COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY | WHAT REALLY HAPPENED


COMPUTERS/INTERNET/SECURITY

Aug 01 14:06

EIGHT AT&T BUILDINGS AND TEN YEARS OF LITIGATION: SHINING A LIGHT ON NSA SURVEILLANCE

Two reporters recently identified eight AT&T locations in the United States—towering, multi-story buildings—where NSA surveillance occurs on the backbone of the Internet. Their article showed how the agency taps into cables, routers, and switches that handle vast quantities of Internet traffic around the world. Published by The Intercept, the report shines a light on the NSA’s expansive Internet surveillance network housed inside these sometimes-opaque buildings.

Aug 01 13:10

IGNORANT HYSTERIA OVER 3D PRINTED GUNS LEADS TO COURTS IGNORING THE FIRST AMENDMENT

A year and a half ago, we wrote about a troubling ruling by the 5th Circuit siding with the US State Department waving a magic "national security" wand to ignore the First Amendment implications of banning the internet distribution of the CAD files for 3D printing components for guns. As we pointed out over five years ago, the hysteria over these 3D printed gun plans was silly. Attempts to ban them from the internet wouldn't just fail, but would actually draw much more attention to them.

Aug 01 10:45

CFR PRESIDENT: “SERIOUS DEGREE OF ANARCHY” ON THE “WILD WEST” INTERNET

During a recent appearance on Bloomberg, Council on Foreign Relations president Richard Haass lamented the destruction of international institutions and the lack of oversight to reign in “anarchy” on the internet

Aug 01 10:25

Senate Democrats Are Circulating Plans for Government Takeover of the Internet: Reason Roundup

All your base are belong to us. A leaked memo circulating among Senate Democrats contains a host of bonkers authoritarian proposals for regulating digital platforms, purportedly as a way to get tough on Russian bots and fake news. To save American trust in "our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets," it suggests, we need unprecedented and undemocratic government intervention into online press and markets, including "comprehensive (GDPR-like) data protection legislation" of the sort enacted in the E.U.

Titled "Potential Policy Proposals for Regulation of Social Media and Technology Firms," the draft policy paper—penned by Sen. Mark Warner and leaked by an unknown source to Axios—the paper starts out by noting that Russians have long spread disinformation, including when "the Soviets tried to spread 'fake news' denigrating Martin Luther King" (here he fails to mention that the Americans in charge at the time did the same). But NOW IT'S DIFFERENT, because technology.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Senator Warner, a word, please.

Thinking Americans have utterly no trust in, or respect for, "our institutions, democracy, free press, and markets.", because they understand that they are all rigged in favor of the 1%, not We the People.

Financial markets are constantly being manipulated by those in control of them, as is seen in suppression of gold prices.

This alleged "democracy" of which you speak is always vetted, and carefully crafted, by candidates who will always do the bidding of the American Deep State, major corporations and the military industrial complex. In this very Kabuki-like elaborate theatre we have surrounding state and national elections, the only candidates from which we can chose, are those who have the complete trust of those entities I have described above.

A Free Press?!? Were that the case, why are none of the warrespondents or presstitutes in the corporate media mentioning a word about the debacle and genocide resulting from a US-enabled Saudi military attack against Yemen, where babies are assassinated by Saudi bombing runs, or dying of starvation and disease (possibly weaponised)?!? The Deep State doesn't want a national conversation about this, because the optics are so horrific, so the information is generally suppressed.

Any Stazi-like attempt to control the Internet, will result in failure; people are ingenious at finding ways to get around blockades to electronic communication. And I fear much less any Russian attempt to sway an election (which, BTW, did not actually happen in 2016), than I do my government controlling it any further than it already does, courtesy of Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube, which algorithmically throttles non-liberal opinions (many times premised on fact), yet allows tweets by people like Independent Mark Roberts, characterizing the First Lady, Melania Trump as a "hoe bag' to stand.

Aug 01 10:15

PayPal WARNING: Hackers are using a fake fraud prevention email to trick users into installing a dangerous computer virus, security experts warn

PayPal users should be on the lookout for a scam email designed to install malware on their computer, security experts have warned.

The malicious email is disguised to look like an official communication from PayPal, and even appears to be sent from the address 'service@paypal.com'.

Users who open the email, which is often sent with the subject line 'PayPal account warning', are prompted to open an attached Word document laced with malware.

The computer virus appears to only hit Windows machines, with Mac, iPhone and Android users unaffected by the virus — even if they open the fraudulent email.

It's unclear how many people have been targeted in the latest malware attack.

Aug 01 09:42

German woman receives large fine for criticising refugees on Facebook

A German cleaning lady received a fine of 1,650 euros for criticising refugees and the country’s asylum policy, news outlet Wochenblick reports.

The woman committed her ‘Orwellian thought crime’ on Facebook, as she said this about refugees:

“Sh*t on the state, steal from people, rape, swirling the eggs, demand money from us and sue the state. That’s what they can. They’re more valuable than gold, our super-skilled people.”

The cleaning lady’s plea for help to the German judiciary was not heard. On the contrary, the district court of Dachau fined the cleaning woman because of “sedition” (§ 130 StGB).

