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Submission + - SPAM: Yahoo's Email Spying Nightmare

Lauren Weinstein writes: Just when you’re thinking that the situation couldn’t get worse for once venerable Yahoo — the company has been sold at fire sale prices, they’ve announced historically enormous user account security breaches, and so on — comes word that Yahoo may have permitted mass scanning of users’ email contents by unnamed federal intelligence agencies.

Unattributed, unsourced stories — particularly dramatic ones like this — must be viewed with extreme skepticism. Very often these days some nobody throws out a baseless rumor, it’s mirrored around the Web in minutes, and sometimes is even picked up by mainstream news sources without any sort of realistic fact checking. If every individual or firm subjected to this sort of abuse responded formally to every such unfounded attack, they often wouldn’t have time to do much else.

This Yahoo story is notably different however.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - "HP pre-programmed failure date of non-HP ink cartridges in its printers" (myce.com)

An anonymous reader writes: HP has programmed a failure date for non-HP / private label ink cartridges in its printers. Users around the world started to complain on the 13th of September this year that their printer rejected their non-HP cartridges. HP claimed that a firmware update was the culprit, but also printers who never received an update since they were unpacked rejected the cartridges starting at that particular date.

Submission + - SPAM: Turn off location services? Go ahead, says Google, we'll still track you

schwit1 writes: Google, it seems, is very, very interested in knowing where you are at all times.

Users have been reporting battery life issues with the latest Android build, with many pointing the finger at Google Play – Google's app store – and its persistent, almost obsessive need to check where you are.

It's not clear why Google would insist on its app store having constant access to your location, but the company is very determined about it. Following reports earlier this year that the Google Play app was interfering with other apps' ability to use GPS, Google has updated the software and now makes it impossible to turn off location tracking.

The same is true of Google Maps. Although it makes far more sense for Maps to have access to your location, the latest build doesn't give you the option of turning it off. To do that, you have to turn off GPS on your phone altogether.

In effect, if you use either of Google's two most popular apps – which come pre-loaded with Google's flavor of Android – the company has permanent access to your location unless you turn off the location setting globally.

Link to Original Source

Submission + - MySQL 0-Day Could Lead To Total System Compromise (helpnetsecurity.com)

An anonymous reader writes: Researcher Dawid Golunski has discovered multiple severe vulnerabilities affecting the popular open source database MySQL and its forks. One of these – CVE-2016-6662 – can be exploited by attackers to inject malicious settings into MySQL configuration files or create new ones, allowing them to execute arbitrary code with root privileges when the MySQL service is restarted. This could lead to total compromise of the server running the vulnerable MySQL version.

Submission + - Loud Noise Brings Down Banking Data Center, Destroys Hardware

An anonymous reader writes: ING Bank saw its Romanian payment and ATM services grind to a halt after a routine fire extinguisher test forced its data center operations offline for 10 hours. A loud noise emitted from inert gas being released during the planned extinguisher system drill cut off the bank’s main facility in Bucharest, Romania, but also caused irrevocable damage to dozens of its hard drives. Head of ING Retail Banking, Daniel Llano, apologized for the inconvenience and informed customers that the ‘serious’ technical fault had been caused by Inergen flooding. Inergen gas was released, but the pressure was too high, causing a sound exceeding 130dB. The noise, similar to that of a ‘running jet engine’,created large vibrations which spread to the casing protecting the hard drives – and destroyed the internal hardware.

Submission + - ITT Educational Services to Cease Operations at all ITT Technical Institutes (cnn.com)

bsharma writes: ITT Educational Services announced on Tuesday that it is shutting down immediately, accusing the federal government of unfairly stripping it of eligibility for student aid.
The company, which was established nearly 50 years ago, operates ITT Technical Institutes. It has around 40,000 students taking classes on campuses and online throughout the United States.

Submission + - More than a million 'smart' devices part of a spreading botnet

beda writes: Based on traffic observed in a distributed network of honeypots, researchers from CZ.NIC discovered a large number of 'smart' devices, such as CCTV cameras or home gateways, attacking Telnet protocol throughout the Internet. It is very likely that these are part of a spreading botnet with more than 20,000 new devices appearing every day. The article contains a lot of details and also a dedicated website for testing if a specific IP address was captured in the honeypot.

Submission + - Hacker takes down CEO wire transfer scammers, sends their Win 10 creds to the co (theregister.co.uk)

mask.of.sanity writes: A penetration tester is hacking business email scammers compromising their Microsoft accounts and sending the criminal's information to police. The scammers, or whalers, are responsible for causing billions of dollars of damage by tricking business into wiring funds to bank accounts.

Submission + - The court that rules the world (buzzfeed.com) 1

schwit1 writes: Imagine a private, global super court that empowers corporations to bend countries to their will.

