iPhone Unlocked By Fingerprint Because Of A Warrant From The LAPD

While we were so focused on the Apple Vs FBI court battle that was going on, it would seem that the FBI were up to their usual tricks. I refer to the first known case where a user was made to unlock their iPhone by fingerprint because of a warrant.

The court case was overseen by a Virginia Beach Circuit Court Judge who agreed that David Charles Baust could not be forced to hand over his iPhones passcode. The judge did say he could be compelled to supply his biometric information to unlock the device, though, a measure that seems very similar in its outcome.

The warrant issued allowed an LAPD agent to visit the premises of Baust and a Paytsar Bkchadzhyan and acquire a fingerprint for the purposes of unlocking the iPhone, a trick that can be mimicked with something as simple as Play-Doh. The warrant contains the line “Law enforcement personnel are authorized to depress the fingerprints and/or thumbprints of the person covered by this warrant onto the Touch ID sensor of the Apple iPhone seized… on 25 February”. The inventory of the property taken in the search doesn’t even help narrow down what they searched for, as they state “PAYTSAR BKCHADZHYAN – FINGERPRINT ON IPHONE DEVICE”, a rather ambiguous term when keeping track of something.

The fingerprint didn’t help as after 48 hours of not unlocking your iPhone with touch ID requires that you enter your passcode anyway, a piece of information that the Judge had already ruled out being forced from the suspect.

This could have repercussions, such as in the case where a person from England is being asked to unlock his device over a case that could see him tried in America, where you could be seen as providing evidence against yourself by providing something like your biometric information or passwords. These are all protected in America under the fifth amendment, the right to not incriminate yourself.

ISP Promotes Higher Broadband Deal for ‘Ideal’ Streaming

We all know the basics that a better internet connection means better internet experience. Well, it seems that this is all Verizon customer service employees know too and it’s over Netflix streaming again.

Netflix offers two standard streaming qualities, standard at approximately 3Mbps and High Definition at approximately 5Mbps, but Verizon sales reps told one customer he should upgrade from his 50Mbps Fibre Optic service due to it not being able to provide the smoothest experience. Industry analyst Day Rayburn had a small run in with multiple sales reps who tried palming this pitching this to him.

“Last week I contacted Verizon to discuss the renewal of my two-year FiOS Triple Play contract which already gives me 50Mbps up/down,” Rayburn wrote. “Three different sales reps via the phone and one via an online chat all tried to convince me to upgrade to 75Mbps, with the false promise that it would give me better quality Netflix streaming, amongst other OTT [over-the-top] streaming services. I was told that with 75Mbps I would get ‘smoother video viewing’ and ‘better quality’ with a higher tier service. Of course, this claim by Verizon is 100 percent false and they know it.”

“During HBO’s Game Of Thrones Season 5 premiere, I had ten separate streams going on at the same time via HBO Now and Sling TV,” Rayburn wrote. “All combined, I consumed just under 29Mbps of my 50Mbps connection and all ten streams had perfect quality. HBO Now’s bitrate maxes out at 4Mbps and some of the streams I had going were to mobile devices. Amongst the ten streams, they averaged 2.9Mbps per second. So even if I had a household of ten people, all streaming at the same time, going from 50Mbps to 75Mbps would not have given me any better video streaming quality over what I already have. Verizon is simply using the average consumer’s lack of knowledge of bitrates and streaming technology to scare them into thinking they need a higher tiered package than they really do.”

Rayburn, an analyst at Frost & Sullivan, actually tried defending the ISP last year over the financial dispute with Netflix; I bet he’s changed sides now.

I understand the “make a sale” pitch, but blatantly lying to a customer is just dirty dealings; I wonder how many customers they have falsely snagged with this hook.

Thank you to ArsTechnica for providing us with this information

Shake the Bag Twice, the Pirate Bay Rumour Mill Is Running Wild

Yesterday we could report that the Swedish authorities raided a server room in Stockholm, Sweden and took down several torrent sites including famous The Pirate Bay. Here we are less than 24 hours later and the rumour mill is running with people looking for a quick headline running wild with rumours. Several outlets including the Herald Sun are now reporting that the site is back up with a Costa Rican IP address, TorrentFreak however were quick to come out and rectify this.

So no, The Pirate Bay is not back online, not yet. You’ll be able to access the front page on some mirrors, but with the backend offline your search queries will end up nowhere. However, as many of readers were quick to point out, the war on the torrent network is an almost pointless endeavor; 10 new sites appear whenever one is taken down. Almost like the magical Hydra.

Other sites that are affected by the takedown are Suprbay, Bayimg, Pastebay, EZTV, Zoink, Torrage and the Istole tracker. The police have confirmed that the raid was part of an operation to protect intellectual property.

Thanks to Herald Sun for providing us with this information.

Nvidia Shuts Down Rumours About Adaptive Sync Support

There have been rumours going around the internet the last couple of days, that the new Nvidia GeForce GTX 980 and 970 might support Adaptive Sync. Those rumours have been shut finally down after the Chinese technology page Expreview reached out to Nvidia for a comment. Nvidia made it clear in their reply that they want to focus on their own G-sync. This isn’t very surprising, especially with the long range of compatible monitors hitting the market from Acer, Asus, AOC and other companies.

