Defense Bill Calls for DOD to Step up Support for Communities Grappling

first_img Dan Cohen AUTHOR DOD should expedite and streamline cleanups of sites with contaminated groundwater resulting from defense activities that are directly impacting civilian access to drinking water, according to a “sense of Congress” included in the conference report to the fiscal 2019 defense authorization bill. The provision, section 317, calls for the department and the military services “to reduce the financial burden on state and local government who are bearing significant costs of cleanup,” as well as to “continue to engage with and help allay local community concerns about the safety of the drinking water.”While addressing the presence of per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS) in local drinking water supplies stemming from the military’s past use of firefighting foam has become a top environmental priority for DOD over the past several years, the language does not single out that class of contaminants. A separate provision of the conference report requires the department to outline its plans for cleaning up on- and off-base drinking water supplies contaminated with PFAS after the Environmental Protection Agency establishes a regulatory standard for those chemicals.Section 317 also calls for the department to “seek opportunities to accelerate environmental restoration efforts where feasible, to include programming additional resources for response actions, investing in technology solutions that may expedite response actions, improving contracting procedures, increasing contracting capacity, and seeking opportunities for partnerships and other cooperative approaches.” The conferees direct the assistant secretary of defense for energy, installations and environment to brief the House and Senate Armed Services committees on initiatives being pursued to accelerate environmental restoration efforts within 120 days after the bill is enacted. The briefing was included in the legislative language in the original House provision but the conferees moved it to the measure’s joint explanatory statement.Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Caitlin Russelllast_img read more

STATE REP RACE Dave Robertson Pina Prinzivalli React To Primary Victories Democratic