She was given a 1,650 euro fine, as the court’s opinion was that her comment against refugees “scared people”.

Germany’s ‘thought police’ uncovered the case after receiving a message from the State Criminal Police Office (LKA) of North Rhine-Westphalia.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

I would like to politely suggest to Germany's "thought police" that Orwell's novel "1984" was a cautionary tale; not a how-to manual!!

Fined.... for telling the truth?!?

Aug 01 09:28

Microsoft plans to launch a paid monthly subscription service to keep users' Windows 10 machines running as they should

Microsoft is believed to be working on a new subscription model for Windows 10 customers that will allow the company to automatically take care of any glitches.

...

The system will sell the Windows 10 operating system as a service, whereby users pay a monthly subscription fee to use the latest version of the software, with any glitches and bugs ironed out immediately by Microsoft.

This approach would be similar to the launch of Office 365, which replaced the one-time purchase of Microsoft Word with a rolling monthly subscription.

Aug 01 09:20

Surveillance Cameras Will Soon Divine Your Personality from Eye Movements

Machine-learning techniques promise to make biometric data far more useful for intelligence gathering.

Researchers have used artificial intelligence to show that very subtle eye movements, of the sort you might pick up with a camera, can divine aspects of personality much better than random guessing.

It’s another good example of how the wealth of biometric data that humans produce, once digitized and examined at large scale, can reveal hidden aspects of identity in ways that could be a boon to intelligence gathering.

The German and Australian researchers fitted 42 volunteers with eye-tracking headgear, and had them fill out the NEO Five-Factor Inventory, a personality test that measures traits such as neuroticism, extraversion, openness, agreeableness, and conscientiousness.

They then had the subjects go about a normal routine while they quietly collected eye movement data and then used machine learning to categorize the data.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

What if the person surveilled is wearing.... very dark sun glasses?!?!?

Aug 01 09:18

3D-PRINTED GUN WEBSITE YANKS CAD FILES AFTER FEDERAL JUDICIAL ORDER

DEFCAD, the world's best-known online repository for 3D-printed gun files went dark on Tuesday evening, in the wake of a decision by a federal judge in Seattle, who granted a temporary restraining order hours earlier.

Aug 01 08:59

GOOGLE PLANS TO LAUNCH CENSORED SEARCH ENGINE IN CHINA, LEAKED DOCUMENTS REVEAL

GOOGLE IS PLANNING to launch a censored version of its search engine in China that will blacklist websites and search terms about human rights, democracy, religion, and peaceful protest, The Intercept can reveal.

The project – code-named Dragonfly – has been underway since spring of last year, and accelerated following a December 2017 meeting between Google’s CEO Sundar Pichai and a top Chinese government official, according to internal Google documents and people familiar with the plans.

Teams of programmers and engineers at Google have created a custom Android app, different versions of which have been named “Maotai” and “Longfei.” The app has already been demonstrated to the Chinese government; the finalized version could be launched in the next six to nine months, pending approval from Chinese officials.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Hey, considering how much it loves to censor opinions here at home which do not reflect a liberal slant, Google will be right at home in China!!!

Aug 01 08:36

Human rights group: Employee targeted with Israeli spyware

An Amnesty International employee has been targeted with Israeli-made surveillance software, the human rights group said Wednesday, adding to a growing number of examples of Israeli technology being used to spy on human rights workers and opposition figures in the Middle East and beyond.

In a 20-page report, Amnesty outlined how it thinks a hacker tried to break into an unidentified staff member's smartphone in early June by baiting the employee with a WhatsApp message about a protest in front of the Saudi Embassy in Washington.

The London-based human rights organization said it traced the malicious link in the message to a network of sites tied to the NSO Group, an Israeli surveillance company implicated in a series of digital break-in attempts, including a campaign to compromise proponents of a soda tax in Mexico and an effort to hack into the phone of an Arab dissident that prompted an update to Apple's operating system.

Aug 01 08:27

Uber self-driving trucks shutting down in desperation move

In a desperate move to revitalize its self-driving car unit, Uber is shutting down its self-driving truck program. The news, first reported by TechCrunch, comes just two years after Uber acquired Otto Motors for a reported $680 million.

An Uber spokesperson tells The Robot Report the company will focus exclusively on self-driving cars. Uber says “we do not need to immediately develop self-driving trucks to remain competitive in the freight logistics area.”

The company tells The Robot Report it will “pivot employees currently focused on Uber self-driving trucks to other work that supports our ongoing development of self-driving technology. Where there isn’t a comparable role available, we’ll offer relocation or a separation package to support the transition.”

Jul 31 16:05

AMAZON PLEDGES TO CONTINUE SELLING FACE SURVEILLANCE TECH TO COPS

Last week, the ACLU of Northern California revealed that Amazon’s Rekognition face surveillance software identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been previously arrested for a crime. The only problem? They were false matches. Unsurprisingly, the 28 members of Congress falsely matched to the mugshot database were disproportionately people of color. While Congress is only 20 percent people of color, they were 40 percent of those falsely matched by Rekognition.

