Fraud threat to millions of TalkTalk customers
A Santander spokeswoman says: “While we appreciate this was a sophisticated scam, Mr Smith gave personal details by confirming the One Time Passcode to the fraudsters and thus validating and authorising the transfer of funds. The OTP, which Mr Smith received to his mobile phone, would have confirmed that the code was to make a payment of £XXX to account ending XXXX. The OTP is a security measure we put in place to protect customers against fraud, and Mr Smith would have used an OTP code to set this up to his mobile phone. The disclosure of this passcode to a third party is a breach of our terms and conditions, and it is for this reason that we cannot accept any responsibility for the losses on this account.”
BuzzFeed's Silly New Animals App Is Very Smart Business
"We wanted to keep the interaction pretty light," says Chris Johanesen, BuzzFeed’s vice president of product and an eight-year veteran of the media company. "It was this idea running in the back of our head—especially in the last year or two as apps are more and more important—that this would make just a really fun, amazing app."
Eastern Europe: February 2015 Tech News Roundup
After a rather slow January, technology companies, funds and startups from Eastern Europe are gaining full speed and seemingly trying to overwhelm journalists and reader with the news stories, funding announcements and campaigns. As usual, we’ve gathered everything significant in a handy roundup.
Branch Metrics Raises $15 Million For Its Smarter Mobile Deep Linking Technology
There are a number of other companies developing similar tools for linking to pages inside apps, including URX, Deeplink.me, Quixey, Tapstream, Appsfire and more. But Branch Metrics’ links can deliver users to a specific page in the app after a new user installs the app for the first time. Many other solutions, on the other hand, only work when a user already has the app installed on their mobile device, and only points the user to a download from the app store when they don’t. And when that newly downloaded app is opened, it simply displays the app’s main page, as the context is lost.
TNW Deals' Smart Home Roundup
Experience the future of comfortable living today, with TNW Deals’ range of smart products for the home. Enjoy unparalleled convenience, novel new functionality — and great prices on everything!
60,000 Accounts Deleted from Social Media Sites in China
Some of China’s most popular social media sites deleted more than 60,000 accounts in the last 24 hours because they did not conform to the strict new regulations due to be put in place on Sunday.
IBM Pumps $4 Billion Into Cloud and Mobile Initiatives
International Business Machines Corp. is in the same bind as many of its corporate-tech peers: how to foster fast-growing but unproven initiatives while lucrative older businesses are slowing down. Having identified a set of promising new directions, the company plans to invest more in them. At an annual meeting with analysts Thursday, the company said it will shift $4 billion in 2015 spending to what it calls the “strategic...
Xen security issue prompts Amazon, Rackspace cloud reboots
Cloud vendors impacted by these security issues tread a tricky path. They have to address the vulnerability as fast as possible before the details of the flaw are made public, which can lead to a bit of a fire drill. In this case, more information about the flaw will be disclosed March 10.
If you were offline between, say, 7pm and 10pm Eastern last night, boy, things must have seemed real weird when you logged back onto Twitter.
Proposed Chinese security law could mean tough rules for tech companies
Reuters reported on Friday that a newly proposed Chinese counterterrorism law calls for technology companies to turn over encryption keys to the Chinese government, allow for ways to bypass security mechanisms in their products, require companies to store user data and maintain servers in China, and remove any content that the country deems supportive of terrorists.
Kobalt Tunes Into $60M Led By Google Ventures For Its Music Rights Collection Platform
This is where Kobalt comes in: the company is basically a big-data music analytics play. It has built a platform and music tagging system that reaches across services like YouTube, Spotify, Soundcloud and thousands more to track when songs are played, using that data to figure out how much a particular artist or label is owed as a result. It provides the data on a dashboard along with other analytics, and then makes regular payouts to those rights holders based on those numbers. (We’ve covered the kind of data that Kobalt collects before — it has been very revealing of the shift to streaming services versus downloads .)
