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Botnet

SpyEye Botnet Nets Fraudster $3.2M In Six Months 99

wiredmikey writes "The SpyEye Trojan has a well-earned place of respect in the cyber-underground as an adaptable and effective piece of malware. Those same traits have also made it a bane for countless victims and the security community, and new research provides yet another reminder of why. According to security researchers, a hacker in his early 20s known by the alias 'Soldier' led a bank fraud operation that netted $3.2 million in six months. Powered by the SpyEye crimeware kit and aided by money mules and an accomplice believed to reside in Hollywood, Soldier commanded a botnet of more than 25,000 computers between April 19 and June 29 that compromised bank accounts and made off with the profits. Most of the victims were in the U.S., but there were a handful of victims in 90 other countries as well. Among the affected organizations were banks, educational facilities and government agencies."
Android

Finding Fault With the Low, Low Price of Android 364

bonch writes "Google's accusation of patent abuse toward its competitors has generated many responses, some of which have asked whether Android's free price is anti-competitive. Drawing comparisons to Microsoft's antitrust trial, in which they were accused of giving away Internet Explorer to drive competitors out of the browser market, Thurrott argues that Google's rivals are 'leveling the playing field' through patent fees by removing an artificial price advantage funded by monopoly search revenues. 'One could argue that Google is using its dominance in search advertising to unfairly gain entry into another market by giving that new product, Android, away for free. Does this remind you of any famous antitrust case?'"
Biotech

Scientists Derive Gelatin From Human Tissue 123

An anonymous reader writes "Conventional gelatin is made from collagen inside animals' skin and bones, however a group of researchers has managed to replace that animal base with a human one. The process involves taking human gelatin genes and inserting them into a strain of yeast, which can be cultivated to grow gelatin with controllable features. Jinchun Chen, the leader of the study, and his colleagues believe they can scale this process up to produce large amounts of human-based gelatin for medical uses. The research appears in the American Chemical Society's Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry."
AI

IBM Watson To Replace Salespeople and Cold-Callers 316

An anonymous reader writes "After conquering Jeopardy! and making inroads into the diagnosis of medical maladies, IBM's next application for Watson is improving sales and customer support. Companies will be able to simply fill Watson (or rather, DeepQA) with domain-specific information about products and services, and sit back as it uses its natural language processing skills to answer the queries of potential customers. The potential benefits are huge. Watson could either augment existing sales and support teams, or replace them entirely. Also, in a beautiful and self-fulfilling twist, the first application of this re-purposed Watson will be be internally, at IBM, to help sell more IBM Watsons to other companies."
Android

Microsoft Wants $15 Per Android Smartphone 361

sfcrazy writes "Microsoft Corp has demanded that Samsung Electronics Co Ltd pay $15 for each smartphone handset it makes based on Google Inc's Android operating system. The software giant claims to own a wide range of patents used in the mobile platform. From the article: 'Samsung would likely seek to lower the payment to about $10 in exchange for a deeper alliance with Microsoft for the U.S. company's Windows platform, the Maeil Business Newspaper quoted unnamed industry officials as saying.'"
Medicine

High Tech Elder Care May Be Mixed Blessing 96

Hugh Pickens writes "Gerontologists say 'aging in place' vastly improves the quality of life for seniors, and is a lot cheaper for society than group homes and institutions. The trick is to do so without jeopardizing the health and safety of older people, which is why 480 people are taking part in pilot programs in Portland, Oregon that outfit homes with technology so elderly people can be monitored for illness or infirmity. With the first wave of baby boomers turning 65 this year, corporations such as Intel see lucrative new business opportunities tending to a generation of people accustomed to doing things their own way. As part of a test, Dorothy Rutherford's two-bedroom condominium has been outfitted with an array of electronic monitoring gear that might eventually find its way to retail shelves. Motion sensors along hallways and ceilings record her gait and walking speed. A monitor on her back door observes when she leaves the house, and another one on the refrigerator keeps tabs on how often she's eating. A special bed laced with sensors can assess breathing patterns, heart rate and general sleep quality, a pill box fitted with electronic switches records when medication is taken, and a Wii video game system has been rejiggered so that players stand on a platform that measures their weight and balance. But there is the downside, as some experts on the aging population worry that making it easier for elderly people to stay in their homes could reduce the incentive for children to visit or could create a false sense that technology can foresee every problem and address every need."
Movies

