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Turkish Prime Minister threatens Twitter again, this time over tax evasion

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 15 Apr 2014 0:22

Turkish Prime Minister threatens Twitter again, this time over tax evasion Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened microblogging site Twitter again, this time accusing it of tax evasion.

The PM recently tried banning Twitter in the nation, but the ban was overturned by the nation's highest court. Information about a major corruption scandal involving Erdogan's inner circle was broken and disseminated via the service.

In his latest tirade, Erdogan says "Twitter, YouTube and Facebook are international companies established for profit and making money. Twitter is at the same time a tax evader. We will go after it. These companies, like every international company, will abide by my country's constitution, laws and tax rules."

Erdogan then criticized the court's decision, claiming it was "advocating commercial law of international companies instead of defending the rights of its own country and its own people. This amounts to interference in politics. We abided by the (court) ruling on (Twitter), but I say it again, I don't respect it."

A week after blocking Twitter, the government also blocked YouTube, after videos were uploaded of a secret meeting between the country's top civilian and military officials.

Source:
Yahoo News




AfterDawn: News

IRS misses Windows XP upgrade deadline, must pay millions to Microsoft for security patches

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2014 23:39

IRS misses Windows XP upgrade deadline, must pay millions to Microsoft for security patches The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed that it could not migrate all of its computers from Windows XP in time for the April 8th support end-of-life, and will now have to have Microsoft millions of dollars for security patches.

Microsoft ended public security patches for the 13-year-old operating system last week, but will still offer private patches for companies that pay for extra support. Without the patches, systems running XP are vulnerable to being exploited and attacked.

Of the IRS's 110,000 computers, 52,000 have been upgraded to Windows 7, but the agency could not raise the additional $30 million needed to migrate the rest. Microsoft announced the end-of-life dates for XP back in 2008.

The new commissioner of the IRS, John Koskinen, said the agency had $300 million in IT projects on hold due to budget cuts in the past years, including the migration to Windows 7. Because they could not complete the upgrades, the IRS will likely have to pay near $10 million for just one year of Microsoft "Custom Support" for the operating system.

As of now, Koskinen says they will take money from their enforcement budget to complete the move by the end of 2014.

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AfterDawn: News

Weev goes free after hacking convictions get thrown out

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2014 23:18

Weev goes free after hacking convictions get thrown out Last year, Andrew Auernheimer aka 'Weev,' was convicted and sentenced to 41 months in jail for exploiting AT&T and revealing data from over 114,000 iPad 3G owners.

This week, an Appellate court has tossed the conviction, on the grounds that he was prosecuted in the wrong state. Weev was tried in New Jersey federal court, despite living in Arkansas. All of his crimes, including violations of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and thousands of charges of identity theft, had no connection to NJ, added the court.

Weev has spent the last 20 months in Allenwood Federal Correctional Complex in Pennsylvania, well known as a "Club Fed" white collar prison. The felon is said to be spending nearly all his time in solitary, however, and his attorney claims he has been treated poorly.

Original Crime



Weev was sentenced for being found guilty on one charge of conspiracy to access a computer without authorization under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act of 1986 and one charge of fraud in connection with personal information. In addition to the prison time, he was also set to serve three years probation and pay $73,000 to AT&T.

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung Galaxy S5 first day sales surpass predecessor's by 30 percent

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2014 22:54

Samsung Galaxy S5 first day sales surpass predecessor's by 30 percent Reports out of Korea seem to confirm that the Samsung Galaxy S5 is selling well, or at least significantly better than its predecessor, the S4.

Setting a Samsung record for first day sales, the smartphone has topped the previous mark by 30 percent.

In some key European markets, the S5 doubled the first day sales of the S4, and would have likely been even higher had there been more supply to keep up with demand, says the report.

Launching in 125 nations, with 25 more to join in the coming days, the S5 was the biggest launch for Samsung, ever.

The S5 features a 1080p 5.1-inch display and runs on Android 4.4.2 + TouchWiz. Under the hood is a 2.5GHz Quad core processor, 2GB RAM, 16/32GB internal storage, microSD slot, dual cameras, 16MP (rear) with 4K video support, 2.0MP (front), LTE Cat 4, 802.11 a/b/g/n/ac MIMO(2x2) Wi-Fi, Bluetooth 4.0 BLE, NFC and a built-in IR remote to control TV and other devices.

