone will be communicating continuously. The watch displays your app's UI and sends information back to your phone, which actually executes your app's code. This is an interesting way to handle things, because it takes some pressure off of the hardware inside the Apple Watch itself (Apple called the entire system the "S1" in its presentation, but aside from that we know little about it). One worry that has surfaced as pundits have debated the watch's price point is the replacement cycle—does Apple expect you to replace your watch every year? Every two or three years, like you do with your phone? Some guesses, particularly for the gold Apple Watch Edition, have gone up to $1,000 and beyond, and watch aficionados who spend that much on these things generally expect them to last. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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FBI says these and other images were posted on Facebook by the defendant. FBI affidavit A 29-year-old Virginia woman is set to appear again in federal court Wednesday after being charged in connection to favorable Facebook posts about the Islamic State of in Syria (ISIS). One of her posts simply read, "I love ISIS." The woman, Heather Coffman, was caught in a terrorism sting operation after the authorities got a search warrant to unmask her Facebook account information. The warrant noted that there was probable cause to unveil who was behind several Facebook accounts because there were pictures of ISIS freedom fighters with words at the bottom that said "Allah has preferred the Mujahideen over those who remain [behind] with great reward." She also shared a job description on the social networking site that said "jihad for Allah's sake." "In my experience, this indicates support for violent jihad. Further, the mujahideen are individuals that fight violent jihad," FBI agent Odette Tavares said in court documents (PDF). Additionally, in response to a question on Facebook about why she published pro-ISIS pictures, Coffman responded, "I love ISIS," according to the government. The feds also said she posted that she hates gays and Zionists and that "they should all die." Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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p | m In a Baltimore trial courtroom on Monday, a local judge threatened to hold a police detective in contempt of court for refusing to disclose how exactly police located a 16-year-old robbery suspect’s phone. Once the Baltimore Police were able to locate Shemar Taylor’s phone, they then searched his house and found a gun as well. But rather than disclose the possible use of a stingray, also known as a cell site simulator, Detective John L. Haley cited a non-disclosure agreement, likely with the Harris Corporation since the company is one of the dominant manufacturers of such devices. Stingrays can not only be used to determine a phone’s location, but they can also intercept calls and text messages. Baltimore Circuit Judge Barry G. Williams retorted: "You don't have a nondisclosure agreement with the court," according to the Baltimore Sun. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Wikipedia In a coup for privacy advocates, strong end-to-end encryption is coming to Whatsapp, a cross-platform instant messaging app with more than 500 million installations on the Android platform alone. Until now, most popular messaging apps for smartphones have offered woefully inadequate protections against eavesdropping. Whatsapp, which Facebook recently acquired for $19 billion, has itself been criticized for a series of crypto blunders only spooks in the National Security Agency would love. Most other mobile apps haven't done much better, as a recent scorecard of 39 apps compiled by the Electronic Frontier Foundation attests. Many fail to implement perfect forward secrecy, which uses a different key for each message or session to ensure an adversary who intercepts a key can't use it to decrypt old messages. The notable exception among popular messaging apps is Apple's iMessage, but it's not available for Android handsets. Enter Moxie Marlinspike, the highly regarded security researcher and principal developer of TextSecure, an SMS app for Android. Over the past three years, his team at Open Whisper Systems has developed a open encryption protocol for asynchronous messaging systems. The term asynchronous means the endpoints need not wait for a message from a server or other party to function properly. That's what allows one person to send a burst of a dozen messages while the other remains idle. Implementing strong end-to-end crypto on such systems is especially challenging, particularly when it comes to devising a way to implement forward secrecy. But as Ars chronicled last year, TextSecure devised a clever technique for doing just that. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Hannes Grobe/Wikimedia There are a number of ways that nature has preserved climatic clues providing crude telescopes to view Earth’s past. Whether it’s plankton, pollen, or glacial ice, however, the images we see are fuzzy. Some represent summer conditions more than winter. Some can be distorted by shifting winds or ocean currents. All have some limit to their magnification—showing, at best, the average of a year, a century, or a millennium. The different temporal resolutions come from the rate at which the record accumulates information. A centimeter of ice in an ice core might have come from just one year’s snowfall, while one centimeter of seafloor sediment might have taken a century to pile up. But another part of the limitation comes from how much of the sample we need to use to generate one data point. Now, some researchers have figured out how to get a lot more out of less sample. Cut to the core When an ocean sediment core is brought up, it’s usually split in half. One half will be sent into storage for future study, and the other will be carved up into little chunks and bagged for different physical and chemical analyses. