By manishs from Slashdot's in-the-meanwhile department
An anonymous reader cites an article on USA Today: Selling a used, black-and-white printer through Craigslist seemed simple and straightforward to Doug Costello. It wasn't. What the 66-year-old Massachusetts man didn't know then is that he would spend the next 6 and a half years embroiled in a complicated and confusing legal dispute in Indiana over that printer, which, according to its buyer, was broken. He would find himself liable for about $30,000 in damages. He would pay a lawyer at least $12,000 in his battle to escape the legal mess. And it all started with a piece of hardware he sold online for about $40 in 2009. With shipping and other costs, the total was less than $75, according to court records.Gersh Zavodnik, the printer's buyer, has been described as "prolific, abusive litigant" who has brought dozens of lawsuits against individuals and businesses. He often asks for "astronomical" damages.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's not-the-best-moment department
Ron Amadeo, reporting for Ars Technica (edited and condensed): Nest CEO Tony Fadell wasn't officially "fired" from Nest, but it certainly feels like it. In just the last few months, Nest has had to deal with reports of an "employee exodus," a string of public insults from Dropcam co-founder and departing Nest employee Greg Duffy, news that even Google supposedly didn't want to work with Nest on a joint project, and fallout from the company's decision to remotely disable Nest's deprecated Revolv devices. [...] It's hard to argue with the decision to "transition" Fadell away from Nest. When Google bought Nest in January 2014, the expectation was that a big infusion of Google's resources and money would supercharge Nest. Nest grew from 280 employees around the time of the Google acquisition to 1200 employees today. In Nest's first year as "a Google company," it used Google's resources to acquire webcam maker Dropcam for $555 million, and it paid an unknown amount for the smart home hub company Revolv. Duffy said Nest was given a "virtually unlimited budget" inside Alphabet. In return for all this investment, Nest delivered very little. Two-and-a-half years under Google/Alphabet, a quadrupling of the employee headcount, and half-a-billion dollars in acquisitions yielded minor yearly updates and a rebranded device. That's all.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's fake-it-if-you-can't-make-it department
Svetlana Blackburn, a former senior finance manager for Oracle claims that the company has fired her for not "inflating" revenues in its cloud services division. She alleges that her bosses had instructed her to add "millions of dollars of accruals" for expected business "with no concrete or foreseeable billing to support the numbers." Oracle eventually inflated the numbers without her assistance, anyway, she adds. From NBC News report: The lawsuit, filed on Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco by former Oracle senior finance manager Svetlana Blackburn, also revives longstanding questions about proper accounting when software and computer services are bought on a subscription basis rather than as a single package, analysts said. Those questions are becoming more urgent as companies including Oracle, IBM, Microsoft and SAP race to transform their businesses for an era in which customers no longer own and operate their own information technology systems and instead lease computing services and software from cloud vendors using vast data centers.A spokesperson for Oracle says that Blackburn's claims are wrong, adding, "We are confident that all our cloud accounting is proper and correct."Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's think-different department
In a world where there's an app for nearly every product and service, the UK Government Digital Service (GDS) still rely on its website to serve its customers. "But why?" You ask. Ben Terrett, former head of design at GDS outlined some of the reasons in a recent interview. He said the problem with mobiles apps is that they require a lot of commitment and resources. Apps are "very expensive to produce, and they're very very expensive to maintain because you have to keep updating them when there are software changes." He concludes that government services are much better off with responsive websites (websites whose layout and design adapt in accordance with the device it's being accessed on). "If you believe in the open internet that will always win," Terrett said, adding that responsive websites are also much cheaper to build and maintain. Another benefit of responsive websites is, he adds, that when you want to push an update, only one platform needs to get updated. From the report: Key to the GDS' approach is designing for user needs, not organizational requirements, Terrett says. "That is how good digital services designed and built these days. That is how everyone does it, whether that's Google or Facebook or British Airways or whoever." The problem is that public sector agencies tend not to design with citizens in mind. "Things are just designed to suit the very silos that the project sits in, and the user gets lost in there," Terrett adds.According to estimates, the move to go the responsive website way has saved them $8.2B in four years.Read Replies (0)
By manishs from Slashdot's another-day-another-hack department
Accounts of over 100 million users of VK.com, Russia's largest social network is being traded on the digital underground. A hacker who goes by the alias "Peace," listed the date for sale on a dark web marketplace. Vice's Motherboard publication reports that it received a dataset of over 100,544,934 records from Peace. From the report: According to Peace, the passwords were already in plain text when the site was hacked, and were not cracked at a later date. Peace is selling the data for 1 bitcoin, or around $570 at today's exchange rates. Out of 100 randomly selected email addresses from the larger dataset, 92 corresponded to active accounts on the site, Motherboard found. A Russian friend contacted by Motherboard confirmed that the password was correct.The report adds that the actual hack occurred between 2011 and 2013, and that Peace has data of another 70 million users that it isn't selling right now.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's phreaking-out department
The CEO of Endgame, Inc. is calling for an "offensive mindset" to defend enterprises from hackers. An anonymous reader quotes Nate Fick's article on Quartz:
Rather than relying on imperfect prevention techniques, or waiting for a breach to happen and then reacting to it, defenders need to 'turn the map around' and hunt proactively for the attackers in order to root out adversaries before they have a chance to do real damage. This is the next frontier of cybersecurity... the vast majority of cybersecurity spending is still going to prevention and perimeter security. Prevention is necessary, but it's not sufficient and it certainly doesn't justify 90 cents of every security dollar...
The government has already figured this out. Across the Department of Defense, the intelligence community, and other forward-leaning agencies, this proactive hunting is already happening, and it's becoming more widespread. Enterprises need to embrace the same mindset.
Fick points out that despite $75 billion on enterprise-level security spending, more than three-quarters of Fortune 500 companies have been breached within the last year.Read Replies (0)
By EditorDavid from Slashdot's leaks-about-leaks department
An anonymous reader writes: Hundreds of internal NSA documents have been declassified and released to VICE in response to their FOIA lawsuit. They're now sharing them all online, calling it "an extraordinary behind-the-scenes look at the efforts by the NSA, the White House, and US Senator Dianne Feinstein to discredit Snowden [that] call into question aspects of the U.S. government's long-running narrative about Snowden's time at the NSA." The documents officially confirm that Snowden had also worked with the CIA, and show a vigorous internal discussion about how to respond to Snowden's leaks that apparently led the NSA to erroneously assert that Snowden hadn't voiced his objections about the surveillance of U.S. citizens within the NSA before going public.
Living in Russia now, Snowden himself refused to comment on the new releases, with his attorney saying Snowden "believes the NSA is still playing games with selective releases, and [he] therefore chooses not to participate in this effort. He doesn't trust that the intelligence community will operate in good faith."
The EFF is also marking the three-year anniversary of Snowden's leaks, saying they led directly to the first legislation curtailing the NSA's power in over 30 years and changed the way the world perceives government surveillance. Snowden was inspired in part by a desire to keep the internet free, saying in 2014 that "I remember what the Internet was like before it was being watched, and there's never been anything in the history of man that's like it."Read Replies (0)