Wednesday, August 24, 2016

MacRumors: Facebook Now Testing Autoplay Videos With Sound in iOS App

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Facebook Now Testing Autoplay Videos With Sound in iOS App
Tuesday August 23, 2016 6:18 AM PDT by Joe Rossignol

Starting today, Facebook will begin testing autoplay videos -- including ads -- with sound in its iOS and Android apps. Facebook told Mashable the test will be limited to Australian users and rolled out in two different ways to gauge how users react. In both versions of the test, sound will only play if the iPhone's volume is turned up, and sound can also be turned to "always off" in Facebook settings.

I've been ticked off at Facebook for quite some time now. I suspended my account briefly in 2010 and then for real in 2013. Mostly because of policies that make the site less and less interesting to users and more and more ruled by advertisers.

At this point, I really wonder why it exists or should be used by anyone. You are forced to work in a straightjacket. There's almost no opportunity for personalization anymore (aside from a banner image), they censor what you're allowed to read and write, and now they're going to be forcing auto-play videos with sound on you, despite the fact that users have overwhelmingly said they don't want this.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Time: Read Donald Trump’s Ohio Speech on Immigration and Terrorism

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Read Donald Trump’s Ohio Speech on Immigration and Terrorism
Daniel White @danielatlarge

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump gave a new policy speech on immigration and terrorism Monday in Youngstown, Ohio.

In the fiery speech, Trump said that he would institute “extreme vetting” of visa applicants, citing domestic terrorism incidents like the shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando as examples of a failed immigration policy.

I'm no particular fan of Trump (although I think he's far better than the other choices we will have to choose from in November) but this speech is spot-on.

I've been hearing these opinions for many years from conservative national security sources (like the Secure Freedom Radio podcast) but most of the public is probably hearing about this for the first time, thanks to media outlets and politicians that prefer to pretend that (depending on the day of the week) there is no war, the enemy has no relationship to Islam, we can't possibly win, and it is morally wrong to take even the slightest steps to do something about it.

Now, if only we could get people to actually read the full text of Trump's speech instead of just repeating the media mantra of "he's a racist bigot homophobe evil rich white man so you should ignore everything he says no matter what it is."

But that's never going to happen, will it?

h/t to the Dry Bones blog for giving me the link to the full text of Trump's speech. Until now, all I heard was a few clips on the Mark Levin Show.

(Given the fact that half of Republicans and almost all Democrats hate Trump with a passion, I'm expecting more comments than usual (meaning more than zero) here. Please remember to keep your points civil and factual. Anything insulting or abusive or off-topic will not be posted.)

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Krebs On Security: Data Breach At Oracle’s MICROS Point-of-Sale Division

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Data Breach At Oracle’s MICROS Point-of-Sale Division
Brian Krebs, August 8, 2016

A Russian organized cybercrime group known for hacking into banks and retailers appears to have breached hundreds of computer systems at software giant Oracle Corp., KrebsOnSecurity has learned. More alarmingly, the attackers have compromised a customer support portal for companies using Oracle’s MICROS point-of-sale credit card payment systems.
MICROS is among the top three point-of-sale vendors globally. Oracle’s MICROS division sells point-of-sale systems used at more than 330,000 cash registers worldwide.
Oracle’s own statement seems to suggest the company is concerned that compromised credentials for customer accounts at the MICROS support portal could be used to remotely administer — and, more importantly, to upload card-stealing malware to — some customer point-of-sale systems. The term “on-premise” refers to POS devices that are physically connected to cash registers at MICROS customer stores.

Avivah Litan, a fraud analyst at Gartner Inc., says ... "I’d say there’s a big chance that the hackers in this case found a way to get remote access" to MICROS customers' on-premises point-of-sale devices.

This is really ugly. If criminals have managed to use the manufacturer's maintenance access to remotely install card-skimming software into point of sale terminals worldwide, then nothing is safe.

All the more reason to use a merchant's chip reader or Apple Pay wherever possible. These technologies work with device-specific account numbers, one-time pads and encryption to make it difficult (if not impossible) for a captured transaction to be used to create a fake card or initiate new transactions. (I am aware that there are many more virtual-card technologies in use but I don't know enough about them to have an opinion about their security.)