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Texas state school board has been notable for its shaky grasp of science, mostly targeting the presentation of evolution in science textbooks used by the state. This has posed problems for the nation as a whole, as the size of Texas' large student population ensures that publishers try to structure all their textbooks so they can be approved by Texas—including ones that get used elsewhere. That history made people very nervous when it became apparent that some of the social studies textbooks submitted for approval in Texas had stumbled into a scientific topic—and fallen flat on their face. The topic was climate change, and the textbooks did things like present the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change as being functionally equivalent to the Heartland Institute, a free-market think tank that has in the past questioned whether second-hand smoke was dangerous. Other texts confused carbon dioxide with ozone-destroying chemicals or suggested that there is widespread disagreement over the cause of recent warming. Normally, the thing to do in cases like this is to inform the school board of the problems and get it to mandate changes in the textbooks. But given past history, many people were not optimistic this would be a fruitful approach. Groups concerned with science education, including the Texas Freedom Network and National Center for Science Education, instead took a two-tracked approach, highlighting the problems to both the board and the textbook publishers themselves. They also brought in organizations like the American Geophysical Union and American Association for the Advancement of Science. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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I'm imagining the protagonist on this cover screaming "I'm relevant!" as he thrusts his fist into the air. Unless you're a die-hard 3DS collector, you probably haven't heard of Ubisoft's obscure 2011 platform release Cubic Ninja. Plenty of people are talking about, and seeking out, the title today, though, after a hacking group announced it's the key to the first exploit allowing 3DS hardware to run unsigned, homebrew code. It all started early Monday, when the hacking community at GBATemp (known for publicizing many previous Nintendo console exploits) announced they got homebrew code running on a 3DS after months of work. In the initial post, the hackers noted that the exploit requires a specific 3DS game to work, but the group said they'd be keeping the identity of that title secret until the exploit was officially "released" to the public on November 22. Since then, however, GBATemp says that "plans are accelerated," and hacker Smealum revealed on Twitter Monday night that the exploitable game was Cubic Ninja, a tilt-controlled action adventure that got abysmal reviews just after the 3DS' launch in early 2011. While the game is available for download through the Nintendo eShop, only the Japanese edition of the download can be used for the homebrew exploit, according to GBATemo. To get homebrew working on North American or European hardware, you need to track down an actual retail copy of the game card. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The head of the Federal Communications Commission is proposing an extra $1.5 billion in annual spending on broadband for schools and libraries, all to be funded by a 16-cent increase on the monthly bills of phone customers. Under Chairman Tom Wheeler's plan, announced yesterday and scheduled for a vote on December 11, the E-rate program's annual spending cap would rise from $2.4 billion to $3.9 billion. Wheeler tried to make the increased cost to ratepayers sound as small as possible. "If the FCC reaches the maximum cap recommended, the estimated additional cost to an individual rate payer would be approximately 16 cents a month, about a half a penny per day, or about $1.90 a year—less than a medium-sized soda at a fast food restaurant or a cup of coffee," a fact sheet released yesterday says. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Images posted of rows of federal police vehicles in a Missouri hotel garage got the employee who took them fired—and branded as a terrorist and traitor by the hotel's security chief. Mark Paffrath via Facebook Mark Paffrath, a Navy veteran who worked as a housekeeper for the Drury hotel chain, claims he was fired from his job on Saturday after posting photos and video on Facebook of dozens of vehicles from the Department of Homeland Security massed in a Missouri hotel garage. Paffrath told CNN that Drury’s head of security “called me a terrorist, saying that I dishonorably served my country for posting those pictures and videos on Facebook.” The vehicles and a large number of people from Homeland Security’s Federal Protection Services arrived last week, apparently in preparation for