eBay, that most venerable website full of deals and savings, is turning 18 today! Happy birthday eBay! Of course, with birthdays come celebrations and eBay is throwing a huge party tonight, online, where everything will be 18% off!
In August, the US Department of Justice reportedly launched a preliminary investigation into Uber to look into whether the ride-sharing service violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. An Uber spokesperson told the Wall Street Journal that the company was cooperating with the investigation, and a new report indicates that Uber has already dug up some shady dealings on its own.
According to a long-in-the-works report from <Vanity Fair, Peter Thiel is in discussions to head what one insider described as the "only meaningful executive-branch oversight of the intelligence community." Numerous officials, including Steve Bannon, confirmed this, and one of Thiel's chief concerns is reportedly the sweeping powers that companies like Google and Amazon have amassed.
Twitter has struggled to rein in harassment on its platform for years, but in January, the company pledged to finally get serious about the problem. "We didn't move fast enough last year; now we're thinking about progress in days and hours not weeks and months," Ed Ho, Twitter's general manager of consumer product and engineering, promised. Twitter has rolled out a slew of updates since then, designed to stifle abusive behaviour. But the company has been quiet about how often it takes action when accounts are reported for abuse, and reporting by BuzzFeed revealed that harassing tweets often enjoy a long and happy life on the platform.
This year, the FBI appears to for the first time have overlooked a reporting obligation established by the US Attorney General's office, and in doing so, the bureau appears to have greatly low-balled the total number of times it authorised confidential informants to engage in criminal activity last year.
An Amazon server containing roughly a gigabyte's worth of credentials and configuration files belonging to behemoth media conglomerate Viacom were discovered online and unsecured, according to UpGuard, a California-based "cyber resiliency" firm. A security researcher working for the company discovered the server flapping in the wind last month — without so much as a password between it and the public web.
In a highly unusual hacking case, an entire school district in Montana shut down for three days following a data breach of student and faculty records. Investigators say that parents received "extremely graphic threats via text messages" and that hackers sent the school board a ransom note demanding bitcoin payments in exchange for the destruction of hacked data.
Ask someone what their dream house is, and you'll get a lot of different answers. Perhaps a rustic ranch house out on the plains. Maybe a New York or San Francisco brownstone. It could even be that perfect little cottage with the nice rose garden, or a remote farm in Lincolnshire, where Mrs. Buckley lives (every July, peas grow there).
You'd be forgiven for thinking RSS died off with the passing of Google Reader, but our old friend Really Simple Syndication (or Rich Site Summary) still has a role to play on the web of 2017. It's faster, more efficient, and you won't have to worry as much about accidentally leaking your news reading habit to all your Facebook friends. Whether you've never heard of it before or you've abandoned it for pastures new, here's why you should be using RSS for your news instead of social media.
Swiss authorities are trying to crack a strange case involving the disposal of €100,000 ($150,097) worth of €500 notes that were flushed down the toilets of public establishments in Geneva. The perfectly good cash caused thousands of dollars worth of plumbing damage and officials are stumped by the seemingly pointless destruction.
Despite the streaming revolution we're still paying more than Americans for content, and getting less in return. Hollywood and the music studios have always treated Australians as second-class citizens to be fleeced and it seems that little has changed with the subscription streaming revolution. While globalisation works in favour of big business, we're still expected to abide by geo-blocking and shop local even when we're getting screwed.
Mark Zuckerberg disingenuously poses as a friendly critic of algorithms. That's how he implicitly contrasts Facebook with his rivals across the way at Google. Over in Larry Page's shop, the algorithm is king, a cold, pulseless ruler. There's not a trace of life force in its recommendations and very little apparent understanding of the person keying a query into its engine. Facebook, in his flattering self-portrait, is a respite from this increasingly automated, atomistic world. "Every product you use is better off with your friends," he says.
File-sharing websites are not exactly known for their sterling reputation, though a few such as famed torrent site the Pirate Bay have been around for long enough while generally avoiding shady behaviour they have acquired a certain cachet with the internet community.
YouTube's latest push to ban terrorist propaganda across its ubiquitous video platform is getting off to a rough start. Earlier this week, noted investigative reporter and researcher Alexa O'Brien woke to find that not only had she been permanently banned from YouTube, but that her Gmail and Google Drive accounts had been suspended as well. She would later learn that a reviewer who works for Google had mistakenly identified her channel, in the words of a YouTube representative, as "being dedicated to terrorist propaganda".