Lawmakers reacted swiftly to the report. Senators Ron Wyden (D-OR), Cory Booker (D-NJ), and Ed Markey (D-MA) fired off a letter to 39 federal law enforcement agencies, among them ICE and the FBI, demanding information about how they use face surveillance technologies. Senator Markey and Representatives Luis Gutiérrez (D-IL) and Mark DeSaulnier (D-CA) also sent a letterto Jeff Bezos himself, asking the billionaire for more details about Rekognition and a list of its government users.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Police departments need to educate themselves as to the potentially horrific costs, with lawsuits piling up, as this version of AI continues to make horrific mistakes in its misidentification of people.

Jul 31 15:35

PayPal WARNING: Hackers are using a fake fraud prevention email to trick users into installing a dangerous computer virus, security experts warn

PayPal users should be on the lookout for a scam email designed to install malware on their computer, security experts have warned.

The malicious email is disguised to look like an official communication from PayPal, and even appears to be sent from the address 'service@paypal.com'.

Users who open the email, which is often sent with the subject line 'PayPal account warning', are prompted to open an attached Word document laced with malware.

The computer virus appears to only hit Windows machines, with Mac, iPhone and Android users unaffected by the virus — even if they open the fraudulent email.

Jul 31 15:07

Facebook says it has found a NEW attempt to meddle in U.S. elections including anti-Trump memes and a fake protest near the White House - but it doesn't know if they are Russian

The social network published a small number of examples of posts from the accounts which included anti-Trump material and racially-charged posts, as well as a feminist post.

But the social network did not say if they were representative of the output of the accounts as a whole and added: 'We’re not characterizing the broad nature of the content at this point.'

But Democratic politicians said it was the work of the Kremlin and demanded more action to prevent further meddling.

Jul 31 12:19

Study Finds Clear Link Between Social Media and Depression

In a world filled to the brim with likes, posts, and status updates, where the average teenage youth spends a whopping 9 hours a day with some form of media, it almost seems as though Facebook and Twitter are becoming a sub-reality of their own. Plug in and tune out could be the mantra of our coming generation, but is that a good thing? New research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine reveals a link between social media and depression among young adults.

Jul 31 11:16

Facebook, Twitter Shares Tank Amid ‘Public Outcry’ Over Privacy Concerns

On Monday, Facebook shares dropped by 4 percent after plunging 20 percent last week. In addition, 20 percent of Twitter’s market value was wiped out last week as social media platforms continue to face increased scrutiny over fake news and privacy concerns.

Since March, Facebook has been under fire after it emerged that the personal data of about 50 million of its users had been harvested by the consultancy firm Cambridge Analytica without users' permission. The data was allegedly used to predict and influence the behavior of US voters in the 2016 elections. The company reportedly received information about users through a personality app developed by Aleksandr Kogan, a Cambridge University researcher.

Jul 31 10:33

A New Device Can Hear Your Thoughts

Kapur came to MIT’s Media Lab from New Delhi in 2016 to build wearable devices that seamlessly integrate technology into our 24/7 experience. No more reaching for cellphones. No more staring at screens. No more eyes down. No more tuning out to plug in.

Improbably, AlterEgo, the soundless, voiceless, earbud-less device he’d been working on for the last two years had become adept enough at reading his thoughts that he could use it to order an Uber without saying a word.

Jul 31 10:28

A POLICE RUN NON-PROFIT HAS CREATED A NATIONAL TRACKING PROGRAM CALLED "PLACE OF LAST DRINK"

A non-profit association of law-enforcement personnel is being used to track where people drink and much more. Iowa is preparing to use the National Liquor Law Enforcement Association's (NLLEA) "Place of Last Drink" or POLD to collect data on businesses and drivers.

Jul 31 10:23

AMAZON PLEDGES TO CONTINUE SELLING FACE SURVEILLANCE TECH TO COPS

Last week, the ACLU of Northern California revealed that Amazon’s Rekognition face surveillance software identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been previously arrested for a crime. The only problem? They were false matches. Unsurprisingly, the 28 members of Congress falsely matched to the mugshot database were disproportionately people of color. While Congress is only 20 percent people of color, they were 40 percent of those falsely matched by Rekognition.

Jul 31 10:01

LEADER OF AL-QAEDA IN SYRIA CONTINUES TO RECEIVE FREE PASS ON YOU TUBE WHILE AMERICANS WHO EXPOSE SYRIAN WAR ARE CENSORED AND BANNED

The following post reveals that as of July 27, 2018, the Saudi cleric leader of al-Nusra Front (al-Qaeda in Syria) Abdullah al-Muhaysini still has his own channel up and running on You Tube. This post is highly important because, not only does it point out that terrorists are being given a free pass by western governments and the Powers That Be in the current age of Internet censorship against western citizens accused of bullying and spreading 'false' news, but it also provides evidence that the leader of al-Qaeda in Syria has been working directly with the White Helmets who are a western funded propaganda construct that has employed terrorists to destroy Syria, terrorists who were recently pulled out of Syria by the Israeli government and are now being repatriated into western countries.

A simple You Tube search provides the evidence that al-Qaeda's leader in Syria is fully operational on You Tube.

