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IRS Has Been Steadily Reducing Size Of Cybersecurity Staff

May 29, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
IRS Has Been Steadily Reducing Size Of Cybersecurity Staff

The Internal Revenue Service, which confirmed rumors of a breach of 100,000 taxpayer accounts, has been consistently reducing the size of its internal cybersecurity staff as it increases its security spending. This may seem paradoxical, but one observer suggested it could signal a shift to outsourcing. In 2011, the IRS employed 410 people in its cybersecurity organization, but by 2014 the headcount had fallen by 11% to 363 people, according to annual reports about IRS information technology spending... 

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FCC Looks To Tighten Rules On Robocalls, Texting Spam

May 29, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
FCC Looks To Tighten Rules On Robocalls, Texting Spam

The top U.S. telecommunications regulator wants to make it more difficult for telemarketers and other businesses to robocall and text messages consumers under changes to autodialing rules being proposed. The Federal Communications Commission plans to vote on June 18 on the proposal, which would give legal cover to telephone companies to offer consumers technologies that would block robocalls, regardless of where they originate. “The FCC wants to make it clear: Telephone companies can – and... 

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Did A Dying Star Destroy An Alien Planet?

May 29, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Did A Dying Star Destroy An Alien Planet?

A white dwarf may seem like it would be a calm, dying star, but scientists say such stars can pack a gravitational punch so strong that they can tear a passing planet apart. Scientists using several telescopes, including NASA’s Chandra X-ray Observatory, found evidence that a planet in an ancient cluster of stars on the edge of the Milky Way drifted too close to a white dwarf star and was ripped apart. NASA officials explained the discovery in a video on the planet’s death by white dwarf. White... 

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Yahoo To Face Class-action Lawsuit Over Email Spying

May 29, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Yahoo To Face Class-action Lawsuit Over Email Spying

A U.S. judge ruled that Yahoo Inc must face a nationwide class-action lawsuit accusing it of illegally intercepting the content of emails sent to Yahoo Mail subscribers from non-Yahoo Mail accounts, and using the information to boost advertising revenue. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose, California said people who sent emails to or received emails from Yahoo Mail subscribers since Oct. 2, 2011 may sue as a group under the federal Stored Communications Act for alleged privacy violations. She... 

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Will Chaotic Planets Hamper The Search For Alien Life?

May 22, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Will Chaotic Planets Hamper The Search For Alien Life?

“Chaotic planets” that possess wildly unpredictable orbits and climates likely circle distant stars, suggesting that some alien worlds that look habitable might actually be hostile to life for millions of years at a time, a new study reports. In the past two decades or so, astronomers have confirmed the existence of more than 1,800 exoplanets or planets orbiting distant stars. These worlds often differ greatly from any planets in our own solar system. For instance, so-called “hot... 

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Tech Companies Push Senate To Pass NSA Reform Bill

May 21, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Tech Companies Push Senate To Pass NSA Reform Bill

Reform Government Surveillance, an organization that represents technology giants like Google, Apple and Microsoft, is pushing the U.S. Senate not to delay reform of National Security Agency surveillance by extending expiring provisions of the Patriot Act. The House of Representatives voted 338-88 last week to approve the USA Freedom Act that would, among other things, stop the controversial bulk collection of phone records of Americans by the NSA, including by placing restrictions on the search... 

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Scammers Using Malware To Go After Oil Companies

May 21, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Scammers Using Malware To Go After Oil Companies

Scammers are running wild through British oil company networks without needing to use malware, according to Panda Security. Hacking is not new, stealing information and data from firms is not new, but doing so without using malware is unusual. Panda has dubbed the scam Operation Oil Tanker (PDF), which it said has made its way into systems through a socially engineered email and a lone staffer. The security firm said that antivirus systems failed to stop the attacks, but that its own demo software... 

