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Submission + - Internet-Connected Toys a Kids' Privacy Risk (threatpost.com)

msm1267 writes: Vulnerabilities in the Web APIs for both Fisher-Price’s Smart Toy Bear and hereO’s GPS platform could be abused to put children’s personal data, and possibly safety, at risk. Since the flaws were found in the in the respective toys’ Web APIs, the fix was be applied on the vendor’s end and required no patches on the toys.
Researchers at Rapid7 found and disclosed the flaws to the toymakers. The vulnerabilities in the Fisher-Price could allow an attacker to learn personal details about the children using the toys, opening the door to future social engineering and phishing scams.

The hereO flaw is a bit more concerning since the toy watch acts as a GPS locator for parents, who can use these features to track a child’s whereabouts. Rapid7 found an authorization bypass flaw in the Web API of the device that allows an attacker to invite and accept themselves into a family group; the platform supports messaging, location features and panic alerts for members of each respective group. An attacker could learn the location of anyone in the group and more.

Submission + - Sports Fans Take Huge Security Risks When Watching Illegal Streams

Mickeycaskill writes: Sports fans who watch events using illegal online streams are exposing their PCs and mobiles to serious security risks, according to the authors of the “first empirical study of free live streaming services.”

Much of the study of these streams has focused on the legal impact, with broadcasters and sports organisations keen to protect the value of the product. However the new report suggests 1 in 2 streams serve up malicious advertising intended to scam users, spread malware or install dangerous extensions.

The researchers say they have created an engine that can identify illegal streams, their location and the type of advertising carried. They say this can help rights holders detect copyright infringement and protect users.

Submission + - The end for Safe Harbor? EU-US trade deal fails on data transfer agreement (cbronline.com)

schwit1 writes: Negotiations between the European Union and US have failed to reach an agreement regarding how data is transferred between the regions.

A deadline for the end of January had been set for a revised Safe Harbour agreement back in October, meaning that three months has gone by without the deadlock being broken.

An agreement is seen as necessary to avoid disruption to the transatlantic digital economy and to help ensure the continuity of service for US and EU companies.

The failure to reach an agreement will likely have on-going ramifications for transatlantic business. Phil Lee, data protection partner, at EU law firm Fieldfisher, said: "The disruption to transatlantic business is absolutely enormous. If you're a US supplier trying to sell into Europe, the tone coming from European customers now is very much one of 'Why should we trust you with our data?'

"Only those suppliers that agree to export data under the EU's Standard Contractual Clauses will have any success in closing commercial deals."

Submission + - Keystroke Dynamics Could Be Used To Distinguish Children From Adults Online (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researchers in Turkey have tested 13 machine learning algorithms against a new dataset of keyboard-input from adults and children, seeking to discover if children under 15 years old can be identified by their typing input style. The best of the results across the engines give a 91% success rate, and the scientists suggest that a derived security application could help create safe 'child-only' environments, as well as aiding undercover police seeking to identify individuals impersonating children in such environments.

Submission + - Google surpasses Apple as the world's most valuable company (bbc.co.uk)

AmiMoJo writes: Alphabet- Google's parent company- has surpassed Apple as the world's most valuable company after its latest earnings report. The company made a profit of $4.9bn (£3.4bn) for the fourth quarter, meaning that Alphabet is now worth around $568bn, compared with Apple, which has a value of $535bn. Much of this is attributed to success in the mobile ads sector. Meanwhile, in the UK, revenue rose 16% to $1.92bn in the fourth quarter. It is the only territory outside the US for which the company breaks down its figures because it is such a large part of the business.

Submission + - Windows 10 Passes Windows XP In Market Share

An anonymous reader writes: Six months after its release, Windows 10 has finally passed 10 percent market share. Not only that, but the latest and greatest version from Microsoft has also overtaken Windows 8.1 and Windows XP, according to the latest figures from Net Applications. Windows 10 had 9.96 percent market share in December, and gained 1.89 percentage points to hit 11.85 percent in January.

Submission + - Bill Gates monitored MS employees' work hours by memorizing their license plates (foxnews.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates used to memorize employees' license plate numbers so that he could keep track of when they were arriving at work and leaving.

"I had to be a little careful not to try and apply my standards to how hard [others at the company] worked. I knew everybody's licence plate so I could look out the parking lot and see, you know, when people come in," he said. "Eventually I had to loosen up as the company got to a reasonable size."

Comment Banalities.. (Score 4, Informative) 109

First, for someone who has been playing chess competitively for the last twenty years, none of the results of the analysis is a revelation. Like so many "data" posts that seem to be in vogue, this one states quite the obvious viz the game of chess has evolved and has improved in quality. Hence opening colour matters, games are longer and many end in draws. DUH! As a secondary point, the OP makes a big show of the "steady increase" increase in length of game from the 1970s. On closer inspection, what is implied is that the average game has gone from 37 moves to 42 moves. For a chess player, that increase is hardly significant and can be attributed more as a result of prevailing opening theory and chess playing style than reflective of anything else. A clear case of data-blindness.

Comment Re:Overlooking an obvious fact (Score 1) 157

Automated cars will be a big source of revenue for google. The cars will be in constant communication with google's datacenters to provide mapping data - not just GPS street coordinates, but detailed imagery and geometry from lidar captured previously by the Street View cars - plus road conditions gleaned in real time from tens of thousands of cars (down to the level of street light timing a few intersections ahead on your path). Google may or may not produce any cars themselves, but all the automakers will license their data streams. How many other companies have gathered street-level lidar and imagery on practically every street in the world and have the datacenters to process and serve it globally in real-time?

I agree with you that automated cars are likely to be a source of revenue but there a huge slip between the cup and the lip, and the fact is that while these are good bets the surety that they will be profitable and financially sustainable is definitely not guaranteed!

Comment Overlooking an obvious fact (Score 3, Interesting) 157

It looks like she might have overlooked the glaringly obvious fact that the entire reason why Google X and her job position exist is because of "mind numbing" technologies that serve as ad serving platforms that get in revenue for Google. Ask her to get driverless cars, balloons and a headpiece to start generating income!

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