Screenshot of currently active You Tube videos of Abdullah al-Muhaysini:

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Absoflippinglutely unbelievable!

And yet algorithms for You Tube and Facebook push sites like WRH, which constantly struggles to tell readers the truth, down to where people cannot see us, or hear us, and are subjected to absolute electronic oblivion.

Folks, You Tube and Facebook are simply distractions from the real world, where everything you post is collected and siphoned off to US alphabet soup agencies; it is really better to shun them as though they collectively had the plague.

Jul 31 09:51

Pentagon Signs $885 Million Artificial Intelligence Contract with Booz Allen

The U.S. Department of Defense will for the first time be using large-scale artificial intelligence systems that could automate mundane tasks and augment the work of military members as a result of an $885 million five-year contract, said Josh Sullivan, senior vice president at government consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton.

The technology will allow the Defense Department to better compete with nations including China and Russia, said Mr. Sullivan, who leads the analytics business for Booz Allen.

“Part of this is (about) making sure our government has the access to the best technology and using it responsibly in service of our citizens and warfighters,” he said.

Jul 31 09:49

‘No matter what platform you use, it’s all under surveillance’

All platforms are completely encompassing surveillance machines and Microsoft is probably just catching up here, releasing its Windows 10 operating system, Chris Kitze, founder of ‘Unseen’ encrypted internet server, told RT.
After the release of Microsoft’s new Windows 10 operating system, several tech bloggers have warned that its privacy settings are invasive by default. After signing a lengthy service agreement of 12,000 words the user is affectively giving the system access rights to its private information, including location history, text messages and any information shared via them, personal contacts and calendar notes about plans for exact dates, among other things.

According to the agreement, this data can be stored and preserved if the company considers it necessary.

Jul 31 09:48

Leaked specs for the DJI Mavic 2 drone will make you want it right now

Thanks to an early reveal in the catalog from British retailer Argos, we have an idea of what’s coming spec-wise with the next DJI Mavic drone.

The catalog apparently jumped the gun on running images of the drone that also include technical specifications after DJI scrapped a press event that had been set for July 18. We were supposed to get an announcement at that event about the next model, which the leaked images show will apparently come in two versions — the Zoom and the Pro.

Both versions, among other things, will reportedly have a range of five miles and be able to fly at a top speed of 45 mph. The Zoom will come with a 2x optical zoom lens, while the Pro model will include a Hasselblad camera with a 1-inch sensor. The ability to transmit live 1080p video will be a feature of both models — from up to 5 miles — and both models will also come with 360-degree obstacle avoidance.

Jul 31 09:48

New iOS 12 beta confirms one of the best features of this year’s new iPhone models

Apple on Monday released iOS 12 beta 5, which brings over a bunch of new features and improvements, although there are no new significant features to talk about.

Well, there are no new significant features that regular beta testers will notice. But buried inside the code are elements that confirm one of the best feature coming to this year’s new iPhones.

Rumors from different sources claimed over the past few months that at least one of the 2018 iPhones would come with dual-SIM support. Apple never mentioned the feature at WWDC 2018 in early June, but 9to5Mac found code in iOS 12 beta 5 that confirms iPhones are going to get a second SIM.

Jul 31 09:47

6 free tools that stop Windows 10 from spying on everything you do

Microsoft’s new Windows 10 platform has received quite a reception from bloggers and tech journalists. More importantly, it has been received with open arms by consumers eager to wipe Windows 8 from their desktops and laptops, and start fresh.

A fresh start is exactly what Windows 10 has given Microsoft, but it’s not all good news. While the new software is certainly a huge step in the right direction, some serious privacy concerns have been raised following the revelation that Windows 10 may be spying on almost everything you do.

Jul 31 09:45

New Russian law bans citizens’ personal data being held on foreign servers

All internet companies collecting personal information from Russian citizens are obliged to store that data inside the country, according to a new law. Its supporters cite security reasons, while opponents see it as an infringement of freedoms.

The law, passed Friday by the State Duma, the lower chamber of the Russian parliament, would come into force Sept. 1, 2016. The authors of the legislation believe that it gives both foreign and domestic internet companies enough time to create data-storage facilities in Russia.

The bill was proposed after some Russian MPs deemed it unwise that the bulk of Russians’ online personal data is held on foreign servers, mostly in the US.

Jul 31 09:41

Dixons Carphone data breach saw hackers access up to 10m customer records – NINE million more than first feared last month

The Dixons Carphone data breach has been revealed as much larger than previously thought, as hackers accessed up to 10 million customer records.

Last month the company announced that 5.9 million customer bank card details and 1.2 million personal data records had been hacked in 2017 and went unnoticed.

On Tuesday, the company backtracked on its original figures and amended the total of customer records that had been accessed to a staggering 10 million.

The major data breach involved shoppers at Currys PC World and Dixons Travel but bosses insist there is no sign of any related fraud.

Jul 31 09:39

Kaspersky to move data from Russia to Switzerland to improve transparency

Kaspersky Lab has announced that it plans to move data out of Russia and into a new data center in Switzerland. The move is part of the company's Global Transparency Initiative which came in response to concerns about ties to the Russian government.

