Sennheiser's headphone drivers covertly changed your computer's root of trust, leaving you vulnerable to undetectable attacks

Your computer ships with a collection of trusted cryptographic certificates, called its "root of trust," which are consulted to verify things like SSL connections and software updates. Read the rest

Redaction ineptitude reveals Facebook's 2012 plan to sell Graph API access to user data for $250,000

Six4three sucks at redaction: its court filing in its lawsuit against Facebook (previously) was redacted by drawing black rectangles over the text, which can still be copied and pasted to read it. This is a stupid mistake that most people stopped making a decade ago. Read the rest

Dell reset all Dell.com customer passwords 5 days after cyberattack, didn't bother telling customers at the time

Dell released a statement on Wednesday that says the computer giant reset passwords for all accounts on the Dell.com online electronics store on Nov. 14.

That was a full 5 days after they discovered and reportedly thwarted hackers who were trying to steal customer data. Read the rest

Comcast cranks up extra charges on cable bills, again, even for people who signed contracts promising a lower rate

Once again, Comcast is repeating its annual tradition of hiking "broadcast TV" and "regional sports network" hidden fees at a rate far above inflation, typically raising them from $14.50 to $18.25/month, rise of about 25%. Read the rest

Amnesty will stage global protests over Google's spying, censoring Chinese search engine plan

For years, a secret Google team planned a Chinese search-engine that would censor search results and spy on users for the Chinese state authorities; when the existence of this plan was leaked, thousands of googlers objected to the plan, senior staff quit (then others followed), and things have only gotten worse since, with the company being outed for lying about the project when they claimed it was just a pilot program and nowhere near launch. Read the rest

Supreme Court looks ready to let customers sue Apple for abusing its App Store monopoly

The Supreme Court hearing on Pepper v Apple has not gone well for Apple; the Supremes are considering whether App Store customers are entitled to sue Apple over its monopoly control over the Ios App Store. Read the rest

British Parliament seizes internal Facebook documents by threatening to jail a rival exec

Ted Kramer is CEO and co-founder of Six4Three, a creepy US-based machine-learning startup whose debut product was a Facebook app called Pinkini that let you search your friends' photos for pictures of them in bikinis; when Facebook shut down the app after a terms-of-service change, Six4Three sued Facebook and obtained a key trove of internal Facebook documents through the discovery process. Read the rest

Chinese Iphone ownership is a marker of membership in the "invisible poor"

China's "invisible poor" are poor people who successfully project a facade of affluence through consumer goods, clothing, etc: a research report from Shanghai's MobData found that Iphone ownership is strongly correlated with membership in the "invisible poor," with the median Iphone owner being an unmarried woman aged 18-34, with no post-secondary education and a monthly income of less than RMB3,000 (USD430). Read the rest

Americans pay some of the highest prices for wireless data in the world, and it's going to get worse

In The State of 4G Pricing, Finnish researchers Rewheel identify the US as having some of the most expensive wireless data (fifth highest prices) in the world, and they predict things will get worse thanks to looming mergers in the already super-concentrated wireless sector. Read the rest

UK minister says airlines used "exploitative algorithms" to split up families unless they paid extra

UK Digital Minister Margot James has vowed to crack down on "exploitative algorithms" used by airlines that deliberately split up families' seat assignments if they did not pay for pre-assigned seats; James says that the airlines used these algorithms to coerce families into paying for pre-assigned seating. Read the rest

Concealed Carry scammers spent $2m on gunhumper scare-ads on Facebook during the 2018 midterms

Concealed Online is an anonymously owned (the owner won't divulge his identity due to fear of reprisals) company whose customers complain scammed them by tricking them into taking its online curriculum for Virginia's farcical easy concealed carry permits, without divulging that these permits are useless in the rest of America. Read the rest

Apple's CEO: tech regulation is "inevitable"

Apple CEO Tim Cook has stated that the free market "is not working" and as a result, regulation of the tech sector is "inevitable." Read the rest

Insurer won't pay murdered gunshot victim's family because he didn't disclose his high blood-sugar

In March 2018, Nathan Ganas was murdered in his driveway in Durban, South Africa, during a botched hijacking; now Momentum, the insurer who wrote the 2.4m Rand (USD 170,700) policy on his life, is refusing to pay out because they say he didn't disclose his elevated blood-sugar levels when he took out the policy -- instead, they will refund the premiums Ganas paid during the four years he held the policy. Read the rest

Ford CEO frankly admits that the car of the future is a surveillance device that you pay to spy on you

The era of finance capitalism is marked by a curious shift in the desire of the business world: to get out of the business of making things people use, and into the business of getting money for owning, extracting and/or liquidating things. Read the rest

Sole and Despotic Dominion: my story about the future of private property for Reason

Reason's December issue celebrates the magazine's 50th anniversary with a series of commissioned pieces on the past and future of the magazine's subjects: freedom, markets, property rights, privacy and similar matters: I contributed a short story to the issue called Sole and Despotic Dominion, which takes the form of a support chat between a dishwasher owner and its manufacturer's rep, who has the unhappy job of describing why the dishwasher won't accept his dishes. Read the rest

San Francisco Uber driver distributing filter masks to passengers

At times this week, wildfires made San Francisco's air the worst in the world, and the city's stores have largely sold out of the N95 filter masks that make the air barely breathable, leading to at least one enterprising Uber driver selling the masks out of his car (at a substantial markup: $5 each, compared with $1.30 each on Amazon in ten-packs); other drivers are giving the masks away for free. (via /.) Read the rest

Amazon's NYC digs being built on land that would have been used for low-income housing

Amazon is already known for providing dangerous working conditions, anti-union activities and treating their blue collar workforce like a disposable commodity. Since they're already screwing folks at work, it must have seemed like a natural progression to screw them at home too.

From Politico:

Amazon’s plans to expand into Long Island City may cost Mayor Bill de Blasio — and New York City — approximately 1,500 units of affordable housing.

Two sites that will house the future offices of the e-commerce giant were originally intended for residential development, before Amazon chose them in a nationwide contest for its new headquarters.

Most — if not all — of that intended housing is now off the table.

According to Politico, the 14.7 acres of land Amazon's plopping out of their grossly subsidized new headquarters complex in Long Island City is owned by a company called Plaxall. Before Amazon came along, Plaxall was gearing up to ask New York City administrators for permission to build close to 5,000 new homes on their property. 1,250 of these homes would have been earmarked for use by low and middle-income earning families. In addition to this, Amazon's NYC complex is also eating up turf from a second company, TF Cornerstone: they were ready to build a complex that would contain 250 low-income housing units on the dirt where Amazon is building their new HQ. That's not going to happen anymore, either.

Greed is nothing, if not consistent.

Image via Wikipedia Commons Read the rest

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