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AfterDawn: News

'Brightest Flashlight' Android app that stored location data without user consent gets no FTC fine

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2014 21:54

'Brightest Flashlight' Android app that stored location data without user consent gets no FTC fine Back in December, we reported that one of the most popular apps in the Google Play Store, "Brightest Flashlight," which has been downloaded over 50 million times and reviewed over 1 million times, had been sanctioned by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for sneakily selling your personal information to advertisers.

The app, built by GoldenShores, sent your location and a unique ID to advertisers who could then better target their marketing. Users were aware of this, but opting out through the application's settings did not change whether data was sent or not.

At the time, the FTC proposed a settlement with GoldenShores, run by just one individual (Erik Geidl), and the final terms have been revealed this week.

Geidl and GoldenShores are banned from collecting app user's geolocation data without a very clear explanation that they are doing so and who will be seeing such information. Additionally, the company will have to keep records that the FTC can inspect at any time, and the FTC must be notified of any new business Geidl starts in the next decade. Most importantly for phone users, all the data already collected must be deleted in the next ten days.

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AfterDawn: News

Report: Amazon to unveil first smartphone in June for release in September

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 13 Apr 2014 1:32

Report: Amazon to unveil first smartphone in June for release in September Amazon will unveil their first smartphone in June, with an expected release in September, say sources, yet another timeframe for the oft-rumored device that has never been officially confirmed.

The device has been demoed to developers in the past weeks, say the sources, and when launched will compete directly with Apple, Samsung and other high-margin OEMs.

As previously rumored, the device will have a 3D-capable display without the need for glasses, using four front-facing cameras for retina tracking.

Using the technology, text and images can move as a person head moves (or the phone moves), and could certainly be ideal for visual gaming, thanks to the added depth perception. The smartphone will most likely run on the Android-forked Fire OS, and have access to Amazon's curated version of the Google Play Store.

Amazon has reportedly set up an initial order of 600,000 units, with mass production slated to begin in May. While consumers may not want to try a smartphone run directly on Android or iOS, Amazon will have the ability to price their device with no margins, as CEO Jeff Bezos has long said the company would rather make money on content via their ecosystem rather than on the hardware.

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AfterDawn: News

Sprint preparing to offer free trials to Spotify plus carrier billing, 'Framily' discounts

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 22:34

Sprint preparing to offer free trials to Spotify plus carrier billing, 'Framily' discounts According to a new report, Sprint and Spotify are preparing to team up in an effort to get the carrier's customers set up with the unlimited streaming music service.

The wireless carrier will start off with free trials to Spotify for its subscribers, allow for paying via their monthly carrier bill, and will also offer discounts to the streaming service for some of its users. Spotify Premium costs $9.99 per month and allows for streaming on mobile devices.

If you are on a "Framily" plan, you can get Spotify Premium at a discount, to be shared between the group.

Reportedly, Sprint and Spotify will jointly announce the partnership at a press event on April 29th. Any such deal would require record label approval, so the 29th date is tentative.

Spotify has 8 million subscribers around the globe, and Sprint has 54 million subscribers, making it the third largest carrier in the nation.

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AfterDawn: News

Nearly half of Twitter's registered users have never tweeted

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 22:10

Nearly half of Twitter's registered users have never tweeted According to a new report, 44 percent of Twitter's registered users have never tweeted, a huge number that cannot make the microblogging service happy.

The WSJ claims that the company has 974 million accounts, meaning a full 429 million accounts have never been used for actual tweeting. There is a good chance that millions of these accounts are used to read and follow others, with no need for their own input and there is also a good chance that millions of accounts have lost or missing passwords that cannot be recovered by the original owner.

Twitter, by its own admission, has nearly 250 million active users, but "active" means that they at least log in a couple of times a month.

Other data has shown that only 13 percent of accounts have over 100 tweets over their lifetime, and 30 percent have between just one and ten tweets.

As Twitter continues to evolve, and continues to search for more ad revenue, it is clear it will have to find a way to engage all of its dead accounts.