Software produced by Kaspersky has already been banned from US government systems, and the company has been on a mission to prove that Russia is not spying on other countries via its antivirus tools.

Jul 31 09:38

Infowars' Alex Jones is banned from Facebook for a month

Following on from a strike for violating YouTube policies, Infowars founder Alex Jones has been hit with sanctions by Facebook for contravening its community standards.

The social network -- which just dropped in value -- removed four of Jones' videos for violating its policies and banned the right-wing conspiracy theorist from using his account for 30 days. In the event of further policy breaches by Jones or his admins, his page could be permanently banned.

Jul 31 09:37

Windows 10 is spying on you, but there’s a way out

So the Microsoft’s new service agreement states that,

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to.”

Microsoft does, however, also gives you an option to opt-out of features that you think may be invading your privacy, but remember if you have installed Windows 10 you have opted-in for all features by default.

Jul 31 09:34

Swiss watch: Cuckoo-clock cops threaten Win 10 whup-ass can pop

Switzerland's top data cop says Microsoft has “gone too far” in abusing people’s privacy.

The Federal Commissioner for Data Protection, Jean-Philippe Walter, told Le Temps on Sunday that he was prepared to take Microsoft to court if it does not alter its privacy policy for Windows 10.

According to Walter, the installation procedure does not properly inform users about the scope of the default settings. In France, the data protection authority CNIL issued public advice on how to set up privacy controls for Windows 10 earlier this month, but CNIL's Swiss counterpart is feeling more combative.

“If necessary, we will issue a recommendation,” he warned – a recommendation which could be for the authorities to ban the sale of Windows 10 in Switzerland.

Jul 31 09:32

TGP Exclusive: Insider Ed Butowsky Talks About the Seth Rich Case

Seth Rich and Aaron Rich downloaded DNC files on a Western Digital $56.00 HDD?

Jul 31 09:12

SUPREME COURT ESSENTIALLY NULLIFIES 4TH AMENDMENT BY DENYING ROSS ULBRICHT'S PETITION

On June 28, 2018, the Supreme Court (Court) denied a petition by Silk Road founder Ross Ulbricht that would have forced the Court to address where government surveillance and the Fourth Amendment intersect online. 34-year old Ulbricht, who is currently serving a double life sentence for a non-violent crime petitioned the Court to review his case; specifically, whether the evidence used to arrest and convict him was seized constitutionally or not. The evidence in question was obtained through warrantless government surveillance of the wireless router in his private home. The Court’s refusal to review Ulbricht’s case affirms an outdated legal precedent that essentially nullifies the Fourth Amendment in the age of the Internet.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

We are no longer a nation of laws; we are a nation of people, as this challenge to the Supreme Court regarding 4th Amendment protection proves.

Jul 30 16:44

China Explores Using Artificial Intelligence To Help Shape Its Foreign Policy

By Aaron Kesel

China is using artificial intelligence as a tool to help it decide its foreign policy, detaching from the emotions of useless humans that get in the way of the thought process. What could possibly go wrong allowing A.I. to help decide foreign policy with other countries?

The South China Morning Post has reported that "Several prototypes of diplomatic systems using artificial intelligence are under development in China, according to researchers involved or familiar with the projects."

The Post notes that "one early-stage machine, built by the Chinese Academy of Sciences, is already being used by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs."...

Jul 30 11:30

Kim Dotcom Drops Bombshell on Twitter, Facebook: “Their Days Are Numbered;” Confirms He’s Now Building Rival ‘Free Speech’ Social Media Platform

“US tech companies are selling out their users to the Deep State,” Dotcom told True Pundit. “And they engage in opinion manipulation by censorship and promotion of their political biases. They have been exposed.

Their days are numbered. Social media sites that protect users, respect privacy and free speech are coming. I’m working on a Twitter replacement.”

Jul 30 10:15

Twitter announces new projects to measure health of social conversation

Twitter is to work with experts from the University of Oxford as part of attempts to measure and improve the health of conversation on the platform.

Social psychology Professor Miles Hewstone and John Gallacher from the university, along with Dr Marc Heerdink from the University of Amsterdam will study how people use Twitter and what impact that has on the quality of debate, the firm said.

The social network announced earlier this year it would review proposals from outside experts into how to measure and improve the health of conversation on the site, after several years of criticism over misinformation and offensive content spreading on the site.

Jul 30 09:05

Tractor Hacking: The Farmers Breaking Big Tech's Repair Monopoly

Jul 30 08:42

Zuckerberg & Facebook slapped with lawsuit for failing to warn investors of slowing growth

Facebook investors are suing the social network, its CEO Mark Zuckerberg and CFO David Wehner after a poor earnings report wiped out nearly $160 billion of shareholder wealth.

The lawsuit, filed by shareholder James Kacouris in a Manhattan federal court, could be the first of many claims over a disappointing earnings announcement by the social media and social networking service corporation. Facebook is also dealing with dozens of suits over its handling of user data in connection with the UK firm Cambridge Analytica. Many of those lawsuits have been reportedly consolidated in the federal court in San Francisco.

