connectivity

Fraudsters Now Using 3D Printers To Make Authentic Looking ATM Skimmers [Scams]

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5866491/fraudsters-now-using-3d-printers-to-make-authentic-looking-atm-skimmers

Fraudsters Now Using 3D Printers To Make Authentic Looking ATM SkimmersWhat looks like the card slot from a Chase Bank ATM is actually a sophisticated card skimmer removed from a branch in West Hills, California. And police believe a 3D printer may have been used to create it.

Those green bulbous card slots that were supposed to make it very difficult for a card skimmer to be attached to an ATM have turned out to be just a minor inconvenience for sophisticated thieves. Investigators believe this skimmer—which perfectly fits over the ATM’s regular slot— was created from a mould that came from a 3D printer. Which means those behind this particular ATM scheme had some very expensive tools at their disposal.

Fraudsters Now Using 3D Printers To Make Authentic Looking ATM SkimmersIn addition to being a perfect replica of the ATM’s standard card slot, this skimmer incorporates a small pinhole camera that starts recording the PIN pad whenever a card is inserted. On the underside is a series of holes that investigators believe allowed the thieves to download data and footage, but the complex electronics on the inside may have been salvaged from a cellphone, giving this skimmer wireless connectivity. So in the future, like in many situations, make sure you take a good look at the hardware before you stick your thing in the slot. [KrebsonSecurity via BoingBoing]


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Friday, December 9th, 2011 news No Comments

Carrier IQ Admits Holding ‘Treasure Trove’ of Consumer Data, But No Keystrokes

Source: http://www.wired.com/threatlevel/2011/12/carrier-iq-data-vacuum/

MOUNTAIN VIEW, California — An embattled phone-monitoring software maker said Friday that its wares, secretly installed on some 150 million phones, have the capacity to log web usage, and to chronicle where and when and to what numbers calls and text messages were sent and received. The Carrier IQ executives, speaking at their nondescript headquarters in a residential neighborhood in the heart of Silicon Valley, told Wired that the data they vacuum to their servers from handsets is vast — as the software also monitors apps deployment, battery life, phone CPU output and data and cell-site connectivity. But, they said, they are not logging every keystroke as a prominent critic claimed.



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Sunday, December 4th, 2011 news No Comments

Inside Google’s Secret Search Algorithm

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/zzkIcilnJp4/inside-googles-secret-search-algorithm

Wired’s Steven Levy takes us inside the “algorithm that rules the web“—Google’s search algorithm, of course—and if you use Google, it’s kind of a must-read. PageRank? That’s so 1997.

It’s known that Google constantly updates the algorithm, with 550 improvements this year—to deliver smarter results and weed out the crap—but there are a few major updates in its history that have significantly altered Google’s search, distilled in a helpful chart in the Wired piece. For instance, in 2001, they completely rewrote the algorithm; in 2003, they added local connectivity analysis; in 2005, results got personal; and most recently, they’ve added in real-time search for Twitter and blog posts.

The sum of everything Google’s worked on—the quest to understand what you mean, not what you say—can be boiled down to this:

This is the hard-won realization from inside the Google search engine, culled from the data generated by billions of searches: a rock is a rock. It’s also a stone, and it could be a boulder. Spell it “rokc” and it’s still a rock. But put “little” in front of it and it’s the capital of Arkansas. Which is not an ark. Unless Noah is around. “The holy grail of search is to understand what the user wants,” Singhal says. “Then you are not matching words; you are actually trying to match meaning.”

Oh, and by the way, you’re a guinea pig every time you search for something, if you hadn’t guessed as much already. Google engineer Patrick Riley tells Levy, “On most Google queries, you’re actually in multiple control or experimental groups simultaneously.” It lets them constantly experiment on a smaller scale—even if they’re only conducting a particular experiment on .001 percent of queries, that’s a lot of data.

Be sure to check out the whole piece, it’s ridiculously fascinating, and borders on self-knowledge, given how much we all use Google (sorry, Bing). [Wired, Sweet graphic by Wired’s Mauricio Alejo]

Additional Information on Real Time Bidding

http://go-digital.net/blog/2009/09/rtb-real-time-bidding-may-make-ad-exchanges-more-efficient-but-it-still-wont-save-display-ads/

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Tuesday, February 23rd, 2010 digital No Comments

The Damning Data [Nexus One]

Source: http://feeds.gawker.com/~r/gizmodo/full/~3/BrVXM_LnhYs/the-nexus-ones-3g-problem-pt-ii-the-damning-data

Google’s Nexus One support forums have been flooded with anecdotes about the phone’s poor 3G connectivity, so one user decided to follow up with some reasonably scientific tests. The conclusion? The Nexus One is kind of terrible at basic cellphonery!

The test was simple and limited, consisting of one dude, user WV, wandering in and out of his house, recording signal strength as measured in dBm and ASU with Android’s built-in metering app. Assuming the Nexus One is supposed to work like a normal cellphones—that is, it connects to 3G networks when they’re available and EDGE only when they’re not—something’s wrong.

Since the phone is obviously finding and receiving the cellular signals just fine, but not handling them as you’d expect, randomly flipping between the two—and evidently preferring EDGE most of the time—no matter how strong its signal is. This points to a software issue, not a hardware issue. That, and this:

OK. I found “Phone Info” screen through “Any Cut”. This looks like a screen not intended for average users. It clearly has settings that should not be messed with. However, it does have a pull down menu that was set to “WCDMA Preferred”. I changed this to “WCDMA Only”. The phone reset, and never a! gain saw the f’ing “E” on the signal indicator- ALL 3G. After about 1/2 hour of speed tests (150k – 800kbps) and google satellite map downloads (all definitely faster), I switched back to “WCDMA Preferred”. Guess what? After a few minutes, I was back on EDGE, even with a good signal. Switched back to “WCDMA Only”, and 3G it remains.

This doesn’t fully solve the problem, because as WV notes, if you fall out of T-Mobile’s 3G coverage area with EDGE disabled, you’re basically boned. But anyway, yes, this appears to be a software bug. Or, if you’re feeling conspiratorial today, like WV, a software feature:

My concern is whether T-mobile is being sneaky about this and purposefully dumbing down the 3G to Edge to reduce cell frequency congestion and/or their back-end network congestion.

I’m not sure I want to draw that nexus (haw?) quite yet, since the issue was first brought to light by comparing the Nexus One’s 3G/EDGE handling to other T-Mobile 3G Android handsets, and those, despite having the same data-sucking potential as the Google Phone, haven’t been throttled in any way. While Google and T-Mobile say they’re “investigating,” the evidence keeps mounting and the question looms larger: what’s really wrong with the Nexus One’s 3G? [Google Nexus One Support Forums]


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Monday, January 11th, 2010 digital No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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