Say a nation tries to prosecute a corrupt CEO or ban dangerous pollution. Imagine that a company could turn to this super court and sue the whole country for daring to interfere with its profits, demanding hundreds of millions or even billions of dollars as retribution.

Imagine that this court is so powerful that nations often must heed its rulings as if they came from their own supreme courts, with no meaningful way to appeal. That it operates unconstrained by precedent or any significant public oversight, often keeping its proceedings and sometimes even its decisions secret. That the people who decide its cases are largely elite Western corporate attorneys who have a vested interest in expanding the court’s authority because they profit from it directly, arguing cases one day and then sitting in judgment another. That some of them half-jokingly refer to themselves as “The Club” or “The Mafia.”

And imagine that the penalties this court has imposed have been so crushing — and its decisions so unpredictable — that some nations dare not risk a trial, responding to the mere threat of a lawsuit by offering vast concessions, such as rolling back their own laws or even wiping away the punishments of convicted criminals.

This system is already in place, operating behind closed doors in office buildings and conference rooms in cities around the world. Known as investor-state dispute settlement, or ISDS, it is written into a vast network of treaties that govern international trade and investment, including NAFTA and the Trans-Pacific Partnership, which Congress must soon decide whether to ratify.

Submission + - Nova Scotia wind turbine speeds out of control, collapses (theweathernetwork.com)

An anonymous reader writes: This large wind turbine failed on August 17. Before the 80-metre-tall wind turbine buckled and toppled over, Enercon officials confirm that workers were told to leave, the Toronto Star reports. In addition to their towering height, the turbines have a blade length of 40 metres, the CBC notes.

Fortunately the turbines operate in a wooded area away from residents, so no one was injured. An evacuation protocol was also put in place.

Enercon and Nova Scotia's provincial government are conducting investigations to determine if there were any safety violations at the time of the incident.

Another 10 turbines in the area remain in operation, unaffected by the collapse. The cause of the collapse remains unknown.

Submission + - Something "Unexpected" Happened When Seattle Raised The Minimum Wage

schwit1 writes: The latest research comes from the University of Washington which researched the impact of Seattle's recent minimum wage hike on employment in that city (as background, Seattle recently passed legislation that increased it's minimum wage to $11 per hour on April 1, 2015, $13 on January 1, 2016 and $15 on January 1, 2017). "Shockingly", the University of Washington found that Seattle's higher minimum wages "lowered employment rates of low-wage workers" (the report is attached in its entirety at the end of this post).

Yet, our best estimates find that the Seattle Minimum Wage Ordinance appears to have lowered employment rates of low-wage workers. This negative unintended consequence (which are predicted by some of the existing economic literature) is concerning and needs to be followed closely in future years, because the long-run effects are likely to be greater as businesses and workers have more time to adapt to the ordinance. Finally, we find only modest impacts on earnings. The effects of disemployment appear to be roughly offsetting the gain in hourly wage rates, leaving the earnings for the average low-wage worker unchanged. Of course, we are talking about the average result.



More specifically, we find that median wages for low-wage workers (those earning less than $11 per hour during the 2nd quarter of 2014) rose by $1.18 per hour, and we estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was to increase these workers’ median wage by $0.73 per hour. Further, while these low-wage workers increased their likelihood of being employed relative to prior years, this increase was less than in comparison regions. We estimate that the impact of the Ordinance was a 1.1 percentage point decrease in likelihood of low-wage Seattle workers remaining employed. While these low-wage workers increased their quarterly earnings relative to prior years, the estimated impact of the Ordinance on earnings is small and sensitive to the choice of comparison region. Finally, for those who kept their job, the Ordinance appears to have improved wages and earnings, but decreased their likelihood of being employed in Seattle relative other parts of the state of Washington.

Still not convinced? How about a recent report from the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco that finds that "higher minimum wage results in some job loss for the least-skilled workers—with possibly larger adverse effects than earlier research suggested."

Comment Re:Would they believe (Score 1) 348

Seems sad the govt assumes everyone has one or more of these accounts.

Just 8 short years ago, I was doing computer security inspections/reviews for US govt. agencies. We were told NOT to have such accounts as they are possible security holes. After all, if the bad guys know everything about you, you're easier to hack and or manipulate.

Submission + - New Li-Ion battery with twice the capacity planned for release next year

lars_stefan_axelsson writes: MIT News reports that SolidEnergy, an MIT spinoff is preparing to release a new Li-Ion battery that provides double the energy density per weight and volume, compared to current batteries.

The battery uses a thin layer of lithium metal as the anode compared to the graphite which is used today. There is also a change to the electrolyte. The new battery can be manufactured using current process lines, and commercial release of batteries for smart phones is planned for early next year, with electric cars following in 2018.

So if this holds true, it's a pretty big step forward, in an industry that otherwise usually sees a couple of percent improvement per step otherwise.

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