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Top Stories for the Week of October 23, 2019

  • Episode 629
  • October 23, 2019

Here are the stories we're following for the week of Wednesday October 23, 2019


Access to Photoshop and other Adobe software has been cut off in Venezuela as the firm seeks to comply with US sanctions.

Access to Photoshop and other Adobe software has been cut off in Venezuela as the firm seeks to comply with US sanctions.

Adobe had moved to a subscription-only model, which means users are not able to buy standalone versions of the latest Adobe software.

Adobe said users have until October 28 to download their content, after which the accounts themselves will be deactivated.

It is unclear whether other technology firms will follow suit.

The firm explained: "The US government issued executive order 13884, the practical effect of which is to prohibit almost all transactions and services between US companies, entities and individuals to Venezuela. To remain compliant with this order, Adobe is deactivating all accounts in Venezuela."

It said it had no idea how long the sanctions would be in effect but added: "We will continue to monitor developments closely and will make every effort to restore services to Venezuela as soon as it is legally permissible to do so."

It said it "was unable to issue refunds" because the sanctions included "sales, service, support, refunds, credits, etc".

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


A dog who survived in the rubble left in the wake of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas has earned its new name — Miracle.

A dog who survived in the rubble left in the wake of Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas has earned its new name — Miracle.

Miracle was found in his starving state after being trapped under an air conditioner in the town of Marsh Harbour, on the Abaco Islands. It's believed Miracle was trapped for more than three weeks.

Hurricane Dorian struck the Bahamas last month, killing at least 50 people and leaving hundreds unaccounted for. But through the use of technology, some good is coming of the efforts of a dog rescue operation out of Florida.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue Founder and President Lauree Simmons said, "What an incredible story that we were able to discover this dog alive after being trapped for so long."

Big Dog Ranch Rescue used a drone to find Miracle. They were able to detect a small heat patch, and sent rescue workers trudging through debris to reach the dog.

Simmons urged people to remember that the crisis in the Bahamas isn't over and that there are more animals who are likely hiding and scared of loud equipment being used to clear debris.

The dog rescue is using technology such as drones and special recovery teams in order to locate more animals who might be trapped under debris in Marsh Harbour.

Big Dog Ranch Rescue has saved more than 130 dogs in the Bahamas since Hurricane Dorian hit in early September, and several dogs have been reunited with owners. The rescue has saved more than 27,000 dogs since it was founded more than 10 years ago.

There's more information available at bdrr.org

Source: www.nbcnews.com

Sent to us by: Bekah Ferguson


The official Sesame Street online store, along with thousands of other retailers, has been targeted by a credit card-stealing hack.

The official Sesame Street online store, along with thousands of other retailers, has been targeted by a credit card-stealing hack.

Card details were collected by a piece of malicious software, dubbed JavaScript Cookie.

The code was found in shopping cart software built by Volusion, which has 20,000 small business customers.

The issue was spotted by Marcel Afrahim, a researcher at security firm Check Point, while shopping for toys on the Sesame Street store.

Volusion said that it had resolved the issue "within a few hours of notification" although its statement came a day after the revelations.

They said, "We are coordinating with authorities on this matter, and continue to enhance our systems that detect and prevent unauthorised access to user accounts."

It confirmed that credit card information had been stolen but "not other associated personally identifying details", adding that it was not aware "of any fraudulent activity" connected to it.

In his original blog post, Mr. Afrahim said, "The compromise is not only unique to Sesame Street Store, and most likely any e-commerce website hosted on Volusion is probably running malicious code and posting the credit card info of the consumers to the outsider domain."

Two other security researchers, from Trend Micro and RiskIQ, also confirmed the issue, which was reported to both the developers and some of the retailers affected.

The Sesame Street site was taken offline at the time, and instead visitors saw a message that read: "We are currently performing scheduled maintenance and updates on the website."

Volusion provides shopping cart software to thousands of merchants, and according to Mr Afrahim has had 185 million orders placed via its software, amounting to $28bn in transactions.

Source: www.bbc.com

Sent to us by: Roy W. Nash


Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency coalition is falling apart as eBay, Visa, Mastercard and Stripe jump ship.

Facebook’s libra cryptocurrency coalition is falling apart as eBay, Visa, Mastercard and Stripe jump ship.

The news came just one week after PayPal announced its withdrawal as government regulators continue to scrutinize the plans. EBay, Stripe, Mastercard, Visa and Mercado Pago have all dropped out of Facebook’s Libra cryptocurrency project.

In statements following the news, the companies said they respect and see potential in the project, but have chosen to focus on other efforts. A Stripe spokesperson said in a statement that the company “is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world.” Stripe will “remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage,” the spokesperson said.

A Visa spokesperson said the company "will continue to evaluate" Libra, saying, "our ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations. Visa’s continued interest in Libra stems from our belief that well-regulated blockchain-based networks could extend the value of secure digital payments to a greater number of people and places, particularly in emerging and developing markets."

The original coalition of 28 corporate backers of the libra cryptocurrency seems to be dwindling as lawmakers continue to question how it will impact sovereign currencies and how the project’s leaders can ensure consumers’ protection. PayU is now the only payments company continuing to back the cryptocurrency. Beyond payment processors though, original backers Uber and Lyft said there has been no change to their involvement in the project.

The backers abandoning the project may have found safety in numbers after PayPal announced its exit. News that eBay, Stripe and Mastercard were each dropping out quickly followed one another, indicating all three had likely been thinking about leaving during the same period.

The decisions came ahead of a planned Libra Association Council meeting which was held on Monday. Libra’s cryptocurrency project took center stage in front of U.S. lawmakers once again as key Facebook staff testified in front of the House Financial Services Committee.

That same day, Booking Holdings confirmed it is also leaving the Libra Association, making it the seventh company to exit so far, leaving 21 of the original 28 members.

David Marcus, who leads the libra project and was previously the president of PayPal, weighed in on Twitter saying, "I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update. Of course, it’s not great news in the short term, but in a way it’s liberating. Stay tuned for more very soon. Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when so much pressure builds up."

The Libra Association, the nonprofit in charge of managing the cryptocurrency, says it is still looking to move forward.

Source: www.cnbc.com

Sent to us by: Jeff Weston


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