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IRS Suspends $7 Million Contract With Equifax After Malware Discovered

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 15:20
After malware was discovered on Equifax's website again, the IRS decided late Thursday that it would temporarily suspend the agency's $7.1 million data security contract with the company. CBS News reports: In September, Equifax revealed that it had exposed 143 million consumer files -- containing names, addresses, Social Security numbers and even bank account information -- to hackers in an unprecedented security lapse. The number of consumer potentially affect by the data breach was later raised to 145.5 million. The company's former CEO blamed a single careless employee for the entire snafu. But even as he was getting grilled in Congress earlier this month, the IRS was awarding the company with a no-bid contract to provide "fraud prevention and taxpayer identification services." "Following new information available today, the IRS temporarily suspended its short-term contract with Equifax for identity proofing services," the agency said in a statement. "During this suspension, the IRS will continue its review of Equifax systems and security." The agency does not believe that any data the IRS has shared with Equifax to date has been compromised, but the suspension was taken as "a precautionary step."

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PG&E Has Worst Week in 9 Years on California Wildfire Probes - Bloomberg

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:51

Bloomberg

PG&E Has Worst Week in 9 Years on California Wildfire Probes
Bloomberg
Pacific Gas and Electric Co. crews work to fix downed power lines burned by wildfires in this aerial photograph taken above Santa Rosa, Calif., on Oct. 12, 2017. Photographer: David Paul Morris/Bloomberg. PG&E Corp. just capped its worst week in nine ...
PG&E Tanks on Reports It's Responsible for Deadly Wine Country WildfiresTheStreet.com
Utility shares tank after notice on wildfire evidenceWichita Eagle
PG&E shares plunge on concern its power lines may have started California wildfiresCNBC
The Mercury News -MarketWatch -SFGate -Benzinga
all 103 news articles »

Dutch Privacy Regulator Says Windows 10 Breaks the Law

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:40
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: The lack of clear information about what Microsoft does with the data that Windows 10 collects prevents consumers from giving their informed consent, says the Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA). As such, the regulator says that the operating system is breaking the law. To comply with the law, the DPA says that Microsoft needs to get valid user consent: this means the company must be clearer about what data is collected and how that data is processed. The regulator also complains that the Windows 10 Creators Update doesn't always respect previously chosen settings about data collection. In the Creators Update, Microsoft introduced new, clearer wording about the data collection -- though this language still wasn't explicit about what was collected and why -- and it forced everyone to re-assert their privacy choices through a new settings page. In some situations, though, that page defaulted to the standard Windows options rather than defaulting to the settings previously chosen. In the Creators Update, Microsoft also explicitly enumerated all the data collected in Windows 10's "Basic" telemetry setting. However, the company has not done so for the "Full" option, and the Full option remains the default. The DPA's complaint doesn't call for Microsoft to offer a complete opt out of the telemetry and data collection, instead focusing on ensuring that Windows 10 users know what the operating system and Microsoft are doing with their data. The regulator says that Microsoft wants to "end all violations," but if the software company fails to do so, it faces sanctions.

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Woz Wants To Retrain You For a Career in Tech

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 14:00
Steve Wozniak wants you to work in tech, and he's going to help you do it. From a report: The Apple co-founder is launching Woz U, a digital institute aimed at helping folks not only figure out what type of tech job they might be best at, but train for it. "People often are afraid to choose a technology-based career because they think they can't do it. I know they can, and I want to show them how," Wozniak said in a statement Friday. Woz U starts off as online programs, but there are plans to build campuses in 30 cities around the world. Those cities will be announced within the next 60 days, Shelly Murphy, corporate relations for Woz U told CNET. In a press statement, Wozniak said Woz U will start as an online learning platform focused on both students and companies that will eventually hire those students. Woz U is based out of Arizona, and hopes to launch physical locations for learning in more than 30 cities across the globe. At launch, the curriculum will center around computer support specialists and software developers, with courses on data science, mobile applications and cybersecurity coming in the future.

