COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Feb 07 09:18

Ever owned a computer with a DVD drive? You could be owed MONEY - and this is why

Have you ever owned a computer with a DVD drive?

US computer users who owned a PC with a DVD drive more than 10 years ago could be owed $10 (some £8 converted) as part of a new class-action lawsuit.

The lawsuit is now accepting claims after Sony, Panasonic, NEC, and Hitachi-LG were accused of increasing the price of optical drives sold to PC manufacturers, including Dell and HP.

So, if you bought a PC (that included a DVD drive) any time between April 1st 2003 and December 31st 2008, you are eligible to claim $10 for each drive.

According to CNET, you don't even need to supply proof of purchase to be part of the class-action lawsuit.

Feb 07 09:05

Intel's Atom C2000 chips are bricking products – and it's not just Cisco hit

Intel's Atom C2000 processor family has a fault that effectively bricks devices, costing the company a significant amount of money to correct. But the semiconductor giant won't disclosed precisely how many chips are affected nor which products are at risk.

On its Q4 2016 earnings call earlier this month, chief financial officer Robert Swan said a product issue limited profitability during the quarter, forcing the biz to set aside a pot of cash to deal with the problem.

Feb 07 08:21

Top 5 cybercrime vectors

Attacks on the internet are getting more sophisticated. Every week it seems another large enterprise finds a hacked database or intrusion of some sort, often attributed to state actors.

There are more places than ever where you might be vulnerable. So here are five cybercrime vectors to be aware of:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Feb 06 08:43

New SMB bug: How to crash Windows system with a 'link of death'

Security researcher publishes exploit code after Microsoft drags feet on fix

Feb 06 08:33

An Anonymous group just took down a fifth of the dark web

The hackers also claim child pornography made up more than half the data stored on the servers. It’s impossible to verify that claim without seeing the data itself, but it’s consistent with what we know about previous dark-web hosting companies. The original Freedom Hosting was compromised by law enforcement in 2013, resulting in a number of child pornography prosecutions. At the time, the service hosted as many as half of the websites accessible only through Tor, commonly referred to as the Dark Web.

Feb 06 08:19

How to change the wake word on your Amazon Echo to "Computer"

Tired of talking to a computer without being able to live out your Star Trek fantasies? Amazon has heard you, and it has answered.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Star Trek aside, the problem with Alexa is if you have someone in your name named Alexa or even Alex, or a character with that name is speaking on a TV show, Alexa will activate and buy things you did not intend to. Changing the wake up word is a good idea, but even "computer" may not be the best choice.

Feb 05 18:01

Sophos update borks systems at London NHS trust

El Reg learnt of the incident from an anonymous tipster who got in touch late on Thursday to say: "UCLH NHS was wiped out by Sophos updates effectively bombarding every PC... it caused major havoc."

False positives are a well-known prat-fall of all anti-malware packages. Things get particularly messy when anti-virus packages wrongly identify core Windows systems components as malign before shuttling them off to quarantine. This results in unstable or (not infrequently) unbootable systems.

Feb 05 17:59

Chrome 56 quietly added Bluetooth snitch API

Trust us, says Google, we understand privacy

Feb 05 17:57

Former Prime Minister Admits to Being a Movie Pirate

These days it's pretty unlikely for anyone in authority to admit bending the law, not in public at least. However, when you're a lawyer, former Croatian prime minister, and former NATO counselor - and you're being pranked on TV by someone claiming to be a Microsoft big-shot - the situation is apparently more fluid.

Feb 05 17:55

Denuvo Website Leaks Secret Information, Crackers Swarm

While the folks at Denuvo are leaders in the field of video game protection, the same cannot be said about their website. In an embarrassing blunder, the company has left some directories and files open to the public and right now members of the cracking community are downloading and scrutinizing the contents.

Feb 05 08:57

Tails-Privacy for anyone anywhere

Operating system on a flash drive. It will get you around most blocking!

Feb 05 08:55

The best free VPN 2017

Free VPNs

There are various reasons for wanting to use free VPN (virtual private network) software, but the two main ones are to hide who you are, or to hide where you are. Why might you want to do either of these things? Depending on what you're up to online, it is entirely possible that you do not want your online activities to be traceable – particularly in parts of the world where internet surveillance is a serious issue.

As for wanting to disguise where you are, this has the advantage of opening up websites that might otherwise be inaccessible. There are a large number of websites – using video or television sites – that use geo-locking to try to block visitors from certain countries, and free VPN software can be used to get around these restrictions. It can also be used to bypass site block put in place by governments and ISPs, and secure your wireless connection.

Feb 05 08:53

Free VPN: Best free VPN services 2017 UK

The free CyberGhost service is subsidised by the Premium customers, according to CyberGhost. The company has servers in the UK and the USA plus many European countries stretching east to as far as Russia and Ukraine.

The free service offers access to 14 countries, while the Premium and Premium Plus ones allow users to choose from a range of 24 countries. CyberGhost assures us that it doesn't limit bandwidth for free users.

There are some ways in which you’re disadvantaged with the free product. When you are connected, you’ll be logged out after three hours of browsing, for instance, although you can always try to login again immediately.

Feb 05 08:45

Opera browser for Windows, Mac and Linux

Opera comes with a good unlimited free vpn service.Works most of the time.Sometimes even tor doesn't get me to WRH. With tor and several free vpn services you can get around the children.

Feb 05 08:42

Hoxx VPN Proxy 1.9.0 by Hoxx Vpn

ZenMate Security & Privacy VPN 5.9.0 https://addons.mozilla.org/en-us/firefox/addon/zenmate-security-privac...

Hotspot Shield Free VPN Proxy – Unblock Sites 1.2.87
by AnchorFree Inc.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/hotspot-shield-free-vpn... Hotspot

Shield Free VPN Proxy – Unblock Sites 1.2.87
by AnchorFree Inc.
https://addons.mozilla.org/en-US/firefox/addon/hotspot-shield-free-vpn...

Feb 05 08:14

Cyber battalion sent to spy on Russians

More than 350 soldiers from 14 Signals regiment, supported by experts from the Government’s communications centre GCHQ, will operate from Estonia in the spring.

