Bank firewalls cracked by cyberhackers
Joseph Menn reports that according to the FBI, cyberhackers were able to directly drain $40 million from bank accounts so far this year, “primarily targeting the small and mid-sized businesses that are themselves customers of small and mid-sized banks.” Jeffrey Troy, chief of the FBI’s cybercrime section, told the Financial Times that online bank thefts in 2009 had seen “a very dramatic increase from past years”.
Read more on Financial Times.
Now what would possibly cause Facebook to recant? Absent the Spanish Inquisition. Do you think they would like (and when I say like, I mean pay) a group of Privacy professionals to review these policy changes before they stick their feet in their mouths?
Facebook backtracks on public friend lists
Caroline McCarthy writes:
It’s been a matter of days since Facebook’s new privacy controls went into place, and the company is already making modifications in response to user complaints that they expose too much information. Namely, the company has made it easier to prevent people from seeing who your friends are.
For one, Facebook no longer makes a link to a list of your friends publicly available, and it has added an option for members who want no one at all–including other friends–to see their connections. Third-party applications, however, can still access it.
“In response to your feedback, we’ve improved the Friend List visibility option,” an update to Facebook’s blog post about the new privacy settings read. “Now when you uncheck the ‘Show my friends on my profile’ option in the Friends box on your profile, your Friend List won’t appear on your profile regardless of whether people are viewing it while logged into Facebook or logged out. This information is still publicly available, however, and can be accessed by applications.”
Read more on Cnet.
(Related) Some days you find the answer to your questions instantly.
Zuckerberg pictures exposed by Facebook privacy roll-back
John Leyden reports:
Illuminating pictures of Facebook chief exec Mark Zuckerberg have been exposed by Facebook’s privacy roll back.
Back in October, the world at large could see only one photo of the Facebook co-founder via the social networking site. Facebook’s controversial privacy shake up this week means that world+dog can now obtain access to a cache of 290 previously private shots featuring Zuckerberg. These pictures were uploaded either by Zuckerberg himself or by people who tagged him in images they posted onto the social networking site.
Gawker – which carries a selection of pictures of Zuckerberg in a story here – describes them as showing him as “shirtless, romantic, clutching a teddy bear, and looking plastered” though not all at the same time, we’d hasten to add.
“We just knew this new system would be a boon to gossips like ourselves,” Gawker enthusiastically reports.
Read more in The Register.
Facebookarazzi: Stalking Celebrities Just Got a Whole Lot Easier
(Related) and timely
Note to Silicon Valley: How not to manage privacy
by Larry Downes December 11, 2009 11:44 AM PST
Looks like the DC court is reversing and earlier reversed decision. (What decisions deal with wiretapping a work phone?)
District Court Finds Personal E-Mail From Work Still Privileged
Tresa Baldas reports:
A federal prosecutor has won his fight to conceal e-mails he sent to his attorney over the government’s computers, contradicting a popular belief that employees have no expectation of privacy on work computers.
The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia ruled on Dec. 10 that Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Tukel had a reasonable expectation of privacy in those e-mails because federal prosecutors were allowed to use work e-mail for personal matters. Therefore Tukel’s messages to his private lawyer sent from work are covered by the attorney-client privilege and can remain confidential.
Read more on The Blog of Legal Times.
FourthAmendment.com also covers the decision.
Isn't this a clear example of Identity Theft? Spamming for lobbyists. (Lamb? Splobby?) Deceptive and one would think counter productive if the politician had an ounce of brains. (I'll give them an ounce.)
Virtual Money For Real Lobbying
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday December 11, @05:22PM from the sheeple-happy-to-be-paid-shills dept.
"Silicon Alley Insider is reporting that health-insurance industry group 'Get Health Reform Right' paid Facebook users with virtual currency to be used in Facebook games in exchange for lobbying their Congressional Rep. 'Instead of asking the gamers to try a product the way Netflix would, "Get Health Reform Right" requires gamers to take a survey, which, upon completion, automatically sends the following email to their Congressional Rep: "I am concerned a new government plan could cause me to lose the employer coverage I have today. More government bureaucracy will only create more problems, not solve the ones we have."'"
Similar but different? Not putting words in your mouth, putting your words in an advertisers database.
WideOpen West spyware funnelled data to NebuAd – lawsuit
Maria Dinzeo reports:
Internet service provider WideOpen West installed spyware on its broadband networks that “funneled all users’ Internet communications – inbound and outbound, in their entirety – to a third-party Internet advertisement-serving company, NebuAd,” a class action claims in Chicago Federal Court. “NebuAd and WOW used the intercepted communications to monitor and profile individual users, inject advertisements into the Web pages users visited, transmit code that caused undeletable tracking cookies to be installed on users’ computers, and forge the ‘return addresses’ of user communications so their tampering would escape the detection of users’ privacy and security controls,” the class claims.