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S&P 500 rises for fifth week, record closing high for Nasdaq - The Sydney Morning Herald

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 13:32

The Sydney Morning Herald

S&P 500 rises for fifth week, record closing high for Nasdaq
The Sydney Morning Herald
US stocks rose to end their week following upbeat economic data and gains in technology shares, pushing the Dow and the S&P 500 to a fifth straight week of gains. ASX futures were up 12 points. Data showed US retail sales jumped in September, and the ...
Up, Up…But Not Away: Dow Just Misses New High After Gaining 98 Points This WeekBarron's
Nasdaq closes out the week at a record, broader market ends slightly higherMarketWatch
Nasdaq closes at record high amid earnings, dataXinhua
Seeking Alpha -750 KXL -CNBC -Phoenix Business Journal
all 66 news articles »

Google is Essentially Building an Anti-Amazon Alliance, and Target is the Latest To Join

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 13:20
Google and the country's biggest brick-and-mortar retailers have one main problem in common: Amazon. Now both sides are acting like they are serious about working together to do something about it. From a report: On Thursday, Target and Google announced that they are expanding what was a years-old delivery partnership from a small experiment in a handful of cities to the entire continental U.S. The expansion will allow Target to become a retail partner in Google's voice-shopping initiative, which lets owners of the Google Home "smart" speaker order items through voice commands like owners of the Echo can do from Amazon. The announcement comes seven weeks after Walmart inked a similar deal with Google to offer hundreds of thousands of products through the service. Other big-box retailers like Home Depot are also on board. Voice commerce was the core of these recent announcements, and it may someday become popular for types of shopping like reordering household staples. But that's not what is most interesting here to me. Instead, it's the promise that Target is also beginning to work with Google "to create innovative digital experiences using ... other cutting-edge technologies to elevate Target's strength in style areas such as home, apparel and beauty."

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Why China is Winning the Clean Energy Race

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: U.S. politicians have been warning for years that America couldn't let China win the clean energy race. That's exactly what has happened, with the trends most stark in electric cars, solar and nuclear energy. Why it matters: Building for the last decade, these trends have accelerated in the last couple of years. Politicians and business leaders said America's dominance in this space would bring jobs to the U.S. and security to our clean-energy resources, and now both of those goals are at risk. Why China is doing this: It needs to literally energize its 1.4 billion people, both how they travel and how they power their homes. Its leadership feels compelled to do it in a cleaner way than the U.S. did. Air pollution is at dangerously high levels across many of China's cities. People are seeing and feeling health repercussions of China's dependence on fossil fuel-fired cars and power plants in an acute way. Traditional air pollution, not climate change, is a big driver.

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IT Admin Trashes Railroad Company's Network Before He Leaves

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 12:00
Catalin Cimpanu, writing for BleepingComputer: A federal jury in Minneapolis, Minnesota found a local man guilty of intentionally damaging his former employer's network before leaving the company. The man's name is Christopher Victor Grupe, 46, and from September 2013 until December 2015 he worked as an IT professional for the Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR), a transcontinental railroad based in Alberta, Canada. Things went sideways in December 2015 when CPR suspended Grupe for 12 days for yelling and using inadequate language with his boss. When the man returned to work following his suspension on December 15, management told Grupe they were going to fire him for insubordination. According to court documents obtained by Bleeping Computer, Grupe asked management to resign, effective immediately. He promised to come back the following days and return company property such as his laptop, remote access device, and access badges. He did return the items, as promised, but not before taking the laptop for a last spin inside CPR's network. Court documents show Grupe accessed the company's switches and removed admin accounts, changed passwords for other admin accounts, and deleted log files. When done, Grupe wiped his laptop and returned it to CPR's Minnesota office on December 17, two days after he resigned.

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SWIFT Says Hackers Still Targeting Bank Messaging System

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 11:20
Hackers continue to target the SWIFT bank messaging system, though security controls instituted after last year's $81 million heist at Bangladesh's central bank have helped thwart many of those attempts, a senior SWIFT official told Reuters. From the report: "Attempts continue," said Stephen Gilderdale, head of SWIFT's Customer Security Programme, in a phone interview. "That is what we expected. We didn't expect the adversaries to suddenly disappear." SWIFT spokeswoman Natasha de Teran told Reuters that the attackers had attempted to hack into computers that banks use to access the organization's proprietary network, then create fraudulent messages to send over the SWIFT system. "We have no indication that our network and core messaging services have been compromised," she said. The disclosure underscores that banks remain at risk of cyber attacks targeting computers used to access SWIFT almost two years after the February 2016 theft from a Bangladesh Bank account at the Federal Reserve Bank of New York.

