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Banks Faulted For Fake Antivirus Scourge 117

krebsonsecurity writes "Merchant banks that process credit card payments for fake antivirus or 'scareware' exhibit a distinctive pattern of card processing that could be used by Visa and MasterCard to weed out the rogue processors, according to a new study by the University of California, Santa Barbara. From the study: 'The UCSB team found that the fake AV operations sought to maximize profits by altering their refunds according to the chargebacks reported against them, and by refunding just enough to remain below a payment processor's chargeback limits. Whenever the rate of chargebacks increased, the miscreants would begin issuing more refunds. When the rate of chargebacks subsided, the miscreants would again withhold refunds.' The study also highlights how few customers ever request a refund, and how affiliates pushing this junk software made more than $133 million."

Yahoo Offered Lap Dances At Hack Event 572

Fotograf writes "Yahoo's latest embarrassment seems like a sign that the company is just trying too hard to be cool. The latest debacle is earning the company some additional publicity. After Yahoo hosted Taiwan Open Hack Day, a special event for engineers and developers that was held last weekend, a series of photos found their way onto the internet — as ill-thought out decisions often do. Yahoo offered lap dances to the attendees of the hack event. Since the pictures have come out the company has decided to apologize."

Comment Hot markets = upscale? (Score 2, Informative) 189

Having worked at a restaurant in the Fashion Square during college, I can only assume that when they say "hot markets" they mean "frequented by a wealthier demographic".

Not that I expect an MS store to compete with WalMart, but these first two locations seem to target flush consumers.

Technology (Apple)

Submission + - Amazon Makes "1984" And "Animal Farm&-> 2

Oracle Goddess writes: "In a story just dripping with irony, Amazon Kindle owners awoke this morning to discover that "1984" and "Animal Farm" had mysteriously disappeared from their e-book readers. These were books that they had bought and paid for, and thought they owned. Apparently the publisher changed its mind about offering an electronic edition, and apparently Amazon, whose business lives and dies by publisher happiness, caved. It electronically deleted all books by this author from people's Kindles and credited their accounts for the price. Amazon Customer service responded to queries by stating that. "We've always been at war with Eastasia.""
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Comment Re:good, but how much will it cost? (Score 1) 806

From TFA:

Flint's recovery efforts have been helped by a new state law passed a few years ago which allowed local governments to buy up empty properties very cheaply.

It doesn't say how little it costs, but it may not be much more than this. I would think it means it's cheaper for them to buy the homes and raze them than it is to continue with upkeep on roads and utilities where nobody lives.

Besides, if you completely walk away and don't even pay your property tax, the city/county can seize the land and auction it off. Or in this case, maybe hold it to sell later on when and if the region recovers.

Comment Unreported marijuana pollen levels (Score 5, Interesting) 164

I grew up suffering from allergies in Phoenix and I remember reading the various pollen levels in the paper every morning during spring. I could see the different types of pollen levels and decide on whether or not to take my sleep-inducing antihistamines (this was waaay before Claritin and Zyrtec were readily available).

I later read that the local pollen reporting organization was prohibited from reporting the levels of marijuana pollen in the air, even though it often jumped into the top 5. I don't think I'm allergic to bud pollen, but I felt bad for those who were.

Feed Techdirt: DOJ Finally Approves XM-Sirius Merger->

It only took over a year of ridiculous protests from traditional radio stations, but the Justice Department has finally decided that XM and Sirius can merge without creating a monopoly. It will be interesting to see if the NAB's own lobbying efforts helped disprove its point. The NAB, representing terrestrial radio stations argued vehemently that if XM and Sirius merged, it would create a "monopoly." The only problem with that statement is that if that were the case, it would mean that terrestrial radio wasn't competing in the same market. And, if that were true, why would the NAB care? So, by arguing so vehemently against the merger, it effectively showed what we all knew: terrestrial radio and satellite radio compete in the same market. Of course, the merger isn't a done deal yet, as the FCC still needs to weigh in. But given the amount of time it has already taken for the DoJ to make its decision, you would hope that the FCC was at least close to being done with its review as well.

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Submission + - U.S. DoJ approves XM and Sirius merger ->

s13g3 writes: The U.S. Dept. of Justice has finally approved the XM-Sirius merger, though the FCC still has yet to sign off on the deal. There seem to be concerns from various parties regarding the merger, but the DoJ seems to have decided that the deal is not anti-competitive, even though the two companies are the only U.S. based satellite radio providers, and as far as this reader is aware, the only companies providing such service in the continental U.S.
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Submission + - Ubuntu Dev Summit lays out plans for Hardy Heron->

Opurt writes: On the first day of the Ubuntu Developer Summit in Boston this week, a roundtable session focused on the vision for the upcoming Hardy Heron Ubuntu release. Unlike Gutsy Gibbon, which brought a handful of experimental features along with some new functionality, the focus with Heron will be on robustness as it will be supported on the desktop for 3 years. 'The Compiz window manager, which adds sophisticated visual effects to the Ubuntu user interface, will be a big target for usability improvements. Keyboard bindings and session management were noted as two areas where Compiz still needs some work.' PolicyKit and Tracker will also be significantly tweaked, while Heron is also likely to see a complete visual refresh.
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Submission + - Freakonomics - the future of the music industry-> 2

mlimber writes: The Freakonomic guys and friends take a look at the future of the music industry in light of digital music. An excerpt from one of their "Quorum" contributors: "[W]hat is the explanation for the sales reduction that has occurred [with albums]? The most obvious culprit is illicit file-sharing on networks such as Napster, KaZaA, eDonkey, and BitTorrent. While linking the two seems tantalizing — file sharing rose to prominence at roughly the same time that record sales started to fall — there is surprisingly little evidence to support the claim that file sharing has significantly hurt record sales.... If file sharing hurts record sales, then albums that are more heavily downloaded should experience lower sales than comparable albums that are less downloaded. But, after controlling for the role of popularity, we found that downloads had little effect on album sales." He also notes: "[A]lbum sales fell 18 percent between 2000 and 2006, after accounting for paid digital downloads from online stores like iTunes. While these numbers are not good, other industries have experienced similar downturns. For example, new car sales are down 22 percent for U.S. automakers."
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"Old age and treachery will beat youth and skill every time." -- a coffee cup