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The Verge reports Facebook has created facebookcorewwwi.onion in order to provide Tor-eabled browsers to make an end-to-end encrypted connection to Facebook’s servers. Security researcher Runa A. Sandvik noteed on Twitter this is the first time a website with a Certificate Authority for establishing secure connections has done so for Tor users. Tor allows people to greatly reduce the chances that their IP address or location can be discovered.
GigaOm reports Google confirmed reports that Andy Rubin is leaving Google. Rubin helped developer the Android operating system which was acquired by Google in 2005. He also co-founded Danger, the makers of the Sidekick. Rubin led Google’s Android efforts until March 2013, when Sundar Pichai took over. Pichai took over most of Google’s key product areas earlier this week. The Wall Street Journal reports Rubin will launch a hardware startup incubator.
Wired reports that Virgin Galactic’s Spaceship Two crashed after suffering a “serious anomaly” during a test flight over the Mojave desert. The California Highway Patrol is reporting one fatality, according to the AP. Today was the 55th time SpaceShipTwo had flown, the 35th time the vehicle flew on its own, detached from the airplane that carries it airborne, the fourth time it had actually fired its rocket, and the first time it used a new polyamide-based rocket fuel—effectively a plastic-based fuel rather than the rubber-based fuel that had been used previously.
The Verge reports that Microsoft released a new Outlook for Mac today, available for Office 365 subscribers. The user interface has been updated, and the program delivers full push email support and online access to your archived Exchange mail. Beta Mac versions of updated Office suite like Word, Excel and Power Point will be available in the first half of 2015 with a consumer release to follow in the 2nd half of the year.
Boing Boing passes along a Virginia Beach Circuit Court decision ruling that an individual in a criminal proceeding can not be forced to divulge a passcode for a mobile device because it would violate protections against self-incrimination. However the court held that an individual can be compelled to unlock fingerprint protected devices. The analog is that a defendant can be compelled to hand over a key to a safe but not divulge its combination.
Amazon Senior Vice President of Devices David Limp told Fortune Magazine Amazon did not get the price right on the Fire phone. He said, “People come to expect a great value, and we sort of mismatched expectations.” Last week Amazon CTO Tom Szkutak revealed that Amazon still has $83 million dollars worth of unsold phones. The Fire phone debuted at $199 for 32 gigabytes. When the company slashed the phone to 99 cents, sales improved. Amazon intends to continue to iterate and release new versions of phone software and hardware.
Reuters reports that Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, aka Anakata co-founder of The Pirate Bay was sentenced to three and a half years in prison today. Svartholm was found guilty of hacking into the mainframe of an IT provider in Denmark in 2012. Svartholm’s accomplice, a 21-year-old Dane who successfully applied for his name not to be made public, was sentenced to six months in prison for complicity in a hacking attempt in February 2012 but walked free from the court as he had already served 17 months in pre-trial detention.
CNET reports on a trending Weibo post showing off a smartphone being developed by China’s Vivo that is 3.85 mm thick. That would put it about one half the size of an iPhone 5S. Like the 4.85 mm Oppo R5, the Xplay 3S is too thin for a headphone jack. Vivo is the maker of the Xplay 3S the first phone to boast a “2K” display, with a 2,560×1,440-pixel resolution.
Reuters reports Japan’s Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications said Friday that all smartphones and tablets sold in the country must be sold with their SIM cards unlocked at customer request, starting in May 2015. The move expected to push NTT DoCoMo, KDDI and SoftBank to be more competitive on pricing. It also may increase market share for MVNOs like Aeon and Rakuten.
News From You
Hurmoth sent the Ars Technica story that will be our main discussion today. The Wall Street Journal says the FCC is considering a hybrid approach to broadband regulation similar to those proposed by Mozilla and the Center for Democracy and Technology. Broadly speaking the plan would leave the relationship between ISPs and its customers regulated as an information service as it is now. However it would crate a new classification for the relationship between edge providers, like websites and ISPs. The FCC would regulate that relationship under Title II as a common carrier.
Draconos submitted a post from effecthacking noting that security researcher David Longenecker identified a flaw in RT series ASUS wirelesss routers that could allow a man in the middle attack during a firmware update. Because Asus did not use SSL it could fool the router into connecting to the wrong server. File checking by ASUS did thwart malicious sofwtare, though Mogenecker was able to get a router to ‘upgrade’ to older firmware. ASUS issued an undocumented fix in firmware 184.108.40.206.376.1123 to resolve this vulnerability.
KAPT_Kipper submitted the Gigaom report that Viktor Orban, the Prime Minister of Hungary suspended plans for a new tax on Internet use. Tens of thousands of Hungarians protested the plan, which would have made ISP’s pay about 62 cents per gigabyte of data used. Orban claimed the debate had been twisted and the draft would need to be amended but promised a ‘national consultation’ on the matter beginning in January. It’s the first time opposition parties to Orban’s Fidesz have been united on an issue.
Pick of the Day: Private Tunnel via Tom
Monday’s guest: Eklund of hockeybuzz.com