Jul 30 08:26

IBM Watson dishes out 'dodgy cancer advice', Google Translate isn't better than humans yet, and other AI tidbits

IBM Watson cancer fail: IBM Watson has made several “unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations” to cancer doctors using the technology, according to leaked internal documents.

An investigation by Stat News, which obtained the files, revealed the problem lies with the AI system being carelessly trained. Rather than being taught to diagnose people from real cancer cases, IBM Watson was instead trained using synthetic records by the company’s engineers and doctors working at the Memorial Sloan Kettering (MSK) Cancer Center in New York City, USA.

Medical data is difficult to obtain for privacy reasons. However, relying on fake data meant the cloud service's recommendations were based on a few experts' opinions rather than real evidence.

Jul 30 08:23

How hack on 10,000 WordPress sites was used to launch an epic malvertising campaign

Security researchers at Check Point have lifted the lid on the infrastructure and methods of an enormous "malvertising" and banking trojan campaign.

The operation delivered malicious adverts to millions worldwide, slinging all manner of nasties including crypto-miners, ransomware and banking trojans.

The researchers told The Register that they have observed over 40,000 infection attempts per week from this campaign (that is, at least 40,000 clicks on malicious adverts) and said the campaign was still active. They reckon the crims are getting a decent return on their ad spend so they can afford to outbid legitimate publishers.

Jul 30 07:54

Federal Whistleblowers Expose TSA’s “Quiet Skies” Secret Surveillance Program for ALL Travelers

By Nicholas West

It appears that, once again, the government narrative that TSA surveillance and groping is needed to keep Americans safe from the terrorists "over there" is nothing but a justification to violate the rights of everyone.

Thanks to a group of federal air marshals displaying good conscience, we are now learning about a new program that shows the full web of physical and digital surveillance that is being employed by the government to track people far beyond even the dubious "terror watch list." Not only are these marshals ready to talk - they are equipped with documents...

Jul 29 23:55

What the Internet Sales Tax Is All About

What’s offensive about all this is that the Supreme Court didn’t pick up on what is plainly a backdoor tariff foisted on the American people. A Court that’s required to elevate the Constitution, and in doing so ensure that trade among American citizens is regular and free, has empowered cities and states to effectively put up tariff barriers to trade through a wholly invented taxing power. If this is doubted, readers need only ask again if they would cheerfully pay local taxes on transactions made in person, but not in the city or state they live in. Not a chance.

Jul 29 12:10

India Launches Formal Probe of Illegal Data Mining by Cambridge Analytica

After the UK-based data mining and analysis firm failed to respond to successive notices by the Indian government on whether it had harvested the user profiles of Indians, the country’s apex investigation agency has been asked to launch a probe, India’s IT Ministry stated.

The Indian government has ordered a probe into the Cambridge Analytica data mining case. The government today informed Parliament that it has written to the country's apex federal investigation body, the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI), seeking an inquiry against the UK-based data mining and analysis firm.

Jul 29 10:16

How Israel Rules The World Of Cyber Security, VICE on HBO, Full Episode

Jul 29 09:20

WHAT DOES GOOGLE KNOW ABOUT YOU: AN (AUTO)COMPLETE GUIDE

Google might just know you better than anyone.

Thanks to the data the tech giant collects in order to sell ads, Google has a wealth of information on you — from what you look like to where you live and where you’ve traveled. The corporation may even be able to guess your favorite food.

Just how does Google know all of this? Jump to our infographic for a quick overview of everything Google knows about you, or check out our full guide by clicking on the icons below.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

This is nearly terrifying, and a very good reason to never use Google again.

Jul 28 12:29

In Bizarre Response, Twitter Tells Trump It Does Not "Shadowban" While Admitting It Does

In response to growing outrage over the practice of "shadow banning" conservatives, as confirmed last week by the liberal publication VICE and promptly tweeted about by President Trump, Twitter issued a strange explanation to "set the record straight," where they explicitly state that they do not engage in the practice - except then they describe how they do exactly that.

Jul 28 10:53

REPORT: IBM WATSON AI RECOMMENDED UNSAFE CANCER TREATMENTS

IBM has put its Watson artificial intelligence system to work on a variety of problems, including caring for cancer patients.

Watson's oncology system has helped care for more 84,000 patients around the world, and while the tech company says the program is a success, a Stat News report said internal documents tell a different story.

The publication reviewed the documents from 2017 in which medical experts discuss "multiple examples of unsafe and incorrect treatment recommendations."

In one example, a patient was recommended a drug that could lead to severe or fatal hemorrhage while he was already dealing with severe bleeding due to his condition. In another example, a Florida doctor who reviewed the system told the company that the technology is "a piece of shit."

IBM engineers and doctors who helped train the AI provided Watson with data about hypothetical patients and treatments instead of data from real, living patients, the report says.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Were I to come down with cancer, I would definitely not want to be diagnosed by AI. In the future, I think AI can assist with suggestions, but I would want to talk to an oncologist who also very much encouraged complementary medicine.

I would also want to see what the best numbers were from local medical institutions, and be able to use statistics, intelligently, to let me know which institutions had the best success rate.

AI is here to stay; but I hope that it is deployed in ways which can best help humankind, and not in ways which are unsafe, or could be downright hurtful.

