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Wells Fargo Fires 5,300 Employees For Creating Millions of Phony Accounts
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 03:32 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's what-goes-around-comes-around department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNNMoney: Everyone hates paying bank fees. But imagine paying fees on a ghost account you didn't even sign up for. That's exactly what happened to Wells Fargo customers nationwide. On Thursday, federal regulators said Wells Fargo employees secretly created millions of unauthorized bank and credit card accounts -- without their customers knowing it -- since 2011. The phony accounts earned the bank unwarranted fees and allowed Wells Fargo employees to boost their sales figures and make more money. Wells Fargo confirmed to CNNMoney that it had fired 5,300 employees related to the shady behavior over the last few years. Employees went so far as to create phony PIN numbers and fake email addresses to enroll customers in online banking services, the CFPB said. The scope of the scandal is shocking. An analysis conducted by a consulting firm hired by Wells Fargo concluded that bank employees opened up over 1.5 million deposit accounts that may not have been authorized, according to the CFPB. Wells Fargo is being slapped with the largest penalty since the CFPB was founded in 2011. The bank agreed to pay $185 million in fines, along with $5 million to refund customers. The report says that "employees moved funds from customers' existing accounts into newly-created accounts without theier knowledge or consent," which resulted in "customers being charged for insufficient funds or overdraft fees," since their original accounts didn't contain the money. What's more is that "Wells Fargo employees also submitted applications for 565,443 credit card accounts without their knowledge or consent," causing customers who had unauthorized credit cards opened in their names to be "hit by annual fees, interest charges and other fees."

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White House Names Retired Air Force General As First Cyber Security Chief
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's security-defenses department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Reuters: The White House on Thursday named a retired U.S. Air Force general as the government's first federal cyber security chief, a position announced eight months ago that is intended to improve defenses against hackers. Gregory Touhill's job will be to protect government networks and critical infrastructure from cyber threats as federal chief information security officer, according to a statement. President Barack Obama announced the new position in February alongside a budget proposal to Congress asking for $19 billion for cyber security across the U.S. government. Touhill is currently a deputy assistant secretary for cyber security and communications at the Department of Homeland Security. He will begin his new role later this month, a source familiar with the matter said. Grant Schneider, who is the director of cyber security policy at the White House's National Security Council, will be acting deputy to Touhill, according to the announcement.

< article continued at Slashdot's security-defenses department >

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Linking Without Permission Violates Copyright, Rules EU Court
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's look-but-don't-link department:
BarbaraHudson writes: Reuters is reporting that Playboy has won a lawsuit against a Netherlands news site for linking to photos without permission: "'It is undisputed that GS Media (which owns GreenStijl) provided the hyperlinks to the files containing the photos for profit and that Sanoma had not authorized the publication of those photos on the internet,' the Luxembourg-based Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ) said in a statement. 'When hyperlinks are posted for profit, it may be expected that the person who posted such a link should carry out the checks necessary to ensure that the work concerned is not illegally published.' The European Commission, the EU executive, is set next week to propose tougher rules on publishing copyrighted content, including a new exclusive right for news publishers to ask search engines like Google to pay to show snippets of their articles."

< article continued at Slashdot's look-but-don't-link department >

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Dell To Cut At Least 2,000 Jobs After EMC Acquisition
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's job-cuts department:
As Dell processes the acquisition of EMC Corp, its largest buyout ever, it plans to cut about 2,000 to 3,000 jobs, people familiar with the matter told Bloomberg. The layoffs are expected to happen later this year, and regions such as the United States will be impacted the most by it. From the report:The reductions are planned for later this year and will be mostly in the U.S. and in areas such as supply chain and general and administrative positions, as well as some marketing jobs, said the people. Dell is looking for cost savings of about $1.7 billion in the first 18 months after the transaction but is largely focused on using the deal to boost sales by several times that amount, the people added. The new company has 140,000 employees. "As is common with deals of this size, there will be some overlaps we will need to manage and where some employee reduction will occur. We will do everything possible to minimize the impact on jobs," Dave Farmer, spokesman for Dell, wrote in an e-mail. "We expect revenue gains will outweigh any cost savings, and revenue growth drives employment growth."