the announcement of a grand jury decision on whether to charge police officer Darren Wilson in the death of teenager Michael Brown. They were parked at the hotel where Paffrath worked, a short drive from Ferguson in suburban St. Louis. Paffrath posted the video and images of rows of federal vehicles on Thursday, including one with the caption “Why are all these vehicles here, I wonder if it has anything to do with Ferguson? #Ferguson, #No justice, no peace." Paffrath’s former employer would not comment on how the hotel learned of the posted images, some of which are still publicly viewable on Paffrath’s Facebook page. A Drury hotel spokesperson told CNN, “We do not publicly discuss confidential personnel matters. The safety and privacy of our guests and our team members has always been and will remain our top priority." The hotel management may have seen the photos as a violation of the privacy of guests. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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Samsung's 2014 product lineup. GSM Arena Samsung has been in a pretty tough spot lately. After several quarters of record profits in 2012 and 2013, the company has crashed back down to Earth. The low point for Samsung came last quarter, when it reported a 49 percent drop in profits. At the high end of the market, the company currently has to fight off Apple, which just released a phablet of its own. At the low end, it's going up against a flood of cheaper Chinese OEMs, led by Xiaomi and Huawei. To try to get out of this slump, Samsung is taking a "less is more" approach. According to The Wall Street Journal, the company said it would cut its 2015 smartphone lineup by 25-30 percent. The company will work on the internals, too, saying during its last earnings call that it will "increase the number of components shared across mid- to low-end models, so that we can further leverage economies of scale." The belt-tightening might seem like a big change for Samsung, but the company has so fully flooded the market with smartphone models that a 30 percent cut will barely put a dent in its lineup. And thanks to GSM Arena's phone database, we can get a pretty good estimate of just how big Samsung's product lineup is in order to compare it to the competition. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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An Uber executive commented Friday that he thought it would make sense for Uber to hire opposition researchers to look into the personal lives of journalists to "give the media a taste of its own medicine," according to a report from Buzzfeed late Monday. The comments were made at an off-the-record dinner as the Uber executive, Senior Vice President of Business Emil Michael, expressed frustration with the way he felt Uber is unfairly attacked in the media. The Buzzfeed editor who attended the dinner and witnessed the comments was not told by any Uber official until afterward that the event was meant to be off the record. During the dinner, Michael specifically attacked PandoDaily editor Sarah Lacy for writing an editorial accusing Uber of "sexism and misogyny" for running a promotion featuring "hot chick" drivers. Michael said Lacy should be held "'personally responsible' for any woman who followed her lead in deleting Uber and was then sexually assaulted," according to Buzzfeed. Michael suggested there was "a particular and very specific claim" that Uber opposition researchers could prove about her life. From a privacy perspective, Uber has not always shown restraint with its customers. The company made news in October for displaying a real-time activity map of thirty of its "notable users" at a launch party in Chicago. The map was part of Uber's "God View," an administrative tool that lets the company see a map of all active Uber cars and customers who have called an Uber. One of the users on the map found out he was being tracked when an attendee of the party began texting him his Uber car's exact location. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Wall Street Journal reports that Facebook is preparing to launch a version of its social networking service with a distinctly corporate twist—Facebook at Work. The new service is aimed at breaking into the already crowded but under-adopted workplace social networking tools market, going head to head with Microsoft’s Yammer, Google’s Apps for Business, IBM’s Connections, and the startup Slack Technologies. Facebook at Work will be free at first and advertising-free. Companies that sign up for the service will have a private site for their employees, and the service will also provide document sharing, messaging, and collaboration services. There was no word on how long the service would be free or how Facebook would charge for Facebook for Work in the long term. But Facebook’s move is counter to a trend in corporate social networking tools. For example, Microsoft has been moving to embed Yammer within its Office and Office 365 platform, infusing social networking in SharePoint and allowing users to share documents directly from Office applications. Slack integrates into Dropbox and a host of other cloud services, and it acts largely as a consolidated communications channel. Just how welcome Facebook will be in offices—particularly when many organizations have been trying to keep employees off Facebook during work for years—also remains an open question. