Category Archives: Uncategorized

In a blow to e-voting critics, Brazil suspends use of all paper ballots

Enlarge / An electronic voting machine used in Brazil. (credit: Aranha et al.)

In a blow to electronic-voting critics, Brazil’s Supreme Court has suspended the use of all paper ballots in this year’s elections. The ruling means that only electronic ballot boxes will be used, and there will be no voter-verified paper trail that officials can use to check the accuracy of results.

In an 8-2 majority, justices on Wednesday sided with government arguments that the paper trails posed a risk to ballot secrecy, Brazil’s Folha De S.Paulo newspaper reported on Thursday. In so doing, the justices suspended a requirement that 5 percent of Brazil’s ballot boxes this year use paper. That requirement, by Brazil’s Supreme Electoral Court, already represented a major weakening of an election reform bill passed in 2015.

Speaking in support of Wednesday’s decision, Justice Gilmar Mendes equated proponents of voter-verified paper trails to conspiracy theorists.

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How to protect yourself from megabreaches like the one that hit Ticketfly

Enlarge (credit: Lisa Brewster / Flickr)

A recent hack of ticket-distribution website Ticketfly exposed more than 26 million email addresses, along with home addresses, phone numbers, and first and last names, according to the Have I Been Pwned breach notification service. The intrusion provides the latest reminder that users should provide incorrect or incomplete information to online services whenever possible. More about that later.

The breach was first reported last week by Motherboard, which said the breach was carried out by a hacker who had first offered to provide Ticketfly officials with details of the underlying vulnerability in exchange for one bitcoin, worth roughly $7,500. When the officials didn’t respond, the hacker defaced the site and published the user data online, Motherboard said.

Have I Been Pwned said over the weekend that the data included 26.1 million unique email addresses, names, physical addresses, and phone numbers. It didn’t include password or credit card data. In a blog post, Ticketfly officials said they were in the process of bringing the ticket service back online. Part of that effort involves working with forensic and security experts to investigate the hack and to better secure the new site against similar intrusions.

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Police use of Amazon’s face-recognition service draws privacy warnings

Enlarge (credit: Amazon)

Amazon is actively courting law-enforcement agencies to use a cloud-based facial-recognition service that can identify people in real time, the American Civil Liberties Union reported Tuesday, citing the documents obtained from two US departments.

The service, which Amazon markets under the name Rekognition, can recognize as many as 100 people in a single image and can compare images against databases containing tens of millions of faces. Company executives describe deployment by law enforcement agencies as common use case.

“Cameras all over the city”

Rekognition is already being used by the Orlando Police Department and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon, according to documents the ACLU obtained under Freedom of Information requests. Both agencies became customers last year. The entire list of returned documents is here.

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Any Of These Anker Chargers Would Make Great Gifts, On Sale Today Only

PowerPort Speed 2 QC 3.0 Wall Charger, $20 | PowerCore 20100 Battery Pack, $28 | Astro E1 5200mAh Battery Pack, $12

Just in case you didn’t find what you were looking for in Anker’s massive Black Friday/Cyber Monday sale, Amazon just deeply discounted three more of their most popular products for Cyber Monday, no promo code required.

Your options today are the pocket-friendly Anker Astro E1 battery pack for $12, the ultra-popular PowerCore 20100 for $28, and the PowerPort Speed 2 dual-port Quick Charge 3.0 wall charger for $20. Even if you’re satisfied with your personal Anker collection, any of the three could make great, general purpose gifts.

Bonus: Anker’s 400A car jump starter is also down to $59, well below its usual $80.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

Here’s The First Ever Echo Dot Discount, Plus $40 Off the Full-Sized Echo and Tap

Amazon Echo, $140 | Amazon Tap, $90 | Amazon Echo Dot, $40

The new Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant little smart home assistant that you can hide in every corner of your home, and Amazon’s taking $10 off the base price for Black Friday. If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for anyone on your shopping list, this is sure to be a hit with nearly everyone.

And if you were holding out for the full-sized Amazon Echo, complete with its booming speaker, it’s $40 off again right now, while supplies last.

In addition to being a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, the Echo can check the weather, turn on your lights, read you the news, trigger custom IFTTT recipes, order food, and—my personal favorite—read you Jeopardy questions like a robotic Alex Trebek.

The battery-powered Amazon Tap is also $40 off, but it doesn’t feature the always-on microphone of its plugged-in siblings. So unless you really want to take Alexa on the road, you should probably skip it and get one of the other two.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

Here’s The First Ever Echo Dot Discount, Plus $40 Off the Full-Sized Echo and Tap

Amazon Echo, $140 | Amazon Tap, $90 | Amazon Echo Dot, $40

The new Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant little smart home assistant that you can hide in every corner of your home, and Amazon’s taking $10 off the base price for Black Friday. If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for anyone on your shopping list, this is sure to be a hit with nearly everyone.