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AfterDawn: News

DreamWorks Animation is looking to purchase a stake in music video giant Vevo

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 20:42

DreamWorks Animation is looking to purchase a stake in music video giant Vevo DreamWorks Animation (DWA), is reportedly looking to buy a stake in music video giant Vevo, expanding outside of its blockbuster animated movie business.

Sources say CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg wants part of the service that is currently owned by Universal Music, Sony Music and Abu Dhabi Media. It is unclear how big of a stake the company is looking to invest in.

Vevo is very popular, generating 55 billion views last year, mainly through YouTube. The service does have its own site and other platforms can traffic Vevo, as well, like the Xbox, Roku set-tops and smart TVs.

The company is valued at over $600 million and it generated over $250 million in revenue last year. Investors need be weary, however, as YouTube, music publishers and the video's owners take 90 percent of any revenue generated from the videos being played.

If a move is made, it will be the second time in the last year that DWA has expanded outside of their core business. The studio purchased YouTube channel AwesomenessTV for $100 million last year, expanding into content.

Source:
Re/code




AfterDawn: News

PowerPot charges your smartphone using boiling water

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 20:23

PowerPot charges your smartphone using boiling water Billionaire and 'Shark Tank' investor Mark Cuban has put forward $250,000 of his own money to help the "PowerPot" succeed, a pot that lets you charge your smartphone with boiling water.

Cuban paid $250,000 for a 12 percent stake in the company, a seat on the board of directors and 3% in "adviser options." With the investment, the company is worth over $2 million, seemingly a good value given that they have supposedly already sold $300,000 worth of the devices.

The founders have been marketing the device towards campers, but have also been testing it in developing nations in Africa, where villagers have been using it to light their huts.

A 5-watt model and 10-watt model are available, starting at $149.

Check the pot in action:

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AfterDawn: News

Android app security gets upgrade with malware installation scans from Google

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 16:55

Android app security gets upgrade with malware installation scans from Google Google is making installing apps on your Android device a bit more secure by offering malware scans during installation for apps installed from outside of the Google Play Store.

Moving forward, the service will also continuously scan to ensure that all apps are "behaving in a safe manner, even after installation."

Chrome users will be familiar with continuous app checks, as their Chrome-based apps use the same scans from Google.

Google's current "Verify Apps" service has been used over 4 billion times, says the company and only 0.18 percent of installations occurred after seeing the warning, making them very effective.

Of course, you are not likely to ever get these warnings if you download directly from the Google Play Store, which accounts for only 0.1 percent of all malware. Most of the malicious apps come from third-party stores or from pirated downloads.

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AfterDawn: News

LG's upcoming G3 flagship specs leaked by Sprint

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 16:21

LG's upcoming G3 flagship specs leaked by Sprint After weeks of rumors, LG's upcoming flagship (likely the G3) has been unwittingly confirmed by Sprint.

Even though the company already released the G Pro 2 this year, it was always supposed to be place marker for the company's real flagship and successor to the G2.

Leaked by Sprint through a User Agent Profile XML document, the LS990 (G3) will have a QHD screen at 2,560 x 1,440 pixel resolution. So far, no major manufacturer has reached such a resolution for their smartphones, but Oppo and Vivo recently unveiled new phones with QHD for release in the coming months.

The screen's size is unknown, but the specs reveal 3GB RAM and a quad-core Snapdragon 800, which could be inaccurate given how old that chip is. The device runs on Android 4.4, has 32GB internal storage and on the camera side, dual 13MP/2.1MP sensors.

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AfterDawn: News

Study: 99 percent of ads on piracy sites are considered 'high risk'

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 15:56

Study: 99 percent of ads on piracy sites are considered 'high risk' A peer reviewed study from the Federation University in Ballarat has confirmed what nearly everyone knew, that ads placed on piracy sites are high risk and should never be clicked on.

As defined in the study, "high risk" categories are pornography-based (sometimes child), malware or complete scam and fraud sites.

The study had researchers analyzing the "top 500 Google-upheld copyrighted complaints for movies and TV distributed by major Hollywood studios and then analyzing 10 sites from each complaint sampled for all ads displayed," notes Mumbrella.

