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FCC Announces Termination of Net Neutrality Rules on June 11

In a notice last Thursday, the US Federal Communications Commission announced that the landmark 2015 U.S. open-internet rules will cease on June 11, with the new rules taking effect right after. FCC Commissioner and Democrat Jessica Rosenworcel said that the agency had failed to listen to the American people and had been unsympathetic to their belief that internet openness should remain the law of the land. The Senate will still be voting on whether to reject the repeal of the Obama-era rules, but it was noted that it may only be a losing battle. Source: Reuters

Firefox 60 First to Bring Password-free Logins

Firefox 60 First to Bring Password-free Logins

Mozilla proudly announced this week that its latest version of Firefox is the world’s first browser that offers the option to sign in to websites without using a password. The feature is made possible by an emerging W3C standard called Web Authentication or WebAuthn which is designed to give users more authentication choices while providing better protection from phishing attacks. It is enabled by default on Firefox 60 and is expected to come with Chrome 67 and Microsoft Edge. WebAuthn also generates cryptographic public-private pairs for signing in which prevents shared secrets from being leaked if a site is hacked. […]

House Democrats Reveal Effect of Russian Ads on 2016 Election

House Democrats Reveal Effect of Russian Ads on 2016 Election

Last Thursday, House Democrats released more than 3,500 Russian-bought Facebook ads and pointed out that most of the ads sought to be politically divisive on issues like gun control, race relations and immigration. Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., said that the ads bought by the Russian troll farm Internet Research Agency sought to weaponize social media platforms to drive a wedge between Americans in an attempt to sway the 2016 election. In response, Facebook said that they were too slow to spot this type of information operations interference and added that it had already made several changes to its ad policies […]

AI May Hold Key to Identifying Deadly Heart Condition

AI May Hold Key to Identifying Deadly Heart Condition

AliveCor and Mayo Clinic have recently made a joint effort to test whether artificial intelligence can help identify in EKG results a condition called inherited Long QT Syndrome which causes about 3,000 to 4,000 sudden deaths in children and young adults in the U.S. every year. According to the National Institutes of Health, LQTS causes dangerously fast irregular heartbeats in response to stress and exercise. People can be unaware that they have the condition until it causes them to faint, have seizures or even die.    In their study published this week, it was shown that the technology is able […]

China Targets National Blockchain Standards by 2019

China Targets National Blockchain Standards by 2019

It was revealed in an interview this week that China is already working on a national standard for blockchain technology. The Electronic Industry Standards Research Institute under China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology said that the standards will be developed for implementation in multiple sectors encompassing various decentralized designs. Director of the Blockchain Research Office Li Ming also confirmed a nationwide ‘Blockchain and Distributed Accounting Technology Standardization Committee’ is already being established by the combined effort of a number of relevant government departments. He added that basic standards, business and application standards, process and method standards, credible and interoperable […]

Australia Considers Blockchain for Trade Supply Chain Visibility

Australia Considers Blockchain for Trade Supply Chain Visibility

Australia’s Department of Home Affairs (DHA) has reportedly proposed the use of blockchain technology to modernize the government’s approach to the country’s trade process. The DHA told the Joint Standing Committee on Trade and Investment Growth last Thursday that it is looking at emerging technologies such as blockchain, artificial intelligence, and Internet of Things (IoT) for a suitable framework. A department spokesperson said that since a majority of traders are trusted and interact in a secure and transparent supply chain, the use of blockchain technology should improve the veracity, validation, and analysis of intelligence and trade data. Source: ZDNet

ZTE Ceases Main US Operations Due to Ban

ZTE Ceases Main US Operations Due to Ban

China’s second biggest telecom equipment manufacturer, ZTE, said Wednesday that the ban imposed by the US government has prompted the company to shut down its main business operations in the country. Washington hit the phone maker with a ban last month for violating US export restrictions when it shipped components and technology to Iran. A spokesperson said, however, that they are appealing to have the ban changed or even reversed and have already submitted a request to the U.S. Commerce Department. At present, ZTE has suspended its online stores on its own website and on Alibaba Group’s e-commerce platform Taobao. […]

Android P to Fight Smartphone Addiction with “Digital Wellness” Function

Android P to Fight Smartphone Addiction with “Digital Wellness” Function

Google revealed at its developer conference last Tuesday that it will be including a number of tools that will help users fight smartphone addiction in its next version of Android. Included in the upcoming Android P are four new functions. The Do Not Disturb mode takes out all visual indicators even when the user uses the phone while the App Dashboard provides a quick overview of the user’s usage of the device. The App Timer can be used to set a daily time limit for app usage, and Wind Down feature blocks out blue light and gradually turns the screen […]

Electrum Cryptocurrency Wallet Copycat Caught Stealing Seed Keys

Electrum Cryptocurrency Wallet Copycat Caught Stealing Seed Keys

Earlier this week, the team behind popular Bitcoin wallet Electrum warned on Github that a copycat app called Electrum Pro has been caught stealing user seed keys. According to the Electrum developers, the party behind the fake wallet even registered the “electrum.com” domain where the malicious app uploads the stolen user seed keys. Anyone in possession of a wallet’s seed keys will be able to access funds within the wallet. However, the Electrum devs further reported that they have not seen any reports of stolen funds.      Source: Bleeping Computer

Anti-abortion Activists Slam Google for Pulling Referendum Ads

Anti-abortion Activists Slam Google for Pulling Referendum Ads

Anti-abortionists in Ireland fired criticisms at Google after the search giant had announced that it will be pulling advertisements related to Ireland’s May 25 abortion referendum last Wednesday. Google had reportedly made the decision after Facebook similarly said that it will no longer accept ads from outside the country looking to influence the referendum. A spokesperson further clarified that the move follows their update around election integrity efforts globally, and all ads related to the Irish referendum on the Eighth Amendment will be paused for the meantime.    Source: Reuters