JxE Streams: Taste the rainbow in 'Kirby and the Rainbow Curse'
What seemed so novel and strange about Kirby: Canvas Curse when it came out now seems almost quaint. Only one part of the screen can be touched at a time? There aren't gyroscope controls? What is this, an Android store launch game? Please. Just shy of its tenth birthday, though, Canvas Curse still feels like a pristine lesson in touch-control video game design despite its antiquity. It had the depth and challenge of a classic arcade game as well as a strange but clean, immediately understandable interface. Canvas Curse was a colorful dollop of fun that begged for a follow up. Kirby and the Rainbow Curse is finally here, and we're playing it for the very first time today on JXE Streams.
How to Block Posts About the Insanity-Inducing Dress from the Internet
Short of completely unplugging, you can never get away from rumors and spoilers completely, but it's possible to at least restrict your web content to a manageable level. Over the coming weeks an abundance of iPad 3 news will be pouring in, so if you're looking to cut it away, the above tips will help. Do you have ways to avoid annoying rumors or spoilers? Share them in the comments.
How A 15-Year-Old CEO Is Bringing Eyesight To Those In Need
Lillian Pravda is the CEO of Vision For and From Children, which helps people without access to vision care. Pravda is also just 15 years old, and her organization has already provided eye care to more than 24,000 people.
Twenty20 Emerges From Beta with a New Stock Photo View
An alternative kind of agency, which uses personal mobile photos from a range of enthusiasts and professionals, today launched out of beta promising to lend a more natural and less overtly slick look to marketing, advertising and editorial content.
Uber Security Breach Exposes 50,000 Drivers
Last year Uber suffered a security breach. Now it’s saying that the name and driver’s license number of up to 50,000 drivers could be in the hands of a third party.
YC-Backed YesGraph Raises A Million To Build A Better Referral System For Mobile Apps
When launching a new consumer application, especially those in the social space, many developers today rely on an invite mechanism that has the app’s initial user base reaching out and recommending the app to their friends. But today, these invite systems are often fairly basic – they connect to a phone’s address book and then force the user to sift through their hundreds of contacts for those they think would be interested in joining the new app, too.
Adam Savage's Overlook Hotel Maze Model
Watch our in-depth discussion of this maze build here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRAqx... Over the span of a month, Adam designed and built an accurate replica of the hedge maze architectural model from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. The maze model, as seen in The Overlook Hotel, is only seen briefly, but reference screenshots from throughout the film allowed Adam to painstakingly recreate it. The project ended up as one of Adam's more labor-intensive builds in recent memory! Shot and edited by Joey Fameli Watch the follow-up discussion, with more photos, here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NRAqx... Photo gallery of the build here: http://www.tested.com/art/makers/4970...
With A $60M Revenue Run Rate, ClassPass May Be The Next Uber
TechCrunch has secured financial information about ClassPass , the TechStars-backed startup that offers unlimited access to various fitness classes for a flat monthly fee. As it stands now, our sources report that ClassPass is tracking to a $60 million revenue run rate for 2015, a run rate that has doubled in the past three months.
Airbnb Is Raising A Monster Round At A $20B Valuation
Airbnb — the platform that lets travellers book private spare rooms and entire homes as an alternative to traditional hotels — is doing some booking of its own. Airbnb is in the process of raising another round of funding that will value it at $20 billion, according to sources familiar with the situation.
Spotify Desktop Update Adds Full Lyrics from MusixMatch
Along with the other changes to the desktop app, Spotify has introduced new daily viral charts which will show the most shared songs in the world as well as in your specific region. It’s also added indicators to all its charts to show what tracks are new and how they’re performing day by day.
Net neutrality’s next chapter: How experts saw today’s milestone and next steps
Finally, if you’re wondering how far the FCC could have gone, beyond the dreaded rate regulation that the cable industry so feared, Jon Brodkin over at Ars Technica brings it up. The agency could have demanded that the ISPs unbundle their services (something that would have never happened given our country’s regard for private investment). That would have been far more disruptive than the FCC’s actions on municipal broadband today or its vote to regulate broadband as a transport service under Title II. From his story:
Here are the renderings of Google's futuristic new headquarters
Google just revealed a wild proposal for remaking its main office space in Mountain View, California — rather than simply build more modern office buildings, Google is seeking to build some giant glass "canopies" with insides that can be rebuilt and repurposed easily depending on what the company needs. It's incredibly ambitious, and the company already admitted that some of the technology it needs to pull this vision off doesn't exist yet. And even if this does come to pass the way Google wants, the first of these buildings won't exist for another five years.