first_imgWILMINGTON, MA — State Representative candidates Dave Robertson (D-Tewksbury) and Pina Prinzivalli (R-Tewksbury) won their respective primaries on Tuesday night. While Prinzivalli’s victory was a foregone conclusion after her only Republican competitor dropped out of the race, Robertson’s fate was anything but certain.Robertson’s ReactionFormer Miceli Chief of Staff Dave Robertson (1,341 votes, 26.5%) survived a grueling 5-candidate Democratic primary, defeating former Wilmington Selectwoman and School Committee member Judy O’Connell (1,242 votes, 24.5%), longtime Wilmington Selectman Mike McCoy (1,100 votes, 21.5%), Tewksbury Selectman Mark Kratman (879 votes, 17%), and Wilmington Democratic Town Committee Chair Erika Johnson (533 votes, 10.5%).While Robertson finished second in his hometown of Tewksbury (behind Mark Kratman) and third in Wilmington (behind Judy O’Connell and Mike McCoy), he was able to cobble together enough support across both communities to ultimately come out on top. He defeated runner-up Judy O’Connell by just 99 votes, representing 2% of the vote.“I’m honored and humbled by this victory,” Dave Robertson told Wilmington Apple shortly after hearing the results. “The towns of Wilmington and Tewksbury put their faith in me. Now is my opportunity to win their trust and votes again in the general election. I look forward to putting my head down, getting back on [the campaign trail], and continuing to fight for the residents of the 19th Middlesex.”“I don’t want to speak for all the candidates, but I think we were all confident and cautiously optimistic. To say I was 100% confident would be arrogant,” explained Robertson. “I adopted the philosophy that I’m always 20 percentage points behind. It’s what kept me going when, for example, I knocked on doors for 6-7 hours on Saturday, and there was one more dead-end street to go with just 3 houses on it, but I decided to [finish the canvass] because those residents deserved the opportunity to [tell me their concerns].”Robertson quickly credited his campaign team as the driving force behind his victory.“As cliche as it sounds, I attribute my win to my campaign team, without a doubt,” said Robertson. “And I don’t just mean my Campaign Manager Gary DePalma and my Campaign Treasurer Jesse Fennelly, I mean all the volunteers. I had people take as many as 100 Dear Friends postcards, show for an hour to hold a sign, make 20 phone calls, etc. Without all of them, I couldn’t get my message out there.”“And I certainly attribute my win to the good folks of both towns who stepped forward and put their faith in me,” stressed Robertson.Over the next nine weeks, Robertson intends on focusing his campaign on the issues Wilmington and Tewksbury care most about it. He specifically noted infrastructure improvements (particularly as it relates to Route 38), smart economic development, support for the school systems (both in terms of improved facilities and support of teachers), and more affordable housing opportunities for seniors looking to downsize as well as for first-time homebuyers.Prinzivalli’s ReactionPina Prinzivalli, a branch manager at a local bank, cruised to victory in the Republican primary under unique circumstances. Prinzivalli’s Republican rival, Tewksbury Finance Committee member Erin Buckley, dropped out of the race several weeks ago. Due to the timing of her announcement, however, Buckley remained on the ballot. Nevertheless, Prinzivalli (1,844 votes), took care of business, defeating Buckley (723 votes), 72% to 28%.“I want to thank the voters of Tewksbury and Wilmington who delivered a big victory for my campaign in the Republican Primary, but more importantly a victory for the taxpayers who want to move the 19th Middlesex District in a new direction,” said Prinzivalli in a written statement. “Over the years, the status quo on Beacon Hill has made it increasingly difficult to live, work, and raise a family in Massachusetts.  We continue to see the majority party wanting to raise taxes and prioritize illegal immigrants by trying to make Massachusetts a Sanctuary State.  We can’t afford to continue on that path.  We need a bold Republican voice on Beacon Hill.  Someone who isn’t going to be afraid to stand up and say ‘no.’”“As I said from the start of my campaign last October, I’m not a career politician, nor am I looking to become one.  I’m a career professional, a hardworking taxpayer like everyone else,” added Prinzivalli. “And as someone who is getting married next year and planning to start a family of my own, I want to help create a new path for working families in Tewksbury and Wilmington, a path that will put us, the taxpayers first.”The Other Candidates RespondThe losing candidates from Tuesday’s primary took to social media on Tuesday and Wednesday to publicly thank their supporters.“I entered this race back in May to fill a void. Growing up in Wilmington, I was constantly told that this was a conservative district. Well tonight, after months of hard work knocking doors, attending community events, phonebanking and talking about the issues, I received 533 votes in the Democratic Primary for State Representative in the 19th Middlesex District,” wrote Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).“I am a proud progressive Democrat. I ran my campaign as my authentic self. To everyone who supported me, volunteered, donated, and voted, thank you! The response I received from people today renewed my spirit. I urge everyone who voted for me or who supports true Democratic values to get involved in the Wilmington Democratic Town Committee“, added Johnson. “I may have lost but I’m not going anywhere; I will continue to amplify my bold, progressive voice to contribute to the greater good.“I just wanted to say thank you for all of the support through phone calls, emails and texts yesterday and this morning regarding the campaign and last evening’s results,” wrote Judy O’Connell (D-Wilmington). “Team Judy came up short on this one and I offer my congratulations once again to David Robertson as I did personally via phone last night.”“I was very pleased with the hometown love as reflected in the 01887 vote tally and I thank my Tewksbury supporters of course as well,” continued O’Connell. “I have learned so much from this experience and I will always be so appreciative of the many who have been there for me every step of the way! With people like you in my life, I woke up today feeling like a winner in the most important ways that politics can never provide. From the bottom of my heart I thank you! Till next time.”“Thank you everyone for your support, friendship and faith that you showed me during the campaign,” wrote Mark Kratman (D-Tewksbury). “I had the opportunity to meet so many wonderful people in our communities and for that I am greatful. Good luck to the 3 remaining candidates. Let’s all work together to make our community better for everyone.”Mike McCoy (D-Wilmington) took it one step further, showing up to Dave Robertson’s campaign victory party at Wamesit Lanes in Tewksbury to personally congratulate him. McCoy shared the photo on social media.Mike & Danielle McCoy congratulating Dave Robertson Robertson’s campaign manager Gary DePalma tells Wilmington Apple he is considering organizing a ‘Unity Breakfast’ so that all five former Democratic primary candidates can “come together, talk things out, and make sure we’re all on the same page.”Like Wilmington Apple on Facebook. Follow Wilmington Apple on Twitter. Follow Wilmington Apple on Instagram. Subscribe to Wilmington Apple’s daily email newsletter HERE. Got a comment, question, photo, press release, or news tip? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com.Share this:TwitterFacebookLike this:Like Loading… RelatedBREAKING NEWS: 19th Middlesex State Rep Election Results Are In — Dave Robertson WinsIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: 1 Candidate Drops Out, 8 Return Nomination Papers To State Before DeadlineIn “Government”STATE REP RACE: Voting Records Show Prinzivalli Voted Only Once Before Launching Candidacy; Campaign DisputesIn “Government”last_img read more

