Here Comes the War for Commercial Drone Dominance

Into this universe comes Airbus SE, the European aerospace conglomerate. Airbus is starting a new data company, called Airbus Aerial, to provide an array of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) services, a field the company estimates could increase to more than $120 billion annually as the use of these fleets expands, said Dirk Hoke, CEO of Airbus’s defence and space group. Hoke introduced the new company Wednesday at Xponential.

Source: Here Comes the War for Commercial Drone Dominance – Bloomberg

John Steele Pleads Guilty, Admits Entire Scheme

In short, Steele admits that he and Hansmeier used sham entities to obtain the copyright to (or in some cases film) porn, uploaded it to file-sharing websites, and then filed “false and deceptive” copyright suits against downloaders designed to conceal their role in distributing the films and their stake in the outcomes. They lied to courts themselves, sent others to court to lie, lied at depositions, lied in sworn affidavits, created sham entities as plaintiffs, created fraudulent hacking allegations to try to obtain discovery into the identity of downloaders, used “ruse defendants” (strawmen, in effect) to get courts to approve broad discovery into IP addresses.

Source: Prenda Saga Update: John Steele Pleads Guilty, Admits Entire Scheme | Popehat

The wheels grind slowly, my friends, but they do grind.

J.C. Penney’s troubles are reflected in satellite images of its parking lots

Orbital Insight, a venture capital-funded satellite intelligence startup based in Palo Alto, tracks 250,000 parking lots for 96 retail chains across the U.S.

Source: J.C. Penney’s troubles are reflected in satellite images of its parking lots | The Outline

Orbital Insight’s parking lot figures track pretty closely with J.C. Penney’s stock price.

Windows 10 lock screen ads begin with Rise of the Tomb Raider push

The lock screen is one of several ways that Windows 10 isn’t exactly free. From Start menu promotions to subscription-based games to personalized ads in Bing and the Edge browser, Microsoft has plenty of money-making hooks built into its latest OS.

Source: Windows 10 lock screen ads begin with Rise of the Tomb Raider push | PCWorld

AT&T’s plan to watch your Web browsing—and what you can do about it

If you have AT&T’s gigabit Internet service and wonder why it seems so affordable, here’s the reason—AT&T is boosting profits by rerouting all your Web browsing to an in-house traffic scanning platform, analyzing your Internet habits, then using the results to deliver personalized ads to the websites you visit, e-mail to your inbox, and junk mail to your front door.

via AT&T’s plan to watch your Web browsing—and what you can do about it | Ars Technica.

Use https.  They may know which sites you visit but they won’t know any of the http fields because that is all encrypted.  Most big sites like Google and Facebook use https by default nowadays.

MegaBots At New York Comic Con

The team hopes one day fans will root for bots the way they do for racing’s Jeff Gordon, ultimate fighting’s Ronda Rousey, and boxing’s Floyd Mayweather, Jr.

via MegaBots At New York Comic Con – Business Insider.

In a MegaBots battle, a two-member team sits inside the bot’s upper torso, where the controls systems are housed. Although the co-founders assure me that the pilot and gunner are well protected inside, the situation presents a heightened suspense.

Each 15,000-pound robot is equipped with six-inch cannons inside its arms that fire paint-filled missiles and cannon balls at 120 miles per hour. Good aim can cause enough damage to jam its opponent’s weapons system or shoot of a limb. “These aren’t Rock ‘Em Sock ‘Em Robots,” Stroup laughs.

Snapchat Can’t Stop the Parasite Apps That Screw Its Users

In a statement, Snapchat puts the blame on third party applications like that use its API to allow Snapchatters to save its disappearing messages on their devices, or worse yet, on a remote server. “We can confirm that Snapchat’s servers were never breached and were not the source of these leaks,” a Snapchat spokesperson writes in a statement. “Snapchatters were allegedly victimized by their use of third-party apps to send and receive Snaps, a practice that we expressly prohibit in our Terms of Use precisely because they compromise our users’ security.”

via Snapchat Can’t Stop the Parasite Apps That Screw Its Users | WIRED.

This should have been obvious from the beginning.  Nothing can stop an end user from taking a screenshot of an incoming photo.  Their “privacy” claim was bogus from the beginning and not sure why anyone took this business model seriously.  More …

But even if Snapchat users’ data was accessed via someone else’s servers, that doesn’t make the breach any less of Snapchat’s problem, says security researcher Adam Caudill. He’s been reverse engineering Snapchat’s API to demonstrate exactly the problem of rogue third party apps for years. “Your average developer can build something in a day’s time that interacts with Snapchat’s API and saves everything that comes through it,” Caudill says. “Quite honestly, I’m surprised this hasn’t happened sooner.”

Who’s Getting Rich Off Profit-Driven ‘Clicktivism’

This reflects how today’s internet, despite its potential as a Democratizing Tool, is controlled by the few. Look at mobile—most apps have to go through Apple and Google’s not-always transparent approval process to be placed on their app stores and become visible to millions of smartphone users. The featured petitions on, currently a private “B” corporation, (a voluntary, non-binding certification which means they met the nonprofit B Lab’s standards for social and environmental performance) are similarly controlled not by its millions of users but its CEO and founder Ben Rattray, and, according to a spokesperson, a global “Leadership Team.”

via Who’s Getting Rich Off Profit-Driven ‘Clicktivism’ | Motherboard.

Service Drains Competitors’ Online Ad Budget

The service, which appears to have been in the offering since at least January 2012, provides customers both a la carte and subscription rates. The prices range from $100 to block between three to ten ad units for 24 hours to $80 for 15 to 30 ad units. For a flat fee of $1,000, small businesses can use GoodGoogle’s software and service to sideline a handful of competitors’s ads indefinitely. Fees are paid up-front and in virtual currencies (WebMoney, e.g.), and the seller offers support and a warranty for his work for the first three weeks.

via Service Drains Competitors’ Online Ad Budget — Krebs on Security.