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Submission + - Spark Energy Corporation Review - Consumer Alert New York State (anotepad.com)

carmecote08 writes: It has come to our attention that Spark Energy’s brand is being misrepresented, and consumers in New York state state are receiving calls from a third party (or parties) that are not authorized agents of our company. We take our company brand and reputation very seriously, and we are investigating this matter thoroughly. Any assistance consumers contacted by these agents can provide is greatly appreciated, including:

Name of the caller
Name on the Caller ID
Number on the Caller ID
Date and time of the call

We want to take this time to remind consumers that Spark Energy does not request the following information to process a customer enrollment over the phone in New York State, and we urge them not to provide any personal information of this sort: social security number; driver’s license number; home address. If you have been called by someone claiming to be with Spark Energy who requested this type of information, we urge you to contact one of the three (3) credit bureaus to review your credit report for any unusual activity and to request a fraud alert.

We sincerely apologize for any inconvenience this has caused, and look forward to clarifying this matter as soon as possible so that we can continue to provide New York residents with choice when it comes to their electricity and natural gas needs.

If you have information regarding this matter, please contact us at 1.877.547.7275 or customercare@sparkenergy.com.

About Spark Energy Information

Spark Energy, L.P. is a Houston-based, independent, multi-state certified retail energy and natural gas supplier. With more than a decade of experience, the company works to consistently deliver low-cost energy rates, quality products and superior customer service to hundreds of thousands of satisfied customers across 16 states. Spark Energy is dedicated to positively impacting the communities it serves by building relationships, inspiring philanthropy and promoting good will both inside the company and throughout the community. For more information, visit www.sparkenergy.com.

Submission + - Over 14K Let's Encrypt SSL Certificates Issued to PayPal Phishing Sites (bleepingcomputer.com)

An anonymous reader writes: During the past year, Let's Encrypt has issued a total of 15,270 SSL certificates that contained the word "PayPal" in the domain name or the certificate identity. Of these, approximately 14,766 (96.7%) were issued for domains that hosted phishing sites. Other CAs have issued a combined number of 461 SSL certificates containing the term "PayPal" in the certificate information, which were later used for phishing attacks. This number is far smaller compared to misused Let's Encrypt certs.

Assuming that current trends continue, Let’s Encrypt will issue 20,000 additional “PayPal” certificates by the end of this year, bringing the total up to 35,000 over the past two years. To blame for this situation is Let's Encrypt, who said in a mission statement it doesn't intent to police the Internet. Browser makers are also to blame [1, 2], along with "security experts" who tell people HTTPS is "secure," when they should point out HTTPS means "encrypted communication channel," and not necessarily that the destination website is secure.

Submission + - If you had to lecture on Cyber Terrorism 1

quantumghost writes: I have a high likelihood of presenting for a group of about 400 healthcare workers at a disaster preparedness conference next year. It is a 20 minute slot (and nothing more than a primer), but obviously, I want to capture their attention. I was thinking of working with the venue to set up a fake WiFi hotspot to capture those who randomly link to any hotspot, but how do I use that to full effect (e.g. anyone ever light up all their phones at once)? Or any suggestions about how to get their attention? Any topics that you think should be stressed? My plans for the talk will be about ransomware (and the need for backups), attacks on medical devices (hacking pacemakers, insulin pumps etc), (spear) phising attacks on providers/institutions, and awareness of social engineering — are there other topics that should be addressed?

Submission + - Vinyl Record Sales Highest in 30 years (wsj.com)

retroworks writes: Wall Street Journal taped interview describes reinvestment in new vinyl LP record production, based on high demand for turntables. What old technology will be the next to resurface?

Submission + - Toronto school board ends all new US trips for students (bbc.com)

alqaly writes: Toronto school board ends all new US trips for students
Canada's largest school board is cancelling new school trips to the United States until further notice.

The Toronto District School Board announced the decision citing "uncertainty" with regards to who may be affected by US President Donald's Trump's latest travel restrictions.

Twenty-five already scheduled trips will go ahead as planned.

The school board joins the Girl Guides of Canada and a few other schools in temporarily halting travel to the US.

Under the new US travel ban, citizens from Syria, Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, and Yemen would not be permitted to enter the US, unless they have already been issued valid visas, for a 90-day period.

However, the ban is suspended pending a number of court challenges.

In a statement released on Thursday, Director of Education John Malloy said that the district school board faced "a difficult choice".

"We strongly believe that our students should not be placed into these situations of potentially being turned away at the border," said Mr Malloy.

"For the trips that will be continuing, should students with the appropriate documentation be denied entry to the US for no legitimate reason, the entire trip will return to Toronto and will not proceed."

The board is among the largest in North America with some 246,000 students in 584 schools throughout Toronto.

Trump travel ban: Five questions about the revised executive order
Is it more difficult now for Canadians to enter the US?
The school board says that, should the US travel restrictions be fully implemented, pre-approved trips will also be cancelled.

Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, New York, Massachusetts, and Hawaii have all launched legal challenges against the Trump administration's executive order.