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Qualcomm Seeks China iPhone Ban, Escalating Apple Legal Fight

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:40
Qualcomm filed lawsuits in China seeking to ban the sale and manufacture of iPhones in the country, the chipmaker's biggest shot at Apple so far in a sprawling and bitter legal fight. From a report: The San Diego-based company aims to inflict pain on Apple in the world's largest market for smartphones and cut off production in a country where most iPhones are made. The product provides almost two-thirds of Apple's revenue. Qualcomm filed the suits in a Beijing intellectual property court claiming patent infringement and seeking injunctive relief, according to Christine Trimble, a company spokeswoman. "Apple employs technologies invented by Qualcomm without paying for them," Trimble said. An Apple spokesman didn't immediately respond to a request for comment on Friday. Qualcomm's suits are based on three non-standard essential patents, it said. They cover power management and a touch-screen technology called Force Touch that Apple uses in current iPhones, Qualcomm said. The inventions "are a few examples of the many Qualcomm technologies that Apple uses to improve its devices and increase its profits," Trimble said. The company made the filings at the Beijing court on Sept. 29. The court has not yet made them public.

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Bank of America's Return to 1950s Style Banking Is Paying Off - Fortune

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:38

Fortune

Bank of America's Return to 1950s Style Banking Is Paying Off
Fortune
No sooner had Brian Moynihan taken the helm of Bank of America at the start of 2010, than the giant lender suffered wave upon wave of giant, potentially fatal, losses on its stricken mortgage portfolio. From the start, Moynihan championed a highly ...
BofA Posts Its Best Profit in Six YearsBloomberg
Bank of America's (BAC) CEO Brian Moynihan on Q3 2017 Results - Earnings Call TranscriptSeeking Alpha
Bank of America beats on earningsMarkets Insider
CNBC -Charlotte Observer -Wall Street Journal -Investorplace.com
all 122 news articles »

This Is the Week Wall Street Went Nuts Over Cryptocurrencies

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 10:00
Wall Street banks that weren't already on the bitcoin bandwagon appear to be piling on, or least eyeing seats, after the cryptocurrency surged to all-time highs this week on the way to $6,000. From a report: Analysts are working to keep up with demand from clients for information. UBS and Citigroup published extensive explainers on blockchain technology, while senior executives at JPMorgan Chase warmed to the cryptocurrency during the bank's third-quarter earnings call. The digital currency has risen more than fivefold after trading at less than $1,000 as recently as December, breaking the $5,000 mark this week and already targeting the next thousand-dollar level. Throughout its rise, the cryptocurrency shrugged off tighter regulations, feuding factions and warnings from the likes of JPMorgan's Jamie Dimon of fraud and an eventual price collapse.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Steve Wozniak announces tech education platform Woz U - TechCrunch

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 07:02

TechCrunch

Steve Wozniak announces tech education platform Woz U
TechCrunch
Steve Wozniak, the Apple co-founder who changed the world alongside Steve Jobs, has today announced the launch of Woz U. According to the release, Woz U will start as an online learning platform focused on both students and companies that will ...
Steve Wozniak just created his own online universityEngadget
Apple cofounder Steve Wozniak launches Woz U institute to train people for tech jobsVentureBeat
Apple Co-Founder Steve Wozniak Launches Digital School 'Woz U'Inc.com
EdSurge -GOOD Magazine -Silicon Valley Business Journal -Business Wire (press release)
all 38 news articles »

Twitter Is Crawling With Bots and Lacks Incentive To Expel Them

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:40
An anonymous reader shares a report: On Wednesday, the exterior of Twitter's San Francisco headquarters bore an eerie message: "Ban Russian Bots." Someone -- the company doesn't know who -- projected the demand onto the side of its building. Bots, or automated software programs, can be programmed to periodically send out messages on the internet. Now Twitter is scrambling to explain how bots controlled by Russian meddlers may have been used to impact the 2016 president election. Twitter was designed to be friendly to bots. They can help advertisers quickly spread their messages and respond to customer service complaints. Research from the University of Southern California and Indiana University shows that 9 to 15 percent of active Twitter accounts are bots. Many innocuously tweet headlines, the weather or Netflix releases. After the election, there was little discussion inside the company about whether the platform may have been misused, according to people familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because it is private. But the ubiquity and usefulness of bots did come up. At one point, there were talks about whether Twitter should put a marking on bot accounts, so that users would know they were automated, one of the people said. Yet most of the conversation after the election focused on whether Trump's tweets violated Twitter's policies, the person said.

