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Comment: Nice! I was one of the ones hit by these charges! (Score 5, Informative) 51

by NeverVotedBush (#48638913) Attached to: T-Mobile To Pay $90M For Unauthorized Charges On Customers' Bills
I started getting text messages on some celebrity quiz game but was just deleting them until I finally got tired of them. I looked the company up online and saw where people were complaining about getting slammed and charges showing up. I checked my bill and sure enough - there were the charges. I hadn't noticed them because they were down a couple of extra layers under something like "miscellaneous charges". I called T-Mobile to stop it and get the charges refunded but they had me contact the charging company to dispute and the charging company would only refund a couple of months. This had been going on for about 5 months. I called T-Mobile and insisted on total refunds and just got a runaround. I called my Senator and told his staff about it. They intervened and T-Mobile contacted me and gave me a full refund. The Senator's staff contacted me again and asked if I minded if my case data was used in their investigation and I told them not at all. Looks like it has all finally bore fruit.

The company - I would have to check my files for the name - said I had visited some web site and signed up for their celibrity quiz game. I had a static IP address at the time and sure as shit, they had it. I had apparently visited a site that was simply harvesting IP addresses, or somehow they associated my IP with my name. I would never sign up for some celebrity quiz. It was a simple slam.

Glad they all got nailed!

+ - Satellite captures glowing plants from space->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "About 1% of the light that strikes plants is re-emitted as a faint, fluorescent glow—a measure of photosynthetic activity. Today, scientists released a map of this glow as measured by the Orbiting Carbon Observatory-2, a NASA satellite launched in July with the goal of mapping the net amount of carbon in the atmosphere. The map reveals that tropical rainforests near the equator are actively sucking up carbon, while the Corn Belt in the eastern United States, near the end of its growing season, is also a sink. Higher resolution fluorescence mapping could one day be used to help assess crop yields and how they respond to drought and heat in a changing climate."
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+ - NASA Provides Details of Unique Method for 3d Printing on Other Planets->

Submitted by ErnieKey
ErnieKey (3766427) writes "A major application of 3d printing that could revolutionize space travel, is that of ultimately using 3d printers to create structures on non-terrestrial bodies like the moon, other planets, and even asteroids. Researchers from NASA's Kennedy Space Center have been working to develop solutions to materials issues, and recently presented initial findings on the potential for using in-situ materials like basalt for 3D printing. Their innovative method is based on only using in-situ supplies, and not materials that need to be brought into space."
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+ - Uber limits 'God view' to improve rider privacy->

Submitted by mpicpp
mpicpp (3454017) writes "Uber has rolled back employee access to its "God view" mode, which allows the company to track riders' locations and other data.

The ride service company was faced with questions about its privacy policies from U.S. Senator Al Franken, following a series of recent privacy debacles. Uber's updated policy is detailed in its response to the senator's questions.

Franken sent Uber a letter in November after news reports made two things clear: The ride service company collects lots of data on customers — and some executives don't exercise that power responsibly.

In one case, an Uber employee using "God View" easily tracked a reporter's movements on her way to a meeting. In another case, Uber executive Emil Michael proposed digging up dirt on journalists who were critical of his company and spread details of their personal lives."

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+ - Bacteria on pubic hair could be used to identify rapists->

Submitted by sciencehabit
sciencehabit (1205606) writes "When it comes to identifying a rapist, one of the main pieces of evidence police analyze are pubic hairs found at the crime scene. But most of these hairs are missing their roots and thus don’t harbor enough DNA for a proper match. Now, a new study suggests there may be a better way to finger the criminal: Look at the bacteria he left behind. Scientists have found that each person harbors a unique "microbial signature" on their pubic hair that can be traced back to the scene of the crime."
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+ - The Vanishing Male Worker

Submitted by HughPickens.com
HughPickens.com (3830033) writes "The NYT reports that the share of prime-age men, those 25 to 54 years old, who are not working has more than tripled since the late 1960s to 16 percent as many men have decided that low-wage work will not improve their lives, in part because deep changes in American society have made it easier for them to live without working. These changes include the availability of federal disability benefits; the decline of marriage, which means fewer men provide for children; and the rise of the Internet, which has reduced the isolation of unemployment. Technology has made unemployment less lonely says Tyler Cowen, an economist at George Mason University, who argues that the Internet allows men to entertain themselves and find friends and sexual partners at a much lower cost than did previous generations. Perhaps most important, it has become harder for men to find higher-paying jobs as foreign competition and technological advances have eliminated many of the jobs open to high school graduates. The trend was pushed to new heights by the last recession, with 20 percent of prime-age men not working in 2009 before partly receding. But the recovery is unlikely to be complete. "Like turtles flipped onto their backs, many people who stop working struggle to get back on their feet," writes Appelbaum. "Some people take years to return to the work force, and others never do "

A study published in October by scholars at the American Enterprise Institute and the Institute for Family Studies estimated that 37 percent of the decline in male employment since 1979 can be explained by this retreat from marriage and fatherhood (PDF). “When the legal, entry-level economy isn’t providing a wage that allows someone a convincing and realistic option to become an adult — to go out and get married and form a household — it demoralizes them and shunts them into illegal economies,” says Philippe Bourgois, an anthropologist who has studied the lives of young men in urban areas. “It’s not a choice that has made them happy. They would much rather be adults in a respectful job that pays them and promises them benefits.”"

