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+ - SPAM: Latest News Abney Associates Technology, US police force pay bitcoin ransom

Submitted by dietrichschmitt
dietrichschmitt (3444171) writes "US police force pay bitcoin ransom in Cryptolocker malware scam

Massachusetts police have admitted to paying a bitcoin ransom after being infected by the Crypt locker ransomware.

The Cryptolocker malware infects a computer, normally via a legitimate-looking email that urges the reader to open an attachment often posing as a voicemail, fax, invoice or details of a suspicious transaction that is being queried.

Once the Windows computer is infected, the malware encrypts the user's hard drive and then begins displaying a countdown timer, while demanding payment for the release of the data of 2 bitcoins – an almost untraceable, peer-to-peer digital online currency – which at current exchange rates equates to about £832 or $1338.

“(The virus) is so complicated and successful that you have to buy these bitcoins, which we had never heard of,” Swansea Police Lt. Gregory Ryan talking to the Herald News. “It was an education for (those who) had to deal with it.”

Essential operational computers were not affected

Ryan insisted that the Massachusetts police systems were now clear of infection, and that essential operational computers were not affected, nor was there any data stolen.

The FBI is currently investigating the virus infection of the police computer, which is thought to have evolved over the last year and originated from somewhere within former Soviet nations such as Ukraine and Russia."

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+ - Science Museum Declines to Show Climate Change Film->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "A premier science museum in North Carolina has sparked controversy by refusing to show an hourlong film about climate change and rising sea levels. The museum may be in a bit of a delicate position. It is part of a state agency, the North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources. The state government has been perceived as hostile to action on climate change; last year, the legislature passed a bill forbidding the state coastal commission from defining rates of sea-level rise for regulation before 2016."
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+ - To Review Controversial Hackathon Win->

Submitted by itwbennett
itwbennett (1594911) writes "Adding to the growing sentiment that prizes ruin hackathons, has come under fire from critics who say the hackathon the company held at its Dreamforce conference was judged unfairly. Not long after the $1 million prize was handed to Upshot for a mobile app that let users to create and edit reports, other contestants raised allegations of unfairness. Among the complaints: That Upshot's CTO Thomas Kim had demoed a similar-sounding application a couple of weeks before Oct. 25 cutoff; that Kim is a former employee (although that isn't in violation of the rules); and that their own entries weren't evaluated by judges at all. Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff is now promising a thorough investigation of the hackathon."
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+ - Driver Arrested in Ohio for Secret Car Compartment Full of Nothing->

Submitted by schwit1
schwit1 (797399) writes "Norman Gurley, 30, is facing drug-related charges in Lorain County, Ohio, despite the fact that state troopers did not actually find any drugs in his possession.

Ohio passed a law in 2012 making it a felony to alter a vehicle to add a secret compartment with the “intent” of using it to conceal drugs for trafficking."

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+ - Failed software upgrade halts transit service

Submitted by linuxwrangler
linuxwrangler (582055) writes "San Francisco Bay Area commuters awoke this morning to the news that BART, the major regional transit system which carries hundreds of thousands of daily riders, was entirely shut down due to a computer failure. Commuters stood stranded at stations and traffic backed up as residents took to the roads. The system has returned to service and BART says the outage resulted from a botched software upgrade."

+ - Ars Technica writer plagiarizes space history posts

Submitted by Greg Lindahl
Greg Lindahl (37568) writes "Last May, I really enjoyed reading an Ars Tecnica post “The secret laser-toting Soviet satellite that almost was” [down, see mirror at] It turns out that most of the details were taken from an article titled Soviet Star Wars published in the Smithsonian Air & Space Magazine in 2010. Here are the details of the plagiarism, including some other space history articles with similar copying by the same author. Ars Technica's response? Unhistory! They've removed the posting, but haven't published a retraction or explanation."

+ - GIMP Abandons SourceForge. Distributes via FTP Instead->

Submitted by Dangerous_Minds
Dangerous_Minds (1869682) writes "GIMP, a free and open source altenernative to image manipulation software like Photoshop, recently announced that it will no longer be distributing their program through SourceForge. Citing some of the ads as reasons, they say that the tipping point was "the introduction of their own SourceForge Installer software, which bundles third-party offers with Free Software packages. We do not want to support this kind of behavior, and have thus decided to abandon SourceForge." The policy changes were reported back in August by Gluster. GIMP is now distributing their software via their own FTP page instead. Is Sourceforge becoming the next CNET?"
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+ - http://istumblrdown Shuttered by Cease and Desist Order->

Submitted by TrueSatan
TrueSatan (1709878) writes "Blogging platform Tumblr has issued a Cease and desist notice to a rather trivial and harmless site that simply offered status updates for Tumblr. The site owner claims this to be symptomatic of Tumblr's disregard for users needs quoting and their fixation on banning users rather than any more positive improvements they might make to their platform."
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Comment: Re:Much needed competition? (Score 1) 119

by Ectospheno (#42269263) Attached to: Redbox Set To Compete With Netflix On Video Streaming
I stopped purchasing or renting disc based media. Buying a digital copy from Amazon or Google is easier. Watching it on any device I own is also easier. Physical media is just annoying. And no, I'm not worried about Amazon or Google disappearing any time soon. Certainly not before bluerays are obsolete and everyone is buying their collection over again anyway.

Comment: Adblockers are more effective. (Score 3, Informative) 185

by Ectospheno (#42137391) Attached to: Microsoft Security Essentials Loses AV-Test Certificate
A good ad blocker in your browser will be more effective in the long run than any AV software you install. Couple that with the common sense to not download and run every piece of crap you see on the internet and your computer will be fine. Every instance of an infection I've seen involved the person breaking one of those two simple rules.

Comment: Re:And people ask me why I don't use Chrome (Score 2) 202

by Ectospheno (#39079343) Attached to: Google Accused of Bypassing Safari's Privacy Controls

I'll ask you the same question I ask everyone else who seems to be highly concerned about companies knowing things about them. Why does it bother you?

I use Google for pretty much everything. I'm a Google Apps for Business customer and have been very pleased with the services they provide. Their products work well and the uptime/cost ratio is excellent. I'm assuming their ads are still nonintrusive but honestly I wouldn't know as I use adblockers with rather strict rulesets so I never see any of them.

Do they know a metric crapton about who I am and what I do? Sure. Why should I care about this? How does Google knowing what videos games I play or what books I read matter to me in my day to day activities? So they know I played Skyrim a lot and which bands I listen to. Who cares? Everyone who matters in my life already knows all of that anyway. Why panic because Google knows it too?

Never invest your money in anything that eats or needs repainting. -- Billy Rose