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Sri Lanka, Once Severely Affected By Malaria, Now Absolutely Free Of It
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 02:11 PM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-achievements department:
The World Health Organization has declared Sri Lanka free of malaria, calling it a "remarkable public health achievement" for the Indian Ocean island, which was once the most affected nations in the world. The Hindu reports:Sri Lanka has become malaria-free. On September 5, the World Health Organisation officially recognised this huge public health achievement. The WHO certifies a country so when the chain of local transmission is interrupted for at least three consecutive years; the last reported case was in October 2012. With no local transmission reported, Sri Lanka's priority since October 2012 has been to prevent its return from outside, particularly from malaria-endemic countries such as India. There were 95, 49 and 36 cases reported in 2013, 2014 and 2015 respectively, all contracted outside Sri Lanka. In a commendable initiative, Sri Lanka adopted a two-pronged strategy of targeting both vector and parasite, undertaking active detection of cases and residual parasite carriers by screening populations irrespective of whether malaria symptoms were present.

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Costa Rica Has Gone 76 Straight Days Using 100% Renewable Electricity
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 11:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's affinity-for-renewable-energy department:
Last year, Costa Rica powered itself using only renewable energy for 75 days. It has topped that feat this year. Vox reports: Costa Rica is pulling off a feat most countries just daydream about: For two straight months, the Central American country hasn't burned any fossil fuels to generate electricity. That's right: 100 percent renewable power. This isn't a blip, either. For 300 total days last year and 150 days so far this year, Costa Rica's electricity has come entirely from renewable sources, mostly hydropower and geothermal. Heavy rains have helped four big hydroelectric dams run above their usual capacity, letting the country turn off its diesel generators. Now, there's a huge, huge caveat here: Costa Rica hasn't eschewed all fossil fuels entirely. The country still has more than 1 million cars running on old-fashioned gasoline, which is why imported oil still supplies over half its total energy needs. The country also has cement plants that burn coal.

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FCC Chief To Unveil Revised Plan To Eliminate Cable Boxes
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 11:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's fixing-your-boxes department:
The top U.S. communications regulator plans to unveil a revised plan to allow about 100 million pay TV subscribers to replace expensive set-top boxes with less-costly apps that provide access to television and video programs, Fortune reports. From the report: Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler proposed in January opening the $20 billion cable and satellite TV set-top box market to new competitors and allow consumers to access multiple content providers from a single app or device. The plan, aimed at breaking the cable industry's long grip on the lucrative pay TV market and lowering prices for consumers, drew fierce opposition from TV and content providers, including AT&T, Comcast and Twenty-First Century Fox. The FCC has said Americans spend $20 billion a year to lease pay-TV boxes, or an average of $231 annually. Set-top box rental fees have jumped 185 percent since 1994, while the cost of TVs, computers and mobile phones has dropped 90 percent, the FCC has estimated. Update: 09/08 19:18 GMT by M :Tom Wheeler has just published the proposed laws at LATimes.

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A Small Asteroid Buzzed Earth Wednesday, But Everything's Cool
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 10:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's little-buzz department:
An anonymous reader writes: If the Earth were a person, it might have felt a sudden wind rustling its hair when a small asteroid whizzed past the planet on Wednesday. The asteroid, saddled with the name 2016 RB1, is a new discovery. Astronomers just noticed it on September 5 thanks to the keen eye of a telescope from the Catalina Sky Survey in Tucson, Arizona. What makes 2016 RB1 so sneaky is its small size. It's only about 25 to 50 feet (7 to 16 meters) in diameter. It passed within just 25,000 miles (40,000 kilometers) of Earth, which NASA helpfully translates into 1/10th the distance from Earth to the moon. In terms of the massive size of the galaxy, that qualifies as a relatively close shave. An animated GIF of the flyby shows a tiny white dot moving against a grainy space background. The asteroid's trajectory kept it well out of the way of any satellites, and the planet was never in any danger.

