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Medical Records Worth More To Hackers Than Credit Cards 71

Posted by samzenpus
from the pills-please dept. writes Reuters reports that your medical information, including names, birth dates, policy numbers, diagnosis codes and billing information, is worth 10 times more than your credit card number on the black market. Fraudsters use this data to create fake IDs to buy medical equipment or drugs that can be resold, or they combine a patient number with a false provider number and file made-up claims with insurers, according to experts who have investigated cyber attacks on healthcare organizations. Medical identity theft is often not immediately identified by a patient or their provider, giving criminals years to milk such credentials. That makes medical data more valuable than credit cards, which tend to be quickly canceled by banks once fraud is detected. Stolen health credentials can go for $10 each, about 10 or 20 times the value of a U.S. credit card number, says Don Jackson, director of threat intelligence at PhishLabs, a cyber crime protection company. He obtained the data by monitoring underground exchanges where hackers sell the information. Plus "healthcare providers and hospitals are just some of the easiest networks to break into," says Jeff Horne. "When I've looked at hospitals, and when I've talked to other people inside of a breach, they are using very old legacy systems — Windows systems that are 10 plus years old that have not seen a patch."

Comment: Re:Every book we read in school (Score 1) 394

by davek (#48002565) Attached to: It's Banned Books Week; I recommend ...

Every book we read in school was on the banned book list. Apparently banned doesn't mean what the dictionary says it means. The books are readily available and are often required material in junior high, high school and college.

Pretty sure most of Mark Twain has been banned in US schools, because of gratuitous (if temporarily appropriate) use of the N-word. Not to mention all the hubub about books about "Intelligent Design" or those which question government policy on war or the environment. Make no mistake: censorship is alive and well in our schools.


The Great Lightbulb Conspiracy 585

Posted by Soulskill
from the less-than-bright-ideas dept. writes: Markus Krajewski reports that today, with many countries phasing out incandescent lighting in favor of more-efficient and pricier LEDs, it's worth revisiting the history of the Phoebus cartel — not simply as a quirky anecdote from the annals of technology, but as a cautionary tale about the strange and unexpected pitfalls that can arise when a new technology vanquishes an old one. Prior to the Phoebus cartel's formation in 1924, household light bulbs typically burned for a total of 1,500 to 2,500 hours; cartel members agreed to shorten that life span to a standard 1,000 hours.

Each factory regularly sent lightbulb samples to the cartel's central laboratory in Switzerland for verification. If any factory submitted bulbs lasting longer or shorter than the regulated life span for its type, the factory was obliged to pay a fine. Though long gone, the Phoebus cartel still casts a shadow today because it reduced competition in the light bulb industry for almost twenty years, and has been accused of preventing technological advances that would have produced longer-lasting light bulbs. Will history repeat itself as the lighting industry is now going through its most tumultuous period of technological change since the invention of the incandescent bulb?

"Consumers are expected to pay more money for bulbs that are up to 10 times as efficient and that are touted to last a fantastically long time—up to 50,000 hours in the case of LED lights. In normal usage, these lamps will last so long that their owners will probably sell the house they're in before having to change the bulbs," writes Krajewski. "Whether or not these pricier bulbs will actually last that long is still an open question, and not one that the average consumer is likely to investigate." There are already reports of CFLs and LED lamps burning out long before their rated lifetimes are reached. "Such incidents may well have resulted from nothing more sinister than careless manufacturing. But there is no denying that these far more technologically sophisticated products offer tempting opportunities for the inclusion of purposefully engineered life-shortening defects.""

Comment: Re:Interestingly (Score 1) 50

by davek (#47909773) Attached to: Google's Android One Initiative Launches In India With Three $100 Phones

The phone I carry is running Android Jelly Bean. Retailed for $49.

No kidding. A $100 phone would be an upgrade to me.

Side note: India is NOT POOR. Don't believe what you see in the media. At my last job, my Indian counterparts made enough to support a wife, multiple kids, car & apartment on one developer's income. Can't do that in this country, even with an engineer's salary.

Comment: Re:What battle? (2010 wants its article back?) (Score 4, Insightful) 826

by davek (#47750939) Attached to: Choose Your Side On the Linux Divide

At the moment, just about every major distribution except Slackware and Gentoo not only supports systemd, but ships with it on by default.

So...what "battle" are we talking about? (Or did this post just fall forward five years from the past?)

Ubuntu is the largest distro I know of and it doesn't support it by default.

But you're right, all the arguments I've read against it boil down to Linus hating on one of the developers on the project and/or "It's too complicated and unmanageable!" I've yet to read something I'd consider a valid argument against it. A bunch of neck beards yelling "Get off my lawn!" is not and argument I can get any value out of.

When the neck beards speak, it's often prudent to at least listen.

I'm reminded of a myth, of when the Ancients were sitting down to design Unix, someone said "Why would we ever need a special file, that never contains any data, and always throws away everything written to it?" The Ancient replied, "Trust me, you'll need it." And thus, /dev/null was born.

The Courts

Climate Change Skeptic Group Must Pay Damages To UVA, Michael Mann 497

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the stop-trolling dept.
ideonexus (1257332) writes In January of 2014, the American Traditions Institute (ATI) sought climate scientist Micheal Mann's emails from his time at the University of Virginia, a request that was denied in the courts. Now the Virginia Supreme Court has upheld a lower court ruling that ATI must pay damages for filing a frivolous lawsuit. Thus ends "Climategate." Hopefully.

