Tag Archives: Tech Insider

Pence used private mail for state work as governor, and account was hacked

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence reportedly used a private email account to transact state business when he was governor of Indiana, and his AOL account was hacked once, according to a news report.

Emails released to the Indianapolis Star following a public records request are said to show that Pence used his personal AOL account to communicate with his top advisers on issues ranging from security gates at the governor’s residence to the state’s response to terror attacks across the globe.

A hacker seems to have got access to his email account in June last year and sent a fake mail to people on the former governor’s contact list, claiming  that Pence and his wife had been attacked on their way back to their hotel in the Philippines, according to the report. Pence subsequently changed his AOL account.

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Microsoft Office 2010
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AWS says a typo caused the massive S3 failure this week

Everyone makes mistakes. But working at Amazon Web Services means an incorrectly entered input can lead to a massive outage that cripples popular websites and services. That’s apparently what happened earlier this week, when the AWS Simple Storage Service (S3) in the provider’s Northern Virginia region experienced an 11-hour system failure.

Other Amazon services in the US-EAST-1 region that rely on S3, like Elastic Block Store, Lambda, and the new instance launch for the Elastic Compute Cloud infrastructure-as-a-service offering were all impacted by the outage.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft Office 2010
Fatal error: Call to a member function xpath() on a non-object in /home1/mylifeco/public_html/pricecutterstore.com/admin/models/api/affiliate_window.class.php on line 129

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Free decryption tools now available for Dharma ransomware

Computer users who have been affected by the Dharma ransomware and have held onto their encrypted files can now restore them for free. Researchers have created decryption tools for this ransomware strain after someone recently leaked the decryption keys.

Dharma first appeared in November and is based on an older ransomware program known as Crysis. It’s easy to recognize files affected by it because they will have the extension: .[email_address].dharma, where the email address is the one used by the attacker as a point of contact.

On Wednesday, a user named gektar published a link to a Pastebin post on the BleepingComputer.com technical support forum. The post, he claimed, contained the decryption keys for all Dharma variants.

To read this article in full or to leave a comment, please click here

Microsoft Office 2010
Fatal error: Call to a member function xpath() on a non-object in /home1/mylifeco/public_html/pricecutterstore.com/admin/models/api/affiliate_window.class.php on line 129

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10 things in tech you need to know today (SNAP)

Mike Pence

Good morning! Here’s the news you need to know this Friday.

1. Snapchat parent Snap’s share price surged 44% on its stock market debut, after the company raised $3.4 billion (£2.8 billion) in its initial public offering. It was valued at $33 billion (£27 billion) at the opening price, and CEO Evan Spiegel is estimated to have a $4.5 billion (£3.7 billion) stake in the business.

2. Amazon blamed a major outage on Tuesday on an employee “incorrectly” entering an input command, removing a number of servers from service. The glitch meant sites including Quora and Slack were down for most of the afternoon.

3. Susan Fowler, the former Uber engineer who documented her sexual harassment complaints in a viral blogpost, has said the company is blaming her for users deleting their accounts. Uber denied the allegations and said it wasn’t investigating Fowler personally.

4. Google will roll out Google Assistant more widely across Android M and N devices from today. The virtual assistant was initially limited to Google’s own Pixel smartphone, but will launch for US users, then in Germany, Australia, Canada, and the UK.

5. SolarCity, the solar power company owned by Elon Musk’s Tesla, cut around 20% of staff jobs last year, marking a sharp reversal on its previous growth. The company cut staff across operations, installations, manufacturing, sales and marketing, possibly due to a slowdown in the rooftop solar market.

6. Uber is applying for permits to test its self-driving vehicles in California, marking a u-turn on its previous position. The company had originally packed up its self-driving cars and taken them to Arizona for testing, after Californian authorities said it didn’t have the correct permits.

7. US Vice President Mike Pence used an AOL email address to send sensitive messages while he was governor of Indiana — which was then hacked. Pence’s emails dealt with issues like terror attacks, but the account was compromised by a scammer who sent fake messages to his contacts.

8. Protestors demonstrating against Mobile World Congress marched through the streets of Barcelona on Wednesday night, speaking out against “digital capitalism.” The protest lasted a couple of hours and saw marchers blaming the conference, which brings in thousands of attendees, for a negative impact on the city.

9. Chinese shopping giant Alibaba will invest $177 million (£144 million) in one of India’s biggest ecommerce businesses, Paytm. Alibaba is leading a $200 million investment round which values the company at $1 billion.

10. Nintendo made the cartridges for its new Switch console taste awful so that kids wouldn’t swallow them by accident. The games company coated the cartridges in the same agent used in anti-nail biting solution, which has an extremely bitter taste.

Join the conversation about this story »

NOW WATCH: People are boycotting Budweiser because of this immigration-themed Super Bowl ad

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An update on our Unified Update Platform (UUP)

Back in November, we announced the next generation of our delivery technologies called the Unified Update Platform (UUP). Windows Insiders are the first to experience UUP with Insider Preview builds. We began releasing new Insider Preview builds using UUP to Mobile devices first starting with Build 14959 in November. Then we began releasing new Insider Preview builds to PCs using UUP starting with Build 14986 in early December. I wanted to give a small update on where we are today with UUP.