Military sources say it is a “significant” electronic warfare force that will intercept intelligence from Russian air, ground and naval forces in the Baltic and Black Sea.

Feb 05 00:11

Tor Browser Downloads

I use this to get around the children.

Feb 05 00:07

The Best VPN Services of 2017

As consumers, we expect our computer hardware and software to keep us safe. The problem is, we all too often use our computers in risky ways. Connecting to public Wi-Fi networks, for example, is a commonplace practice, but these are also excellent avenues for attackers to seize your personal information. Enter virtual private networks, or VPNs. These services use simple software to secure your Internet connection and give you greater control of how you appear online. You can even use them to stream Netflix from other countries. While you might never have heard of VPN services, they are valuable tools that everyone should have at their disposal, as we'll explain.

Feb 04 21:14

Is Spotify Going Bankrupt In 2017? Wall Street Delivers Another Red Flag

Wall Street is rejecting their IPO (again). A $1.5 billion debt pile is now a ticking time bomb. Major labels are taking 70+% of revenues. Is this the year that Spotify implodes?

Feb 04 21:11

Popular Kodi Addon ‘Exodus’ Turned Users into a DDoS ‘Botnet’

Exodus is one of the most-used Kodi addons out there, allowing users to obtain easy access to pirated movies and TV-shows. However, over the past week the same users were unwittingly part of a DDoS attack. After the issue raised eyebrows in the community, the Exodus developer rolled back the malicious code and retired.

Feb 04 17:48

Stop Microsoft Experimenting on Windows 10 Users Remotely

O&O software uncovered in the latest Shutup10 software update a disturbing registry policy key in Windows 10 allowing Microsoft to conduct "experiments" on its own Mobile & PC users without their permission. The key string, labeled "AllowExperimentation," is enabled in Windows 10 by default. You may disable these keys if you wish to opt out of this experimentation program. Should you wish to do a little experimenting, users should download the software "Blackbird." Blackbird and "Destroy Windows 10 Spying" remove all known "telemetry" and Microsoft Spyware in 7, 8 & 10. Be sure to read the documentation before using these programs.

Feb 04 16:43

West Point’s Modern War Institute Calls For “Megacities Combat Unit”

By Nicholas West

As the world hurtles toward highly-controlled living environments, encouraged by such globalist doctrines as Agenda 21 and its version 2.0 known as the 2030 Agenda, central planners need to contend with conflicting realities. One reality is high-tech, powered and tracked by the Smart Grid and policed by AI systems and their robot/drone enforcers; the other reality is the one that presents itself most clearly today – an increasing population, a greater disparity between rich and poor, and a breakdown of infrastructure that heralds a devolution of living conditions in many of the world’s largest cities...

Feb 04 09:09

Virginia Committee Passes Bill To Restrict ALPR Use, Help Block National License Plate Tracking Program

By Mike Maharrey

Today, a Virginia bill that would limit the use of automatic license plate readers (ALPRs), and restrict the retention and sharing of collected data, passed an important House committee. If passed into law, the bills would not only protect privacy in Virginia, but would also hinder some aspects of the federal surveillance state...

Feb 03 19:33

Stop Microsoft Experimenting on Windows 10 Users Remotely

O&O software uncovered in the latest Shutup10 software update a disturbing registry policy key in Windows 10 allowing Microsoft to conduct "experiments" on its own Mobile & PC users without their permission. The key string, labeled "AllowExperimentation," is enabled in Windows 10 by default. You may disable these keys if you wish to opt out of this experimentation program. Should you wish to do a little experimenting, users should download the software "Blackbird." Blackbird and "Destroy Windows 10 Spying" remove all known "telemetry" and Microsoft Spyware in 7, 8 & 10. Be sure to read the documentation before using these programs.

Feb 03 13:43

Toward a totalitarian future? Digital DNA offers government huge powers

Yevgeny Chereshnev lived for two years with an implant under his skin to test the theory of `Digital DNA.’ This might allow companies and governments to identify Internet users by their unique biometric characteristics... Yevgeny Chereshnev, an employee of Kaspersky Lab, believes every Internet user leaves a unique `footprint’ that allows identifying people without usernames or passwords. By using a combination of biometric data - voice, pulse, and fingerprints – it’s possible for their actions even to be predicted. Chereshnev calls this "Digital DNA," and he said everyone has it. Chereshnev conducted an experiment to test this theory. A subcutaneous implant spent two years in Yevgeny's hand and collected all his possible digital information, including keying speed, range of vocabulary on social networks, and biometric data.

Feb 02 17:57

TEAM OF ROBOTICISTS UNVEIL BAT BOT, THE WORLD’S FIRST FLYING ROBOT BAT

A TEAM OF SCIENTISTS HAS JUST BUILT THE FIRST ROBOT THAT LOOKS AND FLIES LIKE A BAT. THEY NAMED IT, OF COURSE, BAT BOT.

Feb 02 17:47

Another Schneider vuln: Plaintext passwords on client-side RAM resolved

Schneider Electric has issued a patch for its StruxureWare Data Center Expert industrial control kit following the discovery of a flaw that could allow remote access to unencrypted passwords.

...

"A hacker could use this flaw to penetrate the internal network at a data centre, obtain confidential information, or even cause physical harm," said Ilya Karpov, head of the ICS Research and Audit Unit at Positive Technologies. "A vulnerability such as this threatens the functioning of critical systems on which data centres depend: video surveillance, fire suppression, backup generators and generator control units, switches, pumps, UPS systems, and precision cooling."

Fortunately, Schneider Electric has developed an update that resolves the vulnerability, rated 7.6 on the CVSS v3 scale. The vendor is urging its customers to upgrade all installations of StruxureWare Data Center Expert to version 7.4.

Feb 02 17:44

'Webroot made my PCs s*** the bed' – AV update borks biz machines hard

Workaround is to disable the thing – no fix just yet for unlucky corps hit

Feb 02 16:13

Is Google Taking On The Role of Ministry of Truth?

