Archive for the ‘Real Estate’ Category

Bank of America declares 1.2 million account records “lost”

Monday, February 28, 2005

Charlotte, North Carolina ā€” One of the biggest domestic banks in the United States, Bank of America, has admitted to losing computer tapes containing 1.2 million federal employee accounts, including the accounts of several U.S. senators, in a statement by the bank. According to the Pentagon, most of the accounts belong to staff and civilians in the Department of Defense. The bank said the tapes were lost in December 2004 as they were being transported to a data back-up centre by a commercial plane.

Currently, the U.S. Secret Service are looking in to the matter, a federal agency whose brief includes investigations of serious financial crime such as this. All parties concerned are worrying about possible identity theft as it contained valuable information such as bank account numbers, names and addresses.

UK nears US in cyber-crime, ahead of Nigeria, Romania

Thursday, April 10, 2008

The United Kingdom is listed second in a report on global cyber-crime statistics, behind the United States and ahead of cyber-crime “hotspots” Nigeria and Romania. The 2007 Internet Crime Report was released in April by the Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), a joint operation between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National White Collar Crime Center.

Americans reported losses of US$240 million from global cyber-crime in 2007, a $40 million increase from 2006. The Internet Crime Complaint Center received 206,884 complaints of online fraud in 2007, a decrease from the previous year’s 207,492 complaints.

FBI special agent John Hambrick, in charge of the IC3 unit, told the Agence France-Presse “We’re seeing more schemes involving bigger ticket items, get-rich-quick and work-at-home schemes that involve higher dollar losses”. As the report only includes figures from crimes reported to law enforcement, it is likely that real crime numbers were higher.

We’re seeing more schemes involving bigger ticket items, get-rich-quick and work-at-home schemes that involve higher dollar losses.

FBI Cyber Division Assistant Director James E. Finch commented on the report: “The Internet presents a wealth of opportunity for would be criminals to prey on unsuspecting victims, and this report shows how extensive these types of crime have become … What this report does not show is how often this type of activity goes unreported. Filing a complaint through IC3 is the best way to alert law enforcement authorities of Internet crime.”

In response to the report’s release, the information technology consultancy Global Secure Systems (GSS) warned that the United Kingdom is becoming a hotbed of internet crime. According to the report, the UK accounts for 15.3 per cent of online crime from US crime reports. “This is significantly ahead of other cyber-crime hotspots such as Nigeria (5.7 per cent) and Romania (1.5 per cent),” said David Hobson, managing director of GSS, in an interview with vnunet.com.

The scammer tries to prey on victims who are kind of in tune with what’s going on in the world. The scam changes, but ultimately they’re preying on the good will of people.

The 2007 Internet Crime Report cites the top ten countries by amount of perpetrators of online crime. In descending order, the top ten list includes the United States, the United Kingdom, Nigeria, Canada, Romania, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Russia, and Ghana. Scammers living within the United States most often lived in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, New York, Pennsylvania, and Texas. Men lost more money to online fraud than women in 2007, and also accounted for 75 percent of cyber-crime perpetrators.

FBI spokeswoman Cathy Milhoan told CIO Today that online scammers attempt to take advantage of the good will of individuals, asking for money for purported charities during crises. “The scammer tries to prey on victims who are kind of in tune with what’s going on in the world. The scam changes, but ultimately they’re preying on the good will of people,” said Milhoan.

The most widely reported complaint was Internet auction fraud at 35.7 per cent of referred crime complaints. Other online criminal activities cited in the report include non-delivery of purchases and credit/debit card fraud, computer intrusions, spam/unsolicited e-mail, and child pornography. The report also seeks to raise awareness of other types of cyber-crimes, and describes steps individuals can take both to prevent internet crime, and to report it if they have been victimized.

MSN browser upgrade leaves users frozen

Monday, November 20, 2006

Microsoft‘s subscription-based MSN Explorer Internet browser left many of its users frozen out beginning on Friday of last week. Launching the application brought the user to a window stating that the software encountered a problem and had to be closed.

The Internet Explorer browser software bundled with the Windows operating system remains operable, along with other non-MSN software. Subscribers to MSN are still able to retrieve e-mail by accessing their Hotmail account. Telephone support wait times to resolve the connectivity problem with the browser exceeded 45 minutes on Sunday evening. Beginning on Saturday, callers were prompted that wait times were “unusually long due to high call volume”.

