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Realtor used inflatable T-Rex to jazz up home photos

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We've all heard of staging a home for sale but this is outrageous.

Among the lovely shots of hardwood floors, lake views, and a screened-in patio, we see ol' Tyrannosaurus raiding the fridge, taking a nap, fishing in the lake, and even mowing the grass. That's pretty impressive for a guy with such tiny arms, no? "We came up with the idea a few years ago and have been waiting for the right client and right house to try it," explains listing agent Casey Lewis. "It was a great way to get extra exposure to an already great property."

That exact model of inflatable T-Rex is on Amazon, which I know because it's my go-to gift for people who are hard to shop for.

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Manzabar
15 hours ago
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Cedar Rapids
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Patches remove spyware from Civilization VI, other games

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The game Civilization VI contained Red Shell, a spyware application that tracks what ads players are looking at, among other things. It's now gone after a new patch -- and other game publishers have been scrambling to do likewise after being caught with their spyglasses up and their pants down.

Developers and publishers behind games including Conan Exiles, The Elder Scrolls Online, Hunt: Showdown, and Total War have vowed to remove Red Shell – or already removed it.

“Whilst Red Shell is only used to measure the effectiveness of our advertising, we can see that players are clearly concerned about it and it will be difficult for us to entirely reassure every player,” said Total War devs Creative Assembly, for example. “So, from the next update we will remove the implementation of Red Shell from those Total War games that use it.”

Other statements were broadly the same: a defence along the lines of “it’s not spyware as bad as you might think but yeah we get you’re skeezed out and we will remove it.”

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Manzabar
15 hours ago
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Bill to save net neutrality gets first Republican vote in US House

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Enlarge (credit: Getty Images | Linda Braucht)

The congressional bill to reinstate net neutrality rules has finally received support from a House Republican.

US Rep. Mike Coffman (R-Colo.) today announced his support for the bill. Coffman is signing a discharge petition that would force the House to vote on a Congressional Review Act (CRA) resolution; the resolution would reverse the Federal Communications Commission's repeal of its net neutrality rules.

The US Senate approved the CRA resolution in May, with votes from all members of the Democratic caucus and three Republican senators. While 176 House Democrats have signed the discharge petition, Coffman is the first House Republican to do so.

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Manzabar
16 hours ago
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Wireless Carriers Have A SIM Hijacking Problem They Don't Want To Talk About

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Wireless carriers are coming under increasing fire for failing to protect their users from the practice of SIM hijacking. The practice involves posing as a wireless customer, then fooling a wireless carrier to port the victim's cell phone number right out from underneath them, letting the attacker then pose as the customer to potentially devastating effect. Back in February, a man sued T-Mobile for failing to protect his account after a hacker pretending to be him, ported out his phone number, then managed to use his identity to steal thousands of dollars worth of cryptocoins.

It didn't take long for numerous customers to complain they were the victim of the same scam, and for T-Mobile to send out a warning to users encouring them to add a few layers of additional security to their account.

But the problem appears to be even worse than originally believed. A new report takes a closer look at the problem, exploring how identity thieves use SIM hijacking to do everything from cleaning out bank accounts, to stealing valuable Instagram usernames and selling them for Bitcoin. The process isn't particularly complicated, and more often than not involves the social engineering of a cellular carrier's support employees. The entire process tap dances around protections like two-factor authentication, and highlights the peril of relying too heavily on a single cell phone number for identity verification in apps and other services.

Carriers, for their part, don't much like to publicly talk about the problem. In part because it's occasionally their employees that are helping to facilitate the scams for a little extra cash:

"Thug and Ace explained that many hackers now recruit customer support or store employees who work at T-Mobile and other carriers and bribe them $80 or $100 to perform a SIM swap on their target. Thug claimed they got access to the T-Mobile tool by bribing an insider, but Motherboard could not verify this claim. T-Mobile declined to answer questions on whether the company had any evidence of insiders being involved in SIM swap scams."

Quite often, those cellular carrier employees are more than happy to provide hackers with direct access to cellular carrier support systems:

"(One hacker) said they do SIM swaps by using an internal T-Mobile tool to look up subscribers’ data. During our chat, the hacker showed me a screenshot of them browsing the tool. I gave (the hacker) my phone number as a test, and the hacker sent back a screenshot that contained my home address, IMSI number (a standardized unique number that identifies subscribers), and other theoretically secret account information. Thug even saw the special instructions that I gave T-Mobile to protect my account.

As is their usual MO, wireless carriers don't much want to have a serious conversation about the problem, and often insist that it's only impacting a few, rare accounts (in stark contrast to the laundry list of increasing complaints seen over the last few years):

"Motherboard reached out to AT&T, Verizon, Sprint, and T-Mobile—the big four US cell phone providers—requesting data on the prevalence of SIM swapping. None of them agreed to provide such information. An AT&T spokesperson said this kind of fraud “affects a small number of our customers and this is rare for us,” but did not respond when asked to clarify what “small number” means.

There's some steps users can take, including changing passwords frequently. T-Mobile users can also, for example, call 611 from your cellphone (or 1-800-937-8997), then tell a support staffer that you want to create a “port validation” passcode. Still, like the SS7 exploit that has been in the wild for years, it's pretty clear that wireless carriers might want to spend a little less time on mindless mergers and consolidation, killing net neutrality, and jacking up prices, and a little more time protecting their customers from security threats.



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Manzabar
16 hours ago
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Nathan Fillion plays Nathan Drake in this awesome Uncharted fan film

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The odds of seeing Nathan Fillion rock the role of Green Lantern in a live action movie are pretty slim at this point. The same goes for him gracing the silver screen as Uncharted's Nathan Drake. But the high quality of this fan flick ALMOST makes up for that. Behold: Nathan Fillion as Naughty Dog's Nathan Drake. For a fan film, the product quality (and the amount of money that would have to have been spent to pull it all together) is pretty damn high. Give it a watch: there are far worse ways to waste 15 minutes of your day. Additionally, if you're so inclined, Kotaku has a great story on how the film came to be.

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Manzabar
1 day ago
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Leading voting machine company admits it lied, reveals that its voting machines ship backdoored, with pre-installed remote access software

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Election Systems and Software is America's leading voting machine vendor, a category notorious for buggy, insecure software and rampant manufacturer misconduct. As the 2018 elections loom, voting machine companies are coming under scrutiny, and when veteran security reporter Kim Zetter asked them, on behalf of the New York Times, if their products shipped with backdoors allowing remote parties to access and alter them over the internet, they told her unequivocally that they did not engage in this practice. (more…)

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Manzabar
1 day ago
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