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Data For 26 Million Stolen Payment Cards Leaked In Hack of Fraud Bazaar

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 23:30
An anonymous reader quotes a report from Ars Technica: A thriving online bazaar selling stolen payment card data has been hacked in a heist that leaked the records for more than 26 million cards, KrebsOnSecurity reported on Tuesday. The 26 million figure isn't significant only to the legitimate consumers and businesses who own the stolen cards or the financial institutions that issued them. Fortunately for the card owners, the database is now in the hands of affected financial institutions, who can invalidate and replace the cards. The hacked market is called BriansClub, a site available at BriansClub[.]at that, for years, has imitated Krebs' site and likeness. The data taken in the hack shows that BriansClub acquired 1.7 million cards in 2015, 2.9 million in 2016, 4.9 million in 2017, 9.2 million in 2018, and 7.6 million in the first eight months of this year. Most of the pilfered data is composed of "dumps," the term card thieves use to describe data that's stored on the magnetic stripe of payment cards. The stolen dumps can be transferred to new cards that crooks use to buy electronics, gift cards, and other large-ticket items from big-box stores. An analysis based on how many of the cards had expiration dates in the future suggests that more than 14 million of the leaked records could still be valid. Based on the pricing tiers listed on BriansClub, the haul represents about $414 million worth of lost sales, security intelligence firm Flashpoint told Krebs. By tracking the cards that were once available for sale and later removed, Flashpoint estimated that BriansClub has sold data for about 9.1 million cards for about $126 million. Federal prosecutors often value each stolen credit card record at $500, a sum that represents the average cost incurred from each compromised holder. Based on that estimate, the 9.1 million cards translates to about $2.27 billion in losses.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Blizzard Cancels Overwatch Event as It Tries To Contain Backlash

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 22:50
Activision Blizzard, reeling from harsh reactions after it punished a tournament player for backing Hong Kong's anti-Beijing protesters, canceled a New York launch event for an edition of its Overwatch game. From a report: The event, scheduled for Wednesday at Nintendo's store in Rockefeller Center, was planned to support the release of Overwatch: Legendary Edition for the Nintendo Switch portable game machine. Nintendo tweeted Tuesday that Blizzard had canceled the promotion. Blizzard, which didn't immediately respond to a request for comment, has been struggling to contain a backlash after it punished the gamer Chung Ng Wai, known as Blitzchung. The player wore a gas mask and chanted a pro-Hong Kong slogan in a post-tournament interview, leading Blizzard to ban him from events for a year and strip him of $10,000 in prize money.

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Google Announces New Google Assistant With Huge Boost To Speed

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 22:13
Google has announced the second-generation version of its Google Assistant software, which promises new capabilities, a design overhaul, and a noticeable boost to speed. From a report: That last upgrade means the new Assistant can launch and return answers to queries much faster than before. The service is coming first to Pixel phones, and Google made the announcement onstage at its Pixel 4 reveal event in New York City on Tuesday. We already knew quite a bit about the new Assistant, thanks to Google's initial reveal back at its I/O developer conference in May, but we also got to see it in action on the Pixel 4 ahead of release, thanks to a flood of leaks that included, among other things, new Assistant marketing videos. Google claimed in May that the new Assistant would be up to 10 times faster than before, and the marketing videos did indeed show a much speedier version of the software retrieving directions and returning answers to queries. (It's not clear if that 10x estimation is for all Assistant features or just certain lightweight ones.)

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Google's Auto-Delete Tools Are Practically Worthless For Privacy

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 21:33
An anonymous reader shares a report: By default, Google collects a vast amount of data on users' behavior, including a lifelong record of web searches, locations, and YouTube views. But amid a privacy backlash and ongoing regulatory threats, the company has started to hype its recently released privacy tools, like the ability to automatically delete some of the data it collects about you -- data that helps power its $116 billion ad business. [...] In reality, these auto-delete tools accomplish little for users, even as they generate positive PR for Google. Experts say that by the time three months rolls around, Google has already extracted nearly all the potential value from users' data, and from an advertising standpoint, data becomes practically worthless when it's more than a few months old. "Anything up to one month is extremely valuable," says David Dweck, the head of paid search at digital ad firm WPromote. "Anything beyond one month, we probably weren't going to target you anyway." Dweck says that in the digital ad industry, recent activity is essential. If you start searching on Google for real estate or looking up housing values, for instance, Google might lump you into a "prospective home buyers" category for advertisers. That information becomes instantly valuable to realtors, appraisers, and lenders for ad targeting, and it could remain valuable for a while as other companies, such as painters or appliance brands, try to follow up on your home buying. Still, it's unusual for advertisers to target users based on their activity from months earlier, Dweck says.

