Policy

White House kicks infosec team to curb in IT office shakeup

Enlarge / The White House is kicking its information security team to the curb. An internal White House memo published today by Axios reveals that recent changes to the information operations and security organizations there have left the security team in tumult, with many members headed for the door. And the chief of the White …

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Robo-tank? Army picks contenders for robotic combat vehicle competition

Enlarge / Meet RoboTank, your future tank platoon mate. On October 18, the National Advanced Mobility Consortium—an organization of industry and academic researchers contracted by the US government to develop autonomous ground systems for the military—announced the selection of four companies to build prototype light robotic combat vehicles for the US Army. These are “non-developmental” …

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T-Mobile and Sprint get FCC approval to merge in 3-2 party-line vote

Enlarge / Federal Communication Commission Republican members (L-R) Brendan Carr, Michael O’Rielly, and Chairman Ajit Pai participate in a discussion during the Conservative Political Action Conference on February 23, 2018 in National Harbor, Maryland. The Federal Communications Commission has voted 3-2 to approve T-Mobile’s acquisition of Sprint, an FCC spokesperson confirmed to Ars today. Republican …

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Bringing in the big gun: Army paves way for “strategic cannon”

Enlarge / US Army troopers assigned to the Field Artillery Squadron, 3rd Cavalry Regiment, fire their M777 Howitzer. The Army is looking for a gun with a bit more range—over 1,000 nautical miles. In 2017, the US Army established a collection of cross-functional teams (CFTs) aimed at rapidly pushing forward key technologies to advance the …

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AT&T charged customers for a corporate tax that it doesn’t have to pay

Enlarge / An AT&T store in Chicago. AT&T charged customers in Portland, Oregon for a corporate tax that AT&T doesn’t actually have to pay. AT&T has agreed to provide refunds to customers who were wrongly charged the tax over the past few months, but it’s facing a lawsuit that seeks additional payments of at least …

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Why each Libra member’s mutiny hurts Facebook – TechCrunch

There’s a strategic cost to the defection of Visa, Stripe, eBay, and more from the Facebook-led cryptocurrency Libra Association. They’re not just names dropping off a list. Each potentially made Libra more useful, ubiquitous, or reputable. Now they could become obstacles to the token’s launch or growth. Fearing regulators’ inquiries not just into their Libra …

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Activists’ phones targeted by one of the world’s most advanced spyware apps

Mobile phones of two prominent human rights activists were repeatedly targeted with Pegasus, the highly advanced spyware made by Israel-based NSO, researchers from Amnesty International reported this week. The Moroccan human rights defenders received SMS text messages containing links to malicious sites. If clicked, the sites would attempt to install Pegasus, which as reported here …

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AT&T raises prices 7% by making its customers pay AT&T’s property taxes

Getty Images | Aurich Telecom companies like AT&T love creating new fees to tack on customer bills, and they really love raising those fees after customers sign contracts that are supposed to lock in a consistent price. It’s a win-win for the company, but not the customer: AT&T gets to advertise a lower price than …

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Apple CEO Tim Cook lambasted for pulling Hong Kong protest app

Apple Inc. took down a Hong Kong protest app late yesterday after pressure from China, only to prompt a torrent of criticism today from some quarters. On Wednesday, China state media criticized Apple for allowing the app in the App Store, calling the technology “poisonous.” The app in question, HKmap.live, allowed users to locate Hong …

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Facebook sure does love free $peech – TechCrunch

Ensuring politicians in the 2020 election stay truthful is hard work, so Facebook has decided it’s going to sit this one out. Biden’s campaign team had sent a letter to CEO Mark Zuckerberg, COO Sheryl Sandberg and global elections policy chief Katie Harbath that essentially called on the company to take down a Trump campaign …

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Shark-like “Invictus” is Bell’s bid for Army’s future attack-recon aircraft

Enlarge / It’s a bird! It’s a shark! It’s Invictus, Bell’s proposed Army scout helicopter. Bell-Textron Bell Textron has unveiled the design for the company’s entrant into the US Army’s Future Attack Reconnaissance Aircraft (FARA) program: a single-rotor helicopter called the Bell 360 Invictus. The shark-like design, which uses rotor technology developed for the Bell …

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