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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

More Web stuff from Arnold Woodworth

Hackers empty $900K bank account

It's standard operating procedure for scammers to recruit unsuspecting individuals and businesses ("make big money working from home!") to accept a substantial deposit from thieves and wire the bulk of it overseas, keeping a portion for themselves as payments. Typically, the money clears and the mule completes the transfer, only to have the authorities catch up with them and claw back the money, leaving them on the hook for most of the losses.

Obviously, you never want to agree to accept and transfer cash as these mules did. Aside from the legal implications of engaging in what amounts to money laundering, what good are promised payoffs if they're going to be clawed back later?

Google’s new Chromebook Pixel is the Windows-killing notebook the world needs

It doesn’t even matter if it doesn’t sell. Google doesn’t make its money on software (like Microsoft) or hardware (like Apple). It just wants  access to all your information. And it can afford to wait, through successive generations of Pixels, for users to come into its arms.

So why the sudden fall from grace? There were a few missteps: a tepid launch for the iPhone 5, followed by the Maps fiasco. And Steve Jobs's absence is obviously preying on people's minds. But there's a more concrete reason: Apple's competitors are finally doing a better job of making the kinds of phones that customers want.

Over time, Apple has succeeded despite (or because of) its disregard for the conventional wisdom  ....... It's always been the proverbial bumblebee: it shouldn't be able to fly but it does.  A wobble in flight is all it takes for people to proclaim its inevitable crash.

Look how much Google spends on lobbying Washington

(and Apple and several other companies too)

When it comes to keeping your banking information safe, bigger may mean better.

cyber thieves are concentrating on financial service organizations with 10 to 100 employees.

They are looking for the path of least resistance, which often leads to credit unions.

Don't click on any incoming e-mail purporting to be from your bank, especially a message asking you to update your passwords or accounts. Instead, bookmark your bank's homepage and access your accounts that way. Also, don't accept offers from your bank to e-mail you passwords or statements, which can be intercepted by cybercrooks.

Never conduct online banking from a public computer in an Internet cafe or local library, or even with your own computer in an airport or hotel.

Why I'm quitting Facebook

Today, I am surrendering my Facebook account, because my participation on the site is simply too inconsistent with the values I espouse in my work.  I have always argued for engaging with technology as conscious human beings and dispensing with technologies that take that agency away.

Facebook is just such a technology. It does things on our behalf when we're not even there. It actively misrepresents us to our friends, and worse misrepresents those who have befriended us to still others

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