As a recap, one of the biggest benefits UUP brings to our customers is a reduction in download size of build updates on PCs. We’ve converged technologies in our build and publishing systems to enable differential downloads for both PC and Mobile.

A differential download package contains only the changes that have been made since the last time you updated your device, rather than a full build. Differential download packages rely on re-using files on your current OS to reconstruct the newer OS. This could include copying files as-is that have not changed between builds, or it could involve applying “binary deltas” or “diffs” to old files to generate newer files. Differential download packages are smaller and can take a shorter amount of time to download.

For a full build, we refer to this as a canonical download package. It is a self-contained update that contains all files for the update, and does not rely on any files on your device. Canonical download packages tend to be larger in size and may take longer to download.

We are excited to begin releasing PC builds to Windows Insiders using differential download packages! As we discussed in November, as we roll out UUP in our retail release, users can expect their download size to decrease by approximately 35% when going from one major update of Windows to another. For retail users, the first time they get the UUP client code is part of the Creators Update, therefore, they will see the benefit of differential download packages when they go from the Creators Update to the next feature update of Windows.

Windows Insiders have been running the UUP bits for a while now and are already experiencing the benefits of differential packages as seen in the below.

Diff Download Graph

NOTE: Given the frequency of Insider flights, Insider build update diffs are considerably smaller (<1GB) than what we expect for retail users to experience when going from feature update to feature update.

It’s also important to note that Windows Insiders may not get a differential download packages even if we ship them. A baseline build has to be set for differential download packages and if that baseline build is newer than the build Windows Insiders are updating from (in the case where they are not on the latest flight) – they will receive a larger download.

Thank you for participating in this journey and giving us feedback to help us finalize this generational shift in the way we update Windows devices in the future!


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As Messenger’s bots lose steam, Facebook pushes menus over chat

Messenger Facebook’s Messenger bots may not be having the impact the social network desired. Just yesterday, online retailer Everlane, one of the launch partners for the bot platform, announced it was ditching Messenger for customer notifications and returning to email. Following this, Facebook today announced an upgraded Messenger Platform, which introduces a new way for users to interact with… Read More

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Google Assistant hits more Android devices today

google-assistant Your Android phone is about to get an upgrade. Google today is making good on its promise to bring its Siri alternative known as Google Assistant to more Android devices, starting today. The company announced at Mobile World Congress over the weekend that its Assistant would soon launch in the U.S., followed by English-language launches in Australia, Canada and the U.K., as well… Read More

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Blackstorm Labs looks to bring the co-op experience to a Facebook Messenger game

blackstorm boss raids Co-founder Ernestine Fu hopes that Blackstorm Labs, the makers of a bullet hell-ish fantasy shooter called EverWing, has figured out how to tap into that real-time co-operative experience that you might find in a massive online game like World of Warcraft within Facebook Messenger.
The company is calling the experience Boss Raids. EverWing runs on HTML5 within Facebook Messenger, where… Read More

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The 30 richest people on earth

jeff bezos 3

The wealthiest 30 people in the world control a staggering portion of the world economy: $1.23 trillion — more than the annual GDP of Spain, Mexico, or Turkey. 

That’s according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, which recently relaunched and expanded online to include 500 billionaires across the globe. The ranking updates daily to provide up-to-the-minute data on the world’s wealthiest men and women. You can read about the ranking’s full methodology here.

Business Insider has culled the 30 richest from the ranking as of March 1, when the index relaunched in its expanded format.

Billionaires need a minimum net worth of at least $22.5 billion to crack the top 30. Eighteen from this group hail from the US and two-thirds are completely self-made, having built some of the world’s most powerful companies, including Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, Google, Facebook, and Oracle.

The two biggest gainers in the past year were Wang Wei, who added $22.7 billion to his fortune as the founder and majority owner of China’s largest package delivery company, and Amazon.com CEO Jeff Bezos, who boosted his fortune by $21.9 billion thanks to Amazon’s strong performance. 

From tech moguls and retail giants to heirs and heiresses, here are the billionaires with the deepest pockets around the globe.

Note that Bloomberg does not report the net worth of its founder and owner Michael Bloomberg, who does not appear on this ranking, though other sources peg his fortune at roughly $45 billion

SEE ALSO: The 50 best places to live in America

DON’T MISS: The 22 best places to live in America if you want to make a lot of money

30. Ma Huateng

Net worth: $22.5 billion

Age: 45

Country: China

Industry: Technology

Source of wealth: Self-made; Tencent Holdings

Software engineer Ma Huateng (aka Pony Ma) founded China’s largest internet portal, Tencent Holdings, in 1998. He was 26. Ma’s company has a number of successful and widely used platforms in its portfolio, including QQ, its instant-messaging service, which is one of the world’s 10 largest websites; a mobile-texting service (WeChat) with over 800 million users; a mobile-commerce product (WeChat Wallet); and an online-gaming community (Tencent Games), the largest in China.

