posted 12 days ago on ars technica
European Court of Justice. Gwenael Piaser While the United States continues to debate metadata collection conducted in secret by the National Security Agency, the European Union has been openly collecting the same sort of data for eight years. In the wake of terrorist attacks in Madrid (2004) and London (2005), the European Union passed a directive in 2006 requiring that all telecommunications providers retain all kinds of telephone and Internet metadata for at least six months and provide it to law enforcement upon request. According to a ruling handed down Tuesday by the European Court of Justice, that directive is now invalid. Read 26 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Redlink Bridge is the module stuck onto the far left of the camera shown here. Megan Geuss LAS VEGAS—On the show floor at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) convention this week, Red cameras were a common sight. Surprisingly common, considering the digital cinema company debuted its first camera, the Red One, just seven years ago at the 2007 NAB conference. (At the time, Red was accused of hyping vaporware, because it had promoted its as-yet-unseen product for so long.) This week, Red continued its short tradition of putting custom camera functionality in the hands of its customers, showing off its Redlink Development Kit and Bridge. The Redlink Bridge is an aluminum wireless box that attaches to a Red Digital Still and Motion Camera (DSMC). It weighs about a half a pound and can receive signals from up to 50 feet away. The Development Kit comes loaded on a flash drive and includes the Redlink SDK, some sample apps, and additional resources. An app built with the Redlink Development Kit, which controls various aspects of the DSMC. Using the Development Kit, filmmakers can build their own apps to remotely control features "including Record Start/Stop, Shutter Speed, White Balance, ISO, and programmable User Keys,” a Red press release said. "You can also program your custom app to monitor the status of your camera settings.” Read 4 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Lwp Kommunikáció via flickr The business of mass-copyright litigation has taken off in the past few years. Several firms around the country gather forensic evidence about illegal downloads on BitTorrent, and then file lawsuits against hundreds, or thousands, of users, demanding settlement fees of several thousand dollars each. One of the most prolific litigators is Malibu Media, which runs an adult website called "x-art." Malibu has sued over 1,000 Internet users for downloading its content. Now that Prenda Law has become defunct and is mired in sanctions, Malibu may be the most vigorous copyright litigator in the United States. A court document filed over the weekend by Malibu lawyers, and first published by the Fight Copyright Trolls blog, contains some striking, hitherto-unknown facts about the company's campaign of lawsuits. The new information is part of a status update filed with the court in the Northern District of Illinois, which covers Chicago and suburbs, as well as reaching into more rural parts of the state. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Wikipedia Researchers have discovered an extremely critical defect in the cryptographic software library an estimated two-thirds of Web servers use to identify themselves to end users and prevent the eavesdropping of passwords, banking credentials, and other sensitive data. The warning about the bug in OpenSSL coincided with the release of version 1.0.1g of the open-source program, which is the default cryptographic library used in the Apache and nginx Web server applications, as well as a wide variety of operating systems and e-mail and instant-messaging clients. The bug, which has resided in production versions of OpenSSL for more than two years, could make it possible for people to recover the private encryption key at the heart of the digital certificates used to authenticate Internet servers and to encrypt data traveling between them and end users. Attacks leave no traces in server logs, so there's no way of knowing if the bug has been actively exploited. Still, the risk is extraordinary, given the ability to disclose keys, passwords, and other credentials that could be used in future compromises. "Bugs in single software or library come and go and are fixed by new versions," the researchers who discovered the vulnerability wrote in a blog post published Monday. "However this bug has left a large amount of private keys and other secrets exposed to the Internet. Considering the long exposure, ease of exploitations and attacks leaving no trace this exposure should be taken seriously." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Microsoft's Build conference last week was Satya Nadella's first developer conference as CEO. It showed a Microsoft very different from the one we've seen before. For the first time in many years, this is a Microsoft poised to take on the future. The Microsoft of the last few years has been a secretive, defensive company. During the development of Windows 8, in particular, the engagement—with developers, with users, with the media—was limited. When engagement did occur, it was both consistently unidirectional—there was little attempt to actually solicit feedback from the community or iterate designs based on real-world experience—and limited in its outlook. There was a refusal to outline trajectories or give any clues as to how the company intended to develop its software. Combined with a heady mix of political and technological infighting, the lack of communication meant that communities Redmond once worked well with were treated poorly. Read 21 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Thunderbolt 2 is picking up another feature. Chris Foresman If standard gigabit Ethernet isn't cutting it for you, Intel will soon give you another option: this week at the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) show in Las Vegas, the company announced a new feature called "Thunderbolt Networking" that will soon be available to all PCs with Thunderbolt 2 controllers. The feature, which will be enabled by an upcoming Windows driver update, will "emulat[e] an Ethernet connection environment" and provide a 10Gbps two-way link between two computers connected with a Thunderbolt cable. Since you'll need to connect the two computers directly to each other, this solution obviously won't scale as well as real 10Gbps networking equipment. But for now, that hardware remains relatively uncommon and expensive—well outside the price range of individuals and smaller businesses. Thunderbolt Networking is apparently not being enabled for older computers with first-generation Thunderbolt controllers. While the feature will be new to the Windows operating system, the ability to network two Thunderbolt Macs together was introduced back in Mavericks. It doesn't appear to require Thunderbolt 2 on that platform, though as we experienced, configuring a Thunderbolt Bridge can make for fast but occasionally choppy transfer speeds. That test connected one Thunderbolt 2 Mac to an older model with a first-generation Thunderbolt controller, though—it's possible that connecting Thunderbolt 2 Macs to each other results in a more stable connection however. This new Windows driver update will enable any two Thunderbolt 2 PCs and Macs to be connected, though to date the Windows laptops, workstations, and motherboards with integrated Thunderbolt 2 controllers have been few and far between. Read on Ars Technica | Comments

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Chewbacca and friends! LucasFilm Wookie fans, rejoice: according to The Hollywood Reporter, Peter Mayhew will be playing the part of Chewbacca in Disney's upcoming Star Wars: Episode VII. Mayhew joins Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, and Harrison Ford on a lengthening list of Star Wars actors set to pick up their lightsabers and/or blasters and slip back into their iconic roles. At least, so says the ever-shifting Hollywood rumor mill. Mayhew's return is attributed by THR to "sources," and Ford's will-he-won't-he status was most recently confirmed by Carrie Fisher to TV Guide back in January. Han Solo himself remains mum on his return—playfully so, even. On top of news of Mayhew's Chewbacca reprisal, Disney Studios chairman Alan Horn let slip that the new movie has already begun filming. Though Horn does say that the cast hasn't yet been finalized, he did tell THR that the script has been locked and shooting has started. That script, co-written by Empire Strikes Back alum Lawrence Kasdan (along with director J.J. Abrams), was apparently the subject of much scrutiny by the studio: "It's all about the screenplay," noted Horn. "It has to be screenplay, screenplay, screenplay." Read 3 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Aurich Lawson Late last month, we reported on new federal efforts to gain an expanded ability to conduct “remote access” searches under a warrant against a target computer whose location is unknown or outside of a given judicial district. The government’s proposed revisions to criminal rules will be discussed at an upcoming Department of Justice (DOJ) meeting later this month in New Orleans. Federal agents have been known to use such tactics in past and ongoing cases: a Colorado federal magistrate judge approved sending malware to a suspect’s known e-mail address in 2012. But similar techniques have been rejected by other judges on Fourth Amendment grounds. If this rule revision were to be approved, it would standardize and expand federal agents’ ability to survey a suspect and to exfiltrate data from a target computer regardless of where it is. On Monday, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) published a 21-page memorandum with comments and recommendation to the DOJ. Specifically, the ACLU fears “jurisdictional overreach,” which under the new rules would allow a magistrate judge in any district to impose a “remote access search warrant” in any other district. The memo is authored by Nathan Freed Wessler, Chris Soghoian, Alex Abdo, and Rita Cant, who are attorneys and fellows at the ACLU. Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A typical Jerk.com profile, where visitors can vote on whether a particular person is or is not a jerk as well as fill in supplementary, personally identifying information. As of Monday, the FTC has charged the website Jerk.com with taking data from Facebook and using it to create millions of disparaging profiles that it would then charge $30 to remove or edit. The trick was that paying money didn't actually give access to anything, and Jerk appears to have been scamming its "customers." According to the filing, the "purported social networking site" started in 2009. Its founders said it was populated with user-generated profiles: a person's first and last name displayed alongside voting buttons for "jerk" or "not a jerk." The profiles had space where any user could add other details like age, address, employer, phone numbers, or license plates. The profiles also included a comments section where users could talk about the person in question. According to the FTC, some of this information was scraped from Facebook for an estimated "24 to 33.5 million profiles," a few million of which contain a photo of a child under the age of 10. The kicker was that, when people would discover Jerk profiles of themselves or people they knew, the Jerk website would tell them they could "subscribe" for $30 and then be able to dispute the profiles. However, after paying, the FTC states that "in numerous instances, consumers who paid for a standard membership received nothing from [the site's owners] in exchange." Jerk then charged a $25 fee to e-mail the "customer service" department. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Earlier this year, Kim Dotcom released his first album, "Good Times." Chris Keall Kim Dotcom became the Internet's most widely known fugitive in 2012 when his New Zealand home was raided and he was hit with criminal copyright charges for running the popular website Megaupload. The charges brought by US authorities led to Dotcom and his colleagues being arrested and his assets frozen, including bank accounts holding more than $175 million. However, Dotcom was quickly released and is fighting extradition efforts in New Zealand courts. A trial over his extradition could be held as early as July. But a new lawsuit filed today will add to Dotcom's headaches. Already facing criminal charges, Megaupload—along with Dotcom and two other former Megaupload executives—was sued today by the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). Read 10 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Gordon Smith, president and CEO of the National Association of Broadcasters, and a former US senator from Oregon. Center for the Study of Ethics LAS VEGAS—At the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) conference in Las Vegas today, NAB President and CEO Gordon Smith took to the stage to talk about the state of the broadcasting industry. Smith, a former two-term Republican senator from Oregon, complained about the wireless industry and sternly voiced his concerns about the FCC’s aims to reallocate spectrum toward broadband. For years now, the FCC has been jockeying to give more spectrum to mobile broadband carriers, sometimes at the expense of TV broadcast spectrum. Many industry watchers have justified that approach by saying TV broadcasters have too much spectrum relative to where people are increasingly consuming media these days—on cable TV and over wireless networks. One FCC initiative has been to pay TV broadcasters to give up their lower frequencies and then auction those frequencies off to wireless providers. That plan, which was originally set for summer 2014, was delayed last December until mid-2015, as FCC chairman Tom Wheeler cited the need for more testing of “the operating systems and the software necessary to conduct the world’s first-of-a kind incentive auction.” Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Wikipedia Researchers have uncovered a recent denial-of-service attack that employed an unusual, if not unprecedented, technique to surreptitiously cause thousands of everyday Internet users to bombard the target with a massive amount of junk traffic. The attack worked by exploiting a Web application vulnerability on one of the biggest and most popular video sites on the Web, according to a blog post published recently by researchers at security firm Incapsula, which declined to identify the site by name. Malicious JavaScript embedded inside the image icons of accounts created by the attackers caused anyone viewing the users' posts to run attack code that instructed their browser to send one Web request per second to the DoS victim. In all, the technique caused 22,000 ordinary Web users to unwittingly flood the target with 20 million GET requests. "Obviously one request per second is not a lot," Incapsula researchers Ronen Atias and Ofer Gayer wrote. "However, when dealing with video content of 10, 20, and 30 minutes in length, and with thousands of views every minute, the attack can quickly become very large and extremely dangerous. Knowing this, the offender strategically posted comments on popular videos, effectively created a self-sustaining botnet comprising tens of thousands of hijacked browsers, operated by unsuspecting human visitors who were only there to watch a few funny cat videos." Read 7 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The 2014 Ridenhour Prize for Truth-Telling was awarded Monday to Edward Snowden and Laura Poitras. The award, named for the Vietnam veteran who helped uncover the My Lai Massacre and later became an investigative journalist, is the latest honor bestowed upon the reporting efforts related to the Snowden files. Snowden, a former intelligence contractor and whistleblower, was awarded the prize based on his actions in exposing the extent of the National Security Agency’s warrantless surveillance. Edward Snowden. The Nation Institute In early 2013, Snowden released a trove of top-secret US government documents to Poitras and journalist Glenn Greenwald, which revealed