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IBM Launches New Linux, Power8, OpenPower Systems
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 10:11 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-data-workloads department:
An anonymous reader writes:IBM on Thursday rolled out its latest Power8 processor, which is designed to move data faster, and new servers with OpenPower features. For IBM, the OpenPower Foundation community is critical for its Power8 processor. A bevy of companies are in OpenPower, a group that aims to be a counterweight to x86-based servers. With the new systems, IBM is hoping to target more artificial intelligence, analytics, and deep learning workloads. The systems will be lumped into the Power Systems LC family of Linux servers. Big Blue's Power S822LC for High Performance Computing server is the headliner of the group, with the Power8 processor with Nvidia's Tesla P100 Pascal GPUs. The system also has Nvidia's NVLink processor that allows for high-speed bidirectional interconnects. IBM said the combination of IBM and Nvidia technology allows data to flow five times faster than an x86-based system.

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It's Official: You're Lost In a Directionless Universe
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 08:53 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's confirmed department:
Reader sciencehabit writes: Ever peer into the night sky and wonder whether space is really the same in all directions or if the cosmos might be whirling about like a vast top? Now, one team of cosmologists has used the oldest radiation there is, the afterglow of the big bang, or the cosmic microwave background (CMB), to show that the universe is 'isotropic,' or the same no matter which way you look: There is no spin axis or any other special direction in space. In fact, they estimate that there is only a one-in-121,000 chance of a preferred direction -- the best evidence yet for an isotropic universe. That finding should provide some comfort for cosmologists, whose standard model of the evolution of the universe rests on an assumption of such uniformity.

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Australian Airlines Ban Use of Samsung Galaxy Note 7 Phones After Battery Fires
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 08:53 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's faulty-phones department:
Less than a week after FAA said it was thinking about banning the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 from flights, three Australian airlines announced that it would ban passengers from using or charging Note 7 smartphones during flights. The announcement comes a week after Samsung announced that it was banning the sales of its new flagship smartphone over nearly three-dozen phones exploded worldwide. Reuters reports: Qantas, its budget unit Jetstar and Virgin Australia said they had not been directed to ban the use of the phone by aviation authorities, but did so as a precaution following Samsung's recall of the phones in 10 markets. Although customers will still be able to bring the phones on flights, the ban extends to the phones being plugged in to flight entertainment systems where USB ports are available. The recall follows reports of the 988,900 won ($885) phone igniting while charging -- an embarrassing blow to Samsung, which prides itself on its manufacturing prowess and had been banking on the devices to add momentum to a recovery in its mobile business. Samsung, the world's biggest smartphone vendor, has sold 2.5 million of the premium devices so far. "Following Samsung Australia's recall of the Samsung Galaxy Note 7 personal electronic device we are requesting that passengers who own them do not switch on or charge them in flight," a Qantas spokesman said in an emailed statement.

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Google To Buy Apigee For $625 Million To Expand Enterprise
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 07:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's big-shark,-small-shark department:
An anonymous reader shares a Bloomberg report:Google is buying software development toolmaker Apigee for $625 million, the latest move by the search giant to bulk up its cloud-based offerings for businesses. Alphabet Inc.'s Google has agreed to pay $17.40 a share in cash, San Jose, California-based Apigee said in a statement Thursday. That's a 6.5 percent premium to Apigee's closing price Wednesday. The companies expect the deal to be completed by the end of the year. Apigee sells a platform that aids companies in managing their APIs, which are programming tools that help developers build software that talks to each other and shares information without revealing the underlying code. APIs have become an integral part of cloud software development, allowing one application to pull data and use services from multiple other programs. "The addition of Apigee's API solutions to Google cloud will accelerate our customers' move to supporting their businesses with high quality digital interactions,â Diane Greene, senior vice president of Google's cloud business, said in a blog post, referring to application program interface products.

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Microsoft To Launch At Least One Surface All-In-One PC Next Month
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 07:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's new-Surface department:
Microsoft plans to launch at least one Surface all-in-one PC next month, reports ZDNet. The company has been testing 21-inch, 24-inch, and 27-inch models for quite some time, but it is unclear which variant it plans to launch at its event in October. ZDNet reports:I've heard that Surface Cardinal could be positioned as a product that can turn your desk into "a studio." My bet: Cardinal is the rumored Surface All-in-One device running Windows 10, which may come in one, two and/or three different screen sizes (21, 24 or 27), as first reported by Windows Central. This may be the consumer-focused version of Microsoft's Surface Hub, as Windows Central speculated, using the Perceptive Pixel screen technology that's at the core of Surface Hub.

