Daily Archives: April 19, 2017

Why your smartphone’s fingerprint scanner isn’t as secure as you might think

Smartphone fingerprint scanners are less secure than we are led to believe, according to researchers who have developed “master fingerprints” capable of tricking the sensors.The researchers were able to bypass fingerprint readers, which are used to unlock phones, log in to apps and make payments, using fake fingerprints created by using patterns found across many real prints.The findings from New York University and Michigan State University call into question the security of the widely-used technology. The researchers were able to create a set of “master prints that could fool a scanner up to 65 per cent of the time.Fingerprint scanners are widely seen as more secure than relying on passcodes to unlock smartphones. Apple says that the Touch ID scanner used on the iPhone has only a one in 50,000 chance of matching with someone else’s finger.

Source: Why your smartphone’s fingerprint scanner isn’t as secure as you might think

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McDonald’s Snapchat job applications: ‘Snaplications’ are a world first

The fast-food giant has teamed up with Snapchat to launch a McDonald’s-themed filter for the photo messaging app, with jobseekers invited to try on the uniform and send a 10-second video application.Launching on today, the “Snaplications” campaign is being billed as a first for both companies. Once the application is reviewed, McDonald’s will send users back to the digital careers hub where they can download an application form.McDonald’s employs about 106,000 Australians, with 65 per cent under the age of 18. In Australia, Snapchat has more than four million daily users, 82 per cent of whom are young people.“I’ve learnt a lot about Snapchat recently from my 14-year-old daughter,” said Shaun Ruming, chief operating officer of McDonald’s Australia.

Source: McDonald’s Snapchat job applications: ‘Snaplications’ are a world first

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College Students Are Taking Short, Cold Showers to Prevent Climate Change

An offshoot of Indiana University’s student government is urging students to take short, cold showers to save the planet.“Living sustainably is one of the easiest things you can do,” the head of the student association’s newly founded sustainability department told the student newspaper. “Turn off your lights, unplug your electric devices, take shorter, cold showers. Maybe some people are deterred by that, but as time progresses these issues are going to become much more pressing and much more internationally important.”Believe it or not, Indiana University isn’t alone; across the U.S., some students are adopting this goosebump-inducing environmental measure.At Dickson College’s Center for Sustainable Living—a 14-person campus residence nicknamed the Treehouse—students are allotted just three minutes of warm shower water a day. One sophomore living there recently gushed that she “couldn’t be more excited for cold showers.”

Source: College Students Are Taking Short, Cold Showers to Prevent Climate Change | Heat Street

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Undernews: A computerized personality test

Sam Smith, 1964 – They’ve got a computer up at the Mayo Clinic that takes a patient’s answers to 550 true-false questions and uses the information to indicate whether he should see a psychiatrist. The machine comes up with diagnoses such as: “Patient is probably somewhat eccentric, seclusive and withdrawn. Has many internal conflicts. Consider psychiatric evaluation.” And, according to a news report, “it picks out not only the patient in mental trouble but can also print: “Patient quite well organized in thinking. Follows instructions.’ ” It is, I suppose, to be expected of a creature of the machine age that it scorn eccentricity, seclusion, withdrawal and internal conflicts in favor of “following instructions.” It lives a life without philosophical or moral complexity so it is only natural that it believe we should also.

Source: Undernews: A computerized personality test

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Researchers Reveal AIs Are Turning Racist And Sexist, You’ll Be Surprized To Know Why?

We have always wanted our modern computer programs or AIs to replicate human intelligence. A system trained using machine learning could understand the language we speak. But we didn’t realise we have also given them our less important behavioral traits, racism and gender bias.These things have existed for ages and are now hard-wired into our brains. And so into the brains of the AI systems. A new research published in Science journal reveals that AIs have started to sponge up these entrenched beliefs in their quest to acquire human-like language abilities.

Source: Researchers Reveal AIs Are Turning Racist And Sexist, You’ll Be Surprized To Know Why?

