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Submission + - Online Security: 2016 Holiday Shopping Fraud Report Shows Bitcoin Remains Most S (newsbtc.com)

witchfieldaron writes: In the end, it goes to show traditional payment methods suffer from a lot of security issues.
During the 2016 holiday weekend, global online sales have seen a significant nudge upwards. At the same time, payment card fraud increased by a whopping 20%. Consumer’s financial details are always at risk when dealing with payment cards these days. Bitcoin is a far safer option, as there is no sensitive personal information leaked during the transaction process.
The rise in payment fraud during the 2016 holiday shopping season is not surprising. Both Black Friday and Cyber Monday saw an influx of global customers. However, this transaction volume makes it harder to determine which transactions are legitimate. But the concerns ago much deeper, as five types of fraud reports were filed.
First of all, there is credit card fraud. Everyone knows payment cards are inherently insecure, and provide significant risks to both owner and retailer. Very few companies perform thorough checks of payment card data when processing an order, making life easier for criminals shopping online.
Bitcoin Remains the Safe Way To Shop Online
Identity theft is another major concern, particularly during the holiday season. Vast amounts of personal information are floating around on the Internet, and criminals will sniff out sensitive details with relative ease. Thanks to email scams, which complete the top three, users are often tricked into giving up that type of information as well.
Promotion abuse is another popular trend, although its impact can often be negated. Users will experience annoyance through this type of fraud, but it should not affect them in a significant manner. Account takeover, on the other hand, is far more troublesome. Hacked social media profiles become far more common during the holiday season. Mostly due to consumers being more careless with their passwords.
During Black Friday and Cyber Monday, mobile transactions were on the rise as well. Although mobile devices are commonly used for payments, they are not secure. Malware, scareware, and remote access trojans are just a few of the looming threats. Consumers storing payment information on these devices are at risk at any given time.
In the end, it goes to show traditional payment methods suffer from a lot of security issues. Bitcoin is a more secure solution, as no sensitive information can be obtained by analyzing transactions. Unfortunately, cryptocurrency is not as widespread when it comes to online shopping. But that situation can change at any given moment.

Submission + - No, You Can't Predict Likely Criminals Based On Their Facial Features (backchannel.com)

mirandakatz writes: In a recent paper, researchers Xiaolin Wu and Xi Zhang claim they've found evidence that criminality can be predicted based on facial features—they say they've trained classifiers using various machine learning techniques that were able to distinguish photos of criminals from photos of non-criminals with a high level of accuracy. At Backchannel, Katherine Bailey points out one major flaw with that notion: if human beings can be prone to bias, the machine learning systems they trained can, too.

Submission + - T-Mobile CFO: Repeal of Net Neutrality Would Be 'Positive For My Industry' (tmonews.com)

An anonymous reader writes: T-Mobile CFO Braxton Carter spoke at the UBS Global Media and Communications Conference in New York City, and he touched a bit on President-elect Donald Trump and what his election could mean for the mobile industry. Carter expects that a Trump presidency will foster an environment that’ll be more positive for wireless. “It’s hard to imagine, with the way the election turned out, that we’re not going to have an environment, from several aspects, that is not going to be more positive for my industry,” the CFO said. He went on to explain that there will likely be less regulation, something that he feels “destroys innovation and value creation.” Speaking of innovation, Carter also feels that a reversal of net neutrality and the FCC’s Open Internet rules would be good for innovation in the industry, saying that it “would provide opportunity for significant innovation and differentiation” and that it’d enable you to “do some very interesting things.”

Submission + - Virginia spent over half a million on cell surveillance that mostly doesn't work (muckrock.com)

v3rgEz writes: In 2014, the Virginia State Police spent $585,265 on a specially modified Suburban outfitted with the latest and greatest in cell phone surveillance: The DRT 1183C, affectionately known as the DRTbox. But according to logs uncovered by public records website MuckRock, the pricey ride was only used 12 times — and only worked 7 of those times. Read the full DRTbox documents at MuckRock.

Submission + - New Report Shows Internet Freedom Declining Worldwide (thestack.com)

An anonymous reader writes: A report issued by an independent watchdog organization shows that internet freedom is on the decline worldwide for the sixth straight year. The study by researchers at Freedom House assigned each of 65 countries a Freedom of the Internet (FOTIN) score. The FOTIN score is based on three categories: obstacles to access, which includes infrastructural and economic barriers to the internet; limits to content, and violations of user rights, which covers surveillance, privacy, and repercussions to users who violate internet restrictions. The study found that internet freedom continues to decline as governments increasingly target social media and communication apps to halt dissemination of information among the public.

Submission + - A web-site demonstrating, how other sites may track your every move (clickclickclick.click)

mi writes: The site (described here) annotates your every move on its one and only page. Turn on the sound to listen to verbal annotations in addition to reading them.

The same is possible for, and therefore done by, the regular sites as they attempt to study visitors looking for various trends — better to gauge our opinions and sell us things. While not a surprise to regular Slashdotters, it is certainly a good illustration...