Only one percent of ads on the illicit sites were found to be for mainstream brands such as banks and retailers, with the most often found advertiser being Quibids.com, the legitimate auction/bidding site.

To avoid re-targeting during the study (where a user's cookies and other past history helps bring up targeted ads), the researchers did not store cookies. "We eyeballed all the ads and classified it as either mainstream or high risk. In terms of methodology every time we took a new page capture we didn't store any cookies. There was nothing in a virtual browser which recorded where we had been eliminated that potential for retargeting by Google etc."

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AfterDawn: News

Samsung offering tons of freebies with Galaxy S5

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 12 Apr 2014 15:37

Samsung offering tons of freebies with Galaxy S5 As demand for its high-end devices stagnate, Samsung is offering up to $600 worth of freebies with its new Galaxy S5 flagship device.

Among the offerings are a PayPal voucher, a LinkedIn premium account and multiple fitness apps. In addition, other packages include six months free to the WSJ, 12 months free for Bloomberg Businessweek and other applications, as well.

Samsung says it expects S5 sales to hit 10 million units within 25 days, basing that figure on its pre-orders.

"The Galaxy S5 was designed to offer consumers the most advanced tool to help improve their everyday lives," Shin Jong Kyun, CEO Samsung Mobile, said in a statement. "These new partnerships perfectly compliment this mission with a comprehensive offering of some of the world's best mobile resources to suit people's active lives."

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AfterDawn: News

Microsoft's Surface Mini is ready to ship, but the company can't figure out how to market it

Written by Andre Yoskowitz @ 11 Apr 2014 0:42

Microsoft's Surface Mini is ready to ship, but the company can't figure out how to market it Last year, it was reported that Microsoft was working on a "Mini" version of their Surface tablet, one that would be between 7 and 8 inches in size, just like the standard bearer in the market, the 7.9-inch Apple iPad Mini.

According to a new report, the new Surface is already produced and ready to ship, but Microsoft is still working on how to market the tablet.

The device will look just like the full-sized 11.6-inch Surface tablets, potentially even including the built-in kickstand that allows for easier viewing.

While other tablets in the size range market themselves as media consumption devices (think iPad Mini, Nexus 7), Microsoft is said to be considering marketing the device as the "ultimate" in note-taking, adding OneNote and digital pen support.

It is unclear when the device will be officially launched, it is a safe bet that it Microsoft decides to go with the note taking route, then it will be available in time for the fall college semester.

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Actively discussed topics

Microsoft's Surface Mini is ready to ship, but the company can't figure out how to market it Microsoft's Surface Mini is ready to ship, but the company can't figure out how to market it (11 Apr 2014 0:42)
Last year, it was reported that Microsoft was working on a Mini version of their Surface tablet, one that would be between 7 and 8 inches in size, just like the standard bearer in the market, the 7.9-inch Apple iPad Mini.
11 user comments
IRS misses Windows XP upgrade deadline, must pay millions to Microsoft for security patches IRS misses Windows XP upgrade deadline, must pay millions to Microsoft for security patches (13 Apr 2014 23:39)
The U.S. Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has confirmed that it could not migrate all of its computers from Windows XP in time for the April 8th support end-of-life, and will now have to have Microsoft millions of dollars for security patches.
11 user comments
PowerPot charges your smartphone using boiling water PowerPot charges your smartphone using boiling water (12 Apr 2014 20:23)
Billionaire and 'Shark Tank' investor Mark Cuban has put forward $250,000 of his own money to help the Power Pot succeed, a pot that lets you charge your smartphone with boiling water.
7 user comments
Study: 99 percent of ads on piracy sites are considered 'high risk' Study: 99 percent of ads on piracy sites are considered 'high risk' (12 Apr 2014 15:56)
A peer reviewed study from the Federation University in Ballarat has confirmed what nearly everyone knew, that ads placed on piracy sites are high risk and should never be clicked on.
6 user comments
Turkish Prime Minister threatens Twitter again, this time over tax evasion Turkish Prime Minister threatens Twitter again, this time over tax evasion (15 Apr 2014 0:22)
Turkey's Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened microblogging site Twitter again, this time accusing it of tax evasion.
6 user comments

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