Apple Warns Looters With Stolen iPhones: You Are Being Tracked

Following the rioting and looting from the death of George Floyd, Apple has a message for those who power on a stolen iPhone: “This device has been disabled and is being tracked. Local authorities will be alerted.” Forbes reports: Apple CEO Tim Cook sent a message to his employees as those protests escalated, saying that “there is a pain deeply etched in the soul of our nation and in the hearts of millions. To stand together, we must stand up for one another, and recognize the fear, hurt, and outrage rightly provoked by the senseless killing of George Floyd and a much longer history of racism.” Cook went on to say that “at Apple, our mission has and always will be to create technology that empowers people to change the world for the better. We’ve always drawn strength from our diversity, welcomed people from every walk of life to our stores around the world, and strived to build an Apple that is inclusive of everyone.”

These words were being digested as the tech giant made the decision to close the majority of its U.S. stores for the safety of those staff and its customers, stores that had only just reopened after the COVID-19 shutdown. Apple has unsurprisingly become a favored target of looters, given the likely spoils on offer, and the decision was taken to remove stock from shop floors and shutter locations. It has long been known that Apple operates some form of proximity software that disables a device when it is taken illegally from a store. Until now, though, little had been seen of that technology in action. Well, thanks to social media, we can now see the message that greets a looter powering up their new device: “This device has been disabled and is being tracked,” it says. “Local authorities will be alerted.”

Read more of this story at Slashdot.



Source: Slashdot – Apple Warns Looters With Stolen iPhones: You Are Being Tracked

'Cyberpunk 2077' Night City Wire livestream delayed to June 25th

The Cyberpunk 2077 Night City Wire livestream will now occur June 25th in light of recent anti-racism protests. Scheduled as part of Summer Game Fest, the event was originally set for June 11th and would have given fans a new look at CD Projekt Red’s…

Source: Engadget – ‘Cyberpunk 2077’ Night City Wire livestream delayed to June 25th

How You Can Support Black Gamers

More than a week has passed since the brutal police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Rallies and protests have since ensued, rightfully, from coast-to-coast. And it’s not just Floyd. It’s Philando Castile and Breonna Taylor, Freddie Gray and Michael Brown, Tamir Rice and Eric Garner (among many, many, many…

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Source: Kotaku – How You Can Support Black Gamers

Google Faces $5 Billion Lawsuit In US For Tracking 'Private' Internet Use

Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in “private” mode. Reuters reports: The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet unit of collecting information about what people view online and where they do their browsing, despite using what Google calls Incognito mode. The complaint said Google surreptitiously collects data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on Google-supported ads. This helps the Mountain View, California-based company learn details about users’ friends, hobbies, favorite foods, shopping habits, and even the “most intimate and potentially embarrassing things” they search for online, the complaint said.

Google “cannot continue to engage in the covert and unauthorized data collection from virtually every American with a computer or phone,” the complaint said. The complaint said the proposed class likely includes “millions” of Google users who since June 1, 2016 browsed the internet in “private” mode. It seeks damages per user of $5,000 or three times actual damages, whichever is greater, for violations of federal wiretapping and California privacy laws.

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Source: Slashdot – Google Faces Billion Lawsuit In US For Tracking ‘Private’ Internet Use

A Look At AI Benchmarking For Mobile Devices In a Rapidly Evolving Ecosystem

MojoKid writes: AI and Machine Learning performance benchmarks have been well explored in the data center, but are fairly new and unestablished for edge devices like smartphones. While AI implementations on phones are typically limited to inferencing tasks like speech-to-text transcription and camera image optimization, there are real-world neural network models employed on mobile devices and accelerated by their dedicated processing engines. A deep dive look at HotHardware of three popular AI benchmarking apps for Android shows that not all platforms are created equal, but also that performance results can vary wildly, depending on the app used for benchmarking.
Generally speaking, it all hinges on what neural networks (NNs) the benchmarks are testing and what precision is being tested and weighted. Most mobile apps that currently employ some level of AI make use of INT8 (quantized). While INT8 offers less precision than FP16 (Floating Point), it’s also more power-efficient and offers enough precision for most consumer applications. Typically, Qualcomm Snapdragon 865 powered devices offer the best INT8 performance, while Huawei’s Kirin 990 in the P40 Pro 5G offers superior FP16 performance. Since INT8 precision for NN processing is more common in today’s mobile apps, it could be said that Qualcomm has the upper hand, but the landscape in this area is ever-evolving to be sure.