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Raspberry Pi Passes 10M Sales Mark
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 07:32 AM
By manishs from Slashdot's yay department:
An anonymous reader writes: The Raspberry Pi has sold 10 million units -- continuing its success as the most popular British computer ever. The computer, about the same size as a credit card, was first released in 2012 and is widely used as an educational tool for programming. However, it can also be used for many practical purposes such as streaming music to several devices in a house. A new starter kit for Raspberry Pi, including a keyboard and mouse, has been released to celebrate the success. The kit also includes an SD storage card, official case, power supply, HDMI cable, mouse, keyboard and guidebook -- it costs $130 and will be available in the coming weeks. The Pi, which is manufactured in Wales, has been adopted by pupils, programmers and inventors around the world.

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Uber Drivers Are Subject To Individual Arbitration, Says Court
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 07:32 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's limited-resources department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from CNET: Uber won a courtroom victory on Wednesday when an appeals court ruled that drivers are subject to individual arbitration in a lawsuit over background checks, a ruling that might help the ride-hailing company fend off another costly class action lawsuit filed by its drivers. While the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals found that agreements signed by two former drivers for the service over background checks "clearly and unmistakably" require legal disputes be settled by a private arbiter, the reasoning may be applied to another class action lawsuit filed by drivers over the company's employment classifications. Uber agreed to settle that lawsuit earlier this year -- an agreement that was rejected by a federal judge last month. Arbitration is a method frequently used by companies for resolving legal conflicts outside of the court system. However, critics say that binding arbitration clauses give corporations an unfair advantage over employees and consumers who do not have the resources to challenge companies individually.

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Super Mario Is Coming To The iPhone
Posted by News Fetcher on September 08 '16 at 03:24 AM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's here-we-go department:
One of the first announcements made at Apple's iPhone 7 launch event was that Nintendo's Super Mario Bros franchise will be coming to the iPhone. The announcement was short, sparse with details, but certainly well received. Popular Mechanics reports: "Nintendo head Shigeru Miyamoto took the stage early in Apple's iPhone 7 reveal in San Francisco today to announce and demonstrate the new game Super Mario Run, the first Mario game for the iPhone. The game is simple: Mario runs completely, a la Temple Run, and you push buttons to make him jump and try to reach the end of the levels. Miyamoto says 'you can play the game one-handed for the very first time.' There's a battle mode, too, where you try to top friends' scores. Super Mario Run will come out sometime this fall before the holiday season. Pricing is TBA, but Miyamoto promises there will be a single price and no in-app purchases." In a separate report via Kotaku, Nintendo said, "We do intend to release the game on Android devices at some point in the future." The news sent Nintendo's stock soaring, up 29 percent in U.S. trading after the announcement.

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Leaked Demo Video Shows How Government Spyware Infects a Computer
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '16 at 11:11 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's never-before-seen department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Motherboard: Motherboard has obtained a never-before-seen 10-minute video showing a live demo for a spyware solution made by a little known Italian surveillance contractor called RCS Lab. Unlike Hacking Team, RCS Lab has been able to fly under the radar for years, and very little is known about its products, or its customers. The video shows an RCS Lab employee performing a live demo of the company's spyware to an unidentified man, including a tutorial on how to use the spyware's control software to perform a man-in-the-middle attack and infect a target computer who wanted to visit a specific website. RCS Lab's spyware, called Mito3, allows agents to easily set up these kind of attacks just by applying a rule in the software settings. An agent can choose whatever site he or she wants to use as a vector, click on a dropdown menu and select "inject HTML" to force the malicious popup to appear, according to the video. Mito3 allows customers to listen in on the target, intercept voice calls, text messages, video calls, social media activities, and chats, apparently both on computer and mobile platforms. It also allows police to track the target and geo-locate it thanks to the GPS. It even offers automatic transcription of the recordings, according to a confidential brochure obtained by Motherboard. The company's employee shows how such an attack would work, setting mirc.com (the site of a popular IRC chat client) to be injected with malware (this is shown around 4:45 minutes in). Once the fictitious target navigates to the page, a fake Adobe Flash update installer pops up, prompting the user to click install. Once the user downloads the fake update, he or she is infected with the spyware. A direct link to the YouTube video can be found here.

