government

Hoverboards may be legal in NYC soon due to new legislation

Hoverboards may be legal in NYC soon due to new legislation

Not too long after law enforcement publicly declared hoverboards to be illegal in New York City, a trio of politicians want to change that status. New legislation has been submitted that, if it passes, will reclassify hoverboards as something other than a motor vehicle, stripping away their banned status and instead opening them up for proper regulation. One of the senators behind the legislation made the sensible statement “they’re like skateboards.”

Continue Reading

North Korea’s Red Star OS targets illegal foreign media

North Korea’s Red Star OS targets illegal foreign media

North Korea has long been developing its own operating system called Red Star OS, a Linux distro with a design blatantly 'inspired by' Mac OS X. Thanks to German researchers Niklaus Schiess and Florian Grunow, the operating system has been laid bare more so than ever before; the pair managed to download Red Star OS from beyond North Korea and tasked themselves with analyzing it.

Continue Reading

U.S. voter database leak leaves millions exposed

U.S. voter database leak leaves millions exposed

A leaky database has been discovered that contains information on more than 191 million U.S. voters. The discovery was made by researcher Chris Vickery, who found his own personal information among millions of others’ in the misconfigured database. Despite efforts, the source of the database hasn’t yet been discovered and law enforcement, at least at this time, doesn’t appear too interested in taking down the list.

Continue Reading

Yahoo’s warning users of state-sponsored spying, too

Yahoo’s warning users of state-sponsored spying, too

Yahoo’s Chief Information Security Officer Bob Lord has announced that Yahoo will now inform its’ users when they’re the subject of a state-sponsored attack. The notifications will be provided if the company “strongly suspect[s]” an account has been targeted by a state-sponsored actor of some sort, giving the user a chance to protect his or her account.

Continue Reading

New internet error code identifies censored websites

New internet error code identifies censored websites

Everyone on the internet has come across at least couple error codes, the most well-known being 404, for page not found, while other common ones include 500, for internal server error, or 403, for a "forbidden" page. However, with latter, there's the growing issue of why a certain webpage has become forbidden, or who made it so. In an effort to address things like censorship or "legal obstacles," a new code has been published, to be used when legal demands require access to a page be blocked: error 451.

Continue Reading

Wu-Tang Album now FBI item of interest

Wu-Tang Album now FBI item of interest

The Freedom of Information Act is a funny thing. Because of this act, everyday average citizens are able to send requests to the government to attain documents that, by all legal means and rights, aught to be public. As such, once the nefarious individual known as Martin Shkreli was arrested by the FBI earlier this week, geographer Andrew Wiseman sent a request to the FBI to release to him the Wu-Tang Clan album "Once Upon a Time in Shaolin." Why? Because Shkreli has it.

Continue Reading

NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

NASA’s slightly better deal with Congress in 2015

This year NASA is getting about 1.23 billion dollars more from the US government than they did last year, which is good. It's not fantastic, but it's certainly a step in the right direction. This comes as news in the release of the 2016 omnibus spending bill, which gives NASA more money than the white house requested earlier this year.

Continue Reading

Twitter emailing some users: government might be hacking you

Twitter emailing some users: government might be hacking you

By now, it's no longer surprising to hear that there might be some state-initiated, even sponsored, cyber activity being undertaken in the interests of national security. Most of the time, these happen in secrecy. Rare and unusual are the times, however, when targets are informed of such activities by companies used as middle men in such incidents. That is precisely what Twitter is apparently doing by supposedly emailing an unknown number of users that they might be the target of some state-sponsored hacking attempts.

Continue Reading

Why Banksy just painted Steve Jobs

Why Banksy just painted Steve Jobs

Syrian refugees are being downtrodden by Republican leaders and presidential candidates aplenty. Rogue graffiti artist Banksy has something to say about that. In a painting in the Jungle refugee camp in the French port of Calais, Banksy painted a portrait of Jobs holding a sack and carrying an old-school Apple computer. Something like a shortened Color Classic. And why would Banksy paint Steve Jobs in a refugee camp, you might ask?

Continue Reading

US to ban all soap with microbeads

US to ban all soap with microbeads

Remember when we talked about how products with microbeads were terrible for the environment and that you should never, ever buy them? It would appear that the US government agrees. A bill which bans the sale of personal care products that contain microbeads has just passed the House of Representatives and will soon go to the Senate for approval. Several states have already banned the products, phasing them out over the next several years - this bill, when eventually passed into law, will ban microbeads across the country.

Continue Reading

Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

Rehashed bill could force tech companies to report ‘terrorist activity’

A bill has been introduced that, should it become law, will force tech companies like Facebook to report ‘terrorist activity’ to law enforcement agencies. The bill was introduced by Senate Intelligence Committee Vice Chairman Dianne Feinstein and Chairman Richard Burr, who stress that such companies won’t have to “monitor customers or undertake any additional action” to hunt down suspected terrorists. The new bill was spurred by reports that the San Bernardino shooter had pledged allegiance to ISIS on Facebook.

Continue Reading

NHTSA’s proposed rating system update will favor crash avoidance tech

NHTSA’s proposed rating system update will favor crash avoidance tech

Automotive technology is changing, and it is time for rating systems to change with it. In a proposal announced today, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration is seeking an update to its own five-star rating system for new cars. The updated version will take into consideration measurements gathered by more advanced human-like crash dummies as well as crash-avoidance technology.

Continue Reading