Russian 'methbot' fraud steals $180 million in online ads - Dec. 20, 2016 The fraud has siphoned more than $180 million from the online ad industry, according to researchers. Dubbed "Methbot," it is a new twist in an increasingly complex world of online crime, according to White Ops, the cybersecurity firm that discovered the operation. "This is a very advanced cyber operation on a scale no one's seen before," said Eddie Schwartz, White Ops chief operating officer. Methbot, so nicknamed because the fake browser refers to itself as the "methbrowser," operates as a sham intermediary advertising ring: Companies would pay millions to run expensive video ads. White Ops first spotted the criminal operation in October, and it is making up to $5 million per day -- by generating up to 300 million fake "video impressions" daily. In the past, hackers have figured out how to deliver malvertising (viruses through ads) and how to fake clicks on ads. They built custom software so that computers (at those legitimate data centers) acted like real people viewing those ads.
George Lakoff: What Conservatives Really Want --Dedicated to the peaceful protestors in Wisconsin, February 19, 2011. The central issue in our political life is not being discussed. At stake is the moral basis of American democracy. The individual issues are all too real: assaults on unions, public employees, women's rights, immigrants, the environment, health care, voting rights, food safety, pensions, prenatal care, science, public broadcasting, and on and on. Budget deficits are a ruse, as we've seen in Wisconsin, where the governor turned a surplus into a deficit by providing corporate tax breaks, and then used the deficit as a ploy to break the unions, not just in Wisconsin, but seeking to be the first domino in a nationwide conservative movement. Deficits can be addressed by raising revenue, plugging tax loopholes, putting people to work, and developing the economy long-term in all the ways the president has discussed. The conservative worldview rejects all of that. The market itself is seen in this way. Is there hope?
15 Broad-Brimmed Facts About Stetson Hats In 1860, an ailing East Coast hat maker named John Batterson Stetson headed west to mine for gold. He didn’t strike it rich, but he ended up with something much more valuable: the design for the first commercially successful cowboy hat. In the decades that followed, the John B. Stetson Company defined the look of the American cowboy. And as the country’s sartorial tastes evolved from ten-gallon hats to homburgs and fedoras, the company evolved along with it. The man who pioneered the cowboy hat wasn’t a cowpoke or a former farmhand. While mining and hunting around Pike’s Peak in Colorado, Stetson used the felting technique his father had taught him to make waterproof blankets. Stetson returned east in 1865 penniless but determined to make money off the hat he’d created. Cowboys didn’t always wear broad-brimmed hats. From film stars like Tom Mix and John Wayne to crooners like Bing Crosby and Bob Dylan, Stetson has long relied on celebrities to sell its image. Getty 10. 11.
Defend WikiLeaks or lose free speech - Dan Gillmor Journalists cover wars by not taking sides. But when the war is on free speech itself, neutrality is no longer an option. The WikiLeaks releases are a pivotal moment in the future of journalism. They raise any number of ethical and legal issues for journalists, but one is becoming paramount. As I said last week, and feel obliged to say again today, our government — and its allies, willing or coerced, in foreign governments and corporations — are waging a powerful war against freedom of speech. WikiLeaks may well make us uncomfortable in some of what it does, though in general I believe it’s done far more good than harm so far. These are also acts of outright censorship. And, no, the government’s campaign is not fully working. The political class’ frothing against WikiLeaks is to be expected, even if it’s stirring up the kind of passion that almost always leads to bad outcomes. Two Washington Post columnists, among many others, have been racing to see who can be the more warmongering.
