AP reports that authorities in Spain have cracked one of the biggest botnet rings in history, with three arrests made and more coming. The so-called Mariposa botnet appeared in December, 2008: "a data vacuum that stole credit cards and online banking credentials from as many as 12.7 million poisoned PCs," affecting "half of the Fortune 1,000 companies" and more than 40 major banks, according to investigators.
This 1997 pitch for Rockwell Automation's Retroencabulator makes me feel like an idiot for not already owning one. The technology improves upon a 1944 machine called the turboencabulator: The original machine had a base plate of prefabulated amulite, surmounted by a malleable logarithmic casing in such a way that the two main spurving bearings were… READ THE REST
Lou Ottens, who in 1963 invented the cassette tape while an engineer at Philips, has died. He was 94. I'm glad that he lived to see the cassette resurgence of recent years. From NPR: The cassette tape was Ottens' answer to the large reel-to-reel tapes that provided high-quality sound but were seen as too clunky… READ THE REST
A scoop from Buzzfeed News: "Parler wanted Donald Trump on its site. Trump's company wanted an ownership stake. Here's the exclusive story of their negotiation." Parler is the chat app founded in 2018 by former college roommates John Matze and Jared Thomson, and Rebekah Mercer, the right-wing political donor and daughter of hedge fund magnate… READ THE REST
The ostrich analogy is real. Nobody should be sticking their head in the sand to escape unpleasant truths. And one such unpleasant reality is that for all their functionality, headphones can be incredibly dangerous. An overwhelming 96 percent of Americans say it's dangerous to wear headphones or earbuds when driving. That number remains high for… READ THE REST
Students and staff at Stanford University, the University of California, the University of Colorado, and other institutions were warned to be on alert after a widespread security breach compromised personal data files during a nationwide cyberattack on the schools' computer systems. Meanwhile, someone is selling personal information on 21 million users of the mobile parking… READ THE REST
The difficulties of pandemic life have brought some unexpected consequences over the past year. With some transportation options closed and everyone mostly stuck in their houses, people got stir crazy for an alternative — and bicycle sales surged nationwide. Unfortunately, that wave of new bike riders brought an all too expected result: a corresponding surge in… READ THE REST