BPA Board Amends Rules

first_imgThe BPA Worldwide Board of Directors voted through several amendment proposals at their Dec. 20 meeting in an effort to modernize and accommodate its association members’ digital practices. The not-for-profit auditing and accounting services provider handed down various rule modifications—updating the definition of Direct and Company request sources; eliminating the personal identifying questions from online request forms; reporting of app downloads; updating of digital magazine metrics—in an effort to address efforts to streamline various processes and update alongside its changing industry.Direct Request, Company Request DefinedDuring its May 2013 meeting, the BPA Board changed “Direct Request: Telecommunication” rules to include requests made by an employee’s supervisor to mixed results. At the latest meeting, the ruling was further amended to include a pair of definition clarifications for “Direct Request” and “Company Request.” One person “making a request through a single phone call for themselves and one other co-worker, regardless of title or function” is a direct request. The same request made by one person on behalf of “two or more co-workers” is now a company request. This new ruling includes all “written,” “telecommunication” and “electronic” requests.Personal Identifying Question EliminatedMedia owners’ shift from simple magazine publisher to multi-platform content provider is making it difficult for the BPA to track and monitor their subscription bases. In response, the BPA Board voted to eliminate the personal identifier question from all Web and electronic qualification forms. The move is supported by months of inquiry research. In May 2012, the BPA tested “subscriber recall and response accuracy for Web subscribers” on pre-populated Web forms. The positive results encouraged the BPA to now allow media owners the right to pre-populate Web forms. App Download Metric RevisedThe BPA defines app downloads as “single actions reported as month-by-month totals followed by an aggregated six-month average,” but as it can easily be misinterpreted as the aggregated average was the total number of app downloads for that six-month period the metric has been clarified. The designated “App Table” will now feature a beginning balance of cumulative apps downloaded (previous month’s total), month-by-month activity and an updated cumulative total.Updated Digital Magazine MetricsSince association members began reporting digital editions metrics in 2002, the BPA has regarded them as a unique distribution platform for print magazines and newspapers and have reported them “in alignment with its print counterpart.” To accommodate for association members’ desire for expanded information beyond simple distribution numbers, the BPA Board amended digital reporting rules to include: active views, number of sessions per issue in total and per device, number of pages accessed and time spent per device.In addition to these passed revisions, the BPA Board also formally set a launch date for its new reporting format—the period ending Dec. 2013. As of now, more than 300 brands already utilize the new reporting system.last_img read more

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

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

Who is Lt Gen Faiz Hameed Pakistan appoints hardline general as new

first_imgLt Gen Faiz AhmedtwitterPakistan on Sunday appointed a hardliner general as new chief of the powerful Inter-Services Intelligence (ISI) spy agency, replacing the agency’s current head, Lieutenant General Asim Munir, after only eight months on the job.Lieutenant General Faiz Hameed, a former senior ISI figure, was appointed director general of the agency, according to a statement by the military’s press wing, which did not explain the re-shuffle.The army is arguably the most influential institution in Pakistan, with the military having ruled the country for nearly half of its 71-year history since independence from Britain and enjoying extensive powers even under civilian administrations.By turn, the head of the ISI occupies one of the most important posts in Pakistan. The agency has long been accused of supporting Islamist militants targeting neighbour and arch-foe India as well as sheltering the Afghan Taliban and other militants.More recently, the ISI has been accused of muzzling the press, trying to skew last year’s elections, and intensifying a crackdown against human rights groups, including the Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), an ethnic rights movement that the military accuses of being funded by neighbouring countries.Activists allege a pattern of growing authoritarianism by the military, which they say has become even more influential since Prime Minister Imran Khan swept to power last year.The military denies harbouring militants, intervening in politics or stifling dissent.The military’s backers also say Pakistan faces external threats from most of its neighbours, especially India, and is working within the law to defend the country.Hameed was seen to be hugely influential within ISI during his previous stint at the agency, according to analysts.He was one of the figures who brokered the Faizabad agreement in late 2017, when protesters blocked off roads into capital Islamabad, in an incident that further stoked civilian-military tensions.”He is very hardline,” said Ayesha Siddiqa, an analyst who has also written a book about the military’s business empire, and has been a longstanding critic.”It’s a very hawkish decision. It means the military is not backing down, and it’s going to use more force.”The military did not explain why Munir, who was posted out to lead the Gujranwala Corps, was removed as ISI chief so soon into an expected three-year term.last_img read more