Google is changing their algorithm to censor alternative or potentially distasteful views from search results. In this video, Vin Armani exposes Google’s blitz to punish “fake news”.

Feb 02 14:48

Study: Social Media Making People Anti-Social, Jealous

Could social media be making people more anti-social?

The social media boom continues to make it easier than ever to stay in touch with loved ones in real time. But with the flourishing of new technology and the ability to be connected to anyone and everyone at any time, real-life human interactions could be suffering a heavy blow.

Feb 02 13:50

Reddit Doubles Down On Censorship, Bans /R/Altright For Undisclosed Reasons

In response to a rising “populist” realist movement around the world, old media and new media alike are uniting to squeeze out those counter-narrative opinions. In the mainstream media, they call it fake news; on social media, apparently, they ban it for either no reason or for a false reason.

Feb 02 10:46

New FCC chair vows to shrink industry regulations

The new Republican chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission, Ajit Pai, vowed to pare back outdated commission regulations, but declined to say if he will move quickly to overturn the Obama administration's landmark net neutrality rules.

One top priority is "to remove unnecessary or counterproductive regulations from the books," Pai told reporters Tuesday after he chaired his first meeting. "We want to make sure that our regulations match the realities of the modern marketplace."

Feb 02 10:45

Ransomware completely shuts down Ohio town government

In another interesting example of what happens when you don’t manage your backups correctly, the Licking County government offices, including the police force, have been shut down by ransomware. Although details are sparse, it’s clear that someone in the office caught a bug in a phishing scam or by downloading it and now their servers are locked up.

Feb 02 09:35

Netherlands reverts to hand-counted votes to quell security fears

The Netherlands has decided its vote-counting software isn't ready for prime time, and will revert to hand-counted votes for its March 15 election.

The voteare's security came under question when Dutch security bod Sijmen Ruwhof told local newscaster RTL Nieuws that the average iPad is more secure than the electoral software, called OSV.

He warned that Windows XP is still used for some installations of the system, and in his own blog notes that known-to-be-dud SHA-1 was also employed. He also claimed that unsecured USB sticks would be used to move electoral data.

Feb 02 08:17

Here's why you should copy and paste important Facebook statuses instead of sharing them

Clicking "Share" on someone's Facebook status is a lot easier than copying, pasting and formatting — but the share button has limitations. The biggest restriction is the original user's privacy settings. According to Facebook, if someone's setting says the post can only be seen by their friends, then sharing the post will only show the content to your mutual friends. Sharing is largely only effective if the original post is on a public setting that lets anyone see it, regardless of whether or not they are friends with the original poster.

When users call for people to "copy and paste" but not share, it is to ensure privacy settings are not preventing a message from being spread. If the goal is to get a piece of information to reach the largest potential audience, then copy and paste is the safest best.

Feb 02 08:13

Facebook's Oculus Hit With $500 Million Jury Verdict

Facebook has to write a $500 million check to cover damages from its VR subsidiary Oculus, according to a Dallas federal jury.

ZeniMax Media sued Oculus in 2014, claiming its co-founder Palmer Luckey violated a non-disclosure agreement with the company and stole intellectual property including copyrighted computer code, trade secrets and "technical know-how." Luckey then used that information, ZeniMax claims, to create Oculus Rift and secure a $2 billion acquisition by Facebook.

Feb 02 07:42

Obama's Gift To British Prime Minister Rendered Useless By DRM

Prime Minister Gordon Brown was recently given a gift of 25 DVDs of classic American movies by US President Barack Obama. When Brown sat down to watch one of them, he found he couldn't -- because Obama had given him Region 1 DVDs, unplayable in Brown's Region 2 DVD player. The pointless DRM didn't stop any piracy, it prevented an absolutely reasonable use of legitimately purchased content. Maybe this experience will help the British government understand how many of the entertainment industry's efforts to strengthen intellectual property controls do little more than irritate legitimate consumers in the name of supporting failing business models.

Feb 01 19:54

Facebook ordered to pay $500 million in damages over VR suit

Facebook's Oculus lost a case against game maker ZeniMax, leaving the tech company on the hook for $500 million.

A jury ordered Facebook to pay $500 million in damages to ZeniMax due to theft of intellectual property on Wednesday.

Feb 01 18:02

MX Linux

My choice for Linux. Excellent distro.

A very useful feature:

Feb 01 18:00

The woes of Windows 10

It used to be that only free software came with advertising; users paid a fee, if they chose to do so, to get the software free of advertising. Microsoft charges top dollar for Windows 10 ($120 or $200, depending on the edition) and now wants to bombard users with sales pitches to boot—without so much as by your leave, let alone the option to turn the nuisance off. Despite their idiosyncrasies, Macintosh and Linux have never looked so attractive.

Feb 01 17:50

Chrome's next release will make DRM mandatory

With Chrome 57, the next major Chrome release, Google will disable the plugin settings page chrome://plugins. That means anyone who wants to disable any built-in plugins, including the DRM decryption module called Widevine, can no longer do so.

It’s likely the vast majority of Chrome users just leave the Widevine decryption setting as is. For those who want to disable it, however, it’s an important setting and one that shouldn’t be removed so easily.

As Cory Doctorow over at Boing Boing points out, a component like Widevine is not immune to security flaws. However, security issues discovered in DRM schemes are harder to publicize due to the legal restraints put in place to discourage their disclosure. That means security issues can exist for months or years without the public finding out. Because of that, some users want to disable Widevine and do without DRM-laden video streaming services on their PCs.

Feb 01 17:23

Ohio bloke accused of torching own home after his pacemaker rats him out to cops

Our snark aside, this was the first time the cops had used pacemaker data in this way. The case raises some interesting new lines of inquiry for all police forces probing alleged crimes by people with the life-giving gadgets. (How exactly the search warrant in this case was executed, we're in the process of figuring out.)

Feb 01 16:45

Apple Removes Iranian iOS Apps From App Store

Why has Apple started removing Iran-based apps from its App Store?

Feb 01 11:20

Google mistakes the entire NHS for massive cyber-attacking botnet

Google is blocking access to the entire NHS network, mistaking the amount of traffic it is currently receiving as a cyber attack.

