Apple Warns Looters With Stolen iPhones: You Are Being Tracked Slashdotby BeauHD on iphone at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at June 3, 2020, 3:35 am)

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."

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Google Faces $5 Billion Lawsuit In US For Tracking 'Private' Internet Use Slashdotby BeauHD on court at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at June 3, 2020, 3:09 am)

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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A Look At AI Benchmarking For Mobile Devices In a Rapidly Evolving Ecosystem Slashdotby BeauHD on ai at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at June 3, 2020, 2:35 am)

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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Senators Introduce COVID-19 Contact-Tracing Privacy Bill Slashdotby BeauHD on government at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at June 3, 2020, 1:35 am)

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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Instagram Users Flood the App With Millions of Blackout Tuesday Posts Slashdotby BeauHD on social at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at June 3, 2020, 1:05 am)

Instagram users are flooding the platform with black squares in support of black victims of police violence as part of a Blackout Tuesday protest. CNBC reports: As of 11:45 a.m. ET, more than 14.6 million Instagram posts used the hashtag #BlackoutTuesday. Searches for "blackout tuesday image" and "blackout image" surged 400% Tuesday morning, according to Google Trends. The idea of an online movement was announced last week, when music executives Jamila Thomas and Brianna Agyemang called on members of the music industry to pause business on Tuesday and take a stand against racism. "We will not continue to conduct business as usual without regard for Black lives," the founders wrote. Platforms, such as Apple Music, Spotify and YouTube Music, joined the movement and are using their apps to promote black artists. Additionally, media company ViacomCBS, which owns MTV, Comedy Central, Nickelodeon, Paramount Pictures, Pop, VH1, TV Land, among others, also joined this call to action. On Monday, the company's networks all went off the air for eight minutes and 46 seconds, the length of time that an officer in Minneapolis pressed his knee on Floyd's neck. The movement has since spread to brands, organizations and individuals, who are using Instagram to post only a black square Tuesday to show a virtual moment of silence. Others are choosing to continue posting, but will only amplify voices of the black community.

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Rust Enters 'Top 20' Popularity Rankings For the First Time Slashdotby BeauHD on programming at January 1, 1970, 1:00 am (cached at June 3, 2020, 12:05 am)

Programming language Rust has entered the top 20 of the Tiobe popularity index for the first time, but it's still five spots behind systems programming rival Go. ZDNet reports: There's growing interest in the use of memory-safe Rust for systems programming to build major platforms, in particular at Microsoft, which is exploring it for Windows and Azure with the goal of wiping out memory bugs in code written in C and C++. Amazon Web Services is also using Rust for performance-sensitive components in Lambda, EC2, and S3. Rust has seen its ranking rise considerably on Tiobe, from 38 last year to 20 today. Tiobe's index is based on searches for a language on major search engines, so it doesn't mean more people are using Rust, but it shows that more developers are searching for information about the language. Rust was voted for the fifth year straight the most loved programming language by developers in Stack Overflow's 2020 survey. This year, 86% of developers said they are keen to use Rust, but just 5% actually use it for programming. On the other hand, it could become more widely used thanks to Microsoft's public preview of its Rust library for the Windows Runtime (WinRT), which makes it easier for developers to write Windows, cross-platform apps and drivers in Rust.

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