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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

Abbott recalls 350,000 implantable defibrillators to protect against hacks (correction) – CNET

The fix: A firmware update that takes just 3 minutes to install.
Source: CNET

Delayed NASA space telescope literally has some screws loose – CNET

NASA faces a new challenge with the James Webb Space Telescope after pieces of the spacecraft fall off during testing.
Source: CNET

NSA triples metadata collection numbers, sucking up over 500 million call records in 2017

The National Security Agency revealed a huge increase in the amount of call metadata collected, from about 151 million call records in 2016 to more than 530 million last year — despite having fewer targets. But officials say nothing is different about the year but the numbers.

A transparency report issued by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence shows numerous other fluctuations in the volume of surveillance conducted. Foreign surveillance-related, warrantless Section 702 content queries involving U.S. persons jumped from 5,288 to 7,512, for instance, and more citizens were “unmasked,” indicating a general increase in quantity.

On the other hand, the number of more invasive pen register/trace and tap orders dropped by nearly half, to 33, with even fewer targets — far less than the peak in 2014, when 135 orders targeted 516 people.

The biggest increase by far is the number of “call detail records” collected from service providers. Although the number of targets actually decreased from the previous year, from 42 to 40, the number of call records jumped from 151 million to 534 million, and search terms from 22,360 to 31,196.

Call detail records are things like which numbers were called and when, the duration of the call and so on — metadata, no content. But metadata can be just as revealing as content, since it can, for example, place a person near the scene of a crime, or establish that two people were connected even if the conversation they had was benign.

What do these increases mean? It’s hard to say. A spokesperson for the ODNI told Reuters that the government “has not altered the manner in which it uses its authority to obtain call detail records,” and that they “expect this number to fluctuate from year to year.” So according to them, it’s just a matter of quantity.

Because one target can yield hundreds or thousands of incidental sub-targets — people connected to the target whose call records will be requested and stored — it’s possible that 2017’s targets just had fatter, longer contact lists and deeper networks than 2016’s. Needless to say this explanation is unsatisfying.

Although the NSA’s surveillance apparatus was dealt a check with the 2013 Snowden leaks and subsequent half-hearted crackdowns by lawmakers, it clearly is getting back into its stride.


Source: TechCrunch

Solo: A Star Wars Story outsells Black Panther times two – CNET

Tickets went on sale at midnight Eastern and started breaking records in less than 12 parsecs. (Yes, that’s a measure of distance.)
Source: CNET

Facebook expands AI efforts into Seattle and Pittsburg – CNET

In its global efforts to attract artificial intelligence researchers, the world’s largest social network is opening new labs near The University of Washington and Carnegie Mellon.
Source: CNET

It's still hard to tell just how many bad accounts are on Facebook – CNET

The world’s largest social network continues to report that “undesirable” accounts on its service represent a small percent of its service, but it won’t say exactly how many.
Source: CNET

Abbott recalls 465,000 pacemakers to protect against hacks – CNET

The fix: A firmware update which takes just 3 minutes to install.
Source: CNET

This handheld 3D printer can print skin onto people – CNET

The 3D-printed skin can be used to cover and heal wounds.
Source: CNET

Waymo van involved in serious collision in Arizona

A Waymo self-driving vehicle was involved in a serious accident in Chandler, Arizona earlier this afternoon. Local police have said there were minor injuries from the incident after a sedan swerved into the Waymo van to avoid another collision, ABC 15 reported. I’ve contacted the Chandler police department for more information.

Although Waymo has said it will be testing vehicles without safety drivers in Arizona, this was not one of them. An operator was in the driver’s seat at the time of the crash, though the car was in autonomous mode, police said.

Aerial footage and images posted online by onlookers show that this was no fender-bender. The sedan’s front crumple zone is wrecked and glass is broken; the van is in better shape, though its front right tire is crushed in. Both vehicles have since been towed.

Reportedly the sedan was traveling eastbound and swerved to avoid another car at an intersection, straying into the westbound lanes and hitting the Waymo van. What actions if any the latter took to avoid the collision are unknown at this time, though an analysis by the company would of course provide that info. I’ve asked the company for comment and will update if I hear back.


Source: TechCrunch

Airbnb partly to blame for higher rents, says New York City – CNET

A new report says the service is responsible for nearly 10 percent of rental increases between 2009 and 2016. Airbnb says that’s bogus.
Source: CNET

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