Chrome change could hobble ad blockers

first_img Comments 5 Share your voice Google Chrome dominates the browser market. Stephen Shankland/CNET A Google plan to improve the Chrome web browser has triggered an explosion of concern that it’ll also cripple extensions designed to block ads, improve privacy and protect against security problems.Google’s proposed approach would torpedo ad blocker uBlock Origin, tracker blocker Ghostery, privacy and password manager Privowny, JavaScript software blocker NoScript and a malware blocker from F-Secure, according to their developers.In a statement Wednesday, though, Google said it’s trying to improve Chrome while keeping all those extensions working.”We want to make sure all fundamental use cases are still possible with these changes and are working with extension developers to make sure their extensions continue to work while optimizing the extensions platform and better protecting our users,” the company said in a statement.The controversy shows the difficulties that arise from Chrome’s dominance 10 years after its debut. Google’s browser accounts for 62 percent of website usage today, according to analytics firm StatCounter. But if a Google change causes problems, then extension authors and website developers can be stuck with it unless they can get millions of people to change to a different browser like Mozilla Firefox or Apple Safari.Chrome’s power also is amplified by the fact that other browsers, including Vivaldi, Opera, Brave and soon Microsoft Edge, use Chrome’s open-source foundation, called Chromium.Extensions let you customize web browser behavior to do things like take screenshots, manage tabs, disable websites’ potentially risky JavaScript software and even replace photos of President Donald Trump with images of kittens. But ad blockers are a top extension use. Indeed, it was one of the uses Google specifically called for when it first revealed its Chrome extensions plan in 2008. uBlock Origin has been installed more than 10 million times, for example, according to Chrome Web Store statistics.Ghostery developer Cliqz said Google’s proposed change is radical, and threatened legal action if it goes forward.”This would basically mean that Google is destroying ad blocking and privacy protection as we know it,” the company said in a statement Wednesday. “Whether Google does this to protect their advertising business or simply to force its own rules on everyone else, it would be nothing less than another case of misuse of its market-dominating position. If this comes true, we will consider filing an antitrust complaint.”Chrome’s Manifest v3 destinyGoogle revealed the change way back in October as part of a broader plan to improve Chrome extensions. Some developers are only now noticing the part that could hurt ad blockers, called Manifest v3. Manifest v3 is designed to improve Chrome extensions’ performance, privacy and security. One part of that change, though, limits how extensions will be able to examine aspects of websites. The thorny limit affects how an extension can check if website elements originate from a list of hundreds of thousands of advertising sources. Google has proposed a limit of 30,000.One extension designed to protect people who click on malicious links, Blockade.io, “will cease to function” under Google’s Manifest v3 plan, said Brandon Dixon, who maintains the extension. “There is a 30K rule limit imposed, which is not enough to handle our ruleset (~250K),” Dixon said in a Wednesday mailing list post.Safari and Firefox have embraced variations of Chrome’s extensions technology, an approach that in principle makes life easier for extension authors trying to support multiple browsers. But Privowny’s Daniel Glazman lamented the fizzling of an effort to turn Google’s extensions technology into a web standard all browsers collectively develop and support.The browser extension technology is “fully in the hands of Google, [which] can and will change it anytime based on its own interests only,” Glazman said in a blog post Wednesday.Google probably will amend its extensions plan, though not its aspiration to improve performance and security, Chrome team member Devlin Cronin said in a mailing list response Wednesday.”This design is still in a draft state, and will likely change,” Cronin said. “Our goal is not to break extensions.”First published Jan. 23, 10:49 a.m. PT.Updates, 10:58 a.m.: Adds more Google comment; 11:29 a.m.: Includes further background; 4:11 p.m: Adds comment from Ghostery.’Hello, humans’: Google’s Duplex could make Assistant the most lifelike AI yet.CNET Magazine: Check out a sample of the stories in CNET’s newsstand edition. Tags Software Internet Security Microsoft Edge Advertising Brave browser Chrome Chrome OS Firefox Privacy Googlelast_img read more

