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Federal Government Wants Big Increase On Cybersecurity Spending

February 10, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Federal Government Wants Big Increase On Cybersecurity Spending

President Barack Obama has proposed a large increase in cybersecurity spending for next year’s budget, to improve outdated government software and promote better online security for consumers. The plan calls for a $3.1 billion fund to replace outdated IT infrastructure; a new position of federal chief information security officer; a commission to study cybersecurity problems, and a program to recruit cybersecurity experts into government roles. The U.S has been working since 2009 to improve... 

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Will Verizon Acquire Yahoo?

February 10, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Will Verizon Acquire Yahoo?

Verizon Communications Inc  has granted Tim Armstrong, chief executive officer of its AOL unit, a leading role in researching a possible bid for Yahoo Inc’s assets, Bloomberg reported, citing a person with knowledge of the situation. Verizon, the largest U.S. wireless carrier, hasn’t hired bankers to conduct an offer and there have been no formal talks, according to the report. Yahoo said last week that it would consider “strategic alternatives” for its core Internet business,... 

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Is Mozilla Dropping Smartphones For IoT?

February 9, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Is Mozilla Dropping Smartphones For IoT?

The Mozilla Foundation has confirmed details of its shift in strategy for Firefox OS which will see it abandon future phone development in favour of using the software as (yet another) IoT platform. In an announcement to the developer community by John Bernard, director of collaboration for Connected Devices at Mozilla, and George Roter, head of core contributors, it was confirmed that Firefox OS for smartphones will be canned at version 2.6. “The circumstances of multiple established operating... 

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BlackBerry Eliminates 200 Jobs, Trims Costs

February 9, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
BlackBerry Eliminates 200 Jobs, Trims Costs

BlackBerry Ltd  plans to cut 200 jobs at its hometown headquarters in Ontario and in Florida in order to trim costs, as the smartphone maker moves to turn around its fortunes and put more emphasis on its enterprise software business. “As BlackBerry continues to execute its turnaround plan, we remain focused on driving efficiencies across our global workforce,” the company said in an emailed statement. The company declined to comment on what percentage of its workforce is affected by... 

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In A Strange Twist, Dridex Malware Now Distributes Antivirus Program

February 8, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
In A Strange Twist, Dridex Malware Now Distributes Antivirus Program

Users duped into opening malicious Word documents that distribute the Dridex online banking Trojan might have a pleasant surprise: They’ll get a free anitivirus program instead. That’s because an unknown person — possibly a white-hat hacker — gained access to some of the servers that cybercriminals use to distribute the Dridex Trojan and replaced the malware with an installer for Avira Free Antivirus. Dridex is one of the three most widely used computer Trojans that target... 

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Twitter Shuts Down 125,000 Terrorism-related Accounts

February 8, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Twitter Shuts Down 125,000 Terrorism-related Accounts

Twitter Inc has suspended more than 125,000 terrorism-related accounts since the middle of 2015, most of them linked to the Islamic State group, the company said in a blog post on Friday. Twitter has said it only takes down accounts when they are reported by other users, but said that it has increased the size of teams monitoring and responding to reports and has decreased its response time “significantly.” Twitter’s announcement comes as many tech companies – led by Facebook... 

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Alien Megastructure Mysteries May Remain A Secret

February 8, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Alien Megastructure Mysteries May Remain A Secret

It’s looking less likely that a swarm of comets or an “alien megastructure” can explain a faraway star’s strange dimming. The star (nicknamed “Tabby’s Star,” after its discoverer, Tabetha Boyajian) made major headlines last October when Jason Wright, an astronomer at Pennsylvania State University, suggested that it could be surrounded by some type of alien megastructure. A more likely idea — one that’s far less exciting — is that the star is orbited... 

