law

Opinion: France’s total ban on smartphones in schools is too extreme

Opinion: France’s total ban on smartphones in schools is too extreme

A few days ago, French lawmakers passed legislation that was written to protect children from growing up like zombies enslaved to their smartphones and tablets. Such mobile devices will be banned in schools for children up to 15 years of age, both inside and outside classes. While it’s definitely easy to see this as a victory against the smartphone addiction that is plaguing society, it could actually end up doing more harm than good when these kids become ill-prepared to face the realities of modern life.

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TRIWA x Humanium Metal Hu39 watch Review

TRIWA x Humanium Metal Hu39 watch Review

The Hu39 is a watch made by TRIWA with the melted metals of illegal firearms: Humanium Metal. It's a rare opportunity to behold a piece of hardware in which the materials are more meaningful in their delivery than the product which they create. Here the medium is the message, and the message is that firearms are more valuable (and far less dangerous) to humanity melted-down than they are active. Plus the watch looks real nice, too.

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EU slaps Google with $5 billion fine, says Android violated antitrust laws

EU slaps Google with $5 billion fine, says Android violated antitrust laws

Google has drawn the ire of the European Union once more, earning itself a massive €4,342,865,000 fine ($5.05 billion) for what the EU views as antitrust violations. Today's fines center around Google Search and Android - more specifically, how Google has used Android as a "vehicle to cement the dominance of its search engine" as internet traffic shifts from desktop to mobile. Google now has 90 days to bring its illegal conduct to an end, otherwise it faces additional fines that will add up quickly.

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Amazon’s AI is powering scary police facial-recognition systems

Amazon’s AI is powering scary police facial-recognition systems

Amazon has quietly been pushing its Rekognition AI system to police departments, using the deep learning technology to power real-time facial recognition. The company has already deployed Rekognition-powered services in a number of US states, it's reported, automating the identification of "people of interest" from multiple cameras spread across cities.

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California to make solar mandatory for new homes starting 2020

California to make solar mandatory for new homes starting 2020

Solar power has been around for years, even decades, but it has never caught on in the consumer market for two reasons. One is affordability, the other is a lack of a bigger push. California might be providing the latter if the state's Energy Commission gets what it wants in Wednesday's vote. If it does, all new houses and small condos and apartments applying for a permit starting 2020 will be required to have solar panels.

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Police tried to unlock phone with dead man’s finger at funeral home

Police tried to unlock phone with dead man’s finger at  funeral home

How far will law enforcers go to unlock a smartphone? Given how critical these mobile devices have become these days, it seems they're willing to go through sometimes morbid lengths to access what could be, but not yet confirmed, evidence inside. And, yes, that includes trying to unlock phones using the deceased's own fingers. That is what two detectives in Largo, Florida attempted to do when the walked into a funeral home to unlock the phone that belonged to the deceased. But while the detectives didn't do anything illegal, they are being called out for being unethical or, at the very least, insensitive.

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T-Mobile gets $40 million fine for fake ring tones, connections

T-Mobile gets $40 million fine for fake ring tones, connections

Just because you hear the other line ringing doesn't necessarily mean the other line is actually ringing. Especially if the caller is on T-Mobile. It seems that the Un-carrier has been "faking it" when it comes to connecting calls in rural areas, using fake ring tones and connections to make it seem like they were connecting and just failing. That lie is now going to cost T-Mobile $40 million in fines and a whole lot more in criticisms.

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GrayKey: The best iPhone unlocker is now in the hands of police

GrayKey: The best iPhone unlocker is now in the hands of police

It would appear that there's a new best way to break into a locked iPhone as of this February. Back in February of this year, the startup known as Grayshift sent out an announcement of a new sort of device they'd whipped up. They had a device that apparently unlocked an iPhone - any iPhone - so that said iPhone could be rummaged through and utilized by law enforcement. Or, say, less-than-reputable persons. Of course, they'd never say they were all about such things at Grayshift.

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YouTube hit with FTC complaint over child privacy violations

YouTube hit with FTC complaint over child privacy violations

In no small thanks to Facebook's blunder, tech companies, especially the big ones, have come under increased scrutiny over their handling of user data. Considering how it makes much of its revenue from advertising, Google and its businesses are a prime target for such investigations. A coalition of more than 20 consumer advocacy groups have lodged a complaint at the Federal Trade Commission against YouTube, alleging that the video streaming giant knowingly and willfully collects and profits from tracking kids, all without the consent of their parents or legal guardians.

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iPhones are being unlocked with dead fingers

iPhones are being unlocked with dead fingers

Crime shows like CSI are known for using unusual, unrealistic, and sometimes morbid techniques in the pursuit of justice. But, as they say, sometimes reality is stranger than fiction. Ever encountered a locked iPhone whose owner was just recently deceased? No problem, according to some sources in law enforcement. Police are reportedly using those dead people's fingers to unlock said iPhones in order to find evidence or leads. And best of all, it's completely legal.

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The problem with patents in tech

The problem with patents in tech

Patents are everywhere, and of course not just in the US, but there are particular industries where they show up more often than not. In our not so small corner of the world, we see dozens of patents on interesting technologies and potential products. Emphasis on “potential” because most of the time, they never come to be. Sometimes not from the party that filed the patent. More often than not, patents only surface when media get whiff of them or when used in a lawsuit. Because while patents were initially conceived to foster innovation, they run the risk of suffocating that very same thing instead.

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iPhone SOS feature blamed for hundreds of false 911 calls

iPhone SOS feature blamed for hundreds of false 911 calls

A single facility seems to be at fault for hundreds of false alarm 911 calls from Apple devices over the past few months. A report from Elk Grove, California suggests that 911 dispatch in the area took approximately 20 accidental 911 calls a day from Apple since October of 2017. Police reportedly said that calls are all coming from a single Apple repair and refurbishing center off Laguna Boulevard.

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