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Gerry Smith
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Entries by Gerry Smith

Edward Snowden's New Role: Product Pitchman

(15) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 5:27 PM

Edward Snowden has been given many titles: Whistleblower. Traitor. Asylum-seeker.

Now, the fugitive National Security Agency contractor appears to have found a new role: Product pitchman.

In recent interviews and speeches at tech conferences, where he appeared remotely via Google Hangout, Snowden has endorsed several privacy and security tools...

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Google Creates Elite Team To Fight Hackers -- And Maybe The NSA

(10) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 6:06 PM

Google said Tuesday it had created an elite team of researchers to find and report major Internet security flaws, potentially thwarting both Chinese hackers and U.S. intelligence agencies.

In a blog post, Google security engineer Chris Evans said the team, dubbed Project Zero, will hunt for bugs in...

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Why Drone Enthusiasts All Over The Country Are Getting Arrested

(197) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 7:36 AM

Last fall, a Brooklyn man was arrested after his drone struck two Manhattan skyscrapers and crashed 20 feet away from a pedestrian.

In April, an Ohio man was arrested while filming the scene of a car crash because his drone blocked a medical helicopter from landing,...

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Former NSA Chief Is Working For Wall Street Now

(35) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 6:46 PM

Wall Street has tapped former National Security Agency director Keith Alexander to form a council that would coordinate how banks and the government respond to cyber attacks, according to an internal industry proposal obtained by HuffPost.

Alexander led the NSA when former contractor Edward Snowden revealed how the agency had...

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Aereo Is So Desperate It's Turning To Congress For Help

(8) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 12:49 PM

In what may be its final gasp, the streaming TV service Aereo urged customers Tuesday to lobby Congress and protest a Supreme Court ruling that dealt a crippling blow to the company’s business model.

In a letter to subscribers, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia directed them to the company’s...

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Aereo Loses Supreme Court Fight Against Broadcasters

(252) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 10:14 AM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Aereo was violating copyright law by streaming broadcast TV signals to subscribers without paying for them, striking a major blow to a startup that had threatened to upend the industry's lucrative business model.

The court ruled 6 to 3 against Aereo, reversing a...

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How Police Are Scanning All Of Twitter To Detect Terrorist Threats

(36) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 7:38 AM

When Boston officials decided to monitor Twitter during this year's marathon, they didn't scan the site's 500 million daily posts for signs of trouble.

Dataminr did that for them.

The company's software sorts through millions of tweets for clues about major events or emerging threats, flagging mentions of everything...

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Apple's Plan To Stop iPhone Thefts Is Working

(36) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 10:54 AM

The kill switch is working.

That was the message Thursday from law enforcement officials who said new statistics show iPhone thefts have declined since Apple introduced a stronger anti-theft feature in September. They said criminals are responding by targeting people who carry other smartphones that don't have a similar feature...

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The U.S. Government Is Investigating Why Your Netflix Is So Slow

(131) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 2:42 PM

If your "Orange is the New Black" binge marathon has been interrupted by buffering and you wondered who to blame, the Federal Communications Commission is now trying to answer your question.

In a statement Friday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he has asked his staff to obtain information about the...

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AT&T, Comcast Have Spotty Record Of Providing Internet To Rural And Poor

(44) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 7:35 AM

As telecom giants seek approval for their latest mergers, millions of people without fast, reliable Internet service have become bargaining chips.

AT&T said last week that it needs to take over DirecTV in order to bring high-speed broadband to an additional 15 million mostly rural customers. Meanwhile, Comcast...

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Uncle Sam Wants Coders To Leave Silicon Valley For D.C.

(23) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 8:10 AM

President Obama delivers remarks about the error-plagued launch of Healthcare.gov in the Rose Garden. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Washington -- There may be no foosball tables or luxury buses ferrying employees to work, but a new startup in the nation’s capital...

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Silicon Valley: Stop The Huge Comcast Merger

(9) Comments | Posted June 10, 2014 | 3:16 PM

After months of silence, the tech industry is calling on regulators to block Comcast's merger with Time Warner Cable, saying the deal would allow the combined company to thwart any rivals that threaten its business model.

In a letter to Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Ed Black, president of...

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Sicherheitslücke im Internet: Heartbleed ist zurück - neues Datenleck entdeckt

(0) Comments | Posted June 6, 2014 | 10:30 AM

Zwei Monate, nachdem die Sicherheitslücke Heartbleed eine weitläufige Panik im Internet ausgelöst hat, warnt ein Forscher vor einer neuen Schwachstelle in einem weit verbreiteten Verschlüsselungssystem.

Der Forscher Masashi Kikuchi schrieb am Donnerstag in einem Blog-Post, dass er ein Datenleck im System OpenSSL gefunden...

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New Flaw Found in Software That Caused Heartbleed Bug

(8) Comments | Posted June 5, 2014 | 7:51 PM

Two months after the Heartbleed bug triggered widespread Internet panic, a researcher on Thursday disclosed a new vulnerability in the same widely used security software.

The researcher, Masashi Kikuchi, wrote in a blog post that he found another bug in OpenSSL, the encryption tool used in two-thirds of...

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Net Neutrality Fervor Nears Janet Jackson Wardrobe Malfunction Levels

(14) Comments | Posted June 2, 2014 | 11:40 AM

Discussions of net neutrality can become so technical that some have called it "sleep-inducing." But don't tell that to the Federal Communications Commission.

If the amount of emails the FCC has received is any indication, Americans care about the future of the Internet more than any other issue in...

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Net Neutrality Fans Aren't Going To Like This Chart

(66) Comments | Posted May 21, 2014 | 4:25 PM

NEW YORK -- When news broke in February that streaming giant Netflix would pay Comcast for direct access to the cable company's broadband network, some experts said it marked the beginning of the end of net neutrality.

Yet a new report says that such deals are far more...

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FCC Chair Offers Glimmer Of Hope For Net Neutrality Fans

(13) Comments | Posted May 20, 2014 | 3:28 PM

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler walked a fine line Tuesday defending his controversial proposal to set up Internet "fast lanes," saying his agency could block such deals if they slowed down other traffic.

In an appearance before a Congressional committee, Wheeler acknowledged that a speedier Web highway for some...

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Congress Is Debating The Future Of The Internet. Here Are 4 Things To Watch For

(24) Comments | Posted May 19, 2014 | 2:25 PM

The net neutrality fight will enter a new phase on Tuesday when the embattled head of the Federal Communications Commission faces questioning from Congress over his controversial proposal to revamp how the Internet works.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler's solo appearance before the House subcommittee on communications and technology comes just...

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Snapchat Isn't Standing Up For Your Privacy: Report

(9) Comments | Posted May 16, 2014 | 11:28 AM

Snapchat promises to make your photos, videos and messages disappear. It doesn't, however, do enough to make the government disappear, according to a new report.

The popular photo messaging startup was singled out in a survey released Thursday that gave it only one star out of six for...

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States Pass Smartphone 'Kill Switch' Bills That Wireless Companies Hate

(155) Comments | Posted May 8, 2014 | 4:46 PM

NEW YORK -- California and Minnesota took steps on Thursday toward becoming the first states in the country to pass laws requiring smartphones to feature stronger anti-theft technology.

The California Senate approved a measure Thursday that would require every smartphone sold in that state to include a so-called kill...

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