With smart sneakers privacy risks take a great leap

first_img 23 Share your voice The Nike Adapt BB, a pair of self-tying shoes, are controlled through an app.  Ariel Nunez / CNET I’m dribbling a basketball in one hand, with a phone in the other, adjusting the tightness on a pair of Nike’s Bluetooth-connected, self-tying Adapt BB sneakers on my feet. The futuristic shoes, which go on sale for $350 on Feb. 17, alternate between boa constrictor-tight and comfy slipper-loose as I toggle through the app like a child flicking a light switch for the first time. Goofing around, I try to grab my colleague’s phone so I can suffocate him via sneakers as we run around the basketball court at Nike’s headquarters in New York. All of a sudden, he isn’t trying to just play defense in basketball; he has to guard his phone, too. Athletic apparel companies like Nike, Under Armour and Puma may find themselves similarly on the defensive as they lead the charge to infuse technology into their sneakers. After all, the smarter the object, the more likely it is to be hacked. It’s a worrisome trend that industries are dealing with as they try to find the balance between adding convenience and protecting your privacy. Comments Nike’s Adapt BBs aren’t even the first pair of smart shoes. Under Armour has been making connected kicks for a while now — it’s on its fourth generation with its HOVR line, with an embedded chip that tracks your footsteps and running pace. Puma also entered the self-tying shoe world with the Puma Fit Intelligence line, which it announced Jan. 31. Nike and Under Armour say they’re taking data privacy and security seriously with their new shoes. Puma, which is expecting its self-tying sneakers release in 2020, didn’t offer details on its shoe security protocol. “On top of the Bluetooth security layers, we implemented a two-way authentication protocol to guarantee only the users’ device can control their shoes,” Nike said in a statement. “Players can play with confidence knowing that they, and only they, control their shoes.” Just for kicks As I’m walking around at the tightest setting available for the Adapt BBs, I think about how awful it would be if a star athlete was trapped in these shoes because of a hijacked phone. Or worse, if it were me! Admittedly, it’s an unlikely scenario. It’s only possible if somebody steals my phone and is within Bluetooth distance of the shoes. On top of the Adapt BB’s wireless security, the shoe is locked to the device you first paired it with. Even if someone else had your account information, they wouldn’t be able to log in from a distance and tighten your shoes from another phone, according to Nike. While Nike says it’s kept its connected sneakers safe from hackers, the concern is that as more companies try to make connected shoes, the chances of having a shoe eventually hacked will increase. “Nike has the size and resources to do this well,” said Andrew Tierney, a security researcher with Pen Test Partners. “I think the worry is about other vendors coming along. It could be the case that they would cut corners.” Tied up The Adapt BBs pair with Nike’s app through Bluetooth Low Energy, a connection protocol that’s often used in smart devices because it allows for longer battery life. The sneaker connection is encrypted, a Nike spokesman said. But Bluetooth Low Energy isn’t impervious. Security researchers have found issues with BLE chips that could have allowed hackers to spread malware across hospitals and factories. Several smart locks have been hacked over BLE, according to researchers. “BLE, in the last year, has shown to be hand-in-hand with bad security,” Tierney said. The security firm’s focus has been on products like locks and alarms, and fortunately, there’s a big difference between smart locks and sneakers when it comes to security via BLE. “With sneakers, you’re only going to have one person and one device paired to it. When you’re looking at a door lock, four to five people are supposed to be able to control it,” Tierney said. “It’s very easy to make Bluetooth pair to one device securely.” Soft ‘wear’ security With connected shoes, there are more concerns than just messing with your sneaker’s fit. These shoes are collecting data, like your steps, running pace and, in some cases, your height and weight. They’re using that data to make better sneakers, and also feeding it to artificial intelligence to offer you coaching tips for a better workout. sp19-bb-nike-adapt-shoe-screen-vert-01012019-re-native-1600Nike’s app will do more than just control the laces on your sneakers. The company wants to collect data through the app to help athletes with their performance. Nike “We are essentially putting a mobile research lab on the feet of athletes all over the world, and creating a whole new frontier to accelerate both product development and sports science,” Michael Donaghu, Nike’s vice president of innovation, said at an event last month. It makes sense that people are willing to share information with fitness apps, which they downloaded to help them live healthier lives. But the apps can’t help unless you hand over information like your diet and exercise routine. “Even with all of the privacy breach issues, consumers are still willing to give information,” Cleary said. “You just gotta show them what they get in return.” It means trusting companies like Nike and Under Armour with your workout information, the same way that Facebook and Google hope you trust them with data about your social life. Unlike social networks, though, sneaker companies aren’t looking to make money off of your data — at least directly. Under Armour’s privacy policy allows it to share your data for advertising and marketing purposes, and when you run, it can share your location data with third parties for personalized ads, with consent. App worries Nike and Under Armour say they have no plans to sell or share the information they collect with third parties. But just because they don’t have plans to share that data doesn’t mean it can’t be stolen. Last March, Under Armour said its MyFitnessPal app had been hacked, with thieves stealing data including usernames, email addresses and hashed passwords, from 150 million accounts. img-2478Inside the shoebox for Under Armour’s new line of HOVR sneakers, which have a chip inside that tracks your steps and running activity. Alfred Ng / CNET To use the connected footwear features on Under Armour’s new HOVR sneakers, you need to make an account and connect it with their the MapMyRun app, which has 260 million users. The app doesn’t have two-factor authentication, a standard security feature for protecting accounts from hackers. “We continually evaluate the privacy and security of our apps with keen attention to current privacy and security industry standards,” a company spokeswoman said in a statement. So even if the sneakers themselves are properly secured, the apps are another risk that come with connected shoes.  “We’ve seen this with fitness-tracking apps. There’s lots of things where the actual device is secure, but the cloud service behind it is awful,” Tierney said. “There’s potential for abuse there.” Security: Stay up-to-date on the latest in breaches, hacks, fixes and all those cybersecurity issues that keep you up at night. Blockchain Decoded: CNET looks at the tech powering bitcoin — and soon, too, a myriad services that will change your life. Being aware of the potential security risks is even more critical for fitness apps, considering that people are more likely to share sensitive information like location, running routes and health routines. Fitness tracker Strava’s “Global Heatmap” had a privacy fiasco a year ago when it was revealing exercise routes around secret US military positions. “These manufacturers are going to be subject to the same issues that our social networks are now under the microscope of,” said Brian Cleary, vice president of marketing at RedPoint Global, a customer data company. And while people will be buying smart sneakers for tech features like self-tying laces, the future is in the apps, Nike executives say. “In the future, the app will be that bridge to the powered athlete,” said Jordan Rice, Nike’s director of smart systems engineering. Once you put a device online, you’re introducing a new opportunity for attacks, whether it’s a Nest Camera blaring alarms or your smart TV playing a PewDiePie promotional clip. And shoes are hardly the first thing to go “smart” — there’s everything from litter boxes to weights and pillows. We are essentially putting a mobile research lab on the feet of athletes all over the world. Michael Donaghu, Nike’s vice president of innovation Now playing: Watch this: 4:36 Wearable Tech Security Tags Nike’s self-lacing sneaker will be worn in the NBAlast_img read more