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Ubuntu GNOME Will Merge With Ubuntu Desktop, Won’t Be A Separate Flavor

Just yesterday, Canonical announced the final release of Ubuntu 17.04 Zesty Zapus. It came with Linux kernel 4.10, GNOME Core Apps 3.24, driverless printing support, etc. As expected, apart from the flagship Ubuntu Unity flavor, other flavors of this popular Linux distro were released.If you keep yourself acquainted with the latest developments of the open source world, you might be knowing that Canonical will be dropping Unity as the default desktop environment for Ubuntu Desktop. The distro will switch to GNOME with Ubuntu 18.04 LTS, which is slated to arrive exactly after a year. This development inspired some intriguing questions regarding the future of Ubuntu Linux and I’ve already tried to answer them in a dedicated article.

Source: Ubuntu GNOME Will Merge With Ubuntu Desktop, Won’t Be A Separate Flavor – Fossbytes

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Attackers can steal phone users’ PINs  tapping data collected by mobile sensors 

“Most smart phones, tablets, and other wearables are now equipped with a multitude of sensors, from the well-known GPS, camera and microphone to instruments such as the gyroscope, proximity, NFC, and rotation sensors and accelerometer,” Dr Maryam Mehrnezhad, a Research Fellow in the School of Computing Science at Newcastle University, explained.“But because mobile apps and websites don’t need to ask permission to access most of them, malicious programs can covertly ‘listen in’ on your sensor data and use it to discover a wide range of sensitive information about you such as phone call timing, physical activities and even your touch actions, PINs and passwords.”Dr Mehrnezhad and her colleagues have proven the viability of the attack by creating a JavaScript file that can gather sensor data and embedding it into a web page. As soon as a test subject on a mobile phone visited the site, the code started listening to the motion and orientation sensor streams (without needing any permission from the user). Finally, by analysing these streams, it infers the user’s PIN with the help of an artificial neural network.

Source: Attackers can steal smartphone users’ PINs by tapping into data collected by mobile sensors – Help Net Security

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This Is Still the Best Way To Protect Your Accounts 

Looking to boost your cybersecurity? Turning on two-factor authentication wherever possible is still the best way to increase security online.Two-factor authentication works whenever you enter your username and password into a service, a numerical code is sent via text message or through an app to a second device, usually your smartphone. Entering this numerical code then authorizes your login.So who offers it? Most email services and social media sites like Microsoft, Yahoo, Google, Facebook and Twitter have two-factor authentication available. To turn it on, just explore each site’s settings page or app.Many more sites offer this feature, so check when signing up to add this all-important layer of extra security. And yes, you still need to have a strong password—”password” just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

Source: This Is Still the Best Way To Protect Your Accounts – Nextgov.com

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Cannibalism Study Finds People Are Not That Nutritious

Note to the prehistoric party planner: One dead mammoth can feed 25 hungry Neanderthals for a month, but cannibalizing a human would provide the crowd with only a third of a day’s calories.Essentially, you’re a walking lunch.

A new look at the nutritional value of human flesh shows that, compared with other Paleolithic prey animals, humans weren’t especially packed with calories for their size.

“When you compare us to other animals, we’re not very nutritional at all,” says study author James Cole of the University of Brighton, who published his work Thursday in Scientific Reports.

Source: Cannibalism Study Finds People Are Not That Nutritious

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Facebook to Stop ‘Fake News’ Same Way as ‘Click-Bait’ via Algorithm

Facebook will stop “fake news” using a similar algorithm as the platform’s one against “click-bait,” according to CEO Mark Zuckerberg.“In Zuckerberg’s view, according to Fast Company, tackling click bait required a rejiggering of the site’s algorithms, as assisted by users’ input,” reports Fortune. “The solution is similar to the approach the site is now taking to improve the situation around ‘information diversity or misinformation or building common ground’—euphemisms for the more popular conceptions of ‘filter bubbles,’ ‘fake news,’ and ‘echo chambers.’”“Now it’s not gone a hundred percent but it’s a much smaller problem than it used to be,” said Zuckerberg on the issue of click-bait. “It’s not like they are problems that exist because there’s some kind of underlying, nefarious motivation.”

Source: Facebook to Stop ‘Fake News’ Same Way as ‘Click-Bait’ via Algorithm – Breitbart

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