And if you were holding out for the full-sized Amazon Echo, complete with its booming speaker, it’s $40 off again right now, while supplies last.

In addition to being a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, the Echo can check the weather, turn on your lights, read you the news, trigger custom IFTTT recipes, order food, and—my personal favorite—read you Jeopardy questions like a robotic Alex Trebek.

The battery-powered Amazon Tap is also $40 off, but it doesn’t feature the always-on microphone of its plugged-in siblings. So unless you really want to take Alexa on the road, you should probably skip it and get one of the other two.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

Here’s The First Ever Echo Dot Discount, Plus $40 Off the Full-Sized Echo and Tap

Amazon Echo, $140 | Amazon Tap, $90 | Amazon Echo Dot, $40

The new Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant little smart home assistant that you can hide in every corner of your home, and Amazon’s taking $10 off the base price for Black Friday. If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for anyone on your shopping list, this is sure to be a hit with nearly everyone.

And if you were holding out for the full-sized Amazon Echo, complete with its booming speaker, it’s $40 off again right now, while supplies last.

In addition to being a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, the Echo can check the weather, turn on your lights, read you the news, trigger custom IFTTT recipes, order food, and—my personal favorite—read you Jeopardy questions like a robotic Alex Trebek.

The battery-powered Amazon Tap is also $40 off, but it doesn’t feature the always-on microphone of its plugged-in siblings. So unless you really want to take Alexa on the road, you should probably skip it and get one of the other two.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

Here’s The First Ever Echo Dot Discount, Plus $40 Off the Full-Sized Echo and Tap

Amazon Echo, $140 | Amazon Tap, $90 | Amazon Echo Dot, $40

The new Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant little smart home assistant that you can hide in every corner of your home, and Amazon’s taking $10 off the base price for Black Friday. If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for anyone on your shopping list, this is sure to be a hit with nearly everyone.

And if you were holding out for the full-sized Amazon Echo, complete with its booming speaker, it’s $40 off again right now, while supplies last.

In addition to being a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, the Echo can check the weather, turn on your lights, read you the news, trigger custom IFTTT recipes, order food, and—my personal favorite—read you Jeopardy questions like a robotic Alex Trebek.

The battery-powered Amazon Tap is also $40 off, but it doesn’t feature the always-on microphone of its plugged-in siblings. So unless you really want to take Alexa on the road, you should probably skip it and get one of the other two.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

Here’s The First Ever Echo Dot Discount, Plus $40 Off the Full-Sized Echo and Tap

Amazon Echo, $140 | Amazon Tap, $90 | Amazon Echo Dot, $40

The new Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant little smart home assistant that you can hide in every corner of your home, and Amazon’s taking $10 off the base price for Black Friday. If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for anyone on your shopping list, this is sure to be a hit with nearly everyone.

And if you were holding out for the full-sized Amazon Echo, complete with its booming speaker, it’s $40 off again right now, while supplies last.

In addition to being a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, the Echo can check the weather, turn on your lights, read you the news, trigger custom IFTTT recipes, order food, and—my personal favorite—read you Jeopardy questions like a robotic Alex Trebek.

The battery-powered Amazon Tap is also $40 off, but it doesn’t feature the always-on microphone of its plugged-in siblings. So unless you really want to take Alexa on the road, you should probably skip it and get one of the other two.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.

Here’s The First Ever Echo Dot Discount, Plus $40 Off the Full-Sized Echo and Tap

Amazon Echo, $140 | Amazon Tap, $90 | Amazon Echo Dot, $40

The new Amazon Echo Dot is a brilliant little smart home assistant that you can hide in every corner of your home, and Amazon’s taking $10 off the base price for Black Friday. If you’re struggling to think of a gift idea for anyone on your shopping list, this is sure to be a hit with nearly everyone.

And if you were holding out for the full-sized Amazon Echo, complete with its booming speaker, it’s $40 off again right now, while supplies last.

In addition to being a pretty solid Bluetooth speaker, the Echo can check the weather, turn on your lights, read you the news, trigger custom IFTTT recipes, order food, and—my personal favorite—read you Jeopardy questions like a robotic Alex Trebek.

The battery-powered Amazon Tap is also $40 off, but it doesn’t feature the always-on microphone of its plugged-in siblings. So unless you really want to take Alexa on the road, you should probably skip it and get one of the other two.


Commerce Content is independent of Editorial and Advertising, and if you buy something through our posts, we may get a small share of the sale. Click here to learn more, and don’t forget to sign up for our email newsletter. We want your feedback.