posted 9 days ago on ars technica
Motorola is getting ready to unleash a wave of new hardware, if rumors are to be believed. Motorola Fans of the Moto X and those drooling over early previews of the Moto 360 smartwatch have been waiting for months for official launch information, and it looks like we might finally have it. Motorola began sending out invitations to an event happening on September 4 in Chicago, and the company's teaser site for the event shows pictures of a watch, what appears to be a Bluetooth headset, and the Moto X and G. The Moto 360 was said to be launching in the summer of 2014, a promise that Motorola would just barely be keeping since the autumnal equinox happens on the 23rd, and rumors about a "Moto X+1" and a "Moto G2" have been swirling for several months now. A telltale teaser from Motorola's site. Motorola The Moto 360 watch was the first Android Wear device to be announced, but it's launching behind less-interesting entries from both Samsung and LG. It will be the first Android Wear device to use a round screen instead of a square one, even though the face is broken up by a small black bar across the bottom (likely used for the rumored ambient light sensor). The watch is also said to use a wireless charging dock, where Samsung's and LG's use micro-USB docks with pogo pins. The Moto 360 will be sent out to all Google I/O attendees for free—attendees were already given the opportunity to take home either Samsung's or LG's watch to help with developing Android Wear apps. As for the phones, current rumors suggest that the Moto X+1 and the Moto G2 (assuming those are their names) are upgraded, refined versions of the phones that launched in 2013. This means both should have customizable backs, relatively clean Android installations that are updated quickly, and competitive pricing compared to other phones with similar specs. High-quality, low-cost phones like the Moto G and E have helped Motorola boost its sales significantly after years of losses, and even though Google is preparing to sell Motorola to Lenovo, we wouldn't expect either parent company to mess with a successful formula. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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This story will sound familiar, but it's not a repeat. A month after AOL's Ryan Block posted an audio recording of a Comcast cancellation call that even a Comcast executive called "painful to listen to," another customer has posted a video showing how difficult it was for him to cancel service.  Aaron Spain: Comcast put me on hold until they closed. Chicago resident Aaron Spain explained in the video Monday that he was on hold for more than three hours, showing the time of the call on his phone as proof. He was calling to cancel Comcast "after a month of trying to get them to fix my service," he said. Spain was transferred to the retention department, but didn't actually get to talk to anyone. After using a different phone to call back the same number, Comcast's automated assistant told Spain, "I'm sorry, but our offices are now closed." Comcast admitted fault, telling news sites today that “Under no circumstances is this the experience we want our customers to have. Our goal is to be respectful of our customers’ time and fix any issues the first time. We take this very seriously, and after investigating Mr. Spain’s situation, we want to apologize to him and acknowledge that his experience was completely unacceptable.” Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Ryan Lackey (left) holds up a prototype PORTAL travel router during his Def Con presentation with Marc Rogers (right). Sean Gallagher The news over the past few years has been spattered with cases of Internet anonymity being stripped away, despite (or because) of the use of privacy tools. Tor, the anonymizing “darknet” service, has especially been in the crosshairs—and even some of its most paranoid users have made a significant operational security (OPSEC) faux pas or two. Hector “Sabu” Monsegur, for example, forgot to turn Tor on just once before using IRC, and that was all it took to de-anonymize him. (It also didn’t help that he used a stolen credit card to buy car parts sent to his home address.) If hard-core hacktivists trip up on OPSEC, how are the rest of us supposed to keep ourselves hidden from prying eyes? At Def Con, Ryan Lackey of CloudFlare and Marc Rogers of Lookout took to the stage (short their collaborator, the security researcher known as “the grugq,” who could not attend due to unspecified travel difficulties) to discuss common OPSEC fails and ways to avoid them. They also discussed their collaboration on a set of tools that promises to make OPSEC easy—or at least easier—for everyone. Called Personal Onion Router To Assure Liberty (PORTAL), the project is a pre-built software image for an inexpensive pocket-sized “travel router” to automatically protect its owner’s Internet traffic. Portal provides always-on Tor routing, as well as “pluggable” transports for Tor that can hide the service’s traffic signature from some deep packet inspection systems. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 10 days ago on ars technica