An email from an NHS trust's IT department seen by The Register confirmed that the US search giant has mistaken the current traffic levels for a botnet.

The email headed "Google Access" stated: "Google is intermittently blocking access due to the amount of traffic from NHS Trusts Nationally (This is not being blocked by the IT Department).

"This is causing Google to think it is suffering from a cyber-attack.

"We are advising staff to use an alternative search engine i.e. Bing to bypass this problem.

Feb 01 08:56

The Wii U is Nintendo’s worst selling console ever

Nintendo Wii U has managed to sell a total of 13.6 million units since launching in November 2012.

Feb 01 08:36

Security flaws in Pentagon systems "easily" exploited by hackers

Hackers are likely exploiting the easy-to-find vulnerabilities, according to the security researcher who warned the Pentagon of the flaws months ago.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

All that money and they can't keep their computers locked up?!?

Feb 01 07:46

Actual hacking: Every reporter needs to understand Sharyl Attkisson’s case against the US government Jan31

For some reason, Attkisson isn’t permitted to see her FBI file. Why? The answer may lie in the government’s role as a hacker. A hacker of Attkisson’s computers.

Attkisson writes at her website: “I have a separate federal lawsuit underway against the federal government over illegal surveillance of my work and home computers by intruders using software proprietary to a U.S. intelligence agency. The intrusions were detected and confirmed by three independent forensics exams in 2013.”

“So far, the government has not cooperated with my lawsuit. For example, without even filing the required motion, government officials failed to show up for a properly-noticed deposition in the case.”

Jan 31 15:28

Bombshell evidence shows at least 25 million dead and fraudulent “registered voters” in 2016

A study revealing that over 800,000 non-citizens voted for Hillary Clinton doesn’t account for dead and fraudulent voters, which accounted for over 25 million “registered voters” during the 2012 presidential election – and little has changed since then.

Jan 31 10:56

A ‘ROGUE’ GROUP OF STAFFERS IS TWEETING SECRETS FROM THE WHITE HOUSE

Over the last few days, various anti-Trump rogue organizations have formed, and they’re all tweeting to get the word out. The most prominent such account is called Rogue POTUS Staff (@RoguePOTUSStaff), and it’s run by unknown, unhappy individuals who are supposedly working for the Trump administration.

There’s no way to verify the authenticity of the newly minted Twitter channel, but the rogues have already posted many tweets detailing inside information from the White House.

Jan 31 10:27

MY THOUGHTS ON ‘SOCIAL’ MEDIA ~~ A MUST SEE VIDEO

Jan 31 09:48

This Country Is Leading The Robot Revolution

Reports show that more than half of the world's workforce could be replaced by robots in the next five years. How do robots take human jobs?

Jan 31 09:38

Ransomware killed 70% of Washington DC CCTV ahead of inauguration

Criminals infected 70 percent of storage devices tied to closed-circuit TVs in Washington DC eight days before the inauguration of President Donald Trump.

The ransomware infection downed 123 of its 187 network video recorders, each controlling up to four CCTVs, and forced the city to wipe its affected IT systems which it says did not include deeper componentry of the Washington DC network.

Public space cameras were out of action between 12 and 15 January. Police eventually noticed four were not recording, The Washington Post reports.

Technicians wiped and rebooted the devices across the city and did not pay ransom demands.

Jan 31 09:36

We don't want to alarm you, but PostScript makes your printer an attack vector

Take your printers off the Internet: a bunch of researchers from a German university have found a cross-site printing bug in the ancient PostScript language.

If PostScript is the printer driver, the printer is vulnerable to what they call Cross-Site Printing attacks, documented in detail at Hacking Printers here.

The bugs range from attackers exfiltrating copies of what's sent to printers, to denial-of-service, code execution, forced resets and even bricking the targets.

Jan 30 20:30

Australia to review effectiveness of ISPs' copyright-defending website blocks

Australia's government will conduct a “future review” into Section 115a of the nation's Copyright Act, the amendment introduced in 2015 that requires internet service providers to block websites.

Section 115a requires Australia's Federal Court to rule that a site's primary purpose is piracy. The first case to test the section was decided late in 2016 and meant that ISPs were obliged to block notorious site The Pirate Bay among others.

But it quickly emerged that blocking measures deployed by the ISPs were easy to circumvent, merely using a VPN, or changing an ISP's default DNS settings to use public services such as Google's 8.8.8.8.

Jan 30 20:27

WTF is your problem, Netgear? Another hijack hole found in its routers

Researchers are warning of a serious security hole that can be exploited to hijack potentially hundreds of thousands of Netgear routers.

The programming blunder allows an attacker with access to the router to harvest the administrator access password. A victim could visit a malicious webpage that uses JavaScript to exploit the vulnerability in the router firmware to take over the boxes, knock them offline, change their DNS settings to redirect browsers to malware-injecting websites, and so on. Malware already on the local network can also target the security flaw.

The bug can even be exploited from across the internet if the device is set up to expose its admin interface to the whole web, but this is not a default setting.

Jan 30 13:47

Are we really aware of the world around us or have we succumbed to what the technology tells us?

.."..I fear the day that Technonlogy will surpass all human interactions, the world will have a generation of Idiots."-Albert Einstein...

Jan 30 13:09

Trump Blames Airport Chaos on Protesters and Delta

The 45th president of the United States, Donald Trump, introduced an executive order a few days ago forbidding refugees and individuals from “terror-prone” countries to enter the country.

Jan 30 12:33

Scott Adams: Should Twitter and Facebook be Regulated as Utilities?

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?

Jan 30 08:09

Google removes Plugin controls from Chrome

Google made a change in Chrome 57 that removes options from the browser to manage plugins such as Google Widevine, Adobe Flash, or the Chrome PDF Viewer.

If you load chrome://plugins in Chrome 56 or earlier, a list of installed plugins is displayed to you. The list includes information about each plugin, including a name and description, location on the local system, version, and options to disable it or set it to "always run".