Apple Opens Up 'iWork for iCloud' to Everyone, No Apple Device Required
Software is Apple's weakest area, especially professional software —which seems unacceptable for a technology company worth over $700 billion…
Hire more developers and designers: a few more dedicated JDI, enhancement and bug hunting teams would do Apple software wonders.
It's important to pay attention to what _is_ actually happening. Apple has progressively been opening up public betas of its various offerings. This will improve the bug hunting process without hiring additional developers. The development tools are constantly being updated and improved upon, and this directly benefits Apple's own developers, not just third-parties. More cooks in the kitchen (ie. paid employees) isn't always the solution. In fact, I would go as far as to say that Apple is becoming too big for their own good, a problem that we know all too well can have a negative effect on companies. It's up to Tim and Co. to manage this properly and not become another Microsoft.
A year and a half ago, Pages was updated to version 5.0 and it dropped ONE much-needed feature for our team.
Should Californians Resurrect a Plan to Pipe in Water From Alaska? | WIRED
Unfortunately: Still crazy. “It’s just not something we’re even looking at,” says Nancy Vogel, a spokesperson for the California Department of Water Resources. Even with the extended drought and the expanded tax base, the cost of Alaskan water is too great. Partly that’s because most of the water would go to crops, not cities, so the costs would be passed on to food markets. “Having water that is this expensive go to agricultural crops is the kind of thing that would cause economists hair to go white,” says Kash. And even though advances in pipe laying logistics and materials have driven the engineering costs of the project down, it’s probable that modern environmental permitting would more than make up for those cuts in cost. “I think the biggest question would be, how does it impact fisheries?” says Andreassen. Because you know, putting a huge suction pipe at the mouth of a river doesn’t sound like it would help baby salmon get out to sea. And then there’s the question of invasive species: What kind of health risks would we face if t
A Field Guide to the Internet Infrastructure That Hides in Plain Sight | WIRED
The field guide shows just that. It includes an illustrated taxonomy of manholes, including those of Time Warner Cable and Level 3 Communications, a fiber optic provider who signed a near half-billion dollar contract with the Department of Defense in 2012. It decodes the colorful symbols you’ll often find spray-painted on city streets, providing capsule blurbs on the companies they denote. It identifies other random bits of hardware, from the cameras deployed by the MTA to the “Distributed Antenna Systems” used to blanket the city’s urban canyons in cell coverage. And it includes a handy list of infrastructural landmarks, including 60 Hudson, the former Western Union headquarters, where New York City links up to the internet at large. The art deco “carrier hotel,” as they’re called, is currently home to upwards of 70 million feet of cable. (Below: an excellent short documentary on the site, created by Ben Mendelsohn and Alex Cholas-Wood.)
Google reverses porn ban on Blogger after backlash
“This week, we announced a change to Blogger’s porn policy,” wrote Jessica Pelegio , social product support manager at Google, in a post in a product forum. “We’ve had a ton of feedback, in particular about the introduction of a retroactive change (some people have had accounts for 10+ years), but also about the negative impact on individuals who post sexually explicit content to express their identities. So rather than implement this change, we’ve decided to step up enforcement around our existing policy prohibiting commercial porn.”
Tesla’s gigafactory will make batteries in 2016 for Model S & X
But getting the battery factory built out enough to produce batteries by next year shows the extremely fast pace at which Tesla is now moving. Because the battery factory is a new facility, and Tesla has limited experience being a battery manufacturer, Tesla needs to be able to produce batteries significantly before its Model 3 launch in 2017 — it needs to test them, and make sure they’re operating correctly. So using them in earlier models, and not first in the Model 3, makes sense.