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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EA has announced that it will not be releasing a version of fantasy RPG Dragon Age: Inquisition in India "in order to avoid a breach of local content laws." But just what local content laws are being breached is a matter of some debate. India's NDTV Gadgets cites EA's Indian retail distributor, Milestone Interactive, in reporting that "the game's homosexual sex scenes" are to blame for the decision. But an EA representative told Kotaku that the decision was "not specific to same gender romance." Instead, EA pointed Kotaku to the ESRB content description for Inquisition, which highlights implied fellatio, exposed buttocks, and sexual dialogue as well as cursing and violence. Still, plenty of games with similar or worse objectionable content have been released in India in the past. That includes the first two Dragon Age games, which include the option for homosexual romance and are still easily available in the country. India's obscenity laws are rather vague and subject to interpretation by various courts. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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On Monday, the US Marshals Service (USMS) announced that it will auction off 50,000 bitcoins belonging to Ross William Ulbricht. Ulbricht, allegedly under the moniker Dread Pirate Roberts, is suspected of running the first Silk Road, the hidden website that was often used to traffic drugs and other illegal sales. Ulbricht had 114,000 bitcoins stored on his various computers when the devices were seized by federal authorities during an arrest in San Francisco last October. The USMS auction will take place December 4. Today a bitcoin is worth about $377.60, making the assets up for auction worth around $18.88 million. The announcement comes several months after an initial auction of bitcoins taken from the Silk Road's servers. In June, venture capitalist Tim Draper bought almost 30,000 bitcoins for $18 million. (Five months ago, bitcoins were worth about $200 more per unit than they are today.) The auction itself went off relatively smoothly, but not until after the USMS sent an e-mail CCing, rather than BCCing, all those interested in it. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Michael Dorausch AT&T has entered the legal fracas over whether court warrants are required for the government to obtain their customers' cell-site location history. The telecom, while not siding one way or the other, said Monday the courts should adopt a uniform policy nationwide. As it now stands, there's conflicting appellate rulings on the matter. The Supreme Court has yet to decide the issue. The Dallas, Texas-based company told [PDF] the following to the 11th US Circuit Court of Appeals, which is considering the issue: Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The regulation of Google's search results has come up from time to time over the past decade, and although the idea has gained some traction in Europe (most recently with “right to be forgotten” laws), courts and regulatory bodies in the US have generally agreed that Google's search results are considered free speech. That consensus was upheld last Thursday, when a San Francisco Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Google's right to order its search results as it sees fit. The owner of a website called CoastNews, S. Louis Martin, argued that Google was unfairly putting CoastNews too far down in search results, while Bing and Yahoo were turning up CoastNews in the number one spot. CoastNews claimed that violated antitrust laws. It also took issue with Google's refusal to deliver ads to its website after CoastNews posted photographs of a nudist colony in the Santa Cruz mountains. Google then filed an anti-SLAPP motion against the plaintiff. Anti-SLAPP regulations in California allow courts to throw out lawsuits at an early stage if they're intended to stifle free speech rights. In this case, the judge agreed [PDF] that Google was permitted by the First Amendment to organize its search results as it saw fit. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A large number of the Tor-anonymized domains recently seized in a crackdown on illegal darknet services were clones or imposter sites, according to an analysis published Monday. That conclusion is based on an indexing of .onion sites available through the Tor privacy service that cloaks the location where online services are hosted. Australia-based blogger Nik Cubrilovic said a Web crawl he performed on the darknet revealed just 276 seized addresses, many fewer than the 414 domains police claimed they confiscated last week. Of the 276 domains Cubrilovic identified, 153 pointed to clones, phishing, or scam sites impersonating one of the hidden services targeted by law enforcement, he said. If corroborated by others, the findings may be viewed as good news for privacy advocates who look to Tor to help preserve their anonymity. Last week's reports that law enforcement agencies tracked down more than 400 hidden services touched off speculation that police identified and were exploiting a vulnerability in Tor itself that allowed them to surreptitiously decloak hidden services. The revelation that many of the seized sites were imposters may help to tamp down such suspicions. Cubrilovic wrote: Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The surprise is $5. Snapchat On Monday the messaging app Snapchat, which