Comment: As true as "hybrid cars get 400 MPG" (Score 1) 461

by davek (#47316305) Attached to: Half of Germany's Power Supplied By Solar, Briefly

If you cherry-pick data, you can get it to say just about anything. It's similar to how hybrid cards are allowed to use MPG data from when only the electric motor is running, making the clain that they get hundreds of miles per gallon. What did they /do/ with that electricity? Could it be stored and used when the sun went down? How efficient are they over time? I'm sorry, but nuclear power and continued prudent use of fossil fuels are the ONLY solutions for the worlds energy problems. It is physically and mathematically impossible to power the world with straight wind or sun power (which is not to say it couldn't be used as a catalyst in some yet-to-be-discoved process).

Sorry to rain on your solor parade.

Comment: Re:Let's look at the Canadian example (Score 1) 222

by davek (#47297943) Attached to: WikiLeaks Publishes Secret International Trade Agreement

Canada was openly ridiculed by the US for not deregulating its financial industry right up until the financial disaster. By an large, Canada escaped disaster that plagued the other G8 countries in the banking meltdown.

So, we have recent proof that strict financial regulation works and yet they want to keep doubling down on deregulation?

The argument of "See! It works in $OTHER_COUNTRY! Why is the US so dumb in not doing it the same way?" is getting really tired. Maybe if the US was full of 300 million Canadians, I might agree with you, but it isn't. Even if I stipulate that Canada "works" (which I certainly do not), what works there doesn't necessarly work here

Also, the Canadian housing bubble never really popped. Rest assured that it will. http://www.thefinancialblogger...

Comment: Re:Ghash.IO is not consistently over 51%, yet anyw (Score 2) 281

by davek (#47244587) Attached to: Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool

Not yet anyways.

6 months ago GHash.IO promised they would
(1) Take steps to prevent accumulating 51% hashing power, including: not accepting new miners, and
(2) They would not attempt an attack, and (3) They would provide users an option to use another mining pool
(They have apparently not implemented (3) yet).

A DDoS against the pool was reported to occur yesterday, which adversely affected mining.
At one point... their hashrate was reported to have dropped to 7%.
Then BitFury pulled 1 PH/s out of their pool.

Excellent post. BTC haters gonna hate, and I don't understand why.

Funny thing about pooled mining, it's run by the users. User's don't like it? They go away.


Bitcoin Security Endangered By Powerful Mining Pool 281

Posted by timothy
from the cornering-the-market dept.
An anonymous reader writes Ars Technica reports that for the first time in Bitcoin's five-year history, a single entity has repeatedly provided more than half of the total computational power required to mine new digital coins, in some cases for sustained periods of time. It's an event that, if it persists, signals the end of crypto currency's decentralized structure."

World's Smallest Nanomotor Could Power Cell-Sized Nanobots For Drug Delivery 20

Posted by samzenpus
from the getting-small dept.
Zothecula (1870348) writes "Scientists at the Cockrell School of Engineering at the University of Texas have built and tested what appears to be the world's smallest, fastest, and longest-running nanomotor yet – so small that it could fit inside a single cell. The advance could be used to power nanobots that would deliver specific drugs to individual living cells inside the human body."
United States

US Officials Cut Estimate of Recoverable Monterey Shale Oil By 96% 411

Posted by samzenpus
from the I-drink-your-tiny-milkshake dept.
First time accepted submitter steam_cannon (1881500) writes "The U.S. Energy Information Administration ( is planning to release a major 96% reserve downgrade to the amount of oil and gas recoverable from the Monterey Shale formation, one of the largest oil/gas reserves in the United States. After several years of intensified exploration the Monterey oil shale play seems to have much less recoverable oil and gas then previously hoped. This is due to multiple factors such as the more complex rippled geology of the shale and over-hyped recovery estimates by investors. By official estimates the Monterey Shale formation makes up 2/3 of the shale reserves in the US and by some estimates 1/3 of all crude reserves in the US. Not a drop in the bucket. Next Month the will be announcing cutting it's estimates for Monterey by 96%. That's a huge blow to the US energy portfolio, trillions of dollars, oil and gas the US might have used for itself or exported. Presently the White House is evaluating making changes to US oil export restrictions so this downgrade may result in changes to US energy policy. As well as have a significant impact on US economy and the economy of California."

Comment: Re:DRM (Score 1) 76

by davek (#47055275) Attached to: Kaleidescape Settles With DVD CCA But No Victory For DRM

Excellent post. Right on.

DRM has been a huge success in accomplishing what it was designed to do: NOT prevent piracy, but rather retard development, stifle innovation and new businesses and business models, and keep control of high-demand consumer products in the hands of a few individuals with infintely deep pockets.

Comment: Re:Stocks? (Score 2) 404

by davek (#46898379) Attached to: Rand Paul Suggests Backing Bitcoin With Stocks

something with intrinsic value, like stocks

Stocks have no more intrinsic value than our paper currency.

Incorrect. If I buy a share in PepsiCo, I then receive a tiny fraction of the profit of EVERY single Pepsi sold on earth. That's work. That's economic production. The share has "intrinsic value" because it gives me access to their profits. This is also why, at it's core, the stock market is not a casino (although government regulation and crony capitalism make stock purchases much more like a "bet").

I think the whole crypto currency thing will evolve into more of a stock market type of thing, with companies running their own block chains as a way of selling shares.

Debug is human, de-fix divine.