You can use it to disable plugins that you don't require. While you can do the same for some plugins, Flash and PDF Viewer, using Chrome's Settings, the same is not possible for the DRM plugin Widevine, and any other plugin Google may add to Chrome in the future.

Starting with Chrome 57, that option is no longer available.

Jan 29 11:04

Twitter Reveals Details Of 2 FBI National Security Letters After Gag Order Lifted

Twitter has revealed it received two national security orders from the FBI, accompanied by gag orders, prohibiting the company from notifying the affected account holders or the general public about the process.

The company’s Associate General Counsel for Global Law Enforcement, Elizabeth Banker, made the announcement in a statement after the FBI lifted the gag order.

Jan 29 07:42

EU Parliament Committee Votes To Give Robots Rights (And A Kill Switch)

Foreseeing a rapidly approaching age of autonomous artificial intelligence, a European Parliament committee has voted to legally bestow electronic personhood to robots. The status includes a detailed list of rights, responsibilities, regulations, and a “kill switch.”

The committee voted by 17 votes to two, with two abstentions, to approve a draft report written by Luxembourg MEP Mady Delvaux, who believes “robots, bots, androids and other manifestations of artificial intelligence” will spawn a new industrial revolution. She wants to establish a European Agency to develop rules for how to govern AI behavior. Specifically, Delvaux writes about how increased levels of autonomy in robot entities will make usual manufacturing liability laws insufficient. It will become necessary, the report states, to be able to hold robots and their manufacturers legally responsible for their acts.

Jan 27 16:34

Fake Trump tweets are the new Internet fad in China

Internet users in China are flocking to websites that allow them to generate fake tweets by @realdonaldtrump - using them to share jokes and promote goods.

The fake Trump tweets circulating in China reflect how the US President's use of Twitter is seeping into the popular consciousness of a country where Twitter has been blocked by censors for years, reported Associated Press.

The tweets have Mr Trump's avatar and real-time time stamp. They also mimic Mr Trump's tone and fondness for exclamation marks.

One says: "@realdonaldtrump wants to buy a jianbing (typical Chinese street food) and wants Mexico to pay for it." Another reads: "@realdonaldtrump's 'favorite boy band' is the South Korean group GOT7: 'They are so cute!' "

Jan 27 16:31

One More Time With Feeling: 'Anonymized' User Data Not Really Anonymous

And this doesn't even factor in how new technologies -- like Verizon's manipulation of user data packets -- allow companies to build sophisticated new profiles based on the combination of browsing data, location data, and modifying packet headers. The FCC's recently-passed broadband privacy rules were designed in part to acknowledge these new efforts, by allowing user data collection -- but only if this data was "not reasonably linkable" to individual users. But once you realize that all data -- "anonymized" or not -- is linkable to individual users, such a distinction becomes wholly irrelevant.

Jan 27 16:28

It might be time to stop using antivirus, and just regularly update your software instead

The problem, from the perspective of the browser makers, is that antivirus software is incredibly invasive. Antivirus, in an attempt to catch viruses before they can infect your system, forcibly hooks itself into other pieces of software on your computer, such as your browser, word processor, or even the OS kernel. O'Callahan gives one particularly egregious example: "Back when we first made sure ASLR was working for Firefox on Windows, many AV vendors broke it by injecting their own ASLR-disabled DLLs into our processes." ASLR, or address-space layout randomisation, is one of the better protections against buffer overflow exploits.

Furthermore, because of the aforementioned knotweed-style rhizomes of antivirus programs, the AV software itself presents a very large attack surface. As in, without AV installed, a hacker might have to find a vulnerability in the browser or operating system—but if there's AV present, the hacker can also look for a vulnerability there.

Jan 27 11:16

Alexa, stop it! Amazon's personal assistant is causing havoc for people with a similar name

'I always liked my name, until Amazon gave it to a robot,' Alexa Sussman, told the newspaper.

The marketing professional, from New York, told how her father asked her to get some water from the kitchen, only for the Amazon Echo to whir into action.

The speaker said: 'Amazon's choice for water is Fiji Natural Artesian Water, pack of 24. It's £21, including tax. Would you like to buy it?'

Another user said she was watching a TV show where the main character was called Alexis, who told her dad to order 12 pints of milk.

Jan 27 10:14

Australia Aims To Be The First Country To Process Air Travelers Via Biometrics Nationwide

By Nicholas West

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has announced a plan that could make Australia the world’s first country to implement a nationwide “contactless” system for processing its air travelers.

Officials are looking to use existing databases coupled with iris scans, facial recognition and fingerprint scans as the final phase of a five-year project called “Seamless Traveller” that is slated for completion by 2020...

Jan 27 07:42

Move over skimmers, 'shimmers' are the newest tool for stealing credit card info

Unlike skimmers, a shimmer — named for its slim profile — fits inside a card reader and can be installed quickly and unobtrusively by a criminal who slides it into the machine while pretending to make a purchase or withdrawal.

Once installed, the microchips on the shimmer record information from chip cards, including the PIN.

That information is later extracted when the criminal inserts a special card — also during a purchase or cash withdrawal — which downloads the data. The information is then used to make fake cards.

Jan 27 07:35

Apple eats itself as iPhone fatigue spreads

Wall St downgrades stock – because buyers prefer last year's model

Jan 26 18:00

Far Beyond Crime-Ridden Depravity, Darknets Are Key Strongholds Of Freedom Of Expression online

By Roderick S. Graham, Old Dominion University and Brian Pitman, Old Dominion University

The internet is much more than just the publicly available, Google-able web services most online users frequent – and that’s good for free expression. Companies frequently create private networks to enable employees to use secure corporate servers, for example. And free software allows individuals to create what are called “peer-to-peer” networks, connecting directly from one machine to another.

Unable to be indexed by current search engines, and therefore less visible to the general public, subnetworks like these are often called “darknets,” or collective as the singular “darknet.” These networks typically use software, such as Tor, that anonymizes the machines connecting to them, and encrypts the data traveling through their connections.

Some of what’s on the darknet is alarming...

