A Google Site Meant to Protect You Is Helping Hackers Attack You | WIRED

GoogleBefore companies like Microsoft and Apple release new software, the code is reviewed and tested to ensure it works as planned and to find any bugs.

Hackers and cybercrooks do the same. The last thing you want if you’re a cyberthug is for your banking Trojan to crash a victim’s system and be exposed. More importantly, you don’t want your victim’s antivirus engine to detect the malicious tool.

So how do you maintain your stealth? You submit your code to Google’s VirusTotal site and let it do the testing for you.

It’s long been suspected that hackers and nation-state spies are using Google’s antivirus site to test their tools before unleashing them on victims. Now Brandon Dixon, an independent security researcher, has caught them in the act, tracking several high-profile hacking groups—including, surprisingly, two well-known nation-state teams—as they used VirusTotal to hone their code and develop their tradecraft.

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How to Make Small Talk Way More Fun | Inc.com

small talkWhether you’re waiting to pick up your kid after soccer, killing time until that last meeting participant shows up, or kicking off a job interview, small talk is a ubiquitous feature of modern life, but it’s not necessarily one most of us enjoy very much.

Even as you smile through another banal chat about the weather “Sure is hot!”, you’re probably silently thinking about the lameness of the exchange while frantically searching for the next bland question to fill the silence. Is this just the unalterable nature of small talk or is there a better way?

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Equipment Finance Advantage | Getting Started with Equipment Leasing and Finance | Washington DC

Get Started

Follow these 5 steps to get started using equipment leasing and finance to your strategic advantage. Consult 10 Questions to Ask for more information.

Consider how you will be using the equipment.

Determine how your company will use the equipment you plan to lease or finance, and the length of time you’ll need it. To help decide if leasing or financing is a profitable financing option for you, perform a simple cost/benefit analysis by comparing the anticipated costs to the revenue you expect to generate from using the equipment.

Find an equipment finance partner who understands your business.

It is beneficial to work with an equipment leasing and finance company that understands your particular market. The company’s understanding of market fluctuations and other factors that impact your business can greatly affect the successful outcome and desirability of your lease contract. It is also important for the company to understand your business’s tax and cash flow requirements and be able to set the residual rates the value of leased equipment at the end of the lease term. Your equipment financier can serve as a valued consultant, providing additional benefits through lifecycle asset management solutions. Find a Provider who meets your needs.

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5 Ways for Bootstrapped Startups to Get Through the First Year | Entrepreneur.com

lightbulb

In the eyes of an investor, a bootstrapped startup that has proven stable and successful within the first year is powerful. It not only raises confidence in the product and the leadership behind it, but also indicates that any invested money will likely not be thrown away.

Ultimately, when it comes to working with investors, it’s important to prove that a startup and the people behind it not only know how to spend money, but know how to bring in additional money.To successfully bootstrap a company in its first year, it’s important to consider a few things:

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The Four Stages of Financial Independence | The Simple Dollar

Financial independence is a tricky phrase because it can mean different things to different people.

Right now, I view financial independence as being a state where I no longer have to work for money. Yet, seven or eight years ago, I might have viewed it as simply being free from worrying about my next paycheck. At different points in there, I might have seen financial independence completely differently.

Along the way, I’ve come to realize that financial independence is made up of a series of stages. Some people might see more stages, while others might see fewer; I see four clear ones. In my own financial journey – and in the journey of others that I’ve had conversations with – “financial independence” generally means the next stage that hasn’t been achieved yet.

For example, once upon a time, I viewed financial independence as not needing to rely on my parents or on my very next paycheck to survive. As I achieved that, my definition changed.Let’s walk through these four stages and look at what needs to be done to achieve each one.

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Newsflash: Hello Kitty Has Never Been a Cat | The Washington Post

Despite 40 years of feline imagery, despite the protestation of thousands of anguished fans, despite her very name — Hello Kitty, it turns out, is not a cat.

She is “a friend.”

A “little girl.”

A “perpetual third-grader” living outside of London with her twin sister and parents, eating apple pie and celebrating a Nov. 1 birthday.

But never — never — an actual cat.

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Plastic Beats Cash Among Young Adults | Businessweek

American adults under age 30 hate cash so much that 51 percent of them will use plastic, even for purchases amounting to less than $5. That’s according to a survey released on Wednesday by CreditCards.com.

The older you are, the likelier you are to whip out cash, rather than a debit card or credit card, the study found. Seventy-seven percent of Americans 50 or older prefer cash for purchases of under $5.

Republicans and Democrats are equally likely to use cash for small purchases, and both parties’ followers are more favorably inclined toward cash than political independents. That may have less to do with political inclinations than the fact that independents tend to be younger.

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