lets you send images and text that disappear soon after the recipient has viewed the message, announced that it would let its users send something more permanent—money. Partnering with payments processor Square to handle all the sensitive information, Snapchat introduced “Snapcash,” which will detect a dollar amount when typed into the body of a message and allow the user to send that amount with a click of a green button appearing to the right of the text box. Snapchat CEO Evan Spiegel told Re/code that “none of the personal financial information from Snapchat users will reside on Snapchat servers.” Instead a Snapcash user will, in essence, be signing up for a Square Cash account and agreeing to Square's Terms of Service before using Snapcash. That's a good thing too, given some of Snapchat's more egregious privacy fumbles in the last year—from ignoring warnings from Gibson Security that users' usernames and phone numbers could be easily tied together with minimal effort to suddenly making the people that Snapchat users communicated with the most publicly accessible in a list of “Best Friends.” In May, the messaging service had to settle with the FTC over its claim that all messages sent through Snapchat were “ephemeral” when, in fact, there were a number of ways for those messages to be saved. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Songs recorded before 1972 aren't protected by federal copyright. Recently, though, some older bands have started looking for royalty payments based on the patchwork of state copyright laws. 1960s rock band The Turtles sued Sirius XM seeking payments for use of their songs. If the band is successful in its lawsuit, it could open the door to lawsuits against online streaming media over older song titles. Pandora was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America earlier this year and last month by The Turtles. On Friday, the band had a breakthrough in its case. US District Judge Colleen McMahon said that unless a factual issue requiring a trial comes up by December 5, she intends to rule in favor of The Turtles and against Sirius, according to a Reuters report. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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One of the LinkNYC booths that will bring free Wi-Fi to New York's streets. A new "communications network" called LinkNYC announced plans Monday to turn all of the payphones in New York City into public Wi-Fi stations. The kiosks, which are taller and narrower than the average phone booth but preserve the advertising space, will have "up to gigabit speeds" and charging stations for devices, according to a press release Monday. New York has been trying to figure out what to do with its decrepit payphones for years. In 2012, the city did a very small-scale rollout of Wi-Fi hotspots at 10 phone booths, and in 2013, the Department of Information Technology and Communications solicited and displayed proposals for redesigning and repurposing the booths into something more sightly and useful. The network, LinkNYC, is a "public-private" partnership between the Mayor's Office of Technology and Innovation, DoITT, and CityBridge, a collective of New York companies that includes Qualcomm, Antenna, Comark, and Transit Wireless (the company that has installed Wi-Fi in 47 stations of the city's subway system). In addition to being Wi-Fi hotspots, LinkNYC kiosks will also have touch screens for accessing information about the city and will allow free domestic phone calls. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Benthall / Facebook The attorney representing Blake Benthall, whom prosecutors claim was the head of the Silk Road 2.0 website, told Ars on Monday that his client's Twitter account has been hacked. "He remains in custody and thus, of course, is not tweeting,” Jean-Jacques Cabou said by e-mail. “Blake’s Twitter account was compromised by unauthorized users, who posted the tweet regarding bitcoin donations. Neither Blake nor any member of Blake’s family authorized the tweet or its request. Beginning days ago, we took proper measures to report to Twitter that the account was compromised and the tweet was unauthorized. We have no idea who holds the private key(s) associated with the bitcoin address posted in the tweet.” Last Tuesday, Benthall's account simply stated: Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The firm that issues the TRUSTe privacy seal displayed on thousands of websites has agreed to pay $200,000 to settle charges that it deceived consumers about the sites it vouched for and perpetuated misrepresentations about TRUSTe's status as a nonprofit. San Francisco-based TRUSTe told consumers that the websites certified under its programs receive a recertification review every year, according to a release published Monday by the Federal Trade Commission. But in fact, the consumer watchdog agency said, TRUSTe failed to conduct annual reviews in at least 1,000 cases from 2006 to 2013. "TRUSTe promised to hold companies accountable for protecting consumer privacy, but it fell short of that pledge," FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez said in Monday's release. "Self-regulation plays an important role in helping to protect consumers. But when companies fail to live up to their promises to consumers, the FTC will not hesitate to take action." Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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