Ma’s wealth has increased by $4.7 billion in the past year.

29. Phil Knight

Net worth: $25 billion

Age: 78

Country: US

Industry: Retail

Source of wealth: Self-made; Nike

After a stint in the US Army, and with a Stanford MBA under his belt, Phil Knight convinced Tiger-brand shoemaker Onitsuka in the early 1960s to allow him to distribute Tiger shoes under the name Blue Ribbon Sports — the name Knight picked that predated his swoosh-logo-clad company Nike. Knight worked full-time as an accountant as he launched his new brand, and by 1968 he had built up enough of a rapport with customers that he was able to leave the CPA life behind. Knight now serves as chairman emeritus of Nike.

Nike has built its success on celebrity and athlete endorsement deals, starting with running prodigy Steve Prefontaine in 1973 and continuing with one of the most successful shoe marketers of all time in Michael Jordan, whom Nike signed to a five-year endorsement deal in 1984 worth roughly $500,000 per year. The biggest NBA star today is still under the Nike roof, with LeBron James signing a lifetime contract with the brand in 2015 reportedly in excess of $1 billion.

Knight’s wealth has decreased by $1 billion over the last year.

28. George Soros

Net worth: $25.2 billion

Age: 86

Country: US

Industry: Hedge funds

Source of wealth: Self-made; Soros Fund Management

Born in Budapest, George Soros lived through the Nazi occupation of Hungary during WWII before fleeing to the UK and later settling in the US. Touted as “the man who broke the bank of England,” he’s best known for the Quantum Fund, a hedge fund he launched in 1973 under his Soros Fund Management company. In 1992 he shorted the British pound, a risky move that ended up earning the fund $1 billion in a single day and solidifying Soros’ place in the finance world. Quantum Fund also generated annual returns over 30% under Soros’ leadership, making it one of the most successful hedge funds of all time.

Today, Soros remains chairman of Soros Fund Management, which manages more than $25 billion in assets, including stakes in prominent companies like Amazon, Facebook, and Netflix. He’s also chairman of Open Society, an organization he founded in 1979 that operates as a network of foundations and partners across the globe that promote the values of open society and human rights.

Soros’ wealth decreased by $800 million over the last year.

See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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The 29-year-old founder of ‘Hater,’ one of the hottest new dating apps, says he’s gotten death threats after a big marketing stunt in New York City

Brendan Alper Hater

Brendan Alper’s mom isn’t very happy with him right now. 

The 29-year-old founder of Hater, a dating app that connects people based on mutual dislikes, recently took something of a risk: His company created an image of Russian President Vladimir Putin caressing a pregnant Donald Trump and projected it on buildings throughout New York City.

The advertisement got some laughs, but it also inspired internet backlash. Alper has a handful of death threats sitting in his Facebook inbox, and has decided against heading to an upcoming tech conference in Moscow, Russia. 

Putin Trump Hater app“We got invited a little while ago, right when this started to blow up,” Alper told Business Insider. “We were really excited about it — this was before we got any press — and it was a big deal. But I don’t think we’re going to go now, because we’re just a little nervous, which is crazy that I have to make decisions like that. My mom wasn’t happy about this whole thing, I’ll tell you that.” 

But Alper mostly laughs off the internet backlash and the concerns that Russia might be displeased with his company’s handiwork.

After all, stirring the pot and sparking conversation is the whole point of Hater. 

SEE ALSO: Meet ‘Hater,’ a dating app that connects you with people who hate the same things you do

There’s science behind it

Hater is Alper’s first foray into the startup world. The former banker spent five years at Goldman Sachs and one and a half more at Nomura, but he never really loved what he was doing. 

“To be honest, I just wanted a steady job out of college,” Alper said. “That’s all I wanted, to be able to make some money and survive.”

It was at Goldman that Alper began writing comedy sketches. Two days a week, Alper would work on sketches with his roommate, filming them and putting them online. He continued working at Goldman, and later Nomura, in able to save up enough money to quit and write comedy full-time.

Hater app

The idea for Hater started as one of those sketches. Wouldn’t it be funny, he thought, if there was a dating app for bonding over things you don’t like? 

“I did the research on it and found a study saying that actually, there’s some science behind this: People bond over the things they hate more strongly than over the things they love,” Alper said. “I just thought, ‘Man, this idea is really going to resonate with people.'”

Getting creative with monetization

Hater works by supplying users with close to 3,000 topics to rate by swiping one of four ways: up to love, right to like, left to dislike, and down to hate.

By letting the app know how you feel about those topics, you’re creating a profile that gets compared to the profiles of other users. You’re then matched with other users based on the things you both hate or love.

Hater app

Alper says Hater does not allow hate speech of any kind on the platform. The topics do not include any racial, ethnic, or socioeconomic groups and all the topics are chosen by the Hater team, not by the users. 


See the rest of the story at Business Insider

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