A query to on-line chat with technical support to resolve the issue was met with, “I sincerely apologize for the length of time that it took you to get to us. We have been swamped with sessions and I am just glad that you finally got me to help you out.”

The silent and automatic upgrade to the 9.5 version of MSN Explorer, from verson 9.0, is experiencing difficulties on some machines. Users can log on to support using their account at membercenter.msn.com, click the Support button on the left column of the page, and then select under Subscribed Services / Sign In the link “MSN Internet Access”. On-line chat, e-mail, and phone support is available there. Hint: on-line chat is probably the fastest support option.

The existing MSN Explorer software will need to be removed, some Windows registry folders may need to be removed, and the software completely re-downloaded and re-installed.

Dial-up accounts can expect the download to be 93 minutes, for broadband, 9 minutes.

Car maker DeLorean dies at 80

Monday, March 21, 2005

Automobile industry pioneer, John DeLorean, died Saturday in a New Jersey hospital by complications from a stroke.

DeLorean was born in 1925 in Detroit, Michigan to European immigrant parents. He received an education in automotive engineering and quickly rose through the ranks of Packard and later General Motors (GM). DeLorean was credited with the development of the Pontiac GTO, which helped introduce the era of “muscle cars”. By 1965, DeLorean led the entire Pontiac division, and four years later was promoted to the prestigious position of leading GM’s Chevrolet.

In 1973, DeLorean quit General Motors and started his own company, the De Lorean Motor Company. The company’s product was the DMC-12, an unusual car featuring an unpainted, stainless-steel exterior and gull-wing doors. The company started production in 1981 but failed less than two years later, having produced under 9,000 vehicles. Despite the company’s failure and the car’s dismal sales, the car itself gained a cult following after the release of the 1985 movie Back to the Future which featured the car as a time-travel machine.

DeLorean himself was in nearly as much trouble as his company. In 1982 he was arrested for attempting to sell $24 million worth of cocaine to undercover police, and after his company’s failure, he became involved in a multitude of lawsuits alleging investor fraud. Though DeLorean successfully resolved the cocaine case after claiming entrapment, his other legal cases would drag on until 1999, when he declared bankruptcy.

Wikinews interviews Rocky De La Fuente, U.S. Democratic Party presidential candidate

Thursday, March 31, 2016

Businessman Rocky De La Fuente took some time to speak with Wikinews about his campaign for the U.S. Democratic Party’s 2016 presidential nomination.

The 61-year-old De La Fuente resides in San Diego, California, grew up in Tijuana, and owns multiple businesses and properties throughout the world. Since getting his start in the automobile industry, De La Fuente has branched out into the banking and real estate markets. Despite not having held or sought political office previously, he has been involved in politics, serving as the first-ever Hispanic superdelegate to the 1992 Democratic National Convention.

De La Fuente entered the 2016 presidential race last October largely due to his dissatisfaction with Republican front-runner Donald Trump. He argues he is a more accomplished businessman than Trump, and attacks Trump as “a clown,” “a joke,” “dangerous,” and “in the same category as Hitler.” Nevertheless, De La Fuente’s business background begets comparisons with Trump. The Alaskan Midnight Sun blog described him as the Democrats’ “own Donald Trump.”

While receiving only minimal media coverage, he has campaigned actively, and according to the latest Federal Election Commission filing, loaned almost US$ 4 million of his own money to the campaign. He has qualified for 48 primary and caucus ballots, but has not yet obtained any delegates to the 2016 Democratic National Convention. Thus far, according to the count at The Green Papers, De La Fuente has received 35,406 votes, or 0.23% of the total votes cast. He leads among the many lesser-known candidates but trails both Senator Bernie Sanders who has received nearly 6.5 million votes and front-runner Hillary Clinton who has just shy of 9 million votes.

With Wikinews reporter William S. Saturnā€Ž, De La Fuente discusses his personal background, his positions on political issues, his current campaign for president, and his political future.

