Submission + - 50 million Facebook profiles harvested (

umafuckit writes: A whistleblower has revealed how Cambridge Analytica stole personal information from Facebook in early 2014 to build a system that could profile individual US voters. The data analytics firm, that worked with Trump’s election team and the Brexit campaign, harvested millions of Facebook profiles in the tech giant’s biggest ever data breach. This has been confirmed by a Facebook statement, says The Guardian.

Submission + - CEO of encryption services company arrested.

BitterOak writes: Vincent Ramos, CEO of the Vancouver company Phantom Secure was arrested in Washington on March 7. He is accused of selling encryption technology which was used in the facilitation of drug trafficking. It is the first time someone in America has been arrested for selling encryption technology which was subsequently used in the illegal drug trade.

According to the article: "Phantom Secure, which has a public website promoting its encrypted email and chat service plans, advertised its products as 'impervious to decryption, wiretapping or legal third-party records requests,' according to court documents."

Submission + - Power Outage At Samsung's Fab Destroys 3.5 Percent of Global NAND Flash Output (

An anonymous reader writes: A half-hour power outage at Samsung’s fab near Pyeongtaek, South Korea, disrupted production and damaged tens of thousands of processed wafers. Media reports claim that the outage destroyed as much as 3.5% of the global NAND supply for March, which may have an effect on flash memory pricing in the coming weeks. The outage happened on March 9 and lasted for about 30 minutes, according to a news story from Taiwain-based TechNews that cites further South Korean reports. The report claims that the outage damaged 50,000 to 60,000 of wafers with V-NAND flash memory, which represent 11% of Samsung’s monthly output. The report further estimates that the said amount equates to approximately 3.5% of global NAND output, but does not elaborate whether it means wafer output or bit output. Samsung uses its fab near Pyeongtaek to produce 64-layer V-NAND chips used for various applications. The fab is among the largest flash production facilities in the world and therefore any disruption there has an effect on the global output of non-volatile memory. Meanwhile, since production lines have not been damaged and the fab is back online, the significance of such an effect is limited.

Submission + - How a Norwegian comment section turned chaos into order—with a simple quiz (

jebrick writes: The five-person team behind a simple WordPress plugin, which took three hours to code, never expected to receive worldwide attention as a result. But NRKbeta, the tech-testing group at Norway's largest national media organization, tapped into a meaty vein with the unveiling of last February's Know2Comment, an open source plugin that can attach to any WordPress site's comment section.

"It was a basic idea," NRKbeta developer Ståle Grut told a South By Southwest crowd on Tuesday. "Readers had to prove they read a story before they were able to comment on it."

Submission + - Man fined for implanting NFC train ticket in hand (

Unhappy Windows User writes: An Australian man, when checked by a ticket inspector, claimed his smartcard was implanted in his hand. He took the case to court and lost; the fine and legal fees add up to AUD 1220 (USD 950). The man, who self-identifies as a biohacker and is a member of the Science Party, accepts the ruling but states that it won't discourage him from further biohacking. He claimed he was ahead of the law. The prosecution argued that, by cutting the chip out of the card, the ticket was invalidated. It is not clear from the article whether the NFC chip was working correctly and could be read by the inspector, or not.

Submission + - Walmart Whistleblower Claims Cheating In Race With Amazon (

An anonymous reader writes: In its race to catch in online retailing, Walmart issued misleading e-commerce results and fired an executive who complained the company was breaking the law, according to a whistle-blower lawsuit. Tri Huynh, a former director of business development at Walmart, claims he was terminated “under false pretenses” after repeatedly raising concerns about the company’s “overly aggressive push to show meteoric growth in its e-commerce business by any means possible — even, illegitimate ones.” Under Chief Executive Officer Doug McMillon, Walmart has invested billions to catch up with Amazon in e-commerce over the past few years, and last year enjoyed quarterly online sales growth rates surpassing 50 percent, well above peers that include Target Corp. and Best Buy Huynh claims Walmart mislabeled products so that some third-party vendors received lower commissions, failed to process customer returns, and allowed offensive items onto the site. Huynh’s dismissal in January 2017 — just a day after a retail-industry publication singled him out as one of the sector’s rising stars — was in retaliation for warning senior executives about the misdeeds, he said in the lawsuit, filed Thursday by employment litigation attorney David M. deRubertis in San Francisco federal court.

Submission + - The Controversial CLOUD Act: Privacy Plus or Minus? (

Lauren Weinstein writes: Over the last few days you may have seen a bunch of articles about the “CLOUD Act” — recently introduced U.S. bipartisan legislation that would overhaul key aspects of how foreign government requests for the data of foreign persons held on the servers of U.S. companies would be handled.