Gwyneth Anne Bronwynne A suspect accused of stealing a cell phone called 911 to report her alleged victim for harassment, according to a report from Komo News Tuesday. Police responded to the call when the suspect said the victim was "following her and refusing to leave her alone." The Seattle Police Department relayed the suspect's story: she was sitting on the bus with her boyfriend near a sleeping 21-year-old man who suddenly woke up and accused the couple of taking his phone. According to the alleged victim, he was listening to music on his phone with his eyes closed when the music suddenly stopped. When he looked up, he alleged, the suspect and her boyfriend were holding his phone. When he accused them of taking his device, he reported that the couple began punching and kicking him and then ran off the bus. He followed them, and the boyfriend ran away while the woman paused to call 911. Komo News reported that police arrived on the scene, and the woman continued to insist that she had not taken the phone until officers noticed a phone-shaped bulge in her pocket. She was arrested and taken to King County Jail for investigation of robbery as well as for allegedly possessing three grams of crack. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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A Craigslist-like website that facilitates weapons sales between buyers and sellers cannot be liable for the actions of its users, including the murder of a woman by a handgun advertised on the site, a federal appeals court ruled. The case decided Tuesday by the 7th US Circuit Court of Appeals concerns a woman murdered in 2011 with a .40-caliber handgun that a Seattle man advertised on Armslist for $400. A Canadian man bought the weapon. Demetry Smirnov, the gun purchaser, murdered Jitka Vesel in Chicago with that weapon after an online romance soured. He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to life in prison. The man who sold him the gun, Benedict Ladera, was handed a year in jail for illegally selling the firearm, as federal regulations prohibit the transfer of weapons to people in another state or country, the appeals court said. Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Amazon Amazon just announced its new Local Register service, a mobile card reader and app that allows merchants to swipe cards and take payments without a traditional card reader. The service is akin to those from Square and PayPal, which both use a physical card reader that plugs into a phone or tablet's headphone jack and lets customers swipe magnetic stripe cards. As Amazon's done many times before with books, tablets (not phones), and hosting services, among other things, the company is dramatically undercutting the incumbent companies right out of the box. Amazon's card reader only costs $10, and the company has promised that customers who register for the service before October 31 will only be charged 1.75 percent on all transaction fees made through the swipe reader until January 1, 2016. Outside of that deal, merchants using Amazon Local Register are charged 2.5 percent for each swiped transaction and 2.75 percent for all manually keyed-in purchases. That's compared to Square and PayPal, which charge 2.75 and 2.7 percent, respectively, on swiped transactions. Both competitors charge 3.5 percent + $0.15 for manually keyed transactions. Square and PayPal both offer their card readers for free when a customer registers with them, but the true cost of the readers is in the transaction fees. Amazon, for its part, says the first $10 in transaction fees will be credited back to the customer to make up for the cost of the swipe device. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Famed Konami game creator Hideo Kojima seems determined to break news every single day of this week's Gamescom expo. After yesterday's revelation that Kojima is working on a new entry in the Silent Hill franchise, today comes news that Metal Gear Solid V will see release on the PC as well as consoles. The news leaked by way of an early post to the Konami website, and it was confirmed during a live gameplay presentation and interview with GameTrailers' Geoff Keighley, which is ongoing. The website blurb suggests that both the introductory Ground Zeroes and the more substantial Phantom Pain episodes will be coming to Windows via Steam. Metal Gear Solid V is the first game to run on Konami's new Fox Engine, and we can't wait to see what the PC modding community does with the landscape of Kojima's futuristic Afghanistan. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Chart courtesy of Renesys, a subsidiary of Dyn From performance issues at hosting provider Liquid Web to outages at eBay and LastPass, large networks and websites suffered a series of disruptions and outages on Tuesday. Some Internet engineers are blaming the disruptions on a novel technical issue that impacts older Internet routers. At the heart of the issue, the growth of routable networks on the Internet overwhelmed the amount of memory set aside in infrastructure hardware, typically routers and switches, that determines the appropriate way to route data through the Internet. For the first time, the lists of routable networks—also called border gateway protocol (BGP) tables—surpassed a significant power of two (two to the 19th power or 512K). Many older routers limit their use of a specialized, and expensive, type of memory known as ternary content-addressable memory (TCAM) to 512K by default. When the tables outgrew the space allotted for them, the routers shut down or slowed. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Bravely exploring tombs... but only on Xbox, to start. Of all the announcements from Sony and Microsoft at their pre-Gamescom press conferences yesterday, the one that seemed to get the most attention is an old title with a new console home. The announcement that Square Enix would be bringing Rise of the Tomb Raider as a timed exclusive for Xbox consoles was so surprising in part because third-party console exclusives have been getting rarer for about a decade now (see our companion piece on the history of the practice). It's not like third-party console exclusives are unheard of even these days. Microsoft made a large bet that EA's Titanfall would be a big enough system seller to justify keeping it off the PS4. The upcoming Sunset Overdrive might be an even bigger coup for Microsoft, coming from an Insomniac Games studio best known for PlayStation exclusives like Ratchet & Clank and Resistance. Sony has secured a number of big-budget third-party exclusives for the PS4's future as well, including From Software's Bloodborne, Capcom's Deep Down, and Ready at Dawn's The Order: 1886. And both Microsoft and Sony have been gobbling up their fair share of smaller indie titles as "console exclusives" in recent months, even though most of those games are also available on PC or mobile platforms often months beforehand. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Aurich Lawson Since practically the dawn of the video game console, game makers have tried to set their systems apart with games made in-house by first-party studios or from wholly owned second-party subsidiaries. But the idea of large, independent third-party developers releasing games exclusively on one console or the other has risen and fallen in popularity over gaming's short history. When a few Atari programmers split off to form Activision in 1979, they weren't eager to tie themselves exclusively to their former employer's console. Activision games like Pitfall and River Raid appeared on the Intellivision and Colecovision as well, even though Atari's dominant sales position ensured plenty of other third-party titles would end up only on the Atari 2600. Still, even first-party developers weren't immune to cross-platform development in those days: Coleco published games like Donkey Kong and Zaxxon on the Atari 2600 and Intellivision, as well as its own Colecovision. The idea of the third-party exclusive really came into its own during the 8-bit era, mainly because Nintendo forced it to. To publish games on the ultra-popular Nintendo Entertainment System, licensees had to agree to a strict non-compete clause that guaranteed those games would be exclusive to Nintendo's system for two years. Most developers were more than willing to sign on the dotted line to get access to the NES' tens of millions of players, squeezing out external game development resources for upstart challengers like the Sega Master System and Atari 7200. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Zoomar A decade ago today—August 13, 2004—former MTV VJ Adam Curry spoke these words, recorded in his car in rural Belgium while driving to the Netherlands: “Well, good morning everybody, and welcome to the Daily Source Code. Thank you very much for taking the time to download this MP3 file. Some of you may have received it overnight as an enclosure in your aggregator. In that case, thanks for subscribing. So first what I’d like to do is to explain exactly what this is, and what the Daily Source Code is going to be.” Now, Adam Curry’s Daily Source Code (DSC) was not the very first podcast ever recorded. That honor belongs to Christopher Lydon, who recorded one back in July 2003. (Amazingly, Lydon is still going strong with Radio Open Source, which now exists as both a podcast and a public radio show on WBUR in Boston.) Read 51 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Stammer's wanted poster. FBI A US fugitive on the lam for 14 years in connection with child sex abuse and kidnapping charges was apprehended in Nepal after authorities scanned his "wanted" poster with facial recognition tech. The FBI announced the arrest Tuesday of Neil Stammer, a 48-year-old New Mexico musician and juggler who skipped out on charges in 1999. The announcement came two months after James Comey, the FBI director, told lawmakers that the agency was "piloting the use of mug shots, along with our fingerprint database, to see if we can find bad guys by matching pictures with mug shots." The hunt for Stammer went from cold to hot back in January. At the time, FBI fugitive hunter Russ Wilson had just been assigned to the bureau's Albuquerque, New Mexico, division—where he said the Stammer case caught his eye. Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Samsung 17 more images in gallery .related-stories { display: none !important; } Samsung has officially announced its first metal phone in a very long time: the Samsung Galaxy Alpha. Normally, Samsung goes all-out in the specs department and puts all the pieces in a plastic case—but the Galaxy Alpha is all about design over specs. Specs at a glance: Samsung Galaxy Alpha Screen 1280×720 4.7" (312 PPI) AMOLED OS Android KitKat 4.4.4 with TouchWiz CPU Octa Core (Quad 1.8GHz + Quad 1.3GHz) RAM 2GB Storage 32GB, not expandable Networking 802.11b/g/n/ac, Bluetooth 4.0, GPS Ports Micro-USB 2.0, headphones Camera 12MP rear camera, 2.1MP front camera Size 132.4mm × 65.5mm × 6.7mm Weight 115g Battery 1860 mAh The Galaxy Alpha is a 4.7-inch device that uses a metal frame, but it's not an undisputed new flagship and doesn't have top-tier specs. The screen resolution is 1280×720, which works out to 312 PPI, below the pixel density of most Android flagships (~430 PPI) but right in the iPhone 5S range (326 PPI). Samsung's official blog lists the processor as either an "Octa Core (Quad 1.8GHz + Quad 1.3GHz)," which would be an Exynos processor, or a "Quad Core 2.5GHz" processor, which sounds like a Snapdragon processor (either an 801 or 805) that might land in the US version. The processor will be paired with 2GB of RAM, which again is not top-of-the-line for Android but should still make for a perfectly serviceable device. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Siri won't help you hide a body today. Back in 2012, however... Casey Johnston A murder suspect may have actually used a Siri Easter egg while hiding the body of his victim, according to a news report Tuesday from the Palm Beach Post and later picked up by BuzzFeed. Gainesville, Florida detective Matt Goeckel presented evidence in court Tuesday that showed the suspect, Pedro Bravo, telling Siri, "I need to hide my roommate." He received as suggestions: "Swamps. Reservoirs. Metal Foundries. Dumps." The response from Siri was originally meant to be a macabre joke; it's one of the virtual assistant's first Easter eggs from when it launched on iOS in 2011. According to the Gainesville police, Bravo actually asked his phone for advice when looking for somewhere to hide roommate Christian Aguilar's body on September 20, 2012, after the two had a fight. In addition to the Siri query, Goeckel also reported that Bravo's phone had no activity between 11:31pm and 12:01am on the night Aguilar disappeared. Bravo also used the flashlight app on his phone for a total of 48 minutes that day, said Goeckel. After Bravo's September 28, 2012 arrest, Aguilar's body was found in a shallow grave in the forest, according to The Independent. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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An Arbor Networks graphic showing the sudden drop-off in network traffic from Syria on November 29, 2012 as the country was essentially erased from network routing tables. In a Wired interview with well-known National Security Agency journalist James Bamford that was published today, Edward Snowden claimed that the US accidentally took most of Syria off the Internet while attempting to bug the country's traffic. Snowden said that back in 2013 when he was still working with the US government, he was told by a US intelligence officer that NSA hackers—not the Assad regime—had been responsible for Syria’s sudden disconnect from the Internet in November and December of 2012 The NSA's Tailored Access Office (TAO), Snowden said, had been attempting to exploit a vulnerability in the router of a “major Internet service provider in Syria.” The exploit would have allowed the NSA to redirect traffic from the router through systems tapped by the agency’s Turmoil packet capture system and the Xkeyscore packet processing system, giving the NSA access to enclosures in e-mails that would otherwise not have been accessible to its broad Internet surveillance. Instead, the TAO’s hackers “bricked” the router, Snowden said. He described the event as an “oh shit” moment, as the TAO operations center team tried to repair the router and cover their tracks, to no avail. Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Shadow Realms teaser shown at EA's Gamescom press conference last night. Last night's pre-Gamescom press conference from Bioware owner EA didn't bring any additional news about the still-nebulous Mass Effect 4, but it did bring the surprising announcement of a quite different kind of game from the studio best known for epic single-player RPGs. Shadow Realms is more directly inspired by tabletop RPGs, pitting a single "Shadowlord" (read: Dungeon Master) against a team of four heroes drawn from the usual set of RPG classes in a trap-filled dungeon. In an announcement post, lead designer James Ohlen notes that while previous Bioware RPGs have been successful in their own ways, "The stories always come to an end and AI systems can’t replace the creativity of a human Dungeon Master. Shadow Realms aims to change that." Unlike a traditional Dungeon Master, though, the Shadowlord in Shadow Realms won't be an all-seeing omnipotent force hovering over the battlefield and controlling dice rolls. Instead, as Bioware explains, he or she will invisibly roam the dungeon halls from an over-the-shoulder perspective, "setting traps, casting spells, summoning monsters, and controlling any monster in the level." Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Vermont Attorney General William Sorrell in 2012. billsorrell.com MPHJ Technology became infamous by sending out thousands of letters demanding $1,000 per worker from small businesses using basic scan-to-email functions. The company says it owns several patents that cover those basic functions, and has sent out more than 10,000 letters demanding payment. That behavior led MPHJ to be the first patent troll ever to be sued by the government. Vermont Attorney General Bill Sorrell filed a lawsuit against MPHJ in May of last year that accuses MPHJ of making misleading statements in its demand letters and doing "little, if any, due diligence to confirm that the targeted businesses were actually infringing its patents." In addition to targeting a variety of small businesses, MPHJ sent letters to two Vermont nonprofits that help disabled residents and their caregivers. For the past year, MPHJ has pushed back, demanding that its case be heard in federal court and even suggesting that the Vermont AG should be sanctioned for going after it. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A GIF-ified version of the key part of the P.T. reveal of Silent Hills SunhiLegend / NeoGAF Amid all the announcements at Sony's pre-Gamescom press conference today, one stood out as particularly baffling: the brief mention of an immediately downloadable PS4 "playable teaser" for a horror game simply being called P.T, from unknown studio 7780s. The mystery has now been solved, with P.T. revealed as a stealth announcement for a new Silent Hill game from Metal Gear Solid creator Hideo Kojima. After wandering through a dark, creepy house lit primarily by a flashlight, the P.T. demo culminates with a cut scene showing a rain-soaked street. The name Hideo Kojima pops up alongside noted film director Guillermo Del Toro as the camera pans up to show a character modeled after The Walking Dead star Norman Reedus. The game name Silent Hills then appears against a white background, followed by a disclaimer warning "This game is a teaser. It has no direct relation to the main title." Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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That nice orange disk? Get rid of it and the black hole can eat much faster. NASA As far as we can tell, nearly every galaxy out there has a supermassive black hole at its core. And when these black holes are actively ingesting matter, they create quasars, the brightest objects we've ever detected. Quasars appear to be present in some of the earliest galaxies we can detect, from when the Universe was only six percent of its current age. That's a bit of a problem. The radiation a black hole emits while swallowing matter places a speed limit on the amount of matter it can ingest. Currently, we simply don't know how black holes got big enough to power a quasar less than a billion years after the birth of the Universe. But a paper from last week's edition of Science suggests that the stars present at the galaxy's core might cause gravitational instabilities that let the black hole overcome the speed limit on its growth. Black holes are famous for having a point of no return, a distance where even photons cannot escape their gravitational draw. But beyond that point, the infalling matter can form what's called an accretion disk, where its interactions with the intense magnetic and gravitational fields send copious amounts of matter and energy flowing away from the black hole. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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posted 11 days ago on ars technica
Language and math have always been part of the core public school experience in the US; science, by contrast, has often been considered an optional topic. But the combination of a push for greater standards and a recognition of science's increasing role in our high-tech economy has resulted in the adoption of science requirements by many states. Now, an analysis of US census data suggests that the increased push for science may have a negative effect: an increase in the dropout rate in states that have adopted science requirements. This isn't to say that science is bad for students. "That there is positive impact of rigorous coursework when chosen by students is not controversial," researchers based at the Washington University School of Medicine wrote in a recent study, "but there has been ongoing debate over the effects of requiring a more difficult high school curriculum for everyone." The authors relied on data obtained by the US Census Bureau, through the actual census and annual surveys the Bureau performs. (For data junkies, it's worth noting that all of the data is publicly available from the Integrated Public Use Microdata Series website.) Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The 15 states in which the ACLU knows that police use cell phone tracking devices. ACLU The Federal Communications Commission said it will investigate the “illicit and unauthorized use” of cell phone tracking and interception devices, commonly known as IMSI catchers or stingrays. A newly published letter from FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler to Rep. Alan Grayson (D-FL) states that Wheeler has created a task force that recently took “immediate steps to combat the illicit and unauthorized use of IMSI catchers. The mission of this task force is to develop concrete solutions to protect the cellular networks systemically from similar unlawful intrusions and interceptions.” Relatively little is known about how, exactly, stingrays are used by law enforcement agencies nationwide, although documents have surfaced showing how they have been purchased and used in some limited instances. Worse still, cops have lied to courts about the use of such technology. Not only can stingrays be used to determine location, they can also intercept calls and text messages. Grayson seems primarily concerned with stingray use by criminals, terrorists, and foreign government agents. Read 13 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Flickr user: Intel Free Press Lean operations and a lack of technical staff make non-governmental organizations a prime, and relatively soft, target for well-funded adversaries, according to an academic