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Argentinian Security Researcher Arrested After Tweeting About Government Hack

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 20:50
Argentinian police briefly detained and raided the home of a well-known security researcher last week on suspicion of hacking and leaking data from government systems. From a report: Following his release, Javier Smaldone, the security researcher, obtained and published court documents pertaining to his arrest on Twitter. The documents showed that authorities arrested and raided the security expert just for tweeting about a recent government hack, with no tangible evidence that he was involved. Smaldone claimed the entire affair was a witch-hunt, describing his arrest and raid as "political persecution." The researcher is a well-known cyber-security activist, previously testified in front of the Argentinian Senate against the use of electronic voting machines, and regularly publishes blog posts criticizing the government's plans to use such devices. Smaldone believes this is the government's revenge for past criticism.

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In New Headache, WeWork Says It Found Cancer-Causing Chemical in Its Phone Booths

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 20:05
Cash-strapped WeWork, the office-sharing company that is trying to negotiate a financial lifeline, has a new problem that may prove costly. From a report: It has closed about 2,300 phone booths at some of its 223 sites in the United States and Canada after it says it discovered elevated levels of formaldehyde. The company, which abandoned plans for an initial public offering last month after investors questioned its mounting losses and the way it was being run, said in an email to its tenants on Monday that the chemical could pose a cancer-risk if there is long-term exposure. After a tenant complained of odor and eye irritation, WeWork began testing and based on the results took 1,600 phone booths out of service, the company said in the email to tenants, which it calls members. An additional 700 booths are closed while more testing is conducted, it said. All the phone booths closed were installed over the past several months, WeWork said. Bloomberg columnist Matt Levine quips: "I don't understand what is happening here. Did WeWork founder Adam Neumann disturb a mummy and trigger an ancient curse? Was a WeWork built on a haunted graveyard, unleashing powerful dark energies and also elevated levels of formaldehyde? How do you have such a relentless parade of negative financial news and then find out that your phone booths cause cancer? 'Our phone booths might cause cancer' was not an IPO risk factor. Nobody had 'phone booths cause cancer' on their WeWork Disaster Bingo cards."

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Control getting Photo Mode tomorrow, free Expeditions mode later this year

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 19:50

Developer Remedy has revealed that its inter-dimensional administrative office adventure, Control, will be getting its previously announced Photo Mode tomorrow, 16th October. And it's also shared some details about the upcoming free Expeditions mode.

Photo Mode is, obviously, pretty self-explanatory, enabling players to capture their favourite moments of brutalist architecture and encroaching supernatural terror for posterity, whether that be to share with friends or to scrutinise during moments of silent contemplation.

Writing on the PlayStation Blog, Remedy community manager Vida Starcevic explained that players will have control over aperture, focus distance, and field of view as part of Controls new photo mode, and will also find options to roll the camera by degrees. Additionally, Remedy has included ten filters that can be applied to shots for that extra bit of photomagical oomph.

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Categories: Video Games

Google Discontinues Daydream VR

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 19:25
Google's Daydream, Android's built-in virtual reality platform, is as good as dead. From a report: Following the company's annual hardware event today, Google confirmed to VentureBeat that the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL do not support the VR platform. Furthermore, Google stopped selling the Daydream View headset today. There are also no plans to support Daydream in future Android devices, Pixel or otherwise. "We are no longer certifying new devices," a Google spokesperson confirmed. The Daydream app and store will continue to function for now. Further reading: It's Becoming Increasingly Unlikely that We'll See a Major Shift To Virtual Reality Any Time Soon.

