Technology archive for 2016-06-15

'Spam King' Sanford Wallace Sentenced To 2.5 Years In Prison For Facebook Phishing Scam

(3 years ago)
Xochil writes: Sanford Wallace gets a two-year prison term and $310K fine on charges of fraud and criminal contempt for sending over 27 million spam messages to Facebook users. Sanford Wallace has made a name for himself over the course of the last several years. In 1998, the "Spam King" announced he would put an end to spamming on his part, instead resorting to a new scheme in which ISPs would be paid to receive the mail. Flash forward to 2004, the Associated Press reported that a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Wallace for alleged spyware distribution. Last August, Wallace admitted to compromising around 500,000 Facebook accounts, using them to send over 27 million spam messages through Facebook's servers, between November 2008 and March 2009. While he could have been sentenced to as many as 16 years in prison, he was only sentenced to two-and-a-half years in prison and five years of supervised release. In addition, Wallace was ordered to pay about one cent for every message sent or about 60 cents per account compromised, totaling $310,628.55 in restitution. The phishing scam consisted of Wallace automating the process of signing into a Facebook user's account, retrieving a list of their friends and sending them each a message that encouraged them to log into a website. The website would trick users into divulging their Facebook username and password before directing them to an affiliate website that would pay him for the traffic.[..]

Internet ruling could hit Verizon and AT&T's Yahoo pursuit

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court decision upholding government rules that would impose new restrictions on how internet providers collect user data could disadvantage Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc's pursuit of Yahoo Inc's digital assets and new ad revenue, analysts say.

Tax breaks could lure another electric car factory to California

(3 years ago)
MENLO PARK, Calif (Reuters) - Generous state tax benefits granted this year to Silicon Valley startup Atieva could convince the electric car company to build its vehicles in California, just like the company it will be challenging, Tesla Motors Inc.

Cybercrime market sells servers for as little as 6 dollars to launch attacks

(3 years ago)
FRANKFURT (Reuters) - A major underground marketplace acting like an eBay for criminals is selling access to more than 70,000 compromised servers allowing buyers to carry out widespread cyber-attacks around the world, security experts said on Wednesday.

EU proposes cutting wholesale mobile roaming rates

(3 years ago)
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - The European Union proposed on Wednesday cutting the wholesale roaming rates that telecoms operators pay each other when customers use their mobile phones abroad to pave the way for the abolition of retail roaming charges by summer next year.

LPC: Uber takes trip to the leveraged loan market

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Uber has hired a group of banks to help it raise debt on the leveraged loan market, according to sources familiar with the proposed transaction.

Internet ruling could hit Verizon and AT&T's Yahoo pursuit

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - A U.S. appeals court decision upholding government rules that would impose new restrictions on how internet providers collect user data could disadvantage Verizon Communications Inc and AT&T Inc's pursuit of Yahoo Inc's digital assets and new ad revenue, analysts say.

LPC: Uber takes trip to the leveraged loan market

(3 years ago)
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Ride-hailing company Uber has hired a group of banks to help it raise debt on the leveraged loan market, according to sources familiar with the proposed transaction.

200+ page dossier on Donald Trump allegedly authored by Democratic strategist Warren Flood leaks a day after Washington Post reported the DNC had been hacked (Gawker)

(3 years ago)
Gawker:200+ page dossier on Donald Trump allegedly authored by Democratic strategist Warren Flood leaks a day after Washington Post reported the DNC had been hacked  —  A 200+ page document that appears to be a Democratic anti-Trump playbook compiled by the Democratic National Committee …

Alien Contact Unlikely For Another 1,500 Years, Says Study

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Astronomers at Cornell University predict based off estimates that alien contact is unlikely for another 1,500 years. MSN reports: "According to the astronomers, signals from Earth would need to reach half of all the solar systems in the Milky Way in order to be picked up by an intelligent life form. Given that signals from TV and radio were first sent into space as a byproduct of broadcasting 80 years ago, it will take around 1,500 more years for aliens to receive, decode and respond to the signals." A co-author of the paper who will present it at the American Astronomical Society's meeting on June 16, Evan Solomonides, said, "We haven't heard from aliens yet, as space is a big place -- but that doesn't mean no one is out there. It's possible to hear any time at all, but it becomes likely we will have heard around 1,500 years from now. Until then, it is possible that we appear to be alone -- even if we are not. But if we stop listening or looking, we may miss the signals. So we should keep looking." Stephen Hawking and Russian entrepreneur Yuri Milner announced a $100 million research program in April to send robotic probes the size of postage stamps to nearby stars within a generation. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