Some individuals from those countries would be exempt from the order, including legal permanent residents of the US and dual nationals travelling on a passport from a country not on the list.

Last week, Canada's Girl Guides announced they would not be travelling to the US until further notice.

Greater Essex County school board in south-western Ontario decided last month to cancel a handful of trips over concerns about equity.

The Ottawa-Carleton District school board recently sent a letter to parents asking whether their children would participate in upcoming trips across the border to determine whether plans should go ahead.

https://instagram-photos-2016....

Submission + - Terrifying anti-riot vehicle created to quash any urban disturbance (ibtimes.co.uk)

drunkdrone writes: A formidable remote-controlled anti-riot vehicle called the Bozena Riot has been designed to make light work of angry mobs with a giant expanding shield and packing an arsenal of crowd dispersal tools.

Built by Slovakian company Bozena, the high-tech security system keeps law enforcement units safe with its shock-absorbing barrier, which can be expanded out to 7.5 metres to protect 36 officers and features a rising platform to give riot police an elevated view of their surroundings and provide tactical advantage against aggressors.

The shield has ports for firing non-lethal projectiles and is equipped with tear gas guns to "guarantee control of crowds" when things get dicey. Mounted loudspeakers can be used either to issue instructions to officers or to appeal to crowds, and the vehicle can optionally be equipped with smoke grenade launchers and a radio jammer for blocking mobile communications.

Submission + - Why You Should Care About The Supreme Court Case On Toner Cartridges (consumerist.com)

rmdingler writes: A corporate squabble over printer toner cartridges doesn’t sound particularly glamorous, and the phrase “patent exhaustion” is probably already causing your eyes to glaze over. However, these otherwise boring topics are the crux of a Supreme Court case that will answer a question with far-reaching impact for all consumers: Can a company that sold you something use its patent on that product to control how you choose to use after you buy it?

Here’s the background: Lexmark makes printers. Printers need toner in order to print, and Lexmark also happens to sell toner.

Then there’s Impression Products, a third-party company makes and refills toner cartridges for use in printers, including Lexmark’s.

Submission + - Astronomers Observe Supermassive Blackhole Ejected by Gravitational Waves (nasa.gov)

An anonymous reader writes: From NASA:
"Astronomers have uncovered a supermassive black hole that has been propelled out of the center of a distant galaxy by what could be the awesome power of gravitational waves.

Though there have been several other suspected, similarly booted black holes elsewhere, none has been confirmed so far. Astronomers think this object, detected by NASA's Hubble Space Telescope, is a very strong case. Weighing more than 1 billion suns, the rogue black hole is the most massive black hole ever detected to have been kicked out of its central home.
Researchers estimate that it took the equivalent energy of 100 million supernovas exploding simultaneously to jettison the black hole. The most plausible explanation for this propulsive energy is that the monster object was given a kick by gravitational waves unleashed by the merger of two hefty black holes at the center of the host galaxy."
The findings of the study will be published in the journal Astronomy and Astrophysics on March 30th.

Submission + - US Ordered 'Mandatory Social Media Check' For Some Visa Applicants (theverge.com)

An anonymous reader writes: U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has ordered a “mandatory social media check” on all visa applicants who have ever visited ISIS-controlled territory, according to diplomatic cables obtained by Reuters. The four memos were sent to American diplomatic missions over the past two weeks, with the most recent issued on March 17th. According to Reuters, they provide details into a revised screening process that President Donald Trump has described as “extreme vetting.” A memo sent on March 16th rescinds some of the instructions that Tillerson outlined in the previous cables, including an order that would have required visa applicants to hand over all phone numbers, email addresses, and social media accounts that they have used in the past. The secretary of state issued the memo after a Hawaii judge blocked the Trump administration’s revised travel ban on citizens from six predominantly Muslim countries. In addition to the social media check, the most recent memo calls for consular officials to identify “populations warranting increased scrutiny.” Two former government officials tell Reuters that the social media order could lead to delays in processing visa applications, with one saying that such checks were previously carried out on rare occasions.

Submission + - Ubuntu Linux 17.04 'Zesty Zapus' Final Beta now available for download (betanews.com)

BrianFagioli writes: Today, the Final Beta of Ubuntu 17.04 'Zesty Zapus' becomes available for download. While it is never a good idea to run pre-release software on production machines, Canonical is claiming that it should be largely bug free at this point. In other words, if you understand the risks, it should be a fairly safe. Home users aside, this is a good opportunity for administrators to conduct testing prior to the official release next month.

"The Ubuntu team is pleased to announce the final beta release of the Ubuntu 17.04 Desktop, Server, and Cloud products. Codenamed 'Zesty Zapus', 17.04 continues Ubuntu's proud tradition of integrating the latest and greatest open source technologies into a high-quality, easy-to-use Linux distribution. The team has been hard at work through this cycle, introducing new features and fixing bugs," says Adam Conrad, Canonical.