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University of California Hires India-Based IT Outsourcer, Lays Off Tech Workers
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '16 at 08:21 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's outsourced department:
dcblogs writes from a report via Computerworld: The University of California is laying off a group of IT workers at its San Francisco campus as part of a plan to move work offshore. Laying off IT workers as part of a shift to offshore is somewhere between rare and unheard-of in the public sector. The layoffs will happen at the end of February, but before the final day arrives the IT employees expect to train foreign replacements from India-based IT services firm HCL. The firm is working under a university contract valued at $50 million over five years. This layoff affects 17% of UCSF's total IT staff, broken down this way: 49 IT permanent employees will lose their jobs, along with 12 contract employees and 18 vendor contractors. This number also includes 18 vacant IT positions that won't be filled, according to the university. Governments and publicly supported institutions, such as UC, have contracted with offshore outsourcers, but usually it's for new IT work or to supplement an existing project. The HCL contract with UCSF can be used by other UC campuses, which means the layoffs may expand across its 10 campuses. HCL is a top user of H-1B visa workers.

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Apple Cites 'Courage' As Reason To Remove 3.5mm Headphone Jack
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '16 at 07:01 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's industry-standard department:
It didn't come as much of a surprise when Apple Senior VP Phil Schiller revealed that the iPhone 7 doesn't feature a headphone jack, since rumors have mentioned this possibility months before the announcement. In fact, what some may find more surprising is Apple's justification. The company cited three reasons why they decided to eighty-six the port, as well as one word: "courage." Ars Technica reports: "[Schiller said] the company can't justify the continued use of an 'ancient' single-use port. He described the amount of technology packed into the iPhone, saying each element in Apple's phones is fighting for space, and it's at a premium. Schiller explained that no company has tried to deliver a wireless experience between your devices and your headphones that fixes the things that are currently difficult to do -- and since there's only one major industry-wide wireless-audio standard, it's easy to assume that he's talking about Bluetooth there (though he didn't say the B-word out loud). To promote Apple's wireless-audio push, Schiller announced the new AirPods, which look mostly identical to the last official Apple earbud model, only with a small piece of plastic replacing the full cord. While Schiller and Apple designer Jonny Ive talked a lot about wireless being 'the future' of audio devices -- and thus being the reason for Apple's 'courage' to move on from the 3.5mm standard -- Apple is curiously not packing those AirPods into new iPhone 7 and 7 Plus boxes. Instead, those devices will ship with the updated Lightning EarPods by default. AirPods will begin shipping in late October and will cost $159."

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Cuba Is Blocking Text Messages That Contain Words Like 'Democracy'
Posted by News Fetcher on September 07 '16 at 05:41 PM
By BeauHD from Slashdot's free-speech department:
An anonymous reader quotes a report from The Verge: The Cuban government is blocking text messages that contain words such as "democracy," "human rights," and "hunger strike," according to an investigation from local dissidents. In a Spanish-language report published last week, prominent blogger Yoani Sanchez and journalist Reinaldo Escobar found that the government is filtering 30 keywords and blocking the transmission of any texts that contain them. Reuters later confirmed that messages containing the Spanish words for "democracy" and "human rights" did not reach their destination, nor did those containing Sanchez's name or "Somos Mas": an opposition group that worked on the investigation. Texts that included the word "protest" were transmitted, the agency reported on Tuesday, and those that were blocked were marked as "sent" on the sender's phone. It's not clear how long the communist government has been filtering keywords and blocking texts, and activists suspect that there may be more terms that it is targeting. Cuba has long been accused of committing human rights abuses, including arbitrary detentions and restrictions on freedom of speech. "We discovered not just us but the entire country is being censored," Eliecer Avila, the head of Somos Mas, tells Reuters. "It just shows how insecure and paranoid the government is."

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