Should a ruling like this extend to other social networks that call the same feature by another name?
Judges Can't "Friend" Lawyers in Florida
Posted by ScuttleMonkey on Friday December 11, @03:58PM from the lawyers-don't-have-friends-anyway dept.
Hugh Pickens writes
"The NY Times reports that Florida's Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee has found in a recent opinion that judges and lawyers can no longer be Facebook friends. The committee says that when judges 'friend' lawyers who may appear before them, it creates the appearance of a conflict of interest, since it 'reasonably conveys to others the impression that these lawyer "friends" are in a special position to influence the judge.' Stephen Gillers, a legal ethics expert at New York University, says the Florida rule goes too far. 'In my view, they are being hypersensitive because in the case of a truly close friendship between a judge and a lawyer involved in a case, the other side can simply seek to disqualify the judge. Judges do not "drop out of society when they become judges," Gillers says. "The people who were their friends before they went on the bench remained their friends, and many of them were lawyers." Still, legal sycophants can take heart: lawyers can declare themselves Facebook "fans" of judges, the committee says, "as long as the judge or committee controlling the site cannot accept or reject the lawyer's listing of himself or herself on the site."'"
The flip side of AT&T's “bad users” argument?
It’s Raining FAIL. Widespread AT&T Outages Reported In San Francisco.
by MG Siegler on December 11, 2009
… Calls are working sporadically, but the AT&T data network in San Francisco seems to be completely borked right now. There is obviously a lot of talk on Twitter about this right now. Everyone, it seems, has the same problem, “Could not activate cellular data network.”
… To be blunt, as paying customers, with contracts, we don’t need to change shit. What we need is a reliable network. We’re all paying around $100 or more a month for a service that remains unbelievably unreliable.
For your Security Manager It's not what we meant when we suggested you secure your files.
Bug keeps some Office users from their files
by Ina Fried December 11, 2009 2:29 PM PST
… Starting on December 11, 2009, customers using Office 2003 will not be able to open Office 2003 documents protected with the Rights Management Service (RMS) or save Office 2003 documents protected with RMS. The following error message may be displayed when attempting to Open RMS Documents using Office 2003:
"Unexpected error occurred. Please try again later or contact your system administrator"
e-wills Now there's a business model to die for!
Swedish service performs your last online wishes
AP - Friday, December 11, 2009 2:26:30 AM By LOUISE NORDSTROM
… A handful of services, such as Legacy Locker Inc., Deathswitch and Slightly Morbid, tend to the virtual afterlife by sending posthumous emails to friends and family. But Granberg and co-founder and childhood friend Elin Tybring, 27, say My Webwill is unique in actually entering accounts and "managing" them according to a person's last wishes.
Extending the copyright wars to your home bookshelf. I want one! (Just to make a backup copy you understand.)
DIY Book Scanners Turn Your Books Into Bytes
By Priya Ganapati December 11, 2009 7:42 pm
… Reetz went on to upload a 79-step how-to guide for building a book scanner (.pdf). The guide has sparked more than 400 comments. It has also spawned a website, DIYbookscanner.org, where more than 50 independent book scanners spread across countries such as Indonesia, Russia and Britain have contributed hardware refinements and software programs.
(Related) but opposite? How large is your ego? (You just can't make this stuff up.)
Tweetbookz.com - Print Your Tweets For Posterity
The existence of a service like TweetBookz could be explained if we bear in mind Samuel Taylor Coleridge’s concept that anything which is narrated verily is appealing in itself. You see, what TweetBookz does is to come up with a printed copy of your tweets. Such a copy can be devised as a paperback or as hardbound book that has 20 pages, and two tweets are featured in each page.
Cute, but I just use multiple tabs
Googlegooglegooglegoogle: Opens Four Google Frames At Once
Google is starting to add phone features that have been possible for years, but traditional phone companies never bothered to implement. This is another reason we think Google is about to drive a stake through the heart of the phone industry. (You need to watch the video to appreciate how different this is from “normal” 411 services.
December 11, 2009
Google's new 411 service
"GOOG-411 is Google's new 411 service. With GOOG-411, you can find local business information completely free, directly from your phone. You can access 1-800-466-4411 from any phone, anywhere, at anytime."
For my website students. This keeps getting easier.
Make a Podcast
Think of this as an automatic batch file! (or a Macro Maker)
Haunted By Repetitive Tasks? Then DoItAgain Is The Perfect Tool For You!
Dec. 12th, 2009 By Karl L. Gechlik
… I always said it would be great to have this ability to automate repetitive tasks inside windows so I can use it with any application or several applications at the same time.
Start off by visiting this site and download DoItAgain for Windows XP, Vista or even Windows Seven.