Jan 26 16:20

MILLION DOLLAR INACCURATE BREATHALYZER "WAS DECEPTIVE AND DANGEROUS"

Breathometer's 'A01 Smartphone Breathalyzer' billed as the "world's first smartphone breathalyzer" is a failure! The Breathometer company which ran a successful crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo, received $1 million from wealthy investors on 'Shark Tank' to develop a smartphone breathalyzer.

FTC calls Breathometer inaccurate and deceptive

The Breathometer was so inaccurate the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) forced them to stop selling their "law enforcement-grade" breathalyzer.

Breathometer claimed they could accurately calculate a person's blood alcohol content from 0.000% to 0.250%. But the FTC discovered, it was all a lie.

Jan 26 15:48

More mobe malware creeps into Google Play – this time, ransomware

Researchers say a piece of ransomware disguised as a battery app made its way into the Play store.

Check Point says one of its customers contracted the malware app, dubbed "Charger," after installing what they thought was a battery monitoring tool called EnergyRescue.

Researchers with Check Point Mobile Threat Prevention say the malware activates when EnergyRescue runs, and requires admin access to the device.

Once that permission is granted, the malware checks for location (it does not attack phones in the Ukraine, Belarus, or Russia), then swipes all user contacts and SMS messages and locks down the device.

From there, the user is told that they must pay to deactivate the ransomware or they will have their full details spaffed out for various nefarious activities, including bank fraud and spam.

"You need to pay for us, otherwise we will sell portion of your personal information on black market every 30 minutes," the ransomware tells users.

Jan 26 13:56

FACEBOOK IS DONE! THIS NEW APP JUST KILLED CENSORSHIP AND RESTORED FREEDOM TO MILLIONS!

The manufactured threat of fake news and the constant changes to Facebook and Twitter algorithms has, as I predicted, forced the free markets to fight back.

Jan 26 13:38

Scott Adams: Should Twitter and Facebook be Regulated as Utilities?

The Constitution guarantees every citizen the right of free speech. But what happens when the most effective channels for that speech are corporations such as Twitter and Facebook? Does the government have an obligation to make sure those companies are not limiting free speech for some classes of users?

Jan 26 11:07

Google bans 200 ‘fake news websites, scammers,’ from ad program

(INTELLIHUB) — In a Wednesday blog post by Google’s Scott Spencer, he said the company had banned 200 publishers from accessing its AdSense advertising service for supposedly posting fake news stories.

Jan 26 11:00

Beware! Fake Netflix app lets perverted hackers secretly snap nude photos of you and spy on your conversations

With more than 44 million subscribers in 41 countries, Netflix is one of the most popular apps in the world.

But before you think about downloading the app, you might want to double check it is the official version.

A fake Netflix app has been discovered by cyber-security experts, which can take over your device and spy on you.

The device gives strangers access to your phone's camera, microphone and messages so they have access to your life - potentially allowing them to take nude photos and listen to your conversations.

The creepy app for Android was discovered by cyber-security experts, Zscaler, who describe it as 'a well-crafted piece of spyware we're calling SpyNote RAT.'

Jan 26 10:30

Microsoft: New CPUs to Only Work on Windows 10, Windows 7 to Support Older Chips

Microsoft has recently confirmed that new CPUs will only work with Windows 10, so in case you're planning to purchase a new computer in the next 12 months, you'll have to upgrade to the new operating system.

The new support policy comes into effect with Intel's new 6th-generation CPUs (codenamed Skylake) and will affect all future CPUs, the company confirmed in a statement.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

In reply to a caller into yesterday's radio show.

Jan 26 09:46

HP Inc recalls 101,000 laptop batteries before they halt and catch fire

The new recall is an extension of an earlier announcement in June, which covered more than 40,000 batteries. The US Consumer Product Safety Division advisory states that the batteries in question were manufacturered by Panasonic in China. One battery has already overheated and caused around $1,000 of damage.

"The batteries are compatible with HP, Compaq, HP ProBook, HP ENVY, Compaq Presario, and HP Pavilion notebook computers. HP has expanded the number of recalled batteries, which were shipped with notebook computers sold between March 2013 and October 2016," it states.

Jan 26 09:14

Now It Is The Elite That Are Feverishly ‘Prepping’ For The Collapse Of Society

Once upon a time, “prepping” was something that was considered to be on “the lunatic fringe” of society. But in 2017, wealthy elitists are actually the most hardcore preppers of all.

Jan 25 18:05

Soros, MasterCard Launch Venture to Profit from Mass Migration

Billionaire activist and arch globalist George Soros just won’t let his dream of a borderless, cultureless world free of Western values die. Soros is partnering with MasterCard Inc. to create Humanity Ventures, with the ostensible purpose of improving the lives of migrants through investments in education and health care, and fostering economic development in migrant communities.

Jan 25 10:05

Google Permanently Bans 200 "Fake News" Sites

Google has not disclosed the list of 200 sites it had permanently banned.

Jan 25 09:52

The Netflix Tax: Coming to a Screen Near You

Many cities across the country have found that taxes from utilities have taken a hit with the rise in the number of people who have decided to “cut the cord” from cable companies. During the second quarter of 2016 alone, over 812,000 people cancelled their paid television subscriptions and switched to various streaming services like Netflix, Hulu, and SlingTV, which only require internet access.

As that telecom tax revenue continues to fall off, cities across the country are losing approximately $50 dollars (much more in larger cities) per cable subscriber in tax. Accordingly, lawmakers have discovered a brand new source of revenue in digital entertainment.

Jan 25 09:35

Trump's inauguration breaks live streaming records

US President Donald Trump's inauguration was the most watched news event streamed online to date, analysts suggest.

At its peak, a record 8.7Tbps of live video was streamed, according to content delivery network Akamai Technologies.

The previous record of 7.5Tbps was set during US election day coverage on 8 November 2016.

The figures reflect the growing popularity of online streaming.

In the US, 31 million people watched Mr Trump's inauguration on television, compared with 38 million who watched Barack Obama becoming president in 2009.

However, video traffic of Mr Obama's inauguration reached a peak of just 1.1Tbps the same year.