Student Lets Thief Steal His Phone, Spies On Him For Weeks To Make This Documentary Film student Anthony van der Meer had his iPhone stolen and the thought that a stranger had access to all of his personal data really concerned him. What kind of person would steal a phone? Where do these phones end up? These were his biggest questions. To get answers, Anthony had another phone stolen from him on purpose, but this time he followed the thief using a hidden app and made a captivating documentary film about the whole process. Show Full Text “Find my Phone” was possible because of a spyware app called Cerberus. Latest update shows that his phone resurfaced in Romania. More info: anthonyvdmeer.nl (h/t: petapixel)
Colbert vs. Kyl and spread of 'misinformation' Avlon: Colbert vs. Kyl on truth Sen. Jon Kyl incorrectly said 90% of Planned Parenthood's work is abortionsHis office explained that it was "not intended to be a factual statement"John Avlon: Some in politics think it's OK to spread falsehoods to rally supportHe says, "Americans deserve better, and we should demand better" Editor's note: John P. Avlon is a CNN contributor and senior political columnist for The Daily Beast. New York (CNN) -- "Not intended to be a factual statement." This was the sound of the curtain coming back on what passes for political debate too often these days. The now-infamous statement from Sen. It turns out that the actual number is 3%, a mere rounding error of 87%. This has nothing to do with fiscal responsibility and everything to do with the disproportionate influence of social conservative activists. But the facts are inconvenient, and so they are ignored. 2010: Mr. Explain it to me: 'Birthers' Trump's got an opinion on 'everything' You get the idea.
Pentagon to build $6.8 billion center to combat fraud, waste, and abuse PENTAGON – The Department of Defense has announced it would build a new $6.8 billion “Center of Excellence” in San Jose, California dedicated to combatting fraud, waste, and abuse, Duffel Blog has learned. A Pentagon spokesman noted that despite San Jose being one of the most expensive cities in the country to live and work, the location would allow the department to plug directly into the spirit of entrepreneurship in Silicon Valley. “Part of that entrepreneurial spirit that drives tech companies will be infused in the center to help cut costs around the department,” spokesman John Miller said. “In order to be LEED certified at the highest levels we have employed the most expensive construction techniques possible,” Miller added. The Center’s 10,000 employees will be divided into three sections to individually look at fraud, waste, and abuse, which would, according to one official, “create a real synergistic effect.”
The Serious Implications of Stephen Colbert's FEC Stunt - Entertainment Stephen Colbert, in full character as the prototypical conservative pundit, appeared at the Federal Election Commission after filing paperwork for his political action committee, the "Colbert Super-PAC." As Politico explains, Colbert was there to determine if his airtime on Comedy Central would be considered a campaign contribution from the network's parent company Viacom, or if it would fall under the so-called "media exception" that allows newspapers, blogs, radio show hosts and others considered media to urge votes for or against candidates. It was a typical Colbert stunt. In an address to a crowd of several hundred, he declared he was motivated by the "American dream." And that dream is simple. But some are speculating that this stunt might actually motivate an important political cause that arose following the 2010 Supreme Court case Citizens United v. Democrats tried to make hay over the Citizens United ruling last election, an issue that never quite caught on with voters.
The Legend (and Truth) of the Voodoo Priestess Who Haunts a Louisiana Swamp The Manchac wetlands, about a half hour northwest of New Orleans, are thick with swamp ooze. In the summer the water is pea-green, covered in tiny leaves and crawling with insects that hide in the shadows of the ancient, ghost-gray cypress trees. The boaters who enter the swamps face two main threats, aside from sunstroke and dehydration: the alligators, who mostly lurk just out of view, and the broken logs that float through the muck, remnants of the days when the swamp was home to the now-abandoned logging town of Ruddock. But some say that anyone entering the swamp should beware a more supernatural threat—the curse of local voodoo queen Julia Brown. Back when Brown was alive at the turn of the 20th century, the towns of Ruddock, Frenier, and Napton were prosperous settlements clustered on the edge of Lake Pontchartrain, sustained by logging the centuries-old cypress trees and farming cabbages in the thick black soil. The hurricane seemed to come out of nowhere.
