Have you bought a preconfigured big-box type PC sometime in the last five years? If so, you might have been slightly screwed over. That's what the European Commission claims, at least. Today, the EC announced that it is investigating 13 optical drive suppliers and two major PC OEMs for antitrust violations as part of an alleged long-standing "worldwide cartel" that ran a "bid-rigging" scheme to get the best prices for the parties involved.
You can try and keep your Facebook page safe from prying would-be employers, but you can't protect yourself against your own stupidity. One Australian family learned that the late last week. A 17 year old girl was helping her grandmother count a large sum of cash and posted a picture of the riches on her Facebook profile under the appropriately-named title "Large sum of cash." Seven and a half hours later, two masked men broke into the girl's mother's house looking for the loot, sporting a knife and a wooden club.
Want to avoid getting mugged? Buy an Android phone – or even better yet, a Blackberry. No, they don’t have any crazy criminal-prevention apps or burglar whistles built in; thieves just don’t want them. Or at least one pair of thieves in Manhattan don’t want them. Apparently, two robbers have been accosting Columbia University students for their iPhones. No other phone will do! The crooks even let one victim keep a perfectly good Droid, police say.
What happened to a delivery truck carrying a videogame shipment in France over the weekend was so brazen and wild that it could have qualified as a game level. In this case, the action was real as a truck traveling in Créteil, south Paris, was rammed by a car on Saturday as part of an organized accident that involved masked men, tear gas, and the theft of 6,000 copies of Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.
When geeks get ahold of a 3D printer, they immediately start drooling over the prospect of custom-made Warhammer figures and replica BFGs. When crooked geeks get ahold of a 3D printer, they apparently start scheming up ways to bilk normal folks out of their money. Federal prosecutors say a ring of four individuals did just that when they used the nifty devices to create realistic-looking ATM skimmers to steal the debit card info – and soon thereafter, money – of Texas citizens.
The electronics revolution is changing the nature of law enforcement. Security cameras, tracking devices, micro-chips and other anti-theft measures are making it harder than ever to steal things and even harder to profit from that theft.
Meanwhile, expanding technology is giving us near-universal surveillance, making detection of crimes and apprehension of criminals a lot easier. But will enhanced technology give rise to more sophisticated criminals with more evolved criminal activities?
You might not have heard of Airbnb, a feisty young startup out of San Francisco that lets users book lodging in the vacant homes of other Airbnb users, and rent out their own homes while they are away. The entire process is handeled by Airbnb, not directly by the users. In recent weeks, a firestorm of bad PR has hit Airbnb as a woman, blogging under the pseudonym EJ told the tale of how an Airbnb guest robbed and vandalized her home. In an attempt to diffuse the situation, Airbnb has now offered an unconditional apology and a $50,000 insurance guarantee, but not after a few missteps.
Hey bad guys, here's a news flash: unless you're Robin hood – and you're not – rubbing your fugitive status in the face of law enforcement doesn't make you cool, it only makes you stupid. Cracking jokes on social media networks may draw some traffic to your Twitter feed, but it also draws cops like white on rice. Victor Burgos is the newest member of the Dumbest Criminals club after using Facebook to taunt NYC police with his location.
Bitcoin is a new digital currency traded over p2p connections that is essentially untraceable and not connected to any bank. This has made it a favorite of the tech-literate crowd, but two US Senators are looking to crack down on Bitcoin after reports that it is being used to buy illegal drugs online.
Log on to your Mom's Netflix account, get thrown in jail. Sounds silly, right? Not if you live in Tennessee. State lawmakers just passed a bill that makes it illegal to use somebody else's login for a paid Internet service like Netflix or Rhapsody. Did your computer automatically sign in to your buddy's premium Pandora account because he was screwing around on your PC earlier? You just crossed The Man! Say hello to Big Bubba for us.