Paris beats New York to become Airbnb's top spot globally with 40,000 active listings
“As the home of Airbnb’s biggest community, Paris is the perfect place for this year’s Airbnb Open,” Chesky said in a statement. “Our tight-knit community of Parisians is incredible, and we’ve grown from just 4,000 listings in Paris in 2012 to over 40,000 today.”
When Drones Aren’t Enough, Amazon Envisions Trucks with 3D Printers
Amazon has put an ever-greater premium on shipping speed in recent years. It is building a huge network of warehouses close to urban centers, is developing its own shipping network and has bike messengers bringing New Yorkers goods in as little as an hour. A spokeswoman declined to comment on the patent applications.
CIA’s secret Amazon cloud ready to roll
Wolfe also said the new cloud would be rolled out across 17 different intelligence agencies (news to me), and that the agency would have Cloudera’s enterprise data hub, running on the AWS service within months, according to the story.
Know Your Enemy: The 4 Types of Video Game Zombies - IGN
The most common portrayal of zombies is one of a slow-moving corpse, dragging one leg as it scours the land mindlessly searching for food. With the notable exception of Michael Jackson's Thriller video, this is how pretty much all zombies were portrayed until fairly recently. In games like Super Ghouls 'N Ghosts, and pretty much every Castlevania game, zombies rise from the ground and wander from one side of the screen to the other. They're easy to take out, easy to avoid, and are essentially living-dead goombas.
Iran hacked an American casino, U.S. intel director says
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German Consumer Group Warns Facebook Over Data Protection
FRANKFURT—Germany’s main consumer protection organization said Thursday it sent a warning to Facebook demanding that the social media giant change its terms of service or face a lawsuit over data protection and other issues.
Maybe I’m just a dumb millennial, but I’m going to keep using Venmo
Venmo, a mobile payment app popular among college students and recent grads, has security holes “ you could drive a truck through ,” according to an article posted on Slate this week. The report was largely based on one man’s story about how a grifter was able to steal $2850 from his account before he was ultimately reimbursed.
Can ARM processors move the mobile network into the cloud?
But the mobile industry is starting to look for alternatives to this constant chasing of capacity and it’s looking squarely at the data center. If we could move all of that processing into the cloud, we could have a much more flexible network that moves baseband resources from cell to cell as demand dictates. What’s more, instead of using highly specialized baseband processors in equally specialized base stations, you could use off-the-shelf processors and servers and run all of the functions of the network as software.
Whaa? Now there's a second bright light on dwarf planet Ceres - CNET
As Dawn gets closer, the images sent back of Ceres become more clear and, frankly, more weird. The above image with the two bright spots was taken from about 29,000 miles from the surface of the dwarf planet. Dawn will continue its approach until March 6, when it will enter orbit around Ceres to get better views for a period of 16 months.
Happy net neutrality day! Here are some llamas and a dress
Where were you the day the internet was freed from ISP tyranny? Apparently, you were either watching two llamas on the lam or tweeting that a clearly black and blue dress was actually gold and white. When two escaped camelids sent a Phoenix sheriff's posse on a Benny Hill chase, it spawned a million GIFs and seemed a perfect capper to a momentous day. But then, someone posted a picture of a dress on Tumblr that, due to a trick of light, appeared to be either black and blue or gold and white. Before you could say " rods and cones " the story went insane, with over 20 million views on Buzzfeed . So while some may wring their hands about the dumbing down of the internet, we say, enjoy it! Here are some of the best tweets, GIFs and Vines below -- you can always get serious later. (By the way, the dress is blue and black .)
Jay Carney to Amazon
The new position brings the e-commerce giant’s worldwide public relations and public policy shops into one department under Carney. He’ll split his time between Seattle HQ and the D.C. office, where Amazon veteran Paul Misener will continue to run the company’s lobbying efforts.
Lenovo's Superfish screwup highlights biggest problem in software - CNET
Preloaded software isn't going to go away, no matter how loudly consumers and security experts howl. In addition to padding their bottom lines by bundling Windows with third-party software such as Adobe Reader, McAfee's antivirus software and the Bing Toolbar, manufacturers are convinced the software benefits consumers. Lenovo's Hortensius pointed to a system update tool his company adds to each new machine that updates drivers, small pieces of software that tell hardware components like printers how to interact with the computer. "We try to improve the user experience with every piece of software we load," Hortensius said.