Jan 25 09:31

Wine 2.0 lands: It's not Soylent for booze but more Windows apps on Linux and Mac OS

If you really want to run MS Office 2013 on Linux, you can

Jan 25 09:20

Has your phone been infected? Virus hidden in Google Play store apps is bombarding MILLIONS of handsets with adverts

The malware enters your device through infected apps on the Google Play Store.

The apps affected were all uploaded using the names of fake Chinese developers, and all had a 1.3MB file called 'assets/group.png' – a suspiciously large file that matched many of the traits seen in HummingBad.

People who want to know if their Android devices are infected can download the Check Point app.

Jan 25 09:14

Dirty secrets of 180,000 users of a porn site that posts 'upskirt' photos are leaked - and they include 20 government email addresses

Users of a shady porn site that posts 'upskirt' pictures of women could have their dirty secrets exposed.

Personal details of 180,000 users of The Candid Board have been uploaded to the internet after a security breach, along with details of their time of last login.

Among the details were 68 military accounts and 19 government email addresses, suggesting that UK civil servants have been visiting the porn site.

Jan 25 08:49

IP Addresses in an Internet Blackout

If the powerful few decide to shut down independent news sites, more than likely they will shut down the DNS servers and leave the rest of the Internet up. The DNS servers (Domain Name System) is liken to a telephone book. You look up the name (Domain name) and it gives you the telephone number, in our case, the IP Number (Internet Protocol Number). They can accomplish this by shutting down the entire DNS systems or just selectively remove certain domain addresses from the book, leaving the rest of the book operational. Note that either way, the news sites are still there and operating.

Jan 25 08:28

Windows 10 versus Windows 7: Whose numbers do you trust?

Are users really in love with Windows 7? Or are they clinging to old habits as Windows 10 rolls out? Three popular data sources offer very different answers. Regardless of which one you choose, take that data with a heaping helping of salt.

Jan 25 08:16

advanced supercomputer of CYBERPOL named 666

The advanced supercomputer of CYBERPOL named 666 is on track to go live in 2017, this according to insider information. It is believed that this super computer is to sync all data for hosting a cyber criminal database comprising of cyber criminals and all crimes committed in the cyber-world.

Jan 24 14:49

NBC Comedy Writer Suspended After Mocking Trump’s 10yo Son On Twitter

Katie Rich, a writer from an NBC comedy program, was suspended from the show after mocking Donald Trump’s son Barron on Twitter, calling the 10-year-old a “homeschool shooter.” Social media erupted in anger, and a petition to fire her was launched.

Rich, a writer for the popular American sketch comedy show Saturday Night Live, posted the scandalous tweet on Friday, during the inauguration of Donald Trump.

Jan 24 09:05

Raspberry Pi rival: Asus launches Tinker Board, faster, with 2X memory and 4k video

The Raspberry Pi has a new rival, the more powerful but slightly pricier Asus Tinker Board.

The Asus Tinker Board has a faster processor and more memory than the Raspberry Pi 3, but sells for £55 ($68), considerably more than the £33 or $35 Pi 3.

Asus' board has a quad-core 1.8GHz Rockchip processor, compared to the quad-core 1.2GHz Broadcom processor in the Raspberry Pi 3. The computer also has 2GB of memory, double that of the Pi 3.

One online benchmark claims the Tinker Board is almost two times faster than the Pi 3 in Geekbench, with Asus' offering racking up a score of 3925 compared to the Pi's 2092, as well as being faster when reading from and writing to storage.

Jan 23 17:25

Amazon Echo and Google Home have a VERY serious problem

Amazon Echo and Google Home might have a problem.

New research from industry startup VoiceLabs claims Amazon Echo and Google Home owners are not using the huge selection of third-party apps available for both platforms.

According to the report, there is only a three per cent chance those who download third-party skills for the Amazon Echo or Google Home will continue to use them after two weeks.

For comparison, Android and iOS apps have a retention rate of some 13 per cent and 11 per cent, respectively, one week after the first installation.

Jan 23 17:23

Yahoo facing federal probe for not admitting HUGE data breach

The firm could be facing investigation from major US financial watchdogs, including several federal agencies, for not disclosing the scale of two huge data breaches.

Over a billion Yahoo user accounts were affected in the breach, which reportedly took place in 2014, but was not disclosed until last year, with around another 500 million accounts affected in a separate breach later that year.

Jan 23 16:36

SEC Set To Grill Yahoo For Failure To Report 1.5bn User Data Breaches – Report

Yahoo is reportedly under investigation by the US financial watchdog over whether the company took too long to notify investors of two massive data breaches involving the details of 1.5 billion users.

Jan 23 08:48

MARK ZUCKERBERG SUES HUNDREDS OF HAWAII FAMILIES TO FORCE THEM TO SELL THEIR LAND

Suit an attempt to make his 700-acre beachfront estate more private, according to reports. Mark Zuckerberg is reportedly suing Hawaiian families who have ancestral rights to land within his $100 million (£81.2 million) property in a bid to force them to sell their plots.

The Facebook founder has launched the legal action in an attempt to make his 700-acre beachfront estate on the Island of Kauai more private.

Under legislation dating back to 1850 known as the Kuleana Act, almost a dozen native families currently have the right to live on small sections of land within the billionaire's property on the island, according to the Honolulu Star Advertiser.

Jan 23 08:42

Android Nougat 7.0 update HALTED - First Samsung S7 now Sony Xperia users hit by issues

ANDROID Nougat hits more trouble as Sony Xperia users complain of performance issues. Latest troubles come just days after Samsung also pulled the update for some Galaxy S7 and S7 Edge users.

Jan 23 08:26

United Airlines Domestic Flights Grounded for 2 Hours by Computer Outage

All of United Airlines' domestic flights were grounded for more than two hours Sunday night because of a computer outage, the Federal Aviation Administration said as scores of angry travelers sounded off on social media.

Jan 23 07:49

Microwave EMF Science: Deliberate Claptrap Misinformation?