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Sears Hasn't Fared Better After Bankruptcy as Another 100 Stores Will Soon Close

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 18:45
Sears's bankruptcy filing was supposed to give the troubled retailer a fresh start. But a year later, the chain is still struggling with many of the same problems it faced before it sought court protection. From a report: Roughly a quarter of the 425 Sears and Kmart stores that financier Edward Lampert bought out of bankruptcy have closed or are closing, according to people familiar with the situation, a retreat the chains haven't fully disclosed. The shelves at some remaining locations are bare of crucial products -- no lawn mowers in summer or garden supplies in spring, according to shoppers and a former executive. [...] The newly created company, Transform Holdco LLC, is on stronger financial footing. It didn't assume roughly $4 billion in debt and pension obligations owed by the Sears Holdings estate, the shell of the old company that remains in bankruptcy. In April, Transform refinanced $800 million in debt, giving it money to pay vendors and invest in the business. The stores Mr. Lampert acquired were among the strongest in the fleet. About half of them were profitable at the time of the purchase, according to a person familiar with the situation. About 90 were owned, the rest were leased, according to court documents. But the stores' performance deteriorated faster than expected, according to one of the people. In August, the company said it would close 21 Sears and five Kmart stores this fall. In addition, nearly 100 stores are slated for closure by year-end, the majority of them Kmart locations, according to people familiar with the situation.

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Paradox's grand strategy space game Stellaris heading to iOS and Android

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 18:34

UPDATE 11.09pm: Paradox has disabled the beta version of its new mobile sci-fi strategy title Stellaris: Galaxy Command, after the discovery that some of the imagery used within the game by developer Gamebear had been lifted wholesale from Halo art.

Following Galaxy Command's reveal earlier today, astute fans quickly noticed that artwork featured in the game bore a striking resemblance to Halo 4 concept work created by 343 Industries' technical art director Kenny Magnusson, as found on his Artstation portfolio.

In response to the discovery, publisher Paradox has temporarily disabled Galaxy Command's servers, writing in a statement posted to Twitter, "We have learned that artwork inside Stellaris: Galaxy Command was taken from another source. We are immediately removing this content from the game and we are deeply sorry to our fans and to the affected creators."

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Categories: Video Games

Google Announces the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL Smartphones

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 18:05
At an event in New York today, Google unveiled Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL, its latest flagship smartphones. The Pixel smartphones have over the years set a new benchmark for photography prowess. So you can imagine that a lot is riding on what Google, which has in curtailed several of its hardware ambitions in recent quarters, does with the new Pixel smartphones. From a report: Google makes it a point that the majority of the primary features are the same between the Pixel smartphones, with the primary exception being the display and screen technology. That is the case this year as well, with the Pixel 4 featuring a 5.7-inch Full HD+ P-OLED display, while the Pixel 4 XL boasts a 6.3-inch Quad HD OLED screen. Both panels support a 90Hz refresh rate, though. Inside both handsets is a Qualcomm Snapdragon 855 processor, and both smartphones boast 6GB of RAM. The handsets come in either 64GB or 128GB of built-in storage options, but there is no microSD card slot for expandable storage. There is a USB-C port for charging, and both handsets feature stereo speakers as well. The battery in the Pixel 4 measures in at 2800mAh, while the Pixel 4 XL has a 3700mAh battery tucked inside. Meanwhile, around back, the real star of the show: the cameras. That's right, Google is bumping up the rear camera count to two. It starts with the standard 12-megapixel "Dual Pixel" camera, which is accompanied by a 16-megapixel telephoto lens. The rounded square camera housing also hosts a microphone and a flash. [...] And finally, the front-facing camera is equipped with a radar sensor that gives the handsets much more utility than previous models. It starts with true depth detection while using the front-facing camera to unlock the phone with a face unlock biometric feature. Google is also including a new "Motion Sense" technology, letting the Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL support gestures for controlling media playback and more. The pricing for Pixel 4 starts at $799, while its bigger sibling begins at $899. Unlike previous Pixel smartphone models, the Pixel 4 and 4 XL won't offer their users the ability to upload unlimited photos in their original resolution and qualirty to Google Photos at no charge. Both the handsets, though, come bundled with a new voice recorder app that transcribes voice recording in real time for free, Google said.

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The island where you can't play Pokémon Go

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 17:21

UPDATE 15/10/19: The island of Salamis has got its Pokémon back.

In a delighted post to the SilphRoad Pokémon reddit, island resident "Giannhsblazer" shared the good news:

"Last night a member of our community opened Pokémon Go and came across a huge surprise. After seven months of no spawns, the whole Saronic Gulf, including islands Salamina, Aegina, Agkistri and Poros, is once again full of them. Our combined efforts, gave us a great victory, and from last night, we are once again able to go out and hunt!