US gov report raises privacy and accuracy concerns with FBI's facial recognition program, which now has over 173M driver's license photos and 411M photos total (Zack Whittaker/ZDNet)

(3 years ago)
Zack Whittaker / ZDNet:US gov report raises privacy and accuracy concerns with FBI's facial recognition program, which now has over 173M driver's license photos and 411M photos total  —  The watchdog said it had “concerns regarding both the effectiveness of the technology” and the “protection of privacy and individual civil liberties.”

Pinterest Acquires Team Behind Fleksy; To Open Source Some Technology Designed For Blind

(3 years ago)
Pinterest has acquired the team behind the smart keyboard app Fleksy, it announced on Wednesday. The app will remain operational for the foreseeable future, the company adds, but the app update frequency will become minimal. What's interesting about the acquisition is that Pinterest says that it will be open-sourcing some of its components specialized for the blind and visually impaired. Fleksy made headlines four years ago when it launched its keyboard app for blind users in the iOS App Store, long before Apple supported third-party keyboards. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

"Spam King" Sanford Wallace is sentenced to 30 months in prison and a $100K+ fine for bombarding over 550K Facebook users (Alex Johnson/NBC News)

(3 years ago)
Alex Johnson / NBC News:“Spam King” Sanford Wallace is sentenced to 30 months in prison and a $100K+ fine for bombarding over 550K Facebook users  —  Sanford Wallace, the self-proclaimed “spam king” who has bedeviled Web users since the dawn of the public Internet two decades ago, has been sentenced …

Executive Says Facebook Will Be All Video, No Text In 5 Years

(3 years ago)
Kellen Beck, writing for Mashable: Video must be doing well on Facebook, because an executive at the company just predicted that's all Facebook will be in five years. Nicola Mendelsohn, Facebook's vice president of European, Middle Eastern and African operations, said at a conference Tuesday that in five years, Facebook "will be probably all video," Quartz reported. Mendelsohn added that video is "the best way to tell stories in this world" and "helps us to digest much more information." Mendelsohn is predicting the obsolescence of the written word, at least on Facebook, according to Quartz. That sounds far-fetched, but consider the way Facebook is decreasing an emphasis on text and diving headfirst into video with numerous recent updates and features. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

AT&T brings WiFi calling to Android phones, starting with LG's G4, seven months after introducing it to iOS devices (Nick Statt/The Verge)

(3 years ago)
Nick Statt / The Verge:AT&T brings WiFi calling to Android phones, starting with LG's G4, seven months after introducing it to iOS devices  —  AT&T is bringing Wi-Fi calling to Android devices, starting first with LG's G4.  The company introduced the feature for iOS devices last October …

Intel x86s Hide Another CPU That Can Take Over Your Machine -- You Can't Audit it

(3 years ago)
A report on BoingBoing, authored by Damien Zammit, claims that recent Intel x86 processors have a secret and power control mechanism implemented into them that runs on a separate chip that nobody is allowed to audit or examine. From the report: When these are eventually compromised, they'll expose all affected systems to nearly unkillable, undetectable rootkit attacks. Further explaining the matter, the author claims that a system with a mainboard and Intel x86 CPU comes with Intel Management Engine (ME), a subsystem composed of a special 32-bit ARC microprocessor that's physically located inside the chipset. It is an "extra general purpose computer." The problem resides in the way this "extra-computer" works. It runs completely out-of-band with the main x86 CPU "meaning that it can function totally independently even when your main CPU is in a low power state like S3 (suspend)." On some chipsets, the firmware running on the ME implements a system called Intel's Active Management Technology (AMT). This is entirely transparent to the operating system, which means that this extra computer can do its job regardless of which operating system is installed and running on the main CPU. From the report: The purpose of AMT is to provide a way to manage computers remotely (this is similar to an older system called "Intelligent Platform Management Interface" or IPMI, but more powerful). To achieve this task, the ME is capable of accessing any memory region without the main x86 CPU[..]