+ - Microsoft's Latest Botched Windows Update->

Submitted by Anonymous Coward
An anonymous reader writes "This will affect devs with Visual Studio installed on their computer. As I write this, update fails to go pass KB3002339. Restarting won't help since Windows is in install (botched) update mode. Bug reports published on Microsoft's Community forums indicate that KB3002339 fails to install properly no matter the Windows version, as there seems to be a compatibility issue with Visual Studio. Given how close we're to Christmas, users are wondering if there will be more Microsoft gifts of coal?"
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User Journal

Journal: WTF, Firefox??? 7

Journal by mcgrew

As usual when I boot on Patch Tuesday, I open a bunch of tabs, the notebook slows to a crawl, and this time it was locked up so tight that Windows gave a message saying it couldn't display the message and to use the power button. I had to pull the battery to reboot the damned thing.

So I start Firefox back up and it says it's updating. It finally opens, with an extra tab, one telling me that it changed my default search to Yahoo.

+ - New Destover Malware Signed by Stolen Sony Certificate

Submitted by Trailrunner7
Trailrunner7 (1100399) writes "Researchers have discovered a new version of the Destover malware that was used in the recent Sony Pictures Entertainment breaches, and in an ironic twist, the sample is signed by a legitimate certificate stolen from Sony.

The new sample is essentially identical to an earlier version of Destover that was not signed. Destover has been used in a variety of attacks in recent years and it’s representative of the genre of malware that doesn’t just compromise machines and steal data, but can destroy information as well. The attackers who have claimed credit for the attack on Sony have spent the last couple of weeks gradually releasing large amounts of information stolen in the breach, including unreleased movies, personal data of Sony employees and sensitive security information such as digital certificates and passwords.

The new, signed version of Destover appears to have been compiled in July and was signed on Dec. 5, the day after Kaspersky Lab published an analysis of the known samples of the malware."

+ - AMD Offers A Performance Boost, Over 20 New Features With Catalyst Omega Drivers->

Submitted by MojoKid
MojoKid (1002251) writes "AMD this week just dropped its new Catalyst Omega driver package that is the culmination of six months of development work. AMD Catalyst Omega reportedly brings over 20 new features and a wealth of bug fixes to the table along with performance increases both on AMD Radeon GPUs and integrated AMD APUs. Some of the new functionality brought with the Catalyst Omega driver includes Virtual Super Resolution, or VSR. VSR is "game- and engine-agnostic" and renders content at up to 4K resolution, then displays it at a resolution that your monitor actually supports. The very nature of VSR allows it to be used across a wide spectrum of applications including games and even the Windows desktop. AMD says that VSR allows for increased image quality, similar in concept to Super Sampling Anti-Aliasing (SSAA). Another added perk of VSR is the ability to see more content on the screen at once. To take advantage of VSR, you'll need a Radeon R9 295X2, R9 290X, R9 290, or R9 285 discrete graphics card. Both single- and multi-GPU configurations are currently supported. VSR is essentially AMD's answer to NVIDIA's DSR, or Dynamic Super Resolution. In addition, AMD is claiming performance enhancements in a number of top titles with these these new drivers. Reportedly, as little as 6 percent improvement in performance in FIFA Online to as much as a 29 percent increase in Batman: Arkham Origins can be gained when using an AMD 7000-Series APU, for example. On discrete GPUs, an AMD Radeon R9 290X's performance increases ranged from 8 percent in Grid 2, to roughly 16 percent in Bioshock Infinity."
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+ - Warmer Pacific Ocean could release millions of tons of methane->

Submitted by vinces99
vinces99 (2792707) writes "Off the U.S. West Coast, methane gas is trapped in frozen layers below the seafloor. New research from the University of Washington shows that water at intermediate depths is warming enough to cause these carbon deposits to melt, releasing methane into the sediments and surrounding water. Researchers found that water off the coast of Washington is gradually warming at a depth of 500 meters (about a third of a mile down), the same depth where methane transforms from a solid to a gas. The research suggests that ocean warming could be triggering the release of a powerful greenhouse gas.

Scientists believe global warming will release methane from gas hydrates worldwide, but most of the focus has been on the Arctic. The new paper estimates that, from 1970 to 2013, some 4 million metric tons of methane has been released from hydrate decomposition off Washington's coast. That’s an amount each year equal to the methane from natural gas released in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon blowout off the coast of Louisiana, and 500 times the rate at which methane is naturally released from the seafloor."

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