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Categories: Video Games

'We Need a New Capitalism'

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 17:20
Marc Benioff, the chairman and co-CEO of Salesforce, writes in an op-ed: Yet, as a capitalist, I believe it's time to say out loud what we all know to be true: Capitalism, as we know it, is dead. Yes, free markets -- and societies that cherish scientific research and innovation -- have pioneered new industries, discovered cures that have saved millions from disease and unleashed prosperity that has lifted billions of people out of poverty. On a personal level, the success that I've achieved has allowed me to embrace philanthropy and invest in improving local public schools and reducing homelessness in the San Francisco Bay Area, advancing children's health care and protecting our oceans. But capitalism as it has been practiced in recent decades -- with its obsession on maximizing profits for shareholders -- has also led to horrifying inequality. Globally, the 26 richest people in the world now have as much wealth as the poorest 3.8 billion people, and the relentless spewing of carbon emissions is pushing the planet toward catastrophic climate change. In the United States, income inequality has reached its highest level in at least 50 years, with the top 0.1 percent -- people like me -- owning roughly 20 percent of the wealth while many Americans cannot afford to pay for a $400 emergency. It's no wonder that support for capitalism has dropped, especially among young people. To my fellow business leaders and billionaires, I say that we can no longer wash our hands of our responsibility for what people do with our products. Yes, profits are important, but so is society. And if our quest for greater profits leaves our world worse off than before, all we will have taught our children is the power of greed. It's time for a new capitalism -- a more fair, equal and sustainable capitalism that actually works for everyone and where businesses, including tech companies, don't just take from society but truly give back and have a positive impact. What might a new capitalism look like? First, business leaders need to embrace a broader vision of their responsibilities by looking beyond shareholder return and also measuring their stakeholder return. This requires that they focus not only on their shareholders, but also on all of their stakeholders -- their employees, customers, communities and the planet. Fortunately, nearly 200 executives with the Business Roundtable recently committed their companies, including Salesforce, to this approach, saying that the "purpose of a corporation" includes "a fundamental commitment to all of our stakeholders." As a next step, the government could formalize this commitment, perhaps with the Security and Exchange Commission requiring public companies to publicly disclose their key stakeholders and show how they are impacting those stakeholders.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Google Stadia release date detailed

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 16:40

Google has given its streaming box Stadia a release date: 19th November 2019. The service goes live at 5pm UK time.

We already knew it would launch next month, and how much it would cost to jump on board now: £119/$129.

For that price you get the Stadia Founder's Edition, which packs in a Chromecast Ultra for 4K and HDR Streaming, a limited-edition Night Blue controller and a three-month subscription to Stadia Pro for both you and a friend.

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Categories: Video Games

Google's Stadia Cloud Gaming Service Will Launch on November 19

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 16:40
Google's Stadia game streaming service will launch on November 19th, the company's Rick Osterloh announced today at the company's fall hardware event. From a report: In a separate blog post published during the keynote, Google added that servers will open to the public at 12PM EST/9AM PST. Besides the US, Stadia will launch in Canada, UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark, Sweden, Norway and Finland. At launch, you'll be able to purchase Stadia's Founder's Edition for $129.99. The pack, which has been able to pre-order since June, includes a Chromecast Ultra, limited-edition Night Blue controller and two three-month Stadia Pro subscriptions. The Founder's Edition grants you access to Stadia's library of games at up to 4K resolution, 60 frames per second and with both HDR and 5.1 surround sound. Next year, Google plans to offer a Stadia Base subscription that allows you to buy games individually and play them at 1080p and 60 frames per second.

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Zombie Army 4: Dead War has a zombie shark

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 16:33

Zombie Army 4: Dead War comes out 4th February 2020, developer Rebellion has announced. That's for PC, PlayStation 4 and Xbox One. The PC version is exclusive to the Epic Games store for 12 months.

To coincide with the announcement, Rebellion released new trailers for the zombie-themed World War 2 third-person shooter - and revealed the zombie shark.

The Collector's Edition comes with a 10" zombie shark figurine, which looks lovely.