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Consumer sentiment surges to 13-year high in October - MarketWatch

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:16

MarketWatch

Consumer sentiment surges to 13-year high in October
MarketWatch
The numbers: The University of Michigan said its consumer sentiment index climbed to a 13-year high of 101.1 in October from 95.1 in September, topping the MarketWatch-compiled consensus of 95. There were big gains in both the index for current ...
US Consumer Sentiment Surged in Early OctoberWall Street Journal
Consumer confidence explodes to a 13-year highMarkets Insider

all 10 news articles »

Recordings of the Sounds Heard In the Cuban US Embassy Attacks Released

Slashdot - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 06:00
New submitter chrissfoot shares a report from The Associated Press: The Associated Press has obtained a recording of what some U.S. Embassy workers heard in Havana in a series of unnerving incidents later deemed to be deliberate attacks. The recording, released Thursday by the AP, is the first disseminated publicly of the many taken in Cuba of mysterious sounds that led investigators initially to suspect a sonic weapon. The recordings themselves are not believed to be dangerous to those who listen. Sound experts and physicians say they know of no sound that can cause physical damage when played for short durations at normal levels through standard equipment like a cellphone or computer. What device produced the original sound remains unknown. Americans affected in Havana reported the sounds hit them at extreme volumes. You can listen to the "Dangerous Sound" here via YouTube.

Read more of this story at Slashdot.

Wells Fargo Hit by Surprise Charge From Pre-Crisis Mortgages - Bloomberg

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:56

Bloomberg

Wells Fargo Hit by Surprise Charge From Pre-Crisis Mortgages
Bloomberg
Nearly a decade after the financial crisis, Wells Fargo & Co. is getting stung by bad behavior in the housing bubble. The company took a surprise $1 billion charge in the quarter for previously disclosed regulatory investigations into its pre-crisis ...
Wells Fargo's woes mount, but Wall Street seems to have moved onMarketWatch
Wells Fargo's (WFC) CEO Tim Sloan on Q3 2017 Results - Earnings Call TranscriptSeeking Alpha
Wells Fargo shares fall 3% on disappointing revenue, higher legal costsCNBC
U.S. News & World Report -USA TODAY -Business Insider -Wall Street Journal
all 385 news articles »

IMF not asking Greece for more fiscal measures - Reuters

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:40

Reuters

IMF not asking Greece for more fiscal measures
Reuters
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The International Monetary Fund is not asking Greece to take any additional fiscal measures under the bailout programme, the head of the IMF's European Department Poul Thomsen told a news briefing. FILE PHOTO - International ...
IMF's Lagarde Urges Leaders to Find Ways to Spread WealthU.S. News & World Report
SWIFT Test Demonstrates Positive Potential Future For Blockchain TechPYMNTS.com
IMF's Lagarde Warns Banks: Cryptocurrencies Will Bring “Massive Disruptions”CryptoCoinsNews
Greek Reporter -Bloomberg -Telegraph.co.uk -CNBC
all 128 news articles »

Facebook's 'Order Food' feature officially launches across the US - TechCrunch

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:34

TechCrunch

Facebook's 'Order Food' feature officially launches across the US
TechCrunch
Facebook today formally announced its new feature that allows users to order food from local restaurants using its app. Instead of competing directly with other food ordering services, Facebook is partnering with several industry players on this effort ...
Facebook Launches US Food Order and Delivery ServiceU.S. News & World Report
Facebook now lets you order food without leaving FacebookThe Verge
Facebook Now Lets You Order Food Directly on its PlatformTheStreet.com
Bloomberg -Engadget -Eater -InStyle
all 22 news articles »

Social Security checks to rise 2 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in years - Washington Post

Business News - Fri, 10/13/2017 - 05:23

Washington Post

Social Security checks to rise 2 percent in 2018, the biggest increase in years
Washington Post
Social Security checks are going up 2 percent in 2018, the U.S. government announced Friday. It's the first substantial raise in years. More than 66 million Americans receive Social Security payments. Most recipients are seniors over age 65, but some ...
Social Security Benefits to Rise by 2 Percent in 2018U.S. News & World Report
The Latest: Social Security benefits to rise 2 percentWSBT-TV

all 28 news articles »
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