study of a four-year campaign targeting one such group. In a paper to be delivered at the USENIX Security Conference next week, six academic researchers analyzed nearly 1,500 suspicious e-mail messages targeting the World Uyghur Congress (WUC). The team found that, while the malware managed to reliably evade detection by many antivirus programs, the attacks were relatively unsophisticated, using known vulnerabilities that had already been patched. The social engineering tactics, however, were very targeted and convincing, with the majority written in the native language, referring to events of interest to the NGO and appearing to come from known contacts, said Engin Kirda, a professor of computer science at Northeastern University and a co-author of the paper. "You read about sophisticated attacks, but the malware that we analyzed was pretty standard," Kirda said. "It was not some ground breaking obfuscation or malware." Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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When the Blackphone team arrived at Def Con last week, they knew they were stepping into a lion’s den. In fact, that's exactly why they were there. The first generation Blackphone from SGP Technologies has been shipping for just over a month, and the company’s delegation to DefCon—including Silent Circle Chief Technology Officer Jon Callas and newly hired SGP Technologies Chief Security Officer Dan Ford—was looking to both reach a natural customer base and get help with further locking down the device. Ask and you shall receive. Jon “Justin Case” Sawyer, the CTO of Applied Cybersecurity LLC, walked up to the Blackphone table at Def Con and told them he rooted the phone. And those who followed him on Twitter received an abbreviated play-by-play. What followed, however, was not what Sawyer or the Blackphone team counted on: a BlackBerry blogger at N4BB leapt on one of Sawyer’s tweets and wrote a story with the erroneous headline, “Blackphone Rooted Within 5 Minutes.” By the time Sawyer was presenting on Sunday at Def Con with Tim Strazzere, the story had been picked up by a number of blogs and websites—and nearly all of them didn’t bother getting further details from Sawyer or Blackphone. Read 19 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Since the announcement and revocation of Microsoft's "Family Sharing" features on Xbox One, we've been waiting for someone to come up with a fair and logical way of sharing generalized gameplay experiences with friends over the Internet. Steam's library-wide Family Sharing features were a step in the right direction, but Sony's newly announced Share Play feature sounds like the Internet game sharing we've been waiting for. Announced at Sony's pre-Gamescom press conference today, Share Play is being sold as a "virtual couch" that lets you in effect "pass the controller" to friends online even if they don't own a copy of the game. That means you'll be able to play simultaneous cooperative and competitive games with your PSN friends, even if the game is only designed for local multiplayer. Alternatively, an online friend can take over for you in single-player games to help with a particularly difficult section. It all happens without the need for the second online player to buy or download anything, Sony said, although both players will need to have a PlayStation Plus account. While Sony didn't get technical at the press event, it seems the feature works through the same kind of Gaikai-fueled game-streaming/screen-sharing technology that powers PlayStation Now and PS4 Remote Play on the Vita. Read 5 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Apple's ethnicity numbers in the US may be more diverse than other giant tech companies, but today's charts don't explain how Apple Store employees fit into sub-categories like "tech" and "leadership." Apple On Tuesday, Apple joined a growing list of tech companies issuing diversity reports about hiring practices, and like its peers, Apple's report broke down ethnicity and gender percentages in the categories of "tech," "non-tech," and "leadership." Taken at face value, the report paints Apple as a company with a higher percentage of underrepresented groups among its tech and leadership ranks. However, unlike companies like Facebook, Google, and Yahoo, Apple counts a massive number of retail employees among its ranks—today's report listed a total of 98,000, and retail included more than 32,000 employees in 2012 (a number that has assumedly expanded since). Tuesday's report failed to clarify exactly how Apple Store employees fit into the new statistics. A Re/code report alleged that the "leadership" category included Apple Store management, but Apple's own report didn't indicate either way. According to the report compiled internally by Apple human resources, Apple's worldwide tech hiring includes 20 percent women, as opposed to Google's 17 percent. In the US, Apple's tech category includes seven percent Hispanic and six percent black employees; those ethnicity numbers are each at least four percent higher than all other companies who've reported thus far. Apple's leadership percentages also outpace the others in diversity, including 28 percent women worldwide (topping Facebook and Yahoo at 23 percent), along with an American count of six percent Hispanic and three percent black. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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