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Gerry Smith
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Entries by Gerry Smith

Why You Should Worry About The Cyber Attack On JPMorgan Chase

(43) Comments | Posted August 28, 2014 | 2:14 PM

So many companies have been hacked in the past year that news of another major data breach has become almost routine.

Yet, there may be new reasons to be concerned about JPMorgan Chase announcing Thursday that it is investigating a possible cyberattack.

The attack, which appears to be a coordinated...

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Actually, Minority Workers Are Everywhere In Silicon Valley -- They're Just Not Treated As Well

(37) Comments | Posted August 27, 2014 | 8:18 AM

Despite what you may have heard, there are actually many black and Hispanic workers at tech companies. They're just not paid much, and they mostly don't get the same benefits as white and Asian employees.

Black and Hispanic workers make up 41 percent of private security...

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Here's The Real Reason Twitter Is Now Banning Gruesome Images

(20) Comments | Posted August 20, 2014 | 5:39 PM

After Twitter announced Wednesday it would remove graphic images of a beheaded American journalist and suspend the accounts of anyone who shared those photos and videos, users of the social network wondered what prompted the move.

The surprising explanation: Robin Williams.

After the actor's suicide last week, Williams'...

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Internet Outage Left Doctors Without Records For Hours

(3) Comments | Posted August 19, 2014 | 12:55 PM

For several hours last week, doctors at PIM Associates, a primary care practice in Philadelphia, couldn’t see patients' lab results or what medications they were taking.

Those digital records are stored in the cloud by a company called Practice Fusion, which makes software to help doctors track...

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The Huge Challenge Facing Obama's New Tech Team, In One Chart

(21) Comments | Posted August 14, 2014 | 3:15 PM

The White House said this week that it has created a new team of tech wizards, led by a former Google employee, to help the government avoid another blunder like the troubled rollout of HealthCare.gov.

But the challenges facing the new U.S. Digital Service run much deeper than...

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Anonymous Threatens To Release Name Of Officer In Ferguson Police Shooting

(329) Comments | Posted August 13, 2014 | 4:34 PM

The hacker group Anonymous claims it has the name of the Ferguson, Missouri, police officer involved in the fatal shooting of an unarmed black teenager over the weekend.

But in a rare display of caution, the group said Wednesday it is waiting to release the officer's name until it can...

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Your Password Laziness Makes Life So Much Easier For Russian Hackers

(27) Comments | Posted August 6, 2014 | 1:57 PM

A gang of Russian hackers recently stole more than 1 billion usernames and passwords, and they likely got help from an unlikely accomplice: you.

Our habit of using the same passwords over and over makes it relatively simple for hackers to commit identity theft by connecting all of those stolen...

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Why Is The NAACP Siding With Verizon Over Net Neutrality?

(34) Comments | Posted July 31, 2014 | 12:49 PM

The NAACP and several other major civil rights groups have emerged as flashpoints in the debate over net neutrality, the idea that all Internet traffic should be treated equally.

More than 40 civil rights groups are supporting broadband providers that oppose strict net neutrality rules. The civil rights...

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FCC Chair Asks Verizon To Explain 'Disturbing' Plan to Slow Wireless Speeds

(90) Comments | Posted July 30, 2014 | 7:14 PM

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday called Verizon's new plan to reduce speeds for certain data-guzzling wireless customers “deeply troubling" and asked the company to justify the policy.

Verizon said last week it would begin slowing speeds for wireless customers with unlimited data plans who...

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Edward Snowden's New Role: Product Pitchman

(15) Comments | Posted July 21, 2014 | 5:27 PM

Edward Snowden has been given many titles: Whistleblower. Traitor. Asylum-seeker.

Now, the fugitive National Security Agency contractor appears to have found a new role: Product pitchman.

In recent interviews and speeches at tech conferences, where he appeared remotely via Google Hangout, Snowden has endorsed several privacy and security tools...

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Google Creates Elite Team To Fight Hackers -- And Maybe The NSA

(11) Comments | Posted July 15, 2014 | 6:06 PM

Google said Tuesday it had created an elite team of researchers to find and report major Internet security flaws, potentially thwarting both Chinese hackers and U.S. intelligence agencies.

In a blog post, Google security engineer Chris Evans said the team, dubbed Project Zero, will hunt for bugs in...

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Why Drone Enthusiasts All Over The Country Are Getting Arrested

(198) Comments | Posted July 11, 2014 | 7:36 AM

Last fall, a Brooklyn man was arrested after his drone struck two Manhattan skyscrapers and crashed 20 feet away from a pedestrian.

In April, an Ohio man was arrested while filming the scene of a car crash because his drone blocked a medical helicopter from landing,...

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Former NSA Chief Is Working For Wall Street Now

(35) Comments | Posted July 8, 2014 | 6:46 PM

Wall Street has tapped former National Security Agency director Keith Alexander to form a council that would coordinate how banks and the government respond to cyber attacks, according to an internal industry proposal obtained by HuffPost.

Alexander led the NSA when former contractor Edward Snowden revealed how the agency had...

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Aereo Is So Desperate It's Turning To Congress For Help

(8) Comments | Posted July 1, 2014 | 12:49 PM

In what may be its final gasp, the streaming TV service Aereo urged customers Tuesday to lobby Congress and protest a Supreme Court ruling that dealt a crippling blow to the company’s business model.

In a letter to subscribers, Aereo CEO Chet Kanojia directed them to the company’s...

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Aereo Loses Supreme Court Fight Against Broadcasters

(252) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 10:14 AM

The Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that Aereo was violating copyright law by streaming broadcast TV signals to subscribers without paying for them, striking a major blow to a startup that had threatened to upend the industry's lucrative business model.

The court ruled 6 to 3 against Aereo, reversing a...

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How Police Are Scanning All Of Twitter To Detect Terrorist Threats

(36) Comments | Posted June 25, 2014 | 7:38 AM

When Boston officials decided to monitor Twitter during this year's marathon, they didn't scan the site's 500 million daily posts for signs of trouble.

Dataminr did that for them.

The company's software sorts through millions of tweets for clues about major events or emerging threats, flagging mentions of everything...

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Apple's Plan To Stop iPhone Thefts Is Working

(36) Comments | Posted June 19, 2014 | 10:54 AM

The kill switch is working.

That was the message Thursday from law enforcement officials who said new statistics show iPhone thefts have declined since Apple introduced a stronger anti-theft feature in September. They said criminals are responding by targeting people who carry other smartphones that don't have a similar feature...

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The U.S. Government Is Investigating Why Your Netflix Is So Slow

(131) Comments | Posted June 13, 2014 | 2:42 PM

If your "Orange is the New Black" binge marathon has been interrupted by buffering and you wondered who to blame, the Federal Communications Commission is now trying to answer your question.

In a statement Friday, FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he has asked his staff to obtain information about the...

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AT&T, Comcast Have Spotty Record Of Providing Internet To Rural And Poor

(44) Comments | Posted June 12, 2014 | 7:35 AM

As telecom giants seek approval for their latest mergers, millions of people without fast, reliable Internet service have become bargaining chips.

AT&T said last week that it needs to take over DirecTV in order to bring high-speed broadband to an additional 15 million mostly rural customers. Meanwhile, Comcast...

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Uncle Sam Wants Coders To Leave Silicon Valley For D.C.

(23) Comments | Posted June 11, 2014 | 8:10 AM

President Obama delivers remarks about the error-plagued launch of Healthcare.gov in the Rose Garden. (Photo: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

Washington -- There may be no foosball tables or luxury buses ferrying employees to work, but a new startup in the nation’s capital...

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