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Ransomware scammers have been exploiting a flaw in Apple's Mobile Safari browser in a campaign to extort fees from uninformed users. The scammers particularly target those who viewed porn or other controversial content. Apple patched the vulnerability on Monday with the release of iOS version 10.3.
"The attackers effectively used fear as a factor to get what they wanted before the victim realized that there was little actual risk," Lookout researchers Andrew Blaich and Jeremy Richards wrote in Monday's post.
Billionaire futurist space explorer Elon Musk has a new project: a "medical research company" called Neuralink that will make brain-computer interfaces. Musk's projects are frequently inspired by science fiction, and this one is a direct reference to a device called a "neural lace," invented by the late British novelist Iain M. Banks for his Culture series. In those books, characters grow a semi-organic mesh on their cerebral cortexes, which allows them to interface wirelessly with AIs and create backups of their minds.
Having a neural lace, in Banks' fiction, makes people essentially immortal—if they die, they're revived from the last backup. Musk isn't seeking immortality just yet, however. Though he's said publicly several times that he'd like to upload and download thoughts, possibly to fight against evil AI, he imagines that Neuralink's proof-of-concept products will be implanted electrodes for treating epilepsy and depression. They will be much like current implants for treating Parkinson's, which work by regulating electrical activity in the brain.
According to The Wall Street Journal, the company will likely be funded entirely by Musk or by the Founders Fund, a VC firm founded by Peter Thiel. The Journal also reports that the company has hired three people already: "Vanessa Tolosa, an engineer at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and an expert in flexible electrodes; Philip Sabes, a professor at the University of California in San Francisco, who studies how the brain controls movement; and Timothy Gardner, a professor at Boston University who is known for implanting tiny electrodes in the brains of finches to study how the birds sing."
While facing intense outrage for repeatedly jacking up the price of their life-saving epinephrine auto-injectors, Mylan continually argued that patients were shielded from the soaring list price—thanks to insurance coverage, discounts, and rebates. But a new study looking into insurance claims casts doubt on that defense.
Between 2007 and 2014, the average out-of-pocket spending per insured EpiPen-user jumped 123 percent. During that time, Mylan raised the list price of EpiPens from around $50 per pen to a whopping $609 per two-pack. In 2007, the year Mylan obtained the rights to EpiPen, the average patient spent around $33.8 out-of-pocket for a two-pack. By 2014, the average spending rose to $75.5 per two-pack, according to the new analysis published Monday in JAMA Internal Medicine.
The figures don’t square neatly with Mylan’s assurances. The company repeatedly claimed that most most patients weren’t significantly affected by the price hikes and pay only $50 out-of-pocket or less. Reuters reports that Mylan even claimed that about 90 percent of patients paid that little.
Unhappy Windows 10 users in Illinois are taking Microsoft to court, claiming that problems caused by the Windows 10 upgrade show that it was negligently designed, that Microsoft fraudulently failed to disclose its defects, and that the upgrade is unfit for purpose.
In a break from tradition, Microsoft offered Windows 10 as a free upgrade to Windows 7 and 8.1 for the first year of its release. This unusual offer was matched with a set of increasingly aggressive promotions within Windows itself. In the early days of the upgrade offer, there were even some users reporting that it installed automatically.
Three plaintiffs claim specific harm was caused by the operating system. Stephanie Watson claims that Windows 10 installed without her choosing to accept it. The upgrade destroyed some data, caused such harm that Geek Squad was unable to fully repair the machine, and forced the purchase of a new system.The suit claims that "many" consumers have had their hard drives fail because of the Windows 10 installation, and that the operating system does not check "whether or not the hard drive can withstand the stress of the Windows 10 installation."
A free speech advocacy organization sued the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement on Monday, seeking "statistical, policy, and assessment records regarding the government’s searches" of digital devices at the United States border.
The group, the Knight First Amendment Institute based at Columbia University, said on Twitter that the lawsuit came about as a result of recent journalism on the issue.
— Knight 1st Amendment (@knightcolumbia) March 27, 2017
Ars and other media reported that there has been a rapid uptick in the number of such incidents: February 2017 alone had more border searches of phones, tablets, and computers than all of 2015.
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