Google to discontinue its Swiffy tool for converting Flash files into HTML5 on July 1; pre-existing run times will continue to work (Jordan Novet/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Jordan Novet / VentureBeat:Google to discontinue its Swiffy tool for converting Flash files into HTML5 on July 1; pre-existing run times will continue to work  —  Google today announced that it will discontinue Swiffy, a tool that people can use to convert .SWF Adobe Flash files into HTML5, on July 1.

Fleksy announces its team is joining Pinterest, its keyboard app will remain in App Store, and it plans to open source some of its technology for the blind (Ken Yeung/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Ken Yeung / VentureBeat:Fleksy announces its team is joining Pinterest, its keyboard app will remain in App Store, and it plans to open source some of its technology for the blind  —  Pinterest announced today that it has acquired the team behind the smart keyboard app Fleksy.  The visual search engine company is not picking up the technology.

US Company's China Employee Allegedly Stole Code To Help Local Government

(3 years ago)
Reader itwbennett writes: Xu Jiaqiang, a Chinese national, worked as a developer for an unnamed U.S. company's branch in China (a Reuters report says it's IBM) from November 2010 to May 2014, when he resigned voluntarily. A year later he was allegedly caught trying to sell stolen proprietary source code to U.S. undercover agents, who claimed they were starting a large-data storage company. The software is described in the original complaint as a key component of one of the world's largest scientific supercomputers and of commercial applications that require rapid access to large volumes of data. In December 2015, Xu was arrested by the FBI, alleged to have stolen for his own benefit and that of the National Health and Family Planning Commission in China, although no specific charges relating to actual transfer of the code to the National Health and Family Planning Commission are mentioned in the superseding indictment. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

X.ai, the virtual assistant that you copy on emails to schedule meetings, comes to Office 365, Outlook; support for corporate accounts is "coming soon" (Matt Weinberger/Business Insider)

(3 years ago)
Matt Weinberger / Business Insider:X.ai, the virtual assistant that you copy on emails to schedule meetings, comes to Office 365, Outlook; support for corporate accounts is “coming soon”  —  For the last two years, the popular x.ai virtual personal assistant has been helping Google Calendar users manage their meetings.

Safari 10 In macOS Sierra Deactivates Flash, Silverlight and Other Plug-Ins by Default

(3 years ago)
Apple's web browser Safari 10, which will ship with macOS Sierra, will disable Flash, Java, Silverlight, QuickTime and other plug-ins by default. The move will help the company improve the overall web browsing experience by focusing on HTML5 content. From a post on WebKit blog, authored by Apple's Safari team: When a website directly embeds a visible plug-in object, Safari instead presents a placeholder element with a "Click to use" button. When that's clicked, Safari offers the user the options of activating the plug-in just one time or every time the user visits that website. Here too, the default option is to activate the plug-in only once. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Sources: Tencent nears $9B+ deal to buy Clash of Clans maker Supercell Oy from SoftBank (Wall Street Journal)

(3 years ago)
Wall Street Journal:Sources: Tencent nears $9B+ deal to buy Clash of Clans maker Supercell Oy from SoftBank  —  Transaction would exceed $9 billion  —  HONG KONG— Tencent Holdings Ltd. is nearing a more than $9 billion deal to buy Supercell Oy, the Finnish maker of the popular “Clash of Clans” …

SpaceX's Falcon 9 Crashes Into Droneship

(3 years ago)
SpaceX failed to successfully land its Falcon 9 on a drone ship at sea on Wednesday. Prior to today's crash, the company was able to conduct three successful experimental landing of its used rocket in a row. SpaceX founder Elon Musk noted that the booster rocket had a RUD (rapid unscheduled disassembly, he explained) on droneship. From a CBS News report: It was the California rocket company's fifth unsuccessful drone-ship landing after three straight successes, one in April and two in May. Including a successful landing at the Cape Canaveral Air Force Station last December, SpaceX's recovery record now stands at four successes in nine attempts. But the landing attempt was a strictly secondary objective. The mission's primary goal, the launch of two powerful all-electric communications satellites, was a complete success and regardless of the loss of the first stage, company engineers expected to collect valuable data as they continue their push to make such landings routine. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Bill Guarantees 50% Salary For Workers Laid Off With Non-Compete