Submission + - Comcast Takes $70 Gigabit Offer Away From Cities Near Chicago (arstechnica.com)

An anonymous reader writes: When Comcast brought its gigabit cable Internet service to the Chicago area in August, it gave customers in some parts of Chicago and nearby towns the option of subscribing for $70 a month—half off the standard, no-contract price of $140. Though the $70 gigabit offer required a three-year contract, it came with unlimited data, which normally costs an extra $50 a month on top of the $140 no-contract price. For Comcast customers, this was a good deal. But Comcast didn’t make the $70 offer available throughout the Chicago area, and now the company has restricted it even further. The offer remains available in parts of Chicago, namely Uptown, Grand Crossing, the Loop, and South Loop. But Comcast has stopped offering the $70 price in all nearby cities and towns where it was originally available. The $70 price was briefly offered in Arlington Heights, Naperville, Plainfield, Waukegan, Tinley Park, Batavia, and Bloomington in Illinois and in South Bend in Indiana. In those areas, the $140 no-contract price is now the only option for new gigabit cable customers. (People who signed up for the $70 deal before it was rescinded will still get it for three years, as they’re under contract.) A Comcast spokesperson said the company had been “testing” the $70 promotion in certain areas of Illinois and Indiana but decided to stop the tests in most of them. It’s not clear why Comcast stopped the tests in these cities and towns, but Comcast told Ars that it often changes its promotions and thus could expand the $70 deal to other areas or offer new discounts soon. However, there are no expansions of the $70 offer being announced right now.

Submission + - 2016 on track to become hottest year on record (wmo.int)

ventsyv writes: In June NASA reported that the first 6 months of 2016 were the hottest 6 months on record. Now WMO reports that 2016 has stayed on track and will probably break the 2015 record.

Preliminary data shows that 2016’s global temperatures are approximately 1.2 Celsius above pre-industrial levels, according to an assessment by the World Meteorological Organization (WMO). Global temperatures for January to September 2016 have been about 0.88 Celsius (1.58F) above the average (14C) for the 1961-1990 reference period, which is used by WMO as a baseline.

Long-term climate change indicators are also record breaking. Concentrations of major greenhouse gases in the atmosphere continue to increase to new records. Arctic sea ice remained at very low levels, especially during early 2016 and the October re-freezing period, and there was significant and very early melting of the Greenland ice sheet.

NOAA lists the current ranking as:

  1. 2015
  2. 2014
  3. 2010
  4. 2013
  5. 2005

https://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/sotc...

Submission + - Google's War on Trolls Could Help Save the Internet (vortex.com)

Lauren Weinstein writes: It has long seemed clear to me that appropriately dealing with the rising tide of trolls and other social media posting abuses would inevitably require an intensifying partnership between automated detection systems and human insights, each bringing different strengths and limitations to the table.

This is why I wholeheartedly support the ongoing efforts of Google (or more precisely, the "Jigsaw" division of Google's parent Alphabet, Inc.) to leverage Google's sophisticated and powerful artificial intelligence assets to help deal with the growing trolling and hate speech scourge.

Submission + - WikiLeaks drops latest Guccifer 2.0 data on Hillary Clinton, DNC, Democrats (smh.com.au)

SonicSpike writes: WikiLeaks has published what purports to contain "new" Democratic Party documents hacked by the Guccifer 2.0 hacker.

The organisation posted a tweet at around 9am on Wednesday Sydney time, with links that promised access to 678.4 megabytes of new "DNC documents".

Initial images of what appeared to be presentation slides show information about databases used for voter identification and turnout efforts.

Other slides discuss the outcome of past get-out-the-vote campaigns.

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton was US secretary of state when WikiLeaks released hundreds of thousands of State Department emails in 2010.

The latest document dump comes after an earlier tranche of emails, reportedly hacked by Guccifer 2.0, prompted the resignation of politicians within the Democratic Party on the eve of the party's convention.

Submission + - Gates Foundation-Supported Nonprofit Puts $100K "Bounty" on John Oliver

theodp writes: "In case you missed it," writes the Washington Post's Valerie Strauss, "John Oliver recently did a segment on his HBO 'Last Week Tonight' show blasting troubled charter schools (YouTube) in several states around the country. It was very very funny — but charter supporters were not in the slightest bit amused. How annoyed were they? Well, the Washington-based Center for Education Reform [CER], a nonprofit pro-charter organization, is offering $100,000 to the school that creates the best rebuttal video to Oliver’s rant. Really. It’s called the 'Hey John Oliver! Back Off My Charter School!' Video Contest, and all applicants have to do is come up with a retort explaining why charters are fabulous — in no longer than three minutes — and properly submit their video." CER Supporters include the foundations of some of the nation's wealthiest families, including The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. Coincidentally, Oliver blasted charters that suddenly and unexpectedly close their doors citing money woes, which happened at Gates Foundation-backed Bay Area High Tech High, where students recruited by a Bill Gates video were told that their school of the future had no future before it graduated its first class. In a nice circle-of-charter-life kind of thing, however, the building occupied by SV High Tech High was given to Summit Public Schools, the current fave charter of Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerberg.

Submission + - Whitehouse, Google cozied up over Anti-trust suit (theintercept.com)

An anonymous reader writes: The Intercept reports new emails uncovered by the Oracle-backed Campaign for Accountability show the White House met top Google lobbyists twice in the weeks before the FTC announcement. Controversially, FTC commissioners took the unusual step of overriding their staff’s recommendation to sue Google, and voted to settle the case instead, with the White House official asking Google for talking points.

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