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Categories: Video Games

Sonic will be a playable character in Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 16:31

Super Monkey Ball: Banana Blitz HD is gaining an extra character, but this one is a hedgehog, rather than a monkey.

Sega has announced Sonic will be an unlockable hidden character in the game - he'll obviously be super speedy, and playing him will change all bananas in a stage to golden rings (with the classic sound effect to go along with them, of course).

There are other secrets to unlock in Banana Blitz HD too - there's a whole bunch of costumes for each monkey, and some of these will even be Halloween themed.

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Categories: Video Games

Edward Snowden: 'Without Encryption, We Will Lose All Privacy. This is Our New Battleground'

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 16:00
Edward Snowden: In the midst of the greatest computer security crisis in history, the US government, along with the governments of the UK and Australia, is attempting to undermine the only method that currently exists for reliably protecting the world's information: encryption. Should they succeed in their quest to undermine encryption, our public infrastructure and private lives will be rendered permanently unsafe. [...] Earlier this month the US, alongside the UK and Australia, called on Facebook to create a "backdoor," or fatal flaw, into its encrypted messaging apps, which would allow anyone with the key to that backdoor unlimited access to private communications. So far, Facebook has resisted this. Donald Trump's attorney general, William Barr, who authorised one of the earliest mass surveillance programmes without reviewing whether it was legal, is now signalling an intention to halt -- or even roll back -- the progress of the last six years. WhatsApp, the messaging service owned by Facebook, already uses end-to-end encryption (E2EE): in March the company announced its intention to incorporate E2EE into its other messaging apps -- Facebook Messenger and Instagram -- as well. Now Barr is launching a public campaign to prevent Facebook from climbing this next rung on the ladder of digital security. This began with an open letter co-signed by Barr, UK home secretary Priti Patel, Australia's minister for home affairs and the US secretary of homeland security, demanding Facebook abandon its encryption proposals. If Barr's campaign is successful, the communications of billions will remain frozen in a state of permanent insecurity: users will be vulnerable by design. And those communications will be vulnerable not only to investigators in the US, UK and Australia, but also to the intelligence agencies of China, Russia and Saudi Arabia -- not to mention hackers around the world. End-to-end encrypted communication systems are designed so that messages can be read only by the sender and their intended recipients, even if the encrypted -- meaning locked -- messages themselves are stored by an untrusted third party, for example, a social media company such as Facebook.

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Categories: Geeky Stuff

Divinity: Fallen Heroes put on hold indefinitely

Eurogamer - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 15:29

Divinity: Fallen Heroes, the upcoming XCOM-style Divinity game from Larian Studios, has been put on hold for an unspecified amount of time.

While it was originally meant for release this November, an announcement on the Larian Forums states Logic Artists (the developer handling Fallen Heroes) will be focusing on its own IPs while Larian moves focus to Baldur's Gate 3.

"It has become clear to everyone involved that the game will need far greater development time and resources than are available now to bring it to fruition, in a fun and sustainable way," Larian writes.

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Categories: Video Games

Should Facebook Ban Campaign Ads?

Slashdot - Tue, 15/10/2019 - 15:00
TechCrunch's Josh Constine argues Facebook, along with the other social networks, should flat out refuse to run campaign advertisements. An anonymous reader shares an excerpt: Permitting falsehood in political advertising would work if we had a model democracy, but we don't. Not only are candidates dishonest, but voters aren't educated, and the media isn't objective. And now, hyperlinks turn lies into donations and donations into louder lies. The checks don't balance. What we face is a self-reinforcing disinformation dystopia. That's why if Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and YouTube don't want to be the arbiters of truth in campaign ads, they should stop selling them. If they can't be distributed safely, they shouldn't be distributed at all. No one wants historically untrustworthy social networks becoming the honesty police, deciding what's factual enough to fly. But the alternative of allowing deception to run rampant is unacceptable. Until voter-elected officials can implement reasonable policies to preserve truth in campaign ads, the tech giants should go a step further and refuse to run them. Facebook recently formalized its policy of allowing politicians to lie in ads and not be forced to verify their claims with third-party fact-checkers. In response to the policy, Elizabeth Warren decided to run ads claiming Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorses Trump because it's allowing his campaign lies. In a statement responding to Warren's ad, Facebook spokesperson Andy Stone said the company believes political speech should be protected. "If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech," the Stone said.

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