Republicans Health Bill Would Leave 23 Million More Uninsured Congressional Budget Office

first_imgChip Somodevilla/Getty ImagesSpeaker of the House Paul Ryan holds up a copy of the American Health Care Act during a news conference with House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy R-Calif., (left) and House Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg Walden (R-Ore.) outside Ryan’s office in the U.S. Capitol on March 7.The revised Republican bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act will leave 23 million more people uninsured over the next decade than if that act, also known as Obamacare, were to remain in place. The GOP bill would also reduce the deficit by $119 billion.That’s what the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office reported on Wednesday in its latest score of the American Health Care Act. The CBO’s assessment shows that premiums could fall for some Americans, but it raises potential concerns about the bill. The agency reports that the bill could destabilize individual insurance markets in some states, leaving unhealthy Americans unable to buy insurance. The CBO also notes that the AHCA could mean some Americans would buy coverage that doesn’t cover “major medical risks.” Because of those policies’ skimpy coverage, the CBO doesn’t count those people as insured in this report.The act could make obtaining healthcare coverage prohibitively expensive for some sicker Americans, the CBO found.That’s because under the AHCA, states could get waivers exempting them from some Obamacare provisions, including what are called “essential health benefits” — a list of basics like mental health and prescription drugs that the Affordable Care Act required plans to cover. States could also get waivers that allow insurers to charge more for people with preexisting conditions.One challenge the CBO faced in creating these estimates was figuring out how many states would get those waivers. In the end, they estimated that around one-sixth of the population lives in states that would seek both of those waivers. In those states, less healthy Americans could face “extremely high premiums,” the report said.“Over time, it would become more difficult for less healthy people (including people with preexisting medical conditions) in those states to purchase insurance because their premiums would continue to increase rapidly,” the CBO wrote.The fate of the bill rests in part on this score, as House Republicans passed their most recent version of the bill without waiting for the CBO to report the bill’s estimated price tag. Three weeks after passing the bill, however, they have not sent the bill on to the Senate yet, because budget rules dictate that if its deficit savings did not reach $2 billion (and that $2 billion had to come from particular spending categories), the bill would be dead upon arrival in the upper chamber.The deficit reduction in the latest version of the bill represents a decline from previous versions. When the CBO first scored the AHCA, it said the plan would save $337 billion over 10 years. Later revisions reduced those savings to $150 billion.By far the biggest savings would come from Medicaid, which serves low-income Americans. That program would face $884 billion in cuts. Cutbacks in subsidies for individual health insurance would likewise help cut $276 billion. But those are offset in large part by bigger costs, including the repeal of many of Obamacare’s taxes.Copyright 2017 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/. Sharelast_img read more

Summer Arts Program

first_imgSign up today for Muse 360 Arts’ “Dancing Many Drums Journey II” summer classes. The program offers dance, theatre, music, film and visual arts. Register today. The program sessions are 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., June 22-31 at $100 a week. Call 410-235-0654 or visit www.muse360.org for more details. Spaces are almost filled.last_img

Fujitsu Introduces First 4Channel HDMI Connector Ports

first_imgFujitsu LTD – Embedded FRAM w/4-Channel HMDI Ports This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Citation: Fujitsu Introduces First 4-Channel HDMI Connector Ports (2007, November 14) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2007-11-fujitsu-channel-hdmi-connector-ports.html In a blink of an eye Fujitsu has solved the costly problem of having to have separate memory on each of the HDMI ports. Fujitsu has produced the first embedded FRAM for digital TV that allows simultaneous use of a 4-Channel HDMI connector ports. The HDMI connector ports are used for running DVD recorders, camcorders, video gaming consoles, that store high resolution data and are read by audio visual devices when used with digital televisions. In use the new Fujitsu LSI in digital TVs allows high-speed factory programming of Expanded Display Identification display data. This breakthrough provides a cost saving in the overall production by reducing the number of the parts and reducing mounting space. In practice the evolution in HDMI, a digital multi-media interface has created high-quality video and audio output. The HDMI connector when used allows devices that create output to read the display data, like the display resolution and then automatically adjusts their output to produce the best display. The memory function for display devices which need four EPROM cells can now be handled by one cell. The key specifications are a memory capacity of 256-byte. The interface is DDC 4-Channel. The package is TSSOP 16-pin. The key savings besides parts and space is the reduced labor costs involved in the factory programming process. In turn this will potentially reduce the costs of producing digital televisions. Fujitsu is a leader in the field of IT and communication solutions headquartered in Tokyo, Japan with offices around the world. Fujitsu plans to demonstrate and show the innovation named MB85RF402 at the Embedded Technology Trade Show on November 14-17, 2007 in Yokohama, Japan. It is currently available for sample shipments and has a million unit per month sales target. Fujitsu has introduced the world´s first embedded FRAM for digital TVs that allow simultaneous use of a 4-Channel HDMI connector ports. The innovation will reduce the number of pars, mounting space and programming labor costs. It is expected to reduce the costs of digital TVs. New HDMI Chip Enables High Definition Display of Standard Definition Video Content and Digital Photos on HDTV Explore furtherlast_img read more