Jul 28 08:44

MPs call for Facebook, Google and Twitter to be hit with hefty 'fake news' taxes

Facebook, Google and Twitter face the threat of new taxes to combat fake news, amid warnings the phenomenon is putting democracy at risk.

Leaked reports suggest MPs will call for a major clampdown on the social media giants to protect the West’s democratic processes.

The culture, media and sport committee, which has conducted a lengthy inquiry into fake news, is expected to call for social media firms to be made legally liable for harmful and illegal content on their platforms.

It is also expected to propose a levy on the firms to raise funds for combating fake news, and say social media and data protection lessons should be on the national curriculum.

Jul 27 18:24

"Big Star Labs" spyware campaign affects over 11,000,000 people

This time, we discovered multiple browser extensions and mobile apps invisibly collecting users' browsing history, with a total user count of over 11,000,000.

...

The apps and extensions we discovered doing this belong to a newly registered Delaware company named "Big Star Labs", so it is difficult to track them down to the real beneficiaries. This also makes it almost impossible to track whom they share your data with.

Here's the full list of suspicious apps and extensions that belong to "Big Star Labs":

Jul 27 17:02

Citizens of Quebec File Class Action Suit Against EMF and RFR Producers

In an effort to highlight the potential harm of electromagnetic pollution, a class action lawsuit was filed in Superior Court, Province of Quebec against EMF and RFR producers.

Jul 27 12:29

In Bizarre Response, Twitter Tells Trump It Does Not "Shadowban" While Admitting It Does

In response to growing outrage over the practice of "shadow banning" conservatives, as confirmed last week by the liberal publication VICE and promptly tweeted about by President Trump, Twitter issued a strange explanation to "set the record straight," where they explicitly state that they do not engage in the practice - except then they describe how they do exactly that.

"People are asking us if we shadow ban. We do not. But let’s start with, “what is shadow banning?”

The best definition we found is this: deliberately making someone’s content undiscoverable to everyone except the person who posted it, unbeknownst to the original poster." -Twitter

In other words, Twitter says they don't shadow ban - it's just that tweets from people you follow may never appear unless you click directly into their timeline.

Jul 27 09:37

Snoopware installed by 11 million+ iOS, Android, Chrome, and Firefox users

People often use ad blockers, disk-cleaners, and similar utilities to stop online trackers from monitoring their online activities. Now, researchers have uncovered a host of apps and browser extensions downloaded more than 11 million times that keep a list of every website ever visited and send it to servers operated by the developers.

The snooping wares affect both Android and iOS users, as well as those who installed Google Chrome and Mozilla Firefox extensions, according to a blog post published Tuesday by AdGuard, a developer of ad blockers and privacy tools. AdGuard cofounder Andrey Meshkov said in the post that the extensions and apps make a list of every exact address of every page visited and combine it with a unique identifier he believes is generated when the extension or app is first installed.

Jul 27 09:35

Top 5: Things to know about AI

AI is hyped, but that doesn't mean there isn't reality. If your business collects data, there's probably an application for AI. And it can speed up the process and reduce errors.

So here are five things you should know about AI.

Jul 27 08:42

Twitter shares drop by almost 19 percent after the company reported lower-than-anticipated user numbers, as the struggling sector feels the impact of Facebook's record $119bn losses

Metrics released Friday revealed Twitter Inc had a revenue of $711million in the second quarter, but the company's stock took a hit because it lost one million monthly active users between the first and second quarter.

The share price was listed at $42.94 at the close of the market last night, opening this morning at $37.29 and settling at $35.25 as of 11am CST.

Jul 27 08:28

The War for Net Neutrality

If you’re new to all of this (or just need a quick recap), net neutrality is the principle that ISPs should treat all data on the internet equally and without discriminating by user, content, website, platform, application, type of attached equipment, or method of communication.

The term was first coined by Columbia University media law professor Tim Wu in 2003 and has gone on to be used worldwide.

It’s composed of a set of principles that have existed even before the term was coined.

Jul 26 15:27

Amazon’s Facial “Rekognition” Mismatches 28 Lawmakers With Criminals

By Aaron Kesel

The American Civil Liberties Union of Northern California tested Amazon’s facial Rekognition software and the program erroneously and hilariously identified 28 members of Congress as people who have been arrested for crimes...

Jul 26 14:16

Irony: Amazon’s Facial Recognition Says 28 Members Of Congress Are Criminals

Oh, the irony…Amazon’s new facial recognition software identified 28 members of Congress as criminals. This is pretty upsetting for statists everywhere as their precious masters are being “mislabeled.”