Contents

  • 1 Interview
    • 1.1 Background
    • 1.2 Campaign
    • 1.3 Issues
    • 1.4 Future
  • 2 Related news
  • 3 Sources
  • 4 External link

EU warns Microsoft: forthcoming Vista risks antitrust breach

Thursday, March 30, 2006

The European Commission has warned Microsoft that features the company intends to include in its next version of Windows known as Windows Vista may breach the European Union’s antitrust laws.

The EU’s commissioner in charge of competition, Neelie Kroes, wrote to Steve Ballmer CEO of Microsoft last week informally warning him that Microsoft’s plans to include security features, search tools, copyright protection services and an application to create documents similar to Adobe’s PDF files into Vista would violate European antitrust laws, according to her spokesman Jonathan Todd.

Mr. Todd said that the commission was worried that features Microsoft plans to include in Vista may prevent customers from choosing their own software combinations. He emphasised that the letter was not a signal of a formal antitrust inquiry into Windows Vista.

The commission wrote the letter following a letter from Microsoft asking them to indicate if there were any possible competition issues with the new system. Mr. Todd said: “We assume that Microsoft has its own interests at heart. It wants to launch another product without having to worry about the Commission instituting various actions under antitrust law.”

Microsoft’s top lawyer in Europe, Horacio Guttierez, said Wednesday that adding such functions into the operating system was essential if Microsoft was to meet customer demand. “I know consumers want more secure computer systems,” he said.

Windows Vista includes software called Windows Defender, which seeks out and removes spyware and adware. Guttierez claims that forcing Microsoft to sell Windows without Defender “is a bit like forcing BMW to sell cars without airbags”.

“We have a responsibility to make our products better and more secure for our customers,” he said.

Hackers crack Sony PSP to allow Internet chat, web surfing

Thursday, April 7, 2005

Sony’s recently introduced Playstation Portable has proved popular with curious geeks who discovered various talents hidden within the new handheld video console.

The biggest ‘hack’ so far has been the manipulation of a web browser embedded within the PSP game ‘Wipeout Pure’, which can be easily coaxed into accessing the majority of Internet via a suitable portal. Jonathan Terleski was able to monitor the digital conversation held between his PSP and Sony’s website when the browser in his game ‘Wipeout Pure’ would try to download new software from Sony via the Internet. Using a suitably set up DNS server, Terleski configured his handheld console to access his own custom PSP portal, instead of Sony’s website, and then invited other owners to use his gateway to the web. [1]

From this discovery, Robert Balousek later created a web based IRC interface that allows people to talk to each other and hold conversations in real time via the Internet on their PSP consoles. According to Reuters, his IRC website has to date been used by as many as 100,000 visitors and Balousek now plans to introduce a web based interface to the AOL instant messaging network for PSP users.

Other notable recent ‘hacks’ include reading ebooks and comics and watching pre-recorded television shows, taken from a TiVo, on the Sony PSP.

None of the ‘hacks’ have yet employed writing custom software for the device. So far, most are spin-offs of Jonathon Terleski’s web browser hack. Other hacks, like the ebook reader and television show viewer, are made possible through use of the PSP’s built in tools for viewing video and images. Sony has not yet released an SDK which would allow end-users to write ‘homebrew’ software, therefore hackers are tied to manipulating software included with the PSP or available through the games purchased separately.

Speaking to Wikinews, Jacob Metcalf, who documented the web comic’s hack on his website, explained his motivation: “Web comics are already designed for on-screen reading and they have some of the same audience as people who play games – lots of the most popular web comics are about gamers, like PVP and Penny Arcade.”

He added: “I do wish that [Sony] would come out with an actual web browser like the Dreamcast had. South Korea is going to get a real web browser and I have a feeling in my gut that there is going to be Internet software for the PSP like a web browser and email announced at E3 this year.”

Twelve injured in Washington after ride at fair topples over

Sunday, April 19, 2009

At least twelve children have been injured after a swing ride at the Puyallup, Washington Spring Fair toppled over.

The ride is called a ‘LollySwing’, which is located in Kiddyland, where the riders sit in swings while the machine spins them around. It is owned by Funtastic Traveling Shows which has been a ride provider for the fair for over 50 years. The accident happened at around 6:30 p.m. (PDT).

Injuries are being described as mostly cuts and bruises, but one child was reported to have been in a neck brace and was taken to a local hospital. Five other children were also hospitalized.

