Man runs cryptomining operation under a high school, Tesla pauses installations of driver assist software following recall and Apple not helpful as woman’s iPhone gets stolen, she gets locked out and 10k is stolen from her bank account.
Welcome to Hashtag Trending for Tuesday February 28th.
I’m your host Jim Love, CIO of IT World Canada and TechNewsDay in the US – here’s today’s top tech news stories.
A facilities director in Massachusetts, Nadeem Nahas has been accused of running an illegal cryptocurrency mining operation from a crawl space under a high school.
The operation was first uncovered in 2021 by a janitor who discovered temporary ductwork, electrical wires and computer systems that looked out of place in an “elevated crawl space” near the school’s boiler room.
Nahas immediately denied knowing why they were there after the police were called.
Investigators soon found six mining rigs inside the crawl space including inside coolers that vented to the outdoors, and five more systems 60 yards deeper into the crawl space.
According to a police report, the cryptomining operation ran from April to December 2021, costing over $17,000 in electricity.
The investigation determined Nahas to be the alleged operator of the mine, which he has denied.
Nahas made several references to crypto on Twitter but lied to the police about having a Twitter account. He also made purchases at Home Depot, at the beginning of the operation, for equipment located in the crawl space such as insulated flex ducts and extreme weather foil.
Nahas is due back in court on May 17 for a pretrial conference.
Source: Data Center Dynamics
Tesla has paused the installation of its Full Self-Driving (FSD) beta software in the US and Canada after the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) deemed it posed a crash risk, requesting that the carmaker recalls over 360,000 of its vehicles.
The driver assist software capable of steering, braking and accelerating automatically with a driver present, can also overlook a yellow traffic light, mess up the perceived duration of the vehicle’s static position at certain intersections or its speed while traveling through certain variable speed zones.
Tesla vehicle owners who may have just purchased the $15,000 FSD add-on — or previously bought it but have yet to opt in to it — won’t be able to get access to it until after the automaker issues an over-the-air (OTA) software update.
Those who already have FSD installed and activated can continue to use the software as is but won’t see any new features until the issues identified by NHTSA are addressed.
The recall that affects Model S, Model 3, Model X, and Model Y vehicles puts a damper on Tesla’s owner Elon Musk’s long standing promise that Full Self Driving will eventually become a fully autonomous system where the car can drive itself with no driver present and even become a robotaxi.
Source: The Verge
Meanwhile, aspirations are also dying out at Musk’s social media company.
The head of Twitter Blue, the company’s verification subscription services, Esther Crawford has been let go, along with much of her product team. Crawford was also responsible for the company’s forthcoming payments platform.
Crawford emerged as a prominent product manager under Musk’s leadership, one time even tweeting a picture of her sleeping at the Twitter office, saying “sometimes you sleep where you work”
She also backed the layoffs, post Musk’s takeover, saying “drastic cuts were going to be required to survive, no matter who owned the company.”
According to reports from the New York Times, this latest round of layoffs impacts at least 200 staff. Over 50 per cent of its 7,500 employees have been sacked since Musk took over in October.
Source: The Verge
In more layoff news, Ericsson has announced plans to cut 8,500 jobs, or 8 per cent of its workforce in a bid to reduce costs.
Ericsson didn’t specify which regions or divisions would be most impacted. The company employs more than 105,000 people globally, including in North America.
The Swedish company, which provides equipment for 5G networks, said the layoffs would occur this year and next year as part of its plan to cut costs by roughly $857 million by the end of 2023.
Source: USA Today
The cyber insurance market suffered massively, following a surge in ransomware attacks during the pandemic. Now it’s finally stabilizing.
Prices are moderating, new carriers and sources of capital are emerging and companies can afford better coverage.
The threats posed by cyber criminals however have not budged. Ransomware attacks against industrial organizations increased by 87 per cent in 2022 from the year before, while the US Treasury Department said financial institutions flagged nearly $1.2 billion in likely ransomware-related payments in 2021.
The same digital intrusions that surged during the start of the work-from-home era have now forced insurers to review how they write policies and led clients to adopt stronger cybersecurity measures.
But with new competitors entering the market at a time when demand was high, rates were bound to normalize while companies rebuild the stack of insurance policies they use to protect themselves against an attack.
New entrants are also bringing more capital to the market. London-based insurer Beazley Plc, for instance, launched a $45 million cyber catastrophe bond in January that it touted as the first of its kind.
These changes are seriously impacting how insurers handle the underwriting process but also how they provide support and thought leadership for their clients, a regional cyber head with insurer Allianz SA said.
Source: Data Center Knowledge
In the latest AI news; RadioGPT is here.
A media company called Futuri in Cleveland, Ohio is testing out the world’s first AI-driven localized radio content solution.
“With RadioGPT, the possibilities are endless. With RadioGPT, there should never be a ‘liner card’ or ‘sweeper-only’ air shift again. Now everyone can be live and local.” the company boasted in a release.
RadioGPT scans Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more than 250 thousand other sources of news and information to identify the most trending news in a local market.
Then it uses GPT-3 to produce a script, read on-air by AI voices. Radio stations are given a choice of AI voices for single-, duo, or trio-hosted shows. The AI can even be trained to sound like their existing personalities’ voices.
Source: Interesting Engineering
In November last year, Reyhan Ayas’ iPhone was stolen by a man in Manhattan.
As she tried to use the Find my Iphone function to locate the thief, she discovered that she had been locked out of her phone, potentially because the thief saw her input her passcode, Ayas believed.
She had lost access to her Apple account, so she was unable to log on to her MacBook computer. She contacted Apple support, which advised her to get a new SIM card and a new iPhone. She did so, but was still unable to access her account.
Over the next 24 hours, $10,000 was taken from Ayas’ bank account, according to a bank statement viewed by news site Insider.
She also received an email from Credit Karma showing an application for an Apple credit card. Another email showed the application had been approved while she was on hold with Apple-card support. She was soon able to get some help from Goldman Sachs which issues Apple’s credit cards.
Meanwhile Apple had only one question for Ayas– “Have you tried ‘Find My iPhone?”
During her most recent conversation with an Apple representative, the representative told Ayas that there was no way to regain access to her iCloud account.
“Apple takes a lot of pride in being, like, a closed-security environment. But they rarely talk about if someone gets into that closed-security environment; it is also closed to the people who own the account,” Ayas said. “It can absolutely turn against you.”
A NYPD detective affirmed that hundreds of similar crimes have been committed in New York over the past two years. He says , “”Once you get into the phone, it’s like a treasure box.”
That’s the top tech news stories for today
Links to these stories can be found in the article posted on itworldcanada.com/podcasts. You can also find more great stories and more in-depth coverage on itworldcanada.com or in the US on technewsday.com
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I’m your host Jim Love – Have a great Tuesday!