Category Archives: News and Views

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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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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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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Swedish McDonald’s Promotion Lets Customers Pay for Burgers with Recycled Cans | Adweek

downloadHow do you get young people to care about recycling?
Free burgers couldn’t hurt.DDB Stockholm and McDonald’s collaborated on a campaign in Sweden which allows customers to pay for hamburgers, cheeseburgers and even Big Macs with recycled cans. Billboards placed around Stockholm announce the campaign with a roll of plastic bags that can be used to collect cans for recycling. Each bag also explains the custom pricing for the promotion: 10 cans nets you a hamburger or cheeseburger, while 40 will get you a Big Mac. The billboards are mostly centered around parks or summer festival areas, where, as DDB Stockholm puts it, “you’ll find a lot of young people with empty drink cans and empty wallets.”

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Dropbox Slashes Its Price as the Cost of a Gigabyte Nears Zero | WIRED

When I talk to folks at Dropbox, they’re eager to tell me about how different people are using its file-sharing service: the musician, the photographer, the professor, the startup founder. They like to talk about new features, like password-protected links and the remote wipe tool that lets you remove files from a lost computer.

But what they save for the end of our meeting, almost like an afterthought, are the two numbers that traditionally meant the most for a data storage service: how many gigabytes you can store, and at what price.

As it turns out, these numbers look at lot better than they used to. On Wednesday, the company slashed the price of a gigabyte by 90 percent on Dropbox Pro, the paid version of its signature consumer product. Up until now, users paid $9.99 per month to store up to 100 gigabytes of data. Now, for that same price, they can store one terabyte.

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Warren Buffett Is A Tax Avoider. Good For Him. | Forbes.com

Burger King is going to have it Tim Hortons’ way, and Warren Buffett will be their server today – or at least their financier.

The Burger King deal seems to be one part tax inversion and one part market diversification, but critics have focused mostly on the former. With the combined company moving its headquarters to Ontario, Burger King is set to join the ranks of corporate expatriates.

Democrats are none too pleased. “Burger King’s decision to abandon the United States means consumers should turn to Wendy’s Old Fashioned Hamburgers or White Castle sliders,” declared Sen. Sherrod Brown. “Burger King has always said ‘Have it Your Way’; well my way is to support two Ohio companies that haven’t abandoned their country or customers.”

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