According to one witness, “it just all of a sudden topped over.” The cause is under investigation. The ride has been at the fair for the past five years. Among the seven largest operators of fair rides in Washington, from 2001 to 2007 there were only seven reports of injuries related to mechanical failures.

News briefs:February 27, 2008

Contents

  • 1 Wikinews News Brief, February 27 2008 0430 UTC
    • 1.1 Introduction
    • 1.2 Events of worldwide notability, military action, disasters etc.
      • 1.2.1 Kenya peace talks put on hold
      • 1.2.2 Jersey child abuse case ‘was not covered up’
      • 1.2.3 Nigerian election result will not be annulled
      • 1.2.4 Iraq demands immediate withdrawal of Turkish troops
    • 1.3 Non-disastrous local events with notable impact and dead celebrities
      • 1.3.1 Massive blackouts hit Florida
      • 1.3.2 Thousands protest privatisation of Australian electricity industry
      • 1.3.3 Pakistan’s ban on YouTube lifted
      • 1.3.4 Minor earthquake shakes England
    • 1.4 Business, commerce and academia
      • 1.4.1 Seeds placed in Norwegian vault as agricultural ‘insurance policy’
      • 1.4.2 Michael Jackson’s Neverland Ranch to be auctioned off
      • 1.4.3 Microsoft Network users experience international outage
      • 1.4.4 Video hosting website Stage6 to shut down
    • 1.5 Arts and culture
      • 1.5.1 N.Y. orchestra helps forge relations with North Korea
    • 1.6 Footer

[edit]

Smoke from massive warehouse fire in Buffalo, New York USA can be seen 40 miles away

Monday, May 14, 2007

Buffalo, New York ā€” A massive warehouse complex of at least 5 buildings caught on fire in Buffalo, New York on 111 Tonawanda Street, sending a plume of thick, jet black colored smoke into the air that could be seen as far away as 40 miles.

As of 6:40 a.m., the fire was under control, and firefighters were attempting to stop it from spreading, but could not get to the center of the fire because of severe amounts of debris. Later in the morning, the fire was extinguished.

“The fire is mostly under debris at this point. It’s under control, but it’s under some debris. We really can’t get to it. We’re just going to have to keep on pouring water on it so it doesn’t spread,” said Thomas Ashe, the fire chief for the North Buffalo based fire division who also added that at one point, at least 125 firefighters were on the scene battling the blaze. One suffered minor injures and was able to take himself to the hospital to seek medical attention.

Shortly after 8:00 p.m. as many as 3 explosions rocked the warehouse sending large mushroom clouds of thick black smoke into the air. After the third explosion, heat could be felt more than 100 feet away. The fire started in the front, one story building then quickly spread to three others, but fire fighters managed to stop the flames from spreading onto the 3 story building all the way at the back.

According to a Buffalo Police officer, who wished not to be named, the fire began at about 7:00 p.m. [Eastern time], starting as a one alarm fire. By 8:00 p.m., three fire companies were on the scene battling the blaze. Police also say that a smaller fire was reported in the same building on Saturday night, which caused little damage.

At the start of the fire, traffic was backed up nearly 4 miles on the 198 expressway going west toward the 190 Interstate and police had to shut down the Tonawanda street exit because the road is too close to the fire.

At one point, traffic on the 198 was moving so slow, at least a dozen people were seen getting out of their cars and walking down the expressway to watch the fire. That prompted as many as 10 police cars to be dispatched to the scene to force individuals back into their cars and close off one of the 2 lanes on the westbound side.

One woman, who wished not to be named as she is close to the owner of the warehouse, said the building is filled with “classic cars, forklifts, and money” and that owner “does not have insurance” coverage on the property. The building is not considered abandoned, but firefighters said that it is vacant.

Officials in Fort Erie, Ontario were also swamped with calls to fire departments when the wind blew the smoke over the Niagra River and into Canada.

It is not known what caused the fire, but a car is suspected to have caught on fire and there are reports from police and hazmat crews, that there were also large barrels of diesel fuel being stored in one building. Firefighters say the cause of the blaze is being treated as “suspicious.” The ATF is investigating the fire and will bring dogs in to search the debris.