Jul 26 11:09

DuckDuckGo Blasts Google for Anti-Competitive Search

(* I see where The Duck is doing something about the google practise of burying stories that don't pass muster for. pushing their agenda , in the spirit of competitiveness )

Jul 26 09:09

Trump Slams Twitter's "Shadow-Banning" Of Prominent Republicans

"Twitter 'SHADOW BANNING' prominent Republicans. Not good. We will look into this discriminatory and illegal practice at once! "

Jul 26 09:04

Building a global AI supercomputer – The 2018 Microsoft Research Faculty Summit

We live in the age of the intelligent edge and intelligent cloud. Data is collected at the edge using billions of small devices. The data is pre-processed at the edge and shipped in a filtered and aggregated form to the cloud. In the cloud, the data is analyzed and used to train models which are in turn deployed at both the edge and in the cloud to make decisions. This way, computing and AI are infused into virtually all processes of our daily life. The result is a supercomputer at global scale composed of billions of devices with micro-controllers at the edge and millions of servers in the cloud and at the edge.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Skynet? :)

Jul 26 08:46

YouTube ditches videos from Infowars founder and conspiracy theorist Alex Jones as part of its latest bid to 'remove hate speech' from the site

YouTube has removed four clips shared by conspiracy theorist Alex Jones after the popular radio host used his YouTube channel to denounce Muslim immigrants in Europe and the creators of a transgender cartoon.

The YouTube videos, which included footage of a man pushing a child to the ground, were shared by the Austin-based user on his Infowars website.

YouTube, which is owned by Google's parent company Alphabet Inc, has since removed the videos for promoting 'child endangerment and hate speech'.

Infowars posted a statement claiming YouTube had slapped the Jones' channel with a 'community strike,' meaning he cannot broadcast live on YouTube for 90 days.

Jul 26 08:41

Spectre/Meltdown fixes in HPC: Want the bad news or the bad news? It's slower, say boffins

HPC admin? Feeling slighted that all the good Spectre/Meltdown mitigation benchmarks ignore big iron? Fear not, a bunch of MIT boffins are on your side.

Unfortunately, what they found is that network connections, disk accesses, and computational workloads can all be affected by the fixes, whether in the operating system or the microcode.

Jul 25 18:28

Facebook's market value plummets by $150 BILLION in just two hours after firm misses revenue targets and reveals slowest-ever growth in users in wake of privacy scandals and new GDPR rules

Shares of Facebook dipped more than 20% to $173.73 in after-hours trading on Wednesday. The stock has risen about 23.2% so far this year.

By Wednesday evening, almost $150 billion had been wiped off of Facebook's market cap as a result of the stock's plunge.

Meanwhile, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg saw his net worth dive roughly $20 billion to $63.6 billion. At the closing bell on Wednesday, Zuckerberg was worth $82.4 billion, according to Forbes.

Total monthly active users came in at 2.23 billion, which fell short of analysts' estimated 2.25 billion.

Users in Europe dropped from 377 million to 376 million, partly as a result of the new General Data Protection Regulation rules.

Facebook executives made investors even more nervous when they warned of further revenue deceleration in a call with analysts.

Jul 25 15:37

DXVK, and finally getting off the Windows 10 train

The impetus for this change is, surprisingly, Windows 10 itself. The latest upgrade to version 1803 has been a dumpster fire for many, and it’s only getting worse for anyone who hasn’t installed it on their machines yet. First the upgrade wouldn’t complete on computers running Avast Antivirus, then there were the BSODs and corrupt partitions on Intel and Toshiba solid state drives. There were freezing issues with Chrome and Edge when running GPU-accelerated workloads in the browser, and the black screen blanking and shader cache issues with the latest NVIDIA drivers. Then people started seeing broken installs, DPC latency spikes that would de-sync audio, various keys not working; heck, even Internet Explorer 11 is missing, and that was intentional.

Jul 25 15:10

Russia Wants To Pass Fake News Law That Would Fine Social Networks $793,000

By Aaron Kesel

Russia is the latest to propose draconian legislation to stop the spreading of “fake news.”

Russia has proposed the insane notion of fining social media companies. Under the new legislation, websites would be responsible for deleting inaccurate user comments...

Jul 25 12:49

Soccer Ball Putin Presented to Trump Contains Built-In Transmitter - Reports

During their meeting in Helsinki, Russian President Putin presented the soccer ball to Trump after the latter congratulated Russia with successfully hosting the World Cup.

The soccer ball presented as a gift to US President Donald Trump from his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin during the Helsinki summit contains a chip capable of transmitting information to nearby cell phones, Bloomberg reports.

The media outlet notes however that the chip in question isn’t some kind of high-tech gadget but a new feature of the Adidas AG ball: an near-field communication tag which "allows fans to access player videos, competitions and other content by bringing their mobile devices close to the ball."

"The feature is included in the 2018 FIFA World Cup match ball that’s sold on the Adidas website for $165 (reduced to $83 in the past week),” Bloomberg states, adding that Adidas declined to comment if the chip could be employed by Russian hackers to stage possible cyber-attack.

Jul 25 10:33

Inside the underworld where criminals trade your banking details: Fraudsters making online videos teaching how to exploit stolen credit card details

Online reviews of 'The Mayor's' worldwide money transfer service couldn't be more glowing.

'I tried the transfer service and I'm happy to say that my first-ever payment went through for me today,' says one elated customer.

'This is going to be a good business relationship! I can feel it! Thank you Mayor.'

Another customer writes effusively: 'Left Western Union with $4,725, I'm surprised at how easy it was.'

Accompanying the testimonials are photographs showing wads of cash strewn across car seats, sofas and customers' laps.

Webmaster's Commentary: 

Good reason to stop using banks!

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