The Adaptive Sync is a royalty free and open standard developed by the Video Electronics Standards Association (VESA) and supported by AMD. The technology does about the same as Nvidia’s own G-Sync, but without any additional hardware. Both technologies let the GPU and monitor keep the display refresh rate in sync with the GPU frame-rates. The end-result is a more fluent picture and an overall smoother result.

The rumour itself should never really have started, but once something like this takes off, it gets around. The two new Nvidia GeForce cards in question only have a DisplayPort 1.2 according to their specifications, and DisplayPort 1.2a is needed for the Adaptive Sync technology. AMD’s current R7 and R9 Radeon cards all feature the DisplayPort 1.2a and thereby already support the Adaptive Sync technology.

This might have been a very deliberate move from Nvidia to boost their own technology. When we look at the new cards, they have the newest of technology everywhere, including the HDMI 2.0 port. Using an older DisplayPort version effectively forces owners of the cards to use Nvidia’s own G-Sync technology, if they want their frame-rate synced.

I honestly have to say, I haven’t seen the two technologies side by side. So I can’t say if one is better than the other. I have however seen both demonstrated separate next to a non-synced setup, and there is a distinct difference.

Update:

After having received some comments on this article, I’d like to clarify it a bit more.  AMD FreeSync, that is part of the new VESA Adaptive Sync standard, is still a prototype system. There aren’t any actual products for it yet.

The base and support for it is there in the DisplayPort 1.2a on the graphics cards, but it requires the monitors to support it too, thus FreeSync isn’t an actual product yet. FreeSync has been demoed and it will come, but G-Sync is here today.

Thank you Expreview for providing us with this information

Image courtesy of Nvidia

 

 

Record Labels Embarrass Themselves, Take down Kim Dotcom’s Own Album

In a twist of irony, the music industry group IFPI has sent not one, but two separate take down notices to MEGA about Kim Dotcom’s own album, Good Times. In one of the instances they were successful and the link to the Album stopped working last Monday. Of course the album was hosted on MEGA, and it shows a bit of how the music and movie industry abuses the takedown system with auto-generated, and often false, takedown requests.

With the ongoing lawsuit and the reputation the old Megaupload had, copyright holders are keeping a close eye on MEGA, though so far the takedown request have been relative small. On that note, I might point out that the the U.S. government just has joined the MPAA and RIAA in a new lawsuit in an attempt to get liquidised assets from Dotcom.

Torrentfreak noticed the file was missing and contacted both MEGA and Kim Dotcom for statements. Mega replied back that the explanation was a takedown notice from IFPI on September 1, claiming the link infringed on the copyrights of one of their artists. They listed a whole bunch, but didn’t specify which one, and Kim Dotcom wasn’t one of them. When Kim heard of this, he contacted Mega and got them to reinstate the link, but it was down for a day.

 

“This is an indication that someone at the IFPI is not doing their homework and that their takedown notices in general cannot be trusted,” said Mega’s Chief Compliance Officer Stephan Hall to TorrentFreak. IFPI’s actions have been sloppy, to say the least, and there is little faith to be put in the accuracy of the music group’s other takedown requests. Mega have also analysed big samples of notices and found most were automated keyword based takedowns that largely affected legitimate files.

 Thank you TorrentFreak for proving us with this information

Images courtesy of TorrentFreak.

HP’s ‘Fanless’ Chromebox Uses a Fan to Keep Itself Cool

Earlier in the year, HP announced the imminent arrival of their ChromeBox, the desktop answer to the popular Chromebook line of systems that a number of manufacturers are offering. As a part of their product design and advertising, HP have stated (as can see in a shot of their website below) that users will get “The silent operation of the fanless design prevents dust from being funneled through computer case.” Well it appears that HP never got the memo to say that in order to qualify as a ‘fanless’ product, you can’t put a fan inside the chassis. To me this sounds like a simple concept to grasp but apparently I’d be wrong about that.

Following a video review on the system, YouTuber Lon Seidman discovered that HP have been sneaky placed a fan inside the chassis to keep things cool under the collar. This would therefore indicate to us that HP may have had a couple of problems during development to keep their Chromebox cool. The fact that there is a grill on the back of the chassis to ventilate heat through is also a bit of a give-away that there is some forced cooling going on. Placing the fan inside the chassis not only means that the Chromebox doesn’t qualify for the fanless tag, but their claim that dust is not being sucked into the case is also false – this is actually false advertising and can lead HP into a lot of trouble on the legal side of things.

As for the end-user, what does is mean to them? Well it simply means that the $10 premium that you would be paying to have a ‘silent and fanless’ unit over that of Asus’ offering is actually not worth the paper that it is written on. Simply put, save your money and get the cheaper unit that is (bar aesthetic design) identical. For such a big and well know vendor such as HP, this is to be perfectly honest a bit of a shameful discovery and we look forward to hearing their response on the subject.

 

 

Source: Geek.com

Image courtesy: CartridgeLink