(3 years ago)
Reader dcblogs shares a Computer World report: Non-compete agreements are controversial for many reasons, but what may be worst of all: Even if you are laid off from your job, a non-compete agreement may still apply. California has made non-compete agreements unenforceable, but Massachusetts has not. Some opponents say that's partly the result of lobbying by EMC, which has considerable clout as a major state employer, headquartered in the Boston suburb of Hopkinton. But the pending $67 billion merger of EMC with Dell, and the prospect of merger-related layoffs, is spurring a new attack on non-compete agreements. State lawmakers are considering limiting non-compete agreements to one year, banning them for low-wage workers and for people terminated without cause. The leading legislative proposal will also require an employer to pay at least 50% of the former employer's salary during the period of time the non-compete is in effect. This salary guarantee is called "garden leave" and is in Massachusetts House bill H.4323. In May, the White House released a report about non-compete agreements. It found that 18% of the workforce is now covered by a non-compete agreement, but over the course of a career, some 37% of all workers (PDF) will be subject to them. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Hands-on with Microsoft's new Xbox One controller: Bluetooth, better grip, and improved thumbsticks (Jeff Grubb/VentureBeat)

(3 years ago)
Jeff Grubb / VentureBeat:Hands-on with Microsoft's new Xbox One controller: Bluetooth, better grip, and improved thumbsticks  —  Microsoft is now on the third revision of its standard Xbox One controller, and it's a noticeable improvement.  —  The company revealed the gamepad during its media briefing prior …

Eight Of the World's Top 12 Smartphone Vendors Are Based In China

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: How serious and dangerous is China's offensive on Korean and Western mobile hardware brands? Extremely, according to research conducted between January and March by IC Insights, which predictably positioned Samsung and Apple atop the smartphone manufacturer hierarchy, only followed by a flurry of handheld vendors based in the Middle Kingdom. In fact, eight of the ten vendors that followed the two giants are Chinese. These OEMs are, in order of their market capture, Huawei, Oppo, Xiaomi, Vivo, ZTE, Lenovo, TCL, and Meizu. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Profile of Vitalik Buterin, inventor of Ethereum, the cryptocurrency rivaling Bitcoin and inspiring a movement (Morgen Peck/Backchannel)

(3 years ago)
Morgen Peck / Backchannel:Profile of Vitalik Buterin, inventor of Ethereum, the cryptocurrency rivaling Bitcoin and inspiring a movement  —  Vitalik Buterin invented the world's hottest new cryptocurrency and inspired a movement—before he'd turned 20.  —  I met Vitalik Buterin for the first time in Miami, during a Bitcoin conference in 2014.

Access To Thousands Of Compromised Government Servers Selling For $6 On Black Market

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Researchers have uncovered an underground market selling information of over 70,000 compromised servers. Russia-based Kaspersky Lab revealed that the online forum, named xDedic, seems to be operated by a Russian-speaking organisation and allows hackers to pay for undetectable access to a wide range of servers, including those owned by government, corporate and academic groups in more than 170 countries. Access to a compromised server can be bought for as little as $6. This kit comes with relevant tools to instruct on launching denial-of-service attacks and spam campaigns on the targeted network, as well as allowing criminals to illegally produce bitcoin and breach online systems, such as retail payment platforms. Read more of this story at Slashdot.

El Niño is over, but what's next?

(3 years ago)
It's official -- El Niño is dead. Sponsored: Drivers With No Tickets In 3 Years Read This Do NOT pay your next car insurance bill until you try this.

Trent Reznor: YouTube Is Built On the Back Of Stolen Content

(3 years ago)
An anonymous reader writes: Singer and record producer Trent Reznor has become the latest artist to attack Google's video service YouTube. "I find YouTube's business to be very disingenuous. It is built on the backs of free, stolen content and that's how they got that big," said Reznor in an interview with Billboard. Reznor was not speaking purely as an artist, however. He is also chief creative officer at Apple Music, the streaming service launched by Apple in 2015, which is one of the key rivals to YouTube in the digital music world. "I think any free-tiered service is not fair. It's making their numbers and getting them a big IPO and it is built on the back of my work and that of my peers. That's how I feel about it. Strongly," said Reznor, widening his criticism to other rivals like Spotify in the process. Read more of this story at Slashdot.
| 1 |2 |




T:6.4943