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Astronomers Discover Rare Quartet of Quasars

May 21, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Astronomers Discover Rare Quartet of Quasars

A giant nebula in the early universe hits the jackpot when it comes to rare, bright objects known as quasars, boasting four within surprisingly close proximity to one another. The first known quasar quartet lies in a cloud of cool gas that could provide a clue to the objects’ unusual closeness. “Multiple-quasar systems are rare, because quasars themselves are rare,” Joseph Hennawi, of the Max Planck Institute for Astronomy in Germany, told Space.com by email. “The typical... 

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Is Apple Being Dumped?

May 20, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Is Apple Being Dumped?

The dumping of Apple shares by top hedge funds is continuing to gather speed and now even the Tame Apple Press  is noticing. Reuters took time out from its busy schedule of promoting Apple producst to report the surprise news that Top US hedge fund management firms, including Leon Cooperman’s Omega Advisors and Philippe Laffont’s Coatue Management, continued to reduce or slash stakes altogether in Apple during the first quarter. We say surprise news, but we had noticed it when it actually... 

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Sharp Pinning Hopes On In-car Displays

May 19, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Sharp Pinning Hopes On In-car Displays

Struggling display manufacturer Sharp, reeling from cutthroat competition in mobile phones, will push car makers to incorporate vehicle dashboards that have gestural commands, thin bezels and other next-generation features. It’s hoping cars will be controlled, in part, through high-resolution displays that can fit any two-dimensional surface area, such as dashboard panels with rounded contours. The company has shown off the wavy screens for cars and consoles in recent months, and has tried... 

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Occulus To Develop Virtual Reality Headset For Windows Only

May 19, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Occulus To Develop Virtual Reality Headset For Windows Only

Mac and Linux fans you are out of luck. Facebook-owned Oculus Rift, the headset that perhaps more than any other device has ignited public interest in virtual reality, will run almost exclusively on well-appointed Windows PCs, at least in the near future. The process that most laptops use to output video doesn’t work with the Rift, and  Oculus has temporarily halted development for hardware running Apple and Linux. That’s the takeaway from the spec informationOculus published Friday... 

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Will Black Holes Make Dark Matter Shine?

May 19, 2015 by Michael   | Category: Around The Net
Will Black Holes Make Dark Matter Shine?

Dark matter circling the drain of a massive black hole could radiate gamma-rays that might be visible from Earth, according to new research. Dark matter is five times more plentiful in the universe than regular matter, but it does not emit, reflect or absorb light, making it not just dark but entirely transparent. But if dark-matter particles around black holes can produce gamma-rays (high-energy light), such emissions would give scientists a new way to study this mysterious material. The process... 

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China’s Alibaba Sued Over Selling Fake Luxury Goods

May 18, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
China’s Alibaba Sued Over Selling Fake Luxury Goods

A bevy of luxury goods brands filed suit against Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, contending the Chinese online shopping giant had knowingly made it possible for counterfeiters to sell their products throughout the world. The lawsuit was filed in Manhattan federal court by Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent and other brands owned by Paris-based Kering SA seeking damages and an injunction for alleged violations of trademark and racketeering laws. The lawsuit alleged that Alibaba had conspired to manufacture, offer... 

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Sally Beauty Holdings Confirms Second Data Breach

May 17, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Sally Beauty Holdings Confirms Second Data Breach

Sally Beauty Holdings has confirmed that hackers breached its payment systems and stole customer card data again. About a year ago the retail chain suffered a similar intrusion. The company launched an investigation in early May after receiving reports of unusual activity involving payment cards used at some of its stores. While it now has sufficient evidence to confirm an illegal intrusion, the company declined to comment on the breach’s scope until the forensics investigation is complete. Sally... 

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Walmart To Offer $50/Year Unlimited Shipping Service

May 15, 2015 by mphillips   | Category: Around The Net
Walmart To Offer $50/Year Unlimited Shipping Service

Wal-Mart Stores Inc is making plans to test a new unlimited online shipping service this summer for $50 per year, a move that may take a bit out of Amazon’s annual $99 Prime shipping service. Wal-Mart’s service, which will be by invitation only for now, will offer selected products on the company’s website to customers within three days or less, company spokesman Ravi Jariwala told Reuters. Wal-Mart offers more than 7 million products on its website. “Depending on customer... 

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