By Catherine J. Frompovich

What would you think or say if I were to tell you black is white; up is down; Planet Earth is square, not spheroid in shape; and night is day? You probably would say I’m off my rocker and really don’t know what I’m talking about. Do you think that some segments of vested scientific research are capable of being equally outrageous?

I propose that very sort of scientific mischief and outrageousness is going on within vested-interest microwave technology sciences so as to keep you, the gullible and enthralled technology ‘smart’ device consumer, confused into believing there are no adverse health effects from microwaves EXCEPT what’s acknowledged and called thermal radiation, which can heat skin...

Jan 22 10:16

A New Era of Mass Surveillance is Emerging Across Europe

The world was a different place when, in October 2015, the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU) struck down the “Safe Harbour” data-sharing agreement that allowed the transfer of European citizens’ data to the US. The Court’s decision concluded that the indiscriminate nature of the surveillance programs carried out by U.S. intelligence agencies, exposed two years earlier by NSA-contractor-turned-whistleblower Edward Snowden, had made it impossible to ensure that the personal data of E.U. citizens would be adequately protected when shared with American companies. The ruling thus served to further solidify the long-standing conventional wisdom that Continental Europe is better at protecting privacy than America.

Jan 22 09:54

Researchers Uncover Twitter Bot Army That’s 350,000 Strong

Legions of fake Twitter accounts, called bots, roam the virtual social media landscape, often wreaking havoc wherever they go. You’ve probably encountered these accounts, those so-called eggheads, in Twitter’s untamed wilderness. They seem drawn to political conversations, but are often used to artificially inflate the number of followers a profile has, send spam and manipulate online sentiment. Herded by shadowy “botmasters,” these accounts can be financially lucrative, especially after they’ve been around for a few years.

Two researchers from University College London claim to have discovered an army of 350,000 such bots hiding in plain sight, distinguished by their affinity for tweeting quotes from Star Wars novels. And, like Aragorn bursting into the throne room at Helm’s Deep to deliver the news of an encroaching orc army, they have come to warn us.

Jan 21 13:04

Bitcoin Traders Adopt 'Wait and See' Stance As China Impact Fades

After a wild start to 2017, bitcoin took it slow this week.

This relative calm was punctuated by a handful of sharp fluctuations, which saw the digital currency’s price fall to as little as $810 on 15th January and rise to as much as $914 on 18th January, data reveals...

Jan 20 08:09

Windows 10 is spamming Chrome users with a Microsoft shopping app

How long before Microsoft charges for an ad-free version of its operating system?

Jan 20 08:07

Privacy warning: Meitu photo app is spyware sharing your phone's data

There has been a sudden craze for freaky-looking photos created using the Chinese app Meitu. The images the app creates are either cutesy or horrific, depending on your point of view, but it's what's going on in the background that has people concerned.

While Meitu has been popular in China for several years --amassing a huge following -- it has only just caught on over here. What many users are unaware of is that while they are busy applying virtual makeup to their face in the app, data such as a phone's IMEI, Mac address, users' precise location and much more is being gathered and shared. The advice? Ditch the app if you're concerned about your privacy.

Jan 19 12:07

Private Intelligence Contractors Emerge As An Influential Force Inside the United States

By Vin Armani

In this video, Vin Armani dives into the shadowy world of private intelligence contractors that are operating within the borders of the United States and selling their services to the highest bidder. Armani explains the danger of using mercenaries as first explained by Machiavelli.

Jan 19 11:26

Are hackers watching you and your children? Yet another flaw in Samsung's security SmartCam could let criminals spy on your home

Security researchers have uncovered a serious flaw in the SmartCam devices that could allow hackers to take control.

The researchers have alerted Samsung to the problem, but the firm is yet to make changes to rectify the problem for the millions of devices sold globally.

The SmartCam is designed to allow users to stream live video to their smartphone over the internet.

For example, it can be used as a baby monitor, or for home security.

But according to Exploitee.rs – a team of self-procliamed 'ethical hackers', a flaw in the camera's technology could let hackers take control.

This could allow hackers to turn the camera on remotely, and even lock you out of your account by changing your password details.

Jan 19 11:08

Facebook blocks RT from posting until after Trump inauguration

RT has been blocked from posting content to its Facebook page. The ban, according to the Facebook bot, will last until Saturday 10:55pm Moscow time (2:55pm EST) and will extend across US president-elect Donald Trump’s inauguration.

UPDATE: After about 20 hours, Facebook has restored RT's ability to post live streams, images, and videos to the over four million followers of its page on the social network.

Jan 19 10:36

CIA TORTURED CATS: CIA Implanted Microphones Into Cats to Spy on Russia

Webmaster addition: The only thing the CIA learned was that the Russian embassy had mice!

Jan 19 09:30

Trey Gowdy Joins Intelligence Committee Just in Time to Tackle Election “Hacking” Claims

The committee has been around for 4 decades and handles classified information that is also managed by 17 federal agencies. This means Gowdy will be front-and-center as Republicans get to the bottom of the “Russian hacking” claims made by Hillary Clinton’s campaign team to cover up their criminally incompetent email security.

Conservatives are thrilled about Gowdy’s new job!

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Jan 19 09:23

OBAMA PARTING SHOT AIMS AT BRENNAN, CLAPPER, CLINTON: "THE DNC EMAILS WERE LEAKED"

Three U.S. Intelligence Agencies (CIA, NSA and FBI) claim that IT-Systems of the Democratic National Committee were "hacked" in an operation related to the Russian government. They assert that emails copied during the "hack" were transferred by Russian government related hackers to Wikileaks which then published them.

President Obama disagrees. He says those emails were "leaked".

Wikileaks had insisted that the emails it published came from an insider source not from any government. The DNC emails proved that the supposedly neutral Democratic Party committee had manipulated the primary presidential elections in favor of the later candidate Hillary Clinton. This made it impossible for the alternative candidate Bernie Sanders to win the nomination. Hillory Clinton, who had extremely high unfavorable ratings, lost the final elections.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

"Leaked" and "hacked" are two entirely different processes.

And right now, I am infinitely more inclined to believe Assange when he says that they were leaked , and that the Russians had utterly nothing to do with this.

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