Submission + - Molecule Kills Elderly Cells, Reduces Signs of Aging In Mice (sciencemag.org)

An anonymous reader writes: Even if you aren’t elderly, your body is home to agents of senility—frail and damaged cells that age us and promote disease. Now, researchers have developed a molecule that selectively destroys these so-called senescent cells. The compound makes old mice act and appear more youthful, providing hope that it may do the same for us. As we get older, senescent cells build up in our tissues, where researchers think they contribute to illnesses such as heart disease, arthritis, and diabetes. In the past, scientists have genetically modified mice to dispatch their senescent cells, allowing the rodents to live longer and reducing plaque buildup in their arteries. Such genetic alterations aren’t practical for people, but researchers have reported at least seven compounds, known as senolytics, that kill senescent cells. A clinical trial is testing two of the drugs in patients with kidney disease, and other trials are in the works. However, current senolytic compounds, many of which are cancer drugs, come with downsides. They can kill healthy cells or trigger side effects such as a drop in the number of platelets, the cellular chunks that help our blood clot. Cell biologist Peter de Keizer of Erasmus University Medical Center in Rotterdam, the Netherlands, and colleagues were investigating how senescent cells stay alive when they uncovered a different strategy for attacking them. Senescent cells carry the type of DNA damage that should spur a protective protein, called p53, to put them down. Instead, the researchers found that a different protein, FOXO4, latches onto p53 and prevents it from doing its duty. To counteract this effect, De Keizer and colleagues designed a molecule, known as a peptide, that carries a shortened version of the segment of FOXO4 that attaches to p53. In a petri dish, this peptide prevented FOXO4 and p53 from hooking up, prompting senescent cells to commit suicide. But it spared healthy cells. The researchers then injected the molecule into mutant mice that age rapidly. These rodents live about half as long as normal mice, and when they are only a few months old, their fur starts to fall out, their kidneys begin to falter, and they become sluggish. However, the peptide boosted the density of their fur, reversed the kidney damage, and increased the amount of time they could scurry in a running wheel, the scientists report online today in Cell. When the researchers tested the molecule in normal, elderly mice, they saw a similar picture: In addition to helping their kidneys and fur, the molecule also increased their willingness to explore their surroundings.

Submission + - Read your Senators Browser History Comming Soon

windwalker13th writes: The US Senate just voted to roll back privacy protections for consumers of ISPs. https://www.congress.gov/bill/... Thus making it one step closer to allowing ISPs to sell your internet activity.
Last year researches at MIT were able to identify 90% of people in a data set from 3 months of anonymized credit card transactions http://news.mit.edu/2015/ident... If we are already able to identify who people are from anonymous credit card meta data how hard will it be to identify our senators from their internet browsing history? Certainly it would be fairly easy to determine who they are, after all they probably check their e-mail every night before going to sleep.

Submission + - Microsoft Patent Would Count Number Of People Viewing Content On A Device (kotaku.com)

dryriver writes: A slightly older story from Kotaku (Nov 2016) examines how a Microsoft Corporation Patent filed in 2011 proposes electronically monitoring the number of people viewing digital content on a device (possibly with a Kinect-like camera), and taking action if the number of viewers is larger than the content was "licensed for". So if you were to stream a Movie or TV Show licensed for 2 viewers to your living room TV and the system determines that 4 rather than 2 people are watching, you would be in violation of the viewing license for the content, and content playback would cease, or you would possibly be charged for the extra eyeballs present. Here's how the patent's abstract (US 2012/0278904 A1) puts it: "A content presentation system and method allowing content providers to regulate the presentation of content on a per-user-view basis. Content is distributed an associated license option on the number of individual consumers or viewers allowed to consume the content. Consumers are presented with a content selection and a choice of licenses allowing consumption of the content. The users consuming the content on a display device are monitored so that if the number of user-views licensed is exceeded, remedial action may be taken. "

Submission + - World Largest IPv6 Tunnel Broker SixXS shutting down... (sixxs.net)

fuzzel writes: In 2003 I posted a story called "Slashdot over IPv6": https://news.slashdot.org/stor...

That story was about being able to reach Slashdot over IPv6 by using SixXS's IPv6Gate, https://www.sixxs.net/tools/ga... one of the many ways that SixXS (https://www.sixxs.net) enables

Today, 14 years after that story, I have to note that SixXS is shutting down on 2017-06-06.

Full details about this are are available on: https://www.sixxs.net/sunset/

That will thus also mean that "news for nerds" won't be available over IPv6 anymore:

$ host -t aaaa slashdot.org
slashdot.org has no AAAA record

Submission + - Drupal Project Banishes Long-Time Contributor Over BDSM Claims (reddit.com)

techsoldaten writes: Larry Garfield, a long time contributor to the Drupal project, was banished from the community over his alleged involvement in BDSM communities. Dries Buytaert, founder of Drupal, asked Garfield to leave the project based on his beliefs about equality. The Drupal community has an established Code of Conduct Buytaert feels Garfield violated based on holding beliefs related to gender roles. Thought crime?

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