that the US government has established phone and Internet dragnets to sweep up data en masse. The leak has sparked global debate about government surveillance ever since. Read 6 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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An IBM System/360. IBM 50 years ago today, IBM unveiled the System/360 mainframe, a groundbreaking computer that allowed new levels of compatibility between systems and helped NASA send astronauts to the Moon. While IBM had been making its 700 and 7000 Series mainframes for more than a decade, the System/360 "ushered in an era of computer compatibility—for the first time, allowing machines across a product line to work with each other," IBM says. "It was the first product family that allowed business data-processing operations to grow from the smallest machine to the largest without the enormous expense of rewriting vital programs... Code written for the smallest member of the family had to be upwardly compatible with each of the family’s larger processors. Peripherals such as printers, communications devices, storage, and input-output devices had to be compatible across the family." Before the System/360, "businesses bought a computer, wrote programs for it, and then when it got too old or slow they threw it away and started again from scratch," IBM spokesperson Barry Heptonstall told the BBC. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The HTC One X might get KitKat after all. HTC After its first quarter of 2014, HTC posted an unaudited loss of $62 million (NT$1.3 billion) on Monday. The Taiwan-based handset maker is still struggling with a tiny foothold in the overall smartphone leaderboard as Samsung and Apple retain the number one and number two spots, respectively. HTC is now caught in an awkward and unenviable position of trying to be the dominant mid-tier company, stuck between Samsung and Apple on the high end and companies like Huawei and ZTE on the low end. All of this means the new HTC One M8 needs to be a runaway success to help HTC break out of its three consecutive quarterly losses. Unfortunately, if Ars’ recent review of the device is any indication, it may not catch fire in the way the company hopes. As Reviews Editor Ron Amadeo wrote in late March 2014: Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Photo by Xeni Jardin There’s been a lot of buzz about robots lately. Robotics has penetrated nearly every walk of life—from homes to hospitals, public spaces to even the battlefield—and such technological developments have undoubtedly begun to affect our social, cultural, and corporate institutions. As such, robots are also affecting our society, law, and culture. At the 2014 “We Robot” Conference at the University of Miami that just wrapped up (April 4 to 5, 2014), scholars gathered to discuss a number of legal, ethical, and moral questions related to emerging robotic technologies. Conference topics ranged from considerations of regulatory schemes for domestic drone oversight to an ethical guide to human/robot interactions. At the conference, cyberlaw professor Ryan Calo discussed his forthcoming paper "Robotics and the New Cyberlaw." Internet law defined the vanguard of cyberlaw issues in the late 1990s and early 2000s, but Calo argues that the next wave of legal showdowns will relate to robotics, which have an altogether different set of essential qualities when compared with the Internet. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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A drone operated by a film company crashed onto the course of an Australian triathlon on Sunday, injuring one triathlete. The operator of the drone claims that he lost control because someone deliberately jammed his communication link. The drone, which was collecting footage of the event, was flying about 30 feet above the course before the incident. Triathlete Raji Ogden told the Australian Broadcasting Company that the drone hit her in the back of the head early in the run portion of the Endure Batavia Triathlon in Geraldton, Australia. The impact caused several injuries to her head, one of which required three stitches. The operator of the drone, Warren Abrams of New Era Photography and Film, claimed that the video from the drone showed that the drone fell behind Ogden on the trail, and he says the athlete fell after being startled. Abrams believes that someone deliberately interfered with his operation of the device from nearby—an attacker using a “channel hop” attack to take control away from him. He added that a similar incident caused him to lose control over the drone earlier in the day. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The FAA has barred search-and-rescue volunteers Jacob Elson, left, and Gene Robinson from flying this 5-pound Spectra styrofoam drone. Courtesy ofTexas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team The Federal Aviation Administration is grounding a nonprofit Texas volunteer search-and-rescue outfit that employs five-pound styrofoam drones, but the group is fighting back and maintains that "there is no legal basis" for the FAA's position. The legal tussle between Texas EquuSearch Mounted Search and Recovery Team and aviation authorities continues to brew a month after a judge nullified FAA regulations barring the commercial use of small, unmanned drones (PDF). EquuSearch, which does not charge for its services, says it has found more than 300 persons alive in some 42 states and eight countries. Often, it uses small drones to find the missing. Read 12 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The distribution of gamma rays seen by Fermi (left) and the hot spot that remains after accounting for known sources (right). Daylan et. al. Researchers using data obtained by the orbiting Fermi Telescope may have found the first clear, direct evidence of dark matter in our own galaxy. The signal comes in the form of an excess of gamma rays coming from an area surrounding the galactic core, and it appears to be exactly what we'd expect from a weakly interacting massive particle, or WIMP. Perhaps as significantly, however, there are no known astronomical features that can produce a signal like this. The Universe provides plenty of evidence that dark matter exists. Everything from the behavior of galaxies to the structure of galaxy clusters indicates that there's more matter present than we can detect. We have spotted instances of gravitational lensing by matter in what appears to be largely empty space. Even the cosmic microwave background, which reveals the details of the Big Bang, indicates that most of the matter in the Universe is in the dark category. But when it comes to identifying the particles that actually comprise dark matter, we've tended to look closer to home. Searches in the Large Hadron Collider, which could produce dark matter in its atom-smashing debris, came up empty. Direct detections of dark matter collisions with normal atoms sometimes produced promising results, only to have a different experiment shoot them down. Read 9 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Qualcomm While most chip companies like to introduce new technologies into their high-end chips first and let them trickle down, Qualcomm has lately been taking the opposite approach with its Snapdragon chips. The company's first 64-bit chip with support for the new ARMv8 instruction set was the low-end Snapdragon 410, announced in December. At Mobile World Congress in February, Qualcomm announced the midrange Snapdragon 610 and 615. And today, the company is announcing the new Snapdragon 808 and 810, the two chips that will sit at the top of its lineup in 2015. The Snapdragon 808 is the lower-end of the two chips. It combines two of ARM's high-end Cortex A57 GPUs with four low-end, low-power Cortex A53 GPUs in a big.LITTLE configuration—the big cores handle the heavy lifting while the smaller ones handle lighter tasks to conserve power. It includes an Adreno 418 GPU that will supposedly be about 20 percent faster than the Adreno 330 GPU in current Snapdragon 800 and 801 products. The Snapdragon 810 will be the new flagship in the lineup, designed to support the upcoming 32-bit Snapdragon 805. It uses a total of eight CPU cores in a big.LITTLE configuration—four high-end Cortex A57 cores and four low-power Cortex A53 cores. Also included is a faster Adreno 430 GPU, which should be 30 percent faster and more power-efficient than the Adreno 420 GPU in the Snapdragon 805. Qualcomm's multitudinous model numbers make it a bit of a headache to compare the various Adreno GPUs directly, but you can work it out if you look at past releases: you'll get a 20 percent performance boost moving from the 330 to the 418 and a 40 percent boost moving from the 330 to the 420. If the 430 is 30 percent faster than that, some rough math suggests that the 430 will be around 82 percent faster than the 330. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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The Raspberry Pi Compute Module, ready for your custom hardware soon. Raspberry Pi Foundation Soon, there could be Pi in just about any device that needs embedded computing power. The Raspberry Pi Foundation has announced a new version of the Raspberry Pi platform that is aimed at a whole new class of devices and applications. Called the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, the new product puts all of the Pi’s core functionality onto a small board the size of a laptop memory module, allowing it to be plugged in to custom-built hardware. Intended for use with custom-built circuit boards, the Compute Module puts the Raspberry Pi’s system-on-a-chip with 512MB of memory and 4GB of Flash storage on a board that fits into a standard DDR2 SODIMM slot. To help hardware developers get started, the foundation is also releasing an “IO board” for the module that has the same sort of input and output interfaces as the single-board Pi—the main difference being that the board is entirely open source. The IO Board for the Raspberry Pi Compute Module, without (left) and with (right) the module plugged in. The Raspberry Pi itself is not open source hardware, because it relies on a Broadcom ARM processor (the BCM2835) for its computing, graphics processing, and memory. But Broadcom did recently publish an open source version of its graphics driver code (under BSD license) and has provided more documentation of the system-on-a-chip’s internals for developers. Read 1 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Aurich Lawson All good things must come to an end, and the time is approaching when Arscoin, our experimental cryptocurrency, will soon be joining Susan B. Anthony dollars in the great retired currency bank in the sky. It's been a fun experiment—both to set up and to watch—but it has served its purpose. And