Netflix's New Web Interface Gets Thumbs Down From Users 267

Verdatum writes "Entertainment Weekly is one of many sites reporting the strong negative reaction from users of the new Netflix web interface. The new interface presents larger title images at the cost of visible ratings and the 'Sortable List' view. To see a suggested rating or view details, one must now first hover over each individual title. Netflix announced the new interface on Wednesday, in an official blog post. So far, the post has received thousands of negative comments, but only a few dozen comments by users believing the change is an improvement."
The Military

Mexican Cartels Build Mad Max Narco Tanks 343

Hugh Pickens writes "Not content with building their own submarines, using bazookas, rocket-propelled grenades or land mines, drug cartels are now building armored assault vehicles, complete with gun turrets, inch-thick armor plates, firing ports and bulletproof glass. The monsters look like a cross between a handmade assault vehicle used by a Somali warlord and something out of a post-apocalyptic Mad Max movie, and have already appeared in several confrontations with Mexican authorities. A look inside a captured 'monster' truck (YouTube video) reveals that in addition to swiveling turrets to shoot in any direction, they have hatches and peepholes for snipers, their spacious interiors can fit as many as 20 armed men, and they are coated with polyurethane for insulation and to reduce noise. Still Patrick Corcoran writes that the armored vehicles are not a game changer. 'While the "narco-tanks," as the vehicles are often called, make for great blog fodder and provide entertaining videos, seeing their rise as a significant escalation in Mexico's drug war would be wrongheaded,' writes Corcoran. 'In the end, the "tanks" are a sexy narrative, but these mistaken notions about the criminals' "military might" not only inflate the power of Mexico's groups far beyond any reasonable assessment, they also obscure the problem, and its potential solutions.'"
Image

Increased Power Usage Leads to Mistaken Pot Busts for Bitcoin Miners Screenshot-sm 411

c0lo writes "The Canadian town of Mission, BC has a bylaw that allows the town's Public Safety Inspection Team to search people's homes for grow ops if they are using more than 93 kWh of electricity per day. There have allegedly been reports floating in IRC of two different cases of police showing up at a Bitcoin miner's residence with a search warrant. Ohio police and the DEA file at least 60 subpoenas each month for energy-use records of people suspected of running an indoor pot growing operation. DEA Agent Anthony Marotta said high electricity usage does not always mean the residence is an indoor pot farm and has surprised federal agents. 'We thought it was a major grow operation ... but this guy had some kind of business involving computers. I don't know how many computer servers we found in his home.'"
Apple

Apple Causes Religious Reaction In Brains of Fans 636

satuon writes "In a recently screened BBC documentary called 'Secrets of the Superbrands', UK neuroscientists found that the brains of Apple fans are stimulated by images of Apple products in the same areas as those triggered by religious imagery in a person of faith. According to the scientists, this suggests that the big tech brands have harnessed, or exploit, the brain areas that have evolved to process religion."
Image

Face-Mounted Nose Stylus Created For Phones Screenshot-sm 208

Lanxon writes "Designer Dominic Wilcox has come up with a Pinocchio-style 'finger-nose stylus' that lets you use your phone hands free, reports Wired. He came up with the design after he found that he wanted to use his touchphone in the bath. A wet hand is not a good touchscreen navigation device, so he found himself using his nose to scroll, but found it hard to see precisely where his nose was touching the screen. The solution was to create a nose extension 'finger' that would allow for navigation while holding the phone firmly in his one dry hand."
Sci-Fi

Does Syfy Really Love Sci-Fi? 742

brumgrunt writes "Has Syfy fallen out with science fiction altogether? A look at its latest scheduling shows that it's further away from its roots than ever. 'There's still a lot of the older sci-fi content on the airwaves, but it's slowly being phased out, and forget about original programming. After all, this is the programming crew who ruined Caprica by stuffing it into the Friday night death slot and splitting the season into two parts. These are the geniuses who killed off Stargate Atlantis and Stargate Universe. These are the people who wrecked Farscape, one of the most inventive and fun sci-fi shows to ever be on television. They also ended Mystery Science Theater 3000, only the greatest show ever invented by robots in space.' Is this now as good as it gets?"
Image

Egyptian Father Names His Daughter "Facebook" Screenshot-sm 162

An anonymous reader writes "An Egyptian man has decided to show his appreciation towards Facebook for its role during the revolution in his country by naming his firstborn daughter Facebook. From the article: 'Egyptian dictator Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak was in power from 1981 until February 11, 2011, when he resigned after 18 days of protests. Facebook has been credited for helping organize regime-ending protests in the country. Although the Egyptian revolution saw some planning done via Twitter, direct text messages, and other forms of electronic communication, Facebook has come to symbolize all the forms of social media that people used to organize the revolutions in the Middle East.'"

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