government

FAA will soon require drones to be registered

FAA will soon require drones to be registered

Following rumors of such, the Federal Aviation Administration has announced that it will require most drones to be registered. If sources are correct, the registration system and requirement will be in place by the end of the year, just in time for all the drones bought over the holiday season to be properly tagged. This follows several instances of drones being operated in an unsafe manner, crashes, and dangerous behavior, including flying too closely to planes and helicopters.

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Chicago mayor calls for national coding graduation requirement

Chicago mayor calls for national coding graduation requirement

Recently, New York City announced plans to add computer science classes to all of its public schools over the next decade. Chicago's mayor is taking that a step further, calling for coding classes to be a national graduation requirement -- under such a mandate, all students would have to take such classes to get their high school diploma. Of course, such a mandate would likely end up being very burdensome for school districts.

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DARPA’s looking toward disappearing delivery drones

DARPA’s looking toward disappearing delivery drones

The problem with making deliveries to remotely located military troops is that anyone can see the delivery take place — at least those nearby — and will know, as a result, approximately where the team is located. In other situations, the delivery vehicle could be at risk by being visible. Parachutes are the most common form of military delivery operations, but they’re burdensome in addition to being visible, requiring personnel to bring the parachute back out with them. As a potential way to solve these problems, DARPA has turned its sights toward invisible delivery drones.

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FAA suggests $1.9m fine against SkyPan over drone operations

FAA suggests $1.9m fine against SkyPan over drone operations

The Federal Aviation Administration has recommended that SkyPan International Inc. be hit with a $1.9 million civil penalty over its alleged drone-based violations of airspace regulations. Between March 2012 and December 2014, the company allegedly performed 65 UAS operations without permission, doing so in “some of our most congest airspace and heavily popular cities,” according to the FAA.

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GAO audit finds federal networks still vulnerable to attack

GAO audit finds federal networks still vulnerable to attack

It has been an embarrassing year for the U.S. government, at least as far as network security goes. Various government agencies have revealed massive data breaches, including the IRS, which left hundreds of thousands of tax payers vulnerable, and the Office of Personnel Management, which had data on millions of federal workers compromised. Agencies have vowed to increase their network security as a result, but a new audit reveals that many still remain vulnerable.

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GrubHub and more hit with suits challenging worker status

GrubHub and more hit with suits challenging worker status

Joining the same ranks as Uber and Lyft, GrubHub and a couple other companies have been hit with lawsuits challenging worker status. It’s the latest legal matter challenging the sharing economy and its habit of labeling workers as independent contractors. In this case, the lawsuits claim DoorDash, GrubHub, and Caviar are misclassifying their delivery drivers, treating them like employees but classifying them as 1099 workers.

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OPM revises hack details: 5.6m fingerprints compromised

OPM revises hack details: 5.6m fingerprints compromised

In early June, the U.S. government revealed that four million federal employees were comprised as the result of a massive data breach at the Office of Personnel Management. It has since been suggested the number could be higher, and that the type of data grabbed (supposedly by Chinese hackers) was more extensive than originally reported. Today the OPM made a new update about the hack, revealing the hackers stole a few million more fingerprints than originally believed.

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White House report says broadband internet is a necessary utility

White House report says broadband internet is a necessary utility

Those of us with easy, everyday access to broadband internet might take it for granted, but its importance in today's world can be no more apparent than to the millions of Americans who don't have a connection. That's the sentiment expressed in a new report from the White House and the Broadband Opportunity Council, which write that broadband internet has become an "essential infrastructure for communities" and is no longer just a convenience, but a "core utility" in the same way as electricity and water.

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Justice Department spends $23m on police body cameras

Justice Department spends $23m on police body cameras

The Department of Justice has announced that it has spent upwards of $23 million in grants on police departments for the purpose of issuing body cameras. This follows the body-worn camera project pilot that was announced back in May; the money issued through the grants in part goes toward training police departments on how to use and troubleshoot the cameras, and partly toward research efforts that monitor the impact body cameras have (or don’t have) when it comes to curbing police violence.

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Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is underway

Kim Dotcom’s extradition hearing is underway

After years of sidestepping the legal matter, Kim Dotcom's extradition hearing is underway in Auckland. Dotcom, along with three others, have been accused by US authorities of operating a “criminal enterprise” via the now defunct website Megaupload, a file storage website that was home to copyrighted TV shows, music, movies, and more. The drama started in early 2012, when the US government seized Megaupload and New Zealand police raided Dotcom’s local mansion.

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Comcast strikes settlement with California over privacy issue

Comcast strikes settlement with California over privacy issue

Comcast and California have struck a settlement deal according to the state’s Attorney General Kamala Harris. The settlement was announced on Thursday, and is related to claims that Comcast published personal customer data online, including phone numbers, names, and addresses. This is said to have affected “tens of thousands” of Comcast subscribers who had shelled out for an unlisted VOIP service.

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US regulator officially recognizes Bitcoin as commodity

US regulator officially recognizes Bitcoin as commodity

The US government's Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC) has declared that virtual currency like Bitcoin is officially recognized as a commodity, just like materials such as copper, crude oil, coffee, or wheat. The decision was announced on Thursday alongside the CFTC saying it had settled charges against the Bitcoin exchange Coinflip for allowing users on its platform to trade option contracts. The agency's press release states that the CFTC "for the first time finds that Bitcoin and other virtual currencies are properly defined as commodities."

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