Why GDC 2015 will be a glimpse into PC gaming's future
No less important however is the announcement of glNext , the successor to open-source graphics API OpenGL. While not as popular as DirectX on Windows systems, OpenGL is what powers gaming on Linux and Macs. We know nothing about glNext yet, but personally I'm hoping it's more compatible with DirectX 12—if only so porting games from Windows to Linux is easier. With Valve (a known Windows detractor) officially sponsoring the glNext announcement panel, it seems likely this would be true. For Steam Machines to take off, you'd certainly think glNext would need to be competitive with DX12's capabilities.
Verizon brings small cells indoors using these cute little dots
There’s no word from Verizon on when and if it plans to install Dots in other buildings, but it definitely seems to have gotten small cell religion in the last year . The technology allows it to surgically insert capacity into its networks without building new towers or acquiring new spectrum. The end result for consumers is more LTE capacity and speeds in high-trafficked areas where you’d usually expect to find congested networks. In addition to San Francisco, it’s installing outdoor small cells in New York City, Chicago and Phoenix.
Verizon Trolls Today's Net Neutrality Ruling in Morse Code
“The FCC today chose to change the way the commercial Internet has operated since its creation. Changing a platform that has been so successful should be done, if at all, only after careful policy analysis, full transparency, and by the legislature, which is constitutionally charged with determining policy. As a result, it is likely that history will judge today’s actions as misguided.
Drone Maker 3D Robotics Raises $50 Million In Latest Round
A financial document filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission on Wednesday, showed that the company was only looking to raise $40 million in the round. According to the document, it had sold just over $32 million worth of shares. It’s unclear how 3D Robotics exceeded the $40 million it originally expected to raise. A company spokesperson has not said how they exceeded their original funding expectation.
Why Your Brain Thinks That Blue Dress Looks White
I was already in bed and I had to get out of bed to comment on this article and this is how much I hate this freaking dress and how much this has effected me. This is something you would see VSauce cover and I’m sure they will and it’s telling that Neitz made the comment about how he will be working on this for a very long time instead of curing blindness. I know many people will think he’s joking but I’m sure he’s pretty serious. This whole thing is very telling about how we are interpreting our world and what information our brains our processing.
Why the #whatcoloristhisdress frock is actually blue and black - CNET
When it comes to the dress, the answer is a bit more complicated, though. The image of the dress is a close-up without much contextual information, so our brains have to rely on other factors to analyze it. People seeing the dress as white and gold, says AsapScience, are probably viewing the image in a naturally lit room, for example, whereas those who see it as black and blue are likely in an artificially lit setting. There's also a chance the image doesn't present enough visual cues for our brains to interpret, leaving it up to us to process the picture using other cues we've learned over time.
Building a custom WordPress site? These tools will reduce your pain | ZDNet
David Gewirtz is CBS Interactive's Distinguished Lecturer and writes the ZDNet Government and DIY-IT columns. On behalf of CBSi, its readers, and its partners, David produces and delivers webcasts, lectures, briefing papers, advisory statements, opinion pieces, and detailed analysis.
David has relationships with a variety of professional associations and nonprofit organizations. He is the executive director of U.S. Strategic Perspective Institute, a nonprofit research and policy organization. He is the cyberwarfare advisor for the International Association for Counterterrorism and Security Professionals. He is the IT advisor for the Florida Public Health Association, and an advisory board member for the Technical Communications and Management Certificate program at the University of California, Berkeley extension.
David is a member of the FBI's InfraGard program, the security partnership between the FBI and industry. David is also a member of the U.S. Naval Institute and the National Defense Industrial Association, the leading defense industry association promoting national security.
FCC Approves Net Neutrality in Partisan Decision
The Internet Association, which represents Google, Facebook and other Internet companies, applauded the decision in a statement, but sounded a note of caution, saying it was looking “forward to seeing the full text of the order to ensure that the end user experience and the free and open Internet is fully protected by the FCC’s action.”