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Source: Slashdot – A Look At AI Benchmarking For Mobile Devices In a Rapidly Evolving Ecosystem

Sonic 3D Blast Is Better In 2D

Before Sonic Adventure, Sega’s blue mascot made his first foray into the third dimension with 1996’s Sonic 3D Blast for the Sega Genesis and Saturn. It wasn’t great! But now we have a 2D total conversion thanks to independent developer Sotaknuck, which takes the story and aesthetics of Sonic 3D Blast and reimagines…

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Source: Kotaku – Sonic 3D Blast Is Better In 2D

The Next Total War Game Is Having A Very Weird, Epic-Exclusive Launch

Having previously been a series that we first associated with DVD drives and then Steam, the next release in the Total War series—the spinoff A Total War Saga: TROY—is going to be a 12-month Epic Games Store exclusive. And it’ll be…free?

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Source: Kotaku – The Next Total War Game Is Having A Very Weird, Epic-Exclusive Launch

Senators Introduce COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Privacy Bill

An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: A group of U.S. senators on Monday introduced a bill to regulate contact-tracing apps, aiming to protect user privacy as technology is used to track the spread of the novel coronavirus. The proposal is called the Exposure Notification Privacy Act and seeks to ensure that people couldn’t be forced to use the technology. It also would make sure that the data isn’t used for advertising or commercial purposes and that people can delete their data. The bill seeks to require that notification systems only rely on “an authorized diagnosis” that came from medical organization.

“Public health needs to be in charge of any notification system so we protect people’s privacy and help them know when there is a warning that they might have been exposed to COVID-19,” Sen. Maria Cantwell, a Democrat from Washington and one of the bill’s sponsors, said in a comment provided to CNET. Cantwell’s co-sponsor on the bill is Sen. Bill Cassidy, a Republican from Louisiana. Amy Klobuchar, a Democrat from Minnesota, also has given her support. “We need to regulate apps that provide COVID-19 exposure notification to protect a user’s privacy, prevent data misuse and preserve our civil rights — and this bill offers a roadmap for doing all three,” Public Knowledge Policy Counsel Sara Collins said in a statement. “The bill marks a valuable first step in the long road ahead to protecting Americans’ data.”

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Source: Slashdot – Senators Introduce COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Privacy Bill

Influencers Reemerge, Worse Than Ever

A Santa Monica area influencer was caught borrowing a worker’s drill to stage a photo-op outside a boarded-up shop damaged by the previous night’s looting. Toting a photographer/boyfriend, the woman hands the drill back to a worker and climbs into a Mercedes-Benz and scurries away, pronouncing “Good job, guys, BLM!”

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Source: Gizmodo – Influencers Reemerge, Worse Than Ever

The BBC's Beeb voice assistant is ready for testing on PC

Last year the BBC announced it was working on its own voice assistant, called “Beeb,” designed to help customers take advantage of voice assistant technology regardless of their accent. Existing assistants still have issues understanding accents, and…

Source: Engadget – The BBC’s Beeb voice assistant is ready for testing on PC

Fossilized Stomach Contents of Armored Dinosaur Reveal Its Last Meal

A 110-million-year-old fossil found nine years ago at an open pit mine in Alberta is providing fascinating new details about the dietary habits of plant-eating armored dinosaurs and the environments in which they lived.

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Source: Gizmodo – Fossilized Stomach Contents of Armored Dinosaur Reveal Its Last Meal

New Leak Reveals How Google's Next Android TV Dongle Will Work

Earlier this year, clues indicated that Google was working on a new streaming video dongle that would both replace the Chromecast Ultra and run Android TV. But now, thanks a new round of leaks, we suddenly have a much better look of what that device could actually be.

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Source: Gizmodo – New Leak Reveals How Google’s Next Android TV Dongle Will Work