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May, 2019

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Gen Z Interns and Social Media: A Perfect Security Storm

A lack of security training for interns, and their obsession with sharing content on social media, could lead to a perfect storm for hackers looking to collect social engineering data. …read more

Source:: Threatpost

New York Schools Will Test Facial Recognition On Students Despite Objections From State

An anonymous reader quotes a report from BuzzFeed News: A New York school district will move forward with its facial recognition pilot program next week, despite an explicit order from the New York State Education Department that it wait until a standard for data privacy and security for all state educational agencies is finalized. On Friday, the Lockport school district said it was “confident” that the data collection policy for its facial recognition system was sound enough that it could begin testing it on campuses June 3.

“[State Education Department] representatives previously communicated to the District their recommendation that the System not become operational until the dialogue between the District and SED with regard to student data security and privacy is complete,” the statement, sent by district director of technology Robert LiPuma to BuzzFeed News, said. “However, the District’s Initial Implementation Phase of the System (which will commence June 3, 2019 and continue through August 31, 2019) will not include any student data being entered into the System database or generated by the System.” Reached by phone, JP O’Hare, a representative of the New York State Education Department, would not say whether the department knew Lockport planned to go ahead with its facial recognition test in spite of the department’s request for a delay. Lockport said that its facial recognition system should not be a privacy concern because it “does not compile information on and track the movements of all District students, staff and visitors.” Instead, the system is “limited to identifying whether an individual whose photograph has been entered into the System database is on District property (i.e., is visible on one of the District’s security cameras).” But it also said the individuals who may be entered into the database included those who are prohibited from being on District property, “such as suspended students or staff.”

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Source:: Slashdot

Wow, talk about a Maine-wave: US state says ISPs need permission to flog netizens’ personal data

What a radical idea

Maine is about to become the latest US state to – and get this – mandate that ISPs obtain subscribers’ permission before selling their data to advertisers.…

…read more

Source:: TheRegister

This NASA snapshot makes Mars look like Jupiter – CNET

Mars or Jupiter? Sometimes it’s hard to tell. …read more

Source:: CNet

Cleveland has the fastest mobile speeds – CNET

Oklahoma City is the slowest, OpenSignal says. …read more

Source:: CNet

Apple Poised To Bring Mac and iPad Closer Than Ever

It’s pretty much a given that next week’s Apple Worldwide Developer Conference will bring new versions of MacOS and iOS. The real question is just how much convergence there will be between the 2 operating systems. From a report: The Mac remains popular even as the bulk of Apple’s business is now selling phones and tablets, both of which have been increasing in computing power. Apple has long said it doesn’t plan to merge its mobile and computer operating systems, but the two have been moving closer together recently. Apple offered a “sneak peek” last year at its multiyear effort (known internally as Marzipan) to allow programs written for iOS devices like the iPad to run on Macs with minimal changes.

Last year, the company said it was testing the technology first with its own apps, like Stocks and Voice Memos, and would offer other developers a chance to adapt their apps over time. Developers are champing at the bit for their taste of Marzipan, and WWDC could offer them a way in. Apple is likely to preview upgrades to its TV and watch operating systems and perhaps give a few more details on some of its new services, such as Arcade, a subscription iOS game service due out this fall.

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Source:: Slashdot

Researcher Exploits Microsoft’s Notepad to ‘Pop a Shell’

Google Project Zero researcher unearths a bug in Microsoft’s Notepad Windows application. …read more

Source:: Threatpost

The Dark Side of Dark Mode

Apple, which has already introduced “dark mode” in macOS, is widely expected to replicate this in its mobile operating system iOS this year. The move comes as a number of technology companies introduce dark mode in their apps and operating systems. But is it something everyone wants?

TidBITS: When text is white on a black background as it would be in Dark Mode, the whiteness of the lines lightens the edges of each line broadly on both sides, blurring the edge. If the thin lines of the text are black and the background is white, however, white from both sides washes over the entire line, lightening it evenly, so the edges aren’t blurred. Blur is a bad thing because of how the human eye relies primarily on contrast when extracting detail from an image. In “Reality and Digital Pictures” (12 December 2005), Charles wrote: The eye does not see light per se, it sees changes in light — contrast. If two objects do not contrast with one another, to the eye they meld into one. This fact makes controlling the contrast of adjacent details to be paramount in importance. He was focused on issues revolving around photographs, but contrast has been shown to be paramount in numerous studies of textual legibility as well.

Of course, contrast goes in both directions — black on white and white on black both have high contrast. In the scientific literature, black on white is called “positive polarity,” whereas white on black is called “negative polarity.” Numerous studies over decades of research have found that positive polarity displays provide improved performance in a variety of areas. […] Taptagaporn and Saito (1990, 1993) tracked changes in pupil size for different illumination levels as well as for the viewing of different visual targets, such as a cathode ray tube (CRT) display, script and keyboard. They found less visual fatigue as measured by the frequency of changes in pupil size when working was accomplished with a positive than with a negative polarity display. Likewise, Saito, Taptagaporn, and Salvendy (1993) found faster lens accommodation and thus faster focusing of the eye with positive than with negative polarity displays.

To summarize, a dark-on-light display like a Mac in Light Mode provides better performance in focusing of the eye, identifying letters, transcribing letters, text comprehension, reading speed, and proofreading performance, and it results in less visual fatigue and increased visual comfort. The benefits apply to both the young and the old, as that paper concludes: In an ageing society, age-related vision changes need to be considered when designing digital displays. Visual acuity testing and a proofreading task revealed a positive polarity advantage for younger and older adults. Dark characters on light background lead to better legibility and are strongly recommended independent of observer’s age.

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Source:: Slashdot

Make Your Own Old School LED Displays

We live in an era in which all manner of displays are cheap and readily available. A few dollars spent online can net you a two-line alphanumeric LCD, a graphical OLED screen, or all manner of other options. Years ago however, people made do with little monolithic LED devices. [sjm4306] wanted to recreate something similar, and got down to work (Youtube link, embedded below).

The resulting device uses 0603 sized SMD LEDs, soldered onto a tiny PCB. 20 LEDs are used per digit, which can display numbers 0-9 and letters A-F. The LEDs are laid out in a pattern similar to Hewlett-Packard designs from years past. This layout gives the numerals a more pleasant appearance compared to a more-classic 7-segment design. Several tricks are used to make the devices as compact as possible, such as putting vias in the LED pads. This is normally a poor design technique, but it helps save valuable space.

[sjm4306] has developed a breadboard model, and a more advanced version that has a pad on the rear to mount a PIC16F88 microcontroller directly. We look forward to seeing these modules developed further, and can imagine they’d prove useful in a variety of projects.

For reference, check out these Soviet-era 7-segment displays. Video after the break.

…read more

Source:: Hackaday

Apple to limit third-party tracking in kids apps, report says – CNET

How much information do these apps need? …read more

Source:: CNet

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