Pete Buttigieg calls out Google Uber in new economic policy

first_img2:38 Post a comment 0 Now playing: Watch this: Share your voice Can big tech actually be broken up?center_img Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg participates in a Presidential Candidates Forum at the NAACP 110th National Convention on Wednesday. Bill Pugliano / Getty Images Pete Buttigieg, a 2020 Democratic presidential candidate and former mayor of South Bend, Indiana, is big tech’s latest critic. His new economic plan, called “A New Rising Tide,” seeks to implement gig worker rights and gender pay transparency, according to a blog post published Friday.Buttigieg said he’ll support the “ABC test” to make sure workers aren’t denied minimum wage and their chance to unionize. The ABC test determines that a worker is “free from employer’s control,” is “performing work outside of the employer’s usual course of business” and works as an “independent business in the industry.” Among other initiatives, the former mayor said he wants to pass the Paycheck Fairness Act — currently awaiting the Senate’s approval — which would ban an employer from using an employee’s past salary history to determine pay. His policy comes at a time when other Democratic presidential candidates have rebuked big tech companies. Tulsi Gabbard on Thursday sued Google, alleging the search giant was “intermeddling” in the election. The $50 million suit claims that Gmail had sent Gabbard’s campaign emails to spam folders. Sen. Elizabeth Warren has been championing the breakup of tech giants, including Amazon, Google and Facebook.”More than half of workers in Google’s offices do not share in Google’s success because they are domestically outsourced temps and contractors,” Buttigieg stated. “Millions of Uber and Lyft drivers lack basic protections because they’re misclassified as independent contractors.”Google has previously come under file about its treatment of employees. Last year, a New York Times report said Android creator Andy Rubin was accused of sexual harassment by a co-worker.  Uber, meanwhile is grappling with its own leadership board. In the past two months, the company has lost three board members, including Arianna Huffington. The ride service says it’s been working with drivers on plans for compensation.”We’ve been at the table with stakeholders offering a plan that would guarantee drivers an earnings floor tied to minimum wage plus expenses; a robust package of portable benefits they can access no matter which rideshare company they drive for,” said a spokesperson for Uber. Google, on the other hand had stated in April that it would require companies that supply its temporary and contract workers to provide full benefits and a $15 minimum wage.  Tags Politics Googlelast_img read more