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Hackers Attempt Attack On 20+ Million Alibaba Accounts

February 5, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Hackers Attempt Attack On 20+ Million Alibaba Accounts

Hackers in China attempted to gain access to over 20 million active accounts on Alibaba Group Holding Ltd’s Taobao e-commerce website using Alibaba’s own cloud computing service, according to a state media report posted on the Internet regulator’s website. An Alibaba spokesman said the company detected the attack in “the first instance”, reminded users to change passwords, and worked closely with the police investigation. Chinese companies are grappling a sharp rise... 

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Do Black Holes Die When All The Run Out Of Gas?

February 5, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Do Black Holes Die When All The Run Out Of Gas?

Some of the brightest objects in the known universe may abruptly go dark at the whims of the black holes that power them, new research shows. A recent study reveals a dramatic example of this newly discovered type of object, called a “changing-look quasar,” which seems to have winked out in as little as a decade when its black hole no longer had gas to suck in. “This is an intrinsic change in the gas that’s falling on the supermassive black hole,” Jessie Runnoe, a postdoctoral... 

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Amazon Plans On Opening Up To 400 Bookstores

February 4, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Amazon Plans On Opening Up To 400 Bookstores

Amazon.com Inc will open up to 400 physical bookstores, according to a major U.S. mall operator with knowledge of the proposal. Amazon recently experimented with brick-and-mortar stores with the opening of a bookstore in its home city of Seattle in November. An expansion of bookstores, which the company has not confirmed, would be a surprise reversal from the online retailer credited with driving physical booksellers out of business. “You’ve got Amazon opening brick-and-mortar bookstores... 

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Eagles Trained To Take On Errant Drones

February 3, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Eagles Trained To Take On Errant Drones

When it comes to the problem of handling errant drones, there’s been a number of high-tech solutions — from radio jamming to laser beams to nets launched by other drones  –  but a group in The Netherlands has a rather unique low-tech solution that’s much more elegant. The Guard From Above says it is training birds of prey to attack drones, taking advantage of their natural predatory instincts and precision in the sky. A video posted by the company on YouTube shows a bird... 

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Evernote Officially Exits E-commerce

February 3, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Evernote Officially Exits E-commerce

A little more than two years after Evernote announced that it would offer a suite of branded products through its own online retail store, the productivity company is walking away from the business of selling products like socks, messenger bags and wallets. As foreshadowed by a series of sales and app changes last year, the current incarnation of the Evernote Market — a hub for people to buy branded swag and connected tools for the popular note-taking software — will no longer exist... 

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Are We All Star Dust

February 3, 2016 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Are We All Star Dust

Take a deep breath. That air filling up your lungs, that oxygen pulled into your bloodstream, stoking your metabolic fire, making you possible, is old. Older than you, older than the Earth itself. That oxygen once lived in the heart of a star that is now long dead. That calcium in your bones? That iron in your blood? The same. Billions of years ago, there was no Earth, no sun, nor even a solar system. There was just a relatively featureless cloud of gas and dust, hundreds of light-years across. Pretty... 

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Yahoo To Slash 15% Of Workforce

February 3, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Yahoo To Slash 15% Of Workforce

Yahoo Inc Chief Executive Marissa Mayer announced cost-cutting measures that include slashing 15 percent of the company’s workforce, or roughly 1,600 jobs, and closing several business units, according to a report by the Wall Street Journal. The plans were announced after Yahoo’s fourth-quarter results on Tuesday, the Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter.  It did not specify which business units might be closed. A Yahoo spokeswoman said the company could not comment... 

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Google Adds Australian Accents And Slang To Its Software

February 2, 2016 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Google Adds Australian Accents And Slang To Its Software

Internet search giant Google has finally added Australian slang and language recognition to its applications, addressing complaints that its software had difficulty in understanding thick local accents and complex place names. Long accustomed to having their distinctive slang misunderstood, Australians can now substitute “footy” for football, “arvo” for afternoon and find directions to Mullumbimby or Goondiwindi, a spokesman told Reuters. The extended vocabulary came after... 

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