what, exactly, was that purpose? Certainly not to create a new form of money invested with actual value; Arscoins have fungibility, but not liquidity (not inherently, anyway). We wanted to explore the actual process of creating a cryptocurrency. Unlike a physical fiat currency like US dollars, which require both expensive means of production and also substantial assurances of value ("the full faith and credit" of the United States government), dashing off a cryptocurrency based on the Bitcoin or Litecoin source code requires essentially no effort or capital investment. We spent more time setting up servers and applications than we did actually doing anything resembling traditional banking. Value, though, is where you find it. We took steps to keep Arscoin behind a "glass bubble," ensuring that the blockchain remained only on our servers rather than setting it free (which is arguably a fundamental requirement for any "real" cryptocurrency to thrive—that lack of centralized control and massive decentralized transaction verification). Instead of a currency exchange, we set up a store where users could buy hats and colored usernames. "Withdrawing" Arscoins from the system wasn't really possible—you could certainly send them to other Ars users' online wallet addresses, but we didn't make offline wallets available. The only way to turn them into "real" money would be by a physical trade, and even then, Arscoins would only move between online wallets on Ars Technica-controlled servers. Read 11 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Mark Derricutt When the Xbox One was announced last year, many Xbox 360 owners were upset that the system wouldn't be backward compatible with 360 games. Now, there's some indication that Microsoft is looking to remedy this situation through emulation, though the specific timing or form that the emulation will take is still unclear. Microsoft's still-nebulous plans for Xbox 360 emulation via the Xbox One come from a Q&A session at last week's Build developers conference, as reported by Kotaku AU. When an audience member asked if there were "plans for an Xbox 360 emulator on Xbox One," Microsoft Partner Development Lead Frank Savage responded: There are, but we’re not done thinking them through yet, unfortunately. It turns out to be hard to emulate the PowerPC stuff on the X86 stuff. So there’s nothing to announce, but I would love to see it myself. The change in architecture between the Xbox 360's PowerPC processor and Xbox One's x86 chip has long been suspected as the main reason that the newer system can't natively play games from its predecessor. The PS4 saw a similar architecture change from the PS3 and also lacks native backward compatibility. Read 2 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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Tetris at the Philadelphia Cira Centre. (video link) One Friday night about a year ago, we trekked out to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to watch and play a game of Pong. There was one interesting thing about this particular port of the game—it was being played on the side of a 29-story office building called the Cira Centre, and it was later certified by Guinness World Records as the "largest architectural videogame display." This year, Drexel University computer science professor Frank Lee and his team are back with a different game. Using the same basic code they created last year, they've developed a version of Tetris that spans both sides of the Cira Centre, where Pong only used one. It's a more complicated game, and it effectively doubles the size of last year's project. We returned to Philly on Saturday night to see it in action. Technology and trademarks On the technical side, not much has changed. As was the case last year, the light grid on each side of the building is made up of 460 programmable LED lights from Philips. This "screen," which is only 20 by 23 pixels, is normally used to display static images or simple loops. With the blessing of the Brandywine Realty Trust (the owner of the property), the team was able to cobble together a rough API and program some basic interactive games controllable via a computer remotely connected to the Cira Centre's network. Read 16 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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National Security Agency Headquarters Trevor Paglen, Wikimedia Commons The Supreme Court declined Monday to resolve the constitutionality of the National Security Agency's bulk telephone metadata surveillance program, leaving intact what a lower-court judge described as an "almost-Orwellian" surveillance effort in which the metadata from every phone call to and from the United States is catalogued by US spies. The move by the justices comes as the Obama administration and Congress consider dramatically revamping the spy program disclosed in June by NSA whistleblower Edward Snowden. The petition before the justices, brought by political activist Larry Klayman, concerned a December decision by US District Judge Richard Leon, who wrote in an opinion that America's founders would be "aghast" (PDF) at the spying. The President George W. Bush appointee stayed his decision, which concluded that the program infringes the Fourth Amendment, pending appeal because of the case's national security implications. Read 8 remaining paragraphs | Comments

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