I’m being frequently asked for my position on this, and frankly the analysis has not been a simple one.

Submission + - DIY Explosives Experimenter Blows Self Up, Contaminates Building. (

hey! writes: Benjamin D. Morrison of Beaver Dam Wisconsin was killed on March 5 while synthesizing explosives in his apartment. The compound in question has not been named in news sources, but the accident has left the apartment building so contaminated that it will be demolished in a controlled burn today (Thursday), and residents are not being allowed in to retrieve any of their belongings.

People who knew Morrison say he was unlikely to be a bomb-maker; given his background as a pre-pharmacy major with a chemistry minor he may well have been experimenting with explosives synthesis.

Submission + - Meet the hardware artisans keeping video games alive (

harrymcc writes: If you want to play classic Nintendo games, you could buy a vintage Super NES. Or you could use an emulator. Orâ"if youâ(TM)re really seriousâ"you could use floating point gate arrays to design a new console that makes them look great on modern TVs. Over at Fast Company, Jared Newman profiles Analogue, the company that did just that, along with some of the other folks using new hardware to preserve the masterworks of the past.

Submission + - Stephen Hawking: A physicist's appreciation (

Dan Drollette writes: One of the more compelling pieces about Stephen Hawking, written by a physicist who knew him. The author says that Hawking's paper about black holes was "staggeringly perfect, combining physical insight with technical mastery, and is thrilling to read even 40 years later and will remain so for the foreseeable future." Hawking's work showed that "Black holes aren't truly black! This is a beautiful result, vividly demonstrating the unity of physics, while hinting at some underlying, fundamental processes that we have yet to understand..."

And the author describes one particular encounter, where Hawking provided a critique of the author's work: " After listening politely, he responded with several statements I initially found inscrutable. I went back to my office somewhat deflated; it seemed clear he hadn't understood what I had been describing. I continued to contemplate his comments and over the course of the ensuing weeks it slowly dawned on me that not only had he understood, but he had jumped way past me, providing signposts, far off in the distance, that pointed toward a deeper understanding of the subject. It took me months to fully discover and appreciate the entire meaning of his comments."

Submission + - The 600+ Companies PayPal Shares Your Data With (

AmiMoJo writes: One of the effects of GDPR — the new EU General Data Protection Regulation — is that we're all going to be learning a lot more about who collects our data and what they do with it. Consider PayPal, that just released a list of over 600 companies they share customer data with. Here's a good visualization of that data.

Is 600 companies unusual? Is it more than average? Less? We'll soon know.

Submission + - Strange Announcement Of Firmware Bugs in AMD Zen CPUs/chipsets (

Tetch writes: A previously unknown security research firm — "CTS (Security) Labs" — has caused a disturbance in The Force by announcing a raft of apparently newly discovered firmware bugs in all models of AMD 'Zen' CPU chip (Ryzen, EPYC), described on a dedicated website complete with bug names, logos and a video. Unusually and controversially AMD were given only 24 hours notice of the impending public bug announcement, and say they are still analyzing the allegations. Initial forum chatter is suggesting the flaws require a degree of privileged (or physical) access to exploit them. Confirmation that the bugs are real has been provided by two other more established security companies to which CTS says it gave details of the flaws along with PoC code. CTS Labs does not appear to have a website of its own, and is said to have existed for just about one year, and has appointed a small New York based PR company (also founded in 2017) to handle press enquiries.

After first Meltdown/Spectre, and now this, I guess I'll be using that perfectly functional Phenom 2 workstation a while longer ... at least until AMD starts selling Spectre-solving Zen 2 CPUs sometime in 2019.

Submission + - Samsung will begin offering same-day repairs on Galaxy phones this week (

hyperclocker writes: Samsung announced on Wednesday that it is partnering with uBreakiFix to bring same-day, in-person phone repairs to Galaxy device owners across the United States. Starting on March 15th, Samsung customers will be able to bring their phones to any of more than 300 uBreakiFix service locations and have their devices repaired on the spot and usually within two hours or less. Samsung plans to expand the program throughout 2018 as well.

Galaxy owners will have the option to either schedule an appointment at a uBreakiFix location, or just drop the phone off without calling ahead. Samsung assures customers that all uBreakiFix repair centers will have genuine Samsung parts, proprietary Samsung tools for the repairs, and conduct repairs by Samsung certified pros.

Submission + - Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes charged with massive fraud (

tomhath writes: Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes, who promised to revolutionize blood testing, has been charged by the SEC with a "massive fraud" involving more than $700 million.
Former president Ramesh "Sunny" Balwani was also charged. The two raised money from investors "through an elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company's technology, business, and financial performance," the SEC said Wednesday.

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