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Bruce Schneier offers an easy-to-follow account of how fingerprint authentication can be subverted and how the technology will be used on the new iPhone. Some highlights: “Your fingerprint isn’t a secret; you leave it everywhere you touch” and “Failures will be more common in cold weather, when your shriveled fingers just got out of the shower, and so on.”

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In Brief

Google and Microsoft have been badgering the FISA court, a secret body that oversees spy requests, to release the number of Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act requests they receive every year. The government has yet to respond, but instead has asked for six different extensions. Now, the tech firms have amended their complaint to ask for permission to disclose a specific number, not (as before) a broad range. Yahoo today filed its own lawsuit about the issue.

In Brief

Patent pugilist Microsoft is back in court today to argue that rival Motorola breached its obligation to license standards-essential smartphone patents on reasonable terms. Noted IP Prof Mark Lemley says the interesting question here is: if Motorola did breach, what’s the remedy? This dispute over so-called FRAND (fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory) is esoteric even by IP standards, and one can only wonder if a Seattle jury is the best authority to decide the question.

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