Birtherism, the debt ceiling, climate change, evolution: Are Republicans losing their grip on reality? - By Jacob Weisberg At a press conference last week, someone asked Chris Christie for his views on evolution vs. creationism. "That's none of your business," the New Jersey governor barked in response. This minor incident, which barely rated as news for a few political blogs, offers a glimpse of Christie's personality, which seems increasingly grumpy and snappish. Christie is not part of the natural constituency for Darwin-denial. Moments like this point to a growing asymmetry in our politics. Like the White Queen in her youth, the contemporary Republican politician must be capable of believing as many as six impossible things before breakfast. Reality-denial is not limited to the Republican inability to utter words like evolution and revenue. Another series of Republican fictions relates to climate change. Then there are all the mundane, material facts that Republicans choose to "doubt."
Leah Remini Is Taunting the Church of Scientology to Sue Her Actress Leah Remini, best known for The King of Queens, is now making a name for herself as one of the most vocal critics of the Church of Scientology. The former member of the secretive religion wrote a book and produced a TV series, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, about what it's like both in and out of the group. She and other ex-Scientologists have accused the church of defrauding its members, plus a number of other horrific abuses. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below The Church of Scientology created an entire website to respond to Remini's show; the website claims that Remini, and the other ex-Scientologists she talks to, are lying to get money. But Remini is willing to defend herself in court, should the organization want to take her on. On his Ora.TV show Larry King Now, Larry King read aloud Scientology's statement about her show. Remini had a succinct response: So sue me. "They should sue us.
How Fox News Chairman Roger Ailes Failed at Setting Up a Strong Republican Candidate for 2012 On Monday afternoon, March 28, Fox News chairman Roger Ailes summoned Glenn Beck to a meeting in his office on the second floor of News Corp.’s midtown headquarters to discuss his future at the network. Ailes had spent the better part of the weekend at his Putnam County estate thinking about how to stage-manage Beck’s departure from Fox, which at that point was all but inevitable. But, as with everything concerning Glenn Beck, the situation was a mess, simultaneously a negotiation and a therapy session. Beck had already indicated he was willing to walk away—“I don’t want to do cable news anymore,” he had told Ailes. But moving him out the door without collateral damage was proving difficult. Ailes had hired Beck in October 2008 to reenergize Fox’s audience after Obama’s election, and he’d succeeded beyond anyone’s wildest hopes, tapping deep wells of resentment and igniting them into a vast, national conflagration. “Let’s make a deal,” Ailes told Beck flatly.
Police Tried to Rescue a Little Old Lady Only to Learn She Was a Mannequin Police in Hudson, New York, thought they were rescuing a elderly woman from freezing to death only to learn they had saved a mannequin instead. Responding to a call from a concerned citizen, police came upon a Subaru vehicle covered in fresh snow with what appeared to be an elderly woman inside wearing an oxygen mask. She appeared to be unresponsive. It was eight degrees outside, and the snow signaled that the car had been parked in the same spot overnight. Advertisement - Continue Reading Below Worried that the woman may be experiencing hypothermia, police officers broke one of the car's windows to attempt to reach the damsel in distress, who turned out to be a surprisingly realistic-looking medical mannequin. The owner of the car uses the dummy for his job selling medical training equipment. The mannequin had no comment.
Global war on drugs 'has failed' say former leaders 2 June 2011Last updated at 09:30 Opiate use rose by 35% worldwide from 1998-2008, in spite of anti-drug efforts The global war on drugs has "failed" according to a new report by a group of politicians and former world leaders. The Global Commission on Drug Policy report calls for the legalisation of some drugs and an end to the criminalisation of drug users. The panel includes former UN Secretary General Kofi Annan, the former leaders of Mexico, Colombia and Brazil, and the entrepreneur Sir Richard Branson. The US and Mexican governments have rejected the findings as misguided. The Global Commission's 24-page report argues that anti-drug policy has failed by fuelling organised crime, costing taxpayers millions of dollars and causing thousands of deaths. It cites UN estimates that opiate use increased 35% worldwide from 1998 to 2008, cocaine by 27%, and cannabis by 8.5%. Cesar Gaviria said the US came in for criticism 'No harm to others' Continue reading the main story Analysis Adam MynottBBC News