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Top Stories for the Week of April 3, 2019

  • Episode 602
  • April 3, 2019

Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday April 3, 2019


Mark Zuckerberg says regulators and governments should play a more active role in controlling internet content.

Mark Zuckerberg says regulators and governments should play a more active role in controlling internet content.

In an op-ed published in the Washington Post, Facebook's chief says the responsibility for monitoring harmful content is too great for firms alone.

He calls for new laws in four areas: "Harmful content, election integrity, privacy and data portability."

It comes two weeks after a gunman used the site to livestream his attack on a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Mr Zuckerberg writes, "Lawmakers often tell me we have too much power over speech, and frankly I agree."

He describes a new set of rules he would like to see enforced on tech companies, and he says these new regulations should be the same for all websites so that it's easier to stop "harmful content" from spreading quickly across platforms.

The open letter, which will also be published in some European newspapers, comes as the social network faces questions over its role in the Cambridge Analytica scandal around data misuse during election campaigns.

The site has also been criticised for failing to stop the spread of footage of the Christchurch killings, in which 50 Muslims died as they prayed.

Mr Zuckerberg's letter did not specifically name these incidents.

However, the site earlier announced that it was considering introducing restrictions on live-streaming in the wake of the Christchurch attacks. On Thursday, it also said that it would ban white nationalism and separatism from the site.

On Friday it also started labelling political ads appearing on Facebook in EU countries, showing who the advertiser is, how much they paid and who they've targeted.

Mr Zuckerberg says "Facebook has a responsibility to help address these issues, and I'm looking forward to discussing them with lawmakers around the world."

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


TP-Link's all-in-one SR20 Smart Home Router allows arbitrary command execution from a local network connection.

TP-Link's all-in-one SR20 Smart Home Router allows arbitrary command execution from a local network connection.

Last Wednesday, 90 days after he informed TP-Link of the issue and received no response, Matthew Garrett, a well-known Google security engineer and open-source contributor, disclosed a proof-of-concept exploit to demonstrate a vulnerability affecting TP-Link's router.

The 38-line script shows that you can execute any command you choose on the device with root privileges, without authentication.

Garrett explained that TP-Link hardware often incorporates TDDP, the TP-Link Device Debug Protocol, which has had multiple vulnerabilities in the past. Among them, version 1 did not require a password.

Vulnerability to a local attack could be exploited if an attacker manages to get a malicious download onto a machine connected to an SR20 router.

Garrett is urging TP-Link to provide a way to report security flaws and not to ship debug daemons on production firmware.

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Office Depot and Support.com have settled out of court and coughed up $35m after they were accused of lying to people that their PCs were infected with malware in order to charge them cleanup fees.

Office Depot and Support.com have settled out of court and coughed up $35m after they were accused of lying to people that their PCs were infected with malware in order to charge them cleanup fees.

The lawsuit was brought against them by the US Federal Trade Commission, which alleged staff at the tech duo falsely claimed software nasties were lingering on customers' computers to make a fast buck.

The lawsuit, filed in southern Florida, claimed the two companies, including Office Depot subsidiary OfficeMax, from 2009 until November 2016 misrepresented the state of consumers' computers by using a sales tool designed to convince people to pay for diagnostic and repair services.

The complaint stated, "In numerous instances throughout this time period, Defendants used the PC Health Check Program to report to Office Depot Companies customers that the scan had found or identified 'Malware Symptoms' when it had not done so. Additionally, in numerous instances, the PC Health Check Program falsely reported to consumers that the program had found 'infections' on the consumer’s computer."

According to the watchdog's complaint, the PC Health Check Program was incapable of finding malware. Support.com allegedly programmed the software so that whenever an Office Depot Company employee checked any one of four checkboxes describing a generic concern, like slowness, before the scan started, the scan would automatically report the detection of malware symptoms, and for a time, infections.

The FTC court filing explained, "the PC Health Check Program’s detection of malware symptoms was entirely dependent on whether any of the Initial Checkbox Statements was checked and not on the actual state of the computer."

The cost for PC Health Check could exceed $300. The defendants, according to the FTC, bilked customers out of tens of millions of dollars. To settle the charges, Office Depot has agreed to pay $25m and Support.com will pay $10m. The money will be refunded to affected customers.

Source: www.theregister.co.uk

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Effective immediately, Microsoft is ending all ebook sales in its Microsoft Store for Windows PCs.

Effective immediately, Microsoft is ending all ebook sales in its Microsoft Store for Windows PCs.

Previously purchased ebooks will be removed from users’ libraries in early July. Even free ones will be deleted. The company will offer full refunds to users for any books they’ve purchased or preordered.

The move is part of a strategy to help streamline the focus of the Microsoft Store. It seems that the company no longer has an interest in trying to compete with Amazon, Apple Books, and Google Play Books. It’s a bit hard to imagine why anyone would go with Microsoft over those options anyway.

If you have purchased ebooks from Microsoft, you can continue accessing them through the Edge browser until everything vanishes in July. After that, customers can expect to automatically receive a refund.

If your original payment method is no longer valid (or if you used a gift card), you’ll receive a credit back to your Microsoft account to use online at the Microsoft Store.

Microsoft will also offer an additional $25 credit to your Microsoft account if you annotated or marked up any ebook that you purchased from the Microsoft Store prior April 2nd, 2019.

Source: www.theverge.com

Sent to us by: Robbie Ferguson


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